Rumor: Israel Tells Condi Rice to “Back Off”

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olmertrice.jpg
Headlines throughout the American media read:
MAJOR ESCALATION
as Israel has intensified its bombing campaign of the Beirut Airport and highways.
45 Lebanese civilians are reported dead.
Although I do not have independent confirmation, I heard the rumor from a well-placed source that Secretary of State Rice attempted to increase pressure on Israel to stand down and to demonstrate “restraint”. The rumor is that she was told flatly by the Prime Minister’s office to “back off”.
Rice is not one to be told to back off without the other party paying a price. Israel’s outrageous, over-the-top military escalations were exactly what the most militarist fanatics of Hamas wanted and exactly what Hezbollah wanted to prompt. Those in the middle of the extremists on all sides are getting crushed.
And it may take this kind of out of control danger that FINALLY wakes up some tough-minded strategists in the White House, Defense Department, and State Department to compel Israel to back off and all other parties to wind down their militant elements.
Note to George W. Bush, please call your father, James Baker and Brent Scowcroft for some advice. Also, get Elliott Abrams to recuse himself NOW from any further counsel on these matters as his perspective is too close to Israel — and dispassionate counsel is needed.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

138 comments on “Rumor: Israel Tells Condi Rice to “Back Off”

  1. Barney says:

    Would to God that the extremists on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict could live in mutual respect, trust, and peace. It’s not about to happen as long as Congress is on the take from Israel’s AIPAC, wildly supported by the affluent and most powerful American Jewish Community. Our government gave Israel the green light to do its current dirty work when Bush declared recently that the United States will defend Israel. The tail wags the dog. No wonder so many people feel betrayed by this government, and are “pissed off.” They’ve been pissed on for almost sixty years. WE ARE BEING LED TO A WORLD WAR UNNECESSARILY ON BEHALF OF EXPANSIONIST ISRAELI AIMS. Will the president and his neocon administration make it to the NOOKULER bomb shelters in time? When will we have the courage to speak up and out against what the hell has been going on in this country, the U. S. of A. We have people here who have made a sham out of what was a democracy. They’ve learned how to buy off Congress, manipulate opinion in elections, hello there, Senator Fulbright, and thumb their noses at our European Heritage; in short, they are running the entire show with their agenda based on Israel’s extremist zionist world view.
    Doesn’t anyone in Congress have the moral fiber and the courage to stand up to this pig shit we are being fed?

    Reply

  2. sswoods says:

    I don’t like Bush. Never have. I didn’t vote for him and I doubt I ever would. Don’t lump me in with him.
    POA, anyone and everyone can oppose evil, free speech zone or not. I’m not ignorant, and people like me were the ones who tried to stand up to those who marched Jews to ovens (and got escorted there ourselves).
    Matthew, the concept of eliminating the citizens of Israel lacks legitimacy all by itself. That is the aspiration of people like Hamas and Hezbollah. I label those actions evil, and the people who identify themselves with that evil, because it IS evil.
    Station Chief, I’m intolerant of evil, and I hate evil. I don’t spread hate, I oppose hate. I’m not the one supporting murderers. I support stopping them. I don’t lose my soul in that resistance. To equate me with a terrorist is absurd. I would not murder you, nor anyone else. I do not deny your natural right to exist. I do stand up against those who would.
    Israel isn’t denying palestinian arabs the right to exist. On the contrary, palestinian arabs have the right to be citizens of Israel, run and get elected to office, and stand up in public and call for the destruction of Israel. This happens. Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority, etc., wish to deny that right to Israel. Does that make Israel right in everything they do? Absolutely not!! They are guilty of many evils as well. But to support Hamas, Hezbollah and thier cohorts is to side with the genocidal position. Their position is one of extermination, as they proudly attest. To support them is to support that. Who is the Nazi or the terrorist now?

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  3. Greg Hunter says:

    I think the best thing to do is recognize that the UN/US/World made a mistake in 1947 by establishing Israel. The bible should not be used as a historical land title. These mistakes happen all the time and we are good about breaking our word for the benefit of the all. Didn’t we take Oklahoma back from the Indians?
    I think the Indian model is a good one, we can designate some dry, dusty, God Foresaken Place and establish a Israeli state in the US as a Reservation.

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  4. Station Chief says:

    —————————————————-
    “How is it childishly simplistic to oppose evil? ”
    not oppose — hate. you are bigoted toward the evil doers via intolerance and hatred.
    terrorists spread hatred.
    you spread hatred.
    get it?
    ————————————————–

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  5. fred flintstone says:

    Thank you George Bush, Moron in Chief, and the retards of the administration, who have made the middle east so peaceful. Thank you for all of the incessant ads on tv for the “Go ARMY”, so we can send more of the poor urban dregs to murder families in iraq, in the name of freedom. what a bunch of BS.

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  6. Matthew says:

    POA: This, indeed, is the Bush innovation in foreign policy. Delegitimize the aspirations or grievances of others; undercut international law for us and our friends; and label all who resist as “evil.” After watching what Israel has been doing to Gaza and Lebanan this week, the whole world has gotten to see what evil really looks like.
    Please pass this on to “sswords”.

    Reply

  7. Pissed Off American says:

    “Would it be childishly simplistic and counterproductive to stand up to thieves, murderers, tyrants, bullies, etc?”
    No, but to do so you will need to go to the nearest “Free Speach Zone” Thats that cyclone fenced enclosure that is out of eyesight of King George and his entourage. I suppose you condone THAT too?
    It scares the shit out of me that America has your brand of ignorance festering within its populace. It is the same kind of ignorance that marched the Jews into ovens.

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  8. sswoods says:

    Instead of hating evil, I should…. respect it? Honor it? Appease it? Love it? Embace it? Defend it?
    “(To oppose evil is) simply the right thing to do.
    hardly.
    rather, it is childishly simplistic and counterproductive.”
    Why don’t you give me a taste of your brilliant genius? How is it childishly simplistic to oppose evil? Would it be childishly simplistic and counterproductive to stand up to thieves, murderers, tyrants, bullies, etc? What would be the mature, complicated, efficient action plan you would employ when faced with evil? Throw your hands up after waving the white flag? It’s almost laughable.
    You know, people get dismembered, beheaded, chopped to little bity pieces, watch helplessly as their own organs are harvested before their eyes because not enough people take the childishly simplistic and counterproductive action of opposing evil, of standing up against it.

    Reply

  9. anon says:

    “We all know that Israel REacts while Hamas and Hezbollah ACT.”
    What a crock. This is what people that don’t pay attention have been manipulated into believing – and it is a big fat lie. The rockets and attacks started back up after Israel’s artillery shell hit the family on the beach, and after they LIED to cover it up. It started after Israel decided it would _never_ negotiate with Hamas, even if they were the democratically elected leadership. It started after Israel continued to fk with Gaza and the West Bank, after they broke their promises and after they had already decided to kidnap the leaders of Hamas. Israel did EVERYTHING in its power to stir things up – and they did it for a reason.
    The re-invasion of Gaza and capture of Hamas leaders was planned and prepped before the soldier was even taken hostage – (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/732528.html). Think about that for a minute. Do you really know who took him? What proof have you actually seen? He clearly wasn’t kidnapped by anyone that gave a shit what would happen to Gaza because of it.
    Just like in ’67, Israel has instigated and launched a war that they then turn around and claim is only in self defense. And like in ’67, US soldiers will likely have to die before it is all over – die to protect the Israeli’s efforts to gain control of more land. Or re-gain in this case.
    How many here know that Israel attacked and killed US soldiers in ’67 in order to try to keep secret that it was in fact Israel that launched that war? Read up on The USS Liberty to see what Israel is capable of (http://www.ussliberty.org/). After first claiming that they had been attacked by Syria and Egypt – they tried to destroy evidence collected by a US signals ship that could expose their lie. Other evidence was found, and the truth did come out: Israel launched the war, while screaming that it was the other guys – while hiding behind the claim of ‘self-defense’. They lied boldfaced to the world, and almost got away with it. You think they care about US lives? You think they care how many US soldiers die in Iraq if they start a war with Iran? They do not.
    Israel decided to trade the lives of it’s citizens for land, yet they cry like spoiled children every time that bill comes due. Time to cut off all the aid. And BTW – the military aid we give them is illegal – breaks US law for them to use it the way they do. Year after year, we just turn a blind eye as they take our money and tell us to mind our own fking business. I say Fk em.

    Reply

  10. Station Chief says:

    There is nothing wrong, or bigoted, with being intolerant of evil.
    interolerant AND hateful. and it’s the hateful part of the definition of bigotry which you personify — and that is the problem.
    ————–
    Hezbollah and Hamas, and those who support them, are evil.
    it does more harm than good to hate evil.
    ————–
    It’s simply the right thing to do.
    hardly.
    rather, it is childishly simplistic and counterproductive.

    Reply

  11. ronald Rubin says:

    Although we have become allergic to the term, I would suggest that my well-meaning friends on the left, who are always ranting against Israel, a nation under siege by its neighbors for over sixty years, examine if they may be usiing the banner of “anti-israeli” to cover an age-old, perhaps primordial “anti -semitism.”

    Reply

  12. sswoods says:

    “Why would the US Congress, which supposedly exists to serve the will of the AMERICAN people, be obeying the will of Israel? …
    … Tell them better no government at all than a government that serves a foreign power.
    Get angry.
    Who is Cogress listening to? It is time to make certain Congress listens to US!”
    I couldn’t agree more. The same needs to be said to the Supreme Court. Not Israel. Not Mexico. Not the U.N. The government, at all levels and branches, is here to serve Americans, not foreign power.

    Reply

  13. Gabriel Rodriguez says:

    Well, Israel certainly wants war! But that is Israel. Why would the US Congress, which supposedly exists to serve the will of the AMERICAN people, be obeying the will of Israel?
    Well, maybe because Israel’s lobbying/spying organization, AIPAC, is PAYING THEM TO!
    You heard me. Members of AIPAC, the organization suspected of spying for Israel, donate vast sums of money to the members of US Congress. And the US Congress has sold our young men and women in uniform to go off and fight and die in wars Israel has created.
    So, here is what you need to do. You need to call all of your congressional representatives and tell them they can either work for AIPAC, or they can work for you, but you will not tolerate a Congress that accepts money from suspected spies of a foreign government and then quite obviously proceeds to serve the will of that government. Tell them that not only will you never again vote for any Congressman that accepts money from Israeli agents but that you intend to work for and support their opposition next election. Tell them better no government at all than a government that serves a foreign power.
    Get angry.
    Who is Congress listening to? It is time to make certain Congress listens to US!

