U.S. Continues to Show Limits in the Middle East

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Steve Clemons has discussed on this blog the importance of perceptions of power in international relations – and the immense harm that the Bush administration inflicted upon American interests by exposing America’s military, economic, and moral limits.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s aborted attempt to persuade the Israelis to enact a “settlement freeze” as a precursor to final status negotiations is further exposing the limits of American power, particularly in the Middle East.
New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force Director Daniel Levy has an excellent piece over at Foreign Policy in which he untangles the settlement issue and its likely consequences.
Here is Levy’s bottom line:

After all of my questions, it is worth recognizing the question that is actually being asked of America from the citizens of the Middle East themselves: When will there be a serious American implementation plan for a two-state solution that recognizes the asymmetries of power and vital needs of each party and that is determinedly pursued by an administration which has, from day one, made Israeli-Palestinian peace a strategic American priority? On this question, we are all still waiting for an answer.

(Photo Credit: U.S. State Department Photostream)
— Ben Katcher

Comments

53 comments on “U.S. Continues to Show Limits in the Middle East

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    John Nichols
    A know-nothing Congress on the Middle East
    The Congress of the United States went out of its way this week to embarrass itself. At issue was a House resolution “calling on the President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’ in multilateral fora.”
    The point of the resolution was to tell the Obama administration in general, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in particular, to do everything in its power to prevent serious consideration of the Goldstone Report, a study of alleged violations of international human rights laws and humanitarian standards by the Israeli Defense Forces operating in Palestinian territory on the Gaza Strip.
    The fact-finding mission, led by former South African Constitutional Court judge Richard Goldstone, was authorized by the United Nations Human Rights Council in response to the outcry over the IDF’s invasion and occupation of Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009. That conflict left as many as 1,400 Palestinians dead, along with 13 Israelis. An estimated 400,000 Gazans were left without running water, and tens of thousands were left homeless during the course of the invasion.
    Goldstone’s report accused both Palestinian militants who had fired missiles at Israeli communities and Israeli military forces that entered Gaza of committing crimes against humanity and recommended that bad players be brought to justice.
    Reasonable people can and have disagreed about components of the report and the UN’s at times bumbling actions relating to it.
    But the know-nothing response of the U.S. House was unsettling. As Congressman Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, noted before the vote on the resolution condemning the Goldstone Report: “Congress is poised to oppose the Goldstone report without holding a single hearing on a document that few members of Congress, if any, have read.”
    “This is a mistake,” argued Ellison, who has spent a good deal of time in Israel and Gaza. “The stance of this Congress will erode U.S. credibility in the post-Obama world, and it will tarnish our commitment to the principle that all nations must be held to the same standards. Rather than undermine the report or Goldstone, we are at risk of undermining Congress’ and President Barack Obama’s reputation as honest brokers.”
    In particular, Ellison objected to the smearing of Judge Goldstone as an enemy of Israel. “Why the fear?” asked the congressman. “Judge Goldstone is no Israel basher. He is famous for apprehending Nazi criminals in Argentina, for serving as chief prosecutor for the U.N. International Criminal Tribunals and for chairing the Independent International Commission on Kosovo. He is motivated by his struggle against apartheid in South Africa. A self-described Zionist, he serves as a trustee of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has said that ‘bringing war criminals to justice stems from the lessons of the Holocaust.'”
    Ellison’s reasoned arguments, which also noted Goldstone’s determined efforts to assure that the inquiry and the response to it would focus on abuses by both Hamas and Israel, should have carried the day. Jewish groups that believe Israel’s long-term security requires a sincere pursuit of peace with the Palestinians, such as J Street and Americans for Peace Now, urged Congress to adopt a more nuanced stance.
    But the House voted 344-36 to reject any consideration of the report or response to it. The 36 “no” votes came from progressive Democrats who have long been active on Middle East peace issues, such as Ellison, Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich, Arizona’s Raul Grijalva, Californians Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee and Massachusetts’ Jim McGovern, as well as Republicans Ron Paul of Texas, Geoff Davis of Kentucky and Charles Boustany of Louisiana.
    Twenty-two members voted “present” in a more muted protest. They included Appropriations Committee chair David Obey, D-Wisconsin.
    Kucinich was especially, and appropriately, troubled by the actions of the House.
    “How can we protect the people of Israel from existential threats if we hold no concern for the protection of the Palestinians, for their physical security, their right to land, their right to their own homes, their right to water, their right to sustenance, their right to freedom of movement, their right to the human security of jobs, education and health care?” the Ohioan asked. “We will have peace only when the plight of both Palestinians and Israelis is brought before this House and given equal consideration in recognition of that principle that all people on this planet have a right to survive and thrive, and it is our responsibility, our duty to see that no individual, no group, no people are barred from this humble human claim.”
    Kucinich warned the House that “if this Congress votes to condemn a report it has not read, concerning events it has totally ignored, about violations of law of which it is unaware, it will have brought shame to this great institution.”
    A few moments later, the vast majority of his colleagues did just that.
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/blogs/archive/2009/11/05/a-know-nothing-congress-on-the-middle-east.aspx
    Some consideration as to why Kicinich and Ron Paul were marginalized by the media as Presidential candidates is due here. What it boils down to is that if you aren’t in this little racist chickenshit country Israel’s pocket, you don’t get to play.

    Reply

  2. Outraged American says:

    Ilan Pappe, Israeli historian, had to leave Israel because the Zionists
    THREATENED TO KILL HIS FAMILY because he told the truth about
    the “birth” of Israel and the origins of Zionism
    MUST SEE INTERVIEW!
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23893.htm
    h/t informationclearinghouse.info — a great site, please support
    it.

    Reply

  3. nadine says:

    “That’s silly, Nadine. The Taba process didn’t begin until the very last couple of weeks of the Clinton administration, and the accords were then written up in the very first week of the Bush administration. Since their instigator had left office, and the incoming administration from the opposition party had no ownership of them, there was not a chance in hell they were going to go anywhere. It is telling that Clinton wasn’t able to deal with this problem in a serious way until he was safely on his way out of town.”
    First, Clinton devoted an enormous amount of energy to Camp David/Taba during his whole last year in office. One thing he doesn’t deserve is the accusation of not being serious. Secondly, if the accords had been signed by Clinton, Barak and Arafat, there is no chance that Bush would have repudiated them. Whether the Knesset would have passed them is another question, but Bush would not have reneged on an obvious American diplomatic triumph. Saying he would, now that is silly.
    Second, you completely ignore the fact that Olmert offered it all again to Abu Mazen in 2007. If Taba were really a basis for the deal, we would see the two main parties hammering out details. We don’t see that because Taba is not a basis for a deal.
    The Palestinians don’t accept Taba, or anything like Taba. They prefer continuing the status quo to signing a deal like Taba. Abu Mazen was delighted when Obama gave him a new excuse not to negotiate. Lately he’s been insisting that the Israelis evacuate East Jerusalem as a precondition to resuming negotiations! Now, there’s a man who really doesn’t want to talk.

