Petraeus Asks that Palestinians be Considered Middle Eastern and Not European – Politics Prevail over National Interest

The Petraeus briefing: Biden’s embarrassment is not the whole story
By Mark Perry in Foreign Policy [See Mark Perry’s new book: Talking to Terrorists: Why America Must Engage with its Enemies– excellent]

On January 16, two days after a killer earthquake hit Haiti, a team of senior military officers from the U.S. Central Command (responsible for overseeing American security interests in the Middle East), arrived at the Pentagon to brief JCS Chairman Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The team had been dispatched by CENTCOM commander David Petraeus to underline his growing worries at the lack of progress in resolving the issue. The 33-slide 45-minute PowerPoint briefing stunned Mullen. The briefers reported that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOM’s mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, that Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region, and that Mitchell himself was (as a senior Pentagon officer later bluntly described it) “too old, too slow…and too late.”

The January Mullen briefing was unprecedented. No previous CENTCOM commander had ever expressed himself on what is essentially a political issue; which is why the briefers were careful to tell Mullen that their conclusions followed from a December 2009 tour of the region where, on Petraeus’s instructions, they spoke to senior Arab leaders. “Everywhere they went, the message was pretty humbling,” a Pentagon officer familiar with the briefing says. “America was not only viewed as weak, but its military posture in the region was eroding.” But Petraeus wasn’t finished: two days after the Mullen briefing, Petraeus sent a paper to the White House requesting that the West Bank and Gaza (which, with Israel, is a part of the European Command – or EUCOM), be made a part of his area of operations. Petraeus’s reason was straightforward: with U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military had to be perceived by Arab leaders as engaged in the region’s most troublesome conflict.

The Mullen briefing and Petraeus’s request hit the White House like a bombshell. While Petraeus’s request that CENTCOM be expanded to include the Palestinians was denied (“it was dead on arrival,” a Pentagon officer confirms), the Obama Administration decided it would redouble its efforts – pressing Israel once again on the settlements issue, sending Mitchell on a visit to a number of Arab capitals and dispatching Mullen for a carefully arranged meeting with Chief of the Israeli General Staff, Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi. While the American press speculated that Mullen’s trip focused on Iran, the JCS Chairman actually carried a blunt, and tough, message on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: that Israel had to see its conflict with the Palestinians “in a larger, regional, context” – as having a direct impact on America’s status in the region. Certainly, it was thought, Israel would get the message.

Israel didn’t. When Vice President Joe Biden was embarrassed by an Israeli announcement that the Netanyahu government was building 1600 new homes in East Jerusalem, the administration reacted. But no one was more outraged than Biden who, according to the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, engaged in a private, and angry, exchange with the Israeli Prime Minister. Not surprisingly, what Biden told Netanyahu reflected the importance the administration attached to Petraeus’s Mullen briefing: “This is starting to get dangerous for us,” Biden reportedly told Netanyahu. “What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.” Yedioth Ahronoth went on to report: “The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israel’s actions and US policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops fighting against Islamic terrorism.” The message couldn’t be plainer: Israel’s intransigence could cost American lives.

There are important and powerful lobbies in America: the NRA, the American Medical Association, the lawyers – and the Israeli lobby. But no lobby is as important, or as powerful, as the U.S. military. While commentators and pundits might reflect that Joe Biden’s trip to Israel has forever shifted America’s relationship with its erstwhile ally in the region, the real break came in January, when David Petraeus sent a briefing team to the Pentagon with a stark warning: America’s relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America’s soldiers. Maybe Israel gets the message now.

Addendum: Read further about Perry’s sources at “War in Context” by Paul Woodward, “Israel is putting American lives at risk”

Ibrahim Hamidi writes in al-Hayat that the Obama administration will take several steps in the coming weeks to assure that Washington’s “engagement strategy” with Damascus moves forward.

سلسلة خطوات أميركية نحو سورية لـ «تأكيد استمرار الانخراط»: نحو تثبيت السفير وزيارات لهوف وفيلتمان وشابيرو
الأحد, 14 مارس 2010

دمشق – ابراهيم حميدي
يزور دمشق في الفترة المقبلة عدد من المسؤولين الأميركيين، بالتزامن مع عقد لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في مجلس الشيوخ جلسة استماع للسفير المرشح في دمشق روبرت فورد الثلثاء المقبل قبل التصويت على تعيينه في الأسابيع المقبلة، ما يؤكد استمرار إدارة الرئيس باراك اوباما بـ «استراتيجية الانخراط» مع دمشق نظراً الى «الدور المحوري» الذي تلعبه سورية في المنطقة.

