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Arab activists are fighting hard to oppose any intervention in Syria against the country's dictator Bashar Al-Assad. And their strongest argument is not that Assad didn't use chemical weapons to kill 1,429 civilians in a Damascus neighborhood on August 21, 2013, but rather that Syria shouldn't be criticized because no one criticized Israel when it used White Phosphorous against Palestinian Hamas fighter in the Gaza Strip in 2008 and 2009.

The issue to the extremist Arab activists is not the issue of the killing of civilians, even though that is what they scream in their protests about Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip. No, their complaints are driven by political considerations, driven by the hatred of Israel and their belief that Syria is a part of the anti-Israel network led by Iran and Hezbollah.

So many Arab activists have responded to the Syrian chemical murders of the civilians in Damascus by asking, "Why don't we condemn the Israelis for using White Phosphorous against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip."

It's an outrageous argument to oppose responding to Syria's use of weapons of mass destruction.

The point is that Syria is murdering civilians today. Israel is alleged to have murdered civilians in 2008 and in 2009 during its war against the Hamas terrorist organization that Israel provoked  the day it was clear that Obama would became America's first Black president (with a Muslim middle name, Hussein, and also close friendships with key palestinian activists with whom he has since distanced himself.)

I'm no defending the use of White Phosphorous chemicals by Israel's military. Clearly, Israel is accused of war crimes in its assault on Hamas in 2008-2009. But the activists are not saying "Yes, let's condemn both Syria and Israel." They are using Israel as a shield to prevent the condemnation of Syria. In fact, the Arab fanatic activists are defending Syria against accusations that it intentionally used chemical weapons to murder the civilian residents of a Damascus neighborhood where the Syrian rebels had a stronghold. The Syrian army had failed to weed out the rebels and could not move to Aleppo to purge the rebel stronghold without first destroying their presence in Damascus.

So, according to Secretary of State John Kerry and British Prime Minister David Cameron, Syria carefully planned a chemical assault against the Syrian rebels over a three day period and then gave their military protections, medicines and gas masks. The Syrian dictatorship then prevented anyone from entering the area for four straight days after the chemical attack was launched. And then Syrian military units pounded the area targeted with chemical attacks but bombarding four times harder than it had any previous rebel held territories. The Syrian military was trying to destroy the evidence of chemical weapons.

In the case of Israel, the Israel invasion forces used White Phosphorous as a cover for its soldiers, resulting in some civilian deaths. UN Inspectors reported several dozen deaths and serious burns from its use in civilian areas.

That's not justified, but does it compare to the murder of 1,429 civilians in Damascus?

The real issue is the failure of the extremists Arab activists to gain any major international support behind their allegations that Israel used White Phosphorous against its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Their failure is a reflection on their inability to get their facts right. They often exaggerate their facts to make it worse. The call Israeli racism and discrimination, which is non-government policy, "Apartheid" because in the minds of the extremists Arab activists, it's not enough to be racists. Israel has to be Apartheid, too.

But Israeli policies are not Apartheid. They are discriminatory by practice, not government policy.

Their failure combined with their desire to protect Assad who they view as a cornerstone of the crumbling anti-Israel front in the Arab World is their motivation.

Rather than denounce Assad for using Chemical weapons, they want to distract the argument away from Assad to Israel. They failed to make their case against Israel, although they continue to exaggerate the facts surrounding Israel's limited use of one chemical agent, White Phosphorous.

They are trying to say that it is okay to kill 1,429 civilians in Syria and that the only issue the world should focus on is the use of chemical weapons by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Both are crimes. But the Syrian government use of Chemical weapons is one of the most heinous widespread atrocities in the Middle East, far more severe that Israel's use of White Phosphorous.

Worse is the absence of principle and the balanced application of International Law by the extremist Arab activists. They want to condemn Israel because they are driven by hate and anti-Semitism. They want to protect Syria because they are driven by selfish political policies.

Those failures are in fact the reasons why today's debate is on Syria and so few in the International community are focused on Israel.

- RAY HANANIA
http://www.hanania.com

Discuss

Every time something happens in the Middle East, the Arabs are quick to blame Israel. Israel is responsible for a lot of the problems, including the failure of peace with the Palestinians, but they are not responsible for the collapse of Democracy in Egypt or the escalating conflict in Syria.

