As Saudis Fill the Void, America Loses Control of the Game

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On the night of September 19, 2006, I was up in New York covering the Clinton Global Initiative as a journalist/blogger and extremely impressed with the vitality and relationships of Bill Clinton’s global network.
Earlier that day, President Bush addressed the UN General Assembly and focused heavily on how to get US policy in the Middle East on a better course. In particular, he focused on establishing a State of Palestine.
Bush stated:

The world must also stand up for peace in the Holy Land. I’m committed to two democratic states — Israel and Palestine — living side-by-side in peace and security.
I’m committed to a Palestinian state that has territorial integrity and will live peacefully with the Jewish state of Israel. This is the vision set forth in the road map — and helping the parties reach this goal is one of the great objectives of my presidency.
The Palestinian people have suffered from decades of corruption and violence and the daily humiliation of occupation. Israeli citizens have endured brutal acts of terrorism and constant fear of attack since the birth of their nation. Many brave men and women have made the commitment to peace. Yet extremists in the region are stirring up hatred and trying to prevent these moderate voices from prevailing.
This struggle is unfolding in the Palestinian territories. Earlier this year, the Palestinian people voted in a free election. The leaders of Hamas campaigned on a platform of ending corruption and improving the lives of the Palestinian people, and they prevailed.
The world is waiting to see whether the Hamas government will follow through on its promises, or pursue an extremist agenda. And the world has sent a clear message to the leaders of Hamas: Serve the interests of the Palestinian people. Abandon terror, recognize Israel’s right to exist, honor agreements, and work for peace.
President Abbas is committed to peace, and to his people’s aspirations for a state of their own. Prime Minister Olmert is committed to peace, and has said he intends to meet with President Abbas to make real progress on the outstanding issues between them.
I believe peace can be achieved, and that a democratic Palestinian state is possible. I hear from leaders in the region who want to help. I’ve directed Secretary of State Rice to lead a diplomatic effort to engage moderate leaders across the region, to help the Palestinians reform their security services, and support Israeli and Palestinian leaders in their efforts to come together to resolve their differences.
Prime Minister Blair has indicated that his country will work with partners in Europe to help strengthen the governing institutions of the Palestinian administration. We welcome his initiative. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Egypt have made clear they’re willing to contribute the diplomatic and financial assistance necessary to help these efforts succeed.
I’m optimistic that by supporting the forces of democracy and moderation, we can help Israelis and Palestinians build a more hopeful future and achieve the peace in a Holy Land we all want.
Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed — it must be chosen. From Beirut to Baghdad, people are making the choice for freedom. And the nations gathered in this chamber must make a choice, as well: Will we support the moderates and reformers who are working for change across the Middle East — or will we yield the future to the terrorists and extremists? America has made its choice: We will stand with the moderates and reformers.

I thought that this was a pretty hopeful speech. While I think that the President’s insistence that Hamas engage in public pronouncements that would quickly undermine it with its supporters was not going to get very far, the fact that he was going to dispatch Condoleezza Rice last September to engage in a round of serious deal-making that would prop up Abbas seemed promising.
But that night — drinking at the bar of the Sheraton where the Clinton Global Initiative — I was hanging out with some of the real insiders in Palestinian-Israel-US affairs. The Palestinians were in the dumps and very depressed and distressed by the gap between President Bush’s speech and what they were being told privately by National Security Council Senior Staff member Elliot Abrams and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch.
Despite the “enlightened tone” of the Bush speech, the Palestinians were told that they had to break up the fragile effort to establish a “unity government” with Hamas.
While Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sat alone for two years waiting to be taken seriously by the United States and Israel and got nowhere as America and Israel kept harping that “there was no partner” to negotiate with, Abbas had little choice but to try and build some form of unity government with Hamas — and was on the verge of getting Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to recognize key diplomatic instruments that “implied” recognition of Israel.
Abbas came so close to success that nearly everyone began to try and undermine him. Khaled Meshal began fighting with Haniyeh over where the real address of Hamas was — and ordered the Hamas incursion into Israel which resulted in the deaths of Israeli soldiers and the kidnapping of Corporal Gilad Shalit.
But at the same time, the US instructed Abbas’s representatives that he had to derail the unity government. The promise then was that America and Israel would get serious about putting real benefits on the table for him that he could take to the Palestinian people.
None of this happened — well none of it except Abbas’s statement that the unity government would recognize Israel which promptly broke apart the unity effort last year.
Abbas got nothing for his troubles from Israel or the United States.
In recent months, we have seen simmering tectonic tension between the rival political and military wings of Hamas and Fatah and both America and Israel did nothing. Abbas was left pretty much to fend for himself, though there is word that the U.S. was funneling some money and guns in to help Fatah.
But we were absent in deal-making because of our self-imposed restriction in talking to Hamas.
This time, Abbas was left no choice but to make a deal on a unity government that would stick — and this time, the deal was with the real muscle of Hamas, Khaled Meshal.
Saudi Arabia, disturbed by the poor hand America is playing in Middle East affairs, brokered the kiss-and-make-up sessions between Abbas and Meshal and the unity government is coming together.
All of this has been in the news. We apparently talk to the Saudis frequently.
And yet — quite unbelievably — I have dependable sources inside the US government foreign policy bureaucracy who tell me that our decision makers were caught completely off-guard by the Saudi venture and its success.
Elliot Abrams is again winding up a spin and influence machine to try and send signals that America is not please with this move towards a unity government
It’s a replay of what happened last year.
One of the things that really stood out about the Clinton Global Initiative is how nearly every major speaker at the plenary meetings underscored the vital importance of moving to final status Israel-Palestine negotiations and addressing Palestinian grievances was key to any progress in the Middle East.
Here is a link to video clips of speeches by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Jordan’s King Abdullah who make this point strongly.
And yet, America dithers and replays the same game over and over. We pretend to engage in epic efforts to establish Palestine while all the efforts are ultimately designed to fail.
This has to stop. And that’s what the real message behind the Saudi deal-brokering between Hamas and Fatah is all about.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

184 comments on “As Saudis Fill the Void, America Loses Control of the Game

  1. Den Valdron says:

    I fear that we’ll all be gray and bearded in the post-apocalyptic world of 2056 and this thread will still be going on.
    Bronzed.
    Stake through the heart, maybe.

    Reply

  2. Marky says:

    This thread is sine qua non. It ought to be bronzed.

    Reply

  3. Den Valdron says:

    P.O.A., he is fessing up to the other identity. I call that progress.
    We’re now at 170+ posts on this thread, I’m going to have to go away for a few days.
    Can we try being civil for a while? Look, I know you don’t respect or like Winnipegger. On the other hand, I think you’ve got a fair bit of respect for me.
    So I’ll ask you, lets put the war on hold. Call a truce. Let’s just avoid going after each other for a couple of weeks. How about that?
    Give it two weeks as a personal favour to me. If he crosses the line, if he attacks or provokes, give it two weeks anyway. What’s it going to hurt.
    If he’s blown it during that time, then at the end of two weeks, open up.
    Come on. Let’s all see about trying to be civil. What’s it going to hurt.
    I’m not asking you to restrain your style, not asking you to restrain your righteous anger. Go to town on each bit of hypocrisy. But keep it to the subject, not the people.
    What do you say?

    Reply

  4. Den Valdron says:

    I don’t think its imagination per se. I didn’t invent Muppets, I just took the available evidence and worked backwards from there. Call it a form of analytic deconstruction.
    On the proper spelling of Snuffleuphagas, you could be write.

    Reply

  5. Winnipeger says:

    i can understand if you’re uncomfortable being nice, poa. literally, i don’t think i’ve ever seen a conciliatory or nice comment from you. i’m sorry that you’re so angry and i’m sorry if i ever said anything to make you feel that way.
    i hope you can find a way to lighten up and release some of your anger.

    Reply

  6. Pissed Off American says:

    “Hmmm. So you tried working under a different nickname as a way of leaving the hostile emotional baggage of Winnipegger behind?”
    And was that why he was posting as OAJ back in December as well? Horseshit. The guy has more nicks than Carter’s got pills.
    He’s already shown us what he’s made of. In spades. I’ve seen all I need to see. He can take this sacharin and contrived facade, and shove it.

    Reply

  7. Winnipeger says:

    i just read the mysterious monsters of sesame street. wow. what an imagination you have, den! a very creative essay. i always wondered how to spell Snuffleupagas, but isn’t the 4th sylable pronounced “f?” shouldn’t it be spelled “ph?”

    Reply

  8. Winnipeger says:

    thanks, den. i appreciate the gesture.

    Reply

  9. Den Valdron says:

    Muppets
    Mysterious Monsters of Sesame Street
    http://www.erbzine.com/mag17/1744.html

    Reply

  10. Den Valdron says:

    Ack!
    All right, tell ya what. If you really do want to take a look at any of this stuff, its best to have some familiarity with the source material subject to analysis. On that front, I’d recommend watching Tremors.
    But that’s a little much. So, strikes me that the most approachable and readable material for you would be some ruminations on Jackson’s King Kong remake, or the Muppets.
    King Kong: How’d that Monkey Get so Big
    http://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1521.html
    It’s silly stuff. But its more pleasant to write about than the social philosophy behind Death Squads.

    Reply

  11. Den Valdron says:

    Ack!
    All right, tell ya what. If you really do want to take a look at any of this stuff, its best to have some familiarity with the source material subject to analysis. On that front, I’d recommend watching Tremors.
    But that’s a little much. So, strikes me that the most approachable and readable material for you would be some ruminations on Jackson’s King Kong remake, or the Muppets.
    King Kong: How’d that Monkey Get so Big
    http://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1521.html
    Mysterious Monsters of Sesame Street
    http://www.erbzine.com/mag17/1744.html
    It’s silly stuff. But its more pleasant to write about than the social philosophy behind Death Squads.

    Reply

  12. Winnipeger says:

    you’re quite a prolific writer, den.
    where do you suggest one start, assuming that the reader is not familiar with the film or televison fantasy genre?

    Reply

  13. Den Valdron says:

    It’s not actually fiction. I’m not sure what to call it. Analysis of fictional material.
    Hmmm. So you tried working under a different nickname as a way of leaving the hostile emotional baggage of Winnipegger behind?
    Okay, fair enough. I’ll buy that. It makes a lot of sense, and I can see it as being something a reasonable person might do to get out of the emotional corner they’ve been painted into. Reinventing yourself. That sort of thing weirds me out, but that’s cause I’m neolithic.
    Then you went ahead and lost your temper anyway?
    Happens.
    And look, about ‘outrageously anti-semitic’, you ain’t seen nothing. Remind me to dig out some of the lunatics I’ve met… On second thought, remind me *not to.*
    But you want a piece of advice? Deconstruct the bastards. It’s the marketplace of ideas.
    What does anti-semitism amount to? The usual set of racist assumptions. The Jews are in a world spanning conspiracy? Yeah, thats how come the Holocaust worked out so well. Listen carefully, work your way back to the underlying assumptions, start picking them apart.
    In any case, its not the nutcases you have to worry about. Nobody takes Robert Morrow too seriously. Its the subtle ones who do the real damage.

    Reply

  14. Winnipeger says:

    thanks, den. i’ll delve into some of your fiction. from a cursory read i can see that you’re a talented writer.
    btw, you’re right, i did post as OAJ. my rationale being that i wanted to condemn a blatantly anti-semitic post from some knucklehead on that thread, without you and poa calling me all sorts of ugly names and attacking me personally.

    Reply

  15. Den Valdron says:

    White flag.

    Reply

  16. Den Valdron says:

    Rich, I suppose for my own protection or something I should post under some sort of nick. I’ve occasionally received a death threat. But usually the sort of idiot who makes a death threat isn’t smart enough to google a name. And even if he does, he doesn’t have the stones or the brains to ever make something of it.
    I dunno. I guess its a sign of my archaic nature. I’m not an urbanite, I come from backwoods New Brunswick hill country and these are my fundamental values, which seem to be late 19th century. The idea of posting under ‘nick’ identities grinds my gears in a way that’s difficult for me to articulate.
    I acknowledge that in many ways my personal values and beliefs are out of step with the moral and philosophical flexibility and partisanship of 21st century urban thought. One of the reasons I dislike American right wingers is that their stated ideals are an obscene perversion of my own, its like seeing you Mother employed as a lap dancer, and their committment to ideals strikes me as profoundly hypocritical.
    On the other hand, change comes to everything. The way of life that I was born to was passing even as my tempers were forged. The world was intruding into my little backwater country. I had skills and talents, I went forth.
    I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed my posts. Be well.
    As for you Larry, Steve Clemons whose blog this is can tell whether a poster is a single identity or multiple identities. Absent IP addresses you can sometimes make forensic assumptions by looking for ‘signatures’ in the writing. Or by context.
    As noted above, the neolithic aspect of me doesn’t even understand the notion of a ‘nick’, and I’m completely bemused or perhaps offended by the notion of multiple ‘nicks’. But truthfully, I don’t even want to spend too much time thinking of it.
    I’m reasonably certain Winnipegger for reasons known only to himself posts under at least one other identity.
    You show up to offer your thoughts at the end of an incredibly wrong thread, and a thread replete with some ferociously acrimonius attacks. What normal person would have the patience to read all the way through? Would bear the ugliness? You have to admit, that a person might wonder.
    But I don’t care very much one way or the other. I’ve wondered out loud. But I don’t feel so animated by the subject as to go hunting for a raft of your posts and then do comparisons to see if you share ‘signatures’ with Winnipegger. The Winnipegger/OAJ thing was painfully obvious. Its not something I generally hunt for.
    I note that you’ve objected to my characterization of Auschwitrael. Fair enough.
    But in my defense, that was not a reference to present day Israel, but to a hypothetical dystopian Israel in the future, say fifty years hence, where shortsighted policies and failure to address current issues properly, produces what is essentially a psychopathic state terrified of and devoted to the oppression and enslavement of subject Palestinians.
    It wasn’t a pretty picture. It wasn’t intended to be. In many ways, it represents an abomination and inversion of every higher ideal that Israel stands for today
    It’s not a necessary outcome. But it is a potential one.
    And by the way, thanks for posting that snippet, but alas, I lacked any deeper context to make sense of it.

    Reply

  17. Den Valdron says:

    Rich, I suppose for my own protection or something I should post under some sort of nick. I’ve occasionally received a death threat. But usually the sort of idiot who makes a death threat isn’t smart enough to google a name. And even if he does, he doesn’t have the stones or the brains to ever make something of it.
    I dunno. I guess its a sign of my archaic nature. I’m not an urbanite, I come from backwoods New Brunswick hill country and these are my fundamental values, which seem to be late 19th century. The idea of posting under ‘nick’ identities grinds my gears in a way that’s difficult for me to articulate.
    I acknowledge that in many ways my personal values and beliefs are out of step with the moral and philosophical flexibility and partisanship of 21st century urban thought. One of the reasons I dislike American right wingers is that their stated ideals are an obscene perversion of my own, its like seeing you Mother employed as a lap dancer, and their committment to ideals strikes me as profoundly hypocritical.
    On the other hand, change comes to everything. The way of life that I was born to was passing even as my tempers were forged. The world was intruding into my little backwater country. I had skills and talents, I went forth.
    I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed my posts. Be well.
    As for you Larry, Steve Clemons whose blog this is can tell whether a poster is a single identity or multiple identities. Absent IP addresses you can sometimes make forensic assumptions by looking for ‘signatures’ in the writing. Or by context.
    As noted above, the neolithic aspect of me doesn’t even understand the notion of a ‘nick’, and I’m completely bemused or perhaps offended by the notion of multiple ‘nicks’. But truthfully, I don’t even want to spend too much time thinking of it.
    I’m reasonably certain Winnipegger for reasons known only to himself posts under at least one other identity.
    You show up to offer your thoughts at the end of an incredibly wrong thread, and a thread replete with some ferociously acrimonius attacks. What normal person would have the patience to read all the way through? Would bear the ugliness? You have to admit, that a person might wonder.
    But I don’t care very much one way or the other. I’ve wondered out loud. But I don’t feel so animated by the subject as to go hunting for a raft of your posts and then do comparisons to see if you share ‘signatures’ with Winnipegger. The Winnipegger/OAJ thing was painfully obvious. Its not something I generally hunt for.
    I note that you’ve objected to my characterization of Auschwitrael. Fair enough.
    But in my defense, that was not a reference to present day Israel, but to a hypothetical dystopian Israel in the future, say fifty years hence, where shortsighted policies and failure to address current issues properly, produces what is essentially a psychopathic state terrified of and devoted to the oppression and enslavement of subject Palestinians.
    It wasn’t a pretty picture. It wasn’t intended to be. In many ways, it represents an abomination and inversion of every higher ideal that Israel stands for today
    It’s not a necessary outcome. But it is a potential one.
    And by the way, thanks for posting that snippet, but alas, I lacked any deeper context to make sense of it.

    Reply

  18. Winnipeger says:

    kudos, den.
    i appreciate the tone of your post.
    i’m sure that we have different perspectives on what “ignited” our fued, but imo, you did your best to keep pouring gasoline on the fire. surely you can understand my instinct to retaliate; you’ve demonstrated the same impulse.
    we’ve both uttered epithets we don’t really mean; i’m not a racist and you are surely not a fool.
    perhaps we can meet somewhere in the middle; sharing opinions, disagreeing at times and agreeing at others, but always exhibiting some degree of humility. the issues discussed on this blog are varied shades of grey. none of us knows it all and there are no simple answers, particularly in geopolitics. one man’s truth is another man’s folly.
    in the end, i’m sure we can both agree on the fact that the world needs a lot more cathartic.
    white flag?

    Reply

  19. Den Valdron says:

    On the contrary, Winnipegger, I’m not ashamed of it at all. In my professional and working life, I constantly do analysis. Legal analysis, policy analysis, even working on cars or doing carpentary calls for analysis. My working life consists of thinking very hard about specific subjects.
    So applied to fantasy or sci fi subjects, this is what I do to amuse myself. I apply analysis. I’ll look beyond the basic text, applying principles of biology, of evolution, of linguistics, economics, what have you, to what we’re shown.
    It’s kind of like a surgeon doing needlepoint. Exercising a skill recreationally keeps it sharp professionally. I used to clutter up my hard drive with these things before I realized that other people would like it.
    Take Tremors. Have you seen it? Excellent little B-Movie, with an amazing cast of character actors (Kevin Bacon and Burt Ward among them). No conventional stars, and the script is written to showcase a star as is all too often. It’s clever and inventive, true to its own logic, and works nicely on just about every level. I’d recommend it.
    It produced three more sequels and a short lived television series, shifting emphasis as its cast of supporting characters withered, and trying increasingly uneven turns on its premises. Inferior, but with worthwhile aspects.
    So, writing about Graboids, I took their extended and contradictory mythology behind their monster and tried to make it cohere to known evolutionary and biological principles, working backwards to fit it into biological taxonomies.
    It was actually quite a nice bit of analysis. The creators of the Tremors series were impressed and pleased (it would have been more impressive and pleasing if they’d shown their favour with money, but what the hell.)
    It’s a nice nifty bit of work, it is no more and no less than what it is. Mock it if you’d like, but that doesn’t bother me. Feel free to read it.

    Reply

  20. rich says:

    Future historians will trace the splitting of Canada into multiple nations–that’s right–to the dust-up between Winnipeg & Ned in the comments section of a little-known D.C.-based blog. (a little sci-fi–)
    Ned! You are–the Winnipeger saga aside–on a roll. Some fantastic posts–particularly liked the Negroponte & his death squad recap. I hadn’t had the time to dig through my documents and do it justice– and I was impressed with the laying-out-of-the-facts.
    All this time I’d assumed ‘Den Valdron’ was a nom-de-plume–that you were, in reality, Ned Nordlav. *sigh* And here I learn you’re a veritable renaissance guy self-actualized along multiple vectors. Not disappointed. Keep posting.
    I’m continually amazed at how close Bush veers to fulfilling scenarios classic sci-fi warned against. I’m not talking about the hydrogen car SOTU thing, or his mission to Mars, but it’s a wonder he didn’t pack rocketships fulla discontented settlers and send them off to an untimely end, a la C.K. Kornbluth’s short story. It’s his kinda maneuver.

    Reply

  21. Pissed Off American says:

    Geez. Its amazing that he sees Den as “defending the world against winnipeger”, rather than realizing, that on the contrary, Den has underscored what little threat winnipeger poses to anything. In winnipeger’s mind, Den has increased his stature, when in reality, winnipeger was greatly diminished by the exchange.

    Reply

  22. Winnipeger says:

    hmm… a little defensive, huh, den?
    i’m aware of your good work on behalf of aboriginals.
    but, i’m also aware of the “fantasy world” in which you spend much of your life. no wonder the constant reference to “battles” won and lost. no wonder you cast yourself as a “hero,” bravely defending the world against “winnipeger.”
    no wonder that in your own bio you write that “Yes, this is a man with too much time on his hands.”
    just as i suspected.

