Brzezinski Says to Joe Scarborough: Read up on TABA, You Might Learn Something. . .

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Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski spent some time educating the nation — and Joe Scarborough — about the way to frame the current Gaza tragedy and what needs to be done to move forward.
Brzezinski laments the tragedy and loss of life in the Israeli attack on Gaza — but he properly diagnoses this as yet another stage in the predictable cycle of violence that neither the Israelis nor Palestinians seem able to pull them self away from. In other words, Brzezinski is saying that the Gaza mess is old news, old politics, and a predictable manifestation of strategic and moral immaturity on all sides.
Brzezinski’s exchange with Joe Scarborough is sweeping the internet now because of his statement to Morning Joe‘s namesake:

You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it’s almost embarrassing to listen to you.

Ouch. . .yes. But as Mika Brzezinski said about her father and growing up in her household, that sort of statement by Zbig almost reflects ‘affection.’
But that exchange, while entertaining, is not important.
What is significant is that Brzezinski essentially issued a challenge to Obama and his team to re-engage seriously — to go back to what was achieved at the Taba negotiations just before the Bush administration aborted the entire project.
The most important thing that Brzezinski said to Scarborough was (paraphrased from memory…but watch the video above):

Taba. It’s spelled T. . .A. . .B. . .A. Go look it up. You might learn something.

And Zbigniew Brzezinski is right.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

59 comments on “Brzezinski Says to Joe Scarborough: Read up on TABA, You Might Learn Something. . .

  1. Carroll says:

    Some times you need to remember the begining to see thing clearly.
    1) Contrary to what most Jews promote, WWII wasn’t about the Jews. It was an actual World War. Jewish hatred didn’t inspire the rise of the Hitler and the Nazis. It was Hitler’s extreme form of Nationalism that inspired the hatred of jews and all others who didn’t fit the German Aryan perfection model that would restore Germany to glory. The Jews were incidential to that War and were only half or less of the total people imprisoned and killed in the German concentrations camps.
    2)But the jewish factor in WWII gave the already existing zionist movement in Europe the necessary push, and the UK the necessary excuse to solve their own jewish problem and finally get the jews their own homeland.
    3) So Britian, with the help of the UN, took a page from Hitler and rolled over another people to give the jews their land. The land of people who had nothing to do with the jewish deaths or any others.
    Israel from day one has been built on 1)jewish seperateness, 2) vengence 3) greed, 4) myth, 5) victimhood, ..and most importantly a parastic ability to burrow into the US super power and subvert it for it’s own purpose.
    I am not willing to put money on the exact year Israel as it is now will cease to exist but I am willing to bet it will not survive in it’s current expanded form.
    And my crystal ball has never been wrong.

    Reply

  2. Cee says:

    caption that said something to the effect of “Israeli man, protecting himself from a Hamas rocket”.
    antiwar.com
    December 31, 2008
    Israel’s Constant Crisis
    It’s a survival mechanism
    by Justin Raimondo
    As the Israelis continue to pound Gaza, killing Hamas cadre, traffic cops, and civilians alike, Americans shake their heads and wonder: why can’t they all just get along? Why must we be involved? The answer to both questions lies in understanding the peculiar nature of the Israeli state and its “special relationship” to the West, specifically the U.S.
    Defenders of the Israeli government and its policies often complain that Israel just wants to be treated as a “normal country,” like any other. They cavil that the Jewish state is treated like an outsider, a pariah, and held up to standards that don’t apply anywhere else. The big problem for these complainants, however, is that Israel is not a normal country, and never has been.
    From the day of its birth, Israel has been a Western project, a unique creation of European ideologues whose vision of a Jewish state was rooted in myth, custom, and remembrance, rather than blood and soil. Israel owes its existence to theology rather than geography, and in this it occupies a singular place in the history of nations. The only other comparable state is, or was, the old Soviet Union, which was founded as the receptacle for Leninist ideology, but even here the analogy isn’t quite exact, for the simple reason that Russia preexisted the USSR by several centuries, and Russian nationalism soon came to dominate and overwhelm the ostensibly “interna tionalist” Kremlin leadership.
    As a settler colony rather than a rooted nation, Israel’s always precarious existence is made possible by an extensive international support system that exists entirely outside the Middle East. In the beginning, it was the Zionist movement itself that provided the outside material aid that nurtured and grew this nascent nation. That, however, was not enough to provide the sustenance Israel needed to come into existence and survive in a very rough neighborhood, so it was the British empire that presided over its birth. The Balfour Declaration provided the semi-legal basis for the existence of an independent Jewish state in the area known as Palestine.
    The British, however, had neither the resources nor the inclination to act as Israel’s permanent sponsor and protector, and this role eventually fell to the United States. Without U.S. aid, including unconditional military and political support, Israel could not exist for long. Over the years, it has evolved its own characteristic means of survival, which is analogous to that of an epiphyte – a plant that, rather than rooting in its own soil, grows on other plants.
    Because Israel is almost entirely dependent on international support – and especially American support – for its very survival, without U.S. public opinion behind it the Jewish state would soon wither on the vine. What this means, in practice, is that a constant stream of pro-Israel propaganda must be directed at the American people in order to justify the high levels of financial and military aid that keep Israel afloat. What’s more, the Israelis must constantly generate the urgency and immediacy of the need to support their country. They have succeeded in doing this by projecting a sense of continuing crisis. The idea that Israel is in danger, that unless we ship billions more in taxpayer dollars the Israeli state will sink beneath the waves of an unrelenting Arab assault, is constantly being pushed – and we wonder why the “peace process” is perpetually stalled.
    Given the need for a constant crisis, all efforts to mediate a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question are doomed to utter failure. The Israelis simply have no interest in peace, when war suits their purposes so well. Indeed, when things get too peaceful, they hav e every interest in stirring things up. Once more, Israel is supposedly fighting for its life – so please keep those aid packages coming, to the tune of over $3 billion per year!
    Another aspect of this epiphytic survival strategy involves the large-scale theft of military and other classified secrets, mainly from the U.S., as illustrated by the arrest of Jonathan Pollard, and, more recently, his fellow spy Ben Ami Kadish. U.S. intelligence agencies have long characterized Israel as the most aggressive procurer of illicit technology transfers, and the case of Kadish – who stole nuclear secrets, missile defense technology, and other high-tech weapon designs – underscores this sensitive yet largely ignored aspect of the “special relationship.”
    Yet it isn’t just technological secrets that the Israelis are interested in pilfering from their American big brothers: due to their dependence on the decisions and actions of our policymakers, they also require an extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the U.S. government. That’s what the case of the AIPAC defendants is all about.
    While Kadish recently pled guilty to charges of espionage, the AIPAC defendants – Steve Rosen, former AIPAC lobbying director, and Keith Weissman, who used to be AIPAC’s Iran expert – are fighting the charges. They are accused of pilfering not only military-related intelligence, but also U.S. government documents revealing the internal policy debates within the administration, especially U.S. policy toward Iran. Their defense
    team argues that the Justice Department, in prosecuting their clients, is criminalizing what ought to be considered legitimate lobbying and advocacy. One has to wonder, however, what kind of “advocacy” requires the theft [.pdf] of highly sensitive and classified materials and their transmission to officials of a foreign government.
    Yet, from the Israeli perspective, this is entirely legitimate, given their peculiar national survival strategy. An epiphyte, after all, depends on its host. The host, however, may have other ideas – and that’s where the extensive Israeli penetration of U.S. governmental and opinion-making institutions comes in. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have done us all a service is providing a comprehensive survey of this effort and its astounding success, and we are seeing this play out in the political responses to the Gaza massacre, with both major political parties, as well as the incoming president and the bulk of the media, playing right along with the Israeli propaganda machine.
    Until and unless the peculiarities of the “special relationship” are untangled and the cord cut, Israel will continue to rampage throughout the Middle East. The most recent Gaza massacre is only the beginning.

