The Spin Is In

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Just watched Barney Frank’s embarrassing performance on Hardball tonight (scroll to 9:15 unless you can handle 9 minutes of Mrs. Alan Greenspan), and it is quite clear the spin is in for the flotilla mess, and it is all hands on deck to cover Israel’s ass. We are told we must remember this is the “Egyptian/Israeli” blockade, and then this absolute gem:

Frank: By the way, I don’t remember quite so much worldwide outrage when the North Koreans sank a South Korean submarine and 46 people were killed. There are people much more upset about Israel in a much more ambiguous situation…

Let’s take a moment to unpack that, shall we? First, it was an “ambiguous situation.” No. It really wasn’t. The flotilla was no secret, as we were publicly told it was nothing more than a PR stunt, they knew who was on it, they followed it for days, and then they decided to go cowboy and assault a Turkish flagged ship in the middle of international waters. A combination of a flawed mission and bungled execution of said mission then led directly to the deaths of nine civilians. There is absolutely nothing ambiguous about what happened. Ask the heads of every nation except the United States. Ask every member of the Security Council except the United States. There may be some ambiguity in the details regarding who shot first (my guess- the ones with the guns, and since the IDF is not flashing pictures of guns seized, that sort of narrows things down, doesn’t it…), but there is quite simply no ambiguity as to what happened in this overall situation. It is crystal clear.

Second, I just love the North Korea/hypocrisy angle (as Frank dutifully echoes Netanyahu’s hypocrisy charge), because this is PRECISELY the same sort of bullshit the neocons, the wingnuts, and the rest of the Bush administration apologists belched up for several years when we were caught torturing, degrading, and abusing prisoners and detainees- “Hey, why are you getting so worked up about waterboarding. Our enemies decapitate people!” Is Frank’s position now that anyone can kill as many people as they want to, as long as it does not go over the 46 killed in North Korea? Is that the new rule? Just like anything goes with prisoners- just so long as we don’t decapitate them? That was bullshit then, it is pure unadulterated bullshit now. We expect better of Israel than we do of North Korea, as we are repeatedly told they are the only democracy and bastion of decency in the entire Middle East.

And does Frank really want to compare Israel to North Korea? North Korea is a militant nuclear armed state that is indifferent to international law and routinely thumbs its nose at the international community, a nation who routinely acts in a belligerent manner, is led by an incompetent and warmongering lunatic, and….

Maybe Frank has a point.

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193 replies
  1. 1
    TR says:

    Yep, that’s a burn.

  2. 2
    Calouste says:

    Actually, the Mavi Marmara wasn’t Turkish flagged. It is apparently registered in the Comores, even though it had a large Turkish flag on the side. One of the other ships in the convoy was sailing under the Turkish flag though. Two of them are registered in Greece, one of them in Sweden and one in Kiribati.

    Does anyone know how this has gone down in Sweden? They seemed to have a fairly large involvement in this convoy as well.

  3. 3
    Ed Marshall says:

    That asshole. He was onboard earlier today saying he was ashamed of the incident. It makes you wonder if he got a phone call from a donor telling him what they thought of that.

  4. 4
    maye says:

    We expect better of Israel than we do of North Korea.

    We do? Since when? Bibi, et. al., have been at this for a while.

  5. 5
    Chuchundra says:

    I’ll post this again, in case you missed it on the other thread.

    Q&A: Is Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza legal? (Reuters)

    CAN ISRAEL IMPOSE A NAVAL BLOCKADE ON GAZA
    Yes it can, according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law and codified in the 1909 Declaration of London. It was updated in 1994 in a legally recognized document called the “San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.”

    “On the basis that Hamas is the ruling entity of Gaza and Israel is in the midst of an armed struggle against that ruling entity, the blockade is legal,” said Philip Roche, partner in the shipping disputes and risk management team with law firm Norton Rose.

    Under the law of a blockade, intercepting a vessel could apply globally so long as a ship is bound for a “belligerent” territory, legal experts say.

    “While the full facts need to emerge from a credible and transparent investigation, from what is known now, it appears that Israel acted within its legal rights,” said J. Peter Pham, a strategic adviser to U.S. and European governments.

    San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994

    People who are saying that Israel clearly had no right to interdict the flotilla are simply talking out of their ass.

    Whether the interdiction was wise, prudent or moral is another thing altogether.

  6. 6
    someguy says:

    I’ve got to admit, I don’t support the two state solution any more. There has to be one state, and the Palestinians have to run it. You can’t trust a country to these people… they’re nearly as incompetent as Republicans. If that makes me an eliminationist, so be it…

    You’re doing a heckuva job, Bibi…

  7. 7
    Mark S. says:

    I think it’s time we renamed turkeys “freedom birds” to show our solidarity with Israel.

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    I’m sure if Iran had stormed an international aid vessel carrying humanitarian supplies to some group Iran was blockading, we’d be praising them for amazing restraint in only shooting a few of the aid boat passengers instead of having shot them all.

    Remember, in international affairs especially, for the U.S. political and media establishment, it isn’t what you do, but who you are. That said, whatever Israel does, it was either fully justified or a sad mix-up which they hope to improve next time.

    That said, Israel could have napalmed a ship full of infants and killed every last one on board and U.S. politicians and media whores would be praising their imminent need to defend themselves from these diaper-using terrorists.

  9. 9
    The Dangerman says:

    We expect better of Israel than we do of North Korea.

    Not quite right. NK has nothing to do with it.

    We expect better of Israel because:

    a) We send them a big fucking check every year;

    and

    b) We get killed by people that have legitimate grievances against that State because we send them a big fucking check every year.

  10. 10
    Calouste says:

    Frank is of course pulling stuff out of his arse there.

    First, it wasn’t a South Korean submarine, it was a South Korean surface vessel sunk by a North Korean submarine.

    Second, when the South Korean ship sank, there was no evidence (although of course there was a suspicion) at first that North Korea was the culprit. It took more than a month to lift the wreck and examine the evidence. Outrage tends to cool down a bit over a month.

    Third, North Korea has denied being involved as opposed to Israel bragging about their involvement.

  11. 11
    Svensker says:

    @The Dangerman:

    What you said.

  12. 12
    JMG says:

    The whole point of this incident, from Israel’s side, is to demonstrate to the world that there is nothing they can do that the U.S. will not support, that we are their prison bitch and always will be.
    When the next 9/11 happens, that’s why.

  13. 13
    Sapient says:

    It’s really important for every single person who feels this way to write to their Congresspeople (all of them) and make their views known. The only way to counter AIPAC is to make it clear that people are paying attention and do not buy this crap anymore. Israel has a right to exist only insofar as the government takes care of its people within its borders. This Gaza blockade has to stop.

  14. 14
    Martin says:

    Oh, this will go well. Couldn’t work in gay marriage and the public option, John?

  15. 15
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    That asshole. He was onboard earlier today saying he was ashamed of the incident. It makes you wonder if he got a phone call from a donor telling him what they thought of that.

    I’m fairly certian that phone call contained the words “self-hating” in it somewhere.

  16. 16
    freelancer says:

    via LGM, everything is excusable.

    4. Ok, we did it but it wasn’t that bad (“waterboarding isn’t really torture, you know”).

    5. Well, maybe it was pretty bad but it was justified or necessary. (We only torture terrorists, or suspected terrorists, or people who might know a terrorist…”)

    6. What we did was really quite restrained, when you consider how powerful we really are. I mean, we could have done something even worse.

    7. Besides, what we did was technically legal under some interpretations of international law (or at least as our lawyers interpret the law as it applies to us.)

    8. Don’t forget: the other side is much worse. In fact, they’re evil. Really.

  17. 17
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Ooooooo see, it’s entirely legal for Israel to fucking murder people on the high seas, it’s in the law books and everything!

    Thank god we have those laws on the books. Maybe the next time I wanna kill someone just for kicks I’ll declare war and blockade their house and then kill them as they drive down the fucking freeway.

    Then again, as an American citizen who watched in horror as his country’s elected officials declared it legal for George Bush to order the fucking invasion of a nation that was never and never would be a threat to ours it’s awfully fucking hard to claim the moral molehill after more than 50 years of treating the Middle East as our personal bitch.

    We’ve been fucking over countries in that area since before a drop of oil was pumped, all because some fucking clowns believe that iron age nomads had the key to the universe. Add the oil and you have this modern clusterfuck of corporate greed, internecine hate and sectarian warfare.

  18. 18
    John Cole says:

    @Chuchundra: If they had disabled the engines on every ship and towed them to shore, repatriated the civilians, no one would have flinched.

    Even more stupidly, had they done that, folks like me wouldn’t have paid much attention to the blockade. But their decision to rambo up the joint and kill a bunch of people has folks sniffing around the arbitrary list of goods and realizing what the blockade is- not an attempt to keep out weapons, but an attempt to punish everyone in Gaza.

  19. 19
    Calouste says:

    @Chuchundra:

    I’ll copy Ed Marshall’s response from the same thread:

    Read a little further in your body of law:

    102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:

    (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
    (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

    103. If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:

    (a) the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
    (b) the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    104. The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of armed forces, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted.

    That’s not quite so cut and dry is it? It’s the position of nearly the entire world (outside Israel and the U.S) that the blockade is itself illegal for that reason.

  20. 20
    salacious crumb says:

    This is exactly why Hillary never got the Democratic nomination. She was surrounded by nauseous cretins like Barney Frank and Ann Lewis (his sister) who basically made protecting Israel against any criticism the cornerstone of their foreign policy thinking. Imagine for a moment Hillary being President. She would have found a way to link the Turkish ship to Iran and then would have proceeded to ask Congress to wage war with Iran right before the next reelection.

  21. 21
    dadanarchist says:

    The other truly depressing thing is the total unwillingness of the United States to protect its own citizens when they run afoul of Israel.

