The Substantive Dangers of Romney’s Israel Visit

So, John and Dennis G. and mistermix have already noted the bizarre obsequiousness of Romney’s visit to Israel. But in some ways that misses the point. I mean, look, if it just so happened that American interests lined up perfectly with those of Israel, then this would be all about tone, and I find discussions of tone fairly empty. We’ve all had good fun pointing out the absurdity of the “Obama apology tour” line of attack. That is also about tone, and whatever, I just don’t care.

But what I do care about is that Romney’s attitude betrays some real, and bizarre, foreign policy commitments. Two jumped out at me. In John’s piece, he quite a Dan Senor statement, but misses the most interesting part, where Senor says,

Senor said that Romney believes in a zero enrichment policy in Iran and that Tehran must believe “the alternative to zero enrichment is severe, and that’s why the threat of military force has to be critical.”

Now, here is the thing. This basically moves the goalposts significantly. It moves the issue from preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons to the existence of a nuclear program at all. This isn’t actually current USG policy. And what’s more, it is a goal that is virtually impossible to get support for internationally since under international law, Iran has an absolute right to peaceful nuclear energy, and that includes enrichment activities consistent with that.

The issue with Iran is that the UN Security Council has asked Iran to stop enrichment until a proper transparency regime can be establish, not as a permanent constraint. There is a difference between trying to ensure that Iran does not use legitimate nuclear activities as a cover for weapons development versus the notion that any Iranian nuclear activity is, in itself, unacceptable. The Senor position, if truly accepted by Romney, is a huge gift for Iran since it means that the Iranians can be confident that a Romney administration, now out of step with international law, would be unable to tighten the screws with more sanctions.

In short, if I were an Iranian, and I were committed to pursuing nuclear weapons, I would be rooting extra hard for a Romney victory.

In terms of Israel… what gets me is that there are things we’d like the Israelis to do. We’d like them to reopen the peace process and move to a two-state solution, for instance. Even George W. Bush supported this goal. Romney doesn’t seem to want to commit to it, so this is possibly another case of a dramatic proposed change in U.S. policy. Another possibility is that Romney does support a two-state solution, but is willing to throw away all of his leverage with Israel without any concessions in return. Either way, it shows either a lack of understanding or of competence in foreign policy.

If Romney wins and he carries through on what he has promised on his trip, there are two quite likely outcomes: (1) Iran goes nuclear (just like North Korea did under Bush under the similar circumstance of combining maximalist demands with an unwillingness to negotiate); and (2) we’ll see a 3rd Intifada.

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115 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    Since he’s such a liar, it’s hard to know what he would really do if he were president.

  2. 2
    Cassidy says:

    @cathyx: But he is a businessman so we know that paying back investors is always a priority.

  3. 3
    jp7505a says:

    option 3 – war with Iran

  4. 4
    japa21 says:

    So what we have is a craven coward whose policies are dangerous to the US and the world. Been there, done that, no need to revisit.

  5. 5
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    I think this is just another case of him trying to tell his audience what they want to hear. He’ll sing a different tune the next time he’s in front of an audience that’s not so friendly to Israel.

  6. 6
    MattF says:

    Also, a policy of a completely non-nuclear Iran is guaranteed to be rejected by Iran. The next step is an ultimatum: “Give up nuclear power or we bomb you.”

  7. 7
    amk says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ): Yup. Shorter mitt – a pandering coward.

  8. 8
    liberal says:

    This isn’t actually current USG policy. And what’s more, it is a goal that is virtually impossible to get support for internationally since under international law, Iran has an absolute right to peaceful nuclear energy, and that includes enrichment activities consistent with that.

    AFAICT, it actually puts the US in violation of the NPT, though the same reasoning would say that the US and its fellow embargo supporters are already in violation.

  9. 9
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    If Romney had visited the West Bank, he would be talking about a two state solution, and how the US Embassy would straddle the Israeli/Palestinian line in Jerusalem and how the Palestinians should be allowed to develop their country without Israeli interference.

    He panders to his audience, which means that Netanyahu would be living at the White House until the war with Iran started.

  10. 10
    liberal says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ):

    He’ll sing a different tune the next time he’s in front of an audience that’s not so friendly to Israel.

    What audience would that be?

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    Romney is more dangerous that Bush because he turned his foreign policy over to Senor and Bolton. Nothing good can come from that.

  12. 12
    Brian R. says:

    So conservatives hate that Obama (in their fantasy land, at least) went around the world “apologizing” for America, but they don’t mind that Mitt is going around the world kissing ass and turning over the keys to our foreign policy to other countries?

    For all his macho posturing, Mitt’s acting awfully submissive.

  13. 13
    kindness says:

    I’m less concerned about Romney’s aide Senor saying it’ll be OK for Israel to attack Iran. I mean, the Israeli Defense Force is top notch but they can’t get planes to Iran and back without US air tankers, and I don’t see Israel making battle plans that require the pilots to ditch their planes.

    What I found more distressing was the overt racism of Romney’s attacks on the Palestinians. That one Romney said and it will reverberate.

  14. 14
    Bernard Finel says:

    @liberal: No, because UNSC resolutions under Chapter VII are binding law. So following a “latter-in-time” test, this serves as a caveat. Regardless, there are legitimate questions about whether Iran is in compliance with NPT disclosure requirements with regard to undeclared facilities.

    But saying Iran is technically in violation of NPT requirement is not the same as demanding they never have any nuclear program.

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:

    I think the explanation floated in a previous thread is the most likely one, that this performance was aimed at an audience of one: Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has promised Romney a ton of money for his campaign, but the price is dancing to Adelson’s tune on Israel. Since Adelson is spending the money himself rather than giving it to the campaign, he’ll still have the power to yank it back if Mitt puts a toe out of line on Israel. Don’t count on him walking it back.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    @JPL: Well, at least that lets me short the “Condi Rice for VP” betting pool. She and Powell were the only ones putting the putting the breaks on Cheney’s “Bomb’m all, let Halliburton sort it out” military strategy.

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    @kindness: They also have no path to get there that doesn’t violate the airspace of either Syria or Iraq. And neither are very inclined to just nod and agree as an Israeli bomber wing flies overhead.

