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26 September 2011


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Makes you wonder why Sarko, once an avid competitor to Britain's status as Washington's lapdog, is challenging Washington on this issue. Did Washington stiff his dreams of a big French share of the booty in Libya?

Given that Sarko's main challenger might come from LePen, a notorious Muslim basher, why would he appear to appease Muslims now?

It's very intriguing that Obama seems intent on surpassing Bush in one of the few areas where Bush really excelled--his ability to alienate friends and generate animosity.

William R. Cumming

So any immediate consequences for the PL or Israel for their efforts last week?


Congress is in a difficult spot. It wants to please Jewish doners by taking a hard line on the Palestinians' (surprising) show of independence. See http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-lawmaker-palestinians-must-return-to-peace-talks-or-suffer-possible-divestment-1.386872

But if the US withdraws aid, then the first Palestinian to be pink-slipped will be PM Fayyad, the US/World Bank's
candidate for future leader of Palestine.

Without US money, Fayyad is a politician who won 2% of the vote.

BTW, if we are "good faith" broker, why is the USG so angry? The Palestinians supposedly are only hurting themselves.


Glad to hear you say that, I was noticing the same silence myself. On of the many negative side effects of the silence is the US's complete inability to formulate a next-day plan. What happens next? Currently the US and Israel still have their heads buried in the sand, still trying to prevent the Palestinian bid without ever dealing with it. At some point, someone is going to have to talk about moving forward.

Norbert M Salamon

For Sarko there are two things to remember: he wants in on Libya's oil, where the Muslims seem to get to power, and two has over 2 million Muslims in France.

Norbert M Salamon

Saudi just offered $200 million, and indicated that other Gulf countries will contribute.


"...there will be a vote—sooner or later—at the UN Security Council..."

Yes indeed, just in time for the election. At least he's keeping one campaign promise 'change'. Hope? Not so much.


"The deafening silence in Washington," translate to we lost and must change the conversation.

Time to "wag the Persian cat," expect something utterly stupid and soon.


(Not completely) off topic. It went viral for the awkward hilarity at 4:45. Enjoy!



As far as the next day goes, I'm guessing that the "strategy" might still be to make Abbas some deal he can't refuse, whatever that could be. As wikileaks showed, he is the ultimate patsy, but hopefully there's been a permanent change in the man. I still don't trust him though.

The Quartet plan seems to have been rejected by Abbas outright, but there may well be a lot of devil in its details.

Other than that, Israel can always gin up some conflict--Lebanon perhaps--to put Palestine on the backburner.

Recognition of Palestinian rights is still as much a long slog as it was a year ago.

Roy G.

Actually, the challenge is coming from the other wing; the left just won control of the upper house of the French Parliament, which they haven't held in over 50 years. This is being called an 'earthquake' in French politics, and a dire omen for the re-election hopes of 'Sarko L'Americain.'


Will Reks

Well, this would really be the first time if, as you say, he is alienating and generating animosity from western allies.


"The deafening silence in Washington" ... they thought that prostitution is easy

Medicine Man

There doesn't need to be a complex explanation for Sarkozy's behavior. The eastern Med is of strategic interest to a good chunk of Europe, including France. As the US proves to be unable to craft a workable policy, others are stepping into the gulf. The French are just slightly less constrained than their neighbors.


Col. sir,

Hate to be the devil's advocate here but what will U.N. membership mean for the Palestinians?

Economic progress?

A stronghold (with adequate water resource, recognized currency, as well as other brick-&-mortar, i.e. essential infrastructure for a functioning modern state?) against israeli incursions (I believe you remember what happened to the Lebanese)?

The further involvement of Russia & China in the region's affairs?

Political in-fighting in the near future between PA & fatah a possibility as they seek to win heart-&-minds of the hoi polloi?

The strengthening of israel's various radical right-wing factions?

What have I missed?

The beaver

This is the reason why Abbas rejected the Quartet plan:


Israeli settlements!

The beaver

This has been the policy of the French govt for nearly 30 yrs: Palestinian statehood

There are more Muslims and/or Arabs (4:1)than Jews in France and the Sarky is doing everything to win another term. Even before "la droite" lost the Senate, he has been the indirect target of corruption:
check the affaire "Takieddine" or the Karachi affair
Here is a brief:
Then there is the case of the bags of money from some African despots: re: FrançAfrique



The Palestinians will go to the world court and obtain indictments against a variety of Israeli military and civil officials on the basis of violation of international law against a sovereign state. this will severely restrict the travel of those indicted. that is called leverage in this political struggle. pl


Col. sir,

"indictments against a variety of Israeli military and civil officials on the basis of violation of international law against a sovereign state"

I dunno. The alter kockers are a cunning bunch.

Not that I favor them ragheads.

Don't wish to be naysayer, but I see more trouble ahead (read "strengthening of israel's various radical right-wing factions").



And the 'biggie' I hope for (in addition to Israel's head cheezes having to stand criminally accountable for their nation's murder of our U.S. Citizens and others), putting Israel's nuclear thingy in a vise with a pair of Burdizzos clamped on its nukesac. Far too long has Israel had the luxury of bullying others (U.S. included) with their threats of using their nuclear weapons stuff. Time to end their game in this arena once and for all. Peons like Israel have no business with nuke toys, they have proven they can not function without adult supervision.

Phil Giraldi

As Harper notes in his lead-in, one of the most astonishing things about this story is that there is no story. The US media "disappeared" it almost immediately and one has to assume that the US will slow down the process in the Security Council as much as possible in hopes that by the time the vote actually takes place it will not benefit from being on the stage provided by the opening of the UN session and therefore won't matter as much and can be dismissed. Also, Washington's coercion of other nations to vote no or abstain will be ongoing. Obama is increasingly showing himself to be a despicable and shallow individual who cannot see the needs of our Republic when they conflict with his narrow self interest.


Question: Are we going to see any follow through by the Saudis based on Turki's op ed?



you are already seeing it in the formation of a bloc made up of SA, Pakistan and China. pl


(OT - sorry)
Why can I see the Comments on this thread but not most others? Ever since the format change (boo), I can only see comments on a couple topics. I see comments (now) on:
Harper's "Deafening Silence"
Silverman's "Oy Vey"
"Dangerous" to whom
Lifton's "Obama can win by losing"
...but comments on all other threads on the main page just don't show up when I click the links. (Doesn't matter whether I click "Comments" or the topic Title).

I think (not sure) that it's inconsistent; I don't think I could see any yesterday.

I miss y'all - this is by far the best "web forum" I've found.

William R. Cumming

Some evidence the Cairo speech by President Obama won him the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE! There may well be buyers remorse with the NOBEL Committee.

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