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Total number of comments: 1572 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:38)

Mark Koroi

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  • Near-War: US Planes almost tangle with Syrian MiGs, which bombed area of US troop Embeds
    • ".......'legality' often amounts to contrived rationalizations to gain moral high ground."

      Yes. Under the "political question doctrine", the U.S. Supreme Court will not generally review issues of whether the president is acting lawfully under a Congressionally-sanctioned AUMF - although a member of Congress could conceivably try by suing the president as Sen. Barry Goldwater once did in a separate context to oppose President Carter's renunciation of U.S. sovereignty over the Panama Canal.

      To the extent that Khorasan and other al-Qaeda-affiliated terror organizations - including the al-Nusra Front - exist within Syria , the 2001 AUMF authorizing military activity against the perpetrators of 9/11 shall give some arguable basis for the commander-in-chief to commit troops and air power to the region.

    • An excellent point.

      The same logic obtains for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan - did the Taliban ask for America to come in and fight al-Qaeda? No.

      International law scholars have debated the question:

      link to americansc.org.uk

    • Are they "reliable"?

    • "Life will get exciting if the Syrian SAM light up US aircraft. Even more exciting if they fire on them."

      A U.S. drone aircraft has previously been shot down over Latakia:

      link to bbc.com

    • The "Authorization of Military Force" resolutions passed by United States Congress have been a legal cover for actions against al-Qaeda and other foreign terror organizations:

      link to whitehouse.gov

      link to time.com

      link to newrepublic.com

  • Michigan Prosecutor Charges 6 in Flint Water Scandal: Report
  • B'Tselem: Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in past 6 months than in all of 2015
    • Decades ago, the Likud Party had a goal of eventually resettling Jewry in the Occupied Territories until a total of 750,000 in Jewish population resided in those areas.

      The rationale behind this number is that this constituted a perceived "critical mass" of Jewish settlers which would give legitimacy to annexation of those areas into the State of Israel.

      Currently, there are about 567,000 Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories - the Likud historical goal is nearing reality.

  • Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel
    • The positive news is that Israeli leaders are beginning to see an advantage to implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative:

      link to jta.org

    • Both PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have in recent months expressed degrees of support for the Arab Peace Initiative endorsed by the Arab League - which former PM Ariel Sharon decried as a "non-starter" when initially announced in 2002:

      link to timesofisrael.com

      PM Netanyahu faces intense international pressure from BDS and declining U.S. and European Union support as well as domestically from right-wing extremist elements fueled by Palestinian violence to seek a solution to the political impasse between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.

      This current visit by Eshki to engage in discussions with Gold is a very positive sign that could lead to a possible breakthrough on the Palestinian question - although it may not lead to anything, either.

  • Disgraced Wasserman Schultz Resigns as DNC Chair, Gets Hired by Clinton
    • Naming Schultz as an "honorary chair" will only inflame Sanders supporters at a time when Clinton badly needs them to win in November. An unbelievably bad move.

      Almost as bad as Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech word-for-word. If you are going to plagiarize a speech, at least let it be a fellow Republican - like possibly Laura Bush. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

      No wonder the Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is expected to receive a tenfold increase in votes this presidential cycle over the party's nominee in 2012 - it's hard to believe how bad the major parties have damaged their standing among the electorate this year.

  • Israeli squatters fire on, threaten Palestinians on their private land
    • "......the perpetrators of violence against Palestinian civilians and their property are rarely punished...."

      Then-U.S. State Department official Robert Danin once wrote that official Likud Party policy conflicts with the implementation of a two-state solution envisioned by the Oslo Accords. That party policy calls for eventual annexation of the West Bank into Israel.

      Violence against West Bank Arabs is tacitly promoted by the Likud-led government and the a large segment of the Israeli public. For instance:

      (A) public donations for the legal defense fund of IDF Sgt. Elor Azarya - accused of killing an Arab in Hebron - now exceed $120,000.00;

      (B) military prosecutors were reversed by IDF brass in their attempt to see Sgt. Azarya initially charged with murder;

      (C) PM Netanyahu last year eulogized extremist Rabbi Moshe Levenger - once convicted of killing an Arab shopkeeper in Hebron - at his funeral as a "great example".

      Violence against Arabs in the West Bank only promotes this Likud Party agenda.

  • US to 'Reconsider' Backing for Syrian Rebels After Boy Beheaded
    • Several points:

      (A) according to a Twitter report retweeted by Joshua Landis on his Syria Comment blog, the boy had an ID card claiming (falsely) that he was 19 - even though he was only 14 years of age and his identity was Abdullah Tayseer, a Palestinian;

      (B) that same ID identifies him as a member of Air Force Intelligence - although his true affiliation was the al-Quds Brigade;

      (C) the rebel that carried out the execution recently had his own brother killed by the opposing side, according to the Landis blog;

      (D) a U.S. State Department spokesman said the U.S. considers the incident attributable to the specific rebel brigade and may cut off support to that unit - thus not imputing the execution to the Syrian rebel movement in general.

