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15 March 2008

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condfusedponderer

I have read the book "Hollow Land - Israel's Architecture of Occupation" by Eyal Weizmann. I recommend it. In chapters 2 and 3, and 3 in particular, Weizmann lines out how the outposts, and settlements that in return have to be guarded by the military, push forward the frontier, and that this principle is part of the 'regional defence' as thought up by Sharon and his contemporaries. It sought to integrate civilian settlements with military units in the protection of the borders of the state. That is, Israeli settlements serve a strategic purpose and are supported by the IDF. It's a systematic process.
As far as Palestine goes, it can be argued that the intent is to utilise settlements as a part of Israel's counterinsurgency efforts against the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Settlements are fortified, offensive/defensive villages which serve their purpose even when they only consist of an antenna mast and a few trailers.

Interesting and heartening to see Haim Ramon disagree.

As a side note, I found his Chapter 9 where he details Israel's strategy of targeted assassinations quite remarkable in it's soberness, and it also offers an interesting glimpse on the later debacle in Lebanon: (p.238).

Sharon's sacking of Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon and his replacement with the pilot and former air force commander Dan Halutz ... testified to the perceived shift of military emphasis from the ground to the air, and of the Iraeli government's acceptance of Halutz' mantra: 'technology instead of occupation'.
The master of the disaster in Lebanon learned his follies while kicking around and blowing up Palestinians in the territories. There it worked. That is now the US style, too, for targeted assassinations in foreign lands, the ubiquitous Predator drone firing a Hellfire missile at a 'suspect terrorist'.

W. Patrick Lang

"DEBKAfile’s Washington and Israeli sources report that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the three US generals, who act as US envoys for the Israel-Palestinian peace track have accused Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak of sabotaging Rice’s Middle East policy objectives. This accusation was first raised by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

In protest against what he considered these officials’ anti-Israel positions, Barak absented himself from a meeting Friday, March 14, in Jerusalem with US Gen. William Fraser and Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad. Instead, he sent Amos Gilead, senior political adviser at the defense ministry.

Gilead said that the minister was not scheduled to attend, but our sources confirm that at previous encounters of this sort Barak represented Israel in person.

The defense minister complained that Gen. Keith Dayton, one of the three US envoys, leveled harsh criticism against him personally and Israel’s defense community in general at a gathering of US consular staff serving in Israel.

According to our sources, Dayton faulted Israel on three points:

1. Israel, he said, was not giving Palestinian security and intelligence organs a chance to act in an orderly and continuous manner in the A areas of the West Bank under their control. This prevented the Palestinian Authority from exercising its authority over West Bank towns and rooting out terrorist structures, while strengthening Hamas elements and helping them build strongholds that would undermine Abbas.

2. Systematic Israel military operations in West Bank towns are driving wanted terrorists, criminal gangs and lawbreakers into Israel-controlled B and C areas in search of asylum. Gen. Dayton insinuated that the current anarchy in the West Bank was down to Israel, which he blamed for the inability of Abbas and Fayad to take charge of the territory.

3. The American general told the US diplomats that Ehud Barak and his defense establishment had spurned repeated American requests for a set of new security measures to be introduced on the West Bank as peace negotiations went forward.

A diplomatic source present at the meeting was convinced that Gen. Dayton’s severe remarks were backed by the secretary of state.

Barak is reported by DEBKAfile’s military sources to have angrily rejected the US general’s charges and remarked such complaints should have been properly addressed to him, not laid before officials not directly involved in the Israel-Palestinian dialogue, some of whom are openly hostile to Israel. The minister said there was no point in him attending any more “Palestinian charades.”

Those military sources also noted that Gen. Dayton had still not accomplished his mission to establish an effective Palestinian anti-terror force for the Ramallah government. That appears to be at the bottom of the controversy." pl

J

Colonel,

what about the establishment of an anti-terror unit to protect the unarmed Palestinian women and children from Israel's f15, helos, and m16s? is there any thing in the current talks that deal with the cold blooded murder of so many Palestinian children in Israel's latest assaults?

Israel has abused the u.s.'s supplying of military arms to protect themselves, and instead are turning them on unarmed little children and old women. no wonder the mideast as a whole are sick to death of the Israel carnage upon the innocent.

