Obama and the Settlements: Narcissistic Patterns?

One of the characteristics of a narcissist is that, being deeply in need of approval but not feeling they deserve it, they try endlessly to get the approval of those who don’t give it — i.e., those who see through them and need, therefore to be won over — and show contempt for those who like them because they are stupid enough to be fooled by their show and not see how worthless they are deep inside. So the classic narcissistic pattern is to suck up to enemies and dump on friends.

On the other hand, there are just people who are cowards, and suck up to people who might hurt them and dump on people they can depend on not to.

What’s going on here? Narcissism or cowardice? (HT/Steven Antler)

The Settlements Myth
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, June 5, 2009

President Obama repeatedly insists that American foreign policy be conducted with modesty and humility. Above all, there will be no more “dictating” to other countries. We should “forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions,” he told the G-20 summit. In Middle East negotiations, he told al-Arabiya, America will henceforth “start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating.”

An admirable sentiment. It applies to everyone — Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, even Venezuela. Except Israel. Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton imperiously explained the diktat: “a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.”

What’s the issue? No “natural growth” means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining. It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them — not even within the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that. The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns — even before negotiations.

To what end? Over the past decade, the U.S. government has understood that any final peace treaty would involve Israel retaining some of the close-in settlements — and compensating the Palestinians accordingly with land from within Israel itself.

That was envisioned in the Clinton plan in the Camp David negotiations in 2000, and again at Taba in 2001. After all, why expel people from their homes and turn their towns to rubble when, instead, Arabs and Jews can stay in their homes if the 1949 armistice line is shifted slightly into the Palestinian side to capture the major close-in Jewish settlements, and then shifted into Israeli territory to capture Israeli land to give to the Palestinians?

This idea is not only logical, not only accepted by both Democratic and Republican administrations for the past decade, but was agreed to in writing in the letters of understanding exchanged between Israel and the United States in 2004 — and subsequently overwhelmingly endorsed by a concurrent resolution of Congress.

Yet the Obama State Department has repeatedly refused to endorse these agreements or even say it will honor them. This from a president who piously insists that all parties to the conflict honor previous obligations. And who now expects Israel to accept new American assurances in return for concrete and irreversible Israeli concessions, when he himself has just cynically discarded past American assurances.

The entire “natural growth” issue is a concoction. Is the peace process moribund because a teacher in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is making an addition to her house to accommodate new grandchildren? It is perverse to make this the center point of the peace process at a time when Gaza is run by Hamas terrorists dedicated to permanent war with Israel and when Mahmoud Abbas, having turned down every one of Ehud Olmert’s peace offers, brazenly declares that he is in a waiting mode — waiting for Hamas to become moderate and for Israel to cave — before he’ll do anything to advance peace.

In his much-heralded “Muslim world” address in Cairo yesterday, Obama declared that the Palestinian people’s “situation” is “intolerable.” Indeed it is, the result of 60 years of Palestinian leadership that gave its people corruption, tyranny, religious intolerance and forced militarization; leadership that for three generations rejected every offer of independence and dignity, choosing destitution and despair rather than accept any settlement not accompanied by the extinction of Israel.

That’s why Haj Amin al-Husseini chose war rather than a two-state solution in 1947. Why Yasser Arafat turned down a Palestinian state in 2000. And why Abbas rejected Olmert’s even more generous December 2008 offer.

In the 16 years since the Oslo accords turned the West Bank and Gaza over to the Palestinians, their leaders built no roads, no courthouses, no hospitals, none of the fundamental state institutions that would relieve their people’s suffering. Instead they poured everything into an infrastructure of war and terror, all the while depositing billions (from gullible Western donors) into their Swiss bank accounts.

Obama says he came to Cairo to tell the truth. But he uttered not a word of that. Instead, among all the bromides and lofty sentiments, he issued but one concrete declaration of new American policy: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” thus reinforcing the myth that Palestinian misery and statelessness are the fault of Israel and the settlements.

Blaming Israel and picking a fight over “natural growth” may curry favor with the Muslim “street.” But it will only induce the Arab states to do like Abbas: sit and wait for America to deliver Israel on a platter. Which makes the Obama strategy not just dishonorable but self-defeating.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com

132 Responses to Obama and the Settlements: Narcissistic Patterns?

  1. Jamie Holts says:

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work :)

  2. Stuart Green says:

    One of the most remarkable things about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and perceptions thereof, is that Israel conquered Gaza and the West Bank in a war that was started by the other side for the expressed purpose of political and genocidal annihilation. How can that be so completely forgotten? Who today talks about giving Germany back its lost territory? How can moral calculus so radically shift? Have people really forgotten the circumstances or do they just pretend to for other reasons?

    Let us not forget that 1) it is remarkable and a reflection of incredible moral strength that the Palestinians were largely allowed to remain, especially given the circumstances and 2) it is remarkable that they are still allowed to stay, despite ever increasing radicalization.

    Am I advocating population transfer? No. But come on, folks, let’s start trumpeting how Israel is the abnormally righteous exception to the historical rule, and demand how people can support genocidal intentions in good conscience.

    Unbelievable.

  3. Stuart Green says:

    Sorry about the italics. I clearly have not mastered them yet.

  4. Cynic says:

    Stuart,

    Maybe you forgot the / to close the italics? One opens with the i between the arrow brackets and closes the quote with a /i between arrow brackets.

    How can moral calculus so radically shift? Have people really forgotten the circumstances or do they just pretend to for other reasons?

    No just the time worn racist discrimination using torture – holding the Jews to a standard that nobody else is able to uphold all for the pleasure of having a reason to bash them.
    Waterboarding is nothing on the psychological accomplished over time.

  5. Michelle Schatzman says:

    I read O’s speech yesterday and found it very, very, very strange. A preacher’s speech, not a politician’s. And the Holy Coran and the Holy Bible and the Holy Torah.

    OK, I have to reread it. I thought that G.W. Bush was accused of mixing his religion with politics. What about BHO?

    As I said previously, I am no fan of the ideological settlers. There has been a long and interesting question on this topic, I learnt quite a few things, and I do not want to come back to it. But, the contradiction pointed out by Krauthammer is quite to the point. It was completely clear that final borders would be moved somewhat so as to accomodate large blocks of implantations, and land would be given in exchange to the Palestinians.

    So, “pacta sunt servanda”, except when they get in the way.

    RL : I’m so glad you posted something new on your page. I was sick of having Croquemichelle watching me. Isn’t she an ugly, disgusting thing?

    :-)

  6. obsy says:

    Oh boy, we are in trouble!

    Dalia Mogahed is an advisor of Obama.
    Have a look at what EoZ has to say about her:

    Mogahed works for the Gallup organization, and last year co-wrote a book called “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.”

    She knowingly and deceptively cooked the numbers to make it appear as though a much smaller percentage of Muslims support terror and justified 9/11. She wrote articles claiming that her research showed that “only” 7% of Muslims were “radical” when her own numbers showed that over one third of Muslims found 9/11 to be either completely, mostly or partially justified.

    Her reputation as an objective expert gives her all sorts of prestige and influence, yet she has been proven to be a fraud in interpreting her own data.

    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2009/06/obamas-deceptive-muslim-advisor.html

    Because Americas relationship to Islam is on Obama’s top priority, I assume that he hired her knowingly. This study made big news at its time and Obama is certainly in a position to scan his employees in his favorite policy issue well enough.

    I have no doubts anymore. I believe that Obama isn’t just incompetent, but that his inexperience is convenient distraction from his evil mindset. Too much has been attributed to his stupidity.

  7. obsy says:

    Obama says he came to Cairo to tell the truth. But he uttered not a word of that. Instead, among all the bromides and lofty sentiments, he issued but one concrete declaration of new American policy

    Surprise, surprise!

  8. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    Apparently Obama’s advisor also forgot to brief him that the great millenary university (Al Azhar) he praised in his speech there discriminates against non-Moslem students. Egyptian Copts included.

  9. E.G. says:

    I hardly appreciate the false symmetries Mr. O draws: between the Arabs of Palestine and American slaves, between pacifying the Moslems and paying respect to dead Jews… The Buchenwald visit has largely been interpreted as a gesture to Israel! Confirming the wild cog-war notion that Israel was created to compensate for the Shoah.

