Jordan’s King Says Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon War May be “Imminent”

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KingAbdullah.jpg
Congressman Adam Schiff hosted a “Members Only” meeting of the ‘Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus’ in the US House of Representatives this morning in the CVC Congressional Meeting Room with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
According to one attendee in the session, “the King’s message was sobering.”
King Abdullah seemed significantly concerned that conflict was about to break out again between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
One congressional source told me that the word the King used was ‘imminent’ with regard to the potential outbreak of war.
On many levels, this is extremely worrisome. Hezbollah is now integrated into Lebanon’s parliament and interacting with countries like France at all levels of government. An Israeli-Lebanon War could preempt the normalization track the United States is pursuing with Syria.
There are reports today about American concerns of Syrian supply of SCUD missiles to Hezbollah and/or training to Hezbollah personnel on SCUDs. (also see Laura Rozen’s “The Scud Threatening Diplomat’s Nomination“; also see Josh Rogin’s “Congress Wants to Know: Is Syria Rearming Hezbollah?“)
Tomorrow (Thursday), I will be attending the Syria National Day reception at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington where last year I saw many senior State Department officials, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, and several Congressmen.
Hopefully, America’s renewed engagement with Syria will not be knocked off track — but there is no doubt that King Abdullah’s warning to Members of Congress is stirring much concern.
— Steve Clemons
Update: Here is an update with a response from a spokesperson of the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Washington, DC.

Comments

69 comments on “Jordan’s King Says Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon War May be “Imminent”

  1. bruce says:

    Scuds in Lebanon, yeah!!!
    See Israel feeding false intel.
    Remember pre Iraq invasion intel.Israel produced and spread.Enuf said.
    Israel founding fathers saw Lebanon’s Litani river as Israel’s northern border and subsequent leaders have been seeking all kinds of pretexts ever since to grab Lebanon’s south.Sharon’s invasion of that country and IDF brutal 19 year occupation gave birth to Hizbollah and mideast suicide bombing.Only reason Sharon would withdraw from Gaza in 2000(demgraphics notwithstanding) is saltwater table in Gaza is rising.
    Besides land tiny nuclear,biological,chemical armed Israel needs WATER!
    The most valuable resourse in Mideast, the planet.

    Reply

  2. bruce says:

    Scuds in Lebanon, yeah!!!
    See Israel feeding false intel.
    Remember pre Iraq invasion intel.Israel produced and spread.Enuf said.
    Israel founding fathers saw Lebanon’s Litani river as Israel’s northern border and subsequent leaders have been seeking all kinds of pretexts ever since to grab Lebanon’s south.Sharon’s invasion of that country and IDF brutal 19 year occupation gave birth to Hizbollah and mideast suicide bombing.Only reason Sharon would withdraw from Gaza in 2000(demgraphics notwithstanding) is saltwater table in Gaza is rising.
    Besides land tiny nuclear,biological,chemical armed Israel needs WATER!
    The most valuable resourse in Mideast, the planet.

    Reply

  3. pabelmont says:

    Although a proper, fair, workable two-state peace is the clear and necessary goal of US diplomacy, there is — it seems to me — a more important effort that needs to be made first.
    The US should lead and should be seen to lead the push for an end of Israeli illegalities in the conduct of the now 43-year occupation. Even while pushing for peace, the US must simultaneously require Israel to remove all settlers and to remove the wall from the occupied West Bank, including all occupied territory near the old city of Jerusalem.
    Not only would this emphasize US respect for the Rule of Law but it would also stop ongoing human rights violations. Israel cannot be allowed (and the US cannot any longer be seen to allow) to create “facts on the ground” which may alter the final status peace.

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  4. questions says:

    Isn’t there a Greece-Goldman Sachs connection? That Paulson guy is everywhere!

    Reply

  5. nadine says:

    “Fact is, money will be found to pay pensioners, the retirement age will be rejiggered, the taxable income base will go up, some unearned income will be opened to So Sec just as it has been opened up to Medicare taxes under HCR. ” (questions)
    Oh yeah? I have one word for you: Greece.
    Take a good look. It’s our future in 20 years. Only we won’t have Germany to bail us out.
    Eventually you run out of other people’s money and you can’t tax anymore. Then you have to raise interest rates to get anybody to buy your bonds and raise the inflation rate to 6% or more to inflate down your debt. That kills economic growth and you get stagflation. Then you have to cut spending, hard. Then you have to break your promises to pensioners. It’s not pretty and it’s our future, sooner rather than later. Trillion dollar deficits are completely unsustainable.

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  6. questions says:

    First of all, confession for the nth time — I’m not an economist. Second, I think that the accounting trick of talking about all future liability as if it were to come due, say tomorrow, is, ummm, an accounting trick. I think I read some piece about this think tank presentation-style. But what do I know.
    I’ve read around a bit, and what I seem to find is that the Heritage Foundation agrees with you. Krugman would differ. Bruce Bartlett says tax increases are looming. Someone somewhere said basically what I did above — immigration and productivity (RATS! Not original. Oh well.)
    The right has been calling for privatization — gotta admit, I would LOVE to leave my pension in the hands of, say, John Paulson! He did well for himself! I would hope that he wouldn’t slice up my investments, have them rated AAA, and then bet against them in the form of CDOs…. But how likely would that be anyway? Wall Street morals are very high, so they say.
    Fact is, money will be found to pay pensioners, the retirement age will be rejiggered, the taxable income base will go up, some unearned income will be opened to So Sec just as it has been opened up to Medicare taxes under HCR. And given that we’re already going to be living in multgenerational housing, we’ll just stick granny and gramps into separate rooms in the attic (remember, they got divorced a while ago!) and we’ll live a little more squished until the boomers die off. And then the echo boomers, and the boomlets, and the boomboozles and the like.
    Probably we’ll increase some immigration. For sure we’ll increase productivity (which is what has allowed the 5 people paying in to support one retiree to become 3 people paying in, or whatever the current numbers are).
    My guess is we’ll manage with shifts here and there.
    Meanwhile, I will worry about race and justice issues. Remember, every instance of employment justice is one more in-payer to SoSec. If the South had mildly higher wages and the share holders accepted mildly lower unearned payments and the CEOs’ pay were more rational, SoSec might actually be doing a little better anyway. It’s a thought from a non economist, at any rate.
    Kind of interesting regional economics issue — the South is all right-to-worksy, all non-unionsy, kind of low wagey in its own special way. So retirees in the South end up needing far more support of one sort or another to help compensate for the lifetime of stingy wages payed out. I wonder how much Medicaid/Medicare dual eligibles cost the rest of the country, and how much additional money of all sorts ends up sent to Southern states to make up for the stinginess of their wage structure. I really don’t know. But it’s an interesting thought. If you find something about this, I’d be interested.