    Reply

  23. larry birnbaum says:

    I enjoyed the speculation above conflating me with a number of other people. People who see conspiracy theories see them… everywhere.
    In the real world, from today’s NY Times:
    “Reuters reported that another Abbas aide, who was not identified, said: “Hamas has made several unacceptable conditions that cannot be implemented. The Mecca agreement cannot be reinterpreted and must be implemented immediately without any conditions.” This aide said that Hamas was putting new conditions on who will fill the jobs of interior and foreign ministers, which are supposed to go to independents approved by Hamas.”

    Reply

  24. Den Valdron says:

    Ah, someone googled me. So what? I’ve never hidden from anyone for anything. Unlike you with your discrete nick and pseudonyms.
    I also do constitutional law, I’ve fought battles against racism and for civil rights. I’ve taken down a billion dollar corporation and held it liable for a death. I’ve helped to save an endangered species. I was born to poor but honest people, I was the first of my clan to go to University. I have lived my life with honour, I have helped where and when I could, I have avoided harm and stood up for those who couldn’t do it for themselves. I’ve been a carpenter and a mechanic, I’ve done ditches. I see honour in working with my hands.
    Its not what you do with your time Winnipegger, its who you are and what you do with your life.

    Reply

  25. Den Valdron says:

    Ah, someone googled me. So what? I’ve never hidden from anyone for anything. Unlike you with your discrete nick and pseudonyms.
    I also do constitutional law, I’ve fought battles against racism and for civil rights. I’ve taken down a billion dollar corporation and held it liable for a death. I’ve helped to save an endangered species. I was born to poor but honest people, I was the first of my clan to go to University. I have lived my life with honour, I have helped where and when I could, I have avoided harm and stood up for those who couldn’t do it for themselves. I’ve been a carpenter and a mechanic, I’ve done ditches. I see honour in working with my hands.
    Its not what you do with your time Winnipegger, its who you are and what you do with your life.

    Reply

  26. Bill R. says:

    Tell me, Steve. Is our government just so ideologically blinded that it can do nothing right? Or is it inept, that it can do nothing right?

    Reply

  27. Winnipeger says:

    the guy who writes about graboids and the aliens of the showa toho universe wants to call others juvenile?!
    pricelss 🙂

    Reply

  28. Den Valdron says:

    I don’t take you too seriously, Winnipegger, trust me on that. 😉
    And come on everyone, does that latest post of his come across as the voice of a mature adult?
    I don’t think so.

    Reply

  29. Winnipeger says:

    this has to be some of funniest shit i’ve read online in a long time 🙂 do ya’ think that maybe you’re taking things a bit too seriously, den? 🙂
    me thinks that maybe you’ve spent too much time in “fantasy land” if you know what i mean 😉
    btw, i was right about that big belly of yours, huh? you might want to get that fat ass of yours up and tear yourself away from your computer once in a while. it ain’t a healthy lifestyle.
    cheers.

    Reply

  30. Den Valdron says:

    Oh he’s not challenging me to a fistfight. He just gets one of these “psychological duel” notions in his head.
    Remember, he challenged me to prove he was a racist. He did that several times. I did it. He shut up about it and jumped on another bandwagon.
    Then he went nutsoid on the ‘$4 billion’ challenge. The fact that he’s on this kick tells me he’s abandoned that shtick.
    The thing with this guy is that he doesn’t see himself as a bad person. There are genuine snakes in the grass out there who lie like breathing, who are self serving sophists. At that level, its all a game to them, they’re completely contemptuous of truth.
    For better or worse, Winnipegger is operating on genuine ideals. His problem is basically a lack of maturity, a limited frame of vision, and an overwhelmingly emotional fixation on his favourite causes. Because he lacks perspective, he can’t examine his own position. Because he can’t examine his own position, he can’t relate to any other position. Opposed positions are therefore not simply another viewpoint, but entirely alien. And alien all too often equals evil.
    By coming here and trolling, he sees himself fighting the good fight for justice and virtue. His excesses and offenses are overlooked because he’s immature and lacks perspective. So in his hown mind, he’s literally a Holy Warrior, taking the battle to the anti-semites.
    I think it makes him a little crazy that he keeps losing arguments with me. He can’t imagine how that keeps happening, what with him being a virtuous Holy Warrior with right on his side, and me being a pretty nasty evil character and consistently obnoxious to him. The fact that he’s shallow and unreflective, the fact that the world is more complicated than he accepts, and the fact that I reason and marshall facts better are simply not on the table. I’m obviously using some sort of ‘evil magic’ or something, some sneaky trick.
    So he’ll keep on challenging me until he’s figured out my trick. Then he’ll rhetorically defeat me in a clear and unambiguous way, and everyone will realize he was right all along, except for the genuine anti-semites who will wail and gnash their teeth now that virtue has triumphed.
    That’s a little simplified, but that’s basically his internal narrative.
    But truthfully, there’s nothing wrong with him that time won’t cure. He has every capacity to grow up, to mature. I’m willing to bet that at some point in his life, he’ll look back at himself now, or he’ll look at some other callow fool who talks like he used to, and he’ll think ‘wow, I really was a racist, glad I outgrew it.’
    It makes him annoying as hell right now, and I confess, I’m sometimes rougher on him than he deserves. But hey, I’m old and jaded and when you get to be like that, you get a ‘don’t have to suffer fools gladly’ card.
    Or maybe he’ll never grow up. I’ve seen that happen. Middle aged men trapped in adolescent prejudices and mind sets, perrenially self-limiting themselves. Living lives of unexamined racism and selfishness.
    Nothing much you can do with those but whup em hard every time you cross them until they learn some manners. That’s a long hard process.
    Winnipegger reads like a teenager to me. Word choices, references, the breathless enthusiasm of the young, the cocky sense of invincibility. So, I’d like to think he’s got every chance of growing up to be a better person than he is now. It would be a shame to be wrong.

    Reply

  31. Pissed Off American says:

    OMG, the troll is challenging posters to come to NY and fight him? Geez, is the irritating little schmuck only 13 years old??
    Look, NO ONE consistently makes such an ass of themselves unless they are doing so conciously and with a motive. Don’t you think maybe its time we ignored the slimey little troll?

    Reply

  32. Winnipeger says:

    perhaps in september/october we can meet for a cup of coffee, den.
    i keep an apartment in the city as i’m here on business quite often.
    so, i’ve been wrong about EVERYTHING, huh?
    and i assume you’ve been right on everything?
    spoken like a true ideologue.
    how introspective and self-critical you are, den.

    Reply

  33. Den Valdron says:

    Oh, well that’s a different thing entirely, isn’t it?
    I’ve called more than a few people racists and liars to their face.
    As it so happens, I’m planning on being in New York sometime in September/October.
    You do realize that you’ve been wrong on everythin so far? I’m not criticizing, but I’m just saying. There’s a pattern here that might make you want to reconsider your ways.

    Reply

  34. Winnipeger says:

    i never said i thought that you were in nyc, den.
    i merely suggested that if you were, or happened to pass through in the next several months, i’d be happy to meet you to discuss these and other issues. it’s easy to call someone a racist and take other potshots as an anonymous contributor on some blog. it’s quite another thing to say it to someone’s face. i dare you to do so, punk.
    my hunch is that you don’t have the guts to back up your BS bravado, right?

    Reply

  35. Den Valdron says:

    And it always ends this way. Winnipegger, humiliated, disgraced, caught out in his own racism and dishonesty, self-immolated, typing obscenities against an indifferent and uncaring world.
    He’s lost every single argument, and he’s lost them in ways to embarrass himself. You’d think he would have caught on by now. But apparently not.
    The identifying you as “Offended American Jew” trolling under a separate nickname wasn’t any issue of neurotic compulsive parsing.
    It was because you harped on the subject incessantly for almost fifteen posts. It was because you threatened to quote my original words and then failed to do so. So I was forced to go back and find the original post, which means I had to wade through all of yours, and noted the identical wording and stylistic continuity. It was flipping obvious.
    Maybe you’re Larry Birnbaum, and maybe you’re a host of other nicknames too. Don’t really care. You’re kind of an asshole, and I’m not really interested in making the effort to systematically compare Birnbaum and you to determine if there’s recurring common signatures. That doesn’t mean I won’t become suspicious or dismissive.
    But really, its amazing how little I care. You’re not the first racist I’ve had to deal with. You certainly aren’t he first fool I’ve ever met. And in my trade, you certainly aren’t the first liar I’ve encountered. Your sole distinctive quality is an amusing tendency to shoot yourself in the foot.
    For the record, what makes you think I’m in New York city?
    Maybe I’m from…. Winnipeg?
    ROTFL
    PS: I did offer you peace. Think about it.

    Reply

  36. winnipeger says:

    “It’s frankly of little interest to me.”
    now i KNOW that you’re a liar!!!
    for someone who has spent so much time pouring over the semantics, syntax and other details of these comments to claim the issue is “of little interest,” is disengenous to say the least.
    your obsessive, den. your compulsive, den. and you’re also a big-mouthed, lying, blowhard.
    …and i’ll tell you what: i’m working in new york city for the next several months and i’d be HAPPY to meet you in person to discuss these and other issues.
    the same goes for poa, carroll, “…” and others.
    something tells me that the big, brave, warrior den, who has so valiantly “defeated me in battle” is really a cowering chickenshit, right?

    Reply

  37. Den Valdron says:

    I don’t know if you’re MP. I’m suspicious of Larry Birnbaum. But you’ve certainly proven yourself to be ‘Offended American Jew.’
    It’s frankly of little interest to me.
    The opinions of demonstrated racists, are of no interest to anyone.

    Reply

  38. Den Valdron says:

    Uh huh

    Reply

  39. Winnipeger says:

    bwahahaha…
    i AM MP!
    i AM larry birnbaum!
    i AM alec!
    i AM david!
    this is all part of our master plan 😉
    to spend a few minutes in meaningless corners of cyberspace, arguing with several homebound cranks
    whose sphere of influence doesn’t expand much beyond the local walmart and shell station and their horrified family members and neighbors
    yeah, that’s it. i’m a member of the hasbara sent here to trade insults with a few powerless and anonymous college drop outs like you, carroll!!
    btw, no, i don’t buy your numbers. they’re based largely on unsubstantiated estimates made by people who are not qualified to make them. a lot of smoke, inuendo and out-right BS. lumping in lost tax revenue on private, philanthropic contributions made to certified 501(c)3 organizations? give me a friggin’ break!
    the fact is, den didn’t and doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about when it comes to u.s. federal aid to israel and either do the 5 others moron’s posting here.
    cue MP…

    Reply

  40. Carroll says:

    There must be a full moon.

    Reply

  41. Pissed Off American says:

    I’m sure Steve is thrilled to have a staunch defender of dignified commentary on his blog as “Pissed Off American.”
    People always tell you who they are.
    Posted by larry birnbaum
    Ah yes, then theres “birnbaum”, who seems to always appear directly on winnipeger’s heels.
    Hows it hanging, birnbaum, old buddy? Hows alec doing?
    I see you have completely ignored the gist of the argument here so that you could drop in and spew some empty horseshit, while throwing in a whiney snivel or two.
    Tell us, Birnie ‘ol boy, is it 2.5 billion, or 5.5? Or does the question just distract you from remembering which name you are currently posting under?
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Hasbara

    Reply

  42. larry birnbaum says:

    “Auschwitzrael”
    Valdron, another defender of the discourse.
    Again, for those who may not be clear, conflating Israel with a death camp (whose, one wonders) is a hostile act, intended to wound. Racist, in other words.
    Steve, I’d like to see a post from you on the rhetoric surrounding these topics some time, and what you think it means.

    Reply

  43. larry birnbaum says:

    “But thats why he is here, isn’t it? To cheapen the commentary, to render it unworthy of consideration?
    His target isn’t individual posters, his target is the blog itself.”
    I’m sure Steve is thrilled to have a staunch defender of dignified commentary on his blog as “Pissed Off American.”
    People always tell you who they are.

    Reply

  44. Den Valdron says:

    What? No more FOOL and/or LIAR?
    ROTFL
    So by the sudden implosion and your remarkable silence on the subject, I believe your ‘$4 billion dollar’ challenge is withdrawn? Blown up in your face, has it?
    Too bad, so sad. Well, I guess that’s over with, is it? It only lasted long enough for you to post a dozen or so times on the subject… So much for obsessive harping on blogs, hmmm?
    Establishing you as a ranking idiot. A sloppy idiot. A dishonest one. Goes well with your being a racist.
    Oh, and I enjoyed your endorsing the opinions of Robert Morrow, on the same thread where he was advocating the use of nuclear weapons against civilians, and the jailing of American muslims.
    I guess you’ve found your peer.
    And I really enjoy your contemptuous blast at everyone else who visits this website. Yep. They all think you’re an idiot, you’ve decided. Why? Because you know you’ve acted like one. So they’re all ‘crackpot anonymous cranks’?
    Pathetic. Way pathetic. But funny.

    Reply

  45. OffendedAmericanPatriot says:

    Oh winnnie….
    Did you forget $4 billion?
    HAHAHA.

    Reply

  46. Winnipeger says:

    yeah den, it sure was a “lopsided battle.” between the two of us. i’m glad that you see it that way. but that characterization strikes me as pathetic. a battle?! really?! and you’re the brave warrior, right?! HAHAHA!
    ditto you charges that I alone polluted the thread! of course you did nothing of the kind, right? your masturbatory limericks didn’t dumb down anything, right? what an absolute hypocrite you are!
    judging by the amount of time you’ve spent in these comments, surely you must be un or underemployed. correct? you and your buddy the itinerant stool boy, POA, tracking grammatical clues and syntax sequences from anonymous contributors. pathetic. sad. anything but meaningful. A HELL OF A LOT OF TIME ON YOUR HANDS, HUH?????
    and finally this:
    “The real key, the real prize, is to convince the audience.
    Win the audience, and you’ve one. Lose them, you’re just a lonely voice growing lonelier.”
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    oh, the delusions of grandeur!!!! a few crackpot, anonymous cranks plumbing the depths of the comments of a little known blog is your audience?!
    whoa… the impact you’re having, den, is unfathomable.
    isn’t there something more constructive that you can do with your time?
    your impotent frustration and over-sized ego is is farcical and tragic.
    do SOMETHING… ANYTHING to make your family proud … or maybe you can write them another one of your pornographic limericks 🙂 you’re dad will really like the part that goes:
    “He doubled his stroke,
    And blew his load off in mid-air.”

    Reply

  47. Den Valdron says:

    MP, I’m astonished that you’d show up now? It’s well above and beyond the call of any reasonable duty to have to try and wade through 130 posts, particularly my and Winnipegger’s running (if lopsided) battle. For god’s sake man, what could possibly motivate you to put yourself to such torture.
    I think its pretty clear that ‘Offended American Jew’ is just Winnipegger. There’s just too many telltale signatures for it to be separate posters. That said, I have to wonder what other identities Winnipegger posts under. Any thoughts?
    Ah well. As a final note, I think I’d recommend you go back and re-read the posts I made that you’ve chosen to comment upon. You have your own things to say, but I think you may have completely missed the points that I was making.
    Have a nice day.

    Reply

  48. MP says:

    Den writes: “Again, this comes back to my earlier writings of the Israeli’s being completely self directed, being free of outside influence or constraints. They really are the masters of their own destiny.”
    It’s true: In the back of their minds–maybe at the forefront for some–is the idea that, in the end, the Jews can only really count on themselves. Allies are temporary and fickle. It’s a tragic point of view, and it can be self-fulfilling. But, unfortunately, there’s a lot of history to back it up, too. In the end, I believe, that’s why Israel developed the bomb.

    Reply

  49. MP says:

    Den writes: “One more thing, my point in discussing Israel is that I don’t think the ‘other side’ is all that significant a factor. To put it bluntly: Who cares what the Palestinians think? Who cares what their goals, their motivations, their objectives are?”
    One way of looking at the tragedy between Palestinians and the Israelis is this: NEITHER sides cares much what the other side thinks except insofar as it affects its own interests. Perhaps this is true for all nations. The Palestinians certainly have never cared that Jews have a safe homeland. Nor have any of the other Arab countries. Similarly Israelis don’t really care whether a Palestinian state comes into being except insofar as it may bring peace to Israel. Some Israelis wish the Palestinians would simply go away so they could have everything. And of course, most Palestinians wish the Jews would go away so they could have everything, except perhaps for a small, easily controlled minority. They liked their Jews before they became uppity.
    Unfortunately, Israeli politics took a hard swing to the right after 1973, which saw the birth of Likud. Most of their supporters were working class folks and immigrants from lands where they had felt the strong hand of anti-Semitism, e.g., Russia

    Reply

  50. Den Valdron says:

    One more thing, my point in discussing Israel is that I don’t think the ‘other side’ is all that significant a factor.
    To put it bluntly: Who cares what the Palestinians think? Who cares what their goals, their motivations, their objectives are?
    They’re a captive polity, disunited, ineffectual, perpetually on the edge of (or well into) starvation. They are easily manipulated, at least in terms of the cycle of violence and reprisal, and they have difficulty forming coherent organization or responses.
    Not for nothing does Ohlmert and before him Sharon, trumpet “We have no one to negotiate with on the Palestinian side.”
    Well, setting aside the fact that this is a situation that they’ve worked very hard to create and maintain, there’s a truth to it.
    In all meaningful terms, the Israeli’s have no one they must deal with. So who cares?
    Again, this comes back to my earlier writings of the Israeli’s being completely self directed, being free of outside influence or constraints. They really are the masters of their own destiny.
    And isn’t that a horrible thought?

    Reply

  51. Den Valdron says:

    Was I arguing that the Israeli’s currently view the enslavement of Palestinians as a viable economic resource? I don’t think so. Certainly there’s little to no evidence of that.
    I argue that the long term future holds the potential for enslavement of the Palestinians, but that’s simply an issue of power and demographics. There are economic issues to long term prognosis, and its quite possible that a desperate or deteriorating Israeli economy would treat an impoverished Palestinian population as a cheap labour/slave labour force. But that’s quite another issue.
    On the other hand, I think that the current Israeli policy sees little advantage in the Palestinians. Like the American Indians, they are simply an obstacle to Ambitions. In this case, land, resources and recognition. To put it as bluntly as possible, the Palestinians are simply in the way, they clutter up the West Bank and Gaza, they sit upon water resources, arable land, roadways, sites of all sorts, and their plight forms the major impediment for relations with the Arab world. They’re an obstacle to legitimacy.
    To be fair, I have had the suspicion or notion voiced that current or future Israeli policy is to reduce the Palestinians to a slave labour force.
    I don’t think its uppermost in the minds of Israeli policy makers. Rather, I think their objectives are to ensure permanent containment and subjugation of Palestinians. But the fact is that economic slavery is being discussed at public and policy levels.
    This is based, in part on current policy proposals and plans for Palestinians. To maintain complete control of West Bank and Gaza Borders, to therefore maintain control of immigration and emmigration, trade and exports, taxes and tariffs, etc.
    Such a degree of one sided border control would inevitably make the Palestinian Authority an economic colony of Israel, since it would have no intercourse with the outside world, except upon Israel’s terms, and Israel’s already overwhelming economic advantage would simply become monolithic.
    The other factor in plans which suggests slave labour possibilities are internal partitions of Palestinians into a series of non-contiguous west bank enclaves with no internal economic viability, or any opportunity for structural cohesion. The model that would naturally arise is third world sweatshops or maquiladoras.
    Is this viable? I don’t know. It always looks good on paper, and arguably the US has benefitted from treating Mexico as a cheap labour reservoir, so there may be an attempt to repeat that pattern. But Israel is surrounded by ‘cheap labour’ states, and it is really unclear to me whether Israel+cheap Palestinian labour is really all that competitive with say cheap Egyptian labour. The elites and entrepreneurs in the cheap Egyptian labour market are not as sophisticated or well connected as Israel, but are substantially more numerous, more integrated and cheaper.
    I dunno, it strikes me right now that the whole ‘Palestinian Slave Economy’ scheme is the product, not so much of Israeli planning, but Palestinian fears. They look at the potential outcomes of Israeli policies on their futures, and they get a bit scared.
    That said, I see no evidence of any sort of current economic investment, nor any effort to create a climate that would justify the investment currently.
    A note or two on the concept of ‘goodwill’. ‘Goodwill’ is a luxury, you indulge it when you believe you can afford it.
    An Israel afflicted with paranoia, suffused with the belief that it takes up arms against a sea of enemies, is an Israel without luxury. It cannot afford goodwill. Hence, the dominant meme undercuts.
    Goodwill also takes second place to self interests. Very few sacrifice their own interests on behalf of goodwill, and these sacrifices are always carefully rationed.
    Indeed, goodwill may often simply be nothing more than enlightened self interest. The question is, is there motivation or interest in Israel to sacrifice short term advantages for a stable long term equilibrium?
    Anyway, thanks for a meaningful discussion.

    Reply

  52. Pissed Off American says:

    “I thank you for your completely frank appraisal, but if we can’t discuss the topic with the presumption of good will on both sides- while of course being honest about the goals on both sides- it’s bound to be a futile exercise.”
    Upon WHAT do you suggest we base this “presumption of good will” in respect to Israel’s actions? Their treatment of the Palestinians provides no foundation for such a presumption. Or perhaps you think we should base such a presumption on the illegal and inhumane use of cluster munitions in Lebanon? Sorry, but any conceivable basis for such a presumption is belied by the evidence.

