Why Having a US Ambassador in Damascus is Important

Ford

Ambassador Ford

Senate panel approves US envoy to Syria (AFP)

In a victory for President Barack Obama’s efforts to engage Syria diplomatically, a key US Senate committee has approved the nomination of veteran diplomat Robert Ford to be ambassador to Damascus.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where the nomination encountered no significant resistance in a hearing last month, approved the choice in a voice vote on Tuesday. It was unclear when the full Senate, which must confirm US ambassadors, would take up the matter.

Economy: State Department Eases Travel to the US for Syrian Nationals (Syria Report)
Travel to the United States should be easier for Syrians after a number of measures were announced by thse State Department and the US Embassy in Damascus. Read

Ifad writes:

“I just experienced this firsthand. I’m applying for a US visa and the form DS-157 (which has an extra 10 pages that only nationals of the 5 “evil” countries are required to fill, including detailed information of countries you’ve visited in THE LAST 10 YEARS. The one I have been filling in the last 10 years whenever I apply for US visa) has disappeared from their website. I contacted the consulate and they confirmed that that’s not a requirement anymore.

I will see if I get the visa in less than the usual 4 months waiting period! That’s the real test.

Syria walking tour: feet first into history
Gail Simmons joins a new walking tour of Syria and steps back more than 4,000 years in time.

Hariri Says U.S. Can ‘Easily’ Find Solution to Stalled Peace Process ‘if it Wanted to’

Mainstream Jewish Group Becomes First to Openly Criticize Obama U.S. Mideast Policy
Submitted by James Besser on Wed, 04/14/2010 – thejewishweek.com

The World Jewish Congress has become the first mainstream Jewish organization to speak out against the Obama administration’s recent treatment of Israel, scheduling full-page ads to appear in tomorrow’s editions of the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post that criticize Washington for placing the Mideast impasse on Jerusalem.

The “open letter” from WJC president Ronald Lauder to President Obama says that “our concern grows to alarm” in noting that while the Palestinians “refuse to negotiate,” “the thrust of this administration’s Middle East rhetoric seems to blame Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks.”

Lauder, a philanthropist and former diplomat, told me he believes the current public rift between the U.S. and Israel is the worst in memory, and he hopes the ads will “galvanize” the Jewish community into action.

He noted that before going forward with the ads, he consulted the 22 members of the WJC executive board, and received overwhelming support to go forward.

“We’ve never done something like this before,” Lauder said in terms of the WJC publicly criticizing a U.S. president’s Mideast policies. But he added that he feels his letter speaks to the concerns of large numbers of American Jews, many of whom have supported Obama but are now deeply concerned about his Mideast stance and reports that he may seek to impose a peace agreement on Israel and the Palestinians….

Comments (42)


1. Shami said:

This is a very tragic situation,worse than the occupation of Palestine ,what’s happening to the syrian society?

http://all4syria.info/content/view/24631/68/

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April 15th, 2010, 9:07 am

 

2. Hassan said:

Very interesting piece by Andrew Tabler. Mr. Tabler spent many years residing in Syria and working for regime sponsored institutions.

_____________________________________________
Inside the Syrian Missile Crisis
News that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has provided Hezbollah with Scud missiles threatens to spark a regional conflict and poses a new challenge for President Obama’s engagement policy.
BY ANDREW TABLER | APRIL 14, 2010

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak sent officials in Damascus and Washington scrambling when he claimed Tuesday that Syria is providing the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah with Scud missiles whose accuracy and range threaten more Israeli cities than ever before. His unexpected announcement, though vehemently denied by the Syrian regime, threatens to spark a new war between Israel and its antagonists in the region while further undermining U.S. President Barack Obama’s efforts at engagement with Syria.

The alleged missile transfer now looms over the Senate confirmation of Obama’s ambassador-designate to Syria, Robert S. Ford, who is slated to be Washington’s first emissary to Damascus in more than five years. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s apparent decision to transfer more accurate and longer-range weapons to Hezbollah is a disheartening development for U.S. officials, who had hoped Obama’s diplomatic opening would lead the Syrian regime to moderate its behavior. As Damascus arms its Lebanese ally with an increasingly lethal array of weaponry, Syria’s credibility as a peace partner for Israel is increasingly in doubt.

Weapons have been flowing from Syria to Lebanon for decades. However, in recent months, reports have indicated that the sophistication of the weapons systems provided to Hezbollah has grown. In October 2009, the British military magazine Jane’s Defence Weekly reported that Syria had supplied Hezbollah with M-600 rockets, a Syrian variant of the Iranian Fatah 110, whose rudimentary guidance system can carry a 500-kilogram payload to a target 250 kilometers away.

In early March, the head of the research division of the Israel Defense Forces’ Military Intelligence, Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz, told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, that Syria had recently provided Hezbollah with the Igla-S man-portable air defense systems. The shoulder-fired weapon can bring down the Israeli drones, helicopter gunships, and low-flying fighter aircraft that routinely fly over Lebanon to gather intelligence.

Reports of increased weapons transfers surfaced again following Ford’s nomination hearing on March 16. Rumors circulated around Capitol Hill that Syria had delivered Scud-D missiles to Lebanon. These reports did not specify whether the missiles were Russian Scud-Ds or Syrian varieties of Scud-Ds, which are upgraded versions of older Scud models that Syria reportedly began producing in mass quantities during the last year. Both missiles have a range of up to 700 kilometers, which means they could hit most, if not all, Israeli cities even if fired from northern Lebanon. Both can carry chemical or biological warheads.

Less than a week after a Feb. 17 visit by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns — the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Damascus in more than five years — Assad hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah at a banquet in Damascus. During the visit, Assad openly mocked U.S. efforts to distance Syria from Iran and stated that his government is “preparing ourselves for any Israeli aggression.”

These weapons transfers appear to mark a continuation of Assad’s belligerent stance. While Lebanon has long been the battlefield between Syria and Israel, the transfer of these weapons may indicate that the Syrian president is calculating that the next war with Israel could involve strikes on Syrian territory. Conversely, others have postulated that the transfers could also be designed to put pressure on the United States to get Israel back to the negotiating table — a bizarre tactic that is clearly not working.

In trying to answer these questions, U.S. congressional leaders — most notably Senator John Kerry — have visited Damascus over the last few weeks and attempted to engage Assad directly on the issue. The results of the meetings have not been made public. Meanwhile in Beirut, the United States is said to have issued a number of diplomatic démarches to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri complaining about the transfers. Given that the Lebanese government exercises no control over the Syrian-Lebanese frontier, the démarches are likely to go unheeded.

These revelations have generated conflicting reactions in Washington regarding engagement with Syria. Skeptics say that the uncoordinated engagement by France, Saudi Arabia, the European Union — and now the United States — has fueled a bizarre outbreak of “Syrian triumphalism,” causing Assad to throw caution to the wind. Syria’s decision to send Scuds to Lebanon, they say, proves Damascus is unwilling to distance itself from Tehran. They argue that posting a U.S. ambassador to Syria under current circumstances would send the wrong signal to Damascus and only embolden Assad further.

