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Archive for February 21st, 2010

Congressman Walks Gaza, Urges Massive Aid

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Congressman Walks Gaza, Urges Massive Aid
U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., has criticized the White House, Israel and even his congressional colleagues after three trips to the Gaza Strip, commenting on the lack of action by the international community and the ignorance that most U.S. politicians have toward the plight of the Palestinians. Baird is calling for a Berlin Airlift-style aid effort for the people of the Gaza Strip, where a 2008-09 war left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. —JCL CNN: After visiting twice last year, Rep. Brian Baird is returning from his third trip to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, giving the Washington state Democrat the unusual distinction of having spent more time in Gaza than any other current member of the U.S. Congress. He said he was discouraged by much of what he saw. It’s a journey that only two other members of the U.S. government have made since Hamas took over the coastal territory in 2007 and since the end of Israel’s three-week offensive just over a year ago against Gaza militant groups firing rockets across the border. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the fighting and wide swaths of Gaza were left in rubble. Read more

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., has criticized the White House, Israel and even his congressional colleagues after three trips to the Gaza Strip, commenting on the lack of action by the international community and the ignorance that most U.S. politicians have toward the plight of the Palestinians.

Baird is calling for a Berlin Airlift-style aid effort for the people of the Gaza Strip, where a 2008-09 war left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. —JCL

CNN:

After visiting twice last year, Rep. Brian Baird is returning from his third trip to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, giving the Washington state Democrat the unusual distinction of having spent more time in Gaza than any other current member of the U.S. Congress.

He said he was discouraged by much of what he saw.

It’s a journey that only two other members of the U.S. government have made since Hamas took over the coastal territory in 2007 and since the end of Israel’s three-week offensive just over a year ago against Gaza militant groups firing rockets across the border.

Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the fighting and wide swaths of Gaza were left in rubble.

Read more

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Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:44 am by HL

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‘Nancy Pelosi’ Sends Out Fundraising Email For GOP

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:43 am by HL

‘Nancy Pelosi’ Sends Out Fundraising Email For GOP
A “satirical” fundraising email from the NRCC appears under the name “Nancy Pelosi,” and suggests that Democrats seek to “control all aspects of your personal and professional life.”

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Joe the Plumber’s Helper Gets the Pipe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Joe the Plumber’s Helper Gets the Pipe


Decoding Glenn Beck’s CPAC Speech: An Egomaniac With An Inferiority Complex

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Decoding Glenn Beck’s CPAC Speech: An Egomaniac With An Inferiority Complex
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Immigrant Detained in Raid Sues Arizona Sheriff Arpaio’s Office for Mistreatment
More problems for Sheriff Joe: A former undocumented worker is accusing the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office of negligence and mistreatment in a federal suit.

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Far-right Israeli Gov’t Cracks Down — On Members Of US Congress!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Far-right Israeli Gov’t Cracks Down — On Members Of US Congress!
Well, they do say that those whom the Gods want to destroy, first they make crazy… And here is the evidence that it this is indeed happening in today’s Israel. The ultra-right in Israel has always attacked many members of…


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Bolton Admits That ?Things Could Go Wrong? After Military Strike On Iran

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Bolton Admits That ?Things Could Go Wrong? After Military Strike On Iran
Earlier this month, John Bolton claimed that “Iran simply has no intention of being talked out of its nuclear weapons program” and that “very severe sanctions” will not work. “There are two outcomes,” Bolton concluded, “one is Iran getting its nuclear weapons, the other is Israel or somebody uses military force to stop it.” Back […]

Earlier this month, John Bolton claimed that “Iran simply has no intention of being talked out of its nuclear weapons program” and that “very severe sanctions” will not work. “There are two outcomes,” Bolton concluded, “one is Iran getting its nuclear weapons, the other is Israel or somebody uses military force to stop it.”

