The US Is Defending Not Just Its Closest Ally in Israeli Raid, but Also Approach to War

I think there’s more to America’s defense of Israel’s attack on the Free Gaza flotilla than simply more blind support for Israel. By defending Israel’s attack, members of the US elite are also defending a problematic legal stance–one that the US has adopted in its own counterterrorist efforts.

Let’s start with this premise: the only way Israel’s attack on the flotilla was legal under international law was if it can argue that it is at war with Gaza–which also means that the only way the attack was legal was if Israel treats Gaza as a state. A number of people have made this observation, but for our purposes Craig Murray’s explanation will suffice.

Every comments thread on every internet site on the world which has discussed the Israeli naval murders, has been inundated by organised ZIonist commenters stating that the Israeli action was legal under the San Remo Manual of International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.

They ignore those parts of San Remo that specifically state that it is illegal to enforce a general blockade on an entire population. But even apart from that, San Remo simply does not apply.

The manual relates specifically to legal practice in time of war. With whom is Israel at war?

There is no war.

Israeli apologists have gone on to say they are in a state of armed conflict with Gaza.

Really? In that case, why do we continually hear Israeli complaints about rockets fired from Gaza into Israel? If it is the formal Israeli position that it is in a state of armed conflict with Gaza, then Gaza has every right to attack Israel with rockets.

But in fact, plainly to the whole world, the nature and frequency of Israeli complaints about rocket attacks gives evidence that Israel does not in fact believe that a situation of armed conflict exists.

Secondly, if Israel wishes to claim it is in a state of armed conflict with Gaza, then it must treat all of its Gazan prisoners as prisoners of war entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention. If you are in a formal state of armed conflict, you cannot categorise your opponents as terrorists.

But again, it is plain for the world to see from its treatment and description of Gazan prisoners that it does not consider itself to be in a formal position of armed conflict.

Israel is seeking to pick and choose which bits of law applicable to armed conflict it applies, by accepting or not accepting it is in armed conflcit depending on the expediency of the moment.

This is the same principle that says we can’t simultaneously argue CIA can target Predator drones at people in countries we’re not at war with, while at the same time insisting that when Omar Khadr allegedly threw a grenade during hostilities it was illegal.

Yet as last week’s UN report on targeted killings makes clear, both Israel and the US (and some other countries) have tried to make similar claims as they expand the application of targeted killings, including the use of Predator drones.  The report traces the use and dubious legality of targeted killings by Israel against Palestinians to the 1990s and by Russia against Chechnyans to 1999. It’s in that tradition that our own program of targeted killing started shortly after 9/11.

The report goes on to explain why both the US and Israel might be inclined to treat their actions against terrorists as an armed conflict.

47. On the other hand, both the US and Israel have invoked the existence of an armed conflict against alleged terrorists (“non-state armed groups”).95 The appeal is obvious: the [international humanitarian law] applicable in armed conflict arguably has more permissive rules for killing than does human rights law or a State’s domestic law, and generally provides immunity to State armed forces.96 Because the law of armed conflict has fewer due process safeguards, States also see a benefit to avoiding compliance with the more onerous requirements for capture, arrest, detention or extradition of an alleged terrorist in another State. IHL is not, in fact, more permissive than human rights law because of the strict IHL requirement that lethal force be necessary. But labeling a situation as an armed conflict might also serve to expand executive power both as a matter of domestic law and in terms of public support.

48. Although the appeal of an armed conflict paradigm to address terrorism is obvious, so too is the significant potential for abuse. Internal unrest as a result of insurgency or other violence by non-state armed groups, and even terrorism, are common in many parts of the world. If States unilaterally extend the law of armed conflict to situations that are essentially matters of law enforcement that must, under international law, be dealt with under the framework of human rights, they are not only effectively declaring war against a particular group, but eviscerating key and necessary distinctions between international law frameworks that restricts States’ ability to kill arbitrarily. [my emphasis]

Israel is currently asserting its commando team is immune from laws about murder and piracy. And the reference to the appeal of an armed conflict as a rationale to expand executive power really sums up the last nine years of American history.

Where the US and Israeli preference to treat counterterrorism as armed conflict really goes astray of the law is in the definition of whom they may target.

58. In international armed conflict, combatants may be targeted at any time and any place (subject to the other requirements of IHL).108 Under the IHL applicable to noninternational armed conflict, the rules are less clear. In non-international armed conflict, there is no such thing as a “combatant.”109 Instead – as in international armed conflict – States are permitted to directly attack only civilians who “directly participate in hostilities” (DPH).110 Because there is no commonly accepted definition of DPH, it has been left open to States’ own interpretation – which States have preferred not to make public – to determine what constitutes DPH.

59. There are three key controversies over DPH. First, there is dispute over the kind of conduct that constitutes “direct participation” and makes an individual subject to attack. Second, there is disagreement over the extent to which “membership” in an organized armed group may be used as a factor in determining whether a person is directly participating in hostilities. Third, there is controversy over how long direct participation lasts.

60. It is not easy to arrive at a definition of direct participation that protects civilians and at the same time does not “reward” an enemy that may fail to distinguish between civilians and lawful military targets, that may deliberately hide among civilian populations and put them at risk, or that may force civilians to engage in hostilities.111 The key, however, is to recognize that regardless of the enemy’s tactics, in order to protect the vast majority of civilians, direct participation may only include conduct close to that of a fighter, or conduct that directly supports combat. More attenuated acts, such as providing financial support, advocacy, or other non-combat aid, does not constitute direct participation.

61. Some types of conduct have long been understood to constitute direct participation, such as civilians who shoot at State forces or commit acts of violence in the context of hostilities that would cause death or injury to civilians. Other conduct has traditionally been excluded from direct participation, even if it supports the general war effort; such conduct includes political advocacy, supplying food or shelter, or economic support and propaganda (all also protected under other human rights standards). Even if these activities ultimately impact hostilities, they are not considered “direct participation.” But there is a middle ground, such as for the proverbial “farmer by day, fighter by night”, that has remained unclear and subject to uncertainty. [my emphasis]

The report goes on to note that expanding this secret definition of what constitutes someone directly participating in hostilities is what gives the US (and Israel) their self-rationale for targeting those far from actual terrorism.

