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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Biden Expresses Fealty to Israel then Gets Shanked

NOBODY MESSES WITH JOE

Israel blindsided Vice President Joe Biden's fence-mending mission Tuesday by announcing a settler building boom in East Jerusalem.

The move to expand an Orthodox Jewish settlement by 1,600 units embarrassed Biden, who was trying to jump-start "indirect" talks with the Palestinians.

Biden showed his anger by arriving 90 minutes late for dinner at the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I condemn the decision" by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai to build in the area of the West Bank annexed to Jerusalem by Israel, Biden said in an unusually undiplomatic statement.

He called the announcement "precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I've had here in Israel."

The flareup came ahead of Biden's visit Wednesday to the West Bank for meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose aides suggested the proposed talks with Israel through U.S. special envoy George Mitchell might now be canceled.

"Israel is not interested in negotiations, nor in peace," Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rudainah told Reuters.

Earlier, Biden pledged an enduring U.S. commitment to Israel's security and to preventing Iran from going nuclear. Netanyahu repeated Israel's longstanding demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Israeli newspapers said the blowup with Biden had effectively scuttled immediate prospects for direct talks with the Palestinians and damaged relations with Israel's closest ally. New York Daily News






First praise, then a rebuke: Biden’s Israel visit turns sour

US Vice-President condemns plans for hundreds of new homes in occupied territory

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Independent

The Israeli government last night managed to overshadow a high-profile visit by the US Vice-President, Joe Biden, with an announcement of controversial and politically highly sensitive plans to build 1,600 new homes for Jewish residents in Arab East Jerusalem.

The announcement from the Interior Ministry – which drew a sharp and swift rebuke from Mr Biden himself – came only hours after the Vice-President had personally congratulated the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for "taking risks for peace".

The disclosure of the plan, infuriating the Palestinian leadership the day after it had finally agreed to US-brokered indirect "proximity" talks with Israel – followed an explicit appeal on Monday by President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, to both sides in the conflict "to refrain from any statements or actions which may inflame tensions or prejudice the outcome of these talks".

The Vice-President declared last night that he condemned the "substance and timing" of the announcement, "particularly with the launching of proximity talks" as "precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I've had here in Israel".

The Interior Ministry had said earlier that there would be 60 days to allow appeals against the plan for a substantial expansion of the existing Ultra-Orthodox East Jerusalem "neighbourhood" of Ramat Shlomo. Most of the international community, which has never accepted Israel's unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem, regards the district as a settlement.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, reacted angrily to news of the expansion. "With such an announcement, how can you build trust?" he said. "This is destroying our efforts to work with Mr Mitchell. It's a really disastrous situation. I hope that this will be an eye-opener for all in the international community about the need to have the Israeli government stop such futile exercises."

Israeli officials indicated last night that the revelation had come as a "surprise" to Mr Netanyahu, who was not consulted about its timing by the right-wing Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, leader of the Sephardic Ultra-Orthodox party Shas, and a key component of Mr Netanyahu's ruling coalition.

In a hasty damage limitation exercise last night, Mr Yishai's spokesman said the meeting of the committee which approved the plan had been "determined in advance" and insisted "there there is no connection to US Vice-President Joe Biden's visit to Israel". His statement added that Mr Yishai had "updated" Mr Netanyahu "this evening".

Nevertheless Palestinian leaders will point to the disclosure as strong evidence of what they see as the relentless growth of Jewish settlement construction in East Jerusalem and a further vindication of the demands they have made – in vain – for a total halt to such expansion in order to improve the atmosphere for negotiations with Israel.

Mr Netanyahu last year rejected the urgings of President Barack Obama for a settlement freeze to help kick-start peace talks and instead announced a 10-month temporary and partial freeze, one which did not stop Israel's announcement on Monday of 112 new homes in the – also Ultra-Orthodox – settlement of Beitar Illit.

The rapid expansion of Ultra-Orthodox housing east of the "green line" that was Israel's border up to the Six Day War in 1967 is driven as much by the desire to accommodate the large families of Israel's rapidly growing Ultra-Orthodox population as by the ideology which informs much of the rest of Jewish settlement in occupied territory.

But that makes little difference to the fears of Palestinians that "facts on the ground" are being created which make it increasingly difficult to envisage the contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza which they regard as the only acceptable outcome of peace talks.

Meir Margalit, a Jerusalem council member for the leftist Meretz Party, said that "the fact that Eli Yishai couldn't restrain himself for another two-three days until Biden left Israel means his intention was to slap the US administration in the face". He added that the announcement was "a provocation to the US and to the Prime Minister".

The latest row will create unwelcome difficulties for a visit in which Mr Biden has been seeking to proclaim strong US loyalty to the security interests of Israel – which is increasingly restive about Iran's nuclear ambitions – as well as helping to kick-start negotiations with the Palestinians.




72 comments:

  1. What a difference half a day makes.

    Israel showed old Joe who is boss. Talk about an American President getting dissed by proxy...Ouch!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We've had our elections in Iraq. We've got our ABM Cruisers in the Meditteranean, and we've figured out cellulosic ethanol.

