TWN on the Road

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Geneva, Switzerland. Monday through Thursday.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

14 comments on “TWN on the Road

  1. Kathleen says:

    On Michael Scheuer, if the US were non-intervemyionist, GAZA would not be happening at all….it is our aid to Israel that makes this aggression on Palestine possible.

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    In 1996, Israeli jets bombed a UN building where civilians had taken refuge at Cana/ Qana in south Lebanon, killing 102 persons; in the place where Jesus is said to have made water into wine, Israeli bombs wrought a different sort of transformation.
    In the distant, picturesque port of Hamburg, a young graduate student studying traditional architecture of Aleppo saw footage like this on the news [graphic]. He was consumed with anguish and the desire for revenge. He immediately wrote out a martyrdom will, pledging to die avenging the innocent victims, killed with airplanes and bombs that were a free gift from the United States.
    His name was Muhammad Atta. Five years later he piloted American Airlines 11 into the World Trade Center.

    Reply

  3. Cee says:

    Jane’s said that victory is not possible.
    LONDON (AFP) – Israel probably judges it has up to 10 days to complete its Gaza operation, but a military victory over Hamas is not possible, defence analysis group Jane’s said Monday.
    The security situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip will not be improved by Israel’s assault on the Islamist group, said David Hartwell, Jane’s country risk Middle East analyst.
    Fighting will likely continue until Israel feels it has completed its objectives, because the United States is unlikely to put pressure on its ally before Barack Obama replaces George W. Bush as president on January 20, he said.
    “Israel probably judges that it has another week to 10 days to complete its operations in Gaza, given the time it has taken for international pressure to reach a point where engagement is deemed necessary,” said Hartwell.
    “Nevertheless, it will need to show tangible results to justify the expense of lives and money to the Israeli public.”
    “Thus, while calls for a truce will grow louder, until Israel feels it has achieved its objectives or the United States begins to voice public concern at the diplomatic cost of the operation – an unlikely prospect in the immediate term given the situation with the Bush administration – the fighting in Gaza will continue.”
    Israeli troops tightened their military grip on Gaza with new air and ground attacks that claimed more than 20 lives on Monday, while the Israeli government rejected European-led calls for an immediate ceasefire.
    More than 555 Palestinians have been killed since Israel’s Operation Cast Lead began on December 27.
    “Hamas may well bow to Egyptian pressure and accept the need for a truce, but Israel’s attitude is such at the moment that this will only be granted when it feels its military job is done,” Hartwell said.
    “With a military victory for Israel over Hamas not possible, the security situation in southern Israel and Gaza will not improve, even in the longer term.”

    Reply

  4. Paul Norheim says:

    Israel considers broadening Gaza attack
    Cabinet meets to consider sending troops into urban areas and calling up
    thousands more soldiers
    Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem
    guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 7 January 2009 11.52 GMT
    Israel’s military planners have prepared for two more stages of conflict in
    Gaza that would escalate an already heavy air and ground offensive into a
    full military occupation of the strip and the toppling of the Hamas
    movement.
    Although Israeli officials reportedly believe they have already secured some
    achievements in the 12-day war, and despite the mounting toll of civilian
    casualties, there is still a strong appetite among some to step up the
    conflict to a much more deadly level.
    The prime minister, Ehud Olmert, and his security cabinet were meeting
    today with army chiefs to discuss the plan.
    (…)
    The cabinet may decide to consider the ceasefire proposals being discussed
    internationally, or it may continue the operation at this level. There is no
    suggestion yet that Israel is prepared to meet the demands of Hamas,
    notably the lifting of the economic blockade on Gaza.
    But there is also a proposal to begin stage three, which would be to order
    the troops to fight their way into the heart of the urban areas, bringing with
    it much higher casualties on both sides. “The plan is to enter the urban
    centres,” one Israeli source told Reuters.
    A fourth stage would involve another major call-up of thousands of soldiers
    and then a full military occupation of Gaza and the toppling of Hamas, the
    Islamist movement that won Palestinian elections three years ago and now
    controls Gaza. One Israeli report said that fourth stage could last several
    months, even up to a year.
    (…)
    Some in the Israeli cabinet favour continuing the fight until Hamas is
    toppled, among them the deputy prime minister, Haim Ramon, and Eli
    Yishai, another deputy prime minister. Yishai said his goal was “to flatten
    Gaza so that they don’t mess with us any more”.
    (…)
    Moshe Arens, a former defence minister and MP with the rightwing Likud
    party, also argues in favour of ordering the Israel defence force (IDF) to
    continue the fighting. “The IDF will lose if it does not win, and Hamas will
    emerge as the victor,” he wrote in Ha’aretz.
    (…)
    Others, including Ehud Barak, the defence minister, apparently favour a
    ceasefire now. Barak was in favour of a French proposal in the first week of
    fighting to call a temporary ceasefire and he has reportedly spoken in
    private against continuing the ground operations.
    The concern for Israeli officials is that Hamas might continue to fire rockets
    into southern Israel, that it might rearm, or that it might simply gain by
    surviving the Israeli offensive. “Hamas, of course, will claim victory by
    merely surviving,” wrote the editor of the Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz.
    “And in this confrontation, rhetoric and perception are anything but
    marginal.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-conflict

