(Saudi) Money can’t buy you love … or success

 Posted by Alex 


First, here is a collection of opinions pieces following President Bush' trip to the Middle East.

Mamoun Fandi, opinion writer in Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Alawsat, wrote:

" … the solution is possible and easy between Syria and Israel. How nice it would be if one or more Arab leaders, with whom US President George Bush will meet during his forthcoming tour in the region, make quick arrangements now to invite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to meet with them in the presence of President Bush in Egypt or Abu Dhabi, for example. " …

"Those who are familiar with the secrets of Bush's visit to the region say that the main purpose of his tour is to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because of its importance in the Arab and Islamic Worlds and because of its significance in the world at a time when the oil price has touched $100 per barrel. This is in addition to the special relationshipå between President Bush and King Abdullah. President Bush has constantly praised King Abdullah as a man who honors his word and as a highly credible leader. If this is so, why the Arabs cannot exploit this relationship, which is based on mutual confidence between King Abdullah and President Bush, to promote their interests? What is needed is Arab coordination with Saudi Arabia and Syria to take advantage of this meeting to serve as the basis for solving the pending Arab issues. " …

"On the Syrian track, there will be no embarrassment at this historical juncture to arrange for a visit by President Al-Assad to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or the UAE to coordinate positions about the Golan, Lebanon, and Iraq. The meeting of the Saudi foreign minister with his Syrian counterpart in Cairo recently could be understood as part of this coordination. Perhaps there was a deal for accepting a Syrian strategic role in Lebanon in return for the Golan and in return for Syria's disengagement from Iran that could lead to stability in Iraq and Lebanon."

Few days later, Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz' senior Arab affairs expert, wrote a piece titled "The Arabs should stop whining" in which Zvi wondered why the Arabs do no take Fandi's serious proposal:

 "Today, when the plane carrying U.S. President George W. Bush departs from glittering Dubai and lands in Riyadh, the substantive part of his visit to the Middle East will commence. If there is one place where discussion will get to the point without too much vision, dreams and fanfare – it's Riyadh. If there is a capital where things that are agreed to are also carried out – it's Riyadh.

Riyadh is a familial place where the Bush family, both father and son, has personal interests, and where they speak in terms that are clear to everyone: like money, property, investments and also security. If a solution can be found to the Palestinian problem, the Iraqi conundrum, the crisis in Lebanon and the relations with Iran – it will begin and end in this place. This is the country that drew pan-Arab hegemony to it; it is the one that dictates the basic rules, the red lines and the policies of compromise of the states in the Middle East. From a country that trudged along behind the Arab consensus, which is determined for the most part in Cairo and sometimes in Damascus, Saudi Arabia has been transformed into the initiator of policy.

It is toward Saudi Arabia that the Egyptian intellectual and researcher, Mamoun Fandy, directed his incisive article: "The Cards are in the Hands of the Arabs." The article appeared in the daily Asharq Al-Awsat, which is controlled by a Saudi prince who rules a large media empire in the Middle East. If the ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States are so close and warm, why are the Arabs unable to take advantage of this to further their interests, Fandy asks."

The White House added a Middle East Blog to its official website. The blog included highlights of the president's daily activities during his Mideast trip. This blog had a map of the Middle East as part of its graphic banner. It looked like this:

If anyone was confused regarding the opinions of Fandy and Bar'el, the White House map of the Middle East was clear. Forget the classic Middle East that we all knew in the past, according to this administration, the Middle East has been reduced to Israel and Saudi Arabia… the rest are irrelevant.

That is why during this trip Syria was boycotted and publicly criticized (this time for its interference in Lebanon). They forgot to inform the President that the avant-garde approach to expressing disappointment with the Syrians in 2008 is to focus on Syria's failure to interfere in Lebanon.

Qatar was also boycotted – unofficially perhaps, but since the much smaller Bahrain was visited by the president, but not Qatar … Qatar WAS boycotted – Qatar is not interfering in Lebanon or being "confrontational" like Syria, but the Qataris deserved to be boycotted because they did not join the Saudis, Jordanians and other "Arab moderates" in making life difficult for Bashar Assad the past five years.

The largest Arab country, Egypt, barely made it! … President Bush spent three hours in Egypt, not in Cairo but in the remote resort of Sharm elSheikh… away from the mostly unfriendly eighty million Egyptians.

When President Carter spent three days in Cairo (March 7th-10th 1979) he stood for hours in Sadat's convertible Cadillac smiling and waving to an endless lineup of Egyptians who wanted to see him and express their gratitude to him.

My family lived in Egypt at the time and at age thirteen I was one of those standing in the street hoping to get a glimpse of the visiting American president … Thanks to my "I LOVE New York" 70's style T-shirt, I did get a special wave then an OK sign from the president.

