Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category
CBS: The hopes for Palestinian statehood received a one-two punch at the
United Nations on Wednesday with President Barack Obama saying no to statehood without direct negotiations and the French president proposing a time table to restart the talks, giving the Israelis and Palestinians one year to reach an agreement.
“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now,” President Obama said.
Obama said in public what he is also saying in private — that a Palestinian state can only be achieved by the Israelis and Palestinians going to the bargaining table and tackling the hard questions that face them. But he stopped short of directly calling on the Palestinians to drop their plan to seek statehood recognition from the UN Security Council.
Palestinian Ambassasor to U.S. pledges that the new Palestinian state will be “Jew-free.”
DAILY CALLER: During a breakfast briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Tuesday, Palestinian Ambassador to the United States Maen Rashid Areikat reiterated his call to create a Jew-free Palestinian state.“Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future,” he said when asked by The Daily Caller if he could imagine a Jew being elected mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in a future independent Palestinian state. “But after the experience of 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”
Last year, Areikat made a similar statement during an interview with Tablet magazine. Asked whether it would be neccessary to transfer and remove “every Jew” from a future Palestinian state, Areikat responded “absolutely.”
“I’m not saying to transfer every Jew, I’m saying transfer Jews who, after an agreement with Israel, fall under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state,” he said then. “I think this is a very necessary step, before we can allow the two states to somehow develop their separate national identities, and then maybe open up the doors for all kinds of cultural, social, political, economic exchanges, that freedom of movement of both citizens of Israelis and Palestinians from one area to another. You know you have to think of the day after.”
Here’s what Glenn Beck says about this whole fiasco
BARACK OBAMA SPECH TO UN: “And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine,” President Obama said at the UN.
“That is the truth. Each side has legitimate aspirations – and that is what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in each other’s shoes. Each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging.”
Another U.S. ally finds out what happens to you if you are a U.S. ally
BEN SAYS: This sure will make it tough to get dictators to step aside in the future. Mubarak (a U.S. ally who stepped aside after a few days of protests) will now be tried for capital murder, punishable by death. Look for Qaddafi now to fight to the finish. Where were all these charges against Mubarak before now? Before all this (though clearly no Jeffersonian Democrat), he was said to be a pretty decent U.S. ally and, if not a friend, at least not interested in erasing Israel.
Looks like a Kafkaesque Kangaroo court show trial coming up. Under this reasoning, should Obama be tried for killing innocent Afghan and Pakistani tribesmen in error via killer drone and other military assaults.
Come to think of it, aren’t all governments killing innocent people all the time, sometimes in error? It’s called collateral damage . . . or breaking a few eggs to make an omelette. Some U.N. Committee on torture wants to prosecute Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush for the same thing. idiotic.
REUTERS: Hosni Mubarak was ordered on Tuesday to stand trial for the killing of protesters and could face the death penalty, scotching speculation the former leader would be spared public humiliation by Egypt’s military rulers.
Mubarak, ousted on February 11 after mass demonstrations demanding he end his 30 years in power, has been questioned for his role in a crackdown that led to the killing of more than 800 demonstrators and has been probed over corruption.
The public prosecutor said Mubarak, who is detained in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, would be tried on charges including “pre-meditated killing,” which could be punished by the death penalty.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.
In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.
Netanyahu rejects withdrawal to ‘indefensible’ 1967 borders
THE REPUBLIC: Israel’s prime minister on Thursday gave a cool reception to President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy speech, warning a withdrawal from the West Bank wold leave Israel vulnerable to attack and setting up what could be a tense meeting at the White House.
In his speech, Obama endorsed the Palestinian position on the borders of their future state, saying it should be based on Israel’s lines before the 1967 Mideast war. Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the fighting, and the Palestinians claim those areas for their state.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas planned to convene a meeting with senior officials as soon as possible to decide on the next steps, said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Knesset Member: Obama is the new Arafat
JERUSALEM POST: “Barack Hussein Obama adopted the staged plan for Israel’s destruction of Yasser Arafat, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister,” said Likud MK Danny Danon. “All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967 borders without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: To tell Obama forget about it.”
National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari also slammed Obama’s speech, calling it “a landmine with pretty wrapping.”
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, who as a minister close to Netanyahu must be more diplomatic, complained on Channel 2 that according to Obama’s approach, the Palestinians would receive their demands on borders before negotiations begin.
“Once they have everything from the start, they have no reason to make any concessions,”Erdan said.
But opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Obama’s plan was clearly in Israel’s interests, while the diplomatic stalemate that she believes was brought on by Netanyahu is not.
“On his visit, Netanyahu must display the leadership necessary now to create the conditions necessary to restart negotiations with those who are ready to end the conflict,” Livni said. “Only a real Israeli initiative with content that can receive American and international support can be an answer to the current dangers and opportunities.”
