Monday, March 28, 2011

Maine's governor Lepage sees Kim Jong il?

Who does Paul Lepage think he's fooling? In a panel depicting the struggle of US workers he in his wildest dreams sees the face of North Korea's 'Dear Leader', Kim Jong il. Clearly it's an excuse to order the removal of scenes honouring the workers who fought the rights to organise and for a fair wage and standard of living. Republican governor that he is, in the fury over reducing budget deficits, in step with his party to attack the hard earned rights of workers and all that means.
Seeing Kim Jong il's face in the panel is a lame excuse or if LePage believes its true, he needs his head examined and should step down from office immediately!
He is no John D. Rockefeller who spat blood when Diego Rivera painted the V.I. Lenin in his mural in the rising building of Rockefeller Centre [today's 30 Rock]; he fired the Mexican artist on the spot and with his flinty saved millions had the lobby repainted by another artist in the fascist style of the 1930s.
LePage is happy to use the money he wishes to reduce the budget in removing 'his' mural. US$10.000 is the bill.
LePage is symptomatic of America's 'knownothingism', which rears its ugly head during times of extreme economic and political stress. Like the old Soviet masters he is happy to copy, he's willing to air brush America's working class out of its rightful place in US history.
And in his love affair with North Korea's leader, he thought nothing of giving his daughter a job in the governor's mansion at the working people's penny.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Israel's crusader mentality

Christian crusaders held the high ground in the reconquest of the Holy Land. Upon it, they built 'chateaux forts', some of which survive, long after they were chased out. Israel holds land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, of which the West Bank is part of the booty of the 1967 war, and the territory of the Palestinians.
The Revisionist Right has torpedoed the Olso Peace Accords, which offered hope for a two state solution. Its current prime minister Beinjamin Netenyahu has done the groundwork for the failure to reach a peace accord with the Palestinians. To him, and even mainstream Zionist who walk in the path traced by David Ben Gurion, peace with the Palestinian Authority means a slave to master relationship, whereby the Palestinians give up all along the line and the Israelis nothing but window dressing.
In this the US has had its hand, and openly stated by George W. Bush. 'Al Jazeera's' publication of the 'Palestine Papers' makes for fascinating reading and knocks the pins out from the 'road map to peace'.
The fly in Israel's ointment is Hamas, duly elected to the levers of government in the Gaza Strip. Hamas refuses to recognise and resisted Israel as a state, and Israel has, in turn, not stopped short of waging war, open and covert, against the population of Gaza. The pre emptive three week blitzkrieg 'Cast Lead' belied the words of a Zionist state looking for a solution to the more than 60 years of belligerency in Israel and Palestine.
If anyone had any doubts about Netenyahu & co.'s plans for a 'greater Israel', incorporating the Palestinian West Bank, which they call 'Judea and Sumaria', look at the continued bombing of Gaza, even when Hamas is willing to end shooting rockets which do not kill Israelis but simply visit psychological stress on the settlements close to Gaza. Settler enclaves have concrete pillboxes and nearby Israeli soldiers: in other words they are fortified emplacements, which recall the Crusaders.
There is no quarter Israel is willing to give to Hamas. It's all out warfare, even when this has proved futile and not successful in execution. For sure, there has been death of civilians, destruction of home and infrastructure, and the imposition of a blockade with a regulated spigot of allowing food to a population of the Zionist state of keeping Gazans not only on the edge of starvation but with the open goal of bringing them to their knees so that Hamas has but one alternative: giving into Israel's draconian demaands.
Recent events in the Arab world has had an effect on Israel: it is circling the wagons a la 'crusaders', bunkering down, and at the same time expanding illegal grab of Palestinians' lands for Jewish settlement and expanding the armed struggle.
The Zionist elite are not interested in peace but on their own terms They will die striving for that goal and in its pursuit, they are tearing Zionist ideology at its bowels and preparing for a unitary state where Israelis may rule uneasily since the Arab population will outnumber them.
Time is not on Netenyahu & co.'s side. The longer they persist in utopian dreams of Jabotinsky, they are doomed to failure and the end of Zionism as they know it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Food for the starving North Koreans?

GuamDiary has commented on the deaf response by the US, EU, South Korea, and Australia to North Korea's appeal for food aid. Mother Nature has been unusually cruel towards North Korea: floods and long months of freezing temperatures which have wiped out 80 per cent of winter wheat crops.
In fact, the US and South Korea have not give a gram of food for the last two years. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why: the two allies have a common goal to 'roll back' Kim Jong il & co. until they fall from power.
An observation: the US, for example, cries crocodile tears when it comes to saving civilians from wars and famine and earthquakes. Of course, the support is selective; North Korea may receive sighs of 'too bad', 'a tragedy' and the like, but behind this moralism is the mean thought that the North Koreans should rise up as one and throw out of the rascals. And so hypocrisy of concerrn and 'treat your neighbour as he would treat you' stays the rich hands from dipping into surplus food supplies. Dante would surely assign such men and women to the eight circle of Hell!
Webstreaming today, GuamDiary saw the unflappable Margaret Warner 'speaking' with David Austin of Mercy Corps who has recently returned from a visit to the most exposed provinces in North Korea where the people are starving.
Warner raised the old red herring of how can you trust Kim Jong il & co. and make sure the food goes to the people it is intended for, as her finely manicured nails beat a tattoo on her desk on a big gem on her fourth left finger--a picture of controlled indignation if not disgust.
Austin spoke plainly. He informed Warner and the PBS 'News Hour' audience that the North Koreans were forthright; they allowed Mercy Corps to go wherever they wanted, to visit empty graneries, homes, hospitals, schools, etc. Since North Korea's appeal for food fell on deaf ears, Pyongyang turned to private agencies. We learn that until two years ago when the food dried up, the North Korea had respected a protocol it signed with Mercy Corps, meaning Mercy Corps controled and monitored food distribution from the port to the people the food was meant for, without interference. Still, Warner did not seem convinced.
Mercy Corps has broached the White House for the food, but as Austin put it, the Obama administration is discussing it. In other words, there is no action yet and may not very well be.
So is there food, funneled through the private sector to starving North Koreans? we cannot say for sure. And doubting Thomases that we are, we think the Obama regime won't lift a little finger.

