THE ABSURD TIMES — STILL

Freedom Flotilla, Hillary Hysterical

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on June 29, 2011
of other stuff going on.

The Freedom Flotilla is in Greece, ready to go, but Greece is holding it up.

Israel says the women on board are violent characters.

The Vessels, including the American one, called The Audacity of Hope, have been sabotaged.

Hillary Clinton, widely acclaimed as the sexiest Secretary of State since Madeline Albright, is hysterical over this.  This does not mean that she has a “wandering uterus,” as Freud defined the cause — certainly it would have been found by now.

The citizens of Greece are fighting a class war on the theory that Greece should not be sold to private interests.

In Cairo, 600 people were injured last night in Tahrir Square.  The people do not feel the revolution worked.

In Libya, it is confirmed that 20,000 of those in the East are “Militant Islamists.”  Many went to Iraq during our occupation.

France is dropping equipment in the East, apparently expressing Sarkozy’s love of Islam.

The World Court wants to try Gaddafi for War Crimes although there is no evidence he has done anything we are not doing in other countries.  Well, except for the ludicrous claim he makes that the oil in Libya belongs to the people of Libya.  Everyone knows that it belongs to international corporations like BP.  The fact that it accidentally happens to be located under Libyan sands is just a cleaver ruse by this desert fox, this “Mad-Dog,” as Ronnie Ray-Gun called him.

It seems that the Sixteenth Amendment makes the National Debt Limit illegal.  Obama could enforce that much more rationally than he can ignore Article One, Section Eight of the same document.

Michele Bachmann announced, in Wart loo Ioway that she was running for President.  She was born there as was John Wayne, she says.  Actually, I heard that it was actually John Wayne Gacey, serial killer of Des Plains, Illinois who was there for awhile.  Michael Morrison was born elsewhere.  She announced that John Quincy Adams was a founding father.  He was eight at the time.

She is smart, however, as she is a Tax Attorney, a mark of genius.

There is, I repeat IS an over-ride possible at the United Nations in the case of admission of a new country.  Palestine is applying for admission as a member country.  It has to be recommended by the Security Council.  That vote will have at least three vetos — the United States, England (who like to be very obedient to the U.S.) and France (with a President who hates Arabs, or doesn’t like them — they are not as short as he and he is no longer Jewish so he is free to express himself on the issue).  Russia and China are unlikely to agree with the U.S. on anything since it misused the mandate on bombing Libya. (Oh, and the Arab League rescinded their support and the African Union always hated the idea).

So, that vote can be over-turned by a 67% majority in the General Assembly.  There are 192 Nations to vote.  That means, it needs about 130 yes votes, or about 42 countries to vote against it.  Exclude NATO and parts of the European Union and the Marshall Islands, and it seems likely that they will get admitted.

Hillary Clinton’s sex-appeal will not be enough to stop it (or anything else, as it seems).

In case you have not noticed, Keith Olbermann’s COUNTDOWN is now back on the air on Current, Al Gore’s network, but Keith is head of the news department.  He has already hired one newsman who was fired by MSNBC and working on more (David Schuster who was once suspended for saying Hillary “pimped out” her daughter to Missouri during the primaries).

Well, enough for now, here are a few transcripts to illustrate some of the above points:

Rush Transcript

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AMY GOODMAN: A group of U.S. citizens is defiantly rejecting the Obama administration’s attempt to thwart their aid mission to the Gaza Strip, which threatens to leave them stranded in Greece. Up to 50 Americans are set to sail from a Greek port on a U.S.-flagged ship called The Audacity of Hope, named after President Obama’s bestselling book. The boat is part of an international flotilla carrying aid for Gaza’s one-and-a-half million Palestinian residents. The first two ships of the 10 ships participating in the mission have already left from France.
The flotilla members are taking part despite Israeli threats to intercept their ships. Nine people were killed in an Israeli attack on the first flotilla just over a year ago. The Audacity of Hope passengers have called for the U.S. government’s help in ensuring their safe passage. But instead, the Obama administration has told them not to set sail and even warned them they could face punishment back home. Speaking to reporters, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested Israel would have the right to use force to prevent the ships’ passage.

