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Monthly Archive: January 2009

Jan 16 2009

Journalistic courage

(On January 8, 2009 Lasantha Wickramatunga, the outspoken editor of a Sri Lankan newspaper The Sunday Leader was brutally murdered on his way to work in the heart of the capital city Colombo. It was the work of a so-called ‘death squad’, those shadowy armed and violent groups that act with impunity in many countries. …

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Jan 15 2009

Breaking the rule in discussions about US policies

In yesterday’s post, I spoke about the unwritten rule that politicians, reporters, and commentators in the US are expected to follow when it comes to discussing the Israel-Palestine conflict. A similar rule exists when it comes to discussion of the policies of the US government. Glenn Greenwald points out where this rule leads, where now …

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Jan 14 2009

Breaking the rule

My series of posts last week on the events in Gaza caused unease for some readers because of their strong criticisms of the actions of the Israeli government and military, such as the siege that had been going on for years and the massive assault that has been going on the past month. The unease …

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Jan 13 2009

The Year of Reason-2: Starting the process

When in social situations people hear that I am an atheist, they often ask why I don’t believe in a god. The answer is extremely simple and can be given in just one sentence: There is no sense in believing in something for which there is no evidence. But I have noticed that when people …

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Jan 12 2009

The Year of Reason-1: Understanding the reasons for irrational beliefs

(I was planning to start the new year with this post, but it got pre-empted by the posts on the horror that is being perpetrated on the people of Gaza.) I think we should declare 2009 the Year of Reason. This should be the year when we make a concerted effort to wipe out superstitious …

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Jan 09 2009

On Gaza-5: The public reaction

The largely one-sided nature of the response in the US to the events in Gaza is seen by the fact that even university academics, who are supposed to have the knowledge and independence to speak their minds, become suddenly silent when Israel takes actions like what is currently happening in Gaza. Neve Gordon and Jeff …

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Jan 08 2009

On Gaza-4: The US and UK government reactions

In response to the Israeli attack on Gaza, the US and UK governments and the mainstream media in those countries have been as usual almost unanimous in their support for the Israeli actions and in condemning the Palestinians. Paul Craig Roberts comments on the underlying reasons why Gaza is being strangled and the hypocritical reactions …

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Jan 07 2009

On Gaza-3: The media reaction

The mainstream media in the US and UK follow the line of their respective governments, who in turn follow Israel’s lead and place almost the entire blame on the Palestinians. The power of this conformity can be seen in the kinds of things that Martin Peretz, for over three decades the owner and publisher of …

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Jan 06 2009

On Gaza-2: Countering the myths

Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, in an article well-worth reading titled Palestine’s Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood painstakingly tries to refute all the reasons given by apologists for Israel’s actions to justify this latest assault on the Palestinians. Those myths, which the mainstream media and both democratic and Republican …

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Jan 05 2009

On Gaza-1: The horror

I had hoped to start my first new post for the new year on a positive note, to break away from what has almost become an obsession with political commentary, and get back to writing on all the other topics that this blog’s header promises. But I have been horrified at the massive destruction that …

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