Europe’s Joy At the Election Outcome

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Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin has an interesting and useful piece, “Even Happier than the Democrats,” in the Weekly Standard today. Gedmin previously directed the New Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute.
Gedmin basically argues that he knows no Europeans who will publicly state that they admire or respect George Bush — and that a collective sigh of relief has been expressed throughout Europe that Americans have seemingly come back to their senses and knocked the Bush machine back.


Gedmin is right. Europe feels a bit betrayed by the Bush crowd — and now is the time for moderate Republicans like Richard Lugar and Chuck Hagel and many leading Dems like Joseph Biden, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and others to act as more empowered Ambassadors of American interests in their interactions with Europeans.
Gedmin won’t do any of the “Neo-Culpa” stuff that many of his neocon pals are doing recently. In fact, he writes of Bush:

George W. Bush is the full package of everything that makes Europe squirm. He is undiluted Americanism. He is anti-elitism. He’s religion and piety. He’s morality and muscle. He’s patriotism and self-confidence. He is rather like that dreaded American animal, the “neoconservative.”

Gedmin suggests that European pundits and pols, in their criticism of Bush and his team, are yearning for an America that looks more like Europe:

. . .when European commentators say they are still yearning for an end to American unilateralism, moral crusades, and the influence of “fundamentalist evangelicals,” what they really mean is that they are longing for a United States just like secular, post-national, consensus-seeking, Social Democratic Europe. But, of course, even with Democrats controlling the House and the Senate, it ain’t gonna happen.

To some degree, Jeffrey Gedmin is right — but he’s also wrong in an important way.
Europe yearns for a pragmatic, problem-fixing America, engaged in the world’s real problems and building international collaborations to meet these challenges. America has departed this space on ideological quests and left a giant void in global affairs that the Europeans have had to partially fill.
Gedmin’s slap at Europe can be understood if one was wanting Europe to look and act more like America — which I think Gedmin and many neocons want. But let’s be real on both fronts.
The Europeans have been more active — in shutting down terror plots, in playing a vital strategic role in helping to simmer down matters in the Israel-Lebanon conflict and in dealing with Iran. America has been absent and must missing in action in these two cases.
Now is the time to embrace Europe and get back to taking on the world’s big challenges.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

46 comments on “Europe’s Joy At the Election Outcome

  1. MP says:

    And you will be all alone.
    Posted by Carroll at November 12, 2006 10:50 PM
    Unfortunately, Jews have been “all alone” for millenia–that’s one of the underlying causes of this mess. Jews start from a position of all-aloneness and move on from there…the best they can.

    Reply

  2. bgal says:

    Woohee!
    It’s the Pissed off Asshole and Carroll show!
    Turning every thread into an AIPAC/Israel diatribe.
    Posted by … at November 12, 2006 07:56 PM
    I found their interventions enlightning, although they are a bit off topic. However I suggest you leave this job to the admin. You’ve been heard, twice.
    As for the news in Earope giving a poor vision of american politics, I’d take Belgium’s (my country) news over the american newsmedia anyday. Fair and balanced anyone? The only quality news I’ve seen was from democracynow.com and PBS.

    Reply

  3. pauline says:

    From a brief interview with Rabbi Michael Lerner on October 26.
    “There will be all kinds of statements that can be interpreted as distancing from Israel, but nothing in the way of real pressure. The Democratic Congress will be filled with AIPAC-influenced Democrats who want to protect Israel at all cost.”
    http://www.mehrnews.ir/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=402686

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  4. Pissed Off American says:

    And, while we are on the subject of media manipulation of information……
    http://cnnexposed.com/story.php?story=24
    CNN editors pull Palestinian quotes, replace with US
    CNN editors replaced all Palestinian quotations with quotes from US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton and the Isaraeli military, in its story ‘U.S. vetoes U.N. condemnation of Israel’s Gaza strikes’. The replacement article begins with the exact same wording as the original, but all Palestinian remarks are gone.
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 05:23 PM PST

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  5. Pissed Off American says:

    Its interesting to me that these people feel they need to attack Carroll and I, but they repeatedly refuse to engage the actual information we post. I was personally able to see first hand the purging of Google that took place in regards to Pelosi and her ties with various Israeli lobbies such as AIPAC. When Steve put the “Pelosi thread” up, I did a Google “advanced search” on Pelosi’s ties to AIPAC. The same search, today, yields far less information. Perhaps these people like Birnbaum do not find that alarming, but hey, I do.
    And, perhaps Birnbaum, with his comments about “psycho shits”, will explain why it is that Google would feel the need to purge certain information off its search engine? If Birnbaum cannot offer an explanation, than perhaps he should just shut the fuck up.