    Reply

  53. Pissed Off American says:

    Den, we’ve all known that Winnipeger was a liar, and was posting under multiple screen names, for some time now. And he knows we know. Thats part of his game. It adds to his ability to bait, and it makes him all the more irritating. And it goes back quite a ways,”Alec”, “David”, etc.. And this is not the first time he has used “Offended American Jew”, either.
    Usually, when Winnipeger is pulling this shit, MP also makes an appearance. I suspect we will see him resurrected soon, as it is once again time for the “moderate” version of Winnipeger to make an appearance.

    Reply

  54. Widget says:

    JF, I sorry to say after reading this blog for some time that you will not hear much insight on the issues from a supporter of Israel, or much goodwill either. The few here, like Winnepeger, do not comment on foreign policy issues but instead use ad hominem attacks on other posters to divert the discussion and attention from the real issues because they are unable to adequately respond.

    Reply

  55. jf says:

    Den: you’ve been extremely generous with your view of things. Thank you for that. While it reflects a remarkable depth of understanding, it does appear to me to be rather one-sided. I would be interested in hearing something from a supporter of Israel address your concerns that Israelis view the enslavement of Palestinians as a viable economic resource. Because it’s convenient? I don’t disagree that the geographic and socio-political situation lends itself to scenes characteristic of apartheid which need to be addressed, but my human nature precludes me from attributing a desire for such a system to any people. I thank you for your completely frank appraisal, but if we can’t discuss the topic with the presumption of good will on both sides- while of course being honest about the goals on both sides- it’s bound to be a futile exercise.

    Reply

  56. Den Valdron says:

    Ahhh, the boy is just plumb useless. The actual quote is in the ‘Doug Feith’ thread, just a couple back where someone (likely Winnipegger) is posting as ‘Offended American Jew.’
    The actual passage which causes so much trouble is:
    * * * * * * * * * * * *
    US and Israeli interests coincide, but there is nothing natural or inevitable about this. Economically, there is no ‘coincidence’ of interests. Israel has no oil or strategic minerals or resources, it does not occupy a particular strategic point, and it represents a substantial drain on US resources – to the tune of over four billion a year. It does not significantly advance any US foreign policy goal, and in fact, the Israeli/US relationship costs the US substantial credibility among muslims who see the US not as an honest broker, but as an ally to a state which threatens them and oppresses its muslim own population.
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    The offending reference is “…it represents a substantial drain on US resources, to the tune of over four billion dollars a year…”
    For the record, I regard the Hotpolitics site with the Tax4Israel link, and the passage quoted to demonstrate that Israel’s costs to the United States reaches or exceeds $4 billion a year. Indeed, it may reach $5.5 billion.
    This includes of course direct military aid, usually about 2.0 to 2.5 billion, give or take, with various forms of direct foreign aid of 1.0 to 0.5 billion.
    This also would include supplementary or emergency allocations made off or outside budgets, donations or contributions made through various direct or indirect program budgets, direct financial grants, grants in lieu, shared program costs, forgiven or non-repayable loans, advance cash interests, costs of rolling over or supporting loans, tax credits and private tax deductions for donations or transfers to Israel.
    I note that Israel’s direct financial costs to the United States are not necessarily wholly or completely recorded in the formal annual budget.
    The costs of the Iraq War are not recorded in Bush’s budgets. Rather, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are paid through ‘special appropriations’ outside the formal annual budget process. This helps to keep Iraq ‘off the books’ and is politically useful for minimizing deficits and hiding the costs of the war.
    In Israel’s case, I can think of two major instances where there were likely ‘special appropriations’ outside the normal budget allocation. Last year’s Lebanon War had the United States rushing emergency quantities of jet fuel, cluster bombs, munitions and reconstruction aid to Israel. We must assume that this was in the neighborhood of hundreds of millions or even billions.
    A second major ‘special appropriation’ may have taken place when Israel sought an emergency economic bail out package of 10 billion dollars a few years ago. Its not clear to me that they received all ten billion dollars sought or received it in the form requested. However it would be unlikely that they came away with nothing.
    Given ongoing circumstances, its hard to say whether or how often or how regularly Israel benefits from special ‘off budget’ appropriations, or in what amounts.
    Israel’s costs to the United States extend far beyond direct military aid or money spent to prop up the Israeli economy, but extend to a wide range of direct and indirect contributions and expenses which are nevertheless broadly measurable.
    Indeed, Israel’s costs to the United States extend beyond the actual borders of Israel. The United States second largest recipient of foreign aid in the entire world, astonishingly enough, is not Bangladesh, or Ethiopia, Nigeria or some other overpopulated, under-resourced, poverty stricken third world state. It is Egypt.
    Admittedly, Egypt is overpopulated, under-resourced and poverty stricken. But that is not why it is the second largest recipient of US Aid. No, the reason is that this aid is part of America’s committment to support peace between Egypt and Israel. Danegeld might be too harsh a term. But there you go.
    American aid to the Palestinian Authority or to Jordan is also motivated or driven in whole or in part by the need to support Israel.
    It’s not clear, in the absence of Israel and the need to secure, protect and promote Israel, what US foreign aid contributions to Egypt, Jordan, Palestine would have amounted to. Presumably they would not have been greater, and would have been substantially less. How else do we explain Egypt’s huge dollar figure.
    There were a whole bunch of issues here that I didn’t necessarily want to get deeply into. So in writing, I chose fairly broad language deliberately. I had other fish to fry and no particular desire to write a dissertation on the issue. My language was deliberately inclusive with the intention of covering all of the above noted categories of costs, including ‘special appropriations’, tax credits and deductions, and third nation aid – particularly Egypt.
    The specific language I used is here. Anyone interested can go back to the original post and follow the thread. Winnipegger, despite his threat to cut and paste, failed to do so. I don’t know if this was laziness on his part (I was hoping he’d save me the trouble).
    It is possible that at some point he realized that reproducing the actual wording would be hugely counterproductive, ie, it would make him look stupid because what I said wasn’t what he was claiming. If that is the case, we can once again add dishonesty to his foolishness.
    For the record, Winnipegger consistently morphed the issue into a much more specific claim that Israel:
    “has been allocated four billion dollars in the latest proposes budget.”
    “scheduled to receive four billion dollars in the latest proposed budget.”
    “is receiving $4 billion from the US Federal Govt. in fiscal year ’07 or ’08.”
    “allocates $4 billion in the current fiscal budget?!”
    “have been allocated $4 billion ion the proposed federal budget.”
    “claim that Israel is allocated $4 billion in the new budget.”
    “was allocated $4 billion in Bush’s latest budget.”
    “is receiving $4 billion in this FY’s budget.”
    I frankly have no idea where he gets his language. Since I made no reference to any specific budget, nor did I use the term ‘allocations.’
    I note for the record that Winnipegger’s repeated language is identical to this passage from ‘Offended American Jew’ on the previous thread:
    “Your claim that Israel has been allocated $4 billion dollars this year in Bush’s proposed budget.”
    The order and structure of the sentence, specific pieces of language such as the word ‘allocated’ or the particular combination ‘$4 billion’ (dollar sign/arabic numeral/written number) rather than ‘four billion’ or ‘4,000,000,000’
    and the reference to a specific current budget is all not just identical, but hallmarks of Winnipeggers writing style.
    We can also see more similarities in this initial passage from Offended American Jew: “I’m curious if you can substantiate the *$4 billion* figure you reference in terms of US Aid to Israel. I thought the actual figure is *$2.6 billion* (proposed for ’06), since loan guarantees are not considered aid.”
    Once again, we see reference to current budgets. Note the recurring stylistic combination of ‘$4 billion’ (dollar sign/arabic numeral/written number), which also repeats with ‘$2.6 billion’. And for the record, note the use of ’06, rather than 2006, which is identical to Winnipegger’s later use of ’07 and ’08 to denote years.
    The fact that one passage is identical to Winnipegger’s later endlessly repeated passages, and the fact that both passages contain multiple signatures or overlaps with Winnipegger leads me to conclude that Winnipegger is in fact Offended American Jew.
    If this is the case, then he was clearly posting under an assumed name. Possibly this was to avoid conflict and get a fresh start since his old nickname had accumulated so much hostility. Possibly this was some dishonest little game.
    The other thing that I would note is that in the discussion, it appears that Winnipegger immediately misunderstood or misconstrued my accurate but general statement, and recast it as something quite different, far more specific and clearly inaccurate. It may or may not have been an honest mistake on his part. Sometimes what we read is not quite what was written. However, once he’d miscast my statement, he stuck to the misrepresentation like glue, repeating it more than a dozen times across two threads, even threatening to repost my original words.
    Under the circumstances, its hard to believe it was an honest mistake on Winnipegger’s part.
    If it was not an outright fraud from the start, at some point it became fraud when he either went back and took a good look, or should have taken a good look. Here was someone who was beating me over details, it doesn’t amount to an excuse that he was overlooking the same details.
    If in fact, he did go back, take a look and realized he’d screwed up, and kept it up anyway, then he’s simply an asshole
    The very best that can be said of him in this is that he was embarrassingly and foolishly sloppy. Under the circumstances, ROTFL would be redundant.
    And that’s about it. The end of this silly, sorry saga. Give a man enough rope, they say, and he’ll hang himself. Well, Winnipegger was given rope, and then he went out and took some more, and then he took even more. He let out yards and yards of rope. He has disgraced and embarrassed himself in more ways than I can count. None of it was necessary. All of it was self inflicted.
    He’s wasted a lot of everyone’s time and really polluted the thread. I apologize to everyone for the irritation. I can only hope that you all got some amusement.

    Reply

  57. Pissed Off American says:

    Good News. I just saw the MSM, (CNN), run a piece on DU, and what it is doing to our soldiers.
    Now, if only these corporate mewling mouthpieces will do a piece on what hundreds of tons of DU is doing to the Iraqi environment, maybe Americans will be ready to accept what a capital CRIME our invasion of Iraq was, and realize that we have probably caused health and genetic damage to countless GENERATIONS of Iraqis. They will be breathing this shit for a millenia.
    God forgive us.
    WE have become the evil empire. George Bush, and Dick Cheney, have earned themselves a page of history that should be placed in the same chapter that Adolph Hitler and Idi Amin earned a place in.

    Reply

  58. Pissed Off American says:

    By God, he must WANT to make an ass of himself. There cannot possibly be any sort of personal gain in consistently painting himself in such unafavourable hues.
    But thats why he is here, isn’t it? To cheapen the commentary, to render it unworthy of consideration?
    His target isn’t individual posters, his target is the blog itself. His target is the logical intellectual conclusions that are the result of a common sense examination of evidence. Because when that common sense examination of evidence is applied to Israeli affairs, there is very little that can be defended about Israel’s policies and our financial support of those policies.
    Winnipeger is the classic troll, and he will offer himself up for humiliation repeatedly and unabashedly, as long as it steers the debate AWAY from any intellectual examination of Israel’s policies, and the United States’ support of those policies.

    Reply

  59. Den Valdron says:

    No, Winnipegger, it was all self inflicted. You did it to yourself.
    Some advice, for what its worth. Its rare that one opponent can convince another. Positions are too entrenched for hard shoving to dislodge. The real key, the real prize, is to convince the audience.
    Win the audience, and you’ve one. Lose them, you’re just a lonely voice growing lonelier.

    Reply

  60. ... says:

    So where’s the original quote?

    Reply

  61. Winnipeger says:

    wow, den. you sure have a lot of fans!
    brilliant minds like …
    you made me look like a fool?!
    pat yourself on the back, oh master of the limerick!
    in the meantime, you’re still a proven LIAR AND A FOOL 🙂
    btw, your whole obsession with me and with these comments threads is a bit… um… scary.
    ditto for the few other folks that spend their days insulting me in these threads.
    a pathetic bunch, i tell ‘ya.
    but, busy all changing the world for the better, right?
    HA!

    Reply

  62. Den Valdron says:

    Actually, DavidN makes a good point. The Clinton, previous American foreign policy was based in judicious study and coherent policy reasoning. The Bush foreign policy was based on nothing more than rejecting everything all that came before it. It was an anti-foreign policy, and by that token it could not either coherent or consistent.
    It amounted to a series of disconnected impulses which invariably created chaos and opened vaccuums.

    Reply

  63. David N says:

    Well, really, Steve, who here is surprised by the revelation that the White House staff is not listening to the State Department or any other part of the government?
    This was going on since the transition teams in 2000. Staff from State would go to brief Rice, and come back saying that she had actually sat through the briefing, nodded her head a few times, then thanked them. All this by way of tea leaves that she was actually listening to them.
    But she wasn’t. The day after the inauguration, orders came down reversing everything that the Clinton administration had been working on, no matter whether it had value or not. That was why Clark was ignored in his warnings; he was telling them what Clinton had thought was important, and by definition that was wrong. They (the Bush staff) knew better, and that was that the answer to all security problems was SDI (i.e. throughing a couple of billion dollars at their friends).
    Same with North Korea. Same with the Middle East.
    And, yes, Steve, this is the worst administration in history. Thanks for getting on board with this, six years after lots of others already knew.
    The real question is, what is anybody going to do to limit the damage these guys can do for the next two years?

    Reply

  64. Den Valdron says:

    I shouldn’t, but you know.
    Guilty pleasure.

    Reply

  65. ... says:

    den makes winni look like a fool……. again…..

    Reply

  66. ET says:

    We give them cash. We don’t get the interest. So,to estimate the real costs to the American taxpayer, you have to estimate the interest lost to us on the principal amount paid out, and then multiply that amount by the term under analysis.
    Not compounding, and using a straight single digit interest rate, even the lower figure in the mid 2’s would cost our American sons and daughters a net minimum of 8 bil.

    Reply

  67. marky says:

    What next, Wpger? “The sun is not yellow, you FOOL! It’s WHITE! Its light contains all colors in the spectrum. Your error proves that I am MASTER OF THE KNOWN UNIVSERSE. BWAHAHAHAHHAHAH!”
    Well, color me impressed with your rhetorical monomania—to the extent that one can be impressed with the hue of some internet sculsh that’s washed up in the outer marshes of the rational lands of the blogosphere.

    Reply

  68. Den Valdron says:

    Chop Chop! No dilly dallying, no shilly shallying. Original quote please, and no excuses!

    Reply

  69. Winnipeger says:

    …and??
    this DOES NOT substantiate your claim that Israel has been allocated $4 billion in the latest, proposed budget!
    this is from the link you posted:
    “The President’s budget request for FY2006 included $240 million in Economic SupportFunds (ESF), $2.28 billion in Foreign MilitaryFinancing (FMF), and $40 million in refugeeassistance for Israel.”
    obfuscate as much as you want, den. pen a few more dirty limericks. muddy the water with as much data and inuendo as you want, or call me a racist from here to eternity, the truth is
    you are a LIAR and a FOOL! 🙂

    Reply

  70. Den Valdron says:

    Weren’t you going to be cutting and pasting? Hmmm.
    Chop chop! Get a move on!

    Reply

  71. Den Valdron says:

    Or what about this:
    http://www.hotpolitics.com/tax4israel.html
    “The common argument that the United States gives Israel $3 billion per year-$1.2 billion in economic aid and $1.8 billion in military aid-is misleading. This figure is impressive enough, since it represents about one-sixth of total U.S. foreign aid. Yet the true figure is even more remarkable, with estimates ranging as high as $5.5 billion per year. Calculating the exact amount of U.S. aid to Israel, however, is difficult. One has to make estimates because much of the aid is buried in the budgets of other government agencies, mostly the Department of Defense (DOD). Aid is also allotted in a form that is not easily quantifiable, such as the early disbursement of financial aid which allows Israel to gain (and the U.S. taxpayer to lose) the interest on the funds that have not yet been spent.”
    Wow. I may not be good at math, but it seems to me that 5.5 billion is MORE than 2.5 billion. Why it might even be MORE than 4 billion. Wow! Imagine that! This modern science stuff sure is impressive, eh? What’ll they come up with next!
    How are you doing on that racism stuff. Still stinging, or are you pretty much accepting that one?
    And is it Fool *and/or* Liar now? I mean, officially *and/or*? That’s what we’re going for? This is important, I’m thinking of having cards printed up, so you have to stop screwing around and settle down once and for all. Cause I’m not going to pay for a new set of cards and letterhead every time you change your mind.

    Reply

  72. Winnipeger says:

    you’re embarrassing yourself, den.
    …and no matter how many limericks you write, it won’t change the fact that you were wrong.
    you’re a fool and/or a liar.
    end of story.

    Reply

  73. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmm. Can’t you make a decision? Is it ‘FOOL *and* LIAR’? ‘FOOL *or* LIAR?’ Or ‘FOOL and/or LIAR’?
    This ambiguity is killing me. What’s next? ‘Fool occasionally Liar’? The way you’re going, I’ll wind up neither, and then where will we be? Hmmmm? Hmmm?
    Didn’t think of that, did you now, Mister Smarty-penis.
    Look, since you’re disputing your little heart out, could you do that cut and paste you promised? I don’t see why I have to do all the work around here.
    And once you’re off your lazy butt, perhaps you could apply that smart penis of yours to give us the percentage of foreign aid to Israel as a percentage of total US foreign aid? And then tell us how many other countries get similar foreign aid from the US? And perhaps divide up the remaining foreign aid among the recipients per capita, and then compare that to Israel’s foreign aid per capita?
    Hmmmm.
    Because I have more limericks, and I’m not afraid to use them.

    Reply

  74. Den Valdron says:

    There once was a racist named Winnipegger,
    Who was liked to jerk off on the stair.
    When the banister broke,
    He doubled his stroke,
    And blew his load off in mid-air.

    Reply

  75. Winnipeger says:

    “Subject continues to rave, screaming incoherently of arbitrary numbers”
    try as you may, den, you can’t dig your way out of this one. you are ON RECORD (i’ll be happy to cut and paste the offending remark) asserting that israel is scheduled to receive $4 billion in the proposed u.s. budget.
    i’m not referring to “arbitrary numbers,” and i categorically disagree with your claim that “Quibbling over 2.5 versus 4 is pretty small potatoes”
    …and i LOVE the fact that you can’t, for the life of you, admit that you were wrong! 🙂
    you can go on and on and on all you want.
    it won’t change the fact that you’re a FOOL and/or a LIAR!

    Reply

  76. Den Valdron says:

    “Shit himself for a fifth time this latest spell. Winnipegger’s diarhea continues unabated. Yesterday the patient had lapsed into a stunned coma for a few hours, giving the medical staff a much needed rest. Subject continues to rave, screaming incoherently of arbitrary numbers. Does not recognize family or friends. Occasionally lapses into incoherent mumbling, with fits of shaking and trembling. We fear that the end is not far removed.”
    From the Medical Journals of Dr. Donelly Givadam, Whitechapel, London, 1886.

    Reply

  77. Winnipeger says:

    den wrote:
    “Quibbling over 2.5 versus 4 is pretty small potatoes”
    really, den? even when you’re talking about BILLIONS of dollars?!
    Now you’ve settled the matter. you’re a LIAR AND A FOOL!

    Reply

  78. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmm. Soiled himself a fourth time.
    Tool? That’s a new one.

    Reply

  79. Den Valdron says:

    A further thought, Jf. I think that there is an all too popular meme that Israel is a hostage to the elements, that it is battling heroically against fate.
    In this conception, Israel is a plucky and heroic little country, surrounded by enemies bent upon its destruction, constantly avoiding disaster and bringing about miracles of progress, courage and enlightenment through sheer brilliance and determination.
    Far from being besieged, Israel is, far more than most nations, the master of all it surveys, the ruler of its destiny, an actor without constraints.
    I can think of no neighboring country, or for that matter, I can think of no country in the world which can be seen as in any way constraining Israel’s behaviour.
    Certainly, there’s nothing in the middle east that would ever cause Israel to second guess itself. There is simply no military challenge in the region, there’s no existential threat, and with 400 nuclear weapons in reserve, there’s no possibility of challenge. Economically, socially, culturally, the middle east is irrelevant to Israel. Saudi Arabia and the oil producing states might hypothetically be influential, but realistically, those concerns are settled and over. Saudi Arabia and Israel co-exist and neither troubles the other. Israel could launch Palestinians from catapults, the Saudis would not twitch.
    Internationally, India, China, Japan, Russia are all irrelevant. Europe is marginally relevant. The United States is relevant but absolutely supportive.
    Israel is in an utterly sweet spot, in a situation where its choices are completely and absolutely alone. Where it can chart its own destiny without buffetting from other sails.
    When you look at Israel’s geopolitical situation realistically, it is astonishing. Israel might as well be Iceland for all the significance its neighbors have to any of its policies – economic, military, social, etc.
    One effect of this is the inflation of farfetched concerns to ridiculous proportions. To spend hundreds of millions, do billions in damage, kill thousands, engage in a full scale rape of Lebanon over two missing soldiers? To go near hysterical over the nuclear potential of a country over a thousand miles away separated by two or three sets of national borders, where that potential is decades away? This lacks all sense of perspective.
    Clearly when your most terrifying existential threat is a nation which might hypothetically be a threat in ten or twenty years, and which would have to travel a thousand miles through Turkey/Syria/Lebanon, Turkey/the Mediteranearn, Iraq/Syria Lebanon, Iraq/Jordan, Persian Gulf/Saudi Arabia/Jordan to get there… well, its pretty clear that if thats what twists up your underwear, then there isn’t anything closer or more proximate to worry you.
    And when that threat is of such dramatic concern that your retired generals are talking about pre-emptive nuclear attacks, well, your country has completely lost its tether.
    You hear what I’m saying?
    Anyway, you’ll notice that in the previous analysis, I gave no attention at all to the Muslim countries, and only minimal attention to the US.
    They were irrelevant. The real choices are all Israel’s and outside factors don’t weigh.
    I think its a catastrophic mistake to pretend that Israel’s actions are driven by the requirements of dealing with its neighbors. Part of that is that paranoia, inflated fears, loss of perspective creates or justifies very bad decisions.
    Even if Israel’s choices are its own, as I’ve shown, the laws of economics and demographics are not suspended. Some choices can take you to very bad places.

