Archive for December, 2010


Israel Represses Israelis and Congress Approves
30 December 2010

It’s been two years since Israel initiated the “Operation Cast Lead” military assault on the besieged Gaza Strip. Since then, the right-wing Israeli government of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has launched an unprecedented wave of intimidation against Israeli peace and human rights groups. These groups say they are “working in an increasingly hostile environment,” according to a New York Times report, and that Israeli government leaders are fostering “an atmosphere of harassment” by turning “human rights criticism into an existential threat.”

However, Congress has chosen to look the other way — and wants the executive branch to do the same.


The U.S. Deserves Its Share of Blame for Fate of Arab Christians
27 December 2010

It was the second week in January in 1991. I was in the sanctuary of a large Catholic Church in Baghdad. Every votive candle in the place was lit, no doubt in support of prayers for loved ones in anticipation of the massive US bombing campaign — which was to be known as “Operation Desert Storm” – that was soon to commence. A member of our group asked the priest whose side the church would be on in the forthcoming conflict. He replied that “The Church can only be on one side. That of the victims.”


Democrats Push Through Yet Another Anti-Palestinian Resolution
19 December 2010

Though outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has insisted that there just isn’t enough time for the lame duck Democratic-controlled Congress to consider much of the progressive legislation on the docket prior to the Republican takeover early next month, she and other Democratic leaders did find time last Wednesday to pass a resolution condemning efforts by Palestinian moderates to seek recognition of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.


Richard Holbrooke Represented the Worst Side of the Foreign Policy Establishment
15 December 2010

The many accolades coming out following the sudden death on Monday of veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke and his death bed conversion in opposing the Iraq war have overshadowed his rather sordid history of supporting dictators, war criminals and military solutions to complex political problems.


WikiLeaks Cables on Western Sahara Show Role of Ideology in State Department
7 December 2010

Over the years, as part of my academic research, I have spent many hours at the National Archives poring over diplomatic cables of the kind recently released by WikiLeaks. The only difference is that rather than being released after a 30+ year waiting period — when the principals involved are presumably dead or in retirement and the countries in question have very different governments in power — the WikiLeaks are a lot more recent, more relevant and, in some cases, more embarrassing as a result.


Fraudulent Egyptian Election
7 December 2010

The November 28 Egyptian parliamentary elections were a farce. The vast majority of Egyptians boycotted the charade. But even those who did try to vote witnessed massive ballot-stuffing, vote-buying, intimidation, multiple voting in pro-government precincts, interminable delays in pro-opposition precincts, and mass arrests of opposition supporters.