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    This is a test, to see if my messages are still blocked on this
    thread.

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    Let`s hope that voices like these grow stronger:
    Australian Jews slam ‘inhuman’ Gaza conflict
    Posted Tue Jan 6, 2009 7:00am AEDT
    More than 100 Australian Jews have signed a letter describing
    Israel’s military action in Gaza as disproportionate.
    The letter has been written by the group Independent Australian
    Jewish Voices.
    Among the signatories is the former Whitlam government MP
    Moss Cass, the writer Linda Jaivin, and the New South Wales
    Greens MP Ian Cohen.
    A spokesman for the group, Antony Loewenstein, believes the
    Gaza offensive is inhuman.
    “There is a growing number of Jews around the world, tens of
    thousands if not more in the last week, [who] if nothing else
    have spoken out forcefully against Israel,” he said.
    “Yes, we believe Israel has the right to security, that goes
    without saying. But the fact is that Australian Jews, and any
    other Jew in the world, any other citizen for that matter, has the
    right to speak out.”
    But the deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in
    Canberra, Eli Yerushalmi, says people who are not in Israel are
    not well placed to comment on the action.
    “It’s very easy to sit down in cities, in the safety of Australia or
    other countries, and criticise Israel,” he said.
    “We are in a different kind of situation where 15 per cent of our
    population is now in shelters, our kids aren’t going to school,
    people cannot go to the supermarket, people can’t move around
    freely, because they’re afraid of rocket attacks.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/06/2459666.ht
    m?section=world
    —————————————————
    Gaza Media Statement
    Posted on Friday, January 2, 2009 at 08:22PM by IAJV |
    Comments Off | Email
    The following statement reflects only the views of those
    signatories whose names appear below. Signatories of other
    statements or authors of articles and blogs on our IAJV website
    are not to be taken as endorsing this statement.
    ***
    We are Australian Jews who join thousands in Israel and around
    the world condemning ongoing Israeli military attacks on Gaza.
    Together with Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, we condemn
    the current war as “inhuman, superfluous” and “abominable”.
    While Israel has the right to protect its citizens and to demand
    an end to the crime of Palestinian rockets that target civilians,
    this cannot be used as a pretext for the grossly
    disproportionate military assault on Gaza because it was Israel
    that violated the fragile truce on November 4, 2008.
    Furthermore, Israel ignored Hamas’ diplomatic initiatives to re-
    establish the cease-fire since it expired on December 19.
    The crude home-made rockets have caused relatively few Israeli
    casualties. By contrast, Israeli bombardment has caused around
    400 deaths and 2,000 casualties including a large proportion of
    women and children. The bombardment has included civilian
    targets such as a university, television station, factories,
    mosques, ministry offices, parliament and refugee camps. Since
    Hamas is a legitimate, democratically elected political party that
    controls the government, security-related institutions are also
    civilian targets including police departments and uniformed
    officers.
    History has demonstrated that military punishment has never
    broken the spirit of a people or produced peace. On the
    contrary, the assault on the population of Gaza will only inflame
    hatred of Jews and of the State of Israel while doing nothing to
    protect the lives of Israelis. Above all, it will undermine the
    prospects of joining with peace-seeking Palestinians to
    negotiate a lasting, just solution to the conflict.
    The war on the population of Gaza comes after the Israeli
    blockade that had already created a severe humanitarian crisis
    under which the Palestinians suffered from lack of food,
    electricity, medicines, hospital equipment and other basic
    necessities of life. The blockade was condemned by the UN as a
    violation of international law and, like the massive Israeli air-
    strikes, constitutes illegal collective punishment prohibited by
    the Geneva Conventions.
    We call for an immediate end to attacks on civilians by
    Palestinians and Israelis. However, since Palestinians have no
    means of self-defence against the most powerful military force
    in the Middle East, we particularly call on Israel to end its brutal
    assault on the vulnerable Palestinian people of Gaza and to
    reconsider its rejection of the UN Security Council’s call for a
    cease-fire.
    Israel has refused to accept Hamas’ consistent offer of
    negotiations since its election win in 2006. There can be no
    solution to the conflict without Israel being a willing partner to
    dialogue.
    ***
    p://www.iajv.org/
    —————————-
    “This is a solid minority of leading Jewish figures who are sick
    and tired of being told what Jews should think about Israel and
    are appalled by Israel’s crimes in Gaza,” Mr Loewenstein said.
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/australian-jews-protest-
    against-israels-action/2009/01/05/1231003936981.html