This time, President Bush did not want to get anywhere close to real Arab crowds (with the exception of the ones hand picked by his hosts). He did not want to know how much most of them dislike him. There was a demonstration in Cairo organized by a number of different Egyptian opposition groups in which a typical poster said "Kick out Bush the murderer"

Dubai officials felt that given President Bush's "popularity", nothing short of emptying the streets of their busy city can be sufficient to secure President Bush's passage. For the first time in decades, Dubai looked like a ghost town for the whole day. Estimated cost of shutting down Dubai for the president's visit: 120m USD of direct losses up to 1 Bn USD if you include indirect losses

Yet, President Bush' "popularity" did manage to impress the editor of Asharq al-Awsat, Mr. Tariq Alhomayed, who was somehow very confident in his ability to score a point against the Syrians as follows:

"American President George Bush danced the al Ardha* dance in Bahrain, enjoyed a comfortable stay in Israel, greeted the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas with kisses and was warmly welcomed in Kuwait. He also gave a critical speech about Iran in Abu Dhabi in the presence of hundreds of citizens and officials, and the US president is due to receive further hospitality during his stay as a guest in Riyadh's al Janadriya Farm after which he will be hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak." …. "As for the warm reception that Bush received, the president is obliged to send a letter to both Syria and Iran saying, "Dear enemies, thanks to you; the threat that you pose over the region has led to warm hospitality!"

In addition, today Mr. Alhomayed who seems to be encouraged by President Bush's unprecedented support for Saudi Arabia, delivered new warnings to Syria:

"There must be an announcement to declare moving the Arab Summit from Damascus. This needs to be followed by a strict political position against Syria that should be escalated even on an economic level – should it refuse to desist in interfering in the affairs of independent Arab states. Additionally, its [Syria's] close ties with Ahmadinejad must be reviewed so that there may be a price paid for it."

One wonders if Mr. Alhomayed had the chance to read the results of a recent poll which found only 12 percent of Saudis view Bush positively _ lower than Iran's president or even al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden _ and more think warmly toward Iran than America.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney should be alarmed by those numbers. Selling the Saudis twenty billion dollars of American arms after fabricating a well-timed confrontation with the Iranians in the Persian Gulf, convincing Saudi emirs to spend billions to help bailout American banks, dancing al Ardha with members of the Saudi royal family, and impressing the cigar-smoking young editor of the Saudi owned Asharq alAwsat is not how you deal with the chaos you created in the Middle East, and it is not how you can win the hearts and minds of the Arab people in the twenty first century.


I suggest the following schedule for the next American presidential visit to the Middle East: Two days in Egypt, two days in Israel/Palestine, two days in Saudi Arabia, and Two days in Syria.


Comments (147)

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101. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Because what you are saying is outrageous and an outright lie.
Lieberman gets elected because people in Conneticut love him. There are many cases that Senators get voted out and it happened a lot to republicans in the 2006 elections.

Kerry choose Lieberman because he thought that way he would get more votes, not more money.

You have created an imaginary universe in your brain and think all the US media is not free because no one would listen to your crazy stories especially the one that the democrats would knowingly run a traitor to the US as their VP because of AIPAC.

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January 19th, 2008, 1:12 am


102. Alex said:

I love it when the Netanyahu in you shows up more vividly…. “Outrageous” .. “outright lie” … “People in Connecticut LOVE Liberman” (they love…a politician?) … “You have created an imaginary universe in your brain” … “no one would listen to your CRAZY stories”

AIG … this is not CNN … try as much as you want to imitate Netanyahu … it won’t change the fact Liberman is (not a traitor) but much more loyal to Israel than to the United States … just like the rest of the lovely group who pushed us to the Iraq war through lies (WMD’s) and are pushing us to a bigger war with Iran through more lies.

Don’t worry, AIG … this is not CNN, no one is listening or reading. You don’t have to reply to me. You still have CNN and Fox, and many others … AIPAC is still in control.

Have a good weekend.

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January 19th, 2008, 1:23 am


103. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

And by the way Alex, the tactic of calling somebody whose opinion you don’t like a “traitor” is right from the playbook of the Arab dictators. Every position that Lieberman took was adopted by many Americans and his position is not unique in anything. Check his voting record in the Senate. If he is a traitor then so is most of the US senate.

Are you beginnig to see how ridiculous your position is?

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January 19th, 2008, 1:25 am


104. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

So most Republican presidential candidates are more loyal to Israel than to the US including McCain, Romeny, Huckabee, Thompson and Giulianni? There are saying exactly what Lieberman is saying.

Do you really believe this?????????????????

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January 19th, 2008, 1:29 am


105. Shual said:

“All using PPP”

1) Maybe in New Jersey
2) Syria is not on the Ecomonists “BigMac”-Index, so Economist-readers have to use PPP, [or their brain], thats correct.
3) The evaluation of the currency has to be the second step. Or you have to clean your comparison of [economic] aid.;

dear AIG.

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January 19th, 2008, 2:02 am


106. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Ok, without PPP:
Israel GDP per capita: $20,000
Syria GDP per capita: $1,530

The average Israeli and Arab Israeli is 13 times richer than the average Syrian if PPP is not used.
Take your pick. This is all simple math.

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January 19th, 2008, 2:20 am


107. T said:


Again- your response on Lieberman lacks full disclosure. He was voted out by his constituents in Conn and then ran as an Independent in what was a very controversial and manipulative maneuver that enraged many in Connecticut who had legitimately voted him out of office. Using an inverse Cynthia McKinney strategy, but this time installing, not expelling a congressman in AIPAC’s favor.

Regarding your claim of using ‘traitor’ as a tactic to stop unwanted opinion:
It was YOU sir, that introduced ‘treason’ and traitor into this blog discussion on your post re: Bishara. Not me. The discussion has become heated because for once the same claim was flung back in your direction and you dont like it. (The Arabs usually just sit still and take it.)

Furthermore we’re not dealing with some tactic to prevent opinion but outlaw behavior of the most serious sort. And that is why some of those mentioned ARE in prison.
Now we need to work on the others- esp Libby’s circle in the OSP and their handlers in the Likkud/AIPAC. In a true democracy, there would already have been a full investigation into this outrage.