وعلم ان فريدريك هوف مساعد المبعوث الأميركي لعملية السلام السيناتور جورج ميتشيل، سيزور دمشق نهاية الأسبوع الجاري، وان الموعد الأولي هو الخميس المقبل، وذلك في ضوء الزيارة الأخيرة التي قام بها ميتشيل لدمشق بداية العام الحالي، وتضمنت تجديد التأكيد على سعي ادارة اوباما «تحقيق السلام الشامل على جميع المسارات، بما فيها المسار السوري».

وكان ناطق رئاسي أفاد ان الرئيس بشار الأسد أكد خلال لقائه وزير الخارجية التركي احمد داود اوغلو قبل ايام «عدم وجود طرف اسرائيلي يرغب بتحقيق السلام على رغم وجود وسيط تركي نزيه يعمل مع سورية على إحلال الأمن والاستقرار» في الشرق الأوسط. وفيما قال داود اوغلو في حديث الى «الحياة» ان الأرضية جاهزة لاستئناف المفاوضات غير المباشرة بين سورية واسرائيل، وان المسؤولين الأميركيين «اكدوا بقوة» دعمهم استئناف المفاوضات غير المباشرة، ما يزال الجانب الإسرائيلي يعلن رفضه الدور التركي في عملية السلام، مع العلم ان مساعد وزيرة الخارجية للشؤون السياسية وليام بيرنز زار انقرة بعد دمشق في 17 الشهر الماضي.

وبحسب معلومات متوافرة لـ «الحياة»، فإن الاجتماع الطارئ للجنة تفعيل مبادرة السلام العربية الذي خصص قبل يومين لمناقشة قرار حكومة بنيامين نتانياهو بناء 1600 وحدة استيطانية جديدة في القدس الشرقية، تضمن تنويه ممثلي عدد من الدول، بما في ذلك الأمين العام للجامعة العربية عمرو موسى، بتحفظ دمشق على قرار لجنة المتابعة العربية لمبادرة السلام دعم مفاوضات غير مباشرة بين الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين. كما ان دمشق دانت بقوة الانتهاكات الإسرائيلية في الحرم القدسي الشريف.
وستأتي زيارة هوف بعد يومين من جلسة الاستماع المقررة للسفير فورد في لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في مجلس الشيوخ. وتأكد ان السيناتور جون كيري لعب دوراً في تقديم موعد الجلسة لـ «تأكيد الاستمرار في الحوار بسبب الدور المحوري لسورية» بعد طلب ثمانية من اعضاء الكونغرس الجمهوريين من وزيرة الخارجية هيلاري كلينتون تأجيل بحث موضوع تعيين السفير، وقولهما بضرورة «عدم الانخراط لأجل الانخراط».

وعلم ايضاً ان واشنطن قررت إجراء اتصالات مع الجانب السوري لترتيب زيارة لوفد اميركي يضم مسؤول الشرق الأوسط في وزارة الخارجية جيفري فيلتمان، ومسؤول الشرق الأوسط في مجلس الأمن القومي دانيال شابيرو في الأسابيع المقبلة، وعلى الأرجح في الشهر المقبل بعد اعقد القمة العربية في ليبيا بين 27 و29 الشهر الجاري. وتجنبت مصادر السفارة الأميركية في دمشق تأكيد «الإعلان عن موعد» زيارة فيلتمان وشابيرو، لكنها قالت لـ «الحياة» انهما «سبق وزارا سورية لدعم استراتيجية اوباما للانخراط، وان اي زيارة مقبلة ستكون منسجمة مع هذه الاستراتيجية».
الى ذلك، اكدت المصادر ان واشنطن ابلغت وفدها لدى منظمة التجارة العالمية بـ «عدم معارضة» بدء مفاوضات انضمام سورية الى المنظمة، بعدما كانت ادارة الرئيس جورج بوش عرقلت الطلب السوري في كل مرة قدم الى المنظمة منذ عام 2001. وقالت المصادر ان قرار واشنطن «جزء من استراتيجية الانخراط عبر تحديد المصالح المشتركة وردم الفجوة في القضايا الخلافية بين البلدين»، وان هذا القرار «يعزز عملية الإصلاح والتطوير» في سورية. وتؤكد دمشق بضرورة ان يقوم الحوار بين الطرفين على اساس «الاحترام المتبادل والمصالح المشتركة»، اضافة الى «اقتران الأقوال بالأفعال» في ما يتعلق بالعمل على تحقيق السلام الشامل في الشرق الأوسط والزام اسرائيل متطلبات السلام في المنطقة.

