Israel Seizes 64 Palestinian Lawmakers
Israel has arrested and detained 64 Palestinian lawmakers and ministers from the ruling Hamas party, including the government’s Foreign Minister and eight other cabinet members. Hamas called the arrests an "open war against the Palestinian government and people," and vowed retaliation.
Hamas official Ziyad Daya: "These are not acts of a state that respects international law and respects democracy. These are acts of bandits."Israel made the arrests as it continues its military operation to recover a captured Israeli soldier. Nearly half of the Gaza Strip remains without power following Israeli air strikes that knocked out a main power station. In other news Syrian television is reporting Israeli warplanes flew over the home of President Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile The IDF announced it has found the body of eighteen-year old West Bank settler Eliyahu Asheri. Asheri was captured on Sunday as he prepared to go on a school trip. His captors had threatened to slay him unless Israel halted its reinvasion of the Gaza Strip. At the United Nations, Secretary General Kofi Annan called for calm.
Kofi Annan: "Of course it is understandable that they would want to go after those who were kidnapped, the soldier, but it has to be done in such a way that the civilian population are not made to suffer. I spoke to the Prime Minister who indicated to me that he is exercising maximum restraint but I think it is important that the two leaders work together to calm the situation."
okay, let's get down to the nitty gritty. "In other news Syrian television is reporting Israeli warplanes flew over the home of President Bashar al-Assad." is that what happened?
not quite. as reported in multiple news sources yesterday, including the right wing cnsnews ("Following a night of sonic booms from Israeli war jets -- including a few over the summer home of Syria's president . . ."), they flew over and did their 'sonic boom' which is a form of torture. (they also did that to the palestinians). we didn't hear about that. now maybe it's because a lot of reactionary elements in this country are praising the actions, but cover it right or don't cover it.
now let's deal with the ap tonight:
Israeli warplanes struck the Palestinian Interior Ministry early Friday, setting it ablaze as Arab leaders tried to forge a deal that would halt the Israeli offensive and free a 19-year-old soldier held by gunmen allied with the ruling Islamic Hamas.
if democracy now can't cover this from an area of strength, don't cover it. don't dilute it and call it coverage. this is a big issue with me and has been for many years. israel attacked their ministry. there's no way to water that down and cover it, so get it right or don't bother.
i'm not in the mood for nonsense. we got nonsene today: 'AIPAC v. Norman Finkelstein: A Debate on Israel's Assault on Gaza.' how do you have aipac on your show and not ask them about the fact that 2 of their (now former) members are accused of spying, accused of passing secrets to the government of israel?
that's news, spying is news. why do you have them on to begin with?
is that supposed to be 'balance'? i thought 'balance' was what the corporate media did? i thought they sat on the sidelines and let two people present their side and never offered anything because 'it's up to the reader/viewer'. that's how democracy now treated this issue today.
the demonization of arabs is very real. the israeli government has abducted/kidnapped elected officials, they have rejoiced over their 'sonic boom' to the president of another country (syria), they have now bombed a government building. at what point do we quit playing like there are '2 sides' to what's going on?
there aren't. the israeli government is out of control. if you look the other way now, look the other way when it's iran they attack or syria or lebanon. consider this their trial run.
if their violations of international law are not called out, expect a lot more.
and expect a big, huge war. syria and lebanon are not the occupied territories. they have armies.
some stupid ass from aipac can claim to be 'liberal' all he wants. he's a war hawk. he's justifying what went down. norman finklestein tried to make a case. he can't do that if he's interrupted. that interview was such nonsense and didn't inform a viewer of a damn thing. that's slightly better than the new york times because we heard from 2 sides. but it was that nonsense of 'balance' all over again.
if you can't call reality 'reality' then don't bother wasting time on the subject. the power plant will take 3 to 6 month to repair. that's if the israeli government, which occupies the gaza strip and controls what goes in and out, will let them have the parts to fix the power plant that they (israeli planes) knocked out.
randi rhodes doesn't address the situation. she openly states that. i don't listen to randi ever expecting to hear about gaza. if she's upfront about what she'll cover, why should i have a problem with it? i don't. but if you're going to cover it, show some bravery, or don't cover it.
