US-Saudi Relations in a World Without Equilibrium

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King Abdullah Barack Obama.jpgOn Monday, 27 April, I will be co-chairing a major national policy forum on US-Saudi economic and strategic perspectives on the Middle East and global economic and security system.
We have quite a line-up which I’ll share below. C-Span will be airing parts of the conference, but the entire program will run live here on The Washington Note — and video will be posted here for later viewing.
This weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Israel and Iraq. There are as yet unsubstantiated rumors that she may drop in on some other countries as well — but we do know that State Department Special Advisor for The Gulf and Southwest Asia Dennis Ross will be in Saudi Arabia on Monday and Presidential special envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell will be in Saudi Arabia this next week as well. All of this is happening while we are holding this US-Saudi policy forum in Washington, DC.
Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir has been called back to the Saudi Kingdom yesterday to advise the King in the meeting with Dennis Ross and other as yet unannounced officials.
Other members of the Obama national security team are traveling as well — to points not announced, but my guess is that we have a large chunk of our national security and diplomatic representatives focused on affairs in the region this weekend and next week.
So, big stuff is up.
A source in the White House has shared with me that there is a lot underway right now with Saudi Arabia — and things are “sensitive.” I have no idea what is sensitive — but I do know that the US-Saudi relationship lies at the nexus of many key issues in the region — from the solvency of King Abdullah’s Arab Peace Initiative given trends in Israel and Palestine, to potential opportunities with Syria, to dealing with Iran’s transnational meddling in the affairs inside other countries in the region, to Iraq’s stability, and perhaps most vital at the moment — to figuring out a stabilization scheme for Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Saudi Arabia has significant influence.
I think Secretary of State Clinton and members of the Obama administration’s diplomatic team are working hard on all of these policy fronts in the region. But that said, I believe that the administration is still not as serious as it should be or could be in giving the US-Saudi relationship the attention and respect it deserves — inside Washington, DC.
Because of cultural dissimilarities and almost a purposeful “remoteness” that has become institutionalized in the US-Saudi relationship, except when behind closed doors — or perhaps in the privacy of the oval office or big estates here or there, or in Riyadh — the US-Saudi relationship remains “overly exotic” — and is not acted out in public view to the degree it should be.
The conference that follows below will hopefully become a starting point for a more regular, public exchange of views on the key strategic and economic challenges that face the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the broader Middle East and international system.
Whether many Americans want to acknowledge it or not, the fact is that the US-Saudi relationship is vital to America’s geostrategic and geoeconomic interests today — and like all diplomatic frameworks between key geostrategic players, this relationship as seen from both the American and the Saudi sides has warts and shortcomings. Nonetheless, it is not healthy to allow a vital relationship to be perceived and discussed through only very narrow lenses.
What we have coming up on Monday is pretty significant in my view, and I am grateful to officials in the Obama administration and in the Saudi Kingdom — as well as other private sector speakers — for supporting the kind of open encounter we are promoting in this meeting.
Everyone speaking at this forum — which has been organized jointly by the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program and the Committee for International Trade of the Saudi Chambers of Commerce — is important, but some of the headliners are:

Under Secretary of State WILLIAM BURNS
Former Saudi Ambassador to US Prince TURKI AL-FAISAL
International Peace Institute Chair RITA HAUSER
Financial Times Washington Bureau Chief EDWARD LUCE
Saudi Minister of Finance IBRAHIM AL-ASSAF
Former National Security Advisor ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI
Former National Security Advisor BRENT SCOWCROFT
State Department Policy Planning Director ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER
UK Ambassador to the US NIGEL SHEINWALD
Former CIA, State, and National Security Council Senior Official FLYNT LEVERETT
French Ambassador to the US PIERRE VIMONT
Saudi Minister of Commerce ABDULLAH ALIREZA
BusinessWeek Washington Bureau Chief JANE SASSEEN
Saudi Monetary Agency Governor MUHAMMAD AL-JASSER
Senate Foreign Relations Committee International Economics Chief HEIDI CREBO-REDIKER
Former US Senator and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia WYCHE FOWLER
Jadwa Investments Chief Economist BRAD BOURLAND
New America Foundation Geopolitics of Energy Initiative Director and former National Security Council Senior Director for the Middle East FLYNT LEVERETT
Saudi Royal Court Advisor ABDULRAHMAN AL-SAEED
Department of Defense Principal Deputy Asst for International Security Affairs JOSEPH McMILLAN
. . .and others

The public part of the conference starts at 8:30 am on Monday, 27 April at the Georgetown Four Seasons Hotel but will be aired here live.
The event is already full beyond capacity — so watching the streaming on the internet may be most comfortable for folks.


The entire program is here:

The New America Foundation and the Committee for International Trade
cordially invite you to a major national policy forum
US-SAUDI RELATIONS IN A WORLD WITHOUT EQUILIBRIUM
Monday, 27 April 2009
The Four Seasons Hotel
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC

8:00 am
Registration & Coffee
8:45 am
Welcoming Remarks
9:00 am
A Forward Projection of What the Saudi-US Relationship Should Look Like and Needs to Achieve


The Honorable Chuck Hagel

Former United States Senator
Distinguished Professor in the Practice of National Governance, Georgetown University
Chairman, Atlantic Council of the United States
His Excellency HRH Turki Al-Faisal
Chairman, King Faisal Center for Research & Islamic Studies
Former Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States
Former Director, Saudi Arabia Intelligence Services
Rita E. Hauser
Chairperson, International Peace Institute
Chair, Director’s Council, New America Foundation
The Honorable Zbigniew Brzezinski
Trustee & Counselor, Center for Strategic & International Studies
Chair, Center for Middle East Public Policy, RAND Corporation
Former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter
Co-Author, America and the World: Conversations on the Future of US Foreign Policy
The Honorable Abdulla Alireza
Minister of Commerce, Saudi Arabia
moderator
Steve Clemons
Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
Publisher, The Washington Note
10:30 am
Economics as a National Security Imperative: Challenges for Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

The Honorable Ibrahim Al-Assaf
Minister of Finance, Saudi Arabia
Brad Bourland
Chief Economist, Jadwa Investments
Former Chief Economist, Samba Financial Group
The Honorable Muhammad Al-Jasser
Governor, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority
Heidi Crebo-Rediker
Chief, International Finance and Economics
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Flynt Leverett
Director, Geopolitics of Energy Initiative, New America Foundation
Former Senior Director for the Middle East, National Security Council
moderator
Jane Sasseen
Washington Bureau Chief, BusinessWeek

12:00 pm
Blackberry Break
12:15 pm
Luncheon and Address
America’s Strategic Choices and Challenges in the Arabian Gulf and Beyond

The Honorable William J. Burns
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Former US Ambassador to Russia
1:45 pm
Blackberry Break

2:00 pm
Through Saudi Arabia’s Window and Other Lenses: Middle East Dynamics and Stakeholder Challenges

The Honorable Anne-Marie Slaughter
Director of Policy Planning, Department of State
Former Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton University
His Excellency Nigel Sheinwald
Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United States
Former Foreign Policy and Defense Adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair

The Honorable Abdulrahman Al-Saeed

Director General, Specialized Studies Center/Riyadh
Advisor to the Royal Court

The Honorable Wyche Fowler

Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Former United States Senator

Joseph McMillan

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs
Department of Defense
His Excellency Pierre Vimont
Ambassador of France to the United States
Former Chief of Staff to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of France
moderator
Edward Luce
Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times
3:30 pm
Closing Comments and Adjournment