    Reply

  14. km4 says:

    Bush won’t pressure Israel for cease-fire because he’s “The Decider”

    Reply

  15. Gabriel Rodriguez says:

    “I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.” Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, October 3rd, 2001, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

    Reply

  16. Prissy Patriot says:

    Steve-this is perhaps one of the first times we have agreed on something-and Israel does need to show some restraint-for a change…unless they truly want WWIII.
    There are plenty of neocons in this administration who need to “recuse” themselves-from American foreign policy period.
    Read Cato’s new one “Power Surge” which lays out precisely how this administration has trashed the constitution to suit its own purpose…

    Reply

  17. sswoods says:

    You folks aren’t any different!! You oppose Israel because you believe they have behaved evily towards the palestinian arabs. You oppose Bush/Cheney/etc. because you think they are evil. (I’m no fan of Bush either, but I don’t blindly hate the guy, just like I don’t blindly support Israel). Who is the hypocrite here?

    Reply

  18. sswoods says:

    Just so that I don’t get the wrong impression.
    You mean that pointing out some people, organizations, institutions are filth is an example of bigotry? If so…
    Perhaps I should not use the concept of “filth” and instead use more enlightened concepts than can be found in these other posts, like “fucking asshole,” “asses,” “thugs”, “murderers,” “bastards.” Point taken. No hate there.
    There is nothing wrong, or bigoted, with being intolerant of evil. Hezbollah and Hamas, and those who support them, are evil. Not because I’m some self righteous hypocrite, but because their actions, which are evil, define who and what they are. Opposing evil doesn’t make me righteous. It’s simply the right thing to do.

    Reply

  19. JL says:

    While the Middle East burns, India and Pakistan are trading barbs with each other concerning the recent bombing. After six years of non-diplomacy you would think that the administration would wake up.

    Reply

  20. Richard DiMatteo says:

    What price? A once hated cultural symbol in this country has become a collector’s item even among those it once denigrated-the lawn Jockey. That’s precisely what the USA is, and it’s planted right in the middle of Tel Aviv’s front porch.

    Reply

  21. Pissed Off American says:

    And there are Israeli citizens, of MANY faiths, including Jewish, that DEPLORE what thier government is doing to the Palestinians. I stand with THOSE people.
    AND ISRAEL SHOULD NOT GET ONE MORE FUCKING DIME FROM US.
    WE will end up paying for this latest mess, both in blood and in treasure. And this thing is rapidly spiraling out of control. The God damned maniacs are now pointing fingers at Iran. These fuckers intend to involve us militarily throughout the ME, and erase a WHOLE LOT of Muslims in the process.
    I just saw that McCain prick spewing the party line, and watched the Israelis throwing gas on the fire with the shit they spewed in their UN statement. Bolton probably had an orgasm.
    This thing is a NIGHTMARE, and the thought of Bush or Cheney, or Bolton or Rice, or ANY of the cast of his dog and pony show actually IMPROVING the situation is untenable.

    Reply

  22. Station Chief says:

    “my posts dealt with the genocidal organizations Hezbollah and Hamas”
    i know.
    once again, you can’t walk around spewing hatred and intolerance toward people who spew hatred and intolerance — and think yourself righteous.

    Reply

  23. sswoods says:

    Thanks for the definition, Station Chief. I appreciate you coming to my defense.
    Of course, some people may look past the fact that my posts dealt with the genocidal organizations Hezbollah and Hamas, and those who supported them, and not all muslims (or any racial and/or ethnic group). There are muslims, Lebanese, and Palestinian Arabs who do not support Hamas and Hezbollah. I stand with these people.

    Reply

  24. Rick says:

    bigot: : a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
    There’s a great old Star Trek from the original series where a character says, “If we adopt the ways of the nazis, then we’re as bad as the nazis.”
    dude, you can’t walk around spewing hatred and intolerance toward people who spew hatred and intolerance — and think yourself righteous. that is not the moral high ground, and it renders you part of the problem, rather than the solution.

    Reply

  25. margaret says:

    We could help slow this conflict down by refusing to sell Israel any more weaponry, and getting Europe to to do the same.

    Reply

  26. Station Chief says:

    “I’m sorry, it is bigotry to disrespect genocidal people?”
    Main Entry: big�ot
    Pronunciation: ‘bi-g&t
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
    : a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

    Reply

  27. Pissed Off American says:

    It is going to be amazing to watch how much worse this fucking asshole in the White House can make this situation. Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentleman, we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Like I have consistently maintained, these asses in the White House are going to ultimately tally deaths in THE MILLIONS.

    Reply

  28. sswoods says:

    I’m sorry, it is bigotry to disrespect genocidal people?

    Reply

  29. Pissed Off American says:

    “I know it is “wrong” in the context of this audience to proclaim certain people as being filth (unless, of course, they are conservative, christian, traditional, etc) or less worthy of respect as anyone else. I don’t really care, though — genocidal people aren’t worthy of respect.”
    The bigotry exhibited in your post exposes you of being everything your ilk accuses us of being.

    Reply

  30. sswoods says:

    “Interesting that those who contantly accuse people of being ‘anti-semitic’ can consistently use terms such as ‘pigs’ to describe those they malign.”
    Interesting statement, considering the charge of anti-semetism is not found in my post. Muslims aren’t anti-semitic, they are anti-non muslim. (I suppose I should have some balance and say that they are anti-infidel.) In the context of the middle east (both muslim and judaic) pigs are dirty animals, unclean. By using the term “pigs” in reference to the genocidal muslims I point out that they are filth, unclean people, who malign THEMSELVES by their actions. I know it is “wrong” in the context of this audience to proclaim certain people as being filth (unless, of course, they are conservative, christian, traditional, etc) or less worthy of respect as anyone else. I don’t really care, though — genocidal people aren’t worthy of respect. Not Hitler and the nazis (and the population that supported them), not Stalin and the communists (and the population that supported them), and not Hamas and Hezbollah (and the Lebanese and Palestinian population that supports them).

    Reply

  31. Station Chief says:

    PHASE ONE OPERATIONS COMPLETE STOP PERMANENT U.S. MILITARY OCCUPATION NOW IN IRAQ STOP ISRAEL BACKED BY U.S. PRESENCE STOP ISRAEL ATTACKS LEBANNON TO BEGIN PHASE II OPERATIONS STOP VIOLENCE ESCALATING QUICKLY STOP OIL AT SEVENTY FIVE AND HEADING TO A HUNDRED STOP ALL REGIONAL MIDDLE EAST MILITARY ESCALATIONS PROCEEDING PER PNAC SCHEDULING STOP PLEASE ADVISE PLANS PER SYRIA AND IRAN STOP MUST INITIATE PHASE III OPERATIONS BY 08 ELECTIONS STOP

    Reply

  32. Pissed Off American says:

    “The U.S. gives $15,139,178 per day to the Israeli government and military and $232,290 per day to Palestinian NGO?s.”
    That figure is from 1997. All American aid to Palestine has been cut off by a resolution that is purported tio have been an AIPAC construct. We are party to genocide, and every child that dies in Palestine is a victim of our policies and our subservience to the Israeli lobbyists.

    Reply

  33. philip vitale says:

    jews say back off? do not send one penny in aid. boycott all jewish goods and services just like they did in 1933 to germany when they called for total war and total worldwide boycott well before they were rounded up as enemies! if that was justified then this is certainly justified. after all we protect israel and not one israeli is fighting for us in iraq or afghanistan.

    Reply

  34. Gabriel Rodriguez says:

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world?s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation.
    It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power ? and duty ? to bring a resolution.
    Below are charts of nine little-known statistics.
    Please click on any statistic for the source and more information.
    Last Updated: July 10, 2006
    Israeli and Palestinian Children Killed Since September 29, 2000
    121 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 734 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.
    Israelis and Palestinians Killed Since September 29, 2000
    1,084 Israelis and 4,020 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000.
    Israelis and Palestinians Injured Since September 29, 2000
    7,633 Israelis and 30,281 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000.
    Daily U.S. Assistance to Israel and the Palestinians
    The U.S. gives $15,139,178 per day to the Israeli government and military and $232,290 per day to Palestinian NGO?s.
    UN Resolutions Targeting Israel and the Palestinians
    Israel has been targeted by at least 65 UN resolutions and the Palestinians have been targeted by none.
    Political Prisoners and Detainees
    1 Israeli is being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 9,599 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.
    Demolitions of Israeli and Palestinian Homes
    0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 4,170 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since September 29, 2000.
    Israeli and Palestinian Unemployment Rates
    The Israeli unemployment rate is 8.9%, while the Palestinian unemployment is estimated at 25-31%.
    New Settlements Built (March 2001 – July 2003)
    60+ new Jewish-only settlements have been built on confiscated Palestinian land between March 2001 and July 11, 2003. There have been 0 cases of Palestinians confiscating Israeli land and building settlements.

    Reply

  35. vachon says:

    Um, Steve, about that price somebody will have to pay for dising Rice. Since when has Condi Rice grown a spine or some cajones? If a memo called “We’re gonna bomb the living crap out of you. Love, Osama” didn’t piss her off, you think NotSharone will?
    You make a funny.

    Reply

  36. Pissed Off American says:

    “If the Lebanese don’t support Hezbollah, and the misnomered Palestinians don’t support Hamas, why don’t they rise up and throw them out, like Jordan did to Arafat? Fact is, they do support those genocidal pigs, making them allies and therefore just as much an enemy to the mere existence of Israel as said pigs.”
    Interesting that those who constantly accuse people of being “anti-semitic” can consistently use terms such as “pigs” to describe those they malign.

    Reply

  37. Matthew says:

    I found Michifan’s post fascinating. Every Arab country only has a right to exist if it is compatible with Israel’s interests. Effectively, they have no independent, legitimate interests. Hmm…and with this kind of thinking, we wonder why we are hated in the Arab world…

    Reply

  38. Barney says:

    When I bought my little car four years ago, it cost me $16.00 to fill the tank. Last night after Israel’s actions fofllowing this debacle in Iraq which we got into on Israel’s behalf, I had to pay 47.00 to fill the tank. I would be willing to do this with minimal bitching were it not for the fact that all of this has been so unnecessary, and onlhy due to the fact that Israel refuses to recognize the right of Palestinians to have a state within the pre 67 lines, including East Jerusalem. For this they have been slaughtered. And our Iraq thing brought on by the neocons on behalf of Israel was to make the Middle East safer for an expanded Israel. The whole world knows how we have been duped by Israel and it’s American Jewish Community’s AIPAC, with its domination and control of the Congressional whores.