Syrian ambassador charts route to peace for Israel in Middle East: Moustapha: Relations with U.S. better with Bush gone
By Lee Howard, The Day, New London, Conn., 12 March 2010

New London – Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha told a crowd of about 100 at Connecticut College Thursday that “there should be a historic exchange of land for peace” in the Middle East.

Moustapha, speaking to members of the Southeast Connecticut Committee on Foreign Relations at the college’s Blaustein Hall, endorsed the so-called Pan-Arab Peace Initiative. The proposal, adopted at an Arab summit in 2002, calls for Israel to adhere to internationally recognized borders – essentially giving back territories it acquired in a series of wars last century – in return for Arabs’ recognition of the Jewish state as well as normalization of relations.

“If they want to be accepted by their neighbors, they need to stop their policy of occupation and expanding settlements,” Moustapha said of the Israelis. “If they want peace … this is the only way to move forward. In my heart, I believe this is inevitable. If this is inevitable … why not do it today instead of next year?”

Moustapha, responding to a question, noted the Israelis greeted Vice President Joe Biden’s visit this week with an announcement that they had expanded more settlements into occupied Arab territories.

“When will the Israelis realize this is insane and counter to their own national interests?” he said.

Moustapha questioned Israel’s commitment to the so-called two-state solution and wondered if it would continue a policy that he said essentially has turned it into an “apartheid state.”

Moustapha blamed the United States for allowing Israel to continue the policy unchecked. While acknowledging that the Obama administration has been much more amenable to working with the Syrians than the Bush administration, he said he still believes America can do more to push peace in the Middle East.

The United States “should have the moral courage to tell a friend that what you are doing is absolutely wrong,” he said.

Still, under President Obama, Moustapha said Syria feels like it’s at the table as “part of the solution” to peace in the Middle East, rather than being depicted as part of the problem, as under President Bush.

Moustapha said Bush’s “flagrant hostility” toward Syria grew to a boiling point after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which led to 1.2 million Iraqi refugees flooding his country and 4.2 million stateless people taking up residence throughout the Middle East – what he called the biggest exodus in the history of the region.

Moustapha said he had no direct contact with high-level members of the U.S. government for four or five years after the conflict started, despite the fact that Syria, after 9/11, invited Americans to share their intelligence on the terrorist organization al-Qaida. Syrian intelligence helped snuff out al-Qaida attacks against Americans in both Canada and Bahrain, he said.

Moustapha pointed out that Syria had also joined the United States in the 1990s Gulf War after Iraq’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait. Yet when Syria tried to dissuade the United States from going to war with Iraq a second time in 2003, Moustapha said the neoconservatives in Washington “mocked us in our face.”

“That was the breaking point between us and the Bush administration,” he said. “All that cooperation came to a standstill when the United States decided to invade Iraq.”

Now, though, Moustapha sees some signs of progress in Washington’s stance toward Syria. Just a few weeks ago, the United States sent its special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad, in talks that Moustapha found encouraging.

Moustapha was not as hopeful about the future of what he called the “failed state” of Iraq. And, though he views democracy as historically inevitable, Moustapha said “democracy by brute force,” as imposed by the United States in Iraq, created a reaction that may have hindered democratic progress throughout the Arab world.

“It needs to happen from within; it can’t happen from without,” he said.

But Moustapha said he doesn’t want to point fingers. Rather than reliving the turbulent history of the Middle East and quibbling over who wronged whom, he suggested that Arabs, Israelis and Americans put the past behind them.

“The question is do you want to live in peace or do you not want to live in peace?”

From All4Syria: Mahdi Dakhlallah, Syria’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia explained that:

“Syria’s relations with Saudi Arabia went beyond traditional diplomatic ties to the extent that by now it represents a model for Arab-Arab relations. He also spoke about coordination between the two countries aiming to protect Iraq’s unity and stability through support for the national movements in Iraq facing those with ties to the United States or the separatists or the federalists”

Andrew Sullivan and Jeffrey Goldberg argue over the meaning of the following map. Goldberg claims that it is propaganda and pushes a lie. Sullivan argues that the maps tells an irrefutable truth.

