New Middle East Envoy: former NATO Commander Jim Jones


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced that the new US Envoy for Middle East Security is going to be former NATO Commander Jim Jones.
Here is an item that I posted on my blog from strategist Harlan Ullman and General Jim Jones earlier this year. Jones and Ullman were challenging Krauthammer, and that generally would be a sign of constructive, realist thinking.
— Steve Clemons


20 comments on “New Middle East Envoy: former NATO Commander Jim Jones

  1. Carroll says:

    Olmert: ‘If talks fail, Israel will be finished’
    By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
    Published: 30 November 2007
    The state of Israel would be “finished” if prospects of a two-state solution collapsed, its Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned.
    Mr Olmert told the liberal daily Haaretz:
    “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.”
    Huummm…what does this mean? Does it perhaps mean that Olmert sees the handwritting on the wall? That the entire international community is fed up with Israel’s stall? Could George be applying serious pressure or threats behind the scenes because now that we are in deep doodo in the ME Israel has finally bumped up too hard against our interest?
    South African style struggle means “apartheid”. We should thank Carter and Tutu for calling a spade a spade and introducing Israeli apartheid to the public.


  2. Carroll says:

    Posted by Matthew at November 29, 2007 04:30 PM
    Posted by JohnH at November 29, 2007 05:42 PM
    Yes, I am ordering the Parsi book….I want to read more than just what Karo was will be very interesting.
    As I think you both have said, as well as I, the bomb was never a concern of Israel’s. Their economic and military domination of the region is always what everything they do is about…and they want to use the US to accomplish it.


  3. JohnH says:

    Nice catch, Carroll. The Parsi book contains the kind of information that this blog should be calling to its readers attention. I wonder why Steve has been silent about it, particularly with Flynt Leverett on staff.


  4. Matthew says:

    Carol: I went to speech by Trita Parsi last night where he discussed his book “Treacherous Alliance” about the secret relationships between the USA, Israel, and Iran. I doubt most Americans are aware that Israel is desperately afraid of good relations breaking out between Iran and the USA because Iran is the most stategically important country in the ME. Imagine how Israel would be sidelined if a vibrant, youthful country of 70 million becomes our friend–especially since it probably won’t be constantly demanding ever increasing amounts of foreign aid. You know, like the “miracle” on the Med that we keep hearing about.
    In light of the that fact, expect lots more phony analogies to Munich 1938….


  5. easy e says:

    “Hubris and arrogance are too ensconced in Washington for policymakers to be aware of the economic policy trap in which they have placed the US economy…..Everything will be sacrificed in order to protect Washington’s ability to borrow abroad…..While war imposes enormous costs on a bankrupt country, neoconservatives call for more war, and Republicans and Democrats appropriate war funds which can only be obtained by borrowing abroad.
    By focusing America on war in the Middle East, the purpose of which is to guarantee Israel’s territorial expansion, the executive and legislative branches, along with the media, have let slip the last opportunities the US had to put its financial house in order. We have arrived at the point where it is no longer bold to say that nothing now can be done. Unless the rest of the world decides to underwrite our economic rescue, the chips will fall where they may.
    Paul Craig Roberts
    See entire article at


  6. Carroll says:

    You’ve come a long way Charlie Brown…from a few years ago when anyone who criticized Israel’s actions or their “lobby” of dual loyalist or the sick US-Isr collusion in the occupation of Palestine was called an anti-semite.
    Give yourselves a hand.
    “In a month, Doubleday will publish They Knew They Were Right, a book on the neocons by a fairly sympathetic writer, Jacob Heilbrunn, whose galley is promoted with the following boldfaced language on the back cover:
    “The neocons have become the most reviled and controversial intellectual movement in American history. Critics on both the left and right describe them as a tight-knit cabal that has ensnared the Bush administration in an unwinnable foreign war primarily on Israel’s behalf.”
    His book probably goes on to white wash them a bit but at least this paragraph isn’t doing the usual..”all america luvs israel” PR spin.


