Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Guess We Know Who's In Charge

Ehud Olmert Orders Bush Around Like an Employee:

WASHINGTON — In an unusually public rebuke, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel said Monday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been forced to abstain from a United Nations resolution on Gaza that she helped draft, after Mr. Olmert placed a phone call to President Bush.


“I said, ‘Get me President Bush on the phone,’ ” Mr. Olmert said in a speech in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, according to The Associated Press. “They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care: ‘I need to talk to him now,’ ” Mr. Olmert continued. “He got off the podium and spoke to me.”

Israel opposed the resolution, which called for a halt to the fighting in Gaza, because the government said it did not provide for Israel’s security. It passed 14 to 0, with the United States abstaining.

Mr. Olmert claimed that once he made his case to Mr. Bush, the president called Ms. Rice and told her to abstain. “She was left pretty embarrassed,” Mr. Olmert said, according to The A.P.

However you feel about the Israeli/Palestinian mess in Gaza, the image of the President of the United States letting himself be called on the carpet like some junior associate ought to piss any American off.

Frankly, I think both sides of the conflict have behaved in a way that's insanely counterproductive. Hamas tries to goad Israel into an operation in which hundreds, perhaps thousands of Palestinian civilians will be killed. Israel obligingly roars into Gaza and kills hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians. Palestinians hate Israel more than ever, and extremists harvest more recruits from the families of the dead and wounded. Now you tell me...who's in control of that situation? Who's accomplished their objectives? This isn't a war: it's an extremist recruiting drive, with the IDF as the best recruiters Hamas ever had.

Hamas may be monsters, but the Israelis are saps for falling for the same trap over and over.

All that said, I am sick of this so-called "policy" where Israel says "jump" and Bush goes "how high?"


31 comments:

Mike said...

Hey, is this the same Dusty Rhoades that went to Wallace O'Neal in the mid-late 70s?

Anonymous said...

I think we have to relax and not believe everything that the AP puts out. Their reputation of late has been much tainted. As for Hamas, let Israel eliminate them. In the long run they are doing us a service.

RR Fletcher

JD Rhoades said...

Mike: yep, that's me.

RR: I'm no fan of Hamas, believe me. They oppress women and summarily execute dissenters. They are by no means freedom fighters in my book. But once you "eliminate" them, who takes their place? Al-Quaeda?

Anonymous said...

Then they have to be eliminated too. Sorry to be so harsh, but that's the only way to solve this Muslim terrorist situation. The civil Arab nations are not going to do it for us and the terrorist organizations are never going to stop killing Americans, Israelis, and others.
Enough is enough.

RR Fletcher

Anonymous said...

Looks like this is starting out good. I'll remember this when I cut my check on April 15th.

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama's choice (Timothy Geithner) to run the Treasury Department and lead the nation's economic rescue disclosed publicly Tuesday that he failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004, a last-minute complication that Senate Democrats tried to brush aside as a minor bump on an otherwise smooth path to confirmation.

John McFetridge said...

It's been coming since 1948 - Israel has been accepted by more and more people in the area and these hardliners are all that's left in opposition to its existence.

So, either someone comes up with a way to work it out with them or it continues like this forever, because, as the post says, this isn't eliminating anyone, it's making more of them.

JD Rhoades said...

RR: Thanks for the plug for genocide, but I'll pass on endorsing it.

Anonymouse: stay on topic, please.

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what makes these people tick, until you have seen it first hand. In our lifetime you will personally know of someone that is violently effected by these terrorist groups.

RR Fletcher

Tom Panek said...

Yeah, it's something when one of our puppets becomes the puppeteer. Is it any surprise Olmert yanked Bush's chain? The guy hasn't been worth a tinker's dam for the past eight years, and has literally disappeared since Obama's been elected. He's not worthy of the office he holds. But he's only around for 6 more days. Good riddance, I say, and none too soon. His motto should have been, "Open ass, insert head."

As for the situation in Gaza, that's just business as usual. That conflict hasn't changed much since 1948, and I don't think it's likely to. Given the Arab world's stance on Israel's existence and their surreptitious support of any organization sworn to eradicate them, and Israel's pit bull reaction to any agression - predictably condoned by their master, the U.S. - this will remain a circus well past the end of my lifetime. What will make a difference is if somehow the common people in Palestine, who are interested in co-existing and just making a living, can be brought to the forefront and spared all this misery. Let their plight be the focus. Let Israel conduct their reprisal as a police action concentrated on rooting out criminals, not as retribution against all Palestinians, including the innocent. Infiltrate and assassinate is the way to go. Don't use a sledgehammer to kill a wasp. All it does is smash things up.

