Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Gaza Strip Massacre

In 2006, Presdent Bush pressured the Israeli government, as well as the President of the Palestinian National Authority - Mahmoud Abbas - to hold democratic elections in the Gaza Strip. Both sides reluctantly agreed. The result was a resounding defeat of Abbas' Fatah party by Hamas - a group listed as a terrorist organization by the United States. The Bush administration was stunned by the results.

Many in Gaza viewed the ruling Fatah party as corrupt and inefficient while Hamas had established its popularity throughout Gaza by creating schools, hospitals, and various other services for its citizens. And, yet, the Bush administration, who is in charge of major foreign policy decisions that impact the world we live in, failed to anticipate this.

When you allow people to have their voices heard through voting - a process known as DEMOCRACY - you must accept and recognize the ruling party that was elected by the people in free and fair elections whether you agree with it or not. Not Bush. He pushed for elections and, when the pro-Western party that he expected to win failed, he funded and backed the Fatah party in its attempt to overthrow Hamas' control in the Gaza Strip. When that failed, the Israeli government along with Egypt, instituted a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, allowing almost no goods to leave Gaza and only limited food supplies to enter; electricity and water supplies have been sporadic since Israel bombed the main power station; and industry in Gaza is basically nonexistant all leading to a very desperate situation for the 1.4 million who populate this region.

This seige, aimed at weakening Hamas, has been going on now for nearly two years, resulting in a collective punishment for all the citizens of Gaza, not just Hamas. In RETALIATION of this blockade, Hamas has fired missles into Israel with little or no damage. Yesterday, in "retaliation" for the missle attacks launched by Hamas, Israel engaged in a deadly attack on Gaza which resulted in the deaths of more than 200 Palestinians and the wounding of nearly 400 more. US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, blamed the current situation on Hamas for breaking a ceasefire with Israel. Of course. This administration is completely clueless and inept. If they are looking to pass out blame, they should start first by looking in the mirror.

As far as Obama is concerned, you are no longer running for office. You will be the president on January 20. You can stop with the rhetoric about Israel's need to defend itself while illegally occupying other people's land. You know it's wrong. You've said so yourself. So do what's right instead of what will get you elected to a second term.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

I'm not much for love stories, so you better bring your "A-Game" if you are going to win me over in the romantic movie department. I saw "Slumdog Millionaire" last night and I would have to say that I was impressed, even if the "love" involved in this story was more subtle than the adventure aspect of this film.

And, if you're feeling down about the current economic climate we are facing, nothing will make you realize that things aren't so bad as watching the abject poverty that the main characters face growing up amid the slums of Mumbai, India. Sprinkle in a few songs by M.I.A. for good measure and I would have to say that "Slumdog Millionaire" was well worth the nine bucks I spent last night.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nite Jewel

Last week, I saw Deerhunter at Emo's and it was an excellent show. I had no idea, however, that there was an opening band by the name of Nite Jewel who had this sort of lo-fi disco sound going. As is the case with putting out a "best of" list before the year is actually up, you usually end up excluding something that you discover late as I did with Nite Jewel. They were excellent live and thier new album - My CD - should have definitely been included as one of my favorite albums of this year. I pulled the same exclusionary thing last year with the Chromatics and Health who put out deserving albums as well. Sorry Nite Jewel.