Open thread July 28

Hi. I’m unexpectedly a lot busier than usual these few days. Here’s your chance to express yourselves– courteously, as always (!), and within the usual guidelines on length and discourse-hogging.
I’ll be back soon.

30 thoughts on “Open thread July 28”

  1. Obama, Netanyahu and the Settlements
    If indeed Obama does clash with Netanyahu over his refusal to freeze the settlements in the West Bank and his insistence on continuing to build in East Jerusalem, it is for Obama’s victory that many Israelis will be praying. They know that in this battle, it is not Netanyahu but Obama who represents the true interests of Israel.
    The question is whether Obama has the power to follow through, as no preceding president since Dwight Eisenhower has done.
    Netanyahu does not believe so. His American partners – the defeated Republicans, the Neocons who are now in hiding, the almost-silent Evangelical preachers – this defeated camp is hoping to recover its fortunes by encouraging the Jewish lobby and the Israeli government to provoke Obama. Netanyahu, who has mobilized Congress against the White House in the past, believes that he can do it once again.
    Our newspapers are gleefully reporting, with charts and graphs to bear them out, that Obama’s standing in America is sinking. It is not hard to divine that most of this information emanates from Avigdor Lieberman’s Foreign Office, the same source that is feeding the American media with reports of the growing opposition of the Israeli public against Obama. Soon the American media will show Israeli protesters waving posters with Obama in SS uniform, as happened with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin before him.
    I have no idea for what many Israelis are or will be praying, but I hope that the American media does soon show Israeli protesters waving posters with Obama in SS uniform. It might wake them up to the clear and present danger posed by neo-Nazi Israelis.

  2. Interesting goings on in the Kurdish elections. Yesterday I read Patrick Cockburn at Counterpuch describing the surprising success of the Goran “Change” list, a reformist breakaway group formerly members of Talabani’s PUK. Cockburn mentioned that Goran was concerned about electorial fraud but there didn’t seem to be any other reports about the election results until today. Here’s a link to a “A Statement from the Change List” which outlines their complaint against the KDP, Barzani’s group which ran a joint slate in partnership with the PUK.

  3. The question is whether Obama has the power to follow through, as no preceding president since Dwight Eisenhower has done.
    This is just another “O Obama, I adore you!”-kind of article by Uri Avnery (“Obama, Netanyahu and the Settlements”); an article which ends in style (using one of the cheap slogans of the Obama campaign): “As an Israeli, I feel like calling out to him: Yes, You Can!”.
    This fairy tale about the Noble, but Weak Obama who fights like a Lion against the Evil, but Mighty Netanyahu, has no relation whatsoever to the real relation between Israel and the USA (or the real power of those two countries).
    Noam Chomsky’s comments about Obama’s Cairo speech is relevant for articles like this one too:
    The strongest position so far enunciated by the Obama administration is that Israel should conform to Phase I of the 2003 Road Map, which states: ‘Israel freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).’ All sides claim to accept the Road Map, overlooking the fact that Israel instantly added 14 reservations that render it inoperable.

    Overlooked in the debate over settlements is that even if Israel were to accept Phase I of the Road Map, that would leave in place the entire settlement project that has already been developed, with decisive U.S. support, to ensure that Israel will take over the valuable land within the illegal ‘separation wall’ (including the primary water supplies of the region) as well as the Jordan Valley, thus imprisoning what is left, which is being broken up into cantons by settlement/infrastructure salients extending far to the East.
    It is also worth remembering that the Bush I administration went a bit beyond words in objecting to illegal Israeli settlement projects, namely, by withholding U.S. economic support for them. In contrast, Obama administration officials stated that such measures are ‘not under discussion’ and that any pressures on Israel to conform to the Road Map will be ‘largely symbolic,’ so the New York Times reported (Helene Cooper, June 1).
    The rest of Chomsky’s article can be found here

  4. An Artery of Opium a Vein of Taliban
    MY, made this serious of photos to pick the interest of his continuing a peel for the donation donations and of course each time as what he done with Iraq war some photos that you feel some there is felling he faking up the photos to put his stories.

    Nevertheless, I continue to crack on: Please consider signing up for free Twitter updates at Michael_Yon (not Michael Yon), for the most timely snippets possible.

    You can help support this mission through paypal, all major credit cards, or e-check.

