Obama Must Call for Strategic Review of Israel-Palestine-Middle East Challenge and Hatch New Inclusive Approach

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obama erdogan.jpg
President Obama’s team just issued the “read out” of the President’s conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan regarding the Israel Defense Force clash with what many describe as a humanitarian flotilla on its way to Gaza (see below).
From a distance, what seems to be happening is that Israel is ratcheting up its test of what it can do in the confines of the US-Israel relationship. It is testing to see whether there exist any limits or conditionality on Israeli behavior at all. Israel believes that the Obama team is weak — and is pushing aggressively to compel the US to tolerate anything the State of Israel does as a signal to the rest of the Middle East that is itself clamoring for any sign that the Obama administration is willing to put some muscle and substantive action behind the President’s Cairo speech and other comments to the governments and people in the Arab world.
The flotilla may have been populated by peace activists who really did want to get humanitarian supplies to Gaza — but the leadership of this flotilla was trying to expose the “false choice” contradiction that the US and other powers were making between Israel’s interests and the interests of the rest of the Middle East.
This was a strategic flotilla — designed to elicit exactly the response that Israel gave. This flotilla knew which button to push to animate Israel’s military response. It is not dissimilar from what al Qaeda did by attacking New York and Washington and drawing the US military to intervene in the Middle East.
Israel, like the United States, showed itself incapable of nuance and of outmaneuvering this flotilla by resorting to means that would not have helped the activists succeed in their objectives. At the Doha Forum, I am speaking to Arabs, Jews and Christians who represent senior governmental and non-governmental organizations in their home countries — and no one here that I have found thinks that the Israeli government responded to the flotilla sensibly — even if one buys the argument that the blockade of Gaza is justified.
The U.S. really can’t afford to make the choice of Israel over the Arab world. There will be enormous geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences if it does.
Increasingly, the balance and ambiguity that the Obama administration has been trying to maintain during what has been a mostly behind the scenes political crisis with Israel is not working. George Mitchell is not working out. The Arab states have deep structural doubts in the ability of the US to deliver on what it says it wants in the region. And Israel is compelling choices about its security and future that are actually both undermining its own security and the national interests and national security of the United States.
Obama needs to replace George Mitchell as that escapade has become a farce and do the kind of serious strategic review of the Israel/Palestine mess that he did on Afghanistan. He needs to realize that the standoff in the Middle East, the paralyzed progress on a unity government in Palestine, and the increasingly brazen behavior of Israel are sucking down American power.
It’s time for Obama to use a strategic review to justify an inclusive strategy that builds in Hamas in the discussion on the future of the region — and to clarify much more clearly and directly what American and Quartet expectations of what an Israel-Palestine deal should and will look like.
This is not to “reward” Hamas — but it is the way to pull the key players and key issues into one arena to seriously discuss. The irresponsibility of all parties in the region must be stopped. Otherwise, whether terrorist rockets undo stability or harrassment of Palestinian at check points destabilizes, or “peace flotillas” trigger exchanges in which people die, minorities that elicit violence will impede progress for the majority that want peace and want two states.
Then Obama should call a global leaders summit, like Bush did, to focus on the Middle East peace challenge — but rather than having nothing on the table, a defined plan needs to be on the table.
Here is the Obama/Erdogan exchange:

Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey
The President spoke today with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to express his deep condolences for the loss of life and injuries resulting from the Israeli military operation against the Turkish-flagged ship bound for Gaza. The President told Prime Minister Erdogan that the United States is working in close consultation with Israel to help achieve the release of the passengers, including those deceased and wounded, and the ships themselves. He also affirmed the United States position in support of a credible, impartial, and transparent investigation of the facts surrounding this tragedy. The President affirmed the importance of finding better ways to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza without undermining Israel’s security. He underscored the importance of a comprehensive peace agreement which establishes an independent, contiguous, and viable Palestinian state as the way to resolve the overall situation and the United States’ continuing commitment to achieving that goal by working closely with Turkey, Israel, and others with a stake in a more stable and secure Middle East.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

61 comments on “Obama Must Call for Strategic Review of Israel-Palestine-Middle East Challenge and Hatch New Inclusive Approach

  1. Facebook Application Development says:

    Why Mr President is not seeing outside the US because of us or any other reason out there?

    Reply

  2. rc says:

    I note: (does Washington?)
    ——-
    Tens of thousands of people in Istanbul attended funerals for some of the activists killed on Friday.
    About 20,000 people waved Turkish, Palestinian and Hezbollah flags at a memorial service outside the Beyazit mosque.
    ‘Irreparable scar’
    Abdullah Gul, the Turkish president, has said that Israel’s raid has caused “irreparable” damage to his country’s relations with Israel, and will “never” be forgiven.
    “From now on, Turkish-Israeli ties will never be the same,” Gul said to around 20,000 people at the funerals in Istanbul.
    “This incident has left an irreparable and deep scar.”
    Bulent Arinc, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, said on Friday that Turkey was reducing its economic and defence co-operation with Israel.
    “We are serious on this issue. New co-operation will not start and relations with Israel will be reduced,” he said.
    Protesters in Greece and Bosnia turned out in their thousands on Friday to demonstrate against Israel’s action and to call for an end to the blockade on Gaza.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/06/20106418259346423.html
    ——
    The Rachel Corrie is expected to reach Gaza on Saturday.

    Reply

  3. rc says:

    NC — “sometimes enters the RW zionist camp”
    Well then it may have been one of these that made the association in my mind. That, and the close association of the reply in space above to nardine’s neurotic niggling. I was rushed for time.
    I think, therefore, I should offer an apology to “sweetness” on this occasion, retract my comments above, and replace them with:
    “sweetness (Jun 03 2010, 12:23PM) — go do your own research. As written above, it relates to a footnote reference by Martin Lings. Take it up with him and his publishers. I am only responsible for applying modern ‘sense making’ to the issue called “Khaybar” raised by nadine.”

