What Do Europeans Expect from Obama in Copenhagen?

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I had an excellent discussion with former German Green Party Chairman and new European Parliament Member Reinhard Bütikofer and his European Parliament colleague Claude Turmes this past week on what Europe was expecting from the US and President Obama at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.
A short exchange is posted above. A longer program that I moderated at the New America Foundation can be viewed here.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

58 comments on “What Do Europeans Expect from Obama in Copenhagen?

  1. arthurdecco says:

    Shusshhhh, Nadine. Even Machines need to sleep.

    Reply

  2. nadine says:

    Yes, poor Ahmedinejad is so mistranslated. Even his own UN translator translates him denying the Holocaust and praying for the Mahdi’s swift return. Was ever a man so badly served?

    Reply

  3. Outraged American says:

    It appears that the man who wrote the Guardian article denying
    that Ahmadinejad is a Jew is an Iranian Jew himself.
    Why would it be important if Ahmadinejad were a Jew or not?
    Because his mistranslated and yet inflammatory rhetoric is being
    used by the Zionists to spur the US onto agreeing to an attack on
    Iran.
    Here’s Javedanfar’s profile from the Guardian page itself:
    Meir Javedanfar is an Iranian-Israeli Middle East analyst and co-
    author of The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    and the State of Iran.
    This Javedanfar appears to be a Zionist propagandist of the
    sneakiest type.
    Here’s more:
    http://tinyurl.com/qvuboa

    Reply

  4. Outraged American says:

    Just emailed Iranian friends the Guardian article on
    Ahmadinejad’s purported Judaism. I will let you know what I
    find out.
    One thing that I have found out, living in Little Tehran, which
    would be Westwood/ West LA, is that a lot of the Iranians there
    were supporters of the Shah. Some managed to get out with
    money, actually a lot of them did with a lot of money, but they
    harbor deep resentment towards the mullahs that continues to
    this day and would do anything to get back into the positions of
    power and wealth that they held under the Shah.
    So, until I know more about the man who wrote this article in
    the Guardian, the one that says Ahmadinejad was not born a
    Jew, I’ll keep trying to find the truth from native Farsi speakers.
    Again, almost everything in the Western media about Iran, and
    about the Arab states as well, is distorted by Zionist “translation”
    outfits like Memri and SiTE, whose translations the New Yorker,
    New York Times and the AP, to name a few, swallow whole and
    then regurgitate onto a US public made-up of deliberately
    under-educated rubes.
    And MN I had a roommate who was a Southern Baptist. Jah-sus
    was her savior, but I have never met someone who could lie with
    such a straight face. Even my evil sister, the one who met John
    Paul II twice.

    Reply

  5. ... says:

    lets keep on thinking up interesting ways to keep the spotlight on ahmadinejad… wonder whose interests are best served by that????

    Reply

  6. MNPundit says:

    Ahmadi never Jewish says this link:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/05/mahmoud-ahmadinejad-jewish-family
    And I grew up Southern Baptist. The only reason I bothered to stay was for my mother, but now I don’t live in the same city anymore and don’t have to have anything to do with those crazies.
    I have 2 values that I judge things on: Fairness, and Harm Done.

    Reply

  7. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Nadine…I don’t consider Abbas the legitimate leader of the Palestinians…just the one the US wants to recognize because he will play ball with the US, the way they want the game played….

    Reply

  8. Outraged American says:

    Watch Muhammad Sahimi on Nightline tonight talking about
    Iran’s nuclear program. He’s a professor at USC and sure as hell
    knows what he’s talking about.
    Again DO NOT conflate his views with mine, but he’s a fantastic
    man and an extremely caring friend.
    He writes for the blog TehranBureau.com, which has just
    become a part of Frontline, the PBS show and has been
    mentioned very favorably by a number of media outlets in terms
    of getting the truth on what is happening in Iran.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/
    JamesL, exactly. Maybe because I grew-up poor I always put
    money aside, but those lessons have been lost on younger
    people.
    You should see the brand new, monster trucks that seem to be
    the only things driven on Phoenix roadways — those monthly
    payments would be able to feed a third world country, and I just
    have to question how people afford them.
    But our moneys not worth anything in any case. One thing the
    Indians have got right is that our bank accounts are in gold.
    We’re in trouble deep, and marching towards hell.

    Reply

  9. JamesL says:

    OA, the long cycle of earthquakes is what modern America simply cannot handle. Building infrastructure for the short term means you will get hammered in the long term. Republican ranks are disproportionately filled with schizoid Bible thumpers who choose to ignore Joseph’s fundamental truth teaching about laying some surplus aside for the bad years which will indeed come. That story is really not so much about a dream interpreter (a leftie for sure) as it is about the common weal, isn’t it? The modern American way is to 1) maintain the hope of striking it rich, even while sick and starving, 2) don’t worry about the hammer that eventaully falls, and 3) go to China for a loan. Do that often and long enough and any ten year old Monopoly player will tell you who will end up owning all the properties.

    Reply

  10. Outraged American says:

    MNPundit, Ahmadinejad converted from Judaism when he was
    young, but as someone who was a Catholic as a young person
    and early on figured out it was BS, I have never left the values I
    was raised in as a Catholic born after Vatican II; i.e., when the
    Church became remotely civilized.
    There are other posters on this board who have also left
    Catholicism behind, but we are still Catholics, steeped in the
    New Testament, in the way we live our lives.
    Ahmadinejad’s parents would have been steeped in Judaism as
    would his grandparents and other family members.
    It’s hard to get away from your family traditions. So
    Ahmadinejad could well have a conflict between his Jewish
    heritage and his Islamic upbringing.
    Having said that, if the pscyho/ religious conflicts of this one
    man, who does not have the power, the mullahs do, is used by
    Israel to cause WW III, like Hitler’s psycho/ religious conflicts
    caused WW II, I’ll be really pissed-off.
    JamesL, earthquakes of enormous magnitude are very, very rare
    in the Pacific Northwest. But when they hit they’re major. I
    seem to remember a 10.0 magnitude being bandied about. I
    love Seattle BTW.
    And, this is really weird — my friends from high school in
    Phoenix used to have an annual mini-reunion somewhere in the
    country every year. So I’m driving down the Hollywood freeway,
    about three hours before I’m scheduled to take a flight to the
    reunion, and I hear an earthquake has hit Seattle. Guess where
    the reunion was supposed to be?
    Fearing the worst, having lived through literally more than
    10,000 earthquakes like everyone else in So Cal who were there
    for Landers, Big Bear and Northridge and the aftershocks, I
    figured Seattle had been destroyed.
    I got there the next day (flights were delayed) to find not a damn
    Seattle-ean brick out of place. Wimps.
    But if you live up there in the Pacific Northwest, when your Big
    One comes, and they are extremely rare, they’ll make the San
    Andreas feel like one of those bouncy things at a kids’ party. So
    in any case be prepared. As I said to POA, think like a Mormon.
    Well, only in that regard.
    And thanks for the kind wishes about my dog. Because of her
    mystery illness she’s become randomly aggressive so I have to
    keep her away from everything and she’s lonely. I’m the only
    one who can go near her, but have been warned that she could
    attack me.
    She’s only one-years-old and we rescued her from the pound in
    May on the day they decided to euthanize her. Lovely dog.
    We’re trying everything to try to fix her, and have taken her to
    three vets, but no one can figure out what’s wrong with her. It’s
    so far beyond sad.
    And I would give anything for one night of uninterrupted sleep.
    Well, not an attack on Iran. Call up that dickwad Senator Lindsey
    Graham’s office — he’s calling for not only taking out Iran’s
    nuclear installations, but a full-on US (!!!) attack on Iran herself.
    GOP senators: US, not Israel, should attack Iran ‘if necessary
    http://rawstory.com/2009/10/attack-iran-before-israel/
    “I think an Israeli attack on Iran is a nightmare for the world,
    because it will rally the Arab world around Iran and they’re not
    aligned now. It’s too much pressure to put on Israel,” Sen.
    Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
    He continued: “If the sanctions fail, and Iran’s going down the
    road to get a nuclear weapon, any Sunni Arab state that could,
    would want a nuclear weapon. Israel will be more imperiled. The
    world will change dramatically for the worst. Military action
    should be the last resort anyone looks at, and I would rather our
    allies and us take military action if it’s necessary.”
    But Graham doesn’t think an attack should be limited to
    airstrikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “If we use military action
    against Iran, we should not only go after their nuclear facilities.
    We should destroy their ability to make conventional war. They
    should have no planes that can fly and no ships that can float,”
    said Graham.
    Graham’s office number:
    202 224 5972

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    MNPundit,
    Would you mind keeping your thoughts for yourself?

