IDF expands operation in Gaza, approaches southern border, kills gunmen

The Israel Defense Forces pushed into southern Gaza before dawn Wednesday, killing two Palestinian militants, the army and Palestinians reported.

Israeli soldiers killed the two as they approached army positions near Rafah, on the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt, an army spokesman said.

Palestinian security officials said Israeli infantry and tanks took over a swath of the Gaza-Egypt border before dawn Wednesday, including the Rafah border terminal. Troops carried out house-to-house searches and bulldozers levelled agricultural land near the border, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

The army spokesman said Israeli forces were widening the scope of an ongoing operation in southern Gaza, a push he said was aimed at uncovering tunnels used by Palestinian militants to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. Israel has charged that militants have smuggled large quantities of weapons over the border since Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza last summer.

Late Tuesday, Palestinians said a Hamas gunman was killed near the Jebaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza during an exchange of fire with Israeli troops. The army said it was checking the report.

Also Tuesday, the Israeli military said its forces discovered a tunnel under the border between Gaza and Egypt near the Israeli border. The military said the tunnel was being used to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Also, two other tunnel shafts were discovered, the military said. Soldiers planned to blow them up later in the day.

The Israelis say they have discovered 13 such tunnels in the past three months. Israel charges that since it withdrew from Gaza a year ago, turning control of the border over to Egypt and the Palestinians, arms smuggling into Gaza has greatly increased.

In clashes Tuesday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed five Palestinians. In three clashes in the northern West Bank on Tuesday, Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians. In the city of Nablus, Palestinians said undercover soldiers opened fire on a car, killing a local leader of the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and his cousin. The Israeli military said the militant was responsible for attacks against Israelis.

In the nearby town of Qabatiyeh, soldiers killed an Islamic Jihad militant. Also, soldiers fired at Palestinians who were throwing rocks at them, killing one, both sides said.

 

Right On: The coming Middle East war

Right On: The coming Middle East war



The warning signs are everywhere, yet no one wishes to see them. Israel’s foes are gearing up for war, and it’s time that we opened our eyes to the danger that confronts us.

The conflict may be just weeks or even months away, or perhaps a bit longer. How it will start is anyone’s guess, but make no mistake, a major outbreak of hostilities is almost certainly around the corner.

If this sounds like scare-mongering or even an advanced case of paranoia to you, just take a glance at the newspapers from the past few weeks. If you read them with a discerning eye, you will see exactly what I mean.

For whichever direction one chooses to look, be it north, south or east of us, trouble – major trouble – is brewing.

In Lebanon, Hizbullah is busy rebuilding its expansive terrorist infrastructure after this summer’s fighting with Israel. Under the protective shield of UN troops, the group has been welcoming large shipments of weapons from Iran and Syria, and fortifying its bunkers in advance of the next round of conflict.

In a speech delivered last month in Beirut, on September 22, Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah asserted that his organization still has “more than 20,000 rockets” and that it had “recovered all its organizational and military capabilities.”

Even if we allow for an element of boasting and exaggeration, there are clear signs that Nasrallah is steadily engaged in rebuilding his forces.

Indeed, this past Sunday, Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of the IDF intelligence directorate’s research department, told the weekly Cabinet meeting that, “There is conclusive and decisive evidence” that Syria is rearming Hizbullah.

“The weapons smuggling from Syria into Lebanon,” Baidatz said, “is continuing with official Syrian involvement.” He added that Damascus has kept its forces on a war footing, with their artillery and missiles deployed in forward battle positions.

Along these lines, Syrian President Bashar Assad has made a series of public statements in recent weeks, speaking openly about the possibility of military conflict with Israel and his desire to retake the Golan Heights by force.

In an interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba on October 6, Assad said that Damascus was ready for war with the Jewish state. Previously, he insisted that the Golan would be “liberated by Syrian arms,” and warned Israel to “seek peace or face the threat of defeat.”

TURNING SOUTH toward Gaza, the situation is likewise disturbing. Palestinian terrorists continue to fire Kassam rockets into the Negev on a daily basis, hitting Israeli towns and communities such as Sderot and Nir Am.

Since the start of the year, Hamas is said to have smuggled into Gaza over 20 tons of explosives, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. According to media reports, Hamas has also assembled an armed military force consisting of 7,500 fighters, which is said to include specialized units such as snipers, missile batteries and anti-tank troops.

As Yediot Aharonot military correspondent Alex Fishman recently put it, “The Palestinians are arming themselves to the teeth, building a military force, defensive systems and preparing Hizbullah-style surprises.”

Nor is Hamas hiding its intentions. In a statement issued on Monday, the group’s Izzadin al-Kassam brigades declared that it has the “means and arms necessary to confront the Zionist enemy with all our force.”

Saying they are “totally ready to resist,” Hamas added somewhat ominously that, “We have finished preparations to teach the Zionist enemy a lesson it will not forget.”

And then, of course, there is the threat from Teheran to our east, where the Iranian president speaks of wiping Israel off the map even as he continues to pursue his nuclear ambitions.

If anyone thinks that Mr. Ahmadinejad is open to compromise, they should take a look at his latest ramblings. Speaking at a mosque in Teheran on Monday, the Iranian leader insisted that he had received a Divine message indicating that his country would prevail. “One day,” he said, “I will be asked whether I have been in touch with someone who told me we would win, and I will respond: ‘Yes, I have been in touch with God’.”

As if all this were not enough, there have been persistent reports in recent months about a growing al-Qaida presence in the territories, as the international terrorist group seeks to position itself for launching strikes against the Jewish state.

