There Is No Right Or Wrong

Opinion from the desk of the Editor:

 

Let’s return today to that magical land of Gaza.  In war there is NO right or wrong……just death and destruction.  WQe were fortunate that we had a couple of days when the violence and destruction was at a minimum but all that has been taken to the crapper….it is on again!

Let me pause here and insert…..before some well meaning troll tries to jump down my throat….may I suggest you read the whole piece before you attempt that jump.

Onward and upward!

I have looked at both sides of the conflict…..and yes I am sympathetic to the Palestinians…….for reasons that are personal and I shared once and will never do that again……but since I do analyze situations I want to talk about the reasons for the conflict.

 

First, MSM lets the Israeli government have pretty much a free platform to sell their response to the issues at hand….my problem is they are given softball questions to answer that let their talking points fill the airways.  Not once have I heard a journalist ask these people a few pertinent questions.  Like….you say the tunnels are used to attack Israeli civilians….then if so how many attacks have been carried out in the past 5 years?  Or you justify the deaths in Gaza saying it is in response to the rockets fired….how many Israeli civilians have been killed by these rockets in the past 5 years?  Soldiers killed in the commission of a military operation are not civilians.  I would like to hear a good honest answer to those two questions….but of course there is NO way they will answer them.

The Israeli government spokespeople always come back to the tunnels and their intended use……the problem is it is all BS….as proven by CNN and NYT…..

The Israeli site +972 has blown that propaganda completely out of the water. A well-researched article in Hebrew that it translated from an educational worker near Gaza states that the tunnels do not appear to be targeted at civilians and they come out more than a mile from any kibbutz, let alone the kindergartens.

In short, the tunnels fear was hysteria, drummed up by the Israeli government to heighten war fever, and then purveyed by the New York Times and CNN.

The piece at +972 — which is headlined in part, “In reality, every tunnel so far has been used against military targets alone” — was published in Hebrew on “Local Call,” and written by Emanual Yelin, who lives in Be’er Sheva and is said to work near the Gaza border. Yelin is a full-on Israeli patriot, but he has no truck with the lies and propaganda disseminated around the tunnels.

The disgusting thing is that the MSM continues to allow this lie to be told and used as a justification of killing civilians.  As late as today on BBC America an Israeli government official used the lie again.

Now the Palestinians…..whoever is firing the missiles into Israel are cowards….I will agree with the Israeli government on that point.  Hamas needs to get a grip on the factions that are doing this if Hamas statement that they do not know who it is….they want to govern then they need to take control of that one situation.  Once they do that then there is NO excuse for the killing and the destruction.

Now let’s look at the destruction…….is it truly in search of Hamas leadership?

I have been watching and reading most everything I can get on the war and I have made my analysis…….in my thoughts it is all about the destruction of the Palestinian infrastructur3e of a would be Palestinian state…..look at the targets…hospitals, schools, power generation, roads, water supply and sanitation……all aspects of a state’s infrastructure.  Let’s not forget the terror that the constant threat of attack brings.  And how about the attacks on fishermen or the lack of food through the Gazan wall…..another attempt to hurt the economy and the infrastructure.

Personally, I think Israel is shooting themselves in the butt with their constant attacks on Gaza.  Why?  I will let journalist Dan Glazebrook tell my readers……

………………as many commentators have noted, even if Israel were successful in its stated aim of destroying or weakening Hamas, this would only result in even more militant groups emerging, perhaps even Al Qaeda type groups such as ISIS, gaining support from a traumatised population by promising revenge attacks and uncompromising armed jihad. Whilst many have argued that this would somehow be against Israel’s interests, the reverse is likely to be true. Groups such as ISIS have played a key role in facilitating US and British policies in the Middle East in recent years, by weakening independent regional powers (or potential regional powers) such as Libya, Syria and now Iraq. They would likely have the same effect on Palestine, and would certainly set back the prospects for the emergence of a Palestinian state: they would never countenance, for example, unity with Fatah, and would rather serve to provide a permanent pretext for savage Israeli attacks which Western Europe and North America would be obliged to support. Moreover, if Gaza became an ungoverned and ungovernable disaster zone – which is what Israel is in the process of creating – there would of course be no question of its gaining sovereignty over its territory, and even less over its waters and gas reserves. Israel would remain free to bomb at will, just as the US and Britain remain free to bomb at will in the failed states they have created in Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Iraq.

