Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bush lost his proxy war on Lebanon

Olmert is not in trouble back home because he defeated Hezbollah; Olmert is in trouble because he didn't. And, by proxy, neither did Bush. Secondly, Hezbollah did not start the conflict; The "Israeli Soldiers" were not kidnapped; they were captured inside Lebanon. Even so, Bush urged Olmert to attack Syria, perhaps hoping that Iran could be drawn into a conflict that even the conservative George Will had described as "cascading escalation". He drew a fearful analogy to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. To his credit, Will was not as transparently gleeful about that prospect as were other conservative commentators. Did Bush hope that it would erupt into WWIII? If so, it is time for Bush to go.

Some 58 percent of the Israeli population most surely does not believe that Hezbollah is defeated. [See:Olmert fights for political survival] An excerpt:

He has faced a backlash over his decision to accept the U.N. resolution and for failing to deliver a fatal blow to Hezbollah. Army officers have said they were held back and right-wing rivals have been calling for new elections. The next national ballot is not due until 2010. —Washington Post
Hezbollah had only to fight to a draw to win. Even a majority of Israelis are not buying into the Bush spin machine:

Israel's verdict: We lost the war

By Donald Macintyre in Metulla, Israel

Published: 15 August 2006

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, was obliged to admit "shortcomings" in the 34-day-old conflict in Lebanon yesterday as he launched what may prove a protracted fight for his own political survival.

Mr Olmert's admission in a stormy Knesset session came in the face of devastating poll figures showing a majority of the Israeli public believes none or only a very small part of the goals of the war had been achieved.

Adding insult to injury, the leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, crowed on television that his guerrillas had achieved a "strategic historic victory" over Israel.

The Prime Minister, who was repeatedly heckled by opposition MPs during his address, insisted the international commitments in Friday night's UN resolution would "change fundamentally" the balance of forces on the country's northern border


Critics from right and left were fortified by a Globes Smith poll showing, remarkably given the degree to which the army is embedded in Israeli society, that 52 per cent of electors believed the Israel Defence Forces had been unsuccessful in its Lebanon offensive as opposed to 44 per cent who believed it did well.


But as the artillery batteries fell silent and firing stopped, there was a final single explosion at about 8.05pm, sending a plume of grey smoke upwards before the uneasy calm began.....
Post conflict spin can only lead to one conclusion: the relationship between Republican administrations since 1980 and the so-called "terrorists" is a symbiotic one. The GOP provides "terrorists" with a cause celebre while terrorism provides the Republican party with a Nazi tactic: scare the population to keep them obedient and compliant.

But neither the Israeli right wing —or the American GOP —have learned anything from the ordeal. I almost sensed a feeling of disappointment in Bush's voice yesterday even as he tried to convince himself and the world that Hezbollah had suffered a terrible defeat. Bush's sole accomplishment, however, lay in the fact that the Israeli attack took Bush's murderous Iraq quagmire off the front pages for a few weeks.

The GOP is not political party. It's a crime syndicate that has lately become a kooky cult of deliberate liars. And —as if to counter that image of Bush —it was made known that Bush is reading The Stranger by the Existentialist author, Albert Camus. But, if Bush knew anything of Camus or Sartre, he would surely know both men would have applied the term mauvaise foi (bad faith) to the likes of Bush, Cheney, and the entire GOP cabal, consisting as it does, of war criminals and torturers!

Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.

—Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialist

Bush is no existentialist. Existentialism is all about living an authentic life. Bush is a poser, a fraud.
A man who does not know the truth is just an idiot but a man who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a crook!

—Bertolt Brecht

A man who knew mauvaise foi when he saw it.

Some updates:

Another 'Mission Accomplished' Moment?

By Dan Froomkin

Special to washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, August 15, 2006; 1:20 PM

President Bush's startling assertion yesterday -- that at the end of 33 days of warfare between Israel and the Hezbollah militia, Hezbollah had been defeated -- once again raises questions about his ability to acknowledge reality when things don't turn out the way he intended.

Here, from the transcript of his appearance at the State Department, are his exact words: "Hezbollah started the crisis, and Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis. And the reason why is, is that first, there is a new -- there's going to be a new power in the south of Lebanon, and that's going to be a Lebanese force with a robust international force to help them seize control of the country, that part of the country." ...

Assad assails US `illusion'

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Tuesday plans by the United States for a "new Middle East" have collapsed after Hezbollah's successes in fighting against Israel.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Tuesday plans by the United States for a "new Middle East" have collapsed after Hezbollah's successes in fighting against Israel.

He said the region had indeed changed but "because of the achievements of the resistance." The Middle East that the United States "aspires to has become an illusion," he told a journalists' association conference in Damascus.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said early in the war between Hezbollah and Israel that any settlement should be durable and lead to a "new Middle East" where extremists have no influence.

But after 34 days of fighting, a cease- fire brought a fragile truce, with Hezbollah surviving and Israeli forces unable to score a decisive victory. Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has already declared "strategic, historic victory" against Israel. ...