68. The failure of States to disclose their criteria for DPH is deeply problematic because it gives no transparency or clarity about what conduct could subject a civilian to killing. It also leaves open the likelihood that States will unilaterally expand their concept of direct participation beyond permissible boundaries. Thus, although the US has not made public its definition of DPH, it is clear that it is more expansive than that set out by the ICRC; in Afghanistan, the US has said that drug traffickers on the “battlefield” who have links to the insurgency may be targeted and killed.120 This is not consistent with the traditionally understood concepts under IHL – drug trafficking is understood as criminal conduct, not an activity that would subject someone to a targeted killing. And generating profits that might be used to fund hostile actions does not constitute DPH.

Thus, using the Israeli and US approach, you can target and use lethal force with those providing humanitarian supplies. Or–piggybacking on Jeremy Scahill’s must-read elaboration of the WaPo’s story on expanded counterterrorism operations this morning–you can use covert force in places (like Georgia or Bolivia) where the threat may have more to do with organized crime, drugs, or even anti-energy forces.

And of course, the UN report is only treating targeted killing. But the US has been expanding its definition of a combatant in its detention practice, as well, not only to include those who provide shelter or money or propaganda, but potentially also to groups not covered under the AUMF.

Now all this is something the US is fairly explicit about.

So while the largely uncritical support in DC for Israel feels like more of our typical uncritical support for Israel, the US has something else at stake here: the underlying justification Israel used for this attack largely matches the expansive rationale the US uses in its own counterterrorism actions.

And that’s why this attack may be significant for more than just the opportunity to provide Gaza with some humanitarian relief. US support for Israel here–against a NATO ally–has isolated us even more than our previous support for Israel has. Perhaps as a result, Craig Murray notes, this Israeli attack has freed America’s European allies to start talking about how problematic the larger American approach on Afghanistan and counterterrorism generally has been.

“Nobody but the Americans doubts the U.S. position on the Gaza attack is wrong and insensitive. But everyone already quietly thought the same about wider American policy. This incident has allowed people to start saying that now privately to each other.”

While it’s by no means clear that the fallout from the Israel attack will directly challenge US abuse of counterterrorism power, it may focus more attention on it.

Update: I made a bunch of small edits to this after I posted and planted some tomatillo plants.

140 replies
  1. Jim White says:

    And of course, the UN report is only treating targeting killing. But the US has been slowly expanding its definition of a combatant in its detention practice, as well, not only to include those who provide shelter or money or propaganda, but potentially also to groups not covered under the AUMF.

    Or perhaps to those providing legal representation to those groups? Perhaps we should ask Ms. Kagan one more time before she is confirmed…

  2. brendanx says:

    Gee, you must be disappointed.

    every internet site on the world which has discussed the Israeli naval murders, has been inundated by organised ZIonist commenters stating that the Israeli action was legal under the San Remo Manual of International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.

    …and all you got was “cregan”.

    • bmaz says:

      We are going to try to press on in shame nevertheless…..

      As to Cregan, as Marcy said, we may be at loggerheads on many things, but he argues his beliefs in good faith; and I need all the Pac-10 friends I can get.

      • rosalind says:

        I need all the Pac-10 friends I can get.

        (speaking of…this week’s Pac 10 expansion gossip:

        “Speculation continues to swirl around the future make-up of the Pac-10 and Big 12 as both conferences hold meetings to discuss what’s next in college sports’ impending game of musical chairs.”)


        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, I heard one report that made me cringe; to wit that the PAC was going to offer membership to six of the Big 12 schools Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado. They would then be placed in an “Eastern Division” with ASU and Arizona. Like I want ASU stuck in a division with the Aggies and Okies. Jeebus, what a nightmare of dustbowl boredom. Plus, I would much rather have Boise State and Utah as they are a lot more fun to watch than the Big 12 junk.

          • GulfCoastPirate says:

            Oops – I see you’ve already heard.

            The other word down here is the Aggies may not be so hot on the idea and may be looking to stay put. Plus, the Oklahoma schools have to go as a package according to OK law so if the Aggies don’t go then the OK schools may not either.

            In any event, don’t plan any road trips to College Station. The place will drive you nuts. I can make it there in about two hours so if you’re insistent on making a game you can come stay with me and we’ll make a quick trip to see the game and a quick escape out of town. Once will be enough – I assure you.

        • R.H. Green says:

          He may not be the one you’re thinking of. I seem to recall a new commenter who appeared that day and drew a lot of attention away from the posted topic (including mine; I could be wrong,have to look).

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        The word down here is the Whorns with some friends may be headed to the PAC10 to make a PAC16 where the Arizona schools will join the newcomers in a Western Division. You better send the word out to your neighbors to watch out for the Whorns. They aren’t known as the Klingons around here for nothing. Maybe some of your friends should have a look at their arrest records before they issue the invite.

        • bmaz says:

          I used to go to away games every now and then. LA, Frisco and the Oregon and Washington coasts are all pretty fun places. I ain’t going to fucking Lubbock, College Station and Muskogee.

          • Mason says:

            I ain’t going to fucking Lubbock, College Station and Muskogee.

            Should be the lyrics to the next Country music hit.

  3. brendanx says:

    By defending Israel’s attack, members of the US elite are also defending a problematic legal stance–one that the US has adopted in its own counterterrorist efforts.

    We’re consciously imitative of the Israelis. As an example, the first public defense of torture I ever saw was Alan Dershowitz’s proposal of torture warrants on 60 Minutes in 2002; we were being groomed to model ourselves on them.

    • bobschacht says:

      We’re consciously imitative of the Israelis. As an example, the first public defense of torture I ever saw was Alan Dershowitz’s proposal of torture warrants on 60 Minutes in 2002; we were being groomed to model ourselves on them.

      I’m convinced that this goes back to George W. Bush’s encounters with Ariel Sharon. I think Bush admired Ariel as a Manly Man, and he greatly admired what he saw as Sharon’s toughness. So a lot of Bush’s staged swagger was his way of trying to imitate Sharon.

      Of course, Bush’s Middle East team was full of Israeli-sympathetic neocons, so this diary does not surprise me at all, and only confirms and provides thorough documentation for my suspicions. I just wish Obama would clean house, and bring back some of the people who he nominated but abandoned.

