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View Diary: Stay in the Box (159 comments)

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  •  This evening's news - Palestine (4.00)
    The Isrealis are threatening to not turn over the money they've collected on behalf of Palestine because they don't like Hamas.  Palestine responds that if they don't get that money, they'll go to Islamic countries for money - starting with Iran.

    WTF!  Didn't we just get rid of the old cold war a little while ago and now some idiots want to start a brand new Cold War!

    Bush - isn't it wonderful how you've managed to create the first Islamic proto-superpower?  

    We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

    by Fabian on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 03:34:01 PM PST

    •  *Everything* Bush touches turns . . . (none)

       . . . shit.  Bush has not only "touched", but has "felt-up" the United States, and the World.  And, well . . .

       BenGoshi
      __________________

      We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

      by BenGoshi on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 03:42:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Iran is already funding Hamas ... (none)
      ... so the amount on the check is all that would be different. Israel should stick to its guns, literally.
      •  Economic relationships (none)
        make the world go around.  They also define who your allies and enemies are.  

        Yes, Israel should stick to its guns - literally.  Let them posture and rattle their sabers on their side of the border.  But let them keep their side of a civil contract.

        We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

        by Fabian on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 03:55:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll continue to contribute money ... (1.50)
          ... for building the security barrier in Israel, and urge Israel to wait it out until the Palestinians come to the realization that violence and terror will not gain them a good life. When the Palestinians realize that they are their own worst enemy and clean house by renouncing violence and eliminating the terrorists from among their ranks, then perhaps they can begin to ask for entrance into the civilized world. Until then, let them rage and kill amonst temselves, behind the wall.
          •  Oh, I'd build a wall, all right. (4.00)
            I'd build a wall around both Israel and Palestine, cut off all outside aid for both regions and we'll see how fast they can come to terms with each other.  Just to be fair, we'd have to allow free emigration from Jerulestline - but no immigration.

            We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

            by Fabian on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 04:17:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are plans for that left over ... (none)
              ... from Warsaw, I believe, at least the part about walling off Israel from the rest of the world.

              For the record, the Israeli security barrier does not extend around the Palestinians and shut them off from the world. It does shut them off from coming into Israel easily.

            •  Right. Like two kids. (none)
              Go to your room and don't come out until you've handled the problem between you. Or among you.
              •  Survivor - The Middle East (none)
                Israel and Palestine would be in a wholly different situation if they didn't have massive amounts of outside aid.  It creates an artificial economic and social situation that just feeds the problem instead of solving it.  Imagine what a real time Survivor would be like if fans could give their favorite contestants supplies.  Pretty soon the contestants would be looking to curry favor with viewers to gain an advantage over their competition.

                We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

                by Fabian on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 03:26:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Very Nice Analogy (none)
                  Very nice.

                  Behavior modification and reinforcement theory will take you a long way.

                  It was the rock philosophical position that got the original founders of East Wind Community started. The people there now look around at the amazing and properous community they have after 30 years and say to each other: "How did they ever come on this land with tents and sleeping bags and camping gear and turn it into this? I couldn't have done it,could you ?"

                  And after awhile they voted out the original founders and they went back to Twin Oaks Community. Sad.

          •  oi vey (none)

            Come get lost in our world: www.politicsandletters.com

            by MonkeyDog102 on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 04:49:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the real deal on that (none)
      Isolation of Hamas, Iran focus of AIPAC's upcoming  Conference

       By Ron Kampeas
       February 20, 2006

       JTA.org                

        WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (JTA) - Activists attending this year's American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference will pause briefly to savor Iran's long-awaited isolation - and then get to work making sure the Palestinian Authority gets the same treatment.
                  A central focus of this year's policy conference will be legislation that includes the toughest conditions to date for American assistance to the Palestinian Authority, in the wake of Hamas' landslide victory in Palestinian legislative elections last month.

