28 al Qaeda and Hezbollah plots in the UAE

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UAE flag logo.JPG
One of the things that most impressed me when I was in the UAE this past week was the sensible, informed perspective that every single government official I met had. There was no anti-Israel jingoism among government elites, though i can’t say the same about people in the private sector. UAE elites are very shrewd realists about their situation — and they are clearly becoming the Hong Kong or Singapore of the Middle East.
There was instead a belief that the entire region was at a cross-roads where either an incredible stormy and politically convulsive future faced them or alternatively, that a new “equilibrium of interests” could be reached that would take guts and brilliant statecraft.
That said, there is something to keep in mind when Americans pontificate about what Arab regimes should or should not do.
They have a much more serious terrorism problem than we do.
A senior national security official in the UAE reported to me that they have uncovered 28 plots inside their country — mostly al Qaeda and a handful Hezbollah.
This was surpising to me as there has been little to no reporting about the UAE’s problems with domestic terrorism — and I had never heard of Hezbollah activities anywhere outside of Lebanon.
This revelation was not to hype a threat. It was a comment shared to give those of us in a small meeting with this official some sense of the overlapping complexities in the region today. This person preferred a quiet approach to solving these problems and dealing with the political agendas driving the terror groups. This person’s approach was as sensible as one could imagine — and nothing like we have seen out of Washington.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

93 comments on “28 al Qaeda and Hezbollah plots in the UAE

  1. pauline says:

    The IDF did this because. . .they wanted to foster “peace on earth, good will to men”??
    Detained father of girl shot dead by IDF blocked from her funeral
    By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent
    The father of a 14-year-old girl shot dead by Israel Defense Forces soldiers near Tul Karm on Tuesday was not allowed to attend his daughter’s funeral on Wednesday.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/803761.html

    Reply

  2. winnipeger says:

    fool

    Reply

  3. Pissed Off American says:

    LOL! Oops, sorry. The above post was supposed to be on another thread. Oh well…..

    Reply

  4. Pissed Off American says:

    I went to Art Center College of Design. Its now in Pasadena, but when I attended it was in Los Angeles, on West Third. Freelance pursuits, and a gal in my Life Drawing class, that needed a ride to Berkeley, superceded my drive to graduate. So winnipeger is right, I didn’t graduate from college. And yes, I work in wood. So that must mean that some lyin’ sack of shit internet troll with a dozen or so different screen names is a better person, is more astute politically, and is definitely of higher character than me, eh?
    A shame the sniveling hypocritical fraudulent little pissant will never possess a stool made by me. But hey, maybe someday he will be able to afford one.
    You see winnipeger, I have no need, no desire and no reason to lie about who, what, or where I am, like you have done here on numerous occassions.
    So hey, shove it up your ass. Like Den, I am bored with your empty horseshit. You will get no further responses from me, on ANY issue.

    Reply

  5. Hanna says:

    Yes, thank you Steve for the reminder that the UAE is as concerned about terrorism as we are at home. They have a huge amount to lose should terrorism hit home and it is no surprise they have and will continue to be a possible target by extremists.
    Certainly, the stability in Dubai, in part created by (& made all the more compelling and urgent by) the growing financial and leisure centers, is good for all those interested in regional & US security. Count me in!
    This isn’t just about capital markets and protecting business interests; it is about security and stability for all of us.
    Beyond what we immediately may think of when we say, “security”, stability here allows for more business and cultural exchanges and thus better understandings and opportunities for peace. Idealistic some of you may say…yet doesn’t this lack of understanding lead to excessive fear all to quickly? And fear leads to….sacrificed liberties, escalating actions, further misunderstandings and a cycle of mistrust.
    Generally, the US public and politicians tore down the Ports deal thanks in a large part to sterotypes about this region confirming a lack of understanding. Plus it showed an inadequate knowledge about our US port security & international shipping issues (a serious concern but not addressed by sayng No to this deal). Thankfully, it appears the UAE, while a solid & strategic ally to the US, understood these dynamics to some degree and were forgiving. Though, the harsh reaction to the deal, did not help our relationship with this proven ally, who generally shares our concerns (and helps with efforts) on countering terrorism.
    a few more points:
    1. Are too many people equating a town as being full of rapists just because a few came from that town?
    2. You might mention UAE provides safe ports of call to over 600 US Navy ships a yr making it the most frequented port of call for US Navy, outside of the USA.
    3. The catch 22 is that by highlighting the foiled attempts, we may create excessive fear among the public, increase drastic government steps, and fuel sterotypes.
    Many typical Americans (and other nations) are not providing adequate information about these issues in the mainstream press..but then again, this also goes towards the point on education reform.
    Thank you. Glad to know about your blog & this forum!

    Reply

  6. Matthew says:

    Wow, is being a mediocrity a requirement for a Presidential Medal of Freedom?

    Reply

  7. pauline says:

    Wayne Madsen —
    December 18, 2006 — Worried that its already sizeable lobbying machine and political and media clout in Washington are not enough to help it recover from the bad press it has encountered as a result of President Carter’s new book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” and former Secretary of State James Baker’s conclusion in the Iraq Study Group report that a solution to the Israel-Palestine problem must presage a resolution of the Iraq situation, Israel intends to engage a top U.S. public relations firm in a media blitz designed to improve its damaged image in the United States.
    The first indications of the campaign are already underway, with pro-Israeli media elements engaging in vicious personal attacks against Carter, Baker, and emergent Iraq war naysayer Colin Powell on an increase. The Israel supporters on the left, particularly certain well known blogs and particular Democratic leaders, can also be expected to come out strongly against those who favor an immediate military pullout. This has already been evident in Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid distancing themselves from President Carter and other Democrats ridiculing newly-announced presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who favors an immediate pullout from Iraq.
    Israel’s government is also keenly aware that with a parade of U.S. senators visiting Damascus to seek Syria’s assistance to end the Iraqi conflagration, Jerusalem is increasingly being seen as obstructionist. President Bush’s decision to stick with the neo-cons and conduct a “surge” military operation in Iraq, with as many as 35,000 to 50,000 troops expected to be deployed, will likely result in a higher U.S. military casualty count. The upcoming trial of two AIPAC officials in a Pentagon espionage case will also cause a public relations problem for Israel. In addition, continuing neo-con influence over the White House will also have a blowback effect on Israel. Rightly or wrongly, Israel’s influence over the Bush administration — most recently seen in the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the corrupt right-wing Israeli politician Natan Sharansky — will be seen by many Americans as being ultimately the cause of America’s disastrous involvement in Iraq.

    Reply

  8. Pissed Off American says:

    “shit, pauline. you’re a fucking idiot to keep advancing this anti-semitic bullshit.”
    Posted by winnipeger
    “oftentimes i feel as if i’m being attacked by poa and others on this blog”
    Posted by winnipeger
    =================================================
    Enough said.

    Reply

  9. winnipeger says:

    “P.S. Please distinguish between POA and me in our replies.”
    you have my apologies, matthew. oftentimes i feel as if i’m being attacked by poa and others on this blog and i admit to adopting a defensive stance.
    i agree with you, matthew. “People have basic human rights that are not dependant on good government, wise political leaders, or accidents of history. It doesn’t matter if Israel has a well-developed civil society. That does not justify them occupying Plaestinian land.”
    i agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Reply

  10. Matthew says:

    Winnipeger: You keep moving the goal posts on me. I don’t think the justification for occupying other people’s land is that you have a better court system. As an American lawyer, we like to brag that our legal system is better than anyone else’s. (Is that true, I don’t know.) So I guess I can send in the
    Marines to Winnipeg because we apparently have the court-system advantage.
    A broader response to your points is this. People have basic human rights that are not dependant on good government, wise political leaders, or accidents of history. It doesn’t matter if Israel has a well-developed civil society. That does not justify them occupying Plaestinian land.
    P.S. Please distinguish between POA and me in our replies.
    P.P.S. No one has claimed responsibility fo those child murders in Gaza. So saying that Hamas did it is not evidence. A Hamas member may have done it, but we don’t know yet. 1

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  11. winnipeger says:

    the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, was behind the 9/11 terror attacks?
    shit, pauline. you’re a fucking idiot to keep advancing this anti-semitic bullshit.

    Reply

  12. pauline says:

    “Shortly after 9/11, I spoke with Eckehardt Werthebach, the former president of Germany’s domestic intelligence service, the Verfassungsschutz. He said that “the deathly precision” and “the magnitude of planning” behind the attacks would have required “years of planning.”
    Such a sophisticated operation, Werthebach said, would require the “fixed frame” of a state intelligence organization, something not found in a “loose group” of terrorists like the one allegedly led by Mohammed Atta.
    Many people would have been involved in the planning of such an operation, Werthebach said. The absence of leaks indicates that the attacks were “state organized actions,” he said.
    Andreas von Bulow, the former German parliamentarian, served on the commission which oversees the three branches of the German secret service from 1969 to 1994. Von Bulow told me in the fall of 2001 that he believed that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, was behind the 9/11 terror attacks. These attacks, he said, were carried out to turn public opinion against the Arabs and boost military and security spending.
    “You don’t get the higher echelons,” von Bulow said, referring to the “architectural structure” which masterminds such terror attacks. At this level, he said, the organization doing the planning, such as Mossad, is primarily interested in affecting public opinion.
    In a classic false-flag terror attack, the architectural level planners will use unwitting or corrupt “guns for hire” in order to have the blame assigned to the desired target. The terrorists who actually carry out the crimes are what von Bulow calls “the working level,” such as the 19 Arabs who allegedly hijacked the planes on Sept. 11. “The working level is part of the deception,” he said.
    “Ninety-five percent of the work of the intelligence agencies around the world is deception and disinformation,” von Bulow said. The deception is then widely propagated in the mainstream media creating an accepted version of events.
    “Journalists don’t even raise the simplest questions,” he said. “Those who differ are labeled as crazy.”
    http://www.iamthewitness.com/Bollyn-ExposeThem.html

    Reply

  13. winnipeger says:

    matthew:
    interesting that you don’t respond to any of the points i make above. even more interesting that nobody has yet acknowledged, yet alone condemned hamas’ targeted assasination of the rival officials’ three kids… not militants…. kids… not accidental… pre-meditated.
    and forgive me for getting angry at someone who calls me a “slimey deceitful little pissant?”
    that “person” is an asshole, plain and simple. read this thread clearly. my rage was NOT directed against you. sheesh.
    pauline: yeah, so what. you’re against the targeted assasination of militants?? ok. it’s a free country. i certainly shed no tears for these folks. live by the sword, die by the sword.
    and how about this fact: israel has a legitimate court system! maybe you can do some research and point out a similar system in the arab ME. didn’t think so.