    Reply

  3. WigWag says:

    Israel kills senior Hamas leader and according to Hamas may have done so at the request of Palestinian Authority led by President Abbas.
    Yes, the Arab world sure is united in support of Hamas.
    Jan 1, 2009 16:38 | Updated Jan 2, 2009 0:16
    No tears for Hamas leader in Ramallah
    Jerusalem Post
    “Nizar Rayyan, the Hamas military commander who was killed in Thursday’s air raid on his home in the Jabalya refugee camp, was a sworn enemy not only of Israel, but also of the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.
    Rayyan, who had four wives and a dozen children, led the Hamas militiamen who defeated Abbas’s security forces in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. He is the third most senior Hamas leader to be killed by Israel, after the targeted killings of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in March 2004 and his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a few weeks later.
    Hamas leaders stressed that Rayyan’s death, while a “painful loss” to their movement, would not affect its determination to continue the fight against Israel.
    A Hamas spokesman said he did not rule out the possibility that the PA had asked Israel to kill Rayyan because of his role in the Hamas-Fatah clashes in 2007.
    Sheikh Rayyan was one of the main reasons why many of Abbas’s men did not sleep well at night,” he said. “They knew that as long as the sheikh was around, they would never be able to return to the Gaza Strip.”
    A few days before Hamas took full control of the Gaza Strip, Rayyan, dressed in military fatigues and carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle, declared that he and his supporters were planning to hold Friday prayers inside Abbas’s presidential compound in Gaza City.
    Rayyan personally led the Hamas militiamen who seized the compound and PA security installations throughout Gaza. He later boasted that the Strip had been “cleansed” of “traitors” and “CIA agents” – a reference to Abbas and his former security chiefs.
    A few months later, Rayyan again issued a threat against Abbas. This time he declared that he would soon lead Friday prayers inside Abbas’s Mukata compound in Ramallah, an indication of Hamas’s intention to extend its control to the West Bank.
    That was why PA officials in Ramallah Thursday did not shed tears over his departure from the scene. In fact, some of them privately expressed relief, claiming that he was responsible for the killing of scores of Abbas loyalists in the Gaza Strip during the 2007 “coup.”
    Many Palestinians saw the killing of Rayyan, 60, as a severe blow to Hamas and its armed wing, Izzadin Kassam. Some Hamas supporters said on Thursday that Rayyan was more significant than Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh or senior Hamas leaders Mahmoud Zahar and Said Siam…”

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, considering the very real humanitarian crisis in Gaza, that has existed for some time now, (even before this latest eradication campaign Israel has launched), Livni’s comment that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is “completely as it should be” is racist and monstrous to its core. Such a comment is indefensible on moral grounds.
    Incidentally, yesterday I was intrigued by the lead article in the Los Angeles Times about the situation in Gaza. The semantics used were somewhat telling, as to how language can be used to spin news towards directed conclusions. I found it interesting that the word “goods” was used in describing the materials being blocked from entering Gaza by the pre-invasion blockade. Not “food”, “medical supplies”, “medicines”, etc, but instead, “goods”, as if the Palestinians are being deprived of MPV players and tennis shoes. I have yet to see the Times mention how crippling the blockade has been to the Palestinian people, blocking essential neccessities of survival.
    And the article included references to the deadly rocket attacks that Hamas is raining down on poor Israeli innocents. But rather stupidly, and certainly not in keeping with the intend of the article, they showed a photograph of the interior of an Israeli home that was hit by one of these rockets. There was a gaping and ragged hole in the ceiling, and some debris spread about the room. The furniture in the damaged room was intact, and the adjoining room that the photograph included was undamaged.
    However, they did also include a picture of an Israeli man, on the front page, curled up in a ball on the ground, with no visual frame of reference around him, with a caption that said something to the effect of “Israeli man, protecting himself from a Hamas rocket”.
    (“Hey, man, do us a favor, will ya? Curl up on the ground so I can snap a picture of what its like to dodge a deadly rain of Hamas rockets”)
    Judging from the damage to the house pictured, the poor cowering Israeli has as much chance of getting killed by a Hamas rocket as I do. How many now? Killed by this “deadly rain of Hamas weaponry”? A dozen? Two dozen? Three or four?
    Try curling up on the ground for protection from an American made, Israeli launched air to ground missile comin’ atcha at mach 1.

    Reply

  5. DonS says:

    This was the question I added to the Obama site, on foreign policy. Unfortunately (the site functions so that late added questions really do not get viewed or voted on. Not that this hurts my feelings or anything.:
    “Will an Obama administration oppose subservience of American politics and institutions to the Israel lobby,be even-handeded at the UN, use America’s aid to Israel to influence Israeli behavior, stop equating American interests with Israeli interests?”

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    From Haaretz today:
    “Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, on a visit to Paris on Thursday,
    reiterated her government’s rejection of a French-proposed
    cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.
    (…)
    Reiterating Israel’s rejection of the 48-hour humanitarian
    cease-fire proposal, Livni said “there is no humanitarian crisis in
    the Strip, and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian
    truce.”
    In her remarks to reporters, Livni said Israel had been careful to
    protect the civilian population and had kept the humanitarian
    situation in Gaza “completely as it should be”. ”
    ———–
    What can I say?

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    From Simon Tisdall`s comment in today`s The Guardian (UK):
    “To most people the word “immediate” means right away,
    instantly or without delay. But like a second grade English class
    dunce, the Bush administration continues to struggle with the
    definition. Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to the UN, told a
    new year’s eve security council session that Washington was
    working hard for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza. Then he
    blocked a ceasefire resolution, calling it “unbalanced”.
    White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe seems similarly
    conflicted. He said George Bush supported British, EU, UN and
    Arab League calls for an immediate cessation of violence.
    But when asked whether that had been made plain to Israel, he
    replied: “I don’t recall any specific announcements or requests
    that we’ve made on that front, except to say that we want to see
    a ceasefire that is durable, that is lasting, and that in particular
    is respected by Hamas.”
    In other words, Johndroe indicated, “immediate” is not now. It’s
    when we say so. And it has to be “sustainable”.”
    ————
    “White House wordsmith Johndroe hit more terminological
    trouble when asked whether the US was worried that Israel was
    about to undertake a ground offensive to attain these
    objectives. “A ground offensive is a very – it’s a large – it’s a
    term that encompasses a lot of things. It probably means
    different things to different people,” he said.”
    —————–
    These guys have a very special approach to words. Ground
    offensive. Torture. Terrorism. Plain and simple words like
    Immediate. Yes. No. For these guys, all these terms are very…
    are large… encompass a lot of things, and probably mean
    different things to different people.
    After his service in the White House, I guess Mr Johndroe will
    write a book about the terrrrible things happening while he was
    working in the White House. And at that time, he`ll suddenly
    know the precise meaning of terms like Immediate, Yes”, No,
    Ground offensive, torture etc.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama has a website that supposedly submits YOUR questions to the Obama camp. The site has a popularity gauging system for the questions, determined, supposedly, by your vote. Registration is easy, and mercifully has very few questions. I checked out the questions about “foreign policy”, and was amazed at how many questions were directed towards asking Obama if he was going to stop subsidizing the crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people. It seems that these Israeli puppets like AIPAC, Pelosi, Harman, Reid, etc. are no longer successfully running their con-job. The American public is waking up to the truth about Israel and the subservience our leaders bestow on a monster.

    Reply

  9. Mythbuster says:

    Benjamin Juarez says: “The Israelis wish the Palestinian civilians no harm, but Hamas and their supports must die. This is the only way the set the stage for meaningful negotiations, that is, with Hamas out of the way and fully eliminated.”
    Translation: Israel will then be able to “negotiate” with only those Palestinians like Muhammad Dahlan who don’t oppose them.
    And what are they going to negotiate about? You seem to forget that Bibi already said he was not going to support a Palestinian state. See http://www.netanyahu.org/binnetspeeca.html
    Facts are cruel things.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerrican says:

    “The United States used to be a world leader in these matters but it has lost moral ground. The criminal behavior of George W. Bush and Condi Rice in this conflict, the Lebanon war and the Iraq has rendered them war criminals. They should be hauled before the International Court in The Hague, tried and locked up for the rest of their lives. They have knowingly caused more human suffering and tragedy than any dictator since Hitler”
    Tragically, unfortunately, and regretably, Ajaz speaks the truth. Aside from some of the tribal genocides in Africa, committed by zealots in undeveloped and backwards countries, Dick Cheney and George Bush have achieved a height of evil unrivaled since Adolph Hitler, with the possible exception of Polpot. And Israel can be assigned with the same distinction, thanks to our willing assistance.

