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23 September 2010


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I would never have drawn as much as you did from that quote. I read it as meaning that the US rejects Ahmadinejad's notion that Israel was an illegitimate European creation born out of a European injustice - the Holocaust. Obama supports the right of Israel to exist. Is that a surprise?

How does you go from Obama's quote to "Americans who criticize Israel are guilty of injustice in the opinion of the president of the United States"?


"Will criticism of Israel eventually be considered to be a federal "hate crime?" Will a desire to see a congressional investigation of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty be the same? There are reports now of break-ins in the houses of people who do not support Israel. Will the government do anything about that?"

I stated once before, foreign political influence in the US will erode once Israel is no longer viewed as the most powerful country in the Middle East. The Lobby's greatest weapon (greater even than convincing so many it does not exist,) is the perception that Israelis are some sort of ubermenchen capable of any great feat required. Doesn't matter if its actually true. Perception is what is key.

A sense that Israel is vulnerable, that it's military isn't really all that good, that they can loose despite extraordinarily generous US aid, will start to spread doubt amongst her many supporters in the US.

None other than the great Charles Krauthammer gets it... in his own way. This from Aug 4, 2006

"The United States has gone far out on a limb to allow Israel to win and for all this to happen. It has counted on Israel's ability to do the job. It has been disappointed. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has provided unsteady and uncertain leadership. Foolishly relying on air power alone, he denied his generals the ground offensive they wanted, only to reverse himself later. He has allowed his war cabinet meetings to become fully public through the kind of leaks no serious wartime leadership would ever countenance. Divisive cabinet debates are broadcast to the world, as was Olmert's own complaint that "I'm tired. I didn't sleep at all last night" (Haaretz, July 28). Hardly the stuff to instill Churchillian confidence.

His search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the Lebanon operation but America's confidence in Israel as well. That confidence -- and the relationship it reinforces -- is as important to Israel's survival as its own army. The tremulous Olmert seems not to have a clue."

While it is not a comfortable thought for many here, Israeli influence in the US will only diminish when Iran is considered the strongest nation in the middle east. When it is clear that the Israelis will not attack Lebanon because they fear a powerful Hezbollah retaliation, When Saudi Arabia wouldn't even consider allowing any overflight of aircraft en rout to attack Iran, then the the process of reversing Israeli influence here can begin. And not before.

This will not sit well with anyone, but the US depends quite a bit on that self destructive fool. I hope he learns that there is a time to talk and a time to keep his mouth shut.

Patrick Lang

ronald hasbara

"efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States."

How clear can that be with regard to the 1st Amendment?

"How does you go?" Is English your first language? pl

Patrick Lang

ronald hasbara

I changed it a little. What do you think now? pl


"Make no mistake. Mahmoud Ahmadinajd is a self destructive fool..."
With a nuclear weapon someday soon.
The we'll find out who else he wants to take with him.


"....pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.

Earlier this year, 47 nations embraced a work-plan to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials..."

Not to include Isreal since they are not a signatory of the NPT.

"... we should draw upon the teachings of tolerance that lie at the heart of three great religions that see Jerusalem’s soil as sacred."

Tolerance, except amongst Christians in America who wish to stop Muslim Americans from building a cultural center in NYC. Or in Jerusalem, which Isreal is claiming as its capital and wherein they are systematically removing non-Isreali residents.

"There is no right more fundamental than the ability to choose your leaders and determine your destiny."

Like those who voted for Hamas?

Nice touch on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Too bad it doesn't seem to apply in Gaza or Guantanamo Bay.

robt willmann

"[E]fforts to chip away at Israel's legitimacy ..." is vague enough to raise a free speech and expression issue. Making critical comments can be included in "chipping away" at Israel's "legitimacy".

Always remember that law is mostly vocabulary, and that the law's application, including through the police power, involves the person who is applying the law deciding what the definitions of the operative words actually cover.

The elegant and beautiful Brigitte Bardot has been criminally charged more than once in France with a so-called "incitement of racial hatred" type of crime for objecting to and criticizing in quite mild language immigrants to that country.

Europe's open mindedness about speech and race, exemplified especially toward black American jazz musicians, as a part of its culture, has been turned on its head by the infection of post-World War II law that criminalized free speech in that region. The European Convention on Human Rights is a farce and a fraud on the public when it comes to free expression.

Canada already has some of these draconian anti-free speech laws.

The Colonel is correct in being concerned about the emergence of alleged hate crimes in the U.S. Despite the phony denials of their promoters, so-called hate crimes do criminalize speech and that is their intent. They already exist in States, and Congress unfortunately passed, and President Obama signed, a federal "hate crimes" law. And the seed for their future growth has been planted in universities throughout the U.S. in the form of shocking and disgraceful speech codes, more bizarre in the context of a university, where academic freedom is supposed to be sacrosanct. College students, who in the future will be lawyers, judges, and legislators, have been indoctrinated with these concepts that are absolutely contrary to a person's innate desire for free expression, which makes their future implementation a more scary possibility.