Steve Clemons
Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
and Publisher, The Washington Note
The Honorable Abdulrahman Al-Saeed
Director General, Specialized Studies Center/Riyadh
Advisor to the Royal Court

— Steve Clemons

Comments

81 comments on “US-Saudi Relations in a World Without Equilibrium

  1. Sand says:

    POA Website Advisory Warning:
    If I were you I wouldn’t go over to the TM site for a couple of days — A news story has just hit over at huffingtonpost that there could be pictures that confirm the Clinton’s are in ‘still’ in love…
    Yes — it ‘COULD’ be true!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/29/bill-and-hillary-a-great-_n_192836.html
    P.S. Not sure about the Nanny Mcphee nose tho’

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I`ve read some of POA`s posts on TM`s site. Though he hasn´t
    been exactly polite towards his fellow commenters there, he has
    certainly delivered lots of content and substance.
    “I`ve also read the posts at TWN from TM contributors, attacking
    POA. They have not delivered anything substantial so far – only
    personal complains regarding POA`s character”
    “Especially ArtisRevolution is obviously on some nasty personal vendetta –
    he`s even gone so far as to post gossip about POA recently on
    very old posts (I discovered a couple by accident yesterday
    while I was searching for something else)”
    Which makes it all the more interesting that Marsh has blocked me from posting topics of discussion, yet has not blocked me from commenting. It seems that criticizing Hillary or Israel is a giant no-no over there, and the complaints about my demeanor were just an excuse to filter out oppositional opinions that were not in lockstep with the Marshmellow Collective.

    Reply

  3. ... says:

    dan kervick – i agree… while i find wigwags talk down approach a bit annoying( maybe they don’t view themselves this way), i have had some conversations with wigwag in the past that were enjoyable… i think the site wouldn’t be near as interesting if wigwag wasn’t here, and wigwag usually always seems well informed even if i don’t share the same bias…

    Reply

  4. David says:

    Character, for the purpose of threads like this, is in the substance of the argument, a function of intellectual honesty and intellectual integrity. Insight is a product of comprehensive intellectual inquiry and intellectual strength. If one doesn’t arrive at genuine insight, the exercise is a failure, and if the insight does not either lead to the bettering of the human condition, or at least not a worsening, what the hell is the point, particulary for contemporary humankind and the global debacles confronting us?
    In my personal experience, there is also a positive correlation between insightful intellectual honesty and humanist moral character, the only kind of character that particularly matters to me. The “integrity” of belief systems and adherents to those belief systems I find have a less admirable track record. I don’t care how sincerely someone believes something if that belief is ultimately inhumane (e.g. scripture-based homophobia). I am simply troubled by the consequences of someone being blinded by such a belief. I do not respect the “sincerity of one’s beliefs.” I respect the consequences of one’s beliefs.

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    I`ve read some of POA`s posts on TM`s site. Though he hasn´t
    been exactly polite towards his fellow commenters there, he has
    certainly delivered lots of content and substance.
    I`ve also read the posts at TWN from TM contributors, attacking
    POA. They have not delivered anything substantial so far – only
    personal complains regarding POA`s character. Especially
    ArtisRevolution is obviously on some nasty personal vendetta –
    he`s even gone so far as to post gossip about POA recently on
    very old posts (I discovered a couple by accident yesterday
    while I was searching for something else).
    We at TWN know POA very well, and need no info regarding his
    character. We notice that you`ve created some pet demon to
    attack, and now you`re in bed with that demon, behaving
    exactly as you accuses your demon of behaving – even worse. If
    you have anything to say regarding the issues discussed here
    and the views of fellow commenters, please comment. But if you
    intend to continue the personal attacks, please stop it. We are
    not interested.

    Reply

  6. arthurdecco says:

    Dan Kervick,
    Wig Wag doesn’t debate. Wig Wag lies. With every key stroke.
    You, on the other hand, add value to every conversation you join, even to those where I passionately disagree with your opinions, Dan.
    Carroll, As usual, you nailed it on all points.
    ArtsRevolution, f__k off.
    And POA, please keep knocking heads. If the comments that have been made here by the characters infesting Marsh’s site are any indication of their overall intelligence or a display of the strength of their arguments, we know they’re not using them for much more than hat racks anyway.

    Reply

  7. Surly Duck says:

    Clarification: I meant those from TM trashing POA, not regulars. Regulars usually have a point to make/something to say.

    Reply

  8. Dan Kervick says:

    Speaking for myself, I don’t hate WigWag at all. If WagWag weren’t here, there wouldn’t be many people to debate.

    Reply

  9. sportsfan says:

    Even POA and wig-wag would be happier. Most people over at Taylor Marsh hate POA and they think that he is a loud mouth. They would be glad to get rid of him. His nastiness seems to have won him alot of admirers at the washingtonote.com. On the other hand, wig-way is hated over here. His crazy views on the Middle East would be much more welcome at Taylor Marsh where alot of people agree with him.
    The rest of us would be spared the constant back and forth between POA and ArtisRevolution and wig-wag and Kervick that most of us find so boring.
    Ban them both and give peace a chance.

    Reply

  10. Surly Duck says:

    Very entertaining! I’m with Sportsfan.
    I noticed none of those trashing POA were interested in the actual discussion at hand.

    Reply

  11. David says:

    So long as they don’t use up too much of the TWN bandwidth (or whatever it’s called), just scroll on past comments that don’t seem to advance thinking on a particular issue. Potty mouth is fine with me. Uninsightful commentary is useless, but one can pretty quickly determine whose comments to read and whose to read on past. My only regret would be if informed, insightful people were deterred from commenting.

    Reply

  12. Dan Kervick says:

    sportsfan,
    I think a better approach is for people to try to stick to debating other people’s views and arguments, and avoid the distracting and off-topic pursuit of interpersonal conflict.

    Reply

  13. sportsfan says:

    Interesting thread. POA must have an ego as big as his mouth. The solution here is simple. Steve Clemons and Taylor Marsh should get together. Steve should trade Wigwag to Taylor and in return Taylor should trade POA back to WashingtonNote.com. Everyone at both blogs would be happy. Washington Note readers would no longer have to put up with Wigwag’s stupidity and Taylor Marsh readers would no longer have to put up with POA’s potty mouth.
    Another solution would be for Taylor to ban POA and Steve to ban Wigwag.
    Both blogs would improve and this stupid back and forth would stop.

    Reply

  14. DavidT says:

    Hey Steve,
    It would be nice if you solicited feedback / suggested questions for some of the speakers at your event (and other events like this one). I’m sure you have many clever thoughts but I wonder whether you might get additional ideas from some of your commenters (and might expand your number of commenters).
    I, for one, would like to hear what the various Saudi officials have to say in explaining their system of government to Americans — so we can understand for example what its like to live under sharia law or how they deal with the madrasses that we’ve been told teach great enmity towards the West and whether there are policies it has conducted over the years that may have contributed to 19 of the 20 9/11 hijackers being Saudi nationals. I don’t mean this to be accusatory but rather an important issue for the Saudis to grapple with in order to find a more sympathetic American public (especially if the Saudi-American relationship as you maintain is so important to our two countries).
    Thanks.

    Reply

  15. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by Sand, Apr 26 2009, 2:58PM – Link
    ArtIsRevolution
    that would be GREAT advice for POA. it really would.

    Reply

  16. Sand says:

    ArtIsRevolution
    Grow Up!