    Reply

  4. PrisonerOfAmerica says:

    http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2009/11/04/why-does-aipac-spy-on-americans/
    Why Does AIPAC Spy on Americans?
    By Grant Smith On November 4, 2009
    According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Steven J. Rosen will be allowed to move ahead with his civil defamation lawsuit against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen and fellow AIPAC employee Keith Weissman were indicted under the 1917 Espionage Act in 2005 along with Department of Defense Employee Col. Lawrence Franklin for passing classified national defense information. Franklin pled guilty, but Rosen and Weissman’s case never went to trial — US attorneys gave up (PDF) after the presiding judge made a successful prosecution unlikely.
    Rosen’s 2009 civil lawsuit contends that AIPAC defamed him when its spokesperson claimed that he “did not comport with standards that AIPAC expects of its employees.” Rosen’s many filings in court reveal that his fundamental case is that AIPAC commonly circulates and distributes classified US government information when it suits the organization’s purpose in lobbying for Israel. AIPAC defamed him, he alleges, by claiming he was somehow unique.
    An FBI file declassified and released on July 31, 2009 (PDF) backs up Rosen’s assertions. In 1984 AIPAC obtained a classified report compiled from the business secrets of US industries and associations opposed to signing a bilateral trade agreement with Israel. The FBI found that AIPAC had “attempted to influence members of Congress with the use of a purloined copy of the ITC report and had usurped their authority.”
    The Washington Field Office of the FBI went on to assert that “AIPAC is a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group staffed by U.S. citizens. WFO files contain an unsubstantiated allegation that a member of the Israeli Intelligence Service was a staff member of AIPAC.”
    Rosen is well on his way to claiming $20 million in damages for AIPAC’s “defamation” propelled by the court’s new ruling. But for Americans much larger concerns linger. Why isn’t AIPAC registering as an agent of a foreign principal if it is collaborating so closely with foreign intelligence services? Why are these matters being litigated in civil court as a family squabble between members of the Israel lobby? If espionage is a recurring, institutionalized feature of AIPAC, doesn’t that mitigate against its claims to be an American non-profit, working for American interests? From the NRA to the AARP, no legitimate American nonprofit lobby has ever been found to be trafficking in so much intelligence information, or so frequently channeling it to foreign government parties and friends in the establishment media.
    Newly emerging declassified facts are reminders to concerned Americans that AIPAC is not at all what it claims to be. Rosen’s lawsuit will not likely make good on his and former lobbyist Douglas Bloomfield’s implicit threats to reveal AIPAC as a stealth, unregistered foreign agent of the Israeli government.
    Fortunately for Americans, that uncomfortable fact is now emerging in myriad ways, even in the midst of AIPAC’s new attempts to engineer policies that could accelerate the downfall of the US economy.

    Reply

  5. Dewey Tellit says:

    CIA used Uzbekistan to force detainee confessions
    Some raped with broken bottles
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4385

    Reply

  6. Dewey Tellit says:

    Jewish Professor Says Porn Industry is a Weapon used Against Gentiles
    “In a respected and scholarly magazine of Jewish intellectuals, (The Jewish Quarterly, winter 2004) Jewish professor Nathan Abrams in an article titled, “Triple Exthnics,” proudly documents the leading role of Gentile-hating Jews in pornography.
    A story little told is about Hollywood’s seedier cousin, the adult film industry. Perhaps we’d prefer that the ‘triple exthnics’ didn’t exist, but there’s no getting away from the fact that secular Jewish people played (and still continue to play) a disproportionate role throughout the adult film industry in America. Jewish involvement in pornography has a long history in the United States, as many have helped transform a fringe subculture into what has become a primary constituent of Americana.
    Jewish activity in the porn industry divides into two (sometimes overlapping) groups: pornographers and performers. Though the Jewish people make up only two per cent of the American population, they have been prominent in pornography. …
    In the postwar era, America’s most notorious pornographer was Reuben Sturman, the ‘Walt Disney of Porn’. According to the US Department of Justice, throughout the 1970s Sturman controlled most of the pornography circulating in the country. … It was said that Sturman did not simply control the adult-entertainment industry; he was the industry. …
    Many are entirely secular, Jewish in name only. Sturman, however, was a generous donator to several Jewish charities. …
    Abrams shows how the corruption and debasement of Gentiles and Christian morality is a primary part of their motivation for intentionally infecting the Gentile community with pornography.
    Is there a deeper reason, beyond the mere financial, as to why some Jewish people in particular have become involved in porn? …
    Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw, said, “The only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don’t believe in authoritarianism.” Pornography thus becomes a way of defiling Christian culture and, as it penetrates to the very heart of the American mainstream (and is no doubt consumed by those very same WASPs), its subversive character becomes more charged. …
    Extending the subversive thesis, Jewish involvement in the X-rated industry can be seen as a proverbial two fingers to the entire WASP establishment in America. …
    Opposition to Jewish extremist subversion of Gentile, Christian or Muslim morality is frequently defined as anti-Semitic “hatred” in the Jewish dominated media. Abrams writing in a Jewish journal for a presumably Jewish audience writes matter-of-factly about the “atavistic hatred” against us by Jewish pornographers and their motivation to “weaken the dominant culture in America by moral subversion.”
    Jewish involvement in porn, by this argument, is the result of an atavistic hatred of Christian authority: they are trying to weaken the dominant culture in America by moral subversion. Astyr remembers having “to run or fight for it in grammar school because I was a Jew. It could very well be that part of my porn career is an ‘up yours’ to these people.” …
    Obviously, there are no articles in the mainstream media exposing Jewish “atavistic hatred” against Gentiles by the promoters of pornographic depravity. Abrams even goes on to talk about the roots of this revolutionary Jewish attack on European values.
    Several known Jewish people were also at the vanguard of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse and Paul Goodman replaced Marx, Trotsky and Lenin as required revolutionary reading. …
    Pacheco was one Jewish porn star who read Reich’s intellectual marriage of Freud and Marx. …
    In light of the relatively tolerant Jewish view of sex, why are we ashamed of the Jewish role in the porn industry? We might not like it, but the Jewish role in this field has been significant and it is about time it was written about seriously.
    Notice that all those mentioned: Reich, Marcuse, Goodman, Marx, Trotsky, Lenin and Freud are Jews. From Freud to Goodman, all represent a Jewish revolution against traditional European values and morality.”

    Reply

  7. Dan Kervick says:

    “One of the asinine statements that gets repeated ad nauseum about I/P is that we know what a solution would look like. No we don’t. If we did, the Taba Accords would have led to final negotiations instead of a terror war.”
    That’s silly, Nadine. The Taba process didn’t begin until the very last couple of weeks of the Clinton administration, and the accords were then written up in the very first week of the Bush administration. Since their instigator had left office, and the incoming administration from the opposition party had no ownership of them, there was not a chance in hell they were going to go anywhere. It is telling that Clinton wasn’t able to deal with this problem in a serious way until he was safely on his way out of town.

    Reply

  8. Outraged American says:

    From Israeli paper Ha’aretz TODAY “Israel preparing public for a
    new war in Gaza.”
    Why oh why do the obviously suicidal Palestinians not have a
    rocket with the range to reach the US Capitol building?
    If the Palestinians are courting certain death they might as well
    take the corrupt dirt bags in the “US” Congress with them. I
    guess they’d need a launcher too.
    I have a great idea: everyone who wants their kids to live and
    even those who don’t, send a penny to me. I’ll have a real
    weapon for the Palestinians in no time, like turkey basters that
    squirt arsenic, which are about as effect as Qassam rockets.
    Then I’ll get Iran to donate a turkey baster launcher.
    Oh wait, Iran doesn’t have delivery systems for nuclear weapons
    much less turkey basters. I’ll get Hizbollah to do a cross-border
    raid and steal one of Israel’s hundreds of nuke delivery systems
    in hopes that the Palestinians can use them for their deadly
    turkey basters.
    Although I might be tempted to use both on Wig’s retirement
    home first.
    ANALYSIS / Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza
    Wed., Nov 4, 2009
    Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, director of Military Intelligence,
    announced Tuesday that Hamas launched a rocket some 60
    kilometers into the sea, apparently as an experiment. Such a
    rocket, if fired from the northernmost point of the Gaza Strip,
    could strike the southern cities of the Gush Dan area – including
    Rishon Letzion, Holon and Bat Yam – and possibly reach as far
    as Tel Aviv itself.
    Although Yadlin didn’t specify the type of the weapon used, it
    appears to be a standard, foreign-made rocket smuggled into
    Gaza. Yadlin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
    Committee that Hamas has accumulated an arsenal of rockets
    slightly larger than the arsenal it possessed before last winter’s
    Operation Cast Lead.
    The experiment hardly caught Israeli intelligence by surprise, as
    it had assumed Hamas had acquired a similar type of rocket
    several months ago. However, the importance of Yadlin’s report
    should not be underestimated as this is the first tangible piece
    of evidence that Hamas holds a weapon capable of striking Gush
    Dan. It would seem Hamas has used the lull in fighting with
    Israel to not only restore, but improve its capabilities. Still, and
    similar to Hezbollah, restoring the arsenal hardly testifies to
    restoring motivation to confront Israel militarily.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1125701.html