The attorney Harvey Silverglate has done work in the area of the suppression of free speech at universities and concerning vague criminal laws. His book, "Three Felonies a Day", was published last year, and he was a contributing author of "The Shadow University, the Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses".

Surprisingly, Bill Clinton has spoken out on the Palestinian-Israeli matter, observing that the Russian immigrant population of Israel is an obstacle to peace.


Clinton was quoted on the Haaretz website as saying that: "An increasing number of the young people in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem," Clinton told a roundtable with press in New York. "It's a different Israel. Sixteen percent of Israelis speak Russian."

Irony is one of God's greatest gifts to the world. U.S. Supreme Court Judge Hugo Black, who served from 1937-1971, was a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and a United States Senator from Alabama, and turned out to be one of the strongest, most absolutist supporters of free speech and the First Amendment in this country's history.

No one on the Supreme Court today can hold a candle to his fervent defense of a person's inherent right to free expression.

This means the duty is ours, about which there is no compromise.


I saw this on the internet earlier today. If the slaughter of Israelis is injustice, then the slaughter of Palestinians (or, for that matter, Turkish aid workers) is...what?

Roy G

Well then, the US is unshakably opposed to the UN Human Rights Council, since they have just issued a report on the 'clearly unlawful' attack on the Mavi Mamara.


The delegitimacy ploy is rich. Who would dare question the legitimacy of a rogue nuclear state who flaunts international law, has no fixed borders and is engaging in a long term ethnic cleansing project?



If our government won't do anything about the Israeli IDF's intentional cold-blooded murder of a 19 yr old unarmed American kid (Furkan Dogan) on an aid flotilla ship [that was captured on video and broadcast all over the web], what makes one think that they won't pursue any American who disagrees with Israel and its horrendous behavior, as a 'hate crime'? Our White House and Congress have made it plain that they value the lives of Israelis over the lives of our fellow Americans.


I don't see anything in the American press on the UN report finding Israel guilty of war crimes for the assault on the Mavi Marmara, this on the same day the Great Man addressed the UN. Really, the mind spins at the hypocrisy.

And what about the fact that the Israelis didn't show up for Obama's speech - surely that deserved a mention somewhere. It was like Romeo crooning to an empty balcony.


President Obama declared himself today. pl

"Fear. Fear attracts the fearful. The strong. The weak. The innocent. The corrupt. Fear. Fear is my ally." - Darth Maul

Folks, it's election season and "Change is Coming!"


I'm not sure if you watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but tonight he had King Abdullah II of Jordan as a guest. (I was really impressed, did he go to the best schools in England and the US?) They were still talking when the show ended and Stewart asked if he could stay over and the King said yes.

I'll be looking for the segment latter, but I thought he was really thoughtful.

Patrick Lang


The American Community School in Amman, Deerfield, Sandhurst, Pembroke, (Cambridge) and Georgetown. pl

William Ruscoe

Please relax, It is election time. 80% of american jews voted democratic and Obama does not want to lose their support. Let's see what happens after the election.

Kick back, have a beer, it is crazy season.


A curious extra bit on Ahmadinejad at the UN. This concerns his speech on Tuesday at the Millennium Development Goals Summit. Apparently, as Ahmadinejad got to the podium all the UN translator audio feeds experienced "technical" difficulties. As a result, he wound up talking to a nearly empty room and the media ignored what he said.

Lawrence Davidson discusses it here:

But there was a written transcript of the talk, which NPR published.

According to Davidson, Ahmadinejad "stated that the global decision making bodies such as the UN Security Council, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the like are unjustly monopolized by aggressive and hegemonic great powers. And, if you really want to know why poverty persists in the modern world you have to take a long and hard look at the avaricious economic policies of those same powers."

I've only skimmed the transcript, but he's certainly more thoughtful than the outbursts we've been made to believe are all he says.

