Condi Rice Calls Olmert’s Story “Fiction”

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RiceOlmert.jpeg.jpgA lot of Middle East watchers have been stunned by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s snotty depiction of both Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President Bush with regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1860 calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
While the US abstained when the vote was taken, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told me today that the US does support the resolution and only had some minor concerns about the timing of the vote.
My colleague and New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force co-director Daniel Levy and UN Dispatch‘s Mark Goldberg both have more on this, but the exchange below today with Secretary Rice shows that she knows how to manage the optics of this diplomatic tiff with Olmert. Nonetheless, she calls his understanding of events related to the ceasefire resolution “fiction.”
Khalilzad also told me that Condoleezza Rice stayed an unprecedented three days in New York working hard with other stakeholders on all sides of the ceasefire resolution and negotiating with key players directly.
The exchange from a press interview between Rice and Bloomberg’s Mike Schneider:

QUESTION: Back once again with the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in her last few days here at the State Department. We saw newspaper headlines which have surprised, shocked, and disturbed many people, remarks made purportedly by the prime minister of Israel, ostensibly made in the southern part of the country saying that he was unhappy about the direction the U.S. was going to take regarding a resolution in the Security Council, and that he called up the U.S. and said he didn’t want to speak with you, he wanted to speak with the President. He interrupted a President’s speech, he got him on the phone, and basically ordered that we not follow through on a course that you wanted to follow through on, according to him, in the Security Council regarding a resolution on what’s happening in Gaza. How much of that is true?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, first of all, I don’t know if the prime minister was – I hope – quoted out of context, because the story that I read in the newspaper is fiction.
QUESTION: You had – what did you want to do with that resolution? We abstained.
SECRETARY RICE: The President and I talked about the resolution, about the importance of allowing the Council to send a signal even though the United States believed that the resolution was premature. And I had made very clear that I thought the resolution was premature, and there were also concerns about a resolution that had Israel, a member-state of the United Nations, and Hamas, which is a terrorist organization, you don’t ever want there to be any equating those two.
And so we talked. We talked about abstention as a good option. And I was quite aware of the President’s call to Prime Minister Olmert. Of course, Prime Minister Olmert is not at all aware of what the President said to me. And I repeat, his rendering of this is fiction – if, in fact, that was his rendering of it. And I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it’s not exactly what he said.
QUESTION: Well, you also find yourself being criticized by former Ambassador Bolton, who said that the U.S. should veto —
SECRETARY RICE: There’s not much new in that, Mike. (Laughter.)

I hope to have my 90 minute public discussion with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad which includes some important exchanges on Afghanistan, Iran, nation building, the United Nations as an institution, and on the Israel-Palestine part of America’s Middle East challenges posted soon.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

69 comments on “Condi Rice Calls Olmert’s Story “Fiction”

  1. Paul Norheim says:

    “War is a continuation of politics by other means.” The problem
    with young nations founded on guerilla activities, who have
    studied Clausewitz (everybody from Lenin and Mao to the
    Algerians, the Vietamese, and ANC actually studied Clasewitz) is
    that they often cling to that “continuation of politics” even at a
    time when peaceful political means are the sole means to
    provide security for themselves.
    Settlement and colonization is war in slow motion. Military
    invasion (1967 and 1973) is colonization at high speed. And for
    the Israeli state, political negotiations and “peace processes”
    seem to be regarded only as pauses and cease fires and tactical
    retreats between the real political work: bombings, colonization,
    settlements.
    I am afraid their adversaries are stuck in the same mind set, and
    will be so for a very long time after (/if, and that is a big IF) a
    two state solution is achieved. The latest bombing in Gaza will
    sow the seeds, as you say, of a new generation who have no
    reason to believe in politics in any other form than the military
    struggle.

    Reply

  2. ... says:

    paul – i agree.. either way israel and the IDF are ruining any future they have engaging deceptively and ruthlessly as mass murders in all of it… they have no integrity in any of this, but it is worse.. they continue to sow the seeds of their own demise and seem unable to recognize it…

    Reply

  3. Paul Norheim says:

    And, of course, the Israeli election.

    Reply

  4. Paul Norheim says:

    After severely weakening PLO, now Israel is severely weakening
    Hamas. If the PA should grow really strong again within some
    years (not likely), Israel will demonize them and try to weaken
    them, and perhaps strengthen Hamas again. That is what the
    Gaza war basically is about. Divide et impera.

    Reply

  5. ... says:

    wigwag, hamas was started thanks to israel.. hamas are the ‘elected’ representatives of palestine at present… to continue to label them only as a terrorist organization is incomplete, but perhaps you can only acknowledge one part and not acknowledge the whole… i do come to that conclusion reading your posts..perhaps one day you’ll be able to consider a broader view of what is happening here… saying that i support hamas when, i have never said such is an interesting conclusion to come to as well.. what i have repeatedly hammered on about is that “israel thru the IDF are mass murdering people in palestine at present”.. unfortunately your words here are another dishonest example of your characterizations and your character.. it doesn’t just relate to the israel/palestine issue.. it relates back to your character and reflects poorly on you once again…
    “Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel ‘aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),’ said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic [and International] Studies. Israel’s support for Hamas ‘was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,’ said a former senior CIA official.”
    Middle East analyst Ray Hanania concurs:
    “In addition to hoping to turn the Palestinian masses away from Arafat and the PLO, the Likud leadership believed they could achieve a workable alliance with Islamic, anti-Arafat forces that would also extend Israel’s control over the occupied territories.”

    Reply

  6. arthurdecco says:

    “The only intelligent thing to do here is to critique what others say, not what kinds of people they are” WigWag
    I’ll wager you didn’t even blush writing that pile of poo.

    Reply

  7. WigWag says:

    … I could just as easily say that your support for Hamas shows that your character leaves alot to be desired. After all, Hamas is a religiously bigoted organization that believes in a medieval Salafist philosophy that is profoundly anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-enlightenment. But untroubled by this, you merrily support them. But the truth is, … , I am not interested in your character although I am occasionally interested in what you have to say.
    Rich, you are absolutely right that Israel’s attack on Gaza has significantly hurt their relationship with Turkey. There are some mediating factors, however. Israel maintains as strong a relationship as ever with the Turkish military, which as you know, is not under the control of the Turkish civilian government (in fact the secular Turkish military hates the moderately Islamic Turkish government).
    It will be interesting to see how all of this effects Israel’s peace talks with Syria which, as you know, were being mediated by Turkey. Deterioration of Israel’s relationship with Turkey might also lead to interesting developments in Israel’s relationship with the Kurds (which I would be happy to tell you about if you are interested).

    Reply

  8. ... says:

    wigwag, here is the comment that triggered my words with you..
    >>Posted by WigWag Jan 15, 12:57PM – Link
    More bad news for Cee just announced:
    IDF kills Hamas Interior Minister; Hamas security chief, militant leader also thought dead>Posted by … Jan 15, 1:27PM – Link
    wigwag – that is more bad news for everyone… think if your family members were murdered.. how would you feel?? would you be motivated to act a certain way towards those who killed your family??? too bad it isn’t apparent what all of this killing and murdering is doing for everyone involved including you…<<
    i do form a view of your character based on what you have and haven’t said here..your words reflects directly on your character and aren’t separate.. from what i have read, your character leaves a lot to be desired..