This constant warfare in the name of security is not going to end well for either side of the conflict….the Palestinians need to tighten their control over the actions of the fringe groups…..and Israel needs to be more forthcoming with their reasons for their ever present attacks…….

To me the Israelis are using every attempt to destroy and part of the area that could be the corner stone of a Palestinians state….so any commitment to a two state solution is disingenuous at best.. and at its worse…..a LIE!

 

If Only We Had………

Opinion from the desk of the Editor:

 

The Islamic State is once again in the headlines…….they have beheaded an American journalist in retaliation for the US airstrikes…….and the narrative goes on…….if only we had……..

How many time have you heard one gutless politician use that statement?  Such as if only we had cut the budget……or if only we had closed the borders……or if only we had used airstrikes in Syria all would be different.  This is the one I want to talk about today.

That “what if” is a constant criticism of the president……and the loveable ones we call Neocons have been using it profusely in their criticism of Obama especially with the rise of ISIS, the violence in Iraq and the civil war in Syria.

Their constant whipping up the insanity with the notion that if Obama had acted quicker and with airstrikes then the situation in Iraq and the rise of ISIS would have been a thing that we would not be facing today…..

I do not think that any reputable international analyst sees that our involvement early on would have changed anything…….

…………the idea that more U.S. support for the FSA would have prevented the emergence of the Islamic State isn’t even remotely plausible. The open battlefield and nature of the struggle ensured that jihadists would find Syria’s war appealing. The Islamic State recovered steam inside of Iraq as part of a broad Sunni insurgency driven by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s bloody, ham-fisted crackdowns in Hawija and Fallujah, and more broadly because of the disaffection of key Sunni actors over Maliki’s sectarian authoritarianism. It is difficult to see how this would have been affected in the slightest by a U.S.-backed FSA (or, for that matter, by a residual U.S. military presence in Iraq, but that’s another debate for another day). There is certainly no reason to believe that the Islamic State and other extremist groups would have stayed away from such an ideal zone for jihad simply because Western-backed groups had additional guns and money.

So when the president called the idea as Horsesh*t…I believe he was accurate…..

(Newser) – President Obama has faced some tough criticism lately over his reluctance to get more involved in Syria; not least among his vocal critics is Hillary Clinton. But it seems he’s tired of the complaints from both parties. When Republican Sen. Bob Corker asked a wide-ranging and critical question about foreign policy, including Syria, at a July 31 meeting, Obama provided a detailed answer—before slapping the notion that arming the rebels could have improved the Syria situation. That idea is “horses—-,” he said, according to a lawmaker who attended the meeting and spilled the beans to the Daily Beast.

The White House noted that such an exchange had taken place, though neither it nor any lawmakers have acknowledged any coarse language, the Daily Beast and Politico note. “The president still feels very strongly that we are deluding ourselves if we think American intervention in Syria early on by assisting these rebels would have made a difference,” says Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel. “I disagree, respectfully. They were not looking for US troops, they were looking for help, and the Syria civil war started with the most noblest of causes.”

Let’s be honest….the rise of ISIS or what it called these days, IS….was inevitable…..the very nature of war especially a bloody civil war helps groups like this come to the forefront……too many people are calling for too much US intervention……will IS be stopped?  A great question and the best answer is ….YES.  But not by the US and its buddies….but rather the people that they are terrorizing at this time.

In Iraq it will be the Sunni tribes that hold the key to the defeat of IS……a new government could go a long way in securing their, the tribes, support in their fight with IS.  IS will be stopped…..sadly many lives will be lost and much more violence is to come…..

Which Way Did They Go?

Opinion from the desk of the Editor:

 

Yes Irene the country of Iraq is suffering through a time of change……the establishment of the Islamic State has hit everyone for a loop.  Now the world is scrambling around trying to find someone anyone that can take the battle to IS and stop reacting to their attacks.  But where to look for the possibility of leadership in this coming battle without using American troops on the ground?

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Iraqi military is seeking the assistance of Saddam Hussein-era military officials in a bid to stem the advance of “terrorist” groups, particularly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which continues its advance in central and northern parts of the country.

