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Shocking!

Dennis Ross is on Wolf Blitzer's show -- he's got this notion that if we could defuse the Israel-Palestine conflict, that would lessen the level of anti-American outrage in the Arab world. Crazy! They hate us because they hate freedom....

August 8, 2004 | Permalink

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FuckingantiSemiticproterroristAmericahating bastard.

Posted by: praktike | Aug 8, 2004 12:53:51 PM

terra terra terra freedom terra terra tax cut terra.

Posted by: G.W.B. | Aug 8, 2004 12:59:15 PM

I presume praktike was being sarcastic. Dennis Ross is almost enough reason for me to turn my tv back on, but unfortunately, he is always sitting next to Blitzer or Hume and that is no longer tolerable.

Last time I watched him, he had sadly given up on Arafat. I suppose we have moved on, and have discovered new concessions that Israel can make in return for nothing.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Aug 8, 2004 1:14:59 PM

Me? Sarcastic? Never.

I want to read Ross's book when I have the time. Anyone here read it?

Posted by: praktike | Aug 8, 2004 1:33:07 PM

This is the biggest no-brainer in the world. Why is it that we were so eager to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia - another perennial irritant to the Islamic World - that we invaded another country (in no small part) to do so, but when it comes time to bring Sharon to heel we somehow lose our nerve? Israel is right about one thing - their problems are our problems, now more than ever. This is why we need to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as soon as humanly possible. Of course there's no way this is going to happen with elections just 100 days or so away, but maybe afterwards some progress can be made when the potential lobbying fallout on Presidential elections is at its absolute minimum.

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 1:36:21 PM

Last time I watched him, he had sadly given up on Arafat.

One of the reasons he gave up on Arafat is because the notion that the solution to the I/P conflict is simply the American government applying pressure on Sharon is faulty.

In fact, there are many signs that the Palestinians themselves are ready to give up on Arafat - and that's hardly sad as he's stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from them and created a culture that, in large part, worships death.

This coming Tuesday, Mohammed Dahlan has promised to ratchet up the pressure, and his peeps will be holding massive demonstrations in response to failed PA leadership and high levels of corruption.

People make jokes about the "no brainer"-ness of solving the I/P conflict as a means to ease anti-American sentiment in the ME. That is of course very true. But that's not the end all, be all. The manner in which it is resolved is equally important.

The fuel to the current intifada was the unilateral Israeli pullout of Lebanon. That was touted across the Muslim/Arab world as a Hezbollah victory, and gave impetus to the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad thinking that a military solution was the best way to achieve victory. Similarly, Somalia is cited by UBL and AQ as the model for their future "military" operations against the U.S.

We need to get the Israelis to negotiate with the Palestinians, but if the I/P conflict is solved in a way where the PLO can claim "military" victory, then the military element of the conflict will not end when a "peace" treaty is signed. As sad a fact as that may be for the average Palestinian individual, as long as the PLO holds onto the need to claim a military victory, they are screwed.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 1:53:38 PM

"This is why we need to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as soon as humanly possible."

Do you really think that a negotiated 2-state solution will "end" this conflict? The die-hards (i.e. the Greater Israel and the "push the Jews into the sea" crowds) on both sides will make sure that it doesn't. The Arab die-hard component has in addition to murderous provocateurs a cultural-religious spin-machine that blames Israelis/Jews for everything bad that happens in the Muslim world, down to toast burning in the morning. And from my reading, those ideas seem to have stuck pretty well, giving the Israelis a good excuse for their paranoia.

Posted by: anon | Aug 8, 2004 1:55:33 PM

Do you really think that a negotiated 2-state solution will "end" this conflict?

There was peace between Israelis and Palestinians before Sharon's War; there will be peace between Israelis and Palestinians after Sharon's War. If you truly believe that there is no hope for peace no matter what we do, then surely you wouldn't mind if the rest of us tried something other than tit-for-tat suicide bombings and the inevitable Israeli high ordinance response?

Give the Palestinians a viable state (not the "97%" glorified reservation offered and rightly rejected by Arafat at Camp David) and you will have solved more than half of the problem. There will always be militants on both sides - the point of a peaceful settlement is to marginalize these players who unfortunately have right now taken center stage.

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 2:12:59 PM

oodja

Have you heard of the word "Intifada"?

It started BEFORE Sharon was elected Prime Minister.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 2:25:10 PM


The fuel to the current intifada was the unilateral Israeli pullout of Lebanon. That was touted across the Muslim/Arab world as a Hezbollah victory, and gave impetus to the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad thinking that a military solution was the best way to achieve victory.

Isn't it true, though, that it was a Hezbollah victory and that a military solution has been so far the best way to achieve victory when dealing with Israel? Didn't it take the Yom Kippur war to convince them to return Sinai?

