The Diplomacy Prize Goes to France This Round

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Around the United States and the world, there are high school, community college, and university exercises called “Model United Nations”. Basically, students divide themselves into different national and regional clusters. There are NGOs in the simulated exercises — usually crises that the students need to work through — as well as students assigned to perform U.N. Secretariat functions.
At the end of the multi-day meetings, prizes are distributed to college teams and students for exemplary performance. The best prizes go to those players who out think and out maneuver better resourced nations and rival universities or high schools.
In the case of the UN Resolution likely to be voted on tonight establishing a cease fire in Lebanon and compelling both an Israeli military withdrawal and a sizeable “Hezbollah-free zone” as well as the deployment of a joint United Nations/Lebanon military force in Southern Lebanon — French diplomacy has been the pace-setter.
I’m about to go on Air America’s “The Majority Report” with Sam Seder and will be back shortly to fill in why the French deserve a prize for all the string-pulling and maneuvering they pulled off behind the scenes.
On a break during the show — but here is the scoop on France’s impressive, Machiavellian diplomacy.
First, during the first UN Resolution that was cobbled together, the French signed on to the U.S. language. While that first resolution favored Israeli interests disproportionately and did not call for an immediate Israeli military withdrawal from Southern Lebanon, it laid the groundwork for a ceasefire and for a deal on the Shebaa Farms.
The French encouraged the Arab League and Lebanon to object to the resolution — particularly over the failure to call for an immediate Israeli withdrawal. The French then jumped ship and sang in unity with Lebanon and the Arab League — and then pushed Hezbollah to accept something reasonable between the original US/French position and the later French/Arab League position.
In the end, the French maneuvered American agreement on the ceasefire and Israel’s troop withdrawals — and left Israel diplomatically cornered.
If John Bolton wants to take credit for any of this, let him — but it was the French all the way.
The situation is still incredibly fragile — but what the French did to outrun and outmaneuver Americans and Israelis who could not set the pace or terms of an endgame was needed and impressive.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

62 comments on “The Diplomacy Prize Goes to France This Round

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  3. Tim Ruane says:

    Why are we so preoccupied with the Middle East, when there are about a million other things in the world we could worry about? For instance, famine and civil war in Africa. I say that the Israeli lobbyists have their hands around our throats. Where is there a lobby for, say, Niger?

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  5. jerry says:

    As a postscript, the WaPo has a nice editorial today describing how the valiant French diplomats have decamped to their cafes while other countries struggle to implement the lauded diplomacy the French are now running from:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/17/AR2006081701541_pf.html
    The French really are a blessing for all of us.

    Reply

  6. jerry says:

    Still waiting to see if the Frenchies, and the UN, actually accomplished something here….

    Reply

  7. Andrew says:

    Thank you Steve for your great post! Finally the UN (ie, international community) was able to stand up to the powers that be and do something. I am so happy for this cease fire, and I’m so happy that it was accomplished despite the US’ interference. Perhaps I’m still too young and idealistic, but I feel hopeful, and its bringing me much needed rest tonight… may there be peace in both Lebanon and Israel today.

    Reply

  8. ahem says:

    On topic: The Quai d’Orsay remains the nexus of diplomatic smarts, in the traditional definition of the term.
    They know how to do this stuff.

    Reply

  9. Fade says:

    So, Mike says so what that 900 Lebanese were killed by Israel because a lot more of them were born.. Wow. That’s great. And those of us who realize that those 900 people are no less human that those killed by Katushya rocket are somehow crazy because we believe that? Its terror from both sides, directed at civilians. I don’t think I am some lefty Genius, but I don’t really think you HAVE To be to realize that Katushya rockets Don’t make the Lebanese people MORE Secure. And Bombs dropped on neighborhoods don’t make Israelis more secure.
    Can all of the nutty kill-happy people just take a break for a bit and give the rest of us a chance at diplomacy here? Hey whats the worst that could happen? A thousand people killed in a month? Somehow I don’t think so. Saying that killing civilians is acceptable because more were born is the same kind of backwards thinking that guarantees neverending death. Thanks for your honest racism, Mike. It’s so… uh .. normal

    Reply

  10. g1lgam3sh says:

    Hmm most jews are actually from Khazar heritage, apart from the Sephardi of course.
    Arabs on the other hand are Semites.
    How then is Anti – Zionism necessarily anti – semitic?
    Do I sense a little cognitive dissonance here?
    Just sayin’

    Reply

  11. Pissed Off American says:

    Golly, I guess those pesky Lebaonese are getting born faster than the Israelis can kill them, according to Mike. Heathens, how dare they. But have no fear, the Butcher Ohlmert has a plan for that. He will simply destroy lebanese infrastructure, displace a million or so of them, and let disease and infant mortality work its magic. There’s more than one way to kill a raghead, by golly.

