Live on C-Span Tuesday Morning 10 am EST: The Annapolis Summit: What (Not) to Expect?

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Inside sources tell me that the Annapolis Peace Summit to address Israel/Palestine issues will be officially announced tomorrow, and the date will be November 27.
The selection of Annapolis as the site for the upcoming Israel/Palestine Peace Summit makes some sense if one were serious about creating a new reality in the Middle East.
It was in Annapolis in September 1786 that Alexander Hamilton and James Madison teamed up and convinced the state delegates to exceed their designated authority and to approve a Federal Convention in Philadelphia the following year. Amidst dramatically low expectations and much bungling, the critical seeds were planted that led to the creation of a new federal Constitution and a democratic United States of America.
Logic has led me to the low expectations camp as we approach a Middle East summit this month in Annapolis — but I’m willing to be duped if Secretary Rice can manage something that will lead to a reversal of the “we tried everything we could but the Palestinians were corrupt, self-dealing, and weren’t ready” narrative.
My minimum threshold for success this round is that railroad track get set that can be sustained over the next 12 months and picked up immediately by the next administration. By the way, my already low expectations will be dashed if any military engagement with Iran occurs because we will then further “lose the Arab street” in any hot conflict — and solving the Palestinian problem will not get us back to even with the Arab world, whereas without a conflict with Iran — we may get back just a bit into the black.
As part of a bipartisan effort to encourage the administration in constructive directions, I have worked with Daniel Levy of the New America Foundation and Century Foundation; Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group, and Henry Siegman of the US/Middle East Project to generate and promulgate a letter signed by a diverse set of wise foreign policy players.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, we will be re-releasing a letter already signed and release last month by Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carla Hills, Nancy Kassebaum Baker, Paul Volcker, Ted Sorensen, Thomas Pickering, and Lee Hamilton.
We have a lot more signatories including:

Former US AID Deputy Administrator HARRIET “HATTIE” BABBITT, former USIA Chief JOSEPH DUFFEY, former US Senator GARY HART, former US Senator LINCOLN CHAFEE, RAND Corporation Board Member and New America Foundation/American Strategy Program Chair RITA HAUSER, former Assistant Secretary of State JAMES DOBBINS, former State Department Policy Planning Director MORTON HALPERIN. . .
former Deputy Ambassador to the UN WILLIAM VAN DEN HEUVEL, former Israel Foreign Minister SCHLOMO BEN-AMI, former US Senator BIRCH BAYH, former Congressman and Corning CEO AMO HOUGHTON Jr., former National Intelligence Council Chairman ROBERT HUTCHINGS, former Assistant Secretary of Defense LAWRENCE KORB, former American Political Science Association President and Columbia University professor ROBERT JERVIS. . .
Kings College Terrorism Chair and New America Foundation Senior Fellow ANATOL LIEVEN, former National Security Agency Director Lt. General WILLIAM ODOM, Committee for the Republic President WILLIAM NITZE, Brookings Visiting Senior Fellow DIANA VILLIERS NEGROPONTE, Former CIA Deputy Director JOHN McLAUGHLIN, former US Ambassador JOHN MALOTT, former EU Commissioner for Foreign Relations CHRISTOPHER PATTEN, former National Intelligence Officer for the Near East PAUL PILLAR. . .
former US Senator LARRY PRESSLER, former US Ambassador FELIX ROHATYN, MIT Center for International Studies Director RICHARD SAMUELS, retired Marine Corps General JOHN J. “JACK” SHEEHAN, Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School Dean ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, Former Congressman STEPHEN SOLARZ, former First USA Bank CEO and Adagio Partners CEO RICHARD VAGUE, Former US Senator and UN Foundation President TIMOTHY WIRTH, and former US Ambassador and AIG Vice Chairman FRANK WISNER. . .
Rice University James Baker Institute Director and Former US Ambassador to Syria EDWARD DJEREJIAN, former Middle East Road Map Director Ambassador JOHN S. WOLF, Nixon Center President and National Interest Publisher DIMITRI K. SIMES, Lehman Brothers Managing Director (and Teddy Roosevelt great-grandson) THEODORE ROOSEVELT IV — among others.

I am attaching the latest version of the letter here now in pdf form. It may have a new name or two added tomorrow.
This is a pretty amazing list actually as far as lists go — and the full roster is even more impressive.
In addition to the release of this letter, the New America Foundation and International Crisis Group are hosting an event that C-Span will air titled “The Annapolis Summit: What (Not) to Expect.”
The event takes place at the New America Foundation Tuesday 10 am – 11:30 am and will feature:

Ghaith Al-Omari
Lead Palestinian Drafter, Geneva Initiative; Former International Policy Director and Advisor to the President, Palestinian Authority; Senior Research Associate, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
Robert Malley
Former Senior Advisor to President Clinton on Middle East Policy Affairs Director, Middle East and North Africa Program, International Crisis Group
Daniel Levy
Lead Israel Drafter, Geneva Initiative; Former Israel Government Negotiator and Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister in numerous peace talks; Senior Fellow & Director, Middle East Policy Initiative, New America Foundation; Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation; Publisher, Prospects for Peace
Steve Clemons
Senior Fellow & Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation and Publisher, The Washington Note

Should be a very interesting session that I think will be worth watching for any signs that Annapolis may have something in the water that will help the Summit beat the low expectations most have for the meeting.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

50 comments on “Live on C-Span Tuesday Morning 10 am EST: The Annapolis Summit: What (Not) to Expect?

  1. Kathleen says:

    easy e.. yikes, the GD Bilderbergers.

    Reply

  2. easy e says:

    “EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Ellsberg Says Sibel Edmonds Case ‘Far More Explosive Than Pentagon Papers'”
    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5260
    “The True Story of the BILDERBERG GROUP”
    By Daniel Estulin
    TrineDay
    ISBN-10: 0977795349
    It is difficult to re-educate people who have been brought up on nationalism to the idea of relinquishing part of their sovereignty to a supra-national body. –Bilderberg Group founder, Prince Bernhard
    As a rhetorical question, can someone please explain to me how it is that progressive liberals such as John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, as well as do-gooder humanitarians with multiple social projects ongoing such as the Rockefellers and every Royal House in Europe, can perennially attend Bilderberg meetings apparently knowing that the final objective of this despicable group of hoodlums is a fascist One World Empire? –Daniel Estulin (P.318)
    Daniel Estulin is a Madrid-based journalist and an investigative reporter who took on the daunting and dangerous task of researching the Bildeberg Group, and who offers his findings in The True Story Of The Bilderberg Group, recently published by TrineDay.
    Equally intriguing as his harrowing tales of being followed and nearly killed on a couple of occasions while working on the book, is the manner in which Estulin connects the dots between the Bilderberg Group, world events, notable politicians and corporate tycoons and the two other secretive monsters of the ruling elite, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (TC). The project lasted 15 years and was motivated by Estulin’s curiosity about how it is that the mainstream media have never covered in depth the meetings of the Bilderberg Group whose combined wealth exceeds the combined wealth of all U.S. citizens.
    What Estulin’s book makes clear is that the group, along with the CFR and TC, has become a shadow government whose top priority is to erase the sovereignty of all nation-states and supplant them with global corporate control of their economies under the surveillance of “an electronic global police state.” [xv]
    The author emphasizes that not all members of the group are “bad” people, and he implies that membership is structured somewhat like concentric circles in a target scheme with an inner core and various levels of relationship between that core and the outer circles of membership. Almost every famous player in politics and finance in the world is a member of one of the three organizations above mentioned, and their political affiliations range from liberal to conservative, for example, George W. Bush, George Soros, Gerald Ford, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter.
    Of this private club, Estulin says: “This parallel world remains unseen in the daily struggles of most of humanity, but, believe me, it is there: a cesspool of duplicity and lies and double-speak and innuendo and blackmail and bribery. It is a surreal world of double and triple agents, of changing loyalties, of professional psychotic assassins, brainwashed black ops agents, soldiers of fortune and mercenaries, whose primary sources of income are the dirtiest and most despicable government-run subversive missions — the kind that can never be exposed.” [1]
    This world, according to Estulin, is so perverse and evil that “it has left an indelible mark on my soul”. [16] How not? Because the Bilderberg Group and its two other triplets, the CFR and the TC have set about to loot the entire planet. Their members run the central banks of the world and are poised to control discount rates, money-supply, interest rates, gold prices, and which countries receive or do not receive loans. Membership is by invitation only, many of the earliest members being handpicked, not from right-wing groups but from among none other than the Fabian Socialists who ultimately supported global government.”
    Another chilling quote Estulin includes is from William Shannon: “The Bilderbergers are searching for the age of post-nationalism: when we won’t have countries, but rather regions of the Earth surrounded by universal values. That is to say, a global economy; one world government (selected rather than elected) and a universal religion. To assure themselves of reaching these objectives, the Bilderbergers focus on a ‘greater technical approach’ and less awareness on behalf of the general public.”
    The Bilderbergbaptism of Bill Clinton
    In 1991 Bill Clinton attended the Bilderberg Conference in Baden-Baden, Germany, where Estulin asserts that he was “anointed” to the U.S. presidency, and shortly thereafter he took an unexpected, unannounced trip to Moscow. It appears, says Estulin, that he was sent there to get his KGB student-era, anti-Vietnam war files “buried” before he announced his candidacy for president which happened some two-and-a-half months later. Today, Clinton is a member of all three groups: Bilderberg, CFR, and TC. Hillary Clinton is a member of the Bilderberg Group.
    Estulin points out that “almost all of the presidential candidates for both parties have belonged to at least one of these organizations, many of the U.S. congressmen and senators, most major policy-making positions, especially in the field of foreign relations, much of the press, most of the leadership of the CIA, FBI, IRS, and many of the remaining governmental organizations in Washington. CFR members occupy nearly all White House cabinet positions.”(80) When one considers that most prominent members of mainstream media are also members of what Edith Kermit Roosevelt, granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt called “this legitimate Mafia”, how can we assert that Americans obtain their news from independent sources?
    For example, The News Hour with Jim Leher is the cornerstone of PBS’s programming. Leher is a CFR member, and when one examines the funding of the news hour by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), whose chairman. Dwayne Andreas. was a member of the Trilateral Commission; Pepsico, whose CEO, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, is a Bilderberger and TC Executive Committee member; and Smith Barney which is interlocked with Citigroup, a global financial services company that is a member of the Bilderberg Group, the CFR, and the TC, what kind of “news” should one expect from Leher’s News Hour? Consider also that many of the journalists on the News Hour: Paul Gigot, David Gergen, William Kristol, and William Safire are members of one or more of the three groups. [153]
    Likewise, when we consider the membership in one or more of these groups of almost every American president since the inception of these organizations, we can no longer pretend that any Democratic or Republican presidential candidate offers the American people an alternative to ruling elite global hegemony.
    In fact, Estulin’s research reveals that “the Council on Foreign Relations creates and delivers psycho-political operations by manipulating people’s reality through a ‘tactic of deception,’ placing Council members on both sides of an issue. The deception is complete when the public is led to believe that its own best interests are being served while the CFR policy is being carried out.” [117]
    And what happens if the “anointed ones” become too autonomous? One chapter in the book, “The Watergate Con-Game”, answers that question. In it Estulin suggests that Richard Nixon was set up by the Council on Foreign Relations of which he was a member because of his insubordination and unwillingness to submit to the shadow government. Presumably, Nixon’s demise was carefully crafted to demonstrate to subsequent chief executives the price they would pay for disregarding the agenda of those who anointed them.
    That was then,this is now
    In the book’s final pages, Estulin’s research waxes increasingly relevant to the present moment in history. He asks: “Why would David Rockefeller and other U.S. Trilateralists, Bilderbergers and the CFR members want to dismantle the industrial might of the United States?” [184] He then launches into a summary of the economic history of the twentieth century and makes one of the most powerful statements of the entire book: “What we have witnessed from this ‘cabal’ is the gradual collapsing of the U.S. economy that began in the 1980s.” [187]
    In case you haven’t noticed, this “gradual collapse of the U.S. economy” is no longer gradual, and what Estulin is asserting confirms a great deal of the assertions made by Catherine Austin Fitts that the current housing bubble explosion/credit crunch/mortgage meltdown has its roots in the 1980s. James Howard Kunstler has also recently written an article on his blog, entitled “Shock and Awe,” that the great American yard sale has begun. In other words, as an engineered economic meltdown drives hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of businesses and individuals into bankruptcy, key players in the Big Three ruling elite organizations can buy up the train wreck left behind for pennies on the dollar — a brilliant fast-track strategy for owning the world.
    In the final months of 2007, we are witnessing the stupendous success of the Big Three’s strategy for planetary economic hegemony as the cacophony of their carefully engineered global economic cataclysm reverberates across America and around the world. It was never about buyers who didn’t read the fine print when taking out liar loans. It was always about silver-tongued, ruling elite politicians and central bankers, anointed by the shadow government, who ultimately and skillfully stole and continue to steal governments from people and replace them with transnational corporations.
    No one could have said it better than David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission, a Bilderberg member and board member of the Council On Foreign Relations in his Memoirs: “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure-one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
    If you want to know who really runs the world and the lengths to which they will go to establish their globalist hegemony, you must read Estulin’s well-documented The True Story of The Bilderberg Group.
    http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_2659.shtml

