abba's way

Sarah Versus The Nasal-Twanged Minnesotan & Other Slide Shows

Sarah is a trouper. She can bounce back like Dick Nixon. Elemental. Tawdry. But for a nation of gamblers, a game we love to play.

Michele Bachmann Will Never Get My Mantle

Sarah Palin is incensed that the New York Times is puffing up a nasal-twanged Minnesota country club psychotic in preference to herself for the 2012 crown. Not in a grizzly’s eye. Humor
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Sarah Palin Bares Her Secret Israel Agenda

From Israel the Mildred Purse Group has a special correspondent tailing Sarah Palin so as not to miss a trick. Here are choice revelations direct from Mama Grizzly’s voluble mouth
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Poetic Politics for Sarah Palin Slideshow

Sarah Palin viewed through four major poetic lenses – irony synedoche metonymy and metaphor.
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Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs Were Evidently Not Innocent Slideshow

Next week Sarah Palin will take questions from Sean Hannity in the controlled cocoon of FOX News and I’m guessing there will be no damage control and more and more pugilism leading her farther from her Presidential target as it were

 

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politics

News & Comment — Will Netanyahu Tell The Truth?

Netanyahu should admit Israel doesn’t want peace.

SOURCE

An Israeli leader who speaks the truth will also free himself of international pressure. The world will understand that it is dealing with a deep, continuing recalcitrance over peace that no pressure can overcome, so the world will throw up its hands and surrender. Some of the Arabs will do the same. They will all know there is a North Korean leader in Jerusalem who is as stubborn as a mule, that most of his Israeli subjects don’t want the likes of him and don’t want change. The world, which has bought Israel’s web of lies and excuses, hasn’t opened its mouth. This includes Europe, which is incapable of coming to a single firm and courageous decision, and America, which dances to the drum of the Jewish lobby – they will also be happy to be relieved of this deceptive burden.

Because that is the truth. We don’t want peace. It’s as simple as that. It’s good for us to wallow in the current situation. There are no terrorist attacks so there are no Arabs. Life is a bowl of cherries, so why change? Society is comatose. It doesn’t object and doesn’t even ask, led like a flock of sheep, not asking why we need a freeze if at the same time more and more of its funds will be allocated to the settlements in huge quantities.

COMMENT:

I think the above assessment from Haaretz is where we should begin to assess what it means that Israel is the largest recipient of US aid and what it means to be supporting a nation that wants none of our advice about what it should do.

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politics

Moment of Truth In Afghanistan, Iran, Israel-Palestine, SE Asia, Africa, FSU

http://ow.ly/npFP Afghan War Needs New Strategy: US Commander McChrystal

I include many areas where the world faces huge challenges, including the former Soviet Union (FSU).

We make a mistake when we segment challenges. One boat rocks others. We may not be gaia but there is some truth to our interdependence.

In all these situations, violence is active or incipient. In all of them, there is no solution being proposed that promises an end to the prospect of more of the same.

To cite examples:

There is every possibility that Iran will remain firm in refusing to stop enriching uranium and this will activate Israel eventually. If that happens the US may not be far behind.

There is every chance that the civil violence (if that is not an oxymoron) in many areas of the FSU will continue and that worsening economic conditions there will exacerbate conflict. Again involving other nations including the US.

In Africa there are at least five situations in which any notion of rights and decent behavior is a pipe dream without international action that would involve the US.

In Asia, Burma and Sri Lanka are merely the most conspicuous examples of continuing repression. I have not even mentioned North Korea.

And in Afghanistan we have the head US military man suggesting that with more resolve and manpower we can succeed — a truth that is no more likely to hold than the belief that Iraq will be a stable and unified democracy over time.

No serious thinker following Nietzsche and living through the Holocaust believes that the world can permanently weather a continuation of the dynamics which gave rise to the cataclysmic wars of the 20th Century.

We cannot weather full economic breakdown and a global nuclear winter.

How then are we to proceed?

I see no way other than for our President to declare a global emergency and address the underlying issue of a global military-industrial complex and a reliance on force that is fueled by governments still operating with 20th century notions that the sword is the instrument of peace and justice.

President Obama needs to declare a restructuring of the moral apparatus of the world. Realpolitik must be seen as the politics of negotiation and peace. Religion must be seen as the proximate capacity to dream, not as a license to kill. Economies must be made to create sustainable communities, not fortress societies.

Only the leadership of courageous persons can accomplish the movement needed today. Specifically, in Afghanistan we need to understand that there cannot be a military victory, period. In the future the only real victories will be those of aroused peoples who insist that the ways of war be permanently shelved. This will mean more movements like those in Iran following the most recent elections.

The President needs to stand at the helm of a global civil rights movement. He needs to show that realism is not inconsistent with this. He needs to hark back to Eisenhower and identify the military-industrial complex as the true enemy of civilization.

This is a moment of truth. This is not one person’s belief. It is the stance of all who have lived under the lash of the global war machine. We must reject the leadership of those for whom belief in force has overcome belief in themselves.