And so, Israel now finds itself surrounded by an arc of hate stretching from Beirut and Damascus in the north, to Teheran in the east, and back to Gaza in the south. Along each chord of this arc, our foes are diligently arming themselves and preparing for battle, both verbally and in practice. It seems safe to assume that these coordinated efforts are no coincidence, and that they are all linked to the seemingly inevitable confrontation that is looming over the region regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Just as Iran sought to send a message to Israel and the US this summer by provoking an outbreak of hostilities in Lebanon, so too Teheran now appears determined to lay the groundwork for a much greater, and far more ambitious, flare-up, one that would threaten to consume the entire region. The Iranians presumably view this as their trump card, thinking that it will give them the means of forestalling a possible US or Israeli attack on their nuclear facilities.

As a result, they have been working to strengthen the extremists throughout the region, who share their desire to hit America and Israel. In all probability, they are merely waiting for the opportune moment with which to set in motion the next provocative act, which will be aimed at igniting the entire Middle East.

HOW SHOULD Israel react to this growing threat? First, we must learn the lesson of this summer’s Lebanon war, which was disastrous precisely because we sat back and allowed our enemies to build up their military infrastructure over time.

Instead of making this same mistake once again, Israel should take whatever steps are necessary to interdict weapons shipments to the terrorists, seal off their supply routes, and hit hard at those who are sending them the weapons in the first place.

Second, the government needs to begin seriously contemplating the possibility of launching preemptive and wide-ranging military strikes. Our foes are openly preparing for war, so why should we allow them the luxury to choose when it starts?

Passivity and indecisiveness cost us dearly in the past, and especially in Lebanon this summer. We can not allow ourselves to play by the enemy’s rules, or even by his schedule, should this scenario once again come to pass.

I truly hope that I am wrong, and that diplomacy and common sense will somehow prevail. The last thing Israel needs right now is another painful conflict, and we should all pray to God for His mercy and intervention.

But as in the past, our enemies may leave us with no other choice but to fight. This time around, let’s just make sure we are ready for the challenge.

“Red Letter” Leftists Referring, of course, to the fact that words of Jesus in Bibles are often printed in red letters, these new “red-letter” communicators and activists want to steer Christians away from concerns about marriage and abortion and towards anti-war activism and environmental causes

“Red Letter” Leftists
By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 18, 2006

Frustrated by the conservative tendencies of most religiously active Americans, a group of liberal religious activists have started “Red Letter Christians” to espouse political themes of the left.Referring, of course, to the fact that words of Jesus in Bibles are often printed in red letters, these new “red-letter” communicators and activists want to steer Christians away from concerns about marriage and abortion and towards anti-war activism and environmental causes.

Red-Letter evangelist Tony Campolo, in a column for Beliefnet.com, explained earlier this year what this new activist group is all about:

“We are evangelicals who are troubled by what is happening to poor people in America; who are disturbed over environmental policies that are contributing to global warming; who are dismayed over the increasing arrogance of power shown in our country’s militarism; who are outraged because government funding is being reduced for schools where students, often from impoverished and dysfunctional homes, are testing poorly; who are upset with the fact that of the 22 industrialized nations America is next to last in the proportion of its national budget (less than two-tenths of 1 percent) that is designated to help the poor of third-world countries; and who are broken-hearted over discrimination against women, people of color, and those who suffer because of their sexual orientation.”

Campolo, of course, insists that his fellow Red-Letters are not Republicans or Democrats but are simply people of faith who want to “jump-start a religious movement that will transcend partisan politics.”

Other Red-Letter activists include Sojourners chief Jim Wallis, “emerging church” guru Brian McLaren, Columbia University professor Randall Balmer, Franciscan priest and writer Richard Rohr, Evangelicals for Social Action leader Ron Sider, and Episcopal priest and commentator Barbara Brown Taylor, among others.

In his own column about the Red Letters, Wallis explains that Jesus Christ “likely…wouldn’t think capital gains tax cuts for the wealthy and food stamp cuts for the poor represent the best domestic policy. Or when he tells us “love your enemies” and “blessed are the peacemakers,” it might be hard to persuade him to join our “war against terrorism,” especially when there is so much “collateral damage” to civilians, including women and children.”

Unlike “many of our churches, the Wall Street traders, and the powerful people in Washington who maintain the American Empire,” Wallis insists that the Red Letter Christians believe in a Jesus who belongs to the political left.

Reportedly, the Red Letter Christians have printed 50,000 “Voting Our Values” voter guides for this year’s elections and are ordering up 150,000 more. Like most such voter guides geared towards churches, they do not endorse candidates, but they judge politicians based on their support for increasing the minimum wage, banning the death penalty, withdrawing from Iraq, creating a guest worker program and supporting renewable energy.

The Red Letter operation seems to be staffed by and headquartered at Jim Wallis’ Sojourners office in Washington, D.C. Comprised of left-leaning religionists who are uncomfortable with the traditionalist beliefs of most Christians in America, they mostly express frustration that more church goers have not adopted their conception of class warfare, and hostility to U.S. power in the world.

“These wedge issues [of abortion and homosexuality] allow ultraconservatives to hide in their offices and cower behind their pulpit, rather than stand beside the people that need them most,” complained clergy activist Romal Tune in a news release passed out at a recent Red Letter press conference in Washington, D.C. “That’s the difference between prophetic ministry and pathetic ministry. The convening of Red Letter Christians allows us to draw attention to the words of Jesus and hear what he has to say about justice, liberation, and equality for all people.”

Sojourners activist Adam Taylor, further explained in the same news release: “The Red Letter Christians are about a different kind of partisanship: a partisanship for peace, and on behalf of the least, the last, and the lost among us.”

The Red Letter Christians like to complain about the “elite.” But of course, they are the elite, ensconced on the faculty of major universities, offering commentary on National Public Radio, and getting rave reviews from liberal media outlets for their supposedly courageous opposition to religious conservatives.

