Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for June 7th, 2010

Markets: maybe not quite the end of the world

Posted by Charles II on June 7, 2010

As of 1AM Eastern: Euro stabilized at about 1.19, the US has joined the BRICs as a popular destination for investment, Asian markets up fractionally (though looking as if they are stymied and could fall into the close), US futures all cautiously green, a flurry of statements on how oversold the market is.

But why should investors hold overnight when the Beige Book could have some distressing news in it come Wednesday?

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Honduran Dictatorship, Day 143

Posted by Charles II on June 7, 2010

For Brother John, who has been, quite literally, under the weather until Friday:


The big news is that Jose Miguel Insulza, the president of the OAS, has requested that Honduras be readmitted. It will be difficult for South America to refuse his request. Maybe that’s why Celso Amorim, Brazil’s top diplomat, skipped the speech.

El Libertador reports that one policeman was killed and another wounded in Bajo Aguan, where squatters (who may be legal landowners) were coerced into a settlement that gave them too little land to survive on in exchange for their services being impressed into the palm oil trade. At 5AM, the farmers attempted to enter the El Despertar (Awakening) palm plantation. At least 12 farmers have been killed in the conflict. They blame the bloodshed on César Ham; Attornery General Luis Rubí; President of the Supreme Court Jorge Rivera Avilés; and Secretary of Security, Óscar Álvarez. They have suspended their 14 day hunger strike.

According to Defensores en Linea, Mario Orlando Sequeira Canales, a US resident married to a US citizen and living in Denver, came to visit his relatives. He was tortured, then transported to and beaten to death in prison. The police story does not square with the autopsy results, with the preliminary autopsy report saying he was strangled. A witness says he saw the cops dropping off the corpse where they said they found it.

Ex-dictator Micheletti’s son, Aldo, drunk as the proverbial zorillo, ran down and killed an 80 year old man and wounded three others, then fled the scene even though he says that his security guard was driving. His government vehicle, which had been assigned to his father, was driving without plates when it ran a stop sign and hit a pickup truck. As Adrienne says, the only reason we know about this is because the death porn was too much for the coupista media to avoid.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, 6/7/10 to the OAS:

Our ongoing discussions about Honduras makes clear the urgency of this agenda. As we emphasized when the United States, along with the rest of the hemisphere, condemned the coup in Honduras, these interruptions of democracy should be completely relegated to the past – and it is a credit to this organization that they have become all but nonexistent in the Americas.

Now it is time for the hemisphere as a whole to move forward and welcome Honduras back into the Inter-American community. We’ve worked with many of you to help Honduras find a path back to democratic order. We saw the free and fair election of President Lobo, and we have watched President Lobo fulfill his obligations under the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord – including forming a government of national reconciliation and a truth commission. This has demonstrated a strong and consistent commitment to democratic governance and constitutional order.

At the same time, we must find ways to address conditions like those that led to the coup in Honduras before they turn into crises. There can be no higher priority for all of us than strengthening our institutions and mechanisms of cooperation so they effectively preserve the rule of law, basic rights, and the democratic order.

It’s basically a stick in the eye, but what else is new?

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | Comments Off on Honduran Dictatorship, Day 143

Israel as a liability? Also, allegations that Israel had hit list for Mavi Marmara passengers. Plus: Red Crescent reports for duty!

Posted by Charles II on June 7, 2010

First, the allegations. Catrina Stewart, London Independent:

the protesters rummaged through captured soldiers’ belongings and claimed to unearth a document that they allege is a list of people Israel intended to assassinate. The booklet, written in Hebrew and in English, contained some photographs of passengers on the Marmara, including the leader of IHH, the Turkish charity that provided two of the ships, an 88-year-old priest and Ra’ad Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Mr Elshayyal said.

A military spokesman, Lt Col Avital Leibowitz, insisted soldiers acted in self-defence and that she “was not aware” of any list. But one thing is fast becoming clear – many of the dead were shot multiple times at point-blank range. One was a journalist taking photographs. “A man was shot … between the eyebrows, which indicates that it was not an attack that took place from self-defence,” Hassan Ghani, a passenger, said in an account posted on YouTube. “The soldier had time to set up the shot.” Mattias Gardell, a Swedish activist, told the TT news bureau: “The Israelis committed premeditated murder … Two people were killed by shots in the forehead, one was shot in the back of the head and one in the chest.”