They the Zionists have a gift for learning?

They say Zionists have a gift of learning. But judging by the actions of the right wing prime minister 'Bibi' Netenyahu & co's actions, you've to take that assumption with a grain of salt.
Is Israel, as 'Isaih' says, a light unto all nations? Hardly. Two recent events prove otherwise.
Everyone knows that America and America Jewry are pillars of support, at times seemingly unconditional, of the state of Israel. However, as the Israeli government encourages illegal land grab of Palestinian land on the occupied West Bank, as the UN Goldstone Report on 'Operation Cast Lead' put the pre emptive war against Hamas in Gaza, and as Israel turns more and more into itself and raises walls of self protection, let's call it a 'disaffection' among a younger generation of American Jews is growing more and more noticeable. During a Knesset debate the spot light of opprobrium shone on J Street, a pro Israel, pro peace, liberal leaning advocy group. J Street, a critical friend of Israel, poses as a counter weight to the very well heeled AIPAC [American Israeli Public Affairs Committee] which until J Street appeared on the scene three years ago, managed roughly handedly to push Israeli issues with US law makers and the mainstream media and carry out an active propaganda initiative aimed at the wider American public.
When Netenyahu was last in the US, he was AIPAC's guest speaker, calling for unconditional support of the Zionist state.
J Street, on the other hand, who question the 'ukase' of unconditional support of Israel, and oppose illegal settlements, and in fact, argued with president Obama's veto of the UN Security Council resolution to condemn Israel for its appetite for Palestinian land.
Needless to say, as the extreme right wing firms up its grip on the Israeli power structure, J Street is an anathema: it is not a Zionist organization, which means they are heretics to the ideas and ideals of Revisionist Zionism, and even Ben Gurion Zionism. It is a bleeding heart at best and traitorous at worst.
Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street's founder, came to defend his group. Netenyahu snubbed him. And outside of the dimishing voices of Israelis who want peace, he suffered the slings and arrows of the Knesset's lack of dialogue and discussion, but instead forcefully stormed in favour of Israeli's embrace of a Greater Israel, of an Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.
Ben Ami didn't shy away from a battle, but he did point out that the Zionist's elite's inability to learn is costing them the support of US Jews, especially those under 50. His warning might as well fallen on the sound baked stones of the Negev deserts.
As GuamDiary noted, withinside the White House a close but steamy debate is occurring, which assesses America's Israelocentric foreign policy and its impact on events in the Arab World, as Washington is fumbling around for a new way to 'reimpose' its role in that part of the world. Time is on J Street's side.
And then there's the opening of Julian Schnabel's 'Miral', a film based on Rula Jebreal's novel; it's a story of the Israeli Palestinian conflict as seen through the eyes of an orphaned girl. Schnabel is a Jew, which is cause of enough for raising hackles am American Jewry's organisations. His film lends dignity to an Israeli Arab, as it offers a differing perspective from the one AIPAC & co stuff down the American public's throat. In other words, Schnabel has betrayed his people; he's a turncoat, a heretic, and much worse, for, according to Zionist eschatology all Arabs are demons and devils and so on. And worse still, 'Miral's' distributor is the very Jewish Harvey Weinstein, and Schnabel's crew are made of Jews and Arabs and Indians and Americans.
So quick to buckle on sword, the AJC [American Jewish Committee] and the SWC [Simon Wiesthal Centre], with the full support of the state of Israel. And the charge of 'Miral' is anti Israel continue to resound. Where's the voice of Alan Dershowitz in this kyrielle of hysteria?
A reader of GuamDiary has alerted us to the two full page ad in the 25 March 2011 issue of the 'NYT' [New York Times], on one side an ad for 'Miral' and on the other a reprint of Danielle Berrin's article in 'The Jewish Journal' []'Why is the American Jewish Committee Afraid of "Miral"?', which deserves reading.
The self anointed 'machers' of American Jewry knee jerk reaction mirros the Catholic Legion of Decency who vainly tried to marshal public opinion against, say, Godard's 'Je vous salue Marie'. It is like putting out honey for bees and ensuring a better gate than the critics review might allow.
Hyperbole notwithstanding, Zionists attempts to brand J Street or Julian Schnabel with the mark of Cain simply wont work. What sticks in their caw is allowing that Palestinians and Arabs are neighbours and have the same value as fellow humans and the dignity that is the proper of the human family. For this idea to triumph, the Zionists will have to go through a re education of received ideas and junk a proto fascist ideology.
So we ask the question again: have the Zionists a gift for learning? Where is the traditional display of irony, tolerance, or ambivaluence to counter the iron fisted bluntness and physicality of Zionist policy and Israel's immediate recourse to force?
Perhaps irony and tolerance and ambivalence thrive in the Diaspora whilst in Israel the dominating ideology is to look on Arabs as the enemy without a soupcon of doubt. Zionism has become, or perhaps it always carried the seed of the extremism we see among al Qaida or the Taliban or its 59 varieties in Pakistan?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cast Lead Redux

