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16 November 2010


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it's remarkable how quickly (over the past 10 years in particular) we seem to be losing any semblance of respected, statesmanly, neutral, sage ombudsman.

i think this will greatly enhance our stature among all of our foreign friends (irony, irony). i feel increasingly more safe and secure with each passing day...

what do you think might stop this fast descent into this particular madness?

William R. Cumming

What can "they" be thinking?

Patrick Lang


Take the money out of the electoral process. If that requires a constitutional amendment, so be it. pl

Russ Wagenfeld

I keep hoping this is a trial balloon....


Excuse me, sir, but I think Kessler has misstated the agreement. According to the NY Times, the security deal is "contingent on the signing of a peace agreement."


"Take the money out of the electoral process". The Supreme Court ruled otherwise earlier this year in Citizen United and the results haven't been pretty.

I'm in agreement with your prescription.


And what on earth does the administration think it will get out of this deal?

How on earth does it do anything at all to advance the negotiations let alone a final outcome that leads to peace?

Surely Obama realizes that after the expiration of the 90 day freeze the situation will revert exactly to what it is today.

Is there something here we're missing? In tandem with the deal with Israel is there also a deal with the PA that benefits the Palestinians?


Col. Lang in response to Gracecastle: "Take the money out of the electoral process. If that requires a constitutional amendment, so be it."

I believe that is not a possibility.

I believe that anyone who advances and advocates such an amendment, or any other measure that irritates the elite, will find themselves subject to harassment and intimidation by the full force of the law. There are already isolated instances of this behaviour happening now.

"Seamless Information sharing" between law enforcement and the military enables seamless harassment from your local Sheriffs deputy to the FBI. By way of example, the (perhaps misguided) gentleman who started a defence fund for Brad Manning received "the treatment from customs and immigration on his return from an overseas holiday. Anti war protesters have received the same treatment. Watch as the TSA makes an example of the guy who opted out of flight security screening the other day. This is going to become routine, and it is enough to cow 99% of the population.



Obamas complete capitulation to Netanyahu is, I suspect, a result of a threat, no, a certainty, that not only would he not be re-elected in 2012, but that he would not even get the Democratic nomination.

Patrick Lang


OK. So, they sign a piece of paper with the Palestinians establishing a "state." pl

William R. Cumming

Agree with comment by Walrus on Israli blackmail of Obama!


If you ever wanted to know how supine this Palestinian Administration is, how bought it is, you only need to notice how the question of how acceptable this is to them is not being asked.

That the man who dared mention Palestinian suffering at an AIPAC speech is now challenging Abbas for "who can bend over for the Israelis the furthest" most be galling for most Americans - To us Arabs its just what we assumed happened behind closed doors anyway.


At what point is this political corruption?

Clifford Kiracofe

Some time back we went over the implications of Dennis Ross in this Administration so here is an apparent example. As noted before at SST, he is a vector of the Jewish Agency with all that implies.

The next US President can change, of course, US foreign policy. But, given US internal politics, is this likely with respect to Israel and the Middle East?


It does make a person wonder just what type of 'blackmail' that Bibi is using over Obama's head. Could it be Chicago Man's Country photos perhaps?


While we add that public financing amendment to the constitution let's also demand an expansion of the definition of treason to deal with our current political realities.

Phil Giraldi

Al - The NYT comment notwithstanding, when has the US ever enforced any reciprocity for anything dealing with the Israelis? The Israelis will get their extra planes and the US and Palestinians will get nothing out of it but more grief. I also note Kessler's odd use of "sell" in relation to the planes. They are yet another gift from the American taxpayer.

Paul in NC

Col. Lang is right. We need a constitutional amendment. I offer this as a starting point:

"The integrity of the electoral process being necessary to the liberty of a free people, the offerance or acceptance of anything of value, other than voluntary labor, to any local, state, or federal candidate or campaign for political office is not an exercise of any those rights contemplated in the first ten amendments to this United States Constitution. Congress and the legislatures of the several states shall have the power to enact such legislation, including criminal penalties, as is necessary to regulate, finance and protect the integrity of the electoral process."

The question then becomes how one avoids the use of such an amendment by the state to entrench its power in the face of opposition.


this encapsulates my gut response (pun intended) toward the whole Obama-Bibi matter

While watching the Nazis celebrate their victory by marching through the Brandenburg Gate, Liebermann was reported to have commented: "Ich kann gar nicht so viel ... ich kotzen möchte" ("I cannot eat as much as I would like to vomit"). ...

Medicine Man

I don't think any special theories are needed to explain Obama's decision making. His thinking on Israel is quite consistent with the last decade, if maybe a bit more supine.

Stanley Henning

Had I earlier been fully aware of what I am now seeing, I probably never would have voted for anyone, Republican or Democrat. It has all been meaningless. We have apparently been living in a massive charade. Much of the America I loved appears to be rapidly approaching extinction.

John Waring

And we wonder why many in the Muslim world cannot abide us?

Roy G

Public campaign financing was one of the first things drowned in the new bipartisan bathtub. You're right that it would help drain the swamp, but the alligators are in charge.

Robert R. Rock

I would argue that we do not know for sure, what the terms are for this "generous offer".
State Dept. mouthpiece Crowley could not state whether "the offer" would be put in writing. Even so, could it be more binding than The Bush Letter?
I do not believe any of it. It does not make sense that Obama would offer 3 billion in stealth fighters plus; in return for a pledge to stop pressuring Israel should talks reach an impasse, which we know is a "foreskin conclusion", Once again, let us be honest. We do not have the basic foundation laid for any kind of final settlement in place. Not even close. The parties cannot even agree on the meaning of the word, "peace". The Israelis envision "peace" as the end to all future claims; peace for eternity with the entire region, including business ties, i.e. no more boycotts;forever.
The Palestinians definition of peace is entirely different. After Israel withdraws to '67 borders, including East Jerusalem and allows right of return refugees etc. Palestine, an independant state would arise; then would have the right to demand Israel's withdraw from the rest of the occupied territories, including Tel Aviv, i.e. all of Israel by any means including resistance, aka terrorism.
We are borrowing money from China in order to give it away in return for nothing. Actually less than nothing;war more likely.
It makes about as much sense as the failed Wall Street bail out.
Our stock is down.
"What's the matter Obama, can't you get the ox cart out of the ditch?"

David Habakkuk

A summary from Neve Gordon, on the blog of the London Review of Books:

Imagine a sheriff offering the head of a criminal gang the following deal: ‘If you agree to stop stealing from your neighbours for three months, I’ll give you cutting edge weaponry and block any efforts by other law enforcement authorities to restrain your criminal activities.’

Sounds absurd? Then how about this: in return for a three-month freeze of illegal construction in the occupied West Bank (but not in occupied East Jerusalem, where it may continue), Barack Obama has promised to deliver 20 F-35 fighter jets to Israel, a deal worth $3 billion. Moreover, his administration has vowed to curb action by the United Nations on the Goldstone Report, block anti-Israel UN resolutions concerning the Gaza flotilla raid, and defeat resolutions aimed at exposing Israel’s nuclear programme at the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In such situations it’s important to keep in mind that the sheriff (Obama) and not the gang leader (Netanyahu) is the major culprit.

(See http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2010/11/15/neve-gordon/one-sided-deal/)

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