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18 May 2011


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I daresay Obama spends a lot of time in front of that mirror, too.

Diane Mason

Infighting over who represents the U.S. in the peace process - when events in the region and at the U.N. are leaving the U.S.-dominated peace process on life support - has the air of the proverbial two bald men fighting over a comb.


This is why the Palestinians are going to the General Assembly this September. The United States is as much a "good faith" broker in this conflict as RFK was when JFK and LBJ tangled.

Fortunately, the Palestinians have realized that they have power....the power to refuse to cooperate in their own ethnic cleansing.

Israel will really ratchet up the violence this summer. Wait and see.

Patrick Lang

Diane Mason

It does not appear that Mitchell did any of the "infighting." pl

William R. Cumming

Now that he is resigned perhaps a kiss and tell book by George Mitchell might be of interest to all.


It is all because of those damn Joooos. Something has gotta be done!

Patrick Lang


I agree. AIPAC should be registered under FARA. pl


funny. No, it's because of Israeli tribal nationalists who fight for blood and soil, who only happen to be Jews. Tribal nationalists aren't redeemed by their respective religion, or lack thereof. Then there are their tribal or otherwise motivated supporters (come Armageddon, come ...) in the US. As a coalition, they have the US gvt on the short leash thanks to a very successful influence campaign (and peculiar US campaign finance laws) over the last half century.

To see how short exactly that leash is one merely needs to look at Ross' victory over Mitchell. Ross isn't an honest broker. He doesn't want to be that. He is a tribalist. His victory means that the US will politically side with Israel, no matter what, just like in the Bush days. My hunch is that Ross' victory is the price Obama had to pay to secure tribalist campaign contributions for 2012.

Phil Cattar

When Obama was elected many of his worshippers bragged about his ability to play 3D chess.I silently laughed.It was a no brainer that he and his team would be no match for the likes of Netanyahu,Avi Lieberman ,AIPAC etc.Recent events on the ground could make things very interesting fairly soon though.



As much as you like to think we're playing chess against Bibi and the clan, the reality is that they're playing pin the tail on the donkey.


I blame the dumb goy for their own corruption--material and spiritual.


why does the US bother with this ridiculous charade that is the 'peace process' ? what would be the political consequences of a US president (or aspirant) saying, 'the US cannot be more desirous of peace than the two parties involved. therefore we disengage and will refuse to fund all interested parties in middle east peace until the protagonists are ready to sincerely work towards peace.'

William R. Cumming

Do we know the actual citizenship status of Dennis Ross?

William R. Cumming

Bibi was raised in the USA.

Was he once or still a citizen of the USA? When did he renounce USA citizenship if he once had it?


Notice the President's speech referenced "mutually agreed land swaps" not "1967 borders with land swaps of equal size and value." The difference between those two is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. (Mark Twain.)

Roadmap officially terminated.


Dr. Brenner,

Very much appreciated this. I think it would do wonderfully as a post in its own right (a lot of people don't read the comment threads I reckon and may miss this).

John Kirkman

Re: Michael Brenner
“a looming war of Armageddon between Sunnis and Shi’ites.”
It seems the Shi’ites are badly outnumbered everywhere except Iran, but it’s possible those in Pakistan have access to nuclear weapons, and Iran might have the will, if that is the proper term, to start a religious nuclear war.
What is the religious denomination of those in Pakistan who control their nuclear arsenal? Does anyone here know? The Sunni demonstrated their willingness to die on 9/11; we must assume the same of the Shi’ites.
And wouldn’t they both prefer to nuke Israel? There can be no doubt Israel would nuke them, if it came to that, and we wouldn’t be far behind in some way, either giving or getting the worst possible news. We seem to be tying knots that can only be cut, not unraveled.
Who voted for Dennis Ross?

Roy G

Very nice post, Mr. Brenner, however, I would put Obama closer to Kinkade than Kandinsky; like the self-proclaimed 'Painter of Light,' Obama excels at the art of the rhetorical pastiche, creating a vividly cozy cottage containing nothing but hopeful thoughts.


Mr. Brenner, would you please prescribe our Israel/Palestine strategy as eloquently as you describe it ?

Mark Champney


The most notable thing about Obama's performance was that he actually sputtered a bit, stumbling through a few lines here and there as if his inner being was finally revolting against this latest tray of same-same horseshit served up to the public.

He has arrived at self parody earlier than thought.


I agree. AIPAC should be registered under FARA. pl

Good answer Colonel. I don't disagree.


Ross isn't an honest broker. He doesn't want to be that. He is a tribalist.

Dear confusedponder,

Either you or your decimated descendants, will discover, we are all tribalist at the end of the day.

William R. Cumming

The speech another mere grain of sand lost in the sands of time in MENA!

The Nation Mag has an interesting item on the speech that should have been given.

clifford kiracofe

Mitchell was window dressing from the start as was discussed at SST at the beginning of the present Administration. The significance of Ross was also discussed.

Nothing new here, no surprises.

The game is faux diplomacy by the Americans while the Israelis steal more land to create "facts on the ground."

Ho hum...


for a true tribalist games or business is always a zero sum game. There can be no co-existence. What the other one has is something you don't have and vice versa. Sharing? Impossible!

That's the point, and that's what makes this sort of tribal nationalism problematic. If unchecked, in politics it leads to war. I don't see any checks on Israel in that regard. On a scale of decreasing likeliness: From Obama? From 'Israel's Lawyer' Ross? Israeli self-moderation? Fat chance.

That propensity for conflict inherent in tribal nationalism carries in itself the seed for decimation in its own right. It is preposterous to imply that it is only the naive acceptance of the possibility of pragmatic deal making that leads to it.

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