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oor Saint Condi. Liberated from their doldrums by Israeli violence, the Neocons are once again calling for her head.
Conservative national security allies of President Bush are in revolt against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that she is incompetent and has reversed the administration’s national security and foreign policy agenda. T
The conservatives, who include Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle and leading current and former members of the Pentagon and National Security Council, have urged the president to transfer Miss Rice out of the State Department and to an advisory role. They said Miss Rice, stemming from her lack of understanding of the Middle East, has misled the president on Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
he Neocons do have a point. She is incompetent. But her sin in their eyes is a different sort — clueless staffer that she is, she has not fully grasped The Program, which is to do more than take Hezbollah down a notch. She may think that she is presiding over a client state Koniggratz.
o wonder she lacks enthusiasm for this trip. Not only because the U.S. is so isolated in our opposition to a cease fire. Her room for maneuver has been clipped by the Cheney/DoD/Israel nexus. She is on rails set by others. This was clear by her welcome in Israel, where Olmert greeted her mission with a speech of unabashed bellicosity and commitment to further violence. Not even a sop to the Saudi concerns that the street is running away from the Arabs glad to see Iran deflected. Her “umbrella” mantra to work requires that Israel achieve its military objectives relatively soon. The prospects are not encouraging. Once more Neocon arrogance that force of arms could remake the map is again proving hubristic
A week ago, Israeli officials said their military had knocked out up to half of Hezbollah’s rocket launchers and suggested that another week or two would finish the job of incapacitating the Lebanese militia. That talk has largely stopped . . . “Two weeks after Israel set out to defeat Hezbollah, its military achievements are pretty limited,” lamented Yoel Marcus, a columnist and supporter of the war, in the daily Haaretz on Tuesday. T
his operation is already overlong. Israeli airpower failed its promises for fast and precise victory; ground casualties are beginning to mount.
Was the UN strike an accident? Or was it the Liberty? In any event, it serves the purpose of forcing potential international contributors to a stabilizing force additional pause. A pause which buys Israel more needed time. Because as it stands now, a cease fire is a Hezbollah victory. And absent dramatic surgical decapitation strikes, it is hard to see how Israel turns this misguided campaign into a military victory, let alone a political one.
ostscript: But at least the Israelis are fighting. See this pathetic item from Republican flack/President of Foundation for Defense of Democracies Cliff May
. A little background is needed. KLo over at NRO wrote a review of the Oliver Stone movie about 9/11 and mentioned this is “why we fight”. She was challenged by an emailer who noted she is not fighting and not serving. KLo sensibly apologized. May rebuked her, noting that typing is just as valid as fighting in this war. By that standard, Kristol would be Pappy Boyington.
What's experience does Newt have with the the middle east? Spilling hummus on his computer keyboard does not count.
Here's how Condi can win back favor from the right. She should mimic Albright. Recall Albright's move of offering the Serb's a deal that they cannot help but refuse, but one that can be spun as fair from a compliant and dumb press. (The Ramboullet Diktat). What Condi can do is to schedule a peace summit between Israel and Hezbollah - She should announce very favorable terms for Hezbollah in advance - so it sounds like a good deal for the Part of God. But - and this is a big but, she should hold the summit at the Ferragamo shoe factory in Italy. Hezbollah will object to the decadent western venue and this will, in effect, allow a greater kill window to stay open for the current IDF op. Bush's current window was supposedly a week or so.
You can imagine the future talking points if Condi followed such advice:
'Hezbollah spurned the very the very generous terms offered by Sec. Rice ar the Ferragamo summit. Indeed, the did not even show up at the ministerial level despite the fact they were being offered almost all of what the have demanded. Hezbollah never misses and oportunity to miss an oportunity. Don''t take our word, listen to the what the Board of Directors of Ferragamo have said...'
Pappy Boyington? ROFL
TV pitch idea:
Baa Baa Bill Kristol -
Recounts the early exploits of Kristol intellectual battles at Harvard - Episode One, Kristol pretends to sincerely admire Agnew just to upset a rival at the Crimson. Later that night, he heads our the Southie to show some solidarity, but retreats under threat of violence, when they mistake him for a Harvard liberal. Lessons learned.
That Cliff M. comment was pretty funny. Is KLO a young student? He writes to her as if she were pretty new to the world of politics. His absurd way he spoke about Churchill was something that would be edited out of even the most blimpish history books for students. Clearly May thinks KLO is out of her depth - It's doubtful he would use that tone with any of the other writers. Right now, the NRO staff is probably trying to explain why the Vatican need not be listened to on this one issue, but should be listened to only with regards to US domestic social issues.