Advocates of deeper engagement with Damascus argue that sending an ambassador will improve communication with the Syrian regime, thereby averting future crises. One unintended byproduct of Washington’s policy of isolating Syria has been the elevation of the importance of Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha, who has proved to be an unhelpful interlocutor. The return of an ambassador to Damascus could provide channels to bypass Moustapha — and also help avoid an “accident” that, in the atmosphere of rising Syrian-Israeli tensions, could spark a conflict.

The ability of U.S. diplomacy to avert a crisis now depends on the Scuds’ current location. Reports citing U.S. and Israeli officials indicate that missiles have crossed the border, but it is unclear how many missiles possibly destined for Hezbollah still remain on Syrian soil. If fighting does break out, diplomats in Washington are concerned that the conflict could distract diplomatic attention from the more pressing U.S. national interest: efforts aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear program. In the event of a regional war, Washington would no doubt be distracted from its task of marshaling international support for U.N. sanctions on Iran. By demonstrating that Hezbollah could not be neutralized without Syrian cooperation, the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war helped break the Assad regime’s international isolation — a lesson not lost on Tehran.

Israel has traditionally responded to threats such as these by bombing Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon. However, Israel has indicated privately over the last year that the next conflict could include strikes inside Syria as well, or perhaps target weapons convoys as they cross the porous Syrian-Lebanese border.

Although the risks of a Syrian counterstrike are great, some Israeli officials might see an advantage in striking at both Syria’s and Lebanon’s military hardware. Analysts say most decisions to go to war would be based on Israel’s strategic calculations in the north. But there are regionwide calculations over Iran as well. If Israel destroys Hezbollah’s weapons, it could provide a window of time in which Israeli cities are under a decreased threat of missile attack. This would give Israel a perfect opportunity to strike Iran without risking an immediate retaliation from Tehran’s allies to its north. This scenario would not be cost-free for Israel, but given its overriding concern over Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon, Israeli leaders might judge it to be an acceptable level of risk. Given that an Israeli strike on Iran still seems out of the question for the time being, however, this may be one of the reasons why cooler heads have prevailed so far.

At the center of this unenviable situation sits ambassador-designate Robert Ford. The surprising escalation on the part of the Syrian regime represents yet another challenge to Obama’s policy of engagement — not to mention regional peace. Quiet diplomacy has so far managed to prevent the situation from disintegrating into an all-out war. However, if Israel locates the Scuds in Lebanon, this deceptive calm might not last for long.

Andrew Tabler is Next Generation fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of the forthcoming book In the Lion’s Den: Inside America’s Cold War with Asad’s Syria.

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April 15th, 2010, 2:29 pm

 

3. Ghat Albird said:

HASSAN said:

However, if Israel locates the Scuds in Lebanon, this deceptive calm might not last for long.

According to a Phillip Giraldi commentary in Antiwar.com. Israel already has in place a dual citizen woman by the name of Lani Kass who is ready to help her land of birth Israel.

“Dr. Lani Kass, who is the senior Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General Norton A. Schwartz, was born, raised, and educated in Israel and then served in that country’s military where she reached the rank of major.

She has a PhD in Russian studies but advises Air Force Generals on Cyberwarfare, terrorism, and the Middle East. And Kass appears to have close and continuing ties to her country of birth, frequently spicing her public statements with comments about life in Israel while parroting simplistic views of the nature of the Islamic threat that might have been scripted in Tel Aviv’s Foreign Ministry.”

She’s been quoted several times as prolaiming, “WE….(that WE depends of course on whether she is talking as an Israeli major or as a dual citizen Israeli…..) can defeat Iran. But are AMERICANS willing to PAY the PRICE?”

Makes one wonder what benefit would Syria or any other Arab/Muslim nation gain by having a US Ambassador whose decisions he must obey are all made by dual citizen Israelis?

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April 15th, 2010, 4:15 pm

 

4. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The Scuds story is really a storm in a cup of tea. It doesn’t matter if HA sends rockets into Israel, or ballistic missiles (from Israel’s point of view).

In fact, (again, from Israel’s point of view), better they sent the Scuds, and not rockets. (1) Saddam sent more than 30 Scuds during 1991 Iraq war. It resulted in 2 Israelis dead, and the destruction of 1 residential building. (2) With Scuds, Israelis will have longer period of time to take cover, than with rockets launch. 4 minutes compared with 2 minutes. (3) Heavy Scuds with 16 hours estimated preparation time before launching, and with a heavy ground signature, gives Israel longer time, and makes it easier to locate and destroy the missiles on the ground, and during orbit, compared with easy to operate, quicker to launch rockets.

On the other hand, a non-state Jihadi organization attacks a UN member state with ballistic missiles, gives the attacked state the right to grind to dust the territory, that the missiles got launched from.

So this is one more cynical Syrian attempt to avoid direct war with Israel, and to sacrifice Lebanon on the alter of moqawama.
.

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April 15th, 2010, 4:29 pm

 

5. Nour said:

How about we flip that? A terrorist, criminal, cancerous state attacks a UN member state with US delivered ballistic missiles, F-16 fighter jets, and other top-of-the-line weapons, gives the resistance of the attacked state the right to grind to dust the territory that the missiles and other weapons got launched from. This is what bothers “Israel”. That it can no longer just bomb and attack Lebanon with impunity. That there is someone to respond to its criminal behavior.

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April 15th, 2010, 4:51 pm

 

6. Nour said:

Shami,

Let’s get real here. All societies suffer from social problems they attempt to rectify over time, including the US and other advanced western countries. But do you seriously believe that the presence of child abuse in Syria is worse than the uprooting and ethnic cleansing of an entire people?

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April 15th, 2010, 4:53 pm

 

7. almasri said:

GHAT brings an important issue facing the US. Where does the allegiance of certain so-called Jews or dual citizens lie? Should the US government allow such groups to have influence on matters of vital importance to US interests? In fact, should the US army allow dual citizens in its ranks? Should political lobbying be outlawed in the US?

I agree with Nour’s criticism about the comparison of child abuse with ethnic cleansing that is going on in Palestine. Any one who makes such comparison lacks any sense of perspective, and one must assume he is harboring ulterior motives that are doubtful. Some Arabs seem to lack any sense of priority with regards to major issues facing them. It is no wonder neither the US nor Israel take the Arabs very seriously.

Every Arab must remember, when making a comment or criticism, that he or she is facing an existential threat from an enemy that has no respect to anything remotely considered human. Yet, you see some Arabs making pronouncements that can at best be described as naive or silly based on so-called political corrcetness or some novice idea he or she may have came across very recently by the fact that he or she moved out of his Arab environment to what he or she perceives as the ‘civilized world’. Saying it differently: “moosh kul franji brinji.”

Even though the issue of child abuse is completely off topic,it would have been perfectly appropriate if it has been brought up in a different context, i.e. without the vulgar comparison it makes.

