Condi Heading to Israel Sunday

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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will head to Israel end of this week.
Let’s just hope that she’s not going to ask to lead a tank brigade herself and that she actually is going to finally push Israel, Hezbollah, and Hamas to stand down.
On other fronts, Kofi Annan and Tony Blair have called for quick deployment of a stabilization force in Southern Lebanon. Makes sense to me — but of course, both Israel and the U.S. are blocking the initiative. Need to kill some more people before we get to any of that darned diplomacy.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

92 comments on “Condi Heading to Israel Sunday

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    Reply

  2. brian says:

    that wasn’t my implication at all. after all, it could also mean that you would be more sympathetic to the palestinians who are also shot at on a regular basis.
    it was just a question and based on your response, i’ll assume that the answer is no.

    Reply

  3. Matthew says:

    Which would prove what? I’ve never run with the bulls at Pamplona, but I feel qualified to say that is a stupid way to spend an afternoon.
    My sense is your question implies that maybe some of us (POA and I) would be more sympathetic to the Israelis if we “lived under the gun.” Applying your logic, I’m a little more sympathetic to Palestinian picnickers.
    When I went through Israeli checkpoints a few years ago, it did give me a real apprecition for Israel, just not the one that Israel’s defenders would have hoped.
    I’m curious if Steve is still impressed by Amir Peretz?

    Reply

  4. brian says:

    again matthew. not sure what the irony is here. i am very rarely online and up until the other day i had never participated in any blog.
    i’d be really interested to conduct another poll here:
    how many people in this forum have been shot at in their lives?

    Reply

  5. Matthewe says:

    Irony check: “[sic] to me it proves that you may live too much of your life online.”

    Reply

  6. brian says:

    ROFLMAO?!?!
    is this some secret online language?
    to me it proves that you may live too much of your life online.
    further, where is the irony and hypocrsiy in what i said above?

    Reply

  7. Pissed Off American says:

    if you’re ever planning to come to new york, please let me know. it will be interesting to see you speak this way to my face.
    it’s disturbing to see how the anonymity of the internet turns little cowards into tough guys.
    i laugh at you, pipsqueak.
    Posted by brian
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!
    Oh, the irony! And I’m the hypocrite???
    (Lets try this again. Consider yourself ignored.)

    Reply

  8. brian says:

    pissed off guy:
    if you’re ever planning to come to new york, please let me know. it will be interesting to see you speak this way to my face.
    it’s disturbing to see how the anonymity of the internet turns little cowards into tough guys.
    i laugh at you, pipsqueak.

    Reply

  9. Pissed Off American says:

    “2. There is a healthy Jewish community in Egypt (in response to the statement that Arab countries expelled their Jewish minorities).”
    How is this germaine to….
    “There’s plenty to criticize with Israeli actions — Israelis themselves do it with gusto — without making stuff up.”

    Reply

  10. Matthew says:

    Hal: Fact check. I said there were Jews in Egypt. I did not say “healthy Jewish community.” (You just made that up.) Considering the difference in the per capita GDP between Egypt and Israel, why would any Jews remain in Egypt? The fact that they do remain undermines your point. They obviously feel that they are Egyptian. (You know like the 10% of Egyptians who are Coptic Christians.) Since Jews have the right of return to Isreal–and Israel is right next door–the fact that they remain says alot to me.

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  11. Hal says:

    1. Israeli Arabs are denied the right to vote.
    2. There is a healthy Jewish community in Egypt (in response to the statement that Arab countries expelled their Jewish minorities).
    Those are just two pieces of misinformation in the discussion above.

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  12. Pissed Off American says:

    “There’s plenty to criticize with Israeli actions — Israelis themselves do it with gusto — without making stuff up.”
    Please give us an example of any “accusations” that have been lodged here against Israel that were “made up”.
    All I have seen from those defending Israel here is a conscious avoidance of numerous issues that have been raised. Whenever confronted with serious questions about Israel’s conduct, or specific examples of Israel’s despicable human rights abuses, all we get in return is either silence, or that time worn bullshit about “anti-semitism”.
    So, once again, I ask you, show us what you are referring to when you accuse people here of “making stuff up”. I won’t hold my breath, of course, because I have no doubt you will ignore the request.

    Reply

  13. Pissed Off American says:

    “when i found this blog several days ago (a friend forwarded the link) i was horrified to read the vile and hateful rhetoric condemning the purported vile and hateful actions of the israelis. i found this ironic. i also thought that the representation of views here was very unbalanced and many of them were self-admittedly uninformed and based on heresay only. i thought that i’d add my .02 to the mix and i was immediately attacked from most quarters, particularly by the pissed off guy. my mistake for attempting to engage him.”
    What a load of self serving horseshit. What lack of respect I already had for you just quadrupled.

    Reply

  14. brian says:

    hal and matthew:
    thank you thank you thank you for the simple and CIVIL back and forth.
    i should also say that i’m new to the world of “blogs” i’ve never really tried to engage others in this type of format. as i’ve learned here, it’s tough to do so without being cursed at, told to leave america and generally vilified. in its worst form, it can be upsetting and there is no doubt that it does not contribute anything constructive or healing to the world.
    i like the idea of passionate disagreements and heated debate. but, the LAST thing the world needs is more anger, hatred and recrimination.

    Reply

  15. Matthew says:

    I agree with Hal’s characterization of Ha’aretz. Good reporting, interesting editorials, awful “talkback” section. If you admire Jewish learning and ethics–as I do–your esteem for both will be seriously undermined by the comments section. The spirit of Kahane haunts it.

    Reply

  16. Hal says:

    Brian,
    On my better days, I look at Steve Clemons’ posts and ignore the comments. Things always spiral downward, especially when the subject is Israel. I don’t know if it’s Americans who resent the hatred that the US draws for backing Israel, or if it’s plain old anti-Jewish feeling, but there is something toxic out there. And misinformation galore. There’s plenty to criticize with Israeli actions — Israelis themselves do it with gusto — without making stuff up.
    Same with Ha’aretz: good news reporting, some interesting op-eds, but the comments are creepy.
    Of course, I often fall short of my own standard, and try to debate or argue with people. It’s a bad habit, I guess.

    Reply

  17. brian says:

    i have not read the aforementioned blog and i won’t

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  18. Matthew says:

    If the tone of this blog upsets you, I recommend that you don’t read the “talkback” section of Ha’aretz. This blog is ultra-civilized in comparision.

