Friday, January 30, 2009

Obama: Tough Decisions about Iraq, Afghanistan Loom

From the Associated Press.

Obama's missing timetable for Afghanistan |

With a coming NATO summit, he must be clear on his goals for a war that isn't going well.

Few doubts exist that Barack Obama will pull the US out of Iraq. But when will the US exit Afghanistan? That depends on what he wants to leave behind in the former Al Qaeda haven. By April, when Mr. Obama goes to a NATO summit, he must form a consensus on Afghanistan's future to create a US path out of this historic quagmire country.

Before his election, Mr. Obama talked of a need for democracy in a land that had largely been ruled by kings, warlords, and Islamists before the 2001 US-led invasion. But that Bush-era goal of Western-style, peaceful government in a medieval and tribal culture seems far more fragile these days.

Read the rest of the article here:
Obama's missing timetable for Afghanistan |

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Obama Promises Iraw Withdrawal, Works Through Details

After Promising Quick Iraq Withdrawal, Obama Works Through Details

29 January 2009

President Barack Obama is working toward a decision on how quickly to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. He has had two meetings with senior military commanders, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said they prepared a series of options for the new president - including, but not limited to, his campaign pledge to remove most American combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.

Click here to continue reading the article from Voice of America.

From Greg Palast: "Obama is a two-faced liar. Aw-RIGHT!"

By Greg Palast

January 29, 2009

Republicans are right. President Barack Obama treated them like dirt, didn't give a damn what they thought about his stimulus package, loaded it with a bunch of programs that will last for years and will never leave the budget, is giving away money disguised as "tax refunds," and is sneaking in huge changes in policy, from schools to health care, using the pretext of an economic emergency.

Way to go, Mr. O! Mr. Down-and-Dirty Chicago pol. Street-fightin' man. Covering over his break-you-face power play with a "we're all post-partisan friends" BS.

And it's about time.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

THIS JUST IN: Israel Shells UN Headquarters in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, engulfing the compound and a warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees.

Another Israeli bombardment on Thursday killed the Hamas security chief.

U.N. workers and Palestinian firefighters, some wearing bulletproof jackets, struggled to douse the flames and pull bags of food from the debris after the Israeli attack, which was another blow to efforts to ease the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Dense smoke billowed from the compound.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region to end the devastating offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers, demanded a "full explanation" and said the Israeli defense minister told him there had been a "grave mistake."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who met with Ban later Thursday, said the military fired artillery shells at the U.N. compound after Hamas militants opened fire from the location. Three people were wounded.

"It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place, but the consequences are very sad and we apologize for it," he said. "I don't think it should have happened and I'm very sorry."

The U.N. Security Council requested a briefing on the attack.

Interior Minister Said Siam was killed in an Israeli airstrike that flattened a home in Gaza City. Israel and Hamas both confirmed the death of Siam, who oversaw thousands of security agents and was considered to be among the militant group's top five leaders in Gaza.


Jimmy Carter's "An Unneccesary War" (REPOST from

An Unnecessary War

By Jimmy Carter
Thursday, January 8, 2009; A15

I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided.

After visiting Sderot last April and seeing the serious psychological damage caused by the rockets that had fallen in that area, my wife, Rosalynn, and I declared their launching from Gaza to be inexcusable and an act of terrorism. Although casualties were rare (three deaths in seven years), the town was traumatized by the unpredictable explosions. About 3,000 residents had moved to other communities, and the streets, playgrounds and shopping centers were almost empty. Mayor Eli Moyal assembled a group of citizens in his office to meet us and complained that the government of Israel was not stopping the rockets, either through diplomacy or military action.

Knowing that we would soon be seeing Hamas leaders from Gaza and also in Damascus, we promised to assess prospects for a cease-fire. From Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who was negotiating between the Israelis and Hamas, we learned that there was a fundamental difference between the two sides. Hamas wanted a comprehensive cease-fire in both the West Bank and Gaza, and the Israelis refused to discuss anything other than Gaza.

Click HERE to read the rest of the article.

