Journal: Pakistan-Afghanistan War

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 05 Energy, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, 10 Security, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence, Strategy

Phi Beta Iota: Zbigniew Brzezinski is doing an enormous amount of damage in his hidden counsel to the White House; if John Hamre replaces Bob Gates in January as has been discussed, this will get worse, not better.  Below are a few odds and ends from various contributing editors, consolidated here to avoid beating a dead horse with too many postings.   We have not sought to reconcile contradictory points of view, only to honor the importance of listening to diverse points of view.   The London Telegraph piece is reproduced in full as it has disappeared from online view.

Chuck Spinney Sends on Religious Fundamentalism and the Rise of the Corporate State on What Is Living and What Is Dead in Social Democracy? on Soldiers’ Complaints of Shoddy Gear Spur Inquiry by House Democrats

Webster Tarpley Sends on Obama’s War Against Pakistan on End the War Rally Videos on  No Wind of Change After Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

Obama’s West Point speech of December 1 represents far more than the obvious brutal escalation in Afghanistan — it is nothing less than a declaration of all-out war by the United States against Pakistan.

Victor Davis Hansen on  Obama’s Wheel of Fortune: The president’s luck has changed — and he doesn’t seem to have noticed

Marcus Aurelius Sends:  Special Forces Unite To Destroy Taliban Leaders London Sunday Telegraph  December 13, 2009  Pg. 2 By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent

British and US special forces are set to open a new front in southern Afghanistan in a bid to “break the back” of the Taliban insurgency.

Continue reading “Journal: Pakistan-Afghanistan War”

Journal: Common Sense on Palestine & Israel

01 Poverty, 02 Infectious Disease, 03 Environmental Degradation, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, Communities of Practice, Cultural Intelligence, InfoOps (IO), Peace Intelligence

Gershon Baskin
Gershon Baskin

Encountering Peace: Getting serious about ‘economic peace’

More than 10 months have passed since President Barack Obama entered the White House and seven months since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took over the reins in Jerusalem and there is still no peace process worth mentioning.

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Phi Beta Iota: Imagine an “Information Wall” available online and projected on walls around the world, showing the stark contrast between the day to day conditions of the Palestinians and of the Israelis.

Journal: Israel as Its Own Holocaust

06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, 11 Society, Ethics, Government, Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Chuck Spinney sends…

The Israeli Exception: Gilo and East Jerusalem


In 1987, the conservative author Midge Decter described her association with Israel and those willing to place it above conventional judgment.  ‘We know ourselves to be bound by ties so deep, so essential, so unconditional, that they are beyond daylight examination.  To be a Jew is not an act, it is a fate.  The existence of Israel is absolutely central to that fate.  The rest is mere details – knowable, unknowable, makes no difference.’

This vein of thinking can be gathered from Israel’s leader David Ben-Gurion in a New York Times Magazine article in December 1960.  On that occasion he was defending the illegal abduction of the war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who had been nabbed by Mossad agents from Argentina.  ‘I know they [the abductors] committed a breach of the law, but sometimes they are moral obligations higher than formal law.’

This idea of Israel, and Jewish fate, being placed in the realm of an obligatory ‘higher law’, does lend itself to various, dangerous implications. Decter’s observations resonate with the recent decision by Tel Aviv to allow 900 new homes to be built in East Jerusalem in the sprawling Jewish neighbourhood of Gilo.  40,000 Israelis are already resident there.  President Obama has gone so far as to see the move as ‘dangerous’.  The Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon has publicly seen the gesture as one that undermines the peace effort.

International conventions and views, which tend to find such settlements illegal, are considered inapplicable by the rank and file in Tel Aviv.  The law of nations, that seemingly abstract body of customs and norms that are often more honoured than people might realize, are cast aside as undue hindrances to the functioning of the state.