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    Let`s hope that voices like these grow stronger:
    Australian Jews slam ‘inhuman’ Gaza conflict
    Posted Tue Jan 6, 2009 7:00am AEDT
    More than 100 Australian Jews have signed a letter describing
    Israel’s military action in Gaza as disproportionate.
    The letter has been written by the group Independent Australian
    Jewish Voices.
    Among the signatories is the former Whitlam government MP
    Moss Cass, the writer Linda Jaivin, and the New South Wales
    Greens MP Ian Cohen.
    A spokesman for the group, Antony Loewenstein, believes the
    Gaza offensive is inhuman.
    “There is a growing number of Jews around the world, tens of
    thousands if not more in the last week, [who] if nothing else
    have spoken out forcefully against Israel,” he said.
    “Yes, we believe Israel has the right to security, that goes
    without saying. But the fact is that Australian Jews, and any
    other Jew in the world, any other citizen for that matter, has the
    right to speak out.”
    But the deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in
    Canberra, Eli Yerushalmi, says people who are not in Israel are
    not well placed to comment on the action.
    “It’s very easy to sit down in cities, in the safety of Australia or
    other countries, and criticise Israel,” he said.
    “We are in a different kind of situation where 15 per cent of our
    population is now in shelters, our kids aren’t going to school,
    people cannot go to the supermarket, people can’t move around
    freely, because they’re afraid of rocket attacks.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/06/2459666.ht
    m?section=world
    —————————————————
    Gaza Media Statement
    Posted on Friday, January 2, 2009 at 08:22PM by IAJV |
    Comments Off | Email
    The following statement reflects only the views of those
    signatories whose names appear below. Signatories of other
    statements or authors of articles and blogs on our IAJV website
    are not to be taken as endorsing this statement.
    ***
    We are Australian Jews who join thousands in Israel and around
    the world condemning ongoing Israeli military attacks on Gaza.
    Together with Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, we condemn
    the current war as “inhuman, superfluous” and “abominable”.
    While Israel has the right to protect its citizens and to demand
    an end to the crime of Palestinian rockets that target civilians,
    this cannot be used as a pretext for the grossly
    disproportionate military assault on Gaza because it was Israel
    that violated the fragile truce on November 4, 2008.
    Furthermore, Israel ignored Hamas’ diplomatic initiatives to re-
    establish the cease-fire since it expired on December 19.
    The crude home-made rockets have caused relatively few Israeli
    casualties. By contrast, Israeli bombardment has caused around
    400 deaths and 2,000 casualties including a large proportion of
    women and children. The bombardment has included civilian
    targets such as a university, television station, factories,
    mosques, ministry offices, parliament and refugee camps. Since
    Hamas is a legitimate, democratically elected political party that
    controls the government, security-related institutions are also
    civilian targets including police departments and uniformed
    officers.
    History has demonstrated that military punishment has never
    broken the spirit of a people or produced peace. On the
    contrary, the assault on the population of Gaza will only inflame
    hatred of Jews and of the State of Israel while doing nothing to
    protect the lives of Israelis. Above all, it will undermine the
    prospects of joining with peace-seeking Palestinians to
    negotiate a lasting, just solution to the conflict.
    The war on the population of Gaza comes after the Israeli
    blockade that had already created a severe humanitarian crisis
    under which the Palestinians suffered from lack of food,
    electricity, medicines, hospital equipment and other basic
    necessities of life. The blockade was condemned by the UN as a
    violation of international law and, like the massive Israeli air-
    strikes, constitutes illegal collective punishment prohibited by
    the Geneva Conventions.
    We call for an immediate end to attacks on civilians by
    Palestinians and Israelis. However, since Palestinians have no
    means of self-defence against the most powerful military force
    in the Middle East, we particularly call on Israel to end its brutal
    assault on the vulnerable Palestinian people of Gaza and to
    reconsider its rejection of the UN Security Council’s call for a
    cease-fire.
    Israel has refused to accept Hamas’ consistent offer of
    negotiations since its election win in 2006. There can be no
    solution to the conflict without Israel being a willing partner to
    dialogue.
    ***
    p://www.iajv.org/
    —————————-
    “This is a solid minority of leading Jewish figures who are sick
    and tired of being told what Jews should think about Israel and
    are appalled by Israel’s crimes in Gaza,” Mr Loewenstein said.
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/australian-jews-protest-
    against-israels-action/2009/01/05/1231003936981.html