But this article is too striking not to comment on. By Anthony Cordesman, it asks “Israel as a Strategic Liability?”:

America’s ties to Israel are not based primarily on U.S. strategic interests. At the best of times, an Israeli government that pursues the path to peace provides some intelligence, some minor advances in military technology, and a potential source of stabilizing military power that could help Arab states like Jordan. Even then, however, any actual Israeli military intervention in an Arab state could prove as destabilizing as beneficial. The fact is that the real motives behind America’s commitment to Israel are moral and ethical….

…the depth of America’s moral commitment does not justify or excuse actions by an Israeli government that unnecessarily make Israel a strategic liability when it should remain an asset. It does not mean that the United States should extend support to an Israeli government when that government fails to credibly pursue peace with its neighbors. It does not mean that the United States has the slightest interest in supporting Israeli settlements in the West Bank, or that the United States should take a hard-line position on Jerusalem that would effectively make it a Jewish rather than a mixed city. It does not mean that the United States should be passive when Israel makes a series of major strategic blunders–such as persisting in the strategic bombing of Lebanon during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, escalating its attack on Gaza long after it had achieved its key objectives, embarrassing the U.S. president by announcing the expansion of Israeli building programs in east Jerusalem at a critical moment in U.S. efforts to put Israeli-Palestinian peace talks back on track, or sending commandos to seize a Turkish ship in a horribly mismanaged effort to halt the “peace flotilla” going to Gaza.

It is time Israel realized that it has obligations to the United States, as well as the United States to Israel…

…it is time to return to the kind of strategic realism exemplified by leaders like Yitzhak Rabin. No aspect of what happened this week off the coast of Gaza can be blamed on Israeli commandos or the Israel Defense Forces. Israel’s prime minister and defense minister had full warning about the situation, and they knew the flotilla was deliberately designed as a political provocation to capture the attention of the world’s media in the most negative way possible. They personally are responsible for what happened, and they need to show far more care and pragmatism in the future.

Granted, it’s more of a criticism of the clumsiness of the present government, but the clumsiness of the present government is a consequence of its indifference to human suffering.

Added: Via C. Tuttle of Firedoglake in comments, this Yahoo piece by Farhad Pouladi:

The Iranian Red Crescent said on Monday that it will send three aid ships to Gaza in the latest bid to break the blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory by Iran’s archfoe Israel.

It will also send a plane carrying 30 tonnes of medical equipment to Egypt for onward delivery to Gaza.

Red Crescent director for international affairs Abdolrauf Adibzadeh told Iranian media that two ships would leave for Gaza this week, followed at a later date by a third vessel.

The first two ships will head to Gaza in coordination with the Turkish government.

What public relations coup will Israel carry off this time? Machinegun the nurses of the Red Crescent?

Posted in israel, Middle East | 2 Comments »

How To Fool NPR

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 7, 2010

This morning on NPR, I got to hear a story about how the French have linked IHH, the Turkish aid group that organized both the Gaza flotillas, to (gasp!) al-Qaeda!!!!!

(Pause for Dramatic Prairie Dog.)

This is a rehash of the same June 2 IDF allegations that the IDF had already partially rolled back four flipping days ago but which NPR’s crack staff apparently didn’t know or care were rolled back. Here’s the skinny on that:

Not content to believe that night vision goggles signal membership in Al Qaeda, reporter Lia Tarachansky of The Real News Network and I called the IDF press office to ask for more conclusive evidence. Tarachansky reached the IDF’s Israel desk, interviewing a spokesperson in Hebrew; I spoke with the North America desk, using English. We both received the same reply from Army spokespeople: “We don’t have any evidence. The press release was based on information from the [Israeli] National Security Council.” (The Israeli National Security Council is Netanyahu’s kitchen cabinet of advisors).

“But but but what about the French intelligence report!”, you may ask. Turns out that there was no such thing — just another example of IDF disinfo, one that was planted and then “laundered” via several steps to look like actual fact, and depending on the laziness and/or fearfulness of American journalists to survive.

Here’s the long and twisted tale of how it came to be:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in evil, France, frauds, israel, media, Media machine, mediawhores, news media | 10 Comments »

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