Re: Vatican. KLo often invokes the Church in her evangelism for Dubya. She must be experiencing cognitive dissonance/confusion now that the Church appears to be outspoken in a way that could be seen as anti-Bush. So maybe the staff at the Corner will have to explain to her how the world works. Meanwhile, Buckley wonders what to do. Where is Balckfored Oakes in all this?
Be interested in your take on Maliki's speech. What is truly funny is how shocked some Bush supporters are that Maliki was supportive of Hezbollah. Afterall, he was basically a member of Hezbollah when he lived in Syria - and he belonged to Dawa. If Stephen Hayes was told by his boss that Maliki was now a bad guy, Hayes would have a much easier time linking Maliki to anti-US terror attack in Beirut 1980s than he did trying to link Saddam to 9-11.
It's impossible to know what people in the US politics really think about this Iraq-Lebanon. There's just too positioning. But read the UK's Melanie Phillips wrote. She's more pro-Olmert than Olmert. :
“The ceasefire being demanded by moral cretins in Britain and Europe is the starting gun for the second Jewish Holocaust.
For years America has looked the other way from Iran and Hezbollah ... Now we read that President Bush sees a wider opportunity in Israel’s desperate war of self-defence. According to Secretary of State Condi Rice, the war in Lebanon is an opportunity to create a new Middle East (again) by eradicating terrorism. What that means is that Israel is to be used to eradicate it. Israel is to do America’s dirty work for it — the work from which America has flinched in the past and continues to flinch, in failing to address the real terrorist godfathers of Syria and above all Iran. So Israel’s sons are being sent to die so that America can restructure the Middle East by remote control, without committing any of its own to this terrible fight ...
Such a proxy war by the US is not only distasteful and cowardly. It may well not succeed ... the root problem of Iran (and Syria) would still remain. Israeli intelligence reports that the Hezbollah has a well-established global presence, and that Iran will unleash a terror war against Jewish targets around the world. Iran steadily moves towards gaining a nuclear capability. And the only country that can deal with Iran once and for all is America. Peace will not come to Israel and the world unless and until there is regime change in Iran ... In Britain, rampant anti-Americanism and hatred of Israel prevent many from understanding just what is at stake in the Lebanon crisis.”
Ms. Phillips presents a POV that is sort of like Buchanan's - but the opposite. Clearly, she is sincere - in that she says America “continues to flich” and let Israel do it's “dirty work” for it. It never occurs to her that US voters would be puzzled by her assertion, made in good faith, the the US is not “contributing any of its own to this terrible fight.” We disagree with her analysis, but we think it shows how large is the gap in thinking and how much wider it will get as this war in Lebanon bogs down and Iraq gets worse.
I wish someone switched Maliki's speech with a translation of Rumsfeld's press conference. Maliki saying, “Is Iraq in civil war? Oh, I don't know. I stayed awake last night thinking about this . . .there are known unknowns . . . you go to war with the sectarian violence you have, not what you wish you have. . . I have tendered my resignation to President Bush 4 times and he has turned it down . . ., etc.” Then he could segue into fond rememberances of his Dawa-Hezbollah ties,
Would have been a better speech.
It would be interesting to have a casual chat with Maliki and see if , in the course of the conversation, he just happens to talk about nightlife in Beirut in the early 80s or what his favorite streets were leading out of the city, etc
Chuck Schumer was shocked! shocked! by Maliki's anti-Israel views. Chuck means well - he's just naive
Is there any tribal relation between al-Maliki and the other al-Maliky?
The latter was the Judge who issued the arrest warrents against Chalabi.
Since these are transliterel translations of Arabic names, it may be just confusing to those of us who only read the newpapers for our news.
Re: Chalbi's remenisence of his possible badass Dawa days.
Has Stiftung ever heard of a neconservative manifesto named “Clean Break” ? It was written a while ago, but this is what it had to say about Lebanon and Iraqi Shia....
“”King Hussein may have ideas for Israel in bringing its Lebanon problem under control. The predominantly Shia population of southern Lebanon has been tied for centuries to the Shia leadership in Najaf, Iraq rather than Iran. Were the Hashemites to control Iraq, they could use their influence over Najf to help Israel wean the south Lebanese Shia away from Hizballah, Iran, and Syria. Shia retain strong ties to the Hashemites: the Shia venerate foremost the Prophet's family, the direct descendants of which - and in whose veins the blood of the Prophet flows - is King Hussein."