    Why this guy keep asking for donations while he is fighting in the war. Is he voluntarism to go to war?
    Don’t thing so he is telling he is a journalist report from front-lines of war zone, but he did in the past in Iraq pulled the riffle killed the Iraqis, while he is impended with US forces as a journalist as he telling?
    Anyone can see and points us to the Opium a Vein of Taliban in his photo show?
    Btw, look to the military gear the solders had on compare with Afghani fighters what a shook shock ..

  5. Correction:
    In my comment about Avnery I called Avnery’s article “just another “O Obama, I adore you!”-kind of article”. This is, I have to say, quite unfair, since most of Avnery’s article isn’t about Obama at all.
    I was only referring to the last part of his article, the part about Obama.
    Of course I should have made that clear…..

  6. Just to let people who keep telling the “elected government” in Iraq start shows her believes and practice of democracy an freedom of speech.
    Recently Iraqi government banned listed books from entering Iraq!! followed by the chief editor of Al-Mada journal news band the 14th issue from been published due to refusal of the cartoons the famous Iraqi cartoonist designed which pick the attains and make fun of reality in Iraq today and the vast corruptions from the head to toes of the Iraq officials from the elected “Green Zone” government to most Iraqi offices and government services.
    Last think talk start raises now that Iraqi government have learned from Lunatic Mullah in Iran who they dealt with their lies and fake voting system and they tried to use their Iranian handlers way to shut-down and silence the internet sites that keep tracing the Iraqi government officials and the systematic corruption and foolish dealing with Iraqi resources like the stupid Iranians hart and mind Ali Shoristanin and his stupid and disastrous deals of Iraqi oil wells.
    Any way watch the space see what’s coming next I will try keep you updated..

  7. I wish I could have a “Recent Posts” thing like JWN has, on my Blogger blog. Can anyone explain to me how to do that?

  8. Why is the Arab world – let us speak with terrible sharpness – so backward? Why so many dictators, so few human rights, so much state security and torture, so terrible a literacy rate?

    the Arabs our teachers, our economists, our agronomists. But bring our soldiers home. They do not defend us. They spread the same chaos that breeds the injustice upon which the al-Qa’idas of this world feed. No, the Arabs – or, outside the Arab world, the Iranians or the Afghans – will not produce the eco-loving, gender-equal, happy-clappy democracies that we would like to see. But freed from “our” tutelage, they might develop their societies to the advantage of the people who live in them. Maybe the Arabs would even come to believe that they owned their own countries.

    Robert Fisk: Why does life in the Middle East remain rooted in the Middle Ages?

  9. Cheer up Salah. Your friends in Iraq will still be able use the web get their how-to-make-your-suicide-belt-to-kill-sadrists.

  10. The old script plays again now in NIgeria, radical Islamist go berzerk in their push for a Sharia based system they destroy everything in their path. There is always a character named Mohammad, always religion mixed with a militia, and always a future I view of the future I want no part of.
    Boko Haram says it is fighting against Western education. It believes Nigeria’s government is being corrupted by Western ideas and wants to see Taliban-style rule imposed across Nigeria.
    More than 200 people have been killed in four days of clashes since an estimated 1,000 well-armed militants began attacking police stations and government buildings in Maiduguri.

    On another expression of that subculture AP reports that a father killed his daughter for owning a phone:
    A Gaza man is being held on suspicion he bludgeoned his daughter with an iron chain, cracking her skull in a particularly brutal family “honor killing,” two human rights groups said Wednesday, citing police and forensics reports.

    Photo: Courtesy
    SLIDESHOW: Israel & Region | World
    The groups’ reports said that the assault was triggered by Jawdat Najjar’s discovery that his daughter Fadia – a 27-year-old divorced mother of five – owned a cell phone. He suspected she used it to speak to a man outside the family, according to the groups’ reports. Dr. Mohammed Sultan, who examined the victim, told The Associated Press that her head and face were bloodied, her body covered by bruises and that she suffered internal bleeding. On Wednesday, a northern Gaza police officer confirmed that Najjar turned himself in a day after the July 23 killing but did not give details. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the media.
    How big does the US hatred has to be for some in the left to find common cause with radical islam….

