Truman and Israel: How It All Began
The Truman Administration's policy on Palestine challenges at its start the "strategic asset" view of the US-Israel relationship, and reinforces the "Israel lobby" view, as argued ... by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Truman's support for the creation of a Jewish state was due entirely to the US Jewish community, without whose influence Zionist achievements in Palestine would have been for nought. Long before any strategic argument was made, indeed, while a Jewish state was considered a strategic liability ... the nascent Israel lobby deployed its manifold resources with consummate skill and ruthlessness.
Israel at 60: Remembering the Palestinian Nakba
Nasser Barghouti and Bassemah Darwish - San Diego Union
... While Israel celebrates 60 years since its establishment, Palestinians everywhere commemorate the "Nakba" ("Catastrophe" in Arabic) that befell them after armed Jewish militia raided their homes and expelled them. The exclusionary Zionist vision of creating a Jewish state in Palestine meant the elimination of the indigenous, "non-Jewish" population ... Remembering the Nakba is even more compelling given what former President Jimmy Carter describes as an apartheid-like system that Israel has built to entangle the Palestinians ...
Washington's Battle Over Israel's Birth
Richard Holbrooke -- The Washington Post
In the celebrations ... surrounding Israel's 60th anniversary, it should not be forgotten that there was an epic struggle in Washington over how to respond to Israel's declaration of independence on May 14, 1948. It led to the most serious disagreement President Harry Truman ever had with his revered secretary of state, George C. Marshall -- and with most of the foreign policy establishment ... To this day, many think that Marshall and Lovett were right on the merits and that domestic politics was the real reason for Truman's decision. Israel, they argue, has been nothing but trouble for the United States.
Recalling Truman�s Fateful May 1948 Decision to Recognize Israel
Richard H. Curtiss
... An "insider's account" of the discussions leading up to these [1947-1948] decisions has been published by former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, one of the few living parties to the discussions leading to partition ... Clifford's story once again disproves the assertion that American diplomatic or military personnel ever viewed Israel as a " strategic asset." The foreign policy establishment, 43 years ago as today, saw Israel as a geopolitical liability that owes its US support to the extraordinary clout of its apologists within the American Jewish community and the American political system.
Why Truman Overrode State Dept. Warning on Palestine-Israel
It was on Sept. 22, 1947, that Loy Henderson strongly warned Secretary of State George C. Marshall that partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states was not workable and would lead to untold troubles in the future. Henderson was director of the State Department's Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, and his memorandum ... stands as one of the most perceptive analyses of the perils that partition would bring. Henderson informed Marshall that his views were shared by "nearly every member of the Foreign Service or of the department who has worked to any appreciable extent on Near Eastern problems...
The Professor Anti-Semites Love: Kevin MacDonald
Jewish Journal (Los Angeles)
... Kevin MacDonald, 64, has been deemed America's "foremost anti-Semitic thinker" by civil rights [sic] experts. A tenured psychology professor who lent his expertise to Holocaust denier David Irving ... His three-volume critique of Judaism as a "group evolutionary strategy" ... claims that the religion discourages inclusion, eggs on anti-Semitism and uses study of Talmud to thin the reproduction of less intelligent members ... A growing number of MacDonald's colleagues have urged the university to denounce his writings.
The Pentagon Strangles Our Economy: Why the U.S. Has Gone Broke
... The United States finds itself in the anomalous position of being unable to pay for its own elevated living standards or its wasteful, overly large military establishment ... Our public education system has deteriorated alarmingly. We have failed to provide health care to all our citizens and neglected our responsibilities as the world's number one polluter. Most important, we have lost our competitiveness as a manufacturer for civilian needs, an infinitely more efficient use of scarce resources than arms manufacturing.
Beliefs and Bad Behavior
... It's obvious that standards of behavior, appearance and speech have declined in this country. ... The lyrics of many popular songs and the dialogue in television shows, movies and even on talk radio are laced with vulgarities. All of these things have an impact on behavior. What seems to be happening is that we are reverting to barbarism. We've even come to accept as "normal" armed policemen stationed in schools. That alone says a great deal about the degeneration of our society.
How the Famous Red Army Reichstag Photo Was Manipulated
Der Spiegel (Germany)
A Soviet soldier heroically waves the red flag, the hammer and sickle billow above the Reichstag. Yevgeny Khaldei photographed one of the iconic images of the 20th century. But the legendary image was manipulated to conceal the fact that the Soviet soldiers on the roof had been looting.