    Reply

  8. Paul Norheim says:

    Let`s hope that voices like these grow stronger:
    Australian Jews slam ‘inhuman’ Gaza conflict
    Posted Tue Jan 6, 2009 7:00am AEDT
    More than 100 Australian Jews have signed a letter describing
    Israel’s military action in Gaza as disproportionate.
    The letter has been written by the group Independent Australian
    Jewish Voices.
    Among the signatories is the former Whitlam government MP
    Moss Cass, the writer Linda Jaivin, and the New South Wales
    Greens MP Ian Cohen.
    A spokesman for the group, Antony Loewenstein, believes the
    Gaza offensive is inhuman.
    “There is a growing number of Jews around the world, tens of
    thousands if not more in the last week, [who] if nothing else
    have spoken out forcefully against Israel,” he said.
    “Yes, we believe Israel has the right to security, that goes
    without saying. But the fact is that Australian Jews, and any
    other Jew in the world, any other citizen for that matter, has the
    right to speak out.”
    But the deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in
    Canberra, Eli Yerushalmi, says people who are not in Israel are
    not well placed to comment on the action.
    “It’s very easy to sit down in cities, in the safety of Australia or
    other countries, and criticise Israel,” he said.
    “We are in a different kind of situation where 15 per cent of our
    population is now in shelters, our kids aren’t going to school,
    people cannot go to the supermarket, people can’t move around
    freely, because they’re afraid of rocket attacks.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/06/2459666.ht
    m?section=world
    —————————————————
    Gaza Media Statement
    Posted on Friday, January 2, 2009 at 08:22PM by IAJV |
    Comments Off | Email
    The following statement reflects only the views of those
    signatories whose names appear below. Signatories of other
    statements or authors of articles and blogs on our IAJV website
    are not to be taken as endorsing this statement.
    ***
    We are Australian Jews who join thousands in Israel and around
    the world condemning ongoing Israeli military attacks on Gaza.
    Together with Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, we condemn
    the current war as “inhuman, superfluous” and “abominable”.
    While Israel has the right to protect its citizens and to demand
    an end to the crime of Palestinian rockets that target civilians,
    this cannot be used as a pretext for the grossly
    disproportionate military assault on Gaza because it was Israel
    that violated the fragile truce on November 4, 2008.
    Furthermore, Israel ignored Hamas’ diplomatic initiatives to re-
    establish the cease-fire since it expired on December 19.
    The crude home-made rockets have caused relatively few Israeli
    casualties. By contrast, Israeli bombardment has caused around
    400 deaths and 2,000 casualties including a large proportion of
    women and children. The bombardment has included civilian
    targets such as a university, television station, factories,
    mosques, ministry offices, parliament and refugee camps. Since
    Hamas is a legitimate, democratically elected political party that
    controls the government, security-related institutions are also
    civilian targets including police departments and uniformed
    officers.
    History has demonstrated that military punishment has never
    broken the spirit of a people or produced peace. On the
    contrary, the assault on the population of Gaza will only inflame
    hatred of Jews and of the State of Israel while doing nothing to
    protect the lives of Israelis. Above all, it will undermine the
    prospects of joining with peace-seeking Palestinians to
    negotiate a lasting, just solution to the conflict.
    The war on the population of Gaza comes after the Israeli
    blockade that had already created a severe humanitarian crisis
    under which the Palestinians suffered from lack of food,
    electricity, medicines, hospital equipment and other basic
    necessities of life. The blockade was condemned by the UN as a
    violation of international law and, like the massive Israeli air-
    strikes, constitutes illegal collective punishment prohibited by
    the Geneva Conventions.
    We call for an immediate end to attacks on civilians by
    Palestinians and Israelis. However, since Palestinians have no
    means of self-defence against the most powerful military force
    in the Middle East, we particularly call on Israel to end its brutal
    assault on the vulnerable Palestinian people of Gaza and to
    reconsider its rejection of the UN Security Council’s call for a
    cease-fire.
    Israel has refused to accept Hamas’ consistent offer of
    negotiations since its election win in 2006. There can be no
    solution to the conflict without Israel being a willing partner to
    dialogue.
    ***
    p://www.iajv.org/
    —————————-
    “This is a solid minority of leading Jewish figures who are sick
    and tired of being told what Jews should think about Israel and
    are appalled by Israel’s crimes in Gaza,” Mr Loewenstein said.
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/australian-jews-protest-
    against-israels-action/2009/01/05/1231003936981.html