  10. obsy says:

    My favorite comments on Obama’s speech:

    Dave notes that Obama does reference to palestinian “resistance through violence and killing” rather than terrorism

    http://www.israellycool.com/2009/06/04/the-day-in-israel-thurs-june-4th-2009/

    The Elder comments this part,
    Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding.,
    of Obama’s Speech very well:

    Is he comparing Palestinian Arabs to slaves???? And Israelis to white slaveowners????

    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2009/06/quick-notes-on-obamas-speech.html

    Which perfectly fits perfectly an observation that a commentator (“Zathras”) made at lynch.foreignpolicy.com:

    President Obama’s speech was billed as an address to Muslims and ended up mostly as an address to Arabs only.

    Obama is more a race type of guy.
    That is the conflict he knows.
    And when the only tool you know is a hammer – anything looks like a nail.

  11. obsy says:

    E.G.,

    maybe it was hard to find an Egyptian university that does not.

    The Buchenwald part of the speech was the most startling to me too:

    Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today.

    Is this delivering the message that Muslims have to get along with Israeli Jews?

  12. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    Yesterday’s speech (and the part you cite) only gave the tone for today’s act. Moslems Thursday, Jews Friday, Europe Saturday…
    For each his due :-(

    Buchenwald was actually a multi-ethnic concentration main camp, in control of some forced-labour dependent ones.

  13. Observer says:

    Of course it is the ideological settlers, those who clearly are “appropriating” land from the Palestinians, who are the problem.

    Diverting all conversation to the natural growth areas is a childish ploy no different than the dissembling of Palestinians.

    I personally have no sympathy for the Palestinians. They richly deserve what they bring upon themselves year after year.

    Nevertheless the ideological settlers, the land thieves, must be rolled back. What some of you seem not to perceive is that this is Obama’s standard “rope a dope” tactic – call the opposing party out on that which they claim is the real problem, and force them either to admit truth or publicly accept responsibility and the consequences.

    He is calling out the Palestinians and the Arab dictators. And he is also calling out Netanyahu, who as we should all recall from the last time he was in office took great glee in land grabs under the barest pretense of “natural growth”.

    No one need quibble over Jerusalem or territory clearly within the 1967 borders. All that outside – well then, until Israel can accept their blame they undercut those like myself who are happy to face down world pressure on every other topic.

  14. E.G. says:

    Observer,

    You’d better anchor your judgements to facts.
    There is no such thing as 1967 borders. On June 4, 1967, there were only 1949 ceasefire lines – not recognised (esp. by Arab countries) borders.
    I know I should apologise for the Israeli failure to lose the 6-day war and the ones that followed, but I do find it a bit odd to ask forgiveness for not having been slaughtered.

    And what’s the sense of distinguishing “ideological” from other settlers? Ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank, just like it happened in the Gaza strip, means all should leave.

  15. Eliyahu says:

    As EG pointed out, Observer, Israel had no borders pre-1967, only armistice lines [1949]. Moreover, all of Judea-Samaria and Gaza were parts of the Jewish National Home juridically erected by international law [San Remo 1920, League of Nations 1922, confirmed by the UN charter 1946, etc]. The partition plan proposal of 11-29-1947 was only a recommendation, as are all General Assembly resolutions].

  16. obsy says:

    Observer: He is calling out the Palestinians and the Arab dictators.

    Is he?

    He could do that on all the promises that Palestinians have given and never kept. There is no need for another one.

    Do you also want to suggest that Obama is just calling out Iran, so that he can justify the destruction of their bomb better when they continue to refuse?

  17. obsy says:

    I find it disturbing that more and more the Jewish settlers are presented as the obstacle to Jewish wellbeing.

    I guess it also is a morality scope issue.
    The settlers are to Jews what the Jews are to Westerners.

    I fear a settler with a stick has more potential to cause hatred in a Jew than a Palestinian with a rocket. At least when no immediate threat is perceived.

  18. noah says:

    Obama’s twisted Middle East policy, cemented in yesterday’s Cairo speech (buttering up Iran and bullying Israel) reminds me a lot of an exchange Homer Simpson had with Bart after he bought Lisa a pony:

    Bart: Hey, how come Lisa gets a pony?
    Homer: Because she stopped loving me.
    Bart: I don’t love you either, so give me a moped.
    Homer: Well, I know you love me, so you don’t get squat. Hee hee hee.

  19. oao says:

    What’s going on here? Narcissism or cowardice

    both. plus ignorance.

    How can that be so completely forgotten?

    because history has nothing to do with attitudes towards the conflict. i mean, if they ignore declared genocidal actions TODAY, why should they consider almost 50 years’?

    Am I advocating population transfer?

    it will be either that or internal war.

    holding the Jews to a standard that nobody else is able to uphold all for the pleasure of having a reason to bash them.

    not really, but just to distract from and obscure the very fact that they cannot hold themselves to anything like what they require of jews.

    I thought that G.W. Bush was accused of mixing his religion with politics. What about BHO?

    you gotta be kidding — you really believe alibama has anything else in him other than “blame bush”? he probably doesn’t even know or understand bush policies that he bashes and he bashes them while adopting them as his own.

    Oh boy, we are in trouble!

    we were in trouble when he was elected. and you ain’t seen nothing yet. shrilary has invited a US muslim brotherhood connected jihad supporter to a phone conference on what attitudes towards muslims should be.

    The Buchenwald visit has largely been interpreted as a gesture to Israel!

    ALL his gestured are empty — all he cares about is himself. isn’t that what narcissism is about?

    maybe it was hard to find an Egyptian university that does not.

    i would say impossible.

    until Israel can accept their blame they undercut those like myself who are happy to face down world pressure on every other topic.

    such a reasonable man, but such a poor observer.

    I find it disturbing that more and more the Jewish settlers are presented as the obstacle to Jewish wellbeing.

    as a militant atheists i don’t particularly care for the fanatic settlers. but i am glad they’re there to give those pals a run for their money. they’re a pretty good bargaining chip. had it not been for them i can practically guarantee that barak, olmert and livni would have ensured missile rockets from the WB.

    I fear a settler with a stick has more potential to cause hatred in a Jew than a Palestinian with a rocket.

    a religious fanatic is a religious fanatic is a religious fanatic.

    Obama’s twisted Middle East policy, cemented in yesterday’s Cairo speech (buttering up Iran and bullying Israel) reminds me a lot of an exchange Homer Simpson had with Bart after he bought Lisa a pony:

    that’s what affirmative action will get you.

  20. oao says:

    Here’s alibama for you:

    Obama touts ties to Chicago Muslims that led to campaign flap
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0609/Obama_touts_work_with_Chicagoarea_Muslims.html

  21. oao says:

    one of the best reviews of the speech:

    FRUM BLOGS THE PRESIDENT’S CAIRO SPEECH
    http://newmajority.com/ShowScroll.aspx?ID=009a9e96-37c7-4180-b4b6-b4fc8b935528

    here’s LGF on settlements:

    It’s a phenomenon that psychologists call “displacement” — the real problem (Arab rejection of Israel’s right to exist) is so difficult and unworkable that blame is displaced to an easier target (the settlements).

  22. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Buchenwald and different interpretations:
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/hazony/68621

    as a militant atheists
    Are you using home-made rockets or stones? When will you be graduating into an activist?

  23. oao says:

    but even alibama could not take shit from the press:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/06/023733.php

  24. oao says:

    EU may join Obama in Israel beat down
    http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed1/idUSTRE55478Q20090605

    The end of the American strategic alliance with Israel?
    http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2009/06/end-of-american-strategic-alliance-with.html

    Obama’s Arabian dreams
    By Caroline B. Glick
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0609/glick060509.php3

    I’m Bearish On Obama’s Middle East Policy..and Here’s Why
    http://theeprovocateur.blogspot.com/2009/06/im-bearish-on-obamas-middle-east.html

  25. oao says:

    Are you using home-made rockets or stones? When will you be graduating into an activist?

    you actually observed it in my posts here.
    militancy does not mean violence.