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  7. nadine says:

    questions, I gladly will give you leave to anguish about race all you like, just so long as you give me leave to think about some other subject occasionally without being called a racist because I’m not thinking about race.
    If you think that any realistic level of productivity or immigration can make the entitlement numbers work, then I suggest you need a refresher course in mathematics and finance. Familiar with the term “net present value”? The net present value of our Social Security and Medicare liabilities (that means we already promised the money) which are unfunded (that means beyond all future FICA tax revenues) is 45 TRILLION dollars.

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  8. nadine says:

    Dirk, I don’t think you can have read the Wiki article very carefully:
    “Even maps of both the Syrian and Lebanese armies continued to demarcate the region within Syrian territory.[14]
    A Lebanese military map, published in 1966, showing the Shebaa Farms as being on the Syrian side of the border
    A number of local residents regarded themselves as Lebanese, however. The Lebanese government showed little interest in their views. The Syrian government administered the region, and on the eve of the 1967 war, the region was under effective Syrian control.”
    So the border was not in dispute AT THAT TIME, which is what matters. The maps of all three countries showed that it was in Syria. It was only declared to be Lebanese much later, after the area had long been under Israeli control. The faults of Colonial France have little to do with the case.
    “Your welcome to continue to see things the way you wish, but I would contend that Israel would be able to dramatically defuse the tension on its northern border if it chose to cede this strip of land.”
    Do you really think Hizbullah’s casus belli is Shebaa Farms, and not the existence of Israel? I don’t think you can ever have listened to them. They are not citizen activists for the farmers of Shebaa Farms, believe me. That’s a silly idea. Hizbullah works for Tehran. Hizbullah needs war with Israel, for that was their excuse to create armed private militia with Iranian money, and it’s their only excuse to keep one.

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  9. questions says:

    Ahh, the imminent bankruptcy of Medicare and Social Security — that indeed is way more important than the imminent loss of the family home, the imminent arrest and felony charges against an African American when a white guy would be given a warning or a parking ticket, the imminent loss of another generation of kids because their schools are underfunded and arneduncan-ed…. (oh, make him go away already!)
    Here’s my solution to So Sec (AND Medicare….)
    It’s patented and I want to get rich from the idea!!
    Pass productivity gains on to actual workers!!! All that extra salary becomes taxable because it’s earned income! Don’t pass it all to shareholders or to corporate chiefs!!!!!
    Apparently, there’s a reading of manufacturing in the US that suggests that exporting jobs to China or whatever is far less a factor than is simple productivity increase. So if this is the case (and who knows), then simply raise worker salaries and the taxes will flow in….
    Immigration can help and some people are pushing that as well. That would also help with the housing problems, but I think we can’t have an ever increasing population, so there need to be some structural shifts anyway. At some point, one figures Malthus must have some kind of insight.
    *****
    For fun, Wiki up “Koch snowflakes” and read up on recursion and fractals. Amazing what you can do with a simple triangle and some basic geometric substitutions repeated infinitely! More fun than, say, “Koch Industries” and their financing of the Tea Party and the global climate change deniers. We should have more mathematicians and fewer nutcases (though there is an intersection between these two sets.) And we shouldn’t let them go to Wall Street (I’m working on Cassidy’s book — the quant mistakes are really something! (when explained w/o math, that is.) Something about using randomness to describe price changes in the market that sadly are not entirely random. If randomness and the standard distribution are the models against which one hedges, apparently one hedges badly and the losses can be huge. Mandelbrot apparently looked at actual prices and actually graphed them and actually found a distribution that was not bell curved. There’s also a bit on Stiglitz’s figuring out that if prices contain ALL available information, then no one bothers looking for the information anymore and so prices can’t contain all the information. (This seems to be an application of Meno’s paradox, come to think of it!) Of course the math is full of symbols and relations, but even at this level, it sounds like all those mathematicians should be teaching middle school math instead. That would be far better than modeling things that aren’t happening in accordance with the model.
    Maybe Arne Duncan could just go to Wall Street and recruit some quants. What do you have to pay a quant for a mid-life career change? At this point, maybe not much!

    Reply

  10. Dirk says:

    “Dirk, Shebaa Farms were Syrian in 1967, when Israel captured them along with the rest of the Golan Heights. Israel wasn’t at war with Lebanon in 1967, so it didn’t capture any Lebanese territory.” (nadine)
    There is much in that Wikipedia article that could be used to argue the Lebanese side and some to argue the Israeli side. Your contention that the U.N. supports the Israeli side is simply not true, then or now:
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=113188#axzz0lFxnHtpE
    This is a problem of colonial France not demarcating the border properly.
    Your welcome to continue to see things the way you wish, but I would contend that Israel would be able to dramatically defuse the tension on its northern border if it chose to cede this strip of land. Of course that would imply that defusing tension is desirable.

    Reply

  11. nadine says:

    Here’s an update to the Amira Hass in Haaretz story claiming that Israel was about to transport 10,000s of Palestinians from the West Bank to GAza, that Carroll posted. Turns out it’s a total fabrication. Yaacov Lozowick comments below. Will Carroll hesitate before posting the next lying story by Amira Hass? ans: of course not, anti-Semites never care if it’s true or not so long as it hurts their target:
    A few days ago Haaretz splashed a new story across the top of its front page, knowing perfectly well that it would spread like wildfire all over the world: Israel is gearing up to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians. And of course, it did. The fools and the knaves all hugged the story to their hearts and ran with it as far and as fast as they could.
    Nothing about this is surprising: not the willingness of Haaretz to harm the country by spreading lies, not the eagerness of our enemies to wield them.
    If there’s anything at all about the story that’s remotely surprising, it’s the ease with which it can be disproved. Any reasonable observer of Israel knew immediately that the story couldn’t be true as told; the fact that its originators were one of our radical Left NGOs (Hamoked) reinforced this gut feeling. Elder of Ziyon, an anonymous blogger with no public position, sent an e-mail to the appropriate official, who explained that the reality is more or less the opposite of that reported by Haaretz. Here’s the full response, though I recommend following the link to read Elder’s important comments about the case:
    1. The new military order was signed 6 months ago.
    2. There are no changes to the repatriation system or the authority/means to repatriate illegal residents in Judea and Samaria. The only difference is that now the process includes a judiciary review.
    3. The decision to establish a judiciary committee to review the administrative process of repatriation was taken in response to the Israeli High Court of Justice (??”?) decision that there should be judicial oversight.
    4. Any illegal resident who stands to be repatriated will be brought before the judicial committee within 8 days of receiving the order, they will have the right to legal council, and will be able to appeal the judicial decision to the high court.
    5. When making decisions about whether or not to repatriate an individual, the administrative and the judicial committees consider family ties.
    6. Currently there are very few illegal Palestinian residents in Judea and Samaria – over the past several years, as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli government has approved an amnesty for nearly all of the 32,000 illegal residents whose names were submitted to the population registry by the Palestinian authorities.
    7. Since the beginning of 2010, there have only been 5 Gazans who have been repatriated to Gaza.
    8. The current system allows Israeli authorities to arrest, detain and deport illegal residents (specifically those who came in on a tourist visa and decided to stay) – these are the same powers that every sovereign nation in the world possess. The establishment of the Judicial Committee to oversee the process is the only change. (Bold: Elder; italics: me)
    So what are we to make of all this:
    1. A lie about Israel will cross the world in minutes, the truth won’t travel at all.
    2. Fringe elements in Israel are eager to lie.
    3. Haaretz is courting the fringes (and hundreds of its subscribers have canceled their subscriptions this week. We don’t know how many hundreds, it may be many, and their pool of subscribers was not large to begin with).
    4. While loudly trumpeting the importance of a free press in a democracy and its own centrality in it, the level of journalism at Haaretz is lower than that of one private blogger.
    5. The official agencies who might have confronted this lie, didn’t. They waited for a blogger to ask them. Hamoked and Haaretz are malicious; officialdom is incompetent; the country gets by in spite of them all.
    Consistently lying about Jews eventually gets people killed. This has been the pattern for millennia; the difference is that now the casualties come from both sides of the lies. You’d think this might matter to the people who propagate the lies, but you’d be wrong.
    http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2010/04/blood-libel.html

