What He Says vs. What He Does


There is a peculiar custom that permeates the societies in the Middle East — a lack of commitment to telling the truth. It is cultural — they will tell you what they think you want to hear. It is difficult to understand whether this arises out of an attempt to not embarrass you by disagreeing, or, because you are not a member of their culture — you are an infidel — lying to you is of no consequence.

It is rapidly becoming a staple of America’s political culture with a myriad of politicians denying sordid personal affairs and parsing words to justify departure from previous commitments. Its chief practitioner now appears to be President Barack Obama and, with his most recent departure from the truth, the price will be the lives of literally hundreds of our young men and women in the armed forces.

During the campaign President Obama argued that we were fighting the wrong war — the one in Iraq. He said our focus should be on Afghanistan and defeating al-Qaida and he committed to defeating al-Qaida and the Taliban. He even went so far as to urge that we invade Pakistan to destroy the “safe-havens” of these insurgents in mountainous border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

After his election President Obama used his intent to refocus our military strategy in Afghanistan as a partial justification for setting an artificial timeline for withdrawing from Iraq and for beginning a draw down of both our forces and our commitment to engage the insurgents.

But his “commitment” to Afghanistan and defeating al-Qaida and the Taliban were just words because that’s what he thought we wanted to hear. He knew that he could not get elected by supporting a complete withdrawal because he like former-President Jimmy Carter and former Democrat presidential candidate Michael Dukakis would appear to be weak on defense.

So he talked tough about Afghanistan — just like he’s talked tough about the pursuit of nuclear weapons by rogue regimes in North Korea and Iran. But in the end, he has done nothing — nothing overtly and even less covertly.

And now General McChrystal — President Obama’s handpicked leader for the Afghanistan conflict — has pointedly said that without more troops and weapons al-Qaida and the Taliban will win the war. This isn’t some policy wonk in a university affiliated think tank talking; this is the guy on the ground giving the commander-in-chief a realistic assessment of battlefield conditions.

And what is President Obama’s response? He went on David Letterman’s late night show to announce that, because of the increasing number of casualties in Afghanistan, he was not going to send additional troops immediately. Instead, he wanted to make sure “we had the policy right.” Given the political leanings of the former comedian, it is doubtful that the question was spontaneous or the answer unrehearsed.

But, it is a frightening reminiscence of President Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War. Johnson would routinely overrule his generals and plan and conduct military strategy from the White House. It was a disaster. Tens of thousands of America’s young men gave their lives in a fight that Johnson had no intention of winning but did not want to accept blame for losing. He agreed to a variety of limitations on the conduct of the war that gave the enemy undisturbed sanctuaries and allowed a hostile Congress to second guess every military request.

Now, today, we have President Obama whose total life experience prior to being elected president was that of a community organizer and a petty politician in America’s most politically corrupt city — Chicago. He has even less experience than President Johnson. He asked his own appointee for expert military advice and as quickly as he has received it, he has discounted it — speculating instead that maybe we should increase the number of drones.

He has agreed to limitations that endanger our troops and inhibit our ability to collect real time battlefield intelligence — chief among them is the agreement to turn over all insurgents to the Afghan government within 36 hours of capture. In most instances, given the remote areas in which the fight is engaged, it takes 36 hours to merely transport, let alone interrogate, such prisoners. And the Afghan government — as corrupt as any — treats these prisoners with a revolving door by releasing them almost immediately after taking them into custody — that is except for the few for whom there are tribal scores to settle and for whom torture and death await.

Let’s face it. President Obama is a product of the far left wing of the Democrat Party. He was born and raised in a political radicalism that views America as an “imperialist power” imposing its political will on others. As a result, he will never confront, with force, an oppressive foreign power or ideology. He will talk tough and do nothing.

Prior to President Obama’s inauguration, Vice-President Joe Biden predicted that the world would test the young and inexperienced president. Unfortunately, Biden believed that such a test would be in the form of an international crisis. But that isn’t how the world works. When confronted with an unknown quantity, the world probes. It doesn’t confront — at least initially.

And the world has been probing President Obama — North Korea’s continued escalation of its nuclear weapons capability, Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, Russia’s bold invasion of Georgia, the resurgence of al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the abandonment of the European missile shield despite his promises to implement it, and so on and so on. In every instance, the world has found Obama weak and indecisive.

It’s happened before. The Soviet Union routinely tested a new president — John F. Kennedy — and found him weak and indecisive. So much so that they dared to locate nuclear missiles in Cuba and set the stage for an international confrontation that could have been avoided in the first instance.

But President Kennedy was dealing with rational men — ruthless but still rational — and they understood the impact of a nuclear war. Today we are confronted by irrational leaders — Kim Il Jung in North Korea and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran — and when the inevitable international confrontation occurs we can be less certain that the assurance of nuclear destruction will deter their ambitions — especially if they conclude that President Obama lacks the will to pull the trigger.

So where does that leave us in Afghanistan? It leaves us with a President who apparently is willing to fiddle indefinitely while he “gets the policy right” and who, in the meantime, is also willing to sacrifice the lives of more young men and women while imposing limitations on their ability to conduct the war, denying the reinforcement they need and allowing Nancy Pelosi and her cronies the ability to de-fund the combat effort.

For my part, bring the troops home — today. It is not worth sacrificing another American’s life on a war the President Obama has no intention of winning but for which he does not want to accept blame for losing.

With President Obama, you have to ignore what he says and focus on what he does. Just ask Pope Benedict who listened to President Obama say that he would do everything possible to reduce the number of abortions while signing an executive order permitting the use of federal funds to promote abortion internationally and arguing before the United Nations for expanded access to abortions on demand. Just ask Rep. Joe Wilson who listened to President Obama tell Congress that his universal healthcare bill would not apply to illegal aliens and watched Obama and his fellow Democrats reject amends which would do just that, preferring instead to leave in place a provision that prohibits inquiring into citizenship as a condition of receiving healthcare insurance.

It’s not so much that he lies, it’s that he tells you what he thinks you want to hear without any intention of doing what he says.

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  • Rupert in Springfield

    It would be hard to find a situation where the ball is more squarely in BO’s court than the one in Afghanistan. On so many occasions BO has said “Look, it took us a long time to get here, its going to take a long time to get out of it, it’s all Bush’s fault” and the die hards who still believe in him lap it up and excuse him. This is not one of them. His general is quite clearly saying, “send in more troops and weapons or lose this war”.

    I would suggest BO head the advice. What policy exactly is he claiming needs to be studied? Whether or not to lose? Mr. Obama has been in office for nine months and had spent the previous year before that criticizing his predecessor over the policy in the region. Mr. Obama, your policy should have been thought out long before this time.

    Well, while we all wait for BO to get his act together I am sure what he thinks of as a thoughtful process of drawn out reasoning is appearing otherwise to our enemies. We have the back down on the missiles in Europe that has European leaders angry as hell at us. We have total withdrawal on Iran with nary a comment on the recent IAC report. We have the abysmal situation of North Korea ordering us around to the point of having us send an ex president as an errand boy to go pick up captured journalists.

    And all Mr. Obama can do is whine about health care. Americans are jobless and destitute. Mr. Obama seems unaware. The stimulus was a way to dispatch the economic concerns of the jobless in a thrice. To file them away in a drawer marked “dealt with” never to be heard from again. Our foreign policy seems to be a cacophony of apologizes combined with ruthless capitulation. Our government is so awash in corruption that ACORN still has supporters for funding. We have war imminent between Iran and Israel, Mr. Obama does nothing. In short, unless you are calling about health care, no one is home.

    Mr. Obama, its time for you to fulfill one of your favourite campaign pledges.

    You reveled in giving the back hand insult to president Bush that you could do all your grand plans in addition to fight the Mideast war because you, unlike him, could multi task.

    I would suggest Mr. Obama, that it is time for us to see a little of that vaunted multi tasking ability on display. I see none of it now. All I see is a president who insists the realities of the world go away so he can concentrate on passing health care.

    Setting a war on the back burner so you can focus all you energy on getting any sort of face saving health care bill passed is not multi tasking Mr. Obama. It is self indulgent abdication of leadership, It is the building of the everlasting pyramid of a giant government program as statuary edifice to yourself. It is not leadership.

    • v person

      “I would suggest BO head the advice. What policy exactly is he claiming needs to be studied? Whether or not to lose?”

      No. Its more like what “winning” means for us, and what the best way to get there is. He may go with McChrystal’s plan if he concludes that defeating the Taliban is necesary for defeating al Queda. Or he may conclude that the Taliban are an indigenous matter for the Afgans to solve amongst themselves, and that our only interest is in defeating al Queda, which might require a differnt force structure for a different mission.

      I don’t know which of these is the better/wiser path, and neither do you or Larry. But at the end of the day, Obama wil be responsible for the outcome of his decision. So he is taking his time, weighing his options, and the likely consequences of one way or the other. He apparently does not want to rush more troops in, possibly to fight the wrong enemy. For that I’m relieved.

      What do you have against him being cautious and thoughful? We just had a non coautious, non thoughtful administration and they left multiple disasters behind. The first rule to get out of a hole is to stop digging.

      “Americans are jobless and destitute. Mr. Obama seems unaware.”

      ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????
      You are off the rails Rupert. First, some Americans are jobless, and some of those are destitute. Most of us are still doing fine. Second, Obama is well aware of the situation, which is why he had Congress pass a stimulus that you opposed. And why unemployment, food stamps, etc…have been extended adn expanded to help get people through this. And why he is proposing better terms for people to pay for college. And why he is proposing subsidies for expanded health insurance. And why he kept GM and Chysler afloat. And so forth.

      Multi-task? You don’t think his administration is multi-tasking? You aren’t paying attention.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >You are off the rails Rupert. First, some Americans are jobless, and some of those are destitute. Most of us are still doing fine.

        Yep, and we all know how you would say the exact same thing if BO was a Republican. Come on, this doesn’t even get to first base Dean. However it does go to what I was saying about those who will excuse Obama of anything. Lets face it, you even excused ACORN for advising on child slavery. Nothing is beyond you when it comes to excusing a Democrat.