CNN would never have you on to begin with. FOX might, but only to showcase you as the “terror” side of the debate and to serve as the foil for some demagogue like O’Reilly. You would be the Islamofascist meat that gets a grilling.

I broach these issues because they are one element crucial to why there never seems to be any resolution to the Syria crisis.

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January 19th, 2008, 3:02 am


108. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Lieberman lost the democratic primary but won the general election that represents ALL of Conneticut which are the constituents, not only the registered democrats. And he has won the election there 4 times. You seem to think that voters in Conneticut are idiots and do what AIPAC or someone tells them and that they can’t think for themselves who would best represent them in Washington.

Bishara’s party and other members of Knesset are saying exactly what he says and I did not call them traitors. They are in Israel and still saying the same things. Azmi was suspected of giving targets to Hizballah during the war. That is treason. And I mentioned it because that is the reason he ran away from Israel, not because of freedom of speech issues as you allege. No one was attempting to shut him up.

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January 19th, 2008, 3:18 am


109. T said:

And the AIPAC/Likkud crowd is still fully active here and thriving and doing the same illegal things. Larry Franklin, Libby and Pollard were convicted (not just ‘suspected’ and then forced to flee like Bishara) of spying at the highest levels for a foreign government and of serving their interests at the expense of their home land, America. This too is treason.

You still havent addressed my question on Pollard. And for the Pres of the US to lunch w/ Eitan, the handler of Pollard, a convicted traitor, is itself illustrative of what I am saying. Completely outrageous! That he is a lame drunk President does not excuse it.

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January 19th, 2008, 3:27 am


110. Nour said:


You never cease to entertain us with the silliness of your posts. People in Connecticut do not vote for Lieberman because they “LOVE” him. Most American citizens simply vote for the name they most recognize and it is usually the media that guides and directs their vote. Do you seriously believe that citizens of Connecticut can recall the voting record of Mr. Lieberman, and how it has affected their state? Moreover, were another senator to take over, do you realistically claim that live in Connecticut would change even one iota?

Senator Joseph Lieberman is much more loyal to Israel, than he is to the US, plain and simple. And yes, all the names you mentioned are also more loyal to Israel, not because they feel a bond to the Jewish state, but rather because they believe that their political careers would receive an immediate boost when they display loyalty to Israel. I don’t see US politicians so extensively expressing their friendliness to any other country. Why do you suppose that is? And to compare between the Lebanese/Syrians on the one hand, who are historically one people with a shared culture, geography, and social traditions, and the Americans/Israelis on the other hand, who have no historical, cultural, or geographic connection whatsoever is beyond ludicrous.

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January 19th, 2008, 3:31 am


111. T said:

One more thing- all the GOP candidates you mention verify my point. They are all stridently Israel-compliant. The only one who is not is Ron Paul and we see what has befallen him…

On the Dem side, the weakest in Israel-compliance is Obama and with the aid of the Israel-compliant media has been smeared as a furtive Muslim and Islamic fundamentalist etc. They wouldnt dare use the race card on him nowadays but in the USA the Islamofascist slur is A-OK!

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January 19th, 2008, 3:34 am


112. Alex said:

T, how reliable is this conversation?

I mean, this part is quite interesting if true.

DS: I’II tell you, I have friends on the Clinton campaign, close associates. Gore is very committed to us.

HK: Right. Clinton if he, have you spoken to him?

DS: I’ve known Bill for seven, eight years from the National Governors Association. I know him on a personal basis. I have friends. One of my friends is Hillary Clinton’s scheduler, one of my officer’s daughters works there. We gave two employees from AIPAC leave of absences to work on the campaign. I mean, we have a dozen people in that campaign, in the headquarters.

HK: You mean in Little Rock?

DS: In Little Rock, and they’re all going to get big jobs. We have friends. I also work with a think tank, the Washington Institute. I have Michael Mandelbaum and Martin Indyk being foreign policy advisers. Steve Speigel—we’ve got friends—this is my business.

HK: I understand, David.

DS: It’s very complicated and the more you get into it, you’ll love it. You sound like a smart guy.

HK: I’m a smart guy, but I have a, maybe because I’m more orthodox than you are, I’ve had bad experiences with Gentiles. Let me ask you, you know what “tachlis” means?

DS: Yeah, sure.

HK: From a practical point of view, if Clinton wins the presidency, and I’m sure he will, I hope so at least, what will be the benefits to Israel better than Bush? From a very practical point . . . I mean, you just told me that Bush gave you everything you wanted. . .

DS: Only, not everything, at the end, when we didn’t want the F-15s, that’s a terrible thing.

HK: Selling the F-15s? If Clinton is elected. . .

DS: Let me tell you the problem with the $10 billion in loan guarantees, right? We only have the first year. We have authorization from Congress, but it’s at the discretion of the president every year thereafter, so if Bush is there, he could say, you know, use it as a club, you know. ‘If you don’t give up Syria, I won’t give you the money. If you don’t give up the Golan Heights.’ It’s at the discretion of the president. And that’s why we need a friendly president and we have Bill Clinton’s ear. I talked to Bill Clinton.

HK: And Bill Clinton has made a commitment that if he’s elected . . . ?

DS: He’s going to be very good for us.

