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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Loss of FBI Reputation Irredeemable: James Comey Will Resign

 

Loss of FBI Reputation Irredeemable: James Comey Will Resign

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-24/loss-fbi-reputation-irredeemable-james-comey-will-resign

Syria as Metaphor

http://lobelog.com/syria-as-metaphor/#more-35950

Syria as Metaphor

by John Feffer
The war in Syria is a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for all the civilians who suffer from constant aerial bombardment, who are trapped without food and medical assistance inside crumbling cities, who experience the retribution of either the Islamic State or the regime in Damascus. It’s a nightmare for those who try to escape and face the prospect of death in transit or limbo in refugee camps.
Syria is a nightmare for individuals, millions of them. But it’s not just that. If states could dream, then Syria would be their nightmare as well.
Syria was once a sovereign state like any other. It had a central government and fixed boundaries. The Syrian state enjoyed a monopoly on violence and, on several occasions, deployed that violence against its citizenry to devastating effect. The economy functioned, more or less, with considerable revenue coming from the oil sector. In 2009, tourismaccounted for 12 percent of the economy. Not that long ago and despite its many problems, Syria attracted a large number of eager travelers.
In perhaps the most ironic twist, the Syrian state once had delusions of grandeur. It wanted to abolish the old colonial boundaries and unify the entire Arab world. Under Hafez al-Assad, its authoritarian ruler from 1970 until 2000, Syria attempted to absorb Lebanon, unite with Egypt and Libya in a short-lived Federation of Arab Republics, displace Iraq as the undisputed ideological leader in the region, and even take charge of the Palestinian cause. http://lobelog.com/syria-as-metaphor/#more-35950

The Capital Sins: Part IV - ANGER By Father Reginald Martin, O.P.ANGER AND OUR SOCIAL RELATIONS

  ANGER AND OUR SOCIAL RELATIONS
http://www.rosary-center.org/ll69n5.htm

How Do We Build Hell With Our Own Hands? The Parable of Rich Man and Lazarus

How Do We Build Hell With Our Own Hands? The Parable of Rich Man and Lazarus


http://catholic-link.org/2016/09/25/how-do-we-build-our-hell-the-parable-of-rich-man-and-lazarus/?utm_source=Catholic-Link+English&utm_campaign=3c1df49f56-Catholic-Link+English+%28Daily%29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_aa5ba3e9fa-3c1df49f56-70952393&mc_cid=3c1df49f56&mc_eid=e64eeb87b8

Want to keep your grown kids in your life? Learn to be the impartial neighbor. - The Washington Post

Want to keep your grown kids in your life? Learn to be the impartial neighbor. - The Washington Post

Novel Revives Vietnam War Memories — and Lessons

Novel Revives Vietnam War Memories — and Lessons

As Their Numbers Grow, Home Care Aides Are Stuck at $10.11 - The New York Times

As Their Numbers Grow, Home Care Aides Are Stuck at $10.11 - The New York Times

Class War by Other Means: Tennessee, Volkswagen and the Future of Labor

Class War by Other Means: Tennessee, Volkswagen and the Future of Labor

Fairfield County, Connecticut: Inequality's Epicenter - The Atlantic

Fairfield County, Connecticut: Inequality's Epicenter - The Atlantic

The $1,000 date night: Has D.C.’s tasting-menu culture hit a tipping point? - The Washington Post

The $1,000 date night: Has D.C.’s tasting-menu culture hit a tipping point? - The Washington Post

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bin Laden’s papers prove him and al-Qaeda a hands-down success

Bin Laden’s papers prove him and al-Qaeda a hands-down success

A Member of Kennedy Clan Horrifies Media With Epic Trump Endorsement: “This Year, I Will Vote Donald Trump” - World News Politics

A Member of Kennedy Clan Horrifies Media With Epic Trump Endorsement: “This Year, I Will Vote Donald Trump” - World News Politics

War News Updates: FBI Report: White House Knew Of Hillary Clinton's Private Email

War News Updates: FBI Report: White House Knew Of Hillary Clinton's Private Email

War News Updates: President Obama Vetoes Sept. 11 Saudi Bill. Congressional Override Is Expected

War News Updates: President Obama Vetoes Sept. 11 Saudi Bill. Congressional Override Is Expected

"How Is This Not Classified?"- Obama Used A Pseudonym In Emails With Hillary, FBI Data Dump Reveals | Zero Hedge

"How Is This Not Classified?"- Obama Used A Pseudonym In Emails With Hillary, FBI Data Dump Reveals | Zero Hedge

'A Five-Alarm Threat to Our Food Supply': Experts Describe Bayer-Monsanto Merger | naked capitalism

'A Five-Alarm Threat to Our Food Supply': Experts Describe Bayer-Monsanto Merger | naked capitalism

Berlin Election Outcome Signals Merkel’s Tenuous Grip on Chancellorship | naked capitalism

Berlin Election Outcome Signals Merkel’s Tenuous Grip on Chancellorship | naked capitalism

Dire Effects and Warnings of Climate Change Are Going Unheeded - Truthdig

Dire Effects and Warnings of Climate Change Are Going Unheeded - Truthdig

Mark Heisler: Last Call for Vin Scully, the King of Los Angeles - Truthdig

Mark Heisler: Last Call for Vin Scully, the King of Los Angeles - Truthdig

How the Pentagon Sank the US-Russia Deal in Syria – and the Ceasefire

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/09/23/how-pentagon-sank-us-russia-deal-syria-and-ceasefire?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email

Published on
Friday, September 23, 2016

How the Pentagon Sank the US-Russia Deal in Syria – and the Ceasefire

Was the first ever US strike against Syrian government forces an intentional hit by the Pentagon to block military cooperation with Russia?