    Reply

  12. dov says:

    Quiz: Who in the Nazi hierarchy could have said something similar to the following?
    Israel’s “Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) said he voted in favor [of the ceasefire agreement] because he did not believe Hizbullah would abide by it, and then Israel would have international legitimacy to destroy Lebanese infrastructure.”
    http://www.jpost.com
    Article: “J’lem expects cease-fire deal to fail”
    Whoever guesses correctly gets a gold star.

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    Well marky , speaking of ceasefires..what do you think of the ‘ceasefire”..in Lebanon that is?
    It seems to me things are going on schedule for Isr to hit Iran…..their bombing has seriously hampered Hez and Lebanon’s ability to get supplies into Lebanon
    ….Isr has agreed to international forces between them and someone else, something they have never agreed to before….if they wait to bomb Iran until the international forces are inplace in Lebanon I see that as a plus for Isr as it will result in the internationals really having to be a buffer to possibile Hez retalitation to an attack on Iran…and esculating things even more…which is exactly want Isr wants to give them more justifications for anything they do.
    I think Iran is in the cross hairs because we know
    Isr had a reason besides their usual kidnappings for bombing Lebanon….Lebanon is just collatoral damage on the way to Iran.

    Reply

  14. marky says:

    The new civility here is just killing me.
    The ceasefire in Lebanon has more chance than the one on the comment thread here.

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Well Mike…your arab birthrates vrs. bombing deaths is very Dr. Strangelove….you might want to use another type of arguement.
    And I am not a lefty and consider the Israeli actions in Palestine to be a kind of “slow motion genocide”…no doubt in my mind the Israelis would have already driven out or starved out or killed off the Palestines long ago if they thought they could away with it.
    That they do not intened to ever let a Palestine state emerge should be bleeding obvious to anyone with two grey cells by now….

    Reply

  16. mike says:

    Alec,
    Not only are you not funny, you aren’t even clever. Israel would carpet bomb not smart bomb an area if they were intent on extermination.
    900 civilians dead over a month? How many Lebanese were born during this period?
    Just like the “genocide against Palestinians,” we are dealing with yet another contrived left-wing “genocide” where the natural rate of population growth far exceeds the rate of death from supposed extermination attempts. Remarkable. At that rate, the Israelis will achieve the extermination of the Lebanese population exactly when? That is right – never.
    I would ask you to look at national birthrates for Lebanon in an almanac and do the math, but given your unintelligent commentary to date, I think that would be asking far too much.
    But maybe you can understand this: it is your average American and European leftist, not the typical Israeli, that resembles most strongly the pro-gun control, anti-smoking, vegetarian, anti-Jewish, hyperbolic, national socialist ruler of Nazi Germany.
    Who would have imagined it? Only sixty years since the end of the Second World War and the left has regressed further than anyone could have ever predicted.

    Reply

  17. Pissed Off American says:

    it’s all in the numbers AND the motivation
    Posted by alec
    The numbers??? Oh, don’t worry about it, this butcher Ohlmert, in league with his puppet Monkey Boy George, will get the numbers right up there to a respectably genocidal amount. And, theres very little difference in the motivations. Tell us again, alec, how raising farmlands in Gaza has helped neutralize Hamas. While you’re at it, tell us how taking out 75% of the bridges in Lebanon has helped neutralize Hizbollah.

    Reply

  18. alec says:

    **correction**
    it’s all in the numbers AND the motivation

    Reply

  19. alec says:

    it’s all in the numbers, poa.
    but, per steve, maybe we should stick to the subject of the threads and not start this whole silly argument again. agreed?

    Reply

  20. Pissed Off American says:

    no. actually, dov, the nazis would have built a state-of the-art network of work death camps, along with the civilain infrastructure to support them. they would have been killing many thousands of people a day in gas chambers, vicious medical experiements and forced labor. they would be disposing of bodies in crematoria and huge mass graves.
    Posted by alec
    Yeah, but that was before the advent of smart bombs. Why outlay the money for ovens when you can just bomb the bejeesus out of ’em? The jews were interspersed throughout German society, thereby robbing the Nazis of the option that Israel has chosen to erase Muslims. Dead is dead, and it doesn’t matter if you got there by being cooked at a slow broil, gassed in a shower, or shredded by one of Israel’s American made clusterbombs.