    Reply

  4. Neo Controll says:

    Sweetness somewhat enigmatic; prefers to remain at ‘factual’ level; quite often fence sits; sometimes enters the RW zionist camp, but also offended by their excesses; seems not easily coopted.
    One opinion.

    Reply

  5. rc says:

    Well, it is true that I am a recent visitor here. I well sense nadine’s psychic state and political position. Apologies if I’ve mistaken ‘sweetness’ for a similar position. What then is the essential difference in position between these two blog persona? I’ve obviously formed an opinion by what I’ve read along the way, but I may have mistaken the name/id. Happy to submit full apology if justified.

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    “… raised by your collaborator in crime, nadine.” (rc in a reply to
    Sweetness)
    Are you colorblind, rc? Not able to distinguish between nadine’s
    and Sweetness’ positions?

    Reply

  7. rc says:

    nadine (Jun 03 2010, 5:57PM) — I’m not anything and I don’t hate Jews. I dislike racists, fascists and propogators of evil propaganda supporting apartheid policies. I simply deconstructed the “Khaybar” signal for you and others here based on my reading of Martin Lings (reference given above). You can believe it or not — it’s no issue to me.
    sweetness & poison (Jun 03 2010, 12:23PM) — go do your own research. As writen above, it relates to a footnote reference by Martin Lings. Take it up with him and his publishers. I am only responsible for applying modern ‘sense making’ to to issue called “Khaybar” raised by your collaborator in crime, nadine.
    I don’t follow the stuff myself, so you’ll have to dig for its deeper significance yourself. It’s not that hard, a 2-minute google search produced this:
    10When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
    11And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.
    12And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:
    13And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:
    14But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
    15Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
    16But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: …
    (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+20&version=KJV )

    Reply

  8. WigWag says:

    “I think both houses of Congress could go Republican. The enthusiasm gap (20%) will bring out Republican voters in droves. Independent voters will be reaching to vote for anybody with an (R) after his name, just to act as a check on the madness.” (Nadine)
    My advice, Nadine, is to be careful what you wish for; especially if foreign policy is something you view as important. If the Republicans take over both houses of Congress or even just the Senate, it could be a long two years.
    Obama is primarily focused on a domestic agenda because that’s what the American people are interested in right now. Without majorities in both houses, Obama’s domestic agenda is dead in the water. If that happens he will do what most Presidents do when confronted with the impossibility of accomplishing anything on the domestic side of the ledger; they shift their focus to foreign policy. Obviously the President has much more leeway on foreign affairs than he does on domestic affairs.
    If Obama turns even more of his attention to the foreign policy arena, it could be disastrous for the United States. He is so preternaturally incompetent that it

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  9. nadine says:

    Wigwag, did you notice that not a single person on this thread objected to my calling Obama an “anti-American American President”?
    To them, it’s a compliment.
    Such is the modern left.
    The silver lining is that they can’t help showing their true colors. Your compatriots in South Florida are catching on early; but they are not alone. I do believe the Democrats will get smashed this November. I think both houses of Congress could go Republican. The enthusiasm gap (20%) will bring out Republican voters in droves. Independent voters will be reaching to vote for anybody with an (R) after his name, just to act as a check on the madness.

    Reply

  10. Neo Controll says:

    “A goy blebt a goy.”
    Sweetness has far more discrimination and class than you can imagine. Your putrid attempts to coopt as many landsman as you can at TWN, and your insipid sucking up to Wig Wag marks you for the toady you are. You must think you are some kind of important and those who read here will find your non stop propaganda, Israel first, tea parties forever, Ronnie Raygun faux policy somehow convincing. Worm. Pardonez moi. Part time “Sharp contrarian”. Full time propagandist.

    Reply

  11. nadine says:

    Sweetness, Carroll has shown over and over that she is a Jew-hater. She doesn’t even keep up the pretense of being anti-Zionists. She just hates Jews. Open Jew-hatred is fine and dandy with today’s “progressives” (Wigwag’s name “regressive-progressive” is more accurate).
    Why bother to argue with her? A goy blebt a goy.

    Reply

  12. nadine says:

    rc, You’re a Salafi, I take it? But go on, keep explaining how the Jews all deserve to die. Paul Norheim will NEVER notice who he is in bed with.

    Reply

  13. nadine says:

    Dave, I trust your friends on the flotilla were not on the Marmara. Nothing happened to them, did it? That’s because they didn’t try to kill the Israelis.
    The Israelis say that the first two men down had their side arms taken from them. They were found later with their magazines empty. Since the pro-Hamas activists on the Marmara had announced quite openly that they were seeking martyrdom, I would bet a lot of money that the activists didn’t worry about their aim when they shot all the bullets in those weapons. To them, it was a good thing no matter who got hit.
    Your friends were just the cover story, Dave. If they are your friends, better warn them that IHH may rig the next boat to explode so they can become “involuntary martyrs”.

    Reply

  14. Sweetness says:

    Carroll writes: “No telling how many people who look in on this blog, and any where else you comment, you have inspired to believe every historical carnard about Jews.”
    Sorry, Carroll, that’s merely an excuse. I know you’re on a mission to show how the Jews, time and time, have brought down wrath upon themselves, but it doesn’t wash.

    Reply

  15. rc says:

    “And because of Jews like you the Jewish state is circling the toilet.” = very good 9.5/10 imo.

