Bush/Clinton Administration Strategist and Envoy James Dobbins on Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel/Palestine

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dobbins.jpg
For those in the DC area, I am hosting a brown bag lunch meeting on America’s Foreign Policy Challenges in the Middle East on Thursday, 24 August, at 12:15 p.m. with Ambassador James Dobbins who directs RAND Corporation’s International Security and Defense Policy Center. Dobbins previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Special Assistant to the President for the Western Hemisphere on the National Security Council, Special Adviser to the President and Secretary of State for the Balkans, and Ambassador to the European Community.
Daniel Levy, who is a new Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and Director of a New America Foundation/Century Foundation Middle East Initiative and also the lead author of the Israeli draft of the Geneva Initiative as well as a former Senior Advisor to Israel’s Prime Minister, Justice Minister and Defense Minister, will serve as a discussant after Dobbins’ initial remarks.
I first met Dobbins at a very useful and thought-provoking forum on the future of NATO organized at the Aspen Institute Wye Conference Center by Simon Serfaty — who holds the CSIS Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy. The Bolton battle was raging at that time last year — and I was kicking the tires of many of those at the Serfaty forum on where they stood on Bolton.
I never put the question to Dobbins because I didn’t need to. His analysis of what was happening abroad and his strong critique of the administration’s strategy regarding Europe and the Middle East was all I needed to hear to know that whether he supported Bolton or not (which I doubted) his critique was one that wasn’t partisan. His commentary seared through thin political rationalizations of either the right or the left — and I think he was playing the role many of us should play which is that of the wise and informed foreign policy careerist who uses logic and realistic strategic thinking and vision to curb the (often reckless) enthusiasms of radicals and intellectual incompetents.
I was extremely impressed by Jim Dobbins — and TWN readers are welcome to join the meeting at the New America Foundation in Washington if you email me.
My invitation to Jim Dobbins was prompted by a terrific oped that he wrote on America’s Middle East quandary.
Dobbins’ International Herald Tribune oped on “Moral Clarity in the Middle East” is available here.
To read more reaction to Dobbins article, Stirling Newberry has more.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

29 comments on “Bush/Clinton Administration Strategist and Envoy James Dobbins on Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel/Palestine

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  3. Carroll says:

    Better double up on the prayers MP…I don’t thinking you are getting through…they appear to be lurching from dumb to dumber.
    http://www.turcopolier.typepad.com/
    U.S. Intelligence officials: Israeli raid a violation
    According to serving U.S. intelligence sources, Israel’s commando raid conducted Saturday in eastern Lebanon aimed at recovering the two Israeli soldiers captured July 12 by Hizbullah.
    These sources said that the Israeli commandos were wearing Lebanese Army uniforms during the operation.
    (Question.. I seem to remember that under the rules of war, wearing the enemy’s uniform is a big no-no and doesn’t entitle them to protection under the normal codes..anyone know?..of course none of this is normal but I am curious)
    They added that the Israeli soldiers apparently mispronounced an Arabic password while attempting to get through a Hizbullah checkpoint. They got through but were met by a deadly ambush at the next checkpoint, these sources said.
    The raid caused a firestorm in the Middle East. CNN quoted the Lebanese Defense Minister, Elias Murr, as threatening to halt the deployment of Lebanese Army troops to the country’s southern region unless the United Nations can ensure Israeli compliance with Resolution 1701 requesting a pause in the fighting.
    Israel defended its Saturday raid by claiming it was an operaton aimed at interdicting the transfer of weapons from Syria and Iran to Hizbullah, according to Israeli public statements.
    But one U.S. intelligence source said, “That was an excuse worked out in advance — to give the operaton some legitimacy. The real target was its two kidnapped soldiers,” he said.
    Another U.S. source said that a commando raid was not an appropriate way to go about intercepting weapons shipments.”
    ( I think the US intelligence service is being nice, most likley they were looking Hez leaders to asassinate, but the US can’t say out loud they approve of that.)
    And this interesting..
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ArticleContent.jhtml?itemNo=753074
    Headline….US to Olmert: Drop Dead
    Actually this story seems like a political plant to me.. to tap down American fury at Isr’s rampage and our politicans largess with our tax money to Israel, and/or inspire jewish americans to bombard DC with aid demands for Isr, and/or possibily to create dissatisfaction with Olmert’s reign so Ney- ya- hoo, the uber Lukid nutcase, can take his place…which if that happened Israel would for sure would be led right over the cliff.