Democracy Now's Gaza Debate Transcript from Jan 12th

For those of you who missed it:
Former Clinton Special Counsel Lanny Davis vs. Israeli Professor Neve Gordon: A Debate on the Israeli Assault on Gaza

Israel has poured thousands of reservists into Gaza as Israeli troops push deeper into Gaza City in the seventeenth day of fighting. Nearly 900 Palestinians have now died, including 275 children. Another 4,100 Palestinians have been injured. The Israeli death toll is at thirteen. We host a debate on the crisis with Lanny Davis, senior adviser to the Israel Project and the former special counsel to President Clinton, and with Neve Gordon, an Israeli professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Op-Ed Piece from the NY Times re: Obama and Afghanistan

The Afghan Quagmire
Published: January 6, 2009

"The time to go all out in Afghanistan was in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 terror attacks. That time has passed...."

To read the full piece, click here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Author Ties Zionism to the Gaza Conflict

The Bloodbath In Gaza: Separating the Truth from the Hype
By Mike Whitney

"Bandits with planes ...
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood."

(Poem by Pablo Neruda)

January 06, 2009 "Information Clearinghouse" -- In a rare moment of honesty, the New York Times divulged the real motive behind the bombardment and invasion of Gaza. In Ethan Bronner's article, "Israel Weighs Goal: Ending Hamas Rule, Rocket fire, or Both", Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said, "We need to reach a situation in which we do not allow Hamas to govern. That is the most important thing. If the war ends in a draw, as expected, and Israel refrains from reoccupying Gaza, Hamas will gain diplomatic recognition...No matter what you call it, Hamas will obtain legitimacy.”

According to the Times: "In addition, any truce would probably include an increase in commercial traffic from Israel and Egypt into Gaza, which is Hamas’s central demand: to end the economic boycott and border closing it has been facing. To build up the Gaza economy under Hamas, Israeli leaders say, would be to build up Hamas. Yet withholding the commerce would continue to leave 1.5 million Gazans living in despair." (Israel Weighs Goal: Ending Hamas Rule, Rocket fire, or Both; Ethan Bronner)

To continue reading, click HERE.

Robert Scheer on Our Indifference to Gaza Death & Destruction

I had to re-post this article, posted this morning at Truthdig. Scheer really hits it on the head. The original post is here.

Why do so few people speak up for Gaza?
Posted on Jan 6, 2009
By Robert Scheer

Why are we so indifferent to the death and destruction in Gaza?

The major news outlets meekly accepted Israel’s banning of journalists from entering Gaza as an excuse for downplaying collateral civilian casualties, our president-elect, Barack Obama, has had little to say about an invasion that will much complicate his future Mideast peace efforts, and most commentators easily rationalize Israel’s many-more-eyes-for-an-eye killings.

Why is it that there is such widespread acceptance, beginning with the apologetic arguments of President Bush, that whatever Israel does is always justified as necessary to the survival of the Jewish state?

It is not.

The story continues...
Click HERE to continue reading.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Photos from Gaza (Warning: Some of these images are quite graphic.)

Below is a series of photos taken recently in Gaza. We are hoping to find the photographer's name and location. These were passed on to us by a friend of Maui Peace Action.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sign the Online Appeal to Stop the Attack on Gaza!!!

Sign the Online Appeal from Ramsey Clark to Stop the Attack on Gaza!

More than 500,000 messages have been sent to President Bush, President–Elect Obama, members of the U.S. Congress and Senate, UN officials and missions, Israeli officials and many media. Sign at's "Oral History of the Bush White House"

"Farewell to All That: An Oral History of the Bush White House"
Tuesday 30 December 2008
by: Cullen Murphy and Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair

The threat of 9/11 ignored. The threat of Iraq hyped and manipulated. Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Hurricane Katrina. The shredding of civil liberties. The rise of Iran. Global warming. Economic disaster. How did one two-term presidency go so wrong? A sweeping draft of history - distilled from scores of interviews - offers fresh insight into the roles of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and other key players.

Click here to get the play-by-play.