December 15, 2009

Gathering for Gaza in Doylestown, Dec. 27, 2009

Isaac Luria of, a mainstream pro-Israel lobby, writes:
Gaza is in crisis, and without addressing the urgent humanitarian needs there, the prospects for long-term peace and real security for Israel will grow dimmer. We must act.

A year following Israel's military action in Gaza, rockets and mortars continue to land in southern Israel and residents still do not yet have true security. Israel's international standing continues to sink as a result of fallout from the war. Hamas's grip on the Strip remains strong.

A blockade on Gaza meant to weaken Hamas continues to deepen civilian suffering and anger there by preventing basic necessities and building materials from reaching the population. . . .

Tell Your Rep: Improve the Desperate Situation in Gaza

We must address the urgent humanitarian situation in Gaza to enhance the prospects for real peace and security in the region. . . .

[Suggested message:]

Subject: Please sign the McDermott-Ellison and Moran-Inglis Gaza letters

Your Letter: I believe it is in the interests of the United States, Israel and the Palestinian people for the U.S. to take action to improve the lives of the people of Gaza.

Please sign two letters – first, the McDermott-Ellison letter to President Obama urging him to press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza and, second, the Moran-Inglis letter to Secretary of State Clinton, urging her to press the Israeli government to end the ban on student travel from Gaza to the West Bank.

Bucks County peace activist/Vietnam vet Bill Perry traveled to Egypt to join the Gaza Freedom March and had this to say about it. Here are Bill's photos from Egypt.
Locally, we . . .
December 27, 2009, 3-4 p.m.
Bucks County Courthouse
55 E. Court Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Support freedom and justice for Gaza
Commemorate the anniversary of the invasion and bombardment
inflicted on Gaza from December 27, 2008, to January 17, 2009
Support the Gaza Freedom March
Signs: Be positive, e.g., Freedom for Gaza!
Palestinian flags welcome!
Parking: Lot/garage directly across No. Main St. from Courthouse
Information: or 215-340-9747

The gathering's organizer, longtime Doylestown resident Susan Johnson, visited Gaza in May 2009. Her blog, "Palestine: Seeing for Myself," chronicles her trip. She has also given public presentations, as reported in the Intelligencer.

December 13, 2009

"Appellate Court Overturns Paul Minor Conviction"

By Emily Levy,, December 11, 2009: "Powerful Democratic donor, attorney from Mississippi, others, said to have been targeted for political prosecution by the Bush Administration's Dept. of Justice. . . ."

December 12, 2009

"The strange consensus on Obama's Nobel address"

By Glenn Greenwald,, December 11, 2009:
. . . Yesterday's speech and the odd, extremely bipartisan reaction to it underscored one of the real dangers of the Obama presidency: taking what had been ideas previously discredited as Republican or right-wing dogma and transforming them into bipartisan consensus. It's not just Republicans but Democrats that are now vested in -- and eager to justify -- the virtues of war, claims of Grave Danger posed by Islamic radicals and the need to use massive military force to combat them, indefinite detention, military commissions, extreme secrecy, full-scale immunity for government lawbreaking, and so many other doctrines once purportedly despised by Democrats but now defended by them because their leader has embraced them.

That's exactly the process that led former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith to giddily explain that Obama has actually done more to legitimize Bush/Cheney "counter-terrorism" policies than Bush and Cheney themselves -- because he made them bipartisan -- and Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin made the same point to the New York Times' Charlie Savage back in July. . . ."

December 10, 2009

"Turley: Obama bags Peace Prize while his lawyers are ‘gutting’ Nuremberg"

By David Edwards and Muriel Kane,, December 10, 2009:
The Obama administration has asked the Department of Justice to dismiss a lawsuit brought by convicted terrorist Jose Padilla against torture memo author John Yoo, asserting that Yoo cannot be sued for legal opinions he offered in the course of advising then-President Bush on national security matters.

Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley finds this decision inexplicable. "The president literally has gotten onto a plane this evening to go to Norway," he told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday, "to accept the Nobel Prize, while his Justice Department is effectively gutting a major part of Nuremberg."

"The Obama administration is arguing not only that they shouldn't be prosecuted," Tuirley emphasized, "but it's now saying that you shouldn't even be able to sue them civilly. ... It's an international disgrace. . . ."

December 09, 2009

"My friend the president"

By Glenn Greenwald,, December 8, 2009: ". . . the only question that matters: are the criticisms that have been voiced about Obama valid? Has he appointed financial officials who have largely served the agenda of the Wall Street and industry interests that funded his campaign? Has he embraced many of the Bush/Cheney executive power and secrecy abuses which Democrats once railed against -- from state secrets to indefinite detention to renditions and military commissions? Has he actively sought to protect from accountability and disclosure a whole slew of Bush crimes? Did he secretly a negotiate a deal with the pharmaceutical industry after promising repeatedly that all negotiations over health care would take place out in the open, even on C-SPAN? Are the criticisms of his escalation of the war in Afghanistan valid, and are his arguments in its favor redolent of the ones George Bush made to "surge" in Iraq or Lyndon Johnson made to escalate in Vietnam? Is Bob Herbert right when he condemned Obama's detention policies as un-American and tyrannical, and warned: 'Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House'?"