Curious

Israel can do what it can do because we give them support. Without our money, military supply and diplomatic backing, Israel can't even afford building 10 miles of those walls let alone several thousands of them. (nevermind military aid, loan guarantee and free "gifts" to generally prop up some 5% of their GDP)

Anybody know the world bank loan pays for those wall?
http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com/2005/02/world-bank-to-assist-israeli-wall-its.html

Also, the super cutting edge "virtual" wall, infra red camera, integrated software, command centers are basically we are doing research for protecting Israel. (Just watch, as soon as the wall is operational, next thing you know, boeing contract is all flying to israel. Building exact same thing)

The cost of securing the border just isn't making any sense.

Those problems included Boeing's use of inappropriate commercial software, designed for use by police dispatchers, to integrate data related to illicit border-crossings. Boeing has already been paid $20.6 million for the pilot project, and in December, the DHS gave the firm another $65 million to replace the software with military-style, battle management software.

$7 Billion to fence out mexicans? After decades of people flowing in and out suddenly we have to spend that much money because every single one of them are terrorists wannabe? We could just pay all those migrants with that much money to do absolutely nothing for entire 2 years.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/27/AR2008022703747_pf.html

In an interview, Gregory L. Giddens, the department's executive director for the border effort, confirmed that "we . . . have delayed our deployment as we work through the issues on Project 28. While there is clear urgency of the mission, we also want to make sure we do this right."

Boeing has said that the initial effort, while flawed, still has helped Homeland Security apprehend 2,000 illegal immigrants since September. It estimated in 2006 that it would spend $7.6 billion through 2011 to secure the entire 2,000-mile southern border, an ambition that was meant to win support from conservatives for legislation creating a guest-worker program and a path to legalization for 12 million illegal immigrants.

another project is "tactical high energy Laser" We are pouring good chunk of research money for something that we have absolutely no use of.

Lastly of course, homeland security is basically turning into Israel listening post to scan as many people/information as possible. Might as well call that office Israel Intelligence sub directorate.

--------

The war with Iran is also still on their agenda.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JC14Ak02.html

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is on a speaking tour in the United States, putting her considerable personal charm in the service of a shrewd salesmanship - of a US war on Iran.

Although considered a dove by Israeli standards, Livni is now on a historic mission that has begun with a pre-travel warmer in the form of a highly publicized telephone call to the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, assuring him that there is
direct linkage "between Iran and the terror groups".

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JC14Ak02.html

---------

So basically, expect more of same. More conflict, more attack from both sides, more settlement expansion, more deadlock.

Of course now that gas is already $4, $6 is very real. Oil is already reaching $110/barrel.

LJ

Colonel, You most likely drove on "settler roads" that only a Palestinian with a permit can use. The Palestinian roads were those mostly unpaved rocky tracks that have dirt piled in front of them that are severed by the settler roads. Secondly, you also could not see that all the power and water controls are in Israeli hands.
I spent a night in the old Palestinian section of Hebron very close to the Tombs of the Patriarchs. There thousands of IDF soldiers guard a few hundred very extreme settlers who colonized the area. Where an Israeli sleeps and Israeli guards -- whether the Israeli is legal or not. Thanks for your comments.

arbogast

Department of Backdrop:

The Federal Reserve has just accomplished the unprecedented and possibly illegal act of subsidizing the criminal negligence of a brokerage company with public funds: Bear Stearns.

This is what you and I as taxpayers bailed out:

Jimmy Cayne Closes on Sweet Plaza Pad

Former Bear Stearns CEO and now Chairman Jimmy Cayne is apparently feeling pretty mellow about the fact that Bear Stearns stock is at an all-time low; the 74-year-old bridge-master and alleged pothead and his wife, Patricia, just closed on not one but two adjacent apartments at the Plaza for $28.24 million. Altogether, they'll have 6,000 square feet, plus room service, maid service, and unparalleled views of Central Park. Yeah. And if you think that sounds sick, you should check it out after a few hits of the Purple Haze. Neighbors include foundering real-estate developer Harry Macklowe, Tommy Hilfiger, and a noted egg lover Joanna Cutler. Which reminds us: Cayne might want to be careful when he's all stoned up and taking out the garbage. We hear that the trash room on that floor can be kind of a bad trip.

