Category Archives: War

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!

IF RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE?

There are reports of Russian soldiers on the border of Ukraine who might be sent into that country in order to prevent the government of Ukraine from gaining control over its own territory. Such an invasion would create new issues for the people of Europe and the world. American foreign policy leaders must develop a plan of action if this eventuality became a reality. What can be done if Russia invades Ukraine?

1. An embargo of shipment of any goods from or to Russia by the European Union and the United States of America.

2. An embargo of any plane flights into or from Russia.

3. Immediate and total imposition of sanctions on the Russian financial sector.

4. Introduction of a Resolution in the UN General Assembly condemning the Russian invasion.

5. Attempt to remove Russia from important world economic groups.

6. American corporations will be forbidden to loan money to Russia or to establish business sites in that nation.

7. The US and Canada should announce they will export oil and gas to European nations that were getting such supplies from Russia. This means Obama must accept the new pipeline.

8. Any sporting event scheduled to be held in Russia will be canceled.

The United States must avoid sending military supplies to Ukraine. The country will be over-run by Russian forces. If Putin so desires, he can accomplish this goal. However, he is then stuck with what he ordered and the unintended consequences of his actions.

Reality for Russia. It is a nation that is not exporting high tech materials other than weapons. It depends upon gas and oil for revenues. Accelerate the long term program to end reliance on oil, and Russia will confront a huge economic collapse.

A Jew With A Conscience!

I am the child of east European Jews who fled hatred, discrimination, and possible death from anti-Semites in Poland and Russia. From an early age, the ideals of Socialism were embedded in my mind. I was raised to believe that Jews could not be free until ALL persecuted people were free. The very concept that JEWS would inflict oppression on others had no place in my mine or thoughts. We were JEWS and thus, above all people of the world, we understood the consequences of hatred gone wild against those unable to defend themselves. Gideon Levy writes for the Israel newspaper, Haaretz. These days when he enters a restaurant, people move away from his table. It is common for Levy to be cursed when he walks in the streets of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. A member of the Israel Parliament, Yariv Levin, told Israelis that “It is time that we stop regarding despicable phenomena like this with tolerance” He was referring to columns written by Levy in which he attacks the method by which the invasion of Gaza occurred. In the Israel of 2014, if one disagrees with any action taken against Palestinians then one is a comrade of terrorists and should be regarded as a traitor to the state of Israel.

According to Gideon Levy what is different this time in Israel from other crisis situations, “is the anti-democratic spirit.” There is zero tolerance for any dissident voice. “The very young people are the worst. More ignorant. MOre brainwashed.” The young no longer convey a spirit of cooperation with Palestinians their age, now, if you are one of “them” then you are a terrorist who must be hunted down and killed. Few young Jewish Israelis have friends among non-Jew Israelis, let along among Palestinians. As the famous Israel writer, Amos Oz notes, life for them has become “black and white.” Naturally, Jews are the guys in white hats!

These are not the Jews I grew up with.

Was It Dolus Directus?

The only certainties about the trial of South African athlete, and double amputee, is that no one is blaming the murder on Muslim terrorists or the Israel Defense Force. At least Gaza is off the table of discussions about what happened in the apartment of Oscar Pistorious. It has been established that Oscar was in his apartment with a female, it has been established that this female was shot to death while she was in the toilet. After that,k everything gets flushed down the toilet of you said or she said or no one said. Gerrie Nel, the determined South African prosecutor has no doubts that Oscar deliberately, and with malice blasted away through the toilet doors in order to murder Ms. Steenkamp. “In an attempt to trendier his version to support his plea,” argues Nel, ” he(Oscar) tangled himself in a web of lies… He cannot escape connections that he made. Even if he thought there was an intruder in the toilet, he cannot escape;e conviction on murder with dolls directs–direct intent.”

I follow the arguments of Gerrie Nel up to a point. Most statements made by Pistorious simply make no sense. For example, prior to blasting away at the toilet door, why didn’t you alert your girl friend there was an intruder in the toilet? However, if it is true he thought there WAS an intruder, how can he be convicted of “direct intent?”

1984 In Russia In 2014

George Orwell’s classic tale of how an authoritarian regime can control minds of its population is now being lived out in Russia. Vladimir Putin has gained complete control of all sources of information that are found in Russia. He controls newspapers, magazines, what is presented on the media at night, and his spies seek out those with views that differ from the established party line of Vladimir Putin. One doubts if a single member of the Russian Parliament is able –or knowledgeable– to present a differing point of view regarding what is happening in Ukraine. The Russian people are brain washed and without a clue regarding what happened in Ukraine when a plane was shot down by missiles under the control of Separatists supplied by Russia. Levada, an independent pollster reveals the current state of Russian thinking about this topic:

46% are convinced Ukraine sent missiles into the air to shoot down the plane.

36% believe a Ukraine military plane shot down the airline filled with people.

Many believe their was a Western plot to assassinate President Putin, and in some way Flight M17 is connected to the plot.

Many believe the Flight 17 was filled with corpses and when it hit the ground those were the “people” who were found.

Oh, 3% believe that Ukraine separatists used a missile launcher to shoot down the plane.

Now, you know why Vladimir Putin is so defiant towards the West.

Open Arms Of Christ To Afflicted??

Members of the Tea Party are completely opposed to allowing immigrant children to enter the hallowed grounds of the United States of America. As I recall, the Tea Party stands for Christianity and Jesus and a whole lot of very religious sounding people and groups. Recent events connected with the breakdown of Iraq’s incompetent government have resulted in the Islamic State fanatics gaining control of large areas in northern Iraq. After entering the city of Mosul, which contains Christians who date back to the original days of Jesus, the Islamic government warned Christians to leave the city. Their churches were destroyed, and any remaining has to pay a tax for being a Christian. The French government is shocked by this mistreatment of Christians and has offered a helping hand.