    Reply

  17. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by Sand, Apr 26 2009, 2:48PM – Link
    If you want to chat about POA please go back to the TM site. Thanking you in anticipation.
    as soon as he reciprocates I’d be glad to… it’s in his hands. now.
    thanks.

    Reply

  18. Sand says:

    ArtIsRevolution” “….and oh looky
    POA’s got 2 new threads posted at TaylorMarsh.com this morning.
    he obviously hates the attention he gets there. 😉
    “he can’t quit us” ;)…”
    But I would like to quit you… Please — go away.
    You are basically doing what you claim POA to be doing. You’ve provided absolutely no thought provoking content to your posts. If you want to chat about POA please go back to the TM site. Thanking you in anticipation.

    Reply

  19. ArtIsRevolution says:

    and oh looky
    POA’s got 2 new threads posted at TaylorMarsh.com this morning.
    he obviously hates the attention he gets there. 😉
    “he can’t quit us” 😉

    Reply

  20. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by David, Apr 26 2009, 1:14PM – Link
    but sometimes it was hard to keep moronic idea and moron separated.
    what about a universe where anyone who challenges you is an “asshole” or a “twit” a universe where insults are not reserved for those that might earn them but cast out willy nilly at anyone and everyone? That’s a sign of inherent weakness, of character and idea.
    that’s POA’s universe.

    Reply

  21. David says:

    “A million dead Iraqis, an infrastructure destroyed, four million more displaced, and we are going to blame the victims. Sweet.”
    Pretty restrained expression of a reality that belongs under the heading “Appalling GD War Crimes.” I’m still waiting for POA to be wrong on any essential point, however vulgar/common/Anglo-Saxon some of his posts might be. Worth remembering why the Anglo-Saxon word shit is vulgar and the Latinate word defecate is not.
    Regarding HRC, the only thing I don’t know is the extent to which our current SoS who once called for even-handedness in the Israeli-Palestinian debacle can re-emerge – remember, she, like Howard Dean in ’04, got crucified for suggesting such a thing, and she is a political animal. No need to remind people of how even the Democratic establishment pilloried Carter for correctly calling what is happening to the Palestinians apartheid, or the vitriolic attacks on Carter for speaking reasonably about the Israeli-Palestinian debacle.
    Hillary does have a strong humanitarian track record on several fronts, especially women’s and children’s issues, and she is best positioned to be able to bring something worthy of American foreign policy to the Middle East, if that is Obama’s intent and her objective. Reminds me of only Nixon being able to get away with opening up US-China relations.
    I find myself more interested in answers to the substance of POA’s comments than worrying about his full-spectrum use of the commoner’s English. I do understand the reaction to personal attacks, but then sometimes a shithead really is a shithead. I go the other way because of I am a retired community college teacher, and in my teaching days eschewed personal attacks, except occasionally in the teacher’s lounge when dealing with a retired colonel who thought Mussolini had some good ideas, or when I was subjected to a tirade against teachers’ unions. I tried to keep it on a moronic idea track, but sometimes it was hard to keep moronic idea and moron separated.

    Reply

  22. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Apr 26 2009, 12:53PM – Link
    you’re grasping at straws and you’re very close to the last, precious, one…

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “God we can only hope that need to link has left you”
    Hey, haven’t you heard? God’s on my side. Like me, he doesn’t abide whimpering weenies excusing genocide.
    But he does have a sense of humor, or else Taylor’s computer woulda evaporated in a flash of lightning long ago.

    Reply

  24. a says:

    God we can only hope that need to link has left you.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, it was certainly nice of the Marshmellows to come on over and underscore my observations. It seems they have graciously removed the need to link to their cave in order to investigate my assertions.

    Reply

  26. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Apr 26 2009, 10:57AM – Link
    “It’s not what you say – it’s how you say it that counts”
    Hmmm, ok, I’ll give it a try…
    “Lynnette, darling, will you do me a huuuuge favor, and when you waddle your sweet little posterior back to the Marshmellow Collective”
    Why do you hate women so much? Is it a childhood thing?… the really bad divorce? c’mon, share with us.

    Reply

  27. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by Carroll, Apr 26 2009, 1:56AM – Link
    To the TM crew…
    POA doesn’t suffer fools gladly…as you have learned.
    The country needs more like him.More angry, profane, passionate people.
    What we don’t need is more foppy little nattering followers”
    wow, you use the EXACT same phrasing as POA you are either suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or POA has a feminine side…

    Reply

  28. angels81 says:

    Hey POA, you don’t need Lynnette to carry your water for you, seeing as you already have been there to post this morning. For someone who say’s he doesn’t like anything about TM site, you sure spend a lot of time there. It must be some kind of sex thing with ya, because I sure can’t think of anything else.

    Reply

  29. DonS says:

    Obama has shown very selective interest in confronting the status quo, whether one thinks he spends capital wisely or merely predictably. Given Liberman’s brazen rhetoric, and waiting for the second shoe to drop on ‘change’ vis a vis Iran, as several have noted, the pieces are in place to move the process. But what we know about the ME, espceially I-P, is that the ‘peace process’ never moves quickly, only the war process. And also given that there are few political upsides to pushing I-P (except that it makes sense over the long terms of sanity in American policy), I expect more foot dragging and rhetoric.
    No way will Israel be dictated to by the U.S.; the U.S. relinquished hardball to the AIPAC crowd years ago. Nor does the U.S. policy establishment have the interest or will to push Israel has hard as is required. Witness the Freeman omen.

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It’s not what you say – it’s how you say it that counts”
    Hmmm, ok, I’ll give it a try…
    Lynnette, darling, will you do me a huuuuge favor, and when you waddle your sweet little posterior back to the Marshmellow Collective, be so kind as to tell Angels I’d be highly appreciative if he’d humor me by engaging in a session of sexual intercourse with himself?
    Thank you in advance, sweetie. I hope you have a wonderful and fruitful Sunday, and that butterflies flutter on your lawn today.

    Reply

  31. Dan Kervick says:

    In connection with our previous discussion, here is some information on what actual Arab people – as opposed to a few West-aligned Sunni elites, think about the Iranian nuclear issue and Iran’s influence in the region. This is Shibley Telhami’s 2008 survey. The 2009 survey is not yet available.
    Note particularly slides 23-35 and 95-97.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=3&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sadat.umd.edu%2Fsurveys%2F2008%2520Arab%2520Public%2520Opinion%2520Survey.ppt&ei=_l_0ScaxJ8zHtgfn04XtDw&usg=AFQjCNHUZeDo9gHk3iliZMWnYIfhidKtcQ

    Reply

  32. questions says:

    Re Dan’s post on “taking care” of Iran. My question is how many times already have we “taken care” of Iran and how has it worked out? The Shah? The Iran/Iraq war? It’s still not “taken care” of. Surely there are people in the admin who realize pretty deeply that one does not simply “take care” of a nation. In the international scene, one must rely on providing incentives to the players such that it makes some kind of sense to behave in a more internationally constructive way rather than in a destructive way. (Same thing happens with individuals in Congress, by the way.) (And I think blowback and the law of unintended consequences, and something akin to chaos theory are likely the biggest players of all.)
    Somehow internal domestic power plays have to have international space, there must be credit to claim, blame to avoid, leaders need to be re-elected (even if it’s by 99% of the voters).
    Iran needs a victory, Netanyahu needs a victory, Hamas needs a victory…all simultaneously. What a shame they can’t all get blue “participant” ribbons and go home.
    And given that game theory is more predictive of rational action and unified states, and these actors aren’t either, I wouldn’t venture to make predictions about how it’ll all play out.

