Thursday, August 24, 2006

Israel Is Ready For Armageddon

The below article made shivers go down my spine.

1) Israel now has an additional two nuclear submarines to its other 3 nuclear submarines, which can stay down longer and have other new capabilities.

2) "The new submarines, built at a cost of $1.3 billion with Germany footing one-third of the bill, have propulsion systems that allow them to remain submerged for longer periods of time than the three nuclear-capable submarines already in Israel's fleet, the Jerusalem Post reported." (bold added by editor)

That is simply amazing. Germany has payed $425 million to help prevent another Holocaust. I am just stunned. A more full reversal could not have been possible. The country that hosted the 3rd reich has just ensured Israel's security against nuclear attack. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Corporations Behind America

There is a growing movement that see's life through a very different lens than most Americans use, and it believes we're living with the veil pulled over our eyes by greedy corporations.

I know, I know, it sounds conspiracy theorist, but I am beginning to see where they are coming from.

I stumbled onto a very interesting essay that I think everyone should read, and this writer, Jane Smiley*, see's deregulation as a main catalyst to our current environmental, military and other destruction:

Here is a couple of tidbits from this intriguing piece that is definitely gestalt:

"Here's what the big ag companies want to do -- they want to own and contaminate the entire gene pool of all the world's food resources for their own profit and without the knowledge or input of anyone who will actually be eating the food or living in the world they create. So far, the French and the Japanese and some other nations are standing firm, but the US government, our government, your government, is trying to enforce the will of the big ag companies."

The writer, Jane Smiley, is talking here about seeding America with pesticide resistant plants, that destroy the fragile ecological systems our lives are sustained on (which we have been effectively unable to replace after we have destroyed it."

She goes on to tell us how our 'free market' capitalism really works, and how its not actually working for us (like we thought):

"Big ag, big tobacco, big war, big oil, and their enablers on Wall Street always congratulate themselves on "wealth creation". This is what the "free market" does -- it takes something that was supposedly worthless, like mountaintops in West Virginia or corn varieties in Mexico or oil deposits in Alaska, and gives them "value".

But this is a fiction. The model here is big water. The earth abounds in rivers and lakes. Wealthy water companies (the water rights in my river are owned by a company in England that is now in trouble for mismanaging their own Thames) go to other countries and buy or take the water rights of those people and then sell them back to those very people at a price they can hardly afford.

This is "wealth creation" -- creating wealth for stockholders, even though they already have more wealth than they know what to do with, by stealing the resources of the poor and the powerless. The "free market" always talks about buying low and selling high, but it specializes in theft. And, as an alternative, if the "wealth creators" cannot use what you own, say a hardy seed that works well for your ecosystem, they will render it useless so that you will have to buy their seed just to live."

She also blames the Reagan administration for opening the door, wide open that is, to corporate interests once and for all. This bit needs the rest of the article for context, but is also a nice nutshell:

"This is what I remember about the 1980 election...Ronald Reagan busied himself deregulating everything he could -- the airlines, the savings and loans, the protections of consumers and workers, health care and the health of the nation itself, the industries that people relied upon for jobs. Babies, children, old folks, farm animals, you name it, he made their lives worse. Possessed of a nice ranch of his own, he assigned James Watt to wreck the environment for everyone else. And he just kept smiling. Americans loved it.

Is it the US that gives corporations a bad name, or corporations that give the US a bad name? In 1980, the Republicans invited the corporate elite to have it their way. The world we have now, violent and selfish and brutal, contaminated and in danger of environmental collapse, is the world they made, both by actually dismantling the regulatory environment and by letting powerful people get in the habit of thinking that doing whatever they felt like, no matter how grossly harmful, was their right and their privilege.

And, she very nicely describes my own position on corporations, and boards of directors, and share holders. It incorporates the basic pyschological theory of "Groupthink", which is simply that a group of people are usually dumber than any one of those individuals by themselves. Sort of like a reverse gestalt. Like when a person is being mugged somewhere in Manhattan, and everyone in the nearby apartment buildings hear their cries for help, and nobody calls 911 because they think everyone else is going to do it instead, so why should they?

