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30 July 2006

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Matthew

I wonder if Condi appreciates how all those chummy pictures of her with Olmert taken yesterday look to the World today? Either Larry, Moe, or Curley would make a better SOS.

lina

". . .taken over by tones of jingoism, ruthlessness and vengeance. . ."

Gosh, that sounds familiar.

jbv

Is this some sort of horrifying harbinger of the what fate has in store for the good old U.S. of A in 50 years? After the 'infidel' has figured out how to hit our home shores with guerrilla poison, a hideous blood feud without end or reason?

Michael D. Adams

In my optimistic view, I'm thinking that in 50 years the Oil Wars will be two wars ago and after the Water Wars we'll be fighting the Oxygen Wars (WW-VI?). Furthermore Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson will be considered a prophet for recognizing the critical mineshaft gap long before it's time; what with CO2 filtered mineshafts and caves being the only places cool enough humans to survive.
~~~~~~~

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of i{Spiritus Mundi}
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The Second Coming
by William Butler Yeats

MarcLord

Michael,

I love it when someone makes me look like a starry-eyed optimist. Makes me feel all young and frisky again. ;-)

"The widening gyre," every time I think of that line, brings to mind Dick Cheney's rising smirk. And these lines could as well be applied to old-fashioned oil rigs and their slow circular swings:
"somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds"

Yeats wrote the poem in early 1919, before TE Lawrence came out publicly in The Times against the occupation of Iraq that summer, and the poem was published soon afterward. Yeats was into eschatology in general, but I wonder if he thought of Arabia and the oil under its indignant desert birds when writing The Second Coming.

McGee

Colonel,

Good points about Yossi Beilin and the Israeli left. Where is the new Israel Shahak when we need him.

Though I continue to admire the Israeli press, which publishes pieces such as these on an almost daily basis. They are far more critical of government policy and Israeli society in general than most mainstream media here would ever dare to be.

Observer

"admire the Israeli press"

That's obviously true for Haaretz, but does that apply to all Israeli media?

McGee

Hi Colonel,

This post which Billmon just put up is so brilliant and spot-on you might want to consider cross-posting it here for comments by our crew (there are none allowed at his site, but billmon does post frequently here). The Madame Supertanker lines alone are priceless and deserve widespread distribution.

http://billmon.org/archives/002596.html

Best, McGee

P.S. No need to post this to your site - just a humble suggestion from a fan of both yours and his. Thank you again, as always, for providing a much-needed and intelligent discussion in an impossibly difficult situation.

Babak Makkinejad

More on religious aspect of this:

"Kevin Phillips, in his last book, tells us in the month prior to sending the troops into Iraq, Bush boasted to his entourage that he read every morning from the sermons of an evangelical Scottish preacher who accompanied the British Army in its march on Jerusalem in 1917.
"

Carroll

"Ah! I forgot to remember that the "other side" are no better in the matter of "faith based" murder and we are Americans are now making strenuous efforts to catch up with the pack."

We have already passed the pack.
You know there is a point in a so called democracy when being too "civilized to take any action in the face of gross crimes actually makes you uncivilized.

robt willmann

As far as the Israeli ``left''
or, more accurately, its more
peace-oriented people
are concerned, Uri Avnery is
still writing articles and buying advertisements and going on demonstrations.

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1154197701

The main website is
www.gush-shalom.org

But strong, peace-loving people do not get on television in Israel, just
as they do not get on TV here
in the U.S.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996, which allowed the merging and concentration of
ownership in radio and television stations, and related actions by the FCC, allowing the cross-ownership of them in one market, as well as ownership of a newspaper in the same market, have created a media oligopoly and oligarchy in the U.S. Since the media companies are dependent on the federal government for approval to merge and consolidate, and to be free from antitrust actions against them, they and the central government are in a symbiotic relationship. To make matters worse, the broadcast and print media companies also approve of the gangster foreign policy in the Middle East and Southeast Asia by the U.S. government that has existed from 2001 through today.

I hear first-hand from very conservative people in agriculture in Texas who are absolutely against the Iraq War and the violent adventures in the Middle East promoted by the White House. However, unlike with the immigration issue, they have not yet applied concentrated political pressure to the executive branch and Congress. The media has sanitized the reality of the violence in the
Middle East, including no images of coffins coming back
here.

Thus, the promoters of this gangsterism by people in and outside of the federal government and in other countries, namely,
Britain and Israel, have been able to keep a lid on political actions by the people at large. Up to this point, anyway.

pbrownlee

Bush? "Read every morning"?? I thought he did not even read (brief) intel briefings.

And had to be cajoled by his "advisers" into finally watching Katrina damage on a specially prepared DVD.

Perhaps that is what we need now - unsanitize TV coverage of violence (perhaps after 9pm?) so that at least we are seeing what the "other side" sees 24/7 -- on TV and in their daily lives.

The castration of the mainstream media is the great scandal of our age.

