Speaking of Hacks

I thought this comment from an earlier thread was rather prescient:

What’s ridiculous is that we’re literally the only country really trying to protect Israel on this. We’ve gone out of the way to block an international UN investigation in favor of one helmed by Israel, and yet I still know that within days there’s going to be another volley of “Obama hates teh joos and loves the arabs” columns from the Charles Krauthammers of the world, because single-handedly trying to defend Israel from the entire rest of the UN isn’t sufficient penance for yelling at Netanyahu over settlements and suggesting that maybe Israel should try and comply with the NPT.

Don’t worry, Rick Moran is on it:

24 HOURS ON: WHERE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?

It’s too bad America’s best ally in the Middle East has to deal with this empty suit in the White House. With the entire rest of the world in full throated outrage over the terrorist ambush – and it has been for more than 24 hours – we have yet to hear from the man who is ostensibly the Commander in Chief and has been constitutionally delegated to make our foreign policy.

Where the hell is the President of the United States?

Trying to save Netanyahu and Israel’s ass by running interference for them in front of the rest of the world:

Behind closed doors, U.S. diplomats sought to prevent the council from authorizing a U.N. investigation into the Israeli raid, saying Israel should be given a chance to conduct a credible investigation first.

The United States found itself in the difficult position of trying to mediate between two important allies at the emotionally charged session, which provided a barometer of international anger over the Israeli attack.

Alejandro Wolff, the United States’ second-highest-ranking ambassador to the United Nations, said Monday that the United States is still trying to “ascertain the facts” but that it “regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries.” Wolff said the United States expects “a credible and transparent investigation and strongly urges the Israeli government to investigate the incident fully.”

But Wolff also scolded the members of the humanitarian convoy, saying that their unapproved delivery of aid “by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances.” Wolff said that “non-provocative and non-confrontational” procedures exist for delivering assistance to Gazans.

These people are just hopeless.






93 replies
  1. 1
    Ben says:

    We need a Nixon-goes-to-China moment here. We need someone who is absolutely unassailable on Isreal-friendly policy to stand up and say that this shit is categorically wrong, tantamount to piracy, or whatever other strong words are appropriate. The Isreal-is-never-wrong consensus needs to be directly, loudly challenged by a Serious Person.

    Is that the sound of volunteers?

    No?

    Not surprised.

  2. 2
    Rick Taylor says:

    I cannot for the life of me understand why an independent investigation by the UN is not appropriate. Even if we make the assumption that Israel was acting fully within international law in the confrontation with the Turkish vessel in international waters, and even if we assume they were entirely the victims, soldiers somehow nearly powered and put at mortal risk by unarmed civilians, why would any independent parties take an investigation run by Israel seriously? Given what happened, the minimum we should expect is for an independent respected agency to figure out exactly what happened.

  3. 3
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Netanyahu sure delights in putting the U.S. government in difficult situations, doesn’t he? But you know, Obama wanted to be President, and part of being President is dealing with the hysterical Israel-worship in our Congress and press corps. Maybe Netanyahu will stab him in the back so many times that Obama will finally say “fuck it” and take a concrete step to rein in Israel’s behavior. Or maybe pigs will fly.

  4. 4
    Munira says:

    I’d suggest you check out the following:

    http://www.juancole.com/2010/0.....ships.html

    There’s a lot of hyperbole on both sides, but Juan Cole is good at putting things in perspective.

  5. 5
    GambitRF says:

    That was my comment! I feel so important.

  6. 6
    Woody Bombay says:

    I watched ‘The Godfather Part II’ last night and it really rings true: Obama is Michael Corleone and Bibi is Sen. Geary.

    Which makes the flotilla activists a dead hooker.

  7. 7
    Rick Taylor says:

    Just to add, the idea of Israel investigating itself is made doubly absurd, as they’ve already concluded they already know they’re not at all at fault. So what’s there to investigate?

    Speaking to Israeli supporters, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said: “We do not need to apologize for defending ourselves. The armada of hate and violence is merely one manifestation of the constant provocation Israel faces.”
    __
    . . .

    In defending the raid, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said commandos were attacked by passengers on the ship they boarded and fired in self-defense, The New York Times said.

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    @Rick Taylor: Sure, if they can get an international commission of investigation going, fine. It will have zero effects, and like the Goldstone commission Israel and the U.S. will reject it before it gets started, condemn it pre-emptively for its awful one-sidedness, and then condemn it after coming out for being a lying anti-Israel conspiracy.

  9. 9
    AxelFoley says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Obama had something up his sleeve for Netanyahu. He seems to give his opponent enough rope to hang himself wife, and I hope that’s the case with Netanyahu and Israel.

    It ain’t a friendship if it’s one-sided.

  10. 10
    AxelFoley says:

    @Munira:

    There’s a lot of hyperbole on both sides, but Juan Cole is good at putting things in perspective.