“The point of the illustration was to provide some background to the now-unavoidable fact that Israel has every intention of expanding its sovereignty to the Jordan river for ever, to segregate Palestinians into walled enclaves within, and to station large numbers of Israeli troops on the Eastern border.

Via Politico/ Ben Caspit in today’s Maariv, excerpts below: [Thanks FLC]

It was supposed to be a visit that would restore our trust. It was the visit that destroyed trust. Binyamin Netanyahu kicked over the bucket that contained no milk. Biden was supposed to fill it. Instead, Biden burned with anger. “They stabbed me in the back,” the vice president said last Tuesday in meetings that he held. “They hurt me, President Obama, the United States, the peace process, trust, and everyone who believed that something could be done here.” He was furious. On Tuesday, he spoke with President Obama. The conversation included condemnatory language unfit for print. He was on the verge of canceling dinner with the Netanyahus. Again and again, he changed the speech that he was to give on Tuesday at the university. He did not know what to do with himself, where to take his frustration, his feeling of betrayal, of lost opportunity. […]

[Biden] was supposed to restart the process. To create, finally, a relationship of trust with Netanyahu. Instead, the moment he landed, he discovered a plan to construct sixteen hundred dwelling units in Ramat Shlomo. Where the heck is Ramat Shlomo? The absurd thing is that there is no significance to the registering of this zoning plan. There are no tenders or anything that could not have been done three months ago or in six months from now. Much ado about nothing whatsoever. […]

Anyone who has been listening over the past several weeks to Yitzhak Molcho, Netanyahu’s closest and most intimate representative in the political sphere, and his partner Mike Herzog (who is about to retire), heard both of them saying the same thing: the peace process is hopeless, it is all tactics, Netanyahu has no intention of going to real peace … In short, the settlers can relax. But see—the settlers are not relaxed. Because they know Bibi. Today it is one way, tomorrow it could be otherwise. It depends on who is pressuring him and who scares him more. …

High-ranking American officials said this week that Israel was not behaving like an ally of the United States. There is no worse thing to say at such a critical time, when Iran is charging toward the last stretch on its way to the nuclear bomb. At this stage, At this stage, there should have been blind coordination between ourselves and them. Netanyahu should have been Obama’s best friend. A word is a word and a promise is a promise, and all the details of the operation to stop Iran’s progress toward the nuclear bomb, including the negotiations with the Palestinians and the Syrians (even in neutral) were supposed to be kept secret for the sake of calming things down on the ground and neutralizing ticking bombs. In reality? There is nothing. Only the broken glass of the souvenir that Bibi prepared for Biden and shattered with his own hands. […]

Next year [Palestinian PM Fayyad] will show the world a quiet PA, a law-abiding PA with institutions and reforms with one military, one law, one authority. And then, he will ask for recognition of the Palestinian state in the 1967 borders. As it seems now, he will get this. From everyone except from us. [….]

Comments (68)

Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

51. almasri said:

And what do you expect to achieve when Buddha comes?
We cannot all ASCEND. Some of us may not be allowed, unless Buddha comes up with a way to DESCEND the wrongdoers, to say it mildly. Is this why some people who follow Buddha believe they may come back as animals?
If that is a possible solution, then we may have no problem. Some people were turned into monkeys as we are told. So, perhaps there is a way for us to deal with it with what we got, and we may not need Buddha after all.
Perhaps you should read closer to home. If you cannot find references to how we can solve it on our own, then ask MajedKhaldoun. He will provide you with the relevant verse numbers.
Salam from oum e-dunya.

