Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Free Gaza boat rammed by Israeli Navy - Cynthia McKinney was one of the passengers

I'm so proud of Cynthia McKinney right now! Once again she has proven the courage that she has, and her desire to fight for Justice anywhere in the World. Right now I'm so happy that I voted for her for President instead of Obama. Here she is telling it like it is.

Meanwhile, CNN carried pictures of Obama playing golf in Hawaii. Shades of Bush playing golf while our young men and women were dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush eventually pledged to stop playing golf as long as the Iraq War continued. Obama apparently never got the memo.

President-elect Obama playing golf in Hawaii while Gaza burns

Here is an eyewitness account from a CNN reporter describing the incident.

Contrast this with the Israeli version of events contained in this AlJazeera report.

Who do you believe? The objective eyewitness from CNN, or the Israeli government official who was no firsthand knowledge of what happened? This is just another example of the blatant lies of the Israeli government and why you should never trust anything they say. Yes, I'm generalizing but in this case I believe its warranted.

Here's what Cynthia McKinney who was on board the Dignity has to say.

Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, was traveling to Gaza aboard the Dignity in order to assess the impact of Israel's military onslaught against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip. According to McKinney, "Israeli patrol boats...tracked us for about 30 minutes...and then all of a sudden they rammed us approximately three times, twice in the front and once in the side...the Israelis indicated that [they felt] we were involved in terrorist activities."
This is from a press release from the Free Gaza website.
Here is a link to their webpage where they post the latest news.

I also highly recommend this article from the "Black Agenda Report". Rather than inserting a short quote, I am taking the unusual action of posting the full article because I feel that every word in this article is relevant.

McKinney to Obama: "Say Something" About Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has called upon President-Elect Barack Obama to "please, say something about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced by the Palestinian people, by the people of Gaza." McKinney spoke to CNN news from the Lebanese city of Tyre, where she had debarked from the relief vessel Dignity after it was rammed on the high seas by an Israeli patrol boat, early Tuesday morning. Passengers also report the Israelis fired machine guns into the water near their ship.

McKinney was among the passengers on an attempted voyage from the island of Cyprus to Gaza, where Israeli bombs and missiles have killed hundreds of Palestinians, including many civilians, since Saturday. The Dignity carried three tons of medical supplies and a number of doctors prepared to treat the more than 1,000 Gazans wounded in the Israeli attacks. The 66-foot craft had made two previous humanitarian relief trips to Gaza since the summer. Israel has blocked food, medicines and other essentials from entering Gaza in a campaign of collective punishment against the 1.5 million Palestinians that live there under a Hamas Party administration.

President-Elect Obama has been silent on the Israeli attacks, while President George Bush has supported Israel's actions.

"I would like to ask my former colleagues in the United States Congress to stop sending weapons of mass destruction around the world," said McKinney, who was the Green Party's presidential candidate in November. "As we are about to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, let us remember what he said. He said that the United States is the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet. And guess what: we experienced a little bit of that violence, because the weapons that are being used by Israel are weapons that were supplied by the United States government."

A CNN reporter who accompanied the passengers and crew of the Dignity confirmed that the boat "was sailing with full lights" when "one of the Israeli patrol boats, with no lights on, rammed the Dignity, hard."

Israel blames the collision on the relief vessel.

Said McKinney: "Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front, once on the side.... What the Israelis are saying is outright disinformation."

McKinney compared the Israeli action against the Dignity to the attack on a U.S. naval vessel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. "I recall that there was another boat that was attacked by Israelis, and it was the U.S.S Liberty." Thirty-four crewmen died and 170 were wounded by fire from Israeli planes and torpedo boats. The Israelis claim it was a case of mistaken identity. "People would like to forget about the U.S.S. Liberty," said McKinney, "but I haven't forgotten about it and the people who were on that ship have not forgotten what happened to them."
Now there is a statement from someone that deserves to be President of the United States.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gaza - Stop the Killings!

Once again Israel is killing innocent civilians in Gaza in a genocidal campaign. This time there seems to be a world wide reaction in opposition to Israel's bloody policy. The internet has changed the dynamic. Israel can no longer hide behind the MSM in the US. A recent study showed that the internet is now more popular than newspapers as a source of news.

Of course the people in the US that still use TV as their main source of news will get the skewed MSM version of events that will no doubt place full blame on Hamas for Israel's actions. But internationally I don't think that Israel can count on its usual support from the media. AlJazeera has a major role to play in this. I have been very impressed by the English version of AlJazeera. It is painted as a propaganda tool by the US media, but I have found it to be very objective. If anything, at times I have been disappointed that it hasn't taken a more pro-Palestinian view.