Aplying freedom of expression rules would still give any individual to make silly comments. By the same token, readers have the right to point out the silliness even though it is possible to ignore them. However, at times it is not practical to ignore such out of bound and inappropriate comments.

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April 15th, 2010, 5:26 pm

 

8. Nour said:

Great article by Jeff Gates.

Was Israel ever legitimate?

By Jeff Gates

6 April 2010

Jeff Gates views the fraud that underpins Israel’s claim to “legitimacy” and argues that the perpetuation of the myth of Israel’s legitimacy constitutes a real and present danger to United States national security and wellbeing.

The history of Israel as a geopolitical fraud will fill entire libraries as those defrauded marvel at how so few deceived so many for so long. Those duped include many naive Jews who – even now – identify their interests with this extremist enclave.

Israeli leaders are wrong to worry about “delegitimization”. They are right to fear that a long-deceived public is fast realizing that Israel’s founding was key to an ongoing deception.

The Invention of the Jewish People did not begin with Shlomo Sand’s 2009 bestseller by that title. There was no Exile, says this Jewish scholar. Nor was there an Exodus. So how could there be a Return, the core premise of Israeli statehood?

If this patch of Palestinian land never rightly belonged to a mythical Jewish people, what then for the legitimacy of the “Jewish homeland”. And for that depiction by British Foreign Secretary Alfred Balfour in his November 1917 letter to Lord Rothschild?

Were Christians likewise seduced by Sunday school teachings reliant on the phony findings of Biblical archeologist William Albright? Shlomo Sand chronicles how in the 1920s Albright interpreted every excavation in Palestine to “reaffirm the Old Testament and thereby the New”.

In 1948, President Harry Truman, a Christian Zionist, was advised by Secretary of State George Marshall not to recognize this enclave as a state. This World War II general assured Truman that he would vote against him – and did.

That military tradition resurfaced in January 2010 when the head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), General David Petraeus, dispatched a team to brief Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the perils that Israel still poses to US national security. Mullen was reportedly shocked. (To see “The Petraeus Briefing”, click here.)
“The Invention of the Jewish People did not begin with Shlomo Sand’s 2009 bestseller by that title. There was no Exile, says this Jewish scholar. Nor was there an Exodus. So how could there be a Return, the core premise of Israeli statehood?”

He should not have been surprised. Such insights are hardly new. More than six decades ago the Joint Chiefs of Staff cautioned Truman about the “fanatical concepts of the Jewish leaders” and their plans for “Jewish military and economic hegemony over the entire Middle East”.

In December 1948, Albert Einstein and 27 prominent Jews urged us “not to support this latest manifestation of fascism”. They warned that a “Leader State” was the goal of the “terrorist party” that has governed Israel over all but a handful of the past 62 years.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff foresaw the “Zionist strategy will seek to involve [the US] in a continuously widening and deepening series of operations intended to secure maximum Jewish objectives”.
Soon after Truman recognized Israel, his presidential campaign train was “refuelled” by Zionist Jews with 400,000 dollars in contributions (the equivalent of 3.6 million dollars in 2010). Soon thereafter, Israel betrayed the US by allying with the British and the French to invade Egypt.

Though London and Paris soon abandoned the operation, months more were required to dissuade Tel Aviv from pursuing their expansionist agenda then – as now – for Greater Israel.

Outraged by Israeli duplicity, President Dwight Eisenhower sought help to rein them in. He soon found that even then (as now) the Israel lobby dominated Congress. Thus, the former Supreme Allied Commander appeared on television with an appeal directly to the American people. Then – unlike now – a US commander-in-chief threatened to reduce assistance to Israel.

To revamp Israel’s tattered image, New York public relations expert Edward Gottlieb retained novelist Leon Uris to write Exodus. Jewish Zionists have routinely proven themselves skilled storytellers and masterful mythmakers.

This 1958 bestseller was translated into dozens of languages and quickly made into a movie for the 1960 Christmas season starring Paul Newman and featuring Peter Lawford, brother-in-law of the just-elected President John F. Kennedy. See: “Time for an American Intifada?”
The myth of a loyal ally

Phil Tourney survived the 8 June 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that left 34 Americans dead and 175 wounded. The region-wide dynamics accompanying that provocative Six-Day land grab guaranteed the conflicts that remain so perilous to US national security.

It was during this Israeli operation that Tourney gave a one-fingered salute to armed Israeli troops as they hovered in helicopters over the USS Liberty while preparing to rappel to the deck and, he surmises, kill the survivors and sink the ship.

Just then the captain aboard a nearby US carrier scrambled jets to assist a vessel under attack by an “ally”. When Israeli intelligence intercepted the transmission, the helicopters fled only to have President Lyndon Johnson and Defence Secretary Robert McNamara recall our fighters.

Soon thereafter, Israeli torpedo boats pulled alongside the USS Liberty to inquire if those aboard needed assistance. Those same boats had just blown a hole in the hull, killing 25 Americans. Israeli machine-gunners had then strafed stretcher-bearers, firemen, life rafts and even the fire hoses – all clear war crimes. Only then did his ally display the chutzpah to ask if our servicemen required assistance.

Had that notorious land grab failed to advance the narrative of Israel as the victim, what might be the condition of US national security today? Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently conceded the duplicity that continues to typify this “special relationship”.

As he confessed: “Our policy on Jerusalem is the same policy followed by all Israeli governments for 42 years, and it has not changed. As far as we are concerned, building in Jerusalem is the same as building in Tel Aviv.”

In other words, the 1967 war was neither defensive nor preemptive but an outright taking of land that, one year later, Tel Aviv acknowledged as precisely what concerned the Pentagon 62 years ago.

In effect, Netanyahu confirmed that this relationship reflects multi-decade premeditation. The US has since discredited itself by protecting this “ally” from the rule of law for its taking and brutal occupation of land that rightly belongs to others.

Even now, few know that Mathilde Krim, a former Irgun operative, was “servicing” our commander-in-chief in the White House the night the 1967 war began. Her husband, Arthur, then chaired the finance committee for the Democratic National Committee.

Even now, few Americans know the role in that cover-up played by Admiral John McCain, Jr. Or the role still played in this sordid history by his son, Republican Senator John McCain III. See “McCain Family Secret: The Cover-up”.

Are those who champion this “state” the same belief-makers responsible for the myth of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? Iraqi meetings in Prague? Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratories? High-level Iraqi contacts with Al Qaeda? Iraqi yellowcake uranium from Niger?

Was any of that intelligence legitimate? Whose interests were served by deceiving the US to wage war in the Middle East? By the Suez Crisis? By the Six-Day War? By covering up the attack on the USS Liberty?
Adhering to an enemy?

How are US interests served by treating Israel as a legitimate state? When was Israeli behaviour anything other than duplicitous? At what point do we concede the common source of the storylines foisted on an imperilled global public?
“How are US interests served by treating Israel as a legitimate state? When was Israeli behaviour anything other than duplicitous? At what point do we concede the common source of the storylines foisted on an imperilled global public?”