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  6. Josh in Berlin says:

    “Pissed Off American” writes in the second comment:
    “It is a sad day indeed when a foreign country brings criminal charges against America’s leadership for committing grave and blatant human rights abuses,”
    Not so fast.
    The German prosecutors have not brought changes against Rumsfeld.
    The plaintiffs are Iraqis, not Germans. The plaintiffs are supported by an American NGO, not a German NGO. They WANT to have a criminal investigation in Germany, but it is doubtful whether they will get one.
    They have not even contacted the German prosecutors yet. They have just issued a press release, picked up by TIME magazine.
    German prosecutors have dismissed similar cases in the past.
    This is explained in more detail in the Atlantic Review, which is edited by three German Fulbright Alumni.

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  7. Leslie Pool says:

    Oh for God’s sake — Bush is a moronic terrorist. But just like any violent and stupid barbarian, he’s frightening and very dangerous. Let’s not wrap it up in a pretty package…

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  8. From Tokyo, Japan says:

    Japanese also join the sentiment shared by the Europeans. Sigh of relief. For the past years, Mr
    Koizumi was dancing with Mr Bush. The flamboyant party is now over. Good luck to Americans. Now
    back to the normalcy and open society.

    Reply

  9. Rich says:

    “an anti-elitist”–what drugs is this guy taking? Bush is the worst kind of elitist–all about his own privilege and the insecurity that comes with other people chipping away at it.

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    Here’s one for you POA.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerGuest.
    jhtml?itemNo=695955
    The answers are enlightening…because they show how some jewish members of congress like this one do impact our ME policy in dangerous ways..it is interesting to note that he was called off by the Bush WH and told it wasn’t in the US’s interest to do this, but he did it anyway.
    Pelosi has her work cut out for her on getting our foreign policy right..and it begins with sidelining people like Engle… if she is really interested in representing America.

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    Posted by larry birnbaum at November 12, 2006 10:10 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Well larry old chap which would bother you more.
    That POA and I and hordes of others far more important than us might be able to help bring AIPAC and the Israeli insanity to heel and avert a disaster for the the US.
    or..
    Would you prefer something like France shoots down Israeli plane, Israel starts war with Lebanon again, Israel attacks Iran, US public refuses to let US get involved by sending the military and any more money down this hole, goes ape shit and kicks Israel out of the US nest and they are buried under a billion Arabs.
    Which would you prefer? Cause if the US spends one American life or dollar on a war Israel starts in the ME 2008 will be a political bloodbath for all things Israeli in this country including congress and the WH.
    And you will be all alone.

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  12. larry birnbaum says:

    OhmyG-d! The former head of the American Red Cross is a … Zionist! They’re everywhere!
    … is right to point out the obsessive nature of this behavior. It doesn’t matter what the issue on the table is, in some minds the topic always turns to the enemy within.
    The enemy is indeed within. Projection doesn’t really defeat this kind of enemy, though.
    Or in more straightforward terms: Enough with these psycho shits.

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  13. Rob says:

    Gedmin’s description of Bush as the full package wouldn’t be half bad if any of those qualities was even remotely true of George W. Bush. But the sorry truth is that Bush is nothing more than a pre-packaged presentation, a made-up myth to appease the most jingoistic elements of American society. George W. Bush is what he has always been – a spoiled rich brat, a bullying dumbass, whose veneer of swaggering machismo and steely resolve is a cover for deep, deep insecurity.

    Reply

  14. ... says:

    Woohee!
    It’s the Pissed off Asshole and Carroll show!
    Turning every thread into an AIPAC/Israel diatribe.

    Reply

  15. Pissed Off American says:

    http://tinyurl.com/ybx5bk
    Category: News & Opinion (General) Topic:
    Politics & Elections
    Synopsis: Time to pull your craniums from your posteriors.
    Source: Various
    Published: November 12, 2006 Author: BG
    For Education and Discussion Only. Not for Commercial Use.
    As of 11/12/06, a search of AIPAC’s website for mention of Nancy Pelosi yields about 20+ results. Oddly, none of these pages are available anymore. AIPAC’s website gives a “Oops! We’re sorry, but we are unable to find the page you were looking for.” Grab the Google caches of these pages while you can. They’re soon to be gone.
    One page in particular is of interest, but even a search on its title, “Save the Date for Policy Conference 2003” yields nothing anymore. It’s still in cache as a direct link, however.
    What makes it interesting is the lineup of speakers. Two House party leaders, Pelosi and DeLay, A Bush minion, three Israeli prime ministers, the Zionist head of the Red Cross (Healy) and a nice bipartisan collection of Senators. The place that the Republican and Democratic leaderships converge, without rancor or division, is Zionism.
    And this page has disappeared from http://www.aipac.org since the election. It’s also disappeared from active searching of Google’s database. For those that think that some members of the Tribe in America don’t work together to stifle information and dissent, please pull your craniums from your posteriors.
    ——————————————————————————–
    AIPAC Policy Conference 2003
    Save the Date for Policy Conference 2003
    March 30 – April 1, 2003
    For more information about Policy Conference 2003, send an e-mail to update@aipac.org . Below are the transcripts of the key speeches from Policy Conference 2002.
    AIPAC’s Chairman of the Board Tim Wuliger
    AIPAC’s President Amy Friedkin
    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
    Dr. Bernadine Healy
    Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
    Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD)
    AIPAC’s Executive Director Howard Kohr
    White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card
    Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
    Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX)
    Rep. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
    Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