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: Well, we do not believe that the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza. Just this week, the Israeli government

AMY GOODMAN: The State Department followed Clinton’s comments with a statement calling the flotilla, quote, “irresponsible and provocative” and warned that U.S. delegates could face, quote, “fines and incarceration.” On Friday, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland was questioned about the Obama administration’s threat. Under repeated questioning, Nuland refused to answer whether the U.S. considers the Israeli blockade of Gaza to be legal.

REPORTER 1: Just to make sure, does the U.S. consider that blockade legal?

VICTORIA NULAND: I think the main point that we were trying to make in the statement was that we’ve got to use the channels that are safe, the channels that are going to guarantee that the aid get where it needs to go, to the people it’s intended for, and to discourage, in strongest terms, any actions on the high seas that could result in a conflict.

REPORTER 1: Right, but again, that doesn’t answer the question of the legality or the—whether the U.S. perceives that blockade as legal or not.

VICTORIA NULAND: I don’t have anything for you on legality here.

REPORTER 1: The people who are putting this together have a rather elaborate website, and they say that—on that, that the U.S. should be protecting the rights of American citizens, protecting their safety abroad. So that is the argument that they’re making. They’re very disappointed and shocked that the State Department would be warning people off. What do you say to that?

VICTORIA NULAND: It is in the interest of protecting both Americans and other citizens from around the world who might be thinking about engaging in provocative moves like this that we were putting out these warnings so strongly in the same season where we had this problem last year. We don’t want to see a repeat, and we do believe that those who want to aid Gaza can do so and need to do so in the correct manner.

REPORTER 2: Well, just one more on this, yeah. I don’t think you said it, but people at the State Department have said Israel has a right to defend itself against these flotillas. What exactly would it be defending against, though? That’s what’s not clear to me.

VICTORIA NULAND: Like all states, Israel has a right of national self-defense. Again, I don’t want to get into where the boat might be and law of the sea and all this kind of stuff. We are simply saying this is the wrong way to get aid to Gaza. The correct way to get aid to Gaza is through the established mechanisms, which are improving, which are open, and which can get aid to the people that it’s intended for.

REPORTER 2: But it’s just humanitarian aid, so I don’t see why it would be—Israel would have to defend itself, if it’s just humanitarian aid coming in.

VICTORIA NULAND: It’s the matter of all states to provide coastal defense, but I’m—again, I’m not going to get into the law of the sea issues here. We’re simply trying to make the point that we want this done in a way that not only is going to get the aid where it’s intended but is going to ensure that we don’t have dangerous incidents.

REPORTER 2: You believe that because there are established—already established means, the Israeli port where things are inspected and the Rafah Crossing, that in this case, being provocative is unnecessary and unwise, because it’s just not needed, there are other ways to do it. Is that—that’s the bottom line?

VICTORIA NULAND: That’s certainly the case, and we don’t want—we don’t want further incidents. It’s not in anybody’s interest.

REPORTER 3: Is the regular blockade a provocative act?

VICTORIA NULAND: I think we’ve gone as far as we’re going to go on this subject.

AMY GOODMAN: That was U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.


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Rush Transcript

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AMY GOODMAN: Amidst the uncertainty awaiting them at sea, flotilla passengers are now facing a new challenge, even before setting sail. The Greek government has refused to grant permission for The Audacity of Hope and two other ships leaving port, citing anonymous complaints that later turn out to come from an Israeli group. The Greek government’s move comes amidst heavy international pressure to resolve a fiscal crisis that sparked massive protest and a general strike scheduled for this week.
The Israeli government, meanwhile, is also warning journalists not to cover the aid mission. On Sunday, Israel said reporters who board Gaza-bound ships will be barred from Israel for 10 years and have their equipment seized. In response, the Foreign Press Association said the warning, quote, “sends a chilling message to the international media and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press.” On Twitter, former U.S. State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley responded, quote, “Israel is working against its own self-interest by pressuring journalists not to cover the Gaza flotilla, clearly a newsworthy event,” he tweeted.
Well, Democracy Now! is in Athens right now with our exclusive report. Democracy Now! producer Aaron Maté is in Greece covering the journey of The Audacity of Hope.

AARON MATÉ: We’re in Athens, Greece, where delegates from across the U.S. have gathered to board The Audacity of Hope. It’s one of 10 ships in the Freedom Flotilla 2, the aid mission to the Gaza Strip. But the journey is facing uncertainty. The Greek government is facing heavy pressure to thwart the aid mission, and the State Department is calling on The Audacity of Hope to abandon its voyage, just issuing a statement calling it “provocative and dangerous.”