    Reply

  19. brian says:

    matthew,
    point taken. i appreciate your response.
    you’re right, POA has made me a bit defensive
    and cynical about the nature of diaologe and debate on this blog.
    thanks for the reintroduction of a measured back and forth without the hyperbole and hystrionics.
    as i think i’ve said, i’m a sikh from just outside of amritsar, india. i’ve lived in amman, addis ababa, carmiel, israel and now new york city. i’ve travelled extensively throughout the middle east, including iran and i’ve never thought of myself as an israeli “apologist.” maybe i’m just lucky, but i’ve been treated with respect, generosity and kindness by the vast majority of people wherever i’ve travelled or lived.
    when i found this blog several days ago (a friend forwarded the link) i was horrified to read the vile and hateful rhetoric condemning the purported vile and hateful actions of the israelis. i found this ironic. i also thought that the representation of views here was very unbalanced and many of them were self-admittedly uninformed and based on heresay only. i thought that i’d add my .02 to the mix and i was immediately attacked from most quarters, particularly by the pissed off guy. my mistake for attempting to engage him.
    the MLK quote that i offered is my credo. it’s an inspiration and a proclomation. i’ve seen war first hand. i’ve been under seige. i’ve been shot at and i’ve shot. most americans, including most on this blog, are lucky to have been able to avoid this horrible reality.
    as much as i support the state of israel, i’ve supported and defended my own family and people MUCH more stridently… and we’ve been as outgunned as the palestinians. attacked by vicious mobs. thousands killed in cold blood. it was at this time that i found dr. martin luther king’s quote. early november 1984. it rang as true to me then as it does now.

    Reply

  20. Matthew says:

    Brian: I think your tussling with POA has made you a little paranoid. Please read my posts, don’t overread them. I think we all have responsibility for applying our standards to the sides we support. That means, I can support Palestinian resistence without justifying or supporting suicide bombing. I would hope that you don’t feel the need to rubber stamp Israel’s actions (unless you are a Member of Congress)just because you like Israel. I found your use of the MLK quote ironic. My sense is that if another country was using the same amount of force on Israel that Israel is using on Lebanon, I doubt you would have used his quote. Believing in peace, means believing in it–not just adopting it when you’ve gotten what you want. From your posts, you’ve made clear you’re no Bushie. I’ll take that at face value. Again, we can disagree fundamentally without having to declare each other a monster.

    Reply

  21. brian says:

    only around this ugly blog would people take exception to a beautiful quote from MLK. wow.

    Reply

  22. brian says:

    matthew,
    at least someone around here HAS been to the region. kudos.
    but again, if you think that arab culture places less emphasis on vengence and violence than the israelis you are simply WRONG.

    Reply

  23. brian says:

    not to mention the fact that the reason the IDF is killing ANYONE in lebanon IS BECAUSE ISRAEL WAS ATTACKED BY HEZBOLLAH FROM LEBANON!!!!!!
    sheeeesh!!! talk about revisionist history!!!

    Reply

  24. Matthew says:

    Sorry, Brian, but I have been there. Ironically, I became anti-Zionist after visiting Israel. Please don’t assume that we disagree because of a lack of knowledge.

    Reply

  25. brain says:

    give me a break, matthew.
    if you think that arab culture places less emphasis on violence and vengence than the israelis or the IDF you know NOTHING about the middle east!
    and it’s not my quote. i attributed it correctly.

    Reply

  26. Matthew says:

    So as long as the violence ratio is at least 10- to-1 in Lebanon and almost 100-to-one in Gaza, we should know that returning violence for violence multiples violence? I recommend that Brian forwards his quote to the IDF. They are urgently in need of it.

    Reply

  27. brian says:

    POA:
    you’re quite funny… and obstinate. i’ve waited many days to see you admit the obvious.
    you wrote:
    “By God, maybe Brian has something, we all need to travel more.”
    …or you can base your worldview on heresay and continue to vehemently propogate the same propoganda you decry, albeit it from a different angle.
    i’m endlessly fascinated by the notion of hypocrisy.
    POA and others criticize in others what they embody themselves.
    you really think your “pissed off” energy can transform the world for the better? IT CAN’T.
    in the immortal words of dr. martin luther king, jr:
    “returning violence for violence multiplies violence, addind deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. hate cannot drive out hate; only LOVE can do that.”
    israelis, arabs and some on this blog would be well served to think deeply about those words.

    Reply

  28. Pissed Off American says:

    “i can’t help myself.
    i have to reiterate:
    carol and the pissed off guy
    HAVE NEVER EVEN STEPPED FOOT
    IN THE COUNTRY THAT THEY ARE DEMONIZING”
    My dad was never in Nazi Germany either. But he served against them. Gosh, did he make a mistake???
    How dare he take up arms without the proper “worldview”!
    Quick, put me on a plane to Palestine, I want to see firsthand if a dead Israeli kid is any more tragic than a dead muslim kid.
    Besides, how will I know if Lebanon is sufficiently pushed back into the stone age if I don’t go there??? Surely I will be able to see how the total destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure has helped the situation there. I’ll betcha there are literally MOBS of Lebanese on the streets, chanting “I love Israel” at the top of their lungs!
    There you have it folks. The problem is not the conflict, the problem is that Americans don’t travel enough. Well, I ignored Bush’s suggestion that the answer to 9/11 was for Americans to go shopping, and look where we are now. By God, maybe Brian has something, we all need to travel more. Maybe then I’ll understand why Israel is committing international war crimes, abetted and financed by these treasonous fascists in the White House and Congress. All I need is a new “worldview”.

    Reply

  29. elementary teacher says:

    Vladimir Jabotinsky, father of revisionist Zionism, 1923:
    “Colonization can have only one goal. For the Palestinian Arabs this goal is inadmissible. This is in the nature of things. To change that nature is impossible… colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.”
    As I understand it, Zionism is a complex area of scholarship — as are all the ‘isms’. Notwithstanding multiple layers of interpretation, point and counterpoint, central to any researched rendition of Zionism, is an unmistakeable core of racial superiority and entitlement incompatible with core concepts of democracy.

