intl visitor leadership program – dinner at our house, aug 31, 2009

the u.s. dept of state’s bureau of educational and cultural affairs administers the intl visitor leadership program, a professional exchange program designed to build mutual understanding between the u.s. and other countries of the world. i had the opportunity to host a dinner for 4 guests from israel – two muslim and two jewish.

in the back, from L to R: eyal, me, josephine (the coordinator), tzahala, my mom, in front: raida and faten.

IVLP dinner at our house

‘Patient capital’ and power by Bina Shah

On Pakistan-US relations: “The US invests in our education, health or power crisis, but with no short-term expectations, no pressure, no demands. They act as a friend helping out another friend in need. They wait, patiently, for the long-term di…vidends of this investment: an improved opinion of the US and the elimination of resentment.”

just one question for this woman: what is she smoking!!! the unfortunate full article.

Pakistan: No Military Campaign Against the Taliban

“For the Obama Administration, the Pakistani military’s reluctance to take on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan doesn’t bode well for the pursuit of U.S. interests. Washington would like Islamabad to confront the groups that pose a direct threat to NATO forces across the border in Afghanistan – the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.”

tell me again what this war is all about? protecting pakistanis from the extremists or keeping the american occupation viable?
read full article.

As Obama Golfs with UBS CEO Days After Firm Avoids Criminal Prosecution, UBS Whistleblower Given 40 yrs

remember BCCI, the ultimate banking scandal? it was child’s play. now at UBS, their employees smuggled diamonds in toothpaste tubes in order to save their clients some tax money. and what did they get for all their fraud and tax evasion? the whistleblower got 40 months but the bank CEO got to play golf with obama. wow.

watch it on democracy now!

Flushing Blackwater

On August 19, the New York Times revealed that the company was, in fact, a central part of a secret CIA assassination program that Dick Cheney allegedly ordered concealed from Congress. Blackwater is also being investigated by the Justice Department for possible crimes ranging from weapons smuggling to manslaughter and by the IRS for possible tax evasion. It is being sued in federal courts by scores of Iraqi civilians for alleged war crimes and extrajudicial killings.

Despite these black marks, the Obama administration continues to keep Blackwater on the government’s payroll. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, Blackwater still works for the CIA, the State Department and the Defense Department to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and its continuing presence is an indicator of just how entrenched private corporations are in the US war machinery. Full article.