Harnessing Doubt & Need: Rice Could Pull Off Something Big in Annapolis

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Condoleezza Rice clemons.JPG
Next Tuesday, a gaggle of nations will meet for one day in the Maryland City of Annapolis to discuss what it will take to generate a comprehensive solution to the Israel-Palestine standoff.
The Baltimore Sun caught my comment that in 1786 the Annapolis Convention was a mess. The various states of the Confederated States of America were trying to hammer out trade arrangements, and they were getting nowhere. Alexander Hamilton’s own colleagues from New York abandoned him at the Convention leaving New York without a vote — and yet amidst the low expectations and the overall bungling of the conference — James Madison and Hamilton convinced delegates to exceed their authority and call for a federal convention the following year in Philadelphia. That meeting birthed the Constitution and the establishment of the United States.
I doubt that the Palestine-Israel summit, which shares so many characteristics of the 1786 Convention, can achieve a point of definitive and comprehensive success next week. However, Secretary Rice and President Bush seem ready to gamble what is left of their prestige on this venture.
Failure will hurt the US as well as the other parties involved as it will confirm in the minds of many around the world that America is no longer a superpower in the way it once was. If it fails in this, it will telegraph to many that we cannot achieve the objectives we set out for ourselves.
Doubt, cynicism, and low expectations about the 1786 Annapolis Convention are part of what helped generate the successful environment that it was for hatching the all important Philadelphia Federal Convention.
If Condoleezza Rice can harness doubt as well as the imperative of doing something to resolve this situation, this meeting next Tuesday could be historic.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

62 comments on “Harnessing Doubt & Need: Rice Could Pull Off Something Big in Annapolis

  1. DonS says:

    Heard a small exerpt from Bush speech at Annapolis that [approximately] “extremist Palestinians are the main impediment to a peaceful solution”.
    If I heard this correctly, how is this not more of the same blame game, tilting toward Israel, even if it is signed off on by the PLO for their own internal political reasons? Attempting to split the Palestinians is no recipe for peace.
    This was right after the portion of Bush’s statements that I have found quoted, “Second, the time is right because a battle is under way for the future of the Middle East and we must not cede victory to the extremists.”
    Do Bush (and Abbas) really think there can be an end run around decades of history by rhetorical artifice? Even if its only a prelude to a prelude to a prelude before any substance?
    I’m confused.

    Reply

  2. arthurdecco says:

    My goodness, Section9! You ARE a belligerent, braying, obnoxious boor, aren’t you?!? And the only “steaming turds” I’ve read today have been credited to you on this thread.
    POA, Nice work. (Too bad you’re not getting paid for it…)

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  3. JohnH says:

    “I don’t see how a rational person can’t be on [Condi’s] side, whatever party your in.” Assuming, of course, that rational people prefer a Secretary of State who has accomplished NOTHING.
    As for that list of people who hate her, I doubt that they spend much time tossing and turning at night, worrying about what she might do next. Cheney and Ahmadinejad save their nightmares and their energy for credible threats.

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  4. Kathleen says:

    I take it that section9 is a bit crazier than section8 ???

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  5. eCAHnomics says:

    Bwahahahahaha.

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  6. section9 says:

    “Sorry, jackass, but your ignorant partisan bullshit is the problem, not the solution.”
    That’s not an argument. That’s not even a comeback. That just proves my point. It’s the old lawyers trick: when you don’t have the facts, argue the law, when you don’t have the law, argue the facts, when you have neither, pound the table.
    For a moment, I thought Steve ran a blog that was a cut above the average Kos diarists’. A place where reasonable people could air arguments about foreign policy.
    Then you showed up and landed a nice steaming turd on the comments page.
    Silly me.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Sadly, the Democrats took the Congress in 2006 and will probalby hold on to it. That means the American people are returning to their tradition of Divided Government.”
    ROFLMAO!!!! Oh, you mean this fuckin’ monkey Bush was a “unifier”????
    Sorry, jackass, but your ignorant partisan bullshit is the problem, not the solution.

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  8. section9 says:

    Wow, an angry bunch of Democrats on this forum. Filled to the brim with towering conspiracy theories against the Zionist Settler’s Lobby.
    Anyhoo, poor Steve. Sad to say, you’re wrong about one thing-in all likelihood, you’ll probably be dealing with a Giuliani Administration next year. However, I can actually see him keeping Rice around. Rudy is a smart as heck politician: he’s canny in ways that Hillary isn’t. You can see it right now in the way that he’s keeping people like Norman Podhoretz pacfied.
    Sadly, the Democrats took the Congress in 2006 and will probalby hold on to it. That means the American people are returning to their tradition of Divided Government. Rudy is the perfect candidate to run and beat Clinton, so I suspect you need to be preparing yourself for that kind of environment.
    Rice has actually been working the ME angle for a year now, and I suspect she means to follow Annapolis with substantive final status negotiations. I know that it is not in the habit of partisan Democrats to give her any credit for anything, but she did sheperd the Indian and North Korean things through, and I suspect, if given wide latitude by Bush, she can bring this off.
    All the right people hate her: the Settler Lobby, Caroline Glick, Hamas, the American Spectator Editorial Board, Hezboallah, Michael Ledeen, Ahmadhi-Nejad, and the Nutter fringe that animates your party-the left wing Democrats who still haven’t figured out that George Bush isn’t on the ballot next year. In that environment, I don’t see how a rational person can’t be on her side, whatever party your in.
    Oh, Michael Rubin at NRO and Dick Cheney want to undermine her, too, so that should sort of close the sale, shouldn’t it? Those two want war with Iran last week, okay?
    You can have your screaming ideologues. Thanks, but I think I’ll stick with Condi.

