A Fast for Human Rights in Gaza

Goldstone United Nations Report on Gaza Fighting

As Jews and people of conscience,” the group declares, “we can no longer stand idly by Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza.” Their efforts have been endorsed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

Winners and Losers in the American Warfare State

iraq-drain

After the long-suffering civilian population of Iraq, whose “crime” was having oil — a country that has been rendered virtually unlivable—the big losers are the American taxpayers who are bleeding income, jobs, and quality of life, not just sacrificing family members, on behalf of a runaway war machine.

Kabul In Encino

burn-victim

Sitting in that auditorium thick with nostalgia for another age, you’ve got to wonder where’s the passion beyond this room? Where’s today’s outrage? Where are the young people inflamed with the outrages of their elders?

Obama: Walking the Tightrope on Iran

iran-protests

When massive turmoil occurs in an important country, U.S. policymakers struggle to make heads or tails of it and arrive at an appropriate reaction. Kibitzers and pundits, however, have no trouble reaching immediate and sweeping conclusions and egging on the policymakers to further their own agendas. So far, President Obama has done a reasonably good [...]

Better Relations with Iran Require Change in U.S. Thinking and Policy

katherine_harris

One election in Iran will not significantly change U.S.-Iran relations—only a change in U.S. thinking and policy will do so. Historically, the U.S. government, under both Republican and Democratic presidents, has painted relatively poor third world regimes that don’t toe the empire’s line as “evil”—Moammar El-Gadhafi’s Libya in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the [...]

Will Obama Save the Mideast from Itself?

obama-middle-east

With his speech at Cairo University, President Obama has laid the groundwork, potentially, for a new era of peace in the Mideast. Israeli officials are now realizing that they will have to accept a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians. Meanwhile, there is an indication that the President’s speech is paving the way for [...]

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict—Why the U.S. Should Care Less

gaza

Hillary Clinton’s blunt public statement that President Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements—not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions” made for good headlines. The Israelis were shocked and upset that their slavish ally had acted slightly less obsequious and engaged in a public spat with them. This ballyhooed baby step came [...]

What’s Not Being Said About the Obama-Netanyahu Talks

bibi-meets_obama

The day after the White House talks between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the news agency AFP (Agence France-Presse) sent out an unusual story. It seems to have noticed what some of the rest of us did, that the story was being downplayed. The talks, it said, had “earned only [...]

Bibi Goes to Washington: How About a Nuclear Free Middle East?

bibi

Israel’s Likudnik Prime Minister, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, was one of the driving forces behind the neo-conservative foreign policy doctrine of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). PNAC called for a new “realm” in the Middle East forged through aggressive military action. Its successful prodding of the United States to invade and occupy Iraq [...]

Obama Meets Netanyahu: Time to Tell Israeli the Facts of Life

netanyahu-obama

For those too young to have been alive at the time or whose memories became fogged with age, in June 1961 – less than six months after being inaugurated – a very young President John F. Kennedy met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at a summit in Vienna. By the end of the session, the wily [...]

Will It Remain Business as Usual in the Middle East?

netanyahu

One of the most glaring ironies of the Middle East conflict is the righteous indignation displayed by the region’s leaders towards each other’s policies. In a region where violent and oppressive rule is the norm, leaders have no trouble pointing out each other’s flaws, often menacingly. And so Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government [...]

Torture Memos: Don’t Prosecute, But Change Law

what-me-worry

The recent release of memoranda used by the Bush administration to justify various aggressive interrogation techniques for use on suspected terrorists has led to widespread calls for prosecution, either against those who wrote the memos, those who approved them, or those who carried them out. The grounds for such prosecutions would be that the techniques [...]

Obama Offers Iran “A Promise of a New Day”

iran-and-obama

President Barack Obama has taken the first step toward reversing United States policies and actions aimed at Iran that have failed both countries for the past 56 years. “My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran, and [...]

Reading The Videos: Israel’s Glamor v. Palestine’s Despair

israel-gaza

Certainly no person aware of Israel’s blockade of goods and services to Gaza, or Israel’s devastating bombing of Gaza, would consider Gaza a vacation haven. Gaza is not a place of joy. It’s an overcrowded war zone populated by more than a million terrified men, women and children. They subsist amidst the rubble caused by [...]