    Reply

  12. nadine says:

    Dirk, Shebaa Farms were Syrian in 1967, when Israel captured them along with the rest of the Golan Heights. Israel wasn’t at war with Lebanon in 1967, so it didn’t capture any Lebanese territory. Syria and Lebanon (really the same political entity) decided in 2000 to back up Hizbullah’s contention that Shebaa Farms was Lebanese, to help the pretext along. You don’t often find the UN backing the Israeli side as you do here. The UN was just averse to moving the international border without some official agreement. Wikipedia:
    “When Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 during the Six Day War, the Shebaa Farms were considered in practice to be part of the Syrian territory.[7] Lebanon was not an active participant in the war. In 1981 Israel extended Israeli law to the region under its Golan Heights Law.[8] …
    A controversy arose following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from occupied territory in Southern Lebanon on May 24, 2000. On June 18, 2000, the United Nations affirmed that Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon, in accordance with Resolution 425.[9] Syria and Lebanon disputed the United Nations certification that Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon was complete. Hezbollah cites the ongoing occupation of the Shebaa farms as one reason for its continued attacks on Israel.”…For decades members of the international diplomatic community have repeatedly requested that Syria and Lebanon take steps to determine the exact boundary between them in the Shebaa Farms region and Syria, including officially registering the demarcated border with the United Nations. However, recently President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has refused to do so until Israeli troops withdraw.

    Reply

  13. Dirk says:

    “Dirk, Shebaa Farms belongs to Syria, according to the UN. Israel withdrew to the international border of Lebanon in 2000, exactly. The UN says they are out of Lebanon.” (nadine)
    According to both Lebanon and Syria, Shebaa farms belongs to Lebanon:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebaa_Farms

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  14. nadine says:

    “We’re simply not done, and I’m not ever sure why Republicans and conservatives are attracted to being finished before we are.” (questions)
    It’s not so much about declaring that we are “finished”. It’s more about wanting to talk about something other than race, like for example the imminent bankruptcy of Medicare and Social Security, without being told it’s all some secret code for racism and we’re only upset ’cause Obama is black. No, we’re upset that Obama has racked up more debt in two years than Bush did in eight; that he plans to double the national debt in ten years; that his answer to unsustainable entitlement spending is to make trillions of dollars’ worth of new entitlements.

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  15. questions says:

    If I ever actually see evidence of color blind thinking, I’ll let you know!
    Think about this, craniometry (ever read up on it? It’s really something), the insistence that girls can’t do math, the insistence on the intellectual inferiority of one race or another, the rankings of races, the assigning of traits to entire peoples rather than to individuals… all of this stuff has been so incredibly pervasive in our history and has left one hell of a legacy.
    Slowly, educators are finding that, omg, girls can do math, boys can have empathy, decent schooling can help make up for a chunk of parental lack, but there are a bunch of things that educated parents of a certain class and comfort easily hand down to their kids and other parents don’t quite. So there are still some problems with schooling at the higher end.
    School funding is a nightmare for educational equity and school funding is profoundly racialized and biased against rural kids as well.
    Job discrimination is real. Police discrimination is real. We’re not done with this, we’re most certainly NOT race-blind by any stretch of the imagination.
    And if you know the difference between the equitable and the equal (pick up your copy of the Nicomachean Ethics and refresh yourself!) you’ll note that “race blind” neutrality isn’t even the correct stance as of yet. Equity is not equal, and so equal funding is insufficient. But let’s face it, we’re not even at the equal funding level.
    Housing discrimination, job discrimination, police discrimination — all of this is current and legacy-leaving.
    nadine, there’s work to be done in the world. We’re simply not done, and I’m not ever sure why Republicans and conservatives are attracted to being finished before we are.
    ****
    On Crist, the word from kos and recent polling is he has a decent shot as a third party candidate, and I’m guessing the veto of SB 6 is his entree into the world of attracting dems. Sadly, apparently the real toast is Kendrick Meek, but I’d settle for Crist after the veto of this hideous bill! In fact, I’d even think of sending a donation his way after the veto of SB 6! But I’ll wait and see. A great victory for teachers across the country!

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  16. nadine says:

    The National, a paper in the UAE, fleshes out the Scud missile story:
    Although US officials contacted by The National could not completely confirm that such technology had been transferred to Hizbollah by Syria, one official privy to intelligence briefings confirmed a story previously reported in the Israeli press that in the weeks before Senator John Kerry

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  17. nadine says:

    “No one “fails to acknowledge victories”, but declaring “Mission Accomplished” is a Bushism I won’t join!” (questions)
    questions, but you do see evidence of color-blind thinking as “racialized” thinking. So if the Tea Partiers aren’t thinking about race, they’re racist! They’re white, aren’t they? What more proof do you need? That’s failing to acknowledge victories. It’s also heads-I-win-tails-you-lose political gamesmanship. I’m not playing, and you should be sharp enough to see through it.
    Haven’t been following the Florida education thing. I do know Crist is toast; Rubio leads him by 2 to 1 in the polls. Speaking of polling, did you see Nate Silver’s latest analysis of the midterms? His regression analysis says the Dems will lose 50 seats in the House. I think it may be more, as Obama continues to reveal what a leftist he is. This is not what Americans voted for. Independents know now that they were sold a bill of goods, and are trending strongly Republican.

