Let’s End The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Once And For All: Towards A Ceasefire, An End to the Israeli Occupation, Towards A Negotiated Settlement of the Conflict
(Note 1: This is the first of a series I hope to write on the current Israeli war on Gaza. There will be a follow-up piece specifically on U.S. policy. I also hope to be writing some stuff with dear friend and frequent co-collaborator, Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni.
Note 2: a few hours after I posted this a 12 hour cease-fire between Israel and the Gaza Palestinians was agreed by both parties. Today is “El Quds” Day…the last Friday prayer of the Ramadan month of fasting. It might not mean much to North Americans and Europeans, but in the Moslem World, it is an important day. It means “Jerusalem Day”…and today the West Bank blew up in opposition and anger to the Israel war on Gaza, so much so that Mohammed Abbas and his Fateh group fears losing control of the situation, greatly complicating the Israel’s position. It is also true, although essentially blacked out in the US, that the Secretary General of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, gave an important speech today in which he pledged support for the Gaza Palestinians. In the West Bank already at least seven have died, hundreds arrested. For Israel it now means that it is opposing Palestinians on two fronts, [possibly three] simultaneously – Gaza and the West Bank – it is more than likely that this deteriorating situation for Israel is behind the call for a 12 hour cease-fire.
Note 3: the piece has been published at Foreign Policy In Focus.
It goes on…now in its 19th day…Israel’s punishing military offensive against Gaza. Although it might happen – these conflicts have ended abruptly in the past – at the moment there is no ceasefire in site. The asymmetrical blow-for-blow continues. As many have pointed out, it is not a war, but an Israeli premeditated killing spree of Palestinian civilians. Nor is this the first time. Each day the casualty numbers mount. The published statistics are at best only “guestimates”with the real figures being significantly higher. How many more Palestinian civilians will be pulled from the rubble in the months after the fighting stops? How many bodies will never be found? Read more…
Day of the Vulture in Argentina
July 24, 2014
By Conn Hallinan
It is no surprise that right-wing Republican and hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer should be trying to wring hundreds of millions of dollars out of Argentina for a debt that Buenos Aires doesn’t really owe him. He screwed tens of millions of dollars out of poverty-stricken Peru and the Republic of Congo using the same financial sleight of hand. What may surprise people, however, is that key leaders in the administration of former President Bill Clinton are helping him do it.
To read the full article go to: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/day_of_the_vulture_over_argentina_20140724
“Il y a deux Histoires: l’officielle, mensongère, qui nous est enseigné, et l’Histoire secrète où se trouves les vraies causes des événements, une Histoire honteuse” – Balzac, Les Illusions perdues. (Rough translation: History comes in two versions: there is the official history, that which we learn in school with its lies and half truths; then there is the secret history in which the more accurate causes of historical events unfolds, a shameful and shameless tale.”)
1. Nothing Left To Uncover About World War II?
Putting the Dieppe Raid of August 17,1942 in its more global context, at least up until recently there are a number of historians who argue that, really, there is nothing left to say about World War II, that so much has been researched, written, made into documentaries and feature films about the war that anything new would simply be in part or in large measure redundant.
Nothing could be further from the truth; to the contrary, it would be more to the point to argue that historians have just scratched the surface. True enough the general outlines of the war in Europe are clear enough although, even here, a certain blurred vision fueled in large measure by Cold War blinders endured until the collapse of Communism in 1989 and 1991. Much of the narrative has been reworked in the past quarter century. On the other hand, where, in English (or any other European based language is the complete or comprehensive of the war in Asia? It remains largely unknown both in terms of what actually transpired there and how the war itself shaped the post war evolution throughout the continent from Indonesia to China. Read more…
The Rouen Chronicles: The Dieppe – 2 The Botched Dieppe Raid of August 17, 1942 (in two parts) – Part One
1. A family vacation in the Dieppe Region
A quarter of a century ago next month, our family was fortunate enough to spend two weeks on vacation in France, a week of that time vacationing in the region in and around Dieppe. Today, Dieppe is a small French port and fishing town of 35,000 in Normandy on the English Channel long frequented by British tourists who make the 70 mile journey across “La Manche.” It includes some of 16th century Europe’s best cartographers. Although its importance has dwindled some, Dieppe has a rich history; it was a key transit point in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries between the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. It was in large measure from Dieppe and nearby ports that the Arcadians and Cajuns, who would make up the French-speaking populations of Eastern Canada and Louisiana, would depart. Read more…
(Note: This summer I was thrilled to participate in a trip through OFI (Orangutan Foundation International) in which we got to see orangutans in the rainforest of Indonesia. We also got to meet Dr. Birute Galdikas, who has been studying and advocating for orangutans in Indonesia for over 40 years.)
