Sunday, 03 May 2009

IS ISRAEL PREPARING TO STRIKE IRAN?

Ken Berwitz

Is Israel preparing to strike Iran?  According to this report from Israel National News, the answer may well be yes:

Israeli Planes Prepare for Airstrike on Iran


by Avraham Zuroff

 

(IsraelNN.com) While the U.S. is preparing for talks with Iran, Israel appears to be preparing for an attack, according to a plethora of media reports.

Israel Air Force planes conducted exercises between Israel and Gibraltar, including midair refueling, according to a report published Saturday in the French weekly LExpress. The writer speculated that the distance of the exercises that were carried out, 2,361 miles (3,800 km) from Israel, appeared to confirm that the IDF is preparing to attack Iran if Teheran continues its refusal to end its nuclear program.

Two weeks ago, the London-based Sunday Times reported that Israel plans to attack Irans nuclear reactor using three AWAC planes. A senior military official was quoted as saying, Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words.

However, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman downplayed the chances of Israel carrying out a military attack on Iran to halt or destroy its nuclear program. In a report published in last weeks Kleine Zeitung, Lieberman was quoted as saying, "The most effective way is to impose very harsh sanctions. We are not talking about a military strike. Israel cannot solve a global problem militarily.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates strongly warned Israel in mid- April not to attack Iran and said that the only way to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon is if "Iranians themselves decide it's too costly." He told Marine Corps students in an address that a military strike would do nothing more than delay Iran's nuclear programs while it would unify Iranians in an "undying hatred of whoever hits them."

Gates said that Western thinking should be geared toward arguing that nuclear weapons in Iran would diminish and not improve its security, "particularly if it launches an arms race in the Middle East."

Now why would Israel consider a strike on Iran?  Isn't that an act of aggression against a country that has not attacked (not yet, anyway)?  Isn't it a dangerous behavior on Israel's part that could potentially cause other countries to get involved, and even result in the use of nuclear weapons?

Well, let's think about this:

Iran is run by fanatical mullahs, fronted by a madman named mahmoud ahmedinejad who has specifically told us that Israel should not exist and that he wants it "wiped off the face of the earth". 

If that were just talk, it would be odious but we could laugh it off.  Unfortunately, it is not just talk.  Iran is also working triple-overtime to create the nuclear weapons which would enable it to make good on that intention.  This puts Israel in the position of either doing nothing as Iran becomes capable of obliterating it, or preemptively doing something to prevent it.

What exactly are Israel's options? 

-It can talk to the UN, which is dominated by countries that hate the country and its Jewish population.  That doesn't look very promising. 

-It can ask the United States to intercede.  But the current administration has made it perfectly clear that it considers this a diplomatic issue, or, if you can believe that quote from Robert Gates, an internal Iranian issue.  There does not appear to be any understanding that it is an issue of Israel's national security.

You can bet that if a country was developing nuclear weaponry and assuring the world it wants to wipe the USA off the face of the earth, we would see it in national security terms.  But somehow, in the happy horsemanure world of our current administration, this is not the case with Israel.

The bottom line here is that there are no good options.  Picking among the bad ones, however, it is perfectly reasonable for Israel to take action that will prevent its mortal enemy from hitting it with nuclear weapons. 

It looks to me like Israel doesn't have any other options.  What do you think?

BOBW I WILL REPLY TO YOUR QUESTION WITH A QUESTION. "WHAT WOULD THE USA DO IF RUSSIA BUILT UP A WAR ARSENAL IN CUBA WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS"? AND STATED THAT THE INTENT WAS TO DESTROY THE USA. CASE CLOSED. (05/03/09)


SELLING GAY MARRIAGE

Ken Berwitz

If you read this blog, you know that I fully support the right of same-sex couples to marry (whether or not the term "marriage" is actually used) and to enjoy all the benefits of heterosexual marriage. 

I know that a great many people disagree with me on this issue.  While I wish they didn't, that wish doesn't change the fact that they feel as they do. I can't magically will them to my way of thinking.

But some media venues apparently think they can and should do so - even if it means phonying up their news coverage.

Steve Gilbert at www.sweetess-light.com, provides a blatant example below:

AP Apes NYT On GOP And Gay Marriage

May 2nd, 2009

 

Some more homosexual marriage agit prop parading as news from the Associated Press:

Dems: Opportunity as gay marriage acceptance grows

By Liz Sidoti, Associated Press Writer

 

WASHINGTON Gay marriage legalization in several states and the publics growing acceptance of same-sex unions have Democrats sensing political opportunity and some Republicans re-evaluating their partys hard-line opposition to an issue that long has rallied its base.

 

In recent weeks, Vermont and Iowa have legalized same-sex marriage, while New York, Maine and New Hampshire have taken steps in that direction. Polls show younger Americans are far are more tolerant on the issue than are older generations. For now at least, the public is much more focused on the troubled economy and two wars than on social issues.

In addition, over the past decade, public acceptance of gay marriage has changed dramatically

With congressional elections next year, Republicans, Democrats and nonpartisan analysts [sic] say the changes benefit Democrats, whose bedrock liberals favor gay unions, and disadvantage Republicans, whose conservative base insists that marriage be solely between a man and a woman

 

In recent months, proponents have used state legislatures and court challenges to legalize gay marriage, mindful that the majority of the public still isnt supportive and successful ballot measures would be less likely

For years, the GOP and its conservative base has used its opposition to gay marriage to drive Republican turnout in elections and marginalize party moderates. Measures defining marriage between a man and a woman that were on ballots in a slew of states in 2004 were widely credited with boosting the number of conservative voters, giving Republican George W. Bush an edge over Democrat John Kerry.