    Look what just happened to Emily Henochowicz – she lost her fucking eye because a policemen fired a tear gas canister directly at her face (eyewitness reports said she was struck by two other canisters fired directly at her before the head shot). Rachel Corrie, Tristan Anderson, Brian Avery, the crew of the USS Liberty, the 11 Americans on the aid convoy…

    Only Corrie’s congressman, Brian Baird, has gotten religion on this issue, but of course he is ignored and headed for retirement.

    They all remember what happened to Paul Findley.

  22. 22
    El Cid says:

    @Chuchundra: Right. And there are also international law speshullists who cite this as a bunch of horse-shit on Israeli fluffers’ parts, but then, it doesn’t matter, because international law only ever applies in whatever way the powerful want to enforce it.

    For example, Hamas is now in command of a belligerent state? Has this belligerent status been recognized? Just who has “recognized” the Israeli blockade of Gaza? Which international authority? You mean, Gaza is now not being administered and controlled by Israeli authorities? It is both a non-state utterly controlled by Israel and continually invaded and devastated, and also a state with a belligerent status?

    The notion that there’s some legal consensus that pointing to “the San Remo manual” proves that Israel had legal justification to board a ship in international waters carrying humanitarian aid through an illegal and internationally unrecognized ‘blockade’ is just flat absurd.

    I’d really like to see anyone claiming that this interpretation of international law applies to any other, non-U.S.-allied states operating on the high seas.

  23. 23
    Tsulagi says:

    @Chuchundra:

    One little thing is the San Remo Manual is a document, not a treaty with signatories. It is not binding with the standing or weight of international maritime law. It was intended to condense hundreds of years and treaties governing conflicts at sea into a simple manual. Sort of a “What’s okay when shit happens at sea for Dummies” book.

    Rather than pointing to the San Remo Manual condensed interpretation, Israel might want to consider citing which specific treaties or recognized international law gave it authority for the armed boarding and seizure of foreign flagged merchant vessels in international water.

  24. 24
    Malaclypse says:

    Frank: By the way, I don’t remember quite so much worldwide outrage when the North Koreans sank a South Korean submarine and 46 people were killed.

    Not to defend North Korea, but military subs are, well, military targets in a way that civilian convoys are not.

  25. 25
    jwb says:

    @Calouste: Not to mention which most everyone didn’t throw a fit over North Korea because most everyone is agreed that the leadership is insane. I mean does Frank think that everyone, even China, is ok with North Korea sinking that ship? So is that what Frank wants? No one to throw a fit over Israel because everyone is agreed that its leadership is insane? I wonder if Frank understands how damning his analogy is.

  26. 26
    Xenos says:

    @Chuchundra:

    People who are saying that Israel clearly had no right to interdict the flotilla are simply talking out of their ass.

    Hold it, cowboy. There is a whole package of conditions and limitations to international blockades, such as the requirement that it involve two different belligerent states. I guess we should be glad that Israel has indirectly recognized Gaza as a sovereign, if belligerent, nation.

    So if the blockade is legal, stopping and inspecting ships is OK, but diverting all trade is not. Non arms shipments can not be stopped or attacked. Remember the Lusitania?

    What Israel is doing is clearly illegal under the San Remo laws. It is designating an isolated rebellious population and using a blockade to enact collective punishment.

    Adding to the irony here is that W. and Condi, with the cooperation of Israel, sponsored the elections that legitimized Hamas control. You might not be foolish for wondering that this sort of 1.5 million person concentration camp was the whole idea all along.

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    Who recognized the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which is not even a nation, and under what international authority?

  28. 28
    Slowbama says:

    You are missing the lede here. What is significant this time around is that there is serious pushback in the U.S. media against this tired old propaganda. Witness the Greenwald v. Spitzer ‘no mas’ rout on MSNBC yesterday. Frankly I never thought I’d live to see the day.

  29. 29
    El Cid says:

    The Reaganites claimed that the reason the U.S. had the authority to fund belligerent groups to overthrow the government of Nicaragua by attacking civilians was “self-defense”, so, of course it was legal.

  30. 30
    someguy says:

    John really needs to address the latest lies about how many of the peace activists on the ship were actually Al Qaida and Muslim Brotherhood members. I’m thinking that they’re taking a page from Bush and shouting “Look – Brown Peepul Terrawrists” and hoping to get the same pass he did.

  31. 31
    robertdsc says:

    I got nothing except disgust at our goverment covering for Israeli apartheid and war crimes.

  32. 32
    Rick Taylor says:

    I’ll post this again, in case you missed it on the other thread.

    __
    I oppose the blockade, and question it’s legality. But setting that aside, Israel conducted a blockade for years, even interdicting ships, and there was scarcely a peep from the world community. It’s the whole, raiding the ship at night and killing people that has everyone so upset.

  33. 33
    me says:

    @Chuchundra: This isn’t cut and dried. There was a international law professor on the News Hour who said he thought the blockade is illegal.

  34. 34
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    He represents Brookline which is about 35% Jewish IIRC, so I would be surprised if he didn’t get some angry calls today.

  35. 35
    freelancer says:

    @Mark S.:

    I think it’s time we renamed turkeys “freedom birds” to show our solidarity with Israel.

    That might be the funniest thing I read all week, and I think part of it is that it took about 10 full seconds for me to get it.

  36. 36
    joe from Lowell says:

    Look how the right covers Barney Frank’s reaction to the raid.

    This country’s political reporting is weird.

  37. 37
    Mark S. says:

    Gaza is like Schrodinger’s cat: sometimes it’s a sovereign nation, sometimes not, depending on which international law Israel is trying to flout.

  38. 38
    burnspbesq says:

    @John Cole:

    Even more stupidly, had they done that, folks like me wouldn’t have paid much attention to the blockade. But their decision to rambo up the joint and kill a bunch of people has folks sniffing around the arbitrary list of goods and realizing what the blockade is- not an attempt to keep out weapons, but an attempt to punish everyone in Gaza.

    This, almost. You’re right about the effect of the attack. But I don’t think this is Israeli stupidity. No one can be that stupid and still qualify as sentient. This is Israel flipping off the entire civilized world.

    And the next aid flotilla is likely to be escorted by Turkish warships (and air cover if the coast of Israel is within the operating radius of Turkey’s fighter aircraft) with rules of engagement that won’t be the least bit ambiguous. This whole fiasco started badly, and it’s going to get much, much worse.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    matoko_chan says:

    Look Cole.
    The unstated goal of the flotilla was to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
    The unstated goal of the Israelis was to break up the budding US/Turkey relationship.
    Both sides succeded.
    Israel is more and more like that crazy ex-gf the US can’t seem to let down easy.
    I wondered why Obama was so politic in his non-condemnation, even to angering our vastly more important regional ally, Turkey.
    I think if Israel senses impending American disengagement…..they will nuke a uranium enrichment site in Iran. They do care quite a bit about what American jews think. And American jews are pretty divergent and there is a lot of questioning of Israeli policy. An emerging trend.
    So Israel might go right from “you don’t love me any more” to “i’ll make you love me, or at least force you to defend me in a global thermonuclear war before its too late”.
    a perceptive comment on this thread.

    Doesn’t this incident make it more likely that Israel will go rogue on Iran? Humiliation, isolation, stupidity, volatility, genuine domestic fear and loathing, international gridlock, a ticking clock, and a feeling that “even my friends don’t understand me anymore.” Doesn’t this lead to Netanyahu et al. telling themselves that it’s now or never, both existentially (for Israel) and politically (for them)?

    if Obama had condemned them they might have launched already.

  41. 41
    Josh says:

    OH GOOD LORD!

    Thank you, Cole, for providing a modicum of sanity in this insane world.

    I just got back from a forum on the Yahoo! News site.

    My God. It’s like the place is always swarming with bigoted pricks.

    Seriously, one person commented that soon we’d find a gay gene and be able to identify if people would be gay before they’re born, and then we’d abort the fetuses to kill them all.

    And the majority of people on this forum agreed with him. Can you believe that? It makes me question the sanity of the human race.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    El Cid says:

    @someguy: Those U.S. Maryknoll nuns in El Salvador who were murdered by Reagan’s death squad buddies were also said to have brought about their own massacre because they must have been more or less flirting with the Communist insurgency what with their slutty dedication to civilians not being slaughtered.

    On 2 December 1980, a month after Reagan’s election, four Roman Catholic Maryknoll nuns, dedicated to assisting peasants in El Salvador, then ruled by a junta that had provoked a guerrilla insurgency, were murdered; independent investigations and a trial later proved that Salvadoran national guardsmen killed them on orders from above.
    __
    Two weeks after these targeted assassinations, Kirkpatrick, just named to the UN post, leapt to the defence of the junta. “I don’t think the government of El Salvador was responsible”, she declared. “The nuns were not just nuns; the nuns were political activists.”

    They brought it on themselves. Clearly. El Salvadoran authorities practiced judicious restraint in only killing those Maryknoll nuns there — when maybe they could have traveled to other nations to assassinate the rest of them.

  44. 44
    ManintentSquare says:

    If you want the truth, via the larger context, than watch the following:

    Youtube link.

    The IDF started shooting and killing long before they boarded.

    Watch what happened before they boarded, and you’ll understand why the passengers reacted the way they did.

    Keep in mind- this was a live satellite feed.

    They’re talking about the injuries and deaths on camera, and you can clearly hear the gun shots coming from the IDF, long before they come down via helicopter at 5:50.

    There’s a wounded guy being carried right at the opening of the video, blood at 0:03, gun shots at 0:10. And keep in mind- even Israel says these passengers didn’t have guns. It’s the IDF firing those guns.