  26. E.G. says:

    I was referring to the common denomination of our “friends” in the media. Better get another term to describe your acts. Dump resistant and youth too (although you qualify for both, in contemporary Newspeak). How about “Reason Mujahid”?

  27. E.G. says:

    oao,

    I’d be very interested to read from you on my #36 in the”Honour-shame” thread.

  28. Cynic says:

    oao,

    From your Frum link above:

    Yet here is an American president intervening in an internal Muslim debate – and not only intervening, but intervening on the more reactionary side!>/i>

    Because at heart, after all that Muslim interaction as a child etc., he is a Muslim?

  29. Cynic says:

    Forgot to change the language setting. Ooops!

    [I]t is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit

    So honour killings, murder of apostates, stoning to death, severing limbs etc., must not be criticized or prevented?

    but quite OK to impede Christians and Jews from doing their own thing?

  30. oao says:

    How about “Reason Mujahid”

    contradiction in terms?

    I’d be very interested to read from you on my #36 in the”Honour-shame” thread.

    you noticed i stayed away from that thread. it’s usually intentional, but i’ll take a quick look at that specific post.

    Because at heart, after all that Muslim interaction as a child etc., he is a Muslim?

    he feels their pain just like clinton felt ours: iow, not much. he was not a muslim in election, he is a muslim now. he can be anybody when he wants to, or iow he is nobody, just like spengler called it. he is not “like a god” like evan thomas called it.

    So honour killings, murder of apostates, stoning to death, severing limbs etc., must not be criticized or prevented? but quite OK to impede Christians and Jews from doing their own thing?

    let’s ignore those minor details, for convenience. the guy is a morally empty vociferous ignoramus.

  31. oao says:

    re your #6: the difference between reason and non-reason.
    guess on whose side morality is?

    i am currently reading Matt Ridley’s THE ORIGINS OF VIRTUE. looks like i am not alone in my evolutionary concept of morals: others, more knowledgeable than me have it and in a much more grounded way than my common-sensical way.

    in that context i would say that Reda is evolved and the others are still in the 7th century.

  32. oao says:

    Mark Steyn’s take

    Steyn is always better than most. looks like i’m not the only one who sees alibama as an indicator of the collapse of america and the west.

    Let anybody tell him he’s pessimistic rather than realistic. Anybody? Michelle?

  33. oao says:

    The ordeal of Omaha Beach
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/06/023740.php

    more evidence in for steyn’s argument as well as for my education collapse argument and, specifically, my distinction between education and schooling.

  34. oao says:

    another good one:

    The politics of self-abasement
    By Christopher Caldwell
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f7fdccfc-5209-11de-b986-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

    Note that caldwell refers to alibama’s intention:

    President Obama seeks a “new beginning” to US-Muslim relations through frank self-examination and mutual respect.

    but anybody who knows and understand the most basics about islam is that if there is anything that muslims are incapable of is self-examination and mutual respect.

  35. oao says:

    I made a comment above re alibama’s reply to brokaw’s question. barry rubin proves that there is a more important way to look at it:

    Obama at Buchenwald: The problem Isn’t admitting past mass murder of Jews but preventing new ones
    By Barry Rubin
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/06/obama-at-buchenwald-problem-isnt.html

  36. E.G. says:

    oao,

    On Obama-planet oxymorons are a must.
    And your absence is conspicuous. While you’re on the other thread, look at #14.

    Re- Steyn, my left leaning friends noticed the mediocrity trend (they’re bright to brilliant persons) and blame… Buuuuuu.

  37. oao says:

    and now this:

    Charles Jacobs: Islamophobia-phobia
    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2009/06/charles-jacobs-islamophobia-phobia/index.shtml

    further sign of where america is headed.

  38. E.G. says:

    Obama at Buchenwald: The problem Isn’t admitting past mass murder of Jews but preventing new one

    What a shame that such a trivial thing needs to be explicitly written!

  39. oao says:

    read rubin on jihadi perception of obama’s gestures and then read this:

    http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&F12E11F2E98B9163C22575CD003DEFE9

    i would say pretty good, ain’t it?

  40. oao says:

    3 more good comments:

    America’s First Postmodern Presidency
    by Victor Davis Hanson
    http://supportyourlocalgunfighter.com/2009/06/ida-ljungqvist-playmate-thief/

    The Cairo disaster
    By David Warren, Ottawa Citizen
    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Cairo%20disaster/1667297/story.html

    Jon Voight: For all the protecting we’ve provided it, shouldn’t the Muslim world should be humbling itself towards America (not the other way around)?
    http://www.democracybroadcastingnews.com/2009/06/jon-voight-for-all-liberating-weve.html

  41. Sophia says:

    Can we be practical for a second and stop panicking about The Decline And Fall?

    On the settlements: I think Marty Peretz at The New Republic summed this up well – there are settlements and there are settlements and there is a distinct difference between towns and suburbs that are a part of Israel now, and settlements populated by people who have been violently aggressive toward Palestinian Arabs.

    Before we all hit the panic switch shouldn’t we calmly assess this situation?

    What is the goal here? How many of us really believe that Palestinian Arabs have no rights? How many of us – however wary we may be of security issues – actually believe the stateless Palestinian Arabs don’t require a home – just as Jews do – and that we, if we are indeed civilized – should be trying to help them?

    I agree that conflating the Shoah and/or slavery with the Palestinian’s situation was bogus but let’s focus on what we CAN do already without endorsing the furthest right position of political elements in Israel which in any case are a minority there.

    I do agree that recent violence and the disappointment of Gaza has increased their power – however – it hasn’t changed the essential problem confronting the Palestinians, that of statelessness – OR the Israeli’s worst nightmare – stuck with the horrendous cost of trying to maintain a democratic, progressive state and also occupying Judea and Samaria without the consent of the Arabs who live there.

    Those problems aren’t going to go away just because we sit here and beat our breasts.

    Speaking for myself: I assert that of course the Arabs have rights, just as we do – and this must be recognized and respected. Indeed one of Zionism’s core values, Israel’s very Declaration of Independence, proclaim exactly that.

    Today, given the situation on the ground: at a minimum there should be compensation for land taken or damages inflicted. Of course Jews dispossessed in any way including in the exodux of Arab Jews to Israel and elsewhere should also be compensated. I think this should be taken up with Arab League.

    I also think the issue of Jewish existence in Judea and Samaria must be confronted: what, per se, is wrong with that? Is there a way to ensure that a Palestinian state would allow or even encourage Jews to live there?

    That should be a pillar of our diplomacy, I think. Israelis shouldn’t be held to a high standard of tolerance and Palestinians simultaneously encouraged to create a judenfrei state!

    In any case I do not see The Decline And Fall of the West in Obama’s assertion of a more humane philosophy toward our fellow man including Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians.

    I do see outright bigotry against Arabs as a threat to all of us because – well – it is bigotry – just as antisemitism is bigotry and a threat to all that we consider civilized.

    I also think, though, that Clinton’s “no exception” comments were OTT and her claims that Israel is “lying” about previous agreements concerning the settlements are provocative, probably false, and risk a stark increase in conflict rather than the opposite. I think the US government has painted itself into a corner here and that’s dumb and counterproductive.

    So, I would welcome some nuance on this issue.

    However, if by making sweeping statements about the settlements Clinton is effectively placing a concrete bargaining chip on the table in return for actual recognition of Israel, how is this really any different from centrist Israeli positions which have long since called for a two-state solution and withdrawal from most of the West Bank? Goldberg in the Atlantic points out that Obama’s position is actually nearly identical to Kadima’s.

    How is this a threat to Western Civilization?

    Finally, I think it is great that we are reaching out to Muslims but in the process, since we’re busy respecting Islam – what about respect for Judaism?

    The claim that Israel was founded simply because of the Shoah is bogus. And, tone-deafness to the spiritual and historical connection of Jews to Israel is also not helpful.

    I’m hardly frum but the thought of forever giving up the right to visit or even “return” to Judea and Samaria is deeply painful.