So Vivid Yet So Fleeting
By Molly Prince
My dad suggested I write about the trip
because the experience is
so vivid yet so fleeting.
And he is right.
I can feel Indonesia
from my consciousness
at an alarming rate
as Denver floods back in.
Denver with its dry air and Western food and high technology.
My cats and my people,
tap water I can drink and internet and phone and
quiet invaded by ambulance sirens
instead of the constant chirping of birds
and whirring of insects of Indonesia
with the hot, humid air, rice and tofu,
chicken and shrimp, cooked greens and potatoes,
dangerous tap water, mango, pineapple and durian fruit,
traffic jams and overcrowded Jakarta and the serenity of the Sakonyer River,
selamat pagi and terima kasih,
women in colorful head coverings, Muslim prayer calls,
crocodiles and black water rivers.
There is the background.
The main points seem very simple.
The gorgeous rainforest
pulsing with life
home to the majestic orangutan and a rich ecosystem
including proboscis monkeys, Bornean bearded pigs, clouded leopards,
hornbills, butterflies – a seemingly endless list.
All being destroyed
just a little bit left
like the glacier at Glacier National Park
so that people can have junk food and money.
We all need money.
But we don’t need to be billionaires.
Palm oil plantation owners are billionaires.
Not just the orangutans but the whole ecosystem.
Not just the eco-system but all the ecosystems.
Not just all the ecosystems but
the macro system,
all the systems of the earth that work together
to make the planet hospitable to life.
Not hospitable to life = climate crisis = we can not eat money.
“Only when the last tree has been cut down,
the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught
will we realize we can not eat money.”*
Then there are the orangutan themselves.
They are interesting and humanlike and
I love listening to Dr. Birute talk about orangutans
and evolution and their social structures and
it was an incredible experience of a lifetime
to be so close to them.
I am honored and I love them.
They are the star of the show.
But also, it is the show as a whole that I care about.
Dr. Birute Galdikas.
Also the star of the show.
A celebrity to me
although her personality is
certainly not that of a celebrity.
Deliberate and thoughtful
brilliant and patient
stubborn, tenacious and fragile.
I love her.
She has done a superhuman amount.
She has worked miracles.
And still, it is possible that
it won’t be enough.
Irene said, “most people’s favorite is the care center.”
The care center is not my favorite.
It was amazing to see the orangutans there
but the care center makes me sad.
It begins and ends with sad
it does have magic and hard work and
in the middle.
It begins with orphaned orangutans
And it ends with
where are these orangutans to go?
Saved and cared for and ready to
be released back into the wild
and there is
not enough wild.
My favorite is the orangutans in the jungle.
My favorite is the orangutan babies with their mamas
in the jungle.
Yoko Ono continues to oppose any effort to grant parole to Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s assassin. Chapman shot and killed Lennon at point black range with a hand gun using hollow point bullets as Lennon and Yoko Ono returned to their apartment, the Dakota, a luxury apartment just off Central Park West in Manhattan. On August 22, 2012 Chapman was denied parole for the eighth time. Representing Yoko Ono, as he did often in the past was entertainment lawyer, Peter Shukat.
Shukat not only personally represented Yoko Ono but also the estates of Miles Davis, Jimmy Henrix and Bob Marley. Peter S. Shukat, a founding partner of New York-based entertainment law firm Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman, died on June 7, 2013 – a month ago – after a ten-year long battle with cancer. His obituary appeared throughout the music industry, including in Music Week, Jazz FM, Billboard.com as well as the New York Post, The New York Daily News and The New York Times. Read more…
Some presume that eugenics, that perverse notion of genetic engineering based on flaky genetics, died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, the factory floor of I.B. Farben where it was exposed for the inhumane, racist, class-biased bigotry that it was. This was not the case. Its advocates crossed the political spectrum from left to right. It was not just right-wing weirdos of all stripes, Christian identity types and KKK types whose eyes lit up and penises stiffened at the thought of Blacks, Native Americans, Jews, Mexicans and generally speaking poor people having their vas deferens snipped or their tubes tied.
Liberal politicians, socialists, Unitarians – those who believed in “managed progress,” “rational development” were, in the day, equally as enthusiastic – and as racially bigoted and class biased as their more conservative brethren and sisteren (if the latter is a word). It was the rage to support interfering with the reproductive rights of others as a way to make the world a better place, as long as the movement did not cut out the testes and purge the ovaries of those too close. Read more…