    Time to wrap this baby up.

    Call it a day.

    Turn in the key, Lee.

    Slip out the back, Jack.

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  3. I had a generally positive opinion of Biden on foreign affairs having watched him over a number of years.

    Then, mimicking Ceasar with regard to Gaul two millenium earlier, he indicated that "all Iraq should be divided into three parts, Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish."

    I haven't paid much attention to him since.


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  4. By the way, Rufus. Are you always up this early?

    I fell asleep on the couch watching "The Big Lebowski" and just woke up with a stiff neck.


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  5. "The candidates were barred on election eve by a commission -- run by onetime U.S. ally Ahmed Chalabi and other Shiite politicians -- that was empowered to screen government officials for loyalty to Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party. Most of the 55 candidates who were disqualified belong to the Iraqiya list of former prime minister Ayad Allawi, which appears to have done well in secular and Sunni communities.

    "If the votes for the newly barred candidates are annulled, it could give the Iraqiya coalition powerful ammunition to allege vote-rigging by rival politicians, including some in the Shiite-led camp of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    "It will be a very violent reaction," Allawi said in an interview Tuesday. "A lot of violence will take place, and God knows how this will end. I will tell you there is already an existing feeling that there was widespread rigging and widespread intimidation."


    Election Dispute Threatens Iraq

    Count on anything the Iranian sock-puppet Chalabi is involved in will be corrupted.


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  6. "Biden Expresses Fealty to Israel then Gets Shanked"

    "fealty"? Really? Hardly?

    The purpose of Mr. Biden's great adventure was to force Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. This is hardly the behavior one expects from a vassal to his lord.

    Since the Dems are safely in the pockets of AIPAC, this will all blow over soon enough.

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  7. CONTEXT FOLKS....

    From Israel Matzav

    Ramat Shlomo is a Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem that already has more than 20,000 residents. Originally slated to be the site of the Jerusalem soccer stadium in the late 1970's, it was converted to housing and more than 2,000 units were built there in the early 1990's. Jews have been living there since early 1996.

    Expelling all the Jews from Ramat Shlomo would mean expelling three times the number of Jews as were expelled from Gaza. The average family size is eight children.

    Ramat Shlomo was in no-man's land before 1967. It sits on the strategic Shuafat ridge, which overlooks much of Jerusalem and parts of Ramallah. Some of you may recall that three years ago I posted pictures of a Second Temple-period quarry that was discovered there (one picture is above).

    Ramat Shlomo was never supposed to be an issue with the 'Palestinians.' Abu Mazen had agreed with Ehud Olmert in 2008 that it would remain part of Israel in any future settlement. But on Tuesday night it became an issue


    It's an ISSUE because AMERICA is MAKING it an ISSUE

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  8. ...this will all blow over soon enough.

    Wed Mar 10, 06:32:00 AM EST

    Correct, allen, it will.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Want to be honest?

    America is pushing Israel over a cliff and supporting Fatah, who advocates the destruction of the State of Israel, who cannot bring it'sself to say that Jews have a right to the Temple Mount, Tomb of the Patriarchs and more...

    Joe Biden declares that Palestinians deserves a contiguous viable state...

    Does that mean that America believes that Israel should be CUT in half so that a 22nd Arab state should be created?????????????

    America is attempting to Israel into 1967 Czechoslovakia.... and Guess what?

    It aint going to happen...

    America spouts about "PEACE" and TRUST from Israel towards the Palios... And yet the Palestinians own elections just a few months ago advocated the entire destruction of Israel and not a word from Biden or Obama...

    How dare Jews build homes inside a development in Jerusalem...

    How dare they...

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  10. trish it aint blowing over...

    3 administrations have kicked the can of Iran down the road til we now have what we have...

    You cannot make peace with those that are advocating gutting your children like pigs...

    America is RAPIDLY losing respect across the globe as someone they can trust (allies) and someone they should fear (enemies)

    As this standing in the world crumbles look for the bad guys to step it up and test us more and more...

    Just this month?

    Iran announces it's joint building (with north korea) an ICBM launching platform...

    Iran announces it's production of it's 1st cruise missile

    Iran Launches it's 1st space capable, solid fuel, multistage rocket with sizable payload

    Syria transfers to Hezbollah surface to air missiles that cross red lines not a peep out of washington...

    America sits on it's hands in the UNSC last week as the UNSC condemn Israel for violence at the Temple Mount and the USA for the 1st time in 16 years doesnt say a word. The violence of course was tear gas and rubber bullets fired at rock throwing moslem rioters that were attempting to murder tourists and jews below the Temple Mount, (this practice of dropping rockets on people's heads is not new and is very deadly)

    America the unexceptional is the new policy of America, how sad...

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  11. oh and notice how this aint even in the press?