  • GOP Convention Opens in City Pillaged by Its Policies
    • The federal government is subsidizing the security for the GOP convention to the tune of $50 million - including bulletproof vests, police overtime, box lunches etc.

      It is important that the Republicans hold their convention in a "swing state" as they did with Michigan successfully in 1980 when the convention brought large amounts of revenue from out-of-state visitors coming to the convention as delegates. Michigan voted GOP that presidential cycle and Reagan was elected.

  • Israeli opposition leader warns of 'uprising of hatred' in Israel
    • Re: "Actual democracy"

      The Israeli government is controlled by its national security structure.

      The story that has been splashed all over the media are the "Yitzhaki Files" - a dossier compiled against all 120 members of the Israeli Knesset - initiated without investigations and uncovering criminal evidence against dozens of members and also against at least eight cabinet ministers:

      link to timesofisrael.com

      link to knesset.gov.il

      link to knesset.gov.il

      This gives police leverage over the Knesset.

  • Long Knives in Ankara: Victorious Erdogan begins Purge of Judiciary, Army
    • Fethullah Gulen's name surfaced in connection with a story about former CIA official Graham Fuller, who helped Gulen obtain political asylum in America after he had been indicted in Turkey.

      Fuller had publicly disavowed a CIA link to a relative of the Boston bombers. FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds had related mismanagement as described in the article.

  • Turkish People Power foils attempted Coup
  • Kurdish Women Fighting ISIL Send Solidarity to BlackLivesMatter
  • White House Admits Prison spending has grown 3x as fast as Education for Decades
    • Mandatory drug sentencing laws passed in 1978 in Michigan caused state prison overcrowding.

      Those charged with mere possession of a certain amount of narcotics faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no parole.

      Eventually, however, due to the lobbying efforts of groups such as Families Against Mandatory Minimums, those laws were ameliorated to allow for parole after the serving of 20 years imprisonment.

      Criminalizing those drivers who do not have auto insurance resulted in overcrowding in county jails since about 20% of all Michigan drivers and about 60% of all Detroit motorists do not carry car insurance. It is not uncommon to see vehicles on Detroit streets being operated with no license plates. Auto insurance for Detroit residents can cost up to $4,000 per annum, whereas the average home in Detroit sells for about $10,000 in most neighborhoods.

      Making unpaid child support a felony in Michigan resulted in many parents being incarcerated, in addition to civil contempt of court charges to enforce payment

      A large percentage of incarcerated citizens in Michigan are serving time for either drug possession, lack of auto insurance, or defaulted child support obligations.

  • Israeli commander testifies: soldier unjustified in point-blank Hebron execution
    • Here are additional links to the day's testimony:

      link to imemc.org

      link to israelnationalnews.com

    • The prosecution wanted to indict for murder but were overruled by military brass - as a result the maximum sentence Azarya faces is 20 years, but the reality is a conviction will result in only a fraction of that maximum term allowed by law.

      The disturbing testimony of the ambulance driver and supporting video suggests that the knife was kicked into the immediate vicinity of Al-Sharif's corpse - clearly to help the sergeant manufacture a fraudulent self-defense argument based on the knife posing a putative danger to Azarya prior to the shooting death. That ambulance driver should have been charged with obstruction of justice.

      Ironically, a judicial exoneration of Azarya here would give the Palestinian Authority more evidence to justify imposition of International Criminal Court jurisdiction against Israeli officials on the grounds that there is an insufficient judicial mechanism within Israel to punish war crimes and crimes against humanity.

  • How ISIL's attacks on Saudi Arabia aimed at Undermining the Monarchy's Legitimacy
    • "The differences are quite vast."

      Shi'ites comprise 15%-20% of the population of Saudi Arabia, however the number of Twelver Shi'ite adherents in Syria are only about 1% of Syria's 22 million people (I am unaware of any appreciable number of Alawite Shi'ites that are Saudi citizens). The two Shi'ites on the Saudi Shura Council do not represent a fair apportionment according to the religious Sunni/Shia demographics.

      Additionally, earlier this year the Saudis executed prominent Shi'ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, which exacerbated relations with Iran as well as with Saudi Arabia's minority Shia community.

      The Saudi Arabian government may be more tolerant than ISIS with respect to Shi'ites - but significant oppression nevertheless exists in KSA.