    Reply

  21. alec says:

    Hold it, everyone.
    I’ve been searching far and wide for evidence that the Israeli ARE NOT akin to the Nazis and I finally came up with some irrefutable conclusive proof. Read it and weep anti-Semites!
    “Israeli warplanes bombed five petrol stations in the southern port city of Tyre on Sunday, sparking a huge fire that threatened to engulf a nearby hospital, the hospital director told AFP.”
    The Nazis would have bombed the hospital! [rimshot]
    Posted by dov at August 13, 2006 06:14 PM
    no. actually, dov, the nazis would have built a state-of the-art network of work death camps, along with the civilain infrastructure to support them. they would have been killing many thousands of people a day in gas chambers, vicious medical experiements and forced labor. they would be disposing of bodies in crematoria and huge mass graves.

    Reply

  22. mike says:

    Looks like the diplomatic efforts of France are already falling apart at the seams – and the ink isn’t even dry on the ceasefire. Hezbollah is reportedly refusing to disarm south of the Litani River, which is exactly the one thing that Israel is supposed to gain from this latest piece of garbage emanating from the United Nations:
    http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/08/nasrallah-calls-off-ceasefire.html

    Reply

  23. dov says:

    Hold it, everyone.
    I’ve been searching far and wide for evidence that the Israeli ARE NOT akin to the Nazis and I finally came up with some irrefutable conclusive proof. Read it and weep anti-Semites!
    “Israeli warplanes bombed five petrol stations in the southern port city of Tyre on Sunday, sparking a huge fire that threatened to engulf a nearby hospital, the hospital director told AFP.”
    The Nazis would have bombed the hospital! [rimshot]

    Reply

  24. cliff says:

    “Or am I missing something?”
    Yes. Hezbollah has won.

    Reply

  25. larry birnbaum says:

    Steve, perhaps you can explain what you mean by Israel being “diplomatically cornered” by this resolution. There’s a cease fire. Israel stays in place until an international force comes on the scene to keep Hezbollah from re-occupying South Lebanon. And given that, while they may have decimated Hezbollah’s fighting ranks, they failed to kill its leadership, that seems like the deal they were angling for to get out.
    Or am I missing something?

    Reply

  26. Nell says:

    Zvi Bar’el gives quite a bit of credit to Lebanese PM Siniora in this Ha’aretz article:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/749258.html

    Reply

  27. Nudnik says:

    So the French agreed to a resolution with the US, and then turned around and reneged on their commitments when they were pressured by the Arabs. You see betrayal and lying as great diplomacy? Quite an assesment of the UN.

    Reply

  28. natural mystic but godless says:

    LETTER FROM A FRENCH IMMIGRANT
    I came to America quite some time ago.
    My trip to America was planned for well over a year.
    Everyone I ever knew in France loved and respected America.
    Although I was a single female, my countrymen thought I would be a good ambassador.
    I arrived in America on board the French frigate “Isere”.
    I didn’t travel light. I came with 214 crates.
    It took me four months to settle into my permanent residence.
    I was welcomed with open arms by Americans everywhere.
    In fact, I was never “naturalized”, I was immediately adopted by America almost unanimously.
    I am the only Ambassador to have had millions upon millions of Americans and foreign nationals come to visit me.
    I have never once denied an audience with a visitor.
    I was inspired by America, and in turn, tried to inspire for America.
    Soon, I was no longer the French Ambassador, I was the American “Greeter”.
    My face became the “Face of America.” I was so proud to represent America’s Liberty.
    I have stood tall and unwavering for 121 years. It was easy, America had my back.
    The torch I held was but a reflection of the “light” America gave the world.
    I am saddened today.
    You forget my ancestry when you revile my former countrymen.
    They thought enough of you to send me. Not a small task, all things considered.
    You thought enough of me to let me represent you.
    If I could have but one wish granted. I would wish for my pedestal to be turned 180 degrees.
    I want to see your face when I ask “What has changed?”
    I know I haven’t changed. I was designed that way.
    You see, France had a statement to make to you when they made me.
    France saw Truth, Liberty, Hope, Justice,Compassion and countless other values in you.
    By creating me out of respect for those qualities, They made me unchangeable….permanent, hoping those values would never waiver.
    I was sent before the “Great War” at the turn of last century, so don’t confuse me with a gift of gratitude.
    I came before, as a gift of monumental respect.
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    I want to hold this torch for quite some time to come.
    All I need, is for you to shine again.

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  29. Arun says:

    “A rocket or bomb hit an apartment complex at …., killing and wounding ….”.
    In order to know what to say about it, apparently one needs to know who is calling whom a fascist.
    If I fill in the dots naming the town and people, it becomes the defense of freedom or defense against occupation or a horrible atrocity depending on which side you are.
    Amazing!