Back in December, Bolton argued that a simple “campaign of public diplomacy” would prevent Iranian civilians from rallying around the regime after a military strike on the country’s nuclear facilities. Yesterday at CPAC, ThinkProgress asked Bolton if this strategy would work if civilians are killed in a military campaign against Iran’s nuclear program. “I don’t accept that” civilians would be killed, Bolton replied. However, he later admitted that he’s unsure if civilians would die, but even then, his “campaign of public diplomacy” would still work:

TP: So if there is a military strike by us or the Israelis or whomever, you don’t think there’ll be any civilian casualties?

BOLTON: I can’t say that for sure. Things could go wrong.

TP: That’s what I’m saying. If they do, would a public diplomacy campaign work?

BOLTON: Yes! I think it would! I think it would. I think it has to be explained that this is, this will be an effort and that’s the military regime’s nuclear weapons program, not directed against the people of Iran at all.

Watch the interview:

Indeed, things could go wrong. “[I]f you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll love Iran,” retired Gen. Anthony Zinni has said about possible military action against Iran. ThinkProgress asked Bolton to respond to Zinni’s comment. “I don’t think there’s any prospect or any need for any kind of substantial ground forces by us or by Israel,” Bolton said. “I don’t know what he means by that. I’ve heard that comment and I just disagree with it.”

A top defense official told ThinkProgress last year that an attack probably would “incentivize the Iranians to go all the way to weaponize” their nuclear material and have “a number of destabilizing” consequences for the region. And, as the Wonk Room’s Matt Duss has noted, a strike on Iran would do much to “extinguish Iran’s reform movement.”

Transcript:

TP: You said that in order for a military campaign to be successful on the American side that what we would need and all we would really need is to have a, accompany it with a public diplomacy campaign.

BOLTON: That’s not quite what I said. What I said was, if it were made clear, especially given the visible level of opposition to the government in Iran that the people have demonstrated, that if we could make it clear that the attack was directed only against the nuclear weapons program than I don’t think it is at all likely that the popular reaction in Iran would be to rally around the government. I think they understand increasingly that this is an authoritarian government, it’s a military dictatorship, even Secretary Clinton says that, and they don’t want that. The people of Iran increasingly don’t want that.

TP: If civilians are killed in a military strike do you think a public diplomacy campaign would have any effect?

BOLTON: Well I think we could take a lot of steps to avoid civilian casualties given the location of these plants, whose locations we know very precisely and I think that’s something we do in the U.S. and I think the Israelis do as a matter of basic morality.

TP: Right but I think it’s an eventuality that you’re going to have civilian casualties. Do you think…

BOLTON: I don’t accept that and I think that it’s important that we take every step possible to avoid that kind of outcome. And I think we’ll be successful given where these plants are located, which we know; I think it’s very possible to do that.

TP: So if there is a military strike but us or the Israelis or whomever you don’t think there’ll be any civilian casualties?

BOLTON: I can’t say that for sure. Things could go wrong.

TP: That’s what I’m saying. If they do, would a public diplomacy campaign work?

BOLTON: Yes I think it would! I think it would. I think it has to be explained that this is, this will be an effort and that’s the military regime’s nuclear weapons program, not directed against the people of Iran at all. That happens to be the truth so it’s always a good story to tell and I think we can make that story convincing.

TP: So if the people who are against the regime after a military strike rise up against it, what does the West do in that situation?

BOLTON: Well I think they’re in a very difficult position. I’m not sure they can accomplish regime change without more assistance from the outside. I think we should have been giving more outside assistance for 10 years


Eclectic trio of candidates considered for Obama deficit panel

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:35 am by HL

Eclectic trio of candidates considered for Obama deficit panel
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Why Obama Needs Rahm at the Top

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 21st, 2010 5:31 am by HL

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Dana Milbank, Washington Post
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It’s Not a Communications Problem at WH
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So Much for the Pivot to Jobs
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Quit Redefining Conservatism
Christopher Buckley, The Daily Beast
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