    When I first started reading political blogs and didn’t know one from another (started with Huffington and DKos, then branched out due to the lunacy at times at both sites), I was confused by Juan Cole and John Cole. Had me thinking they were the same site, with one in all Spanish.

  11. 11
    Anoniminous says:

    Turkey called an emergency meeting of NATO. They are meeting now, near as I can find out.

    Early innings on this crisis but the US may be facing a choice between busting up NATO and continuing to hold Israel’s water.

  12. 12
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Munira:
    Thanks for that link. I’d gotten out of the habit of Juan Cole, and he’s as informative as anyone about Mideast affairs.

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    @Anoniminous: And I’m not sure how Obama would want this to play out. I get the sense that Obama’s main loyalty to Israel is that he wants a peace process, so he’s going to put Israel’s fires out toward that end. But I suspect that if Bibi is taking advantage of this (as Bibi has recently suggested) then Obama is going to have to punch him in the neck to get this back on track. Having his hand forced might not be such a bad thing.

  14. 14
    Dave L says:

    “America’s best ally in the Middle East.”

    How? What do we get from this one-way relationship? We’ve handed over close to $100 billion in aid over the years, and in return we get — what, exactly?

    Seriously, in the Cold War the argument was that Israel was a strategic asset in a region where the Soviet Union had a lot of influence. A thin argument, but at least it was an argument. Today, what do we get?

    Anyone? – Bueller? Help me out here…

  15. 15
    licensed to kill time says:

    @AxelFoley: I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one initially confused by that o~O

  16. 16
    merl says:

    any bush worshipper who uses the term empty suit to describe President Obama should be shot. Horse whipped, then shot.

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @AxelFoley #10: it was only *very* recently that I came to realise that Juan Cole is a real, separate person with a real, separate blog. Whenever I saw refence to him, I just thought the writer or poster was talking about John and was just trying to be funny (although I never got the “joke”) by giving him a Hispanic name. Still takes me slightly aback when I see him mentioned.

  18. 18
    Konrad says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Turkey isn’t going to make the US choose between Israel and NATO. They’re just trying to put more pressure on Israel. I’d expect NATO to issue a statement criticizing Israel for not adhering to maritime laws and nothing more.

    If anything, I’d say Turkey is using this to gain standing in the Muslim world (and Europe) by standing up to Israel. Personally, I’d like to see Turkey be a dominant force in the Middle East, if only because they can piss off both Iran and Israel, and Germany won’t let them join the EU anytime soon.

    As I read more about this story, I get the sense that Turkey knew about what was going to happen. I doubt they planned it, but their response is too organized and well-done to be improvised.

  19. 19
    Chyron HR says:

    With the entire rest of the world in full throated outrage over the terrorist ambush

    WOW. Good on you, Rick Moran. I think calling the Israelis “terrorists” is over-the-top, but at least Republicans are starting to recognize that…

    Oh.

    Right.

  20. 20
    Bill Section 147 says:

    I think they are just upset because in Early 2003 they invested heavily in Mission Accomplished Banners and PR Novelties, Inc. The signature product, released that May, led many to believe that it would be a growth industry. Unfortunately the Bullhorn Moment 2005 Expo scheduled for late August in the New Orleans Superdome was a disaster. Not only were they flooded with unwanted guests, they failed to provide enough bottled water and were short on chachkas. “Heckuva Job Brownie!” shirts didn’t sell and the main speaker didn’t arrive until near the end of the event.

    The very fact that they want a “Show” President tells you everything you need to know about why they loved Reagan. They still think it’s 1980 and the system is running fine as long as the advertising keeps people happy and buying what they are selling. I am starting to think the Punditocracy is like GM in the 70’s. Laughing at quality and ignoring those little Japanese cars.

  21. 21
    Calouste says:

    @Konrad:

    Well, obviously Turkey knew that something was going to happen. The convoy making it to Gaza without Israel interfering was about as likely as Team USA winning the football World Cup.

    And as the Tukish goverment apparently doesn’t subsribe to the woocoodano doctrine, they would have drawn up a number of reactions to a number of different scenarios ranging from a completely peaceful stoppage via one with a limited number of casualties to the sinking of one or more ships.

    Contrary to Republican dogma, government is actually capable of planning and organizing in advance.

  22. 22
    Allison W. says:

    I have no idea what Obama needs to do, but I do not envy him one second. You have the Jewish lobby and some high profile Democrats vocally coming down on him for his treatment of Israel. Congress won’t lift a finger to help him with some kind of financial pressure on Israel. There are the mid-term elections (and hell yes, they are important), he has the Left and Right calling him weak (didn’t see that coming), he fears the Muslim world will not take his peace efforts seriously and he has to deal with Netanyahoo who seems to have complete disregard for the future of his country and of his relationship with our president.

    There is an evil part of me that wishes the land that these two countries are fighting over would just turn into a giant sink hole. They have caused too many problems for far too long.

  23. 23
    Paula says:

    @Konrad:

    So if Turkey was clearly being “provocative”, why couldn’t Israel see that they were being baited into an overreaction?