    Reply

  9. rich says:

    wigwag @ Jan 15, 6:16PM –
    ” ‘WigWag may laugh at the moment, but I think this will backfire.’
    Could be, but the Israelis don’t think so and neither do I. But only time will tell.”
    Never mind Israel’s bombing has radicalized Gazans and sharply increased their support for Hamas. It’s also cut Israel off from their one, major, key ally in the region: Turkey.
    http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/gaza-war-sours-turkey-israel-relations.html
    Gaza War Sours Turkey-Israel Relations
    One of the little noticed side effects of Israel’s war on Gaza has been a substantial souring of relations with Turkey. The Israelis had had a relatively close diplomatic, military and trade relationship with secular, Kemalist Turkey. The rise of the Justice and Development Party from 2002, however, has created new complications, since that party is mildly tinged with Muslim political themes. It is the first such party that has managed to survive any length of time without provoking a coup by the militantly secular Turkish military.
    In this crisis, PM Erdogan has been scathing toward Israel, deeply angering the current government. He told parliament on Tuesday, They say my criticism is harsh, I assume it is not as harsh as phosphorus bombs or fire from tanks … I am reacting as a human and a Muslim.”
    All across Turkey on Tuesday at 11 am, students in schools were ordered to observe a minute of silence for the victims in Gaza. I’ve been following Turkey since I first went there in 1976, and I can’t remember hearing anything quite like this.
    A few Palestinians wounded in the Gaza attacks have been brought to Turkey for medical treatment.
    The Turkish Consumers Association is spearheading a Turkish consumer boycott of Israeli-made goods.
    Turkey is Israel’s eighth largest trading partner, with trade between the two countries worth over $2.6 bn a year in 2007. Israel’s economy depends heavily on foreign trade, which accounts for 80 percent of its GDP.
    Hmmm. Sounds like blowback to me.

    Reply

  10. varanasi says:

    POA wrote:
    “Do you really think that your slurs on my profession and on the area I live have been forgotten, Wigwag?”
    awww… did someone say something mean to little ‘ol innocent POA? not fair. he’s never said a bad word to anyone.
    glass houses suck, huh?

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The only intelligent thing to do here is to critique what others say, not what kinds of people they are”
    Do you really think that your slurs on my profession and on the area I live have been forgotten, Wigwag?

    Reply

  12. WigWag says:

    “Not responding to the plight of others is indeed quite interesting and that it what I get from your comments here. I think it de-legitimizes everything you do say, with your last post being no different.”
    Only a narcissist would think that anything that they write at a blog has anything to do with responding to the plight of others. I don’t have a clue whether or how you or anyone else here “responds to the plight of others” and neither do you.
    You may be a wonderful person or a terrible person or something in between; I don’t have a clue. Neither do you have a clue about me.
    I think some of the things you write are ridiculous; you think the same about me. The only intelligent thing to do here is to critique what others say, not what kinds of people they are.

    Reply

  13. ... says:

    not responding to the plight of others is indeed quite interesting and that it what i get from your comments here.. i think it de-legitimizes everything you do say, with your last post being no different..

    Reply

  14. WigWag says:

    “it is quite interesting what wigwag does respond to.”
    I respond to comments that I think are interesting although sometimes I also respond to comments that I think are uninteresting but particularly annoy me.
    I also respond to comments from commenters like Paul Norheim who I think are particularly smart or have life experiences that I admire.
    I try not to respond to comments that are rude or abusive, but sometimes I slip and let my emotions get the better of me.
    You see, …, it’s really not that interesting after all.

    Reply

  15. ... says:

    paul – it is quite interesting what wigwag does respond to as i had mentioned that back then thinking it was someone who intentionally wanted to slur things who would do such a thing… now a few days later, wigwag opts to point out that particular post that wasn’t mine, neglecting all others..
    it is hard not to associate wigwag with that specific post since his response is very selective and points right back to it… my guess- unsubstantiated- is wigwag was the author of that post… thanks for bringing it to his attention once again paul…

    Reply

  16. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag, FYI: the one using three dots is different from the one
    using five (the one referring to Streicher). Here is a comment from
    the same thread where the Streicher remark was posted:
    “Posted by … Jan 13, 11:35AM – Link
    Posted by …… Jan 12, 10:14PM
    next time you’d like to mimic me, do some counting on the dots,
    lol… i can see my posts disturb you!”
    ————
    … obviously felt an urge to distance himself from …..

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Took that a bit out of context, didn’t you, Wigwag?
    Not suprising.

    Reply

  18. WigWag says:

    “sometimes in a persons response, or lack of response lies a clear indication of what type of person they are….sometimes it is quite a disturbing picture as it is with wigwag in this example…”
    A lesson on morality from someone who posted this at the Washington Note just three days ago:
    “What do you idiots need, a Julius Streicher to point it out to you?”
    Isn’t that rich?

    Reply

  19. WigWag says:

    Hawthorn asks an interesting question, “Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that Israel has a plan for the aftermath and not just a “Mission Accomplished” banner. Are they going to invite Fatah to take over? They can’t leave a complete vacuum or things will get worse.”
    This artcile from Haaretz may provide part of the answer to your question:
    Last update – 03:14 16/01/2009
    ANALYSIS / Would Gaza be better with weak Hamas or no Hamas?
    By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents
    “In a series of blows during the past 24 hours, the most severe since the Israel Defense Forces operation began in the Gaza Strip 20 days ago, Hamas was brought very close to surrender.
    It is unlikely that we will see white flags, because the group recognizes that this would have a devastating effect on its image. But the Israeli military pressure has destroyed most of the Palestinian defenses in the heart of Gaza City, a day after the group had to agree in principle to the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire a deal it is not very happy with.
    At the start of the fighting, there was talk in the IDF of a Hamas division, trained and funded by Iran, ready to confront an invasion of the Gaza Strip. This division evaporated and it is doubtful whether it ever existed.
    The situation as of last night was as follows: Said Sayyam and Salah Abu Shreich, two senior Hamas figures, were killed in an air strike in Jabaliya. The home of another Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, is surrounded. Infantry, armor and special forces are operating in the center of the city, very close to the Hamas “security quarter” southwest of the city, where most of the command and control centers of the group are situated.
    Even in the center of the city, Hamas gunmen are opting to avoid direct encounters with the IDF. In most cases they are choosing to escape along with thousands of civilians. The Hamas announcement in Cairo two days ago began the countdown toward a cease-fire…
    The army sensed Hamas’ weakness when units left their defensive positions in the Zeytun neighborhood. Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi approved the assault and forces reached the center of the city through the gap. On the way, the IDF killed most of the members of a unit comprising militants trained by Iran…
    Meanwhile it seems that at least the Hamas leadership in Gaza has began to fathom the seriousness of its position. Two Hamas leaders in the Strip, Razi Hamad and Ahmed Yusuf, accused the group’s leadership in Damascus of “bringing a terrible disaster on Gaza.”
    The two are considered members of the pragmatic wing of the party, and charged the Damascus-based leadership with making a terrible mistake in ordering Hamas to foil the extension of the cease-fire agreement with Israel in December.
    However, in Damascus it is not clear that the message has been received. Ramadan Shalah, head of the Islamic Jihad, told Al Jazeera that the Palestinians will continue their resistance in Gaza and the city will not surrender because “victory is imminent.”
    The head of the Hamas politburo, Khaled Meshal, who is central in the decision that led to the events in the Strip, spoke in Damascus last night of a Palestinian “victory in Gaza.”
    During the speech, delivered live on Al Jazeera, breaking news announced that Said Sayyam and his brother Iyad had been killed in Gaza.
    The latest developments have contributed to optimism in Israel. However, those who are still toying with the idea of bringing down Hamas entirely should weigh what is best: a weakened Hamas or complete anarchy in the Strip, with no one in power to threaten or to make indirect agreements with? Gaza can still deteriorate into another Somalia.”
    There is one thing you can be certain of, Hawthorn; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah of Jordan, Hosni Mubrak and Mahmoud Abbas will sleep very well tonight. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Bashir Assad of Syria and Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah will sleep less well.
    And Said Sayyam, the third ranking Hamas leader who led the expulsion of Fatah from Gaza; he is (as they say)sleeping with the fishes tonight. That must make Abu Mazen and Abu Fadi very happy indeed.