    Reply

  16. Sweetness says:

    RC writes: “a) you appear to agree with the law that justifies the “Jews of Arabia deserved to be slaughtered and enslaved” for treachery (i.e. Deuteronomy 20:12-14) by virtue of being a Zionist…”
    Where do you find any of this in verses of Deut. you cite?

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    Posted by WigWag, Jun 02 2010, 10:24PM – Link
    What really gets me is that Obama thinks that South Florida Jews are stupid.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually you are stupid.
    No telling how many people who look in on this blog, and any where else you comment, you have inspired to believe every historical carnard about Jews.
    And because of Jews like you the Jewish state is circling the toilet.
    Yea, you are stupid.

    Reply

  18. Dave says:

    Steve, I agree with your perspective in this article, but you really
    showed poor choice by comparing the Freedom Flotilla to al
    Qaeda’s attack on the US on 9/11. The Freedom Flotilla was an
    act on international nonviolence meant to bring a symbolic
    amount of desperately needed material goods into Gaza and to
    focus world attention on the illegality and immorality of the
    Israeli siege.
    I had several close friends on board those ships and none of
    them believed Israel would react this way. They planned for a
    standoff, several days of press coverage, and then being towed
    into Israeli ports and deported.
    Israel’s staggering overreaction may be part of an attempt to test
    the edges of the Obama administrations tolerance. It may also
    be indicative of a nation turning into a militarized bunker state.
    What is surprising to me is just how cavalier Israeli leadership
    has been about the near total isolation they find themselves in
    following the assault. One would think that surely they must
    understand that in a world where their long-term security
    depends on a powerful benefactor whose power seems to be
    waning, you must reach out and forge other alliances. But it
    seems like they are actively pursuing the opposite, intentionally
    isolating themselves from the region and the world.
    It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Israel has been telling itself it
    is a victim state for so long, not only do they all completely
    believe it, they are acting in a way that will bring about their own
    collapse and thus reinforce this belief.
    In the meantime, at least nine more international human rights
    activists are dead, an American citizen lost an eye the otehr day
    when an Israeli soldier fired a tear gas canister directly at her
    face, several more Palestinians are dead in Gaza and the West
    Bank, and the law of the sea has sustained a serious challenge to
    it’s normative status.
    How much does the world need to suffer so Israelis can feel bad
    about themselves?

    Reply

  19. rc says:

    … and of course it should be “typographical error”.

    Reply

  20. rc says:

    nadine, Jun 02 2010, 3:21PM — “rc, it’s Khaybar, I stand corrected. Curious that your reaction to the “Khaybar, Khaybar” chants from these so-called “peace activists” is to explain how the Jews of Arabia deserved to be slaughtered and enslaved by Mohammed. Curious — and very revealing.”
    The only thing I have revealed to you nadine, is the topographical error and a reliable source for information on the history of Islam.
    What puzzles me is this:
    a) you appear to agree with the law that justifies the “Jews of Arabia deserved to be slaughtered and enslaved” for treachery (i.e. Deuteronomy 20:12-14) by virtue of being a Zionist;
    b) you make no comment on the behavior of the person who passed righteous judgment according to this law of the Jews (Sa’d ibn Mu’adh); nor
    c) the shrewdness and good faith that the Prophet Muhammad placed in good men and women whatever their religious orientation in such situations. (one a judge and another a wife)
    How do you reconcile this paradox?
    These people were ‘slaughtered’, to use your words, by one of their own. End of story.
    Has it ever occurred to you that this event was meant to change the system and hearts of those like yourself who seem perpetually caught in a paradigm of their past?
    Do you not see what this famous G-d theory you cling to is perhaps saying here: to you right now?
    I’d suggest you think about waking up, and growing up, and transforming — otherwise be ‘special’ and wash the dishes in the kitchen with the obedient slave mentality that the Egyptians bread the Jews to be.
    I personally think this crap went out of date 2,000 years ago, and even more so 1,400 years ago. Does not Khaybar say this to you? But stay in the hole and keep digging for all I care.
    What I will add is this: another flotilla will arrive soon, much bigger, and escorted by a Turk-Euro-Nato navy.
    Your Zionist thugs have already broken the trust treaty with Turk Moslems. That is what Khaybar signifies. Now this treachery has exposed these Zionist idiots in Israel to the full power and measure of the law that applied in the Khaybar case study. By virtue of the clinging, by them, to the laws of the Old Testament and denial of later New Testament and Islamic revelations it is your fate.
    If nothing happens now it will only be because of the good spirit of the the Turks. Touch one more Turk citizen and the world will have the pleasure of seeing such a ‘crack on the Zionist head’ by Turkey, and its true allies, that it will be a game changer in the Middle East. And we’ll all need medical attention for the damage caused by the laughter induced at this superior logic of Allah.
    These Zionist rabble are demonstratively not a State built on modern principles. They are an increasingly disorganized criminal element that has escaped from Russian control and who are at very serious risk of being given a major lesson in public humility.
    While the US President impotently grubs around his gushing black hole in the Gulf, the future agenda for Palestine is being reset. BP is indeed the symbol: Beyond Petroleum and Beyond Palestine.
    To use the poetically beautiful American idiom delivered by POA here from time-to-time, worthy of Mark Twain even sometimes: your little favorites are fucked!
    Khaybar indeed! But your Netanyahu is an idiot and cannot see it coming. Checkmate!
    Now where can I donate to this next aid flotilla for Gaza?

    Reply

  21. nadine says:

    “While I blame Obama for all of this; it’s really the people who supported him when sought the Democratic nomination who are to blame. ”
    The Soros crowd knew what they were doing. Obama was their perfect Manchurian candidate, the leftist who knew how to sound moderate. But had the press done any part of their duty to vet candidates, Obama could never have been elected. Instead, the press lauded him as demi-god while he kept all his papers secret and denied he even knew the radicals who had launched his career and supported him. To this day, the press still covers for Obama, though he treats them with open disdain.