My Letter to Middle East Envoy George Mitchell, Asking Him to Speak with Gaza Women

george-mitchell

CODEPINK Women For Peace will be traveling to Gaza on March 6th. The purpose of their mission is to provide “humanitarian and emotional support to women and women’s organizations and exert pressure on US, Egyptian and Israeli governments to lift the blockade and promote peace and human rights in the region.” In advance of their [...]

Can Obama Bring the Audacity of Hope to the Middle East?

arab_woman

n August 1, 2007, at the start of his campaign for President, Barack Obama made a speech to the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC where he laid out his plans for transforming American foreign policy to the Muslim world. “We are not at war with Islam… [and] we will stand with those who are [...]

Dissing Rice

rice_bush

Let’s see if I got this right. The prime minister of an allied government disses the U.S. Secretary of State, says he went over her head and got her boss, the President of the United States, to countermand her intention to vote for a resolution at the United Nations and gloats over the fact that [...]

Who Will Save Palestinians From Themselves

israel_palestine

It was a hot September day in Gaza and I was sitting in the office of a Hamas-affiliated newspaper talking with a senior Hamas intellectual. As the French news crew that had given me a ride from Jerusalem packed up their camera equipment, I took the opportunity to change the subject from the latest happenings [...]

Blood and Soil: The Price of Zionism

hamas_israel

Well, another Israeli “war” on the Palestinians, another shelling of UN facilities where refugees fled to escape massacre, another round of brazen excuses, another Palestinian government building reduced to rubble, another round of craven U.S. politicians falling all over each other in their rush to defend Israel’s boundless “right to exist” – a right that [...]

The World Needs Dr. King Now More Than Ever

Martin Luther King

On this 80th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as I look at the state of human rights in the world I ask myself, “What would Dr. King do?” Look at the situation in the Mideast, particularly the current bloodshed in Gaza. These attacks, a violation of international humanitarian law, can [...]

Some People Say

Some people call it fact, some people call it fiction, some people call it fabrication, some people call it fantasy, some people call it faked and some people call it fu–, well, never mind. We will present the story and let you decide. “Apparent suicide in anthrax case” Los Angeles Times headline – August 1, [...]

Iraq: Even If We Win We Lose

by Jules R. Benjamin – Has George W. Bush surged to victory in Iraq? If so, he can thank Iraqi tribalism, the success of ethnic cleansing, the loss of legitimacy by Al Qaida in Iraq, the “standing down” of the Sunni militias and Iran’s willingness to let its friends in Baghdad make their own peace [...]

Have We Forgotten About Iraq?

Vietnam Battle Field

Now slogging through its sixth bloody year, America’s invasion and occupation of Iraq is much on my mind this Saturday afternoon. On the television in the next room, the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee ponders the Florida and Michigan delegations, just now reaching its compromise.

The “I Didn’t Do It” Letter

George Bush and Andrew McClellan

Scott McClellan’s new confessional that’s pointed the finger at Bush administration figures in the Valerie Plame scandal reminds me of something my husband got in the mail, in the autumn of 1983. We called it the “I Didn’t Do It” letter. It arrived unexpectedly one afternoon from the offices of gold trader Alan Saxon, the [...]

The $3 Trillion War

The Cost of War

What’s the true cost of the war in Iraq? The total, long-term cost of everything from tanks and jet fuel and the interest on the money Washington is borrowing to the cost of caring for a double amputee for 40 years? It’s probably a lot higher than you think, but try about $3 trillion. That’s [...]

Petraeus and Crocker: The Endless Bummer

petreus-crocker

Petraeus has spoken again. And somehow I feel like I did listening over the years to friends of mine whose dreams were just sure to come true someday, and whose ships were just bound to come in. They were, after all, promised this — over and over and over. For some of them it was [...]

When “Oops” ISN’T Enough

Bush Cartoon Railroad Tracks

Erich Segal, the author of “Love Story,” once put the phrase “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” into the official collection of favorite American catch-phrases. Up until very recently, we’ve had to suffer under a latter-day perversion of that: “The ‘War on Terror’ means never having to say you’re sorry.” Now, however, comes [...]

The New Blue President and The War in Iraq

Donna Perdue

I sat in bed watching the Debate with Clinton/Obama in Hollywood Thursday night. I battled between it and the season premier of LOST on ABC but decided I can always catch the LOST rerun. I needed to see that last debate firsthand. I must admit, I’m impressed with both candidates. I had logged into Politico.com [...]

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