Category Archives: Middle East

Republicans On Iraq Air Strikes

This intrepid reporter decided to seek reaction from leading Republicans about President Obama’s decision to send humanitarian aid plus air strikes in order to assist stranded Christians and other minorities in Iraq who are faced with death from ISIL.

Senator John McCain: “For months I have been telling the wimp President to show some balls and blast away in Iraq. How about sending in Special Forces to end this fiasco?”

Senator Rand Paul: “I am completely in favor of aiding Christians, and also any Jews. But, how much will this cost?”

John Boehner: “If this stuff has anything to do with ObamaCare, I am against it.”

Senator Ted Cruz: “First, protect our border against the hordes descending upon it. THAT is our priority!”

Senator Lindsay Graham: “Whatever John McCain goes double for me.”

Mitt Romney: “I told you, elect Obama and terrorism would increase.”

Sarah Palin: “Could you please point out on the map this Iraq?”

NRA: “Just another example as to what happens when people don’t carry around guns.”

Marco Rubio: “Does this have anything to do with illegal immigrants?”

George Bush: “Sorry, I don’t have time to comment, got some wood to chop”

Israel Jewishness Hijacked Democracy!

I was raised in a Conservative Jewish family by a mother and father who had endured incredible prejudice in Russia and Poland which led them to flee. I was raised in an East European Socialist Jewish environment in which one was taught from childhood that to be a Jew meant that one had to support the rights of all people. I was educated to believe that as a Jew it was impossible for me to oppress others or to support policies that made others suffer. Israel Sociologist Eva Illouz in a recent interview with Der Spiegel clearly outlined what has happened to Israelis as a result of half a century of being a colonial power ruling over Arabs. From the day when the West Bank became the center of Jewish settlements that, essentially drove out Palestinian land owners, the people of Israel have grown to accept their “right” to posses the land of others. Generation after generation has grown up living in a world in which Jews seize land of Palestinians, walls are constructed to prevent Jews from interacting with Palestinians, and the old dream of equality has gone bvy the boards.

According to Illouz, “Isral has a split schizophrenic self awareness. It cultivates its strengths and yet cannot stop seeing itself as weak and threatened…Israel is a colonial military power, a militarized society, and a democracy all folded into one. Israel has lost the capacity to identify with the suffering of a distant other.” Since Hamas is a vicious anti-Semitic entity, most Israelis feel justified in hating Arabs who they regard as inferior and a threat to the existence of Israel. “Fear is central to the psyche of Israel.” In other words, the “Jewishness has hijacked democracy.” Just about every action taken against Palestinians was taken against their ancestors in Europe. Just about every comment regarding Palestinians was made about Jews in Europe. Dirty, evil, criminals, can not be trusted, name any evil uttered about Arabs and it is an evil attributed to Jews in Europe.

Can any changes be made in this equation of hate? Perhaps, it is necessary for American Jews to assume responsibility for working with Israelis in an effort to connect them with their past. The “past” I refer to is that being a Jew means one fights for social justice for all. Being a Jew means that one supports the dream of a society based on equity. Perhaps, it is time for Israelis to journey to America and connect with their democratic past?

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a 23 year old mind trapped in an 83 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

What would life be without the “refill?”

Rich get richer but why must that result in poor getting poorer?

I do not believe there is a “cause” for anything, always, “causes.”

I wonder why the Devil was invented by humans?

Care for others results in care for self.

I never think about Zombies, they represent Death.

I prefer gambling on life rather than in Casinos.

I gaze up from writing and encounter a belly.

In my childhood, it was “brother can you spare a dime.” What is it today?

Some open door with look of trepidation.

For some the only after life is becoming dust.

As a child in the city I grew to love green.

As a child I was taught to walk slowly in an unknown neighborhood.

I sometimes think God works as a security guard at the city dumps.

Women enter store still clutching car keys.

HAMAS AND HIROSHIMA

Sixty nine years ago this week, two atomic bombs were dropped on the nation of Japan. These were the first and only such bombs to be exploded on this planet. The bombs dropped on the empire of Japan. For over a dozen years the Japanese armed forces had murdered millions of innocent people. They had raped their way through cities such as Nanking, and Japanese officers regarded as normal taking photos of US airmen having their heads chopped off. The American people had not forgotten when thousands of US soldiers who surrendered in the Philippines were marched to their death. By 1945, the Japanese Navy was resting at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, its air force was down to a few hundred planes, and thousands of soldiers were attempting to flee for their lives in the jungles of Burma or on scattered areas of Asia. The people of Japan had been fire bombed by the US air force resulting in the death of over 80,000 in Tokyo and hundreds of thousands elsewhere.