        >Second, Obama is well aware of the situation, which is why he had Congress pass a stimulus that you opposed.

        And which you obviously know nothing about and which has not worked as well as advertised. Even BO admits that.

        At any rate this one still fails. If BO was so aware of the situation he would have scheduled the public works stuff to commence immediately, not be put off for 2010 as 75% of the bill was. That’s what he was advised to do by every economist with a pulse. No economist to my knowledge ever said postponing the spending was a good idea if one is committed to that course of action.

        I certainly opposed it on that basis and was quite vocal about those reasons at the time. A stimulus doesn’t work when you are relying on government spending, if that spending doesn’t take place ASAP. I knew it and said so, every economist out there was saying so, and the results ( worse than BO predicted ) prove it so.

        So, nice try but no cigar.

        What’s next?

        >And why unemployment, food stamps, etc…have been extended adn expanded to help get people through this.

        Congress does this pretty regularly.

        Big whoop, unemployment extended, the bi annual event. Not a lot of heavy lifting here.

        My dog could have gotten through an unemployment extension while blindfolded in this economy. And she’s dead.

        Next?

        > And why he is proposing better terms for people to pay for college. And why he is proposing subsidies for expanded health insurance. And why he kept GM and Chysler afloat. And so forth.

        Um, yep.

        Well, thanks for reinforcing my point.

        Did you even read what you were responding to?

        Look, I know I have to say everything to you two or three times before it ever gets through your head but lets go through my point again.

        BO was asked fairly frequently during the campaign, with his heavy domestic agenda did he really think he could do that and also handle the mid east war. Was he taking on too much?

        I reiterated this in my post.

        I just restated it here.

        Ok, so got it now?

        To continue – You replied, saying I had gone off the rails, and then made my point for me.

        You didn’t list a single thing BO has done regarding the war or the middle east situation in general.

        Once again, you need to make sure the brain is engaged before putting the mouth in gear.

        Once again, in case you didn’t read – again –

        I said BO did not seem to be multitasking well for the same reason he was asked about it during the campaign. Namely to grand a domestic agenda would mean inattention to the war. You tried to refute it by listing a grand domestic agenda.

        Only a simpleton would think this does anything but reinforce my point.

        Yet again, I advise you, read what the hell you are responding to before popping off with your absurdity. Usually you just manage to make yourself look silly through a string of non sequitars. Here you have gone one better, you have proven exactly the point I was making.

        If you had taken my advice in the past, to read what you are responding to, you would not continue to make this same basic mistake over and over. However your complete inability to ever admit you are wrong forces you to keep making the same mistake. It’s really absurd.

  • Tax Payer

    Obama ” if I’m elected President I’ll allow people to withdraw from thir 401-K’s without penalty during this downturn”. How is that coming along LIAR?

  • Ralph Branxton

    I think this president should be called “W” for WEAK!

  • Bob Tiernan

    *v person:*

    Or he may conclude that the Taliban are an indigenous matter for the Afgans to solve amongst themselves

    *Bob T:*

    And many have been saying that for some years. But note how a Taliban regime, if it returns and resumes a steady stream of executions in Kabul’s soccer stadium for crimes such as listening to a music CD, attending a clandestine school while being female, working at a job while female, showing more than your eyes while female, etc, will not be criticized by the Left which will instead concentrate on exaggerating or mischaracterizing Israeli actions and calling them Nazis who are committing genocide and implementing an apartheid state. There was a time when the left had a reputation for opposing regimes that brutalized their people. Now they give a pass to many like that, and single out Israel by lying about their record. Well, if that makes them feel good..

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • v person

      As a member of the left in good standing, I don’t agree that we don’t criticize human rights violations wherever they are done. Amnesty International is usually considered “left” and they are pretty consistent. Jimmy Carter was ridiculed by the right for his consistency on human rights advocacy that included criticism of friendly dictators.

      The Taliban are brutal, bad, nasty and a scourge. There are brutal bad nasty scourges all over the planet at any given moment. So we have to choose our battles wisely. If there are not enough Afghans willing and able to stave off the Taliban with their own blood sweat and tears and limited help from us, so be it. We can’t do everything for everyone.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >As a member of the left in good standing, I don’t agree that we don’t criticize human rights violations wherever they are done.

        What the hell are you talking about? You only go on about human rights when it wont chafe your party.

        A – When Bush was in office you were all on about closing GITMO and getting rid of harsh interrogation. Well, now that its BO, you don’t have a problem with him basically back burnering it and continuing the exact policies at Bargram AFB that the left was so exorcized about under Bush. I think some things have changed at Bagram recently, but the judge hearing the case on Bagram interrogations was stunned when on coming into office BO said he intended to follow the Bush policies exactly. I even brought this up to you a few months ago. Did you criticize BO for this? No! Of course not, he’s a Democrat.

        B – Just last week you tried to soft pedal ACORN giving advice on how to run a child slavery ring as an isolated incident when you knew damn well it had taken place in five separate states.

        C – In a pretty vocal discussion with me right on this blog you made the claim that when the left racialized something they did so to emancipate, when the right did, they did so to oppress. When I pointed out to you that Al Sharpton, then a vivid member of the Democratic party had started several race riots in NYC in which more than a few people were killed, you totally excused it.

        Ok, so we know even though you are a proud lefty, you are anything but consistent on human rights.

        Well, what about lefties in general?

        How about human rights in Afghanistan and Iraq? The right marveled at the silence of the left on the emancipation of women in those countries, particularly the former. Did the left give any credit to Bush on that score? Did NOW, a left wing organization if I ever saw one, stand up and give him a standing ovation for what one would think would be a big deal to them? Nope. All we got was “Stupid Bush” and inane accusations of treason.

        Gee, what else comes to mind?

        Well, there is a little old thing we call genocide. That happened in Rwanda. Id sure call that a human rights abuse. Everyone in charge there said it would have taken 500 men and half a dozen tanks to have prevented that little massacre. There was plenty of time to get them there too. We all saw the lead up for over a month.

        I could have put those tanks in a box and stuck 50 cents postage on it, had it returned to me, then stuck on the correct postage and gotten the tanks and men there in time.

        Clinton did nothing. Did the left criticize him for it? Do they now? I sure don’t see it not on any level or scale that is at all consummate with the absolute fecklessness of his actions in this regard.

        Oh gee, and then I guess there is Somalia.

        Boy, did Bush one get any credit at all from the left for sending the armed forces in on what was strictly a humanitarian mission? Nope, not a word. The war turned out to be a bad idea and Bush shouldn’t have gotten us in it. But if the left cared so much about human rights they sure as hell would have given Bush tremendous credit not only for trying, but for using the military in a way they have longed for, endless humanitarian missions. Instead all we got was “stupid Bush”

        Oh, and my God Jimmy Carter?

        Are you crazy? The guy is a dictator hugger as well as being Americas foremost anti Semite.

        If you are holding him up as a picture of consistency on human rights you have a very strange picture of what constitutes freedom. The right never ridiculed him for his consistency on human rights. They ridiculed him for his inanity. The man went out of his way to cuddle up with tyrants. He consistently equates Israel with with terrorists, the absurdity of which is apparent to virtually everyone, but I guess not you since you seem to hold him in some regard. God knows why.

        • v person

          “Well, now that its BO, you don’t have a problem with him basically back burnering it and continuing the exact policies at Bargram AFB that the left was so exorcized about under Bush.”

          I don’t have a problem with him taking some time to find different arangements for Gitmo prisoners. I do have a problem with Bagram, but of late they have changed policies there. I’m happy he has ended torture as unofficial US policy.

          “Just last week you tried to soft pedal ACORN giving advice on how to run a child slavery ring ”

          It wasn’t ACORN. It was 1 or 2 low level idiots in local ACORN offices in 3 states and DC, not 5 states. Its like saying that if a branch office of a bank embezzles money then that is bank policy. Its good theatre and not much else (so far). There are more important things than ACORN.

          “In a pretty vocal discussion with me right on this blog you made the claim that when the left racialized something they did so to emancipate…”

          Rinse wash repeat. What in the blazes does that have to do with this human rights thread Rupert? And I have never in my life used the term “racialize” except to ask you where in the heck you got it from. I don’t think it is in any dictionary.

          “Ok, so we know even though you are a proud lefty, you are anything but consistent on human rights.”

          Correction. You think you know something. Given the examples you just showed, 2 of which have nothing to do with government supression of human rights, and the other which you mistated my position, you are connecting non-existent dots to draw your as usual overly confident conclusions. You are free to do so, but it doesn’t make you right.

          “Clinton did nothing. Did the left criticize him for it?”

          Yes, in fact “the left” did criticize him pretty severely. An Obama advisor, Samantha Power, wrote a quite devestating book about it, causing Clinton to later apologize for his innaction. Look it up. America in an Age of Genocide: A problem From Hell. I know…it was just a book. So its just an example to prove you wrong.

          “Boy, did Bush one get any credit at all from the left for sending the armed forces in on what was strictly a humanitarian mission? Nope, not a word. ”

          Rupert, who the heck do you think was there in Somalia delivering food to the starving people, who were attacked, who were then protected by the troops Bush sent in? THE LEFT! Unless you think THE RIGHT spends its time and resources feeding starving people in war torn places. Hint. It doesn’t.

          So yes, the aid workers were thankful. And those who supported the aid workers were thankful to Bush. And they were lefties.

          “Are you crazy? The guy is a dictator hugger as well as being Americas foremost anti Semite.” and “The right never ridiculed him for his consistency on human rights…”

          He would have to challenge Pat Buchanon for that honor, don’t you think? Carter made human rights his main thrust on foreign policy. He was ridiculed by the right. Look it up. Look up what Reagan said about it. Look up what Jeanne Kirkpatrick said about it. And how she said right wing dictators are our friends and Carter should not criticize them.

          “He consistently equates Israel with with terrorists, the absurdity of which is apparent to virtually everyone, but I guess not you since you seem to hold him in some regard.”