    Reply

  20. ... says:

    being happy with others pain and anguish is quite disgusting.. it’s called sadism.. is it possible for someone to be ‘correct’ in their sadism???? it is a weird thing to want to be correct about but for those who think in these terms it does make sense, as much as any of what they say makes sense….
    not… sometimes in a persons response, or lack of response lies a clear indication of what type of person they are….sometimes it is quite a disturbing picture as it is with wigwag in this example…

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok: January 2014. Let`s try to remember that.

    Reply

  22. WigWag says:

    “WigWag may laugh at the moment, but I think this will backfire.
    Could be, but the Israelis don’t think so and neither do I. But only time will tell.
    “Five years from now, my guess is that WigWag will not laugh, thinking back on the recent developments.”
    I hope we are both here 5 years from now. That would be great to be able to see which, if either of us, was correct.

    Reply

  23. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag may laugh at the moment, but I think this will backfire.
    Israel`s “achievements”? Here`s my suggestions:
    1) The moderate forces in the Arab world will loose credibility
    and legitimacy.
    2) By denying Hamas any political options, destroying them and
    killing hundreds of children and civilians, the Islamist
    movements will get even more radicalized; and their legitimacy
    will be strengthened among ordinary Palestinians and Arabs.
    3) The gap between the Arab autocracies and monarchs, and a
    radicalized people will increase, and the legitimacy of the
    leaders who supported the attack on Gaza will be weakened.
    4) Like the war in Iraq, the attack on Gaza, ruthlessly killing
    civilians as well as Hamas fighters, will infuriate the Islamic
    populations in European countries, leading to terror attacks and
    attacks on innocent Jews in Europe. This may even spread to
    America.
    5) By crushing national liberation movements with an Islamist
    agenda, the “universal” versions of Islamism (like al Quaeda) will
    profit and attract young people in the Arab world, Europe, Asia
    and the US.
    6) Obviously Iran will profit on this as well, being among the few
    countries in the Middle East supporting Hamas.
    6) And the legitimacy and security of Israel will be seriously
    damaged.
    Five years from now, my guess is that WigWag will not laugh,
    thinking back on the recent developments.

    Reply

  24. Cee says:

    Are they going to invite Fatah to take over?
    Hawthorn,
    That is the plan. If Fatah and that corrupt Dahlan would take charge Israel would use them again and turn on them again.
    They never learn.
    An example
    Israel boots Fatah fighters from after clash with Hamas in Gaza Strip
    News Wire Services
    Sunday, August 3rd 2008, 8:20 PM
    GAZA – About 30 pro-Fatah Palestinians who fled to Israel after fierce clashes in the Gaza Strip were sent back to the Hamas-controlled enclave Sunday, and the Islamist group said they were immediately detained by its forces.
    They were among 180 supporters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction granted refuge in Israel on Saturday after nine Palestinians were killed and 95 were wounded during a Hamas assault on their Gaza City neighborhood.
    The fighting was the bloodiest since Hamas routed Fatah and took over the coastal enclave a year ago.
    The 30 men sent back to Gaza are pro-Fatah members of the Helles clan, who were criticized by Fatah officials in the West Bank for failing to resist Hamas’ takeover in June 2007.

    Reply

  25. arthurdecco says:

    WigWag, I have had my hand over my mouth and forgotten to breathe since I finished your contributions until…whew!…now. (deep breath…!)
    You left me dumbstruck with your frank enjoyment of the news from Gaza.
    I haven’t known people like you. Not one ever. And I’ve known a lot of people over a lot of packed-full years. Too many have been ugly, ugly people who enjoyed the pain and discomfort of others much in the same ways you do. But you, WigWag, stand supreme, alone, head and shoulders above those others I have locked in up in my memory – a study removed.
    I’ve been convinced finally of the banality of evil.
    I wonder, should I thank you or curse you?

    Reply

  26. ... says:

    wigwag – that is more bad news for everyone… think if your family members were murdered.. how would you feel?? would you be motivated to act a certain way towards those who killed your family??? too bad it isn’t apparent what all of this killing and murdering is doing for everyone involved including you…

    Reply

  27. Hawthorn says:

    Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that Israel has a plan for the aftermath and not just a “Mission Accomplished” banner.
    Are they going to invite Fatah to take over? They can’t leave a complete vacuum or things will get worse.

    Reply

  28. WigWag says:

    More bad news for Cee just announced:
    IDF kills Hamas Interior Minister; Hamas security chief, militant leader also thought dead
    By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents, and Agencies
    “Palestinian sources said Thursday that an Israel Air Force strike in Gaza City has killed three of Hamas’ most senior officials: the group’s Interior Minister, Said Siam, the head of its security apparatus, Salah Abu Shreh, and the head of its military wing, Mahmoud Watfah.
    The IAF strike was on the house of Siam’s brother, who was also killed. Hamas TV later confirmed that Siam had been killed.
    Siam was the effective founder of the Hamas-led police force. He pushed for Hamas’ bloody 2006 coup in Gaza, during which it ousted the rival Fatah faction from power. Siam was the number three behind Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Zahar, and was seen by many as the most extreme of the triumvirate.
    Six other Hamas operatives were wounded in the air strike in the heart of Gaza City, the sources said. The IDF Southern Command ordered the airstrike on the basis of precise intelligence provided by the Shin Bet security service…
    Earlier Thursday, Israel Defense Forces troops, backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy guns, thrust further into Gaza City than ever before, seeking out Hamas gunmen, and carrying out the army’s most relentless shelling of the Gaza Strip in nearly three weeks of fighting.
    Channel 10 television reported Thursday evening that troops were operating in the heart of the city, and had taken control of three of its neighborhoods. The television posed the question whether this could in fact be the delayed third stage of the IDF operation in Gaza.”
    Oh and Cee, that “precise intelligence” provided by Shin Bet that the article referred to; you think there’s any chance that it might have come from Palestinian factions opposed to Hamas?

    Reply

  29. Cee says:

    Wag should be proud.
    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24919823-23109,00.html
    The blood stained monster at work
    But as the frightened civilians took refuge in the facility, part of the hospital caught fire after an Israeli strike. The blaze was brought under control in the medical area but not in the administrative building.
    The attack put about 100 patients and medical staff at risk, according to the international Red Cross, while a doctor inside said many of them were trapped.
    “The Israelis are bombing and attacking all around the hospital. We can’t get out. There’s fire, and we’re trapped inside. The water has been cut off,” French doctor Regis Garrigue said.
    The hospital was hit after around 12 hours of “incessant” bombing, said Garrigue, the president and founder of the French medical aid agency Help Doctors.