  11. Titus,
    BBC reporters from the area was giving very clear that the group (forgot Islam and Islamism) they using Islam as usual to get attention, so they start recruits youth in the area where Boko Haram (Taliban as they call themselves), As BBC reported two days ago the local have their suspicious and fear from this group and they saw his attentions recruiting the youth.
    Let discussing these points clearly and quietly with provoking word here:
    1- Where are the government and the officials in the area from what the local have talking about for a time before the break of these terrorist attacks?
    2- Nigerian government long time have accused and some western documentary and report of corruptions using the oil sources money unwisely left the majority of Nigerian people under poverty line dispute the oil production around 1.5-2 Billion B/D. Even some report from last years that Nigerian government had invested some money in a huge aluminium manufacturing plant took 10 years to finish and not yet produced 1Gram Aluminium!
    3- Shell company and other cartel that control oil production they had terribly polluted the land and environment in the area of the production which affected the human life’s, that reported in many western documents and reports.
    Today as reported by BBC the fighters coming from outside Nigerian from neighbouring courtiers this raises many questions who is really behind these militant and who is support, provide weaponry to them.
    I do not go further in the sources of these looks like internal Islamism group but its undoubtable there is fingers behind them from outside Nigerian.

  12. A look at Nigeria
    GEOGRAPHY: Twice the size of California, with an area of nearly 360,000 square miles. It is set on the Gulf of Guinea on the West African coast and borders Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin. Terrain ranges from coastal swamps and tropical forests to grasslands and semi-deserts.
    PEOPLE: Population 140 million, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 250 ethnic groups. About 40 percent are Christian, 50 percent Muslim and the rest adherents of indigenous beliefs. Twelve northern states practice Islamic law.
    HISTORY: Gained independence from Britain in 1960. In 1967, the oil-rich eastern region tried to gain independence in a 30-month civil war that left more than 1 million dead. Peace and an oil boom in the 1970s brought in billions of dollars, but corruption undermined prosperity. After decades of coups and military rule, the country held democratic elections in 1999.
    OIL VIOLENCE: Militant groups, including the main Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, have launched repeated attacks and kidnappings in recent years against foreign oil companies and oil infrastructure in the southern Niger Delta region. The militants claim they are fighting for a greater share of oil wealth in a region that has remained desperately poor, despite lucrative oil resources that have made Nigeria one of Africa’s largest crude exporters.
    About 40 percent are Christian, 50 percent Muslim
    So in Iraq everyone talking the majority have the right to control Iraq, so what make different with Nigeria 50% majority Muslims?

  13. Helena,
    I read your article about Afghanistan and the more I think about it the more I think that our goal is not to win the war but to continue the war.
    If we can keep pumping 50-60K new troops through there each year we’re building a very large pool of battle-hardened soldiers to draw on in case any real trouble happens. It’s the ultimate training ground.
    Let’s face it, Afghanistan is the bottom of the barrel. Our politicians don’t care at all about the people there.
    The handful of our soldiers that we lose every month is statistically insignificant to our politicians.
    What we need to analyze is what would make Obama change his mind in the transition from candidate to president from ending the war to expanding the war.
    He even ignored his military commanders who said that they should spend 80% on humanitarian aid and 20% on military and did the exact opposite.
    The real reason, besides the training ground, is so that they can get a pipeline through Afghanistan before our oil supplies from other areas dry up.
    The key is not to watch what they say but to watch what they do.