          I didn’t say I agreed with him. I said he was consistent about applying the same standard to all sides. I think he was a pretty lousy president, and has been a great ex-president. I think on Israel he is closer to being right than most of his critics. Israel has without question violated Palistinian human rights time and again. That is a simple fact, well documented by Israelis themselves, and to deny it is to deny reality, which you are increasingly good at.

          Now just because I accept reality does not mean I don’t generally support Israel in its long struggle to be secure in its borders. The problem is where it thinks its borders are versus where most of the rest of the world thinks they are. And the problem for us is that as one of the few defenders of Israel and its chief funder, we catch much of the crap that overflows that region’s frustration. So our interest and Israel’s interest are not the same, and it is time we recognized that and acted accordingly. Which Obama appears poised to do by the way.

          But once again, you have caused me to stray from the subject at hand. “The left,” which includes the ACLU, Amnesty International, much of Europe, Samantha Power and me (she is quite hot, so I like that last part), have been working to protect and expand human rights since before you were born. No apologies.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            OK – I think we are done here.

            The arrogance of thinking the default position is the left gets a pass on human rights, when most human rights violations throughout history have been committed by the left is a little sickening.

            Whatever nausea I feel is only reinforced by the concept of arguing with a guy who holds such a position but yet has no idea what child slavery or race riots have to do with human rights.

            I think you have shown more than enough of what anyone would need to make an assessment. I think what you have shown here, beyond stretching the boundaries of credulity, does test the limits of any decent person to comprehend.

            Ugggg.

          • eagle eye

            The problem concerning Israel is that most of the Muslim world thinks its borders should be …. nonexistent. Quite a lot of the remaining countries of the world would be happy to see it annihilated too. Obama is a fool to think that by brutalizing Israel back to the ’67 borders, he can bring peace with the Palestinians, let alone deal effectively with Iran. That we are responsible for “the region’s frustration”, as you so delicately put it, and that this “frustration” is the threat to peace.

            You may think that Israel has violated human rights, but then so have many dozens of other countries, starting with the United States and NATO. (Think about the brutal bombing campaigns in Iraq, the Balkans, Iraq again, and Afghanistan.) But only Israel gets selected for constant slander and vilification.

            Obama is on path to disgrace the United States and bring about a very dangerous situation for Israel and in fact for the rest of the world. He is clearly completely out of his depth.

          • v person

            The Arab League put a proposal on the table that would accept israels’ original borders in exchange for a comprehensive peace, including full trade relations and formal diplomatic ties several years ago. They hinted that a border adjustment is workable as long as it is acceptable the Palestinians. The “frustration” in that region is in part about Israel, in part about Arabs being 2nd class citizens, in part over their own autocratic governments. My concern is over when those things impact us, which they have done and are doing. Arabs see Israelis as European colonizers, and for good reason. Prior to the 73 war we had little to do with Israel and it was the Europeans who supported them. Since then we have been their supporter and the Europeans have backed off. Why is it in our nation’s interest to have hostile relations with hundreds of millions of people in order to support a few million? I don’t get it and never have.

            “You may think that Israel has violated human rights…”

            Its not a matter of me thinking it. its a documented fact. Yes, so have other nations, including us. 50 wrongs don’t make a right.

            “Obama is on path to disgrace the United States and bring about a very dangerous situation for Israel and in fact for the rest of the world.”

            We disagree. Bush tried full stop backing of Israel and that did not result in them becoming any safer. It simply encouraged them to remain stubborn over illegally settling disputed territory, which in my opinion led to the strengthening of Hamas and Hezbollah. There has to be a give and take, and everyone knows where Israel has to give: stop new settlements, share Jeruselum, and offer at least a symbolic right of return. Everyone also knows where the Palestinians have to give. The trick is to get them both giving a bit at the same time. Time and demographics are not on Israels side.

            Rupert writes: “OK – I think we are done here”

            Amen brother.

          • eagle eye

            The so-called Arab peace plan also has a provison for the Palestinians to “return” to Israel. A formula to destroy Israel. No-go.

            There could have been a Palestinian state 60 years ago, 41 years ago, at the end of the Clinton administration. The Arabs simply don’t want it.

            As to why it’s in our interest to support Israel — because a second destruction of the Jews would be a terminal blow to what’s left of the Free World.

            Frankly, your attitude toward Israel disgusts me. You are no better than the appeasers of Hitler 70 years ago. Except we should know better by now.

            Rupert is right, we are done. As in good riddance, Dean. You are just part of the far-left sewer.

          • v person

            And here I was naive enough to think we just had an honest difference of opinion. For what it is worth to you, my own son is Jewish, so I’m not interested in fostering the destruction of the Jewish people. All in all he is a pretty good kid.

          • eagle eye

            Beyond a certain point, the motives for differences don’t matter. A Nazi appeaser was just as dangerous, and in some ways almost as unsypmathetic, as a Nazi supporter. You may be well-intentioned, but that does not make your views any less dangerous. In fact, in some respects it is more dangerous.

            Given your family situation, your views are all the more pathetic.

          • v person

            What is dangerous Eagle, and increasingly tiresome, is people throwing around Nazi accusations. Read your damn history.

          • eagle eye

            Read Ahmadinejad’s rantings, and then read Netanyahu’s speech to the UN. The comparison is perfectly apt. You may not be a Nazi yourself — I don’t think you are — but you are aiding and abetting Nazi-like forces of today. It’s pathetic, and disgusting. And it’s not just you.

          • v person

            “You may not be a Nazi yourself ”

            Gee…thanks for that. But it is still ridiculous for you or anyone to assert that anyone who questions whether what Israel is doing is in the interests of us, the United States, is therefore either a nazi or a nazi appeaser. By that definition a majority of Americans are nazi appeasers.

            Ahmadinejad is a paper tiger. A weak president of a people that despise him. He will be out of power within a year or 2, and in the meantime has zero control over Iran’s military. We waste far too much time and fear on this guy.

          • Anonymous

            Psychologists say that when a son rejects his father’s religion he’s rejecting his father.

    • eagle eye

      You are certainly right about Israel. The press and the so-called human rights group treat that country with a vicious double standard. They mercilessly pillory Israel for military operations that are far more careful than what the Soviet Union did in Chechnya, what NATO did in the Balkans, what the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan and Iraq. To say nothing of truly odious regimes in the Middle East and Africa. Same with the wretched Jimmy Carter.

  • davidg

    Well now, getting back to Larry’s original post, I am glad to see that he has finally come around to supporting a withdrawal from Afghanistan. I do too, but for reasons different than his.

    I do agree with Larry that if Obama fights the Afghan war like Johnson fought in Viet Nam, Obama will get the same result. The wiser course for the US in both cases would have been never to have gotten involved in the first place. But, having done so, getting out sooner rather than later can minimize the eventual disaster.

  • eagle eye

    It’s not just the Middle East, of course. A quote from the formidable Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post:

    https://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1253804297826&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    Since Obama took office, he has been abandoning one US ally after another while seeking to curry favor with one US adversary after another. At every turn, America’s allies – from Israel to Honduras, to Columbia, South Korea and Japan, to Poland and the Czech Republic – have reacted with disbelief and horror to his treachery. And at every turn, America’s adversaries – from Iran to Venezuela to North Korea and Russia – have responded with derision and contempt to his seemingly obsessive attempts to appease them.

    The horror Obama has instilled in America’s friends and the contempt he has evoked from its enemies have not caused him to change course. The fact that his policies throughout the world have already failed to bring a change in the so-called international community’s treatment of the US has not led him to reconsider those policies. As many Western Europeans have begun to openly acknowledge, the man they once likened to the messiah is nothing but a politician – and a weak, bungling one at that. Even Britain’s Economist is laughing at him.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *v person:*

    As a member of the left in good standing, I don’t agree that we don’t criticize human rights violations wherever they are done. Amnesty International is usually considered “left” and they are pretty consistent.

    The Taliban are brutal, bad, nasty and a scourge. There are brutal bad nasty scourges all over the planet at any given moment. So we have to choose our battles wisely.

    *Bob T:*

    Nonsense. I’m not talking about Amnesty International, but the millions of leftwingers who were seen and heard for the last eight and half years in particular, and earlier, and whose “principles” revealed double and triple standards. And I’m not talking about US military and foreign policy and picking battles, but of the opinions of rank and file people I described a few seconds ago.

    For example, note how many of them have been saying that well, we should let radical Muslims run their countries they way they want to because, well, that’s their culture and we can’t impose our values on them. In other words, a government like that which executes women for daring to attend a clandestine school, or listen to a CD of Coldplay, or a man for refusing to grow a beard, is to be left alone instead of ostracized and opposed outright with sanctions etc, like what the left would have done a few decades earlier. This change of attitude of theirs is based on irrational Bush hatred more than anything else, but also their irrational love of everything that smacks of “multiculturalism” and “diversity”, which must be “honored”.

    Instead, these idiots try to single out a few nations to prove they still care, even if these examples are exaggerations or inconsistent with their other views. For example, opposing Saudi Arabia is fine, but that is often done (citing Saudi laws that are hardly confined to that place and not even anywhere as rotten as that of others) because the Saudi government is more or less a US ally. And then there’s Israel, which the left singles out and exaggerates (and invents) misdeeds so they can thump their chests, and this example is a sign of the left’s racism and bigotry.

    So you guys won’t do anything about these places (Iran, Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, etc). Too much of a love affair going on with non-wester cultures because they’ve been “squashed” and “stomped” by big bad Europeans for centuries.

    *v person:*

    Jimmy Carter was ridiculed by the right for his consistency on human rights advocacy that included criticism of friendly dictators.