      Bob in AZ

    • lily15 says:

      So now the conspiracy theories? Israel is to blame for U.S. actions under George Bush? This is pure anti semitic incitement and believe me, it is being heard. 80% of Jews here voted and gave money to Democrats, including me. But as I read these hateful comments on a supposedly progressive site, I am disgusted and appalled at the manipulation of people against Israel and Jews. Unfortunately, it appears too many are brainwashed by hogwash. Any woman here who would support a murderous organization like Hamas, which the Palestinians in Gaza elected, deserves to be questioned about her true loyalty to women’s causes. All of these radical groups embody an ideology that is anti woman. Iran executes girls who are raped or rebel…women are chattels in the Arab/Islamic world ruled by sharia and the men in their life. There is an effective apartheid all right..and it is on women. They are restricted in what they learn and where they go and with whom. Is this the status you want to perpetuate. You prefer demonizing Israel to demonizing the treatment of women by radical Islam? And there are progressives here trying to help these murderous people?

      What do you think….that you will perpetuate this second class status of women? The far left is both anti semitic and anti woman and represents a threat to progress. And I for one, will now make every effort to persuade my friends that with progressive friends like these, who needs enemies. One of the most forceful voices in health care was Congressman Anthony Weiner. And what reception does he get here? Jews will realize that the left is a danger to them and Israel and will begin donating their campaign contributions elsewhere. Obama has already distinguished himself with his incompetence in handling the spill….his fear of pushing BP, while we all watch in horror as very little is done on the beaches and coasts. Jews will not quickly forget the unfair treatment they receive on supposedly progressive sites. Because it is not progressive to support terrorists and their aims. And if you actually believe you are fighting for something else, you should employ some critical thinking skills.

      But the damage is being done. Many progressive Jews are leaving the Democrats…and I am one. I disagree vehemently with Republicans on many issues….but I won’t allow Progressives to keep perpetrating hateful and anti semitic lies about Israel and Jews. And that’s what I read here. You will be discredited in everything once your anti semitism becomes known. It is stupid and brainless…and the people here should be embarrassed to be taken in by either political correctness, brainwashing or sheer stupidity. Don’t forget New York City was targeted as are our airplanes.
      And it has nothing to do with the Palestinians.

      • Hugh says:

        But the damage is being done. Many progressive Jews are leaving the Democrats…and I am one. I disagree vehemently with Republicans on many issues….but I won’t allow Progressives to keep perpetrating hateful and anti semitic lies about Israel and Jews.

        This is just wrong in so many ways. First, Democrats and progressives are not synonymous. In fact, looking at the Congress and the White House and their actions during the healthcare debate, it is safe to say there are no progressives currently in Washington in office.

        Second, the Democrats have been just as sycophantic toward Israel as the Republicans. So this concern troll “I’m leaving the Democrats, blah, blah, blah” is either incredibly wrongheaded or simply dishonest.

        Third, that you can’t distinguish between Israel and Jews, or the difference between American national interests and Israeli ones shows that you are just another irrational kneejerk supporter of a cause, essentially no different than any other kind of wingnut.

        Fourth, if you can’t apply the same criticial thinking, intellectual and ethical standards to Israel/Palestine that a progressive would apply if this were Burma, or China, or the US, then you aren’t a progressive at all. So you are leaving a group of which you were never a part. Pardon us if we don’t wish you good-bye.

        • kindGSL says:

          Thanks for the defense. I felt attacked but speechless, exactly the effect they want to have on us. Thank you for rebutting it item by item.

        • Twain says:

          Amazing article. I has no idea that things like that were going on in Israel. Talk about racist ! Yep, right up there with the Klan.

        • papau says:

          The ILLEGAL West Bank settlement of Immanuel should be under Palestinian rule to begin with -but in any case the Haaretz article does not show racism in Israel. The racism asserted is by country of parents origin, yet the schools in Immanuel have mixed groups everywhere.

          What is occurring is parents choosing different forms of Judaism to have their children taught, and the schools assigning a dress code to students in each group – – followed by a crazy administrator that felt the dress code was not enough and who is insisting on physical separation during school hours – similar to have 3 building on a school campus and students not being allowed to leave the assigned by class schedule building during school hours.

          Not quite the same as a war on women that is the fact on the ground in many Islamic countries.

          Back on topic: Israel is likely to restart worldwide shipping to Gaza but with a blockade of weapons enforced by requiring ships dock first in Israel for cargo inspection before going on to Gaza. It will be interesting to see if ship loading/unloading jobs are of interest to Hamas – or if the game is solely to push EU left hot buttons with “blockade”. It will also be of interest to see if Egypt will go along and lift their own country’s blockade of Gaza to the extent necessary to allow this.

          • eblair says:

            So it’s kind of a separate but equal thing? Do people really choose to be Ashkenazi or Mizrahi? I thought you were basically born one.

          • kindGSL says:

            Not quite the same as a war on women that is the fact on the ground in many Islamic countries.

            Israel’s Slave Trade Continues Unabated

            From the story,

            Israel’s law against trafficking remains fundamentally flawed because, like all Israeli law, there is a different standard for Jews and non-Jews. According to an Israeli expert who exposed this double standard within Israeli law, the late Israel Shahak, under Jewish laws “racist definition, all women who happen to have been born non-Jewish are automatically considered to be ‘harlots’.”

  4. DWBartoo says:

    The US and Israel see the same “battlefield”.

    It is “our” “looking forward”, this endless war, and it is everywhere.

    EW, what do you imagine are the chances that any American “Wisdoms” will speak to what you have laid out plain? In Congress, in academia, or even within the ranks of those who concern themselves with the rule of law?

    Thank you, for daring to speak out, for daring to concentrate the minds of others.


    • emptywheel says:

      Slim to none. I think it more likely that isolation and criticism come from the international community. And this blatant abuse of the NATO alliance–even while we rely on NATO in Afghanistan–is likely to be the sticking point. Do read the whole Murray piece on it, cause it lays out how quickly this gets into Afghan policy.

  5. Mary says:

    This is a really really, very very, important post. It’s the heart of things – I didn’t realize that the UN report (which is where it looks like a lot of your quoted material is from) was so well done.

  6. brendanx says:

    US support for Israel here–against a NATO ally–has isolated us even more than our previous support for Israel has.

    Irreproachably liberal Anthony Weiner called Turkey “our former ally” today. Kind of like that Furkan Dogan is now a former citizen.

  7. DWBartoo says:

    Thanks for that particular heads-up, EW.