  18. 18

    Bob Cesca posted on this already. Just sayin’

  19. 19
    Mino says:

    I read a Bush apologist who made at least a sane argument for why we invaded Iraq: that sanctions were becoming unworkable and we were losing our allies.

    Iran sanctions are even trickier with all our exceptions for Russia and China oil purchases making Europeans go What?

    I dunno, but perhaps sanctions are a trap for both sides more often than thought.

  20. 20
    PeakVT says:

    there are two quite likely outcomes

    I think it’s important to point out the major events that would lead to those outcomes: 1) an unprovoked Israeli attack on Iran, and 2) Israeli declaring the settlements legal. I think Netanyahu believes he could get away with both if Romney is elected.

  21. 21
    Woodrowfan says:

    well, we know one thing about Mitt after his meeting with Bibi, he’s a bottom.

  22. 22

    @Bernard Finel: If Iran claims to have retroactively shuttered their nuclear projects, how does this play with Mitt? =)

  23. 23
    Maude says:

    @Yutsano:
    Iraq wouldn’t allow Israel to use its airspace. Especially not after Israel dropped a bomb there.
    Syria isn’t a viable option either.
    Other than that…

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Yutsano says:

    @Maude: Saudi Arabia. Which will require US tanker support. And the Saudis would allow it because they’re no great friends with Iran. Never underestimate the Sunni-Shi’a divide.

  26. 26
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yutsano:

    They also have no path to get there that doesn’t violate the airspace of either Syria or Iraq. And neither are very inclined to just nod and agree as an Israeli bomber wing flies overhead.

    There are possible, if slightly longer, routes through both Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which are at least slightly less hostile toward Israel than Syria and Iraq. That still leaves the bigger problem that any country Israel overflies on their way to Iran would do well to put up at least a token show of resistance or face Iranian wrath for complicity in the attacks, which is likely to be worse than anything short of nukes Israel can threaten them with. Given that the best estimates show that it would take multiple strikes over a period of days to have any chance of doing real harm to the program, and the Israelis have no real chance of accomplishing anything by attacking Iran except getting themselves into more trouble.

  27. 27
    MattR says:

    BREAKING – Obama even blacker than conservatives initially feared.

    A research team from Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, has concluded that President Barack Obama is the 11thgreat-grandson of John Punch, the first documented African enslaved for life in American history. Remarkably, the connection was made through President Obama’s Caucasian mother’s side of the family.

  28. 28
    Dave says:

    @Roger Moore:

    There are possible, if slightly longer, routes through both Turkey and Saudi Arabia,

    Can’t see Turkey helping them out after that clusterf**k at sea with the Gaza peace flotilla.

  29. 29
    Zach says:

    Am I the only one amazed that Dan Senor is, as far as I can tell, the only foreign-policy VIP that Romney’s sending out to the press on this trip? Isn’t Romney selling himself on his expertise in business–choosing the right talent, conducting his affairs efficiently, etc? Dan Senor led basically the worst PR effort in American history as spokesman and advisor for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. He’s spent the time since then alternating between getting rich and writing OpEds about how we need to blow up Iran right now. Even George Bush had the business sense to fire the guy.

  30. 30

    OT – but you guys have got to see this. (Huffpo link) Team Romney’s fourth small business “star” to appear in a new web ad is also sucking off the government teat.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....lp00000003

    Like I said before, does the campaign do ANY research on these people at all?

  31. 31
    Brandon says:

    Trying to guess Mitt Romney’s actual policy positions is a fools errand.

  32. 32

    @Roger Moore:
    This. Adelson wants genocide against the Palestinians. He’s paid 100 million dollars for Romney to support that. Romney’s not telling an audience what they want to hear, he’s making a direct financial transaction with a man in his social class. It seems very reasonable to expect him to live up to it.

    @PeakVT:
    Likely. Bibi certainly wants to stage an attack like that, but it may not be practical even with Romney’s support. Mostly this is trumpet-blowing to keep Israel from not quite chucking him out as he slowly chokes the Palestinians to death.

  33. 33
    Nellcote says:

    is willing to throw away all of his leverage with Israel without any concessions in return.

    Rmoney is Bibi’s Poodle.

  34. 34
    elmo says:

    I may be showing my ignorance here, but does Iraq really have a functional Air Force that can deny passage to Israeli warplanes? If Israel decides to bomb Iran by way of Iraqi airspace, how is Iraq going to stop them?

  35. 35
    wrb says:

    @Zach:

    He’s spent the time since then alternating between getting rich and writing OpEds about how we need to blow up Iran right now.

    Are there better qualifications?

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    @Dave:

    Can’t see Turkey helping them out after that clusterf**k at sea with the Gaza peace flotilla.

    Sure, which is why I described them as “slightly less hostile” rather than “friendly”. Not to mention the nice long border with Iran and the real possibility of Iran funding Kurdish terrorists in Turkey in retaliation for their complicity in an attack. The practical impossibility of an effective Israeli strike has to be obvious to anyone who knows a little bit about the political situation in the Middle East and has access to a map, much less the professional military minds in the Israeli Air Force. My understanding is that the Israeli military has made it clear to their political leaders that an attack just isn’t going to happen. Any Israeli talk about an attack should be seen not as a serious policy proposal but as a mix of saber rattling for domestic political consumption and an appeal for American help against Iran.

  37. 37
    Hal says:

    I’m just all around amazed at how bad this whole trip is going for Romney. This is someone selling himself as having far superior foreign policy ideas than President Obama despite the fact that he has no foreign policy experience at all, and he is completely upending any argument he has ever made.

    Romney’s entire campaign seems to be set up to make a contrasting argument with President Obama and then completely negate said argument via a total fuck up.

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    @elmo: That was my understanding also. I doubt the few planes that were flown to Iran in 2003 have been returned.

  39. 39

    @Hal: Of course it’s going badly for Romney. The more exposure he gets, the less people like him. This is a universal constant. I say keep the cameras rolling.

  40. 40
    Roger Moore says:

    @elmo:
    You’re right that the Iraqi airforce isn’t much of an obstacle to Israel. I believe, though, that they have some ground-based air defenses like SAM and AAA batteries that could cause the Israeli planes some problems. That can be a bigger deal than you’d expect, since the Israeli planes would be near the edge of their useful range and any disruption of their flight would be a problem. Iraq could also cooperate with Iran by providing early warning of Israeli attacks, which would definitely be helpful.

