Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

Obama Buys Into Anger, Fear as Political Tool

March 27, 2009

There is a clear message being sent of “we’ll get this, or else.”

Radicals protesting  the G20 summit transmit the message clearly.

Even President Barack Obama has gently used veiled threats and insinuations that he’ll go to any lengths to get what he wants.

“We won” flies in the face of bipartisanship and comity.

When Obama made his “outrage” remarks about the AIG bonuses, that was quickly followed up by Rep. Barney Frank asking for the names of all the AIG bonus recipients.

Then ACORN showed up to protest at the homes of some of those same AIG people.

Yesterday, two Washington Post reporters said the President of the United States is “attempting to harness public anger over the financial crisis” to pass his budget.

Once or twice, the president has lamely, limply, really, tried to mimic FDR’s “nothing to fear but fear itself” speech; but more often than not, “No Drama Obama” has hinted at other emotions beyond calm.
Obama is banking that his strong poll numbers will translate into the public trust and confidence he’ll need to reform, some say overhaul, and some say radically attack the financial system and Wall Street.

But pollster Frank Luntz and others say although the public approves of Obama himself, they reject some of his policies.

Public anger as a political tool?  That’s been used before but rarely by the president.

And the use of fear by the President of the United States at this time is disconcerting at the least.  Americans have plenty of fear and anger already: after losing jobs, retirement funds, and homes.

What American need is trust.  But at a time when trust in Wall Street, bankers and others is at low ebb, the president is talking about fear, crisis, catastrophe, anger and “outrage.”

Laughing on Leno and “60 Minutes” was a lame attempt to blind the facts.

My imagination running amok?  Hardly.  In Scotland, protesters attacked a bank executive’s home and inflicted thousands of dollars of damage.  In Paris the protesters rioted, setting tires on fire in the streets frequented by tourists.  Around the world, the economic crisis is turning from simmering outrage to a boil of fear and violence.

The G20 will be something to watch: not just because of the usually boring diplomatic and financial talk.  This time there are real issues and differences and the future of the American and world banking systems could surely hang in the outcome.

But added to that is an atmosphere of fear and even violence: and that is not a good way to do business.

Anger, Lawlessness Fueling U.S., Global Economic Revolution?

Obama, Geithner, Summers Plan for “Toxic Assets” May be Toxic Itself

Obama’s public overexposure

Obama Still Thinks After Economy Recovers; Bank, Finance Good Times Can Return?

 Obama’s Economic “Rescue;” “The plan is very, very clever. Maybe too clever.”

Mexico: Too Dangerous for U.S. Marines

January 22, 2009

For tens of thousands of U.S. Marines in Southern California, new orders from the brass amount to: Baghdad si, Tijuana no.

Citing a wave of violence and murder in Mexico, the commanding officer of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Pendleton has made the popular military “R&R” destinations of Tijuana and nearby beaches effectively off-limits for his Marines.

By William Welch
USA Today

The order by Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland restricts travel into Mexico by the 44,000 members of the unit, many of whom have had multiple tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other combat zones under their belts — or are there now.

The limits were first put in place for the Christmas holiday. Last week the commander extended the order indefinitely, said Mike Alvarez, civilian public information officer for the unit at Camp Pendleton.

“The situation in Mexico is now more dangerous than usual,” he said. “The intent is just to look out for the Marines’ safety and well-being.”

Read the rest:

President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico's President Felipe ... 
President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)


Indiscriminate kidnappings. Nearly daily beheadings. Gangs that mock and kill government agents.

This isn’t Iraq or Pakistan. It’s Mexico, which the U.S. government and a growing number of experts say is becoming one of the world’s biggest security risks.

Mexico: Obama Can’t Ignore Elephant on the Continent
 Drugs, Crime Make Mexico “Under Sustained Assault”
Mexico: “under sustained assault”; Could “collapse” — U.S. Military

Gaza: Some Blame “Zionists,” Some Iran

January 5, 2009

There is violence, death and by our definition war in Gaza.

Iran blames the “Zionists;” unable to even recognize that Israel is a state and a member of the United Nations.

But some blame Iran itself, calling for action against that nation. 

Gaza Day 11: Civilian Losses Mount; Israel Unmoved
Iran Claims 70,000 Volunteer to Fight Israel
Iran Behind Hamas, Hezbollah, Key Israelis, Others Say

Here is a report from Joe Klein at Time Magazine:

Leave it to Bill Kristol to take the situation in Gaza–a necessary corrective action on Israel’s part, I believe (with a few caveats)–and transform it into a call for war with Iran. But here he is, in today’s Times:

The huge challenge for the Obama administration is going to be Iran. If Israel had yielded to Hamas and refrained from using force to stop terror attacks, it would have been a victory for Iran. If Israel were now to withdraw under pressure without accomplishing the objectives of severely weakening Hamas and preventing the reconstitution of a terror-exporting state in Gaza, it would be a triumph for Iran. In either case, the Iranian regime would be emboldened, and less susceptible to the pressure from the Obama administration to stop its nuclear program.

But a defeat of Hamas in Gaza — following on the heels of our success in Iraq — would be a real setback for Iran. It would make it easier to assemble regional and international coalitions to pressure Iran. It might positively affect the Iranian elections in June. It might make the Iranian regime more amenable to dealing.

