Thursday, August 10, 2006

why doesn't my TV make these noises? 

Dennis Perrin posts George Galloway's appearance on Sky News.

Fuck Ned Lamont 

I'm sorry, but this "victory" is not just too little too late. It's a distraction and therefore, like all distractions, a cog in the death-machine. The celebration would be pathetic if it weren't a deliberate turning away from mass-murder. The Democrat activist base is in denial.

In case anyone wasn't aware of this, the United States--not Israel alone, but Israel as eager proxy for, and partner of, the United States--is now fighting a second war of aggression against a Middle Eastern country. The U.S. and Israel--as one political and military unit--are waging brutal, murderous, nearly total war against the civilian population and civil infrastructure of Lebanon. Everyone in the world, accept the Americans themselves, understands that this is a U.S. war as much as an Israeli one.

The United States is bombing, invading, and murdering Lebanon.

And U.S. leaders don't even seem to be aware that this is happening--that they themselves have in fact made this happen. And so the idea of saying something about our war, perhaps registering a hint of opposition, has not occurred to Lamont and others.

To the victims worldwide of American/Zionist/Imperialist murder, Ned Lamont is the same as George Bush. And that is only logical.

The victims of U.S. murder have enemies--those who are killing them and those who celebrate over their corpses. Ned Lamont is one of those. So fuck him.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Goodbye, Joe...Hello Team Connecticut!!! 

"The old politics of partisan polarization won today. For the sake of our state, our country and my party, and I cannot, I will not let this result stand."

More shit 

George Monbiot writes in the Guardian:

Whatever we think of Israel's assault on Lebanon, all of us seem to agree about one fact: that it was a response, however disproportionate, to an unprovoked attack by Hizbullah. I repeated this "fact" in my last column, when I wrote that "Hizbullah fired the first shots". This being so, the Israeli government's supporters ask peaceniks like me, what would you have done? It's an important question. But its premise, I have now discovered, is flawed.

Since Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, there have been hundreds of violations of the "blue line" between the two countries. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) reports that Israeli aircraft crossed the line "on an almost daily basis" between 2001 and 2003, and "persistently" until 2006. These incursions "caused great concern to the civilian population, particularly low-altitude flights that break the sound barrier over populated areas". On some occasions, Hizbullah tried to shoot them down with anti-aircraft guns.

In October 2000, the Israel Defence Forces shot at unarmed Palestinian demonstrators on the border, killing three and wounding 20. In response, Hizbullah crossed the line and kidnapped three Israeli soldiers. On several occasions, Hizbullah fired missiles and mortar rounds at IDF positions, and the IDF responded with heavy artillery and sometimes aerial bombardment. Incidents like this killed three Israelis and three Lebanese in 2003; one Israeli soldier and two Hizbullah fighters in 2005; and two Lebanese people and three Israeli soldiers in February 2006. Rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel several times in 2004, 2005 and 2006, on some occasions by Hizbullah. But, the UN records, "none of the incidents resulted in a military escalation".

On May 26 this year, two officials of Islamic Jihad - Nidal and Mahmoud Majzoub - were killed by a car bomb in the Lebanese city of Sidon. This was widely assumed in Lebanon and Israel to be the work of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. In June, a man named Mahmoud Rafeh confessed to the killings and admitted that he had been working for Mossad since 1994. Militants in southern Lebanon responded, on the day of the bombing, by launching eight rockets into Israel. One soldier was lightly wounded. There was a major bust-up on the border, during which one member of Hizbullah was killed and several wounded, and one Israeli soldier wounded. But while the border region "remained tense and volatile", Unifil says it was "generally quiet" until July 12.

There has been a heated debate on the internet about whether the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah that day were captured in Israel or in Lebanon, but it now seems pretty clear that they were seized in Israel. This is what the UN says, and even Hizbullah seems to have forgotten that they were supposed to have been found sneaking around the outskirts of the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab. Now it simply states that "the Islamic resistance captured two Israeli soldiers at the border with occupied Palestine". Three other Israeli soldiers were killed by the militants. There is also some dispute about when, on July 12, Hizbullah first fired its rockets; but Unifil makes it clear that the firing took place at the same time as the raid - 9am. Its purpose seems to have been to create a diversion. No one was hit.

