Obama to Head to Europe and the Middle East: Obama Should Address “Divided Palestine”

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Senator Obama put out this statement today on his just announced trips to Europe, Israel and Jordan:

“This trip will be an important opportunity for me to assess the situation in countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with some of our closest friends and allies about the common challenges we face,” said Barack Obama. “Israel is a strong and close friend of the United States, and is confronting grave threats from Gaza to Tehran. Jordan has been a close partner in the peace process and a host of other issues of common concern. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are key anchors of the transatlantic alliance and have contributed to the mission in Afghanistan, and I look forward to discussing how we can strengthen our partnership in the years to come. This will be an important opportunity to have an exchange of views with leaders in these countries about these and other issues that are critical to American national security — and global security — in the 21st century.”

I’m glad he’s going. But let’s hope that he focuses more on the problem of a DIVIDED Palestine rather than bringing up the issue of a “divided Jerusalem” again.
And just for the rhetoric spinners, it would be NICE that while talking about the importance of Israeli security and the threats faced by the lonely regional superpower (with wich I concur), he might also address the miserable living conditions of those in Gaza and the West Bank. Some empathy with both sides is more than appropriate — and is practiced every day by leading Israelis who are debating these regional problems in far broader and more inclusive terms than is happening in the United States.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

34 comments on “Obama to Head to Europe and the Middle East: Obama Should Address “Divided Palestine”

  1. Kathleen says:

    Many of us who express dismay, disgust and concern for the plight of Palestinians are not Obama supporters, which is not to say we are McCain supporters either.
    Further, the fact that some anti-Isreali comments are also anti-Semitic does not mean that all anti-Isreali comments can be handilly dismissed as merely anti-Semetic..Many of us who express concern about Palestinians also express concern for the poverty and plight of many Americans.
    WigWag, your brush strokes can be a bit broad.

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  2. David says:

    Sy comes through again, rich. Did you get to hear his interview today on Fresh Air?

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  3. rich says:

    The mother of a friend passed away yesterday–a Holocaust survivor from Warsaw. http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/293886
    What amazes me about every Holocaust story, and I’ve read everything available, is the endlessly varying ways in which human beings of every stripe and background and character–German-Jewish, Jewish-German, gay, straight, rich, poor, of every nationality, etc., etc., relied on the unexpected humanity and total risks taken by complete strangers… and made individual decisions harder than can be believed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsUR11cBNas&feature=related
    Yes, Never Again demands our support. It requires we act in support of an Israel state. It demands we take action on behalf of Jewish people and Palestinian people alike. Yes, Never Again requires–demands–a good-faith discussion of effective tactics, that neither U.S. nor Israeli leaders squander the moral high ground by adopting tactics so harsh the injustice and brutality is only a difference of degree and numerical result. The Holocaust does not justify these policies or current procedures, but rather cautions against and forbids their use. The threat to Israel’s security—and to the America’s—is to be found precisely in our adoption of tactics and practices we claim to revile, and that cost us, and European Jews, so much. Yes, the Holocaust is a singular event, beyond comparison; nothing about that justifies coming as close as possible, just on a smaller scale with an adjusted machinery of state and against somebody else.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1-_JmXQt0&NR=1
    Worst, though, are those Americans that would stereotype and scapegoat and refuse to look at the reality on the ground. It’s easy from way over here. But avert your eyes. Better never to know that our last target, and our next target, are far more civilized and modern than we are.
    There has to be an end to this. Escalation will bring disaster, if not now, then very soon. Bombing Iraq’s nuke facility in Osirak in 1981 could work, then, but Natanz in 2008 will only accelerate Iran’s LEGAL civilian nuclear power program. Live together; it beats the only, too-costly alternative.

