Did I Read This Right? Brookings Scholar References Israel Attack on USS Liberty?

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uss_liberty.jpgA friend of mine wrote to me about the piece below, released yesterday by Brookings, wondering when Brookings Energy Security Initiative Director Charles Ebinger will be spending time with Helen Thomas.
We hope Ebinger stays gainfully busy at Brookings — but wow.
This came from Brookings!? Very interesting, and an important sign of the times.
It’s a powerful, blunt piece that reaches back to Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty, as he writes “the only maritime incident in U.S. history where our military forces were killed that was never investigated by Congress.”
Here is the Brookings piece, “The Attack on the USS Liberty: Lessons for U.S. National Security“:

The Attack on the USS Liberty: Lessons for U.S. National Security
Charles K. Ebinger, Director, Energy Security Initiative
The Brookings Institution — June 08, 2010
It is ironic that the Israeli Defense forces attacked a flotilla of relief ships bound from Europe to Gaza in international waters in a manner all too similar to its assault against the USS Liberty also in international waters on June 8 forty-three years ago. It is even more tragic and a national disgrace that in the immediate aftermath of Memorial Day there is scant remembrance of the 34 crew members comprising naval officers, seamen, two marines and a civilian who were killed in the attack along with the 171 crew members who were wounded. While the official inquiries by both nations found the attack to be a case of mistaken identity of the Liberty, to this day there is a long record of distinguished officers and journalists who take strong exception to this view believing that the attack was deliberate. Indeed the attack on the Liberty is the only maritime incident in U.S. history where our military forces were killed that was never investigated by the Congress.
While few would dispute that the United States and Israel share vital strategic interests, all too often it has been Israeli intransigent policies rather than U.S. interests which have dominated our bilateral relationships. As a global superpower, the U.S. has strategic interests in the Middle East that go far beyond our bilateral relations with Israel–regional political stability, access to oil, control of sea lanes, etc. However so lopsided have our bilateral relations become that even after scandals such as the Pollard spying case in the 1980s came to light, high level officials and lobbyists in both Washington and Israel went out of their way to downplay the significance of the information Pollard passed to both Israeli and Russian intelligence (in order to keep Jewish immigration to Israel alive), despite testimony by four retired admirals who had served as Directors of National Intelligence that Pollard’s revelations had been devastating to U.S. national security and that any premature release would be “irresponsible.”
Again in 1973, it was the decision by the United States to resupply Israel’s military following the outbreak of war that led to the OAPEC oil embargo transforming the Geopolitics of Oil as the world’s economy was sent reeling owing to the spike in the price of oil. The 1973-1974 war by changing the geographical contours of the Middle East set the stage for the growing radicalization of the Middle East as increasingly young men and women grew resentful of their leaders’ inability to change the political and social status quo both in their own countries and in their nations’ relations with Israel. The second oil shock in 1979 and 1980, following the overthrow of the Shah and the coming to power of Ayatollah Khomeini, led to a further radicalization of the region which further inflamed relations among Iran/Iraq, Shites/Sunnis, Christains/Druze/Palestinians in Lebanon and Iran and Iraq in their bilateral relations with various governments throughout the region. At the same time, accelerated settlements by Jewish immigrants in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem created a growing crescendo of radicalism. Then in 1982 the ill-conceived invasion of Lebanon in response to provocations by Palestinians and other radical forces led to the massacres of Palestinian and allied groups men, women and children at Sabra and Shatila by the Christian Phalanges while the IDF stood on the sidelines losing all pretense of a higher moral ground.
Since that time there have been provocations by both the Israelis and the Palestinians and their affiliated allies throughout the Middle East. There have been lost diplomatic opportunities, ill tempered rhetoric by leaders on both sides and a tragic loss of life. Indeed there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides and reasons for each side to be wary of any overture by the other. However, what has been lost during these decades throughout the Islamic world is the view of the man and woman on the street and children in the madrasahs that United States is an honest broker for peace. Having worked throughout the Islamic world for over 35 years, it is a tragedy that this has occurred, but when successive Presidents and other high ranking officials ask Israel not to expand settlements yet hardly voice a “public squeak” of opprobrium let alone some real expression of disapproval (such as a curtailment of military assistance, rescinding favorable trade provisions, etc.) when Israel continues to do so, what is the Islamic World to think about the even handedness of U.S. policy?
Nowhere was the failure of the U.S. to take strong action more visibly demonstrated than during Vice President’s Biden’s visit to Israel when Israel gave the green light for 1,600 new homes for Jewish settlers in annexed East Jerusalem in flagrant violation of international law. In response, both the Vice President and Secretary of State Clinton labeled the action “insulting” to the United States and destructive to the peace process while at the same time doing nothing visible to make Israel pay a price for such actions against the second highest official of our nation.
America, it is time to wake up and listen to the very few of our leaders such as General Petraeus, who even before the Vice President’s visit warned that the stalled Middle East peace process is a direct threat to U.S. interests and prestige in the region and that the lack of progress in Palestine foments anti-Americanism, undermines Arab regimes, limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships, increases the influence of Iran, projects an image of U.S. weakness and serves as a potent recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. General Petraeus and his briefing team went on to say that the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian peace stalemate undermines the prospects for success in Afghanistan.
As we approach the anniversary of the attack on the Liberty, let us take a few minutes to reflect soberly on whether the time has not come to once again be a honest broker, to call our Israeli friends to account when necessary with sanctions that hurt and to make clear to one and all that acts such as the attack on the flotilla of humanitarian ships bound to alleviate the suffering of the men, women and children of Gaza will not occur with impunity.

I’m in agreement with Ebinger that the failure to move forward on Israel-Palestine peace is undermining American national security interests in a way far more consequential than whatever actually transpires between Palestinians and Israelis. It is becoming an increasingly tense fault line in geostrategic affairs.
I myself would not go back to the USS Liberty as a driver in this debate, but I understand that Ebinger is trying to illustrate that there are fundamental differences in strategy and objectives between Israel and the US that can’t be papered over by speeches and rhetoric that “there is no daylight” between the countries. Of course, there is daylight between them — and has been always.
Good luck to Ebinger in holding back the storm that no doubt will hit him inside Brookings and out.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

110 comments on “Did I Read This Right? Brookings Scholar References Israel Attack on USS Liberty?

  1. Facebook Application Development says:

    “Maybe we’ll have to cancel our $30 billion dollar aid package to the Netherlands; reconsider our support for the endless Dutch occupation and colonization of Flanders; think twice about the incessant Dutch demands for sanctions and regime change in France, and its frequent threats of war against France; withdraw our vetoes for four decades of UN sanctions against the Dutch; and worry ourselves much more about the effects of the blowback of the Dutch-American partnership on the well-being of US troops fighting our two ongoing wars in central Europe.”
    Agreed with these lines of Dan, is there any further info about this?

    Reply

  2. Carroll channeling POA says:

    I’am going to be channeling POA until he comes back.
    Latest Neocon insanity: kick Turkey out of NATO – Harper
    IN RETALIATION FOR THE ISRAELI ATTACK ON THE GAZA AID FLOTILLA
    The silly season just got positively bizarre. In the aftermath of the Israeli armed assault on a Turkish-flagged aid ship, bound for the Gaza Strip, some of the more rabid American neocons have demanded, in no uncertain terms, that Turkey must be punished by being kicked out of NATO. Yes, you heard me correctly. Israel carried out an act of international piracy, and cold-blooded murder in international waters, and Turkey must be punished. Has someone dumped a shot of LSD-25 into the water cooler at the American Enterprise Institute?
    It is pretty obvious that a talking points memo went out from the Israeli embassy or some other locale, because in a matter of days, many of the usual suspects

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  3. Cee says:

    Being held accountable.
    From Haaretz
    Polish authorities arrested an alleged Mossad agent suspected of attaining German passports involved in the assassination of Hamas strongman Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January, according to Der Spiegel cited by French news agency AFP on Saturday.
    “He was arrested in Warsaw and is suspected of being involved in illegally obtaining a (German) passport,” AFP cited a spokesman for German federal prosecution to German magazine Der Spiegel.
    “It’s now up to the Poles to decide if they are going to hand him over to Germany,” the spokesman said.
    Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed in January when a team of assassins broke into his hotel room and killed him silently, leaving a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. The hotel security cameras caught images of the alleged killers sharing an elevator ride with Mabhouh prior to the assassination.
    Since the killing, Dubai police have identified over 32 suspects, releasing photos of 27 people who were allegedly involved in the assassination based on alleged forged passports.
    The Mossad has been implicated by the Dubai police as having masterminded the assassination, but Israel has said there is no proof tying Mossad to the incident.
    The Der Spiegel article, which is expected to be published on Monday, said the Israeli suspect Uri Brodsky was arrested in early June on arrival at Warsaw’s airport.
    Brodsky is suspected by German authorities to have helped a member of the hit squad obtain a German passport in June 2009.

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  4. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    marcus…dreams about 1938 Germany???Just because I don’t think Palestiians should pay the price for 1938 Germnay does not mean I think anyone deserves that. Don’t project your our disdain and hatefulness toward others onto me.