  45. 45
    Rick Taylor says:

    Reading the article linked above, Barney Franks comments don’t seem as bad as you implied.
    __

    U.S. Rep. Barney Frank had harsh words yesterday for the Israeli Navy after a bloody raid on a pro-Palestinian flotilla outside of Gaza, describing nine activists killed in the conflict as “innocent” and calling for an independent inquiry into the showdown.
    __
    Frank, in a wide-ranging interview with the Herald, went on to say that “as a Jew,” Israeli treatment of Arabs around some of the West Bank settlements “makes me ashamed that there would be Jews that would engage in that kind of victimization of a minority.”

    __
    Of course the first instinct of politicians is going to be to defend Israel; I find it hopeful he’s at least calling for an independent inquiry. Baby steps.

  46. 46
    toujoursdan says:

    @Chuchundra:

    Ummm… no. Did you even bother to read the link you posted? It completely refutes the Reuters article (as did some of the commenters.)

    102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:
     
    (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
    (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.
     
    103. If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies

    Second of all, Israel and Gaza are not in a state of war. There is no military conflict between them.

  47. 47

    @dadanarchist: Actually, Findley isn’t alone. The guy that Artur Davis replaced in AL-07 had the same thing happen to him. The guy voted against some “rally around the Israeli flag” resolution Congress passed and so he was primaried next time(for the 2nd time) by Davis. And Davis had a last minute, sudden surge of out of state campaign contributions.

  48. 48
    me says:

    Olbermann is probably gonna get it for this.

  49. 49
    soonergrunt says:

    @John Cole

    And does Frank really want to compare Israel to North Korea? North Korea is a militant nuclear armed state that is indifferent to international law and routinely thumbs its nose at the international community, a nation who routinely acts in a belligerent manner, is led by an incompetent and warmongering lunatic, and….

    Maybe Frank has a point.

    You win the internets tonight.

  50. 50
    joe from Lowell says:

    +1 to El Cid for the Salvadoran comparison.

    Outstanding – and an all-too-often forgotten story.

    God bless Joe Moakley and Jim McGovern.

  51. 51
    jwb says:

    @matoko_chan: I wonder if Israeli planes could get to Iran if Turkey and the US didn’t want them to.

  52. 52
    mclaren says:

    Disgusting. Appalling.

    American pols should be ashamed of themselves for supporting Israel’s unsupportable piracy and murders, and the Israelis should be shocked and appalled at their own behavior. (To their credit, Haaretz is hammering hard at the Israeli governmentm, calling the entire cabinet idiots and fools, but that’s just not enough as long as the Israeli government continues to try to defend this indefensible atrocity.)

  53. 53
    freelancer says:

    @Josh:

    Seriously, one person commented that soon we’d find a gay gene and be able to identify if people would be gay before they’re born, and then we’d abort the fetuses to kill them all.
    And the majority of people on this forum agreed with him.

    Nothing you won’t find on a pro-life internet forum.

  54. 54
    MikeJ says:

    Pirates walk the plank. Plank the next fucker who helos in.

  55. 55
    mr. whipple says:

    Another bummer:

    Jim Joyce blows call and ruins Armando Galarraga’s perfect game.

    With 2 out in the 9th. Ouch!

  56. 56
    El Cid says:

    @joe from Lowell: When Reagan’s Contra terrorist buddies murdered American engineer Ben Linder while he attempted to help build a hydro-electric dam project (along with assisting children’s vaccination campaigns, etc.) by a grenade and a direct close range shot to the head, Reaganites knew what to focus on.

    During the Iran-Contra hearings, themselves tepidly inscribed and in the end horribly censored to achieve a ‘bipartisan’ result, we had this beautiful display of always blaming the victims and calling their relatives and allies into question:

    In May 1987, a Congressional hearing turned into a sordid display as contra apologists on the House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee made personal attacks on Linder’s family and other witnesses who came to testify in support of Linder and his work. The Village Voice reported one exchange between Ben’s mother Elizabeth, who had just given moving testimony to her son’s work and motivations, and rightist Republican Rep. Connie Mack of Florida.
    __
    Said Mack: “I guess what really has me upset is that I just cannot understand how you can use grief that I know you feel, use it to politicize this situation. Or to allow yourself to be used to politicize this situation… I guess the reason I find this so difficult is that I don’t want to be tough on you, but I really feel you have asked for it.”
    __
    Over the visible gasps and hissing from the audience, Linder responded, “That was about the most cruel thing you could have said” (Village Voice, May 26, 1987).

  57. 57
    Chris says:

    I’m no fan of Israel on this but I think people may be misreading what Barney Frank (possibly at the direction of the Administration) could be doing.

    Frank said this morning that there should be an international investigation — while Israel is saying, “We’ll do our own.” That’s where the US has decided to try to move Israel — on the investigation. As per Haaretz, the Administration went to the Israelis and proposed that there be an investigation by Israel with an “observer” from the US, arguing that Israel has little credibility and that a credible investigation is essential.

    Seems to me that Frank is saying, “Hold off on conclusions” (that’s why he said there was “equivocation” on the role of N. Korea in the ship sinking) — because Israel’s argument against an international investigation is, “Everyone has already decided we’re guilty. The results of an international investigation are already predetermined.” A real investigation would also keep the thing in the discourse, rather than just this old process of outrage, US protecting Israel, more outrage, on to the next catastrophe. Also, if we want Israel to start acting like a responsible member of the club, we have to give them process — concluding what is legal or illegal or acceptable or unacceptable here on the basis of 30 second video clips, wild claims about what or who was on the ships and guesses about the law of the sea is only helpful to people with agendas.

    This thing is horrible but also fascinating because it could go so many ways. Turkey is a real player and they are definitely able to exercise some leverage to move Israel.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    matoko_chan says:

    @jwb:

    I wonder if Israeli planes could get to Iran if Turkey and the US didn’t want them to.

    don’t need planes

  60. 60
    Neutron Flux says:

    @mclaren: Shortest post ever.

  61. 61
    Seebach says:

    @me: Y’know, people may resent Olbermann for his ego, but he deserves to have it, sometimes. Nobody else in the media does anything.

  62. 62
    burnspbesq says:

    If Turkey and Israel get into it for real, it could go nuclear. There are nukes at Incirlik, supposedly under NATO control, but somehow “allocated” to the Turkish Air Force. It’s less than 800 miles from Incirlik to Tel Aviv, and the TAF has tankers and AWACS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_Air_Force

  63. 63
    James in WA says:

    I don’t know how accurate this graphic via Sully is, or not, but if so, what a great example of how schizophrenic and paranoid the israelis have become: yeah, frozen meat is okay, but fresh meat? NO! And we all know the dangers of coriander. No wonder it’s on the banned list.

    However, I, for one, would like to know how they distinguish between “wood for construction” versus “wood for doors and windows.”

  64. 64
    matoko_chan says:

    @burnspbesq: it won’t be nukes on Turkey…..it will be nukes on Iran.
    In a way Obama is being held hostage to a crazy ex-girfriend (Israel).

    Israel: you dont love me anymore?
    i’ll MAKE you love me……or at least force you to defend me in a thermonuclear war while i still can.

  65. 65
    El Cid says:

    @Chris: I don’t want to so much focus on Frank but this notion that an international investigation would have the slightest meaning.

    The UN’s investigation of Israel’s murderous shelling of the UN Qana refugee camp in Lebanon resulting in the slaughter of over 100 people concluded that it only could have been an intentional attack. Israel rejected it, and there were no other consequences.

    The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict led by Judge Richard Goldstone found Israeli policymakers in the IDF guilty of crimes of war and perhaps crimes against humanity. Israel and the U.S. rejected it, and there were no consequences.

    There was once when an Israeli judicial commission investigated Israeli military assistance in helping their allies the Phalangists massacre hundreds of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon led to somewhat significant consequences (Ariel Sharon resigned as Defense Minister but stayed in the Cabinet), though at the time the Israeli public seemed to give a damn.

    Calls for an international investigation are fine, though they will lead to zero significant consequences — should any report conclude Israeli responsibility or wrongness, it will be rejected.

  66. 66
    burnspbesq says:

    @James in WA:

    I, for one, would like to know how they distinguish between “wood for construction” versus “wood for doors and windows.”

    The same way one distinguishes between condoms for birth control and condoms for disease protection.

  67. 67
    Michael Finn says:

    I was pro-flotilla (Anybody else keep thinking of Mass Effect when they read that word, I do but with a Quarian Accent) until I started to read about how they were bringing kids with them, a one year old. Who in the fuck brings a one year old with them to the middle of a stand off?

  68. 68
    Mark S. says:

    @Chris:

    As per Haaretz, the Administration went to the Israelis and proposed that there be an investigation by Israel with an “observer” from the US, arguing that Israel has little credibility and that a credible investigation is essential.

    Wow, that would be really credible. Should Joe Lieberman be the “observer,” or, if not a politician, Charles Krauthammer or Bill Kristol?

    There are 180 countries in the UN, and many of them don’t have an axe to grind.

  69. 69
    jwb says:

    @matoko_chan: Well, if they are going to nuke it, which is a bit more than take out an enrichment facility. I wonder if those subs are being shadowed by US ships.

  70. 70
    jayackroyd says:

    The one that got me was Little Tommy asking where was the outrage when the Iranian government cracked down on its protesting populace.

    Far as I could tell, the same people were outraged, for the same reasons.

  71. 71
    Joel says:

    @J.W. Hamner: Frank represents Brookline, Newton, all the way down to Fall River.

    Lot of jews of a strongly liberal bent from that region, myself included (no longer live there).

    However, a smattering of conservative/neocons and they have money to burn.

  72. 72
    jwb says:

    @burnspbesq: Someone implied on a thread last night that the Turks don’t have the activation codes for the nukes allocated to them. I have no idea whether that is true.

  73. 73
    burnspbesq says:

    @jwb:

    Someone implied on a thread last night that the Turks don’t have the activation codes for the nukes allocated to them. I have no idea whether that is true.

    Hopefully we won’t find out any time soon.

  74. 74
    matoko_chan says:

    @jwb: that is interesting.
    does the US have intercept capacity to take out a sub-launched missile?