    Reply

  9. samuelburke says:

    “Following the example of the currently fashionable pro-Israel group J Street, which chose a Washington DC letter street that does not actually exist for the name of its lobby, I would like to propose a new lobby that would also be based on a non-address, X Street. Membership in X Street will be open to all American citizens of every race, national origin, and religious belief. It will be guided by a unifying principle, that preservation of the liberties defined in the constitution and support of the national interest of the United States should be the sole objectives of any and all foreign policy. It would be the modern embodiment of George Washington’s warning to steer clear of foreign involvements and to be a friend to all.
    X Street recognizes that America’s lopsided support of the state of Israel has made the United States a target of terrorism, has weakened the US’s international standing and damaged its reputation, and has negatively impacted on the American economy. The United States will advise Israel that its settlement policy is in violation of numerous UN resolutions and that it opposes on principle the continuing denial of any rights to West Bank and Gazan Palestinians. Washington will no longer use its veto power to protect Israeli interests in the UN and other international bodies. As Israel is now the twenty-ninth wealthiest nation in the world per capita, all US economic and military assistance will cease immediately. The United States will publicly declare its knowledge that Israel has a nuclear arsenal and will ask the Israeli government to join the NPT regime and subject its program to IAEA inspection. The purpose is not to punish Israel but to make it like every other country vis-à-vis the United States – a friend and a trading partner, but there will be no free ride and no presumption of a “special relationship.” There will be no special relationships with anyone.”
    http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2009/11/04/a-manifesto-for-x-street/

    Reply

  10. samuelburke says:

    “Why are these matters being litigated in civil court as a family squabble between members of the Israel lobby? If espionage is a recurring, institutionalized feature of AIPAC, doesn’t that mitigate against its claims to be an American non-profit, working for American interests? From the NRA to the AARP, no legitimate American nonprofit lobby has ever been found to be trafficking in so much intelligence information, or so frequently channeling it to a foreign government parties and friends in the establishment media.
    Newly emerging declassified facts are reminders to concerned Americans that AIPAC is not at all what it claims to be. Rosen’s lawsuit will not likely make good on his and former lobbyist Douglas Bloomfield’s implicit threats to reveal AIPAC as a stealth, unregistered foreign agent of the Israeli government.
    Fortunately for Americans, that uncomfortable fact is now emerging in myriad ways, even in the midst of AIPAC’s new attempts to engineer policies that could accelerate the downfall of the US economy.”
    http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2009/11/04/why-does-aipac-spy-on-americans/

    Reply

  11. ... says:

    U.S. skirts UN debate on Goldstone Gaza report
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1125986.html
    The United States on Wednesday openly eschewed a United Nations General Assembly debate on a resolution that would call on Israel and the Palestinians to investigate charges of war crimes during the Gaza war detailed in the Goldstone Commission’s report.
    The nonbinding resolution on the Goldstone report, which looked certain to be approved by the 192-nation assembly, also requests that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submit the 575-page report to the Security Council.
    U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice skipped the discussion and sent her deputy, Alejandro Wolff, as an observer instead….
    and further down…
    Goldstone’s report urged the Security Council to order both sides to carry out credible investigations into alleged abuses during the conflict and to follow that up with legal action where necessary.
    If either side refuses, the panel said, the Security Council should forward the evidence to the International Criminal Court, the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal, for prosecution.

    Reply

  12. ... says:

    what is with the same bullshit from nadine 24/7?
    “Most Americans understand that the Israelis have been willing to compromise but the Palestinians have not.” nadine you are a shitty liar… try to be more cunning like wigwag and their is an extreme change you might win a few converts….
    Leftist Jews to Israel: Stop vilifying Goldstone
    http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1125830.html
    The letter also accused the worldwide Jewish community of unsuitably attacking Justice Goldstone and said “when those within a community try to “excommunicate” and dishonor truth-tellers, it is our obligation and responsibility to speak out vehemently on their behalf and on behalf of the truth they bring.”
    It further elaborated that Judge Goldstone should be “applauded for his honesty” and for “following where the truth led him and releasing a report detailing human rights abuses and violations of international law by Israel, as well as by Hamas.”
    Also, the letter called for Israel’s government to be held accountable for “attempting to vilify a truth-teller and for suppressing the truth about Israeli government crimes against the Palestinian people.”

    Reply

  13. nadine says:

    “The reason that we refuse to use our power is because, when it comes right down to it, our Congresses and our Presidents just flat-out *support* the Israeli absorption of the West Bank, and see no legitimacy in any form of Palestinian resistance whatsoever … and that’s all there is to it”
    No Dan, President Clinton proposed the Taba Accords and America still supports them. The Taba Accords create a Palestinian state on 95% of the West Bank plus land swaps to equal 100% of the area, plus 100% of Gaza. That’s hardly equivalent to Israeli “absorption” of the West Bank! But the Palestinians refused the Taba Accords, first in 2000 then again in 2007 when Olmert offered it again and even a little more.
    One of the asinine statements that gets repeated ad nauseum about I/P is that we know what a solution would look like. No we don’t. If we did, the Taba Accords would have led to final negotiations instead of a terror war.
    You have to step back a little and see how far the dispute is from any normal border dispute. If it were a normal dispute, we would see the two sides hammering out borders and water rights and the rights of minorities.
    But we see nothing of the sort. The Palestinians react to concessions not with concessions of their own, but new demands. The Palestinians won’t hear of a single Jew remaining in Palestine even though a million Arabs are citizens of Israel.
    There is more here that is asymmetrical than the power – it’s the attitude. The Palestinians refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Jewish state or the right of Jews to live anywhere in Palestine in any borders. Like Barry Rubin says, they never intended to sell. The negotiations were just for getting concessions. They never intended to make a deal.
    Americans believe in compromise. Most Americans understand that the Israelis have been willing to compromise but the Palestinians have not – and that includes Mrs. Clinton’s husband. And that is why there is no deal and the Americans don’t want Israel forced into any more unilateral concessions. Americans do not support the idea of forcing Israel to self-destruct. And anything less than Israel’s self-destruction is unacceptable to the Palestinians.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    “Paul, when you stop defending the Arab propensity for the murder of women and children above
    making any compromise, you may understand the “Israeli mentality.””
    Defending what? This is hollow rhetoric – any links?