The Money Is Gone

The Money Is Gone

27 U.S. Senators Rebel Against Arming Saudi Arabia

27 U.S. Senators Rebel Against Arming Saudi Arabia

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cold War foes Russia and Pakistan forge closer ties

Deutsche Welle -- September 12, 2016

http://www.dw.com/en/cold-war-foes-russia-and-pakistan-forge-closer-ties/a-19545856?mc_cid=a165a19074&mc_eid=fac81ed64d

Cold War foes Russia and Pakistan forge closer ties

Pakistan and Russia will hold their first-ever joint military exercises later this year, say media reports. Islamabad is looking for new alliances in the region as its ties with Washington are rapidly deteriorating. http://www.dw.com/en/cold-war-foes-russia-and-pakistan-forge-closer-ties/a-19545856?mc_cid=a165a19074&mc_eid=fac81ed64d

There Won't Be Peace Until Israel Accepts Responsibility for the Nakba - Opinion - Israel News Haaretz.com

There Won't Be Peace Until Israel Accepts Responsibility for the Nakba - Opinion - Israel News Haaretz.com

From Reset to Realpolitik, Clinton’s New Hard Line on Moscow

From Reset to Realpolitik, Clinton’s New Hard Line on Moscow

As president, Hillary Clinton is prepared to take a much tougher stance on Russia than Trump — or even Obama. Syria’s civil war will be the first test.

By Molly O’Toole
Before leaving the State Department in early 2013, Hillary Clinton wrote President Barack Obama a final note on Russia. The hoped-for “reset” with Moscow, she said, was in the end a setback. She urged Obama to set a “new course” by taking a harder line against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It would be several months until the Obama administration would accuse the Moscow-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of crossing the White House’s red line on chemical weapons, and roughly two-and-a-half years until a Russian official would show up at the American Embassy in Baghdad with an hour’s warning before Moscow began dropping bombs in Syria. But the Syrian conflict had already begun to emerge as a new fault line in a tectonic clash between the United States and Russia.
Clinton cautioned Obama that the relationship between Washington and Moscow would “likely get worse before it got better,” and he had to be “realistic” about the danger Putin posed to both his neighbors and the world order, she wrote in her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices, which was published before her campaign for president — her second — this year. https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/22/hillary-clintons-new-colder-cold-war-russia-putin-election/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=Flashpoints

In Ukraine, a New Approach to Peace

In Ukraine, a New Approach to Peace

Though many cease-fires have been made and broken in the years since the Ukrainian conflict began, the latest proposal to stop the fighting has a better chance of success. (ALEKSANDER GAYUK/AFP/Getty Images)
As the cease-fire in Syria crumbles, negotiations over another area of contention between Moscow and the West — Ukraine — seem to be faring better. At a meeting in Minsk on Wednesday, representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) reached an agreement to withdraw troops and equipment from specific points along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine. On Thursday, Ukraine's representative in the talks announced that the disengagement would begin sometime this week. Though several cease-fire agreements have been made and broken since the fighting in eastern Ukraine began in 2014, this deal stands a much better chance of surviving.
For one, it represents a marked departure from previous attempts to stop the fighting. Unlike previous cease-fires, which have applied to the entire battlefield, the new truce addresses only three areas of dispute along the line of contact: the Luganskaya, Zolotoe and Petrovskoe settlements. Furthermore, it requires Ukrainian and separatist forces — along with their weapons and military vehicles — to withdraw 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the line of contact in these areas within 13 days, under the constant observation of OSCE monitors. Each of these provisions will make the new cease-fire agreement easier to enforce and sustain. And if all goes well in the first three settlements, negotiations to implement a similar withdrawal and disengagement process in other areas of the conflict will begin. This gradual approach will facilitate the peace process, allowing contentious negotiations over strategic hotspots such as Avdiivka to take a backseat for the time being.https://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical-diary/ukraine-new-approach-peace