Well, we spoke to some of the delegates that are going to be boarding the ship and asked for their response.

JANE HIRSCHMANN: I’m Jane Hirschmann. I’m one of the organizers of the U.S. boat to Gaza called The Audacity of Hope. We’re here tonight, as you see, with not only our delegation, but delegations from all over the country. We’re part of the international Freedom Flotilla-Stay Human. We are going to sail to Gaza. We are over 22 countries and 10 ships that are going.

AARON MATÉ: So, right now, the Greek government is facing a huge internal revolt. There’s protests every day, strikes for this week. Are you concerned that opponents of the flotilla are going to exploit that to try to pressure the Greek government to stop the sailing?

JANE HIRSCHMANN: Yes, I think that’s happening right now. You know, our boat, right now, is ready to go, as I said. There has been a complaint that’s been, you know, lodged against our boat. It’s totally bogus. And they are trying to slow down the process. Tomorrow, our lawyer is going to try to deal with it, and we hope that we will be sailing very, very soon.

AARON MATÉ: The State Department is calling the flotilla “provocative.” It’s urging Americans not to take part. What’s your response?

JANE HIRSCHMANN: I think we should see—turn that around a little and ask the State Department who’s being provocative, when a group of unarmed civilians, civil society, the civil society, is going to a country that’s been totally under siege, where this highest unemployment in the world is in Gaza, when they don’t have sanitary water conditions, they don’t have medicines. And you really have to ask, being occupied, which is the country that’s really being provocative. And I think that’s Israel. And of course the United States colludes in that, because we give Israel $3 billion a year of our tax money to do this to the people of Gaza.

AARON MATÉ: Now, you’re Jewish. I’m seeing a lot of Jews here. Are there any non-Jews here?

JANE HIRSCHMANN: Twenty-five percent of this boat, of the delegates on this boat, are Jewish, yes. And there’s a reason for that, because we want to say to the world that the Israeli government does not speak in our name.

RAY McGOVERN: My name is Ray McGovern. And I’ve seldom met 35 closer friends now, and are really eager to get on that boat to get to Gaza. What Barack Obama wants to avoid is having to decide: do I call Netanyahu and risk being rebuffed, as he is accustomed to doing, or do I just let these Americans suffer whatever fate awaits them at hands of the Israeli navy? Tough decision. That’s why they’re focusing on Greece, to make sure that we never leave here, lest he have to face that decision.

Never—never, ever—was it our intention to sail into Israeli waters, OK? Gazan waters are Gazan waters, under Israeli law, because they pretend not to be an occupying power anymore. So, either we go into Gazan waters, where we cannot be intercepted under international law, or the Israelis say, “Well, no, we were only kidding about not occupying Gaza. We still occupy Gaza.” Then the Israelis do have a right to interdict arms traffic. Now, you know, we’re bearing letters, OK? My grandfather from Ireland, he was a letter carrier. So was my other grandfather. It’s very much in my tradition. We’re carrying letters. Now, what, in God’s name, can letters—how can the letters, these letters, be considered a threat to the security of Israel?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: I’m Medea Benjamin with the group CodePink. I’m from Washington, D.C. This is not a provocation. This is following the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King. It’s following the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. It’s following the footsteps of Palestinians who resist nonviolently day after day. And it’s in a great global tradition of standing up against injustice.

AARON MATÉ: Six members of Congress have signed a letter asking the U.S. government to protect the passengers. What do you want from the White House, from Congress, from the State Department?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, first I want to say that when you look around here at representatives from other organizations, they have members of their parliament going with them. There is a member of the Spanish parliament here, European parliament here, Swiss parliament, Norwegian parliament. And they ask us, “How many members of your Congress are going on this U.S. delegation?” And I laugh, because I’m so ashamed to even say, not only is there not one member going, but we didn’t even bother asking any of them to come, because we knew it would be impossible. It was hard enough to get six people to sign a letter that said that our government should protect us. And we are U.S. citizens, you know. So, it is so embarrassing when you see how far removed our government is compared to other governments around the world in standing up for what we say that we go to war for in Iraq or in Libya: people’s basic human rights.

AARON MATÉ: So, we’re on our way to a square where there are some protests taking place?

LISA FITHIAN: We’re heading to the heart of the resistance here in Greece, in Athens right now, Syntagma Square.

