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A Little Context

Time for some context on the current turmoil in and around Israel. This passage from Ron Suskind’s The Price of Loyalty has special resonance given current events. The scene is the White House Situation Room in January 2001, where Bush is meeting for the first time with his National Security Council, 10 days after taking the oath of office. Bush has just asked who in the room has met Ariel Sharon:

He’d met Sharon briefly, Bush said, when they had flown over Israel in a helicopter on a visit in December 1998. “Just saw him that one time. We flew over the Palestinian camps,” Bush said sourly. “Looked real bad down there. I don’t see much we can do over there at this point. I think it’s time to pull out of that situation.”And that was it, according to [Paul] O’Neill and several other people in the room. The Arab-Israeli conflict was a mess, and the United States would disengage. The combatants would have to work it out on their own.

[Colin] Powell said such a move might be hasty. He remarked on the violence on the West Bank and Gaza and on its roots. He stressed that a pullback by the United States would unleash Sharon and Israeli army. “The consequences of that could be dire,” he said, “especially for the Palestinians.”

Bush shrugged. “Maybe that’s the best way to get some things back in balance.”

Powell seemed startled.

“Sometimes a show of strength by one side can really clarify things,” Bush said.

With that, the rest of the meeting was devoted to Iraq.

(From TPM)

July 29, 2006 Posted by | Armed Conflict, National Defence | 4 Comments

I Almost Forgot World Leaders are Usually Smart.

I watched the joint press conference of English PM Tony Blair and our President George Bush and was completely struck by one thing over all others. While both Bush and Blair touted the same losing strategy in the Middle East I felt, for the first time, that I understood where these crazies are coming from. Why? Because Blair was there to articulate sentences that communicated thoughts. Oh how I miss such qualities in our leader. I still think the strategy of blindly staying the course is poorly conceived but at least I came away from the conference with an understanding of their “plan” (if you can call it that).

On more than one occasion, Blair answered on behalf of Bush who couldn’t form a sentence without three or more grammatical errors. Not only is he completely dumb but it took him standing next to a Brit for me to realize just how rude he is. We can’t forget, of course, how he talked to Blair at the G8, chewing with his mouth open, not looking him in the eye, using expletives. And I will never forget the back-rub he bestowed on the German Chancellor. But whenever Blair referred to Bush he said something like “The President and I agree” or “President Bush and I had a long conversation about” but with Bush its more like “Tony and I had a long chat” and “that’s why Tony and I think Condi Rice should stay up there”.

Its all so embarrassing.

July 28, 2006 Posted by | Armed Conflict, Irony and Hypocrisy, National Defence | Leave a comment

Stop the violence NOW!

Abbas El-Zein writes a bias but nonetheless tragic Opinion on the current situation in Lebanon. The passage below struck a particular cord with me but the entire piece is worth a read.

More is at stake now than the fate of Lebanon. If the West does not persuade Israel to stop its attacks, that failure will add to a creeping sense that, in its fight with Islamic fundamentalism, the West has abandoned its claim to moral superiority based on respect for human rights and international law, and is pursuing instead a war based increasingly on tribal solidarity. What a tragedy this would be, especially for those of us who crave a modern, peaceful Middle East. And what a triumph for the varied strains of bin Ladenism — Muslim, Christian and Jewish alike.

July 27, 2006 Posted by | Armed Conflict, National Defence | 6 Comments

Iraqi PM Paints Rosey Picture of War

Perhaps mindful of the negative response shown by Democrats and Republicans in Congress yesterday who do not agree with his stance on the Israeli-Lebanese conflict, Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki did not bother to mentioning it in his speech to a joint session this morning. Not only did he neglect the conflict, but he again failed to define Hezbollah as a terrorist organization when he spoke about Iraq being on “the front lines of the war on terror”.

His speech went on with no mention of the ongoing violence in Iraq and the constantly rising civilian death toll. Many Democrats are taking issue with his rosey depiction of the situation on the ground.

Meanwhile, in a press conference yesterday, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff seemed a bit unsure of our progress (or lack there of) in Iraq. When asked if we were winning in Iraq he stumbled for a good six seconds and blurted “I wont say we’re winning but we’re not losing”.

When will it be made clear to the American people that the war is turning into a serious civil war that we cannot controll. The only logical solution is to redeploy to and secure the boarders and let the Iraqis fight it out and provide the necessary tactical support. See John Murtha’s plan.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki

July 26, 2006 Posted by | Armed Conflict, National Defence | 2 Comments

North Korea… Remeber them?

Lets not forget that on our 4th of July, our Independence day, North Korea defied our demands and tested sever missiles.  This news has been overshadowed by the current violence in the Middle East but lets not forget the serious danger North Korea poses to our country.  They don’t have oil but the are a real threat!

July 22, 2006 Posted by | Armed Conflict, Right Wing Deception | 1 Comment

Israeli troops move into Gaza

This could be very bad…

Israeli troops crossed the border into southern Gaza early Wednesday in a campaign meant to secure the return of a soldier kidnapped by Palestinian militants over the weekend, the Israeli military said. more…

June 27, 2006 Posted by | Armed Conflict | Leave a comment