Don’t Try to Imitate the Russians in Syria

http://lobelog.com/dont-try-to-imitate-the-russians-in-syria/#more-35937

Don’t Try to Imitate the Russians in Syria

by Paul R. Pillar
Among the latest in the Washington Post editorial page’s unrelenting drumbeat of criticism on Syria—which often does not make clear exactly what the United States should be doing there, except that whatever it does should involve more military force than it is using now—is a signed column by deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl, who says President Obama ought to emulate Vladimir Putin. Diehl says that events in Syria since Russia directly intervened militarily have demonstrated that Mr. Obama was wrong in refraining from a comparable intervention. “Putin has proved,” writes Diehl,”that the concept Obama rejected—that a limited use of force could change the political outcome, without large costs—was right all along.”
Some of the biggest problems in Diehl’s argument are ones that he and his colleagues have displayed all along in beating their drum. Among these is an incredibly rigid and oversimplified view of what is at stake in Syria. The apparent assumption is that the only thing that should matter to the United States is whether pro-regime or anti-regime players are forcefully gaining an advantage over the other. This complex and multidimensional civil war is treated as primitively as a schoolyard contest in toughness. “The United States is far stronger than Putin’s Russia,” Diehl writes. “U.S. fecklessness is a choice.”
Diehl’s assumption of a zero-sum game is as absolute as the most Manichean views of U.S.-Soviet competition ever were during the Cold War. Putin intervened in Syria, says Diehl, “and it has made Barack Obama the loser.” The result is “a victory for Russia, Iran and the Assad regime, at the expense of the United States and its Arab, Israeli and Turkish friends.” Such a statement masks not only the non-zero-sum nature of interests that cross the divide that Diehl postulates but also the significant differences in interests among the players on each side of that divide.http://lobelog.com/dont-try-to-imitate-the-russians-in-syria/#more-35937

March For Life Action – March For Life

March For Life Action – March For Life

America Is Not the Greatest Country on Earth. It’s No. 28 - Bloomberg

America Is Not the Greatest Country on Earth. It’s No. 28 - Bloomberg

Backlash Against Trade Deals: The End of U.S.-Led Economic Globalisation? | naked capitalism

Backlash Against Trade Deals: The End of U.S.-Led Economic Globalisation? | naked capitalism

Two Years after Gaza War, Not a Single War Crime Indictment



Two Years after Gaza War, Not a Single War Crime Indictment

by Muna Haddad
Two years after the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” more than half of the civilian structures destroyed during the war have yet to be reconstructed, and Palestinian residents of the coastal strip are still finding bones amongst the ruins. And two years after that devastating offensive, Israeli authorities are again proving what previous experience with the Israeli system has long made clear: Israel is unwilling to conduct genuine, independent investigations into suspected war crimes, and does not hold those responsible to account, as required by international law.
At total of 2,251 Palestinians were killed during the 2014 war, most of them civilians, including 299 women and 551 children. More than 18,000 civilian structures were destroyed, including hospitals and essential infrastructure. Despite this unprecedented destruction and human suffering, Israel has failed to file even a single indictment against any military figure for killing or wounding civilians or for destruction of civilian structures.
As was the case in the wake of previous Israeli attacks on Gaza, such as “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-2009, low-level soldiers were disciplined for looting. The Military Advocate General (MAG) investigated and filed indictments against two soldiers for looting, and against one additional soldier for acting as an accomplice in the looting of a Palestinian home in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza. This is the same neighborhood in which an Israeli assault between the 19th and 20th of July 2014 killed 55 civilians, including 19 children and 14 women. http://lobelog.com/two-years-after-gaza-war-not-a-single-war-crime-indictment/#more-35921

The Week with IPS 9/23/2016

   2016/9/23

Click here for the online version of this IPS newsletter   

Population Growth Extremes: Doublers and Decliners
Joseph Chamie
While the world’s population of 7.4 billion is growing at 1.1 percent per year – about half the peak level of the late 1960s – enormous differences in demographic growth among countries are increasingly evident and of mounting concern to countries and the international community. 3At one extreme ... MORE > >

Starting Line Draws Nearer for Global Climate Agreement
Tharanga Yakupitiyage
The Paris Climate Agreement is on the verge of coming into force after 31 nations officially deposited their instruments of ratification here Wednesday, more than doubling the number of countries which have joined so far to reach 60. However the treaty will not yet enter into force, since ... MORE > >

UN Refugee Summits Fall Short for Children
Phoebe Braithwaite
As Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini opened the floor for US President Barack Obama’s leaders’ summit on refugees, she embodied a hope unavailable to most child refugees. On Monday, ​the United States was one of the main countries to obstruct a UN Declaration ​that no child should ever be ... MORE > >

Yazidi Survivor of ISIL Appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador
Lindah Mogeni
Yazidi Nadia Murad - who survived being kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery by ISIL - was honoured by the UN on Friday September 16 for her work to help human trafficking survivors. At a ceremony held ahead of the International Day of Peace Murad was appointed as the UNODC (United ... MORE > >

Migrant Workers in the Gulf Feel Pinch of Falling Oil Prices
Irfan Ahmed
In the Al Quoz industrial area of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a number of medium and large-sized buses can be spotted transporting workers clad in company uniforms to distant worksites early in the morning. In the evening or, in certain cases, late at night, these workers are brought ... MORE > >