    Joltin' Joe Biden is visiting Israel for three days starting Monday, and the 'Palestinians' have prepared a greeting he'll always remember. The 'Palestinians' will be dedicating Dalal al-Mughrabi Square in beautiful downtown Ramallah on Thursday morning, the last day of Joltin' Joe's visit. Al-Mughrabi was the perpetrator of the Coastal Road Massacre in 1978 in which 37 civilians, including 12 children, were murdered by 'Palestinian' terrorists. But why should Joltin' Joe's presence interfere with the show?
    Today the official PA daily reports that the Municipality is continuing with this Thursday's inauguration:

    Headline: "Preparations for inauguration of Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square complete"
    "The El-Bireh Municipality has completed construction work at the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square in the Um Al-Sharait region, and has commenced preparations for its inauguration this Thursday, the anniversary of Mughrabi's Martyrdom. The mayor, Jamal Al-Tawil, said that... this year the municipality will celebrate the inauguration of the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square in order to commemorate her memory and her sacrifice as a Palestinian woman who resisted the occupation. City Council member Aida Abu-Ubeid said that the square is considered a symbol of the sacrifice of the Palestinian woman. She also noted that flowers and trees will be planted there, and that a picture of the Shahida Dalal Mughrabi will be placed at the center of the square."
    [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 7, 2010]

    There has been no public comment from the Obama administration about the PA's honoring of the terrorist.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "trish it aint blowing over..."

    I know that you know what I'm referring to, What Is: Yesterday's perceived affront, in which the announcement of new construction, though not in violation of the agreed moratorium, precisely coincided with the Vice President's visit.

    That will blow over.

    The Iran problem will not. And as I've said before, it was bound to be the steepest strategic challenge of this administration. In this four years, at least.

    ReplyDelete
  13. trish said...
    "trish it aint blowing over..."

    I know that you know what I'm referring to, What Is: Yesterday's perceived affront, in which the announcement of new construction, though not in violation of the agreed moratorium, precisely coincided with the Vice President's visit.

    That will blow over.



    Yep...

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  14. Biden said ties between Israel and the United States were “unshakeable.” That my friend is fealty.

    How can relations between two powers be "unshakeable?"

    By definition, such a relationship is impossible between equals. It is cloyingly creepy, Uriah Heep,
    Yes, maasah, anything you say boss kind of creepy.

    Not anything ever said between true equals.

    Biden speaks for Obama. The President of the USA should never be saying any foreign power, automatically and under any circumstance, has unquestioned support of the
    USA. That is fealty.

    No country should accept such a claim from another as credible.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gaza exported more flowers to Europe last week, while receiving nearly 14,000 tons of humanitarian aid through Israel via the various crossings. Business owners in the region shipped out eight truckloads of carnations to be sold in the European market. The Gaza region is famous for its fragrant and highly-prized carnations.

    Meanwhile, at the same time, hundreds of trucks laden with wheat, flour, meat, chicken, fish, legumes and other agricultural produce made deliveries in Gaza. Animal feed, hygiene products and medical supplies were among the non-food items that were packed on to the trucks that made their way into the region from Israel.

    A total of 533 trucks transferred 13,919 tons of essential humanitarian food products and non-food items into Gaza just last week alone, according to the IDF spokesperson.

    In addition, 1,308,260 liters of diesel fuel and 832 tons of cooking gas were pumped through the fuel terminal at the Nahal Oz crossing.

    At the Erez Crossing, 190 medical patients and their escorts crossed into Israel from Gaza, many of whom continued on into the Palestinian Authority areas. Moving in the opposite direction, 190 staff members of international organizations crossed through Erez from Israel in to Gaza.





    Oh and Gilad Shalit STILL is being held hostage by Hamas and never has seen a Red Cross Visit...

    Oh....

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gaza exported more flowers to Europe last week, while receiving nearly 14,000 tons of humanitarian aid through Israel via the various crossings. Business owners in the region shipped out eight truckloads of carnations to be sold in the European market. The Gaza region is famous for its fragrant and highly-prized carnations.

    Meanwhile, at the same time, hundreds of trucks laden with wheat, flour, meat, chicken, fish, legumes and other agricultural produce made deliveries in Gaza. Animal feed, hygiene products and medical supplies were among the non-food items that were packed on to the trucks that made their way into the region from Israel.

    A total of 533 trucks transferred 13,919 tons of essential humanitarian food products and non-food items into Gaza just last week alone, according to the IDF spokesperson.

    In addition, 1,308,260 liters of diesel fuel and 832 tons of cooking gas were pumped through the fuel terminal at the Nahal Oz crossing.

    At the Erez Crossing, 190 medical patients and their escorts crossed into Israel from Gaza, many of whom continued on into the Palestinian Authority areas. Moving in the opposite direction, 190 staff members of international organizations crossed through Erez from Israel in to Gaza.





    Oh and Gilad Shalit STILL is being held hostage by Hamas and never has seen a Red Cross Visit...

    Oh....

    ReplyDelete
  17. Okay, so our last job over there is running protection for Karzai's Opium racket, right. Let's get the troops out of Iraq, wrap up the strong-arm hustle in Afpakistan, and boogy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If one were to take Mr Biden at his word ... well.