  75. 75
    mr. whipple says:

    @freelancer:

    Saw the replay. Not even close. Even Cleveland fan feels like shit.

  76. 76
    burnspbesq says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Safer course of action, if you don’t want that sub-launched missile to reach its target, is to take out the sub as soon as it goes to launch depth. We absolutely have those capabilities.

  77. 77
    Boo says:

    Good on you Cole for taking this on and keeping it up front when many other ‘democratic’ blogs/sites are choosing to keep quiet.

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @ Mark S.

    I get it. I would prefer that it be really international — or better yet, just professional and with basis. Hillary said “international” yesterday but apparently for the purpose of saying, “US + Israel = (poof) International.” But, the US saying that an investigation is necessary is, in itself, a shift. And I would bet anything that Turkey okayed the US proposal and, if Turkey signs on, that’ll be meaningful. There were news reports that Palistinians in Gaza were out with signs saying, “We love you, Turkey.” One of the saddest parts of the Palistinian situation is, to me, that they never had a powerful big brother to really look out for them, push for them. They just get used and used by all these gross larger forces and they wither away, when what they’re asking for is so basic. Turkey wants to be the voice for them, for its own interest, but also, I think, just because it’s right.

    But, I’m an Obamabot so maybe I just want to see the rosy view.

  79. 79
    srv says:

    Wow, since bad comparisons are being made, you folks sure are upset with Mr. Frank.

    Wonder where all that anger was amongst Democrats when he was playing hoocoodonoode over the banking bust…

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    @mr. whipple: That ump deserves to be called before The Hague.

  81. 81
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone: Maybe we can send the ump to Cheney, who is clearly available for torture duty until BP caps the well in the Gulf and he can come out of hiding.

  82. 82
    keestadoll says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    yep, yes, and yeah.

  83. 83
    o kanis says:

    The Anglo media/political nomenklatura have the pleasant task of defending Israel’s concentration camp. Propaganda is not going to help this time, sorry. Nor appeals to the Holocaust™.

    Good luck with all that.

    Barney Frank? Did anyone within shouting distance of reality expect anything from him, AIPAC-on-the -un Obama? America has been bought and paid for, and the media is Zionist occupied territory.

    Yes, yes, I know, Anti Semitism™. Stuff it up your ying yang. Those days are over.

  84. 84
    Citizen_X says:

    I don’t remember quite so much worldwide outrage when the North Koreans sank a South Korean submarine and 46 people were killed.

    Well, I’m miffed, and I think we should stop sending North Korea those billions of dollars worth of aid and weapons every year!

  85. 85
    mr. whipple says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Because MLB doesn’t allow replay, even in very limited circumstances, the guy is gonna be a pariah.

  86. 86
    Fabian Forge says:

    International Law can be fun!

    For example – Israel attacks a Turkish ship in international waters. This is by definition an act of war by Israel against Turkey. Turkey is a member of NATO, a mutual defense pact requiring its members to come to the aid of other members when attacked. The US is a member of NATO.

    Thus, the US is now at war with Israel. QED.

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb: All I know is, that ump has balls from here to Sunday to make that call.
    I say we send him to Bagram to get some actionable intel from those dirty brown mofos.

    Which is to say – he has balls. I like balls.
    /Team America

  88. 88
    Chris says:

    @ El Cid

    Israel’s “we’re right and we don’t care what the world thinks” thing is infuriating. (As is so much about their government/views/whatever. Netanyahu apparently gave signals that he’s not inclined to agree to the US proposal. It’s just where you say, “What? What kind of ‘friend’ are you?)

    And, yes, they could take the position that they have in the past and reject any conclusions. But, in the past, there hasn’t been a NATO ally (Turkey) that the US needs for military purposes in the mix. (Plus Ireland. The Irish are PISSED.) And, even if Israel just continues its intransigence, that’s damaging to them as well. I mean, I just don’t understand how it’s beneficial to keep at where we are — Israel seems to be making up a lot of stuff here about what happened. And ambiguity about what happened is their best friend. They know that — which is why they are coy on nukes and on the assasination earlier this year. Why do you think they freak out about Goldstone? Because he concluded that they and Hamas committed war crimes! That stuff has effect which is why they are still trying to destroy him. There is a drip-drip-drip here and the only way Israel avoids it is total freedom from reality, which allows them to say, as they have, that the people in the flotilla were “terrorists.”

  89. 89
    The Dangerman says:

    @burnspbesq:

    We absolutely have those capabilities.

    Not only do we have those capabilities, it’s entirely possible that we’ve used them:

    A Little Cold War History

    According to that page, the sub sank because “during the launch sequence, the fail safe activated”. All I can say is “yeah, right”.

    Any boomer that goes to launch depth, let alone open the doors, is gonna get sunk.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @mr. whipple: I just don’t know how you make that call. Watching it realtime, and then shloemo.
    It’s ballsy to go there.

  91. 91
    Emma says:

    Michael Finn: because they replicated what the Israelis used to do to the Brits in the fifties. Did you ever see the movie Exodus? Supposedly based on a real event. The Zionists packed a ship with jewish escapees from a settlement camp, including women and children, and broke the British blockade with it.

    The people in the flotilla stole a scenario from the Israeli playbook and played it perfectly. The problem is, the British settled for being sane.

    BTW, is your wife’s name Mary?

  92. 92
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone: Got a link to the replay?

    I’m always on the side of the umps. Blown calls are part of the game. They’ll happen. It still sucks though.

  93. 93
    joe from Lowell says:

    Damn, El Cid.

    That’s the kind of thing that will stick in your mind 23 years later.

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: It may be just me, but I’m not entirely sure why we haven’t sunk every nuclear capable sub floating in any ocean.
    Are we, or are we not, Masters of Our Domain?

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: Mr. Whip has link to the article @ 55 where the Ump states he blew it.

    Blew it

    I’m watching Astros and they showed it a couple times between innings. Realtime speed and then slowmo.
    Realtime it looks clear he blew the call. Slowmo looks like he could’ve easily called that guy out and no one would’ve ever said shit about it.
    Calling him safe was bogus from a lot of different perspectives.

    ETA Plus, can you imagine 3 perfect games in one season? Freakin spooky

  96. 96
    Seebach says:

    @El Cid: How do you older people who were alive to see that kind of shit still able to believe in America? I think I’m going to turn in my card now.

  97. 97
    LanceThruster says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I concur. You get so used to gatekeeping and omissions elsewhere that you actually are taken by surprise when objective review takes place. It’s not a slant for my side I’m looking for, it’s starting with facts, incorporating new facts, and reaching conclusions based on established facts.

    I would probably think that I was experiencing some sort of delusion or hallucinatory episode if that started happeniong on a regular basis. Kind of a “Jacob’s Ladder” in reverse.

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    There is something really really fucking wrong with Word Press lately here. I had to edit my comment a couple times cuz I was afeared it twas breakin this old timey blog.

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    Nothing good ever came of James Joyce.

  100. 100
    Seebach says:

    @joe from Lowell: That shit is so cruel, I have no idea how anybody who witnessed it could still have faith in democracy.

  101. 101
    Ranger 3 says:

    No John, it’s anti-semitism… and very obvious anti-semitism.

    This is very much “To Kill a Mockingbird” territory. People around the world and on the left in the US immediately believe and are outraged by anything bad that a black man Israel is accused of doing, and then that act is painted in the worst possible light. This is prejudice.

    The reason for this particular form of prejudice is slightly complicated, but not difficult to grasp. People are flawed, even liberals with all their blessed sanctity. Since the left in the US has decided that the United States is an evil empire, and that they have a duty to side with brown people on every issue, that makes it inevitable that they will hate Israel. Because people are assholes, and invariably end up hating somebody. This fact is especially true of political activists, who are all at least a little unhinged.

    The rest of the world? Are you kidding? They are raging Jew haters and have been for centuries. Most American liberals have been useful idiots for the cause for decades, but inevitably are becoming full throated anti-Israel bigots as things continue to play out.

    There’s really nothing horrific to what Israel did. It was stupid and counter-productive, but so was the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound. That didn’t make it OK for those nuts to kill four ATF agents. The loons who were beating the IDF soldiers, who were within legal norms in boarding that ship, were begging for trouble and they got it. It was just a stupid fiasco from all angles.

    But the wonderful people now calling for the destruction of the State of Israel and the end of Jewish self-determination… that’s about as hateful as it gets. So it’s just bias and hate. And Frank was right to recognize that fact.

    Both the raid and the blockade were stupid ideas. Israel should reconsider this whole mess. But that’s not what this is about. It’s about hating Jews. Period.

  102. 102
    wmd says:

    @jwb:

    Israel has missiles capable of hitting Iran (and likely capable of hitting the US as well).

  103. 103
    Douglas says:

    Does anybody know who’s responsible for handing out the Axis Of Evil membership cards and Rogue State ™ Lapel Pins? Bibi’s getting cranky, cause apparently his havw gotten lost in the mail, and you don’t want to see what his next attempt at getting attention will be.

    @Malaclypse:
    It’s a pretty common outrage – how dare kill our soldiers in such an unfair fashion!
    The two most recent incidences that I remeber are the NK case (though it should be added that, last time I checked, there was doubt in SK whether this was really an attack or maybe an accident…) and the whole IED mess in Iraq.

    Which flies in the face of 1. military targets are legit targets in wars – indeed, the whole “legit/non-legit target” difference explicitely exists to limit attack to military targets, cause we decided that randomly killing civilians and torching cities was kinda not the way to go, and 2. …unfair?
    Short of killing troops that have surrendered and similar stuff (also commonly called war crimes), there’s no “unfair” way of killing – or rather, wars are always “unfair”.
    I mean, look at how we fight wars today – UAV-launched missiles, cruise missiles, air support, artillery… quite fair to the irregular infantry we’re fighting.
    Vietnam: airstrikes versus ambushes – again, neither is “fair”.
    WWII: artillery, bombers, snipers, submarines all around.
    Heck, Battle of Agincourt: knights getting massacred by archers without any chance to retaliate… unfair!

