Saturday, January 31, 2009

If U Seek Amy

There is something terribly wrong with our liberal agenda. I can feel it. Perhaps I might even be able to articulate it. But I don't have the slightest clue as to what to do about it. And I believe many other liberals feel the same way.

We are able to stand and fight with great passion, courage and an unyielding sense of right and wrong for environmental issues. We see our planet in peril and we know we must defend her. The facts, the statistics and the scientists help us and solidify our arguments, but our hearts tell us we must do what is right.

We are able to stand and fight with great passion, courage and an unyielding sense of right and wrong for civil rights and the rights of minorities. There is no doubt in our minds or hearts. Equal pay for men, women, minorities. Equal protection under the law. We are on rock solid ground.

Our instincts are keen. We rebel instinctively against any attack on our basic rights. Freedom of Speech is one of our most sacred rights. Sexual freedom is another. The right of a woman to control her body, her future and her destiny are beyond debate.

So when the
Southern Baptists and the censorship fanatic Parents Television Council and several other conservative groups launch a very public and well coordinated attack aimed at these rights, we react instinctively.

Except.... Today's target is Britney Spears, an easy target if there ever was one. Spears is having one sensational comeback. God knows she had hit the lowest depths. She had no where to go but up. Her new album Circus is topping every chart. Her first two singles off that album, Circus and Womanizer, are super hits. You can hear them on virtually every pop and adult contemporary radio station in America.

The problem arises with the record companies decision to release the third single from the album, the obviously suggestive "If U Seek Amy." Let's let Southern Baptist Kelly Boggs tell the story:

"If U Seek Amy," is offensive, inane as well as immature. This means with the state of American popular culture one step below the gutter the song likely will be a success. Only a week after it hit American radio it is already 92 on Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 chart.

While it is true that lyrical depth has never been a feature of American pop music, Spears' "Amy" scrapes the bottom of the barrel. In fact, it seems as if the song's only purpose is to provide the framework for a refrain that is on par with the worst lyrics found in rap music.

The lyrics of the refrain are: "But all of the boys and all of the girls are begging me to if you seek Amy." The fact that the written lyric makes no sense is really not the problem. Quite a few rock song lyrics have not made much sense. However, what Spears does phonetically when she sings the song makes all the difference. When listing to the song, there is no doubt she is spelling out one of the most offensive words in the English language.

If U Seek Amy = F-U-C-K Me.

Cute. Actually, it is cute. And I strongly disagree with Boggs analysis of the song. It's the strongest song on the album. If kids (or anyone) really listens to the song and lyrics it is really about a person longing for an unattainable icon. It is a story of a tragically overinflated ego. But few people will ever submit this song to this type of analysis. For one reason the song is fun and catchy, fast and danceable. It is going to be a huge hit at clubs.

But what about our teens and pre-teens? As this hits radio stations, what messages are we sending? One reviewer, who I won't bother to link because he is a compete idiot, claimed that young listeners would never pick up on the double entendre. Instead I'll quote a young lady named Cassie who added this comment to a lyrics site:

*snort* I love this song. My mum still doesn’t get it, so lets me listen to it when I’m driving my grandmother to work. My school played it at a dance. Thank you Brit for being tongue-in-cheek. It lets us pull one over on my school and my mother.

I O U 1

Don't ever underestimate our children. They get it. The current efforts to play a "censored version" are certainly not going to accomplish a thing. For one thing the song is all over "You Tube." It's spreading like wildfire.

But back to my question. What messages are we sending to our young teens and pre-teens? Read this cautionary essay written for the UK Daily Mail by Olivia Lichtenstein, "How the faceless and amoral world of cyberspace has created a deeply disturbing... generation SEX"

Remember that Hilaire Belloc cautionary tale - Matilda told such dreadful lies, it made one gasp and stretch one’s eyes? I used to love it as a child when telling lies was one of the naughtiest things you could do: Matilda ended up getting burned to death.

These days, however, everything has changed and it’s the truths that children tell that make one gasp and stretch one’s eyes.

A couple of years ago, my daughter Francesca, then aged 13, told me about a party she had been to one Saturday night.

In the course of the evening, she came upon one of her friends, also aged 13, performing oral sex on a boy in the garden. The boy was standing and videoing the event on his mobile phone.

