Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Speculating the Facts in the Middle East

White House reporter Helen Thomas asked President Obama about countries in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. Obama said he didn't want to "speculate." If President Jimmy Carter knows, who's keeping the secret from Obama? It's not Google. Nearly $3 billion in annual military aid to Israel should give the U.S. President access to information on Israel's military stores.

While French President Nicholas Sarkozy and President Obama ratcheted up the heat on Iran, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan noted what cannot be stated in the West. Haaretz reported:

"We are against nuclear weapons in our region. But is there another country in our region that has nuclear weapons? Yes, there is. And have they been subjected to sanctions? No," Erdogan said.
President Obama hasn't called on Helen Thomas since she asked that question. Is Prime Minister Erdogan in for similar snubbing?

Update: President Obama snubbed the press on this issue.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More from U.S. Politicians at AIPAC

While Hillary Clinton's AIPAC talk made the news, other politicians keynoted or attended the meeting. Senators Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin made WaPo's AIPAC picture gallery. Speakers included Senators Evan Bayh, Chuck Schumer, and Lindsey Graham. Here are a few of their quotes:

"We have to contemplate the final option, the use of force to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," Bayh said.

“We need to go forward with aggressive sanctions that are likely to hurt the regime ... but that’s unlikely to work,” Bayh said. “In the long run, you have to do what you have to do.”

"It is better to go to war than to allow the Holocaust to happen a second time," said
Lindsey Graham. "Is this the last AIPAC meeting before Iran has a nuclear weapon?"

Chuck Schumer conceded that when it comes to Iran, “Diplomacy has failed.” "Iran is on the verge of becoming nuclear and we cannot and must not afford that."

They sync with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's comments:

Netanyahu called on the world “to act swiftly and decisively” to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“The greatest threat to any living organism or nation is not to recognize danger in time,” the prime minister said in his speech’s most sobering moment. “Seventy-five years ago, many leaders around the world put their heads in the sand. Untold millions died in the war that followed. Ultimately, two of history’s greatest leaders helped turn the tide. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill helped save the world. But they were too late to save six million of my own people. The future of the Jewish state can never depend on the goodwill of even the greatest of men. Israel must always reserve the right to defend itself.
The media mostly ignored this theme, focusing on the "split" between Israel and the U.S. over settlements. The conflict is front stage acting for public consumption. Behind the scenes both parties move toward war. Israel will likely be the instigator, with Uncle Sam riding in to contain the blowback.

Last night, there were 130 evangelical leaders present to show unconditional love and unwavering support to the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war...

Update: The White House's David Axelrod said the world has united against Iran.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reporting on Clinton's AIPAC Speech

The news headline of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech at the annual AIPAC meeting varied. The U.S. headlines included:

Clinton urges Israel to make concessions-Baltimore Sun

Clinton says Israel saps US peace role-Detroit Free Press

Settlement fight harms US interests, Clinton argues-Boston Globe

Netanyahu Says Israel Won't Stop its Construction in Jerusalem-BusinessWeek

Israeli papers lead with:

"Israel's Security Strengthens U.S."-Jerusalem Post

Clinton: US commitment to Israel is 'rock solid'-Jerusalem Post

The varying narrative means what? Does the Obama administration want space should Israel take action to stop Iran's nuclear plant from opening this summer,as noted by Russia's Vladimir Putin? Strong financial sanctions won't do it. Bombs will. The U.S. could offer plausible deniability on an Israeli strike. But we would rush to their defense, containing any blowback. Israel is our recalcitrant best friend in the Middle East.

If the parties wanted a country to help forge peace, Sweden or Switzerland might be a better choice. The U.S. record of making war is clear.

Israel backed away from the negotiating table before it's prior military actions in the region, Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-2009. Hillary Clinton approved the change in strategy on Gaza, according to Tony Blair. Blair spoke at AIPAC today.

As for the current conundrum, the AP reported:

Netanyahu asserted that Israel had been building in east Jerusalem since the 1967 Mideast war, when it captured the West Bank from Jordan.

The international community, including the U.S., has never recognized Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem and sees the Jewish concentrations there as no different from West Bank settlements.

The Palestinian demand for a halt to building in Jerusalem as a precondition for peace talks, Netanyahu said, will serve only to delay peace talks further. Netanyahu said the sides "must not be trapped by an unreasonable and illogical demand."

You don't go to the negotiating table when your country is on a war footing. Bibi talked Iran, Iran and Iran in his visit with members of Congress.

The forces that threaten Israel, also threaten the United States of America.

Hillary Clinton AIPAC 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Will Couric, Mathison or Brennan Come to Mr. Jefferson's Defense?

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."-Thomas Jefferson

The Texas Board of Education voted to remove Thomas Jefferson from the curriculum regarding the Age of Enlightenment. They implied Mr. Jefferson added nothing new. The forger of the Declaration of Independence simply copied from French and other European philosophers. Jefferson established the University of Virginia, frequently referred to as a public Ivy League institution.

Since Texans love fightin' words, what does this mean? Are Texans are declaring war on Virginia? Is it because of its proximity to hated (yet secretly loved) Washington, D.C?

Will UVA graduates Katie Couric (CBS News), Tyler Mathison (CNBC) or Margaret Brennan (Bloomberg) come to Mr. Jefferson's defense?

Thomas has been quoted many times on Ari's Freedom Switch. I promise not to remove him from the compilation.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

From Cheese to Sleaze: Ari Fleischer to Spin Tiger Woods

Fresh from advising the Green Bay Packers on handling angry cheeseheads over the loss of finely aged quarterback Brett Farve, Ari Fleischer will guide Tiger Woods' reinsertion into golf's sweet spot. Primo club swinger Woods took time off to treat his propensity to drop his putter into any neatly trimmed hole.

Ari Fleischer Sports Communications specializes in crisis response and control. I can hear Ari coaching Tiger for a press conference:

"Hold it, hold it, hold it, .....release the anger. Now you can answer the question without tension. Keep a clear head, baby. Your doing great, Tiger. Who loves you, man? Ari does..."

I wonder if Tiger hired Ari because of his Bush connections?