November 2012 Archives
In the space of 24 hours this week the engineer-turned-politician has been praised internationally for brokering a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza and excoriated at home as a "new pharaoh" who has seized dictatorial powers and betrayed the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak last year...
What drives the U.S. love affair with dictators?
Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with the Egyptian President in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. (AP)
Israelis are not the first to be entertained by the spectacle of death and destruction (watching an attack on Syria, left). The American Civil War served as diversion for some as well... at least initially:
Expecting an easy Union victory, the wealthy elite of nearby Washington, including congressmen and their families, had come to picnic and watch the battle. When the Union army was driven back in a running disorder, the roads back to Washington were blocked by panicked civilians attempting to flee in their carriages.
Every death that takes place in Gaza is not just the loss of a human life but a gradual demise of collective conscience which is so agonizingly silent towards the sufferings of a downtrodden nation and to the unspeakable tyrannies of a colonizing murderous regime...
By Dennis Loo (11/13/12)
In May of this year NATO leaders met in Chicago - after making sure that no demonstrators would be allowed to come anywhere remotely near their meeting place, after all, they were planning peace and you can't have protestors demanding an end to wars at a peace conference - and one of the, if not, the biggest announcements coming out of it was that NATO accepted Obama's plan to withdraw NATO and US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
At the end of the NATO confab,
on May 22, 2012, CNN interviewed Afghan
Hamid Karzai who said: "We have finalized plans so 2014 will be a year in
which the United States will not be spending as much money in Afghanistan as it
is spending today. It will save money and we will be providing security
ourselves," he said. "That transition and the eventual withdrawal in
2014 of the U.S. forces and otherNATO forces from Afghanistan is good for
Afghanistan and good for our allied countries."
The CNN article online was entitled: "NATO accepts Obama timetable to end war in Afghanistan by 2014."
Now scroll forward to November 12, 2012 and Agence France-Presse reports that Obama's advisers are deciding how many US troops to leave behind in Afghanistan indefinitely:
The commander of NATO and US troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, has submitted a range of recommendations that are being studied by top officials at the White House and the Pentagon, [Defense Secretary Leon] Panetta told reporters aboard his plane.
"General Allen has worked on several options that we are now reviewing and working with the White House on," said Panetta, en route to Australia for a week-long trip to Asia.
"And my hope is that we'll be able to complete this process within the next few weeks."
He added: "I'm confident that we're going be able to get to the right number for the post-2014 enduring presence."
The "post-2014 enduring presence."
Withdrawal and enduring presence don't sound synonymous to me, do they to you?
As for the "right number for the post-2014 enduring presence," how about zero?
On October 2nd, facts surrounding the shooting death of Alan Blueford finally began to come to light. Alan Blueford's parents were provided copies of police and coroner reports on the killing of their son. Those reports were redacted by authorities yet still provide insight into a number of the circumstances surrounding the murder of an unarmed teenager by Oakland police officer Miguel Masso. One sad fact is that Alan Blueford's last words were, "I didn't do anything," before officer Masso gunned him down. On October 3rd, Alameda County district attorney Nancy O'Malley's office issued the results their "investigation" into the shooting, effectively exonerating Masso of any criminal liability in the case. The DA's report relies almost entirely on Masso's account and ignores contradictory witness statements and factual evidence. For instance, Masso claimed that Alan Blueford was holding a gun when Masso first shot him, but the crime scene report says that a gun was found twenty feet away from Alan Blueford (although no forensic photographs were made of the location of this gun). Nancy O'Malley's report makes no mention of the gun being so far from the deceased Alan Blueford. Likewise, O'Malley's report completely ignores the discrepancy that Masso claimed to have first fired when Alan Blueford was still on his feet, yet eleven witnesses stated that Alan Blueford was on the ground before Masso fired all three shots. On October 16th, Alan Blueford's family, attorneys, and supporters delivered an 8-page response to the District Attorney and held a press conference on the steps of the Alameda County court house to announce their disgust with the District Attorney's "biased and unprofessional" work (full video and PDFs below). The Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition (JAB) is continuing to press their demands for accountability by sponsoring the "Bay Area Families March Against Police Brutality" in downtown Oakland on November 10th.