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  4. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “Isr knows what it has to do to have peace and they have refused to do it for decades….since Israel’s survival is of great concern to you, you need to be praying for an international “intervention” to end their addiction to the settlements and the myth of supremacy in the ME by military force.”
    You bet I do. Absolutely.

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  5. Carroll says:

    And MP…
    “Father Ted was openly musing on what he called the “unspeakable” or “unthinkable”–ending the Israeli “experiment”–and Carroll agreed with him.”
    I don’t know what this refers to but just guessing I would say Father Ted was speculating on whether or not Israel would survive in the long term…if that is what you are referring to that I agreed with him on..let me say that I do agree that if Israel (and the US) doesn’t change course and mend it’s ways it probably will not survive in it’s current form. That is just common sense. They cannot maintain their occupation of Palestine forever, they cannot be the dominant power in the ME by force, the US/Isr against the rest of the world in the ME is a guarenteed losing proposition. Even if Isr and the US bombed the entire ME to rubble and occupied it they could never maintain control of it.
    I don’t know how it will end but it looks a lot like Isr is committing slow motion suicide to me…and taking a lot of people with them.
    Isr knows what it has to do to have peace and they have refused to do it for decades….since Israel’s survival is of great concern to you, you need to be praying for an international “intervention” to end their addiction to the settlements and the myth of supremacy in the ME by military force.

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  6. Carroll says:

    MP…..you are reading more and less into my comment then is there.
    When I said I wasn’t aware of the Streicher story that is just what I meant…that I had never heard of it or him..nothing more or less…and that it was an interesting bit of history to me because I wasn’t aware that any one outside of actual officers and Reich officials had been tried for war crimes.
    We have gone round and round before about my theory of one side of this debate having paranoid tendencies and taking everything ethnicaly, religiously or personally ..and your looking for the worst in every comment and adding your own interruption of what someone means in their statements is an example of what I am talking about.
    I didn’t respond to your post on Streicher because
    beside saying he was a terrible man what was there to say? As far as pundits like Hannity go, maybe he just spews his crap for money or maybe he is also a bigot by ideology and just isn’t as fanatically ambitious about his beliefs as Streicher was…who knows. As far as I am concerned the Islam = facist crowd is just as obnoxious as the nazis, they just haven’t been as sucessful ..Yet.
    Quit trying to read people’s minds and insert meanings into their comments that aren’t really there. I am sure we will make enough clear political statements that you can legitimately object to without your having to convolute one.

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  7. Maude says:

    Hi MP,
    I was uneasy yesterday about posting my comment on Campbell’s slurs.
    I appreciate your comments.
    People get killed over “hate speech” that is repeated over and over again.
    The admin started the problem with hatred and fear toward Muslims.
    This always brings the haters out of the woodwork.
    I lived in Austria in the late 1960’s. I heard the stories from people who remembered the Third Reich.
    I do know dangerous hatred when I hear or read it.
    Maude

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  8. MP says:

    POA: “How many times, when the trolls come here chanting “anti-semite”, have I asked them to give us specific examples of “anti-semitism” being voiced here, and how many times have they been unable to meet that challenge? ”
    Carroll responds: “POA…you mean you think the guy deliberately said that so there would be a anti-semite comment here?…I guess that’s possible but his post reads like he just got carried away with the jewish part, because he did mention the “gentile” hate mongers as well in the begining.”
    Ah, I’ve met this challenge several times, but you refuse to go to the “meeting.” We’re not going to agree on this issue, so I see little point in continuing to argue–what will it accompllish? I only pipe up when it’s egregious IMO. Streicher was an example. I haven’t noticed anyone respond to my Wikipedia post (maybe I missed it), and maybe Carroll thinks that Hannity and Streicher really are pretty much two peas in a pod. She seemed to give credence to campbell’s post on this bit of history and due props to “him” for making her aware of it.
    And then there was the small point about pharisaism. Don’t know if I opened ET’s eyes (or anyone else’s) to this point, but I can only hope. Certainly, Mel gets it.
    Anyway, this is just a recent batch. In threads past, Mangels was sliming around in this neighborhood a fair amount. Father Ted was openly musing on what he called the “unspeakable” or “unthinkable”–ending the Israeli “experiment”–and Carroll agreed with him.