REUTERS: The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Monday condemned the killing by U.S. forces of Osama bin Laden and mourned him as an “Arab holy warrior.”
“We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood,” Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, told reporters.
Though he noted doctrinal differences between bin Laden’s al Qaeda and Hamas, Haniyeh said: “We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.”
BEN SAYS: This should remove any doubt about anything productive coming from Israel attempting to negotiate a peaceful resolution with Hamas. If Palestine were to become a state, bordering Israel, that country would then become a permanent staging ground for an al Qaeda-style terrorist organization (government) to launch never-ending attacks on Israel. We (and Israel) should turn our intent to destroying Hamas, not negotiating with Hamas. It’s time we do to Hamas’s leadership what we’re doing to al Qaeda’s leadership.
Gadhafi says he hopes Obama wins reelection in 2012. Calls him ‘My Son.’ Asks Obama to stop ‘unjust war.’
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has appealed directly to President Barack Obama to halt what the Libyan leader called “an unjust war,” and wished Obama good luck in his bid for re-election next year.
In a rambling, three-page letter to Obama obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, Gadhafi implored Obama to stop the NATO-led air campaign, which the Libyan called an “unjust war against a small people of a developing country.”
“You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action,” Gadhafi wrote in the letter that was sent to the State Department and forwarded immediately to the White House, according to a U.S. official who has seen the letter. “I am sure that you are able to shoulder the responsibility for that.”
“To serving world peace … Friendship between our peoples … and for the sake of economic, and security cooperation against terror, you are in a position to keep Nato (NATO) off the Libyan affair for good,” Gadhafi wrote.
REUTERS: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that all those responsible for civilian casualties in Libya should pray for the salvation of their own souls.
Putin also played down signs of a rift with President Dmitry Medvedev over the U.N. Security Council resolution authorising armed intervention in Libya, saying the president is responsible for foreign policy “and there can be no division there”.
NATIONAL JOURNAL: President Obama’s decision to send American warplanes into Libya opened the nation’s third military theater in the Middle East—and quickly cast the administration onto more battlegrounds at home.
Three days into the first war he’s helped to start, Obama finds himself in an increasingly familiar position in relation to the Congress: detached, under fire, and going it largely alone. American liberals who gravitated to Obama because he was the most plausible anti-war candidate broke sharply with him this weekend for projecting U.S. force into a corner of the world where it’s traditionally unwelcome, humanitarian intervention doctrine be damned. Even some congressional Democrats who voted for the Iraq invasion call the Libyan venture “gratuitous” and question Obama’s standing. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, on Monday called the U.S. involvement in Libya an “impeachable offense.”
Capitol Hill Republicans, divided for weeks about how to handle Libya, are casting an array of aspersions on Obama’s decision; he’s been too slow, hasn’t adequately consulted Congress, has not developed a clear exit strategy, and not much of an entrance strategy either.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a statement released during Obama’s largely Libya-free speech in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, hit him over process, saying his administration should “define for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is, better explain what America’s role is in achieving that mission, and make clear how it will be accomplished. Before any further military commitments are made, the administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved.”
That, incongruously, aligned the speaker with Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., the Brooklyn liberal who backs the bombing campaign but wants Obama to obtain congressional authorization.
Impeachment? Dennis Kucinch says Obama violated Constitution by not getting Congressional authority to launch war against Quaddafi
Kucinich makes lots of good points here
Give Kucinich credit for consistency on this.
So here’s what Barack Obama said on December 20, 2007, about a President who launches a unilateral military attack on another country without Congressional authorization:
“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
George W. Bush, you might remember, spent more than a year making the case for removing Saddam Hussein. There was an overwhelming majority vote in Congress authorizing President Bush to do exactly that.
Whatever you think of the Iraq War now, Bush had the proper Congressional authority to liberate Iraq.
Where’s Obama’s Congressional authority? Where’s the deliberation? There’s been plenty of dithering, but no deliberation. And how about explaining the policy to the American people, as George W. Bush did?
Can anyone say what the “Obama Doctrine” even is?
JON PODHORETZ-NY POST: When Samantha Power said Mrs. Clinton was a monster, Power was working on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and resigned almost immediately. Now Power is on the National Security Council, and chances are good she doesn’t think Hillary is a monster any longer.
The Tuesday-evening meeting at the White House at which the president decided to move on Libya was “extremely contentious,” according to a report in Josh Rogin’s excellent blog, The Cable.
Power and a few others took the position that the United States couldn’t stay on the sidelines as Moammar Khadafy murdered his own people and snuffed out the people-power revolt in the Middle East in its infancy.
In speaking this way, Power was, in effect, speaking for Clinton.
Three years after the “monster” remark, Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power find themselves on the same side in a profound debate over American interests and American values as they serve an opaque president whose foreign policy has now achieved a new level of incomprehensibility.