Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Middle East - this and that

Meeting on Middle East Peace Process -- Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen and President Obama are meeting Thursday in Washington. Palestinians were skeptical ahead of the meeting, according to EarthTimes. To quote:

Palestinians expressed doubt Wednesday that the visit to Washington of their president, Mahmoud Abbas, and his meeting with US President Barack Obama on Thursday will result in pressure on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. According to columnist Omar Ghoul, writing in the pro-Abbas al-Hayat al-Jadida daily, Abbas' problem with the Obama administration is that the latter is "going along with Israeli stalling policy" and has a "cautious approach to Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people."

After a rather frosty meeting recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defiantly announced that the settlement activity in the West Bank and Jerusalem would continue, despite U.S. calls for a halt to all settlement activity. Jordan's King Abdullah is deeply involved as a kind of honest broker, mediator. And, of course, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is still acting as a Middle East peace envoy. The question, "Will Israel Attack Iran?" remains open, according to Mother Jones Magazine.

Will it always be war? Glenn Greenwald of recently posted with passion about the idea of Obama as a war president. He asks,

Which American presidents were not "war presidents?" . . . In other words, there's no such thing as an American President who is not a "war President." We never go more than a few years without some kind of a direct war, and are always waging covert and indirect ones. American presidents are inherently "war presidents." We don't really have any other kind. To vest a specific power in a President on the ground that he's a "War President" is to vest that power in presidents generally and permanently.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates revealed the proposed Pentagon budget in mid April, according to Mother Jones Magazine, suggesting changes that are very significant. To quote:

GWOT, RIP . . . Seen one way, it's certainly the first significant recognition from the Pentagon that the United States, the former "sole superpower" and planetary sheriff, has actually entered a universe of limits, even when it comes to the previous sacrosanct and ever soaring military budget. Think of it as a signal directly from Washington—if you want one—that the glory days are on the wane.

This and that -- By mid-May, 44 candidates had registered for the Afghan presidential elections, according to RIA Novosti. Pakistan has a relatively new president and the government remains relatively weak. U.S. News had an interesting piece about why the Pentagon needs to rebuild its relationship with Pakistan's military, in order to win the Afghan war. This same publication covered Obama's military veterans health care upgrade, announced last month. Investigative journalism's ProPublica recently revealed that insurance giant, AIG may have been making unreasonable profits by denying nearly half of medical benefits due to civilian contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The DoD Inspector General's office will be investigating.

In conclusion -- President Obama is much more proactive when it comes to foreign and defense policy. And He as a very good team around him. He certainly needs all the help he can get given the current dicey situation in the Middle East.


  1. From NPR, anexcellent in depth article, Middle East Peace Initiative, it began with the subject Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

  2. From The Washington Note's Steve Clemons: "Powerpoint on Strengths, Weakness of Obama/Gates Defense Plan."

  3. From Spy Talk's Jeff Stein: "Obama's Kennedy Moment in Afghanistan" This is a great backgrounder on the perils of fighting a war in Afghanistan.

  4. From Secrecy News' Steven Aftergood: “Tactics in Counterinsurgency” Again Online. About a new Army Field Manual

My all-in-one Home Page of websites where I post regularly: Carol Gee - Online Universe

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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.