If Marie-Antoinette were alive today, she would be humbled. Let them eat matzo?

Cold War Zoomie

...in my travel there it did not seem that Hamas is yet dominant there. It will be dominant if the "Road Map" does not succeed.

To me, the Road Map's only purpose is to allow Bush to say he's doing *something.* If my memory is correct, he wasn't going to do a damn thing about the Israeli-Palestinian issues when he first took office. Then he put together the Road Map under a small amount of political pressure.

Col Lang, I'm sure you've seen plenty of what I call "Check Box" projects move forward in your days in government. Someone at the top of the food chain decides there's a requirement for X. The worker bees disagree with the requirement (usually thinking it's a waste of time), and do the absolute minimum to check the check box and move on to what they consider more important.

The Road Map always smelled like one of those to me. Difference is, it's the Top going through the motions and the worker bees are doing their duty.

But now I'm wondering if Rice is thinking of her legacy. She's accomplished absolutely nothing. It must bother her.

But even if they start caring now it's way too late. There's no chance of success.

jr786

This latest 'complaint' from Rice is good for a chapter in her posterity papers. Imagine translating this and showing it to Palestinians - what do you think their reaction would be?
The United States has willfully enabled the Israelis in their rape of Palestine and their constant outrages against the Palestinian people. Facts on the ground, as the Israelis like to call them, negate any protestations from Rice et al. about American good intentions in the region.
The first President Bush was the last person to say no to the Israelis, denying their request for 10 billion in loan guarantees to build these cursed 'settlements'. Look what happened to him. Both Clinton and Bush the Lesser have bent over backwards to pour money into Israeli expansionism, at the same time they go on about peace. Can there really be anyone left who believes in these cynical lies?

Off topic but it will be interesting to see Bushco's reaction to Chinese clamp downs in Ghasa (an awful pun, not a typo) - good for the gander?

JohnH

Haim Ramon is certainly correct. And why should the Israeli government adhere to the 'road map' now? They have been ignoring it for years, and there are only 310 days left until they run the clock out on the Bush administration.

Part of Rice's absolute incompetence is the idea that she could solve a decades old problem in a few months. What's truly remarkable is that Bush is largely repeating what Clinton failed at in 2000.

All that's required to consign Rice's process to the dustbin of history is an Israeli election, which would put everything on hold until January 21, 2009.

Serving Patriot

CWZ...

"To me, the Road Map's only purpose is to allow Bush to say he's doing *something.* "

But I thought the road to Jerusalem led thru Baghdad?? Isn't that the line that went down the memory hole in mid-2003 right after the Aqaba Summit?

Of course, that was some 3,400 OIF deaths ago...

SP

arbogast

Department of Backdrop (cont):

This is a particularly clear description of what has happened to the US economy that correctly describes what is going on today.

I never tire of posting this graph of the "W economy", because it summarizes in a nutshell what happened: growth happened, but was not shared widely. Thanks to wage stagnation, made possible by the threats of outsourcing and offshorization, and by consistent policies over the last 30 years to deregulate and liberalise markets, starting with labor markets), the fruits of growth have to a large extent been captured by a very few - but this has been hidden because consumption was propped up by readily available debt and the apparently growing virtual wealth of homeowners.

The problem is that, while a lot of that growth was illusory (and is now unraveling), the wealth re-allocation that took place thanks to it was very real, and, in particular, the mechanisms ensuring that an ever growing share of the pie get into a few privileged hands [think Jimmy Cayne] are still in place, and will bite even more harshly as the pie shrinks.

This sort of thing leads to domestic unrest. Inevitably.

In most European countries, there is a spirit of "solidarity" that appears to be entirely lacking in the US...certainly in comparison. 40 to 60 million uninsured is but a single example.

Israel, as it pursues lebensraum, should pause to reflect that its main prop may not be as steady as it would like.