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  4. Carroll says:

    Humm…our Israeli and ME problems may be over as soon as the IMF x-rays the US financial condition and the world finds out finds our there is no there there in the US coffers any longer. I can imagine that 30 billion of taxpayer money promised to Israel..excuse me, that 30 billion that is being charged to the taxpayer credit card… being used instead for get away money by politicans on the run after this report.
    http://business.theage.com.au/imf-finally-knocks-on-uncle-sams-door-20080629-2yui.html?page=fullpage
    IMF finally knocks on Uncle Sam’s door
    David HIrst
    June 30, 2008
    IMAGINE the Reserve Bank of Australia, concerned that its friends in the city of Sydney who, having wallowed in wealth all their adult lives, were no longer gainfully employable and their wildly extravagant lifestyles were in danger, and, having the powers to intervene in the market, decided to do just that on their behalf.
    Imagine them offering to enter the market and buy shares that would prop up the foolish gambles of the bankers, gambles they had encouraged them, until recently, to take by providing them with cheap money.
    On top of that, they told this group they would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in credits to these same profiteers on the grounds they were so big and important to the economy they were indeed too big to fail.
    Then, imagine, despite pouring untold taxpayers money into stocks and allowing their cronies access to vast sums, the system continued to fail. So they announced they would need greater power and with it more secrecy.
    For its growing band of critics has, perhaps unwittingly and in the interest of public good, this has become the principal function of the US Federal Reserve.
    Der Spiegel wrote that the IMF had “informed” Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke of plans that would have been unheard of in the past: a general examination of the US financial system. The IMF’s board of directors has ruled that a so-called Financial Sector Assessment Program is to be carried out in the US.
    This, Der Spiegel wrote, “is nothing less than an X-ray of the entire US financial system”, adding that “no Fed chief in US history has been forced to submit to the kind of humiliation that Ben Bernanke is facing”.
    The fact that the IMF is knocking on the very doors of its parents and waving legal papers about who lost the house, the car and the kids will, if the past is anything to go by, be buried in the US by pom-pom waving on CNBC telling all what a great time it is to buy.
    But the news that the US Fed has now lost its last vestige of credibility did not end with the German report.
    The Telegraph from London weighed in, following the Royal Bank of Scotland’s statement last week (also lost on the US public) that it was time to head for the crags, and reported Barclays Capital’s closely watched Global Outlook analysis that said US headline inflation would hit 5.5% by August and the Fed would have to raise interest rates six times by the end of next year to prevent a wage spiral.
    If the Fed hesitates, the bond markets will take matters into their own hands. “This is the first test for central banks in 30 years and they have fluffed it,” the report found. “They have zero credibility, and the Fed is negative if that’s possible. It has lost all credibility.”
    Der Spiegel reports that the IMF is threatening to seriously study the accounts of America, something President George Bush is determined to prevent at least while he is in the White House, informing the IMF that it can begin its investigation but cannot complete it until he leaves office.
    But the reckoning will come and it will shine a light in places where light has been desperately wanted for all too long.
    “As part of the assessment,” Der Spiegel said, “the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the major investment banks, mortgage banks and hedge funds will be asked to hand over confidential documents to the IMF team. They will be required to answer the questions they are asked during interviews. Their databases will be subjected to so-called stress tests — worst-case scenarios designed to simulate the broader effects of failures of other major financial institutions or a continuing decline of the dollar.”
    Under its by-laws, the IMF is charged with the supervision of the international monetary system. About two-thirds of IMF members — but never the US — have already endured this painful procedure.
    Australian banks have been buffeted by the storms generated in the US, but strict standards enforced by a Reserve Bank that is independent of private banking interests has prevented such excesses, as vouched by their performance as compared with the broker-trader banks and the retail banks of the US. Shares in once-massive banks and brokerage firms have been stripped by as much as 70%, 80% and even almost 100%. We are taking a trim while US banks are getting a full haircut and shave.
    Part of the problem is the US media, which has for so long pretended that all is or soon will be well, a bottom is near, a recovery awaits in the second half of the financial year that will sweep away all problems, sown over decades, in a new expansion, a cycle that is ordained to come. The latest fantasy is that with the quarter’s end, new profit figures will invigorate the bull, which will seed fertility.
    The next President will be handed at least two wars gone horrible wrong and, by then, an economy in similar shape. The bull will have to be a particularly fertile beast.
    Der Spiegel reports: “When the final report on the risks of the US financial system is released in 2010 — and it is likely to cause a stir internationally — only one of the people in positions of responsibility today will still be in office: Ben Bernanke.”
    While Der Spiegel claims that IMF intervention (my expression) is a humiliation for the US, the real significance may be that this is another blow to American exceptionism.
    While the examination is far reaching, and deeply intrusive, Canada, Britain, Italy, indeed two-thirds of IMF members, have participated in the program. The new President will soon discover the age of US exceptionism is over.”