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    BTW..I just went and looked at this thread on POA’s post at TM:
    http://www.taylormarsh.com/2009/04/24/gaza-remember-by-gideon-levy/
    It has the typical Israel apologist with the typical well worn ..”but,but,but look at nasty Hamas! Hamas doesn’t care the Palestines either”!
    O.K. let’s look at Hamas. Israel has 240 illegal settlements and is expanding as we speak and is doing it with force and trillion in US taxpayer provided equipmment and arms. Hamas is a resistance movement against Israel’s confiscation of Palestine. What?…you expect them to lay down and roll over and get shot in the head with tear gas cannisters while they are non violently protesting the theft of their land?
    We didn’t throw King George out of America with non violent protest. Did we expect rebels and civilians to die in our revolution? Yep. And frankly if I were Hamas or a Palestine I would be in the basement baking up bombs for Israel night and day to get my land back and out from under those midget nazis.
    You know every liberal and progressive blog and group has moved on from defending Israel. Even DKos,once the hang out for Israeli activist, has turned, front paged with disapproval the Israeli rampage on Gaza and the Israeli activist and fanatics there have been marginlized and are losing 70 to 1 to objective, informed commenters who are past fed up with all things Israeli and their apologist in the I-P deal.
    I don’t know who Taylor Marsh is and don’t care, except she obviously thinks she can be some kind of political blog ‘player’ by providing an echo chamber for dems and what looks like mostly Israeli activist and by imitating the six of one half dozen of another double speak of politican’s usual yada,yada …. pretending everything is one of those famous “differences of opinions” on which “reasonable people can disagree”…and staying away from anything absolute like the big T of Truth. That blog will never make a difference in anything,it’s just a conversation pit.
    But I agree with telling POA to stay away, it would be a waste of his time to post there.

    Reply

  34. Carroll says:

    To the TM crew…
    POA doesn’t suffer fools gladly…as you have learned.
    The country needs more like him.More angry, profane, passionate people.
    What we don’t need is more foppy little nattering followers and party lemmings who don’t even understand what is really going on and are only on blogs to find friends or political soulmates or have their opinions reinforced or have “conservations”, and heaven forbid they might have to give up their computer “parlor games” by admitting that POA is 99% of the time right on the money and actually do something,like face the harsh reality that being ‘civil’ about evil and stupidy just enables it to continue.
    Whoever’s feelings he hurt probably deserved it. There’s only so much stupidity a person can stand.
    ————————————————
    Obama should listen to the Saudis but remember that what the Saudis want most is to preserve their own status quo…I am sure however, he knows that already. Or he should.
    ———————————————-
    Elliot Abrams is sociopath and zionist cult member and an Israeli agent. He would be as valuable in a discussion of the ME as a water moccasin in a rubber raft.
    ———————————————
    As for I-P, the US policy should be based on the fact that every time an Israeli opens his mouth he lies. Therefore Obama should promise to attack Iran as soon as a working Palestine state is established. And then say…’oh that, you thought that is what I said? I didn’t really say that.I just said we would discuss Iran for as long as you like, years and years even…after you met all my conditions on I-P”.

    Reply

  35. ... says:

    sanctions from the usa are only put on iran, not israel… that is more of the hypocrisy the usa under bush stood for and obama is happy to continue with… no american president or politician seems capable of standing up to the little dictator in the middle east who is busy telling everyone what a threat ‘iran’ is to it, or iraq was before… the pattern is obvious and obama is not showing any sign of being able to break free from it..

    Reply

  36. Dan Kervick says:

    I myself think there will probably be a Palestinian state eventually, WigWag. It looks like it is going to consist of an apartment building and a couple of soccer fields about halfway between Ramallah and Nablus. At least the Palestinians can have an Olympic team. Behold the future National Mall of Palestine:
    http://www.palestinetoday.org/gallery/february-2007/February_28_2007_Lama_Abu_Iseifan_Photo_by_Nayef_Hashlamoun
    I’m not sure I understand the connection between “taking care” of Iran’s nuclear program, and the separate question of the smuggling of small arms and rockets into Palestine. Unless the taking care part involves nuking Iran and turning the whole country to cinders and glass, or sinking every little boat in its ports, then I assume the Iranians will retain the capacity to make and export small arms and rockets. The question is whether they will have a continuing desire to do so. As the Iranians have said many times, they will accept any deal the Palestinian people accept. So I think the Obama approach – if he were thinking smart, which I am beginning to doubt – should be to establish a viable Palestinian state that the majority of Palestinians can accept. That’s the key to stabilizing and pacifying the region.
    If Obama is seduced by the notion that some outlandish Israeli preconditions have to be met first, he’ll be falling for the same tired and unproductive con that his predecessors have swallowed many times in the past. The Israelis have been in the West Bank since 1967, but the whole Iranian nuke fuss is just the crisis of the month. If the US “takes care” of Iran, there will be some new crisis and precondition. Isn’t it time some White House occupant gets a clue and realizes that the Israeli occupation isn’t about taking care of any “problem.” They just want the damn land.
    In the end, Obama needs to wrap his head around the idea that the Israelis in the West Bank are like Saddam in Kuwait. You can’t end a blatant land grab by appeasing the land-grabbers. Either you haplessly accept the land grab or you take firm steps to repel it.
    The Israelis are not going to acquiesce in a Palestinian state in exchange for taking care of Iran. Even that dwindling number of Israelis who do not care that much about the West Bank lack the political will and capacity to evict half a million Jews from the occupied territories. So long as Israel faces no threat of negative sanctions of any kind as a penalty for continuing to absorb Palestine and turning it into a part of Israel, they will continue right on absorbing Palestine. And we have heard not a whisper that the administration is prepared to back up its plans with threats of sanctions.
    Also, this whole notion of “taking care” of Iran in exchange for settling the Palestinian question is illusory. Iran is a very large, populous, proud and ancient state. An attack on Iran will probably precipitate a decade of widespread regional war, possibly even world war as the world’s powers choose up sides in the great realignment in the Oil Belt that such a war would touch off. Who knows what the region will look like when the carnage is over. There might not even be an Israel or a Palestine any more. Obama better ask himself if this is a price he is willing to pay in exchange for appeasing one little expansionist state on the Mediterranean. But who knows? Maybe he wants to be another “war president”.