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  16. Pissed Off American says:

    Carroll, you forget. It all has to go across Gonzales’ desk anyway. And he picks and chooses who he, and Bush, want to hold accountable to the law. The FBI might round them up, but that doesn’t mean this slimey Oval Office advocate, Gonzales, will indict them.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    I just love this…because I have been saying for years!!!!, that CORRUPTION is THE ONLY bipartisan issue that can cross all lines and unite voters.
    “Federal investigators have resumed their inquiry into a rental deal between U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and a nonprofit agency, issuing new subpoenas in the days after he was elected to a full six-year term, according to a government source.”….
    “The profile of corruption in the exit polls was bigger than I’d expected,” Rove tells TIME. “Abramoff, lobbying, Foley and Haggard [the disgraced evangelical leader] added to the general distaste that people have for all things Washington, and it just reached critical mass.”
    While people are giving credit to the various party heads for their victory everyone is overlooking the people who gave the dems at least 50% of the issue win…the FBI.
    Go FBI!…get them all…dem and gop alike.

    Reply

  18. ET says:

    Hi, all, check it out:
    http://tinyurl.com/wvh5r
    It offers spelling, grammar and thesaurus. It’s free and it’s online. You pop in your text, it pops out corrections.
    Have a great week,
    Elementary Teacher

    Reply

  19. Carroll says:

    Posted by larry birnbaum at November 12, 2006 02:19 PM
    “NOT ONE OTHER LOBBYING GROUP has the audacity, the presumption, the power, to force our elected representatives to state their positions in this way”
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    larry you are right again! Just one tiny correction though..you have to add..not one other “FOREIGN COUNTRY” “lobbying group” to your position.

    Reply

  20. larry birnbaum says:

    The ZOG is a massive conspiracy indeed, and a pervasive one. Only AIPAC, of all special-interest lobbying groups, asks Members of Congress or candidates to fill out questionnaires, answer questions, or otherwise directly indicate their positions on issues of relevance to said lobbying group. NOT ONE OTHER LOBBYING GROUP has the audacity, the presumption, the power, to force our elected representatives to state their positions in this way. Truly, it is a conspiracy beyond mortal comprehension.

    Reply

  21. karenk says:

    I just don’t see how Gedmin can describe George Bush as anti-elitist. ????
    “Some may call you the elite. I call you my constituents”…GWB (joking at White House Correspndents Dinner-but there’s truth in jest) He cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and apparently this will stand until 2010. The middle class will probably be wiped out by then unless someone throws a lifeline(due to stagnant wages, increase in health care costs, cost of living, energy-gas/electric,housing, college tuition…gee why aren’t they saving???)

    Reply

  22. Pissed Off American says:

    Can any one tell me what other lobby recieves “position papers” from America’s so called “representatives”? There are those here who are constantly blathering about AIPAC being “just another lobby among many”. What un mitigated CRAP that argument is. In other words, its a lie. AIPAC is a driving force in American foreign policy. If you doubt it, just look at our last veto at the UN. We were the ONLY nation to veto the resolution seeking to curb Israel’s campaign of mass murder and human rights abuses in Gaza.
    From AIPAC’s website…….
    http://www.aipac.org/briefing/
    “AIPAC Builds Ties With New Lawmakers
    AIPAC reached nearly every lawmaker elected in Tuesday’s mid-term congressional elections as part of its effort to educate political candidates on the value of the U.S.-Israel relationship. During the campaign that ended Tuesday, nearly every viable candidate met with AIPAC professional staff members and submitted a position paper summarizing his or her views on U.S. Middle East policy. A non-partisan organization, AIPAC has for decades worked with Republican and Democratic members of Congress to strengthen the ties between the United States and Israel.”

    Reply

  23. Pissed Off American says:

    They shouldn’t get so giddy yet because by all appearances it seems that the corporate media in America is trying to moderate the Democratic victory. With a bunch of rhetoric about how the moderates won. Even Tom Brokaw (sorry if I butcher the spelling) was talking this way. Our corporate media needs to butt out and allow the people to speak and stop speaking for us.
    Posted by steambomb
    A new wave of Democrats sweeps Congress and “Meet The Press” brings us…tired old John McCain and Joe Lieberman. 11/13
    http://tinyurl.com/ync84w

    Reply

  24. steambomb says:

    They shouldn’t get so giddy yet because by all appearances it seems that the corporate media in America is trying to moderate the Democratic victory. With a bunch of rhetoric about how the moderates won. Even Tom Brokaw (sorry if I butcher the spelling) was talking this way. Our corporate media needs to butt out and allow the people to speak and stop speaking for us.