Who created the narrative that saw us segue seamlessly from a global Cold War to a global War on Terror? Remember the promise of a post-Cold War “peace dividend”? Who induced the US to wage a war whose costs could total 3 trillion dollars, including 700 billion dollars in interest?

Why is debt always the prize? At the end of World War II, the US was home to 50 per cent of the world’s productive power. Were we induced to hollow out our economy by the same consensus-shapers that induced us to wage war in the Middle East?

Do these devastating dynamics trace to a common source?

Who benefits from the “Islamo” fascist narrative? Whose storyline – really – is The Clash of Civilizations? Who has long spied on the US and routinely transferred to other nations our most sensitive defence technologies?

Who had the means, motive, opportunity and, importantly, the stable national state intelligence required to perpetrate such a debilitating fraud from inside the US government? And from inside other governments that joined the “coalition of the willing”?

If not Israel and its supporters – who? In effect, are those now advocating an “unbreakable bond” with Israel giving aid and comfort to an enemy within?

Israel is right to worry. It was never legitimate. As both an enabler and a target of this fraud, the US has an obligation to concede its source – and to secure the weapons of mass destruction now under the control of this enclave.

http://www.redress.cc/palestine/jgates20100406#bio#bio

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April 15th, 2010, 6:24 pm

 

9. Ghat Albird said:

AN ANNIVERSARY NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN COMING UP IN 4 WEEKS.

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it. –60 Minutes (5/12/96)

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April 15th, 2010, 6:49 pm

 

10. Shai said:

Nour,

Here’s further good reading for you: http://criminalstate.com/
Follow it regularly on Twitter: http://twitter.com/criminalstate
And on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/criminalstate

I think it is time we both gave up on two dreams:

1. Dream of a Greater Israel.
2. Dream of a Greater Syria.

But both Syria and Israel are nations today, no matter how many quotes we put around them…

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April 15th, 2010, 6:52 pm

 

11. Ziad said:

The issue of child abuse and sexual abuse are very serious issues and predates all of us not just the current Syrian regime. I am glad the discussion has started because our society is closed up. However, we can’t compare them to the Israeli occupation or blame them on the Assad regimes. There are plenty on things we can blame on them but not these.

If anyone tells me that this a bigger issue than the ethnic cleansing Israel is doing or living in similar conditions to the Palestinians in Gaza or anywhere in occupied Palestine he/she is out of touch with reality.

These issues should have a dedicated thread to discuss them and suggest solutions.

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April 15th, 2010, 6:53 pm

 

12. Nour said:

Shai,

There is indeed no such thing as Greater Syria, as that term merely refers to a political project floated by the British and supported by the Hashemites. On the other hand, the Syrian nation is a real living being that has been around for thousands of years, regardless of the current political boundaries that have sprung up as a result of colonial exploitation.

As for “Israel”, while there might currently exist a political entity that calls itself “Israel” on land belonging to other people, this in itself does not bestow legitimacy upon it, nor does it make it a nation, as “Israel” lacks all basic factors needed to actually form a nation. It is an artificial entity that was created for a foreign group loosely tied by religious bonds and imposed on the indigenous inhabitants by way of ethnic cleansing, dispossession, and land expropriation. It is not a natural entity that arose through the natural course of history.

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April 15th, 2010, 7:37 pm

 

13. Hassan said:

Looking at the piece by Tabler we get a sense of the lengths to which the Bathis in Damascus will go to extend their tentacles into Lebanon. The accompanying political assassinations and bombings is what Greater Syria looks like. Ultimately though, the project is dead. UNIFIL looks may look and do nothing however, ultimately, the Bathi thugs in Damascus will, a la Saddam, be shown their exit, likely via the gallows.

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April 15th, 2010, 8:11 pm

 

14. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Nour, Could you provide the definition of “Nation” for us?

HolyLand always was, is, and always will be the homeland of the Jewish nation, and a Jewish property.

Jews had a Jewish state in HolyLand in a time when your nomadic ansestors wondered in the dusty desert of Arabia, and worshiped idols.
Your repetitive comments can not change this simple fact.

Every stone you pick and every dust you dust, prove the rich heritage of our Jewish HolyLand.

Shai and Yossi liked what I said in the past, and so I’ll repeat this for you:
Israel is the third materialization of Jewish nationality in HolyLand, followed by the dual kingdoms of Judea and Israel (house of David), and the kingdom of the house of the Hashmonites.
Even if present Israel (the third Jewish state in HolyLand) is to be wiped out of the map, future Zionists will again reclaim HolyLand from the illegal future occupiers of our Jewish land, and will establish the 4th the 5th and the 6th Jewish state in HolyLand.

HolyLand will never be Arab. It will always be Jewish, or potentially and legally Jewish.
Even if Arabs will one day occupy HolyLand, it’s going to be for a temporary period of time.
.

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April 15th, 2010, 8:38 pm

 

15. ziad said:

I am not Baath member or associated with the regime. Actually I have not been back to Syria for almost 26 years. However, the Baath has ups and down, good and bad.

Do you think what the US did in Iraq is better for Syria than the current regime? Not in a million years.

Do we need to improve on liberties and freedom of speech? You bet
Do we need to eliminate corruption? You bet
Do we need to hold people responsible? You bet

Do we need to destroy the country, kill an entire generation, have 5 million Syrian refugees in other countries begging for food and shelter, eliminate women’s rights, and have a foreign army in control of our natural resources and destiny in order to get rid of the current regime?

No answer needed for that one.

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April 15th, 2010, 8:47 pm

 

16. Shami said:

Dear Ziad and Nour

The environment induced by the regime has destroyed the values based on honesty and pride ,when your society is polluted by such generalization of corruption,the climat of lies and fear,the psychological health of the people is affected for sure.
Now ,it’s also true that the excess of conservatism and bigotery on one hand and bad education on the other had made the things worse but here too ,it’s in big part the result of the regime curtailment of the civil society.
Yes these things are more dangerous than an occupation ,because it deteriorates the personality of the people deeply and durably.
Now you undertstand why almost all syria comment users live outside Syria ,even Alex and Norman will not be able to live in this environment ,they would have been able in pre Baath Syria for sure.So ,i’m not exagerating if i say that the most dangerous treath against Syria is the regime itself and not some zionists that will be defeated sooner or later.

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April 15th, 2010, 9:01 pm

 

17. almasri said:

If I were you Nour, I would not bother with number 14. It is just another deranged mind (less) trying to make belief of his or her delusion. Of course, he or she must convinse itself (it refers to the person in quetsion here as the most appropriate to refer to it) of an obvious lie first.

Neither would I bother with number 17, if I were you Nour. It may not be possible to gain any insight on an issue from someone who insists on his obvious errors. That goes to show that some people learn nothing by changing environment thinking they have moved to a so-called civilized world.
Your comment at number 12 should stand as it is, and as the final answer to all so-called zionists (so-called left and so-called right) who provide nothing but propaganda in this SC forum.