Red Letter Christians, like much of the Religious Left, want to avoid or deny traditional religious teachings about sexual mores and human life. Instead, they claim that God has endorsed very specific policy proposals about expanding the Food Stamp program, increasing the Minimum Wage, paying more homage to the United Nations, shutting down the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo, accepting apocalyptic claims about global warming and embracing the consequent increased regulation of the private economy, opposing nearly all U.S. military action, and faulting the U.S. and the West for nearly all global poverty, while defining foreign aid as a reparation that is never high enough, whether that aid is actually effective in reducing human suffering or not.

In short, Red Letter Christians want to demote the issues to which the Bible speaks directly in favor of other issues dear to the secular Left that rely on a grossly expansionist interpretation of the Bible. For the Red Letter crowd, Jesus’ concern about the poor means a larger federal welfare state. The Bible’s story of God’s creation of the earth must mean that the U.S. has to endorse the Kyoto Accord. Messianic prophecies about world peace are interpreted to demand disarmament and abrogation of U.S. sovereignty.

In reality, the Bible and Christian tradition outline the plan of salvation and a code for decent living. They offer broad principles for ordering human life; they do not, as the Red Letter crowd wants to claim, offer specific legislative policy demands that conform conveniently with the platform of the Democratic Party.

These Red Letter Fundamentalists are claiming to follow the words of Jesus. But most church goers will recognize that these “red letters” more closely resemble the editorial pages of The New York Times.

What College Students Must Endure

What College Students Must Endure
By FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 18, 2006

Women’s Studies 50 [UC Santa Barbara]

Winter 2006, 1610 Broida Hall
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4-5:15 pm

Professor Grace Chang TAs Becca Hartman and Jessi Quizar
gchang@womst.ucsb.edu becca_hartman@umail.ucsb.edu
Office hours: 5:30-6:30 pm jquizar@umail.ucsb.edu
Mondays and by appointment Office hours: TBA
4704 South Hall, x 7414

Women are social justice leaders in their daily lives, in individual and collective acts of resistance, in local communities and transnationally. In this course, we will examine some of the salient issues that poor women, women of color, immigrant women,
Third World women, incarcerated women, women with disabilities, and queer people confront and resist around the world. It is not intended to be a survey of social movement histories, but a consideration of contemporary social justice issues that impact and are impacted by women through various means of resistance and social justice organizing. These include organizing against welfare deform, prisons, reproductive rights abuses, globalization, and human trafficking, and for civil, immigrant, labor, welfare, sovereignty, prisoners’, disability and queer rights.

Several questions frame our studies in the course, including: What is resistance and how is it achieved by different means, including organized social movements? What conflicts in feminism arise in these movements, and how can we negotiate these? How do social justice issues and movements intersect with each other, and with what results? These intersections offer the potential for creating solidarity and collaboration among social justice movements or for creating divisions and conflict. Our challenge is to identify the intersections between issues impacting women, and to seize these connections to create viable alliances and broader communities from which to forge resistance.

Course listserv:

Course announcements and current readings will be posted through a course list serv. You are required to subscribe yourself to this listserv in the first week of classes. Go to:

https://lists.lsit.ucsb.edu/listinfo/revolution.womst

When you subscribe, enter your full name in order to receive credit for fulfilling this course requirement. Once you have subscribed to the listserv, you can post articles, announcements, etc. by sending a message to revolution.womst@mail.lsit.ucsb.edu

Please be sure to save a confirmation of your subscription to turn in to your TA for credit.

Texts:

Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy , by

Grace Chang, South End Press, 2000

The main text is a collection of readings assembled in a reader that will be available by Wednesday, 1/11/2006 at Grafikart,

6550 Pardall Road

,
Isla Vista , phone: 968-3575

Some readings will be made available only in the reserve book service in Davidson Library, on electronic reserve http://eres.library.ucsb.edu/ or through the course listserv.

You are responsible for securing and reading all materials offered through these services. In addition, you are encouraged to contribute relevant news items and readings by posting them on the listserv or bringing them to class/discussion section.

Films/Videos:

Yellow Apparel: When the Coolie Becomes Cool, Getup Standup Production


New World Border , Peek Media

Farmingville, Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini

Maid in
America
, Anayansi Prado, Impacto Films

Eating Welfare, Youth Leadership Project of CAAAV

Life and Debt, Stephanie Black

Live Nude Girls Unite!, Julia Query

We Just Telling Stories , Medea Project , Video/Action Fund

System Failure: Violence, Abuse, and Neglect in the
California Youth Authority

K e Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place , Zang Pictures

Fenced Out! , FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment)

Vital Signs: Crip Culture Talks Back, Fanlight Productions

Secrets Wars of Desert Storm

I will sometimes show portions of films in class during lecture then place the film on reserve at the Reserve Book Service or Learning Lab. In some cases, you will be required to view the rest of the film on your own time. Other times this will only be recommended.

Class Schedule

Week 1, INTRODUCTIONS

Monday, January 9 Introductions

Discuss class goals and requirements; Review syllabus and all required text sources;

Setting guidelines for class discussion, Defining meaningful participation

Popular Education principles and Guidelines for Creating a Community of Learners

Strategies for Being an Effective Ally

Some Daily Effects of White Privilege, from Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Wednesday, January 11 What is Resistance?