    I must assume Murray is obviously speaking of foreign “military” concerning the “deep misgivings” regarding Afghanistan, which certainly would be hoped for (it is nice to have hope confirmed) but, it would appear that “policy” is now, in essence, if not fact, “the US and Israel against the world”, assuming, as we must, that there will be few, if any, American misgivings about what that actually means.

    I imagine that the rest of the world already has a clue.

    As I said on your previous thread, someone will have to stop America, because “we” cannot stop “ourselves”.

    Here, possibly, may be the beginning of that realization on someone’s part.


  8. Leen says:

    I think Finkelstein makes solid arguments here

    today on the Diane Rehm show during the International hour. I found it interesting when one of the guest referred to Iran’s putting to death protesters she referred to these killings as “executions”. Another guest referred to the drone killings by Americans as “extra judicial killings”

    According to Finkelstein the Israeli cabinet “discussed and deliberated” about the flotilla the week before they launched. If this is so clearly they made a decision to conduct the raid at night, heavily armed, planned to cut off all communication outlets, and confiscate all recording equipment. They blew away 9 people. One of them a Turkish American. They put 4 bullets in this young mans head at close range. Sounds pre-meditated to me. Sounds like an “execution”

    Our MSM has endlessly played that Israeli released clip of the Israeli soldiers hitting the deck and being beaten but have not played the tape that the Al Jazeera reporter taped before Israel cut off satellite connections. I am just wondering when Israel will release the tapes of them shooting that young man in the head four times at close range or “killing, executing, murdering” the other activist.

    When will they release those tapes?

    Israel investigating themselves is insane. Why is it that Israel daily demands that Iran abide by International agreements and yet will not support an independent, international investigation of this tragedy.

    Have folks read the Goldstone Report? You know the report that our MSM completely ignored. Silence…

  9. emptywheel says:

    One more thing that is really really key.

    The UN report notes that states don’t make their definition of DPH public. That’s precisely the reason why targets of our illegal and legal wiretappig remain secret, as well as many other sources and methods claims in teh GWOT. That is, the concern abotu sources and methods is sometimes about making sure that people like Furkan Dogan know they will be targeted for death.

    • kindGSL says:

      And why people like me lose their telephone reception in a very suspicious way when it is a personal emergency. They do things to drive you crazy and to try to scare you to death or trick you into committing crimes or suicide.

  10. Hmmm says:

    OT — Do I sense a disturbance in The Lake? Hamsher’s Hamsters doin’ OK back there?

  11. Margaret says:

    The manual relates specifically to legal practice in time of war. With whom is Israel at war?

    I’ve tried to point that out over and over but the apologists aren’t having it. I still don’t get why people feel perfectly within their rights to deny empirical knowledge. It’s like a huge segment of the population, maybe even a majority, has suddenly decided that reality is what they decide it is.

    • kindGSL says:

      It is faith. The people you are complaining are fundie christians. That is why their support for Israel is rock solid and unthinking, they want Jesus to come back and they think that is one of the prerequisites.

      Don’t worry, I figured out a way to make it all work out.

      I had a religious experience while under the influence of marijuana. When one of my girl scouts asked me why pot was illegal I looked it up and discovered the drug war against my people. I thought that was horrible, and a political problem. So I devised a solution, the return of Jesus.

      It sounds crazy at first but if you do your homework, like I did, you find Jesus was just a pothead. Or at least that is my opinion. Not only me, I found a church.

      The minister is Christian but he baptized me anyway. As a Native American, I insisted. Now I think that is an inclusive church.

      VIDEO: Hilo marijuana ministry open after federal raid

  12. EternalVigilance says:

    a problematic legal stance

    “The law” is, at its core, essentially a disembodied, mentalized form of violence.

    And it’s used the same way and for the same reasons that physical violence is – for the strong to control the weak.

    The legal analysis here at FDL is both well done and entertaining (it’s probably my consistently favorite coverage), but in a way it also entirely misses the point, like medieval clerics sincerely arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    “The law” is simply another weapon created by and used by those in power to maintain that power, and as such it will, whenever it suits the interests of power, be either changed or ignored entirely.

    • razorbrain says:

      Well, yes, and so why have I been so thoroughly ridiculed, by newtonus in particular, for making that very same point about international law?

  13. EdwardTeller says:

    So much of what is borderline or just plain criminal in our approach to foreign policy, foreign affairs, war and intelligence over the past decade or so, is just plain carbon copy or boilerplate acceptance of existing Israeli methods.

    The MV Rachel Corrie now estimated to arrive the Port of Gaza, unless hindered, between 9:00 and 1:00 a.m. their time, which will be 3 to 4 a.m. EDT.

  14. smgxxx says:

    Although this blogger is on the wrong side of the divide, he accurately describes the conflict, i.e., the U.S. and Israel, and whatever else remains of Western liberal civilization, against Muslim fundamentalism. Many posts at this website express puzzlement on why the “MSM” is losing interest in this story and polls show most Americans support Israel rather than the Arabs, and conclude it must be because of some sinister Zionist conspiracy and a darkly powerful lobby. The real reason is that there is a war of civilizations that has started, and most in the U.S. have sided with their own country and its only ally in the Middle East. Turkey is now a lost cause, solidly in the jihadist orbit.

      • smgxxx says:

        There are a number of them. Just google Turkey and jihad. The BBC on Feb. 17 of this year has a story about it, but there’s a lot more. Erdogan is not exactly a secular humanist or even a moderate Muslim.

      • razorbrain says:

        They recently broke with recent tradition and elected an openly Islamist govt. Probably has some bearing on the flotilla we’ve been arguing about. Easy to look up with the google.

        • kindGSL says:

          If Gaza is to be punished for choosing an Islamist government, why is it OK for Israel to have a Jewish one?

            • hotdog says:

              Couldn’t agree more with that. BTW dropping white phosphorous on civilians is a war crime that is in and of itself terrorism. So we should be able to agree Hamas and the Likudniks are both terrorists.

    • DWBartoo says:

      Israel and America against the rest of the world, not merely the Arab portion.

      THAT is what you want?

      You might just want to think, a little teeny bit, about that.

        • razorbrain says:

          “Trolls” are the antidote to groupthink. Would you really want a discussion forum where everyone was in agreement from start to finish? How boring that would be.

      • Margaret says:

        smgxxx is among the most vociferous apologists. Don’t expect to be able to discuss anything with this person in a reasonable manner.
        EDIT: smgxxx also is apparently ignoring the fact that Turkey is a member of NATO while Israel is not, being a lesser Partnership for Peace member.

