Rashid Khalidi part one: US the enabler

November 20, 2014

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Only on Democracy Now will you get an articulate Palestinian spokesperso, one with a long history in Jerusalem, a well known writer Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. He’s the author of a number of books, including his latest, Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.

 

As I said yesdterday apparently the CBC can not find men like him!

 

Khalidi names the elephant in the room:

The United States is precisely the enabler of all of this. The United States, by its diplomatic support, prevents any real pressure on Israel to stop it from occupation, settlement and repression.
Tensions have been growing since the summer, and Jerusalem is the flashpoint. When, on top of the pressure that Palestinians are all under because of this occupation that’s now in its fifth decade, you have the issue of the Haram al-Sharif, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and you have calls by senior ministers in the Israeli government, like Naftali Bennett, to completely change the status quo, to in effect take over a Muslim holy place that’s been the center of devotion for 1,400 years and, essentially, do to it what was done to the mosque in Hebron—turn it into a Jewish holy place where Muslims are occasionally allowed—you are throwing fuel on the fire. And so, ever since the last couple of months, there’s just been an escalation in tension all over the city.

 

You have increased settlement activity that just is penetrating neighborhood after neighborhood. Arab neighborhoods that have never seen armed settlers, with a heavy military and police presence to guard them, are now slowly, but surely, being colonized one by one. And so, you’re basically turning up the heat on a very, very hot situation, and that’s been going on now for many months.
Well, I think that what Amira Hass earlier said is correct. In Jerusalem, in particular, there’s an absence of leadership, but there’s an absence of leadership for the Palestinians as a whole. And that has been, I think, signaled over the Gaza crisis. It’s been signaled over the inability of the Palestinians to actually put together a reconciliation, a unity government, and to define a strategy.

I mean, Israel has a clear strategy. It is that they will negotiate forever, but they will not give up control of the Occupied Territories. The most important statement made by an Israeli politician was made by Netanyahu this summer. He said, “We will keep permanent, perpetual security control of these territories.” So he’s basically said, “No state, no sovereignty, no independence. You can talk as long as you want. I will meet with you. But you will never get an end to occupation.”

 

Well, that’s—something has to give here. I don’t think—I agree with Amira: I think that people in the West Bank are afraid. They’re both afraid of Israeli retaliation and they’re afraid of the security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority, which helps the Israelis to hold them down, and Israel. So, I’m not sure that that’s where we’re going. We may be going to more—sadly, to more horrible random acts of violence and more eruptions of kids, without leadership, in various parts of the West Bank, perhaps, and Jerusalem.

The hopeless media: no context in Palestine

November 19, 2014

Any text without a context is a pretext, said Jesse Jackson years ago.

 
The western media for many reasons is either negligent, lazy or afraid to dig deeper on this issue.

 
The public broadcaster CBC is terrified of the power of the Israel loving Harper government to make even more cuts.
The National Post and the Toronto Sun are de facto Zionist rags.
The Globe does do some good reporting(Namely Patrick Martin) but you hardly ever hear the Palestinian voice.
These are reasons yuoung people largely abandon official print organs for websites which are rooted in on the spot reporting. You can always trust ICAHD (http://www.icahd.org Jeff Halper’s group.B’Tselem is An Israeli human rights organization, ever so scrupulos and fair (http://www.btselem.org)

 

The radio is hopeless except for the intrepid Amy Goodman’s show Democracy Now. Amy anfd Juan Gonzalez consistently bring forth the voices you never hear elsewhere. In Toronto the show is carried on CIUT 89.5 on the FM dial.

 

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Today’s show was a prime example.
The thuggish Prime Minister Netanyahu never misses a chance to inflame the situation.He accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting violence in the city and said the killings were part of a “battle over Jerusalem.”

 
In fact Abbas said:We strongly condemn this incident and do not accept under any circumstances attacks on civilians. At the same time we condemn these actions, we also condemn the attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, holy places.

 
As well the director of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service, Yoram Cohen, dismissed Netanyahu’s claim that Abbas incited the attack.
No matter, Netanyahu never lets the facts get in the way.
Then Goodman brought on the brilliant Haaretz reporter Amira Hass{Does the CBC not have her phone number?) This is part of her report:
I did speak to some Palestinians in Jerusalem. And what was remarkable is that they do not approve of it. They do not approve of it, of this murder. But they share with those who perpetrated—they share the sense of despair and anger that Palestinians live with all the time, all the time. I felt that people do not dare to condemn, even though some people feel uncomfortable about such a killing, such an operation. By the way, I don’t think that the Popular Front adopted it officially. People say that the two youngsters are members or fans of the Popular Front, not necessarily members or not necessarily that they got an order from the Popular Front, but this is still to be seen.

