Daily Archives: Jan. 8, 2009

Could Gaza crisis have been easily avoided?

“I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided,” former President Jimmy Carter wrote in a Washington Post commentary. Carter, who considers the rocket attacks by Hamas to be acts of terrorism, said he was involved in fostering the cease-fire agreement that began last June. One key part of the agreement was Israel allowing into Gaza more supplies of food, water, medicine and fuel – which didn’t happen at the levels promised.  Carter said that acute malnutrition in Gaza is “on the same scale as in the poorest nations in the southern Sahara, with more than half of all Palestinian families eating only one meal a day.”
Carter hopes that “when further hostilities are no longer productive, Israel, Hamas and the United States will accept another cease-fire, at which time the rockets will again stop and an adequate level of humanitarian supplies will be permitted to the surviving Palestinians, with the publicized agreement monitored by the international community.”

Partisan fire resumes in House

So much for change, at least on Capitol Hill. The House opened Tuesday with a heated dispute about a rules change that will affect the minority Republicans’ ability to influence the substance of bills. Among the words exchanged about the change:
“Today’s new beginning is nothing more than a new low for the Democratic majority,” said Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif. “Their cynicism and manipulation is all the more dismal against the backdrop of President-elect Obama’s vision.”
Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, said, “This is not the democracy we know and love.”
But Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., said about his Republican colleagues: “They chose talking points over accomplishments. They chose to be the party of obstructionism.”

Open thread 1/8

Terrorists received cold-blooded instructions

The dossier that India sent to Pakistan this week about the attacks in Mumbai included chilling transcripts of phone conversations between the terrorists and their handlers, believed to be in Pakistan. Those transcripts detail calculated, cold-blooded instructions to kill hostages and to “inflict the maximum damage.” In one conversation, the New York Times reported, an attacker asked whether to spare women (“Kill them,” he was told) and Muslims (he was told to release them and kill the rest). The attackers also were told to kill Jews in order to “spoil relations between India and Israel” and urged to fight as “a matter of the prestige of Islam.”

Holton’s favorite son and daughter

How weird that as of Tuesday, a third of the Kansas congressional delegation graduated from Holton High School – Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., in 1954 and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, in 1981. Holton, population 3,300, is in Jackson County; the high school currently has a mere 339 students. The 1954 yearbook included the prediction that Roberts would be a Republican senator. “All hail to Holton High School,” Roberts sang Tuesday to a Topeka Capital-Journal reporter.