In essence, that a corporation is an entity that doesn't exist, and so it can't experience consequences and wouldn't know how to address them if it did:

"American corporations are uniquely free to do business in an irresponsible manner because of what you might call a typo in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which uses the word "person" without defining it as a human being. Since then, corporations have repeatedly interpreted their personhood in their own favor -- they get to have the rights that humans have, such as free political speech (bribing candidates with contributions), but none of the consequences (mortality, moral reciprocity, full liability for bad actions). The result is all around us and threatens to destroy us.

Ms. Smiley finishes with why she feels regulation was a good thing:

"Regulation was good because it rationalized not only business activity and human governance, but also because it rationalized the way the business elite saw themselves. It did not simply confront power with power, as Marxism did; it took details into consideration and broke up the huge gamble that is capitalism into a plethora of smaller gambles with perhaps fewer profits but also fewer consequences."

As a whole, I found Jane Smiley's essay, and some of the articulate comments below it, an eye opening reminder and inside look into how my life is not really what I think it is. Living in a city, you become subject to a lifestyle that depends on big business. But there are other ways to avoid that, such as farmers markets and local fruit stands, and I think I'll be visiting those more often now.

I reccomend reading the whole essay, and then the comments below it, which are interesting too. Here is one of them:

The further away from the land we get, the more we are dependent on corporations for our food, clothing, and shelter. And, for the sake of convenience, corporations get by with murder and monstrous profits because we're too apathetic and lazy to stop it....

Most people haven't a clue how to raise a garden and then preserve the veggies and fruits to have over the winter. In the past, even in large cities, people used to have a little garden to raise veggies or berries or other things to preserve every fall to have food for the winter, and maybe even keep a few chickens for eggs. Not so now; there are zoning laws to keep people from raising their own food within city limits. Most people don't know how and couldn't raise chickens or a pig over the spring and summer, feed them well, and then in the fall humanely kill them, butcher them, and put their meat in a basement freezer to feed themselves over the winter. The list goes on an on of the things most people (younger generations not raised on farms or in small towns, at least) no longer know how to do. There is a radical disconnect with life cycles in nature, and corporations have helped foster that disconnect.

We have made ourselves dependent children who couldn't even keep ourselves alive because we no longer have the knowledge our ancestors had about raising our own food to keep ourselves alive for any length of time. Thanks to brilliant advertising, corporations have made it easy for us to think of buying everything at a store... and we've bought into the "convenience" of purchasing all our food and the fact that we don't have to do any of the work to provide for ourselves is supposed to free our time for other things... which now means going to a mall to buy our clothing (designer labels only, of course - snob element comes into play here, and labels blazon our chests or our butts as free advertising for corporations who provide our clothing), or otherwise entertain ourselves through meaningless movies or other nonsense; all at a price, of course.

We don't even know how to entertain ourselves any longer, but complain of boredom and want someone around who keeps our every waking hour occupied with some form of "entertainment" - we're entertaining our boredom to death, starving for intellectual stimulation. And heaven forbid we teach our kids how to pick up a book to keep their minds occupied, or that we do the same and lead by example. No, we wait for the movie-based-on-the-book to be released and pay for the privilege of seeing the story as interpreted by a director or a producer, not what the author wrote in her/his book that could make our imaginations work and keep our minds occupied. Ditto any of the artistic pursuits, from painting to scupture to music to dance to designing and making our own clothing to... you name it.

Corporations have become our surrogate parents who provide our food, shelter, clothing, and feed our empty minds with their form of 'entertainment' because we no longer keep ourselves occupied with providing any of those things for ourselves. We might be physical adults, but we are mental children who rely on corporations to provide everything we need or want... for a price, because we've been brainwashed to believe we need the convenience the corporations provide.

Only if we break the bonds of dependence on corporations and once again learn to provide our own food, clothing, and shelter for ourselves will we once again become adults fully responsible for ourselves and our offspring.

There you have it. Corporations - faceless, mindless, groupthink tanks that don't face consequences - are running our country, our lives, and are, basically, at the controls of this roller coaster ride that will eventually plunge off of the unfinished track. (I found this article off of another extremely interesting site: Peak Oil.)