 

Yeah, it is very, very tense. And I was making the comparison between the neighborhood where they lived, the two men, two Abu Jamal—very crowded, very—no investment in the livelihood, in the welfare of the people—while this neighborhood is—the Har Nof neighborhood is a relatively new neighborhood on the land of the village, of the destroyed Palestinian village, Deir Yassin—very spacious, many newcomers, many new immigrants from mostly Anglo-Saxon countries. If they worked there indeed, if the two guys worked there indeed, I think that they faced every morning—they were facing—every day they were facing the Israeli apartheid, very clearly.

 

And they don’t have—there is no leadership in Jerusalem to—or, at all, any leadership to offer them a struggle with hope, a struggle that yields fruits which give hope for a change. Everything, somebody told me also from the Popular Front today—somebody told me, “We’ve tried everything. We’ve tried negotiations. We’ve tried demonstrations. We’ve tried nice relations with Jews. We’ve tried so many things. And nothing—nothing—brings a change and stops this reality of apartheid.”

The madness continues

November 18, 2014

Two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun stormed a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers Tuesday, killing four people in the city’s bloodiest attack in years. Police killed the attackers in a shootout.

 

Heart sick to hear this.

 

A renegade suicide hit which makes an ugly situation even worse.

 

All the Palestinians we met had long ago foresworn violence.Some sadly are driven to lash out.

 

The Shin Bet security service chief Yoram Cohen told members of a Knesset committee that the perpetrators had no previous security records.He also stated that PA leadee Mahmoud Abbas does not encourage such attacks.

 

Undoubtedly PM Netanyahu will escalate the violence and so the death dance goes on.

 

Some Palestinians have obviously reached the end of their patience.They watch as their land even in Jerusalem is gobbled up ,the Al Aqsa Mosque is being threatened and Canad and the US continue to give Isfrael a blank cheque for the longest modern day occupation which mocks the values of Judaism

 

Here is a picture taken a week ago  in the Ibrahim mosque in Hebron.

 

MOsque
It was here on Feb 25,1994 that the mad settler Dr.Baruch Godstein murdered 29 Palestinians  who like yesterday’s victims had come to pray.

Snapshots from Palestine: Elias Chacour

November 17, 2014

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This is the first snapshot from Israel/Palestine. In no particular order, they give you a glimpse of life under occupation.

We set out early on Wednesday from the Mount of Beatitudes on the Sea of Galilee to visit Elias Chacour, the recently retired Archbishop of Akko, Haifa and Allo of Galilee in the Greek Catholic Melkite Church. Abuna Chacour had agreed to meet with us in Ibillin at the marvellous educational complex, begun by him in 1983. It now includes a co-educational kindergarten, primary school, high school and gifted program for Christian, Moslem and Druze students of the area. As we walked through the facility built on the hill overlooking the town, the energy and discipline of the young Palestinians was apparent to all. Chacour met with us in a large classroom lined with a pictorial description of the development of Mar Elias which had been constructed, as are most buildings owned by non-Jews, without a permit, that is, against the directives of the Israeli government.
Abuna Chacour began by drawing us out: What had we learned during our visit to his country? He listened intently and reminded us that a journalist who has spent one day in Palestine can write a book, a journalist who has spent a month can write an article and one who has spent a year there will see such complexity that she may not be able to write at all.  (Regardless, we blog on.)  Chacour then went on to briefly describe the details of his life as a Palestinian Arab Christian Israeli who had been born in 1939 into a large Christian family that, prior to the Nakba, lived in peace with other Jews and Moslems in Galilee.  In 1948, when the Zionists drove them from their village, the devout Chacour family became refugees in their own land. The youngest of four boys, Elias was encouraged by his father to accept the call to the priesthood.  After university, he studied theology at St. Sulpice Seminary in Paris. Returning to Israel in 1965, he was ordained a priest and assigned to the small village of Ibillin that became his parish and the focus of his educational activism for the next 50 years.
Abuna Chacour regaled us with the story about the “illegal” construction of his high school in the early 80s.  Every time the Israeli authorities showed up to see if he had a building permit he told them that he needed a building not a permit. As soon as they left, the work recommenced. He would not let the refusal to provide a permit to slow down the construction of the building. However, when he realized that the project was in jeopardy of becoming caught up in political conflict and red tape, he flew to Washington in 1981 to seek assistance from then Secretary of State James Baker. He landed unannounced at the side door of the Baker residence as the Secretary’s wife was beginning a Bible Study session on the Beatitudes. When she opened the door, Chacour introduced himself as “another man from Galilee.” When she asked if he had an appointment, Father Chacour quipped, “Appointment? We men from Galilee don’t make appointments. We make appearances.”  She invited him in and he explained to the group of Washington wives that the Christian Beatitudes are not “Be Happy Attitudes.”  They are a call to conversion and to peace making. Abuna Chacour became a close friend of the Susan and James Baker.  On his next Middle Eastern diplomatic mission, Baker quietly intervened by hand-delivering a letter to the Israeli government supporting the initiatives of the Mar Elias Educational Institution.  The necessary permits were granted.  No school demolition need be feared.