    Do these guys imagine that when a ground unit encounters an enemy, they first contact them, inform them of their intention to attack and what assets they will use, and inquire if the other side is up to it? Instead of, say, trying to ambush them and thus limit the danger to their own troops?

    None of this makes NK attack (if it indeed was one) anymore less a tragedy or stupid (it has a greater chance of starting a shooting war that involves nuke than Israel’s latest stupidity), of course.

  104. 104
    Douglas says:

    @Douglas:
    FYWP
    that should’ve read “It’s a pretty common outrage – how dare (x – who we’re at war with) kill our soldiers in such an unfair fashion!”

  105. 105
    MikeJ says:

    @Ranger 3: Everything is antisemitism. Disliking any action of the israeli government, liking bacon cheeseburgers, only giving one ovation at Fiddler, preferring smoked salmon to lox.

    Everything anybody does is proof that they want to open a concentration camp and murder people like Sharon did.

  106. 106
    AhabTRuler says:

    air cover if the coast of Israel is within the operating radius of Turkey’s fighter aircraft)

    They have in-flight refueling capabilities. Mostly F-16s and F4s. IIRC, largest Naval ship is a frigate.
    Actually, Israel and Turkey could maul each other nicely (by which I mean badly) in a shooting war. Strategically neither of them can afford any such engagement, but when passions have flared, anything is possible.

    Unfortunately, this is how realignment happens. Let’s all hope it doesn’t come to that.

  107. 107
    Seebach says:

    @Ranger 3: I sympathize with your motives in a way, but I honestly do not think you realize how bad a PR job you are doing. When you constantly tell people they are racists who want to commit genocide, it generally tends to alienate people. This is not a successful way to build support.

  108. 108
    John Cole says:

    People around the world and on the left in the US immediately believe and are outraged by anything bad that a black man Israel is accused of doing

    They aren’t “accused” of anything. They did it. Netanyhu was on tv today excusing what they did. They shipped the bodies of the dead to Turkey today. They are shipping home the rest of the civilians right now. There is video of them raiding the ship. They have released video of themselves raiding the ship.

    Jesus fucking christ.

  109. 109
    Seebach says:

    @Ranger 3: Also, you do realize that Israel is no longer the “black man” in that formulation. Now, it seems more like the rich, spoiled son from the plantation-owning family.

  110. 110
    Rick Taylor says:

    Oh come on John, we all know that if Iran were to board a ship in international waters and kill a bunch of civilians when they were resisted, everyone would blow it off, no one would give a damn. It’s only when Israel boards ships in international waters and kills civilians that people get outraged, because they’re anti-semitic. /sarcasm

  111. 111
    Violet says:

    @The Dangerman:
    This. I wouldn’t care as much about it if we didn’t send then a ton of money. And/or if people didn’t want to kill us because we sent them a ton of money.

  112. 112
    AhabTRuler says:

    And the NATO Nukes(TM) are not in the equation:

    In peace time, the nuclear weapons stored in non-nuclear countries are guarded by U.S. soldiers; the codes required for detonating them are under U.S. control. In case of war, the weapons are to be mounted on the participating countries’ warplanes. The weapons are under custody and control of USAF Munitions Support Squadrons co-located on NATO main operating bases who work together with the host nation forces

  113. 113
    Mike in NC says:

    Looks like our esteemed liberal news media is trying to craft a (black) Jimmy Carter-like meme about “America Held Hostage” over the BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil leak and/or the botched Israeli commando raid. The usual suspects from the Clinton and Bush administrations are all on speed dial. Also, too.

    Palin/Bachmann 2012!

  114. 114
    Ed Marshall says:

    Oh, what the hell, just straight up bullshitting and saying it was someone else coming out of the helicopters other than the IDF is sort of refreshing. I’m not sure what to make out of it when they keep showing me the movie they made as menacing as they could showing me what looks like the inside of a garden shed.

  115. 115
    Violet says:

    @Sapient:

    It’s really important for every single person who feels this way to write to their Congresspeople (all of them) and make their views known. The only way to counter AIPAC is to make it clear that people are paying attention and do not buy this crap anymore.

    I think I’m going to contact my representatives tomorrow and let them know how I feel. Not that it will do any good. But I feel so helpless and it’s about the only thing I think I can do.

  116. 116
    The Other Steve says:

    For all the complaining you do about Israel, you realize life is just as bad in Detroit under Kawme Kilpatrick?

  117. 117
    Ed Marshall says:

    @The Other Steve:

    Wha?

  118. 118
    mclaren says:

    @Neutron Flux:

    Wrong.

  119. 119
    Michael says:

    @Ranger 3:

    There’s really nothing horrific to what Israel did. It was stupid and counter-productive, but so was the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound. That didn’t make it OK for those nuts to kill four ATF agents

    Sadly, the flotilla folks didn’t seem to get to make some Israeli mamas wail like they seem to like to do.

    There does seem to be a difference.

  120. 120
    Nutella says:

    @John Cole:

    Since you said that, John, you must be an anti-semite per Ranger 3. But he says that “The rest of the world … are raging Jew haters and have been for centuries.” so you’ve got lots of company.

  121. 121
    maus says:

    @Ed Marshall: I think it’s a parody.

  122. 122
    GregB says:

    It is telling that the right to self-defense is never invoked on the side of Palestinians.

    Brown people need to disarm, submit and say yessuh and nosuh. Then everything will be OK.

  123. 123
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Nutella:

    Everyone is anti-semites except right-wing Israelis and people bitching about the Branch Davidians seventeen years after the fact.

  124. 124
    maus says:

    @Ranger 3:

    There’s really nothing horrific to what Israel did. It was stupid and counter-productive, but so was the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound. That didn’t make it OK for those nuts to kill four ATF agents.

    I’d say that it’s a fair comparison of going in with guns ablazin’, and how it turns out with abusive and wholly unnecessary fatalities.

    @Ed Marshall: Hey, some lefties think it was a fucked-up situation as well. I don’t see how it’s an exclusively partisan issue.

  125. 125
    eemom says:

    We can haz “We are all anti-Semites now” tag plz?

    I give up.

  126. 126
    wilfred says:

    Brown people need to disarm, submit and say yessuh and nosuh. Then everything will be OK.

    Correct. They also have to renounce violence; this while violence is forever made against them by people who want violence renounced. Run loop.

    It’s useful to remember that during slavery the one crime commmitted by a slave that merited immediate capital punishment was to strike the master.

    None of this is very fucking complicated: Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Israelis have absolute power over Palestinians. Do the math.

    The question is whether they have absolute power over the United States.

  127. 127
    John Cole says:

    @eemom: What offended you in this post? I didn’t even mention anti-Semitism. Or religion at all.

  128. 128
    Bob says:

    @Ranger 3: I’ve read most of the threads here, I’ve been reading blogs by Glenn Greenwald, Juan Cole, & Craig Murray, as well as London’s Independent and Guardian, not to mention the somewhat far left Counterpunch and ZNet, and nowhere have I read any “wonderful people now calling for the destruction of the State of Israel and the end of Jewish self-determination”.
    You’re full of shit if you’re implying that’s a widespread sentiment in this country or in most of the world.

  129. 129
    matoko_chan says:

    @burnspbesq:

    is to take out the sub as soon as it goes to launch depth.

    so….we know when Our Supah Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is going to launch?
    how do we know that?
    psychic transmission?

  130. 130
    maus says:

    @Ranger 3:

    Most American liberals have been useful idiots for the cause for decades

    So what makes you any less deluded than the Teabaggers, which decided decades ago that anyone who supports the poor, workers’ rights are all “useful idiots” for da commies?

  131. 131
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    I was joking, dude. Totally. Jeez.

    And it was about the comments, not the post. Good post.

  132. 132
    Douglas says:

    @Bob:
    “End of Jewish self-determination (as defined by current ruling clique in Israel and its allies – if you disagree, you’re either an anti-semite or a self-hating jew)” = Not being able to do whatever the fuck they want to do with the palestinians or anyone that supports them in any way, shape or form (including being critical of Israel’s actions) because of some pesky international law or convention or some shit.

  133. 133
    wengler says:

    Sequence of events as far as I can tell:

    1) Israel creates a perimeter around the flotilla using helicopters and speedboats.

    2) In an apparent action to clear the decks of the largest boat, Israel uses live ammunition against the largest ship before it’s boarded. 2 are killed and 7 are injured.

    3) Israeli commandos land by helo on the large ship and by speedboat zodiacs on the smaller ships. On the largest ship they encounter violent resistance from people using makeshift clubs. Many ship members are killed and wounded after Israeli commandos open fire. Several commandos are wounded. On the smaller ships, non-violent resistance results in many people getting roughed up and injured by the Israeli commandos.

    4) All ships are taken control by the Israeli military and brought into port. The ship’s members are detained for 1-2 days and are released. Reports are that the flotilla ships themselves have been rendered disabled.

    And of course somewhere in there the rest of the world condemns the violent boarding of aid ships in international waters trying to deliver aid to hungry people while the pro-Israeli PR machine starts working overtime in the US. Israel releases a short video that contains helpful captions about Israeli commandos getting clubbed on deck, but it apparently starts well after the boarding started and ends well before Israel shoots the people on deck. US cable news runs the video on a loop and has analysts on that talk about whether the aid group was full of terrorists while both agreeing that Israel acted in self-defense.

    After the election was stolen in 2000 there was very little doubt in my mind about how the corporate media lies to keep the rich decadent and the poor clueless, but it really is something to see it in action over and over and over again. There is literally no issue that they can’t spin. Katrina Day 2-4 was basically the only time this veil was lifted. Our Sovietized media matches our Sovietized economy and our Sovietized environmental policies.

