Reelect President Bush for the 2nd term: Evidence & Proofs
Why President Bush should have his second term? The arguments can be drawn from Gas price, Job creation and War in Iraq scientifically. If it is scientific, it must observe the same result, test in the same experiment and constitute a mathematical truth. For example, we all know that goose is white because we see the same color in anywhere. We know that water is H2O because the experiment result is the same. Needless to say, 2+2 = 4. We now apply these criteria to my arguments.
Pending Oil Crisis
Heavens, what are we up against?
Colts? Stadium Short on Horse Sense
The predominant discussion in the Indianapolis media over the proposed $500 million Colts stadium is how to fund it, not over the wisdom and propriety of taxpayers going into debt to build it.
A Cheap Holiday in Other Peoples Misery (catching up with Mordechai Vanunu in Israel)
One of my favourite pieces of music is the Sex Pistols' classic 'Holidays in the Sun' - a song that begins with the line, 'a cheap holiday in other people's misery'. This would have made a fitting epitaph for my holiday in Israel, except that the $3000 air ticket meant that it wasn't exactly cheap.
I went to Israel full of apprehension. Just knowing what we all know of the backdrop of paranoia and pain that hangs over that land is enough to make anybody apprehensive, but I also went carrying a dark secret - that I was a friend of Mordechai Vanunu's, and I was nervous about the reaction I'd get should this truth suddenly become public.
My friend Morde was completing an 18-year prison sentence for doing something that most people in this country consider heroic. Morde told the world about a secret stash of WMD's ('weapons of mass destruction') that are being developed in an underground factory in the Negev desert. Most people I know think he did the world an enormous favour, but most people in his own country wish Morde had kept his mouth shut. Indeed, most Israelis regard him as a traitor!
In order to try to understand this attitude towards my friend, I tried talking to local people about their attitude to nuclear weapons. The response I received was alarming! "They're only there as our last resort" one articulate young journalist said to me. "Just in case we get completely overrun." "Well ... what happens then?" I asked. "Well", he said, "then we destroy everybody!"
Tragically, this was not an isolated example. Almost every time I sought an opinion from taxi-drivers, cafe workers or hostel staff concerning Israel's nuclear capacity, the word 'Armageddon' would come up. And these apologists seemed quite accepting of the fact that in order to strike this decisive blow against their neighbours, they might indeed need to take the rest of the planet with them!
Thankfully not every Israeli took this position. Indeed, the 'Free Vanunu' campaign itself had a strong local contingent of active peace campaigners.
These local activists were some of the most impressive people I met during my stay in Israel. Even in Australia they would have been impressive - mainly young, idealistic University students, with a commitment to world peace and global disarmament - impressive but not extraordinary in our context. In this context though, growing up in an environment so overshadowed by violence and fear, these brave young souls stood out like shining lights.
The violent side of Israeli culture was never more tangible to me than it was on the day of Morde's release. I had traveled many thousands of miles to be reunited with my friend on the day that he walked free. In my dreams I had imagined our reunion countless times. Morde would walk through those gates with his belongings in one hand, and me and a few friends and family would be there to embrace him and lead him away. I didn't really realise until I reached the prison just how far from reality my imaginary depiction of that scene would prove to be.
There were hundreds of us at the prison, and the vast majority were not Morde's friends. As the time of his release drew near, I tried to move towards the prison gate where I had always imagined myself standing as Morde walked out. I soon found myself squeezed into the middle of an angry mob.
It was certainly one of the nastiest experiences of my life. The whole mass of men seemed to seethe with aggression, and each individual was competing to claw his way to the front, for what exact purpose was not entirely clear. Thankfully I could not understand the chants that were being sung to the tune of 'here we go, here we go, here we go', but I was told later that the words for 'death' and 'traitor' had been central to all the mantras that were chanted that day.
On reflection I now think that it was a good thing that by the time Morde came through those prison gates the police had packed us together so tightly that I wasn't able to move a limb. What prevented me from running out to embrace Morde also prevented my neighbours from reaching him with more sinister intent.