    ETA: Iraq could also cause some problems if they let Iranian planes into their airspace rather than requiring Iran to face the Israelis only after they had invaded Iranian airspace.

  41. 41
    Schlemizel says:

    How Rmoney runs & how he would govern are two very different things. Boy Blunder ran this way to also. Willard has made some really hair raising statements about how he would deal with China if (pasta forefend) he ever was POTUS. You may recall Obama said some crap about getting tough on China as a candidate. AS a POTUS, eh, not so much.

    The fear would be that after the election the wingnuts would force him into a corner to get support for his re-election and he really did do something as stupid as attack Iran. But I think Willard is much more focused on how to maximize his profits as President so he would screwe us over in different ways than starting WWIII in Iran.

  42. 42
    Schlemizel says:

    How Rmoney runs & how he would govern are two very different things. Boy Blunder ran this way to also. Willard has made some really hair raising statements about how he would deal with China if (pasta forefend) he ever was POTUS. You may recall Obama said some crap about getting tough on China as a candidate. AS a POTUS, eh, not so much.

    The fear would be that after the election the wingnuts would force him into a corner to get support for his re-election and he really did do something as stupid as attack Iran. But I think Willard is much more focused on how to maximize his profits as President so he would screwe us over in different ways than starting WWIII in Iran.

  43. 43

    Waiting until after the election to derail nearly four decades’ worth of Middle-Eastern peace policy is for the Little People. We gotta RAPTURE a-comin’, dontcha know.

    Am I allowed to say that Romney’s religious beliefs are the problem here? Or do I have to wait until the bombs start dropping next year?

    Netiquette keeps changing these days. So hard to keep up.

  44. 44
    Yutsano says:

    @Roger Moore: Iraq could also grant the Iranian Air Force permission to intercept the Israelis over their airspace. There are just too many risks for Israel to even think of a pre-emptive strike. Unless they suck us in.

  45. 45
    El Cid says:

    In particular when it comes to this region, I disagree with the formulation of “American interests.” I, the people I know, the people there, both in Israel (if it ever becomes legally defined as to where that is exactly) and outside of it, would have been better off had policies I consider in my interests been followed.

    Instead, the interests of the U.S. and Israeli nation-state foreign policy establishments have been generally declared to be “American interests”, and generally that involves defining things from the point of view of the most rabidly, nationalistically militaristic of Israeli policies.

    This is one of those cases in which whatever the Romney meddling and molotov torchlighting, “American interests” diverge from both those of the cacklingly apocalyptic Republican approaches in alliance with the sneeringly expansionist current Israeli foreign policy dominant establishment as well as the slightly less warmongering Democratic side.

    It doesn’t really matter, because no one’s going to give much of a shit until all desirable lands and resources of the West Bank and Jerusalem are held by the Israeli state and its settler allies, so that victory for peace can be declared with Palestinians raising a new flag over their mess of a theoretical ‘state’.

  46. 46
    gnomedad says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:
    As far as I know, Mormons are not Rapture-Ready. So I have to assume Rmoney is merely a sniveling weasel.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yutsano:

    There are just too many risks for Israel to even think of a pre-emptive strike. Unless they suck us in.

    I see we think alike. One more reason to vote Obama.

  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    The Senor position, if truly accepted by Romney, is a huge gift for Iran since it means that the Iranians can be confident that a Romney administration, now out of step with international law, would be unable to tighten the screws with more sanctions.

    Since when do today’s Republicans give a crap about international law? The US would just ignore everyone else and bomb Iran along with Israel. Iran is in grave danger if Romney is elected, and I’m sure the Iranians realize this.

    …what gets me is that there are things we’d like the Israelis to do. We’d like them to reopen the peace process and move to a two-state solution, for instance.

    You’d like that and I’d like that, and most Dems and all sane people would like that, but Romney would say, “You guys do what you want, and tell me how the US can help you.” He’s all but said this already. A Romney administration would give the Israeli government the car keys, the house keys, and all the credit cards, and would spring for the kegs and tequila on top of it. And all the rest of us would be left having to clean up (and pay for) the mess after the party.

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ):

    I think this is just another case of him trying to tell his audience what they want to hear. He’ll sing a different tune the next time he’s in front of an audience that’s not so friendly to Israel.

    I don’t think so at all. I think he’d be a dick to a less-Israel-friendly audience, just like he was a dick to the audience at the NAACP. I’m certainly willing to believe that it’s because he wants Adelson’s money and doesn’t give a fuck about the consequences, but I don’t see him turning his back on his warmongering quasi-American BFF right-wingnuts in the Israeli government at all, ever — unless maybe the Saudis were to come up with more scratch.

  49. 49
    paulfl says:

    Mitt Romney and the other raging neo-con hawks have miscalculated. Their aggressive rhetoric on foreign policy and relentless bashing of the president’s record underestimates the support Obama has on foreign policy and the complete disgust among the public with any talk of more neo-con military adventures that will hit America hard in the pocketbook and with the lives of our soldiers. We do not need war with Iran. This agenda is out of touch with both reality and the sentiment of most voters. PP

  50. 50
    Zach says:

    @Hal:

    I’m just all around amazed at how bad this whole trip is going for Romney.

    Especially since the whole thing was planned to be as risk-free as possible. All run by very conservative governments (relative to historical norms). These are also all countries that Obama has famously slighted, which you would only know if you religiously follow conservative media.

    Not to mention that the whole thing resurrects the whole coalition-of-the-willing nonsense in Iraq (even though Israel was smart enough to stay out of that mess).

  51. 51
    Todd says:

    Israel is the demanding, churlish, rude psycho girlfriend who doesn’t put out while constantly expecting and commanding extravagant expressions of admiration, fealty and devotion.

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @kindness:

    If Romney wins, they’ll have that U. S. support.

  53. 53
    Gex says:

    @MattR: I wonder why they said “remarkably” since his father was not American, and thus could not have been the source of Obama’s American slave ancestry. It’s only remarkable if you are the kind of idiot that thinks that there’s a lot of purity in the blackness and whiteness of Americans.

