January 5th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Editorial on Iowa-New Hampshire--NYTimes 1/4/08

January 4, 2008
Editorial
Let It Start Now

The candidates have spent a year and tens of millions of dollars in Iowa, and Thursday night the first actual voters offered their first assessments. Some candidates and their strategists were hoping the caucuses and the New Hampshire primary next week would settle the race, weeding out the contenders for the two major parties' presidential nominations. Watching the campaign in cold, snowy and mostly empty Iowa, we were hoping for something else — that this year's Iowa-New Hampshire rush to judgment will be the last.

For all of Thursday night's drama, the results in Iowa did not preclude a race going into New Hampshire, and, we hope, beyond — to South Carolina, Florida and the cluster of primaries on Feb. 5. Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton, but she's got plenty of money left, and John Edwards got a boost. Mike Huckabee's win was unlikely to deter Mitt Romney or the Republicans who did not contest Iowa: John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Joni Mitchell albums for Starbucks, Joni Mitchell: Artist's Choice and Joni Mitchell: Selected Songs

Joni Mitchell albums for Starbucks, Joni Mitchell: Artist's Choice and Joni Mitchell: Selected Songs

Jonimitchelldvd1

Joni Mitchell albums for Starbucks, Joni Mitchell "Artist's Choice" and Joni Mitchell "Selected Songs".

Starbucks Coffee Company today announced the release of two exclusive CDs, both of which were produced by Starbucks Hear Music in collaboration with Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell "Artist's Choice" and Joni Mitchell "Selected Songs" are exclusively available at Starbucks Company-operated stores in North America.
Starbucks Hear Music's newest CD releases provide unique insight into Joni Mitchell's singular genius:

- Joni Mitchell "Artist's Choice" consists of eighteen of Joni Mitchell's favorite songs. Featuring song-by-song commentary written by Joni Mitchell, the album provides a revealing glimpse into the artist's personal and aesthetic inspirations, which are as richly diverse as her own musical catalogue. As her celebrated forays into the genre would suggest, Jazz (the DeBussy classic "Clare de Lune," Billie Holiday's "Solitude," Miles Davis' "It Never Entered My Mind," and more) figures prominently in Joni Mitchell's selections. Among the album's surprises are Chuck Berry's "Johnny Be Good" and the New Radicals' "You Get What You Give."

- Joni Mitchell "Selected Songs" is a collection of Joni Mitchell's songs, all of which were selected for inclusion on the album by a broad range of friends and fellow musicians who have been influenced by the legendary artist. Participants include Prince, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and Chaka Khan. For the first time since Starbucks Hear Music launched its popular Opus series in February 2001, world renowned artists were asked to choose their favorite song from a fellow musician's catalogue and their picks formed the album.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Brady Kiesling's Visit to Lebanon--Athens News 1/4/08

Busman's Holiday in the Bekaa

Lebanon wasn't the holiday destination we were contemplating when we bought our plane tickets through Beirut. The Syrian Embassy, however, didn't feel safe giving a blue-eyed American ex-diplomat a visa to wander around loose along the Euphrates. I might be a spy trying to winkle out their secrets.


Lebanese authorities take a much more relaxed attitude. Lebanon is a democracy. A clear majority of its people would be grateful if some agent of a foreign power would figure out what is currently going on in their country and then explain it to them.


The Lebanese presidency is vacant, parliament does not meet, and politicians of proven lethality are making ominous declarations that the government is illegitimate. Most tourists think they are being sensible by staying away. We thus had Lebanon's superb archaeological sites almost to ourselves. We also had ten days to watch politics in the pure, primitive form still practiced in Lebanon -- the redistribution of society's resources by a small group of individuals empowered by God-given certainty of their right to do so.


Small, mountainous Lebanon became dangerously overpopulated centuries ago. To discourage predators, every village plasters itself with posters showing membership in a political/religious movement led by a local strongman who wields their ballots or bullets as the situation requires.


By Lebanon's power-sharing rules, the president must be a Maronite Christian.
Collapse )
Chris Keeley

William Pfaff: "Iraq Majority Believes Peace Requires Occupation's End"

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
 
In the article transmitted below, Bill Pfaff provides timeless wisdom as to why the American and NATO invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan were doomed to failure from the start. (A conclusive book-length exposition on this theme is provided by Bill Polk's "Violent Politics".)
 
Put most simply, no people like being invaded and occupied by foreigners. They never have, and they never will -- and they hate it most intensely when their invaders and occupiers come from different civilizations, cultures and religions. This should be a "no-brainer", obvious to anyone with an ounce of intelligence or a rudimentary acquaintance with either human nature or world history.
 
