"But the two leaders sprinkled their speeches with references to diplomatic code words that point to the tough path ahead. Abbas, for instance, referred to a U.N. resolution that Palestinians believe gives them the right to return to their land in Israel, while Olmert mentioned a 2004 letter that Bush gave former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon that said that such refugee returns were unrealistic.
In his own speech, Bush sketched a much more ominous view of the region than Olmert and Abbas. "The battle is underway for the future of the Middle East, and we must not cede victory to the extremists," he said. "With their violent actions and contempt for human life, the extremists are seeking to impose a dark vision on the Palestinian people, a vision that feeds on hopelessness and despair to sow chaos in the Holy Land. If this vision prevails, the future of the region will be endless terror, endless war and endless suffering." " WaPo
So far, they have agreed to negotiate. pl
Col, It seems to me, we’ve been here before. When Barak was the Prime Minister of Israel, under a great deal of pressure from the U.S., Israel made concessions. It was thought they could give some land for peace. They thought they had an agreement so they went ahead and drew up the paperwork. Israel was giving back 90-95% of what they wanted. Just before the signing of the agreements, the Palestinians said, “We want one more thing, the Right of Return.” This would have meant the ultimate destruction of Israel. I figure Annapolis will be a rerun of this event.
A very cheap shot but still worth taking:
“With their violent actions and contempt for human life, the extremists are seeking to impose a dark vision on the Palestinian people, a vision that feeds on hopelessness and despair to sow chaos in the Holy Land.
Which extremists is he talking about? I doubt it is this one!
“Settler rabbis decreed that “no leader has the right to give away the Land of Israel”, and their hardline chairman, Dov Lior, offered an alternative solution to the conflict. “We must cleanse the country of Arabs and resettle them in the countries where they came from,” he said.
Was there serious preparation for the meeting? Where do the EU, Russia, China, and the UN fit in? Where do ALL regional powers, including Iran, fit in?
Faux diplomacy is a speciality of this administration (and probably the next one whatever it will be). The US-Israeli “strategic alliance” hinges on faux diplomacy and IMO will until the “pro-Israel lobby” is firmly put into its place…like Ike did in 1956 as a starter…and nullified.
1. “WASHINGTON – Two of the Navy’s top admirals said Tuesday that China’s refusal to let a U.S. aircraft carrier make a Thanksgiving port call at Hong Kong was surprising and troubling.”
2. “TOKYO (Reuters) – A Chinese warship arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday on the first such port call since World War Two, the latest sign of warming ties between the Asian neighbors and former foes,”
3. “Citing signs of military progress in Iraq, America’s neoconservatives are reasserting their vision of the United States as an imperial power that can reshape the Muslim world in a way favorable to the interests of Washington and Tel Aviv.
“Casting aside the image of the war as a bloody quagmire, the neocons are again selling Iraq as a vital beachhead in the Middle East from which the United States can project power throughout the region and achieve victory over Islamic militants hostile to Israel.”
I stand by my position….this is all about oil. As this author notes; the so called “conspiracy freaks” were correct,
we are there to stay in Iraq/ME in exchange (cough cough)some advantageous business opportunities. As far as I can tell from their muted reactions…this suits the big three of the Dems just fine. It was a good time to announce the deal between elements in Iraq and elements in America. The opening of the conf provided cover. As if any were needed. I suspect most Americans are just fine with this.
The lead up to this was a convoluted but obvious play that took out Hamas so that Abbas would be left in charge. Do you think it perhaps possible that in order to be given the trophy Hamas took at the ballot box, Abbas would have had to agree to certain “terms”? And do you think those “terms” are what will be the eventual outcome of these “negotiations”?
I stand by my position….this is all about oil. As this author notes; the so called “conspiracy freaks” were correct,
we are there to stay in Iraq/ME in exchange (cough cough)some advantageous business opportunities. As far as I can tell from their muted reactions…this suits the big three of the Dems just fine. It was a good time to announce the deal between elements in Iraq and elements in America. The opening of the conf provided cover. As if any were needed. I suspect most Americans are just fine with this.
Grumpy, you are just regurgitating the standard bs about why the last talks failed.
Check out this links to see how generous that offer really was:
Avi Shlaim’s “Iron Wall” lives on.
you have the Likud version of Camp David. Camp David offered Arafat virtually nothing. Later the Taba Accords got to that 95% you’re talking about. The right of return was finessed to some 20,000 symbolic number that Israel could control but Barak could not deliver the Taba Accords.
Read the Israeli Gush-Shalom peace activist site for the lowdown.
the bottom line is that historic Israel is the West Bank a.k.a Judea-Samaria. The U.N. recognized Israel of 1948 is historic Philistinia. Ben Gurion’s Israel had its eye on the West Bank on the gitgo and cooked up the 67 war to capture it, has colonized it & settled up to the gills, and is scarcely going to let go of any substanial parts of it. Moreover, that’s where the water aquifers are. Of course, no one will ever say that. The code words will be, Israel is a narrow country and the West Bank is needed for SECURITY. The indigenous people are just another one of those inconvenient truths.
“Facts on the ground” mean that a viable, independent Palestinian state is not possible.
The only real solution is for a one state solution, with Palestinians and Israelis as equal citizens, with equal rights, and an equal vote.
One person, one vote. It is time to see Israel made into a real democracy.
Actually ancient “Israel” is technically Samaria. This was the kingdom made famous by King Ahab and his Tyrian queen Jezebel.
Ancient Judah was the Southern Kingdom. According to the Bible, King David captured the city of the Ya Bus, Jebusites, and united the two kingdoms.
It is an interesting digression why the Zionists called their coastal 1948 Palestinian state “Israel.”
28 November 2007
These negotiations remind me of the peace talks between Northern and Southern Vietnam. Specifically, the cynical rejoinder often used by many of the average peasants on the streets of Siagon when describing the RVN and NV goverment’s lack of progress;
“Talk, Talk.Fight, Fight.”