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  30. Pissed Off American says:

    But if you–not you “ahem,” but one–says that “Israel was founded on a crime, that Zionism is a racist ideology–in short, that whole state, in effect, is rotten to the core, I can’t agree. In fact, I do think that this attitude is essentially antisemitic and partakes of the generalized, floating antisemitism that infects much of the world, even when its exponents aren’t aware of it.”
    Posted by MP
    You oppose an argument that hasn’t been offered. In a round-about way you have gone full circle to the old “anti-semitism” bullshit. No many how often you are asked, you seem entirely incapable of pointing to specific examples of anti-semitism here, as well as being completely unable to point to any statements here that question Israel’s right to exist. Avoiding the issues raised, such as Israel’s ACTUAL MURDEROUS ACTS OF INHUMANITY, or the obscene amounts of money shipped to Israel as our own domestic needs go unmet, you create your own issues to rebut, dishonestly presenting them as our own.
    (And again, Steve, I would like to point out that you would be doing us all a favor if you would expose those here that post under multiple screen names)

    Reply

  31. MP says:

    Ahem: “My point is this: the desire among some defenders of Israel to treat any criticism as a denial of its right to exist is essentially a refusal to discuss on substance. Israel’s all grown up now; she’s not going anywhere; she does some really, really shitty things, especially for a ‘beacon of democracy’ in the region.”
    I have no problem with this statement whatsoever. I agree with it 100%. I am one of Israel’s strongest critics and have denounced their actions, especially with regard to their treatment of Palestinians and Arab-Israelis REPEATEDLY (though not on this site, admittedly).
    But when the argument goes that Zionism is the root cause…that Zionism is racist…when Israelis are intruders in an Arab region… I draw the line. One of the myths of origin operative here is that this entire region belongs to the Arabs and the Jews simply stole it. And that, of course, fuels one half the conflict.
    I have repeatedly argued (mostly with Jews) that Israel needs to work very hard to help/allow the Palestinians to create a viable state–both for moral and practical reasons. GWB should be impeached for many reasons–but one of them is his complete dereliction of duty in helping/encouraging/requiring Israel to come to the table.
    But if you–not you “ahem,” but one–says that Israel was founded on a crime, that Zionism is a racist ideology–in short, that whole state, in effect, is rotten to the core, I can’t agree. In fact, I do think that this attitude is essentially antisemitic and partakes of the generalized, floating antisemitism that infects much of the world, even when its exponents aren’t aware of it.

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  32. Pissed Off American says:

    Damn, I wasted a perfectly good “adios”.

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  33. brian says:

    i can’t help myself.
    i have to reiterate:
    carol and the pissed off guy
    HAVE NEVER EVEN STEPPED FOOT
    IN THE COUNTRY THAT THEY ARE DEMONIZING
    at least john bolton and dick cheny HAVE…
    not that i usually agree with their worldview,
    but at least they’ve had a VIEW of the world.
    and as far as sociopaths go, the pissed off guy
    sure seems to fit the bill as well.
    keep surfing the internet you two. cut and paste. look up big words. read articles that support
    your uninformed opinions. insult and ridicule anyone who presents a contrary view.
    you are the worst that the democratic party has to offer. you are the reason that we are a minority party. you give “liberals” a bad name.
    complete ignorance and arrogance! ugly americans.

    Reply

  34. Carroll says:

    Something for POA and Matthew….there is no mystery about what is wrong with the people causing this chaos..they are sociopaths…Cheney, Bush, Bolton are absolute classic cases.
    A lot of researchers hold that sociopaths are a product of both genetics and enviroment. The research show that about 4% of men and 2% of women are true sociopaths. They also say the number would be higher, as more people would be diagnosed, except for the fact that the normal people around them can’t conceive of a human with no conscience so they are never recongized or confronted as true sociopaths.
    [Martha StoutThe Sociopath Next Door]
    “Those who have no conscience at all are a group unto themselves, whether they be homicidal tyrants or merely ruthless social snipers.
    What differentiates a sociopath who lives off the labors of others from one who occasionally robs convenience stores, or from one who is a contemporary robber baron – or what makes the difference betwen an ordinary bully and a sociopathic murderer – is nothing more than social status, drive, intellect, blood lust, or simple opportunity.
    What distinguishes all of these people from the rest of us is an utterly empty hole in the psyche, where there should be the most evolved of all humanizing functions.”

    Reply

  35. Pissed Off American says:

    Its no coincidence when one clown leaves the ring another quickly cycles in to keep the crowd entertained. The cheaper circuses usually have a lapse time. It takes a minute to change costumes.

    Reply

  36. section9 says:

    One of the reasons liberals aren’t taken quite seriously is that they don’t quite realize that outfits like Hezboallah are working hand in glove with our good friends the Iranians. You know, the ones that Clemons wanted us to sit down with?
    That is, before they got the Hezzies to start this little rocket offensive.
    Ah, Democrats. Too busy appeasing the enemies of the United States to look out for the interests of the United States. Personally, I think Condi ought to lead the Golani Brigade up to the Bekaa for a look-see.
    When will you people get used to the fact that there are genocidal maniacs who are trying to kill us at the same time they are trying to kill the Israelis. Jesus! I come over here and read this blog sometimes and it’s as if 9/11 never happened at this place!
    Too bad Steve Clemons is too busy auditioning for a position on the next Democratic Campaign’s foreign policy advisory team to forget who the hell our enemies are. Oh, I forgot! The enemy is George Bush! Or John Bolton. Or whoever the Emmanuel Goldstein figure of the week is…

    Reply

  37. Pissed Off American says:

    Lebanon’s Expendable People
    Mike Whitney
    July 19. 2006
    The most shocking thing about Israel’s assault on Lebanon is the dispassionate precision with which the bombardment has been carried out. From bridge to granary, from granary to power plant, from power plant to factory, from factory to mosque, from mosque to hospital, from hospital to apartment building; each decimated with the calm disdain of a surgeon removing a cancerous tumor. We get no sense of rage in Israel’s behavior, just the calculated savagery of men who see their duty as systematically decapitating an entire civilization and leaving it in ruins.
    The destruction of Lebanon is the work of robots not men; unfeeling, remorseless bundles of skin and bone.
    No one could have done what these men did in just seven days and be a part of the same human family as you and I.
    So far, there is no indication that the captured Israeli soldiers have been hurt or mistreated. The leveling of a once-bustling and prosperous metropolis has been executed while the victims are still safely tucked away in some unknown hiding place. There’s no purpose for Israel’s rampage, the terms for release could have been negotiated in a “prisoner swap” as they have many times before. The bombing is purely a gratuitous act of violence intended to destroy a nation that just recovered from 18 years of Israeli occupation. Now Lebanon has been returned to the Stone Age.
    Why?
    Have the soldiers been tortured or abused as they would have been in American or Israeli care?
    continues at…….
    http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m24811&hd=0&size=1&l=e
    Note the last paragraph quoted above. As an American I want to deny it, to argue against it, to say it isn’t true…..
    But thanks to that satanic monster Cheney, and that hapless buffoon Bush, I cannot deny it, for it is the truth.