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  5. WigWag says:

    And as long as we’re talking about hypocrisy; does anyone remember all those people who assured us that Obama/Biden would be more respectful of civil liberties than Bush/Cheney?
    Those people might find this interesting,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/12/us/politics/12leak.html?hp

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  6. WigWag says:

    Hmmm … yes, it’s amazing that Steve isn’t all over this Dutch business, given the centrality and high importance of Dutch-American affairs in the US foreign policy portfolio…” (Dan Kervick)
    The United States houses more than 70 thousand U.S. troops throughout Europe( including 55 thousand in Germany) charged with the responsibility (in part) of protecting the Netherlands. U.S. taxpayers pay tens of billions of dollars to subsidize the protection of the Europeans because, of course, the Europeans would rather have the United States pay for their defense than pay for it themselves. This is only one of several ways that American taxpayers subsidize wealthy Europeans.
    As Europeans vote for political parties that are openly hostile to Muslims in significantly greater percentages than the Israelis do, it is not only consequential for the United States but worth remarking on.
    As Dan surely knows, the moral outrage directed by many at this blog, both commentators and Steve Clemons himself, towards Israel is motivated by far more than the Israeli-American partnership.
    No one is suggesting that the recent Dutch elections should motivate an obsessive Steve Clemons to write as many posts about the Netherlands as he has about Israel. But the fact that one of America’s main European allies just voted for a political party that is implacably hostile to Muslims in significantly larger numbers than Israelis voted for Yisrael Beiteinu, is far more consequential than Dan pretends it is.
    The fact that the only reason it came up at the Washington Note at all is because I mentioned it, speaks volumes.

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  7. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    POA don’t say Adios..if you do, they win…jist ignore them..you know, please don’t feed the trolls.
    Carroll, thanks for the articles…

    Reply

  8. Dan Kervick says:

    Hmmm … yes, it’s amazing that Steve isn’t all over this Dutch business, given the centrality and high importance of Dutch-American affairs in the US foreign policy portfolio. Maybe we’ll have to cancel our $30 billion dollar aid package to the Netherlands; reconsider our support for the endless Dutch occupation and colonization of Flanders; think twice about the incessant Dutch demands for sanctions and regime change in France, and its frequent threats of war against France; withdraw our vetoes for four decades of UN sanctions against the Dutch; and worry ourselves much more about the effects of the blowback of the Dutch-American partnership on the well-being of US troops fighting our two ongoing wars in central Europe.
    Of course, just because Dutch affairs are so important to America, I wouldn’t want to single the Dutch out for special attention or anything.
    But as Nigel Powers once said, “There are only two things I hate in this world: People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures … and the Dutch!”

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  9. WigWag says:

    More on the extraordinary showing of Geert Wilders in this week’s Dutch elections:
    Not only did Wilders increase his party’s share of the vote far more dramatically than any other Dutch political party; and not only did Wilder’s party win the third largest proportion of the Dutch vote; and not only is it likely that Wilders will have a place in the next Dutch Government; and not only did Wilder’s performance speak volumes about how the Dutch feel about Muslim immigration; and not only did Wilders exceed the share of the vote achieved by Avigdor Lieberman’s party in Israel by 32 percent; but in a delicious irony, Wilders Party received the highest number of votes in the Hague, which of course, is the home of the International Criminal Court.
    How long before the anti-immigrant parties in France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden achieve the same success as Wilder’s party? Europe is changing before our eyes. Can

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  10. Carroll says:

    Posted by DonS, Jun 11 2010, 7:16AM – Link
    “Sad that neither Nadine nor Wigwag can condemn the assassination of unarmed Americans, whether activists or whether members of the crew of the USS Liberty…” (John H)
    Not just sad, really evidence of their propaganda mindset, and repetition and hammering lies after lies. It has become obvious that this comment section is a podium for their propaganda. POA is right to feel discouraged. He’s done yeoman work, albeit colorful.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I don’t blame POA. But I am curious why some of you even engage or respond to wig, nadine and marcus and encourage their obvious insanity and mental illness.
    I have been on this blog since it’s inception and seen every piece of propaganda of the kind they spew debunked over and over and over and over and over and over and over with actual evidence and facts.
    Intelligent discussion and offerings on here ended 2 years ago and now 50% of the comments are propaganda hasbara and the other 50% are those replying to them as if hasbara nutcases could be talked to intelligently or brought to admit their delusions and obfuscations.
    I share POA’s disgust, the threads here have become nothing but a circle jerk of hasbara zios and their enablers.

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  11. DonS says:

    “For what it’s worth, I also WOULDN’T believe anything that Turkish intelligence or US intelligence might be serving up right now.” (Dan k)
    That’s the point, isn’t it? This isn’t about, or shouldn’t be, who’s got the heftiest slanted intelligence. In the end, institutions become victims of their own propaganda, and we become further disconnected from even a semblance of fact based policy.

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  12. Dan Kervick says:

    “…if you automatically disbelieve everybody in a position to know anything.”
    I don’t disbelieve everybody in a position to know anything. There were many people on the Mavi Marmara, and there were many Israeli soldiers participating in the raid. Their accounts are all gradually coming out through various media. Genuinely independent reporters will be able to examine this full record and build coherent narratives from it. A true and full account will be assembled in that way, not by government intelligence agents.
    The Israelis have already been caught doctoring the electronic records they confiscated, and then releasing the doctored materials. Either they are people with something to hide, or they don’t have anything to hide but they stupidly act like people with something to hide. Either way, they have poisoned the well of information coming out of the Israeli government.
    And I regard the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center as part of the Israeli government. They have an office in the Israeli Defense Ministry. They seem to be one of those outfits commonly used by government intelligence and propaganda departments – a front company or “NGO” used to pump out government information without an explicit government brand.
    Anyway, as I said almost right after this raid occurred, the attitude people take toward it is going to depend on their attitude toward the quarantine of Gaza itself. The Mavi Marmara did not attack, board or ram an Israeli naval ship. Rather, armed Israelis forcibly boarded the Mavi Marmara. If you think that the quarantine of Gaza, and the naval blockade that is part of it, are justified, then you are likely to look at the boarding as a legitimate means of enforcing that quarantine. If, on the other hand, you think that the quarantine is odious, then you are likely to think that people who are attempting to lift that blockade by delivering supplies and putting themselves in harm’s way as a result are the good guys.
    This boarding is just one more belligerent act in a running Israeli campaign of economic and military warfare against Gaza, and that campaign against Gaza is just one part of Israel’s long running war against the Arabs of Palestine. The Israelis are the aggressors in that war, as is proven by their insistence on expanding into and colonizing Palestinian territory. Whatever skirmishing did or did not take place on board the Mavi Marmara following the boarding is less important than those more fundamental contextual facts.

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  13. DonS says:

    “Sad that neither Nadine nor Wigwag can condemn the assassination of unarmed Americans, whether activists or whether members of the crew of the USS Liberty…” (John H)
    Not just sad, really evidence of their propaganda mindset, and repetition and hammering lies after lies. It has become obvious that this comment section is a podium for their propaganda. POA is right to feel discouraged. He’s done yeoman work, albeit colorful.
    I do not make the simplistic distinction “I’m right, you’re wrong”. I ‘m talking about the non stop propaganda and lies regardless of whatever the corresponding commenter may be attempting to engage.
    Someone a few days ago suggest perhaps implementing a voting mechanism to indicate what the reading public relates to positively. An imperfect mechanism, perhaps, but the level of propaganda has become outrageous.
    Exchanges like,
    “Or maybe Steve is only interested in bigotry if the person espousing it has a Jewish sur name. (ndine)
    “There’s a name for that too; isn’t there?” (Wigwag)
    . . . slamming our host are unfathomable. Or Wig wag proclaiming in one post that Tony Judt is dying, go easy, and then proceeding to slam him mercilessly. As for her partner in propaganda, nadine, apparently nothing is to low for her bloodymindedness.

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Tony Koran of Time and rootlesscosmopolitian.com
    June 6th, 2010
    What the Gaza Flotilla Tells Us About the Future of the Mideast
    Thus my latest in the National:

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Tony Koran of Time and rootlesscosmopolitian.com
    June 6th, 2010
    What the Gaza Flotilla Tells Us About the Future of the Mideast
    Thus my latest in the National:

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Adios, people.
    This blog’s comment section ain’t what it used to be.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    This is hysterical…the zionits are looking for a new sugar daddy and protector. Suddenly they have decided they have “shared values” with Russia.
    We should encourage this idea….send Israel into Putin’s loving arms…LOL
    Volia….the world’s Israeli problem solved.
    Pro-Israel groups must adapt to the new world
    By JENNIFER LASZLO-MIZRAHI
    06/07/2010 22:03
    The dueling videos of Israel

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  18. nadine says:

    So, Dan, if you automatically disbelieve everybody in a position to know anything, and you reject their evidence, what do you believe? What your own prejudices tell you?

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  19. JohnH says:

    And I wouldn’t believe much of what the NY Times is serving up right now.
    Sad that neither Nadine nor Wigwag can condemn the assassination of unarmed Americans, whether activists or whether members of the crew of the USS Liberty…

    Reply

  20. Dan Kervick says:

    In the previous post, the penultimate sentence should have been:
    “For what it’s worth, I also WOULDN’T believe anything that Turkish intelligence or US intelligence might be serving up right now.”

    Reply

  21. JohnH says:

    Of course, they won’t even mention the name of a dead US citizen, Furkan Dogan, except in a story about how Turkey was coping with the deaths of activists and again on Robert Mackey’s blog.
    At least Rachel Corrie got some coverage, mostly in the form of a play called, “My Name is Rachel Corrie.” I guess mention of Furkan Dogan will have to wait for the play.
    But the NY Times is so biased against Israel!!!

    Reply

  22. Dan Kervick says:

    “Do you now discard any evidence from the Israeli press?”
    No. But Haaretz wasn’t reporting out its own independently uncovered evidence. It was simply reporting on the contents of a report prepared by some “independent investigators from Israel’s intelligence community.” The question isn’t whether you believe Haaretz; it’s whether you believe the Israeli intelligence community – specifically, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (Maram), an organization which is an “NGO” appendage of the Israeli defense establishment.
    And yes, I do tend to disregard supposed evidence offered by Israeli intelligence, as I would discard evidence offered by other intelligence services from other countries. In a crisis like this, such agencies are paid to lie for their country and push out propaganda. For what it’s worth, I also would believe anything that Turkish intelligence or US intelligence might be serving up right now. I am only interested in reports from genuinely independent journalists and investigators.