  • Tzipi Livni Refuses Police War Crimes Interview; UK Government Provides Last-minute Immunity
    • The Israeli government recently celebrated officially the 85th anniversary of the Irgun (Etzel) terror gang that was implicated in the murder of hundreds of innocent Palestinian Arabs at Deir Yassin as well as other atrocities.

      MK Tzipi Livni noted in a speech that her parents were imprisoned for their roles in that terror gang:

      "In many ways, my identity was defined by the fact my parents were Etzel members...the system of values which directed them has become the personal education of each and every one of us - the children of the fighting family."

      Here's the link on statements by Livni as well as PM Netanyahu honoring the "bold actions" of the Irgun:

      link to knesset.gov.il

  • Israeli Land Theft: 440% Increase in 2016
    • The human rights organization B'tselem reported as of May 2015 there were an estimated 547,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem:

      link to btselem.org

      With recent increases in settlement activity there is likely about 20,000 additional settlers since the B'tselem report was issued - giving the total settler population currently around 567,000. This leads me to believe that the cited 766,000 figure may be a typographical error.

  • Dissing Progressives, DNC Platform Backs Fracking, TPP, and Israeli Occupation
    • This is already occurring.

      The Libertarian Party presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, a former state governor, has been polling at between 5% and 12% - in prior U.S. presidential elections the Libertarian nominee has been lucky to come anywhere near !5 of the nationwide vote. Political experts have opined that disgust with the GOP have been a factor in these unusually high polling numbers and, further, the perception that Johnson is a credible candidate.

      The U.S. Green Party has long had a commitment to including on its national platform to "serious reconsideration of the establishment of a single state from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River" for both Arabs and Jews.

      The U.S. Green Party has been registering at between 2% to 5% in presidential polling this cycle.

      These two minor parties are expected to make unprecedented gains in votes received in the 2016 presidential election this November over previous elections.

  • In further Move to Far Right, Israel passes Draconian Terrorism Law
    • Jewish MK Zehava Gal-on, formerly of the Soviet Union, spoke out in opposition to this "anti-terror" legislation:

      "It is delusional to think that we can continue to rule over another nation after so many years and everything will continue to be calm."

      An Arab MK speaking on the Knesset floor compared the legislation to the panic of the French in Algeria or U.S. in Vietnam.

      Here's the link:

      link to knesset.gov.il

  • Top 7 ways to tell if Someone is lying about being a 'Salafi Jihadi'
    • There are indications from Mateen's ex-wife that he was "bipolar".

      In fact, mental illness has been implicated in a number of mass killings in the U.S.:

      (A) Andrew Kehoe, a school board treasurer in Bath Township, Michigan, had a history of severe traumatic brain injury when he killed 38 schoolchildren in 1927 before killing his wife and himself;

      (B) U.S. Marine Corps veteran Charles Whitman had a brain tumor the size of a walnut when he shot numerous persons at the University of Texas from a tower in 1966;

      (C) James Huberty shot dozens in a McDonald's in San Ysidro, California in 1984 shortly after unsuccessfully trying to obtain mental health treatment and reporting hallucinations;

      (D) Jared Loughner had clear signs of mental illness prior to going on his shooting spree in Arizona and killing a U.S. House member.

      As the FBI investigation unfolds, it may become clearer whether or not a psychological disorder played a role in this tragedy.

  • Is Tel Aviv Mayor Right that Israel is unique in Occupation & denying Civil Rights?
    • "Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan rebuked Huldai....."

      Actually, Avigdor Lieberman serves as defense minister and Ben-Dahan is deputy defense minister of Israel.

  • 4 Israelis dead, multiple injured in Tel Aviv market shooting
    • The father of a victim blamed the Israeli government for the shootings and the father of an assailant (arrested by Israeli police) denounced the deadly attacks:

      link to upi.com

    • Several points:

      (A) I found it surprising that the assailants were arrested rather than shot dead - and then realized that they had been disguised as religious Jews - and therefore police likely were hesitant to use deadly force based upon this mistaken assumption;

      (B) The Israeli government suspended the work permits of 204 of the arrestees' relatives so as to bar them from working in Israel and ordered the restriction of all Arabs from moving to and from Israel while observing Ramadan - this amounts to collective punishment proscribed under the Geneva Conventions;

      (C) the attack was in cosmopolitan and relatively liberal Tel Aviv whereas recent knifings and car rammings seemed to more heavily target Jerusalem and areas in the Occupied Territories where tensions between Arabs and Jews have been more pronounced.

  • Welcome to the Party, America! 11 Muslim women who have been PM or President
    • Graduate of Yale Law School, Legal Aid attorney.......

      President Harry Truman had basically a high school education and his secretary of state, James Byrnes, had an 8th grade education and each were considered to be near great in their respective offices.