Question - Doesn't a reliace on Hussein inply a split with Chalaibi or is their Hashemite loyalty to a different lineage than the one Abdullah belongs to??? It's all so confusing.
Correction - The reminisence above is actually regarding Maliki - not Chalabi. Just hypothetical.
Leo- Kyra Phillips on CNN:Here are some excerpt (from July 26)-- Thie was on CNN!!! LOL
PHILLIPS: So dig this. A man was bulldozing a bog in central Ireland the other day when he noticed something unusual in the freshly turned soil. Turns out he'd unearthed an early medieval treasure: an ancient book of Psalms that experts date to the years 800 to 1000....Now here's the kicker. The book, about 20 pages of Latin script, was allegedly found opened to Psalm 83. Now, if you're a scholar, as you know, Psalm 83: “God hears complaints that other nations are plotting to wipe out the name of Israel.” Well, that's precisely the kind of *news* nugget that would get the attention of my next guests — a seemingly random event with an eerie coincidence to reality. Jerry Jenkins is in New York. Now, along with Tim LaHaye, he co-authored the widely popular Left Behind series — only 63 million books sold, by the way. Also joining me, Joel Rosenberg in Washington. He's the author of The Copper Scroll [Tyndale House, August 2006], the latest of several apocalyptic novels. So, gentlemen, from books, to blogs, to the back pews, the buzz is all about the End Times. What do you think of the Book of Psalms? Is this going to be the next thing that both of you will write about? -cut-----
ROSENBERG: Well, people are very interested, I agree. Tim and Jerry's books deal with the Rapture, the disappearance of the church, and the events going forward in Revelation. My theories — The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll — are about events that could lead up to the Rapture and the return of Christ. Yeah, people are interested because the rebirth of Israel, the fact that Jews are living in the Holy Land today, that is a Bible prophecy. When Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, they begin to form an alliance against Israel, those are the prophecies from Ezekiel 38 and 39. I've been — that's what I'm basing my novels on.
I've been invited to the White House, Capitol Hill. Members of Congress, Israelis, Arab leaders all want to understand the Middle East through the lens of biblical prophecies. I'm writing these novels that keep seeming to come true. But we're seeing Bible prophecy, bit by bit, unfold in the Middle East right now.
ROSENBERG: Well that's right. Ezekiel 36 and 37, those are chapters in the Bible, the Old Testament, about the rebirth of the state of Israel and Jerusalem coming back under Jewish control. We've seen those prophecies happen. Ezekiel 38 and 39, what my novel The Ezekiel Option is about, is an alliance of Islamic countries to destroy Israel and liberate Jerusalem. Are we seeing that come true yet? That's the big question. Then, Ezekiel 40 through 48, that's the rebirth of the Jewish temple, the rebuilding of it, in Jerusalem. Now, you know, if that happens in our lifetime, that alone could unleash the wrath of a billion Muslims worldwide. That's what The Copper Scroll is about — hunting for treasures, hunting for ancient documents, and the series of events that unfold that would lead to the Jewish temple and an apocalyptic war in the Middle East. -cut---
PHILLIPS: All right now, Jerry, you know, there are a number of people, I'm sure, that would sit back and go, "You know what, that Jerry and that Joel, they are crazy..... PHILLIPS: Joel, you also write about the Prophet Zechariah, and if remember right, let's see, I think it was [chapter] 12, right? Twelve, [verses] 1 to 3.---cut---
ROSENBERG: Well, this is — this is about — this is the prophecy that says that God is going to cause the nations of the world — the leaders of the nation almost get drunk with the dream of recapturing Jerusalem. Now, the Bible says that Jerusalem will come back under Jewish control in the last days. That'll be one of the indicators. Well, that's where we are today. But, what are we watching? Saddam Hussein or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hezbollah leader [Hassan] Nasrallah, they're all drunk with the dream of capturing Jerusalem. That's what The Copper Scroll novel is about, which is this battle, this intense battle to liquidate the Jewish people and liberate Jerusalem. I mean, are we seeing that happen? It's hard not to say that we are. I mean, that's why I've gotten invited over to the CIA and the White House and Capitol Hill, because people — it's not that they necessarily believe the prophecies, but they want to understand the prophecies in the Bible in light of what's going on right now.-cut---
PHILLIPS: Jerry, what do you think about what Joel wrote, about watching the Russian-Iranian alliance seeking to wipe out Israel?
