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Total number of comments: 40 (since 2010-04-12 21:30:18)

no better than anyone; no one any better.

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  • Roger Cohen's excellent piece on Goldstone reconsideration
    • The underlying issue is not whether Goldstone is "weak" or in Cohen's awkward phrasing lacks "judicial cohones".
      Neither his overly-lauded 'bravery' in the Report named after him (what else did you expect him to do given the overwhelming evidence), nor the presumed "weakness" in his so-called recantation is what is ultimately at issue here.
      As a celebrity-worshiping culture we're too prone to ascribing 'heroism' or 'villainy' to individuals who are in fact simply acting out their underlying humanity in complex situations they find themselves in. It is easy to see in hindsight how their choice of action was as inevitable as it was inescapable.
      That in my mind applies to Roger Cohen as it does to a Tunisian's act of self-immolation, or to many Palestinian "suicide-bombers"/"terrorists" as of course to Judge Goldstone. These are acts I can relate to, comprehend, within my own humanity.

      That said, Richard Witty, there are indeed 'acts' which defy my comprehension and can be seen as 'brave', like the bravery that drives you to MondoWeiss for a daily ritual of "tutorials" from Annie and generally well-deserved punishment from almost everyone here, including passers-by like me, now that's brave...or may be just masochistic love.

    • Cohen's article is exceptionally sharp, focused and irrefutable. He never puts Goldstone down for his "recantation", in stead he points to the ugly zeitgeist that Goldstone is confronted by when exercising his moral imperative : "times are out of joint / Of cursed spite/That I was ever born to set it right"(words to that effect)
      Just so we don't loose sight of the fact that the real target of Cohen's article is not Goldstone but Israeli-State and its more-rabid supporters.
      In Brecht's Galileo, at his recantation, his student reprimands Galileo:
      "Cursed be the land that has no heroes", he says: to which Galileo retorts:
      "Cursed be the land that has need of heroes"

  • BBC spots sharp climb in negative view of Israel in the U.S.
    • "annie asked for something and I tossed her the bone at hand. nothing more."

      Apart from being a rightist troll for Israel you're a pompous ill-informed a-hole...with neither grace nor elemental courtesy.

      As for the 'bone at hand' stick it wherever you've a hole in your body.

  • Obama's Dred Scott decision
    • "I find myself incredibly dispirited by the Obama veto of the UN Security Council resolution against the settlements. " -- Phil.

      Yeah, (sigh!) like a stab deep into the heart of hope stirred recently again with the ongoing popular revolts led by Tunisia & Egypt. "US couldn't be that craven, and suicidally shortest-sighted!"
      Incredibly, it's Obama binBush who carries the dagger.

      "I’m not talking about the end of the two state solution. The two state solution probably died a long time ago. James North says that Israel might have preserved itself in 2002 with the Arab Peace Initiative; that was its best chance to survive as a Jewish state. But it rejected the offer."

      For me it is the progressive impossibility of the two-state solution unfolding before us that 'dispirits' me the most. I'm not too enthusiastic about one-state idea.
      This veto at the SC is a hope-killer.
      There's yet one card Mr. O may have up his sleeve which is in the end to lay out HIS Vision of ME grounded in a sense of Justice about the wrongs done in Nakba, and observation of International Law starting with UNSC 242.
      Though that may be me being delusional, again.

  • Obama gives big thumbs up to settlements at UN (and kills the two-state solution --Haber)
    • Annie: "i agree gazacalling. this is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. "

      For me too. So many of us in so many different places prayed that he'd win the presidential sweeps.
      In the end we carry the pain of having been suckered yet again by a seductive smooth-talker.

      As the popular revolution in Egypt took shape, many of us remarked upon the absence of Anti-Israeli/US sentiment.
      Today, however, with this veto combined with their barely disguised contempt for the ordinary citizens of Bahrein, the ugly face of the real US body-politic is impossible to ignore.
      That 3-week period of benign indifference to the US/Israel on the part of a re-awakened Arab-World ends today; future doesn't look good.

  • Ahmed Moor: There is a sense in Tahrir now that democracy is coming– and medics and journalists are granted respect
    • Just watching Harper-Obama press conference.