From The Nation:

Topple the War Profiteers

In 1917, at the height of World War I, Wisconsin Sen. Robert M. La Follette caused quite a stir when he suggested that one of the best ways to support the US troops fighting in Europe was to expose and challenge American corporations that engage in all forms of war profiteering. Even as attention is focused abroad on battles still raging, La Follette said, it is important to remain ever mindful "that there are enemies of democracy in the homeland."

"These," the Senator continued, "are the powers of special privilege that take advantage of the opportunity which war affords to more firmly entrench themselves in their control of government and industry. These interests are amassing enormous fortunes out of the world's misery."

More than 85 years later, America finds itself embedded in a very different conflict, yet La Follette's words still ring true. No matter what Americans think about the Bush Administration's preemptive invasion of Iraq, there should be broad agreement on the need to ensure that corporations do not turn the war and its aftermath into a bonanza for their bottom lines and a boondoggle for US taxpayers. In other words: Now that the statues of Saddam Hussein have been toppled, it is time to topple the war profiteers. But where to begin? ...

The Existentialist Cowboy


Anonymous said...

On varying occasions toward the war's end, Israel claimed to have killed about a third of Hezbollah's soldiers (for such they actually are, rather than the "fighters" the MSM likes to label them to differentiate them from good clean-living professional army), and to have killed around 400 non-civilians.

The math I fidgeted through in high school tells me the total strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon, then (not including non-military, such as political and support workers), was about 1,200 when the war began.

Pardon me, George? Israel never advanced, on an unbroken front, more than 10 km into Southern Lebanon. Hezbollah has no tanks or heavy artillery pieces, no air force and no surveillance/reconnaissance capability. Hezbollah had about 1,200 troops and no reserve; they were generously outnumbered. Nonetheless, the rate of rockets falling on Israel did not perceptibly slacken throughout the conflict, right up to its uneasy conclusion. But, that's a tick in the box for ISRAEL??

I guess that means, "It's not a defeat if the President says it isn't". I look forward to the President's analysis of Custer's victory.

Many sources suggest Olmert's government will not survive this sloppy overreach. Hopefully he won't be replaced by somebody equally truculent and arrogant.

When the IDF began its latest torment of the Palestinians, Olmert was reported to have said, "I want nobody to sleep in Gaza tonight". How's YOUR rest these days, Ehud?

benmerc said...

The whole scenario is all so much a Bushism: Because I say so, it must be so... To bad that is not how the real world works jr.. And go tell that to the more then likely tens of thousand's once neutral Lebanese citizens, now more then willing to back the Hezbollah. This administration is nothing short of the epitome of incompetence in foreign policy and affairs. Man, I can not even watch anymore of this. They need to drop him off at the country club and make his old man finish out the friggin term, it is past absurd. But this could all just be a milk run, and the real set-up is on it's way, as Sy Hersh predicts.

Unknown said...

It was all true because Bush said it was.

Now...kiss Bush's ass and pay obeisance.

Seriously, the jig is up for Bush. His failed regime has NO credibility.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

This is not even funny, Len. Benjamin Natenyuahu is right now flying above the Israeli government like a volture ready to dive on the prime minister seat...

This would be a blessing Washington's Neo-cons.

Unknown said...

Well, I haven't been laughing for some time now. Sadly, Olmert —for having fallen for Bush's bull____, will succomb to a right wing radicalized by the obvious failure of the whole adventure. That's the price Bushco must pay for duplicity. If Israelis could convince themselves, for one minute, that Olmert's blunder was, in any way, a "victory", we might breathe a nervous sigh of relief. Or make a joke. I won't be doing either one until Bush is on trial for war crimes.

Anonymous said...

It is a mark of how overrated the Bush administration is, in terms of planning and intrigue, that questions continue to be asked as to their real dark intent - their real hidden agenda - when all the wheels come off one of their initiatives, as did this latest "campaign".

THERE IS NO PLAN. There is a set of highly desirable circumstances the Texas Turnip and his fellow vegetables would love to see made reality, but they have no more idea how to manipulate kismet to make it come to pass than a fruit bat knows how to play chess.

George W. Bush and his cavalcade of clowns are thrashing about like a cruel child with a poker. Anything that could reasonably be described a "plan" went out the window when the hapless Jay Garner was relieved of command over the CPA, in favour of Paul Bremer. After that, it was just an unbroken spiral of stupidity, ever tightening.

Bush on final, full flaps. Somebody rig the crash barrier.

Unknown said...


There was what passes for "plan" among NEOCONs and their co-conspirators. It's easy enough to say Bush deliberately created chaos in Iraq. That gives him too much credit. Simply —it's just a big F___ UP, arguably, the biggest military blunder in world history. Surely, even a NEOCON should be expected to figure out that there are easier ways to steal oil.