    Reply

  3. reggie says:

    Peace ‘N’ Freem ‘N’ Moxy For Palistan By Christmas:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/cartoon/2007/nov/23/steve.bell

    Reply

  4. easy e says:

    More on “Sibel Edmonds”:
    “EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Ellsberg Says Sibel Edmonds Case ‘Far More Explosive Than Pentagon Papers'”
    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5260
    “What the heck is Sibel Edmonds’ Case about? And why should I care?”
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/11/20/53223/797
    If AIPAC & ATC are the tip of the iceberg, the Military Industrial Complex through its elite enablers in the Trilateral Commission, Bilderbergers, Foreign Relations Council, etc., are at the core. It’s all about ’empire’.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I have NEVER seen the name “Sibel Edmonds” cross Steve Clemons’ keyboard. Virtually no aspect of middle eastern affairs, as it applies to American and Israeli policy in the Middle East, can be discussed realistically unless Sibel Edmond’s assertions and allegations are considered. Sibel Edmonds and her story is not an Elephant, it is a herd of Mastodons, stampeding over every aspect of middle eastern policies, the treasonous nature of our non-representative government, and this charade we have been sold called “The Global War On Terrorism”.
    Sibel Edmonds Case: the untellable story of AIPAC
    by Luke Ryland
    Last week, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, announced that she was willing to tell everything that she knows if any of the major networks are willing to give her airtime, without airbrushing the essence of her case. Bradblog will have an update on the progress, or lack of it, next week.
    Of course, Sibel would prefer to testify under oath in congress, but apparently our Democratic Congresscritters (I’m looking at you, Waxman) don’t care about the treason, bribery, and corruption that has hijacked US foreign policy.
    Meanwhile, last week we learnt that the judge in the AIPAC case has allowed subpoenas to be issued to 15 current and former high-level officials. Many of us are excited about the prospect of the trial – but Sibel assures us that the case, as it stands, is just the tip of the iceberg.
    ‘AIPAC’ is at the core of Sibel’s case, and Sibel’s story needs to be heard – either in Congress, or in the media.
    ****
    Those of you who have been following Sibel’s case will be familiar with the American Turkish Council (ATC) – the ‘mini-AIPAC’ that (ostensibly) exists to promote Turkey’s military interests in the US.
    As it happens, the ATC is a creation of AIPAC (and other Israeli lobbying interests) – and there is significant overlap in the membership, goals and activities of both AIPAC and the ATC. This is perhaps not surprising given the long-standing tri-lateral military (and military ‘defense’ spending) relationship between the three countries. In fact, Sibel refers to AIPAC and the ATC as ‘sister organizations.’
    Not only were the ATC and AIPAC ‘sister organizations,’ they also had something else in common: there have been ‘sister investigations’ into both organizations. And of course, both investigations uncovered serious criminality at the highest levels of the US administration – Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department.
    Sibel described the overlap in this interview with Antiwar’s Chris Deliso in 2005:
    SE: Look, I think that that [the AIPAC investigation] ultimately involves more than just Israelis – I am talking about countries, not a single country here. Because despite however it may appear, this is not just a simple matter of state espionage. If (Patrick) Fitzgerald and his team keep pulling, really pulling, they are going to reel in much more than just a few guys spying for Israel.
    CD: A monster, 600-pound catfish, huh? So the Turkish and Israeli investigations had some overlap?
    SE: Essentially, there is only one investigation – a very big one, an all-inclusive one. Completely by chance, I, a lowly translator, stumbled over one piece of it.
    But I can tell you there are a lot of people involved, a lot of ranking officials, and a lot of illegal activities that include multi-billion-dollar drug-smuggling operations, black-market nuclear sales to terrorists and unsavory regimes, you name it. And of course a lot of people from abroad are involved. It’s massive. So to do this investigation, to really do it, they will have to look into everything.
    CD: But you can start from anywhere –
    SE: That’s the beauty of it. You can start from the AIPAC angle. You can start from the Plame case. You can start from my case. They all end up going to the same place, and they revolve around the same nucleus of people. There may be a lot of them, but it is one group. And they are very dangerous for all of us.
    In 2004, Knight Ridder’s Warren Strobel and Jonathon Landay confirmed that the ‘AIPAC case’ was much more serious than anything that has seen the light of day so far:
    Continues at….
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_luke_ryl_071109_sibel_edmonds_case_3a_.htm