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April 15th, 2010, 9:09 pm

 

18. Nour said:

Amir in occupied Palestine:

First, get your historical facts straight. People had been living on that land thousands of years before Jews first appeared there. Let’s not forget that Jerusalem was built by the Canaanites over a thousand years before Jews first set foot in it. Moreover, the total number of years that Jewish groups enjoyed any rule there does not add up to more than 200 (and that’s quite a liberal estimate). So to claim that you have a right to this land that supersedes the right of the people who have lived there since time immemorial is quite nonsensical.

Second, Jews do not form a nation, but rather a loose religious bond. Land (more specifically, physical environment) is an essential prerequisite to the formation of a nation. A nation arises due to the intermixing and interaction of a group of people over a single geographical territory/physical environment, which over time, and through a process of social evolution, acquires certain specific characteristics differentiating it from other groups. The continuous interaction between the people on the land, on the one hand (horizontal interaction), and between the people and the land on which they live (vertical interaction), creates a unity of life; a single socio-economic unity arises within this single territory. However, a group of people, loosely tied by religious bonds and living in multiple societies around the world with no actual land of their own cannot possibly form a single nation.

Third, the land of Palestine does not belong to “Arabs” as you suggested, but to SYRIANS, who are the natural inhabitants of this land since the beginning of time. The Syrians built various civilizations across this land and have enjoyed a unity of life there for thousands of years. It is therefore but an illusion to think that mere passers-by who have enjoyed a very limited period of rule relative to this land’s history are going to usurp the right of the natives to this land.

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April 15th, 2010, 10:18 pm

 

19. Hassan said:

Ziad,

You and me both know that the Iraqi refugee problem was created by the wave of terror unleashed by Al Qaeda (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi) and other extremists on the markets and public squares of Iraq. The refugees fled after Zarqawi bombed the Al Askari Mosque in 2006. There was no refugee problem when the Americans invaded in 2003.

I know, I know, its great to blame everything on the Americans. But sometimes, just sometimes, we have to admit that some of the problems in our region are the fault of other Arabs. The sectarian violence in Iraq between 2005-2007 was exactly that: sectarian (Arabs and Muslims killing eachother). It wasn’t the Americans who were pulling buses of Shiaa off the road and killing everyone.

Good luck in la la land Ziad!

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April 15th, 2010, 10:23 pm

 

20. Hassan said:

Nour,

Are the Lebanese people a nation?

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April 15th, 2010, 10:38 pm

 

21. Nour said:

The Lebanese entity is a political entity created for political reasons, but the people within this entity are part of the single life that stretches across the entire Syrian homeland; they are part of the Syrian nation.

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April 15th, 2010, 10:40 pm

 

22. ziad said:

Hassan,

I never blamed America or Americans. We are the ones to blame and we are the ones that need to find a solution for what ails us. I do not want anyone’s help.

What makes you think that what happened in Iraq will not repeat in Syria?

Are we more educated? More open minded? More tolerant?
You do not think the Sunnis will massacre the Alwaiit? What would happen to the Christians (kufar according to extremist)? Alqaeda would not do the same in Syria as it did in Iraq? Do you think Lebanon would live in peace if extremist rule Syria.

BTW, I love la la land and would not mind if Syria one day resembled what it stands for.

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April 15th, 2010, 10:47 pm

 

23. almasri said:

“There was no refugee problem when the Americans invaded in 2003.”

So by the same logic, there was no refugee problem before the Americans invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003. Amazingly, for centuries prior to that date, the Al-Askari mosque stood un-bombed! What a coincidence that bombing happened only 3 years after the Americans occupied Iraq!?

So, for you the occupation of a country is something quite normal!

Which la la land are you living on?

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April 15th, 2010, 10:51 pm

 

24. Shami said:

Ziad ,even in Saudi Arabia ,the qaida like people are a tiny minority.These people are the product of the arab regimes modernity and none of them came from al Azhar or Damascus Sharia School nor from the theological universities of Saudi Arabia.I hate the intellectual letargy of these institutions but the truth must be said.Here is Ben Laden ,whose mother is said to be of Alawite origin and was unveiled and à la mode when she educated Ousama ,sis and brothers.
Be more creative ,it’s not very difficult to have better alternative than Asad and co.
http://www.zamaanonline.com/images/young-binladen-in-sweden.jpg

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April 16th, 2010, 12:47 am

 

25. Shai said:

Nour,

On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was approved by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions. This is what enabled Israel to become a nation, recognized by the United Nations. I can find a few other nations out there that also don’t exactly fit your definition, that exercised ethnic cleansing, that took the land from the indigenous population, and that was “loosely tied by religious bonds…” The United States of America, for instance.

You know I’m not condoning the crimes against the Palestinian people. But let’s move forward, at least take away the perfect excuse of most Israelis for not trusting the Arabs – “They don’t even recognize us…” Even the Syrian President calls Israel by its name, and is ready to recognize Israel, as do most Arab states.

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April 16th, 2010, 9:33 am

 

26. Husam said:

Shai Said:

“On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was approved by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions. This is what enabled Israel to become a nation, recognized by the United Nations.”

Shai, shai, you are disappointing me. United Nations, are you kidding me? That circus!?

Zionist Rockerfeller donated 18 acres of prime land in Manhattan to what now is the headquarters of the UN.

http://www.oldthinkernews.com/Articles/rockefeller_roots_of_the_uni.htm 9 minute video

http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/new_world_order/UN_Rockefeller_Genocide.html

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April 16th, 2010, 2:46 pm

 

27. Nour said:

Shai,

First, the US has not yet formed a nation, because it is still a salad bowl of many different nationalities and ethnicities that have not had the requisite time to develop into a single society.

Second, sure, if we allow what happened to the natives in America to happen to the Palestinians and all Syrians, over time Jews will become the people of that land and form a nation on it, but that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid :-).

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April 16th, 2010, 9:46 pm

 

28. norman said:

Shai,Yossi

This one for you ,
Do you think that Netanyahu is begging for the US to pressure him !,

Peace for Israelis and Palestinians? Not without America’s tough love.

An Israeli student explains why the US should act on moral outrage over Israel’s discriminatory policies before it’s too late.

——————————————————————————–

By Jonathan Ben-Artzi
posted April 1, 2010 at 11:48 am EDT

Providence, R.I. —
More than 20 years ago, many Americans decided they could no longer watch as racial segregation divided South Africa. Compelled by an injustice thousands of miles away, they demanded that their communities, their colleges, their municipalities, and their government take a stand.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Today, a similar discussion is taking place on campuses across the United States. Increasingly, students are questioning the morality of the ties US institutions have with the unjust practices being carried out in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories. Students are seeing that these practices are often more than merely “unjust.” They are racist. Humiliating. Inhumane. Savage.

Sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you when enough is enough. As they did with South Africa two decades ago, concerned citizens across the US can make a difference by encouraging Washington to get the message to Israel that this cannot continue.