Knowing that George Bush and Condoleeza Rice are involved with the most recent round of (what passes for) diplomacy in that benighted land, I’m convinced that took place in Annapolis in the guise of a constructive dialogue between antangonists was, in actuality, little more than a circlejerk for VIP’s.
Your most humble servant,
Faux diplomacy is a speciality of this administration…
Is it faux diplomacy or just plain incompetence? Maybe this administration is just so incompetent that we must tell ourselves that there is some ulterior, super clever reason for their actions.
I still have a problem believing that politicians who reach the White House can be dumb as a post. Being reared a Catholic, schooled by Calvinists, and spending time in the military tends to heighten one’s respect for authority.
But I am brought back to reality every time I hear our President speak for more than 10 seconds.
Yes, indeed. They have agreed to negotiate and argue in the future, starting, apparently, on 12 December 2007.
Since those at the conference are being paid and having their meals provided — many probably with our tax money — and I am not, I don’t have time right now to go through the thing in detail.
A couple of quick and obvious points.
The “joint understanding” read by pres. Bush jr is here–
Notice how the conditional statements make this nothing new.
Paragraph 2: “… we agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty, resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.”
It started out wonderfully, pledging to resolve “all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception …”
But no period ends the sentence there. An exception does exist, in that the “issues” are those “as specified in previous agreements”.
Which “previous agreements” (plural) are those? What is in the previous agreements?
Paragraph 5: “The parties also commit to immediately implement their respective obligations under the performance-based road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, issued by the Quartet on 30 April 2003 — this is called the road map — and agree to form an American, Palestinian and Israeli mechanism, led by the United States, to follow up on the implementation of the road map.”
Paragraph 6: “The parties further commit to continue the implementation of the ongoing obligations of the road map until they reach a peace treaty. The United States will monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitment of both sides of the road map. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the road map, as judged by the United States.”
I’ll leave it to you to find the weak spots in paragraphs 5 and 6, but the obvious ones are–
1) This whole farce is tied to the “road map”.
2) Only the United States, without Russia, Britain, and European states, will be part of the as yet un-formed “mechanism” that will “follow up” on the “implementation of the road map” (paragraph 5). And “… implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the road map, as judged by the United States” (paragraph 6).
So go back and dust off that “road map”, which was to have produced a permanent status agreement by 2005, and read every word of it carefully.
The Israeli government is rolling on the floor laughing.
Hamas and Hizbullah are going to say, “I told you so”.
But there was a nice Secretary of State’s Dinner with the Annapolis Conference participants, again paid for by us, and in attendance also were UN Secretary General Ban, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and others “who have gathered here in the cause of peace”.
Which leads me to wonder, what do those Arab countries (especially Syria), and Iran (which has some pretty good lawyers), think now after seeing all this puffery?
And did anyone read or hear the phrase, “sovereign Palestinian state”?
Forget the Palestinian-Israeli tract. What the hell was said at Annapolis that has seemingly turned the Lebanese situation on its head. 2 days ago, the M14 movement called any amendment to the constitution an abhorration and Jumblat was refering to HA as an Iranian Proxy Army in Lebanon.
Today, Jumblat is talking about it not being necessary to solve the issue of the weapons of the “resistance” (the use of the word is vital) right now. And Beirut is awash with rumours that the Army Chief is about to be made President (a move that requires a constitutional amendment).
The fact that it is M14 players turning things on their heads suggests Syria made some sort of concession to the US and the US gave M14 a green light to agree to him.
See, thats why we Lebanese love conspiracy theories so much. They are fun and so many of them seem aimed at us!
Clifford, China’s naval deployments should not be a surprise. There are some good posts over at the athenaeum that provide very good background and insights into potential for future conflict with China.
“If this vision prevails, the future of the region will be endless terror, endless war and endless suffering.” The ‘defense’ industry must be salivating at the prospect, along with their hacks in Congress. How high can the defense budget go? Maybe soon we’ll find out.
jonst: I stand by my position….this is all about oil.
Perhaps that’s way too simplistic and centralized?
I tend to think that this is also about the golden opportunity of signing no-bid defense contracts.
Many in the defense industry (i.e. who hate taxes and big govt, but love fat no-bid contracts) are `making a killing’ because of the debacle in Iraq.
Among other things, its also about breaking the back of BIG GOVERNMENT and the replacing of it with private corporations.
It can’t just be all about oil once we follow the money.
Dear Col. Lang,
I would like to reply to the comment made by Grumpy as he repeats the `conventional wisdom’ held by most Americans that the Palestinians were offered 90-95% of what they wanted by the Israelis and they rejected it. I challenge anyone who believes this to review, IN DETAIL, what was actually offered to the Palestinians by Clinton and Barak. The Palestinians were offered some level of administrative authority over roughly 90-95% of the territory in the West Bank and Gaza. This is MUCH different though than saying that the Palestinians were offered 90-95% of `what they wanted’. In fact, under this offer, Israel would control the borders, the water resources (this is a key point that is almost totally absent in US media accounts), the foreign policy (e.g. the Palestinians would not be permitted an army, and would not be able to freely sign treaties with other countries without Israeli approval), the West Bank was to be divided by Israeli-only roads, and the Palestinian capital would have been in a suburb of East Jerusalem. The `generous terms’ offered by the Israelis were nothing less than an acceptance of total capitulation by the Palestinians. They would have been signing away their national sovereignity in perpetuity. Arafat made the correct decision to reject this. The serious concessions offered by the Israelis amounted to an offer of serfdom. This really wasn’t much of a peace process.
The way forward is clear to the rest of the world: full Israeli withdrawal to the ’67 borders (including the return of the Golan Heights to Syria in toto) for full recognition of Israel’s right to exist (by the Palestinians and all the Arab countries). In regards to right of return, even the Palestinians accept privately that there can be no mass return to Israel proper. There would be a token return of some small number of Palestinians who would choose to live in Israel proper, certainly not enough to upset the demographic balance. All the other Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, etc. would be returned to Palestine. Any such deal would require massive US financial support, plus perhaps an Israeli indemnity to compensate refugees who were dislocated from Israel in 1948. This position (which is the state policy of Saudi Arabia and many of the other Arab nations, and supported by virtually the rest of the world, I believe) should be the official, publicly proclaimed US policy.
blowback, does Dov Lior’s “cleansing” remind you of any similar German statements from 1933-45? Plus que ca change.