J

Colonel,

WRMEA has an interesting read on all of the u.s. 'moola' to israel since 48. like the interest costs born by the u.s. to the tune of $49,936,680,000 or the total costs to u.s. taxpayers $134,791,507,200, and total u.s. taxpayer cost per israeli subsidized $23,240. and to think we have elderly here in the u.s. who wouldn't even get that much in two years of their social security income, yet they're expected to prop up the individual israeli citizen to the tune of $24k per annum. i'm sure that those 'support' costs will markedly rise since the dollar is in devalue mode. what a topsy turvy world we live in, the poor subsidizing the rich and crooked.
http://www.wrmea.com/html/us_aid_to_israel.htm

since when did israel become the u.s.'s 51st state?

Babak Makkinejad

All:

In my opinion, the power to settle the war in Palestine by outside actors no longer exists in the international arena.

The war will go on.

Sidney O. Smith III

After reading the VOA article, one cannot help but respect Haim Ramon. No doubt he is taking a courageous stand. Not easy. So he deserves a hat tip. And all you have to do is read Haaretz to know that he not alone.

But it is the debkafile report that fascinates this civilian. In my opinion, Americans need to know that the leaders of the USM are criticizing the tactics of the IDF. What’s Hagee gonna’ do?

Seems to me that military tactics, ultimately, must reflect a strategic objective. In that limited sense, military tactics don’t lie. So it is one of the best ways to fathom another nation’s ethos as well as determine another nation’s ultimate intent. Following this logic, at some point, understanding and then exposing military tactics would pierce the veil of any pretext by which a State attempted to legitimate its military operations.

Does the recent criticism by leaders of the USM of IDF tactics suggest contradictory objectives? Does this explain why Barak decided not to attend the meeting? In the civilian world of LA and NY, people often ascribe such behavior by Barak – a disrespectful “no show” – to one of “creative differences”. In what those LA and NY (and probably DC) people call the “fly over” states, such behavior is often described as…well…I better not say.

But it seems to me that if Barak appreciated and respected the sacrifice that the US people and the USM have made on behalf of Israel, he would have met Gen. Dayton one on one. It’s called “paying your respects”. And the tradition of the USM deserves respect, especially when it comes to fighting unconventional wars, or to borrow from Bernard Fall, fighting “revolutionary warfare”.

We have the Vietnam War experience; Israel does not. It is in their interest to listen to what the USM has to say and thank the USM as well as the American people for its sacrifice.

So this recent development seems vitally important and particularly American. Maybe the McClatchy crowd will pick up this story as it appears highly marketable and the story has legs.

Regardless, as an American, I can say that I appreciate the work of those three US generals, particularly Gen. Dayton. By chance, if not luck, I presently am enjoying a trip to DC. Today, I am headed to the Arlington National Cemetery. In my opinion, the recent work of those three US generals represent the tradition of American sacrifice preserved on those sacred grounds.

VietnamVet

Before the written word, tribes and peoples have conquered others; a few recent examples: Anglo-Saxons and Celts, Vietnamese and Khmer; Australians and Aborigines, Han and Tibetans, Jews and Palestinians. The last two are ongoing now.

Hezbollah has developed the organization and tactics to stop genocide in its tracks. 19th century beliefs are just not relevant any more. A blundering oil addict, the USA stumbled into a colonial war against peoples who have the techniques and will to fight genocide.

The crashing dollar and the Wall Street Banking Crisis all have one thing in common; the USA cannot afford to fight a never ending colonial war of occupation. The only question is when the USA withdraws and the total number of casualties and degree of damage the Global War on Terror caused and if the USA will have any money left to electrify its railroads.

eaken

J,

sometimes i wonder if we are their 2nd state.

Charles I

Pat, w/r/t your Debkafile post, though I can't find it today, a couple of weeks ago, Debkafile had Rice in Israel to greenlight a
stepped-up campaign of murder against Hamas leaders as well as other and Palestinian ministers, rather than hectoring Barak the Blocker over his sabotage of the "peace process". Quite a bit of chutzpah from Barak complaining about a scheduled meeting he decided not to attend, if he indeed ever intended to. And, as Sidney O. Smith observes, quite a bit of ignorant petulance. It would seem Israel doesn't have to concern itself with the sympathies of the U.S. people and the USM, so long as it has a Presidential cheerleader and a compliant Congress.