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  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If there is any doubt about whether or not AIPAC influences elections here in the USA, this is a MUST READ, a transcript of the former President of AIPAC, David Steiner, being recorded without his knowledge…
    http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/1292/9212013.html

    Reply

  10. arthurdecco says:

    In regards to the Haaretz article, JohnH, read the comments! They’ll curl your hair! One sliver of racist hate after another.
    Zionist Israel and its vocal supporters appear to have gone stark, raving bonkers.

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  11. JohnH says:

    Gideon Levy on the only thing the Israeli government understands: force. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/922571.html
    And why it can be seen as a positive development that Hamas has organized an army in Gaza…

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  12. Dan Kervick says:

    liz writes:
    “It is not America’s business to be giving away land in Israel.”
    Ah, if only Lord Balfour had embraced that same philosophy regarding the Brits.

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  13. DonS says:

    Yeah, Art, maybe we are splitting hairs, here, and maybe I am catching the descending arc to the Canadian moment. But, like I say, the folks I talk with, in a variety of capacities, from tradesfolk in Halifax, to neighbors in my little fishihg village, are more sentient than my correspnding experience of a similiar slice of Americans.
    No real bombshells, and maybe I am so burned out on American brain deadness, that anything other looks pretty good.
    Bottom line, there are apparently still some journalists who haven’t been totally coopted or, in the event, are allowed to do the job they were taught in j-school. Sorry, though, to hear about the Zionist invasion.

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  14. arthurdecco says:

    “I am impressed how much more significantly in depth is the Canadian reportage, as well as the general political/economic sophistication of the folks I encounter. And they are still mostly favorable to Yanks. For how much longer on both those counts who can say.” Posted by DonS
    DonS, I’m flabbergasted by your opinion that Canadian reportage is “more significantly in depth” than America’s. As a Canadian, I’ve been appalled at our downward spiral into non-stop right wing political commentary disguised as “centrist” – especially since we’ve had the misfortune to lately be governed by a power-worshiping, anal retentive, vengeful, controlling Bush/Cheney admirer due to a set of unfortunate political circumstances I don’t have the time or space to explain here and also due to the fact that the majority of our media has never been so concentrated in the hands of so few – all of which are unworthy of holding the reins of media control.
    Even our nationally owned public broadcaster no longer reports anything of substance on the horrors inflicted on the Palestinians by the Israelis, or in fact on any of the major issues or events plaguing the Middle East, ever since an avowed Zionist has taken over its news division. I equate our CBC’s mainstream coverage to “New York Times Lite” – and we all know how open and honest their coverage of the Middle East is. Pravda for North Amerika.
    I haven’t mentioned our private broadcasters’ coverage of world issues. It’s virtually non-existent except for when a new piece of disinformation needs to be disseminated to our still-trusting public in order to corrupt public opinion. The latest inexcusably biased coverage of Russia, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and China fall into this category. (And who exactly is threatened by the political actions of these particular countries, I have to ask?)
    I haven’t even begun to describe the bullshit economic reportage we get. It’s criminal, or should be, for the blatant misrepresentations our MSM tout as economic facts-on-the-ground.
    Real people, with real jobs and real families are about to be punished financially because our Canadian media refuses to alter its “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” coverage of the financial disaster about to wallop the USA and its disastrous consequences for our own symbiotic economy.
    I and most of those Canadians I discuss these issues with get most of our information about world politics from the world’s media – not from North America’s altogether too chummy media.
    If our coverage is more in depth than what you’re used to, I weep for Americans. No wonder so many of you are too uninformed to make rational decisions.
    And of course Canadians don’t have a hate on for Yanks – we’re mostly sensible enough to recognize a criminal coup when we see one. And looking south we’ve seen one, believe me! Now of course, a lot of us are worried that the same sort of thing is happening to us, perpetrated by the same criminal vermin that is in the process of destroying your country for personal profit and self-aggrandizement.

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  15. DonS says:

    I’ve just come back from 10 days at my undisclosed locaton in Canada, and am laying over in DC at the daughter’s place (she is returning from NY) before driving back to SW Virginia tomorrow. I was browsing the Barnes and Noble here in Falls Church and very almost bought the Mershiemer and Walt book today. Talk about researched, documemted, etc. That thing is at least 1/3 small print citations. So, f… Amazon. But should I be surprised?
    It reminds me of a professor of minein the 60’s who wrote prolifically on the Palestinian condition and legal status; he was at times marginalized.
    BTW, again, I am impressed how much more significantly in depth is the Canadian reportage, as well as the general political/economic sophistocation of the folks I encounter. And they are still mostly favorable to Yanks. For how much longer on both those counts who can say.

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  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Amazon.com has just reclassified “The Israel Lobby” by Harvard and Chicago U profs as a “conspiracy theory” book
    http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2007/11/amazoncom-has-just-re-classified-israel.html

    Reply

  17. carsick says:

    I don’t have high hopes about the summit due to what appears to be a lack of planning but it is possible that “legacy” and distraction from his current record may force the president to make a Hail Mary pass here (along the lines of Clinton’s initiative years ago) and actually kick the can up the road in a positive direction. (Can you “Hail Mary in kick the can?). I hope so at least.
    Of course, if any, even minimal, progress is made it will quickly evaporate with additional bumbling Iran policy that leads to bombing.