  7. Carroll says:

    And when you have time you really have to read this…turns out the Mad Mullahs of Iran aren’t mad after all. But the Israelis are as psychotic as Mexican jumping beans. Their biggest fear is not that Iran will bomb them but that Iran and the US might have decent relations or that the US will have any relationships at all in the ME except for Israel.


  8. Carroll says:

    I do hope this is a sign that americans are becoming, already are, totally disgusted with our usual crapola politicans.
    Ron Paul is obviously catching on with the public.
    Thursday, November 29, 2007
    McCain blames Rise of Hitler on Ron Paul
    Not Invading and Occupying other Countries Branded ‘Isolationism’
    In a new low of despicable looniness, at the Republican debate in St. Petersburg, John McCain equated those Americans who want to stop militarily occupying Iraq with Hitler-enablers. He actually said that, saying that it was ‘isolationism’ of a sort that allowed Hitler to come to power.
    It gives a person a certain amount of faith in one’s fellow Americans that McCain was booed by the Republican crowd for this piece of calumny. Comparisons to Hitler should be automatic grounds for a candidate to be disqualified from being president.
    But then McCain is the same person who joked about bombing Iran. He thinks that killing all those children from the air would be funny?
    McCain also repeated his standard lie that Iraqis would attack the United States if US troops were withdrawn from that country.
    McCain is so confused that he thinks Shiite Iran is supporting “al-Qaeda.” When I think that people who say these crazy things serve in the US senate and are plausible as presidents of our Republic, I despair a little.
    Ron Paul was only allowed to reply briefly to McCain’s outrageous and mean-spirited diatribe. Although the transcript says he was applauded for saying that it was only natural that the Iraqis would want us out of their hair, just as we wouldn’t want somebody invading and occupying us– I heard a lot of booing in response to that point.
    At another point, Paul made the point that the quiet parts of Iraq — the Shiite deep south and the Kurdistan area in the north– are the places where there are no foreign troops to speak of. Unfortunately, he forgot the name of the Kurds and seemed to get confused, so I’m not sure he got the point across.
    Here is the exchange.
    “McCain: . . . I just want to also say that Congressman Paul, I’ve heard him now in many debates talk about bringing our troops home, and about the war in Iraq and how it’s failed.
    And I want to tell you that that kind of isolationism, sir, is what caused World War II. We allowed…
    We allowed …
    (Audience booing)
    Cooper: Allow him his answer. Allow him his answer, please.
    McCain: We allowed — we allowed Hitler to come to power with that kind of attitude of isolationism and appeasement.
    (Audience booing)
    And I want to tell you something, sir. I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops, and their message to you is — the message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is, “Let us win. Let us…
    Cooper: We will — please. We will get to Iraq…
    All right. Let me just remind everyone that these people did take a lot of time to ask these questions, and so we do want direct questions to — the answers. We will get to Iraq later, but I do have to allow Congressman Paul 30 seconds to respond.
    Paul: Absolutely. The real question you have to ask is why do I get the most money from active duty officers and military personnel?
    What John is saying is just totally distorted.
    (Protester shouts off-mike)
    Paul: He doesn’t even understand the difference between non- intervention and isolationism. I’m not an isolationism, (shakes head) em, isolationist. I want to trade with people, talk with people, travel. But I don’t want to send troops overseas using force to tell them how to live. We would object to it here and they’re going to object to us over there.
    The rest is here. This is what Ron Paul said about Iraq:
    “Paul: The best commitment we can make to the Iraqi people is to give them their country back. That’s the most important thing that we can do.
    Already, part of their country has been taken back. In the south, they claim the surge has worked, but the surge really hasn’t worked. There’s less violence, but al-Sadr has essentially won in the south.
    The British are leaving. The brigade of Al Sadr now is in charge, so they are getting their country back. They’re in charge up north — the Shia — the people in the north are in charge, as well, and there’s no violence up there or not nearly as much.
    So, let the people have their country back again. Just think of the cleaning up of the mess after we left Vietnam. Vietnam now is a friend of ours — we trade with them, the president comes here.
    What we achieved in peace was unachievable in 20 years of the French and the Americans being in Vietnam.
    So it’s time for us to take care of America first.
    (Applause) ”