In the meantime, Hezbollah is on the ground assisting clean up and rebuilding efforts in Lebanon. Hezbollah —said to have been destroyed by Bush —has emerged stronger than ever. Even Lebanonese citizens who were opposed to Hezbollah now rally to them. Did Bush foresee this? He might have, had his cabal a modicum of common sense, let along intelligence. But no! This regime will destroy the world for mere illusions of wealth and oil.

Anonymous said...

Cowboy, you state that the 2 Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanon. I know of this AP story http://www.forbes.com/technology/feeds/ap/2006/07/12/ap2873051.html Is there other evidence out there of where the 2 soldiers were captured?

Unknown said...

There was an AP report that predates the Forbes story. You might check out Scoop Blogwatch which reports: "On July 12th, the Associated Press reported "The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them." This is from the article Hezbollah Captures 2 Israeli Soldiers By JOSEPH PANOSSIAN , 07.12.2006, 05:41 AM"

Forbes was not the only "major" to pick up the wire report. It was also carried by ABC and the Boston Herald.

You might want to check out the article by Johnathan Cook: Five Myths That Sanction Israel's War Crimes Also: Propaganda which upholds Israeli war crimes

Anonymous said...

Hezbollah has also been handing out leaflets to returning Lebanese, warning them to keep their children away from unexploded ordnance, which litters the landscape.

I underestimated Nasrallah. He's going for Siniora's chair. It would be all too easy (not to mention compellingly deserved) to just stagger around firing AK's into the air, celebrating, as Arabs are expected to do. No. Nasrallah views Hezbollah's victory in the cold light of opportunity, and he is obviously going to ride this pony as far as it will go.

Hezbollah was first to promise compensation and assistance with rebuilding homes destroyed by Israel. Now they are first to provide guidance to protect the children. The official government of Lebanon just....well..... stands around, doing the political equivalent of stuttering.

I kind of smirked when sources compared Nasrallah to Nasser, but I might have smirked too soon.

Have you ever wondered why your childhood scars survive more years than most of us care to admit? I mean, you shed your skin in little increments, every 24 hours or so. How could the scar still be there that you got when you ran into the Dalrymples' front porch, bug-eyed with terror as that mean, lurching lunatic Billy Parkinson chased you all the way from the corner store, long after you thought he'd have given up? But it's still there, zigzagging under your right knee like a lightning bolt. How? You must have shed your skin a gazillion times since that summer, but the scar reproduces itself faithfully, following some dumb tactile memory that defies the passage of time.

That's the way the children of Lebanon will grow up hating Israel.

Unknown said...

That's the way the children of Lebanon will grow up hating Israel.

I mangled the bottom of my foot swimming in a backwoods creek in Central Texas at the age of 12. The scar is still there.

Israel has sown the seeds of several more generations of distrust, hatred, and even warfare.

Bush and Ehud had no clue. Just as Bush has inspired terrorists where none may have been, Ehud has harmed his nation in ways he cannot even imagine.

Anonymous said...

This *** about says it all.

Unknown said...

Fuzzflash, if you find that list of all time war profiteers, I would hope you post it here. That will be revelatory reading. Surely Honeywell, Halliburton, and Raytheon will make the list.

I don't think the "Ghost in the Genes" idea conflicts with the basic concept of Natural Selection. Even Darwin had not known about Mendel's work, but "natural selection" —as valid theory —is only enhanced by genetics.

Likewise, if the experiences of ancestors affect genes, that mechanism, like random mutations, will simply be added to the various ways in which genes change in ways that either help or prevent the organism from surviving long enough to procreate.

SadButTrue said...

Your last paragraphs with the background info on Sen. Follette juxtapose nicely with the quote from your own banner, "Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them."

In an America completely dominated by the Military Industrial Complex, 'the way it kills them' is by whatever method profits the munitions manufacturers the most without regard to the cost to US taxpayers. When a laser-guided or satellite-guided smart bomb or a cruise missile worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is used to destroy a mud-walled building worth a fraction of that, which side has won this one-shot 'battle'? How much worse when wars are fought by proxy, as in Israel, when the military decision makers know that the cost of these expensive but deadly toys are being underwritten by a foreign power?

Shifting topics, Carl Jung was a firm believer in genetic memory, though the term he used was collective consciousness. Though his ideas were at times shockingly (to me) non-empirical in nature, even encroaching on outright mysticism, in many ways he surpassed his contemporary and mentor, Freud, in accurately describing the human condition.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, fuzzflash, for the excellent link; it makes extremely interesting reading. The notion that at least the most basic protective instincts are coded into our genes has been around since observers noted all mice are afraid of cats, even those that have never seen one, while being unafraid of other mice outside their own group. Maybe they're simply afraid of everything larger than themselves, but I doubt it's that straightforward. It's interesting to speculate that mice might retain a fear of predators that are now extinct, coded into their genetic makeup and built upon like a threat library.