As we listened through tears of laughter and sadness to Elias Chacour, we realized that we were in the presence of a true peacemaker but we did not realize that he would be commissioning us to become the same in the service of the Palestinians whose sufferings we had been witnessing for the last two weeks.  As he has told others in the past, he told us to take the side of the Palestinians but he gave us this last bit of advice:  “If taking our side would mean to become one-sided against my Jewish brothers and sisters, back up. We do not need such friendship. We need one more common friend. We do not need one more enemy, for God’s sake.”

Disneyworld Tours alive in Israel/Palestine

November 15, 2014

Climbing

We just returned from a two week sojourn to Israel/Palestine.
We visited people and places the ordinary “pilgrimages” never dare to go.

 

Most of these church tours are considered Disneyworld events or as some call them “fluff tours.”They miss the many splendored thing, the Holy Spirit of resistance in the beleaguered Palestinian people. These tours are in a word,disgraceful.They reflect an inanimate or dead theology, one which substitutes the holy places for the holy people,the ongoing incarnation of Christ exactly where Jesus told he would be found: in the crucified lives of the poor of Palestine.This is the true locus of divine revelation. These people are living under a similar occupation to that which Jesus endured.
Some people in our pilgrimage got very depressed watching these “spiritual”tours which manage to bypass the human in favour of stones,caves and churches.As Abuna(Archbishop) Elias Chacour says these are not the true terra sancta.The lifeless antiquities which may or may not have some connection with Jesus sadly have pride of place over the suffering occupied lives of Palestinians. Most of these pilgrims one should assume are good people but sadly led by “blind guides” promoters of a moribund theology which evades history.
These nostalgia tours are rooted in the past.They have little contemporary spiritual relevance. Their avoidance of a people so desperately needing solidarity plays into the hands of the occupying power and simply extends the long suffering of the people of Palestine.

Pope Francis obviously a commie

October 30, 2014

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Pope Francis said Catholic social teaching defines “land, shelter and work” as “sacred rights,” yet “if I speak of this some people conclude that the pope is a communist.”

Francis is riffing the great bishop of Recife,Brazil, Dom Helder Camara who used the line 40 years ago. John Paul ll fixed him and replaced him with an Opus Dei bishop who never had the smell of the sheep on him.

 
He urged an international gathering of grassroots social activists to struggle against the “structural causes” of poverty and inequality, with a “revolutionary” program drawn from the Gospels.

 
“The poor no longer wait, they seek to be protagonists, they organize, study, work, demand and, above all, practice that special solidarity that exists among those who suffer, among the poor,” the pope said Oct. 28, to a Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Popular Movements.

 

Most of the JP ll bishops would never go near such a meeting.They don’t go where they can not control the agenda.And poor people.Forget it.

 

The pope said solidarity entails struggling “against the structural causes of poverty, inequality, the lack of work, land and shelter, the denial of social and labor rights,” and confronting what he called the “empire of money.”

“Today I want to join my voice to yours and accompany you in your struggle.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if Canadain bishops showed such solidarity with working people?

Pope Francis said Catholic social teaching defines “land, shelter and work” as “sacred rights,” yet “if I speak of this some people conclude that the pope is a communist.”

Deploring the displacement of his “brother peasants” from their “native soil,” the pope warned that traditional rural life is at “risk of extinction.” He also said “financial speculation” on food prices was to blame for the starvation of millions around the world.

“I’ve said and I repeat: a home for every family,” Pope Francis said. “Family and shelter go hand in hand.”

Obviously a commie or a fellow traveller.

The faux patriots

October 26, 2014

 

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Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

So said Samuel Johnson in 1775.

