Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
HNN editor, Rick Shenkman, brought to my attention that this blog has been selected by online schools website as one "100 Best Blogs for Your Liberal Arts Education.” It goes without saying that I am delighted, most grateful and will do my best to live up to the unexpected honor.
By the way, you may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to access all sage online journal for free until the end of the month. Click here to register and download.
Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 12:46
But the weak dollar is going to hit them hard, as they (especially the young and the retired) travel and a weak dollar is immediately noticeable. So, expect howls from previous Obama supporters.
Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 13:16
Where Ahmadinejad leaves off, the Goldstone Report, or, as it is officially called, the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” persists. The U.N. mission purports to have investigated Israel's military action in Gaza last winter, an operation launched in response to the firing of more than 7,000 Hamas missiles at Israeli towns since Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Strip. But instead of probing Hamas's deliberate effort to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and its doctrine of hiding behind Palestinian human shields, the judges interviewed handpicked Hamas witnesses, several of them senior commanders disguised as civilians, and uncritically accepted their testimony. Inexorably, the report, which presumed Israel's guilt, condemned the Jewish state for crimes against humanity and for mounting a premeditated campaign against Gaza civilians.
The Goldstone Report goes further than Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews not only of the ability and the need but of the right to defend themselves. If a country can be pummeled by thousands of rockets and still not be justified in protecting its inhabitants, then at issue is not the methods by which that country survives but whether it can survive at all. But more insidiously, the report does not only hamstring Israel; it portrays the Jews as the deliberate murderers of innocents--as Nazis. And a Nazi state not only lacks the need and right to defend itself; it must rather be destroyed.
Ahmadinejad's genocidal rhetoric and the iniquity of the Goldstone Report notwithstanding, Israel will, of course, continue to defend its citizens. No amount of vitriol will compel Israel onto a course of self-destruction. But what will be destroyed is any chance for peace. Having twice withdrawn unilaterally to recognized borders and received only onslaughts in return, and having suffered censure for protecting themselves from that aggression, Israelis will understandably recoil from additional retreats that will leave them vulnerable. Israelis, moreover, will not withdraw from any territory liable to become staging grounds for terrorist groups empowered by international agencies and convinced of their ability to murder Israelis with impunity.
Israel will pursue policies with or without firgun. But by making the connection between the Holocaust and its denial, the Iranian nuclear program, and the Goldstone Report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has exposed the venal narrative that concludes with Israel's paralysis. By reaffirming Israel's right to safeguard its citizens, he has demarcated the only path to peace.
Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 13:21
As you can see, Iranians refuse to shut up. They continue their protest day and night and it is not limited to Tehran. As Stalinist show trials in which protesters, such as Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani, confessed their sins, failed to do the trick. and encouraged by such signals as the Obama administration's decision to cut off funding for Iranian Human-Rights Documentation, Ahmadinejad and company are making yet another effort to scare Iranians into compliance - a death sentence.
Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani"was transferred on Monday from Evin prison ward 209 to Revolutionary Court number 15, presided over by judge Salabati, and the execution verdict was communicated to him." Hanging!
The crime? . . ."propaganda activities against the Islamic establishment and taking part in rallies with the aim of undermining national security."
The sentence can be and undoubtedly will be appealed. The question remains: will Iranians be cowed to stop protesting?
We were extremely shocked to learn of the death sentence handed down on Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani in Iran. The announcement of this decision tarnishes still further the image of the Iranian regime.
Like the whole international community, France observed the scale of the popular protest in the wake of the announcement of the results of the 12 June election.
The mobilization of a large section of Iranian society is continuing despite the crackdown.
We salute the courage of all the Iranian citizens who, despite the successive waves of repression and violence, are demonstrating peacefully in defence of their basic rights.
Will the Obama administration follow suit? We have learned not to expect it to lead when it comes to the subjects of authoritarian regimes. As even Indians are realizing, this"liberal" administration is much too enamored with the law and order of autocracies.
Let's hope so.
Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 14:15
Israel names Russians helping Iran build nuclear bomb. Netanyahu handed the list to Putin. Good boy!
Hamas repeats threat to capture more"Shalits" This are our enemies. No, they deserve no respect!
UN Report Says Iran Has Data to Make a Nuclear Bomb. Reality strikes again.
The secret diary of the Saudi princess who would be stoned to death if she returned home Woopi would say:"It is not stoned stoned."
Islamic Bonds Receive a Boost This is the consequence of dollar printing.
The stakes in Afghanistan go well beyond Afghanistan Unfortunately, he is right.