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    Australian Jews slam ‘inhuman’ Gaza conflict
    Posted Tue Jan 6, 2009 7:00am AEDT
    More than 100 Australian Jews have signed a letter describing
    Israel’s military action in Gaza as disproportionate.
    The letter has been written by the group Independent Australian
    Jewish Voices.
    Among the signatories is the former Whitlam government MP
    Moss Cass, the writer Linda Jaivin, and the New South Wales
    Greens MP Ian Cohen.
    A spokesman for the group, Antony Loewenstein, believes the
    Gaza offensive is inhuman.
    “There is a growing number of Jews around the world, tens of
    thousands if not more in the last week, [who] if nothing else
    have spoken out forcefully against Israel,” he said.
    “Yes, we believe Israel has the right to security, that goes
    without saying. But the fact is that Australian Jews, and any
    other Jew in the world, any other citizen for that matter, has the
    right to speak out.”
    But the deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in
    Canberra, Eli Yerushalmi, says people who are not in Israel are
    not well placed to comment on the action.
    “It’s very easy to sit down in cities, in the safety of Australia or
    other countries, and criticise Israel,” he said.
    “We are in a different kind of situation where 15 per cent of our
    population is now in shelters, our kids aren’t going to school,
    people cannot go to the supermarket, people can’t move around
    freely, because they’re afraid of rocket attacks.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/06/2459666.ht
    m?section=world
    —————————————————
    Gaza Media Statement
    Posted on Friday, January 2, 2009 at 08:22PM by IAJV |
    Comments Off | Email
    The following statement reflects only the views of those
    signatories whose names appear below. Signatories of other
    statements or authors of articles and blogs on our IAJV website
    are not to be taken as endorsing this statement.
    ***
    We are Australian Jews who join thousands in Israel and around
    the world condemning ongoing Israeli military attacks on Gaza.
    Together with Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, we condemn
    the current war as “inhuman, superfluous” and “abominable”.
    While Israel has the right to protect its citizens and to demand
    an end to the crime of Palestinian rockets that target civilians,
    this cannot be used as a pretext for the grossly
    disproportionate military assault on Gaza because it was Israel
    that violated the fragile truce on November 4, 2008.
    Furthermore, Israel ignored Hamas’ diplomatic initiatives to re-
    establish the cease-fire since it expired on December 19.
    The crude home-made rockets have caused relatively few Israeli
    casualties. By contrast, Israeli bombardment has caused around
    400 deaths and 2,000 casualties including a large proportion of
    women and children. The bombardment has included civilian
    targets such as a university, television station, factories,
    mosques, ministry offices, parliament and refugee camps. Since
    Hamas is a legitimate, democratically elected political party that
    controls the government, security-related institutions are also
    civilian targets including police departments and uniformed
    officers.
    History has demonstrated that military punishment has never
    broken the spirit of a people or produced peace. On the
    contrary, the assault on the population of Gaza will only inflame
    hatred of Jews and of the State of Israel while doing nothing to
    protect the lives of Israelis. Above all, it will undermine the
    prospects of joining with peace-seeking Palestinians to
    negotiate a lasting, just solution to the conflict.
    The war on the population of Gaza comes after the Israeli
    blockade that had already created a severe humanitarian crisis
    under which the Palestinians suffered from lack of food,
    electricity, medicines, hospital equipment and other basic
    necessities of life. The blockade was condemned by the UN as a
    violation of international law and, like the massive Israeli air-
    strikes, constitutes illegal collective punishment prohibited by
    the Geneva Conventions.
    We call for an immediate end to attacks on civilians by
    Palestinians and Israelis. However, since Palestinians have no
    means of self-defence against the most powerful military force
    in the Middle East, we particularly call on Israel to end its brutal
    assault on the vulnerable Palestinian people of Gaza and to
    reconsider its rejection of the UN Security Council’s call for a
    cease-fire.
    Israel has refused to accept Hamas’ consistent offer of
    negotiations since its election win in 2006. There can be no
    solution to the conflict without Israel being a willing partner to
    dialogue.
    ***
    p://www.iajv.org/
    —————————-
    “This is a solid minority of leading Jewish figures who are sick
    and tired of being told what Jews should think about Israel and
    are appalled by Israel’s crimes in Gaza,” Mr Loewenstein said.
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/australian-jews-protest-
    against-israels-action/2009/01/05/1231003936981.html