  54. 54
    ericblair says:

    @El Cid:

    Instead, the interests of the U.S. and Israeli nation-state foreign policy establishments have been generally declared to be “American interests”, and generally that involves defining things from the point of view of the most rabidly, nationalistically militaristic of Israeli policies.

    You can say more than that: it’s the cabal of neocon nitwits that has disproportionate influence in the governments of both countries, and in our case at least, has used massive amounts of cash to “convince” members of Congress that aren’t ideologically on board with them.

    I’d assume Mittens went to Israel because he could be sheltered by essentially a foreign element of the Republican party. Same reason for Poland. Has anybody asked him why, exactly, he’s going to Poland, which isn’t exactly top of our foreign policy concerns right now? The only reason I can think of is that the Polish government has close ties with the goopers: the foreign minister used to be an AEI fellow. Otherwise, WTF.

  55. 55

    @gnomedad:
    I wasn’t sure if they did, either… but I’ve been researching Mormonism, and most of them do seem to have grafted the whole “Rapture ==> War in Jerusalem ==> Jeebus comes back” narrative onto their religion, much as the Evangelicals did.

    (Keep in mind that the Rapture is technically heretical– the modern version dates back to William Blackstone in the early 1900s).

    Sorry to get all Sam-Harrisoid, but IMO: Giving the nuclear keys to someone who sincerely believes that the entire Middle East must burn to usher in the return of his God? Bad idea. Very bad idea.

    The old pagans only sacrificed the occasional bull, boar or common criminal to their gods. This new breed wants to sacrifice entire cities to theirs.

  56. 56
    flukebucket says:

    Giving the nuclear keys to someone who sincerely believes that the entire Middle East must burn to usher in the return of his God? Bad idea. Very bad idea.

    We have already done this. 2000-2008. Very bad idea for sure.

  57. 57
    jwb says:

    OT, meanwhile, back in the corporate world of the Olympics, Twitter suspends account of journalist critical of NBC’s coverage.

  58. 58
    El Cid says:

    @Todd: Stop talking about my girlfriend!

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @Dave:

    Can’t see Turkey helping them out after that clusterf**k at sea with the Gaza peace flotilla.

    And Turkey used to be among their pals – along with Iran, Ethiopia and other non-Arab countries in the extended region. It really is amazing the extent to which they’ve managed to alienate every last country on Earth, figuring that as long as America’s writing their checks, cleaning up their mess and paying for their bail, they don’t need to make arrangements with anyone else.

    Of course it’s going to bite them in the ass hard enough to draw blood at some point, but I suppose the crafters of this brilliant policy figure in the long run, they at least will all be dead.

  60. 60

    @flukebucket:
    I was never convinced that GWB was a True Believer. (Obviously I have no special access to the contents of his soul, I’m just guessing based on how he behaved in office.

    One of the few pro-GWB things you’ll ever get me to say is this: Post-9/11, at least he chose not to frame his wars as a War against Islam/Fifth Crusade, even though most of his base (and his opponents, for that matter) really wanted him to.

    Romney? As I’ve said many times, unlike GWB, I think Romney’s too weak in character to keep his crazies in check.

    And given info that’s been coming out these past few weeks, I’m no longer convinced that Romney might not be one of ‘the crazies’, himself.

    Scary stuff.

  61. 61
    LanceThruster says:

    The Mittarded One will bring back the popularity of the term “prat.”

  62. 62
    LanceThruster says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    And there’s evidence that Shrubya actually went against the wishes of Israel. That’s saying quite a lot for any US pol.

  63. 63
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    @liberal: Well you’ve got me there – probably none between now and the election. If he wins though, I’d assume he’d have to meet with the Saudis et al. My guess is his statements are more equivocal in front of them.

    @Ash Can: I don’t think he was intentionally a dick to the NAACP. I think he just didn’t realize that the term “Obamacare” would generate the negative reaction it did. I thought he was pretty cordial face to face with them, but then was a dick to them after the fact when meeting with a conservative group, which sort of reinforces my point. Although I’ll admit this is speculation on my part because I didn’t listen to the whole speech. I only heard short clips from the NAACP speech on NPR – i.e. he may have been a dick to them intentionally but those (him being a dick to them) clips didn’t make it into their report.

  64. 64
    Jamey says:

    Hey, if putatuve Veep, Rob Portman can take boating tips from “Lethal Weapon II,” It’d be wrong for Romney NOT to get foreign policy advice from “Being There.”

  65. 65
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Schlemizel:

    How Rmoney runs & how he would govern are two very different things. Boy Blunder ran this way to also. Willard has made some really hair raising statements about how he would deal with China if (pasta forefend) he ever was POTUS. You may recall Obama said some crap about getting tough on China as a candidate. AS a POTUS, eh, not so much.

    It is good news that Twitt has held office before. Context provides some Balsam in Gilead.

    Gives some traction to Obama’s campaign. I’m optimistic, anyway.

  66. 66
    LanceThruster says:

    @cathyx:

    Actually, it’s quite easy. He’d continue to lie his more-pious-than-thou LDS ass off.

  67. 67
    scav says:

    @jwb: If true and especially if it isn’t cleared up, stupid move. It’s almost as though one can see glimpses of Romnoid reasoning and personality & decision-making style behind the peacock curtain. NBCensorship is just way to easy a tag. Jokes about Gold Medalling in Water Carrying etc. etc. etc. They really don’t get the context of multi-media whatsoever, let alone same in an international context.

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    there’s so much to choose from, IMO.

    glad you pointed out the moving of the goalposts. that’s being done to justify the Israeli’s attack on Iran by going back ‘ RETROACTIVELY’ and making this the goalpost all the time.

  69. 69
    Chris says:

    @Hal:

    I’m just all around amazed at how bad this whole trip is going for Romney.

    Britain went badly, but Israel’s gone just fine. Likud loves what he’s saying, the Republicans love what he’s saying, Adelson loves what he’s saying. That’s all that matters.

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    Am I allowed to say that Romney’s religious beliefs are the problem here? Or do I have to wait until the bombs start dropping next year?