    *Bob T:*

    Not a good example. Carter is a moron and a disgrace, and hardly consistent or principled.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

  • Bob Tiernan

    *v person:*

    “The left,” which includes the ACLU, Amnesty International, much of Europe

    *Bob T:*

    Again, I was talking about rank and file in general, but it also includes groups. Amnesty Int’l is consistent but they are set apart and have yet to become political the way the National Organization for Women has become when it jettisoned principles to choose power instead in the form of defending Clinton. But to get back to your list, Europe is an incredible Jew-hating, racist and bigoted place, judgine by extreme double standards it holds regarding Israel and Palestine and a few other Muslim nations pre-occupied with Israel’s destruction. The UN as well is like that, as can be witnessed yet again by allowing a piece of garbage like the Iranian leader to speak. Recall that the UN had a Conference on Racism etc in Durban in 2003 or so, and Israel was the only country single out as a “racist” state (comparisons to Nazis had to be removed after American and Israeli conference members walked out). Never mind what Sudan does, or China, or the Saudis, or the Palestinian Authority, or Syria, or Egypt and so on. Europe is so full of Jew-hating propaganda that most Europeans believe that Israel is the greatest threat to world peace than any other nation. Propaganda can work, and the left is good at it.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • v person

      So who should we invade next Bob? And are you willing to have your taxes raised to pay for this? Are you heading down to your local recruiter?

    • v person

      “The rank and file in general” is broad enough that you can attribute any insanity to it that you like based on what a few knuckleheads do or say. Fact is there is no rank and file because there is nowhere to sign up and no ranks to file into. There are a number of people with generally liberal tendencies who usually have specific issues they care deeply about, and other issues they don’t care about. Some worry about our environment, others about women’s rights, and others about human rights. There are only so many hours in the day.

      The historical record is that it has been people associated with liberalism who have organized groups and expressed interest in human rights abuses, both here and abroad. Neo conservatives, who origniated in the left and migrated to the right, have been hawkish about using the military to right wrongs here and there. Many if not most on the left, myself included, are wary of using the military to intervene in other nations, fearing that the cure is often worse than the disease, with a few exceptions.

      My experience of Europeans is that they tend to be nativist and suspicious of “others” of any stripe. But to call them “Jew-hating” is way over the top. It was the British who partitioned Palastine to the Israelis favor, and it was the British and French who backed Israel for decades before the US expressed any interest, including during the Suez crisis. And it was they who gave the Israelis the technology to develop nuclear weapons. And America was historically as abti-semite as anywhere. My ex wife is old enough to recall “no dogs, n…ers, or Jews” signs at Wasp country clubs around New York and DC.

      It does not take propoaganda to conclude that Israeli insistance on continued settlement building and expansion poses a grave threat to peace, and that this threat spills over into Europe and to our own shores as it already has. Defenders of Israel have to ask themselves what the end game here is. How long can Israel occupy lands it seized over 40 years ago? How does this get resolved? Being pro or anti Israeli means squat, because Israel is not going away and neither are the Palastinians. At the end of the day there are going to be 2 states. The sooner that day comes the better for them and us.

      The Arab league put a reasonable proposal on the table as a basis for negotiations. The Bush Administration and Isreal ignored it. Years have been lost as a consequence, and many have died.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *Eagle Eye:*

    Obama is a fool to think that by brutalizing Israel back to the ’67 borders, he can bring peace with the Palestinians, let alone deal effectively with Iran.

    *Bob T:*

    Well, he’s a fool, but even the Israelis have no problem with going back close to the ’67 borders, leaving about 95% of the West Bank. They’ve been willing to withdraw since 1967 if those living in the West Bank took part in negotiating for this, but they weren’t interested. The Camp David-Taba deal of 2000-2001 would have created such a homeland for the Palestinian Muslims (to go along with Gaza), but Arafat had his bluff called and he said no. The Palestinians were not well served by that moron. They could have had a homeland 40 years ago. (By the way, when Jordan occupied the West Bank for about 20 years, and Egypt occupied Gaza for many years, the Palestinian Muslims said not a peep about occupation or homeland, and the Jew-hating elitists of Europe and colleges across the globe also said nothing).

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

  • Bob Tiernan

    *v person:*

    So who should we invade next Bob? And are you willing to have your taxes raised to pay for this?

    *Bob T:*

    Clearly you have a problem with reading comprehension.

    This has nothing to do with fighting any of these people, but is all about how the Left is weak on being consistent about recognition of which governments should be considered criminal. Part of this is because they are not very willing to recognize the problems with Islam. One example would be how they reacted to the Mohammed cartoons in Denmark, and the murder of Theo van Gogh.

    No one is advocating fighting them. But it is interesting to note how you guys hated Marcos and Pinochet (deservedly so), but gave a pass to Muslim dictatorships (unless they allowed US bases).

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

  • Bob Tiernan

    v person, you have revealed yourself to be a Jew-hating, racist bigot. A clear sign of this is the way you parrot all of the singling out of Israel for special criticism and spewing myths that the bigots want everyone else to believe.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • v person

      Yes Bob. I tried to keep it hidden, but I really do hate my ex-wife, my son, my best friends and several of my work colleagues. I tried to sneak a bomb into my friends sons bar mitzvah last year but got caught and had to make up a story. I have to go do a goose step over to my Hitler shrine now.

      The Israeli-Palistinian conflict is about 2 people fighting over land they both have legitimate ancestral and current claims to. Characterizing one side or the other as all good or all bad is juvenile. There are good and bad on both sides, as there has been good and bad right here in the USA in our own land conflicts (Sand Lake, Wounded Knee, Trail of Tears). You and Eagle Eye can dismiss anyone who argues for balanced view of the conflict as “Jew-hating” or a Nazi or whatever word you like, but this says more about you than it does about me, and does nothing to solve the problem but everything to prolong it. And it asumes that all the Jews and Arabs of the world who disagree with their own leaders must be self-hating fools.

      You are either a putz or meshugena.

    • v person

      “The factors are not mutually exclusive. Norman Finkelstein, a disgusting anti-Semite…”

      Do you even know what a Semite is? Linguistically Arabs are as Semitic as Jews. Does Finkelstein hate both Arabs and Jews?

      I’ll tell you what is mutually exclusive. Accusing somone of being an anti-Semite based on what I wrote, and being a Mensch. You sir are not a mensch. You sir, are a schmendrik.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *v person:*

    I tried to keep it hidden, but I really do hate my ex-wife, my son, my best friends and several of my work colleagues. I tried to sneak a bomb into my friends sons bar mitzvah last year but got caught and had to make up a story. I have to go do a goose step over to my Hitler shrine now.

    *Bob T:*

    The factors are not mutually exclusive. Norman Finkelstein, a disgusting anti-Semite, is the son of Holocaust survivors, and is praised by real Nazis from the era (like the wife of the guy who wrote: “The Hitler We Love and Why”). You single out Israelis and Jews for special criticism and use double standards. That speaks for itself. The propagandists like Chomsky, Finkelstein and Cockburn have done their work well on the university campuses. But anyway, I don’t even believe you at this moment because you don’t identify yourself. Next week you might claim to be a Basque.

    Your view is hardly “balanced”. And you display your double standard by claiming that you do,
    and I don’t, and that I have claimed that one side is all good and the other all bad. I said no such thing, so stop lying. You’re doing it again. It’s all part of the way trash people like Chomsky play the game.

    I’ll explain the double standards by tomorrow, so stay tuned.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • v person

      The comment above your last line was meant to be below your last line…..schmendrik.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *v person:*

    My experience of Europeans is that they tend to be nativist and suspicious of “others” of any stripe. But to call them “Jew-hating” is way over the top.

    *Bob T:*

    Interesting white-washing of European prejudice (another double-standard). In this case, we’re talking about their views of Israel as a nation and of course its inhabitants. If your excuse for them is to be taken as gospel, then you’ll have to explain why they are so defensive of the Palestinian Muslims, and also why they don’t apply their “suspicion” to most other nations and hate them, too.

    *v person:*

    It was the British who partitioned Palastine to the Israelis favor

    *Bob T:*

    Oh, like this proves that Europeans aren’t overwhelmingly biased against Israel, and Jews, now.

    Besides, partitioning “Palestine” can mean a lot of things, since these nations that are there were all carved out land that had little in the way of borders and was part of the Roman Empire and then the Ottoman Empire for centuries (although there was a Judea there earlier in the Roman period, among others perhaps). But remember that Jordan, earlier named Trans-jordan by the Brits) was a larger part of the Palestinian mandate and is mostly populated by people who call themselves “Palestinians”, and was more or less independent years before Israel fought its own war for independence, and Transjordan (Jordan) kicked the Jews out and did not allow Jews to settle there. Considering the square miles, the partitioning was lopsided in favor of the Muslims. Some say there already is a Palestinian state -Jordan – but that’s a tactic of Israeli extremists (who are far fewer in number than their Muslim counterparts), and a Palestinian state made up of the West Bank and Gaza is still necessary because that was the idea in the 20s into the late 40s (despite the Palestinians’ support of Hitler during the war, i.e. they were the only pro-Axis people offered their own country afterwards), even if they and their Arab allies refused it. And of course, Gaza and the West Bank area were available to the Palestinians after Israel came into being, but a few years later Egypt grabbed Gaza and Jordan annexed the West Bank, and no one made a peep about being “occupied” or that a Palestinian homeland needed to be created out of those areas. They wanted it all, or nothing. They’ve been acting like that since the partition was discussed. Israel, on the other hand, has never required that it be the only presence over the portion of the Palestinian mandate that lies west of the Jordan River.

    *v person:*

    and it was the British and French who backed Israel for decades before the US expressed any interest, including during the Suez crisis.

    *Bob T:*

    Again, so? Don’t look for altruism is the foreign policy of those two nations in those last years of empire. Remember that even after going through Nazi occupation, the French were still holding onto Algeria for many years and killed a lot of Algerians in the process. I don’t want to oversimplify a lot of this stuff like the Left does, but the Brits and French were more interested in the Suez Canal than they were in Israel. Besides, the Brits weren’t exactly favoring the Jews in the 20s and 30s, at least not in a noticeable way — they chose the Grand Mufti, for example, and he became a Hitler ally who lived in Germany during the war spewing Nazi propaganda over the airwaves and making arrangements to do to the Jews in Palestine what the Germans were doing to them in Europe, should the Brits and French be driven from the area.

    *v person:*

    And it was they who gave the Israelis the technology to develop nuclear weapons.

    *Bob T:*

    Again, you’re failing to separate European governments (a few of them) from the rank and file citizens, including many on the government payroll just the same, and academics as well. You prove nothing with that one.