    Reply

  80. Winnipeger says:

    for a guy who claims to know it all, i’m surprised that den couldn’t identify the ACTUAL FIGURE OF U.S. FEDERAL AID TO ISRAEL!
    $4 billion, den?! really?!
    are you a LIAR or a FOOL?
    …and if you can’t get this simple fact straight, why should anyone take ANYTHING you say seriously?
    you’re such a tool!

    Reply

  81. Den Valdron says:

    Soiled himself a third time.
    Luckily, Winnipegger, all those questions have already been answered for you. Liar, fool, racist, child. Too bad.

    Reply

  82. Winnipeger says:

    are you a LIAR or a FOOL, den?

    Reply

  83. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmm. I see Winnipegger has soiled himself while I was busy. Soiled himself twice.
    Good enough. The record will show that I offered him a way out, I was willing to let him off the hook.
    My conscience is clear.

    Reply

  84. Den Valdron says:

    I dunno Jf. I guess that while its worth listening to people, it should always be taken with a grain of salt. Trash talk and honey words are human constants.
    Human behaviour is often more consistently explained by looking at peoples circumstances. In particular (a) People pursue advantage; (b) Those with advantage strive to keep and build it; (c) People are depressingly prone to choose short term over long term.
    Israel’s position is one of unparalleled and inflated advantage. From there, every road lies downward.
    Give up the Golan Heights? For what. Peace with Syria? The last military conflict with Syria was 23 years ago, and the last ground conflict was 33 years ago. The Syrians are weak, impotent, without allies, their economy a shambles, militarily no match. So why give up the Golan Heights? It’s giving up something for nothing.
    Take that attitude and apply it to just about every single aspect of Israel’s domestic and foreign policy, and what do you get?
    Let’s face it. They’re in the catbird seat. They have no motive to negotiate with anyone for anything. They have no motive to resolve any problems, because right now its all working for them. Yay for Israel.
    The only turd in the punchbowl is the threat of terrorism, and while that makes for good press and good election fodder, the people who really run things don’t care that much about it.
    For the most part, the Israeli’s who get killed in terrorism are not the Israeli’s who matter. They’re just regular people like you and me, not the elite, not the policy classes. The attack on the World Trade Centre was an attack on the financial nexus of America… blowing up a pizza parlour in Hebron is what… You see my point?
    I know its cold blooded. But the truth is that the decision making portions of Israeli society, the elite, have concluded that terrorism is a tolerable price… like traffic fatalities, for the advantages they enjoy.
    Its not that they are indifferent to terrorism. But they see it as a manageable problem rather than a motivating force. To the elites, terrorism is like a public health problem. You don’t negotiate with the greater community of rats, you don’t blow your budget reforming your water supply. Nah, you just set out traps and poison, and you flouridate the water.
    So it is with the Palestinians. You don’t negotiate with them. Why would you want to do that? You’ve got everything, they’ve got nothing, negotiation is only going to alter that balance.
    The solution is to build a wall, close down roads, set up checkpoints, and blow them up every now and then when they’re getting a little too rangy. And you know what? It’s been working just fine. Because starting with you having everything and them having nothing, you move to you having even more and them having even less. Now maybe that’s a recipe for disaster at some point. But right now, that’s a pretty nice arrangement.
    Long term, prospects ain’t so good.
    Think in economic terms. Israel’s got no significant natural resources. No oil, no gas, no coal, no strategic minerals or forest reserves, only middling agricultural capacity. That’s not a good starting point.
    Israel’s got no real economic relationship with its neighbors. That’s a major handicap. This means that its at the bottom of a steep well in terms of shipping costs with its principal trading partners. That’s a long term handicap. That’s not competitive.
    So where’s the advantage? Places like Hong Kong or Singapore were gateway economies, their wealth created by geographic positioning. Israel is gateway to what? fuck all. Entry to middle eastern economies is through Syria or Lebanon, Egypt or the Persian Gulf. None of that goes through Israel. Entry to European economies by the middle east also goes around Israel. Israel’s geography is like Tasmania, its got that bump on a log in the middle of nowhere thing happening.
    It doesn’t have the population of an India, or a Japan or even a South Korea or Taiwan, to sustain its own development. Six or seven million people at first world standards means that its got to attach to larger economies. But in attaching to larger economies its got that built in transportation handicap, its got no resources and its got no strategic location advantage.
    Now, all this is bad enough. But Israel sustains a first world standard of wealth and standard of living. How do you do that with such a bad hand of cards? Simple: Foreign aid, loans, grants, contributions, subsidies, you name it.
    The United States floats Israel the way the USSR floated Cuba. Before the US was the main sugar daddy it was France and before that Russia. Bottom line, Israel has never gone wanting.
    But let’s get serious now. The money train from Europe is closed. Those bridges are burned. (I’m sorry, I just like mangling metaphors, its a hobby). I don’t see Russia or China, India or Japan floating Israel. So that just leaves Uncle Sam to subsidize Israel into perpetuity.
    And they would too… Except that Uncle Sam is about to have his own problems and may not be in a position to subsidize anyone. I know thats unimaginable, but these are the same Americans who cut South Vietnam off when they were a lot richer. If China and Japan dumps their dollars, the American buck will take a place alongside the Weimar Deutschmark and the Confederate Dollar. At which point, how they gonna subsidize Israel, and whith what? The US is in industrial decay, job outsourcing, massive budget deficits and massive trade defictis.
    Israel has chained itself economically and in dependence upon subsidy to a toilet falling out of an aeroplane. Listen, its round, its white, that still doesn’t make it a parachute.
    Meanwhile, its surrounded by much more populous modernizing economies, for all of which the labour is much much much cheaper and the resources and strategic positions are better.
    Now, though it has no relationship with those economies, its still competing with them. Doing okay, partly subsidies, partly a much more advanced and educated population. But the advantages they got… population, location, resources are pretty stable. The advantages that Israel has are simply a matter of catching up with, and sooner or later, people catch up.
    Now I’m not saying that Israel’s economic prospects are apocalyptic. Merely grim. And the long road seems to be marginalization, loss of advantage, and decline.
    Basically, Israel’s current standard of living is artificial, and Israel can’t afford the military is has now.
    Now, turn around and look at some demographics. Israel proper is about 80% Jewish, 20% Arab. Here’s the thing. Immigration is declining or reversing, the Jewish birthrate is down, the Arab birthrate is skyrocketing.
    So big deal. In thirty years, 70% Jewish, 30% Arab. Well, that will cause troubles by itself. Particularly when the Palestinian citizens are younger, angrier and poorer, agitating for a better deal in a declining economy.
    But factor in the West Bank and Gaza. Suddenly, Israel’s population dynamic is more along the lines of 55% Jewish and 45% Palestinian. Even closer maybe. And that trendline is pretty obvious.
    That’s why Ariel Sharon wanted to get the hell out, reversing a lifelong quest for more lebensraum. He could read a graph. Absorb the West Bank and Gaza and soon enough, this generation, the next, the one after that the Palestinians would be a majority population.
    No good solution. They’re already a majority population if you count the refugees and diasporas scattered about. Can’t even discuss a right of return for that reason.
    You could try expelling a whole shitload from the West Bank and Gaza. But to where? How feasible is it? A complete expulsion is a nonstarter. A partial expulsion just delays and moves around your problems.
    Sharon’s big plan was to turn Gaza into the worlds largest prison camp, wall it off and throw away the key. Then he was going to go in, grab everything he could lay his hands on in the west bank, and turn the rest of it into a series of prison camps. Cool.
    But given Sharon’s plan, you have any wonder why the Gazans were flinging every jury rigged rocket they could weld together? Or that young men and women strap themselves with explosives and visit pizza parlours. Discombobulating thousands of directions simultaneously is not a bad option considering the hell on earth Sharon had in mind for them.
    The wise thing to do would be to solve the problems now. But right now, Israel’s at the top, every path leads down, and settling up with the Palestinians will be incredibly expensive.
    They’d love to dictate a cheap solution, but there isn’t one. What’s the plan, tell a few million people ‘no right of return, no compensation, go fuck yourself’ and they’ll just politely go away? ‘You can have the parts of the west bank we don’t want, as long as we control all your communication and transportation.’ Those are cheap solutions, and its not selling.
    Compensating for a lost right of return will be incredibly expensive. Real concessions on the west bank will be incredibly expensive. Accommodating in other ways will be expensive in other ways.
    And right now, the Palestinians are powerless and worthless, so why bother? Human nature.
    What’s the long term prognosis? A declining economy and declining standard of living, and an increasing and restive Palestinian population. The end result will be an Israel you won’t recognize and won’t like. You want some options:
    Auschwitzrael: Israel goes like Sparta or South Africa or the Confederacy, a slave state economy composed of Citizens – hyper-militarized, racist, paranoid, xenophobic Israeli Jews living in constant terror of and hatred of their slaves. Helots – subhuman palestinians used for cheap labour/slave labour, subject to constant pogroms, persecutions, surveillance. It’ll be just like North Korea, but without the laughs. It’ll be an outlaw pariah society, a cultural backwater, a pirate economy. It won’t be an Israel you’ll recognize, certainly not one you’d approve of.
    Brahmarael – a variation on the first, but a little more sophisticated. Instead of degrading all Palestinians as uniform subhumans, there’s a bit of a caste system – so Israeli’s are the Brahmas, and then Palestinians from Israel proper are second class, a couple more classes for different west bankers, and gazans get to be untouchable. Dysfunctional yes, slightly less paranoid and lunatic than the first. Equally unrecognizeable.
    State-O-Paranoia: Build a wall around everything, kick anyone out you don’t like, arm to the teeth and shoot anyone who comes close
    Lebano-Rael – In various variations. Basically, the wealthy declining Israelis and the poor but increasing and ambitious Palestinians try and work things out all in one state. No more Israel as ‘the Jewish state’, so not recognizeable in current forms. But there’s all sorts of ways it could shake out: Jewish Dictatorships, Palestinian Dictatorships, Civil Wars, South African style democracies, American City power-sharing arrangements, etc. etc.
    There’s other options available. There are better options. But these are the choices I see Israel building for itself.

    Reply

  85. Winnipeger says:

    wow. coming unglued at the seams, den, huh?
    i strongly suggest that you contact your physician and up the dosage on your meds.
    and you’re right, not much difference between $2.4 billion and $4billion! 🙂
    and c’mon level with us all; are you a LIAR or a FOOL… or just an unemployed, anti-social type with a severe chemical imbalance??

    Reply

  86. Winnipeger says:

    your tirade reads like a loser’s lament.
    bottom line, are you a LIAR who intentially mislead this forum by asseting that the u.s. government was proposing to allocate israel $4 billion dollars in the current budget, or are you a did you make a FOOLISH mistake???
    come on, you hack. most people have better things to do than you and POA, posting endless tirades in the comments section of this blog.
    but tell us,
    are you a LIAR or a FOOL???

    Reply

  87. jf says:

    Den: that’s interesting. I’m not familiar with the expression “paean of paranoia,” but I get your meaning. I may have left the impression that only Israel has legitimate grievances, when that was not my intention at all. I appreciate your point that no state is officially calling for the destruction of Israel any more than they are calling for the destruction of America. But if we are going to take people at their word, aren’t leaders on both sides talking about wanting a resolution to the disputes? Whenever I try to get a better understanding of the region, it seems as though the actors are determined to prevent it. I’ve never been shown the plausible scenario that you sketch, though, degenerating into an unrecognizable Israel. I suppose that’s optimistic- 50 years from now the land will still be habitable and free of radiation.

    Reply

  88. Den Valdron says:

    Hark, do I hear the sound of a racist chirping? ROTFL. What’s that nattering, from yonder bush, a squidgy sound like a pulling of pud and a gnashing of teeth.
    Why tis Winnipegger, under my shoe, as Cheney’s bum! Watch as his tears glisten pon his cheek like the thin vomit of a dog’s drool, observe his pants damp and soiled. Isn’t it cute how he clutches his tiny little idea, rolling it around like a dung beetle with a ball of shit.
    Hello little Winnipegger! How are you? Still walking bowlegged? LOL.
    I’d like to address you seriously, but truth is, I’m just amused. You really have no clue do you. No idea how to construct an argument.
    You want me to give you American support to Israel financials for fiscal year 2008? ROTL. We haven’t even wrapped fiscal year 2006. How should I take that seriously? How should anyone reading you take that seriously?
    The whole racism vs money thing illustrates our different approaches and shows how badly you come off.
    And what was your response to that? “Bu.. bu.. bu… YOU’RE MEAN!!!”
    Yeah. Right. Anyone who read that exchange, who has read this thread, comes away absolutely convinced that you are an out and out racist.
    Why are they convinced? Because I laid it all out. You said it. I explained in painstaking detail what it was and what it meant. And in the end, you had nothing to say. I didn’t seize on some technicality and inflate it. No, I went right to the heart of it, dissected you for everyone to see, and in the end you didn’t even bother to make a real defense.
    I notice you’re not challenging me to prove you’re a racist any more. That game is over and we both know it. You lost, and you lost badly.
    Everyone knows it.
    Now let’s look at your foreign aid angle. You pick up on some minor passing statement and seize on it like its a great big crisis.
    The United States ships Israel four billion a year in support and subsidies. What’s the controversy?
    It’s only two and a half or three billion. Like that makes it reasonable. What’s a country as rich as Israel doing sucking up two or three billion in Foreign Aid? One sixth, one third, of all US Aid goes to subsidize the standard of living of a first world wealthy elite nation…. While millions people are starving to death all over the world? While millions die from lack of clean water? When whole countries struggle with dirt roads and rotting cities? When the number one problem on this planet is poverty and misery, the largest proportion of American aid goes to subsidize the air conditioners of wealthy Israeli’s.
    You thought this was going to be good ground to fight on? 2.5 billion (BILLION!!!) instead of 4.
    Do you think it would be defensible for a child molester to claim that his victim was 10 years old instead of 8? Geezus Krist, look at the big picture for once. Even 2.5 billion made your side look like shit.
    You chose bad ground to fight on. I could look at what you wrote and call you a racist for it. What were you going to call me ‘sloppy with numbers where both upper and lower ranges are still in the same category of outrage’? Nah, that wouldn’t work. There had to be some way to inflate it.
    So you tried to bolster your thin premise with the ‘Smackdown Challenge!’ Instead of countering what you saw as bad facts and numbers with your own facts and numbers, you loudly asserted that I had to prove it or be shamed.
    There wasn’t much choice here for you, since putting your own facts and numbers forward would have made Israel look just as bad or worse. The only thing you could do was avoid facts and numbers as much as possible and try and make it an issue of personal credibility.
    It must have burned you when I simply didn’t take you seriously. Reading your posts, you became increasingly hysterical. I just wasn’t playing fair.
    Then disaster struck! You tried the same tactic on the charge of racism one time too many, demanding that I prove it.
    And I proved it. In exquisite, excruciating detail, laying bare each racist trope and showing how you incorporated them. I’m quite proud of that by the way. It’s a textbook deconstruction of racist thought, demonstrating how underlying assumptions and beliefs of racism translate into a series of shorthands or codes which express a racist worldview.
    It must have really hurt to read that. A lot of racists are very unselfconscious in their racism. Even though they believe niggers should stay in their place and jews shouldn’t be admitted to their clubs, they don’t see themselves as racists. Its always an awkward and unsettling experience to have your nose rubbed in it.
    It put you completely behind the eight ball. Quibbling over 2.5 versus 4 is pretty small potatoes when the big R case is made out. Worst of all, it was self inflicted in every possible way. You’d made those statements. You’d made a lot of statements like those. And you’d challenged me several times to prove it on you, even as you were spreading that proof around. Yikes. Yep, you needed a dynamite comeback. And what was that dynamite comeback.
    “Bu.. bu.. bu… YOU’RE MEAN!!!”
    Because you didn’t have anything else, and you knew it. You probably felt it was all very unfair, I’m sure you think of yourself as a nice person and not all that racist. But there it was, and there was no way around your own words. Obviously I had tricked and trapped you in some horrible way you couldn’t quite understand. There was just no way out.
    So you did the only thing you could do, which was try to change the subject. You had no defense, the only thing left to you was an attack, and you only had the one attack left.
    That’s when you started getting really hysterical, upping the ante on your smackdown challenge, and throwing around words like liar and buffoon.
    I’m sure my amused contempt must have rankled.
    And then I flung back, quoting various sources, including suggestions that the real American subsidy was as much as 5.5 billion, that those ‘loans’ and ‘guarantees’ which shouldn’t be counted actually should be counted, and illustrating how nakedly and obscenely disproportionate Israel’s aid really was.
    I originally included links, but I found I couldn’t post with links. Too bad. I left enough information that those links could be found easily.
    Wow. Prison-raped again. That must have hurt.
    And to add insult to injury, a neutral poster like DonS weighs in against the obscene volume of support to Israel. Which tells you that you’ve lost the audience. All the people reading these posts, you’ve lost them, I’ve won them.
    Did I mention prison-rape?
    At this point, KABOOM KABOOM, you’ve been blown out of the water twice, you got no defense and nothing to hit back with, you’re staggering around the ring like a punch drunk fighter blinded from eyes swollen shut, bleeding from every orifice, you can’t even fall down cause you know I’ll just start kicking you. I can’t even imagine your pain and humiliation. You got nothing left.
    So all you can do is pretend the racism challenge didn’t blow up, the Israel aid challenge didn’t blow up, ignore all that, don’t even acknowledge those posts. Instead, pretend I haven’t replied, and keep flinging out the smackdown challenge like it hasn’t been answered and then try and make that whole ‘idiot’ and ‘buffoon’ and ‘liar’ thing stick.
    It’s not working, of course. I don’t think you expected that it would. But you don’t have anything else left, do you?
    You poor, dumb bastard.
    Look, much as I enjoy punishing you, I recognize that there’s a human being in there with feelings and ideas. I’ve made my point. I’m willing to stop hurting you. I’m happy to call a truce.
    All you have to do is play nice. Stop being a child. Stop being a troll. Stop abusing people. Stop game playing. Listen for a change. Stop denouncing people. Act like a civilized and courteous human being. Hell, it wouldn’t kill you to apologize to a few people.
    What have you got to lose? Really, do you think you’ve got any credibility left with anyone around here? Everyone thinks you are an asshole and everyone *knows* you are a racist. Is there any point to this for you? Every time we’ve gone at it, you’ve been the one who ends up prison raped. Are you enjoying this? Do you have some illusion that at some point you escaped being beaten like a dog?
    I’m willing to let you off the hook, on the very generous condition that you start showing a bit of civility and decency.
    Now it may be that you’re too big an idiot, or too maddened by shame and pain and rage, to take that offer. That’s fine with me. I’ll just go on punishing you with a clear conscience.
    But seriously, is it too much to ask that you treat people with civility and respect, that you try to show the best and not the worst?
    I can stop hurting you, if you let me.

    Reply

  89. Winnipeger says:

    interesting analysis for a LIAR.
    still can’t even feign an attempt at substantiating your claim that israel is receiving $4 billion in this FY’s budget?
    if you can’t explain this lie why should anyone take ANYTHING you say seriously??
    it’s easy, den, just admit that you made a boneheaded mistake and that you didn’t know what you were talking about… unless, that is, you were purposely misleading this forum.