@jonst – oil is a TOOL for dominance. Global dominance is the openly proclaimed US aim.
A well founded and sourced argument for that is here. (My overview of the discussion here.)
On Annapolis and the I/P situation Jeff Halper, an Israeli, has some good insight.
Israel and 90% of its population is just fine with the current state of things.
Why rattle the cage when the palestinian folks inside can’t get out anyway.
Unless the Pals and/or someone else puts up a fight again, nothing will change.
No that’s wrong: The settlements would grow and the number of road blocks for Pals and Pal prisoners would increase.
Bush’s use of the term “Holy Land” to refer to Israel is no accident, and it plays to his “Christianist” constitutents.
I think the Bush Administration intentions are now quite plainly visible for all to see.
1. Obtain hegemony over all the oil resources of the Middle East through actual or threatened military action. The agreement with Maliki specifies an “enduring” relationship and preferential treatment for American investors.
2. Disrupt economic growth of any and all Arab states inimical to Israel to deprive Palestinians of any external support. Israel will then “negotiate” a Palestinian state to its advantage.
The “hopelessness” and “despair” of the Palestinian people seems to me to be a product of Israeli actions, but Bush is fitting up the Syrians and the Iranians as the culprits, which leaves the Palestinians with no external support.
So that’s the deal Folks. Israel gets security and we get the oil.
I don’t think we are going to have to wait very long for military action against Iran.
I don’t think we are going to have to wait very long for military action against Sadr and others in Iraq who think Maliki has sold them out.
MR. Lang: You should get a job here in Norway. There are trillions of cash roling around.
I agree–at lot of nothing at Anapolis.
The text of the “Middle East Peace Statement” is basically a restatement of the US/Israeli position: heavy on peace with security with no mention of peace with prosperity. All sticks for the Palestinians and all carrots for the Israelis.
This statement reeks of total capitulation to the US/Israeli security agenda with no mention of basic Palestinian rights and aspirations. It would appear that Palestinians are being given yet another opporutnity to negotiate their total and unconditional surrender and provide ironclad security guarantees to boot.
Does anyone see anything in this statement that suggests anything positive for Palestinians? Maybe they maintain their right to continue to be ethnically cleansed?
Col Lang, It appears like I stirred up a hornets nest. First, I want “Jose”, “Will” and “Utah Blaine” to understand I did go to the “Gush-Shalom” website. I took some time I should be sleeping to read the specific listed document, but then to read the rest of the site. I wanted to give your evidence every bit of weight possible. You have every right to you opinion and it is not my place to change it. As tragic as it might be, the normal method of “Nation-Creation” was by war. When the Nation of Israel was created, there was a Palestinian State, It was the Nation of Jordan. As I read the “Gush-Shalom” website, I saw many things. If the Palestinians and Israeli people could work together it would benefit both peoples. The site took great pains to point out the reactionary perceived injustices by the Israelis against the Palestians. But the site is strangely silent about the triggers which caused these responses.
The website talks about equality for both sides.. Would you please tell me, is EQUALITY what the Palestinians really want?
The one-state solution would appear to be the future. Demographics, it seems, will inexorably force the issue in the next generation unless the Israelis continue their ethnic cleansing program (or is it pogram?) and “transfer” Arabs out of the so-called “Jewish state.” According to the German press, the most popular place for Jewish settlement these days is Germany not Israel. The old “Jewish” district in Berlin is undergoing quite a revival.
This administration has told nothing but lies to the American people and to the world since it took power. Its faux diplomacy (which is intentional but perhaps incompetently handled)is an element of the overall National Strategy which is outlined in considerable detail in official documents. The National Strategy itself, IMO, has undermined short, medium, and long-range US national interests.
I regard China’s military strategy/force posture and pragmatic diplomacy as “normal”, and to be expected, from a rising power in the emerging multipolar environment. I know some Americans think Beijing shouldn’t dare object to US global hegemony and should, rather, kowtow to the Emperor with no clothes in the White House but…
IMO, irritation over US policy per the Dalai Lama and Taiwan seems to have brought on the port call issue so they have sent a “signal.” Last month I had lunch in Washington with a visiting senior PLA official who indicated these concerns. I appreciated his frankness.
Grant your point re “centralization” issue. But def/contracts, private or public, can be spent anywhere. i.e. you can make trouble…or respond to trouble, anywhere. Oil? Increasingly, found in one place. Most easily accessed pool of oil? Iraq. Its the oil.
Fred….how long a learning curve is there to man, skillfully, an aircraft carrier? Are you telling me, implicitly, anyway, that a nation’s naval forces could learn the skills in peace time? In what, a decade? Seriously, I’m asking. Navy men out there? Because my impression is this, manning a carrier, takes a hell of lot of institutional history/training pasted down from previous generations. You don’t learn it quickly. In peace time.
walrus: The agreement with Maliki specifies an “enduring” relationship and preferential treatment for American investors.
Like the de-Baathification law, hydo-carbon law, and a long long list of other US-Iraq deals, that `agreement’ is pure unadulterated bull-shit: Al-Maliki is simply tossing Bush a meatless marrowless bone which he again picked up and is running around with it clenched in his foam coated teeth.
Plus, I must point out the extremely important fact that the Iraqi Parliament has to `approve any final agreement before it can come into force’.
Plus, the BBC reported al-Maliki said the renewal is **only** just for one year!!
One year is not `enduring’.
It is probably long just enough to bleed the US dry of its blood and treasure so that the US cannot take down the pro-Iranian Iraqi Parliament which Bush helped father in direct but inadvertent response to the horrific attacks of 9/11.
BBC: Iraq seeks UN troop mandate’s end
Baghdad will ask the UN to renew the mandate of US-led forces in Iraq for a final time until the end of 2008, Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki has said.