    Reply

  30. Pissed Off American says:

    What a Relief: Terrorist Babies Have Been Killed!
    Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett
    http://www.uruknet.com/?p=m25688&hd=0&size=1&l=e
    August 12, 2006
    From: The desk of Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett
    To: President George W. Bush
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington D.C.
    U.S.A.
    11th August, 2006
    Dear George,
    This is a personal appeal for you to decide. I know that you are “the decider” who will make sensible decisions once you read this letter. The topic is terrorism.
    The noun “terrorism” is on a lot of peoples’ minds.
    The Oxford English dictionary informs me that the word means, “use of violence and intimidation especially for political purposes.”
    I recall Nelson Mandela resorting to violence when peaceful requests failed to achieve his political ends of justice and representation for all South Africans. The Palestinians seem likewise to have been radicalised over time after their legitimate political grievances for justice, representation and statehood were ignored.
    Keeping occupied land, not respecting the dictates of UN Resolution 242 while not withdrawing to the 1967 borders, imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, building Apartheid walls around the Palestinians, of course are the types of minor irritants that could never in the minds of fair and just people ever constitute any form of violence or intimidation for political purposes –never! It is the Palestinian terrorists that we need to fight George for they are the core of the problem.
    Your attitude does seem to be that we must fight Arabs ( unless they become compliant partners such as our friends in the House of Saud), Moslems, immigrants, communists like Hugo Chavez and the majority that democratically support him in Venezuela, poor people at home and abroad, minorities, liberals and working people everywhere – to mention a few of the human vermin we must oppose to defend democracy. Surely, it is not hard to accept that it is all the above people most likely to use terrorist bombs, but the ones who build and supply the bombs even from the US can never be termed terrorists.
    Your policies are truly just because you fight the Islamic terrorists. Best to supply bigger and better bombs to Israel George, to kill all the terrorists.
    It really was necessary to permit this war in Lebanon to escalate because you genuinely want a just and lasting peace and we do need to find and kill all the terrorists, every last one. As the world can see, your decision to let the war in Lebanon continue has produced admirable results. Terrorist bridges have been destroyed, terrorist babies have been killed, terrorist highways have been bombed, terrorist apartment buildings have been razed to the ground, substantial terrorist infrastructure has been reduced to rubble, terrorist highways are left impassable, entire terrorist families driving along with their few personal belongings have been annihilated, and even a fair number of terrorist octogenarians have been removed from their life of terrorism. We appreciate that this occurred because it was necessary and you had to decide wisely and humanely to let the cycle of hatred and slaughters continue so as to kill the terrorists.
    It is widely appreciated that your policies are ever increasingly promoting social cohesion and global peace being the compassionate conservative humanitarian that you are.
    The policy prescriptions relied on to find and kill all terrorists, has let the majority of sensible people in the world glean that terrorists are born and are not bred by their circumstances and perceptions. It thus remains constructive for you to continue pursuing every terrorist baby and get to them with more pre-emptive invasions to those countries in which the terrorists are born.
    It would, of course, be unjust at this stage, to suggest for a moment, that the idea of occupying others’ countries, ousting foreign leaders, or worse yet inviting their assassination is anything other than the use of violence or intimidation for political purposes. However, we can rest assured that legitimate force deployed by your good self as Commander in Chief is quite distinct from the savage terrorism that truly dangerous people employ in the world.
    George, with your brilliant mind, clear-headed grasp of the dynamics of world affairs, and even deeper knowledge of history these attributes leave us in no doubt that you will continue with the great job that you are doing. Your distinguished military career is an ever supporting great asset which gives us even more confidence in the personal sacrifices you are willing to make to protect our freedoms with the demonstrated bravery you have at heart.
    More time is needed George, we do understand. Your handling of the Palestine problem assures us of a lasting peace based on your decisions as we continue to rout out the terrorists. When we consider Israel, I, along with many more millions in the world, take solace that you are a faith-based leader and decider. Israel, you have decided, is totally correct and there was no need for an immediate ceasefire in the Lebanon war. Let the disproportionate bombing continue, the deaths and hatreds spread and the cycle of violence roam the Middle East and escape into the wider world. The world remains extremely appreciative of these charitable decisions – and we know that charity does begin at home from the White House.
    The sensible, decent, freedom and peace loving majority of the world are with you and your policies George.
    Believe me George, that I speak for literally millions of people around the world who see events in the way I have described. Despite the genie of hatred having been let out free to roam the Middle East – we are confident that you know how to and will catch and put him permanently back in his bottle with your policies. We also know that your polices are assured of winning your unending ” war on terror”. Obdurate as the “war on terror” is, you have a wonderful grasp of events and the laws of cause and effect that will ensure that you win this unending war that you have declared on the world.
    As we struggle for justice in this world of your design and desire, we ( some of us in graves) rest assured that so too do you struggle for your own special brand of justice and global peace.
    Compassionately yours as well.
    Yours faithfully,
    Courtenay
    P.S. Remember that you are a respected and great student of history George who will recall these words:
    “This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love”
    — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over twenty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. His web site: http://www.globaljusticeonline.com
    Fair Use Statement:
    In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of US Copyright Law, this attributed work is provided via Thomas Paine’s Corner on a non-profit basis to facilitate understanding, research, education, and the advancement of human rights and social justice.