    Reply

  30. ... says:

    WigWag said:
    “So what has the Israeli bombing campaign/invasion achieved? <<
    it has shown israel to be the terrorist..
    their propagandists have had to work harder then ever.. they work to continue to control the language and debate so as not to appear as the state terrorist that they indeed are and….
    it isn’t working…
    israel acts as the bully…no one respects or likes a bully, especially one that murders innocent people, while bombing un faculties inside an enforced prison called ‘gaza’ they are directly responsible for creating…
    israel actions are perceived as pathetic.. this latest excursion solidifies there position as the new germany working to exterminate the palestinian people, while claiming everything but…

    Reply

  31. WigWag says:

    “But LOL? That`s incomprehensible.”
    Yes, Paul, my laughter (which was out-loud)is directed at critics of Israeli policy like Daniel Levy and Stephen Walt (I won’t mention Steve Clemons because it’s impolite to laugh at one’s host), who have been reduced to hoping they can whip up some outrage towards Israel by pointing out that the Bush Secretary of State was insulted by a Prime Minister who will be leaving office only a few weeks later than President Bush (and who shortly thereafter is likely to be indicted). The fact that this is what these commentators have been reduced to writing about tells you all you need to know about how likely their views are to have saliency in the United States any time soon.
    I understand that Levy and others see the Olmert-Rice imbroglio as a metaphor for the larger US-Israeli relationship. They may even be partly right. I’ve just read the new Martin Indyk book and he sites instances of how Ehud Barak treated Bill Clinton in 2000 that are reminiscent of Olmert’s comment about Rice.
    But be that as it may, no one in the United States cares (outside of few foreign policy professionals and an occassional blogger). And there is no evidence that this reality will be changing any time soon.
    Trying to turn this into a cause celebre is fruitless. And frankly it’s a little pathetic.
    And as for your comment about my use of “internet slang mainly used by teenagers chatting with friends;” when your as old as I am being compared to a teenager is quite refreshing.

    Reply

  32. WigWag says:

    JohnH says, “The Palestinians of Gaza will starve silently, since Israel will almost certainly continue its blockade and lockdown, and Palestinians won’t even have the option of using tunnels to smuggle in food and medicine.”
    Actually that’s incorrect. What will almost certainly happen is that the crossings will be opened to the free-flow of all goods (except weapons and ordinance)as they were when Israel left Gaza. Upon Israel’s deparature a few years back, European monitors partnered with Palestinian Authority security agents to police the border subject to international agreement. When Hamas expelled Fatah from Gaza they demanded that the Europeans monitor the crossing with Hamas agents and the Europeans refused. That’s why the crossing points have been closed.
    By the way, the Rafah crossing is entirely on Egyptian soil. The Israelis have no presence there at all. Egypt could have opened that crossing any time they wanted to, despite the fact that the Europeans refused to police the crossing point in partnership with Hamas. The Egyptians weren’t any more willing to open the border for the past few years than the Israelis were. Why? Because they hate Hamas as much as the Israelis do.
    We don’t know what the coming cease-fire agreement will bring or even whether there will be a formal cease fire agreeement at all. What we do know is that in the relatively near future military hostilities between Hamas and the Israelis will stop. When it does, count on the fact that when the Rafah border opens again (as it surely will)the border will be policed once again by the Europeans in partnership with the Palestinian Authority. Hamas finds this humiliating (after all they forcibly kicked the PA out of Gaza). This is one of the reasons it took so long to get a cease fire. And it is one of the biggest points of contention between the Hamas leadership in Gaza that is being pounded and wants a cease fire at all costs and the Hamas leadership making pronouncements from the comfort of Damascus, that still wants the PA kept out of Gaza.

    Reply

  33. varanasi says:

    wow, fireman.
    enlightened debate, my man.
    if you haven’t read it already, should really check The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. the jewish conspiracy is even greater than you think.

    Reply

  34. fireman says:

    Paul,
    Israel Firster WigWag is laughing at Americans and the United States for their impotence when faced with the prowess of Israel, Zionists, and Jewish money, in their foreign policy and political system in general.
    The whole world is laughing after Olmert once again reminded the world about how little Israel dominates the US of A, but the Israel Firster WigWag takes a special mischievous glee in reminding posters here about it and that Americans of conscience cannot do one damn thing about the current Israeli slaughter because our county is had by the balls by his/her true countrymen.
    WigWag is LOL like a giddy teenager just like the giddy Israeli teenagers laughed and danced in New Jersey while watching the Twin Towers burn across the river.
    It would be nice to see WigWag and his/her ilk have to flee for Israel someday like those giddy Jew teenagers in NJ had to. Then we would know that the American populace has woken up.

    Reply

  35. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag said:
    “So what has the Israeli bombing campaign/invasion achieved?
    1)Israel’s deterrent stance is restored
    2)Hamas has been dramatically degraded
    3)When the borders are opened it will be with Palestinian
    Authority monitors joining the Europeans instead of Hamas.
    4)The rockets will stop.
    5)Hamas will find smuggling much more difficult.
    And best of all, Israel’s critics are left to cry that the Bush
    Secretary of State Condi Rice had her feelings hurt and the
    American public doesn’t even care.
    LOL”
    So, after trying to sum up the “achievements” of the bombing of
    the Gaza strip so far, you end your comment with this
    abbreviation: LOL. Laughing Out Loud.
    Internet slang mainly used by teenagers chatting with friends.
    No, WigWag, Israel`s critics do not have monopoly on morality.
    But LOL?
    That`s incomprehensible.

    Reply

  36. Paul Norheim says:

    anna missed,
    I clicked on the link in your name and read your blog comment
    about Joe the Plummer/Reporter and his stunt in Israel.
    Very funny, and very sad.
    And your mentioning Rice`s pregnancy metaphors are also to the
    point.

    Reply

  37. anna missed says:

    You can tell Condi is lying, especially about Israel, when she starts with the pregnancy metaphors like premature or birth pangs. Someone should probably tell her you can’t get pregnant, give birth, or produce democracy by screwing people over.

    Reply

  38. Paul Norheim says:

    Sorry for the broken link to the Times story. Here we go again:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article690085.ece