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  23. nadine says:

    No Wigwag, they printed Judt’s op-ed because they like his opinion, on top of Chabon’s a few days ago, and a whole procession of leftist nitwits before that. Never accuse the the NYT of not seeing what direction the wind is blowing from the White House! They are going to need that FTC-proposed bail-out of newspapers Real Soon Now they way their finances are going.

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  24. WigWag says:

    “…why does the NYT give him so much space on its oped pages.” (Nadine)
    I went back and looked and as far as I can tell from the New York Times archives, they’ve never published a Judt op-ed before. I could be mistaken, but I didn’t find anything else by Judt himself every published in the Times (there are several reviews of his books).
    My guess is that they printed his op-ed because he is dying.

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  25. nadine says:

    “WANTED: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 322 Oakview, CA 93022. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.”
    So what do you think, Nadine; do you think Tony Judt might have written that ad?” (Wigwag)
    Well, that ad certainly makes you curious about the circumstances of the ‘once before’. Judt writing may be dropping from its already low standard, but then why does the NYT give him so much space on its oped pages. Do you remember the days when the NYT supported Israel against terrorists who wanted to destroy it?

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  26. nadine says:

    “WANTED: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 322 Oakview, CA 93022. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.”
    So what do you think, Nadine; do you think Tony Judt might have written that ad?” (Wigwag)
    Well, that ad certainly makes you curious about the circumstances of the ‘once before’. Judt writing may be dropping from its already low standard, but then why does the NYT give him so much space on its oped pages. Do you remember the days when the NYT supported Israel against terrorists who wanted to destroy it?

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  27. nadine says:

    Dan Kervick, it means “independent of the government”. Do you now discard any evidence from the Israeli press — a democracy with a free and highly critical press — and believe only pronouncements from totalitarian governments? This report was from HaAretz, which has about as much love for the Netanyahu government as the New York Times did for the Bush administration.
    It’s not as if the accounts even differ much from the Israeli and Turkish side. The Turks are BOASTING of having ambushed and beaten the Israeli commandos. It’s you lot of pseudo-pacifists (Walter Russell Mead’s term “goo-goo genocidaires” fits to a T) who are crying that innocent lambs were slaughtered. Not the Turks!

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  28. Dan Kervick says:

    “a group of independent investigators from Israel’s intelligence community found that…”
    Now that’s an interesting phrase. Sort of like, “a group of independent engineers from BP.”

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  29. JohnH says:

    Count on Wigwag and Nadine to silently approve the IDF’s execution of Americans, such as Rachel Corrie, Tristan Andersen, or Furkan Dogan.
    But there would be hell to pay if a Palestinian or an Iranian ever killed an American or an Israeli. There’s even hell to pay when an unidentified gunman kills someone named Neda in the streets of Tehran.
    But when Americans get executed–silence. Appalling.

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  30. WigWag says:

    That’s an interesting point, Nadine; the bigotry of the European left is now such a prominent feature of the program it advocates, that Wilders and his Party seem mainstream by comparison. No wonder Wilders is one of the most popular politicians in the Netherlands. The real irony, of course, is that its Wilders, who criticizes Islamic ideology (at least as it’s practiced in the Netherlands) for its homophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism and religious extremism. Do you remember the days, Nadine, when those liberal ideas were proffered by the left and eschewed by the right? My, have times changed.
    By the way, I don’t know if you’ve read any of Judt’s books, but he is one of the worst writers that you will ever read. I’ve read a couple of his epics including “Identity Politics In A Multilingual Age” (he edited it) which was dimwitted and most recently “Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945.” which was so awful that its hard to exaggerate how bad it was.
    Judt’s articles for the New York Review of Books are so invariably shallow that they remind me of a classified ad that I recently read (and cut out) of our local penny saver newspaper in Ft. Lauderdale.
    It went like this,
    “WANTED: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 322 Oakview, CA 93022. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.”
    So what do you think, Nadine; do you think Tony Judt might have written that ad?

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  31. nadine says:

    As for the Europeans, I don’t expect them to go quietly into Eurabia. Considering their politics, it may be difficult to set up nationalist parties that are for free markets and individual liberty which don’t have fascist tendencies; but I hope they can. Wilders doesn’t seem at all fascist or xenophobic from what I’ve seen, thought the leftist media keeps trying to call him that.
    Somebody has to be anti-fascist, and it’s not going to be the Left, since the Left has become pro-fascist.

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  32. nadine says:

    As for the Europeans, I don’t expect them to go quietly into Eurabia. Considering their politics, it may be difficult to set up nationalist parties that are for free markets and individual liberty which don’t have fascist tendencies; but I hope they can. Wilders doesn’t seem at all fascist or xenophobic from what I’ve seen, thought the leftist media keeps trying to call him that.
    Somebody has to be anti-fascist, and it’s not going to be the Left, since the Left has become pro-fascist.

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  33. nadine says:

    “Or maybe Steve is only interested in bigotry if the person espousing it has a Jewish sur name.
    There’s a name for that too; isn’t there?” (Wigwag)
    Oh, surely you are just imagining it, Wigwag. Wait for some more posts about breaking news like the USS Liberty. Maybe Steve has some breaking news about Deir Yassin.
    The more I think about it, the reason Helen Thomas “tripped up” (i.e. got recorded saying what she believes) was because Obama has legitimated “Jews go back to Auschwitz” as a form of political speech. She was on the White House grounds and a rabbi was recording her, there was nothing secret about it. She was a reporter for sixty years, she knew all about being recorded for attribution. She thought Obama had her back.

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  34. WigWag says:

    Nadine, it’s best to leave Tony Judt alone; he’s dying of a neurological disorder (he’s talked about this himself quite openly in print). I’m not suggesting that his comments reflect any type of dementia (which is a feature of late stages of the particular disease that he has); his comments are in character with his entire career. Suffice it to say that it is hard to contemplate how Judt could be less influential than he is. He mostly appeals to a cadre of far-left ideologues who are so hopelessly confused that engaging them is almost a complete waste of time and effort. Judt is essentially inconsequential as either an intellect or an opinion-maker.
    By the way, I don’t know if you saw the results of the recent Dutch elections, but it appears that Europe is continuing its lurch to the right.
    The Dutch Liberal Party (which paradoxically is one of the conservative Dutch Parties) won the most seats (31) which is up 9 seats from the previous election. The Labor Party (which is a leftist party) won 30 seats which is down 3 from the previous election. The CDA (the governing party which is also conservative) went from 41 seats to 21 seats.
    Most interestingly, Geert Wilders political party defied the expectations of some and experienced explosive growth. Wilders’ Party is the anti-immigrant party. Wilders calls for banning head scarves, prohibiting the sale of the Koran and deporting thousands of Muslim immigrants.
    Wilders is actually on trial for racism (in the Netherlands you can actually be indicted for what you say, which in itself says alot). Despite all of this, or maybe because of it, his party more than doubled its representation; it went from 9 seats to 24; an increase of 15 seats. Wilders’ party is now the third largest in the Netherlands.
    What’s really interesting is that Wilders’ Party won 15.5 percent of the Dutch popular vote. In Israel, during the 2009 election, Avigdor Lieberman’s Party (Yisrael Beiteinu) won only 11.7 percent of the vote of the Israeli electorate. Considering what’s frequently said about Lieberman, I guess we now have to conclude that Europeans (or at least the Dutch) on average are 33 percent more racist than the Israelis. Considering European history; it

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  35. Neo Controll says:

    Nadine, this is such and exciting fictional thriller, can you please please provide the next installment ASAP . . .
    “The report, published by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (known in Israel by its Hebrew acronym Malam), said activists who attacked commandos with clubs and knives were supported by the Turkish government.
    “Malam is a privately run but is widely seen as an unofficial branch of Israel’s intelligence community and has in the past been a medium for passing Israel’s intelligence findings to the public.”
    Privately run, eh. Would that be like AIPAC east? Inquiring minds want to know. “A medium for passing Israel’s intelligence findings on to the public.” Would that be like a propaganda organ within a propaganda organ??

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  36. nadine says:

    Erdogan is implicated in sending 40 IHH agent provocateurs on the Mavi Marmara. From Haaretz:
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan knew in advance that activists aboard a Gaza-bound aid flotilla planned to attack Israeli troops, Israeli intelligence officials have said.
    Activists hold down an Israeli commando on the Gaza-bound ship Mavi Marmara, May 31 2010
    In a report published this week, a group of independent investigators from Israel’s intelligence community found that activists aboard the ‘Mavi Marmara’ were part of an organized group that was prepared for a violent conflict.
    Last week Israeli commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists when they boarded the Turkish-owned boat, part of a six-ship convoy trying to break Israel’s maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip
    The report, published by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (known in Israel by its Hebrew acronym Malam), said activists who attacked commandos with clubs and knives were supported by the Turkish government.
    Malam is a privately run but is widely seen as an unofficial branch of Israel’s intelligence community and has in the past been a medium for passing Israel’s intelligence findings to the public.
    The report said while most of the Mavi Marmara’s 500 passengers were humanitarian volunteers who underwent security checks before boarding the ship at Antalya in Turkey, a group of 40 IHH activists had boarded the ship in an Istanbul port beforehand, keeping apart from the rest of the passengers throughout the journey.
    This hard core of activists boarded the ship without checks and was equipped with communications equipment, flack jackets embroidered with Turkish flags, and gas masks, Malam said.
    According to the report, the group turned the upper deck into its headquarters, blocking it off to other passengers. It had a clear internal hierarchy, with specific activists nominated as commanders.
    B

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  37. nadine says:

    Paul, Tony Judt is twisting himself into contradictions, trying to explain how you can be totally anti-Zionist yet acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. Short answer: you can’t. He goes through the usual prevarications of explaining how the chorus of anti-Semites demanding Israel’s destruction don’t actually mean it, you’re just being paranoid to imagine it and suppressing free speech. What a load of horse manure.
    Meanwhile for some happier news: the NYT notices that that 7% GDP growth in the West Bank is making Ramallah a hip travel destination:
    Ramallah Attracts a Cosmopolitan Crowd
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/travel/06next-1.html
    A bit different from the sob story of desperate refugees the Pals keep feeding the Western media, no?

