Friday, April 16, 2010

Hillary Tilts At Israeli Windmills, Afzali Was Screwed, Guns On Campus

Dana Milbank
Benjamin Sarlin
John Hughes
“OK, you cunts, let’s see what you can do” - Hit Girl

The first two opinion pieces are about the tea party rally in Washington DC, the third is a rah-rah column on David Petraeus as a presidential candidate in 2012. General Petraeus actually would make a great candidate, and the intellectual debates between himself and Barack Obama would be wonderful, worth taping every one. Even if he declines to become a candidate after he retires, a series of debates or filmed discussions with Obama would be a ticket worth paying for...

The US has been trying to broker peace talks beetween Israel and the Palestinian Authority for over a year now, with no luck. We've been ridiculed and ignored, and even President Obama was bummed out and frustrated. Today, Hillary Clinton, our next Supreme Court Justice, stepped up and took another swing at it: "In a speech marking the opening a new Middle East think tank Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged both parties to prove they are committed to reaching a resolution of the conflict. She also urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take risks for peace and warned that failing to do so would destabilize the region with tragic costs."
"Israelis and Palestinians alike must confront the reality that the status quo has not produced long-term security or served their interests, and accept their share of responsibility for reaching a comprehensive peace that will benefit both sides." 

"Israelis must see, too, that pursuing the path of progress and diplomacy can and will lead to peace and security. As a result, some in Israel have come to believe that, protected by walls and buoyed by a dynamic economy, they can avoid having to do anything right now," she said.

"But that would mean continuing an impasse that carries tragic human costs, denies Palestinians their legitimate aspirations, and threatens Israel's long-term future as a secure and democratic Jewish state."
What's so frustrating is that a Palestinian State could be created within the next two weeks if both sides sat down and actually got it done. Hundreds of thousands of lives could have been spared the poverty, starvation, anger, and hatred that they have been exposed to for so many years. A couple of days ago I suggested that the US stop all foreign aid to Israel, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority until they sat down and hammered out an agreement, sent a copy to the White House. If I ever get a written response I will share it here. Anyway, good luck Hillary, I hope you find the stick to whack the donkey right between the eyes, to get it's attention, first...

I admit to feeling sorry for Ahmad Wais Afzali, the Afghan born Imam who was raised in New York, lived and married in New York, hoped to die in New York, and now is being deported from New York and has 90 days to leave the US or be deported to a country of his choice.
“I’m standing in front of you as a convicted felon, a lying imam, which is a physical, emotional and spiritual burden far greater than any sentence you could impose,”
"Mr. Afzali, an imam who was also an infrequent police informant, was sentenced in United States District Court in Brooklyn in connection with a plot to set off bombs in the subway, a scheme that would be described as the most significant threat to national security since 9/11.

The imam essentially warned Najibullah Zazi, the admitted organizer of the plot, that he was under surveillance and — failing to grasp the significance of what he stumbled into — urged him to stay out of trouble. Mr. Afzali would plead guilty to lying to federal officials about the phone conversations he had with Mr. Zazi. But Mr. Afzali said that even in that criminal act, he was a victim of his desire to serve as a bridge between his country and his community. And in trying to please competing constituencies, he ended up failing both."
“Honest to God, it was never my intention to help those idiots for what they do in the name of Islam.”
It seems that Mr Afzali was being used by the New York Police Dept, and he tracked down Najibullah Zazi, who was living here in Colorado and driving an airport shuttle, and talked to him on the phone. While talking to him he also told him that the police were interested in him and that he should stay at home with his father. The phone conversation was taped by the FBI, who then questioned Afzali about it.

The NYPD had never told Afzali how important the Zazi case was, kept him in the dark. The FBI didn't know that he was being used as an informant by the NYPD as an informant, who reported everything he had learned about Zazi back to them. Afzali lied to the Feds that he had warned Zazi when he talked to him, and the charge of lying to federal agents is what got him deported.
“I cannot express my feelings in words, but I’m going to try: Violated. Betrayed. Used to the highest degree. Treated worse than a dog.”
Regardless of how one feels about Zazi and his stupid bomb plot, this is more of a case where two competing law enforcement agencies do not share information in real time and the little guy trying to help gets screwed. like a bad TV show. Even stranger, Mr Afzali loves this country, does not want to leave it or his community in New York, and is forced to become a lonely expat. And the press and white guys everywhere might have some sympathy if he were not Afghan born and a Muslim. So much for touting this country as a land of liberty with justice for all... And he will probably end up in Yemen, where he will then be accused of recruiting for al Qaeda...

The news from Colorado, even more important than the tailings from old uranium mines are leaching into the water table and may affect Denver's drinking water, is that all Colorado University student can now legally carry guns to school, reversing a previous ban by the regents: "The CU Board of Regents adopted a ban on all guns on campuses, believing the statewide Concealed Carry Act (CCA) did not apply to universities.

But the court found that the legislature, in standardizing the rules governing concealed weapons from county to county through the CCA of 2003, specifically intended the act to apply everywhere in the state except in a handful of places listed in the statute, like K-12 schools."

The gun advocates say that carrying their guns to school would help prevent crazed campus killings by some lone wingnut, like what happened on the Virginia Tech campus. Opponents say that having their fellow students strutting around with their guns on campus is intimidating and inviting one of them to shoot somebody in an argument. I say that having a kid in the middle of puberty alone with a firearm is an open invitation to a funeral. That's why soldiers are not allowed to bring their own guns onto an Armed Forces base. Having some wannabe or dropout going all Colorado cowboy in some alcohol fueled situation is all it takes for the next Columbine to make next day's headlines. People with guns tend to use them, whether you are a soldier, cop, or drive-by rapper...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...