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January 19th, 2008, 3:40 am


113. T said:


Well it was picked up by the Wash Times, a conservative paper. The recording was notorious and contested, but as far as I know was proven accurate. NYT may have run something on it as well. But then how credible is the NYT??????????

WRMEA was not sued or forced to issue a retraction. And they are as credible as the HRW or NYT etc.

But I personally have not heard the tape myself if that is what you are asking. (It was in the ’92 campaign, not now. It made a short, sharp splash then was hastily “disappeared”). Most of the press avoided it like the plague, not because it wasnt authentic, but because they were afraid it was. Like anything in this country that is too pointed about Israel.

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January 19th, 2008, 3:56 am


114. Alex said:

I understand.

I had to start by questioning its authenticity before I commented on the part I pasted above, otherwise AIG would come back asking me”you actually believe this hilarious story”?????????

It seems to be authentic. It shows that AIPAC were not allowing the return of the Golan since then.

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January 19th, 2008, 4:58 am


115. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Well, we have a fundamental disagreement. Some posters think that the reason the US supports Israel is because Americans do not think or are stupid or that AIPAC manipulates all politics in the US and because the US media is super biased.

Look, the Republicans and Democrats support Israel because that is what republicans and democrats want their elected representatives to do. You think Israel vets the candidates instead of accepting the obvious which is that the representatives support Israel because they believe it is a popular view and it is also their natural tendency. There is a special connection between the American and Israeli people and politicians pander to that. That is the reason AIPAC is successful.

In 1948 already, way before AIPAC, most Americans supported a Jewish state and this forced Truman to support it (against the foreign office) because he thought that otherwise he would lose the upcoming elections to Dewey.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:23 am


116. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

And what is the problem with AIPAC’s position being that already in 92? I don’t find that strange at all. And history proved that Clinton ignored AIPAC and tried to broker a deal anyway.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:25 am


117. T said:


Only you have said Americans are stupid. And American politicians vote for Israel because they are bought and paid for by AIPAC/AJC etc. Or they are Jewish themselves and fight for Israel over the USA, like Lieberman.


I have spoken to one of this NGO’s founders in the past. He claimed all material was heavily vetted for their own legal protection. The tape also proves the control of a foreign agent over our Presidency, who gets elected, and that a foreign government controls our ME policy.

Update on the afore mentioned Ron Paul, the solo Presidential candidate not in Israel’s back pocket:

He is now being called a terrorist on national TV.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:26 am


118. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

To understand better the realtionship between Israel and the US, the following book is quite illuminating:

There is a sepcial bond between the two countries that is very deep both at the grass roots level and the leadership level.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:33 am


119. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

If Americans vote as you say for people that value their interests less than those of Israel for decades, does this not imply that they are stupid?

Why did people from Conneticut vote Lieberman into office 4 times (24 years), if he is more loyal to Israel than to them?????????

PS perhaps you did not read Alex’s post in which he said that Lieberman was more loyal to Israel than the US.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:37 am


120. T said:

Money, not love, conquers all.

What about Pollard?

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January 19th, 2008, 5:40 am


121. Alex said:


You are the only one who is calling the American people stupid.

America is the greatest country on earth, there is no MIT except in America.

But the majority of the American people do not have the time to spend two hours per day on Syria comment to be able to hear both sides of the debate … so they end up accepting the professional looking CNN which is sufficiently neutral not to look obviously pro Israel.

I don’t need to get into the detail, but I have the simplest example: During the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, CNN reporter from northern Israel typically started the news segment this way: “2 wounded Israelis and 12 dead in Lebanon”

As for AIPAC’s position … I have no problem with them being friends of Israel … but my problem with them is that they are Likudists … they are destructive, they are selfish, they are often against peace in the Middle East… they are bad for Syria, for the Palestinians, for Israel and they are especially bad for for America… they manipulate America for their own agenda.

When the gun lobby manipulates America, maybe 15 students get killed by a gun carrying teenager in some school in Texas. When AIPAC manipulates America … thousands of American soldiers die in Iraq and tens of thousands might die if AIPAC succeeds in starting the war against Iran… and that’s why I don’t think very highly of Mr. Lieberman and his types.

That’s my opinion, you don’t have to rate it. I know your opinion and I won’t rate it either.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:42 am


122. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Pollard should be in jail, and he is. So what exactly is the problem with Pollard?

As for money, the Arabs have much more than Jews and Israelis. Really, the WHOLE AIPAC yearly budget is 60 million dollars. That is it. Even Syria can fund a competing lobby with more money, let alone the gulf Arabs. You are putting your head in the sand if you think the issue is money.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:45 am


123. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

You are again saying that Americans are stupid because:
1) They have a biased media and they don’t know it.
2) You know what their interests are better than the majority of them
3) They always chose candidates that listen to AIPAC which is bad for America
4) They are easily manipulated by a lobby group in washington

Anyway you frame it, your argument assumes Americans are either incompetent in getting real news or are feeble minded and easily manipulated by lobbyists. Which is of course false. Americans have seen both sides of the issue and have made up their minds.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:52 am


124. Shual said:

“The average Israeli and Arab Israeli is 13 times richer than the average Syrian if PPP is not used.”

Dear AIG,
in Israel the richest 10% produce about 28% of the BIP. For the AVERAGE Israeli and Israeli Arab theres only 15625 left. But what is an average Israeli? The rule is that an average Ashkenazi earns 100% more than an average Arab Israeli [and still 50% more then a sephardic jew].