    Reply

  12. MNPundit says:

    I guess the situation is different worldviews. I think it’s impossible for anyone to be any particular religion for life. To me you are whatever religion you currently identify with. But I know there are other views out there, I just find their logic unpersuasive or flawed.

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    A further excerpt…….
    Israeli exceptionalism – treating the Jewish state as if it were the 51st state, rather than an independent country – grossly distorts our foreign policy, endangers our security, and imperils our real interests in the Middle East. Its origins lie in the fact that foreign policy in a democratic polity is the result of interest groups lobbying to substitute their own goals and interests for the interests of the nation as a whole, and the powerful Israel lobby plays this game very well. Until and unless the Lobby is reined in – and, yes, defeated – there will be no justice and certainly no peace in the region.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2009/10/04/israeli-exceptionalism/
    Excerpt…..
    Obama’s efforts to end nuclear proliferation – which he rightly sees as the greatest danger to our security, both foreign and domestic – is made a mockery of by this secret agreement. In public, Dear Leader talks about the prospect of a nuclear-free world, while in private he’s canoodling with the increasingly hysterical Israelis, who may just resort to nuking Tehran if they feel “existentially” threatened. This goes way beyond mere hypocrisy: it actively undermines our national security interests, as well as the president’s faltering attempts to negotiate an end to the standoff with Tehran. For if Israel is to be allowed to keep its nukes, without even having to acknowledge them, then the Iranians and the Arab states must reconcile themselves to living in the shadow of nuclear annihilation. This imbalance means a region in permanent crisis.

    Reply

  15. samuelburke says:

    Galbraith Was Ordered to Cover Up Karzai Fraud
    Fired Envoy: One in Three Karzai Votes Was Fraudulent
    by Jason Ditz, October 04, 2009
    funny how neither the morally selective press nor our politico
    wannabees talk about afghany election fraud…they didnt miss a
    beat blabbering the govt line on the iranian fraud though and
    honduras…its just the banana republic we can still run rough
    shod over.
    to our elitist uber intellectuals, what do you think this says
    about our republic?
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/04/galbraith-was-ordered-
    to-cover-up-karzai-fraud/
    “Former US Ambassador Peter Galbraith, who was fired from his
    role as second ranking official at the UN Mission to Afghanistan
    last week, says he was ordered by mission chief Kai Eide to cover
    up the extent of the voter fraud by Afghan President Hamid
    Karzai.
    UN Mission’s Kai Eide
    Galbraith says his public falling out with Eide was a result of
    repeated orders by Eide to keep secret data that the mission had
    gathered regarding the enormity of Karzai’s voting fraud. Eide
    reportedly told Karzai after the vote that he supported the
    president’s re-election campaign.”

    Reply

  16. nadine says:

    Kathleen, just three facts about Abbas that you don’t seem to realize:
    1) all during Operation Cast Lead, Abbas was privately urging the Israelis to hit Hamas harder, finish them! He was giving Israel targets to hit. Had the Israelis listened to him, it’s possible they might have finished Hamas but at the cost of a LOT more dead civilians – Hamas HQ was in the basement of Shifa hospital, a huge “civilian” target.
    2) The moment Operation Cast Lead ended, Abbas ran to the UN to get Israel indicted for war crimes for doing only part of what he had urged them to do. The UN obliged, with a commission so one-sided (it investigated only Israeli “war crimes” with NO investigation of Hamas) that even Mary Robinson declined it. But Goldstone took it.
    3) The IDF keeps Abbas alive and protected from Hamas in the West Bank every day. The internecine fighting between Hamas and Fatah has claimed hundreds of lives, though now both parties have bowed to Egyptian pressure and plan to hold elections together. Time will tell if they do.
    Abbas is a world-class hypocrite and you are a sap if you think he cares about Palestinian lives. He’s only sorry the Israelis didn’t do as he asked and finish Hamas and kill a few thousand more real civilians in the process. I think he’s stalling now because the Israelis are telling him they’ll leave him to Hamas’ mercy if he goes through with pushing the report now.

    Reply

  17. easy e says:

    Posted by …, Oct 04 2009, 11:31PM – Link
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/04/content_12181647.htm
    “not for the western press… you won’t be reading it here anytime soon!”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Agreed (…)
    “EL BARADEI SAYS NUCLEAR ISRAEL NUMBER ONE THREAT TO MIDEAST”
    Steve,
    I have to believe that you, Josh Marshall, and the rest of your NAF movers, shakers and political/media influencers have the ability to help penetrate the AIPAC/Neocon/MIC gatekeepers in getting the MSM to deliver responsible messaging to the American public. Then again, maybe not. Which explains a whole hell of a lot…………..and this is not a good thing.

