Sunday, October 24, 2010

I swear to gosh that serious updates are to come.

That is, once I get my time management habits under control. I think I'm getting closer and closer to that point. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another interesting ZCom article, and it includes interesting data on suicide bombers

The article is mainly about Newt Gingrich and his feigned expert status, with regard to international politics. Gingrich has always infuriated me with his pied piper genius, so the article was refreshing to read.

Most interesting of all, however, was the article's data on suicide bombers.

In Dying to Win: Why Suicide Terrorists Do It, an exhaustive study on the issue of suicide terrorism, American author, who also heads the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST) at the University of Chicago, Robert A. Pape writes: The data show that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the worlds religions. In fact, the leading instigators of suicide attacks are the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a Marxist-Leninist group whose members are from Hindu families but who are adamantly opposed to religion.

One of his seemingly novel conclusions was:

Rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.

No, Mr. Gingrich, terrorism is not a term you simply lob at your enemies for cheap political gains. Its a real problem, with real roots and real casualties. And like any problem, it needs to be properly understood, realistically assessed and wisely confronted.

Well said, author.

What is "recognizing Israel?"

You can read about this ambiguity here.

In light of that article, I must ask the critical Israel-Palestine question yet again: who is truly more responsible for the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine? Furthermore, why hasn't Israel complied with U.N. demands to withdraw to its 1967 borders? Pasted from Norman Finkelstein's website, here is the record of U.N. votes to have Israel withdraw to said borders between 1997 and 2007.




Negative votes cast by…



Israel, United States



Israel, United States



Israel, United States , Marshall Islands



Israel, United States



Israel, United States , Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Tuvalu



Israel, United States , Marshall Islands, Micronesia



Israel, United States , Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Uganda



Israel, United States , Australia, Grenada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau



Israel, United States , Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau



Israel, United States , Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau



Israel, United States , Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau

Yes, even Britain has consistently voted for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. The reason that 7 votes outweighs 161 is because the U.S.--which is one of the few members of the U.N. security council--has veto power within the U.N. I should also add that this vote was taken again in 2009, and the result was an unsurprising vote of 164-7-4. In fact, the U.S. has been responsible for preventing Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories for 40 years.


Sunday, October 3, 2010



Ecuador, and the U.S. Role in Latin America

For years, the United States government has covertly undermined Latin American democracy while claiming--contrarily--to be spreading democracy throughout the world. On Thursday, their "democratic" role in the world continued in the attempted coup d'etat against Rafael Correa of Ecuador.

The state's post-WWII obsession with Latin America began in 1954, when Jacobo Arbez Guzmán--the democratically elected president of Guatemala--was ousted by the CIA for attempting to nationalize the United Fruit Company. The succeeding dictators killed approximately 200,000 Guatemalans, and displaced several more. Following that coup, U.S. policy toward the region would only become more brutal and dangerous.

Our most dangerous intervention occurred when in 1962, the United States nearly had nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union due to JFK's aggressive stance toward Cuba--in addition to his attempted invasion of Cuba in 1962. Later, September 11, 1973 would see the CIA's installation of a fascist dictator in Chile, who would eventually kill thousands of civilians and torture tens of thousands. Other U.S. interventions in the region would include the Dominican Republic, Panama, Bolivia, Haiti, Venezuela, El Salvador and the infamous Contra aggression against Nicaragua. Most of these interventions would be against freely elected presidents, who merely wanted to redistribute their countries' wealth to help their poor majorities.

President Obama came into the office with claims to a more open-minded world view (he initiated talks with Hugo Chavez), but he nevertheless blatantly supported the coup against democratically-elected Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. Rafael Correa of Ecuador, another "dangerous" freely elected Latin American president (with approval ratings of 67%), predicted afterward that he would be the next leader targeted in the region. Thursday proved him right, as the Ecuadoran police--who are on good relations with the U.S. government--pelted him with tear gas and clashed with the army. The Ecuadoran health minister says that eight people died and 274 were injured in the clash, one of whom being a university student.

One can only hope that their president will not use this as an opportunity to initiate authoritarian measures, but if he does, it will be due to our support of the attempted coup.

Rather than allow U.S. financial interests to interfere with Latin America, we should act in solidarity with indigenous Latin Americans, and together hold our government accountable for its role in the region.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Useful Data on Israel-Palestine

I'm going to compile some useful data for whenever I get into a debate with a crazy Israel apologist, seeing as I definitely have in the past. Here's a nice piece of data which proves the illegitimacy of the Six Day War.

"The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."

Like, uh, bombing Gaza with white phosphorus or something.

"No, not like that."

I love Max Blumenthal. The first thing that the Israeli loyalty oath reminded me of was the Pledge of Allegiance, oddly enough.

I recall Norman Finkelstein calling Israel a "lunatic state" shortly after it attacked the Free Gaza aid flotilla in May. I can't really disagree with that. There's a difference between fanatical nationalism in the cases of North Korea and Israel, namely, the fact that the state of Israel uses propaganda to justify the slaughter and torture of its neighbors. (North Korea simply uses propaganda to keep its population willfully ignorant of its being fucked over, and I personally feel more okay with lobotomies than real life Milgram experiments.)

As a result, Israelis are incredibly fearful of Arabs. Center Against Racism, a pro-Israeli institute that is committed to reducing racism within Israel, found the following about Israel's Jewish population.
  • 75% would not agree to live in a building with Arab residents.
  • More than 60% wouldn't accept any Arab visitors at their homes.
  • About 40% believed that Arabs should be stripped of the right to vote.
  • More than 50% agree that the State should encourage emigration of Arab citizens to other countries
  • More than 59% think that the culture of Arabs is a primitive culture.
  • When asked "What do you feel when you hear people speaking Arabic?" 31% said they feel hate and 50% said they feel fear, with only 19% stating positive or neutral feelings.

In any case, I plan on spending the rest of the week on researching ways to end Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Therefore, my blog might be geared heavily toward the occupation for awhile, especially if we at STAND decide to dedicate a week to Arabs or, more specifically, the history of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Wish me luck.

EDIT: Wow. It only gets worse.,7340,L-3861161,00.html

The teens were asked about the rights of Arab Israelis. Here, too, there was a gap in the opinions of religious and secular students. While 82% of religious students responded that they don't believe Arabs should be granted equal rights as Jews, 36% percent of seculars responded that they do not believe in equal rights for Arabs and Jews. Overall, 46% students believe there should not be equality between Jewish and Arab citizens of the State of Israel.

The poll showed that many students believe the phrase "Death to Arabs" is racist, and, therefore, not legitimate. Forty-five percent of religious students and 16% of secular students, however, believe it is a legitimate statement.

Some 82% of the religious students believe Arab Israelis should not be allowed to vote in Knesset elections, versus 47% of seculars. Overall, 56% of the high school students polled believe Arabs should not be allowed to vote.

Students were asked if they would be willing to have an Arab friend who is the same sex and age as they are. Out of the religious students polled, 81% said they would not be willing, versus 23% of secular students who would not want to have an Arab friend. Overall, 32% of students said they would not want to have an Arab friend.

Dare I say that the Israeli Jewish population is nearly as brainwashed by the state of Israel as the German "Aryan" population was by Hitler's Germany? Hitler's crimes may have been far greater, but his propaganda amounted to the same message as Israel's; ethnicity B is subhuman and should be treated as such.

Ironic, isn't it? I blame their military culture, in addition to the fact that you would have to believe in the state of Israel if you were to immigrate there. The nation is mostly comprised of Jewish citizens, who decided to immigrate to Israel well into its history of crimes against humanity.