    Reply

  6. Carroll says:

    I have been told I can only spend 30 minutes on my net news habit today so this is it.
    Hopefully they aren’t getting anywhere with Bush at the moment but I worry how deep they have burrowed into campaigns like Hillary’s on the Isr-Pal issue.
    Likudnik Hawks Work to Undermine Annapolis
    by Jim Lobe
    Despite near-universal skepticism about the prospects for launching a serious, new Middle East peace process at next week’s Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, a familiar clutch of neoconservative hawks close to the Likud Party leader, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, isn’t taking any chances.
    Hard-liners associated with the American Enterprise Institute and Freedom’s Watch, a bountifully funded campaign led by prominent backers of the Republican Jewish Coalition, among other like-minded groups, are mounting a concerted attack against next week’s meeting which they fear could result in pressure on Israel to make territorial concessions.
    The attack, which comes amid steadily growing neoconservative fears that the administration of President George W. Bush is becoming increasingly “realist” in its last year in office, is being directed primarily against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, rather than the president himself.
    Rice, who has devoted an unprecedented amount of time and travel in the past several months to nudging Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas toward agreement on a framework that will deliver a two-state solution, said she hoped to achieve that goal by the time Bush leaves office in January 2009.
    “The parties have said they are going to make efforts to conclude [a final peace accord] in this president’s term, and it’s no secret that means about a year,” she told reporters, noting that next Tuesday’s meeting is designed to launch an intensive negotiating effort over the coming months. “That’s what we’ll try and do. Nobody can guarantee that – all you can do is make your best effort.”
    But such an effort is anathema to hard-line neoconservatives whose presence in the Bush administration has dwindled steadily over the past two years, but who retain influence primarily through Vice President Dick Cheney and key members of the White House national security staff, notably Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams.
    Indeed, among the most prominent hawks who have attacked the Annapolis meeting, to which senior officials and diplomats from 46 nations and multilateral groups have been invited, has been David Wurmser. Until August, Wurmser served as Cheney’s main Middle East adviser. His opposition to the aborted Oslo peace process dates back to its very beginning in the early 1990s.
    In a press luncheon sponsored by the hard-line Israel Project Monday, Wurmser, a former director of AEI’s Middle East program, argued that the current moment was the worst time for the administration to initiate a new Israeli-Palestinian peace process, particularly given the importance and more urgent threats to US interests posed by North Korea, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Venezuela.
    “It simply sends the wrong signal,” he said, stressing that, contrary to Rice’s arguments and those of other foreign policy realists, any pressure on Israel to make concessions at the moment would only embolden Iran and weaken Washington’s Sunni-led regional allies which the administration hopes to forge into an Arab-Israeli coalition against Tehran.
    While Wurmser is perhaps the most recent administration alumnus to speak out against Annapolis, other hardline neoconservatives close to Netanyahu are also rallying against any serious peace effort.
    Danielle Pletka, AEI’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, published a column in the New York Times this week which accused the administration of aping the policies of former President Bill Clinton, particularly on North Korea and the Israeli-Palestinian process.
    Pletka, a protégé of neoconservative impresario Richard Perle, was particularly scornful of Abbas, whom she described as “powerless” and a “pretender,” and of Rice who, she complained has “recently sought advice from not just Bill Clinton but, of all people, Jimmy Carter” – the former president who is excoriated by neoconservatives for his 1977 endorsement of a “Palestinian homeland,” as well as his recent book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.
    Not to be outdone, the Wall Street Journal’s “Global View” columnist, Bret Stephens, also linked Rice’s peace efforts to Carter, even while conveniently omitting the fact that it was Carter who forged the 1978 Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt.
    Noting the political weakness of both Abbas and Olmert, as well as the widespread skepticism that the parties are prepared to make the necessary compromises, Stephens, a former editor of the right-wing Jerusalem Post, expressed wonderment “why this administration has gotten itself caught in the Venus flytrap of the Arab-Israeli conflict, after vowing not to do so, and why it has done so with a degree of ineptitude that recalls the dimmer moments of the Carter administration.”
    Meanwhile, the ultra-hawkish president of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), Frank Gaffney, also took out after Rice in a Washington Times column that derided the Annapolis meeting as “Condi’s Folly,” called Rice herself a “zealot who has lost any sense of reality,” and labeled Abbas’ Fatah party a “terrorist organization” along with other “Islamofascist” groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
    Gaffney, another Perle protégé, argued that the “only Palestinian state that can possibly come from …Rice’s zealotry will be a dagger pointed at the heart of Israel and a new safe-haven for terror aimed at the United States and other Western nations.”
    The column’s title, “Staticidal Zealotry,” partially echoed recent public complaints by two Freedom’s Watch founders, Sheldon Adelson and Gary Erlbaum, regarding the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) endorsement of a letter signed by some 130 lawmakers in support of the Annapolis initiative and increased US assistance for Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA).
    AIPAC, which is widely considered the heart of the so-called “Israel Lobby” in Washington, has itself been pressed hard by both the administration and the Olmert government to support next week’s meeting.
    Adelson, a casino magnate with an estimated net worth of more than 26 billion dollars who is also a strong backer of Netanyahu, argued that Olmert’s engagement the Annapolis process posed a mortal danger to Israel.
    “I don’t continue to support organizations that help friends committing suicide just because they say they want to jump,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) in what was taken a threat to reduce his substantial financial backing if the group did not heed his Likudist agenda.
    Both Adelson and Erlbaum, who is a Philadelphia property developer, are major donors to Freedom’s Watch, a group formed in August to defend the Bush administration’s “surge” strategy in Iraq against legislative efforts to mandate a withdrawal of US combat forces.
    The group, more than half of whose leaders is drawn from the RJC board and staff, intends to raise at least 200 million dollars for advertising and other public relations activities to support its hard-line positions on the Middle East, according to a recent New York Times profile.
    In recent weeks, the group has employed a high-priced PR firm to test-market a campaign apparently designed to rally public support for an attack on Iran, according to a recent article by investigative reporter Laura Rozen published in Mother Jones magazine. Ari Fleischer, who served as Bush’s chief spokesman during his presidential campaign and in the White House until 2003, is one of a number of former administration officials active in Freedom’s Watch.
    (Inter Press Service)

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see McClellon is backing down, and claiming that Bush didn’t lie, but instead, he was just ignorant of the facts.
    My questions to McClellon would be…..
    A)Which is worse in a President, a consistent pattern of lying, or a consistent pattern of ignorance?
    and…
    B) After a President is repeatedly shown to be ignorant of the facts surrounding a myriad of issues, wouldn’t it then become necessary to lie about his ignorance in order to stave off accusations of malfeasance and ineptitude?
    It simply seems to me that a President could not possibly survive two terms of ignorance without being aided by two terms of lying.

    Reply

  8. Kathleen says:

    On War and Peace and Presidential Politixxx, Kucinich comes out punching… TKO
    Revelations regarding Edwards’ pro-war posture in ’04 raise serious credibility questions in this campaign, says Kucinich
    Submitted by davidswanson on Wed, 2007-11-21 21:19. Elections
    From http://www.dennis4president.com
    MANCHESTER, NH – Revelations in today’s New York Times regarding John Edwards’ staunch pro-war stance as a Vice Presidential candidate in 2004 “raise serious questions about the credibility of his positions on every issue being debated in this Presidential campaign,” Ohio Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said today.
    “Voters have every right to ask, ‘Were you telling the truth then, John, or are you telling the truth now?’ And Senator Edwards has a responsibility to answer,” Kucinich said.
    In a major story today about the relationship between Edwards and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 campaign, the Times reported, “Mr. Kerry had increasing doubts about the war. But Mr. Edwards argued that they should not renounce their votes – they had to show conviction and consistency.” Edwards was a co-sponsor of the 2002 war authorization resolution, along with Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
    “Mr. Kerry yielded to his running mate,” according to the Times story, and told reporters early in the 2004 campaign that he would still have voted for the 2002 war authorization even knowing that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction. Six weeks later, in a speech at New York University, he reversed himself, over the objections of Edwards, the Times reported.
    A year later, in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, Edwards reversed his own position, a move that some Kerry aides described as “politically expedient” in the planned run-up to the 2008 Presidential campaign.
    “John Kerry was hammered by the Republicans and by many in the media for changing his positions on the war and other issues in the 2004 campaign,” Kucinich noted. “The fact of the matter is that he wanted to come out against the war in 2004, and John Edwards argued against it.”
    “Now,” Kucinich continued, “we have a candidate who voted for the war and voted to fund the war, but says he’s against it. He voted for the Patriot Act, and now he complains about its abuses. He voted for China Trade in 2000 knowing that Americans would be hurt, and now he’s decrying the unsafe products pouring into this nation from China. He supported nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, now he’s against it.”
    “Will the real John Edwards please stand up?” Kucinich said.

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I posted on another thread a little article from the AIPAC website that describes “three Senators” that spoke at a recent AIPAC conference. I can’t seem to find the article on the AIPAC website now. But what I found interesting is that the “three Senators” are not named in the article. I assume that Arlen Specter was one of them, but I only make that assumption because there was a uncaptioned (with exception of a caption identifying the photograped individual as being Spector) photo accompanying the article, that showed Specter standing behind a podium. Is it possible that Senator’s are no longer seeing an affiliation with AIPAC as positive PR, and are requesting their names not be used as tools of AIPAC endorsement? It is odd that AIPAC would use the description “three Senators” without actually naming them. Perhaps I am making elephants out of gophers, as Steve would undoubtedly choose to believe, but I have followed the postings on the AIPAC website for some time now, and find the purposeful ommission of these Senators names completely out of “character” for the AIPAC website.

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  10. ... says:

    but then some would accuse them of not having there priorities straight…and they wouldn’t recieve funding in the same way.. funny i read about the casino magnate who is pissed with the aipac group for a similar thing..

    Reply

  11. ... says:

    >>The Israel Project (TIP) is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace.<<
    if they had it the other way around- The Israel Project (TIP) is an international non-profit organization devoted to promoting security, freedom and peace while educating the press and the public about Israel,
    IT WOULD BE A LOT MORE BELIEVABLE!

    Reply

  12. Dirk says:

    Looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy and Carrot Top (Kagan and O’Hanlon) are at it again. This time they want us to “special op” and/or bomb Pakistan.
    These two “geniuses” have advocated the Iraq invasion, Iraq surge as well as war with Iran and Syria. It might be simpler if they just gave us a list of countries they DON’T advocate invading.
    Steve, rumor has it that Clinton is considering O’Hanlon for a senior policy position should she win the election. Could you verify this rumor?
    From Think Progress:
    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/11/19/ohanlon-kagan/

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  13. arthurdecco says:

    “steve can make statements like this one below about the cuban lobby but the israeli lobby would make him personna non gratta and a washingtonian looking for a job if he ever DARED make such a statement as the one below about how AIPAC has caused the us to meddle in the middle east at the cost of thousands of american soldiers lives and gazillions of dollars of our tax revenues not to name the ill will of the entire arab sunni muslim, persian shia world.” posted by Samuel Burke
    It’s not just the “arab sunni muslim, persian shia world(s)” that are feeling ill will towards AIPAC, Israel and the United States for their involvement in capital crimes against the legitimate citizens of the Middle East, Mr. Burke,.
    Everyone I talk with about this issue – whether they are white WASPy or ethnic, Black American or African, Chinese or Polynesian, you name it, is as disgusted by their behavior as any citizen of the Middle East that I hear from.
    Haven’t you noticed more and more people are speaking out against the atrocious behavior of the Zionists, demanding something be done to rein them in? The threat of being accused of being an anti-Semite for being sickened by Israel’s crimes seems to no longer hold the power to silence our legitimate criticisms – at least on the Net, thank gawd!
    Walt and Mearsheimer’s buried-from-sight and ignored-by-the-media’s new book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”, while saccharine in its tone, has certainly contributed to the legitimization of the rest of the world’s concerns about the crimes perpetrated in the Middle East and even here in North America by these Zionist criminals and their enablers and apologists. And criminals, their enablers and apologists are what they are in the mind of any rational, reasonable person, aren’t they?
    And you’re spot on about Mr. Clemons dilemma, too, though he does get around that somewhat by allowing wild-eyed, Islamofascist loving, anti-Semite and/or self-hating Jewish fanatics like you and I, (as I roll my eyes!), to post our opinions, doesn’t he? And I’m sure he takes some heat for it too.
    So cut him a teensy, wheensy bit of slack…
    There’s some great information being shared here on this thread, btw. Thanks to all.
    Good to read you again, Carroll

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  14. Carroll says:

    Carroll — nice to have you back.
    Feel better,
    Steve Clemons
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Thanks.
    Believe it or not I actually missed the “gossip” while I was computerless and net deprived.