    Reply

  25. confusedponderer says:

    As for Europe and the press: The European reporting was pretty poor in my view. There were a few bright spots, but generally I found the reporting seriously lacked substance. I watched what is consiedered one of Germany’s prime talking rounds on tv and saw Richard Perle running cirlces around a hapless host. I read an Op-Ed by Perle in the conservative German newspaper Welt am Sonntag and was taken aback that they didn’t even bothered to comment on it. Heck, that was a political operative with an agenda speaking. Nevermind. And that was nothing compared to what you would get in Britain’s Telegraph, let alone Polands conservative newspapers. The best info I got was from the Asia Times and the LeMonde Diplomatique. They asked the hard questions. Long live the Internet.
    One thing that seems lost on the US is how Europe sees terrorism. We know terrorism. We had it before: Those palestinians went into exile to Europe, and brought with them their conflict. We had great success crushing that, and those leftist terrorists with a concerted intelligence and law enforcement approach.
    911 didn’t change that – it weas merely an overdose of that old caustic brew.
    Europe saw that there was a point in going after Osama in Afghanistan.
    We did not see a point in trying to change a region by military force, in a optimistic (to say the least) hope that that would fix the ‘hardware’ so that terror from then on never would be an issue anymore. Americans will remember that that was about the time Europe went for the exits and bailed out. I have a problem with messianic ideologies that necessiate invading other countries.
    And that aside, there is common sense. With the words of Asia Time’s Henry C K Liu: “Only when a nation is already occupied by a foreign power can the theme of liberation by another foreign power be regarded with credibility. A foreign power liberating a nation from its nationalist government is a very hard sell.”
    Doh.
    For those interested, that article was from April 2003:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ED05Ak01.html

    Reply

  26. asdf says:

    > George W. Bush is the full package of everything that makes
    > Europe squirm. He is undiluted Americanism. He is anti-elitism.
    > He’s religion and piety. He’s morality and muscle. He’s patriotism
    > and self-confidence. He is rather like that dreaded American
    > animal, the “neoconservative.”
    > . . .
    > when European commentators say they are still yearning for an
    > end to American unilateralism, moral crusades, and the influence
    > of “fundamentalist evangelicals,” what they really mean is that
    > they are longing for a United States just like secular, post-national,
    > consensus-seeking, Social Democratic Europe. But, of course,
    > even with Democrats controlling the House and the Senate,
    > it ain’t gonna happen.
    Perhaps Europeans really do care more about how much healthcare Americans vote to have than they do about how many bombs go of on the subways of London, Paris, the rail stations of Madrid and how many are defused in German trains. Maybe its not the fact that the white house isn`t at the table when the Iranian nuclear program gets discussed, maybe it really is that fact that its spending that time gaybashing instead.
    Maybe the Europeans dislike the whole religion and piety thing so much that they would never allow for a group like the European peoples party. No, thats not some obscure little group from Poland, its the group of all “Christian democratic conservative”-ish parties in the European parliament… and its the biggest “party” in the parliament! If Bush seriously cared about mixing politics/religion/election rhetoric and moralism, he would have gotten together with this club.
    Maybe all those treehugging disarmament peace movement types protesting before the start of the Iraq war really where just protesting against the lack of elite involvement in Bush his war plans… who knows. (Nothing says “down with the anti-elitist” quite like anarchist symbology) Maybe Europeans who know Bush from how he is portrayed on European public broadcaster think he is just an ordinary cowboy to. For the those who missed it, European correspondents in Washington keep reminding Europeans that Bush is the guy whose family ties shaped his military career(including the not going the Vietnam part), his business career (including the disappearing insider trading investigation) and his political career (including the disappearing abortion story). So he cant be seen as part of any elite, now can he?
    My guess is that if you don`t get US tv you don`t “get” Bush…
    The thing Americans need to understand about Europe is that it doesn`t get to see Karl Rove`s work. European newspapers have to explain that Bush has been saying “stay the course”, before they can point out he stopped doing so just before the election. Europeans didn`t know that because they don`t have their TV interrupted every time Bush and his friends wants to bury bad news underneath a “press conference”.
    Lets hope for the sake of all those iraqi`s that the guys behind this war recently toke the time to learn a little more about the differences between US and Iraqi politics. If they just keep assuming the rest of the world works just like the US only with a little more democrats or dictators then things like the invasion of the Hague act start making more and more sense.
    > The Europeans have been more active — in shutting down terror plots,
    > in playing a vital strategic role in helping to simmer down matters in
    > the Israel-Lebanon conflict and in dealing with Iran.
    > America has been absent and must missing in action in these two cases.
    No it hasn`t, the white house has been mia when it comes to Islamic radicalism and the “separate until you screw it up” issue of Iranian power including but not limited to nuclear power. And not just in the middle east but in Chechnya, India Pakistan, Algeria. (all seperate until you screw thing up) The CIA and state dept. are working their ass of on this stuff, and if the white house was working along they would have been more successful!