With respect to Iran, Obama may well face — as the Israeli government did with Hamas — a moment when the use of force seems to be the only responsible option.

Kristol is doing several dreadful things here. First, he is defining Israel’s operation in the starkest possible terms–victory or defeat–without defining either. To my mind, a clear-cut Israeli victory would be the end of rocket attacks from Gaza (as was accomplished on Israel’s northern border, a little-noticed victory in the 2006 war with Hezbollah) and the cessation on weapons-smuggling through the tunnels on Gaza’s border with Egypt. It will not be the elimination of Hamas or the end of Hamas rule in Gaza. That’s not going to happen. And so the clearest path to an Israeli victory is a negotiated cease fire of the sort offered by France and rejected by Israel last week–which was Israel’s first major mistake in what has been a well-planned campaign.

The more I think about it, the ground assault has the potential to be a second big mistake. It has made a symbolic defeat more possible, if still unlikely. If the IDF gets hung up in alley-fighting in Gaza City, with significant casualties–that will be seen as a defeat. If Hamas guerrilllas can kidnap or use suicide bombers to attack the IDF positions outside Gaza, that will also be seen as an indication of Israeli vulnerability. The problem is that the expectations for Hamas–which already has had its military capability smashed decisively, if truth be told–are so low. Any symbolic victory has disproportionate effect.

Read the rest:

Iran Diplomat Says Gaza Violence is US Plot Against Islamic World

December 29, 2008

Iran’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Republic Nasser Hamidi-Zare said Monday that Gaza tragedy is a sequel to the US plots in the Middle East.

Speaking to IRNA Monday, he added that Islamic Ummah should be vigilant about overt and covert plots of the US and the Zionist regime which have taken aim at Islamic world, and support Palestinians by maintaining their union.

Stating that the Zionist regime was founded on terror and it will continue its life with terror acts, he noted that the regime is a big threat to the region’s security and world, Islamic Ummah in particular.

Referring to the recent crimes in Gaza, Hamidi went on to say that today, all the Muslims and freedom-seekers shoulder the responsibility to condemn Zionist regime’s crimes in Gaza and sympathize with the Palestinians.


 Iran Behind Hamas, Hezbollah, Key Israelis, Others Say

Israeli Foreign Minister Says Hamas Is to Blame; U.S. Seems To Agree

December 28, 2008

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni defended the Israeli assault in Gaza, saying on America’s Sunday morning talk shows that Hamas, not Israel, “is the one who needs to be condemned by the international community.”

By Sharon Otterman
The New York Times

Hamas rocket hits Israeli house

Above: Aftermath of Hamas rocket hitting an Israeli house

Reacting to anger from the Arab world, as well a call by the United Nations to cease hosilities, Ms. Livni said on “Fox News Sunday” that the assault “is needed in order to change the realities on the ground, and to give peace and quiet to the citizens in southern Israel.”

Speaking from Jerusalem in taped interviews, Ms. Livni said that until Hamas recognized Israel’s right to exist and ceased rocket attacks against Israel, they remained terrorists who needed to be acted against. The Israeli air assault has killed at least 280 Palestinians since it began Saturday.

She said army was seeking to avoid unnecessary deaths in the assault against Hamas headquarters in Gaza. Palestinian hospitals have reported numerous civilians among the dead and wounded.

“We are targeting Hamas, we are not looking for civilians to kill more than that,” she said in a second interview, on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Israel Sees Existential Fight: Enemies, Uncertainty All Around

Read the rest:


The Bush administration, due to hand over to Obama on January 20, put the onus on Hamas, the Islamists in charge of Gaza, to prevent more violence. It did not demand an end to Israeli attacks but urged all concerned to protect innocent lives.

Israel’s attacks on Gaza three weeks before Barack Obama becomes U.S. president pose an unexpected challenge for a man who has promised to work for Middle East peace from his first day in office.

Jordanians shout anti-Israel and anti-U.S. slogans during a ... 
Jordanians shout anti-Israel and anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration against Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip, in Amman December 27, 2008.(Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)

By Reuters: Read it all:


India, Pakistan must confront threat of more violence

December 9, 2008

As the last Mumbai sites were being cleared of terrorists, grim signs emerged of the challenges that face India and Pakistan.

Unfortunately, beginning to know what the Mumbai attack was — and what it was not — only augurs more violence for India. At least three factors are at play.

First, the fact that the attacks thus far have been attributed largely to Pakistani terrorists doesn’t mean that India’s internal challenges are less dire.

Indian officials first claimed, based upon the reported testimony of the only surviving gunman, that the attack was perpetrated by 10 Pakistanis associated with the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, acting without the assistance of local facilitators. In recent days, Indian officials have embraced the possibility that Indians may have helped support the grisly attack.

Indeed, India will continue to confront an expanding array of internal foes. Until recently, India has generally dismissed the importance of home-grown Islamist militant groups and has focused instead upon the Pakistan-based groups.

Many within and without India have claimed that India’s democratic institutions provide Muslims and other marginalized social groups political means to redress their grievances. Yet this narrative obscures the fact that many foreign terrorists have long relied upon Indians for logistical support, and disregards the increasing participation of Indian personnel in India’s other recent attacks.

By C. Christine Fair

Read the rest: