Recently in Syria Category
Question de jour: Why do they continue to call them "peacekeepers" when they are so clearly incapable of attaining peace, much less "keeping" it?
The popular assent for it is there....
....but c'mon - Syria is a U.S. enemy, stooge of the Iranian mullahgarchy to which Red Barry has been groveling since before his ascension, and hates America almost as much as The One himself does. If even President Bush shrank from invading the Levant to take out the bloody opthamologist, does anybody really believe that Obama'll give Assad the Mubarak treatment?
Meanwhile, the Li'l President and his "international [left-wingnut] community" comrades still can't decide which side of the Libyan "civil war" hates us more, and so still can't decide on which side to intervene. So they continue to do.....pretty much nothing:
Hopes of quickly establishing a no-fly zone over Libya were dashed in Paris Wednesday when leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations declined to adopt the measure.
Instead, the G8 foreign ministers called on the United Nations Security Council to examine further sanctions against Libya, including economic ones, but made no mention of a possible military action against Colonel Gadhafi’s regime, including the setting up of a no fly zone.
The G-8 agreed “that the U.N. Security Council should increase the pressure, including through economic measures, for Moammar Gadhafi to leave,” G-8 foreign ministers said in their final statement.
Lebanon [i.e. Hezbollahstan], the only Arab country that is a Security Council member, on Monday began conferring on a draft resolution for the no-fly zone over the weekend, but it remained unclear whether if it would get the necessary votes. The draft is based on a proposal approved by the Arab League.
Gotta have the UN permission slip, they do, 'cause they don't want to be seen as, oh, I don't know, exercising leadership, even in a questionable and predominantly ill-defined cause. So they continue to diddle futilely with "sanctions" that never work while flinching from a "military" solution in the form of a "no-fly" zone that Saddam Hussein effortlessly gamed for a dozen years after the Gulf War, finally necessitating our re-invading to finish the job.
There was a national security interest involved with Operation Iraqi Freedom: taking out an avowed enemy of the U.S., state sponsor of terrorism, and pursuer of weapons of mass destruction, most especially nuclear weapons, and providing American forces with a geostrategic staging area from which to take out both Syria to the northwest and Iran to the east. What's to be gained from bringing about Khaddafy's ouster in Libya? How does it help us to chase out an old-style pan-Arabist socialist enemy dictator in highly likely favor of a new-style Islamist theocratic enemy dictatorship? And that's if we acted decisively; with the half-measures being bandied about, Khaddafy has no reason to fear being deposed any time soon, which will leave him still in power and even more motivated to exact revenge against the West in general and the U.S. in particular.
Exit question: Even if the Regime was capable of identifying our enemies correctly, we really can no longer afford to take them out anymore, can we? Think THAT's an "accident"?
UN nuclear inspectors will visit Syria this month to investigate allegations that the country was building a nuclear reactor at a site attacked by Israel last September, officials said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s fact-finding mission is expected to take place from June 22 to 24.
Information about the Israeli bombing of the site did not come to light until April when U.S. officials informed IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei that it believes the facility was a nuclear reactor.
Sounds like Boy Assad has finished scrubbing Dayr az-Zawr, the former site of his North Korean-supplied nuclear facility. And maybe he's also finished hiding the Iraqi WMD that his late "big brother" Saddam sent him for safekeeping six years ago.
Will a "clean bill of health" from the uncharacteristically-suspicious-of-late IAEA put them back to sleep vis-a-vie Assad's Iranian superiors? Logically it shouldn't. Heck, how can a mere three-day inspection verify or discover much of anything? But since when has logic ever had anything to do with the "international community's" appeasment mania where the mullahs are concerned?
Some of you may draw from that comment - or my avalanche of posts on this topic over the past four years - that I "want" a war with Iran. Certainly that's the mindset libs attribute to all "neocons" (though, for the record, I have ALWAYS been a "con," so the "neo" prefix really doesn't apply, no matter how big a Matrix mark I am). It's what CNN clearly thought recently departed former CENTCOM commander Admiral William Fallon - the high-ranking Bushophobic mole in the Bush High Command - would say, Scotty McClellan-like, when he granted them an interview just this morning.
Imagine their disappointment when they got this answer instead:
PHILLIPS: Let’s talk about this article. It was the catalyst. It was the last straw. Tom Barnett made it appear that you were the only man standing between the president and a war with Iran. Is that true?
ADMIRAL FALLON: I don’t believe for a second President bush wants a war with Iran. The situation with Iran is very complex. People sometimes portray it or try to portray it in very simplistic terms we’re against Iran, we want to go to war with Iran, we want to be close to them, the reality is in international politics that many aspects to many of these situations and I believe in our relationship with Iran we need to be strong and firm and convey the principles on which this country stands and upon which our policies are based. At the same time demonstrate a willingness and openness to engage in dialogue because there are things we can find in common.
You know what? I believe him. You know what else? I don't think Bush "wanted" a war with Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime, either. And guess what: I agree with that, too.
The core point of the lamentably defunct Bush Doctrine was never to seek out "wars of choice" for glory and honor and plunder and whatever other cartoonish motivation neoBolsheviks attribute to those who take national security seriously. It was to inject some desperately needed hard-headed realpolitik into American foreign policy in a post-9/11 world. It was to throw off the deadly "diplomacy-only" complacency/obsession that had gotten three thousand American civilians killed in cold blood and, in an age of WMD proliferation, would send a whole lot more into the mass graves right behind them if we didn't start looking at the world and its myriad threats as it, and they, really are. It was to recognize that we're ALREADY at war at the enemy's initiative, and the path to not just victory but even national survival itself lay in engaging this enemy at our own initiative and bringing the full military power of the planetary hegemon we're supposed to be to bear to eliminate them and the apocalyptic threat they pose once and for all.
Afghanistan was the initial counterattack against al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts. Iraq was the elimination of a secondary terror regime and acquisition of the geostrategic staging area in the heart of the Middle East for the conclusive military campaigns to liberate Syria and the principle enemy and target: Islamic Iran.
Grieviously, as I've lamented on many a past occasion, President Bush opted to try and win the war by only fighting half of it. As if, during World War II, the Western Allies had stopped after liberating all of North Africa from the Nazis and begged Hitler for peace negotiations instead of invading Western Europe and finishing the job. While we have finally thwarted Iranian and al Qaeda subversion in Iraq, we have wasted the past five years on foolish, futile diplomacy with the mullahs that they have openly ridiculed and heaped contempt upon and used the time to build their nuclear weapons capabilities, which have progressed to the point that the mullahs could churn out their first homemade warhead before the year is out - something I made mention of nine months ago.
The real problem isn't that anybody "wants" or doesn't "want" war; it's that not even the "neocons" have the stomach to accept its inevitability. Even the biggest so-called "hawks" speak in terms of using diplomatic "isolation" and "sanctions" to "force" the mullahs to abandon their nuke-quest. If this sounds like precisely the "strategy" that the "international community" pursued for twelve years against Saddam Hussein to absolutely no avail, and which he was using to rebuild his WMD stocks and develop nuclear weapons, AND which he had just about bribed his way into getting lifted altogether, congratulations, you're becoming a "warmonger."
I don't say that we're already at war with Iran because I want it to be so; I say it because it is true, and I would rather win than lose when the cost of losing is measured in hundreds of thousands or millions of innocent American (and Israeli) lives. I look back at the lesson of the 1930s, how a little military pre-emption by the British and French could have averted a second global conflagration in as many generations, and then behold Adolph Hitler with nukes rising up in Persia, and watch helplessly as we repeat all the same mistakes.
Seriously, can there really be found ANYTHING in common between ourselves and a regime that continues to issue public declarations like this?:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot “satanic powers” and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear, the Mehr news agency reported.
“I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel), with a sixty-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene,” he said.
“Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started.”
Seventy years ago there was another raving anti-Semitic lunatic who bwa-ha-ha'd his intention to exterminate the Jews and conquer the world. Nobody paid attention, in Europe or America, even after the outbreak of hostilities. Only when Hitler had conquered the Continent and was fire-bombing British cities into rubble did the "international community" finally accept that it was in a war for its very survival and start fighting it that way.
Today everybody laughs at his spiritual descendants in the mullahgarchy and their blustering frontman. But in as little as three months, they'll gain the capability of backing up their "president"'s words. What if they, and he, aren't bluffing? Shouldn't we proceed on the assumption that they're deadly serious? And shouldn't we be as well by taking decisive steps to ensure that we never have to find that out the hard way? Is not an ounce of prevention truly worth a pound of "cure"?
Particularly when talk with this enemy is not just cheap, but utterly worthless.
France - you know, the country that used to be...well, not quite an enemy, but certainly no friend under the corrupt ignomy of the departed and unlamented Black Jacques Chirac, but last fall turned back in our direction by electing the closest thing to a Gallic Reagan that country is ever likely to produce in Nicholas Sarkozy - has decided to take the offensive in the Global War Against Terror by beginning the process of normalizing relations with Hamas.
Pakistan has struck back in its war against al Qaeda and the Taliban by throwing in the towel, effectively ceding several provinces to the Islamist terror network. The birth of a nuclear "al Qaedastan" now seems to be only a matter of time.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whether out of sheer insanity or to try and save his own sorry political ass, has offered to more or less unilaterally cough up the strategic Golan Heights back to Syria.
As if this trio desultory developments were a pre-arranged signal, Lebanon has now followed suit on the creation of a de facto Hezbostan, giving Hezbollah veto power over the Lebanese cabinet:
According to the terms of the deal, Hezbollah will be given eleven seats in a thirty-member cabinet — enough to exercise an effective veto over government policies, as the group had demanded. Army leader General Michael Suleiman will be installed as president, a step the parties had agreed to months ago but which had been delayed by the dispute over cabinet seats and other issues…
“We’ve won. We have got what we wanted,” said Ali Badran, a 47-year-old Hezbollah supporter who had joined a tent city erected in protest more than a year ago near the Lebanese parliament as the political crisis deepened. Though the protest encampment had dwindled to a symbolic few, it stood as a sign of Hezbollah’s support in the country’s large Shiite community.
“We were victorious over the American and Zionist project.”
Indeed. The entire fiasco was a classic case study of appeasement from beginning to end. The bad guys force the "political crisis," back it up with violence and intimidation, the good guys flinch, flee, and ultimately capitulate, and the bad guys "get what they wanted." And then it's on to the next "political crisis," and so on, until their ambitions are stoked so high, and the good guys are backed up against the proverbial wall to such an extremity, that the end result is, inevitably, war. But not just any war, but a war at the time and place of the bad guys' choosing, with the good guys at their weakest and greatest disadvantage.
Without two-thirds approval, the cabinet can’t do anything — like, say, demand that Hezbollah finally disarm, just like that nice UN resolution asked them to. In fact, the summit that led to this capitulation was supposed to resolve the issue of Hezbollah’s weapons. The solution: The issue has been postponed indefinitely, although it doesn’t matter since any effort by the government to enforce a disarmament deal would simply be vetoed anyway. As Time puts it, “The new agreement broadly gives Hizballah what it wants: legitimacy as an armed state-within-a-state.” Even the new president the various factions agreed on, Michel Suleiman, is notorious for being soft on them.
A state, thanks to its Iranian masters, that is far better armed than that ceremonial force known as the "Lebanese Army," which has become an effective adjunct to it rather than a legit opponent of it. With this defensive political power in the Hezbos' hands, and their offensive military power having given them effective domination over Lebanon long, long ago, their decks are cleared for another attack on Israel just as the Jewish state teeters on the ragged edge of self-dismemberment.
Just for the record, gentles, I'm not the only one tying all these adjoining threads together and christening it a trend. A trend that, as you might have expected, bears the A-OK stamp of approval of our good friends at the U.S. Department of State:
The Bush Administration [!] seemed to try to put the best face on the deal even though it gave more power to Hezbollah, considered a terrorist group by Washington and Israel. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch called the agreement "a necessary and positive step."
But a step in a much larger diplofantasy Foggy Bottom is calling "the Grand Bargain":
"Many analysts believe that the relationship between Iran and Syria is a purely tactical and transactional one. Implicit in this belief is the idea that if only the United States would make Syria an offer of sufficient size and sweetness, the axis from Tehran to Damascus could be shattered and the Middle East transformed. Syria, in this view, might even join our team.
In exchange for the return of the Golan Heights, and the restoration of its overlordship of Lebanon, Syria would renege on its relationship with Hezbollah, give Hamas the boot, and slam the door shut on Iran. The mullahs would be cut-off from their Lebanese and Palestinian terrorist proxies and isolated completely in the region. The flow of jihadis from Syria would dry up-perhaps in return for a restoration of Saddam’s old largess with Iraq’s oil-and the situation in Iraq would settle down, further isolating Iran from the Arab hinterland. Faced with a united Middle East, the ayatollahs would set their dreams of hegemony and Islamic revolution aside, and give up their nuclear program in exchange for international security guarantees."
This lunacy isn't a house of cards, it's a skyscraper. What if the relationship between Iran and Syria ISN'T just "tactical and transactional"? This smells like the same kind of "analysis" that insisted Saddam Hussein (the socialist Muslim apostate) and Osama bin Laden (the rabid theocrat) could never work together (they did) and that Sunni al Qaeda and Shiite Iran were similarly irreconcilable (Iran is hosting and supporting al Qaeda's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan).
Take note of the fact noted in the Fox link that both Iran and Syria praised Hezbollah's Lebanese Anchluss. Bashar Assad is the junior partner in this alliance and takes his orders from Tehran. He's no free agent that can pick and choose his friends and switch "teams" at a whim. Even if he were to be so entinced, what reason is there to believe the the mullahs would just let him jump ship? Assad may be chinless, but I can't think he's completely clueless; all he has to do is look at the direction of American politics and the ascendant party's determination to abandon the fledgling democracy next door in Iraq to see how much any American alliance offer, no matter how ostensibly "sweet," in exchange for betraying Iran, Hezbollah, AND Hamas is truly worth. Would said offer include defending Assad's regime against an Iranian-ordered terror reprisal offensive? Would we be prepared to send troops into Syria not to liberate it, but preserve its Ba'athist dictatorship? Has anybody at State actually devoted a single brain cell to thinking through this breathtaking nonsense?
Of course not, because they don't have two brain cells to rub together between them. They assume every player in this hypothetical circle-jerk is as cynically materialistic, and brain-dead passive, as they are. We buy off Assad, the mullahs do nothing. Iraq buys off Assad, the mullahs do nothing. The mullahs who have spent the past thirty years fomenting Islamic revolution across the region, dreaming of conquering the entire planet under the Shiite Islamic banner, waging war against Israel and the West, and are closing in on the nuclear weapons with which they will finally bring these stupendous ambitions to fruition, will sit passively back, let all their gains be reversed without a peep, and then meekly pack in everything they stand for, become just another UN-administered backwater, and take up the Islamic extremist equivalent of golf.
Astonishingly, it was a prominent Democrat - Representative Gary Ackerman, chairman of the U.S. House Middle East subcommittee - who called this sick policy dementia the bullbleep it really is:
"I’m not convinced. It sounds lovely, and it has a sort of logic to it. But it’s a fantasy. The relationship between Iran and Syria is longstanding, durable, and is based on a bedrock of shared interests. This relationship is meant to fulfill each party’s deepest strategic aspirations and regional ambitions. Neither state wishes to live as a second class citizen in a Middle East ordered, organized and run by Washington, Cairo, and Riyadh. They have bigger dreams."
Or, in plain non-diplospeak, Syria's relationship with Iran is not "purely tactical and transactional." Yes, they really are our enemies; yes, they really have thought through what they think their interests are; and no, they can't be bribed out of them for the right price.
Besides which, they've already attained one of the two biggest enticements - Hezbollah's all-but-formal takeover of Lebanon - and the other one - return of the Golan - has been at least informally offered. Aren't bargains supposed to be driven at least a little harder than that?
The reality is that little or nothing short of the U.S. Army invading Syria, smashing into Damascus, and giving the "chinless opthamologist" two choices would persuade him that crossing us would be less to his advantage than crossing the mullahgarchy. Any "sweet deal" he'd just pocket, or more likely pass on to his Iranian "senior partners", and renege on the rest. Which would trigger an overpowering impulse on our part to....resume negotiations to "sweeten the deal" even more.
I say that, my friends, because that is precisely what Foggy Bottom has been pursuing with Iran itself for (at least) the past two years:
To recount: We were dealing with an apocalyptic regime certain that radical Islam’s global triumph was as imminent as the long lost Mahdi’s arrival any day now. President Bush had said time and again that it was pointless to negotiate with terrorists because they are — surprise! — incorrigible. Yet, Secretary Rice convinced the President that the ball would really be advanced by [drum-roll] . . . direct U.S. negotiations with Iran....
What was the price? What stringent preconditions did Condi Rice persuade the President that we should demand? A commitment to foreswear, or at least suspend, the development of nuclear weapons? A commitment to refrain from abetting Iraqi insurgents in the murder of American troops? A commitment to stop funding Hezbollah, the world’s most adept terrorist organization — and the one that, prior to 9/11, had trained al-Qaeda operatives and killed more Americans than any other? A commitment to restrain its Revolutionary Guards and Qods force from targeting Americans? A commitment to retract its threats to wipe Israel from the face of Earth?
Well . . . not exactly.
In the midst of the war on terror, at a time when the express policy of the United States was to regard and treat as terrorists the regimes that sponsor terrorism, in circumstances where Iran was actively coddling al-Qaeda and killing American soldiers, the Bush Administration insisted on . . . no preconditions for negotiating with Iran.
Oh, but we did offer them a "sweet deal," alright. Did the mullahs swoon in appreciation and gratitude for our good-hearted, generous largesse? Did they fleece us in public comity and private contempt?
Nope and nope:
[A]s would have been effortlessly predicted by anyone who has followed Iran for the last thirty years, when the mullahs looked at the Bush Administration’s front-loaded, precondition-free offer, they laughed their heads off. They told us to take a $3- (now $4-) dollar-a-gallon hike.
So what did the Bush State Department do?
It gave Iran the civil-aviation assistance anyway. And it continued to sit down with the regime’s diplomats while the regime continued to build nukes, kill Americans, and dispatch Hezbollah to kill Israelis.
That is to say, we not only demanded no preconditions for negotiations; we persisted in patently futile negotiations even as they thumbed our eyes. [emphasis added]
Such was the oceanic depths of Iran's contempt that they didn't deem us worthy of even taking advantage of our abject, incurable idiocy.
Some readers of this space probably think that I'm a rigidly recalcitrant warmonger who has utterly no use for diplomacy whatsoever. Nothing could be further from the truth. Well, okay, some things are probably further from the truth, but that would still be a vast overstatement. My view of diplomacy aligns with that of the first German chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck. It was he who became the most famous practitioner of "realpolitik," in which diplomacy was employed not for ludicrously high-minded foolishness, seditious pacifistic twaddle, or simply the mindless pursuit of process (sharks eat, swim, and make baby sharks; diplomats pump the air full of useless words), but in the aggressive pursuit of national interest. Bismarck had in mind a realistic objective - the unification of Germany and establishing her as the leading power in Europe. He also sought to protect that accomplishment via the isolation of her natural enemies, France and Russia, from the rest of Europe as well as each other.
Bismarck achieved all of these goals (almost) entirely at the negotiating table.
You can quibble with those goals, and you can argue that Bismarck was an extraordinary international horse-trader whose diplomatic ledgerdemain was virtually unemulatable. What no one can deny is that he employed the art of negotiation in the perceived interests of his country, and the end result was good not just for Germany but for Europe as a whole. It was only after Kaiser Wilhelm II fired Bismarck that all his painstaking diplomatic accomplishments unraveled, and the march to World War I began.
Would that at least the spirit of Otto Van Bismarck, if not (God help us) the skill, could animate any echelon of the State Department, rather than the spirit of Neville Chamberlain. The latter has permeated Foggy Bottom for decades. It exhausted and outlasted even the Bush Doctrine. And it has us backpedaling toward the full-scale escalation of World War IV into the apocalyptic disaster that the continuation of the pre-emptive "medicine" of five years ago could so easily have prevented.
That's before Barack Hussein Obama journeys to Tehran to bow down to the mullahs as President Rodham's personal representative. And, what's more, if John Sith McCain represents "the third Bush term" (on foreign policy, at least, which is supposed to be his selling point to the Right), how would his presidency differ from Rodbama's other than the symbolic cherry atop the "presidential diplomacy" sundae?
Do you yet see why neither I nor any other conservative can cast a meaningful vote in the 2008 presidential election? By the time Darth Queeg or Rodbama are finished socializing domestically and retreating abroad, we'll be comprehensively screwed beyond the ability of even another Ronald Reagan to fix.
You know what the biggest irony of all is? Iranian dissidents are practically begging us to forget "jaw jaw" and let the bombs start falling:
As Barack Obama and John McCain thrash it out over how they would deal with Iran, voices from inside Iran are weighing in with an unusual message: If the United States strikes hard and fast, we will support you.
Emissaries from inside Iran have been meeting with Iranian exiles in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere in recent weeks to deliver this provocative message, which they claim comes from pro-U.S. dissidents at the upper-most levels of the regime.
“U.S. airstrikes must be powerful and sustained enough to break the myth of the regime’s absolute power and reveal the weakness of the leadership,” a former official who traveled outside of Iran recently said.
They're not talking about former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton's limited strikes on Quds Force bases feeding Shiite insurgents into Iraq, or even Iran's hardened and dispersed nuclear facilities, either; they want us to take the head off the snake:
The United States should target the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards Corp, the offices of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and that of his predecessor and rival, Mullah Hashemi-Rafsanjani, Iranian sources say.
The goal should be to carry out sustained airstrikes over a 48-72 hour period that would “decapitate” the regime.
Such a strike would send a clear message to the Iranian people and to disgruntled officials throughout Iran’s faction-ridden government that the United States is serious about confronting the regime over its bad behavior in Iraq and is willing to strike the leaders responsible for that behavior, the Iranian sources argue....
“The conventional wisdom is that limited strikes will allow the regime to rally the people around the flag,” says Mohebat Ahdiyyih, an Iran media analyst at the office of the director of National Intelligence.
“However, if the U.S. launches a major strike that goes after the leadership in Iran, that’s different,” he told Newsmax. “Most Iranians hate the regime. People would be very happy to see a major strike that took out the leadership.”...
And the ultimate endgame of this decapitation strategy?
U.S. airstrikes that target the top leadership of Iran and refrain from extensive damage to civilians or religious targets, could win strong support from the Iranian people for a pro-U.S. coup by the security services, many Iranians in positions of responsibility believe....
Dissidents within the Iranian military and the Revolutionary Guards believe that U.S. air strikes that take out the leadership will open the doors to a coup led by the military that would put an end to the Islamic Republic.
Readers of this space also know that I believe it is years too late for merely "encouraging uprisings" against the Islamic regime, to the degree that that was ever a tenable option. Also that history shows no examples whereby a country was defeated in war by airpower alone. Only by putting boots on the ground can power be not just projected, but imposed, which is the prerequisite to true and full "regime change". Given that we're on the clock of how soon the mullahs can get possession of functioning nuclear warheads, and how close to fruition that process is (as little as three months from now, if they haven't already), and the likelihood of their promptly using those warheads against their enemies - Israel, our European allies, and ourselves - time is vanishingly short for exercising the only option that can avert this apocalyptic scenario: the military option.
Given all the uproar that invading Iraq has incurred, one can understand why the airstrike option would appeal to whatever hawks still exist in the Bush Administration, if any. Personally, I'm skeptical about the efficacy of a "decapitation" strike - how many times did we try to off Saddam Hussein during the "major combat" phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom? - but if we really don't have the capability of invading and occupying Iran (and God help us if we don't), I think it is worth the gamble.
But despite lingering reports here and there - the latest from Israeli Army Radio - that President Bush intends to keep his promise to de-nuke Iran via air power before he leaves office, the White House again pissed all over that possibility depressingly definitively:
In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the White House said that Bush believed that “no president of the United States should ever take options off the table, but our preference and our actions for dealing with this matter remain through peaceful diplomatic means. Nothing has changed in that regard.”
Some Washington, D.C. analysts take the White House at its word. “The Bush Administration has decided that the nuclear issue [in Iran] should be decided by the next administration,” Patrick Clawson, deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy told the conference at AEI.
Translation: We'll leave the heavy-duty appeasement to our successors.
Exit questions: Is GDub even aware of the policies that are being pursued in his name? If he's not as abjectly stupid as that would make him, how did he get through that anti-appeasement speech to the Knesset without his nose growing right out the door?
And either way, do you still harbor any lingering doubts of just how screwed we really are?
UPDATE: Et tu, Iraq?:
Iraq’s most influential Shiite cleric has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible — a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad…
So far, al-Sistani’s fatwas have been limited to a handful of people. They also were issued verbally and in private — rather than a blanket proclamation to the general Shiite population — according to three prominent Shiite officials in regular contact with al-Sistani as well as two followers who received the edicts in Najaf…
A longtime official at al-Sistani’s office in Najaf would not deny or confirm the edicts issued in private, but hinted that a publicized call for jihad may come later.
“(Al-Sistani) rejects the American presence,” he told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to media. “He believes they (the Americans) will at the end pay a heavy price for the damage they inflicted on Iraq.”
Ingratitude at best, treachery at worst. If, of course, the story is on the level.
Makes a convenient new "RETREEEEEAAAAAT!!!!!" talking point for Rodbama, though, doesn't it?
Can anybody explain why on God's green Earth Ehud Olmert has opened "indirect" "peace" talks with Syria, which is diplospeak for "hand back the Golan Heights so Bashar Assad can resume hoarding water and shelling northern Israel"?:
Israel and Syria on Wednesday said they were holding indirect peace talks through Turkish mediators — the first official confirmation of contacts between the longtime enemies.
In statements issued minutes apart, the two governments said they “have declared their intent to conduct these talks in good faith and with an open mind,” with a goal of reaching “a comprehensive peace.”
Both nations thanked Turkey for its help, and Turkey issued its own confirmation. Muslim Turkey has good ties with both Israel and Syria.
There have been reports in recent months of new Israeli-Syrian contacts through Turkey, and Turkey’s foreign minister said earlier this month that his country was trying to bring the sides together. But this was the first official confirmation that contacts have resumed.
It was only eight months ago that the IAF destroyed Syria's clandestine North Korean-built nuclear reactor. Syria continues to sponsor Israel's enemy to the north, Hezbollah, and their enemy to the south, Hamas. These factors make it go without saying that Assad cannot be trusted. So what the bleep - begging your pardon - is Olmert doing?
Ensign Ed wonders the same thing of Assad, but his motivations aren't difficult at all to figure out. It ought to be common knowledge by now that the best way to wear down the Jews is to make ersatz "peace" overtures to them. That places Jerusalem in the position of having to go along, as (1) they have spent the last sixty years insisting that all they want is to be left alone in peace, and (2) the anti-Semitic "international community" is also pushing the Israelis to make peace "at any price". Look at how the "peace process" succeeded in getting the Jewish state to retreat from both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and allow their Palestinian arch enemies footholds within their post-Six Day War borders. If the Syrians had sufficient patience, the Golan Heights might be just the downpayment on their concessionary haul.
But Olmert? He might have more personal reasons for smoking the funny pipe:
Olmert is due to be interrogated by the police again on Friday, in preparation for the pre-trial testimony of 'donor' Morris (Moshe) Talansky on Sunday. Olmert's lawyers, having already lost in the Supreme Court on whether Talansky could testify before trial, are now seeking to lengthen the proceedings as much as possible by seeking a postponement of two weeks in Talansky's testimony. Talansky has already told the police that he gave Olmert envelopes filled with cash that were not to cover election debt. Talansky is insisting on returning to the US on Monday. What remains of the gag order on the investigation is due to be lifted at 8:00 tonight.
So; the Israeli Prime Minister is ensnared in a corruption scandal, and two days before his sugardaddy is to testify in his trial, Olmert announces a "diplomatic breakthrough" with one of Israel's most intractible enemies. Coincidence?
"The recipient of cash envelopes will not touch the Golan," Likud faction chairman, MK Gideon Sa'ar, said Wednesday in response to the announcement by the Prime Minister's Office confirming the existence of indirect peace talks with Syria being conducted via Turkey.
"The PM's announcement confirms that there is no end to this cynicism in playing with Israel's strategic assets for the sake of Olmert's personal survival," Sa'ar said.
Olmert "doesn't have a majority for making concessions on the Golan - not in the Knesset and not among the public," he added. "Shas needs to leave the Olmert government immediately."
Likud MK Gilad Erdan charged that "Olmert has finally proven that he is willing to sell everything, including Israel's security, in order to cause us to forget the severe criminal offenses that he suspected of."
"If Shas, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak do not quit his corrupt government forthwith then they are fully complicit in selling the Golan and relinquishing our defense," he continued.
Likud MK Yisrael Katz, who is the head of the Golan Lobby in the Knesset also lambasted the PMO's announcement.
"The prime minister and the president of Syria must thoroughly understand that there is a clear Knesset majority against an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan," Katz said. "More than 61 MKs signed a petition against relinquishing the Golan and they won't allow the prime minister to continue the process."
Knesset Member Shelly Yechimovich (Labor), who is associated with the left-wing of the party, has charged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with cynicism for announcing two days before he testified in a criminal probe that Israel is holding indirect talks with Syria.
"This is a new spin by the Prime Minister, whose objective is to take away attention from the envelopes stuffed with money" that he received, said the former journalist.
On the political left, Meretz MK Zahava Gal'on said she supports talks with Syria, but agrees that Olmert does not have the mandate to do it.
As to the Israeli public at large...:
The War and Peace Index of last month - a survey of 600 Israeli adults conducted by the B. I. Cohen Institute of Tel Aviv University - found that a whopping 75% of Israelis oppose an Israeli withdrawal from all of the Golan Heights for a full peace treaty with Syria, whereas only 19% favor this.
I thought that after the utter debacle the Olmert regime made of the 2006 summer war against Hezbollah and Hamas, he wouldn't last to Labor Day. Yet somehow he survived. Now we begin to see why. A man who has already proven himself to be two-faced (at minimum) was apparently so enamored of power that he was willing to sell himself and his office to the highest bidder. Given that he's also proven himself to be a fool pretty much from the day he succeeded Ariel Sharon, it's not all that surprising that he got caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Attempting a desperate, "big splash" distraction by giving away the critically strategic Golan in the hideously misguided belief that that would buy him sufficient public goodwill to keep his ass in the premiership was simply the next logical step.
Mr. Morrissey's analysis is, as usual, not nearly cynical enough. Far from the Israelis refusing to sign any agreement a pre-emptive end to Syrian sponsorship of Hezbollah and Hamas, according to the aforelinked Carl in Jerusalem:
Israel Radio reported on its 2:00 newscast on Wednesday that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem has already announced to the media that Israel has agreed to withdraw to the indefensible June 4, 1967 borders. Israel declined comment (which likely means Olmert did agree). But Haaretz reports that Olmert has given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a 'secret formula' that has satisfied the chinless ophthalmologist:An Israeli official said that Olmert gave Syria a "formula" on the Golan Heights "that (President Bashar al) Assad wanted," though the details remain secret.
Another Israeli official familiar with the two country's relations said, "It will be a very long process. The direct talks themselves have not yet started." [emphases added]
The "long process" will evidently be one of public relations backfilling to sell this frankly stunning capitulation to an Israeli populace that bitterly opposes it by the above-mentioned four to one margin.
I'd like to think that this will be the final straw for Olmert, and that he and his risible Kaditha faction would be driven from power with more than metaphorical boot-prints on their buttcheeks, the better to bring the prophetic Benjamin Netanyahu back to the office that La Clinton Nostra stole from him on Ehud Barak's behalf a decade ago. Just as I would prefer to believe that the Knesset will, indeed, block the "without preconditions" unauthorized quid pro quo that Olmert appears to have offered "the chinless ophthalmologist". But Olmert did weather his incompetent 2006 military defeat. I don't know if he's a political Houdini of Bill Clinton's calibre, but another successful escape, and ultimately kissing the Golan bye-bye, can't be ruled out.
It's not unlike if, rather than his brothers selling him into slavery, the patriarch Joseph had sold his brothers instead in exchange for his "coat of many colors". In times so large, with the Jewish state in unprecedented peril (and that's saying something), can Israelis really afford to keep around so vanishingly small a "leader" who values his own petty corruptions over the survival of his country itself - or is too myopic to even notice that's what he's doing?
Former US President Dhimmi Carter did today what President Bush declined to do in January: He laid a wreath at the mausoleum of former terror leader Yasser Arafat....
Carter is also to meet tonight with Nasser al-Shaer, a 'leading Hamas member' in Samaria, who was deputy Prime Minister in the 'Palestinian unity government' that fell apart when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip last June.
Wow; that's the veritable terrorist blue plate special. Perhaps Sharkboy will hit Lebanon to make out with Hezbollah's Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah while he's at it.
You think I'm kidding, don't you? Guess again:
At a reception in the West Bank town of Ramallah organized by Carter’s office, the former president hugged Nasser Shaer, a senior Hamas politician, meeting participants said. Embraces between men are a common custom in Arab culture.
“He gave me a hug. We hugged each other, and it was a warm reception,” Shaer told The Associated Press. “Carter asked what he can do to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israel … and I told him the possibility for peace is high.”
....once all the Jews are dead. Betcha Mr. Peanut had a wet spot on the front of his slacks after this steamy encounter.
Meanwhile, the Syrians prepare for war...:
....using a non-existant threat of US/Israeli attack as PR cover. Maybe Assad and Meshaal will go over their war plans with Mr. Peanut as well - to "achieve peace" in the Middle East, of course.
But their ultimate ambitions are global:
Tomorrow, the world!
But, of course, Hamas hasn't had a chance to "express its views," so the Squire of Plains must go and "listen" to "their side".
Between orgasms, I'm guessing.
Mr. Peanut gets the cold shoulder in the capital of his enemies:
Former President Jimmy Carter brokered the first Israeli-Arab peace deal, but he's getting a cool reception in Israel during his latest visit to the Mideast.
Israeli leaders are shunning the globe-trotting peacemaker for planning to meet with Khaled Mashaal, the head of Israel's archenemy Hamas, and comparing the Jewish state's policies to apartheid.
A schedule released by the Atlanta-based Carter Center showed no plans for the former president to meet any of Israel's key players: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni or Defense Minister Ehud Barak during this week's visit, which began Sunday.
The only high-ranking official on Carter's schedule was Israel's ceremonial head of state, President Shimon Peres. The 83-year-old former U.S. leader held a closed meeting with Peres shortly after arriving Sunday.
If I may translate: the Olmert regime is miffed because Carter beat him to Damasus and to the smooching of Hamas' (and Bashar Assad's) ceremonial anus. I'd wager the Squire of Plains didn't try all that hard to accomodate Israeli officials' "scheduling conflicts," either. So much for "listening to all sides."
But then, why bother when you do not, after all, have "an open mind"?:
"I think there's no doubt in anyone's mind that, if Israel is ever going to find peace with justice concerning the relationship with their next-door neighbors, the Palestinians, that Hamas will have to be included in the process."...
"I think that it's very important that at least someone meet with the Hamas leaders to express their views, to ascertain what flexibility they have, to try to induce them to stop all attacks against innocent civilians in Israel and to cooperate with the Fatah as a group that unites the Palestinians, maybe to get them to agree to a cease-fire - things of this kind," he said.
Gentlebeings, there is naivete, and then there is deliberate, contemptuous deception. Jimmy Carter is a fool. Always has been. But even fools are not this foolish. Yet he gives every indication of believing that we, his self-declared moral inferiors, are that chowder-headed and more. And if we refuse to be, well, that's just redundant proof of our moral inferiority.
"The Hamas leaders" have gone to great and repeated lengths to "express their views" - to wit, that Israel has no right to exist, Jews have no right to live, and Hamas fully intends to finish the "job" Adolph Hitler started - both with vitriolic words and serial acts of terrorist warfare. Talking to those animals will accomplish nothing other than to add to their unmerited veneer of prestige and legitimacy as "partners" in a "peace" they will never allow and which will never be realized as long as a single one of them continues to live.
And that's exactly why Sharkboy is meeting with them - without "scheduling conflicts".
Too harsh? Too cynical? Shall I point out Carter's previous port of call - Nepal - "where his team of observers from the Carter Center monitored an election that appeared likely to transform rule by royal dynasty into a [']democracy['] with former Maoist rebels in a strong position, judging by incomplete returns."
Why is it every election Jimmy Carter "observes" always seems to get stolen by the commies?
Come to think of it, didn't his "center" "observe" Hamas' 2005 Palestinian election triumph as well?
If anything, I'm giving that grinning, glad-handing sack of bleep the benefit of the doubt.
That statute, by way of review....:
forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.
The text of the Act is broad and is addressed at any attempt of a US citizen to conduct foreign relations without authority. However, there is no record of any convictions or even prosecutions under the Logan Act.
Which can be the only possible explanation for the post-White House meddling career of the worst president and most arrogant, perfidious, treacherous amoral supremacist to ever slither across the face of the planet.
Guess what? He's at it again:
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter plans to meet Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Syria next week, despite U.S. efforts to isolate the Islamist Palestinian group, Al Jazeera television said.
The meeting was expected to take place in the Syrian capital Damascus on April 18, and may also include former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and former South African President Nelson Mandela.
"Senior Hamas officials have confirmed the Carter meeting but declined to speak on camera out of both political and security considerations," Al Jazeera said on Thursday.
Washington shuns Hamas as a terrorist group and has joined Israel in supporting efforts to isolate it.
Have you ever noticed that despite years of these idiotic, illegal foreign policy junkets, Mr. Peanut never gets taken hostage? You'd think that some of the slime devils he idolizes and loves to play groupie to might take the opportunity to capture this fool of an infidel and test the market to see what they could get for him. At the very least, it would put President Bush in a PR bind, as, in this case, Meshaal would be doing him and all Americans a huge favor, but Dubya's self-assumed role of anti-terror warrior would force him to take decisive action to either rescue the Goober Plenopotentiary or avenge him.
I guess I answered my own question, didn't I? Not that Bush would invade Syria - he could (and should) have done that years ago - rather, Hamas would get less for Sharkboy than a full pallet of "Re-elect Eliot Spitzer" campaign buttons.
Can't imagine what Carter, Meshaal, Annan, and Mandela will have to discuss, can you?
That wasn't a rhetorical question - just pure cynicism.
Did I mention that Mr. Peanut is just slightly less anti-Semitic than you-know-who?
Hey, if nobody will enforce the Logan Act on Carter, and send his wrinkled ass to the slammer for the meager remains of his miserable, worthless life, I get to breach Godwin's Law just as egregiously.
Oh, no, it's not, reminds Geert Wilders:
Remember: Syria is undefeated. Iran is undefeated. Iran is within five months of the grand-opening of their nuclear weapons production line. Do you really think they won't use those warheads against Israel, and against us, as soon as humanly possible?
And we're about to elect people who want to surrender - as fast as humanly possible.
I'd put this video on my sidebar if I could make it fit. I'll have to settle for a permalink.