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  18. questions says:

    I interrupt this program to bring good news from Florida:
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/04/crist-vetoes-key-gop-backed-education-bill—-will-an-indy-senate-bid-follow.php?ref=fpblg
    Crist vetoed the education bill. Dems WILL be energized and Rubio and Jeb Bush are going to be hurting. The Fla. teachers now feel effective. Keep an eye out for them.
    Nadine, no doubt there has been progress regarding race issues in the US. No doubt there are vast problems still to be dealt with. Law enforcement, education, wealth building, political representation in, umm, the Senate, crack/cocaine sentencing differential, vote suppression, restoration of felons’ right to vote (see that idiot guv in VA who now wants a literacy test, in effect, for convicted felons to be able to vote again). Maybe you just don’t see it where you live? But I see the effects all over the place.
    There’s a lot of resentment, a lot of oppressed majority thinking, a lot of people who actually think that non-discrimination policies somehow discriminate/give special rights (like the special right not to be denied a lease or the special right not to be beaten or whatever).
    So, yeah, this liberal thinks there’s a lot of work to be done in the world when it comes to race. And the housing crisis has made it worse because of the loss of wealth in African-American families. Wealth is what gets us through crises. Wealth building lags. Education helps with wealth-building. Look how schools are funded.
    No one “fails to acknowledge victories”, but declaring “Mission Accomplished” is a Bushism I won’t join!

    Reply

  19. nadine says:

    “It’s all pretty pathetic when the Israelis could simply get the hell out of Shebaa Farms, thereby practically eliminating Hezbollah’s continuing reason for existing…but I guess that’s the point, for Israelis anyways. ” (Dirk)
    Dirk, Shebaa Farms belongs to Syria, according to the UN. Israel withdrew to the international border of Lebanon in 2000, exactly. The UN says they are out of Lebanon. This put Hizbullah in a fix because they had claimed their purpose was just to get Israel out of Lebanon. So they seized on Shebaa Farms as ‘belonging’ to Lebanon, though as far as I know, Lebanon had never before claimed it from Syria. Can’t you recognize an obvious pretext when you see one?
    If Israel got out of Shebaa Farms, Hizbullah would just have to find some new pretext.

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  20. nadine says:

    questions, was this your evidence of “racialized” thinking?
    “Just 16 percent of Tea Party supporters say whites have more opportunities to get ahead, compared to 31 percent of all Americans. Seventy-three percent say both have equal opportunity, compared to 60 percent of Americans overall.
    Fifty-two percent believe too much has been made of the problems facing black people. Far fewer Americans overall — 28 percent — believe as much. Among non-Tea Party whites, the percentage who say too much attention has been paid to the problems of black people is 23 percent.”
    Let me get this straight – if you think racism is not such a big problem in this country anymore, what with a black president and all – this is evidence of “racialized” thinking.
    Only to a liberal. For liberals, racialized thinking has become a pillar of their religion. Whose thinking is more “racialized”, those who have stopped thinking about race all the time, or those who insist the problem can never get better even after a black man has won election to the highest office in the land?
    This is a major problem with liberal thinking – having won the major battles, they refuse to acknowledge their victories, but grow more and more hysterical insisting that whatever smaller injustices are left are really just as bad as Jim Crow, or even worse! Once you’ve made your career on race hustling, you can’t quit.

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  21. nadine says:

    Sweetness,
    This Hizbullah is homegrown vs. Iran’s foreign legion argument is just an update over the old argument over whether various Communist movements were local vs under Moscow’s control. The answer was rarely either/or, usually both. You can’t discount the effect of pouring hundreds of millions of dollars a year and propaganda into a poor, badly educated Shia community. Once the militia exists, money, ideology, and tribal loyalty can be used to keep it in line obeying a foreign power. But there is no denying the Israel f’d up something badly during their stay in Lebanon. When they invaded, the Shia threw flowers, literally, they were so happy to see them. The Israelis were their enemy’s enemy then.
    As for the neocon policy not working out in Iraq: again, was it the fault of design or implementation? Could better planning, better diplomatic coordination, better understanding of Iraqi society, have made the war work in 2003 as it finally did in 2007? How can you make conclusions without judging this point? More importantly, does its faults and failures, whatever they were, imply that realist plans are any better? or does one partial failure have no bearing on the other’s potential success?

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  22. Sweetness says:

    Hey Nadine, let’s really take a look at this. I freely admit that I’m
    just a punter trying to puzzle my way through things, and I don’t
    really know much. I’m with Questions in believing, at bottom,
    that most people want good outcomes on the international
    scene, and their vision of those good outcomes has a lot of
    overlap. I know some will disagree with me, but that’s how I see
    it. Anyway, let’s take a look…
    Nadine quotes me: “

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  23. jonst says:

    I doubt there will be war…not with Israel still licking its wounds from the last one. And the Lebanese doing the same.

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  24. Paul Norheim says:

    Any poster can write non-stop on a blog – whether expressing
    moderate views or partisan extremist views – unless she or he is
    banned by the host. What I implied in my initial “highjack”
    comment was that we have allowed this to happen, by feeding
    her. Those eleven posts in a row on another thread, and the
    initial 13 out of 17 on this one were not all written by her. We are
    to blame for allowing us to be provoked, again and again. Our
    reactions to her views and insinuations are just as predictable as
    her views and insinuations.
    Of course she and her mostly outlandish views and claims do not
    deserve all that attention. The topics deserve attention.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    Neo Controll,
    First, since you’ve laced into me several times, I have little patience for your posts.
    Second, this isn’t a knife fight, a gun fight or any other kind of fight. It’s a discussion board on a blog. Please don’t let the grandiosity get in the way of the level of writing here. It’s not exactly going to determine world politics what nadine posts one way or another.
    Third, security concerns in the face of international uncertainty are just that — concerns in the face of uncertainty. Anyone who claims they know for sure one way or another how to explain or what to do is grandstanding. Uncertainty clouds every international relationship and makes it impossible, therefore, to KNOW in advance is someone is right or wrong.
    Typically, the response to the uncertainty is to do one of two things: pick a metaphor/explanatory mechanism and simply stick with it for consistency’s sake (realism or whatever), or, pronounce things with great certainty despite the lack of actual knowledge.
    We might know at this point that Syria has sent weapons to Hezbollah. We don’t know what Hezbollah will do. We might assume that they will attack Israel but we don’t know. We might make up a list of contingencies, we might take pre-emptive/preventive action, but we don’t really know what’s going on.
    So for anyone around here to assume they have the truth is simply incoherent — unless somehow you’re a seer and the the world is pre-determined.
    All the rest is guesswork, ideology, positioning, preening, and bs-ing.
    So stop with the “hijack” language. No one forces anyone to read anything here, post anything here. If you’re convinced that nadine is somehow actually an Israeli agent sent to destroy the one and only rational space in the blogosphere, try reality on for size. It might fit and flatter.
    If you disagree with nadine’s views, either do a Sweetness-style point-by-point refutation, or ignore the posts. It’s pretty easy to do, either way.
    nadine, here’s the link to my CBS poll posting with the relevant quotes that show racialized thinking w/in the sympathy group:
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/04/turkeys_regiona/#comment-157088
    And by the way, Time mag is running a regular fact check of Fox news, there’s a current one up about jail time for the uninsured. O’Reilly claims no one at Fox ever said such a thing. But then they have a few examples…. Fox is far less informative than you think, but the Tea Partiers love it!