Robin Kelley, “Congested Terrain,” from Race Rebels: Culture and Politics in the Black Working Class

Jacqueline Jones, “My Mother was Much of a Woman,” from La bor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family, From Slavery to the Present

Cherrie Moraga, “La Guera,” from Loving in the War Years

June Jordan, “Notes Toward a Model of Resistance,” from Some of Us Did Not Die

Aurora Levins Morales, “The Political is Personal” and “False Memories: Trauma and Liberation,” from Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity

Sections: Enrollment matters, Introductions, Sign up for facilitation weeks 3 through 10

Week 2 Connecting the Personal, Political, Local, Global

Monday, January 16 No class for Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Wednesday, January 18

See and discuss Yellow Apparel: When the Coolie Becomes Cool or
New World Border

Grace Chang, Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy, chapters 1-2

Selected articles from From the Borderline to the Colorline: A Report on Anti-Immigrant Racism in the
United States

Week 3 Immigrant Women Workers Bite Back

Monday, January 23 The Hands that Rock the Cradle…

View and discuss Maid in
America

Sauling Wong, “Diverted Mothering: Representations of Caregivers of Color in the Age of Multiculturalism,” from Mothering: Ideology, Experience, Agency eRes

Grace Chang, Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy, chapters 3-4

Assignment: Gather information for your personal budget, details TBA, to use in class on January 25

Wednesday, January 25 The Welfare Queen and other Enduring myths

Popular Education Workshop: Living on a Welfare Budget

[See and discuss Farmingville ]

Grace Chang, Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy review chapter 2 and read chapter 5

GROWL (Grassroots Organizing for Welfare Leadership), “Welfare Reform as We Know It” (Copies available in Reserve Book Service only)

Week 4 Immigrant and Welfare Rights Organizing

Monday, January 30 The Hands That Feed Us…

Guest talk by Mily Trevino-Sauceda , Founding Director of Lideres Campesinas

Ana Castillo, “A Countryless Woman: The Early Feminista” and “The Watsonvillle Women’s Strike, 1986: A Case of Mexicana Activism” from Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma

Annelisa Wunderlich, “Good Food, Cheap Labor” and Rebecca Gordon, “The Hands that Feed Us,” from Colorlines magazine, Winter 2001-2

Wednesday, February 1 Low Wage and No-wage Workers

Turn in Paper 1

See and discuss Eating Welfare , by the Youth Leadership Project of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities,
Bronx , NY

[Volunteers for SAPs workshop, to be done in class Monday, Feb 6]

Week 5, Criminalizing Women’s Work and Crimes Against Women

Monday, February 6 Sex Work and Trafficking: The Oversexed Debate

See and discuss Life and Debt

Popular Education workshop: Mr. World Bank and the SAPs Dating Game TBA

Alison Murray, “Debt-Bondage and Trafficking: Don’t Believe the Hype”

in Kempadoo and Doezema, eds.

Anne Lacsamana, “Sex Worker or Prostituted Woman? An Examination of the Sex Work Debates in Western Feminist Theory,” from D. Aguilar and A.E. Lacsamana, eds., Women and Globalization

Wednesday, February 8 Sex Worker Rights Organizing

See and discuss Live Nude Girls Unite!

Veena Oldenburg , “Lifestyle as Resistance: The Case of the Courtesans of
Lucknow , India ”

Kamala Kempadoo, “The Exotic Dancers
Alliance : An Interview with Dawn Passar and Johanna Breyer,” from K. Kempadoo and J. Doezema, eds., Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition

Amalia Lucia Cabezas, “On the Border of Love and Money: Sex and Tourism in
Cuba

and the
Dominican Republic ,” from Labor Versus Empire: Race, Gender and Migration

Week 6 Justice Matters: Women, Law Enforcement and Prison

Monday, February 13 Incarcerated Women

See and discuss We Just Telling Stories or We are Not Who You Think We Are

Meda Chesney-Lind, “Imprisoning Women: The Unintended Victims of Mass Imprisonment,” and

Beth Richie, “The Social Impact of Mass Incarceration on Women,” from Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment

Wednesday, February 15 The Promise and Perils of “Restorative Justice”

See and discuss “System Failure”

Kim Gilmore, “Slavery and Prison—Understanding the Connections,” Social Justice ,

vol. 27 No. 3 2 articles below on eRes

Vanessa Huang, “Unlocking the System,” Alternet.org/story/21247, February 14, 2005

Grace Chang, “Restorative Justice: An Alternative Model, Its Prospects and Perils”

Week 7 Organizing Across Borders

Monday, February 20 No Class

Wednesday, February 22 The Maquiladora Murders

Paper 2 due

See and discuss Senorita Extraviada

Marjorie Agosin, “Death in the Desert: The Women of
Ciudad Juarez ”

Alicia Gaspar de Alba, “The Maquiladora Murders”

Emma Perez, “So Far From God, So Close to the
United States ”

Week 8, Women on War, War on Women

Monday, February 27 Brown Women Saving Our Own Damn Selves

See and discuss portions of Beyond Borders and Women and War

Lila Abu-Lughod, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological

Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others,” American Anthropologist

Eve Ensler, “Under the Burqa,” Vagina Monologues

Noy Thrupkaew, “What Do Afghan Women Want?”

Sonia Shah, “Unveiling the Taleban Dress Codes Are Not the Issue, New Study Finds”

Wednesday, March 1 Women in War, at War, Against War

“Ten Reasons Why Militarism is Bad for Reproductive Freedom,” from Militarized Zones: Gender, Race, Immigration, Environment, A special issue of Political environments (PE No. 10)

from After Shock: September 11, 2001 Global Feminist Perspectives , edited by Susan Hawthorne and Bronwyn Winter:

“Diverse Women for Diversity Statement” Drafted at Globalisation, Environment and People’s Survival Conference

Paola Bacchetta, Tina Campt, Inderpal Grewal, Caren Kaplan, Minoo Moallem, and Jennifer Terry “Transnational Feminist Practices Against War” Statement

Sunera Thobani, “It’s Bloodthirsty Vengeance”

Janelle Brown, “
Fatima ‘ Speaks: Resisting the Taliban”

Week 9 Sexuality as/and Resistance

Monday, March 6 Sovereignty and Sexuality

See and discuss Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place

Helen Zia, “Out on the Front Lines,” in Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), “AFSC
Hawai’i Gay Liberation Program: Activist Materials Addressing Tourism”

Haunani Trask, “Lovely Hula Hands”: Corporate Tourism and the Prostitution of Hawaiian Culture, in From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in
Hawaii

Paula Gunn Allen, “Hwame, Koskalaka and the Rest: Lesbians in American Indian Cultures”

Wednesday, March 8 Queer Liberation: What’s Race Got to Do With It?