    Reply

  31. MP says:

    Dear Elementary Teacher,
    Thanks for your thoughtful note. Unfortunately, I’m racing to get to a funeral out of town and don’t have time, right now, to give you the considered response your note deserves. I’ll write when I get back next week. Let’s see…I’ll put in the most recent thread, so you don’t have to go looking for it. And thanks for the follow up in French. Best…MP

    Reply

  32. elementary teacher says:

    MP, Thank you for your question in a previous thread. I hope it was sincere, because I am. No, I do not teach my children pharisaical etiquette. I’m a Catholic and that would be a sin for me. I, for one, here, support Israel’s right to exist, but I do not believe it is anti-Israel to refuse to buy her friendship in any immoral way.
    Perhaps the issue would be better re-framed not Israel’s “right to exist” but her “responsibility to co-exist.” Perhaps if the United States were to withdraw immoral support from the region entirely, Israel and her neighbors could learn this peaceful lesson and, one day — credibly and mutually — tell the US to quit stage managing their regional interactions. What a prayer that would be!
    Undergirding and overarching that process would be the American people instructing their government to stop serving the mendacities of the few now in power. Let the greed mongers take care of themselves and stop abusing America — the America that a lot of us still love. To kick the phonies out of government, our everyday citizens would have to be willing to pay the price — a price I believe the vast majority of our people would gladly pay — as so many have in previous generations who were called to sustain our vision and our promise as a nation. My father and mother paid that price, my father and mother-in-law did, too. Come to think of it, my grandparents paid it and my husband paid it — and I guess that I, too, must be trying to play a small part by serving in the public schools.
    At any rate, to be able to become clean and to feel clean again — to wholeheartedly support and enjoy American life as the gift and the blessing it truly is, would be a wonderful healing for us here — and perhaps for those over there, too.
    It is said that the way to make a friend is to call them to be a better person, to call them to become part of a bigger vision, or a more sacrosanct wholeness. I think that we can ask more of ourselves and of Israel — and that starts with demanding that our public servants knock off the lies. As far as the current US lot is concerned, their work is neither public, nor serving us.
    I don’t see anywhere in the US Constitution where the Middle East is the American government’s chess board. The US administration is not genuine when it speaks of protecting our nation while the borders, airspace, ports, immigration, human services, education and disaster relief policies are incidental to their preoccupation with the Middle East. The reflexive and uncritical deference of Congress to the endless ethnic self-absorption of anyone’s lobby is, in my view, *pharisaical,* phony and wholly un-American.
    If Americans are anything, they are capable of getting real. So, I stand by what I wrote in the post that you questioned. I’m an American, MP — I’m only one — but I am one.
    PS. I will write more about South Africa, its relevance to the current ME quagmire, some of Den’s ideas. I did my field work there during apartheid — I was researching my book about facilitation and its role in peacemaking among antagonistic groups. So, as Steve says, more soon.

    Reply

  33. MP says:

    At a later time–I don’t have time now–I’d like to revisit some of the ideas Den put forward on a recent thread about nuclear de-proliferation and the examples of it in South Africa, Argentina, and Brazil. These really got me thinking about the possibilities and also my assumptions as an American who came of age during the Cold War when we were all MAD. All assumptions, really.
    As Steve likes to say, “more soon.” A much more hopeful sign-off than “good night and good luck.”

    Reply

  34. MP says:

    As I understand it, Lebanon is ready to send in 15K of its own troops to be matched by about the same number of UN forces from various countries. As these forces move into the region, Israel withdraws proportionately. To be sure, the jury is still out and the AG and defense team haven’t concluded their arguments. No doubt, there will still be firing from both sides (last licks, a need to prove they’re still tough) as this plan is implemented, but hopefully with the right will, it will work. We can only hope that it does.