the coverage on democracy now has been slightly better than npr's. my standards are too high to accept that.
if you want to see a mixture of reactions, click here for the bbc story.
kpfa's flashpoints cover this. if you can't do it to the standard they've set, don't cover it. don't make it worse by weakening the reality. this is 2 days in a row and there's plenty more to cover.
other topics. if you're nervous about this topic, find something else to cover. be like randi rhodes and say, 'this isn't something i'm not going to cover'. but if you're going to cover it, you do it right.
is there a pro-israeli government side? yes, there is. but it won't come from aipac. i'll disagree with it but i'm sure an organization that does not have (former) members accused of acting as spies for the israeli government can be found.
kpfa's flashpoints suffers for it's coverage. houston's pulled the show off the air. that doesn't mean nora and dennis water it down. i would hope that if it ever came to it, if they ever had to choose between weak coverage or no coverage, they'd say 'no coverage. i'm doing too much damage if i weaken it. if i can't tell the truth about it, i'll find another topic.'
democracy now is a brave show. it covers many topics very well. better than 'very well.' but if you can't cover something, you can't cover it.
the thing is, with or without coverage, people will make connections between what the u.s. is doing in iraq and what's going on in gaza. occupation is occupation. i'll praise democracy now for many things (and it's earned the praise) but this coverage isn't something i can praise. if this is how it's going to be covered, stop covering it. it does more damage than silence - i really believe that. with silence, people can fill it in on their own if they want. with bad coverage, we're all going to feel complacent and say 'well there are 2 sides.' the actions of the israeli government are out of control. to cover them in real time and to allow for 2 sides isn't reality.
right now, we're all listening to laura flanders, and a caller brought up some 1 (obviously al franken - baby cries a lot) who hurts reality by watering it down. laura said she wasn't 'even going to go there'. i can respect that. draw your lines. say what you can cover and what you can't.
but don't offer weak coverage. hold on while i grab the link in case you aren't listening to laura tonight:
Laura Flanders is filling in for Mike Malloy all week on The Mike Malloy Show (which airs live on Air America Radio from ten p.m. to one a.m. EST)
dave zirin is on tonight.
c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Chaos and violence continue.
Stooges, fools and cheerleaders allow it to continue. Meanwhile the so-called coalition continues to shrink.
Romania becomes the next to tell the Bully Boy, "Catch you on the flip-side." Retuers reports Calin Tariceanu (prime minister of Romania) announced today that Romania would pull all troops by the end of the year -- before Romania's 890 troops can be pulled the Supreme Defence Council has to give its approval. Romania's president has slammed the proposal as had American ambassador to Romania and Advance Auto Parts merchant Nicholas F. Taubman. Bully Boy pioneer Taubman expressed his "impression that not all of the relevant parties, whether within Romania or beyond, were consulted before this proposal was announced." "Within Romania or beyond"? Spoken like a big donor, not like an ambassador, but Advance Auto Parts isn't known for turning out diplomats.
This as Rocky Mountain News reports that the Colorado Army National Guard's 169th unit will ship 100 soldiers to Iraq in July (with 300 of the "2/135th Aviation Company" currently training in Texas with orders to deploy in Septemeber).Despite yesterday's 'coverage' of the "insurgent-poll" nothing really changed. It was another day of violence and chaos in Iraq.
Australia's ABC reports that Australian troops were "under attack" in southern Iraq. The Associated Press reports that "Iraqi and U.S. troops battled Shi'ite militiamen in a village northeast of Baghdad" -- still ongoing when the AP filed their report. Reuters notes, on this incident, that a police commander was shot dead by a sniper and two others were wounded.
Those were among many of the deaths in Iraq. As Sandra Lupien noted on KPFA's The Morning Show, there were multiple victims of violence today: trash collector, head of security for Baghdad University (Kadhim Challoub), merchants, baker, electrical worker and a woman who'd been waiting in her car with her two children (the children were wounded, not killed) among them. Reuters notes, in Kerbala, the death (by gunshot) of "a criminal intelligence policeman" as well as the death of two Iraqi soldiers (as well as one civilian, with one soldier and two other civilians wounded) in Faulluja, and one Iraqi soldier dead with seven more wounded from a roadside bomb in Riyadh. In Kirkuk, a car bomb exploded at a Shi'ite soldier's funeral initially claiming the lives of at least four. Reuters would later put the number of those dead at seven.As Mark Mericle noted on yesterday's KPFA The KPFA Evening News, "People gathered in 34 cities around the country yesterday to show their support for Lt. Ehren Watada" introducing a news report by Julie Sabatier from Portland.
