Sunday, January 4, 2009

FUBAR in Gaza, Goodbye Bill Richardson

So Israel has gone ahead and invaded Gaza with tanks and troops, bisecting Gaza and trying to get to the areas where the rockets are being launched. About 70 rockets have been fired while they are doing this. The stated intentions are a bit conflicting, at one time saying that once the rockets have been confiscated that will be the end, yet Israeli politicians have stated that the removal of Hamas as an entity is to be the goal. Hamas has stated that they want the economic boycott to end and the borders not to blockaded now that the smuggling tunnels are no longer there.

There has been a lot of negative reaction to the invasion, with pictures of children being injured. Because half of the population of Gaza is under 18, anywhere you spit in Gaza will end up hurting a child. The other problem is what will happen once this military exercise has ended? Hamas had actually won a democratically held election in Gaza, which was unacceptable to Israel, who then blockaded the borders and imposed an economic sanction to force Hamas to either step down or negotiate on their basic tenets of the destruction of the Israeli State. Hamas instead militarily took over Gaza, and has since done nothing for the Palestinian population, but bought a bunch of Chinese rockets and has fired them daily into Southern Israel for over the past two years.

On a larger scale, this conflict is sending messages to Iran, who has backed Hamas with munitions and money, and also calls for the destruction of Israel. The original arguments against the Israeli State come from its formation in 1948, where Zionists came and took over the territory in the aftermath of WW11. Palestinians feel they have had their land taken away from them by Europeans, and they have not been given citizenship status or real recognition of their own. To make matters worse, the founding fathers of Israel had used bombings and terrorist tactics of their own to achieve their goals, like collaborating with the Nazis to turn in their own people to the death camps in return for a promise of land for Israel should Germany be victorious.

There is no win/win ending for this. The Israelis don't want to permanently occupy Gaza and help build it up economically when there is a 50% jobless rate, and they would have to give them Israeli citizenship. They would like the more moderate Palestinian Authority to take over, but they have just radicalized the population of Gaza against any desires they may project. Hamas may come out of this smelling like the victim, and then gain more street credit in Arab countries along with more sympathy for Iran and its goals. Countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who are now being seen as arrogant and intimidating other countries to go along with their goals, may have a harder time getting their peace plan negotiated into reality.

A California company in Beverly Hills was given a contract in 2004 by the state of New Mexico to advise them on state bond issues. CDR Financial also gave money to the Bill Richardson campaign. There is a current investigation to see if ant hanky panky went on in awarding the contract. Because this is an ongoing investigation, governor Bill Richardson withdrew his name from being the Secretary of Commerce, and Barack Obama accepted it this afternoon. I like how all of this gets reported, with quotations from speeches, hours before the speeches have been given. Of course, this could have been orchestrated by the Clintons as payback...

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