    Reply

  38. JohnH says:

    IDF commandos execute American citizen:
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2010/06/10/idf-executed-mavi-marmara-victims/
    Where’s the outrage?
    The New York Times continues its cover-up of egregious IDF behavior, refusing to treat the execution of the American citizen Furkan Dogan as news. Their website lists him only in a story about how Turkey was coping with the deaths of activists and again on Robert Mackey’s blog.
    If this had been Neda, a young Iranian women killed by an unknown assassin, then the Times would have hyperventilated with righteous indignation.
    But when a young American is executed by Israel, the Times goes on snooze control.
    Objective reporting RIP.

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    Tony Judt in the New York Times:
    “Israel Without Clich

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  40. DonS says:

    Israeli commando executing American activist, contra to the lies and fabricated scenario of the IDF and hasbara. Images are surfacing. Will they get coverage in American MSM??
    http://www.juancole.com/2010/06/video-shows-israeli-commando-executing-american.html

    Reply

  41. Richard Grant says:

    Larry Birnbaum does not seem to understand that I owe Israel no loyalty at all. I owe my own country loyalty, but loyalty to any country other than my own is entirely optional. I don’t have to give Larry Birnbaum a reason why I choose not to support Israel any more than I have to give an Englishman, or an American Anglophile, a reason why I choose not to support Britain or Germany, my racial homelands.
    Having said that, I was willing to let this particular sleeping dog lie until Jay Cristol published his deceitful book. If he wants to rub my nose in my own cowardice for not speaking out, fine. I will speak out. I believe Israel deliberately tried to sink the Liberty and kill any survivors. I believe Israel committed war crimes against the USA. I believe LBJ was afraid of the American Jewish community and other supporters of Israel.

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  42. samuelburke says:

    Israel

    Reply

  43. Marcus says:

    “Arab states target Israel ” !!!! Quel suprise !!
    The achilles heel of these dispicable israel bashers is and alway`s will be their alliances with totalitarian arab regimes..
    So lets see …uhmm… Libyia condemns Israel,wasn`t that the country that had a clandestine nuke programn that was only revealed after G.W.bush scared them silly ?
    Syria another pillar of rightousness regime…I don`t think so.another secret nuke progrmn that the world can thank Israel ..some other time I guess,for taking out.
    Pakistan; the biggest nuke proliferator in the world period.
    Osirak,Iraq;again the world can thank Israel some other time.
    Iran;say no more,wink,wink,nudge,nudge. Paul can you spell Qum.
    Sudan; I wouldn`t be surprised at anything those bastards do to the christian south.
    These countries are pauls moral guideposts ,it`s pathetic really.
    One more thing; it was the UN`s IAEA under the leadership of el bariedi who by the way is the eygptian brotherhoods prefered candidate in the up-coming eygptian presidential election,this same LYING S.O.B.as head of the IAEA allowed Iran to inrich uranium to 20%…it would all be so farcical and cartoonish ..if they weren`t talking about nuclear bombs,
    The children really should be kept on street corners ,let then smash honest storekeepers windows ( POA for example)if they must, but please,keep them away from adult subjects.

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  44. Paul Norheim says:

    “Arab states: Israel nuclear danger reinforced by its aggression.
    Arab states target Israel at UN nuclear debate, urge Israel to join
    global anti-nuclear arms pact NPT.
    By Reuters
    Israel, presumed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear weapons
    arsenal, condemned the push at the International Atomic Energy
    Agency meeting on Thursday as being fuelled by countries
    which question Israel’s existence.
    Western countries warned that honing in on Israel could
    jeopardize broader steps aimed at banning weapons of mass
    destruction in the Middle East.
    “What the region needs is to come together in a cooperative,
    consensual way,” Washington’s envoy Glyn Davies said. “This is
    not going to happen if the parties of the region engage in
    name-calling, if they wag fingers at each other.”
    It was the first time the IAEA’s policy-making board tackled the
    topic since 1991, coinciding with wider scrutiny of Israel after
    its raid on a Gaza-bound aid convoy and a UN conference which
    put its nuclear policy in the spotlight.
    “Israel continues to defy the international community through
    its continued refusal to accede to the Non Proliferation Treaty
    (NPT),” Sudan’s envoy Mahmoud El-Amin told the 35-nation
    meeting in Vienna on behalf of Arab states.
    “The Israeli nuclear danger is reinforced by [its] aggressive
    policies towards Arab countries,” he said.
    By shunning the 40-year-old NPT Israel has not had to reject
    atomic arms or allow the IAEA to probe all of its nuclear sites.
    India, Pakistan and North Korea are also outside the NPT.
    Signatories of the pact – nearly all of the world’s nations – last
    month called for a conference in 2012 to discuss banning
    weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. If realized, the
    zone could ultimately force Israel to join the treaty.
    Iran, angered by a fourth round of UN sanctions passed against
    it on Wednesday over its nuclear program seized on the debate
    to accuse the West of “double standards” and discrimination.
    (…)
    He said the West’s reluctance to discuss Israel while pressuring
    Iran was “very worrisome” because it protected those outside
    the NPT and could provoke members to withdraw from it. He
    said Iran had no intention of doing this as of now.
    Iran is seen by Western nations as an NPT renegade and bomb
    risk for hiding sensitive nuclear activity. They say Israel is not
    comparable because it is not in the NPT while Iran is. Many
    developing nations say that this is precisely the problem.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/arab-states-
    israel-nuclear-danger-reinforced-by-its-aggression-1.295362

    Reply

  45. Cee says:

    Israel has gotten away with murder for too long. Time to pay for it.
    Several books and the BBC documentary USS Liberty: Dead in the Water argued that Liberty was attacked in order to prevent the U.S. from knowing about the forthcoming attack in the Golan Heights, which apparently would violate a cease-fire to which Israel’s government had agreed.[4][dead link] Russian author Joseph Daichman, in his book “History of the Mossad” states Israel was justified in attacking the Liberty.[58] Israel knew that American radio signals were intercepted by the Soviet Union, and that the Soviets would certainly inform Egypt of the fact that by moving troops to the Golan Heights, Israel had left the Egyptian border undefended.[59]
    Lenczowski notes that while the Israeli decision to

    Reply

  46. DonS says:

    “DonS, I don’t give a damn that you are American or Jewish if it means you will condemn America and Israel to death for misdemeanors while ignoring the felonies of their enemies. Everybody in the world should wish you come from their worst enemy’s country, as you believe in shitting on your friends and family and kissing up to enemies who want to kill you. You have to be very well protected to be infantile enough to think like this.” (nadine)
    You take a rather long time to call me a self hater, Nadine.
    Shall I return the favor and call the a lowly jackbooted traitor?
    I presume your recent escalation in rhetoric has to do with long hours at the hasbara and the fact that, for once in a long time, everything is not coming up roses for the Israeli propaganda machine.
    Have a nice day.

    Reply

  47. nadine says:

    Walter Russell Mead:
    “The American peace and disarmament movement almost destroyed human freedom. The peace movement gave intellectual and moral respectability to the cause of isolationism: the belief that the United States could safely ignore the unraveling of the world

    Reply

  48. Paul Norheim says:

    Personally, I would prefer seeing Marcus in that room with
    “roaring infidel”; both equipped with sticks and stones and
    eternal parables.

    Reply

  49. ... says:

    roaring infidel, you don’t seem all that interested in conversation… i you and nadine locked in a room together is a creepy thought… it wouldn’t represent an attempt at a settlement, but just the opposite..

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I forgot to post the Marcus quote that prompted my post, above…..
    “Again, if someone has any kind of ideas that would allow israel to lift the blockad (other than helen thomas’s) I would be curious to know” – Marcus

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    jd, thanks for retrieving your posts — and thanks for the good news. The salient statement you need to take on board is, “Just as revolutionary Islamists are being taught by Western reaction that being intransigent and violent produces gains, Israelis are being taught that making concessions ultimately means greater dangers, no compensation, and even more criticism.”
    For twenty years Israelis have made concessions and tried to see it the other guy’s way. Scream as much as you like that it’s not enough, it’s undermined by this or that, whatever — the fact remains they did it, and got punished instead of rewarded from all sides for doing it. Meanwhile, the Palestinians haven’t made one step towards peace, and many steps towards Al Qaeda and Iran, and they reap rewards all around. To not expect the Israelis to say “enough, already” is folly.
    MarkL, I just got tired of going over a 43 year-old friendly fire incident. I have a suspicion drew could tell you something sensible about the possibility or impossibility of friendly fire incidents happening in the middle of an intense shooting war, and I also suspect (actually, I know) you wouldn’t listen to sense on the subject. The mere fact that this ancient history is being dragged in now — while North Korea’s completely unprovoked sinking of a South Korean warship LAST MONTH is being ignored — is just another sign that Obama has declared open season on Israel and Jews.
    DonS, I don’t give a damn that you are American or Jewish if it means you will condemn America and Israel to death for misdemeanors while ignoring the felonies of their enemies. Everybody in the world should wish you come from their worst enemy’s country, as you believe in shitting on your friends and family and kissing up to enemies who want to kill you. You have to be very well protected to be infantile enough to think like this.