Yes, they have lied. They are marketeers and salesmen first and foremost. Incompetent folks are typically big liars.
What I don’t understand is why they would expend the energy at faux diplomacy at all. Especially at this point in his term. One thing Bush has shown is that he is willing and very able to make highly controversial decisions and ram them down everyone’s throats, daring anyone to stop him. The media usually calls these “bold moves” and “leadership.” In reality, they are just power plays that give him a little more executive power and slaps around the so-called oppostition.
So, what’s to gain for him to bother with the peace process now? He’s the Commander Guy, after all. In fact, why run the risk of it being declared a failure rather than just tell everyone he’s the Commander-in-Chief and move forward with his agenda. The media would then declare that he is still showing bold leadership while the Dems crumble in fear!
I’m not questioning your analysis and experience. These issues are just far too complex for an average citizen like me to follow.
Grumpy, serious people do not repeat the idiotic phrase “Jordan is Palestine.” Where are the historic Palestinian towns in the Hashemite Kingdom? And just because many Palestinians fled there, does not make it Palestine, anymore than Iraqi refugees make Syria Iraq.
back in the old days they used to have two standard propaganda ploys
1. Jordan is the Palestinian State
2. there are 22 other Arab countries
so don’t worry about the Palestinians
(or Ms. Miers’s line) better yet, they don’t exist any more once the state of Israel came into existence.
the best current propaganda for Israel’s use of a million of secondary dud cluster bombs in the waning hours of the 2006 Summer War against civilians is that also HA had cluster munitions on its rockets. The HA munition had steel pellets basically. The dud cluster bombs had explosives in them, had a high failure rate, and are waiting there in the fields for children to pick up. they were employed for the purpose of making the land uninhabitable.
So how did the Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank respond to the Annapolis conference? YNET answers:
And a bit of fascinating news about the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock:
If the GOI attempted to return Israel to the 67 borders, then odds are overwhelming that a civil war would ensue. On the other hand, if the GOI continues to support and promote the occupation, then we live in state of perpetual war. Either way Israel looks trapped, as there is no chance for peace. Perhaps that explains the neoconservative goal and mantra: to involve the US in perpetual war in the Middle East, hopefully triggering a clash of civilizations.
When I was in the occupied territories, I became convinced that the USM would have used completely different tactics than the IDF and would have been much more successful. Maybe I am wrong, but I believe the USM would have built hospitals and schools for the Palestinians and worked under the precepts given to us by General Lansdale and described by Bernard Fall in Street Without Joy: to win, the military and the people must emerge on the same side of the struggle.
Such is not the case for the IDF. The goal appears the opposite: to remove, separate, and extirpate. It is one of oppression, not liberating from oppression. From what I can tell, the IDF does not follow the principles set forth even in Petraeus’ COIN manual.
So I cannot help but conclude that the IDF and the USM have two separate traditions based on two separate histories with differing national aspirations. The United States, unlike Israel, is not a nation that promotes ethnic nationalism. E Pluribus Unum is our motto.
Yet evidence suggests that certain people in the Pentagon have attempted to have the USM abandon its tradition and adopt the one of the IDF, principally the one of pre-emptive strikes. One strong piece of evidence is Luti allegedly calling General Zinni a traitor.
Um, how do you make a legitimate secure peace without the participation of the duly elected government? Answer: you don’t.
Its a cruel joke that will unfold with the departure of Olmert for (political or criminal reasons), and the continued expansion of settlements atop the strategic asset of the West Bank aquifers. This faux diplomacy is just the latest staged interregnum pending further consolidation of the stolen lands into Israel. Arab and Palestinian reaction to future Israeli and American attacks in the region will then ensure that once again, Israel “has no-one to negotiate with”, and hence is morally justified in continuing occupation, annexation, murder, kidnapping and indiscriminate collective.
punishment ad nauseum.
The only positive sign I’ve seen is Olmert acknowledging that if Israel doesn’t make legitimate 2-state peace now, the future is a one state non-Jewish Arab dominated democracy. I trust he’ll be shown the door for such heresy in short order.
You stated: “The one-state solution would appear to be the future”.
I would like to point out that is the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran as articulated by Ayatullah Khamenei.
Iran is not an Arab country.
Completely swept under the rug by corporate media is the fact that the two parties who are fighting Israel to a stalemate, Hamas and Hezbollah, are not included of the Middle East Peace Talks. Even more telling is that the source of funding of these two parties, Iran, is not a participant. Strategically, if the USA really wants peace in the Middle East, it would withdraw out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and become energy independent and cut off the flow of oil money to religious fanatics.
Col., If the Nation of Israel has been so wrong to the Palestinian People, that they were driven from their land. The one thing that really confuses me. Why haven’t the Arab neighbors, in the region, with their great wealth, brought these poor victims into their countries? They could help them become members of their new society, even becoming citizens. Why?
Grumpy, the Pals probably want the same things as the Israelis which is the hope of peace.
One of the sad events about the this conflict is that both sides are ruled by the extremes.
Look at opinion polls, most Israelis and most Pals want peace yet the conflict is rule by the minority extremist factions on both sides.
Not all Israelis are Zionist, Not all Pals are Terrorist, not all Americans are Neocons.
Unfortunately, these groups are always in the headlines.
Also, don’t stir hornets nest unless you want to be bitten, think Lebanon, think Gaza, think Iraq, think Afghanistan, think Iran, think Pakistan, think al-Qaeda, etc.
Why did I say the hope of peace?
Zionist, Terrorist and Neocons do not appear to care about the hopes of others just their own.
VietnamVet: Hamas and Hezbollah, are not included of the Middle East Peace Talks. Even more telling is that the source of funding of these two parties, Iran, is not a participant.
You want to bring up the topics of `who did not attend’ and `Iranian funding’?
NOT one member from the UIA (comprised of men from al-Dawa and ISCI, aka SCIRI) attended the Middle East Peace Conference either.
Again, neither al-Maliki or al-Hakim, not one of their proxies, attended the Middle East Peace Conference.