Frank Magazine used to run a funny bit seeing who the first person to wear a poppy in the parliament—always way before Remembrance Day. It was always Preston Manning the dark prince of the prairies, a man who has done as much as anybody to prepare the way froe Stephen Harper, the democracy destroyer.Ever the great Canadain patriots.

They wear poppies and then do all they can to erode the real Canadian democracy.

Guys like this are always wearing patriotism as their get out of jail card, their cheap way of bumping military budgets while eroding the tax base for social goods—which we cannot afford. always more monery for war preparation and tax breaks for their base.And all that cheap rhetoric about fighting the terrorists.

Now after the tragedy in Ottawa get ready for armed guards in front of Tim Hortons.The overkill is just over the hill and Harper of course will run on the patriot’s card—keeping us all safe from “the terrorists.”

Bad Day in Ottawa: The Platitude Express

October 23, 2014

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Of all the hysterical can’t and 24 hour over the top nonsense about the shooting in Ottawa comes the most astute comment of all from Matt Behrens

I often find it hard to feel empathy for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. But when I saw the grim picture of him talking on the phone following the end of his confinement in the locked down House of Commons yesterday, I sensed in him a vulnerability he rarely exhibits. Harper, like his fellow MPs, Parliamentary staff, media, visitors and children in the downstairs daycare, had likely hunkered down behind locked doors, no doubt traumatized by uncertainty when an armed gunman entered the building. Because no one knew who the gunman was after, all were potential targets. For half a day, everyone on lockdown no doubt felt the fear, despair, sadness and fragile sense of mortality that people in Iraq and Syria have experienced daily for decades, an extra punch of which they will soon receive at the hands of Canadian CF-18 bombers.

It’s the kind of trauma not to be wished upon anyone, and I hope all affected will get the kind of counselling and therapeutic support necessary to deal with what may emerge as multiple cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), otherwise known as the condition that you get denied proper treatment for when you are a returning Canadian military veteran.

Like those in Afghanistan who suffered 13 years of Canadian bombardment (upwards of a billion Canadian bullets fired), night raids, transfers to torture, and the daily indignities of life under military occupation, those Parliamentarians with the power to declare war — and send somebody else overseas to fight it for them — felt, in a relatively limited fashion, what it’s like for millions of the world’s war-weary populations. The image of a cowering John Baird or Jason Kenney hiding in a barricaded office must have proven a stark contrast to the swaggering, macho manner in which these men urged Canada to declare war on ISIS, further fuelling the flames of fear and hatred against Muslims.

Out-of-the-blue violence

Thankfully, most of yesterday’s hostages to violence in Parliament went home last night to warm houses with showers, uninterrupted electricity supply, food in the fridge, and the knowledge that this horror is unlikely to happen tomorrow and four or five times for the remainder of the month or periodically for the rest of their lives. But had this happened in Iraq, such relative safety would not be guaranteed, in part due to Canada’s role in obliterating that nation’s economy, electricity and water supply, and health-care system, first though intensive bombing in 1991, military enforcement of a decade’s worth of brutal sanctions that killed a million Iraqis, and renewed support and participation in the 2003 invasion that was made possible by Canadian weapons, technical components, navy personnel and equipment, embedded troops, and high-ranking military officials. It was also out of Iraq’s torturing prisons during the occupation that numerous ISIS leaders emerged.

The tragic murder of a young Canadian reservist and the Parliamentary shootout was all the more shocking because of its sudden, seemingly out-of-the-blue fashion. In the same way, on a daily basis in tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Yemen, in Somalia, children in schools, celebrants at weddings, and other individuals and families are suddenly, shockingly killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a remote control-operated drone, likely with the Canadian-built targeting camera courtesy of L-3 Wescam in Burlington, Ontario.

What is being treated as Canada’s 9/11 is a day that recalls the comments made half a century ago by the great Malcolm X, who commented that the assassination of President Kennedy was a case of “chickens coming home to roost,” a result of a “climate of hate” fostered by a U.S. political and corporate establishment regularly overthrowing governments and assassinating (or plotting against) a variety of leaders from Patrice Lumumba to Fidel Castro. At the time, Malcolm X was vilified for speaking the truth, one that America was not ready to accept, just as many Canadians may be unwilling to do now.

Indeed, how many Canadians reading that last paragraph would step back and say, “That’s them, not us”? The horrible sound of gunfire in Parliament must have sounded a small bit of like some opening moments during the Canadian-supported coup against the democratically elected Chilean government of Salvador Allende in 1973, one of many coups Canada has given support to (including more recently the coups in Honduras, Egypt, Haiti, etc.). One reporter gasped that it was simply incongruous to see SWAT teams escorting her through the Parliament in which she worked, and yet Canadian policy throughout much of the world forces her counterparts to walk that ring of heavily armed men on a daily basis.