    Reply

  90. Den Valdron says:

    Replying to Jf. I see no real solution to the Palestinian/Israeli problem for the time being.
    I don’t think that Israel has any motivation to solve the problem. In the short term it has overwhelming military, political and economic superiority.
    It is escalating its seizure of Palestinian land, does whatever it wants to the Palestinian population. It’s literally at a high point. Any movement calls for it to give up things. Why should it want to give up anything.
    In contrast, the Palestinians are leaderless, rudderless, incapable of functioning except at bare autonomic levels.
    In the short term, it sees itself best served by continuing the current situation indefinitely.
    Let’s face it, a coherent Palestinian state or leadership would make demands, it would pose problems. Any sort of initiative would result in costs or losses to Israel.
    Solution: Perpetuate the current situation indefinitely, and enshrine it in stone.
    I appreciate the paen to paranoia. But no state is seriously calling for the destruction of Israel. Not even Iran. I think that the false translation of Ahminajad has by now been thoroughly debunked.
    No state has any power to seriously or even mildly threaten Israel. The disparity in military power in the region is overwhelming.
    No Muslim state is even bothering to pursue anything like military parity with Israel.
    So what’s the real threat to Israel? Not Egypt – hasn’t fought a war with Israel since 1973, peace treaty since 1976. Not Jordan, hasn’t fought a war with Israel since 1967, peace treaty. Lebanon… what a laugh, Israel bombs Lebanon the way fitness buffs do aerobics. Syria? Last military conflict was 1983. The truth is that there isn’t a threat.
    But its in the Israeli’s interests to pretend, because it enables them. The Bush administration enables them.
    The truth is that there will be no peace in the middle east because Israel sees no real advantage to it. What, give up the Golan Heights? Stop bombing Lebanon at will? Surrender the West Bank? Put up with the expensive compensation to the Palestinians?
    Of course, this is short term thinking. The situation is extremely unequal, extremely out of balance, and despite Israel’s efforts, cannot be maintained indefinitely.
    Eventually economic, political and demographic factors will force an equilibrium.
    Israel seeks to entrench transient advantages rather than finding a tolerable equilibrium. I assume that their view is that even an equilibrium would favour them, so it really is just a matter of competing positive outcomes.
    I don’t think so though. What Israel’s policies seem to be doing is utterly destroying any hope of a two state solution.
    Their approach is sort of a 1 & 1/2 state, with a kind of perpetually impoverished, perpetually starving, rump of semi-autonomous palestinians available for cheap third world labour.
    Won’t work. There’s too many Palestinians and too much hostility to that kind of brutally oppressive model. South Africa couldn’t sustain it, Israel can’t.
    The outcome of destroying a two state solution, is sooner or later, a one state. A One State where a restive and oppressed, impoverished Palestinian majority faces an elitist, violent, but increasingly exhausted and desperate Jewish minority, increasingly irrational in pursuit of symbolic entitlements.
    In fifty years, Israel may not exist in any recognizeable form. Worse, it may become such a degenerate parody that not even racists like Winnipegger will miss it.

    Reply

  91. Pissed Off American says:

    “ok. so be it. from here on out, den valdron will be known as a liar and/or an idiot.”
    Damn, can anyone fail to see the irony of the sniveling little pissant making a comment like that?

    Reply

  92. Winnipeger says:

    ok. so be it. from here on out, den valdron will be known as a liar and/or an idiot.

    Reply

  93. jf says:

    DonS:”Extremely emotionally, symbol laden language. Getting away from that on the Israeli/US side would be good for starters. Its just as much a public posture/nonstarter as the Hamas refusal to recognize the de jure existence of Israel. You don’t start out in a negotiation by asking the adversary to publically extinguish the main symbolic roadblock.”
    I couldn’t agree more. Trying to get into the mind of those who view the situation in those terms does lead to “emotional” language. Is it reasonable to assume the Bush Administration sees no solution- ever- to the conflict, based on their assessment that nothing can mollify 100% of the opponents of Israel. They are incapable of seeing a future that does not include hostile acts against Israel.
    They may not be wrong about that, but can they be shown a way to negotiate with a region of states who openly call for the destruction of Israel? A way that leads to the ascension to power of a representative authority that sees the suppression of those terrorist acts as in furtherance of their own interests? I hope I’m not implying I know the answer to this. I think the obstacle is persuading the Bush Administration that Hamas represents a people who could live peaceably with Israel in exchange for . . . something they want. Until then, I don’t see how they could operate any differently than the way Steve rightly criticizes. This administration will never see the value in “public confidence building” so long as it sees any Palestinian government as powerless to prevent hostilities. They can’t see a process that isn’t futile.

    Reply

  94. Den Valdron says:

    ROTFL!!!

    Reply

  95. Winnipeger says:

    way to obfuscate, den. you must be an attorney; although not a very successful one if you have the time to filibuster on someone else’s website.
    too bad you still haven’t answered my question:
    PLEASE SUBSTANTIATE YOUR CLAIM THAT ISRAEL IS RECEIVING $4 BILLION FROM THE U.S. FEDERAL GOVT. IN FISCAL YEAR ’07 or ’08.
    as i’ve already said, either you’re a LIAR or you made a mistake.
    which is it?

    Reply

  96. Pissed Off American says:

    Poor little weasel. I could almost feel sorry for him. But not quite.
    Is it snivel time yet?

    Reply

  97. Den Valdron says:

    Winnipegger, I think DonS has answered you question.

    Reply

  98. DonS says:

    The obscene and disproportionate amount of aid to Israeli, direct aid, loan “guarantees”, not to mention the amount of subsidy that comes through so called privated charities, has propped up that economy in the 40 or 50 years I’ve been watching. Too bad the American poor hasn’t been treated as well. I would think it all made some sense if only AIPAC and similar organizations were made to register as agents of a foreign government, making the extortionist racket patent.
    But ya know, its hard to tell who is extorting whom — its so much more “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. And our congresscritters haven’t been made to pay any price for taking the money and running to the bank. Unless you count self-deception and abetting the prostitution of foreign policy as a cost.

    Reply

  99. Den Valdron says:

    Y’know Winnipegger, I like it when you beg.
    😉

    Reply

  100. Den Valdron says:

    Predictable, ain’t it? And sort of sad.
    He stewed for a full six hours over his humiliation, and all he could come up with was this old saw.
    Seriously, this was the best he could do? After six hours. Imagine all the witty retorts he was trying out. Imagine how it stung, not only to be called a racist but to have it proven in such exquisite, humiliating detail. Man, that must have hurt like a prison rape. And after all the strategizing, the stewing, the brainstorming of response and revenge strategies… what?
    ROTFL. Stale three day old nitpicking over just how much of what kind of aid that Israel separately or cumulatively receives?
    Good lord. LOL. I suppose I could bother to write about that topic, and just drag the poor little idjit over the coals once again.
    If we look up: hotpolitics.com, tax4israel, we find the following remarkable quote:
    “The common argument that the United States gives Israel $3 billion per year-$1.2 billion in economic aid and $1.8 billion in military aid-is misleading. This figure is impressive enough, since it represents about one-sixth of total U.S. foreign aid. Yet the true figure is even more remarkable, with estimates ranging as high as $5.5 billion per year. Calculating the exact amount of U.S. aid to Israel, however, is difficult. One has to make estimates because much of the aid is buried in the budgets of other government agencies, mostly the Department of Defense (DOD). Aid is also allotted in a form that is not easily quantifiable, such as the early disbursement of financial aid which allows Israel to gain (and the U.S. taxpayer to lose) the interest on the funds that have not yet been spent.”
    Yowza!!! 5.5 Billion? That sounds like a lot of money.
    Then there’s this:
    The jewish virtual library, deals with “Assistance_to_Israel1”
    Now here’s an interesting note on this link:
    “Loan guarantees are not considered foreign aid so the $7.9 billion in guarantees have been excluded from this table (see Loan Guarantees for Israel [table]).”
    But if we look to the previous article:
    “the CRS report states that from FY 1994 through FY 1998, Israel received $29 billion in waived loans. It is, therefore, reasonable to consider all loans to Israel as generally the same as grants. …. Currently, the total U.S. contingent liability for Israeli loans is about $10 billion.”
    Gee Whiz, isn’t it nice to have an open line of credit to the wealthiest nation in the world. An open line of credit with no strings attached? No conditions, no timing, no accounting required. Wow.
    Now this here link understates the volume of American aid to Israel by restricting itself to formal ‘foreign aid’, the basic 2-3 billion, ignoring the other monies buried in department budges, which take things to 5.5 billion, and ignoring loan guarantees which might amount to another big pile-O-money.
    Now, if you were to up the proportion of foresing aid, you’d be amazed: Turns out that Israel sucks up 30% of US foreign aid. Isn’t that amazing?
    Wow. Let’s compare Israel to the other 100 or so countries, roughly fifty in Africa, thirty in Asia, twenty in Latin America.
    Assuming that the remaining 70% is divided equally among them, it means your average third world country gets .7%. This means that Israel’s foreign aid is at least 43 times that received by our hypothetical average third world country.
    Wow. Maybe Israel needs so much foreign aid because its really really big. Let’s see. World population is 6 billion. Israel’s population is 6 million. That’s about 1/10th of one per cent.
    Ah, but that other 99.9% includes all the rich countries. So we have to exclude them, don’t we.
    Let’s be super-generous and assume that the rich and semi-rich countries not needing aid amount to 1.5 billion. Oh hell, let’s go wild and call it 2 billion.
    That only leaves 4 billion poor people deserving of aid. So it works out to 70% divided up four billion ways, versus 30% divided up six million ways. Simplify it a little bit, and this means, I believe, that Israel receives 285 times the amount of foreign aid given to third worlders, considered on a per capita population basis. Isn’t that amazing!!! Wow. Now, maybe my math skills are delinquent, easy enough, feel free to do your own math.
    I guess Israel really needs that money, cause its probably the super-poorest country in the world. Now, if we look at little charts disclosing per capita incomes…
    Poor Israel ranks thirtieth. Wow. They really are poor. There’s only ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY COUNTRIES POORER.
    Wow. I can’t believe I was such a heartless prick, a buffoon, an idiot as to make snarky comments about Israel’s foreign aid. Gravy train indeed! Hmph!
    Well, Winnipegger certainly put me in my place.
    Yessirree, he showed me me a thing or two.

    Reply

  101. Pissed Off American says:

    “I just want to know why the press can get so focused and identified with this supposed Iranian guilt by association, whereas the US can identify with the moral high ground in backing Israeli agression. True, if fig leaves are of any value, there was some minor flap about violation of understancings in using the cluster munitions in populated areas but, you know, I haven’t heard that its escalated to the level of any serious reprisals against the Israelis for violating recognized laws of warfare.”
    Oh, quite the contrary. Directly on the heels of an investigation that concluded that the Israelis had breached the contract through which we had sold them the cluster munitions, instead of repurcussions, we extended them another 2.4 dollars in “military aid”. Add 40 million to help them “settle european jews”, and 20 million more for a recent “energy pact”, then figure in loan guarantees, (on loans that are ultimately “forgiven”), and the tally keeps going up and up. We not only don’t hold them accountable for the illegal MURDER of lebanese civilians, we in fact REWARD them for killing civilian non-combatants.

    Reply

  102. Den Valdron says:

    Predictable, ain’t it? And sort of sad.
    He stewed for a full six hours over his humiliation, and all he could come up with was this old saw.
    Seriously, this was the best he could do? After six hours. Imagine all the witty retorts he was trying out. Imagine how it stung, not only to be called a racist but to have it proven in such exquisite, humiliating detail. Man, that must have hurt like a prison rape. And after all the strategizing, the stewing, the brainstorming of response and revenge strategies… what?
    ROTFL. Stale three day old nitpicking over just how much of what kind of aid that Israel separately or cumulatively receives?
    Good lord. LOL. I suppose I could bother to write about that topic, and just drag the poor little idjit over the coals once again.
    http://www.hotpolitics.com/tax4israel.htm
    “The common argument that the United States gives Israel $3 billion per year-$1.2 billion in economic aid and $1.8 billion in military aid-is misleading. This figure is impressive enough, since it represents about one-sixth of total U.S. foreign aid. Yet the true figure is even more remarkable, with estimates ranging as high as $5.5 billion per year. Calculating the exact amount of U.S. aid to Israel, however, is difficult. One has to make estimates because much of the aid is buried in the budgets of other government agencies, mostly the Department of Defense (DOD). Aid is also allotted in a form that is not easily quantifiable, such as the early disbursement of financial aid which allows Israel to gain (and the U.S. taxpayer to lose) the interest on the funds that have not yet been spent.”
    Yowza!!! 5.5 Billion? That sounds like a lot of money.
    Then there’s this:
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/U.S._Assistance_to_Israel1.html
    Now here’s an interesting note on this link:
    “Loan guarantees are not considered foreign aid so the $7.9 billion in guarantees have been excluded from this table (see Loan Guarantees for Israel [table]).”
    But if we look to the previous article:
    “the CRS report states that from FY 1994 through FY 1998, Israel received $29 billion in waived loans. It is, therefore, reasonable to consider all loans to Israel as generally the same as grants. …. Currently, the total U.S. contingent liability for Israeli loans is about $10 billion.”
    Gee Whiz, isn’t it nice to have an open line of credit to the wealthiest nation in the world. An open line of credit with no strings attached? No conditions, no timing, no accounting required. Wow.
    Now this here link understates the volume of American aid to Israel by restricting itself to formal ‘foreign aid’, the basic 2-3 billion, ignoring the other monies buried in department budges, which take things to 5.5 billion, and ignoring loan guarantees which might amount to another big pile-O-money.
    http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=753&CategoryId=4
    Turns out that Israel sucks up 30% of US foreign aid. Isn’t that amazing?
    Wow. Let’s compare Israel to the other 100 or so countries, roughly fifty in Africa, thirty in Asia, twenty in Latin America.
    Assuming that the remaining 70% is divided equally among them, it means your average third world country gets .7%. This means that Israel’s foreign aid is at least 43 times that received by our hypothetical average third world country.
    Wow. Maybe Israel needs so much foreign aid because its really really big. Let’s see. World population is 6 billion. Israel’s population is 6 million. That’s about 1/10th of one per cent.
    Ah, but that other 99.9% includes all the rich countries. So we have to exclude them, don’t we.
    Let’s be super-generous and assume that the rich and semi-rich countries not needing aid amount to 1.5 billion. Oh hell, let’s go wild and call it 2 billion.
    That only leaves 4 billion poor people deserving of aid. So it works out to 70% divided up four billion ways, versus 30% divided up six million ways. Simplify it a little bit, and this means, I believe, that Israel receives 285 times the amount of foreign aid given to third worlders, considered on a per capita population basis. Isn’t that amazing!!! Wow. Now, maybe my math skills are delinquent, easy enough, feel free to do your own math.
    I guess Israel really needs that money, cause its probably the super-poorest country in the world. Now, if we look at this little chart disclosing per capita incomes…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel
    Poor Israel ranks thirtieth. Wow. They really are poor. There’s only ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY COUNTRIES POORER.
    Wow. I can’t believe I was such a heartless prick, a buffoon, an idiot as to make snarky comments about Israel’s foreign aid. Gravy train indeed! Hmph!
    Well, Winnipegger certainly put me in my place.
    Yessirree, he showed me me a thing or two.
    ROTFL!!!

    Reply

  103. Winnipeger says:

    who’s the troll, don?
    me or or den and his pack of lies?
    what’s the matter, den? still trying to get your facts, i mean lies, straight?
    please, i beg of you, substantiate your claim!

    Reply

  104. DonS says:

    Ok, back to something that really counts, besides jousting with trolls.
    Regarding the latest propaganda escalation in the attack on Iran scenario:
    I would like to ponder, in terms of moral equivalence, what is the difference between the supposed Iranian ordinance identified (on disc, without eyewitness confirmation) supposedly found in Iraq (wow, what a surprise), and the cluster munitions found all over the battefields in South Lebanon, in violation of the laws of warfare, whose country of origin was the USA.
    I just want to know why the press can get so focused and identified with this supposed Iranian guilt by association, whereas the US can identify with the moral high ground in backing Israeli agression. True, if fig leaves are of any value, there was some minor flap about violation of understancings in using the cluster munitions in populated areas but, you know, I haven’t heard that its escalated to the level of any serious reprisals against the Israelis for violating recognized laws of warfare.
    Anyway, my question remains, in terms of moral equivalence, how can the presence of ALLEGED Iranian munitions, of which they had to scrape together evidence, and wouldn’t even display it in person, rise to wardrum escaltaing propostions, and the self same,but far greater, existence of American ordinance on the Lebanese killing fields, merit no siginificant attention, and perhaps a high five in the WH Office of ME affairs.

    Reply

  105. Pissed Off American says:

    Ah, so now its “idiot” and “buffoon”.
    Any minute now he will run sniveling to Steve.

    Reply

  106. Winnipeger says:

    hey den,
    you asserted that israel has been allocated $4 billion in the current federal budget. not surprisingly, you have continued to avoid this fact and you have yet to substantiate your erroneous claim.
    are you a liar or are you an idiot?
    why don’t you own up to the BS that you posted here? embarrassed? ashamed? delusional?
    still don’t want to “parse the details?”
    what a buffoon.

    Reply

  107. Matthew says:

    Steve: Thanks for the analysis and, frankly, mature evaluation of the situation. The Bush Administration, more so than any previous administration, is utterly useless in the Palestine-Israel conflict because they can’t formulate a way to blame the conflict entirely on the Palestinians. And since their Fundy base believes in the “biblical” importance of Israel, disaster seems pre-ordained. Your post pays the proper compliment to both sides. Both sides have grievances and they need to be discussed. What is the point of being the world’s only “hyperpower” if we can’t effectuate positive change?

    Reply

  108. Carroll says:

    This would be the end of the Plan For a New American Century.
    Posted by Den Valdron at February 11, 2007 02:21 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    Exactly why, if I were Iran or Saudi, it is what I would do if I were thinking far ahead.
    Really I would like to see this happen. It would be like the US and all other ME agitators running into a brick wall.

    Reply

  109. Den Valdron says:

    I don’t know, Pissed Off American, I think everyone’s missing the trees for the forest. Let’s think about this.
    The Iranians are clearly using Klingon cloaking devices.
    Which means that the real enemies are the Klingons.
    Ponder that for a while.
    How do we deal with Klingons.

    Reply

  110. nick says:

    Steve,
    Is this the “protected” foreign policy information you alluded to a few days ago?
    Regards,
    N

    Reply

  111. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, we got “proof” now that Iran is supplying deadly roadside bombs to the Iraqi “insurgency”. Heck, we got serial numbers and dates, by golly. Yep. We also know which roads are being used to bring these deadly donated evildoer bombs in on. Yeppers. Obviously the Iranians are using state of the art Klingon cloaking devices to hide the convoys using these roads, and that why we can’t stop these weapons from coming in. But hey, if the liars that brought us the Iraqi WMDs say we have proof, than by God, we must have it, right? I mean, they wouldn’t lie to us again, would they?
    Hey Steve, you guys going to talk about this “proof” at your conference? Maybe you can get Donnelly to give us the official PNAC version, with a bit of AEI nuance thrown in for good measure? (Or hey, you could just read the AIPAC website daily, and skip the conference.)

    Reply

  112. Den Valdron says:

    Ouch, Carroll. That’s a pretty frightening question.
    An Iran/Saudi Axis? Between these two powers, literally every other state in the Persian Gulf region would simply fall into line.
    I can’t see countries like Kuwait, Quatar, UAE, Oman or Yemen being able to maintain any kind of independent foreign or economic policy. They’re all members of OPEC and Iran and Saudi Arabia would form such a dominating block in OPEC that they would literally dictate to the rest of the Persian Gulf states. Militarily, the United States position in the Gulf would become literally indefensible.
    The only regional state that could form a realistic counterweight to such an axis is Iraq, and Iraq is fucked for the forseeable future.
    Of the remaining regional powers, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, Israel and Egypt are all nonstarters. None of them wield any oil influence. Syria and Egypt are culturally closest in terms of being Arabs, but lack the economic, political or social wherewithal to be a factor. Israel is geographically marginal and socially and politically isolated, its overwhelming military strength is largely useless in the context.
    Could the United States sustain presence or domination of the region without a viable central proxy? I seriously doubt that.
    Such an axis could well have the economic and political clout to form alliances with other regional powers and chart its own course.
    This would be the end of the Plan For a New American Century.

    Reply

  113. Pissed Off American says:

    Sorry for the off topic…
    but…..
    …it looks like these slimey bastards in Washington are up to their usual screwing of the American public…….
    http://www.etherzone.com/2007/bend020507.shtml

    Reply

  114. ... says:

    Get Carter http://www.takimag.com/site/article/get_carter/
    anyone who dares to talk about this topic of palestine/israel in a way that casts a bad light on israel will be labeled racist… i don’t think it is allowed to work the other way around though, as that would be too balanced.. winni could never be called a racist, but he is allowed to label everyone else that in the bat of an eye.

    Reply

  115. Carroll says:

    Maybe someone can address this hypothetical question.
    Given that the US is trying to seperate the various interest in the ME and line up sides for control..and that Saudi obviously got many benefits from the old power structure for their past cooperation with the US….
    What if the Saudis now see that the only way to avoid a ME WW is if Iran and Saudi came to an understanding of their own…on their own, cutting the US factor out of the equation?
    I can see where they might come to some “shared arrangement” rather then face the uncertain and for sure destructive outcome Ismerica has in mind for the ME.
    My question is what if this happened? What exactly could the US do? Two of the biggest oil nations unite, even in a uneasy union? If I were Iran and Saudi this is exactly the tact I would take to keep all foreign powers and their dividing tactics out of the region. The US and Russia and China and other interested parties would then be left with no big pawns to play off.

    Reply

  116. Den Valdron says:

    True enough.
    Oddly, there’s always that element of self pity in true racists. Even Hitler at the height of his power considered himself a victim of the Jews. Winnipegger’s penchant for verbal abuse and name calling speaks to how he feels he’s a victim here.

    Reply

  117. Pissed Off American says:

    He’s a rackin’ em up. “Fuck you”, “anti-semitic”, “fool”, “mr know it all”, “liar”……..pretty soon he will have called us all enough names, and hurled enough insults, to warrant him to start whining and sniveling to Steve about how mistreated he is here.