*Jane Smiley is the author of numerous books, including Horse Heaven and The Greenlanders.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No, Hamas ISN'T Ready To Deal

I just don't know what it is with some people, news organizations, institutions, etc. They seem to think that a new document or a few mouthed words will actually change 58 years of Israeli history virtually overnight.

Says research scientist Scott Atran in the above linked NYT op-ed:

"Recent discussions I’ve had with Hamas leaders and their supporters around the globe indicate that Israel might just find a reasonable and influential bargaining partner."

Right. Sure. Now pull the other one, its got bells on. Can you please name these mysterious Hamas leaders and their supporters, and how exactly have they indicated a willingess to drop their call for the destruction of Israel?

Scott goes on to say, "Many Israelis consider the rescue of a soldier a “sacred value,” worth almost any cost, including military action leading to other Israeli soldiers dying. But the Israeli offensive also had a larger strategic goal: to destroy whatever potential the Hamas government had to prevent Israel from unilaterally redrawing its boundaries to include some West Bank settlements. Doing so was something that Israel had intended as soon as it could convince the United States that with Hamas having defeated Fatah at the polls, there was no legitimate Palestinian partner to negotiate with. "

1. Thanks for putting "sacred value" in quotes, thereby condescending our value for human life. Furthermore, it shows how much you understand Jewish mentality by implying that Jews/Israeli's don't understand the theme of "Saving Private Ryan." To the Jewish people, every life is sacred. Yes, war is confusing, and Israeli soldiers died protecting their homeland. It might behoove you to remember they died because their fellow soldiers were attacked in the first place. And to do nothing, to save soldiers lives out of cowardice, might be something you personally are okay with, but the people of Israel were not.

2. You say, "But the Israeli offensive also had a larger strategic goal: to destroy whatever potential the Hamas government had to prevent Israel from unilaterally redrawing its boundaries to include some West Bank settlements."

You're an idiot, an absolute vapid nutjob. If any outside goal was maintained in the last offensive, it was to recreate Israel's deterrent policty, i.e. you rocket us, we'll destroy your infrastructure. Any current offensive against Hamas is meant to protect Israel from those terrorists to whom life means nothing. I'd rather consider life 'sacred' than not, thank you very much.

Finally, you said, "Mr. Haniya’s government had just agreed to a historic compromise with Fatah and its leader, President Mahmoud Abbas, forming a national coalition that implicitly accepts the coexistence alongside Israel."

Mr. Atran, your entire op-ed article is chock full of inconsistencies, sophmoric opinions, and pure lies. You might as well be a Hezbollah supporter. The 'historic compromise' you site does not actually mean what you think it means. You are referring to the prisoners document, which CAMERA has a lot to say about:

"The Prisoners’ Document does not explicitly call for recognition of Israel; and it presses for the "right of return," widely understood as a way to destroy the Jewish state via demographic means. "


"Indeed, a Hamas spokesman emphasized after the text of the Prisoners’ Document was released that his organization espouses principles similar to those described in the "phased plan": The Hamas Movement's position is a clear one: We refuse to recognize the Israeli occupation, but we do not object to any gradual solutions that do not stem from recognition of the Israeli occupation's state. If we are speaking in the context of a transient and gradual solution, then yes, we do not object to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders without that leading to the recognition of the occupation's legitimacy. (Sami Abu Zuhri, May 11, 2006, translated by BBC Monitoring Middle East)"

I am no longer suprised by the anti-objective stance the NYT takes in regards to Israel and its position in the middle east. Any student of history, who has managed to pick up an actual book on the subject, is well aware of the fact that Israel has been under attack from its inception. Israel has fought 9 wars, all of which are part of the same overlying struggle - a fight for Israel's very existence.

And personally, I no longer distinguish between anti-zionists and anti-semitists. They simply have too much in common. I have hope though. My liberal Jewish friend was recently persuaded that his long held opinions aren't necessarily based in reality, after reading some documentation I passed along. If only other people would open their eyes too, we'd have more people debating the facts on the ground, instead of seeing these opeds that have no basis in reality.

