I grew up in a fundamentalist missionary family that in the 1970s and 80s morphed into my father's activity as one of the founders of the Religious Right. We would hobnob with Republican leaders from Ronald Reagan to Gerald Ford and the Bush family, Jack Kemp and many others. One day it dawned on me that the far right of the Republican Party --- in other words its base --- actually hates America.
Before no other country on the planet does the United States kneel and plead like this. In other trouble spots, America takes a different tone. It bombs in Afghanistan, invades Iraq and threatens sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Did anyone in Washington consider begging Saddam Hussein to withdraw from occupied territory in Kuwait?
Kudos to the New York Times, and to reporters Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen, for their lead article today reporting that Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghanistan’s stunningly corrupt President Hamid Karzai, a leading drug lord in the world’s major opium-producing nation, has for eight years been on the CIA payroll.
What the article didn’t mention at all is that there is a clear historical pattern here. During the Vietnam War, the CIA, and its Air America airline front-company, were neck deep in the Southeast Asian heroin trade. At the time, it was Southeast Asia, not Afghanistan, that was the leading producer and exporter of opium, mostly to the US, where there was a heroin epidemic.
You can convince Americans of the miracle of Israel's founding and the justice of her struggle against terror and rejection. You can convince them that it makes demographic and political sense for Israel to trade settlements near Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority in return for land elsewhere in Israel.
But you cannot convince Americans that it makes sense for an Israel that supports a Palestinian state to maintain a large settler population in the heart of the West Bank.
Two of the weapons being most frequently used against common people everywhere are omissions and the not-so-carefully constructed lies. Here are just three examples that will ultimately have a huge impact on just how much of the current takedown will eventually either be deadly or will contribute to a critically diminished understanding of just how deadly this attack upon the world may ultimately turn out to be.
We have to begin to understand Kubrick's story from his use of symbols. As I like to say: if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a symbol is worth a thousand pictures. For it will be through the use of symbol that the real story of The Shining can be revealed.
The Manager of the Overlook, while interviewing Jack, has an American Eagle right behind his head. It is as if "The Eagle" is the power behind the Manager.
It's a tough slog, the hundreds of pages of the UN-sponsored report on allegations of war crimes in Gaza. The material is infuriating at times, the content inconsistent, the methodology slapdash. But for anyone who cares about the future of this place, and for anyone who has paid close attention to the hyperbole and factual errors of Israeli leaders in condemning it, the read is more than worthwhile - if only for the key element of its surprise ending: A marked degree of fairness.
It does not question the right of Israel - or, for that matter, the Palestinians - to self-defense, but it accuses both sides of having resorted to war crimes in the course of, or in the name of, defending themselves.
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