    Reply

  22. WigWag says:

    I think that you’re right, Nadine. The Democratic Party in Florida is hemorrhaging, at least in my part of the State.
    That’s very bad news for Democrats because considerably more than 50 percent of the Democratic vote in Florida traditionally comes from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties; the rest of the state is Republican. The center-part of the State leans Republican but the pan-handle and North Florida are solidly Republican (except for the Tallahassee which has alot of students).
    I hate to say it because I like Kendrick Meek so much but in my heart of hearts I don’t see how he can win. Without Crist in the mix, he wouldn’t stand a chance. Meek needs to win close to 60 percent of the three South Florida counties to have a shot, and I just don’t see how he can do it.
    Of course none of this is Kendrick’s fault; it’s Obama’s fault. The level of hostility to Obama is remarkable. Remember, it was less than two years ago that Obama won Florida by winning decisively in my part of the State; now he’s despised.
    The health care bill is very unpopular in Florida; rightly or wrongly, it’s earned Obama nothing but contempt.
    What really gets me is that Obama thinks that South Florida Jews are stupid. First he gives the Medal of Freedom to a monster like Mary Robinson; then he assumes the pruning position for every Muslim thug he can find; then he treats the Israeli Prime Minister rudely; then he reneges on his word about building in Jerusalem after he reached a deal with the Israelis about the settlement hiatus that doesn’t mention Jerusalem; then he reneges on his word about the recent NPT conference and after all this he thinks his utterly transparent charm offensive is going to persuade anyone? The man is an idiot; I don’t know anyone who is buying it.
    The other thing I notice is that not only are the tea party people increasingly active in South Florida, but our substantial evangelical community has also found its voice again; none of this is good for Democrats.
    If you go to Nate Silver’s website you will see that right not he’s projecting that the Democrats are almost certain to lose 7-8 seats in the Senate; who knows what will happen in the House.
    While I blame Obama for all of this; it’s really the people who supported him when sought the Democratic nomination who are to blame. As the Republicans gain strength and they see their cherished political aspirations going down the drain; they will know exactly who to blame.
    Themselves.

    Reply

  23. JohnH says:

    Wigwag and Nadine are complaining about the govamint?
    There are 45 Jewish Congressmen (30 Democrats), 13 Senators (all Democrats), the head of the DSCC, Obama’s Chief of Staff and 2 of the 7 Supreme Court Justices (when Kagan is confirmed).
    Expressed another way-
    10% of Representatives
    13% of Senators
    29% of Supreme Court Justices
    Not bad for 1.7% of the population. But obviously not enough for the Israel right or wrong crowd.

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    Wigwag, today’s Gallup generic Congressional ballot has Republicans leaping ahead, by five points I think it was, 49 to 44 percent. That is unprecedented. You didn’t see numbers like that even in 1994.
    Obama is destroying the Democratic party. Every PA Democratic candidate found a reason to be somewhere else when Obama gave a speech in PA today. When the President is poison in the party, you know you’re in trouble. From what you tell me, it sounds like Florida is even worse. The senior citizen crowd does not appreciate an anti-American American President. I don’t know Kendrick Meek, but I think he is up against it. Marco Rubio is an impressive candidate, and this is a Republican year.

    Reply

  25. Carroll says:

    I hate to post Biden so soon after dinner but I am sure we all have strong stomachs by now.
    b02.06.10
    Biden: Israel right to stop Gaza flotilla from breaking blockade
    VP Biden tells Charlie Rose that the Israel Navy might not have needed to drop commandos onto the Gaza-bound ship, but insists that Israel is entitled to defend its security.
    By Natasha Mozgovaya
    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday defended Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and its decision to intercept the pro-Palestinian flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the coastal territory, though he did not go so far as to defend the Israel Navy raid that killed nine people two days earlier.
    In an interview with Charlie Rose, Biden pointed out that Israel had given pro-Palestinian activists the option of unloading their cargo at the Ashdod port, and offered to bring it to the Gaza Strip on their behalf.
    “They’ve said, ‘Here you go. You’re in the Mediterranean. This ship — if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we’ll get the stuff into Gaza,'”, he said. “So what’s the big deal here? What’s the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it’s legitimate for Israel to say, ‘I don’t know what’s on that ship. These guys are dropping. 3,000 rockets on my people.
    “Look, you can argue whether Israel should have dropped people onto that ship or not — but the truth of the matter is, Israel has a right to know — they’re at war with Hamas — has a right to know whether or not arms are being smuggled in.”
    During the interview, Biden also blamed Hamas for the crisis that has wracked the coastal territory and for the ongoing state of conflict with Israel.
    “As we put pressure, and the world put pressure on Israel to let material go into Gaza to help those people who are suffering, the ordinary Palestinians there, what happened? Hamas would confiscate it, put it in a warehouse [and] sell it.
    “So the problem is this would end tomorrow if Hamas agreed to form a government with the Palestinian Authority on the conditions the international community has set up,” Biden told Rose.
    U.S. Congress reacts to Gaza flotilla raid
    In contrast to the barrage of condemnations all over the globe, many in the U.S. Congress expressed support for Israel.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed her regret for the loss of life and said the event “underscores the urgent need for negotiations designed to achieve an enduring and comprehensive regional peace.”
    House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Israel “rightfully invoked its right to self defense.”
    “Hamas could end the blockade at any time by recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence, and releasing Gilad Shalit,” Hoyer continued.
    Other members spoke about why there is a need for the blockade of Gaza in the first place.
    The blockade exists “to deny Hamas the weaponry and raw materials it needs to continue its rocket attacks in Israel, killing innocent people,” Republican whip Eric Cantor said.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/biden-israel-right-to-stop-gaza-flotilla-from-breaking-blockade-1.293833