Argentina at Risk of an Educational System Serving the Market
Fabiana Frayssinet
In Argentina, teachers, students and trade unionists are protesting against mass redundancies in education, which they say are part of a process of undermining public education and a move towards a new model based on market needs. “An educational model is emerging that is no longer focused on ... MORE > >

UN Refugee Summit: "No Cause for Comfort"
Tharanga Yakupitiyage
With record numbers of forcibly displaced persons around the world, many were left disappointed by the outcome of a high level UN summit designed to address the issue by bringing together world leaders on the sidelines of the UN's annual General Assembly. During the first-ever summit on ... MORE > >

No One Is Indispensable in a Democracy
Oscar Arias Sanchez
I have put a great deal of thought into whether or not to return to politics. Groups from different political parties, and without party affiliation, have expressed their concern over the current situation in the country and have offered me their support. And the opinion polls indicate that I would ... MORE > >

Muslims in Europe: Can There Be Social Harmony ?
Rose Delaney
Although 20 million Muslims reside in Western Europe, establishing social harmony between the Muslim community and their European counterparts has proved exceedingly challenging.Much to the dismay of international humanitarian agencies and anti-racism activists,the language of exclusion and ... MORE > >

Microsensor-Fitted Locust Swarms? Sci-fi Meets Conservation
Manipadma Jena
Every November, India’s Gahirmatha beach in the Indian Ocean region develops a brownish-grey rash for 60 to 80 days. Half-a-million female Olive Ridley turtles emerge out of the waves to lay their eggs, over a hundred each. For the sheer numbers, this arrival is hard to miss. However, knowledge ... MORE > >

Caribbean: Rethinking Progress in Sustainable Development Era
Jessica Faieta
Caribbean countries make a special case for development. The high and increasing exposure to hazards, combined with very open and trade-dependent economies with limited diversification and competitiveness portray a structurally and environmentally vulnerable region, composed, in the most part, of ... MORE > >

New Government Inherits Conflict over Peru's Biggest Mine
Aramis Castro and Milagros Salazar
Of the 150 socioeconomic conflicts related to the extractive industries that Peru’s new government inherited, one of the highest-profile is the protest by the people living near the biggest mining project in the history of the country: Las Bambas. The enormous open-pit copper mine in the ... MORE > >

European Security with or Without Russia?
Consequences of the Chinese-Russian Alliance on the Relationship Between USA and EU

Roberto Savio
The joint military manoeuvres between the Russian and Chinese navies, armies, and air forces has kicked off. It's a clear message for Washington, which has recently strengthened its action in Asia, indicating that as a country that overlooks the Pacific, it wants to play an important role in the ... MORE > >

Guest Post by Uri Avnery The Saga of Sisyphus

                                                                                                                                    Uri Avnery
September 24, 2016

                           The Saga of Sisyphus

SHIMON PERES is a genius. A genius of impersonation.

All his life he has worked on his public persona. The image replaced the man. Almost all the articles written about him since he fell ill are about the imagined person, not the real one.

As the Americans like to say: He is so phony he is real.

ON THE surface, there are some similarities between him and me.

He is just 39 days older than I. He came to this country a few months after me, when both of us were 10 years old. I was sent to Nahalal, a cooperative village. He was sent to Ben Shemen, an agricultural youth village.

It can be said that both of us are optimists, and that we have been active all our lives.

That's where the similarity ends.

I CAME from Germany, where we were an affluent family. In Palestine we lost all our money very quickly. I grew up in utmost poverty. He came from Poland. His family was affluent in Palestine, too. I retained a slight German accent, he retained a very strong Polish one.

Already in his childhood there was something that attracted the ire of his schoolmates in the Jewish school of his small native town. They often beat him up. His younger brother used to defend him. "Why do they hate me so?" Shimon asked him, he recounted.

In Ben Shemen his name was still Persky. One of his teachers suggested he adopt a Hebrew name, as almost all of us did. He proposed Ben Amotz, the name of the prophet Isaiah but this name was snapped up by another pupil, Dan Tehilimsager, who also became famous. So the teacher suggested Peres, the name of a large bird.

WE FIRST met when we were 30. He was already the Director General of the Ministry of Defense, I was the Editor-in-Chief of a magazine that upset the country.

He invited me to the ministry in order to ask me not to publish an investigative article (on the sinking of an illegal refugees' ship in the harbor of Haifa by the Haganah before the founding of Israel). Our meeting was a story of mutual dislike on first sight.

My dislike was already primed before the meeting. In the war of 1948 ("the War of Independence") I was a member of a commando unit called "Samson's foxes". All of us, the combat soldiers of that war, detested members of our age-group who did not enlist. Peres did not enlist, he was sent abroad by David Ben-Gurion to buy arms. An important job – but one that could be fulfilled by a 60-year old.

This fact hovered over Peres' head for a very long time. It explains why members of his age-group detested him and loved Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Alon and their comrades.

SHIMON PERES has been a politician from childhood on – a real politician, a complete politician, a politician and nothing else. No other interests, no hobbies.