  134. 134
    Belvoir says:

    @Ranger 3:

    even liberals with all their blessed sanctity

    Oh, screw you.

    There’s really nothing horrific to what Israel did.

    Except for those slaughtered 9 unarmed people. But it was just paintballs right?

    Seriously, go to hell. The whole world is disgusted.

  135. 135
    wilfred says:

    Good comment from another blog:

    This Mediterranean massacre was pure stupidity. We are being treated to night-vision imagery of heavily-armed IDF commandos getting the tar beat out of them by a group of do-gooders armed with lawn chairs and shillelaghs. The Israeli propaganda machine seems to believe this is an effective psyops campaign, but it reminds me of “Happy Gilmore”, where Bob Barker clocks Adam Sandler’s character to great comic effect.

    Just.

  136. 136
    Chyron HR says:

    @Ranger 3:

    The rest of the world? Are you kidding? They are raging Jew haters and have been for centuries.

    Has Israel come up with some sort of “Final Solution” to rid themselves of the existential threat posed to them by the rest of the human race?

  137. 137
    Steve R. says:

    Also, in regard to this “Egyptian-Israeli” blockade. Egypt, like Israel, is a client state of the US, receiving billions in US aid. Egypt is bound by treaty and ongoing US bribes to make nice with Israel, which includes being cooperative about keeping the Gazans locked up. In addition Egypt is justly fearful of being inundated by desperate Palestinians in the case Israel ever decides to do something along the lines of ‘transfer.’

    Imagine for a moment Hillary being President. She would have found a way to link the Turkish ship to Iran and then would have proceeded to ask Congress to wage war with Iran right before the next reelection.

    I guess it’s impossible to avoid Hillary-bashing from some folks around here, but lest we forget:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....05793.html

    Point being not to bash Obama but to observe that there’s no real difference among the major Democratic politicians (or even the GOP variety) when it comes to support for Israel.

  138. 138
    Andre says:

    So basically, Israel is Han Solo, the flotilla is Greedo, the Mediterranean is the cantina, Juan Cole is Young George Lucas and Barney Frank is Old George Lucas.

  139. 139
    wilfred says:

    Egypt, like Israel, is a client state of the US, receiving billions in US aid

    Almost. Egypt receives very little. Mubarak and his extended oligarchy receive the money, distributing it to whomever is committed to maintaining the corrupt regime he heads.

    Ride taxis in Cairo for a while and you’ll understand.

  140. 140
    Andrew says:

    What I don’t understand is why they went in at night? It seemed like the kind of thing that should be done during the day, especially when your talking about foreign nationals that come from allied countries. Obviously I would understand going in at night if the flotilla was unannounced and you didn’t have time for planning but they had press releases announcing their intentions. The only reason I can think for the planners of the raid to do it at night is to try and cause as much fear on the part of the Activists to teach them a lesson, obviously this backfired

  141. 141
    Andre says:

    @Andrew:

    It’s SOP in most “crowd control” situations where the targets are primarily a large number of civilians to pick a time when the fewest number of people will be active. The idea behind it is to minimize the possibility of violent confrontation, because most people will be asleep or otherwise passive (just waking up, unable to see very far, etc) so they can be pacified very quickly instead of having time to organise resistance.

    I wouldn’t read too much malice into the timing for that reason (although there could have been other reasons why they went in at night-difficulties locating the flotilla, etc.)

  142. 142
    wilfred says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why we know nothing at all about the people that were killed, other than that either ‘most’ were Turks or just 4. What about the others?

    I wonder if any were American.

    Regardless, the mother countries of citizens killed in international waters ought to have something to say, no?

    What of their cameras, cell phones, etc. confiscated by the Israelis. Is that ok, too?

  143. 143
    burnspbesq says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I think it’s a fair bet that the crazy ex-girlfriend’s sub is being stalked 24/7 by a couple of ours.

  144. 144
    burnspbesq says:

    OT, but while we’re on the subject of things that are certain to end badly:

    I missed it when it happened, but the Supreme Court granted cert in Snyder v. Phelps. This is the case where those fuckheads from Westboro Baptist Church showed up at the funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq to spew their deranged filth, and the father of the deceased sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    It’s awfully hard to be a first amendment near-absolutist when it means defending Westboro Baptist Church, but there it is. Fuck.

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com.....tters-3842

  145. 145
    Andre says:

    @wilfred:

    I believe that the lack of information is due to the fact that formal identification won’t happen until the bodies arrive in Istanbul, which has only just happened. I’d imagine Israel didn’t have much time to ID the bodies, but unofficially they’d know who they are.

    Most Western governments would be making a noise if any of the dead were their citizens already, you’re right, so it’s probably safe to assume they’re mostly Turkish nationals until we know more.

  146. 146
    RandomDude says:

    Argh. Egypt is going to stop the Gaza blockade from their end which will necessarily include small arms through the gate (our observers there have 30 rounds each), the Turks are righteously pissed, and the Iranians are laughing their asses off. Why are we arguing about the morality of this idiotic op? Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.

    It’s time to deal with what happens next. Bibi is the Israeli Bush. Let’s think about that and figure out what to do. Or we can assign blame, claim solidarity with one side or the other, never go there or do anything of consequence, and the dance continues.

  147. 147
    RandomDude says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The Freedom Riders were cool at my homecomings. We can tolerate the worst people in society and still screw with them. The Bill of Rights kicks ass that way. Straight pipes are free speech too.

  148. 148
    KXB says:

    What is interesting about the North Korea & Israel comparison, is that Dan Drezner was one of the first to make it, and he was blasted by the AIPAC crowd. But he stuck to his guns. He noted that North Korea relies upon the protection of a veto-wielding power (China), the way Israel relies upon the protection of the U.S. Both client states are engaging in behavior that make their patron look impotent.

    “I’m standing behind my analogy”

  149. 149
    Roger Wilcom says:

    @Bob:

    Comment #6 on this thread, by someguy:

    I’ve got to admit, I don’t support the two state solution any more. There has to be one state, and the Palestinians have to run it.

    That’s just in this thread alone.

  150. 150
    maus says:

    @burnspbesq: I hardly support the WBC, but turning out in huge numbers to “counter-protest”, publishing all of their press-releases to the nationwide press, and giving them all the attention they don’t deserve is counterproductive.

  151. 151
    blogreeder says:

    To paraphrase one of the quotes from my favorite movie: “You all keep using the word “Blockade”, I don’t think it means what you all think it means.”

  152. 152
    JMY says:

    For a country that proclaims itself as the only superpower in the world, we do seem to take it up the ass when it comes to Israel. As long as we support Israel the way we do, we will never have peace in that region.

  153. 153
    Jc says:

    What Cole said, and what Boo said.

    The fix really is in. From the government to the media to the politicians conservative and liberal, to right wing Internet sites and the studied silence of some of the liberal blogosphere I’ve read, the fix is in.

    Sullivan doesn’t care about moderating his opinion, Cole doesn’t care, paleoconservatives don’t care, grennwald speaks his mind.

    but watching the whole establishment ignore obvious points, and parrot talking points, and all politicians and media agree, I get chills. It’s so easy to see how the invasion of Iraq happened. We are getting the entire political and media establishment all reading from the same, obviously bogus page.

    It’s fascinating to watch, though really creepy at the same time.

    You’ve got SOME left wing bloggers speaking the truth, some opinionated crotchety bloggers (from larison to Sullivan to greenwald), but that’s it, in American media. There are a LOT of crotchety bloggers though making the blindingly obvious point that not allowing fishin, seeds or exports is collective punishment. Maybe it will get through a bit.

  154. 154
    El Cid says:

    @Seebach:

    @El Cid: How do you older people who were alive to see that kind of shit still able to believe in America? I think I’m going to turn in my card now.

    First, you have to be really, really clear in your mind what you mean by “America”. Second, I think you have to use your best judgment and best available facts about the world to understand what’s happening first, and not really worry about how those conclusions would affect feelings about a nation-state’s power structure. Third, people in this country, no matter what shock or disheartening they feel after learning about, say, U.S. actions in Indochina over several decades, still have to do what they can to change things, and in ways which are likely to have an effect.

    Finally, just don’t give the slightest shit about anyone who thinks you’re ‘fringe’ or ‘weird’ or ‘extreme’ for knowing about reality.

    Also, bear in mind that these sorts of things are discussed every day in newspapers and magazines and radio shows outside the billion dollar U.S. press, particularly in the rest of the world. A journalist writing in a Mexican newspaper isn’t seeking to make Chris Matthews or John McCain feel comfy.

  155. 155
    El Cid says:

    This shit just continues to be a joke.

    The United States has proposed a possible way for Israel to avoid an international probe of the events surrounding the Gaza flotilla, but at this point Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leaning against it, in part because Defense Minister Ehud Barak is opposed to it.
    __
    The Americans have proposed that Netanyahu announce that an independent Israeli commission of inquiry will look into the events of the flotilla clashes and accept the participation of an American observer.

    I know this was mentioned earlier, but I just love the way Ha’aretz introduces it.

    Gosh! I wonder if Israel’s thorough investigation with a stern, tight jawed U.S. cheerleader will lead to conclusions such that there were missed opportunities on all sides, and that there were lessons to be learned in running such operations by the IDF in the future?

    One can only wonder!

  156. 156
    Michael says:

    The more I think about this, the more I realize that there are a few really freaking huge lessons:

    1. If you constantly use your military to engage in domestic political kabuki, you will degrade their effectiveness by giving them ever more absurd and reckless missions to perform.

    2. Long occupations that get measured in generations create a duality of antagonisms that the occupied can’t just “get over”, plus, the occupiers reach the point where their institutional mindset is one where the occupied aren’t even human.