    Reply

  35. Pissed Off American says:

    In any event, waiting until the peacekeeping forces are in place doesn’t seem like an unreasonable action, given the situation. A peacekeeping force may not be effective, but it’s worth a try, again. It’s hard to deny that UNIFIL simply allowed the build up of Hezbollah rockets, etc.
    Posted by MP
    The point is that Israel is being asked to give up NOTHING. How can such a onesided “resolution” possibly be seen as even-handed by the Lebanese people, or the Muslim community as a whole? As we speak Israel is engaged in a massive ESCALATION of both troop strength AND military action. Where in the resolution does it prohibit Israel from CONTINUING the escalation of troop strength, even while observibng a cease fire??? Is anyone really naive enough to think that Hizbollah will honor a cease fire while Israeli troops are pouring into Lebanon?
    This resolution is nothing more than a political charade designed to imply a desire for peace when in fact it has no teeth for actually securing the peace. It is designed to fail. The killing will continue, and there is no end in site, despite this latest political ploy and deception.

    Reply

  36. MP says:

    POA wrote: “By the way, Israel has announced that they WILL NOT withdraw, even under the so-called “cease fire”, until peacekeeping troops are in place. This ceasefire ios dommed to failure, in fact, DESIGNED to fail.”
    We shall see, won’t we? The latest I heard was that Ariel was probably spying for the Russians, but it is possible we’re just hiding his true Israeli affiliation for political purposes. Just so you know, I’m NOT being sarcastic here or trying to score points.
    In any event, waiting until the peacekeeping forces are in place doesn’t seem like an unreasonable action, given the situation. A peacekeeping force may not be effective, but it’s worth a try, again. It’s hard to deny that UNIFIL simply allowed the build up of Hezbollah rockets, etc.

    Reply

  37. Steve Clemons says:

    POA, Alec, and others — stand down. Don’t get dragged down a line of mutual recrimination with people you don’t know. Debate the issues and policies — but STAY OUT OF THE PERSONAL. I really mean it.
    I’m a blogger and I have far more important things to do than monitor crappy conversation. This blog used to have a reputation for good discourse.
    But I’ve really had it. I will begin blocking people who engage in any further ad hominem attacks. you won’t be notified. It will just happen.
    best,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  38. Steve Clemons says:

    Stop the Name Calling — You don’t want me to cut you folks off. People have differences; respect them — thanks,
    Steve

    Reply

  39. MP says:

    POA: “The carnage in Irag worsens with each passing day. How have ANY of these events made Israel or the United States safer, or any more secure from terrorism? How have ANY of these events helped to stem the underlying causes of terrorism? How can ANY human being have watched the events of these last six years unfold and still buy into the crap Bush is feeding us about “they hate us for our freedoms”???”
    Well put. I TOTALLY AGREE. No one is getting safer. I can’t help but feel we are creeping toward Armageddon. I pray I’m wrong. I’m hopeful about the latest French-brokered deal. Are there a thousand ways this could be derailed by either side? You bet. But still…if you’re in a boat and it springs a serious leak, do you take turns bailing, or do you sit back and get comfy with death?
    “Our obligation is not to finish the task, but neither are we free to abandon it”…to dispair, to destruction, to hate, to hardened hearts.

    Reply

  40. Pissed Off American says:

    By the way, Israel has announced that they WILL NOT withdraw, even under the so-called “cease fire”, until peacekeeping troops are in place. This ceasefire ios dommed to failure, in fact, DESIGNED to fail. They are currently engaged in the largest helicopter operation of troop movement in Israeli history. In the last 24 hours they have TRIPLED thier troop strength in Lebanon. Without this ceasefire charade such an escalation of troop strength would be seen as as overkill. But now, with the ceasefire charade being played out, they are simply promising a cessation of hostilities, while posturing their troops for further action.
    Does anyone here truly believe they would continue to execute such a huge operation of troop movement with the intent of withdrawing them in the next week?
    This cease fire is a sham, a charade, primarily designed to falsely imply a diplomatic engagement on the part of the United States and also to quiet the world community’s outrage at what is actually an ESCALATION of the hostilities, ongoing as we speak. Ultimately Hizbollah will be blamed for a violation of this sham resolution, and the Israeli escalation of hostilities will continue unabated.