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March 16th, 2010, 5:43 am


52. Off the Wall said:

Dear Elie, Jad and Nicolas

In the initial years after Chernobyl, many argued that the catastrophe was primarily due to mistakes by a young inexperienced graveyard shift operator, who was expected to bring down the reactor to a lower production (600MW) in order to test an improvement aiming to provide power within the critical 60-75 seconds during reactor (Scramming), which is the process of near-shut-down of a reactor by bringing down the fuel rods. Granted the operators made few mistakes, and they may have ignored several warnings, which may have contributed to the accident. However, a second and subsequent IAEA investigation pointed the finger at a major design flaw that had to do with the way water was used in the system, resulting in the unstable operation during the experiment, and the subsequent explosion that scattered many graphite casings, and spread radiation throughout the region. Despite of this, most of the fatalities were among the workers in the reactor, and primarily among fire fighting squad who attempted to put out the graphite fires with little or no protection in the early hours after the accident. Adapted from wikipedia’s Length Article: Cernobyl Disaster

However, that does not negate the fact that both Prypiat (the town where power plant workers and builders lived) and Chernobyl, with a combined populaation of 75,000 are now ghost towns, that a huge area of land in three countries is now called aleination zone (restricted access), and most of it will be unsuitable for large scale habitation for nearly 200 years, and unsuitable for any use for at least a 100 year. As for the site itself, it will be 20,000 years before the radiation levels reaches the current allowable limits of exposure. Chernobyl is in fact the only level 7 nuclear disaster ever recorded, but it is not in any way the only time radioactive materials were released due to design flaw, operators’ mistake, or simple fluke accident. I understand how concerned anyone, including myself, would be with a nuclear reactor. But as Nicolas described, standards of design, operations, and finance are now much stricter.

Furthermore, few nuclear power plants were built at the initial estimated cost. In most cases, cost over runs have been staggering, and by the time many of these reactors were operational, the actual per KW capacity cost is nearly double the initial $1500/KW estimate (can reach $3500/ KW). There is no reason to expect that situation to be any different in any reactor built in Arab countries. Although more expensive per KW capacity, cost over runs in wind and solar farms are much less, mainly to the lower structural needs of these projects, as well as to the fact that these projects require no disposal of hazardous wastes, a very expensive undertaking, which must be taken into account in pricing every WATT of energy generated by a nuclear power plant.

On balance, Jad’s suggestion of micro solar, and I might add, wind power plants may be a good start. The efficiency of wind turbines is unlikely to substantially increase anytime soon, but the efficiency of solar power systems is likely to increase, along with significant reduction in costs as new materials and systems are invented daily.

Add to that the results of a Stanford study showing that wind power potentials in the MENA region is not as high as one may want, but increasing the density of turbine, along with utilizing larger farms nat compensate for the deficiencies in average wind speed at 10 and 80 meters (seems like these two numbers are tandards used to measure solar power potential at a given location)

It is undeniable that I am also pleased that Syria is not rushing to emberase nuclear energy. My preference would be a basket of sources ans systems, and I especially like local mini and micro solutions since their size and costs are not beyond the ability of the private sector. But to play the devil’s advocate, micro solutions may not be sufficient considering that for the same collection areas as those shown in SF-Solar map, many more homes must be pwered becasue of the vertical structure of our urban areas. Micro solutions may work well in off-grid areas such as rural communities, and some of the new fancy villas that are becoming commonplace in Syria’s suburbs attesting to the increasing class gap in a country that was once domniated by middle class. (sorry i coudl not but say it). I may be persuaded that a transitional framework relying on renewable energy may be a reasonable compromize, with one hoping that techology will make renewable alternatives a more viable option than nuclear erergy.

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March 16th, 2010, 7:02 am


53. Elie Elhadj said:

Dear OTW,

Thanks for another informative comment.

While Syria’s disinterest in nuclear power plants is commendable, the interest of neighboring states in such pursuits is troubling. The area is so crowded with population centers that the potential ill-effects of a nuclear plant in one country should immediately become the worry of the others.

Abu Dhabi’s sudden rush into nuclear energy makes one wonder what the GCC means to its six royals and how co-operation amongst them works, or doesn’t work.


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March 16th, 2010, 9:39 am


54. Akbar Palace said:

majedkhaldoun said:

I am sure God angry at those who attacked US on 9-11
and I am sure God is angry at israeli like you,who are killing palasinians,confiscating their homes turning them to refugee
there are so many crimes your people has commited,it will fill pages.


Thank you for providing your opinion about who you think God is angry at. It just so happened that a large portion of the “Arab street” was rather gleeful at the result of 9-11. Also, a large portion of the Arab street doesn’t even think it was caused by muslim jihadists.

Israel would not have killed any Palestinians if the arabs didn’t want to kick the Jews out of Palestine. And the goals of the Arabs haven’t changed in 60+ years.