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    I would guess that the brits are rather pissed off when they hear
    the Israelis distinguishing between terrorists and a nation
    defending itself, and then killing civilians. And especially when
    they hear that the Israelis in such a unique care for the civilian
    population in Gaza warn them before they bomb their houses.
    The brits have heard that before:
    From The Times
    July 20, 2006
    BRITISH ANGER AT TERROR CELEBRATION
    The commemoration of Israeli bombings that killing 92 people
    has caused offence
    By Ned Parker and Stephen Farrell
    The rightwingers, including Binyamin Netanyahu, the former
    Prime Minister, are commemorating the bombing of the King
    David Hotel in Jerusalem, the headquarters of British rule, that
    killed 92 people and helped to drive the British from Palestine.
    They have erected a plaque outside the restored building, and
    are holding a two-day seminar with speeches and a tour of the
    hotel by one of the Jewish resistance fighters involved in the
    attack.
    Simon McDonald, the British Ambassador in Tel Aviv, and John
    Jenkins, the Consul-General in Jerusalem, have written to the
    municipality, stating: “We do not think that it is right for an act
    of terrorism, which led to the loss of many lives, to be
    commemorated.”
    In particular they demanded the removal of the plaque that pays
    tribute to the Irgun, the Jewish resistance branch headed by
    Menachem Begin, the future Prime Minister, which carried out
    the attack on July 22, 1946.
    The plaque presents as fact the Irgun’s claim that people died
    because the British ignored warning calls. “For reasons known
    only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated,” it states.
    Mr McDonald and Dr Jenkins denied that the British had been
    warned, adding that even if they had “this does not absolve
    those who planted the bomb from responsibility for the deaths”.
    On Monday city officials agreed to remove the language deemed
    offensive from the blue sign hanging on the hotel’s gates,
    though that had not been done shortly before it was unveiled
    last night.
    The controversy over the plaque and the two-day celebration of
    the bombing, sponsored by Irgun veterans and the right-wing
    Menachem Begin Heritage Centre, goes to the heart of the
    debate over the use of political violence in the Middle East.
    Yesterday Mr Netanyahu argued in a speech celebrating the
    attack that the Irgun were governed by morals, unlike fighters
    from groups such as Hamas.
    “It’s very important to make the distinction between terror
    groups and freedom fighters, and between terror action and
    legitimate military action,” he said. “Imagine that Hamas or
    Hezbollah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and
    say, ‘We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate
    the area’.”
    But the view of the attack was very different in 1946 when The
    Times branded the Irgun “terrorists in disguise”.”
    Here is the link to the Times story:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/arti
    cle690085.ece
    ————————–
    The very same Netanyahu, who two years ago defended the
    celebration of the terror attack on King David Hotel, may
    become the new leader of the Israeli government. He is
    competing with Defense Minister Ehud Barak for the job, as well
    as Tzipi Livni, whose father once were a leader of the terrorist
    organization Irgun.
    I wonder how many Americans are aware of this. It is somehow
    also relevant for the special relationship between America and
    Israel, the definition of “terrorism” and its historical background
    in the Middle East.

    Reply

  40. ... says:

    paul – thanks for the article from the guardian..
    the war on terror is used as a justification for spreading more terror – state sponsored terror.. i guess the CIA needed some new life breathed into it.. it’s also a shitty excuse for continued and expanded military expenditures.. it’s an opportunity to take away what freedoms and privacy many citizens have taken for granted all for the same weak excuse – fighting terror… it used to be fighting communism but that kind of went out of style and no longer excites the stupid like it used to.. something had to be found to replace it..

    Reply

  41. ... says:

    quote >>U.S., Israel close in on deal to halt arms smuggling into Gaza<<
    too bad usa/israel can’t close in on a deal to halt arms shipment into israel, which leads to all the mass murdering on the part of the IDF… of course arms shipment is ‘legal’ even if they are mass murdering innocent people, so that makes it okay to some…
    arms smuggling, arms shipment.. it is all the same as they are weapons for murdering people.. what part of that don’t people get? better to get sidetracked in what is ‘legal’..
    as i see it, the usa and israel at present are terrorist countries waging jihad on the rest of the middle east… no wonder their are arabs in the me that take exception to their bullshit..

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    Olmert does two things: changing the facts on the ground (the
    war) is sort of a preparation for Obama, while he says goodbye
    to Bush & Rice with his anecdote.
    Milliband`s speech is a “Hello Goodbye” to USA; a goodbye
    speech to George Bush, but also a challenging Hello to Barack
    Obama. He refers to the new president in the speech, indirectly
    alluding to, or assuming that also he agrees to end the war on
    terror: “We must respond to terrorism by championing the rule
    of law, not subordinating it, for it is the cornerstone of the
    democratic society. We must uphold our commitments to
    human rights and civil liberties at home and abroad. That is
    surely the lesson of Guantánamo and it is why we welcome
    President-elect Obama’s commitment to close it.”
    Of course Milliband so far has no reason to believe that Obama
    will end the war on terror: today he declared al Quaeda still to
    be the biggest threat to US security, and soon he will ask
    Europe to send more troops in a surge of the war on terror in
    Afghanistan.
    But yeah, they are “testing” Obama – implying risks for the
    “special relationship” between USA and Israel as well as USA and
    UK.

    Reply

  43. Linda says:

    As far as I am concerned, Secretary of State Rice and UN Ambassador Khalilzad are about as relevant now as the rest of the Bush Administration.
    Next week it will be Secretary of State Clinton and UN Ambassador Rice who surely have a lot of big foreign policy messes to clean up.

    Reply

  44. Paul Norheim says:

    Dr. Jekyll, I presume?

    Reply

  45. TonyForesta says:

    Great links Paul Norheim, and bravo Milliband. The critical change we all, and especially the Obama government must adopt is a swift restoration of the rule of law, and in America’s case the Constition, and a renewed determination to advance the common principles of human rights for everyone.

    Reply

  46. Zathras says:

    There’s a public diplomacy angle to this that I’m surprised Steve Clemons hasn’t picked up on.
    The Olmert version of this story came out two days ago. Rice’s rebuttal, two news cycles late, described only the press accounts of the incident as “fiction.” Anyone who has followed campaign politics in the United States — this includes most of Washington, and a large number of people in foreign capitals — knows that allowing this much time to pass before offering a qualified rejection of the story one is trying to rebut means you’ve lost. The initial story becomes the prism through which events are viewed, even if it was wrong or misleading.
    Karen Hughes appointment as the public diplomacy undersecretary at State three years and change ago was supposed to have been the answer to bad stories abroad becoming accepted currency. By most accounts, and contrary to my expectations, Hughes and her successor James Glassman made some progress in this area, but in this case American public diplomacy ran up against an insuperable obstacle. Convinced that it must always take the Israeli view that Israel faced a struggle for existence, the Bush administration couldn’t offer timely rebuttal to a story that made it appear to every other government in the world as if the American Secretary of State had less clout within her own administration than the Israeli Prime Minister. It allowed its own Secretary of State to be humiliated — not for the first time, either — the humiliation compounded by published commentaries offering sympathy to Rice and criticism of Olmert for being mean and ungrateful to her.
    The problem here has nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or even the role of Israel’s supporters in American domestic politics. It has instead to do with the imperative that great powers cannot afford to allow their high officials to become objects of sympathy or pity. In this case, the incoming Obama administration now confronts the task of demonstrating that its own Secretary of State speaks for the President and cannot be bypassed by a foreign government — the task, in other words, of having to prove something that should be taken for granted no matter who is in the White House.
    This is another example of how the now-departing President, so jealous of his own comfort and convenience, has treated the dignity of the United States and American interests in the world with indifference and neglect. Rice, with her passionate emotional attachment to this President and his family, will not mind, but the rest of the country may hope that the new President will take the honor of the United States more seriously.

    Reply

  47. Wake up in the morning same thing for breakfast says:

    “Israel’s critics are left to cry that the Bush Secretary of State Condi Rice had her feelings hurt and the American public doesn’t even care.”
    The Israel firster’s comment above re-phrased by a Real American,
    Some American patriots in-the-know are outraged that the Israelis once again bragged to the world that they control US foreign policy in the Middle East, and the American people are kept in the dark about it as US politicians are afraid to say anything because Jewish money makes or breaks them, and the US media won’t mention it because we don’t need another Kristalnacht to kick the next round off.
    Armageddon will do nicely.

