Saturday, October 13, 2007

Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

.......tragically, Ahmadinejad is not alone. He is the embodiment of several million people who are "hinged" exactly like him and are willing to give their life, and take as many lives as required, in the service of their belief. In the age of Weapons of Mass Destruction, a man with huge sums of petrodollars can indeed serve as the catalyst of total annihilation. It is by far more prudent to err on the side of alarmism than on the side of complacent dismissiveness.

Ahmadinejad and his ilk are not interested in any negotiation, any compromise or any live-and-let-live arrangements. They are determined to be the soldiers of the Mahdi, come what may. They have no problem with the total destruction of the world. They believe they are headed for a life of eternal bliss in Allah's paradise. They would hardly care - they may even rejoice - if the rest of humanity is subjected to a tragic death in a nuclear, biological and chemical wasteland on planet Earth.
Complete article: Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nobel prize candidate?

Here is a novel nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. One of our own guys from the 'hood - the Middle East : Bashar Assad.
Ami Isseroff

Nobel Prize for Peace for Assad

Washington DC, October 12, 2007/Reform Syria Blog - RPS Staff/ -- The Middle East awakened this morning to the news from Sweden that Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace. Not too many people know about this guy here in Syria but judging from the prize some people may want to learn more about him.

Let us leave Gore for a moment and consider the reasons why the Nobel Committee has not awarded our own great president-for-life the Nobel Prize for peace. After all, he commands a presence not to be discounted. In our belief Assad should have been the candidate and here is why:

  1. He is taller: Assad is taller than Al Gore so he should have scored higher on the Nobel scale. Is it possible that Gore cheated by telling the Nobel committee he is taller than Assad?

  2. He is younger: Assad is younger than Gore. Some may say that youth works against you but in the case of our president, we do not believe he will live too long and therefore the Nobel committee should have awarded him the prize.

  3. He is richer: Too bad that Gore did not live in a country where presidents have access to the tilt like ours does. What's few stolen billions anyway?

  4. He is a doctor: Assad boasts of a degree in shortsightedness from none other than the great UK while Gore is a lawyer educated in Tennessee. This, we admit, may be a toss-up.

  5. He is a president: Indeed. While Assad got 99.62% of the votes and made it to the people's palace, Gore received 48.38% and never made it to the White House.

  6. He has important friends: Gore has friends in Tennessee but Assad has friends in Russia, Iran, Lebanon, and Gaza. When was the last time you heard one of Gore's bearded Muslim friends talk nuclear?

  7. He has power: Assad can manipulate all the bearded men while Gore cannot even manipulate the recount.

  8. He sends important gifts: During Christmas, Gore will send Christmas cards to all his friends but Assad will send real live cars to all the Lebanese politicians and the Iraqi civilians. Never mind that they blow-up, this is a minor detail.

  9. He is well armed: Gore may or may not use a hunting rifle in Tennessee but our own president has thousands of missiles. Now, this may not be too peaceful but then the Nobel Committee gave Arafat a prize.

  10. He commands order: When was the last time you heard of a president who can turn thousands of totally innocent Syrians into suicide bombers? This ability to command should have been taken into account by the Nobel committee.

  11. He is well protected: Gore's enemies are vocal and will do anything to defeat him but Assad's enemies give him one free pass after another. This ability to survive should have been taken into account.

  12. Finally, he is lucky: While Gore seems to run short on luck, our own president seems to be riding a long streak of luck; so hurry and give him the prize before he runs out.

Oh well, maybe TIME Magazine will name him Man of the Year for 2007 for having killed too many innocent people and got away, literally, with genocidal murders.

Copyrights © 2003-2007 - Reform Party of Syria (RPS) except where otherwise noted - all rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

‘Israel Lobby’ on C-Span

I saw most of a presentation by the authors of "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy," Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (M & W) on C-Span 2 last Sunday night. They combine elements that we as progressive Zionists are in agreement with (how blind support for all Israeli government policies is NOT really pro-Israel, nor good for the US) with some poorly reasoned conclusions and an unfortunate degree of ignorance.

In their presentation, they tried very hard to argue that even when they were damning this so-called Israel lobby, they weren't saying that it was doing anything unAmerican or inherently wrong. Even in "controlling" US Middle East policy, these pro-Israel forces and activists were in their rights as citizens to lobby. They state that the Jews/ Zionists/ Neocons/ Israel– they sloppily interchange these terms– have too much power while also covering themselves from the charge of antisemitism by seeming to say (like Seinfeld in an episode on being mistaken for gay) "not that there's anything wrong with that."

For example, they take pains (and had even in their original paper) to correctly point out that poll data consistently show that American Jews as a whole have been more opposed to the war in Iraq than almost any other ethnic group in the US. Abraham Foxman (national director of the Anti-Defamation League) unfortunately misses this point that M & W have made when he presents his well-intentioned book, "The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control," published to refute M & W.