And thats why my estimation of 9110 per capita of an average Israeli Arab is extremely likely [and fascinating, beautiful and extraordinary, too].

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January 19th, 2008, 5:55 am


125. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

You are a strange one. In Syria most of the wealth is concentrated with people tied to the regime. If you do the same calculation (if you had the statistics) for the average Syrian then again my numbers would be right or even more skewed towards the Israeli Arabs.

And where did you get the rule that an Ashkenazi earns twice as much on average than an Arab??? Or 50% more than a Sepharadi? What about the 20%+ or so that are from mixed marriages??? I’d really like to see these statistics.

Your estimate is certainly low for the average Israeli Arab.

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January 19th, 2008, 6:06 am


126. Shual said:

“In Syria most of the wealth is concentrated with people tied to the regime.”
Aha. Not because of the race. Intresting, dear AIG.

“If you do the same calculation (if you had the statistics) for the average Syrian then again my numbers would be right or even more skewed towards the Israeli Arabs.”
What numbers? 13 times? 6 times? [I told you that the 6 can be rigth, so what is your question?]

“Your estimate is certainly low for the average Israeli Arab.”
No. Its not mine. “Das arabische pro-Kopf Einkommen liegt im Durchschnitt bei 44% des jüdischen.” Thats for example from here: http://www.diw.de/english

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January 19th, 2008, 6:18 am


127. Alex said:


I have no idea if my local Montreal paper is biased when they cover sports news … because I do not know much about sports!

That does not make me stupid… we all make decisions regarding what we read and what we watch…. sadly, a majority of Americans who elected President Bush in 2004 did not understand at that time how much this administration messed up the Middle East.

You tube is full of some of the worst examples of those who have no clue about international relations. Here is one, here is another.

Luckily, by now, things are much better. Becasue the war in Iraq forced many Americans to take a closer look at the conflicts in the MIdde East. They have a better understanding of the simpler challenges, but I am sure they still have no idea what are the real questions in Syria’s case .. Syria is always much more complicated, and the Likudists at AIPAC have an easy time distorting the Syria related debates in America.

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January 19th, 2008, 6:28 am


128. ausamaa said:

Ok, Israelies are richer by far, its the Land of Milk and Honey after all.

Correction, the land of STOLEN Milk and Honey…!!

The stolen Milk comes from the Occupied Palestinan, Syrian and Lebanese lands, the stolen Honey comes from the billions of dollars of Official US Aid and from the “protection” money paid by the American and Eroupean Tax Payers.

Would this clear things up a little?

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January 19th, 2008, 6:32 am


129. T said:

Many more should be in jail- Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Lieberman, David Wurmser, Bill Kristol, Judith Miller, Norm Podhoretz, Michael Ledeen, Elliott Abrams, WINEP & AIPAC kingpins etc…

I am an American and I swear allegiance to America. I am not interested in any “priviledged relationships” with other countries. Esp when the priviledge is all on Israel’s side. When Saudis get 20 billion $$$ of weaponry from us, they pay for it. Israel gets it all for free via their sayanim agents in Congress. Or they steal it and sell it to our Chinese competitors. And its covered up by the Israeli-compliant media.

You are right AIG- Americans are not stupid. Busy, negligent and wrong priorities? yes. But they are waking up. And then my friend, you and your ‘OSP nation’ are in for trouble. The million Iraqi dead, the wars and the debt and the betrayal and the treason will not be forgiven.

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January 19th, 2008, 7:42 am


130. Shual said:


I don’t think that the “only one-way”-picture is correct. The EU-defense industry, especially germany that should not deliver into “conflict-areas” by law, always give something to get something. Germany does not help Israel to finance new german submarines for nothing***. But what they demand for the assistance is their own decision, but its not “for free”. If you argue against proliferation, you have to name them all in the West, cause all participate and all have something from it.

“When Saudis get 20 billion $$$ of weaponry from us, they pay for it.” Its not that simple. And I’m not only talking about the “secret commission rates” of 10% or 15% for members of the royal Saudi family. The defense industry always tries to INVEST into local companies. Like Rolls Royce – BMW is not only intrested in delivering the EJ200 jet-engine for the Saudi Eurofigther-“Typhoon”.* The most of the connections [Britain buys RR, sells it to VW and VW sells it to BMW, incl. EU-aid, taxes, “quite” financers, aso.] can not be evaluated, cause “States” do not show macroeconomic reports about the real money flow. If you have luck, you can find some investigations about details, but the global markets are intransparent and there too much money out there, so nobody is able to give you the correct answer what the Saudis really pay for JDAMs.

* “The latest figures show that BMW Group is the fastest growing luxury car manufacturer in the Middle East. This would not be possible without the support of our partners in the region who are an integral part of BMW Group’s strategy to dominate the luxury car market.” [Günther Seemann, Managing Director, BMW Group Middle East at the announcement of the construction of the new Mohammed Yousuf Naghi Motors Inc.-building in Jeddah, est. at SR40 million in March 2006.] +++ Support of our “partners”.

*** The Saudi partners may be very lucky that the new Israeli partner of BMW [and of them] is Dan Halutz, former war-criminal and now the best car-dealer you can find on earth. And if BMW needs a little Israeli help in the development of a small item of a weapon that will be selled into Saudi-Arabia … we will not read that in the newspapers.

