Dissent and Democracies

W.J. Astore Dissent is fundamental to democracy.  Or so we claim.  Until such dissent makes us angry or uncomfortable.  Then we yell at the dissenter to shut up; better yet, we denounce him or her as a traitor to … well, whatever fits. But responsible criticism of the actions of one’s government is not disloyalty;…

Kerry Led Bankrupt, Failed Peace Talks; Now He Wants Bankrupt, Failed Ceasefire

By Richard Silverstein. Introduction by b. traven. Richard Silverstein is an insightful American-Jewish commentator on Israeli affairs. His web site, http://www.richardsilverstein.com, offers a contrarian perspective on Israeli policies and coverage of them by the American mainstream media. Read on for some refreshingly critical perspectives on U.S. cease-fire and peace initiatives, such as they are.  b.…

David versus Goliath in the Middle East

W.J. Astore When I was a kid, I was a big admirer of Israel.  I saw Israel as being surrounded by implacable enemies bent on its destruction.  Israel was the plucky underdog, David against Goliath, with Goliath being Arab countries like Egypt and Syria, having militaries trained and equipped by the Soviet Union, sworn enemy…

The Saudis, the Israelis, and U.S. Foreign Policy

b. traven Knowledgeable Americans are concerned about the conflation of Israeli-Saudi foreign policies with our own. Today we are confronted with problems which both of these countries, ostensibly allies of the U.S., have foisted on the Middle East, the United States, and indeed the entire world. The Saudis with their continued support of the most…

With Peace Envoys like Martin Indyk, the Sun is Still Setting on Israeli-Palestinian Relations

b. traven John Kerry, America’s Secretary of State, has spent the last four months cobbling together a new Palestinian-Israeli peace process charade.  To this end, he’s appointed Martin Indyk as his “Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian (Peace) Negotiations.” Why has the U.S. media failed to assess this appointment in any critical way?  If Indyk had been Muslim…