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  27. RJJ says:

    Gedmin may want to check his menschmeter. Either the calibration is off or the sensitivity is set at lowest possible level to suppress noise.

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  28. larry birnbaum says:

    “Israel and the US congress, two blood swollen ticks on the face of humanity.”
    Vermin imagery. Next, cartoons from Der Sturmer.
    It’s sad and still surprising to me that left-liberal viewpoints, suitably cherry-picked, can provide support for the same psychopathologies as right-conservative ones. Rage, paranoia, a sense of victimization, projection onto a minority, conspiracy theories, eliminationalist rhetoric.

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  29. Carroll says:

    To invade a sovereign nation that did us no harm is to place us in the same rank as Germany before world war 2
    Posted by Frank at November 11, 2006 05:53 PM
    >>>>>>>
    Yes it does. And all the lies and phony justifications no longer wash. But some people will do like the Germans and keep clinging to the lie.

    Reply

  30. winnipeger says:

    well, i guess that american jewry doesn’t share the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs’ viewpoint.
    roughly 87% of american jews voted for democrats this past tuesday and only 12% voted for republicans.
    http://tinyurl.com/yynp9l
    Conversely, protestants must be really evil; they voted 54% for republicans

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    Posted by … at November 11, 2006 05:46 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    No honeypie I cannot give it a rest…I will never give it a rest until every nook and cranny of my goverment is purged of every corrupt, crooked, immoral, unethical, unjust piece of crap that passes for democracy in this screwed up political generation.
    Guess I will be a very busy little bee. But if it bores you, you can always post something you think is more important to get us all back on track…I don’t mind.

    Reply

  32. Frank says:

    Talk about moral compasses….Ours went overboard when Bush was reelected. Make no mistake; we are as complicit as Rumsfeld in creating the chaos in Iraq. I remember how we damned the German population for bringing Hitler to power and supporting him throughout world war 2. We wondered how could this happen. How could a highly educated peoples support such a madman? But they did, as we do now with our ciminal leader. To invade a sovereign nation that did us no harm is to place us in the same rank as Germany before world war 2.
    The fears generated by this deceitful administration has morphed into shame and disgust for some of us as to what has been done in Iraq in our name. Being an American diplomat in these times requires more than a strong stomach. Perhaps this midterm election will give some moral strength to those who represent us to the nations on this globe.

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    How very interesting…not one country, not a single one, joined in the US veto on the UN’s condemnation of Israel attacks…check out the names of those for and those who abstained…whoa!…getting v-e-r-y lonely for isrmerica.
    US vetoed U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s attack that killed 19 Palestinians.
    #10 of the Security Council’s 15 members voted FOR the measure..Argentina, China, Congo, France, Ghana, Greece, Peru, Russia, Qatar and Tanzania.
    #Four contries ABSTAINED from voting… Britain, Denmark, Japan and Slovakia.
    But the “no” vote cast by U.S. Ambassador John Bolton was enough to kill the resolution.
    The resolution, backed by Arab, Islamic and nonaligned nations and formally proposed by Qatar, would have called on the Palestinian Authority to “take immediate and sustained action to bring an end to violence, including the firing of rockets on Israeli territory”.
    The resolution would also have urged a quick withdrawal of Israeli forces from the area.
    Arab bloc added…. “The U.S. position is not surprising. The Bush administration has always given green lights to Israel to pursue its occupation and settlement activity and has always legitimised massacres committed in Palestine and in Iraq.”

    Reply

  34. ... says:

    Oh God, can you PLEASE give it a break, Carroll. Must you piss all over every thread?

    Reply

  35. Easy E says:

    Don’t be too joyful….
    Saturday, Nov. 11: US VETOES UN RESOLUTION CONDEMNING ISRAEL ON GAZA
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N11409814.htm
    “But the ‘no’ vote cast by U.S. Ambassador John Bolton — his second since he arrived at U.N. headquarters in August 2005 — was enough to kill the resolution.”
    Some things just won’t change.

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  36. Easy E says:

    Speaking of the the notion that now is the time for political leaders to act as more empowered Ambassadors of American Interests in their interactions with others, this needs to start immediately in selecting Rumsfeld’s replacement.
    Just as Ray McGovern points out in “An Open Letter To Carl Levin: NO FREE PASS TO GATES” http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111106A.shtml
    Hope Levin, Pelosi, Conyers and others are paying attention.

