February 16th, 2006

Chris Keeley

The Cheney Gang

From: Ray Close

Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 12:15:26 EST
Subject: The Cheney Gang
It has been reliably reported that during Jordanian King Abdallah’s visit to Washington last week, his delegation urged officials of the Bush Administration to take every available step to strengthen President Abbas’ political standing in the post-election Palestinian political environment. The State Department and the NSC were receptive to this argument, but aides to Vice President Cheney took the opposite position. Cheney’s national security advisor, John P. Hannah, noted that President Abbas had been weak and ineffective in the past, and expressed the view Abbas could not serve as a useful counterweight to extremists in a government dominated by Hamas. Hannah said that if President Abbas remains Palestine’s face to the Western world, this would only serve to obscure (but thereby effectively to legitimize) the real political control exercised by Hamas. Thus, argued Mr. Hannah, the United States should refrain from any actions that had the effect of propping up President Mahmoud Abbas and prolonging his tenure. Let Hamas stand alone and take full responsibility for its own humiliating failure. If chaos was the end result, so be it. A valuable object lesson would have been taught to the Arab and Muslim worlds --- and Israel would be left more secure than ever.Collapse )

There is a suspicion, shared by many loyal Israelis and far-sighted American Jews, that the extreme right wing in Israel today, whose strategy has always been the total destruction of any effective Palestinian national movement, is now becoming aware that the majority of Israeli citizens are prepared to try a course of compromise (aimed at total separation from the Palestinian population) in order to attain permanent peace and security. To discourage such conciliatory notions, and to sustain support for their more aggressive and expansionist ambitions, the hard-liners are therefore determined to prove, once and for all, that no Palestinian leadership could ever establish a stable government and become a trustworthy "partner for peace". Hence they secretly wish for the abysmal failure of the democratic experiment in Palestine, but are afraid to admit that this is their true objective. What better course than to rely upon well-placed "agents of influence" in the United States to ensure that American policy serves their purposes? Both Israel and the Bush Administration have issued urgent denials that destabilization of the Palestinian government has been the common objective of joint covert action planning between them, but that sounds suspiciously disingenuous to me. What other explanatiuon can there be for John Hannah's "counter-intuitive" actions last week?
Chris Keeley

Hoffman Discusses Former Drug Problems

Hoffman Discusses Former Drug Problems

NEW YORK - Philip Seymour Hoffman , the favorite to take home the best actor Oscar next month, says he never would have reached such heights if he didn't get sober 16 years ago.

Hoffman, whose performance as Truman Capote in "Capote" has drawn enormous praise, speaks in an interview on CBS News' "60 Minutes" to air Sunday (7 p.m. EST) about nearly succumbing to substance abuse when he was younger.

The 38-year-old actor says that after graduating from New York University's drama school, he fell into a fast-paced city social life.

"It was all that (drugs and alcohol), yeah. It was anything I could get my hands on ... I liked it all," Hoffman says.

He changed quickly, however.

"I went (to rehab), I got sober when I was 22 years old," says Hoffman. "You get panicked ... and I got panicked for my life."

Hoffman's first notable movie role was "Scent of a Woman" in 1992. He gradually became one the most critically acclaimed character actors after films like "Boogie Nights," "Happiness" and "Cold Mountain."

He's glad fame didn't come until he had cleaned himself up.

"I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a sudden they're beautiful and famous and rich," he says. "I'm like, `Oh my God, I'd be dead.'"
Chris Keeley


TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is a new article which I have just submitted to several of the newspapers which have published my articles in the past.

By John V. Whitbeck
The coming weeks offer an unparalleled opportunity to leapfrog over the long comatose "peace process" and actually achieve peace in the Holy Land.
All that is needed is some clear, constructive and original thinking on the part of the new Palestinian leadership. Demonized though it may be in the West, Hamas won the recent Palestinian elections not simply because it was perceived as clean but also because it was perceived, justifiably, as competent and coherent. It is capable of such thinking.
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