Liebermann pissed off at blackface – but not war in Iraq

August 3, 2006

The Washington Post reports Senator Joseph Lieberman is a little sh** faced over a blackface. A doctored photo of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) in blackface that was posted by a blogger who has been an influential promoter of challenger Ned Lamont.

The post reports Lieberman angrily demanded that Lamont denounce the action and sever all ties with Jane Hamsher, the founder of the Web log Firedoglake, who posted the photo on another blog, HuffingtonPost.com.

African-American Political Pundit says: “I only wish the Senator could get as angry about the the war in Iraq (which he supports) and slaughter of Lebanese civilians. Its about time the Senator denounce both wars”.

As you can tell, I’m not a supporter of Lieberman, I really think he is a “snake in the grass”. But, in this situation blackface was not appropriate. It brings up old race issues.

Blogsphere:

Bloggers are generally saying the picture could be racist in nature. It’s too bad they can’t be united against war.

 

www.fastpapers.com

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Visit African-American Political Pundits new blog address at: http://fricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.blogspot.com


Commentary: If Condi Rice is Incompetent as Secretary of State…

July 31, 2006

By: Deborah Mathis, BlackAmericaWeb.com

It was bound to happen that Condoleezza Rice’s magic would fade. She had a long honeymoon, but it may be over. Last week, Republicans — that’s right, Republicans — began whispering that the secretary of state was in over her head in dealing with the sticky, maddening, always impetuous Middle East. Some even tossed around the “I” word — incompetence.

I, for one, never believed Rice deserved to be the nation’s top diplomat, but not because she doesn’t possess the intelligence and experience for the job; I think she does. Rice is no Harriet Myers, who may well have lacked the chops to sit on the highest court in the land, especially considering she had never so much as presided over traffic court. It’s just as well that she slithered back to the White House counsel’s office to affirm more bum decisions by the client-in-chief.

Rice has the portfolio. Her academic credentials are strong and impressive. She certainly has the charm thing down. And she was, after all, national security adviser. The woman knows her stuff, no doubt. What makes her unfit as secretary of state is not that she doesn’t know what to do to make things better for global relationships, but rather that she doesn’t do it. The man who got her gig prefers dictation over diplomacy and lording over listening. It’s his way or the highway, and Condi Rice is his parrot. More>>>


Western media has dropped the ball by failing to tell the real story in Lebanon

July 21, 2006

African-American Political Pundit says: What’s going on in Lebanon is insane. Nine days of powerful Israeli (American Tax payer bombs) air attacks have reduced most of Beirut’s vast suburbs to uninhabitable rubble. The lives of 500,000 Lebanese who once called the capital’s southern suburbs home are forever impacted. Late Wednesday night, Israel dropped 23 tons of explosives onto what it said was a bunker in which senior militants were thought to be hiding. Not! Read more about the real story in Lebanon.

The Jewish state’s offensive has primarily targeted civilians

First person Marc J. Sirois

The fury of Israel’s offensive in Lebanon has more than a few observers shaking their heads. The vast majority of Western media reports do not accurately portray the fact that the vast majority of the dead are civilians, most of them women and children. A Reuters dispatch this week described Israel’s choice of targets as “puzzling,” but for the most part Western television viewers, newspaper readers, and Web surfers are reading highly sanitized versions of the news, spun in such a way as to dilute the brutality of the Israeli onslaught and especially to ensure that blame is placed squarely on Lebanon in general and Hizbullah in particular.

Of course there are brave and honorable Western journalists working here, and many of them are determined to tell the truth about what is happening. One has to assume, therefore, that what the decent ones report is being heavily edited somewhere along the line before it gets to the consumer. This is presumably intended as a prophylactic against the inevitable charges of “anti-Semitism” and resultant drops in advertising revenues that will follow unvarnished coverage of Israeli brutality. The product of this regime of fear has been a generation of biased reporting that portrays the Jewish state as weak when it is very strong, moderate when it is frequently extremist, democratic when it is often theocratic, liberal when it is commonly draconian – in short, “Western” when it is anything but.

Coverage of the current conflict is a case in point. The two most commonly watched English-language news channels available in Lebanon are CNN and the BBC. With few exceptions, their reports are filed by reporters standing in the relatively safe and comfortable confines of Downtown Beirut, the picturesque showcase of Lebanon’s now-aborted recovery from its 1975-90 Civil War. There has been no damage in this part of the city thus far (although there are concerns that that step in the escalation process is rapidly approaching), so the very background is highly misleading about what is happening. Just a few kilometers away in Beirut’s Dahiyeh Junubiyyeh (southern suburbs), Israeli air strikes and naval gunfire have reduced entire neighborhoods to rubble. No one knows how many people are buried in these piles of shattered concrete and twisted steel, only that local residents would have had far less warning than Hizbullah members did about the beginning of so many ends – and that most of their escape routes were cut off by the destruction of roads and overpasses before the Dahiyeh itself became a target.