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.

    Now the question is, how many times has Mr Biden misspoken policy, in his career?

    Seemingly well beyond the required amount for his rhetorical ramblings to have specific meanings, as to future US actions.

    But yes, the US has been dissed by those pesky Israeli, yet again.

    ReplyDelete
  19. rufus said...
    Okay, so our last job over there is running protection for Karzai's Opium racket, right. Let's get the troops out of Iraq, wrap up the strong-arm hustle in Afpakistan, and boogy.

    and while we are at it?

    Cut the 1 billion a year to Lebanon's military, cut the transfer of 10's of thousands of palestinians from iraq to Los Angeles, cut the 987 million a year we give Fatah in economic aid, cut the 800 million in economic aid to gaza, cut the 2 billion a year we give to egypt in economic aid....

    and while we are at it not a dime in economic aid for israel either!


    Then let's let China provide oil tanker security in the middle east since they import more of the black crude than us....

    and let's pull our troops out of japan, europe and close turkey's base down...

    save a bundle...

    ReplyDelete
  20. rat:
    But yes, the US has been dissed by those pesky Israeli, yet again.



    Yep how dare they actually build homes in a Jewish area of Jerusalem that in fact was agreed by the palestinians to never be part of a palestinian state...

    Those pesky israelis actually having the gaul not to bow down to Biden...

    lol..

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  21. Biden said ties between Israel and the United States were “unshakeable.”

    - dear host

    Which would indicate to me that his intended audience was neither Americans or Israelis.

    ReplyDelete
  22. In part because that relationship has been through the wash so many times that on its face it's comical.

    ReplyDelete
  23. trish said...
    In part because that relationship has been through the wash so many times that on its face it's comical.


    No Israeli doubts the deep and sincere relationship that exists between America and Israel.

    Israel and it's people do not trust Obama and his plans.

    Obama is voting "present" when it comes to Iran and that is making the enemies of the USA stronger and is making our allies distrustful.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The Palis cannot "agree" to anything.

    They are not a State.

    They are an occupied people that have no legal standing to agree to anything put forward by the illegal occupiers.

    So any past "agreement" that was never ratified by an independent Pali State, it has no standing in international affairs.
    Such an agreement, it violates the essence of the Geneva Accords. It cannot be legally ratified.

    ReplyDelete
  25. So are we to assume that if Israel decides to go to war with Iran, the US, on cruise control, follows? No need to bother Congress, all in.

    ReplyDelete
  26. If Israel wants to attack Iran, that is on Israel for better or worse.

    If the Administration decides it needs to attack Iran, then it needs to go to congress.

    Is Obama so weak that he would use Israel going to war as cover to join them?

    ReplyDelete
  27. desert rat said...
    The Palis cannot "agree" to anything.

    They are not a State.

    They are an occupied people that have no legal standing to agree to anything put forward by the illegal occupiers.

    So any past "agreement" that was never ratified by an independent Pali State, it has no standing in international affairs.
    Such an agreement, it violates the essence of the Geneva Accords. It cannot be legally ratified.



    Great point Rat...

    Then there is nothing to talk about..

    Israel should do whatever it wants since no matter what it does, according to you, it is an illegal action and occupation..

    So I am on your side, Israel should expel all arabs from gaza and west bank and occupy it....

    Then Israel would be, as you suggest, "illegal occupiers"..

    in the end your label only can inflict "guilt" once...

    If Israel is an illegal "occupier" for today, they can't be accused of being a "illegal occupier double down times infinity".

    Such nonsense...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Deuce said...
    So are we to assume that if Israel decides to go to war with Iran, the US, on cruise control, follows? No need to bother Congress, all in.


    Looking at history it aint the 1st time America screwed the pooch when it comes to Israel...

    Read about how LBJ COULD have prevented the 1967 war but due to domestic strain and vietnam choose NOT to uphold American treaty obligations with Israel (straits of titran)...

    War is an out of control chess game...

    If Israel hits Iran, America could be setting up their innocence.

    Israel hit Iraq and got AMERICA rebuke (and the world as well) in the UN

    Israel hit Syria's nuke plant 2 years ago and America did not get blamed....

    It is very possible that Israel hits Iran and America is not dragged into war. And it will be telling to see if hamas, hezbollah and syria stand with iran....

    interesting times

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  29. "Obama is voting 'present' when it comes to Iran..."

    Here is where you and I, and I suppose any number of deeply skeptical Israelis, part ways.

    Biden reiterated this administration's commitment to an Iran without nuclear weapons capability.

    It's as unequivocal a statement as one can make on the subject.

    When the last administration said it - and they meant it - it was somewhat easier because they gathered that though the clock is ticking, time was still in their favor.

    Given the events of the past year, this is no longer taken to be the case.

    ReplyDelete
  30. rufus said...
    Okay, so our last job over there is running protection for Karzai's Opium racket, right. Let's get the troops out of Iraq, wrap up the strong-arm hustle in Afpakistan, and boogy.

    and while we are at it?