    And it’s never going to to wonders for anyone’s reputation to target aid workers and activists.

    I usually have no opinion on Israel/Palestine because the issue is like five peace treaties and 3,000 years over my head, but in this instance the Israeli gov’t deserves the beef they’re getting from the rest of the world. Enough with this shit already.

  24. 24
    Anoniminous says:

    @Konrad:

    I’m by no means an expert on Turkey. So take w/salt!

    Reading the English language Turkish press, with all the hazards that implies for analysis …

    The Turks are pissed.

    Their politicos are making the exact same noises US politicos would be making if a US had been ceased in international waters and US citizens had been killed.

  25. 25
    maus says:

    @Ben:

    We need someone who is absolutely unassailable on Isreal-friendly policy

    Politicians in Israel get assassinated for less.

    @Allison W.:

    I have no idea what Obama needs to do, but I do not envy him one second.

    He wanted to be president, he can deal with a big-boy approach and solution to these problems.

  26. 26
    Anoniminous says:

    @Martin:

    All I have are questions. Got no idea what Obama is doing or thinking. For all I know he has ‘turned-over’ the whole thing to Biden and Clinton … which, actually, might be the smartest move?

    I do think Netenyahoo has made a fundamentally bad decision that could easily spiral into a Real Mess®. For some reason I keep visualizing James Cagney standing on top of that chemical tank screaming, “Look ma! I’m on top of the world!”

  27. 27
    joe from Lowell says:

    If Obama is running interference, he’s not doing a very good job of it, as the UN Security Council is blasting Israel.

    Early innings on this crisis but the US may be facing a choice between busting up NATO and continuing to hold Israel’s water.

    NATO vs. Israel is the easiest call in human history. We get nothing from our alliance with Israel – rather, we support them out of the kindness of our hearts, because we feel like it. We thought it was a moral duty after WW2, and they have an elected government with political parties, and a lot of them are from the United States, so we think of them like we do, say, Ireland. Except we actually have important military concerns in Ireland (Shannon airport), which is more than I can say for Israel.

    So if Turkey was clearly being “provocative”, why couldn’t Israel see that they were being baited into an overreaction?

    My theory: they did. That’s why the soldiers carried those air rifles instead of M-16s – because they didn’t want a massacre. Good plan!

  28. 28
    Resident Firebagger says:

    Greenwald’s response this weekend was brilliant. Sure, Ron Paul believes some crazy shit, and he’s marginalized for it. Meanwhile, most of our mainstream pols actively engage in blind allegiance to Israel. But that crazy shit is A-OK.

  29. 29
    cat48 says:

    Moran didnt look hard enough. This was released early yesterday…….

    For Immediate Release May 31, 2010
    Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel
    “This morning between 10:00 and 10:15 AM CDT, the President spoke by phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said he understood the Prime Minister’s decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with today’s events. They agreed to reschedule their meeting at the first opportunity. The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals. The President also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible.”

    Always have to look under “Briefing Room.” Like 99% of wingnut charges regarding O, this was totally false

  30. 30
    Zifnab says:

    @Ben: There is no “Nixon goes to China” because that’s not how the GOP works anymore. Nixon could go to China in the 70s because he controlled the base. But if you sent George Bush to Israel right now, his winger base would eat him alive. If you sent anyone right now – from Joe Lieberman to Rupert Murdoch – you’d hear “betrayal!” and “blasphemy” from all corners.

    Nixon can’t go to China anymore.

  31. 31
    Mark S. says:

    NATO vs. Israel is the easiest call in human history.

    It is, but we’ll end up picking Israel. Our foreign policy has not been very rational lately.

    I still don’t think it will come to that. Hillary needs to get her butt on the plane and start doing some shuttle diplomacy before this becomes FUBAR.

  32. 32
    Geeno says:

    In a way it would be sickly fascinating to have Turkey invoke article 5, and then have all of the new NATO allies like the Czechs and Poles, etc vote with Turkey to force a NATO intervention. The optics of German soldiers shooting at Israeli soldiers would be priceless in a horrifying sort of way.

  33. 33
    Zifnab says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    We get nothing from our alliance with Israel – rather, we support them out of the kindness of our hearts, because we feel like it.

    No. No, no, no. We get billions of dollars in tax dollars passed to Israeli ministers who pass it to US weapons contractors who pass it to political candidates during election season. We fund our elections with kickbacks from Israeli monies.

    That said, we get a similar deal from NATO whenever foreign nations purchase US weapons with US foreign military aid offered to NATO allies. So it is a damnable spot to be in.

    But don’t think for a second that our support for Israel is gratus. Israel serves a very real and important purpose to the US military industrial complex. Don’t forget it.

  34. 34
    maus says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    NATO vs. Israel is the easiest call in human history. We get nothing from our alliance with Israel

    Did we, at any point start pursuing a security policy based on international security, and where we weren’t willing to go at it alone (with Israel, of course.) It’s the diplomatic equivalent of “bros before hoes”.