Unconsciable behavior

This report made me sick and angry.

"KOLKATA, India, Aug 17 (Reuters) - A group of Indian television journalists gave a man matches and diesel to help him commit suicide in order to get dramatic footage which was later broadcast on the news, police said on Thursday.

The man died from severe burns to his body in hospital in Gaya town in the eastern state of Bihar on August 15, India's Independence Day. Footage of the man, screaming and writhing in pain as he ran with his back on fire, was aired on several television channels. Police identified the man as Manoj Mishra."


"The TV crews left the scene without aiding Mishra who suffered burns to over 70 percent of his body..."

That is among the worst behavior I have ever heard of among journalists. I mean, these people basically helped him kill himself, and then walked away when he was still alive.

That is like giving a gun to a thief who then holds up a liquor store, so he can get you a bottle of whiskey, and then walking away like you had no part in the crime.

How desperate for ratings must they be? How inured to pain and tragedy must they be to not care about his fate? How much disrespect can they have for their own lives, and the lives of others, to leave this mark on their souls?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

This Just In: Fake News Isn't Real

Working in public relations, you get a really good feel for the media and certain trends that come around every dozen months or so.

Every now and then, some higher up realizes that TV stations are airing VNR's like they're real news. (Quick Definition: VNR's are 30-60 second videos that are produced by independent companies. They have a voicetrack giving information and statistics, with B-Roll, or just rolling camera shots with no sound, in the background. Independent PR companies will pitch these to TV stations as reports on news, though all reporters should know a VNR is usually little more than a newsy looking commercial.)

This was highlighted during Bush's presidency, when his PR people sent out 9/11 VNR's for his 2nd election and portrayed them as real news. Several legitimate news agencies aired those VNR's, mere campaign commercials, as real news, and the backlash hit the PR industry like a shockwave. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, took VNRs, for at least 6 months after that. To this day many news rooms won't take VNRs. Most other TV newsrooms relented after a while, but every time this crops up in the news, the clamp down happens again.

It happened again.

So if you're in PR, working with VNRs...keep your head down.

Water Shortage

While we don't feel this in my part of town at all, and you know how I love my morning showers, millions of other people feel the bite of a water shortage keenly.

And people wonder why everyone else wants to be citizens of this country. We don't have a water shortage, and we won't for a while. That's one BIG reason.

It's Good To Be A Superpower

Personally, when George W. Bush said, "America's way of life is non-negotiable" I cringed inside. I still cringe whenever I think about it.

Because I just don't believe that anymore, for various reasons, including:

1) Unless someone comes up with an alternative energy source that is as cheap and efficient as oil, there simply won't be enough oil to keep our 'way of life' running. It just won't exist.

2) Our 'way of life' is ruining the entire planet. The amount of waste America produces is simply mind boggling and wretched. There are middle class people, known as freegans, who live in NYC and actually eat out of dumpsters to protest our way of life and conserve resources.

3) The amount of energy America uses is so unbelievably disproportionate to the rest of the world that I'm surprised they don't rise up and kill us all just for that. It's simple: we waste a ton of energy, while many people don't have any at all. This kind of equation simply cannot persist - history is littered with the corpses of empires that became fat on their own gleanings. Just like us.

4) The disproportionate amount of food we have. Billions of people are starving and undernourished around the world - I can walk down the street and get a bigmac, slice of pizza, meatstick, subway sandwich, Carvel, a breakfast sandwich, sushi, etc. People around the world are starving. How can we morally live like this anyway?

Finally, Lou Dobbs has something to say about this, and our non-negotiable way of life. It's good to be a super power!

Costa Rica Bends To Arab Pressure

Costa Rica, a "shining light of democracy in Latin America" has decided to move its capital from controversial Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. Whats the point/big idea/meaning of this, you ask?

Jerusalem is considered by many nations and people to be an international city, that shouldn't be owned by any one religious group or secular entity. It was originally divided between Palestinians and Israelis in 1948 by the U.N., and was owned by many different empires before that.