As for the funding, current research shows that the ISCI is STILL receiving funding from Iran just like Hezbollah and Hamas.
As for Hezbollah and al-Dawa….
Warships in Gulf Convoy. LAT, Oct 1, 1987.
Three pro-Iranian Shia Muslim organizations in Lebanon warned Tunisia against executing seven fundamentalists convicted earlier this week of trying to overthrow the government of President Habib Bourguiba.
The groups-Hezbollah (Party of God), the umbrella organization for those
holding Western hostages in Lebanon; the Daawa Party, a Hezbollah ally, and the Islamic Coalition-warned of a confrontation and a “sweeping
storm” if the “unjust death sentences” are carried out.
When I wrote that sentence–
“Which leads me to wonder, what do those Arab countries (especially Syria), and Iran (which has some pretty good lawyers), think now after seeing all this puffery?”–
I changed it at first to try to better separate Iran from the Arab countries, but I apologize for not being clear enough. I am aware that Persians are a distinct people from Arabs.
I would like to visit Iran, and the last time I checked it was still legal to do so, as long as you didn’t contract to provide any “services” or otherwise violate the foolish economic sanctions.
I respect how meticulous the Iranian lawyers have been in their documents regarding the IAEA and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The Palestinians might benefit from their advice.
CWZ: Annapolis is a fig leaf attempt to burnish the tarnished reputations of Dubya and Condi for future generations of rewritten history.
VV: I wonder what the reaction would be if the EU were to have World Peace talks and invite Pelosi and Reid, while snubbing Bush–seems somewhat akin to the Annapolis roster of invited participants.
Grumpy aks why the Arab world has not brought the Palestinians into their countries. Could it be that just as Israel wanted their own country, the Palastinians also want their own country.
Grumpy, If the neighbours brought in the palistinians it would solve Israels problem. Palistinians want their OWN land back. Will Israelis go away to other lands (USA, England…)to solve the problem? This is about power. The USA adds its power to Israel not to the weaker Palistinians.
I quite agree that the Bush Admin is incompetent in its design of our national strategy and in its handling of our foreign policy. As General Odom has said, the Iraq War is the greatest strategic mistake in American history.
It is the systematic deception, facilitated by the corporate media, that I was trying to emphasize: deception of Congress, of the American people, of the world. I believe this applies to the Annapolis photo op as well.
The faux diplomacy with Israeli-Arab situation has been part and parcel of every administration since Eisenhower. The last time a US President acted decisively was Eisenhower in 1956. I do not expect any US President to repeat that for some time into the future; not 2008, not 2012…
Hence, IMO the effect of the faux diplomacy is to STALL and give Israel breathing space between US election cycles: 2 year or 4 year. As a former advisor to President Sadat once remarked to me, “It seems like every year is an election in the US with respect to Israel.”
And, yes indeed, such faux diplomacy is not a competent way to handle our foreign policy.
Given Mr. Olmert’s frank assessment over the last 48 hours, I would say it appears the Iranian leader and the Israeli leader share some analytic perspectives, though not policy perspectives. Seems to me Israel needs to plan for a transition to a one-state “Holy Land” solution with Jews, Muslims, and Christians under “one roof.” Jordan could associate in some manner down the road if deemed viable.
This comments from a Jewish perspective on the democraphic issue:
The Jewish Agency’s org called the “Jewish Peoples Planning Institute” is headed by Dennis Ross. Their official documents are most revealing and helpful in understanding the issues of Diaspora Management and Israel. Diasposa Management, of course, has implications for US internal politics and foreign policy:
your comment said: “Would you please tell me, is EQUALITY what the Palestinians really want?”
…perhaps this is the question that you and the US should be asking all of the palestinians, and not eachother.
If this happened it would be assisting the illegal ethnic cleansing of Palistinians from their own land where they have a right to be. Isreal must go back to 1967 borders, leave the west bank and shabaa farms and live pofitably with their neighbours while they are stronger.
“Why haven’t the Arab neighbours. . . .
Why weren’t the Jews settled (as opposed to Why didn’t the Jews settle) in some adjusted bit of the old Europe, or Cuba, after the Holocaust? Why don’t the Tibetans’ neighbour’s take them in en masse? Aside from China?
I mean, the proper response to being driven from your land is not to emigrate with a whimper, but to fight with all you’ve got. The neighbours and bystanders are not to be castigated and remonstrated for not taking you in permanantly while you not just submit, but cheerily acquiesce to the biker gang that just took over your home.
This trite and diverting question is an example of keeping your eye on the birdie, anything but the elephant in the room. The Palestinians’ plight is not about the Arabs’ failure in the charitable hospitality department, though I can’t imagine any local state eager to welcome masses of traumatized angry refugees in their present condition – especially given the past demonstrated virulent fruits of having them as guests. They’re sure not coming to my house, and I’m a bleeding heart.
Worse yet, the ingrates might then start demanding democracy from their authoritarian hosts, infecting the natives and generally causing all manner of alien disruption and disputation in society, but I digress.
The question is WHAT THE PALS want/are entitled to and how to get there while securing/restraining Israel, but it seldom occurs to anybody to consider the first first.
And maybe the poor, proud wretches don’t want the charitable hospitality that would be the miraculous gratification of Israel’s divine dreamwish that the Pals just disappear.
When fighting for your homeland, where possession is 11/10 of the law, you don’t voluntarily leave. You don’t flee en masse, dissolving an entire society/aspiring nation, clearing the way for your hated oppressor to defile the land and Holy Places of your patriarchs. Not until you’re crushed, near annihilation, til you pry the gun from my cold dead hand, etc. And the Pals seem to have an enduring faith that America et al will not, in the end, countenance their complete destruction and disposition to a permanent stateless diaspora. Or maybe never mind the perfidious newly exposed Americans, maybe Palestinian society, such as it is, feels as a whole that they are within striking distance of one state by the mere effluxion of time and fecundity.
Apparently they aspire to something greater than poor guest victimhood, and are in no mood to quit the arena yet, no matter their misery, internal divisions, and foreign manipulation.