In the absence of an effective genocide or ethnic cleansing, the invaders coming from afar always go back where they came from eventually, after which the conquered people restructure their lives and their society as they (or the most ambitious and powerful among them) see fit. Only settler-colonial invasions and occupations, in which the invaders intend to replace the indigenous population and make the invaded country their own new home, are potential "successes" in the long term -- and, with one notable exception, settler-colonial enterprises, necessarily accompanied by genocide, ethnic cleansing and/or racial-supremicist oppression, have been unthinkable since the 19th century.
 
I
Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Meet Mike Huckabee

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
 
For those of you unfamiliar with Mike Huckabee, winner of Thursday's Iowa caucuses for the Republican Party's presidential nomination, transmitted below is a relevant article by former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges.
 
Notwithstanding his minimal acquaintance with the world beyond America's borders, the Dominionist/Creationist/Armageddonist (and personally quite charming) pastor Huckabee does have a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a speech delivered in New Hampshire in October, he supported the creation of a Palestinian state ... but not in "Israel". He suggested Egypt and Saudi Arabia as appropriate locations for such a state.
 
Surely, Jesus Christ would have wished to get rid of the natives in this manner.

 

Published on Monday, December 24, 2007 by TruthDig.com

The Evangelical Rebellion

by Chris Hedges

The rise of Mike Huckabee as a presidential candidate represents a seismic shift in the tactics, ideology and direction of the radical Christian right. Huckabee may stumble and falter in later primaries, but his right-wing Christian populism is here to stay. Huckabee represents a new and potent force in American politics, and the neocons and corporate elite, who once viewed the yahoos of the Christian right as the useful idiots, are now confronted with the fact that they themselves are the ones who have been taken for a ride. Members of the Christian right, recruited into the Republican Party and manipulated to vote against their own interests around the issues of abortion and family values, are in rebellion. They are taking the party into new, uncharted territory. And they presage, especially with looming economic turmoil, the rise of a mass movement that could demolish what is left of American democracy and set the stage for a Christian fascism.

The corporate establishment, whose plundering of the country created fertile ground for a radical, right-wing backlash, is sounding the alarm bells. It is scrambling to bolster Mitt Romney, who, like Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Clinton, will continue to slash and burn on behalf of corporate profits. Columnist George Will called Huckabee's populism "a comprehensive apostasy against core Republican beliefs." He wrote that Huckabee's candidacy "broadly repudiates core Republican policies such as free trade, low taxes, the essential legitimacy of America's corporate entities and the market system allocating wealth and opportunity." National Review's Rich Lowry wrote that "like [Howard] Dean, his nomination would represent an act of suicide by his party."
Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Articles that might interest you

Articles that might interest you
**************
Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: RayClose
Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2008 15:16:41 EST
Subject: Fwd: Articles that might interest you

Friends:

These essays are by Daniel Levy, our fellow "alumnus" of last summer's Liechtenstein conference on Iran.  In my opinion Daniel is, with remarkable consistency, one of the most balanced and insightful of all analysts focused on the Middle East. The views he expresses here are perfect examples of those exceptional qualities.
Ray



**************
Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Daniel Levy" <levy@tcf.org>
To: <rayclose@aol.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 14:21:04 -0500
Subject: Articles that might interest you

Dear friends,

 

I wanted to share with you these articles that I have had published recently. The first is from the International Herald Tribune and looks at the role of Secretary Rice and three lessons to be learned from the Lebanon war in the summer of '06. It can be read here on the IHT site or here on the blog and is pasted below.


The second article appears in today's Haaretz and looks forward to President Bush's visit to Israel next week. It can be read here on Haaretz or here on the blog and is also pasted below.

 

Finally, here is a piece on Iran policy that was put out by the JTA and appeared in the Jerusalem Post and other places. It can be read here on the blog and is again pasted below.


Let me take this opportunity to wish you a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year.

 

Best,

Daniel

 

***

Daniel Levy
Director, Prospects for Peace Initiative
Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation; Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
Visit my blog at: www.prospectsforpeace.com 

 

 

International Herald Tribune
Rice's history lessons

By Daniel Levy

December 25, 2007

 

With the Annapolis conference and the Paris fund-raising effort to aid the Palestinians behind us, the Middle East peace process is now in need of constant vigilance. President George W. Bush will visit the region in January, but it is Condoleezza Rice who will be looked upon to provide a guiding hand.

 

The new peace effort is very much her baby. A look at the war in Lebanon last summer, and Rice's management of it, provides some clues to the challenges ahead.

 

Collapse )