    Reply

  15. nadine says:

    Paul, when you stop defending the Arab propensity for the murder of women and children above making any compromise, you may understand the “Israeli mentality.”
    It’s dawned on the Israeli public in general that when the Israeli right told them that offering compromises to the PLO would only be read as a sign of weakness and as an admission that the Israelis had no right to any part of Palestine, inside the Green Line or outside, they were absolutely right. That’s why Meretz is down to 3 seats int he Knesset and putzes like Gideon Levy are writing columns for Haaretz.
    The working test of anyone’s model is whether their predictions come true. What Barry Rubin predicts about the Mideast comes to pass. What the Leftists or soi-disant Realists of Europe and the US predict about the Mideast never comes true. Never. Obama actually thought he would IMPROVE the atmosphere for Mideast talks by picking a fight and getting concessions from Israel. What a moron.

    Reply

  16. WigWag says:

    Dan Kervick is precisely right; when it comes to the Israel-Palestine dispute the United States is not an honest broker. It never has been; it never will be.
    The simple reality is that most Americans consider Israel to be an ally and they are indifferent to the aspirations of the Palestinians. Approval rates in most polls for Israel generally range from 50 to 60 percent. Approval rates for the Palestinians in most polls rarely exceed the single digits.
    Most Americans don’t care about Israel one way or the other but there is a significant minority of Americans, both Christians and Jews, who are intensely committed to Israel and its interests. These American devote their time, talent and treasure to promoting Zionism.
    When it comes to Palestinian aspirations, the vast majority of Americans just don’t care. The few who do are disorganized and essentially powerless. If the average American has a general impression of Palestinians at all, it’s with a vague notion of exploding airplanes crashing into skyscrapers and suicide bombers blowing up pizzerias.
    Palestinian aspirations are just about as important to most Americans as Kurdish, Tibetan or Basque aspirations are.
    Partisans of the Palestinians can hope that this will change over time, but there is very little empirical evidence to suggest that it will.
    The Palestinians do have one thing on their side; an American President who is genuinely committed to getting them some kind of state. That President is inexperienced, he has a poor strategy and he is operating with many domestic constraints. Nevertheless there is every reason to believe that he sincerely wants to make progress.
    There probably won’t be another President for decades as committed to Palestinian statehood as Obama is. Obama is not all-powerful; there is alot he can’t do for the Palestinians; but he is on their side.
    Instead of taking advantage of Obama’s interest in their plight, the Palestinians are refusing to negotiate over the settlement issue that never held them back from negotiating before.
    Nadine is right. The reason is that the Palestinians have deluded themselves into thinking that their maximal aspirations can be achieved. They are wrong.
    If the Palestinians don’t dramatically lower their expectations and achieve statehood during the time Obama is in office, they are very likely to remain stateless indefinitely; perhaps forever.
    Dan Kervick is correct when he says that hardly anyone in government cares about what happens to the Palestinians. The reason for that is simple. The United States is a democracy. If voters don’t care about the Palestinians, their elected representatives won’t care either.
    I think Obama is an exception.
    Instead of endlessly criticizing him for not standing up to Netanyahu or not sanctioning Israel in some way (all of which he is politically powerless to do), Obama’s critics, including people who post at the Washington Note, would be much more constructive if they made policy recommendations that Obama might actually be able to implement.
    Obama won’t sacrifice his reelection to help the Palestinians and he won’t put the Democrat’s electoral success at risk, that’s not what politicians do. But Obama will do whatever he can.
    Smart, out of the box thinking is what’s needed. Not the same old rhetoric.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Obama hasn’t exposed the limits of US power; he has exposed the limits of US honesty and trustworthiness”
    “Uh, Gee Dan, I, uh, hate to break it to ya, but…..”

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Read, don’t just dismiss, Goldstone’s report on Gaza
    By REP. KEITH ELLISON
    Who is afraid of Richard Goldstone? No one should be. Not even the U.S. Congress — yet it is poised on Tuesday to condemn the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Goldstone report on violations of international law related to the Gaza war of late 2008.
    Why the fear? Judge Goldstone is no Israel basher. He is famous for apprehending Nazi criminals in Argentina, for serving as chief prosecutor for the U.N. International Criminal Tribunals and for chairing the Independent International Commission on Kosovo. He is motivated by his struggle against apartheid in South Africa. A self-described Zionist, he serves as a trustee of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has said that “bringing war criminals to justice stems from the lessons of the Holocaust.”
    At the outset, note that four sections of the Goldstone report deal with abuses by Hamas, including the launching of rockets into civilian towns in Israel. The report explicitly states that these rocket attacks are war crimes.
    Yet despite Goldstone’s stellar reputation, the veracity of the report — and his motives — has been challenged. The detailed Goldstone report concludes that “the Israeli military operation was directed at the people of Gaza as a whole, in furtherance of an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population, and in a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at the civilian population.”
    I agree with my congressional colleagues — and with Goldstone — that the initial U.N. resolution of Jan. 12, 2009, calling for an investigation of abuses committed during the Gaza crisis was one-sided, focusing exclusively on Israel. That resolution was used by some countries to criticize Israel without acknowledging the abuses by Hamas. Goldstone initially refused to lead the investigation because of the original flawed mandate.
    But Goldstone pushed back. He succeeded in expanding the scope of the mission to include an examination of the actions of both Hamas and Israel.
    Israel, however, refused to cooperate with the investigation because of the original “one-sided mandate.” What if Israel had participated from the beginning? It could have pointed out that the U.N. Human Rights Council has a history of unfairly singling out Israel for criticism. It could have described Hamas’s abuses, and it could have elaborated on the context of the Israeli invasion of Gaza, which includes a long history of attacks on civilians. Israel could have observed the difficulties of combat in urban areas. But instead, Israel condemned the effort and then attacked the final product.
    I visited Sderot in southern Israel and saw the havoc and trauma created by Hamas rocket fire. Israelis there live with fear. I have condemned these attacks as war crimes and will continue to do so.
    I also visited Gaza and witnessed the devastation wreaked by the recent war. I toured an American school and medical clinics devastated by Operation Cast Lead. A blockade keeps out items such as paper for textbooks and nutritious food. Gazans live in poverty, and most cannot drink their own water. These are cruel violations against the people of Gaza, 56 percent of whom are children.
    The Goldstone report does not assign blame. It lays out the facts, as best as Goldstone could ascertain them, and offers recommendations for the future. Congress should use this report as a resource to understand a critical part of the world and to grasp fully the devastating human costs of the status quo.
    Instead, Congress is poised to oppose the Goldstone report without holding a single hearing on a document that few members of Congress, if any, have read.
    This is a mistake. The stance of this Congress will erode U.S. credibility in the post-Obama world, and it will tarnish our commitment to the principle that all nations must be held to the same standards. Rather than undermine the report or Goldstone, we are at risk of undermining Congress’s and President Barack Obama’s reputation as honest brokers.
    Israel can still pursue its own investigation, and critics of the Goldstone report should recognize that Israel is strong enough to withstand inquiry. Self-reflection is one of the hallmarks of a strong democracy. In fact, Israel has investigated itself in the past in connection with the Sabra and Shatila incidents. When nations like the United States, Israel, South Africa and others have pursued the truth through investigations — however uncomfortable — their people and politics have emerged stronger.
    We stand for the values of democracy, truth and justice. There is no reason for Congress, Israel or any other party to fear an honest judge. Richard Goldstone is such a judge, and his report should be studied, not dismissed.
    Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29030_Page2.html
    Wigwag’s gloating is not only obscene, it demonstrates just how little she cares for our nation.

