August 28th, 2006

Chris Keeley



*All in all, the Lebanon War is likely to be remembered not for the
birth pains of ‘a new Middle East’ (Condoleezza Rice), but as the death
throes of a system of world order that accepted war as the inevitable
basis of stability and change in relations among sovereign states.*



*Richard Falk* (VIII/24/2006)  Prof @ Princeton University


*There has been much commentary on the significance of the Lebanon War.
There is an unresolved debate about whether there was a victorious side
in the war, and even what the idea of victory means. There are various
suggestions about how to prevent a new war between Israel and Hezbollah,
whether by relying mainly on the UN stabilization force or by reviving
diplomacy between Israel and its various adversaries. Is it time to talk
with Hezbollah and Hamas? What does the inconclusiveness of the war tell
us about the benefits and limitations of military superiority in such a
conflict? Could Israel have used its military capabilities more
effectively, or were deeper structural restraints operative? These are
all important issues, deserving of reflection and dialogue, and
hopefully encourage a turn away from violence by all sides in their
search for peace and security.*

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Article on Targeted Killings--WashPost 8/27/06

Please ensure you are in a comfortable seat. This is a chilling,
most disturbing article published on the front page of today's
Washington Post. It is very long, very well researched and presented,
and well worth a read. The Israel Lobby must have been threatening the
Post all day, for this evening it is not readily available on the Post
website, not among the featured articles from today's newspaper, even
though it was on the front page. I had to search for it using the
author's name, Laura Blumenfeld, and then send it to myself by email. It
is available at the link below.
   The subject is Israel's project of targeted killings or
assassinations of Palestinian "militants" with the stated objective of
reducing Israel's vulnerability to terrorist attacks. There are mistakes
in execution, and "collateral damage" (killing of others not being
targeted), and failures, a signal one recounted in this article. Even in
countries which profess to be civilized though they still use the death
penalty, the executions of those convicted result from a judicial
process. There is nothing of the sort here. These are plain and simple
murders, using high tech means, planned and approved by and then carried
out on the orders of the highest military and civil authorities of the
Israeli state. That government sought legal justification from an
"expert," whose product will make you cringe or even laugh it is so
ludicrous. The moral dimension aside (though how can it be put aside?),
it is pragmatically a failed policy. Assassinations of alleged
"terrorists" will not reduce violence against Israel, for all those
killed can be easily replaced, and recruiting replacements is
facilitated by the outrage of  the entire population being attacked. We
are learning, or rather not learning, this lesson in Iraq.
   A state that engages in murder by its own instruments cannot claim
to be civilized.
   Isn't it time that the international community took charge of this
situation and imposed a solution based on justice, equity, human
decency, and compromise in the interest of world peace?

 In Israel, a Divisive Struggle Over Targeted Killing

 By Laura Blumenfeld

 TEL AVIV Israel's top military commander sat on the edge of his bed, talking on the phone, rubbing his forehead. The bedroom door was closed, muffling the Saturday clink and giggle of his children at lunch. His chief of operations was on the gray, secure phone, the line that rang louder and sharper...

 To view the entire article, go to
Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Horrible Destruction of the Antique History of Iraq--WashPost 8/27/06

This is a most discouraging account of the looting of Iraqi
antiquities, museums, and ancient sites, with irreplaceable losses, much
of it as a result of our own incompetence and indifference in the early
days after the invasion of Iraq and the swift fall of Baghdad. No
accountability, as usual. It was someone else's fault. Or "stuff
happens," as Rumsfeld put it. It sure does.

 Iraqi Museum Sealed Against Looters

 By Ellen Knickmeyer

 BAGHDAD, Aug. 26 -- Before he quit as head of Iraq's antiquities board, Donny George made a final desperate attempt this summer to safeguard the relics of 5,000 years of history: He ordered the doors of the National Museum plugged with concrete against the near-unbridled looting of ancient...

 To view the entire article, go to

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Key Read: Armitage's central role in the Valerie Plame leak

Armitage, a well-known gossip who loves to dish and receive juicy
   tidbits about Washington characters, apparently hadn't thought
   through the possible implications of telling Novak about Plame's

*The Man Who Said Too Much*

   A book coauthored by NEWSWEEK's Michael Isikoff details Richard
   Armitage's central role in the Valerie Plame leak.
   *By Michael Isikoff*

   Aug 27, 2006

   Sept. 4, 2006 issue - In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2003,
   Secretary of State Colin Powell received an urgent phone call from
   his No. 2 at the State Department. Richard Armitage was clearly
   agitated. As recounted in a new book, *"Hubris: The Inside Story of
   Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War,"*
   <>  Armitage had been at
   home reading the newspaper and had come across a column by
   journalist Robert Novak. Months earlier, Novak had caused a huge
   stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic
   Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer. Ever since, Washington had been
   trying to find out who leaked the information to Novak. The
   columnist himself had kept quiet. But now, in a second column, Novak
   provided a tantalizing clue: his primary source, he wrote, was a
   "senior administration official" who was "not a partisan
   gunslinger." Armitage was shaken. After reading the column, he knew
   immediately who the leaker was. On the phone with Powell that
   morning, Armitage was "in deep distress," says a source directly
   familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified
   because of legal sensitivities. "I'm sure he's talking about me."

  Collapse )
Chris Keeley

National Review/ Report Thomas Ricks's FIASCO - book's a

National Review/ Report Thomas Ricks's FIASCO - book's a
must read.

*National Review*

   *SEPTEMBER 11, 2006**  **VOL. LVII, NO. 16*

   *Bing West on Thomas Ricks's **/Fiasco/*

    /Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq/,/ /by Thomas E.
   Ricks (Penguin, 416 pp., $27.95)

   *Iraq: Phase One*

   /(Mr. West, who served in the Marine infantry in Vietnam and later
   as assistant secretary of defense, is the award-winning author of
   several military histories, including The Village: A Combined Action
   Platoon in Vietnam and No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the
   Battle for Fallujah. He has been to Iraq nine times, accompanying
   over 20 battalions on operations.)/

   Tom Ricks, who has a keen eye and a depth of contacts in the
   military, believes the likely outcome in Iraq will be a net loss for
   America. “There is a small chance the Bush administration’s
   inflexible optimism will be rewarded,” he writes, and “a greater
   chance that Iraq [will offer] a new haven for terrorists.”

Collapse )