AARON MATÉ: So people have been gathering there—

LISA FITHIAN: Mm-hmm.

AARON MATÉ: —daily?

LISA FITHIAN: The square is actually occupied. People, you’ll see when we get down, they’ve set up a whole community there. Each quadrant has tents set up. There’s a media area, a healthcare area. And then, in the center of the plaza is where they have the assemblies every night. So there’s a popular assembly every night, basically a decision-making process about the different agendas that they do. And right now, they’re dealing with the political position around these austerity measures that are going to be voted on on Wednesday and preparing for the general strike on Tuesday and Wednesday.

AARON MATÉ: We’re at Syntagma Square, the epicenter of protests in Greece right now. And we’re with Lisa Fithian, who’s sort of the unofficial tour guide for Democracy Now! in activist hotbeds. You were with us in Copenhagen, gave us a tour there during the climate protests. And now, tell us what’s going on here.

LISA FITHIAN: As you can see, as we come down into the main center of the plaza, right across from the parliament is the popular assembly that’s taking place right now. So what you have is folks from every walk of life that come to the center here in Athens. You know, all different ages, from all different professions, from classes, different political ideologies, are all coming here to participate in this incredible democratic process.

I mean, I think I’ve seen, as I’ve come down here, you know, people take it very seriously. There’s a voting process, and they set their agendas. And it’s in the heart of this incredible community that’s been here for over a month, where you have medical areas, media areas, art areas, cultural areas, and then people that are camping out. And so, every day this goes on. And each night, starting from anywhere between 7:00 and 9:00 ’til midnight or so, the plenary happens.

And really, on the strike, this is, you know, the center where a lot of the conflicts happened two weeks ago. And when the strike comes Tuesday and Wednesday, this will continue to be the center. Wednesday, the general strike is calling for people from all around Greece to come here to surround the parliament building. So we can only imagine what that’s going to be like. So, it’s really an incredible moment here. And as you’ve seen, talking to people from Greece, they have such great hope and such belief in what they’re doing here, that it’s really democracy.

MARY: Well, I’m Mary. I came here like everybody came. It was something like a spontaneous call on Facebook saying everybody who is upset with this situation, Greek, come to Syntagma Square at 6:00. It was Wednesday, 25 of May. And I came to see what this thing is. And I thought that, like usual, we were going to stay here for two hours, look at each other, yell a little, maybe have a fight with the police, and go back. But we are here over a month. Yesterday we have our birthday of one month. And we managed to make a small, self-organized community. It’s not—some people say it’s a political movement. OK, I don’t know, maybe it is. It’s a demonstration. That’s what it is. Everybody thinks that the political system in this country is very corrupted. So we don’t follow any party, any political party. This square says parties, political parties, are out.

AARON MATÉ: And this week, there’s a general strike being called?

MARY: Yes, for 48 hours, 48 hours. We already voted and posted on the internet to this government and to the police that we are peaceful, that we won’t cause any problems. Protect us. Don’t hate us. I hope they will do it, because it’s going to be bad for us, but worse for them. We know that.

LISA FITHIAN: We are so proud to be here at a time to see this incredible uprising of democracy in Greece and to be here in solidarity with you. And we know right now that Greece is being screwed by the IMF and the Europeans and the United States and Israel to try and crush your economy. And we believe that is wrong, and we will be with you in the streets during the strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Last year, when the international flotilla tried to challenge the blockade, Israel came out 70 miles into international water and killed nine of our allies around the world, from Turkey and the U.S. Now we are concerned that Israel thinks they can come to the shores of Greece to stop us. And we say no. They are trying to stop our boats, and they’re trying to stop this flotilla to Gaza. And we did not come here just to be in Syntagma Square or to be in your strikes. We came here to break the blockade of Gaza, and that is what we are going to do.

AARON MATÉ: Greece is being threatened by these governments who are pointing to its financial crisis and saying, “You could be punished further, unless you stop these boats.” What do you think of that?

MARY: I think it’s a shame. I have no words about these things, where we stop what? We accept pressures to stop what? Help people that needs help? It’s—I don’t have words to express my anger about this. And not just me. I think everybody is angry about that. It’s insane.

AMY GOODMAN: That exclusive report produced by Democracy Now!’s Aaron Maté and Hany Massoud in Athens, Greece.


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.
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