Iraq

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From the explosion of Osama Bin Laden into our consciousness on that terrible day in 2001, all the way to his death, feels like a frame of existence, a distinct period of our history and fate as an American community. There have been many deadly wars since then that America has participated in or supported. As an American Jew and a veteran peacebuilder in the Middle East, I also feel like this decade has been a whirlwind of violence, from Iraq to Lebanon to Gaza, and now to Arab countries in which I had worked, especially Syria where I put my heart and soul.

Every war, every massive act of violence, always makes me reflect anew on the origins and nature of human violence, and on its opposites, empathy, compassion, and love. We humans have made so many efforts through the millennia to create one political arrangement after another in …

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Iraq Sentences Tariq Aziz to Death – NYTimes.com.

Is this really a victory for democracy, for freedom? Especially in light of the wikileaks. I find his sentence rather disgusting because it just adds one more body on the pile of reverse injustices. Now we know just how many Sunnis have been slaughtered unjustly. Has this really made Shiites more secure? I don’t see the real transition yet to peace or justice. Of course, the man should be in jail for the rest of his life for the crimes against humanity, but soon he will hang in the gallows the way Saddam did. Will this solidify peace and democracy, has it ever? It is just one victorious side, while millions of Sunnis languish in neighboring countries. There are consequences for these endless cycles of revenge.…

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I spent almost an hour on the phone with this excellent reporter, Manya A. Brachear, who wrote the Los Angeles Times story. The more I studied the pictures the more horrified I became that this man was running the United States military, and that our country was actually engaged in a Christian crusade in the eyes of so many of its soldiers. I am so glad the reporter gathered the responses of the Christian community and I do hope that, as I said in the article, there is a bipartisan Christian effort to put this dark period behind us in the United States.

Here is an excerpt:

One passage plucked from the New Testament’s Epistle to the Ephesians instructs believers to “put on the full armor of God.”

An excerpt from the Old Testament’s Isaiah directs them to “open the gates that the righteous nation may enter.”

As American

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Abu Ghraib Prisoners

Abu Ghraib Prisoners

This is a must read for those who want to follow the steadily unfolding truths behind Cheney’s commitment to torture and violence. That it comes from a commtted fellow Republican in a very senior position makes it even more credible. Read the whole article by Laurence Wilkerson here. The essential lie that Cheney keeps telling is that President Obama is endangering the country by not following Cheney’s commitment to torture. Below are excerpts:

First, more Americans were killed by terrorists on Cheney’s watch than on any other leader’s watch in US history. So his constant claim that no Americans were killed in the “seven and a half years” after 9/11 of his vice presidency takes on a new texture when one considers that fact. And it is a fact.

There was absolutely no policy priority attributed to al-Qa’ida by the Cheney-Bush administration in the months before

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SORROW FOR IRANIANS IN BAGHDAD

by mgopin on April 24, 2009 · 4 comments

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It has become commonplace for innocent religious worshippers to be a focal point of war. This time it is Iranian pilgrims in Baghdad, and we must mourn for them. It is true that the United States is responsible for the destruction of Iraq, but no one familiar with the politics and leaders of the region can fail to note the decades long devastation from proxy Sunni-Shiite wars fought since the Iranian Revolution. Al Qaeda knows how to stir that pot as an extremist Sunni organization, but the current leaders of Iran stir it further by proxy wars and agitations all over the Middle East. It is time for opinion of the majority of the Iranian people to dominate their politics and foreign policy, which is a focus on prosperity, basic human needs and dignity. One senses the trap that leaderships across the region are in as far as Sunni/Shiite violence. …

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JOURNALS OF ECSTATIC HATE

by mgopin on January 16, 2009 · 13 comments

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Sometimes in the construction of a better world, it is necessary to go into the heart of darkness, to quote Conrad. Sometimes it is only in exploring our heart of darkness that we can figure out where we are, so that we know how to get beyond our current fallen state. I am drunk with blood these days, thoughts of blood, fear of blood, the rage of boiling blood, and so is anyone for whom  Palestine and Israel are a fixation.

This report of carnage in a Gaza hospital in all its horrifying details is typical of the innocents who are being cut to pieces. What stands out is the report of the impatient, smiling Islamic Jihad fighter who is just thrilled with the blood of his own people. New recruits to his cause. He sees around him a man with his

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President Assad of Syria with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in Damascus

President Assad of Syria with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in Damascus

Reporting from Jerusalem this month:

An astonishing statement from Benjamin Netanyahu. Not only does he have a plan to topple Hamas in Gaza through assassinations (as if that was not already tried and aborted by warriors more talented and experienced than he), but he also plans to proceed with diplomacy in his region by making clear to President Assad that the Golan will stay in Jewish hands:

“It should be clear to the Syrians and to the world, the Golan Heights will stay in our hands,” Netanyahu said.

This is a fascinating position. Either Mr. Netanyahu is delusional in terms of his understanding of Syria and the political realities of the moment, or he holds the Israeli right-wing voting public in contempt. My hunch is the latter, and I felt the same way about McCain’s contempt for …

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Iraq has rejected the United States’ use of its territory as a base from which to attack Syria. That is interesting because I thought that the justification for the attack was to defend Iraq from foreign fighters. No one has a greater stake in repelling foreign fighters than the Iraqis themselves. Though, wisely, they realize that building a peaceful relationship with their neighbors is far more effective than killing a few people and weakening the sovereignty of neighboring states.

Coverage of the incident is receiving increasing attention and analysis. I have done some of my own digging as to the source of the attack. It seems that most people assume that this attack across an international border could not have been done without the express approval of the White House and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it is possible that the Vice President authorized it and presented it …

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