Don't get me wrong. Barack Obama—as every other U.S. president before him—will protect the special relationship with Israel. But the days of America's exclusive ties to Israel may be coming to an end. Despite efforts to sound reassuring during the campaign, the new administration will have to be tough, much tougher than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush were, if it's serious about Arab-Israeli peacemaking.
Nothing, not his suspect role in the Enron debacle, which foretold the economic meltdown, or his office's fabrication of the false reasons for invading Iraq, has ever been seriously investigated, because of White House stonewalling. Nor will the new president, committed as he is to nonpartisanship, be likely to open up Cheney's can of worms.
Nine current or former members of Fort Carson's Fourth Brigade Combat Team have killed someone or were charged with killings in the last three years after returning from Iraq. Five of the slayings took place last year alone. In addition, charges of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault have risen sharply.
Prodded by Senator Ken Salazar, Democrat of Colorado, the base commander began an investigation of the soldiers accused of homicide. An army task force is reviewing their recruitment, medical and service records, as well as their personal histories, to determine if the military could have done something to prevent the violence. The inquiry was recently expanded to include other serious violent crimes.
It ought not to be difficult to condemn Israel's murder of civilians and bombing of civilian infrastructure including hundreds of private homes, universities, schools, mosques, civil police stations and ministries, and the building housing the only freely-elected Arab parliament.
It ought not to be risky or disruptive to US foreign policy to say that Israel has an unconditional obligation under the Fourth Geneva Convention to lift its lethal, months-old blockade preventing adequate food, fuel, surgical supplies, medications and other basic necessities from reaching Gaza.
But in the looking-glass world of American politics, Israel, with its powerful first-world army, is the victim, and Gaza – the besieged and blockaded home to 1.5 million immiserated people, half of them children and eighty percent refugees – is the aggressor against whom no cruelty is apparently too extreme.
The fault, however, lies not in Republicans’ stars but in themselves. Forty years ago the G.O.P. decided, in effect, to make itself the party of racial backlash. And everything that has happened in recent years, from the choice of Mr. Bush as the party’s champion, to the Bush administration’s pervasive incompetence, to the party’s shrinking base, is a consequence of that decision.
Quietly, the professionals at the Department of Justice have been working this massive scandal—that is complex by design—to build cases that move from the outer edges to the heart of political corruption in Washington DC. Abramoff is just a doorway in—not an endpoint—and prosecutors are zeroing in on some big fish in a corrupt stream.
The investigation was very active in 2008 and expanded its scope. More shoes are dropping. More details are being exposed. This is why the GOP fears the future, Obama and Eric Holder.
The US government has seized control of Citigroup's staff Christmas party budget and set tight restrictions on the use of its corporate jet in exchange for its $45bn (£28bn) bail-out.
The measures are among a raft of restrictions on expenses detailed in the small print of filing made by Citi on New Year's Eve with the US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a memo to staff, Pandit said he and the chairman, Sir Win Bischoff, would forgo year-end bonuses for 2008 after the huge banking group lost three-quarters of its market value and was forced to go cap in hand to the treasury.
The dominant media also in their customary role - guarding the powerful and suppressing uncomfortable truths in lieu of full and accurate reporting. They're in high gear over Gaza. They vilify Hamas, stay silent about Gazan suffering, are mute on the crippling blockade, its devastating human toll, and practically champion Israel's call for "all-out war" and the slaughter of defenseless men, women, children and infants.
In August 2005, when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the narrow coastal territory, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised it would make Israel safer. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hailed the move as "historic."
Israel had left behind a political vacuum, however. That, along with decisions by Israel, the U.S. and Palestinian rivals inadvertently boosted the militant Islamic group Hamas into power. Hamas is stronger than ever, and Israel's air strikes risk bolstering it further, according to current and former U.S. officials, diplomats and analysts.
TVNL Comment: "Democracy" means electing leaders the US can manipulate. But they hate us for our freedom.....
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