    Reply

  37. ... says:

    wigwag, every time to mention iran, try substituting the word ‘usa’ or israel in it’s place and see what others are seeing… when you mention ‘west bank’ substitute ‘israel’, and when you mention hamas or hezbollah, substitute ‘idf’… that is how others here see it…
    i will demonstrate with one of your paragraphs here..
    “The simple reality is that all the groups who need to cooperate to make a two state solution possible agree on one thing; ‘Israel/USA’ is a threat that needs to be dealt with. If ‘usa’ can ship ordinance to ‘israel’ (or provide financial support to ‘the idf’ in ‘israel’) ‘iran’ will never agree to withdraw. If ‘israel’ continues to be powerful enough to use proxy groups like ‘the usa’ to threaten ‘others’, they will never agree to include ‘palestine’ as an integral member of the Middle East. If ‘usa’ maintains its ability to ship arms to ‘israel’ that can threaten ‘palestinians’, ‘israel’ will never be enthused about playing a peacekeeping role.
    that is the view you’re not articulating that i hold to… in fact everything you state is like a political manifesto coming from a very one-sided angle that i am diametrically opposite to..
    4th try with captcha.. steve is busy, but this is a pain and i hope he gets it fixed sometime soon…

    Reply

  38. WigWag says:

    I think my fellow Washington Note commenters have it basically right; negotiations with Iran are a pretense and the fix is already in.
    I’m not quite as sure as Dan Kervick is that a Palestinian State in the West Bank under Palestinian Authority rule is completely out of the question. In fact, the quid quo pro that seems to be developing is that in return for the establishment of a Palestinian State, the United States will degrade if not destroy Iran’s military capabilities. Israel will never agree to a Palestinian State on the West Bank if Iran can smuggle weapons in that could hit Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. To get the Israelis to acquiesce, the United States needs to “deal with” Iran.
    Similarly, my guess is that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and even the Palestinian Authority have told Clinton and Mitchell that the price of “welcoming” Israel to the neighborhood is the US “dealing with” Iran.
    If President Obama really wants a Palestinian State on the West Bank he surely knows that a longed lived and robust peace keeping force will be required and that the United States will have to provide most of the troops for this constabulary force. The US military will not want to risk playing this peacekeeping role if insurgent groups in the area patrolled by US troops can be armed by Iran. The Pentagon has already learned this lesson the hard way in Iraq.
    The simple reality is that all the groups who need to cooperate to make a two state solution possible agree on one thing; Iran is a threat that needs to be dealt with. If Iran can ship ordinance to the West Bank (or provide financial support to Hamas on the West Bank) the Israelis will never agree to withdraw. If Iran continues to be powerful enough to use proxy groups like Hamas and Hezbollah to threaten the Egyptians, Saudis and Jordanians (not to mention the PA), they will never agree to include Israel as an integral member of the Middle East. If Iran maintains its ability to ship arms to the West Bank that can threaten US troops, the military will never be enthused about playing a peacekeeping role.
    President Obama’s position is a difficult one; to create a Palestinian State he either needs regime change in Iran or he needs to destroy Iran’s ability to support groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. And the real box Obama’s placed himself in is that negotiations will never get the job done. Even if negotiations can succeed in aborting Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, negotiations will never succeed in stopping Iran from supporting Hamas and Hezbollah. The only way Obama can achieve that goal is through military force.
    Will Obama abandon his ambitions for a two state solution during his first term or will he pursue this ambition even though it means he will have to attack Iran.
    It will be interesting to find out. But my guess is that given U.S. obligations elsewhere Obama will decide he’s not in a position to attack Iran. At that moment the President will realize that stringing the game out is the best he can do.
    That means that what Steve Clemons calls the “Middle East Peace Business” will be back in business.
    For the rest of the details, see Dan Kervick’s post above.

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The promised opening up of discussions with Iran appears dead. All we are getting from Washington is window dressing. The trend and strategy is clearly toward increasing isolation, pressure and economically crushing sanctions – likely leading to military action of some kind and a regime change effort”
    Dan has pretty much nailed it here. Hillary has made public statements that diplomacy towards Iran is just a pretense, as she is quite certain it will be less than productive, and we will need to impose stricter sanctions. Now thats “diplomacy”, eh? Kinda like saying “Yeah, we’re gonna talk to ya, but it doesn’t matter whatcha say, you’re screwed, we’re gonna stick it to ya anyway.”
    So hey, now we get to inflict hardship on a few more million Muslim’s. Maybe Israel will get lucky and we can kill a few hundred thousand of them pesky little pickaninny Muslim rugrats, like we did with the Iraq sanctions. Now that’d put a grin on Clinton and Ross’s face, wouldn’t it? Just call it a gift to that bigot Lieberman.
    Uhm, uh, gee, weren’t things ‘sposed to “change” when Obama ascended to the throne?

    Reply

  40. Dan Kervick says:

    My guess is that the reason that there are no big-time supporters of Israel speaking at Steve’s event is that, whether by accident or back-stage coordination, that event has now become part of a high-profile Saudi public diplomacy effort coinciding with a DC-Riyadh re-rollout of the Saudi peace plan. Perhaps most of Israel’s serious supporters are uncomfortable being part of that sort of effort.
    But they shouldn’t be so squeamish, because Obama might be about to make all their dreams come true. His administration is following the Dennis Ross agenda now.
    The forthcoming plan is going to call for parallel talks between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and Syria. The Israeli-Palestinian talks, which are dependent on the impotent Mahmoud Abbas and will probably lock out Hamas and Gaza, and which will involve an Israeli government that has no inclination whatsoever to pursue a settlement they don’t need, even if Abbas could deliver one, will go absolutely nowhere.
    But they spectacle of phony talks will give the Syrians some regional political cover for sitting down, and give the Saudis some domestic political cover for their increasingly public effort to work with the US and the Israelis on their anti-Iran agenda. The plan is to get a separate peace between the Syrians and Israelis. Dangled before the Syrians will be the promise of a big payday of the sort given to the Egyptians when they made up with Israel. For that payday, Syria will sell its relationship with Iran and most of its support for the Palestinians, and probably expel Palestinian resistance leaders from Syria. The Palestinians will have one less friend, and virtually no viable options left for resistance. Israel will have even less incentive than it has now to conclude a deal that creates a viable Palestinians state. Checkmate.
    The promised opening up of discussions with Iran appears dead. All we are getting from Washington is window dressing. The trend and strategy is clearly toward increasing isolation, pressure and economically crushing sanctions – likely leading to military action of some kind and a regime change effort. Those of us whose support for Obama was based in part on strong campaign suggestions of a serious “reset” of the relationship with Iran have been hosed.
    The Gazans are also going to be hosed. Oh, they might be turned into a department or dependency of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and get some substantial cash nominally administered through shiny new offices that say “Palestinian Authority” over the door. But they can kiss goodbye any hopes of a dignified existence in their own state.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Quite telling that “art” is unwilling to post under the monicker he uses at Taylor’s site. I imagine its a fear of being exposed as a shameless hypocrite.

    Reply

  42. ArtIsRevolution says:

    “Whatever. Arrest me if you wish to do so. But wait until POA starts
    to relax a bit, concentrating more on the issues than on his fellow
    bloggers.”
    He tried that, he lasted 2 days then the evil twin re-emerged.
    and BTW: I know what he’s about and it ain’t about happy endings, understanding or people getting along… it’s about mayhem. and he’s ad lot’s of practice.
    “middle class” that’s a good one Paul.

    Reply

  43. Paul Norheim says:

    “and what’s with the “middle class contributors”? what kind of rot
    is that? Sounds suspicious to me.”
    Whatever. Arrest me if you wish to do so. But wait until POA starts
    to relax a bit, concentrating more on the issues than on his fellow
    bloggers. Then you may realize why we appreciate him here at
    TWN.

    Reply

  44. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim, Apr 25 2009, 7:08PM – Link
    “His insults against middle class contributors at your site is not
    up to it yet – but if you have a bit of patience, you`ll see what
    POA can do with the English language”
    now you’ve just drifted from the sublime to the ridiculous. It is obvious that POA badly needs the attention he is getting here and at TM.com but it is the wrong kind of attention for a normal adult. It is negative attention.
    and what’s with the “middle class contributors”? what kind of rot is that? Sounds suspicious to me.