Perhaps the Annapolis farce is even less than zero:
“US withdraws Mideast resolution at UN
“By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer
“In an about face, the United States on Friday withdrew a U.N. resolution endorsing this week’s agreement by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to try to reach a Mideast peace settlement by the end of 2008, apparently after Israel objected.
“Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff informed the Security Council that the United States was pulling the resolution from consideration less than 24 hours after Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad had introduced it and welcomed the ‘very positive’ response from council members.
“Khalilzad had said he needed to consult with the Israelis and Palestinians overnight on the text of the resolution to ensure it was what they wanted.
“Well-informed diplomats said Israel, a close U.S. ally, did not want a resolution, which would bring the Security Council into the fledgling negeotiations with the Palestinians. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.
“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters Friday in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, that while he didn’t know the details of the draft resolution it was a sign of the seriousness of the United States, which he also perceived at this week’s Mideast conference in Annapolis, Md.
“This means, if what we have learned is verified, that there are serious steps that speak to the existence of an American position supporting the negotiations,’ Abbas said.
“Wolff told reporters the U.S. had held intensive consultations in the past few days ‘and the upshot was that there were some unease with the idea’ of a resolution.”
“The focus, we all realized again, should be placed and remain on Annapolis and the understanding that was reached there,” Wolff said. “It’s a momentous decision … and rather than dilute from that and in respect to both parties in terms of what they thought would be most helpful, we reached a conclusion that it would be best to withdraw it.”
Every time you think these awesomely incompetent clods have plumbed the nadir they outdo themselves — perhaps the US Govt should have checked with The Boss first…
Your tax dollars at work — Alice in Wonderland plus cluster bombs???
Babak: “I would like to point out that is the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran as articulated by Ayatullah Khamenei.”
So you are saying that the belief that a two state solution is either unfair or unworkable puts you in the same group as Khamenei?
Guilt by association eh? Let’s try your little game by changing the names. You dislike/hate Adolph Hitler right? So did Joseph Stalin.
The late Edward Said also supported a one state solution as well.
I have yet to have one person who supports a two state solution tell me in what way, given current “facts on the ground” that there will ever be a viable/independent Palestinian state.
I was in the West Bank back before 9/11. Given what I saw I easily made up my mind that no two state solution was possible. I am sure this is even more the case in 2007.
There are two options at this time. One is for Israel to grant full and equal rights to everyone under it’s control and finally become a demoracy in every sense of the world.
The other option is a Bantustan Palestinian homeland, split into about five different cantons, most of which are not connected, and all but Gaza are bisected by “Jewish only” roads.
The first option leads to a democratic state, the second option does not lead to a state, only to further conflict in the future.
No state set up to promote one faith or race over another is democratic. Period.
why? because they too are complicit. they all have more to gain from the conflict than they do from peace.
Grumpy, go study some history.
Grumpy: What are you doing? Head-I-win, tails-you-lose? If the Arab states had accepted the Palestinians as immigrants, and not refugees, you would be arguing that they are emigrants and hence have no right to return. In the space of one thread, you have road-tested every idiotic Likudnik argument except that the Palestinians aren’t really a people…or did I speak to soon?
grumpy (aka stumpy?), you won’t get me to bite again
at least one thing was accomplished at Annapolis.
Oh, le perfide la France et les Etats-Unis
from the Friday-lunch-Club via syriacomment.com
” From Joshua Landis, here
“… at Annapolis … E.U, and then Egyptian officials began to approach their Lebanese counterparts. “Congratulations on your new president,” they were informed.
The jaws of the Lebanese delegates dropped. It was the first any of them had heard of such news. Tariq Mitri, the erudite and cultured Acting Foreign Minister, was furious and confused. made [his] way to Secretary of State Rice to find out the truth of this breaking news. Secretary Rice played coy, claiming that the deal was the doing of the French and Egyptians. She asked, “Doesn’t that [clearing the way for the Lebanese Chief of Staff to become president] need a constitutional amendment?…”
“…Kouchner is primary target of Lebanese contempt. They blame him for pulling the rug out from under them and fixing the deal behind their backs. It was their way of getting the Syrians to Annapolis. Egypt helped swing the deal. They had been in favor of Michel Suleiman from the start. The Saudis had fallen into line begrudgingly.
Faysal Miqdad, the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, was by all accounts very quite and subdued at the Annapolis meeting. He did not demand attention, but rather watched the proceedings with an air of satisfaction and anticipation. One reporter [said] that the Syrian delegation was jubilant after it was over…”
As one Lebanese said, “The French screwed us because they brought Syria to Annapolis. They decided the President of Lebanon without March 14…”
Finally, a M14 member of the Christian faith commented recently that Michel Aoun is “lucky” to have a Muslim partner like Hassan Nasrallah, alluding to the fact that Hezbollah remained true to the “understanding” with the Free Patriotic Movement, and in stark contrast with the Christians of M14 who feel “stabbed twice” by the West and by their Muslim partners in the unraveling alliance. ”
This is priceless.
Everyone throws everyone under the bus.You could look long and hard before you find a more fitting metaphor for this Admin, than displayed in this farce. Cheney on one side….whomever, the contender of the month, on the other. Bush, clueless, in the middle. End result? The champ wins! Again! One cannot make this stuff up.
Olmert in Haaretz and reported by the BBC
Olmert warns of ‘end of Israel’
“Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said failure to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians would spell the end of the State of Israel.
He warned of a “South African-style struggle” which Israel would lose if a Palestinian state was not established. ”
‘WASHINGTON – “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Haaretz yesterday, the day the Annapolis conference ended in an agreement to try to reach a Mideast peace settlement by the end of 2008.
“The Jewish organizations, which were our power base in America, will be the first to come out against us,” Olmert said, “because they will say they cannot support a state that does not support democracy and equal voting rights for all its residents.”
Olmert pointed out that he had said similar things in an interview he gave four years ago, when he was deputy prime minister under Ariel Sharon, in which he revealed for the first time his proposal for a withdrawal from most of the occupied territories. ”
The contradiction of Israel is that it purports to be a liberal democracy b/ it has no constitution guaranteeing all persons within its jurisdiction equal protection of its laws (comparable to our 14th amendment enacted after a bloody Civil War).