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Note that the actual content of Carroll’s posts are rarely addressed. Thats the routine. Avoid comment on the actions of Israel, and concentrate instead on discrediting the messenger. Now Carroll is a “contemptable Jew hater”.
    The irony here is that the true bigotry, exposed by comments such as “the Iranians are lunatics”, goes unchallenged. This bigotry, known as Islamophobia, is shown too by this tactic of ignoring the citation ofIsrael’s egregious human rights violations, such as Carroll’s post cites, while viciously slinging accusations of anti-semitism at anyone that dares defend the Palestinians, or decry Israel’s actions.
    Whats worse, is we barely scratch the surface here about the depths of the abuses. Palestinian crops poisoned. Centuries old olive groves bulldozed. Women dying while giving birth at border blockades. Infrastructure destroyed and streets flowing with raw sewage. An entire people deprived of dignity, freedom, and the ability to ply their livelyhoods.
    WigWag states “It’s a shame that so much smart commentary about Israel and other subjects that’s to be found here has to be obscured by the rantings of a person like you”.
    Where, pray tell, does WigWag’s post travel from being a “rant” to being “smart commentary about Israel”???
    Interesting too that “Iron Belle” only seems to appear on the heels of WigWag’s postings, and only on threads that WigWag participates in. And always, only to incite.
    This blog has been through this before, a number of times. Same trolls, different monickers. Spineless, destructive, despicable, and indefensible.

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  6. WigWag says:

    Paul, one more thing. Your the one who needs to cut the crap. Ironbelle is exactly right. The “N” word needs to be delegitimized. No one should use it for any reason, regardless of their color.
    I don’t know how much you know about the history of that word or why and how it was used. My guess is that it was never in common usage in Norway. Do a little research and you will see why it should never be uttered verbally or in print.
    There are plenty of ways to make exactly the point that POA was trying to make without using a word that decent people would like to see removed from the lexicon.

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  7. WigWag says:

    “But the crux of disgust with all thing Israeli by people like myself…”
    Sorry Carroll, the crux of disgust with all thing Israeli by people like you is that you’re a contemptible jew hater. You’re so delusional that you think that dressing up your antisemitism in long, ususally obtuse rants somehow makes your Jew hating more palatable. It doesn’t. It just makes it pedestrian. There are certainly many smart and astute critics of Israel on this site. All of their comments are diminished by merely appearing in proximity to yours.
    Carroll, you’re no different than people who hate African Americans or Latinos or Asians. And while you’ve probably deluded yourself into thinking that you’re more sophisticated than your average KKK member or white supremecist, actually your comments are quite reminiscent of theirs.
    Ironically, you’re the perfect example of why Israel is indispensible. Not that your competent enought to do anything particularly venal, but the world is full of people who think like you do who are competent enough to do heinous things and have.
    The only thing that might be said in your defense is that your jew hating might be the result of your mental illness. Might you be bipolar? I’m not sure what else could account for your delusion that you are actually capable of writing a book that anyone would read, let alone publish.
    It’s a shame that so much smart commentary about Israel and other subjects that’s to be found here has to be obscured by the rantings of a person like you. But this is not your sanctuary to spew your hate speech. Not without being told who and what you are.

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  8. Carroll says:

    BTW…this is why Americans who know what is going are replused by Israel and it’s supporters.
    Decent people would hate this type of thing no matter where it happens.
    But the crux of disgust with all thing Israeli by people like myself is that no one in our government will acknowledge what Israel does much less condemn it or speak out against it. They wax with indignation about China’s human rights violations or Russia’s or SA’s or any Arab country’s human right violations…but continue the Israeli lie.
    Let me see if anyone can grasp this…I know you do…I just want to see it typed out….
    Our politicans know Israel is no better than the nazis and yet they stand up and tell us American people to our faces that Israel is a virtuous democratic country justified in everything they do.
    There must be a word bad enough for what the zionist and our own politicans have done to our country, not to mention the Palestines, with this Israel lie. I haven’t found a bad enough word yet though. I have described it as Orwellington but while that is accurate it doesn’t convey the true filth and horror the US government has become here at home on this issue and in the ME because of the zionist and their willing supporters in our government.
    June 29, 2008
    Latest Israel Abuse Story Has More of a Soviet Union Vibe Than a South Africa One
    Inter Press is reporting that its correspondent in Gaza, Mohammed Omer, who is also working for the Washington Report, was stripsearched and assaulted at the border crossing from Jordan on Thursday. Omer, pictured here in London, where he lately won a Martha Gellhorn prize for his journalism, says he was forced to undress, then battered and kicked, dragged around, head banged. Every cavity of his body was probed, and he vomited and lost consciousness, woke up in a Palestinian hospital. The soldiers seemed angered by his having won a prize. You can see him accepting his prize in London here, describing how hard it was to get out of Gaza, and dedicating his prize “to the voiceless people of the Gaza Strip.”
    The incident is sickeningly reminiscent of a strip-search story told by Hedy Epstein, an 80-plus-year-old Holocaust survivor from St. Louis, who has made it a mission in her 80s to visit Palestine. Here is Hedy telling about her 2004 humiliation, on youtube. They called her a terrorist.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC37pFQ8tyg
    (I learned about Hedy in this open letter to Cong. Barney Frank saying that he has “lost his mind” because of Israel, as his sister has).
    Muhammad Idrees Ahmad informed me about the Mohammed Omer story. I told him that Israel is beginning to sound more like the old Soviet Union than South Africa in some of these stories. I was thinking of Juliano Mer Khamis’s comment a week or so back at the New York Theatre Workshop, that Israel’s indifference to its international image strikes him as fascist. Ahmad said, “You are right, but what is worse is that one incident like [Omer’s assault] in the Soviet era used to be the subject of whole films, whereas now its the daily reality of a whole people yet reports like these disappear as soon as they appear and would make it into public consciousness if they weren’t being crowded out by more sensational stories such as Lindsey Lohan’s latest nipple slip etc…”
    Again it is worth remembering Jerome Slater’s point about “muting the alarms”: that the American leadership and public, even those who love Israel, are being deprived of a true picture of the state. And when they wake up it may be too late.
    Here is Hedy Epstein’s website. She is a “Holocaust survivor and speaker.” Hedy explains her repeat visits to Palestine, to Counterpunch: “I thought a checkpoint was something like a stop light on a highway here in the United-States. It’s not like that at all. And it’s gotten worse every time I return. The way they are now, they remind me of when animals are rounded up and taken to slaughter, it’s just so humiliating.”

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  9. Carroll says:

    Posted by rich Jun 29, 8:29AM
    >>>>>>>>
    Hummmm…NOW I get it. Thanks Sy.
    Remember the other day when Steve posted about N Korea and I said I had read that the UK also took the MEK off their terrorist list?
    Now we know why…the US is funding the MEK for covert activities against Iran

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  10. Paul Norheim says:

    “Racist”, “Jew hater”, “misogynist”, “sexist”… I don`t see any point
    in defending POA against these accusations.
    But let me mention one example, to show the absurdity of it: POA
    uses the word “Sandnigger” in a comment adressing Israeli racism
    toward Arabs. And the always constructive Ironbelle accuses POA
    of being a racist, of being a white man “using the N word”.
    Please stop this crap, WigWag and Ironbelle. And please don`t
    answer them, POA.

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  11. WigWag says:

    “Oh goody, another Trollfest.”
    Steve’s post was about Obama and about the Israel/Palestine issue. My comments have been exactly on topic.
    We’ve been through this, POA. In your perfect world, only mysoginists, jew haters and critics of Israel (both smart and dumb)are supposed to post here. But this isn’t your perfect world.
    And RabbleRouser, I hope you cleared your comment with that Jewish spouse of yours. I know that before you say something that might be interpreted as anti-Semitic you have to get your spouse’s permission first. I do have some bad news for you though. Your comment indicates a keen interest in “Jewish Democrats.” According to Haaretz, the next US Congress is likely to have the largest number of Jewish members ever. Here’s some of the article for you.
    “Posted: June 17, 2008
    Next U.S. Congress might top current record number of Jewish lawmakers.
    The class of 2006 gave us a record number of Jewish legislators on Capitol Hill. The numbers: 30 Jewish members of the House (29 Democrats), 13 Jewish senators (9 Democrats, 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats and 2 Republicans). This is the highest number ever. In 2008 the number could go up even more…Bottom line: Up to three new Jewish members…
    In the House, no gains or losses are expected when discussing Democratic seats, other than the one of Lantos earlier in the year – but if some of the races get tighter we might see a couple of loses (up to four). A couple of gains are possible when we check the Republican seats – but for this to happen the Jewish contenders need to win the primary battles, and the elections. Since there’s no reason to believe that the number of Jewish Senators will change, this is really a close call: The 2008 Congress can repeat the record number of Jewish legislators; it can lose one or two Jewish seats; but a new record is also possible. ”
    So sorry to have to break this news to you Rabble Rouser. I know how you feel about those swimming pool hours and I know you think those Jews in congress are always trying to send your swimming pool money to Israel.
    Geez, life just isn’t fair!

