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UnrepentantLiberal

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Name: Brad
Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: Jersey City, NJ
Member since: Sat Mar 15, 2008, 11:21 AM
Number of posts: 11,700

Journal Archives

What is the difference between the terms "liberal" and "progressive" in American politics?

Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:27 AM (71 replies)

UN peacekeepers exit East Timor: The legacy of Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger's massacre remains

The United Nations has ended its peacekeeping mission in East Timor after 13 years of providing the country direct security assistance.

A final batch of UN troops and logistics staff left the South-east Asian country, officially known as Timor Leste, on Monday.

"Timor-Leste has now reached a stage in its development, politically and developmentally, where it can in fact stand on its own feet," said Finn Reske-Nielsen, Head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste.

The government plans to boost development from the country’s offshore oil and gas reserves, which experts say, may benefit urban Timorese more than the regional poor.

More: http://aje.me/WfnQCP

Amy Goodman Recounts the East Timor Massacre 15 Years Ago

This weekend marked the 15th anniversary of the massacre at the Santa Cruz cemetery in East Timor. On November 12th, 1991, Indonesian troops opened fire on a crowd of several thousand unarmed Timorese civilians gathered in Dili. At least 271 people were killed. Journalists Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn witnessed and survived the massacre. We play an excerpt of their award-winning documentary, "Massacre: The Story of East Timor." [includes rush transcript]

AMY GOODMAN: I was in East Timor 15 years ago this weekend with journalist Allan Nairn, and this is a clip of our documentary, Massacre: The Story of East Timor.

AMY GOODMAN: And then came the morning of November 12, the two-week commemoration of Sebastiao’s funeral. A memorial mass and procession were planned to lay flowers on Sebastiao’s grave. After the mass was held at the Moteal, people, young and old, came out into the street, and in a land where public speech and assembly had been forbidden for over a decade, they started chanting. The Timorese then held up banners drawn on bed sheets. They had been prepared for the delegation that never came. The banners called on Indonesia to leave East Timor and said things like "Why the Indonesian army shoot our church?" The Timorese were facing a gauntlet of troops that stretched the length of Dili. It was the boldest act of public protest occupied Timor had ever seen.

ALLAN NAIRN: More and more Timorese joined the procession. They came from huts and schools and offices along the way. And there was this building feeling of exhilaration, as well as fear, among the Timorese. And when they reached the cemetery, the crowd had swelled to maybe 5,000 people. Some went inside to lay flowers on Sebastiao’s grave. Most of the crowd was still outside, and then suddenly, someone looked up, and we saw that marching up along the same route that the Timorese had come came a long column of Indonesian troops, dressed in brown, holding M-16s in front of them, marching in a very slow, deliberate fashion —hundreds and hundreds of troops, coming straight at the Timorese.

AMY GOODMAN: Allan suggested we walk to the front of the crowd between the soldiers and the Timorese, because although we knew that the army had committed many massacres, we hoped that we, as foreign journalists, could serve as a shield for the Timorese. Standing with headphones on and microphone and camera out in full view, we went and stood in the middle of the road, looking straight at the approaching troops. Behind us, the crowd was hushed as some Timorese tried to turn away, but they were hemmed in by cemetery walls.

ALLAN NAIRN: The soldiers marched straight up to us. They never broke their stride. We were enveloped by the troops, and when they got a few yards past us, within a dozen yards of the Timorese, they raised their rifles to their shoulders all at once, and they opened fire. The Timorese, in an instant, were down, just torn apart by the bullets. The street was covered with bodies, covered with blood. And the soldiers just kept on coming. They poured in, one rank after another. They leaped over the bodies of those who were down. They were aiming and shooting people in the back. I could see their limbs being torn, their bodies exploding. There was blood spurting out into the air. The pop of the bullets, everywhere. And it was very organized, very systematic. The soldiers did not stop. They just kept on shooting until no one was left standing.