        • smgxxx says:

          Nothing to apologize for. In fact, I’m unapologetically pro-U.S. and pro-Israel. They make mistakes, but they are morally superior to the Dark Ages world of fundamentalist Islam.

        • razorbrain says:

          Margaret, I think you are a person of good faith, so let me ask you, these labels are clearly, so obstructive to reasoned argument, but could you tolerate someone calling supporters of something you like “apologists”?

          It seems to me that once such labels get deployed, reasoned discussion is at an end. And you know that in the last few days, I’ve been called an “apologist,” and MUCH worse, for making points that have now become so clearly valid. I wish we could all do better.

          • Margaret says:

            …but could you tolerate someone calling supporters of something you like “apologists”?

            Certainly. If that’s what they were doing, absolutely. Trust me, if I find that in my opinion they are defending the indefensible, I’ll be calling them apologists too. You acknowledge that you think I am an “honest broker”. Well, to ask me that question shows that you really don’t believe that I am an “honest broker”. Trust me. It’s cost me friends and allies more than once and almost certainly will again. Yes. If I find their behavior egregious or unjustifiable, I will call out my best friend or closest ally and will back anybody else up doing the same. You can believe that or not as you choose.

            • razorbrain says:

              I’ll believe it if you say it, certainly as to you. I wish I could feel that others who use the term so freely could match your inntegrity and scruples in that regard. Recent experience tells me you are a rarity. As you know, that label has been put on me a lot recently, for making arguments in good faith and, I believe, with logical validity. I just think labels generally get used instead of good, carefully calibrated argument, and both can’t exist in the same space.

              • Margaret says:

                Well, trust me, I’m never going to be “for” war or “for” slaughtering aid workers, whether they were trying to be provocative or not. So me being upset at others for calling people apologists for supporting “something (I) like”, is never going to include anything like that. It’s also far too easy to react rather than to analyze, which is something else I never do. Call it past experience, call me a rarity, whatever. I can only be who I am and that is someone who will always deplore the reckless spilling of blood.

      • smgxxx says:

        Interesting that you interpreted my sentence that way. That’s not what I wrote. Although Europe has been morally craven for a long time, there are signs of life therefor liberalism, e.g., Geert Wilders and his movement in the Netherlands. But it’s mainly the U.S., Israel, Canada and Australia.

        • DWBartoo says:

          We agree, it IS mostly “the U.S., Israel, Canada and Australia”.

          We just don’t aqree as to what they are “about”.

          But, ultimately, Canada and Australia will ackowledge reason and humanity.

          What, then, will Israel and the US do?

          Perhaps a “Rapture”?

          You don’t expert to “win” without destroying everything, do you?

          Enlighten us, what do you see, looking forward?

          I see disaster, following your course. It is true that the people you hate have a “civilization”, it is a question as to whether “we” have one, any longer, especially if beliefs such as yours, prevail.

          My intent is see that they don’t.

      • smgxxx says:

        Interesting that the Nazi greeting comes so quickly to your mind. It appears the only national liberation movement you oppose is that of the Jews. The British colonialists and corrupt Arab oil sheikdoms also opposed Zionism. Now there’s the addition of Islamic fascists.

        • kindGSL says:

          How are Jews oppressed?

          If you are going to answer, by the attitudes of others, you must look at them to see what they are doing to stir it up. No one lives in a vacuum.

      • razorbrain says:

        Heil anything is incredibly, incredibly offensive. Why do you enjoy going there so much? It just makes you look like a racist.

    • seaglass says:

      This is precisely the reaction Bin Laden and his non-State org. wanted and he’s winning this war so far because of the wildly asymmetric over reaction of the U.S. and it’s allies. Most of the Muslim world is being forced to choose sides by this tiny minorities actions and our over reaction to it. Plus, the HUGE expenditures to fight it are sucking the life out of our economy as a secondary defeat for us. Being forced by political elites to build huge unneeded Air Craft Carrier battle groups to fight goat herders and modernize a decaying nuclear capability with no real strategic enemy to pt. it @ is removing the resources we need to do the many other things that create a civil society. Bin Laden knows our elites better then we do and has successfully manipulated them and allowed them to use him in that regard. It’s odd but to some extent they are all conscious of this “game” and using it to maintain the highly destructive status quo.

      • razorbrain says:

        Right on the money, sir. Bullseye. he set the trap, even made known his intent in advance, and our stupid leadership walked us tight into it.

        • kindGSL says:

          Or our leadership was doing it to us on purpose.

          But wait, that would be treason. Laws would have to be broken and there would be a big cover up involving the news organizations and our secret forces. Oh yeah, that happened.

          All I wonder is when we are going to impeach them.

          • razorbrain says:

            Hey, I’m open to your alternate theory as well, but it follows the first, did not cause it.

            Going to Iraq GUARANTEED huge oil profits for domestic producers for FREE, no risk, and they were Bush/Cheney cronies.

            Going to Iraq GUARANTEED huge profits for the MIC, also Bush/Cheney cronies.

            Plus, reacting like we did GUARANTEED easy acceptance of the police state the right-wing sought to impose here for decades. (And now the Dems are OK with that as well, with Corporations the only ones to benefit, IMO.)

      • lily15 says:

        Clearly you are naive about foreign policy…so before spouting off, take some classes and learn some history. There is a spreading anti semitism being perpetuated by Islam. It’s purpose is to destroy Israel and the Jews, and the U.S. after that. They cannot be reasoned with nor are they interested in compromise. (see Iran and its nuclear ambitions) Aligning yourself with people whose interest is in destruction will not bring peace. We cannot bring peace where it is rejected.

        • bobschacht says:

          …before spouting off, take some classes and learn some history.

          Pot, meet kettle.
          You are overgeneralizing about a part of Islam to the whole of it. The “…spreading anti semitism being perpetuated by Islam. It’s purpose is to destroy Israel and the Jews, and the U.S. after that” is a vocal and active minority, like the Tea Party extremists here in the U.S.

          Don’t paint with such a broad brush.

          Bob in AZ

  15. FreddyMoraca says:

    A plausible explanation for the extreme violence of the attack on the Turkish-flag aid flotilla:

    to deliberately undermine (if not entirely abort) consequential, substantive peace talks with the Palestinians and Syrians, and repay the Turks for negotiating a nuclear fuel-swap deal with Iran (which significantly set back Israel’s case for military intervention).