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  38. Pissed Off American says:

    Adios.

    Reply

  39. brian says:

    …and congrats for your unbroken streak of profanity. exactly as i said, you have ALOT in common with your enemy, president bush… in more ways than one 🙂
    this is your “valued” contributor, mr. clemons?!
    i think i’m done with this website.
    there is no free and respectful exchange of ideas.
    oh the hypocrisy.

    Reply

  40. brian says:

    wow.
    i didn’t say anything at all derogatory about bakersfield.
    what a piece of work, you are, you self described “pissed off” person.
    there is no point trying to engage you in dialogue. you’re obviously not capable.
    your mouth is always wide open and ready to spew venom and your mind is closed.
    good luck with your anger. i sincerley hope that you are able to transform it.

    Reply

  41. Pissed Off American says:

    I also read the New York Times two or three times a week. Gee, does that mean I live in New York?
    Hot damn, tomorrow I’m buying a Costa Rican newspaper. I could use a vacation.

    Reply

  42. Pissed Off American says:

    The argument that one has to travel to have the ability to recognize bigotry or injustice is pure bullshit.
    And anyone that refers to “trailers” or certain parts of America in derogatory terms seeking to belittle their ideological adversary have done far more to reveal their own character than they have belittled thier adversary.
    It is mindsets such as that that left thousands of blacks to fend for themselves in New Orleans.
    I will not bother to repeat the questions that I have repeatedly posed to the Israeli apologists and trolls here, asking for them to explain the morality of indefensible acts committed by Israel.
    Now, wrongly assuming that I live in Bakersfield because I mention the Bakersfield Californian, we get a demeaning and condescending comment that seeks to degrade the few hundred thousand folks that live in Bakersfield.
    But I’m the small minded one here???? I am the one that needs to travel to get a more empathetic worldview???
    Whats that old saying about fools and closed mouths????

    Reply

  43. brian says:

    “I have wondered what would happen if some country so accused just said..o.k. since you feel jews are under threat here we are going to send all our jews to live in Israel for their own good and so they will be safe. I saw someone writting the other day about how he felt under seige as a jew in the US and feared for his welfare…I thought…hummm….why are you still here if you really believe what you say.
    Some day some alarmist may have his hand called on this ploy and Israel find itself with millions of immigrants sent to Israel for their own so called protection. As Orwellian as the world is getting I can imagine it happening.”
    shows what you know about israel, carrol… a country you have never even visited!
    this would be a dream come true for israeli zionists, particularly ariel sharon. why do you think he said this in the first place? he wanted french jews to make aliya!
    for someone who throws around the word “zionist” all the time, you sure don’t seem to know what it means.
    as usual, POA doesn’t let us down. he seems incapable of posting without cursing.

    Reply

  44. brian says:

    ahhh… the beauty of a simple worldview from bakersfield…
    it’s so much easier to know everything already.
    kind of reminds me of a certain attitude in crawford, tx

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    “Every injustice by Israel makes it harder for such Jews to live in their own lands, and I sometimes wonder if that is part of the policy.”
    Posted by LondonYank at July 19, 2006 12:32 PM
    I think that is possible and other ploys are used sometimes..as in when Sharon announced to all the jews in France that they were not safe there because it was a hotbed of anti-semitism….what an insult to France.
    I have wondered what would happen if some country so accused just said..o.k. since you feel jews are under threat here we are going to send all our jews to live in Israel for their own good and so they will be safe. I saw someone writting the other day about how he felt under seige as a jew in the US and feared for his welfare…I thought…hummm….why are you still here if you really believe what you say.
    Some day some alarmist may have his hand called on this ploy and Israel find itself with millions of immigrants sent to Israel for their own so called protection. As Orwellian as the world is getting I can imagine it happening.

    Reply

  46. Pissed Off American says:

    Shit disguised as syrup.
    What is now occurring in Lebanon and Palestine is a travesty against humanity, and I don’t need a ticket on a cruise ship to recognize it.

    Reply

  47. brian says:

    one more comment:
    i urge everyone to travel!!!
    i am of the opinion that most of the suffering and hatred in this world is a result of misunderstanding and miscommunication.
    we have a president in this country who has degrees from yale and harvard, but never spent time travelling; sharing ideas with people from different countries. breaking bread. wasting an afternoon in the market sipping tea with ordinary folk. as a result, his worldview is skewed and ill informed. he is ignorant about the most basic realities for most of the people on this planet. why else would he think that “democracy” is something that can be easily established in a country and culture as torn and complex as iraq?!?! this was foolishness.
    we live in a world of 6 billion people. nearly 1 in 3 lives on less than 2 dollars per day. hundreds of millions of human beings don’t have access to clean drinking water, and as a result, the leading causes of death are chest colds and diahrea. of course, we have poverty and problems in the u.s., but there is NOBODY in this country that can’t get a drink of clean water anytime he or she wants it; the most basic necessity. we americans clean our streets with drinkable water.
    we are truly out of touch. most of us don’t have a clue.
    sorry for the off topic (but not really)rant 🙂
    make the world a better place and travel far and wide!

    Reply

  48. brian says:

    Carol wrote:
    “Of course some radical Muslim groups hold the same type of racist feelings about Israelis..however I rarely seeing the radical Muslims denying their racism. They are pretty upfront about it and don’t bother to rationalize it as something else. While I do see continous excuses offered by zionist for why their racism isn’t really racist.
    I think a lot of what galls many Americans into their criticism of Israel and zionism is this “hypocritical” element in the zionist arguement.”
    point taken, carol. but, first of all, this arab “racism” is not just prevalent in “some radical muslim groups.” it is mainstream. widespread. vociferous. having lived in both israel and amman i can definitively say that this racism is inculcated much more intensely in muslim communities; it is preached in mosques and it is taught in grade schools.
    of course there is racism against muslims and arabs in israel, but, in my opinion, it is much less severe. there are many organizations in israel which fight for the rights of arabs and muslims i.e. the new israel fund http://www.nif.org created, staffed and funded by jews and israelis. there are many other such organizations. but, i’m not aware of ANY such organization in all of the muslim middle east.
    there is one thing that i can promise you: you would be surprised how perception and reality alter when you spend time in a region as complex and contradictory as the middle east.