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  15. Carroll says:

    Here is another good example of both the Isr-Pal problem and the “perversions” of rights I mentioned.
    Now, if I say that it is a conflict of interest or even a potential conflict of interest for a US elected representive to be on the board of any group that specifically and solely works in the interest of another country.
    They would say that I was denying individual democratic “rights” to affiliate with whatever they personally believe in or that their position didn’t preclude them from also working in some way for another country under the rationale that the country was an ally. Or that it was the “same thing” as being of the board of the black interest group, the NAACP or a group for “domestic” jewish minority interest.
    Except it’s not..it’s involved in promoting the interest of “another” country.
    That is how Orwellian out entire government has gotten.
    But they have no problem with holding hearings based entirely on the “conflicts of interest” of an appointee of the “other” party like the CIA or pentagon offical whose brother was on the board of Blackwater.
    These conflicts of interest in our government have to be wiped out without exception. Allowing one exception after another is why we are where we are.
    http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.672811/k.DFA5/About_TIP.htm
    The Israel Project (TIP) is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.
    Our team of trusted Middle East experts and former reporters provides journalists with fact sheets, backgrounders and sources. TIP regularly hosts press briefings featuring leading Israeli spokespeople and analysts that give journalists an opportunity to get information and answers to their questions face-to-face. By providing journalists with the facts, context and visuals they need, TIP causes hundreds of millions of people around the world to see a more positive public face of Israel. This helps protect Israel, reduce anti-Semitism and increase pride in Israel.
    Board of Advisors
    TIP is proud to have the following members on its Board of Advisors:
    Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA
    Sen. Norm Coleman, R-MN
    Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL
    Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA
    Sen. Arlen Spector, R-PA
    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR
    Rep. Rob Andrews, D-NJ
    Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-NV
    Rep. Tom Davis, R-VA
    Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY
    Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ
    Rep. Jon Porter, R-NV
    Rep. Jim Saxton, R-NJ
    Rep. Brad Sherman, D-CA
    Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC

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  16. Carroll says:

    Relative to Pauline’s post on the Freedom Watch group.
    One of the hazards of a democracy is being a prime target and tool for agenda people who pervert the rights of a democracy like freedom of speech and right to representation for their own ignoble purposes. Normally the MS press and the congress would be the gatekeepers on the effectiveness and power of this perversion tactic. But they are too corrupted to do this any longer. I am more and more impressed with the power of the net in exposing these warts. We just need one big citizen net inspired uprising and upset in politics as usual to break up the establishment corruption.

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  17. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen at November 21, 2007 02:53 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Exactly why we must become extreme political terriers for the eradication of “all” these inhuman,immoral greedy, disgusting politicans.
    No more same old.

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  18. Kathleen says:

    Carroll…poisoning sheep, destroying wells and cisterns and otherwise terrorizing indigenous peoples is exactly what we did as recently as 1986 to Navajo and Hopi in Arizona, as per legilsation sponsored by John McCain.
    Heartless and reckless.
    On Ari fleischer test marketing phrases for war with Iran, ever since The Gipper, former President of Screen Actors Guild, Madison Avenue has been running our campaigns and politcal process. They’ve got Pavlov down. Create something for the voter to fear, then save them from it, all in one sound byte. Forget the facts.

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  19. pauline says:

    Think Progress has more on the “Wounded Vets and Bonuses” developing sad and outrageous story.
    “Appearing on Fox News this morning, Pentagon spokesman Michael Tucker announced that the Pentagon was reversing course and would not force Jordan to repay the bonus. “It doesn’t pass the common-sense test,” he said.
    “Jordan appeared on the same show an hour later to respond to the Pentagon’s decision. “That’s impressive,” he said, “but my next question is how many other mistakes have been made?” Last night, appearing on a series of cable news shows, Jordan said he’s heard of many other soldiers who have faced similar circumstances. He told MSNBC’s Dan Abrams:
    I do have to say — this isn’t the end. This is just the beginning because it’s still a continuing problem amongst other men that maybe are too afraid to speak up. Well they need to speak up and we need to end this now.
    Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), who has introduced the Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act to prevent the Defense Department from penalizing wounded soldiers, put out this statement this morning:
    I am heartened by Brigadier General Michael S. Tucker’s announcement of the Army’s policy that it will not ask for repayment of bonuses paid to those soldiers who are injured in the line of duty. However, I am disappointed that the policy does not go further by stating that wounded soldiers will also receive the remaining balance of future bonus payments. It is preposterous for our government to have a policy that says that a soldier who has sustained serious injuries in the field of battle has not fulfilled his or her service obligation.”
    What else is the Pentagon doing that doesn’t pass the common-sense test?
    imo, $2.3 trillion missing is a good start…

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  20. Kathleen says:

    easy e… thanx so much for posting King Abdullah’s obsdervations and presentation of the Arab perspective on Palestine. His innccence and honesty are palpable. How could you come to any other conclusion than his?
    Thankxx also for the Dodd link… he’s my Senator and I’ve been ragging on his office that any defense of the Constgitution that doesn’t go the whole nine yards, all the way to Impeachment, isn’t going to add up to a hill of beans.
    Needless to say, I’m glad to hear him say an “I’ word. Investigate Busholini is a start.

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    Just another snip of horror story in the NY Review of Books.
    But it is a petri dish of what makes Israel tick.
    The 999,999th example of why Israel has never/will never get serious about peace.
    I am totally deaf to their demands that they be recongized as a jewish state, it’s hooey and who would recongize a state like this anyway? Israel has no borders, won’t even declare their own borders because they want to keep expanding their borders indefinitely…who would close on a real estate deal like that? No one that I know.
    It’s the same old con going on by fanatics in Israel and fanatics in the US congress.
    Fanatics are ruling both countries.
    I don’t have much hope for a peace or for the US elections.
    Unless we Americans all become fanatics ourselves and throw them all out of power.
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20856
    Shulman starts with an impersonal account describing what happened on April 2, 2005, near a settlement south of the Hebron Hills where the Palestinians lived in caves and kept flocks of sheep and goats:
    It began some two weeks ago when Palestinians from [the village of] Twaneh noticed a settler —almost certainly from Chavat Maon, the most virulent of the settlements in the area—walking deliberately through their fields in the early morning. Shortly afterward the animals got sick and the first sheep died. Then the shepherds found the poison scattered over the hills, tiny blue-green pellets of barley coated with… deadly rat poison from the fluoroacetate family…. The aim was clear: to kill the herds of goats and sheep, the backbone of the cave dwellers’ subsistence economy in this harsh terrain, and thus to force them off the land.
    Visiting the Arab settlement, Shulman writes:
    After half an hour I start to wonder if we have come here for nothing. I stare hard at the rocky ground, the purple wildflowers, the thorns, the fresh sheep droppings. Still no poison. Then a surprise: bending low, with my face nearly touching the soil, I see two —no, three—of the blue-green grains of poisoned barley….
    Five minutes later Judy [his companion] strikes gold—a huge cache of them…. The real art of this grotesque treasure hunt is to retrace the vanished footsteps of the poisoner; one pile of pellets should, in theory, lead to another. And so, indeed, it goes.
    Shulman then observed that all the while, on the hill opposite, directly under the settlement,
    one of these settlers, with his gun, is watching us, advancing…as we move; he is dressed in black, an ominous presence, an Israeli Darth Vader. Farther up, a set of army jeeps is also in place. Maybe this time, at least, they’ll keep the settlers from attacking us.
    Shulman seldom makes general comments: he sticks to the concrete and shies away from the symbolic. Not this time, though. Here is his explanation:
    I have always hated the symbolic. It is the cheapest, most meretricious act of the mind, and the furthest away from anything real. But today, as I sift through the brown, moist soil under the eyes of the settlers, even I cannot resist the sense of something horribly symbolic. [The settlers] claim to feel something for this land, yet they treat it—her—with contempt. It, she, interests them mostly as an object to be raped, despoiled, and above all stolen by brute force from its rightful owners. It belongs, in this wild, ravished, ravishing landscape, to the people of the caves.
    This is not merely a matter of injustice, though flagrant injustice screams out, unmistakably, at every point. Nor is it a matter of madness, though the settlers here are truly demented. It is, in the most serious, most atrocious sense of the word, a crime—a crime against the land the settlers glibly call holy, against life itself. Who, what human individual, would deliberately poison a wild deer? What kind of man would poison a whole herd, and through this, the community of human beings who live off this herd?
    ——————————————————————————–
    Shulman’s account needs some background, which can be found in the reports of the Israeli human rights group B’tselem for July 2005. As it happens, Assaf Sharon, a former student of mine and currently a graduate student at Stanford, also took part in many of the activities that Shulman describes. He is mentioned in the book, like all other “comrades,” by his first name only. Assaf, who studied in his youth in a yeshiva not far from Hebron, is a particularly shrewd observer who, unlike Shulman, has intimate knowledge of the settlers, including the younger generation.
    In the southern West Bank, Assaf tells us, southeast of Yata, the main township in the area, more than a thousand Palestinians dwell in caves, in an area of some 7,500 acres. Some of the cave dwellers live in this area only during the seasons for planting and harvesting; some live there throughout the year. Water is scarce and the cave dwellers are dependent to a large degree on local cisterns.
    In the 1970s, Israel declared part of the Yata region a “closed military area.” In 1980, next to the closed area, Israel established four settlements, which now have about two thousand settlers. Between 1996 and 2001, these settlers erected four additional outposts—small, armed encampments, said to be needed to protect the larger settlements. A fifth outpost, Maon Farm, was set up inside the area that the occupation forces had said was closed to settlement, and the settlers at Maon Farm were evacuated by the army for a few months; but they soon returned. Before they did so, the army had already expelled the Palestinian cave dwellers by force from the closed area, destroying their wells, blocking their caves, and confiscating their meager property of blankets and food. The army justified the expulsion on grounds of “a necessary military need,” specifically, its need for a training ground that would use live ammunition, endangering anyone who lived there. But the settlers of Maon Farm returned to the closed area unopposed by the Israeli authorities, and there was no mention of live ammunition endangering them.
    On the face of it, the story of the cave people may seem to present a relatively small issue in comparison, for example, with what Shulman tells us about how the separation wall has disastrously affected the lives of Palestinians in the more populated parts of the West Bank or in Jerusalem, places where the main drama of the conflict unfolds. The South Hebron Hills, where the poisoning scene took place, is a sparsely populated area, remote from the main action.
    But what takes place in the South Hebron Hills shows in stark form what is so bad about the occupation. The actions of some other Israeli settlers may be more ambiguous morally; but what Shulman saw in the South Hebron Hills causes him to use the word “evil” unsparingly:
    What we are fighting in the South Hebron Hills is pure, rarefied, unadulterated, unreasoning, uncontainable human evil. Nothing but malice drives this campaign to uproot the few thousand cave dwellers with their babies and lambs. They have hurt nobody. They were never a security threat. They led peaceful, if somewhat impoverished lives until the settlers came. Since then, there has been no peace. They are tormented, terrified, incredulous. As am I.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Shulman shows that the settlers are supported by what he calls the “intricate machine,” a term he uses to describe various Israeli government agencies, including the army, the police, and the civil authorities that administer the West Bank. But the relations among the various agencies can be so intricate that it is no longer clear who is in charge of a particular policy or action. Hagai Allon, an Israeli official appointed by the former defense minister to be in charge of “the social fabric” in the territories, stated that the army does not comply with the defense minister’s orders. Referring specifically to the Hebron Hills area, Allon said the army acts “in the service” of the settlers. It carries out, he said, “an apartheid policy,” establishing facts on the ground that are meant to make evacuation of settlers of the West Bank impossible.