    Reply

  52. Roaring Infiel says:

    POA, iraqi civlian deaths aren’t war crimes, they’re
    what I would call ‘man-made disasters.’ Have some
    empathy, like president obama and his homeland
    security chief.

    Reply

  53. JohnH says:

    Yes, marcus, 2000 is too big a number. It is the number of civilians that Israel killed in Lebanon and Gaza during its last two pogroms…
    A light unto the nations? More like a fuse!

    Reply

  54. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Referencing the USS Liberty is thoroughly appropriate and traces the instances where US interests and Israeli interest diverge to our detriment.
    The US can only hold the moral highground when it is fair and honest and stands on the side of human rights for Palestinians, too.
    Ebinger makes it crystal clear that our current wars for oil in the Middle East, started over OPEC, was precipitated by the USS Liberty debacle and our laissez-faire approach to Israeli encroachments in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jeruslaem…Talk about a “domino theory”, all downhill…Israel scuttles every peace negotiation because they deprive Israel of “justification” for their continued illegal land grabs.
    I applaud Ebinger for using the “S” word for Israel…I myself called for sanctions yesterday.
    samuelburke….thanks for the Woodward piece…I said yesterday on this site that I was glad Helen would nor longer be lending the daily farce at the WHPC legitimacy.
    larry birnbaum…we are not in the realm of hoest dicussio here??? What is this “we” shit, white man? Speak for yourself.

    Reply

  55. Maw of America says:

    Thanks, Steve, for adding some context to the current situation in Israel. I was not aware of the attack on the Liberty and the account you posted is, indeed, compelling.
    Regardless of all the sturm und drang that many of the posters seem to relish on this site, I feel capable of distilling truth from fiction, or at least those descriptions that sound more credible from those that sound less so.
    Keep ‘em coming!

    Reply

  56. Dan Kervick says:

    “After all, every archeological find in Israel has 100% backed-up and validated the biblical narrative, without exception.”
    It doesn’t matter. Only a moron would think that the world should attempt to govern itself and decide its territorial disputes on the basis of who lived where 3500 years ago.
    By the way, my “people” are the tribe of homo sapiens, and my understanding is that homo sapiens originated in Africa. Can I expect to join soon in the glorious ingathering of homo sapiens to Africa? There is some nice land there that I have my eye on.

    Reply

  57. MarkL says:

    Drew,
    You don’t need to read the reams of bullshit on the Liberty to reach a conclusion.
    You don’t even need to believe the numerous eyewitness reports which confirm that the attack was deliberate and that the US flag was flying.
    All you have to do is compare the Liberty with the type of vessel the Isreali’s said they mistook it for to see the attack must have been deliberate. There was no way to make that mistake.
    Marcus, put a sock in it.
    The Jews lost the land 2000 years ago. They had no more claim on Palestine than the Gypsies have on Kashmir.
    And aren’t you hasbara types always explaining that losers have no land claims? This is why there is no right of return.

    Reply

  58. marcus says:

    It is the truth that dares not speak it’s name.
    but of course there is also the little matter of;
    continuous jewish occupation for 3500 years
    an Israeli/Hebrew kingdom that lasted 1400 years
    the involuntary expulsion from same
    It is regretable that the israeli government has never asserted more eloquently,the historical roots of the jews claim to judea and samaria,I have long held that if proudly and loudly explained,that this would alleviate alot of the muslim hostility and undermine the argument that Israel is simply a refuge destination for the remnant of europes jews.
    I think Israel has made a mistake by taking for granted that people of the world (especially the muslim world )fully understand why Israel and not Uganda or Alaska or Poland and Germany.
    Muslim governments and religous authorities have expended untold energy on de-legitamizing even erasing the ancient jewish precence in Israel,for the precise reason that they know this, more than anything else could lead to more acceptance of Israel, modern Israel is afterall an ancient prophecy fullfilled,from a book that the muslims themselves consider divinely inspired.
    I am not in the least way religous,but the islamists are,so why not give them an argument they can wrap their minds around. I don’t think they give a hoot about land titles,un declarations,international law etc. but they do profess to be inspired by these ancient texts and it is only certain Christian prophecies that claim armegegdom is percipitaded by the destruction of modern israel, Islam has no such specific prophecy in part I’m sure because at the time the Koran was written,the authors could not imagine a re-born Israel,let alone predict it.
    Except for the accusations of being fanatical religous nutbars ,I don’t see the downside to trying to assert their historical roots in the land.
    Afterall, every archealogical find in Israel has 100% backed-up and validated the biblical narrative, without exception.

    Reply

  59. Tony C. says:

    On a previous thread Nadine put forth the transparent nonsense
    that the attack on the Liberty was a “simple mistake”. Odd, then,
    that on this thread, in response to an article about that very
    incident, she avoids that canard.

    Reply

  60. Paul Norheim says:

    “What paul calls the buffer zone , is actually the heartland of
    ancient Israel (…) and the arabs living there are squatters who
    have acquired some rights but nothing that rises to level of
    declaring national soveirgnty.”
    There can be no doubt that Marcus’ explanation for colonizing
    the buffer zones on the West Bank makes much more sense than
    the official Israeli arguments.

    Reply

  61. vics66 says:

    make “DCC Liberty” USS Liberty
    and I salute those who served!

    Reply

  62. vics66 says:

    which is slimier?
    the attack on the DCC Liberty where well-placed DC liars and Israeli liars won the propaganda wars
    or
    the Flotilla Disaster where well-placed (and silent) DC liars and Israeli liars so far have won the propaganda wars
    pick your poison

    Reply

  63. Michael Di Amico says:

    Leave it to someone with a name like ‘Birnbaum’ to dismiss Israel’s massacre onboard the LIBERTY on the basis it was ‘ancient history’. Israel’s ENTIRE existence (as well as the reason we have lost 5,000 of our young people fighting these wars for the benefit of the Jewish state) is based upon ‘ancient’ history, notably the Old Testament and the more recently-misnamed ‘Holocaust’. Israel’s supporters simply cannot carry on a rational conversation when their pet project in the Middle East is the topic of discussion, as it has become something of a tin god to them and by extension, infallible.
    For an interesting take on Israel’s attack on the USS LIBERTY, check out LIBERTY survivor Phil Tourney’s new book “What I Saw That Day” found at Amazon.com as well as his excellent podcasts at http://theuglytruth.podbean.com

    Reply

  64. drew says:

    Mark L, you haven’t read very much on the Liberty, if you assert so.
    Marcus, Israel’s critics reject the idea of blockade, not because they
    wish for boots-on-ground occupation, but because they reject the
    legitimacy of Israel proper. An illegitimate nation may embargo no
    ground.
    Taken to its end-game, of course, this attitude ensures a nuclear
    conflagration.
    The captcha widget on this site is the most retarded of all on inner
    tube-land.

    Reply

  65. marcus says:

    On the subject of recent, ugly (see helen thomas ) anti-israel comments: I have witnessed this unbecoming, (unbecoming to free people )herd mentality in America every time one of your presidents launches a military campaign.
    Canadians have long credited this to the very localized focus of your regional newspapers and complete dearth of attention to international news, I don’t know…but it seems to me that public opinion seems to me inordinately pliable…I think the current crop of anti-israel comments are simply part of the WH attempts to pressure israel in the settlement brouhaha.
    There are no shortage of useful idiots who will fall on the sword for some short term gains the WH could use to nudge american jews along to their way of thinking. The WH is selling these people the rope to hang themselves with and when they have seved their purpose they will shorten the leash on these people,and the ones left standing, will be left blowing in the wind.

    Reply

  66. JohnH says:

    “If Israel is unable to maintain it’s military naval blockade then the only option is to put boots on the ground in Gaza.” Been there, done that, it didn’t work.
    Israel’s policies towards its neighbors are bankrupt, and it has lost any moral high ground it ever had. Worse, it suffers from a severe case of imagination deficit disorder.
    If Israel goes down, it will be a result of its inability to imagine anything but a military solution.

    Reply

  67. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks jdledell for sharing your impressions. I don’t know which
    part is most depressing – the current collective mood, or the
    development on the ground:
    “I had a chance to drive around the West Bank on this trip and
    found a stunning level of new construction. Settlements are
    laying new foundations everywhere so that when the ban is lifted
    in September, these new units will be completed quickly.”
    Larry Birnbaum, could you please explain to us the rationale
    behind colonizing the buffer zones?

    Reply

  68. marcus says:

    If Israel is unable to maintain it’s military naval blockade then the only option is to put boots on the ground in Gaza, a military occupation. For as long as a state of war persists an occupation will be the only remaining method to keep weapons out.
    Is this preferable to those who want the blockade lifted ..just curious.
    Can anyone offer an alternative to a blockade or an occupation , other than helen thomas’s.
    Does anyone claim that Hamas will not arm themselves, if only for so-called, self-defence.

    Reply

  69. MarkL says:

    How can we ignore the Liberty?
    It’s very important to understand that Israel believes that it can murder US citizens—even its military—with no consequences.