    Reply

  14. pauline says:

    “The Israeli Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Israel’s policy of targeted killings of Palestinian militants, allowing the army to maintain a practice that has drawn widespread international condemnation.
    The unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel fixed some legal limits, but it did not insist on prior court approval for the attacks, leaving the limits only theoretical and endorsing the killings in practice.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/12/14/international/i104940S45.DTL

    Reply

  15. Matthew says:

    Winnipeger: Are you the same Winnipeger who has been responding to my prior quotes? I guess pointing out all those Palestinian children who have been murdered by the IDF this year hit a soft spot. Ratcheting up the rage is not argument.
    I don’t think Palestinians want your sympathy or understanding. They want the IDF to stop murdering their children. To paraphrase Golda Meir, when Israelis love their own children more than they covet Palestinian land, there will be peace.

    Reply

  16. winnipeger says:

    and as far as unicef’s report, what the fuck is the surprise? these poor kids are STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR ZONE! largely as a result of their lying, thieving, murderous and IDIOTIC leadership.
    but what a pathetic bias you and others hold, asshole. nary A SINGLE WORD of condemnation for hamas’ targeted and close range assasination of three young children with small arms fire, or the bloodshed that is taking place as a result of the infighting between hamas and fatah. some partner for peace, huh?
    but whatever, the view from your decrepid workshop outside of bakersfield is pretty fucking limited. you might want to try washing some of that saw dust out of your eyes or is that all you have between your ears?
    HA! you are my laughing-stock, asshole!
    PLEASE don’t EVER stop posting here. i’ve grown to LOVE your inane comments!
    you and den should form a tag team. LOL

    Reply

  17. winnipeger says:

    “..the palestinian leadership (and others) are AT LEAST as responsible for the morass as are the israelis.”
    You musta denounced your “membership” in Peace Now, eh, you slimey deceitful little pissant?
    Posted by Pissed Off American at December 14, 2006 11:29 PM
    no, actually, pissed off asshole, i haven’t. i stand by what i wrote above and i still send yearly contributions to peace now. in fact, i’m about to make my ’06 charitable allocations next week, and i will definately continue supporting the organization and the goal.
    now build me a stool, you pathetic grunt. didn’t they teach you about punctuation in trade school?

    Reply

  18. Pissed Off American says:

    UNICEF: 2006 One of The Worst Years for Palestine Children
    JERUSALEM, December 14, 2006 (WAFA) – United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that 123 Palestinian children have been killed since outbreak of hostilities, more than double the 2005 figure., adding that some 340 children remain in detention facilities.
    UNICEF said Wednesday in a report that 2006 has been one of the worst years for children. “Across oPt, the conflict and closures, the withholding of resources and suspension in funding to the Palestinian Authority, as well as the strike by some public sector workers, have collectively blocked the fulfillment of children’s rights,” it said.
    This year, says UNICEF, whether it is health care and education, protection from violence and abuse, or opportunities to play without fear – the rights of Palestinian children have been violated on an unprecedented scale.
    The events of 2006 have impacted children in ways that will take years to unravel. Sonic booms, incursions and shelling created a context of extreme violence, stress and fear for children and their families, says the report.
    “The summer, rather than being a time of recreation and play, turned out to be one without recreational opportunities as well as one with fear sine it was among the most lethal summers ever, with 40 child deaths in July alone,” the report adds. “At this point in time, more than twice as many children died due to the conflict compared with 2005 – 70 per cent of these deaths were in Gaza.”
    UNICEF said it will scale up projects where there is need, focusing mostly in education, health, nutrition, child protection, adolescent development, water and sanitation.
    A.D (08:08 P) (06:08 GMT)
    http://wafa.ps/english/body.asp?id=8807

    Reply

  19. Pissed Off American says:

    “..the palestinian leadership (and others) are AT LEAST as responsible for the morass as are the israelis.”
    You musta denounced your “membership” in Peace Now, eh, you slimey deceitful little pissant?

    Reply

  20. winnipeger says:

    one more comment:
    it is a TRAGEDY when any children or innocents caught in the “crossfire” are killed in war, but there is a BIG difference between this sad reality and Hamas’ targeted execution of the palestinian official’s three children at close range and with small arms.
    “soul-destroying cynicism,” huh? maybe you can tell us a bit about soul-destroying bias.

    Reply

  21. winnipeger says:

    “their society is beginning to crack?”
    c’mon, man.
    i’m not sure what history books you’re reading, matthew, but they’re sure not based in reality. i challenge you to read up on the history of israel’s neighbors and tell us that murder and war are something new in their societies.
    i know that most people here see the palestinians, and apparently much of the arab world, as peaceful folks who have been driven to the brink by israel and the u.s., but quite frankly, this is bullshit.
    the palestinian leadership (and others) are AT LEAST as responsible for the morass as are the israelis.
    further, my post about hamas’ assasination of the three children of the fatah security official was not a challenge to you or anyone else. i just wanted to mention something that i knew would NEVER see the light of day on this blog.
    do you really think there would be this silence if israel had been involved? i sure as hell don’t .
    but don’t worry about it, matthew, i’m more than used to this double standard.

    Reply

  22. Matthew says:

    Winnipeger: Quick response to your challenge about escalating tensions in Gaza. It is hard to write about because it requires addressing an absolutely soul-destroying cynicism. The US pressures the world to starve the Palestinians for voting. Our puppet, Abbas, can’t force the democratically elected majority party to forego control of the government they won in a fair election. So, now after the Palestinians are placed under unimaginable pressure, their society is beginning to crack.
    And you are now shedding tears for those innocent children? Did I miss the post where you expressed sympathy for the more 70 Gaza children murdered by the IDF in the last few months? If I missed that post, good for you. If not….

    Reply

  23. pauline says:

    from Wayne Madsen —
    December 14, 2006 — On Dec. 11, WMR reported the following:
    “WMR has learned from one of its sources in New York that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York actively covered up massive money laundering by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) United Arab Emirate branch through its branch in New York. The money laundering consisted of questionable money movements through Dubai that involved individuals linked to “Al Qaeda,” including those connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.”
    We have now learned that the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago was made aware of possible terrorist-related money movements in a Federal Reserve Board of Governors letter sent to all Federal Reserve Banks a little over a month before the 9/11 attacks. The letter, dated August 1, 2001, requested all cognizant Federal Reserve components, including the bank’s Financial Payments and Risk Analysis branches, to pay special attention to Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) being submitted by component banks.
    In fact, some Federal Reserve banks did notice something very suspicious prior to 9/11. There was a dramatic downdraft in Federal Reserve note currency holdings in July and August 2001 (this is referred to as the M1 money supply). In fact, the decrease in Federal Reserve note inventory was 35 percent, equating to billions of dollars. Essentially, there was a run on cash at the banks in the months before 9/11, an event not seen since December 1999, in the weeks before Y2K, and in January 1991, prior to the commencement of Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf.
    Kissinger fingerprints all over suspicious pre-9/11 money movements.
    In addition, there is also evidence that the run on cash was masked by using Argentina, which was experiencing a banking crisis, to evade detection by United States authorities. The spotlight on suspicious cash transactions was Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) SpA of Argentina, an Italian bank whose Atlanta branch featured prominently in the BCCI and U.S. Iraq weapons transfer scandals of the 1980s. In January 2006, BNL Argentina was acquired by none other than HSBC, the subject of attention by UAE Central Bank authorities for suspicious transactions prior to 9/11. In addition, Kissinger and Associates employed Timothy Geithner from 1985 to 1988. Geithner is now the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Second District Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the entity that stands accused of covering up information about suspicious “Al Qaeda” money flows from the UAE, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia for possible terrorist-related purposes prior to 9/11.
    “BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates. In addition, the late Democratic Rep. Henry Gonzalez of Texas stated the following on the floor of the House on April 26, 1991: “Henry Kissinger was a paid member of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Consulting Board for International Policy. Mr. Kissinger held this position during the height of the biggest banking scandal in United States history-$4 billion in unreported loans to Iraq by the Atlanta branch of BNL . . . Another interesting point to note is the timing of Mr. Kissinger’s supposed resignation from BNL on February 22, 1991. That date is just days before the Justice Department announced a 347 count indictment against the former employees of BNL after an exhaustive 18-month investigation. This is quite a coincidence.
    BNL was actually a client of Kissinger Associates at the same time BNL’s former employees in Atlanta were providing Iraq with billions in unreported loans. This solidifies Mr. Kissinger’s link to BNL and raises the question of whether Mr. Kissinger had knowledge of the BNL loans to Iraq.
    As I stated last week, many Kissinger Associates clients were doing business with the Iraqis as a direct result of the unreported $4 billion in BNL loans to Iraq. Volvo, whose chairman serves on the Kissinger Associates board of directors, was doing big business in Iraq and it was the beneficiary of BNL loans.
    BNL was also the largest participant in the $5.5 billion CCC program for Iraq. Between $800 and $900 million in BNL loans to Iraq were guaranteed by the CCC. BNL was also the second largest participant in the Export-Import [Eximbank] program for Iraq. Over $50 million in BNL loans to Iraq were guaranteed by Eximbank. Through these programs it became common knowledge in the export community that BNL was Iraq’s prime banker in the United States.
    I also reported last week that Mr. Lawrence Eagleburger had ties to BNL. While he was serving as president of Kissinger Associates, Eagleburger was a board member of a Yugoslavian bank that had a substantial and even incestuous relationship with BNL. BNL was a main factor in the growth of that Yugoslavian bank’s operations in the United States.
    Despite the many linkages between Kissinger Associates and BNL, Mr. Kissinger still maintains that he had no knowledge of the $4 billion in BNL loans to Iraq.
    The fact that BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates also solidifies the link between BNL and two very high ranking Bush administration employees, NSC Director Brent Scowcroft and Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. Mr. Lawrence Eagleburger and Mr. Brent Scowcroft were both high ranking employees of Kissinger Associates during the period BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates. In other words, part of their paychecks was derived from fees paid by BNL.
    The fact that BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates also raises the question of how Mr. Eagleburger and Mr. Scowcroft reacted to the BNL scandal once it became known to them in the fall of 1989. I wonder if either thought it necessary to recuse himself from making decisions on Iraq once the BNL scandal was uncovered?”
    Eagleburger is a member of the Iraq Study Group, replacing Robert Gates, Defense Secretary-designate, who was CIA deputy director at the time of the BNL loans to Saddam Hussein. Scowcroft is a close friend of group chairman James Baker. There are still many questions about the strange suicide death earlier this year of Phillip Merrill, the head of the Eximbank under George W. Bush.
    We have also learned their was a dramatic spike in diamond market transactions prior to 9/11. Diamonds have been used by “Al Qaeda” and the Russian-Israeli Mafia to launder cash to evade detection by financial surveillance authorities. Many of the diamond transactions occurred in West Africa, a center for terrorist-related financing according to a former chief of the Mossad, who spoke to the editor on background.

