Mark Perry on Israel-Palestine, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban


This is an interesting short discussion between writer Mark Perry who broke the story on General Petraeus asking that the West Bank and Gaza be part of the Central Command’s territory. Petraeus denied the report, but as Al Jazeera’s Gregg Carlstrom writes, this triggered an important debate about the military’s view of the costs of the US-Israel-Palestine standoff.
This short clip covers Perry’s views on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the prospects of engagement by the Obama administration with Hamas and Hizballah. Interestingly, he notes that we are beginning to engage the Taliban who are killing Americans while not yet engaging Hamas and Hizballah who are not. His treatment of National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Adviser to the President on dealing with “moderate Hizballah” is worth hearing.
Mark Perry met with Gregg Carlstrom at the 5th Al Jazeera Forum which I am attending as well in Doha.
— Steve Clemons


17 comments on “Mark Perry on Israel-Palestine, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban

  1. jennifer says:

    That was not only informative–but INTERESTING. Too bad the
    American people don’t see it that way. Perhaps if Mr. Perry could
    frame the argument for them, they’d find the Israeli/Palestinian
    conflict a topic worthy of their attention.
    Well worth the 7 minutes of time!


  2. susan says:

    Food for thought:
    Partisans, Reviewed
    by Jacob Heilbrunn
    Strange things are happening in the intellectual world. Andrew Sullivan, the former editor of the New Republic, has been steadily denouncing Israel, a country he once defended with equal ferocity, only to find himself denounced as an anti-Semite by his former colleague Leon Wieseltier. Peter Beinart, another former editor of the New Republic, has also been steadily denouncing Israel in the past week, a country he too once ardently defended, only to confess that he now believes that leading American Jewish organizations are reflexively quashing debate about Israel


  3. David says:

    First came across that book at in independent bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina about 12 years ago. It was a real eye-opener.


  4. Jackie says:

    I’m currently reading “All The Shah’s Men” about the 1953 coup in Iran. If anyone reads it, it is really easy to be pissed at BP. Their arrogance knows no bounds. Of course, back then they were aided and abetted by Great Britain.


  5. David says:

    This interview, and the comments from folk who value providing helpful information, are why TWN is an invaluable resource for people like me.
    Regarding oil, the federal government apparently has no tools for dealing with this catastrophe – only the oil corps do, and they are unwilling collectively to marshall all of their resouces to deal with this oil geyser. Apparently, it would run counter to their “moral” obligation to their stockholders, or some such perversion of the concept of morality. To paraphrase Thoreau, corporations will become moral when their boards of directors behave morally as boards, which DeLorean pointed out they do not, regardless of their personal morality, which gets checked at the door when they sit down as a corporate board. Larry Kudlow is happy with the status quo regarding morality and corporations. Dylan Ratigan is not. And Chris Matthews, who is sometimes hard to listen to, is reflecting the kind of outrage that should be society-wide at this point. I must say the questions he asked last night were on point, and the attorney from Pensacola who is the lead in the class-action lawsuit against BP is raising pertinent issues. I reallly hope he is successful in utilizing the Federalist Society/Supreme Court notion that corporations are individuals with Bill of Rights protections to hold BP accountable in the same way we with actual personhood would be held accountable.
    This godawful nightmare for the Gulf of Mexico might provide some breakthroughs regarding the accountability of corporations, although that is one really tough nut to crack. Obama’s most important role might prove to be that he won’t marshall the federal government to prevent breakthroughs. It is a much more important possibility than is generally recognized. Remember, the Bush administration wanted to destroy Greenpeace and marshalled the federal government to prevent every progressive initiative that it could.
    Meanwhile, R.I.P., Mississippi Delta coastal marshes and islands. You brought a lot of happiness and seafood to America during your lifespan, which was very, very long, and you seemed poised for long life into the future, even though you had been subjected to all sorts of life-threatening insults by the oil-transport canals and 70 years of agricultural and chemical plant pollution of the Father of Waters.
    Did I mention that as a society we are generally short-sighted, self-centered social/political/electoral failures for whom enlightenment is missing from the founding notion of enlightened self-interest?
    Anyone who is enraged at what is happening to the Gulf of Mexico must look to what they have and have not supported, who they have and have not voted for, and whether or not they are willing to support the actual reformers and the kinds of reform that could prevent such catastrophes. Americans do not have a positive track record in this regard. Neither do people in the rest of the indusrialized world, the people ultimately responsible for the degradation of the planet as a biosphere.
    BP is just a corporation that took advantage of the lack of regulation and the anti-government, anti-regulation mindset of Americans and their Reaganesque “Morning in America” mythologies.
    Worth remembering is that it was BP and its British government lackeys who got Eisenhower to agree to the overthrow of the democratically elected Mossadegh government in Iran, which Truman refused to do, by raising to the anti-communist holy warrior Dulles the spectre of Mossadegh being a comsymp, when all the man wanted was for BP to pay Iran a fair royalty on the Iranian oil they were extracting. Guess BP’s “moral obligation” to maximize its bottom line trumped respect for Iranian national sovereignty, and Dulles was an easy dupe. Eisenhower I guess was still in his WWII us-them frame of mind when he got conned into this colossal mistake, a mistake for which we are still paying, given the chain of events from that coup to the present.