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  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh goody, another Trollfest.

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  13. Tahoe Editor says:

    That’s hilarious. I wonder if he’s going to debut his new seal for the Europeans.

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  14. Dirk says:

    More Obama Elitism on display: Seen drinking coffee out of a “World’s greatest Dad” mug.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/27/DDASMUSSENBR.DTL

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  15. Tahoe Editor says:

    Witness the Changeâ„¢ That Works For Him:
    THEN: No one has suffered more than the Palestinian people.
    NOW: No one has suffered more than the Palestinian people from their leadership failures.
    Watch him out-do McCain on the treat Iran poses:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=5Lxd5lA0AEk
    My favorite line from today’s talk shows:
    “Jumping in front of a parade is not leadership.” — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on ABC’s “This Week”

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  16. WigWag says:

    Obama’s support from slum lords has been widely reported for many months. His failure to be concerned about conditions in Gaza and the West Bank is not surprising given the politics of the presidential race. His failure to be concerned about conditions in his own district is not surprising either, given the conception of politics that has governed his whole career.
    What is surprising is how Obama supporters at the Washington Note can be so concerned about poverty in Palestine and so indifferent to the conditions that their favored candidate has enabled in his own community. His friendship and support for slum lords has been there for everyone to see. That is for everyone who cares to open their eyes.
    But of course I’m just kidding. The indifference of Obama supporters is really not surprising at all.

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  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    1) The Obama/Rezko story broke in April of ’07, and I have seen those ties mentioned here several times since.
    2) The Boston Globe story about Obama’s so called “personal relationships with several Chicago slum lords” broke on the 27th of this month, one day before this particular thread started here. The most recent “Obama thread”, prior to this one, preceded the Boston Globe article. Think maybe that may explain why in Steve’s “many threads about Senator Obama and the Presidential election on this site, Obama supporters here have been conspicuously silent about the Senators relationships with slum lords”?
    3) Its quite enlightening, and surely constructive to the debate to know that the Obama supporters that participate here “just don’t care” about “the Senators relationships with slum lords”, considering the two days they’ve had to comment on the Globe’s allegations.
    4) Kind of schizo for a poster to take the readers to task here for not recognizing “that Israel has serious security concerns despite its status as a regional super power”, yet at the same time not complimenting Obama for acknowledging it, isn’t it?
    Come to think of it, I guess it’s not such a surprise.

    Reply

  18. WigWag says:

    “…he might also address the miserable living conditions of those in Gaza and the West Bank. Some empathy with both sides is more than appropriate…”
    Sorry Steve, Senator Obama won’t be addressing the miserable living conditions of those living in the West Bank or Gaza any time soon. What makes you think he would? He can’t even be bothered to express any sympathy for his own consitutents living in deplorable conditions in his state senate district in Chicago. Just this past Friday, the Boston Globe ran a 9 page expose on Obama’s finanical and personal relationships with several Chicago slum lords (note that the Boston Globe was hardly in Hillary Clinton’s corner; they endorsed Obama). And it’s not just his buddy Tony Rezko. The Globe article provided great detail on the Senator’s long term relationships with several Chicago area “developers” who took the money and ran, leaving Obama’s poor, urban constituents living in conditions that the Globe describes as horrible. What have you heard from Obama about this? Nary a peep. What have we heard from his supporters? Their willful ignorance continues. In your many threads about Senator Obama and the Presidential election on this site, Obama supporters here have been conspicuously silent about the Senators relationships with slum lords. But of course that’s not hard to explain, they just don’t care.
    And of course you’re right that many Israelis think about Palestinian poverty every day. I’m glad you mentioned it. The debate in Israel is certainly very vigorous. Americans do need to think about both sides in this conflict and it would be an improvement if both sides in the conflict tried to see things from the other side’s point of view. But it’s not only Americans who should take your advice, Arab governments which use the Israel/Palestinian conflict for their own purposes should also behave better.
    And of course, you are also correct to point out that Israel has serious security concerns despite its status as a regional super power. It’s funny that none of the people who have commented so far about your post have referenced either of these points that you made.
    Come to think of it, I guess it’s not such a surprise.