    I think you’re deluding yourself if you think he has any beliefs other than “what’s good for Mitt Romney.” It’s his base whose religious beliefs are the problem. He, like George Wallace, is simply pandering to a gaggle of psychopaths because that’s how he gets to stay in power (or at least so he thinks).

    @El Cid:

    It doesn’t really matter, because no one’s going to give much of a shit until all desirable lands and resources of the West Bank and Jerusalem are held by the Israeli state and its settler allies, so that victory for peace can be declared with Palestinians raising a new flag over their mess of a theoretical ‘state’.

    And by “all desirable lands,” you mean “the entire West Bank,” since to the fanatics the entire territory belongs to Israel because God, and neither Bibi nor anyone else is going to cross them over the rights of a bunch of lousy stinking hajjis.

  70. 70
    Brachiator says:

    @ericblair:

    I’d assume Mittens went to Israel because he could be sheltered by essentially a foreign element of the Republican party. Same reason for Poland. Has anybody asked him why, exactly, he’s going to Poland, which isn’t exactly top of our foreign policy concerns right now? The only reason I can think of is that the Polish government has close ties with the goopers: the foreign minister used to be an AEI fellow. Otherwise, WTF.

    The short attention span Tea Party fools don’t understand that the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore. But they still have vestigal memories of Poland getting out from under the commie yoke, and the last pope was Polish, also, too. Germany has been unified, other former Soviet Republics are too hard to spell or find on a map.

    So, Poland stands in for how Saint Ronnie the Good chased the commie snakes out of Europe.

    Or maybe Romney is there to visit a secret bank account.

    @jwb:

    OT, meanwhile, back in the corporate world of the Olympics, Twitter suspends account of journalist critical of NBC’s coverage.

    Already makes me nostalgic for the good old days when we just had to worry about these companies giving all your info to the government whenever they asked for it.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ):

    I don’t think he was intentionally a dick to the NAACP. I think he just didn’t realize that the term “Obamacare” would generate the negative reaction it did.

    are you for real?

    he wouldn’t realize, that,

    IN FRONT OF A BLACK AUDIENCE

    using OBAMACARE would be considered A SLUR?

    YOU can’t be for real.

  72. 72

    @Chris:

    I think you’re deluding yourself if you think he has any beliefs other than “what’s good for Mitt Romney.”

    Granted, it’s hard to tell from outside what anyone believes.

    But I’ve come to recognize that dead-eyed stare of his as the stare of a man who thinks that he’s a Prophecy fulfilled.

    (As for my own god: May his Eyes Always Be Upon You, for They Are Many and Myriad).

  73. 73
    Maude says:

    Saudi Arabia has a Shia population and it’s not going to get in the middle of a fight.

  74. 74
    Seth Owen says:

    There’s an interesting war simulation called Persian Incursion which examines the question of how Israel might conduct an aerial campaign against Iran in exhaustive detail.
    The bottom line revealed by PI is that militarily and technically an Israeli strike is doable and the Iranians have a trivial ability to do anything about it. There are no insurmountable logistic or tactical obstacles at all, no matter which route IDF planes take.
    The entire deterrent to doing this rests on the political and diplomatic consequences. No one should console their fears with any mistaken notion Israel cannot strike. They can. The only question is whether they consider the cost is worth it.

  75. 75
    Maude says:

    @rikyrah:
    Now there’s a new article that Obama is related to slaves through his mother. I can’t read the article.
    This has Never been done with a previous president.
    I can’t say the word I want to describe people who write these things.

    Edit, forgot a word.

  76. 76
    jwb says:

    @scav: The suspension is certainly true. The stated reason is for tweeting the (public) email address of the NBC president.

  77. 77
    Chris says:

    @ericblair:

    I’d assume Mittens went to Israel because he could be sheltered by essentially a foreign element of the Republican party. Same reason for Poland. Has anybody asked him why, exactly, he’s going to Poland, which isn’t exactly top of our foreign policy concerns right now? The only reason I can think of is that the Polish government has close ties with the goopers: the foreign minister used to be an AEI fellow. Otherwise, WTF.

    I agree with this, and have said the same in previous threads.

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    But I’ve come to recognize that dead-eyed stare of his as the stare of a man who thinks that he’s a Prophecy fulfilled.

    It’s just that I have trouble thinking of anything other than his own power and glory that he’s ever gone to bat for. He flip-flopped on abortion, he flip-flopped on gay marriage, he flip-flopped on UHC, and unlike George W. Bush, he doesn’t even have the “I got saved” thing to explain the changes in his life – his official religion’s been the same since the beginning.

    His record doesn’t seem to indicate a great religious belief in any cause. Unless you think he thinks he’s been chosen by God to rule and that’s the Prophecy he wants to fulfill, in which case I might agree.

  78. 78
    Nellcote says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ):

    I don’t think he was intentionally a dick to the NAACP.

    Seriously? Rmoney brought his own posse of conservative AAs with him to clap. Now he’s got an ad touting his NAACP speech with the boos replaced with applause. He’s being a retroactive Dick.

  79. 79
    scav says:

    @jwb: You seen the update that there doesn’t actually seem o be a rule of that sort? I don’t doubt it happening, I’m just waiting to see if it wasn’t some lower level eager-beaver with NBC connections somehow jumping in and being backed by immediate managers rather than an considered edict coming from the top.

  80. 80
    Chris says:

    @Seth Owen:

    If the Israeli strike is doable, can it accomplish its goals? What I’ve been hearing about the Iranian nuclear program is that it’s dispersed in enough different facilities in different parts of the country that you couldn’t simply take it out in a surgical strike like they did the Osiraq reactor in 1981.

  81. 81
    Brachiator says:

    @Bernard Finel:

    But saying Iran is technically in violation of NPT requirement is not the same as demanding they never have any nuclear program.

    Could it be the case that Romney and his advisors are simply blind to nuance or want to sound as bellicose as possible to play to the rubes back home while sounding as hawkishly pro-Israel (and anti-Obama) as possible?

    The tenor of Romney’s speech makes it sound as though he is not interested in giving Iran any room to be more transparent about their nuclear programs.

  82. 82
    liberal says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ):

    If he wins though, I’d assume he’d have to meet with the Saudis et al. My guess is his statements are more equivocal in front of them.