Thankfully the car with my friend in it got away with no more than a dented panel and a shower of eggs. One antagonist did manage to mount his motorbike in time to catch the car, but after slamming into the side of the vehicle he lost his mount, and the 'free man' was able to proceed in peace.
Back at the gaol things then started to unravel. With their anger unresolved, the mob started to vent their aggression on other targets. I found myself swept up in this like a wave breaking over my head. One second I was walking towards my bus. The next moment I was surrounded by a mob led by an angry rabbi, screaming at the top of his voice. 'Go home' was the only phrase I could understand. Equally unambiguous though were the rough hands that were being placed on my body, the kicks that were landing on my legs, and the spittle that was accumulating on my face.
I didn't see any path of escape in this situation, so I placed my hands together in a position of prayer and bowed my head, working on the hitherto successful strategy that if you refuse to fight back, guys are generally very reluctant to beat you up. It worked. A man grabbed me from behind with both hands and hauled me out of the centre of the mob. I made it back to my bus without further incident.
All of this would have been water off a duck's back had Morde and I then been able to board a plane and fly back to Australia. Unfortunately the authorities had ruled that this 'free' man should not be allowed to leave the country, nor go anywhere near a border or a foreign embassy, nor have any contact with 'foreigners'. The 'foreigner' restriction was aimed at the foreign press. Even so, technically, I wasn't allowed to spend extensive time with my old friend without risking seeing him re-arrested!
We were reunited briefly on the evening of that same day of his release. Unfortunately I cried so much that I really didn't get the chance to tell him all of the things that I had prepared for that moment. All I can hope for now is that one-day we will catch up properly - perhaps over a few beers back here in the land of Oz. I know that Morde would like that.
Getting Morde out of Israel is indeed the next big challenge for the Vanunu campaign. I don't know how hard this will prove to be. I do know that I had a bloody hard time getting out myself. In my case it wasn't that they didn't want me out (they held off the departure of the plane until I got on board). They just seemed determined to let me know that they didn't want me back.
I had been warned by the other peace activists of intimidation tactics employed by airport staff. Ironically, I initially made it through all four security checkpoints without being stopped. It was only as I proceeded to the final gate that a young man in a suit caught up with me and said, "Excuse me sir, but can I see your passport." He then told me that there had been a 'problem' and that he would need to retain my passport until the 'problem' had been resolved. I was then shuffled into a small room to begin a three-hour process of interrogation, body searching and luggage examination.
In the end the verdict was that I was free to go and that there was nothing suspect about the contents of my bags, but that the bags themselves were suspect and that none of them could be taken on board as hand luggage. This meant that I could carry with me my camera, but not in my camera case, my laptop, but not my laptop case, my video camera, but not the bag with the shoulder strap that I lugged it around in, my toothbrush and paste, but not my toiletries bag, and even my Palm-pilot portable keyboard, but not the little vinyl dust-jacket that I kept it in. I could take what I liked, so long as I carried it in my arms.
It was just a game, though they managed to keep straight faces throughout the whole ordeal. For my part I refused to get on board without the bulk of my carry-on items. In the end they agreed to give me a large cardboard box to put them in.
And so my cheap holiday in other people's misery came to an end. But now the real work begins. For I returned home, but I left my friend inside the confines of St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, where the good bishop has offered him sanctuary.
Morde can't leave the Cathedral grounds. He has at least two reporters on every exit, taking shifts to cover his movements 24-hours per day. If Morde tries to walk out into the street, he'll be immediately surrounded and identified, and given the number of locals that would count it as a point of pride to be responsible for his death, Morde's life in the open probably wouldn't last more than a few minutes.