  6. ... says:

    poa sounds like steve is in the middle east far away from holes in the oceans floor, but surrounded by oil sheiks none the less…


  7. samuelburke says:

    what the u.s needs to do is to get one of those professionals
    who were trained to deprogram members of those cults that we
    read about.
    without the support of the press, who isn’t helping the issue by
    obfuscating, misrepresenting and, looking the other way, while
    making the claim that they present news for the sake of
    representing the truth, there would be a lot less of a problem
    for the u.s.
    I wish the united states well in this endeavor but those in gov’t
    positions elected to represent their constituents are m.i.a.
    If only for the sake of the palestinians, a solution is required.
    When one adds the diplomatic consequences of this one sided
    relationship, the u.s has to question it’s own self interests.
    There are both a human side and a political side to this story, if
    the human side does not trump the political side then something
    needs change.


  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Considering the participation and interest that all matters Israel usually generate on this blog, is Steve now engaged in a bit of diversionary strategy, designed to take the debate away from the foremost and epic emergency we now face?? How does Steve feel about the credibility and popularity of this Administration being SHREDDED by an epic display of corruption, incompetence, servitude to BP, and one of the most blatant displays of executive spinelessness that this nation has ever suffered through?
    Across the board, it is obvious that the Obama Damninistration has exhibited unforgivable complicity and ineptitude in the unfolding catastrophe. Not only is their response to the post explosion gusher despicably inadequate, but the regulatory lapses and corrupt rubber-stamping of dangerous drilling practices qualify the Administration to be considered co-conspirators in the felonious mismanagement and destruction of the people’s resources.
    And there are currently around 150 deepwater drilling rigs in the gulf, all having recieved the same pseudo-regulatory free passes to circumvent responsible and safe drilling practices and procedures. Atlantis, a rig plagued with problems, and operating at a depth far greater than that of Deepwater Horizon, is currently continuing operations, a ticking time bomb.
    As far as foreign policy goes, at this time, it is merely a distraction. If in fact “foreign policy” IS a relevant issue to a nation besieged by an unprecedented environmental catastrophe and emergency, the relevance is to be found in our refusal to accept the assistance of the Saudis and the Iranians.


  9. Thomas L.Sjovall says:

    The U.S. Need’s to find some way to talk with the party’s in the WestBank& Gaza.
    Centcom is on the case.


  10. Dirk says:

    Nadine projects her hysteria: “I think you mean, “who are not at this moment killing Americans”. Both have in the past. I remember Hamas killed some state dept types who had come to Gaza to offer scholarships, and I KNOW the Marines remember their 243 dead in Beirut, even if you don’t.”
    It isn’t known who bombed the US convoy, killing three DynCorp contractors of the State Department in Gaza back in October of 2003. At this time Israel’s brutal occupation of Gaza was at its worst, but all suspected parties denied targeting Americans and condemned the attack. It did occur just outside of a large refugee camp.
    As far as the suicide bombing attack on the Marine barracks, it is impossible for it to have been Hizbullah, since they didn’t even exist at the time. Shi


  11. Paul Norheim says:

    And here is Donald Macintyre’s take today in The Independent
    (UK) on the revelations in The Guardian, and some background
    info regarding Israel’s ambiguity, going back to a conversation
    between Richard Nixon and Golda Meir:
    “Donald Macintyre: Revelations will not make Israel give up its
    policy of ambiguity
    Tuesday, 25 May 2010
    Revelations in Sasha Polakow-Suransky’s book that talks
    between Israel and South Africa on the sale of missiles and
    warheads took place a generation ago have turned a harsh new
    spotlight on Israel’s long-held policy of ambiguity over its
    nuclear arsenal.
    But while they come just as Israel faces renewed pressure to
    come clean about its status as a nuclear military power at the
    Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York
    it would be a mistake to think that the game is yet up for that
    policy, which still enjoys wide, if not unanimous, acceptance in
    Israel itself.
    Reaction in Israel suggests a media willingness to accept the
    denial by Shimon Peres, now the country’s President, that Israel
    was trying to sell nuclear weapons to South Africa


  12. nadine says:

    The Arabs have known about Israels nukes for 40 years; it never made them get their own. They know Israel isn’t trying to rule the Arabs. But Iran’s will be different. Iran’s will spark an arms race. We already see the signs.
    It doesn’t matter how many UN conferences are held which will always agree it’s all the Jooooos fault and Israel should disarm.