    Reply

  26. DonS says:

    So? American politicians are Israeli stooges. What else is new Wig Wag? We already knew about Joe “I am a Zionist” Biden.
    No revelations here.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    Joe Biden made some interesting comments about the flotilla incident in a recent interview with Charlie Rose. Here’s some of what he said,
    “I think Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest…The truth of the matter is, Israel has a right to know – has a right to know whether or not arms are being smuggled in. And up to now, Charlie, what’s happened? They’ve said, ‘Here you go. You’re in the Mediterranean. This ship – if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we’ll get the stuff into Gaza.’ So what’s the big deal here? What’s the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it’s legitimate for Israel to say, ‘I don’t know what’s on that ship. These guys are dropping eight – 3,000 rockets on my people.'”
    Here’s a more detailed description of Biden’s comments,
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0610/Biden_on_Gaza_raid_Israel_has_a_right_to_know_if_arms_being_smuggled.html
    Representative Kendrick Meek (D-FL) also issued a fine press release yesterday about the flotilla imbroglio. Kendrick would make a fine United States Senator; the good news is with Crist in the race as an independent, Kendrick actually has a fighting chance. Meek is certainly endearing himself to the tens of thousands of Zionists and other Israel supporters both Jew and Gentile in South Florida. I’m working very hard for Kendrick and I’ve donated more money than I can afford. But I have many friends working for Rubio. Almost all of these people used to be Democrats, but Obama soured them on the Democratic Party.
    Between the Mary Robinson award and Obama’s overtures to Islamic extremists, Democrats are jumping ship in droves; at least in my neck of the woods. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Crist will take votes away from Rubio, but so far it doesn’t seem to be happening; Crist’s an after thought; what do disaffected Democrats and Republicans have in common? They feel Crist was too chummy with Obama and right now, at least in Florida, Obama couldn’t be elected dog catcher.
    Here’s Kendrick’s press release.
    “Israel has the right and duty to defend itself and protect its citizens against all threats. As a security precaution, Israel was well within its rights to search the cargo and passengers of a ship on the verge of breaching its sovereign borders, despite repeated requests from the Israeli government to stop.
    The loss of life is always tragic, but we must not be fooled: the passengers aboard the ship have done great harm to the human rights movement by using the name of peace as a pretense for violence against Israeli soldiers. The ship

    Reply

  28. shocked says:

    oh, so mutual defense treaties mean nothing? How interesting Probably why Israel would rather rely on guilt and blackmail for its security backup from big daddy USA. But it would put NATO in one hell of a predicament if indeed Turkey escorts transports to Gaza and is attacked.

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  29. nadine says:

    MarkL, despite your fond wishes, I doubt NATO wants to go to war on behalf of Hamas.

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  30. MarkL says:

    WigWag,
    The only reason you favor war is that you assume Israel will win.
    I don’t see how that is a foregone conclusion if Israel is virtually declaring war with NATO.

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  31. MarkL says:

    WigWag,
    The only reason you favor war is that you assume Israel will win.
    I don’t see how that is a foregone conclusion if Israel is virtually declaring war with NATO.

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    “Instead of having the world join us; Obama decided that the United States would join the world. The Obama approach is simple, in fact it

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    “and the increasingly brazen behavior of Israel are sucking down American power”
    I have only said a thousand times that this is what has been happening for years and would result in other countries taking the actions we see being taken now.
    What?….did anyone think the rest of the world would forever wait for the US to stand up? They won’t.
    The Israelis are destroying their protectors power to protect them. Perfectly stupid.LOL
    MV Rachel Corrie heading for Gaza

    Reply

  34. DonS says:

    Shorter Wig Wag: Give it up, Tel Aviv is your master. War is the only way.
    Oh, and Israelis hold the moral high ground.

    Reply

  35. WigWag says:

    “The U.S. really can’t afford to make the choice of Israel over the Arab world. There will be enormous geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences if it does.” (Steve Clemons)
    Turn off the television. Turn off the radio. Turn off the computer. Put away the I-Phone, the I-Pod and the I-Pad.
    Now close your eyes and listen carefully. Do you hear that laughter off in the distance?
    Listen closely and you’ll realize that these are no mere giggles or chuckles; that’s boisterous belly laughter that you hear.
    Now try to figure out where it’s coming from; it

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  36. rc says:

    Ah, nadine, your “Khaidar” quip? —
    I assume you mean Khaybar which occurred 18 months before the final surrendered of Mecca to an army of 10,000. I’m not sure many were killed after this Khaybar event, mostly those who broke the conditions of surrender in respect to hiding treasure. This was also where the Jewess Safiyyah married the Prophet Muhammad.
    In any case, the judgment for treachery had been made earlier by the wounded and dying Jewish chief Sa’d ibn Mu’adh on the Bani Qurayzah tribe who failed to honor a pledge of support at the earlier Battle of the Trench.
    The judgment for such treachery? “that the men shall be slain, the property divided, and the women and children made captive”. (Martin Lings, 1983, ‘Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources’, p. 232) This is referenced to Deuteronomy 20:12-14.
    Nice stuff, eh? And probably part of the self justifying Zionist logic underpinning the destruction of Gaza today. That’s why most of the modern civilized world has moved away from this barbaric code of conduct.
    I’d suggest the chanting you refer to is in relation expectations for a solution within 18 months. Your cronies had better hope and pray that the Turks do not declare war on Israel.
    p.s. Why don’t you follow Safiyyah’s footsteps and just marry a good Moslem and find peace of heart?