  35. 35
    PeakVT says:

    Oops, nm. Mis-identified the person.

  36. 36
    Svensker says:

    Wolff was Bolton’s right hand man at the U.N. during the Bush years. Of course, he was assigned that job by Dept.State — but he agreed to do it instead of resigning as any morally sane person would have. I used to know him when he was young and hungry. Wonder if he had any second thoughts when he sold his soul.

  37. 37
    Geeno says:

    @Svensker: Very unlikely. Those who sell their souls rarely give it a moment’s thought, let alone second thoughts.

  38. 38
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Mark S,

    It is, but we’ll end up picking Israel.

    NO WE WILL NOT! Barack Obama is president now, not George Bush, and things have changed. There’s a new sheriff in town, and we will not simply “pick Israel.”

    We’ll split the difference.

    ;-)

  39. 39

    This country is so bi-polar it is not even funny. Watching the reaction to this from the RWNJs (Limbaugh, Hannity) you would never even know THAT A FOREIGN POWER HAS TAKEN US CITIZENS HOSTAGE AND IS HOLDING THEM WITHOUT CHARGES OR ACCESS TO COUNSEL OR DIPLOMATS!

    When Iran arrested those hikers for straying into Iran without authorization they were howling at the fucking moon for something to be done. Somehow because it is Israel that is doing the hostage taking everything is cool with the RWNJosphere. If it wasn’t so fucking surreal it would almost be funny.

    I am actually beginning to believe the conspiracy theorists when it comes to the US government to be honest.

  40. 40
    Allison W. says:

    @maus:

    He wanted to be president, he can deal with a big-boy approach and solution to these problems

    oh please, I’m not trying be his mother.

  41. 41
    joe from Lowell says:

    @maus,

    Bros before hos indeed. Turkish soldiers have fought and died alongside our own on any number of battlefields. So have our other NATO allies.

    They’re the bros. That’s where our real security and power lies. Israel…you know what? I’m just going to drop this metaphor before I get in trouble.

    There are different levels of national interest. NATO serves a higher level of national interest than our friendship with Israel. If this comes down to brass tacks, Israel gets the short end of the stick. They must know that.

  42. 42
    Allison W. says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Howard Dean Would Know What To Do!! HYAH!!!

  43. 43
    MattR says:

    My question is: which politicians should we be calling to make our feelings known? Weiner is definitely getting a call tomorrow. And I assume that Schumer and Grayson need one as well (while Lieberman is completely a lost cause and not worth the effort). But does anyone have a more complete list than that?

  44. 44
    Calouste says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Israel is apparently releasing all foreign survivors of the raid on the aid convoy, even if they don’t sign a declaration. I guess that means they are finished destroying all the cameras and cellphones.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paula:

    So if Turkey was clearly being “provocative”, why couldn’t Israel see that they were being baited into an overreaction?

    IMO — they could see it, but looking macho was more important to them than avoiding a confrontation or ending the situation peacefully.

    The Israeli government was hoping for a cool middle-of-the-night raid that would make them look like badasses. Instead, they look like schmucks who can’t even subdue a bunch of protesters from an NGO without killing people. That’s half of what’s eating them right now.

  46. 46
    Mark S. says:

    I bet the next neocon meme will be that we must get out of NATO: What have those Europussies ever done for us?

  47. 47
    Rick Taylor says:

    I am stunned to see how extreme reflexive-support of Israel has become, although I suppose I shouldn’t be. They board a vessel in international waters, kill 10 unarmed people, and the cry goes out how they’re the victims, and how anyone who’s the least bit shocked by all this must be driven by anti-semitism. And of course the President is attacked for not standing behind our ally when they’re being so viciously attacked. It really is Alice in Wonderland.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Munira:

    I thought this discussion of the events was fascinating:

    Raw video posted to Youtube from the initial phase of the Israeli boarding of the Turkish vessel, Mavi Marmara, demonstrates that as the Israeli commandos approached the ship, they were laying down suppressive fire and at that point killed two individuals aboard the ship. Even after the ship ran up a white flag, the Israelis continued to use live ammunition along with stun grenades and tear gas.

    It is also possible that there were no deaths on the other ships because they were boarded later and after the Israeli helicopter gunship crews had learned that suppressive fire during the initial approach was unnecessary and counterproductive, and so they ceased that tactic.

    So, contrary to what some trolls have been trying to claim, it looks like the IDF did actually fire on the ship prior to trying to board, which makes the passengers’ actions look even more like self defense.

  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mark S.:

    I bet the next neocon meme will be that we must get out of NATO: What have those Europussies ever done for us?

    We’re taking a cruise down the Danube starting next week. Maybe it’s not too late to sew a Canadian flag on my jacket, like people did in the 60s.