    I propose this: maybe ROR should include the right of a certain number of Arabs to “return” to Israel and a corresponding number of Jews to “return” to Judea and Samaria, in both cases to live in peace as citizens of democratic states which for all practical purposes would be confederated simply as a matter of economic survival if for no other reason.

    How about it?

  42. E.G. says:

    oao,

    What Rubin writes is so obvious. I know it isn’t for many, and it’s very well written.
    Still, he doesn’t explain why so many people prefer to succumb to denial or wishful thinking (but it wasn’t his purpose, and I don’t think he knows).

  43. E.G. says:

    Sophia,

    In case you’re not clear, you’ve heard/read a US president in office preaching ethnic cleansing of Israeli Jews from Judea-Samaria.

    Regarding the Bush-Sharon understanding:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/415475.html

  44. oao says:

    What Rubin writes is so obvious.

    To the knowledgeable and reasoning.

    I know it isn’t for many, and it’s very well written.

    because the many are not knowledgeable and reasoning.

    Still, he doesn’t explain why so many people prefer to succumb to denial or wishful thinking (but it wasn’t his purpose, and I don’t think he knows).

    part of the answer i just gave. the other is it’s much easier psychologically, part. when you feal weak.

    reread steyn. he explains how we got to denial and wishful thinking, of which alibama is a prime example.

    and read warren, he has another scary take on alibama.

  45. oao says:

    Can we be practical for a second and stop panicking about The Decline And Fall?

    heh, heh, this is precious: let’s be practical by ignoring the decisive aspect of reality.

    i thought of responding to the rest, but there is a limit to patience.

  46. oao says:

    btw, warren’s piece also supports the narcissistic nature of alibama and my comparison to clinton’s empathy. and i read warren AFTER i posted that comparison.

  47. obsy says:

    Sophia,

    How many of us really believe that Palestinian Arabs have no rights?

    I believe that they do have rights. Too many rights!
    How about rights based on a Dhimmitude equivalent?
    History (and present) has prooven that those work.

    How many of us … actually believe the stateless Palestinian Arabs don’t require a home …
    and that we … should be trying to help them?

    They have a home. What is it good for to help them when they destroy anything immediately?
    How about Jews helping themselves first?

    it hasn’t changed the essential problem confronting the Palestinians, that of statelessness

    You can’t solve that problem for them. They must be willing to become a contributing member of the state that they are living in or go somewhere else.

    Do you think the borders around the world have evolved by people saying, “I and the others in this village feel French – and those in the neighboring village feel Swiss”?
    What is so special about Palestinians that they need extra treatment?

    OR the Israeli’s worst nightmare – stuck with the horrendous cost of trying to maintain a democratic, progressive state and also occupying Judea and Samaria without the consent of the Arabs who live there.

    That is your worst nightmare?
    Read some more of oao’s comments.

    Those problems aren’t going to go away just because we sit here and beat our breasts.

    Those problems aren’t going to go away – period!
    It doesn’t matter what we do – they won’t go away. Learn to live with it.

    Of course Jews dispossessed in any way including in the exodux of Arab Jews to Israel and elsewhere should also be compensated. I think this should be taken up with Arab League.

    Good luck!

    I also think the issue of Jewish existence in Judea and Samaria must be confronted:

    Why?

    what, per se, is wrong with that?

    Read Richard Landes about honor/shame.
    Read Barry Rubin about the importance of the growing Settlements as probably Israel’s only bargaining piece to cause Palestinians to accept commitments.

    For some reason people start to cry when Palestinians might be driven away, but applaud when “evil Settlers” are.

    Is there a way to ensure that a Palestinian state would allow or even encourage Jews to live there?

    You really should find a practicable answer before bullying other people to see Settlements as the main problem.

    In any case I do not see The Decline And Fall of the West in Obama’s assertion of a more humane philosophy toward our fellow man including Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians.

    Is that what you see in Obama’s speech?
    Actually that is the point: The refusal of reality in favor of some fantasy.

    However, if by making sweeping statements about the settlements Clinton is effectively placing a concrete bargaining chip on the table in return for actual recognition of Israel …

    So you suggest that Israel should continue to build Settlements until the Muslims except Israels right to exist?
    That is not what Clinton is doing.

    Goldberg in the Atlantic points out that Obama’s position is actually nearly identical to Kadima’s

    Kadima may have its weaknesses, but it definitely is not as bad as Obama.

    Finally, I think it is great that we are reaching out to Muslims

    Obama is reaching out to the “conservative” “far-right” (non-terrorist) Muslim – undermining all liberal Muslims big time. (Actually he is reaching out to the terrorists nowadays well.)

    I propose this: maybe ROR should include the right of a certain number of Arabs to “return” to Israel and a corresponding number of Jews to “return” to Judea and Samaria, in both cases to live in peace as citizens of democratic states which for all practical purposes would be confederated simply as a matter of economic survival if for no other reason.

    How about it?

    Perfect! The IDF will ensure that in Israel and Hamas in the new Palestine …

  48. obsy says:

    oao: i thought of responding to the rest, but there is a limit to patience.

    Shows that you are smarter then me.
    Though some parts were fun to comment.

  49. E.G. says:

    oao,

    To the knowledgeable and reasoning.

    So now we’re “Reason Mujahideen” ! Ain’t we progressin’? Fast?
    I knew you’d appreciate Steyn’s piece at least as much as I do.

    But I’m sorry to report that the O’s psyche is of total uninterest for me. Narcissistic schmarssisitic, hot/cold, clever/clueless… can’t care less. The man’s deeds (which can only be verbal ones) are the only things that count in my view.

  50. obsy says:

    Sophia,

    one further thing that I want to comment on:
    “… without endorsing the furthest right position of political elements in Israel”

    I feel comfortable that some people in Israel have a policy that would work. That doesn’t mean that we have to adopt it, but that we have time to look for something better. In Israel’s horrible situation, fighting the right is like cutting the last safety net.

    (I’m aware that homosexuals don’t share that view. Though a black eye is still better than an execution under sharia law.)

    In Europe it is different. The far right sees Jews as the world’s problem (Nazi legacy) and Islam as a cure for other countries. They also have some weird ideas about races.
    I would be more than happy to have something like the settler-movement in Europe. Not because I share their views.

    My optimism is solely based on the fact that I can look for a new homeland in a few decades. That same statelessness that is so “intolerable” for the Palestinians is a hope for me. Well, it is not the same. I would accept my host country.

  51. Sophia says:

    OK, a few points:

    I don’t think anybody should be dragged away from their home – the spectacle of Gaza was shocking to me and it has led to nothing but misery.

    I think, therefore, that we should be working hard to build tolerance so that people can live together regardless of where the borders are finally drawn.

    Consciousness raising about our mutual humanity as Obama is trying to jumpstart is vital. It shouldn’t be mocked let alone feared.

    The fact that Obama quoted a sura with roots in Talmud won’t be lost on Islamic scholars. Nor will references, however anachronistic, to al-Andalus – Jews and Muslims and Christians have indeed co-existed and flourished together in the past and we certainly can again.

    In fact, considering the problems confronting our planet, we’d better – we’d better stop sweating the small stuff and start working together – we are facing drought, desertization, species die-off – potential catastrophe.

    But – we have unfortunately seen the ugly side of jihad in recent years and few of us know anything at all about any other aspects of Islam let alone Muslims in general – learning more is important and it’s vital also that Muslims start seeing Jews and Westerners as human beings – but war tends to promote the opposite. It is dehumanizing.

    So we’re fighting an uphill battle right now – all of us – but especially people in war zones.

    America itself is now a war zone – I don’t think we’ll recover soon from 9/11, nor from our losses in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we’re all, if we have any sense, worried about the possibility of future violence here. The foiled attack on the synagogues was frightening.

    Growing and increasingly open antisemitism is terrifying me – not least because it often precedes periods of barbarism.

    And, it is true that certain deeply-rooted cultural and religious attitudes are antipathetic to Western, liberal ideals.

    But -

    Obama’s assertions about the contributions of Muslim artists and other gifted people may fall on deaf ears in the West – nevertheless study of music, architecture, art, language and history are a path forward – we can and must try to find common human cause with each other.