    Reply

  18. Laney says:

    This process isn’t about peace; it’s about giving Israel another generation of peace process while they fill the West Bank with settlers. The US taxpayer will provide.

    Reply

  19. FYI says:

    Given the fact that 40 governments and organizations have been invited it is safe to assume that this was never intended to achieve anything concrete. This is a diplomatic exercise the chief aim of which is to kick the can further down the road; so to speak.
    Hope is not a substitute for concrete results.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Off topic, but good lord, I just turned on CNN to learn from one of their news bimbos, (and its a direct quote), that “California is on fire”.
    What the hell has happened to this country’s media? Do they really need to exagerate and sensationalize every damned news bit with this kind of ignorant blathering horseshit?
    Cronkite, you shoulda been cloned, replicated, and mass produced.

    Reply

  21. Kathleen says:

    This says it for me….bigtree’s journal at DU
    American Gangsters in the White House
    Posted by bigtree in General Discussion
    Thu Nov 22nd 2007, 12:37 AM
    It don’t mean nothing to me for you to show up tomorrow morning with your head blown off.” –Frank Lucas, from the movie, ‘American Gangster
    THIS generation’s ‘American Gangsters’ are imminently more dangerous and pernicious than the pimps, drug dealers, and thieves who roam and rule over our nation’s most vulnerable and malleable citizens. This generation’s ruling class of gangsters have been elevated to the highest levels of our government by Bush and his corporatist cronies.
    No Don or Godfather has ever enjoyed a more effective illusion of clean hands than Bush Cheney, or any of the cabal of military and oil executives who’ve been allowed to occupy the most influential offices of authority and power in America, or in the world. Operating a nationwide and global protection scheme behind the front of the American presidency, Bush has used our military and our own involuntary contributions to government as enforcers for whatever ambition he or his peeps in crime imagine they’re entitled to commit with impunity.
    Their standard method of exercising their assumed power and authority is the shakedown; effected in their early diversion of tax dollars to their rich corporate benefactors, to their theocratic opening of the Treasury to ‘faith-based’ evangelists; from their perpetual feathering of secret Defense accounts and the erection of new ‘intelligence’ bureaucracies with unaccountable budgets exploiting the 9-11 killings and American fear of another attack, to the hijacking of the bulk of our nation’s defenses to support and defend their Iraqi coup.
    The Bush administration began their term tearing down the budget surplus the Clinton administration had achieved and talking the nation into a recession. The ‘solution’ (championed by their Fed chairman Greenspan) was to give the bulk of the surplus money in the Treasury, which was being used to pay down our national debt, to the top 2% of taxpayers, warning the rest of America that their now-stressed lives would get even worse if they didn’t allow their wealthy employers and their lackeys to skim their take off of the top of the kitty.
    The 9-11 killings were used as cover for the predicted, calculated shortfall in tax revenue as programs and services Americans rely on for survival and well-being were threatened by the Bush administration with extinction or severe reduction to make up the difference as he embarked on his manufactured assault on Iraq. At the same time, he embarked on a dual campaign of fear and intimidation at home, warning Americans of another devastating attack on the nation from terror suspects allowed to escape into the mountains of Afghanistan as Bush used the bulk of the pursuing forces to secure his coup of Kabul.
    Throwing out the only effective wedge against Iranian expansion in the Mideast when he overthrew Saddam, Bush destabilized the entire region and inflamed the very forces of opposition to U.S. expansionism he was busy feigning concern about as he expanded the scope of his cynical ‘terror war.” It was a perfect crime. He let the most pernicious fear of Americans run free for over six years since the 9-11 killings, while he waged predictably and deliberately inflammatory attacks against Iraqis, taunting ‘terrorists’ to attack our soldiers there.
    As he perpetuated the initial wreck of lives and livelihoods in America with his deliberately reckless militarism, Bush unilaterally expanded his assumed authority and influence under the guise of ‘protecting’ the nation from the explosive effects of his own violent constructions abroad. It’s no accident that none of the initiatives or mechanizations of this administration have produced any of the security or insulation from some outside aggression. Bush deliberately ensured that there would be some sort of backlash against any one of the military intimidations he instigated abroad. Americans are to sacrifice their entire lives and livelihoods to defend the nation against the spawns of Bush’s calculated violence.
    So it was, this week, that the Bush administration set out to shake the country down once more to enable them to continue their discredited, rejected occupation of Iraq without the pesky interruption of democracy. Over 200,000 civilian military workers jobs were threatened with furlough by the Pentagon — mechanics, support personnel, medical; the most vulnerable Americans among their military enterprise — as Bush was threatened by Congress with their refusal to continue funding his fiasco.
    This is some gangster shit, make no mistake about it. Targeting vulnerable Americans for job cuts right before the holidays as blackmail for their Iraq money is a vicious and ruthless act.
    This is from an administration which has had no compunction at all about promoting the taunts and threats of the very terrorists the pretend to be pursuing. This is from an president who, today, said that Pakistani dictator Musharraf hadn’t yet “crossed the line” in jailing all of his political opponents before his country’s election, citing a threat from “terrorists” as he unilaterally suspended their constitution, unilaterally disbanded and replaced their Supreme Court (all the while campaigning for the presidency in the military garb he’s worn since his coup.)
    This is from an administration who has repeatedly singled out the most vulnerable of Americans to intimidate into resigned compliance with their anti-democratic shakedowns. Bush and his corporate cabal are today’s ultimate American Gangsters. Yea, boi!!
    I’ll steal a quote from the celebrated American gangster, Frank Lucas, in my reply to Bush’s own imperious shakedown. “This is my home (Bush). This is where my business is, my wife, my family. This is my country, I ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
    Well, so much for paper trails.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, Steve, if our leaders do not hold themselves to the letter of the law, doesn’t that actually invite “anarchic rebellion” from the suppressed and ignored citizenry? In fact, isn’t rebellion the most “american” course we could take?
    Or would you prefer the more ovine approach of doing nothing? Because thats PRECISELY what our representatives are doing. Hows that working?