    Reply

  49. Carroll says:

    MP…..
    I think 90% of the people on here are looking at this from an “American” point of view…I haven’t seen many, if any Arabs or Muslims commenting at all. I think now that the US and Israel have turned the Arabs into the new Jews on horseback, not many feel free to speak out in our current climate.
    I am one of those Americans whose has said that I consider zionism “racist”. And that is my honest opinion based on what the committed zionist themselves actually say. I consider Israel to be racist in both their attitude and their actions.
    I have to hold that opinion until I see real change or evidence of real change in Israeli policies and in the mentality of the zionism itself. So far I haven’t seen any.
    Of course some radical Muslim groups hold the same type of racist feelings about Israelis..however I rarely seeing the radical Muslims denying their racism. They are pretty upfront about it and don’t bother to rationalize it as something else. While I do see continous excuses offered by zionist for why their racism isn’t really racist.
    I think a lot of what galls many Americans into their criticism of Israel and zionism is this “hypocritical” element in the zionist arguement.

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  50. elementary teacher says:

    –I don’t have a word to describe my shock and amazement at such a sentiment spoken by the president of the United States.
    DoDlo, I believe the phrase you might be grappling for is “ethically challenged”?

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  51. ahem says:

    Typo: I meant ‘no longer fighting as a heroic underdog’.

    Reply

  52. ahem says:

    “I can see condemning some of what Israel does, but I can’t see the reason behind condemning Israel, her people, or her founding principles.”
    I’m going to speak very precisely here. Myths of origin have a way of perpetuating actions. The well-massaged narratives on both sides are used as justification for current behaviour. (We see many of these myths in this thread, for instance.) And when one questions the myths of origin that are used as secondary — and sometimes primary — justification for actions, the immediate response is often an accusation of denying Israel’s right to exist.
    “the attack is not just on what this government is doing, but on the state’s founding principle, Zionism.”
    And that’s an example. The controlling narrative is not just the Zionist ideal from the 19th century, and the post-Balfour Declaration aspirations of Jewish settlers, and the post-WW2 desire for the security of statehood. It’s the myth-making surrounding 1948 and 1967 and beyond, perpetuated to this day, which belies the fact that Israel is no longer fighting a heroic underdog, but instead as a steroidal military powerhouse with the capacity to devastate countries in a fit of pique.
    Few states come into existence through means that are not messy. Israel is among the messiest in the last century, in ways that go beyond arbitrary partition and population displacement.
    My point is this: the desire among some defenders of Israel to treat any criticism as a denial of its right to exist is essentially a refusal to discuss on substance. Israel’s all grown up now; she’s not going anywhere; she does some really, really shitty things, especially for a ‘beacon of democracy’ in the region.

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  53. sharon says:

    I’m not offended, Matthew. I disagree, that’s all. i guess we have different opinions. Nonetheless, I respect yours.
    But seriously, i want to thank you for not calling me an asshole or worse, like some others around here.

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  54. Matthew says:

    Nice try, Sharon, but your post is just more echo-chamber sloganeering. Try reading both sides of Camp David, Dennis Ross and Clayton Swisher, before repeating only Dennis Ross’s views and calling it truth. And, of course, you had to quote Abba Eban. Everyone echo-chamber resident quotes it. Let me respond by offering the Palestinian corollary to Golda Meir’s even more inflammatory quote–you know the one about wishing Palestinians loved their children more they hated Israel: There will be peace in the Middle East when Israelis love their own children more than they covet Palestinian land. Offensive? So is the Eban quote.

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  55. sharon says:

    The Palestinian people would have already had a sovereign state if they hadn’t been so ill served by their “leaders.” As is often said by people on BOTH sides of the issue, “Arafat never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
    I’m sure this post will be attacked, but it’s the truth.

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  56. Matthew says:

    POA: You’ve hit on the basic problem. We are so brainwashed killings by the “civilized” (Israel) is less shocking than killing by the “savages” (Palestinians). Every day this lunacy is repeated. Bush cares more about stem cells than Lebanese children or American tourists. John Bolton minimizes the killing of 8 Canadians. You know those Canadians. They must have been engaged in hostile vacationing. It just gets worse and worse. You are not the only grown man who is on the verge of tears.

    Reply

  57. baffled says:

    in response to MP:
    i have never questioned Israel’s right to exist. as stated in my earlier post, i have been well informed of the atrocities committed by the other side(s), mostly without quid pro quo. i view the conflict through the eyes of an observer with no allegiance to either side, but feel ill served by a government which in recent years has consistently declined to apply the same standards to all parties. i feel outraged that my local politicians, all supposedly progressives, have no other inclination than to trip all over themselves engaging in yet another war dance, as witnessed on Monday in front of the UN. the constant exhortations for more, bigger wars i read from the likes of Krauthammer and the WSJ editorial board do not reflect my position. i feel equal amounts of grief for victims in Israel as for those in the West Bank and now Lebanon. however, the missiles shot into Israel do not carry the imprimatur of a country i feel loyal to or pay taxes in.

    Reply

  58. Pissed Off American says:

    “Anyway, I can see perfectly well why Israel draws a lot of attention–it is a highly unusual, even a unique situation–but I can’t see how anyone can (therefore) legitimately call its right to exist into question.”
    “It just doesn’t make any sense to me. But time and time again on this site and elsewhere, you will see it happening, often in highly derogatory terms. And the attack is not just on what this government is doing, but on the state’s founding principle, Zionism.”
    Show me one post here that denies Israel’s right to exist, or is anti-semetic. Your arguments don’t resurrect dead kids, Israeli OR Muslim. Your arguments seek to deflect from the REALITY of the events, and seek to couch tragedy behind rationale and justification. You are just part of the problem.

    Reply

  59. Pissed Off American says:

    I have found the pictures of the Israeli kids, online, here……
    http://wakeupfromyourslumber.blogspot.com/2006/07/israeli-children-sign-their-missiles_18.html
    Be sure to read the comments. One lying asshole goes so far as to say that the kids are signing “recovered” shells, fired from Lebanon. Why is it so hard for some of these fuckers to understand that if they have to LIE to defend something, just maybe, perhaps, gee do ya think, it might be INDEFENSIBLE????

