Archive for john kerry

Misfired Palestinian(?) Airstrikes At a Main Hospital and Public Park in Gaza Reported

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Who shot the rockets??

Two separate strikes near the main hospital in Gaza and the nearby Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City, brought a stream of victims out of the medical center. Most news outlets report ten dead.

It was initially broadcast on MSNBC as a pair of Israeli airstrikes, that has been the pattern … then perhaps unsurprisingly, by 22 after the hour on Monday, EST, Tamron Hall was reporting that the strikes appear more and more to be friendly fire misfirings.

Now both sides are denying blame.

memewrong

Which is almost more tragic. But by noon, we realize that NBC doesn't have a definitive view of who fired the rockets that caused the damage they are reporting in their crawl and on their website, see below. Andrea Mitchell had to get Ayman Mohyeldin back, to discuss. Then Susan Rice.

By chance, Mitchell already had National Security Advisor Susan Rice on her docket, and that footage is informative as well. She urged a political settlement and long-term disarmament and a future for both Gaza and Israel.

Mysteriously, NewsNation never put up Tamron Hall's footage of their field reporter, but I caught part of the footage in another NBC location and that is last, below. Maybe they'll have it figured out by Maddow. [Will update. Or click here just in case. Rachel Central.] But NBC ran footage of John Kerry's statements today, have a listen.

Hamas officials, as reported by Mohyeldin, feel that most of the Palestine people are tired of living under siege … but they'll fight to the end if they have to, because the existential fight is rather bigger than all of them, alive and dead.

That's one sobering look into the future.

From MSNBC's breaking coverage Monday morning.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/middle-east-unrest/gaza-strikes-near-shifa-hospital-refugee-camp-kill-or-wound-n166571

Another strike occurred at the Al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza. At least 30 dead and wounded were brought to Shifa Hospital in ambulances, civilian cars and on motorcycles. A NBC News team in the area said the strikes were in "close succession."

However, the Israel Defense Forces told Haaretz that a “preliminary investigation has found the Israeli army did not fire at the Shifa Hospital, and the fire is believed to have been Hamas.” The IDF could not immediately be reached to clarify that account on Monday.

ohlookapenny

MSNBC reported this with a bit of a personal angle, they had a film crew in the hospital at the time and they were on site to film the strike at the medical complex. The outpatient clinic was thought to the target of the 5 p.m. [Israeli time] extremely lethal missile.

The reporter on the ground, familiar NBC field newsman Ayman Mohyeldin, was there.

For some background, Lester Holt and Mohyeldin on Today over the weekend discussing one of the rolling cease fires John Kerry has been busily negotiating in an effort to quiet the roiling waters.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Well this is a pickle, which in turn ties right back to the Churchillian enigma that is the struggle in Gaza. I was on the other side of that border thirty years ago this summer, and it was as uncomfortable then as it must be now - and about as dangerous.

It was, however, before the Right Wing truly adopted Israel as their savior and their land as what will be their reward for enduring Obama and Armageddon: Rapture Ground Zero.

quoi?

Just waiting for someone to beller, "At this point does it really matter who fired the rocket that killed 9 children at a refugee camp and hospital during a rolling cease fire in Gaza?" in shades of a righteously frustrated Hillary Clinton in the hot seat.

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Lindsey Graham Clutches His Pearls On Foreign Policy … #CuzPutin !

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Cuz ...... PUTIN. Is pretty much what Miss Lindsey clutched his pearls and sputtered for David Gregory Sunday.

It's a popular GOP All Purpose regressive stutter.

Cuz ...... PUTIN.

Los Three Amigos, Graham, McCain and the Other Guy (let's give them a running start for the day and make it a certifiably dis-self-interested Republican Lady today, Kelly Ayotte comes to mind); these are the ones we HAD to hear from on Sunday Tawk … and then again, on Monday Morning Punditry.

playing-footsy

For a sumup of the latter, early morning messnbc serves to update.

meanwhile

Thomas Roberts (I'm going to keep on loving him unapologetically, and keep hoping he and Maddow are friends for some odd reason), current charming steward of messnbc's Way Too Early at the crack of what(?) advance show to Morning Schmoe [ my autocorrect kept putting Morning Hoe I Swear!] summed up the Lindsey Graham Sunday Pearl Clutch well.