I apologise for shocking you, but then there are a number of things shocking about this event: the casual nature in which such an intimate act is performed in public, the young age of the participants and last, but by no means least, the fact that it is being filmed.

How do we, as liberals, handle this continuous onslaught of sex and sexual message directly at our teens and preteens? Do we join the conservative outraged parents in Australia and America are demanding radio stations stop playing the song? **

If not, what message are we sending? Can this problem be fixed? How? You realize it's not just this one song.

I hope you will all discuss this issue in the comments section.

**Additional link:
MUCH MUSIC: Racy Brit Song Angers Parents

Friday, January 30, 2009

Victory in Iraq

Today is perhaps the most important day in modern Iraqi history. The regional elections, being held completely under the control and supervision of the Iraqi government, military and police without even a hint of American military involvement, represents a huge victory for the Iraqi government, the Iraqi people and the American led coalition that shepherded in the peace and security that allows Iraq to be only the second true democracy in the middle east.

And yes, President Bush also deserves a great deal of credit for the current stability and peace in Iraq. It is his victory, too. His vision and strength (perhaps that was stubbornness) to go against public opinion and the entire Democrat Party (and quite a few Republicans) has paid huge dividends. The surge worked.

Frankly, his masterful management of the debate over funding with Congress may well be his greatest accomplishment as President. After Democrats gained control of Congress it was assumed that funding for Iraq would be cut off. Bush fought against Speaker Pelosi tooth and nail and ended up winning every single battle. The surge was approved and full funding continued until the very last day of his Presidency.

That the President won these funding battles even with a dismal public approval rating shows he was a damned sight better at management and political wrangling than his critics ever imagined.

Coincidentally it also proves just how totally incompetent Nancy Pelosi is at her job. But I digress.

The real victory belongs to the Iraqi people. President Bush is now part of America's past. The future belongs to President Obama. And President Obama's decisions will also affect the future of Iraq. Let's hope he isn't too stubborn himself and allows Iraq to have the support it deserves to become a beacon of hope and freedom for the entire region.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nancy Pelosi Is Determined to Undermine Barack Obama

I've written eleven previous blog posts about Nancy Pelosi. This makes twelve. If you really want to, you can click THIS LINK and all twelve posts will open in a single window. Or you can just keep reading here for the Reader's Digest version.

Actually by simply reprinting these comments from my post from my July 24, 2008 post, Nancy Pelosi's War on America, I can summarize my objections to Nancy Pelosi's complete absence of leadership, her lack of intelligence and her destructive impulses:

America is really being betrayed by the current political posturing in Washington. And Nancy Pelosi is leading a bizarre and very destructive campaign against the best interests of the American people.

It simply isn't possible to make any sense out of the current Democrat's posturing... EXCEPT that they have a genetic knee jerk opposition to any plan or any idea supported by Republicans. Is it possible that the Democrats feel forced to oppose the Republicans even if it actually means America is thrown into a full blown recession? What's happening is very disturbing.

Obviously I have the gift of prophecy. Here we are is a recession, or more likely a full blown depression, and Nancy Pelosi is still spending every hour of every day fighting against the best interests of her constituents, the House of Representatives, Congress in general, President Barak Obama and all of America.

I had great hopes that Barack Obama would reign in Pelosi and Obama's call for cooperation and bipartisanship would encourage or inspire Pelosi to turn over a new leaf. I genuinely believe President Obama wants a new culture in Washington.

Nancy Pelosi is determined to kill Obama's hopes and dreams. She is determined to bring about open warfare with her Republican counterparts. And she is succeeding.

She will not allow any Republican idea or compromise into her economic stimulus bill. She will not allow Republicans to even attend any planning meetings. Instead she taunts and berates Republicans and crows about her victory last November. She reminds me of President Bush after his 2004 win.

And like Bush, Pelosi's hubris will ultimately destroy her oven meager victory. Pelosi is sowing the seeds of a Republican reemergence and ultimate take over of Congress. But that is two to four years away. So before Nancy Pelosi can destroy herself, she will bring down the President.

Believe me when I tell you she doesn't care.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Walking A Tightrope

As Barack Obama completes his first week in office we should all be pleased at his effort to set a new, bipartisan, tone in Washington. In the pressure boiler of Washington even a single week is an accomplishment.

The question is how long will the political party leaders allow Obama to continue his voyage into the uncharted waters of compromise. Already Nancy Pelosi is making a solid effort to sink his ship and Republicans are testing his leadership.