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    “Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s aborted attempt to persuade the Israelis to enact a “settlement freeze” as a precursor to final status negotiations is further exposing the limits of American power, particularly in the Middle East.”
    I’m sorry, but it’s worse than this. Obama hasn’t exposed the limits of US power; he has exposed the limits of US honesty and trustworthiness.
    If all we lacked was power, and if our miscarriages fell from a gap between starry aspiration and faltering capability, then we might actually win some sympathy for our noble failures. After all, nobody’s power is unlimited; everyone understands and empathizes with failure.
    But the I/P conflict isn’t an area where the US has been revealed as lacking the requisite power to achieve a solution; rather it is an area in which it has been revealed as simply refusing to use the abundant stores of power it does have. And yet, rather than just declare that it refuses to use that power, our government has seen the need once again to spin lies and diplomatic illusions, and to attempt to dissemble its all-too apparent aims.
    The reason that we refuse to use our power is because, when it comes right down to it, our Congresses and our Presidents just flat-out *support* the Israeli absorption of the West Bank, and see no legitimacy in any form of Palestinian resistance whatsoever … and that’s all there is to it. These elected officials, and those vast numbers of Judeo-Christian, Muslim-hating, Arab-despising constituents who put them in office, believe that God (or History, if that’s how you swing religiously) gave everything west of the Jordan to the Jews, and definitely doesn’t want any filthy and barbarous Oriental Arabs stealing the Holy Land (or for the agnostics: the brave Jewish outpost of western liberal enlightenment and reason in the benighted East). The occasional tentative suggestions and deadpan protestations to the contrary are only delicate fibs and brazen lies.
    This embarrassing collapse of the canards is part of what happens when you bring in the Better Government through Better Bullshit cadets from the center-Dem foreign policy braineries, folks who are convinced that US failures in the Middle East are mainly due to bad “public diplomacy”, and that if we would only get some better and more sparkly lipstick, we wouldn’t have to get rid of any of our unsightly pigs. Those dumb-as-shit brown Arabs will believe anything we clever white boys and girls tell them anyway.
    At this point, I’d prefer that our government just speak the ugly truth from the front of its mouth rather than gurgle and mumble the insipid lies from the side, and tell the world in no uncertain terms that there is never going to be a Palestinian state, because we Americans don’t want one. Let’s just take the hit and get it over with. I’d rather be hated to my face as a ruthless predator, than despised as a cowardly liar.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Until then, you should shut up”
    Oh Paul, you’re such an optimist.

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    when you stop defending theft of Arab land and Arab houses, harassment, humiliation and targeting of Arab civilians,
    you may perhaps attempt to explain the “Arab mentality.” Until then, you should shut up. So should Barry Rubin.

    Reply

  22. Neo Controll says:

    It seems important as a public service announcement to remind readers regularly, especially those who only drop in occasionally, that “Nadine” is either a volunteer or paid propagandist of the Israeli disinformation machine or a front for someone who acts in such capacity.
    — NCHQ

    Reply

  23. WigWag says:

    It will be interesting to see if AIPAC pushes the introduction in the Senate of a companion resolution to H Res 867. My guess is that they won’t but I could easily be wrong.
    In the House, APIAC benefited from the fact that the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee (Howard Berman) and the Ranking Member (Ileana Ros Lehtinen) were so anxious to introduce the resolution that they would have done so whether AIPAC pushed it or not. AIPAC also had the advantage that while speaker Pelosi was probably indifferent, Majority Leader Hoyer was a major proponent of the Resolution. In the House, the stars were all aligned to favor the introduction and overwhelming passage of a resolution excoriating Goldstone and his report.
    The calculus is somewhat different in the Senate. The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (John Kerry) and the Ranking Member (Richard Lugar) would probably be annoyed if they were forced to report out a resolution similar to what was passed in the House. Kerry is close to Obama (who probably views all the discussion about the Goldstone Report as a thorn in his side) and Richard Lugar is the one remaining realist Republican (okay, he’s probably more of a semi-realist). It’s hard to imagine that Lugar thinks that an amendment excoriating Goldstone can accomplish anything for the United States.
    What AIPAC needs to decide is whether it’s worth irritating the Chairman and Ranking Member of this important Committee to insist that a Resolution be brought to the Senate Floor. AIPAC may also feel that they owe John Kerry one for his refusal to appear at the J Street Convention despite the fact that J Street widely advertised that he would probably appear (if his schedule permitted.)
    If AIPAC does decide to push for a Senate Resolution it will undoubtedly win another overwhelming victory.
    Every Republican Senator will vote for a Resolution attacking the Goldstone Report. The only Republican who would even think twice is the aforementioned Richard Lugar. But Lugar has never made it a habit to cross his Republican colleagues and there is simply no way that 39 Senate Republicans would vote in favor of a Resolution while he would oppose it. The net result is that should AIPAC push a Senate Resolution, it will start with 40 votes.
    The following Democrats would definitely vote in favor of the Resolution:
    Daniel Akaka, Max Baucus, Evan Bayh, Mark Bewitch, Michael Bennett, Jeff Bingaman (right Steve?), Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper, Robert Casey, Kent Conrad, Chris Dodd, Byron Dorgan, Richard Durban, Diane Feinstein, Kristin Gellibrand, Kay Hagan, Tom Harkin, Tim Johnson, Edward Kaufman, Paul Kirk, Herb Kohl, Mary Landreau, Frank Lautenberg, Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, Claire Catskill, Robert Menendez, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, Jack Reed, Harry Reed, John Rockefeller, Charles Schumer, Jeanne Shaken, Arlen Specter, Jon Tester, Mark Warner, and Sheldon Whitehouse.
    If I am correct, that means the Resolution would get at a minimum, 85 votes.
    But the reality is that several Democratic Senators that I left off the list would be very likely to vote for the Resolution as well (even if somewhat reluctantly). Senators on the likely but not definite list include: Sherrod Brown, Daniel Inouye, John Kerry, Amy Klobuchar, Debbie Stabenow, Jim Webb and Ron Wyden. Pat Leahy is sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians and he’s from a state (Vermont) that is very progressive, has only a few Jews and no Christian Zionists. But Leahy doesn’t have a brave bone in his body; he will almost certainly vote yes.
    This means that the Resolution could easily receive in excess of 90 votes.
    Even some of the Democrats that I consider to be wild cards could easily decide to vote to excoriate Goldstone. I just don’t know enough about the voting patterns of Al Franken, Mark Udall or Tom Udall to guess how they would vote. It would also be interesting to see what Bernie Sanders would do.
    The only Senator that I would bet would vote “no” is Russ Feingold (and maybe the retiring Roland Burris.)
    It will be interesting to watch what AIPAC decides to do. One thing is for sure; if they want a vote, they will get one.
    After all, Majority Leader Reid is up for reelection in a swing state and he’s not particularly popular in Nevada. He needs every single vote he can get. He’s not about to antagonize AIPAC or the prosperous Jewish community in Las Vegas. As Harry Reid knows very well, virtually every member of that community votes. Reid won his last election by only a few hundred votes. Without the overwhelming support of the Jewish Community in Las Vegas, Harry Reid would not be Majority Leader today. In fact, he wouldn’t even be in the Senate.
    Personally, I hope AIPAC decides to go for a Senate Resolution.
    Why not put the entire Congress on record about what they think about Mr. Goldstone?

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    No Paul, the issue is Mideast negotiations, which always fail because the Palestinians don’t want a state half so much as they want to destroy Israel. But they’re not strong enough to destroy Israel. So they whine and bomb and refuse to negotiate. One can only suppose that their present conditions are not as insupportable as they try to make out, or they would be more eager to take the offer of state, which they turned down flat as recently as 2007.
    I think it’s more mental. The Palestinian nation is a new invention; it didn’t exist 50 years ago. They have defined themselves by their struggle against Zionism. I don’t think they would know how to exist as a normal country. Maybe the people would, but the leadership is being paid for eternal jihad. But oops, the Israelis just intercepted a very big payment from Iran.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…all the while collecting rockets from Iran and reassuring his followers in Damascus and Gaza that “Jerusalem will be conquered by jihad, not negotiation.””
    So you racist abomination, the Palestinians have no right to defend themselves against you war criminals? Are the arms we send to Israel somehow more “moral”?
    You are a scourge on humanity, Nadine.