    *v person:*

    And America was historically as anti-semite as anywhere. My ex wife is old enough to recall “no dogs, n…ers, or Jews” signs at Wasp country clubs around New York and DC.

    *Bob T:*

    Sure, it existed. But “anti-semite as anywhere” cannot be taken seriously when you consider what was done to the Jews in many of those “anywhere” places. While there was prejudice against them in America in some circles, they were still able carve out their own ways through life without being rounded up — from those who helped fund the Revolution in the 1770s to Judah Benjamin (prominent in the government of the Confederacy — he must have been prominent prior to then, but note also that he chose to rebel with slaveowners, and so hated the idea of the post-war South being full of free blacks that he skipped over to England and stayed there. He may npt have been allowed in a “country club”, but he was not offended by slavery it seems). We were bigoted against them as much “as anywhere else”, but the worst thing you can cite are “No Jews Allowed” signs at country clubs, while in those “other places” they were murdered by the thousands or millions (Germany, Czarist Russia, Mideast, Africa etc).

    You’re a real piece of work, v person. (But hey, thanks for reminding me of this — I’ve been meaning to watch “Gentleman’s Agreement” again on DVD and will put a reserve on it).

    Now, let’s get to the double standard stuff.

    * v person:*

    It does not take propaganda to conclude that Israeli insistance on continued settlement building and expansion poses a grave threat to peace

    *Bob T:*

    This is horseshit, and a good example of what I’m talking about. Yes, there are settlements. Yes, Israel should not have built any of them. But yes, Israel will withdraw from some of them, but not all of them, and many Palestinian negotiators agree with this and it’s in compliance with the UN Resolution 242 which many lefties misquote (and have never even read) which they believe demands full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank territories taken in 1967.

    The longer the Palestinian Muslims and their allies have refused their half of the two-state deal since 1967, the more time they give to Israel to expand in the Jerusalem area. That’s where most of the settlements are, so that a two-state deal such as that offered in 2000-2001 (which Arafat refused) will mean the small part Israel keeps will be a small wedge area into the greater Jerusalem urban area, while others settlements will be abandoned for being too far east or “out on a limb” so to speak. Palestinians can thus easily get 95% of the West Bank (which is 100% more than Jordan offered when they held it, but then, neither the Palestinians nor anyone else in Europe or Muslim Mideast nations demand any homeland. Odd, isn’t it?)

    But Arafat, as mentioned already, nixed that deal because he hates Jews so much and prefered that his people continue to live without a state because, I guess, it meant more money and attention for him (his widow still lives in that big mansion in Paris, with piles of cash). But many Palestinians realized then, and others later, that this was a mistake.

    Many of them know that continued Arafat-inspired terrorism is leading to chances of getting less and less. For example, the New York Times in 2005 interviwed Palestinians in the West Bank, and one of them, former restaurant owner Nasir Al-Bayouk of West Bank town Abu Houleh, had this to say:

    “Before the Intifada we used to go to Israel to work or to shop [odd that, considering I’ve heard Israel was engaging in genocide], and people had some money. We’ve lost a lot in this intifada. Before, we were negotiating for a state. Now we’re negotiating over Abu Houleh, and that’s it.”

    *v person:*

    …and that this threat spills over into Europe and to our own shores as it already has.

    *Bob T:*

    Utt-oh, here it comes. More horse shit. Sorry, “v person”, but the existence of Israel is a cover for this kind of murder. How come no Tibetans are killing Europeans or Americans to show anger at being occupied while big nations deal with China? Or the Kurds? This was just a tactic chosen by Arafat and later borrowed by people like bin Laden, and in the case of the latter (and similar Muslim-Brotherhood-inspired groups), it has more to do with their attempts to keep their version of Islam from being “tainted” by anything foreign, and since that is practically impossible considering modern communications, travel etc, we’re seeing murder over CDs, blue jean-wearing, working women, and so on. You need to read more about people like the founder of that kind of movement – Mr. Qtub of Egypt, who lived in America for a couple of years after WWII and grew to hate this place because of things like square dancing, liberated women, jazz, and so on. He went back to Egypt and became a founder of a movement to stop western culture and mores from seeping into “Islamic territory”, and his followers have found it convenient to cite “US policy” as their motive, when that aswell as the existence of Israel, or lack of a Palestinian state, is a cover. In fact, bin Laden’s infamous 1998 fatwah didn’t mention Israel unless it was way down on the list. As for Arafat, he chose to bring bombings and murder to area outside the Mideast, as a tactic, not as any “desperate” acton that leftwingers so often believe. How’d you like Munich massacre at the 1972 Olympics? Didja notice how the Speilberg film (with screenplay written by one of Hollywood’s Israel-haters) made the Israel agents the villains? Cute.

    *v person:*

    Defenders of Israel have to ask themselves what the end game here is.

    *Bob T:*

    Actually, haters of Israel need to ask themselves that. Many, or most of them, don’t even want Israel to exist so they pretend to want improvements in Israeli policies (but don’t demand a stop to ice-cream parlor bombings) and a Palestinian homeland, but they get more anti-Israel (more calls for boycotts, divestment, etc) whenever peace talks make progress. Indeed, they’ve even lied about the Camp David deal of 2000-2001, defending Arafat’s refusal to accept the homeland. These haters even spread the lie that this homeland was in four separate pieces with Israeli security corridors between each slice, yet that is a lie — just find your self a copy of the final map, which Clinton, Prince Bandar and others will confirm.

    What’s the end game, “v person”? The elimination of israel? Jew-haters like the British university lecturer Susan Blackwell, believes Israel is an “illegitimate” state, so why would she and many like her want to see a two-state solution even if it includes a 100% rather than a 95% withdrawl from the West Bank? Israel will then exist with agreement by the Palestinians, and this they cannot stand. This is why these Jew-haters really don’t want to see such a deal — because it will prove them wrong about Israel.

    Let’s look at another example of this double standard. It seems you’re trying to say that what Israel does in response to, say, a rocket attack from Gaza, or a series of backpack or package bombs blowing up kids in schools or ice-cream parlors, traced to a bomb factory in an apartment building in a densely-populated area of the West Bank, is equivalent to those ice-cream parlor attacks, morally or any other way. Or that a non-combatant Palestinian killed by a chunk of flying rubble after a well-aimed Israeli missle takes out a truck being used by militants trying to get away, is no different from a Palestinian package bomb taking out a dozen kids in a park or ice-cream parlor. Are you saying that?

    *v person:*

    How long can Israel occupy lands it seized over 40 years ago?

    *Bob T:*

    They can until the Palestinians negotiate a deal that guarantees security measures for the agreed-upon border, as provided for in UN Resolution 242. Israel won’t simply withdraw leaving no one in charge and with no Palestinian government run it (Jordan refuses to take it back, by the way). Oh, and had Israel not moved into the West Bank in 1967 to flush out the Muslim troops posing a serious threat at that time, would Jordan still be holding onto the West Bank, after almost 60 years by now? Anyway, the security that Israel needs (and which a non-aggressive Palestinian state needs) is part of UN Resolution 242 and so long as the Palestinians keep saying “No” to a negotiated deal, Israel can stay in as much of the West Bank it feels it needs to and this does not violate UN Resolution 242 despite what the Left says.

    So the question is: When will the Palestinians show that they will co-exist with Israel over mutual security so they can have their homeland in the West Bank and Gaza? When, “v person”? When will they show they are serious by dealing with their own murderous terrorists who keep rocketing Israel and blowing up people not because they are “desperate”, but because they know this will delay and prevent peace talks between Israel and the reasonable Palestinians. When, “v person”?

    *v person:*

    How does this get resolved? Being pro or anti Israeli means squat, because Israel is not going away and neither are the Palastinians.

    *Bob T:*

    That says nothing on your part. Being pro- or anti-Israel means a lot to many people, and the anti-Israel people are far more numerous and more influential across the globe, and their demonizing of Israel, which you parrott either through ignorance or outright stupidity, is proof that their influence is effective. For the more virulent Jew-haters who liken Israel to a Nazi state, their goal is clear. After all, we know from WWII that Nazi states must not be allowed, so why would Israel-haters like Ms. Blackwell (see above), Chomsky, etc. want to see Israel remain? In fact, they don’t.

    *v person:*

    At the end of the day there are going to be 2 states.

    *Bob T:*

    Someone forgot to tell Arafat in 2001. He also said “No” in 1967 and all the years in between. His bluff was called (as I’ve stated before), particularly when he announced that he would not accept a deal for a homeland unless Saudi Arabia signed off on it, and when Saudi Arabia did do that, he showed his true colors by nixing the deal anyway. That is a true portrait of this piece of shit person who claimed to have his people’s well-being and a homeland as his responsibility. And to think that piece of garbage was given a Nobel Peace Prize!

    When the Palestinians again show that they are interested in revisiting the Camp David package (which might include a little less territory because their intifadas must not be rewarded) and recognize that Israel’s security concerns are to be taken seriously, the offer will be made again. With Arafat dead (finally), the current leader (Abbas) will no doubt take the deal. He will then have to deal with the Palestinian terrorists in his own midst, because these murderers will take him out. That’s why Sadat was murdered. I wonder if the Left thinks that Sadat deserved it because he dared to accept the existence of Israel.

    *v person:*

    The sooner that day comes the better for them and us.

    *Bob T:*

    That day came and went, several times, and Arafat wasn’t interested. He was a barrier to peace. And to compare Palestinian intransigence on this with Israeli’s, claiming them to be on par with one another, is a prime example of your myopic double standard stupidity that is racist, bigoted Israel-hating any way you slice it. How dare you blame Israel for there not being a Palestinian state when the deal was set in 2000 and even the Saudis signed off on it.

    *v person:*

    The Arab league put a reasonable proposal on the table as a basis for negotiations.

    *Bob T:*

    Oh, was the Camp David proposal not reasonable? What are you talking about? That went beyond “a basis for negotiations”, but was a final deal ready to be accepted, and even Saudi Arabia signed off on it, but Arafat prefered to kill more Jews instead of seeing excuses for his war diminish.