    Reply

  41. MP says:

    Matthew wrote: “The comparison is never actually made, it’s just inferred because some dare to criticize Israel.”
    Oh please, Matt. One doesn’t have to read too far to find it stated explicitly. Perhaps not on this thread, but certainly on this blog. POA will thunder, “Show me asshole!” But I don’t have the time.
    It would be nice if there were just a smidgen of intellectual honesty on both sides of this debate. I certainly haven’t defended Israel right or wrong. Why should you defend the notion that this assertion hasn’t been made. Maybe you don’t read all the comments, but it mostly has been said and even more widely implied.

    Reply

  42. Pissed Off American says:

    A Dangerous Exemption
    By Zbigniew Brzezinski July/August 2006
    Given that the Middle East is currently the central challenge facing America, Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have rendered a public service by initiating a muchneeded public debate on the role of the “Israel lobby” in the shaping of U.S. foreign policy.
    The participation of ethnic or foreignsupported lobbies in the American policy process is nothing new. In my public life, I have dealt with a number of them. I would rank the IsraeliAmerican, CubanAmerican, and ArmenianAmerican lobbies as the most effective in their assertiveness. The Greek and TaiwaneseAmerican lobbies also rank highly in my book. The PolishAmerican lobby was at one time influential (Franklin Roosevelt complained about it to Joseph Stalin), and I daresay that before long we will be hearing a lot from the Mexican, Hindu, and ChineseAmerican lobbies as well.
    Mearsheimer and Walt are critical of the proIsrael lobby and of Israel’s conduct in a number of historical instances. They are outspoken regarding Israel’s prolonged mistreatment of the Palestinians. They are, in brief, generally critical of Israel’s policy and, thus, could be labeled as being in some respects antiIsrael. But an antiIsrael bias is not the same as antiSemitism. To argue as much is to claim an altogether unique immunity for Israel, untouchable by the kind of criticism that is normally directed at the conduct of states.
    continues at…..
    http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:tKjvoF1eVWgJ:mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/A0042.pdf+%22A+Dangerous+Exemption+%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=7

    Reply

  43. alec says:

    “Many times I have compared Israel’s actions against the Muslims to Nazi Germany’s actions against the Jews. I stand by that comparison.
    Posted by Pissed Off American at August 12, 2006 10:47 AM”
    …and that’s a completely ignorant and IDIOTIC comparison.
    thanks for proving my point and saving me the work, POA.
    satisfied, matthew?!

    Reply

  44. km4 says:

    Kabuki Offensive
    http://billmon.org/archives/002674.html
    Lebanon was ravaged, thousands were killled, millions of civilians on both sides spent weeks couped up in air raid shelters, and the credibility and any lingering shreds of respectability the U.S. government had in the Islamic world were flushed straigh down the you-know-what.
    The long knives are out — for Olmert, for Peretz (the ward boss and ex-“peace” activist turned defense minister) for Halutz and the commander of the Northern Front (who was effectively sacked in the middle of the war) and for that matter probably half of entire IDF general staff — if they don’t sink daggers into each other’s backs first. Losing is never pretty, and the post-war settling of accounts after this loss is going to be even less so.
    Already it seems as if every minor league neocon in Washington is taking the opportunity to remind Israel that if there’s one thing Americans detest it’s a loser. So much for all that tearful singing of the Ha’tikvah. If Washington’s Middle Eastern Rottweiler wants to keep getting its kennel ration, it’s going to have to put a little more teeth into its work next time.

    Reply

  45. Pissed Off American says:

    Many times I have compared Israel’s actions against the Muslims to Nazi Germany’s actions against the Jews. I stand by that comparison.

    Reply

  46. Pissed Off American says:

    So Israel is pressing on with its murder. Eighty some odd air sorties last night. Against what? Are we to believe they had located eighty some odd missile launching sites? And where are the numbers cited that tell us how many artillery rounds have been fired into Lebanon on an hourly basis? They certainly are not shy about counting missiles fired into Lebanon, are they? So lets see the numbers from the OTHER side of this tragedy. How many tons of ordinance has been expended by Israel this past month? It is a number you will NEVER see, because it would dispel any notion of Israel simply acting to defend itself.
    Lebanon lays in ruins. Hezbollah is revered by the Muslim community as never before. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have been created. The Gaza incursion continues. Hamas is seen as a Muslim savior. The carnage in Irag worsens with each passing day. How have ANY of these events made Israel or the United States safer, or any more secure from terrorism? How have ANY of these events helped to stem the underlying causes of terrorism? How can ANY human being have watched the events of these last six years unfold and still buy into the crap Bush is feeding us about “they hate us for our freedoms”???
    They hate us because we are slaughtering them. Sometimes slowly, with sanctions that cause infant mortality rates to soar, sometimes quickly, with clusterbombs and napalm. There are a myriad of ways we are doing it, but make no mistake, we ARE doing it. And you ain’t seen NUTHIN’ yet. Bush and Ohlmert are just gettin’ warmed up.