    Reply

  70. nadine says:

    Paul, Barry Rubin wrote this with the likes of you in mind:
    “It is important to understand three things:
    –Israelis are acting on the basis of their knowledge and experience. Some people abroad write in bewilderment as if Israelis are paranoid or don

    Reply

  71. jdledell says:

    I ordinarily don’t cross post but for those who asked here are the two TPM blog posts. The first is before I left and the second is when I returned.
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/j/d/jdledell/2010/05/israel—youve-gone-too-far-th.php
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/j/d/jdledell/2010/06/israel-gaza-the-wheelchair-sag.php

    Reply

  72. Carroll says:

    Too good to miss.
    What would Obama have said about Bull Connor?
    June 9, 2010
    On Thursday evening, three days after the Israeli attack on the activists attempting to bring aid to the people of Gaza, Larry King interviewed President Obama on CNN. Towards the latter part of the interview, the President was asked about his thoughts on these events.
    KING: Couple of other things. Former President Carter has condemned the Israeli raid against those ships in the flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza.
    Where do you stand in that? A former American president has condemned it.
    OBAMA: The United States, with the other members of the U.N. Security Council said very clearly that we condemned all the acts that led up to this violence. It was a tragic situation. You’ve got loss of life that was unnecessary. So we are calling for an effective investigation of everything that happened. I think the Israelis are going to agree to that — an investigation of international standards — because they recognize that this can’t be good for Israel’s long-term security.
    Here’s what we’ve got. You’ve got a situation in which Israel has legitimate security concerns when they’ve got missiles raining down on cities along the Israel/Gaza border. I’ve been to those towns and seen the holes that were made by missiles coming through people’s bedrooms. Israel has a legitimate concern there. On the other hand you’ve got a blockage up that is preventing people in Palestinian Gaza from having job opportunities and being able to create businesses and engage in trade and have opportunity for the future.
    I think what’s important right now is that we break out of the current impasse, use this tragedy as an opportunity so that we figure out, how can we meet Israel’s security concerns, but at the same time start opening up opportunity for Palestinians, work with all parties concerned — the Palestinian authority, the Israelis, the Egyptians and others — and I think Turkey can have a positive voice in this whole process once we’ve worked through this tragedy. And bring everybody together to figure out how can we get a two-state solution where the Palestinians and Israelis can live side by side in peace and security.
    KING: Premature then, to condemn Israel?
    OBAMA: I think that we need to know what all the facts are. But it’s not premature to say to the Israelis and to say to the Palestinians, and to say to all the parties in the region that the status quo is unsustainable. We have been trying to do this piecemeal for decades now. It just doesn’t work.
    You’ve got to have a situation in which the Palestinians have real opportunity and Israel’s neighbors recognize Israel’s legitimate security concerns and are committed to peace.
    Many Democrats, especially Jewish-American Democrats, believe that this is an acceptable and even-handed diplomatic response to the recent tragedy.
    What if President Obama was a non-Christian white man holding the office of President of the United States and he was interviewed on May 6 1963, just 3 days following the attack on civil rights activists in Birmingham, Alabama
    King: A couple of other things. Former President Eisenhower has condemned the use of high power water hoses and attack dogs by Birmingham officers against the students marching to the downtown area demanding equal rights.
    Where do you stand in that? A former American President has condemned it.
    Obama: My administration has said very clearly that we condemned all the acts that led up to this violence. It was a tragic situation. You’ve got injuries that were unnecessary. So we are calling for an effective investigation of everything that happened. I think Mayor Butwell, Commissioner of Public Safety Connor, and the rest of Birmingham’s leadership is going to agree to that – an investigation of Federal standards – because they understand that this can’t be good for their long term security and stability.
    Here’s what you’ve got. You’ve got a situation in which White citizens of Birmingham have legitimate security, economic, and moral concerns when they’ve got people of other races and religions protesting and boycotting in their downtown. I’ve been to that downtown and seen the effects it has had on local businesses. White citizens of Birmingham have a legitimate concern there. On the other hand you’ve got a system in place that is preventing Black citizens of Birmingham from having job opportunities and being able to create businesses and engage in voting and have opportunitites for the future.
    I think what’s important right now is that we break out of the current impasse, use this tragedy as an opportunity so that we figure out, how can we meet White Birmingham’s security, economic, and moral concerns, but at the same time opening up opportunities for Black Birmingham, work with all parties concerned – the NAACP, SCLC, Birmingham officials, Southern leaders, and others – and I think Northern leaders can have a positive voice in this whole process once we’ve worked through this tragedy. And bring everybody together to figure out how can we get desegregation where Black and White citizens of Birmingham can live side by side in peace and security.
    King: Premature then, to condemn Bull Connor and the other Birmingham officials?
    Obama: I think that we need to know what all the facts are. But it’s not premature to say to the citizens of White Birmingham and to say to the citizens of Black Birmingham, and to say to all the parties in the area that the status quo is unsustainable. We have been trying to do this piecemeal for years now. It just doesn’t work.
    You’ve got to have a situation in which Black citizens of Birmingham have real opportunity and White Birmingham’s neighbors recognize White Birmingham’s legitimate security, economic, and moral concerns and are committed to peace.
    This reading is far from acceptable, even-handed, and diplomatic. On the contrary, it is condescending and offensive. To many people, in the United States and throughout the world who care about a just end to this dangerous conflict, President Obama’s answers to Mr. King were equally condescending and offensive.
    If Presidents Kennedy and Johnson did not support civil rights activists and stand up to the terrorizing Southern officials, then African Americans might still be subjected to segregation. And President Obama never would have had the opportunity to be in the office he now holds. It is time for this President to stop being diplomatic and start supporting occupied people, as well as human rights activists, and stand up to terrroizing Israeli officials.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    There’s the white race and there’s the black race, between which there is no difference.
    Then there’s politicans, a race totally different from most humans.

    Reply

  73. David says:

    The winds are finally shifting.

    Reply

  74. Paul Norheim says:

    “The world is as outraged that any single man should die at the
    hands of an Israeli as it is indifferent to a million men dying at
    anybody else’s hands.”
    Cherrypicking?
    Wasn’t that what Jeff said too the other day? That the Americans
    were responsible for stuff in Iraq and Afghanistan that made
    Israel sound like an innocent girl scout? And you applauded his
    outburst, right?
    But every time some commenter here expresses his/her outrage
    regarding the million men, you attack him/her for his/her rabid
    anti-Americanism. For cherrypicking.
    The only legitimate outrage in your eyes is the outrage directed
    against Muslims or Venezuela. That’s not cherrypicking. That’s
    objectivity and unbiased judgement.
    And whenever someone here actually criticizes the repressive
    regimes in the Middle East, you autistically ignore their
    comment, and the next day you accuse him or her of sleeping
    with the Jew-haters. And so forth… ad nauseum.

    Reply

  75. Carroll says:

    Posted by larry birnbaum, Jun 09 2010, 9:36AM – Link
    So the report isn’t well-meant in that sense; it’s aimed at throwing gasoline on the fire.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    *That’s the point. Did you know that if one of your engines on your plane catches fire the sop is to flood it with more fuel to blow it out?
    Think about it.
    “We aren’t in the realm of honest discussion; at best we are in the realm of emotional acting out. The clue is Ebinger’s use of the word “impunity.” He isn’t focused on the strategic issues here — it is Israel’s attitude that bothers him. It’s all very personalized and emotional.”
    *You don’t get it do you? To arouse your ‘average’ public to action you appeal to their emotions.
    If not for the role emotions play in the average human’s perceptions and decisions, all cars would be black fords.
    You should get it…the ‘emotional’ pull is the way the Jews have been controlled by the nationalist zionist and the way the zios have ‘played emotionally’ on the US and world with their victimhood meme.
    For you to say that we aren’t in the realm of honest discussion is too too amusing! Israel and the zios aren’t, never have been, and most likely never will be capable of honest discussion….honesty to the zios is like daylight on a vampire…..fatal.
    Besides, you can’ win or even answer logically (or honestly) in a discussion of ‘strategic issues’ re Israel…your only reply there always boils down to…but the holocaust!, but the holocaust, but the holocaust!..the bible, the bible says it’s allll ours!
    The USS Liberty, Pollard, the King David Hotel bombing that killed Americans and Brits and a host of other Israeli crimes against their own benefactors and supporters is getting down to what is ‘Honest’.

    Reply

  76. nadine says:

    DonS, I would be more impressed by your deep care about human rights if it was in any way proportional to the number and severity of human rights abuses, instead of being entirely confined to the relatively few human rights abuses charged to the US and Israel.
    Anybody who suffers far worse at the hands of tyrants knows he had better not look to you guys for any notice. You couldn’t care less.

    Reply

  77. Paul Norheim says:

    Latest news from the Middle East (via Reuters):
    “Israel eases embargo on food and drink allowed into Gaza
    hours before U.S. President Barack Obama due to host
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington.
    Israel is easing its Gaza embargo to allow snack food and
    beverages into the Palestinian enclave, Palestinian officials said
    on Wednesday, following an international outcry over Israel’s
    raid on an aid flotilla.
    (…)
    The Palestinian officials, based in the West Bank, said that as of
    next week, Israel will allow a wider variety of food, such as
    potato crisps, biscuits, canned fruit and packaged humous, as
    well as soft drinks and juice, into the Gaza Strip.
    “They will send the first course. We are waiting for the main
    course,” Palestinian Economy Minister Hassan Abu Libdeh said
    in Ramallah.
    (…)
    Israel says its blockade of Gaza is necessary to choke off
    weapons supplies to Hamas Islamists who run the enclave and
    are opposed to Abbas’s peace efforts with the Jewish state.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-
    eases-embargo-on-food-and-drink-allowed-into-gaza-
    1.295135

    Reply

  78. nadine says:

    Paul, Israel has spent the last twenty years listening to its critics, to its own detriment. Israel was always judged in a one-sided fashion. But now the double standard has reached levels seen previously only in Soviet or Nazi propaganda. The world is as outraged that any single man should die at the hands of an Israeli as it is indifferent to a million men dying at anybody else’s hands.
    Today’s cause celebre is the 1967 attack on the USS Liberty. Last month’s totally unprovoked topedo attack on a South Korean warship by North Korea? Shhh, don’t talk about that at all, don’t even notice it. Them Norks got nukes, no telling what they might do. Of course, as everybody knows, Israel also has nukes, yet nobody on earth is scared that Israel might react to criticism by shooting some of them off. Which, according the world’s judgment, makes Israel the greatest war criminal on earth and buys North Korea a pass.