Thomas ...

On another planet's must sees of Sunday Talkers, John Kerry found himself on the business end of a hot mic and not far enough away from the only (they allege) voice we libs have to at least give a listen to ... Mike Wallace's kid, Chris.

Kerry was caught reacting to an aide about civilian casualties in the latest Mideast skirmishes and of his desire as Secretary of State to be on gia way to the region. This was the normal human reaction to hearing that ANY CIVIIANS have died in war ANY where ... and got drenched in "We told 'yaz" from Fvx Nation until, well, ... now.

For grins and giggles, let us compare. Early-bird messsnbc ran a breaking/kind of banner about the deadliest day yet in Gaza, including two Israeli soldiers born here in America ... to Schmoe and the Wall Street Journal predicting a Ramp Up.

And the Curvy Couch of Ick on Fox and Friends went with ...

TWO AMERICANS DEAD!!! Two Americans spilled blood ... Dizzy Hasselbeck tried to capture the gravitas of Gaza and frenzy her wee base at one go.

Cuz ...... PUTIN.

AttaBoy

And now Mika and Joe are declaring a Deafening Silence is coming from the White House.

Cuz ...... PUTIN, and Mika's Daddy doesn't like Putin or Joe Schmoe for that matter. And where would Haass go but down to the bunker also too?

Joe Schmoe's obligatory GOP Ronald Reagan paean included, before a gratiutous dig to the legendary feckless Obama's Lack Of Feck. Are we back to the Ego Bowl again?

Heilemann pointed out that this president takes a lot of flack for not doing enough to help his party as midterms approach ... well this is about as much as he CAN contribute. This level of fundraising!

Seriously. Go Heilemann. You might have a future in the evening lineup. Keep that pseudo-reality train stopping through there on a regular basis.

'Kremlin control' in a nationalist-frenzied Russia was reported on first hand by none other than David Remnick, however, by the 7:15 mark.
Worth the few moments to get his perspective. Mind the neo-con manure.

quoi?

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Protocols in the Ukraine Deemed "Unacceptable" by PBO and NTSB

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The weekend news footage has been filled with disappointment in virtually all aspects of the recovery operation, such as it is, in the plane crash site in the Eastern Ukraine that separatist 'rebels' have apparent dominion over.

There are photos, some in the piece on Maddow's coverage of the tragedy, here, that remind us that this is indeed a human tragedy - much as the one in Lockerbie, Scotland, that a lot of us can recall, and has the need for grieving as much as the inevitable politicizing.

Would our response be more hysterical and Fvx Nation driven were more American corpses involved in this hot mess of an 'investigation'? Putin didn't want the eyes of the world on this area in this fashion -- why would he? The Australian and European families may be more persistent than the Americans even in poking at Putin for details and black boxes … they've been dealing with these conflicts in their own backyards (bullshite John McCain, we will never 'all' be any one former Soviet nation attempting to be a democracy 'now' or any time, that was such balderdash) for centuries.

JohnMcCain1

Early news pretty much consisted of UP with Steve Kornacki and a rather pompous young self-declared expert on all things Muscovite. Until David Gregory has at the situation at 9 EST on Meet the Press which I'll also run, below.

Sunday early thoughts on Ukraine from UP.

As soon as available, the opening block with Andrea Mitchell reporting on Meet the Press, then some footage of David Gregory speaking with SOS John Kerry earlier this morning.

Kerry said the circumstantial evidence is powerful, but also that we knew the imagery was accurate. "We also see a stacking up of evidence here … President Obama believees and we in there international community join in believing, that we need unfettered access."