Still, fear and hate - while related - are different emotions. We don't necessarily fear what we hate, or hate what we fear. I meant to suggest that the hatred stamped into the children of Lebanon for Israel will last their lifetimes, like a scar that never disappears for the life of its bearer.

Hate is learned, not genetically acquired, at least from all the evidence I've seen. It is, however, likely to persist for a couple of generations, as parental influence is exercised. Even that will fade with time. My parents were firmly against racially mixed marriage, and used the excuse that, "it's so hard on the children", because those were their values, driven by the social mores of their time. I think nothing of mixed marriage, of race or gender. Love is love.

To the list of full-throttle, damn-the-torpedoes war profiteers, add Bechtel, the staggering proliferation of mercenary security agencies such as Blackwater, and the Carlyle Group (whose star-studded board includes Poppy Bush as well as former Brit Prime Minister John Major).

Unknown said...

Indeed, Sad, the Military/Industrial complex makes its "living" killing! I believe Camus would have called that absurd.

Bluntly, the business of defense contractors —even those only peripherally connected with the production of weapons themselves —is death! Yet another way of putting it: The Military/Industrial Complex is Murder, Inc.

Sartre was, of course, correct. Killing someone for revenge, an act of passion, even a petty theft is one thing. But a society is morally lost when mass murder becomes its number one export. That is Fascism. That IS absurdity.

For grins, let's factor out the GDP, the billions spent on the arts of war and those who enable it. We are third world. And for all that, we can thank the most absurd party of man's creation: the GOP.

Anonymous said...

The Father of Conservatism, Edmund Burke, unambiguously specified (although it took Max Weber to define it) an "ethic of responsibility", which was further simplified as "the demand that no matter how noble our aims, we always give an account of the forseeable results of our actions". In much the same way as the original tenets of communism had no trouble appealing to reason, there is nobility and strength of purpose in conservatism.

Unfortunately for communism, it proved even more susceptible to corruption than other models, and even more of a disaster once corrupted. Unfortunately for conservatism, this framework of values is also easily highjacked by the unscrupulous.

None of the foregoing, however, addresses the root argument: that George W. Bush is no more a conservative than duct-taping wings to a pig will make it an eagle. He manifestly fails the above stipulation, in that he is unable (or unwilling) to provide an account of his actions even AFTER their conclusion that has any resemblance to what actually happened, never mind before the event commences. In his mind, he is invested with the Divine Right Of Kings, and need neither explain or apologize.

Although I cannot myself subscribe to conservative values, I recognize there was a genuine aspiration to fairness and justice for all in their inspiration. What has happened to both liberalism and conservatism since is a tragic perversion of their original intents.

Anonymous said...

Fuzzflash - "And that what you do in your lifetime could in turn affect your grandchildren." I don't quite agree - logically only what one does in that period of one's lifetime preceeding the conception of one's children will in turn affect one's children, grandchildren and so on through the generations, I reckon. Unless one's experiences after having conceived a child continue to affect the genes that child has received from one through some mystical telepathic transmission of sorts - which to me sounds just a wee bit far-fetched. :)

Unknown said...

Unfortunately for conservatism, this framework of values is also easily highjacked by the unscrupulous.

It's only fair, I suppose, that If Burke could be associated with an "ethic of responsibility", no modern conservative and most certainly not Bush or the NEOCONS are or could be. If "liberal", because of right wing demonization, no longer means "...pertaining to a free man", then it is only fair that "conservatism " is no longer to be associated in any way with responsibility.

Indeed, the Bush administration is defined by having never taken responsibility for its failures, which are legion. Bushies have perfected what I call the "...no one could have foreseen" defense. For example: "No one could have foreseen that the terrorists would use airliners." In fact, it had been studied so extensively, that terrorists might have gotten the idea from US. Another example: "...no one could have foreseen that the levees would fail." In fact, everyone but Bush foresaw precisely that. National Geographic did an excellent documentary of just such a scenario.

In other cases, the modern conservative is prone to even simpler stratagems, namely, just changing the subject, usually of the form: "...but the Democrats did [such and such]!

Lately, the right wing has learned how to discredit a panoply of complex issues with a single word: JUNK. Junk science. Junk lawsuits. Junk law. Junk this and Junk that —that being anything that the right wing doesn't like. The technique is popular because it is so simple that even Bush can understand and apply it. Just stick "junk" in front of whatever it is you don't like. Junk social programs could be used to smear Social Security. Junk science is used to discredit the perfectly good science of biology with regard to evolution, genetics, stem cell research, environmental regulations that right wingers don't like, and, of course, global warming which right wingers deny. Admittedly, the effect of Global Warming may be masked by hot tub abuse.

Junk lawsuits have recently replaced activist judges as the best way to attack a citizens right to sue when he/she has been wronged.

What has happened to both liberalism and conservatism since is a tragic perversion of their original intents.

The modern conservative is taught to frame the debate such that the opponent is seen to be liberal, and, by extension, un-american and un-patriotic.

Liberals, because they are liberals, were simply too nice and, therefore, let the conservatives get away with it.