      What stands out is that even as they both do lip-service to ideas of Democracy, rule of law etc. it seems grudging and reticent, as if it were some distasteful though unavoidable medicine. Yeah, future of Egypt belongs to the Egyptians, BUT with qualifications and upon approval of their western masters. This even as they plot schemes to corral and manage the popular uprising towards their own ends.
      Suleiman is their point-man on the spot. Therefore most suspect.
      We'll have to wait for another WikiLeaks a couple of years down to uncover the determining role that Israel played( is playing) in having Mubarak appoint Omar Suleiman as his successor.
      I think the revolution will reject Suleiman as the trustee of 'transition'.
      People who started and have sustained the revolution may dislike Hosni, they may even find Omar younger/sexier/magisterial/suave in comparison, but it wasn't personal against the Prezzident.
      It's the regime that stank, it has to go.
      Possible compromises: Inclusion of Suleiman as one of the 10-12 member committee to oversee the transition, or El-Baradei as the head overseer.

      Ahmed, it's great to read your reports, it makes me feel a more personal connect with people in Maidan Tahrir.
      Stay and keep safe, Bro. Best wishes.

  • 'Huffpo' gives Dershowitz a platform to say tyranny is just fine for 'the average Egyptian'
    • "I have visited Egypt on several occasions, most recently a few months ago. Compared to other repressive dictatorships I have visited over the years, it was a 5 or 6 on a scale of 10 for the average Egyptian."

      Yes, Dersh, the credible authority on tourism amongst repressive dictatorships. A 5 or6: "How did he measure that?" (saleema)
      It's only Arabs, silly!

      "And this is at Huffington Post? "

      I know this is not TMZ but does anyone have a clue, what's up with Arianna H. and that faux philosophe B-H Levy of France who has recently taken up residency in the US and proclaimed his grande amour (on Charlie Rose) for his newly adopted country?
      He's being offered a warmer welcome than he deserves as a blogger at the HuffPost. I am puzzled.
      (the question may be less trivial than it seems.)

      Sometimes lately I get the feeling that even as we take note of the "shift-in-discourse" on the street, the corporate MSM is engaged in the circling-of-the-wagons phenomenon (as Phil's previous blog about the new appointments at the WaPo, the entrenchment of the Bronner/Kershner duo at the NYT indicates)
      HuffPost may want to be one of the wagons....No?

  • Interview with Ahmed Moor from Cairo: ‘This is a society-wide program for change’
    • great link, Annie.
      To the 85 million one could add another 10 million or so Palestinians in diaspora, as refugees or in the prison-camps of Gaza and West Bank. That's almost 100 million people made less-than-human in order to keep Israel-the-neo-colonial-Enterprise going.
      That's some chutzpah!

      And how about the Abbas ruled fiction called PA banning sympathy marches in Palestine. That little Mubarak-wannabe pipsqueak! They never want to learn.

      Alex kane's blog as I read later makes similar points.

    • It's painful to watch how hard Israeli grip is on Obama's balls;
      His whole stance viz-a-viz the popular uprising in Egypt and elsewhere in the ME/North Africa is his inability to, as Mark LeVine puts it, to utter the 'D'-word. Why?
      One word: Israel, and its so-called security as defined by a Fascistic coalition in power.
      No matter how grotesquely out-of-shape-or-sense US position becomes, how deeply against its own founding principles or values it becomes in its efforts to "protect" Israel, and importantly how counter-productive and suicidal its policy becomes in the process, it still refuses the most obvious truth: People will not be denied for ever. Once they overcome their externally instigated Fear, no show of force, even Nuclear force can stop'em!

      you cannot be a pathetic coward, Mr. O.
      Show you've faith in and support the will of the people.

  • Noticing my distress, the other detainee whispered: ‘I’m sorry. This is not Egypt. This is Mubarak’
    • "“We know you’re an Arab..."

      What sick irony?
      wasn't it Fanon who talked of it way back...? a sick expression of abuse between oppressor & oppressed wrapped in racism.

      I thought we told you to stay safe, Ahmed, and now you have bruised ribs and it hurts when you breathe! ...
      Hope you're feeling better, bro, ...best.

  • The Egyptian revolution threatens an American-imposed order of Arabophobia and false choices
    • "What a sad waste of global sympathy."
      = story of israel.

    • "Could inspire HAMAS, linking with Brotherhood. HAMAS trying to overthrow PA. Why is Israel silent? A shrewd move by Israel because it’s a popular uprising against Egypt’s own government. Not against Israel or USA."