A legitimate question is, Why should I care? Americans are heavily involved in the conflict: from funding (the US provides Israel with roughly $3 billion annually in military aid) to corporate investments (Microsoft has one of its major facilities in Israel) to diplomatic support (the US has vetoed 32 United Nations Security Council resolutions unsavory to Israel between 1982 and 2006).

Why do I care? I am an Israeli. Both my parents were born in Israel. Both my grandmothers were born in Palestine (when there was no “Israel” yet). In fact, I am a ninth-generation native of Palestine. My ancestors were among the founders of today’s modern Jerusalem.

Both my grandfathers fled the Nazis and came to Palestine. Both were subsequently injured in the 1948 Arab-Israli War. My mother’s only brother was a paratrooper killed in combat in 1968. All of my relatives served in the Israeli military for extensive periods of time, some of them in units most people don’t even know exist.

In Israel, military service for both men and women is compulsory. When my time to serve came, I refused, because I realized I was obliged to do something about these acts of segregation. I was denied conscientious objector status, like the majority of 18-year-old males who seek this status. Because I refused to serve, I spent a year and a half in military prison.

Some of the acts of segregation that I saw while growing up in Israel include towns for Jews only, immigration laws that allow Jews from around the world to immigrate but deny displaced indigenous Palestinians that same right, and national healthcare and school systems that receive significantly more funding in Jewish towns than in Arab towns.

As former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in 2008: “We have not yet overcome the barrier of discrimination, which is a deliberate discrimination and the gap is insufferable…. Governments have denied [Arab Israelis] their rights to improve their quality of life.”

The situation in the occupied territories is even worse. Nearly 4 million Palestinians have been living under Israeli occupation for over 40 years without the most basic human and civil rights.

One example is segregation on roads in the West Bank, where settlers travel on roads that are for Jews only, while Palestinians are stopped at checkpoints, and a 10-mile commute might take seven hours.

Another example is discrimination in water supply: Israel pumps drinking water from occupied territory (in violation of international law). Israelis use as much as four times more water than Palestinians, while Palestinians are not allowed to dig their own wells and must rely on Israeli supply.

Civil freedom is no better: In an effort to break the spirit of Palestinians, Israel conducts sporadic arrests and detentions with no judicial supervision. According to one prisoner support and human rights association, roughly 4 in 10 Palestinian males have spent some time in Israeli prisons. That’s 40 percent of all Palestinian males!

And finally, perhaps one of the greatest injustices takes place in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is collectively punishing more than 1.5 million Palestinians by sealing them off in the largest open-air prison on earth.

Because of the US’s relationship with Israel, it is important for all Americans to educate themselves about the realities of the conflict. When they do, they will realize that just as much as support for South Africa decades ago was mostly damaging for South Africa itself, contemporary blind support for Israel hurts us Israelis.

We must lift the ruthless siege of Gaza, which only breeds more anger and frustration among Gazans, who respond by hurling primitive, homemade rockets at Israeli towns.

We must remove travel restrictions from West Bank Palestinians. How can we live in peace with a population where most children cannot visit their grandparents living in the neighboring village, without being stopped and harassed at military checkpoints for hours?

Finally, we must give equal rights to all. Regardless of what the final resolution will be – the so-called “one state solution,” the “two state solution,” or any other form of governance.

Israel governs the lives of 5.5 million Israeli Jews, 1.5 million Israeli Palestinians, and 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. As long as Israel is responsible for all of these people, it must ensure that all have equal rights, the same access to resources, and the same opportunities in education and healthcare. Only through such a platform of basic human rights for all humans can a resolution come to the region.

If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed state.

Jonathan Ben-Artzi was one of the spokespeople for the Hadash party in the Israeli general elections in 2006. His parents are professors in Israel, and his extended family includes uncle Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Ben-Artzi is a PhD student at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

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April 16th, 2010, 11:10 pm

 

29. Yossi said:

Norman,

Would you believe it that the author of this piece, Jonathan Ben-Artzi, is the NEPHEW of Bib??!!

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April 16th, 2010, 11:40 pm

 

30. norman said:

Yossi,

That is why i put it up for you and Shai,

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April 16th, 2010, 11:57 pm

 

31. Husam said:

The United Nations is a circus!

Shai said: “On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was approved by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions. This is what enabled Israel to become a nation, recognized by the United Nations.”

Shai, ya habibi: What vote? The UN is a joke led by jokers. Non other than ultra-zionist John D. ROCKERFELLER donated 18 acres of prime manhattan property on which the UN headquarters is sitting. So lets not kid ourselves, they are crowned and owned.

http://educate-yourself.org/nwo/brotherhoodpart2.shtml

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April 17th, 2010, 2:33 am

 

32. Off the Wall said:

HUSAM

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April 17th, 2010, 8:06 am

 

33. Off the Wall said:

HUSAM
Somehow I pushed the submit before I wrote anything.

I beg to differ with you regarding the UN. I know for fact that the organization is not a joke. The UN has many different intergovernmental organizations (agencies) whose role is to balance the need for cooperation with competing national priorities of member states. Much of the bad rap regarding the UN is a neocon myth, which started with Reagan pulling out of UNESCO because the US did not like the fact that UNESCO’s council decisions and resolutions were pretty much condemning Israel (the funny thing was that Israel remained a member of UNESCO during the time).

The intergovernmental councils (i.e., governing bodies) of various UN agencies are the sole decision makers in everything. These decisions are arrived at after real democratic debates, and what many people fail to understand is that like in any democratic debate, there are always coalitions forming based on interests, on promises, and on deals made on the side. But at the end of the day, the implementation of these decisions is charged to some of the worlds most dedicated and bright civil servants of the various secretariats, whose sole role is to design and implement programs in line with the decisions. These secretariats answer fully to the intergovernmental governing bodies. It seems like a bureaucracy, and it is, but it take a bureaucracy to manage democracy.

A bright example of some of the UN work is already showing in Africa. Cooperative programs to manage resources are popping up every where in which clusters of African countries make efforts to improve their management of their natural resources in sustainable manners. These countries are taking advantage of the high level experts offered by many UN agencies. Much of what you see in Africa’s progress towards more democratic politics is also due, in part, to the focus many UN agencies place on Africa through cultural, legal, and even technical programs that aim at training the next generation of African politicians, decision makers, and technical experts. And these programs are paying handsomely, despite of some symptoms of corruption at country level (after the money leaves the UN).

Of course people may bring up some recent scandals. There is need for reform, but it is in no way the type of reform advocated by GWB and his gang, which resulted in a huge scandal in one of the UN most reputable agencies due to the corruption of Bush’s appointee to that Agency.

That said, I believe that the main body that needs reform is the security council, which has to abolish the veto and become more inclusive either by adding few members to the permanent membership, or by giving the veto to regional divisions, or by making its own decisions verifiable by the general council. Many scholars, and politicians are working on these issues, but it would be very hard in our uni-polar world.