The thrust of his remarks is that unless a Palestinian state is created (he probably envisions rump Bantustans), then the one state solution would become the next step and by the human rights charter would guarantee equal voting rights for Palestinians and eventual loss of the “jewish” character of the state.
How is his statement different from the oft purposefully misinterpreted quote of Khomeini-Ahmedinejad that Israel would be erased from the pages of time through historical processes in a like manner as the Soviet Union disappeared.
Col, you’re seem to enjoy starting the debate without getting involved. You start the trouble then get yourself extracted to the high ground and you just observe. It is time for you to turn around and look up. You’ll see people on even higher ground, they’re coming down to push you on to the deck of the forum. Now it is your turn, What will it take for this to become a positive event? We need to think in terms of an answer other than war. The problem is, especially now, it could get really bad. This is truly the benefit/ responsibility of your background and wisdom.
Thank you, SIR.
I like The Decider’s comment about extremists “imposing a dark vision on the Palestinian people.” I wonder if The Decider realizes that that describes the Zionist Occupation exactly.
Grumpy – I am a Jew with 35 relatives living in West Bank settlements. I have been in Israel more than 50 times since my sister made aliyah in 1966.
Can you get it thru your head that the Palestinians love the land as much as Jews do! Some of the Palestinians can trace their history on the land back 500 years. Why should they feel it’s okay for someone who lived last week in Brooklyn to move onto their land.
I have two nephews in the IDF who are thugs, unlike their father who served with distinction in 1967 and 1973. I have personally witnessed horrific abuse of Palestinians. Let me give you an example. Once I needed my nephews signature on some legal papers so I went to the checkpoint manned by my nephews company. I was 10 feet away when one of the soldiers started pissing on a Palestinian man’s shoes. When the man turned and looked like he was going to take a swing at the soldier, the soldier stepped back and emptied his gun into the man’s chest, his dick still hanging out of his pants.
I tried to submit a statement in the subsequent investigation but it was rejected in a quick one week verdict of a righteous kill.
I have watched IDF and settler target practice on Palestinian sheep and donkeys. As my nephew says, the idea is to make Palestinian life so miserable they leave.
The settlers have a plan – in 5 years they feel that they will be so entrenched there never can be a viable Palestinian state. What do you think the building in the E-1 corridor is all about? It connects Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem virtually all the way to Jericho. It cuts the southen West bank in a Hebron Canton. Likewise, the municpal boundries of Ariel extend all the way to the Jordan Valley, cutting Ramallah off from the rest of Palestinian territory, leaving Nablus and Jenin in their own canton.
The settlers feel that if “reservations” were good enough for America, they are good enough for Israel. Grumpy, you should go to Israel and the West Bank and see for yourself what goes on there. It’s too bad you probably don’t know Hebrew, you could go to a West Bank synogogue and hear the most hair raising hatred and vilesness that would make you feel like taking a immediate shower.
Now you probably think I hate Israel – I don’t. I want to be buried in a Jewish Homeland. However, in order to save Israel’s soul and the soul of my faith, things must change in Israel. It has to make a Just and Fair peace with the Palestinians in order to save itself.
Grumpy – One further point on your first comment. The Camp David accord was a terrible deal for Palestinians It would have given Palestinians a state on about 70-75% of the West Bank, essentially the old Area A&B from the Wye River Accords. Theoretically, Israel would relinquish another 20% (Area C) in 20-25 years. The Palestinian capital would not be in East Jersualem but in Abu Dis. Israel would retain control of all borders and water resources. This Palestinian state could not have an army and could not control it’s own foreign policy. Would you call this a country?
Taba was much better and it’s too bad Barak got cold feet at that point.
My point was only that the one-state (multi-national state) could have broad political support.
And I want to psersonally salute your moral courage in describing the depredations of Israeli Jews against the Palestinians.
Thank you very much for your insights. I am a believer that one glimmer of hope is for those of the Am. Jewish community to start speaking out against the Kristol view…and quickly, as time is of the essence. I am very confident that such will happen to a certain degree because the Am. Jewish community has a tradition of seeking justice.
Philip Weiss has stood stall as few others. In my opinion, Weiss has gone into uncharted territory and his work has broken a collective denial mechanism that has been at work in this country for a long time. The Leon Uris view — of which I was a fervent subscriber for most of my life — has been shattered and different perspectives are beginning to percolate up into the public consciousness. His blog — especially the comments sections — presents an edgy debate. The conflicting views and often heated retorts warrant careful consideration and analysis in my opinion, particularly for those such as myself searching for new organizing principles.
Besides the courageous members of the American Jewish community speaking out, my other hope is for people within the USM culture to take a stand. I am not a member of such, but after my trip to the occupied territories, I became convinced that the strategic goals of the IDF and the USM — at least historically — are diametrically opposed. Maybe I am wrong, but that is what I have concluded at least for now.
If Ian Pappe’s work is to be believed — and each must decide for himself or herself — then historically the strategic goal of the IDF is one of ethnic cleansing. I don’t see how it can be otherwise. So the tactics of the IDF are simply ways to implement this strategic goal as times change and various circumstances demand.
Such is contrary to the US tradition as it has evolved. Our national history is one of overcoming and transcending militant ethnic nationalism. So the melding of the USM and IDF in my opinion violates the principles and spirit upon which the US was established. E. Pluribus Unum.
More than that, I see no way the IDF can win in the long run. As Martin Van Creveld has shown in his works, the 67 borders were the best hope for Israel’s survival. The fact that the IDF did not object strenuously to the settler movement 40 years ago corroborates Pappe’s suggestion that ethnic cleansing is the animating spirit.
Zionism did not have to be that way. If Zionists had followed the way of Buber and Van Creveld, and if they had deferred to the tactics of the USM, especially the ones that evolved from the Vietnam War experience, then the odds of peace would have increased dramatically.