    3. If you’ve had a long term ethnic separation, granting the illusion of autonomy and independence sucks if there’s not significant commitment by the more numerous group to raising the standards of the semiautonomous portion to the point where it is roughly equivalent to the national whole. At that point, the semiautonomous region will be invested in the peace and social stability of the status quo.

  157. 157
    Dave says:

    This shit just continues to be a joke.

    Continue wailing, BJers! It’ll not do you any good!

    I’ll say this for Obama and Biden, at least they’d had guts this time, to stand up to the siren voices of Judenhass.

    It still should have been Hilary in the big chair though.

  158. 158
    rickstersherpa says:

    It is amazing how polarized this arguement can quickly become because if one points out the freaking bleeding obvious about this incident (“it is worse than a crime, it is a mistake”), one quickly becomes accused being a Jew hating anti-semite who wants to see Israel destroyed.

    If Israel’s strategic goal is to weaken Hamas and have a more moderate Government in Gaza, this raid did nothing to advance that objective.

    If Israel’s strategic goal is to have the U.S. fight a war with Iran, this raid did nothing to advance that objective, since the U.S. would want at least Turkey acquiesence to such a war, something it is unlikly to get now.

    If Israel’s strategic goal is isolate Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, this raid has actually almost made that objective beyond reach.

    If Israel’s goal was to keep the world’s attention away from the terrible situation of Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants, it did the opposite. Now there will be a Security Council debate and pressure on the U.S. from its European and Middle Eastern allies (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Dubai, Jordan, and Egypt) to do force Israel to relent on the blockade.

    I can understand that Israel and Israelis are appropriately paranoid. They do have enemies who surround them that want to rip them apart with their bare hands (I always remember that early in the 2nd Intifada two Israeli soldiers died exactly that way at the hands of a Palestinian mob). But of course, Israel’s neighbors, particularly Lebannon and the Palestinians have much cause to feel paranoid and aggreived about Israel after tens of thousands of bombs, missiles, and shells being dropped on them at various times since 1967. I don’t know how Israel is going to get out its strategic dilemma by adding to its enemies (Turkey now joining Iran!). In fact, the whole focus on the Iran’s nuclear progam appears to me to be a way for Netanyhu, Barak, and the rest of Israel’s ruling elite to avoid thinking about their real dilemna that the days of the two state solution, the 1947 solution of partition, which they have scorned for decades, is the only possible way for Israel to remain a predominately Jewish state given the population trends in Israel and the occupied territories and the apparently implacable hatred that Shia of southern Lebannon feel toward Israel.

  159. 159
    Andrew says:

    North Korea denies having launched the torpedo in question.

  160. 160
    matoko_chan says:

    @maus: nope, all protest at this point is highly productive, not counter. its is a meme war right now being fought in the media@burnspbesq: they have three in that area. But they can refuel jets too. would the US shoot down the crazy ex-gf’s jets?
    Again, how do we know until they cross into Iranian airspace?

    And for whoever wondered about the night attack.
    it was to suppress cell phone videos and for “surprise” effect.

  161. 161
    El Cid says:

    @Dave: You might as well spend some time with someone else, because I don’t get all excited about the nutshit you post. I’m sure some other commenter would give you more entertainment.

  162. 162
    wilfred says:

    One of the nine people killed in the Israeli raid was an American citizen of Turkish descent, according to a Turkish official.

    I figured that.

  163. 163
    Bob says:

    @Roger Wilcom: A single comment advocating a one state solution on a 150+ comment thread is is not exactly proof that “people now calling for the destruction of the State of Israel and the end of Jewish self-determination” are overwhelming the debate. People like Ranger 3 and (apparently) yourself who fear that a single non-apartheid state of Israel-Palestine with a universal franchise (and the inevitable Palestinian majority) is the same as the “destruction of the State of Israel and the end of Jewish self-determination” were making similar arguments 25 years ago in South Africa and 55 years ago in Mississippi.

  164. 164
    kay says:

    @Dave:

    I’ll say this for Obama and Biden, at least they’d had guts this time, to stand up to the siren voices of Judenhass.

    It still should have been Hilary in the big chair though.

    If only there was some reciprocal action that benefits the US from Israel to reward or acknowledge that loyalty.

    I’m all for compromise. But, there won’t be any. Any request from the US administration to Israel on any issue that involves actual sacrifice will be refused.

    It’s not a good deal for us. Obama and Biden (and the US) will take a huge hit to US interests and get absolutely nothing in return. Nada.

    I would have held out until Israel actually lifts the blockade. You’d think we would have learned.

  165. 165
    El Cid says:

    @wilfred: Maybe the militarist right will come up with an insult analogous to “pancake” for this American as well.

  166. 166
    El Cid says:

    @Bob: Former Israeli Defense and Foreign Minister Moshe Arens is right now advocating a one-state solution, at least for the West Bank, saying that a two-state solution is impossible and full citizenship rights should lead to successful integration of Palestinians as Israeli citizens. (Gaza, presumably, should just vanish or something.)

  167. 167
    kay says:

    @Dave:

    Let’s turn it around, Dave. We’ve spent more than enough time on Israel’s needs and interests. There’s two sides to any partnership, and your comments completely ignore my side.

    What concrete actions that involve actual sacrifice could Israel take right now that benefit the US?

    Regardless of any political risk to Israeli politicians?

    Obama and Biden are sticking their neck out to rescue your ass. What do you got to offer in return?

    They want the blockade lifted and they want some actual movement on settlements. Both of those things are beneficial to the US.

    You’ve just finished thanking them. What are you willing to put up? This is the craziest partnership I’ve ever been in. Every time I ask for something, I’m met with a new list of demands.

  168. 168
    Barry says:

    @Chuchundra: You lying wh*reson – to all: read the rest of the law; it’s against purely anti-population efforts like Israel’s.

  169. 169
    Bob says:

    @kay: Obama and the US could get on the right side of history with our government providing a humanitarian aid flotilla, including heavy equipment (like we provide Israel with, which they then use to kill American citizens) and oversight of construction projects to guarantee materials aren’t used for the dreaded bunkers Israel fears so much.

  170. 170
    El Cid says:

    @Bob: Can I have some lottery winnings with that?

  171. 171
    Pococurante says:

    @burnspbesq:

    And the next aid flotilla is likely to be escorted by Turkish warships (and air cover if the coast of Israel is within the operating radius of Turkey’s fighter aircraft) with rules of engagement that won’t be the least bit ambiguous. This whole fiasco started badly, and it’s going to get much, much worse.

    That’s been my take on it as well. Reading a lot of these comments is eerily similar to post-June 1914.

    As soon as Turkey enters Israeli waters that becomes an act of war. Turkey was threatening war when they made that public statement. And Turkey created this provocation when the provisioned and tacitly encouraged the IHH to run the blockade.

    Whatever people may think of Israel doesn’t change the fact that Turkey is sliding away from a secular country and stirring up its more extreme elements. Daniel Larison may think it is reasonable that Turkey is more and more engaged with Syria/Hezbollah and Iran/Hamas. And in principle he is right. But in practice it will not end well for the middle east.

    But don’t let your anger and disgust over Gaza get in the way of the fact that this is going to eventually result in wholesale bloody terror for not just Israeli Palestinians and Arab Palestinians.

    Cheering it on is disgusting.

  172. 172
    Bob says:

    @El Cid: I’m sure that Dave would agree that Arens is a self-hating Jew.

  173. 173
    kay says:

    @Chuchundra:

    I’ll ask you then. In return for the US loyalty and steadfastness during this difficult period, what can Americans expect Israelis to offer in return?

    Israel is a democracy, which is why I say “Israelis”.

    Do you see Israel making an earnest good faith offer on the settlements, despite the (certain) political risk to politicians in Israel?

    We’ve explored a lot of feelings and history and fears, so that’s out of the way.

  174. 174
    Barry says:

    @rickstersherpa: “They do have enemies who surround them that want to rip them apart with their bare hands (I always remember that early in the 2nd Intifada two Israeli soldiers died exactly that way at the hands of a Palestinian mob). ”

    Shows how evuuuuuuuuuuuuul Paelstinians are – f*ck them, shoot them, shell them, take their land, their water, ghetto them, and they actually get violent.

    If (for example) Americans could have gotten their hands on some Al Qaida guys in the USA right after 9/11, do you think that they’d lived to see jail?

  175. 175
    kay says:

    @Bob:

    I don’t really think that’s a good solution. It’s visible, but it doesn’t solve the problem, which is the blockade, although I think your heart is in the right place.
    I’m trying to look at this from the other side.
    What’s Israel’s duty here, to the US ? Friendships are reciprocal, and it’s clear that the Obama Administration has certain very specific actions they’d like Israelis to take to benefit (ultimately) the US.
    I haven’t seen that mentioned in any of these discussions.

  176. 176
    Barry says:

    @Pococurante: “As soon as Turkey enters Israeli waters that becomes an act of war. Turkey was threatening war when they made that public statement. And Turkey created this provocation when the provisioned and tacitly encouraged the IHH to run the blockade.”

    They don’t have to; they can enter Gazan waters. Which Israel declares as a separate country, except when they don’t. As for act of war, that’d just be acknowledging what Israel has been doing all along. And as for provocation, it’s sooooooooooo provocative to block food to a group of people one is f*cking over.

    Not that this is gonna happen; the fuss will die down for now, and Israel will go on killing people. Don’t worry – in a few months, you’ll have turned this into a flotilla of Al Qaida terrorists smuggling nukes into Israel, and all Serious People will applaud Israeli restraint.

  177. 177
    wilfred says:

    Turkey has done a lot for the United States:

    http://www.centurychina.com/history/krwarcost.html

    Turks have a sense of history; they’ve been a staunch Nato ally since the beginning.

  178. 178
    wilfred says:

    What’s Israel’s duty here, to the US ?

    That and “What are the best interests of the United States?” are the only two questions worth asking, at least for Americans who put their country first.