Please, do not forget to Buy Israel. Here is the latest from the anti-Israeli boycott front.
Posted on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 13:37
Those arguing on the Sunday round tables that leaving Afghanistan has become acceptable because Pakistan is doing better, have just received a major set back with the bombing of the UN quarters in Islamabad. For it ended a bombing lull in major attacks. What caused the lull? It may have been the successful targeted killing of Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud or it may have been Ramadan. Either way, it demonstrates that drones are useful but do not secure victory especially when the staying power of the enemy is in question.
Indeed, the current public debate on Afghanistan has probably helped convince local waverers that victory in the subcontinent belongs to America's enemies. For as Dan Twining correctly argues and as Obama used to assert, the stakes in Afghanistan go beyond Afghanistan:
A recent trip to Islamabad and Lahore revealed to me that most Pakistani elites -- including the small minority that could credibly be described as sympathetic to Western goals in Afghanistan -- already believe that the game is up: the will of the transatlantic allies is broken, Obama doesn't have the courage or vision to see America's mission in Afghanistan through to victory, and the U.S. is well along the road to walking away from Afghanistan as it did after 1989. This widespread Pakistani belief has encouraged behavior deeply inimical to Washington's regional aims, with the effect that the American debate over whether Afghanistan is worth it is inspiring Pakistani actions that will make success all the harder to achieve.
After all, why shouldn't the Pakistani security services continue to invest in their friendly relations with the Taliban if Mullah Omar and company soon will take power in Afghanistan's Pashtun heartland? Why should the Pakistani military take on the militant groups that regularly launch cross-border attacks into Afghanistan when the NATO targets of those attacks will soon slink away in defeat? Why should the Pakistani government get serious about wrapping up the Quetta Shura when the Afghan Taliban appears to be ascendant in the face of Western weakness?
Why should Pakistan's intelligence service break its ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the world's most potent terrorist groups, when it forms such a useful instrument with which to bleed U.S. ally India? And why should Pakistani civilian and military leaders overtly cooperate with the United States when it appears such a weak and unreliable ally of the Afghan people -- incapable, despite its singular wealth and resources, of defeating a 25,000-man insurgency in one of the poorest countries on Earth?
The answers my friends are blowing in the wind . . .
Robert Kaplan reluctatly agrees. We must fight on though the real winner is bound to be China.
Oh, yes, just like in Iraq, the rats are quick to leave the ship: UN closes all offices in Pakistan after blast
Pakistan Taliban head cracks jokes, vows vengeance "He also described his group's relationship to al-Qaida as one of"love and affection.""
Posted on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 14:26
ElBaradei says nuclear Israel number one threat to Mideast BBC failed to report this.
Posted on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 13:38
Goldstone must be pleased. He strengthened Iran's terrorist proxy, Hamas and weakened PA. Not wishing to hand Hamas a victory and hoping to use the delay as a valuable card in his negotiations with Israel, Abbas sought to delay consideration of the Goldstone report. Hamas accused it of betrayal and the Palestinian street took it's side. Abbas gave in. Now the ball is in the American court. Will it exercise its veto power at the Security Council? At what price?
One senior Palestinian politician, Yasser Abed Rabbo, has said the leadership had erred by seeking the deferral of the debate at the Human Rights Council until next March.
"We must say a mistake has been made. This mistake should not be underestimated or concealed," he said in a radio interview.
Many Palestinians have expressed outrage at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for seeming to let Israelis off the hook following Goldstone's trenchant criticism of Israel's blockade of Gaza and attacks on its citizens.
Posted on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 13:53
Some argue that bias is the only charge the Goldstone report. Nothing can be further from the truth. I have posted some but here are a number of additional articles challenging the evidence:
From Camera: The Goldstone Report: A Study in Duplicity
Elder of Zion, continues his report of Goldstone inaccuracies. Here is part 18
The PA asked the HRC to delay further consideration of the Goldstone report Why? Because of a video tape which shows PA officials urging Israel to take on Hamas in Gaza.
Posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 17:59
This is good news. As far as I am concerned numbers alone cannot do the trick. The limited time totally unconnected to development on the ground has always struck me as representative of inadequate commitment to victory. No one went to fight Germany for a six month or twelve month stint. They went for the duration. That not only increased their interest in a swift victory but also insured that the hard earned lessons will be exploited.
That is the reason I am so thrilled to read the following. It means that army strategists finally get it and, moreover, begin to act on their understanding. WSJ reports:
Military and defense officials said in interviews that the new Afghanistan units reflected a belief in the importance of developing cadres of officers who can do repeat tours to the country.