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The trouble with RCA’s argument is that Scarborough is NOT just an uninformed citizen, the victim of an irresponsible and absent Fourth Estate. Scarborough is supposed to BE a member of the Fourth Estate. One would hope that it is incumbent upon these media celebrities such as Scarborough to inform themselves beyond the level of the man on the street.
    I find it somewhat naive to cast figures such as Scarborough as victims of the the media’s failure to accurately and completely inform the public. He IS the media. It is far more likely that he is presenting his own knowledge of events and issues in a jaded manner, pushing for a specific spin on events that will bring the public over to a perception of events that is complimentary to his own political agenda. And, of course, to the political agenda of those pulling his puppet strings. Thats why I have always felt that Scarborough is out of place on MSNBC, and would be far more comfortable hawking his garbage on Fox News. Or he could REALLY get in character, and get himself a radio talk show akin to that of these lyin’ sacks of shit like Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, or Levin. Such a move would elevate him from his current status of mere irritating RW lackey to the Scumball Talking Head Hall of Fame. Its an honor he has long deserved.

    Reply

  12. Hans Suter says:

    “are WE ALL superficial and ignorant” no, not me. Information is a debt you have to actively collect, it will not be brought to you.

    Reply

  13. RCA says:

    I disagree with Scarborough’s stance, always 100% for Israel bombing whoever it wants, yet it was unfair for Zbigniew to go after him in the way he did. Yes, its true that the American media may have fallen down on the job, again, back then in 2000 and 2001. Maybe the TABA thing occurred the way Z.B. says it did. Yet it is unfair to imply that Scarborough is some kind of an idiot for remembering the part of the story that the American media did report.
    I remember distinctly that Arafat was given this opportunity to accept the agreement Israel offered in which Palestine would get back over 90% of the territory that was lost to Israel in 1967, and Arafat rejected it. This was not in January 2001, as Bush was slithering into office. This was about a year earlier, as I recall. Arafat rejected it.
    Now it may well be that Z.B. was right in saying that Israel kept the offer alive longer and that Arafat was dithering on it, and the clock ran out because the pro-war Bush gang came in. But all Brzezinski had to say was, “it is a little known fact that …” and then state the facts about TABA, that I guarantee you almost nobody in America knew. I guess 100% of the people in America are shockingly superficial, according to Brzezinski, because (1) our media failed us back then, and( 2) that was 8 years ago, and few remember the details now, but they remember distinctly Arafat standing there and rejecting the best chance for his people to get almost all of their land back, and all he had to do was go for it. It was a done deal if he said yes.
    Look, I hate Bush as much or more than anybody, but Scarborough did not say anything to Brzezinski to justify what he said back. Scarborough hosts the show Brzezinski’s daughter works on, and so what was accomplished by himnsulting Scarborough, and at the very end, if you listen closely, insulting the American people by mentioning “the standards of 300 million people[?]” I have been to China, Tibet, all over Europe and Canada, and I read extensively, but I have never been to the Middle East, and if the media played down the TABA details 8 years ago and I never found out, and Scarborough didn’t, and I guarantee 99% of the people reading this right now didn’t know this, are WE ALL superficial and ignorant, or is Zbigniew Brzezinski simply a rude man flaunting his superior knowledge?
    It is possible to educate and not denigrate.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Who remembers his comment about his greedy Jewish clients in Southern California?”
    That is a lie. I never made such a comment. Ever.
    “Who remembers POA telling us how he was afraid to get out of his truck and felt the need to drive quickly because there were, God forbid, Mexicans around?”
    There are areas in and around Bakersfield, where the tools will be stolen off your truck, by indigent Mexican illegals, if you are foolish enough to leave your truck unattended. Period. I never commented that I needed to “drive quickly” because “there were Mexicans around”. That too is a lie. If I am being racist by realizing that that are certain areas that you do not leave your tools unattended because they will be stolen by indigent Mexican illegals, than so be it. Funny, though, I thought protecting my possessions was just plain common sense, not racism.
    “Yes, POA, those Mexicans really adversely affect you and your neighbors. You live on land stolen from them not much earlier than the establishment of Israel and now you complain that they adversely affect your area”
    Personally, I do not find Wig-wag’s above quoted paragraph as an insult, or a slur of any kind. Certainly, it does not demonstrate or underscore any “racism” on my part. Instead, I find the paragraph to be an enlightening window into what a complete and utter asshole wig-wag truly is. If there is anyone reading this that agrees with wig-wag’s logic, reasoning, or rationales for interpreting my comments as racist, I’d love to hear from them. Perhaps they can express themselves in a more coherant manner, and advance an argument that is more convincing. But until then, I would certainly be willing to make a substantial wager that most here, reading wig-wag’s commentary on this issue, find him to be every bit the asshole that I have long maintained he is.
    In addition, I would welcome the opportunity to drop wig-wag off in a few locations I know of, say, at midnight, for him to take an evening stroll. In the morning, as I am visiting him at the local ER facility, it would be interesting to see if he thinks he was adversely affected by illegal immigration or not.
    BTW, there are areas of Bakersfield that are quite dangerous because of black street gangs. I must be racist against blacks because I recognize that fact, and try to avoid those areas. Yep, I’m just a regular bigot, I am. Shame on me.

    Reply

  15. JamesL says:

    Joe M bears repeating: “It is ignorant and stupid to believe that the USA can solve the conflict by engaging it. It has been a major cause of the conflict for 40 years or so. The USA needs to get out of the conflict, stop funding the Zionists, and stop forcing shitty puppet leaders on the Palestinians. In fact, the USA should boycott Israel and the Palestinians until there is a solution.”
    I say we reverse the money, weapons, trade percs, all the bells and whistles, from Israel to the Palestinians, and put a full trade embargo on Israel for, say, a decade, to even things up a bit– give everyone an equal chance– and let the locals hash things out themselves. If you don’t like that idea, then you understand how repulsive the uncritical support by the US of Israel has been.
    I used to support Israel because they were the seeming underdogs, which I used to think was an American ideal. But that support long ago perished under the weight of Israeli actions that created and maintained new generations of dispossessed and oppressed. Liberty used to be something Americans promoted, but obviously some key part of this ideal has broken with regard to Palestinians. It looks like we just aren’t up to liberty and justice for all any more.

    Reply

  16. JohnH says:

    “Hamas and their supports must die. This is the only way the set the stage for meaningful negotiations, that is, with Hamas out of the way and fully eliminated.”
    Eliminating the terrorists will solve everything–just like Southern Lebanon in 2006, Intifada 2000, Intifada 1987, Lebanon 1982, huh? Once the terrorists are all killed, then Israel can negotiate a peace. Except that it never happens!
    After one of its periodic rampages, Israel decides that it can’t negotiate peace because there is no peace partner to negotiate with. Plus, what’s the point of negotiating peace when things are already calm? So Israel just sits around and waits for more terrorists to come of age, so they can kill off a bunch more (with US blessing, of course).
    Charming, simply charming.

    Reply

  17. Benjamin Jaurez says:

    Keep your shirt on Ajaz, calm down. The bombing should be over by the end of next week hopefully after which the tanks will roll in. The Israelis wish the Palestinian civilians no harm, but Hamas and their supports must die. This is the only way the set the stage for meaningful negotiations, that is, with Hamas out of the way and fully eliminated. This is no picnic for the Israelis either. Many of them have loved ones in the military who will be away from home and in harms way. You think the Israelis wanted this to happen? So just sit tight, enjoy the New Years celebration, and all this will soon be over and all of us can get back to worrying about things we have the ability to have some control over. No sense worrying yourself sick over this latest cycle of unending violence. I’m an old man and have seen this happen regularly and I’m at the point where I just shrug my shoulders and say “They’re at it again, what can I do?” Maybe your young and still have naive ideals. We were all once like that, but having been through the wringer a few times and around the block more than a few, calamity does not phase me as much anymore. Sometimes I wish I could get excited and up in arms like I used to, but I know its no use, it never was of any use except to feel powerless in the face of overwhelming circumstances way way beyond my control. The people don’t even demonstrate anymore, they just sit back on their couch and tsk, tsk, tsk, at the TV. So whatever the powerful will do they will do but even that won’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world because we are dealing with 60 years of demons coursing through mentalities of the Middle East, and mere mortals are not going to stop these demons from wreaking havoc on a regular basis over there. I fear only something mightily horrible will be needed to shock these people into casting out their demons, but this current bombing, rocket, invasion scenario is small potatoes compared to 50,000 volt electro-shock this area needs to bring them to their senses. So let it play out, and play out again and again and again, and maybe someday your generation will see the climatic end to it all where everybody finally has the epiphany. Your heart is in the right place Ajaz, but don’t break it over this latest failure of humanity.

    Reply

  18. Ajaz says:

    STOP BOMBING THE PALESTINIANS NOW
    The Israeli air attacks on Gaza have killed over 300 Palestinians so far including women and children and the assault continues. No doubt those idiotic Gazans who keep firing Kassam rockets into Israel need to be stopped, but this is a response of extremely disproportionate scale. Already, the Gazans have suffered human tragedy on a massive scale. There is shortage of food, fuel, medical supplies and hospital beds.
    Israeli contention that it is targeting Hamas activists is utter nonsense. They know full well that their bombs and missiles are falling on densely populated areas and there is no way to separate civilians from Hamas activists. Has Israel learnt no lessons from its misadventure on Lebanon, where it lost the moral war to a rag tag group of Hizballah activists?
    Just when hope was beginning to sprout that President Elect Obama may make Middle East settlement and peace as his number one foreign policy priority, has Israel gone into an aggressive mode. Is the Israeli ruling coalition so terrified of a Likud victory in the forthcoming elections that it is trying to score points with the electorate at the cost of such massive human tragedy? Jews who have suffered enormously at the hands of Hitler should have better humane values than that.
    The Jewish community around the world and especially in the U.S. traditionally supported Israel, but was horrified by Israeli bombing of Beirut in the last war. Once again they need to raise their voices to put an end to this madness. A continued conflict of this nature can only harm Israel in the long term and produce more suicide bombers.
    It is time the world, particularly the West brings this tragedy to an end. French President Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown need to take a lead in this matter. They should use their full diplomatic pressure to put an end to the bombing, rocket attacks and ground attacks.
    The United States used to be a world leader in these matters but it has lost moral ground. The criminal behavior of George W. Bush and Condi Rice in this conflict, the Lebanon war and the Iraq has rendered them war criminals. They should be hauled before the International Court in The Hague, tried and locked up for the rest of their lives. They have knowingly caused more human suffering and tragedy than any dictator since Hitler.

    Reply

  19. Mythbuster says:

    The line of the year: ” The real problem is that the Palestinians can’t fight against the world, and the world supports Israel.”
    Really? If true, why does the USA veto all those UN Resolutions? If the “world” supported Israel, they resolutions would be voted down, not vetoed.

    Reply

  20. fyi says:

    Steve C.:
    You are a well-meaning guy but you must understand that the Taba paramteres are no longer relevant. Indeed, the 2-state solution is no longer possible.
    I think it best to think of bi-national state and how to make it happen.
    Alternative is perpetual war which over the years will become a religious war (as Huntington prophesised.)

    Reply

  21. Clark says:

    Oh yeah Wag, POA has an artistic temperament; he bangs 2x4s together for gawd’s sake, and that photo “Mewling Steel” was an accident, his damn camera went off when he was falling down drunk under a trestle. Don’t be doin’ your butterin’ up routine when your slippin’ ‘im the shiv; he’s a rough and tumble fella who says what’s on his mind and says it damn good. Have your little fight and when he comes home from work and belts a few down he’s gonna tear your dag blamed head off for what you said about them Mexicans. You are way outta line, way outta line, little lady.

    Reply

  22. Red,White,Blue says:

    Hey, Joe, you are forgetting one thing that undermines everything you say, The United States of America is the Grrreatest Country in the Whole Wide World, and don’t you forget it, Pilgrim.

    Reply

  23. JohnH says:

    I agree with Joe M. The West ought to either arm the Palestinians to the teeth, like Israelis. Alternatively they could embargo all arms, parts & supplies. Let them fight it out mano-a-mano, no outsiders allowed.
    Or the West could simply start using some of its supposedly overwhelming power to start knocking heads together until the parties resolved to divide the pot equitably. Every time Israel goes on another rampage, the West gets exposed as a toothless lion, allowing the tail to wag the dog. All that destructive power, and no ability to effect positive change. How pathetic is that! Washington should be ashamed.

    Reply

  24. Joe M. says:

    Unfortunately, Brzezinski is all wrong. His contention that the Palestinians and the Israelis can’t solve this problem underlies his total bias. The real problem is that the Palestinians can’t fight against the world, and the world supports Israel. If the USA would actually leave the Palestinians and Zionists alone, then there might be a legitimate chance to solve this conflict. But when the world is forcing the Palestinians to accept injustice, and then blaming them for the injustice, and all the while giving Israeli diplomatic cover, weapons, economic and political aid, of course the problem can’t be solved.
    It is ignorant and stupid to believe that the USA can solve the conflict by engaging it. It has been a major cause of the conflict for 40 years or so. The USA needs to get out of the conflict, stop funding the Zionists, and stop forcing shitty puppet leaders on the Palestinians. In fact, the USA should boycott Israel and the Palestinians until there is a solution.
    Then there might be a chance for peace, not as this Brzezinski says, but forcing an unjust solution on the heads of the Palestinians and the zionists. Get the hell out of the “peace” business, you have failed. Your “peace” just causes war. No one wants you.

    Reply

  25. WigWag says:

    So now that the New Year is upon us, let’s reflect on some of POAs greatest hits from 2008. Who remembers his comment about his greedy Jewish clients in Southern California? That sure was a great one.
    Who remembers POA telling us how he was afraid to get out of his truck and felt the need to drive quickly because there were, God forbid, Mexicans around?
    Who remembers POA’s outrage at the prospect of Mexican truck drivers plying their trade in the United States in precisely the same way that US truck drivers are allowed to drive in Mexico?
    Who has ever heard POA express any regret for living on land first stolen from Native Americans and then stolen from Mexicans (less than a century before Israel was established)?
    And now POA tells us he is against “illegal” immigration. Of course he never tells us why his status as a settler on land stolen from Mexico is any different than that of Israeli squatters and settlers in the West Bank.
    The same POA who decries racism, makes a blatantly racist comment and is so ignorant and blind to his own hatred that he doesn’t even recognize the bigotry of his own remarks.
    This is POA at his racist best, “I live in an area that is highly and adversely affected by illegal immigration, and do not believe that an open border policy is constructive, secure, or works in the best interests of the United States. It has nothing to do with “hating Mexicans”.
    Yes, POA, those Mexicans really adversely affect you and your neighbors. You live on land stolen from them not much earlier than the establishment of Israel and now you complain that they adversely affect your area.
    Wow!
    And allowing an open border policy is not in the best interests of the United States? How about the best interests of the Mexicans? Oh yeah, their best interests matter less than your best interests. That reminds me of a conflict we’ve been discussing. Can you guess which one?
    POA, your rants could easily be chalked up to an artistic temperament. After all, you are a craftsman and a preternaturally talented photographer. But it’s not just the fact that the tenor of your comments traverse the range from Elmer Fudd to Mussolini. It’s the fact that you feel free to accuse others of racism when the plain language of your own comments makes clear the disturbingly racist characteristics of your own personality.
    Does this have anything to do with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute? Not much.
    Does it have everything to do with your own hypocrisy?
    You bet.

    Reply

  26. Mythbuster says:

    POA: Who was that guy who used to goad you for being a carpenter?
    And I agree with arthurdecco: Thank you Carroll for being Carroll. It gets so tiresome to listen to the same Israeli Foreign Ministry talking points/hasbara nonsense over and over.
    Having been to Palestine, I have a first-hand perspective as how the people are really treated. It’s nice to know that more and Americans are finding out the truth.

    Reply

  27. sdemetri says:

    Steve,
    The exchange between Scarborough and Brzezinski may not be
    all that important for its entertainment value (and it was
    entertaining), but it certainly does highlight the shallow
    understanding well known names in media, and by extension
    those that tend to listen to and accept them as sources of
    information, have of the situation. The fact that Scarborough
    refused to be schooled by the much better informed elder
    statesman is hardly encouraging. Why I should expect better
    informed talking heads might be too much, but for some
    reason, I think we might be better off as a society if they were.
    Joe just couldn’t let go of the “just retaliation” premise central to
    Israel’s PR campaign. He couldn’t accept as legitimate
    Brzezinski’s view that Israel’s response to Hamas is a
    disproportionate response. Such a lack of humility in the face of
    Brzezinski’s reproof was surprisingly disrespectful and
    incurious. A measure of Israel’s PR success with the US media I
    suppose.

    Reply

  28. Carroll says:

    Posted by WigWag Dec 31, 10:18AM – Link
    “Wig Wag clearly demonstrates this racist bent…”
    Funny coming from a guy who hates Mexicans.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Oh please…POA has never been racist about ‘Mexicans”…he,like others in the area have complained rightly about the criminal element in illegal immigration and increased crime on the streets and the economic ramifications of illegal immigration..that’s entirely different from racism. ‘Illegal’ is the key word.
    Your racism however toward the Palestines and Arabs and all non jews comes thru loud and clear.

    Reply

  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The comical part of all this is that wigwag, by his rebuttal, just demonstrates what an asshole he really is. I am strongly opposed to illegal immigration. I live in an area that is highly and adversly affected by illegal immigration, and do not believe that an open border policy is constructive, secure, or works in the best interests of the United States. It has nothing to do with “hating Mexicans”.
    His rebuttal fails to explain, or excuse, his casual dismissal of what is being done to the Palestinian people by Israel.
    When I point out the plight the Palestinian people experience everyday, and wigwag’s casual racist dismissal of their suffering, this oily mouthed Wigwag can only sputter some asinine and unfounded accusation in response. Frankly, I’m pleased that there seems to be an increasing number of people that are recognizing just how oily this Wig-wag creature truly is. As more and more people awaken to the abominational nature of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians, it becomes harder and harder for propagandists like Wig-wag to muddy the discourse with equivications and dissingenuous poppycock.
    So, whatever floats that jackass’s boat. If he thinks that saying “POA hates mexicans” somehow justifies or explains Israel’s tratment of the Palestinians, then I’m sure those reading his comments will draw their own conclusions.
    Meanwhile, I’ll be working on a remodel today, with a fellow named “Octavio”, who is doing the sheet rock work. He’s been here thirteen years from Mexico City, he’s here legally, and he’s probably the best mudman I’ve worked with in a lifetime of plying my trade. I’m sure, as we invariably do when our paths cross on a job, we will have lunch together.
    I wonder, would this braying jackass Wig-wag break bread with a Palestinian? Or just help see to it that the Palestinian has no bread to break?

    Reply

  30. rich says:

    Posted by WigWag Dec 31, 10:18AM – Link
    ” ‘Wig Wag clearly demonstrates this racist bent…’
    Funny coming from a guy who hates Mexicans.”
    Ah, tit-for-tat fingerpointing that omits to take responsibility for your own excesses. You attempt to distract, but refuse to engage those calling you on the flat assertions and absolutist language that, by definition, cannot be true. It doesn’t just lack nuance, the absolutism smacks of denial.
    The ideologically one-sided presentation (whether by wigwag, the MSM, PBS’ Newshour, or Israeli officials), is by definition dishonest as long as it leaves out half the truth: that Palestinians are being slowly starved, throttled by a blockate, under continual attack and on the brink of extermination. Those rockets target settlements/lands owned/once-owned by Palestinians in Gaza. It’s a falsehood to say Israel acts in self-defense.
    Let them clean up their own house, and resolve the issue at hand, instead of distract, fingerpoint and scapegoat. Scapegoat.
    POA is right: the NYTs hosted Benny Morris, a ‘historian’ who hasn’t the courage to get the facts straight even for a newspaper column. Several of his points (Ex: Iran) have been disproven as propaganda points. Yet Morris has no shame, and presumes not only to explain things to the NYTs readership — but to teach children. If “the walls are closing in,” it’s time for Morris to look in the mirror.

    Reply

  31. WigWag says:

    “Wig Wag clearly demonstrates this racist bent…”
    Funny coming from a guy who hates Mexicans.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Paul, the true gauge of the racism that permeates the pro-Israeli argument is the deafening silence about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
    Wig Wag clearly demonstrates this racist bent by only addressing the humanitarian plight of the Palestinians when pressed repeatedly, and then always briefly as a prelude to resuming his despicable tactic of casting the Israels as eternal victims. “Too bad the Palestinans are starving, but….blahblahblahblah”
    If you truly want to see the depth of deception engaged in by the Israelis and their disciples here in the states, I strongly urge you to pay daily visits to the AIPAC website. Nary a day passes there when you do not see blatant and unabashed lying, revision of history, and shameless propagandizing, all aimed at misinforming, inciting, and instilling fear in the American Jewish community. It is quite telling that the website does not archive its daily “news” stories. One need only partake of a daily dosage of the absolute horseshit peddled at that site to understand why they do not archive their material. Many is the time here on this blog that I have cited lies posted on the AIPAC website, when the only evidence I can site is a cut and pasted quote from the site, as the articles dissappear as fast as they are presented.
    Two or three days ago an article at the site claimed that this latest murderous Israeli attack was in response to rocket attacks in the preceding week. Last night the article claimed it was in response to rocket attacks from preceding years. The lies roll out of that site like vomit from a drunk. Its despicable. And woven throughout is the underlying message that Iran is behind the whole ball of wax. “Iran supported Hamas…”, “Iran armed Hamas….”….all designed to put the American Jewish community on board for an attack on Iran, using OUR weapons, OUR money, and the blood of OUR young men and women.
    There will be no peace in the Middle East as long as we support, subsidize, abet, and excuse Israel. Israel is every bit as dangerous to the Muslim community as Hitler was to the Jewish community. They are no less monstrous, no less ideologically evil, no less genocidal, no less bigoted, and no less criminal than Nazi Germany was in the thirties and forties.
    All this political doublespeak, rationalization, justification, propaganda, etc., is a portrait of an entire nation in denial. The American people simply cannot accept, refuse to recognize, what we are abetting in Israel. Still convinced we are incapable of evil, that we are the Earth’s shining light, we refuse to accept what is occurring before our very eyes. With our assistance, Israel is exterminating an entire people. The Palestinians are imprisoned on a plot of land, stacked one on top of another, starved, denied dignity, substenance, employment, rights, health care, and education. And periodically, like the last few days, they are subjected to massive campaigns of liquidation. And we do NOTHING, except justify, rationalize, abet and subsidize. We are as guilty as Israel is, and all informed Americans should be ashamed, and enraged.

    Reply

  33. Sam Thornton says:

    I sense that someone in the Scarborough retinue is
    going to be fired for booking a guest smarter than
    the host. Always entertaining to see a pompous
    twit skewered; but then again, he’s such an easy
    target.

    Reply

  34. Paul says:

    John H raises an interesting point when he asks why these negotiations take place at the end of the term of a US President. Anyone who’s negotiated anything more substantial than a parking ticket knows that a time deadline (like the change in US Presidents) means that one party in the negotiations will almost invariably stall for time and the negotiations will fail.
    Let us hope that the tragic events taking place right now give us this silver lining: that President-elect Obama makes this issue a priority at the beginning of his term when, if the negotiations fail, both the Israelis and the Palestinians will have him to deal with for at least three more years (if not seven).
    Let’s all pray for a peaceful and happy 2009.

    Reply

  35. rich says:

    Scarborough and Zbig are quite the contrasting personalities. And Zbig’s candor is a refreshing antidote to the general party line. Larry Wilkerson and Richard Clarke contribute some forthrightness of their own, on Reading Lists and Political Soulmates.
    Larry Wilkerson’s comments on George Bush and Sarah Palin caught Steve Benen’s attention. Wilkerson noted Cheney and Rumsfeld promoted themselves as a national security “dream team” to guide the novice Bush in foreign-policy matters:
    “It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like President — because, let’s face it, that’s what he was — was going to be protected by this national security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire,” said Wilkerson.
    Given Wilkerson description, Spencer Ackerman asks, “Is comparing Bush to Sarah Palin more insulting to Bush or to Palin?”
    Yglesias seems to believe this isn’t even a contest: “Palin’s something of a laughingstock, but Bush is a villain. I mean, he wrecked the world economy, he led to millions of Iraqis being forced to flee their homes, he’s a total disaster and a disgrace. Palin gave bad answers in TV interviews. There’s no real comparison.”
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_12/016246.php

    Richard Clarke on Presidential Reading Lists (Benen, again):
    “He was trying — sort of overly trying — to show that he could ask good questions, and kind of yukking it up with Cheney.”
    ” . . and to be told, frankly, early in the administration, by Condi Rice and Steve Hadley, you know, ‘Don’t give the president a lot of long memos, he’s not a big reader’ — well, shit. I mean, the president of the United States is not a big reader?”
    Repeat: George W. Bush is not a big reader, and everybody in his Administration knew it.
    Everyone who picked up a newspaper knew it too. So there was no need to inflate Bush’s mastery of American history, structure of governance and Constitutional theory–even to cut Sarah Palin down to size–unless Steve’s contention was belated compensation for DC’s & the MSM’s free pass granted to Bush, eight years ago, on the very same inadequacies.
    Benen: “Funny, just last week Karl Rove told us the president is a voracious reader, who reads dense texts ‘to relax and because he’s curious,’ and for 35 years, George W. Bush has ‘always had a book nearby.’
    “It’s almost as if Rove’s description is some kind of wild exaggeration. That couldn’t be, could it?”
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_12/016238.php
    I’d taken issue with Steve’s contrast between Sarah Palin and George Bush, because there wasn’t much to it. I could’ve said it better, but I wasn’t alone: Larry Wilkerson saw it, Richard Clarke saw it; Steve Benen saw it.
    America was uncomfortable with Sarah Palin because she closely modeled the Republican method, rhetoric and personal habits of George W. Bush. Their attentiveness, reading habits, and grasp of the American system isn’t so very different.
    It would behoove the think-tankers and chattering classes in DC & the MSM to pay attention and be more responsive when Americans are pointing out the free ride give shallow candidates who openly display an intellectual, financial and moral bankruptcy. Nailing Sarah Palin on that is fine by me–but don’t pretend we’re not 8 years late to the game. Too late–and we’re obviously paying the price.

    Reply

  36. carol says:

    It’s about time someone put Joe Scarborough in his place, with his know it all attitude and his sidekicks Father no less!!!
    At least her Father has a mind of his own unlike his daughter who is so in love with Sarah Palin still it’s embarassing.

    Reply

  37. Paul Norheim says:

    In the center of the actions, we find Matan Vilnai`s boss, Ehud
    Barak.
    The trouble is that no one knows if he acting as Barak-the-
    Minister-of-Defense, or as Barak-the-politician, who is eager to
    win in the coming election against Netanyahu and have a
    serious chat with Obama and Bill Clinton`s wife.
    Anyone who`ve read some history, will know that there is often
    a conflict between the political leadership of a country and the
    generals, as well as between the Defense Department and other
    branches within the government (like for instance the Foreign
    Ministry).
    Ehud Barak served in the Israeli military for 35 years, rising to
    the position of Chief of the General Staff and the rank of “Rav
    Aluf” – the highest in the Israeli military.
    Israel is the modern equivalent of Sparta. The military plays a
    huge role – but as everyone knows, the extremely complicated
    politics of Israel also plays a huge role in the events of the
    nation.
    So who is attacking Gaza?
    Barak the soldier? Barak the Minister of Defence? Or Barak the
    competitor in the coming election? A lot of informed
    commentators inside and outside Israel think it`s Barak the
    political competitor. Rumors are that one of these Baraks,
    against central people in the political leadership, as well as
    people in the IDF, is in favor of a 48 hours cease fire.
    For tactical reasons? Humanitarian reasons? Political reasons
    (showing himself to be “reasonable” in the eyes of the world
    leaders)?
    We`ll never know.
    And if he gets his cease fire, and Hamas breaks it, what then?
    What if Barak then overreacts against the population of Gaza:
    will it be Barak the Minister, Barak the former soldier, or Barak
    the competitor fighting against Netanyahu who will overreact -
    demonstrating to the Israeli voters through unambiguously
    brutal actions that he is actually more macho than “Bibi”?
    We`ll never know.
    But much is at stake right now, and the outcome may depend
    on which of the many Baraks who`ll get the upper hand in the
    coming days.
    And heaven knows what his deputy may whisper into his ears.

    Reply

  38. alan says:

    It is not too difficult to see the connection between Israeli elections and the propaganda about another Palestinian attack over the years. Our own elections are totally infused with how the candidate proposes to deal with Israel’s security (never their land grabbing)concerns.
    As for Ehud Barak: recall he pushed Clinton on the Mark Rich pardon. So all this hamdwringing about how badly Israel is being treated by the Palestinians in understandable. Israel’s elections and our are intertwined.
    Again, I note: if you want informed discussions on Israeli politics and Palestine read Israeli papers and attend Israel seminars and conferences. They have many honest debates there. We deal in mythologies.

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    Some commentators at TWN (rich and POA) have mentioned that
    a handful of pro-Israeli commentators have characterized the
    Palestinians as “rabid dogs”, and similar racist remarks. We`ve
    also seen some very ugly anti-Semitic comments from guests
    who do not frequent this blog regularly.
    On a bigger level, WigWag has reminded us of the Hamas
    charter, stating: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until
    Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
    The Charter also talks about “killing the Jews” and refers to the
    “Protocols” (the old anti-Semitic garbage text).
    You must be uninformed or blind not to see that racism plays a
    significant role in the Israeli attitude toward the Palestinians as
    well.
    But just now, by accident, I stumbled upon this news story at
    the BBC online site, published exactly 10 months ago, and
    directly related to the situation in Gaza. And I must say that it
    shocked me deeply, besides showing that the citizens of Gaza
    indeed have reasons to be scared to death right now:
    ————-
    “Friday, 29 February 2008, 21:38 GMT
    Israel warns of invasion of Gaza
    Israel air strikes pounded targets in Gaza for a second night
    Israel’s deputy defence minister has said Israel will have “no
    choice” but to invade Gaza if Palestinian militants step up rocket
    attacks.
    Matan Vilnai said Palestinians risked a “shoah”, the Hebrew word
    for a big disaster – and for the Nazi Holocaust.
    Mr Vilnai made the comments after rockets hit the city of
    Ashkelon, 10km (six miles) from Gaza. His colleagues insisted
    he had not meant “genocide”.
    Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said it was ready for a large-scale
    Israeli attack.
    Israeli air strikes have killed about 30 Palestinians in the past
    three days.
    The string of attacks came a day after a rocket fired by Hamas
    killed an Israeli student on the outskirts of Sderot, about a mile
    from Gaza, the first such death in nine months.
    (…)
    Israel’s leaders have been under pressure in some quarters to
    launch a ground invasion of Gaza to end the rocket fire and
    although they are reluctant, Mr Vilnai admitted on Friday that
    they will have “no other choice”.
    The BBC’s Katya Adler in Jerusalem says many of Mr Vilnai’s
    colleagues have quickly distanced themselves from his
    comments and also tried to downplay, them saying he did not
    mean genocide.
    ——————–
    You may assume that Mr Vilnai`s comments made him a pariah
    in Israel, and abruptly ended his career?
    Nope.
    Matan Vilnai is still the Deputy Defense Minister and a member
    of the Knesset for the Labor Party. He “lives in Mevaseret Zion
    and is a married father of three”, according to Wikipedia. “His
    father was Prof. Zev Vilnay, a pioneer in the sphere of Israeli
    geography and Land of Israel studies, from whom he inherited a
    love of nature and hiking.”