As the Israeli military multiple strikes against Gaza, voices like right wing minister Sylvain Shalom's are calling for a renewed preemptive war against Hamas. Events in the Arab world are forcing Israel's proto fascist Netenyahu led government to act.
Palestinian youth are demanding that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas make common front face with Israel's 44 year occupation of the West Bank, which illegal settlers, with government encouragement and aid, are seizing Arab land. A rapproachement of the two main Palestinian political factions spells trouble for Netenyahu & co. They no longer will be able to shuck and slide in negotiations in which Israel gives nothing and the Palestinians everything for a two state solution and the creation of a free Palestine.
The Israelis are no fools: Egypt and Tunisia and Libya and Bahrain and Yemen should have awakened them to a sea change in their own backyard, and what's more it is the push of the young who in most cases are spearheading the call for change and action.
To the Zionist elite, Libya offers a way out of any Palestinian unity: a recourse as in the past to brute force. Hence the reason for Shalom & co.'s wanting another 'cast lead' against Hamas.
But conditions on the ground have changed: Gaza is no longer land locked by Israel and Egypt. Since Mubarak's fall, the border at Raffa if not open, is porous, and through it much needed supplies for survival are flowing through.
In the West Bank, a Gandhian influenced non violent movement is spreading, something before which the Israelis will remain impotent to mate. Outside the movement to 'boycott, divestment, and sanctions' [BDS] is growing in effectiveness, so much so that the right wing Likud government is compiling lists of names of groups and people who are in favour of showing Israel's dirty linen to the global community. Netenyahu & co. have with a stroke of the pen extended its war against the Palestinian people to a planetary level, in order to conduct black propaganda, harass anyone--including the man or woman who sign a petition--and assassinate character wise or worse.
No one can discount Israeli fighting power, but like the strength of tyrants before it, Israel, too, is hastening its own defeat.
On another front, corruption and malfeasance and debauchery in the upper echelons of the Zionist elite are more and more in evidence. One only has to think of the charges leveled against the living mummy Ariel Sharon and his son. And of course, the humbling of the former president Moshe Katsov being sentenced to seven years of prison for rape.
The signs are clear: the Zionist state is falling apart within and the recourse is to wage war to hide the rot that is eating away at the boards of the state of state.
And so it, for clever and skilful as the Zionist elite are, they are struck deaf and dumb and partially blind to the meaning of change in the Arab world. They may feel that they can rely continually on the protection, support, and free flow of money by the Americans, but even there the sharpening debates within the US government and elite may not guarantee the 60 year blank cheque of backing up Israel.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Air strikes against Libya

Here's a thought: France took the lead. Why? Perhaps president Sarkosy thought of Mitterrand's arming of Rwanda, which facilitated the genocide there. The US was 'late' to join the 'coalition of the willing', after the nod from the Arab League. Why? Perhaps Hillary Clinton thought of the slow response of her husband to the slaughter in Rwanda. Whatever the reason, had the UN Security Council and the Arab League not given the green light, on the world's television screen, we would be sorry witnesses to spare no civilian opponenets of Colonel Qadhafi to the wrath of his troops and mercenaries.
World opinion, however,is divided on the merits of intervention. 'No boots on the ground' is the mantra, and generally it will be observed. Nonetheless the allied bombings have stopped Qadhafi's troops and encouraged the 'rebels' to take heart and continue the fight.
Foes of the air cover are not without history to back up their opposition. Some think that the moment for action is past, and so good luck to the Libyans fighting the better armed Qadhafi soldiers and African mercenaries. Others, especially in the US, sees before their eyes the horrors of the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and shudder at sending 'our boys' to the 'shores of Tripoli' once more, fearing that they won't pull out rapidly once the mission is done.Still others eye the nefarious hand of US or European imperialist or neo colonialists aching to get hands of theirs on high quality Libyan oil. And if any underlying conditions have been overlooked, what about the CIA's attempt to 'take out' Qadhafi, in spite of the west's kissing and making up with him after he agreed to pay the families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing, thereby throwing the door open to infusions of western capital into Libya. And then the sly old colonel renounced his infant nuclear programme. And so the rationalisation go on and on and on.
The last consideration for these people is the welfare of the tens of thousands who will fall to Qadhafi's wrath and sword of vengeance. For them, the stakes are not high enough nor the principles firm enough.
Happily for the Libyans these people are not in a position of power to stand by and do nothing but wring hands of 'me oh my....' and watch the spectator sport of mass slaughter, as they've done many times before in recent history.
What about regime change? The UN resolution does not specifically call for chasing Qadhafi from power. Look at it this way: by allowing the Libyan people, thanks to the air cover over Libya, are now more or less on an even playing field, and if they prevail, guess what? Qadhafi will either flee with his seven sons or they will be judged by the Libyan people. So...what's the problem?

Israel's double pronged attack

The main street media wakes up when rockets from Gaza fall in southern Israel. Qassam rockets are a response to Israeli bombings of Gaza, which seems to have escaped the press' notice, save the journalists critical of Israeli military designs in smashing the enemy, read Hamas in Gaza.
The UN sponsored 'Goldstone Report' should have debunked the notion that the Israeli 'David' was fighting the Gazan 'Goliath'. The analogy is patently false but go tell that to the Marines! as the quaint American expression says.
Nonetheless as events in the Arab world play out, Israel is becoming more isolated and is working itself up into a fury over its inability to checkmate Hamas, and what's more the shift in tactics among the Palestinians who are more and more embracing a Gandhi non violent resistance to the 44 year long Zionist occupation and usurpation of their land on the west bank is beginning to have a bit. The success of the boycott divestment sanction movement [BDS] is gaining ground, much to the Zionists displeasure.
So it should come as no surprise that the Netenyahu government has sent afoot a stealth campaign to target any and everyone who is trying to 'give the Zionists' a black eye. Not content with compiling lists, let's put it this way, the Israelis will pull out every trick they can think of: black disinformation campaigns, darkening the reputations of anyone who signs a petition or contributes to condemning Israeli aggression against the Palestinians; anyone who denounces the illegal seizure of land in East Jerusalem or the west bank. And it is not by a far stretch of the imagination by hitting out at even those who with a credit card may purchase Haaretz's Gideon Levy's 'Punishment of Gaza'. In a world the campaign is aimed at Israelis, Palestinians, and everyone else in the world.
Desperation and great fear have seized the Zionist leaders who are hiding in the bunkers of their own making and the corrosive nature of Zionist ideology. Try as they might, and believe us, they will try their devilish best, they will fail. For the justice is not on their side.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