    Reply

  79. DonS says:

    “On this point about realpolitik nadine is correct, and the US is a much larger offender than Israel. “(DonB)
    Yes, and interesting how this line of reasoning is the same that was taken by the late visitor to the comment section, “jeff”, speaking of “investigation’, who really appeared to care little about investigations but really wanted the focus off Israel’s bad behavior. Now I don’t know, maybe nadine really is offended by US military criminality. But, generally neocons, favor it, and want more of it.
    I’m kind of in the Don Bacon camp. But, you know, one (even of Steve’s prodigious energy) can do just so much. By the way, I expect some resident zionist commenter to pipe up pretty soon to remind us how very popular Israel is among the US populace. Like we should be surprised?

    Reply

  80. Carroll says:

    To all those in DC who have been behind the curve on Israel for a decades….better catch up boys.
    The world and the people are way ahead of you on Israel.
    AND…if our politicians don’t do a 180 it’s going to get even more blunt and wide open. People who never even heard of the USS Liberty are gonna hear about it.
    So far most political critics on Israel do the ‘we have to talk lovingly to, and reassure our Israeli friends to get them down off the ledge”.
    With Ebinger and some others recently, we are now creeping into the “hummm, maybe Israel isn’t our friend, maybe we don’t owe them anything, maybe we ought to go back and look at exactly what Israel has done to the US during our ‘friendship’”.
    A first year psychology student could tell you you can’t talk people like the US zionist and Israelis down off the ledge.
    The more you reassure and talk nicely the more they will take it as license to continue to get away with even more violence and aggression and criminality…just like they have done for 65 years.
    But don’t take my word for it…just keep watching.

    Reply

  81. Don Bacon says:

    On this point about realpolitik nadine is correct, and the US is a much larger offender than Israel.
    Why does TWN dwell so much on Israel’s war crimes and not on the US’s much larger ones? (Helen Thomas might be able to tell us, were she still around.)
    Fallujah, courtesy of the US Marine Corps, made Gaza look like a tea party.
    “Numerous sources reported that coalition forces cut off water and electricity, seized the main hospital, shot at anyone who ventured out into the open, executed families waving white flags while trying to swim across the Euphrates or otherwise flee the city, shot at ambulances, raided homes and killed people who didn’t understand English, rolled over injured people with tanks, and allowed corpses to rot in the streets and be eaten by dogs. Medical staff and others reported seeing people, dead and alive, with melted faces and limbs, injuries consistent with the use of phosphorous bombs.”
    And these were the people the US “liberated”!

    Reply

  82. Paul Norheim says:

    “It’s a realization that your critics don’t want you to improve; they
    want you to lose.” (Nadine)
    Yeah. Listen to your encouraging mum, but never ever listen to
    your critics!

    Reply

  83. DonS says:

    So long as the Israel Firsters retreat to the notion that there is a military solution, and security for Israel based on military means, they continue to show appreciation for exactly how precarious the future of Israel is.
    The default position to losing total rubber stamp approval from the US for every brutish Israel act is, or should not be, more brutishness. At least that’s neither an ethical, nor a strategic winner over time. The recent spate off criticism of Israel is more detached from reticence to offend the US. This will only increase as the US adjusts it’s stance on a number of issues to reflect realities, primarily the results of economic realities.

    Reply

  84. JohnH says:

    “He real problem with Israel’s recent wars is that they have been ineffective.” Exactly right. Israel has already lost. It can no longer conduct pogroms in the neighborhood with impunity. Israel can’t even hijack ships in the neighborhood with incurring the wrath of the international community. Poor Israel! [Crocodile tears.]
    Israel has had 60 years to negotiate peace from a position of strength, but with the exception of Rabin, all governments refused. Likud worked to end Oslo and refused to entertain even the concept of peace with the Palestinians. Now, rather than negotiate at all, the “religious” nationalists running Israel would prefer go bonkers, an ultimately suicidal course.

    Reply

  85. Paul Norheim says:

    Kotz and Birnbaum, you both have a point.
    The paradox in this context, is that the foreign policy realists
    who prefer a more detached US-Israeli relationship know that
    they’ll have to cross an emotional minefield to get there: “Emotion
    is an extension of realism by other means.” Of course this may
    backfire – resulting in more melodrama, less realism.

    Reply

  86. nadine says:

    Don’t look now, Steve Clemons, but your animus against Israel is showing clearly.

    Reply

  87. Carroll says:

    Posted by jdledell, Jun 09 2010, 9:01AM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>
    jdledell, I read your post at TPM yesterday but now it has disappeared and is not found even under
    ‘other recent’ post.
    Maybe you can use your account to find it and post here.

    Reply

  88. questions says:

    Oprah, disparaging, was it meat, sued?
    Look up product disparagement laws in general…..
    Recent news item about bloggers and posters who are being sued by businesses for off hand negative comments….

    Reply

  89. questions says:

    Jimmy the Greek, “thighs”
    Campanis “necessities”
    Off the top of my head. Probably there are many many others out there.

    Reply

  90. samuelburke says:

    “If Steve relishes his new vocation as agent provocateur”, then
    kotzabasi relishes his as agent provocateur squashateur
    disqualifier.
    you”re oh so erudite Kotz, you have lost your ability to think.
    Kotz the accuser.
    discredit away.
    I think Steve ought to be commended for his coverage of the
    many issues that americans are interested in, better to
    understand.
    Farewell Helen Thomas
    by PAUL WOODWARD on JUNE 9, 2010
    “It

    Reply

  91. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Blahblahblah……..
    Yes, historical references are only to be used when it serves Israel’s purpose, right Birnbaum? You Firsters just can’t stand it when people stray from the mandated narrative can you???
    Perhaps we should get even more recent, and be citing Israel’s attempted murder and successful maiming of American citizens in the West Bank, eh??? Something you pieces of shit don’t seem to want to discuss, seeing as how there is NO DEFENSE for it.
    Comical seeing you crawl under Kotz’s rock. Of course, its a rock you you belong under, but enlightening indeed seeing you admit it.

    Reply

  92. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Good luck to Ebinger in holding back the storm that no doubt will hit him inside Brookings and out”
    Wheres “Questions”? It would be interesting reading about the last time a journalist was “retired” for insulting the tobacco lobby.

    Reply

  93. Don Bacon says:

    Ebinger: “. . .let us take a few minutes to reflect soberly on whether the time has not come to once again be a honest broker.”
    I like the way he puts it. Considering the ownership of the US government by banks, oil companies and Israel we must deduce that “the time has not come to once again be a honest broker.”
    And what’s that “once again” all about, anyhow?

    Reply

  94. DonS says:

    “We aren’t in the realm of honest discussion; at best we are in the realm of emotional acting out. The clue is Ebinger’s use of the word “impunity.” He isn’t focused on the strategic issues here — it is Israel’s attitude that bothers him. It’s all very personalized and emotional.” (Larry B)
    Point taken to some extent Larry. But since when has the “debate”, or lack of it, over the US devotion to Israel been based on real (US) strategic issues, except to ignore the strategic mess the US gets in by being joined at the hip in policy perception. The ‘debate’ is foremost on emotional terms, it is that which the AIPAC types and the Israel Firsters count on primarily to keep honest, strategic discussion from taking place.
    How quickly might the winds shifts to where Israel promoters have to engage in debate on a level playing field?

    Reply

  95. DonS says:

    edit of 9:48 comment just above, with apologies:
    Ebinger graduated college in 1970. That makes him about 62 years old, probably an age when he is ready to take some risks to express some of the disgust at what passes for ME policy in the
    US administration(s) and governance over the years.
    Unlike Steve, and definitely unlike Drew’s misfocused comment, I think I understand why Ebinger goes all the way back to the Liberty attack, and certainly why he references the consequences for Americans of ME turmoil on energy prices and embargoes. The Liberty attack represents about the most egregious example of the disconnect between US foreign policy interests and Israel. Being a bit more cynical, it highlights the unholy connection that exists.
    A blockbuster of a wide ranging piece, that must make mealy mouthed politicians and MSM choke on their cocktail weenies. Maybe the current is shifting after all???

    Reply

  96. DonS says:

    edit at 9:48, with apologies:
    Ebinger graduated college in 1970. That makes him about 62 years old, probably an age when he is ready to take some risks to express some of the disgust at what passes for ME policy in the
    US administration(s) and governance over the years.
    Unlike Steve, and definitely unlike Drew’s misfocused comment, I think I understand why Ebinger goes all the way back to the Liberty attack, and certainly why he references the consequences for Americans of ME turmoil on energy prices and embargoes. The Liberty attack represents about the most egregious example of the disconnect between US foreign policy interests and Israel. Being a bit more cynical, it highlights the unholy connection that exists.
    A blockbuster of a wide ranging piece, that must make mealy mouthed politicians and MSM choke on their cocktail weenies. Maybe the current is shifting after all???

    Reply

  97. DonS says:

    Ebinger graduated college in 1970. That makes him about 62 years old, probably an age when he is ready to take some risks to express some of the disgust at what passes for ME policy in the
    US administration (s) and governance over the years.
    Unlike Steve, and definite I think I understand why Ebinger goes all the way back to the Liberty
    attack, and certainly why he references the consequences for Americans of ME turmoil on energy prices and embargoes. The Liberty attack
    Represents about the most egregious example of the disconnect between US foreign policy interests and Israel. Being a bit more cynical, it highlights the unholy connection that exists.
    A blockbuster of a wide ranging piece, that must make mealy mouthed politicians and MSM choke on their cocktail weenies. Maybe the current is shifting after all???