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January 19th, 2008, 2:18 pm


131. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

T and Alex,
You do not want a special relationship with Israel. That is your right, but the fact of the matter is that there is a special relationship that most Americans want and this relationship has been going on for decades. Since you claim there is a special relationship between LEbanon and Syria why do you find another special relationship surprising?

Again you want to put in jail people who you do not agree with. That is not how democracy works. Instead of trying to put the people you list in jail, how about making a better argument than they?

But here again you do not blame the weakness of your own argument but the fact that the Syrian issue is complicated and therefore the “Likudniks” can for decades confuse US adminstrations. How lame. Americans are sophisticated enough and knowledgeable enough to understand the different points of view, those presented by AIPAC and by people like you. Then, they make up their own mind.

For example, Pelosi and others visited Asad and heard things directly from him even though AIPAC was very much against her visit and other visits. Your position is understood in Washington by many people but they have formed the opinion that Asad cannot be trusted based on direct talks with him and his actions in Lebanon and elsewhere.

You have to accept the fact that your argument is just very weak and that the problem is not that people are not listening to it. They are, but it is not convincing.

But go on, blame the media and the people arguing against you instead of examining your own weak argument. Isn’t that what Asad does anyway? He is never to blame for anything. It is all those around him that must change. And what are you waiting for, build your own AIPAC and change things if you think that would help.

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January 19th, 2008, 4:38 pm


132. T said:

You are correct- but I am not zeroing in here on proliferation issues at large. I am referring now to “that special US-Israeli relationship” whereby Israel gets billions in free aid, then billions more in tax breaks to develope stuff, lets say, like the Lavi, and then turns around and competes w/ US defense makers to sell it to China or on the world market. Or their spying on Ameicans, such as theft of Promis software and then using it against us. Two of many examples of how the US gets royally screwed in this deal. (pardon my very impolite, blunt description). Its “special” all right. And the vast numbers of Americans have no idea this scam is going on.

On to other matters- remember I referred to more bank runs a few days back? Its spreading out now beyond Citi-
From The Guardian, Jan 18:
“One of Britain’s biggest property funds was forced to shut its doors to withdrawals yesterday after the slump in commercial prices triggered panic selling by small investors.

The move prompted fears of a Northern Rock-style run on billions of pounds invested in once high-flying funds which many savers have seen as a safe haven for their pensions.”

And the concentric circles are widening out to non-subprime holders, those w/ good credit; the next tier up of home mortgage holders about to be evicted.

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January 19th, 2008, 4:42 pm


133. Alex said:


you always try to prove me wrong by taking my statements to an extreme. When you do, then you can easily bring an exception to prove they were wrong.

Did I say that AIPAC controls and fools ALL US politicians? … did I say that AIPAC is ALWAYS acting against America’s interests? … did I say that America should not have special relationship with Israel?

Do you know that despite everything, the Syrians have been establishing good relations with quite a few Jewish American organizations and leaders?

If you want to answer my arguments, please copy one paragraph at a time and answer it… and pay attention if I did not use the word “all” … there is a reason why I do not.

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January 19th, 2008, 5:11 pm


134. T said:

Incitement to murder for a foreign entity-
(PS Disclose who the “we” is)

Podhoretz: We Should Still Bomb Iran
Friday, January 18, 2008 3:45 PM

By: Newsmax Staff

President Bush should disregard the National Intelligence Estimate’s recent downplaying of the Iranian threat and destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities — or else nuclear war will be “inescapable,” declares neocon commentator Norman Podhoretz.

Podhoretz, editor-at-large of Commentary, writes in the February issue that he first stated a year ago that Bush would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office.

But then came December’s release of a report from the NIE, which alleged that Iran had halted its nuclear-weapons program in 2003 — while acknowledging that the program could be restarted at any time.

In spite of “efforts to demonstrate that the new NIE did not prove that Iran had given up its pursuit of nuclear weapons, just about everyone in the world immediately concluded otherwise, and further concluded that this meant the military option was off the table,” Podhoretz writes.

Podhoretz, author of the new book “World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism,” recounts a conversation he had with a member of America’s foreign-policy establishment.

“He took the position that there was really no need to stop [the Iranians] in the first place, since even if they had the bomb they could be deterred from using it, just as effectively as the Soviets and Chinese had been deterred during the cold war…

“In response, I argued that deterrence could not be relied upon with a regime ruled by Islamofascist revolutionaries who not only were ready to die for their beliefs, but cared less about protecting their people than about the spread of their ideology and their power.”

With the NIE seemingly making it “politically impossible” for Bush to attack Iran, Podhoretz says the U.S. could choose to “outsource” the job to Israel.

If the mullahs in Iran obtained nuclear weapons, a nuclear exchange with Israel would become “inevitable,” Podhoretz opines, and could even force Israel to attack key Arab neighbors to prevent them from capitalizing on the destruction wrought by the Iranian attack.

The resulting horrors would “be far greater than even the direst consequences that might follow from bombing Iran before it reaches the point of no return” and obtains the bomb, Podhoretz observes.

But he believes Israel, despite its military strength, would find it difficult to adequately destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities — so “it is the United States that will have to do the preventing, to do it by means of a bombing campaign, and … to do it soon.”

Unless we do, he concludes, “we had all better pray that there will be enough time for the next president to discharge the responsibility that Bush will have been forced to pass on, and that this successor will also have the clarity and the courage to discharge it.

“If not — God help us all — the stage will have been set for the outbreak of a nuclear war that will become as inescapable then as it is avoidable now.”