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  9. Carroll says:

    I mean one our own goverment can’t cover up like they did the USS Liberty …..something even the wingnuts couldn’t deny. Joe Lunchbox probably thinks it’s O.K. to “share” intell with Isr in the great terrier war…but something involving Israelis getting Americans killed on purpose like one of the famous false flags operations to get us to attack Arabs like they practiced in the past might cause a temper fit among the polyster patriots.
    I wouldn’t put it pass Olmert, he’s looking as crazy or crazier than Sharon.

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  10. Pissed Off American says:

    “I have always said that if the US and Isr have a falling out or Isr gets caught at some dirty trick against the US…”
    Hmm, what do you mean “if”??? How many acts of espionage against us do they have to be caught at before we label it a “dirty trick”????

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  11. Carroll says:

    POA…you mean you think the guy deliberately said that so there would be a anti-semite comment here?…I guess that’s possible but his post reads like he just got carried away with the jewish part, because he did mention the “gentile” hate mongers as well in the begining.
    One thing that puzzles me is the gentile pundits that are egging on Israel and the US to war and defending Isr’s actions in Lebanon…I guess in some cases they “are” paid to do that or work for someone who makes it part of their job …in other cases it strikes me that some of them are actual bigots who do hate Arabs…and probably blacks and any other minority.
    I have always said that if the US and Isr have a falling out or Isr gets caught at some dirty trick against the US…it will be the same current gentile Israeli amen corner bigots who turn against “the collective jews” in the same way they now hate “muslims” and arabs.

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  12. Pissed Off American says:

    I think Campbell DID mean to lump all the Jews together. But I don’t think it was done out of prejudice, I think it was done tactically. How many times, when the trolls come here chanting “anti-semite”, have I asked them to give us specific examples of “anti-semitism” being voiced here, and how many times have they been unable to meet that challenge? Well, there is a simple solution to that, isn’t there? Think about it.
    BTW, I see where the Israeli soldiers that broke the cease-fire were dressed in the uniforms of Lebanese soldiers. Now lets think about THAT as well. If in fact they were on an interdiction raid to stop weapons smuggling from Syria, why in God’s name would they need to be garbed as Lebanese soldiers? But if their intent was more nefarious, perhaps a covert op that was to implicate the Lebanese regulars in some sort of violation of the UN mandates, they would have an EXCUSE to go after more than Hezbollah, wouldn’t they? They would have an EXCUSE to start all out war with LEBANON, (rather than Hezbollah). Gee, just think how many Muslims they could get away with murdering under thoase circumstances. I wonder, does one of the IsraelI apologists here want to tackle explaining why these Israeli soldiers were in the uniforms of Lebanese regulars?

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  13. MP says:

    Gee, I’m no fan of Hannity…but here’s a brief precis of Streicher’s “truth” and life from Wikipedia:
    “In 1919 Streicher was active in the Schutz und Trutz Bund, an anti-Semitic organization. In 1920 he turned to the newly established German Socialist Party (Deutschsozialistische Partei), which despite its name was a right-wing organization. His battles with other members led him to yet another anti-Semitic organization in 1921, the German Working Community (Deutsche Werkgemeinschaft), which hoped to unite the various anti-Semitic movements. In 1922, Streicher merged his personal following with that of Adolf Hitler, almost doubling the membership of the Nazi Party, and earning Hitler’s lifelong gratitude. He participated in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, which later gave him the privilege of marching at the front of the annual reenactment of the event after the Nazi takeover of power in 1933.
    In 1923 Streicher founded and edited the racist newspaper, Der Stürmer, which he used to build up a deep hatred of everything and everyone Jewish. Eventually the newspaper reached a peak circulation of 800,000. Streicher argued in the newspaper that the Jews were responsible for the depression, unemployment, and inflation in Germany. He claimed that Jews were white-slavers and were responsible for over 90 percent of the prostitutes in the country. After the refounding of the Nazi party, Streicher became Gauleiter of Franconia. After 1933, he practically ruled the city of Nuremberg and was nicknamed “The King of Nuremberg.” In 1940, however, he was stripped of all party offices after being involved in major financial scandals involving Jewish property seized after the anti-Semitic outburst of Kristallnacht in November 1938, and also for spreading untrue stories about Hermann Göring. Streicher, however, remained on good terms with Adolf Hitler until the end of the dictator’s life.”
    Carroll and Matthew and Maude, I personally appreciate your standing up to Campbell’s comments. And Matthew is absolutely correct: preaching filth about Arabs should be condemned just as much. I myself hadn’t noticed the “proliferation” of such comments on this site, but they should be condemned when and where they appear. They should be called out for what they are. I have severed friendships over these kinds of comments from former Jewish friends.

