Friday, June 30, 2006


Readers Digest of ICH

ICH had a number of articles worth reading. The US quietly promoted Israeli-Palestinian conflict Ha'aretz reports that Suskind quotes Bush as saying during his first National Security Council meeting that the U.S. must refrain from active mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To then secretary of state Colin Powell's argument that such behavior could be interpreted by Sharon's government as a green light to apply force, Bush responded that sometimes a show of force can clarify the issue at hand. This article also points out that Islamic Jihad figured out that their financial transactions were being tracked and used to target them for assassination in 2004. The only people to whom the Swift program and related activities are secret is the American public. Michael Lerner on that conflict misses two key points: it is extremely difficult to maintain a campaign of non-violence. Martin Luther King barely held it together in the US-- there were repeated riots despite his best efforts-- and after his murder, it was impossible. Gandhi did better, but non-violence as a national movement did not survive him. The stronger party is the one that is capable of changing the tenor of the dialogue. So, as a practical matter, a successful campaign of non-violence can only emerge from Israel. Palast says, GEORGE Bush’s operatives have plans to jigger with the upcoming elections. I’m not talking about the November ‘06 vote in the USA (though they have plans for that, too). I’m talking about the election this Sunday in Mexico for their Presidency...The target nations for “foreign counterterrorism investigation” were nowhere near the Persian Gulf. Every one was in Latin America — Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico and a handful of others....Most provocative is the contractor to whom this no-bid contract was handed: ChoicePoint Inc. of Alpharetta, Georgia. ChoicePoint is the database company that created a list for Governor Jeb Bush of Florida of voters to scrub from voter rolls before the 2000 election...Foreign — that is, American — interference in political campaigns is a crime. That didn’t stop Team Bush. Jerry Falwell: God is pro-war. There's a real irony here. The Book of Revelation, which is the only Christian authority for war, describes a world in which every last good person has already been killed (or, in the case of 144,000 virgin Jewish males, raptured). The only people left are those who have irrevocably dedicated themselves to doing wrong. In other words, it is the only possible just war. Falwell says, "President Bush declared war in Iraq to defend innocent people." That is a huge lie, almost as huge a lie as the notion of God commits the kind of random destruction that war is. Falwell correctly says that the Commandment generally translated as "Thou shalt not kill" should be translated, "Thou shalt not murder." What's the distinction? Murder is killing people not on the testimony of two witnesses. In modern war, that happens all the time. But for people like Falwell, lying about the Bible is just one more day at the office. This is particularly poignant as we learn that the soldiers recently kidnapped and executed may have been the targets of a revenge killing: The American army in Iraq suffered a fresh blow to its image today as it emerged that five soldiers were being investigated for allegedly raping a woman and then murdering her and three members of her family....A US official close to the investigation said that at least one of the soldiers, all assigned to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, has admitted his role in the attack and been arrested. ...Two soldiers from the same regiment were killed this month when they were kidnapped at a checkpoint near Youssifiyah. The official said the killings appear to be unrelated to the kidnappings. Or maybe they were. I don't think the American Army understands tribal relations or the Iraqi rules of retribution for crimes of the sort alleged.
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