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  60. MP says:

    Ahem writes; “Can you name another country formed out of similar circumstances? Even unequivocal supporters of Israel can’t deny that it is an anomaly among modern states. This is all tangential, though: what’s done cannot be undone.”
    No, but so what? In what way is Israel’s genesis different from other countries’ such that its right to exist is justifiably called into question?
    Is it the fact it pushed some of the original inhabitants off the land? That can’t be it. Many other countries share that genesis.
    Is it the fact that a group of people set out to create a new country? Does that mean the Palestinian State will have an equally tenuous legitimacy, too?
    Is it the fact that the UN blessed its creation. With everyone turning to the UN for legitimacy, that certainly can’t be it.
    Is it the fact that it was the creation of European powers? By that score, most of the ME is illegitimate. Africa, too.
    Is it the fact that it is only state in the region that doesn’t have a Muslim majority? Hmmm. Why should every state in the ME be Muslim? Isn’t a little diversity a good thing?
    Is it the fact that it is the only non-Arab state in the region? Well, it isn’t–Iran isn’t an Arab state and neither is Turkey.
    Is it the fact that it’s the only Jewish state in the world? Well, again, what’s wrong with that?
    Anyway, I can see perfectly well why Israel draws a lot of attention–it is a highly unusual, even a unique situation–but I can’t see how anyone can (therefore) legitimately call its right to exist into question.
    It just doesn’t make any sense to me. But time and time again on this site and elsewhere, you will see it happening, often in highly derogatory terms. And the attack is not just on what this government is doing, but on the state’s founding principle, Zionism.
    I can see condemning some of what Israel does, but I can’t see the reason behind condemning Israel, her people, or her founding principles.

    Reply

  61. Pissed Off American says:

    The reality is that you have two pictures, one showing an Israeli child signing artillery shells, one showing three bloodied and broken Palestinian children, victims of artillery shelling. There is no shortage of tragedy in the dichotomy. Yet both portray children being victimized by ignorance and bigotry. Predictably, right on cue, here comes some apologist for Israel with a “yeah but”.
    God how I loath the excuses and rationals offered on the blood of children.
    Never have I been so ashamed of my country.

    Reply

  62. ahem says:

    On the other hand, Israel is the only country–maybe in the world, but certainly in the region–whose very right to exist is repeatedly called into question.
    Can you name another country formed out of similar circumstances? Even unequivocal supporters of Israel can’t deny that it is an anomaly among modern states. This is all tangential, though: what’s done cannot be undone.
    The issue is how the Bush administration feels about what is being done, and what is to be done. And right now, the answer appears to be ‘nothing’.
    Does Israel face an existential threat that requires the bombardment of Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and the indiscriminate killing that necessarily comes from airstrikes? Only by the ‘Bush rules’ that required the invasion of Iraq.

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  63. MP says:

    But Baffled…
    If you then only view the situation through Arab eyes, how is it any better? Side by side depictions might give a truer picture…and isn’t that what we should all want?
    The press is generally pro-Israel. On the other hand, Israel is the only country–maybe in the world, but certainly in the region–whose very right to exist is repeatedly called into question.
    Just this morning, Richard Cohen called it a “mistake.” W&M called its founding a “moral crime.” On this site in different threads, Carroll and Father Ted have mused that it’s a failed experiment that should be ended. If Israel is a failed experi- ment, what is the movement for a Palestinian State, a success?
    No matter how corrupt or how brutal any of the other regimes are–take the 80,000 killed in Hama or Jordan’s massacre of the PLO–no one ever suggests that these countries should just go away. On this site, it is common to hear people say that Zionism is racist, a cult, even a Nazi-like movement. Aside from the fact that this is just factually wrong…aside from the fact that Zionism as a movement should, logically, be distinguished from what any particular Israeli government or party does…when we do ever hear something like, “Wahabiist Islam is “racist,” let’s get rid of SA? It’s an experiment that’s failed?”
    If you want to go for balance in the interests of a greater truth, great. If you want to go for a different lopsided, biased view, I can only say, What’s the point?

    Reply

  64. baffled says:

    MP is making a (on the surface) fair suggestion. however, it’s a dishonest one, as his choice presentations have been publicized ad infinitum in our media. my local press have a neverending supply of editorials, pictures, columns and official pronouncements of Arab depravity. Mort Zuckerman and his hired hands are never shy to instruct their audience in how the ME conflict should only be viewed through an Israeli lens.

    Reply

  65. MP says:

    POA: “Good God, can there be a more graphic display of how these fanatical religious zealots pass this hatred on to generation after generation??? I hope whoever handed that child a marker rots in hell for an eternity.”
    I have no objection to this suggestion–in fact, it’s a good one. We should combine it with pictures of young Muslims learning to hate Jews and Israel–with the key passages from the Koran underlined. Maybe the Egyptian blockbuster, based on the Protocols of Zion, should be posted too. Oh hell, let’s post the Hamas charter, too. Should all make for a nice steamy brew.

    Reply

  66. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, Steve, if you can find those two photograps, post them here, side by side. They say more than a million words could. They made THIS grown man cry.

    Reply

  67. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, I usually try to read the Los Angeles Times over my coffee. (Its still bullshit, but at least it has a decent crossword. But, in a pinch, I will grimace through a copy of the Bakersfield Californian.
    So today, in the Bakersfield Californian, I saw, on the front page, the most despicable photograph I have ever seen on a newspaper’s front page. It is a photograph of a young Israeli female child using a Magic Marker to write meassages on Israeli artillery shells about to be lobbed into Lebanon. Good God, can there be a more graphic display of how these fanatical religious zealots pass this hatred on to generation after generation??? I hope whoever handed that child a marker rots in hell for an eternity.
    By the way, on page A13 of the same paper, there is a picture of three Palestinian children, bloodied and broken, as hospital attendants administer to them. I wonder, did an Israeli child sign the shell that so grieviously wounded them?
    Fuck Condi. Give the bitch a Magic Marker, she might as well join the orgy.

    Reply

  68. ahem says:

    “So, apparently, all civilian deaths in the next 7 days are gimmies, not counted, freebies, and collateral damage, but starting on day 8, they’ll count, and thus we’ll need a ceasefire.”
    Yes: Bush has given Israel the equivalent of an ‘All You Can Bomb’ buffet.
    The substantial point is this: it is rare for Israel to continue, over an extended period, with a policy that the United States considers short-term detrimental to its own interests.
    I’m reminded of the ‘problem of evil’ argument: either the US doesn’t care, isn’t powerful enough, or doesn’t exist (in a diplomatic sense).