Allied Crimes: Mass Rapes of German Women by Soviets
The Guardian (Britain)
"Red Army soldiers don't believe in 'individual liaisons' with German women," wrote the playwright Zakhar Agranenko in his diary when serving as an officer of marine infantry in East Prussia. "Nine, ten, twelve men at a time - they rape them on a collective basis." The Soviet armies advancing into East Prussia in January 1945, in huge, long columns, were an extraordinary mixture of modern and medieval ... "The Russian soldiers were raping every German female from eight to eighty," she recounted later. "It was an army of rapists."
A Human Rights Crime
The world is witnessing a terrible human rights crime in Gaza, where a million and a half human beings are being imprisoned with almost no access to the outside world. An entire population is being brutally punished. This gross mistreatment of the Palestinians in Gaza was escalated dramatically by Israel, with United States backing, after political candidates representing Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Authority parliament in 2006. The election was unanimously judged to be honest and fair by all international observers.
... Americans had better get shut of their imperial delusions and fast, because we are following the path of every empire that has ever existed toward bankruptcy ... What kind of standard of living do you think we can maintain with a collapsed education system, a broken infrastructure, a debilitated manufacturing sector and a debt-imploded failed economy? ... For a republic to survive, it needs a well-educated people with self-discipline and high morals, healthy agricultural and manufacturing bases, sound money and a frugal but wise government. I don't see much of that around these days.
Germany Bans Two �Holocaust Denial� Groups
Agence France Presse
Germany on Wednesday banned two regional far-right organizations suspected of denying the Nazis' extermination of six million Jews and launched early-morning raids against their members. Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the groups outlawed were the Collegium Humanum and the Association for the Rehabilitation of Those Persecuted for Questioning the Holocaust (VRBHV)". Based in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the neo-Nazi groups are "collecting pools for organised Holocaust deniers," the ministry said in a statement.
Chinese GDP Set to Overtake US by 2015
... A recent study by the economist Angus Maddison projects that China will become the world's dominant economic superpower much sooner than expected - not in 2050, but in 2015 ... China was the largest economy for centuries because everyone had the same type of economy - subsistence - and so the country with the most people would be economically biggest. Then the Industrial Revolution sent the West on a more prosperous path. Now the world is returning to a common economy, this time technology- and information-based, so once again population triumphs.
Latinos Still Largest, Fastest Growing Minority
The United States grew steadily more diverse last year, with Latinos holding on to their rank as the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority group, a trend with far-reaching implications for American politics and immigration policies ... Overall, the nation's 102.5 million minorities accounted for 34 percent of the U.S. population, a new milepost on America's inexorable journey toward greater diversity and a harbinger of the growing political clout of nonwhites.
The Population Cycle Drives Human History
... Thus, from a certain turning point of history, the well-to-do have fewer children than the poor. Once the economic environment improves sufficiently, the evolutionary pressure weakens, and on the basis of spreading egalitarian ideology and general suffrage the quantity of people gains dominance over quality. At present, we have already reached the phase of global human capital deterioration as the necessary prerequisite for a global collapse by which the overpopulated earth will decimate a species with an average IQ, still too mediocre to understand its own evolution and steer its course.
New Calls for Publication of `Annotated� Mein Kampf
Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf," whose publication is prohibited in Germany, could be released again in Germany. Historians and other academics say it is essential to publish the notorious book with editorial annotations and critique before 2015, when it enters the public domain and may be reprinted freely by neo-Nazis ... Ten million copies of the 720-page volume, in which Hitler outlined his racist political and social program, were sold ... It has been translated into numerous languages ... Bavaria has banned the printing and distribution of "Mein Kampf," although it can be obtained almost everywhere in the world and on the Internet.
New Antislavery Law in U.S. May Be Wrongheaded
Richard Bernstein - International Herald-Tribune
... More slaves are now imported (though the current word for this is trafficked) into the United States annually than were imported in an average year during the American colonial era. That is one of the talking points used lately by the author of an arresting new book on global slavery, "A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery," by E. Benjamin Skinner ... In the United States, the best estimates indicate that 40,000 to 50,000 people are held in slavery at any given time, with about 17,000 people brought into the country and forced to work for nothing every year.