  13. Paul Norheim says:

    Here is more from the Guardian, from yesterday:
    “Israel revelations resonate in global talks on establishing WMD-
    free zone
    UN conference aimed at international non-proliferation is
    reportedly close to agreement
    Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
    Monday 24 May 2010 21.00 BST
    Israel’s nuclear dealings with the apartheid regime in South
    Africa date back more than three decades but they continue to
    resonate in global talks in New York this week.
    A UN conference aimed at bolstering and modernising the
    international non-proliferation regime is reportedly close to an
    agreement on measures aimed at a ban on nuclear and other
    weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
    Those measures would include the calling of a conference on
    establishing a WMD-free zone by 2012, potentially involving
    Israel and Iran, and leading to further steps to provide mutual
    security guarantees if all parties agreed. A co-ordinator would
    be appointed by the UN to arrange that conference.
    If the drafts circulating at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
    (NPT) review conference are approved by the end of the week, it
    would mark a significant victory for Egypt and other Arab states
    who have long argued that Israel has not been subjected to the
    same pressure as Iran or Syria, despite its development of a
    secret nuclear arsenal. “Agreement on this issue is in sight.
    “Even in the whole conference does not agree on an action plan,
    the P5 [five permanent security council members] and the Arab
    states would continue to work on it,” said Daryl Kimball, head of
    the Arms Control Association. “The Guardian’s report about
    discussions between Israel and South Africa regarding nuclear
    [weapons] further reinforces the fact that Israel is outside the
    NPT and possesses nuclear weapons.
    “The calls from other countries in the region, that Israel join the
    NPT, become all the more legitimate when such documentary
    evidence becomes available, and the steps being pursued at the
    NPT conference for pursuing a WMD-free zone become more
    Israel is not a signatory to the 1968 NPT agreement, and is not
    taking part in the negotiations. But according to sources at the
    conference, the Obama administration held high-level
    discussions with Israel at the weekend to persuade it to go
    along with plans for the 2012 conference, on the understanding
    it would not be compromising its security. Although the
    apartheid regime is long dead, and its nemesis, the ANC, is in
    office, there are unanswered questions about the South African
    weapons programme. Documentation and equipment was
    destroyed before power was passed to a majority-elected
    government. When officials from the International Atomic
    Energy Agency (IAEA) were allowed into South Africa in 1993 to
    inspect the remnants, it was on condition they would not ask
    what countries had provided assistance. “We asked and we got
    few answers,” Robert Kelley, of the IAEA, said. “It was like they
    pulled out an index card and read out a pre-prepared


  14. Paul Norheim says:

    Ahmedinejad’s nukes?
    Are you talking about those 200-300 nukes he’s been storing in
    the Negev desert? Scary stuff… and If we don’t bomb Tehran
    immediately, he may try to sell them to someone else, like South


  15. nadine says:

    So, Mark Perry says “the core principles of Hamas and Hizbullah are not that distasteful to the United States”?
    The core principles of Hamas and Hizbullah are the destruction of Israel, accompanied by a second Holocaust of its Jews. Hizbullah has even elaborated, saying they hope all Jews move to Israel so they can kill them all at once.
    So glad you cleared that up, Mark Perry, you vicious piece of slime. He fancies himself an expert “coder-taker”, that much is clear. The alliance with Israel should “not exactly be downgraded, but balanced” — against our new allies, Hamas and Iran. The normal English phrase he’s looking for is “sold down the river.”
    “Interestingly, he notes that we are beginning to engage the Taliban who are killing Americans while not yet engaging Hamas and Hizballah who are not.”
    (Steve Clemons)
    I think you mean, “who are not at this moment killing Americans”. Both have in the past. I remember Hamas killed some state dept types who had come to Gaza to offer scholarships, and I KNOW the Marines remember their 243 dead in Beirut, even if you don’t.
    There is btw, NO visible evidence that Petraeus or “the military” consider our relations with Israel “key”. Petraeus went out of his way to deny Perry’s insinuations; nothing in Petraeus report, which listed Israel as one difficulty among many, and way down the list, had supported Perry. But Perry wants to get his message out, and if he has to call Petraeus a liar along the way, that’s just how the game is played. What a snake.
    The comparisons to the insurgents in Iraq or the Taliban don’t even begin to hold water, because in those cases, there were exploitable internal divisions in both orgs. Tribe-flipping is an ancient part of war in the Mideast. But Hamas and Hizbullah are not tribal organizations. Perry even admits that there is no such exploitable division in Hizbullah, and that talking about “moderates” is mere window-dressing for the rubes.
    And notice the missing word? Iran. Iran pays hundreds of millions to Hamas and Hizbullah. Iran owns Hamas and Hizbullah. Does Perry want the US to pay them instead, or is this just his way of saying we should learn to love Ahmedinejad and his nukes?


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