Monday, May 31, 2010

Obama's Bad Luck Streak Continues

President Obama is as snake bit as a BP Chief Executive. First, the Deepwater Horizon blew out killing 11 people and unleashing an Exxon Valdez sized oil spill every two weeks. Then, Marjah was retaken by the Taliban in the Kandahar region of Southern Afghanistan.

Now, Israeli commandos killed between 14 and 20 activists delivering 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Turkish media reported another 60 wounded. Haaretz reported:

Defense Minister Ehud Barak voiced regret for the deaths, but called the flotilla a political provocation and said the sponsors of the flotilla were violent supporters of a terror organization.

Isreali Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu canceled his upcoming White House visit in light of the incident. Netanyahu spurned the President's invitation. What does this interruption do to their planned intervention on a nuclear, terrorist Iran?

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on the flotilla. In light of Israel's blanket rejection of the UN Goldstone Report on their pummeling of Gaza, who will chair any special commission? Obama's commission appointments, Gulf Oil Catastrophe and Deficit Commission, leave much to be desired.

First oil, now blood is in the water. The world cries for a real investigation.

Update: Nine activists were killed by Israeli forces during the seizing of the ship.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Marjah Failed to Win Hearts/Minds, On to Kandahar

President Obama's Afghan offensive will march on despite data indicating its failure. The operation is intended to drive out the Taliban and win over the population. The Marjah offensive failed on the latter objective. Reuters reported:

A report by policy think tank the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) this week found that 61 percent of 400 men interviewed in and around Marjah felt more negative about NATO forces than before the operation.

On to Kandahar where the offensive is now being described as a "process." Sounds rather clinical, doesn't it? At least to those sitting safely in their American homes.

"More foreign troops means more attacks and more dead civilians," said Khan Mohammad, a car dealer. "I think the government and international troops, especially Americans, should open their eyes and realise they can't beat the Taliban through military means," he said.

"We don't know if this operation brings any advantages, but something we know for sure is innocent people will be killed, harmed and displaced," said Kaka Shirin, a Kandahar shopkeeper.

War is the killing, harming and displacing of innocent people. That's any Commander-in-Chief's implied order, no matter how clinical the verbage of war or how understated the expectations.
Obama warned
the war in Afghanistan will get worse before it gets better. The Afghan people know it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Harmony by Suppression

Consider the following comments:

"The people understand more that splittism brings misfortune and ethnic unity brings happiness."- Hao Peng, the Chinese vice governor of Tibet

"So far, in order to develop harmony, the main method is suppression!"
-The Dalai Lama

This tension plays out in fractal like fashion throughout the globe. One man's cultural good is another's oppression.

Unified happiness cannot be achieved squeezing the breath out large groups of people. The problem looms larger when those pushing controlled happiness have no clue as to the causes of suffering.

So many seem incapable of being in functional relationship with their brother and sisters. This applies to world, political and business leaders. One has to wonder, what's the aim? Is it to destroy the other, to profit excessively, to garner goods at the cheapest cost regardless of risk to others or the earth? How much is enough?

For this generation of mean & greedy leaders, it's never enough.