  14. President Obama’s claim – enunciated during his June 4, 2009 speech at Cairo University – that “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history [The Holocaust] that cannot be denied,” ignores thoroughly-documented Jewish roots in the Land of Israel in general and in Judea & Samaria in particular.
    2. World renowned travelers, historians and archeologists of earlier centuries, such as H. B. Tristram (The Land of Israel, 1865), Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867), R.A. MacAlister and Masterman (“Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly”), A.P. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 1887), E. Robinson and E. Smith (Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1841)), C.W. Van de Velde (Peise durch Syrien und Paletsinea, 1861), Felix Bovet (Voyage en Taire Sainte, 1864) – as well as Encyclopedia Britannica and official British and Ottoman records (until 1950) refer to “Judea and Samaria” and not to the “West Bank.” The latter term was coined by the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria following the 1948/9 War.
    3. The term “Palestine” was established by Greek Historian Herodotus, and adopted by the Roman Empire, in an attempt to erase “Judea” from human memory. “Palestine” was a derivative of the biblical Philistines, arch rivals of the Jewish nation, non-Semites who migrated to the area from the Greek islands and from Phoenicia in the 12th century BCE (“Plishtim” – the invaders – is the Hebrew word for “Philistines”).
    4. Most Arabs (Semites from the Arabian Peninsula), who reside between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, have their origin in a massive 19th-20th century migration from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and other Moslem countries.
    5. Almost all Arab towns and villages in Judea and Samaria have retained biblical Jewish names, thus reaffirming Jewish roots there. For example:
    *A-Dura is biblical (and contemporary) Adora’yim, site of King Rehoboam’s and a Maccabees’ fortress.
    *A-Ram is biblical Haramah, Prophet Samuel’s birth and burial site.
    *Anata is biblical (and contemporary) Anatot, the dwelling of the Prophet Jeremiah.
    *Batir is biblical (and contemporary) Beitar, the headquarters of Bar Kochba, the leader of the Great Rebellion against the Roman Empire, which was crashed in 135CE.
    *Beit-hur is the biblical (and contemporary) Beit Horon, site of Judah the Maccabee’s victory over the Assyrians.
    *Beitin is biblical (and contemporary) Bethel, a site of the Holy Ark and Prophet Samuel’s court.
    *Bethlehem is mentioned 44 times in the Bible and is the birth place of King David.
    *Beit Jalla is biblical (and contemporary) Gilo, where Sennacherib set his camp, while besieging Jerusalem.
    *El-Jib is biblical (and contemporary) Gibeon, Joshua’s battleground known for “Sun, stop thou in Gibeon and the moon in the valley of Ayalon,” Joshua 10:12.
    *Hebron – named after Hevron, Moses’ uncle and Levy’s grandson – was King David’s first capital for 7 years, the burial site of the 3 Jewish Patriarchs and 3 Jewish Matriarchs.
    *Jaba’ is the biblical (and contemporary Geva, site of Jonathan’s (son of King Saul) victory over the Philistines.
    *Jenin is the biblical (and contemporary) Ein Ganim, a Levite town within the tribe of Issachar.
    *Mukhmas is biblical (and contemporary) Mikhmash, residence of Jonathan the Maccabee and site of King Saul’s fortress.
    *Seilun is biblical (and contemporary) Shilo, a site of Joshua’s tabernacle and the Holy Ark and Samuel’s youth.
    *Tequa’ is biblical (and contemporary) Teqoah, hometown of the Prophet Amos and currently known for its home grown Ginger.
    Are these sites “occupied” by the Jewish State or are they the epitome of Jewish moral high-ground and Statehood?

  15. The term “Palestine” was established by Greek Historian Herodotus, and adopted by the Roman Empire, in an attempt to erase “Judea” from human memory.
    Oops we got new Hasbara here!
    So Iraq was not Iraq , “Palestine” was not land ect…….
    So Yehudah & Shomron a small short lived kingdom (about 70 years) have their name and domination on the land from Euphrates to Nile?
    And the shekel (Israeli currency name)
    is originally was Babylonian name a thuggery Zionist claimed as Israeli name…..
    Looks our new hasbara very much like Fictionalism thinking machines Franz Kafka.
    Isn’t same claims that Prophet Abrahim (ع) was a Jew well before Judaism was crated on earth?

    مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلاَ نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَكِن كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُّسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

    “And Ibrahim was not a Jew and he was not a Christian, but he was an upright Muslim and he was not an idolater.”

    سورة آل عمران أية, 67
    The proof of this verse is easy to establish.
    First, the word “Jew” comes from the Hebrew tribe of Judah. This tribe descended from Prophet
    Yaqoob (Jacob) who was the son of Ishaaq (Isaac) who was one of the sons of Ibrahim
    (Abraham). Therefore, Prophet Ibrahim was the great-grandfather of the man from whom the
    Jews would spring. Hence, it is impossible for Prophet Ibrahim himself to be Jewish.

  16. يحذر مرصد الحريات الصحفية الحكومة العراقية من محاولة السيطرة على التدفق الحر للمعلومات و الحد من مستوى المعرفة لدى المواطنين من خلال محاولة فرض الرقابة والسيطرة على الشبكة الدولية للمعلومات (الانترنت) في البلاد ، كون هذه السيطرة تخالف مواد الدستور العراقي بشكل واضح وصريح.
    وكان وزير الاتصالات العراقي فاروق عبد القادر اعترف خلال برنامج تلفزيوني بثته قناة الحرة عراق،الاسبوع الماضي، بأن مقترحاً قدم لوضع ضوابط و تحديد استخدام شبكة المعلومات الدولية (الانترنت) في العراق .
    وقال عبد القادر ” وجه رئيس الوزراء الى ان يكون هناك ضوابط و التزام من ناحية ما ينشر في الانترنت لان ماينشر خارج حدود السيطرة

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