More: http://www.democracynow.org/2006/11/13/amy_goodman_recounts_the_east_timor

FORD, KISSINGER AND THE INDONESIAN INVASION, 1975-76

The Indonesian invasion of East Timor in December 1975 set the stage for the long, bloody, and disastrous occupation of the territory that ended only after an international peacekeeping force was introduced in 1999. President Bill Clinton cut off military aid to Indonesia in September 1999—reversing a longstanding policy of military cooperation—but questions persist about U.S. responsibility for the 1975 invasion; in particular, the degree to which Washington actually condoned or supported the bloody military offensive. Most recently, journalist Christopher Hitchens raised questions about the role of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in giving a green light to the invasion that has left perhaps 200,000 dead in the years since. Two newly declassified documents from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, released to the National Security Archive, shed light on the Ford administration’s relationship with President Suharto of Indonesia during 1975. Of special importance is the record of Ford’s and Kissinger’s meeting with Suharto in early December 1975. The document shows that Suharto began the invasion knowing that he had the full approval of the White House. Both of these documents had been released in heavily excised form some years ago, but with Suharto now out of power, and following the collapse of Indonesian control over East Timor, the situation has changed enough that both documents have been released in their entirety.

Other documents found among State Department records at the National Archives elucidate the inner workings of U.S. policy toward the Indonesian crisis during 1975 and 1976. Besides confirming that Henry Kissinger and top advisers expected an eventual Indonesian takeover of East Timor, archival material shows that the Secretary of State fully understood that the invasion of East Timor involved the "illegal" use of U.S.-supplied military equipment because it was not used in self-defense as required by law.

Although Indonesia was a major site of U.S. energy and raw materials investment, an important petroleum exporter, strategically located near vital shipping lanes, and a significant recipient of U.S. military assistance, the country—much less the East Timor question—barely figures into Henry Kissinger’s memoirs of the Nixon and Ford administrations. Gerald Ford’s memoir briefly discusses the December 1975 visit to Jakarta but does not mention the discussion of East Timor with Suharto. Indeed, as important as the bilateral relationship was, Jakarta's brutal suppression of the independence movement in East Timor was a development that neither Ford nor Kissinger wanted people to remember about their time in power. That the two decided on a course of action of dubious legality and that resulted in the slaughter of thousands of Timorese may well have also discouraged further reflection, at least in public. No doubt the omissions from Ford's and Kissinger's memoirs also reflect the low priority that East Timor had during the Ford administration. For senior officials, the fate of a post-colonial East Timor paled in comparison to the strategic relationship with the anti-communist Suharto regime, especially in the wake of the communist victory in Vietnam, when Ford and Kissinger wanted to strengthen relations with anti-communists and check left-wing movements in the region.(1) But it is not simply a matter of omission; on several occasions Kissinger has explicitly denied that he ever had substantive discussions of East Timor with Suharto, much less having consented to Indonesian plans.(2) The new evidence contradicts Kissinger's statements: Indonesian plans for the invasion of East Timor were indeed discussed with Suharto, and Ford and Kissinger gave them the green light. As Kissinger advised Suharto on the eve of the invasion: "it is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly" but that "it would be better if it were done after we returned" to the United States.

Although these new documents shed important light on U.S. policy toward the East Timor question in 1975, much more needs to be learned about U.S. policymaking during 1975 and 1976. Unfortunately, most of the relevant sources are classified. The large collection of Kissinger-Scowcroft office files at the Ford Library remains unavailable, as are the records of the State Department’s Indonesia desk and the Bureau of East Asian Affairs for the 1970s. The State Department's recent acquisition of Henry Kissinger's telephone conversation transcripts might include important material, although they will probably reflect the relatively low priority that the policymakers gave to the East Timor question.

More: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB62/
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:05 AM (5 replies)

UN peacekeepers exit East Timor: The legacy of Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger's massacre remains

The United Nations has ended its peacekeeping mission in East Timor after 13 years of providing the country direct security assistance.

A final batch of UN troops and logistics staff left the South-east Asian country, officially known as Timor Leste, on Monday.

"Timor-Leste has now reached a stage in its development, politically and developmentally, where it can in fact stand on its own feet," said Finn Reske-Nielsen, Head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste.

The government plans to boost development from the country’s offshore oil and gas reserves, which experts say, may benefit urban Timorese more than the regional poor.