See and discuss Fenced Out!

Yoko Yoshikawa, “The Heat is On Miss Saigon: Organizing Across Race and Sexuality”

Barbara Smith, “Where’s the Revolution?” Part 1 and Part II, from The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom

Justin Anton Rosado, “Corroding Our Quality of Life,” from That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation , edited by Mattilda, aka Matt Bernstein Sycamore

Week 10 Inevitable Intersections: Disability, Race, Welfare, Warfare

Monday, March 13 Disability Rights and Culture

See and discuss Vital Signs: Crip Culture Talks Back

Ruth Hubbard, “Abortion and Disability: Who Should and Who Should Not Inhabit the World?” from The Disability Studies Reader , Lennard J. Davis, ed.

Douglas Baynton, “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History,” in The New Disability History: American Perspectives , Paul K. Longmore and Lauri Umansky, eds.

Siobhan Brooks, “Black Feminism in Everyday Life: Race, Mental Illness, Poverty and Motherhood,” from Colonize This!, Daisy Hernandez and Bushra Rehman, editors

Wednesday, March 15 Intersections

See and discuss portions of Secret Wars of Desert Storm and AXIS Dance

Final Exam Questions given out; Course Evaluations

http://www.womst.ucsb.edu/classes/wmst50/syllabus.html

Why the Left Fears Free Speech on Campus

Why the Left Fears Free Speech on Campus
By David French
NYDailyNews.com | October 18, 2006

In an incident that is rapidly becoming famous even among people who don’t follow the campus culture wars, leftist activists stormed the stage at Columbia University this month and triggered a wild melee during a speech by Jim Gilchrist, the controversial founder of the Minuteman Project. The incident was shocking enough, but it cannot be viewed in isolation. The mob at Morningside Heights is just another piece of gathering evidence that the ’60s are returning to campus.

It’s a dangerous turn to an era not of “peace and love,” but a step closer to the violence and threats that dominated campuses throughout much of the Vietnam War.

Consider this: In the spring, anti-war protesters blocked access to a job fair at the University of California-Santa Cruz and caused Army and National Guard recruiters to be escorted off campus by university police. According to one recruiter, “the situation had degraded” to such an extent that the recruiters feared for the safety of students and law enforcement officers.

Prominent conservatives like David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan have been attacked with pies and salad dressing during on-campus speeches. At UC-San Francisco, a crowd of students blocked access to and scuffled with College Republicans whose crime was merely handing out flyers to students. At Washington State, protesters disrupted, shouted down and threatened actors in a satirical play.

After a period of relative calm in the 1990s, one must ask why we have seen a rise in violent acts of censorship and intimidation by the campus left.

The war in Iraq is to blame for some of the violence, but the violence and threats encompass broader topics and represent an expression of rage and impotence – not the ’60s expression of rage and power.

The protesters hide behind tactics of the ’60s to lash out helplessly at a culture that seems (to them) to be inexorably moving right. With every branch of government in conservative hands, with the rise of conservative media and with the increasing influence of religious conservatives, the radical left feels under siege. To make matters worse, the conservative movement is now taking aim at the left’s last cultural bastion – the nation’s colleges and universities – in an effort to reopen the marketplace of ideas on campus.

In the ’60s, the excesses of campus radicals eventually led to a cultural backlash that ushered in the Reagan era. These same excesses committed in an era of blogs, YouTube downloads and talk radio lead to a much more immediate response. So, rather than reveling in last week’s momentary triumph, Columbia’s leftist radicals find themselves on the defensive, blaming others for the violence and begging the administration not to search the Internet for clues about the protesters’ identities.

In the battle for the hearts and minds of the public, they have already lost.

French is the director of the Alliance Defense Fund’s Center for Academic Freedom.

George Soros Takes Aim at Israel

 George Soros Takes Aim at Israel

NewsMax.com
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2006 3:45 p.m. EDT

Billionaire investor George Soros is leading a move to stitch together an American Jewish political lobby that is “anti-Israel,” according to a column in the Jerusalem Post.

Soros, who spent millions attempting to defeat President Bush in 2004, is one of a “tiny minority of American Jews” who have played a role in undermining support for Israel in the Democratic Party, and they now seek “to undermine Israel’s position in the U.S. in general,” Caroline Glick writes in the Post.

Soros has invited another American Jewish billionaire, Peter Lewis, along with “North American Jewish plutocrats” like Charles and Edgar Bronfman, to join forces with him and leftist Jewish American organizations – including American Friends of Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum and Brit Tzedek v’Shalom – to construct a political lobby that will weaken the influence of the pro-Israel lobby.

“Many of the individuals and organizations associated with the initiative have actively worked to undermine Israel,” Glick writes.

“Soros caused a storm in 2003 when, during a fund-raising conference for Israel, he alleged that Israel was partially responsible for the rise in anti-Semitic violence in Europe because of its harsh response to Palestinian terrorism.”

Glick also points out that in November 2005, the leaders of the Israel Policy Forum met with Condoleezza Rice and urged her to dismiss Israel’s security concerns regarding two of the Gaza Strip’s border crossing points. As a result, Rice pressured Israel to make dangerous concessions to the Palestinians.

And after Hamas’ electoral victory in January, American Friends of Peace Now, Israel Policy Forum and Brit Tzedek v’Shalom worked to shield the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority from Congressional sanctions.

Together they worked to torpedo the Palestinian Anti-Terror Act, which enjoyed overwhelming support in the Congress and was designed to update American policy toward the Palestinian Authority in the wake of Hamas’ ascendance to power.