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23627.htm
    True Lies
    The Cost of Israel to US Taxpayers
    By Richard H. Curtiss
    Former U.S. Foreign Service Officer
    October 03, 2009 “WRMEA” — For many years the American media said that “Israel receives $1.8 billion in military aid” or that “Israel receives $1.2 billion in economic aid.” Both statements were true, but since they were never combined to give us the complete total of annual U.S. aid to Israel, they also were lies—true lies.
    Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that “Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid.” That’s true. But it’s still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.
    One can truthfully blame the mainstream media for never digging out these figures for themselves, because none ever have. They were compiled by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But the mainstream media certainly are not alone. Although Congress authorizes America’s foreign aid total, the fact that more than a third of it goes to a country smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong probably never has been mentioned on the floor of the Senate or House. Yet it’s been going on for more than a generation.
    Probably the only members of Congress who even suspect the full total of U.S. funds received by Israel each year are the privileged few committee members who actually mark it up. And almost all members of the concerned committees are Jewish, have taken huge campaign donations orchestrated by Israel’s Washington, DC lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or both. These congressional committee members are paid to act, not talk. So they do and they don’t.
    The same applies to the president, the secretary of state, and the foreign aid administrator. They all submit a budget that includes aid for Israel, which Congress approves, or increases, but never cuts. But no one in the executive branch mentions that of the few remaining U.S. aid recipients worldwide, all of the others are developing nations which either make their military bases available to the U.S., are key members of international alliances in which the U.S. participates, or have suffered some crippling blow of nature to their abilities to feed their people such as earthquakes, floods or droughts.
    Israel, whose troubles arise solely from its unwillingness to give back land it seized in the 1967 war in return for peace with its neighbors, does not fit those criteria. In fact, Israel’s 1995 per capita gross domestic product was $15,800. That put it below Britain at $19,500 and Italy at $18,700 and just above Ireland at $15,400 and Spain at $14,300.
    All four of those European countries have contributed a very large share of immigrants to the U.S., yet none has organized an ethnic group to lobby for U.S. foreign aid. Instead, all four send funds and volunteers to do economic development and emergency relief work in other less fortunate parts of the world.
    The lobby that Israel and its supporters have built in the United States to make all this aid happen, and to ban discussion of it from the national dialogue, goes far beyond AIPAC, with its $15 million budget, its 150 employees, and its five or six registered lobbyists who manage to visit every member of Congress individually once or twice a year.
    AIPAC, in turn, can draw upon the resources of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a roof group set up solely to coordinate the efforts of some 52 national Jewish organizations on behalf of Israel.
    Among them are Hadassah, the Zionist women’s organization, which organizes a steady stream of American Jewish visitors to Israel; the American Jewish Congress, which mobilizes support for Israel among members of the traditionally left-of-center Jewish mainstream; and the American Jewish Committee, which plays the same role within the growing middle-of-the-road and right-of-center Jewish community. The American Jewish Committee also publishes Commentary, one of the Israel lobby’s principal national publications.
    Perhaps the most controversial of these groups is B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League. Its original highly commendable purpose was to protect the civil rights of American Jews. Over the past generation, however, the ADL has regressed into a conspiratorial and, with a $45 million budget, extremely well funded hate group.
    In the 1980s, during the tenure of chairman Seymour Reich, who went on to become chairman of the Conference of Presidents, ADL was found to have circulated two annual fund-raising letters warning Jewish parents against allegedly negative influences on their children arising from the increasing Arab presence on American university campuses.
    More recently, FBI raids on ADL’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices revealed that an ADL operative had purchased files stolen from the San Francisco police department that a court had ordered destroyed because they violated the civil rights of the individuals on whom they had been compiled. ADL, it was shown, had added the illegally prepared and illegally obtained material to its own secret files, compiled by planting informants among Arab-American, African-American, anti-Apartheid and peace and justice groups.
    The ADL infiltrators took notes of the names and remarks of speakers and members of audiences at programs organized by such groups. ADL agents even recorded the license plates of persons attending such programs and then suborned corrupt motor vehicles department employees or renegade police officers to identify the owners.
    Although one of the principal offenders fled the United States to escape prosecution, no significant penalties were assessed. ADL’s Northern California office was ordered to comply with requests by persons upon whom dossiers had been prepared to see their own files, but no one went to jail and as yet no one has paid fines.
    Not surprisingly, a defecting employee revealed in an article he published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs that AIPAC, too, has such “enemies” files. They are compiled for use by pro-Israel journalists like Steven Emerson and other so-called “Terrorism experts,” and also by professional, academic or journalistic rivals of the persons described for use in blacklisting, defaming, or denouncing them. What is never revealed is that AIPAC’s “opposition research“ department, under the supervision of Michael Lewis, son of famed Princeton University Orientalist Bernard Lewis, is the source of this defamatory material.
    But this is not AIPAC’s most controversial activity. In the 1970s, when Congress put a cap on the amount its members could earn from speakers’ fees and book royalties over and above their salaries, it halted AIPAC’s most effective ways of paying off members for voting according to AIPAC recommendations. Members of AIPAC’s national board of directors solved the problem by returning to their home states and creating political action committees (PACs).
    Most special interests have PACs, as do many major corporations, labor unions, trade associations and public-interest groups. But the pro-Israel groups went wild. To date some 126 pro-Israel PACs have been registered, and no fewer than 50 have been active in every national election over the past generation.
    An individual voter can give up to $2,000 to a candidate in an election cycle, and a PAC can give a candidate up to $10,000. However, a single special interest with 50 PACs can give a candidate who is facing a tough opponent, and who has voted according to its recommendations, up to half a million dollars. That’s enough to buy all the television time needed to get elected in most parts of the country.
    Even candidates who don’t need this kind of money certainly don’t want it to become available to a rival from their own party in a primary election, or to an opponent from the opposing party in a general election. As a result, all but a handful of the 535 members of the Senate and House vote as AIPAC instructs when it comes to aid to Israel, or other aspects of U.S. Middle East policy.
    There is something else very special about AIPAC’s network of political action committees. Nearly all have deceptive names. Who could possibly know that the Delaware Valley Good Government Association in Philadelphia, San Franciscans for Good Government in California, Cactus PAC in Arizona, Beaver PAC in Wisconsin, and even Icepac in New York are really pro-Israel PACs under deep cover?
    Hiding AIPAC’s Tracks
    In fact, the congress members know it when they list the contributions they receive on the campaign statements they have to prepare for the Federal Election Commission. But their constituents don’t know this when they read these statements. So just as no other special interest can put so much “hard money” into any candidate’s election campaign as can the Israel lobby, no other special interest has gone to such elaborate lengths to hide its tracks.
    Although AIPAC, Washington’s most feared special-interest lobby, can hide how it uses both carrots and sticks to bribe or intimidate members of Congress, it can’t hide all of the results.
    Anyone can ask one of their representatives in Congress for a chart prepared by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress, that shows Israel received $62.5 billion in foreign aid from fiscal year 1949 through fiscal year 1996. People in the national capital area also can visit the library of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Rosslyn, Virginia, and obtain the same information, plus charts showing how much foreign aid the U.S. has given other countries as well.
    Visitors will learn that in precisely the same 1949-1996 time frame, the total of U.S. foreign aid to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined was $62,497,800,000–almost exactly the amount given to tiny Israel.
    According to the Population Reference Bureau of Washington, DC, in mid-1995 the sub-Saharan countries had a combined population of 568 million. The $24,415,700,000 in foreign aid they had received by then amounted to $42.99 per sub-Saharan African.
    Similarly, with a combined population of 486 million, all of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean together had received $38,254,400,000. This amounted to $79 per person.
    The per capita U.S. foreign aid to Israel’s 5.8 million people during the same period was $10,775.48. This meant that for every dollar the U.S. spent on an African, it spent $250.65 on an Israeli, and for every dollar it spent on someone from the Western Hemisphere outside the United States, it spent $214 on an Israeli.
    Shocking Comparisons
    These comparisons already seem shocking, but they are far from the whole truth. Using reports compiled by Clyde Mark of the Congressional Research Service and other sources, freelance writer Frank Collins tallied for the Washington Report all of the extra items for Israel buried in the budgets of the Pentagon and other federal agencies in fiscal year 1993.Washington Report news editor Shawn Twing did the same thing for fiscal years 1996 and 1997.
    They uncovered $1.271 billion in extras in FY 1993, $355.3 million in FY 1996 and $525.8 million in FY 1997. These represent an average increase of 12.2 percent over the officially recorded foreign aid totals for the same fiscal years, and they probably are not complete. It’s reasonable to assume, therefore, that a similar 12.2 percent hidden increase has prevailed over all of the years Israel has received aid.
    As of Oct. 31, 1997 Israel will have received $3.05 billion in U.S. foreign aid for fiscal year 1997 and $3.08 billion in foreign aid for fiscal year 1998. Adding the 1997 and 1998 totals to those of previous years since 1949 yields a total of $74,157,600,000 in foreign aid grants and loans. Assuming that the actual totals from other budgets average 12.2 percent of that amount, that brings the grand total to $83,204,827,200.
    But that’s not quite all. Receiving its annual foreign aid appropriation during the first month of the fiscal year, instead of in quarterly installments as do other recipients, is just another special privilege Congress has voted for Israel. It enables Israel to invest the money in U.S. Treasury notes. That means that the U.S., which has to borrow the money it gives to Israel, pays interest on the money it has granted to Israel in advance, while at the same time Israel is collecting interest on the money. That interest to Israel from advance payments adds another $1.650 billion to the total, making it $84,854,827,200.That’s the number you should write down for total aid to Israel. And that’s $14,346 each for each man, woman and child in Israel.
    It’s worth noting that that figure does not include U.S. government loan guarantees to Israel, of which Israel has drawn $9.8 billion to date. They greatly reduce the interest rate the Israeli government pays on commercial loans, and they place additional burdens on U.S. taxpayers, especially if the Israeli government should default on any of them. But since neither the savings to Israel nor the costs to U.S. taxpayers can be accurately quantified, they are excluded from consideration here.
    Further, friends of Israel never tire of saying that Israel has never defaulted on repayment of a U.S. government loan. It would be equally accurate to say Israel has never been required to repay a U.S. government loan. The truth of the matter is complex, and designed to be so by those who seek to conceal it from the U.S. taxpayer.
    Most U.S. loans to Israel are forgiven, and many were made with the explicit understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required to repay them. By disguising as loans what in fact were grants, cooperating members of Congress exempted Israel from the U.S. oversight that would have accompanied grants. On other loans, Israel was expected to pay the interest and eventually to begin repaying the principal. But the so-called Cranston Amendment, which has been attached by Congress to every foreign aid appropriation since 1983, provides that economic aid to Israel will never dip below the amount Israel is required to pay on its outstanding loans. In short, whether U.S. aid is extended as grants or loans to Israel, it never returns to the Treasury.
    Israel enjoys other privileges. While most countries receiving U.S. military aid funds are expected to use them for U.S. arms, ammunition and training, Israel can spend part of these funds on weapons made by Israeli manufacturers. Also, when it spends its U.S. military aid money on U.S. products, Israel frequently requires the U.S. vendor to buy components or materials from Israeli manufacturers. Thus, though Israeli politicians say that their own manufacturers and exporters are making them progressively less dependent upon U.S. aid, in fact those Israeli manufacturers and exporters are heavily subsidized by U.S. aid.
    Although it’s beyond the parameters of this study, it’s worth mentioning that Israel also receives foreign aid from some other countries. After the United States, the principal donor of both economic and military aid to Israel is Germany.
    By far the largest component of German aid has been in the form of restitution payments to victims of Nazi atrocities. But there also has been extensive German military assistance to Israel during and since the Gulf war, and a variety of German educational and research grants go to Israeli institutions. The total of German assistance in all of these categories to the Israeli government, Israeli individuals and Israeli private institutions has been some $31 billion or $5,345 per capita, bringing the per capita total of U.S. and German assistance combined to almost $20,000 per Israeli. Since very little public money is spent on the more than 20 percent of Israeli citizens who are Muslim or Christian, the actual per capita benefits received by Israel’s Jewish citizens would be considerably higher.
    True Cost to U.S. Taxpayers
    Generous as it is, what Israelis actually got in U.S. aid is considerably less than what it has cost U.S. taxpayers to provide it. The principal difference is that so long as the U.S. runs an annual budget deficit, every dollar of aid the U.S. gives Israel has to be raised through U.S. government borrowing.
    In an article in the Washington Report for December 1991/January 1992, Frank Collins estimated the costs of this interest, based upon prevailing interest rates for every year since 1949. I have updated this by applying a very conservative 5 percent interest rate for subsequent years, and confined the amount upon which the interest is calculated to grants, not loans or loan guarantees.
    On this basis the $84.8 billion in grants, loans and commodities Israel has received from the U.S. since 1949 cost the U.S. an additional $49,936,880,000 in interest.
    There are many other costs of Israel to U.S. taxpayers, such as most or all of the $45.6 billion in U.S. foreign aid to Egypt since Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979 (compared to $4.2 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt for the preceding 26 years). U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, which is pegged at two-thirds of U.S. foreign aid to Israel, averages $2.2 billion per year.
    There also have been immense political and military costs to the U.S. for its consistent support of Israel during Israel’s half-century of disputes with the Palestinians and all of its Arab neighbors. In addition, there have been the approximately $10 billion in U.S. loan guarantees and perhaps $20 billion in tax-exempt contributions made to Israel by American Jews in the nearly half-century since Israel was created.
    Even excluding all of these extra costs, America’s $84.8 billion in aid to Israel from fiscal years 1949 through 1998, and the interest the U.S. paid to borrow this money, has cost U.S. taxpayers $134.8 billion, not adjusted for inflation. Or, put another way, the nearly $14,630 every one of 5.8 million Israelis received from the U.S. government by Oct. 31, 1997 has cost American taxpayers $23,240 per Israeli.
    It would be interesting to know how many of those American taxpayers believe they and their families have received as much from the U.S. Treasury as has everyone who has chosen to become a citizen of Israel. But it’s a question that will never occur to the American public because, so long as America’s mainstream media, Congress and president maintain their pact of silence, few Americans will ever know the true cost of Israel to U.S. taxpayers.
    Richard H. Curtiss enlisted in the U.S. Army in World War II, and served as a military correspondent in Berlin, Germany after the war. After earning a B.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California and working on newspapers and for the United Press, he served as a career Foreign Service officer with the Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency throughout the world and in Washington D.C. During his U.S. government career he received the U.S. Information Agency’s Superior Honor Award and the Edward R. Murrow award for excellence in Public Diplomacy, U.S.I.A.’s highest professional recognition. Curtiss is currently the Executive Editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