Israel captured the eastern/arab part of the city in the 1967 6-Day War, and since then it has been the undivided capital of Jerusalem. Every Prime Minister of Israel since has voiced the sentiment that it will never again be divided,

" "Jerusalem is the anchor and heart of hearts of the Jewish people," said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, "and we will never be separated from it again. Jerusalem will remain the united capital of the state of Israel forever." " (June 2005)

However, many Arab nations refuse to see Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a nation-state they don't recognize as even existing. This is a hotly debated point of contention, and so many nations move their capitals to Tel Aviv rather than risk the wrath of muslims around the world. This is because Palestinians see Jerusalem as the capital of their country, which they claim is "under occupation."

This is a dissapointing moment. It means that yet another democracy has capitulated to Arab/muslim world pressure, and that that democracy has taken a step further away from Israel. It was probably also a symbolic motion to protest the recent/current war with Lebanon, which has been distordedly widely by several main news agencies, and many other smaller ones. Doctored photos, one sided reports, and blatant disregard for the facts - that is what has typefied this conflict.

Ceasefire Upheld...For Now

The current news out of the middle east is that the ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel is being upheld...but for how long?

The 'Lebanese army' will supposedly be moving down south to guard Israel's northern border for Hezbollah terrorists, but they won't actually confront Hezbollah soldiers - so whats the point?

" "There will be no confrontation between the army and brothers in Hizbullah... That is not the army's mission..." " Says Lebanon's Information Minister, Ghazi Aridi.

So again, whats the point? An empty show of force to basically pin down the IDF from attacking Hezbollah again, while giving Hezbollah terrorists free movement, and quite possibly support. AND now the Int'l Community can point their finger and say, "Look how Lebanon, who you just destroyed, is protecing you...shame on you Israel for attacking them!" To see why I put 'Lebanese Army' in quotes, check out the August 11th comic here.

*Editors Note: A conscious decision has been made, and energy will be expended to update this blog regularly, so that you faithful readers (if you exist) can enjoy a fresh cup of perspective every darned day. This is America after all!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bias All Around Us

Todays blog is a reaction to an article online at the Independent, which states the thesis that Americans have a one sided view of the middle east, the Lebanon crisis, and Israel in general.

I agree. Furthermore, I think the author of this article should follow their thought full circle, and realize: the same is true in the U.K., where the media report an anti-Israel bias day in and day out. But no one writes articles on that.

However, this article's author, Andrew Gumbel, points to certain one sidedness of American's view of certain areas, and then doesn't question why that is. Gumbel mentions that,

"Rupert Murdoch's Fox News has had reporters running around northern Israel chronicling every rocket attack and every Israeli mobilisation, but has shown little or no interest in anything happening on the other side of the border. It is a rarity on any of the cable channels to see any Arab being tapped for expert opinion on the conflict"

This is an extremely interesting viewpoint, since I view media from many different geo-political areas, and I see where different news organizations/cultures focus their attention. Outside of America, and Israel (not counting leftist papers), almost NO ATTENTION has been given to the Israeli side of this equation. Reuters and AP show dozens of photos, some doctored, of the Lebanese destruction, but I have seen almost no Israel destruction highlighted. I have to LOOK for that stuff. So for some American media to take Israel's side in this is more than okay since, and trust me on this, many more people are interested in speaking AGAINST Israel than for it.

THAT is why Jews and Israelis campaign so strongly for Israel, politically and militarily. Israel is a small country, with some 5-6 million citizens. It is surrounded by hundreds of millions of people screaming for it's destruction. It's military is high tech, well supplied, and well disciplined - which means nothing if 15 million soldiers attack it. All Israel has is bluster and the ability to strike extreme damage at an enemy, to dishearted it and its allies. Moreover, Israel has never had any other choice. Israel has never been able to achieve a status of security along all of its borders for its entire existence. The only thing that would appease its enemies is if it ceased to exist.

That point is certainly never discussed in the media.