  179. 179
    toujoursdan says:

    @Bob:

    Well put, particularly given that one of our wingnuts (Yishai Kohen) ID linked to a site called Israel Initiative that advocates the wholesale deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to Jordan.

    As warm and fuzzy as the site sounds, one can only imagine what would happen to those Palestinians who really don’t want to leave their historic villages and cities to live in new refugee housing in a foreign country under a government that may serve other interests.

    Because we all know that these mass deportations have been ohhh so peaceful and successful in the past. (rolls eyes)

  180. 180
    toujoursdan says:

    Whatever people may think of Israel doesn’t change the fact that Turkey is sliding away from a secular country and stirring up its more extreme elements. Daniel Larison may think it is reasonable that Turkey is more and more engaged with Syria/Hezbollah and Iran/Hamas. And in principle he is right. But in practice it will not end well for the middle east.

    There is no one thing that would go farther to douse the fires of Islamic fundamentalism and militarism than the U.S. demanding that the Israel withdraw the Israeli settlements, give the West Bank and Gaza true independence as internally continuous states (i.e. no checkpoints, roadblocks, etc.) with viable economies, withdrawing its foreign aid support from Israel and acting like a true impartial player there.

  181. 181
    matoko_chan says:

    @rickstersherpa: but Israel’s goal was to force the US to defend it and breakup the emerging US/Turkey relationship.
    The US can only have one bff in MENA.
    Now if the Turkish navy escorts the next flotilla, it will get real interesting.

    This is more of that intransigent moron Bush’s stupidity.
    Hamas was democratically elected…they are the legitimate government.
    Bush and the Israelis refused to recognize Hamas, and began the blockade to weaken Hamas…..but Hamas just gets stronger.
    So now the blockade is to punish the Gazans for electing Hamas.
    That is why the sanctioned import list looks so random.
    The US is an enabler in a dysfunctional relationship.

    Consider the “summer war”.
    I had a leb ex-pat commenter on my blog at the time.
    He said the summer war started because Hizb’ and a german negotiation team were trying to get a prisoner exchange with Israel.
    The Israelis bailed over Sameer Kuntar, and Hizb’ grabbed the two israeli soljahs to sweeten the Kuntar deal but Israel still wouldn’t play. My commenter said Hizb’ would never give up on Kuntar. Then, Big Stupid Nastiness ensued with leb infrastructure destruction and many civilian deaths and Lebanese President Sinoria begging with tears in his eyes for Bush to make the Israelis stop bombing his citizens.

    And my commenter was right. Cuple weeks after the summer war the germans negotiated Kuntar’s release, and the Israelis got 2 dead soljahs back.
    Fifteen hundred lebanese civilians died because George Bush is stupid and America is an enabler of Israel.

    The conflict began when Hezbollah militants fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence.[25] The ambush left five soldiers dead or mortally wounded and two of the soldiers were taken to Lebanon (later known to be dead). Five more were killed in a failed Israeli rescue attempt. Israel responded with massive airstrikes and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon that damaged Lebanese civilian infrastructure, including Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport (which Israel said that Hezbollah used to import weapons and supplies), an air and naval blockade, and a ground invasion of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah then launched more rockets into northern Israel and engaged the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in guerrilla warfare from hardened positions.
    The conflict killed at least 1,500 people, mostly Lebanese civilians, severely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure, and displaced approximately one million Lebanese and 300,000–500,000 Israelis, although most of the latter were able to return to their homes. After the ceasefire, some parts of southern Lebanon remained uninhabitable due to Israeli unexploded cluster bomblets.

    The blockade of Gaza is the same thing. Bunker mentality and the mistaken belief that holocaust-guilt makes Israel both bulletproof and unimpeachably right.
    Well muslims don’t have holocaust-guilt.

    I’m a sufi revert.
    And you guys won’t like this, but I think it is absolutely neccessary…this is what muslims are unified on, even the hyper-educated high-IQ 20somethings and 30somethings I talk to.
    The West must acknowledge the unfairness of the creation of Israel.
    This has nothing to do with right to exist…of course Israel has a right to exist…now.
    And trust me, that push to the sea is empty rhetoric and hyperbole….Hamas knows they can’t wipe Israel out.
    But the beating heart of al-Islam is justice.
    And the creation of Israel in Palestine is an unhealing wound.

  182. 182
    Bob says:

    @kay: The blockade is the immediate problem it does solve. It’s also how Obama can move American public opinion on the issue. A US humanitarian mission in Gaza, and the press coverage it would receive, would open a lot of eyes to the suffering of the population.
    @El Cid: I realize it’s about as likely as winning the lottery (my uncle did, by the way), but I can hope that eventually an American president will have a “This is bullshit” moment.

  183. 183
    matoko_chan says:

    @toujoursdan: sheesh….so much fail in your statement.
    The fact is, more democracy leads inexorably to more Islam in MENA.
    Because that is what the people want.
    That is why Iraq today is an islamic state with shariah law in its constitution.
    Its democracy in action, just like Hamas being elected in Gaza.
    What you call islamism is just resistance to western intrusion.
    Quit meddling and a lot of it will fade.

    do i know you from TalkIslam?
    ;)

  184. 184
    kay says:

    @Bob:

    The blockade is the immediate problem it does solve. It’s also how Obama can move American public opinion on the issue.

    That’s true. That’s an emotional approach, though, and Israel will counter with an emotional approach, and then it’s just war of the spin, which the US media adore.
    We never reach the issue of whether Israel has a duty to the United States.
    I think they do. Israel’s whole defense for this rests on “mistake”. They didn’t intend to kill anyone.
    Okay. Say I accept that. Mistakes have consequences. This Israeli mistake damages US interests, so I’d like an immediate concession to US interests.
    Humanitarian concerns are absolutely first, but this puts those first, if by a different route.
    I want to stop concentrating on what “we” can do and discuss what Israel can do. They can do a lot. Legalities aside, even if I grant them “legal”, I’m talking about on a consensual basis.
    They could announce a halt in settlements tomorrow. That’s a US goal. Then I would know this relationship is reciprocal.

  185. 185
    Paris says:

    I missed the part where the North Koreans boarded a South Korean ship in international waters. That fact that both events happened in water doesn’t make it a relevant analogy.

  186. 186
    toujoursdan says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Try reading my statement again, this time for comprehension. There is nothing you said that in any way disagrees with my point.

    Why are people turning toward an intolerant, militaristic form of Islam that didn’t exist in the Middle East before the latter half of the 20th Century? Western imperialism which is seen to be through the proxy of Israel.

    And yes.

  187. 187
    kay says:

    @wilfred:

    That and “What are the best interests of the United States?” are the only two questions worth asking, at least for Americans who put their country first.

    I’m taking training in mediation, and this discussion is simply amazing, in that context.

    I’m reading US commentary that focuses exclusively on Israel’s rights and duties to Israelis. Which is fine. I’m sympathetic to that, because I immediately put it in the context of my own country’s rights and duties to citizens.

    But I’m an American. It’s not just one-sided. Americans simply aren’t mentioned.

  188. 188
    matoko_chan says:

    salaams dan
    shams is my muslim name.
    ;)
    @toujoursdan:

    Why are people turning toward an intolerant, militaristic form of Islam

    Umm….because shariah is a integral part of islamic jurisprudence.
    Remember, there is no separation between law and religious law in Islam.
    Islamic fundamentalists, salafis, wahabbists and millenialists are the exact analog of the constitution-in-exile originalists in the US. The american right feels their cultural hegemony is under attack from liberalism in America, just like islamic fundamentalists feel islamic cultural hegemony in MENA is under attack by western “judeo-xian” culture.
    So it is not exactly “intolerant and militaristic”, but fundamentalist and reactionary. Like constitutional originalists on the right in America want to return to what they view as a pure form of the constitution, islamic fundamentalists want to return to what they view as pure form of Islam.
    Kindof simplistic but basically true.
    And for some reason, the same way the american right spawns militias like the Hutaree, the islamic right spawns organizations like Hizb’ and Jamaat and al-Q.

  189. 189
    wilfred says:

    @kay:

    I just posted this on another thread:

    “You have to show Israel that it’s not going to be forced to do things it doesn’t want to do and can’t do. At the same time you have to show the Palestinians that they are not going to get their way by just sitting back and not giving in, and not recognizing that there is a state of Israel,” Schumer said, according to Smith. “And right now there is a battle going on inside the administration, one side agrees with us, one side doesn’t, and we’re pushing hard to make sure the right side wins and if not we’ll have to take it to the next step.”

    This from Schumer. No mention of US interests there. Or anywhere else. Ever.

  190. 190
    Muhammad says:

    @Mark S.:

    This is an absolute gem. Many thanks for it. Bugger the Zionists for all eternity.

  191. 191
    maus says:

    @Dave:

    This shit just continues to be a joke. Continue wailing, BJers! It’ll not do you any good! I’ll say this for Obama and Biden, at least they’d had guts this time, to stand up to the siren voices of Judenhass.

    You’re free to head on back to Redstate, WorldNewsDaily or any of the other places that will never, ever question your undying devotion.

    Otherwise it’s nice to see that you just get more and more childish in your trolls.

    So aside from that guy, I have no clue why anyone’s expecting Hillary to have been more hardline than Obama, even considering Rahm.

  192. 192
    larry, dfh says:

    The sinking of the South Korean Corvette may have been
    false flag
    , and the 4 ATF agents killed in Waco were killed by ‘friendly fire’.

  193. 193

    […] Anthony Weiner, Jerry Nadler, Eliot Spitzer, Alan Grayson, and (after a brief stint of deviation) Barney Frank. On this one issue, they magically abandon their opposition to military attacks on civilians, their […]

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  1. […] Anthony Weiner, Jerry Nadler, Eliot Spitzer, Alan Grayson, and (after a brief stint of deviation) Barney Frank. On this one issue, they magically abandon their opposition to military attacks on civilians, their […]

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