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  14. Carroll says:

    Dear Campbell…
    What you are saying about the Islamo-fascist drumbeat in the Israel amen corner is correct…but I don’t think you meant to lump all jews together, there are several organizations of jews who are working hard to try to counter the extreme jewish and christian zionist. The problem is that it’s the zionist represented by AIPAC who are in control of our congress.
    As another commenter on here put it recently, we are in the Germany 1930’s phase, with the US and Israelis and the zionist and whacko christians being the new nazis and the Arabs being the new jews.
    However it’s interesting about Julius Streicher, I wasn’t aware of that.

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  15. Matthew says:

    Maude: you are right, “campbell”‘s comments are unacceptable. It’s too bad it’s not also not unacceptable to print filthy anti-Arab and anti-Muslim comments on this site. Yet they proliferate. What’s worse: hate speech or war-mongering? How many Muslim children have died because of AIPAC’s war-mongering?

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  16. Maude says:

    Campbell,
    The Farmbelt Fuhrer is in a German jail.
    Perhaps you should join him.
    You are in sympathy with Mein Kampf.
    Your comments are unacceptable.
    Sorry Steve, but I can’t remain silent when I read this type of hate.
    Maude

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  17. campbell says:

    Have you heard talk radio lately, since the invasion of Lebanon by Israel? It is like something out of a William Pierce novel. All the hosts I’ve heard in the past month, Jew and Gentile alike, are united in their snarling support of Israel’s “right to defend itself.” They are also united in their desire that Syria and Iran be attacked with nuclear weapons. In other words, they are all war criminals. We hanged a man at Nuremberg named Julius Streicher because he had a tabloid in the early days of the NS period that was critical of Jews.
    He was no more a part of the Hitler government that Sean Hannity is of the Bush government, but he was hanged in the most sadistic fashion by a Jewish hangman. It is something that I have warned Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh about, because they have exhorted Americans and the American government to wage aggressive war against the enemies of Israel on behalf of Israel and as such they are subject to arrest, prosecution and hanging as war criminals.
    They’ve done far worse than Julius Streicher ever did. All Streicher did was tell the truth about Jews, and print political caricatures of them. Hannity, Doyle, Coulter, Limbaugh, the Savage Wiener, O’Reilly and the rest are paid liars who owe their stinking careers to the Zionists at Fox, Clear Channel and the Anti-Defamation League. Their favorite new buzz-word is “Islamo-fascist,” which Bush copped from the Savage Wiener. Now, “fascist” is a real word with an actual definition. But that’s not how Jews and their useful idiots use it.

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  18. Marcia says:

    There is one question that should be asked of everyone reflecting and speaking on foreign policy, that is their definition of “American Interests,” a term used to say everything and its opposite.
    We need to know from what perspective they are speaking.

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  19. Carroll says:

    This headline is the best laugh I have had all month…
    US Wants Arabs to Help Stem Hezbollah’s Popularity
    By Zaman, Cairo
    Saturday, August 19, 2006

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  20. Carroll says:

    carroll, thanks for comments on aipic.. shows some of the extent of their involvement in the political direction of the usa…
    Posted by …. at August 20, 2006 02:31 AM
    Yea, it does doesn’t it? I don’t know why we even need a congress, or a State Department or a Trade Department… they farm out all our business and policy decisions to foreign goverments,lobbies and think tanks.

