Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


Purveyor's Journal
Purveyor's Journal
December 21, 2011

Only The IDF Can Get Israel To Recognize 'Jewish Terrorism'

The Ephraim region lieutenant commander, Lt. Col. Tzur Harpaz, is no mere senior officer. He is a lawmaker. The stone hurled at him by Jewish terrorists did no more than slightly crack the windows of the Knesset, but the babbling outcry of ministers and MKs, and the fact that they even debated the definition of Jewish terror, is yet more proof that any significant legislative changes, whether dealing with the state budget, the marginalization of women, terror, etc., must first make it through the IDF filter before it becomes a legitimate part of Israeli discourse.

If the Israel Defense Forces was once viewed as a melting pot, merging impure "human material" into authentic Israelis, today the IDF serves, among other things, as a cultural censor, in charge of creating a unified language, basic paradigms of political thought, and the basic borders of legitimate and illegitimate civilian behavior. The debate in the government and Knesset whether the Jewish stone is actually terror, exemplifies the paradox wherewith the army, as the victim of terror, which should have been able to act strongly and decisively against these terrorists now supposedly needs changes in the law in order to protect itself.

Indeed, in support of the IDF, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to extend the use of removal decrees and administrative arrests, grant soldiers the authority to arrest terrorists and the military courts authority to try them. That's where he stopped with a screeching of the tires. There is no Jewish terror, claimed Netanyahu.

The army doesn't really need new legislation in order to act against Jewish terror, nor does it need to redefine the term in order to arrest a citizen, Jew or Arab, in the territories. But the IDF is the only force capable of converting halfhearted condemnations and empty slogans into enforceable action. For as long as the terrorists acted against civilian targets, Jewish or Arab, by intimidating Peace Now activists, setting mosques on fire, uprooting olive trees or threatening peace activists, they still were within the consensus set by the right and the IDF, whether by omission or commission.



December 21, 2011

Iraq Political Crisis Fans Sunni Fears Of Marginalisation, ‘Dictatorship’

By Mohamad Ali Harissi - BAGHDAD

A political crisis coupled with moves for more autonomy by Iraq's Sunnis is fanning the minority's fears of marginalisation with all US troops having left the country, experts say.

In the past four days, a warrant has been issued against Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi; premier Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, said his Sunni deputy should be fired; and the main Sunni bloc has boycotted cabinet and parliament, decrying the government as a "dictatorship".

And over the past two months, three Sunni-majority provinces in central and western Iraq have pushed for greater federalism of the style enjoyed by the Kurdistan region in the country's north.

All of this comes with the US military having completed their withdrawal from Iraq at the weekend.



December 21, 2011

Israeli Officials Escalate War Of Words With N.Y. Times

By Ron Kampeas · December 20, 2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli officials are stepping up their criticism of The New York Times, slamming columnist Thomas Friedman and arguing that the newspaper is an unfit venue for an Op-Ed from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a scathing letter first leaked last week to The Jerusalem Post, Ron Dermer, a top aide to Netanyahu, declined an invitation for the prime minister to write an Op-Ed for the Times. By way of explanation, Dermer cited what he alleged was the newspaper's anti-Israel tilt.

"It would seem as if the surest way to get an Op-Ed published in The New York Times these days, no matter how obscure the writer or the viewpoint, is to attack Israel," he said.

Dermer's letter came just days after Friedman, a frequent critic of Israeli settlement policies, asserted that U.S. congressional support for Netanyahu was "bought and paid for by the Israel lobby."



December 21, 2011

Panetta: US Would Stop Iran From Getting a Nuke

December 20, 2011
Stars and Stripes|by Chris Carroll

WASHINGTON -- If the United States learns that Iran is putting together a nuclear weapon, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta promised "we will take whatever steps are necessary to stop it."

In an interview with CBS News that aired Monday, Panetta that should Iran decide to move ahead, it could build a nuclear weapon within a year. But if the country -- under international sanctions for years because of its nuclear program -- possesses fuel enrichment facilities unknown to the United States, he said, a nuke could be forthcoming sooner than expected.

Other than the effect a wild-card secret facility might have on the timeline, Panetta's estimate on when Iran could develop a nuclear weapon is not out of line with earlier statements by him or his predecessor. In June 2010, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Iran was one to three years away from being able to build a nuclear weapon. As CIA director, Panetta said last year the country was perhaps two years away.

In early December, Panetta said a strike against Iran could have severe consequences, and warned Israel, Iran's most powerful regional adversary, against unilateral action. Such a strike could set back Iran's program by a year or two at best, he said.



December 19, 2011

Panetta: Iraq War Was “Worth It”

A day after visiting Iraq, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke to reporters in Turkey on Saturday and said this, according to the DoD’s own site:

“There is no question that the United States was divided going into that war,” he said. “But I think the United States is united coming out of that war. We all recognize the tremendous price that has been paid in lives, in blood. And yet I think we also recognize that those lives were not lost in vain. . . .