  • Israel’s future is terrifying: Moshe Yaalon and Harbingers of Extremism
    • Several other points on Moshe Yaalon:

      (A) he allowed, as defense minister, the overruling of IDF prosecutors by military brass in their desire to seek a murder indictment against Sgt. Elor Azarya - thus guaranteeing that any prison sentence Azarya may receive upon conviction will be relatively short and also giving Azarya's defense attorneys considerable leverage to negotiate a potential plea bargain to a lesser charge;

      (B) Yaalon refused to permit an investigation into the use of the "Hannibal Directive" in Gaza in 2014 that had led to over 100 innocent Gazans being killed after a young IDF officer (related to Yaalon) had apparently been captured by Hamas fighters.

      Yaalon's stance on "morality" is public relations bluster designed to appease the international community that Israel is a paragon of virtue and democracy. Avigdor Lieberman, on the other hand, has no compunctions about alienating that international community.

  • The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development: Sara Roy
    • Overall, an excellent analysis.

      Israel has attempted to make Gaza uninhabitable by destroying civilian infrastructure and food supply sources - including the bombing of a biscuit factory - Gaza's largest private employer at the time - in 2014 during Operation Defensive Edge and killing 31,000 chickens by bulldozing a farm during Operation Cast Lead.

  • US domestic extremists a bigger risk than foreign terrorism, but guess who Trump & GOP Coddle?
    • Paul Ryan's "disavowal" referenced above rings even more hollow when one hears his latest public statement indicating that he will vote for Trump in the general election.

  • Multi-Trillion Dollar Bridge to Nowhere in the Greater Middle East
    • "Can Khe Sanh hold?"

      An excellent point.

      General Giap of the North Vietnamese Army attempted to re-create Dienbienphu by attempting to overrun the USMC fire support base situated near the northwest corner of South Vietnam near the Laotian border. He failed and lost some 20,000 fighters chiefly due to heavy Arc Light B-52 strikes. Giap - who died recently at age 102 - felt he was going to be fired due to this debacle, despite his prior 1954 victory over the Frence at Dienbienphu.

      Khe Sanh and the 1968 Tet Offensive by the NVA/VC however made the U.S. populace agonizingly aware of the war in Indochina and indirectly caused LBJ to withdraw his name from consideration for re-election that year.

      Richard Nixon won election to the presidency on a platform of withdrawal of U.S. forces and "Vietnamization" - handing over the national defense of South Vietnam from largely U.S. control to that of ARVN.

      ARVN collapsed in May of 1975 and the expected Soviet militarization of South Vietnam occurred with the Red Army leasing Cam Ranh Bay's base formerly housing American servicemen at a cost to the Kremlin of $200,000,000 per annum; today Cam Ranh Bay's installation is vacant after Russia could no longer afford the rent and the U.S. did not want it - or need it.

      Vietnam is currently an ally of America with 20 billion per year in bilateral trade and the U.S. supplying the Communist government in Hanoi with arms to defend against possible problems with Red China over the South China Sea.

      It took 1.3 million Vietnamese and U.S. servicemen's lives being sacrificed, but peace had finally been achieved in the region.

  • Dear Mr. Holder: Why Ed Snowden can't get a Fair Trial in your National Security State
  • Israeli cabinet confirms far, far Right Lieberman as minister of defense
    • Lieberman's background for an Israeli politician is unusual in that he was born and raised in a Soviet-bloc country - Moldavia - speaks fluent Romanian, and identifies with Russian history and literature as his authority.

      Moldavia during WWII had strong Nazi influences.

      Lieberman's courtroom appearance during the homicide case of Sgt. Elor Azarya a few days prior to the announcement of his appointment as defense minister was cited by former Knesset member Uri Avnery as proof of parallels to 1930s Nazi Germany.

  • On Memorial Day, US Troops at War with ISIL near Mosul
    • ".......[n]o dominoes fell after we pulled out, except our Pol Pot forces put down by Vaetnam (sic)...."

      This is absurd. The U.S. backed anti-communist Cambodian Gen. Lon Nol against the Khmer Rouge forces of Pol Pot until the collapse of the Cambodian government in April of 1975. The Khmer Rouge was allied with Red China - not the U.S.

  • In Fight against ISIL, does US have to Choose between Turkey & YPG Kurds?
    • Re the "infamous" YPG patches:

      One of the most absurd aspects of this controversy is that the YPG patches that U.S. Army Ranger units have been photographed sporting contain the red star symbol associated with Marxism.

      Another absurd aspect is that some American soldiers were seen with the green YPJ patch associated with the female Kurdish units.