Among its provisions, the bill called for an immediate end to U.S. assistance to nongovernmental and U.N. organizations operating in the PA that had connections to terrorist organizations.

Due to the lobbying efforts of the “Jewish leftists,” the Palestinian Anti-Terror Act was eventually scuttled, Glick notes, adding:

“Soros would like to institutionalize the ad-hoc coalition’s success in undermining the Palestinian Anti-Terror Act in a new lobby.

“While its Jewish founders insist that they are pro-Israel, the fact of the matter is that they are about to establish an American Jewish anti-Israel lobby.”

Arab-American Civil Rights Group Files Lawsuit Against Dept. of Homeland Security

Arab-American Civil Rights Group Files Lawsuit Against Dept. of Homeland Security

AP
FoxNews.com
Tuesday , October 17, 2006

WASHINGTON — An Arab-American civil rights group filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the federal government in a bid to access information about the nationalities of more than 230 people arrested for immigration violations.

The suit, filed by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, names the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit as defendants. It was filed under the Freedom of Information Act in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia after two years of unsuccessful attempts to learn the nationalities of individuals arrested in 2004 under a law enforcement operation intended to disrupt potential terrorist threats before the presidential election.

The Washington-based group believes the operation improperly used the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System — a government database created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks to track visitors, students and immigrants from 25 countries — to profile Arab and Muslim visitors to the United States. The domestic registration system required males from 24 Arab and predominantly Muslim countries and North Korea to register with immigration authorities. The registration requirement has since been phased out, but the database of information still exists.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency issued a statement in November 2004 saying that in a one-month period, 237 people had been arrested. And, “every single one had violated immigration laws, regardless of nationality,” said Dean Boyd, an ICE spokesman.

“It was simply an effort to target immigration violators who may have posed an elevated public safety threat in the weeks leading to the presidential election,” he said.

Boyd said race, ethnicity and religion played “absolutely no role” in the operation.

The Arab-American organization wants to find out if the 237 people were disproportionately Arab and Muslim, because the registration database was made up of mostly Arab and Muslim men.

But the federal agency points out that in addition to the registration database, two other databases were used, including one of student visa holders.

With the national elections approaching, the group fears the registration database is being used to target Arab and Muslim men for general law enforcement purposes.

“The biggest factor is that we know that they carried out the October plan during the presidential elections — the most recent national elections we had,” said Kareem Shora, the Arab-American group’s national executive director. “Our fear is that since it happened during the last national elections, is something like that going to happen again soon?”

In the complaint filed Tuesday, the group does not seek names of the people detained or how they were sought out; It only requests their nationalities. The civil rights group asked for the nationality information in two FOIA requests last year but was denied.

But the Arab-American group is concerned that the registration requirements and the October arrests were presented as counterterrorism operations but instead turned into a way to enforce immigration violations.

In a letter responding to the FOIA requests, the agency said the information is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act because it was collected for law enforcement purposes and is an ongoing investigation. The civil rights group argues that getting information on just the nationalities of those detained would not jeopardize any law enforcement operation.

Weapons Smuggling Into Gaza ‘Uncontrollable,’ Israel Says

Weapons Smuggling Into Gaza ‘Uncontrollable,’ Israel Says
By Julie Stahl
CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
October 17, 2006

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – Israel is trying to prevent a Hamas military build-up in the Gaza Strip similar to that of Hizballah in Lebanon, but it has received little help in stopping the weapons smuggling under the Egyptian-Gaza border, Israeli officials said.

At least 20 Palestinians, most of them armed militants, were killed in Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip last week as Israeli troops searched for weapons smuggling tunnels as well as guns and the rockets that are still being fired into Israel.

Overnight, Israel carried out an aerial strike on a rocket launcher in the Gaza Strip that apparently was used to fire at least two rockets toward Israel on Monday.

But there is no way for Israel to stop Hamas and other groups from re-supplying and upgrading its arsenal with more advanced weapons, said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokeswoman, Miri Eisen.

“We don’t have any way of stopping the arms from coming in except through the sovereign governments [on either side of the border],” said Eisen by telephone.

The international community has no forces in the area, nor does it have a mandate to do anything there, said Eisen.

Egypt on one side of the border has its own “acute problem” with terrorists and extremists, said Eisen.

Last month, Yuval Diskin, head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service, said Egypt is not dealing with the smugglers.

Under an agreement brokered by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last year, Israel left the narrow border area — called the Philadelphia corridor — following its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

According to the agreement, the European Union provided observers at actual border crossing points. But the 12-kilometer (7.2-mile) border itself is policed by Egyptian and the Palestinian Authority forces. Weapons are smuggled into Gaza through tunnels under that border.

“[Israel] can’t stop the smuggling,” said Shuki Rynski, former deputy commander of the Israeli Army’s Gaza division. “Everyone knew that the minute we left the Philadelphia corridor, the stream of weapons into the Gaza Strip would be uncontrollable.”

No one really believed that the Palestinians or Egyptians would control the cross-border weapons flow, Rynski said in a telephone interview. Egypt cannot control the terrorists that are bombing hotels in populated areas of the country, so they certainly cannot control the flow of weapons through the desert, he said.

Ground offensive

Because there is no way to stop the smuggling — except to find the tunnels and the weapons storage facilities after the fact — Israel has been carrying out military operations in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said on Monday that the army is searching for weapons smuggling tunnels from the air and ground and has been carrying out broader operations in Gaza than it did previously.

He warned that Israel would not allow Gaza to become like Lebanon, although he added that Israel is not interested in an escalation in the Gaza Strip or an extensive ground operation there.

Israel pulled out of Lebanon unilaterally six years ago. During that time Hizballah built an arsenal of more than 10,000 rockets – more than 4,000 of which were launched against Israeli cities during the Israeli-Hizballah war this summer.