    Reply

  19. JamesL says:

    The clock is ticking on how fast, how hard, and how long US media will pick up on the Xinhua story linked by the 11:31 PM posting.
    Tic tic tic tic……………………………

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses,”
    Particularly when the world community refuses to hold Israel accountable for obvious and undeniable war crimes, using horrendous weapons, such as cluster bombs and white phosphorous on non-combatant civilian populations.
    And these piece of shit senators, named above, are complicit in every single Palestinian death.

    Reply

  21. ... says:

    Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that “Israel is number one threat to Middle East” with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported.
    At a joint press conference with Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, ElBaradei brought Israel under spotlight and said that the Tel Aviv regime has refused to allow inspections into its nuclear installations for 30years, the report said.
    “Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses,” ElBaradei was quoted as saying..
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/04/content_12181647.htm
    not for the western press… you won’t be reading it here anytime soon!

    Reply

  22. Outraged American says:

    The reason it matters is because Ahmadinejad is a “self-hating
    Jew” but is used by Zionists to attack Iran, even though
    Ahmadinejad is mistranslated.
    Just got off the phone again with my Iranian friend, who will be
    on Nightline tomorrow — PLEASE don’t blame him for my views.
    He doesn’t share them.
    In Iran, people who convert to Islam have to prove their
    devoutness. Ahmadinejad’s, albeit mistranslated, rhetoric could
    be some misguided attempt to prove that he’s more Muslim than
    thou. Not that I’m saying anyone on here is a Muslim because
    that’s a real insult.
    Netanyahu’s father wrote a book about the Spanish Inquisition in
    which he talked about how it was the converted Jews who were
    the harshest inquisitors of their fellow Jews.
    It’s extremely significant that Ahmadinejad is a Jew by birth.
    Again his inflammatory rhetoric has enabled Israel and the
    Zionists to rally 61% of Americans to support an attack on Iran.
    Questions can borrow my dildo. Sneaky Pete.
    .

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Go screw yourself, questions. We BOTH know the truth.
    Adios.