After the initial atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, General Anami told the Cabinet his men were ready to fight on. Most Navy officers who were in the Cabinet said it was time to end the slaughter. But, Anami and his companions wanted to fight on and on. After the second bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Anami announced to the Cabinet, “there is life in Death.” He wanted to continue fighting. Even after the Emperor said it was time for peace, General Anami and his Army followers were not ready to end the war. Over a million Japanese civilians were dead. Anami said, “we can still eat grass, we must continue.” Thousands of children had been melted to death, but for Japanese military leaders, the only path was to fight in order to have a noble death.

There is remarkable similarity among Hamas leaders to this attitude of Death before Life. About 1900 were killed by the Israel army in Gaza. Most probably about 400-500 of these dead Palestinians were members of Hamas. The remainder were innocent civilians. Hamas leaders deliberately had their men mingle among civilians, a ploy that resulted in the death of innocent people. Inherent among Hamas followers is there is “Life in Death.” Unfortunately, as in Japan, those arguing for “life in death”invariably means civilians must die. There is something arrogant about deciding that someone else must die in order for you to maintain the “dignity” of fighting and killing.

An issue confronting American leaders in August, 1945 was whether or not they had options to avoid future bombing. Fortunately, Emperor Hirohito stepped in to end the fighting. If not for him, millions more would have died. The same issue confronts Israel leaders. Are there options to avoid further fighting with Hamas?

Whatever Happened To?

These days I wonder about, Whatever Happened TO:

The end of the Cold War in Europe?

The balanced budget that President Clinton left newly elected President Bush?

The promise of Barack Obama to end secrecy in government?

Our failure to pay attention to the words of wisdom of Sarah Palin?

The agreement that in view of John Kennedy’s assassination something had to be done to control access to guns?

The concept that a business was just that, a business, not a person?

Michelle Bachmann who daily offered her thoughts which led to another column about nonsense?

Firing those in government who lied to the President and Americans?

When we called people, people, not folks?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Saddam Hussein was dead?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Muammar Gaddafi was dead?

Creation of the independent state of Palestine?

When people at lunch talked with one another rather than with a machine?

Arabs, An Appointment In Samarra

There is an old Arab folk tale which should be read every morning by every leader in Hamas. “Once upon a time, a servant went out into the market place to shop for his master. As he gathered up fruits, he suddenly noticed that Death was in the marketplace. He ran home and told his master that he had seen Death in the marketplace. His Master grew frightened and decided to flee to the town of Samarra. He left in a hurry. The servant returned to the marketplace and walked up to Death. He berated Death for frightening his Master. Death apologized if his presence frightened his master and told the Servant that he had merely halted for a few hours because he had an appointment in Samarra.” The leaders of Hamas have an appointment in Samarra. The problem is that they will not go to that town, but people living in Gaza will be forced to head in that direction. The 72 hour ceasefire ended, and Hamas sent 35 rockets headed toward Israel. Naturally, Israel artillery responded with shells. Naturally, more civilians in Gaza will receive a premature appointment in Samarra.

Leaders of Hamas insist they won the recent war. The last time they fought the Israel Army only about ten Jewish soldiers were killed, but during recent weeks they killed 60. A Hamas spokesperson said there would not be a ceasefire until Israel agrees to its demands. On which planet are Hamas leaders living? The only “victory” for anyone is–an end to violence!

Collateral Damage In Iraq

Since day one of the great invasion of Iraq that was initiated by the dynamic trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, the collateral damage of this conflict has simply been ignored by the American government and media. For example, how many Americans know that in March, 2003 there were nearly a million Christians in Iraq who traced their ancestry back nearly 2000 years? How many Americans know these were descendants of early Christians who followed the word of Jesus Christ? Today, thanks to the Born Again Christian, George Bush, only about 400,00 of these CHRISTIANS still remain in Iraq. George and the boys created a Muslim fanatic government which did not intend to grant Christians any favors. Of course, the Kurds in northern Iraq said “goodbye” to Iraq and went their merry way of independence. In fairness to George, he is not responsible for the flight of 150,000 Jews who left Iraq by the 1970s.