I all suppose this could comport with the idea that peace can achieved not only without the participation of Hamas, but during during a sustained campaign of murder, continued illegal settlement expansion and destruction of Gazan infrastructure. Even though you observe that Hamas is not yet dominant in the West Bank, it routed Fatah in Gaza, it exists in the WB will have to dealt with in any comprehensive peace/hudna/grand settlement. It could no more be excluded from a functioning settlement than than the Sunni of Iraq could be.

All this is moot if the powerful parties - the U.S. and Israel do not want peace. Happy talk, with no relation to the facts on the ground is cheap: it only costs blood. I comprehend the political impossibility of Congress turning off the taps to Israel, but short of a decisive expulsion of Israel from the Occupied Territories by force, what more benign way could America force the peace process upon Israel?

Charles I

p.s. Note that in the VOA piece, Ramon calls only for the withdrawal of all "unauthorized" WB settlements.
These are a tiny minority of the 450,000 and growing completely illegal, yet Israeli AUTHORIZED WB settlements. What of the latter, correctly characterized as forward lines of civil-military defence and power projection?

Curious

Well, this is interesting.

Israel Central bank is buying dollar to prevent shekel to rise. They cut interest rate by 50 points.

of course inflation is going through the nose in Israel right now.

http://in.reuters.com/article/asiaCompanyAndMarkets/idINL2555353520080225

I wonder if they realize they are playing big boys game against Japan and China reserve. On top of OPEC oil price.

Several months of high global inflation, Israel is not going to be able to pay for gas before we do.

arbogast

Department of Backdrop (cont):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnnOOo6tRs8

J

Colonel,

our govt. moves closer to a long-standing neocon tenet: criticism of israel/israeli policies = anti-semitism. state's report suggests comparing israel's treatment of palestinians to south africa's apartheid amounts to anti-semitism. state's report also accuses the u.n. as a breeding ground for anti-semitism as expressed through criticism of israel/israeli policies which is also another major neocon theme.

where have we seen the same neocon theme...oh yes such neocon mantra has intensified through fdd, nro, and wsj articles. state's report purports to apply a definition of anti-semitism that comparing of israel's cruel treament of palestinians with south africa's apartheid amounts to anti-semitism. we mustn't be critical of israel/zionism.

hmmm...interesting.....the state report is being issued in advance of next wed.'s aei meeting on the subject of 'anti-semitism and the war on terror' and aei fellows ledeen and novak will comment after the presentation.

state report is just under 7.5mg in size. what state forgets is that you can't put lipstick on a pig, as it washes off. and israel's cruel and barbaric treatment of unarmed palestinian old women and children are a mirror of what the gestapo and ss did in nazi germany. sooooo sad that the israeli govt. is a mirror image in so many ways of hitler's. a pig is a pig and a dress and lipstick like what state is trying to dress it up as won't change it any, the stench of israel's cruelty won't go away.
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/102301.pdf

de teodoru

There is dialectic between Israel at peace and Israel at war. At peace it can lead the Arab World into modernity while providing Arabs an anxiolytic deterrent umbrella against the Iranian nukes that all the Arabs fear, whether real or pretend, as was Saddam's. Arabs are very loyal to their teachers and Zionism was based on it being "a light onto the [Arab] nations." Had Israel not played for favor from the colonial powers it would have been accepted as family way back at the turn of the 20th Century. Then there is Israel as the exterminator with its mad dog USA which it can sic on any Arab by blowing its special Congressional dog whistle. The neocons sought to make that Israel dominant over the Middle East (it was to be the establishment of these little old men's "mensch-hood" that they could launch the US on their "World War IV" against Islam). The latter is doomed for Arabs are willing to die avenging their dead and Israelis are only willing to kill to stay alive. That leaves trying to come to some accord for the first option, which is impossible if the goal is "GREATER Israel": if smaller Israel is accepted as family and regional leader. Beginning with the Palestinians as protégés, Israel can show the power of its mentoring for Palestinian economic modernization. The Pals can be the salesmen for Israel. First there must be two-states-one economy as a demo. The rest is inevitable. The "settlements" are, per DoS, 78% empty so it won't be hard to empty them. Now more Jews are leaving than coming so land is not the issue. Netanyahu has this in mind but can't say it yet. The future is not dim but quite bright for Israel as the leader of the Arabs.

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