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Friday, September 25, 2009

Haroon Siddiqui, Tomgram, Uri Avnery, Stephen Lindman, Sidewiki,

You are Barack Obama. The year is 2008. You are running to be president of the United States. You are not part of the establishment. You are not even seen as part of the mainstream. You are a liberal, and seen as such. You opposed the Iraq war and are calling for a troop withdrawal. Your support for Israel is suspect. There are doubts whether you'd whack Israel's perceived enemies, hard. You are even talking about talking to Iran, indeed the Muslim world, from hence come the terrorists. Worse, too many voters think you are a closet Muslim. You have a problem.
You just cannot let your opponents – Hillary Clinton and then John McCain – paint you as soft on terror, the way George W. Bush did with John Kerry in 2004. You must burnish your national security credentials as a potentially strong commander-in-chief. Afghanistan is your answer. It would be your battlefield, both political and military. Haroon Siddiqui

Obama and Netanyahu: The Drama and the Farce By Uri Avnery - No point denying it: in the first round of the match between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu, Obama was beaten.
Obama demanded a freeze of all settlement activity, including East Jerusalem, as a condition for convening a tripartite summit meeting, in the wake of which accelerated peace negotiations were to start, leading to peace between two states – Israel and Palestine. In the words of the ancient proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step. The President of the United States has stumbled.

Tomgram: A Military That Wants Its Way - How to Trap a President in a Losing WarPetraeus, McChrystal, and the SurgettesBy Tom Engelhardt - Front and center in the debate over the Afghan War these days are General Stanley "Stan" McChrystal, Afghan war commander, whose "classified, pre-decisional" and devastating report -- almost eight years and at least $220 billion later, the war is a complete disaster -- was conveniently, not to say suspiciously, leaked to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post by we-know-not-who at a particularly embarrassing moment for Barack Obama; Admiral Michael "Mike" Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has been increasingly vocal about a "deteriorating" war and the need for more American boots on the ground; and the president himself, who blitzed every TV show in sight last Sunday and Monday for his health reform program, but spent significant time expressing doubts about sending more American troops to Afghanistan. ("I'm not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan... or sending a message that America is here for the duration.")

How Israel Targets and Suppresses Opposition to Its Annexation Wall - By Stephen Lendman
Established in 1992, the Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association helps Palestinian prisoners, and works to end torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions, other forms of abuse, and unjust, unequal treatment in Israel's criminal justice system that handles Jews one way and Palestinians another. In July 2009, in cooperation with the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall) and the Palestinian Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, Addameer published a report titled "Repression allowed, Resistance denied" that documents resistance to Israel's apartheid wall and the "staggering level of repression, arrests and violence" by Israeli authorities.

Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study - A pathbreaking study by Harvard and indigenous researchers says there is a genetic relationship between all Indians and the hitherto believed ``fact'' that Aryans and Dravidians signify the ancestry of north and south Indians might after all, be a myth.

Max Boot: Vulgar Propagandist and Apologist for War Crimes By Max Kantar
The recent publication of the UNHRC's report on Israel's December-January assault on the Gaza Strip, also known as the Goldstone Report, has elicited some rather hysterical reactions from Israel's leading apologists. Perhaps among the most desperate of the attempts to deflect legitimate criticism of Israeli war crimes is an article entitled, "The Goldstone Report," [1] written by Max Boot. Boot is an award winning author, distinguished journalist, and served as an editor for the Christian Science Monitor and The Wall Street Journal during the 1990s. He is currently a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations.

Google Sidewiki: the idea that won't die, but never lives By Charles Arthur on Technology
Google's latest idea to "help" people comment is just the latest in a long line of failed attempts by companies trying to get into the middle of online conversations If you want to control the web, control how people get content onto it: be the filter through which that content both arrives and is passed to people. It's an ambitious target. But if you're Google, and your aim is "to organise and make useful the world's information", then it's quite obvious (once you think about it) that what you need to do is be at the centre of all the discussions going on.

Google's ingenious plan to spruce up outdated versions of Internet Explorer. By Farhad Manjoo on technology - In a little more than a year, Google Chrome, the search company's speedy and innovative Web browser, has managed to win over about 3 percent of Internet surfers. Is that good or bad? It's certainly not a blockbuster, but consider the hurdles Google faces. Unlike Internet Explorer or Safari, Chrome doesn't come pre-installed on any computers. True, Mozilla Firefox faces the same problem—but Firefox, which now has about 23 percent of the market, has been around since 2004. You might also argue that Firefox captured an easy market—people who were sick of IE and wanted something better. Chrome can't do the same; everyone who wanted to leave IE has done so already, and the only folks left to convert are those who don't know any better.


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