    Reply

  48. Paul Norheim says:

    Here is a direct link to the article by the British Foreign Secretary:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/15/david-miliband-war-terror

    Reply

  49. Paul Norheim says:

    “UK-US relations have been particular sour in recent days after Washington
    reneged on a pledge to back a largely British-drafted UN resolution calling
    for a ceasefire in Gaza. The White House over-ruled US diplomats after a
    demand from the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert.”
    The quote above is from an article in the Guardian. But the subject of the
    article is even more interesting – and certainly welcome:
    ‘War on terror’ was a mistake, says Miliband
    Foreign secretary argues west cannot kill its way out of the threats it faces
    Julian Borger, Amethi, India
    The Guardian, Thursday 15 January 2009
    Article history
    The foreign secretary, David Miliband, today argues that the use of the
    “war on terror” as a western rallying cry since the September 11 attacks
    has been a mistake that may have caused “more harm than good”.
    In an article in today’s Guardian, five days before the Bush administration
    leaves the White House, Miliband delivers a comprehensive critique of its
    defining mission, saying the war on terror was misconceived and that the
    west cannot “kill its way” out of the threats it faces.
    British officials quietly stopped using the phrase “war on terror” in 2006,
    but this is the first time it has been comprehensively discarded in the most
    outspoken remarks on US counterterrorism strategy to date by a British
    minister.
    In remarks that will also be made in a speech today in Mumbai, in one of
    the hotels that was a target of terrorist attacks in November, the foreign
    secretary says the concept of a war on terror is “misleading and mistaken”.
    “Historians will judge whether it has done more harm than good,” Miliband
    says, adding that, in his opinion, the whole strategy has been dangerously
    counterproductive, helping otherwise disparate groups find common cause
    against the west.
    etc………………………………
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jan/15/war-on-terror-miliband

    Reply

  50. Paul Norheim says:

    “Olmert stands by his version of Rice flap
    JERUSALEM: Aides say Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stands by his claim that he caused the U.S.
    to abstain from a U.N. resolution calling for a halt in Gaza fighting.
    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice negotiated the resolution. Olmert claimed earlier this
    week that he humiliated Rice by persuading U.S. President Bush to instruct her not to vote for
    it.
    Rice spokesman Sean McCormack has called Olmert’s claims “100-percent, totally, completely
    not true.”
    But on Wednesday, Olmert aides said the Israeli leader told the story as it happened. Olmert
    has also claimed that Bush broke off a speech he was giving in Philadelphia to take his call,
    and that the abstention embarrassed Rice.
    The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because the diplomatic matter is sensitive.”
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/01/14/news/ML-Israel-US-Rice.php

    Reply

  51. easy e says:

    Olmert’s story is NON-FICTION. That mindset prevails in the right-wing Likudnik culture. Check out the Zionist frenzy in NYC. Yes, the 51st state does wag the dog.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo&eurl=http://www.heyokamagazine.com/heyokamagazine.24.wipethemallout.htm

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Incidentally, speaking about fiction…
    Some of you may recall that a few days ago I linked to the AIPAC site, and pointed out where they were using Obama’s Sderot speech as an implied Obama endorsement for their invasion of Gaza.
    I also pointed out that they were claiming that “several” of Obama’s advisors “stood with Israel”, and had made “similiar” statements to Obama’s, yet they did not name these advisors, nor did they quote the alleged comments.
    Further, I opined that surely the Obama camp knew that AIPAC was marketing this invasion in Obama’s name, and the fact that Obama’s camp was allowing this was a tacit endorcement of Israel’s actions.
    Well, the AIPAC website has since removed the claims about the “several advisors”, and have completely remodeled the space dedicated to Obama’s alleged endorsement. The quote from Obama has been considerably shortened, as has a short commentary of AIPAC staff embellishment that was in a paragraph surrounding the excerpted comments from Obama’s speech at Sderot. The entire rest of the web page is unaltered from when I originally linked to it.
    It would be interesting to know if the Obama camp requested the change, or if it was voluntarily executed by the AIPAC website editors. It would also be interesting to know what prompted either scenario.
    Regardless, once again the AIPAC website has been taken to task for blatant propaganda, and thanks to Steve’s blog, those that have followed my posting here about the AIPAC website have been witness to AIPAC once again having to backpeddle their website propaganda. I strongly recommend regular visits to the AIPAC website if one wants to witness first hand the blatant lies, propaganda, and spin that AIPAC regularly attempts to foist off on its readership.

    Reply

  53. TonyForesta says:

    Rice, like every single individual in the bushgov is a pathological liar.
    Why would the US abstain from the security resolution vote? “Because ye are niether hot, nor cold, but luke warm, – I spew thee out of my mouth.”
    Why not vote for a ceasefire out human decency if nothing else.
    Or, if there were any honesty in the bushgov, why not simply admit that they support Israel unconditionally in the aparthied policies in the Gaza, and in completely destroying hamas, and slaughtering a thousand innocent Palestinians in the process, and vote no?
    Abstaining is the cowards way out, and another in a long and festering list of instances of pathological lying on the part of the bushgov.
    Realists may dream or desire that individuals in the bushgov be granted some level or respect, goodwill, trust, or goodfaith, – but they are wildly mistaken. Most of the world, and the majority in America will never respect, trust, or afford these pathological liars, criminals, and wanton profiteers any partical of goodwill, or goodfaith.
    A pox on everyone in or involved with the bushgov.
    For eight years the bushgov paid nothing but lipservice to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and nothing changed one bit.
    The bushgov forced an election in Palestine, the Palestinian people legally elected hamas, and the pathological liars, criminals, and wanton profiteers in the bushgov reneged on the vote, dismissed the legitimate voice of the Palestinian people, and unconditionally supported Israels aparthied policies the Gaza and the West Bank.
    This horrible conflict will never end, until Israel and America quits denying the Palestinian their basic human rights, and their legitimate voice in who the Palestinians choose to govern their Palestine.
    Continuing along these same brutal vectors will only lead to more slaughter of innocent people, more attacks on Israel in response, and no peace, – ever!
    I watched an HBO documentary last night called “I Die Jeruselem” I think. It story centered around Palestinain family whose daughter was a suicide bomber for hamas, and an Israeli mother who daughter (the same age) was killed in the suicide attack. The epilogue was a video conference between the two mothers, – and the sad tragic fact remains that there will never be a resolution to this horror show until Israel quits oppressing the people of Palestine, and the Palestinian people quit supporting massmurder operations as the only means of achieving their objectives.
    I wept at the end, because – nothing is going to change. Neither side is willing to compromise, and both sides are locked in concrete beliefs about who is right in the conflict, – without recognizing that both sides are horribly wrong.
    Rice is a wanton profiteer and a pathological liar, and she and all of the criminals in the bushgov will never have my respect, goodwill, goodfaith, or trust. They should all be in jail, and some of them hung for grotesque crimes and blatant treason.
    Condoliza, bush, cheney, rumsfeld, gates, patreaus, rove, fieth, chertoff and all the neocons vulcans can – and if there is a god will rot in hell!