    Reply

  24. winnipeger says:

    “If news reports are correct (see, for example, this), former Secretary of State James Baker has proposed a Middle East peace conference without Israeli participation. According to an official quoted by Insight magazine, “As Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the United States to strike a deal without Jewish pressure. This has become the hottest proposal examined by the foreign policy people over the last month.”
    what news reports? this may take the cake for the most ridiculous idea yet presented on how to secure a peace agreement between israel and the palestinians. it may even trump bushco’s reprehensible policy, early in his administartion, of disengaging from the process altogether. there can be NO DEAL without negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians. this is just common sense.
    on another note, i’m not surprised to see that there has been no mention anywhere on this blog about the latest infighting taking place among the palestinians, including the pre-meditated assasination of three young children of a palestinian security official by hamas gunmen.
    http://tinyurl.com/ycgdmo
    but then again the only opprobrium disepensed here is reserved for israel alone. i’ve stated the obvious here for quite a while (only to be ridiculed and insulted); that the ME, especially the arab ME, is a complex region filled with murderous actors on ALL sides.

    Reply

  25. Matthew says:

    Consider this: President Clinton met with Sinn Fein members without asking Tony Blair’s permission. But Bush Administration officials meet with Arabs without Israeli supervision. Heresy?

    Reply

  26. Pissed Off American says:

    Is James Baker a Match
    for AIPAC?
    by Paul Craig Roberts
    The report by the Iraq Study Group is an attempt by elder statesmen of the American political establishment to take U.S. foreign policy out of the incompetent hands of President Bush and the self-serving hands of the Israeli Lobby. The Iraq Study Group’s effort may or may not succeed.
    Others have expressed disappointment that the ISG elder statesmen did not call for Bush’s impeachment and immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq. Such wishful thinking caused writers to pour cold water over the establishment’s attempt to save Bush and the U.S. from a “grave and deteriorating” situation.
    Even war critic Pat Buchanan is dismissive of the ISG report. Buchanan, however, comes closer to the truth than the report’s other critics when he writes that the purpose of the report is to save the establishment from any responsibility for the debacle that Bush and his neoconservative government have produced.
    The Iraq Study Group, which includes Bush’s new secretary of defense, Robert Gates, realizes that far from being the macho superpower that controls the world’s destiny, the U.S. does not even control its own destiny. The U.S. is in a “grave and deteriorating” situation that can easily result in a far greater calamity than merely a bruised ego from a lost war. The entire Middle East can come undone.
    The real problem is the Israeli Lobby’s powerful influence – about which the Lobby brags – over U.S. policy in the Middle East and Israel’s inflexibility toward the Palestinians, whose land Israel has stolen. As long as Israel exercises a veto over U.S. policy in the Middle East, the powder keg will remain alight.
    The members of the ISG are elder statesmen. They have held high positions and accumulated the honors. Their careers are behind them. They have nothing to lose. They can afford to tell the truth and to address the real problem.
    If news reports are correct (see, for example, this), former Secretary of State James Baker has proposed a Middle East peace conference without Israeli participation. According to an official quoted by Insight magazine, “As Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the United States to strike a deal without Jewish pressure. This has become the hottest proposal examined by the foreign policy people over the last month.”
    According to Insight, “officials said the Baker proposal to exclude Israel garnered support in the wake of Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 25. They said Mr. Cheney spent most of his meetings listening to Saudi warnings that Israel, rather than Iran, is the leading cause of instability in the Middle East.” The official told Insight that the administration “has fallen in line,” but that “Bush is not in the daily loop. He is shocked by the elections and he’s hoping for a miracle on Iraq.”
    President Bush lacks the knowledge, judgment, and experience to be in the Oval Office. He has been deceived and manipulated by neoconservatives who live in the fantasy world of their own ideology and who have been aligned with Israel’s right-wing Likud Party for most of their careers.
    The neoconservatives put Bush and the U.S., along with Iraqis, Afghans, and Lebanese, in harm’s way. Their fantasy enterprise failed, and now they damn Bush for a lost war that they said would be a cakewalk. Neoconservatives told Bush that U.S. troops would have flowers thrown at them, not bombs.
    Many neoconservatives have been cleared out of the Bush administration. But other neoconservatives still occupy media positions, which they will continue to use to lie to the American public. As long as the neoconservatives’ protector, Vice President Cheney, continues to have influence, the Israeli Lobby might again succeed in overthrowing American public opinion and win its war against the Iraq Study Group.
    http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=10160

    Reply

  27. winnipeger says:

    matthew,
    thanks again for your thoughtful response.
    i agree with everything you write, except for the following:
    “This is what we get when we delegate our foreign policy in the ME to Likud politicians.”
    i believe that it would be more accurate to write,
    “this is what *israel* gets when she delegates her foreign policy in the ME to republican politicians.”

    Reply

  28. Matthew says:

    I think I should tighten my statement up: “This is what we get when we delegate our foreign policy in the ME to Likud politicians.” The irony is that this short-sighted policy is bad for both countries. We just inherit each other’s enemies. America can absorb lots of bad decisions–e.g., 8 years of the Bush Administration–but Israel’s margin of safety is significantly smaller. To quote the IRA after a failed attack on British PM Margaret Thatcher in Brighton: “We only have to be lucky once; she has to be lucky everyday.”

    Reply

  29. Matthew says:

    I think I should tighten my statement up: “This is what we get when we delegate our foreign policy in the ME to Lukid politicians.” The irony is that this short-sighted policy is bad for both countries. We just inherit each other’s enemies. America can absorb lots of bad decisions–e.g., 8 years of the Bush Administration–but Israel’s margin of safety is significantly smaller. To quote the IRA after a failed attack on British PM Margaret Thatcher in Brighton: “We only have to be lucky once; she has to be lucky everyday.”

    Reply

  30. winnipeger says:

    matthew,
    thanks for your thoughtful response.
    the only theory of yours that i’ve *ever* charcterized as foolish is the one above. CERATINLY, the u.s. does not delegate its foreign policy to israel. doug feith’s book notwithstanding, please keep in mind that mr feith IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT NOR IS HE AN ISRAELI CITIZEN. he is the former undersecretary of defense for policy under GWB, a former NSC and longtime pentagon official.
    so how the hell does this substantiate your claim?!
    btw, i do NOT agree with feith’s politics OR his worldview

    Reply

  31. Matthew says:

    Winnipeger: Let’s admit the limitations of rhetoric here. You claim I only included two examples, so my point must be invalid, right? Applying that logic before I make any point, I guess I better plan on typing a treatise.
    I don’t believe that I can change your mind. I acknowledge the limits of rationale argument. You, in contrast, just dismiss arguments by stating that any substantiation I offer is “foolish.” Compare Bush’s foreign policy with Doug Feith’s “A Clean Break.” Foolish, indeed.
    Of course, our mindlessly pro-Israel policy has reaped great benefits in ME. We are universally loved and admired. We have lined up staunch allies for Iraq (a paid Polish army and the ever-impressive warriors from the Marshall Islands).

    Reply

  32. winnipeger says:

    matthew,
    i did NOT call you an idiot. i said,
    “if you think that america has EVER delegated its foreign policy to israel, then you are a complete fool.”
    further it is not my responsibility to factually respond to your ridiculous claim, it is up to *you* to prove it. not surprisingly, you offer *no* evidence in this regard (save for 2 points below), probably because there IS no evidence that america has delegated its foreign policy to israel.
    i’m sorry, matthew, but this assertion is so patently foolish that i couldn’t help but say so.
    you write:
    “Did you read Jim Hoaglund’s recent critique of the Baker-Hamilton report? Hoaglund parrots much of the conventional wisdom in Washington. The nerve of Baker for including the Golan in American discussions “without talking to Israel first.” Another fact: Condi allowed Ariel Sharon to file at least 14 reservations to the Road Map; She said the Palestinians couldn’t make any changes. My critique stands.”
    hmmm… let’s see, you use these two points as the basis for substantiating the claim that “America delegates its foreign policy to Israel?” not its ME policy, but its *foreign* policy. i’m sorry, matthew, but this IS foolish.
    my critique stands as well.

    Reply

  33. Matthew says:

    Winnipeger: Calling me an “idiot” is an effective argument only until the whistle blows and recess is over.
    I notice that you did not FACTUALLY respond to my claim that we have delegated our foreign policy in the ME to Israel….
    Did you read Jim Hoaglund’s recent critique of the Baker-Hamilton report? Hoaglund parrots much of the conventional wisdom in Washington. The nerve of Baker for including the Golan in American discussions “without talking to Israel first.” Another fact: Condi allowed Ariel Sharon to file at least 14 reservations to the Road Map; She said the Palestinians couldn’t make any changes. My critique stands.

    Reply

  34. winnipeger says:

    MP wrote:
    “Nevertheless, none of this means that Israel isn’t a democracy as is often claimed here. In general, it is far more enlightened and functional than its neighbors. The fact that people here struggle so hard to disprove this I find suspicious and a sign of overt bias against the very existence of the state–as if Israel couldn’t be a democracy because, well, it’s just so bad.
    I believe Israel should be criticized, just as the US should be criticized, when they do bad things. It’s NOT anti-Semitic or anti-American to do so. Doing so constructively is philo-Semitic and patriotic. Maybe it’s the highest form of patriotism.”
    i agree with every word, MP. in much the same way that it is *not” anti-semitic or unpatriotic to criticize the policies of israel or the u.s., it is *not* irrational to espouse their positive aspects either.
    after all, look around the ME and the world. maniacs, racists and worse abound. just for starters, iran’s president is currently convening a conference, with the former head of the KKK as a presenter, which is questioning whether or not the holocaust happened. the alawites continue to rule syria with a murderous fist and despots are wreaking havok throughout africa, the former soviet union (FSU), china and on and on.
    but the only country which anyone wants to criticize in these threads is israel. i find this fact interesting and disturbing, and *certainly* indicative of an “overt bias against the very existence of the state” of israel.