Hizballah also built underground bunkers and stockpiled anti-tank missiles that caused so many casualties among Israeli troops. Although Israeli military intelligence knew about the arms build-up, nothing was done to prevent it.

Now, Israel wants to prevent Hamas from doing the same thing.

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman was quoted in the London-based daily a-Sharq al-Awsat on Monday warning Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal that if his organization did not release abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by next week, Israel would launch a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip.

Shalit was abducted in June by Hamas-led terrorists who tunneled under the Israeli-Gaza border and attacked an Israeli military outpost inside Israel.

Israel launched a major ground operation into the Gaza Strip following the incident, entering the Gaza Strip with a full-scale ground invasion less than a year after Israel withdrew its troops and evacuated it communities there.

Advanced weapons

Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, said on Monday that his group was ready to confront Israel. “Your destroyed tanks will become eternal testimony of your failure and of your running away from the Strip,” Abu Ubaida was quoted as saying.

He said reports that Hamas has smuggled advanced weaponry in the Gaza Strip were an Israeli excuse to invade Gaza.

Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of Israel’s military intelligence research department, told lawmakers earlier this week that Hamas had smuggled advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, into the Gaza Strip – a development that would make it more difficult for Israel to launch a ground operation there.

The smuggling of these weapons into the Gaza Strip represents a new operational threat for Israel, said Eisen. The anti-tank missiles, which have a range of 3-5 kilometers (1 to 3 miles), are difficult to detect and to protect against, she said.

Such devices caused many of the military casualties during the summertime war between Israel and Hizballah and caused many of the American casualties in Iraq, said Eisen.

But Rynski said the army has learned its lesson from the Lebanon experience. It cannot sit by idly and watch as Hamas masses weapons, as Israel did with Hizballah. The army knows that it must carry out more operations in the Gaza Strip.

Rynski estimated that within two years Israel will have to launch a major ground operation, taking everything, including Gaza City.

Russia’s Dying Democracy

Russia’s Dying Democracy
By Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 18, 2006

“She kept on asking for it, and she fell.”That is how the editor of one
Moscow newspaper correctly summed up the recent contract-style murder of top Russian investigative journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in the elevator of her apartment building. The savage slaying of the internationally renowned Politkovskaya, who threw fear into Russia’s and Chechnya’s ruling elites with her relentless, uncompromising investigations into their corruption and human rights abuses, shocked not only her countrymen but the world.

The Russian journalist’s brutal death is symptomatic of present-day “democracy” in
Russia. This Eastern European land has degenerated into such a lawless state the last ten years that whoever “asks for it”, like Politkovskaya, is definitely “going to get it.” Regarding journalists, in the last fifteen years
Russia has become the third-deadliest country in the world for the members of this important profession behind only
Algeria and
Iraq. Forty-two Russian journalists “got it”, like Politkovskaya, during that time with few of their murders ever being solved. The Russian government appears unable, or perhaps even unwilling, to protect its newspaper writers, although a free, vibrant journalism is one of the pillars of a healthy civil society.  

 

But perhaps even more disturbingly, the world has seen the Kremlin export its lawless ways outside its borders to those countries who are “asking for it.” This criminal manner of conducting international diplomacy is now a part of Russian government foreign policy. One saw this not too long ago when the Kremlin tried to influence the outcome of the Ukrainian election. And the latest country to “get it” from
Russia is the small state of
Georgia, located in the
Caucasus Mountains on the
Black Sea. The plucky Georgians, who want to join NATO, recently seized – and released – four Russian officers, whom they accused of spying. In response, the Kremlin has imposed a transportation blockade of the Caucasian nation and stopped issuing visas to Georgians.

 

Inside of
Russia itself, the persecution of Georgian nationals proceeds apace. Many Georgians are living in
Russia illegally, but authorities have turned a blind eye to their presence – until now. Hundreds of Georgians have now been deported from Russian territory. Police have even had schools provide them with lists of students with Georgian names, so that they can check on the residence status of the parents. Even the Georgian Orthodox Church in
Moscow was not spared this disgraceful policy when holding a funeral, as attendees were subjected to identity checks. Postal services to
Georgia and work contracts have also been cancelled, while Russian tax officials are harassing Georgian-owned businesses.

 

As for the destructive long term effects of the ‘non-war” against Georgia, journalist Simon Shuster says the Kremlin is not only discrediting “…the essence and content of contractual rights and the market economy as a whole…” in the eyes of the people, but the people also see in cynical fashion that “…the law means nothing and can be used arbitrarily…”

 

And the extent of Kremlin lawlessness does not stop with the bullying of one small country. A German journalist, Jens Hartmann, describes
Russia under Putin as a “façade democracy”, behind which stands a ruling elite. And of the top people in the Kremlin, in the ministries and in the state industries, more than forty per cent have military or secret service backgrounds. This elite, including Politburo members, are also not shy in helping themselves to the country’s economic goodies. The Financial Times reports that
Russia is the only G-8 country, in which top Kremlin advisors sit on the board of directors of state concerns. Like in
Third World countries, private businesses in
Russia also find it expedient to have a secret police official sit on their board of directors for protection.   

 

One European newspaper reports other changes in
Russia that have caused democracy to decay. One is the growth of the FSB, the Russian secret service, from 80,000 to 350,000 members, while the number of government officials is now three times larger than in the Soviet era.
Russia, according to Transparency International, also now ranks a poor 126 out of 158 countries on its corruption scale. The courts and the legal system are also very weak, serving the needs of the elite when called upon, while most large media outlets have been brought into line by the state, giving Russians little access to points of view critical of the government and thus forming “an information blockade.” In the same newspaper, sociologist Olga Kryschtanowskaya describes the current Russian political system as neo-authoritarian and says Putin’s “militarization of power” is meant: “To keep everything under control: civil society; elections; the private business sphere; the independent press; the parliament.”