      Some links to what has to be described as one of the most embarrassing episodes in the history of these elite commando soldiers who have traditionally been associated with their courageous historical battlefield fight against communism:

      link to rudaw.net

      link to sputniknews.com

      link to trtworld.com

  • US Spec Ops Troops on Front Line in Syria with Leftist Kurdish Insignia: AFP
    • Col. Steve Warren of the U.S. Army just issued a statement calling the wearing of the YPG patch by its personnel both unauthorized and inappropriate, and also conveying that statement to Turkish officials who have complained.

      Warren indicated corrective action has been taken.

  • Israel of Accused of Whitewashing Soldiers' Abuses
    • It should be noted that those who praise the IDF brass and former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon for the manslaughter prosecution of Azarya ignore the fact that military prosecutors were overruled by superiors in their decision initially - and correctly - to seek a murder indictment against the sergeant.

      What was not covered by the American press was that former Yisrael Beiteinu (the political party led by Avigdor Lieberman) Member of Knesset sponsored a rally in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv last month attended by thousands to support Elor Azarya.

      PM Netanyahu issued a statement before the rally calling for leniency for the soldier.

      Some of the "highlights" of that gathering:

      (A) attendees chanted "Death to Arabs";

      (B) a flag was unfurled with the slogan "We are all with Kahane" underneath a drawing of the late extremist;

      (C) a journalist covering the event was beaten;

      (D) police arrested counter-demonstraors from the human rights group B'Tselem;

      (E) a young woman created a stir - captured by photographers - by raising a placard with the words "Kill them all".

      Pictures paint a thousand words:

      link to timesofisrael.com

      link to electronicintifada.net

      link to loonwatch.com

  • Egyptians "shocked" at Lieberman Appointment, note Barak's accusation of "fascism" in Tel Aviv
    • What has not been emphasized in the media the other half of the fallout of the Yaalon resignation - that Yaalon will likely be replaced in the Knesset by U.S.-born Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the right-wing extremist who seeks to rebuild the Third Temple.

      Glick, a Likud Party member, survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian earlier due to his promotion of the rebuilding of the Third Temple.

      If he is eventually seated, he will first be forced to renounce his U.S. citizenship and shall become only the fifth American-born individual to sit in the Knesset. Rabbi Meir Kahane also renounced his U.S. citizenship and sat in the Knesset.

    • "......some people in a Berlin bunker in 1945."

      Uri Avnery, a 92-year old former Irgun member who served parts of three decades as an elected member of the Knesset, published an article yesterday lauding General Yair Golan for likening the current right-wing political events in Israel to 1930s Germany and concluding with the question whether he, Avnery, will be condemned to witness the same process twice in his life.

  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss
    • ".......it may turn out to be a silver lining......"

      Palestinians have actually praised Lieberman for his openness about his intent and motives about Arabs in the West Bank in Gaza. Some of his lurid comments:

      (1) that he be willing would personally purchase bus transportation to take Palestinian prisoners and forcibly drown them in the Dead Sea;

      (2) discussed beheading Palestinians as a form of punishment;

    • "There is no precedent in Israeli history to a defence minister in the image and behaviour of Lieberman......."

      Lieberman's experience as a military leader was as a corporal who had been conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces. He has previously made public statements on national security matters that have made him the butt of jokes (e.g. "Nuke Gaza").

      Lieberman does not even live in Israel, but in a West Bank settlement.

      A court had once found him responsible for assaulting a 12-year old child. There have been ongoing criminal corruption probes of his political party which continue to the present.

      The position of defense minister in the Israeli cabinet is often a stepping stone to the prime minister post - that is the prospect that many find disturbing as it appears PM Netanyahu believes that Lieberman would be an acceptable successor to himself once he, Netanyahu, leaves office.

  • Top 3 Signs Bill Clinton didn't kill himself to "give" the Palestinians a State
    • The former Soviet Union supported the formation of Israel on the basis that it was believed it would be Marxist in orientation. PM David Ben-Gurion's Mapai Party had the hammer and sickle as its symbol and its kibbutzes were similar in structure to the Soviet Union's collective farms.

      In later years, the Warsaw Pact countries played both sides of the fence, with Romania maintaining a tight relationship with the PLO and other Palestinian terror elements while at the same time maintaining friendly relations with Israel - this relationship was documented in the book Red Horizons authored by Lt. General Ion Pacepa, former chief of military intelligence during the Ceausescu dictatorship.

      In the late 1980s, President Shimon Peres sought and received Soviet assistance in the war crimes prosecution of John Demjanjuk by emphasizing the defendant was a traitor to Marxism. In 1982, however, the Soviet Embassy in Beirut was shelled and invaded by IDF tanks during Operation Galilee and in 1988 the Soviet Union was one of the first countries to recognize the independent State of Palestine declared by the PLO.