JENKINS: Well, I find it very fascinating, and of course, Joel is a real geopolitical watcher. You know, compared to him, I'm just a novelist...cut---
PHILLIPS: Joel, do I need to start taking care of unfinished business and telling people that I love them and I'm sorry for all the evil things I've done? --cut--
ROSENBERG: Well, I think that would be a good start. .......
Yeah, it would be funny. Except it represents a huge slice of Americana today.
Just like that woman who climbed out of a moving car on the highway and fell to her death from the roof. She was convinced the Rapture was here because she saw a balloon in the air. Her husband later told police she was convinced that the balloon was a soul beginning the climb to Heaven. She got out of the car on the highway so as to not miss out.
These guys have sold 50 million books. 50 million. That is the Kristol/Krauthammer secret weapon.
Why is CNN discussing this as if it were a news item. The hostess is talking about this as if it were like a realuty show,but just a bit more real Politcal people are going to regret riding this tiger - riding it into Kingdom Come.
CNN is in deep decline. They erred by not carving out a better niche and leaving this stuff to others. An American alternative to BBC - high quality news, - could have been a reality. That story about the baloon is very sad.
Not 50 million - They are up to 63 million, according to that 'report'
Right, 63 million. 50 million must be my pre-9/11 thinking showing.
And now a video game. In this game, the righteous (but not Raptured) Left Behind shoot and kill the non-saved Heathen and recuperate their powers via prayer. Militant eliminationist violence in search of the Baby Jesus.
I don't know if any readers have checked out the dreck/'books', but as one sign of Jesus' return at the end of the books, our cell phones work everywhere. (Oh, and by the way. The Antichrist? Why, he's the UN Secretary General!)
So take that Verizon !
Do you really want to call this sanguinary theology “Americana?”
We always thought of Americana as things like Cooperstown, Boardwalks, Tin Pan Ally, Ragtime, Jazz. Even if you read pop newspapers from the 19th cent. (presumably a more devaout era), you don't see this kind of bloodthristy preaching.
BTW-kudos to them on cell phone dead zones. As far as Kofi Anan being the Antichrist, he does have a habit of starring into the camera...
Re: “ Militant eliminationist violence in search of the Baby Jesus.”
Arguably Herod engaged in eliminationist violence in order to prevent the Baby Jesus. So maybe the Left Behind crowd (and this new guy intereviewed above) are just advocating a 'hair of the dog' method to bring about, rather than prevent, His birth.
“So, gentlemen, from books, to blogs, to the back pews, the buzz is all about the End Times” (Kyra Phillips)
That's just an amazing thing to hear on CNN. That is now a mainstream way to set up an interview. Casual discussion of complete annhilation of life on earth. Kyra's cute too.
“What's that Buzz? Tell me what's happening!”
(Jesus Christ Superstar)
“...the buzz is all about End Times”
“I don't know if there is an afterlife, but I'm bringing a change of underwear just in case”
Mark Steyn Sticks Up for KLo Too:
Doctor Strauss - Have you noticed how sensitive your followers are? They are very insecure about their military records!
May, Steyn, and Jacoby's defensiveness on the chickenhawk issue is pretty funny. They often will trot our the polio stricken FDR to hide behind as an examplar of what they regard as a non uniformed warrior.
But what really makes them funny is the fact that one senses that they know that everyone sees right thru their casuistry on this issue. Everyone knows what they won't admit - that they prefer others to fight in battle and sometimes they actually think that will enoble the common man, etc. But they hate to be forced to make this laughable argument in public because they know that everyone thinks they are pussies.
Also - this idea that they honor the troops is bogus - They all know that the troops believe false things about links between Saddam and 9-11 and they prefer that the troops not be told the truth = Maybe not the slow K Lo. The also launch viscious attacks on vets who dare to disagree with Bush. They also were quiet about the poor equipment and procurment fraud.
Yet, they want to crank up the swing music and pretend its ww2 all over againt.
Are you laughing?
Okay, Maybe not everyone thinks they are wussies, but some do and they hate it when they are critqued along such lines.
Interestingly, a friend who thinks along NRO lines once said that he voted for Bush, in part, because of Bush's mysterious National Guard service was likely as weak as what the left said it was. He though that a combat vet would be too affected by war to do what was tough, but needed. Also, Bush's ability to dodge 'Nam and get away with it, showed a creative side.
Whatver - It is funny to see all these people rushing to 'defend' K Lo .