  50. 50
    Dave says:

    I quote some pertinent thoughts from an Israeli:

    The attempts to explain away or justify the actions of those people who attacked the Israeli soldiers is shameful. This evening I heard from a member of our extended family who has finally managed to speak to one of the wounded soldiers who is his friend. I heard of one soldier who was hit on the head so hard with an axe that his helmet split in two and his skull fractured. Another was stabbed in the stomach with a knife or dagger of 30/40 cms length. The weapon came out on the other side of his body.

    As … points out above, there is reason to suspect that some of the so-called peace activists were actually mercenaries. Many of them did not have any kind of travel document with them so identification is proving problematic.

    I am also pretty sick of hearing that this is a ‘PR disaster’. Israel did not do this for the PR; we did it because we have no choice. If that blockade is seen to be breachable, tomorrow morning we will have dozens of Karin A style ships bringing state of the art arms from Iran to our southern border as well as our northern one.

    Not that this would worry any of the armchair generals/maritime experts/moral pontificators here though, would it? I’m sure you’d all be just as concerned as you are about the fact that Hizbollah has spent the last 4 years re-arming itself with bigger and better missiles than it had before, right under the noses of UN forces and in direct defiance of UN resolution 1701. Nobody here on their soap-box on that subject though, is there?

    But of course it won’t be you or any of your loved ones who has 15 seconds to find an air-raid shelter. It won’t be you who has to treat schrapnel wounds which destroy lives or bury your dead without

    She’s 100% correct.

    Israel isn’t going to curl up and die just to make *your* life easier, or to satisfy your insane Judenhass.

  51. 51
    Doug says:

    Not such a great idea, Harper is going to be struggling to be more supportive of Israel than Obama could ever be.

  52. 52
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Calouste:

    Israel is apparently releasing all foreign survivors of the raid on the aid convoy, even if they don’t sign a declaration. I guess that means they are finished destroying all the cameras and cellphones.

    __
    Actually, some video got out
    __

    However, in raw video captured by an Al Jazeera producer and published to YouTube late Monday, two journalists provide a play-by-play of the harrowing event as pops and cracks echo in the background. Even before the Israeli forces were aboard, one says, they were pelting the boat with tear gas and stun grenades, injuring numerous people.
    __
    Then he confirms the first death, saying the individual was killed by “munitions,” but not specifying whether it was a bullet or something else. Then he confirms that Israeli forces were boarding the ship..
    __
    Another of the reporters featured in the video works for the Iranian network Press TV. “We are being hit by tear gas, stun grenades, we have navy ships on either side, helicopters overhead,” he said. “We are being attacked from every single side. This is in international waters, not Israeli waters, not in the 68-mile exclusion zone. We are being attacked in international waters completely illegally.”
    __
    “The organizers are telling me now, they are raising a white flag — they are raising a white flag to the Israeli army,” the Al Jazeera reporter said. “This is after one person has been killed; a civilian has been killed by munition. That number could be more … Despite the white flag being raised, despite the white flag being raised, the Israeli army is still shooting, still firing live munitions.”

  53. 53
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): This isn’t just Israel putting America in this position, but Turkey as well, still smarting from the Armenian genocide resolution that got past a House committee recently. Glass houses, after all…

    @Litlebritdifrnt: The State Department said today they’d given consular help to 11 Americans involved in the incident.

  54. 54
    LD50 says:

    49 posts and no one shrieking that we’re Nazis yet. John must have banned some people since I was last here.

    [whoops, never mind, I see “Pancake Rachel” Dave is back.]

  55. 55
    Alex S. says:

    I’m disappointed by Marty Peretz’ lack of outrage so far.

  56. 56
    Geeno says:

    No, Dave. Eventually Israel will curl up and die, because they make everyone’s life harder.

  57. 57
    LD50 says:

    @Dave:

    . Israel did not do this for the PR; we did it because we have no choice.

    ‘We’?

    Are you now claiming you’re an Israeli?

    “The attempts to explain away or justify the actions of those people who attacked the Israeli soldiers is shameful. This evening I heard from a member of our extended family who has finally managed to speak to one of the wounded soldiers who is his friend. I heard of one soldier who was hit on the head so hard with an axe that his helmet split in two and his skull fractured. Another was stabbed in the stomach with a knife or dagger of 30/40 cms length. The weapon came out on the other side of his body.

    Made up quotes from someone anonymous. Well. I’M impressed.

  58. 58
    tavella says:

    @LD50: ‘We’?
    Are you now claiming you’re an Israeli?

    He forgot what persona he was pretending to be. He was using his Israeli one last thread. Guess it’s ‘Phil’ again next thread.

  59. 59
    Michael says:

    @LD50:

    He’s a regular Leopold Bloom. Irish-Israeli.

    Picture a guy in a yarmulke slugging down a Guinness.

    It reminds me of a joke:

    A tourist finds himself in a crappy, unknown neighborhood in Belfast after drinking too much. At the entry to a darkened alleyway, he feels a rush of someone coming up to grab him, feels a knife pricking his throat, and hears a voice hiss “be ya a prod, or be ya Cat’lic”.