Oodja is right: there was peace before the current intifada - and how did it help? They kept building settlements anyway. Now there is war - and they are evacuating Gaza. Empirically it seems that war, armed resistance and terrorism is the only approach that's working.

Posted by: abb1 | Aug 8, 2004 2:31:13 PM

Have you heard of the word "Intifada"?

It started BEFORE Sharon was elected Prime Minister.

So did Sharon's War. If you'll recall, this Intifada was sparked by Sharon's "visit" to the Temple Mount, which also (and not coincidentally) propelled him to the Prime Ministership.

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 2:37:32 PM

abb1 writes: "Isn't it true, though, that it was a Hezbollah victory and that a military solution has been so far the best way to achieve victory when dealing with Israel?"

It depends on what one means by "the best way." And I think your first sentence is a contradiction with the second one, which is: "Didn't it take the Yom Kippur war to convince them to return Sinai?"

Uh, no. You have that backwards.

The Yom Kippur was was in 1973. The Israelis returned the Sinai in 1979, six years after their victory in that war. The Yom Kippur war convinced Sadat that the best way to deal with the Israelis was through negotiations, not through wars, in which the Egyptians kept getting clobbered.

you write: "Now there is war - and they are evacuating Gaza. Empirically it seems that war, armed resistance and terrorism is the only approach that's working."

That is so backwards. The Israelis were prepared to give up ALL of Gaza via Ehud Barak's plan too. 3,500 Palestinian lives earlier, it should be said. From your statement, honestly, I don't think you care that much about Palestinian lives.

And with all the um, complaining, you've done about Israeli military tactics in Gaza, it seems interesting that now you think that the Gaza pullout is due to a Palestinian military victory. Some victory, again, especially in light of the fact that it was to be all theirs in 2000 at the stroke of a pen.


Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 2:42:12 PM

oodja writes:

So did Sharon's War. If you'll recall, this Intifada was sparked by Sharon's "visit" to the Temple Mount, which also (and not coincidentally) propelled him to the Prime Ministership.

The typical response. How someone visiting the Temple Mount is either seen as the equivalent to trying to kill people or a reasonable motivation to begin trying to kill people has been one of the most amazing propaganda victories in the entire history of the I/P conflict, and the credit to that victory all goes to Mr. Marwan Barghouti, who has admitted he was looking for an excuse to launch a military campaign.

But I doubt the thought of calling the Intifada "Barghouti's War" just doesn't have the same cache or effect of trying to place blame on a convenient and easy target, and rewrite history, and deflect blame from the actual architect of the Intifada.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 2:49:02 PM

This coming Tuesday, Mohammed Dahlan has promised to ratchet up the pressure, and his peeps will be holding massive demonstrations in response to failed PA leadership and high levels of corruption.

You're joking, right? Dahlan is worse than Arafat! When the Palestinians are ready to choose someone who isn't the number two thug gunning for number one then perhaps the P.A. will start to be a help and not a hindrance to the peace process.

The fuel to the current intifada was the unilateral Israeli pullout of Lebanon. That was touted across the Muslim/Arab world as a Hezbollah victory, and gave impetus to the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad thinking that a military solution was the best way to achieve victory.

This point is extremely debatable. Spinning it as a Hizbollah victory in Lebanon? Of course. But as a roadmap for a winning strategy for the P.L.O. within Israel/Palestine? As Whitney Houston is so fond of saying: "Show me the receipts."

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 2:53:41 PM

oodja:

Worse than Arafat?

I'll give you this: there are no angels in the PLO.

But Dahlan has not stolen over a billion dollars from the Palestinian people, nor does he have the power or ability or even had the time to prove that he's worse than Arafat.

you write: "When the Palestinians are ready to choose someone who isn't the number two thug gunning for number one then perhaps the P.A. will start to be a help and not a hindrance to the peace process."

Well, start naming people in the PLO who haven't been a hindrance to the peace process, and then start handicapping their odds at having any chance at real authority. Before abb1 jumps on me for this, I should add that I also believe there are many hinderances on the Israeli side for peace as well, especially the NDP and Shas, and the Likud hardliners who don't even want to leave Gaza. But from abb1's perspective, perhaps those are just people who aren't willing to concede a PLO/Hamas/PIJ victory there, so their position is rather sound.

you write: "But as a roadmap for a winning strategy for the P.L.O. within Israel/Palestine?"

That's what's been said many, many times, especially in the Arabic press and in Tanzim/AAMB/Hamas/PIJ speeches and literature, and also by their supporters in the United States too, like Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian.


Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 3:02:45 PM

The typical response. How someone visiting the Temple Mount is either seen as the equivalent to trying to kill people or a reasonable motivation to begin trying to kill people has been one of the most amazing propaganda victories in the entire history of the I/P conflict, and the credit to that victory all goes to Mr. Marwan Barghouti, who has admitted he was looking for an excuse to launch a military campaign.