State sponsored Israeli pirates display booty

State sponsored Israeli pirate displayed the booty of arms, allegedly from Iran, they captured from the vessel they hijacked on the open seas yesterday.
Radar systems, thousands of rounds of mortar shell, and 70.000 rounds for Kalishnikovs, reports the Anglo Israeli journalist Isabel Kershner. Bound for the port of Alexandria in Egypt from Turkey, the Israeli terrorists however refrained from pinning the label of final destination on Gaza. The materiel may very well have been destined for others than Hamas. Or it might have been transhipped to the rebels in there's a thought!
Yet no one officially has raised a voice against Israel's violation of the laws of the seas and international conventions. Netenyahu's right wing government operates on the principle of 'silence is consent', and so, Israel will act as a law unto its own, the more especially since eyes are turned on events in Libya, Baharain, and other countries in the Arab world.
However, Israel may esistentially fear Iran, something else is happening right under its nose: the process is beginning of a meeting of the minds of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. When that happens, the pillars of Israel's colonial rule will shake even more and even more will it go on the defensive even to the point of open, undeclared war.
Yesterday, GuamDiary blogged about Remick's 'editorial' in 'The New Yorker'. Netenyahu & co. and his merry little band of proto fascists should take fright: for even the seemingly 'eternal support' of the US is no longer assured.
And in the end, like it or not, like the sour puss of Itzhak Shamir at the Madrid meeting in the early 1990s, Israel will have to swallow hard an international solution imposed on it. It will lose all the illegal settlements on the occupied West Bank, pay endless reparations like the Germans did the Jewish survivors after world war 2, and become a middle rank levantine state which it always was.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Boynton debunks the US North Korean clerisy in 'Digital rebels staking on North Korea'

You've to thank Robert Boynton for his article--'Digital rebels taking on North Korea--in the April 2011 issue the Atlantic magazine.
You may quibble with Boynton's standpoint, but no one, we repeat no one, could or should challenge his observation that 'until recently [Pyongyang watchers] could say more or less whatever they wanted about North Korea, because nobody could prove them wrong, and hoary rumors have long been the coin of the realm.
'We've seen how serious the consequences of this "uninformed" [GaumDiary emphasis] punditry can be. Assured by North Korea expert in 2002 that the regime was "on the brink" of collapse, president George W. Bush saw no point in negotiating with Kim Jong Il, whom he loathed and wasn't inclined to deal with in the first place. Not only did the regime not collapse, but in October 2006 it detonated its first nuclear weapons'.
Anti Kim North Korean refugees in South Korea, armed with digital technology, have shown that the US North Korean clerisy are naked and have been selling snake oil all the long, or as long as their cottage industry of puffery and flummery have not been exposed. Yet pick up any publication, say, in the US and you will find the same old bromides and calumy that are the clerisy's trademark.
You may wonder why this charade continues: simply put, it's an industry heavy funded by government funds and like the long gone dinosaurs are incapable of adapting to a newer environment. Add to that, inertia which encourages sloth and lazy habits, and the attitude 'if it works why cahnge it?'
A recently published book--'Anatomy of Kim Jong-il' deals with the obvious 'ad hominem' attacks on the 'Great Leader'. Here, again, we have the usual surfacing of the superficial but not dealing with the fundamental questions which are harder to answer and which would cast a bad light on US advisors in and out of government [see above]. How much easier and more convenient to remix the same old same old nonsense on North Korea?
Hillary Clinton's approach towards dealing with North Korea is a classical case in point: hard line, no nonsense, brassy. It's a smash in the face attack: either Pyongyang will cry uncle or we will up the ante. Well the ante keeps rising higher and higher until US and its 'ally' South Korea trip a wire as they did in late November 2010 by shelling North Korean territorial waters along the NLL [Northern Line Limit]. Then North Korea riposted and visions of a renewed war in Korea had the US put its tail behind its legs. And not only that, Washington had to restain 'bulldozer' Lee Myung bak, for the last thing Obama & co. wanted or ever wished for was a third war in Asia when the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan are noticeable failures.
You'd think, too, the time had come for negotiations or talks. Wrong! The US and South Korea have learnt nothing. They have one common view in mind: driving North Korea over the cliff of ruin...economic and diplomatic by intensifying the ego money military exercises or imposition of harsh sanction which are not working.
It is easy for forget that war in Korea is entering its 61 year and the US and South Korea are harnessing their shoulders to keeping it going through propaganda and military showcasing and inept diplomacy for a century or more.
Yet North Korea survives in spite of those failed manoeuvres. You'd think that would say something to the US and South Korea? It hardly causes a ripple in a cemented case mindset. In the end, Washington and Seoul and yes even Japan will have to sit down with the North Koreans and work things out.
Boynton, with pride, can say that he has shown that the old and current Pyongyang watchers are, in the main, charlatans, and that we have to look elsewhere for what's happening on the ground in North Korea.

David Remick's 'New Yorker' editorial on Israel: A man, a plan Israel, a Palestinian state, and Obama