    He thinks nervously for a moment and realizes that he’s in bad spot, and he’s got a 50-50 shot of being killed. So he thinks fast and says “neither one – I’m a Jew.”

    With that, the voice in his ear hisses happlily – “Jesus, Mary and Joseph – I must be the luckiest Muslim in all Belfast”.

  60. 60
    maus says:

    @Dave:

    Israel isn’t going to curl up and die just to make your life easier, or to satisfy your insane Judenhass

    Do you ever expect to be taken seriously?

    @joe from Lowell: I mean “bros” as the ne’er-do-well drinking buddy over the stable relationship.

    @Mark S.:

    I bet the next neocon meme will be that we must get out of NATO: What have those Europussies ever done for us?

    I’m half sure the Pauls are right on it, the other half sure that they’re looking to placate their Stormfronters and playing coy (for a Republican) on the issue.

  61. 61
    MattR says:

    @LD50:
    @tavella: Took me a while but I just realized that was a Word Press italics error and that was all part of whatever it was that he was quoting.

    @maus: It is sad that Dave, et al don’t realize that many of the criticisms of Israel are the result of people wanting to see Israel “succeed” and realize that their actions are counterproductive. But he is too busy reflexively calling us anti-Semites or Nazis to figure that out.

  62. 62
    Calouste says:

    @MattR:

    “Quoting”. Without a link or at least attribution it is “quoting”, not quoting.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dave:

    If that blockade is seen to be breachable, tomorrow morning we will have dozens of Karin A style ships bringing state of the art arms from Iran to our southern border as well as our northern one.

    So the reason why the Israelis did not take the much more rational (and perfectly legal) action of waiting for the convoy to enter territorial waters, surrounding them with naval ships, and escorting them to the port that they wanted them to go to was … wanting to show that they’re, like, totally tough guys who aren’t going to take the safe action when they can rappel in and kill people.

    In other words, dick-waving.

    Here’s a hint, Dave — constantly trying to prove how rough and tough and manly you are actually sends the opposite message and makes people realize that you’re actually weak and insecure. That’s exactly what Israel managed to do with this little maneuver — show how weak and insecure they really feel. Heckuva job, Bibi!

  64. 64
    joe from Lowell says:

    Dave, you sick bastard, don’t try to play the victim here.

    All of the dead – every single goddam one of them – were gunned down by the IDF. There are zero dead soldiers, and at least ten, possibly climbing, dead protesters.

    Protesters who were defending themselves after the people who SHOT AT THEM launched an airborne invasion of their ship.

  65. 65
    joe from Lowell says:

    So the reason why the Israelis did not take the much more rational (and perfectly legal) action of waiting for the convoy to enter territorial waters, surrounding them with naval ships, and escorting them to the port that they wanted them to go to was … wanting to show that they’re, like, totally tough guys who aren’t going to take the safe action when they can rappel in and kill people.

    Which, btw, is a PR move.

  66. 66
    BDeevDad says:

    Here’s an actual Israeli perspective, for those interested. I’ve been avoiding this because I realize I do have some blinders on wrt Israel, but I don’t think there was any way this could have gone Israel’s way. Basically, they either let them go or they don’t and either way, it’s a losing proposition.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    It is sad that Dave, et al don’t realize that many of the criticisms of Israel are the result of people wanting to see Israel “succeed” and realize that their actions are counterproductive. But he is too busy reflexively calling us anti-Semites or Nazis to figure that out.

    It’s like trying to tell your alcoholic friend that the reason they crashed their car into that tree is that they drink too goddamned much and having them stop talking to you because they know better than you do how much they can drink.

  68. 68
    Peter J says:

    Wolff said the United States expects “a credible and transparent investigation and strongly urges the Israeli government to investigate the incident fully.”

    Activists being released have told the press that they had to give up their mobile phones, cameras and laptops.

    Ships full of activists carrying these items, most likely also using them to record what actually happened.

    What’s the chance that these will ever be returned? Or that video and photos in them will ever be made public?

    Credible. Transparent. Fully. Investigation.

    I got a bridge to sell anyone who believes that.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BDeevDad:

    Basically, they either let them go or they don’t and either way, it’s a losing proposition.

    I think they could have stopped them in a much more rational — and perfectly legal — way, but unfortunately it was more important to the IDF that they try to stop the convoy in a spectacular nighttime raid than to try to stop it in a way that would be safe for everyone.

    Which is why my first instinct in this conflict is always to knock both sides’ heads together and shout, “Will you please act like adults for one goddamned minute?”

  70. 70
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Ben:

    We need a Nixon-goes-to-China moment here. We need someone who is absolutely unassailable on Isreal-friendly policy to stand up and say that this shit is categorically wrong, tantamount to piracy, or whatever other strong words are appropriate.

    That would necessitate having a serious polity that would be able to think critically.

    This is the age of non stop CULTURE WAR where even observant Jews are castigated as self hating, Nazi fellating surrender monkeys for even a hint of critisizing Israel.