    Reply

  35. MP says:

    Matthew writes: “However, I do give some credence to people who live under a system, like Black Americans under Jim Crow; I mean it does matter what people who go through roadblocks and suffer daily indignities think about the “democratic” nature of a country. Israel can’t have a two-track system and still be a “true democracy.” You probably know that Palestinians have different car license plates, they live under more housing restrictions, it’s almost impossible for Arabs in East Jerusalem to get building permits, etc. Sadly, Israel’s democracy is actually contracting. (Turkey’s is also expanding.) Ten years ago would Avigdor Lieberman been in an Israeli cabinet?”
    The I/P is a huge danger for Israel’s democracy and Israel needs to move quickly to resolve it, for moral and practical reasons. They should be pressing for peace and an independent Palestinian state in every way possible. The longer this conflict goes on, the worse it becomes, and the more entrenched the extremists on both sides become. Abu Mazen is a good partner for peace if he can gain control of constituencies.
    (I commend bitterlemons.org for those who want to tune into an interesting Palestinian/Israeli dialogue.)
    Unfortunately, I believe that much of the trouble stems from an unwillingness to come to terms with 1948. Underneath, and sometimes not so far beneath the surface, one reads or senses the basic conviction that the Israeli state is in some way illegitimate–as SOI recently put it, a racist, neo-colonial state.
    Nevertheless, none of this means that Israel isn’t a democracy as is often claimed here. In general, it is far more enlightened and functional than its neighbors. The fact that people here struggle so hard to disprove this I find suspicious and a sign of overt bias against the very existence of the state–as if Israel couldn’t be a democracy because, well, it’s just so bad.
    I believe Israel should be criticized, just as the US should be criticized, when they do bad things. It’s NOT anti-Semitic or anti-American to do so. Doing so constructively is philo-Semitic and patriotic. Maybe it’s the highest form of patriotism.

    Reply

  36. pauline says:

    “Israel’s long-standing policy of nuclear ambiguity came to an end the other day when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in answer to a question about his country’s rumored WMD arsenal, replied,
    “Iran openly, explicitly, and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they [the Iranians] are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?”
    Ha’aretz avers, “It is not clear whether this was a slip of the tongue on the part of Olmert or an intended statement”, and his aides and supporters are certainly scrambling to explain his comments away as a linguistic mix-up. Yet, taken in context, not only the context of the interview, but the context of Israel’s present position — I would argue the Israeli Prime Minister was sending a message not only to Iran, but also to the U.S.”
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=10155

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    Huummm..according to the news a bunch of students in Iran protested the holocuast conference and they wern’t arrested….imagine that!…here they would have been beat over the head with batons or tazered.
    Anyway I am sure most people can see that Iran is playing with the Israelis and jews and watching their hysterics…I doubt that Iran really gives a damn about holocuast research one way or another, but holding a ‘conference” on it is a way to poke at Israel and chip away at the unwritten rule that no one can say anything about the holocuast or question the jews use of it as an excuse for everything they do.
    It’s sort of tacky way to do it but no tackier than jews who use the deaths of the fellowmen as a fund raising and political tool.

    Reply

  38. quepasa says:

    Many Iranians must be wondering why they have the right to deny the Holocaust with impunity, but not to question their own leaders without risking jail,

    Reply

  39. winnipeger says:

    matthew wrote:
    “There is a positive way to see these events, though. AIPAC has never been more powerful; yet American foreign policy never so poorly managed. America is never been so pro-Israel, and America has never been so hated in the World. Connection? The good news is that we are reaching a tipping point. We are going to face a harsh choice between our interests and Israel’s–and AIPAC knows this. Luckily three shots have been fired across the bow: (1) Walt and Mearsheimer’s article on the Israel Lobby; (2) Jimmy Carter’s new book; and (3) James Baker’s recommendations to look for a regional solution. AIPAC can hold as many conferences as they like. But they work best in the shadows. Repeat this line everywhere you go: “This is what you get when America delegates its foreign policy to Israel.” I say it all the time, and people are getting it.”
    hey matthew, if you think that america has EVER delegated its foreign policy to israel, then you are a complete fool.
    it’s bizarre to me that the only country that is regularly vilified other, of course, than the u.s.a is israel. what about iran? nobody else thinks it sucks that david duke is a presenter at a conference questioning the truth of the holocaust? what about china? russia? venezuela? chechnya? and on and on and on. nothing bad happening there?
    israel alone is the cause of some purported american “tipping point?” give me a fu@&ing break.
    israel alone is worthy of all our opprobrium? how about we start throwing some more blame around?

    Reply

  40. Matthew says:

    POA: Don’t think Winnipeger won’t spend six months researching to defend against your attacks. He’s like that “scholar” who resigned from the Jimmy Carter center and said he wouldn’t get into specifics but Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, was full of errors. If so, why does he need months and months to prove it? My sense is that the “errors” are merely a difference of opinion. Unless of course, we’ve crossed that cultural threshhold where “opinions” can, indeed, be errors. How Soviet! By the way, did I sleep through Congress revoking the First Amendment? Is it now a crime or a civil tort to criticize Israel?
    There is a positive way to see these events, though. AIPAC has never been more powerful; yet American foreign policy never so poorly managed. America is never been so pro-Israel, and America has never been so hated in the World. Connection? The good news is that we are reaching a tipping point. We are going to face a harsh choice between our interests and Israel’s–and AIPAC knows this. Luckily three shots have been fired across the bow: (1) Walt and Mearsheimer’s article on the Israel Lobby; (2) Jimmy Carter’s new book; and (3) James Baker’s recommendations to look for a regional solution. AIPAC can hold as many conferences as they like. But they work best in the shadows. Repeat this line everywhere you go: “This is what you get when America delegates its foreign policy to Israel.” I say it all the time, and people are getting it.

    Reply

  41. Pissed Off American says:

    “regardless of who this person is, their ignorance is on display for ALL to see.”
    Posted by winnipeger
    Winnipeger, you are going to start this crap all over again, aren’t you? I gotta say, its been pleasant here in your absence.
    Look, you hypocritical ass. You just claimed Israel does not have laws against denying the holocuast. I pointed out that they DO in fact have such laws. Now, who the hell are you to call someone ignorant when you have just demonstrated that it is YOU that doesn’t have a clue what the hell you’re talking about? Thats called ignorance with a capital I, Winnipeger.
    Above that, you thank me for the civility of my tone in responding to your horseshit, yet just a couple posts later you are once again throwing shit at Carroll.
    Get a clue, you arrogant ass. It IS YOU that sets the tone as to how some of us will respond to you.
    You want to debate this stuff with civility, and recieve civility in return? Fine. But otherwise just go away, will you?

    Reply

  42. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, heres what the Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman has to say about Israeli “Democracy”.
    “Israel has the right to demand full allegiance from all its citizens. He who is not ready to recognize Israel as a Jewish and Zionist state, cannot be a citizen in the country. This applies to extremists of the Neturei Karta as well as to extremist factions of the Islamic Movement.”

    Reply

  43. Carroll says:

    You know though…I think it is a good idea for some of us non AIPAC people to attend their 2007 conference…I myself would like to see in person this happening and mingle with the attendees to see just how they talk among themselves about the US and Israel.
    http://www.jfed.net/content_display.html?ArticleID=178874
    Community Relations Committee
    Home > Community Relations Committee > “NOW IS THE TIME”
    “NOW IS THE TIME”
    AIPAC’s Policy Conference 2006
    Senators Joseph Lieberman and Christopher Dodd speaking during the Connecticut delegation’s lobbying session with them in the Capitol building.
    by Marsha Stein
    “AIPAC is the most important organization for Israel’s future.”
    With over 5000 delegates (the largest attendance ever) from every state in the U.S., including 1100 students from over 300 campuses in all 50 states, 120 student government presidents, and attendees from 56 foreign countries, AIPAC officials must be right. With 95 senators and over 100 congressmen and women attending the Monday night banquet and with over 450 lobbying appointments Tuesday on Capitol Hill, it is obvious that AIPAC affects the wheels of government and that the U.S. government is devoted to Israel.
    This year’s issues for AIPAC included foreign aid for Israel, and, as one speaker put it, bills that say “Iran=bad, Hamas=bad.”
    After two and a half intense days of morning, noon and evening plenaries, and choices of workshops, town hall meetings and panel discussions for the breakout sessions in between, delegates descended en masse on Capitol Hill where they set about lobbying their senators and congressmen and women on AIPAC’s select issues.
    Stopping Iran’s nuclear program was the theme of last year’s conference and the issue looms large this year as well. Alan and I, for the second year in a row, were the lead lobbyists for Congresswoman Nancy Johnson. One charge was to get her to co-sign H.R. 282, the Iran Freedom Support act which renews and strengthens existing sanctions to cut off funds Iran has to pursue nuclear weapons. It urges the President to insist the Security Council use its authority to get Iran to cease all uranium enrichment activities or face strong economic and political sanctions. When the president of Iran calls for “wiping Israel off the map,” you have to believe he would use a nuclear bomb if he had one.
    H.R. 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, sends a strong message to Hamas by banning direct aid and limiting indirect humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority until the President can certify that the PA is not controlled by a terrorist group, Hamas renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and accepts all previous international agreements between Israel and the PA. Every government official speaking at the Policy Conference assured us that the Unites States would not deal with a terrorist organization. In the first two weeks after its initiation, 92 members of congress signed on as co-sponsors to this bill.
    Similar bills have been proposed in the Senate as well.
    Before the end of AIPAC’s 2006 Policy Conference, we had pre-registered for 2007 and reserved our hotel room. Why do we attend this event? This year’s theme is the reason: “Now is the Time” to confront Hamas, to stop Iran, for leadership, to get involved, to stand together, to make a difference.
    If you would like to get involved in AIPAC on the local level, contact
    Ron Dresner, Membership Chair for the Hartford Council at ron@yourprdepartment.com or (860) 676-7777. Marsha and Alan Stein would be happy to carpool to meetings. More members in Nancy Johnson’s congressional district #5 are especially needed.
    For information about some of the breakout sessions with IDF leaders we attended see additional articles below.

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    Posted by Matthew at December 12, 2006 06:41 PM
    >>>>>>>>>
    Obviously MP missed the fact that Lantos is jewish…and the fact I included all the gentiles who are overly fond of all that AIPAC generated money….frankly I am with you, the gentile whores are much worse than the jewish whores…the jews are selling out america for their ideology, the gentiles are selling it out for plain old money.

    Reply

  45. Matthew says:

    MP: Let me quibble with your logic again. While it is true that just because the Palestinians “agree” that Israel is not a democracy does not mean that Israel is not a democracy. Check. Just as a Televangelist telling me that world is only 6,000 years old doesn’t make my astronomy books wrong. Check. However, I do give some credence to people who live under a system, like Black Americans under Jim Crow; I mean it does matter what people who go through roadblocks and suffer daily indignities think about the “democratic” nature of a country. Israel can’t have a two-track system and still be a “true democracy.” You probably know that Palestinians have different car license plates, they live under more housing restrictions, it’s almost impossible for Arabs in East Jerusalem to get building permits, etc. Sadly, Israel’s democracy is actually contracting. (Turkey’s is also expanding.) Ten years ago would Avigdor Lieberman been in an Israeli cabinet?
    P.S. According to our President, Lebanon and Iraq are also democracies.