I could never speak for G-d, but if you read the Old Testament, G-d wasn’t as forgiving to the Philistines as the Israelis are today. Read the story of Jericho or King Saul.


The fact of the matter is, no Israeli government uses the Talmud to determine the laws of theft. This is what you should be discussing.

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March 16th, 2010, 12:05 pm


55. jad said:

Dearest OTW,
You are one of the smartest men on SC..I like your ideas and I like your great way of writing, very intelligent and leaves me with lots of information, I like you 🙂

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March 16th, 2010, 6:23 pm


56. Shami said:

Once again,the idea that arab and muslim societies support theocracy over civil,democratic and secular state has been proven wrong in Iraq.This is a clear trend despite the lack of choice , the iraqi politicians available or allowed to take part in these elections are not wonderful democrats.I hope this is a begining of a dynamic process towards an advanced society.This trend can be seen everywhere,even in the most conservative arab countries of the persian gulf.So what could be the mood of the electorate in countries like Syria,Jordan ,Egypt and the Maghreb.

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March 17th, 2010, 12:43 am


57. OIff the Wall said:

Dearest Jad
Thank you very much for the kind words, the feeling is definitely mutual, on all counts. :). And once more you force me out of the house to accommodate my ego 🙂

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March 17th, 2010, 4:27 am


58. Husam said:

Nuclear, solar, wind is out. Bloom Box is in. Ebay, Walmart, Google are testing this technology (wireless electricity, no kidding) and they have cut their consumption cost by 90% per kilowatt. View CBS 60 minutes full coverage.;contentBody

How soon can Syria benefit from this, perhaps the summer of 2099 🙂 They expect to have $3,000 bloom boxes within 5-10 years dropped in your back yard like a heat pump and bingo, electricity on your panel without wires.

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March 17th, 2010, 11:52 pm


59. Elie Elhadj said:

Simply fantastic.
Truly incredible.
Thank you Husam.
Every one should watch the link you provided:;contentBody


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March 18th, 2010, 11:05 am


60. Akbar Palace said:

Goldstone Sober

Notice the “international outrage” when a missile kills an innocent person in Israel…

No other self-respecting country sitting on the UNSC would put up with this.

The Gaza Siege Myth:,7340,L-3864592,00.html

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March 18th, 2010, 11:13 am


61. Ghat Albird said:

Finally an “expose” as to whom really benefits from promoting and propagandizing as well as possibly financing Al Queda.

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March 18th, 2010, 12:32 pm


62. Akbar Palace said:

Petraeus: Iran aiding al-Queda

The rest of the story that Ghat didn’t cover:

“I am concerned that we are heading toward a situation in the broader Middle East where our friends don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us, because both doubt our staying power, our determination, and our resolve,” Sen. John McCain, the ranking Republican on the committee, said. “We may be heading there, but we aren’t there yet. And though this perceived lack of U.S. commitment may take a lot of time and effort to reverse.”

The U.S. military assessment was said to have been cited by Vice President Joseph Biden during his visit to Israel in March 2010. Biden, angered over Israel’s decision to build 1,600 apartments in Jerusalem, was quoted as having deemed Israel’s actions as harmful to U.S. military efforts.

“What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Biden was quoted as telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At the hearing, McCain asked Petraeus whether Muslim anger against the United States was based in the rejection of Israel’s existence. McCain also asked Petraeus what could be done to reduce Israeli-U.S. tensions.

“Isn’t it true that the Israelis left Gaza on presumption that there would be progress and instead they got rocket attacks?” McCain asked.

For his part, Petraeus called for an intensification in U.S. efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Arabs. The general said a peaceful Syria would also help block Iranian support to such proxies as Hamas and Hizbullah.

“A credible U.S. effort on Arab-Israeli issues that provides regional governments and populations a way to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the disputes would undercut Iran’s policy of militant resistance, which the Iranian regime and insurgent groups have been free to exploit,” Petraeus said. “Additionally, progress on the Israel-Syria peace track could disrupt Iran’s lines of support to Hamas and Hizbullah.”

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March 18th, 2010, 12:54 pm


63. Shai said:

Akbar’s Bold-type Mythbreakers: The Gaza Siege Myth

“… with 738,576 tons of humanitarian aid being transferred into the Gaza Strip in 2009.”