I've come to believe Nancy Pelosi is genetically incapable of compromise. Her continued refusal to include a single Republican in the development of legislation is totally out of step with Barack Obama's stated goals. And Pelosi is supplying Republicans with all the ammunition they need to take continuing shots at the President's ship of state.

Actually, so far I'm impressed at Republicans restraint. I only wish Pelosi was using the same maps and charts as the President.

President Obama is receiving expected support from the press

, who are praising Obama's bipartisan approach and his general leadership. The press is actually helping mute the actions of Pelosi and other hyper partisan leaders.

Far right bloggers are rightfully criticizing the double standard shown by the press today versus the instantaneous trashing that President Bush received from the press four and eight years ago. While my friends on the right are totally correct, they should be pleased President Obama is being treated more fairly.

Far left bloggers have actually been more critical of Barack Obama than those on the right. For many of these "progressives," revenge and vengeance topped their list of priorities for the new administration. Obama's signals of compromise and tolerance, not to mention his outright endorsement of some Bush policies, have outraged his supporters on the left, many of whom feel betrayed.

The pressure from the far left and far right to return to rigid partisan dogma will be great. But the vast majority of Americans do not want to return to the gridlock that became the hallmark of the Bush administration and many of the last few administrations.

Barack Obama has my full support and I hope other bloggers, commentators and politicians will join me in supporting his approach of compromise and reasoned discussion and debate.

I want to add a few words to high praise for Sarah Palin who I heard yesterday on one of the cable news channels. I'm sorry that I don't have a link or video clip. But she was very gracious and extremely supportive of Barack Obama.

Sarah Palin emphasized that Barack Obama was "her president" and that he had and deserved her full support. She has high hopes that he will succeed in his efforts. She promised to oppose him on policy issues only and never allow the debate to become divisive or personal.

As Palin moves to position herself for a bigger political role in 2012 it will be damned difficult for her to maintain such a lofty position. But I applaud her for this early show of support and statesmanship today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The World Celebrates

The above photograph, taken by flickr member NCinDC at the Inauguration, is one of thousands of photographs flowing in to flickr's Inauguration Photostream from all around the world. Below is a another photo by NCinDC taken at the World War II Memorial. I want to thank NCinDC for allowing others to republish his work under the Common Creative License.

Photos are flowing into flickr almost faster than it's possible to keep up. Some are simply television screen shots taken by home viewers. Others are impressive creative works. Still others are celebrations around the world.

And many, like NCinDC's above, are just citizen photo-journalism by some of the two million people in Washington DC to celebrate the greatest of all American Democratic Events, the peaceful change in leadership of the world's most powerful nation.

Today the entire world is proud of the United States!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Prisoner

Long before Abu Ghraib, long before Guantanamo, children of the '60's knew governments were corrupt and secret prisons held people without due process, without rights, without the possibility of escape or parole.

And one brilliant actor, writer, director and producer captured all the fear and paranoia of the 60's in a brilliant, iconic television series called The Prisoner.
That actor, writer, director and producer was the multi-talented Patrick McGoohan, pictured to the right above in a screen shot from the television series.

McGoohan passed away today at the age of 80.

As I lament the likely demise of The Middleman with only 12 episodes ever produced, it is heartening to note that with only 17 episodes, The Prisoner has become more beloved, more important and more popular than it ever was during its short one year season.

The two shows couldn't possibly be more different. While the Middleman is a dizzying comedy rich with pop culture references and tributes, McGoohan's The Prisoner was a dark and sinister spy suspense filled drama. In fairness, The Prisoner did have its sci-fi undertones.

McGoohan was one of the most highly regarded actors in Hollywood and Great Britain. He won two Emmy's for his television work over 30 years, and won high critical acclaim for his portrayal of the King in Mel Gibson's Braveheart.

But it is his vision and work in The Prisoner that will always remain the cornerstone of his career. If you do not already own this great series there is a great compilation produced with love and care by A & E Network, available at bargain prices from the associates at Amazon.

I watched the series when it first aired in the 60's. And I bought it on Laser Disk, believe it or not, paying $40.00 for each episode back in the 80's, proving that I am, indeed, crazy.