    Reply

  26. Dirk says:

    From what I’ve read, there are two main reasons for Israel attacking Lebanon again:
    (1)To test out its “Iron Dome” anti-missile system, presumably from Hezbollah’s various retaliatory missiles.
    (2)To weaken Hezbollah’s presumed co-response to any Israeli attack on Iran.
    They also have a new tank protection system they want to “field test” and are still pissed off at their perceived defeat at the hand of Hezbollah in their last attack.
    It’s all pretty pathetic when the Israelis could simply get the hell out of Shebaa Farms, thereby practically eliminating Hezbollah’s continuing reason for existing…but I guess that’s the point, for Israelis anyways.

    Reply

  27. nadine says:

    In 1991 Israel took Scud fire from Iran without answering
    In 1994 Israel signed Oslo and withdrew from the Palestinian population centers and suffered thousands of terror attacks
    In 2000 Israel withdrew from Lebanon and suffered thousands of terror attacks
    In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza and suffered thousands of missile and rocket attacks
    Which of these withdrawals projected strength and deterrence? Each was used for tremendous victory propaganda by the PLO, Hamas and Hizbullah, followed by suicide bombers and missiles.
    Weakness and appeasement, which led to wars. That’s how it works in the Middle East.

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    Scuds or not scuds, I guess it’s basically about achieving a
    decisive victory after the August 2006 war, which did not
    develop the way Israel had expected. This was a shock, both for
    the IDF and the Israeli citizens. There was widespread fear at
    that time that the war would escalate in the region. Perhaps it
    will this time.
    I don’t know what else to say. Except perhaps to quote WigWag
    from an other thread, in a comment to Kotzabasis:
    “One could be excused for wondering what it is about violence,
    death, hate and destruction that [the realist crowd and the
    leftist crowd] so adores; because if history teaches us anything,
    its that weakness and appeasement always have the worst
    consequences.”
    Sure. All that Middle East violence, death, hate and destruction
    in the last decade was obviously the result of appeasement and
    leftist display of weakness – from the invasion and occupation
    of Iraq, to the bombardment of Lebanon and Gaza.
    Will the leftists and appeasers ever learn history’s lessons?

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    After reading around it appears that the Scud story did indeed come from Israel…the WP and others are using the world “alledgedly transfered” in their articles. But you can tell a lot about what the agenda may be by how certain bloggers are positioning the story. Laura Rozen for instance has unforunately become more and more zionista in the past years, first pushing the Islamization of Europe and etc…and on this story she quotes the guy from AIPAC’s think tank. The Scud story is being given full court press by the usual suspects.
    But I did find the Fisk article from back in January. Note that Israel is still running around Lebanon lettering bombing their enemies.
    Robert Fisk: The tree-lined bunkers that could change the face of the Middle East
    The border looks peaceful, but Hizbollah and Israel are preparing for war
    Thursday, 21 January 2010
    MAHMOUD ZAYAT/AFP/Getty Images
    A veiled Shia Muslim Lebanese woman walks past Lebanese army soldiers at the site of an explosion in the Lebanese-Israeli border town of Kfar Kila on January 13, 2010. Lebanese media said the blast struck in front of a three-storey building that is the home of a Hezbollah member
    It looks like a hop, skip and a jump. There’s the first electrified fence, then the dirt strip to identify footprints, then the tarmac road, then one more electrified fence, and then acres and acres of trees. Orchards rather than tanks. Galilee spreads beyond, soft and moist and dark green in the winter afternoon

    Reply

  30. nadine says:

    “Lebanon is a sovereign state, looks to me it would be up to Lebanon’s government whether or not they get Scuds from Syria.”
    Actually, Lebanon is no longer a sovereign state. Hizbullah and Syria own it. It will stay at peace or go to war as Hizbullah wills. Lebanon wasn’t asked its opinion in 2006 either.
    So, you distrust the NYT and the WSJ in favor of Robert Fisk. That would be the same Robert Fisk who reported the non-existent “massacre of Jenin” in 2002 in big headlines and never took anything back when it turned out to be another Palestinian invention? Another reporter at the Independent, I forget his name now, had the grace to apologize. But not Fisk. Never Fisk.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    First..has anyone seen a report on Syria giving
    Hezbollah Scuds that names an actual source other than Israel or “unnamed US official”?
    I haven’t. The reports I have seen say Israel reported it and it was “confirmed” by an ‘unnamed
    US official.
    However a month ago I posted an article on here by Robert Fisk of the UK Independent. Fisk lives in Beirut and said there were signs that Lebanon and Hezbollah were fortifying roads and borders as if they expected an attack. He predicated this would be Israel’s next war.
    So what will this war be over? Israel not wanting Hezbollah to have scuds? Lebanon is a sovereign state, looks to me it would be up to Lebanon’s government whether or not they get Scuds from Syria. Will this be Israel’s pretext for starting a war with Lebanon and Syria? I can’t see any upside for Hezbollah in their making the fisrt strike against Israel.
    As W&M outlined in their book, part of Israel’s history has been to torpedo any US relations or alliances with any other country in the ME except Israel. If they can’t do it politically thru congress they do it by creating a hostile situtation or event.

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    No, frenchconnection, it’s the Obama administration that has found its faithful Pravda in the halls of the formerly great New York Times. They can reliably be counted on to reprint White House opinion as news. This White House is not so much into a free press. Did you miss Dana Milbank’s (who is no conservative) complaints in today’s WaPo about the way the press was completely shut out of covering the nuclear summit? A sample:
    “World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.
    They entered a capital that had become a military encampment, with camo-wearing military police in Humvees and enough Army vehicles to make it look like a May Day parade on New York Avenue, where a bicyclist was killed Monday by a National Guard truck.
    In the middle of it all was Obama — occupant of an office once informally known as “leader of the free world” — putting on a clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press. ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/13/AR2010041303067.html

    Reply

  33. frenchconnection says:

    “Under a more pro-Israel administration, the headline would be “Syria Gives Missiles to Hizbullah”
    well aware I am breaking a previous promise I have to comment on that one…
    so according to our freedom-loving patriots, what stands in a headline DEPENDS on the current running administration ? whoooopee-do
    mmm I thought that freedom of expression was fundamental in the US, no matter who is running the show… maybe the inherently trotskyite neocons long after the old days of Pravda…

    Reply

  34. nadine says:

    pessimist how do you reconcile your supposedly superior intellect with your failure to understand the sentence:
    “Making the Palestinians get an economy of their own would force them to abandon jihad. Israel already has an economy.”
    Israel has a 100 billion economy, equivalent to a European country. The Palestinians live on foreign aid, despite some rebuilding of their economies in the last two years of truce. The PA and Hamas would collapse without it.