I became alarmed when I came into possession of a GOP "campaign manual" in which was taught the "propaganda" methods and philosophies of a leftist activist Saul Alinsky (whom I find articulate, often correct, and, for the most part, on the right side) as well as Che Guevarra, Karl Marx, Joseph Goebbels, and the American influence on Goebbels: Edward Bernays.

Much of Karl Rove's hijinks, however, are right out of any cursory study of Hitler's Third Reich. See: Karl Rove & the Spectre of Freud’s Nephew

H.G. Wells hypothezied in The Time Machine that our specie will evolve into two. It was all fiction of course, a great time travel yarn in which good Eloi were harvested and eaten by bad Morlocks. I often wonder if Wells were not somewhat serious about his thesis.

Vierotchka: Unless one's experiences after having conceived a child continue to affect the genes that child has received from one through some mystical telepathic transmission of sorts

I tend to agree generally. However, we know that experience changes brain DNA/RNA. [See: Neuroplasticity: The Neuronal Substrates of Learning
and Transformation
] But it is hard to see how nerve impulses might affect the structure of nucleotides inside egg or spermatozoa. But, on the other hand:

Other studies at the molecular level reveal how the chemistry of DNA can be changed by experience in ways that affect the expression of our genes. —Neuroplasticity: The Neuronal Substrates of Learning
and Transformation

Guess I'll just have to wait and see how this all turns out.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Vierotchka!! Long time no hear; yours was one of the voices I missed most.

Len, I know exactly what you mean;

" I mangled the bottom of my foot swimming in a backwoods creek in Central Texas at the age of 12. The scar is still there."

When I was a killick (Leading Seaman, same rate as Corporal in the Army), I gored a pop machine with my forehead, in an accident so profoundly stupid I still can't bring myself to describe it. That'd be more than 25 years ago....but the scar is still there.

Moving ahead to your last post in this thread - I read somewhere that "Conservative" and "Liberal" have ceased to mean anything, except in their utility as insults. I'd have to agree. Being the party in power means never having to say you're sorry. However, conservatives are doing a relatively good job (at least insofar as hoodwinking the general public) of defending what it means to be a conservative. The Democrats (generally accepted to be the liberals, although this is not always so) are doing a terrible job of justifying what it means to be a liberal. If they can't even take on strident twisted wrecks like Ann Coulter, they may be faced with changing their name to something less reviled. Squishy conservative, maybe.

You're right on with the suggestion that the label "junk" is now Bushspeak for "anything I want to discredit without providing specifics or substantiation". Global warming is the most obvious. The excellent finacial insights of Paul Krugman, in the New York Times, are another; I suppose they're decribed as "junk finance".

Responsible government has been replaced with junk government.

Unknown said...

Mark, I am anti-war but not a pacifist. We liberals should fight back. We should label the Bush administration as, as you suggest, JUNK GOVERNMENT. JUNK WHITE HOUSE. JUNK BUDGET. THE GOP IS A JUNK PARTY. JUNK WAR!

BTW —I am increasingly uncomfortable with progressive. Liberal is a much better description of who and what we are. Besides —given the utterly unpredictable nature of technology (ex: nuclear weaponry) I am increasingly suspicious of technology itself. Liberal, however, means "...pertaining to a free man". The root is latin —liber —and from that we have liberalis and liberty and even their less reputable cousin: libertine.

Anonymous said...

Our main political parties are the Conservatives (formerly the Progressive Conservatives, and currently the ruling party, with a minority government), the Liberals (they actually call themselves that, and they ruled for more than a decade before a relatively minor financial scandal, hyped like crazy by the Conservatives, brought them down) and the New Democratic Party.

The Conservatives are very much like the Republicans - in fact, their leader Stephen Harper referred to his party (in the next-to-last election, which they lost because of it), as the "Republican Party of Canada". They favour heavy defence spending, big business, penny-pinching on foreign aid and social programs, and an aggressive foreign policy. The Liberals are sort of like the Conservatives, only they are broadly more generous with the social spending, and tighter with the defence dollars. The NDP is most like the Democrats; in favour of spending discipline, touting themselves as the champion of the working man, and never met a social program they didn't like. The major difference (between them and Democrats) is that the NDP favours small government.

So, what's a Libertarian? Is that like a conservative Democrat, or a liberal Republican? What are their values? Are there any left?

I suspect we are a lot alike in our outlook. I am also anti-war, and I also realize force has its place, when others respond to nothing else and when it is imperative to win over them for a compelling reason. I am in favour of a strong military, but insist that it be tightly disciplined and fully accountable. I absolutely do not support military action to seize property or land that belongs to others, or for political gain, to set an example of destruction or to force other cultures to accept our way of life and values.

That pretty much covers all the reasons major powers seem to go to war these days. I guess that's what makes me anti-war.

Anonymous said...

Fuzzflash - that gives a whole new dimension to the Biblical "sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children" thing, doesn't it? :)

On a totally different subjects, have you guys and gals seen this?