More: http://aje.me/WfnQCP

Amy Goodman Recounts the East Timor Massacre 15 Years Ago

This weekend marked the 15th anniversary of the massacre at the Santa Cruz cemetery in East Timor. On November 12th, 1991, Indonesian troops opened fire on a crowd of several thousand unarmed Timorese civilians gathered in Dili. At least 271 people were killed. Journalists Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn witnessed and survived the massacre. We play an excerpt of their award-winning documentary, "Massacre: The Story of East Timor." [includes rush transcript]

AMY GOODMAN: I was in East Timor 15 years ago this weekend with journalist Allan Nairn, and this is a clip of our documentary, Massacre: The Story of East Timor.

AMY GOODMAN: And then came the morning of November 12, the two-week commemoration of Sebastiao’s funeral. A memorial mass and procession were planned to lay flowers on Sebastiao’s grave. After the mass was held at the Moteal, people, young and old, came out into the street, and in a land where public speech and assembly had been forbidden for over a decade, they started chanting. The Timorese then held up banners drawn on bed sheets. They had been prepared for the delegation that never came. The banners called on Indonesia to leave East Timor and said things like "Why the Indonesian army shoot our church?" The Timorese were facing a gauntlet of troops that stretched the length of Dili. It was the boldest act of public protest occupied Timor had ever seen.

ALLAN NAIRN: More and more Timorese joined the procession. They came from huts and schools and offices along the way. And there was this building feeling of exhilaration, as well as fear, among the Timorese. And when they reached the cemetery, the crowd had swelled to maybe 5,000 people. Some went inside to lay flowers on Sebastiao’s grave. Most of the crowd was still outside, and then suddenly, someone looked up, and we saw that marching up along the same route that the Timorese had come came a long column of Indonesian troops, dressed in brown, holding M-16s in front of them, marching in a very slow, deliberate fashion —hundreds and hundreds of troops, coming straight at the Timorese.

AMY GOODMAN: Allan suggested we walk to the front of the crowd between the soldiers and the Timorese, because although we knew that the army had committed many massacres, we hoped that we, as foreign journalists, could serve as a shield for the Timorese. Standing with headphones on and microphone and camera out in full view, we went and stood in the middle of the road, looking straight at the approaching troops. Behind us, the crowd was hushed as some Timorese tried to turn away, but they were hemmed in by cemetery walls.

ALLAN NAIRN: The soldiers marched straight up to us. They never broke their stride. We were enveloped by the troops, and when they got a few yards past us, within a dozen yards of the Timorese, they raised their rifles to their shoulders all at once, and they opened fire. The Timorese, in an instant, were down, just torn apart by the bullets. The street was covered with bodies, covered with blood. And the soldiers just kept on coming. They poured in, one rank after another. They leaped over the bodies of those who were down. They were aiming and shooting people in the back. I could see their limbs being torn, their bodies exploding. There was blood spurting out into the air. The pop of the bullets, everywhere. And it was very organized, very systematic. The soldiers did not stop. They just kept on shooting until no one was left standing.

More: http://www.democracynow.org/2006/11/13/amy_goodman_recounts_the_east_timor

FORD, KISSINGER AND THE INDONESIAN INVASION, 1975-76

The Indonesian invasion of East Timor in December 1975 set the stage for the long, bloody, and disastrous occupation of the territory that ended only after an international peacekeeping force was introduced in 1999. President Bill Clinton cut off military aid to Indonesia in September 1999—reversing a longstanding policy of military cooperation—but questions persist about U.S. responsibility for the 1975 invasion; in particular, the degree to which Washington actually condoned or supported the bloody military offensive. Most recently, journalist Christopher Hitchens raised questions about the role of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in giving a green light to the invasion that has left perhaps 200,000 dead in the years since. Two newly declassified documents from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, released to the National Security Archive, shed light on the Ford administration’s relationship with President Suharto of Indonesia during 1975. Of special importance is the record of Ford’s and Kissinger’s meeting with Suharto in early December 1975. The document shows that Suharto began the invasion knowing that he had the full approval of the White House. Both of these documents had been released in heavily excised form some years ago, but with Suharto now out of power, and following the collapse of Indonesian control over East Timor, the situation has changed enough that both documents have been released in their entirety.