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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January 19th, 2008, 7:07 pm


135. Seeking the Truth said:

For the sake of accuracy, Kerry named Edwards his running mate in 2004, and Gore picked Lieberman in 2000.

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January 19th, 2008, 7:15 pm


136. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Yes, my mistake, but the arguments are the same. Lieberman “the traitor” was chosen as a VP of the democratic party.

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January 19th, 2008, 8:53 pm


137. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Simple question, is the Democratic party fooled by AIPAC?
More specifically let’s start with some prominent democrats:
Is Nancy Pelosi fooled?
Is Al Gore fooled?
Is Clinton fooled?

Let me remind you that Pelosi and Clinton have face time with Hafez and Bashar.

If they are not fooled, why are they so pro-Israel? Are these three traitors in your opinion?

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January 19th, 2008, 9:50 pm


138. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex and T,
Are 6,000 academics including 20 Nobel prize winners fooled by AIPAC and don’t realize what a “scam” Israel is running?


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January 19th, 2008, 10:28 pm


139. Alex said:


Define “pro-Israel” please. I just told you that I am not against special relations between Israel and the United States.

Clinton wants to finish the peace treaty between Syria and Israel (in 30 minutes too) … so, I don’t know why you assume I have a problem with him being fooled by AIPAC.

Most American politicians are pro Israel … some are pro Israel to a more advanced degree … they are willing to hurt the United States in order to help Israel.

Let me suggest that you watch the 11 parts of this debate … they covered everything you want to ask or say.


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January 19th, 2008, 11:04 pm


140. T said:


Whether the academic is for or against being exploited by the said foreign nation varies. But one thing doesnt- all 6000 academics know that to speak out against Israel will finish off their careers ala Norm Finkelstein.
That is a very powerful disincentive. See the recent piece on him in NY Mag re “I’ll never get another job again.”

Feel the Power?

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January 19th, 2008, 11:30 pm


141. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Edward Said spoke against Israel constantly and it never stopped his career. He taught at one of the most “Jewish” Universities in the US. Finkelstein is a fraud. Unlike Said that did serious research.

Yes I feel the power, the power to freely discuss ideas based on their merit.

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January 20th, 2008, 2:05 am


142. Shual said:

T, an update

“Israeli troops detain another Lebanese shepherd”
“Israeli forces on Friday briefly detained a Lebanese man in the border area of Ghajar after he allegedly crossed the Blue Line separating the two countries, a UN spokeswoman and security officials told AFP. “Early afternoon, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was informed by the Israeli Army that they detained one person in the general area of Ghajar village on the Israeli side of the Blue Line,” said spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane. “According to the Israeli Army, the individual had crossed over from the Lebanese side.””

“The United States of America on Saturday described the Israeli attacks on Lebanese Shepherds that have left 2 people under the risk of beeing tortured as prisoners as “legal self-defence” against ‘brutal terrorists’ that want to launch attacks against the next visit of Condoleeza Rice in Jerusalem. The spokesperson of the US State Department Shaun McCormack said, “There have been Israeli military operations which fall in the category of legal self-defence, and they [Israel] have the full right of self-defence.” Meanwhile, he called on the Israeli authorities to avoid killing Lebanese Shepherds “as much as possible. “When Israel practices self-defence, we encourage them to do their best to avoid harming shepherds, the same as our armed forces do,” he added.

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January 20th, 2008, 3:59 am


143. T said:

I had lunch on the outskirts of ghajar last summer on the banks of the wazzani. A few feet away was the wire fence over which was israel. There was no way to get inside the town that we could manage, but if one lived there already it would be possible from inside out of course. There is fluidity on the line.

In 2006, a settler family crossed into Lebanon and wandered into the closed military zone on the border road near Kibbutz Hanita with a Hezbollah outpost nearby.

Can you imagine if Hezbollah had opened fire in the name of self-defence? I never hear the right of self-defence applied to Arabs in the ME (except US surrogates). Only Israelis.

That is the alchemy of language. If you dont like an opinion- censor it as bad research/fraud. If you want to torture, package it as self-defence. Manipulate, and call it truth. And when you Feel the Power, you can enshrine it as law and pronounce it righteous. You may even be able to sue the tortured for the cost of the electricity used in the cattle prod, and turn a profit.

I suppose they tortured the sheep as well?

The PETA people should be called in. They are fierce! And they might be the most impartial adjudicators possible at this point. (I still humbly suggest everyone on the blog reread Animal Farm)

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January 20th, 2008, 5:34 am


144. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Finkelstein has not one article in a peer reviewed journal.
And how was he censored? He published several books full of nonsense. Nobody is stopping him from publishing. But just as he has a right to publish, I have a right to say it is nonsense. You know what, let’s make a deal. Why doesn’t Asad let the Neo-Cons publish their books in Syria and then he can say they are non-sense? Then you and he can feel the power. People in the US reject your ideas not because they are not listening but because they do not have merit.

The shepard crossed the line by mistake was detained and questioned and promptly was allowed to go back once it was clear he made a mistake and had no bad intentions. Get a grip of yourself. You are making mountains out of mole hills.

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January 20th, 2008, 5:57 am


145. T said:

Americans dont like treason, and they dont like being swindled- esp by those who they have coddled and supported- often at their own expense.

Those sheep were tortured, and led to slaughter. Any cover up is just more sheepspin.

