You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

March 04, 2008

Excellent Vanity Fair Journalism On Gaza Coup

For all the crappy crap clogging America's journalistic bloodstream, there's still some great work. David Rose has written a fantastic piece about the Bush administration's attempt to stage a coup against the elected Palestinian government:

On January 26, 2007, abu Dan, a student at the Islamic University of Gaza, had gone to a local cemetery with his father and five others to erect a headstone for his grandmother. When they arrived, however, they found themselves surrounded by 30 armed men from Hamas’s rival, Fatah, the party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. “They took us to a house in north Gaza,” abu Dan says. “They covered our eyes and took us to a room on the sixth floor.”

The video reveals a bare room with white walls and a black-and-white tiled floor, where abu Dan’s father is forced to sit and listen to his son’s shrieks of pain. Afterward, abu Dan says, he and two of the others were driven to a market square. “They told us they were going to kill us. They made us sit on the ground.” He rolls up the legs of his trousers to display the circular scars that are evidence of what happened next: “They shot our knees and feet—five bullets each. I spent four months in a wheelchair.”

Abu Dan had no way of knowing it, but his tormentors had a secret ally: the administration of President George W. Bush.

The rest.

(Thanks to Nell for pointing this out.)

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 4, 2008 10:16 AM

Keep paying, keep poisoning, keep lying, keep killing.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 4, 2008 11:21 AM

Oh nobody really cares. but it is hilarious example of what we get for affirmative action: black hack mediocrities. Clarence Thomas, puh-leeze, a hack gumminy administrator appointed to the court by a Bush cynical to know it's not permissible to question the competence of black people. and Dr. Rice. Oh, man, as a Soviet scholar, she seriously sucked, as NSA she was a disaster, and a few years back people in Moscow were laughing for weeks when Old Russia Hand Dr. Rice couldn't even get a few simple sentences right in a local radio interview. and oh God, the one female black prof I had in b-skool... oh a complete friggin disaster

Posted by: xyz at March 4, 2008 12:35 PM

Invest YOUR TAX DOLLAR In NOLA, not Gaza, in Tennessee, not Tel Aviv.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 4, 2008 02:13 PM

TIME AND HISTORY HAVE PROVEN you cannot or will not help the Palestinian, perhaps Time and History will testify YOU can help the New Orleanian.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 4, 2008 02:17 PM

You're most welcome. Encouraged as I was to see Atrios front-paging it, he's back to his politically lobotomized self today.

Your trollsy commenters are creeping me out.

Posted by: Nell at March 4, 2008 03:23 PM

Mike is a little eccentric, but means well. I don't always get his meaning, though here I think it's simply that we do more harm than good with money spent in the I/P conflict and should just spend it repairing New Orleans. He might have a point.

The other is just a narcissist--you recognize who it is in the first line or so and then move on to the next post.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at March 4, 2008 03:57 PM

For an American publication that is a good article for relating a more honest assessment of the part played by Bush and his administration in Palestine than one usually finds. My only criticism would be it seemed to downplay the heavy handed violence used by the Israeli government against the Palestinians while at the same time it seemed to give the impression that the Palestinians were all violent and irrational. But that was just my impression of it and no doubt open to argument. It is unfortunate that when one criticizes the Israeli government all too often one is accused of being a racist against Jewish people. I don’t believe anyone in their right mind thinks that it is okay for Hamas to shoot rockets into Israel but I don’t believe that it is right for Israel to colonize Palestinian lands nor their excessive use of violence which seems to kill a lot of civilians including children.

Posted by: rob payne at March 4, 2008 08:46 PM

Okay, just the one troll then, and I'll do my best to tune him out. Sorry, Mike.

On re-reading the David Rose article, I'm entertaining the possibility that Abrams and Wurmser are simply lying about their opposition when the policy was developed, and seeking to distance themselves from it now because it's another huge stinking failure. But I'm trying to stay open to the possibility that my intense distaste for Abrams, a near-hatred that burns with the intensity of several suns, is clouding my judgment.