Finally, Gumbel finds an Israeli hating Jew to back up his stance and show that many Jews don't support Israel,

"frustrating to liberal Jews like Michael Lerner, a San Francisco rabbi who heads an anti-war community called Tikkun. Rabbi Lerner has tried to argue for years that it is in Israel's best interests to reach a peaceful settlement, and that demonising Arabs as terrorists is counter-productive and against Judaism. "

"There is no major figure in American political life who has been willing to raise the issue of the legitimate needs of the Palestinian people, or even talk about them as human beings," Lerner said. "The organised Jewish community has transformed the image of Judaism into a cheering squad for the Israeli government, whatever its policies are. That is just idolatry, and goes against all the warnings in the Bible about giving too much power to the king or the state."

I can't even begin to point out how wrong this quote is, and in how many ways.

1. To quote a liberal Jew and say he reflects major Jewish opinion is just not kosher. Yes, I know a liberal Jew who hates Israel, and no, I don't think his position is very intelligent. Yes, the plight of the palestinians is horrid, but, and this is the important part - how much of the blame should Israel really accept?

2. "It is in Israel's best interests to reach a peace settlement." Peace with who? Peace with leaders who daily say their goal is to destroy Israel? Give me a break. Anyone who says something like that garners absolutely no respect in my book. Why don't you open your eyes and realize Israel's actions are inconsequential - its mere existence is the real crux of the problem.

3. The Palestinians live in horrid refugee camps and don't have an economy or jobs. However, they're not being massacred or becoming victims of genocide - their population has EXPLODED since 1948.

Enter Darfur and the Sudan - Americans get just as little coverage on the extent of the genocide there as they do on the plight of the Palestinians. Which is more important? So I think the blindfold over American's eyes is more than just localized to Palestinians. So I don't think that point has any validity at all.

4. For this rabbi to point to America's Jewish communities' support of Israel as "idolatry" is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. It is people like this who not only boggle my mind but make me angry - where they get off saying such things I have no idea. But anyway - Idolatry is making a person or idol into a God. Support for Israel and its government is socio-political in nature. Not religious. Get your facts and terms straight Lerner.

So, in conclusion, I generally find that bias runs AGAINST Israel almost everywhere I look. In America, its nice to see some fairly balanced reporting, or at least not hinting that Israel is a monster in the foremost headline. For all the blatantly biased reports and media against Israel, I don't think it is too much to ask that SOME areas of the world hear the Israel's position first - before the PR efforts of Palestinians and their sympathizers write up more biased reports.

Friday, August 04, 2006

False Massacres?

This afternoon we take a look at the 'massacres' that have been committed by the Israeli Defense Force during their incursion into Lebanon, aimed at stopping daily rocket attacks on their citizens.

The most recent massacre was at Qana on August 2nd. There are conflicting reports about what the building was and what really happened.

From what I can tell, that building in Qana was being used as a base to shoot rocket attacks at Israel. Hez-Bo-Allah (got that one from someone else's blog) uses this tactic as a guerilla fighting force. They shoot rockets out from a civilian building or area, then race away, and when the building is bombed, they claim Israel created a massacre.

Well, that appears to be exactly what has happened. Not only that, but there is a discrepancy in the details:

1) The building collapsed 7-8 hours after initially 'hit' by Israeli bombs; why would the people in the building wait 8 hours to evacuate a building that was just bombed?

2) The building did not appear to have suffered a direct hit:

"In addition, as Reuven Koret writes for IsraelInsider, the bombing of the area occurred in three waves. The first bombs, according to CNN correspondent Brent Sadler, did not hit the building in question, but rather landed "20 or 30 meters" away. The second strike hit targets further away, and the third strike, around 7:30 in the morning, landed over 400 meters away. The first reports of a collapsed building arrived a half-hour later.

Another CNN correspondent, Ben Wedeman, noted that there was a larger crater next to the building. He observed that the roof of the building was intact and that the building appeared not to have collapsed as a result of the Israeli strike."

CNN, not usually the most pro Israeli, actually had some decent comments to make. My standpoint at this point? Bombs landed too close to a civilian building where rockets were being launched, and the whole thing was blown seriously out of proportion.

Brief Timeline and History of Current Crisis-War

Back to our regular scheduled programming.

The current crisis in the middle east is two things, that are related, and neither of which are covered, discussed, or even hinted at in American or international media.