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Anyone remember when Iran was allegedly “arming the insurgents” in Iraq, yet no such arms were ever produced as evidence, in any amounts equal to the claims?
    Its like a broken record, its always the same old shit. Now its smuggled Iranian arms into Gaza. Well, wheres the evidence?
    POLITICS: U.S. Task Force Found Few Iranian Arms in Iraq
    By Gareth Porter*
    WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (IPS) – Last April, top George W. Bush administration officials, desperate to exploit any possible crack in the close relationship between the Nouri al-Maliki government and Iran, launched a new round of charges that Iran had stepped up covert arms assistance to Shi’a militias.
    Secretary of Defence Robert M. Gates suggested that there was “some sense of an increased level of [Iranian] supply of weapons and support to these groups.” And Washington Post reporter Karen DeYoung was told by military officials that the “plentiful, high quality weaponry” the militia was then using in Basra was “recently manufactured in Iran”.
    But a U.S. military task force had been passing on data to the Multi-National Force Iraq (MNFI) command that told a very different story. The data collected by the task force in the previous six weeks showed that relatively few of the weapons found in Shi’a militia caches were manufactured in Iran.
    According to the data compiled by the task force, and made available to an academic research project last July, only 70 weapons believed to have been manufactured in Iran had been found in post-invasion weapons caches between mid-February and the second week in April. And those weapons represented only 17 percent of the weapons found in caches that had any Iranian weapons in them during that period.
    The actual proportion of Iranian-made weapons to total weapons found, however, was significantly lower than that, because the task force was finding many more weapons caches in Shi’a areas that did not have any Iranian weapons in them.
    The task force database identified 98 caches over the five-month period with at least one Iranian weapon, excluding caches believed to have been hidden prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion.
    But according to an e-mail from the MNFI press desk this week, the task force found and analysed a total of roughly 4,600 weapons caches during that same period.
    The caches that included Iranian weapons thus represented just 2 percent of all caches found. That means Iranian-made weapons were a fraction of one percent of the total weapons found in Shi’a militia caches during that period.
    The extremely small proportion of Iranian arms in Shi’a militia weapons caches further suggests that Shi’a militia fighters in Iraq had been getting weapons from local and international arms markets rather than from an official Iranian-sponsored smuggling network.
    The database was compiled by MNFI’s Task Force Troy, which was directed to examine all weapons caches found in Iraq beginning in early January 2008 to identify Iranian-made weapons. The database was released by MNFI last July to the Empirical Studies of Conflict project, co-sponsored by the U.S. Military Academy and Princeton University, and was published for the first time by West Point’s Counter-Terrorism Centre last month as an appendix to a paper on Iranian strategy in Iraq by Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman.
    In late April, the U.S. presented the Maliki government with a document that apparently listed various Iranian arms found in Iraq and highlighted alleged Iranian arms found in Basra. But the U.S. campaign to convince Iraqi officials collapsed when Task Force Troy analysed a series of large weapons caches uncovered in Basra and Karbala in April and May.
    Caches of arms found in Karbala late last April and May totaled more than 2,500 weapons, and caches in Basra included at least 3,700 weapons, according to official MNFI statements. That brought the total number of weapons found in those former Mahdi Army strongholds to more than 6,200 weapons.
    But the task force found that none of those weapons were Iranian-made. The database lists three caches found Apr. 19, but provides no data on any of them. It lists no other caches for the region coinciding with that period, confirming that no weapons had been found to be of Iranian origin.
    In announcing the weapons totals discovered in Basra to reporters on May 7, Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner said nothing about the provenance of the weapons, implicitly admitting that they were not Iranian-made.
    Only two months before the new high-level propaganda push on alleged Iranian weapons supply to Shi’a militias, the U.S. command had put out a story suggesting that large numbers of Iranian-supplied arms had been buried all over the country. On Feb. 17, 2008, U.S. military spokesman Rear Admiral Gregory Smith told reporters that Iraqi and coalition forces had captured 212 weapons caches across Iraq over the previous week “with growing links to the Iranian-backed special groups”.
    The Task Force Troy data for the week of Feb. 9-16 show, however, that the U.S. command had information on Iranian arms contradicting that propaganda line. According to the task force database, only five of those 212 caches contained any Iranian weapons that analysts believed might have been buried after the U.S. invasion. And the total number of confirmed Iranian-made weapons found in those five caches, according to the data, was eight, not including four Iranian-made hand grenades.
    The task force database includes 350 armour-piercing explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) found in Iraqi weapons caches. However, the database does not identify any of the EFPs as Iranian weapons.
    That treatment of EFPs in the caches appears to contradict claims by U.S. officials throughout 2007 and much of 2008 that EFPs were being smuggled into Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The allegedly Iranian-manufactured EFPs had been the centrepiece of the U.S. military’s February 2007 briefing charging Iran with arming Shi’a militiamen in Iraq.
    Press reports of a series of discoveries of shops for manufacturing EFPs in Iraq in 2007 forced the U.S. command to admit that the capacity to manufacture EFPs was not limited to Iran. By the second half of 2008, U.S. officials had stopped referring to Iranian supply of EFPs altogether.
    Felter and Fishman do not analyse the task force data in their paper, but they criticise official U.S. statements on Iranian weapons in Iraq. “Some reports erroneously attribute munitions similar to those produced in Iran as Iranian,” they write, “while other Iranian munitions found in Iraq were likely purchased on the open market.”
    The co-authors note that Iranian arms can be purchased directly from the website of the Defence Industries of Iran with a credit card.
    *Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, “Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam”, was published in 2006.

    Reply

  55. JohnH says:

    Wigwag forgot:
    6) The Palestinians of Gaza will starve silently, since Israel will almost certainly continue its blockade and lockdown, and Palestinians won’t even have the option of using tunnels to smuggle in food and medicine.
    7) Israel will be entitled to the quiet enjoyment of Palestinian lands without ever needing to provide any compensation or even having to say they’re sorry. Best of all, Israelis can continue to consume lots of water at subsidized rates while forcing Palestinians to pay higher rates for their own water.

    Reply

  56. section9 says:

    Which, wigwag, is exactly what the Administration and the Israelis
    wanted: Hamas neutered and the Iranians given a mighty bloody
    nose.
    Two good things from this conflict: Hamas gets its butt kicked, and
    the Iranians get taken down a peg.
    Meantime, Olmert is about to retire. Thank God. This last incident
    with Rice exposed his hapless nature.