Economic Rogues Run Amok in the World
As democracy spread through the world in the 1990s, it was accompanied by a dramatic increase in slavery, according to the author of a new book. "The correlation between democracy and slavery is one of the consequences of rogue economics, a recurrent phenomenon in history, often linked to rapid and unexpected great transformations," Loretta Napoleoni writes in Rogue Economics: Capitalism�s New Reality.
US Close to Passing Law Banning `Genetic Discrimination�
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
US President George W. Bush is expected to soon sign into law legislation prohibiting health insurance companies from penalizing individuals based on genetic testing, a particular concern to Ashkenazi Jews, who sometimes carry certain deleterious DNA mutations ... Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, which had lobbied hard for the provision, welcomed the bill's passage ... Other Jewish groups have also backed the legislation.
The US Becomes an Imperial Power: 1898 and the Great Debate Over Overseas Expansion
John Ries and Mark Weber - Institute for Historical Review
Until the 1890s, America followed its traditional foreign policy of non-interventionism. The year 1898 was a landmark in the transition of the United States from a republic to an imperial power. Today, as Americans debate the merits of new military intervention in foreign lands, many of the arguments for and against such actions echo those made a century ago, but with some interesting differences.
A Century of Interventionism and Regime Change
... The overwhelming history of U.S. conduct in other countries rarely occurs to the average American. Aside from some obvious instances, such as the Vietnam War and the nearly universally approved U.S. intervention into World War II, the history of U.S. foreign policy does not get the attention and consideration it deserves. Stephen Kinzer, in his new book ... sketches out an engaging, very tightly written narrative of U.S. involvement in overthrowing the governments of Hawaii, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The Impossibility of American Empire
... The Empire of the United States was launched in 1898, and has since traversed a mere century, experiencing increasing ambition, and suffering increasing difficulties. Could it too last 406 years? The current evidence is not reassuring ... This is what the War on Terror has come to mean. It is an attempt to create a universal empire that exists only in the American imagination, by an effort that, because its aim is impossible to achieve, is unlimited in the damage it could do to Americans and others.
US Is Taking Counterinsurgency Lessons From Israel
Steve Niva -- Foreign Policy in Focus
... What we are seeing in Iraq today has much less to do with the declared shift in U.S. military doctrine than with a deeper and more far-reaching "Israelization" of U.S. military strategy and tactics over the past two decades ... American forces increasingly used a new set of tactics that appeared to have come straight out of the Israeli playbook from the occupied Palestinians territories, including physically enclosing villages within razor-wire fences, bulldozing homes of suspected insurgents, destroying irrigation systems and agricultural fields, taking civilian hostages, and using torture to extract intelligence.
The Iraq War Morphs Into The Iranian War
Paul Craig Roberts
... Unlike the US and Israel, Iran is neither occupying any other country�s territory nor threatening to invade another country. Nevertheless, propaganda against Iran is spouting from US and Israeli mouths at an increasing rate. Lie after lie rolls off the tongues of leaders of the "two great democracies." ... Israel counts for so much [in the US] that every presidential candidate has declared his and her willingness to expend whatever American blood and treasure are necessary "to protect Israel." There are no limits on the promise "to defend Israel," no matter what Israel does ...
Street Gang Violence Spreading to US Suburbs
The suburbs of the US are no longer the same as those immortalised in 1950s movies, with white families living in big houses and the father driving off to work in his Buick, past manicured lawns. These days, it is more likely that English will not even be the first language you hear on the streets ... Vicious street gangs, committed to violence, have spread throughout the Americas and are now a significant threat in the US.
A New Look at World War II
Nicholson Baker�s new book, Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization, is one of the most unique nonfiction books you�ll ever read ... Many of the icons of "the greatest generation" are portrayed not quite as heroically as they are by their hagiographers and government-school textbook writers. Perhaps the most striking facts in this regard is how Baker portrays the real Churchill ... Churchill gleefully waged total war on German civilians as well as its military. When asked why he was not bombing more German cities populated mostly by civilians, he said "My motto is business before pleasure."
Israel�s Killings of Egyptian Prisoners
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
... According to researchers and retired Israel Defense Force soldiers, IDF soldiers executed hundreds of unarmed Egyptian soldiers in Sinai during both the 1956 Sinai campaign and, later, during the 1967 Six-Day War, the June 27, 2000 Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. Of the 1967 war�s executions, Israeli historian Uri Milstein wrote: "It was not an official policy, but there was an atmosphere that it was okay to do it. Some commanders decided to do it; others refused. But everyone knew of it."