    Reply

  10. Cee says:

    one wonders, will it be before Israel’s military actions lead to violent clashes in America?
    I expect a false flag attack before this happens.
    Don’t forget this and thank Israel for the trigger.
    Homeland Security Threat Assessment for the years 2008-2013 says Hizbullah may foment terror attack in US if there is some kind of ‘triggering’ event. ‘The threat of terrorism and the threat of extremist ideologies have not abated,” Chertoff says

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    January 5, 2009
    Bringing the Arab-Israeli War Home
    by Michael Scheuer
    If America were blessed with a noninterventionist foreign policy, we could all thank Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for giving President-elect Barack Obama a thoroughgoing lesson in the absolute irrelevancy of Israel and Palestine to the national interests of the United States. More than a week into Israel’s invasion of Gaza, America is still alive and kicking and none of our citizens are dead, which is the way it should be, as this is their religious war and not ours. If stubborn noninterventionism were our creed – as the Founders intended – the Gaza war could continue for two more days or two more months and we could simply shrug and mutter “Who cares?” America could simply go on its way, rebuilding its economy and marveling over the madness of two religions fighting to the death over a barren sandpit at the eastern end of the Mediterranean.
    Unfortunately, America today is run by a political and media elite that is addicted to intervention. This would be bad enough if these men and women had the brains to intervene and produce a result that benefits U.S. interests, but they are not. They are instead – despite their Ivy League diplomas – uneducated and naïve people who still live in the Cold War, foolishly believing that America is the boss of a strong Western/NATO community (which is now in its death throes on Afghanistan’s plains); that other nations are eager to do America’s dirty work; and, most fatally of all, that the national security interests of the United States and Israel are identical.
    There should be no mistake among Americans about what is going on in Gaza. Although Israel has billed its invasion as an attempt to destroy Hamas and thereby protect Israelis, its main goal is to ensure that Obama is tied as tight as Gulliver to the status quo of U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world. In addition to hurting Hamas, Israel’s invasion of Gaza was designed to and has successfully underscored the salience of Osama bin Laden’s now 12-plus-year-old message to the Muslim world:
    First, that the United States – under Republicans or Democrats – will allow Israel to do anything it pleases in regard to starving and bombing the Palestinians. This has been underlined for Muslims by the words of President George W. Bush, the silence of President-elect Obama, and, according to the Jerusalem Post, by the blame-it-all-on-the-Palestinians visits of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Congressman Gary Ackerman, and leaders of major U.S. Jewish organizations.
    Second, that the ruling Muslim regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and elsewhere are impotent “agents” of the Zionists and Crusaders and will do nothing to protect Muslims when they are attacked by the U.S.-led West, be those attacks in Palestine, Pakistan, Iraq, or Afghanistan. “[The] failure of the Arab foreign ministers at their meeting in Cairo to take any position to confront the continuing Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip,” explains the independent and influential UK-based Arabic daily Al-Quds al-Arabi, “confirms the theory that says the Israeli aggression has come as a result of coordination and the blessing of influential Arab states, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia.”
    Third, that Muslims are regarded by the West as subhumans, and their blood, lives, and children are – for America, Israel, and Europe – worthless and expendable. The Gaza score to date will indelibly make this point across the Islamic world: to date, 500 dead and 2,300 wounded Palestinians and less than 10 dead Israelis. As Pakistan’s Frontier Post has said, the West silently watches as “Israel is set to starve the Palestinian Muslims into nonexistence. … No respect for Muslim life! Muslim blood is cheaper than water!”
    After the Gaza invasion, Israel will have accomplished two vital goals. It will have reenergized Hamas, which will in turn renew the suicide bombings inside Israel that allow America’s Israel-firsters – including Obama’s IDF-veteran chief of staff – to portray their country-of-first-allegiance as the poor, put-upon innocent. It will also have produced the end of whatever slim hope there was of an Arab-Israeli peace settlement over the course of Obama’s term. What is likely to become known across the Islamic world as the “Gaza slaughter” will ensure the continued growth of the Sunni insurgency al-Qaeda leads and inspires. All told, Israeli leaders at the conclusion of the Gaza invasion will be able to more credibly quote President Bush and say that their “mission” has been accomplished.