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January 20th, 2008, 7:10 am


146. T said:

you said:

“People in the US reject your ideas not because they are not listening but because they do not have merit.”

Here is an update on nuclear intelligence issues w/ responses by some of us American Sheeple-

From The Sunday London Times
January 20, 2008

FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft
The FBI has been accused of covering up a file detailing government dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.
THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.

The assertion follows allegations made in The Sunday Times two weeks ago by Sibel Edmonds, an FBI whistleblower, who worked on the agency’s investigation of the network.

Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.

She says the FBI was investigating a Turkish and Israeli-run network that paid high-ranking American officials to steal nuclear weapons secrets. These were then sold on the international black market to countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

One of the documents relating to the case was marked 203A-WF-210023. Last week, however, the FBI responded to a freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file.

Edmonds believes the crucial file is being deliberately covered up by the FBI because its contents are explosive. She accuses the agency of an “outright lie”.

“I can tell you that that file and the operations it refers to did exist from 1996 to February 2002. The file refers to the counterintelligence programme that the Department of Justice has declared to be a state secret to protect sensitive diplomatic relations,” she said.

The freedom of information request had not been initiated by Edmonds. It was made quite separately by an American human rights group called the Liberty Coalition, acting on a tip-off it received from an anonymous correspondent.

The letter says: “You may wish to request pertinent audio tapes and documents under FOIA from the Department of Justice, FBI-HQ and the FBI Washington field office.”

It then makes a series of allegations about the contents of the file – many of which corroborate the information that Edmonds later made public.

Edmonds had told this newspaper that members of the Turkish political and diplomatic community in the US had been actively acquiring nuclear secrets. They often acted as a conduit, she said, for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they attracted less suspicion.

She claimed corrupt government officials helped the network, and venues such as the American-Turkish Council (ATC) in Washington were used as drop-off points.

The anonymous letter names a high-level government official who was allegedly secretly recorded speaking to an official at the Turkish embassy between August and December 2001.

It claims the government official warned a Turkish member of the network that they should not deal with a company called Brewster Jennings because it was a CIA front company investigating the nuclear black market. The official’s warning came two years before Brewster Jennings was publicly outed when one of its staff, Valerie Plame, was revealed to be a CIA agent in a case that became a cause célèbre in the US.

The letter also makes reference to wiretaps of Turkish “targets” talking to ISI intelligence agents at the Pakistani embassy in Washington and recordings of “operatives” at the ATC.

Edmonds is the subject of a number of state secret gags preventing her from talking further about the investigation she witnessed.

“I cannot discuss the details considering the gag orders,” she said, “but I reported all these activities to the US Congress, the inspector general of the justice department and the 9/11 commission. I told them all about what was contained in this case file number, which the FBI is now denying exists.

“This gag was invoked not to protect sensitive diplomatic relations but criminal activities involving US officials who were endangering US national security.”

Have your say

I spent a week with Sibel Edmonds in Washington DC in May, 2007. She is gorgeous, very smart, and a person who I would be proud to have in my employ.

As an American dedicated to honesty and integrity, I can shout, “congratulations, Sibel; shame on the US Government”.

Please, Hollywood, give this woman $10 million to appear as herself in the movie.

Betsy Combier
Editor, Parentadvocates.org

Betsy Combier, New York City, New York

Thanks so much for this story. Hopefully it will get the attention it deserves. It’s way too quiet on this story in the states. Evidently, the press in the US’s claim they are the fourth estate is greatly exaggerated.

Michael Monk, Raleigh, N.C., USA

Thanks for covering this story. The corporate media in the US won’t touch this story. We don’t really have a free press here. It’s a shame I have to read international newspapers to find out what’s going on in the world. Help!

Erin, Overland Park, Kansas, USA

Thank you very much for reporting this important story. It is vital that all of the information regarding this case is made public. I applaud your paper for doing what’s right.

K Sturm, Merrillville, IN, USA

Thank you for this story! Our media here in the US sucks. They are just about all owned by Republican corporate interests and are not picking this up at all. I am so glad you are following this story, AND Sybil Edmonds story.

Judy Chambers, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania / USA

Thank you very much for printing this story. I have been following the Sibe Edmonds case for a while now . I’m an American , and , I cannot believe our media has decided to stay mum on this . We activists on the internet are doing all we can to wake the American public up to what our corrupt government has been up to . Thanks Again ……………………………Barbara Nergstrom

Barbara Bergstrom, Astoria, Oregon, USA

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January 20th, 2008, 7:55 am


147. Shual said:

I have not much time, sorry. But I can give you a very nice money-example…. [sources, Maan, reuters]

Today, the Palestinian Minister of Planning and Labor, Samir Abdullahm, told Maan that he will follow the recommendations of the IMF in the use of the donors that were promised in Paris in December. He strictly follows the recommendation that 70% of the money will be used to cover the PA’s budget deficit.

The IMF said in front of Paris that 70% of US$5.6b is needed to cover the budget deficit = US$3,92b. Now the sum is at US$7.7b = 50.9% is needed. But Abdullahm wants to use US$5,39b.

There are things on earth that will never change. Fatah and corruption is one of them. But! We KNEW it before, we KNOW it now, but we have to wait another 6 or 8 years that one of those famous IMF-reports “investigate” that about US$1,47b went wrong in 2008 – 2010. “Where ist Arafats money? How much is Arafats money?” Part II.

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January 21st, 2008, 1:14 am


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