    Cut the 1 billion a year to Lebanon's military, cut the transfer of 10's of thousands of palestinians from iraq to Los Angeles, cut the 987 million a year we give Fatah in economic aid, cut the 800 million in economic aid to gaza, cut the 2 billion a year we give to egypt in economic aid....

    and while we are at it not a dime in economic aid for israel either!


    Then let's let China provide oil tanker security in the middle east since they import more of the black crude than us....

    and let's pull our troops out of japan, europe and close turkey's base down...

    save a bundle...



    Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, and yep.

    Done.

    Can I haz a cookie?

    ReplyDelete
  31. trish: Biden reiterated this administration's commitment to an Iran without nuclear weapons capability.

    It's as unequivocal a statement as one can make on the subject.




    And what will be the penalty when Tel Aviv goes red in the middle of the night?

    Obama will bow and say sorry?

    The problem with Obama's presidency is that he is untrustworthy as an ally.

    Just ask Poland, Honduras, Columbia, Israel to name a few...

    Iran is quickly ramping up and Obama's unclenched hand has been met with by fists..

    Mere words spoken by Biden and Obama are losing face value faster than a downhill skier...

    The old joke about lawyers is now being spread about obama and company...

    How do you know when Obama and company are lying?

    When they move their lips...

    ReplyDelete
  32. "And what will be the penalty when Tel Aviv goes red in the middle of the night?"

    Oh, something that will satisfy no one except those who got it done.

    ReplyDelete
  33. We could go back and forth on this all day.

    In the end, one of us will be wrong.

    We're not likely to convince one another in the meantime.

    ReplyDelete
  34. First "Bullish" EIA Report in a while. We're still continuing to ramp up our gasoline use. The last few reports have gone frome 8.6 million barrels of gasoline supplied/day (up from about 8.4 mbpd a couple of months, ago,) to 8.7mbpd, 8.8 mbpd, to last weeks 8.9 million bpd.

    Looks like unleaded wholesale will got to $2.30, today which translates out to about $3.00 gal at the pump (if it holds for a couple of weeks.)

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  35. And Colombia - with two o's - has seen the expansion of its defense relationship with the US under this admin and is undertaking accordingly a significant defense infrastructure build.

    That baby didn't come about independent of the WH.

    ReplyDelete
  36. trish said...
    And Colombia - with two o's - has seen the expansion of its defense relationship with the US under this admin and is undertaking accordingly a significant defense infrastructure build.

    That baby didn't come about independent of the WH.



    Well there ya go, Colombia is on the right track and you would know that better than I.

    As for israel and iran?

    I dont trust this current president to to anything helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Meanwhile, you can still buy a gallon of "unsubsidized" ethanol on the CBOT for $1.60.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I dont trust this current president to to anything helpful.

    Wed Mar 10, 11:18:00 AM EST

    Well, like I said. We'll see.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Looking at history it aint the 1st time America screwed the pooch when it comes to Israel...

    Read about how LBJ COULD have prevented the 1967 war but due to domestic strain and vietnam choose NOT to uphold American treaty obligations with Israel (straits of titran)..."


    The implication being what? That Isreal has been a constant and totally reliable ally?

    You might want to revisit the Levon Affair from a decade earlier which involved sins of commission as opposed to sins of ommission.

    I do agree with the following though,

    "The problem with Obama's presidency is that he is untrustworthy as an ally."

    Current US foreign policy appears inconsistant. Many policy decisions appear to be made on an ad hoc basis. Unfortunately, when talking foreign policy, to say that you are "flexible" isn't always a good thing.

    Even when things go right, one questions how much credit to give to the WH or State. For instance, in Columbia, the administration is persuing policies that were started under Clinton and continued under Bush. Do we credit the WH or Uribe for the progress there? The lack of the trade agreement isn't helpful either.

    Or what of NK? The WH is doing exactly the right thing there. They are basically ignoring NK and allowing it to stew until it is willing to come to terms on the nuclear issue. But is this out of design, or is it because the administration has bigger fish to fry at the moment?

    Over the past year, US diplomats have on any number of occasions looked like amatuers. I asssume part of that is because they have some new people there. But one would expect more consistency from one administration to another and key players such as Biden, Mitchell, and Gates have been around the block a few times.


    .

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  40. quirk: Read about how LBJ COULD have prevented the 1967 war but due to domestic strain and vietnam choose NOT to uphold American treaty obligations with Israel (straits of titran)..."

    The implication being what? That Isreal has been a constant and totally reliable ally?

    You might want to revisit the Levon Affair from a decade earlier which involved sins of commission as opposed to sins of ommission.




    Well "Isreal" doesn't exist.

    Israel does.

    As for reliable ally, the point was and IS that in 1967 the USA, screwed the pooch and let Israel hang out to dry...

    Obama is closely following the same pattern (for different reasons and motives) of screwing the pooch...

    If you would like to discuss Israel and her spying in Egypt on some point that it actually relates help yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm loving it. The jackals are now at each others throats.

