Thursday, May 5, 2011

al Qaeda's Architecture Chic, A Kinder, Gentler Hamas, D Trump

Thomas Friedman
Paul Miller
Doyle McManus
"Rush Limbaugh said yesterday that Obama never would have tracked down bin Laden if it weren't for George W. Bush's policies. Although in fairness, Obama never would have even been elected if it weren't for George W. Bush's policies." – Jimmy Fallon
"The hot new drink around the country is the bin Laden. It’s a Colt 45 and a shot that goes right to your head." – Jay Leno

"Saddam Hussein is dead, and Osama bin Laden is dead. If you're Moammar Gadhafi, living in exile is starting to sound really good." – Jay Leno
"Intelligence experts think Osama bin Laden lived in the compound in Pakistan with all of his wives for six years. So I guess he did suffer." – David Letterman

David Letterman's "Top Ten Things Overhead While Watching Raid On Bin Laden"

10. 'We have got to get together for covert special ops raids more often'
9. 'Are we shooting this in the studio where we faked the moon landing?'
8. 'Someone run to the store and get daddy a pack of smokes'
7. 'Hit pause, I gotta take a leak'
6. 'These vibrating chairs are the best money we ever spent'
5. 'Biden, wake up!'
4. 'Mind if we switch over to the Celtics game for a second?'
3. 'We should totally post this on YouTube'
2. 'Seriously, Joe, wake up!'
1. 'I just wish Dick Cheney were alive to see this'

The new unified spirit that Obama asked for when he announced the death of Osama bin Laden lasted a whopping 13 hours, before members of the GOP began attacking him and putting him down. The latest and dumbest one appeared this morning, when one of the Koch brothers said that Obama really didn't have that much to do with the decision making process. But he did say that he finds Obama "scary..."

There were actually quite a number of people in Washington who knew about the impending action to take out Osama bin Laden. On Friday afternoon, a congressional committee voted to stop payment to Pakistan on the $450 million loan, or "gift" that had been negotiated as foreign aid last year. The reason given was government corruption, they couldn't be sure that the money being sent over there was actually going to the programs it was supposed to go to. How do we know it doesn't go to build a compound for some al Qaeda official? Debka files reports that there are six similarly built compounds in Gaza, where other top al Qaeda leaders probably live, since they all copy bin Laden's dreary style of architecture and have no imaginations of their own. Besides, what represents terrorist chic?

One result of our institutionalized sense of paranoia, is the 16 different spy agencies within our government, and the countless mercenary companies that have all popped up like mushrooms around Washington and Virginia. It has grown to be a $10.17 billion dollar industry. If al Qaeda does fade away, there goes the profit margin unless another terrorist group is manufactured. After all, our own CIA originally gave the money to the Pakistani intelligence service to create al Qaeda, and look what a good return on their investment they got... So, finding the rest of al Qaeda shouldn't be too difficult; just look for the bin Laden style compounds built elsewhere...

Both the US government and the Pakistani government and military have gone into spin control on the backstory about why Osama was able to live under the military's noses for six years. The obvious question to ask is which military commander owned the town of Abbotabad, who collected all of the protection money, and how much was al Qaeda paying them? Follow the money, who is making the most money from this town, and you'll have your sympathizer, a task that should take 4 hours at the most. Then what? Until Pakistan itself undertakes some radical reforms like Egypt and Tunisia, they will always be stuck in a feudal society that feeds into graft and corruption as a way to take care of the family first, then my tribe, second...

The US is freaking out mildly at the successful attempt by Egypt, hosting the reconciliation efforts by  Hamas and the PA. Agreements aren't supposed to be made without the US's OK. Israel is even more freaked because Egypt is making decisions without consulting them first, and second, they don't want the two factions united. It's easier for Israel to make excuses on postponing peace negotiations when the other side can't agree on anything and try to sabotage each other.

Now, if elections will actually be held in September, a very different kind of leadership will emerge, maybe one that reflects the younger voices and the younger viewpoints, which inspired the unification. Over 50% of the Palestinian population is under 25 years old, and they have grown up watching all of the BS generated by their elders, all of the excuses for the last 20 years at why peace negotiations are breaking down and cannot continue. If Israel could get rid of its right wing conservative faction, then real progress could be made. Instead, we see Netanyahu wheezing into the wind... In the event that Israel still flaunts the simple request to stop building in the disputed territory, the newly created unified Palestinian government plans to go before the UN and ask for formal recognition as an independent state composed of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem as the capitol. Maybe then a new school or hospital might be built in Gaza, but I won't hold my breath. Maybe we could get Greg Mortenson to build a school or two. It would help rejuvenate his career and reputation, and he could name his next book Three Cups of Tea and Two Hits From the Hubbly-Bubbly... Besides, Hamas is going to need someplace for its headquarters once it gets kicked out of Syria for not siding with the government. Well, there are at least six places that will be newly vacant in Gaza that they could use...

The first real fallout for Donald Trump espousing crazy talk like birtherism,  has caused him to walk away from driving the pace car at the next Indy 500 race: "The Indianapolis Star reports that Trump has abandoned his scheduled appearance in the Chevy Camaro that will pace the race on May 29.

Anti-Trump activists on Facebook and a group of Baptist ministers in Indianapolis had been hounding race organizers as Trump's stature as birther and then Obama college record questioner-in-chief rose.

On Thursday, Trump gave in to the pressure and abandoned his ride around the famous 2.5 mile oval, citing scheduling problems. "I very much appreciate the honor, but time and business constraints make my appearance there, especially with the necessary practice sessions, impossible to fulfill," Trump told the organizers, according to reports. "I look forward to watching the race from New York."

But Trump's own "special counsel" told the Star that it was Indianapolis who walked away from Trump, not the other way around. Michael Cohen said the anger at Trump's appearance was "politically motivated."

"Of course it is, of course it is," he told the paper. "This debate stems from unfounded, incorrect and malicious lies that Donald Trump has a racial bias toward the president," Cohen said. "Nothing could be further from the truth; Donald Trump doesn't have a racist bone in his body." Whoa, where did the racist thing come from? Methink he doth protest too much... Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. This may be payback for his being such a bully for all those years...

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