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  21. Carroll says:

    I notice that the Arabs and Russia are pushing ahead with requests (demands) for a Isr-Pal settlement.
    I also notice quite a few Isralei supporters who formerly were against any kind of “internationals” having any thing to do with it are now begining to consider the fact that Israel will be shot trying to rob a filling station in the not too distance future if they don’t get sent to reform school right away.
    I have been saying we need an international group to settle the Isr-Pal conflict since forever…cause the US adm’s and congress aren’t ever going to do anything except let Isr continue it’s occupation and bombing sprees…this opinion seems to infuriate the pro Israelis here..but I suggest they realize the fact that the US has lost it’s sway over most of the world and whatever they are still able to acheive in covering for Isr at the UN only means other members will use other means to circumvent Isrmerica desires.
    The world is out of patience with Israel and the US WILL get pushed aside sooner or later..as we should be since there is no way we can be honest brokers in that deal.
    The Israeli papers are now saying Israel has vowed to assassinate the Hamas MP’s and to kill the head of Hezbollah…since Hezbollah is not on anyone’s terrorist list except the US’s and Israel I don’t know how an assassination would be received by the world…and since the Hamas leaders were duly elected I think Isr is cruising for a brusing in more ways then one if they keep up their assassination games.
    I also read in the papers, “rumors” that some adm officals and assorted minons are trying to get US troops sent to Lebanon and that Israel is angling for that by rejecting other countries offers…in a way that might be good, as I am sure some hostilities would be provoked to embroil our troops and that might be the final straw among the US public for the Isrmerica ME delusions.

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  22. .... says:

    carroll, thanks for comments on aipic.. shows some of the extent of their involvement in the political direction of the usa…

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  23. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres an older qoute from Dobbins. Apparently he isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade…..
    “Most Iraqis remain less secure than they were under Saddam, less secure even than they were in the first year of the American occupation,” said James Dobbins, a former Bush administration envoy to Afghanistan and veteran diplomat who now directs the Rand Corp.’s International Security and Defense Policy Center.
    Dobbins supplied figures from the Baghdad morgue that show 1,800 violent deaths in 2002, Saddam Hussein’s last full year in power. That number jumped beyond 6,000 in 2003, the first year of the American occupation, and topped 8,000 last year, he said.
    Excerpted from…..
    http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=114522
    I wonder if Dobbins could have imagined that the numbers would ever approach the appalling monthly figures we are now seeing, such as last month’s 3,500.
    And as an aside, I sincerely hope that Steve asks Dobbins about Dov Zakheim, and that he will share Dobbins response with us.

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  24. Pissed Off American says:

    Exactly as some of us predicted……..
    U.N.: Israeli raid violates cease-fire
    Israel says mission into Lebanon aimed at halting arms transfer
    Saturday, August 19, 2006; Posted: 9:51 p.m. EDT (01:51 GMT)
    (CNN) — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is “deeply concerned” about Israel’s commando raid Saturday in eastern Lebanon, which he said violated the cease-fire resolution concerning Israel and Hezbollah, his spokesman said in a written statement.
    The statement also cited the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon as saying there have “also been several air violations by Israeli military aircraft.”
    continues at…..
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/19/mideast.main/index.html

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  25. elementary teacher says:

    I looked up the names of the RAND Board of Trustees, April, 2006:
    Ann McLaughlin Korologos (Chairman), Former Secretary of Labor
    Jerry I. Speyer (Vice Chairman), President, Tishman Speyer Properties, Inc.
    Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minister of Sweden
    Harold Brown, Former Secretary of Defense
    Frank C. Carlucci, Former Secretary of Defense; Carlyle Group
    Lovida H. Coleman, Jr., Partner, Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan LLP
    Robert Curvin, Retired President, Greentree Foundation
    Timothy F. Geithner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
    Pedro Jose Greer, Jr., M.D., Assistant Dean, University of Miami School of Medicine
    Rita E. Hauser, President, The Hauser Foundation, Inc.
    Karen Elliott House, Former Publisher, The Wall Street Journal; Former Senior Vice President, Dow Jones and Company, Inc.
    Jen-Hsun Huang, President and Chief Executive Officer, NVIDIA Corporation
    Paul G. Kaminski, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Technovation, Inc.
    Philip Lader, Chairman, The WPP Group; Former U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James
    Arthur Levitt, Former Chairman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
    Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pace Communications, Inc.
    Lloyd N. Morrisett, Retired President, The Markle Foundation
    Ronald L. Olson, Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
    Paul H. O’Neill, Former Secretary of the Treasury
    Michael K. Powell, Former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
    Donald B. Rice, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Agensys, Inc.
    James E. Rohr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The PNC Financial Services Group
    James F. Rothenberg, President, Capital Research and Management Company
    James A. Thomson, President and Chief Executive Officer, RAND Corporation
    Marta Tienda, Maurice P. During ’22 Professor in Demographic Studies and Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University
    Any of those ring a bell?