    Just watching CNBC.

    It appears the insurance companies are telling their investors not to worry about losses from the bubble. They say they plan to use recision to deny bank claims.

    The banks are suing to collect.

    The insurance companies are counter-suing and accusing the banks of malfeasance.

    It doesn't get much better than this.

    Now if we could figure out a way of pulling the rating agencies into the middle of this it would be great.


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  42. "If you would like to discuss Israel and her spying in Egypt on some point that it actually relates help yourself."

    Spying in Egypt?

    Israel bombed US and British assets in an attempt to cause conflict between those two countries and the Muslim Brotherhood.

    From Conservapedia:

    "Operation Susannah

    Operation Susannah was a false flag operation conducted in 1954 by Israeli operatives in Egypt against American and British targets, designed to appear as though Egyptian Arabs had carried out the attacks. Israeli agents had infiltrated Egyptian society and recruited Egyptian-born Jews to carry out the operation. The U.S. Information Agency libraries in Alexandria and Cairo as well as a British-owned theater were bombed on July 14, 1954.

    "No injuries or casualties occurred during the bombings, except to one of the operatives, when his bomb exploded prematurely. Egyptian authorities uncovered the operation, initially not realizing it was an Israeli operation. After the Israeli spy ring was broken up, trials followed. Two suspects were acquitted, while two culprits were hanged, and several others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. One or two other operatives committed suicide.

    "Israeli defense minister Pinhas Lavon was forced to resign in 1955. Consequently, the aftermath of Operation Susannah is often called The Levon Affair...

    "On March 30, 2005 IDF, Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Moshe Ya’alon presented official citations to the three surviving agents and to representatives of those deceased, saying: "This is historic justice for those who were sent on a mission on behalf of the state and became the victims of a complex political affair."[6]


    The Levon Affair

    You where the one initially going back four decades to make a point. One I don't necessarily disagree with. However, what I also took from your statement was the implication that Israel, unlike America, was some kind of paragon of constancy and integrity in foreign policy. If that wasn't implied in your statement fine. Sorry.

    Israel, like most countries including the US, is going to do whatever they perceive is in their national interest. Sometimes it's not pretty.


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  43. I would rather my tax money was spent giving health care to Americans, and putting two ethanol stills in every county.

    ReplyDelete
  44. More arguing between the Court and the Executive.

    "To the extent the State of the Union has degenerated into a political pep rally, I'm not sure why we're there," Roberts said.

    "He didn't slam Mr. Obama for singling out the Court, as some have done. He said people have a right to criticize the Court if they disagree with a decision.

    "I have no problems with that," Roberts said. "On the other hand, there is the issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum. The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court - according the requirements of protocol - has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling."


    Continuing Back-and-Forth

    .

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  45. "According to local lore, Portuguese travelers as far back as the late 19th century suspected that oil might lie beneath parts of East Africa after noticing a thick, greasy sediment wash up on the shores of Mozambique. More interested in finding cheap labor, though, the explorers had little use for oil.

    "A century later, it turns out that the Portuguese were right. Seismic tests over the past 50 years have shown that countries up the coast of East Africa have natural gas in abundance. Early data compiled by industry consultants also suggest the presence of massive offshore oil deposits."



    Is East Africa the Next Frontier for Oil

    .

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  46. Deuce said:

    "No country should accept such a claim from another as credible."


    Deuce, I think that is precisely the message Israel sent: It is incredible. And given this Administration's rocking of the boat of such longtime "friends" as the UK only reinforces the incredibility of the entire foreign policy charade. The fact is, these people (Obamaites) are hopelessly out classed.

    Sorry, with due respect I cannot concede on the question of "fealty". If this were to any degree true, we wouldn't be having this conversation because the matters in question would have been determined in Israel's favor long ago. Moreover, another US administration wouldn't be sending over muscle to twist Jewish arms.

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  47. U.S. Sales Tax Rates Hit Record High


    Not as bad as the EU VAT, to be sure, but not helpful when "true" US unemployment is much above that alleged by the government.

    Where are the voices of sweet charity when it comes to the poor at the Wal-Mart register?

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  48. Budget deficit sets record in February


    "But the Congressional Budget Office last week put the 10-year total even higher at $9.8 trillion. Part of the reason for the $1.2 trillion difference is that the CBO is projecting slower economic growth and thus less tax revenues than the administration over the next decade."


    "In its report last week, the CBO predicted that the government debt held by investors would climb from $7.5 trillion at the end of last year to $20.3 trillion in 2020. CBO forecast that interest payments would more than quadruple from a projected $209 billion this year to $916 billion annually by the end of the decade."



    And we are going to grow our way out of this how?

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  49. World's Billionaires 2010


    China's Geely is buying Volvo. Why, that means I'm supporting Charlie Chi-Com!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I found this fascinating.

    At Foreign Policy Passport:

    What percentage of Americans are self-described isolationists?

    a) 18 percent b) 30 percent c) 49 percent

    Answer after the jump ...