    Reply

  45. Paul Norheim says:

    “And you’re right, Paul, (…). And, yes, I’m thrilled she’s SoS, but
    anyone willing to criticize either Hillary or Obama are welcome
    to let fly, just as long as they don’t do it with every profane
    word in the urban dictionary. (Taylor Marsh)
    I don`t get it, Taylor.
    The pleasure of reading POA at his best here at TWN is exactly
    that: the privilege of reading someone who has a command of
    the profane words in the urban dictionary, combined with a
    rather agrarian, down-to-earth dictionary – often in highly
    unexpected combinations.
    His insults against middle class contributors at your site is not
    up to it yet – but if you have a bit of patience, you`ll see what
    POA can do with the English language.

    Reply

  46. BB says:

    Iranian “transnational meddling” versus Saudi “influence” in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    This, I believe, is a poor choice of words, because meddling is often seen as pejorative, while influence is more neutral. I understand that you don’t want to offend invited Saudi guests to the conference, but one could easily make the case that Saudi Arabia’s transnational meddling in Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan has had as many negative consequences as Iran’s.

    Reply

  47. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Apr 25 2009, 5:38PM – Link
    “It seems the word “hypocrite” is a required component in your resume if you want to call yourself a member”
    the hypocrite (and the coward) is the abuser who blames his wife for “making him” hit her… it’s her fault for standing up to him…
    (hint: I’m talking about YOU)

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Sand, POA has posted some very good articles. The problem has come when people disagree with him, and try to have a discussion. Taylor’s site has changed over time, and people there are civil to each other, even when they disagree. POA came as a new poster to the site and belittled peoples opinions and personal name calling. That may be OK here,but not at Taylor’s site”-Angels
    http://www.taylormarsh.com/2009/04/24/the-dual-system-of-law-in-the-occupied-territories/

    Reply

  49. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Don’t much care for it when someone pulls the corncob out of their asses over there, do they?
    Again, I invite anyone that has the stomach for it, to cruise Taylor’s site and check out what passes for “civility” over there. It seems the word “hypocrite” is a required component in your resume if you want to call yourself a member of the Marshmellow Collective.
    And by the way, my post in question was on the thread over there, then it dissappeared, only to reappear after I posted here. Taylor can deny it, but its the simple truth.
    ‘Nuf said. Sorry I dragged it over here. But its at least worth a chuckle.

    Reply

  50. Paul Norheim says:

    I`ll not make a point of Elliot Abram`s well known role in the
    Iran-Contras affair; how he was sent from Cheney`s office to
    make sure that Condoleeza Rice during a trip to the Middle East
    did not try to protest against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in
    2006 etc. etc. etc. etc. etc…….
    As a Beatles fan, I just want to whisper a couple of words
    regarding Ellilot Abrams strong dislike for John Lennon,
    exposed when the latter was killed – as a prove of his bad
    instincts, culturally and politically (not to mention the musical
    aspects):
    “Emblematic of Abrams’ visceral right-wing politics was his
    statement following the murder of John Lennon in December
    1980. Setting the tone for the cultural and political backlash
    that would soon dominate U.S. politics, Abrams complained
    publicly about all the media attention given the famous singer:
    “I’m sorry, but John Lennon was not that important a figure in
    our times…Why is his death getting more attention than Elvis
    Presley’s? Because Lennon is perceived as a left-wing figure
    politically, anti-establishment, a man of social conscience with
    concern for the poor. And, therefore, he is being made into a
    great figure. Too much has been made of his life. It does not
    deserve a full day’s television and radio coverage. I’m sick of
    it.””
    If you ask me, this reaction tells everything I have to know
    about Elliott Abrams. I don`t like him. I am even tempted to
    held him partially responsible for the disastrous development in
    pop and rock music during the 1980´s…
    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0209-22.htm

    Reply

  51. WigWag says:

    Steve, you know these people, I don’t. I’ve always been under the impression that while Elliot Abrams has strong views, that he is more open-minded and less pedantic than his fellow travellers in the neocon movement. But this is based on nothing more than reading material he’s written and listening to him speak on television.
    I wonder whether there are forums that facilitate discussion (not necessarily debate) between the likes of Haass and Indyk and Brzezinski and Hagel. Surely it would be interesting to know where the points of confluence are.
    I wonder whether Chas Freeman will be attending. He is obviously a person of strongly held views and those who know him say he’s smart. His perspective might be interesting.
    Again good luck. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep tomorrow night!

    Reply

  52. Bill R. says:

    @ Taylor Marsh
    I congratulate you for putting some limits on the arrogance, ill will, and contempt that POA seems to have for nearly everyone. If he had anything to say of value it is easily overwhelmed by the malice of his expression. I wish that similar limits were in place on this site.
    I also celebrate the accomplishments of Hillary Clinton who has proven to be an excellent choice to represent our country throughout the world, who conducts herself with dignity, forcefulness, and intelligence in meeting the multiple crisis points across the globe.

    Reply

  53. Steve Clemons says:

    WigWag — I did invite Richard Haass — not available. Martin Indyk would be interesting, and I like him — and his most recent book with Haass has him tilting my direction on subjects like Hamas. I’ll try to invite in future, but Martin could do more reaching out my way as well just for the record. Elliot Abrams I saw yesterday — and that would be a dose full…not ready for that yet as I don’t want a show down over neocon-ism when I have other objectives now. I recently debated Frank Gaffney and have done my share of debate with that part of the roster for the time being.
    all best, steve

    Reply

  54. WigWag says:

    My only point (and it is a minor point), Paul, is that it might have been interesting if Steve had invited panelists like Martin Indyk, Richard Haass or even Elliot Abrams. They all have a different perspective on the Middle East than experts like Brzezinski, Scowcroft, Hagel or Hauser (although it might be going too far to call Hauser an “expert”)
    It’s Steve’s meeting, and the views of people like Indyk are aired all the time; probably much more often than the views of the realists and Republicans that Steve is assembling (to be fair, Fowler and Brzezinski are Democrats).
    I’m just suggesting that it might have been interesting to have this different perspective represented at the conference.
    But as I said, the meeting looks terrific and I am looking forward to viewing it if I can.
    With best regards.

    Reply

  55. ... says:

    ot which is what most of this thread looks like thanks to poa… — poa – you are dragging twn into the mud with this stuff… why not do steve and twn posters a favour and keep it off twn?
    good luck with your posting elsewhere.. most of the time, i enjoy your commentary here..

    Reply

  56. Paul Norheim says:

    “My only slight criticism is that the American participants don’t
    seem to be a particularly diverse group. (…) I don’t doubt that
    your panelists all support a two state solution, but many of them
    have a history of being critical of Israel.” (WigWag)
    How, WigWag, can the rest of us trust someone who has no trace
    of “a history of being critical to Israel”? Even you show some hints
    of a “history” in that regard.