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April 17th, 2010, 8:42 am

 

34. almasri said:

With all due respect and consideration to the information provided at comment 32, the original thread which started the discussion about the UN was whether this body, artificial or real, can create a nation.

Despite all the valuable information provided by 32, the comment fails to address this issue.

So in order to go back to the original thread, we must admit that this body, circus or real, does not have the authority or the means to create a nation.

The State it (the UN) created in 1947 is still illegal because it conferred statehood on a group that does not make a real nation over a piece of land while failing at the same time to address the legitimate and historic rights of the existing nation which owns the land. In effect, the UN has established a precedence of conferring a semblance of legality on land theft.

Therefore, the UN is a circus since inception.

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April 17th, 2010, 2:14 pm

 

35. Ghat Albird said:

Joke or no Joke.

As of the present.

1. The US still provides Israel with cluster boms, missiles etc, etc,

2, Israel determines who goes in or out of Gaza, and the West Bank.

3. Israel still determines when the Gazans, have medicine, food, shoes etc.

4. Israeli planes still fly over a sovereign state and a UN member unstopped.

5. Israel has repeatedly bomb facilities in Syria.

6. All decisions in DC affecting the Middle East are made by Israeli?Americans.?

7. Israel wants to determine whether the people it has attacked in the past and
may be attcked soon are arming themselves with scuds.

8. Israel still maintains that it intends to not only keep but extend its acquiistion
of lands beyond the borders specified in original UN Resolution that created IT.

9. The Palestenians and other Arab nations are still under the illusion that the US
is the best broker between them and Israel.

10. Never forget what a US Secretary of State saaid about the value of 500,000
Arab Children

” Lesley Stahl interviewing Ms.Allbright on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

Madeleine Albright’s reply: ” I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–WE think the price is worth it.” CBS –60 Minutes (5/12/96).

11. All of that must either be a bad dream or a comic-opera in two language
English and Jewish.

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April 17th, 2010, 2:44 pm

 

36. Husam said:

Of The Wall:

Thank you for your insight, it was informative and factual. I do not for one second doubt the work of some sub organizations and dedicated staff of the UN men and women, whom many are my own family members.

Fraud, scams, etc.. happen in every organisation. I am not concerned with one-off situation you mentioned. My goal was to demonstrate that if ultra-zionist played a major role directly or/and indirectly thourgh various appointments, agents, and bank-rolling the basic foundation of the UN (and even before with the League of Nations), then you have a hidden power group that ensures its agenda is always moving forward disguised behind charity work, peace missions, etc…. much like the freemasons with Shriner’s hospitals, rotary clubs…

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April 17th, 2010, 6:27 pm

 

37. Off the Wall said:

Almasri
It is irrelevant whether that body can create a nation, what is relevant is that the body can and has the authority to recognize a nation after an application is submitted. Israel is not the only country recognized by the UN in this manner.

You have to decide whether you want peace or not. If your goal is the elimination of Israel, then you are taking a non-compromising position contrary to the will of most of the world, and similar in its concept with the position of the Israeli hardliners and settlers. If you want to ensure liberation of the Palestinian people, then you have to focus on creative means to develop a regional deterrence to Israel’s aggression and its attempts to achieve political and military hegemony in the region. And the first step towards that is to make Israel’s friends recognize, in no uncertain terms that there is an economic and political price for their un-critical friendship and guardianship of its bad behavior and for enabling this bad behavior. But how can we do so while our economies are tied to those of Israel’s friends, and the well being of our rulers depending, largely, on the same group that protects Israel in international forums.

Ghat
I am mindful of your points, and I can add pages more. But at this stage, I am less concerned with what the US is doing, and more with what, we, the Arabs are not doing.

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April 18th, 2010, 7:49 am

 

38. almasri said:

OFF THE WALL,
My original reply to your #32 highlighted your comment going way off topic. No, the UN does not have the authority and neither the means to create a nation. It can do as it did in 1948, i.e. it can create a semblance of legality for condoning land theft by a non-nation for the purpose of creating a so-called state. In this case it may create a failed state since the prerequisite, i.e. the nation, for the state does not exist. Needless to say, many countries with means find it often convenient to ignore any resolution that does not suite their purpose. Here, I am not going as far as Ahmedinejjad who rightly questions the unjust use of so-called veto power by few countries. Your information regarding UN achievements or lack thereof in other areas is valuable but irrelevant to the topic.

Nevertheless , GHAT in 34 has eloquently proven that even up till today this body is still behaving as it did over 60 years ago – like a circus.

I recognize the dire state of the Arabs at the moment. But that doesn’t give the execuse for an Arab (Syrian or otherwise, and particularly a seemingly enlightened one) to become apologetic on behalf of what clearly are his/her enemies. The first thing this Arab needs to tackle to deal with his/her dilemma is to be able to say the truth without fear, and to avoid falling into a state of accomodation for his/her enemy, falsely beleiving he/she will gain reciprocration. Therefore, thanks again to GHAT in comment 34 for pointing out that Arabs in general, and not just rulers are their own worst enemies. Please, refer to his item #9 in that comment.

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April 18th, 2010, 11:37 am

 

39. Husam said:

Off The Wall:

You are right we must look forward and seek to find solutions from within. But you can’t deny history!

And, you can not deny the persistent interference of the west. It is a simple fact. The west gave logistics directly and indirectly armed Iran & Iraq against each other for 8 years and 1 million dead. You can say the Persian & Arabs are stupid, just like a drug addict for taking heroin. However, the drug pusher is guilty of spreading the substance and is punishable by law.

The UN renders ammunity to certain states, which makes it a failed entity. Any good that comes out of the UN is thwarted by the ownership and heavy handed power that controls it. That is like a husband who keeps abusing his wife with one hand and buying her gifts with other.

About peace, you have hardliners on both sides. But I can tell you, as Shai, Yossi and others have said: 70% of Israeli’s are not ready and are brainwashed about their security. However, I think only 30% of Arabs are not ready. So, who do you think is more in favor of Peace?

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April 18th, 2010, 2:26 pm

 

40. Off the Wall said:

Husam

There is nothing I disagree with in what you wrote. I have in the past made the same arguments, and continue to believe that they are true. I do not think of the Arabs and Persians drug addict, for I am an optimist about both nations despite of the precarious position of the Arabs, who seem to work against their own interest when they participate in the campaign against Iran. I am also very disillusioned by the ability Israel to violate all of the UN and security council resolution concerning its criminal behavior over more than 60 years now, while others suffer complete destructions based on lies. And I have no illusions about the reasons for that.

Nor do I deny the interference of the west, or have any illusion as to the major role the security council has played in paving the way towards the crime against humanity in Iraq beginning with the barbaric sanctions, and not yet ending with the war on Iraq and on its people. B

The US and the west have managed even to create alternatives to the UN (The quartet, the G8, G20).