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  22. Kathleen says:

    Headlines were that Vets commit suicide 2x’s the rate of non-Vets, but the fact that more returning Vets commit suicide than all combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan COMBINED, is really a huge kick in the head.
    Happy Thanskgiving???? I’m sick at heart.
    Published on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
    The War Comes Home: PTSD; Addiction; Homelessness and Suicide All Coming to a Neighborhood Near You!
    by Tony Newman and asha bandele
    There have been many stories about the vast majority of Americans being insulated from the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that only a small percentage of Americans-the families of those fighting overseas-are shouldering the brunt of these wars. We predict that In the next couple of years this will all change as the war comes marching into US communities from coast to coast. How? If history is indeed the great predictor, then we will soon find that the nightmare of war will show up at our doorsteps, not in the form of Al Queda, but in us dealing with the demons of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters who have spent multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    CBS News dropped a bombshell last week when they reported on a 5 month investigation that found more veterans have killed themselves after returning from Iraq than have been killed in battle in Iraq. 100 returning soldiers a week, 5,000 a year are committing suicide, that is more soldiers that have died in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
    Let that sink in.
    All the car bombings, shootings and violence in Iraq and Afghanistan added up, have killed fewer Americans than have returning veterans killed themselves. Suicide is the most extreme form of collateral consequences from our war in Iraq, but it is only the tip of the iceberg.
    What is it like to be shot at during war and know that any day may be your last? How do you deal with the pain of having friends killed in your arms? What does killing other human beings do to your emotional stability? ItÂ’s not hard to imagine how such experiences could lead to post-traumatic stress syndrome, which in turn often leads to self-medication, drug addiction, homelessness and even suicide.
    Consider how many of us, the weight of our lives upon us, turn to and become dependant on cigarettes, marijuana and alcohol. Millions of Americans struggle with dependency on prescription drugs alone! And many of our issues may be pretty marginal when compared with those of people coming back after 15 months away from their families – people who have experienced the horrors and uncertainties of war and who may be emotionally or physically impaired. Earlier this month, The New York Times ran a story headlined “Surge Seen in Number of Homeless Veterans.” The same day, the Los Angeles Times published a story about a new report by the Alliance to End Homelessness that says one of four homeless are veterans. And these arenÂ’t the only pieces of troubling news items weÂ’re hearing.
    The stories of substance abuse are also coming in. The military publication “Stars and Stripes” has reported that alcohol and other drug-use problems are common throughout the forces in Iraq. “Some of the young soldiers just can’t handle the stress and turn to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate,” said military defense lawyer Capt. Chris Krafchek. The Army’s surgeon general was quoted in an Associated Press story that a survey of troops returning from Iraq found that 30 percent had developed mental health problems three to four months after coming home.
    WhatÂ’s going to happen to all of these people who are suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts? Many will end up using drugs, just as many civilians do. So on top of all their other problems, many of the vets will have to worry about getting caught with drugs, being arrested or ending up homeless. U.S. prisons are already filled with nonviolent drug offenders, many serving mandatory sentences of 15 years to life for the possession of small amounts of drugs. Service members incarcerated and separated from their families because of drug addictions resulting from their service in Iraq or Afghanistan will be tragic. Veterans ending up homeless is shameful. And suicides the most extreme collateral damage of these wars.
    ItÂ’s easy to buy a bumper sticker and demand that everybody “Support Our Troops.” But if weÂ’re going to walk the talk, we better be ready to offer compassion and treatment – not just a jail cell, the street or a morgue when it comes to helping our brothers and sisters heal from the damages of war.
    Tony Newman is the director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance. asha bandele is an author and journalist, and is a consultant with Drug Policy Alliance.

    Reply

  23. pauline says:

    I don’t suppose the subject below was covered yesterday at the Annapolis Summit.
    Remember gay blade, Ari Fleischer and his forgetting of the name of the injured soldier shown in his own ad? He and his disgraceful bunch, neo-con cabal Freedom’s Watch are at it again — this time marketing the war with Iran.
    from today –
    http://thinkprogress.org/
    “In September, the New York Times reported that the White House front group Freedom’s Watch, led by former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, was considering a “national advertising campaign” to make the case for war with Iran, claiming that “Iran poses a direct threat” to U.S. security. Previously, Freedom’s Watch doled out $15 million to flack for the Iraq escalation.
    While 63 percent of Americans oppose to military action in Iran, Freedom’s Watch apparently believes it can coax the public into another war. Laura Rozen reports that Freedom’s Watch is involved in test-marketing “language” to sell war with Iran. Laura Sonnemark, an attendee of the sessions, describes her experience:
    After joining a half dozen other women in a conference room, she found, to her surprise, that she had been called in to help some of the country’s most prominent hawks test-market language that could be used to sell a war against Iran to the American public.[…]
    “He was asking questions about [Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad going to speak at Columbia University, how terrible it was that he was able to go to Columbia and was invited,” Sonnemark says. “And he used lots of catch phrases, like ‘victory’ and ‘failure is not an option.'” […]
    After two hours, [the leader] asked three final questions, Sonnemark recalls: “How would you feel if Hillary [Clinton] bombed Iran? How would you feel if George Bush bombed Iran? And how would you feel if Israel bombed Iran?”
    While the focus group was commissioned by another organization, Freedom’s Watch reportedly “shared information” produced by the session.
    In the next step of their PR campaign, the Freedom’s Watch announced a redesigned website yesterday, complete with a new blog, “guest posts by prominent conservative figures,” and ways for visitors to be “heard directly by their members of Congress.” In an e-mail blast to supporters today, President Bradley Blakeman states, “our efforts have just begun.”
    These attempts to sell war with Iran smack of the White House’s efforts to sell the Iraq war. In August 2002, Karl Rove chaired the White House Iraq Group, whose mission was to “develop a strategy for publicizing the White House’s assertion that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the United States.” At the same time, Fleischer was propagating these false assertions to the public.
    As a founding member of Freedom’s Watch, it is no surprise Fleischer is importing his White House propaganda tactics for war with Iran.”

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  24. Kathleen says:

    pauline… hopefully the Pentagon will relent on all the other wounded Vets they asked to return part of their enlistment bonus… support our troops, my asssss.
    Meanwhile, back in the Beltway…
    Annapolis, Accrappolis. The chasm between the two sides is so great, never the twain shall meet…not in this lunchtime, anyway.
    Thus Spoke Equality
    Why Israel Has No “Right to Exist” as a Jewish State
    By Oren Ben-Dor
    11/20/07 “Counterpunch” — – -Yet again, the Annapolis meeting between Olmert and Abbas is preconditioned upon the recognition by the Palestinian side of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. Indeed the “road map” should lead to, and legitimate, once and for all, the right of such a Jewish state to exist in definitive borders and in peace with its neighbours. The vision of justice, both past and future, simply has to be that of two states, one Palestinian, one Jewish, which would coexist side by side in peace and stability. Finding a formula for a reasonably just partition and separation is still the essence of what is considered to be moderate, pragmatic and fair ethos.
    Thus, the really deep issues–the “core”–are conceived as the status of Jerusalem, the fate and future of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories and the viability of the future Palestinian state beside the Jewish one. The fate of the descendants of those 750000 Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed in 1948 from what is now, and would continue to be under a two-state solutions, the State of Israel, constitutes a “problem” but never an “issue” because, God forbid, to make it an issue on the table would be to threaten the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. The existence of Israel as a Jewish state must never become a core issue. That premise unites political opinion in the Jewish state, left and right and also persists as a pragmatic view of many Palestinians who would prefer some improvement to no improvement at all.Only “extremists” such as Hamas, anti-Semites, and Self-Hating Jews–terribly disturbed, misguided and detached lot–can make Israel’s existence into a core problem and in turn into a necessary issue to be debated and addressed.
    The Jewish state, a supposedly potential haven for all the Jews in the world in the case a second Holocaust comes about, should be recognised as a fact on the ground blackmailed into the “never again” rhetoric. All considerations of pragmatism and reasonableness in envisioning a “peace process” to settle the ‘Israeli/Palestinian’ conflict must never destabilise the sacred status of that premise that a Jewish state has a right to exist.
    Notice, however, that Palestinian are not asked merely to recognise the perfectly true fact and with it, the absolutely feasible moral claim, that millions of Jewish people are now living in the State of Israel and that their physical existence, liberty and equality should be protected in any future settlement. They are not asked merely to recognise the assurance that any future arrangement would recognise historic Palestine as a home for the Jewish People.What Palestinians are asked to subscribe to recognition the right of an ideology that informs the make-up of a state to exist as Jewish one. They are asked to recognise that ethno-nationalistic premise of statehood.
    The fallacy is clear: the recognition of the right of Jews who are there–however unjustly many of their Parents or Grandparents came to acquire what they own–to remain there under liberty and equality in a post-colonial political settlement, is perfectly compatible with the non-recognition of the state whose constitution gives those Jews a preferential stake in the polity.
    It is an abuse of the notion of pragmatism to conceive its effort as putting the very notion of Jewish state beyond the possible and desirable implementation of egalitarian moral scrutiny. To so abuse pragmatism would be to put it at the service of the continuation of colonialism. A pragmatic and reasonable solution ought to centre on the problem of how to address past, present, and future injustices to non-Jew-Arabs without thereby cause other injustices to Jews. This would be a very complex pragmatic issue which would call for much imagination and generosity. But reasonableness and pragmatism should not determine whether the cause for such injustices be included or excluded from debates or negotiations. To pragmatically exclude moral claims and to pragmatically protect immoral assertions by fiat must in fact hide some form of extremism. The causes of colonial injustice and the causes that constitutionally prevent their full articulation and address should not be excluded from the debate. Pragmatism can not become the very tool that legitimate constitutional structures that hinder de-colonisation and the establishment of egalitarian constitution.
    So let us boldly ask: What exactly is entailed by the requirement to recognise Israel as a Jewish state? What do we recognise and support when we purchase a delightful avocado or a date from Israel or when we invite Israel to take part in an international football event? What does it mean to be a friend of Israel? What precisely is that Jewish state whose status as such would be once and for all legitimised by such a two-state solution?
    A Jewish state is a state which exists more for the sake of whoever is considered Jewish according to various ethnic, tribal, religious, criteria, than for the sake of those who do not pass this test. What precisely are the criteria of the test for Jewishness is not important and at any rate the feeble consensus around them is constantly reinvented in Israel. Instigating violence provides them with the impetus for doing that. What is significant, thought, is that a test of Jewishness is being used in order to constitutionally protect differential stakes in, that is the differential ownership of, a polity. A recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is a recognition of the Jews special entitlement, as eternal victims, to have a Jewish state. Such a test of supreme stake for Jews is the supreme criterion not only for racist policy making by the legislature but also for a racist constitutional interpretation by the Supreme Court.The idea of a state that is first and foremost for the sake of Jews trumps even that basic law of Human Freedom and Dignity to which the Israeli Supreme Court pays so much lip service. Such constitutional interpretation would have to make the egalitarian principle equality of citizenship compatible with, and thus subservient to, the need to maintain the Jewish majority and character of the state. This of course constitutes a serious compromise of equality, translated into many individual manifestations of oppression and domination of those victims of such compromise–non-Jews-Arabs citizens of Israel.
    In our world, a world that resisted Apartheid South Africa so impressively, recognition of the right of the Jewish state to exist is a litmus test for moderation and pragmatism. The demand is that Palestinians recognise Israel’s entitlement to constitutionally entrench a system of racist basic laws and policies, differential immigration criteria for Jews and non-Jews, differential ownership and settlements rights, differential capital investments, differential investment in education, formal rules and informal conventions that differentiate the potential stakes of political participation, lame-duck academic freedom and debate.
    In the Jewish state of Israel non-Jews-Arabs citizens are just “bad luck” and are considered an ticking demographic bomb of “enemy within”. They can be given the right to vote–indeed one member one vote–but the potential of their political power, even their birth rate, should be kept at bay by visible and invisible, instrumental and symbolic, discrimination. But now they are asked to put up with their inferior stake and recognise the right of Israel to continue to legitimate the non-egalitarian premise of its statehood.
    We must not forget that the two state “solution” would open a further possibility to non-Jew-Arabs citizens of Israel: “put up and shut up or go to a viable neighbouring Palestinian state where you can have your full equality of stake”.Such an option, we must never forget, is just a part of a pragmatic and reasonable package.
    The Jewish state could only come into being in May 1948 by ethnically cleansing most of the indigenous population–750000 of them. The judaisation of the state could only be effectively implemented by constantly internally displacing the population of many villages within the Israel state.
    It would be unbearable and unreasonable to demand Jews to allow for the Right of Return of those descendants of the expelled. Presumably, those descendants too could go to a viable Palestinian state rather than, for example, rebuild their ruined village in the Galilee. On the other hand, a Jewish young couple from Toronto who never set their foot in Palestine has a right to settle in the Galilee. Jews and their descendants hold this right in perpetuity. You see, that right “liberates” them as people. Jews must never be put under the pressure to live as a substantial minority in the Holy Land under egalitarian arrangement. Their past justifies their preferential stake and the preservation of their numerical majority in Palestine.
    So the non-egalitarian hits us again. It is clear that part of the realisation of that right of return would not only be a just the actual return, but also the assurance of equal stake and citizenship of all, Jews and non-Jews-Arabs after the return. A return would make the egalitarian claim by those who return even more difficult to conceal than currently with regard to Israel Arab second class citizens. What unites Israelis and many world Jews behind the call for the recognition of the right of a Jewish state to exist is their aversion for the possibility of living, as a minority, under conditions of equality of stake to all. But if Jews enjoys this equality in Canada why can not they support such equality in Palestine through giving full effect to the right of Return of Palestinians?
    Let us look precisely at what the pragmatic challenge consists of: not pragmatism that entrenches inequality but pragmatism that responds to the challenge of equality.
    The Right of Return of Palestinians means that Israel acknowledges and apologises for what it did in 1948. It does mean that Palestinian memory of the 1948 catastrophe, the Nakbah, is publicly revived in the Geography and collective memory of the polity. It does mean that Palestinians descendants would be allowed to come back to their villages. If this is not possible because there is a Jewish settlement there, they should be given the choice to found an alternative settlement nearby. This may mean some painful compulsory state purchase of agricultural lands that should be handed back to those who return. In cases when this is impossible they ought to be allowed the choice to settle in another place in the larger area or if not possible in another area in Palestine. Compensation would be the last resort and would always be offered as a choice. This kind of moral claim of return would encompass all Palestine including Tel Aviv.
    At no time, however, it would be on the cards to throw Israeli Jews from their land.An egalitarian and pragmatic realisation of the Right of Return constitutes an egalitarian legal revolution. As such it would be paramount to address Jews’ worries about security and equality in any future arrangement in which they, or any other group, may become a minority. Jews national symbols and importance would be preserved. Equality of stake involves equality of symbolic ownership.
    But it is important to emphasis that the Palestinian Right of Return would mean that what would cease to exist is the premise of a Jewish as well as indeed a Muslim state. A return without the removal of the constitutionally enshrined preferential stake is return to serfdom.
    The upshot is that only by individuating cases of injustice, by extending claims for injustice to all historic Palestine, by fair address of them without creating another injustice for Jews and finally by ensuring the elimination of all racist laws that stems from the Jewish nature of the state including that nature itself, would justice be, and with it peace, possible. What we need is a spirit of generosity that is pragmatic but also morally uncompromising in terms of geographic ambit of the moral claims for repatriation and equality. This vision would propel the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But for all this to happen we must start by ceasing to recognize the right Israel to exist as a Jewish state. No spirit of generosity would be established without an egalitarian call for jettisoning the ethno-nationalistic notion upon which the Jewish state is based.
    The path of two states is the path of separation.Its realisation would mean the entrenchment of exclusionary nationalism for many years. It would mean that the return of the dispossessed and the equality of those who return and those non-Jew-Arabs who are now there would have to be deferred indefinitely consigned to the dusty shelved of historical injustices.Such a scenario is sure to provoke more violence as it would establish the realisation and legitimisation of Zionist racism and imperialism.
    Also, any bi-national arrangement ought to be subjected to a principle of equality of citizenship and not vice versa. The notion of separation and partition that can infect bi-nationalism, should be done away with and should not be tinkered with or rationalised in any way. Both spiritually and materially Jews and non-Jews can find national expression in a single egalitarian and non-sectarian state.
    The non-recognition of the Jewish state is an egalitarian imperative that looks both at the past and to the future. It is the uncritical recognition of the right of Israel to exist at a Jewish state which is the core hindrance for this egalitarian premise to shape the ethical challenge that Palestine poses. A recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state means the silencing that would breed more and more violence and bloodshed.
    The same moral intuition that brought so many people to condemn and sanction Apartheid South Africa ought also to prompt them to stop seeing a threat to existence of the Jewish state as the effect caused by the refugee ‘problem” or by the “demographic threat” from the non-Jew-Arabs within it. It is rather the other way round. It is the non-egalitarian premise of a Jewish state and the lack of empathy and corruption of all those who make us uncritically accept the right of such a state to exist that is both the cause of the refugee problem and cause for the inability to implement their return and treating them as equals thereafter.
    We must see that the uncritically accepted recognition of Israel right to exist is, as Joseph Massad so well puts it in Al-Ahram, to accept Israel claim to have the right to be racist or, to develop Massad’s brilliant formulation, Israel’s claim to have the right to occupy to dispossess and to discriminate. What is it, I wonder, that prevent Israelis and so many of world Jews to respond to the egalitarian challenge? What is it, I wonder, that oppresses the whole world to sing the song of a “peace process” that is destined to legitimise racism in Palestine?
    To claim such a right to be racist must come from a being whose victim’s face must hide very dark primordial aggression and hatred of all others.How can we find a connective tissue to that mentality that claims the legitimate right to harm other human beings? How can this aggression that is embedded in victim mentality be perturbed?
    The Annapolis meeting is a con. As an egalitarian argument we should say loud and clear that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state.
    Oren Ben-Dor grew up in Israel. He teaches Legal and Political Philosophy at the School of Law, University of Southampton, UK. He can be reached at: okbendor@yahoo.com

    Reply

  25. pauline says:

    Here is a partial answer — and one I expected.
    “KDKA contacted the Pentagon. Investigators there took a look. A military spokesman told KDKA’s Marty Griffin the bill sent to Fox was a mistake.
    Griffin asked Army Spokesperson Major Nathan Banks if the government was taking on Fox’s case.
    Banks said via phone, “We are. We are … definitely working it out. We have seen where the problems have been made, the system, and we’re just making – you know, give us the opportunity to make a wrong a right.”
    Major Banks says Fox will not have to pay back his bonus. Fox says “fine,” but he wants more.
    “Hopefully this will turn into change for not only me but many other soldiers that have lost limbs, you know, become permanently deaf,” he said. “I hope to see a change for everybody.”
    The Pentagon will not comment on allegations that thousands of other soldiers just sent home from Iraq and other invasions, including Afghanistan, will not receive these sorts of bills. They cannot comment on those cases.
    KDKA has learned that our local congressional delegation, as well as both Pennsylvania senators, are demanding answers. We’re also being told they are pressuring the President to get involved.”
    from-
    http://kdka.com/kdkainvestigators/Iraq.veteran.bonuses.2.592432.html

    Reply

  26. samuel burke says:

    come on steve, say something about how the israeli lobby manipulates america and its interests.
    i guess its easier for patriots like yourself to talk about the piddley cuban lobby in miami that mainly affects the cubans on the island…youre typical of washinton politicos who pretend to love their country and defend it against the weak forces that assail it.
    steve can make statements like this one below about the cuban lobby but the israeli lobby would make him personna non gratta and a washingtonian looking for a job if he ever DARED make such a statement as the one below about how AIPAC has caused the us to meddle in the middle east at the cost of thousands of american soldiers lives and gazillions of dollars of our tax revenues not to name the ill will of the entire arab sunni muslim, persian shia world.
    its not the same mr superhero steve et al to speak about an elderly decrepit waning power like the cuban lobby as it is to speak about a powerful CABAL superlobby with tentacles right down to the owners of enterprises who succumb to pressures at the sound of their coming and take whatever action to stay out of their crosshairs.
    steve calls the cuban lobby a cabal…let him call IAPAC that and he will be called the new hitler of the internet bloggers.
    >And then they will learn how a small cabal of Miami-based Cuban-Americans manipulated laws and our institutions to wage a personal war against Castro and sacrificed core American interests in doing so. It is stranger than fiction when one realizes that a grandson of Batista is now on the Florida Supreme Court and has allegedly helped the most extreme, violent Cuban Americans escape indictment. And that two nephews (by former marriage) of Fidel Castro represent their Florida constituents in the US Congress reflects the oligarchical realities of political power in America and in Cuba.<

    Reply

  27. pauline says:

    Kathleen:
    Who can follow this any closer? The Pittsburgh article does say, “Apparently, thousands of wounded soldiers who served in Iraq are being asked to return part of their enlistment bonuses…” Right? Wrong? Mis-stated?
    And who is that “as-yet-unknown Pentagon bureaucrat”? Will this be another case of no one losing their precious Pentagon job for “misunderstanding the policy”?