    Reply

  39. michifan says:

    Israel lives with three realities: geographic, demographic and cultural. Geographically, it is at a permanent disadvantage, lacking strategic depth. It does enjoy the advantage of interior lines — the ability to move forces rapidly from one front to another. Demographically, it is on the whole outnumbered, although it can achieve local superiority in numbers by choosing the time and place of war. Its greatest advantage is cultural. It has a far greater mastery of the technology and culture of war than its neighbors.
    Two of the realities cannot be changed. Nothing can be done about geography or demography. Culture can be changed. It is not inherently the case that Israel will have a technological or operational advantage over its neighbors. The great inherent fear of Israel is that the Arabs will equal or surpass Israeli prowess culturally and therefore militarily. If that were to happen, then all three realities would turn against Israel and Israel might well be at risk.
    That is why the capture of Israeli troops, first one in the south, then two in the north, has galvanized Israel. The kidnappings represent a level of Arab tactical prowess that previously was the Israeli domain. They also represent a level of tactical slackness on the Israeli side that was previously the Arab domain. These events hardly represent a fundamental shift in the balance of power. Nevertheless, for a country that depends on its cultural superiority, any tremor in this variable reverberates dramatically. Hamas and Hezbollah have struck the core Israeli nerve. Israel cannot ignore it.
    Embedded in Israel’s demographic problem is this: Israel has national security requirements that outstrip its manpower base. It can field a sufficient army, but its industrial base cannot supply all of the weapons needed to fight high-intensity conflicts. This means it is always dependent on an outside source for its industrial base and must align its policies with that source. At first this was the Soviets, then France and finally the United States. Israel broke with the Soviets and France when their political demands became too intense. It was after 1967 that it entered into a patron-client relationship with the United States. This relationship is its strength and its weakness. It gives the Israelis the systems they need for national security, but since U.S. and Israeli interests diverge, the relationship constrains Israel’s range of action.
    During the Cold War, the United States relied on Israel for a critical geopolitical function. The fundamental U.S. interest was Turkey, which controlled the Bosporus and kept the Soviet fleet under control in the Mediterranean. The emergence of Soviet influence in Syria and Iraq — which was not driven by U.S. support for Israel since the United States did not provide all that much support compared to France — threatened Turkey with attack from two directions, north and south. Turkey could not survive this. Israel drew Syrian attention away from Turkey by threatening Damascus and drawing forces and Soviet equipment away from the Turkish frontier. Israel helped secure Turkey and turned a Soviet investment into a dry hole.
    Once Egypt signed a treaty with Israel and Sinai became a buffer zone, Israel became safe from a full peripheral war — everyone attacking at the same time. Jordan was not going to launch an attack and Syria by itself could not strike. The danger to Israel became Palestinian operations inside of Israel and the occupied territories and the threat posed from Lebanon by the Syrian-sponsored group Hezbollah.
    In 1982, Israel responded to this threat by invading Lebanon. It moved as far north as Beirut and the mountains east and northeast of it. Israel did not invade Beirut proper, since Israeli forces do not like urban warfare as it imposes too high a rate of attrition. But what the Israelis found was low-rate attrition. Throughout their occupation of Lebanon, they were constantly experiencing guerrilla attacks, particularly from Hezbollah.
    Hezbollah has two patrons: Syria and Iran. The Syrians have used Hezbollah to pursue their political and business interests in Lebanon. Iran has used Hezbollah for business and ideological reasons. Business interests were the overlapping element. In the interest of business, it became important to Hezbollah, Syria and Iran that an accommodation be reached with Israel. Israel wanted to withdraw from Lebanon in order to end the constant low-level combat and losses.
    Israel withdrew in 1988, having reached quiet understandings with Syria that Damascus would take responsibility for Hezbollah, in return for which Israel would not object to Syrian domination of Lebanon. Iran, deep in its war with Iraq, was not in a position to object if it had wanted to. Israel returned to its borders in the north, maintaining a security presence in the south of Lebanon that lasted for several years.
    As Lebanon blossomed and Syria’s hold on it loosened, Iran also began to increase its regional influence. Its hold on some elements of Hezbollah strengthened, and in recent months, Hezbollah — aligning itself with Iranian Shiite ideology — has become more aggressive. Iranian weapons were provided to Hezbollah, and tensions grew along the frontier. This culminated in the capture of two soldiers in the north and the current crisis.
    It is difficult to overestimate the impact of the soldier kidnappings on the Israeli psyche. First, while the Israeli military is extremely highly trained, Israel is also a country with mass conscription. Having a soldier kidnapped by Arabs hits every family in the country. The older generation is shocked and outraged that members of the younger generation have been captured and worried that they allowed themselves to be captured; therefore, the younger generation needs to prove it too can defeat the Arabs. This is not a primary driver, but it is a dimension.
    The more fundamental issue is this: Israel withdrew from Lebanon in order to escape low-intensity conflict. If Hezbollah is now going to impose low-intensity conflict on Israel’s border, the rationale for withdrawal disappears. It is better for Israel to fight deep in Lebanon than inside Israel. If the rockets are going to fall in Israel proper, then moving into a forward posture has no cost to Israel.
    From an international standpoint, the Israelis expect to be condemned. These international condemnations, however, are now having the opposite effect of what is intended. The Israeli view is that they will be condemned regardless of what they do. The differential between the condemnation of reprisal attacks and condemnation of a full invasion is not enough to deter more extreme action. If Israel is going to be attacked anyway, it might as well achieve its goals.
    Moreover, an invasion of Hezbollah-held territory aligns Israel with the United States. U.S. intelligence has been extremely concerned about the growing activity of Hezbollah, and U.S. relations with Iran are not good. Lebanon is the center of gravity of Hezbollah, and the destruction of Hezbollah capabilities in Lebanon, particularly the command structure, would cripple Hezbollah operations globally in the near future. The United States would very much like to see that happen, but cannot do it itself. Moreover, an Israeli action would enrage the Islamic world, but it would also drive home the limits of Iranian power. Once again, Iran would have dropped Lebanon in the grease, and not been hurt itself. The lesson of Hezbollah would not be lost on the Iraqi Shia — or so the Bush administration would hope.
    Therefore, this is one Israeli action that benefits the United States, and thus helps the immediate situation as well as long-term geopolitical alignments. It realigns the United States and Israel. This also argues that any invasion must be devastating to Hezbollah. It must go deep. It must occupy temporarily. It must shatter Hezbollah.
    At this point, the Israelis appear to be unrolling a war plan in this direction. They have blockaded the Lebanese coast. Israeli aircraft are attacking what air power there is in Lebanon, and have attacked Hezbollah and other key command-and-control infrastructure. It would follow that the Israelis will now concentrate on destroying Hezbollah — and Lebanese — communications capabilities and attacking munitions dumps, vehicle sites, rocket-storage areas and so forth.
    Most important, Israel is calling up its reserves. This is never a symbolic gesture in Israel. All Israelis below middle age are in the reserves and mobilization is costly in every sense of the word. If the Israelis were planning a routine reprisal, they would not be mobilizing. But they are, which means they are planning to do substantially more than retributive airstrikes. The question is what their plan is.
    Given the blockade and what appears to be the shape of the airstrikes, it seems to us at the moment the Israelis are planning to go fairly deep into Lebanon. The logical first step is a move to the Litani River in southern Lebanon. But given the missile attacks on Haifa, they will go farther, not only to attack launcher sites, but to get rid of weapons caches. This means a move deep into the Bekaa Valley, the seat of Hezbollah power and the location of plants and facilities. Such a penetration would leave Israeli forces’ left flank open, so a move into Bekaa would likely be accompanied by attacks to the west. It would bring the Israelis close to Beirut again.
    This leaves Israel’s right flank exposed, and that exposure is to Syria. The Israeli doctrine is that leaving Syrian airpower intact while operating in Lebanon is dangerous. Therefore, Israel must at least be considering using its air force to attack Syrian facilities, unless it gets ironclad assurances the Syrians will not intervene in any way. Conversations are going on between Egypt and Syria, and we suspect this is the subject. But Israel would not necessarily object to the opportunity of eliminating Syrian air power as part of its operation, or if Syria chooses, going even further.
    At the same time, Israel does not intend to get bogged down in Lebanon again. It will want to go in, wreak havoc, withdraw. That means it will go deeper and faster, and be more devastating, than if it were planning a long-term occupation. It will go in to liquidate Hezbollah and then leave. True, this is no final solution, but for the Israelis, there are no final solutions.
    Israeli forces are already in Lebanon. Its special forces are inside identifying targets for airstrikes. We expect numerous air attacks over the next 48 hours, as well as reports of firefights in southern Lebanon. We also expect more rocket attacks on Israel.
    It will take several days to mount a full invasion of Lebanon. We would not expect major operations before the weekend at the earliest. If the rocket attacks are taking place, however, Israel might send several brigades to the Litani River almost immediately in order to move the rockets out of range of Haifa. Therefore, we would expect a rapid operation in the next 24-48 hours followed by a larger force later.
    At this point, the only thing that can prevent this would be a major intervention by Syria with real guarantees that it would restrain Hezbollah and indications such operations are under way. Syria is the key to a peaceful resolution. Syria must calculate the relative risks, and we expect them to be unwilling to act decisively.
    Therefore:
    1. Israel cannot tolerate an insurgency on its northern frontier; if there is one, it wants it farther north.
    2. It cannot tolerate attacks on Haifa.
    3. It cannot endure a crisis of confidence in its military
    4. Hezbollah cannot back off of its engagement with Israel.
    5. Syria can stop this, but the cost to it stopping it is higher than the cost of letting it go on.
    It would appear Israel will invade Lebanon. The global response will be noisy. There will be no substantial international action against Israel. Beirut’s tourism and transportation industry, as well as its financial sectors, are very much at risk.
    reprinted from stratfor.com

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  40. sswoods says:

    I assume no one has told you that the muslim world has a stated goal and purpose of wiping Israel out of existence. So take this as a newsflash.
    If the Lebanese don’t support Hezbollah, and the misnomered Palestinians don’t support Hamas, why don’t they rise up and throw them out, like Jordan did to Arafat? Fact is, they do support those genocidal pigs, making them allies and therefore just as much an enemy to the mere existence of Israel as said pigs. Israel is by no means innocent of their own crimes, but to stand with the muslims in the Israel issue is to support malicious and pre-meditated genocide. Sleep well tonight.

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  41. DonS says:

    Israel’s disproportionate reaction(s) have their genesis in something larger and more strategic than inept Olmhert politics. We delude outselves to think that Israeli hawks (inside an outside the nation) do not see themselves as moving situations and historical events large and small.
    Sadly, the U.S. stance is fragmented toward the inane.

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  42. Frank says:

    Does anyone really believe there will be support for Isareli’s currrent over the top response to Hamms/Hezballah soldier kidnapping attacks when the price of gas hits four dollars a gallon?? I don’t think so. The running insult is that our giving billions of dollars a year to Israel has bought nothing but grief to this country.
    The adage:
    “Few people know their own good,
    Or knowing it pursue.”
    This country certainly doesn’t know its own good. AIPAC makes sure of that.