    Reply

  24. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    POA…admittedly, it’s a very long shot but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t make it very difficult if pressure were applied in a pinpointed way…maybe we could launch an international online petition in support of The Goldstone Report….when I took the Hopi to the UN what I wanted from the UN was considered “impossible’, but as it turned out, it was quite possible, in 6 weeks, to be exact….there is time to rally international support….they want everyone to give up and go away…..I say give them a good long dose of hemmerhoid flareup…

    Reply

  25. MNPundit says:

    So what if Ahmadi’s parents or grandparents were Jewish. He’s not. I fail to see the point?

    Reply

  26. questions says:

    ZOMG, the man actually thinks I posted at bradblog, where I have to admit, I wouldn’t waste my precious electrons. Is there no end to his paranoia. Actually, I know the answer to that one. All I did was copy/paste it here a few times since you were talking about me behind my back. Not very nettiquetty of you, POA. Not at all.
    Any reasonably grammatical post that seems to agree at all with any of my views MUST have been written by ME because I am so far out in left field (or right field? or a wasteland somewhere?) that NO ONE ON EARTH besides ME could agree with ME AND use generally good grammar besides. (And I do occasionally lapse. As Kathleen noted, that’s typically when the post goes up on the first attempt.)
    POA, you really are more paranoid than you realize. Even Brad was getting uncomfortable with your views, and he’s so into his stunning revelations that I’m surprised he noticed.
    But that’s ok. Now I can continue my life without all the expletives and insect references and accusations you so frequently send my direction!
    And I will note again that diplomacy and honesty run counter to each other and I/P needs diplomacy. It might be utterly crazy to leave the wicked past behind, but it might be the only way. After all, it’s likely that much of the Israeli public feels quite righteous right about now, and it’s not so easy to mess with the self-righteous. A huge percentage of the US also feels this way frequently about US power and machismo. So don’t tread on me, or whatever. My guess is that the delay is smart and Israel would be wise to do something genuine for a change during the lull in deserved condemnation. But what are the chances…..

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Looks like there’s Palestinian debate over this move”
    Well, if the puppet Abbas was actually a representative of the Palestinian people, I’d agree with you. But rather than “Palestinian debate”, I would say your linked article describes a “people against the puppet” scenario.
    If you REALLY want to know how the Gazan Palestinian people feel about this, ask Hamas instead of the puppet. In fact, if you read the article, it appears there is almost universal dissent against Abbas’ stance, both in Gaza and the West Bank. It doesn’t suprise me that you would frame this as “Palestinian debate”, when in fact it appears to be more a widespread dissent against Abbas and his cowardly cowtowing to Israel.
    In truth, questions, I’m hoping that we can avoid engaging each other in debate. This shit you pulled at Brad blog has completely erased any desire I have to engage you. You’re a liar, and have proven it irrevocably. Discuss issues with someone else, I have absolutely no respect for you, and even less desire to waste my time responding to your shit.
    Screw off. Go exchange horseshit with Nadine or Wig-wag, but leave me out of your crap. It’ll take an act of will on my part, but I am bound and determined to ignore you.

    Reply

  28. questions says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/10/04/world/international-us-palestinians-israel-un.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=palestinians%20goldstone%20report&st=cse
    Looks like there’s Palestinian debate over this move.
    I think the goal is to make diplomatic space for SOMEthing. Who knows if it’ll be worthwhile or not. But if the Israeli public loses it totally and dialogue shuts down, what will have come of the report? We all know what happened. But diplomacy operates in its own reality; it doesn’t deal with “what really happened.”

    Reply

  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Note;
    “…USING TERMINOLOGY ADOPTED BY ISRAEL”
    Who do these sacks of shit work for?

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Kathleen, do you honestly think the Secretary of State gives a shit about the people’s opinion??? We are waaaay past that point in our history.
    Ask Dan Kervick how much of a response he got out of Hodes. Or ask any number of people what response they have recieved through contacting their “representative”.
    Hillary doesn’t give a rat’s ass what the people think. Do you really think AIPAC’s darling wants the Goldstone report acted upon? She wants it buried, and if Israel decides to incinerate a few thousand more Palestinians, Hillary will publically endorse it as an “act of defense”.
    It’ll be a cold day in hell before I will waste my time writing to the likes of Hillary Clinton. Number one, it will never get read. And number two, if she had any fucking integrity Tristan Anderson wouldn’t be rotting in a hospital in Tel Aviv, abandoned by his country and his Secretary Of State.
    Steve could lobby for this. But he won’t. Those that do have the juice got it by playing the game. And the game has rules. And going against Israel is going against the rules.
    The Goldstone report is already dead on the vine.
    http://www.bruneinews.net/story/549945
    An excerpt….
    The U.S. agrees with Israel that in its view the report is one-sided. Asked about the report the day after it was released, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “We believe that the mandate for the Goldstone report was one-sided, and that many of the recommendations are appropriately dealt with by the institutions within Israel; therefore, we believe that the appropriate venue within the international system is the Human Rights Council. We and other nations will be engaged about that, but we have grave concerns about the recommendations.”
    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Michael H. Posner went further a day later using terminology adopted by Israel. “We disagree sharply with many of the report’s assessments and its recommendations and believe it to be deeply flawed,” he said.

    Reply

  31. nadine says:

    JamesL, it’s such a big question to OA that Ahmedinejad was born Jewish because now she can’t like him anymore. Once a Jew, always a Jooooo – to her, anyway.
    Ahmedinejad’s ancestry does explain a lot. There is very, very old pattern of apostate Jews becoming the worst Jew-haters in order to prove themselves, esp. in an anti-Semitic atmosphere. Goes back thousands of years to the problems Jews had with the “Hellenizers” under the Seleucids.

    Reply

  32. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    POA…with the delay until March of the prsentation of the Goldstone Report, there’s time to help Palestine garner broader support…we can also write to Secretatry Clinton and others in support of the Goldstone Report.