John Prescott has given vent to his private feelings about the Bush presidency, summing up George Bush's administration in a single word: crap.

The Deputy Prime Minister's condemnation of President Bush and his approach to the Middle East could cause a diplomatic row but it will please Labour MPs who are furious about Tony Blair's backing of the United States over the bombing of Lebanon.



Anonymous said...

Well, Len, we can use their weapons against them - let's start talking and posting all over the place about this junk presidency, about the GOP being a junk party, about Bush's wars being junk wars, etc. :)

Anonymous said...

Ooops! Len, I hadn't reached down that far in the comments when I posted my above post... sorry about the repeat, but, as they say, great minds... :)

Anonymous said...

Mark: Hey, Vierotchka!! Long time no hear; yours was one of the voices I missed most.

That's sweet of you to say so! I have been very busy doing some damage control on my site - first the servers who host it went down and at first it seemed they had lost everything every blogger had posted. They worked night and day, and managed to restore most of the posts save for the two days preceding the breakdown (huge sigh of relief!). Then, I discovered that some faulty coding on my part in a whole bunch of past posts had completely screwed-up the layout of my blog if viewed with Internet Explorer (the browser used by some 80% or 90% of my visitors), which resulted in my losing a considerable chunk of viewers, so I have been busy going back through all the posts of the past month and a half to detect which posts were doing this and to edit them so as to correct that. Then, I've been busy digging up lots more videos to post - so I was away from here for these past several days. Now my site is looking perfect again if viewed with IE, but it is even better if viewed with Firefox (hint hint!)


Unknown said...

S'okay Vierotchka : ) I've got a few more for the list: The GOP equals:

Junke Justice!

Junk foreign policy!

Junk wars!

Junk economics!

Junk politics!

Late, freepers have started calling anyone who criticises them "haters".

I would have thought freepers and other Bush supporters might have grown accustomed to being hated by now.

Anonymous said...

And I would add Junk Intelligence, Junk Patriots and Junk Born-Agains to that collection...

..and not so much hated as reviled. :)

Anonymous said...

Found on a forum I frequent using a different handle (Santhoshi):

"Jews Against the Occupation"

UN Resolutions

Palestinian Refugees have the right to return to their homes in Israel.

General Assembly Resolution 194, Dec. 11, 1948

"Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."

Israel's occupation of Palestine is Illegal.

Security Council Resolution 242, Nov. 22, 1967

Calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the war that year and "the acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."

Israel's settlements in Palestine are Illegal.

Security Council Resolution 446, March 22, 1979

"Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

Palestinian have the right to Self-Determination.

General Assembly Resolution 3236, November 22, 1974

Affirms "the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine...to self-determination without external interference" and "to national independence and sovereignty."

Reaffirmation of a Palestinian State

Security Council Resolution 1397, March 12, 2002

Affirms "a vision of a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders."

Also see:

UN General Assembly Resolution 181 - the 1947 Partition plan of Palestine and the creation of Israel.

International Humanitarian Law: the Geneva Conventions - 150 years of international designated protection of civilians during wartime and Israel's explicit violations.

History of the Palestinian Problem - from the Division for Palestinian Rights, United Nations

Countless More UN Resolutions on Israel - 1955-1992


More UN Resolutions on Israel, 1955-1992

Resolution 106: condemns Israel for Gaza raid.

Resolution 111: condemns Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people.

Resolution 127: recommends Israel suspend its no-man's zone' in Jerusalem.

Resolution 162: urges Israel to comply with UN decisions.

Resolution 171: determines flagrant violations by Israel in its attack on Syria.

Resolution 228: censures Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control.

Resolution 237: urges Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees.

Resolution 248: condemns Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan.

Resolution 250: calls on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem.

Resolution 251: deeply deplores Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250.

Resolution 252: declares invalid Israel's acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital.

Resolution 256: condemns Israeli raids on Jordan as flagrant violation.

Resolution 259: deplores Israel's refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation.

Resolution 262: condemns Israel for attack on Beirut airport.

Resolution 265: condemns Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan.

Resolution 267: censures Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem.

Resolution 270: condemns Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon.

Resolution 271: condemns Israel's failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem.

Resolution 279: demands withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon.

Resolution 280: condemns Israeli's attacks against Lebanon.

Resolution 285: demands immediate Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

Resolution 298: deplores Israel's changing of the status of Jerusalem.

Resolution 313: demands that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon.

Resolution 316: condemns Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon.

Resolution 317: deplores Israel's refusal to release.

Resolution 332: condemns Israel's repeated attacks against Lebanon.

Resolution 337: condemns Israel for violating Lebanon's sovereignty.

Resolution 347: condemns Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

Resolution 425: calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.

Resolution 427: calls on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon.

Resolution 444: deplores Israel's lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces.

Resolution 446: determines that Israeli settlements are a serious obstruction to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention

Resolution 450: calls on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon.