The strength of AlJazeera is in providing images that are not shown in the US MSM. While US TV is quick to show the victims of the latest suicide bomber in Israel, it will never show the Palestinian victims of Israeli military. Here is the latest report on Gaza from AlJazeera.

It's truly amazing that AlJazeera is able to transmit these images given the Israeli siege of Gaza. I can only guess that the video was uplinked by satellite from within Gaza. Imagine being a reporter for AlJazeera inside Gaza while Israel is conducting bombing campaigns. We know that military forces in Israel have targeted journalists in the past, so these unsung heroes deserve our highest praise and thanks for the job they are doing revealing the truth to the world.

Videos like this bring home the reality of the situation in Gaza. Without these images, Israel's propaganda spinmasters can portray their brutal campaign in any way they like. But after witnessing the magnitude and force of the bombs dropped on Gaza, it becomes irrefutably clear that Israel has committed a War Crime. The Palestinians are absolutely defenseless against the F-16s used by Israel to attack them. At the same time they are confined by the Israeli siege and have no place to go for safety. How can anyone justify this heinous act of violence?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Tom and Baracky Show

The latest installment of the Tom and Baracky Show appeared today on Meet The Press. Taken at face value, this was an interview. But in reality this was nothing more than an infomercial starring Tom Brokaw and Barack Obama. Personally, I think the old Tom and Jerry was much more fun. But this is the Great Depression of 2008 – fun is a rare commodity these days.

The last time we saw an episode of Tom and Baracky was at the Presidential Debate in October. But did you know there was a previous installment of the Tom and Baracky show? It occurred on May 3, 2007 at MOMA – that's the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This was a private dinner for Goldman Sachs traders only.

The dinner was not a fund-raiser for Obama, then in the early stages of his Democratic primary campaign launched February, 2007. Brokaw interviewed Obama for about 45 minutes on mostly international issues. Brokaw received an honorarium, donated to charity. The Obama campaign called the event a "moderated conversation" when I inquired on Monday.
So Tom and Barack are quite comfortable with this type of reality show. They've had plenty of practice conducting sham interviews. Whether or not Obama will admit it, it was clear that there were no surprise questions in today's Meet The Press “interview”.

T&B have great chemistry together and the results prove that they are a great sales team.
Bundled together, by Sept. 28, 2008, the latest figures available, Goldman Sachs members or their families contributed $739,521 to Obama, making the firm [the] number one source of donors to the Obama campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
And you thought that Henry Paulson exit would be the end of Goldman Sachs running the nation's economic policy. No such luck. In fact there is another Obama-GS connection that is pointed out in this article. One of Obama's biggest fund-raisers was James Johnson, a Goldman Sachs board member and former chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae.
Johnson was originally tapped by Obama to lead his vice presidential vetting squad until he quit because of his own controversies.
Here's more about James Johnson from Wikipedia.
An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report from September 2004 found that, during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998. A 2006 OFHEO report found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Originally reported as $6-7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million.
Yeah, I guess that would be considered controversial given that Fannie Mae is at the center of the current financial crisis. Expect Johnson to keep a low profile. But behind the scenes, he has the clout to affect key Obama decisions on the economy. I wonder to what extent he lobbied Obama with regards to his economic team?

Obama's Goldman Sachs Economic Team

As has been widely reported the Obama Economic Team of Summers and Geithner is the beginning of another chapter of Goldman Sachs dominated economic policy.
The president-elect's choices for his top economic advisers — Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers as senior White House economics adviser and Peter Orszag as budget director — are past protégés of Rubin, who held two of those jobs under President Bill Clinton.
And former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin is of course a former co-CEO and co-Chairman of Goldman Sachs. Rubin has also been involved in some recent controversy himself with regards to his role in the Citibank debacle.
After leaving the Treasury, Rubin, 70, became a senior adviser to the top executives at Citigroup, which on Nov. 23 became the latest financial institution to get a government bailout.
Geithner is currently the President of the New York Fed. As I detailed in a previous article, the Chairman of the New York Fed is another GS executive – Stephen Friedman. (In fact, Friedman was the co-Chairman along with Robert Rubin from 1990 to 1992.) This gives Friedman considerable influence in choosing a Geithner's replacement as President of the New York Fed. And Friedman still sits on the Board of Goldman Sachs which makes for a very cozy relationship – don't you think?

What can I say? It's a small world, financially speaking. And that financial world is dominated by former executives of Goldman Sachs.

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