    Reply

  46. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “I am not convinced that Israel is a democracy..in fact I don’t see how it can be when they have laws and policies regarding landownership and education, marriage laws and etc. that distinguish Israeli Arabs from Jewish Israelis. Israel’s democracy seems more like the US’s “democracy” back before we matured into establishing civil rights and equality for blacks.
    It was the civil rights movement among blacks and whites in combination with the Supreme court that finally moved the US to true democracy. The same thing has to take place in Israel.”
    Winnipeger is a better expert on Israeli law than I am. Perhaps “he” can speak to some of your points. But I think the truth is that America was a democracy before the civil rights movement, but a much more perfect one after. In fact, we’re still trying to make it better–or should be–with respect to all our voting irregularities, problems with the machines, voter suppression.
    So being a “true” democracy is something of a relative thing.
    There are still lots of folks who are denied basic rights, including property rights. Gays for example. Some people feel that recent eminent domain denies people property rights. And there’s no doubt that black people still are not on an equal footing with white people by almost any measure–even legally. The OJ trial (not to mention Katrina) brought that out. Finally, a black man was “getting over” on the system the way the system (mostly) “gets over” on them. The saying went, “A guilty man framed.”

    Reply

  47. MP says:

    Matthew writes: “I wonder if the Palestinians living under the Israeli boot consider Israel the only true democracy in the ME? And by the way, how many elections does Turkey need to have before it makes the cut?”
    Turkey…agreed. You’re right. Okay, one of two. But the basic point still stands. The exceptions are just that…exceptions and notable for being so. And Israel and Turkey have peaceful relations. Whether the Palestinians agree that Israel is a democracy has no bearing on whether it is in fact a democracy. The Palestinians have lots of grievances against Israel, many of them just, but that doesn’t really touch on this topic.

    Reply

  48. Matthew says:

    Thanks, Carroll, for driving me into depression. As MP notes, it was not Jewish Congressmen who approved it: Unless Joe Biden has decided to leave Holy Mother Church. But my real gut wrench was this quote: “A great portion of the American equipment stored in Israel last year was used for combat in the summer war in Lebanon.” So we didn’t just tacitly support the vandalization of Lebanon, including Christian neighborhoods, we allowed our weapons–the ones we still owned–to be used? A supreme act of terror committed with our own stuff. I wonder how many Lebanese Christians now hate us for our freedom?

    Reply

  49. MP says:

    “These pro-Israel decisions were made due to the lobbying efforts of Senate heads Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Bill Frist, and through Head of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations John Biden and Richard Lugar.”
    Jewish Congressmen?

    Reply

  50. Carroll says:

    Here is an excellent example of SOI is talking about no doubt.
    Some of us saw the house hearings on c-span where US military commanders warned and spoke about the dangerous depleting and shortages of military equipment due to Iraq with no replacements on the horizon and how much it would cost to even begin to resupply our military….and then we see this from congress.
    There is no excusing or justifying this at all..except that we have a congress in which some Jewish congressmen are committed to Israel not America and others are more loyal to the AIPAC campaign money machine than they are to our military and our country and our own people.
    This is really…well…unbelivable. Israel like Iraq is a bottomless pit that will suck the US dry.
    Weekly Israel news summary
    US to double emergency equipment stored in Israel
    Emergency stockpiles in Israel meant for storing US army equipment in Middle East opened in Israel’s favor during last Lebanon war
    Yitzhak Benhorin Published: 12.12.06, 08:57
    WASHINGTON – The American Congress gave Israel financial and security encouragement when the Senate and the House of Representatives gave their approval to double the emergency equipment the United States stores in Israeli stockpiles.
    Within the next two years the Americans will fill the military emergency stockpiles in Israel with double the equipment they now hold.
    In addition, the US will allow Israel to use the remainder of the US’s monetary guarantees given to them that have not been used yet, and add up to USD 4.5 billion, by 2011.
    The emergency stockpiles are meant to store American military equipment in the Middle East in case of an emergency. However, in case of an emergency, Israel is allowed to use the stockpiles.
    The value of the equipment currently stored in Israel amounts to USD 100 million and the American government approved doubling its value to USD 200 million in the coming year.
    In 2008 the military stock will be doubled and refilled once again in the value of USD 200 million.
    Pro-Israel decisions
    The Congress decided to give special aid to Israel in order to minimize war damages, without having to give Israel additional direct financial aid.
    The bill was approved by the Senate and House and it renewed authority to transfer equipment to be stored in Israel.
    A great portion of the American equipment stored in Israel last year was used for combat in the summer war in Lebanon.
    The US approved guarantees in the sum of USD 9 billion to Israeli to be used over a period of three years, and this period was then prolonged an additional year.
    Israel has only used half of this amount and has requested the United States again extend the time limit on using these guarantees. Following the second Lebanon war the US agreed to extend this period until the year 2011.
    These pro-Israel decisions were made due to the lobbying efforts of Senate heads Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Bill Frist, and through Head of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations John Biden and Richard Lugar.
    The bill was lead by the House of Representatives’ heads of the Democratic Committee on Foreign Relations Tom Lantos and the Republican Committee on Foreign Relations Ileana Ross-Lehtinen and the House’s republican head Jo Bonner.

    Reply

  51. Matthew says:

    I wonder if the Palestinians living under the Israeli boot consider Israel the only true democracy in the ME? And by the way, how many elections does Turkey need to have before it makes the cut?
    I guess that cliche has been repeated so many times that it is now “true.” It certainly has truthiness about it.

    Reply

  52. Carroll says:

    I am not convinced that Israel is a democracy..in fact I don’t see how it can be when they have laws and policies regarding landownership and education, marriage laws and etc. that distinguish Israeli Arabs from Jewish Israelis. Israel’s democracy seems more like the US’s “democracy” back before we matured into establishing civil rights and equality for blacks.
    It was the civil rights movement among blacks and whites in combination with the Supreme court that finally moved the US to true democracy…
    The same thing has to take place in Israel.

    Reply

  53. MP says:

    karenk says: “I kind of understand what Sick of It means.
    Certainly we should be concerned about all other countries in the world and should use diplomatic skills far more than we currently do(but then again, what would we do with all the weapons we manufacture if we don’t start wars?)
    However, it seems that Israel’s interests have somehow been merged with Americas.(see AIPAC??) They are not always one and the same.”
    You do? That’s odd because, as far as I can tell, SOI isn’t saying anything at all, beyond a crude sort of isolationism coupled with a real fascination with petrol power.
    I agree, Israel and America’s interests aren’t always the same. Sometimes they are. That’s true for all of our allies. It’s an odd (and sad) day when the Kingdom is considered a more important ally than the only true democracy in the ME.
    And please don’t ask me to move to another country. It brings back all sorts of bad memories of the 1960s and 1930s. It’s also a very low form of argument.

    Reply

  54. karenk says:

    I kind of understand what Sick of It means.
    Certainly we should be concerned about all other countries in the world and should use diplomatic skills far more than we currently do(but then again, what would we do with all the weapons we manufacture if we don’t start wars?)
    However, it seems that Israel’s interests have somehow been merged with Americas.(see AIPAC??) They are not always one and the same. I believe NY Sen Chuck Schumer even suggested that we put Israel’s interests before our own. This is just plain wrong. As an American I believe we should defend our allies but America should come first-then all others. Move to whatever country you feel most loyal to. Go for it!

    Reply

  55. SOI says:

    MP: Saying something is illogical is not the same as showing something is illogical. Nice try. You might want to brush up on your junior high debate skills, though.

    Reply

  56. MP says:

    SOI writes: “Ah, the conflation of Israel with “the world” continues. No, many places are necessary to the US. Israel is not. No oil, but lots of people with their hands out. In fact, the size of the Israel Lobby is a testament to its general lack of strategic importance. Why lobby if their importance is obvious and necessary?”
    What a strange bit of illogic. So if Israel were strategically important, one sign would be a SMALL lobbying effort? Or, small lobbying efforts shouldn’t attempt to increase their clout for fear of being judged unimportant?
    And is oil really the only or even principal reason to judge a country of strategic importance…or a conflict worthy of our attention and resources? I wonder how much oil they have in northern Ireland? Or in Rwanda? Or Darfur? Or South Africa? Or Kosovo? Or Palestine?
    I guess for Americans, real Americans that is, it’s all about the Benjamins.

    Reply

  57. Carroll says:

    Unlike winnerpeger Carroll only post under her own name… but the poster sick of it is right in that Israel isn’t America..I have said for a long time that this Israelization of America will result in some kind of political or attitude blowback…it’s a natural reaction to one group trying to push or impose their loyalties or aims onto another group of people who don’t share them.

    Reply

  58. Sick of it says:

    Ah, the conflation of Israel with “the world” continues. No, many places are necessary to the US. Israel is not. No oil, but lots of people with their hands out. In fact, the size of the Israel Lobby is a testament to its general lack of strategic importance. Why lobby if their importance is obvious and necessary?
    People like Winnipeger can’t see that Israel is not America. And he/she calls other people ignorant? Fight the Iranians on your own. Leave our people out of it.

    Reply

  59. MP says:

    “Why should we care if Iran is holding this confernce? Memo to Winnipeger: Israel is NOT part of the United States. Get it. It is not necessary to the United States. Get it.”
    You see, at the core, THIS is what this argument is all about. America the Island. Any place that isn’t America isn’t necessary to America. And there are so many places that aren’t America, this view really simplifies things. So many places to ignore. So many places not to care about. This kind of simplification is the American default position because the American “brain” can’t really handle much that isn’t simple.
    What did John Donne say? I forget. Then again, he was an English poet, wasn’t he? Another place that isn’t America.

    Reply

  60. winnipeger says:

    wow. the above comment speaks volumes about whomever posted it. carroll??
    regardless of who this person is, their ignorance is on display for ALL to see.

    Reply

  61. Sick of It says:

    Why should we care if Iran is holding this confernce? Memo to Winnipeger: Israel is NOT part of the United States. Get it. It is not necessary to the United States. Get it.
    I am so sick of America being the guardian of this parasitic nation that is always trying to involve us in their problems.
    Whether Israel surives or not, I couldn’t care less. It is not America. Adn not one American life or American dollar should be extended giving life support to this racist neo-colonial project.

    Reply

  62. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “Actually I think this holocaust conference is good in a way….questioning is always good regardless of what the subject is…so it is good for someone to give the finger to countries that have laws telling you what you can and can’t think about or question and basically this conference is giving the finger to that concept……regardless of what someone believes right or wrong, you can’t make them not believe it or not question a different belief unless you can find some proof or can convince them on the facts…they use to imprison people for believing the world was round…imagine that!
    I have never studied the holocuast but I have wondered about the actual number of people killed and how exactly they were killed ..the Germans were very good record keepers so they should have been some records somewhere that would answer everyone’s questions…but since we don’t have any records of the actual exterminations in prison camps I don’t think anyone can say with certainty how many people died or exactly how they died. Some may have been executed, some may have died of illness or starvation.”
    Some posts say it all. This is one of them. It’s rich in its ignorance. And cheerfully accepting of its own shortcomings without even realizing that they are fatal flaws; in my book, they disqualify you from even taking the field.
    Again, I have to say, for someone who purports to be–and I think is–deeply interested in the I/P conflict, you really need to “brush up” your Holocaust. And not just the part about how people died and how many died, but who came to their aid and when. Not to mention the history leading up to this event. It explains a lot about why Jews in America and Jews in Israel react to things the way they do. It doesn’t always JUSTIFY their actions, but it goes a long way toward explaining them. Anyone who seeks to take a balanced view of things and be an honest broker in the ME conflict needs to know and appreciate this piece of history.
    Otherwise, you’re like a math teacher who can’t add or subtract. Or an English teacher who can’t read. It really is that bad.