One can hope that, at the very least, we are watching the stillbirth of the Rice-for-President push.

Dimitar Vesselinov

Capturing Jerusalem and Palestine
http://www.greatwardifferent.com/Great_War/Mesopotamia/Palestine_01.htm

Matthew

pbrownlee: Nice touch on the "stillbirth of the Rice-for-President Push." I have met perfectly sensible people who get all slackjawed about Condi...but they don't know why. Ms. Supertanker is a Soviet Expert--absolutely essential for our top diplomat who is focusing on Islamists, don't you know. Despite her reputation, her supporters can't name a single concrete achievement, save barnacling herself to POTUS, and deftly maintaining her poise when the Israeli PM tells her to kiss off. Oh, well. We are all prisoners of our own metaphors. Her Soviet background, including her familiarity with all those "-isms" may explain why we are now recycling the word "totalitarian." Since Condi et al understand Leninist forms they just apply them to the enemy of the moment. Had she been SOS in 1993, Pablo Escobar probably would have been christened a Cocaine-ofascist. I wonder if Condi knows today was her Waterloo?

Marty Poulin

Col Lang, Woulid you please do a little think piece on Israeli intel. For many years, we have all heard a lot about the vaunted Israeli intel services, best in the world, etc. Well, since they have blown the heck out of Qana twice, killed at least 4 UN observers, nailed an ambulance and a variety of other civilian targets, I'm wondering just how good they really are. Thanks

pbrownlee

It is possible that Dr Rice has been the beneficiary of the positive discrimination programs that she now so thoroughly deplores.

taters

Matthew,
I fully agree - however Condi might give Shemp a run for his money...I emphasize "might."

LanceThruster

I have heard from others claiming no bias in coverage of Israel/Middle East issues that the Israeli Press (or, as said, at least Haaretz) did indeed offer a full range of views.

Though they also asserted this was the case in the US media, albeit slanted decidedly (in their opinion) anti-Israel, I think the reality is clearly otherwise.

I think the format in place regarding open discussion regarding Israel in the US media follows the example referenced in the online resource "When Victims Rule." Jewish historian Hannah Arendt was speaking at a mixed community center about the plight of Gypsies and others in the Holocaust death camps. She said many elderly Jews in attendance came up afterword to chastise her for the inclusion of the non-Jewish victims in this forum. She said they understood what she said was accurate, but the rule of thumb for such observations was, "not in front of the Goyim."

For whatever reason (many explanations possible), the US media seemingly chooses to ignore entire aspects of the debate that others are exposed to.

Just the other day on C-SPAN, I watched a program/conference dealing with the coverage of Middle East issues. A question was asked of one of the Palestinian journalists if there was a bias, an example of it, and what might be an indicator that balance was being brought to coverage of the region.

The Palestinian journalist said that one question could serve to illustrate all three. That question, he said, would be, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?"

It is not asked, certainly not answered, and the omission of such a concern at the same time that so much hand wringing is done over other nations in the region having any sort of nuclear program, let alone a nuclear weapons program, reveals just how much, for whatever reason, Israel is exempted from a simple conversation about the geopolitical realities of the region.

LanceThruster

I have heard from others claiming no bias in coverage of Israel/Middle East issues that the Israeli Press (or, as said, at least Haaretz) did indeed offer a full range of views.

Though they also asserted this was the case in the US media, albeit slanted decidedly (in their opinion) anti-Israel, I think the reality is clearly otherwise.

I think the format in place regarding open discussion regarding Israel in the US media follows the example referenced in the online resource "When Victims Rule." Jewish historian Hannah Arendt was speaking at a mixed community center about the plight of Gypsies and others in the Holocaust death camps. She said many elderly Jews in attendance came up afterword to chastise her for the inclusion of the non-Jewish victims in this forum. She said they understood what she said was accurate, but the rule of thumb for such observations was, "not in front of the Goyim."

For whatever reason (many explanations possible), the US media seemingly chooses to ignore entire aspects of the debate that others are exposed to.

Just the other day on C-SPAN, I watched a program/conference dealing with the coverage of Middle East issues. A question was asked of one of the Palestinian journalists if there was a bias, an example of it, and what might be an indicator that balance was being brought to coverage of the region.

The Palestinian journalist said that one question could serve to illustrate all three. That question, he said, would be, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?"

It is not asked, certainly not answered, and the omission of such a concern at the same time that so much hand wringing is done over other nations in the region having any sort of nuclear program, let alone a nuclear weapons program, reveals just how much, for whatever reason, Israel is exempted from a simple conversation about the geopolitical realities of the region.

Bakr Koura

After 4 weeks of constant civilian bombardment, this is how I see the net result

One country demolished, another half deserted
Civilian paying price
3 prisoners still in custody
IDF invincible? Forget it!
Palestinians lost visibility, became low priority
Iran had its breathing space to finish what It wants
Terrorists will grow 10 fold

And the Winner Is: Hassan Nasrallah!!!!!!!!!!!!


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