Interior Minister Laurent Fabius, made clear, “we are ready, if they so desire to help facilitate asylum on our territory” for any Iraq Christian so desiring. My question to the Tea Party–and the Republican Party is: Should the United States of America open its borders and offer asylum to CHRISTIANS who are being persecuted by Islamic Muslims? If the answer is, “Yes,” then it stands to reason these same compassionate people are ready to offer asylum to Christian children from Central America. If not, why not??

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

As yesterday becomes today, tomorrow becomes yesterday.

At age 83, next year is a dream.

Death is the stranger never to encounter.

I live with one leg in yesterday and one in tomorrow.

Who I am today is who I was at age 5.

At some distant point in time, there will be no tomorrow on Earth.

I so desire to meet an alien from a distant planet.

What “is” can always change.

There is always an alternative path in life.

I marvel at the ineptitude of professional coaches.

There is a moment when the first sip of coffee feels so delightful.

There is an art to living in peace.

It is never too late to become soon.

To read is to think.

To walk is to think.

To write is to think.

To run is to think.

Guns Of August Are Silent

For the moment, and I do mean, the Moment, the guns of August have grown silent. Under sponsorship of Egypt both Israel and Hamas representatives are meeting to discuss what now happens? Should there be a resumption of the Guns of August resuming in order to bring into reality, the Guns of September or the Guns of October? For the first time in a month, no one got killed in Gaza or in Israel. According to a Hamas spokesperson, “Netanyahu has failed 100%.” We have now entered the stage of: we beat you, nah, nah. You can’t do anything to me, nah, nah.” I do not doubt for a moment that Hamas leaders are proud of the fight they wages, and interpret the current truce as a sign of Israel weakness, and their great victory. Of course, Israel leaders are proud they destroyed most Hamas tunnels. Naturally, on both sides there is a touch of regret at the collateral damage that occurred due to fighting. The Collateral damage is 1875 dead and thousands wounded on the Gaza side while 64 Israelis are dead.

So, where does the situation now stand?

1. Hamas believes it won a great victory and is entitled to fruits of success. Hamas insists Israel move away from the border and allow concrete and other weapons of war to enter in order to rebuild the tunnels.

2. Israel believes it won a great victory and wants Hamas to disarm.

3. Egypt is supporting Israel and wants an end to Hamas.

4. The US is lost. John Kerry did everything in his power to avoid this calamity, and now is hated by Netanyahu and supporters of Israel.

5. Barack Obama is out doing what he can do –raise money for an election.

6. Those who died are now voiceless.

Prediction: Another war, more deaths.

WHAT CAN BARACK OBAMA NOW DO?

Reality is that President Barack Obama will confront a Congress in which Republicans control the House of Representatives, and perhaps the US Senate. In other words, he can not pass any meaningful legislation. Therefore, his reality is functioning as an American President who lacks power to alter the domestic lives of Americans. So, what is now possible?

1. Initiate a weekly press conference in which he makes clear which laws were proposed and which were ignored by Republicans.

2. The above information should weekly be spread on social media. Make clear what you are proposing and what Republicans are defeating.

3. Draw upon Executive power to completely revise our spy agencies, including firing some folks.

4. Sign “No Spy” agreements with all major American allies.

5. Initiate a weekly notification on Social Media as to which bridges and roads have become dangerous.

6. Make speeches in which the President talks “WITH” rather than “TO” people.

7. Make Congressional elections in 2016 as critical an issue as who becomes President.

8. Announce he will not accept pay as President since the government is now dysfunctional, challenge Congressmen to do the same.

9. Use the power of the Executive to allow children brought to America as children to remain.

10. Take out membership in the NRA and organize a group of its members to fight for sensible gun legislation.

Was Anyone There?

Today, for some strange reason, no one is getting killed in Gaza. The war is now in a lull moment. However, there are more important issues that remain. During the closing years of the 19th century, rulers of the Ottoman Empire decided to invite Jews to farm land in what was then the province of Palestine. An assumption was that native Palestinians were backward, and the region was in need of modern ideas, particularly in the area of agriculture. There were thousands of young Jews in eastern Europe desperately seeking to “return to the land” since Russian officials refused to allow Jews to become land owners. Thus, was created two modern ideas– Palestinians were not good guardians of the land, and Jews were interested in modern agricultural ideas. Thus, among those Jewish settlers(thousands of Jews did live in Palestine who traced their ancestry back to Biblical times, but they were poor and lacked funds to become farmers) an idea became accepted. Jews were the ones who made the land blossom because Muslim Palestinians lacked the will, the intelligence, or desire to make dessert areas bloom with crops.

Inherent among many Zionists was a belief that no one was farming the land so it stood to reason that Jews had a right to farm land lying fallow. From this belief it was a short jump to conclude that Jews were entitled to possess the land in the absence of Muslim Palestinians who were anything other than lazy, incompetent farmers. Over time, Zionists developed ideas that it was the Jews who deserved to settle in Palestine and eventually transform it into the modern state of Israel. This form of thinking was remarkably similar to English colonists who arrived in America, and discovered some people, who they called, “Indians.” Since Indians did not focus upon agriculture(there was limited farming) English colonists concluded they had a right to farm land that had been fallow.

It is time for Israel leaders to recognize that Palestinians HAVE lived in the area we term, Palestine, for a few thousand years. Establishing Jewish settlements is simply an act of stealing land from those who inhabit it. BOTH peoples are native to the region. From that point, the only issue is how to determine which people should control which areas of land?