It started already in Ben Shemen. Peres was an "outside boy" there, a new immigrant who was different from all the sun-burned, athletic native boys. His not very pleasant face did not help. Yet he attracted Sonia, the carpenter's daughter, who became his wife.

He craved the love of his mates and wanted to be accepted as one of them. He joined the "Working Youth", the youth organization of the almighty Histadruth trade union and became very active. Since the local boys, nicknamed Sabras, did not like political activity, Peres rose in their ranks and quickly became an instructor.

His first opportunity came after he finished his studies in Ben Shemen and joined a kibbutz of the Labor party (Mapai), which ruled the Jewish community with an iron fist. The party split, almost all youth leaders joined "Faction B", the opposition group. Peres was almost alone in remaining true to the majority faction. Thus he drew the attention of the party supervisor, Levy Eshkol.

It was a brilliant political exercise. His erstwhile comrades despised him, but he was now in touch with the top party leadership. Eshkol brought him to the attention of Ben-Gurion, and when the 1948 war broke out, the leader sent him to the US to buy arms.

Since then Peres acted as Ben Gurion's right-hand man, admired him and – most important – became his political successor.

BEN-GURION IMPRINTED his political outlook on the new state, and it may be said that the state continues today to move on the rails laid by him. Peres was one of his principal helpers.

Ben-Gurion did not believe in peace. His views were based on the assumption that the Arabs would not ever make peace with the Jewish state, which was founded on what had been their country. There would not be peace for, at least, a long long time. Therefore the new state needed a strong, Western power as an ally. Logic dictated that such an ally could come only from the ranks of the imperialist powers, who were afraid of Arab nationalism.

It was a vicious circle: In order to defend itself from the Arabs, Israel needed a colonialist anti-Arab ally. Such an alliance would only increase the Arabs' hatred towards Israel. And so forth, to this very day.

The first prospective ally was Britain. But this came to nought: the British preferred to embrace Arab nationalism. But at the right moment another ally appeared on the scene: France.

The French had an extended empire in Africa. Algeria, officially a department of France, rebelled in 1954. Both sides fought with utmost savagery.

Unable to believe that their Algerians would rise against them, the French cast all the blame on the new leader who had come to power in Cairo. But no country was ready to assist them in their "dirty war". Except one.

Ben-Gurion, who was already aging, was afraid of the new pan-Arab leader, Gamal Abd-al-Nasser. Young, energetic, good-looking, and charismatic, "Nasser", a rousing orator, was unlike the old Arab notables Ben-Gurion was used to. So when the French stretched out their hand to him, Ben-Gurion eagerly grabbed it.

It was the old vicious circle again: Israel supported French oppression against the Arabs, Arab hatred towards Israel increased, Israel needed the colonial oppressors even more. In vain I warned against this catastrophic process.

Ben-Gurion's emissary to France was Shimon Peres. With his help, the process reached undreamt heights. For example: when the UN debated a proposal to improve the prison conditions of the Algerian leader, Ahmed Ben Bella, the only voice in the UN which voted against was Israel's. (The French themselves boycotted the meeting.)

This unholy alliance reached its climax in the 1956 Suez war, in which France, Britain and Israel jointly attacked Egypt. This operation aroused unified worldwide condemnation, the US and Soviet Russia made common cause and the three conspirators had to withdraw. Israel had to give back the huge territory it had occupied.

The French recalled Charles de Gaulle to power, and he understood that he had to put an end to the senseless war. Peres continued to laud the alliance which, he announced, was not based on mere interests but on profound common values. I published this speech, sentence by sentence, with my rebuttal to each. I forecast that once the Algerian war was over, France would drop Israel like a hot coal and renew its ties with the Arab world. And that, of course, is exactly what happened. (Israel adopted the US instead.)

One of the fruits of the Suez adventure was the atomic reactor in Dimona. Legend has it that it was given to Israel as a gift by France in gratitude for Peres' services. In reality it was a part of France's deal with Israel, as well as a boost to French industry. Necessary ingredients were obtained in many places by theft and deceit.

Peres was praised in Israel to high heaven. It was praise for a man of war, not peace.

THE CAREER of Peres resembles the legend of Sisyphus, the hero of ancient Greek myth who was condemned by the gods to roll a heavy rock up to the top of a hill, but every time he approached his goal the rock would slip from his hands and roll down to the bottom.

After the Sinai war, Peres' fortunes rose to new heights. The architect of relations with France, the man who had obtained the atomic reactor, was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense and was on his way to become an important member of the cabinet, when everything crashed down. Ben-Gurion insisted on disclosing an odious sabotage affair in Egypt and was deposed by his colleagues. He insisted on founding a new party, called Rafi. Peres, much to his own displeasure, was compelled to join, as, with equal displeasure, did Moshe Dayan.

Ben-Gurion was not active, Dayan did nothing, as usual, and it fell to Peres to campaign. With his usual untiring energy he ploughed the land, but in the elections the party, with all its brilliant stars, won only 10 seats in the 120-member Knesset, and went into impotent opposition. The rock of Peres rolled down to the bottom.