    For all our cultural and religious differences we all have much in common and much to share.

    Israel has, unwittingly I think, become Ground Zero for ancient East/West conflicts as well as – unfairly – the crux of arguments against imperialism, modernity, immigration, change.

    In a sense the former is fitting because Jews are both Western and Oriental, are we not?

    However – making Israel the focus of all the problems of the last 2000 years is demonizing and absurd – somehow that must be recognized and confronted for what it is: bigotry.

    To that extent I think Obama’s assertions about the Holocaust and Israel’s validity as the Jewish homeland were extremely important. That is an ongoing argument within Islam and Christianity that can’t stop here.

    For our part, daunting as this task may seem, we are in an ideal position to bridge the gaps if we will only reach out and grasp this nettle.

    We have a history, an incredible richness of experience, and we can use it to armor ourselves internally against our fear if only we will be willing to look at our Arab cousins and see ourselves reflected.

    If we can do this I think we will see people looking back, not the black mask of hatred and fear.

  52. Sophia says:

    Now: back to practical matters: where exactly do the Palestinians have a secure home where they are in charge of their own destiny?

    You see we can’t ignore this situation. It will bite us in the tuchas unless we address it. Simply asserting that they have such a home doesn’t make it so.

    Frankly I do not see this home.

    I do see Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon, victims of extremists and Israeli counterattacks in Gaza, expelled en masse from several Arab countries, living as second-hand people in Judea and Samaria, trapped on the borders of Iraq now that Saddam has fallen.

    So nu? Where is this home the Palestinians supposedly have?

    Please – no lectures about how their situation is All Their Fault.

    I agree that there was no need for violence against Jews, no need for the war of 1948 and subsequent wars of terror, no need for 1967 or 1973 – no need for Khartoum and certainly and most horrendously – Intifada II was a crime – but where do we go from here?

    Can we prevail upon our hardliners to open their hearts?

  53. E.G. says:

    Dear Sophia,

    It may come as a shock for you but as far as I’m concerned, the Arabs of former Palestine’s security, statehood or statelessness, well being and so on is their problem. They have the means, the motives, and the (so far missed) opportunity to do something about their situation. Why do you want me to wreak my mind about their fate? Because if I don’t do it for them they’ll kill me?

  54. nelson says:

    Sophia is right. The other Arabs won’t help the Palestinians nor will the Palestinians help themselves. Only israel can rescue them from their own madness.

    Since the Germans weren’t convincingly defeated and then occupied after WW1, that war had to be refought in an even bloodier way 20 years later. By then, fortunately, the allies had learned how to deal both with the Germans and the Japanese.

    Thus, in the same way and for their own good, the Palestinians have to be clearly and unarguably defeated, humiliated, broken, crushed and shamed until whatever is left of their irredentist dreams and their will to fight is beaten out of them for ever. There’s no other way to end the so-called cycle of violence.

    According to liberal and leftist Jews, the US has to show Israel some tough love. Wrong. It is Israel that has to eventually show the Palestinians lots of tough love. Otherwise, they’ll never learn and they’ll never change. Unless Israel does it, both Jews and Palestinians will go on suffering without end.

    BTW, there’s no better way to open someone’s heart than with a sharp knife.

  55. obsy says:

    Sophia,

    … if only we will be willing to look at our Arab cousins and see ourselves reflected.

    Have you ever read just one article of Richard Landes?

    Have you ever thought about the differences in cultures and what we can learn about them from history?

  56. obsy says:

    Sophia,

    where exactly do the Palestinians have a secure home where they are in charge of their own destiny?

    You where talking about a home.
    Do you have any idea how few people in the world have what you demand now for the Palestinians?
    The sad part is that the Palestinians in contrast to others could have had all that for year, but choose to destroy Israel (unsuccessfully).
    Even more sad is that all the money that is spend on Palestinians could be spend instead on people that would accept help to improve their lives.

    Nelson,

    your text sounds reasonable.

  57. oao says:

    So now we’re “Reason Mujahideen” ! Ain’t we progressin’? Fast?

    i am unaware that i agreed we are.

    I knew you’d appreciate Steyn’s piece at least as much as I do.

    i usually do. he’s sharp and knows where the great points to make are. and his sarcasm is something.

    But I’m sorry to report that the O’s psyche is of total uninterest for me. Narcissistic schmarssisitic, hot/cold, clever/clueless… can’t care less. The man’s deeds (which can only be verbal ones) are the only things that count in my view.

    he is doing very little except talking, he is incapable of more. but that’s doing a lot damage. it’s important for predicting where he’s headed and how nonsensical are those who defend him. like our friend above.

    Shows that you are smarter then me.

    no, probably older and have learned to identify lost causes. nevertheless, i seem to not to be able to skip them as i intend.

    Though some parts were fun to comment.

    mental weakness was never fun, but sad for me.

    Though a black eye is still better than an execution under sharia law.)

    it’s the religious right that blackens eyes, not the secular right. and they are hardly a safety net — they’re those extremes who are parasitic on the state.

    Only israel can rescue them from their own madness.

    they do, daily. if only the world would let them.
    in fact the world guarantees they won’t be saved.

    By then, fortunately, the allies had learned how to deal both with the Germans and the Japanese.

    but they seem to have 2nd thoughts about that. and if you read rubin, whatever lesson they learned then they have completely forgotten now, as rubin points out..

    Thus, in the same way and for their own good, the Palestinians have to be clearly and unarguably defeated, humiliated, broken, crushed and shamed until whatever is left of their irredentist dreams and their will to fight is beaten out of them for ever. There’s no other way to end the so-called cycle of violence.

    but this is precisely what the world won’t allow!!!!

    Have you ever thought about the differences in cultures and what we can learn about them from history?

    i’m afraid this is a case where acquiring knowledge won’t have much effect. lost cause.

  58. oao says:

    another good one:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/06/023743.php

    If Obama were General-Secretary of the United Nations, the speech might have been passable. Coming from the president of the United States, it was an embarrassment. Obama runs down the country he represents while puffing himself up as a transcendent figure. He humbles the United States while glorifying his personage. This aspect of the speech seemed to me indecent.

    iow, alibama says: fuck america, love me. michelle must be proud. narcissism permits interpretation.

  59. nelson says:

    “but this is precisely what the world won’t allow!!!!”

    Sure. But, on the other hand, the world couldn’t really care less about the Palestinians (for instance, when they’re killing each other, when they were being killed by the Jordanians or expelled by the Kuwaitis). In normal circumstances they’d been shown the same amount of sympathy as the Congolese, the Rwandan Tutsis, the Burmese, some forgotten Siberian ethno-linguistic minority etc.

    What’s then the key to this paradox? We know the Arabs and Muslims in general are moved by the shame-honour logic. But what about the rest of the world? Is it money and oil, anti-semitism or both plus something else?

  60. oao says:

    But what about the rest of the world? Is it money and oil, anti-semitism or both plus something else?

    both plus ignorance, frustrated and distorted leftism, fear and scapegoating in crisis. aren’t those enough, or good enough?

    the west does not know what to do when it’s weak — it’s lost and grovels.

  61. oao says:

    and american collapse is apparently total, not just the left:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/06/06/gingrich-paganism/

  62. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Yes, the importance of personality is one thing we don’t agree upon. In this particular case, I wonder what knowing (actually presuming/educatedly guessing) that the man’s a narcissistic “I am a dream” can provide for prediction. I can’t (fore)see any specifics, just a general direction inferred from his staff’s more or less known positions.
    But that’s me, with my limitations.

    I’ll try to think of another oxymoron or euphemism to replace “Reason Mujahideen”. Maybe Cynic could help?

  63. davod says:

    “I have no doubts anymore. I believe that Obama isn’t just incompetent, but that his inexperience is convenient distraction from his evil mindset. Too much has been attributed to his stupidity.”

    True for domestic as well as international matters. I am shocked at how many commentators see Obama as a foil on the deoredationd of the left wing Congress. Look at his own comments and background. He wants what they do.