    Answer:

    C, 49 percent. Isolationist sentiment in the United States has skyrocketed to the highest level in decades, according to an analysis of survey data by the Pew Research Center. In November, 49 percent of survey respondents agreed the United States should "mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own." That’s up from 42 percent in 2005, 30 percent in December 2002, and a mere 18 percent in 1964 (the earliest year with data available).

    Unilateralist sentiment is also at a high. Last fall, 44 percent of respondents agreed that because the United States "is the most powerful nation in the world, we should go our own way in international matters, not worrying about whether other countries agree with us or not." That's up from 25 percent in 2002, 34 percent in 1995, 29 percent in 1976, and 19 percent in 1964.

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  51. From a new Gallup Poll:

    Would you advise your representative in Congress to vote for or against a healthcare reform bill similar to the one proposed by President Obama?

    45% Vote for, 48% Vote against

    The survey of 1,014 adults was taken March 4-7. The margin of error was 4 percent.

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  52. If you want to make a few cents short the dollar, go long on Canadian dollars:
    OTTAWA (AFP) – The Canadian dollar, or loonie as it is affectionately called here, is likely to soar above parity with the US greenback this year, experts at a Canadian bank said Wednesday.

    Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada (CIBC) chief economist Avery Shenfeld said the Canadian dollar had already gained several cents in recent weeks as the market firms up expectations of an interest rate hike in July.

    If as expected, the central bank "is out in front of the US Federal Reserve by a couple of quarters" in raising interest rates, the Canadian dollar could reach 1.02 dollars versus the US dollar by September, before dipping back to 0.97 dollars by year end," Shenfeld said.

    The Bank of Canada has maintained its key lending rate at a historic low of 0.25 percent since April 2009 to help bolster a fragile economic recovery, but is widely expected to review its position mid-year.

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  53. What's up Mel? You doin' okay?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Now if we could figure out a way of pulling the rating agencies into the middle of this it would be great.

    It's Incredible how they've skated on this. Just Unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
  55. June or July last year I was watching an interview with some Aussie economic guru and he was saying Aussie dollar would reach parity with US mid '10.

    Mid '10. Perfect timing for my trip back.

    It's at .914 now.

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  56. The artist, Lars Vilks — who prosecutors said was the target of a murder plot involving an American woman who dubbed herself JihadJane — said in an interview that he had no regrets about the drawing, which deeply offended many Muslims.

    ...

    Mr. Vilks, who has disheveled gray hair and thick glasses, described his life as a movie plot.

    “It’s a good story,” he said. “It’s about the bad guys and a good guy, and they try to kill him.”


    Mock All Religions

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  57. I'm okay. I'm Just hanging out and doing a little stalking.

    Thanks for asking, Whit.

    But now that I have your attention, I have to tell you the funniest thing that just happened. Well, I think it's funny. My daughter just came home from work and I said, "By the way you left the back door open last night and your father was extremely mad this morning when he came down and it was cold and the heater was blasting."

    She said, "I didn't leave it open it probably was Ryan when he took out the recycling."

    "Well Ryan didn't take out the recycling last. Maybe it was your boyfriend while he was cooking at eleven last night."

    There was no answer and ten minutes after she went upstairs I got a text from her saying, "you left the door open last night and my father was mad."

    Oops, I guess she meant to send it to her boyfriend but sent it to me instead. Children should never underestimate their parents when they say, we'll find out one way or another. Because we always do.

    ReplyDelete
  58. There is nothing so holy you can’t offend it.


    "He also has an ax that he said he would use to confront anyone trying to climb through his home’s windows."

    "an ax"

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  59. "JihadJane"

    Ah, yes.

    JihadJane worked her way to the national agency level. The question having been, "Is she or isn't she?"

    ReplyDelete
  60. Were it me, just for CYA purposes at this point, I'd say, "Hell, yes she (or he) is!" Ditto everydamnedbody who crossed my desk.

    Just as well it's not me doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Haaretz:

    [...]

    Senior PA officials barely contained their satisfaction yesterday. While waiting for the start of Biden's press conference in Ramallah, a Palestinian reporter said the Palestinian people "thank Benjamin Netanyahu from the bottom of their hearts for the service he rendered to us." Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the PA welcomed the harsh international response to the Israeli decision.

    With the entire international community behind it, the PA is expected to demand, in preparation for the indirect talks with Israel, the withdrawal of the Ramat Shlomo plans as well as an Israeli promise not to build in East Jerusalem for the duration of the talks.

    Biden was confronted yesterday with a rather impressive show of Palestinian strength. In Ramallah and Bethlehem he saw signs of an economy recovering from the decade-long knockout punch dealt by the second intifada. He marveled at the level reached by the PA security forces under the tutelage of U.S. Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton.

    Above all, he heard the Palestinian president, Abbas, and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad speaking in a language the Americans love to hear: no to terror, yes to peace. In comparison it appeared that the Israeli government had caught what used to be called the "as if" policy of Yasser Arafat: declaring a freeze on construction with one hand and planning new building projects with the other.