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  37. nadine says:

    “How do you know what was in the minds of these soldiers and their commanders on the scene? …
    You say there were orders not to shoot. But we don’t know that yet. And we don’t know how seriously those orders were taken.” (Dan Kervick)
    Dan, we know that from the Israeli soldiers, who have been giving interviews, and who are videotaped shouting to each other, “don’t shoot, don’t shoot”. Here’s a roundup from Ron Ben Yishai http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3896796,00.html. The Israelis were armed with paintball guns and their sidearms. They didn’t have rifles. But according to the soldiers, some of “activists” did, and they were fired upon as they rappelled. Reports are coming in now confirming arms from Morocco on the ship.
    “It also seems odd that there would be a breakdown in intelligence indicating that the people on the boat were all a bunch of Gandhis. After all, the Israeli government was telling us for days that they believed the organizers of the flotilla were actually a terrorist group.”
    Yes, that is the odd part, esp. as the activists were already on Youtube chanting “Khaidar, Khaidar, oh Jew! The army of Mohammed will return.” (Khaider was where Mohammed slaughtered the last group of Jews in Arabia). It seems that the Israelis underestimated their intention to create an ambush and were fooled by the quiet deck. That’s what the investigation will focus on in Israel, the intelligence failure.

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  38. kotzabasis says:

    WigWag is unassailable in her argument. This issue will not be resolved by diplomats bearing olive branches but by diplomats ‘rattling the sabres’ and ultimately unsheathing them.

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  39. Dan Kervick says:

    Hopefully at least one idea that has been floating around in recent months has been decisively trounced by the Freedom Flotilla raid. That’s the idea that what happens in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not represent a vital US interest, and so the US should just stay out of it.
    It is perfectly obvious when one considers the various possible directions that the outcome of this raid might have taken, and might still take, that US alliances and commitments in the region, and other regional dynamics, make of these kinds of incidents the kind of spark that could easily pull the US into a very awful and widespread war. An incident like this could also lead to crippling disruptions in our energy supplies, and to very dangerous escalations of attacks on US troops that are already in the region. American lives and long-term economic well-being are at stake? What could be more vital?
    Bringing a decisive end to this conflict, sooner rather than later, is no longer just an option for the US. It is a necessity.

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  40. rc says:

    “many describe as a humanitarian flotilla on its way to Gaza” — what a preposterous lead in.
    10,000 tons of relief aid collected/donated by an international community and sent to a community of 1+ million in dire need — what do you call it Mr Clemons? And who are the not so many who call it otherwise? What is their cynical description?

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  41. David says:

    All of the facts matter, and if they can be gotten, that is good. And it is preferable for saner heads to prevail in any crisis. But how long is Gaza supposed to be subjected to such human suffering? And by what logic does what Israei has been doing to Gaza improve Israel’s security? The same logic by which the invasion of Iraq improved US security? I don’t get it.
    And that this was designed to call Israel out does not make it any less of a humanitarian mission if the goal is to lessen the suffering of Gazans, which it would appear can only be achieved outside of US-Israeli prescriptions for the treatment of Gaza.
    You are right that Obama needs to stand up, but I doubt the US can actually do anything constructive in this situation besides not obstruct. At this point, I do admit to doubting anybody can do anything that is comprehensively the right thing to do, so I have to side with the most humanitarian impulses, wherever they are to be found.

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  42. Paul Norheim says:

    The unmistakable voice of a cultivated barbarian, spiced up with
    the timbre of imperial confidence.

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  43. JohnH says:

    Wigwag is captivated by her own nonsense–“There is simply no evidence that disputes like this one can be resolved by peaceful means.”
    Of course, Wigwag’s ideological blinders force her to ignore the peaceful outcome of Afrikaner South Africa, where the parallels to the current Israeli situation are striking and appalling.
    Naturally, Wigwag’s ideological predilections force her to dismiss Kupchan out of hand, not deigning to identify anything in particular she disagrees with.
    Of course, the obvious roadblock to peace is Israel’s Iron Wall dogma that makes it impossible to exercise any strategic restraint whatsoever. It is simply an article of Likud faith that the Arabs will NEVER stop fighting, something Israel works hard at every day to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    So Wigwag’s long expected conclusion is to give war a chance. To which I respond, be careful of what you wish for, because you might get it…

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  44. WigWag says:

    Haven’t we seen this movie before? Isn’t it just a rerun?
    Steve’s post is thoughtful, temperate, and despite the fact that he’s mostly wrong; he does make some good points.
    So what?
    This is merely another in a long line of violent incidents between Muslims and Jews. This time the Turks are involved; last time the Lebanese were involved; the time before that it was the Egyptians; the more things change, the more they remain the same.
    And true to course, once again we witnessed the eagerness of the Europeans to engage in a pogrom against the Jews; but there’s nothing very new about that either; is there?
    Until the world faces reality, the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians will continue unabated; it could go on for a decade or two; it could go on for 50 more years.
    There is simply very little precedent in world history for a dispute as intractable as the one between Israelis and Palestinians being solved by peaceful means. The only vehicle that mankind has invented to solve disputes like this one is war. The dispute ends when one side wins a dramatic militarily victory and the other side experiences a humiliating military defeat.
    That will be the way this dispute ends too; the diplomats, the peacemakers, and all the members of the Obama Administration who are too dumb to understand this, are just prolonging the dispute and the suffering on all sides.
    If someone would like to cite a dispute as intractable as the one between Israelis and Palestinians being resolved by peaceful means, please go right ahead; I would love to hear it.
    Just don’t pull a George Mitchell (I agree with Steve that Mitchell is clueless; not as clueless as Obama, but clueless nonetheless). The dispute between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland was nowhere near as intractable as the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians. First of all, the dispute hasn’t been finally resolved; it will almost certainly rear its ugly head again. But as Charles Kupchan has explained to us; culture matters. The Northern Irish Catholic and Protestant communities have far more in common that the Israelis and Palestinians.
    The Israelis and Egyptians and the Israelis and Jordanians reached peace deals when Egypt and Jordan surrendered the notion that they would ever defeat Israel militarily (the Egyptians figured this out in 1983; the Jordanians figured it out in 1967).
    The Israelis and Palestinians will arrive at a deal when all of the Palestinian factions reach the same conclusion.
    Until and unless that happens; everything else is just a sideshow. If the Palestinians or their allies think that there’s a political strategy that they can use to defeat the Israelis, we will be here for another hundred years watching history repeat itself. If they think they can devise a military strategy to defeat Israel, we will be here just as long.
    There is simply no evidence that disputes like this one can be resolved by peaceful means. The irony is that the diplomats, peacemakers, politicians (and now the bloggers and think-tankers)simply prolong the conflict and make things worse for everyone. That may not be their intention, but it is the end result.
    Having now completed Charles Kupchan’s book, this reality is even clearer than ever; there is nothing in his book to suggest that there is even a remote chance that Israelis and Palestinians will arrive at a peaceful resolution. Nor is there any precedent in world history to suggest that other players in the world will summon up the resolve to try and impose a settlement. Even if they tried; it wouldn