JD Rhoades said...

this will remain a circus well past the end of my lifetime.

So long as we have bloodthirsty advocates for genocide like RR Fletcher driving the debate, I fear you're right.

anahata56 said...

Hey, but you know, that's what happens when you put the Evangelicals in charge! Their Bible teaches them that if you harm a hair on one of the "Chosen", you find yourself on the wrong side of Armageddon!

You're correct--in this, both sides are wrong. But it's infuriating to find that this country is being manipulated this way, and that the whole world knows it.

THIS is what puts us in harm's way, in a much more realistic way than the perpetrators of 9/11 ever DREAMED.

John McFetridge said...

Things have changed since 1948, though, some in a very positive way. It's hard to see sometimes, but there are people in Egypt working on peace talks - that's a significant change from 1948 and 1967 and 1973 and..., well, you get the idea.

Like a lot of things, finding peace here gets harder the closer people get, it's like that last mile in a marathon, it's a lot tougher than the first one was.

And, speaking as a non-American, I have to say, the world is worse off when America is less involved. It's true, America gets very little credit for putting itself in harm's way and gets a huge amount of criticism for anything that goes wrong, that's something that hasn't changed.

Gerard said...

I didn't read RR's comments as genocidal. I read his comment as "Get rid of those Hamas bastards. Kill'em or jail'em." I approve of that tactic.

What sucks is that the Palestinians actually voted those violent clowns into power. You dump the corruption of one political party so that Hamas can F with Israel and get your children bombed.

Anonymous said...

You can't make peace with people who want to kill you. So what is left for Israel to do? Hamas and groups like Al-Quaeda are not doing to negotiate with anyone. Dream on.

As for the "bloodthirsty advocates for genocide like RR Fletcher driving the debate" comment; very juvenile and disrespectful, but not unexpected coming from here.

RR Fletcher

Gerard said...

Ha ha! You're juvenile, Rhoades!

JD Rhoades said...

I didn't read RR's comments as genocidal. I read his comment as "Get rid of those Hamas bastards. Kill'em or jail'em." I approve of that tactic.

And his answer to the question of what do you do when someone replaces Hamas is "kill them, too." War without end, Amen.

very juvenile and disrespectful, but not unexpected coming from here.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Gerard said...

Ha ha! See? You are juvenile!

JD Rhoades said...

Whenever you call a wingnut on his chest-pounding, false-macho "kill 'em all" bullshit, he can be counted on to start whining about your "tone."

LongHairedWeirdo said...

I do like the idea of eliminating Hamas.

Do they still have that rule that, as long as you're a member of, or support, Hamas, you turn bright blue with green polka dots?

No? They don't?

Well, shit, how are you going to look at two Palestinians and know "that one is a member of Hamas, and that other one is just a civilian who wishes Hamas would piss off and stop provoking Israel?"

Because if you kill *both* of them, the family and friends of that civilian are going to maybe decide that Israel is as bad as Hamas always said.

Which leaves you with two choices: 1) genocide, or,
2) forging closer ties with the Palestinians who want Hamas to piss off, and convince them you're decent enough fellows that it's okay to turn fellow Palestinians over to you.


Since genocide is pretty bad stuff, I'd recommend the second. Do that, and Hamas won't be able to operate any more. The smart members will retire, the dumb ones will be hunted down and imprisoned (or killed).

It's not as much fun for those who like to cheerlead mass death and destruction, of course... but ain't war hell?

Gerard said...

Your sensible argument has no place on the internet. Or, in the Middle East.

JD Rhoades said...

John (Long Haired Weirdo) said it better than I did.

Tom Panek said...

Since genocide is pretty bad stuff, I'd recommend the second. Do that, and Hamas won't be able to operate any more. The smart members will retire, the dumb ones will be hunted down and imprisoned (or killed).

Which leads us back to where i ended - the focus needs to be on the innocent people trapped in all of this. Those people need a strong enough representation to have the confidence to become the majority power. They need leaders who will ally themselves with Israel in an attempt to oust any militants. Could this happen? It could, if the US stopped talking about dealing with Hamas and sought out Palestinians who genuinely want a civilized union with Israel. Will it happen? Not likely, given the animosity between the two parties and our partisan stance.

As for obliterating Hamas, that wouldn't accomplish anything. The Palestinians have already dealt out the PLO and Fatah, and Israel made them non-factors. Hamas is just another name in a parade. Ain't gonna happen in my lifetime...

Kate Hathway said...