                  "The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act (H.R. 4681) will ban direct aid and severely limit indirect assistance to the P.A. until the president certifies that the P.A. is not controlled by a terrorist group and until Hamas agrees to fight terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist," AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said this week in a statement. "Similar legislation is currently being worked on in the Senate."

                  The policy conference, taking place this year from March 5-7, draws between 5,000 and 6,000 activists to Washington and is the annual centerpiece for the pro-Israel lobby. The final day of the conference is reserved for lobbying on Capitol Hill, and organizers tell JTA that lobbying for the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act will top the agenda.

                  That presents a change from recent years, when the principal focus of such lobbying was Iran's nuclear program; last year, the conference featured a virtual tour of an Iranian nuclear weapons lab.

                  Iran will still play a major role at the conference. The opening plenary, featuring former nuclear inspector David Kay and John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is on "How the International Community Can Stop Iran."

                  The very title suggests the sea change in recent months: There is no longer any question that the international community wants to stop Iran. And with the Islamic republic referred this month to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions, AIPAC's long and at times lonely fight seems vindicated.

                  Now the focus is on Hamas. Last week, AIPAC distributed talking points to Congress members promoting legislation initiated by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) that would stifle aid for the Palestinian Authority and for non-governmental organizations.

                  The Palestinian Authority would have to prove it is not employing a single member of Hamas or any other group on U.S. terrorism lists; dismantle all terrorist groups; halt all anti-Israel incitement in any sector it controls and replace it with materials promoting coexistence; and ensure democracy and financial transparency.

                  Those certifications go beyond the reporting requirements in place under current U.S. legislation. For instance, the Palestinian Authority would have to prove that it is a transparent democracy before the first dollar arrived, instead of merely showing progress. P.A. officials would have to show that incitement had been crushed and replaced by coexistence, instead of simply pulling occasional inciting school texts and broadcasts.

                  The provisions are also much tougher because they extend to indirect assistance, cutting off non-governmental organizations. The only exception is for humanitarian assistance. It also reduces U.S. payments to the United Nations commensurate with the percentage of the U.N. budget that goes to the Palestinian Authority.

                  The legislation also tightens President Bush's options for circumvention. It omits any national security waivers related to aid, and requires a 15-day waiting period before humanitarian aid goes forward.

                  The administration is fighting the bill, partly because it impinges on Bush's fierce protection of his foreign policy prerogative.

                  "Of course, the White House would like to have more waivers in the bill because of national security concerns," Ros-Lehtinen acknowledged in a Feb. 2 news conference announcing the bill. "It's going to be an ongoing discussion."

                  In an attempt to slow the bill, the administration got its friends in Congress to rush through a non-binding resolution that calls for a ban on direct aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as a party calling for Israel's destruction controls more than half the legislature.

                  Under the provisions of the resolution, which passed both houses overwhelmingly, the simple ouster of Hamas would be enough to allow direct aid; indirect aid would not be affected at all.

                  The resolution was initiated two weeks ago by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and shepherded through the House of Representatives this week by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), the chairman of the House International Relations Committee. Hyde is close to the State Department.

                  Voting for the resolution could provide a degree of cover for members of Congress when AIPAC activists swarm congressional offices next month pressing the much tougher Ros-Lehtinen-Lantos bill.

                  In a Feb. 15 floor speech, Hyde suggested he would use his powers as committee chairman to slow down the other bill.

                  "Tying the hands of this administration is not in the interests of national security," he said. "Hurting the Palestinian people will reward terrorist regimes like Syria and Iran, which seek to exploit the suffering of the Palestinians for their own selfish reasons."

                  In any case, Hyde said, Ros-Lehtinen's bill would not be considered "in advance of the formation of the new Palestinian Cabinet, which is likely to occur in the coming weeks."

                  By then the bill could be significantly transformed, as negotiators address elements that the administration considers impractical. For instance, should an earthquake hit the Palestinian areas Bush would have to wait 15 days before he could fly in humanitarian assistance.

