What’s Ahead?

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friday 13th.jpg
I’m just back to Washington after a fun holiday.
Happy New Year to everyone — but it’s back to the real world tomorrow, and it’s a messy place.
I’ll have some more thoughts on Gaza tomorrow — but a friend just told me that 2009 is one of the few “normal” years — meaning 365 days long — that has three “Friday the 13th’s”.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

17 comments on “What’s Ahead?

  1. mantolama says:

    The Vanity Fair article may create a sensation for a day or two, but probably not. Certainly, we can’t expect Reid, Pelosi, or even Obama to take their heads out of Ohlmert and Livni’s nether regions long enough to raise a ruckus. If in fact Bush’s typically inept formulation of policy put Hamas in control of Gaza, it still doesn’t change the fact that Hamas provides Israel’s justifications, excuses, and rationales to keep imprisoning, starving, and slaughtering Palestinian men, women, and children. Who believes Reid or Pelosi, or even Obama, want to rock the boat that provides Israel’s justification for genocide?

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    Interesting point, rich.

    Reply

  3. rich says:

    History lesson:
    Israel originally took over Gaza to end Egypt’s blockade of the Strait of Tiran, which stopped shipping in and out of Eilat–saying that any such blockade was a casus belli.
    So why isn’t Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip also a casus belli, sufficient to justify military actions by Palestinians, Hamas or otherwise?
    From Jonathan Schwarz, via Digby:
    “The funny thing about the Israeli attack on Gaza following its long blockade is that Israel’s original justification for taking over Gaza in 1967 was that Israel was being subject to a blockade. This is from the official Knesset history of the Six Day War:
    Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser blockaded the Straits of Tiran on May 21st and 22nd to all shipping from and to Eilat; the area was open to Israeli ships under UN supervision since 1957, and Israel repeatedly stated that such a blockade will be considered as casus belli (justification for acts of war).”
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/totally-different-by-digby-jonathan.html

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  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres an interesting visual dichotomy….
    http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/searchpopup?picId=7701736
    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/28/world/28gazarubble_600.jpg
    Can you guess which damage was caused by one of the deadly Hamas rockets? The other shot, of course, is an image of humanitarian aid, Israeli style.

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  5. ... says:

    halt the flow of smuggled weapons to terrorist groups.<< giving weapons made in the usa to terrorist countries is okay though…

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  6. ... says:

    paul it is hard to make this shit up.. how is this for speaking out of one side of yer mouth and being about as dishonest as you can be?? it’s propaganda pure and simple and bush is full of it.. he lied the us into war and he continues to lie and tell half truths on a regular basis..
    >>President George W. Bush on Friday branded the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel an “act of terror” and outlined his own condition for a cease-fire in Gaza, saying no peace deal would be acceptable without monitoring to halt the flow of smuggled weapons to terrorist groups.<<

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  7. Paul Norheim says:

    Apropos Friday the 13th:
    It`s been bizarre to watch Bush jr since he was given the chance
    to play a role in world politics, acting as some weird version of
    King Midas. Everything he touched turned into mayhem, chaos,
    confusion. And while junior was busy screwing up on a
    planetary scale, Cheney invested all his considerable skills into
    removing any obstacles that could possibly limit junior`s ability
    to cause further mayhem and chaos.
    Looking back, it seems like all the expertise and experience of
    Cheney and his people went into extending the power of the
    Presidency, and none of it into exerting that power.
    Even if you agreed with their goals, you`d have to admit that
    most of their efforts and choices were spectacularly
    counterproductive.
    Afghanistan, the Green Zone in Baghdad under Bremer,
    hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, fighting the Islamists in
    Somalia, debt, financial meltdown, and now the revelations in
    Vanity Fair about their manipulations of Palestinian affairs…. an
    endless list of screw-ups and blunders. Few things have
    stunned me more during these years than the lack of
    competence, judgement, expertise – even in implementing bad
    policies.

    Reply

  8. ... says:

    what’s ahead? biz as usual prbably….
    Gaza relief boat damaged in encounter with Israeli vessel
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/12/30/gaza.aid.boat/index.html

    Reply

  9. Dan Kervick says:

    Huffington Post is nothing but a tabloid rag. It happens to be online, but that doesn’t make it any better than print tabloids.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oops, sorry, once again, I failed to provide a link….
    here it is…..
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=13990

