The recent endorsement of John McCain for the presidency by Senator Joseph Lieberman raises many issues for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Joe Lieberman, although losing the Democratic nomination last fall, ran as an Independent but promised Democrats he would vote and serve as a Democrat if elected. The decision to back his good friend, John McCain will undoubtedly doom any chance for his re-election, but he most probably has already accepted that reality. Senator Lieberman regards himself as a spokesperson for Israel in the American Senate and blindly follows what he regards as needed by that nation even though many Israelis have other goals such as peace and two independent nations.
A recent poll by Fox News reveals that a Lieberman nod only resonates with about 15% of Independents, but attains a 25% approval rating from Republicans. The religious right still has warm feelings for Lieberman who denounced Bill Clinton’s “immoral conduct” and has fervently supported Bush anti-terrorism policies. There is something sad in an old liberal warrior who fought for civil liberties now in the twilight of his career assuming the mantle of a die hard advocate of right wing conservative policies. It is also doubtful if the Orthodox Jew’s stature is that strong to overcome the hatred many religious right folk feel toward John McCain’s support for immigration reform or for his attacks on religious leaders like Jerry Falwell. Say it ain’t so, Joe, say you are not completely abandoning liberal views.
Retired Air Force veteran, Andrew Hampton, grew emotional when he rose in an Iowa meeting to ask Senator Barack Obama about his plans to make certain veterans obtained health benefits they needed. Hampton was wearing an Obama T-shirt and the senator asked him to pose a tough question. The crowd laughed but then grew quiet as the military veteran spoke. He said he joined the Air Force in 1956 and retired in 1988 and initially did not receive the health benefits he had been promised due to a “political decision.” Eventually he received a pace-maker. The concern he expressed to the senator was ensuring that those returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan receive full medical benefits. “We can’t desert them,” he cried. Obama promised if elected president that he would do all in his power to ensure every veteran obtained needed medical benefits as long as such assistance was necessary.
It has taken a Democratic Congress to finally force the Bush administration to carry out the nation’s obligations to those who have served in the armed forces.
Egypt’s President Mubarak told visiting Israel Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak of his willingness to assume the role of mediator in the dispute between Israel and Syria over the Golan Heights according to a report from the United Arab Emirates’ newspaper, Al-Bayan. Under the proposed Mubarak plan, Israel forces would withdraw from the Golan Heights over a 10-15 year period and when they have departed a force comprising soldiers from Russia, the US and Egypt would assume the role of ensuring there was no violence. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Olmert told visiting US Senator Arnold Spector who was headed to Damascus of his own desire to begin negotiating with Syria over outstanding disputes.
The Mubarak offer is fair and can be implemented without any difficulties. It also guarantees Israel security from any future outbreak of violence. This writer would prefer that American forces not be involved in any Middle Eastern compromise and they be replaced by soldiers from Turkey which has excellent relations with Israel. There is no need at this point in time to get American soldiers involved in any Middle Eastern problem.
Posted in Human Rights, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Military, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Syria, World News
Tagged Egypt Mubarak, Golan Heights, Israel-Syria
Although the media continues reporting the phenomenal economic growth of China, it still remains a nation containing about 900,000,000 people who live in rural areas. Latest figures indicate rural Chinese earn an average of about $546 compared to the approximate $1800 earned by urban workers. There continues to be growth in rural incomes, but even as they increase, the gap continues to widen. But, inability to create a more dramatic rural growth adds other burdens to China. More and more rural people migrate to urban areas in search of a better life which increases demands for farm products although fewer and fewer people are farmers. China’s greatest deficit is in the amount of money allocated for farm production, it lags behind the effort made by many other societies.
An effective strategy that would aid China is pouring massive amounts of money to improve education and medical facilities in rural China. That, together with allocating much more funds for science and technological developments for the agricultural sector might reduce the flow of migrants to urban areas which are growing at a dramatic rates and raising ecological and human problems.