And then came redemption – almost. Abd-al-Nasser sent his army into Sinai, in Israel panic broke out. The Rafi party joined the government. Peres expected to be appointed Minister of Defense, but at the last moment the charismatic Dayan got the desired job. Israel won a resounding victory in six days, and The Man With The Black Eye-patch became a world celebrity. Poor Peres had to make do with a minor ministry. The rock was down again.

For six years Peres languished, while Dayan sunned himself in the admiration of the world's men, and especially women. And then luck changed again. The Egyptians crossed the Suez canal and gained an incredible initial victory, Dayan crumbled like an earthen idol. After some time both Golda Meir and Dayan were compelled to resign, Peres was the obvious candidate for prime minister.

But the incredible happened again. Out of nowhere there appeared Yitzhak Rabin, the native boy, the victor of the Six-day war. He was chosen Prime Minister, but was compelled to appoint Peres, whom he did not like, as Minister of Defense. The rock was half way up again.

The following years were hell for Rabin. The Defense Minister had only one ambition in life: to humiliate and undermine the Prime Minister. It was a full-time job,

To spite Rabin, Peres did something of historic significance: he created the first Israeli settlements in the middle of the occupied West Bank, starting a process that now threatens Israel's future. The furious Rabin gave him a moniker that has stuck to him since: "The Tireless Intriguer".

A few years later Rabin had to call early elections, because fighter planes obtained from the US arrived in Israel on Friday, too late for the guests of honor to get home without desecrating the Shabbat. The religious factions rebelled. Rabin, of course, headed the party list.

Then something happened. It appeared that after leaving the job of ambassador to the US, Rabin had left behind him in America a bank account – something that was forbidden at the time. Rabin's wife was accused, Rabin took the blame on himself and resigned, Peres became No. 1 on the list and at long last the rock neared the top of the hill.

On the evening of election day Peres was already celebrating victory, when the wheel abruptly turned during the night. Incredibly, Menachem Begin, considered by many a fascist had won. Down went the rock.

On the eve of the 1982 Lebanon war (during which I met with Yasser Arafat) opposition leaders Peres and Rabin went to see Begin and called on him to invade Lebanon.

Then Begin fell ill with Alzheimer and was succeeded by another former terrorist, Yitzhak Shamir. A kind of interregnum followed, when neither of the two major parties could rule alone. A two-headed rotation-scheme evolved. On one of his stints as Prime Minister, Peres gained undisputed laurels as the man who vanquished Israel's three-digit inflation and instituted the New Shekel, still our coin.[coin currency]

The rock went up again, when something very nasty happened. Four Arab boys kidnapped a bus full of people and drove it south. The bus was stormed. The government asserted that all four were killed during the battle, but then I published a photo showing two of them alive after capture. It appeared that they had been executed in cold blood by the Security Service.

In the middle of the affair Peres succeeded Shamir, as agreed in advance. Peres procured a pardon for all the murderers, including the chief of the Shin Bet.

RABIN RETURNED to power, with Peres as Foreign Minister. One day, Peres asked to see me – an unusual event, since the enmity between us was already a part of folklore.

Peres lectured me on the necessity to make peace with the PLO. Since this had been my main aim in life for many years, I could hardly refrain from laughing. He then told me in confidence about the Oslo negotiations, and asked me to use my influence to convince Rabin.

Peres certainly had a part in the agreement, but it was Rabin who made the momentous decision – and paid with his life.

In my imagination, I see the assassin waiting at the foot of the stairs with his loaded pistol, letting Peres pass a few inches away and waiting for Rabin, who came down a few minutes later.

The Nobel Prize committee decided to award the Peace Prize to Arafat and Rabin. Peres' admirers around the world raised hell, until the committee added Peres to the list. Justice demanded awarding the prize also  to Mahmoud Abbas, who had signed with Peres. But the statutes allow only for three laureates. So Abbas did not become a Nobel laureate, too.

After Rabine's death, Peres became temporary Prime Minister. If he had called immediate elections, he would have won by a landslide. But Peres did not want to ride on the dead man's coattails. He waited for a few months, during which he conducted an ill-advised war in Lebanon. In the end he lost the elections to Binyamin Netanyahu.

(Giving rise to my joke: "If an election can be lost, Peres will lose it. If an election cannot be lost, Peres will lose it anyway."  

In all the election campaigns, Peres was cursed and abused. Once he complained about "a sea of (obscene) Oriental gestures", which made him even more disliked by citizens of Oriental descent.

During this time Peres did something wise: he underwent plastic surgery. His looks improved remarkably.

The final disgrace came when Peres stood for election to the presidency of the state. The President, a ceremonial figure bereft of real power, is elected by the Knesset. Yet Peres lost to a nonentity, a Likud party hack named Moshe Katzav. It seemed a final insult.

But then again the incredible happened. Moshe Katzav was arrested and convicted of rape. In the following election, the Knesset elected Peres in what looked like an attack of collective remorse.

The rock had reached the top of the hill. With  his untiring energy, Sisyphus has won after all. The lifelong politician who had never won an election was now President – and overnight he became very popular.