Resolution 452: calls on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories.

Resolution 465: deplores Israel's settlements and asks all member states not to assist its settlements program.

Resolution 467: strongly deplores Israel's military intervention in Lebanon.

Resolution 468: calls on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return.

Resolution 469: strongly deplores Israel's failure to observe the council's order not to deport Palestinians.

Resolution 471: expresses deep concern at Israel's failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Resolution 476: reiterates that Israel's claim to Jerusalem are null and void.

Resolution 478: censures (Israel) in the strongest terms for its claim to Jerusalem in its Basic Law.

Resolution 484: declares it imperative that Israel re-admit two deported Palestinian mayors.

Resolution 487: strongly condemns Israel for its attack on Iraq's nuclear facility.

Resolution 497: decides that Israel's annexation of Syria's Golan Heights

is null and void and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith.

Resolution 498: calls on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon.

Resolution 501: calls on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops.

Resolution 509: demands that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon.

Resolution 515: demands that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and allow food supplies to be brought in.

Resolution 517: censures Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon.

Resolution 518: demands that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon.

Resolution 520: condemns Israel's attack into West Beirut.

Resolution 573: condemns Israel vigorously for bombing Tunisia in attack on PLO headquarters.

Resolution 587: takes note of previous calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw.

Resolution 592: strongly deplores the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops.

Resolution 605: strongly deplores Israel's policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians.

Resolution 607: calls on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Resolution 608: deeply regrets that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians.

Resolution 636: deeply regrets Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.

Resolution 641: deplores Israel's continuing deportation of Palestinians.

Resolution 672: condemns Israel for violence against Palestinians at the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount.

Resolution 673: deplores Israel's refusal to cooperate with the United Nations.

Resolution 681: deplores Israel's resumption of the deportation of Palestinians.

Resolution 694: deplores Israel's deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.

Resolution 726: strongly condemns Israel's deportation of Palestinians.

Resolution 799: strongly condemns Israel's deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for their immediate return."

An open letter to Bush from 2002...
"Mr. Bush, What about Israel's defiance of UN Resolutions?"

Anonymous said...

The 1967 War and the
Israeli Occupation of the
West Bank and Gaza

Did the Egyptians actually start the 1967 war, as Israel originally claimed?

"The former Commander of the Air Force, General Ezer Weitzman, regarded as a hawk, stated that there was 'no threat of destruction' but that the attack on Egypt, Jordan and Syria was nevertheless justified so that Israel could 'exist according the scale, spirit, and quality she now embodies.'...Menahem Begin had the following remarks to make: 'In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.' "Noam Chomsky, "The Fateful Triangle."

Was the 1967 war defenisve? - continued

"I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to The Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it." Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's Chief of Staff in 1967, in Le Monde, 2/28/68

Moshe Dayan posthumously speaks out on the Golan Heights

"Moshe Dayan, the celebrated commander who, as Defense Minister in 1967, gave the order to conquer the Golan...[said] many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland...[Dayan stated] 'They didn't even try to hide their greed for the land...We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot.

And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was...The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.'" The New York Times, May 11, 1997

The history of Israeli expansionism

"The acceptance of partition does not commit us to renounce Transjordan; one does not demand from anybody to give up his vision. We shall accept a state in the boundaries fixed today. But the boundaries of Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external factor will be able to limit them." David Ben-Gurion, in 1936, quoted in Noam Chomsky, "The Fateful Triangle."

Expansionism - continued

"The main danger which Israel, as a 'Jewish state', poses to its own people, to other Jews and to its neighbors, is its ideologically motivated pursuit of territorial expansion and the inevitable series of wars resulting from this aim...No zionist politician has ever repudiated Ben-Gurion's idea that Israeli policies must be based (within the limits of practical considerations) on the restoration of Biblical borders as the borders of the Jewish state." Israeli professor, Israel Shahak, "Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of 3000 Years."

Expansionism - continued

In Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharatt's personal diaries, there is an excerpt from May of 1955 in which he quotes Moshe Dayan as follows: "[Israel] must see the sword as the main, if not the only, instrument with which to keep its morale high and to retain its moral tension. Toward this end it may, no - it must - invent dangers, and to do this it must adopt the method of provocation-and-revenge...And above all - let us hope for a new war with the Arab countries, so that we may finally get rid of our troubles and acquire our space." Quoted in Livia Rokach, "Israel's Sacred Terrorism."

But wasn't the occupation of Arab lands necessary to protect Israel's security?

"Senator [J.William Fulbright] proposed in 1970 that America should guarantee Israel's security in a formal treaty, protecting her with armed forces if necessary. In return, Israel would retire to the borders of 1967. The UN Security Council would guarantee this arrangement, and thereby bring the Soviet Union - then a supplier of arms and political aid to the Arabs - into compliance. As Israeli troops were withdrawn from the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank they would be replaced by a UN peacekeeping force. Israel would agree to accept a certain number of Palestinians and the rest would be settled in a Palestinian state outside Israel.