  64. Margie says:

    Sophia

    You see clearly that the Palestinians don’t make a home for themselves and the Arab states have not made a home for them and therefore your conclusion is that since they must have a home – and my humanistic side nods vigorously at that – that the Israelis therefore must make a home for them.

    And this is where I sigh because we GAVE them Gaza to start their home and they turned it into an armed camp from which to attack us – bringing Arafat’s principle to vivid life – a springboard from which to attack Israel. If they had really wanted a home – and here I am not ascribing the decision to any one group but to the amorphous ‘them’ – they would have noticed that they were promised the same disengagement by Israel from the west bank. Hamas could not however restrain their ‘resistance’ even for the short time it would have taken to register with us that they were settling down quietly, that they were building the home you require for them. Thank heavens that they did this – otherwise I in north Tel Aviv would be in danger of missiles from Kalkilya (quick as a wink as the crow flies). True, we would have given the lands to Abbas as President of a Fatah Palestine but the Hamas contingent is stronger and since it is always Israel’s security that is refused during peace talks I have strong doubts about their intentions too.

    I believe that everybody needs a home but it seems that the Palestinians as a group do not want the home that is envisaged for them. I do not like saying any of this: however I see that there is no other truth.

  65. davod says:

    “Sure. But, on the other hand, the world couldn’t really care less about the Palestinians (for instance, when they’re killing each other, when they were being killed by the Jordanians or expelled by the Kuwaitis).”

    Didn’t the Palestinians try to depose the Jordanian King before the King fought back? Didn’t the

    As I recall Iraq invaded Kuwait and the Palestinians declared their support for Iraq. Not a bad reason for expelling the Palestinians.

  66. Cynic says:

    From the link in #33 above Mark Steyn wrote:
    Europe is largely post-Christian and, as President Barack Obama bizarrely asserted to a European interviewer last week, America is “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” Perhaps we’re eligible for membership in the OIC.

    If one shoves Neolithic into the acronym one will get a possible outcome; being that of the Suidae family.

  67. davod says:

    I have no doubts anymore. I believe that Obama isn’t just incompetent, but that his inexperience is convenient distraction from his evil mindset. Too much has been attributed to his stupidity.”

    True for domestic as well as international matters. I am shocked at how many commentators see Obama as a foil on the deoredationd depradations of the left wing Congress. He is probably working hand-in-glove with them. Look at his own comments and background.

  68. Cynic says:

    Didn’t the Palestinians try to depose the Jordanian King before the King fought back?

    Black September,1970 when the Little King took them on in the civil war started by Arafat and the stupid Israelis let them pass through to Lebanon where they commenced the slaughter of Christians and embroiled the country in a civil war.

  69. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Fits with this site’s name.

  70. davod says:

    “Black September,1970 when the Little King took them on in the civil war started by Arafat and the stupid Israelis let them pass through to Lebanon where they commenced the slaughter of Christians and embroiled the country in a civil war.”

    No good deed goes unpunished.

  71. Cynic says:

    Sophia,

    However, if by making sweeping statements about the settlements Clinton is effectively placing a concrete bargaining chip on the table in return for actual recognition of Israel, how is this really any different from centrist Israeli positions which have long since called for a two-state solution and withdrawal from most of the West Bank? Goldberg in the Atlantic points out that Obama’s position is actually nearly identical to Kadima’s.

    How is it a bargaining chip when she is telling the Muslims that the settlements have to go without anything that they have to do in return?
    The biggest mistake the West is doing is NOT reading the speech through Muslim eyes.

  72. E.G. says:

    Abbas and his team fully expect that Netanyahu will never agree to the full settlement freeze — if he did, his center-right coalition would almost certainly collapse. So they plan to sit back and watch while U.S. pressure slowly squeezes the Israeli prime minister from office. “It will take a couple of years,” one official breezily predicted. Abbas rejects the notion that he should make any comparable concession — such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, which would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees.

    Instead, he says, he will remain passive. “I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements,” he said. “Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life.” In the Obama administration, so far, it’s easy being Palestinian.

    May 29, 2009
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/28/AR2009052803614.html

    P.S. Meanwhile, a few “Palestinians” have been shot dead by their brothers and sisters, all normally in the good reality of the West Bank.

  73. Cynic says:

    Sophia,

    Of course Jews dispossessed in any way including in the exodux of Arab Jews to Israel and elsewhere should also be compensated. I think this should be taken up with Arab League.

    After the No’s of Khartoum? And its Secretary-General Amr Moussa’s behaviour all these years and very recently as well.

    With all these naive questions you come across as uninformed and clutching at straws.

  74. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    This past week saw another confrontation between Fatah and Hamas, and more deaths.

    Palestinian Authority policemen shot and killed two Hamas gunmen and arrested a third on Thursday during an exchange of fire in Kalkilya.

    In response to the killings, Hamas announced on Thursday that from now on, its militiamen in the West Bank would deal with Abbas’s security forces as if they were “Zionist soldiers.” The announcement is seen as a direct call on Hamas supporters in the West Bank to launch armed attacks on members and commanders of the PA security forces.
    The two incidents are seen as a sign of growing tensions between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction, which dominates the PA security forces in the West Bank.

  75. Cynic says:

    Sophia,

    The fact that Obama quoted a sura with roots in Talmud won’t be lost on Islamic scholars. Nor will references, however anachronistic, to al-Andalus – Jews and Muslims and Christians have indeed co-existed and flourished together in the past and we certainly can again.

    Yes, for an ignorant Western audience. The Muslims paying attention know that what he was saying was revisionist history and they will draw their own conclusions.

    To that extent I think Obama’s assertions about the Holocaust and Israel’s validity as the Jewish homeland were extremely important. That is an ongoing argument within Islam and Christianity that can’t stop here.

    The manner in which he said it only reinforced the Muslims claim that Jews have no historical rights in Israel proper and that it was only because of European guilt that the Jews were once more shoved down their throats. History and facts be damned.

  76. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    The part I am very reluctant to understand is how come the media are silent about these “killings”. Suffice it for a “Palestinian” (be it civilian, activist or militant) to claim s/he got scratched by an Israeli and you got at least one Intl. press agency item. But on these murders – nothing.

    I’m not sure whether post it here or on the honour-shame thread.

    Palestinians ‘humiliated’, cancel meeting with Israelis

  77. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    I’ll try to think of another oxymoron or euphemism to replace “Reason Mujahideen”. Maybe Cynic could help?

    Maybe we have to start slowly and tackle the euphemism first as it seems easier:
    How about Metrosexual instead of Mujahid?

    Foggy Bottom in one of their Arabic language magazines was trying to sell the concept to the “Princes” a few years back.

    Reason? That is just so oxymoronic in today’s world if we consider possible meanings:
    motive – don’t need none just a belief;
    sanity – don’t need none to do anything;
    sound sense – illogical from what we’ve seen;
    intelligence – discuss modern education with oao;
    underlying fact – nah, don’t need facts nowadays;
    Justification – that goes against one’s honour;
    Premise – conspiracy.

    By the way how did you come by “Reason Mujahideen”?
    Under what premise and in what context was it formulated?

  78. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Here’s history in the making:
    oao#19 as a militant atheist
    me #23 Are you using home-made rockets or stones? When will you be graduating into an activist?
    oao# 30 you actually observed it in my posts here.
    militancy does not mean violence.

    me#31 I was referring to the common denomination of our “friends” in the media. Better get another term to describe your acts. Dump resistant and youth too (although you qualify for both, in contemporary Newspeak). How about “Reason Mujahid”?

    When he claimed that (on a specific issue) I was knowledgeable and reasonable, I joined the movement (hence Mujahideen). But oao still doesn’t like the term.

  79. Cynic says:

    E.G.

    There should be a separate thread on treatment of Jews by the media.

    That the media today is just a mirror of a corrupt society there does not seem to be any doubt as they disseminate lies, innuendo, disinformation and stories lacking facts and context in an analogous fashion to politicians selling their platform.

    They have found a glue (anti-semitism in this case) to aggregate a readership to their overall agenda of setting policy. So they have brought anti-semitism to form of respectability today never imagined possible just after WWII.