But there is no serious debate about why the two soldiers were captured: Hizbullah was seeking to exchange them for the 15 prisoners of war taken by the Israelis during the occupation of Lebanon and (in breach of article 118 of the third Geneva convention) never released. It seems clear that if Israel had handed over the prisoners, it would - without the spillage of any more blood - have retrieved its men and reduced the likelihood of further kidnappings. But the Israeli government refused to negotiate. Instead - well, we all know what happened instead. Almost 1,000 Lebanese and 33 Israeli civilians have been killed so far, and a million Lebanese displaced from their homes.

On July 12, in other words, Hizbullah fired the first shots. But that act of aggression was simply one instance in a long sequence of small incursions and attacks over the past six years by both sides. So why was the Israeli response so different from all that preceded it? The answer is that it was not a reaction to the events of that day. The assault had been planned for months....

Read more.

Monday, August 07, 2006

moral high-ground now located between craters 

From CNN's Reliable Sources:

KURTZ: All right...joining us now here Washington...Thomas Ricks, Pentagon reporter for "The Washington Post" and author of the new book "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq."

Tom Ricks, you've covered a number of military conflicts, including Iraq, as I just mentioned. Is civilian casualties increasingly going to be a major media issue? In conflicts where you don't have two standing armies shooting at each other?

THOMAS RICKS, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think it will be. But I think civilian casualties are also part of the battlefield play for both sides here. One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.

KURTZ: Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of it's fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?

RICKS: Yes, that's what military analysts have told me.

KURTZ: That's an extraordinary testament to the notion that having people on your own side killed actually works to your benefit in that nobody wants to see your own citizens killed but it works to your benefit in terms of the battle of perceptions here.

RICKS: Exactly. It helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Conscientious Israeli pilots disobey criminal orders of their commanders 

Some Israeli pilots are beginning to understand the nature of the campaign they are involved in. Note that this story is coming out of the IDF. People there have to be very angry to talk like this. They're angry because Dan Halutz is a war-criminal, using them to commit murder. And they know it.


At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities....

As one well-connected Israeli expert put it: 'If we have such good information in Lebanon, how come we still don't know the hideout of missiles and launchers?... If we don't know the location of their weapons, why should we know which house is a Hizbollah house?'

[GOOD QUESTION! No rocket launchers taken out, yet necessary strikes on hundreds of civilian targets because rocket launchers are hidden at these places.]

As international outrage over civilian deaths grows, the spotlight is increasingly turning on Israeli air operations. The Observer has learnt that one senior commander who has been involved in the air attacks in Lebanon has already raised concerns that some of the air force's actions might be considered 'war crimes'.

Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a 'refusenik' letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information. According to Shapiro, some pilots justified aborting missions out of 'common sense' and in the context of the Israeli Defence Force's moral code of conduct, which says every effort should be made to avoiding harming civilians.

Shapiro said: 'Some pilots told me they have shot at the side of targets because they're afraid people will be there, and they don't trust any more those who give them the coordinates and targets.'

[They don't trust them because they may be uninformed, or because they may be murderers?]

He added: 'One pilot told me he was asked to hit a house on a hill, which was supposed to be a place from where Hizbollah was launching Katyusha missiles. But he was afraid civilians were in the house, so he shot next to the house ...

'Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong.'


Meron Rappoport, a former editor at the Israeli daily Haaretz and military analyst, criticised the air force's methods for selecting targets: 'The impression is that information is sometimes lacking. One squadron leader admitted the evidence used to determine attacks on cars is sometimes circumstantial - meaning that if people are in an area after Israeli forces warned them to leave, the assumption is that those left behind must be linked to Hizbollah ... This is problematic, as aid agencies have said many people did not leave ... because they could not, or it was unsafe to travel on the roads thanks to Israel's aerial bombardment.'

[Funny, the IDF man sounds like one of the self-hating Jews from Gush Shalom. (See Below.)]

These revelations raise further serious questions about the airstrike in Qana last Sunday that left dozens dead, which continues to arouse international outrage. From the outset, the Israeli military's version of events has been shrouded in ambiguity, with the army releasing a video it claims shows Katyusha rockets being fired from Qana, even though the video was dated two days earlier, and claiming that more than 150 rockets had been fired from the location....