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  26. Carroll says:

    So he is saying we should talk…same as every other sane person is saying. The ME is not black and white.
    And btw Israel broke the UN cease fire agreement and attacked the eastern part of Lebanon yesterday…but then who expected them to keep it?
    Jaun Cole has a link to Anthony Cordsman’s analyis of the Irs-Leb…good gems in it..one of which is the acknowledgment that Isr’s war on Lebanon was a long planned “premptive” attack to try and prevent Iran from sending Hez supplies.Huuummm could that be because they don’t want them shooting missiles at Isr when Iran is attacked?
    And so we don’t have to argue with the zionist on board when the Iran fireworks start..let’s lay down who besides Cheney is pushing an Iran attack shall we?
    From AIPAC’s fundraising letter:
    My fellow American,” Howard Friedman, President of AIPAC, begins his letter of July 30 to friends and supporters of AIPAC, “Look what you’ve done”!
    After warning that “Israel is fighting a pivotal war for its life,” by which he means Israel’s wanton slaughter and all-out destruction in Lebanon, Freiedman condemns “the expected chorus of international condemnation of Israel’s actions” and Europe’s call for “a cease-fire immediately.”
    Then he exults: “only ONE nation in the world came out and flatly declared: Let Israel finish the job.
    That nation is the United States of America–and the reason it had such a clear, unambiguous view of the situation is YOU and the rest of America Jewry.”
    (All emphases in the original here and below.) Here I must take issue with President Friedman since I bet that most Jewish Americans, in contrast to the AIPAC crowd, were horrified by the slaughter in Lebanon. In fact if anyone other than President Friedman wrote this, he would be accused of fabricating a Jewish plot and labeled a nutty conspiracy theorist and scurrilous anti-semite.)
    “How do we do it”? President Friedman asks a little further on. The answer is “decades of long hard work which never ends.”
    Not only is it hard work–but it’s eternal. However, President Friedman is not content with generalities and gives us some of AIPAC’s trade secrets. Here are two notables:
    “AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel’s predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We even ask each candidate to author a ‘position paper’ on their views of the U.S.-Israel relationship–so it’s clear where they stand on the subject.” (Would it not be great to see these “position papers”? I wonder how many candidates would release them? And what do the candidates get for all this effort? A pat on the back?)
    “Members of Congress, staffers and administration officials have come to rely on AIPACs memos. They are VERY busy people and they know that they can count on AIPAC for clear-eyed analysis.. We present this information in concise form to elected officials. The information and analyses are impeccable–after all our reputation is at stake. This results in policy and legislation that make up Israel’s lifeline.”
    President Friedman’s letter continues with more headliners: “Unfortunately, our work has just begun”! “Hizballah must be defeated.” And finally, “The war is a diversion”!!!! This last section argues that the war in Lebanon is a “distraction,” to “divert attention away from Iran’s nuclear weapons program”! (In case you haven’t noticed President Friedman loves exclamation points, which leads one to wonder whether a good dose of lithium might not be in order.)
    President Friedman closes with the exhortation: “Now is the time for us, American Jews, to stand up and tell our elected officials that they must demand Iran halt its pursuit of atomic arms.”
    In other words, next stop Iran if AIPAC can swing it. And in that lies a great danger. The Bush administration is losing ever more of its base and only the neocon establishment and AIPAC remain securely in its camp. (Even some of the born-agains are deserting.) With the November elections coming, Rove and Bush desperately need AIPAC support, and so they may be even more susceptible than usual to its demands for going after Iran. Indeed this is a dangerous time.
    John Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com.
    He thanks President Friedman for much of the material in this article, which is taken directly from his latest fundraising letter to AIPAC supporters and members.

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  27. Den Valdron says:

    Well, if past conduct is the best indicator of future behaviour, I would think that the United States is a problem for everyone.