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    O.K….we know what our “old friends” in Europe are saying…
    Let’s see what our “old enemies” here in the US are saying about the election…..
    http://www.jinsa.org
    November 10, 2006 in Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: Viewpoint
    November 10, 2006
    Elections 2006
    [Ed Note: Morris J. Amitay, JINSA’s Vice Chairman, assesses the impact of the 2006 mid-term elections on JINSA’s mandate.]
    Given JINSA’s twin mandate to support a credible national defense and encourage closer U.S.-Israel ties, how does the outcome of the recent mid-term elections affect its agenda? Overall, the Democratic takeover of the House and the Senate does not bode particularly well for furthering these objectives.
    In the House, much will depend on whether a moderate wing, reinforced by a number of relatively conservative newcomers, can halt the leftward drift of the party in recent years. The Majority Leader race between Jack Murtha (Penn.), with his call for an immediate pullout from Iraq, and the current Whip, Steny Hoyer (Md.), should reveal a great deal about the future direction of House Democrats. With his rallying fellow Dems to back pro-Israel initiatives and centrist approach, Hoyer offers a stark contrast to Murtha and his supporters. Murtha’s own military experience and role on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee gained him a pro-defense reputation in the past. Energized, however, by the publicity and adulation he received from the anti-war forces for his calls to abandon Iraq, Murtha has changed his behind-the-scenes profile and is now seeking a leadership spot. The soon-to-be Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), has cultivated some ties with Jewish groups, but will not be as directly involved in legislative activities and initiatives affecting Israel, though she will obviously play a key role in general. What is worrisome is that some fringe Jewish groups and wealthy liberal supporters whose views on Israel and national defense can (charitably) be described as “dovish” will have greater influence on a Democratically-controlled Congress.
    A number of very senior Democrats who will be chairing major House committees rank in the bottom 10 percent of the class (of 435) when it comes to Israel-related issues and support for robust defense expenditures. They are:
    David Obey (Wisc.) – Appropriations
    John Conyers (Mich.) – Judiciary
    John Dingell (Mich.) – Energy and Commerce
    George Miller (Calif.) – Education and Work Force
    Nick Rahall (W. Virg.) – Resources
    In fact, all five voted recently against the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, which passed 361 to 37. While wielding influence on the party and attracting media attention, hopefully they will be more engaged with domestic issues rather than those affecting JINSA’s major interests.
    On the positive side, Tom Lantos (Calif.) is in line to take over as chair of the House International Relations Committee. Israel has no stronger, effective, committed supporter in Congress who works well with his GOP colleagues. The new chair of the Foreign Operations Appropriation Committee will be Nita Lowey (Ny.), which should be regarded as a plus. If Murtha moves on to a leadership position, Norm Dicks (Wash.) would chair the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Dicks is a friend of both the defense and pro-Israel communities. Based on his record, Ike Skelton (Mo.), who is in line to be chair of the Armed Services Committee, should present few problems.
    With regard to the Senate, Joe Lieberman’s very impressive win over Ned Lamont with his anti-war single-issue campaign was the best news on election night for both Israel and America’s future security. Less momentous, but noteworthy, was the defeat in Rhode Island of (nominally) Republican Lincoln Chafee, who chairs the Near East Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Following in his late father’s tradition, Chafee was an unrelenting critic of Israel, and single-handedly was able to derail John Bolton’s appointment as U.N. ambassador.
    On the negative side of the ledger, four staunch Senate supporters of JINSA’s mandate lost their re-election contests – Rick Santorum (Penn.), Mike DeWine (Ohio), Jim Talent (MO) – and George Allen (Virg.). Allen’s replacement, Jim Webb has recently advocated a “regional approach” in the Middle East. This is a cause for concern because it would invariably mean putting pressure on Israel for further concessions in order to placate our Arab “allies”. Santorum was the leader in the Senate in seeking regime change in Iran and thwarting its nuclear ambitions.
    With a Democratic Senate majority, Joe Biden (Del.) (who is running for President in ‘08) will take over the helm of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. While he could be considered as a better choice than Dick Lugar (Ind.), whom he will replace, Biden can be erratic at times and go off on his own foreign policy tangents. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), who will chair the Judiciary Committee, is also in line to chair the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of Appropriations. As a frequent critic of Israel who has supported few positive initiatives, he is no great friend of the defense establishment either. Robert Byrd (W. Virg.), with the worst Israel-related record in the Senate, will chair the full Appropriations Committee. Hopefully, Byrd will not interject himself in specific defense appropriations issues where Dan Inouye (Hawaii) will be in charge, working well with his GOP counterpart, Ted Stevens (Alaska), both in tune with our agenda. Carl Levin (Mich.) will replace John Warner (Virg.) as chair of the Armed Services Committee – a net plus on strictly Israel -related issues.
    The new 110th Congress will undoubtedly seek to have a say in future U.S. actions in Iraq, with the outcome there bearing directly on the future of the entire region. Here Iran’s role will be of paramount importance, with signs now pointing ominously to a policy of accommodation with the mullahs – and their nuclear ambitions. The challenge will be for a lame duck Republican administration to be able to work with a Democratic Congress to devise a strategy that secures our country’s vital interests in the Middle East, while ensuring Israel’s security. If you add to this formidable task, the intense political preparations for the 2008 Presidential election, the increasingly negative trends in Latin America, North Korean nukes, Russia’s slide toward autocracy, the growing power of China – and, incidentally, the worldwide Islamofascist terrorist threat – we have a helluva year shaping up!
    >>>>>>>>>
    Yes you do Morris. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
    Enemies:
    Lieberman
    Hoyer
    Ackerman
    Dicks
    Inouye
    Stevens
    Levin
    Lantos
    Skelton
    Friends:
    Murtha
    Byrd
    Leahy
    Obey
    Conyers
    Dingell
    Miller
    Rahall
    Chafee