Frying Private Blowhard (or, Being Worthy) 

Guest blogger Christian Parenti--a correspondent for The Nation and an author who has reported from Iraq and Afghanistan--happened upon a small turd in the New York Times yesterday. I had initially overlooked the enormity of the piece--since after all it does refer to Senator Ted Kennedy without overtly depiciting him officiating a gay wedding whilst fumbling in an angry drunken stupor for the detonator on his suicide belt--but Parenti recognized it for what it was: a fetid bit of nothingness which yet provides a kind of tiny porthole view of a metonymic "dingleberry" suspended from the asshole [sic] of the Death Machine. Parenti writes:

Have you read “Flags of Our Sons,” the August 4 NYT op-ed by someone named Billy Shore?

At first glance the little essay is just a heartfelt homage to the quiet sacrifice and dignity of everyday Americans who simply do as asked, and do not ask why.

A mere vignette by some unknown do-gooder seems inoffensive enough– after all it doesn’t even make an argument. But the lack of an overt argument is the essay’s worst offense, its most manipulative tactic, the essence of its crime.

So fawning, mawkish and corny is the op-ed’s tone --you can almost hear the author panting as you read it-- and so jingoistic are the images it invokes, that the piece actually veers off into neo-fascist iconography.

In classically fascist style the piece estheticizes politics – rendering them non-rational, reducing them to the "common sense" of one’s gut.

In Riefenstahian fashion, Shore deploys all the most offensive nationalist tropes so as to simultaneously mask and smuggle in a twisted politics of warmongering.

Consider the amazing amount of Norman Rockwell-style jack-booting that Billy Shore packs into one little fluff piece: the flag, the coffin, the soil into which it will go (Arlington); the earnest politician; the dignity of the family, the grieving mother, the stoic could-be-a-vet father; the sanctity and homoerotic thrill of the Marine dress uniform; a perceived offense to the grieving mother from an overweight loutish man; the blind loyalty of military camraderie; the flimsy sacrifice of a rich person giving a solider his first class seat; the subservient applause of the claque in coach.

It’s all so emotionally coercive, so politically masochistic that it's almost ridiculous. But this
sort of politics by way of de-politicized esthetics does much to shape political thinking. What is really being venerated in Shore’s cloying little nursery tale is war and nationalism.

And then the last line! Billy Shore, hopped up on false humility, goes off to work “wanting only to be worthy.”

What a load of shit that is.

Worthy of what?

You want to kill Hajjis? You want to join up?

What? What is it you want to be worthy of, Billy?

Hey, maybe it's time for you to head back to the $250-an-hour dominatrix to have your soft, flabby white ass whipped hard.

The brand of folksy pseudo-Americana on display in “Flags of Our Sons” is a favorite of the self–hating blue state yuppie. NPR overflows with the same crap: the dowsing for authenticity. Those slow-spoken, imitatively twangy, trope-laden interviews – “How is everything in Palatka, Mrs. Jones? Are People enjoying the fish fry this year?”

It’s the thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another school of yuppie liberal slumming, the disingenuous search for “the soul of the regular folk.”

Not only is Shore’s writing contrived and clichéd – it reeks of the faux earnestness mustered by seventh graders in essay contests – but the op-ed’s political assumptions are obscene.

We benefit from the war in Iraq? The troops killing and dying there “serve” us?


There were no WMD in Iraq, nor was there any link to 9/11. Now our soldiers are being maimed and killed. Our taxes wasted on corrupt contracting. We have incurred the wrath of Muslims the world over. We have helped to kill tens of thousand of innocent Iraqi civilians and the whole thing is clearly ending is a horrible, open-ended civil war.

The US soldiers in Iraq – some of whom I count among my friends – are not serving us, the people of the US, as Billy Shore claims. They are being used and abused as pawns by an Administration that has lied at every turn and is now stuck in a war it is unable to win and
unwilling to lose.

Lame cutesy Americana is part of what keeps that death machine rolling.

Having said that, I now return to other tasks, my only aim to be worthy.


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