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As we debate the level of response to the use of chemical weapons by Basher al-Assad, the dictator of Syria, it is interesting to note that it is being heavily influenced by the actions taken by former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

In his address today (Thursday August 29) to a special meeting of the British Parliament, for example, British Prime Minister David Cameron referenced the harm that the Bush Cheney claims of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are having on the public's hesitation to believe accusations of war crimes.

Cameron said that the Iraqi war claims had "poisoned" the public causing them to hesitate in the face of clear, more obvious actions involving the use of weapons of mass destruction by Assad's regime in Syria.

Bush and Cheney threw the American people into a decade long war in Iraq that had absolutely nothing to do with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attack but they strengthened their arguments to go to war claiming Iraq's Saddam Hussein not only had weapons of mass destruction but were planning to use them. The WMDs included chemical weapons, that were no longer being stockpiled, and nuclear weapons, that did not exist.

The Bush-Cheney legacy of lying to the American people stands as one of the most outrageous examples of deceit in American history that even exceeds the depth of the lie at the Gulf of Tonkin that became the basis for increasing American military presence in Vietnam.

In the end, innocent lives were lost, many of them Americans, propelled into wars that need not have been fought. Capturing and hanging Saddam Hussein did nothing to make America safer. It did nothing to strengthen the American War against terrorism.

But the Bush-Cheney Legacy has done much to weaken the moral foundation of the West, especially America and the British who now openly mock the pathetic cheerleading for Bush and Cheney that their former Prime Minister Tony Blair (Stephanie Miller refers to him more appropriately as "Tony Blah.")

The consequences of deceit can be tragic. So many innocent people have lost their lives in Syria. And while the Bush-Cheney Legacy of lies is not the only factor undermining the world's response to the humanity crisis in Syria, it is among the most tragic in and of itself.

-- RAY HANANIA

Discuss

The problem with the Middle East peace process is that the foes of compromise are more active than the supporters of the peace process.

What President Obama needs is to energize a broad moderate activists constituency. We need moderates out there pushing and advocating on behalf of peace. Peace makes sense for Israelis and Palestinians. The only solution is the two-state solution. And while it may not make everyone happy right away, the fruits of two-states will create an environment in which benefits will be seen almost immediately.

The hate level will drop significantly, especially when the majority of "haters" who are really just angry and frustrated proponents of peace who have lost faith because of 20 years of peace atrophy, start to regain their faith in peace.

Peace doesn't mean an immediate end to violence. The fanatics and extremists won't allow peace to succeed on its most important goal, bringing the violence to an end. In fact, violence will increase before it decreases. But in the long run, it will decrease significantly and Israel and Palestine will be safer places to live.

As safety increases, peace will grow. And as peace grows, contacts between Palestinians and Israelis will increase.

But we can't just rely on the restarting of direct face-to-face negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to make this happen. The negotiators need a constituency that has impact and a loud enough voice to marginalize the extremists.

The extremists do not want peace. They don't care if they have victory, either. They benefit most from the conflict. The continued conflict gives them a reason for being. It creates their existence. It gives them a "job." They have something to do. It allows them to exercise their passions and create an environment in which they regale.

Moderates, on the other hand, want peace and are not happy until they get it. And since they have never really had peace, it gets to be frustrating. They need some form of satisfaction which should come from moderate Palestinians and moderate Israelis coming together to create one voice. One movement. One body of shared thought.

We lack a strong and cohesive moderate movement out there. Instead, we have pockets of moderation. And to quote the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, "Either hang together or hang separately." Right now the moderates are hanging separately. They are working for themselves rather than for the larger agenda of peace. The so-called moderate groups, most based in Washington DC, have also come to accept the quasi state of needing peace but never getting it. It gives them a life of their own also, hoping for peace. Even if we never have peace, advocating ineffectively for peace is a life, I guess.

But I expect more. Far more. I expect and we should all expect leadership that actually overcomes the divisions and brings people together based on compromise, commonsense, reason and the adherence to principle. Principles like this one: "As a Palestinian, I must be able to condemn the murder of an Israeli before my condemnation of the murder of a Palestinian can have any meaning."

The same goes for Israelis. They should be able to condemn the murder of Palestinians before their condemnation of Israelis can have meaning, too.

There is so much evidence already that the peace process is failing. The very people who say they support peace -- Palestinians and Israelis -- are the ones expressing the most skepticism. We need to focus on the fruits of peace not the reality of the past failure of peace.

We need to speak out for peace, not find reasons to oppose peace.

And, we need to stop putting kerosene on the peace process and lighting the fuse of anger that foments into hatred.

