A Napoleon, Made in Israel
He was an Israeli Napoleon.
From early youth, he was totally convinced that he was the only person
in the world who could save the State of Israel. That was an absolute
certainty, free of any doubt. He just knew that he must achieve supreme
power, in order to fulfill the mission that fate had entrusted him with.
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True, this was not Sharon's intention. But, as Sharon himself might have
said: It is not the intentions that matter, but the results on the ground.
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is an appreciation of Ariel Sharon from Richard Curtiss, a retired American diplomat who has served for many years as Executive Editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily
Sunday, 8, January, 2006 (08, Dhul Hijjah, 1426)
Palestinians Won’t Miss Sharon
Richard H. Curtiss, DHanley200@aol.com —
Palestinians are not weeping for “the butcher of Beirut,” Ariel Sharon, as he battles for his life. One of the world’s most ruthless leaders, Sharon reminds this writer of the Assyrians of more than 3,000 years ago who made a point of carrying out bloodthirsty acts of terror. They then made sure that everyone knew the details of what they had done. As a result, their Near Eastern neighbors were so frightened and intimidated that they would do anything to keep the Assyrians out of their neighborhood.
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The only countries to reject this Arab compromise are Israel itself, and by its silent acquiescence, the United States.
— Richard Curtiss is the Executive Editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Magazine.
January 6, 2005
A disastrous appointment
Bush's backdoor choice of unqualified right-winger Ellen Sauerbrey to head the U.S. refugee-response team raises the specter of Michael Brown.
By Michelle Goldberg
One of the Bush administration's favorite ways of rewarding its Christian right base is to seed the foreign policy bureaucracy with its allies. Because appointments to international delegations or deputy-level State Department posts get little mainstream attention, there wasn't much uproar when Bush made Christian radio host Janet Parshall (host of the hagiographic documentary "George W. Bush: Faith in the White House") a US delegate to the 2005 United Nations conference on women. Only a whimper was heard when Bush tapped Paul Bonicelli, former dean of academic affairs at the fundamentalist Patrick Henry College, to be deputy assistant administrator at the United States Agency for International Development, putting him in charge of many of America's programs for promoting democracy in the Middle East.
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With Sauerbrey, Jacobson says, "You have a person in there who A) doesn't have any experience dealing with refugee movements, refugee resettlement, refugee crises, and B) has an ideological agenda against the single most important health intervention for refugee women."
© Keeley 2006, Barbara, Bethesda Maryland 1.8.2006
Look at Me
IT seems fitting that Carolyn Burke, whose first biography corrected history's error of undervaluing the avant-garde poet and artist Mina Loy, has written "Lee Miller: A Life." Fitting, also, that she begins the tale of a forgotten visionary photographer who was muse and lover to some of the most influential artists of the early 20th century, as well as one of the few women able to transcend this role and become an artistic force in her own right, with Miller's birth as a muse. At the age of 7, the year Miller was raped by a family friend in Brooklyn and subsequently contracted gonorrhea, she began posing naked for her father, Theodore - the only man she was ever faithful to, an amateur photographer and gadget geek who, Burke posits, might have imagined these "art studies" as "treatment" for her trauma. This practice continued into Miller's 20's and eventually culminated in group shots with several of her compliant gal pals. What it did do was create a bond that would remain the strongest and most secure in Miller's life, as well as create in her - out of necessity or desire - the ability to dissociate, which, Burke argues, "would become her way of dealing with those who sought to capture her image, her body and her trust."( Collapse )
Gordon Parks at home in Manhattan, 2000.
Weapon of Choice
"Gypsy woman told my mama, before I was born / You got a boy-child comin', gonna be a son-of-a-gun." Gordon Parks's life makes Willie Dixon's old blues song "Hoochie Coochie Man" sound like a documentary. In 1910, a fortuneteller traveling through rural Kansas predicted the arrival and rich life of Andrew Jackson Parks's seventh son - "You're going to have another child - and he's going to be a very special one." That's how the story was told to Gordon Parks by his older brother Clemmie. Gordon, born a couple years after the auspicious pronouncement, was Poppa Jack Parks's 15th child, the 10th with his second wife, Sarah. And the gypsy lady was right. He would become one of the most celebrated African-American artists of the 20th century, accomplished and revered as a photographer, writer, composer and movie director.( Collapse )