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat Iraqi Ministry of Defense adviser Lt. Gen. Thamer bin Sultan Al-Tikriti said former officials who served in the military establishment during the era of Saddam Hussein will be able to find a place in the present Iraqi army. They will be organized into military units affiliated with the Iraqi army to help eradicate ISIS and similar-minded groups, the official said.

This comes after Saddam-era military and political officials have been marginalized in post-Saddam Iraq, part of the controversial de-Ba’athification process instituted following the fall of the dictator.

You see in there infinite wisdom the US decided the only way to get Iraq to submit to their occupation was to get rid of the generals and other officers that had served in the Iraqi army of Saddam.

The recent defeats of the present day Iraqi army has shown the powers that they, the Iraqi troops, needed experienced leadership.

You see in 2004 while the country was in the midst of a de-Baathification process an Iraqi general warned that it might not be a good idea……

A general with 32 years of military service at the time of Hussein’s fall, today he is governor of the former dictator’s home, Tikrit, a job handed to him by the U.S.-led occupation authority.

He believes there is a danger in banning former soldiers who were high-ranking Baath Party members from government positions,

So far he has been proven right…….there might not have been a rapid advance of IS if there had been battle hardened generals and officers to take command of the army when it is needed.

Yet another failed policy of the US occupation of Iraq.  In our rush to save the oil industry we overlooked yet another possibility……the return to violence and the possibility of the rise of a more extreme form of foe, aka Islamic State.

The Only Democracy In The Middle East

Opinion from the desk of the Editor:

I have written a lot on the Middle East a region that I like…..and most of it has been met with understanding….but in the isolated moments the haters have shown up….haters….those people that hate Arabs and Muslims and anyone with an opinion in conflict with theirs…..but to most of them I say BITE ME!  I will debate anyone on the region as long as their hatred and bigotry is left at the door and they approach the subject with knowledge……

I bring this up because I have debated people that do not agree with me that Israel is NOT a democracy and the media needs to cease using that analogy……and our less than intelligent diplomats need to cease also…….

I offer up what I see as counter-democracy in Israel……..

Israel has built an Apartheid Wall that separates one ethnic group from another….

Israel takes land from farmers to build settlements for Jewish right wingers……..

Israel silences dissent Arab-Israelis in their parliament, the Knesset…..

Israeli officials call for genocide against citizens of their own country…….

There are segregated roads in Israel you can use them if you have the correct tag color……

And then here is my fave……Israeli soldiers are routinely investigated on suspicion of “fraternizing with minorities,” generally a euphemism for Arabs, even though no such offense exists. This, according to the transcript of a Military Police interview, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz …………

Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, Moshe Feiglin, has called for the use of concentration camps for the “conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.”

Sharing a plan for the destruction of Gaza in a letter addressed to Netanyahu on his Facebook page on August 1, Feiglin wrote “What is required now is that we internalize the fact that Oslo is finished, that this is our country – our country exclusively, including Gaza.”

That from an elected official, a high ranking one at that…….

A prominent Israeli blogger wrote that genocide should be permissible…..

In the post titled “When Genocide is Permissible,” Yochanan Gordon framed his premise as “a question for all the humanitarians out there.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?

During hostilities Muslims are barred from their houses of worship

Those are just a few of the problems….over the years they have made Arab-Israelis use a car tag that identifies them…….Palestinians were forced to work for lower wages that an Israeli with like skills……Palestinians are second class citizens……..Palestinian areas have a limited access to water……

There are many cases where the Israelis have denied Palestinians living under Israeli rule from their civil rights…..

The world needs to stop calling Israel a democracy….Israel is NO more democratic than I am a Mexican gardener…….having what appears to be an election does not make a democracy.  it is that simple!

Ferguson Cops Come Up With An Idea

The police in Ferguson, Missouri have come up with a solution to prevent situations as they are having to deal with today.  Their solution is…..wait for it……drum roll please…..cameras on officers!  Ba-Bam!