    Reply

  69. Hal says:

    Matthew and LondonYank,
    This website says that the Jewish population in Egypt went from 75,000 in 1945 to fewer than 100 in 2000:
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/egjews.html
    The source for the 2000 figure is David Singer, Ed. American Jewish Year Book 2001. NY: American Jewish Committee, 2001.
    As for Iran, I’ve read that there were 200,000 Jews there in 1979, but only about 80,000 and falling today. As in Egypt, the young people leave and the old ones stay.
    I wouldn’t want to defend anything about the Iranian regime’s treatment of minorities, religious or otherwise. Try being gay there.
    I know I am way off topic. Sorry.

    Reply

  70. Linda says:

    Re: POA’s post on Turkey. During build-up to Iraq War in February-March, 2003, Zalmay Khalilzad was working a NSC for Condi. He was sent to Turkey to negotiate with the Turks and failed in his diplomacy to get permission of Turkey for US to invade also from the North. I remain totally unimpressed with the “diplomacy” of this administration.

    Reply

  71. formerDoDlogmgr says:

    While others were breathlessly discussing Bush’s “cussing” caught by the open mic, I found myself appalled by Bush telling Blair that he’d send Rice over to Israel sometime in the near future. I could not imagine a more cavalier statement showing a total lack of concern for the loss of innocent civilian lives. I don’t have a word to describe my shock and amazement at such a sentiment spoken by the president of the United States.
    I also read the other day, and I cannot remember where, that the US had to supply an emergency 210M shipment of jet fuel to Israel. Think about that, the largest military power in the ME doesn’t even have enough jet fuel to sustain air operations more than a few days. Had the US not given Israel this fuel, the indiscriminate bombing might have stopped a day or two ago.

    Reply

  72. LondonYank says:

    Thanks, Hal. As for Jewish communities, I have the distinction of having attended synagogue in Tehran as a little girl with a family who were friends of my parents. My parents were not religious, but were happy to see me get some religion from any quarter that offered.
    There is still a very large and vibrant Jewish community in Tehran. Another reason not to bomb it if one were needed!
    It was interesting during the propaganda business about ID tags spread by National Review connected propagandists a few months ago that it was a Jewish member of the Iranian parliament who spoke out against the lies. Every injustice by Israel makes it harder for such Jews to live in their own lands, and I sometimes wonder if that is part of the policy.

    Reply

  73. Matthew says:

    Hal: There are still Jews in Egypt. I haven’t researched the other Arab States. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries appears to grow in proportion to the number of Palestinian refugees.

    Reply

  74. Hal says:

    Thanks for that, LondonYank.
    Yes, Israel does not allow non-citizens to vote. And we agree, I think, that the fewer non-citizens living under Israeli occupation, the better. I’ve never been a fan of Eretz Israel, and the idea of Jewish settlements in Gaza, especially, was pretty bizarre.
    Yes, there are social benefits that depend on having served in the IDF, and Arabs cannot serve (though Druse can and do). This is far from ideal. And Arab communities get the short end of a lot of public funding. Also not great.
    But far short of denial of the franchise.
    Some day we may see an Arab party holding the political balance of power in the Knesset. That would be interesting.
    By the way, after the state of Israel was created, it became impossible to live as a Jew in a whole list of Arab countries. So, there are degrees in these matters.

    Reply

  75. Punchy says:

    It mirror an earlier post…since when does the US announce an exact amount of time it will allow a country to bomb another before it “wants a ceasefire”??
    WTF is THAT? They have exactly one week to inflict whatever they want, and THEN we’ll be “angry” or “ready for a ceasefire” or “awoken”?
    I’ve never seen nor heard of such an absurd policy. So, apparently, all civilian deaths in the next 7 days are gimmies, not counted, freebies, and collateral damage, but starting on day 8, they’ll count, and thus we’ll need a ceasefire.
    I cannot imagine how the Arab world will take this kind of acquiescence to the Israeli force. I’m guessing not well…at all.

    Reply

  76. LondonYank says:

    Hal, I should offer a clarification. Israeli Arabs living in Israel have the right to vote. Arabs living in occupied territories generally don’t get citizenship. Lots of civil benefits and liberties are dependent on whether the recipient is Arab, whether citizen or not. Arabs can lose their citizenship if they don’t remain resident and there are restrictions on spouse eligiblity for citizenship which only apply to Arabs. It appears a very complex situation, but there is certainly a racist element in legal treatment that makes me uncomfortable.

    Reply

  77. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, has anyone dared imagine what must be going on in Palestine while the world’s eyes are on Lebanon?
    Lebanon and Condi.
    Meanwhile, in Iraq, in Palestine, in Afghanistan…
    Meanwhile in New Orleans, in our nation’s hospitals, in our nation’s schools, in our nation’s ports………
    I don’t know about you, but I wish they’d use a lubricant. My ass is getting sore.

    Reply

  78. Pissed Off American says:

    Gee, maybe we oughta send Condi to Turkey instead……
    Turkish Commandos on Iraqi Border
    By Mehmet Gokce, Seyhmus Edis, Diyarbakir, Mardin
    Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2006
    zaman.com
    Turkey, who warned Iraq and the United States just a day ago that it was “losing patience” over the presence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Kandil Mountain, is now preparing for a cross-border operation.
    Turkish troops close to the Iraqi border were put on alarm, and all military leave has been cancelled.
    continues at…..
    http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&hn=34898
    Bush needs to make another announcement about how well its going in Iraq, because reality is once again rearing its ugly head. Thinks are just so muchj more comforting in Bushworld. Anyone got any E tickets left???

    Reply

  79. Hal says:

    Can Israeli Arabs vote?
    LondonYank wrote:
    “Does it only count as a “democracy” in your book if someone you like wins? Or if a large segment of the population is excluded from voting (as in Israel)?”
    Do you have any evidence to back up this charge?
    Here’s the lead from an AP story of March 21, 2006, by Sarah El Deeb:
    “UMM EL FAHM, Israel – Though they make up one-fifth of Israel’s population, Israeli Arabs head into next week’s elections feeling their votes count for little and disappointed that Arab parties haven’t banded together to get them a better deal.
    As a result, turnout among Israel’s 600,000 eligible Arab voters could be thin. In the 2003 elections, 62 percent cast ballots.”
    Hal

    Reply

  80. MP says:

    As I recall, Hitler was elected, too.

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  81. Matthew says:

    To quote Bill Bennet: Where is the outrage? Bush has been totally nonchalant about the 25,000 American citizens in Lebanon. When did protecting Americans overseas become a low priority? Everytime I feel I can’t get any more disgusted with Bush, he lowers the bar yet again.

