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Thursday, Mar. 27, 2008 at 11:32 PM
Commentary: Of yarmulkes and epithets
Commentary: Of yarmulkes and epithets
By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
UPI Editor at Large
WASHINGTON , March 26 (UPI) -- To understand the chasm between mainstream media and the blogosphere, Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" is a helpful guide. Tweedledum and Tweedledee, they are not. But they are frequently fact and factoid (an invented fact that is taken to be true because of its appearance in print). And many blogs have achieved the status of print by virtue of the fact that countless millions get their news online. The average age of a newspaper reader is 55. Onliners? Try 30.
Sen. John McCain and his independent (formerly a Democrat) fellow traveler Sen. Joe Lieberman wound up their most recent Mideast foray in Israel where the Republican candidate for the presidency got a little help from the man widely tipped to be his choice for vice president in adjusting his yarmulke. For many Mideast bloggers, the yarmulke gesture was proof McCain would be even less inclined than President Bush to coax/cajole/pressure Israel into the kind of concessions that would make a Palestinian state possible.
McCain also fueled the speculation when he said Jerusalem was to remain the indivisible capital of the Jewish state and that Israel must not be asked for anything that might jeopardize its security. Without a Palestinian capital in Arab East Jerusalem, no Palestinian leader could sign a peace agreement -- and expect to stay alive.
Anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic epithets flooded the blogs, a lethal blend of extremist outbursts from the far right to the far left, e.g., "Hitler saw the tremendous danger posed to Germany by communism" and "although Jews formed less than 5 percent of Russia 's population, they formed more than 50 percent of its revolutionaries."
Or, "the major role Jewish leaders played in the November (Russian) revolution was probably more important than any other factor in confirming (Hitler's) anti-Semitic beliefs." Holocaust deniers, along with those who say the 6 million Jewish victims of Hitler's death camps were wildly exaggerated, get a free ride in the blogosphere.
Another free-fire zone among the millions of blogs is the notion that Bush will have one last throw of the geopolitical dice by bombing Iran 's nuclear facilities. Vice President Dick Cheney, on his most recent trip to the Middle East, left little doubt he believes the Iranian mullahs have resumed their nuclear quest after a brief interruption following the U.S. invasion of Iraq . Tehran ran scared in the spring of 2003 and concluded Iran might be next on Bush's hit list. That fear subsided quickly as the insurgency, stoked in part by Iranian Revolutionary Guard agents, spread all over Iraq . Cheney indicated clandestine lethal aid from Iran was still continuing.
Gen. David Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq, went one better when he said the Easter Sunday rocket-and-mortar barrage against Baghdad 's Green Zone was made possible by Iran providing the rockets -- in complete violation of promises made by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other most senior Iranian leaders to their Iraqi counterparts.
And if Bush doesn't order the bombing of Iran , bloggers write matter-of-factly, McCain, as president, will not hesitate. Both McCain and Lieberman have said on separate occasions that there is only one thing worse than bombing Iran -- and that's Iran with nuclear weapons. Bombing thus becomes the lesser of two evils. Blogs also speculate on whether one Iranian nuclear weapon against Tel Aviv would knock out the state of Israel . Blog opinion is evenly divided between those who say Israel could not survive such a blow and those who say Iran would be pulverized by nuclear retaliation from Israel and the United States , and the Western world would coalesce around an Israeli reconstruction effort.
Important pieces of the Mideast jigsaw fail to make it into mainstream media but can be found online. The United Arab Emirates-based newspaper Gulf News said last week that with Bush in office Washington is effectively maintaining low-intensity warfare with Iran and the potential exists to ratchet it up to more open hostilities. Recurring visits by Cheney and McCain to Iraq and Israel, added Gulf News, are "surely not 'coincidences' but a means to ensure Israel remains fully in the picture for any plans the U.S. could have against Iran."
The latest iterations about Iran's nuclear ambitions are seen by Arab blogs as a pretext for fresh adventurism in the region, bearing in mind that Iraq has now suddenly taken a turn for the worst and Afghanistan isn't faring well either. Arab media speculate the Bush administration may feel engaging the United States militarily in Iran is its only option for seeing a Republican president elected in November. Blogs -- factoid or fact? -- quote an aide to Cheney saying the United States will need the cooperation of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey to mount air attacks on Iran.