Other documents found among State Department records at the National Archives elucidate the inner workings of U.S. policy toward the Indonesian crisis during 1975 and 1976. Besides confirming that Henry Kissinger and top advisers expected an eventual Indonesian takeover of East Timor, archival material shows that the Secretary of State fully understood that the invasion of East Timor involved the "illegal" use of U.S.-supplied military equipment because it was not used in self-defense as required by law.

Although Indonesia was a major site of U.S. energy and raw materials investment, an important petroleum exporter, strategically located near vital shipping lanes, and a significant recipient of U.S. military assistance, the country—much less the East Timor question—barely figures into Henry Kissinger’s memoirs of the Nixon and Ford administrations. Gerald Ford’s memoir briefly discusses the December 1975 visit to Jakarta but does not mention the discussion of East Timor with Suharto. Indeed, as important as the bilateral relationship was, Jakarta's brutal suppression of the independence movement in East Timor was a development that neither Ford nor Kissinger wanted people to remember about their time in power. That the two decided on a course of action of dubious legality and that resulted in the slaughter of thousands of Timorese may well have also discouraged further reflection, at least in public. No doubt the omissions from Ford's and Kissinger's memoirs also reflect the low priority that East Timor had during the Ford administration. For senior officials, the fate of a post-colonial East Timor paled in comparison to the strategic relationship with the anti-communist Suharto regime, especially in the wake of the communist victory in Vietnam, when Ford and Kissinger wanted to strengthen relations with anti-communists and check left-wing movements in the region.(1) But it is not simply a matter of omission; on several occasions Kissinger has explicitly denied that he ever had substantive discussions of East Timor with Suharto, much less having consented to Indonesian plans.(2) The new evidence contradicts Kissinger's statements: Indonesian plans for the invasion of East Timor were indeed discussed with Suharto, and Ford and Kissinger gave them the green light. As Kissinger advised Suharto on the eve of the invasion: "it is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly" but that "it would be better if it were done after we returned" to the United States.

Although these new documents shed important light on U.S. policy toward the East Timor question in 1975, much more needs to be learned about U.S. policymaking during 1975 and 1976. Unfortunately, most of the relevant sources are classified. The large collection of Kissinger-Scowcroft office files at the Ford Library remains unavailable, as are the records of the State Department’s Indonesia desk and the Bureau of East Asian Affairs for the 1970s. The State Department's recent acquisition of Henry Kissinger's telephone conversation transcripts might include important material, although they will probably reflect the relatively low priority that the policymakers gave to the East Timor question.

More: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB62/
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Mon Dec 31, 2012, 07:34 AM (2 replies)

I'm not being sarcastic: can you eat pigeons that live in the city?

Is it illegal to eat them? I may need to know this at some point.

They used to call cats roof rabbits in Central Europe's hard times during and between World War I and World War II. I don't think I could bring myself to kill and eat a cat no matter how hungry I was. I could eat a pigeon though. I'm not fond of them.
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:44 PM (130 replies)

It's looking less likely that I'm going to be eating crow

(I still hope I'm wrong and will enjoy a delicious crow dinner at some point.)

Me on Nov 19:

I will fully embrace DUers saying "I told you so". I'll happily admit that I was a fool to even suggest that President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party would raise the retirement age or do anything to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.


President Obama on Dec 14:

"The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican."


President Obama on Dec 30:

"But David, as you know, one of the proposals we made was something called Chain CPI, which sounds real technical but basically makes an adjustment in terms of how inflation is calculated on Social Security. Highly unpopular among Democrats. Not something supported by AARP. But in pursuit of strengthening Social Security for the long-term I'm willing to make those decisions."
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:04 PM (15 replies)

Which woman is best for home defence?

Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:55 AM (22 replies)

Two al Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen drone strike-official

Source: Reuters



ADEN, Yemen - Two suspected al Qaeda-linked insurgents were killed in a drone strike in Yemen's eastern region of Hadramout on Friday, a local security official said.

The two men were riding a motorcycle west of the coastal town of al-Sheher when the pilotless aircraft fired at them, the official told Reuters, declining to be named. He gave no further details of the identity of those killed.

On Monday, at least five people were killed in two drone strikes in Yemen, one of them also in Hadramout, the first such attacks in several weeks.