Kerry held a firm chin. And handed David Gregory back his smirky smug 'grandiose' Cold War pronouncement right back to him with nary a hitch in his Secretarial gravitas giddy up.

"Russia needs to step up and prove it's bona fides."

Well, well. John Kerry gets tough. Ish.

AttaBoy

JohnMcCain1

Peace, I'mOut

SOWeMeetAgain

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Surprise: Newest American Saboteurs are Democratic Senators

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aipac

When you hear names like Charlie Schumer, Mark Warner, Cory Booker, Kay Hagen, Mary Landrieu, Bob Casey and Richard Blumenthal, you usually hear that some Democratically sponsored bill has their support. And usually you're right, give or take one of the above.

Yet recently, led by Senator Bob Menendez, these US elected officials to the upper house have been sold a bill of goods. And it's not a jobs or education bill. Nor is it some health plan or civil rights issue. It's war.

Real war. A potential nuclear war.

Why these guys? This isn't the Republican Party war stalwarts, Lindsay Graham and John McCain. These are normal people -- at least as normal as it gets in the senate.

The truth is these new Hawk senators are on the dole. Not necessarily news there -- all elected officials are influenced by lobbyists. But this time, and I'm going to take heat for this, it's the Jewish Mafia. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It's the most influential Jewish lobby group in the US. And historically they have backed candidates who fight for justice and equality in social issues, and political ones when it comes to Israel.

Now Israel has a special place in my heart. Not just because it's the Jewish homeland and I was born a Jew, but my wife is a Sabra, a native born Israeli. And once you have that in your blood, you're generally a dyed-in -the-wool supporter of anything the Israeli Knesset (parliament) proposes.

This brings us to war and peace. For nearly 30 years we've been in a cold war with Iran. We've had no formal diplomatic talks with them and we've been the world leader in getting other nations to impose austere economic sanctions against them. That was until about four months ago. There was a breakthrough. John Kerry reported back to the US that talks on stopping or at least tightening nuclear safeguards with Iran were possible. But like all negotiations, there's a bit of 'give a little' to 'get a little.' The price for us was to hold off on further economic sanctions while negotiations would take place (a six months moratorium). The price to the Iranians is to allow open international monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program -- full inspections.

This was a great tit for tat -- especially as pressure was building for war between our two countries.  That would ultimately would result in a nuclear conflagration. There's no way around that. Yet here's a potentially peaceful solution at hand. The only ones unhappy in that region are Saudi Arabia (remember where the 911 trainees spent much of their pre-attack time) and Israel -- the other nuclear armed country in the region who doesn't want any competition in weapons superiority. And I can understand that.

Obviously those in the pocket of the neo-cons -- the entire GOP party hierarchy -- were against this. But the Democrats? How could they be against peace -- especially one their President is working so hard to accomplish? And if you're looking at public opinion, over 60% favor a peaceful solution with Iran over war. So how could 16 Democrats come out and favor new sanctions which would lead to Iran pulling away from the negotiating table?

Obama was told in no uncertain words that new sanctions  against Iran would be a line in the sand by the their President. Secretary of State Kerry was told the talks would be DEAD if Congress passed new sanctions by the Iranian Foreign Minister. So until we find a reason not to, why not give peace a chance?

The Republicans want war and they've been able, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. to stir the pot and brainwash the Jewish senate members (or those gentile members who aren't totally anti-semitic) by selling a bill of goods that peace negotiations can't be trusted. Netanyahu along via the dangerous and borderline deranged John McCain (who's totally bonkers) contacted his influential PAC, the AIPAC, and forced them to exert pressure on the weak and vulnerable among the Democratic senators. Face it, backbone is not a prerequisite for being a Democrat.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Chris Hayes:

Finally, some sense of sanity. Obama spoke to the Democratic Senate Caucus last night and evidently they've seen the light of their wayward ways.

