Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's So funny About Peace, Love, And Understanding? Electronic Kashmir...

Hosni Mubarak
Thomas Friedman
John Podesta
Kathleen Parker
"The biggest obstacle that now stands in the way of success is psychological: the cumulative effect of years of violence and the expansion of Israeli settlements have led to a collapse of trust on both sides. For the talks to succeed, we must rebuild trust and a sense of security." - Hosni Mubarak
"Precisely because so much is at stake, the forces of intolerance, extreme nationalism and religious obscurantism all over the Middle East will be going all out to make sure that both the Israeli and Iraqi peace processes fail." - Thomas Friedman

It turns out that yesterday I came down with a cold, funny how a little sickness depresses your outlook on life. My sister came back from the doctor saying that her pneumonia is healing and her lungs have cleared up. And the weather outside is achingly beautiful, even though the temperature is cooling down and we will have winter coming early to the Rockies.

Tomorrow, the official Palestinian peace talks begin, though meetings are ongoing all day today, followed with dinner at the White House, one party that the Salehi's won't be able to crash. I have never seen so many participants so upbeat about the outcome. In essence, Israel has already decided what lands it will cede for a Palestinian state, including the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, which will serve as a capitol for both states. Essentially, Palestine will incorporate the successful infrastructure it has already built in the West Bank, and the two states will soon intermingle economically, to the benefit of both sides. The only real problem will be if Hamas will accept such an infrastructure in Gaza, or if they will continue to be a thorn in the paw.

"Ehud Barak has always vacillated between peace and security, dovishness and hawkishness, left wing and right wing... He always spoke about how Israel must survive in a jungle. It must do so even now, on the eve of the peace summit in Washington... This time, however, Barak is surprisingly - even unusually - optimistic. Perhaps it is because he contributed quite a bit to the summit's unveiling. Maybe it is due to the fact that the summit is his political lifejacket. The defense minister believes in the 2010 peace summit even more than the principals taking part in it."

If Barack Obama can pull this off, and a Palestinian state emerges within a year, it will defuse so much of the animosity towards Israel in the Middle East. It will also give iran a major decision to make, and this is why leaders like Netanyahu are so gung ho, that if Iran is so supportive of the Palestinian cause, will it support the new Palestinian state and thereby establishing a more friendly attitude towards Israel, or will it continue to support a rogue group like Hamas and further isolate itself from the greater community of nations? To give credit where its due, Turkey started this whole climate of change and acceptance with their flotilla for aid to Gaza, and the subsequent changing of Israel's policy towards Gaza. With the confiscation of the 190 rockets that had been buried for over 30 years in the Sinai, Hamas has been left to resort to drive-by shootings on West Bank settlers that is more reminiscent of Compton. Next thing we know, Hamas will ask to become a franchise of the Crips...

If Barack Obama starts making a public address a regular feature from now on, giving us his ideas on how we are progressing as a nation, offering an occasional stand-up comedy routine or debate with John Boehner, which would be the same thing, not only would his poll ranking go up, but it might dispel a lot of the negative bullshit that the right wingers have been slandering him with ever since his presidential campaign.

We need to start doing our share and confronting these blunt, Neanderthal approaches as they continue to happen. Andrew Breitbart, your ass is mine... Feel free to write in to my local tea party website and comment on the weird: The Constitutionalist Today. To be honest, these guys aren't as bad as so many of the other wacko sites. It's mostly my local conservatives trying to make a viable life for themselves since they have failed at getting themselves or their candidates elected, right Jeff Crank? Our tea party rallies have been gentler, kinder versions of the foaming-at-the mouth ones held in other geographic areas. It's because of all of the discarded prescription drugs and heavy metals in our water supply, they give our tap water that special tang and keeps us on the mellow side for our overlord's discreet pleasure... why do you think we have so many reports of alien abductions and cattle mutilations to go along with our suicides?

But, I digress.

One way that our kids are changing our world, is how they are using the Internet and using sites like TouTube to get their point across. This is probably the largest reason that more totalitarian countries like china, Saudi Arabia, and Iran try to limit and censor what goes in and out to their populations. Our children automatically reject our world views and seek to forge their own, and in places like Kashmir they are creating their own revolutions: "They spend hours uploading and watching videos on YouTube that depict life under the Indian government's security regime, sharing their views and slogans on social networking sites like Facebook. At least 65 people, mostly teenage boys and young men in their 20s, have been killed in the latest round of anti-India protests in Srinagar, the summer capital, in the last 11 weeks, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The youths use Facebook to create a weekly routine for the protests, discuss ways to hold Kashmiri leaders to account and share news updates, according to the Associated Press. "I want to contribute to the freedom struggle in my own humble way. How does it matter if I don't go out and engage Indian security forces in the streets?" Rasik said in an interview with Inter Press Service. "I cause them more damage by these videos which depict how ruthlessly they treat Kashmir." Young Kashmiris are uploading video shot secretly from windows showing government troops causing damage to vehicles and property during curfews, says AP."

I wonder what the youth of North Korea and Myranmar would have to add? We have already seen the power that videos and pictures taken from cellphones had in adding to our understanding of the Green Power protests that took place in Tehran. Technology is changing our world a lot faster, and is more subversive to conservative movements like al-Qaeda and the Talibans. Perhaps instead of sending drones into enemy territory we could drop everyone a cellphone and set up free cell service satellites. The resounding explosions of ideas as our kids begin communicating and uploading their videos is more powerful than any Hellfire missile. In a few years we will all become obsolete, anyway. And I'm sure that Apple will come up with commercials saying things like "Revolution: There's An App For That..."

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