    Yeah, agreed, though the Saudis in some senses aren’t all that anti-Israel.

  83. 83
    jwb says:

    @scav: Yes, I saw an update that said that twitter doesn’t have a policy about email addresses. It does sound like someone made a decision based on pressure from NBC. But where that pressure came from and where it was directed is not clear. It does suggest that NBC is extremely rattled by the criticism—and twitter is not acquitting itself well either. Meanwhile, Guy Adams is handed an even larger megaphone.

  84. 84
    liberal says:

    @Maude:
    They’ve already gotten in the middle of the Syrian civil war (though that’s a more tenuous connection, more along the lines of Alewites vs Sunnis).

  85. 85
    liberal says:

    @Chris:
    That’s what I’m wondering.

  86. 86
    Brachiator says:

    @Seth Owen:

    The bottom line revealed by PI is that militarily and technically an Israeli strike is doable and the Iranians have a trivial ability to do anything about it. There are no insurmountable logistic or tactical obstacles at all, no matter which route IDF planes take.

    Let’s assume for a moment that Israel can easily defeat Iran militarily and destroy its nuclear facilities.

    So, the question becomes, is the US military and defense establishment so afraid of the GOP that they have not laid out the worse case scenarios that might follow an attack?

    The hawks assume that Iran’s nuclear weapons capability can be taken out and the Iranian government changed to one more to our liking with relative ease.

    So either, they think that an occupation of Iran by American forces would be unnecessary or that it would be a cakewalk.

    This is absurd.

    Further, there is no universe in which the Israelis could occupy Iran and attempt to pacify the country without the entire world, not simply the Muslim world, recoiling in horror.

    So, this leaves the US suckered into supplying occupation forces, in addition to military ongoing military committments in Afghanistan. More absurdity.

    And as much as the right loves Israel, they love a continuous flow of oil more. I cannot imagine any realistic scenario in which an attack on Iran does not end up disrupting oil markets.

    On top of all this, if the US is drawn into any military campaign as a major supporter of Israel, any peace negotiatiions between Israel and the Palestinians with the US as a participant would become impossible.

    Do neo-cons and wingnuts really see any positive outcome from an attack on Iran?

  87. 87
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Yutsano:

    I thought they’d go over Saudi Arabia, the rulers there not being very friendly towards Tehran.

  88. 88
    Bennett says:

    Will someone please tell me why the Republican candidate for President is in the Middle East urging Middle Eastern countries to go to war with each other again?

  89. 89
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    If we actually try to invade Iran, regime-change it and occupy it for any length of time – what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan or even a shadow of it – it’s going to fucking ruin us. I don’t see that happening. But I can see Romney trying to make a show of force of the kind Reagan was so fond of in the eighties, like when he conducted air strikes against Libya but never went any farther than that.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s somewhat plausible that the Israelis could do an airstrike on Iran. But then what’s the plan? Israel’s total population is about 8 million — Iran’s total population is about 75 million. How is there any plausible scenario in which an Israeli airstrike does not lead to immediate retaliation by Iran, which is FAR more capable of occupying Israel than the other way around?

    Trying to carry out the airstrike without US support would be suicide for Israel. The only possible way for Israel to do an airstrike on Iran and not face any consequences is to have the US as their backup to block any retaliation from Iran. We know it, they know it, and, most importantly, the Iranians know it.

  91. 91
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m not entirely sure how the (not so impressive) Iranian Army is supposed to march hundreds of miles to occupy Israel? The Iranian Army launched human wave attacks in the 80s. Certainly invading and occupying Iran would be folly, but Iran has negligible conventional forces that aren’t going to last long in a conventional battle (RE every liberal talking point on how much the US spends on its defense budget).

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    But I can see Romney trying to make a show of force of the kind Reagan was so fond of in the eighties, like when he conducted air strikes against Libya but never went any farther than that.

    Unlike the situation in Libya, a US airstrike against Iran without an occupation will invite retaliatory strikes against Israel, as well as economic retaliation in terms of increased oil prices or decreased production.

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s somewhat plausible that the Israelis could do an airstrike on Iran. But then what’s the plan? Israel’s total population is about 8 million—Iran’s total population is about 75 million. How is there any plausible scenario in which an Israeli airstrike does not lead to immediate retaliation by Iran, which is FAR more capable of occupying Israel than the other way around?

    Israel could probably do great damage to Iran’s army to prevent any massive infantry strike. And, worse case scenario, Israel could use tactical nukes against any Iranian army.

    More likely, the US would intervene if there were any moves by an Iranian or joint Muslim army against Israel.

    Trying to carry out the airstrike without US support would be suicide for Israel.

    The long game by Israeli hardliners is to get the US to either back Israel’s play or to carry out an airstrike against Iran to forever prevent the US from ever being able to be involved in any significant Middle East peace process.

    And what neo-cons don’t understand is that a US airstrike in which America is little more than a proxy for Israel will galvanize a legion of new bin Ladens.

  93. 93
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: The Iranians have several hundred conventional ballistic missiles with 300-500kg explosive warheads which can reach Israel. Targetting them on, say, Dimona rather than Tel Aviv would be… interesting.

  94. 94
    Svensker says:

    @Brachiator:

    And what neo-cons don’t understand is that a US airstrike in which America is little more than a proxy for Israel will galvanize a legion of new bin Ladens.

    You don’t think they understand that? It’s their wet dream! Total war against the moolahs. Rat busterds.

  95. 95
    Origuy says:

    @Maude:

    Now there’s a new article that Obama is related to slaves through his mother. I can’t read the article.

    It’s from Ancestry.com. It’s not malicious; their genealogists have traced his ancestry back to John Punch, the first person in the British colonies to be enslaved for life. He had children with a white woman, who were raised free.

    President Obama is traditionally viewed as an African-American because of his father’s heritage in Kenya. However, while researching his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham’s lineage, Ancestry.com genealogists found her to have African heritage as well, which piqued the researchers’ interest and inspired further digging into Obama’s African-American roots. In tracing the family back from Obama’s mother, Ancestry.com used DNA analysis to learn that her ancestors, known as white landowners in Colonial Virginia, actually descended from an African man. Existing records suggest that this man, John Punch, had children with a white woman who then passed her free status on to their offspring. Punch’s descendants went on to be free, successful land owners in a Virginia entrenched in slavery.