Netanyahu Says 9/11 Attacks Have Been Good for Israel
The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that [former Israeli prime minister and] Likud [party] leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001, terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel. "We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."
The Way Our World Ends
Patrick J. Buchanan
... The Caucasian race is going the way of the Mohicans ... According to the Pew Research Center, the Hispanic population of the United States will triple to 127 million by 2050, as Mexico's population grows to 130 million ... Sixty-two percent of Americans told Pew we should do more to protect our way of life. Three-fourths of Americans wanted more restrictions on immigration. Yet all three presidential candidates voted amnesty for the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens.
New Evidence on President Roosevelt�s Secret Affair
... It is a significant detail for historian Joseph Persico, given the questions he seeks to answer in his new book, "Franklin and Lucy: President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life": Did he have an ongoing relationship with Lucy Mercer (later Rutherfurd)? Was it sexual? Was she the only one? His answers to each are yes, undoubtedly, and no.
France�s Le Pen Repeats Earlier `Gas Chamber� Comments
European Jewish Press
France�s extreme-right party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen repeated Friday his previous statement that gas chambers used by the Nazis were "merely a detail" of World War II. The president of the National Front, who has been convicted of racism or anti-Semitism on several occasions, said in an interview with a regional monthly magazine that for him it is "so obvious that gas chambers were a detail of the history of World War II."
Ukraine's Pursuit of Genocide Designation Upsets Russians
The Washington Post
Relations between Russia and Ukraine, bedeviled by disputes over natural gas supplies and NATO expansion, have lately been roiled by one of the great tragedies of Soviet history: the famine of 1932-33, which left millions dead from starvation and related diseases. Ukraine is seeking international recognition of the famine, which Ukrainians call Holodomor -- or death by hunger -- as an act of genocide ... There are no exact figures on how many died. Modern historians place the number between 2.5 million and 3.5 million. Yushchenko and others have said at least 10 million were killed.
German Sentenced to Ten Months in Prison for Hitler Salute
A former left-wing guerilla turned neo-Nazi was sentenced to ten months in prison in Germany on Monday for giving a Hitler salute in an interview with a Jewish TV presenter and denying the Holocaust. Horst Mahler, who in the 1970s co-founded the extremist far-left Red Army Faction (RAF) and who later swung violently far-right, said he would appeal against the ruling. The 72-year-old lawyer has a string of convictions for similar offences as well as for crimes dating back to his time with the RAF, which carried out a bloody campaign against the West German government.
The Man Who Would Be Bush
Are Americans unusually stupid or is it something our president put in the water? As millions surrender their homes and sacrifice other standards of our nation�s economic and political reputation to the caprice of the Bush-Cheney imperium, a majority of voters tell pollsters that they might vote for a candidate who promises more of the same ... A vote for McCain is a vote for that rancid recipe mixing religious bigotry, imperial arrogance and corporate greed that he had stood against in the run-up to the 2000 presidential election when he challenged George W. Bush, but to which he now has capitulated.
What the Iraq War is About
Paul Craig Roberts
... Why does the Bush regime want to rule Iraq? ... The more likely explanation for the U.S. invasion of Iraq is the neoconservative Bush regime's commitment to the defense of Israeli territorial expansion ... An American colonial regime in Iraq not only buttresses Israel from attack, but also can pressure Syria and Iran not to support the Palestinians and Lebanese. The Iraqi war is a war for Israeli territorial expansion. Americans are dying and bleeding to death financially for Israel. Bush's "war on terror" is a hoax that serves to cover U.S. intervention in the Middle East on behalf of "greater Israel."
Russia: More Babies, Less Oil
Russia is reversing its population decline, which began before the Cold War ended, and accelerated after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Births were up 14 percent last year (to 1.6 million), over 2006. At its worst, a few years ago, the Russian population was declining 750,000 a year. A growing economy, more health consciousness and more pro-family laws have all contributed to this. Still, it will be another decade or two before the decline will halt.
Breakdown in Taboo on Nazi Imagery in Marketing?