  9. DonS says:

    I haven’t posted it before because I guess there is not “transcript” of unscripted remarks at Annapolis. Anyway, after Bush’ formal statement that included mention of “extremists” in the region, there was a radio clip in which I’m quite sure he said that “extremist Palestinians” were the main impediment to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
    This comment continues the usualy pattern of the U.S. tilting toward Israel, but more importantly, how
    can Abbas abide such a comment without futher fragmenting Palestine?
    I’m confused. Is there some strategy here, e.g. to split off Gaza? With Hamas in the majority, surely Abbas couldn’t survive that.
    In any case, it was the sort of comment by Bush that seemed entirely unhelpful, espeically when any sentient being knows that there will have to be inclusion of Hamas for the process to move forward in any way but window dressing. Even if we are only talking “first steps” here, why throw sand in the face of Hamas? But so much of the politics of ME talks have mainly been about posturing, why should one be surprised.


  10. easy e says:

    The Bush administration has made widespread use of the so-called state secrets privilege to dismiss lawsuits that seek to challenge its domestic wiretaps and other illegal activities. Now two veteran senators, Arlen Spector (R-PA) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA), are teaming up to craft legislation that would direct judges to evaluate the government’s state secrets claims rather than accepting them uncritically.
    Keith Olbermann described this proposed legislation with a high degree of skepticism, saying sardonically, “The bill may end up as part of the Senate’s wiretapping law, due for a vote next month — after which the president will sign it and monkeys will fly out of his butt.”
    He then turned to constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley, asking him why there isn’t already such a law, as most Americans would assume there would be.
    “It actually is the law,” Turley replied. “This has been a distortion, or a mutation of the law. The privilege has become something that I think the Supreme Court never imagined when it first created it.”
    “Today, the privilege is used primarily not to keep something secret, but to keep something from being used against the government,” Turley went on. “I was in a courtroom when people laughed when the government counsel argued that they could use the privilege to claim as secret something that was published on the cover of the New York Times.”
    Turley said that some judges are already scrutinizing government claims under the state secret privilege but suggested that those who do not are merely “lazy.” He pointed out that even the original case which established the privilege was eventually found to have been based on a lie, “and the Supreme Court refused to reexamine the case.”
    Perhaps Turley’s most telling observation was that members of both parties are happy to see these cases dismissed because they are determined to keep impeachment off the table. “There’s a lot of people, both Democrats and Republicans, that … don’t want a court to say that the president did something that is a federal crime. That’s why they’re trying to get all these cases thrown out of court. … When a federal judge says the president committed a crime, it’s pretty darn hard to ignore that.”
    However, he agreed with Olbermann that it would still be important to have such a law in place for after Bush leaves office, saying, “The privilege is now a tool used to protect the government from its own crimes.”
    Sadly, above observation by Jonathan Turley explains the complicity of the corporate media and leading bloggers (TWN, TPM) to “keep impeachment off the table.”


  11. easy e says:

    …..”It is about a grievance,” said Levy, naming the occupation of Palestine by Israel. “You end the grievance and you solve the problem.”


  12. p.lukasiak says:

    OT, but….
    Any comments on your friend Hillary Mann Leverett’s trashing of Bill Clinton? Its clear from the Post article that Clinton was asking serious questions, while doing what virtually every ex-President does…back up the current President in wartime.
    And Leverett is acting as if she was getting private assurances of support from Clinton — so what is her deal? Whose campaign is she acting as a proxy for? Should we consider anything she ever says again as credible, after this obvious political hit job?