I'd like to see my friend back here in Australia. I wonder if the Australian government has the courage to offer him citizenship?DBS. April 2004
Simple Middle East Peace Plan
I. WARS ARE BASIC CONFLICTS OVER LAND.
II. BOUNDARIES. THE STATE OF ISRAEL SHALL BASICALLY BE HER PRE-1967 BORDERS, EXCEPT FOR THEIR MUNICIPAL JURISDICTION IN JERUSALEM. THE BOUNDARIES OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE SHALL BE THE WEST BANK AND GAZA. THE BOUNDARIES OF SYRIA SHALL BE HER PRE-1967 BORDERS.
III. CITIZENSHIP. JEWISH PEOPLE CURRENTLY LIVING IN THE NEW PALESTINIAN STATE SHALL AUTOMATICALLY BECOME JEWISH CITIZENS OF THE NEW PALESTINIAN STATE; PALESTINIAN PEOPLE CURRENTLY LIVING IN ISRAEL SHALL AUTOMATICALLY BECOME ISRAELI CITIZENS; JEWISH PEOPLE CURRENTLY LIVING IN SYRIA SHALL AUTOMATICALLY BECOME JEWISH CITIZEN'S OF SYRIA.
IV. IMMIGRATION. THE RIGHTS OF JEWISH PERSONS TO TRAVEL AND LIVE IN THE NEW PALESTINIAN STATE AND THE RIGHTS OF PALESTINIAN PERSONS TO TRAVEL AND LIVE IN ISRAEL SHALL BE EQUAL. THE GOVERNMENT IN THE ACTUAL COUNTRY OF IMMIGRATION SHALL SET THE LAWS, EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAL DECISIONS AND ACTS GOVERNING TRAVEL AND IMMIGRATION.
V. JERUSALEM. THE RIGHTS OF ALL PEOPLE TO TRAVEL AND PRAY IN THE WALLED CITY OF JERUSALEM SHALL NOT BE RESTRICTED. THE WALLED CITY OF JERUSALEM SHALL BE SACRED LAND WITH EQUAL SOVEREIGNTY AND RIGHTS TO ALL RELIGIONS, PEOPLES AND PERSONS WHO HONOR THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM. BOTH ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN CITIZENSHIP AND DUAL CITIZENSHIP WILL BE ALLOWED FOR THE RESIDENTS OF JERUSALEM.
VI. JURISDICTION. THE GOVERNMENT'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PROPERTY RIGHTS; AND CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CLAIMS AND COMPLAINTS SHALL BE THAT GOVERNMENT'S IN THE ACTUAL LAND OF THE COUNTRY OF USAGE AND OCCURRENCE. PALESTINE, ISRAEL AND SYRIA AGREE TO DROP ANY AND ALL PAST PROPERTY, POLITICAL, CIVIL, CRIMINAL, PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CLAIMS AND COMPLAINTS BETWEEN AND AMONG EACH NATIONS, PEOPLES, PERSONS, CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS. ALL NATIONS, PEOPLES, PERSONS, CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS AGREE TO HONOR AND RESPECT THE GOVERNMENT'S SOVEREIGNTY OF NEW LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAL DECISIONS AND ACTIONS. ISRAEL, PALESTINE AND SYRIA AGREE TO BE BOUND BY ANY FINAL APPEAL VOTE.
VII. FOREMOST RIGHTS WILL BE GIVEN TO THE CURRENT USER AND USE.
VIII. CAPITOLS. THE RIGHTS OF ISRAEL TO HAVE THEIR EXISTING CAPITOL BUILDING IN JERUSALEM, AND THE RIGHTS OF PALESTINE TO HAVE THEIR CAPITOL BUILDING IN RAMALLAH SHALL NOT BE RESTRICTED.
IX. DEMILITARIZATION. UPON THE PRIME MINISTER'S APPROVAL OF THE PALESTINIAN, ISRAELI AND SYRIAN PEOPLE, THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BECOME OPERATIONAL. ISRAELI DEMILITARIZATION TO HER BASIC BORDERS SHALL BEGIN OCTOBER 31, 2004 AND BE EFFECTIVE BY MAY 1, 2005. THEREAFTER, THE TERRITORIES THAT WERE OCCUPIED SHALL REMAIN DEMILITARIZED BY ISRAEL, PALESTINE AND SYRIA.