P.S. I apologize to my "regular readers" for two successive forays into televison. I do hope to write shortly about the magnificient and historic event of Barack Obama's inauguration. I also feel the need to write once again about the tragedy of Bush Derangement Syndrome and to note, hopefully, that Obama is being treated much more fairly (so far) than Bush has ever been.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Am Not Crazy!

Well, many of you may think I'm crazy, citing as proof the last ten years of entries to this blog and journal. But ignore that and bear with me for a moment.

My point today is that I am not crazy in
my adoration for what is perhaps the greatest television series in the entire history of the medium, Javier Grillo-Marxuach's The Middleman.

Although not officially cancelled by ABC Family, the show remains in limbo and the twelve glorious episodes produced last year will probably be our only tickets to ride on this wondrous pop culture roller coaster. Even a DVD of the twelve episodes has yet to be released.

And so I actually feared that I was crazy, or at least terribly alone, in my love for Natalie Morales and Brit Morgan (both pictured above) and Matt Keesler and the entire cast and crew of The Middleman.

Ahhhh, but the end of the year brings out all these great Top Ten lists and guess what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a sleigh full of great and well deserved tributes to this literary and comedic masterpiece. Here are but a few that have come to my attention:

USA Today writes of star Natalie Morales: "Her character on ABC Family's The Middleman is smart, creative and tough -- and you don't get a lot of those on TV these days. Now all we can do is cross our fingers that the gang will return for another season..."

Time Out Chicago puts The Middleman into their Top Ten. They wisely observe: "An adaptation of the popular comic-book series proved to be the summer’s smartest, geekiest fare—or at least proved that to the dozens of us who watched and fell in love with Wendy “Dub Dub” Watson (Natalie Morales), an artsy twentysomething who finds herself battling the forces of evil. Wendy and her boss, the retro Middleman, fought aliens, mad scientists, James Bond–style villains and the crippling ennui familiar to recent college graduates, all while spouting allusions to every sci-fi classic or B-movie hero you’ve ever heard of and many you haven’t."

Of course it's no surprise that
Comic Book Resources (CBR) should out The Middleman into their Top Ten for both the graphic novels and the Television Series. What is a bit of a surprise is that they place The Middleman series ABOVE such highly praised movies as the blockbuster Ironman! Their praise is so effusive and so spot on correct I am forced to reprint even more of their review:

"If this show doesn’t cause you to laugh out loud with delight, then you are dead inside. Well, here is all that fun, present not just on the original Middleman comics pages but even– to my continuing astonishment!– done for television."

"I would not have thought it was possible to get that crazed Bob Haney adrenaline-fueled superhero feel captured on a TV show until I saw this. Gorillas with machine guns, aliens masquerading as Botox junkies, fashionista succubi…. and Matt Keeslar and Natalie Morales inhabiting the characters from the comic so beautifully I have a hard time picturing them any other way now."

"It helps that the guy who created the original comic is the show’s producer. Some of you may have missed this magnificent television series on ABC Family that aired earlier this year. Fortunately, there are some clips on YouTube that should enlighten you, at least a little.
Here. And here. And one more for the hell of it."

"Please, please, get this show another season, or failing that, get the first twelve out on DVD. And in the meantime, you all should treat yourselves to the trade paperback The Middleman: The Collected Series Indispensability, which I believe collects everything done in the comics to date."

But let's continue with the growing list of reviewers and critics who have chosen The Middleman of one of 2008's Ten Best.

Certainly Robert Lloyd of the
Los Angeles Times was already considered as one of the nation's most highly regarded television critics. But what will be a real eye opener to my many liberal and progressive readers is that Lloyd heaped equally effusive amounts of praise on MSNBC's terrific Rachel Maddow, the brilliant Tina Fey and The Middleman. Lloyd writes: "Culturally allusive live-action comic book works both as adventure and parody. Sometimes sweet, sometimes snarky, but always smart."

New Jersey's Star Ledger critic Alan Sepinwall who placed The Middleman on his Top Ten list and wrote: "The Middleman, meanwhile, was a hilarious and ever-cheerful adaptation of writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach's comic book about an office temp (Natalie Morales) recruited to work with a super hero (Matt Keeslar) in cleaning up messes involving aliens, demons and, on occasion, evil Mexican wrestlers. It was silly, smart and all-too-short-lived."

This is already running the risk of being the longest blog entry in Wizard history and I'm not even close to done!