William R. Cumming

Part of the problem is posturing by all. The US has never made clear all of its arrangements with Israel including helping produce its nuclear weapons capability and delivery system. Nor has the US government ever made clear exactly what its links are to Israel so that they could be understood, meaning formal treaties and agreements, protocols, secret and otherwise, or even the basis of the US legitimate support of Israel and the history of that support in its foreign relationships and policy. Until this happens those for and against Israel, which apparently is desired by both sides, are free to posture on a sea of garbled facts and history. For what ever reasons, probably because of its own rank anti-semitism, the US political leadership in the 30's and in WWII were willing to see anti-semitism flower throughout Europe and even let Jews die in the holocaust as opposed to giving aslyum. Well today we are willing to drown Haitians because they are black, admit Cubans because they are largely white, admit Christian elites from Korea and Lebanon, etc. etc. etc. and yet no open source analysis or books describe how various ethnic, religious, and hate policies are allowed to infiltrate our foreign policy and military establishment. When is the last time STATE or DOD fired an official for prejudice against some country or its inhabinants? The best book I have read on how those who were most familiar with Arabic language and culture were driven out of the STATE department is the book "The Arabists" written in early 90's and by a Kagan but not the neo-con family if I remember.
The US unwillingness to learn about or tolerate those who do learn about other cultures and languages has grown intolerable for a nation-state that pretends it is not biased in its various policies. What has the world learned about the US? Lobby like the devil in DC because the US can kill you effectively as a nation-state by nonfeasance, misfeasance, or malfeasance, or even by accident. It is really a wonder that the death of Argentinian national Fernando Letelier in 1973 [?} by rivals (maybe even the CIA or its friends?) has not occurred more often. A history of rivalries played out in the US by violent factions of foreign states would be interesting. I used to enjoy dinner at the Serbian Crown in DC at one point. I believe violence caused that restraunt to be closed or moved. Hey we know what the Balkwan WARS brought to US. Funny that so little analysis exists of US presidents and presidential candidates of their formative experiences in the rest of the world or not and their bias'!

David Habakkuk

“Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people.”

The clear implication is that no Jew can be a British patriot, in anything like the sense I regard myself as being. To a European of Dreyfusard sympathies, such as I also am, the suggestion that there is a coherent 'Jewish people', whose most fundamental loyalty is to Israel, is anti-Semitic.


Israel's behaviour is doing more than anything or anyone else to "chip away at Israel’s legitimacy". So perhaps Obama should start by forcing Israel to change its behaviour first!

Patrick Lang


"... helping produce its nuclear weapons capability and delivery system. Nor has the US government ever made clear exactly what its links are to Israel"

So far as I know the US government did not help Israel acquire nuclear weapons or delivery means other than selling (giving) them aircraft.

As for agreements with Israel, there are probably few permanent ones. pl

R Whitman

We, on this blog and in the US spend entirely too much time worrying about Israels influence on the USG.

Granted that the Israelis have a lot of influence on the US and we cannot restrain them when they do something outrageous and stupid.

At some point in time they will do something so sensless that they will lose the support of everybody, including the American Jewish community. The israelis will screw up regardless of what anybody in the US says or does.

I think then, we can look forward to some sort of governmental auto-transition similar to what happened in South Africa, USSR, East Germany and many other countries during the last 50 years.

William R. Cumming

P.L. Delivery of nukes by fighter bombers is very complicated. Both strategy, tackics and software.

Evidently the Israelis were directly assisted by military exchange staff but have no direct evidence. Here is my background. The Luftwaffe, yes it still exists, was the service I supported in my role while on active duty although occassionally some Bundeswehr units also. Use of nuclear weapons is very complex for many reasons. So complex that I would argue they are practically useless as military weapons. Nonetheless by failing to identify Israeli as a nuclear capable and nuclear delivery capable country the US undermined profleration. When the Pershing missile were eliminated under INF these intermediate range weapons were sought by the Israelis for purchase. Instead the Russians and other said no we want to inspect their destruction which was accomplished. The source for that was a long since deceased friend working for Martin-Marietta the prime on the Pershing missile. Perhaps one of few rebuffs of Israeli requests. The problem I have is that both subs and Surface to Surface missiles are likely to dominate the next middle Easter war. Unknow as to the payloads. Personally I think that neither the Iranians nor the Israelis nor any other nation-states in the middle EAST have the foggiest notion of what nuclear war entails or the results. All seem to be willing to lead their countries to oblivion. The next holocaust will be a mutual one of Israel and those that oppose that nation-state.


""Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States. And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people. The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance -- it’s injustice. "

Does lap dog come to mind? We just shit on the Palestinian people even if we did not mean too. The radicals will have a field day on this one....

Our creditability in the Mid-East Peace Process just went in the toilet!

We are our own worse "Foxtrotting" nightmare.....


Col: Didn't Einstein define insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results?

As American power ebbs, we double-down on support for Zion.

I'm sure the Turks were impressed.

For my sake, I will be looking forward to a primary challenge to President Obama. Any hope for a meaningful Obama Presidency ended with this speech.


William R. Cumming,

The US has never made clear all of its arrangements with Israel including helping produce its nuclear weapons capability and delivery system.

It was the French doing the helping before 1963, not the US.

the US political leadership in the 30's and in WWII were willing to see anti-semitism flower throughout Europe and even let Jews die in the holocaust as opposed to giving asylum.

It is was the Zionist leadership in Britain and the US (a dueling faction within US Zionist groups) who persuaded FDR and Canada not to accept Jews escaping the Holocaust; they wanted them to go to Palestine. (Source: THE TRANSFER AGREEMENT, Edwin Black, MacMillan, 1984)

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