The Jewish Chronicle (Britain)
A long-held taboo on using Nazi imagery to sell products appears to be weakening. Is it just ad-land�s love of shock value - or something bigger? ... The use of Hitler�s image to sell goods and services has long been taboo, particularly in Europe. But the growing spate of examples of the Nazi dictator being used in advertising and marketing ... suggests that Nazis are no longer off-limits. Karen Pollock, chief executive of the UK-based Holocaust Educational Trust, is disturbed by the new fashion for Hitler imagery ...
US Prepares for Possible Military Action Against Iran
The Washington Post
The nation's top military officer said today that the Pentagon is planning for "potential military courses of action" against Iran, criticizing what he called the Tehran government's "increasingly lethal and malign influence" in Iraq. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a conflict with Iran would be "extremely stressing" but not impossible for U.S. forces, pointing specifically to reserve capabilities in the Navy and Air Force.
Former US Envoy Ross Issues Urgent Warning on Iran
The U.S. and its allies probably have no more than a year to take action against Iran before that nation acquires nuclear weapons, warns Dennis Ross, an architect of the Mideast peace process. By 2009, Iran "could be a nuclear power, if not a nuclear weapon state, said Ross, who served as the director for policy planning in the State Department under President George H. W. Bush and special Middle East envoy under President Bill Clinton. If not stopped by next year, Iran will have "crossed the threshold of stockpiling fissionable material," Ross said ...
Clueless in America
The New York Times
... An American kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds. That�s more than a million every year, a sign of big trouble for these largely clueless youngsters ... and for the country as a whole ... Ignorance in the United States is not just bliss, it�s widespread. A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900.
British College Punishes Scholar for `Holocaust Denial�
The Jewish Chronicle (Britain)
A university has withdrawn a researcher's fellowship after he published an article claiming that the gas chambers of Auschwitz never existed. Nicholas Kollerstrom, an academic specialising in astronomy, posted the article, "The Auschwitz `Gas Chamber� Illusion," on the website of the revisionist Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. He claimed that only one million Jews died in the war and that "the only intentional mass extermination program in the concentration camps of WW2 was targeted at Germans".
Iraq Retrospective: Quotes That Sent Us To War
The Huffington Post
As the war in Iraq enters its sixth year, Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky have published a "definitive, footnoted, hilarious but depressing compilation of experts who were in error" about the war from the beginning ... "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." - Kenneth Adelman, member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, Feb. 13, 2002
Shortage of Skilled Workers Looms in US
Los Angeles Times
... Immigrants - legal and illegal - already constitute almost half the workers in Los Angeles County and are expected to account for nearly all the growth in the nation's working-age population by 2025 because native-born Americans are having fewer children. But the study, based largely on U.S. Census data, noted that 60 percent of the county's immigrant workers struggle with English and one-third lack high school diplomas ... "Right now we're headed toward becoming a Third World city. But we can change that."
Pro-Israel Group Seeks to Rewrite History on Wikipedia
The Electronic Intifada
A pro-Israel pressure group is orchestrating a secret, long-term campaign to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged. A series of e-mails by members and associates of the pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), provided to The Electronic Intifada (EI), indicate the group is engaged in what one activist termed a "war" on Wikipedia.
Protests Over Exhibit of Photos of Paris Under German Occupation
The Scotsman (Edinburgh)
An exhibition featuring photographs of Paris taken during the Nazi occupation has provoked so much public indignation that the Paris city council has ordered posters advertising the show to be taken down, and has even called for the exhibition to be closed altogether. Entitled Paris Sous l'Occupation (Paris Under the Occupation), the exhibition at the Paris History Library shows 270 colour photographs ... part of the only collection of colour images of their kind ... taken between 1941 and 1944 by a collaborator, Andr� Zucca, who worked for the Nazi propaganda magazine Signal.
What Have We Learned, If Anything?
Tony Judt - The New York Review of Books
... It is war, not racism or ethnic antagonism or religious fervor, that leads to atrocity. War -- total war -- has been the crucial antecedent condition for mass criminality in the modern era ... Americans, perhaps alone in the world, experienced the twentieth century in a far more positive light. The US was not invaded. It did not lose vast numbers of citizens, or huge swathes of territory, as a result of occupation or dismemberment ... Ignorance of twentieth-century history does not just contribute to a regrettable enthusiasm for armed conflict. It also leads to a misidentification of the enemy.