That's a change from moving officers from assignment to assignment based on overall institutional needs, which means troops can do deployments in Afghanistan and then not look at the conflict again for several years.
The Afghan Hands initiative is meant to immerse dozens of officers from each of the military's services in Afghanistan for three to five years. Troops selected for the program will do a year in Afghanistan before moving to the Pentagon's new Afghanistan office or to jobs at Central Command that are focused on the war.
Posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 12:27
Europeans know darn well the meaning of a United Europe. It means less democracy, more elite rule. Gideon Rachman argues a similar trajectory can be expected of G-20, i.e., Americans, like Europeans before them, should prepare to lose their say in major decisions affecting their lives. As a matter of fact, Europeans use the bureaucratic, procedural, incremental methods they used to create undemocratic Europe"to take over the world."
The realisation that the G20 is Europe’s Trojan horse struck me at the G20’s last summit in Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago. The surroundings and atmosphere were strangely familiar. And then I understood; I was back in Brussels, and this was just a global version of a European Union summit.
It was the same drill and format. The leaders’ dinner the night before the summit; a day spent negotiating an impenetrable, jargon-stuffed communiqué; the setting-up of obscure working groups; the national briefing rooms for the post-summit press conferences. . . .
The Europeans did not just set the tone at the G20 – they also dominate proceedings, since they are grossly over-represented. Huge countries such as Brazil, China, India and the US are represented by one leader each. The Europeans managed to secure eight slots around the conference table for Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the president of the European Commission and the president of the European Council. Most of the key international civil servants present were also Europeans: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund; Pascal Lamy of the World Trade Organisation; Mario Draghi of the Financial Stability Board.
As a result, the Europeans seemed much more tuned into what was going on than some of the other delegations. Puzzling over the new powers given to the IMF to monitor national economic policies in the Pittsburgh conclusions, I was interrupted by an old friend from the European Commission, who recognised the language immediately. “Ah yes,” she said, “the open method of co-ordination.” . . .
Yet the kernel of something new has been created. To understand its potential, it is worth going back to the Schuman Declaration of 1950, which started the process of European integration. “Europe,” it said, “will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements, which first create a de facto solidarity.”
The G20 now has some achievements and a burgeoning sense of solidarity between the members of this new, most exclusive, club. Who knows what comes next?
Posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 18:26
I must admit this is a surprise. Americans really get it. Now, if we only had a government as clear sighted as the people, the chances of avoiding war would have increased significantly:
A majority of Americans are skeptical that diplomacy with Iran will succeed and say the U.S. should use military action if necessary to prevent the Iranian government from developing a nuclear weapon.
A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey released today found 61 percent of Americans would support a military strike. Twenty-four percent said it is more important to avoid conflict even if that means Iran will end up building nuclear arms.
The survey by the Washington-based group found 63 percent support direct U.S. negotiations with Iran to push the country to abandon its nuclear program. Still, 64 percent said such efforts won’t succeed. The poll was conducted last week, when Iran held talks with the U.S. and other United Nations powers and agreed to widen discussions on the nuclear dispute. . . .
In the Pew survey, while 78 percent said they would approve of tougher economic sanctions on Iran, 56 percent said they didn’t expect the measures would persuade Iran to drop its nuclear program. The poll was conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 4 among 1,500 adults, with an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
More prove that the American people are right: It's Official! Iran Publicly Says it Fooled U.S. and Europeans in Geneva, Offered Nothing In other words, the Obama administration legitimized the Ahmadinejad regime for nothing!
Posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 21:31
Greenspan on THIS WEEK: The stimulus did not stimulate. It it was not even spent (it was designed for spending before election 2010). Now, We are in trouble!
The job report was pretty awful, no matter how you looked at it. Indeed, not only, of course, did the unemployment rate go up, but I was particularly concerned about the number of Americans who have been unemployed for six months or longer. And that went up...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Five million Americans.
GREENSPAN: But that went up sharply in September. And remember, the reason that is a problem, obviously, other than the obvious personal difficulties that families have in such a context, is that the economy loses skills. And people who are out of work for very protracted periods of time, lose their skills eventually.
And remember that what makes an economy great is a combination of the capital assets of the economy and the people who run it. And if you erode the human skills that are involved there, there is a real and in one sense an irretrievable loss.
Have Americans been out of work as long before? We do not know
As of September, job searchers could expect to spend 26.2 weeks on the hunt -- the longest average on record since the BLS started keep records back in 1948.