    • Dr. Gershon Baskin - originally a New York resident and anti-Vietnam War activist - has been the single person that has most successfully advanced the peace process with the Palestinians.

      In 1988 he initiated a dialogue between retired Israeli intelligence officials, on one hand, and PLO representatives in London which would eventually form the framework of the 1993 Oslo Accords - although Rabin, Peres and Arafat were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it was Baskin, as a private citizen, who commenced the dialogue and acted as an outside advisor until the agreement was reached.

      Dr. Baskin was later recruited by Netanyahu to obtain the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit after years of unsuccessful negotiations by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. In four months that included face-to-face negotiations with Hamas leaders, Baskin negotiated an agreement that resulted in Shalit's release.

      Baskin's name is relatively unknown outside Israel, but it has been he - not Bill Clinton - who can be credited with some degree of success in achieving progress toward peace between Jews and Palestinians.

    • One can actually go back to 1998 when elements within the Likud Party pressured Netanyahu to stop Israel's performance under the Wye River Memorandum, which had been the instrument to implement the Oslo II agreement.

      The Wye River Memorandum had enjoyed broad-based support within the Israeli populace and should have been a stepping stone toward a final status accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

  • Michael Moore Says Flint Water Crisis Is a Racist 'Hate Crime'
    • Michael Moore has not criticized those in Obama administration even though EPA regional administrator Dr. Susan Edman was forced to resign and the FEMA national director denied requests from Governor Snyder for financial assistance.

      Recent probes into the Flint crisis have substantiated culpable conduct as well as deficient leadership at the federal, state, and local levels.

      Governor Snyder has recently paid an $800,000 retainer to a prestigious Michigan law firm using taxpayer monies to defend him against possible civil liability or criminal charges arising from the Flint situation.

      At the most recent state GOP convention in Lansing in April of this year, Snyder did not mention the Flint crisis - although Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette again promised to "let the chips fall where they may" in his investigation of the crisis.

  • Top Hizbullah Commander in Syria killed in Explosion; Radical Salafis blamed
  • Azarya Trial and Israeli Values: Israeli soldier charged with Killing prostrate Assailant
    • One media source has reported that the chief judge of the military tribunal recommended the prosecution and defense enter plea bargain negotiations and warned the prosecution of the "weakness" in their case.

      The tribunal denied a defense request to release Sgt. Azarya for upcoming Independence Day.

  • Sadiq Khan: Is London's first Muslim Mayor the ultimate weapon against Radicalism?
    • Detroit has had Muslim mayors in its suburbs since the 1960s:

      (1 ) Jamiel (Jim) Jabara was elected mayor of Plymouth in 1968;

      (2) in 2001, the City of Wayne elected Abdul (Al) Haidous as mayor - he now sits on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners;

      (3) in 2017, the City of Hamtramck will hold a mayoral election and it is widely expected that a Muslim candidate will be elected to lead its Muslim-majority City Council.

  • The Pundits suddenly saying Trump could win in Nov.? No. Just, No
    • Several points:

      (1) McCain and Obama were in a virtual dead heat in presidential polling until the time of the stock market meltdown in August of 2008 - Obama at that point ran up an 8-point lead in the polling;

      (2) Reagan was so unpopular at the end of 1982 - largely due to the ongoing economic recession - that there were those in the Republican National Committee that privately considered opposing his re-nomination in 1984;

      (3) Reagan immediately after the Democratic National Convention in 1984 polled about 10% behind Walter Mondale and was suffering from a "gender gap" effect that was exacerbated by the historic naming of Geraldine Ferraro as Mondale's VP running mate;

      (4) VP George H.W. Bush trailed Michael Dukakis in double-digits throughout much of 1988 - until Dukakis was ridiculed over the Willie Horton prison furlough fiasco and his membership in the ACLU by GOP campaign genius Lee Atwater;

      (4) Pres. George H.W. Bush was considered largely unbeatable by many observers in early 1992 after the successful conclusion of the Persian Gulf War and his aggressive ongoing war on the Colombian drug cartels.

      Trump cannot be ruled out as a viable nominee by a long shot.

  • Trumping Terrorism with Torture?
  • Al-Qaeda Everywhere: US support for Oppressive Gov't's made Bin Laden's Killing Moot
    • "Hamas has easily survived the decapitation of many of its leaders..........."

      Israel's own anti-terrorism experts had opined that the 2005 targeted killings of political section leaders Sheikh Yassine and Dr. Rantissi would actually strengthen Hamas:

      (1) it would lend more unrestrained power to the more militant armed al-Qassam wing of Hamas;

      (2) it would cause greater cohesion with other radical militant groups within Gaza such as Islamic Jihad.

