January 14th, 2007

Chris Keeley

William Pfaff: "Can Bush Forestall Defeat?" (IHT)

This can be read as a coded statement of preparations to attack Iran,
probably with Israel interposed. Israel and its friends have been
pressing for such an attack, or threatening that Israel might make such
an attack itself.

He has proven to be a gambler. To have invaded Iraq on the
mass-destruction alarms and promises of military success, provided by
Washington neoconservative amateurs, and by ignoring the professional
assessments of CIA and State Department bureaucracies, he made an
incredible gamble, which has gone wrong for the predicted reasons.

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is Bill Pfaff's analysis of what this week's "New Way
Forward" speech is likely to bring us in the new year.

International Herald Tribune <http://www.iht.com>

*Can Bush forestall defeat?*

*William Pfaff
Tribune Media Services *

Friday, January 12, 2007



President George W. Bush's speech on expanding the U.S. troop presence
in Iraq was the most sober and reasonable speech that he has given since
taking office.

The inflated rhetoric and unbelievable claims of progress in dealing
with the insurrection were gone, although there was a fleeting reference
to an old threat: Unless the terrorists are routed in Iraq they will
attack Americans in the streets of San Francisco or Des Moines.

Another Karl Rove touch was the suggestion, made during the
administration's advance touting of the speech, that the "long" war will
go on for at least another two years. Of course by then a new
administration will have taken office.

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Chris Keeley

Solutions Beginning with A by Lola Haskins and Maggie Taylor

Solutions Beginning with A by Lola Haskins and Maggie Taylor


M A G G I E    T A Y L O R

Limited Edition:  Cloth-bound, 11x11 inches, 96 pages, 33 four-color plates with accompanying stories.  A Limited Edition of 100 copies, signed and numbered, with 6.5 x 6.5 inch print by Maggie Taylor, Something Completely Different.  The book and matted photograph will be placed in a matching clamshell box.  (Introductory price with complimentary shipping $400 USD)

Regular/Trade Edition:  Cloth-bound, 11x11 inches, 96 pages, 33 four-color plates with accompanying stories.  Edition of 1000 copies.  (Introductory price with complimentary shipping $65 USD)  Signed copy will be available upon request.


Chris Keeley

FSO(R) Terry Arnold on THE SURGE and AEI underpinnings

FSO(R) Terry Arnold on THE SURGE and AEI underpinnings


*Moving Backward In Iraq*
Terrell E. Arnold

A retired Senior Foreign Service Officer of the US Department of State;
former Chairman of the Department of International Studies of the
National War College; former State Deputy Director of Counter Terrorism
and Emergency Planning.

Wednesday night President George W. Bush outlined a program in essence
to totally Americanize the War in Iraq. That plan, as discussed below,
is as remarkable for what it leaves out as it is for the tactical battle
plan it proposes. The missing elements are both a critical commentary on
how the war has gone in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion, and as a
study in the deceptions practiced on the American people regarding
virtually every important aspect of the US Iraq campaign.

The key elements of the Bush plan were on paper at least as early as
December 13, 2006. They appear to have been finalized last Friday,
January 6, 2007, when a cabal of the neo-conservatives and boosters who
brought us the calamitous war in Iraq met and decided to send yet more
troops into that catastrophe. Labeled by one observer as the "real Iraq
Study Group", as distinct from the official one led by former Secretary
of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, this group
provided a report flamboyantly titled "Choosing Victory: A Plan for
Success in Iraq." And they demonstrated the same triumph of political
ideology over reality that has plagued the Bush administration from the

The plan, slides for which are dated December 13, 2006, was obviously
prepared in advance and trotted out for final vetting at the Friday
meeting. The title is bulletproof Bush language, and the odds are 100 to
naught that he, Cheney, and a few others saw and approved the scheme
before it was ever presented at AEI (American Enterprise Institute). In
short, with the deviousness that has been characteristic of this
administration, this plan was being finalized as the Baker/Hamilton
study group plan was circulating for discussion. That suggests, fairly
bluntly, that there was never any administration intent to consider
seriously the Baker/Hamilton report.

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Chris Keeley

Once again, the incomparable Uri Avnery--1/13/07

Once again, the incomparable Uri Avnery--1/13/07
Uri Avnery

          Manara Square, Ramallah

IT WAS murder in broad daylight. Undercover soldiers disguised as Arabs,
accompanied by armored vehicles and bulldozers and supported by
helicopter gunships, invaded the center of Ramallah. Their aim was to
kill or capture a Fatah militant, Rabee' Hamid. The man was wounded but
managed to escape.

As always, the place was teeming with people. Manara Square is the heart
of Ramallah, full of life, both walking and driving. When people
realized what was going on, they started to throw stones at the
soldiers. These responded by shooting wildly in all directions. Four
bystanders were killed, more than 30 wounded.

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Chris Keeley

Bruce Laingen on Iran--Letter in NYTimes 1/13/07

Bruce Laingen on Iran--Letter in NYTimes 1/13/07 

January 13, 2007

 America and Iran: We Need to Talk

 To the Editor:

The United States and Iran must talk. Not with the mutually negative
public rhetoric that for the 27 years since the 1979 hostage crisis has
eroded the trust needed for any diplomatic exchange; not indirectly, as
we do now on the nuclear issue through our Security Council and European
Union colleagues; but frontally and frankly as responsible powers with
shared interests in a critically important part of the world.