 

But theres been conflicting evidence since then over just how much that contributed to Bushs victory.

Whats certain is that opposition to gay marriage for decades has been a potent tool for the GOP in rallying social conservatives. They are critical to the partys grass-roots organizing and small-dollar fundraising.

But as more states accept gay and lesbian unions, there is a debate inside the party over how it should position itself on the issue. The dispute is just one part of a broader struggle within the out-of-power GOP over its identity and whether it should focus on rallying conservatives or attracting supporters from across the political spectrum.

Some prominent Republicans are backing away from cut-and-dried opposition, and some party operatives say its only a matter of time before others follow suit because the country is changing.

 

Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah, a Mormon who is a potential presidential candidate, backed a 2004 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But he says he favors civil unions and extending some legal rights to gay couples.

 

Last month, John McCains chief campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, told the Log Cabin Republicans: "Even though a majority of Republicans remain opposed to it, we must respect dissent on the subject within the party and encourage debate over it, and should not reject out of hand and on specious grounds that the party might be in the wrong on the question."

 

The shifting landscape is emboldening the gay-rights movement, a pillar of the Democratic Partys left flank.

"We are at a tipping point moment," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading advocate of gay rights. "The lingering minority that continues to think that the way to win is to hold GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) people up as a wedge could not be more out of touch."

Once again we are the victim of journalistic malpractice as the our one party media push their agenda.

Just like the New York Times did last week, the Associated Press cites two people to substantiate its claim that the Republican Party is changing its stance on homosexual marriage.

 

And, just as The Times did, the AP characterizes remarks from a Republican Mormon(!) as proving their point:

Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah, a Mormon who is a potential presidential candidate, backed a 2004 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But he says he favors civil unions and extending some legal rights to gay couples.

 

How does this show that Gov. Huntsman is in favor of homosexual marriage?

 

Further parroting the New York Times, the AP turns to their now favorite McCain ex-staffer, Steve Schmidt, for their money quote such as it is.

 

(Once again we are no where told that Mr. Schmidt is a man who has argued long and hard against the conservative social agenda.)

 

Yet even Mr. Schmidt admits that the majority of Republicans still oppose homosexual marriages.

 

Still, this is good enough for the Associated Press to claim there is a trend.

 

Never mind that everywhere voters have been allowed to have a say on the issue, such as in the very liberal state of California, they have voted strongly against homosexual marriages.

 

But this is the kind of propaganda we are fed by our media masters each and every day. And they wonder why people are getting sick of paying for it.

As you might expect, I'm pretty conflicted in putting up this piece.  While he does not say it in so many words, Gilbert comes across as anti-gay marriage and, as noted earlier, I am not.  I don't understand why anyone would think a person's sexual orientation is anyone else's business. 

But his blog so clearly shows how media can "create" a movement and bring it forward, that I felt it was important for you to see it.

(Finally, in case you're wondering, I'm heterosexual - not that it should make a bit of difference one way or the other).

WisOldMan Ken,once again you're missing the point re: the gay marriage issue. People don't "oppose" gays marrying anymore than they oppose the wind blowing...not a majority of people, anyway. The issue is simply the terminology: we know what marriage is, Ken. Gays want marriage. Fine. Let them get their own name for it, okay ? We do it for human sexuality, which is where the terms hetero and homo come from. Are you okay with that, or should we change that terminology, too ? Afterall, aren't we all equal, Ken ? Hope this helps you understand the issue. It's not complex: it's not marriage, anymore than it's heterosexual. Therefore, let the homosexual activists find their own term. How 'bout "gay marriage" ? Or is that bigoted...afterall, it is a label. Of course, that's not acceptable to the activist community, for this isn't about "civil rights" at all...this is about radicals turning the culture on its' ear...and people like myself oppose them...yes, even though some of the activists are friends and family...we can do this, because we're not Iran...and hopefully, we can do it one day without people calling us names...then posturing that they of course are hip, groovy, superior...what have you...and you know the people I mean, Ken...because they usually wrap up their preach with the "Of course, I'm heterosexual" disclaimer...:) (05/03/09)

Ken Berwitz Wis - as you know (I think), I agree that this is largely a semantic issue. I agree that a lot of people who are against gay marriage would be more willing to accept it under a different name. I have said as much numbers of times in here; my position is hardly a secret. It was not mentioned in this specific blog because the issue was not acceptance per se, but that media are actively pursuing an agenda rather than reporting news. Regarding my statement (it is not a disclaimer) that I am heterosexual, I added it because I've found that, otherwise, some people assume I'm gay and my position is nothing other than a rationalization of my existence. I point out that I'm not so they'll know it isn't that at all, it is just the way I feel. (05/03/09)


LAUGHING AT THE RECESSION (!!)

Ken Berwitz

Can you believe there is a way to laugh at our economic situation? 

My sister came across this animation from Walt Handelsman of Newsday.com.  She emailed it to me and I'm passing it along to you.  I promise it will cause you to laugh about our economic situation (even if it is through gritted teeth):

 

Animation: Recession Sing-A-Long!

The classic "West Side Story" is enjoying its Broadway revival. Now comes the remix, "Worst Slide Story."

Watch more animations from Walt Handelsman

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