The moment of truth is a reappropriation of who we are and of our inherent possibilities.

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politics, theology

True understanding would strip us of our religious pretensions

http://ow.ly/lkZX Israel Has No Right To Act With Impunity

FROM THE FULL BLOG

Today’s climate has become demonic. And the culprit at the root is religion, or so I contend. A true understanding of who we are would strip us of our religious pretensions and acknowledge that we possess inherently a dignity that even our own sin cannot entirely eradicate.

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politics, theology

Israel Has No Right To Act With Impunity

This is a theological post. I have every right to say what I will say and to claim that it is true. Why? Because I am a person who, though theologically educated in a “tradition”, is also a thinker whose theology has evolved through a painful process to the point of arriving close to where Nietzche found himself more than a century ago. I have evolved to the point of scoring all Abrahamic religions for the very same sin — the hubris of believing their respective religions give them the right to act with impunity.

Like the prophet Amos, I hate and despise this posturing, whether it comes from an Imam, a Rabbi or a minister. As Shoah suggests, the causes of the Holocaust were at bottom religious. So too are the underlying realities of many of the most intractable conflicts today.

I believe that there are two sins that are unforgiveable. The first is to deny a person the dignity of being able to say no, for I believe that Abba is within everyone and so too is the freedom to be who one is and who one shall be, period. The second is to claim one’s religion as a justification for acting with impunity. This is exactly what is claimed whenever any person or nation uses their power to deny life and liberty to “enemies” — most particularly civilians.

In a situation of profound conflict, it is necessary to be scrupulous in one’s judgments. Such scrupulousness has been the hallmark of Human Rights Watch.

One indication that Israel has been acting with impunity is the ferocity with which it has attacked the dispassionate conclusion of Human Rights Watch, an organization which is no less veracious than the prophet Amos was when he told the priests to take away the noise of their songs. Human Rights Watch exposes impunity with an equal brush, Arab and Israeli, US and China, etc.

Today’s climate has become demonic. And the culprit at the root is religion, or so I contend. A true understanding of who we are would strip us of our religious pretensions and acknowledge that we possess inherently a dignity that even our own sin cannot entirely eradicate.

Now I shall not attempt the herculean task of trying to undo what is being done to Human Rights Watch by its ferocious and unfair critics. I shall merely give you some references to enable you to reach your own conclusion. If you agree, you do not say I am for the Palestinians or I am for Israel. You say I am for truth. Until the participants in any conflict can step back and see more than the red heat of irrational war, there can be no peace.

Human Right Watch cited and documented an incident representing Israeli impunity in Gaza.

http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/08/13/white-flag-deaths

http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/08/13/white-flag-deaths-0 (Downloadable PDF)

Required reading. Objective reporting.

A Google news search for Joe Stork, the Human Rights Watch expert on the Middle East, will link you to a plethora of baseless and unfair attacks on both Stork and Human Rights Watch.

Required reading. Highly prejudiced opinion.

And here are some of the reasons I have been so insistent on saying Human Rights Watch is being treated with the same impunity I would criticize across the boards.

The true face of the so called “human Rights Watch”? Short and vitriolic, accuses Stork of supporting Palestinian terrorism against Israel.

Pathological politics: HRW’s “white flags” report Long and involved. Seeks to refute the facts of the HRW White Flag Report. If you take out the statements that have nothing to do with the evidence in the HRW report, it would be much shorter. But the purpose is to undermine trust of Human Rights Watch. The fact remains that HRW is the gold standard for unbiased human rights reporting, vetting each report with legal counsel and relying for support globally on the promise that it is being objective. This is what places current attacks in the “they do protest too much” category.

How human rights groups abuse their position I was about to credit this piece with a great POV until I got to the point where it gravitates to the main attack on Stork which is the most nefarious of the lot. If there is a mother lode of negativity toward HRW, it is Maariv’s Ben-Dror Yemini and here is a summary of his recently issued and false brief on Stork. And here is the report on which Yemeni relies. The slim pickings in this report are evidenced by taking a quote or Stork out of context and representing its message to be an endorsement of Palestinian violence. All Stork suggests is that Palestinians might be motivated to violence, a statement a FBI agent might have made in a report about the Black Panthers.

But whole cloth can be made from tissues of lies by able propagandists.

Generally when such accusations are made they just get repeated over and over by one side against the other.

I once spent a good deal of time investigating and then writing what was deemed to be a fair article on the late community organizer Saul Alinsky. This controversy reminds me of the sorts of tone I encountered back then. It is clear that Stork has detractors who will not respond to any argument, no matter how true or reasonable.

Innocent Israelis and Palestinians who have perished are victims of such closed minds. If there is collective guilt there is also collective causation.

The sage person will do better to remain silent than to venture into realms of untruth that mount up and serve to besmirch organizations that are our only protection against a world of total polarization and propaganda.

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