    Also note that a more plausible sequence of events for the attack is starting to emerge from eyewitnesses:

    an initial attempt to board the Mavi Marmara from an Israeli vessel failed. Then an initial attempt to land commandos on the deck also failed, when the commandos were captured, and some beaten until the captain and others intervened to stop it. …Fully six of the aid workers killed on the deck were shot by a single out-of-control commando…

    • EdwardTeller says:

      …Fully six of the aid workers killed on the deck were shot by a single out-of-control commando…

      who is scheduled to receive a medal from the IDF.

  16. EdwardTeller says:

    Klaxons and Gorillaz Sound System cancel Israel shows, apparently due to Gaza flotilla raid
    Concert producer ‘troubled’ by the groups’ decision to cancel despite numerous attempts to convince them to still come.

    more here

  17. shootthatarrow says:

    The logic lines become convoluted early and political/moral implosions follow as the pretzel twist thinking Israel and WashingtonDC employ to advance the faulty ideas they chose to premise around or defend collapse.

    Israel claims to have left Gaza yet conducts a full policy portfolio that suggests Gaza is a Israeli run prison,penal colony or occupation zone.

    Hamas was elected by the Gazans. Israel decided it did not like that electoral outcome. So Israel decides and acts to punish Gaza and Gazans for voting “the wrong way”. Or at least not how Tel Aviv would prefer.

    Tel Aviv has signaled it is going to torment Gaza and the Gazans on it’s terms and conditions. If or when outsiders show up to challenge Tel Aviv’s intent on doing so Tel Aviv sends out the IDF,kills people. Killed a 19 year old American. Shot him in the head four times. Tel Aviv defends this having taken place. WashingtonDC defends Tel Aviv defending this brutalism.

    There is something very wrong here. Tel Aviv is way over the line. WashingtonDC is way over the line regarding what it should be doing to curb and repel what Tel Aviv is doing.

    The logic lines are insane in all of this. As Chomsky suggests this is the realm of lunatics. The pending defeat(s) both Tel Aviv and WashingtonDC have coming hopefully will come sooner than later.

    It is already very late.Very late.

    • Petrocelli says:

      I just wonder how long it’ll take ObamaCo to realize how much political capital they’ve lost with their stance ?

  18. smgxxx says:

    I wonder how quickly I’ll be censored. The “liberals” on the Seminal have blocked me. No freedom of speech for those with whom you disagree.

      • razorbrain says:

        Bad answer, Very unworthy of you. The man is arguing what he believes in good faith.

        • bmaz says:

          Dude. The only written rule of the EW fight club is don’t violate the unwritten rules of the EW fight club. This ain’t your concern.

          • razorbrain says:

            Excuse me, but I’m the only one who gets to decide what concerns me. I voiced my opinion, ignore it if you choose. And now I’m sure you will.

            “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it.”

            Who was the fool who said that?

  19. Thrasyboulos says:

    If Turkey is jihadist, then most of the world, most of Europe, except of course the AIPAC bought and paid for politicos and the zionizing media in the United States, Canada, and Britain, are jihadist.

    Lol! Go there.

    • smgxxx says:

      It’s good you’re joking, but imagine the IQ and educational credentials of someone who actually believes the Jewish conspiracy controls the Congress and the media.

  20. Hugh says:

    It’s an occupation. Israel exerts effective control over Gaza as it has since 1967. There has been no change in that status. That status is completely unaffected by tactical Israeli decisions to remove troops from within Gaza but seal it off from the world externally, i,e. ghetto-ize it.

    As such, its blockade is a collective punishment and illegal. It is a crime. Since no state of war can exist in this situation, it is I suppose technically a crime against humanity rather than a war crime, although the two are often conflated.

  21. Thrasyboulos says:

    Gilad Atzmon on Israeli Collective Madness

    You want to see fundamentalist psychosis, have a gander at Rabbi Shapira’s The Complete Guide to Killing Non-Jews. I understand it’s a bit of a hit among US zionist chic circles.

    Of course it’s not a conspiracy, smgxx…Just good old fashioned “campaign finance”.

  22. EdwardTeller says:

    I think there’s more to America’s defense of Israel’s attack on the Free Gaza flotilla than simply more blind support for Israel. By defending Israel’s attack, members of the US elite are also defending a problematic legal stance–one that the US has adopted in its own counterterrorist efforts.

    and this clown wants to up the ante considerably:

    On a press call hosted by a pro-Israel organization, Rep. Brad Sherman, Democrat of California, told reporters that he intends seek the prosecution of any U.S. citizens who were aboard or involved with the Freedom Flotilla.

    “The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 [PDF] makes it absolutely illegal for any American to give food, money, school supplies, paper clips, concrete or weapons to Hamas or any of its officials,” Sherman said on the Israel Project call, conflating Hamas and Gaza’s civilian population. “And so I will be asking the Attorney General to prosecute any American involved in what was clearly an effort to give items of value to a terrorist organization.”

    Sherman also said that he plans on working with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure that any non-U.S. citizen involved with or aboard the Flotilla are excluded from entering the U.S.

  23. EternalVigilance says:

    As I’ve written many times here and elsewhere, the Israeli/ZIonist fixation with Hitler and Nazi Germany is a just a projection of their own shadow material – which is why the Israelis do to the Palestinians exactly what the Israelis accused Hitler of doing to them, Israel declares with the illegal settlements and land captured in war the need for more Lebensraum, and so on.

    We can also see this in the shorter term with the Israeli projections of their own unrecognized internal character on the aid flotilla: “This wasn’t “The Love Boat” – this was “The Hate Boat!” (Netanyahu) and “Peace convoy? This was an Islamist terror ambush!” and “Violent terrorists have learned that the battleground has shifted from bombings to the media arena.”

    smgxxx’s comments are just more illustration of this, characterizing the slaughter of innocents as a “liberation movement” and the Israeli view of the world as a racial “war of civilizations.”

    The use of the metaphors, slogans and mindset of WWII Germany makes clear this is all just the Israeli mirror dance with its own reflection.

    A recent post in “Commentary Magazine” brings this to a rabid, foaming climax:

    “There is a single question that every individual, group, and nation must answer. To borrow from the most pro-Israel president since Harry Truman: if you are not with Israel, you are against her. And if you do not oppose with every fiber of your being and every instrument at your disposal that which intends the Jewish state harm, you are enabling her destroyers.”