    Reply

  35. nadine says:

    pessimist how do you reconcile your supposedly superior intellect with your failure to understand the sentence:
    “Making the Palestinians get an economy of their own would force them to abandon jihad. Israel already has an economy.”
    Israel has a 100 billion economy, equivalent to a European country. The Palestinians live on foreign aid, despite some rebuilding of their economies in the last two years of truce. The PA and Hamas would collapse without it.

    Reply

  36. larry birnbaum says:

    Slightly confusing scope. I’m sure you can figure out the clauses to which the question applies unproblematically. Which is to say, you already have, since you picked out the one to which it may not (at least not with the same referent for “this”). Does grammatical commentary count as “engagement”?

    Reply

  37. nadine says:

    questions, when somebody’s only response is to fling poo, I assume that they’re not capable of making an argument based on facts or logic.
    I missed your CBS poll link. Was this the poll?
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002529-503544.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody
    My first reaction was, Wow, 4% of the entire country has attended a Tea Party? and 18% support it? 4% of the whole country is a “Tea Party Activist”? That’s represents what, 10 million adults? Do you have any idea of how f’ing terrifying that number has to be to the Democratic Party? It’s intensity that wins elections.
    In what way was this poll supposed to refute me? Because the tea partiers are only 1% black? How could it be otherwise, when 90% of blacks are still sticking with Obama? The remaining 10% only make up 1% of the American population.

    Reply

  38. frenchconnection says:

    some people don’t want to understand probably because it’s too hard to cope with facts.But facts are stubborn.
    So I’ll repeat, no matter what stands in some media.
    1) SCUDS are so akward that any modern military (and Israeli are in that category) DESTROYS THEM BEFORE LAUNCH (unless of course Syrians have bought the Klingons cloak of invisibility)
    2) Even if one or two would get through, a modern anti-missile system takes them down (it’s about all a modern system can really do BTW, take down SCUDS)
    3) They won’t be loaded with chemicals because such technology is difficult to implement in an efficient way and it’s unlikely that the Iranians master it. A small warhead is not comparable with 100s of canisters spread by planes at low speed and altitude. But most of all, the one that does that, exposes itself to nuclear retaliation (except in the Obama doctrine, but that’s another story)
    that’s why I’d would be very careful with that story. We have heard plenty of similar stuff before the Iraqi war. Besides Israel was hit by Saddam’s SCUDS during Gulf War and just “wiped it off” (40 were launched and killed ONE Israeli). Why should it matter NOW as an Armageddon threat when it didn’t before ?

    Reply

  39. nadine says:

    Update: The Wall Street Journal credits US officials with the information. (Reading between the lines, the WSJ talks to DoD officials, while the NYT prints WH press releases)
    Syria Gave Scuds to Hezbollah, U.S. Says
    By CHARLES LEVINSON and JAY SOLOMON
    JERUSALEM

    Reply

  40. Neo Controll says:

    Questions, you’re too gullible. Haven’t you noticed how Nadine creates the slander that all her adversaries are ‘left’ wingers. She is nothing but a mouthpiece for hate and warmongering. You’re showing your naivete and ivory tower fetishism. Like you don’t come to a gun fight with a knife, you don’t confront ingrained, calculated zealotry with understanding and compassion. After your guts are ripped out they’ll say, ‘what a sweet guy he was, he tried to give every SOB the benefit of the doubt’.

    Reply

  41. The Pessimist says:

    “How the hell did she manage to hijack the comment section of this blog?”
    Simply because she spends so much time and effort hijacking the comment section of this blog.
    Good point though: How irrational is it for an individual to so deeply engage in this type of anonymous social interaction that for all appearances the individual is seldom engaged in many other social activities?
    And as for the self-professed claim of “articulate ideas,”
    nadine, how do you reconcile your superior intellect with your own statement of:
    “Making the Palestinians get an economy of their own would force them to abandon jihad. Israel already has an economy.”
    That sounds like something Sarah Palin would be instructed to say.

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    “…or whether they ever even really intended to do so…”
    “But you do have to ask yourself why this is happening now.”
    Why what is happening? That Syria perhaps not even intended to
    do so, and thus didn’t do so?
    How would you say that their possible not intended non-actions
    “probably” are somehow connected to Iran?

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    frenchconnection, here’s the NYT article
    Israel Says Syria Gave Missiles to Hezbollah
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/world/middleeast/15israel.html?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fworld%2Fmiddleeast%2Findex.jsonp
    Under a more pro-Israel administration, the headline would be “Syria Gives Missiles to Hizbullah” as it’s certain by now that the US has received all the information Israel has about it, and can probably confirm it independently as US SATINT is second to none, but the US chose not to confirm it. Because, you know, they have this normalization path with Syria that it would interfere with.
    Hizbullah doesn’t need accurate missiles; they are aiming at cities. SCUDs can hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. SCUDs can also be armed with chemical warheads. Why don’t you try spending some time in Tel Aviv when the SCUDs are being fired, and tell us then they are not a “real threat”? Remember, SCUDs can be armed with chemical warheads and Israelis will have to assume they will be.
    I love it, how leftists declare that anything that won’t reduce Israeli cities to rubble is not a “real” threat. Having your cities under missile fire is about as real a threat as it comes. It means your power to deter this outcome has failed.

    Reply

  44. larry birnbaum says:

    nadine provides an important counterweight to the supposedly “realist” viewpoint of our host; and to the vituperative comments that all too often accompany discussions on the Middle East. I personally don’t find it relevant to engage (there’s that word again) every Israel-hater but I certainly support her in that — even if I don’t always agree with her.
    In any case the proximate cause of these increased tensions — the destabilizing factor — is the possible shipment of long-range missiles to Hezbollah and training in their use. It isn’t clear whether the Syrians have already done so or are in the process, or whether they ever even really intended to do so, or whether they intended to do so but were dissuaded by the US and/or Israel. But you do have to ask yourself why this is happening now. The answer probably has more to do with Iran than Syria.