    Reply

  28. Kathleen says:

    Pauline.. the Pentagon relented, at least with respect to that one wounded vet.
    Carroll, I crashed my laptop too at the end of Oct.. when it got chilly, I tried to tough it out and not turn up the heat by wrapping in an afghan but it caught on the arm of my desk chair and I splashed coffee on the keyborad. zaaaap. $200 later, I still had to turn up the heat. Duuuh.
    I hope C-Span repeats the program… I didn’t learn about it until it was too late in CA. With the US so solidly in favor of Israel, I don’t see how talks in Annapolis are going to bring about anything equitable for Palestine. Seems like an effort to asppear to be doing something “diplomatic”. Farce.
    Meanwhile, back on the campaign trail, last weekend I went to a Kucinich fundraiser at Larry Flynt’s Penthoujse in L.A. with Sean Penn and Woody Harrelson. It was encouraging and I was glad to have the opportunity to thank Flynt personally for outing all those Repug hypo-critters.
    Kucinich said their internal polls show him in 3rd place in NH. That would be fun. Kucinich is like an energizer bunny.. he is right on top of things, really attentive when you speak with him about issues…for me it was Lt. Ehren Watada and the recent temporary injunction on proceeding with a second trial. I keep asking Congress for hearings on the Constitutional issues raised by the Watada case… namely a serviceperson’s right to obey their conscience and their duty to protect the Constitution from domestic enemies.
    If you haven’t already, please consider signing our petition asking for hearings at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/watada

    Reply

  29. Steve Clemons says:

    Carroll — nice to have you back.
    Feel better,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  30. pauline says:

    And here’s a “great” news story to brighten your table talk on Thanksgiving.
    “Pentagon Demands Wounded Soldier Return Re-enlistment Bonus”
    By Spencer Ackerman – November 20, 2007, 4:42PM
    Just in time for the holidays, there’s a special place in Hell just waiting to be filled by some as-yet-unknown Pentagon bureaucrat. Apparently, thousands of wounded soldiers who served in Iraq are being asked to return part of their enlistment bonuses — because their injuries prevented them from completing their tours. From Pittsburgh’s KDKA:
    One of them is Jordan Fox, a young soldier from the South Hills. He finds solace in the hundreds of boxes he loads onto a truck in Carnegie. In each box is a care package that will be sent to a man or woman serving in Iraq. It was in his name Operation Pittsburgh Pride was started.
    Fox was seriously injured when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle. He was knocked unconscious. His back was injured and lost all vision in his right eye.
    A few months later Fox was sent home. His injuries prohibited him from fulfilling three months of his commitment. A few days ago, he received a letter from the military demanding nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus back.
    “I tried to do my best and serve my country. I was unfortunately hurt in the process. Now they’re telling me they want their money back,” he explained.
    Perversely, President Bush phoned Fox’s mother to ask after Fox in May. Now his administration is taking money out of the pockets of wounded veterans like him.
    Back in October, Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) introduced a bill, the Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act, that would require the Pentagon to pay bonuses to wounded vets in full within 30 days after discharge for combat-related wounds. Back then, the Pentagon’s flack vaguely assured The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “We are going to give our wounded warriors and their families what they need to recover and return to duty or private life.” But apparently the policy has yet to change. It seems that the enlistment contract that at least some troops sign (whether it’s service-specific is unclear) allows for withholding some of the signing bonus if a tour isn’t completed. We’re in touch with the Pentagon to clear this up, and we’ll let you know as soon as we do.
    see —
    http://tpmmuckraker.com/

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It’s time that the so-called progessive bloggers Steve Clemons and Josh Marshall start listening to the people.”
    Its time???? Come on, just because McClellen has finally admitted that Bush and Cheney are fucking liars who have committed treason doesn’t erase the fact that these lies, and the treason, have been obvious for years. Of course these two pieces of shit lied. Was there ever any doubt?
    Look, if Clemons or Marshall were going to use their connections and resources to help us hold our government accountable, there have been plenty of smoking guns with which they could have launched such a campaign. Steve and Josh will launch such a campaign ONLY if it becomes politically expedient or politically popular in the ranks of their compatriot Washington elite. Then, in typical Washington fashion, they will claim to have been on board the Accountability Train since 2001.

    Reply

  32. Wordie says:

    Terrific program, Steve! Thanks. I was impressed by the lack of ideological propaganda in the panelists’ comments – something almost unheard of in U.S. discussions of Israel-Palestine issues.
    One request: I notice that the New American Foundation site has video up of the discussion and I think it would be great if you could edit your post to include a mention of that, so those who may not have been able to watch yesterday can see it.
    http://www.newamerica.net/events/2007/annapolis_and_beyond_what_not_expect
    I think there’s video available on the C-Span site too, and I hope the program will re-air.

    Reply

  33. Wordie says:

    Terrific program, Steve! I was impressed by the lack of ideological propaganda in the panelists’ comments – something almost unheard of in U.S. discussions of Israel-Palestine issues.
    One request: I notice that the New American Foundation site has video up of the discussion and I think it would be great if you could edit your post to include a mention of that, so those who may not have been able to watch yesterday can see it.
    http://www.newamerica.net/events/2007/annapolis_and_beyond_what_not_expect
    I think there’s video available on the C-Span site too, and I hope the program will re-air.

    Reply

  34. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sandy at November 20, 2007 11:32 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Thanks…but now I have the flu, have lost my voice and am turning green. And I just had my flu shot. Since I am suffering this ickiness anyway I plan to still be sick Thursday so I can’t cook and everyone will have to wait on me. LOL

    Reply

  35. easy e says:

    “As the Arabs see the Jews”
    His Majesty King Abdullah,
    The American Magazine
    November, 1947
    http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/kabd_eng.html
    Summary
    This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein?s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.
    “As the Arabs see the Jews”
    His Majesty King Abdullah,
    The American Magazine
    November, 1947
    I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.
    So many billions of words have been written about Palestine?perhaps more than on any other subject in history?that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.
    We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.
    There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda.
    The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.
    Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered?a minority in our home.
    Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.
    Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.
    We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.
    Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?
    Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous.
    No people on earth have been less “anti-Semitic” than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.
    Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment?far, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us resent, as we do, the coming of these strangers.
    I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow “always been a Jewish land.” Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.
    Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologise for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their “historic claim.” I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago!
    If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.
    Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most?but not all?of the inhabitants of Palestine.
    It is significant that the Philistines?not the Jews?gave their name to the country: “Palestine” is merely the Greek form of “Philistia.”
    Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly?but not all?the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.
    In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.
    This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!
    Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, “homeland” of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.
    Many Mexicans might claim Spain, “homeland” of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the “homeland” of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!
    I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid?or just as fantastic?as the Jewish “historic connection” with Palestine. Most are more valid.
    In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.
    If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country “Arab”, what does?
    The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs?and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World?are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine.
    May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.
    The Jewish “religious claim” to Palestine is as absurd as the “historic claim.” The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.
    We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now?almost three years after war?s end?still languish in cold, depressing camps.
    Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West.
    And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine?a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East?to accept the entire burden. “We have hurt these people terribly,” cries the West to the East. “Won?t you please take care of them for us?”
    We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore “cruel and heartless nationalists”?
    We are a generous people: we are proud that “Arab hospitality” is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we.
    But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us?even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.
    I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.
    And yet this same America?the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known?refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!
    I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.
    Perhaps you have been informed that “the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine.”
    This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organisation which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.
    The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!
    You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.
    Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: “My Jewish advisors tell me so.” He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.
    The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse.
    Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organisation that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them.
    The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.
    The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.
    One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them.
    If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives?or Palestine?we would both choose Palestine, too.
    But open up any other alternative to them?give them any other choice, and see what happens!
    No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors?just a little?to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.
    Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.
    In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.
    The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years?unless stopped now?it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home.
    Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place for 200,000 Jews?about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide.
    We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?
    The sorry story of the so-called “Balfour Declaration,” which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs?promises made in cold print which admit no denying.
    We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a “national home” for an entirely foreign people.
    Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.
    I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.
    In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it?in 1927 almost twice as many.
    But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.
    In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger.
    But the next year?the year of Hitler?it jumped to 30,000! In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000!
    It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.
    I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.
    I believe that you do not realise how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realise your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.
    Quite aside from official American support for the “National Home” of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.
    The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.
    The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine?to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before.
    It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the “refugee ships” that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers?your allies?and Arab citizens?your friends.
    We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.
    I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing.
    I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favours. We ask only that you know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place.
    What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst?enough to dominate your country?merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?
    Our answer is the same.
    And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?
    Ours will be the same.

    Reply

  36. Sandy says:

    Steve:
    Saw you and your panel on C-Span this morning. Excellent discussion and so glad to see it being covered.

    Reply

  37. Sandy says:

    Whew! So glad to see you’re back, Carroll. You were very much missed. Hope you’re feeling better now.

