April 5th, 2009

Chris Keeley


Uri Avnery


Who’s The Boss?

ON THE first day of the new Israeli government, the fog cleared: it’s a Lieberman government.

The day started with a celebration at the President’s office. All the members of this bloated government – 30 ministers and 8 deputy ministers – were dressed up in their best finery and posed for a group photo. Binyamin Netanyahu read an uninspired speech, which included the worn-out cliches that are necessary to set the world at ease: the government is committed to peace, it will negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, bla-bla-bla.

Avigdor Lieberman hurried from there to the foreign Office, for the ceremonial change of ministers. He, too, made a speech – but it was not a routine speech at all.

Si vis pacem, para bellum – if you want peace, prepare for war,” declared the new Foreign Minister. When a diplomat quotes this ancient Roman saying, the world pays no attention to the first part, but only to the second. Coming from the mouth of the already infamous Lieberman, it was a clear threat: the new government is entering upon a path of war, not of peace.

With this sentence, Lieberman negated Netanyahu’s speech and made headlines around the world. He confirmed the worst apprehensions connected with the creation of this government.

Not content with quoting the Romans, he explained specifically why he used this motto. Concessions, he said, do not bring peace, but quite the reverse. The world respected and admired Israel when it won the Six-day war.

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Chris Keeley

(no subject)

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is a very thoughtful article by Immanuel Wallerstein, wise and venerable Senior Research Scholar at Yale, on what has, sadly and unnecessarily, become "Obama's War".
I continue to be baffled as to why Obama, a man of proven intelligence in so many respects, could be so staggeringly unwise in wishing to intensify America's long-running and doomed-from-the-start effort to control Afghanistan, an intensely tribal and traditional country whose internal governance and social structures (even if America and its NATO spear-bearers could dictate them) should be of no significant interest either to Americans or to Europeans. Raising the stakes will simply intensify the resistance and make the eventual recognition of failure more difficult and more devastating after years of more deaths and more destruction.
Can Obama really not grasp that people who "hate America" can "plot attacks" from anywhere on the planet, not simply from Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that the best way to make even more people hate America or the West and to wish to strike back against them, even at the willing price of their own lives, is to persist in killing Muslims in quantities and circumstances which a significant portion of the Muslim world can comprehend and explain only in terms a conscious and determined Western war against Islam? 

Af-Pak: Obama's War


by Immanuel Wallerstein


1 April 2009




Af-Pak is the new acronym the U.S. government has invented for Afghanistan-Pakistan. Its meaning is that there is a geopolitical concern of the United States in which the strategy that the United States wishes to pursue involves both countries simultaneously and they cannot be considered separately. The United States has emphasized this policy by appointing a single Special Representative to the two countries, Richard Holbrooke.

It was George W. Bush who sent U.S. troops into Afghanistan. And it was George W. Bush who initiated the policy of using U.S. drones to bomb sites in Paklstan. But, now that Barack Obama, after a “careful policy review,” has embraced both policies, it has become Barack Obama's war. This comes as no enormous surprise since, during the presidential campaign, Obama indicated that he would do these things. Still, now he has done it.

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