    Reply

  40. arthurdecco says:

    Thank you, Carroll, for being Carroll.

    Reply

  41. Carroll says:

    Why does whoever rocket Israel…or more to the point why do they rocket ‘certain’ towns in Israel?
    Robert Fisk in the Independent reminds us who the Gazans are:
    “How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.
    That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.
    But watching the news shows, you’d think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza – a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin – and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force. The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story.”

    Reply

  42. TonyForesta says:

    The horrible costly bloody cycle continues unabated, because nothing changes.
    Hamas does not change, Israel does not change, and neither does America change. We continue pursuing the same wayward and pernicious policies for the benefit of the predator class in each respective klan.
    Until there some real change. Real change wherein the old ways are condemned and sent to hell or the trashheap, there will be no change, and the horrors and inhumanities we witness now in the Gaza will continue unabated. The old world ways are catastrophic failures. All the pertinent parties must recognise and accept the terrible truth, and look toward, seek, and demand real change – or there will be no change. There will be the unending slaughter of innocents for the wanton profits and selfish aggandizement of the predator classes in each respective nation.
    The old ways are horrible, costly, bloody failures. It is time for a new paradigm, and new testament, and a repudiation, rejection, and recantation of all the old world ways of doing business or political asperations. It does not work. It is a catastrophic failure of leadership on all sides. The end will be more blood, more treasure wasted on feeding the predator classes, and no change!
    We (the people) either muster the courage and the will to demand and force real significant and measurable change – or these horrors will continue unabated.
    Children are dying in Palestine for what? Israeli control of Gaza, Hamas martydom delusions, American strategic machinations.
    Human beings either reject the failed old world constructs and insantity and evolve, or the future will be more bloodshed, more deprivation of innocents, more wanton profiteering from the predator class, and more division and irreconcilable divisions betweent thehaves, and thehavenots.
    Karma is incontrivertable and immutable, and we will all pay dearly for our crimes.
    We, (all humanity) either changes, – or dies!
    That is our inevitable future. We either reject, renounce, and recant the oldworld ways and demand change of everything, or we all perish.

    Reply

  43. Cee says:

    Steve,
    Thanks for posting this. My mother phoned to alert me that this was on. I had finally falled asleep and missed it.
    Times have changed so much that even she doesn’t accept the Israeli line any longer.

    Reply

  44. TonyForesta says:

    I reposting from an earlier thread because the missive is relevent and aligns perfectly with Mr. Brzezinski’s rebuf of Scarborough -
    {All of this jibberish is a fruitless, meaningless, nonsensical exercise in futility.
    Nothing will change.
    We all endure this horrific spectacle every two or so years as Israel responds brutally to constant harrasment from the occupied territories.
    The world bemoans all the suffering. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The US, and other pro Israel nations intevene after oceans of innocent blood are spilled to demand a cessation of hostilities. Palestinian and Israeli factions comply shouldering their weapons for another day. A global masquarade is conjured pretending to work toward peace. Meaningless, fruitless, and ineffective negotiations transpire.
    Talk results in nothing but more jibberish and babel.
    Nothing changes.
    And two years later the same horrible gruesome spectacle repeats ad infinitum.
    What would have happened had the international community and Israel recognised Hamas as the legitimate freely elected representative of a new Palestine? Would Hamas discontinue it’s missile assault and terrorist operations? Would Israel and America benefitted from redirecting resource from warfighting to nationbuilding? Would a new Palestine have emerged that would have recognized Israel’s right to exist and joined the community of nations? We’ll never know because – instead – we all denied the legitimate voice of the Palestinian population and chose to erect a counter puppet government more favorable to the nefarious interests of the predators class in Israel, America, and Europe.
    The fascists in the bushgov pushed for democratic elections in Palestine. The Palestinian population chose Hamas to run their government. The US and their proxy Israel then reneged and breached its’ hollow promises and laws and decided to nullify the legitimate voice of the Palestinian people and the rest is history.
    There are no winners in the conflict, only loosers. If Israel wants peace it must give, compromise and relent. If Palestiine wants peace it must also reject, renounce, and recant mass murder as political means for gain.
    Humans prefer the blood and wars and the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air, and young impressionable desperate martyrs sent to the death mass murdering innocents for the ridiculous delusion of 72 browneyed virgins. There is no hope.
    Until humanity turns away from violence and rejects all those who perpetuate violence and the slaughtering of innocents for the this or that flag, or book, or prophet, or icon, or parcel of turf, – there is no hope. We will continue slaughtering each other until the end.
    Idiots!}

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it’s almost embarrassing to listen to you”
    ROFLMAO!!!!
    Gads, from his own father-in-law. I bet Joe and the missus had an icy exchange over this one. Or did she rail on daddy for giving hubby a well deserved reaming? Regardless, Scarborough is a real jackass, and its good to hear that someone fed him his just reward. Wouldn’t Joe be more at home on Fox News, feeding us bullshit with the real pros?

    Reply

  46. WigWag says:

    Maybe the next time Zbig appears on “Morning Joe” Mika can ask her father, the “Chief” about his role in personally creating the Taliban.

    Reply

  47. JohnH says:

    “America was clearly opposed to old Europe`s colonialism. However, the fight for national independence coincided with the cold war and communism, and the Americans often ended up on the wrong side.” I wouldn’t overthink this.
    America was opposed European colonialism, not because it was colonialism, but because it was European. And the cold warriors were clever enough to replace the colonial rulers with European educated nationals who often served as quislings for the West. When they didn’t, well, we saw what happened to Mossadegh, Arbenz, Allende, Torrijos, etc. When they did, we got tyrants like Hossni Mubarek, King Hussein and the dirty wars in Latin America.
    When the US attempted more direct colonial rule in Vietnam, it got its nose bloodied and returned to managing its quislings.
    Bush lost the formula, perhaps because the Washington consensus was so thoroughly reviled. And it was obvious that there were rulers controling strategic resources who would not play ball. And any subsequent ruler pursuing its own national interest would not likely play ball, either. So Bush tried a return to direct colonial rule.
    Israel has always been an anomaly because of the legacy of the Holocaust and because of the influence of a messianic domestic lobby.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    A couple of days ago I posted that it was my opinion that due to the ever increasing awareness that the internet is nurturing about the crimes of these fucking monsters in Israel that are trying to exterminate the Palestinans, Israel would endeavor to try to close down or completely control the internet…..
    http://news.antiwar.com/2008/12/30/israeli-military-declares-online-media-another-war-zone/
    Israeli Military Declares Online Media ‘Another War Zone’
    Journalists Kept Carefully Away From Gaza as Israel Tries to Restrict Coverage
    Posted December 30, 2008
    Across the world, mainstream journalists are expressing increasing disquiet at the way the Israeli government is trying to manage international coverage of its war on the Gaza Strip. Journalists have been barred not just from the strip itself, but the government is now prohibiting journalists from going to parts of Israel near the Gaza Strip.
    The Foreign Press Association is petitioning the Israeli Supreme Court to overturn the ban, which is limiting the ability of media outlets to cover the attacks, and forces them to rely on second and third hand reports from Israeli military and Hamas spokesmen regarding the situation on the ground.
    As the media struggles to get up-to-date information, television news coverage is narrow, and often relies on interviews with Israeli government officials explaining why the killings are righteous and legitimate expressions of democracy and freedom, more and more people are turning to online news sites (like Antiwar.com) for their war coverage.
    The Israeli military has therefore announced that online media and the blogosphere are another warzone for the military to manage. To that end, the military is launching its own Youtube channel to bring the viewing public footage of “precision bombing operations” in the strip.
    In ensuring that the only footage of their military operation is provided directly from them, the Israeli military is another step closer to completely managing public perception of the ongoing attacks. The military says the footage will allow the public to “know that people killed did not have peaceful intentions toward Israel,” which presumably means coverage of the killing of five children in their beds in a refugee camp last night, and the scores of other civilian deaths, will be carefully omitted from the official coverage.