    *v person:*

    The Bush Administration and Isreal ignored it.

    *Bob T:*

    Oh, here we go again. Camp David seems to have become a figment of everyone’s imagination!

    The Camp David package is still there to be revisited, and that in itself is the best basis for negotiations because of how widely we already know it was accepted (even by the Saudis!). Most Palestinian negotiators were apparently for it, but their fearless leader nixed the deal so he could kill more Jews and blame Israel again.

    *v person:*

    Years have been lost as a consequence, and many have died.

    *Bob T:

    There you go again! Camp David never happened, apparently. And no increased violence asa Palestinian responce to the total withdrawal from Gaza, which has yet to lead to an equal concession as a serious message that peace is wanted by the Palestinians, or at least a relative peace (because we all know it will continue at some low level, but hopefully will mostly be what can be handled by the Palestinian government the way other Muslim nations in the region have been doing.

    But that last comment of yours is proof once again that you are too prone to believe the propaganda of the Israel-haters, and that you are a racist bigoted Jew hater (like Norm Finkelstein).

    That attitude rewards those, like Arafat’s loyal followers, who don’t want compromise and who love seeing Israel’s actions and attitudes compared to their own. That is what squashes chances for peace. You’re not helping.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • v person

      Absent “horseshit” and “Jew-hater” you would clearly be tongue tied.

      From the bottom. Arafat has been dead for a while now. You write as if he is still alive. At Camp David Arafat was offered 91% of the West Bank, and in return 1% of the 9% area in an unspecified part of Israel. He would not get any of Jeruselum back. Israel would have total control of a road bisecting the West Bank. Palestine could have no army, and no control over its air space. The 3rd holiest site in the Muslim world would remain in Israel.

      From the Israeli point of view this was a very generous offer. Way more than they had ever considered giving up, and given their power position more than most thought they needed to give up.

      From Arafat’s point of view, not so much. Half his poeple want the 1967 borders back, and the other half want it all. Plus he has to give up East Jeruselum, accept a rump state, and trade away the Al-Aqsa Mosque. And, if he signs this agreement with Barak, he knows that within months the Israelis could elect Sharon and the whole thing will be moot. Turns out he was right. The Israelis did elect Sharon, and he had no interest in negotiating anything.

      Is this Arab propaganda? No, it comes straight from Robert Malley, a Clinton envoy there at the talks.

      https://www.nybooks.com/articles/14380

      The myth is Arafat made no counter offer. True at Camp David, but within weeks he did make very specific counter offers, including a straight land swap of 3% of the west bank area for an equal slice of Israel. Barak countered with a 6% for 3% swap, So far, standard Middle east Souk bargaining. But by the time they met at Taba, Sharon had made his provocative visit to Haran-el-Sharif, some Palistinians reacted violently, and all bets were now off. Close but no cigar. Instead a 2nd intifada, much more bloody than the 1st one.

      So Arafat said no and got the entire blame for the blow up. Maybe things would have turned out differently had he said yes to the initial offer. I’m not so sure. I think his people would have rejected the agreement and him and Sharon would have gotten elected and the same damn events would have ensued.

      Most Palestinians accept the notion of a 2-state solution. Most Israeilis accept this as well. Some greedy knuckleheads on both sides want all or nothing, and they are the ones who keep lighting the fuses whenever a just settlement gets close. People like yourself are only stooges for the extremists. You excuse and empower intransegent behavior.

      In the meantime the mid east is a powder keg in which bad actors keep adding explosives and shortening the fuses. It ain’t Tibet, and there are no Tibetans flying planes into US buildings. We don’t have 200,000 troops and a couple of trillion invested anywhere else for a reason. Unless we reclaim our status as even handed mediators we will remain a target. We will suffer future oil embargos. We may end up with more wars we can’t possibly “win” (Hello Iran). We may be in a perpetual war in that part of the world.

      And by the way, terrorism is as old as the hills. The Israelis used it against the British, as did American Colonials. It is how the weak fight against the strong to even out the score. It is not a “tactic” created by Arabs. Even suicide bombing was invented by others, the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

      So call me whatever you want. I don’t give a fig. Whenever people like you resort to name calling I know they have lost on points.

  • Bob Tiernan

    v person, you made your usual factual errors because you read too much propaganda. See tomorrow’s message for details.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • v person

      If my facts are in error it is because Roberty Malley got his facts wrong. Since he was there at the negotiations, and since he is neither a Palestinian nor an Israeli, I don’t think I am naive in
      believing his version of events are factual.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *v person:*

    From the bottom. Arafat has been dead for a while now. You write as if he is still alive.

    *Bob T:*

    I guess that’s why more than once I reminded you that he was dead, and that this fact means chances of Palestinian statehood are better.

    It’s appropriate to mention him because he said “No” to statehood for about 40 years, and people like you think both sides are equally intransigent.

    *v person:*

    At Camp David Arafat was offered 91% of the West Bank and in return 1% of the 9% area in an unspecified part of Israel.

    *Bob T:*

    More like 97%. See the accounts of Dennis Ross, chief negotiator for President Clinton. Arafat and his followers refused to acknowledge to his own people exactly what he was offered in the end, and put out a false map showing the canton-like West Bank that was not the final package. That you believe the Palestinian description of the deal shows that you’re to prone to believe them first, and no one else. President Clinton and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia (no real friend of Israel’s) are apparently lacking in truth telling compared to Arafat is your eyes.

    *v person*

    He would not get any of Jeruselum back.

    *Bob T:*

    I don’t know where you’re getting this nonsense, other than Palestinian propaganda and the usual lies told by the likes of Chomsky and others. The more they repeat this stuff the more it sticks. In fact, in the several years following the Camp David-Taba negotiations, I actually believed the Palestinian version not because it was their version of events, but because that was what was being repeated by those I’d heard or read on this topic, i.e. that the West Bank was going to be in three separate pieces and so on. Later, I found out I more of the real story and realized how the Chomsky side of the argument uses people.

    But to get back to Jerusalem, you just lied about this. Maybe because you don’t know. Maybe you just displayed how you’re being used as someone to repeat lies and get people to sympathize with the Palestinians and continue to hate Israel as being the main problem. But the fact is that the Palestinians were to get Arab East Jerusalem which was to become their capital, including the holy place called Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary. The Israelis even offered an easement between Gaza and the West Bank and construction in this easement of four lanes of highway, a rail line, water line, and telecom cable.

    *v person:*

    Israel would have total control of a road bisecting the West Bank.

    *Bob T:*

    Again, nonsense. There was no such road in the final plan. You’re reading Palestinian, Israel-hating propaganda. As Dennis Ross pointed out, “Maps are one way of demonstrating reality”. Even the New York Times revealed the actual final deal maps showing the contiguous West Bank. You’ve had eight years to find this out — why haven’t you? What you’re reading about are earlier versions as a starting point. You need to look at the final version. The one Arafat still nixed because in theend he didn’t want to recognize Israel, I guess. That’s what a two-state deal would do. Recognize the existence of Israel. Many Palestinian negotiators were and are ready to do that, but Arafat wasn’t one of them.

    *v person:*

    Palestine could have no army, and no control over its air space.

    *Bob T:*

    This is not a roadblock to a two-state deal, and even Palestinian negotiators acknowledge this.

    First of all, having a demilitarized nation following an occupation is quite an acceptable requirement to be maintained for a period of time. The West Bank was occupied when Israel defended itself and moved into it (on the Jordanian front, the West Bank being part of Jordan at that time, though no Palestininas or leftwing student organization made a peep about the “Jordanian” occupation, but I digress), to return, moved into because that’s where threats were right in Israel’s border. As part of agreement ending occupations, the losers usually have to agree to being demilitarized for a time. In this case, the “losers” are actually winners as well because they will be getting their own state, and not be given back to Jordan to be occupied by them.

    The Palestinians obviously never had a real army, and their Arab allies never wanted them to have too many arms, either. Besides, the new Palestinian state will have a police force to keep their own peace and they will have their hands full keeping a lid on the terrorists who will be trying to take over so they can make war against Israel. A even a small military seems to be on the table. What you need to understand is that if Palestine has an army with loads of tanks, artillery and so on, it will belong to Hamas if that group gets control of the new state down the road. Even the Palestinian negotiators understand this. Here’s what was said by the PLO Jerusalem Commissioner Sari Nusseibeh: “We don’t need arms. A Palestinian state should be demilitarized–not because that’s what Israel demands, but in our own interest”. Palestinian negotiators accepted this in 2000 and since then have not reversed this view and are not insisting a right to have a large scale military. Why would they need one anyway? The Israelis will be able to take out most of it in 24 hours if need be, so the problem here is not that the Palestinian army will be weak or small, but that if they have a large one it might give a future Palestinian government the false idea that it will be able to take on Israel. But they don’t need it, and even they know it. So much for that one, eh, “v person”? Seems you and other non-Palestinians are more concerned over this one than the real Palestinians are. But don’t worry too much – your friends Hamas and others will still get arms smuggled in so they can try to ruin the peace for both sides. Just what assholes like Noam Chomsky and Norm Finkelstein and Alexander Cockburn want. Why the Left adores such assholes as those three is beyond me. Real “men of peace”, those three.

    *v person:*

    The 3rd holiest site in the Muslim world would remain in Israel.

    *Bob T:*

    Gosh, really? Rights to visit will be worked out, and don’t forget that Jewish holy sites will be in Arab East Jerusalem (you know, the part of Jerusalem you think will remain in Israeli hands!) In Arab Jerusalem there is Al-Haram, but the Palestinian negotiators rejected a request for Israeli rights to pray there, although it was agreed that they could pray next to the Wailing Wall.

