Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘peace’ Category

Seed Newsvine

George W. Bush wants to hold every school child in the United States accountable for learning and every teacher in the public sector accountable for teaching what must be taught. Yet in his own behavior as President, accountability seems not to be an issue.After vetoing the Democratic Iraq war funding bill, the Democrats in the House of Representatives are working on a new bill that would fund the war effort fully through July. At that time the Bush administration must account to the people’s representatives and demonstrate real progress or changed strategy that will lead to real progress in Iraq or face the reality of not having any more money to fund this disastrous war. The administration’s response is to insist that Bush will veto this bill as well.

Let’s hold little children to the fire by making them accountable to some misguided set of standards, but when it comes to the lives of American soldiers fighting on a battlefield created by the policies of this administration the White House wants no part of being accountable to the American people. This attitude is an egregious breach of the use of power and must not be tolerated by the American people.

Mr. Bush must step up and accept responsibility for his failed policy. He must step up and be held accountable for his policies, decisions and actions. It seems he is unwilling to do so.

clipped from www.reuters.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday said they would press ahead with a new Iraq funding bill, despite a White House veto threat and a cold Senate reaction to a bill that would dole out combat funds in pieces and force a July vote on withdrawing troops.
“The House bill is going to change,” promised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.
White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters President George W. Bush would veto the House bill if it reached his desk.
Under the bill, which is not expected to become law, Bush would get a $42.8 billion down payment. Then, after getting White House war progress reports in July, Congress would cast votes late that month on whether to release an additional $52.8 billion to continue fighting in Iraq through September, or whether to use the money to withdraw most of the troops by the end of this year.

  blog it
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Another Peace Poster

Seed Newsvine

Here is another peace poster. This one I find even more ironic. Here we have the education president bombing Iraq back to the stone age while the DoED is engaged in the Reading First scandal and NCLB is under significant attack from independent researchers across the country. Time to stand up and be counted.

clipped from www.brushstroke.tv

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

This poster was entered in a Peace Poster contest. Dripping with sarcasm, I just had to giggle. Worth a clip and a share as well.

clipped from www.brushstroke.tv

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

Clipped this interesting photo.

clipped from www.fecalface.com

The image “http://www.fecalface.com/POTD/upload/2007/03/post_222/3-25-07.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff write in Haaretz:

If someone were to offer Ehud Olmert the possibility of drawing a thick, black line through all of the events of the past year, presumably the prime minister would gladly accept it. It isn’t just the war in Lebanon. It is also the affair of the abduction of Corporal Gilad Shalit two and a half weeks earlier, and the failed “Summer Rain” military operation in the Gaza Strip in the wake of the kidnapping, which did not bring Shalit back and did not yield any other significant accomplishments.

Here are two of the outstanding statements from that period that Olmert would no doubt prefer to forget: On June 26, one day after Shalit was abducted: “The question of the release of [Palestinian] prisoners [in return for Shalit] is not at all on the agenda of the government of Israel.” On July 1, a statement from the Foreign Ministry on Olmert’s behalf: “There will not be any deal. The soldier Shalit will be released, or else we will be compelled to act to release him.” Behind the scenes Olmert’s people were constantly briefing and reminding journalists: The aim is to break the old rules of the game. Israel will act so that the terror organizations, first in the territories and afterward in Lebanon, will lose the desire to abduct more people.

Since then more than eight months have elapsed. The appetite of the would-be abductors has perhaps been tempered – in light of the many losses among the Palestinians and the Lebanese – but the incentive is still there. Israel is now negotiating the release of thousands of prisoners in return for Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, in two separate channels.

The numbers reported here seem to be a bit excessive. 1400::1 is a very high price to pay for a prisoner exchange with no assurances that this behavior will cease, that rockets will no longer be targeted from Gaza into Israel, with no declaration of both the de jure and de facto existence of Israel (what other state requires this of their neighbors?) As regular readers of this blog know, I am not opposed to the notion of negotiation with one’s political enemies. It must be clear, however, that any negotiations that occur do not amount to a list of demands by one side as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. 1400::1 or even 1400::3 borders on a take-it-or-leave-it demand.

It is clear that negotiations require two sides that are willing to engage each other in meaningful talks. No reasonable person can enter talks that place demands so far out of reach that they don’t pass the giggle test. All one can do is giggle at a demand that 1400 prisoners, each with, to use the Israeli phrase, blood on his hands, in exchange for from 1 to 3 kidnapped soldiers. The demand is simply ridiculous.