    Reply

  47. alec says:

    matthew wrote:
    Herb: To see the comparison, you have to use elliptical reasoning. The comparison is never actually made, it’s just inferred because some dare to criticize Israel. Unfortunately, using this elliptical “logic” also proves that you hate Pandas if you criticize Chinese policy.
    Posted by Matthew at August 12, 2006 09:50 AM
    come on, matthew! open your eyes. there are explicit comparisons between the israelis and nazis all over this blog from all your cohorts.
    give me a break! do i have to link them?
    everyone who has been here for the last few weeks has read them.

    Reply

  48. alec says:

    herb wrote:
    “The Israelis are thanking their lucky stars and the French for being able to extract themselves from the total destruction of their army at the hands of Hezbollah.”
    hyperbole, herb?
    since when is approx 50 dead soldiers total destruction?

    Reply

  49. alec says:

    herb,
    take a gander around. there are more comparisons of the israelis to nazis than i can post. they are endemic in “community”
    as far as me being nasty, you get what you give.

    Reply

  50. Matthew says:

    Herb: To see the comparison, you have to use elliptical reasoning. The comparison is never actually made, it’s just inferred because some dare to criticize Israel. Unfortunately, using this elliptical “logic” also proves that you hate Pandas if you criticize Chinese policy.

    Reply

  51. Herb says:

    BTW, alec, where are contributors here comparing Israel to the Nazis? I see nothing of the sort in these comments. Have you posted to the correct thread, and why are you so nasty?

    Reply

  52. Herb says:

    The Israelis are thanking their lucky stars and the French for being able to extract themselves from the total destruction of their army at the hands of Hezbollah. Israel will put on a brave face but they have been soundly defeated, although they have somewhat set the stage for the coming attack on Iran which is where I put my dollar for the first long range rockets to rain down on Tel Aviv from Hezbollah, say ….. All Hallows Eve. Where do I send my dollar?

    Reply

  53. sudetenlandter says:

    The Nazis agreed to the deal brokered by Neville Chamberlain, alec, old bean.

    Reply

  54. Charel says:

    The nazis wanted to when they were loosing.

    Reply

  55. alec says:

    btw, for all you ignoramous contributors comparing israelis and the idf to nazis…
    the nazis would have NEVER agreed to a deal brokered by anyone, let alone the french.

    Reply

  56. alec says:

    “Steve….you ought to set up a pool as to when the first post-cease fire katusha is set off to do its evil in Israel…with, as always, UNIFIL watching, and this time with the lebanese army watching too.
    I’ll put a dollar on September 22.
    Posted by Barry at August 12, 2006 01:04 AM”
    let’s hope we’re both wrong, barry, but i’d expect it sooner.

    Reply

  57. karen says:

    The French consistently get a bad rap from short sighted, historically ignorant Americans. If it weren’t for the help of the French in the Revolution we wouldn’t even have a country. If they behaved like the US does, they would have leaped on the opportunity to get involved in our civil war and back the confederacy. But they hung back and let us sort out our own affairs.(basically, clobber ourselves).
    Perhaps we have something to learn about international diplomacy from the French, an older, “More mature” culture to ours.
    J’taime bien Paris!

    Reply

  58. Barry says:

    So the french screwed the jews. again.
    is anyone surprised?
    1. What is going to stop the rearming of Hezballah?
    2. Remember the two israelis who were kidnapped? Apparently the french didn’t. Nor the US. Nor even Olmert.
    3. Shebbaa farms? And Here I was stupid enough to think that viz a viz Lebanon and Israel, the Shebbaa Farms issue was settled. By a UN Decider. Permanently. Because Shebbaa Farms was never a part of Lebanon. But I guess if it is a ruling in favor of the israelis, nothing is permanent.
    So, it appears….the Israelis who died died for nothing. And the Lebanese who died died for Shebbaa Farms.
    What a wonderful world.
    Steve….you ought to set up a pool as to when the first post-cease fire katusha is set off to do its evil in Israel…with, as always, UNIFIL watching, and this time with the lebanese army watching too.
    I’ll put a dollar on September 22.

    Reply

  59. jerry's brain says:

    Duh, apparently, they just did, which is the point of the post.

    Reply

  60. jerry says:

    Now they can put it on a shelf in their bedroom, next to all their other diplomacy prizes. Do the French actually think they’re a serious power, when they have time to spend – aside from their mistresses and enless meaningless philosophising, do they actually think that they make a difference anywhere?

    Reply

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