    Reply

  43. Ben says:

    “when the combatants of another country cross the internationally agreed upon boarders of the terratories into the other country and by intent kidnap millitary personell of the foreign country that is an act of war.”
    But not an act of terrorism, interestingly.
    Can you defend “targeted killing” and blowing up power stations (collective punishment) for me please, as if I tried to understand how you would apply your logic to Israel’s actions in the Gaza strip I’m fairly sure my head would explode.

    Reply

  44. rob says:

    israel needs to be blown off the map. they are the cause of all this crap

    Reply

  45. Puck@DeepBlue.com says:

    Hello? Is this thing on? Ok, just checking. Now then, the last I looked when the combatants of another country cross the internationally agreed upon boarders of the terratories into the other country and by intent kidnap millitary personell of the foreign country that is an act of war. In fact carrying on any hostile actions in a foreign country are acts of war, causi belli if you will.
    While Israel’s actions seem extreme, it is not as if this was a single action on anyone’s part, but rather an long string of escalations on the part of both countries.
    Oddly the standards that the World had to accept in terms of the US invading two countries is not acceptable for Israel: That a causal link can be attributed to a countrie’s government and hostility fostered against that country, its terratories and its peoples. The US did that with Afganistan and Iraq, but then again having the largest and most powerful millitary in the world can make a might makes right situation, and for sure Israel has a much better case then Bush ever did in either country.

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  46. The Educated Bullet says:

    I, for one, am tired of supporting this petulant child that does nothing to aid the US. If the Israeli’s are so into defending their homeland, let make some peace and give them Iowa. It’s just sitting there doing nothing anyway.

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  47. Barney says:

    Lee, big deal that over 700,000 Israelis are sleeping in shelters, after what Israel has gotten by with for over 60 years. First question: Do you know what happened to 800,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes and onto roads for the forced trek out of Palestine, and who for many years had to sleep in tents. Some of them were at Shatila and Sabra when Sharon, the great man of peace, did his number on them. It seems to many of us Americans that the Israelis are the thugs and murderers, when we also look at what has transpired in all these years between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel has done a good job in branding these people terrorists for wanting the West Bank and East Jerusalem? How long, America, will you continue to let the American Jewish Community dominate and control your government for Israel’s immoral actions, footdragging, and obstinacy in giving back the West Bank and East Jerusalem and recognizing the Palestinians right to exist as a free nation?

    Reply

  48. Nigel says:

    Nice comments Steve, from the other side of the World this looks to me like the most serious diplomatic situation since 9/11 & potentially I think it could be even worse than that aweful tragedy.
    I hope I’m wrong, but I think this is really dangerous & I don’t get why Israel are allowing themselves to be sucked into yet more escalation, yes they had to break out of the cycle they had been in, but this looks like an opportunistic vs a planned strategy & I believe Iraq has proven opportunistic Military strategies have a really bad habit of causing more pain than they solve.
    In short for Israel to win they have to out think their enemies first, outfight them second, not the other way around.

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  49. Lee says:

    Not only am I disturbed by the tone of the original comments and some of the later ones, I find it unsettling that the original poster failed to mention that over 120 rockets have been fired into Israel with at least 13 deaths and many injuries so far.
    Israel still does not know what happened to Ron Arad who was shot down over 20 years ago, and I fear greatly for these young soldiers, particularly after what happened to the young Jew who was kidnapped and tortured to death in France.
    Israel’s bombing would stop in an instant if the soldiers were returned and Hamas and Hezbollah stopped their rockets. Iran and Syria are behind this; Hamas and Hezbollah are their clients; they’re the ones who should be exercising “restraint.”
    There’s no doubt that innocents on both side are suffering. There’s also no doubt about who and what Hamas and Hezbollah are; thugs and murderers. Over 700,000 Israelis are sleeping in shelters, where shelters are available.

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  50. crusader bunnypants says:

    It’s too late tonight to drag the past out into the light, we’re one but we’re not the same we get to carry each other, carry each other, one

    Reply

  51. sh says:

    Lebanese MP Saadedinne Hariri said Lebanon would not become a playground for those who want to use the country for political purposes, saying that the Lebanese are a people who love peace and want to live freely.
    Yet, Hizb’allah has been allowed to use it as their playground for years.
    At least there are a few that see the danger: past, present and future. There is no peace under submission.

    Reply

  52. Pissed Off American says:

    “And you Israel Firsters have the brazen nerve to call any of us who oppose this insanity of yours antisemites. It’s time that we all tell you to take that verbage and shove it.”
    Uhhhm, too late. Some of us have been telling them that for years.

    Reply

  53. Carroll says:

    Susan..thanks for making the point.
    “Under international law, the test for determining whether an occupation exists is effective control by a hostile army, not the positioning of troops,” Whitson said. “Whether the Israeli army is inside Gaza or redeployed around its periphery and restricting entrance and exit, it remains in control.”
    Posted by susan at July 14, 2006 12:04 AM

    Reply

  54. Joe says:

    Before any in-depth analysis is attempted, Americans should look at who its enemies are. War crimes were committed against U.S. military personnel, June 8, 1967 when Israel attacked, and to this day, has attempted to cover up their deliberate assault on a U.S. naval vessel–the USS Liberty. Israelis are back stabbers; what’s worse, most of our U.S. Congress are complicit in covering-up this incident.
    Many defend Israel and America’s core “democratic” beliefs while both Israel and the U.S. government commit genocide under the guise of freedom and security while so many innocent people are slaughtered. Americans should be outraged at all of this posturing. I look forward to when the genocidal maniacs of these two nations are up for war crimes. Criminal charges filed against George HW Bush (Sr.) in Iceland last week (07-03-06) is a start. I was born an American, and am fed up with all of these deceitful games and lies.

    Reply

  55. NCR says:

    Israel kills Palestinians almost daily. I’ve been watching this for months and was amazed that there was little, if any response. The world gives as much of a damn about Arabs as it did about Jews in the 30s and 40s.

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  56. Die for the Elite says:

    Investigator’s motto: Follow the money, and pay close attention to the relationships.
    Condoleezza Rice and former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown are very close. Many even suspect it was Rice that gave Willie Brown the warning not to fly on 9-11. Fortunately, Willie’s big mouth tipped off a lot of folks that the corrupt political elite knew of 9-11 in advance.
    Willie Brown’s political playbook contains one classic move: when Brown makes a political move, he moves very quickly, with everything he has. A political blitzkreig of sorts. It almost always succeeds, because the time people figure out his sleazy game, it’s too late to do anything about it. San Franciscans familiar with SF election fraud and stadium ballot scandal are well aware of this.
    Rice, another corrupt political elite familiar with Brown’s tactics, knows the play well. And the US and Israel have been hand-in-hand in the war on Islam since the Supremes appointed Bush, going so far as to have Israel’s ambassador to the UN, John Bolten, veto today Qatar’s emergency declaration to the UN Security Council. Note how the US-Israel axis is moving very quickly, with everything they have, against not just Gaza and Lebanon, but desperately trying to implicate Syria and Iran. All this the same day Iran was referred to the UN Security Council; the flurry of recent high-level diplomatic visits with Iraq and Israel; the same dates as the G8 in Russia, members of which all benefit from cheap Arab oil.
    It was only a few weeks back that the US-Israel axis announced they had “agreed to the same timetable on Iran” and that “Iran had weeks, not months.” Israel would not wage war on Lebanon without the consent of the US government. Syria and Iran share a mutual defense pact, thus any Israeli attack on Syria would necessarily involve a US attack on Iran. This has all been pre-scripted for your viewing pleasure. Rice is play acting here, Israel knows it, and it’s all part of the sell. The classic good-cop/bad-cop routine. It’s Condi’s turn for the “My Pet Goat” alibi. Everything moving quickly, all at once, so by the time people figure out this sleazy game, it’s too late to do anything about it–we’re into WWIII.
    We have Bush’s polls tanking, lawsuits piling up, a Supreme Court ruling unfavorable to Bush. The neocons are desperate with the approaching elections: they’re rolling all the dice at once, right now. It’s now or never for their sick wet dreams of armageddon and rapture. Do you really think the beginning of a war on Iran and Syria would unfold the same way as Afghanistan and Iraq?

    Reply

  57. MNPundit says:

    “One is not obliged to refrain from criticizing Israel because it is a Jewish state; conversely, one should never demonize Jews because of the acts of Israel. Using terms like “Zionist” does little to paper over this issue, since Zionism covers a great deal of current and historical political ground.”
    Zionist is a useless term. I’ll give you that, but you’ll need to forgive some conflation of Jews=Israel because many in AIPAC and in Israel itself have worked to link that impression in the minds of the world. That and the fact that AIPAC really does have a disproportionate ammount of influence.
    Yes, you may not think it is fair that Israel has to take it in the teeth and not respond and I’ll tell you why: because it is so much more powerful than the individual states. As I’ve said before, if you kick around weaker states you get seen as a bully. Even if it hurts, but you have to ACT LIKE THE GOOD GUYS SO PEOPLE SEE YOU AS THE GOOD GUYS. It’s the exact same reason the US is loathed by so many around the world.
    If Israel does not want to act, then no aid to them at ALL except humanitarian. CUT THEM OFF.
    Oh and lk? Here’s one that is a real ally (if a small one) Kuwait.

    Reply

  58. Barney says:

    Parrot Bush (with the brain(?)the size of a parrot), says that Israel has the right to defend itself. What he is saying is that Israel has the right to defend itself for having kept and keeping forever the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It has the right to defend itself to keep these territories forever. That’s what Parrot Bush is saying. Israel loves us, this we know, ’cause Carl Rove tells Bush so. And didn’t Sharon tromp all around South Florida to trumpet the cause of brother, Jeb, in his gubernatoral campaign. Nice payoff. Nice advice to the man, Carl Rove. You knew how to push the right buttons in this country to get the Media off Bush’s back after the hanging chads.

    Reply

  59. Dick Fitzgerald says:

    US policy in the Mideast is controlled by Zionists; you don’t have to read Mearsheimer & Walt, just look @ today’s news, itself controlled by Zionists (Palestinians “kidnap” while Israelis “arrest”).

    Reply

  60. Barney says:

    It’s ok for them to be attacked on a daily basis in my book because they obviously intend never! to give up East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and they will drag their feet on it forever, and they know that they have Uncle Sam by the gonads, under complete domination and total control of the American Jewish Community’s AIPAC, and under influence of totally Jewish owned Media. With congressional whores on Aipac’s dole and under complete control, Israel has been free to do whatever it damned well pleases, starting years ago with the settlements in the West Bank. And don’t anyone tell us that Israel has given up Gaza; that’s a laugh turned into a crying shame. And you Israel Firsters have the brazen nerve to call any of us who oppose this insanity of yours antisemites. It’s time that we all tell you to take that verbage and shove it. No morally upright person hates Jews for being Jews. But many morally upright people despise what Israel has done to the Palestinians for sixty years, and we despise the weak politicians AIPAC has corrupted through the years. Look in the Congressional Quarterly and see which of these bastards have allowed themselves to be bought by Israel’s agency, AIPAC. And we lament the fact that what had been a democracy has become a sham of one, a tool for strident extremist hate-filled zionism.