Critic Al Norton, in his column
Two TiVo's in Paradise, placed The Middleman all the way on to the top as the Number One Comedy of 2008, ranking it above other greats such as Pushing Daisies, The Office and 30 Rock! Norton acclaims the series stating, "This was a very easy choice as no show made me laugh as much as The Middleman, and certainly none did so with as wide an array of humor styles; witty banter, puns, physical comedy, pop culture references, and romantic comedy were just some of the ways the show got a hold of your funny bone, frequently managing to combine two or three of them to great effect."
NPR critic David Bianculli named The Middleman as one of the television events to
Celebrate in 2008.

Las Vegas Weekly critic Josh Bell put The Middleman on his Top Ten list and wryly observed, "Based on a comic book series that nobody read, this show that nobody watched was a hilarious, endlessly creative mix of cheesy throwback sci-fi and postmodern pop-culture quippiness."

This list could probably go on forever, but I'll end with Bill Frost of
The Salt Lake Weekly has named The Middleman to his list of 2008 "Greats." I love Frost's review: "Anything would be too smart for ABC Family, but the geektastic Middleman (think Men in Black meets vintage Saturday-morning action cheese) probably will never find a proper home—not until the Sci-Fi Channel merges with Comedy Central, anyway. ABC Family hasn’t officially canceled The Middleman, but it seems as likely to return as (insider joke alert) finding a cherry Hruck Bugbear on I’ll miss you most of all, Dubby … "

I'll echo that! Barring a 2009 miracle, I'll miss Dubby, too......

Maybe I am crazy after all.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Managing From Weakness

President elect Barack Obama, soon to be President Obama, will get his choice for CIA Director, Leon Panetta, confirmed. This is certainly as it should be, A President, especially a first term newly elected President, gets to chose his own team.

It is rare for an appointment to be denied unless the appointee has a genuinely fatal flaw. This, most assuredly, is not the case with Panetta, who I have previously said is very bright, honest, an excellent manager and totally loyal, not to mention a great Democrat Party cheerleader.

The only way for Panetta to not get the job is for Obama himself to arrange a face saving withdrawal. I do not expect that to happen.

In spite of all of the above, I strongly feel Panetta is a disastrous choice to lead the CIA, one that will ultimately leave the agency in ruins and one that will leave the United States deaf and blind in the face of an unprecedented terrorist threat.

I strongly urge readers here to link over to the National Public Radio (NPR) website and listen to the excellent and very balanced
report by NPR Reporter Tom Gielten. Unfortunately a transcript of the report is not currently available. The report is fair and balanced and terribly frightening.

This is a decision that was made out of weakness and Obama's own unwillingness to confront very bizarre ultra left wing of his party. In spite of Obama's protestations, Panetta will have neither the ear nor the confidence of the President, who nominated his own real choice for CIA Director, John Brennan, to the position of "Counter-terrorism Advisor," which will not require any hearings or Congressional approval. It has been Brennan who has advised Obama every day. Brennan will continue to have Obama's ear and confidence.

This is a decision that will come back to haunt President Obama and the nation.

I strongly urge you to listen to the

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Mistake We Cannot Afford To Make

President elect Barack Obama has made a rare and unusual mistake in building an otherwise talented and able Executive team. But it is so serious mistake it puts his Presidency and our entire country at risk. The selection of Leon Edward Panetta to lead the Central Intelligence Agency is a game changing, and possibly a life changing, error.

I'll discussed Panetta's serious disqualifications for the job momentarily. But the very reason Obama made such a poor choice is equally important. Barack Obama clearly wanted a more experienced and qualified leader at this critical time.

Pamela Hess, writing for the Associated Press, tracks the rocky road that led to the Panetta designation. Hess writes, in her article
Obama's intel picks short on direct experience:

The Obama transition team's long delay in selecting CIA and national intelligence directors is a reflection of the complicated demands of the jobs and Obama's own policies and priorities.

The search for Obama's new CIA chief had been stalled since November, when John Brennan, Obama's transition intelligence adviser, abruptly withdrew his name from consideration. Brennan said his potential nomination had sparked outrage among civil rights and human rights groups, who argued that he had not been outspoken enough in his condemnation of President George W. Bush's policies.