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  28. John says:

    1) How does Mr Dobbins view the empowering of Al Dawa?
    2) If past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, why should the US not be worried and upset with Al Maliki’s holding of the reins of pwer in Iraq.
    Keywords: Al Dawa, Islamic Fundamentalism, Sharia, Iran and Iraq, terrorism, US Embassy attack
    1) Large Turnout Reported For 1st Iraqi Vote Since ’58 The Washington Post, June 21, 1980
    (snip)
    In another development today, Al Dawa, a clandestine Iraqi fundamentalist Moslem organization, claimed responsibility for yesterday’s grenade attack on the British Embassy here in which three gunmen reportedly were killed.
    An Al Dawa spokesman told Agence France-Presse by phone that the attack was a “punitive operation against a center of British and American plotters.”
    2) Iraq Keeps a Tight Rein on Shiites While Bidding to Win Their Loyalty The Washington Post, November 30, 1982
    (snip)
    Membership in Dawa, which means “the call,” is punishable by execution. Dawa guerrillas were known for hurling grenades into crowds during religious ceremonies, and attacks claimed by the party were frequent until the middle of 1980.
    3) U.S. HAS LIST OF BOMB SUSPECTS, LEBANESE SAYS Detroit Free Press, October 29, 1983
    (snip)
    The source said the drivers of the two bomb-laden trucks were blessed before their mission by Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, leader of the Iranian-backed Dawa Party, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim splinter group.
    4) SHULTZ SEES LINK BETWEEN BEIRUT, KUWAIT ATTACKS OFFICIALS IDENTIFY MAN WHO DROVE TRUCK BOMB, The Miami Herald, December 14, 1983
    Secretary of State George Shultz said Tuesday that there “quite likely” was a link between the U.S. Embassy bombing in Kuwait and attacks on American facilities in Lebanon. He warned of possible retaliation.
    (snip)
    The sources said the investigators matched the prints on the fingers with those on file with Kuwaiti authorities and
    tentatively identified the assailant as Raed Mukbil, an Iraqi automobile mechanic who lived in Kuwait and was a member of Hezb Al Dawa, a fundamentalist Iraqi Shiite Moslem group based in Iran.
    5) KUWAIT NABS 10 SHIITES IN BOMBINGS 7 IRAQIS, 3 LEBANESE ‘ADMIT’ TERROR ATTACKS
    The Miami Herald, December 19, 1983
    Kuwait Sunday announced the arrests of 10 Shiite Moslems with ties to Iran in the terrorist bombings that killed four people and wounded 66 last week at the U.S. Embassy and other targets.
    (snip)
    Hussein said fingerprints from the driver who died in the blast at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait identified him as Raad Akeel al Badran, an Iraqi mechanic who lived in Kuwait and belonged to the Dawa party.
    6) 10 Pro-Iranian Shiites Held in Kuwait Bombings, The Washington Post December 19, 1983
    Kuwait announced yesterday the arrest of 10 Shiite Moslems with ties to Iran in terrorist bombings that killed four people and wounded 66 last Monday at the U.S. Embassy and other targets.
    “All 10 have admitted involvement in the incidents as well as participating in planning the blasts,” Abdul Aziz Hussein, minister of state for Cabinet affairs, told reporters after a Cabinet session, United Press International reported.
    Hussein said the seven Iraqis and three Lebanese were members of the Al Dawa party, a radical Iraqi Shiite Moslem group with close ties to Iran.
    7) Beirut Bombers Seen Front for Iranian-Supported Shiite Faction, The Washington Post, January 4, 1984
    The terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the bombing of the U.S. Marine compound and the French military headquarters here may be a front for an exiled Iraqi Shiite opposition party based in Iran, in the view of a number of Arab and western diplomatic sources.
    Authorities in Kuwait say their questioning of suspects in the recent bombing there of the U.S. and French embassies indicates a clear link between Islamic Jihad, a shadowy group that says it carried out the Beirut attacks, and Al Dawa Islamiyah, the main source of resistance to the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
    Al Dawa (The Call) has been outlawed in Iraq, where it wants to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state to replace the secular Baath Socialist government of Saddam Hussein, who is a Sunni Moslem.
    It draws its strength from the large Shiite population in southern Iraq. Thousands of its most militant members were expelled to Iran in 1980 before the outbreak of the Iranian-Iraqi war and joined Al Dawa there. But it also has a large following in Lebanon among Iraqi exiles and sympathetic Lebanese Shiites.
    While Al Dawa operates out of Tehran, it is not clear whether its activities abroad are under direct Iranian control or merely have Iran’s tacit acceptance.
    8)Baalbek Seen As Staging Area For Terrorism, The Washington Post, January 9, 1984
    Al Dawa, according to Arab and western sources, is believed to have had a role in the Oct. 23 suicide bomb attacks on the U.S. Marine and French military compounds in Beirut.

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