    Reply

  38. confusedponderer says:

    Well, I am from over the Atlantic. I’m happy the Dems won, but I’m still somewhat disgruntled. Neo-cons are in both parties. So, I’ll save that sigh of relief for 2008 (hopefully).
    Bush’s brand of unilateralism basically asked the world to surrender their sovereignty to benevolent US hegemony, while exempting the US from all the rules binding the rest of the world.
    Sorry, but as no American would buy such a product, so do we.
    When becoming basically subjects of America’s benevolent hegemony (and subject to it’s fallout), as Bush’s vision suggested, would we also get votes in US elections? Maybe in that case we could cut a deal …
    Under Bush the US thus far has not been a problem fixer, but a troublemaker. Beyond the obvious mess in Iraq, take the example of Iran: Iran wanted restoration of relations after 9/11. It was refused by the neo-cons because they couln’t stomach negotiating with ‘evil’ (APPEASEMENT, APPEASEMENT!!!). Sorry pals, but peace you have to make with an enemy. There is no way around it.
    Well, the for the neo-cons there was: ‘Siegfrieden’ at zero cost thanks to US high-tech military (and timid Europeans paying the bill after Great Leader’s Glorious Victory). The neo-cons wrongly expected that the undeniable US lead in military technology and power would result in an equivalent political leverage allowing them to impose their grandiose schemes uncontested.
    Bush’s assault on international law to me is simply inexcusable. To make my point with utmost bluntness: By Nuremberg standards, a bright moral statement by the US, Bush would have to hang, well, being a hegemon, hang himself.
    Bush’s crew has squandered so many chances, so much goodwill and trust that it will take more than a Dem controlled congress and senate to fix that: Commit the US to international law again. Force Bush to step back from his overtly agressive foreign policy to a defensive posture. Demand accountability domestically to help re-build lost trust. And while at it, abolish your unitary executive monarchy.
    But there is something else: Since the end of the Cold War the US are at a jucture. They still have not decided where to head in the world. In very simplicistic terms: Want to continue playing ‘lone wolf’ or rather be ‘leader of the pack’? The latter necessiates *legitimacy*, which is to be *earned* (or to be imposed by force, which is sort-of ruled out, at least towards Europe) and not a god given right of ‘ God’s chosen country’.
    In the essence the Bush people made the self-righteous and crippling mistake of taking a right to leadership for granted when in fact it was not.
    And so they spent the years since 911 masturbating on their manliness and moral clarity (Gedmin still is), single-mindedly pushing forward a dysfunctional policy resulting in near complete loss of non-violent leverage in the Middle East and failure in Iraq and beyond.
    Wherever Bush goes, Europe will have to live with America’s sense of mission, and America’s idealism is there to stay. That can be a nuisance, but has not neccessarily to be a bad thing. The Dems have a hard task ahead – formulating a pragmatic compromise between practicability and ideals.
    That is to say: As a citizen of a NATO country I feel uncomfortable to be viewed in America’s National Security Strategy as being a ‘near term competitor’ that has to be ‘pre-empted’ to not to challenge US supremacy if enlightened Great Leader feels like it.
    The US will have to rid themselves of their ambivalence toward Europe. On the one hand they always ask us to undertake greater efforts to build capabilities to not rely on US power and technology (burden-sharing), only to be accused to undermine NATO when we do. The US can’t have their cake and eat it too.

    Reply

  39. Carroll says:

    Posted by btree at November 11, 2006 11:56 AM
    >>>>>>>>>
    The question is how to stop it.
    I am begining to think the world needs more Fidels.