    Reply

  26. Paul Norheim says:

    Well,
    I can see why Nadine admires this Barry Rubin asshole – also his distortions and “explanations” of the Arab mentality seem
    like bizarre jokes.
    The issue here is not BUYING or SELLING houses – the issue is STEALING or NOT STEALING houses and land – and the pace of
    stealing.
    So let`s try once more:
    “If you want to understand how things work in the Middle East consider this story: Suppose Israel, who is stealing houses,
    has agreed to steal a little bit slower, and demand something in return from the Muslims. But these ungrateful and irrational
    Arabs don`t want to give anything in return, so instead you put a bunch of them in jail….” etc.etc..

    Reply

  27. nadine says:

    The Palestinians have real reason to be upset today. Israeli Navy Seals have seized a ship bearing 500 TONS of Iranian arms to Hizbullah and Hamas – that’s 10 times the cargo of the Karine A.
    This shows their real plan, which is why I was so mad at Steve Clemons for giving that puffball interview to Khalid Meshal so Meshal could hint at moderation to the gullible in the West – all the while collecting rockets from Iran and reassuring his followers in Damascus and Gaza that “Jerusalem will be conquered by jihad, not negotiation.”
    The administration has limited leverage over Israel and NO leverage over the Palestinians. Whatever the administration gives the Palestinians (and objectively speaking, the partial settlement freeze was an Israeli concession that was not matched by any Palestinian concession) will be greeted with howls of Palestinian complaint that it isn’t more. If the US had gotten the full settlement freeze it tried for, the result would be the same. I hope the Obama administration is wising up to the realities of Mideast negotiation.
    Barry Rubin explains using this story:
    “If you want to understand how things work in the Middle East consider this story. Suppose someone says that they want to sell you a house. They demand $500,000. You offer $400,000. They say, “No.”
    You offer $450,000, saying that if both sides give some that a mutually beneficial deal can be reached. Again they say, “No.”
    Finally you offer $500,000, smug in the belief that you’ve made a purchase. And then they say once again: “No! How dare you! What a cheat! How about changing the financing to my benefit, putting the full amount down in cash, and buying me another house?”
    You are incredulous. How could your reasonable, apologetic, empathetic, confidence-building, willing to give concessions strategy have failed?
    Answer: They never intended to sell. For them, Palestine is Arab or Muslim or both forever. It’s not for sale at any price.”
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  28. ... says:

    there were people in favour of slavery at one point in time too… that will pass as well…

    Reply

  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Palestinian workers: We’re being treated like cattle
    Thousands of laborers waiting to cross into Israel via Eyal checkpoint, near Qalqilya, have to do so while exposed to harsh cold
    Daniel Edelson Published: 11.03.09, 22:45 / Israel News
    The 4,500 Palestinian workers who travel through the Eyal checkpoint, near West Bank city of Qalqilya, on their way to work in Israel, are finding it hard to enjoy the long-awaited winter.
    The checkpoint provides cover for those waiting to cross it, but its little shed can shelter about 100 people at the most, leaving the rest exposed to rain and cold winds.
    “I usually like the winter, but why do we have to stand here like this?” wondered Majid Nazal, a construction worker who crosses the checkpoint daily.
    According to Nazal, Sundays and Thursday pose the biggest challenge, as about 5,000 people crowd the checkpoint starting at 4 am.
    “We stand there in the rain like cattle… what are they waiting for – someone to die from the cold?”
    Mahmoud Diab Jabbar, head of the Qalqilya workers’ association, told Ynet that he approached Israeli authorities several times about installing additional sheds near the checkpoint.
    “They keep telling me that it’s being taken care of, that a construction tender was issued, but nothing is being done.
    “I told them that we would build it ourselves, but they won’t allow it,” he said. “This is the closest checkpoint to central Israel and the workers have no choice but to stand in the rain for hours.
    “The place doesn’t even have a lavatory. There’s nowhere to sit down. We are being abused.”
    Raaya Yaron, spokeswoman for the Machsom Watch human rights group, told Ynet that “the situation there reminds me of all kinds of thing, but I can’t name them – some things are still a taboo.
    “The Eyal checkpoint opens at 4:30 am, but some workers have to leaver their home at 2 am, because they never know what random checkpoints they might encounter.
    “Getting through the checkpoints takes 20-25 minutes under normal conditions, but between getting to it, waiting in line, going through and waiting for their rides, they could be standing outside for up to an hour.”
    The conditions at the checkpoint, she added, are appalling: “they stand outside in weather most of us are unfamiliar with. There is only one bathroom stall, which is filthy and has no running water.
    “(Eyal) is supposed to be a border crossing, but despite its relative proximity to Ben Gurion (international airport), it couldn’t be further away.”
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3799882,00.html
    It is my understanding that the majority of the citizens of Nazi Germany had little or no knowledge of what Hitler was doing to the Jews. These racist monsters like Nadine/Wigwag will have no such refuge in which to hide what they truly are.

    Reply

  30. Outraged American says:

    AGAIN, ISRAEL THREATENS THE GAZA STRIP RIGHT AFTER THE
    US HOUSE PASSES THE GOLDSTONE RESOLUTION!!!
    I was figuring out the time difference between Israel and her
    satraps in the US Congress.
    It would appear that Israel was already pretty sure of the
    outcome because Gabi ASHKENAZI (whose family has obviously
    lived in Palestine for millenia, hence the European convert name)
    was talking about attacking Gaza around the same time as the
    Goldstone twaddle was passed in the US House.
    Ashkenazi: “Next Battle Likely In Gaza”
    Wednesday November 04, 2009 – IMEMC & Agencies
    Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, stated Tuesday that
    he believes a new war in Gaza is nearing, and that the army is
    readying to target Qassam launching pads, located in densely
    populating areas in the Gaza Strip.
    He said that the army could be fighting in cities, mosques,
    hospitals, schools and even kindergartens and added that “the
    enemies want to force us to fight this way”.
    His statements came during a graduation ceremony for army
    cadets, and were aired by the Israeli Radio.
    continues
    http://tinyurl.com/yh77xmu
    Wig Wag, I wouldn’t clap your hands too hard. I live in Arizona,
    a state rife with guns, with only some registered. Once
    Americans figure out what’s going on you might not have hands
    to clap.
    People rarely like to see their kids buried. Even the Jews of the
    Lodz ghetto, who gave up their kids to save their own hides,
    probably had a smidgen of remorse.

    Reply

  31. ... says:

    power has a way of moving into the exact opposite… we see it with the usa in its present form, and we will see it with israel… those who can see past the present can see where this is going… it isn’t where it is today… let those who like power gloat over the ugliness that goes with it… nothing lasts forever… the day of kings and queens gave way to something else and what we have now will give way to something else as well…

    Reply

  32. WigWag says:

    *Don`t play innocent, WigWag.*(Paul Norheim)
    Why shouldn’t I celebrate? I worked hard (okay, hard for a retired person) to get people to contact their House members to vote for H Res 867. I made phone calls, I sent e-mails and I went door to door to speak with my neighbors. And I give far more money than I can afford to support political candidates who share my point of view.
    Celebrating victory is a pretty normal part of human nature, Paul.
    You know how the song goes; “when your happy and you know it clap your hands.”