1) It is a continuation of the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, when Israel declared its soveriegnty and the surrounding arab countries took it upon themselves to declare a war of eradication that will only end when Israel is no more. In other words, that war has....not.....ended.

2) It is a renewal of serious hostilities by yet another 2nd handed militant organization that is being funded by the latest "i want to control the middle east" dictatorship. I.e., it is now Iran's turn to field the ball and try to score, which means destryoying Israel. Egypt previously tried to lead the charge, failed, and made peace. Oh, and then their leader who ordered the peace, Sadat, was assisinated-murdered.

--The newest chaper of this war started on June 25th, when armed "palestinian militants" killed two israeli soldiers in a raid, and then captured a third, Galid Shalit.

--Two days later, on June 27th, Hamas signs a document that the media hails as "implicitly recognizing Israel." Totally 100% false. Talk to ANY Hamas 'lawmaker' (ha!) , and they will say it doesn't. Here is a letter to the editor of the New York Times on it, from CAMERA

"To the Editor:

Your editorial claimed that the document endorsed by Hamas "implicitly recognizes Israel."

Unfortunately, Hamas's leaders and spokesmen have repeatedly made clear that the group still refuses to recognize Israel's legitimacy.

Salah al-Bardawil, a Hamas lawmaker, is quoted in your June 28 issue as explaining that "we did not say we accept two states."

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, pointed out that "we agreed to all the articles of the document without having to recognize Israel." Others have repeated this unambiguous message.

It seems, then, that Hamas has successfully maneuvered an agreement compatible with its uncompromising rejection of the Jewish state, as enshrined in its founding charter.

That document calls for Israel to be replaced with an Islamic state.

Gilead IniBoston, June 29, 2006The writer is senior research analyst, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America."

So, simply just another public relations mood to sway world opinion against Israel (and to read what we think of world opinion, check out this oped by Dennis Prager:

--June 28th: Israeli ground forces enter Gaza. Israel says it will use "extreme measures" to rescue Cpl. Shalit, and Washington says, "Israel has the right to defend itself" (which was suddenly reversed after the bombing of an apartment building and the killing of Lebanese civilians, which we will revisit later on.)

--July 1st: Fighting rages, rockets rain down, and Israel rejects a demand to release 1,000 prisoners

--July 10th: Hamas political leader (Now remember children, their political wing is DIFFERENT! than their military wing, get it straight!) Khaled Mashaal says no release of soldier without prisoner swap. (that doesn't sound like politics to me - that sounds like a terrorist operation)

--July 12th: Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers, kil 8, which prompts first Israeli ground incursion into Lebanon since 2000.

--July 13th: Israeli planes kill at lest 44 civilians in air strikes across Lebanon. World argues with itself, with the U.S. coming out at the top of the Israeli supporters. Italy criticizes the "disproportionate" use of force by Israel.

--July 14th: Israel bombs beirut home of Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah, who declares open war on Israel. Israel sets conditions for end of war, including halt rocket attacks, release soldiers, and for the UN to disarm Hezbollah.

---More fighting, bombing, reprisals, accusations, and more.

--July 25th: Israeli air strike kills 4 UN observers. Annan says the targeting was deliberate. Which is simply and absoultely deplorable and ridiculous. Annan has always hated Israel.

--July 29th: "An Israeli air strike in the south of Lebanon kills at least 51 Lebanese civilians, including 22 children, in the village of Qana." (This will be covered in the next blog.)

--August 3rd: 200 rockets fired by Hezbollah kills 1 and injures 123. Hostilities continue.

(timeline from

In my opinion, this is simply another series of battles meant to tire out Israel's resolve. Beating Hezbollah's military is extremely difficult, because they are so guerilla in nature, and a total victory will mean almost nothing. Killing a thousand or two Hezbollah militants would temporarily end that threat, but there are hundreds of thousands more waiting to take their place. And the enemy's resolve has not slackened, not one bit, since 1948.

However, Israel has no choice. They MUST re-institute the belief in their deterrent capability, i.e., you fuck with Israel and you'll get the horns. And that is what this is, in my humble opinion.