 

Most observers of Russia say Putin, a former KGB official, dismisses both internal and foreign criticism of the pitiful state of Russian democracy and bases his immunity on the fact his country is one of the biggest energy suppliers in the world, especially of natural gas to Europe. Western countries may be wary of criticizing abuses of democracy in
Russia too loudly for fear of jeopardizing their energy supply. Recently, the Russian state natural gas company, Gasprom, even bought a first division soccer team in
Germany in order to burnish
Russia’s image abroad, although the Kremlin used Gasprom money to control Russian media outlets. As well, many Russians, who are not used to democracy, support the government’s crackdown on those who disagree with the state, calling them anti-Russian.

 

The murder of Anna Politkovskaya, to a large degree, is owed to the atmosphere of lawlessness in
Russia today. History has also shown if lawlessness is ignored, it only gets worse. As a result, Putin would be wise to remember the fate of that other lawless state he once served so loyally and recall its degradation and collapse.

Latin America’s Leftist Menace

Latin America’s Leftist Menace
By Frank J Gaffney Jr.
The Washington Times | October 18, 2006

America’s preoccupation with the crises du jour — the rising terrorist menace to the liberation of Iraq, the Iranian regime’s determination to acquire the means to act on its genocidal threats against Israel and the United States and, most recently, North Korea’s nuclear coming-out party — has left Washington ill-prepared to deal with one of tomorrow’s major security challenges: the rise of the radical anti-American left in Latin America. The emergence of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez as the oil-rich heir to Fidel Castro’s revolutionary ambitions has translated into a mortal threat to liberal democracy, freedom and economic opportunity in much of the hemisphere. With Mr. Chavez’s money and Mr. Castro’s coaching, the two have adapted the longstanding Cuban revolutionary program of violent overthrow of elected governments to meet present circumstances. Today, virulent leftists are seeking, and frequently succeeding at, obtaining power through the ballot box then using it to destroy their government’s constitutional processes and any checks on that power.

The United States government has paid scant attention as Bolivia and Argentina have moved squarely into the Chavez-Castro orbit. A similar disastrous outcome was narrowly averted in Peru but may well be in the offing at this writing in Ecuador. 

The region’s largest country, Brazil, is in the hands of a long-time Castro ally, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Despite his differences with Mr. Chavez and generally moderate approach to economic policy, Lula can be expected to make renewed common cause with the leftist agenda if he is re-elected on Oct. 29. 

Particularly appalling, the region’s Axis of Evil is poised, all other things being equal, to return Nicaragua — the country Ronald Reagan did so much to help free from the Sandinistas’ communist rule — to the tender mercies of their long-time authoritarian comandante, Daniel Ortega. 

Washington’s inattention may also encourage the most strategically important reversal sustained to date by the Chavez-Castro axis to be substantially undone. Despite its concerted and well-heeled efforts to ensure the election as president of Mexico of an ideological soul-mate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the results of a remarkably clean election gave the victory to a pro-American conservative, Felipe Calderon. There is, as a result, an unprecedented opportunity for constructive relations between the U.S. and Mexican governments. 

Unfortunately, this opportunity — with all it portends for economic prosperity, sensible immigration policies and a common front against the hemisphere’s radical left — could be squandered if Mr. Calderon yields to pressure to make the same mistake as his predecessor, Vicente Fox. That will be the effect if the new president of Mexico restores to office Mr. Fox’s first foreign minister, Jorge Castaneda. 

As a new analysis by Fredo Arias-King just released by the Center for Security Policy makes clear, Mr. Castaneda and his team (including such figures as Mexico’s former consul in New York, Arturo Sarukhan, Mr. Castaneda’s controversial half-brother Andres Rozental and Ricardo Pascoe, former Mexican ambassador to Cuba) are themselves radical leftists who did grave harm to U.S.-Mexico relations the last time around — and will surely do so again if given the chance. 

For example, they were instrumental in withdrawing Mexico from the decades-old mutual defense pact known as the Treaty of Rio, a decision announced ironically just days before the September 11 attacks in 2001. They seemed determined to find occasions to work at cross-purposes with the United States — notably, in connection with our effort to hold Saddam Hussein accountable to various Security Council resolutions. 

Most troubling, however, was the Castaneda cabal’s efforts to convert the initially pro-U.S. Fox and his government into friends of the hard left throughout Latin America. 

Mr. Castaneda personally engineered closer ties to the Castro apparatus in Cuba, encouraged the narco-terrorist FARC in Colombia and strove to rehabilitate Danny Ortega and his Sandinista Party in Nicaragua. It is not hard to assign responsibility for these initiatives, since they were abandoned immediately after Mr. Castaneda left the foreign ministry. 

As a result not only of their ideological bent but their incompetence, Mr. Castaneda and his team blew the opportunity afforded when the newly inaugurated George Bush assigned top priority to what he called a “special relationship” with Mexico and traveled there as his symbolic first trip abroad. Mexico dropped in the priority list for Washington, even before September 11, and has never recovered since. 

The possibility that the likes of Jorge Castaneda might return to power is especially dangerous for both Mexico and the United States at a moment when Mr. Ortega may triumph over a divided democratic-right in Nicaragua and the Chavez-Castro axis is making inroads in so many other places. Under Mr. Castaneda or his cabal, it is unimaginable that the Mexican government would play the constructive role it might otherwise perform in the post-Castro transition in Cuba. 

It would be a tragedy if, at this critical juncture — and despite the preferences a majority of Mexicans expressed at the ballot box, Felipe Calderon were to squander the chance for Mexico to serve as a bulwark against the combined dangers of Chavismo and Fidelismo and to enjoy a strong, constructive and mutually beneficial relationship with the United States. It is in the interests of both of our countries that President Calderon’s vision of a freedom-loving and -supporting Mexico be represented at the foreign ministry, not that of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Jorge Castaneda.

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