Peres had several years to enjoy the new love of the people, his lifelong aim. And then, two weeks ago, he had a stroke and fell into a coma.

I hope he recovers. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

5 Reasons You Should Stop Kvetching and Go To Synagogue On Rosh Hashanah

5 Reasons You Should Stop Kvetching and Go To Synagogue On Rosh Hashanah


http://forward.com/opinion/350434/5-reasons-you-should-stop-kvetching-and-go-to-synagogue-on-rosh-hashanah/?utm_content=daily_Newsletter_MainList_Image_Position-1&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Weekly%202016-09-23&utm_term=Weekly%20%2B%20Daily

How to Fix Broken Politics

How to Fix Broken Politics

A Conversation with Jonathan Tepperman



https://www.foreignaffairs.com/interviews/2016-09-20/how-fix-broken-politics?cid=nlc-twofa-20160922&sp_mid=52368225&sp_rid=bWljaGVsZXRrZWFybmV5QGdtYWlsLmNvbQS2&spMailingID=52368225&spUserID=MjEwNDg3NjAxODc2S0&spJobID=1003915824&spReportId=MTAwMzkxNTgyNAS2

The American Way of War Reconsidered

The American Way of War Reconsidered


http://chasfreeman.net/the-american-way-of-war-reconsidered/

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Living In A Van Down By The River – Time To Face The True State Of The Middle Class In America

Living In A Van Down By The River – Time To Face The True State Of The Middle Class In America



http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-22/living-van-down-river-%E2%80%93-time-face-true-state-middle-class-america

Francis: Listen to war victims' cries, feel shame, pray for peace


Francis: Listen to war victims' cries, feel shame, pray for peace


https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/francis-chronicles/francis-listen-war-victims-cries-feel-shame-pray-peace

This poll of the U.S. military has Gary Johnson tied with Donald Trump in the race for president

This poll of the U.S. military has Gary Johnson tied with Donald Trump in the race for president

Editor's note: This is the first in a series examining the views of military service members ahead of the presidential election.

After 15 years of war, America's military has about had it with 'nation building'

After 15 years of war, America's military has about had it with 'nation building'

Editor's note: This story is part of a series examining the views of military service members ahead of the presidential election.
 
Most American military personnel are deeply skeptical of the United States' nation-building missions overseas and would prefer to see leaders in Washington focus the country's resources on less ambiguous missions like killing terrorists and protecting the homeland, according to a new first-of-its-kind survey.

The poll of more than 2,200 active-duty troops, a collaboration between Military Times and Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, gauged service members’ opinions on U.S. foreign policy priorities. It was conducted in early September. Other questions assessed service members' political views as the nation prepares to elect a new president.

One survey question asked: “How do you view the U.S. government’s continued involvement in nation-building efforts, establishing democracies in the Middle East and North Africa using U.S. military and financial support?” About 55 percent of respondents said they "strongly oppose" or "somewhat oppose" those efforts while 23 percent expressed support for such missions. The remainder expressed no opinion on the issue.

Such views highlight the concerns likely to shape service members' voting patterns come November, and they underscore the extent to which many military professionals are uncomfortable with key polices advanced by Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, as part of America's efforts to combat global terrorism. Both presidents leaned heavily on the military while pursuing varied degrees of nation building, notably in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their success in those endeavors remains questionable at best. The security situation in both countries is exceedingly fragile today — after 15 years of war, trillions of dollars spent, and thousands upon thousands of casualties. 

CLiNToN PaY To PLaY... | Zero Hedge

CLiNToN PaY To PLaY... | Zero Hedge

Backlash Against Trade Deals: The End of U.S.-Led Economic Globalisation? | naked capitalism

Backlash Against Trade Deals: The End of U.S.-Led Economic Globalisation? | naked capitalism

THE DISINTEGRATION OF U.S. INFRASTRUCTURE: Quarter Million Water Main Breaks A Year | Zero Hedge

THE DISINTEGRATION OF U.S. INFRASTRUCTURE: Quarter Million Water Main Breaks A Year | Zero Hedge

Farrakhan Blasts Obama "Legacy" - "You Failed...Your People Are Suffering And Dying In The Streets"


Farrakhan Blasts Obama "Legacy" - "You Failed...Your People Are Suffering And Dying In The Streets"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-22/farrakhan-blasts-obama-legacy-you-failedyour-people-are-suffering-and-dying-streets

Will God Heal My Wounds?