    Reply

  45. Cee says:

    Mr. Murder,
    Dominik Suter is reportedly back in the US and has registered another front company.
    Duck and cover.

    Reply

  46. ... says:

    paul 832pm post… thanks – i agree with you’ve said here…

    Reply

  47. Paul Norheim says:

    Steve, I agree with the last part of your post, but I am puzzled
    by some of your interpretations in the first part.
    “From a distance, what seems to be happening is that Israel is
    ratcheting up its test of what it can do in the confines of the
    US-Israel relationship. It is testing to see whether there exist
    any limits or conditionality on Israeli behavior at all.”
    Khrushchev again? I have no doubt that Israel feels free to do a
    lot of things. But I doubt that this was a test of America’s limits;
    I believe that this got out of hand, and that neither Israel nor
    the activists were prepared for this outcome. Clumsiness, lack
    of control, lack of respect for human lives, and miscalculations
    from the Israeli leadership, yes. But I see no need to test US
    limits after the quiet acceptance of the bombardment of the
    Gaza strip, the blockade, the settlement dispute, and the way
    America buried the Goldstone report.
    You said: “This was a strategic flotilla — designed to elicit
    exactly the response that Israel gave. This flotilla knew which
    button to push to animate Israel’s military response. It is not
    dissimilar from what al Qaeda did by attacking New York and
    Washington and drawing the US military to intervene in the
    Middle East.”
    To speak frankly, Steve, I think this is a surprisingly far-fetched
    and emotional judgement coming from you of all people. First
    of all, you implicitly assume that this was controlled by – whom?
    Turkey? Hamas? Planned in ways akin to how Al Quaeda
    planned 9.11. or other terrorist operations?
    Isn’t it more likely to think that although the action was
    supported by Turkey, the facts on the ground were comparable
    with any street protest scene seen during G8 meetings, or
    countless of other confrontations between protesters and police
    forces – where some elements may resist the police forces in
    more militant ways than others? This kind of situation is actually
    extremely common in Europe – also in Scandinavia – and
    normally does not result in loss of lives.
    And sorry for being blunt, Steve, but comparing this with 9.11.
    is just outrageous! Do you really believe that Turkey wants to
    drag Israel (and by implication America) into a larger war in the
    Middle East?
    As I’ve said on a thread below, I personally think that Ankara is
    frustrated by US and European positions, and in the glaring
    absence of real US leadership and reasonable positions, has
    recently become a loud and significant voice representing
    worldwide common sense – first together with Brazil on Iran’s
    nuclear program, and now on the Israeli blockade of the Gaza
    strip.
    It’s now up to Washington and the Quartet to wake up, take up
    Ankara’s challenge, and act responsibly.
    Finally, I would like to quote the following: “The U.S. really can’t
    afford to make the choice of Israel over the Arab world. There
    will be enormous geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences if
    it does.”
    I tend to agree. And why don’t you ask Ben Katcher to write a
    post reflecting upon potential effects of a deterioration of US-
    Turkish relations – if America choses Israel “over the Arab
    world” in this conflict?

    Reply

  48. Dan Kervick says:

    “Israel didn’t send commandos in with paintball guns…”
    There you go again with the paintball guns, Nadine. The soldiers were also carrying real live guns loaded with real live bullets.
    My point is that we have seen a long series of reports since the Gaza war, including in the Israeli press, indicating that the Israeli armed forces are being increasingly permeated by ultra-religious zealots, and that their zealotry has manifested itself in some cases by an outright insubordinate refusal to follow orders; by many instances of undisciplined and unprofessional behavior; and by rabbinically charged enthusiasm for killing non-Jews.
    How do you know what was in the minds of these soldiers and their commanders on the scene? There seems to be agreement even among many of Israel’s strong backers that this operation was botched, at best. You should consider the possibility that the operation is just another syndrome of a general breakdown in discipline or increase in fanatical zeal in Israel’s armed forces.
    You say there were orders not to shoot. But we don’t know that yet. And we don’t know how seriously those orders were taken.
    It also seems odd that there would be a breakdown in intelligence indicating that the people on the boat were all a bunch of Gandhis. After all, the Israeli government was telling us for days that they believed the organizers of the flotilla were actually a terrorist group.