    Reply

  61. Zathras says:

    Steve, you’ll have to let us know what kind of confirmation you can get for that rumor. I doubt that any Israeli government would use that kind of expression to any American Secretary of State — not that it couldn’t possibly happen, but Israeli diplomacy toward this country is generally not conducted with such a tin ear, even in moments of great stress.
    In the current environment it is of course possible that your source interpreted the Israeli government’s substantive response to Sec. Rice’s entreaty as being the functional equivalent of “back off.” It may actually have been that, based perhaps on the knowledge of officials in the Ohlmert government that however fearsome Sec. Rice’s reputation for resenting slights is in Washington she does not have the full backing of the President or the rest of his administration in this matter.
    If that is the case, it would be too bad in this instance. I don’t agree with the Israeli policy toward Gaza, but at least I understand its objective. I can’t say that about the response to the Hezbollah kidnapping; Israeli operations in Lebanon appear to be inflicting damage on targets that does no good to Israel while not striking at Hezbollah’s leadership. I wouldn’t blame the Israelis for responding to the Hezbollah kidnapping by killing Nasrallah as soon as an opportunity presented itself, but I don’t see where Israeli operations in Lebanon right now or going or what they can reasonably be expected to accomplish.

    Reply

  62. Michael Dawson says:

    Yeah whatever. Israel should destroy these assholes, once and for all. Men of honor could live in the world of today without causing trouble. Everyone should understand that the extremist peoples who cause these problems today are intentionally causing trouble. Fuck them. Kill em’ all.

    Reply

  63. Carroll says:

    Dear Babbler……
    “Parenthetically, there is an anti-Semitic tone to some of the posts here that I find quite disturbing. One is not obliged to refrain from criticizing Israel because it is a Jewish state; conversely, one should never demonize Jews because of the acts of Israel. Using terms like “Zionist” does little to paper over this issue, since Zionism covers a great deal of current and historical political ground.
    Posted by WatchfulBabbler at July 14, 2006 12:12 AM
    Pitiful try there fellow…
    I doubt you will find many people who care any longer whether they are labeled anti-semite or anti-zionist…the whole slur thing has become a joke….all anyone has to say to the anti-semitic or anti-zionist slur anymore is….”Consider the Source.”

    Reply

  64. Pissed Off American says:

    “just wonder if any other country in the world were bombed hundreds and hundreds of times a year, and reacted militarily, anyone would question it or encourage restraint.”
    Care to compare numbers, buddy? How many shellings have the Palestinians been subjected too??? I got news for you, it is WAY MORE than the Isrealis have been subjected to. If your kid is killed by a suicide bomber, a rocket, or an Israeli artillary shell, dead is dead. Want to compare the death statistics? You offer the same old tired horseshit over and over and over, IGNORING reality, and REFUSING to actually rebut the TRUTHS the numbers tell. But thats alright, when we show your numbers are BULLSHIT, you can always resort to calling us “anti-semitic”. numbers

    Reply

  65. Pissed Off American says:

    I give up. The situation is hopeless. The only solution I can possibly see to this mess is for Jeff Gannon to come forward and announce on Fox News who he was blowing in the West Wing.
    Well hey, its as good an idea as I’ve heard all day.
    What the heck, can’t we at least TRY it????

    Reply

  66. CaptainVideo says:

    Israel’s response is completely out of proportion to Hezbollah’s action. The Israeli soldiers have not been killed and apparently not even harmed, but a sizable number of Lebanese have already been killed. All Israel is accomplishing is to strengthen the hard liners and increase their support among the Lebanese people and the Arab world. This will make it even more difficult for the Lebanese government to gain control of its south and may well cause the fledgeling democratic government in Lebanon to fall and bring the Syrians back in.
    Similarly, Israel’s over reaction in the Gaza strip will only increase the power of the hard liners against the moderates.
    Perhaps the main obstacle to the easing the tension in the middle east is the belief by Israel that the iron fist is the solution to all problems.

    Reply

  67. Josh says:

    I just wonder if any other country in the world were bombed hundreds and hundreds of times a year, and reacted militarily, anyone would question it or encourage restraint. Also, for everyone urging restraint (which I’m not saying I disagree with), where were you the last year or more as Israel was being bombed repeatedly–after it left lebanon and Gaza and much of the West Bank? Talk about negative reinforcement.
    Why is it not okay for any sovereign state to be attacked on a daily basis! but it’s okay for Israel to be attacked? Sure, they should show restraint. But then again, it doesn’t help the situation when, during the bombings, people don’t call for Palestinian, Syrian or Iranian restraint. Or are people just that stupid and ignorant and hypocritical?

    Reply

  68. Pissed Off American says:

    “Being anti-Israel is not the same as being anti-Semitic.”
    Posted by TLittle
    Careful, you’ll erase thier only argument.

    Reply

  69. Pissed Off American says:

    “I mean, holy crap, what would happen if the three Israeli soldiers are in one of these houses when the Israelis drop a 500 pound bomb on it?!?”
    They’d blame Syria, and we’d send them a couple more billion dollars.

    Reply

  70. Kevin says:

    “Hilarious to read Clemons and this other drivel. What should Israel do? Ask nicely for their kidnapped soldiers back?”
    Actually that would be a good start. That’s what we typically do in the US when someone is kidnapped. We throw out an amber alert. We don’t bomb random people in neighboring cities. I mean, holy crap, what would happen if the three Israeli soldiers are in one of these houses when the Israelis drop a 500 pound bomb on it?!? They could potentially kill their own people! They are not thinking rationally.

    Reply

  71. Pissed Off American says:

    We all know that Israel REacts while Hamas and Hezbollah ACT. Yet Israel gets condemned for REacting while nobody says squat about Hamas and Hezbollah ACTing. . .
    sigh.
    Posted by Mike
    Yeah??? What were the Isrealis “reacting” to when they shelled and MURDERED the family on the beach??? that happened BEFORE the Israeli soldier was “kidnapped”.
    Now, WHO was reacting to WHAT?

    Reply

  72. Pissed Off American says:

    “Hilarious to read Clemons and this other drivel. What should Israel do? Ask nicely for their kidnapped soldiers back?”
    Whats hilarious is that you people keep IGNORING the other side of the coin, and REFUSE to discuss or recognize the acts of OPPRESSION AND TERRORISM waged against the palestinian civilians. Families shelled on beaches, farmlands razed, people blocked from commutting to thier livelyhoods, supplies and goods blocked from going into Gaza, children held in prisons, the list goes ON AND ON AND ON……..
    And you accuse someone ELSE of drivel??????? Yeah right.

    Reply

  73. soof says:

    what about the years of bulldozing homes even with people in them, what about the many many cases of IDF sniper shooting children? even when children getting laundry from a roof top. what about crushing American Rachel Corrie with a bulldozer? and then backing over her to crush her a second time? modern Israel has so much bad karma behind it. due to their actions, i conclude they see non-israelis are cattle or chattel, take your pick, and kill at will like children in a tantrum. truly, i am ashamed for them. morally, they are not christian and they have no regard for truth or condemning murder. they practice murder and lieing and they do not treat other peoples in an egalitarian way and they sure do not extend the olive branch to join them in their worship of God Almighty. And while acting like bullies and practicing oh so much official killing, they bleat like paranoid sheep. I tell you one thing, they may well be onto estranging the USA.
    and if any Americans are reading this, do not forget, the HolyLand city of Tel Aviv is full of stripper clubs which are whorehouses, and tattoo parlors.

    Reply

  74. TLittle says:

    If there was a real concern for the postings on this blog in the comments then Steve would have the them moderateed and read through each one before it is posted.
    You may not like what people say, but should respect their right to say it.
    Being anti-Israel is not the same as being anti-Semitic.

    Reply

  75. Pissed Off American says:

    “Parenthetically, there is an anti-Semitic tone to some of the posts here that I find quite disturbing.”
    Uh oh, here comes THAT tired old horseshit again.
    Look, how about you SHOW US the EXACT comments that you feel are “anti-semitic”, and explain to us WHY you feel they are “anti-semitic”.

    Reply

  76. marky says:

    So it comes down to this: will the Bush administration be able to snooker the American public into supporting a military strike on Iran because of the alleged hot pursuit of terrorist kidnappers of Israeli soldiers?
    For whatever reason, the timetable for attacking Iran has just been drastically shortened.
    Who will fall for this bait and switch?
    Not me.
    What about you?
    You think Bush won’t drop a nuke on Iran?
    Are you sure?

    Reply

  77. Barney says:

    And I failed to mention that airtime for the fundamentalists is being paid for, at least partially, by the Israelis. Also failed to mention that the Anti-Defamation League Offices in every major American City is keeping a list of names of persons in those cities who dare to criticize Israel. What could they possibly do with those names? Wait a bit and you’ll find out………. And could it possibly be illegal for us American Taxpayers to have to pay for any activities and programs presented in all of the Holocaust Museums in major American cities?
    Get the Jerusalem Post on line and see how you can donate money to the IDF and declare it as a tax exemption to the U. S. Internal Revenue, along with all the other contributions to Israel likewise declared as tax exemptions. This, to top the billions and billions we have given Israel, not to mention the bulldozers for razing Palestinian homes. Is it any wonder that frustrated Muslims waiting for justice for the Palestinians became embittered and frustrated, seeing all of this? The chickens will come home again to roost. Pray to God that we can return to the historic American values of freedom and justice for all, including Palestinians. Wake up, America, take your country back and away from the extremist Zionists.

    Reply

  78. Pissed Off American says:

    “She might not have more authenticity or prestige than Powell to you, but evidently she does with Bush.”
    Yeah, she may have the buffon’s ear.
    But the problem here is that the monkey doesn’t get to grind the organ.

    Reply

  79. Jerome Gaskins says:

    Has anyone here, who supports Israel and it’s actions, considered that Hizbullah is doing exactly what the US is by treaty obligated to do if Taiwan were attacked? That, contrary to the rhetoric used to describe them, people of the Middle East are capable of making treaties that do not include the US, and act to enforce those treaties?
    Perhaps, because of the prejudice that blinds Americans from considering the “enemy’s” side of the Middle East conflict, we cannot fathom the possibility that “those people” want to return to the peaceful lives they had before “the West” imposed its interests as the top priorities in the region.
    As in slavery and the days of apartheid, those who profit from the current state of affairs believe their system will last forever and will have that belief extinguished. I only hope it comes sooner than later.