New Spy Case Won't Harm US-Israel Ties, Says Israeli Official
Environment Minister and former senior security official Gideon Ezra said that he does not believe Israel's relations with the U.S. will suffer in light of revelations that an American Army engineer spied for Israel in the 1980s. "Our strategic relationship with the United States is stronger than this," Ezra, a former deputy head of the Shin Bet security services, told Israel Radio.
Wall Street Winners Get Billion-Dollar Paydays
The New York Times
Hedge fund managers, those masters of a secretive, sometimes volatile financial universe, are making money on a scale that once seemed unimaginable, even in Wall Street�s rarefied realms. One manager, John Paulson, made $3.7 billion last year ... The hedge fund managers James H. Simons and George Soros each earned almost $3 billion last year ... Their unprecedented and growing affluence underscores the gaping inequality between the millions of Americans facing stagnating wages and rising home foreclosures and an agile financial elite that seems to thrive in good times and bad.
Congo's Wounds of War: More Vicious than Rape
Rod Nordland -- Newsweek
This is about fistulas -- and rape, which in Congo has become the continuation of war by other means ... In eastern Congo, however, the problem is practically an epidemic ... It had been no secret that nearly all sides in the Congo's complex civil war resorted to systematic rape among civilian populations, and estimates were as high as a quarter million victims of sexual assault during the four-year-long conflict.
The Fear Factor That Silences
Candidates for public office, high and low, are bewitched -- frightened is the more accurate word -- by an unwarranted but costly fear of the US lobby that functions on behalf of the State of Israel ... The invasions of Lebanon, the mistreatment of Palestinians, and the destruction of homes are crimes under international law. None of this would have happened if any US president in the last 30 years had the courage to refuse to finance Israel's conquests. If the US government had suspended financial, military, and political support Israel could not have carried out these monstrous crimes.
US Prison Population Dwarfs That of Other Nations
The New York Times
The United States has less than five percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners. Indeed, the US leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes -- from writing bad checks to using drugs -- that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.
Secret Bush Agreement With Israel on Settlements Revealed
The Washington Post
A letter that President Bush personally delivered to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon four years ago has emerged as a significant obstacle to the president's efforts to forge a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians during his last year in office. Ehud Olmert, the current Israeli prime minister, said this week that Bush's letter gave the Jewish state permission to expand the West Bank settlements that it hopes to retain in a final peace deal, even though Bush's peace plan officially calls for a freeze of Israeli settlements across Palestinian territories on the West Bank.
Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon�s Hidden Hand
The New York Times
... To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as "military analysts" whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world. Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration�s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
Carter Calls Israeli Treatment of Palestinians an Atrocity and Crime
Los Angeles Times
Former President Carter told a university audience here Thursday that the treatment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military was "a crime" but that there were "officials in Israel quite willing to meet with Hamas" and that may happen "in the near future." ... "I think it's an atrocity what is being perpetuated as punishment" against the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, Carter said. He added that the situation was "a crime" and that people were being "starved" to death living behind walls in prison conditions.
Hillary Clinton Threatens to �Obliterate� Iran
... On primary election day in Pennsylvania, even with polls showing her well ahead in that state, Hillary went lower in her grab for votes. Seizing upon a question as to how she would respond to a nuclear attack by Iran, which doesn�t have nuclear weapons, on Israel, which does, Hillary mocked reasoned discourse by promising to "totally obliterate them," in an apparent reference to the population of Iran. That is not a word gaffe; it is an assertion of the right of our nation to commit genocide on an unprecedented scale.
Publish and Perish: Thought Police Are Haunting Europe
... The Holocaust denial law was repealed in Slovakia in 2005 and Spain decriminalised Holocaust denial in October 2007. However, though Holocaust fatigue appears to be setting in as Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence, Zionist cultural hegemony in Europe is still strong. After decriminalisation of denial in Spain, Spanish courts meted a long jail sentence to publisher Pedro Varela of Barcelona and demanded the pulping of thousands of books, including one of Shamir�s.
It's Occupation, Not War
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ended some years ago. In Iraq, the war ended with the fall of Saddam Hussein's government; in Afghanistan, with the fall of the Taliban government. What's been happening since is occupation and resistance to occupation ... We should never go to war unless there are tangible, identifiable benefits for the American people for doing so. Try to think of a benefit we have gained from Iraq or Afghanistan. There are none.