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Thirty senators signed on to the letter…..
    Here’s the list, which includes 16 Dems and 14 Republicans: Charles Schumer (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Mark Begich (D-AK), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), John Ensign (R-NV), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Johnson (D-SD), David Vitter (D-ND), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Dan Inouye(D-HI), John McCain (R-AZ), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), John Thune (R-SD), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
    Why does the AIPAC article cite thirty two as the number of senators?? As I have repeatedly pointed out here, through actual links to INDISPUTABLE LIES posted on the website, the AIPAC website regularly bends the facts to fit its agenda? Is the 16 Dems and 16 Republicans number falsly put forth to imply evenly “bipartisan support” for ignoring very real war crimes comnmitted by Israel???
    Heres the letter. Makes ya proud to be an American, doesn’t it? Fry a few more of those sand niggers, Israel, we’ll watch your back for you. If you need any more white phosphorous, let us know. And uh, by the way, we’ll get a couple more billion off to ya right away, as soon as we can fuck the American taxpayer out of some more money.
    “Dear Madam Secretary,
    We appreciate the State Department publicly raising significant concerns about the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone. We believe it is critical that the U.S. continue to work very hard to block any punitive actions against Israel that this report mentions, whether at the Security Council or other U.N. bodies. The loss of innocent lives is unfortunate wherever it occurs – in Israel or in Gaza. But this biased report ignores many of the key facts, and this should be recognized by the international community.
    We commend the State Department statements criticizing the one-sided mandate directing the Goldstone report and highlighting the real causes of the war between Israel and Hamas. In particular, we are gratified that the Department has very serious concerns about the report’s recommendations, including calls that this issue be taken up in international fora outside the Human Rights Council and in national courts of countries not party to the conflict. As the United Nations Human Rights Council moves toward a resolution on the Goldstone report, we trust you and your team will denounce the unbalanced nature of this investigation.
    There are many serious flaws with the Goldstone report and the investigatory process. The Goldstone mission’s mandate was problematic from the start. The fact that the mission exceeded this mandate by also criticizing some of Hamas’ activities does not diminish the problem that the vast majority of the report focuses on Israel’s conduct, rather than that of Hamas. The report further fails to acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism and other external threats, a right of all UN Members under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The report ignores the fact that Israel acted in self-defense only after its civilian population suffered eight years of attacks by rockets and mortars fired indiscriminately from Gaza. Furthermore, the report does not adequately recognize the extraordinary measures taken by the Israel Defense Forces to minimize civilian casualties, which frequently put Israeli soldiers at risk.
    As the State Department has stated, Israel is a democratic country, like the United States, with an independent judiciary and democratic institutions to investigate and prosecute abuses. The Israel Defense Forces have a reputation for investigating alleged violations of international law and its internal military code of conduct. As a law-abiding state, Israel is in the process of conducting numerous investigations for which it should be commended not condemned.
    We hope you will succeed in your efforts to ensure that consideration of the report at the current meetings of the UN Human Rights Council will not provide an opportunity for Israel’s critics to unfairly use the Council and the report to bring this matter to the UN Security Council”
    Yopu gotta love the part that says….
    “As the State Department has stated, Israel is a democratic country, like the United States, with an independent judiciary and democratic institutions to investigate and prosecute abuses”
    Yeah, meanwhile, in THIS “democracy”, world class criminals are unindicted and still determining policy. Free as birds, wealthy, and saying loudly and vociferously to the American people, “FUCK THE LAW. WE ARE ABOVE THE LAW, AND YOUR ATTORNEY GENERAL IS OUR BITCH”
    So in this respect, the letter speaks truth, we have as little respect for domestic and international law as Israel does. We ARE alike. But we are a bit better at this, with a death tally in Iraq surpassing a million, plus poisoning the Iraqi environment with DU, which pretty much guarantees generations of birth defects and cancers. Chalk it up to “spreading democracy” and “they hate us for our freedoms”.

    Reply

  34. Dan Kervick says:

    The Socialist Panhellenic Socialist Movement has trounced the conservative New Democracy Party in today’s election in Greece, which means Greece will likely go for more stimulus spending instead of fiscal consolidation, and buck the conservative turn of some of its northern European partners.
    The world is getting interesting.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Senators Urge U.S. to Condemn Goldstone Report
    Thirty-two senators — 16 Democrats and 16 Republicans — sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday that calls on the Obama administration to prevent the Goldstone report on the Gaza war from reaching the U.N. Security Council for punitive measures. “We believe it is critical that the U.S. continue to work very hard to block any punitive actions against Israel that this report mentions, whether at the Security Council or other U.N. bodies,” states the letter, which was spearheaded by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). “The loss of innocent lives is unfortunate wherever it occurs — in Israel or in Gaza. But this biased report ignores many of the key facts, and this should be recognized by the international community.” The letter comes in response to a biased report commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council that accuses Israel of committing war crimes for defending itself against Hamas terrorism.
    http://www.aipac.org/130.asp#29678
    Is there anyone reading this blog, besides this racist hasbarist Nadine, that doubts Israel committed crimes against humanity during Operation Cast Lead? Do these pieces of shit in Washington think that we the American people are so fuckin’ stupid that we don’t believe frying civilians in white phosphorous is a war crime?
    Who can doubt that we have done as bad, and worse, in Afghanistan and Iraq? Is that why the inhumane garbage in Washington are are reluctant to admit the depraved gravity of the Israeli campaign against innocent civilian Palestinians?
    Fuck these people. I pay taxes so this scum can represent Israel, while our infrastructure falls down around our ears and high placed governmental criminals say “piss off” to the law, ethics, and basic morality? This is the garbage Steve is so infatuated with?
    Who are these sacks of shit that work actively to abet Israel’s crimes??? Why doesn’t the AIPAC website name them all, unless it is because these cowards are AFRAID TO BE NAMED PUBLICALLY??
    And how many are being blackmailed or bribed to play the game and follow the script? Is that why Sibel can’t gain any traction? Only a fool would not wonder.

    Reply

  36. JamesL says:

    Thanks for the link Kathleen. Sorry about your dog OA. A member of the family in distress is hard. Re earthquakes, take the underground Seattle tour next time you come to Seattle, then imagine what downtown Seattle will be like after a big quake, or even a moderate one. There is a potential for a severe quake there too and its economy anchors the northwest US.

    Reply

  37. questins says:

    And I suppose, just quickly, that we need to realize that the public good of a district is often JOBS JOBS JOBS and jobsjobsjobs is often defense related. So there are systemic pushes as well. (And party pushes, media pushes, FOX news pushes, primaries to the right…. It’s a complex system and it won’t be fixed by just getting a bunch of new legislators. The current ones are formed by the institutional pressures already built in. The pressures remain, the people change, the behavior stays the same.)

    Reply

  38. questions says:

    POA, Why do you think we worry about terrorists and we drive while texting…. We’re not good at perceiving risk with any accuracy at all. Dental fillings or vaccination vs. climate change, seismic issues…. On and on.
    And re Congress — the real issue is how to have representation in which the representative, umm, represents. It’s an age old problem that every theorist runs up against. People put themselves first, and “themselves” in Congress is typically re-election, and often now the revolving door. Many would like to do something good, but they need to be re-elected first, so doing good gets deferred. How much good can you do sitting at home watching the guy who beat you on C-SPAN….
    The key is to have some kind of institutional push towards greater transparency for all money flowing through, a much longer break between walking the halls of Congress as an insider and ever being allowed in again, and a real cultural push towards serving the public good. We have so little sense of the public good anymore that libertarianism makes sense to people. Libertarianism denies the public part of public good and leaves it to individuals. Kinda like what the crooks do, in my estimation.
    It all has to stop being about ME and start at some level being about less than me. (Without falling into crazy altruism where everyone defers to the next guy and nothing gets done (thanks to Rawls for this one!))

    Reply

  39. Outraged American says:

    Just got off the phone with my Iranian translator: Ahmadinejad is
    a Jew, and this has been known for more than a year in Iran.
    This translator (who is also a professor at a major US university)
    also said that in Iran when a family converts to Islam, and
    Ahmadinejad’s family did that after he was born, which is when
    they changed their family name, they do feel that they need to
    be uber-Muslim, if you’ll pardon the term, to prove themselves
    as devout.
    This should be the most important story out there, given the
    sanctions/ blockades, etc., we are enacting against Iran.
    JamesL, I do need sleep. My favorite dog is dying, and it’s a real
    pain in the ass to make sure her last days are comfortable, and
    that she doesn’t eat the other dogs or us.

    Reply

  40. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Okay guys…there’s a conspiracy at TWN…answer me this questions…why is it that every time I have uncorrected typos, captcha works on the firdet time? Is there some gnarly gnome holding Steve’s webmasert’s first born hostage, to make him make us all crazy?