    Now, there is no reason for Americans to be angry at Israel. Hamas is a nagging military threat to Israel, and Israel’s leaders can defend their citizens in the manner they deem appropriate. Indeed, had various U.S. governments abstained from continuously intervening in the Arab-Israeli conflict over the past 30 years, it may well have been long since settled and over – one way or another.
    The American people should be livid, though, with their bipartisan political elite and the Israel-firsters at Commentary, the New York Times, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Post, as well as that hive of anti-American U.S. citizens that fund and lead AIPAC, for involving them in this barbarous mess. At some point down the road, every U.S.-taxpayer-funded bomb, artillery shell, and bullet aimed at the Palestinians will yield Americans killed at the hands of al-Qaeda, its allies, or those it inspires in attacks launched in response to U.S. support for Israel. Those Americans will be killed because their political and media leaders – corrupted to the bone by AIPAC – have involved them in a religious war that threatens nothing vital to their country’s principles or national security, their personal economic well-being, or their children’s lives.
    And worse is yet to come. Israel’s Gaza invasion has produced an unusual number of public anti-Israel demonstrations by American Muslims around the United States. The 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war produced similar events, but the current, Gaza-focused demonstrations are angrier and larger in number. How long, one wonders, will it be before Israel’s military actions lead to violent clashes in America?
    If this occurs, Israel and its American supporters will have the insurance policy they desire above any other, one they are desperate to obtain before Israel takes harsh action – by forced deportation or other means – against its rapidly growing and radicalizing Arab population. Once the Arab-Israeli religious war has been brought into the United States and is producing blood in America’s streets, the Israel-firsters will claim the carnage proves that secular America and theocratic Israel are in the same boat and facing the same enemies. Flogging this plausible but palpable lie, AIPAC-owned American leaders will consign this country to an unending war against Islam, the same catastrophe that is Israel’s lot.

    Reply

  12. Paul Norheim says:

    Looks like Ehud Barak`s election campaign on the Gaza strip is a success so
    far. This is from Haaretz:
    04:28 05/01/2009
    Barak’s political fortunes seen rising with each missile that pounds Gaza
    By Roni Singer-Heruti
    The Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza has prompted a surge in the
    number of people volunteering at the Labor Party’s campaign headquarters
    over the last week, party officials say.
    Thus far, the operation has been very popular with the public, and most of
    the credit has gone to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is also Labor’s
    chairman.
    The surge in people calling or emailing to volunteer their services is yet
    another sign of a trend already evident from the polls: a sharp rise in support
    for Labor in general and Barak in particular. Last week’s Haaretz poll, for
    instance, found that Labor had risen to 16 Knesset seats from 11 in the
    previous poll.
    The turnabout is particular striking for a party whose demise has been widely
    forecast just two weeks ago.
    “There is no doubt that the [Gaza] operation has highlighted Barak’s
    advantages and enabled a real discourse about the truly important matters,”
    one senior Labor official said this weekend. “That’s what we were trying to
    say all along: He’s not a pal, he’s not nice, but he’s a leader. And now, people
    see that.”
    Even in the Ramle market, generally a reliable bastion of the right, support
    for Barak was virtually unanimous last week.
    “Barak has proven himself in this operation as someone who knows how to
    do the work,” said Shlomo Sarur, who has been a member of rival Likud’s
    central committee for 25 years. “On security, he’s good, and you can’t take
    that away from him.”
    Labor officials insist that the operation’s timing has nothing to do with the
    fact that elections are due to take place in another month, on February 10.
    But they readily admit that, as one put it, “his conduct in managing the
    operation in Gaza enables the public to examine Barak’s conduct in the real
    world and not the world of image and style.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052602.html