    Reply

  33. Outraged American says:

    The US House passes the Goldstone codswallop and the VERY
    next day Israel threatens the Gaza Strip! Pogroms anyone?
    Of course Israeli pogroms are legit in Paul’s mind, because the
    Palestinians are the UberMenschen — they totally have the
    upper hand in the Israel/ Pal debate and were the true
    masterminds of the Jewish Holocaust. Diabolical fiends.
    The Palestinians just pretend to live in rubble and drink feces-
    filled water. They, as the Zionists have claimed over and over,
    hate Israel more than they love their own kids because if they
    did love their kids they would get them out of the Gaza Strip.
    Oh wait…does Israel allows corpses out of the Gaza Strip? I
    guess if the deceased’s organs are fresh enough to transplant.
    Ashkenazi: “Next Battle Likely In Gaza”
    Wednesday November 04, 2009 – IMEMC & Agencies
    Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, stated Tuesday that
    he believes a new war in Gaza is nearing, and that the army is
    readying to target Qassam launching pads, located in densely
    populating areas in the Gaza Strip.
    He said that the army could be fighting in cities, mosques,
    hospitals, schools and even kindergartens and added that “the
    enemies want to force us to fight this way”.
    His statements came during a graduation ceremony for army
    cadets, and were aired by the Israeli Radio.
    continues
    http://tinyurl.com/yh77xmu
    Hey Paul, I have… “intimate relations” with a half Jew a few
    times a week and have for the last decade.
    Although I would love it if some Cossacks came and lopped off
    his head off because all he does is provide for the family and
    mow the yard. And do the laundry. And wash the dishes. And
    do the grocery shopping.
    My little Yid is completely dispensable. Who’s in charge of the
    Cossacks now because I need to give them our GPS location
    poste haste so they can ride on over and slaughter my entire
    family because I HATE JEWS SO MUCH?

    Reply

  34. Maw of America says:

    This got me thinking… Any chance that Lieberman’s filibuster threat on healthcare reform is tied to Clinton’s fumbling of the settlement issue?

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You think Kotz would just grin ecstatically if someone bent him over and shoved his dictionary where the sun don’t shine?

    Reply

  36. Paul Norheim says:

    Don`t play innocent, WigWag. I`m referring to your gleeful, celebratory, provocative
    and immature remarks yesterday on the “Washington Note Headlines” thread.
    But the sad truth is that even if you had kept silent all the time, Outraged would
    sooner or later have used this blog to legitimate and agitate for pogroms in any case.

    Reply

  37. kotzabasis says:

    The ugly gaudily vulgar thuggish spirit of OutragedA has no limits.
    I completely agree with you WigWag.

    Reply

  38. WigWag says:

    I provoked OA?
    Moi?
    I’m just saying what I think and my comments on this thread have been entirely substantive. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in the comment section of a blog?

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag provoked Outraged, and soon got her exactly where she wanted to.
    Now this cretin is threatening with pogroms.

    Reply

  40. Outraged American says:

    Wig you make an excellent case that the Joos control the US-do
    you realize that you’re doing it?
    Jews (and of course not all) moan on and on and have for
    centuries about the goyim’s perception of them, and how they
    don’t really control the money or finance wars, and yet here you
    are Wig openly celebrating it.
    You are reveling in the fact, and it is a fact, that Jews and their
    Kemo Sabes, the Christian Zionists, are directing US foreign
    policy to disastrous effect.
    And the best or rather worst part of this whole pile of steaming
    crap is that you, Wig, and your type, are getting away with this
    as the world is about to become a conflagaration because of one
    shitty little country THAT YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE THE GUTS TO
    LIVE IN.
    Because people like Norheim over there with his centuries of
    European guilt about the way his clans people treated the Jews,
    and Kervick who appears to be the product of a traditional US
    education, i.e., the belief drummed into American kids that the
    Jewish Holocaust is sacrosanct — can’t bring themselves to tell
    you and your kind, solely because you’re Jewish, that they would
    rather have Israel go down in flames then the rest of the world
    drawn into Israel’s OUTRAGEOUS (TM me) paranoia and
    unquenchable aggression.
    Again, you want pogroms, you’re going to get them. But you’re
    going to take my nephews, who have Jewish last names, down
    with you, and for that alone, I’m going to be the one to shove
    that shuffleboard paddle up your nostril.

    Reply

  41. WigWag says:

    You make a very interesting point, Kotzabasis. It’s not the limits of American power that have been exposed; what has been exposed is the sheer idiocy of the Obama strategy.
    Perhaps you will agree with me that Ben Katcher is at his silliest when he says this,
    “Steve Clemons has discussed on this blog the importance of perceptions of power in international relations – and the immense harm that the Bush administration inflicted upon American interests by exposing America’s military, economic, and moral limits…”
    Certainly no one will defend the Bush Administration’s foreign policy as particularly competent; but has Obama’s been any better?
    When it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the parties negotiated almost continuously during the last year Bush was in office; during Obama’s first year in office there hasn’t been even one negotiating session. After the Gaza War, the Sunni Arab nations and Israel were working more cooperatively than ever (they all encouraged Israel to attack Hamas) now relations between nations in the region are fraying. When Bush was in office, Abbas showed flexibility; since Obama has been in office, Abbas has been more intransigent than ever.
    In what foreign policy arena has Obama done better than Bush? Afghanistan? Pakistan? Iraq? Russia?
    It’s time to start contemplating the reality that Obama looks like he’s turning into a failed President.
    The jury is still out, but when it comes to foreign policy, as incompetent as the Bush Administration was, it looks more competent than the policies of the current occupant of the Oval Office.

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    The blacks in South Africa eventually won their political rights – not because of US
    support, but despite the lack of US support. The situation in Israel is slowly becoming
    similar on many levels. The Palestinians may eventually win, despite US support of the
    oppressive side in the conflict.

    Reply

  43. kotzabasis says:

    Clemons is using the ‘shamanistic’ art, the art of a conjurer, to turn the limits of imagination into “the limits of American power.” The “aborted attempt” of the Obama administration to “persuade the Israelis to enact a “settlement freeze”, has nothing to do with US power limits but with lack of imagination and political insight on the part of the White House and the State Department not to foresee the political implausibility of trying to impose such a doltish demand on the Netanyahu government. It’s a dismal failure of policy and not a limit of American power as Clemons in his conjurer’s role avers.
    As for Levy’s ”assymetries of power,” WigWag’s post is instructive and unassailable in its historical logic.

    Reply

  44. WigWag says:

    Another thing that’s interesting to speculate about is what the results of yesterday’s elections will have on Obama’s Middle East initiatives.
    Clearly it was a bad day for Democrats. While they won the special congressional election in upstate New York, they lost the Virginia Governor’s seat after controlling it for eight years. The Republican candidate also defeated the Democratic candidate for the Attorney General’s position in Virginia.
    Even more amazingly, the Democrats lost the Governor’s office in the blueist of blue states, New Jersey. Chris Christie (the Bush era United States Attorney for New Jersey) defeated the uber wealthy Jon Corzine.
    The results of these races have to be a wake up call for an Obama Administration that will be increasingly focused on the 2010 races and getting ready to run again in 2012.
    Ironically, all of this will work to Netanyahu’s benefit. Obama and the Democrats will be increasingly unwilling to antagonize Jewish supporters whom they rely on for votes in critical swing states and districts and for campaign contributions.
    It was interesting to see that Chris Van Hollen voted in favor of H Res 867. Van Hollen has been less dogmatically pro-Israel than many members of the House leadership; since Obama was elected, Van Hollen has taken a nuanced position about Israel and Palestine. But Van Hollen runs the DCCC and fundraising has been off. He also may harbor aspirations to run for Governor or Senator from Maryland.
    In light of this, Van Hollen voted “aye” on H Res 867.
    As the next several months go by, expect to see Obama move closer and closer to the Israeli position and expect to see his enthusiasm for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians wane.
    If he doesn’t, expect to witness dramatic reductions in Democratic seats during the next election.
    Rahm Emanuel will never let that happen.