    Reply

  63. MP says:

    POA quotes: “The aim of this conference is not to deny or confirm the Holocaust,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a welcome address. “Its main aim is to create an opportunity for thinkers who cannot express their views freely in Europe about the Holocaust.”
    But the point that isn’t mentioned in all of this is that Holocaust HAS been studied. EXHAUSTIVELY. The study of the Holocaust is hardly taboo. We have an entire museum on the Mall devoted to this subject with lots and lots of “ocular proof” to back up the most horrific facts. First-person accounts, written and on tape. You couldn’t read or consume all the historical works on the Holocaust in a life time, even if you were a speed reader. It would take a library full of librarians and professional readers. The Nazis themselves left an inexhaustible treasure trove of meticulously kept records of their handiwork.
    The notion that ANYONE, let alone Iran, needs to hold a conference in order to launch new and unfettered lines of inquiry is, on the face of it, absurd. And an obvious anti-Semitic gambit. A way of tweaking the Jews and the West. Anyone who can’t see that needs to get his head examined.
    The formal structure of their argument is precisely the same as the that used by US creationists and intelligent designers who want to “debate” the veracity of evolution. Squint and you can hear them say, “The Holocaust is a theory, not a fact.”

    Reply

  64. winnipeger says:

    “for some reason, i’m not surprised.”
    Don’t start that horseshit again, winnipeger. It only underscores what a hypocritical ass you can be.
    Posted by: Pissed Off American at December 12, 2006 12:26 AM
    why is this horseshit, poa? i merely stated my opinion. i am NOT surprised that carroll thinks the conference in iran, with david duke as a presenter, may be a good thing. sorry, but you’re the only one around here swearing. i knew that your civility was too good to be true.
    “As I said I have not studied the holocaust but I did read thru the all the trial testimony about the war at the Hague a long time ago and I distinctly remember in the materials that they said the number of dead was an “estimate” and was arrived at by using before and after census records and immigration records.”
    you might want to read up on the subject, carroll. the nazis kept meticulous records of the people the murdered. that’s why my uncle still has a tatooed number on his forearm. how’s that for efficiency?
    again, poa, germany passed it’s anti-holocaust denial laws largely because of german guilt, shame and fear that something like the holocaust would ever happen again.

    Reply

  65. Carroll says:

    Actually, when reading this…
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/799619.html
    “Olmert on Monday also called on Germany to cut its vast economic ties with Iran, saying Berlin’s obligations toward Israel were greater because of its Nazi past.”
    …it occured to me that holocuast denial or whatever it is, is a natural outgrown of the whole holocuast industry as Finkelstein calls it…on one side you have holocuast promoters who raise trillions on it and on the other side deniers who also get attention and something out of it too.
    But how it happened and how many died doesn’t seem to make any difference because no one has learned any lessons from it, least of all the Israelis…they just continue to use it as a get out jail free card.

    Reply

  66. Carroll says:

    As I said I have not studied the holocaust but I did read thru the all the trial testimony about the war at the Hague a long time ago and I distinctly remember in the materials that they said the number of dead was an “estimate” and was arrived at by using before and after census records and immigration records.
    So I stand by the belief that it is impossible to know the actual death count.

    Reply

  67. Pissed Off American says:

    “for some reason, i’m not surprised.”
    Don’t start that horseshit again, winnipeger. It only underscores what a hypocritical ass you can be.

    Reply

  68. Pissed Off American says:

    You need to get your facts straight, winnipeger.
    Holocaust denial is currently a crime in Great Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand, and Israel.
    And to state that Israel has not lobbied for such laws is pure unadulterated horseshit.

    Reply

  69. winnipeger says:

    carrol wrote:
    “Actually I think this holocaust conference is good in a way.”
    for some reason, i’m not surprised.
    “I have never studied the holocuast but I have wondered about the actual number of people killed and how exactly they were killed ..the Germans were very good record keepers so they should have been some records somewhere that would answer everyone’s questions…”
    they did.
    “but since we don’t have any records of the actual exterminations in prison camps”
    we do have these records.
    “I don’t think anyone can say with certainty how many people died or exactly how they died.”
    actually, with near certainty, we can.
    “Some may have been executed, some may have died of illness or starvation.”
    …some may have been killed by dr. mengele in his horrific medical experiments, some may have been killed on forced, death marches, some may have died during forced labor…. it goes on and on.

    Reply

  70. mullah cimoc says:

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: U.S. TEENAGERS FINANCING INSURGENCY THROUGH
    PURCHASE OF FRIDAY PRAYER CDs
    From: “MIND CONTROL CENTRA.L”
    Date: Sun, January 1, 2006
    10:36 pm To: ”
    From: MIND CONTROL CENTRAL
    Date: 1/1/2006 9:57:28 PM
    To: CIA MIND CONTROL AGENTS-REPORTERS
    SPECIAL DIRECTIVE
    Subject: MIND CONTROL CENTRAL – SPIKE ALL REPORTS ABOUT
    IRAQI CHILD INSURGENT OMAR BIN HAFAR.
    CHIEF ECONOMIST SAYS U.S. TEENAGERS FINANCING INSURGENCY
    THROUGH PURCHASE OF FRIDAY PRAYER CDs RELEASED BY IRAQI
    CHILD INSURGENT. TEENAGE GIRLS WEARING MODEST HEAD SCARVES
    INSTEAD OF CORPORATE SLUT OUTFITS. SNOOP DOG THREATENS A
    SPEECH.
    DIRECTIVE 39-67 DATELINE/TEL AVIV
    SECURITY LEVEL: RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION/COMSPAN
    GSI (Goyim Stupification Index): .89
    RE: U.S. TEENAGERS FINANCING IRAKI INSURGENCY THROUGH
    PURCHASE OF MUSICAL PRAYER CDs. RAP INDUSTRY INDIGNANT AS
    PROFITS PLUMMET, CRACK SUPPLIERS FEAR HARD TIMES.
    1/1/2006 9:57:28 PM
    DIRECTIVE: SILENCE ALL REPORTS REGARDING ACTIVITIES OF
    CHILD INSURGENT OMAR BIN HAFAR, THE 13 YEARS OLD IRAKI WHOSE
    TANK HUNTER KILLER SQUADS HAVE TERRIFIED HOMO NEOCONS. OMAR
    HAS DEVELOPED A GROWING UNDERGROUND FOLLOWING OF U.S. AND
    EUROPEAN TEENAGERS WHO PURCHASE 13 YEAR OLD OMAR’S PRAYER
    CDs AND FOLLOW HIS BATTLEFIELD EXPLOITS AS PERHAPS THE MOST
    FEARLESS OF ALL THE IRAKI INSURGENTS LEADERS.
    WHAT WAS ONCE RUMOR, BUT NOW LEGEND, CLAIMS THAT OMAR’S
    MOTHER AND FATHER WERE TORTURED TO DEATH BY ISRAELI
    INTERROGATORS OPERATING AT BAGHDAD INTL AIRPORT IN THE
    OPENING WEEKS OF THE WAR. OMAR’S FATHER, WHO WAS REPUTEDLY
    THE MEANEST ROUGHNECK IN ALL OF THE IRAKI OILFIELD, WAS
    MISTAKEN FOR A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION BY A HOMO NEOCON
    AND INTERROGATED AT THE SPECIALIZED PERMANENT INTERROGATION
    CENTER (S.P.I.C.).
    AN INSURGENT ASSAULT IN JUNE 2003 ALLOWED OMAR AND OTHER
    CHILD DETAINEES TO ESCAPE, BUT NOT BEFORE BURNING WITH CANS
    OF GASOLINE THE INTERROGATORS AT SPIC. CENTNIG OFFICIALS
    CLAIM THAT OF THE ORIGINAL TWELVE CHILDREN WHO FORMED THE
    “SONS OF IRON BRIGADE” ONLY OMAR HAS SURVIVED.
    DESPITE THE FACT THAT SONS OF IRON ACCEPT ONLY WAR ORPAHS IN
    THEIR RANKS, THEY NOW FIELD OVER 6,500 COMBATANTS THANKS IN
    LARGE PART TO THE PASSOVER SLAUGHTER OF MUSLIM MEN IN
    OCTOBER 2004. ALMOST ALL HUNT U.S. AND COALITION TANKS
    EXCEPT FOR SQUADS OF ROVING ASSASSINS WHO STRIKE
    COLLABORATORS (OMAR CALLS THEM REPTILES) AT NIGHT AND
    USUALLY KILL ENTIRE FAMILIES.
    U.S. ECONOMIC ADVISER PREDICTS IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF RAP
    MUSTIC INDUSTRY RESULTING FROM MASSIVE WAVES OF BLACK URBAN
    YOUTH (AND SOME WHITE TRASH)LISTENING TO PRAYER CSs,
    STUDYING HISTORY AND MATHMATICS, AND READING SCRIPTURE.
    IRATE ALEISTER CROWLEY SOCIETY MEMBERS HAVE URGED PRES. BUSH
    TO INTERVENE. HQ ADVISES THAT OMAR BIN HAFAR IS A SUPERSTAR
    IN THE THIRD WORLD BUT UNKNOWN IN USA AND BRITAIN. LET’S
    KEEP IT THAT WAY. RUMORS CIRCULATING AMONG TEENAGERS ABOUT
    OMAR’S ROLE IN THE TELEVISED COERCIVE ENEMAS GIVEN TO OLIVER
    NORTH BY BRIGADE MEMBERS CAN BE BROADCAST AS FREQUENTLY AS
    POSSIBLE.

    Reply

  71. Carroll says:

    Actually I think this holocaust conference is good in a way….questioning is always good regardless of what the subject is…so it is good for someone to give the finger to countries that have laws telling you what you can and can’t think about or question and basically this conference is giving the finger to that concept……regardless of what someone believes right or wrong, you can’t make them not believe it or not question a different belief unless you can find some proof or can convince them on the facts…they use to imprison people for believing the world was round…imagine that!
    I have never studied the holocuast but I have wondered about the actual number of people killed and how exactly they were killed ..the Germans were very good record keepers so they should have been some records somewhere that would answer everyone’s questions…but since we don’t have any records of the actual exterminations in prison camps I don’t think anyone can say with certainty how many people died or exactly how they died. Some may have been executed, some may have died of illness or starvation.