The last time the jobless rate was this high, the average search took 20.8 weeks. Today, people are facing average searches that are six weeks longer. The BLS says the number of people sidelined for 27 weeks or more has risen to 5,438,000 from 4,988,000 in August.
What happened? An expensive useless, unspent stimulus designed with election 2010 in mind, leaves the American people with with higher unemployment even than Europe and in greater debt. It is a small wonder that the business community has turned against the administration. At least that is what Mort Zuckerman said on the Mclaughlin Report.
Proof? Angela Merkel's targeted, small stimulus, the one economists said will be a disaster, has proven itself effective according to Boston Cconsulting Group Survey:
Berlin - The German economic stimulus package is seen as highly effective in combating the effects of the global recession and stabilizing the country’s economy. A recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group found that the measures implemented in Germany were effectively stimulating domestic demand and lacked protectionist tendencies.
With only the sixth-largest stimulus package worldwide, Germany was able to score important points in the three remaining qualitative categories of the survey.
. . . BCG also credited Germany for its promotion of future technologies and education.
Germany would have done better, had the consultants looked at the stimulus success in limiting job loss. Remember, both the US and Germany started the year with a 7.2% unemployment rate. American unemployment is at 9.8 and rising. The German one is at 8.2% and falling to MSM's repeated surprise:
German unemployment fell again in September, helped by the usual seasonal decline that accompanies the end of the summer holiday period, the Federal Labor Office reported Wednesday. . . .
Even after seasonal adjustments, the number of jobless fell by 12,000, resulting in an unemployment rate of 8.2%. Economists polled earlier by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted a rise of 25,000 in seasonally adjusted unemployed and a jobless rate of 8.3%.
The Federal Labor Office also revised down the drop in seasonally adjusted unemployed in August to 6,000 from an initial estimate of only 1,000.
In unadjusted terms, the number of jobless fell more sharply, by over 125,000 to 3.346 million, or 8.0% of the workforce.
Merkel deserves her country's confidence. I wish I could say the same about our haughty president.
Posted on Monday, October 5, 2009 - 11:42
Chicago Is the First to Go in 2016 Voting Barack Obama thought the world adored him. He thought he was elected the president of the world. In Copenhagen, the IOC set him straight.
Will he finally become the president of the United States? If so, the exercise may have been beneficial.
A couple of my fellow HNN bloggers challenged my assumption that Obama considers himself the president of the world. So, I googled Obama,"president of the world" I got 64,500,000 results. Clearly, I am not alone. Here are a couple of results:
Carlos A. Quiroz of the Ground Report writes:
He stood there as if he was the president of the world, big error. . . .
The fact that the president of the U.S. traveled to Denmark, might have seemed arrogant and pretentious to many in the world, as Obama abused of his popularity and personal appeal, he went to the OIC himself to speak. That was a risky move that backfired. The 2008 campaign has ended already, Mr. President.
And by the way, the video presented by the U.S. had several Black kids presented as needy children who depend only in sports to overcome poverty and a difficult reality. It seemed so cliche and fake -not to say that is not the reality for African American children- because charity is not a reason to host the Olympics.
And here is a video of cnn - obama"president of the world"
Posted on Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 16:49
The USG acts like a madman when it comes to Iran. That is the essence of Michael Ledeen's WSJ article entitled We've Been Talking to Iran for 30 Years which demonstrates how each US administration tried to negotiate with Iran and each failed. Of course, the definition madness is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
Michael wants the US to help the opposition forces. Robert Kagan agrees: Forget the Nukes The Most Fruitful Target Is Iran's Weakening Regime. Fat chance. If Bush failed to do it, Obama is certainly unlikely to. Pity - just watch how fearlessly the Iranian students behave. Apparently, the police/guards do not dare enter the campus.
Focusing on nukes unquestionably plays into Ahmadinejad's hands. But that does not mean that we can set them aside. As Matt Kuentzel correctly argues Iran is not entitled to nukes and just as importantly, NPT does not provide the mechanism to stop it from developing nukes:
It is often assumed that the NPT actually blocks access to the bomb. In reality, the opportunities afforded to aspiring nuclear-weapons makers are enormous. Article IV of the treaty enables signatories to produce all components necessary for a bomb under U.N supervision, as long as they do not combine these components into nuclear explosives. The significance of this loophole was explained in April 2007 by Hossein Shariatmadari, a confidante of Iran's"Supreme Leader" Ali Khamenei:"A country that has attained the knowledge and technology of uranium enrichment is only one step away from producing nuclear weapons. This [additional] step is not a scientific or a technical step, but a matter of political decision."