    Reply

  118. Den Valdron says:

    ROTFL, Winnipegger. Are you enjoying this as much as I am?
    So ‘pals’ is a common diminutive no different from isr.? Really? Is ‘isr’ in common use. Do people go around saying ‘isr this’ and ‘isr that’. How’s that pronounced? Isser? Issy? It wouldn’t be derogatory to go around referring to Israeli people as ‘Issers’ or ‘Issy’s’ Quick, someone call Jessie Jackson. ROTFL.
    I loved the hysterical defensive tone of your last post. I can imagine your sphincter clenching, your blood pressure rising, the sweat breaking out on your brow. Did you pound the keys.
    And you had this wonderful nit-picking line of attack all worked out, didn’t you. And its failing, and you’re under a spotlight, sweating up a storm.
    How does it feel to be exposed so nakedly for the racist that you are? Hmmm? Inquiring minds want to know.
    I’m having a ball. I confess, I’m enjoying this much, much more than I ought to.

    Reply

  119. Pissed Off American says:

    The Mughrabi Gate Crisis – Background and Analysis from NGO Ir Amim
    The Mughrabi Gate Crisis
    Background and Analysis provided by Daniel Seidemann
    http://www.peacenow.org/briefs.asp?rid=&cid=3420

    Reply

  120. Carroll says:

    THE PRINCE, by Elsa Walsh: How the Saudi Ambassador became Washington’s indispensable operator, The New Yorker, July 22, 2004.
    Posted by Freedom at February 11, 2007 12:55 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    That is very interesting, I had not seen this account before.
    I wonder now, two years later, how much the Saudis really are “talking” to the US.
    Maybe their patience already has worn out.
    Since the US and Israel are so into “esculating” and upping the anty in the ME I would love to see the Saudis up their anty by going totally “silent” in their dipolmatic channels with the US.
    That would triple the fear of God factor in the Bush adm. Someone has to call someone’s hand sooner or later.

    Reply

  121. Easy E says:

    Look at this crap coming out in this week’s Newsweek.
    BLOW UP. AMERICA’S HIDDEN WAR WITH IRAN
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17086418/site/newsweek/
    The corporate mainstream media is CRIMINALLY COMPLICIT in manipulating public opinion to suit the aims of the Military Industrial Establishment: U.S. Empire & Global Hegemony.
    All the more reason to reform U.S. media system to bring back and transform democracy—which will lead to better public policies at home and abroad. See http://www.freepress.net/content/mission.

    Reply

  122. Den Valdron says:

    I should take a further moment out to point out the inherent contradictions of the racist viewpoint in your screed.
    The Pals are collectively plotting in one breath, and savagely incapable of governing each other in the next. There’s an obvious contradiction here. How can a group which is incapable of managing itself to the point that it spends time killing each other somehow achieve the degree of organization to scheme and plot nefarious misdeeds like intifadas?
    The resolution comes from the ‘outside agitator’, of course, but even there, there is an inherent contradiction. The final breath, the bottom line is that the ‘Pals’ are inherently murderous and out to kill. This means that ‘evil’ lies within them, they are inherently malignant and dangerous. But then, that undermines the notion of the ‘outside agitator’ as the source of evil and agitation, doesn’t it?
    These sorts of internal contradictions are quite common to racism. Racism is a belief structure based on emotion, the emotion of hatred. As such its drivers are based in a series of primal emotional roots, these invariably contradict each other, requiring ever more complex forms of rationalization and blindness.
    It’s quite an effort to be a racist. You have to work at it. It requires an investiment of time, emotional energy and reasoning, and it requires constant maintenance.
    I’d like to thank you, Winnipegger, for providing such a crystalline object lesson, such a transparent glimpse into the inner workings and logic of racism.
    I’d also like to say that I’m amused that you went out of your way to challenge me on this several times, while simultaneously writing the things you did. What did you expect? LOL.

    Reply

  123. Winnipeger says:

    den,
    you’ve sure got alot of time on your hands, huh?
    “derogatory diminutive,” my ass. using the shorthand “pals” is no more racist than the common abbreviation of israel; “isr.” there’s nothing “there” there, den. you’re a fool for even making the argument. a fool.
    and hey, WHY NO RESPONSE ABOUT YOUR BS CLAIM THAT ISRAEL HAS BEEN ALLOCATED $4 BILLION IN THE CURRENT FEDERAL BUDGET?!
    are you a LIAR or were you just WRONG? and if you were wrong, why don’t you retract your assertion? “parsing details” my ass!

    Reply

  124. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres what Winnipeger says about the excavations….
    “so, you’re insinuating that israel is really not repairing the ramp to the temple mount? intentionally destroying al aqsa when the ramp is 70 meters away from the dome of the rock?! BS. the same ramp partially collapsed several years ago after an earthquake. these are long scheduled repairs. could it possibly be that the pals are looking for a new intifada against israel after abdullah paid them off to stop killing each other and focus on israelis instead? of course not…”
    Heres what “Americans for Peace Now” has to say about the excavations. Of Course, Winnipeger would know this, being a “Peace Now” donor, and all, right? Winnipeger wouldn’t lie to us, would he?
    http://www.peacenow.org/updates.asp?rid=0&cid=3421
    APN to Rice: “Stop Jerusalem Excavations, Construction Plan”
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 8, 2007
    CONTACT: Ori Nir – (202) 728-1893
    Washington, D.C – Americans for Peace Now today called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to urgently intervene to stop the current excavations and planned construction by Israel near the Temple Mount/al Aqsa Mosque compound (known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif). In a letter to Rice, APN warned that such destabilizing actions could spark violent protest not only in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza but throughout the Arab and Muslim world.
    “What happens in Jerusalem does not stay in Jerusalem. Rather, it can have an enormous impact on attitudes and events elsewhere – not only in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, but throughout the region and the world. For the sake of U.S. vital interests, including concern for Israel and for security and stability in the region, we urge you to intervene with effective diplomacy to stop this reckless and irresponsible enterprise,” wrote APN’s chair, Franklin M. Fisher, and the organization’s president and CEO, Debra DeLee. APN is a Jewish, Zionist organization whose mission is to enhance Israel’s security through peace and to support the Israeli Peace Now movement.
    The letter refers to excavations that Israel is currently carrying out adjacent to the Temple Mount compound. This work is in preparation for the construction of a new access bridge to the compound, intended to replace the centuries-old Mughrabi Gate access ramp, which has fallen into disrepair three years ago. “Unfortunately, rather than preserving and respecting the delicate and longstanding status quo in this extremely sensitive area, the current Israeli plan envisions greatly expanding this access route onto the Temple Mount compound. This project, if implemented, would mark the first time since 1967 that Israel has directly altered the status quo on the Temple Mount compound,” the letter to Rice asserts.
    Jerusalem’s Old City, and in particular the Temple Mount, is one of the most politically and religiously sensitive places in the world. It is holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians. “Past Israeli actions that were perceived as efforts to change the status quo in the Old City – such as the opening of the Hasmonean Tunnel in 1996 or the visit to the Temple Mount by Ariel Sharon in 2000 – triggered violence and protest not only in Israel and the West Bank/Gaza, but throughout the region,” the letter points out.
    “Clearly, Israel has the right, and even the obligation, to ensure safe access onto the Temple Mount compound via the Mughrabi Gate. However, consistent with both with longstanding practice and political common sense, any new construction project in the area should be undertaken only with full transparency, in consultation and with the agreement of all interested parties,” the letter says.
    For background information on the current Temple Mount crisis, as well as the full text of the letter to Rice, go to APN’s “Mughrabi Gate Crisis” Index Page.

    Reply

  125. Easy E says:

    Why does America keep listening to this neocon-Likudnik warmonger Fox pundit?
    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/02/11/obama-slavery/

    Reply

  126. Carroll says:

    How many American’s would agree with this statement:..if put to them exactly this way how many would say YES….this is an American value and should be applied to ALL American policies..at home and abroad?
    ” American values demand that all people be treated equally, that rights be doled out in equal measure regardless of one’s race, religion or ethnicity”
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0702070020feb07,0,5388645.story?coll=chi-newsopinioncommentary-hed
    Carter enters lions’ den
    Despite criticism, his book is work of a true patriot
    By Paul Findley
    Published February 7, 2007
    At the age of 82, Jimmy Carter entered the lion’s den. With the publication of his latest book, “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid,” he did what a patriot would do: rally Americans to vigorous debate of a critical issue that affects our future. He deserves a hero’s praise. Instead, he has been attacked and defamed.
    American policy has long held, for example, that Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land are illegal. Yet Israel continues to build them. American values demand that all people be treated equally, that rights be doled out in equal measure regardless of one’s race, religion or ethnicity.
    If these issues were debated openly, U.S. policymakers would have to hold Israel accountable and demand that our financial and diplomatic support be contingent upon Israel upholding American values and policy positions.
    Yet there is silence. Critical discussion of Israeli policies is non-existent in Congress. Rather than conducting vigorous committee hearings, as happens with other issues, members of Congress compete to outdo one another in statements of support for Israel. And American tax dollars keep flowing uninterrupted to Israel.
    Our unconditional support of Israel damages our credibility on the world stage. It deprives us of potential allies in the Arab and Muslim worlds. It allows Israel to remain intransigent and condemns Palestinian and Israeli children to decades more of conflict.”

    Reply

  127. Pissed Off American says:

    Gee, winnipeger says….
    “could it possibly be that the pals are looking for a new intifada against israel after abdullah paid them off to stop killing each other and focus on israelis instead?”
    I guess he doesn’t read the “Peace Now” site, being such a concientious donor and all. It seems Peace Now blames another situation for a “new intifada”.
    http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=66&docid=2168
    Peace Now: The Settlers are Sparking off the Next Intifada
    21/01/2007
    Yariv Oppenheimer, Peace Now General Director: “The Defence Minister must prevent the settlers from overtaking land illegally, and begin to respond with seriousness to these grave acts.”
    This response came in light of the report that settlers were planting 15,000 saplings surrounding their outposts in the West Bank.
    Oppenheimer added that this was a cynical attempt by the settler leaders to use the Jewish Festival of Tu Bishvat to create facts on the ground.

    Reply

  128. Den Valdron says:

    A derogatory diminutive like ‘pals’ is not racist? Well, that’s news.
    Naming, is of course, an important signifier of personal identity and power. To ‘rename’ an adversary or opponent is to take away their identity and replace it with one conferred by yourself. That’s an obvious psychological game.
    We see this sort of thing in President Bush’s penchant for giving nicknames to everyone he meets, often derogatory nicknames. ‘Brownie’ for FEMA director Brown. ‘Pooty-Poot’ for Russian President Putin. As part of the same sort of thing, we saw Black males generically called ‘boy’ in the redneck south, erasing both their individuality and their manhood in one stroke.
    Conferring a nickname on a rival or enemy is invariably a derogatory thing, intended to dehumanize, de-individualize, emasculate or otherwise degrade.
    Applied to ethnic or cultural groups, there’s a very long tradition of racist appellations, including appellations which truncate or shorten a name. Thus, we have Hebes for Hebrews, Frogs for French, Pakis for Pakistanis, etc. etc. ‘Pals’ for ‘Palestinians’ is just more of the same.
    As for not making blanket derogatory statements as to an entire group, how about, ‘the pals are looking for a new intifada against israel after abdullah paid them off to stop killing each other and focus on israelis instead?’
    Your reference to the ‘pals’ here can only be to Palestinians as a whole, to men, women, children, elderly, all political stripes. It’s not a reference to Fatah (or in your terms, the ‘Fats’) or Hamas (‘Hams’?), but to the entire social/ethnic/cultural group collectively know as Palestinians.
    What do you have to say about the ‘pals’? They (collectively) are plotting a new Intifada. Ahhhh. So this entire collective group is plotting are they? Plotting to undermine and attack Israel society. Didn’t some guy in Germany used to rant on about how the Jews were collectively plotting against the German people? Gosh, isn’t it funny how the more things change the more they stay the same. What is it with all these ethnic groups plotting all the time?
    And what else are the ‘Pals’ (collectively) doing? Why they’re taking money from an outside Agitator (Abdullah)…
    Outside agitators are a staple trope of racism. The local Indians/Negroes/Irish are always good and quiescent, and when they get stirred up, the blame is always on outside agitators, labour activists, carpetbaggers, northern liberals, nigger-lovers who intrude from the outside in order to upset the social order.
    The role of the ‘outside agitator’ is critical to racist thinking. The racist believes in a natural and stable state of superiority or domination of his race or group over the subordinates. Since this order is natural, stable and often ordained by god, minority dissatisfaction or agitation becomes very hard to explain. The mechanism is to blame it on foreigners, the serpent in the garden of eden, the ‘outside agitator.’ It transfers all blame and all responsibility for problems neatly outside the community, and provides for an easy solution.
    So whenever we hear complaints about ‘outside agitators’ ninety-nine times out of a hundred, its an integral part of some racist spew. Yours is only a classic case.
    But let’s go on, the claim that the ‘Pals’ (collectively), are taking the Abdullahs (outside agitator) money, speaks to a national character trait… they’re corrupt and avariscious. More racism.
    Attributions of ‘weak moral character’ are a key attribute of racism, whether the racist is referring to Black’s inferior mentality and uncontrollable sexual appetite, to Jews love of money and lack of personal honesty or integrity, or in this case, to Palestinians corrupt and avariscious nature.
    Oh, and its a hallmark of genuine racists to argue the point – thus the redneck will claim that its obvious and well known that blacks have an appetite for white women, the anti-semite claims that its just a fact that Jews really do love money, and you assert that the Palestinians are obviously corrupt.
    And what are they taking money for?
    ‘…to stop killing each other…’
    So collectively, they’re ungovernable savages. They’re killing each other uncontrollably. The only thing that stops them is outside forces. Bribes from Abdullah, in this case, or by implication, Israeli force and benefiscience.
    Again, this goes back to yet another standard racist trope – the savagery and ungovernability of the inferior race, the fact that left to themselves, they cannot control their own lives.
    The corollary to this, joined at the hip even when unstated, is ‘white man’s burden’, the notion that the savagery and ungovernability of the inferior race entitles the superior race to govern and rule the inferiors *for their own good.* Thus, white domination over blacks, and Israeli control over Palestinians is affirmed as not merely righteous, but necessary.
    Classic racism.
    And what do the ‘Pals’ (collectively) do when Abdullah (the outside agitator) bribes (their corrupt nature) to stop killing each other (in their savage ungovernable nature)…
    “kill Israeli’s”
    The last refuge of racism. After all the determined assertion of inferiority, there is fear. The ‘niggers/jews/indians/hispanics/irish/
    palestinians’ want to kill us. They’re obviously inferior, they are ungoverneable, corrupt, quiescent, childlike, savage, etc. etc., the need wise and beneficient rule… But they want to kill us. They’re dangerous. They’ll kill us. Our only hope is to oppress, Oppress, OPPRESS!!! Lay that whip into their backs for all your worth, because the minute you relent, those traitorous wops/wogs/dagos/pollacks/slavs will be up off the floor to tear your throat out, drink the blood of your children and unleash his slavering lusts on your women.
    Jesus. H. Christ. How utterly pathetic. How infantile. What a bundle of whining, neurotic delusions.
    How utterly… you?
    Really, its astonishing how you were able to compress so many vile and classic racist tropes into a couple of bare lines. There is a density of technique and an economy of words that would be almost admirable, if it wasn’t so nakedly hateful and stomach turning. Quite astonishing.
    You, Winnipegger, are quite the racist indeed. And a virulent racist at that. There’s nothing refined or considered about your racism, you simply incorporate all the baggage… natural inferiority, outside agitators, savage ungovernability, the need or danger of outside control, and of course the omnipresently murderous quality of the the inferior… there’s no picking and choosing, no considered selection, you simply bought the whole package. You are a classical though perhaps unconscious and unthinking racist.
    I’ll not even bother to wonder about your views of blacks, hispanics, etc.
    I’ll note that while you may be an unthinking racist, I don’t for a second believe that you are unconscious of your racist nature. This may be unpleasant, but none of this comes as a surprise.
    So obviously, I’m not writing this for you.
    This little deconstruction is for everyone else. It’s so anyone who reads it can thoroughly understand and appreciate what a racist you are, and exactly how and why you are a racist.
    I hope you appreciate the effort I’ve gone through on your behalf. 😉

    Reply

  129. Easy E says:

    Check out the following to see how ***STUPID*** Americans really are.
    * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GqrOY6x2eU&mode=related&search=
    * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SX3f2KmOiI&mode=related&search
    The corporate mainstream media intentionally keeps the U.S. public STUPID. Public opinion is manipulated by the Corporate/Military Industrial Establishment to achieve U.S. Empire aims of global hegemony.
    All the more reason to reform U.S. media system to bring back and transform democracy—which will lead to better public policies at home and abroad. See http://www.freepress.net/content/mission.

    Reply

  130. Easy E says:

    As Josh Marshall implies on TPM, today’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post by William Odom should be required reading.
    “Victory Is Not an Option
    The Mission Can’t Be Accomplished — It’s Time for a New Strategy”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/09/AR2007020901917_pf.html

    Reply

  131. Pissed Off American says:

    Instead of defending Israel’s actions, our resident troll points his fingers outwards away from Israel. Israel’s actions have become indefensible, so its all he’s got left.
    Of course, the dishonest little prick can always try to foist another monicker off on us, and drop his “Peace Now” pretensions.
    Or hey, he can always start sniveling and whining to Steve again. (Thats my bet.)

    Reply

  132. Winnipeger says:

    “The only way to end this game for good is to pick Israel up and throw them against the wall.”
    guess what, carroll? the days of throwing the jews against the wall are over. the same goes for israel’s existence. she ain’t going nowhere. and the sooner the palestinians and her neighbors recognize this fact, the better for them.
    “the Israelis are incapable of compromise or honesty and they aren’t going to change?”
    and what about the palestinian and arab leadership? are they honest? are they capable of embracing change?

    Reply

  133. Freedom says:

    Steve, it’s not just the US who loses control but more importantly Israel … unless you have conflated the two 🙂
    Regarding the post, I think that there are two things that must be mentioned here.
    First, that is not the first time that the House of Saud has taken the initiative. Only that initiative was derailed by Bandar! (See excerpt below).
    Secondly, you write: “In recent months, we have seen simmering tectonic tension between the rival political and military wings of Hamas and Fatah and both America and Israel did nothing. Abbas was left pretty much to fend for himself, though there is word that the U.S. was funneling some money and guns in to help Fatah.” In fact, the Bush Admin (under guidance of Israel) was doing all it could to undermine Abbas, seen as too weak to curtail Hamas, in favour of the so-called “Mutiny Trend” within Fateh headed by the vicious Dahalan. (Just type in the keyword “Dahalan” here.)
    http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/cgi-bin/am/exec/search.cgi
    The thing is that there was no “void” to be filled, only US/Israel machinations that went horribly wrong for the House of Saud. Finally (!) the saudi king has grasped the fact that he should not have allowed Bandar to run the show for such a long time in Washington. All he got in return is the empowerment of Iran and the Shi’ites (a nightmare more dreadful than anything to the House of Saud!). That fits in nicely into the Ziocons’ “creative chaos” though for beyond the wars for oil, its long term aim is to set the Shi’ites up as the new target of hate for Sunnis. Bandar might have gone along with that thinking, as he once implied in an interview, that he could eventually bring the two sects together – but that’s matter for another discussion. At the end of the day, Bandar was working for himself. Indeed, it is quite possible that he made “a covenant” with the Ziocons (Palestine for the ‘Saudi throne’) ever since he arrived on the scene in Washington so that to all intents and purposes, the only game in town was the “Israel Lobby”. Well, not anymore. Now that there are two powerful lobbies in town, it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
    ——————
    Excerpt:
    In August, the Crown Prince saw on television an Israeli soldier pushing an elderly Palestinian woman. When she fell, she grabbed the soldier’s leg and he stepped on her. The Crown Prince, in a rage, called Bandar. “This is it. Those bastards!” he yelled, according to an account that Bandar has given associates. “Even women—they’re stepping all over them.” He ordered Bandar, who was in Aspen, to return to Washington and to deliver a message: Starting today, you go your way and we will go our way. From then on, the Saudis would look out for their own national interests. The high-ranking Saudi military delegation that had just arrived in Washington for meetings at the Pentagon was ordered to return home immediately.
    The message represented a fundamental shift in Saudi policy, and Bandar left for Washington deeply worried. On August 27th, he met with Rice at her White House office. “This is the hardest message I’ve had to deliver between our two countries since I started working in this country, in 1983,” Bandar began, according to official Saudi notes that were later confirmed by an Administration source. For the next several minutes, Bandar summarized relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia. “We were your friend when it was not fashionable to be your friend. We stood in the fifties and sixties with you in the region when nobody was.” He continued, “The biggest challenge, of course, to the two of us was Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.” The Crown Prince, he said, was deeply disturbed by the “continued Israeli actions, horrible actions, as if Jewish blood is not equal to Palestinian”—in particular, the practice of punishing the families of people suspected of committing terrorist acts. “We wonder how the American people would have accepted the President of the United States ordering all the McVeigh family houses to be destroyed or burning their farms,” he said, referring to the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. It seemed as if the United States had made a strategic decision to adopt Sharon’s policy as American policy. “In light of all that, the Crown Prince feels that he cannot continue dealing with the United States,” Bandar told Rice. “We feel that since you have taken such a decision, then we also are obliged to take our own decision.”
    Rice told Bandar that she was shocked by the message and would take it immediately to the President. But she wanted Bandar to understand that the United States had not adopted a new strategic policy for the region.
    Within thirty-six hours, Bandar was on his way to Riyadh with a conciliatory response from Bush. Nothing should ever break the relations between their two countries, Bush wrote to the Crown Prince in a two-page letter dated August 29th. “I am troubled and feel deeply the suffering of ordinary Palestinians in their day to day life and I want such tragedies and sufferings to end,” Bush wrote. “I firmly believe that the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination and to live peacefully and securely in their own state in their own homeland.” Not even Clinton had publicly supported a Palestinian state.
    On September 7th, Bandar returned to Washington with a letter from Abdullah to Bush, and a meeting was hurriedly arranged in the family quarters at the White House. Bush was there, as were Cheney, Rice, and Powell. As Bandar was walking in, Powell cornered him. “What the fuck are you doing?” witnesses recall Powell asking. “You’re putting the fear of God in everybody’s hearts here. We’ve all come rushing here to hear this revelation that you bring from Saudi Arabia. You scared the shit out of everybody.” Bandar replied, “I don’t give a damn what you feel. We are scared ourselves.”
    In his letter, the Crown Prince said that he had taken immediate steps. He had got in touch with Arafat and had “obtained from him a clear promise to exert a hundred per cent effort as you have requested.” (Bandar had also brought a letter from Arafat stating the same promise.) The Crown Prince said that he had sent his Foreign Minister and Bandar to meet separately with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, and had showed Bush’s letter to them. “I wish to inform you that those Arab leaders find in your letter just what I did, the beginning of a bringing back of the peace process to the right path.” He urged Bush to take charge of initiating the revival of the peace process. “The efforts exerted in the past by your predecessors were not in vain, but rather brought the parties closer,” he said in closing his letter. “Today, we face a turning point that leads either to disaster, God forbid, or to peace. This historical turning point requires a historical leader who will prevent this disaster. I have great hope in you, Mr. President, that you will be that leader.” — THE PRINCE, by Elsa Walsh: How the Saudi Ambassador became Washington’s indispensable operator, The New Yorker, July 22, 2004.

