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Summaries are excerpted from the source articles; the featured article follows the summary section. A recommended “site of the day” will also appear occasionally following the summaries.

1//GulfNews.com, United Arab Emirates

The Yemeni tribesmen need help like any civil society organisation to defuse their conflicts, said the new director of the Sanaa-based American National Democratic Institute (NDI). "We want to help the tribesmen engage constructively with the district, province and parliamentary levels to have good voice in terms of resources they need," Peter Dimitroff said. "Because conflicts are always about resources or scarcity of resource, so to defuse these conflicts, we have to be involved in some way." Previously, the Yemen NDI was accused of interfering in internal affairs after initiating a project in tribal areas to help the tribesmen solve their revenge problems. "We are going to engage the government and offer it input and wisdom. In the cases that happened in the past we simply had a lack of communication and it is my commitment now to engage the government fully so that they can notice that what we are doing is to help and support the tribesmen," Dimitroff told the Gulf News. ... Dimitroff said democracy and security should go hand in hand. "We can't have a democratic election and democratic practices without security, so I think democracy and security have to go hand in hand," said Dimitroff who served as the country director for NDI operations in Afghanistan before being appointed in Yemen last month to run a regional office.

Wednesday, 03 January 2007 01:11

Larry Beinhart: 2007 - Year of Madness

by Larry Beinhart, author of Wag the Dog, The Librarian, and Fog Facts


The vote in 2006 made it clear that people's eyes are actually open.


I think what he does is he turns everybody who disagrees with him into his father. It doesn’t matter whether it’s actually the concrete representation of his father, like Baker, or the voters who vote against staying in Iraq. We have become his father. We are the people he is now defying. He will turn everybody, any authority, anybody who disagrees with him, into a father figure who he’d have to defy. -- Justin A. Frank, M.D.

by Dennis Loo, co-editor of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney

"There is a kind of conventional 'wisdom' slightly to the left of center which analyzes the United States this way: we have political democracy, but not economic democracy. It points to the 'democratic' institutions: the three branches of government and the 'checks and balances' which are presumed to prevent a monopoly of power by any one branch; the voting process for the president and Congress, especially now that women and black people have the right to vote; the Bill of Rights.

by Linda Milazzo

I heard it in my Italian family, and in my Jewish family growing up in New York. And I've heard it in Los Angeles, or Hollywood as some would say, over the years that I've lived here. "Death comes in threes." "Watch," they'd say. "As soon as one famous person dies, two more will follow." And though I'm not superstitious, I must admit I've seen this "death comes in threes" often enough that it's really quite freaky... even scary.

Tuesday, 02 January 2007 06:36

Peter Michaelson: Why We Are in Iraq

by Peter Michaelson

On the progressive side we understand quite well that the U.S. military's invasion of Iraq was a front-operation for American capitalism and empire-building. The missionaries of capitalism intended to implant free-market fervor in the Middle East and corner the oil market, under the cover of disarming the natives and promoting democracy. These empire-builders are even more foolish than the crusaders of old who didn't have the benefit of 800 more years of history lessons and who didn't sanctify their economic system.

by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

As the Gerald Ford funeral and related eulogies proceed today we hear over and over again about how bipartisan Gerald Ford was. Commentators tell us that us the country is just fed up with the present partisanship of Washington, and yearn for the good old Gerald Ford days. Further most make a point of making the point that the big responsibility the Congressional Democrats now have is to restore those "feelings of camaraderie, cooperation, and good humor" that characterized the era of Gerald Ford. No sympathy for the item at the top of this morning's BuzzFlash "Top Five Headlines:" "As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking. Bully for the Dems!"

Tuesday, 02 January 2007 04:28

BuzzFlash Mailbag for January 2, 2007


Want to join the conversation? Share your thoughts with other Mailbag readers by clicking here

Subject: Read the AEI Report About Winning in Iraq

Read the report by AEI -- Choosing Victory (American Enterprise Institute)

This tells me that Bush has made up his mind, and his speech to America will be taken out of this report.

A supporter of BuzzFlash ...

R. Aschmotat
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

[BuzzFlash Note: Thanks for the post-New Years' Eve sobering thought. This does seem like Bush's blueprint. Don't overlook this part: "A surge of seven Army brigades and Marine regiments to support clear-and-hold operations starting in the spring of 2007 is necessary, possible, and will be sufficient. These forces, partnered with Iraqi units, will clear critical Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shi’a neighborhoods, primarily on the west side of the city. After the neighborhoods have been cleared, U.S. soldiers and Marines, again partnered with Iraqis, will remain behind to maintain security."]

by Cindy Sheehan

Gerald Ford is dead. Every time I get a chance to turn on the TV I am incessantly reminded of this fact.

His body is lying in state on the same structure that has held up every dead president's body since Abraham Lincoln. His widow constantly has a military honor guard to support her, sometimes even physically. The flag draped coffin is never left alone: there is always a military presence there to guard and honor the body. We have seen Ford's flag-draped coffin entering and exiting planes and cars. The tradition can be quite moving at times, but, to me, also quite frustrating and gut-wrenching.


Cheney Says Ford Understood "There Can Be No Healing Without Pardon"

by Tony Peyser

Gee, Dick, I kinda think
Another way to heal certain scars
Is if crooked politicians
Wind up doing time behind bars.

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