    Reply

  45. ... says:

    steve, i think it is completely unrealistic to expect anything from the usa with regard to the i/p issue.. the proof is in the resolution 867 passed yesterday in congress.. the us could help stop the settlement advancements by cutting off ‘us non profit’ bankrolling of these same west bank settlements as well, but it doesn’t… the usa is not an honest broker, but a broker that has taken the same side consistently… talk is cheap… that is all the usa has demonstrated, time and time again…
    israel has the power and palestine doesn’t… i agree with wigwag.. they get to call the shots… any thinking person can see this… a settlement between the 2 calls for a more powerful country or group of countries to articulate the direction in this conflict and ensure their are consequences if these terms are not followed.. the usa has shown itself to be incapable of doing this… why go on expecting something different from the usa in any of this??? it is completely foolish..
    i mostly agree with wigwag..i come at this from a diametrically opposite pov though… israel has successfully bullied its way since it’s 1948 inception and at some point in time the result is not going to be pretty.. in the meantime, the usa is not a neutral voice in this region and it never has been… more people need to wake up to this, especially ordinary americans who do happen to have an opportunity to vote…

    Reply

  46. DonS says:

    ” . . .you would probably be amazed to hear how much pot smoking goes on.”
    Not really. A significant indicator of pot use is a false sense of clarity and insight. You’re either smoking or have a mondo contact high.

    Reply

  47. WigWag says:

    *And now, let me introduce you to our commenter WigWag – the crack cocaine realist/chauvinist on the Israel/Palestine issue.* (Paul Norheim)
    Crack cocaine is not that prevalent in my condo community (as far as I know) but you would probably be amazed to hear how much pot smoking goes on.

    Reply

  48. Paul Norheim says:

    Correction: the crack cocaine chauvinist.

    Reply

  49. Paul Norheim says:

    And now, let me introduce you to our commenter WigWag – the crack cocaine realist on the
    Israel/Palestine issue.

    Reply

  50. WigWag says:

    *After all of my questions, it is worth recognizing the question that is actually being asked of America from the citizens of the Middle East themselves: When will there be a serious American implementation plan for a two-state solution that recognizes the asymmetries of power and vital needs of each party and that is determinedly pursued by an administration which has, from day one, made Israeli-Palestinian peace a strategic American priority? On this question, we are all still waiting for an answer.* (Daniel Levy)
    I think by now the answer to Daniel Levy’s question is pretty evident. When will there be a serious implementation plan?
    Never.
    Daniel Levy is right that there asymmetries of power between Israelis and Palestinians. Asymmetries of the type that Daniel Levy is talking about always result when there is a war and one side wins and the other loses. Of course, in the case of Israel and its Arab opponents there have been 4 wars in the past six decades (6 if you count the recent Gaza and Lebanon conflicts) in all of them the results were the same; a victorious IDF and a defeated Arab enemy. The idea that this would produce asymmetries should be surprising to no one.
    Weren’t there asymmetries between the victorious allied powers and the defeated axis powers? How about between the North and the South during the Civil War? What about asymmetries between the Mexicans and the Americans during the Mexican American War.
    Were those wars settled by some third party trying to counteract the asymmetries that are the inevitable result of the existence of a winner and a loser? Can Steve Clemons or Daniel Levy cite even one example of the losing party in a war negotiating with the winning party on equal terms? Exactly how carefully did the Americans, French, British and Russians consult with the Germans, Austrians and Italians when they set the borders of Europe after World War II?
    The idea that the United States can or should counteract the asymmetries that exist between Israelis and Palestinians is delusional. It won’t work and there’s no historical precedent for it. If the United States and Europe are really interested in helping the Palestinians they would be better off helping them come to grips with their defeat. Everyone agrees that the maximal aspirations of the Palestinians will never be met. It’s time to face the reality that their intermediary aspirations won’t be met either. Instead, they have little choice but to take whatever they can get. The United States can encourage Israel to be generous, but the reality is that for all the belly aching of Israel’s critics, the United States has far less leverage over Israel than many would like to believe.
    That’s why Obama was incapable of getting his settlement freeze. It’s not that he didn’t want one. It’s that the domestic political situation in the United States and the international realities made him incapable of securing a settlement freeze.
    Levy and Clemons are just spinning their wheels. If they have some plan to move the peace process forward given the realities of the situation (as opposed to their fantasies about how they wish the world was), they should spell that plan out.
    Otherwise its just useless talk that provides little more than fodder for people who like to rant and rave on blogs.

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  51. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Pffffft.
    Thats how quickly Obama and Clinton’s credibility went down the tubes this week. There is no chance in hell of these two resurrecting their standing with the global Muslim community.
    In a constructive and well intentioned political setting, Hillary would either be fired by now, or will have resigned. But in today’s world of bizzarro politics, ineptitude and gross negligence is not grounds for banishment, but instead is a requisite for advancement.
    Personally I trust this woman not. I think she was probably arm and arm with Hoyer and Reid behind the scenes, and who knows what the power grabbing witch had to say to Lieberman behind closed doors?
    But now, with this house vote on Goldstone, it is ludicrous to think, or expect, the Muslim community to trust United States’ policy, politicians, motives, or public pronouncements. Our government has exposed themselves, at the highest levels, as subservient pawns of the zionist agenda. In simple terms, these whores in DC are working feverishly to make matters WORSE in the Middle East, and they are accomplishing this task perfectly. These developments this past week are going to manifest themselves in buckets of blood, and these pieces of shit in Washington DC are up to their necks in it.

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  52. samuelburke says:

    Turkey PM: If you don’t want Iran to have nukes, give yours up
    Last update – 20:10 31/10/2009
    Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that countries opposed to Iran’s atomic program should give up their own nuclear weapons, and attacked as “arrogant” the sanctions imposed on Ankara’s neighbor.
    He also said he wanted the Middle East, and then the whole world, to rid itself of nuclear weapons.
    During a trip to Iran this week, Erdogan said he backed Tehran’s “right to peaceful nuclear energy” and called its approach in nuclear talks with Western powers “positive.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1124839.html

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  53. samuelburke says:

    “In the face of an outraged Arab world, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backed off on her congratulation of Israel for merely pledging to limit settlement construction in the occupied West Bank. Previously, President Barack Obama, originally appearing to be much more friendly to the Palestinian and Arab causes than George W. Bush, told Israel, “It is time for the settlements to stop.” The president’s earlier position reinforced that of the United Nations and other international bodies: such settlement by the occupier of any territory conquered in war is against international law. The U.S. waffling demonstrates that despite Obama’s youth spent in a Muslim country and greater sensitivity to Islamic concerns than his predecessor, he will likely always be forced by domestic political considerations to come home to the mother ship of the Israeli lobby.
    Conflict in Palestine started in the 1920s and was caused by Jewish immigration, beginning in the late 1800s, to a land they hadn’t populated in great numbers since the Roman Empire. To win Arab support against the Turks during World War I, Britain, attempting to expand its empire, cynically promised the Arabs postwar independence, which was not granted. Then to win support for the British war effort from the United States and its Jewish minority, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which promised the Jews a homeland (not a state). After having promised the same land to two peoples, Britain planned to withdraw from Palestine. In 1947, the UN voted to partition Palestine, but give the Jews – who owned only 6 percent of Palestine – a whopping 56 percent of the land.”
    http://original.antiwar.com/eland/2009/11/03/knocking-our-heads-against-a-wall-in-palestine/

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