      Only up until now...for the past four-five days they've been reduced to being 'spectators' -- so shell-shocked they are. Phil rightly weighs it with 9/11, it's of that magnitude in my prognosis.
      At least as spectators they were limited in the amount of damage they could/would cause...now that they are forced to act to protect their 'invetments' (in all senses of the word), I'd be willing a hefty wager that their actions will likely succeed in turning the popular uprising against both Israel and the US.

    • exactly, you can hear the FEAR in their quick support for Mubarak, calling people in the street "infiltrators" !! ...that's desperate!
      Hey, you think that'd appeal to those in the delta? after all who is he speaking to?

    • a great piece, indeed, Phil.
      Agree with you on every count of insight and tone.

      just posted this elsewhere:

      appointing Suleiman is like Mubarak clutching at straws.
      Omar Suleiman is too closely identified with the current, discredited regime about to be swept into the dustbins of history.
      The obviously stop-gap measure is DOA.
      It seems to have been contrived in Washington & Israel to provide for a continuity of Israeli-US security objectives. That is the primary reason it'll fail.

      The fact is that the Arab-Street has had it with the humiliation, the racism, the paternalism from the West. They're mad as hell, and will not take it any more. If the West (including their colonial outpost Israel) insists on playing deaf and blind to the realities on the ground they've another thing coming; ad it won't just end with the "revolution" in Grand Old Misr.

  • Egypt is burning and most western pundits have no idea why
    • There are few places I think more ecstatic at the developments in Egypt than Gaza.
      Whatever begins to take shape tomorrow in Cairo, there's a promising new dawn on the border between Gaza and Egypt.
      Jordan may yet escape with its monarchy; only wishful thinking on the part of neocons is expecting Syria to be drawn into the vortex, but grand old Misr will never be the same. As indeed the Palestinians of Gaza.

    • The question Seafoid, is whether the people will be back in the street, tomorrow? Hosni may have pressed all the right buttons for those in the Delta but is anyone listening? It isn't them who were driving the momentum behind the movement in the first place.
      The fact is that the Arab Street has had it upto here with humiliation, racism and paternalism from the west. An ancient proud people like those in Iraq Afghanistan, Egyptians with an even prouder history are, as we know, fed-up, they've tasted their courage and their power; Hosni is barking up the wrong tree.

      Hey look, finally Obama speaks!

    • just finished listening to Mubarak. Ist thought: whoa! the man just doesn't get it, he's totally clueless about what's going down in the streets around him.

      He hasn't heard their screams of Mubarak: OUT, Down down Mubarak, It's him First of all they want gone. The man is utterly tone-deaf, typical of those convinced of their eternal power.
      That sadly means a lot more ugliness, lot more bloodshed, a lot more dead on the streets all over Misr.

      Taxi, ( "Nah Mubarak should flee to israel.")...I thought of that first :)-

  • Ahmed Moor reporting from Cairo: ‘I was tired, but not more tired than the people who have waited 30 years for the opportunity to breathe’
    • went through your report Ahmed, as breathlessly as I imagine you ran, Bro!...with intense anticipation. Stay safe; our best wishes follow you, are with you everywhere.

      Hurriya!!! Freedom for our brothers and sisters.

  • Palestine Papers: US intimidated PA into stifling Goldstone Report
    • Sorry on second thoughts, I'm sure he (saeb Erekat) or Abbas will not flee...
      That's how deeply disenfranchised the Palestinians have been rendered under the obscene brutality of Occupation.
      They cannot even risk a "chaos" without having Israelis use to it to their purpose.

    • I hope he's got his passport ticket and a drive to the airport outside the studio he's being interviewed in. For else he's a dead-man-talking.
      Let the guesses begin: will it be Saudis to the rescue...or?

  • 'Tahrir means Liberation': A report from Cairo
    • I agree Seafoid, it's more than just "dumb neocons"
      Neoconism is an attitudenal-virus which infects neocons and neolibs alike into dumbness. Just look at the dear Leader announcing in an hour how the State of the Union is strong while the world falls apart around him. None accused him of being a neocon, hell, neither blacks nor gays nor women (not just Boxer, even Feingold and more) have any inherent immunity to neoconism.

      Incidentally I am a bit skeptical of Mubarak's flight from Masr. I don't think the "revolution" will be that easy...there's a lot more bloodshed to come, even as it appears at the moment to be all quiet in the Cairo Square --- well past midnight there.