    No such person now exists, and the more cynically minded members of the Bibi government know that they have willing idiots like Pastor John Hagee who will go to the mat and bring their evangelical congregations with them at command.

  71. 71
    Mark S. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    wanting to show that they’re, like, totally tough guys who aren’t going to take the safe action when they can rappel in and kill people.

    That’s what I don’t understand. It sounds a helluva lot more dangerous to board a ship like that than, well, pretty much any other fucking way of doing it.

  72. 72
    BDeevDad says:

    @Mnemosyne: I agree to a point. However, if there were folks looking for a confrontation with the Israelis, was there a peaceful way it could be done. I’ve never been in the military, so I don’t know. However, I do believe, soldiers probably prefer the element of surprise when going into an unknown situation. I’ll tell you why they did not want to board the boat in an Israeli port is because they did not know what was on board and did not want to take that risk.

  73. 73
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Geeno:

    The optics of German soldiers shooting at Israeli soldiers would be priceless in a horrifying sort of way.

    It would never happen, although Israel is not exactly covered in glory in the German press, I suspect.

    I can’t think of too many things that would actually get the Greeks to side with the Turks, though…and this may be it.

  74. 74
    Bill Murray says:

    @Mark S.: I hear the Warsaw pact could use some new members or maybe the Delian League

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BDeevDad:

    On Juan Cole’s blog, it looks like the reason that only one ship resisted is that that was the only ship where the IDF decided to go all in with tear gas and laying down a suppressing fire. Once you start shooting people, they are going to resist, like it or not. Why the IDF was surprised that the passengers attacked their commandos after they shot those passengers with tear gas (and possibly live ammunition, it’s not totally clear) is very strange to me.

    They changed their tactics on the other ships and, surprise surprise, did not get the same kind of violent resistance. So claiming that there was clearly something criminal going on because one ship resisted after being fired upon is a major stretch.

    All the Israelis had to do was wait until the ships crossed into territorial waters and a whole lot of this could have been avoided. We’re not arguing about whether or not the Israelis should have stopped the convoy at all — we’re pointing out that the method that they chose was by far the riskiest and most counterproductive to what they claimed they wanted to do.

  76. 76
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Don’t let them get away with that “Karin A” bullshit. It’s not about self defense, the blockade is a strategy to punish the people of Gaza until they unelect Hamas. It’s called policy of “no prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis.”.

    There is an amount of truth in the fact that no one in Gaza starves to death, but Israel bans not rockets but spices to cook with, chocolate, french fries, etc… They ban notebooks, toys, all things that rather obviously don’t have anything to do with making weapons but they are going to punish their captive population by not letting them have normal things.

    They also ban all *exports* which also doesn’t seem to be a self-defense move and it’s shut down 95% of the factories in Gaza.

  77. 77
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I heard of one soldier who was hit on the head so hard with an axe that his helmet split in two and his skull fractured. Another was stabbed in the stomach with a knife or dagger of 30/40 cms length. The weapon came out on the other side of his body.

    Also, there were babies in incubators and the Palestinians were totally taking them out and leaving them on the ground to die! And I heard that this one guy woke up in a bathtub full of ice with an incision on his side! Oh my God! It’s coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!

  78. 78
    Terrell says:

    @Dave:

    Please re-read your posting. You are attempting to defend the indefensible. How would you react if Iran tried to do what Israel did?

    The US, with my hard-earned tax money, has given Israel billions. Earlier today I contacted all my three representatives in Congress and voiced my strong opposition for any more aid to Israel. They don’t use it wisely and we sure as hell need the money here in the US.

  79. 79
    Mike G says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    the method that they chose was by far the riskiest and most counterproductive to what they claimed they wanted to do.

    We are talking about neocons, after all. Bone-stupid, arrogant and belligerent is default mode for these assholes.

  80. 80
    maus says:

    @BDeevDad: From the linked post.

    Were there tragic outcomes? Obviously. But “misguided”? Gaza is under the malicious and cynical rule of a terror organization sworn on Israel’s destruction, that is holding an Israeli soldier captive in contravention of all international treaties, and that oppresses its own population while even Palestinian witnesses there acknowledge that there is no food shortage. Given Hamas’ military objectives, Israel would be crazy not to check what’s going in. But Israel had already pledged to pass on any humanitarian goods after they were inspected, and told the boats the same thing.

    They just wanted to break the blockade. Why? For food? Even a few Palestinian journalists with some guts are reporting that there’s no humanitarian food crisis in Gaza. No, it wasn’t about food. They want the blockade broken so that after that, non-humanitarian items (read weapons) could brought in. Why should Israel allow that?

    Sigh. Dehumanize “the enemy”, justify every action in the name of their constructed image without exception.

    Kneejerk, simplistic, emotional pleas that lack any compassion whatsoever.

  81. 81
    El Cid says:

    @FlipYrWhig: My favorite of the day.