Have we missed something? The US recently cast a veto killing a resolution condemning Israel for building settlements illegally on Palestinian territory which it seized during the 1967 war 44 years ago.
Now in an very prestigious, influential, and widely read [especially among the US elite] weekly magazine of long vintage 'The New Yorker', seasoned journaalist David Remick has 'dared' to question the 'bona fides' of Netenyahu's role in the Israel Palestinian peace process, as well as revealing, on one hand, the vacuity of Obama's advisors approach to the matter and on the other, the hidden but heated and bubbling debate with the administration on Israel at a time when US policy in the Middle East is crumbling and without a Plan B or C or D.
The times call for new thinking and bold measures. Netenyahu's stalling and US diplomacy proving once more inadequate to meet current challenges, the Obama administration has to take courage and daring into its own hands to bring forth a new plan for a Palestinian state which would do justice to Palestinian aspiration without sacrificing Israel in its pre 1967 borders.
Although Remick does not say much, the deconstructed text of his 'editorial' implies that message.
As it is, and as GuamDiary has observed, what is obvious to even a one eyed man, US policy is Israelicentric. As the unsettling events in the Arab world is showing that approach is self defeating. Remick expresses the vigorous debate within the White House over protecting Israel from censure in the UN Security Council, which the US did recently. This action did not win it 'brownie points' even among Israelis who view Obama with a jaundiced eye. Only the US canned the resolution which the other 14members of Council voted for its passage.
Time is running out for taking on its shoulders the consequences of indefensible Israeli policies towards the Palestinians.
Remick only mentions Dennis Ross by name for his ploddling gradualist approach to birthing a Palestinian state. He might also have indicted Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel, serving as Special Envoy to the Middle East, who, when push comes to shove, will put Israel's needs before the crying conditions of the Palestinians, who are daily robbed of their land, their water rights, their dignity, and civil and human rights by the Zionist state.
Remick even goes one step further by calling on Obama to brave the catcalls and smears of AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] which has become an albatross on the neck of US Middle East policy.
In all, Remick's piece is remarkable in that he has 'dared' to bell the Israeli cat and its glaring drag on US interests and policies. Remick suggests, and he is probably right, that by slapping Netenyahu hard on the knuckles and making life more and more difficult for the AIPAC lobby to 'control' US policy, Obama could make a breakthrough in the changing environment in the Middle East.
It is equally significant that it is not in 'The New Yorker' and nor in the 'New York Times' or the 'Washington Post', but in a more 'up market' weekly which is read by the elite in and out of government. Why now? Well the answer is clear: the hand writing is on the wall and if the US does not act in its own interests, it will lose out in the Middle East. Washington needn't worry too much about Israel which it subsidised handily, but it does have to count worry beads that it is losing its strong hand of influence in that region.
So, through Remick, dissatisfied elements in America's ruling circles are signally that it is time to redirect US away from its Israeli centric axis to a more even hand neutral approach, guaranteeing justice for the Palestinians and welcoming the democratic change sweeping the Arab world.
Is the timing of Remick's article too late? That remains an open question.

Israeli pirate take once more to the high sea

Whilst its Arab neighbours are going through the birth pangs of democracy, Israel once more has thumbed its nose at laws of international behaviour. Two hundred miles off its own shores, and in international waters, Israeli government sanctioned piracy went into play again.
This time it wasn't shooting their way onto a flotilla with needed supplies for Gaza, but commandeering a vessel bearing a Liberian flag, owned by a German company, but operated by a French company, on its way from Turkey to Egypt.
Israel's prime minister 'Bibi' Nethenyahu gave the green light for the operation, as the lord and master of the seas, no matter what laws and conventions he broke. For Israel is a law unto itself, it fancies itself.
The reason for the hijacking of this ship is that its cargo hold is full of arms which the first Iranian ships to pass the Suez Canal in years delivered to Syria. Allegedly Syria transhipped these 'arms' to Turkey from whence they were laden on the vessel the state sponsored Israeli terrorists seized.
The forcefully taken ship is on its way to the Israeli port of Ashdod. It may already be moored there. The Israeli bandits will interrogate the crew, inspect the ship, and try to prove that Irani arms for Gaza were aboard.
And of course hardly a protest on Israel's act of piracy!
You have to wonder about the skittish gut reaction of Netenyahu: it sees the hand of Iran in everything. And the Egyptian border with Gaza is now porous so the tight strangle hold Israel and Egypt kept on Gaza's throat is relaxed since Mubarak's overthrow. The meaning is clear: once banned supplies are now pouring into the rebuild Gaza which Israel's campaign [2008-2009] tried to flatten completely could again rise from the rubble. In other words, the Israeli land blocade is dead in the water, but not on the high seas.
Unless the US and the international community protest and boycott Israel until such time it reforms its outrageous tactics, the state controlled terrorists on the high sea will act with impunity. In the longer view, Israel's recent act of piracy in international waters, is a sign of its desperation and the growing isolation it is finding itself in.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Suddenly the 'New York Times' & the "Los Angeles Times' comes to the aid of Bradley Manning

In spite of protests, letter writing campaigns, and petitions, the treatment of Bradley Manning at Quantico has more or less gone under the radar of the major US press. Had not the 'firing' of department of State's spokesman PJ Crowley grabbed headline around the world, the defeaning silence of the US media would continue.
Suddenly in the editorial pages of the 'NYT' and the 'LA Times' criticise Manning's treatment at the hands of the military authorities in Virginia.
And for the first time Manning's father has spoken out against the cruel way his son is being treated.
Will these voices meliorate the conditions of Manning's imprisonment? Probably not. The US president in one of his taking cover behind bureaucratic excuses publicly told us that the military has ensured him that Manning's being properly treated. Whatever that means, we cannot say for sure. The evidence is compelling that he's not receiving say the same favous a John Gotti got in a federal penitentary!
This sudden editorial rush to Manning's defence tells us once again how feckless the corporate press is and how craven it behaves before authority...until someone in the government like Crowley has the 'termity' to say aloud what everyone else quietly gulped down as humble pie of obeissance: Manning was being subjected to the same conditions the US liberally handed out at Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, Baghrum, and other sundry hidden dungeons.
Timorous is the press, it goes without saying. Where are the muckrackers? They exist but you have go to blogs, community and listener sponsored media to find them. Otherwise they are the voices crying in the wilderness.
GuamDiary has some kind words for the 'NYT' and the 'LA Times": better late than never. Yet Manning deserves better and fairer and more humane treatment.

Monday, March 14, 2011

PJ Crowley insists

Philip J Crowley, former military intelligence office and spokesman for Hillary Clinton's department of State simply won'y go quietly.
True to his code of ethics, he's standing tall by his condemnation of the treatment Bradley Manning is receiving in the navy's brig at Quantico, Va.
'It's stupid and counterproductive and ridiculous'; it is affecting the way the world sees the US, he continued.
'The world' does see what America's actions are: Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, Baghrum, and the use of secret prisons of US partners and allies. So although America has a short memory span, the world doesn't. Washington can tamper with its laws guaranteeing the rights of its citizens, but it cannot escape violating the Geneva Conventions and other international treaties, which has or refuses to sign.
Contrary to the cheering leading optimism of the Obama administration, the US is on the decline. Not only did his precedessor George Bush bring the world to complete economic collapse, but the very institutions the US most values are showing signs of extreme stress and malfunction, bordering on a meltdown.
The grasp of the levers of power--financial, political, and cultural--of Corporate America has the foul smell of 'fascism light'. Now, thanks to Corporate America's strawmen in office, private industry can take over the functions of government by the stroke of the pen. The fat cats soak up all the gravy and privileges and profits, whilst the little guy pays and pays through the nose.
Yes, the world knows of what's going on in the US.
The outrageous treatment of Bradley Manning is symptomatic of the totalitarian penchant of American democracy. 'Totalitarian democracy' is a term coined by Israeli historian J. L. Talmon to refer to a system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government. [Source:]
Crowley's from the old school and has a strong sense of values and of himself. He may--from the standpoint of Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates and Barack Obama--spoken out of turn at a public forum at an elite American university, but he only said aloud what many others are whispering, out of fear for their livelihood, in the corridors of power.
He may think Manning guilty as sin, but that's a matter for the courts. But, he spoke of Manning's right to humane treatment and respect for his person.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