The problem is drugs - as in "the opiate of the people" religious insanity overwhelms any ability to even try to think about how to live together on a planet with shrinking resources. Fresh water, decent food - only if you think this way about a supernatural being. You don't - then I keel you (thanks Jeff Dunham - even though it's not funny in real life). And then the other side keels more, and so on and so on.

However, this latest offensive is beyond morally offensive, in that IDF is actually - on purpose, no matter what they claim - shelling relief agency staff and supplies and using phosporus bombs in civilian areas, causing horrendous death and maiming. If they were trying to tell the world they are in the right, it's not working very well.

Gerard said...

Yeah, I am disgusted at the deaths of kids and the elderly. With Hamas hiding in spots like hospitals and mosques it's no wonder innocent non-combatants are getting killed.

How tightly packed are the people in Gaza? I imagine it is elbow to elbow. Targeting the bad guys cannot be easy, but artillery is an indiscriminate bludgeon.

I'm glad to see this discussion moving away from the juvenile posturing of our host.

Tom said...

If it wasn't acceptable for the Brits and the Royal Ulster Constabulary to assault the Boggie (Roman Catholic) population of Northern Ireland, then the Israeli action isn't acceptable either.

And you'll notice they did, after hundreds of years of self-serving religious hatred, violence and villainy, finally sit down and negotiate a peace - successfully.

Tom Panek said...

Well, maybe we only have a few centuries to go. Like I keep saying...

Anonymous said...

It's not as if Obama is any less servile when it comes to favoring Israel. His speech at AIPAC was disgusting and his foreign policy appointments are not very promising when it comes to a fair Middle East peace agreement (appointing Hillary being the first roadblock).

(And no, I'm not a Hamas supporter nor condone violence against Israeli civilians. It's just that I'm impressed by the Twilight Zone-reality depicted by the American media when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If you want something remontely objective, the BBC would be a good pick. Agence France Presse has also been pretty good with its reporting.)

Tom said...

I don't think we were talking about a president, Anonymous Troll. We were talking about the remarkable tendency we have toward interspecies homicide for the most specious of reasons.

An open-minded person would give the next government a chance to show its worth through its actions . . . but you've already made up your mind, haven't you? And have you bought and hidden all your extra firearms, too? Don't forget the dessicant packs for the ammo boxes.

Anonymous said...

It makes no difference whether I post with my name or not, "Tom". You don't know me and I don't know you. I'm basing my judgment on Obama's apppointments, his reliance on people like David Ross for advice, his servile speech at AIPAC and his silence over what's going on in Gaza. While Israel bombs civilian populations indiscriminately, the House Democrats issue a statement in its support.

If anyone's made up his mind based on nothing that's you. What do firearms and ammo boxes have to do with anything? Portraying me as a militia guy? At least try to be original in your lack of humor. You're just guessing that I'm some lunatic fringe survivalist. I know for a fact that you're an idiot.

JD Rhoades said...

It makes no difference whether I post with my name or not, "Tom".

Actually, anonymouse, it does. Anyone can be a tough guy and call someone else and "idiot" while hiding.

And while you obviously think putting "Tom" in quotes is clever, I can tell you I've met the man and it's his real name. And I have a lot more respect for someone who'll step up and take responsibility for his own opinions. What are you afraid of?

Anonymous said...

I was simply making a point without getting personal. My ID is irrelevant for such purposes. Plus, if you allow anonymous comments on your blog, I assume it's because you don't have a problem with them.

Why should Tommy know anything more about me? I certainly don't need to know about his personal life when all we're supposed to be doing is exchanging ideas. A while back I read The Devil's Right Hand and enjoyed it even though I know nothing about your personal life. Would it have made a difference in my appraisal of the book?

I was not the one who started with the insults, not that it makes much of a difference. You telling me that Tom is a real person is irrelevant as well. I don't know him and he doesn't know me. What difference does it make? I simply wanted to comment on what struck me as a thought-provoking post written by you and wasn't expecting an idiotic attack portraying me as a fringe survivalist.

While I'm not afraid as you imply, I do risk something by posting under my own name. I worked for the Obama campaign (albeit in a low-level position) and traveled all across the country with other staff members and volunteers. There are several pro-Obama articles under my name that can be easily Googled. Nonetheless, I'm pretty disappointed by his (and the Democratic party's) inability to say anything remotely supportive of the slaughtered Palestinian civilians. What we've gotten, instead, is yet another statement in support of Israel's military actions. That was my whole point. I was expecting a rebuttal, not a childish remark or people questioning my courage from behind a keyboard.