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  19. JohnH says:

    “We’ll create generations of jihadists” and guarantee the welfare of defense contractors…

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  20. rich says:

    In the July 7th New Yorker, Seymour Hersh reports that Congress & George Bush are spending $400 million to wage war against Iran.
    That calls into question who is the aggressor here, and just who is a threat to whom. And it is our generations equivalent of the bombing of Cambodia. Worse, even: Iran has not served as a conduit for arms or money used against US forces nearly to the extent other nations have. More important, Iran has not and is not the aggressor here: America is the one waging a war beyond the borders of Occupied Iraq. And has been doing so for quite some time.
    “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.
    Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year.”
    Hersh exposes the lie that the U.S. is responding to bad behavior or mortal threats of rogue nations. The reality is quite the opposite, and Washington D.C.’s amnesia regarding our ill-fated overthrow of democratically elected Mossedegh in 1953, or the CIA’s training of SAVAK (the Shah’s secret police) to torture Iranian citizens does not justify pretending there are no consequences to repeating
    The United States is instigating an unprovoked war. We are already at war, an illegal war, with Iran. And that’s the goal—not a means to rein in Iran’s nuclear program, which remains within the bounds of their legally established right. The United States of America is not defending anybody from anything. And when this misadventure fails, and momentum swings the other way, as it will eventually, the result will be more nations with more nuclear weapons.
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh
    “A Democratic senator told me that, late last year, in an off-the-record lunch meeting, Secretary of Defense Gates met with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. (Such meetings are held regularly.) Gates warned of the consequences if the Bush Administration staged a preëmptive strike on Iran, saying, as the senator recalled, “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.” Gates’s comments stunned the Democrats at the lunch, and another senator asked whether Gates was speaking for Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Gates’s answer, the senator told me, was “Let’s just say that I’m here speaking for myself.” (A spokesman for Gates confirmed that he discussed the consequences of a strike at the meeting, but would not address what he said.)
    The Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose chairman is Admiral Mike Mullen, were “pushing back very hard” against White House pressure to undertake a military strike against Iran, the person familiar with the Finding told me. Similarly, a Pentagon consultant who is involved in the war on terror said that “at least ten senior flag and general officers, including combatant commanders”—the four-star officers who direct military operations around the world—“have weighed in on that issue.”
    Think about that:
    Even Defense Secretary Gates says:
    “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.”
    ‘Even’ the military knows this is a war that cannot be won. Yet why do I have the feeling Bush-Cheney will be handing Obama a bigger ball-o-fire than the one currently burning down The House?

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  21. jonst says:

    POA,
    You wrote: “….One thing is for damned sure”. Indeed, “One thing is for damned sure”; that when he comes back he will be accused, in certain circles, and in parts of the media, of having committed some gross faux pas, that threatens Israeli security, undermines ‘our’ efforts in the ME, and specifically, in Iraq, and displays his ‘lack of ‘national security experience’. That is what is damn sure. And I don’t care what he says, does, or does not say or do.

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  22. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    A true fururistic test for Obama lies in his bold and fair display of political orientations imbued with the essence of political liberalism- a minifestion of judicious settlement of political disputes.And of course, it is in this connention that Obama as the next US President, has to deal with the twisted problem of the Arab- Israel dispute, thereby not keeping aside the flagrant Kashmir problem that has eclipsed the future of politically and economically stable South Asia.

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  23. d says:

    I’m just noticing that AIPAC logo in back of Obama, a perversion of the American flag into a sort of swastika/star of david. Anybody into graphic arts?