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    To avoid misunderstandings: In the post above I`m referring to
    the rockets Hamas sent AFTER the Israeli air attack on Gaza. I am
    not playing the blame game here (and if I were, I would say that
    in the big picture, Israel, as the occupier, is the main culprit).
    It is evident that Israel had planned this war for months. But
    Hamas knew it was coming (although not the exact date, which
    caught them by surprise) and was prepared. Hamas may even
    have wanted this war themselves, preparing for a repeat of the
    Israel-Hisbullah fighting in Lebanon 2006, where Israel lost much
    of its military self confidence.
    Among other motives, this is to a large extent also a PR war –
    Israel targeting the domestic voters, and Hamas the international
    opinion: they want Israel to overreact.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    The last thread below, about the attack on Gaza, is becoming
    too big. Steve is on the road, and I consider this to be an open
    thread. I decided to post a revised version of a comment
    (posted on the thread below) here:
    Why did Hamas fire those rockets into Israeli towns? To kill and
    terrorize innocent people?
    Well, I can think of more efficient ways to kill innocent civilians
    than randomly shooting up primitive rockets.
    No. Hamas fired those rockets to fight the Israeli Army face to
    face. They wanted a ground offensive, and now they`ve got it.
    It`s actually their only chance NOT to use terrorism as a
    tactic, but to fight, soldiers against soldiers.
    Now Bush and Cheney – even Sarkozy – still blame Hamas for
    the attack on Gaza. This means that Israel probably has two
    weeks to “change the facts on the ground”, before the
    inauguration of Barack Obama.
    During these two weeks, it`s very likely that the IDF will meet
    some heavy resistance on the ground. The risk – seen from the
    Israelis – that this is the phase when Hamas will show it`s
    strength (since it knows the ins and outs of Gaza better than the
    IDF, and is well prepared for this kind of urban warfare) is very
    high.
    Just before the inauguration of Obama, it is likely that the
    situation will be similar to the situation in Lebanon against
    Hizbullah in 2006.
    What does this mean? That Ehud Barak and Livni may face
    something akin to a defeat, a repetition of Lebanon 2006, if it
    withdraws just before the 20th of January. This will be read as a
    second defeat in just more than two years, and the likely defeat
    of Ehud Barak in the coming elections. And they will not allow
    that. No one will win this war anyhow, but after just two weeks,
    the results may seem more indecisive than, let´s say after four
    or five weeks. So indecisive that Hamas may proclaim victory,
    because they were not clearly defeated.
    Thus my guess is that the fighting will last much longer than till
    the 20th of January, regardless of the inauguration of a new
    American president, and regardless of Obama`s opinion on
    what is happening in Gaza.
    The Palestinian civilians will pay the heaviest price, due to – on
    one side: Hamas`desire to fight the Israeli army directly, among
    the civilians, and on the other side: Ehud Barak`s desire to
    weaken Hamas and win the elections.
    For Hamas, the loss of innocent Palestinian lives due to the
    fighting, will undoubtedly be seen as a huge tactical advantage
    in the symbolic warfare, that is an important part of the
    strategies on both sides. When Joe M says that he doesn`t care
    what “the West” says about the Palestinians, this is partly wrong.
    The opinion in the West is of crucial importance in this warfare,
    for both sides. Especially for the Palestinians, winning the public
    opinion of the West on their side, is one of the only
    opportunities left for survival as a people.
    Does that give the Israelis the moral upper hand? Quite the
    opposite. As Dan Kervick noted on another thread: “Killing
    Palestinians is apparently a cheaper and more effective appeal
    to the Israeli voter than paid TV ads.”

    Reply

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