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    However concerning Annapolis.
    This was an article on the meeting last week in New York between the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel and the American Council on Foreign Relations. In which the CFR “reportedly”…if one chooses to believe it… told the Israelis to “quit yer whining” and get use to the Iranian bomb.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/924237.html
    But the last paragraph deals with the Annapolis meeting and said….
    “Only on one subject was there a wall-to-wall agreement at the strategic dialogue. Both the Israelis and the Americans were of the view that the Annapolis process would lead to nothing, because of the weak leadership on both sides and the “galactic” gaps in their positions on the “core issues.”
    I actually feel sorry for Rice on this because she is trying and the Israelis and Cheney are undermining her every step of the way. If she cares about her reputation she would throw a bitch of a fit on Bush and make him choose between her resigning and Cheney’s meddling.

    Reply

  39. easy e says:

    Off topic but necessary.
    Dodd: INVESTIGATE THE PRESIDENT
    Des Moines, IA – Senator and Presidential candidate Chris Dodd, today, released the following statement in response to the claims of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan that he “unknowingly passed along false information” to the American public and that “the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in [his] doing so,”
    ………..
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/11/20/194652/06
    ************
    It’s time that the so-called progessive bloggers Steve Clemons and Josh Marshall start listening to the people.

    Reply

  40. Carroll says:

    Carroll.. I was just about to ask where you were these days… we needed things kicked up a notch…
    Posted by Kathleen at November 18, 2007 03:31 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I am here.
    My isp quit serving our area Oct 31st and I had to find a new one that I didn’t have to call India for every time I had a problem and on the day I was due to switch isp’s I crashed my computer..as in really crashed ..by dropping it three feet onto the floor. My computer went to the computer hospital after a fruitless search for a new one that didn’t have the hateful Vista.
    Then I conked myself in the head at the gym on a piece of equipment and had a grapefruit size lump my doctor made me go in to have checked.
    So I just said to hell with it all and we left for the mountains.
    I wanted have a priest come in and exorcise the house while we were gone but everyone assured me it was the lump on my head that was causing my paranoia.

    Reply

  41. Kathleen says:

    OT, but it seems that I’m not alone in thinking we should support the Iraqi Parliament’s request to be included in the decision of whether or not UN authorization for Coalition Forces to remain in Iraq should be extended.
    UN SECURITY COUNCIL MUST LISTEN TO IRAQÂ’S PEOPLE AND PARLIAMENT
    Submitted by davidswanson on Tue, 2007-11-20 13:43. Activism
    TAKE ACTION!!
    The United Nations Security Council will soon consider re-authorization of the U.S.-led occupation force in Iraq. The Iraqi cabinet, led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, is about to send a letter to the Council requesting extension of the mandate of this so-called “multinational force.” The U.S. government is drafting a Council resolution, and the vote will come up in a matter of days.
    But the Iraqi constitution clearly calls for ratification by the parliament of any such international agreement. And the parliament is demanding a voice. Last April, 144 members, a majority of Iraq’s parliament, signed a letter calling for a timetable for withdrawal of occupation forces. And the same letter denounced as “unconstitutional” a move by the al-Maliki cabinet to unilaterally request a mandate renewal without consulting the parliament. As the current mandate comes closer to expiring, it appears that al-Maliki, under pressure from the U.S., is about to repeat the same unconstitutional and illegal process.
    In May, by majority vote, the Iraqi Parliament passed a law reaffirming the ConstitutionÂ’s requirements – that the cabinet must get two-thirds majority approval from parliament for any force renewal request to the Security Council. An overwhelming majority of Iraqis want a complete withdrawal of all the occupation forces, as numerous polls have shown. While the Bush administration insists that it wants to “build democracy,” it is ignoring the Iraqi people and their elected representatives. Washington wants to renew the UN mandate without approval of the Iraqi parliament– another illegal step to justify and prolong the U.S.-led occupation.
    TELL YOUR GOVERNMENT TO STOP UN SUPPORT FOR OCCUPATION!
    ANY EXTENSION OF THE UN MANDATE MUST BE RATIFIED BY THE IRAQI PARLIAMENT AND INCLUDE A TIMETABLE FOR TROOP WITHDRAWAL.
    People worldwide should take action. Nations sitting on the UN Security Council are particularly important: United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, Belgium, Congo, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Slovakia, South Africa
    Background.
    TAKE ACTION! See sample letter.
    Jim Paul, Global Policy Forum
    Gael Murphy, Code Pink
    Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange
    Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice
    Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
    Emira Woods, Foreign Policy in Focus
    Anna Polo, Europe for Peace
    Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY
    Alfred Marder, International Association of Peace Messengers
    Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
    Anna Goodhun, Fairbanks Coalition for Peace and Justice
    Stacey Fritz, No Nukes North
    John Burroughs, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
    Jacqueline Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation

    Reply

  42. pauline says:

    High-ranking 51st state not-so secret rep, Neo-con Wurmser, no doubt, can’t say “war” and “peace” together in the same sentence.
    He can utter “piece of war” whenever he darn well chooses.

    Reply

  43. downtown says:

    I caught the Q & A session and was quite impressed with the quality and fairness of the panelists. Well, Mr. Clemons, guess who followed your valiant effort at evenhandedness a half hour after you went off the air. The Israel Project! They claimed a “distinguished” panel of “experts” comprised of Shmuel Rosner, a Haretz writer who penned a recent series of articles with the title: “Which US Presidential Candidate would be best for Israel?” Another panelist was a woman named Jennifer Packer, Senior Adviser on Media for TIP. The 3rd panelist was a lady whose name I was unable to catch. However, the fourth member of that group was none other than the infamous David Wurmser. Apparently, the meeting changed venues at the last minute, as the Opening Speaker, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, the Director of The Israel Project mentioned in her opening remarks. They also offered to reimburse participants for cab fare to the new location(!!) It left me with the impression that the NAF meeting was considered such a threat by the hardcore Pro-Israel groups that equal time was demanded by and granted to the interest groups devoid of any sense of fairness and balance. I was left seething at the power of access these think tanks have achieved on our public air waves. After establishing most of the panelists’ identity I of course turned off the TV. But just during the introductory phase it became apparent what a despicably one-sided event this was going to be. And they just keep on lying.

    Reply

  44. Kathleen says:

    Glad to see my old friend, Joseph Duffey on board… he was also former Asst. Secretary of State for Humanitraian Affairs under President Carter.
    I’m sorry but I hold no hope whatsoever in any “diplomatic” efforts put forth by Busholini because he doesn’t really believe in diplomacy… it’s just going through the motions, hoping they’ll fail so they can have more war. It’s all a charade just to look like they tried diplomacy. There is no genuine desire for peaceful resolutions in this regime. If there was a sincere desire to reach a peaceful accord in the Israel/Palestine crisis, Busholini would have taken up the peace efforts where President Clinton left off, but instead we got the ‘Look, Ma, no hands” foreign policy approach until things deteriorated beyond repair. If they did succeed in bringing about a peaceful resolution in the Israel/Palestine situation, what excuse would we then have for launching war in the Middle East? We’d have to admit it’s the oil.

    Reply

  45. Michael Day says:

    Dear Mr. Clemons,
    I watched this briefing on C-SPAN, and found it very informative. Thank you.
    As a research assistant at the American Task Force on Palestine, I have had multiple occasions to write a brief bio about Mr. Al-Omari, as you did in your post above. And, as you know, Ghaith is ATFP’s Advocacy Director.
    When we write his bio, however, we are always diligent about including both his positions – as our Advocacy Director, and as a Senior Fellow at the NAF.
    I just want to point out that his affiliation with ATFP was omitted in your post above, on the NAF website, in the invitations for the event, and on C-SPAN (until we called to correct it), and request that it his complete affiliation be provided in these media in the future.
    Many thanks again for an intriguing discussion this morning.
    Yours,
    Mike Day

    Reply

  46. Ajaz says:

    Any dialogue is better than no dialogue. It is amazing how enemies start to develop respect for each other after a few face to face meetings. Though I am not sure if there are any Yasser Arafats or Yitzak Rabins now. However, the good thing is that Ehud Barak is back in the fold. He nearly reached a major settlement with Bill Clinton brokering a deal but by then Yasser Arafat was too far gone (medically) to make any sensible decisions. I hope Barak will have a positive influence over the Israeli Prime Minister, who has himself learnt a few lessons after his costly Lebanon folly.
    Mahmood Abbas will not be able to make any deal that looks like a sell out. He has to go back with something positive in his hand. Also, the sooner Hamas is brought to the table the better if a lasting settlement is to be achieved.

    Reply

  47. Cliff says:

    End of Zionism and Israel = Peace ~ Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss / Neturei Karta

    Reply

  48. Jay C says:

    Steve, long-time readers of your blog know that you are quite often a glass-half-full kind of guy; and that you hobnob in fairly “elevated” FP circles – but really: other than “hope” ; what truly ARE realistic hopes for the Annapolis “Peace Summit”?
    One the main problems with the list of notables and bigwigs on the “impressive roster” of signatories to your letter is that there is a depressing repetition of the word “former” in front of most of the names: I think hopes might be higher for the Annapolis meetings if ANY of the VIPs on your list (advocating intelligent and sane policies) were actually involved in setting any foreign-policy agenda for this country.
    As it is, with the current regime in command, the far likelier (and more depressing) reality will be that the Annapolis talks are just so much more Neocon Kabuki: a Very Serious, high-level, blue-ribbon dog-and-pony show designed to give the public impression of Doing Something about the Israeli/Palestinian issue. But since there is little or no likelihood that either Israel or the US will make ANY compromises of any sort on any issue relating to Palestinian statehood, the most probable outcome WILL be the same-old “…”we tried everything we could but the Palestinians were corrupt, self-dealing, and weren’t ready” narrative.” to a word.

    Reply

  49. mike says:

    I am seeing a small but significant effort by those with the best insights into the Middle-East in finding a voice and a direction of common cause. Some have even seen the importance to look beyond their group-think Neocon sadness. I can think of no more important issue on the world stage to start a dialog. I too am not very confident, however.

    Reply

  50. Curious Corrillo says:

    The amazing thing about Bush-era America and “expectations” for diplomacy or other ridiculous postulations, there are none to be found. That all by itself speaks volumes about how far the United States has fallen into a pit of expedient excess. Excess, corruption, and monumental stupidity are America’s new “benchmarks” for foreign policy gone horribly wrong.

    Reply

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