A similar situation exists in the southern third of the country, usually a half-hour bus ride from Beirut. Now it can take hours in either direction because vehicles cannot get through. Instead, people are shuttled from one giant crater to the next, where they walk across debris-strewn holes in the ground or wade through rivers once spanned by wrecked bridges to reach another taxi or mini-bus that will take them to the next impasse. Throughout the journey, their vehicles are subject to Israeli attacks, so many people stay home and try to “ride it out.” But a considerable number are subsequently convinced to run the gauntlet when the Israeli military warns them that they have “two or three hours” to leave their villages. On numerous occasions, such warnings have been followed less than an hour later by air or artillery strikes on civilian vehicles leaving the village. They keep leaving, though, because those who stay in their homes have frequently found out that the Israelis mean it when they say an area is about to become “unsafe” for civilians: Dozens of civilians have been killed in their own homes – with and without warnings beforehand. The message for these unfortunate people is that “nowhere is safe.” In fact, that is precisely what an Israeli general said in the opening stages of the offensive.

 

Why has the Israeli military singled out these two areas for punishment? Because they are populated primarily by the impoverished and largely disenfranchised Shiites who make up Hizbullah’s constituency. Multiple ironies are at work here. For one thing, the Dahiyeh’s 500,000-strong population consists largely of Shiites from the South Lebanon who have fled successive waves of Israeli “retribution” (i.e. collective punishment). When Palestinian militias attacked northern Israel from South Lebanon in the 1970s, one of Israel’s answers was indiscriminate bombardment. This drove tens of thousands of local villagers to Beirut, where they established the Dahiyeh.

For another, when Israel first invaded Lebanon in 1978 (not 1982, as typically reported in the Western media), many Shiites greeted them with rose petals. Life under the de facto rule of unruly Palestinian militias had not been easy, so despite the damage and casualties inflicted by Israeli ripostes, it was commonly believed that Israeli occupation might not be so bad. Then came 1982, when the Israelis rolled all the way to Beirut after promising Washington that they meant only to establish a 25-kilometer “buffer zone.” The carnage in the South was horrific, and the ensuing occupation included measures like the dismissal of local village elders in favor of appointed stooges and provocations timed to coincide with sensitive religious dates. The Shiites revolted, and Hizbullah was born.

Subsequent spasm of violence (the worst in 1985 and 1996), usually caused by tit-for-tat exchanges between Hizbullah and the Israeli military that spun out of control, displaced more and more Shiites, filling the Dahiyeh with an understandably resentful generation of young men determined to run no more.

All of this goes unmentioned on CNN. Its idea of “balance” is to make sure that each report about a new massacre of innocents in Lebanon is aired alongside one about civilian injuries or deaths from Hizbullah rocket strikes, even if the incident is 36 hours old. Only rarely do the reports in question mention that while the Dahiyeh is for all intents and purposes a giant refugee camp, northern Israel and the nearby settlements in occupied Palestine are prosperous areas with a substantial contingent of immigrants from places like the United States and Canada, many of whom voluntarily live illegally on occupied Palestinian land.

Hizbullah’s decision to snatch two Israeli soldiers evinced poor judgment and even worse timing, but the Israeli response has been out of all proportion to the original incident. The numbers speak for themselves. As of Wednesday evening, Israeli attacks had killed at least 292 civilians in Lebanon, while Hizbullah rockets had killed 13 noncombatants in the Jewish state. Lebanon has approximately 3.5 million people. On a per-capita basis, that means that as of Wednesday, the rough equivalent of 9/11 has happened every day here for eight days.

Marc J. Sirois is the managing editor of The Daily Star


More than 300 now dead in Lebanon – UN Security Council must protect civilians in Israel-Lebanon conflict

July 19, 2006

On the eighth day of Israel’s military campaign in Lebanon Wednesday, the
Lebanese death toll passed 300, almost all civilians.    [Full Story]

Amnesty International is calling on the UN Security Council to urgently adopt measures to protect civilians caught up in the deepening Israel-Lebanon conflict. Amnesty International condemns the continued attacks on civilians by both Israel and Hizbullah. Such attacks are a blatant breach of international humanitarian law and amount to war crimes.