    Heil Herzl, indeed.

    • razorbrain says:

      Right, only a crazy people would remember having half of their entire global gene pool wiped out. Plus, I don’t think the Israelis have shoved any Palestinians into gas chambers yet, so your comparison is loose, if not slanderous. Nine dead appalls you, 6 million leaves you unperturbed.

      What is wrong with you? Whose dark shadows are really on exhibit here?

      Do you also wave nooses at black people?

  24. DWBartoo says:

    A “Democrat”, you say ET? (@ 61)

    Well, that would explain his “position”.

    Conflation is a time-honored tradition of the political class,when bloviation has grown stale, and opportunity has been sniffed.

    Do you sense a concerted move to chill the consciences of the American people? To instill mean suspicion? To frighten, to silence?

    All they have left to peddle is fear and hate.


    • kindGSL says:

      I sure do, but then I have been trying to tell the truth. That draws their (negative) attention in lots of illegal ways.

      I have been documenting it too, I tell all in AlterNet. Have been for seven years. That was by design. When I found out what nasty stuff was going on and how everyone who tries to expose it is destroyed, I knew full public disclosure was going to be the ONLY way to even live through it.

      I have been hacked lots of times.

      I thought it was the US government doing it because when I complained about that as being illegal, congress voted to legalize it. But this would also make sense if Israel was driving the cart, but of course that would be a hostile takeover of our government, supporting it would be treason.

      So, I can’t figure it out – yet.

      Asa – Fire on the Mountain

  25. YYSyd says:

    Invocation of war is not necessarily a legal argument. It is emotional, propagandistic and more than anything a matter of faith. I’m surprised no war has been declared on underwater oil spills yet, as the declaring of war (as declaring peace) seems to be mostly political BS. Into this issue every now and then a quasi legal argument is brought in, and when the arguments center around international law, interpretations become optional really quickly, depending upon whether you have a dog in the fight. What is most often overlooked is regardless of justification (legal or otherwise) whether it be benign or hostile, end results/consequences are how many of these things should be “judged” or evaluated. Many times what we see in the process itself pretty much allows prediction of result. The results of the high seas action sucks for supporters of the Israeli policy status-quo. The results also suck for the families of the “executed” 9 activists. If it gives hope for resolving of the bigger issues, that’s probably good, leaving the question of whether the commando responsible for 6 of the dead should be commended for being such a trigger happy evil son of a bitch.

    • razorbrain says:

      I am in complete agreement with the first part of that comment. Thank you for writing it. It seems to me that the murkiness of international law is in large part a result of trying to fit situations into neat little label compartments where they may not truly fit. And then the labels control all discussion, even to the exclusion or negation of the reality on the ground.

      The degree of complexity in dealing with this problem is enormous. I hope to write more on it when I have achieved sufficient clarity for myself. But I think the problem is easy to see and acknowledge. The solution, not so much.

      • papau says:

        well said –

        language carries different nuances to different people – making “reasoned discussion” and avoidance of “hot buttons” difficuly

        I prefer to judge against the final goal – a Taba/Geneva based two country solution – asking if the event itself moved us closer – and if the language used to discuss the event is helping to get us there. Observations tend to be assertions of one”s own sides innocence and good intentions and righteous cause while asserting those on the other side are trying to cause harm and are liars.

        I have been reading the tying together of various areas of foreign policy and find it interesting, so I get past the jolt of factual “errors” (like “Hamas was elected by the Gazans ” when there has been so such winning of a “Gaza” election – Gaza remains part of Palestine where Hamas won 44% to 42% the overall vote via taking a majority in Gaza – and much later proceeded to take control of Gaza in a bloody coup – I’ll let others decide how much of an error that is) and phrasing by such good folks like EternalVigilance – “exactly what the Israelis accused Hitler of doing to them” – “accused” – not a historical fact – as if the 6 million did not die or that “legal treatment” based on EU father to son hate of the Jew has not been part of the culture for centuries – while complaining of words used by opponents that do not meet his appropriateness standard.

        In the end, the discussion here brings out most of the points – is kept civil and intelligent (even when it jolts me to the point I want to edit it :-) ) I just hope the Rachel Corrie ends its voyage safely, as I wonder about “desperately needed humanitarian aid” that Hamas refuses to accept once it is OK’ed by Israel and placed at the Gaza border for Hamas to pick up

  26. jawbone says:

    No time to read all the comments yet, but…if we are being governed by war criminals, what can we do about it?

    I read emptywheel’s post, nodding, cringing, growing ever more frustrated.

    What can we do?

  27. beleck says:

    the apparent execution of the Turkish American shows the animus of the people involved. i hear the evocation of the Holocaust and the apparent eternal absolution of killing in defense of the Jews. i see the imprisonment of the Gazans for voting Hamas in. i don’t see any willingness of either party to step past the history into the cold and different realities of today. this is surely a passage to continued and escalated actions. the war is on and has been for many years now. the next question is whether America is part and parcel of the impending attack on Iran if Iran doesn’t do what Israel and America demand.

    dangerous times and implacable people

  28. beleck says:

    well these “war criminals” are also responsible for the economic bs we are going through. their “beliefs” have not only pushed these bankrupting wars, but also has diverted all the economic growth that could have gone into American Society went directly into “their pockets.” think of the money they could have made at home, but this was quick and fast, like the rest of their deadly chicanery.

    • kindGSL says:

      And since they did it in secret, with lies, and behind our backs, I think we can call it criminal activity and investigate them for treason, spying or war crimes. Whatever crimes fit.

    • kindGSL says:

      Like if it was all coordinated to take us down. Hmm, wouldn’t that then be an act of war?

  29. Mason says:

    On a press call hosted by a pro-Israel organization, Rep. Brad Sherman, Democrat of California, told reporters that he intends seek the prosecution of any U.S. citizens who were aboard or involved with the Freedom Flotilla.

    Figures this guy is a Democrat — just another corrupt asshole searching for money, power, and corporate approval. I’d say what I would relish doing to this jerk, but the mods would 86 me, so I’ll let everyone imagine what I’d do instead.

  30. fatster says:

    RT @freegazaorg: No struggle or injuries, but the Rachel Corrie has been captured. Communications jammed. Report from Irish radio. #Flotilla


  31. timbo says:

    Hmm, why does this remind me of the Great Satan screed that OBL was preaching not so long ago? Can’t think why? Can anyone explain it clearly to me?

