August 23rd, 2008

Chris Keeley

The Next President/Mastering a Daunting Agenda by Richard Holbrooke

long but worth the read.  Especially if one is not convinced McCain would be the wrong choice in November.

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Date: Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 1:00 AM
Subject: Fwd: The Next President/Mastering a Daunting Agenda by Richard Holbrooke

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Published by the Council on Foreign Relations    
The Next President
Mastering a Daunting Agenda
By Richard Holbrooke

From Foreign Affairs , September/October 2008
Summary: The next U.S. president will inherit a more difficult set of international challenges than any predecessor since World War II.

Richard Holbrooke was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1999 to 2001 and chief architect of the 1995 Dayton peace agreement. He is currently Chair of Asia Society.

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The next president will inherit leadership of a nation that is still the most powerful in the world -- a nation rich with the continued promise of its dynamic and increasingly diverse population, a nation that could, and must, again inspire, mobilize, and lead the world. At the same time, the next president will inherit a more difficult opening-day set of international problems than any of his predecessors have since at least the end of World War II. In such circumstances, his core challenge will be nothing less than to re-create a sense of national purpose and strength, after a period of drift, decline, and disastrous mistakes.

He will have to reshape policies on the widest imaginable range of challenges, domestic and international. He will need to rebuild productive working relationships with friends and allies. He must revitalize a flagging economy; tame a budget awash in red ink; reduce energy dependence and turn the corner on the truly existential issue of climate change; tackle the growing danger of nuclear proliferation; improve the defense of the homeland against global terrorists while putting more pressure on al Qaeda, especially in Pakistan; and, of course, manage two wars simultaneously.
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Chris Keeley

Noam Chomsky on Nasrallah

The following item relays an eminently sensible comment by Noam Chomsky as to why Hamas and Hizbullah were and remain so successful.
QUOTED EXCERPT:   The outstanding Lebanese journalist Rami Khouri, writing in the
major English language Lebanese newspaper, captured the basic point
rather well: "Hamas and Hizbullah are among the most effective and
legitimate political movements in the Arab world: They have forced
unilateral Israeli retreats that no Arab army could induce; won
elections democratically without resorting to the gerrymandering or
ballot box stuffing that most American-supported Arab regimes live
by; provided efficient service delivery and local governance to
their constituents; and sustained resistance to Israeli occupation
that appeals to the desire of ordinary Arabs to restore dignity to
their battered lives and to their shattered, hollow political
systems."   END QUOTE
Regards,  John
Chris Keeley

Israel, America -- and Iran

From:  Ray Close
Date: Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 5:23 PM
Subject: Israel, America -- and Iran
To: undisclosed-recipients


I became an admirer of Daniel Levy when we attended a conference together (on the subject of Iran) in Liechtenstein last summer.  We have maintained correspondence since then. I particularly commend his first article (below) spelling out how ill-advised and counterproductive Israel's threatening posture towards Iran has become.
One of the great failings that neo-conservative American leaders have demonstrated in dealing with the rest of the world is their inability to recognize how others see us ---  resulting in consistent failure to formulate rational and credible policies toward our adversaries because they do not take the trouble, or simply lack the sensitivity, to understand and appreciate the other side's legitimate concerns and interests while evaluating the dangers that its ambitions may pose. Unfortunately, right-wing Israelis currently suffer from exactly the same critical deficiency.

Both the American and Israeli leaderships, in these perilous times, share another related handicap: both are cursed with an inflexible belief that every problem can be dealt with most effectively by the application of force --  preferably in the form of overwhelming military power.  So the leaders of both the United States and Israel have a consistent tendency to talk tough, to threaten, to repudiate opportunities for compromise or accommodation ---  until they have virtually no options left other than to carry out their vainglorious threats or accept humiliating failure.  (Example: "The only thing more dangerous than a war with Iran would be a nuclear Iran". John McCain sets a trap for himself.)

When it comes to dealing with Iran, it seems that Israel may already have painted itself into that corner.  But there is, thankfully, a (faint) hope emerging that wiser heads in Washington (most of them across the Potomac River in the Pentagon, it seems), may have come to the sensible conclusion that a military conflict with Iran would be a disaster for America, and are trying to persuade their Israeli counterparts to get a grip on their paranoia.

Predictably, wise and objective Israelis (though not many politicians) are speaking up, as well.  Perhaps, just perhaps, the precipice will be avoided.  Thanks are due to those whose common sense is beginning to prevail over ignorance and arrogance both in America and in Israel.

Daniel Levy's voice is strong and clear, as you will see.

I would add only one small point to Daniel's list of reasons why military threats against Iran are counterproductive:  Those threats simply reinforce Teheran's convictions that it is in Iran's vital strategic interest to consolidate control over an Iraqi government that is dominated by reliably pro-Iranian Shi'ites ---  thereby diminishing the prospects that the U.S. can retain significant influence over Iraq's policies after the departure of American military forces.  (Here is another perfect example of the danger of neglecting to evaluate a situation from the perspective of one's adversary before adopting a menacing posture towards him --- especially when you have neither the means nor the will to follow through on your threats.)

Ray Close

ISubj: Two Articles to Share

Date: Friday, August 22, 2008 1:30:56 PM

From: levy
To: ray close

I wanted to share with you a couple of op-eds of mine that have recently been published.   This piece on Israel and Iran is in today's Haaretz and this article, "Civil War in Gaza Isn't in Israel's Interests", was recently published in the Forward.
Both are pasted below and, as always, these and other articles can be found on my blog at

Hope these are useful.

Chris Keeley

Two Articles to Share

There are Better Options
By Daniel Levy

Israel's response to the Iranian challenge has been out of sync with developing realities for some time. Recently though, it has become dangerously counter-productive, anchored as it is in denial. As Israel intensifies its role as threatener-in-chief, and clings to a "more sticks, bigger sticks" line, events all around are moving on.

The supposed logic behind Israel's escalating threats, suggesting it is ready to go it alone militarily, is threefold. It pressures Iran, thereby increasing international leverage in negotiations; a nervous world feels compelled to up sanctions and deliver results; and the path is smoothed to international acceptance of possible future Israeli action.

Except that the logic (always a tenuous one) is now being repudiated on all three fronts.

Iran apparently views the threats as a reason to pursue more vigorously, not desist from, its enrichment program. In general, Iran's perception that it is the threatened party (surrounded by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arabian Gulf) adds impetus to its weapons-acquisition program. Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Lost In Sound Presents Natural High

Panos Peros
Today at 7:16pm
Dear Members,

I just wanted to let you know that you can download my set called Lost In Sound presents Natural High from:

Just copy/paste the link above and you will be redirected to the Mercury Upload website. Then type the numbers/letters shown to your left at the bottom end of the page to the box before submit. Then you will be asked whether you want to open the file with your default player or save it directly to your computer.

Please note that the file is around 142Mb so it will take some time.

Thanks and enjoy the journey through deep, dark, proggy beats, synths, basslines, hooks & melodies.

Peace & Love,

(Lost In Sound)