    Reply

  134. steambomb says:

    The Washington Note Post
    On november 29 2006
    November 29, 2006
    Saudis Will Fill Vacuum Left by US in Iraq and Challenge Iran’s Pretensions
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001808.php
    Then a rash of Helicopters going down in Anbar begins……
    Mon Dec 4, 2006 8:12am ET
    http://tinyurl.com/2pczrk
    Published: December 11, 2006
    http://tinyurl.com/2bramw
    Feb 2nd 2007
    http://tinyurl.com/2gfgqt
    Top U.S. General: Insurgent Ground Fire “More Effective”; 4th Aircraft Lost In 2 Weeks
    Coincidence?

    Reply

  135. Carroll says:

    The game continues..
    “The Israeli government is funding the first construction of a Jewish settlement in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter since taking control of it nearly four decades ago. The Flowers Gate development plan calls for more than 20 apartments and a domed synagogue that would alter the skyline of the Old City.”
    Now, we all know that ‘talks” are rather impossible when one side is insisting the other side “abide” by previous agreements and while that side never met an agreement or condition it didn’t violate.
    Face it, the Israelis are incapable of compromise or honesty and they aren’t going to change. The only way to end this game for good is to pick Israel up and throw them against the wall. And as the US loses it’s power in the ME and the international arena that day may come for Israel by being boycotted and cut off from the rest of the world.
    If we observers have seen this “game” of the Israelis don’t you think those European and Arab dipolmats closer to it are well of the “game”?
    My only question now is when does their patience run out.

    Reply

  136. Carroll says:

    Of course the Temple Mount action is to deliberately inflame the Palestines just as Sharon’s was before.
    Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh himself asked Olmert to delay the work exactly becuase it would increase tensions and violence.
    Olmert refused.
    Get it?
    Anything to derail peace talks and anything to derail any kind of unity goverment forming in Palestine and anything to keep the unrest and violence going.

    Reply

  137. Winnipeger says:

    sorry, den, referring to the palestinians as “pals” for shorthand is hardly grounds for charges of racism. this is NOT an example of “derogatory diminutives.” sorry. further, i’ve never made “blanket attributions of violence and corruption to an entire ethnic group.” this is BS and you know it. but to say that palestinian leadership is not corrupt and has not embraced violence in the past is asinine.
    interesting that you refuse to acknowledge the mistruth that you hoisted upon this community in asserting that the israelis have been allocated $4 billion in the proposed federal budget.
    are you a liar or did you make a (huge) mistake? either way i guess mr. know-it-all DOESN’T know-it-all.
    oh yeah, and i guess the post from “deblonay at February 11, 2007 01:04 AM” wasn’t anti-semitic, right?
    what an amusing, enlightened bunch.

    Reply

  138. Anonymn says:

    This is a test I am steambomb. A short time ago I posted this
    The Washington Note Post
    On november 29 2006
    November 29, 2006
    Saudis Will Fill Vacuum Left by US in Iraq and Challenge Iran’s Pretensions
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001808.php
    Then a rash of Helicopters going down in Anbar begins……
    Mon Dec 4, 2006 8:12am ET
    http://tinyurl.com/2pczrk
    Published: December 11, 2006
    http://tinyurl.com/2bramw
    Feb 2nd 2007
    http://tinyurl.com/2gfgqt
    Top U.S. General: Insurgent Ground Fire “More Effective”; 4th Aircraft Lost In 2 Weeks
    Coincidence?
    I got an unusual message stating that a new method of post had been implemented to hold and review comments for a short time. I am just checking to see if it is name specific. 🙂

    Reply

  139. steambomb says:

    The Washington Note Post
    On november 29 2006
    November 29, 2006
    Saudis Will Fill Vacuum Left by US in Iraq and Challenge Iran’s Pretensions
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001808.php
    Then a rash of Helicopters going down in Anbar begins……
    Mon Dec 4, 2006 8:12am ET
    http://tinyurl.com/2pczrk
    Published: December 11, 2006
    http://tinyurl.com/2bramw
    Feb 2nd 2007
    http://tinyurl.com/2gfgqt
    Top U.S. General: Insurgent Ground Fire “More Effective”; 4th Aircraft Lost In 2 Weeks
    Coincidence?

    Reply

  140. Arun says:

    The words above were from
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=280279&sw=neocon
    in a 05/04/2003 article by Ari Shavit in the Haaretz.

    Reply

  141. Arun says:

    I wonder what the reaction would be if one wrote that the Iraq war was “conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish”, who were pushing President Bush to change the course of history.

    Reply

  142. Pissed Off American says:

    So, this slimey little prick resurrects the winnipeger monicker to destroy another thread, eh? After casting a couple “fuck yous” and accusing us of anti-semitism, the despicable whining weasel will once again start sniveling to Steve about how abused he is here. Gee, isn’t Israel lucky to have such a shining example of humanity as an advocate? And Peace Now must be thrilled to have such an virtuous donor.
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Hasbara
    Yes, Whiney Winnie, a “21st century holocaust”. The way the Palestinians are treated is, in many ways, directly in line with the way the jews were treated by Nazi Germany. And the civilian targeting cluster bombing of Lebanon? A war crime of epic proportions, for which the UN should immediately impose international sanctions against Israel, and demand Ohlmert’s indictment for international war crimes.

    Reply

  143. Den Valdron says:

    Given that the Temple Mount was the deliberate site chosen to provoke the first Intifada, pretty much any move or action around the Temple Mount or relating to it is due to be controversial.
    There simply isn’t going to be any politically neutral action to take there. Sorry. But its not a matter of opinion, its simply reality.
    The only way you’d get anything done around this area is through very very careful steps and a long process of protracted and public negotiation which built a consensus.
    Decline to engage that effort of long and transparent public negotiation and consensus, and all you have left is a provocation.
    This is all very easy for people who are not obvious racists to understand.

    Reply

  144. Den Valdron says:

    Yes, I’m still calling you a racist. You employ derogatory diminutives ‘Pals’ for Palestinians, and you make blanket attributions of corruption and violence to the entire ethnic group without any context whatsoever. These are classical racist tropes.
    Frankly, I don’t see why you keep harping on the subject. Your racism is completely open and unself-conscious. I would have assumed that you would be proud of being a racist. You certainly exercise every opportunity to indulge your racism and you make no real effort to conceal this aspect of your nature.
    I can only assume from your wayward behaviour that you may be of the view that racism towards palestinians is not really racism. Whatever.
    I have no particular desire to argue with you, but I’m not going to cater to your whims or indulge you in any way. I’ll simply not cater to your lies.
    I have no special wish to corrupt this thread with your obvious neuroses. Go away, please.

    Reply

  145. steambomb says:

    I sense an interesting coincidental timeline. Remember back when one of the Saudi diplomats warned the U.S. if they left Iraq they would be forced to get involved and help the Sunnis?
    It seemed that shortly after that piece of news, U.S. Helicopters started going down and have been shot down, crashed or otherwise reached a demise. Of course right now it is only a coincidence. If you believe in coincidences.

    Reply

  146. Winnipeger says:

    oh, and the renovation of the ramp leading to the temple mount is an “outrageous provocation designed to manipulate palestinian reaction?!”
    reasonable people can look at the facts and make their own determination. these are long scheduled, necessary repairs. this is not another instance of arik sharon looking for a fight.
    imo, to proclaim otherwise demonstrates an obvious bias against israel.

    Reply

  147. Winnipeger says:

    Den,
    so you’re still calling me a racist?!
    PLEASE DOCUMENT ANY STATEMENT I’VE MADE THAT IN ANY WAY SUPPORTS THIS CLAIM. IMMEDIATELY! YOU HAVE NEVER DONE SO IN THE PAST AND I’M SURE YOU’LL CONTINUE TO LOB GRENADES FROM YOUR LIVING ROOM. THERE IS SIMPLY NO TRUTH TO YOUR ALLEGATION.
    you also wrote:
    “I’ve said it before. I have no particular interest in parsing the fine details of direct foreign aid, military aid, various sorts of donations, loans, forgiveable loans, loan guarantees, and contributions that the United States props the Israeli economy up with.”
    no interests in “parsing” details, huh? apparently not. that sure didn’t stop you from making the patently FALSE claim that israel was allocated $4 billion in the new budget. should i call you a liar, den, or were you just mistaken?

    Reply

  148. larry birnbaum says:

    Grotesquely hyperbolic statements about “eradicating Muslims” and “20th century holocaust” make discussion impossible. Maybe that’s the point, I don’t know.
    Here is a pointer to information about an actual, ongoing 21st century holocaust that is eradicating Muslims:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darfur_conflict
    And a quote:
    “Estimated number of deaths in the conflict have ranged from 50,000 (World Health Organization, September 2004) to 500,000 (Dr. Eric Reeves, February 6, 2007)[4]. Most NGOs use 400,000, a figure from the Coalition for International Justice that has since been cited by the United Nations. As many as 2.5 million are thought to have been displaced.”
    A (sad to say, incomplete) list of 20th century holocausts:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_Rouge
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Timor
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_Genocide
    Enough.

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  149. Den Valdron says:

    I agree with Aunt Deb that Israel’s behaviour towards the Palestinians in the occupied territories is often deliberately provocative.
    These provocations come in two forms.
    1) Contemptuous provocations where the Israeli’s are aware of the response that will be provoked, but are absolutely indifferent and simply intent on imposing their will. House bulldozing, property theft, settlements, the wall etc. In this sense, the Israeli’s view is that the rewards to be gained far outweigh the costs of palestinian resistance, and that resistance will not fall predictably on the beneficiaries of the action. In short, the Israeli’s who evict a Palestinian village from their lands and farms to build an illegal settlement don’t give a rats ass if the result is that a bunch of civilian Israeli’s in a pizza parlour get blown up in six months. At the end of the day, they have their settlement. This sort of thing is sufficient to keep the pot boiling.
    2) Outrageous Provocations – where the intention is to provoke an uprising or new cycle of violence which will then justify new rounds of punitive action or other conduct which would have otherwise been unreasonable or offensive. Sharon’s deliberate visit to the temple mount with an army was just such an outrageous provocations designed to provoke a Palestinian response. Given how politically charged that particular section of territory is, there is no way that any activity there could be conceived as politically neutral. I gotta go with Aunt Deb that this amounted to a deliberate Outrageous Provocation designed to manipulate a Palestinian reaction. Oh, and blowing up crippled old men in wheelchairs on the steps of mosques immediately after prayers in full view of the public using a fighter jet as a weapon of assassination would also be an outrageous provocation.
    That said: Horton? Maisie? You’ve lost me.

    Reply

  150. rich says:

    The destruction of legitimately elected govts in Palestine and Lebanon was, for Israel, imperative.
    Because their existence meant you HAD to deal with them in good faith–that you could NOT steamroll, bomb, bulldoze, encamp, demonize or ghetto-ize.
    Legitimate democracies stood in the way of Bush&Israel’s agenda. So they had to go. Armed groups you can exploit as pretext and justification for military eradicatoin (even if they are defending their land & families).

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  151. Aunt Deb says:

    Dear Winnipeger, I’m not implying anything about the ramp’s condition. I’m stating that over and over again Israeli policy and/or practice, take your pick, has been to make use of the very real unrest such building and occupation arouses in the Palestinians. Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount is but one example. But of course, in your paradigm, we’ll just take it as a given that the motives of the Israelis are as pure as the driven snow and the reaction of the animal Palestinians is just another example of how they aren’t really ready for their own state, sigh. It’s time for folks like yourself to stop playing Horton to an imaginary Maisie, Winnipeger.

    Reply

  152. Tony Foresta says:

    The factbasedreality is that every individual, clique, klan, cabal, cartel, church, and nation on earth is motivated exclusively by self preservation. The Saudi’s particularly are not too keen on Iran winning Iraq and gleaning significant influence in the ME, – not to mention nuclear weapons capabilities in the process.
    All ME nations were profitable when oil was $35.00 a barrel, at $50.00, $60.00, or (allah be praised) higher – these nations have the economic clout to pursue a wild and unholy array of options to invest in all kinds of diabolical technologies, organizations, operations, and assets to counter American hegemony, the predatory fascist policies of the Bush government, and the Bush governments naked marauding of the regions only source of real power, – OIL.
    Everyone everywhere is seeking some kind of stability in the afterbirth of the fascist Bush governments abortion of the Pax Americana pipedreams in the ME. American are the only idiots on earth still holding the dead hope of democratizing the ME, or anything like “success” in the bloody, costly, noendinsight horrorshow, and excuse for wanton profiteering in Iraq.
    All the worlds nations are realigning to 21st century factbasedrealities American leadership is evidently incapable of either admitting, recogniziig, or effectively managing.
    Sunni Saudi’s (and other Arab nations), do not want Shi’a and particularly Iranian Persians usurping inordinate control of the Gulf of Hormuz, the pinch point that could shut down most oil flow, distribution, and subsequent wealth of the entire ME.
    Since their “good friends” in the Bush government have proven woefully incompentent catastrophic failures in securing this single critical geographic nexus of oil, politics, religion, and security – the House of Saud, intent on self preservation is taking matters in their own oleaginous hands, and working in ways overt and covert to stabilize the region, and secure the flow of oil, – and the lavish luxury the Kingdom is accustomed to enjoying.
    Welcome to the real world.
    Those who are directly and indirectly responsible for the horrors and mass murder of 9/11 are now best hope for securing stability (ie oil flow) in the ME.
    “Deliver us from evil!!!”

    Reply

  153. Den Valdron says:

    Ah, so ‘Offended American Jew’ was you sliming around under a different nick, Winnipegger? Typical troll tactic. If I had the least bit of interest, I would have known.
    And I see that you’re as much of a racist as ever. ‘Pals’ indeed? Paid off to look for a new Intifada and stop killing each other. You’re such a humanitarian.
    I’ve said it before. I have no particular interest in parsing the fine details of direct foreign aid, military aid, various sorts of donations, loans, forgiveable loans, loan guarantees, and contributions that the United States props the Israeli economy up with.
    If you have any dispute that the United States is not propping up the Israeli economy, well, you’re welcome to that delusional little world.
    If you have any illusion that Israeli policy in the occupied territories and towards the Palestinians is not inhumane and atrocious, well, I guess that’s an even more delusional little world.
    I’ve often objected to simply blaming Israel for every middle eastern issue. Israel’s role in American decisions in regard to Iraq or Iran, or the Gulf or Saudi Arabia is minor or at least non-decisive.
    On the other hand, when it comes to Lebanon, or to the Palestinians or Occupied Territories, then examination and criticism of Israel is both legitimate and appropriate.
    You gotta admit. Israel’s a proper focus of this thread. There are other potential focuses. Hamas. Abbas. Palestinian politics. Saudi diplomacy. The failures of American diplomacy. Stated as opposed to covert objectives of American diplomacy. There’s all sorts. But Israel is properly in there.
    I could, and fervently do, wish for more focused and coherent discussions.
    But hey, we’ve got people like you here to make sure that doesn’t happen. Thrilling.
    I suppose I could end this by making observations regarding your utter lack of integrity, your dishonesty, racism, emotional immaturity. But why bother?

    Reply

  154. Carroll says:

    First, you kill all the politicans.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/11/us/politics/11trips.html?_r=1&hp&ex=1171170000&en=e1bbc0cbbdc25f89&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin
    That will settle the Israeli problem and all the other problems.

    Reply

  155. Carroll says:

    How long since we have had a president like this:
    “Secretary Dulles will warn the Ambassador that while, of course, we would hate to create misunderstandings and needless passion in this country over this question, at this moment he should inform his government that no considerations of partisan politics will keep this government from pursuing a course dictated by justice and international decency in the circumstances, and that it will remain true to its pledges under the United Nations.
    Ben Gurion should not make any grave mistakes based upon his belief that winning a domestic election is as important to us as preserving and protecting the interests of the United Nations and other nations of the free world in that region. ”
    We need another Eisenhower…right away.