PJ Crowley bites the bullet

As GuamDiary foresaw PJ Crowley the department of State spokesman who thought the treatment the Obama administration was handing out to Bradley Manning, was 'stupid and unproductive', today announced that he was stepping down.
A victim to his decency, Crowley is leaving government. We needn't worry that he will land on his feet. He will. And a think tank or a university will offer him employment.
Although he may not cherish the honour, he now joins the ranks of those who criticise or condemn Manning's treatment.
GuamDiary sincerely hopes that Crowley doesn't regret his words. Will others in government have the 'guts' to echo them? We cannot say for sure, but Crowley's remarks highlights the disfunctional nature of the American institutions which are 'a la derive'!

Detention of Bradley Manning: cruel & usual punishment

A small mercy: PJ Crowley, a department of State spokesman, broke the iron circle of consensus about the harsh conditions in the Quantico, Va., military gaol to which Bradley Manning has to forcefully submit.
Crowley qualified Manning's treatment as 'counterproductive and stupid', yet his detention is justified, the more especially since he 'allegedly'is accused of leaking US diplomatic cables to Wikileaks.
He made his remarks not at a press conference, nor during questioning by talking heads on the television, nor an off the cuff riff as he was rushing off to a meeting:
they were pronounced at MIT, one America's elite universities, a hothouse of future scientists, engineers, bankers, and political leaders. His words, thus, takes on a weight they might have not if made, say, in a college in South Dakota.
Briefly let's look at the 'cruel and usual punishment' applied liberally to Manning:
strip searches; standing buck naked in front of his cell as a deliberate punishment to humiliate and break Manning's sense of self. 23 hours in lock down with a lone hour of a walk in the outside, deprived of any other human contact in the prison yard. 23 hours of intense lighting which has but a singular goal to foster sleep deprivation and as another means to break Manning. Practices which are common coin at Quantanamo or Abu Gharib of Baghram Air Force base in Afghanistan. Overall, it is a not so subtle form of 'torture', condemned by international law, which the US ignores as it sees fit or rewrites its own laws to fit its harsh measures.
Manning's mother, lawyer, Amnesty International, and the American Civil Liberties Union have strongly protested the government's treat of Manning, to no avail.
Crowley himself had no opinion on the subject of torture. President Obama, as is his wont, hid behind the wooden language the Pentagon uses: the confinement of Manning is appropriate and as commander in chief, his military bureaucrats assured him that Manning's detention fall within 'civilised norms'.

Suddenly, Crowley found itself on the hot seat. He took refuge in saying he simply expressed his own personal opinions. His 'apologia pro sua lacunae' crackled on the news wires. Obama covered Crowley's 'gaffe', by stressing the personal nature of the state department spokesman. Nonetheless, his statement had the effect of a hiccup which put more 'ammo' in the arsenal of Manning's defenders.
As for Crowley, we wonder if his making a 'major' pronouncement at MIT, he might, as a skilled handler of the public and the press, have exercised more control. We shall never know since his audience's questions triggered a moment of less guarded thought, but elicited an opinion to which he had long given thought. Will this put a crimp in his career? It should surprise no one if in a month or two or three, Crowley leaves his post for a plummy post in the world of think tanks and foundations.
Finally, Crowley's remark put the spotlight on the 'totalitarian' measures applied to Manning, measures which we would find in Mubarak's gaols, or Israeli detention camps, or Gadhafi's Libya.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Libya another Hungary?

As Kadhafi's aeroplanes strafe, bomb, and kill Libyan 'freedom fighters', the EU and US and the UN, and Arab League palaver about the need to throw an air cover over Libya.
The American president Obama, weaving a silken web of words, alludes to the strangling hold of sanctions on the Libyan strong man that will in the end force him from power. What 'Gatorade' is he drinking? Any child could spot the chink in Obama's logic: Kadhafi is not feeling the tightening noose of this legalistic recourse to action; he is killing his opponents with superior fire power and a trained military, which may or may not be fiercely loyal to him and his sons.
The inability of the world's big and not so big powers' ability thus far to agree on controlling the Libyan skies brings back memories of the 1956 uprising in Hungary against its Soviet 'protector'. Encouraged by Eisenhower, for example, who cheered them on from the sidelines, but did precious little more than that, lest he risk confrontation with the Soviet Union.
Obama is, as he is wont, taking a very cautious approach to aiding Libyan resisters with air cover. Mitch McConnell, the puff adder of the Republicans in the Senate, says that rescuing Libya from Kadhafi is not in the country's vital interests'. Some Democrats subscribe to a policy of non intervention, as well. Obama's secretary of Defence Gates does not favour the idea.
We say for the Republicans their instinct of isolation resurfaces wrapped in the American flag. For others, including Democrats, the lessons of two failed wars in Iraq and Afghanist and the uneasy truce in the Korean peninsula are a powerful antidote to military adventurism.
And the cherry on this cake of 'real Politik' is the assessment of US intelligence who see Kadhafi triumphing over those who have taken up arms against his 42 year old dictatorship.
On the other hand, victor, Kadhafi like a wounded bull elephant will seek blood inside and out of his oil rich desert preserve. Read: if it is true, as is now said, he masterminded the Lockerbie bombing, well for those old darlings who sweat at night about terrorist attacks in the US, they should take something basic to quell queasy stomachs for Kadhafi will seek revenge.
So is the moment akin to the Hungarian uprising? Yes, in the sense that the outside community is taking its sweet time to come to the aid of Libya's 'freedom fighters'. The powers may finally agree on his plan of action in say 10 days or a fortnight's time, but have the resistants the wherewithal in ammo to hold out till then?
If they don't, the cheer leaders from afar will wring hands in despair, shed crocodile tears, and then seek to approach the bloody handed Kadhafi.