    From the Israeli perspective, this embarrassing affair could have much more serious consequences. The main purpose of Biden's visit is to increase Israeli-U.S. coordination in the campaign against Iran's nuclear program. As things stand, the level of trust between Barack Obama and Netanyahu is low. If the prime minister proves once again that he can't be trusted not to embarrass the U.S. president when it comes to construction in Jerusalem and the settlements, how can they trust each other on Iran, where the issue of coordination is more critical?

    Three and a half months in, the settlement freeze is turning out to be more of a slowing down. With all the exceptions being made, its effect is limited and it appears to be mainly a demonstration of Israel's willingness to offer concessions to expedite the renewal of negotiations. The total disappearance of the settlers' protests against the freeze, which they originally described as a disaster, testifies to the actual state of things.

    Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi heard about the flap with Biden while in the United States to speak at the annual gala dinner of American Friends of the IDF, in New York. He was also there to tighten his already close relations with the U.S. military establishment.

    The main threat to world peace, he told his audience in New York, is Iran. In stopping that country's nuclear program, he said that "all options should remain on the table."

    It was a success: With Ashkenazi as the drawing card, $20 million was raised in one night - money that will benefit Israeli soldiers. The commander in chief's decision to reprise the feat in Miami shows, one hopes, that the tensions with Hezbollah on Israel's northern border have eased a bit. U.S. officers visiting Israel this week, meanwhile, voiced surprise: With U.S. security aid of $3 billion a year, why does Israel have to send its chief of staff abroad to do fundraising?

    ReplyDelete
  62. And the CBO score for the new HCR proposal is due out within a day.

    ReplyDelete
  63. And Gates is off doing some damned thing, which may or not be quite the thing advertised.


    But it's definitely Iran week.

    ReplyDelete
  64. JEALOUS Nicolas Sarkozy ordered Carla Bruni to end a holiday with her alleged lover and chartered a plane to guarantee she came home, it is claimed.

    ...

    But the lovers are now reported to be living together in the capital. And Sarkozy, 55, is said to be having his own fling with environment minister Chantal Jouanno.

    ...

    A spokesman for Mrs Jouanno, 40, said she was "scandalised by this rumour".


    Holiday with Lover

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  65. I don't mean to appear unsophisticated but, really, what is it with the French?

    ReplyDelete
  66. ONE OF THE PROBLEM IN ISRAEL THAT ISRAEL AFRAID FROM UNITED STATE THAT IN MANY CASES HAS DIFFERENT INTEREST THE ISRAELI DOING BASIC MISTAKE NOT STANDING UP AGAINST UNITED STATE SOONER OR LATER . UNITED STATE WILL TURN THE BACK ON ISRAEL . WE THE ISRAELI HAS TO LEAVE OUR LAND BECAUSE THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT GIVE UP THE BROUGHT US TO ISRAEL TO SUFFER . NO LAND NO HOUSES . UNITED STATE AND EUROPEAN INTERFEAR IN ISRAEL AFFAIR . JOE BIDEN DONT HAVE THE RIGHT TO COME TO ISRAEAL AND TELL US WHAT TO DO . YOU THE ISRAELI ARE "CHICKEN " AND CORRUPTED . I WILL GIVE BACK YOUR $ 4 BILLION MR AMERICA THE BUY US AND DESTROY MANY ISRAEL LIFE MR NATNUHO GET OUT FROM YOUR POST AS PRIME MINSTER . WE HAVE TO STAND UP TO THE TERRORIST AND PEPLE LIKE JIMMY CARTER AND JOE BIDEN . WHICH SUPPORT THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL .
    I POSTED BEFORE AND I KNOW FAIR WELL AMERICA ISNT FIEND OF ISRAEL ALSO THE EUROPEAN . THIS CHANGING THE LAW IN ISRAEL JUST DESTROY ISRAEL FURTHER FOR DESTNCTION . I EVEN COOL OF ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ISRAEL AND AMERICA . DEFINITELY I WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS DIRTY MONEY THAT USA BUY US WITH CORRUPTED 4 BILLION DOLLAR A YEAR .
    THE END OF ISRAEL IS COMING . IF THE CANNOT STAND ON THEIR OWN .
    ARE THE CORRUPTED USA WITH 10 TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT . GO TO EGYPT AND AND TELL THEM THE DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT ON THE LAND . THE ISRAELI HAVE TO REPLACE THIS GOVERNMENT . THAT THEY ARE ANTI ISRAELI .
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    ONE THING WORT NOTING THAT ISRAELI GOVERMNT IS BUNCH OF CROCK AND THIVES .SAME LIKE USA GOVERMENT BUNCH OF CROCK AND THIVES.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
    all this is only another war to destroy Israel we beat the Arab fair and square . this Arab murder try different tactic . and use USA to destroy Israel with help of another terrorist Mr "jemmy carter" yes people like him and un and other look like peace people but actually the are terrorist. we will give up building home on wet land in Jerusalem .
    what next ???????......

    ReplyDelete