    Reply

  23. Bill Blansett says:

    Coming in from left field with my lack of background & ‘idealist’ views…
    Your comparison to the 1786 Annapolis Convention seems to show some hope that maybe we can see a repeat of great minds and results. And while I’m sure there will be great minds present, who will be the Hamiltons and Madisons? Who’s going to step up and make something happen? Perhaps my nostalgic history lessons make them greater political mavericks than they were, but I much rather prefer that image to mavericks of corporate sponsorship and media sound bites. (Maybe I’m just behind the times though.)
    I’ve got to agree with POA and the division of the people. With all the attacks and views from both sides, I don’t believe anything I hear. Somebody’s out there waiting to grasp that anger and disbelief, and turn this country around…and apologize to many.
    So tell me Steve, who should I read about at this convention? Who’s going to stand up for what’s really happening – and I won’t hear about it. I’ll search them out on my own.
    best,
    Dancing Bill

    Reply

  24. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — I think that the best approach is for me to stop using the term. It was a minor point I was making, but the concern among some that it applied to them has made more of this than I intended. So, you are right — it’s good to drop it and not use the semantic (or try not to). Hope you had a great thanksgiving.
    best, steve

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I missed your comments on “anti-americans” Steve. But perhaps you should exercise second thoughts about using the semantics that this Administration has nurtured to counter dissent and criticism. Some of us are still pretty sensative about the methods these neonuts in Washington have used to silence critics, and we have had eight years of these pieces of shit questioning our patriotism. The queries and indignation you see here concerning your use of the term is predictable. Personally, I’d like to see a direct quote, in context, of how you used the accusation, so you can lay this to rest clearly and unequivicably.

    Reply

  26. Steve Clemons says:

    arthurdecco — I think I have already addressed this above. But I think that anti-Americanism means those who are anti-American and would like to see the country and its institutions dissolved. I don’t understand the questions that you and others have about this. The anti-American types I know are proud and loud about their anti-Americanism, so I’m not referring to those who think I’m somehow being cryptic about them. Those who are anti-American in the sense that I asserted aren’t cryptic — and I am not cryptic in my comments about them. Hope this helps to define for you what I mean,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Wiped Off The Map” – The Rumor of the Century
    Arash Norouzi
    Across the world, a dangerous rumor has spread that could have catastrophic implications. According to legend, Iran’s President has threatened to destroy Israel, or, to quote the misquote, “Israel must be wiped off the map”. Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made, as the following article will prove.
    BACKGROUND:
    On Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at the Ministry of Interior conference hall in Tehran, newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, reportedly attended by thousands, titled “The World Without Zionism”. Large posters surrounding him displayed this title prominently in English, obviously for the benefit of the international press. Below the poster’s title was a slick graphic depicting an hour glass containing planet Earth at its top. Two small round orbs representing the United States and Israel are shown falling through the hour glass’ narrow neck and crashing to the bottom.
    Before we get to the infamous remark, it’s important to note that the “quote” in question was itself a quote— they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution. Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad. Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.
    THE ACTUAL QUOTE:
    So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:
    “Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.”
    That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word “Regime”, pronounced just like the English word with an extra “eh” sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase “rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods” (regime occupying Jerusalem).
    So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want “wiped from the map”? The answer is: nothing. That’s because the word “map” was never used. The Persian word for map, “nagsheh”, is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase “wipe out” ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran’s President threatened to “wipe Israel off the map”, despite never having uttered the words “map”, “wipe out” or even “Israel”.
    Quite lengthy, it continues at….
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=4527

    Reply

  28. arthurdecco says:

    Please define “anti-Americanism in its fullest form”, Mr. Clemons.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    About Hamas…..the “elected” should have been included in the meeting. But since they wern’t,if this is true,it is good news becuase I don’t think Israel is going to do anything different until they get a heaping taste of their own blood.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/922571.html
    Gideon Levy describes the “new” Hamas “army”..calls it good news.
    “The group of reservist paratroopers returned all astir: Hamas fought like an army. The comrades of Sergeant-Major (Res.) Ehud Efrati, who fell in a battle in Gaza about two weeks ago, told Amos Harel that “in all parameters, we are facing an army, not gangs.” The soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces were impressed by their enemy’s night vision equipment, the tactical space they kept between one another – and their pants even had elastic bands to make them fit snugly around their boots. This is good news from Gaza.
    According to their descriptions, a Palestinian Defense Force has emerged. Instead of a rabble of armed gangs, an orderly army is coalescing that is prepared to defend its land. If it makes do with a defensive deployment against Israeli incursions, we will again have no moral claim against them: Hamas is entitled to defend Gaza, just as the IDF is entitled to defend Israel.
    The coalescence of an army also ensures that if Israel tries to reach an accord with the Hamas government – the one and only way to stop the firing of Qassams – there will be someone in Gaza to prevent the firing. An armed and organized address in the chaos of Gaza also means good news for Israel. But the respect the reservists felt for the way Hamas fought is liable to trickle down deeper. “The Palestinians never looked like this,” the surprised soldiers told Haaretz. Perhaps we will finally stop calling them “terrorists” and refer to them as “fighters.” A bit of respect for the Palestinians and, in particular, an end to our dehumanization of them is liable to mark the beginning of a new chapter
    Only the recognition of Hamas’ strength is liable to persuade Israel to be cautious about another operation, and only its military buildup will make us understand the full stupidity of the boycott policy that was designed to weaken Hamas.
    We have always acted this way. Without violent Palestinian resistance, life in occupying Israel is great and no one pays any attention to the need to end the occupation. No resistance – no Palestinians. No terrorism – no progress. If not for the Qassams, no one would give any thought to life in Gaza after the disengagement. Ours is a country that has been ready to make concessions only after blood is spilled.
    Since the interim accords following the Yom Kippur War and through the withdrawal from Lebanon and the disengagement, Israel has needed a relatively strong enemy to get its act together.
    If not for Hezbollah, we would still be in Lebanon; if not for Hamas, we would still be in Gaza.
    Now the time has come for the next chapter: Did we think leaving Gaza and imprisoning it was enough for life in Israel to be hunky-dory? Hamas comes along and reminds us that this does not suffice. The West Bank is quiet in the meantime? Until an organized and strong resistance movement is revived there, we will not consider evacuating even one little outpost. We will conduct talks every two weeks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, we will go to Annapolis, but we will not discuss, heaven forbid, the “core” issues there. And our terrific lives will continue, while in the West Bank the masses will crowd together at the checkpoints for hours, be subject to humiliation and risk their lives every time they go outside.

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  30. Steve Clemons says:

    Selise — I have to go back and watch that segment of the Eli Lake bloggingheads discussion to put that in context, but if I said what I believe, which I usually do, I do believe that there is an anti-Americanism in some left and some right circles. I would not have implied that those who have a problem with American foreign policy today or with the trappings of our empire would be unpatriotic, as I believe I am patriotic and have a problem both with American empire and with our foreign policy. I think that at the time, I attended a group meeting in DC of a number of people and institutions on the far left. Some of them were on the edge if not over the line of promoting ararchic rebellion and their rhetoric was anti-American in its fullest form. I’ve see the same in some right wing blogs. So, hope this answers you — and sorry to have missed the query before.
    Steve

    Reply

  31. Kathleen says:

    Besides not having been trained in Foreign Service, Condi,and all the other Busholini hand picked know-nothings, don’t believe in diplomacy. So how can one succeed in something without believing in its efficacy? They prefer war, so their heart, assuming they actually have one, is not into resolving things peacefully. They just go through the motions thinking they can fool most of the people. most of the time, that they really tried but it’s those pesky IslamoFascists, again.

    Reply

  32. Dan says:

    Steve,
    In all honesty, why do you think anything Condoleezza Rice does will actually get anything accomplished? Seriously, she’s out of her league. Even after seven years in government office. She is ineffectual. She’s ideological. You think the parties visiting have forgotten her “birth pangs” moment from the summer of 2006? She does NOT KNOW what actually needs to be done to succeed at peace in the Middle East.

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  33. Sandy says:

    What on earth does Condi Rice know about diplomacy? Could someone please give even ONE concrete example of any demonstration on her part of having participated in….much less “led”….in any such effort?
    Donald Trump had this one right — she has spent all her time flying here and there, snap, snap, click, click….some photos taken for the record…..then off again waving on the airplane steps and grinning. Accomplishing nothing. What? WHAT has she accomplished?
    She is a co-conspirator as a member of the White House Iraq Group in treason. How pathetic IS it to spend SEVEN YEARS….and THEN get interested in making a show of “diplomacy”…..”initiating” a peace process. ROTFLMAO!
    Let’s be serious. Even her own people at the State Dept. call her Ferragamo …for the shoes she loves to buy. She went shopping after 9/11. Now THERE’S someone to be taken seriously.
    I mean seriously….

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  34. easy e says:

    diddug, you are correct. The Israeli likudniks, along with their AIPAC counterparts in the U.S., are very proficient at disinformation. One of their propaganda mechanisms is through their media resource, “MEMRI”.
    “Selective Memri””
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,773258,00.html
    MEMRI – Middle East Research Institute
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=MEMRI:_Middle_East_Media_Research_Institute

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  35. digdug says:

    Not to hijack the thread, but this:
    “Isn’t that essentially what Armadinejad has been saying by “wiping Israel off the map” (spun as “wishing to kill Israeli’s” by our current President)?”
    …may not be accurate. Specifically, the “wipe Israel off the map” quote often repeated by government officials and in the press may not be what he actually said.
    There is a strong controversy over the translation of Ahmadinejad’s speech. What he actually said may have been mistranslated (deliberately or otherwise).

    Reply

  36. Frank says:

    Ensure they have a taster at the catering event to ensure AIPAC is thwarted from doing its natural thing…
    How appropriate that Rice is a consumate in the piano playing department…It would have been more in tune with reality had she been fat.

    Reply

  37. arthurdecco says:

    “What is worse than no agreement at all possibly, is an agreement so weak and unsellable that it poisons the well and worsens the chances for the next administration in the neighborhood.” Posted by plainbrown1
    Isn’t that the prime purpose of this mock conference – to poison the well, plainbrown1?
    Hope I’m wrong.