Bernard Fall — who, I believe, was Jewish — summed up the Western principle of counterinsurgency in Chapter 15 of Street Without Joy. To win, the military and the people must emerge on the same side of the struggle.
From what I can tell, that guiding rule is an alien concept in the IDF psyche. If 40 years ago, the IDF, instead of ensuring a settler’s movement, started building schools and hospitals for the Palestinians (out Hamas, Hamas) then the Middle East would present a different countenance today. Bard O’Neill and Ilana Kass’ pre 9-11 book about the Israelis and Palestinians (a book dedicated to Rabin) titled The Deadly Embrace suggests that the brief — very brief — time when the GOI offered services resulted in a decrease in terrorism on both sides.
But instead, today Palestinians in Gaza are starving to death while others die from a lack of medical treatment. And the highest court in Israel just ok’d cutting off an electrical supply to Gaza. (So much for a hope of a Baker v. Carr decision of one man, one vote as happened in the US). So no wonder today we have various people, such as Weiss, basically suggesting that the IDF is the KKK of the global village.
History seems to suggest that in the long run the spirit of ethnic nationalism loses but it usually does so with a violent cataclysm. It is exactly what you mentioned in your comment. The people lose their soul. So all eyes on Dimona as well as Cheney.
To Everyone, agree or disagree, THANK YOU, for your input. This is the way we learn others’ views.
Thanks for your forthright statement. I visited West Bank “settlers communities” during the early stages of the Intifada in the late 80s. What you describe rings true.
On the same trip I was invited to lunch in East Jerusalem by Faisal al- Husseini and we had a most interesting discussion. I was able to return his hospitality a few years later when he visited Washington, DC.
There are a number of courageous voices in the US, for example my friend Prof. Norton Mezvinsky. His book with the late Israel Shahak entitled “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel” London: Pluto, 2004 New Edtion)is an important study of the issue.
Norton endorses the single “democratic state” solution as do I.
For an academic discussion of the single-state or “bi-national” state concept see, Jenab Tutunji, Kamal Khaldi, “A Binational State in Palestine: The Rational Choice for Palestinians and the Moral Choice for Israelis,” International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), Vol. 73, No. 1. (Jan., 1997), pp. 31-58.
For a quick review of the binational state concept, see Wiki at
The prominent US Reform Rabbi, Judah Magnes, who was the founder and first chancellor of Hebrew University, advocated the binational state solution. See also Wiki,
Hardline American and international Zionists (from whence our “Neocons) opposed, and still oppose, this vision.
The Israelis did start building schools and hospitals.
They did it with their early support of Hamas! Many people are not aware of the fact that Israeli supported the Islamic extremists and the early formation of Hamas. They did so to try and countereight the influence of the secular/leftist PLO.
I bet they regret that choice now. I have been in Israel and Palestine. The Islamic radicals are mirrored by the Jewish radicals in the settlements.
I know it is forgotten now, but there used to be a sign that hung in a settlement in the West Bank. It said “Arab Freee Zone”.
It was just like the “Jewish Free Zone” signs that were hung in Nazi occupied Germany.
Nevermind the “Arabs to the gas chambers” graffiti I saw in one West Bank settlement.
It it interesting to note that those who oppose the bi-national solution are actually helping those of us that support a one state solution.
Demographics, even as Olmert has admitted, will make Israel as a Jewish state impossible. Those of us who know that a bi-national state is no longer possible, realise that time is actually on our side.
When Olmert said if they dont act now the state of Israel will destroyed, he was right.
Those who fight against a bi-national state now are actually playing a rather significant role in the future of the democratic one state solution, although I am sure this is NOT what they intend.
I listened to an interview with Mike Huckabee the other night, he makes it clear he is completely against a bi-national state, and even repeated the old canard about taking land from other Arabs to give to the Palestinians.
Thank you for the reference to the book: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. Most of what I have read in that area are works by Gorenberg and O’Neill. Eldar’s book, Lords of the Land, keeps popping up in debates. If anyone is interested in the Mezvinsky book, then here is the amzn link:
As I am sure you are aware, a few years ago, Richard Ben Cramer penned the book, “How Israel Lost”, where he suggested a return to the 67 borders. His work focused more on cultural observations, but, as far as I can tell, evidence is mounting that a sequel should be written: “How the IDF lost”.
An argument can be made that the IDF has hidden their tactics behind the US flag. I noticed that possibility in the Winograd Report where one theme that was stressed was that the USM and the IDF made similar tactical mistakes in Lebanon and Iraq. Perhaps that is true, but in another sense, the report appears as strategic propaganda piece to meld the USM and IDF in the public view. The reality on the ground was that IDF employed the tactic of dropping cluster bombs on Lebanon (as mentioned by “Will”). So one can speculate that the IDF tactic isn’t even “burn the village to save the village“. It’s just burn the village. Pappe seems to corroborate this view.
I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere that at one point the British SAS refused to train with the IDF. I don’t know if such is true but, if so, then it makes sense to me because arguably the British experience in Malaysia lead to a strategy and tactics that are inconceivable to the IDF. Different goals.
Bard O’Neill in the Deadly Embrace goes into scholarly detail about the dynamic that you mention re: prior GOI support of Hamas. I don’t know why Bard O’Neill’s works fail to receive more publicity and notice.
Also the Elon peace plan apparently has made the rounds with several US prez hopefuls.
“Ben Gurion’s Israel had its eye on the West Bank on the gitgo and cooked up the 67 war to capture it, has colonized it & settled up to the gills, and is scarcely going to let go of any substanial parts of it.”
How, specifically, did Israel cook up the ’67 War, please?
To All, as we have discussed many things from many points of view. Ultimately, it will not be you or I, or even Pat Lang who decides who wins this debate. The lady, History, will be the final judge.
Colonel Lang, you titled this posting as, “A Lot of Nothing at Annapolis”, well now you have a whole lot more of nothing.
The lady is a tramp.
DH, I would not be so quick to assess this “Lady”. She is the one who will be dancing on all of our graves. She is the only one who holds all all of the information in context and with no prejudice.