      Both these events had occurred as predicted.

  • ISIL Endgame: Obama to send 250 more US Troops into Syria
    • Another issue that should be addressed is the potential of the U.S. Armed Forces confronting Syrian Arab Army - or worse - Russian soldiers which could provoke a major international incident.

      The precedent of Turkey shooting down a Russian jet already exists and the proliferation of U.S. Special Forces troops in combat situations increases the likelihood of confrontation - especially if the U.S does not coordinate its troop movements with the Syrian government and the Kremlin.

  • In Fascist Turn, Thousands Demonstrate for Israeli Soldier who shot Dazed Palestinian in Head
    • During the Operation Cast Lead incursion into Gaza, an Arab woman waving a white flag was shot in the temple and died, but the responsible IDF soldier was charged with manslaughter and later pled to negligent homicide and received a lenient sentence during his court martial - whereas a soldier in a separate incident who stole and used a Gazan's credit card received a 7-month jail term, largely because an Israeli financial institution was concurrently victimized by the unauthorized use.

      The above-referenced Gaza homicide incident was covered in the 462-page Goldstone Commission report as characterized as credible proof a war crime and crime against humanity.

      The crime of voluntary manslaughter is defined at law as a homicide committed during the heat of passion before there has been time to allow the "blood to cool" by an individual where a reasonable person would have motivated to kill under the same circumstances.

      The case involving IDF soldier Elor Azraya does not involve such facts:

      (1) Cpl. Azraya appeared completely calm on all videotape versions published;

      (2) a soldier - especially a medical corpsman such as Cpl. Azraya - who kills an arrestee cannot be held "reasonable" under any circumstances.

      The actions of Cpl. Azraya - whose identity has been censored by the Israeli government but leaked out via blogs - would have likely in any similar situation in the U.S. been charged with "open murder" leaving discretion to a judge or jury to decide whether to convict of either murder or manslaughter.

  • Activists Ask IRS why Jewish National Fund gets Tax Break for Illegal Squatter Support
  • Israeli police: Explosive device on bus in Jerusalem bus causes 21 injuries
    • V.P. Joseph Biden addressed the bus bombing briefly in a speech to J-Street - but rebuffed Netanyahu by comparing himself (Biden) to 30-year-old leftist Labor Party member of the Knesset and Netanyahu critic Stav Shaffir, whom he asked to stand for applause. Biden indicated he was first elected to the U.S. Senate at age 29 and held similar progressive views Ms. Shaffir.

      Biden drew applause as he indicated he hoped the Israeli government would eventually adopt Ms. Staffir's views as its official policy.

      Ms. Staffir along with Daphni Leef had been leaders of the J-14 social reform movement in Israel.

  • Israel has Kidnapped ("Detained") a million Palestinians since 1967: Occupation as Imprisonment
  • Saudis warn they will withdraw $750 Bn. from US economy if 9/11 Bill Passes
    • It is very difficult - although not impossible - to obtain a pre-judgment sequestration of a defendant's assets in a United States District Court.

      However, I am sure even the remote possibility of such a court order is likely to send the Saudis scrambling to protect their interests.

    • The Saudis have about $10 trillion total investment inside the United States.

      To give one the idea of the impact a financial impact could have on the U.S., the same $10 trillion figure represented the decline in value of publicly traded corporate securities in the U.S. following the 2008 financial meltdown

      The U.S. Treasury securities identified in the article can be easily liquidated and transferred out of America.

      The Saudis also own large blocks of shares in blue chip stocks in the U.S. that could be fairly easily liquidated.

      Saudi Arabia could also retaliate by initiating an oil embargo on the U.S. which has supplied about 28% of petroleum consumed in the U.S. in recent years. Gasoline prices tripled virtually overnight when an oil embargo was placed against the U.S. following U.S. support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War.

  • Forget the Trump/Cruz Circus: Why Liberals are the Future of America
    • Progressive liberal activism is zealously advocated in Ann Arbor, Michigan where the Green Party in voting precincts often outpolls Republicans.

      Nevertheless, certain religious denominations - such as Quakers - have been at the forefront there of liberal causes such as Palestinian self-determination. Black Baptist ministers there have been vocal on progressive civil rights issues such as curtailment of police brutality.

    • Liberal Democrats in the U.S.:

      -tried to pass the Equal Rights Amendment but lost;

      -tried to oppose the federal death penalty law eventually signed by G.H.W. Bush but lost;

      -tried to keep Medicaid-funded abortions but lost;

      -tried to decriminalize marijuana but lost;

      -tried to oppose U.S. involvement in Afghanistan but lost;

      -tried to get the Iranian hostages released but failed;

      -entered the U..S. into WWI;

      -entered the U.S. in the Vietnam War;

      -entered the US in the war in Kosovo;

      -inaugurated Operation Mongoose to destabilize a popular socialist regime in Cuba;

      -failed to close Guantanamo detention facilities;

      -failed to pass effective gun control legislation.