    Reply

  38. plainbrown1 says:

    The ultimate perquisite for a deal is the ability of the parties to deliver. In this case, both principals are weak politically. While that in itself might not be a deal killer, if the will actually existed, both will look to America as the guarantor of any promises. So it will come down to the ability of this administration to deliver. Given the limited time left in office, the dearth of creditability this administration retains in Congress and the political silly season now firmly underway, does anyone really think that Ms. Rice or the President can make promises they can keep?
    While all parties need a deal for their own reasons, it is hard to imagine any deal that will stick emerging from such a scenario. It’s a toss up on whether the loss of an opportunity for an agreement, is worse than an agreement with terms that cannot be carried out.
    What is worse than no agreement at all possibly, is an agreement so weak and unsellable that it poisons the well and worsens the chances for the next administration in the neighborhood.

    Reply

  39. selise says:

    steve – i asked about hamas only because it’s hard for me to see that the talks actually have palestinian representatives present when hamas is excluded.
    i’m usually in favor of talking – even when hope is in short supply…. but i don’t see this conference as anything more than an attempt to legitimate the status-quo by rebranding it as a “peace process.” i hope i am very wrong.
    p.s. steve, any chance you will address my previous question about who you were calling anti-american in your discussion with eli lake on bloggingheads.tv? you know, those people who, unlike patriots like yourself, who have a problem with a foreign policy based on maintaining usa primacy over mideast oil.

    Reply

  40. Kathleen says:

    pauline…ooooooh, mirror mirror on the walllllll.

    Reply

  41. pauline says:

    Hillary can’t be CERTAIN where her husband was last night. (not that she really cares…)

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    BTW……because it is important to follow up on all the plots and spins of the evil empire ones least we forget their evil incompetence….the Israeli Syria strike is as we thought.
    Jeffery Lewis, a nuke specialist at the New America Foundation has the story of the Israeli strike on Syria.
    http://www.antiwar.com/porter/?articleid=11935
    And Laura Rozen over at War & Piece shows this today
    November 23, 2007
    AP: Israeli analyst: Syrian site hit not reactor.
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    But..at the dem debates Hillary said she was CERTAIN based on information she “said” she had seen……that the Israelis hit a nuke facility. Maybe she isn’t as smart as I thought. Or maybe she thinks no one will remember her statement.
    You would think one of the other candidates would get her on this.

    Reply

  43. pauline says:

    How credible is Miss Rice in leading us to ME peace? Just how credible??
    I remember too well the Catherine Austin Fitts’ open letter [she’s former Assistant Secretary of Housing under Bush Sr. and exposer of much HUD corruption) castigating, in no uncertain terms, Miss Rice for her “role” in 9/11. I especially like Catherine’s line, “If you want to catch a terrorist today, you [Rice] need look no further than your own mirror.”
    read the damning letter at —
    http://www.whereisthemoney.org/hotseat/condoleezzarice.htm

    Reply

  44. pauline says:

    Oh, and on the day after, too much turkey didn’t change my thoughts why the current admin crooks won’t stand for true peace in the ME.
    Who hasn’t seen the Norman Mineta official testimony in front of Lee Hamilton and the 9/11 Commision?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDfdOwt2v3Y
    How about another Mineta youtube version?
    youtube.com/watch?v=GfQUynBjRqg
    And no investigation in this stunning relevation was because…??
    Why should anyone think, as Kathleen so accurately describes it, Annapolis-Accrapolis is going to be meaningful??

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, I think the world community is about to hand us our ass in a sling. The collective chuckle as our economy falls apart will be heard all the way to Mars.
    Like I said a month or so ago, its time to put in gardens and scout where the elk herds are wintering. And I think I’ll work to convince my daughter to get the hell out of Los Angeles.

    Reply

  46. erichwwk says:

    liz writes:
    “It is not America’s business to be giving away land in Israel.”
    Another perspective would be to state that it should not have been America’s business to support the UK (and UN) decision to give away Palestinian land.
    Is not starting the clock now akin to accusing Lebanon of starting the previous Lenonese-Israeli conflict by holding two Israeli’s hostage, while ignoring the previous 9,000 Palestinian hostages?
    Isn’t that essentially what Armadinejad has been saying by “wiping Israel off the map” (spun as “wishing to kill Israeli’s” by our current President)?
    Until the U.S. fulfills its nuclear weapons treaty obligations there will be no peace. As long as the U.S. and U.K. side continue to build new nuclear weapons while asserting the right to wage preemptive war on anyone showing the slightest sign of challenging that hegemony, the U.S. will act “above the law”, feeling it always has the nuclear weapons ace up its sleeve as a last resort.