The king of Morocco's speech

With the world's eyes fixed on what's happening in Libya or Egypt or Yemen or Oman or even Saudi Arabia, they have not noticed that to the west in the country where the sun sets, Morocco, modest protests have resulted in what may simply be thought of something 'revolutionary'.
On 3 March 2011 from the throne Mohammed VI in a somber three button suit - flanked on his right by his son and heir Sidi Hasan, similarly dressed, and to his left his brother Moulay Rachid equally fitted - delivered an important speech.
In essence, he told his people, 'je vous ai compris'...'I heard you', without giving a nod to recent street demonstrations.
Briefly, he is initiating steps in constitutional reform which will lighten the royal hand on government...even going as far as saying the prime minister will be responsible to parliament and not appointed by him. Economic regionalisation will continue with renewed purpose, in order create jobs and open doors for the growing university educated, etc. Notably, too, Mohammed VI emphasised the equality of the sexes, the need for women in elected positions, so on and on. Equally significant is a reference to 'ammazighite, patrimone commun de tous les Marocains, sans exclusivite': translation the recognition of Morocco's Berber heritage, which under his father's reign was hardly emphasised, and which under the protectorate, the French cynically used 'Berberism' to divide and weaken the awakening Moroccan nationalism.
GuamDiary suggests reading this important document to its readers.
Mohammed VI belongs to the Alouite dynasty which has ruled Morocco since 1631. The unrest which is now rocking the pillars of the Arab world did affect Morocco. The example of Tunisia dumping Ben Ali and Egypt Hosni Mubarak did not go unnoticed in the royal palace in Rabat. Calls for a constitutional monarchy unsettled and jobs and abolishing corruption and the heavy hand of the monarchy forced Mohammed VI & co. to put on thinking caps.
One thing you can say for the youthful king is that he is cut from the same wood as his grandfather Mohammed V and his father Hasan II. At the heart of the king's speech is a pragmatic assessment of reality and the instinctive political will of survival of the Alouite dynasty. M-6, as he is popularly referred to, has not intention to spend the rest of his days like Farouk in exile or a future without a throne for his son Sidi Hasan.
Mohammed V, chosen and tutored by the French, took the reins of the nationalist movement into his hands, the better for the royal house's survival. Hasan II brutally repressed the Moroccan left and beat back two attempts by the military to seize power. Now, it is Mohammed VI's turn to perpetuate the long reigning house of the Alouis. His way is to secede the trappings of autocracy for the constitutional and economic reforms which will not upset his palace's apple cart.
We do not say for sure: did M-6 read Lampadeusa's 'the Leopard'? In any way, it seems, with his speech, he's has taken to heart the Prince of Salina's lesson in political economy: in grosso modo, it goes something like this: you've to give a little to retain power.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kim Jong eun invited to China

For all the tea leaves readers, China's inviting Kim Jong eun to visit China [at a date to be determined] show put to rest will he or won't he step into his father's shoes when the time comes.
It should've been obvious to the Pyongyang watchers around the world that an elaborate shadow dance has run its course.
Kim Jong il had informed Hu Jintao that his youngest son will inherit the Kims' mantle. And China, a shucks, who me? attitude, feigned ignorance of what's happening in the country next door.
The North Korean clerisy -- US or otherwise -- with the eye of a needle went looking here, there, and elsewhere to mock Kim Jong eun, as well as, in an exercise of wish fulfillment, envisaged the sinking of the great ship North Korea.
The long in the tooth North Korea watchers in Washington, with a sneer from ear to ear, contemptuously referred to Kim's youngest son, as 'the kid'. You've to wonder what they really know about him. Very little, you can jolly well bet.
The clerisy's arrogance borders on the legendary. Their silliness knows no bounds, but armed with diplomas, rumours, and listening with an ear to North Korean railroad tracks, they take signs of their own pie in the sky analysis for reality. We are no longer in the real world but in the alchemy laboratories of the new flying island of Laputa. Dean Swift, were he alive today, would have a good tummy laugh!
Instead of praying for the collapse of North Korea, it would do these good, pious ideologist well to convince, say, the US government to negotiate with Kim Jong il & co. If they persist in building higher the walls of their own isolation, sooner or later, they're going to have to engage his son Kim Jong eun. And you can stand on a stack of bibles and swear, they will be falling all over themselves to deal with him, like it or not.

Computer viruses in South Korea

South Korea was the theatre of cyberattacks: a virus corrupted the Blue House, the ministry of foreign affairs, South Korea's largest bank, an online auction house, and a few US and ROK military installations.
So far, North Korea was spared the blame. It was a year or so before, was it 2009?, but the story lost interest when the hacking was traced to Europe, the US, and within South Korea.
This time, the damange was 'manageable'?
Unnamed sources lay the blame at the doorstep of South Korea. Look for the rising discontent among the elite and the unfulfilled rising expectations of its youth and its middle class.