  82. 82

    @Konrad: Since they organized the IHH and provisioned several of the ships, that is a safe bet.

    And now they’re SHOCKED.

    @Paula: One could always the fault the provokers…

  83. 83

    @Paula: One could always the fault the provokers….

  84. 84

    @Mnemosyne: Yup. They should have allowed the ships to dock, taken everyone into custody, offloaded the cargo in Ashod, then taken the ships out to recreational scuba depth and scuttled them.

    I love a good recreational wreck dive.

  85. 85
    Ecks says:

    David Frum wrote a column accusing the left of hypocrisy because that “aid” is really war materials, in that it contained cement, which can be used for building bunkers.

    This has me deeply concerned. What if other of America’s enemies like Iran or China start getting a hold of cement? What if terrorists get their hands on the stuff? Think about 9/11, except with cement! We might never be safe again!!!!!1!!

    We must immediately start a policy of strategically denying cement to other countries, and I want our secret military warehouses under those mountains filled with cement stat! Or else the president is a pansy!!!!1!!HunertAnEleven!!! Why must Washington be run by weak kneed democrats at this vital juncture in history! World war 2!!!!

    [note: there are a lot more exclamation marks in this post, but wordpress doesn’t show anymore than 1 at a time, because it tries coding it at bold tags or something. FYWP! (with many exclamation marks that won’t be shown)]

  86. 86
    KXB says:

    @Ecks:

    You realize that the biggest cement producer in the world is Cemex, based in Mexico? Is Mexico aiding terrorists while distracting us with images of babes on “Caliente”?

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Ecks says:

    @KXB: Build a fence! Out of cement!

    No wait, then they’ll steal it, those crafty Mexicans, and then we’ll wake up to a car full of cement in time square and it will be too late.

    We’re all going to diiiiieeeeeeeee!

  89. 89
    matoko_chan says:

    Ha’aretz headlines

    “The price of flawed policy”
    “Operation Mini Cast Lead”
    “Fiasco on the High Seas”
    “Seven idiots in the cabinet”
    “A failure any way you slice it”

    Perhaps Obama is just willing to give Israel a chance to be the democracy it claims it is.

    @Mark S.: nah….here’s the next conservative meme….
    Let’s Open a Third Front in the War on Terror Islam with Turkey
    –courtesy of that idiot Continetti and the Weaksauce Standard.
    praps we can make Turkey into the new Iran….after all, they are definitely moving away from 90 years of Kemalist occidentalism– but the Turks are far more subtle and clever than that crude assclown ‘Nejad and the Supreme Tyrant Khamenei.

    The most ominous aspect of the flotilla incident is Turkey’s involvement. The flotilla bound for Gaza, in violation of the blockade, was allowed to leave a Turkish port. The main sponsor was a Turkish charity known for ties to jihadist groups. The Turkish diplomatic and governmental apparatus sprung into action at the first sign of trouble — which of course there was, since the “peace activists” onboard the flotilla were masked and armed with lead pipes and knives.
    Why is this troubling? Because Turkey is a member of NATO. It’s sought to join the European Union for years. For decades, it’s been a key military ally of the United States. Now it’s at the forefront of a global movement to delegitimize America’s ally Israel.
    The main factor behind these developments is the rise of Recip Tayipp Erdogan’s AKP. Some years ago, Christopher Caldwell pointed out in our pages that as Turkey democratized, it would also become more Islamic. And that means certain elements, influential elements, of its government and society would become more Islamist. The trend that few have noticed is that these elements are pulling Turkey out of the Western alliance structure and toward the Middle East. The break began in 2003 when the Turks denied the U.S. Fourth Infantry the ability to invade Iraq from the north.

    Bad Turks! Meanies!
    Wouldn’t let Bush start his war on al-Islam through their country!
    i wonder why?

    the CIA World factbook states that 99.8% of Turkey’s population are nominally Muslims.

  90. 90
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mike in NC:

    We’re taking a cruise down the Danube starting next week. Maybe it’s not too late to sew a Canadian flag on my jacket, like people did in the ’60s ever since 2003.

    Fix’d.

  91. 91
    Htpnos says:

    God forbid something gets through the blockade that allows Hamas to build some more Qassam rockets.

    I mean, those things kill people. Mostly those who fire them, but some Israelis too. Like, 20, in 10 years. That’s less than those killed by firecrackers on New Years Eve.

    But I understand that the blockade has to be inviolable. You don’t want things to be able to get in or out of your concentration camp, otherwise, what kind of concentration camp it would be?

  92. 92
    JR says:

    If you want some great hackery on Israel, you can’t do better than David Bernstein over at Volokh. If the IDF were caught on tape raping a litter of kittens, he’d have a post up within the hour saying the cats were asking for it and that Hamas wouldn’t have been so gentle.

  93. 93
    Bulworth says:

    With the entire rest of the world in full throated outrage over the terrorist ambush

    Wow. By “entire rest of the world” I assume he must mean the office of the National Review and the studios of Faux News.

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