    Reply

  47. Kathleen says:

    Fivish… not killing enough of the enemy????
    Sig heil, buddy.
    Meanwhile back in Annapolis-Accrapolis, expect more B.S. Say “cheese” for the cameras.
    What next administration??? Dopey and Darth are sanguine about their low approval ratings because they know they don’t have to worry about anymore elections… they’ve got The Plan, The Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and some choice Executive Orders. It’s all in place and the Kyle-Lieberman ammendment tells us who gets it next.
    Sheer farce.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Utter waste of time. The Arabs only want to negotiate away Israel from existance as they cant do it by force. Peace will only come if the Arabs accept the existance of a Jewish state and thats never going to happen. No ammount of land will appease them unless you give them 100%.”
    “Unfortunately the Arab only understands violence. To keep them relatively quite you have to do what Saddam did in Iraq and that was to kill thousands to instill fear. Nothing else works as we witness daily now in Iraq and Afganistan. Our troups are simply not killing enough of the enemy for them to feel any fear and consider giving up and going home.”
    “Israel has won many battles but has never been ‘allowed’ to win any war, and thats why there will be more battles to fight and no peace to be had.”
    The fanatical ideological excrement you see above is 100% indicative of the mindset that the wall against peace is built out of. And BOTH sides of the aisle are in bed with with the purveyors of this poisonous snake oil. Does anyone really believe the Arms industry would be so solidly in Hillary’s camp if she intended to stop killing Muslims? And it is BOTH sides that are selling Israel’s propaganda about Iran, complete with false translations, exagerations of the threat, exagerations of the scientific advancements of Iran’s nuclear program, and misrepresentations of of the IAEA’s findings.
    And most importantly, it is BOTH sides that are refusing to air Sibel Edmonds’ SOLID evidence of high crimes and treason, committed in the highest levels of our government, in league with AIPAC.
    Read the blathering jackasses’ post again. THAT is the fuel that is propelling our middle eastern policies, and the policies of Israel. Anyone that thinks you can feed a peace process with that kind of bigotry and hatred is a damned fool.

    Reply

  49. Carroll says:

    Here is a snip on what Caroline Glick, the Israeli version of Ann Coulter, is saying. She hates the US so she alway exaggerates the “poor Israel, mean old US” thing…so take for what it is worth.
    But I have noticed a few other sources also saying the US has been really twisting Israeli arms in advance of the meeting so maybe some pressure is being applied to Israel for a change. Olmert made a big speech saying “no more setlements”but they have lied about that so long not even the Israelis believe it.
    I think if this meeting doesn’t produce something concrete and the issue gets dragged into the next administration it will be right back to square one with a new adm wanting to go thru the same old never ending talky-talky and Isr doing the same old never ending stally-stally.
    It seems to me that while the US is between a rock and hard place in Iraq and the Iran question it behooves us to come down on Israel and get this settled or at minium at least start to “enforce” the guide lines we have given both parties. If, and once we withdraw from Iraq their won’t be as much pressure within the US to do something about this.
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1195546703899&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    “The mood is dark in the IDF’s General Staff ahead of next week’s “peace” conference in Annapolis. As one senior officer directly involved in the negotiations with the Palestinians and the Americans said, “As bad as it might look from the outside, the truth is 10 times worse. This is a nightmare. The Americans have never been so hostile.”
    On Thursday a draft of the joint statement that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are discussing ahead of the conference was leaked to the media. A reading of the document bears out the IDF’s concerns.
    The draft document shows that the Palestinians and the Israelis differ not only on every issue, but differ on the purpose of the document. It also shows that the US firmly backs the Palestinians against Israel.
    As the draft document makes clear, Israel is trying to avoid committing itself to anything at Annapolis. For their part, the Palestinians are trying to force Israel’s hand by tying it to diplomatic formulas that presuppose an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines and an Israeli acceptance of the so-called “right of return” or free immigration of foreign Arabs to Israel.
    But the Americans have shown themselves to be unworthy of Israel’s trust.
    Why are they weakening Israel and pushing for the establishment of yet another Middle Eastern terror state? What US interest do they think they are advancing by acting as they are? Over the past several weeks, a number of theories have been raised to explain their behavior. The most frequent explanation is that Rice and Bush are championing Palestinian statehood at Israel’s expense in a bid to mobilize a coalition of Sunni Arab states to cooperate with the US against Iran. ”
    >>>>>>>>
    Quite a tangled web this “Isr’merica” thing has woven..er? Take Israel out of the equation and it is crystal clear what the US should be doing in it’s own interest.

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, its all one big fucking charade, and more and more American’s are beginninmg to see the light. Frankly, I’m sick of this Democrat/Republican dog and pony show. The only purpose served by this bullshit propaganda about a “two party system” is the successful division of the people, resulting in their inability to throw these bastards in Washington out with the bath water.
    Yes, the Palestinian/Israeli issue will be resolved, when Israel finally succeeds in ERASING the Palestinian people from the surface of the planet, undoubtedly with our money, weaponry, and not so covert assistance.
    The gig is up, Steve. Some of us are no longer buying this shit.
    Get used to hearing Sibel Edmonds’ name, Steve, because its going to become a regular fixture here, as long as you allow me to continue posting.

    Reply

  51. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — I know that you want to see resolution of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. With Bush and Rice articulating clearly a two state solution, they rob from the anti-Arab right the ability to continue to define the Israel-Arab standoff as a zero sum game. This summit is important in that it becomes a hand off operation to the next administration — and may generate a new consensus about what to do in the region. I know that there are many obstacles — but you need to realize that Republicans must be on board to make this work in the long run….

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ah yes, Rice is now the Knightress in Shining Armor, riding to the rescue, after helping lie us into Iraq, and completely disregarding a Congressional subpoena. How nice that she will be in Annapolis, instead of languishing in a federal prison for treason, contempt of Congress, and capital ineptitude.
    Of course she can resolve the Israel/Palestinian differences. All she need do is simply lie, and voila, issue resolved. Never mind that reality will tell us otherwise, for this is Bushworld, and in Bushworld, the only reality is the reality that Bush, the media, and Washington insiders wearing gopher skin coats offer us.