Women in a refugee camp who have fled conflict in Africa
 


Middle East Implodes As Bush Administration Fails to Act

July 19, 2006

Source: Mirror on America


Religious lunacy and chaos rages on in the Middle East, as the U.S. fails to call off Israel (which the U.S. has the power to do with one phone call). Israel- A Client State of the U.S.- is taking aggressive military action with the blessing and support of the U.S. Meanwhile, Israels misguided leaders are just making matters worse for their country. How could they really believe that they could solve this problem of Islamic militancy with military action? This will not work in this conflict. In fact, the use of military force by Israel (or any other country) has never been successful at controlling terrorism and militancy. In fact, Israel has only guaranteed that the conflict will rage on for many more years. By their actions, Israel has created many more terrorists. Even with Hezbollah being more isolated in Lebanon, more terrorism is now unavoidable. Does Israel believe that this will get their 3 kidnapped soldiers back? What objective are they hoping to achieve with their slaughter of innocent people and by destroying roads, bridges, water, and power plants….all used by the civilian population? All of this lunacy is being encouraged by the United States “leadership”. This is when the U.S. should be heavily involved diplomatically to calm the situation. This blind unconditional U.S. support for Israel (at the expense of the American people and innocent people in the Middle East) has ruined the U.S. position of being a negotiator. No one in the Middle East will ever trust the U.S. (except for Israel) because of the biased U.S. position.
It will take the work of the UN, The EU, or another nation such as France, Russia, or a former U.S. official to bring order to the madness in the Middle East. The reputation of the U.S. around the world has been irreparably damaged by the current Republican Administration.

To make matters worse… Israel is accusing Iran and Syria of supporting attacks on Israel. Is Israel creating the pretext to launch attacks against those countries as well (again, with the blessing of the U.S.)?

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Related Issues:

Thousands of U.S. & British citizens are stuck in Lebanon, since roads and bridges have been knocked out and the airport has been crippled by attacks preventing any flights.

Among the American citizens are several high profile individuals….even U.S. religious leaders (seemingly the only American citizens that the Theocratic United States values). How will the U.S. respond if a U.S. citizen is killed by Israel?

Additional Stories

Full coverage from NPR

Story one

Story two

Story three

The Arab League Holds Emergency Meeting


Are Black Men America’s new Boogeymen? After 7 arrested in Miami?

June 27, 2006

FBI officer on the street in Liberty City, Miami

The streets of Liberty City were busy with FBI agents and vehicles

The US authorities have charged seven suspected militants in connection with an alleged plot to destroy the country’s tallest building.

They were planning to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower, the FBI says. It adds that the seven had sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda, but had no contacts with it.

They were arrested at a warehouse in Miami, during an undercover operation.

The group – infiltrated by an agent posing as an al-Qaeda member – includes two foreigners and five US citizens.

US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales said the group of “home-grown terrorists” were inspired by “a violent jihadist message”.

“They were persons who for whatever reason came to view their home country as the enemy,” he told reporters.

‘Wannabes’

According to a federal indictment, the men were conspiring to “levy war against the United States”.

They have been charged with conspiring to blow up both the Sears Tower and the FBI building in North Miami Beach.

The indictment names Narseal Batiste, who allegedly asked an undercover agent he thought was from al-Qaeda for help to build an “army to wage jihad”, the indictment said.

He is said to have told the agent he and his “soldiers” wanted al-Qaeda training and planning for a “full ground war” against the US in order to “kill all the devils we can”.

The Blog Mirror On America says: Will Black men now become the new “Boogeymen” in the War On Terrorism, and a focus of much more attention from authorities? Of course Black men, to a great extent, are already the focus of a lot of police attention. However, does this create the possibility of even more targeting of Black men, and more discrimination from the wider American society? I say this is a possibility and should be watched for. Time will tell.


Afghan Pres calls for reassessment of the U.S.-led coalition’s strategy for fighting terrorism

June 22, 2006

African-American Political Pundit says: Even President Hamid Karzai (you know the guy that kisses up to Bush at every opportunity) understands there is a need for a reassessment of the U.S. strategy for fighting terrorism. How come the Bush administration and U.S. Congress is not getting it? It's all about the money, oil and poppy seed baby! Meanwhile, four U.S. soldiers were killed in eastern Afghanistan.

Afghan Presindent Hamid Karzai adjusts his hat dur...  

KABUL, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai called Thursday for a reassessment of the U.S.-led coalition’s strategy for fighting terrorism, saying the current approach of hunting down militants does not focus on the root causes such as money, training, and motivation.

Karzai’s comments came after a new video from Al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri surfaced and urged Afghans to rise up against U.S.-led forces in their country.