(Newser) – Ahead of a visit from Attorney General Eric Holder today, officials in Ferguson, Missouri, say they want to make big changes to law enforcement and end the “discord and heartbreak” that has followed the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A statement released by city leaders says it is looking at changes including requiring all police to wear cameras, hiring more African-American officers, and requiring police to live in the city, reports NBC, which notes that a petition seeking a “Mike Brown Law” to require state, county, and local police to wear cameras has now received more than 127,000 signatures.

In a St. Louis Post-Dispatch op-ed, Holder promises a full, fair, and independent investigation into the shooting. He praises the bravery of police officers who put their lives on the line, but also stresses that “good law enforcement requires forging bonds of trust between the police and the public.” Trust “requires that force be used in appropriate ways,” he writes. “Enforcement priorities and arrest patterns must not lead to disparate treatment under the law, even if such treatment is unintended. And police forces should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.” Another person was shot and killed by police in St. Louis yesterday, but Ferguson was more subdued last night than it was the previous five nights, the AP reports. Police still made 47 arrests, but the crowds were smaller and no tear gas was fired. A grand jury will begin hearing evidence today on whether Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, should be charged, reports Bloomberg.

Better late than never.  We here on IST have been discussing that for a couple of days now….I wish I could say that it was here they got the idea….but being a realist…I cannot not.

Now I ask….will this help prevent such occurrences from happening in the future?

My thought is yes….but only if there is NO kill switch that the officer can use to blackout his actions.

Thoughts?

The World’s Most Repressive Regimes Delight In U.S. Crack Down In Ferguson | ThinkProgress

After decades of preaching to the world about how to handle dissent among its citizens almost to the point of being some sort of superior authority…….the rest of the world can all gloat over the handling of the situation in Ferguson…..

Nice of Ferguson to give the authoritarian world something to talk about……right?

 

The World’s Most Repressive Regimes Delight In U.S. Crack Down In Ferguson | ThinkProgress.

Is The M-IC Taking Over?

M-IC?  Military-Industrial Complex, that multi-billion dollar business that has turned the world into one big battlefield…..all in the name of profit.  It was bad enough that they were buying politicians like cheap candy….but now they have branched out into our system of law enforcement……turning our police forces into an extension of the military……and it is not getting better…..not by a long shot!

(Newser) – Critics such as Sen. Claire McCaskill say the initial police response in Ferguson, Mo., actually made things worse because cops were equipped like soldiers of war. No wonder, write Elizabeth Beavers and Michael Shank in the New York Times. The Pentagon and Homeland Security Department are keeping police forces across the nation awash in surplus military gear and vehicles. Under something called the 1033 program enacted in 1997, the defense department has provided $4 billion worth of military equipment to law enforcement agencies over that span. Homeland Security, meanwhile, has doled out $34 billion in “terrorism grants” so police departments can armor up.

The problem? Police departments have begun sending out officers with such gear for routine operations such as drug raids or to serve search warrants, the authors write. “As Ferguson shows, this militarizing of routine police work exacerbates tensions and increases the likelihood of disorder. This, in turn, appears to justify a militarized police response, and so the cycle continues.” Solution? Kill the 1033 program and tell Homeland Security to stop those grants. “Police militarization is a growing national threat,” they write. “If the federal government doesn’t act to stop it, the future of law enforcement everywhere will look a lot like Ferguson.” Click for the full column.

Is this necessary?  Is this what all those conspiracy freaks have been warning against for decades?  How long will this go on?  What can us mere mortals do to stop this slide?

Protests have picked up……and of course the narrative the police want to spin is that it is all “outside agitators”……..there have been many “celebs” that are jumping on this bandwagon….but the one that impresses me most is that of a Holocaust survivor……..

Earlier yesterday, 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, a political activist and St. Louis resident, was one of nine protesters arrested for blocking the entrance to a building where Gov. Jay Nixon has offices. “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90,” she told the Nation. “We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re 90.” She was among a group of more than 100 protesters calling for the arrest of the officer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown and the removal of the National Guard from the situation.

Here is a person that has first hand knowledge of what human rights abuses look like……she is a person that needs to be heard…..but sadly she may never get her chance…..the narrative is about criminals and agitators…..not the abuse of power or the committing of abuses against humanity.

Sadly, the M-IC will win this fight…..and Ferguson will be the loser big time.

If you are interested there is a live stream on VOX………