Will God Heal My Wounds?


http://ascensionpresents.com/video/will-god-heal-my-wounds/?mc_cid=0eae50a9bb&mc_eid=2bb902f84a

Nuking the Planet

Nuking the Planet:  I’m sure you remember Barack Obama, the guy who entered the Oval Office pledging to work toward “a nuclear-free world.”  You know, the president who traveled to Prague in 2009 to say stirringly: “So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons... To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same.” That same year, he was awarded the Nobel Prize largely for what he might still do, particularly in the nuclear realm.  Of course, that was all so 2009!
Almost two terms in the Oval Office later, our peace president, the only one who has ever called for nuclear “abolition” -- and whose administration has retired fewer weapons in our nuclear arsenal than any other in the post-Cold War era -- is now presiding over the early stages of a trillion-dollar modernization of that very arsenal.  (And that trillion-dollar price tag comes, of course, before the inevitable cost overruns even begin.)  It includes full-scale work on the creation of a “precision-guided” nuclear weapon with a “dial-back” lower yield option.  Such a weapon would potentially bring nukes to the battlefield in a first-use way, something the U.S. is proudly pioneering.
And that brings me to the September 6th front-page story in the New York Times that caught my eye.  Think of it as the icing on the Obama era nuclear cake.  Its headline: “Obama Unlikely to Vow No First Use of Nuclear Weapons.” Admittedly, if made, such a vow could be reversed by any future president. Still, reportedly for fear that a pledge not to initiate a nuclear war would “undermine allies and embolden Russia and China... while Russia is running practice bombing runs over Europe and China is expanding its reach in the South China Sea,” the president has backed down on issuing such a vow. In translation: the only country that has ever used such weaponry will remain on the record as ready and willing to do so again without nuclear provocation, an act that, it is now believed in Washington, would create a calmer planet.
You must be kidding!
Click here to read more of this dispatch.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176189/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_war%2C_peace%2C_and_absurdity/#more

US Senate clears the way for $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia


US Senate clears the way for $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia


http://www.businessinsider.com/senate-clears-the-way-for-115-billion-arms-sale-to-saudi-arabia-2016-9?utm_source=alerts&nr_email_referer=1&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=post_email_list

China's latest deal with Vietnam shows how it is edging out the US in the South China Sea


China's latest deal with Vietnam shows how it is edging out the US in the South China Sea

http://www.businessinsider.com/china-out-maneuvering-us-south-china-sea-2016-9?utm_source=alerts&nr_email_referer=1&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=post_email_list

33 giant Chinese infrastructure projects that are reshaping the world


33 giant Chinese infrastructure projects that are reshaping the world

http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-infrastructure-projects-reshaping-the-world-2016-9?utm_source=alerts&nr_email_referer=1&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=post_email_list/#900-million-the-tianhuangping-hydroelectric-project-is-the-biggest-in-asia-and-plays-a-vital-role-in-supplying-power-to-eastern-china-8

I Was RFK’s Speechwriter. Now I’m Voting for Trump. Here’s Why. - POLITICO Magazine

I Was RFK’s Speechwriter. Now I’m Voting for Trump. Here’s Why. - POLITICO Magazine

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How Mosul’s Liberation Could Lead to Another Iraqi Civil War - POLITICO Magazine

How Mosul’s Liberation Could Lead to Another Iraqi Civil War - POLITICO Magazine

Obama Used His Final UN Address To Promote A ‘Liberal World Order’ And A Palestinian State

Obama Used His Final UN Address To Promote A ‘Liberal World Order’ And A Palestinian State

Why President Obama Has Difficulty Garnering Respect Internationally

Why President Obama Has Difficulty Garnering Respect Internationally

Ivan Eland Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty, The Independent Institute
As President Obama gave his valedictory speech to the United Nations General Assembly and recently returned from a farewell tour of East Asia, it sure seemed like other countries were dissing him. Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines—a small, poor country that has a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea and depends on the U.S. military to defend it—launched a personal profane diatribe against Obama not usually used in diplo-speak. Obama’s response was to cancel a formal meeting with Duterte, but then the next day met with him informally anyway. The Chinese insultingly refused to provide a stairway for the president to exit Air Force One when he arrived in China, making him exit through his own stairway at the back of the aircraft. Obama was also reluctant to press small Asian countries—such as Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines—on human rights, for fear these countries will be driven into China’s orbit.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ivan-eland/why-president-obama-has-d_b_12111870.html

Effort to Force Closure of Gülen Schools Falling Flat in Eurasia

http://lobelog.com/effort-to-force-closure-of-gulen-schools-falling-flat-in-eurasia/#more-35900

Effort to Force Closure of Gülen Schools Falling Flat in Eurasia

by Elizabeth Owen
As part of a wide-ranging clampdown in the aftermath of the failed July coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration has urged countries in Eurasia to shut down schools associated with the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. But outside of Azerbaijan, the call does not seem to be swaying Eurasian governments.
Erdogan has publicly accused Gülen supporters of leading the thwarted coup. Accordingly, lots of Gülenists in Turkey have been arrested, and lots more fired from their state jobs. The Turkish government has also classified Gülen’s organization as a terror group.
Erdogan’s animus toward the Gülen movement is such that Turkey has gone to great lengths to get friendly governments in Eurasia, specifically the Turkic-language states in Central Asia, to crack down on suspected Gülenists in their respective countries, as well as shut down Gülen-oriented schools. The Gülen organization made significant inroads into Eurasia in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union.http://lobelog.com/effort-to-force-closure-of-gulen-schools-falling-flat-in-eurasia/#more-35900