The right-wing news networks are reporting that a Dutch political party wants to “normalize” pedophilia. Oh, the reports seem accurate enough, it is the significance that’s blown out of proportion. This is a political party that most likely could index its membership on cards; they’re hardly leaders of a popular revolution–even in liberal Holland. What is impressive however, is that Holland appears to have a truly open political system where any minority opinion can get on the ballot — unlike our own closed system where it is difficult, if not impossible, for minority political parties to fairly field candidates. The Dutch should be applauded for allowing a pro-pedophilia party on their ballots, not because we support pedophilia, certainly not, but because it is the perfect true measure of the openness of their political system.

Word from the Front

July 31, 2006

“I want to tell my president Mr. Bush to tell Israel to please stop destroying the roads in Lebanon. I don’t know how we can come back home with all the roads and airports destroyed now. Please Mr. President I know you can help the people here in Lebanon.” — Saleem Baltaji, Age 12

The Blame Game

July 31, 2006

Of course the United States has a large population of arabic immigrants who have sought refuge here from totalitarian regimes and oppressive sects that have gripped their homelands. As is required of most immigrants, they’ve sacrificed much of themselves in their attempts to integrate into American society, often biting their tongues and sitting on their hands rather then reacting. So it’s worth noting that a line appears to have been crossed, with the Washington, DC-based Arab American Institute (AAI) blaming President Bush as well as Israel for what it calls the Qana massacre. “Not only is the Israeli government at fault, but blame also must be laid at the foot of the Bush administration for its failure over the past two and half weeks to demand any serious restraint of Israel,” said AAI President James Zogby. He said the attack on Qana, which killed 57 civilians, 37 of them children, was tragic but predictable, since “massive and indiscriminate attacks on the south of Lebanon are bound to result in such massacres.” Zogby criticized Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for expressing regret at the loss of life – but then failing to call for a ceasefire. “U.S. behavior in the wake of the Qana Massacre will be interpreted in Israel and the Arab World as giving a tacit green light for Israel to continue its attacks on Lebanon,” Zogby said.

Accident Prone

July 31, 2006

Israel’s repeated claims that civilian deaths are accidental needs to be called into question. The list of “accidents” is unreasonably long, including last week’s targeting of a United Nations outpost (4 dead), this weekend’s targeting of a building full of women and children in Qana (57 dead, including 37 children–in some revised reports only 28 dead,19 children), Monday’s targeting of Lebanese noncombatant soldiers (number of dead unknown), as well as the largely forgotten targeting of another United Nations refuge encampment in Qana 10 years ago (106 dead). Either Israel is lying about its intentions in targeting, or its targeting is so error prone as to be reliably incompetent. Would we let a driver who repeatedly ran over innocent people at the side of the road keep their license? I would hope not and we shouldn’t let a nation who can’t seem to reliably (or honestly) use its weapons of defense continue to receive our support.

Or, maybe we would…

An 85-year-old man in el Monte, California last week ran over a sidewalk of patrons at a Starbucks cafe. Ten were injured, but fortunately no one was killed — this time. It will be interesting to see if the man, who reportedly got confused about which pedal was the brake, will be allowed to keep his license. Early reports indicated he wouldn’t be charged, presumably meaning he will be allowed to keep driving. One has to wonder why he was allowed behind the wheel in the first place. Probably because American legislators have shown an alarming unwillingness to place driving restrictions on their aging well-heeled, constituency.

Liars Club

July 31, 2006

Israel friendship with the Bush regime seems a match made in heaven (or more likely the other place), they both seem to find it absolutely impossible to represent themselves honestly or to keep their word. An example: despite an agreement to stop air strikes for 48 hours following Sunday’s Qana “accident”, Israel almost immediately starting dropped bombs again on Monday. This time they “accidentally” struck a truckload of Lebanese soldiers. Remember, Lebanon, has so far remained non-combatant, standing by with amazing self-restraint (read inability) as a foreign nation with infinitely more firepower (provided by U.S. support and tax dollars) tries to bomb them back into the stone-age.

Smelly Fish

July 31, 2006

President Bush’s position that he will only support a “sustainable ceasefire – a ceasefire that will last,” is a red herring if there ever was one. It is his way of sabotaging the process while appearing to support it. This is one smelly fish, reeking of the rotting corpses of Lebanese civilians, many of them children. Our, so-called, Christian president is stretching to guarantee his place in hell.

First they bulldozed the homes of Palestinians
and we did not speak out
because our Book said they were God’s children.

Then they slandered the dissenters
and we did not speak out
because we felt that Holocaust victims should be cut some slack.
(And besides, we were afraid they might slander us also.)

Then they murdered the Peacekeepers
and we did not speak out
because we weren’t big on the United Nations anyway.

And then they massacred the children of Qana… again.

And when, at last, we realized that God’s children are individuals, and not a rogue government, well, by then
there was no one left to speak out,
most especially not for us.