    Reply

  41. Outraged American says:

    Katrina will be nothing compared to the guaranteed major quake
    in California. It could take down the whole world’s economy, but
    certainly ours.
    POA – totally agree –It’s such f*cking bullshit — funding the ”
    War on Terror/ Israel’s War on Islam” versus preparing for a
    guaranteed massive natural disaster her in Amur-Cur.
    I left California almost a year ago and still suffer from quake
    PTSD, but perhaps that’s also because I studied geophysics so
    know what the potential a major quake has to kill hundreds of
    thousands. And I do mean hundreds of thousands given how
    our National Guard has been eviscerated.
    This is what I think is also bullshit –and, while I never studied
    with these people, they’re always on TV after a quake — those
    scientists, one of whom we used to call the “Lesbian Spear
    Chucker”, and POA I bet you know exactly who I’m talking about
    (and before I get jumped — I went to Smith for a year, the most
    lesbian college anywhere, so half my friends, the half I sleep
    with, are dykes) keep downplaying the earthquake threat in So
    Cal especially.
    Occasionally the geologists slip and admit that a major quake,
    not even the San Andreas, could cause the buildings in
    downtown LA to topple.
    Sept. 11 would be nothing compared to it, and yet we’re still
    hunting for Norheim and his lice filled beard in “Af-Pak.”
    That guy at Cal Tech who I studied with, and granted this was
    like 27 years ago, and it appears he’s now in Singapore, said
    that the San Andreas,( which is a slip strike fault and sometimes
    those are less dangerous usually than a thrust fault like
    Northridge, depending on the magnitude, and all sorts of other
    variables, like depth) would be like a giant hammer pounding
    the ground and it could last for minutes. I think he said at least
    two.
    The major problem if it is the San Andreas, which again is way
    overdue to go off, is that the supply lines out of Southern CA will
    be cut. I-10 to Phoenix and that one going up to Vegas will be
    fractured as well as the ones going north and south.
    So help from surrounding states, which themselves would suffer
    some damage, would take a while, especially given that THE
    NATIONAL GUARD IS OFF TRYING TO FIND THE CAVEMAN.
    Just absurd. I’m just glad that my husband’s f*cked-up Malibu,
    Richie Rich, friends are off getting a taste of real life in
    Indonesia right now. Banana leaves taste great, even when not
    accompanied by filet mignon and cocaine.
    And JamesL if you read the actual article about Ahmadinejad,
    you will see that his vehemence (again mistranslated in the
    western media) against Israel might arise from the fact that he
    too is a “self-hating” Jew. Hitler was one too.

    Reply

  42. Kathleen Grasso Adersen says:

    JamesL..supposedly the Palestinians wanted more time to gain broad unternational support for the Report..not a bad idea..no doubt they counted heads before doing this….JamesL..supposedly the Palestinians wanted more time to gain broad unternational support for the Report..not a bad idea..no doubt they counted heads before doing this….
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8286364.stm

    Reply

  43. JamesL says:

    Outraged, I appreciate your writings and on-the-surface outrage, but your recent post sounds like you need some sleep. Ahmadinejad having Jewish ancestry doesn’t bother me and it isn’t news. Go back far enough and a lot of people have that ancestry, but I don’t believe it has anything to do with their current political beliefs. Nor does it alter the validity of Ahmadinejad’s statements condemning the actions of the Zionist cult that currently directs the Israeli government and is actively destabilizing the Mid East.
    What I am surprised about is the lack of comment about Abbas, under “intense US pressure” dropping “support for a U.N. report that alleged Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in last winter’s Gaza war”. I am appalled that an extensively researched report of war crimes having been committed in Gaza is being quashed by the Obama administration. War crimes are war crimes no matter who does them and the idea that the US would not seek to illuminate and bring to justice those responsible for crimes against humanity is TOTALLY antithetical to American ideals. That news is now 3 days old and the blog and comment silence is deafening. Sorry for the long URL, but you can find it in Yahoo Top News.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091004/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians;_ylt=AoTM4Aa1Wc5zDeb4PofdSBNvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTJyN3FjM2JxBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxMDA0L21sX2lzcmFlbF9wYWxlc3RpbmlhbnMEY3BvcwM0BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN5bl9oZWFkbGluZV9saXN0BHNsawNwYWxlc3RpbmlhbnM-
    RE earthquakes, one of the prices Americans are paying for counterproductive foreign military adventurism is a continual society-wide degradation of basic infrastructure–roads, bridges, water and sewer systems on and on. Building ever more infrastructure, but not maintaining it, is sooner or later suicidal. If a nation or an individual doesn’t maintain their house in working order, and make reasonable preparations for forseeable possible calamities, then the price will be human unnecessary human suffering and loss of life. The health trend of US infrastructure is not as bad as you might think, it is worse.
    And, yes POA, I agree that America is no longer a functioning representative democracy. Like many under-tended sailboats, it is a full sized, non-working replica.

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I would never advocate “giving up”. But, considering the last decade, don’t you think its about time to admit, and accept, that these bastards DO NOT represent our best interests? Until we openly admit as much, we have no hope of changing anything. This partisan divide is carefully nurtured by our mkedia, in cahoots with Washington, and has rendered we the people completely impotent. And the recent merger of the computer voting companies does not bode well for any hope we have of having a voice through representation.
    Its time to admit that our government is no longer representative, and to attempt to inform our families, neighbors, associates and acquaintances of that FACT, so that we can once again, with a UNITED FRONT, take our country back.
    I have no idea how we can accomplish this, or if we can. But if we don’t act, this grand experiment is OVER.

    Reply

  45. Dan Kervick says:

    I didn’t express any optimism POA. Steve put a policy issue on the table, and I made a suggestion about alternative approach the administration could take. I have no idea about whether the administration will make progress or not. But what’s the point of giving up?

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    OA, for some time now I have visited the IRIS website on an allmost daily basis….
    http://www.iris.edu/dms/seismon.htm
    ….and I cannot remember a time that I have seen such patterned seismic activity. It is almost predictable, even for a lay person such as myself.
    It is truly amazing that we can spend billions on contrived threats such as Iran, while ignoring the REAL threat, and inevitability, of a disaster that WILL happen, such as a major event on the San Andreas. “National security” is an illusion, a carefully nurtured sales pitch designed to feed policies and private global business interests that have absolutely nothing to do with security, or an effort to implement representative policies for the good of the people. We will, someday, have a major seismic event on the San Andreas. And we have not prepared for it. The media will lament this fact, but no heads will roll, and no lessons will be learned, just as Katrina demonstrated.
    But watch out, Iran might nuke us with non-existent nukes, and at this very moment there is an Al Qaeda Muslim lurking under your bed with a suicide belt strapped on his midriff.
    On a daily basis, we, the American people, are being fucked out of our futures by the scum that Steve rubs elbows with. How far could the trillions we spend on war, death, and mayhem have gone to spread goodwill and to protect and aid the American people from the devastating effects of natural disasters, disease, crime, and environmental and infrastructural deterioration? In truth, these mother fuckers that lied us into this con-job, “the global war on terrorism” should be lined up and shot. But instead, they walk amongst us, free, wealthy, and still actively undermining and desecrating the very foundation of what our founding fathers envisioned.
    There is no greater scum on earth than what Washington has become infested with.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Dan, I would be interested in hearing what fuels your apparent optimism about Obama, considering his performance thus far. Obviously, your optimism about his handling of the Pal/Isr thing was misguided, so what exactly is it that hasd you optimistic about his future handling of other issues? Seems to me that the range of disappointments covers the full spectrum of policies, both domestic and internationally. Most worrisome, to me, is his selective dispensation of the law, through yet one more AG that is nothing more than a willing tool of the White House. On issue after issue, Holder, at Obama’s beck, has sided with the Bush Administration.
    This guy has all the potential to be as dangerous, and as inept, as the last Administration. In a remarkably short time he has managed to betray the majority of the platforms he ran on.

    Reply

  48. Bart says:

    Isn’t the use of tinyurl a known computer security risk?