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  82. MP says:

    “Hey, Finest! I thought Lebanon was also a democracy in the Middle East. And Iran, Egypt and Palestine have recently held elections too, as I recall.
    Does it only count as a “democracy” in your book if someone you like wins? Or if a large segment of the population is excluded from voting (as in Israel)?”
    By all means, lets do have some more free elections as they’ve had in Iran and Egypt. Not to mention those elections they used to have in Iraq where SH would garner, what?, 97% of the vote? I particularly like the Palestinian election, the winners of which have pledged the destruction of their neighbor and use civilian neighborhoods as launching pads for rockets. Yum-yum. It’s nice to see democracy in action. Why have we forgotten those elections in Saudi Arabia and Syria–the leaders there are so enlightened that the people just keep re-electing them year after year. Wake up folks.

    Reply

  83. Ducktape says:

    What seems to be passing without mention in all these news reports (and comments) about Israel fighting “Hesbollah” is that Israel is systematically taking out a good portion of Lebanon’s infrastructure …
    … including up in the north, in Sunni areas not controlled at all by Hesbollah.
    What, their rockets, planes, and bombs are “missing”?

    Reply

  84. Carroll says:

    Ditto ahem
    Ditto London Yank….except I half disagree with peacekeeping opinion.
    Ditto virginia cynic
    Ditto Linda
    But since Bush is behind the Israelis I have to think Condi is just windowdressing. What can you expect from an adm and congress that has renounced all international law?

    Reply

  85. LondonYank says:

    Hey, Finest! I thought Lebanon was also a democracy in the Middle East. And Iran, Egypt and Palestine have recently held elections too, as I recall.
    Does it only count as a “democracy” in your book if someone you like wins? Or if a large segment of the population is excluded from voting (as in Israel)?

    Reply

  86. Finest says:

    Press Release:
    To the amazement of the entire civilized world today someone, and it cannot be verified, someone somewhere asked HESBOLLAH to stand down, not the Israelis. HESBOLLAH!! We are still working to credit the source and will get back to you as soon it is proven true. But don’t hold your breath.
    By the way, what does Hesbollah do in their spare time, when their not lobbing rockets into the only Democracy in the Middle East? Writing the next great novel, curing some rare desease, building grand architecture, painting matchless paintings for all to behold. Yeah, right.

    Reply

  87. beth says:

    Steve and Virginia Cynic make the essential point: the moral and right thing to do is to try and save innocent lives. The asymmetrical valuing of lives by Israel in this exchange is wrong–just as the asymmetrical valuing of lives in Iraq by the US is wrong.

    Reply

  88. virginia cynic says:

    If these amounts are not precisely accurate then I am sorry but I think that they are at least close. Israel receives about $3 Billion per year, ( and has for as long as I can remember)with over half of that in military aid. Israel is a client state of the US but a client that routinely rules the principal. Make no mistake, this a US approved war, directly approved or tacitly so, it makes little difference.
    I have been critical of Steve Clemons in the past for some of his name dropping and slack that he has given the administration but he has this one dead on and I am afraid dead is the right word.
    If the Us wanted to distance itself it could but we keep backing an out of control client state, quietly making a mockery of Washington’s warning against foreign entanglements of the kind that we have made with Israel. This is not just a Neocon madness, however, since the other day Hillary Clinton told us that America stands with Israel because Israel supports American values. How touching. I suppose Hillary is referring to the bombing of civilians and noncombatants as an American value and one that in the past we have at least said was unfortunate but now we have joined the madness whether it is Bolton talking about the lack of moral equivalence of the deaths of lebanese who are not Hwezbollah and H Clinton endorsing the indiscriminate bombing. Why she has not called for carpet bombing I do not know.

    Reply

  89. LondonYank says:

    It has been the settled policy of this Bush administration to undermine and discredit the United Nations at every possible opportunity. It is the settled policy of Israel to ignore and discredit the United Nations in pursuing its unilateralist course.
    If Tony Blair supports putting the United Nations into a peacekeeping role in Lebanon, then I smell a rat. Blair has been a poodle for the past 6 years, and is likely serving his masters yet again.
    The UN force would almost certainly be ineffective in stopping aggression. Furthermore, it would create a target such that an attack on UN troops or facilities could be used to justify the next war.
    Once the UN is thoroughly discredited as ineffective, the USA, Britain and Israel can justify unilateral actions in a broader campaign that attacks Iran and Syria. With the UN forced out of Lebanon – as it was forced out of Iraq – the US would be free to pursue unrestrained war, torture, mass arrest, destruction of civilian infrastructure and political terror without check or audit.
    The PNAC plan was always to secure the Khuzestan oil fields from Iran (holding 90 percent of proven reserves) and to secure a pipeline to the Mediterranean through Syria to avoid the security bottleneck of the Arabian Gulf. I do not believe that the plan is changed.
    I hope I am wrong, but I’ve seen enough of Tony Blair to know that I don’t trust him one bit on this UN initiative.

    Reply

  90. Linda says:

    Let’s hope it’s this coming Sunday and not “some day.” Condi, Collin, all of them in diplomacy in this administration have always done too litte, way too late–and Bush is not capable of being personally involved as Carter and Clinton were. Remember how hard Clinton worked on these issues right up to the very last hours of his Presidency.

    Reply

  91. Hal says:

    Why must everything be about the US? This is overwhelmingly an Israeli problem, and Israel is looking for a response that has a chance of improving its security in the long term. Going back to the status quo ante bellum is not it.
    I think that either Israel cuts down Hezbollah’s power to threaten it, or somebody else contains them. But, as George Friedman points out in the July 18 Stratfor podcast, Israel is highly skeptical of international peacekeepers. In the past, he said, “when the crunch comes, they don’t do their job.”
    If someone can adduce evidence to the contrary, please do. I know that in 1967 the UN pulled out of Sinai and allowed the crisis to worsen.
    As for Syria, it seems to me as if there is a tacit understanding between Jerusalem and Damascus not to go to war here. Of course, things can always spin out of control, but it’s not in the interest of either country to widen this war.

    Reply

  92. ahem says:

    Need to kill some more people before we get to any of that darned diplomacy.
    The NYT, following the Guardian, says it explicitly: Israel has the green light for a week. A week for the neocon nutcases to rattle their blunted sabers about the need to nuke Damascus. A week that will probably take the death toll up to four figures.
    The abrogation of whatever authority the US had left is staggering. And it won’t be forgotten.

    Reply

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