    Reply

  57. WigWag says:

    “My colleague and New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force co-director Daniel Levy and UN Dispatch’s Mark Goldberg both have more on this, but the exchange below today with Secretary Rice shows that she knows how to manage the optics of this diplomatic tiff with Olmert.”
    I guess you can call reaching an agreement with Israel for active and aggressive US (and perhaps NATO) action to prevent Iran from helping Hamas rearm “managing the optics.”
    This from Reuters:
    U.S., Israel close in on deal to halt arms smuggling into Gaza
    “A memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and Israel on security and intelligence cooperation aimed at countering the smuggling of arms into the Gaza Strip is being prepared and may be signed as early as Friday…
    At the crux of the cooperation agreement between Israel and the U.S. is supervision to halt the smuggling of arms from Iran, through the Persian Gulf to Sudan and other countries, and finally to Hamas in the Gaza Strip…
    The director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Aharon Abramowitz, will meet with State Department officials Jeffrey Feltman and Daniel Hale in Washington today, as well as officials from the White House, Defense Department and U.S. intelligence agencies, in an effort to reach a written guarantee that the United States will act more extensively against the smuggling…
    Guarantees from the Americans:
    1) A U.S. declaration calling on the international community to deal with the smuggling of arms from Iran to terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
    2) Intelligence cooperation between Israel and the U.S. for identifying the sources of weapons, with focus on the network linking Iran, the Persian Gulf and Sudan.
    3) An international maritime effort along the smuggling routes to find ships carrying weapons to the Gaza Strip, with the involvement of NATO.
    4) An American and European commitment for the transfer of technologies to Egypt that will help it uncover tunnels.
    5) Plans for the economic development of Rafah, with particular emphasis on the Bedouin to undercut the financial motivation for building and operating tunnels.
    A top Israeli diplomatic sources said he was told by a senior Egyptian official that “we understand the problem and promise that the matter of smuggling will end.” The Egyptian added, “Now we have the legitimacy to fight it, in order to prevent continued IDF activity.”
    So what has the Israeli bombing campaign/invasion achieved?
    1)Israel’s deterrent stance is restored
    2)Hamas has been dramatically degraded
    3)When the borders are opened it will be with Palestinian Authority monitors joining the Europeans instead of Hamas.
    4)The rockets will stop.
    5)Hamas will find smuggling much more difficult.
    And best of all, Israel’s critics are left to cry that the Bush Secretary of State Condi Rice had her feelings hurt and the American public doesn’t even care.
    LOL

    Reply

  58. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Kneepads? These people don’t need kneepads, they have a carpet of dead bodies to rest their knees on.
    If we have another eight years of the same kind of malfeasance, criminality, lying, and treason from our nation’s leaders, we can expect riots and massive civil unrest. In fact, our government seems to be preparing for that eventuality, they must know we are waking up.
    Anyone following this Scholzman thing? Another fucking scumbag gets placed beyond the arm of the law, despite the fact that we KNOW he committed criminal acts in the process of politicizing hiring practices and lying to the Senate about it.
    Truth is, Rice shouldn’t even be an issue, as WE KNOW SHE BROKE THE LAW. What the hell is this God damned criminal doing still working for us? Why the hell isn’t this woman subject to the same laws we are?

    Reply

  59. JohnH says:

    The new SOS is picking up right where the old one left off:
    “Obviously, the incoming administration views with great concern the role that Iran is playing in the world, its sponsorship of terrorism, its continuing interference with the functioning of other governments and its PURSUIT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.”
    Of course, the NIE (consensus opinion of the intelligence community) said, “we judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”
    Makes you wonder if Condi is leaving the knee pads behind, or whether they custom fit them to whomever takes the position.

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Monday, 22 December 2008, 12:00 pm
    Gonzales, Rice Lied to Congress About Niger Intelligence
    By Jason Leopold
    The Public Record
    A high-ranking CIA official warned Condoleezza Rice in September 2002 that allegations about Iraq seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger were untrue and that she, as national security adviser, should stop President George W. Bush from citing the claim in making his case against Saddam Hussein’s regime, according to new evidence released by a House committee.
    Nevertheless, the false Niger story showed up in Bush’s State of the Union Address on Jan 28, 2003, and Rice later joined other White House officials in blaming the CIA for failing to alert them about the dubious intelligence.
    However, Rep. Henry Waxman, House Oversight Committee chairman, said in a Dec. 18 memo to other panel members that statements by Rice and former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales were contradicted by testimony and other evidence collected during the panel’s long investigation of the Niger mystery.
    “For more than five years, I have been seeking answers to basic questions about why the President made a false assertion about such a fundamental matter,” the California Democrat said.
    “As the President’s national security adviser at the time, Condoleezza Rice asserted publicly that she knew nothing about any doubts the CIA had raised about this claim prior to the 2003 State of the Union address,” Waxman wrote, noting that Gonzales had “asserted to the Senate – on her behalf – that the CIA approved the use of the claim in several presidential speeches.
    “The [House Oversight] Committee has obtained evidence that just the opposite is true. This evidence would appear to raise serious questions about the veracity of the assertions that Mr. Gonzales made to Congress on behalf of Dr. Rice about a key part of the President’s case for going to war in Iraq.”
    continues….
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0812/S00395.htm

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ah yes, considering that a Congressional Committee just declared that Rice is a perjurer, as she lied to Congress about Iraq’s alleged attempt to procure yellow cake…..
    “Fiction” is an apropos oral munition to be in Rice’s ammo belt of excuses, fabrications, dissemblings, and rationales. If anyone is an expert on fiction, Rice is.

    Reply

  62. Paul Norheim says:

    OT: two of your friends, Steve, Frum and Norquist, are interviewed
    on al Jazeera right now…

    Reply

  63. ... says:

    the paydirt quote from rice >> …and there were also concerns about a resolution that had Israel, a member-state of the United Nations, and Hamas, which is a terrorist organization, you don’t ever want there to be any equating those two.<< indeed when both have so much in common, from terrorist actions to both being elected by their people to represent them it’s very important to keep the optics “correct”…
    coudda fooled me…

    Reply

  64. daCascadian says:

    JohnH >”…Now that she’s leaving, isn’t it time for them to finally admit that she’s nothing more than a cheap, ineffective con artist?”
    Ha, ha, ha. Like that will EVER happen & you obviously know it. I do believe someone (hello Chevron !) will get her a new set of knee pads because her current ones are a bit worn out.
    Such *sleeze* is astounding.
    “…it’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…” – REM

    Reply

  65. Paul Norheim says:

    “It was “Premature” for the US to side with the civilized world.
    Perhaps when Obama is President it will no longer be
    “premature.””
    I`m afraid it will still be “premature” during the Obama presidency
    on some crucial issues – Israel/Palestine and Afghanistan being
    two of them.
    During the LBJ years, Europe was not involved in the escalation of
    the Vietnam war. This time, in Afghanistan, we will. And with
    people like Blair and Sarkozy representing Europe in the
    Israel/Palestine conflict, we will be responsible for the biased
    approach there as well.

    Reply

  66. Carborundum Man says:

    Paul,
    More than a “grain” of truth, sir.
    And the ceasefire resolution was “premature” or there were some “some minor concerns about the timing of the vote.”
    And how many days have passed, and how many more lives have been lost.
    Premature? Maybe enough people had not been killed,or enough destruction wreaked.
    It was “Premature” for the US to side with the civilized world. Perhaps when Obama is President it will no longer be “premature.” We’ll see.
    To them, what’s another bucket of blood spilled over the heads of this administration, they being already drenched head to toe in it.

    Reply

  67. JohnH says:

    Condi calling Olmert’s account fiction is like her saying that Saddam had WMDs.
    The lady (if you can call her that) long since lost her ability to separate fact from fiction.
    I’ll take Olmert’s account. Condi’s credibility is zero, which means that whatever she says, the opposite must be true.
    She’s been fooling the fawning beltway mob for 8 years. Now that she’s leaving, isn’t it time for them to finally admit that she’s nothing more than a cheap, ineffective con artist?

    Reply

  68. Paul Norheim says:

    Olmerts anecdote + the shoes thrown at the American President
    in Baghdad: nothing could have summed up the disastrous
    relationship between the USA and the Middle East during the Bush
    years better than these two events!

    Reply

  69. Paul Norheim says:

    For people who haven`t read Walt and Mearsheimers book, nor
    their original article – because they don`t read books or articles –
    Olmert`s anecdote was the cartoon version: perhaps factually
    wrong or exaggerated, but containing an undeniable grain of
    truth.

    Reply

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