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “There’s a ready explanation of why, as the Israelis pound Gaza, the formerly antiwar Huffington Post has become a cheerleader for the IDF: it is due entirely to this”
    “When Arianna nabbed $25 million from Oak Investment Partners, of Palo Alto, California, she was acquired by a financial network that also has significant investments in the Israeli arms industry – an industry, I might add, directly subsidized and controlled by the Israeli government. For example, Oak Investment has invested in IET/Intelligent Electronics, now morphed into Clickservice Software, an Israeli-based company that makes sophisticated weapons systems and sells them to clients such as “an unnamed Far Eastern country.” Oak Investment partner Fred Harman now sits on the Huffington Post’s board”
    “Case closed. Mystery solved”
    “Since Arianna is so into “truth,” how about a little when it comes to how she’s financing a $25 million media gig that still refuses to pay bloggers! Not only that, but they were recently forced to apologize to a Chicago media outlet for brazenly stealing content. Whatever her contributions to the journalistic profession, let alone the pursuit of “truth,” Arianna is sure giving tackiness a bad name”

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The Vanity Fair article is earth shattering. But so too was the Downing Street Memo revelations, as well as a hundred or so other blatant evidences of wrongdoing that have been exposed about this treasonous, inept, and murderous Administration. In a nation enjoying true representative governance and leadership under the rule of law, Bush, Rice, Cheney, Abrams, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Ashcroft, Yoo, and a myriad of others would all be under indictment for what can only be described as felonious conduct. But due to the complicity, cowardice, and inaction of these pathetic pieces of shit on the left, such as Reid, Pelosi, H. Clinton, Dodd, Harman, etc, this nation has been brought to its knees morally, ethically, economically, socially, and in the eyes of the world community.
    The Vanity Fair article may create a sensation for a day or two, but probably not. Certainly, we can’t expect Reid, Pelosi, or even Obama to take their heads out of Ohlmert and Livni’s nether regions long enough to raise a ruckus. If in fact Bush’s typically inept formulation of policy put Hamas in control of Gaza, it still doesn’t change the fact that Hamas provides Israel’s justifications, excuses, and rationales to keep imprisoning, starving, and slaughtering Palestinian men, women, and children. Who believes Reid or Pelosi, or even Obama, want to rock the boat that provides Israel’s justification for genocide?
    This latest revelation Vanity Fair has uncovered will be ignored by the mainstream media and the Democratic leadership. Bush and Cheney will never be held accountable. And Obama will bathe in the same Palestinian blood that Israel swims in.

    Reply

  13. JohnH says:

    It’s great that there will only be 3 Fridays the 13th! From my perspective, pretty much every day has been Friday the 13th for the last few years…

    Reply

  14. TonyForesta says:

    “Beware the ides of March.”
    The economic calamity is unavoidable if there is no real change. The oldworldways lie dying and rotting on the field. It is time for a new paradigm. Iredeemable debt economics models are proven failures and doomed to fail.
    America must change, or perish. Robbing and pillaging poor and middle class Americans to feed the superrich, – the predator class – is the cause of the economic catastrophe, – not the solution. The only hope left for America is a restoration of the rule law, sanity, transparency from our leadership, and a return to the government protecting, promoting, and advancing the best interests of the American people, and not the predator class – the superrich.

    Reply

  15. Karl says:

    Just a quick prediction.
    Gaza will not be the biggest foreign policy “crises” of 2009. We will see a regime change due to death or other means or another major change / conflict. Probably in Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Darfur or Somalia.

    Reply

  16. S Brennan says:

    Soooo…you want to talk about Gaza. Care to comment Steve?
    This was news to me:
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/gaza200804?printable=true&currentPage=all
    “According to Dahlan, it was Bush who had pushed legislative elections in the Palestinian territories in January 2006, despite warnings that Fatah was not ready. After Hamas—whose 1988 charter committed it to the goal of driving Israel into the sea—won control of the parliament, Bush made another, deadlier miscalculation.
    Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)
    But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S.-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.
    Some sources call the scheme “Iran-contra 2.0,” recalling that Abrams was convicted (and later pardoned) for withholding information from Congress during the original Iran-contra scandal under President Reagan. There are echoes of other past misadventures as well: the C.I.A.’s 1953 ouster of an elected prime minister in Iran, which set the stage for the 1979 Islamic revolution there; the aborted 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, which gave Fidel Castro an excuse to solidify his hold on Cuba; and the contemporary tragedy in Iraq.
    Within the Bush administration, the Palestinian policy set off a furious debate. One of its critics is David Wurmser, the avowed neoconservative, who resigned as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief Middle East adviser in July 2007, a month after the Gaza coup.
    Wurmser accuses the Bush administration of “engaging in a dirty war in an effort to provide a corrupt dictatorship [led by Abbas] with victory.” He believes that Hamas had no intention of taking Gaza until Fatah forced its hand. “It looks to me that what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen,” Wurmser says.
    Posted by: S Brennan | January 1, 2009 5:53 PM

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  17. Dan Kervick says:

    “What’s Ahead?”
    My feeling is that the war in Gaza is going to prove to be the least of our problems in 2009.

    Reply

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