    Reply

  98. larry birnbaum says:

    Raising this issue now is of course aimed squarely at putting Israel in a bad light. There’s no point in pretending that Ebinger is simply looking for historical precedents for a lack of perfect alignment between US and Israeli strategic interests. I mean, he could have used the 1956 Sinai campaign for that. Or the relatively recent issue of Israeli military sales to China. Both illustrate the point far better but of course lack the incendiary emotional quality of an Israeli attack that killed US servicemen. So the report isn’t well-meant in that sense; it’s aimed at throwing gasoline on the fire.
    I agree with kotzabasis above that Clemons’s disclaimer is too cute by half. We aren’t in the realm of honest discussion; at best we are in the realm of emotional acting out. The clue is Ebinger’s use of the word “impunity.” He isn’t focused on the strategic issues here — it is Israel’s attitude that bothers him. It’s all very personalized and emotional.
    Which is Clemons’s weakness as an analyst as well.

    Reply

  99. Paul Norheim says:

    jdledell,
    the fact that you, from firsthand experience, confirm my
    impressions, is worrying. On another thread you referred to a
    TPM thread where you went more into details regarding your last
    trip to Israel. Neither I nor Nadine found the thread. I think I’m
    not the only reader of The Washington Note who would be
    interested in reading more about your fresh impressions – either
    by pasting your TPM comment here, or recounting some of it.

    Reply

  100. jdledell says:

    I just returned from Israel Sunday and I agree with Norheim that the bunker mentality prevails in Israel more so than anytime I can remember since 1956 when I started going back and forth a couple times a year.
    Here is a quote from Michael Oren in an article which just appeared in Tablet.

    Reply

  101. Paul Norheim says:

    What is more alarming than Israel’s political, strategical, and
    tactical mistakes, is the collective bunker mentality that
    determines the decisions right now.
    According to the current Israeli leadership, Turkey is now a
    hostile Islamist country, supporting the terrorists. The criticism
    and moral outrage from Europe is nothing more than centuries
    old anti-Semitic ghosts in new disguises. Asia doesn’t care -
    except for those affiliated with Al Qaeda. And the US President,
    the black leader with his Arab middle name, is not trustworthy.
    Right now Benjamin Netanyahu reminds me of a psychiatric
    patient who in his own imagination is cornered by the outside
    world, equipped with a roomful of lethal weapons and holding
    his own people – most of them suffering from the Stockholm
    Syndrome – as hostages.
    Who’s gonna talk to the desperado? Who will he trust?
    Perhaps someone should make an attempt to communicate with
    him via some close family members that he still trusts – abroad
    or at home?

    Reply

  102. samuelburke says:

    and for the hasbara dept…take note.
    “Flotilla was successful: NBC Nightly News airs searing report on
    Gaza

    Reply

  103. drew says:

    Boston’s position is supported by this website, run by two
    survivors of the attack:
    http://www.gtr5.com/
    Boston is labeled a liar — and an erratic one — by a fellow
    aviator and JAG, Jay Cristol, who offers his discussion and
    extemporaneous notes from his conversations with Boston, here:
    http://www.thelibertyincident.com/docs/boston-comments.pdf
    Cristol notes that there are more conspiracy theories extant
    about the Liberty than there are about Kennedy’s assassination.
    I regret that in my efforts to lampoon Ebinger I made light of
    the event itself, and by implication the extensive loss of
    American lives and grievous wounding of over 200 sailors. That
    was tasteless.

    Reply

  104. vics66 says:

    “some of these guys in DC need to go mow the
    yard or something.”
    prison yard would be more appropriate

    Reply

  105. samuelburke says:

    Col Pat Lang has this over on his blog.
    “As I posted several years ago, The flight leader reported that he
    had the ship in sight and that it was displaying an American
    flag. He asked if he was still ordered to attack the ship. The
    answer was yes. My wife remembers that I mentioned it to her at
    the time. This was in the winter of 1967-68. I was attending the
    year long career course for military intelligence officers at the
    army intelligence school at Ft. Holabird, Maryland. i was taking
    an elective course in cryptology taught by staff from the nearby
    national cryptologic school at Ft. Meade. the transcript was in a
    booklet prepared fby the staff for some other course but used in
    this one as well. There are lots of old people out there who saw
    this. pl”
    Posted by: Patrick Lang | 07 June 2010 at 11:53 PM
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2010/06/e
    rnie-gallos-letter.html

    Reply

  106. YY says:

    No Fletcher.
    Does this mean that the Munchhousen syndrome by proxy of the Persian nuclear threat should be reviewed, at least as to priority?
    So Steve, did anyone mention “Yes we Kan” to you while you were abroad?

    Reply

  107. samuelburke says:

    Searching for the Truth About the USS Liberty
    posted over at counterpunch
    By WARD BOSTON
    Forty years ago this week, I was asked to investigate the
    heaviest attack on an American ship since World War II. As
    senior legal counsel to the Navy Court of Inquiry it was my job
    to help uncover the truth regarding Israel’s June 8th 1967
    bombing of the USS Liberty.
    On that sunny, clear day 40 years ago, Israel’s combined air
    and naval forces attacked our American intelligence-gathering
    ship for two hours, inflicting 70 percent casualties. Thirty four
    American sailors died and 172 were injured. The USS Liberty
    remained afloat only by the crew’s heroic efforts.
    Israel claimed it was an accident. Yet I know from personal
    conversations with the late Admiral Isaac C. Kidd — president
    of the Court of Inquiry — that President Johnson and Secretary
    of Defense McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack
    was a case of “mistaken identity”.
    The ensuing cover-up has haunted us for forty years. What
    does it imply for our national security, not to mention our
    ability to honestly broker peace in the Middle East, when we
    cannot question Israel’s actions even when they kill Americans?
    On June 8th, survivors of Israel’s cruel attack will gather in
    Washington, DC to honor their dead shipmates as well as the
    mothers, sisters, widows and children they left behind. They will
    continue to ask for a fair and impartial congressional inquiry
    that, for the first time, would allow the survivors themselves to
    testify publicly.
    For decades, I have remained silent. I am a military man and
    when orders come in from the Secretary of Defense and
    President of the United States, I follow them. However, attempts
    to rewrite history and concern for my country compel me to
    share the truth.
    Admiral Kidd and I were given only one week to gather evidence
    for the Navy’s official investigation, though we both estimated
    that a proper Court of Inquiry would take at least six months.
    We boarded the crippled ship at sea and interviewed survivors.
    The evidence was clear. We both believed with certainty that this
    attack was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and
    murder its entire crew.
    I am certain the Israeli pilots and commanders who had ordered
    the attack knew the ship was American. I saw the bullet-riddled
    American flag that had been raised by the crew after their first
    flag had been shot down completely. I heard testimony that
    made it clear the Israelis intended there be no survivors. Not
    only did they attack with napalm, gunfire, and missiles, Israeli
    torpedo boats machine-gunned at close range three life rafts
    that had been launched in an attempt to save the most seriously
    wounded.
    I am outraged at the efforts of Israel’s apologists to claim this
    attack was a case of “mistaken identity.”
    Admiral Kidd told me that after receiving the President’s cover-
    up orders, he was instructed to sit down with two civilians from
    either the White House or the Defense Department, and rewrite
    portions of the Court’s findings. He said, “Ward, they’re not
    interested in the facts. It’s a political matter and we cannot talk
    about it.” We were to “put a lid on it” and caution everyone
    involved never to speak of it again.
    I know that the Court of Inquiry transcript that has been
    released to the public is not the same one that I certified and
    sent to Washington. I know this because it was necessary, due
    to the exigencies of time, to hand correct and initial a
    substantial number of pages. I have examined the released
    version of the transcript and did not see any pages that bore my
    hand corrections and initials. Also, the original did not have any
    deliberately blank pages, as the released version does. In
    addition, the testimony of Lt. Lloyd Painter concerning the
    deliberate machine-gunning of the life rafts by the Israeli
    torpedo boat crews, which I distinctly recall being given at the
    Court of Inquiry and including in the original transcript, is now
    missing.
    Congress?
    Let the survivors testify. Let me testify. Let former intelligence
    officers testify that they received real-time Hebrew translations
    of Israeli commanders instructing their pilots to sink “the
    American ship”.
    Surely uncovering the truth about what happened to American
    servicemen in a bloody attack is more important than
    protecting Israel. And surely forty years is long enough to wait.
    Ward Boston served as chief counsel to the Navy’s Court of
    Inquiry into the attack on USS Liberty and as a naval aviator in
    World War II on the carrier Yorktown, and as an FBI agent prior
    to his assignment to the Navy’s Judge Advocates General Corps.
    He is a graduate of the Law School of the College of William and
    Mary, and a resident of Coronado, California.

    Reply

  108. drew says:

    Gee, was the Liberty attempting to run a blockade?
    What’s incoherent about Ebinger’s piece (aside from the turgid
    prose; is he an ESL graduate?) is that he references the Liberty
    (darkly, but without asserting a theory of his own about the
    attack) without explaining why that event informs the blockade
    confrontation.
    I really don’t know what he’s trying to say, other than Israel is
    inherently violent in regard to boats, and that it’s not a good
    idea to make Israel’s strategic foreign policy our own (brilliant!
    thanks!). I guess by inference we could say that they are not *as
    violent* as they used to be, against boats.
    I mean, seriously, some of these guys in DC need to go mow the
    yard or something. It will be more productive.
    Memo to self: do not go sailing near Israel.

    Reply

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