    Reply

  80. Nathan says:

    The whole thing is a charade.
    Since there is no evidence of Iran having nuclear weapons or likely to get them in the near future, there should be a reason or an excuse to attack Iran.
    Israel has started in motion something that will end with attacks on Iran & Syria, not necessarily in that order.
    This is the Israeli American game plan- to do what was earlier planned- attack Iran & Syria
    The only thing is that neither Russia nor China will sit this one out.
    It appears that there will be some nuclear strikes within the next few months.
    Amerians are being led into a war of Israels making. And the world is going to pay the price.
    They have nothing left to loose as hey are already ecnomically bankrupt.

    Reply

  81. Kevin says:

    Israel has said that they are bombing civilians in order to convince the political leaders of X and Y. Generally terrorizing a civilian population, is, well, terrorism, and collective punishment is specifically disallowed in the Geneva Conventions.
    I don’t know by what moral calculus Israel justifies dropping 500 pound bombs on children. I understand that now three soldiers have been kidnapped– but just like in the US, instead of firing the people who let ’em get caught with their pants down they will cover up their embarrassment with anger and vengeance.
    There’s no real threat of war over there– it’s *is* asymmetrical– Israel can destroy any country over there if they so desire using US made and supplied weapons.
    In any case, I don’t believe that the US should be so deeply entangled in anybody else’s foreign policy there. The Israeli’s don’t give a flip about long-term US interests. Period. Nor do their leaders want peace. I’m disgusted by their actions and can’t believe that my tax dollars help fund what apparently is an endless, bloody, childish feud run by incompetents.

    Reply

  82. Pissed Off American says:

    “Our most effective influence would be to just once not torpedo a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s disproportionate use of
    force.”
    Yeah, let’s get Bolton right on that one.

    Reply

  83. Wendy Kees says:

    Under Bush the United States has had no policy towards Israel except let them do what they want. It used its veto power on a Security Council resolution condemming Israel. It seems like almost the whole world is at war now, thanks to Bush. I remember when the last Israel PM visited. Poor Colin Powell was sitting in the back row looking embarrased. It was just another photo op with Bush and the flags of both countries. Our (non) policy towards Israel has fueled hatred around the world. We veto the UN resolution then Condi says “oh, please don’t attack too hard.” Give me a break. There is so much s**t going on that now Tony Snow can’t keep straght Iraq and Iran at news conferences. Condi Rice sounds more and more like that irritating teacher’s pet in high school history class. Except, Condi is a Nazi just like everyone else in the Bush cabinet.l

    Reply

  84. Pissed Off American says:

    “Hold our elected officials
    who are so enthralled by AIPAC responsible for their co-culpability in this race toward the abyss.”
    Come on man, SOMEBODY has to stay on Washington to turn the lights on and off! Can’t we just keep one AIPAC whore on duty????

    Reply

  85. Pissed Off American says:

    “Common sense plainly points to an incontrovertible fact that Hamas, an elected government of the Palestinians, deliberately tunneled across the border and ambusing an Israeli military vehicle and crew. Hamas then took one of the Isralie military captive via kidnapping.”
    Sneaky bastards. Why can’t they be HONEST about thier shenanigans and vaporize beachgoin’ families instead.

    Reply

  86. WatchfulBabbler says:

    What should Israel do? Ask nicely for their kidnapped soldiers back?
    Admittedly, the Hizb Allah prisoner handover in ’04 didn’t improve Israel’s situation and probably led in part to the current crisis — though the two big names in that swap, Dirani and Abdel Karim Obeid, were themselves kidnapped by Israel in order to use as bargaining chips for Ron Arad (who Dirani supposedly sold to Hizb Allah). The fact that they were swapped for Elchanan Tenenbaum is absurd to the point of criminality, a fact that was of course well-noted by the Israeli public at the time.
    But this suggests that both routes — reprisal and punishment — are bankrupt: the first further inflaming the region and creating an even more chaotic atmosphere (which is even more dangerous for America than for Israel — though Israel, unlike America, is within range of enemy missiles); the second returning terrorists and militants to the cycle of violence and convincing them of the utility of kidnapping Israelis.
    The only way to cut that knot, as terrible an answer as it may be, is to refuse to negotiate without descending to collective reprisal. The fact is that America would never have bargained for the release of a Tenenbaum, any more than it bargained for Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry, or Jill Carroll, Jeffrey Ake, or Terry Anderson, or Thomas Lowell Tucker and Kristian Menchaca, for that matter. (We make exceptions for persons held by certain recognized states, such as the former Soviet Union, and in some unusual multilateral cases such as the M-19 embassy siege.) We accept, without excusing, a certain level of violence against our citizens, even if they are, as in the case of PCV Richard Starr, engaged wholly in missions of peace on behalf of a governmental organization. This is not pleasant, but to do otherwise would be to give the initiative of action to our enemies, who could force us to act (or kill, or negotiate) with relative ease and impunity — the case Israel has found itself in.
    Parenthetically, there is an anti-Semitic tone to some of the posts here that I find quite disturbing. One is not obliged to refrain from criticizing Israel because it is a Jewish state; conversely, one should never demonize Jews because of the acts of Israel. Using terms like “Zionist” does little to paper over this issue, since Zionism covers a great deal of current and historical political ground.

    Reply

  87. Pissed Off American says:

    “And it may take this kind of out of control danger that FINALLY wakes up some tough-minded strategists in the White House………….”
    Oh hell, if any such animal ever existed in the Bush Administration they would have been fired long ago.

    Reply

  88. Rational Realist says:

    “c’mon, people…no matter how intellectual you want to sound…no matter who you really like…we’re ALL americans…so, please…somebody MUST know of one ally of america in the mideast…other than israel…right?”
    lk, you have a strange definition of ally. I don’t consider Israel to be an ally of the US in anything but name at this point.
    Israel has stolen US nuclear secrets, been caught spying on US Federal Govt. facilities., and works against US diplomacy actively.
    The US is viewed as a pariah nation abroad for our slavish backing of Israel’s every outrageous move.
    On the contrary, we have many allies in the mideast who are not so extreme and who don’t actively engage in espionage against us, such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
    Before Bush II you could pretty well say that most of the mideast were our allies.
    We will be lucky if Israel doesn’t ignite WWIII, because if they do, that war will reach these shores.
    If you think this is about terrorism, you are hopelessly deluded. This is about land, oil and oil markets. There’s a pipeline that goes from Iraq directly to Haifa, but it unfortunately got plugged up crossing Syria. Watch for a quick move to occupy that pipeline.

    Reply

  89. For Real says:

    Prescot Bush is still alive and well!

    Reply

  90. susan says:

    “They left Gaza totally last year.” Jim Crankyboy
    According to Human Rights Watch, the Israeli government’s removal of troops and Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip has not ended Israel’s occupation of the territory. As an occupying power, Israel retains responsibility for the welfare of Gaza’s civilian population
    Under the “disengagement” plan endorsed by the Knesset, Israeli forces kept control over Gaza’s borders, coastline and airspace, and reserved the right to launch incursions at will. Israel continues to wield overwhelming power over the territory’s economy and its access to trade.
    “The removal of settlers and most military forces will not end Israel’s control over Gaza,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division. “Israel plans to reconfigure its occupation of the territory, but it will remain an occupying power with responsibility for the welfare of the civilian population…”
    “In addition to controlling the borders, coastline and airspace, Israel will continue to control Gaza’s telecommunications, water, electricity and sewage networks, as well as the flow of people and goods into and out of the territory. Gaza will also continue to use Israeli currency.”
    “Under international law, the test for determining whether an occupation exists is effective control by a hostile army, not the positioning of troops,” Whitson said. “Whether the Israeli army is inside Gaza or redeployed around its periphery and restricting entrance and exit, it remains in control.”

    Reply

  91. Neil Robinson says:

    Israel surrounded by religious extremism? What’s more extreme than kicking people off their land (that’s called ‘stealing’) and claiming a biblical right to it (that’s usually seen as ‘religious extremism’)? It was wrong and unjust in the first place. as far as I can see, the west supported it because of Holocaust guilt (the guilt should go back a hell of alot further than the 1940s) and our ‘Christian’ beliefs (we really didn’t get the point of why the Holocaust was wrong). And one other reason: the Arabs couldn’t stop us (might is right). I’ve heard of a more cynical western motivation, but never mind it for now; it’s depressing.
    Religious megalomania is bad news, always has been, always will be. If Israel hadn’t been imposed on the Arab world, most of this crap wouldn’t be happening. Sure, there would be other problems, but those problems are still sitting there waiting for the current problem to be dealt with.
    Nope, they stole their land, plain and simple. Everytime someone invokes Israel’s right to defend itself, they’re justifying Palestine’s right to defend itself.

    Reply

  92. Bijan says:

    The level of hypocrisy in mainstream US media is disgusting. Take CNN, it feels as if they are spoke persons for Israeli government! The line of reporting is so biased. I wonder if they think the public is so gullible.
    The Israeli army is destroying bridges, bombing villages, disrupts a whole country with more than 250 dead and injuried (including women and children on the first day) and the best question they come up with is “what do you think is going to happen to kidnapped soldiers?”
    An ethical and fair news organization should not have double standards on Human rights and human suffering.
    Unfortunately we are suffering from more than one type of fundamentalism these days!
    Israeli army and Iranian revoltionary guards are ‘brothers in arm’.
    Justifying Israel’s aggresion and her lack of respect for the basic human rights reveal the dept of hypocrisy that racism that exist among it’s uncoditional supportes.

    Reply

  93. Jack Hannand says:

    Christians are supposed to be peacemakers and not support life taking.
    What part of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” do they not understa….. Oh. I see. The fine print beside that commandment say’s it’s OK , even if you have to lie.

    Reply

  94. Carroll says:

    Dear lk
    “c’mon, people…no matter how intellectual you want to sound…no matter who you really like…we’re ALL americans…so, please…somebody MUST know of one ally of america in the mideast…other than israel…right?
    Saudi,Lebanon, Jordon, Egypt to name a few usually fall in line with the US…
    We have no “ally” agreement or peace treaty with Israel and no “defense pact” with Israel either…
    And anyone who usually stress that WE are all americans usually isn’t…anything else?
    You are over your head here fellow, go to bed.

    Reply

  95. Jeff says:

    lk – So are you saying that despite the Bush administration’s claimed successes in its democracy promotion agenda in Iraq and Lebanon, its actual complete failure means it’s time to utterly rethink our foreign policy?
    I’m with you.

    Reply

  96. lk says:

    blah, blah, blah…here’s a suggestion:
    try reading more and talking less.
    where would WE be without…you-know-who??