    Reply

  53. Steve Clemons says:

    David — lol — not quite, but you may have a point. I’ve been as critical as many of the seemingly inadequate prep for this meeting in Annapolis — and I do have some fear that this will look yet again like another “we did everything we could but the Palestinians didn’t deliver” excuse for failure — which I think would be very bad for all parties.
    But that said, it’s good to have momentum here — and no matter what the outcome next week, i think we need Bush on the line committing himself even to the spirit of a deal. We can’t have a Democratic administration deliver on Palestine in the future if the Bushites did nothing. Some think we can — but they are wrong.
    Bush and Rice may not succeed immediately here — but what they can succeed on is creating continuity into the next administration and trying to minimize the partisan spoiling that would otherwise go on.
    That’s worth something. I disagree with those who think that this Summit should not even have been launched.
    For genuine success, you can’t have a situation in which the Republican Party is anti-deal and Dems pro-deal (when in fact the reality is that both parties are divided).
    More later — and happy thanksgiving,
    Steve

    Reply

  54. David N says:

    So, Steve, what you’re saying is that the utter incompetence and lack of any connection to reality that has created the hopeless mess in Iraq and the rest of the ME is what has created our only means of generating a successful outcome at the conference?
    Man, I thought the rotating cast at the WH press podium were creative . . . .

    Reply

  55. Fivish says:

    Utter waste of time. The Arabs only want to negotiate away Israel from existance as they cant do it by force. Peace will only come if the Arabs accept the existance of a Jewish state and thats never going to happen. No ammount of land will appease them unless you give them 100%.
    Unfortunately the Arab only understands violence.
    To keep them relatively quite you have to do what Saddam did in Iraq and that was to kill thousands to instill fear. Nothing else works as we witness daily now in Iraq and Afganistan. Our troups are simply not killing enough of the enemy for them to feel any fear and consider giving up and going home.
    Israel has won many battles but has never been ‘allowed’ to win any war, and thats why there will be more battles to fight and no peace to be had.

    Reply

  56. Fivish says:

    Utter waste of time. The Arabs only want to negotiate away Israel from existance as they cant do it by force. Peace will only come if the Arabs accept the existance of a Jewish state and thats never going to happen. No ammount of land will appease them unless you give them 100%.
    Unfortunately the Arab only understands violence.
    To keep them relatively quite you have to do what Saddam did in Iraq and that was to kill thousands to instill fear. Nothing else works as we witness daily now in Iraq and Afganistan. Our troups are simply not killing enough of the enemy for them to feel any fear and consider giving up and going home.
    Israel has won many battles but has never been ‘allowed’ to win any war, and thats why there will be more battles to fight and no peace to be had.

    Reply

  57. Fivish says:

    Utter waste of time. The Arabs only want to negotiate away Israel from existance as they cant do it by force. Peace will only come if the Arabs accept the existance of a Jewish state and thats never going to happen. No ammount of land will appease them unless you give them 100%.
    Unfortunately the Arab only understands violence.
    To keep them relatively quite you have to do what Saddam did in Iraq and that was to kill thousands to instill fear. Nothing else works as we witness daily now in Iraq and Afganistan. Our troups are simply not killing enough of the enemy for them to feel any fear and consider giving up and going home.
    Israel has won many battles but has never been ‘allowed’ to win any war, and thats why there will be more battles to fight and no peace to be had.

    Reply

  58. Fivish says:

    Utter waste of time. The Arabs only want to negotiate away Israel from existance as they cant do it by force. Peace will only come if the Arabs accept the existance of a Jewish state and thats never going to happen. No ammount of land will appease them unless you give them 100%.
    Unfortunately the Arab only understands violence.
    To keep them relatively quite you have to do what Saddam did in Iraq and that was to kill thousands to instill fear. Nothing else works as we witness daily now in Iraq and Afganistan. Our troups are simply not killing enough of the enemy for them to feel any fear and consider giving up and going home.
    Israel has won many battles but has never been ‘allowed’ to win any war, and thats why there will be more battles to fight and no peace to be had.

    Reply

  59. JohnH says:

    Uri Avnery’s response: “The Joke in Annapolis: How to Get Out?” Priceless quotes: “The three poker players are going to sit down together, pretending to start the game, while none of them has a cent to put on the table.” Israel’s expertise is “in building roadblocks, walls and fences.” http://www.antiwar.com/avnery/?articleid=11950
    With a competent Secretary of State and participants who had political capital that they were willing to use, this conference might have had a chance of producing results. Instead, Anapolis will just be theater, people going through the motions of making peace. As Avnery suggests, the final scene will likely be a photo op with Bush, Olmert and Abbas signing a statement of results–a blank sheet of paper.
    Hopefully Anapolis will keep them all so busy that they won’t have time to start another war.

    Reply

  60. liz says:

    It is not America’s business to be giving away land in Israel. The history on giving land and prisoners for peace is not even on the success chart. It is not for us to decide.
    Peace can be achieved anyday the powers that be stop stirring up radicals on all sides of the argument.It will never be achieved at Summits or in war.

    Reply

  61. Steve Clemons says:

    Selise — yes, the Hamas issue has not been resolved but must be before a comprehensive deal can be reached. Otherwise, Hamas will be a spoiler. My sense is that if enough railroad track can be laid at the Summit meeting with Arab states, a vehicle will be created to end the isolation of Hamas from this effort. But we’ll have to see how it goes.
    best, steve

    Reply

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