Rather than viewing yesterday’s tragic events as a wake-up call to seriously examine Canada’s negative role on the world stage and the inevitable “climate of hate” to which we are contributing, we can expect nothing less than a ride on the Platitude Express, which embarked within minutes of the first bullets being fired.

The Platitude Express

From endless references to the “loss of innocence” to the pronouncements that “things will never be the same” (especially in the “hallowed halls” of Parliament), we are witnessing the cranking up of our self-loving myth machine into high gear.

In this climate, do not expect our finest hour. Yesterday’s events will be used as the springboard to call for greater militarization of the national culture and justification for unending war against ISIL/ISIS or any other convenient enemy-du-jour. This will lead to further increases in war spending, despite the fact that the War Dept. was supposed to come up with $2 billion in cuts. The wars in Ukraine and Iraq — costs for which are being kept secret, without much protest — will easily double that. These events will also be used to attack anyone who questions Canada’s role in wars past or present.

New repressive laws

The events of yesterday will likely also have a congealing impact on Parliamentarians who, understandably, shared a trauma together. Wednesday was supposed to be the Harper government’s opportunity to unleash a new round of legislative measures designed to give CSIS and the RCMP even more freedom to trade information with torturers, monitor people overseas, take part in extraordinary rendition programs, and be completely immune from prosecution and oversight by the creation of a special class privilege that would assert the right of CSIS agents and informers not to be questioned about their activities in any court of law, public or secret.

But after yesterday, what opposition leader who wants to appear prime ministerial will feel comfortable saying no to such an agenda? The Conservatives will no doubt frame the issue with the familiar refrain, “you’re either with the terrorists or against them.”

Perhaps the most immediate impact will be felt in certain communities targeted for racial and religious profiling. While Canadian soldiers have been told to stay indoors and not show themselves in public, individuals of South Asian or Middle Eastern heritage, and certainly anyone who may be a Muslim or perceived as one, may have second thoughts about being out in public. These communities will be the subject of demands from the media and some “community leaders” to “out” radicalized young people, to call in “suspicious” behavior (undefined), and to report their neighbours to CSIS or the Mounties. They will find greater difficulty travelling, and they will learn first-hand about something called the Passenger Protect Program (or no-fly list).

This is especially so since, while we do not know much about the shooter, media have been quick to point out that although he was a Canadian, he was of “Algerian” heritage, and a recent convert to Islam. Both are completely irrelevant factors, but so commonly part of the daily anti-terror discourse that no second thought is given to the consequences of bringing it up.

The game is no longer far away

Glenn Greenwald adequately summed things up by asking why Canada, a nation that has been at war for 13 years and counting, would be shocked that someone might actually (however unjustifiably), do what he felt was needed to fight back. But as a country that wages war but has never suffered from war the way Russia or France or Syria or Iraq have, we have always been insulated against the consequences of our actions, buoyed by a mythology that allows us to wear Canadian flags on backpacking trips through Europe.

By day’s end, Harper addressed the nation, his discourse unchanged from the bellicose rumblings of last week as he rammed through a Parliamentary vote to bomb Iraq and Syria: “Canada will never be intimidated…redouble our efforts…savagery…no safe haven…”

After a long day focused on these gripping events in the nation’s capital, I have to wonder if this direct experience of fear and trauma will force us to examine our own addiction to violence as the solution to conflict. Yesterday provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our insidious contribution to the climate of hate, and the chance to disengage from our increasingly militarized culture.

Matthew Behrens is a freelance writer and social justice advocate who co-ordinates the Homes not Bombs non-violent direct action network. He has worked closely with the targets of Canadian and U.S. ‘national security’ profiling for many years.

We sure miss Tony Judt

October 20, 2014

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Tony Judt died in 2010.A towering intellectual whose book on the 20th century is required reading, he was engaged to the very end a premature demise a victim of ALS. A younger colleague, historian Tim Snyder was smart enough to realize  that one of the brightest lights was about to dim sohe sat down with Judt and let the tape recorder roll. The result was Thinking the Twentieth Century, with Timothy Snyder (2012).

An early Zionist Judt worked as a youth on a kibbutz and served in the IDF he then had an epiphany: he knew no Palestinians! There was no turning back.