      Liberal Democrats in the U.S. have been ineffective at attempts to pass much progressive legislation and further have not hesitated to voluntarily enter military conflict or covert action situations to promote a foreign policy agenda.

  • How Americans Hate: 8-fold increase in Islamophobic Crime since 2000
    • A recent lawsuit against the Muslim-majority City of Hamtramck alleges that the Arab-American community's businesses were targeted for investigation by law enforcement in a offensively discriminatory manner and with use of racial slurs:

      link to wxyz.com

  • Far-Right Israeli Government 'At Risk of Collapse,' as Electorate feels Buyer's Remorse
    • ".........but discussions were frozen in late March when Labor leader Isaac Herzog was linked to a preliminary investigation into party financing."

      Leader of the Opposition Herzog has claimed that the corruption investigation in question had its origin in Likud Party activists trying to discredit him:

      link to jewishnews.co.uk

      link to thejc.com

      The right-wing Jewish Homeland Party of Avigdor Lieberman is NOT part of the Netanyahu coalition and that is the chief reason that there is only a 61-seat coalition majority in the current Knesset. Lieberman's party leaders have also been under a corruption investigation that was made public shortly before the last Knesset election; this investigation had been labeled political by Jewish Homeland Party leaders and was credit with Likud being the beneficiary of crossover voting at the expense of Lieberman's party in the last Knesset election.

  • Are Sanders' Criticisms of Israeli Occupation Policies unprecedented in a Presidential Campaign?
    • Mr. Sanders is substantially accurate the 10,000 estimate of "casualty" figures during the 2014 Operation Defensive Shield incursion into Gaza.

      The commonly accepted definition of "casualty" incudes wounded as well as fatalities. According to the Gaza Health Ministry figures published by Ma'an News Agency in January of 2015, the number of Gazan wounded was 10,626 during that incursion - in addition to the approximately 2,000 killed as a result of hostile action.

  • What's at Stake for Israel in al-Sharif Killing: Japanese Officers were Executed for Killing POWs
    • Former Kach Party leader and self-described "right-hand man" to slain Jewish extremist MK Meir Kahane, Baruch Marzel, has been reported to have appeared on a video at the killing site shaking hands with the smiling IDF shooter - Elor Azraya

  • Family of Assailant suing Israeli Army over summary execution of Son
    • Good luck!

      The Israel Supreme Court in 2015 upheld the dismissal of a wrongful death action in the Rachel Corrie case using the doctrine that the IDF is immune from civil liability for deaths occurring in a combat zone:

      link to theguardian.com

      However, the family of Briton Thomas Hurndall received a $1.5 million-dollar settlement where the British government applied diplomatic pressure upon the Israeli government where an IDF sniper shot an International Solidarity Movement volunteer to death in the Gaza Strip - this was the same organization that Corrie had belonged to.

  • Autopsy confirms bullet fired by Israeli Soldier at point-blank range killed al-Sharif
    • Several points:

      (1) There have been prior cases where clear cut acts of murder by IDF soldiers against Arabs have been prosecuted as manslaughter, rather than murder - in one case during Operation Cast Lead the soldier pled to negligent homicide and received a lenient sentence for shooting a woman in the temple while she waved a white flag, and in another case a Bedouin IDF sergeant in Gaza served 6-1/2 years in prison for manslaughter for shooting Briton Thomas Hurndall, a civil rights activist, to death in Gaza;

      (2) the fact a manslaughter charge - not murder - is sought by IDF prosecutors means that it is conceivable that the soldier could be released within a few years - even months - even if convicted of that proposed charge;

      (3) the failure to even seek a murder charge by the prosecution is proof that Israel has no effective legal mechanism to address war crimes committed by the IDF - which is an essential element of International Criminal Court jurisdiction;

      (4) the conduct of prominent elected Israeli officials - such as Netanyahu, Lieberman and Bennett in visiting the family members of the accused or expressing public support for the clearly culpable soldier - is nothing less than shocking - but not surprising.

  • Palestinian rights group submits Israeli war crimes report to Int'l Criminal Court
    • "I wonder what the US and Israel will do to try and block it?"

      (1)The United States does not fund the International Criminal Court nor does submit its citizens to its jurisdiction, hence it has very little influence over its affairs;

      (2) Israel has international law experts that are trying to craft a defense largely predicated upon lack of jurisdiction - similar to what Adolf Eichmann's legal team attempted when he was prosecuted for genocide in Israel in the early 1960s.

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