So Sharon's visit was merely a casual pop-in, with half a battalion of the IDF in tow? Look, I'm not a rah-rah Palestinian guy in the slightest, but if you honestly don't think provocative moves such as this on the part of Israel aren't at least slightly to blame for its current predicament then you are much more trusting in the lunatic fringe of Israeli politics than I am.

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 3:09:27 PM

Worse than Arafat?

I'll give you this: there are no angels in the PLO.

But Dahlan has not stolen over a billion dollars from the Palestinian people, nor does he have the power or ability or even had the time to prove that he's worse than Arafat

Are you are familiar with the workings of the P.A.'s security apparatus, of which Dahlan was top minister? Arafat is just a thug who got lucky; Dahlan is a cold S.O.B. who will make Arafat's reign of corruption look like a walk in the park if he comes to power. That the Sharonistas are so eager to work with him as Arafat's replacement should give everyone pause.

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 3:21:15 PM

look oodja, Marwan Barghouti has ADMITTED that the Sharon "visit" was not responsible for the start of the Intifada, but that he used it as an excuse to launch it.

You and abb1 and everyone can ignore that for the rest of your natural born lives, but it won't change anything.

I'm not saying it wasn't "provocative" or that Palestinians should be happy about him going there. I'm saying that the constant use of that trope as the reason for the Intifada is contrary to the words of the architect of the Intifada, who said he was looking for an excuse to start it and he found one in Sharon's visit.

Also, re: Hizbollah.

The words of Mahdi Bray (Muslim Puclic Affairs Council) in a protest at LaFayette Park in October of 2000:

Victory comes from Allah, and Hezbollah is our model.

I think abb1 agrees, excepting perhaps the Allah part.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 3:21:46 PM

The Yom Kippur war convinced Sadat that the best way to deal with the Israelis was through negotiations, not through wars, in which the Egyptians kept getting clobbered.

Nah. Sadat knew exactly what he was doing. His objective was to regain Egyptian honor in order to win him enough maneuvering room to negotiate for the rest. His original warplans called for the army to cross the Suez and hold the opposite bank unde cover of their new SAMS. Go outside the SAM umbrella, he knew, and they'd be destroyed.

Posted by: praktike | Aug 8, 2004 3:24:10 PM

Arafat is just a thug who got lucky; Dahlan is a cold S.O.B. who will make Arafat's reign of corruption look like a walk in the park if he comes to power

You con't think Arafat himself is a cold S.O.B.?

You don't think he's had many Palestinians murdered as well? And I'm not talking about "collaborators" either.

It says a lot if the only two options they have are murderous, corrupt thugs.

Too bad poor old Samiha Kahlil only pulled 9% of the vote in the "free and fair, democratic elections" they had 8 years ago.


Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 3:28:09 PM

praktike:

Still, I think you're backing up, rather than contradicting, my point.

The only lesson the Israelis learned from the Yom Kippur war was that whining about attacks during, say, Ramadan, is hypocritical in the extreme.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 3:31:02 PM

look oodja, Marwan Barghouti has ADMITTED that the Sharon "visit" was not responsible for the start of the Intifada, but that he used it as an excuse to launch it.

But isn't that the core problem of the I/P conflict: both sides have latched onto anything and everything as pretexts for the latest round of atrocities. You think using the Temple Mount visit as a justification for launching the Intifada is bad - how about saying that a suicide attack by Hamas gives you the right to lay siege to the Palestinian Authority?

Or does the criticism of sloppy thinking and bullshit logic only apply to the other side of the Green Line?

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 3:33:06 PM

oodja, interesting the you bring up the word "bullshit." Look at your examples.

In your first, absolutely nobody is killed or injured.

In the other, civilians are specifically targetted in an effort to kill as many as possible.

Of course, bringing up that distinction surely makes me an apologist for the "lunatic fringe" of Israeli politics.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 8, 2004 3:39:02 PM

It says a lot if the only two options they have are murderous, corrupt thugs.

Hey! We finally agree on something.

If I hold Israel to a higher standard in this mess, it's only because they claim to aspire to it. My criticisms of Israeli policies should not be interpreted as zero-sum victories for the Palestinian side of the conflict. I'm so concerned with peace in the Middle East less out of a concern for the plight of the Arab world but because frankly I don't think Israel will survive another generation without it.

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 3:42:21 PM

In your first, absolutely nobody is killed or injured.

In the other, civilians are specifically targetted in an effort to kill as many as possible.

Sorry. Israel lost its moral authority on this issue when it dropped a 1-ton bomb on a Gaza apartment complex to carry out a "targeted assassination," ending a longstanding policy of going out of its way to avoid just such collateral damage. You may be able to make a sufficient enough distinction between killing civilians deliberately and killing civilians incidentally to sleep at night, but I can't.

Posted by: oodja | Aug 8, 2004 3:49:09 PM

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