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  24. David says:

    AIPAC owns the US portfolio for the Middle East. I cannot remember any time that Israel didn’t. When I was a student at the University of Florida, one of the most popular songs was Ferrante & Teicher’s “This land is ours, God gave this land to us.” That was half a century ago, and so far the only prominent American who has spoken out fair-mindedly about the situation in the Occupied Territories is Jimmy Carter, and the villification from all quarters was rapid and intense. I think maybe Larry King was the only influential tv personality to continue to treat Jimmy Carter with respect.
    One cannot simultaneously run for POTUS and speak even-handedly or fair-mindedly about the Palestinian-Israeli debacle. Howard Dean learned that with a vengeance in 2004.
    And if you do not think Christian Zionism is a major force in conservative white Christian beliefs and voting behavior, you have not been paying attention. To oppose Israel in any way is to be condemned to hell. If you do not believe me, ask a Bible-literalist Christian fundamentalist.
    The best Obama can do is run as a friend of Israel, unless he wants to lose the election now, and then do whatever it is in the power of an American president to do to ameliorate the nightmare for the Palestinians, a nightmare too many interest groups prefer to exploit rather than ameliorate. Only enlightened Israelis at this point can do a goddamned thing about this humanitarian outrage, and they are a minority voice, so I don’t really think they can do much. Palestinians are ultimately expendables, as they were when the State of Israel was created, and as were Native Americans when the “greatest nation in the history of the world” was being established.
    We are where we are, and I support and applaud any and all efforts to reduce the agony in the Occupied Territories, but it is not anything AIPAC will tolerate or an American president can actively pursue. A mindless “pro-Israel” mindset is the order of the day, and it is being fostered in some indefensible ways on college campuses. Fortunately, some Jewish groups are pushing back.
    I never had any use for anti-semitism, but I must say I hold the current version of “pro-Israel” political correctness in equally low regard. It is not good for Israel, it is not good for America, and it is not good for the greater Middle East.
    I expect the settlements will continue to expand, the Palestinians will continue to be run over roughshod, people who perceive advantage in it will continue to make sure there is no peace, and the other nations of the world will care only that their perceived “national interests” are served. I also suspect that innocent Israelis and a much larger number of innocent Palestinians will continue to be victimized ad nauseum.
    Condi Rice did at least raise the problem of the settlements, but I can imagine the response in most quarters that matter: “Yeah, yeah, Condi.” And then there’s Dick Cheney, who probably said essentially the same thing he did to Patrick Leahy.
    To borrow from TS Eliot’s THE WASTELAND, “Shantih, shantih, shantih.”

    Reply

  25. Paul Norheim says:

    Good points, Steve.
    My guess is that Obama will be well received in Israel, detested
    by the Palestinians and in the Arab world, and treated like a rock
    star in Europe.
    “I serve as a blank screen,” the Senator wrote in “The Audacity of
    Hope,” “on which people of vastly different political stripes
    project their own views.” But after the recent AIPAC speech, that
    screen is not as blank as it once was.

    Reply

  26. JohnH says:

    Susan: “Who’s gonna be Obama’s Cheney?”
    Maybe Hillary? Calculating, detail oriented, good friend of business, friend of Israel, enemy of Iran, gets things done…
    Obama seems to be adopting the traditional Democratic brand: “Strength through surrender [to Republiscum]. Or, as Shakespeare might say, “The Democrats do protest too much,” when their real intention was to surrender all along.
    DonS: Shouldn’t it be “BS talks, money walks?”

    Reply

  27. RabbleRouser says:

    Oh, please — what threats does Israel face? It’s got enough
    nuclear firepower and delivery systems to wipe the surrounding
    countries, and countries much further, off of the map. Thanks
    to us.
    We are about to attack Iran, a country that is no threat to us,
    because of this spoilt brat of a country, Israel, and her enablers
    in the U.S. government.
    We are about to commit the world to war, and global depression,
    because of this spoilt little brat and her enablers in the U.S.
    government.
    ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.
    Lautenberg, Cardin and other congressional reps, in this group
    titled something like Jewish Democrats in Congress, took
    McCain to task last week for not being tough enough on Iran!
    The chutzpah!
    Israel’s supporters want to take the world to war, including
    “Jewish Democrats” who purportedly represent the U.S., in order
    to “save” Israel???
    Traitors. Every single person in congress who is marching this
    country to utter ruin, after having sworn an oath to it, for the
    perceived benefit of Israel, should HANG.
    Call “your” congressional reps. Say NO to an attack on Iran. Tell
    them you’ll go door-to-door, not only to make sure they lose
    their office, but to tell people that you will work with others in
    your district to try them for war crimes if we attack Iran.
    L.A. TIMES predicts our future (THANKS ISRAEL’S FAN CLUB):
    “Envisioning a World of $200 a Barrel Oil (AND IF WE ATTACK
    IRAN IT WILL BE $300-350/ Barrel)
    FULL ARTICLE AT LINK
    http://tinyurl.com/55pxxp
    (snip)
    “The purchasing power of the American people would be kicked
    in the teeth so darned hard by $200-a-barrel oil that they won’t
    have the ability to buy much of anything,” said S. David
    Freeman, president of the L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners
    and author of the 2007 book “Winning Our Energy
    Independence.”