      I think the Egyptians are well aware of the possible struggles ahead: strikes, sit-downs, protests and demos in different part of the country for weeks possibly months ahead.

    • Guardian is reporting "unconfirmed reports" that Mubarak et fils have fled to London.
      And just a few hours ago Hillary C was saying the Govt there "is stable" !
      Looks like the whole-scale dismantling of the US-built house of cards (of shameless sell-outs) is beginning to come apart.
      Stupid neo-conism in US still hasn't learnt to connect the dots, not in 9/11, not in Latin America which eased itself out from the grip of the Eagle during the last ten years and nor all over the Arab world.

      What are the Ancient Arabs upto? I ask, in total respect?

    • great video, Ahmed.

      please stay safe. With best wishes.

  • Boycott dons fine new western garb-- 'for professional reasons'
    • "....like an Aryan knock-off should."

      hilarious!! genius!! sharp as razor's edge!!

      Like the comment in disarming desperation from Phil, yesterday:

      "take my job, please!"
      to Yonira/eee. (interchangeable, predictable)

      i can still roll it in my brain and laugh out loud!

  • The ethnocentric blindness of left Zionism
    • @Citizen January 13, 2011 at 4:24 am

      "4:24 am"? Do you never sleep?

      a minor point: "‘tribal’ identity as an essential element of what one is" does not equal 'tribalism'. c.f. Amartya Sen: Identity and Violence.
      Thanks for making me google 'White Rose'.

    • From the article:
      "Now, I happen to be an admirer of Avnery, even though I consider his brand of left Zionism morally and practically bankrupt...
      Whoa, easy there!
      I know of other Israeli Leftists who are opposed to the BDS (which I support) on a matter of principle. They're opposed to all boycotts even as they proactively participate in activities promoting rights and justice for Palestinians, putting their lives/careers in jeopardy.

      "...what troubles him is not the present reality of Palestinians by the thousands languishing in prison, but the specter of a similar fate befalling Jewish dissidents in the future."
      I find that unnecessary and undeserved, just like a subsequent comment from Walid (deep respects, Walid, I learn a lot from you):

      "His reason for campaigning to end the occupation isn’t because it’s wrong but because it is destroying Israel. He objected to the occupation from the very start back in 1967 but it’s only today that we can see why. There is something insincere about Israelis that object the occupation while not objecting to the 3/4 of the water they are using in Israel being stolen."

      I don't know if Avnery supports theft of Palestinian water, does he?

      My point is: is it really all that useful or productive to get so hot under the collar as to loose all sense of perspective and toot one's own ideological purity?

    • Witty, A good read, your reflections.
      I've no trouble with 'tribal' identity as an essential element of what one is.
      To my mind it's totally compatible with a universalist morality and values.

      I think that's what I'm suggesting in my previous post as well.

    • "Haaretz doesn't often run columns by Uri Avnery, but last week they printed a piece of his entitled "Freedom of expression in Israel is a hollow pretension."
      I too was surprised to see his article in Haaretz, I confess I'm a huge fan of Uri Avenary -- he represents to me (along with many others) so much of what I've learnt and admired about the Jewish culture and tradition. A true man of conscience.
      He is 87, (wow! I knew he was really old, but not that old!) , the same age as Helen Thomas when she made her verbal faux pas.
      I thought at 87 you've earned the right say it the way you want to.
      I think their life-work is enough for us to put anything they say -- no matter how seemingly incorrect -- in perspective, and not to get too righteous in our commentary.

      I don't disagree that Avenary is likely ethno-centric in that comment. So What? Le'ts not get too fundamentalist in our rhetoric.

      (So What? Miles Davis: link to youtube.com
      Or, So What? Ministry:link to youtube.com

      choose your poison)

  • Available Now: The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict
    • To Taxi's "Mabrouk! Congratz! Mazel tov!" if I may add "mubarak!"
      Phil, Like Kathleen I'd be ordering five for my daughter and friends.
      Felicitations, mon vieux!

  • The lobby has been broken because... Israel isn't good for the Jews
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution changes article headline after being faced with the reality of Gaza
    • "She grew up in Baghdad, Iraq. "

      Between Baghdad and Gaza, there's still another sad story...Rana?
      May be some day you'd write about that.

      Best wishes.

  • More on Helen Thomas's purdah
    • This,from someone named "activista" on Haaretz (Talkback) , Jan. 6, '11.