    Reply

  49. Outraged American says:

    POA,Kathleen & Steve, must read article on California. Cali will
    have a major quake within the next 20 years,but probably much,
    much sooner, given the seismic activity worldwide, and that will
    have severe implications for the entire world, but it will take the
    US economy much further down.
    Major earthquake 6.6. in the Philippines within the last 24
    hours. And a 6.1 in Taiwan. Those are big quakes. Not sure what
    faults, but the “Ring of Fire” is really ringing. And the quake
    swarms in Central CA are worrisome.
    These scientists are lying about the possible magnitude of the
    San Andreas when it goes off, making it sound much smaller
    than it will be, because a 7.0 is nothing when two plates move.
    The “Big One” could be anything up to the biggest quake the
    world has recorded, but that’s not the only fault to be worried
    about.
    Northridge was an unknown fault when it went off. Seriously, the
    fact that Northridge happened early in the morning on MLK day
    is another thing to thank him for. We won’t be so lucky the next
    time.
    When the Landers went off, my brother in Phoenix called me in
    LA, because he’s an insomniac and was watching TV and the TV
    was on rollers and started rolling around. I, of course, was
    standing in my doorframe (which, one shouldn’t do — lie next
    to a heavy piece of furniture, but not under it, because if the
    roof collapses there will be a little space around something
    heavy) thinking that I was going to die. And then the Big Bear
    quake hit a few hours later. Good times.
    Landers was a 7.8, IIRC which is a huge quake, but it was out in
    the high desert between CA and Arizona. The San Andreas, no
    matter where it breaks, will be much closer to a populated area.
    Based on this recently released research, all these Ring of Fire
    quakes could have an effect on the San Andreas or even smaller
    faults like the Hayward or that one off of Long Beach that can
    cause truly devastating damage to LA or San Francisco.
    And this is so telling, before that Austrian, Schwarzenegger took
    office, California had the world’s fifth largest economy, now it’s
    eighth.
    I had heard movie industry tales about the Austrian from well
    before he ever ran for office and predicted he’d be a disaster,
    especially because he was allegedly meeting (it was pretty well
    documented) with the Enron guys who REALLY screwed the
    state, before Gray Davis was ousted.
    Here’s a tidbit, Orrin Hatch, Mormon senator from the Great
    State of Utah, was trying to change the Constitution so that
    Schwarzenegger, foreign born, could become president. Rumor
    has it that Orrin, despite being married, is into leather. I have
    no idea if that’s true, but rumor and some articles have also
    speculated on how Arnold got his career going.
    But one could say that about any movie star. I should seriously
    write a tell-all about what I do know, but then I’d never eat
    lunch in that town again.
    Not that I want to, except the food in the Southland is amazing
    … Soot Bull Jeep in Koreatown, Or Puro Sabor in Van Nuys. Or
    Juanita’s in Ontario. Ever eaten in any of those places POA? If
    not, they’re worth the trip.
    Will California become America’s first failed state?
    Los Angeles, 2009: California may be the eighth largest
    economy in the world, but its state staff are being paid in IOUs,
    unemployment is at its highest in 70 years, and teachers are on
    hunger strike. So what has gone so catastrophically wrong?
    http://tinyurl.com/y93ev7f
    On a personal note, and I never do personal, I stayed with a
    family in southern Sumatra. Lovely people who taught me
    rudimentary Bahasa. That second Indo quake might have killed
    them if they weren’t wiped out by the 2004 one. I have no way
    to get in touch with them.
    I hate to type this, well, not really, but a bunch of my husband’s
    rich Malibu friends are trapped off the coast of Padang, Sumatra,
    by the quakes.
    They were there to surf and take advantage of the natives. I hate
    those wildly over-privileged, drug-addicted, worthless,
    decadent, mo-fos, and I’ve put up with having to deal with them
    since I got married, seven minutes ago.
    I would rather have them dead then that wonderful Indonesian
    family who was so incredibly kind to me. I hope they have to eat
    each other. If they get really hungry I’ll fly my husband there
    and let them finish him off.
    Malibu. There’s a reason they call the favored footwear in
    Malibu UGG.

    Reply

  50. ... says:

    hi dan.. obama could take the lead with the idea of doing away with nuclear arms.. this is connected to the environment.. any attempt at reigning in the military industrial complex which is a real nightmare environmentally speaking would also be a great idea.. he could take the lead on a number of very central ideas, but he doesn’t show the cajones to do it… i may be a bit hard on him, like i was on steve yesterday but i someone wants to actually make change they have to break a few eggs.. obama seems more of a conformist then a trailblazer.. wanting to make afghanistan an important focus to his foreign policy agenda just seems like a continuation of unending support for the military industrial complex that eisenhower warned about… obama mostly seems like ””business”’ as usual..

    Reply

  51. Dan Kervick says:

    Well done by Mr. Bütikofer in laying in on the line. The US is behind Europe in climate issues, and the Europeans can’t abjectly accept US “leadership” on this issue, without regard to what the US actually does.
    In thinking about alternative approaches the administration could be taking on environmental policy, I wonder if too much emphasis has been placed recently on the single environmental issue of climate change, Using climate change as the motivating core of environmental policy depends on maintaining a sense of crisis, the concerns about which tend to wax and wane for various reasons. They are even influenced by current weather patterns.
    However, there are deep sources of power and strength in American environmental thinking, and if the administration can do a better job of tapping into those sources, it can get somewhere. Long before people were worried about the sexy new crisis of climate change, they were worried about the destruction of the natural world. There is a fine new Ken Burns series running on PBS about the history of the establishment of the National Parks, and the role of John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt and others in that movement, and in the the broader conservation movement.
    And the conservation movement has, of course, appealed to various kinds of conservative temperament over time. Obama should do more to recover the language, themes and inspiration of that enduring movement, and wed them into his broader vision of the American future.

    Reply

  52. Outraged American says:

    Earthquakes! Forget war, this will shake the world economy. This is
    the Cal Tech prof I studied with; he’s predicting a massive tremor.
    http://tinyurl.com/ycf8sxg
    And I am a bit shocked that Ahmadinejad has now been revealed
    to having been born Jewish isn’t also rocking the world.

    Reply

  53. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    The European citizenry, the Eurocrats and the EU’s political leadership- all may positively and logically expect from the candid Obama’s administration to pay earnest fidelity to the Kyoto protocol(a major stumbling block in the way of smooth transatlantic relations).

    Reply

  54. Outraged American says:

    Ahmadinejad was born a Jew. Priceless. Daily Telegraph UK has
    the expose.
    I always had a suspicion that Ahmadeinjad worked for the
    Zionists, because his inflammatory, but still mistranslated,
    rhetoric about Jews and Israel only serve to uphold Israel’s
    paranoid narrative that it is widdle, poor, besieged, Israel, the
    “only democracy in the Middle East” But, whoops, also the only
    country in the Middle East with a nuclear arsenal and delivery
    systems.
    http://tinyurl.com/y9jbqvv
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed to have Jewish past
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vitriolic attacks on the Jewish world
    hide an astonishing secret, evidence uncovered by The Daily
    Telegraph shows.
    A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity
    card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has
    Jewish roots.
    A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as
    Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.
    The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Aradan, Mr
    Ahmadinejad’s birthplace, and the name derives from “weaver of
    the Sabour”, the name for the Jewish Tallit shawl in Persia. The
    name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews
    compiled by Iran’s Ministry of the Interior.
    Experts last night suggested Mr Ahmadinejad’s track record for
    hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to
    hide his past.
    Ali Nourizadeh, of the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies, said:
    “This aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad’s background explains a lot
    about him.
    “Every family that converts into a different religion takes a new
    identity by condemning their old faith.
    “By making anti-Israeli statements he is trying to shed any
    suspicions about his Jewish connections. He feels vulnerable in a
    radical Shia society.”

    Reply

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