UPDATE: Since this airing, according to WAPO:

But editorial boards and commentators have harshly condemned the push for a vote. Many Senate Democrats have continued to remain silent, which could well be a sign of an unwillingness to sign on to the bill. A couple Dem senators have come out against it in the last couple of days, joining 10 Dem committee chairs who have already done the same. At last whip count, this bill will not get past Harry Reid and is now considered dead.

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Luckily For Peace, Our Congress Is Inept

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nuclear explosion

If it weren't for the inability of either chamber of Congress to get their acts together and actually do something, we might be heading for war. Yup, war.

Just after Obama chose to involve Congress in a decision to take action against Syria for the use of chemical weapons, the elected officials went nutso. Everyone including the shoe-shine guy in the rotunda had an opinion and most were not leaning toward the elected official whose call it really was - President Obama's. The Republicans are a war machine and they wanted to start bombing. The Democrats were timid and were afraid they'd get nailed to the tree like they did when they went along with the phony war in Iraq. So they ran around like the beheaded chickens we've heard so much about.

Finally, in steps a possible diplomatic solution. You'd think everyone in Congress would breath a sigh of relief, even if only temporarily while the plan had a chance to be ironed out. But no, the Republicans were insisting on war. The only thing that kept us from spilling blood, lost lives both American and Syrian was that Congress can't agree on anything.

You'd think that's a bad thing. But there's a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel here. Even that blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

The good fortune in this picture is that we have a diplomatic chance to shut down, possibly even remove totally any threat of nuclear armament in Iran. Yes, that country who for over 30 years we had no official contact with. On the cusp of their going nuclear, a possible treaty is in the works. The only thing that could gum it up would be Congress. A warmongering Republican run House of Representatives. All it would take to tip the fragile preliminary diplomacy would be the House and Senate coming up with new economic sanctions against Iran. And the GOP were pushing as hard as they could. If they succeeded, the talks would be called off and probably immediate escalations would have taken place as a possible nuclear flash point could have been reached.

The Republicans in Congress didn't care if this would lead to nuclear war. The simple fact that Obama might go down in history for two huge diplomatic solutions to potential wars, on top of his successes with finishing up Iran's conflict and potentially running down the war in Afghanistan was just too much. How could a Black president be allowed a place like that in history?

So fortunately, the dis-functionality of Congress worked in the American people's favor this time.  Watch Rachel Maddow as she lays it out clearly, precisely and accurately for us. We owe our Congresspeople a collective acknowledgement that their inability to work is going to perhaps save our lives.

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The GOP Wages War On Peace

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shiny object syndrome

Republicans are just like pet cats. "Oh, look, another shiny object."

Recently rounds of their Scandalgates include: Solyndra, the IRS, Benghazi, Obamacare, court packing, and now Iran. Those frisky felines just can't find enough distractions from doing their job, legislating. How about financial reform? Immigration? A crumbling infrastructure? Job creation? Illegal voter restrictions? Education funding

Why can't the Republicans accept peaceful means as an answer for settling conflicts? Why must bullets fly? Are they really that heavily into the back pockets of the current day military-industrial complex?

This past Saturday night, a long in the works agreement was finally reached on a first step agreement toward resolving a growing nuclear threat with Iran. Happy, happy, joy, joy! Not to the war-torn tribes of the Republican party.

This agreement is but a first step. Not a treaty. An agreement to outline procedures that could ultimately lead to a resolve of tensions, sanctions and normalization with a huge population in the tension packed Middle East.

Though Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu isn't happy, the rest of the world should be. If we go to war with Iran, all of the middle east will be pulled in and every power around the world (Russia, China, Japan, England) will be drawn into the conflict. This area is the hotbed, the potential flash point of a possible nuclear annihilation of the world. Any chance at peace in that region must be seriously exploited.

So this accord should be looked at in a positive light -- unless you're a Republican. When you're the party of war and conflict, peace becomes your enemy. And if the people of the US have tired of war, you have to keep up the ruse of a threat so you can still hold onto your popularity. That's the talking points now for the Republicans. But what they're really saying is they're against possible peaceful solutions when they can profit so much more by seeing US troops killed and so much blood and money pumped into their war machine.