That said, on the other side, we have an Arab league who doesn’t seem to get it. For example, we have rather wealthy Arab countries and individuals, investing their monies shoring up failing American banks and ignoring to invest in Africa, while Israel forges economic, cultural, and political ties with many African countries, even on false promises of development as it did in Mauritania. The Israeli penetration of Africa is a very real and acute national security risk to many Arab countries and it far outweighs any perceived danger from Iran. And where is our diplomacy, or money, no where to be found.

Again, in my post #32, i never imagined the UN as a Utopia of nations. The effectiveness of the UN, especially in guarding Arab rights also depends on the Arabs themselves. On their ability to make the price of aiding Israel expensive, and that can only be accomplished through real regional economic as well as military alliances. What I was trying to drive at, especially in post #36 is that it is nice to argue the morality of the issue, but let us be realists, friendship between countries do not stand only on solid moral arguments. Money, economy, and ties beyond that are at the heart of diplomacy. Arguing whether the creation of Israel was legitimate or not does not add anything new to the conversation. Arguing that its actions are illegitimate and criminal does, especially when your friends can count on you, and the friends of you foe must think carefully the implication of their actions, not on the Palestinians for they are distant, or on the lives of their own citizens, for that only invite more solidarity with Israel , but on the livelihood and life style of their citizens and on their own economic prosperity and trade.

Almasri
You can call me whatever you want, but that will not change the fact that unless we manage to get out of our economic, cultural, and political rut, nothing will change to our favor on the international scene.

By the way, the French colonial forces left Syria, which is what we celebrated just yesterday, only after a UN resolution. So, please, do not patronize me and tell me what is appropriate for Syrians to say

http://countrystudies.us/syria/10.htm

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April 18th, 2010, 7:08 pm

 

41. Off the Wall said:

Husam

There is nothing I disagree with in what you wrote. I have in the past made the same arguments, and continue to believe that they are true. I do not think of the Arabs and Persians drug addict, for I am an optimist about both nations despite of the precarious position of the Arabs, who seem to work against their own interest when they participate in the campaign against Iran. I am also very disillusioned by the ability Israel to violate all of the UN and security council resolution concerning its criminal behavior over more than 60 years now, while others suffer complete destructions based on lies. And I have no illusions about the reasons for that.

Nor do I deny the interference of the west, or have any illusion as to the major role the security council has played in paving the way towards the crime against humanity in Iraq beginning with the barbaric sanctions, and not yet ending with the war on Iraq and on its people. In fact, the US and the west have created their own, rich boys UN (The quartet, the G8, G20).

That said, on the other side, we have an Arab league who doesn’t seem to get it. For example, we have rather wealthy Arab countries and individuals, investing their monies shoring up failing American banks and ignoring to invest in Africa, while Israel forges economic, cultural, and political ties with many African countries, even on false promises of development as it did in Mauritania. The Israeli penetration of Africa is a very real and acute national security risk to many Arab countries and it far outweighs any perceived danger from Iran. And where is our diplomacy, or money, no where to be found.

Again, in my post #32, i never imagined the UN as a Utopia of nations. The effectiveness of the UN, especially in guarding Arab rights also depends on the Arabs themselves. On their ability to make the price of aiding Israel expensive, and that can only be accomplished through real regional economic as well as military alliances. What I was trying to drive at, especially in post #36 is that it is nice to argue the morality of the issue, but let us be realists, friendship between countries do not stand only on solid moral arguments. Money, economy, and ties beyond that are at the heart of diplomacy. Arguing whether the creation of Israel was legitimate or not does not add anything new to the conversation. Arguing that its actions are illegitimate and criminal does, especially when your friends can count on you, and the friends of you foe must think carefully the implication of their actions, not on the Palestinians for they are distant, or on the lives of their own citizens, for that only invite more solidarity with Israel , but on the livelihood and life style of their citizens and on their own economic prosperity and trade.

Almasri
You can call me whatever you want, but that will not change the fact that unless we manage to get out of our economic, cultural, and political rut, nothing will change to our favor on the international scene.

By the way, the French colonial forces left Syria, which is what we celebrated just yesterday, only after a UN resolution, which saved Syria and the French from a second round of war of independence that could have lasted decades . So, please, do not patronize me and tell me what is appropriate for an “Enlightened Syrian” to say.

http://countrystudies.us/syria/10.htm

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April 18th, 2010, 7:17 pm

 

42. Off the Wall said:

Alex
Am I being moderated, which is OK, or are my comments getting stuck in the buffer. I have submitted a reply. I am trying it once more with out a link

Husam

There is nothing I disagree with in what you wrote. I have in the past made the same arguments, and continue to believe that they are true. I do not think of the Arabs and Persians drug addict, for I am an optimist about both nations despite of the precarious position of the Arabs, who seem to work against their own interest when they participate in the campaign against Iran. I am also very disillusioned by the ability Israel to violate all of the UN and security council resolution concerning its criminal behavior over more than 60 years now, while others suffer complete destructions based on lies. And I have no illusions about the reasons for that.

Nor do I deny the interference of the west, or have any illusion as to the major role the security council has played in paving the way towards the crime against humanity in Iraq beginning with the barbaric sanctions, and not yet ending with the war on Iraq and on its people. B

The US and the west have managed even to create alternatives to the UN (The quartet, the G8, G20).

That said, on the other side, we have an Arab league who doesn’t seem to get it. For example, we have rather wealthy Arab countries and individuals, investing their monies shoring up failing American banks and ignoring to invest in Africa, while Israel forges economic, cultural, and political ties with many African countries, even on false promises of development as it did in Mauritania. The Israeli penetration of Africa is a very real and acute national security risk to many Arab countries and it far outweighs any perceived danger from Iran. And where is our diplomacy, or money, no where to be found.

Again, in my post #32, i never imagined the UN as a Utopia of nations. The effectiveness of the UN, especially in guarding Arab rights also depends on the Arabs themselves. On their ability to make the price of aiding Israel expensive, and that can only be accomplished through real regional economic as well as military alliances. What I was trying to drive at, especially in post #36 is that it is nice to argue the morality of the issue, but let us be realists, friendship between countries do not stand only on solid moral arguments. Money, economy, and ties beyond that are at the heart of diplomacy. Arguing whether the creation of Israel was legitimate or not does not add anything new to the conversation. Arguing that its actions are illegitimate and criminal does, especially when your friends can count on you, and the friends of you foe must think carefully the implication of their actions, not on the Palestinians for they are distant, or on the lives of their own citizens, for that only invite more solidarity with Israel , but on the livelihood and life style of their citizens and on their own economic prosperity and trade.

Almasri
You can call me whatever you want, but that will not change the fact that unless we manage to get out of our economic, cultural, and political rut, nothing will change to our favor on the international scene.

By the way, the French colonial forces left Syria, which is what we celebrated just yesterday, only after a UN resolution, which saved The Syrians and the French from another round of war for independence. So, please, do not patronize me and tell me what is appropriate for “seemingly enlightened Syrians” to say

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April 18th, 2010, 7:20 pm

 

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