    There were a couple of essays by Ed Lasky in the American Thinker: “The New York Times and the Jews”
    Yet a casual reader can find a pattern of sins of commission and omission when it comes to the Times’ attitudes towards Jews, and cannot find similar examples of the same treatment given to blacks or Muslims (for example).

    Given the journalists they employ it seems that nutters who accord with the Times’ agenda get on board.

    I can surmise that they have bought into the honour/shame culture in that they try to make a freier out of the other in order to display a facade of virtual honour to hide their shame of actually being nebishes.

  80. E.G. says:

    oao & Cynic

    How about “Reason Refusniks”?
    It’s deliciously euphemistic, delightfully ambiguous, PoMo-compatible… and evocative of freedom fighters!

  81. Michelle Schatzman says:

    - reason fanatics
    - adorators of reason
    - dedicated lovers of holy reason

    :-D

    OK, I know I’m kidding!

  82. oao says:

    In this particular case, I wonder what knowing (actually presuming/educatedly guessing) that the man’s a narcissistic

    well, there is a wish to understand him. and narcissism is not entirely devoid of predictive power as to his future behavior. not to mention input value if you want to affect it.

    is convenient distraction from his evil mindset. Too much has been attributed to his stupidity.”

    1st, he can be ignorant without being stupid. 2nd, i always thought that evil could be considered a form of stupidity and ignorance. 3rd, he could be very shrewd politically, but stupid in terms of governing and policies (e.g. he knows/understands very little economics and history, but he knows his alinsky and liberation theology well). the latter 2 could be considered evil. finally, he seems to have a very thin skin, which suggests he does not like the idea of being thought as stupid (an example of how knowledge of his narcissism helps analysis).

    I believe that everybody needs a home but it seems that the Palestinians as a group do not want the home that is envisaged for them.

    that’s putting it to weakly. their first priority is israel’s destruction; THEN a home might make sense. in which case it’ll be constant civil war and corruption, because they are not a people.

    Not a bad reason for expelling the Palestinians.

    sure, but keep in mind that that was after a long time in which the arab regimes screwed the pals and exploited them for against israel and to keep themselves in power.

    The biggest mistake the West is doing is NOT reading the speech through Muslim eyes.

    perhaps if they learned about foreign cultures instead of “women studies” and so much business throughout school and university, they would be likely to read them correctly.

    I was referring to the common denomination of our “friends” in the media.

    since i assumed you did not mean to conform to THAT, i inferred you were being facetious and therefore I responded in kind.

    So they have brought anti-semitism to form of respectability today never imagined possible just after WWII.

    as soon as education collapsed it was clear that all sorts of phenomena from the past would return, including anti-semitism. those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. i mean, europe was destroyed by socialism and is being eaten alive by islamism, which is quite current and they still don’t get it because there is no education that teaches them acquisition of knowledge and reasoning skills.

    they try to make a freier out of the other in order to display a facade of virtual honour to hide their shame of actually being nebishes.

    i made this very same argument a while ago in an old thread, which RL liked.

  83. oao says:

    be afraid, be very afraid:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/06/023744.php

    as the piece says: these people are shameless. and there it is obvious that alibama and his AG intend to bring down america to punish it for slavery.

  84. oao says:

    make a wild guess what CAIR and the various muslim student groups and the brotherhood will do with this?

    they did not seem that enforcing when it’s the jews which are being attacked or intimidated.

    for all those who still think america is exceptional.

  85. oao says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/opinion/07friedman.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

    good luck. but one reason why the jews are being dumped in favor of iran.

  86. oao says:

    i would recommend this piece by rubin to sophia, but as i said, it won’t help:

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/06/three-failed-plans-to-wipe-israel-off.html

  87. oao says:

    i responded to most of the recent comments, but again the system would not accept my post. i asked RL to post it for me.

  88. oao says:

    she’s right on the bias but she does not understand her own people’s bias that drives their reaction:

    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/obama_on_palestine_israel/0017376

  89. obsy says:

    oao,

    I believe this article makes a better start for Sophia:
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/06/obama-learn-from-berdimuhamedow.html

    It is easier to understand.

  90. oao says:

    It is easier to understand.

    she does not WANT to understand, it interferes with her morals which the propaganda has managed to instill.
    it usually is effective for those who emote rather than reason.

  91. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Given the journalists they employ it seems that nutters who accord with the Times’ agenda get on board.

    Some are Arabs, some use Arab stringers and/or translators. But that’s not the whole story.

    I can surmise that they have bought into the honour/shame culture in that they try to make a freier out of the other in order to display a facade of virtual honour to hide their shame of actually being nebishes.

    That’s another part of the story.
    Yet another one is that one can say anything about the Israelis and go on living unharmed, but it’s not the same with the Pali side.
    But I still find (or rather don’t) there’s a part missing from the whole picture. The conspiracy one is incredible – impossible to believe.

  92. E.G. says:

    oao,

    well, there is a wish to understand him. and narcissism is not entirely devoid of predictive power as to his future behavior. not to mention input value if you want to affect it.

    Of course there’s a wish to understand the guy. But, like any other decision maker, he depends on his staff.
    What/which is the predictive power of narcissism? More dependence than others?

  93. nelson says:

    Why, to begin with, should the US back Israel or be its ally? In theory, maybe it made some objective sense during the Cold War but, at least from a superficial point of view, it is really in America’s best interests to get rid of Israel in order to establish friendlier relations with the Arab and Muslim world, isn’t it?

    Let’s put aside, for a while, the fact that Israel is right and that those who count in the Arab world are either nationalistic or religious (or both) genocidal supremacists who represent a clear and present danger not only for the Jews, but for the more or less modern parts of the world which we, rather simplistically, call the West.

    I don’t think that people like Walt and Mearsheimer, Charles Freeman, most professional American leftists and liberals, the State Dept. bureaucracy and Obama’s advisors believe a single word of what they themselves say in public. They probably understand pretty well what’s going on, they’d off the record agree with most of the conclusions discussed here in Richard’s site, but they have by now concluded that Israel (and Jews all over the world, the US included) are expendable or, even worse, a burden they have to get rid of.

    They probably don’t think that selling Israel down the river they’ll reach final peace and harmony with Arabs and Muslims, but hope that doing so they’ll be buying at least some time. Now, time for what exactly? Well, first, to allow the MSM and all their propaganda machine to eradicate their voters’ “inordinate fear” of Islam and/or Islamism, allowing the last memories of 911 to disappear. Then, to implement any domestic and foreign policy agenda they have developed. They likely think that political Islam is a winner, that we’ll be living for long under its shadow, that accommodation is the best solution (not necessarily for most of us, little people, but surely for the classes and groups they represent or belong to) and that, since more 911 kind of attacks are inevitable anyway, we (or rather they) can live with them.

    Whenever America more or less backed Israel, that had less to do with the will of those in power than with the express wishes of a large part of the US electorate. European politicians in general have already found out the way of doing most of what they want independently of the opinions of their subjects. That’s also Obama’s goal: to turn the US in a much less democratic country, in something like the EU, where the government can act without “undue” pressure from the public opinion.

    I happen to think that, though tactically, they may sound reasonable, strategically they are wrong. They won’t be buying time and they are doing the last thing they should do: they’re showing weakness. Besides, pragmatically used, Israel could be a valuable asset if they knew that, confronting Islamism, there’s no middle way, but only victory or defeat and surrender.

    To begin with, there’s no organization in the world (not even the Vatican) with such a deep institutional knowledge of how to fight the enemy. But this is secondary. Israel, after all, has been created to give the Jews the possibility of self-defense when standing completely alone. And that’s the case right now.

    Israel, the Jews and whoever backed them have lost the American Jews to liberalism’s politically correct illusions. How much of the Israeli populace itself has been lost to this is an enigma. What can Israel do to avoid catastrophe? Have Israel’s best minds prepared for this contingency? What’s next? I’d probably counsel not caution, but action. Israel must play its hand while it still has anything to play with. Time is on Obama’s side – and he’s moving fast.

  94. oao says:

    But I still find (or rather don’t) there’s a part missing from the whole picture. The conspiracy one is incredible – impossible to believe.

    is the profit motive in business a conspiracy?