The high Tory condescension of Aidan Foster Carter

Aidan Foster Carter has the 'bona fides' of a Korea watcher. Long in the tooth, his opinion in sought in the press. When it comes to North Korea, the disciplined Foster Carter throws caution to the wind: 'I wish the Kim regime would simply go away' is a sign of the emotional agitation the mere mention of North Korea arouses in him.
Consider his latest journalistic contribution on North Korea: 'North Koreans: Still hungry. Who cares?', which recently appeared on
Look at his opening remarks: 'Warning: This article is really boring. And ever so depressing. There's lots far more exciting than this on "Asia Times Online". Why not go read something else instead?' Then, Foster Carter goes on to draw of a list of what he calls 'sexy stuff': grievances and an indictment of North Korea.
His tone is in a 'The New Yorker' coined phrase -- 'smary self satisfaction'.
You can blame Kim Jong il & co. for many things, but not for acts of God. North Korea has been hit by a series of floods and droughts that have wreaked havoc on the lives of ordinary North Koreans. Starvation, stunted growth of children, early deaths, and an exodus of northerns to China and a circutious flight to South Korea in quest of economic relief.
International organisations have tried to reduce the violent suffering of the Northerners without curing the starvation, physical diminisment, and deaths.
Moreover the intentional flint hearted Southern regime of Lee Myung bak withheld the much needed fertilisers in the North, and drastically cut food supplies to a bare minimum if that.
Foster Carter neglects to point out that Kim Jong il's government appealed to the international community for more food aid, owing to a bad harvest. The US, UE, and Australia refused its appeal unless North Korea would give them the right to control distribution and the right to impose their policies. Naturally, North Korea turned the offer down. [For those with the memory of elephants, think of the US, UK, and France's proposals to take over the Suez Canal authority nationalised by Col. Gamal Nassar in 1956. The 'rais' flatly turned them down, for he recognised that it was a backdoor tack to again control the Canal and its receipts and thus bestow on Egypt the honour of being the former colonial powers' straw man.]
And as such, the US, US, and Australia simply dusted off an old stock in the trade of throwing their weight around. Have we to appreciate their utter gall? Have they learnt nothing in dealing with North Korea? Obviously not!
North Korea is fiercely nationalist and wears its honour on its sleeve. Technically at war, it does remember the horror of Japanese occupation and the utter destruction of its territory by the US led UN troops during the Korean War. It is justly proud with volunteer troops from China, of having 'rolled back' these troops to the 38 parallel where the war is set in stone by an armistice agreement.
Foster Carter will belittle the idea of 'juche' or the 'Cholima spirit' or the regimentation and uniformity of the land of the Kims, yet the condescending pen of his reminds one of the well fed, comfortable moraliser who from afar can go 'tsk, tsk, tsk...oh, how awful...triple shame on North Korea...and hot in condemnation and the ready finger of beads of high dudgeon...and sigh with the frustration that he cannot do much about the way things are but scold' whilst sipping his tea.
We've heard this old song before: remember the sanctions against Hussein's Iraq where the incidence of early children's death spiked higher and higher...and the belt tightening cut into the Iraqis' hide...' It took an war based on lies to remove Saddam Hussein and even now the suffering of the Iraqis remain extreme.
Although Foster Carter won't admit it: he desires the reopening of the war front in North Korea. But his body won't be on the front line...
Better the North Koreans starve so that the Snow White purity of Foster Carter's motives remain to slip into Francois Villon's line like 'les neiges d'antan'.

Stripping Bradley Manning of a shread of his dignity!

US president Obama never tires, sternly lecturing once US allied dictators to take the good road to repentance, but blithely ignores habits roundly condemned as 'violations of human rights' in his own backyard.
Bradly Manning, sequested under Guantamo like conditions at a Quantico, Va. military gaol, and without being indicted yea these many months with any wrong doing. He's under 23 hour lockdown for allegedly passing on minimally classified US diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, which is in eye drop measures, putting them on the internet for all and sundry to see.
The insult and humiliation of the poorly monitored and insouciantly controlled secrecy of its info by the military and civilian authorities has around the sleeping cobra of wildly striking at any target to get even for exposing the very visible warts of the US.
After burdening Manning with more charges, including 'aiding and abetting the enemy' undefined, he had to stand buck naked outside his cell for seven hours until inspection. The ploy is obvious: the military was trying to 'break' Manning by attempting to strip away any private power of self worth he may harbour.
The government is desperate, as GuamDiary already noted, because it has thus far failed to link directly Manning to Julian Aussage the much vilified founder of Wikileaks who is fighting extradition to Sweden, and as Aussage fears, once in Stockholm to 'only answers questions', Swedish authorities would extradite him to the US where he would suffer the same indignities of imprisonment as Manning.
Manning's lawyer[s] and supporters have spoken of the effect of long months under extreme prison conditions and psychologically produced torture to wear him down.
That may very well be so, but somehow the ever burning bright lights, the consciously broadcast noise, and the like, has not reached Manning's mental security blanket, much to the complete frustation of the Obama administration.
And for the moment, Manning can claim a moral victory over the people that gave you Abu Ghraib!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Desperate US charges Bradley Manning with 'aiding the enemy'

Poor Bradley Manning has 22 more charges shackled to the weight of US charges against him. Now he faces a death sentence since he is being burden with 'aiding and abetting the enemy [undefined, thank you very muchg!]'
Manning is being held in a military prison in Quaantico, Virginia, without being formally charged, and under Guantanamo like conditions: a 23 hour lockdown and an hour of being out of his cell. So much for justice...doesn't any remember the title of a Robert Sheer book...'Military justice is to justice as military music is to music'...come publisher should reprint it!
It is a clear signal that the case against him as a way to get at Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange is proving elusive, frustrating, and humiliating to the world's only and becoming horribly obsolete 'superpower'.
Manning is under military wraps; Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden without a formal indictment...his presence is only needed, Swedish authorities say, to answer questions...Really!
The last barrel of dead fish of charges against Manning is a blaring red light warning to the 'enemy' the 'free US media', the ordinary US citizen who accesses online banned leaked US cables...
As the US shifts more and more to the 'righteous right wing', the more authorian it becomes. Could it be otherwise? Hardly. With a ballooning budget and deficit giving the lion's share not to the betterment of the commonweal but to a bloated military and military contractors and lobbyists fighting two unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what else could you expect?
And with a failed foreign policy which had banked on support of dictators who are falling like flies in the strategic Middle East, the charges against Manning alerts the world that the US is circling the wagons...egads the muscular strong man of the west is like, as the Vietnamese like to say during the American war in Vietnam, an elephant trying to crush an ant.
And as Pogo said, 'we've met the enemy and it is US'!