    Reply

  49. nadine says:

    “On the other hand, maybe this whole thing is just a sign of the increasing predominance of religious ideology over professionalism in the Israeli military.”
    Dan, that’s just silly. Israel didn’t send commandos in with paintball guns and orders not to shoot except to defend their own lives, out of religious fervor. They did it because they screwed up their intelligence, and thought they were dealing with peace-activists instead of Hamas supporters seeking martyrdom and dead Israelis.

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  50. Dan Kervick says:
  51. Mr.Murder says:

    Turkey is a NATO foothold into the Middle East. The EU is trying to shape the future, this is larger than a pan-arab or pan-Muslim item.
    This was done with an endorsement by the future body for which Turkey aims to join.

    Reply

  52. JohnH says:

    Nadine and her fellow travelers are incapable of imagining any solution besides ones that involve Israeli violence. According to Nadine her “religious” nationalist ilk, talking with anyone is futile.
    Except in Gaza and the West Bank, Israel has no room for maneuver, any future pogrom will result in Israel’s incurring severe destruction in retaliation. But sadly, the Israeli Iron Wall dogma precludes any alternative but violence.
    So Israel is stuck in its own conceptual dead end. While the protagonists are Turkey and Iran today, they will embarrass Arab states into action. Already Egypt has opened its border to Gaza. More aid ships are on the way, which will further embarrass passive Arab tyrants and sap their legitimacy.
    Once again the United States has shown it is incapable of constructive action, its hands tied by its relationship with Israel. Nature abhors a vacuum, and soon it will be filled with a concert led by Turkey and Iran, but joined by Arab states in search of an effective solution that forces Israel to behave in generally acceptable ways.
    Sorry (actually not), but Israel’s days as the neighborhood bully are numbered. The neighborhood has had enough.
    Meanwhile, Obama will deliver a beautiful speech.

    Reply

  53. Jay C says:

    “It is not dissimilar from what al Qaeda did by attacking New York and Washington…”
    Well, no, not if you ignore the fact that the Gaza Freedom Flotilla wasn’t actually trying to destroy anything, or kill anybody on purpose: then they’re pretty much the same….

    Reply

  54. nadine says:

    rapier, the DC elites don’t want war. The trouble is, Obama thinks you avoid war by adopting a ‘doormat’ policy of inoffensiveness and flattery and telling your enemies what they want to hear. But displaying so much weakness is the surest way to bring on war.

    Reply

  55. rapier says:

    As sure as Bush was going to deploy an Army in the Gulf region, which was an absolute certainty, so to it is certain there will be warfare that will spread throughout the Muslim world now. The difference is, that may not be Obama’s intent but it is beyond his power to stop. There is nobody within the American elites who does not want it. There is nobody to follow if he wanted lead in another direction. To be perfectly fair large swaths of the Muslim militant world want it most of all.
    What is really needed to cement to deal is a significant terror attack on US soil. It’s amazing there has not been one after 1/23/09. It’s not unlikely Obama will be impeached for it when it comes and it’s coming. It serves everyone’s interests.
    Get your iodine tablets. Not for a dirty bomb here but because Israel might launch and who knows what may happen with Pakistan’s and Indias then?

    Reply

  56. ... says:

    nadines opinion “”Building in Hamas” will not make them responsible players.”
    …’s observation – all the building in israel has not made them responsible players and i’m not just talking about the building going on in the westbank either…

    Reply

  57. nadine says:

    Steve, what are you talking about “Israel vs. the Arab world”? This is not about the Arab world. The Arab states are bystanders in this, very alarmed bystanders.
    This is about Iran and Turkey and Hamas vs. the US and Israel. “Building in Hamas” will not make them responsible players. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have tried mightily to negotiate some truce between Fatah and Hamas, to avail. Hamas intends to build themselves in by killing off Fatah in the West Bank, just like they already did in Gaza. That’s why Fatah is reluctant to join in. Abbas doesn’t want to wind up being thrown off a tall building like happened to the Fatah guys in Gaza. All the rest is pablum, nonsense.

    Reply

  58. Don Bacon says:

    We used to have an expression in the army the gist of which was: When you see how sharp a private in the unit is you have a good indication of the unit commander.
    from Think Progress:
    PELOSI: Well, first of all, this incident, as you mentioned, is very recent. There is very strong interest in getting the facts and a transparent and credible investigation is what people are calling for

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  59. Mr.Murder says:

    Maybe during the investigation Israel will find the half dozen Mossad assets who trailed the 9-11 cell and were filmed celebrating the collapse of the WTC after those explosions. They were deported with extreme care taken, handled with silk gloves, as it were.
    Hint: some of them actually carried out an execution on someone else’s sovereign soil quite recently.

    Reply

  60. Don Bacon says:

    Exactly right, this event should have been treated as an opportunity and not as a problem. There are times when leaders — true leaders — have to act with limited information, based on instinct and goals.
    As it is, Professor Obama is still in an information-gathering mode, with the only acceptable information coming from — Israel!
    Alejandro Wolff, Deputy US Ambassador to the UN:
    “We are convinced and support an Israeli investigation as I called for in my statement earlier and have every confidence that Israel can conduct a credible and impartial, transparent, prompt investigation internally. . .we thought it was important not to pre-judge any outcomes or pre-judge any conclusions before the Israeli government has an opportunity to do that full investigation.”
    There are more ships with humanitarian supplies bound for Gaza, with more deaths possible. The time to act is now, with not only a strategic review of the whole Gaza situation but with immediate concrete steps to deal with the ships (UN inspection or such), with the siege and with the Israeli military.

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  61. Mr.Murder says:

    Liability for illegal detentions is a serious issue with subcontractors whom we let profiteer, off the demand for such measures.
    The precedent is grounded in Western policy, hinging on Israel’s actual practice re:Palestenians.

    Reply

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