    Of course there’s a wish to understand the guy. But, like any other decision maker, he depends on his staff.

    indeed. and they have figured him out and get what THEY want out of him, while he selected them knowing that they understand him.

    it is really in America’s best interests to get rid of Israel in order to establish friendlier relations with the Arab and Muslim world, isn’t it?

    only ignorants like the americans can believe that what they do matters to arab’s objectives. dumping israel will whet their appetite not sate it. they are pretty clear about it. dumping israel is interpreted as weakness, not as a gesture. arabs don’t make gestures unless they are weak. there can be NO accomodation with islam.

    but it seems we agree.

  95. oao says:

    as to your description of the US political system, it is part and parcel of american collapse and the end of the exceptionalism myth.

    in the long run democracy does not survive — there are no examples in history. power tends to concentrate, it does not like being scattered.

  96. oao says:

    I’d probably counsel not caution, but action. Israel must play its hand while it still has anything to play with. Time is on Obama’s side – and he’s moving fast.

    with the west collapsed, i doubt there’s action that can save israel. it can only stretch its existence and that’s what it should do.

  97. oao says:

    Clinton Soft-Pedals on Fighting Iranian Attack on Israel
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131752

    Saudis to US: Issue Ultimatum to Israel
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131732

  98. oao says:

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rosner/68802

    see what i mean?

    livni is for israel what alibama is for the US.

  99. nelson says:

    Since the Said affair there are papers, magazines and media here that wouldn’t give me space or mention my name even if I were to be granted my country’s first literary Nobel prize.

    Now, on the week before the last US presidential election, some among them, against their will, had to interview me or hear my opinion.

    Why? Because, along with maybe two or three other individuals at most, I was one of the few not entirely unknown Brazilians who weren’t enthusiatically pro-Obama. And, in order to show at least a semblance of balance, they had to give a few seconds or a couple of lines to the “other side”.

    By the way, scepticism about politics and politicians used to be one of the most ingrained characteristics of my countrymen. What happened?

  100. oao says:

    Mitchell to put ‘final borders’ immediately on the table?
    http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2009/06/mitchell-to-put-final-borders.html

  101. oao says:

    By the way, scepticism about politics and politicians used to be one of the most ingrained characteristics of my countrymen. What happened?

    for one, critical thinking is no longer available in general, not just in the media or relative to government. there is also a lot of lazyness and access journalism.

    it is very important to remember that the media is in the business of selling audience to corporate advertisers, not content to the public. and corporations are the cancer of capitalism and democracy. it used to be that corporations were anatonists to govt, but they usually end up parasitic on govt (with politicians dependent on them).

  102. nelson says:

    Obama and his people are new to power. They surely believe Israel wouldn’t dare disobey their express orders.

    Now, that’s exactly what Netanyahu has to do right now: he has to challenge and provoke Obama in a subtle way until he loses control, overreaches, threatens Israel and shows his true colours openly. The earlier Israel does this, the better.

    Israel’s popularity (or rather the Arabs’ and Muslims’ unpopularity) still is, for the time being, older and deeper in the US than Obama’s charisma. If Israel helps unmasking Obama, it’ll have done a great service for the Americans.

    Yes, some will say that, then, Israel will have an enemy in the White House. Well, it already has one: let the Americans know that — from the president’s own mouth.

  103. E.G. says:

    oao,

    is the profit motive in business a conspiracy?

    Depends on the investment part. Aside from money, is there anything else (conditions?) that shapes the deal?

  104. E.G. says:

    oao #111

    What “this”?
    What is reported or what the report chose to highlight?
    It’s not the same thing.

  105. oao says:

    Now, that’s exactly what Netanyahu has to do right now: he has to challenge and provoke Obama in a subtle way until he loses control, overreaches, threatens Israel and shows his true colours openly. The earlier Israel does this, the better.

    in theory i would agree. the problem is that because they are new to power, with a narcissistic president who some see as a god (see above) it’s hard to know what fit would this create. with israel completely isolated, if the US withholds support in significant way, it’ll be a matter of who blinks first and natanyahu has proven in the past he’s much talk and little action.

    Israel’s popularity (or rather the Arabs’ and Muslims’ unpopularity) still is, for the time being, older and deeper in the US than Obama’s charisma. If Israel helps unmasking Obama, it’ll have done a great service for the Americans.

    i very much doubt it. alibama has done do the US things unimaginable, defying principles and interests that americans hold much dearer than israel, and yet it’s as if nothing happened. the notion that they will turn against him for the jews is an illusion. anti-semitism is at an all time high and alibama knows he can induce more of it if he wants to.

    Depends on the investment part. Aside from money, is there anything else (conditions?) that shapes the deal?

    motives are always multi-dimensional, but there is usually a dominant one.

    What “this”? What is reported or what the report chose to highlight?

    knowing me, which would you guess? i would never stifle any report of facts. the danger is in the fact reported.

  106. E.G. says:

    oao,

    You’d be overjoyed to ack that the One and family dined only about 50 metres from the Romanian embassy.
    And that there are quite a few restaurants in the same area that are honoured daily by lots and tons of French politicians as well as foreign diplomats (the Mosquai d’Orsay being nearby, as well as the Parliament). There are 2 restaurants in that particular area that were the late Mitterand’s favourites (not to mention his mistress and daughter lodged there, at the Frenchpayers’ tax expense but without their knowledge).
    And that the report omitted the grumpy locals who had to stand the circulation and other restrictions and annoyances.

  107. oao says:

    not to mention that the first family has a food taster.
    we’re back to monarchy.

  108. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Frankly, the food taster is the least annoying thing. Counts as security personnel.
    Had the visitor been a less allegedly popular personality, there’d be more grievances in the article. Perhaps even only complaints for an unpopular one. Depends how the author wishes or needs to depict the visitor’s popularity (let me remind you that in that area in particular people are used to all sorts of local and foreign VIP’s lunching and dining privately, some actually being neighbours).

  109. oao says:

    Frankly, the food taster is the least annoying thing.

    it’s part and parcel of a pattern that reveals who alibama really is. if i recall correctly they had a taster from before he became president. you know, that’s how like the average family they always were.

    judging by your comments i don;t think you got my drift.

  110. E.G. says:

    oao,

    I may not have gotten it. Or I may have more explicitly stated (some of) it.
    Do explain. Please.

  111. oao says:

    Do explain. Please

    not important. my point was about alibama’s character and the discrepancy between it and how he presents himself and how is perceived.

    the taster per se is not annoying. the conceit of alibama is what makes him dangerous, particularly with everybody prostrating in front of him and america in collapse. this is when messianic totalitarianism creeps in.

  112. E.G. says:

    oao,

    I did get that.
    What I was focussing on was one event specifically, showing how the person’s image was presented.
    Another personality doing the same thing could very easily be described as trying to appear “average” (going to a bistro, instead of a fancier restaurant), in an upscale Paris neighbourhood (why didn’t he choose a more “proletarian” one?), with a bunch of enthusiastic fans (+ understated doubt about the few tens being there – who tipped them off?) and others stating in the well known Gallic manner either their total indifference or their annoyance at being disturbed by the pump that is supposedly un-pompous.

    Another such case is the Buchenwald black survivor. Why didn’t he fit the White-House scenario?

  113. oao says:

    Another such case is the Buchenwald black survivor. Why didn’t he fit the White-House scenario?

    another, perhaps more important question is why does he still support alibama? i’ll keep the answer to myself, but no good deed will go unpunished.

    if not even such an experience does not make one see thru the fake images, there is no better evidence of the impending doom.

  114. E.G. says:

    oao,

    another, perhaps more important question is why does he still support alibama?

    Even if he were the only one, I’d refrain from judging him. Survivors have their particularities that we cannot understand.
    I did ask another Buchenwald survivor about him. He’s a well known case among these survivors. And their committee was surprised by the rejection.

    O/T (almost) http://www.forbes.com/2008/11/03/obama-fabian-socialist-oped-cx_jb_1103bowyer.html

  115. E.G. says:

    RL,

    This is my second comment swallowed by the filters. HELP!

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