    Reply

  97. Barney says:

    We the majority people are the victims in so many ways of this stranglehold which the American Jewish Community has on the government, ownership of the media. We are all being manipulated by extremist Zionists. Aipac knows very well how to manipulate the entire Congress. Israeli Paid for junkets to Israel by leading fundamentalist preachers, and outright pay to them for promulgating extremist zionism in their preaching ensures a vast number of ignorant fundamentalists committeed to badgering Congress on behalf of exstremist Zionism. Look at every major city in the United States with Holocaust Museums paid for by the American Taxpayers, and in all of the cities you’ll find an Anti-defamation League Office, as well. And surprise of all suprises Mossad Agents roaming all over the country, for what purpose, do we know. Keeping E. Jerusalem and the West Bank is the motivational force for all of this. Not content to live within the boundaries in which they were created, we will continue to pay the price, a terrible price – in so many ways. And messianic saviour Bush will continue this God-awful madness and insane Middle East policies, prompting Israel to continue its slaughter to keep the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Reply

  98. Carroll says:

    Gee…the professional zionst activist have suddenly shown up en masse all over the internet.
    It’s amazing isn’t it how they all sound alike…one might think they actually are professional zionist activist…professional meaning paid…
    But I take their word for it that they are just true believers, just like the Moonies ….

    Reply

  99. dan says:

    ooopss..i misspelled that country i was talking about

    Reply

  100. Dan says:

    Anyone who actually agrees with Isreal is getting thier news from the TV

    Reply

  101. lk says:

    c’mon, people…no matter how intellectual you want to sound…no matter who you really like…we’re ALL americans…so, please…somebody MUST know of one ally of america in the mideast…other than israel…right?

    Reply

  102. Steambomb says:

    ~~~She may not have backing from within the Bush administration, but she has a very close relationship with Bush himself which is enough to carry the day.~~~
    You are still assuming that Bush is calling the shots? He said he is the Decider. He has lied about every thing else why would you believe him now?

    Reply

  103. WatchfulBabbler says:

    Wendy, as a recovering neoconservative whose support for the war in Iraq is excused only (to paraphrase J. Derbyshire) by my obscurity, I’ve become very risk-averse, especially when people try to mount “game-changers” (as Israel appears to be doing). Not only is the perfect the enemy of the good, but in international relations and geopolitics, the good can be the enemy of the merely tolerable — and sometimes, tolerable is all you can hope for.
    Right now, Israel has invaded and cut off a dependent territory, bombed and invaded a failed region (southern Lebanon), blockaded and bombed a state friendly to the U.S., and overflown a state intermittently ill-disposed to our interests but also adjoining our territory in Iraq. This doesn’t seem calculated to help American interests, and it seems likely to only make things more dangerous for the Israeli people themselves.
    One reason our beliefs diverge is that I am neither as pessimistic as you regarding the inevitability of war nor as optimistic as to our ability to survive prolonged and serious exogenous price shocks. Those two issues alone are sufficient to result in very different mental models of the current conflict. (It’s worth recalling, I believe, that Hizb Allah’s sponsor Iran was willing to negotiate recognition of the two-state solution — before the Administration shut down that backstairs channel and the war-generation nutcases took pride of place in the Iranian government.)
    So, really, the key questions for us are these: do you believe that an uneasy truce can, with appropriate diplomacy, eventually lead to a stable peace? And do you believe that maintaining a stable supply of POL into the world economy is worth an at least arguable tradeoff between blood and oil?
    Tough questions, to be sure. But these are tough times.

    Reply

  104. lk says:

    i’m still waiting for america’s mideast allies…not counting israel.
    having a problem?

    Reply

  105. Carroll says:

    Telling Condi to piss off fits in with the desperation I see.
    Face it…The rocket attacks Israel could have done something about a long time ago..it didn’t suit their purpose to stop them before. That we know.
    What else who be causing their desperation?
    They are losing ground in public opinion in the US despite their influence. The public awareness of Israel screwing with our policies was growing even before the Walt-Meshimer “Lobby” paper. That kicked it up a knotch for both the public and the serious foreign policy community.
    Second, the democratic election of Hamas was a blow, they would at long last have to really get serious about a settlement. With Hamas they really did have “someone to talk to” who was totally ready to get it on in barganing and wasn’t going to roll over on the terms of any peace agreement.
    Third, the zionist have to use the last drop of American support while they have their people like Bolton and Abrams and other zionist in place in our goverment and still have their control of congress locked up. Condi’s different idea’s on Israel, and if they are Condi’s ideas they will “become” Bush’s ideas, are a threat to the zionist and Israel and they are losing ground inside the oval office even if not in Cheney’s office.
    In addition, they can’t help but see that the US is in dire financial straits and can’t pretend otherwise forever, and lhas lost Iraq, and is tanking in worldwide influence and opinion.
    The only goverment I see being as vocal in their Israeli support are our old nazi friends, Germany.
    It’s true the pro israelis have a lock on the MSM when it comes to Israel but they haven’t yet been able to silence or control the internet. Previously, Israel’s occupation of Pal get a 70% disapproval rating on most well know blogs. I am guessing that has screamed upwards with this latest. That there haven’t been any more terror attacks in the US to keep the public demanding blood also adds to the urgency for Israel.
    For all these reasons I think Israel and the zionist see this as their Now or Never moment.
    So I expect to see even worse. I expect to see attacks in other countries that may or not be by Israeli ops work to kick up the terrier war further..in other words, look for a lot of chaos everywhere. Israel has shot it’s wad with what they are doing now, they have to esculate it or all their plans; retaining their settlements, PANC, Clean Break, Iran, the whole plan to change the economic power bases of the ME…all of it will be derailed or shelved indefintely. And the USA won’t be in any position to keep supporting or shielding them eventually.

    Reply

  106. Jim Crankyboy says:

    Hilarious to read Clemons and this other drivel. What should Israel do? Ask nicely for their kidnapped soldiers back? Would the U.S. do that? This isn’t about getting Israel out of Lebanon – they left 6 years ago. Even the UN and Kofi Annon says Israel totally left. They left Gaza totally last year. This is about killing Jews and trying to humiliate Israel and causing a regional conflict. They’ve succeeded. ISrael must now bloody them so badly to try to deter them from future attacks. If you all don’t grasp this simple concept you aren’t worth responding to. You don’t fully understand that the Islamic fanatics only respect force. Once you understand that, you understand their attacks, their video propaganda and the robust nature of Israel’s response.

    Reply

  107. lk says:

    name all of our allies in the mideast…other than israel.
    take your time.

    Reply

  108. Jerome Gaskins says:

    As a non-Jew I am not afraid to stand alone and condemn Israel and the Zionists who have created and maintained this Coliseum of the Middle East. As in South Africa, they imposed this madness on the region, and may very well have to be excised from the Mediterranean before peace will flourish once again.
    Regardless of what religion predicted or Zionist terrorism has led the US to believe, there is no reason for the violence and murder that bore Israel, or that Israel is addicted to using in dealing with it’s neighbors.

    Reply

  109. oldtree says:

    Am afraid our simplistic view of a constant war on terror gives some of us the impression that what they say may have some affect on the ground, where war occurs.
    To suggest to Israel, “back off” yet again, ad infinitum, is becoming rather absurd, and counter productive to peace if you follow a logical path to the end now prescribed by events and the actions of all parties. People that want freedom and peace have assisted one another since democracy reared it’s head. Could we advise someone to stop this endeavor? Because they might affect the oil?
    Were some people not so worried about current terrorists, perhaps they might realize we are all of us countries and governments, terrorists. We have all had to fight for both the birth and survival of our nations. This is that struggle.
    How long are people going to attempt to destroy this small country, use all their money and power to sponsor terrorism, and spend none at all for their supposed brethren in the region. Is this not a consistent pattern of oil rich nations in the region, and elsewhere? Arafat died with a billion we are told.
    Alas, we can’t ask a country at war to accept peace if they are going to be at war again next week. Perhaps it is their time to end the threat to their home after these 7 decades of attacks by their neighbors in a direct attempt to destroy the country.
    I have doubts that others are involved in this and pulling strings with Israel, unless it is those that initiated the attacks for a political reason. I think we may see that they have had enough this time. We may have missed the meaning of “back off”. The government of Israel does not need the advice of a puppet cracker speaking for an acknowledged war criminal, even if it is their only ally. I would think that this is now obvious.
    Peace is something one inevitably must fight for. They have shown restraint beyond any nation in the world for the time of their existence. To ask them to show restraint now is only to appease others. It shows no compassion for a people that need to end strife, and have no one that will help them.
    We can hope that our idiotic government will shut up, for they have no means to help. Their words only inflame. Everyone in the region understands what has happened this time, and it is probably going to be the last time anyone attacks Israel.
    Would you allow your enemy to try to kill you for 60 years? I wonder what I would feel if I had grown up in a constant battle to survive. If all of the neighboring countries have attacked you and you knew only that everyone appears to want to kill you? How many occasions did the world tell us to stop now, can’t help you, “you are rocking the boat”
    It cries out as absurd to think that they should put up with a second more. If you can’t recall the holocaust, as with history, you might repeat it. Israel has had little choice but to view the repeat of history, again, ad infinitum. They know every line in this drama, and might just once wish for comedy to be as popular, and as memorable.

    Reply

  110. anon says:

    didn’t israel land a shell on the gaza beach and kill some palestinian sunbathers before the soldier was kidnapped??? why of course, but why would anyone remember these minor details when they are wanting to paint the palestinians as terrorists??

    Reply

  111. Poofie says:

    Didn’t Israel land a shell on the Gaza beach and kill some Palestinean sunbathers before the young soldier was kidnapped?

    Reply

  112. km4 says:

    It’s US Policy That Inflames the Arab World
    Blaming the Israel Lobby
    By JOSEPH MASSAD
    http://www.counterpunch.org/massad03252006.html
    His Conclusion:
    What then would have been different in US policy in the Middle East absent Israel and its powerful lobby? The answer in short is: the details and intensity but not the direction, content, or impact of such policies. Is the pro- Israel lobby extremely powerful in the United States? As someone who has been facing the full brunt of their power for the last three years through their formidable influence on my own university and their attempts to get me fired, I answer with a resounding yes. Are they primarily responsible for US policies towards the Palestinians and the Arab world? Absolutely not.
    The United States is opposed in the Arab world as elsewhere because it has pursued and continues to pursue policies that are inimical to the interests of most people in these countries and are only beneficial to its own interests and to the minority regimes in the region that serve those interests, including Israel. Absent these policies, and not the pro-Israel lobby which supports them, the United States should expect a change in its standing among Arabs. Short of that, the United States will have to continue its policies in the region that have wreaked, and continue to wreak, havoc on the majority of Arabs and not expect that the Arab people will like it in return.