But why is there a need in the Gaza Strip for humanitarian aid!?! Has some earthquake hit Gaza? Has a Tsunami? What natural disaster has caused the “claimed 1,300 fatalities”? Strange, the writer mentions no such catastrophe… Maybe the acclaimed is a myth as well?

“Of course, that is without mentioning that Haitians have not been attacking an innocent nearby civilian population for a near decade.”

That’s funny, one would almost assume Haitians = Palestinians, and Innocent Nearby Civilian Population = Israelis. Meaning that Palestinians have been attacking Israelis. Not the other way around. So “attacking” is judged by how many Qassam missiles land in empty fields, but NOT by how many people actually die at the hand of the other side. 10,000 Palestinian Qassams – 13 Israeli dead. 0 Israeli Qassams – 1,300 Palestinian dead. Who’s the attacker? The Haitians!

“Indeed, Ban Ki-moon should be visiting Kibbutz Nirim to see where a rocket destroyed a building just last week, instead of helping promote a myth by visiting the Gaza Strip.”

I see. The Sderot “Media Center” would prefer fewer visits to Gaza. Strange. I wonder why.

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March 18th, 2010, 1:59 pm


64. Akbar Palace said:

But why is there a need in the Gaza Strip for humanitarian aid!


I think it is because the Hamas government there is more interested in continuing their war with Israel than providing anything to their people, and so the GOI sort or has to inspect what comes into Gaza. It’s all so surreal.

At least that’s what I’ve read in the free press. And like I was trying to alert our SC financial consultant, Ghat, practically all the Gaza aide is spend on weapons. Not only is there a “cycle of violence”, there’s also a cycle of “depriving the Palestinians” of the gobs of money that the Palestinians Palestinian leadership get from international organizations.

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March 18th, 2010, 2:50 pm


65. Ghat Albird said:

Extract from a report on a well respected US website.

“Its ironic that the Bush Administration’s illegal wiretaps have finally turned up notable evidence of foreign covert action that threatens US national security and the integrity (such as it is) of our political process.

Not for the first time, the tapes show that such threats turned out to be NOT from AL QUADA or an avowed foreign enemy of the United States but by agents FROM our self-described major ally in the Middle East, ISRAEL.”

For some unknown reson such coverage never seems to appear in websites of the Washington Times or the World Tribune.

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March 18th, 2010, 2:55 pm


66. Shai said:


“… continuing their war with Israel…”

Interesting choice of words. “Continuing war”, as if there is some balance here. The attacker send 10,000 rockets, and 13 die, in 10 years (about 3,650 days). The victim sends in a couple thousand soldiers, and 1,300 Gazans die, in 22 days (100 times more, in 1/100th of the time, in basic math that a ratio of 10,000:1).

And then there’s the word “their”, as if it’s isolated, not a response to anything, possibly ongoing, for over 40 years… nah. I know, I know, we withdrew from Gaza! What ELSE could the Palestinians want? (Btw, remind me who won the 2006 Palestinian democratic elections?)

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March 18th, 2010, 3:00 pm


67. Akbar Palace said:

Ghat “Chutzpa”?

For some unknown reson such coverage never seems to appear in websites of the Washington Times or the World Tribune.


I guess the coverage is from “well respected US websites”.

But I’m sure we, here at SC, would be most grateful if you could link us to this well respected website so we can read more about this Zionist plot.

The attacker send 10,000 rockets, and 13 die, in 10 years (about 3,650 days).


I agree with you wholeheartedly. Where does your Zionist manifestation get the “chutzpa” to respond so wantonly and aggressively if only 13 Jews (don’t forget the today’s foreign worker) die from 10,000 rockets. Your Zionist criminal monster state is actingly unlike any other civilized country (sarcasm very much intended)…

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March 18th, 2010, 3:23 pm


68. Shai said:


In a minute I’ll start to think you’re dismissing 1,300 Palestinian lives. No sarcasm intended.

Thirteen dead Israelis is a horrible thing, and I wish to God it had never happened. Thirteen hundred Palestinians dead is also a horrible thing. A far more horrible thing.

You can’t keep brushing the proportionality-factor under the rug, Akbar. If I told you that on the planet Mars, Green-Martians have killed 1,300 Red-Martians in 22 days, while the Reds killed 13 Greens in 10 years, which would you call the Aggressor? I know, you’d say “That depends… are the Red-Martians by chance Muslim-Jihadists?”

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March 18th, 2010, 3:46 pm


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