    Reply

  57. WigWag says:

    Well Steve, you’ve certainly put together a very prestigious line up of speakers and a program that addresses most of the key issues pertinent to relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States.
    You’re right; this relationship is critically important and it is probably in everyone’s interest that it be less opaque. Your conference should facilitate that; congratulations!
    I understand that Israel’s place in the Middle East and the peace process between the Israelis, Palestinians and Syrians will be only one of several major issues that your panelists address. I think this is a good thing because despite its importance, there are many issues in that part of the world that transcend how the Israelis get along with their Arab neighbors.
    My only slight criticism is that the American participants don’t seem to be a particularly diverse group. The realists are well represented (Brzezinski and Hagel), the Republicans are well represented (Hauser and Hagel) and the “Arabists” are very well represented (Brzezinski, Hagel, Hauser, Fowler, Leverett and Clemons) but I don’t see anyone on your list of presenters who can be characterized as a Saudi critic and there is certainly no one on your list who can be described as a supporter of Israel. I don’t doubt that your panelists all support a two state solution, but many of them have a history of being critical of Israel, some highly critical (Anne Marie Slaughter might have been an antidote to some of that but my guess is that now that she works for Secretary Clinton and President Obama she will have to be particularly discrete)
    Let me be clear that I don’t object to the fact that you are bringing together a group of people who share a common perspective on how the Israeli-Palestinian dispute should be resolved. After all, there are many prominent forums where unabashedly pro-Israel figures get to express their point of view. But I do think it’s fair to say that your meeting will have discussions that are less robust than they might have been if there was a greater diversity of views amongst the participants.
    Unless I’m wrong, I also don’t see anyone on the list likely to see things from the Iranian point of view rather than the Saudi point of view. Given the importance of relations between the Saudis and the Iranians, this is too bad.
    It might also be valuable for your streaming video viewers if your panelists divulged their conflicts of interests (if any). Rita Hauser, for example made many millions of dollars as the lawyer for the Palestine Liberation Organization before she retired from her law firm, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. She was also a major supporter and fundraiser for President George W. Bush when he ran for President the first time.
    Profiting from relations with Saudi Arabia or other Middle Eastern nations (or organizations) doesn’t render persons opinions unimportant, but it seems to me that they should be divulged.
    These are all minor points. You’ve assembled an extraordinary group of speakers.
    Your meeting should be great.

    Reply

  58. ArtIsRevolution says:

    peace out, TWN: thanks for the exchange.

    Reply

  59. lynette says:

    Well, Paul, POA certainly has not shown his soft side at TM. I think it’s up to him to fit in, not the other way around. We all get along pretty much – it seems he just wants to be disruptive. I think some of us at TM do realize POA has some valid points to make, but if he wants to be taken seriously, he has to act like a civil human being, not a jerk.

    Reply

  60. Paul Norheim says:

    Taylor March and POA,
    to me it looks like you two, and the rest of the commenters at
    Taylor March`s site, have been through some kind of
    introducing ritual for the last week – POA saying hello to a new
    blog and a lot of strangers… As an outsider, I must admit that
    it`s been kind of entertaining to watch you guys and girls
    saying hello & how are you to each other…
    I know POA from TWN through a couple of years, and yeah, I
    have often complained that he can be very rude. But I have
    always regarded him as one of the most valuable contributors at
    TWN. So have a lot of readers, fellow commentators (yeah, some
    hate him as well!), even the host of this site often seems to
    listen extra carefully to what POA says… Because actually he has
    something to say – and you have to be deaf not to notice that.
    It`s not my business – but if both sides want to continue to get
    to know each other better, I have a couple of advices:
    POA: I know that you`ve made some efforts not to insult your
    fellow commenters at the TM blog. Try much much harder!
    And for heavens sake: if someone supports you or deliver a
    good argument against your opinion, does it cost you so much
    to be generous and give kudos to that person?
    TM bloggers: POA actually has a soft side. And when he is more
    comfortable in a setting, he can be hilariously funny (even
    mellow…) – I don`t know anybody who can use the English
    language the way he does. And he is not a troll. Believe me,
    he`s serious.
    But yeah, it seems like he`s saying hello by calling you all
    jackasses and snakes… and some of you become just like him.
    If both parts somehow manage to transcend this initial phase, I
    think you somehow would appreciate his contributions. But, as
    I`ve said in another thread related to this subject: I really hope
    that he will not stop commenting at TWN. This blog would not
    be the same without his comments.

    Reply

  61. lynette says:

    It would be better if POA just stayed here because this is where he is happy. He is a very negative, aggressive person when he posts at the TM website, and yes, civility counts. The viciousness isn’t over there – it’s with POA. If he doesn’t like it, he should stay away. I, for one, like the TM website, because it was one of the few places you could get some information that wasn’t biased against Hillary. You can downplay TM all you want, but she has a great, civil, community that pretty much respects its posters. It’s not what you say – it’s how you say it that counts.

    Reply

  62. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by Sand, Apr 25 2009, 1:08PM – Link
    I have to defend POA because on THIS site he, IMO, consistently writes some thought-provoking, albeit I must admit blunt at times posts and interesting links…
    seems like he constantly berates and calls people “asshole” etc here as well… at least in the past.

    Reply

  63. angels81 says:

    Sand, POA has posted some very good articles. The problem has come when people disagree with him, and try to have a discussion. Taylor’s site has changed over time, and people there are civil to each other, even when they disagree. POA came as a new poster to the site and belittled peoples opinions and personal name calling. That may be OK here,but not at Taylor’s site.

    Reply

  64. ArtIsRevolution says:

    Posted by Sand, Apr 25 2009, 1:00PM – Link
    it was then and NOW the *Hillary Clinton Fan Club*
    respectfully, that is not the case, at least not now. Or rather in is not only that. Yes Hillary Clinton gets allot of respect, she deserves it.
    The point is however not what TM.com is, but rather what POA does when he *visits* her site. He is purposely disruptive, abusive, insulting and rude. That is not a good approach when you want to join in a conversation.
    The fact that he is violently anti-Israel deserves and gets push back. Taylor is critical of Israel all the time, just not pathologically so..
    thanks.

    Reply

  65. Sand says:

    To angels81:
    I have to defend POA because on THIS site he, IMO, consistently writes some thought-provoking, albeit I must admit blunt at times posts and interesting links…
    Why he goes over to your hang out joint and then seems to want to drag here and have a bust-up I don’t know… MAYBE that is one area where his judgement is definitely a little shaky?

    Reply

  66. angels81 says:

    POA, I agree with Sand, don’t go there anymore.

    Reply

  67. Sand says:

    To POA:
    Why the hell do you go there? I stopped going to the Taylor Marsh site during the primaries when I felt she went totally over the edge with her, IMHO sycophantic, support for a woman who oooooh ‘dared’ to take on a man for President. I liked her site up until then, but when she went a little screwy over Hills, attracting all the other sychophants on the web — I left and quick. For god’s sake, it was then and NOW the *Hillary Clinton Fan Club* Of course you are going to get dumped on… Same goes for some suspect Daily Kos diaries — they tend to hang out there too. [Note: I’ve never even been able to setup up an account there, [using my TPM name] — let alone post!]
    I think they have an affliction Of Hillaryitis, there are some on the Obama side too… but IMO not so vicious. They can’t see the forest for the trees, seemingly to enjoy Hills spotlight — to cheerlead the photo shoots and one-liners. Let ’em.
    ——————-
    With the Saudi’s — wasn’t it Schumer, and the rest of the Israeli watchdogs in Congress, who always got a bee in their bonnets when any Bush/Saudi arms sales came up on the agenda… I mean we CAN’T give ‘better’ bombs and such to the Saudi’s — Israel always gets the best.
    Do you think we are going to see a shot of Obama holding hands with the Saudi’s — nah I don’t think so — a new boss is in town!

    Reply

  68. AliceP says:

    Hmm, just read your supposedly deleted post over at the TMarsh site:
    PissedOffAmerican says:
    25 April 2009 at 10:37 am
    Under “Clinton Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq”.
    Now you’re not just exaggerating, you’re lying.