Israelis are upset that Palestinians who have been deemed murderers by Israel have been released from prison. While Palestinians are upset that Israel continues to expand its settlements and imposing harsh restrictions on the rights of non-Jews in Israel and in the occupied territories.

We have to look past those as problems of the past that will be erased when peace comes. When peace comes, we will be able to look at a criminal on the basis of the crime, not on the basis of their religion or ethnicity.

But, we have to believe in peace. We have to believe that peace is more powerful than hatred, conflict and violence.

We have to have the courage to resist our anger and not allow anger to become hate. We have to turn our passions and emotions into the fuel to make peace work. We have to fight for peace. Jihad for peace. Mitzvah for peace.

Let's do it.

RAY HANANIA
www.hanania.com

Poll

Can you set aside you anger and feelings to do the right thing, and push for peace between Israelis and Palestinians?

58%7 votes
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| 12 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

It's more like a jog than vigilante mob, but the Orland Township Republicans (The Keystone Gops) have decided that the number one issue facing the Republican party is "Ray Hanania."

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Democrat Jill Morgenthaler, a veteran and longtime resident of the 6th Congressional District, responds to the lies of her Republican opponent Peter Roskam, the one-term congressman who slipped into the seat once held by longtime congressman Henry Hyde. Radio Interview at www.RadioChicagoland.com.

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Although it started out slow, the Democratic Convention picked up steam. But can Barack Obama really deliver on his promise for "change?" The words were inspiring, but we have had inspiration in the past. The only thing new about this convention's message for "change" is that it has changed little. We always want change. I hope Obama delivers on his promises.

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Hillary Clinton said last night that Americans are "not big on qutting." So why should her supporters quit?

John McCain could make a move next week to pull the rug out from Obama-Biden with a strong VP who appeals to Democrats (not Lieberman, the disloyal loser.)

And if he did, it could be Hillary Clinton again and for sure this time in 2012. The logic is what's four more years when it comes to the future of America?

That's the reality of today's election whether you want to see it or not. While Obama is a strong candidate, he has much to overcome. And Joe Biden is a poor choice for Vice President.

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Barack Obama supporters shouldn't push aside supporters of Hillary Clinton so quickly. Obama has the lead but the "uncommitted" delegates, or the so-called "Super Delegates," can change their minds between now and the Democratic Convention as often as they like. Obama may need Hillary as the vice presidential candidate to win in November.

Poll

Should Obama offer Clintont he VP Spot

7%7 votes
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| 93 votes | Vote | Results

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Mistrial in war related corruption case proves there is more to it
By Ray Hanania

A jury in Rock Island Illinois said they were deadlocked on the Bush Administration’s prosecution of a former middle-level sub-contractor for Halliburton that the federal government has targeted for more than three years.

The jury was split evenly over charges that Jeff Mazon, a manager for Kellogg, Brown & Root, (KBR), a construction and engineering company that had received a contract from the U.S. Army Sustainment Command at the Rock Island Arsenal to provide services to troops in the Middle East, had accepted a bribe to increase the contract for a Kuwaiti contractors.

U.S. District Court Judge Joe B. McDade, who muzzled the trial by refusing to allow Mazon’s defense team to address the larger issues of the Iraq War and the widespread contract corruption involving politically connected Halliburton, the parent company of KBR, had no choice but to declare a mistrial.

But what are the real issues behind why the jurors could not convict Mazon, who the Bush Administration has targeted for more than three years in a politically-motivated campaign that cost taxpayers millions of dollars?

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For most people, corruption trial of Antoine "Tony" Rezko represent the culture of corruption that has plagued Chicago and Illinois politics for years, and may be the weight that tips the balance in regional and even presidential politics between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But for me, an Arab American fighting to free Chicago's Arab American community from the headlock of religious extremists and secularly corrupt, it only represents validation that the biggest problem is that the so-called leaders of the Arab American community in Chicago have only been "leading" to benefit themselves, not to empower the "community."

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Many people, especially Republicans, are interpretting the heated Democratic primary contests between Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as a battle that will help Republican John McCain in the November election. But the reality is that the debate between Obama and Clinton represents a real threat to the Republican Party which has been marginalized in the minds of most American voters. Instead of benefiting from the Clinton-Obama election battles, the Republican Party will be pushed aside in November as voters reject McCain as merely a weaker Bush clone who will undoubtedly be controlled by the same people who managed George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

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