    Probably half of whites with Southern ancestry have at least as much African ancestry.

  96. 96
    Brachiator says:

    @Svensker:

    RE: And what neo-cons don’t understand is that a US airstrike in which America is little more than a proxy for Israel will galvanize a legion of new bin Ladens.

    You don’t think they understand that? It’s their wet dream! Total war against the moolahs. Rat busterds.

    Yeah, point noted. The problem with the neo cons is that they believe that the US can defeat the moolahs and engineer regime change without cost or consequence. They learned nothing from Iraq and Afghanistan. Or hell, even Vietnam. They are stuck on the fantasy that American power can achieve anything, especially if the liberals stay out of the way and let the Real American patriots do what they need to do.

    Fools.

  97. 97
    General Stuck says:

    If Romney had the slightest political skills to win a national election, then this stuff would make me anxious. Since he doesn’t have those skills, that will be readily apparent to every voter with a pulse before the election, and if they elect him anyways, well, then that is just karma for the apocalypse, and all along little could be done about it.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    Certainly invading and occupying Iran would be folly, but Iran has negligible conventional forces that aren’t going to last long in a conventional battle (RE every liberal talking point on how much the US spends on its defense budget).

    Iran’s conventional forces are 523,000 active, 1.8 million reserves. Israel’s conventional forces are 176,500 active, 565,000 reserves. (All numbers per Wikipedia.)

    Sorry, but Israel ain’t going to be occupying Iran anytime soon, either. As I said, Israel’s only hope is that they can attack and then hide behind the US to escape retaliation, because in conventional forces vs. conventional forces against Iran, they’re screwed.

    @Brachiator:

    Israel could probably do great damage to Iran’s army to prevent any massive infantry strike. And, worse case scenario, Israel could use tactical nukes against any Iranian army.

    Using tactical nukes against ground forces would pretty much be exactly the excuse the Arab League needs to invade and occupy Israel with the full consent of the UN. In fact, pretty much any massive action directed against Iranian troops within Iranian borders would leave Israel in extremely deep shit with the rest of the world.

    As I said, their only hope is to be able to strike and then hide behind the US to prevent retaliation. There’s no other realistic option, because Iran and its allies can retaliate far beyond what Israel can defend against. 1967 was a long, long time ago and Israel’s opponents have a hell of a lot more weapons at hand now. Iran ain’t the intifada throwing rocks at IDF soldiers.

  99. 99
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yeah, point noted. The problem with the neo cons is that they believe that the US can defeat the moolahs and engineer regime change without cost or consequence. They learned nothing from Iraq and Afghanistan. Or hell, even Vietnam. They are stuck on the fantasy that American power can achieve anything, especially if the liberals stay out of the way and let the Real American patriots do what they need to do.

    Ah, but all these wars, as you point out, were lost because we didn’t bomb ENOUGH, weren’t harsh ENOUGH.

    It’s already an article of faith among wingnuts that we lost Vietnam because Walter Cronkite and the DFHs made people believe we were going to lose when in reality we were just on the verge of winning. A similar myth is emerging that Bush had everything sown up with THE SURGE and that Obama cut and ran and any problems in the future of Iraq and Afghanistan will be due to that. The solution, of course, is to be harsher and more militaristic and just generally more right wing.

    The trouble is that while they might not succeed at reshaping the world into something they want, their efforts to do so will continue to kill thousands.

  100. 100
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    As I said, their only hope is to be able to strike and then hide behind the US to prevent retaliation. There’s no other realistic option, because Iran and its allies can retaliate far beyond what Israel can defend against. 1967 was a long, long time ago and Israel’s opponents have a hell of a lot more weapons at hand now. Iran ain’t the intifada throwing rocks at IDF soldiers.

    I’m pretty sure that the advances in weaponry since 1967 have kept Israel on top of that hill now, as then. After the 1973 war, something weird happened. Israel got caught napping on their big holiday of Yom Kippur, and Egypt advanced rapidly from the south, and pretty much had a walk into Tel Aviv, before Israel could call up their reserves to stop them. But Egypt froze and didn’t take the opportunity, giving Israel the chance to muster, and they did, and stopped the assault and drove Egypt across the Sinai.

    At the time I was sitting by on alert here in the states with my little green parachute and plastic assault rifle, to probably get myself wasted. What ever the reason they stopped, Egypt — was real fine by me. I don’t know. Maybe they realized they didn’t really want to overrun Israel after all and push the jews into the sea. Maybe they asked themselves, what came next.

  101. 101
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    I’m pretty sure that the advances in weaponry since 1967 have kept Israel on top of that hill now, as then.

    That, and I can’t imagine any scenario in which the United States doesn’t come in on the side of the Israelis if their existence or independence is in serious jeopardy and their own forces aren’t enough. No matter which party controls the Oval Office.

    Yes, “their only hope is to be able to strike and then hide behind the US to prevent retaliation.” The trouble is, the U.S. will let them. I don’t see that changing.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Origuy:

    If you saw the “Finding Your Roots” episode with Wanda Sykes, she (SPOILER ALERT!) finds out that her ancestors were also an African slave and a white woman, which meant that it turned out that none of her ancestors had actually been slaves except for that very first one — they had all been free people since the 1600s.

    (For those who don’t recall, American race-base slavery was matriarchal, meaning that whether or not you were a slave depended on who your mother was. If your mother was enslaved, all her children were also slaves regardless of who their father was. If your mother was free, all of her children were also free, also regardless of who their father was.)

  103. 103
    General Stuck says:

    @Chris:

    That, and I can’t imagine any scenario in which the United States doesn’t come in on the side of the Israelis if their existence or independence is in serious jeopardy and their own forces aren’t enough. No matter which party controls the Oval Office.

    True, and that truth, I think is why the mil powers in the region gave up on trying to destroy Israel militarily. The only real existential threat to Israel now, is Israel itself, allowing Hamas and other militant groups to cause Israel to behave in a manner that destroys their national soul from within. Hamas is winning that psyche war, and they know it.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    Yes, “their only hope is to be able to strike and then hide behind the US to prevent retaliation.” The trouble is, the U.S. will let them. I don’t see that changing.

