Monday, February 04, 2008

Ethnic cleansing and Genocide


Maybe the following answers my previous question, at least partly.

AIC

A creeping transfer in the West Bank and a measured genocidal policy in the Gaza strip are the two strategies Israel employs today. From an electoral point of view the policy in Gaza is problematic, as it does not reap any tangible results; the West Bank under Mahmoud Abbas is yielding to Israeli pressure and there is no significant force that arrests the Israeli strategy of annexation and dispossession.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Semantics


VOA
A senior U.S. diplomat says "ethnic cleansing" is underway in Kenya's Rift Valley in the aftermath of last month's disputed presidential election, but she says the violence does not rise to the level of genocide.

What exactly is the difference between 'ethnic cleansing' and 'genocide'? And, if there is a difference, what is the purpose of a 'senior U.S. diplomat' pointing out the difference in this particular case? Will it determine the appropriate response from the U.S.?
One is entitled to demand, that the origins of the violence be properly addressed, as well as the responsibilities of the democratically elected (?) government of Kenya, those of the political opposition and of the international community. But what am I complaining about?! As we can see above, serious talks are taking place while, to quote a phrase, the people suffer.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Suharto dies: we should cry?

DemocracyNow!
DemocracyNow! 12/11/1997
Allan Nairn


It turns out the uplifting feeling I experienced when the anti-(Irak)war, fluent-chinese-speaking, environmentally-friendly Kevin Rudd was elected in Australia may have been quite naive.

What a pity President Carter wasn't as aware, in the late Seventies, of the 'situation' in East Timor as he is today of the 'situation' the Palestinians are in. Does that mean, I wonder, that a president today ought to have more information than three decades ago? In that case, there is hope. Or does it mean, that a president has less information than the rest of us? In that case, we're f***ed.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

U.S. 'disability claims' from Iraq and Afghanistan reaches 245,034

The Pentagon officially reported 72,043 battlefield casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan through Jan. 5, 2008. In addition, VA hospitals and clinics have treated 263,909 unplanned patients from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. On top of that, VA reported 245,034 disability claims from veterans of the two wars. Those are some of the disturbing new statistics released by the group Veterans for Common Sense which gathered that data through use of the Freedom of Information Act (typical of the rest of its secrecy, the Bush Administration doesn't just release this information to the public as a matter of course).

For obvious reasons the spotlight is usually placed on figures that report the number of tragic deaths from the two conflicts. However as the above data shows, the number of non fatal casualties is staggering, 245,034 disability claims! The sheer volume of families affected by this conflict both in Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.S. is beyond belief.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Terror in Gaza




Haaretz
The Israeli human rights organizations Adalah and Gisha yesterday petitioned the High Court of Justice for an urgent interim injunction to prevent Israel from continuing to restrict the industrial diesel oil supply to the Gaza Strip. They said the shortage deriving from Israel's deliberate cuts in recent weeks culminated in the dramatic closure of the border crossings on Friday. The power cuts caused a shortage of drinking water and damage to the hospitals' function already on January 5, when Gaza's electric power's production was cut by 30 percent. But the High Court of Justice dismissed their request.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bypassing the blockage of nations

From the BBC

Solving the world's environmental ills may mean re-thinking the role of nations and national governments





'And before anyone hits the comments form at the bottom of the page to say this is just the sort of leftist, neo-socialist, anti-libertarian, collectivist rubbish they would expect from a BBC environment correspondent, I want to emphasise that I am certainly not advocating some kind of global government'...

Here

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bush calls for contiguous, sovereign and independent Palestinian state

US President George W Bush has said Israel must end its occupation of some Arab land to enable the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

He also urged a solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees that would involve paying them compensation. It is thought to be Mr Bush's strongest public statement pressing Israel to give up land it seized in the 1967 war.



He was speaking in Jerusalem following two days of separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He has been trying to encourage the two sides into peace talks, and says he wants a peace deal signed by the time he leaves office in January 2009.

Mr Bush said in a statement: "It is vital that each side understands that satisfying the other's fundamental objectives is key to a successful agreement."

He said this would require:

A secure recognised and defensible borders for Israel

A viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent Palestinian state


He added: "Agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people."

Article from the BBC

The saying 'give a million monkeys a million typewriters and a thousand years and they'll give you Shakespeare' comes to mind. Well it appears that if you give George Bush enough time eventually he will say something sensible! It is a rare, yet notable occasion when this site gives praise to this current U.S. President but this is one such occasion. Will his words bring forth change... almost certainly not, but we will see...

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Iranian TV: Pentagon Video, Audio Fake

Iran accused the United States on Wednesday of fabricating video and audio released by the Pentagon showing Iranian boats confronting U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.



The video from Sunday's incident shows small Iranian boats swarming around U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz. In the recording, a man speaking in heavily accented English threatened, "I am coming to you. ... You will explode after ... minutes.''

"The footage released by the U.S. Navy was compiled using file pictures and the audio has been fabricated,'' an official in Iran's Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying by the state-run English-language channel Press TV.

State TV did not give the name of the Revolutionary Guard official and did not offer more details about how the official knew the footage was ``fabricated.''

Source

The video footage can be seen Here

I have seen more provocative acts of naval aggression the last time I went to the Seaside. Take away the audio and you are left with two men in a small boat. It would not surprise me if the audio was faked, but assuming that it's genuine then it seems we are left with what looks like a juvenile prank.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Why U.S. strategy on Iran is crumbling

'Everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos," Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Gulf dignitaries in Bahrain last month. But in reality, everywhere you turn, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia to Egypt, you now see Iranian leaders shattering longstanding taboos by meeting cordially with their Arab counterparts.

The Gulf has moved away from American arguments for isolating Iran. American policymakers need to do the same.

Continue reading at the Source.

Common sense at last? Or simply a lack of any reasonable cause?