Although the Rose article is getting more attention around the liberal blogs than I'd have expected, most of them seem more comfortable bemoaning the "incompetence" of the U.S sponsoring yet another dirty war to overturn the unwanted results of an election than making any deeper criticism. But it's a start; there was nothing but silence when the policy was being openly reported last May.

Posted by: Nell at March 4, 2008 10:55 PM

Donald Johnson and Nell: It's really just a matter of priorities on how you want YOUR TAX DOLLAR spent. Repair the levies or bulldoze Ramala, buy new quality pumps or arm Fatah, invest in rebuilding the Ninth Ward or strafe Hamas HQ and the surounding neighborhood. Priorities. (cause YOUR TAX DOLLAR ain't helping the Middle East, just killing it)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 4, 2008 11:47 PM

Only interesting thing was the paperwork.

Fill in: gag about fashion gossip rags running occasional bits of political gossip, cut to V.F. Hitchens is a parody of a drunken WaPo editorial gag, run off the mouth about V.F. Hitchens eating dumb bunnies for breakfast ape of troll, cut to salon intellectual jerks ape, run off at mouth riffing on gorillas getting their nails does, meta parody of drunken parody, etc., cue end of comment.

Posted by: buermann at March 5, 2008 04:32 AM

now here's a query. why care? There are what, two million Palis? Three, one, whatever, not many of em. and their suffering? oh puh-leeze, they do OK, they have enough to eat, and it's warm so they don't have to worry about frezing to death or anything. And they have a flag and a parliment, what else do they need? Hell, the even have a stock exchange and telephones! (I recently had to research PalTel - it's got a 3.8 billion market cap, who woulda thunk it?)

Meanwhile, I am adding a girl 26 years younger to the roster, this will be a record making "acquisition." God, I love the 21s.

Posted by: xyz at March 5, 2008 08:00 AM

I have no worth as a human being.

Posted by: xyz's secret shame at March 5, 2008 08:21 AM

Oh, my worth is measured in rubles, babe. Oh,, and what a hearbreaker, the fruitcake squeaked by with a 52% vote of confidence from his loser constituents. And HRC pulled it out of the hat. Damn. Actually, the Dems have really designed a miserable system designed to screw her, besides the caucuses, FL and MI really were her states, and those losers screwed up hugely. Obama will still win, but he's gonna be a weak president with a weak mandate. Ha ha, suckers : )

Posted by: xyz at March 5, 2008 08:37 AM

I am going to have to stop reading this blog if you don't ban that fuckwads isp. There are plenty of places that welcome jackass trolls, this site need not be one of them.
Really, please.

Posted by: mc at March 5, 2008 09:09 AM

gotta love my job, I was just asked to make the call: was the Russan Aluminum - Glencore - Sual deal 10 billion or 30? And I love when I get to use the word "dispositive."

Posted by: xyz at March 5, 2008 09:22 AM

I am going to have to stop reading this blog if you don't ban that fuckwads isp.

I'm seconding that. And, of course, we all know to which fuckwad we're referring here.

Posted by: Mike at March 5, 2008 11:51 AM

I think the situation is made clearer by keeping in mind the motives of G. W. Bush. This man is more concerned with his legacy than the strategic interest of the United States. Iraq stands one of the greatest threats to that legacy. He'll do what he has to do to prove that he was right about Iraq including making a deal with Iran. And, if he has to assuage the fears of Israel, SA, and Jordan over a strengthened Iran with military largess to quell discontent over Iran, than so be it. Meanwhile such a deal also helps the Republican nominee. Although that help is incidental to the process. This is about saving Bush's legacy.

Posted by: Iron Butterfly at March 5, 2008 02:53 PM

Thank you so much for posting this story again. Even after running in Vanity Fair, it hasn't made the kind of splash I would expect for the size of the story that it is.

NeoConservative politics were applied in other places than Iraq, and they have been invalidated in other places than Iraq.

Again, thanks.

Posted by: MrVetinari at March 6, 2008 09:58 PM