    Reply

  72. winnipeger says:

    POA:
    thanks for your calm and thoughtful response. here are a few answers to your questions:
    “Winnepeger, you are completely disregarding the context upon which I question the general portrayal of this conference. I do not dispute Ahmadinejad’s comments. I dispute the fact that the CONFERENCE is accurately portrayed, when in fact Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki describes the event in a much more benign manner. There are also Orthodox Jews participating, I might add.”
    no, i’m not disregarding the context upon which you question the general portrayal of the conference. it is a conference, convened by a president who calls the holocaust a “myth,” to debate the validity of his claim. oh, and it just so happens to have david duke as a presenter. reread Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi’s comments above. he is indisputedly clear about why they are convening this conference and what it’s about.
    “And, as your own source indicates, Iran has publically stated that the conference is being held “to discuss the evidence of the World War II genocide”. Surely, if the evidence is examined, or discussed, the event called the “holocaust” will be unable to be denied, BASED on the evidence, correct?”
    correct. lets see what ahmadinejad says later this week. if he admits the truth about the holocaust then, i’ll be the first person to give him kudos.
    “And, are you implying that the few nations that have actually OUTLAWED questioning the holocaust did not do so under pressure by Israel?”
    no, i’m not implying that… i’m *saying* that. study up on german history and read the debate that was taking place when the anti-nazi and holocaust laws were instituted. unfortunately, since 1/2 of us had just been killed, and israel was still in her infancy, fighting for survival, we didn’t have much pressure to apply. these laws were *completely* a reflection of german guilt, shame, and most importantly, fear — that anything like this could ever happen again.
    “It is my opinion that the Israeli position on this issue is no less extreme than the Iranian position.”
    i’m not sure how you can make this connection. iran’s president has already called the holocaust a “myth” — surely an extreme position. on the other hand, while officially acknowledging the truth of the holocaust, israel does *not* legislate against speech questioning it, nor does israel lobby other countries to do so.
    “I do not question the holocaust, nor deny it. But I deplore the Israeli mindset that tells them that anyone that does question or deny it is criminally negligent somehow. I see it as just another catch-all tactic to malign detracters, such as this steady accusation of “anti-semitism” that is used to answer any criticism of Israeli policy.”
    no, poa. critics of israel are NOT all anti-semitic… but holocaust deniers ARE.

    Reply

  73. Pissed Off American says:

    Winnepeger, you are completely disregarding the context upon which I question the general portrayal of this conference. I do not dispute Ahmadinejad’s comments. I dispute the fact that the CONFERENCE is accurately portrayed, when in fact Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki describes the event in a much more benign manner. There are also Orthodox Jews participating, I might add.
    And, as your own source indicates, Iran has publically stated that the conference is being held “to discuss the evidence of the World War II genocide”. Surely, if the evidence is examined, or discussed, the event called the “holocaust” will be unable to be denied, BASED on the evidence, correct?
    And, are you implying that the few nations that have actually OUTLAWED questioning the holocaust did not do so under pressure by Israel?
    It is my opinion that the Israeli position on this issue is no less extreme than the Iranian position. And really, I think Ahmadinejad is underscoring that standpoint, seeking to draw attention to the utter insanity of “thought laws” being enforced that make certain representations, or interpretations, of past history, illegal.
    I do not question the holocaust, nor deny it. But I deplore the Israeli mindset that tells them that anyone that does question or deny it is criminally negligent somehow. I see it as just another catch-all tactic to malign detracters, such as this steady accusation of “anti-semitism” that is used to answer any criticism of Israeli policy.
    And I stand by my statement that anyone that denies the human rights abuses inflicted on the Palestinians, by the Israelis, has no right to malign those that deny the human rights abuses inflicted on the Jews by the Nazis. BOTH positions are as equally removed from reality.

    Reply

  74. Winnipeger says:

    poa:
    just to reiterate, the president of iran himself, mahmoud ahmadinejad, denied the holocaust when he said,
    “In a speech broadcast live on state television on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad told a crowd in the southern city of Zahedan: “They have fabricated a legend under the name Massacre of the Jews, and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves.
    “If somebody in their country questions God, nobody says anything, but if somebody denies the myth of the massacre of Jews, the Zionist loudspeakers and the governments in the pay of Zionism will start to scream.”
    and just so nobody claims this is a distorted MSM translation, the preceeding was taken from a report on al jazeera.
    http://tinyurl.com/y963bq

    Reply

  75. winnipeger says:

    poa wrote:
    “and the extremism of the Israeli position, that expousing any deviance from the “official” Israeli version (of the holocaust) constitutes what should be a prosecutable crime.”
    poa: there is no ” ‘official’ israeli version” of the history of the holocaust, nor is discussing it or presenting contrary views a “prosecutable” crime in israel, as it is in germany.
    poa goes on:
    “Yes, the implications of such a conference are indeed deeply troubling if the conference is presented as a forum through which the holocaust can be “denied”. But it is the Zionists that seem to be consistently presenting the Iranian conference as such, and, NOT, apparently, the spokesman for the event.”
    well, poa, i’m not sure what reports you’re reading. the following is straight from the horses mouth and it sounds pretty clear to me
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16062369/
    TEHRAN, Iran – Iran, whose president has described the Holocaust as a “myth,” said Tuesday it will hold a conference to discuss the evidence of the World War II genocide.
    The two-day conference scheduled for next week was initiated by hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi said.
    “The president simply asked whether an event called the Holocaust has actually taken place … No rational response was ever given to Ahmadinejad’s questions,” Mohammadi said, explaining the reason for the conference.”
    so they call david duke and invite him to speak?! wow, so much for expert debate. this BS speaks for itself. if it walks like a duck… and quacks like a duck…

    Reply

  76. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, Winnipeger states that Duke is a “featured presenter” at the conference. Despite an extensive Google news search, I could find no article that described Duke as a “featured presenter”. The only description that I was able to find, describing Duke’s role, was “participant”. I think that Duke’s presence at the conference sufficiently minimizes the credibility of this conference, and it is totally unnecessary to resort to deceptive or leading descriptions to advance an effort to malign the conference.
    It was interesting that, almost universally, the press headlines in regards to this conference all describe it as a gathering of “holocaust deniers”, yet, within the few articles I perused, that were described as such, I could find no direct quotes of anyone actually denying the holocaust. As despicable as it is to deny details that ARE being denied, such as the position held by some that gas or ovens were not used, such a school of thought still does NOT deny the holocaust. Nor should such a school of thought be outlawed or prosecuted. You cannot erase hatred or ignorance with prosecution. If you attempt to do so, you will only nurture the zealotry that feeds the ignorance, that feeds the hatred.

    Reply

  77. Pissed Off American says:

    I keep seeing Iran’s conference being presented as “denying the holocaust”, or, as Winnipeger states above, “questioning the holocaust”. But, the spokesman for the event describes it thusly…
    “The aim of this conference is not to deny or confirm the Holocaust,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a welcome address. “Its main aim is to create an opportunity for thinkers who cannot express their views freely in Europe about the Holocaust.”
    I, of course, do not believe that the Holocaust can be denied. But by the same token, I certainly believe that ANY academic examination of history should not be prohibited by law. I see TWO extremes being practiced here. The extremism of the Iranian position, that the Holocaust may not have occurred as presented by some historians, and the extremism of the Israeli position, that expousing any deviance from the “official” Israeli version constitutes what should be a prosecutable crime.
    If I read the Iranian spokesman’s comments correctly, he is advocating the freedom for academics to examine the holocaust without fear of legal reprisal by entities that are loath to see history presented through any lens other than their own. The historical evidence of a holocaust, examined academically, should not be feared, if in fact history has been honestly portrayed. Yes, the implications of such a conference are indeed deeply troubling if the conference is presented as a forum through which the holocaust can be “denied”. But it is the Zionists that seem to be consistently presenting the Iranian conference as such, and, NOT, apparently, the spokesman for the event. And I find it no less troubling, in fact even more troubling, that countries are actually outlawing schools of thought, or interpretations of history, no matter how reprehensible some of us may find those schools of thought.
    Whats next? Will be jailing those that question the odds of Atta’s passport surviving an inferno that melted steel? Will we be thrown in one of Cheney’s gulags because we refuse to tell our children the official version of the Jessica Lynch fantasy? Or hey, don’t mess with George Washington and the cherry tree, right?
    And, if in fact Duke is speaking at this conference, than I have to agree with the TONE of winnepger’s comment. Duke’s presence hardly lends the conference a credible air. However, Winnipeger implies that somehow Duke is claiming to be an “expert” on the holocaust. What Duke ACTUALLY says is….
    “There must be freedom of speech, it is scandalous that the Holocaust cannot be discussed freely,” Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader told Reuters. “It makes people turn a blind eye to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.”
    Now, I suspect that there was more dialogue between the two sentences quoted above than what we were presented with by the author of the article the Winnipeger linked us to. Duke’s two sentences, in the context presented, do not seem to inter-relate coherently. But, when taken as two individual and unrelated sentences, who can deny the veracity of his first sentence?
    “There must be freedom of speech, it is scandalous that the Holocaust cannot be discussed freely,”
    As much as it irks me to agree with a Duke statement, I challenge anyone to argue against his words as presented in that sentence.
    And, if it is as I suspect, that his second sentence, as quoted, was pretexted inaccurately, it is hard to determine exactly what “it” is when he stated; ” (It) makes people turn a blind eye to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.”
    Well, again, it doesn’t exactly make me delighted to agree with Duke, but INDEED, a blind eye HAS been turned to “Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.”
    There are those that will deny this opinion, and argue that no crimes have been committed by Israel against the Palestinians.
    To those people, I say…
    What right do YOU have to decry those that deny the holocaust, when you in turn deny Israel’s human rights abuses against the Palestinian people?

    Reply

  78. pauline says:

    poa wrote:
    “Sorry man, but everytime I see the Al Qaeda boogie man being waved about, I get extremely suspicious. After all, “BOO!” got us to where we now find ourselves, did it not?”
    from Wayne Madsen today —
    “December 11, 2006 — More evidence surfaces of “Al Qaeda’s” Western financing. WMR has learned from one of its sources in New York that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York actively covered up massive money laundering by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) United Arab Emirate branch through its branch in New York. The money laundering consisted of questionable money movements through Dubai that involved individuals linked to “Al Qaeda,” including those connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.”
    I wonder who Madsen believes the “individuals linked to ‘Al Qaeda,’ including those connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States,” just might be?