In a famous article in 2003 in the NY Review of Books he saw it all too clearly:

 

The President of the United States of America has been reduced to a ventriloquist’s dummy, pitifully reciting the Israeli cabinet line: “It’s all Arafat’s fault.”

 

The very idea of a “Jewish state”—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded—is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism.

 

As the prominent Labor politician Avraham Burg recently wrote, “After two thousand years of struggle for survival, the reality of Israel is a colonial state, run by a corrupt clique which scorns and mocks law and civic morality.”1 Unless something changes, Israel in half a decade will be neither Jewish nor democratic.

 

He outraged fellow Jews, American Zionists.

Phil Weiss has clipped this following piece from the book exposing the frequent know nothing columnists  and Israel boosters David Brooks and Tom Friedman who were gung ho about GW Bush’s excellent adventure which has brought total chaos to the Middle East and indeed to the world.
Judt reports that in 2003 he was on Charlie Rose with Brooks and when he challenged Brooks about the effectiveness of international agencies to resolve the Kosovo crisis and by extension the Iraq crisis, Brooks said “I don’t really know anything about that.”

 
Here we had the public intellectual who now occupies not only prominent television space but also op-ed pages of the most influential newspapers in the English-speaking world: and he knows nothing.

 

 
Men like Brooks know, literally, nothing. So I encountered in those troubled months a combination of catastrophic acquiescence in authority and plain, old-fashioned dumb ignorance masquerading as commentary. These were the circumstances which allowed a criminal political action to be pushed through the public space with very little opposition.

 

 
Something else to remember, though, is that the people who did know something just rolled over. I’m thinking of Michael Ignatieff, or David Remnick, or Leon Wieseltier, or Michael Walzer. Instead of asking questions, they all behaved as though the only function of the intellectual was to provide justification for the actions of non-intellectuals. And I just remember being profoundly shocked and also feeling very lonely. Not that I felt comfortable with the isolationists either…

 

 
Brooks is an interesting case because it’s all done with mirrors–there is no expertise. The apparent expertise consists of the capacity to talk glibly each week about any public event in a way that readers have gotten used to as a sort of enlightened commentary. Thomas Friedman, another prominent contemporary “expert,” trades on a slightly different notion of expertise. Notice that pretty much every Friedman column includes a reference to som famous person he’s spoken to. So he makes explicit the notion that your expertise is a function of your contacts… It doesn’t really matter, actually, who it is. It’s the notion of access to something special.

 

 
In Friedman’s case, access to information is very carefully recalibrated as the acceptable middle ground on any given policy issue. And Friedman’s position on the Iraq War was contemptible. Not only did he run along with everyone else, but he actually probably slightly misread the tea leaves and ran along a little too fast on the anti-French, anti-European thing. It was Friedman who ran a column that said that France should be kicked out of the U.N. Security Council for having the chutzpah to oppose the United States on such an important issue.

 

 
Gee, we miss Judt now and the NYT keeps printing folderol from Friedman and Brooks.

Atheist nation leads fight against Ebola

October 13, 2014

Cuban doctors and health workers arrive at Freetown's airport to help the fight against Ebola in Sie

And Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matt. 7:21

 
And the great Christian nation to the south which pours billions into war and whose annual genuflection to Mars equals the sum total of the next 10 nations is asleep at the wheel when it comes to the Ebola crisis.

 
Yes folks meet the tiny island nation of Cuba a nation of 11 million people, with a GDP of $6,051 per capita is leading the effort to halt a potential pandemic.

 

A brigade of 165 Cuban health workers arrived in Sierra Leone last week, the first batch of a total of 461. In sharp contrast, western governments have appeared more focused on stopping the epidemic at their borders than actually stemming it in west Africa.

An outbreak which could have been stopped in its tracks at the outset by the great powers now threatens to go viral.

THE USA always the first to go to war and prepare for war seems to be asleep when it comes health sacares like this. With the greatest medical talents in the world it seems to be led by an impotent government and other great powers are not much better. China, Brazil, France and the UK —fellow dozers.

And there’s Cuba always ready with limited resources ready to lend a hand.

Stark panic about to set in —all it takes is a couple of deaths, even one in “the great state of Texas” and suddenly great concern. Thousands of deaths elsewhere, not so much concern.

Cuba demonized consistently in the USA always seems ready to act as a great global citizen

50,000 Cuban-trained health workers are active over 66 countries. Cuba provided the largest medical contingent after the Haiti earthquake disaster in 2010, providing care to almost 40% of the victims.

Makes a person wonder, don’t it?

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