The absence of dialogue has made no sense on any count — strategic,
human, historic, political, cultural. It has complicated our
relationships with every other country in the region. We alone among the
powers have chosen to signal in this way our reservations about Iran’s
conduct in the world arena.

Geography alone compels Iran’s participation in helping deal with both
Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention long-term regional security
understandings in the Persian Gulf region. A host of other issues compel
dialogue, including Iran’s obligations vis-à-vis the former hostages.

Talking won’t be easy. Formal diplomatic relations are a long way off.
But we lose nothing now by joining directly with our allies and friends
in direct soundings of Iran’s intentions.

Bruce Laingen

Bethesda, Md., Jan. 1, 2007

The writer was a hostage in Tehran from 1979 to 1981 as chargé of the
American Embassy.

Copyright 2007
<http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html> The New
York Times Company <http://www.nytco.com/>
Chris Keeley


AT AN OGLALA LAKOTA POWWOW, PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, SOUTH DAKOTA, Aug. 5, 2006 Lori Eichhorn, 35, owner of a home-cleaning business and a single mother of three from Chaska, Minn., with camera: “We were there with probably 10 or 12 families from our church to put a kids’ summer camp together, and we had a free evening so we went to the powwow. We didn’t know anything about the Oglala Lakota Nation before we went, and I was glad that my 7-year-old son Kaleb could be there to experience their culture. We heard a couple of older gentlemen speak about the history of their people and trying to get back to a place of community where they can support themselves and invest in their own communities. They’re a very close people there. Here, our families are seemingly falling apart these days. When I heard these guys talk, it was all about home, the land, taking care of our families. It gave me this longing in my gut to think that it could ever be that way again.” As told to Austin Considine

MAKING WAY FOR ELEPHANTS IN SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA, May 26, 2006 Patricia Settle, 68, a retired marketing manager from Port Ludlow, Wash., on a 17-day safari through East Africa: “Going on safari was always a particular dream of mine. When I was growing up, for some reason, I rarely played with dolls, but I always pretended I was Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. My husband, who took this picture, was not that interested, but once we got there he was so glad we did it. We often saw herds of elephants, which was much more preferable to seeing one lone elephant, because the lone elephants can get kind of grouchy. When this picture was taken, I don’t believe that there was any problem with them. They always have the right of way wherever they want to go. And, in this case, they just wanted to cross the road.” As told to Austin Considine

Chris Keeley

“Sartjee, the Hottentot Venus, Now Exhibiting in London, Drawn From Life,” read the caption on this

“Sartjee, the Hottentot Venus, Now Exhibiting in London, Drawn From Life,” read the caption on this engraving, circa 1810.

The Hottentot Venus, with buttocks of enormous size and with genitalia fabled to be equally disproportionate, was part of this human menagerie. When she arrived in London in 1810, this young woman from South Africa became an overnight sensation in London’s theater of human oddities. Her body was the object of prurient gaze, scientific fascination and disturbed bewilderment.
Chris Keeley


The House Government Reform Committee reported in late September that Abramoff’s billing records showed a robust 485 contacts between Abramoff and his lobbyist team and key White House officials, including 10 or more direct contacts between Abramoff himself and Karl Rove.


Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, His Republican Allies, and the Buying of Washington.

By Peter H. Stone.

214 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $23.

Like the spot on Lady Macbeth’s hand, the Jack Abramoff scandal can’t be washed away. Abramoff was sentenced to five years and 10 months on fraud charges, former Representative Bob Ney is scheduled to begin his two-year-plus prison term, former DeLay staff members Michael Scanlon, Tony Rudy and Ed Buckham await their sorry fates (as does Tom DeLay himself) and several other miscreants, including lawmakers, staffers and top administration officials, are praying that the continuing, aggressive investigation by prosecutors will pass them by.
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Chris Keeley

Rice in Ramallah: Gross Interference

Rice in Ramallah: Gross Interference

I am listening to the NBC evening news. A very, very brief item at 7:15
p.m. showed Rice visiting with Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) in Ramallah.
The only voice-over news was that Rice had promised him $86 million to
build up his forces to confront Hamas in Palestine. (I can't quote it
exactly but that was the gist of the report.) Rice is on a trip to the
Middle East to revive the moribund "peace process"?
This is an insane interference in Palestinian affairs. It won't succeed,
and if we are successful in engineering new Palestinian elections, what
do you think the outcome would be? Overwhelming victory for Hamas. That
is, if the new elections are free and fair, as they were the last time
on January 25, 2006. Of course there won't be any new elections, as they
would be illegal, and Abu Mazen can't call them. The predictable result
of this investment in chaos will be further internecine warfare within
the Palestinian community, which is of course what our government and
Israel want, so that they can continue to write off any "peace process"
because "we don't have a partner." Of course we don't. Why should they
"partner" with us?
Tell your Congress members to vote against such use of your taxpayer
money. Would we appreciate a foreign government investing $86 million in
our elections to influence the outcome? We are supporting democracy in
the Middle East? We are promoting our own corrupt political system, and
promoting its corruption there. Israel doesn't need to invest any money
in our elections. Don't ask. Don't tell. That‘s what our media do.

Robert V. Keeley