    Reply

  28. DonS says:

    It is frustrating and sad the parameters of thinking by US politicians on Isr/Pal, and that they choose to operate in such tight limits for all the reasons that are well known on this blog.
    Obama signals no new thinking on Israel, just more of the same. Steve rightly points out that realistic and compassionate Israelis express more understanding than American politicians of the reality and disasterous consequences of continuing the head in the sand AIPAC/necon line.
    Thanks, Steve, for continuing to try to keep a cnadle burning in this utter darkness.
    As Obama has failed to lead on the 4th amendment, so is he again failing to lead — as the putative standard bearer of his party — on the hard questions of the mideast?
    I’m flying out of DC today for a month in Canada, and I hope to check in now and then.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    http://www.aipac.org/1680.asp#13629
    Congressmen Demonstrate Bipartisan Support for Israel at AIPAC Intern Forum
    House Majority Leader Hoyer congratulated the students “for involving yourself in this effort to be informed about the dangers posed to Israel.” He also asserted that, “Israel is an issue on which there is almost full consensus in Congress.”
    Rep. Pence, just a day before traveling to Israel, emphasized that, “Few things in this country unite us more than a devotion to the people and State of Israel.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    ““Few things in this country unite us more than a devotion to the people and State of Israel.” ?????????
    I am telling you, Americans have only two choices…get a American Lobby for America or torch congress. I prefer the latter, it’s a quicker solution.

    Reply

  30. Don Bacon says:

    What does it say about America? It says that money talks and BS walks, every time.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    Obama sure has changed his tune hasn’t he?
    What does it say about America that a US Presidential candidate has to swear allegiance to Israel and the Zionist Dream instead of America?
    Eveything about the US zionist created US-Israel story is EXACTLY like Orwell’s 1984…wrong is right, black is white, evil is good.
    The only good I can see that will come out of this is that if what a lot of people see as American’s last “hope” keeps stuffing this down the American throat we are bound to collectively gag sooner or later.
    Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over.

    Reply

  32. susan says:

    oh joy, 4 more years of novice foreign policy. that’s what you get
    for picking an empty suit. wonder who’s gonna be Obama’s
    Cheney?

    Reply

  33. Don Bacon says:

    France, Germany, UK, Israel and Jordan “are critical to American national security?”
    Well, slap me upside the head, I didn’t know that. The US is building a huge wall on its southern border, and expanding the Border Patrol to 18,000 for security reasons, doesn’t Mexico matter?
    It seems to me that Iraq, Pakistan, China, India and Russia are a bit more “critical to American security” than France, Germany, UK and Jordan. (Jordan??) Of course if the reason is to marshal support for a strike on Iran, that’s a different story.
    And yes, the I/P situation, as indicated in the polls, has driven the huge dislike of America in the polls of Muslims around the world, which is a factor that is critical to American national security. To frame this ongoing tragedy as “Israel. . . is confronting grave threats from Gaza to Tehran” is already to know that Obama’s policy will be no better, possibly worse, than the current one — continuity you can believe in.
    And it looks like the trend may be to call Jordan the New Palestine while Israel consolidates on the West Bank and, soon, in Gaza again. But the arabs will eventually have the last laugh, as the “reconquista” of Palestine is accomplished from within the greater Israel.

    Reply

  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Seems to me he tried that, and promptly backed off as soon as the Israeli’s sneered at him. From his early comments about the plight of the Palestinians, to his recent subserviently remodeled comments about the “grave threats” Isreal faces, its obvious his stances on the Isr/Pal thing are determined more by the reactions he recieves than by any personal convictions he may hold under all the posturing.
    At any rate, I think its foolish, considering how easily he was enticed, (coerced? bribed?) onto the Israeli bandwagon, to expect anything other than the standard “Israelis good”/”Palestinians bad” approach to this issue from the wonderboy.
    One thing is for damned sure, on his return he will certainly not choose to underscore the conditions in Gaza. But he’ll probably have plenty to say about those nasty anti-semitic terrist missile lobbers.

    Reply

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