Two other items noted on yesterday's KPFA Evening News, the 'apologetic' Joshua Belile, who once apologized (or 'apologized') for his song while advising others to "let it go," has now announced that he will be releasing "a professionally recorded version of the song in a few weeks" and in Berkeley, the city council has put a "symbolic" referendum on the ballot calling on Congress to impeach the Bully Boy due to his lies that led us into an illegal war. (June 27th was also declared Cindy Sheehan day.)
Reuters notes that seven corpses were found (male) in the Tigris River ("gunshot wounds . . . signs of torture"), while two more corpses (male) were discovered in the Euphrates River ("gunshot wounds . . . signs of torture"). Reuters notes that: "Morgue officials say 30-50 bodies are found in Baghdad alone every day." In Kirkuk, the AP reports the corpse of a fifteen-year-old female was discovered -- "kidnapped five days ago." The AFP puts the count of corpses discovered throughout Iraq today at 18.
File it under "No one could have guessed," Condi No-One-Could-Have-Guessed Rice had a "testy exchange" with Russia's Sergei Lavrov (Russia's Foreign Minister) in a "closed-door meeting" from which the audio feed was accidentally left on. "What does that mean?" Rice asks at one point, to which Lavrov responds, "I think you understand." In what might have been her most honest reply, she declared, "No, I don't." On that, we believe you, Condi, we believe you. The issue was how to word a statement on the security situation in Iraq and the anger spilled over publicly after the meeting, in front of reporters when Rice responded to Lavrov's comments about changes in America that he'd seen since he first visited in 1979, "So when did you go and where did you go in the United States in 1979 that you saw so much change? I am really interested." Though Rice may have forgotten, her current title is Secretary of State.
What gets play and what doesn't? One might think that Nancy A. Youssef breaking the news Monday that the US government, despite claims otherwise, was indeed keeping body counts of Iraqis. You might think that would be news . . . but you'd be wrong. What gets runs with?Not truth. July 4th's a-coming, can't have families getting together in the United States without some false hope or Bully Boy might get a trashing that wouldn't bode well for the November elections. So nonsense gets tossed out by the puppet government and the media amplifies it.
Yes, we're speaking of the nonsense that "insurgents" are on the two-year-withdrawal bus. Since the domestic, US media has never explored the terms "insurgent" or "resistance," who knows what they mean? The AFP notes: "At the same time, a foreign diplomat raised questions about the identity of armed groups reportedly in contact with the government and whether they carry any real weight in the nationwide insurgency." Al Jazeera notes that eleven groups have met with occupation puppet Nouri al-Maliki and that eight of them are the ones being referred to. Do they carry any weight? A good question to ask. (Instead, it's easier to report/"report": "Insurgents meeting with Maliki!") Al Jazeera, which may be the only news organization that's going by more than government sources (it's spoken to representatives for the groups) reports that "the 11 groups operate north and north-east of Baghdad in increasingly violent Salahuddin and Diyala provinces."
Increasingly violent. This isn't Anbar, this isn't even Baghdad. These, if Al Jazeera's reporting is correct, are groups from, for Iraq, relatively restful provinces that are growing "increasingly violent." It's a nice bit of happy talk to send us all into the holiday weekend. It's not, however, reality. Having never explored the issue (other than to guess fighting is fueled by Iran -- wait, no! it's Egypt), they now want to get behind eight groups or eleven groups and the news consumer is left uninformed. (Possibly that's the point of it all.)
Reality was Nancy A. Youssef's report. Have we seen that covered in the New York Times? Have we seen it covered elsewhere? Maybe the silence is due to the fact that the administration being caught in yet another lie seems more "redundant" than "newsworthy"?