    Reply

  79. Carroll says:

    Now, *where* is the same level of pressure going to come from with respect to America’s aiding and abetting of Israel? *Who* or *what* is going to force Washington elites to change their attitude towards the Israel-Palestinian conflict?
    Posted by tucker’s bow tie at December 11, 2006 12:35 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I am going to repeat myself every time this subject comes up.
    When your politicans FEAR YOU more than they fear AIPAC…then and only then will the Isr/Pal conflict be settled.
    Put the fear of the Voter God in them. If they think they can get elected with the 2% jewish vote or whatever % of the militant jewish vote let them try. Or if they think they can buy you off with domestic issues in return for letting AIPAC runs foreign policy let them know they can’t.

    Reply

  80. Carroll says:

    “There was instead a belief that the entire region was at a cross-roads where either an incredible stormy and politically convulsive future faced them or alternatively, that a new “equilibrium of interests” could be reached that would take guts and brilliant statecraft.”
    Huummm…I think I said something to this effect not long ago. So I second it.
    BUT….if the Arab potentates or anyone else thinks the “new equilibrium” will mean everything still weighted towards their favor I think they are mistaken.
    Imagining myself with the winds of “change” forces I would see this as my time..my passion against the establishment fear. And the establishment has already been showing their fear.

    Reply

  81. Carroll says:

    What Steve relates of the “concern” in the ME is a gathering of “Capitalist” who are concerned about their particular capital interest.
    I think the comment upstream has it right, the great inequalites, supported, aided and abetted by the US, have spawned the street against the potentates.
    That said, I wonder why the street population doesn’t know about the alledged 28 plots? Does that give us a clue about these countries major concern?

    Reply

  82. John says:

    Tucker’s bow is right that a change in American public opinion is a path to ending the occupation of Palestine. The other path could be motivated by relations with Gulf elites, who are facing an entirely new political equation. On the one hand, they are under pressure from internal populism, awakened and encouraged by the examples of Palestinian, Iraqi, and Hezbollah resistance, and by Iranian rhetoric, which is fervently anti-oppression. The Gulf elites have the opportunity to relieve the pressure somewhat by openly distancing themselves from Washington. This opportunity is made possible by tight oil and natural gas markets and the willingness of Asian customers to sign long term contracts, circumventing the Washington’s liberalized trading scheme with its unpredictable demand and volatle pricing. To protect its energy interests in the Gulf, Washington will ultimately have to engage the Arab elites and stop fanning the flames of civil war and resistance, which the Gulf states find threatening. As Steve says, “a new “equilibrium of interests” could be reached that would take guts and brilliant statecraft.” That will include ending the occupation of Palestine which is the very symbol of Arab resistance to oppression.

    Reply

  83. Matthew says:

    Frankly, what Steve calls pragmatism is what I find really revolting about the Gulf Arabs. They are not pragmatic on Palestine; they just don’t care. That’s why reason why I, for one, shed no tears when Saddam’s army rolled in Kuwait. And by the way, how many Parliamentary elections have they held since we “liberated” them in 1991? Zero. Conclusive evidence that our push for democracy in the ME has always been a farce.

    Reply

  84. tucker's bow tie says:

    Or, to put it another way: as long as the administration can rush deliveries of cluster bombs for Israel to drop on civilians without sparking any serious public debate inside the United States, the willingness of Arab elites to negotiate is not going to make a difference.

    Reply

  85. tucker's bow tie says:

    Just a quick note: what really matters with respect to the I/P conflict is American public opinion, not Arab elite opinion. The Bush administration has been very much isolated internationally from the very start of their war of choice, and that has had basically no effect whatsoever. It’s only been about six to eight weeks now that they have begun to feel domestic pressure – a combination of public opinion and ‘elite consensus’ – that just might force Cheney’s hand away from the trigger.
    Now, *where* is the same level of pressure going to come from with respect to America’s aiding and abetting of Israel? *Who* or *what* is going to force Washington elites to change their attitude towards the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

    Reply

  86. winnipeger says:

    oh the irony!
    david duke in iran praising his hosts for their system of “free speech”?
    this proves the old adage that truth is MUCH stranger than fiction.
    what would Ayatollah Khomeini think?

    Reply

  87. winnipeger says:

    …and what about 1994 the jewish community center bombing in argentina (the worst in aregentina’s history)? this was widely attributed to hezbollah. killed 86 and injured 200.
    …and April 12, 1984? Hezbollah attacks a restaurant near the U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain. The bombing kills eighteen U.S. servicemen and injures 83 people.
    …and March 17, 1992? With the help of Iranian intelligence, Hezbollah bombs the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring over 200.
    terrorism experts agree that Hezbollah clearly has a global reach.
    and, how’s this for ironic? david duke is in iran as a featured presenter at their conference questioning the holocaust:
    http://tinyurl.com/we9na
    “The conference was inspired by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who since coming to power in August 2005 has sparked international condemnation with comments referring to the Holocaust as a “myth” and calling Israel a “tumor”.
    Among the participants was U.S. academic David Duke, a former Louisiana Republican Representative. He praised Iran for hosting the event.”
    “There must be freedom of speech, it is scandalous that the Holocaust cannot be discussed freely,” Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader told Reuters. “It makes people turn a blind eye to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.”
    david duke a holocaust expert? who knew.

    Reply

  88. John says:

    Al Qaeda and Hezbollah in the UAE may be nothing more than code words for Sunni and Shia populists, whom the elites consider to be threats to their privilege. Also, in terms of support for Palestine, many of these elites have long viewed Palestinians as nothing more than cheap labor, exactly the way Israel did before the intifada. If you recall, Kuwait threw Paletinians out during the first Gulf War, because they supported Saddam. Israel would love to have Palestinians disappear, except that international opinion prevents visible implementation. My point is that Gulf elites have a lot in common with Israeli elites. The Palestinian issue is a thorn in the side for Gulf elites, not a passionate cause for them. Palestine is a more passionate cause for the “street” and ties into their own sense of oppression, which in turn becomes more of a problem for the Gulf elites than the Israeli occupation itself.

    Reply

  89. p.lukasiak says:

    Steve, you must have forgotten the Khobar Towers bombing… which was a Saudi Hezbollah action. (while right wingers try to tie the attack to Iran, the indictments provide no evidence of any direct involvement or complicity with the attacks. According to the indictments, years prior to the attack Iran *did* ask the people who were eventually involved in the bombing plot for surveillance information on Americans in Saudi Arabia — but that’s about the extent of Iranian involvement.)

    Reply

  90. David Noziglia says:

    POA: Skepticism is always a valid default setting, but in this case, Steve’s reporting is revealing an interesting division within many countries in the Arab world, regardless of the truth or motivation behind what his source is reporting.
    Government officials, business leaders (often the same thing, as most of these countries are little more than family-owned businesses themselves), and university professors have usually spent considerable time in the West getting their educations, everything from secondary school to Ph.D. level. Often, they have studied before that in private schools in the U.S., Europe, or Lebanon. Thus, their attitude towards the West and toward Wahabi/Salafi jihadists will generally reflect that which Steve reports.
    On the other hand, there are substantial populations within all these countries — both citizen and guest workers — who do not have access to the educational opportunities above. They study in state-run schools and madrassas, and both use texts and curricula which in fact follow the Wahabi/Salafi agenda, often provided free by the Saudi government.
    It is these texts/curricula which are the main agents of creating the threats to secular political leadership anywhere in the world, because the texts encourage both the killing of non-believers and the enforcement of strict sharia (often not really, because non-Islamic traditions (like honor killing) are justified as Sharia, but are not supported by Sharia code). This means that were these countries to hold free and fair elections, they would do so once, after which they would become Islamic “fundamentalist” states.
    Note: al-Qa’ida and other Wahabi/Salafi movements do not just threaten the West or America; they threaten any secular rule. They are particularly against the leadership of most Arab countries, including Mubarak, the Saudis, Assad, and, up to four years ago, Saddam Hussein. All are viewed as apostates who have betrayed Islam.
    Oddly enough, the one country which has avoided the pattern of one man, one vote, one time is Iran! It is an Islamic state (Shi’a, not Sunni Wahabi, and that may be significant), but does seem to hold relatively free elections, largely because the Mullahs are confident of winning them.
    In any case, Steve, both you and you source are avoiding the real issue, which is educational reform. But then, we here in America have managed to avoid the same issue for decades while our schools are fall apart, so this isn’t strictly an Islamic behavior.

    Reply

  91. Pissed Off American says:

    Steve, I do not expect you to reveal sources, and I fully understand your reason for declining to do so. But such an understanding does little to allay my skepticism.
    The mere fact that you trust a source does little to verify the veracity of their claims. In the circles you travel in, Steve, do you really doubt that you are rubbing elbows with spooks? And do you really doubt that, at times, you are told what they want you to believe, rather than the truth? If you think these people you break bread with will hesitate to USE you, to spread an idea, or misinformation, than you are remarkably naive.
    Sorry man, but everytime I see the Al Qaeda boogie man being waved about, I get extremely suspicious. After all, “BOO!” got us to where we now find ourselves, did it not?

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  92. Steve Clemons says:

    POA – it’s good to be skeptical. But the source is anonymous because I don’t want to cause trouble for this person who met with our group in the UAE. He doesn’t want reporting of this and probably would not be thrilled that I blogged about it….so your suspicion about someone hyping a threat to justify certain actions internally doesn’t fit as people inside the UAE are largely unaware of these problems. That’s why I was impressed. I am not going to “out” officials who give not for attribution commentary. End of story on that — but the person is highly credible.
    I expected to hear while I was in UAE more about Israel in a jingoistic kind of way. There is a real feeling of an “unfair playing field” when it comes to America’s blindness about Israeli nukes and Israeli misbehavior — but the comments we heard were measured and sensible. And as someone told us there, they have accepted Israel as a state philosophically, intellectually, and basically politically — and now want to figure out how to move the collective future of the region forward.
    That reasonable attitude towards Israel, however, was less, evident among older generation sheikhs, particularly those in business.
    — Steve Clemons

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  93. Pissed Off American says:

    This “28 plots” thing seems remarkably suspicious to me, particulary considering the anonymity of the source. Who knows what business or political agenda this source owes homage to, and whose agenda they wish to forward?
    How many times have we heard about foiled “plots” here, by the Bush Administration, to justify their circumvention of law, both international and domestic? Rarely do we recieve details, but instead we are expected to just take their word for it. The word, I might add, of known liars.
    So here, from an anonymous source, we have Bush’s boogie men being placed in yet another setting. A setting that is tied hand in hand with American business interests and the global oil giants.
    And what, pray tell, is “anti-Israel jingoism”, Steve? Can you elaborate? Is this just another way of saying that the UAE elite are perfectly willing to ignore the plight of their Palestinian brethren as long as they can maintain their own wealth and quality of life, by maintaining silence, and being indifferent to, the terrible abuses in human rights committed by Israel in Gaza and the Left Bank?

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