Article X of the NPT further expands this loophole. A signatory state that, following President Obama's wishes," complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty" could accumulate the most important components of a nuclear weapon under cover of the NPT, and then legally withdraw from the treaty by simply citing"extraordinary events."
That's why President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, ignoring the faded Iranian signature on the NPT, denied the mullahs the right to any form of nuclear energy. On October 21, 2003, however, came a"very important turning point," as Hossein Mousavian, a high-ranking Iranian nuclear negotiator, described it. That was the day the foreign ministers of Great Britain, France and Germany—Jack Straw, Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer—traveled to Tehran, despite major reservations on the part of the Bush Administration, to"recognize the right of Iran to enjoy peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," as the text of a declaration agreed by Iran and the three foreign ministers states.
Again. Fat chance. Moreover, for such sanctions to work not only must Russia and China go along with them BUT our Middle Eastern"allies," the Gulf states and most especially Dubai (of our ports fame) must stop providing them with the means to circumvent the sanctions that have been imposed. Afshin Molavi, a fellow at the New American Foundation, went so far as to describe"Dubai as Iran's"lungs;" without Dubai, Iran cannot breathe."
It even breathes materials needed for nuclear development through the UAR.
AFP reports that Iran was caught trying to get nuclear materials via Canada and Dubai:
Microchips identified as possible"navigational chips" from the United States, Denmark and Japan were marked as headed for the United Arab Emirates, but officials suspect the end destination was Iran, said the Canadian daily.
"With all of the UN sanctions, of course, now no one declares that the goods are going to Iran. They actually declare UAE, Dubai," he said.
The last seizure occurred just last week. . . .
Webb also revealed authorities had recently discovered a new port in the Persian Gulf named Ras al-Khaimah being used to transship goods to Iran.
The port is nominally in the UAE, but is controlled by Iran and is situated just across the Gulf from Bandar Abbas, an Iranian city with a naval base and an airport capable of landing large transport planes, he said.
While making money hand over feast, Dubai is hoping like much of the world that Israel will take the risk and the blame from saving it from Iran. Its' experts even have the chutzpah to say it publicly:
Writing in the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi, for instance, the editor, Abdel-Beri Atwan, said that with recent developments “the Arab regimes, and the gulf ones in particular, will find themselves part of a new alliance against Iran alongside Israel.”
The head of a prominent research center in Dubai said that it might even be better if the West — or Israel — staged a military strike on Iran, rather than letting it emerge as a nuclear power. That kind of talk from Arabs was nearly unheard of before the revelation of the second enrichment plant, and while still rare, it reflects growing alarm.
“Israel can start the attack but they can’t sustain it; the United States can start it and sustain it,” said Abdulaziz Sager, a Saudi businessman and former diplomat who is chairman of the Gulf Research Center in the United Arab Emirates. “The region can live with a limited retaliation from Iran better than living with a permanent nuclear deterrent. I favor getting the job done now instead of living the rest of my life with a nuclear hegemony in the region that Iran would like to impose.”
Surprise, surprise, the Arabs can live with a retaliation directed primarily at Israel and the US. Who would have thunk?!
In short, time to stop wringing our hands in frustration and start reading the riot act to our Arab"allies" on whose behalf Americans did what they have never done for Israel, shed their blood in two Iraq wars. The Obama administration can do it in as"respectful" a manner as it wishes but it must pressure Dubai and the rest of the Gulf states to stop enabling the Iranian regime circumvent the sanctions already on the book not to mention those that may come. Absent their cooperation, sooner or later the region is doomed to a most destructive war.
At Dubai's bustling downtown wharf, Iranian sailors load goods bound for a handful of Iranian ports. During one recent visit, dozens of new Whirlpool Corp. refrigerators stood in neat rows in front of one dhow, chartered for the Iranian port of Bushehr. The captain declined to say who was shipping the cargo to Iran.
Products made by Whirlpool, of Benton Harbor, Mich., are readily available throughout Dubai, one of seven emirates that make up the U.A.E. A Whirlpool spokeswoman declined to comment except to say the company will abide by all sanctions.
The U.A.E. has vowed to enforce U.N. sanctions. But there are no laws here against shipping everyday, American-brand goods across the Persian Gulf to Iran.
How difficult is it to pass appropriate laws in an autocracy like the U.A.E?
Posted on Friday, October 2, 2009 - 13:28
Does this story mean that MSM will be forced to stop sugarcoating the growing number of unemployed?
demonstrated in Obama's two Americas, the poor, young, uneducated and black who can afford it least, suffer most. His IVY buddies, do just fine.
Posted on Friday, October 2, 2009 - 14:18