"The plan drew favorable editorial support in the United States. The proposal, however, was flatly rejected by Israel. 'The whole affair disgusted Fulbright,' writes [his biographer Randall] Woods. 'The Israelis were not even willing to act in their own self-interest.'" Allan Brownfield in "Issues of the American Council for Judaism." Fall 1997.[Ed.-This was one of many such proposals]

What happened after the 1967 war ended?

"In violation of international law, Israel has confiscated over 52 percent of the land in the West Bank and 30 percent of the Gaza Strip for military use or for settlement by Jewish civilians...From 1967 to 1982, Israel's military government demolished 1,338 Palestinian homes on the West Bank. Over this period, more than 300,000 Palestinians were detained without trial for various periods by Israeli security forces." Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation," ed. Lockman and Beinin.

World opinion on the legality of Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza.

"Under the UN Charter there can lawfully be no territorial gains from war, even by a state acting in self-defense. The response of other states to Israel's occupation shows a virtually unanimous opinion that even if Israel's action was defensive, its retention of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was not...The [UN] General Assembly characterized Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as a denial of self determination and hence a 'serious and increasing threat to international peace and security.' " John Quigley, "Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice."

Examples of the effects of Israeli occupation

"A study of students at Bethlehem University reported by the Coordinating Committee of International NGOs in Jerusalem showed that many families frequently go five days a week without running water...The study goes further to report that, 'water quotas restrict usage by Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, while Israeli settlers have almost unlimited amounts.'

"A summer trip to a Jewish settlement on the edge of the Judean desert less than five miles from Bethlehem confirmed this water inequity for us. While Bethlehemites were buying water from tank trucks at highly inflated rates, the lawns were green in the settlement. Sprinklers were going at mid day in the hot August sunshine. Sounds of children swimming in the outdoor pool added to the unreality." Betty Jane Bailey, in "The Link", December 1996.

Israeli occupation - continued

"You have to remember that 90 percent of children two years old or more have experienced - some many, many times - the [Israeli] army breaking into the home, beating relatives, destroying things. Many were beaten themselves, had bones broken, were shot, tear gassed, or had these things happen to siblings and neighbors...The emotional aspect of the child is affected by the [lack of] security. He needs to feel safe. We see the consequences later if he does not. In our research, we have found that children who are exposed to trauma tend to be more extreme in their behaviors and, later, in their political beliefs." Dr Samir Quota, director of research for the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, quoted in "The Journal of Palestine Studies," Summer 1996, p.84

Israeli occupation - continued

"There is nothing quite like the misery one feels listening to a 35-year-old [Palestinian] man who worked fifteen years as an illegal day laborer in Israel in order to save up money to build a house for his family only to be shocked one day upon returning from work to find that the house and all that was in it had been flattened by an Israeli bulldozer. When I asked why this was done - the land, after all, was his - I was told that a paper given to him the next day by an Israeli soldier stated that he had built the structure without a license. Where else in the world are people required to have a license (always denied them) to build on their own property? Jews can build, but never Palestinians. This is apartheid." Edward Said, in "The Nation", May 4, 1998.

All Jewish settlements in territories occupied in the 1967 war are a direct violation of the Geneva Conventions, which Israel has signed.

"The Geneva Convention requires an occupying power to change the existing order as little as possible during its tenure. One aspect of this obligation is that it must leave the territory to the people it finds there. It may not bring its own people to populate the territory. This prohibition is found in the convention's Article 49, which states, 'The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.'" John Quigley, "Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice."

Excerpts from the U.S. State Department's reports during the Intifada

"Following are some excerpts from the U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices from 1988 to 1991:

1988: 'Many avoidable deaths and injuries' were caused because Israeli soldiers frequently used gunfire in situations that did not present mortal danger to troops...IDF troops used clubs to break limbs and beat Palestinians who were not directly involved in disturbances or resisting arrest..At least thirteen Palestinians have been reported to have died from beatings...'

1989: Human rights groups charged that the plainclothes security personnel acted as death squads who killed Palestinian activists without warning, after they had surrendered, or after they had been subdued...

1991: [The report] added that the human rights groups had published 'detailed credible reports of torture, abuse and mistreatment of Palestinian detainees in prisons and detention centers." Former Congressman Paul Findley, "Deliberate Deceptions."

Jerusalem - Eternal, Indivisible Capital of Israel?

"Writing in The Jerusalem Report (Feb. 28, 2000), Leslie Susser points out that the current boundaries were drawn after the Six-Day War. Responsibility for drawing those lines fell to Central Command Chief Rehavan Ze'evi. The line he drew 'took in not only the five square kilometers of Arab East Jerusalem - but also 65 square kilometers of surrounding open country and villages, most of which never had any municipal link to Jerusalem. Overnight they became part of Israel's eternal and indivisible capital.'" Allan Brownfield in The Washington Report On Middle East Affairs, May 2000.