    It’s also interesting to note that at Camp David, Arafat was spewing nonsense about how there being little if any Jewish historic claim to anything in Jerusalem at all, and that Solomen’s Temple wasn’t even there. He tried to prove this with archaeological evidence”, until Clinton told him to shut up about all of this and that it was a “non-starter” ploy, hoping to create stalemate. As part of the final deal (the one you seem to know nothing about), Palestinians would control not only East Jerusalem (with its huge Muslim majority) but also joint control over parts of the Old City, as well as “official custodianship over Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount/Haram.” These agreements over dividing Jerusalem are sticky, and will still serve as the foundation for a future plan because most is worked out already. Even the Saudis who consider themselves the serious protectors of everything Islam, agreed to sign off on this part as well, but as we all know, Arafat ruined the deal because in the end he couldn’t accept the recognition of the Jewish state. So on the holy sites issue (as well as on Jerusalem), you’ve been shot down again. I’ll continue ripping you to shreds here because you need to know the facts. Next time, don’t get your version of events from a cheap fortune cookie.

    *v person:*

    From the Israeli point of view this was a very generous offer. Way more than they had ever considered giving up, and given their power position more than most thought they needed to give up.

    *Bob T:*

    How would you know? The idea is to for Palestinians to negotiate for their first ever homeland (the ones they themselves as well as their own Muslim allies have prevented for most of the last century), rather than to have it handed to them. Israel has serious concerns to consider and the world knows it and so do most of the Palestinian negotiators, the Saudis and so on. That’s the way it works. The Israelis never wanted to keep Gaza or the West Bank but could not simply leave it until assured that at least some non-threatening stability was left behind. They are too small a country to screw around with those chances. That’s what UN Resolution 232 is all about (the actual meaning of it, not the summary you read that makes it sound as if it’s a simple demand that Israel get out of all of it, with no negotiations required. So there’s no real surprise that Israel made the concessions they did, if one understands where they’re coming from. Only those who take their cue from the extremist Palestinian, Israel-hating side were surprised. Many of them never even expected the offer of a homeland to be made (despite Israel’s long acceptance of the concept), and in the end preferred to fight again instead of agreeing to it. After all, those who hate Israel with a passion don’t want it to exist, so why would they want peace in the form of a two-state deal?

    *v person:

    From Arafat’s point of view, not so much. Half his poeple want the 1967 borders back

    *Bob T:*

    Another fortune-cookie fact? Maybe so, but so what.

    *v person:*

    and the other half want it all.

    *Bob T:*

    Yeah, fortune-cookie stuff for sure. How then do you explain the Palestinian negotiators, and current leader Abbas, accepting parts of the West Bank being part of Israel (about 5%)? I think you know what you can do with that “poll”. It doesn’t matter, anyway, since when a deal is made it is to be accepted even by those who might wish that they could get it all, or go back to the 1967 borders. That’s the way it goes. Some will fight (terrorists), while most will raise their families and work for a living. And the terrosists will be tracked down and killed by the Palestinian police, maybe with help from the Israelis, the Saudis and Jordanians.

    *v person:*

    Plus he has to give up East Jeruselum

    *Bob T:*

    Pure fiction, as explained above. You must have read that in a Leftwing student pamphlet put out by Jew-hating college students after they listened to a Chomsky speech.

    Whatcha gonna do, “v person”, still insist that all of Jerusalem was to remain in Israeli hands? Good luck.

    *v person:*

    accept a rump state, and trade away the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    *Bob T:*

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Al-Aqsa, which is part of the Al-Haram area, is difficult to work out because of the close mix of both Jewish and Muslim holy sites, but there was no art of the deal that would deny Muslim control or even access to Al-Aqsa. Man, “v person”, you really know very little about this. If you’re really Jewish, you wouldn’t be believing all of the Israel-hating propaganda!

    *v person:*

    And, if he signs this agreement with Barak, he knows that within months the Israelis could elect Sharon and the whole thing will be moot. Turns out he was right.

    *Bob T:*

    More garbage. Sharon’s election would not have been a response to a peace deal, and wasn’t. Prince Bandar warned Arafat just before Arafat nixed the deal that he would get Sharon if he turned it down, and that he would get less next time. Besides, Sharon wasn’t interested getting in so he could reverse the deal. When he did get in, the inifada was underway and that’s what he reacted to. Give me a break! Arafat didn’t need this excuse – he didn’t want peace in the first place.

    *v person:*

    The Israelis did elect Sharon, and he had no interest in negotiating anything.

    *Bob T:*

    Sharon was not above this, but you need to remember that since the Muslims cranked up the violence, Sharon had every right to respond to this. Sharon was always ready to negotiate for a two-state deal (once the PLO stopped shooting for awhile), but was never going to negotiate away Israel’s security, something even most Palestinian negotiators well understood. To translate that into believing tha Sharon was against any deal reveals your Jew-hating bias again because it’s a double standard.

    *v person:*

    Is this Arab propaganda? No, it comes straight from Robert Malley, a Clinton envoy there at the talks.

    *Bob T:*

    He must have been sitting in the corner. I’ll go by what the chief Clinton negotiator says, Clinton himself, as well as Saudi Prince Bandar and the serious Palestinian negotiators who went into this believing that their leader was also serious.

    *v person:*

    The myth is Arafat made no counter offer.

    *Bob T:*

    I don’t know where you get this one. Of course he had his own offer! That’s what each side will do in any negotiation!

    *v person:*

    True at Camp David, but within weeks he did make very specific counter offers, including a straight land swap of 3% of the west bank area for an equal slice of Israel. Barak countered with a 6% for 3% swap, So far, standard Middle east Souk bargaining.

    *Bob T:*

    Again, this is puny stuff that was only a roadblock to Arafat. Quibling. But that’s what he wanted to do because he didn’t want the state of Israel to exist. So you can talk about 2% that, and 6% this, and it’s all minor in the end when you consider more serious issues that the serious Palestinian negotiators understood. Abbas and his team are not insisting on an equal swap because they know it’s quibbling in the end to let this get in the way. There are more serious issues, and these were met and would have led to a Palestinian homeland. Too bad Arafat was never interested all along. He should have been assassinated by his own moderates long ago so that they could then negotiate for their homeland.

    One wonders why the Israelis even brought him back safely from Tunis to the West Bank to be the Palestinian leader some years back.

    By the way, speaking of land-swaps, there’s an Arab town within Israel called Um-Al-Fahm. Being close to the border, there was talk that the Israeli border would move to the west of it so the town could become part of the new Palestinian state. But 83% of the Palestinian residents wanted to stay in Israel [“Um Al-Fahm Prefers Israel”, Ha’aretz, Aug 1, 2000]. Obviously, they know what’s good for them, and living in yet another Muslim police state isn’t what they want. That’s odd, I thought the Israelis were doing the genocide thing on those people. I guess not. Chomsky again!

    *v person:*

    But by the time they met at Taba, Sharon had made his provocative visit to Haran-el-Sharif

    *Bob T:*

    Oh, here we go again. More garbage. Do you really find it acceptable for an intifada to start over a friggin’ visit to a holy site, even if it did have elements of in-your-face? Sorry, “v person”, but to believe that an intifada (murdering lots of people) is a reasonable or understandable response to a “visit” to holy site is to display the double-standard Jew-hating again. In fact, the intifada was planned well before this. The Palestinian Authority’s communications director admited that the second intifada was being prepared when Arafat got back from Camp David, and Arafat “predicted the outbreak of the Intifada as a complementary stage to the Palestinian steadfastness in the negotiations, and not as a specific protest against Sharon’s visit to the Al-Haram Al-Qudsi [Temple Mount]”. Arafat sent a letter from Camp David, published in a Palestinian Journal, in which he told his people to “prepare” for the battle of Jerusalem. To believe that a visit by Ariel Sharon could really trigger this, is crap. And you know it.

    *v person:*

    some Palistinians reacted violently, and all bets were now off. Close but no cigar. Instead a 2nd intifada, much more bloody than the 1st one.

    *Bob T:*

    Imagine that. All for a “visit” to a holy site. No wonder Israel is so serious about their security! What happened to the peace-loving Left when they can defend killing a lot of people over a “visit”.

    *v person:*

    So Arafat said no and got the entire blame for the blow up.

    *Bob T:*

    He deserves all the blame. Prince Bandar told Arafat that if he refused the deal it would be “crime” against the region and his people. Even Clinton knows it was all Arafat’s fault.

    *v person:”

    Maybe things would have turned out differently had he said yes to the initial offer. I’m not so sure.

    *Bob T:*

    Of course it would have been very different. Saudi Arabia, for one, and other nations such as Jordan would have put a lot into making the Palestinian state work.

    *v person:*

    I think his people would have rejected the agreement and him and Sharon would have gotten elected and the same damn events would have ensued.

    *Bob T:*

    Don’t be too sure about that. Most Palestinians would have been glad to get their homeland. They don’t have to like the Israelis. They could still hate them. Fine. But they don’t have to keep supporting killing them, and most wouldn’t. You really have a low opinion of Palestinians’ desires for peace.

    As for the Israelis, very few are against a two-state deal and therefore would not have voted out any government for making a good deal. The Israelis would have embraced this like they did Camp David in 1978. What they don’t like are Palestinians cranking up violence, but how they vote afterwards has more to do with needing to deal with the immediate threat and not about making sure a two-state solution is never offered again.

    *v person:*

    Most Palestinians accept the notion of a 2-state solution. Most Israeilis accept this as well. Some greedy knuckleheads on both sides want all or nothing, and they are the ones who keep lighting the fuses whenever a just settlement gets close.

    *Bob T:*

    Hey stupid, no Israelis killed the Camp David deal. None. Period. Once again, you see this as a deal killed by, apparently, both sides (on Israel’s side, by them making an offer that wasn’t good enough). This is another example of Jew-hating on your part. Plain and simple. You seem unable to blame Palestinians for anything, or at least more than half of anything. Try most or all of it.

    *v person:*

    People like yourself are only stooges for the extremists.

    *Bob T:*

    I have no idea what that means. You are a stooge for the anti-Israel extremists. I’m opposed to the extremists on both sides. Part of opposing them is to draw a line at double standards, and your inability to see a difference between blowing up an ice-cream parlor full of kids in Israel, and the incidental killing of Palestinian bystander when an Israeli missile hits its target and destroys a Hamas bomb factory in a shed, you become a stooge for extremists. When Arafat kills a real deal for a homeland that the Saudis and Egyptians and many or most Palestinian negotiators were ready to accept, you blame Israeli as much for the failure. This is the problem.