X. FINAL APPEAL. ANY FINAL APPEAL OR DETERMINATION WILL BE DETERMINED BY A MAJORITY VOTE BY A THREE PERSON COMMITTEE MADE UP OF A PALESTINIAN, ISRAELI AND AMERICAN MINISTER. A MAJORITY VOTE IS A REQUIREMENT TO HEAR A FINAL APPEAL OR DETERMINATION.
Bush Panders America?s Kids to Saudi Pederasts
President Bush and Secretary Powell should hang their heads in shame. The administration professes to value America?s childrenand touts the phrase ?No Child Left Behind.? Simultaneously,they have abandoned an estimated 16,000 American children abroad.
Top 30 Politics Quotations
The ?Manchurian Candidate?: Lee Harvey Oswald?
An American soldier is taken behind enemy lines and brainwashed as an unwitting assassin by communists in league with American political figures. This soldier then returns to the States to kill a presidential candidate as part of a political scheme to escalate and exploit Cold War tensions.
Abu Ghraib: Our Surprise is the only Surprise
As pictures and videos surface showing young American soldiers humiliating and dehumanizing Iraqi prisoners, we, as a society, recoil in disgust and disbelief. Friends and family of those charged with such crimes, shake their heads in bewilderment and assure the world that the perpetrators are normal, caring, loving individuals without any prior sadistic or bullying traits.
A Look Ahead to 2008 (Part I)
Just as everyone has breathed a sigh of relief at the end of 2004 presidential campaign, I would like to take a quick look ahead to 2008. Unless George W. Bush is unable to complete his second term, 2008 will bring the third open presidential election (no incumbent running) in 20 years. Even though that's still four years into the future, the campaign will be unofficially getting underway almost immediately. Therefore, many of the potential candidates can already be identified and there should be no shortage of them on either side.
A Look Ahead to 2008 (Part II)
Last week, I began my look ahead to the 2008 presidential campaign with the potential Republican candidates. Today, I will continue by taking a look at the potential Democratic candidates. Among them are New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, Illinois Senator-elect Barack Obama, Nevada Senator Harry Reid, and Virginia Governor Mark Warner.
A Workable Alternative to Term Limits
The end of another election once again brings into focus the problem of Washington politicians raising money and running for re-election as soon as they get into office. Many citizens and various government-accountability advocacy groups have done little more than complain from time to time. However, some of them, along with many members of the media, have been pushing for term limits as a solution. But is that really the solution we need? Even with term limits, we would still be left with the same old problems, only in smaller doses, i.e., politicians would still be playing the same old campa igning and fund raising games for whatever amount of subsequent terms they are allowed. Also, we would still be stuck with the situation in which sitting Senators and Representatives (even those with no remaining terms for the office they hold) spend their time running for higher office.
A Noble Attempt To Bring Peace in Assam
United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), one of the most powerful militant organizations operating in the northeast region is in the limelight again but this time for a better reason. Attempts to initiate talks with the center and the group are in progress. The group was established in 1979 by Paresh Baruah along with his associates. The group aims to establish a Sovereign Socialist Assam.
Bush Victory: A Defeat for the Have-Nots?
The shouting is over and directions for the next four years selected. Judging by past behavior (the best predictor, psychologically, of future behavior), we can look forward to:
The Ugly American Returns!
Originally published in 1958, "The Ugly American" (Lederer & Burdick) documented American blunders abroad and our failure to identify that what we termed communism in undeveloped countries was merely the screams of hunger and hopelessness becoming manifest. 15 years later, we extricated ourselves from Vietnam and licked our wounds for 30 years, finally coming to some sort of accommodation with free fire zones, Agent Orange, and My Lai. Never again, we swore. We would protect our nation's security but only move into war zones when gross injustice or humanitarian concerns demanded a response -- Somalia, Bosnia, the first Gulf War.
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