    Reply

  40. btree says:

    This is a very interesting comment from Gedmin. I think what he also means to say is that Europeans would really like to see America switch to parliamentary democracy. A lot of people now view the American political system as either hopelessly flawed, completely corrupted, or both. For many, it’s synonymous with disaster capitalism, a term coined by Naomi Klein.
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050502/klein
    But it’s not just Europeans who think America’s political system needs a major overhaul – even Matt Yglesias complains about the Constitution for a whole hour this week on bloggingheads.tv
    Not that it would be likely to happen, of course.
    I think a lot of Europeans have never seen the freakish underbelly of America more clearly than they have over the last six years. Chances are a lot of them have turned their backs on America and will never look back. Needless to say, a bad outcome for both sides.

    Reply

  41. Carroll says:

    You are right larry old chap. They need to be eliminated.
    UN: IDF killed 116 children in 2006
    UNICEF says 17 children killed in Gaza, and 2 in West Bank so far in November, 40 killed in July
    Associated Press
    Nineteen Palestinian children have been killed in the past 10 days, making November already the
    second deadliest month of the year for young people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNICEF said Friday.
    The UN children’s Fund said 17 have been killed in Gaza and two in the West Bank so far in November. Only July – when 40 children were killed – was worse, the agency said.
    “What children and adolescents have endured the past few days will likely have a long-lasting impact,” UNICEF spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said in Geneva. “They have seen family members killed and their communities destroyed.
    They have been confined to their homes, in many cases without access to food, water or electricity.”
    Israeli artillery shells ripped through a residential neighborhood Wednesday in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, killing at least 18 people , including eight children.
    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said a “technical failure” meant the artillery hit the homes instead of an orange grove, some 1,500 feet away, from which troops saw rockets fired seconds earlier.
    Bociurkiw estimated that more than 300 children have been injured this month by Israeli attacks. For the year, he said 116 Palestinian children have been killed, compared with only 52 last year.
    Flashback….
    “As Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora begs for international aid to help offset the estimated $3.6 billion dollars in damages his already economically fragile country has endured over the last few weeks, California Democratic Rep. TOM LANTOS — in a mind-boggling move — is promising to stop a bill that would send $230 million in reconstruction funds to Lebanon. The top Democrat on the International Relations Committee, Lantos is apparently concerned about smuggling on the Syrian border and worried that Israel isn’t getting enough money:
    “Lebanon will get help from both Europe, the Arab world and the United States. Unless the United States provides some aid to Israel, Israel recieves no aid.”…said Israeli congressman LANTOS.
    >>>>>>>>>
    Israel and the US congress, two blood swollen ticks on the face of humanity.

    Reply

  42. John says:

    “It’s the idealism thing in American foreign policy that trips our European friends up.” I guess the post is useful in the sense that it shows that neo-cons still believe their own rhetoric about democracy, freedom, and human rights. Unlike the neo-cons, the majority of American voters have joined Europeans in looking at what the US does, not what it says. And what we see is that American behavior belies its rhetoric every day. “When European commentators say they are still yearning for an end to American unilateralism, moral crusades, and the influence of “fundamentalist evangelicals,” they’re not alone. American voters have joined with “secular, post-national, consensus-seeking, Social Democratic Europe” in demanding a multi-lateral, fair and balanced foreign policy.
    Unfortunately Gedmin may be right in saying that Democrats won’t have the guts to change American behavior. US ruling elites have this notion that they need to control Caspian and Persian Gulf energy resources to preserve their place in the world. “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”

    Reply

  43. larry birnbaum says:

    Shorter PO’d: ZOG “monsters” rule. Next stop: They must be eliminated.

    Reply

  44. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, I am not sure that the “sigh of relief” is warranted. Apparently Germany’s moral compass is far more advanced than ours is. It is a sad day indeed when a foreign country brings criminal charges against America’s leadership for committing grave and blatant human rights abuses, yet our own laws and checks and balances seem to have been discarded by the very people tasked to enforce and preserve them.
    Hey, at least the Europeans get to sigh in misguided relief. There are a few hundred thousand dead Iraqis that won’t have the same experience. And while the American clown citizenry dances in the streets about their electoral “victory”, Pelosi and Reid are gift wrapping future arms sales to Israel, and the dying in Iraq, Gaza, and Lebanon just goes on and on and on and on.
    On election night, Steve spoke here of “oaths”, “investigations”, etc.. Well, it appears that Pelosi considers such pursuits as “getting even”, rather than an obvious mandate, illustrated by the people’s collective voice. In other words, Pelosi has no more regard for the law and American ideals than Bush does. It appears BOTH parties believe the law is little more than a poltical inconvienience, free to be dispensed selectively; One set of laws for the people, one set for our so called “leaders”.
    What Europe doesn’t understand is that the monsters in Washington haven’t been caged, they have just had a change of staff.

    Reply

  45. Rich says:

    Gedmin actually thinks Bush is the “full package?” Of the qualities listed, I’d say that’s what the package was wrapped with, but what’s inside is another story altogether.
    I think that’s what the Europeans object to.
    R

    Reply

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