“As difficult as [the Iraq war] was,” and the cost in both American and Iraqi lives, “I think the price has been worth it, to establish a stable government in a very important region of the world,” he added.

The “price” that Panetta believes is “worth it” includes dead civilians in the hundreds of thousands, countless more maimed, millions of Iraqis internally and externally displaced (a huge number who remain so), tens of thousands of American soldiers killed and/or injured, and at least $1 trillion spent, contributing to “austerity” so severe that Panetta himself has been urging cuts to core social programs. That is above and beyond future Saddam-like oppression, tyranny and sectarian strife under the Malaki regime. As the always-insightful military historian and former Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich put it this week: “Recalling that Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda both turned out to be all but non-existent, a Churchillian verdict on the war might read thusly: Seldom in the course of human history have so many sacrificed so dearly to achieve so little.”



December 18, 2011

Iraq To Launch Mediation To End Syria Crisis

Iraq's foreign minister will hold talks with the Damascus regime and opposition groups to try to end months of unrest, as deadly clashes raged Sunday between deserters and regular troops.


Iraq is trying to mediate an end to nine months of bloody unrest in Syria where the UN estimates that more than 5,000 people have been killed in a regime crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

On Saturday, Iraqi National Security Adviser Falah al-Fayadh was in Damascus where he said he had "positive" talks with Assad.

He then travelled to Cairo where he met Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, and emerged sounding upbeat.



COMMENT: Anyone else surprised to learn that Iraq is now a diplomatic 'mediator'?

December 18, 2011

Newt Gingrich’s Sharia Law Stance Raises Questions

December 16, 2011 10:56 AM EST

If former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's past statements are to be believed, the primary threat facing the U.S. isn't a foreign adversary but the gradual imposition of Islamic Sharia law in America.

Gingrich likes to couch his policy positions in broader ideas, invoking his training as an historian to offer context and clarity. So it went in a 2010 speech to the American Enterprise Institute. He depicted a clash of civilizations and ideologies between western liberalism and radical Islam, which he likened to World War II in its importance and the Cold War in its duration.

Gingrich's View of Sharia's Status in U.S.

But Afghanistan, the current presidential frontrunner asserted at the time, is not the central front in this conflict. It is in the United States, where Gingrich contended Sharia principles were slowly and insidiously taking hold.

"Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence," Gingrich said. "But in fact they're both engaged in jihad and they're both seeking to impose the same end state, which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Sharia."



December 18, 2011

Once Again, Rep. Allen West Compares Democrats to Nazis

Yet again, a prominent Republican has attempted to stick it to Democrats by comparing them to the Nazi Party.

While responding to a question about the U.S. Congress historically low approval rating (LINK) on Thursday, the outspoken U.S. Rep. Allen West of Florida, a Tea Party favorite, replied that Democrats -- with the help of the media -- have managed to shift public sentiment against Republicans by using incredible feats of propaganda that he said would make the infamous Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels "very proud."

"If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine," West told reporters in Washington, D.C. "I think that you have, and let's be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit in this, in enabling them to get that type of message out."

West was referring to a poll released by the Pew Research Center on Thursday that found two in three voters favor tossing out most incumbent congressman in 2012.



December 17, 2011

Spokane Cops Estranged From Community

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press – 1 hour ago

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — It was the salute that shocked Spokane.

About 50 Spokane cops stood and saluted a fellow officer as he left a federal courtroom in custody last month after being convicted of using excessive force in the death of a mentally ill janitor.

That salute was quickly denounced by the mayor and chief of police as insensitive to the victim's family. And critics saw it as yet another sign that Spokane cops are estranged from the citizens they are sworn to protect.

The Spokane Police Department is under fire on many fronts.

The outgoing mayor is asking the federal government to investigate the practices of the department. Efforts to create a citizen ombudsman to hear complaints against police have been stonewalled. Some residents have even suggested the department should be dissolved and merged with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.



December 17, 2011

About 100 In Mich. Protest Lowe’s Pulling Of Ads From Muslim TV Show, But Supporters Show Too

By Associated Press,

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — About 100 people are at a Michigan Lowe’s store protesting the home improvement chain’s decision to pull ads from a reality TV show about U.S. Muslims.

The protesters in Allen Park showed up in response to a call from a coalition of Christian, Muslim and civil rights groups and are chanting “God Bless America and shame on Lowe’s.” Protesters say they want people to boycott the chain.

But 15 to 20 counter-protesters also showed up Saturday morning, saying they came to support Lowe’s.

Executives of the Mooresville, N.C.-based company say TLC’s “All-American Muslim” became a “lightning rod” for complaints. They acted after complaints from the conservative Christian group the Florida Family Association.



Profile Information

Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876
Latest Discussions»Purveyor's Journal