Posts Tagged ‘LA Times’

Two weeks after a border agent killed a father of five with a Taser, the F.B.I. OK’s the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol murder of a Mexican teenager across the U.S.-Mexico border (0:48):

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In a closed-door meeting with U.S. legislators, Administration officials said President Barack Obama is not considering ending the occupation of Afghanistan, eight years after the U.S. invaded.

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Philip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, demands ‘real accountability’ for the U.S.-led coalition’s mounting death toll of Afghan civilians — notably the May attack on Farah that killed 130-140 civilians, including up to 95 children where the U.S. military concedes to making ‘significant errors’. (more…)

According to Fmr. Pres. George W. Bush’s speechwriter at the time. This story was brought to light just before the ’04 election and turned down by The Washington Post (WaPo) and Los Angeles Times (LAT). (more…)

A crossroad for the pro-life movement and political reason. (more…)

Obama’s forceful reiteration of Israel’s right to defend itself is another exercise of cynical deceit — though, it must be admitted, not unique to him, but virtually universal. (more…)



LA Times – “Israel Can’t Bomb Its Way to Peace” by Rosa Brooks – 4 Jan 08:

Ehud Barak, Israel’s Labor Party defense minister, and Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister from the centrist Kadima party, are both contenders for prime minister in Israel’s Feb. 6 national elections. A show of ‘toughness’ against Hamas could help Labor and/or Kadima beat back the right-wing Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu, which has been leading in the polls. Meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who faces corruption charges, has just a few weeks to restore his own tattered reputation.

Adding to the time pressure is U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s upcoming inauguration. As long as President Bush was in the White House, Israel could count on a U.S. administration that wasn’t merely ‘supportive’ of Israel but blindly, mindlessly so. Obama may be less willing to offer Israel blank checks. Thus this New Year’s military offensive, timed for the crucial window before Israeli elections and Obama’s swearing-in.

In a strictly military sense, Israel will ‘win’ this battle against Hamas. For all its threats and bravado, Hamas is weak, and its weapons — terrorism, homemade rockets — are the weapons of the weak. Since 2001, Hamas has fired thousands of unguided Kassam rockets at Israel, but the rockets have killed only a handful of Israelis.

Israel’s military, in contrast, is one of the most modern and effective in the world (thanks in part to an annual $3 billion in U.S. aid). Israel can easily bottle up the tiny Gaza Strip and its 1.5 million people. On Saturday, the first day of the offensive, Israeli bombs killed at least 180 Palestinians. By Wednesday, the Palestinian death toll exceeded 390.But if there is no reason to doubt Israel’s ability to pulverize Gaza, there’s also no reason to think this offensive will improve Israeli security. Destruction of Hamas’ infrastructure may temporarily slow Hamas rocket attacks, but sooner or later they’ll resume.… [read the full article]

(related story: Christian Science Monitor – “How Israel, Hamas Define Victory in Gaza” – 5 Jan 09)

counterpunch.org – “Israel’s Dogs of War: A Defining Moment for the Human Rights Movement” by Sonja Karkar – 2 Jan 08:

If that description offends readers, then ethnic cleansing might be more palatable a term, or genocide used to such chilling effect in the last half century, although its focus was never the Zionist plan to cleanse Palestine of its people. The crimes and guilt run the full gamut of planning, executing, collaborating, watching and pretending that one does not see. Ah, watching and pretending – they are the reasons that the perpetrators of history’s horrors can carry out their deeds at all. Only when it is all over, do we whimper “we just didn’t see” and then more brazenly, “never again” until it suits us to remain silent once more.

We have seen such massacres before: Deir Yassin, Lydda, Sabra and Shatila, Jenin, Beit Hanoun and many more. While Israel serves up the same shabby reason for its dastardly deeds – security – it double dips and reduces one part of Palestine to rubble, and with the world looking on and distracted, it grabs more land from another part of Palestine to consolidate its illegal settlement project in the occupied West Bank.

A world conditioned to genocide of systematic wholesale slaughter and mass graves, finds it difficult to accept genocide in slow motion. However, the immense suffering of Palestinian dispossession, displacement, transfer, exile, occupation, collective punishment and mass imprisonment, is constantly drowned out by Israel’s claim to unending victimhood built on the legacy of the holocaust – a different time, a different place, different people and different narrative.

Since then, all is manufactured: God’s design, the clash of civilizations, ‘the war on terror’. We have heard over and over again the clarion call of democracy, security and liberty being sounded over the corpses of people who have been denied their basic human rights and justice. And shamefully, the two-faced, craven accomplices of the Arab world sit on the sidelines hoping that these human sacrifices will appease the real lords of the puppet states they rule. Like Pontius Pilate, they wash their hands of sixty years of associated guilt by reciting pious platitudes while concerned only with their own crumbling puny seats of power. How little is the lesson learned from history, if at all – when one is expendable, so will others be also. Their time will come, but not before rivers of blood flow into the sea of Gaza.… [read the full article]



Last week, the Newspeak was of a thwarted coup attempt in Iraq by Ba’athist resurgences, still loyal to Saddam Hussein. The report was that 35 officials were arrested over three days for to re-form the largely Sunni Ba’ath Party through an underground party, Al-Awda.

“Whoever talks about a coup in this country is imagining things. There are no coups in Iraq and there is no one who think about making a coup,” Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki said along with Iraq being a democracy and there was “absolutely no place for thinking of coups while there is freedom and the people have the ability to express themselves through the ballot.”

After The New York Times and The LA Times reported the number of those arrested at 24 and questions within the Kurdish, Sunni, and Shiite legal communities and among the lawmakers as to whether or not the arrests were politically motivated, those arrested were simply released.

23 (or 24) are reported to have been released from Iraq’s custody after the AFP quoted the spokesman for Iraq’s military command, General Qasem Atta, as saying the arrests followed “information that certain officers have aided terrorist activity, outlaws and henchmen from the former regime” and that senior interior ministry was reporting up to 50 arrested and one calling it an attempted coup. This is after a January decision by the Iraq Parliament to allow former Ba’athists to have government posts.

What the hell happened here? Was this a coup attempt? Was this resistance organization? Or was this that evil thing the world can never allow in a free country: democracy?

We don’t know how many have died as a result of the Iraq War, but we do know that 4,000+ Americans have and they were all told that they were fighting for democracy. How would their families like to know that in Iraq, you’re detained for forming a political party with a dissenting opinion?

While the West had a coup shoved down their throats, we had a chuckle over Pres. Bush getting shoes thrown at him. Conveniently, we missed that this yuck-yuck-ba-dum-ching moment for us was created as such by our media.

The alleged coup attempt and arrests and the eventual release of those arrested occured while Iraqi Parliament Speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, announced his resignation stating, “I have no honor leading this parliament and I announce my resignation.”

The Newspeak was a distraction from the uprise of non-militant, non-violent, non-fundamentalist, non-fascist Arabs hailing the shoe thrower.

The late night talk show jokes had us laughing while Muntazer al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw his shoes at the president, was tortured.

I hope and pray that hundreds of thousands, if not over a million, lost the joy in ever seeing a sunrise again for this.

Think about it. After a week where millions demonstrated in support of Mr. al-Zaidi and his shoes, the people arrested for wanting to overthrow the Iraqi government are Ba’athist Saddam Hussein supporters.