    Depends on how big the Israelis want to go. If, as Brachiator says, they decide to use tactical nukes, then I think all bets are off. The US would not be able to stand against the global shitstorm that would result from that.

    I also don’t think that the Israelis would be able to run to US protection in an Obama administration after that kind of strike without being forced to make concessions on other things — settlements, maybe? If they pulled something like that without at least tacit approval from the US, I actually don’t think that Obama and Clinton would protect them without getting something in return.

    Romney would let them do whatever the fuck they want to with no concessions in return. That’s why Bibi is rooting for Romney.

  105. 105
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    Yeah, but who cares about the national soul? Nations have committed genocides before, gotten away with it and never been troubled by them except by what’s quickly dismissed as “white guilt.”

  106. 106
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:
    I don’t know about this. I can easily see the Saudis siding with fellow Arabs against Persians, but with Jews against fellow Muslims? They’d be throwing away a lot of credibility and influence in the Muslim world.

  107. 107
    General Stuck says:

    @Chris:

    While I agree with you in principle, I don’t go along with Israel committing genocide on the Palestinians, if that is what you are suggesting. It has been brutal, their behavior, and no doubt crossed into war crimes with over reaction of force. But I see two sides in the hostilities doing that. I guess that makes me a tad out of step for this thread, but it ain’t the first time. And won’t be the last, probly. But the internal conflict of their brutal behavior with the Palestinians, and their own treatment in a massive genocide in Europe, is what I am talking about. I don’t think Jewish people, on the whole, are the least bit brutal by nature. But have convinced themselves that they’re existence is under assault in an exaggerated manner, more than it actually is. And so they turn to the most brutal and extreme of their own, a minority, to sate that fear, and Hamas keeps the cycle going with what they can manage in way of violence toward their eternal enemy, Israel. Long as Israel over reacts, they are losing, imo.

  108. 108
    Svensker says:

    @General Stuck:

    allowing Hamas and other militant groups to cause Israel to behave in a manner that destroys their national soul from within.

    She made me hit her! ???

  109. 109
    General Stuck says:

    @Svensker:

    She made me hit her! ???

    You see now, when I read shit like what you just wrote, it is very hard to not see your belligerent hate going well past the issue concerning the state of Israel. With any semblance of the objective, what so ever.

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Using tactical nukes against ground forces would pretty much be exactly the excuse the Arab League needs to invade and occupy Israel with the full consent of the UN. In fact, pretty much any massive action directed against Iranian troops within Iranian borders would leave Israel in extremely deep shit with the rest of the world.

    The Arab League has been greatly weakened by the Arab Spring. Perversely, this may give Israel an “opening” to provoke an attack.

    I don’t see Egypt, Syria, Jordan or Lebanon being able to marshall enough material for any kind of sustained attack. All these countries depend on the US or Russia for their military equipment, and they are not going to be able to get much in the way of support.

    Saudi Arabia is a paper tiger. And I have this cynical fantasy that someone in Washington can flip a switch and disable all the Saudi’s US provided military equipment.

    The Iran Iraq war provided some idea of the limits of the effectiveness of Iran’s army. I don’t see them able to do much on their own.

    @Chris:

    A similar myth is emerging that Bush had everything sown up with THE SURGE and that Obama cut and ran and any problems in the future of Iraq and Afghanistan will be due to that. The solution, of course, is to be harsher and more militaristic and just generally more right wing.

    Yeah, wingnuts believe this. I am hoping that the current military isn’t as stupid. But I don’t have any confidence that a president Romney would be able to keep the neocons and the wingnuts under control.

  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If you saw the “Finding Your Roots” episode with Wanda Sykes, she (SPOILER ALERT!) finds out that her ancestors were also an African slave and a white woman, which meant that it turned out that none of her ancestors had actually been slaves except for that very first one—they had all been free people since the 1600s.

    Missed this. Wonder if I can still find the episode somewhere.

    (For those who don’t recall, American race-base slavery was matriarchal, meaning that whether or not you were a slave depended on who your mother was. If your mother was enslaved, all her children were also slaves regardless of who their father was. If your mother was free, all of her children were also free, also regardless of who their father was.)

    I read a book called “We Were Always Free” for a history class that dealt with this. An iTunes U history course provided some other insights.

    Originally, liberty followed the father (there was a Virginia case from the late 1600s in which a woman whose father was white was set free because of her father’s status as a free man, and because she could give a good account of her Christianity). The rules were later changed, tightened to prevent any legal escape from slavery. But for some decades, the offspring of a white woman and a male slave were held in indenture until age 21 or 30, but afterwards were free.

  112. 112
    Origuy says:

    @Brachiator:

    Wonder if I can still find the episode somewhere.

    It’s at pbs.org. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots/video/

  113. 113
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    My point isn’t that Israel is committing genocide. My point is that nations can and will commit all sorts of crime without giving a damn about the state of their “national soul” unless there’s a good incentive for them to do otherwise. The protection of the American shield has basically made them invulnerable on the world stage, so they have no such incentive.

    I don’t see what war Hamas is winning, basically. Psychology isn’t going to stop the Israelis from continuing to slowly expand into the West Bank until there’s basically no Arab territory left, which is their current objective. And while not all Israelis want that, I also don’t think enough of them care to significantly oppose those who do.

  114. 114
    wrb says:

    @General Stuck:

    I don’t go along with Israel committing genocide on the Palestinians

    Well that’s awfully prim of you.

    /back to sleep

  115. 115
    General Stuck says:

    @Chris:

    We can’t know what the situation would change to, if Hamas agreed to quit trying to destroy Israel. I personally think, more peaceful forces in Israel would come to power and stay that way, if Hamas quit attacking, and all the Palestinians did as well. And that Israel hawks would have a much harder time practicing their brutality, and go back to the mean spirited minority they are and always have been. As well as most Americans expecting the same from Israel. Even a lot of dem supporters now, that believe they are defending themselves. But who knows? and I don’t expect Hamas to quit fighting, because like I said, they are winning. I stand by this opinion as it relates to Israel and it Jewish citizens, and the state of affairs in this conflict. So we disagree on that.

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