    Reply

  69. angels81 says:

    POA, some of us at Taylor’s site have tried to be civil with you, but you can’t be civil in return. You came to Taylor’s site as a new poster with guns blazing. You started right off by belittling posters opinions and name calling. You called people assholes when they didn’t agree with you, and then it was down hill from there. You come here and lie about what has happened to you at Taylor’s site, but then you expect people to take you seriously. When I tried to have a serious discussion on your Gaza post, all I got was word games and personal insults. Do everybody a favor and stay here, were I guess people like your crap.

    Reply

  70. ArtIsRevolution says:

    POA:
    your paranoid-delusional side is starting to get the best of you. You should have taken the advice of your fellow posters at TWN and posted WITHOUT the insults and the foul language.. when you tell someone to “f-ck off” over and over again there are going to be consequences… the main one is people are not going to want to interact with you, at all.
    You lose credibility when you personally attack people. plain and simple.

    Reply

  71. Paul Norheim says:

    Steve,
    I agree that this is a strategic test. Somehow Lieberman/
    Netanyahu may help clarifying US positions.
    For the Obama administration I would guess that the Israelis –
    currently represented by Netanyahu/ Lieberman/ Barak – are to
    a certain extent equivalent to what Cheney/ Bush/ Rumsfeld
    was for the Europeans. The trans-Atlantic relations were put to
    a test, just like the US-Israeli relations now are tested – this
    time by the weaker part of the relationship.
    However, I have to admit that I am pessimistic regarding the
    outcome. The Israelis still have the mythology (“soft power”) on
    their side, preventing the Americans from taking an unbiased
    look at the issues.

    Reply

  72. Taylor Marsh says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Apr 25 2009, 12:18PM – Link
    Again, this is a lie. Nothing was “reinstated.” It was simply approved after being posted, with a lag time that I explained above.
    Have a great day, everyone.

    Reply

  73. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, I invite anyone to cruise Marsh’s site and see how she “moderates” the personal attacks directed towards me. It seems Taylor has a very perverted sense of even-handedness.

    Reply

  74. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ya gotta love it. The post at Marsh’s site has been “reinstated” shortly after my posting here.
    Cute.
    “If they don’t know (STEVE? PUSH?) Lieberman and Netanyahu back and don’t establish very clear criteria for staying on the peace process, and not holding the effort hostage to developments in Iran — then many Arab states will change their positions regarding the future of the US in the region and change their positions regarding future normalization with Israel”
    So far, Steve, it ain’t encouraging. Silence during the Freeeman castration. Silence during the Gaza BBQ. Using terms like “unhelpful” to describe continued settlement expansion. No action on the attempted murder of Tristan Anderson. Foreshadowing “diplomatic” efforts towards Iran by making public statements that diplomatic efforts won’t work and we will need tougher sanctions. Thats diplomacy?
    And now she is using flowery optimism to describe the rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq? How effinj’ stupid do these people think we are? Its no accvident that as the situation in Iraq deteriorates, the rhetoricx out of the White House increasingly becomes “the Iraqis must assume control”. The right is going to blame Obama, and Obama is going to blame the Iraqis, and no one is going to blame the lying sacks of shit that launched this clusterefuck.
    A million dead Iraqis, an infrastructure destroyed, four million more displaced, and we are going to blame the victims. Sweet.
    Meanwhile, Bush and Cheney rake in the bucks, and Obama blathers useless horseshit about “looking forward” while escalating our military presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    Change, my ass.

    Reply

  75. Taylor Marsh says:

    I’m going to respond to POA here, because what he’s writing is pure fantasy, either that or paranoia.
    The truth is that POA is in comment moderation mode at my place because of his profanity laced personal attacks against other posters, and he’s taken that very badly. I’ve had a torrent of emails asking that he be banned, but I have not done so yet. Because of being in moderation his comments often take time to post, which is especially true on weekends. It is an outright lie that a critical comment of his targeting Sect. Clinton has been “removed.” Anyone willing to check it for yourself will find that out.
    And you’re right, Paul, with “high hopes” for HRC during the primaries being an understatement. And, yes, I’m thrilled she’s SoS, but anyone willing to criticize either Hillary or Obama are welcome to let fly, just as long as they don’t do it with every profane word in the urban dictionary.
    Now to the subject at hand. Look forward to Monday, Steve.

    Reply

  76. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks POA — and Don, I think that the recent statements from Lieberman, and frankly the non-statements from Netanyahu have set up a fundamental test for the Obama administration. If they don’t know Lieberman and Netanyahu back and don’t establish very clear criteria for staying on the peace process, and not holding the effort hostage to developments in Iran — then many Arab states will change their positions regarding the future of the US in the region and change their positions regarding future normalization with Israel. So, it’s a key strategic test – and both Obama and Hillary Clinton need to pass it, or we are really sunk on a a lot of levels.
    More later — steve

    Reply

  77. Paul Norheim says:

    POA,
    my guess is that it`s not only your style and demeanor that have
    caused so much anger at Taylor March`s site.
    It seems to me as if a lot of people over there had high hopes for
    Hillary as POTUS during the primaries, and then others had high
    hopes for Obama – and everybody there now seem enthusiastic
    that Hillary is SOS in the Obama admin. And as we know, you`re
    not fond of any of them.
    You are hurting their feelings. That`s very impolite of you, POA 🙂

    Reply

  78. don nash says:

    “So, big stuff is up.”
    Steve? Would that be anything like this-
    “Believe me,” Lieberman declared, “America accepts all our
    decisions.”
    Lieberman, Avigdor Lieberman says that. Can we all say AIPAC and
    Jane Harman?

    Reply

  79. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is the thread the post was in…
    http://www.taylormarsh.com/2009/04/25/clinton-makes-surprise-visit-to-iraq-2/
    Posts that are critical of Hillary are not well recieved there.

    Reply

  80. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is the post that was removed from Taylor Marsh’s site…..
    “Are there going to be bad days? Yes, there are… If you look at the evidence, overwhelmingly the progress that’s been made has been positive.” – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    Then we see Geo nattering on about “pro-active”. Something tells me he would be hard pressed to tell us what is “pro-active” about Hillary’s visit. In fact, it is such a ridiculous premise, its doubtful he will even try. Go ahead, Geo, give it a shot, I dare you.
    Fact is, the Obama Administration has been just as deceptive as the Bush Administration in not leveling with the American people about this bullshit scam known as “the success of the surge”. The “bad day” that Hillary speaks of is just more of the tepid semantics designed to minimize the exposure of a rapidly deteriorating situation. Thge “surge” was nothing more than a very expensive system of bribery, where we bought off what were once labeled “Sunni Insurgents”, “Former Baathists”, and “Saddam Loyalists”. In short, the people that were killing our troops were funneled vast amounts of money to stop. Now, the money has dried up, and the Sunni/Shiite hostilities are once more gaining momentum. Hillary’s “bad day” comment is ridiculous on its face. Iraq is in very real danger of once again moving itself towards civil war, and this fact, once again, is being sugar coated and fed to us as “progress” and a continuing “success of the surge”.

    Reply

  81. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “This weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Israel and Iraq”
    In response to Hillary Clinton’s statement…
    “Are there going to be bad days? Yes, there are… If you look at the evidence, overwhelmingly the progress that’s been made has been positive.”
    …I posted my thoughts on the so-called “success of the surge”, and Hillary’s sugar coated public optimism, at Taylor Marsh’s site.
    The post was removed. I have never seen a site so willing to censor opinion except the far right wing sites. We are truly lucky to have Steve as a host.

    Reply

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