Blogs, newspapers, radio, television, all in fierce competition, al-Jazeera's forced competition in the Iraqi war zone, imams double-shifting as spies, thousands of volunteer Pakistani spooks for temporary duty in Afghanistan , and it soon becomes multidimensional chess. Reporting these days requires speed reading -- and what Hemingway called a bullfeathers detector.
John McCain, NeoCons, the Israel Lobby and Weekly Standard (picture of Lieberman pinning the yarmulke on McCain's head in Israel says it all!):
Here is a tiny URL of the above one:
Here is the direct link for the youtube of it:
Be sure to also access both pages of
http://NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.BLOGSPOT.COM (click on the pictures).
Arab media warns Bush wants Iran war (for Israel)
Sun, 23 Mar 2008 05:57:40
The Arab media has raised US-Iran confrontation alarms, saying the US has a proxy war with Iran going at the tail end of the Bush administration.
The UAE-based newspaper, Gulf News, in its Friday's editorial said that with George W. Bush in office the Washngton is effectively maintaining low intensity warfare with Iran and the potential exists to ratchet it up to more open hostilities.
The source asserted that the recurring visits by the US Vice President Dick Cheney and John McCain to Iraq and occupied Palestine are surely not 'coincidences' but a means to ensure Israel remains fully in the picture for any "plans the US could have against Iran".
The paper referred to Bush's remarks about Iran's ambitions for nuclear weapons as blatant lies and a resounding excuse for fresh adventurism in the region, bearing in mind the ongoing occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan as cases in point.
Meanwhile, Al-Ahram Weekly described Admiral William Fallon's recent resignation as an orchestrated move to remove what it called the only obstacle "standing between the administration and their newest war plan".
The weekly also added the disaster the Bush administration has created in Iraq is clearly not going well. As a result, the administration may feel that engaging the US militarily in Iran is their only option to for seeing a Republican president elected and a staunch military advocate like John McCain fits that bill.
On Wednesday, an aide to Cheney said that, the United States will need the cooperation of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey to mount a military attack on Iran.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, in a meeting with Cheney on Friday, expressed his opposition to any US military action against Iran, saying that negotiation is the best and the only effective way to resolve Tehran's nuclear standoff.
The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in their latest reports have reassured the world that the nature of Iran's nuclear activities is peaceful.
Cheney: Iran might be next US target (for Israel)
Wed, 19 Mar 2008 21:17:01
A senior aide to the US Vice President has reportedly said a military option against Iran over its nuclear program is on the table again.
Vice President Dick Cheney is again talking about possible US military action to shut down Iran's nuclear program, the Israeli website DEBKA quoted the aide as saying.
The official added Cheney had told US troops in a military base in Iraq that "Iran has got to be very high on that list (of the countries that might be attacked)".
The remarks came ahead of the talks Cheney was to hold during his 10-day tour of the Middle East, which began Monday, March 17 in Iraq.
The report added that Cheney is again talking about possible US military action to shut down Iran's nuclear program, citing military and political sources in the region.
Cheney stopped over in Oman Wednesday, after two days in Iraq. He will travel to Saudi Arabia and will be in al-Quds next Saturday. He is also scheduled to visit Ramallah and Turkey.
According to the report, Cheney would emphasize the Bush administration's decision to distance itself from the National Intelligence Estimate indicating that "Iran has halted its nuclear arms program in 2003."
The report has undermined the position of hawkish politicians who were beating the drums of war with Iran.
Cheney will also underlines that "the administration now buys British, German, French and Israeli intelligence estimates that Iran is indeed pressing forward with programs for building nuclear weapons, warheads and ballistic missiles for their delivery."
The report added the Americans will need the cooperation of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey to mount a military attacks on Iran.
Israel was notified by the White House that the Iranian issue had been added to Cheney's regional agenda at the last minute, DEBKA quoted informed sources as saying.
6 Signs the U.S. May Be Headed for War in Iran
Here is a tiny URL of the above one:
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