And despite an internal list of former and current CIA officials who had impressive administrative credentials, all either worked in intelligence during the Bush administration's development of controversial policies on interrogation and torture or earlier, during the months leading up to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

In short, Obama's political promises during the campaign and intense pressure from the far left thwarted Obama's natural inclination to chose talented and experienced leaders. But Panetta is a compromise in one area where compromise is both unwise and unwarranted.

Forced to compromise, Obama made perhaps the only choice left to him. Leon Panetta is a bright, experienced and talented executive. I have always liked Panetta. He is honest and loyal. As President Clinton's Chief of Staff Panetta was a pragmatic and detailed, if uninspired and unimaginative, manager. He can be trusted by President Obama.

But Panetta has virtually no experience in areas of either covert intelligence or military affairs. And his pontifications in these areas reflect a naivete that is positively frightening. And he has generally spoken out against the agency, it's leaders and activities. His record is one of reducing both the size, scope and funding of the agency. It can't be a surprise that rumblings from within the intelligence community are so very negative.

Again quoting from the AP report:

Veterans of the CIA were caught off guard by the selection.

"I'm at a loss," said Robert Grenier, a former director of the CIA's counterterrorism center and 27-year veteran of the agency who now is managing director of Kroll, a security consulting company.

The lack of intelligence experience puts Panetta at "a tremendous disadvantage," Grenier told The Associated Press in an interview.

"Intelligence by its very nature is an esoteric world. And right now the agency is confronted with numerous pressing challenges overseas, and to have no background is a serious deficit. I don't say that he can't succeed. It may that he can compensate for the obvious deficit."

The fear among many in the intelligence community is that Panetta will gut the agency just at the moment it was finally regaining the size, scope and strength it needs to defend America against it's modern enemies of religious fanatics and terrorist organizations.

The dismantling and mismanagement of the CIA under the Clinton administration is often cited as a reason the agency missed key advance information about the al-Qaeda attack on 9/11. The weak and mismanaged agency also misread the information about the Iraq threat and "weapons of mass destruction."

Now is not the time to place a novice in charge of a key defense agency. Nor is it the time to tear down the agency in order to rebuild it later.

The President elect needs to rethink this nomination.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Three relatively small notes in a short blog entry to begin the New Year....

The Good

I find a great deal to like about Roland Burris, the former Attorney General of Illinois, who has been appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Blagojevich to fill the United States Senate Seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

In an effort to redeem himself, Blagojevich made an excellent pick. And, not coincidentally, put the U.S. Senate is a very awkward position.

I am hopeful that the Senate will find a compromise that will allow Burris to be seated. Senator Harry Reid is sending some hopeful signals.

The Bad

I have been 100% supportive of Barack Obama's choices for his staff and Cabinet. He has shown great judgement and is building a solid team.

But I am in no way disappointed to see New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson withdraw his name from consideration for Commerce Secretary.

My issue is NOT the current Grand Jury investigation into Richardson's awarding of contracts to his financial supporters. That might well end Richardson's career, but it's not my issue.

I lost all respect for Bill Richardson's intelligence and judgement when he proposed a six month withdrawal timetable from Iraq during the fall election campaign. I realized this was just one-upsmanship in campaigning as Richardson gasped for air in his long-shot candidacy. But the proposal was just plain dumb. And, I believe the man actually is "just plain dumb." Obama is much better off without him.

The Ugly

We are about to see death on a massive scale in Gaza as Israel launches a ground offensive. This is a tragic moment in a long and tragic conflict.

But one of the worst moments came earlier today when the bodies of a slain Hamas leader's small children were paraded through the streets of Gaza in an effort to enrage the entire Palestinian population into becoming human sacrifices facing the incoming Israeli army.

The death of these ten children, as well as Nizar Rayan's four wives, was unnecessary and completely avoidable. Rayan ignored repeated warnings to send his children and wives to safety. In effect, Rayan planned the death of his family.

So the children were used for propaganda purposes.
The Daily Mail Online reports, "In grisly scenes, mourners held up the bloodied bodies of the children to the cameras in a clear attempt to blacken Israel's name and highlight its brutality. Graphic images showed the young children's uncovered faces as the victims were carried by thousands of angry Hamas supporters during the funeral procession."

We in the west simply cannot understand this level of hatred. We work to protect our families and to shelter our children, not send them to slaughter for political and public relations gains.

The Internet is littered with these pictures. You will not find them here.