      "They banned the porn sites and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a porn fan. Then they banned the gambling sites and I didn't speak up because I wasnt't a gambler. Then they banned political activism sites and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a political activist. Then they banned free speech and by that time no one was left to speak up."

      followed by an equally creative reply (from someone named Frederick Lee)"

      "Last they came for Helen Thomas...and not one of her fellow journalists rose to her defense."

  • Goldberg's next war sure sounds a lot like his last one
    • It never ceases to amaze me that there's absolutely nothing that can ever stop us from being as mind-bogglingly STUPID as we ever can be so long as we think we're endowed with power. Here the shocking nugget:
      "Iran, locked in a showdown with the United States over its nuclear programme, links Jundollah to the Sunni Islamist al Qaeda network and says it enjoys U.S. backing. The United States denies that.

      Security analyst and author Ahmed Rashid said Jundollah had evolved through shifting alliances with various parties, including the Americans, the Taliban and Pakistan’s intelligence services, who all see the group as a tool against Iran."

      how long ago was it that we trained and equipped Bin Laden and the Talibans?

    • Hi Annie,

      I have a lot of issues with the article in Economist... BUT for MSM this is not bad. That said, here's a couple of thoughts: esp. on the part quoted.
      .
      "The instant the peace process ends, the war process begins, "

      The end of the so-called peace process is only the end of a long, grotesque masquerade. It has provided cover for racist and nationalist dispossession and ethnic-cleansing, for decades. I for one will not miss its passing. Peace-process is the dead-parrot in the Monty Python sketch, it's an ex-process.

      And it doesn't really follow that as the "peace process" ends the war process begins.
      May be ending the charade is the first condition for prospects of real justice and peace for Palestinians as for Israelis.

      Another condition is for US/West/Israel to for once begin to accept and promote International Laws and Rules of civilized humane behavior. "Don’t mediate. Legislate...It is time for the world to agree on a settlement and impose it on the feuding parties."
      The world has agreed.
      As I think Juan Cole argues the bottom line is whether we be a nation of Laws and follow UNSC Res. 242 on...and enforce them or not.... "facts on the ground" can be worked out in negotiations or ICJ.

      All of us have remarked upon the huge change in 'discourse' even in the US. My read is time is ripe for Obama to bet the House (even the white one) and go down -- or up -- in an inspirational shift away upon a new trajectory.

      (p.s. always appreciate your posts, Annie.)

  • Israeli spoof of brainwashing -- in kindergarten
    • sorry about that, still new, learning codes; my comment "Yes..." was in reply to "MRW January 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      annie,

      Smart words at January 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm. (and so was your Trap piece.)

    • yes. Thanks to the "an extremely wise woman "

      You're a great fighter, wise woman! clean, principled, tough, real.

  • Gaza youth breaks out with a 'manifesto for change'
    • my two cents:
      One, this buzz around GYouth seems like something I might read in the NYT. (Or in the Observer, as has been pointed to, above) Something put together with an agenda.
      Two, Yonira's input early on seemed to confirm Kalithea's suspicions of Israeli/Zionists' ability to exploit whatever cracks appear in our tendency to identify Gazans with Hamas...they only have to hear "Fuck Hamas" or even a faint such whisper, like little metaphoric worms they gnaw away at this perceived divisive, weakest link.
      "Of course, those ziotrolls Yonira and eee will welcome the statement of the youth because they are on this list for no other reason than to cultivate divisiveness. "-- Blankfort above, totally d'accord.
      (a floating thought in my head: the Greens in Iran... parallels here with GY are interesting.)
      Thanks, Walid, for your informative posts and more.
      Perhaps too early still to conclude it's another US-Israeli plot though the whole enterprise of GY is littered with screaming red flags.(...false flags?)

  • Thank you
    • Thanks for the welcome, Phil.

    • Hi Citizen,
      I agree RW can almost always be an infuriating irritation in the butt.
      Yet in a way his presence here is as crucial as that of a "whitey" at a production of Genet's Blacks. (I believe he's a good sport in that role, even if he often appears to believe in it much to my chagrin.)
      His points, often simplistic or contrived provide an instrument for more sharply aimed counter-points. ..no?

    • A 2-Year long habitual lurker, snooping into intelligent, inspiring threads.

      Thanks, and congratulations, Adam and Phil. best wishes to all posters, including RW for being a sporting "whitey" at the gatherings.

      (New Year Res: to try and post here, frequently as possible)

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