The United States has escalated its use of drones against al Qaeda in Yemen. The Islamist group exploited mass anti-government unrest last year to seize swathes of territory in the south before being driven out by a military offensive in June.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/28/us-yemen-drone-idUSBRE8BR0CN20121228
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:51 AM (13 replies)

Katt Williams: Quentin Tarantino Has No Business Using The N-Word



In between getting out of jail and getting in the middle of a parking lot brawl, Katt Williams took the time to talk to TMZ about "Django Unchained" ... and threatened to beat the crap out of Quentin Tarantino if he gets the chance.

Williams didn't voice his opinion in a polite way like Spike Lee did. First he threatened to punch QT in the face, then told us, "Qunetin Tarantino thinks he can say the N-word. But I checked with all of Ni**adom and nobody knows where he got his pass from. I hope he didn't get it from Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx cause they aren't going to help you when I see you."

When our photog tried to compare QT to Steven Spielberg (who made "Amistad" in 1997), Katt shot back, "Quentin Tarantino is no Steven Spielberg. Steven Spielberg doesn't wanna be black, Quentin Tarantino thinks he is. So when he meets a real ni**a, we'll see if he is or not."

Quentin, you've been warned.

More: http://www.tmz.com/2012/12/29/katt-williams-quentin-tarantino-django-unchained/
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:29 AM (36 replies)

Report: 3 officers shot, gunman killed at N.J. police HQ

Source: USA Today

A suspect under arrest was shot and killed inside a police station in New Jersey early Friday after he obtained a weapon and opened fire on three officers, injuring one seriously, according to police officials.

The gunfire erupted at the Gloucester Township police headquarters around 5:30 a.m. ET, according to Deputy Chief David Harkins, the (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post reported.

He said the unidentified suspect got his hands on a firearm and shot at the three officers.

"The officers returned fire and the suspect is deceased at this time inside the police station," he said.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/28/gloucester-new-jersey-police-shooting-injured/1795665/
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:00 AM (16 replies)

2,750-year-old temple discovered in Israel

The finds, dated to the early monarchic period and including pottery figurines of men and horses, provide rare testimony of a ritual cult in the Jerusalem region at the beginning of the period of the monarchy.



Rare evidence of the religious practices and rituals in the early days of the Kingdom of Judah has recently been discovered at Tel Motza, to the west of Jerusalem. In excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is currently conducting at the Tel Motza archaeological site, prior to work being carried out on the new Highway 1 from Sha'ar HaGai to Jerusalem by the National Roads Company (previously the Public Works Department), a ritual building (a temple) and a cache of sacred vessels some 2,750 years old have been uncovered.



According to Anna Eirikh, Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz, directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple. The uniqueness of the structure is even more remarkable because of the vicinity of the site's proximity to the capital city of Jerusalem, which acted as the Kingdom's main sacred center at the time." According to the archaeologists, "Among other finds, the site has yielded pottery figurines of men, one of them bearded, whose significance is still unknown."

Tel Motza and the surrounding region are renowned for their prime archaeological importance. Many finds have previously been uncovered at the site, from a variety of different periods. From the 1990's to the beginning of the present millennium, the site was excavated in preparation for the new route taken by Highway 1. At the time, the site's archaeologists proposed once more identifying the site with the Biblical settlement "Mozah" mentioned in the Book of Joshua - a town in the tribal lands of Benjamin bordering on Judaea (Joshua 18: 26). The proposal was based, among other things, on the discovery at the site of a public building, a large structure with storehouses, and a considerable number of silos. At the time, archaeologists identified the site as a storehouse, run by high-ranking officials, for Jerusalem's grain supplies.

The current excavations have revealed evidence that provides another aspect to our understanding of the site. According to archaeologists Eirikh, Dr. Khalaily and, Kisilevitz, the current excavation has revealed part of a large structure, from the early days of the monarchic period (Iron Age IIA). The walls of the structure are massive, and it includes a wide, east-facing entrance, conforming to the tradition of temple construction in the ancient Near East: the rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the object placed inside the temple first, symbolizing the divine presence within. A square structure which was probably an altar was exposed in the temple courtyard, and the cache of sacred vessels was found near the structure.

More: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Early+History+-+Archaeology/Temple_vessels_Biblical_Tel_Motza_26-Dec-2012.htm
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:19 AM (0 replies)
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