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  156. Carroll says:

    Is there a Eisenhower anywhere in this country?
    http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/presidential-papers/first-term/documents/2038.cfm
    Document #2038; October 15, 1956
    Memorandum for the Record
    Series: EM, AWF, Ann Whitman Diary Series ; Category: Top secret
    ——————————————————————————–
    The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, Volume XVII – The Presidency: The Middle Way
    Part XI: The free world’s “sad mess”; October 1956 to January 1957
    Chapter 22: On Suez “we do not see eye to eye”
    The Secretary of State, accompanied by Mr. Hoover and Mr. Rountree of his office, came to see me about the deteriorating situation in the Israel-Jordan area.1
    It seems to be taken internationally as a foregone conclusion that Jordan is breaking up, and of course all the surrounding countries will be anxious to get their share of the wreckage, including Israel. In fact, there is some suspicion that the recent savage blows of the Israel border armies against the strong points within Jordan territory are intended to hasten this process of dissolution.2
    On the other side of the picture, there is some indication that Britain is really serious in her announced intention of honoring her Pact with Jordan, which requires her to help defend Jordan in the case of outside invasion.3
    Should this occur, we would have Britain in the curious position of helping to defend one of the Arab countries, while at the same time she is engaged in a quarrel–which sometimes threatens to break out into war–with Egypt over the Suez question.
    All this brings to the fore one particular thing we must bear in mind. It is this: As of this moment we are dealing with the existing situation–that is, with Jordan enjoying the rights of a sovereign country. At the same time, in view of the possible disintegration of the Jordanian government, we must be ready to deal with the situation in which the people and territory of that country would be absorbed by others.
    For the moment we can deal only with the first problem.
    The Secretary of State is having a long conference with the Israeli Ambassador to this country, Mr. Eban. The Ambassador is about to return to his own country and is visiting Foster to discuss some of the factors in the above problem.4
    I have told the Secretary of State that he should make very clear to the Israelis that they must stop these attacks against the borders of Jordan. If they continue them, and particularly if they carry them on to the point of trying to take over and hold the territory west of the Jordan River, they will certainly be condemned by the United Nations, and not only Arab opinion but all world opinion will be brought to bear against this little country. Moreover, should there be a United Nations Resolution condemning Israel, there will be no brake or deterrent possible against any Soviet move into the area to help the Arab countries. They could bring considerable forces in under the guise that they were carrying out a United Nations mandate, the ultimate effect of which would be to Sovietize the whole region, including Israel.
    There has been some disposition to believe that Ben Gurion’s obviously aggressive attitude is inspired, at this moment, by three things:
    (a). His desire to take advantage of the gradual deterioration in Jordan and to be ready to occupy and lay claim to a goodly portion of the area of that nation;
    (b). The preoccupation of Egypt and the Western powers in the Suez question, which would tend both to minimize the possibility that Egypt would enter a war against him promptly, while at the same time it would impede Britain’s capability of reinforcing Jordan.5
    (c). His belief that the current political campaign in the United States will keep this government from taking a strong stand against any aggressive move he might make.6
    Secretary Dulles will warn the Ambassador that while, of course, we would hate to create misunderstandings and needless passion in this country over this question, at this moment he should inform his government that no considerations of partisan politics will keep this government from pursuing a course dictated by justice and international decency in the circumstances, and that it will remain true to its pledges under the United Nations.
    Ben Gurion should not make any grave mistakes based upon his belief that winning a domestic election is as important to us as preserving and protecting the interests of the United Nations and other nations of the free world in that region. The Secretary is to point out, moreover, that even if Ben Gurion, in an aggressive move, should get an immediate advantage in the region, that on a long term basis aggression on his part cannot fail to bring catastrophe and such friends as he would have left in the world, no matter how powerful, could not do anything about it.
    Foster will make this attitude clear and unmistakable to Mr. Eban.
    At the same time I have Foster’s promise to have ready a policy or plan that would guide our action in the event that the dissolution of Jordan would actually take place and thus create a new situation in the world.7
    Appendix: It is believed that one of the recent Israeli raids against Jordan involved two or three battalions of infantry, artillery, and jet airplanes. Incidentally, our high-flying reconnaisance planes have shown that Israel has obtained some 60 of the French Mystere pursuit planes, when there had been reported the transfer of only 24. Jordan has no aviation.8
    1 This memorandum, along with Assistant Secretary of State William M. Rountree’s minutes of the meeting, is reprinted in State, Foreign Relations, 1955-1957, vol. XVI, Suez Crisis July 26-December 31, 1956, pp. 722-26; see also Eisenhower, Waging Peace, pp. 676-77.
    2 See ibid., p. 56. Eisenhower was probably referring to the political turmoil in Jordan following the December 1955 riots and the dismissal of British officers from the Arab Legion (see no. 1681). The Israeli threat to Jordan was “a masterful plan of deception” to draw attention from Egypt, the real object of the attack. On October 10 Israel had launched a large scale raid on Jordan and reportedly had inflicted one hundred Jordanian casualties (Issac Alteras, Eisenhower and Israel: U.S.-Israeli Relations 1953-1960 [Gainesville, Fla., 1993], p. 212; see also Moshe Dayan, Diary of the Sinai Campaign [London, 1966], pp. 43-57).
    3 The “pact” was the Anglo-Jordanian treaty of 1948.
    4 See no. 2046. One hour after this meeting with the President, Dulles would meet with Israeli Ambassador Abba Eban (State, Foreign Relations, 1955-1957, vol. XVI, Suez Crisis July 26-December 31, 1956, pp. 727-33).
    5 For developments see nos. 2048 and 2068.
    6 For Eisenhower’s determination to ignore domestic political pressures in his policy towards Israel see no. 2063.
    7 On October 21 Jordanian voters would give pro-Nasser Arab nationalists a parliamentary majority. The new government would soon announce its intention of abrogating the Anglo-Jordanian defense treaty and would sign a defense pact with Egypt and Syria on October 24 (State, Foreign Relations, 1955-1957, vol. XIII, Near East: Jordan-Yemen, pp. 57-58, 593-94). For background see Uriel Dann, King Hussein and the Challenge of Arab Radicalism, Jordan, 1955-1967 (Oxford, 1989), pp. 21-38; Kamal Salibi, The Modern History of Jordan (London, 1993), pp. 185-92; Alteras, Eisenhower and Israel, pp. 207-12.
    8 The French had agreed as early as June 1956 to supply the Israelis with seventy-two Mystere fighters and forty Super Sherman tanks. The first fighter arrived in Israel on August 18 (Kunz, The Economic Diplomacy of the Suez Crisis, p. 163). For the French representations regarding the sale of the Mystere jets see State, Foreign Relations, 1955-1957, vol. XVI, Suez Crisis July 26-December 31, 1956, pp. 7-8.
    Bibliographic reference to this document:
    Eisenhower, Dwight D. Top secret Memorandum for the Record, 15 October 1956. In The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, ed. L. Galambos and D. van Ee, doc. 2038. World Wide Web facsimile by The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission of the print edition; Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/presidential-papers/first-term/documents/2038.cfm

    Reply

  157. Winnipeger says:

    POA is off the deep end per usual. israel’s goal is to “eradicate” muslims?! israel is committing a “21st century holocaust”?!
    aunt deb: so, you’re insinuating that israel is really not repairing the ramp to the temple mount? intentionally destroying al aqsa when the ramp is 70 meters away from the dome of the rock?! BS. the same ramp partially collapsed several years ago after an earthquake. these are long scheduled repairs. could it possibly be that the pals are looking for a new intifada against israel after abdullah paid them off to stop killing each other and focus on israelis instead? of course not…
    and “deblonay,” as a jew i offer to you a hearty FUCK YOU (sorry steve)! but of course you’re not an anti-semite, right?
    no, there’s no bias in these threads. none at all.
    if you weren’t all so impotent, i’d be concerned.
    and den, i guess you weren’t able to substantiate the calim you made several threads ago that israel was allocated $4 billion in bush’s latest budget, huh?

    Reply

  158. Carroll says:

    I feel like a school teacher I have said this so many times.
    Will everyone please get this in their heads.
    1)ISRAEL IS NOT INTERESTED IN PEACE
    They have absolutely nothing to gain by making peace and having a Palestine state next door.
    I am not going to recite 40 years worth of clues for you. Let’s just mention 2.4 billion + in military aid every year and the fact that Palestine actually owns all the water resources or did until Israel “fenced” them in.
    Speaking of the water resources…please pay attention to the tag line of every statement Israel utters…..’AND ABIDE BY PAST AGREEMENTS”..the agreements that give Israel more than their share of both Palestine and the water…conditions that Hamas would never agree to in a million years. And who in their right mind would.
    Also insert this.
    2)ISRAEL IS NOT AN ASSET TO THE UNITED STATES
    Again I will not recite from memory every statement of presidential advisors and State Department officals in every adm since Truman warning of our support of Israel and the damage it would do to our relations in the Arab world. Free free to start with the Truman libray and work your way up. US support of Israel waned after the cold war and without constant conflict in the ME Israel has no legitimate whine which with to extract money from the US. “Wur with terriers” has now replaced the cold war with Russia as a cash cow.
    And last but not least.
    3) THE US WILL NEVER MAKE ISRAEL SETTLE WITH PALESTINE.
    Never, as in never. Because we have no morals we just have domes$ic po$itics to consider in elections…not to mention the weapons industry ponzi scheme on the taxpayer tab.
    If the Arabs can do it more power to them. The entire world, including most Americans have had enough of Israel and the US.
    If anyone wants anything to change in the US or Israel you know what you have to do.

    Reply

  159. deblonay says:

    Israel doesn’t want any kind of Palestinian state…so any tactic that spoils the prospect of peace in the Palestinian territories is acceptable to them.
    Their agents inside the US Government like Abrahms,are there to do the bidding of their masters in Jerusalem.
    The interests of the US are not considered by the Zio-cons. They act for a foreign power,and in other societies they would be charged with treason. So???..
    can Jews be trusted to hold high office in the US government,if they so loyal to Israel???.
    During the cold war American citizens who were Soviet agents were jailed ,and in a few cases executed for such treason ?? What now ????

    Reply

  160. Easy E says:

    PUTIN: U.S. PUSHING OTHERS INTO NUCLEAR AMBITIONS
    MUNICH, Germany (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday blamed U.S. policy for inciting other countries to seek nuclear weapons to defend themselves from an “almost uncontained use of military force.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/02/10/putin.us.ap/index.html

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  161. Easy E says:

    PUTIN: U.S. PUSHING OTHERS INTO NUCLEAR AMBITIONS
    MUNICH, Germany (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday blamed U.S. policy for inciting other countries to seek nuclear weapons to defend themselves from an “almost uncontained use of military force.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/02/10/putin.us.ap/index.html

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  162. pen Name says:

    This was actually a joint Saudi Arabia – Iranian initiative.

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  163. Aunt Deb says:

    I think Den Valdron is mostly correct on this. The goal is to appear to be concerned while making certain that the actual goal of having a ‘unified’ potential ‘partner’ to work with on the ‘road map’ is never achieved. I found the timing of the outbreak of violence in Jerusalem just a bit too pat, given the way it followed on the heels of the announcement of a unity government.
    Look. For all that we hear about the Geneva Plan and the this and that effort or initiative, nothing comes of them. Because none of the big players wants this to happen — no state for Palestine. And all the pushers and machers of these assorted plans and initiatives aren’t really so interested in achieving that, themselves. They really just want enough ‘peace’ so things can get back to a more comfortable relationship with the colonized. Perhaps they should let the Palestinians turn Gaza into a great big casino.

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  164. Den Valdron says:

    You are correct here in that the American position and the Israeli position on Palestine are largely interchangeable. In this area, the Israeli government does in fact direct the American government.
    This is why the United States has no credibility as an honest broker on Israel/Palestine issues.
    Nothing to do with Oil, or with the American Military/Industrial Complex, or American Imperialism.

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  165. Pissed Off American says:

    Again, it is impossible to separate the Israeli position from that of the United States, for they have become virtually one entity in regards to taking a position on Hamas or the Palestinian people. Any deviance on the part of the United States from the Israeli position is mere posturing, and conciliatory rhetoric designed to give the illusion of fairness. The rhetoric never matches the action.
    Meanwhile, Israel is still stealing Palestinian land directly on the heels of telling us they would cease to do so, and we ignore it. Meanwhile, people are still dying from the cluster munitions that were used against Lebanese civilians, and while pointing out that the munitions were used illegally and in defiance of the terms by which we sold them to Israel, we extend another 2.4 billion dollars of military “aid” to Israel so they can continue to eradicate Muslims.
    Maybe the Saudis are just sick of watching Israel and the United States engage in a 21st century holocaust.

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  166. Den Valdron says:

    Well, the results speak for themselves, don’t they.
    Israel and the United States worked ceaselessly to emasculate and discredit Abbas. They succeeded. Abbas was emasculated and discredited.
    So who did they think would move into that vaccuum? Did Sharon believe that there was a pro-Israel movement in Palestine? Was he relying on the popularity of the Tel-Aviv-Forever group? Did he have some idea that the ‘Friends of the Jews’ political party was on the verge of winning?
    I think the truth is somewhat simpler. The Israeli’s were not interested in negotiating with anyone. The were simply interested in imposing their will on a helpless palestinian population. Any coherent political structure in the Palestine territories was anathema.
    So destroy Abbas, who gives a shit? Does this open the door for Hamas? Inevitably it does. But so what. Israel is no more interested in negotiating with, and far more bent upon destroying, Hamas as it was Abbas.
    As for the United States, it follows Israel’s lead for three reasons. The first of course is simple racism. The second is that it doesn’t give a rats ass about Israel’s internal affairs. Third, Israel has a lot of influence through AIPAC.
    So why should Bush want to get involved: (a) It involves brown people; (b) There’s no benefit for him; and (c) It’ll piss off his right wing lunatic friends.
    It doesn’t have anything to do with oil by the way. Israel has no oil. The palestinians have no oil. And all the countries that do have oil are sympathetic to the Palestinians.
    Oil basically means that Bush has to say sympathetic and conciliatory things about the Palestinian situation once in a while. But he doesn’t give a rats ass. He knows which team he’s playing on.
    The fact that the Saudi’s have eclipsed America in this respect is no surprise. The Saudi’s are actually interested in resolving this problem. The United States is largely indifferent.
    Overall, a foreign policy based on equal parts malice and incompetence has not served America well the last six years. But this is hardly limited to Palestine.

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  167. liz says:

    I think the less we attempt to influence the Middle East, an area where the current adminstration is clueless, the better off America is. It is not for Bush to establish any Palestine state. We do not own the land, the people will not ever get along and land for peace is the most stupid idea I have ever heard of…..
    is everyone really clueless about this??

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  168. CheckingIn says:

    This is good news isn’t it…? Saudi Arabia, probably a better Honest Broker than the US?
    Isn’t it what the US have wanted – The region coming to the table to sort out their OWN problems?
    The Saudis tried to intervene in 2002, again isn’t this good news for the Middle East to try and take care of their own problems…?
    Am I missing something here?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1898736.stm

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  169. DonS says:

    jf “Otherwise, we can’t as a democratic nation recognize legitimacy in a terrorist supporting nation.”
    Extremely emotionally, symbol laden language. Getting away from that on the Israeli/US side would be good for starters. Its just as much a public posture/nonstarter as the Hamas refusal to recognize the de jure existence of Israel. You don’t start out in a negotiation by asking the adversary to publically extinguish the main symbolic roadblock.
    That may be where back channels come in, which can lead to public confidence building statements laying the groundwork for a publically acknowledged process.

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  170. jf says:

    “While I think that the President’s insistence that Hamas engage in public pronouncements that would quickly undermine it with its supporters was not going to get very far, the fact that he was going to dispatch Condoleezza Rice last September to engage in a round of serious deal-making that would prop up Abbas seemed promising.”
    This fete accomplis resolves itself further down in you post:
    “Elliot Abrams is again winding up a spin and influence machine to try and send signals that America is not please with this move towards a unity government.”
    Nothing changes either way. If they form a recognizable platform that includes respect for Israel, we will sit down with them. Otherwise, we can’t as a democratic nation recognize legitimacy in a terrorist supporting nation. At least, that is my extremely inexpert summation of Bush Administration policy. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with that. But the end game, the end of ideological state sponsored terrorism, is inevitable, and again, in my inexpert opinion, I don’t see a path that doesn’t lead to something grimmer than we have heretofore been witness. We need to talk to our President, if we disagree with his own state leadership, in a language he understands, about a worldview he holds. As soon as you give it the respect it does not deserve, it will be heard. If we can talk with big numbers saying the same thing, it will get through. Just . . . don’t ask me what to say. I’d probably follow Juan Cole’s lead, though.

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  171. DonS says:

    Larry, I’m not Steve, but I’ll take a crack. You go forward by typical negotiating process, confidence building measures, including unilateral risks, etx. First bargaining positions, fallback positions. What’s the shape of the table. All that stuff. A process; not negating initial statements as a non-strater, and just posturing from there. Both sides are perhaps guilty of this. But not negotiating is the true dead end.

    Reply

  172. larry birnbaum says:

    “As for recognizing Israel, Nizar Rayyan, a Hamas spokesman, was explicit. ‘We will never recognize Israel,’ he told Reuters in Gaza. ‘There is nothing called Israel, neither in reality nor in the imagination.'”
    I’m sympathetic to the notion that the US and Israel failed to give Abbas the results he needed for political leverage within the PA and credibility with the Palestinian people. However it strikes me as self-delusion, at best, to ignore the implications of the above statement. Recognition of Israel by the Palestinians, and the concommitant recognition by Israel that a Palestinian state must come into existence, was the cornerstone of the agreement that created the very same Palestinian Authority of which Haniyeh is now Prime Minister. I think it obvious that explicit renunciation of a previously negotiated agreement calls into question the basic premise underlying any future negotiation. So I have a hard time seeing how to go forward from where we find ourselves now. I’d be interested in your thoughts, Steve.

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  173. John says:

    What’s surprising is that the Saudis still have the credibility to make anything happen. They watched over and over again as Israel bludgeoned Palestinians. Then they stood and watched as the US and the Maliki government butchered Sunnis. And they twiddled their thumbs as Israel destroyed Lebanon. It’s a measure of how desperate things are when anyone would even consider the Saudis as honest brokers. Fatah and Hamas obviously did not need to be convinced that it was in their own self interest to form a unity government, and the Saudis did little more than provide the neutral space that allowed it to happen.

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  174. DonS says:

    The US keeps moving the goal posts? Now why would that be? Its hard to avoid the conclusion that there are subjective factors limiting the US political response to dealing with the Palestinians, especially vis a vis Israel.
    Aside from incompetence, it is dispiriting to think that such “subjectivity” has ill-served the cause of mideast peace, and our own stature as a nation.
    I’m not even going to label [what I think are] the subjective factors, just to note this is the triumph of personality over principle — assuming we stand for something prinicipled as a nation. If we don’t it’s a failure of both. (I don’t include the Abram’ operatives, since their principles are narrow and subversive).
    Also, I can’t help but notice it has been a common notion for decades that the political operatives, including at DOS, fail to utilize the expertise that resides inthe diplomatic corps, because the politicos have their own priorities.

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  175. Easy E says:

    HELPING ISRAEL DIE
    Ray McGovern
    “President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are unwittingly playing Dr. Jack Kevorkian in helping the state of Israel commit suicide. For this is the inevitable consequence of the planned air and missile attack on Iran. The pockmarked, littered landscape in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan and the endless applicant queues at al-Qaeda and other terrorist recruiting stations testify eloquently to the unintended consequences of myopic policymakers in Washington and Tel Aviv……………….
    After announcing he would abandon the decades-long role of honest broker between Israelis and Palestinians and would tilt pronouncedly toward Israel, Bush said he would let Sharon resolve the dispute however he saw fit. At that point he brought up his trip to Israel with the Republican Jewish Coalition and the flight over Palestinian camps, but there was no sense of concern for the lot of the Palestinians……………….
    BOTTOM LINE: there is a growing threat to Israel from suicide bombers. The most dangerous two work in the White House.”
    Read entire article at http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2007/02/09/helping_israel_die.php

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  176. Edward Furey says:

    These guys would be surprised when David Ortiz is intentionally walked in a tied game with runners on second and third. Watching this set of decisions makers do foreign policy is like watching Newman and Kramer play “Risk.”

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  177. selise says:

    “And yet — quite unbelievably — I have dependable sources inside the US government foreign policy bureaucracy who tell me that our decision makers were caught completely off-guard by the Saudi venture and its success.”
    wow. malicious and incompetent. again.
    well, good for the saudis. if the goal is to have a real peace deal, a real palestinian state – then all the parties who are capable of derailing it need to be brought into the conversation… and that means hamas. attempting to exclude them says “no real peace settlement”.
    can we just sent jimmy carter?… and keep elliot abrams as far away as possible.

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  178. Dalivision says:

    It is sad that the influence of the US is on the wane due to the non-negotiating stance of this administration. While we have used our economic ingenuity and strength to influence others at the same time showed these countries our military might, we now have shown our military weakness and not demonstrated any economic ingenuity. All the current administration appears to be doing is to unravel everything.
    It is almost apocalyptic and that he desires to have Armageddon.
    I just wish someone like you could provide greater influence on our foreign policy.

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  179. Easy E says:

    Steve Clemons said “Elliot Abrams is again winding up a spin and influence machine to try and send signals that America is not please with this move towards a unity government”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    HOW CAN ANYBODY BE SURPRISED WITH THIS NEOCON FELON STILL IN THE MIX?
    Juan Cole/Informed Comment 12/18/06: “That does it. Elliot Abrams must go. Elliot Abrams is a felon. He was involved in stealing Pentagon weapons from US stockpiles, selling them to the Ayatollah Khomeini, and then stealing the Iranian funds so garnered to give to far-right Central American death squads, and then lying about all this to Congress. The Congress in the Constitution controls the budget. The Congress had cut off money to the rightwing death squads supported by Reagan and henchmen like Abrams. This elaborate criminal conspiracy inside the White House was the Right’s response. They shredded the Constitution (and ever since have been calling their critics “unpatriotic.”)
    In 1991, Abrams pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts of lying to Congress under oath. Without the plea deal, he was facing felony charges, since what he did was in fact a felony.
    Congress pledged that Abrams would never work at a high level in government again. But by the time the Neoconservative cabal in the Bush administration got Bush to appoint him to the National Security Council, there had been so much turn-over in Congress that, one member told me, “no one remembered who Abrams was.”
    I’m serious about this, everyone. The bloggers are touted as influential, but their influence is hard to measure or prove. Let’s make this a test case.
    Can Kos help? Eschaton? Talkingpointsmemo? And, it needn’t be only one side of the aisle. A lot of principled persons on the right are deeply troubled by the criminality of this administration.
    Please write your congressional representative and your senators and demand that they hold hearings on why Elliot Abrams is in charge of Middle East policy in the Bush White House.”
    Elliott Abrams Profile: http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/969

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  180. LJ says:

    Steve, Care to take stab at the question implied by your next to last sentence: “And yet, America dithers and replays the same game over and over. We pretend to engage in epic efforts to establish Palestine while all the efforts are ultimately designed to fail.”
    Why?! Or is the answer all to obvious: It’s to provide cover for the actual agenda of imposing our (US/Israel) will on the ME. “Bargaining” is not the same as “imposing.” But then this begs the question of Why? once again. Why is this so vital. Have we secretly become allied with some version of “transfer” which would be thwarted by any peace initiative. We must also remember, that Bush’s Christian right followers know so well that peace is bad because it stops the countdown clock to the rapture and Armageddon.
    Why?!
    BTW, best wishes on your upcoming conference.

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  181. bakho says:

    Nothing will change until 2009 at the earliest. Unfettered Republicanism has been a failure. Republicans should not regain office until they get a better handle on governing.

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  182. Friendly Fire says:

    And yet, America dithers and replays the same game over and over. We pretend to engage in epic efforts to establish Palestine while all the efforts are ultimately designed to fail.
    Just like all efforts by GOP/Liduknik across the ME.
    OIL

    Reply

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