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08 February 2012


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"... the story of this coalition leadership is being largely ignored in the US media."

I think this is the fundamental problem, Colonel. If the US mainstream media was anywhere near as open as the Israeli press we wouldn't now be looking at Iraq War Redux as a serious possibility.

It is so, so frustrating. There is more serious debate of these issues in the Israeli press than there is here. This to my mind is the worst effect of the Israel Lobby in the US -- we might have a fighting chance if it weren't for the hammerlock the Lobby has on the US press.


The US has Hamas on a "terrorist list?" This is a policy driven list. Did God write this list on stone tablets? Groups and countries come and go from the list.

I don't know about the US, but I can't see the EU striking them off the terrorist list before they publicly renounce attacks on civilian targets. Which they probably won't.



IMO you are wrong about this. If there is a truce (hudna) they will observe it. pl

r whitman

I have said for many years that Hamas and Likud are mirror images of eachother.


Toto, isn't Israel the party that has broken the last two truces?

Check Glush Shaloom.

pl - Glad you are feeling better, couldn't post for a while.


I am heartened by this unity agreement. Why not? Obama dropped any pretense of having a positive Middle East policy when he vetoed the UN resolution condemning settlements and vetoed the UN resolution on Palestinian statement.

The Palestinians no longer trust him. The Arabs no longer trust him. The Israelis no longer trust him. (If they ever did.)

Obama will solve nothing. He will deliver nothing. He will fight for nothing...except his own reelection.

I respect the fact that Obama's job is not to help Palestine, it is advance the interests of America.

Fortunately, the Palestinians have finalized realized this truth. Abbas was deluded for too long. And Senator Mitchell warned them.


The Israelis are unencumbered by guilt.

Good to see you here, Brenda. %>/ Picasso emoticon


Yes, "the story ... is being largely ignored in the US media." Like the non-existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. And like the coverage of a low grade civil war now going on in Syria.

The corporate media is subject to the same special interests as is US foreign policy.

Charles I

But our stalwart, Charlie Rose, has Prince Alaweed bin Talal* on discussing it today as I type.



BTW, the next someone claims that being called an "Israel Firster" is unfair, cite this: http://politicalcorrection.org/fpmatters/201202080005

Who knew that American (and Iranian) lives held such little value?


Irony lives, doesn't it? We are lectured on human rights by a member of the Saudi Royal Family. Unelected autocrats who deny women even the right to drive.

Larry David needs to turn this into an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

William R. Cumming

Is there a good history of HAMAS and its rise to power through violence or elections?

What it wants is a peace that involves Israel and the other side a collection of technologically primitive and economically crippled Muslim states that meekly accept the idea of Israeli hegemony in the Greater Middle East.
That is the heart of the matter. Israel wants to dominate. Her entire posture rests on the premise of having a free hand due to unchallenged military power. Her past few governments didn't and don't want peace with her neighbours and the Palestinians, but their submission. The Israeli problem with the Palestinians is not the pinprick attacks - Israel can, in particular ever since they walled the Palestinians in, live with that. It's that that the Palestinians, impertinently, refuse to unconditionally capitulate. Palestinian unity makes the desired capitulation less likely, and limits Israel's ability to play Hamas and Fatah against each other.

IMO Iran is in the Israeli focus for the sole reason that they are the one player regionally that has ever inflicted defeat on them, if only by 'proxy'. It was Iranian support and supply that allowed Hezbollah to fight Israel to a standstill, not once but twice.

A hegemon cannot stomach humiliation like that, since it calls into question the hegemon's self image and calls into question his power.

The Israelis will try to settle that score, since a hegemon must demonstrate his superior power if not by victory, then by a crushing display of military force. They will try to get at Hezbollah for that reason alone. They want to make an example, and if they have to bomb Beirut or Gaza to rubble again, and then bomb the rubble, so be it. That's ok, it's not Israeli lives after all. In the mindset of successive Israeli governments that's all that counts.


you are an artist with the keyboard, optimax :>)

Charles I

Hey, the Prince brought a woman beard. I'm noting Charlie Rose's openness. He has Ahmadinejad and Bibi on when they are in town. Better irony than utter ignorance.

Charles I

Breaking the Assad regime may assist in disrupting Iranian power projection and proxy support/resupply.

I saw Meshal on the news the other day saying that he would await developments rather than instructions from Teheran.


And that is because respecting a hudna is a religious obligation and because Hamas is genuinely religious?



Yes. pl


Paul McGeough's Kill Khalid is a very useful history


McGeough is a particularly good reporter who has spent most of his career in the region.


Personally, I can't escape the feeling that the goings on in Syria are fundamentally different from Libya, Tunisia, or Egypt: it's an extension of the fight between various ME actors and Iran, more like Bahrain, except, in this case, the "evil dictator" rather than protesters, are friends of the Mullahs. Doesn't mean Assad regime is not an awful, tyrannical lot...but it's bigger than him or his family.


OT, but I wonder if our host has an opinion about the chances of the Syrian rebels. Abu Muqawama is not optimistic.



IMO there is already some UW assistance being given the rebels. whether or not this is a good idea is more doubtful to me than it was in Libya. The case for Islamist domination of the resistance in Libya was weak. The case in Syria is at least as strong as it was in Egypt. I don't know enough definitively about the rebels to advocate surrepticious or air support of them. There are a lot of Syrians who still back the government. Why? Are they stupid? Apply Occam's Razor to that. Without US UW support or direct Turkish intervention IMO the government will suppress this revolt. pl


Col. Josh Landis said the same thing a few nights ago. He reasoned that Assad was actually "holding back" because if he killed 30,000 to 40,000 he would lose the Sunni supporters of his government.

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