  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “With their violent actions and contempt for human life, the extremists are seeking to impose a dark vision on the Palestinian people, a vision that feeds on hopelessness and despair to sow chaos in the Holy Land.”
    Must have been a body double. Theres no way in hell Bush coulda got through that paragraph. Either that, or he used eight second pauses between each word, mulling the enunciation before excerting the tremendous will it takes to incite his mouth to move.


  14. Carroll says:

    You can’t get any more Orwellian than this…
    “In his own speech, Bush sketched a much more ominous view of the region than Olmert and Abbas.
    “The battle is underway for the future of the Middle East, and we must not cede victory to the extremists,” he said. “With their violent actions and contempt for human life, the extremists are seeking to impose a dark vision on the Palestinian people, a vision that feeds on hopelessness and despair to sow chaos in the Holy Land.
    If this vision prevails, the future of the region will be endless terror, endless war and endless suffering.” WaPo


  15. Carroll says:

    Sorry, this is off topic but I couldn’t resist.
    Trent Lott’s Brother-In-Law, Nephew, Indicted On Federal Bribery Charges
    November 28, 2007 07:10 PM


  16. Carroll says:

    “Speaking for hardliners opposed to the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Frank Gaffney Jr., president of the hawkish Center for Security Policy, wrote in the Washington Times that “despite official efforts to lowball its significance, Miss Rice’s conclave is shaping up to be a gang-rape of a nation on a scale not seen since Munich in 1938. This time, the intended victim is Israel. As with the effort to appease the Nazis and Fascists nearly 70 years ago, however, the damage will not be confined to the rapee. The interests of the Free World in general and the United States in particular will suffer from what the Saudis and most of the other attendees have in mind for the Jewish State—namely, its dismemberment and ultimate destruction.”
    Well Gaffney and the Israelis have finally gotten around to accusing the US of being part of the second genocide of the jews, and Hitler like, and on the verge of of destroying jewdom a la 1938.


  17. Carroll says:

    I can’t find much on Jones re his views on Isr-Pal, if he has any. Any chance he is not another Israel centric?
    I haven’t paid much attention to the meeting going on since Bush announced that the two parties would have come to an agreement on their own. Because that will never happen.
    Strange statement anyway since he canceled their democratic elections when Hamas won. So much for democracy.
    From my observation the past few years Palestine has been grinding and grinding to try and get something concrete so they could get on with declaring their statehood…while Israel has been doing their usual stall. Somewhere around here I have a list of all the deals Hamas offered Israel for cease fires and etc…which of course were never accepted…and of course never mentioned in the US press….so much for the Israel’s whine about their security.
    No….a deal is going to have to be “imposed’ by someone. The Arabs and OPEC should just impose an oil boycott on the US and Israel until a peace agreement is reached..that should make everyone get serious.


  18. jonst says:

    Wheee!!! Yea!!! 3 Cheers!!! ANOTHER military man to the fore. The militarization of American life goes on unabated. And generally welcome by the ‘serious people’ in the Village.


  19. Mr.Murder says:

    “Jones and Ullman were challenging Krauthammer, and that generally would be a sign of constructive, realist thinking.” -Clemons
    So we can assert that in this case Jim Jones doesn’t drink the kool aid?


  20. JohnH says:

    The tone of this whole adventure is certainly clear, in case anyone missed it.
    Jones is the US Envoy for Middle East SECURITY. BTW what ever happened to Tony Blair? Where is the headline reading “Lapdog Stiffed Again?”
    The text of the “Middle East Peace Statement” is heavy on peace with security with no mention of peace with prosperity.
    This statement reeks of total capitulation to the US/Israeli security agenda with no mention of basic Palestinian rights and aspirations. It would appear that Palestinians are being given yet another opporutnity to totally and unconditionally surrender and provide ironclad security guarantees in addition.
    Does anyone see anything in this statement that suggests anything positive for Palestinians? Maybe they maintain their right to be ethnically cleansed?


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