What is pernicious about their thesis is the notion that Israel and the "Israel Lobby" (viewing them, wrongly, as a seamless entity) were a major factor ("necessary but insufficient" as they now carefully put it) in motivating the US invasion of Iraq. They constantly conflate the neocons with Jewish organizations and the "Israel Lobby" (and sometimes the State of Israel, for good measure). Again, I recall Mearsheimer covering himself by saying, ‘look, not all neocons are Jews’; they also make a point about the so-called Christian Zionists as an important part of the "Lobby." (I am using an upper case ‘L’ and placing this term in quotes when referring to M & W’s muddled conception of the "Lobby.")

But their claim that the "Lobby" worked throughout the '90s to overthrow Saddam is confusing the neocons with Jewish and Zionist organizations big time. This doesn't mean that Jewish and Zionist organizations didn't want Saddam to be overthrown (even I wanted to see this happen more for humanitarian than strategic reasons), but they surely didn't expend political capital to push for this. Yet this was an important neoconservative objective and it's a conceptual error to see the neocons and the "Lobby" as one and the same.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


(ANSAmed) - CAIRO, OCTOBER 9 - Organisers of the Cairo International Film
Festival have rejected an Israeli production and threatened to boycott any Arab
moviefest that breaks a taboo on admitting films from the Jewish state.
Organisers of the Cairo event, which opens on November 27, have loudly opposed
an application by Eran Kolirin's "The Band's Visit", a fictional tale of an
Egyptian police band that gets stranded in Israel. The film ultimately ends in a
warm exchange between the two populations, and Kolirin has said his production,
which won praise at the Munich and Cannes film festivals, sends a strong
pro-peace message. But Cairo Film Festival vice president Soheir Abdel Kader saw
otherwise: "It is out of the question that an Israeli film plays here," he said,
as reported Middle East Online. The Israelis applied for a place at this year's
31st edition of the Egyptian festival - whose motto ironically is "to advance
understanding through the language of art between all the peoples of the world"
- through the event's representatives in Germany, who Kader said will now be
wiped from the festival's contact list.
A solid "anti-normalisation" front
exists in Egypt's cultural circles which reject collaboration or contact with
Israeli artists or intellectuals, despite a peace deal signed between Egypt and
Israel in 1979.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to fuel anger in
Egyptians who believe the US-sponsored peace deal changed Egypt's role from
regional heavyweight to mediator whose decision-making power is largely defined
by Washington. "We regret to hear that the film has not been accepted in Egypt
for political reasons without consideration for its artistic merit," Israeli
embassy spokesman Benny Sharoni said. (ANSAmed)

2007-10-09 14:08

Monday, October 8, 2007

Yom Kippur War

Nearing 34 years after the Yom Kippur War I came across the following Wikipedia article about the war. I am not religious but considering the massive amounts of arms and enemies on various fronts, military and diplomatic, poised against tiny Israel, it appears quite a miracle that Israel won that war. I was 20 years old, living at Mount Scopus, Hebrew University dorm, Jerusalem, when the sirens wailed, calling people to go to the underground shelters when the war started. Very difficult days the first days of the war. During the first three days of war I and others volunteered to paint dark blue the windows of Jerusalem homes to hide Jerusalem from a potential air attack. The following article provides an apt description of Israeli efforts to win the war.
Excerpt: "During the night, Lieutenant Zvika Greengold, who had just arrived to the battle [in Syria] unattached to any unit, fought them off with his single tank until help arrived. "For the next 20 hours, Zvika Force, as he came to be known on the radio net, fought running battles with Syrian tanks—sometimes alone, sometimes as part of a larger unit, changing tanks half a dozen times as they were knocked out. He was wounded and burned but stayed in action and repeatedly showed up at critical moments from an unexpected direction to change the course of a skirmish." [26] For his actions, Zvika became a national hero in Israel.
Complete article: Yom Kippur War
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Collective Hypocrisy: Justifying Gaza's Rocket War

Collective Hypocrisy:
Justifying Gaza's Rocket War

There has been much hysteria over talk about Israel cutting off electricity to the Gaza Strip. It is time to defuse the hysteria - and also the hypocrisy....

The sanctions that Israel is contemplating are a way of trying to stop the flow of rockets without a violent response that would endanger Palestinian lives. Right now Israel is supplying Palestinians with the power they are using to run the metal workshops where they make their rockets. The Palestinians would now be given a choice: Here is your electricity, just enough for your people's needs or for killing Israelis. Which will you choose?  
Examine the Palestinians' response very closely. If they simply stopped firing the rockets, there would be no need for Israeli sanctions. The Palestinians, who call themselves powerless, are actually in control. They can put a full stop to the sanctions by halting their aggression and returning to the peace process. Therefore all this moaning about "collective punishment" amounts to insistence on the right to keep firing the rockets. What else could it mean? The Palestinians are saying: "We have the right to make war on you, but don't you dare try to stop us or we will complain about human rights violations and war crimes." It's really simple: if the Palestinians don't want these sanctions, then stop firing the rockets.
Complete article: Collective Hypocrisy: Justifying Gaza's Rocket War