Let me explain something to the Dynamic Trio–Christians were a second class minority within Muslim societies. They lacked power and existed due to sufferance of Muslim rulers. Saddam Hussein granted them equality in order to have a group that was disliked by Muslim clerics. In other words, “my friend is the enemy of my enemy.” By the way, Georgie boy, as you chop wood and go to church on Sunday in Texas, just remember, YOU are the one responsible for the flight of Iraq Christians from their homeland.

Today, yet another example of Collateral Damage. There is a minority Muslim group called the Yazidi. They are deemed heretics by Muslim clerics. They have been around for several hundred years. However, since growth of ISIS, the latest form of fanatical Muslims, the Yazidi have fled their towns. Over 100,000 are now in Kurdistan. About 40,000 are trapped on Mount Sinjar. As one refugee noted: “we are being told to convert or to lose our heads. There is no one coming to help.”

How about contacting George Bush? At least he could provide wood for your fires!

Save New York From Terrorists!

The city of New York has been confronting potential attacks since the infamous 9/11 assault by fanatic Muslims. I understand that Secretary of State John Kerry is wandering the Middle East or confronting evil doers from Russia, but why has he failed to address the real terrorist attack? As of this moment, there is no evidence that John Kerry, nor President Obama planning to make trips to New York City in order to prevent another 9/11. While the world burns with horror, the Obama administration remains oblivious to threats here at home. Fortunately for America, there is one man in the New York City Police Department who is ever vigilante in the quest to prevent a terror attack. Chief of Department Phillip Banks ordered his men to begin surveillance of potential violent individuals who each day were engaged in activities that posed threats to the safety of New Yorkers. So Banks had deployed several men to take pictures of anyone engaged in the act of selling untaxed cigarettes! Imagine, men out in the open selling cigarettes that had not paid the tax!

It was due to this diligent, hard working police officer that police spotted one Eric Garner on Staten Island selling the untaxed contraband. According to Banks such behavior impacted “the quality of life” of New Yorkers. He made clear to one and all, that we police “address behavior and conditions.” `He ordered police to get Eric Garner off the streets. In the ensuing struggle to complete this task, Eric Garner was choked to death. I assume that for Chief Banks, this was simply “collateral damage” as always occurs in a war. New Yorkers can sleep peacefully tonight knowing those selling untaxed cigarettes are either dead or in jail!

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

We offer samples of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

Australia, Canberra Times: “We Need More Education”

That should be burned into the forehead of every Republican congressman.

USA, NY Post: “Cheap Viagra Good For Men”

Stories such as these give me a lift in life.

Israel, Jerusalem Post: “Innocent Caught In Cross Fire”

An eternal story told in an eternal place.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Who Made The Bitch List”

No question, Sarah Palin heads it!

UK, Guardian: “Rich Get Richer”

This is a non-story. How about some new news?

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “In Reality, Who Cares?”

The story of Gaza!

France, Connexion: “Mayor Breaks Gay Marriage Ban”

What a gay story!

What Should Be US Foreign Policy?

The ongoing complaint of this blog is lack of a foreign policy on the part of the United States of America that goes beyond handling the current crisis of the day. Since the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and that of Iraq in 2003, American foreign policy essentially is based on the premise that our nation does not like bad people. We got rid of the bad Taliban, then we got rid of the bad Saddam Hussein, then we got rid of the bad Libyan dictator Gaddafi because he was bad–at least for this moment. America does not like Chinese leaders because they are dictatorial, but we DO like dictators in Saudi Arabia and in Egypt. I assume they are among the “good dictators.” The only clear aspect of US foreign policy over the past decade is our concern for “dictators.” Of course, even though we are against dictators, we really mean “some dictators.” From 1946 until 1991, American foreign policy was based on the theory of Çontainment. In the end, the Soviet Union imploded, and Çontainment wound up proving accurate as a foreign policy.

What then can be a foreign policy for the Middle East?

1. Our goal should be creation of a Mediterranean Union that includes all nations in the region.

2. Creation of the MU should not be predicated on the assumption that all nations participating in the Union were, at this moment, democracies.

3. Our goal should be an Israel agreement with Palestinian leaders that results in formation of an independent state of Palestine which governs 95% of the existing West Bank and Gaza.

4. The US should take the lead in creating a modern Marshall Plan for the MU to stimulate economic development.

These four goals have nothing to do with democracy. The end result of this policy would be peace in the region and economic development. Period!