    Reply

  45. frenchconnection says:

    some thoughts
    1) Nadine : the best way to make her insignificant is not to answer her posts, and that applies to Steve too. I did it myself before and won’t from low on. I know it’s fun to bash her preposterous claims, but in the end this is (like in all trolling) counterproductive.
    2) The SCUDS : I want to see “hard” facts and not only pictures of some trucks in the desert or other yeast factories. Because it doesn’t make military sense, unless it’s a propaganda stunt from either one of the other side.
    From the Isreali side it’s obvious that it gives a good reason to strike. But from the other side it could only be a wish to be stricken to initiate other types of retaliation, specially if the strike caused masses of civikian casuakties willingly or not. It could make sense too by bolstering the home opinion (look we have the big rockets) but only countries that are not under direct threat of attack can do so. It’s highly unlikely that the Hezbollah would show them on their annual parade, decorated with yellow flags and chanting “Allah Akhbar”.
    SCUDS are old technology, even with Iranian improvements. They are liquid fueled, must be erected on a ramp before launch, demand a very competent training to be aimed accurately (even to reach a wide target), demand thus a good road network and cannot be easily hidden. Lebanon isn’t the Iraqui desert.
    Despite the advantages (terrain) Saddam had regarding his own, they played a minor role in the Iraq-Iran war and during Gulf war were destroyed to 90% or more by the Allied Forces. Most of them were destroyed before launch and some by anti-missile weapons like the “Patriot”, even if in the last case the ratio was very low (2 out of 10) despite the massive propaganda.
    This was achieved 20 years ago with inacurrate counter-fire and by planes lacking some of the new surveillance means like the drones of today.
    Besides Israel has today good drones and a much better working anti-missile shield at least on paper.
    So SCUDs could never be a real threat to Israel, even if some skipped through, the harm done would be no more than the one done by a conventional bigger bomb of the type Iraqis and Talibans, not to talk about the Hezbollah have already got a rain of. Some will start spinning about biological/chemical warheads, but this mostly in the realm of fantasy since it would demand a technology that only few nations can master. Finally such an improbable feat (it it suceeded) would probably expose the Hezbollah to such massive retaliation, possibly nuclear, that I doubt they are stupid enough to test.
    Of course there could be irrational elements in teh story, but if one would provide the Hezbollah witha “decisive” weapon, there is plenty of other stuff available, which far more lethal and stealth capacity than old sovietic flying barrels.
    so I suspect a lot of BS in that story and probably nothing else than a propaganda stunt wherever it comes from.

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    nadine, I would just try to ignore the way out of line comments around here. I’ve been accused of nearly everything you have, a few differences here and there, by many of the same people. Doesn’t mean I’m in agreement with the bulk of your positions, but I know so many conservatives that I’m not really surprised by the views, and I generally assume that people actually want good outcomes and have very different takes on things. (I also know I’m right about everything (insert smiley emoticon here!))
    I definitely get tired of the “hasbara” charge, but again, it’s been leveled at me multiple times. It’d be nice if there were some new and improved tack, like quoting, explaining, and structuring an argument to counter the view and showing where the strengths and weaknesses of all the points are. I think people think they do this to some extent by occasionally quoting some piece of memory work someone gets wrong, or noting that sometimes someone doesn’t reply to a charge, but this isn’t quite what I mean by ‘analysis’. (By the way, see the CBS poll I pasted all the way down as a refutation of your views of tea party sympathizers!)
    I don’t think there’s hijacking, and I do think we’re all adult enough to read and respond with some amount of free will rather than full fatalistic determinism….

    Reply

  47. WigWag says:

    Nadine is right, Steve Clemons is surely a smart and eloquent guy but this comment of his is laughable; I

    Reply

  48. raybro says:

    Wolf Blitzer?
    Are You Serious?

    Reply

  49. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “How the hell did she manage to hijack the comment section of this blog?”
    Paul, she is a hasbarist. She is tasked to do this, and has scripted responses to whatever you come up with concerning Israel
    Personally, I don’t think an obvious propagandist should be allowed to post here. Certainly, Steve has taken me to task for my incivility on a few occassions here. Yet an unabashed LIAR AND PROPAGANDIST has enjoyed free rein to shit all over the comment section of this blog with a constant stream of hasbarist excrement, racist and despicable stereotyping of the Palestinians, revisionist history, and a callous and deplorable indifference to human suffering. In my years of posting on blogs and message boards, Nadine is right up there in the ranks of the scummiest and most despicable. She has no qualms about casually lying to buttress an argument, and she doesn’t even break stride when her lies are irrefutably exposed.
    The one redeeming factor she has is that she is an excellent barometer for gauging the character and integrity of those here that express sympathies for her narrative. If they fail to take Nadine to task for the more extreme of her pro-Israel lies, justifications, and rationales, then odds are they aren’t worth reading. I’m suprised more Jews haven’t posted here just to tell her to STFU, and stop sowing anti-Israel sentiments with her blather.
    Whatever. Obviously Steve doesn’t mind. Something tells me he enjoys no small amount of mirth in reading the back and forth.

    Reply

  50. nadine says:

    questions, you might find Caroline Glick’s column on King Abdullah’s interview interesting. She points out parts of King Abdullah’s backstory that the media doesn’t know:
    “Abdullah is a Hashemite who leads a predominantly Palestinian country. His country was carved out by the British as a consolation prize for his great-grandfather after the Hashemites lost Syria to the French. As a demographic minority and ethnic transplant, the Hashemites have never been in a position to defend themselves or their kingdom against either their domestic or foreign foes. Consequently they have always been dependent out outside powers – first Britain, and then Israel, and to a lesser degree the US – for their survival.
    When Abdullah’s strategic predicament is borne in mind, his statements to the Journal begin to sound less like a diatribe against Israel and more like a plea to Israel to be strong.”
    http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2010/04/israel-the-strong-horse.php
    I’m not sure if she’s right about Abdullah’s hidden meaning in this case, but she is certainly correct about Israeli support for the Hashemites. King Hussein would have been overthrown by the PLO in 1970 if he hadn’t turned to Israel for help. She is also right that Arab leaders have to use hidden messages when they deviate from the party line.
    As for the poor babies on this thread complaining about my comments (not you, questions), I’m sure it is very disconcerting to be exposed to articulate ideas that don’t normally penetrate your left-wing media cocoon. I am very sorry for you. Well, maybe not so much 😉

    Reply

  51. Neo Controll says:

    “How the hell did she manage to hijack the comment section of this blog?” (Paul)
    By going where no self-respecting commenter — not a totally committed zealot/right wing idealogue — would ever go. Into total propaganda mode with the sole intention, when operational, to overwhelm discussion, divert, distort, derail. Paul she is a persistent droid who has invaded this blog with a mission; to deconstruct rationality as the right wing does. It is clearly out of place on a site that deals with policy within reasonable parameters. Hopefully, the stream of viewing/commenting public will continue strong enough to neutralize her (and like minded zealots) narrative.
    –NCHQ

    Reply

  52. questions says:

    Am I the only one wondering if the sincerity level and the good analysis level and the truth level and the real concern level here are all equally high? Could there be ulterior motives in warning that something MAY happen, as opposed, say, to warning that something WILL happen? Is it possible that Israel really isn’t on the brink of attack? But that it’s a useful concern? It’s not like Israel hasn’t ever attacked, but are they really in a position to do so right now? Any military analysis out there? It’s a passing thought, at any rate.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    12 (13, if you include this one) out of 17 comments on this
    thread so far are written either by Nadine, or as a direct
    response to something she said.
    The topic is serious: Jordan’s King Abdullah warning about the
    “imminent” danger of an outbreak of war in the Middle East.
    On the thread below – about McCain recommending to bomb
    Iran, also a serious issue – 11 out of 11 comments are written
    by, or as a response to something Nadine said. That is 100 % so
    far.
    Is it so easy to hijack a thread at a serious foreign policy blog?
    Would any extremist who simply pushed aggressively for war –
    say against Israel, or America, or China, or Taiwan – get so
    much attention, and manage to hijack thread after thread the
    way Nadine has done during fall, winter and spring 2009/10?
    Or does Nadine really provide sufficient weight – coherent
    analysis, interesting perspectives, convincing arguments, solid
    facts – to deserve that all this attention in thread after thread is
    directed towards her opinions and insinuations – instead of the
    topic at hand?
    How the hell did she manage to hijack the comment section of
    this blog?