If Hamas truly intends to negotiate with Israel as its leadership has indicated in recent days then it is up to that leadership to drop their ridiculous take-it-or-leave-it demands and sit down as honest negotiators. Both sides should negotiate hard, but reasonably. Most importantly, both sides must be willing to make concessions to the other, small ones that can be monitored and deemed successful at first, and then larger ones. In the end, neither side can resort to violence the second one does not get its own way. It is time for a new way of thinking, for the playground bullies to stand aside and let the people negotiate an end to nearly a century of violence.

read more | digg story

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

Nidal al-Mughrabi, reporting for Reuters writes:

Hamas signaled a willingness on Wednesday to negotiate over the list
of Palestinian prisoners it wants Israel to release in exchange for a
captive Israeli soldier, but ruled out major changes.


The fate of Corporal Gilad Shalit, seized by Gaza militants 10
months ago, is expected to dominate talks planned for Sunday between
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas.

Israeli leaders have rebuffed the prisoner list submitted by Hamas,
which leads the Palestinian government, because it includes many
militants deemed to have “blood on their hands” for attacks against
Israelis.

I am generally a supporter of Israel, less for political reasons than for personal ones. I am, however, bothered by the current standoff between the Olmert government and Hamas. Not unlike the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate rejecting negotiations with George II, the current Israeli (tentative) rejection of the Hamas list is self-defeating.

What has become clear is the fact that the Israeli position of the Iron Wall, a strategy adopted at the inception of the country, designed to communicate the notion that Israel is so strong militarily that to resort to force will only bring a devastating response, is no longer operative. Palestinian resistance no longer respects the Iron Wall and has invented ways to resist that lead to the condition of Israeli isolation.

What is the harm in talking? The Israeli response is that talking has not worked in the past. Promises made by the Palestinians have never been kept. Unilateral withdrawal from Gaza was met with continued rocket fire into Israel from Gaza. And so on…How can we trust that we will not be fed more of the same? It seems to me that this is the wrong position simply because it perpetuates the now with no possibility for a better future.

The Palestinians are not without blame here. Certainly as an occupied people they have chosen to respond to the occupation with violence and hate. The rhetoric that flows from the Palestinian camp is not reassuring to Israeli leadership.

Trust, however, is not something that develops immediately, especially after so many years of violence and mistrust. But, in the words of Hillel, “If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?” The road to peace is not easy, but it is something that must start NOW. Outright rejection of talks with Hamas regarding the release of Shalit is a self-defeating decision. Israel must not enter talks with blinders on, that would be self-destructive. But, small steps forward seem to be not only in order but may be the only way out of the Middle Eastern mess.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

Reported by STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer on Yahoo.com

The powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his militiamen on Sunday to redouble their battle to oust American forces and argued that Iraq’s army and police should join him in defeating “your archenemy.” The U.S. nilitary annoucned the weekend deaths of 10 American soldiers, including six killed on Sunday.

Security remained so tenuous in the capital on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the U.S. capture of Baghdad that Iraq’s military declared a 24-hour ban on all vehicles in the capital from 5 a.m. Monday.


There you have it, the surge must be working. The article goes on to report that at least 47 people were found dead on Sunday, 17 of whom were executed and dumped in Baghdad. What a strategy for winning George II seems to have.

While I don’t really want to go out on a limb, I think I will. I am sort of thinking out loud here. These ideas are in the process of forming in my own thinking but I thought it was time to share. It seems to me that the Iraq war is q 21st Century version of the 11th Century Crusades. Christians and the Christian God fighting Muslims and Allah for control over lands that both consider sacred but for very different reasons. In the 21st Century, the sacredness of the land from the Western point-of-view is the oil riches that lie beneath the ground. Nevertheless, the battle is one with deep religious undertones. Islam and the complete submission to Allah and the Western submission to greed and acquisition of great wealth as an outgrowth of Christian theology. Why does Muqtada al-Sadr refer to the United States as the archenemy? Why else, unless this was, at the core, a war for religion and religious supremacy–the control of the Middle East by the West–domination of Islam by Christians? To ignore this possibility is to ignore the historical record. To ignore this possibility is to live in denial.

Think about the fact that it took a fundamentalist Christian president of the United States, backed by NeoCons and evangelical church leaders to engage the United States in the renewal of this ancient battle. Even George I, (remember him–Saddam tried to kill my daddy), had the sense to accomplish military objectives but leave the dictator in power so as not to destabilize the region. Not George II. His goal, to insert a Western democracy in Iraq, code for lets Christianize the Middle East, demanded the destabilization of the country in order to accomplish his goals. What remains is the simple fact that to date over 3,000 American men and women have lost their lives, over 25,000 more are wounded in battle, scarred for life. This does not count the few British soldiers and even fewer coalition force troops that have been killed or seriously injured in this war effort.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »