Daily Archives: June 16, 2007

US helped foment the civil war in Gaza, undercut democracy

Just spreading democracy, right?

link

In the fall of 2005, as part of a new push for democracy in the Middle East, Rice insisted that legislative elections be held in the Palestinian territories…To Rice’s surprise, the elections in January 2006 were won by Hamas…

Eager to reverse the results of the election, Rice decided on a new plan of action that resulted in fighting in the streets of Gaza between Hamas and Fatah gunmen. The plan, which she developed after speaking to President Bush, was to put pressure on the Hamas government by providing the Palestinian security forces loyal to Abbas with training, intelligence, and large shipments of supplies and new weapons, paid for by the United States and by Saudi Arabia. The hope was that Hamas, faced with a well-armed, well-trained force of Fatah fighters, might be cowed into moderating its positions or relinquishing the power it had won through elections. Alternatively, Hamas might be pressured into an escalating series of gun battles, in which case Abbas, as head of the Palestinian security forces, would have an excuse to crush Hamas by force…

Hamas won the clashes, which left more than 140 Palestinians dead, and the Hamas government remained in power.

And of course, our old pal Elliot Abrams was involved:

Deputy National Security Advisor, Elliott Abrams — who Newsweek recently described as “the last neocon standing” — has had it about for some months now that the U.S. is not only not interested in dealing with Hamas, it is working to ensure its failure. In the immediate aftermath of the Hamas elections, last January [2006], Abrams greeted a group of Palestinian businessmen in his White House office with talk of a “hard coup” against the newly-elected Hamas government — the violent overthrow of their leadership with arms supplied by the United States. While the businessmen were shocked, Abrams was adamant — the U.S. had to support Fatah with guns, ammunition and training, so that they could fight Hamas for control of the Palestinian government…
The Abrams program was initially conceived in February of 2006 by a group of White House officials who wanted to shape a coherent and tough response to the Hamas electoral victory of January…Since at least August [2006], Rice, Abrams and U.S. envoy David Welch have been its primary advocates and the program has been subsumed as a “part of the State Department’s Middle East initiative.”

How many more things can these people screw up?

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Filed under Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Middle East

US doesn’t allow foreign clinics to even talk about abortion

Firedoglake:

the infamous Global Gag Rule which prohibits any foreign NGO from receiving US funding if they (a) perform abortions for reasons other than rape, incest, or the life of the mother; (b) provide counseling and referrals for abortions; or (c) lobby on behalf of abortion rights in their country. The results of the GGR have been appalling.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Population Action International have banded together to form the Global Gag Rule Impact Project. Their research in various developing countries shows not just the failure of the GGR to curtail abortions, but also its negative impacts: closed clinics, drastic cutbacks in community outreach and education programs, elimination of the availability of contraception, increased STDs (including HIV/AIDS) and more.

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NY Times advances anti-Iran propaganda

As Glenn Greenwald points out, the NY Times piece on the Iran debate seems to accept a number of assertions of fact about Iran which are not proven facts.

The NYT article tells the Iran story almost entirely from the administration’s perspective. Although the article begins by referencing Iran’s nuclear program, it includes this paragraph early on:
Even beyond its nuclear program, Iran is emerging as an increasing source of trouble for the Bush administration by inflaming the insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and in Gaza, where it has provided military and financial support to the militant Islamic group Hamas, which now controls the Gaza Strip.
Note that the numerous claims here are presented not as assertions, not as arguments, but as facts. And they are not even accompanied by the qualification that these were asserted by the article’s anonymous “administration officials.” Rather, they are simply stated, by the Times itself, as unquestionable facts. And they are obviously inflammatory “facts,” as they depict Iran as, more or less, at war with the U.S. in multiple countries, arming and funding groups directly at war with our military.

The Times should be awsre that it is being manipulated here. The facts are at issue, not just the strategy to deal with the facts. Acceptance of the Bush administration’s assertions brings us closer to a catastrophic war.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Rudy Giuliani: NYC doesn't even like him