    Reply

  54. Maw of America says:

    My heart bleeds for poor Georgie:
    “Bush was too worn down by the Iraq War to do much else…” (Nadine)
    But he left office with 150,000+ troops still there!
    I wonder how worn down they are?

    Reply

  55. nadine says:

    Pessimist, I would be delighted to end all foreign aid to the Israelis and Palestinians both. Making the Palestinians get an economy of their own would force them to abandon jihad. Israel already has an economy.

    Reply

  56. Paul Norheim says:

    “Nothing that’s been tried thus far has been very successful in
    moving the parties toward peace. This fact–and I think we can
    agree that it’s a fact–has to rob your position, perhaps all
    positions, of their certainty.”
    Well said, Sweetness. (And the rest of your comment too)

    Reply

  57. larry birnbaum says:

    Sweetness, I would be pleased for the US and Israel both to engage Hezbollah in serious discussions about: how to keep the peace, how to avoid destabilizing the situation further. Perhaps in the future there can be cultural exchanges or even ping-pong. Followed by the exchange of Ambassadors, verifiable steps towards a less militarized border, etc.
    I just don’t see the slightest bit of evidence however that Nasrallah is interested in any of these things. I would be thrilled to be proven wrong.
    So by all means let’s engage. But also let’s not have any illusions that our relationship with, say, China improved because of ping-pong. It improved because the Chinese and the Russians were scared of each other; and then ultimately because Communism proved to be a failure.
    It improved in other words because of fundamentals, not atmospherics.

    Reply

  58. The Pessimist says:

    Nadine, do you have any idea how many hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars the US taxpayers have been forced against their will into sending to Israel since 1948? They are Zionist mercenaries, that keep in power by a combination of welfare and thuggery.

    Reply

  59. nadine says:

    JohnH, do you have any idea how many hundreds of millions of dollars Iran has sent to Hizbullah and Hamas? They are Iranian foreign legions, that keep in power by a combination of welfare and thuggery.

    Reply

  60. Assaf Ben-Atar says:

    The ambassador situation with Syria is part of the carrot & stick foreign policy – which was generally most effective in moving the arab-israeli negotiations forward during the Olso peace process.
    American re-engagement with syria is inextricably linked to it’s current carrot/stick policy with the Israeli govt over peace negotiations. The ambassador appointment step towards normalizing ties with Syria would contribute to Israel’s long-term military security. If Syria sends scuds to Hezbollah, then the purpose of contributing to Israeli security is thwarted, and thus there is less of a reason to send an ambassador (because in turn, there is less benefit American interests if it doesn’t move the potential peace process forward).

    Reply

  61. JohnH says:

    Israel has tried Victor Hansen’s approach against Lebanon and the Palestinians. It solved nothing, counter productively giving rise Hezbollah and Hamas.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. But that is Nadine’s prescription…

    Reply

  62. Sweetness says:

    Nadine, I think we started this discussion a few threads ago…
    Here is how I see it…

    Reply

  63. nadine says:

    Victor Hansen sums up the two views of human nature held by the two sides:
    “We are currently engaged in a great but somewhat dangerous experiment in American foreign policy that has unfortunate antecedents from the 1930s and 1970s

    Reply

  64. JohnH says:

    On a different thread, Nadine wonders about the costs of not attacking Iran.
    Based on experience with Lebanon and the Palestinians, one of the “costs” would be that no new organization like Hamas or Hezbollah would be formed. Both, if Nadine can remember such things, rose in direction response to brutal Israeli occupations.
    If Israel was really interested in its long term survival, it would immediately stop policies that foster the rise of virulent enemies. But instead, Israel is more interested in proving it manhoood and bludgeoning its neighbors than in sensible long term policies. Clear thinking is rarely an attribute of bullies…

    Reply

  65. nadine says:

    Steve, your recap rather ignores that the none of the Arab players are moving, or rather, are moving backwards. Olmert gave Abu Mazen an offer even better than Taba and got no answer, did you forget that part? Syria is not interested in anything other than getting the Golan back as a precondition for talks, did you forget that part?
    You don’t need leverage on Israel. You need leverage on Syria and the Palestinians. They won’t even talk. They demand ever higher bribes just to approach the table. They think Iran is winning. With your lot in office, they are right.

    Reply

  66. Steve Clemons says:

    Nadine: I support normalization and engagement with Syria – and think that the status quo between Israel and its neighbors over Occupied Territory is unsustainable. It’s in Israel’s interests to secure a peace deal with Syria — and to move to a normalization strategy with the region. Israel has not been moving — and some are trying to create leverage I think to move it. I think Ohlmert, had he not been scandaled out of office, would have moved this forward and history might look different. Will never know. In any case, appreciate your views — but I differ on this front and associate my perspective with the recommendations of James Baker, Scowcroft, Brzezinski, Edward Djerejian, Alan Simpson, Paul Volcker and a chunk of others. All best, steve

    Reply

  67. nadine says:

    “On many levels, this is extremely worrisome. Hezbollah is now integrated into Lebanon’s parliament and interacting with countries like France at all levels of government. An Israeli-Lebanon War could preempt the normalization track the United States is pursuing with Syria.
    There are reports today about American concerns of Syrian supply of SCUD missiles to Hezbollah and/or training to Hezbollah personnel on SCUDs.” (Steve Clemons)
    A war could preempt the normalization? As opposed, say, to Syria’s sending SCUDs to Hizbullah and its continued tight unbroken alliance with Iran?
    Let’s recap. We send an ambassador to Damascus, Assad immediately meets with Ahmedinejad and Nasrallah in Damascus to swear undying fidelity to Iran, and sends long-range SCUDs to Hizbullah.
    And in your opinion, only an actual war will hinder the normalization track that Obama is pursuing. Presumably because it’s the only thing too big for US diplomacy to ignore.

    Reply

  68. larry birnbaum says:

    “Hezbollah is now … interacting with countries like France at all levels of government.”
    And these “interactions” have resulted in what, specifically?

    Reply

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