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  49. Paul Norheim says:

    Watching the dramatic news from the Middle East, especially the
    Israel/Palestine conflict, I sometimes feel like the outsider,
    looking at something just as absurd as, say World War 1 (1914-
    18). The fighting may have made sense for some of those
    involved then – especially the generals and politicians. For us, it
    looks like just a waste of human lives, senseless killing resulting
    in nothing.
    But of course the analogy is incorrect. The tragic irony of the
    Israel-Palestine conflict must be seen in an entirely different
    context. As Dan Kervick said in a reply to someone on a thread
    below:
    “In order to make up for “our” offenses against Jews in the West,
    “we” Westerners grabbed a chunk of the old Ottoman empire
    and gave it to “you”, even though it wasn’t really “ours” to give.
    In order to help “you” establish a state on that land, “we”
    accepted, and even assisted, in your removal of “them”, i.e. the
    people who lived on that land, the descendants of people who
    had lived there for hundreds of years.”
    This happened in the middle of the 20th century, precisely at a
    time when the European colonialists met resistance from the
    colonized people in Africa and Asia: the Mau Mau in East Africa,
    Vietnam, Algeria in Northern Africa etc…
    America was clearly opposed to old Europe`s colonialism.
    However, the fight for national independence coincided with the
    cold war and communism, and the Americans often ended up on
    the wrong side, because they sometimes mistook the struggle
    for independence as a fight to promote communism. Thus
    Vietnam etc.
    In the sixties, everybody could see that colonialism was over -
    only Rhodesia and a handful of other colonies were left as a
    reminder: historical anachronisms – and even they were
    doomed, Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980.
    This tendency was global – except for one place on earth: the
    Middle East. After 1967, at a time when most European
    colonialists had retreated to their home countries, the Jews in
    Israel, who did not have any other home country to retreat to,
    continued its slow colonization and settlement of land
    belonging to the Arabs.
    And just like the fight for independence in the 50`s, 60`s and
    70`s coincided with the Cold War and an ideological wave of
    communism and socialism, the Palestinian fight for their land
    and independence in the last 30 years have coincided with a
    new ideology that is both religious and political: Islamism.
    Some groups, like PLO, are or were secular nationalists; others
    were religious universalists (like al Quaeda), and some are
    religious nationalists – just like there were internationalist
    communists (like the Trotskists) as well as fusions of
    nationalism and communism during the period from 1917 to
    1989.
    And just like in some circumstances during the cold war, USA is
    now firmly on the side of the colonialist. Not just because the
    present colonialist is a former victim, but also because America
    is involved in a war against Islamic Fundamentalism, and
    because the Middle East is rich on oil.
    The colonialists, the Israelis, actually have one exit strategy:
    retreating to the land within the borders pre 1967, and starting
    negotiations with the Palestinians. This is their legitimate home
    country, recognized by the international community. Instead
    they continue a fight for land and territory, expanding their new
    homeland against all odds.
    And USA supports the Israelis, who behave towards the Arabs
    exactly like old Europe behaved toward Africans, Asians, and
    Arabs in the 19th and the first part of the 20th century.
    And every year since the end of European colonialism, America
    is looking more and more like old Europe.

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  50. Carroll says:

    Posted by punked Dec 30, 6:57PM – Link
    I wonder who started the Lie that it was Arafat who scuttled the peace process and the Palestinians were to blame. And if it was a bald-faced Lie, why was it perpetuated in the media and never challenged until this morning.
    Posted by Paul Norheim Dec 30, 7:02PM – Link
    As far as I remember, Bill Clinton blamed Arafat for years. And
    Ehud Barak too, of course
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually the truth has been know and published. Sometime ago I posted a link to amazon to Clayton Swisher’s (sp?) book ‘The Truth About Camp David’.
    Also a year or more ago I posted the article from Haarezt about Clinton and Barak and the deal at Camp David.
    I can’t quote exactly it was so long ago but, the gist of the article was Barak was up for election and Clinton helped him out….you know doing the Israelis (and Barak) a favor by lying about what really went on and what the Palestines were offered to make Barak and Israel look good.
    So it not like no one knew about the crapola passed around about how Afarat was to blame.
    This is same old typical stratch the jews back on Israel and they will stratch up some money for your political ambitions,party,,wife, whatever.
    Typical Clinton,the man has no shame.

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  51. Jackie Shaw says:

    I’ve thought for years that the Palestinians needed to have better PR representation. Everyone finds it so easy to demonize them. Personally, in this fight I take their side. They have no army, navy, marines, etc., but the story in the press is that they have all the control over the situation.
    Israel only gets critized in the Israeli press. You’ll never see it in the US press.
    For the life of me, I don’t understand why the Palestinians have to pay for the sins of the Germans.
    And I don’t think the bible is a good way to settle land disputes.

    Reply

  52. Paul Norheim says:

    My last sentence could be misunderstood. What I meant was:
    Also Ehud Barak blamed Arafat.
    And who in the US media wouldn`t prefer listening to Clinton`s
    and Barak`s version of the story, instead of the Palestinian
    version.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    As far as I remember, Bill Clinton blamed Arafat for years. And
    Ehud Barak too, of course.

    Reply

  54. punked says:

    I wonder who started the Lie that it was Arafat who scuttled the peace process and the Palestinians were to blame. And if it was a bald-faced Lie, why was it perpetuated in the media and never challenged until this morning. It was common knowledge that Arafat and the Palestinians were the Bad Guys, and Barak and the Israelis were the Good Guys when the whole process collapsed, until this morning. To whose advantage might it have been tell the American people that Arafat did it ……
    And who is Lying now about who started this latest debacle ……… ummm, I wonder, I really wonder who might Lie about this fine inhumane mess.

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  55. JohnH says:

    From Wikipedia: “Reasons for the TABA impasse. The breakdown is often attributed to the political circumstances posed by Israeli elections and changeover in leadership in the United States.”
    The familiar cycle: Israeli intransigeance and provocations due to election politics and American presidents sitting on their hands until just before the end of their term.

    Reply

  56. Curious observer says:

    Steve, why is it no one in “respectable” circles ever acknowledges that Israel’s government lent critical support to Hamas’s precursor groups — figuring Islamic fundamentalism would be an effective counterweight to secular Palestinian nationalism?
    Hamas is a monster of the Israeli government’s own making, but I guess to say so still incurs the wrath of Foxman and Dershowitz — J Street and Joe Klein notwithstanding.

    Reply

  57. alan says:

    Joe got a kick in the pants and he asked for it. Back then Arafat was the man to demonise. Now its Hamas. When demonising the Palestinian leadership (and they have a stellar collection of rascals)it is worthwhile knowing that Sharon and Netenyahu are not exactly noble men engaged in an just enterprise. Both sides have suffered from a surfeit of rascals; and it is the ordinary people who pay the price, in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv and in an F 16 dropping a bomb in Gaza.

    Reply

  58. James says:

    Yes, but …. ah, we were all told that Arafat scuttled this peace process and the Palestinians were all to blame for the collapse ….. the Palestinians are the bad guys, you know. This is what I have been told in the media, this is what my children believe, and now you are saying it is all not true ……..

    Reply

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