This agreement is a baby step, the beginning of a long and most arduous journey. But we have to start somewhere, and firing the shot heard round the world isn't the best option. Not when talking, peacefully negotiating and bringing the world together focusing on facts, not rumors, is the result.

The Israeli's who are generally very reliable say Iran is but moments (figuratively) away from nuclear capabilities. But the English and French who gave GW Bush the intelligence that Saddam Hussein had WMD's are just as reliable. And their claims proved false. Do we need a war when we can peacefully approach and confirm the situation?

There are risks here, make no mistake. But when the argument against the first steps are "this is just a smoke screen or diversion from the failed rollout of Obamacare" you have to wonder what planet these critics are from. A diversion? I can't wait until Obama faces responsibility for the next blizzard, earthquake or hurricane that happens upon our shores.

Let's get real here. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Senators John Cornyn and Bob Corker are leading the charge of talking points that claim this agreement is merely a distraction for Obamacare. This pablum is coming from leaders of the fallen GOP party. This kind of thinking indicates they are all in need a LifeAlert bracelet -- "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up."

help I've fallen

If these morons can utilize their talking points, maybe it's time the Democrats start pushing theirs-- play the racial bigotry card against the GOP. Republicans don't want peace because they don't want a Black president to get credit for eliminating chemical weapons in Syria, ending a war in Iraq and shutting down nuclear threats in Iran.

In the '70s, during the Viet Nam era, the popular chant of John Lennon's song became a peace mantra, 'All we are saying, is give peace a chance." Never truer than today. Let's give peace a chance.

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State Department: All Clear To Watch "Fifth Estate"

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Assange real and actor

Okay, I'm reading my morning feeds of news stories and this headline catches my eye from FOREIGN POLICY.

State Department Employees Cleared to Watch WikiLeaks Movie

Ever since WikiLeaks.org began releasing thousands of classified cables, State Department employees have been forbidden from visiting the website without explicit authorization. (Sure, it was a silly prohibition given the proliferation of mainstream newspaper stories based on the WikiLeaks cables, but them's the rules). So how about viewing WikiLeaks the movie?

Not a problem, the State Department tells The Cable. Watching the hotly anticipated WikiLeaks drama Fifth Estate will not place employees on the naughty list.

Now I know that in the State Department, they have all kinds of rules and regulations about how you conduct yourselves, what you can do, who you can speak with and where you can go. But really, how can an organization expect to run at full efficiency if they clamp on a governor to your viewing habits if these activities are fully legal to anyone else?

It's okay for my barber or kid's teacher to read these reports, or my watching the news and getting them fed to me, but I can't go to the site myself to see what I'm missing? I think there's a screw loose here, or maybe many of them.

I can understand asking a State Department employee from forgoing an activity which could lead to their being blackmailed. But going to Wikileaks? Watching a movie? Where is this line drawn and who gets to make the decision if something is to be  stamped, verboten?

Fifth Estate

Wouldn't it be in the country's best interest if the State Department allowed its workers to have access to a site like Wikileaks -- especially Wikileaks? If Julian Assange is printing things that are false, who would know better than the people who might be fingered on the site? And if the media organization's accusations and reports are true, but considered secret, who would know better?

I think viewing these sites, not by ordained monitors but by the full slate of State Department personnel should not only be allowed, but required. This way, if some secret is being revealed, or someone's safety is compromised, identity or hints insinuated, they can report it to the department. They shouldn't have to rely on some intra-agency readers to shed light on an employee's possible danger.

Doesn't it  make you wonder? Here's a film about a whistle blower (Julian Assange) who published classified info and continues to do so on his site (Wikileaks.org) and it's okay to watch but not visit the actual site?

This is nuts. And maybe John Kerry can explain it. If I was with the State Department, I would want to know everything the public knows, especially if my safety is being compromised. Wouldn't you?

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