    *v person:*

    You excuse and empower intransegent behavior.

    *Bob T:*

    Well heck, you’re the one who rationalized and “understands” (defends) the reaction to a “visit” to a holy site, and defends Arafat’s killing of a real deal for a homeland after all those years. Not me.

    You can’t even prove that last charge you made. You’re just angry at being exposed as a Jew-hating, racist bigot.

    *v person:*

    In the meantime the mid east is a powder keg in which bad actors keep adding explosives and shortening the fuses.

    *Bob T:*

    There you go again. Now tell us, since there would have been a Palestinian homeland created in 2000 had Arafat accepted the deal that the Saudis and Egyptians etc also liked, how the hell does Israel get blamed for this? Equally? You’re talking out of your ass again.

    Face it, you hate Israel.

    *v person:*

    It ain’t Tibet, and there are no Tibetans flying planes into US buildings.

    *Bob T:*

    That’s my point. The Tibetans must be desperate. And we don’t do anything for them. We support China. Where are the Tibetan terrorists killing westerners?

    *v person:*

    We don’t have 200,000 troops and a couple of trillion invested anywhere else for a reason. Unless we reclaim our status as even handed mediators we will remain a target.

    *Bob T:*

    We are no even-handed regarding Tibet.

    We are not even-handed regarding Kurdistan.

    We are not even-handed regarding Basque.

    We are not even-handed regarding Quebec.

    Where are the bombs?

    *v person:*

    We will suffer future oil embargos. We may end up with more wars….

    *Bob T:*

    Was our role in Camp David 2000 an example of this? In fact, a 2005 survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 79% of Palestinains wanted to see more active American involvement in peace negotiations. Some distrust there.

    *v person:*

    And by the way, terrorism is as old as the hills. The Israelis used it against the British, as did American Colonials. It is how the weak fight against the strong to even out the score. It is not a “tactic” created by Arabs. Even suicide bombing was invented by others, the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

    *Bob T:*

    Never said it was invented by them. I said that things like the many suicide bombings in ice cream parlors etc is a tactic, meaning it’s a deliberate choice made, and is not a sign of “desperation” by people “dying” in a “brutal occupation”, as so many Lefty morons believe. They decided to start doing this as a tactic, and they blow up their own kids doing this, many unknowlingly. Wonderful.

    As for your nonsense about how it’s how the “weak even the score” against the strong, here is where you expose yourself as part of the problem that feeds the extremists and gives them cover and legitimacy to so things like, well, turn down good deals like Arafat did. Sorry, jackass, but you’re confusing plain old murder with guerrilla warfare. You’re probably one of those people who rationalizes 9/11. You’re a stooge or people who need to kill like this. What makes you think they ad other want to “win”? So I guess you do believe that killing kids in an ice cream parlor is okay, and “equal” to legitimate responses to rocket launching (The Geneva Convention allows for incidental killings when legitimate targets are hit, but does not and never will accept the deliberate blowing up of kids in ice cream parlors as anything but murder.) Well, that’s it “v person”. You’re a liar, a Jew-hater, a rationalizer or mass murder, a racist and bigot.

    I win on facts. Since you’re a fraud, I see no reason why I should even acknowledge your presence any longer.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • v person

      “That you believe the Palestinian description of the deal shows that you’re to prone to believe them first, and no one else.”

      I told you where I got my numbers. Not from the Palestinians. From Robert Malley.

      “I don’t know where you’re getting this nonsense, other than Palestinian propaganda and the usual lies told by the likes of Chomsky and others.”

      Again…Robert Malley’s account. I sent you the link to his article. Why do you keep wondering where I got my information when I told you where I got it from?

      “But to get back to Jerusalem, you just lied about this.”

      A lie is stating something one knows to be false. I did no such thing. I stated Malley’s account of what was offered by Barak to Arafat at Camp David, and he was present. Period. Maybe Malley is lying. But why?

      “Again, nonsense. There was no such road in the final plan. ”

      What final plan? I stated what was offered at Camp David, then added what the modifications were later on. Maybe the road was dropped at Tabla. But as I wrote, it did not matter by then because the opportunity was gone. Sharon was going to be elected and the deal would never have been ratified.

      “This is not a roadblock to a two-state deal”

      That is your opinion. Arafat apparently felt it was a problem, within a context of additional problems. Its not a problem for me, but it is for the Palestinians.

      “Gosh, really? Rights to visit will be worked out…”

      Oh. Well I guess it was not really an issue then. Bob T says it would all be worked out. They should have called you in.

      “How would you know?”

      I don’t “know.” That was an observation of Malley.

      “The Israelis never wanted to keep Gaza or the West Bank”

      That is nonsense. The Likud’s platform was to keep all of the west bank. Its true they never cared much about Gaza. Even today many of the settlers want it all.

      “How then do you explain the Palestinian negotiators, and current leader Abbas, accepting parts of the West Bank being part of Israel”

      The Palestinian negotiators are not the Palestinian people. In case you missed it, Hamas has been arguing against a 2 state solution for years. They want 1 state. A Palestinian state. Just like the right-wing Israelis want 1 state, an Israeli state. The center on both sides agrees to 2 states, and probably agrees that there will be a territorial adjustment around the bulk of the “settlements.” Even Arafat agreed to this as I showed you. Even Sharon came around to agreeing with it since he recognized that demographically Israel could not absorb all those Palestinians and remain a democratic, Jewish majority nation.

      “If you’re really Jewish, you wouldn’t be believing all of the Israel-hating propaganda!”

      I never said I was Jewish. I said my son is Jewish. And many of my closest friends. And no, I don;t believe Israeli hating propaganda. I believe there are 2 sides to a dispute over land where both sides have legitimate claims, one side has more power, but the other side has certain long term advantages. I said settling this dispute is in our own nations interest, and that to be a mediator we have to be more even handed than we have been. You make this out to be Jew hating propaganda. That is your limitation, not mine.

      “Arafat didn’t need this excuse – he didn’t want peace in the first place.”

      Arafat was a knucklehead and a poor negotiator. But he wanted peace with the best deal he could get for his people. He knew from experience that his arms were no match for the Israelis, and he knew the rest of the Arabs were never again going to go to war for his people. Did he miss his last best chance? History says yes. That doesn’t mean that he missed it because he wanted perpetual war.

      American Indians signed treaty after treaty with a more powerful nation. And after each treaty they would get screwed again, then again. Those Indians who did not trust signing treaties can be forgiven in retrospect.

      “He must have been sitting in the corner.”

      I don’t know where he was siting but he was a key member of Clinton’s team. He has written extensively on the issue and many others have supported his position that Barak’s initial offer to Arafat was not acceptable, that Clinton pushed Arafat into a corner, and that things went south due to all 3 main actors, not just due to Arafat, which was the official line. You should read his article from New York Review of Books before you cast aspersions on him.

      “Do you really find it acceptable for an intifada to start over a friggin’ visit to a holy site, even if it did have elements of in-your-face?”

      Acceptable? No. Predictable and understandable? Yes. He threw gas on hot coals knowing full well what the risk was.

      “To believe that a visit by Ariel Sharon could really trigger this, is crap. And you know it.”

      Only it did. The place is a powder keg built from 50 years of occupation and frustration. Yes. Sharon knew what he was doing. Give him some credit.

      “Even Clinton knows it was all Arafat’s fault. ”

      Yes well either that or he gets to share the blame doesn’t he?

      “Don’t be too sure about that.”

      When one says one “thinks” then by definition one is not “sure.”

      “Hey stupid, no Israelis killed the Camp David deal. None. Period.”

      Hey shmendrik….there was no deal to kill. A deal happens when 2 sides agree to something. That never happened. Period. A deal was offered and refused. A counter was made. Another counter. And both sides did not make the final concession necessary to get to a final deal.

      “I have no idea what that means.”

      It means you are offering unqualified support to one side in a 2 sided argument. And in so doing you are encouraging that 1 side to dig in its heels and not come back to the table, continue to build settlements, and leave the situation unresolved. And the longer this goes on the higher the risk to us.

      “When Arafat kills a real deal for a homeland that the Saudis and Egyptians and many or most Palestinian negotiators were ready to accept, you blame Israeli as much for the failure. This is the problem.”

      No. The problem is that this is the myth, not the reality. And as long as we cling to the myth we can’t move on and get the parties back to the table.

      “You’re just angry at being exposed as a Jew-hating, racist bigot.”

      Yes Bob, that’s it exactly. I tried so hard to hide it all these years. Darn. You are really good. Putz.

      “how the hell does Israel get blamed for this? Equally?”

      How you can even ask that queston after all this is beyond me. I’m supposed to go back and repeat every blasted thing I just wrote?

      “Face it, you hate Israel.”

      No Bob. I hate blockheads. Actually I don’t even “hate” blockheads. They frustrate me when they don’t amuse me.

      “a 2005 survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 79% of Palestinains wanted to see more active American involvement in peace negotiations.”

      Well duh. Without us putting some pressure on Israel they know there is no way forward. That doesn’t mean they like us. It means they need us.

      “I said that things like the many suicide bombings in ice cream parlors etc is a tactic, meaning it’s a deliberate choice made, and is not a sign of “desperation” by people “dying” in a “brutal occupation”

      Suicide bombing is by definition an act of ultimate desperation. To you a 50 year occupation and being made a 2nd class or even non-citizen of your own land may be a walk in the park. But try it sometime. Or just imagine something similar happening to you right here in Oregon. A stronger party comes in, says they have a prior claim on your land, evict you, send you to an overcrowded outdoor prison, there are no jobs, no way out, and no future. What would you do Bob? Fight back any way you could or bow, smile, eat shit, and take whatever they give you?

      “Sorry, jackass, but you’re confusing plain old murder with guerrilla warfare.”

      No, I’m not. Murder is murder despite the motive.

      “You’re a liar, a Jew-hater, a rationalizer or mass murder, a racist and bigot.I win on facts.”

      I needed a good laugh. Thanks for that. A person who wins on facts does not need juvenile name calling Schmuck. Buh-bye from me.

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