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Showing posts from January 27, 2008

Norman Finkelstein at the London School of Economics, 1/24/08

The two-hour lecture (if you haven't watched it, do so; if you've seen it once, it's about the same):



The one-hour Q&A, which is always the most interesting part (for any speaker; not a dig at Finkelstein):



By the way, here's the International Court of Justice ("World Court") 2004 opinion on the territories: Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Egypt blocks Gazans' access to the outside world

Mubarak's doing the US and Israel's dirty work. Look for a major uprising in Egypt. Exactly how many 9/11s are we willing to risk? -- if all we care about is our own safety, that is, and not a whit about 1.4m Gazans, who are now living in their own feces. I assume that's the only thing most people care about -- at least most readers of the New York Times.

I might note, parenthetically, that there is no Egypt Lobby forcing this action from the halls of Congress. Not that I know of. This is an example of a client regime of the US following orders. Egypt gets a shitload of aid from us ($50 billion from 1975 to the publication in 2004 of this article in the Christian Science Monitor; more here [PDF]). No other way that dictatorship could survive. Hence, it must perform and give service for payment rendered. Clearly, while the Israel Lobby is important, it is not the only factor, nor perhaps even the most important one. Simple common sense points to that conclusion: the entity w…

Looking Up: Normalizing Air War from Guernica to Arab Jabour, By Tom Engelhardt

This is just phenomenally important journalism; click the title to read it.

As in the case of the later phases of the Vietnam war, one way to get an unpopular war off the front pages is to move to air power. As long as we (and every other tribal group) care more about "our own" than "them," the tactic will always work.

The Triumph of Stephen Jay Gould, By Richard C. Lewontin

Volume 55, Number 2 · February 14, 2008Stephen Jay GouldThe Richness of Life: The Essential Stephen Jay Gould, edited by Steven Rose, with a foreword by Oliver Sacks; Norton, 653 pp., $35.00Punctuated Equilibrium, by Stephen Jay Gould; Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 396 pp., $18.95 (paper)One of the most interesting developments of the last sixty years in the popularization of intellectual concerns and higher culture has been the appearance of "public intellectuals." They are, for the most part, academics who use a variety of means of access to a wide audience to disseminate ideas that are sometimes an integral part of their expertise, and sometimes very far from their professional field.There were, indeed, at an earlier time, occasional purveyors of scientific ideas either to a cultured public or as part of a conscious attempt to educate the working class. Thomas Henry Huxley was not only a major popularizer of Darwin for an educated English reading public in the 1…

Obama's Letter to Khalilizad on Gaza and the UNSC

No comment is really necessary, is it? Click the image to the right (yes, I put it on the right on purpose) to read the full letter, the authenticity of which has been bandied about of late.

End of a long "evolution," documented here. More proof that there are a series of filters, of which rabid "pro-"Israeli-ism is but one, through which any supposed progressive must pass in order to be palatable to the owners.

Full Frontal Scrutiny: A New Weapon against PR

Blurb from the site, a joint effort of Consumer Reports and The Center for Media and Democracy:
"The American public deserves to know when someone is trying to persuade them."U.S. FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008We strongly agree. That's why we created this site: to focus public attention on the people and organizations who function in our society as hidden persuaders. You'll find them at work posting to blogs, speaking before city councils, quoted in newspapers and published on the editorial page, even sponsoring presidential election debates. All this while pretending to represent the grassroots when in fact they are working against citizens' best interests. We call these organizations front groups. One of the best ways to put their agendas in proper perspective is to expose their work. That's what this website is for. We hope you'll use it, tell your friends about it, even contribute to it.

Gaza’s misery has to be stopped, Financial Times of London

You know, that radical rag. Tells you what a large chunk of the international business community is thinking, actually. I/P is not good for business, clearly. I'll take that.

Incidentally, I might add that the Israelis are not stupid: they helped Hamas in the '80s in order to undermine the PLO and Fatah. Why? In order not to have a "real partner," and by then it was becoming embarrassingly obvious that the PLO was ready to negotiate. Now the divide-and-rule excuse is still alive -- thank god; they can go on with annexation and ethnic cleansing. Territorial and ethnic expansion is and always has been Israel's goal, Labor or Likud, for nearly a century, and throughout the "peace process," despite heavy propaganda to the contrary (at least in this country). Very similar to the Bush administration's (and most Democrats') use of "Al Qaida" as an excuse for whatever they'd like to do internationally. That is, it's a very old, very com…

Audio: Norman Finkelstein in Edinburgh, 01.25.2008

Blurb from NF's website, with some grammatical corrections because I'm anal; audio linked in title above:
In this lecture at Edinburgh University, Norman Finkelstein tackles the most controversial topics in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Examining what the record and world consensus shows, he explains that most of the controversy is fake and that the issues are actually very simple to understand.

"Peace will come to Palestine and the Middle East when Israel finally obeys international law and withdraws to its legal borders." -- Finkelstein quoting former President Carter



"God helps those who help themselves" -- Finkelstein on current Gaza Situation (Photo from the BBC not under cc license).