    Reply

  113. Daniel DiRito says:

    The Middle East may now be evidence of what happens when the world’s sole superpower abandons any semblance of detente. I’m afraid that Cheney may have long ago discounted the advice of the senior Bush as well as the ideas of Scowcroft and Baker. Read an analysis on how Dick Cheney sees the current U.S. foreign policy as the culmination of three decades of strategic efforts to position America as the sole occupant at the top of the power pyramid…here:
    http://www.thoughttheater.com/2006/07/making_the_case_for_a_return_t.php

    Reply

  114. Wendy Connors says:

    Watchful Babbler,
    I understand your point, I believe, but have reserations. Again, I belive common sense dictates that eventually war is inevitable and Israel has reached the valid conclusion that it can remain hostage to a large number of people with tribal mentality, or take the chance to free itself from extremism for future generations.
    If the remainder of the other tribes and their kingdoms come to an end, so what? Iran isn’t as powerful as it believes itself to be by the absolute fact that even if it was the sole survivor, who would they sell their products? Destroyed economies within the middle east wouldn’t be it a position to benefit Iran.
    As for other nations outside the region, they surround Iran. They are also technologically capable of quickly adapting…something tribal mentality rarely allows. Thus, Iran loses because it could not economically hold up the entire middle east.
    The West, on the other hand, would suffer but not to the point of being totally defeated. Thus, with adaptation, the world returns to a more stable illusion of sanity for several generations. Also, a great methodology for bringing about global evironmental sanity and the return of Capitalism with regulation to responsible continuous growth where everyone benefits.

    Reply

  115. Michael U says:

    I fully support Israels action. As a Jew I believe that Israel has a right to protect its citizens from the brazen attacks it has been dealt. Every day the terrorists are launching rockets into Israel from Gaza. Most posters here are so out of it that all they see is Israels response to the naked aggression shown to it by the terrorists in Hamas and Hizbollah. Israel MUST act. Israel has my full support, both in my prayers, and from my pocket book. I ask all true believers to look at the situation, see the evil hand working from Syria and Lebanon and Iran. These forces must be dealt a death blow ASAP, before they get more bloodthirsty. Those who condemn Israel are condemned themselves.

    Reply

  116. Getzel says:

    Since the previous comments are on a “rumor”…the writers are morons. Israel is apparently sending Syria and Iran a “picture”(see Lebanon & Gaza) of what Syria and Iran can look like. Israel coordinates it’s policy with the White House… If Israel goes, France will fall within a month and Europe will be Moslem in a year and the USA will be Moslem after that. By 1981 this writer was predicting the downfall, by popular uprising, of the government operating out of Moscow…by Jan 1999 I was predicting the World Trade Center would again be hit by terrorist, and while in Manhattan, prior to 9/11 I refused to travel south of 40th Street…I had us going into Iraq by Jan 2002, and the outcome…And by 1982 I was running my car on ethanol & predicting the war we are in now and that 250, 500000/gallon a day ethanol distilleries built in the USA would prevent this war; and if we build them the Moslems will no longer have oil money to by weapons to beat us with…if we do not build them and soon we will lose the war (if we listen to Steve Clemons)

    Reply

  117. Mike says:

    I respectfully agree with Wendy.
    Why is it that we are defending those who lob mortar shells and missiles at a country that is trying to keep out those that want to blow themselves up in that country’s bus stations and restaurants?
    Should we not have the right to NOT be blown up?
    Do we not have the right to defend our borders when those of another country cross our borders and kidnap/capture persons of our country?
    We all know that Israel REacts while Hamas and Hezbollah ACT. Yet Israel gets condemned for REacting while nobody says squat about Hamas and Hezbollah ACTing. . .
    sigh.

    Reply

  118. Zorro says:

    …um, that would be “throes”…even in stressful times, we must use proper spelling.
    “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”
    — General Moshe Dayan

    Reply

  119. Carroll says:

    I am not much of an activist but I do call my elected buffons when I get very pissed off. I help write their paycheck every April so they work for me.
    So just out of curiousity…how many of you have been on the phone today to tell your employees in DC what you think of Israel’s outlaw actions and of their own failure to speak out in American’s name in favor of upholding international law?
    AIPAC has 60,000 members calling congress right now I promise you, to press Israel’s case…that’s why they always get their way.
    Now,anyone who hasn’t picked up their phone and told their politican to rein in these midget nazis right now and respect international laws shouldn’t call themselves American.
    Yes, Virginia it is that simple.

    Reply

  120. Zorro says:

    “By Deception, Thou Shalt Do War”
    Israel is in the throws of the “mad dog” strategy.

    Reply

  121. anonymous says:

    Kill all the f’ers. Bring down the W Administration too. They all deserve each other.

    Reply

  122. CV says:

    tommy paine, you lost me at: “If Israel would get fair press….”
    It renders any further dialog useless. I read the local and national press regularly and can only come to the conclusion that Israel is treated with kid’s gloves.

    Reply

  123. Matthew says:

    Call me cynical, but I think “Wendy Connors” told a big fib when she typed, “I’m not a big supporter of Israel….” Yeah, right. AIPAC couldn’t written a more groveling post.

    Reply

  124. tommy paine says:

    i think we all have a lot of nerve, here in the comforts of our American armchairs, to heap scorn and give directions to Israel, which has been in the crosshairs of Hezbollah and Hamas’ weapons and aspirations of destruction, and those of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and yes, Lebanon’s Syrian controllers, and now Syria’s Iranian controllers, since it fought its way to statehood in 1948. Israel must walk a delicate line, establish a delicate balance between going Postal and being perceived as wimped out, by its perpetually hostile neighbors, who see gestures towards peace as signs of weakness. It’s far from easy, and I think we have a lot to learn from them here in America. If Israel would get fair press, it would get a lot more sympathy. Their backs are seriously against the wall, the wall being the Mediteranean Sea, just look at a map. They have no oil reserves, and a miniscule amount of land compared to any of their neighbors. They are time and again the ones that offer the olive branch, only to have it snapped, sometimes after it has been accepted, by their delusional neighbors. True the Xtian Right in this country would like nothing better than to see Armaggedon finally happen, in the form of Israel’s destruction. That might lead to George’s Third Coming.

    Reply

  125. anon says:

    She might not have more authenticity or prestige than Powell to you, but evidently she does with Bush. That is why she has been able to take back some ground from Cheney and company. In any event, she has the best chance of getting Bush to agree to put real pressure on Israel to step back.

    Reply

  126. CV says:

    Our most effective influence would be to just once not torpedo a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s disproportionate use of
    force. This might have quite an impact in Tel Aviv, contrary to Olmert’s macho posturing. I consider it crucial that we don’t let the fragile, moderate Democracy that is Lebanon become another focal point for extremists. What ever happened to the much touted Cedar Revolution?

    Reply

  127. km4 says:

    “She ( Rice ) obviously has cachet that Powell did not”.
    Now that is hillarious unless you means when Condi is shopping for shoes

    Reply

  128. anon says:

    “I don’t think that Secretary Rice has backing from within the administration for a strong stand toward Israel.”
    She may not have backing from within the Bush administration, but she has a very close relationship with Bush himself which is enough to carry the day. Diplomacy has made a comeback since she replaced Powell as Sec of State. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Addington, et al, are still all there yet she has been able to blunt their influence. She obviously has cachet that Powell did not.

    Reply

  129. daCascadian says:

    Those holding shares of the Carlyle Group must be very happy…
    “Terrorists do not need pretexts for their barbarism.” – Judge Alvin Hellerstein

    Reply

  130. WatchfulBabbler says:

    Wendy, the problem is that if Israel decides to go down, the entire region goes down with it: not just Hamas, not just Syria, not just Leabanon, but the Saudis, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE & Dubai, the barely-functional Iraqi government, the hundreds of thousands of troops we have in the area tethered by fragile MSRs, and — with the loss of a stable Middle Eastern petroleum supply — the global economy and concommitant stability. The only probable winners are Iran and the takfirist radicals (and Egypt might hold its own).
    The fact is that friction of a particularly bloody kind occurs at hostile borders. We have lost several dozen soldiers to North Korean violence on the DMZ since cessation of hostilities, but realpolitik dictated that military response was not advisable. Likewise, I think that Israel dusting off its Bekka Valley OPLANS, let alone its other actions, is going to set off the kind of regional instability that the international community won’t be able to dampen.
    Israel is not serving its own security interests with its actions. Punitive reprisals against Gaza and the Lebanese government — pointedly setting aside Southern Lebanon operations — are the wrong things to do at the wrong time.

    Reply

  131. baffled says:

    Back off we should! All the way back with immediate cessation of any aid and collaboration with that out-of-control country. Hold our elected officials
    who are so enthralled by AIPAC responsible for their co-culpability in this race toward the abyss. It is time to start asking some hard, fearless questions of our Representatives who so willingly discard American interests for those of a foreign nation. Steve Clemons’ call for recusal of E. Abrams should really be applied to Bolton as well.

    Reply

  132. Ian Kaplan says:

    “And it may take this kind of out of control danger that FINALLY wakes up some tough-minded strategists in the White House, Defense Department, and State Department to compel Israel to back off and all other parties to wind down their militant elements.”
    And next, the Bush Administration will actually
    start implementing thoughtful policy and governing
    in the best interests of the United States as
    opposed to their own entrenched power. Yes, I’m
    sure that all this will happen. I have to go now,
    the Easter Bunny, the Toothfairy and Santa Claus
    are throwing a party I’m going to attend.
    For their own reasons, the Christian Right has
    become a staunch supporter of Israel and Israel’s
    agression. Bush has made it clear with his
    public statements that he supports Israel’s
    policies. I don’t think that Secretary Rice
    has backing from within the administration for
    a strong stand toward Israel.

    Reply

  133. Wendy Connors says:

    I respectfully disagree. Common sense plainly points to an incontrovertible fact that Hamas, an elected government of the Palestinians, deliberately tunneled across the border and ambusing an Israeli military vehicle and crew. Hamas then took one of the Isralie military captive via kidnapping.
    Hezbollah is sanctioned by Iran and Syria and his an intregal part of Lebanon’s government. By deliberately crossing the Israeli border and taking hostage several Israeli military. Lebanon cannot justify its position that it is not responsible.
    Lasty, no other nation has the right to interfere with Israel’s actions because they are being provoked on two fronts. Israel has the right to not only to it’s citizens safety, but to bring an end, one way or the other, to the insanity of religious extremism surrounding their nation.
    I’m not a big supporter of Israel, but this time I’m glad they are showing courage and military expertise to the rest of the wimpy world and has obviously decided to either eliminate Hamas and Hizbollah once and for all, or go down trying.
    Time the world got the fight over with and end the insanity politics has brought.

    Reply

  134. Steve says:

    Unbelievable. The US goes to the mat for Israel with public, full-throated support, and they have the chutzpah to respond this way to private entreaties to dial it down a notch?
    We support Israel so strongly because no one else will. I’d like it if they showed us the mutual respect necessary to sustain a relationship on those terms.

    Reply

  135. concerned says:

    “Rice is not one to be told to back off without the other party paying a price.”
    The price ought to be the cessation of ALL US aid
    and military logistics support to Israel until they
    de-escalate.

    Reply

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