                  Another administration worry is that the bill seems aimed less at Hamas then it is at tying the administration's hands, no matter who runs the Palestinian Authority.

                  Existing law on designated terrorist groups already bans aid to any Hamas-led government. And the Palestinian Authority has not received direct aid for years, a consequence of its pervasive corruption. Funds are currently administered solely by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and paid only to non-P.A. contractors.

                  "The administration has a whole range of problems with the Ros-Lehtinen bill, ranging from all stick, no carrot to it being a blanket lifetime ban of aid even if reforms are enacted," said one senior congressional staffer who asked to speak anonymously because the legislation has yet to come to the floor.

                  The bill's proponents say its toughness is proportional to the failure to contain Hamas by leaders that the United States considered moderate, including P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas.

                  "Things keep getting worse which is why congressional conditions keep getting more stringent," said a senior staffer for a Democrat in Congress who strongly favors the bill. "You now have a terrorist organization running the Palestinian Authority."

      >>>>>>>>>>>

      You might have noticed the neo's attacks on Bush after his re election, when Bush Sr.'s old guard foreign policy hands moved into some quarters to try and keep a lid on the ME. At the same time AIPAC issued a public statement against Bush saying his policies were not agressive enough in the ME. This unusual move by AIPAC in attacking Bush was the warning shot across the bow that they were going to use their in pocket congressmen to fight any policies the old guard was trying to reformat for the ME chaos caused by our Iraq invasion. What we have now is a publically declared fight with AIPAC, congress,and the American-Israeli neo's in particular, against Bush, Rice and the old guard who are trying to prevent any further damage to US interest. Sad to admit the dems are into AIPAC up to their eyeballs, courting any voting block they can get without regard to the actual damage this will cause us in further esculating the ME problem.
      Israel is paniced because now they have Hamas, who will not be the "subservient" type in any talks of settlement and would be much tougher than Abbas in insisting on what they think Palestine should retain as part of any settlement and unlike Afarat is more likely to want to move forward and not stall on a settlement or equivate on what their demands are. This is what worries Israel more than any  terrorist threat from Hamas. Hamas having authority to talk for Palestine "politically" is a nightmare for Israel at any bargining table. As always, like before, Israel declares they have no partner capable of settlement to talk with, except now they do have a "partner" that will not only seek a settlment but demand one and that is the very thing Israel wants to avoid...unless they can get everything they want...which they won't get from Hamas. Meanwhile our very own little corrupt, in AIPAC 's pocket and everyone elses pocket, congress is standing in the way of what could lead to a settlement or at the very least a cooling down  and review period while we see what Hamas is actually going to do.

      Hypocrisy in anything may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it....

      by Cal45 on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 02:34:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  tit for tat (none)
        The Palestinian Authority would have to prove it is not employing a single member of Hamas or any other group on U.S. terrorism lists; dismantle all terrorist groups; halt all anti-Israel incitement in any sector it controls and replace it with materials promoting coexistence; and ensure democracy and financial transparency.

        Tell you what - when our government complies with all those demands, I'll be more than happy to let them demand that of other governments. "Ensure democracy and financial transparency" - sign me up!

        We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

        by Fabian on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 03:21:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hhehehehe,,,I have to laugh (none)
          ..or tear my hair out and beat my head against the wall....

          Watching the hypocrisy of it all is like wandering thru a fun house of mirrors.

          We don't fund terrorist organization?...huummm...meanwhile our war mongers are trying to get the state department and the CIA to take the MEK, an international  terrorist group, off the terrorist list for killing Americans in their many bombings trying to overthrow Iran and bombing on other targets in the ME. Even want to fund them as 'allies" in our ME war plans...even held a 'rally for them in DC under a "free Iran" banner...attended by the usual suspects like Bolton and Perle.

          Gawd! if you don't laugh you will commit mayhem or go stark raving loony at this insanity.

          Hypocrisy in anything may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it....

          by Cal45 on Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 03:40:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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