    • fatster says:

      Norway has now joined, too. C’mon Finland! (just linked to article on “BabyDick” thread, harpie)

  32. Leen says:

    How Aipac spreads their agenda across college campuses.

    Student college President “Right when I got into office last year I was checking the messages on the phone and there was a message from Aipac”

    beating back the Goldstone report

    Architect of Aipac’s campus strategy Jonathon Kessler
    “how are we going to beat back the anti Israel divestment resolution of Berkely? We’re going to make sure pro Israel students take over the student government and reverse the vote. THIS IS HOW AIPAC OPERATES IN OUR NATIONS CAPITOL. This is how Aipac must operate on our nations campuses”

  33. tanbark says:

    Israel as our best ally in the mid-east?

    That sounds like neo-con-speak, to me. Even if it’s true in a strictly military sense, the Israelis can do nothing to help us get out of Iraq, and they are, as anyone with two synapses to rub together knows, on a hair-trigger about attacking Iran. In short, they are our “best allies” in the sense that they are perpetually on the verge of a mid-east war.

    If that’s what you want, then frabjous day, but I don’t think it’s going to do us much good.

  34. textynn says:

    These people justify their actions like a mentally damaged kindergartner. They are egocentric to a childish degree. That don’t really understand anything that doesn’t involve them getting their way . And if they don’t get their way, they will hit and destroy no matter how disgusted anyone else in the room is. They never recognize how their behavior makes everyone sad, uncomfortable, stressed out, or in this case, dead.

    Social Retards by all definitions. That goes double for America because we are letting this mentally disabled child call the shots and drag us into a war.

    Somehow, Israel owns the US and it’s like watching a spoiled child scream and kick to get his way from a simpleton parent that enable the child and gives him what he wants.

    If these people behaved like adults on any level this wouldn’t be so frightening. The fact that Israel has nukes and we sold them to them makes me feel like I’m in a room with the a fore mentioned brat after he received a loaded gun for his daily present.

  35. Bluetoe2 says:

    Obama’s Cairo University speech which was the source of hope and optimism throughout the Middle East and the Muslim world is but a fading memory. The public in the Middle East now see Obama more clearly and as the image comes into focus it looks more like GWB everyday.

  36. Maddy says:

    Saturday, June 05, 2010
    The State of Palestine
    As a citizen of the United States of America I formally recognize Hama’s right to govern as the duly and legally elected government of the state of Palestine. My voice is a legitimate voice of recognition under the constitution of the United States of America. I refuse to recognize any law that impinges on the rights of humanity as free men and woman in any country on earth. We are the population of the world born free and not subject to inhumane or unjust conditions forced upon us by repressive governments. I rescind Israels right to the colonization of a foreign land not their own. Any non compliance with this law will be heard in the Court of the World formed by us it’s citizens employed with the gravitas necessary to promulgate a just and fair court for all redress against humanity.

    It is imperative to our survival, that we recognize our collective humanity and our connection to all things. We must first look within for that is where it begins, it takes heart to do this, the darkness is intimidating but it must be done, and when done, frees us, our self hate now powerless to manifest in the world. we begin, powerful in our freedom from false selves, and knowledge of our true purpose. To stand for truth in acknowledgment of free humanity with compassion is worth all.

    Citizen’s of the world
    Maybe we need to form our own tribunal..we don’t have to obey these people you just takes one word, No

  37. Maddy says:

    Israel has no right to exist as a colonizer of Palestine. That is a false imprimatur falsely granted by governments heavily influenced by Zionists, the true enemy of all that is just and decent. No, I am not antisemitic, I am anti zionist. They will bring this country and the world down in conflagration if left to their own devices.

    Sorry for all the rant, but not so much, this must be said, and maybe by being said it will gain power through a viral disgust of what these butchers have been doing since before some of you were born.

  38. Cynthia says:

    I hate to think that Americans have become so self-hating that they are willing to back a powerful political lobby that puts the national interests of Israel above those of the US. I also hate to think that Americans have become so suicidal that they willing to drink AIPAC’s very poisonous brand of Kool-Aid. But I’m afraid this is what’s happening. So unless Americans learn to like themselves enough, enabling them to regain a sense of self preservation, they have only themselves to blame if they end up on the losing side of a war between Israel and the rest of the Middle East.

  39. Agent420 says:

    Why are we supporting Israel? What have they done to deserve this 2.5 BILLION dollar support. They spit in our faces and we say, “mmm good! MORE!!!”
    Time to tell Israel that they are adults now and can take care of themselves.

  40. thatvisionthing says:

    EW, I hope you saw this — you linked to Craig Murray and now he’s linking to you, says this post of yours is “absolutely brilliant” :-)

    The US Justification for Extra-Judicial State Murders Outside of Jurisdiction
    Craig Murray – June 5, 2010

    Sometimes I come across bloggers who are much better than me. This is one of those times.

    This is an absolutely brilliant post from emptywheel. The argument is this. Israel claims its standoff with Hamas is the equivalent to an armed conflict in international law, entitling it to take naval action on the high seas. Equally, the US claims its “War on Terror” is equivalent to a formal armed conflict, justifying its extra judicial killings particularly by aerial drone.

    This US argument has just been comprehensively rejected by the United Nations in a comprehensive legal report issued this week.

    Read the emptywheel piece, and then consider this from the Washington Post…

  41. thatvisionthing says:

    Any chance of cross posting Craig Murray’s blog posts here? I like to go to his site and read him and the British comments, maybe he’d like to catch the American comments here? I think he’s to treasure.

      • thatvisionthing says:

        Well, firedoglake in general. I’d like to see him amplified. I can imagine him having his own house/tab here; like I thought Malalai Joya would have been an inspired choice for the Afghanistan blogger here as well — all my favorite busy bees pollenating away in a happy hive. No complaints, there doesn’t have to be one hive, I just liked the idea, and someone on Craig’s blog suggested it as well:

        She’s always worth reading and is one of the top bloggers on Firedoglake.

        Firedoglake is itself a top site and gets a lot of traffic. Craig you could do a lot worse than crossposting some of your material there. If you register at the the seminal you can post diaries there.

        Posted by: markfromireland at June 5, 2010 10:46 AM

        Ah! One of our busy bees has been at it already! Didn’t realize that.

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