The perceptive social theorist, Zygmunt Bauman, claims that Israeli policy persists in being made in the shadow of the Holocaust.  The narrative of threatened existence girds such policies, whether they be ruthless measures against the Palestinians, or the issue of constructing more settlements. A state of affairs like an ‘indivisible’ Jerusalem are created, an assertion of something supposedly non-negotiable.  Lines are drawn across borders, and there is a stubborn refusal to budge.

Journal: Out of Touch with Reality II

07 Other Atrocities, 08 Immigration, 09 Justice, 10 Security, Civil Society, Cultural Intelligence, Methods & Process

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

The Elephant in the Room: A war of ideas within Islam

Backward views hold sway in much of the Muslim world. And yet there is hope.

By Rick Santorum    Thu, Nov. 5, 2009

The students, one man and two women, wore Western-style clothes and spoke English with little or no accent. They disputed my description of Islam as it’s practiced in the Middle East, maintaining that al-Qaeda’s version of Islam in no way reflects the Islam that is practiced around the world.

So I asked them a question: Should apostates – Muslims who convert to another religion – be subject to execution?

One of the women quickly said no. She insisted that she was free to leave Islam if she wanted to, and that she knew other people who had done so without a problem – in the United States.

I said I wasn’t talking about her and others’ freedom of religion in this country. What if they lived in a Muslim-majority country?

Silence. Eventually, the young man blurted out, “That’s different.”

Continue reading “Journal: Out of Touch with Reality II”

Reference 2009 9/11 Unanswered Questions

07 Other Atrocities

9/11 – Unanswered Questions

by Moign Khawaja

Foreign Policy Journal, September 16, 2009

Eight years have passed since the fateful bombings took place on 11th of September, 2001 in New York and nearby states. Every year thousands of people gather in downtown Manhattan to commemorate the terrorist atrocities. Every year the President of the United States of America addresses the nation and renews his pledge to track down the terrorists and defeat them. The newspapers publish special supplements that weigh tons and media outlets fill hours of airtime to recall the incidents that took place eight years ago.

Since then, two wars have been waged, unknown number of terrorists have been nabbed, several inquiries have been launched and several regimes have been uprooted across the world. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives on 9/11 of 2001. Hundreds of thousands of more innocent civilians since then have lost their lives in events related to the 9/11 attacks. The worst thing – the end of bloodshed is no where in sight.

A lot has been debated about the events that took place as a result of 9/11 attacks. But, how much do we actually know about the incidents that took place on 11th of September, 2001 itself? Have we ever tried to understand the pattern of the events and debated them? Most of you would say a big NO. So, in order to get a clearer picture, let’s strip to 5 W’s, the ‘basics of journalism’, which is the key formula for getting the full story of any incident.

Continue reading “Reference 2009 9/11 Unanswered Questions”

Journal: Chuck Spinney Flags Israel’s Use of Economic Strangulation (A Form of Genocide or Other Atrocity)

06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, Peace Intelligence

Sancitmonious Heresy
Sancitmonious Heresy

SANCTIMONEOUS HERESY: Right-wing Israelis demonstrate in Jabal Mukabber after hundreds ransacked the village in occupied East Jerusalem, destroying Palestinian property, March 2008. (Meged Gozani/Activestills)

A third uprising?

Gary M. Burge,The Electronic Intifada,3 August 2009
Gary M. Burge is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Chicago. He is author of Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians are not being told about Israel and the Palestinians (2003). He will soon release Jesus and the Land. How the New Testament Transformed “Holy Land” Theology.
I recently returned from the Holy Land after leading about 40 Presbyterians from Galilee to Jerusalem. This isn’t new territory for me. I’ve been in the country many times leading students, working at archaeology digs, speaking at conferences, and occasionally taking a church such as this. And this time what I saw and heard was worrying.
Many important developments have taken place over the last six months. There was Israel’s winter invasion of Gaza and a few months later, right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister. Even recently US President Barack Obama has called for a change in America’s posture toward Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For Middle East news junkies, these have been solid months. Continue reading “Journal: Chuck Spinney Flags Israel’s Use of Economic Strangulation (A Form of Genocide or Other Atrocity)”