:: Stage Left ::International politics from the "decent Left".
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:: Saturday, August 17, 2002 ::
Quick self-promotion: If you like this site and want to see more traffic here, help me get on Eric Alterman's blogroll. Email Alterlinks@aol.com (and CC it to me too at judah at brandeis.edu) and let them know you like this site.
:: Friday, August 16, 2002 ::
Possibly in advance of Palestinian elections, we're starting to see the national consensus break apart in Palestine. According to Nabil Sha'ath, a PA Minister, Hamas has rejected efforts by moderate, secular Palestinian groups to create a united Palestinian front of reistance to the Israeli occupation that included claims only to the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and that rejected attacks against civilians in Israel.
Busy, Busy, Busy has been doing a good job of following the Iraqi issue. Its good to finally see a debate.
While he might be another example of Amnon Lipkin-Shahak/Ami Ayalon style "burn bright-burn out" political leaders, Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna is all the rage in the Labor Party. He seems to have real left-wing credenitals, talking about new negotiations with the Palestinians and having good relations with Palestinians citizens in Haifa, a mixed city. He even single-handedly guaranteed the presence of Palestinians at last year's Seeds of Peace camp, after the PA pulles out. If Mitzna should win the Labor chairmanship, me still might not be enough to save the party from collapse. However, with MK Yael Dayan moving to his camp and courting leading doves such as Yossi Beilin and Avraham Burg, he might be what Labor needs. There still isn't a left-wing leader with enough legitimacy to challenge Sharon or Netanyahu, but Mitzna might turn into the closest thing we have. File this one under: wait and see...
This may be one of the very few times I agree with people like Brent Scrowcroft, Norman Schwartkopf, Lawrence Eagleberger, and (war criminal) Henry Kissinger. If the majority of anti-war voices continue to be Republicans, I might just find myself voting for some in the next election (just kidding, sort of...). Where are all the Democrats who oppose Bush's plans to send (mostly lower-class) young men and women to kill and be killed for no reason? If there's more to the Democrats' silence than pre-election politics, I'm going to be very dissapointed.
Josh Marshall keeps asking questions about a meeting between Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Taliban Foreign Minister Ahmad Muttawakil in April 2001. Marshall apparently thinks that Rohrabacher did something very wrong by meeting with Muttawakil and presenting the Taliban with his "personal peace plan". I don't harbor any illusions that this would have been a viable peace plan, still I think the congressman should be congratulated for trying to bring stability and peace to troubled Afghanistan. At the time, the Taliban weren't considered enemies of the U.S. In fact, when they came to power in 1996 the State Department considered them potential allies. Yes, one can take issue with negotiating with such a repressive regime, but the government does it all the time - China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia. In the end, I think contacts between peoples and government are almost always going to be helpful, no matter how far apart the two sides start.
:: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 ::