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Beak kiss – as opposed to air kiss… ;) 1 February 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.

Two endangered Miligold Macaws during a bird show by Calcutta Bird Lovers Forum in Eastern Indian city of Calcutta, India Picture: EPA

You could not make this up. Even Obama mouthpiece Chuck Todd can hear that Gibbs (and thus Ob and Axelrod) just threw the upcoming congressional elections to the R… No, really, they did.

Tapper v Gibbs, a continuing narrative:

TAPPER:    The president’s executive order creating a bipartisan commission to look at debt reduction — why is it needed, considering the fact that Democrats control the House, Senate and the White House?   
GIBBS:  Well, it’s needed because I think if you look at the budget documents, we’re going to get somewhere slightly above 3 percent of our GDP taken up in our budget deficit, and I think most people would say 3 percent is about where you need to be and it’s  going to take some tough decisions to close those gaps.    
TAPPER:  Why are the president and substantial majorities of Democrats in the House and Senate not capable of those tough decisions?   

GIBBS:  Because we understand, Jake, that unless you get 60 votes in this environment, you can’t make those — you can’t make those determinations.  Let’s use — in one particular instance, the  debt commission itself, this was a legislative proposal — and I’m  sure many of you have heard me do this — introduced in December, a  bipartisan proposal by Senator Judd Gregg, Senator Conrad — one a Republican, one a Democrat — that enjoyed pretty broad bipartisan support.  Normally 50 votes would carry the day.  This proposal got 53 votes when it needed 60.  Seven cosponsors of the legislation ultimately voted against the legislation.  So you need 60 votes in this environment to get something done.   
TAPPER:  The Democrats have 60 votes.  
MR. GIBBS:  No, I think very soon we’re not going to have 60 votes.

TAPPER: But when you had that vote on the debt commission, you did have 60 votes.

GIBBS:  We did have 60 votes, but we didn’t get the 60 votes we needed.  We lost seven Republicans that supported the bill.  Look, some Democrats don’t support it.  I get that.  If we would have simply  gotten all of the people that either voted for it or said they  supported it, we would have gotten far more than 60 votes.  Mitch McConnell, who I had the pleasure of sharing a Sunday show with, had  supported this two months ago — except when it came time to vote on  it.   

TAPPER: I guess my larger question is, aren’t these the tough  decisions that the president and members of Congress —

GIBBS:  Yeah, but Jake —  

TAPPER: — were elected to make?   
GIBBS:  Absolutely.  But Jake, one party’s not going to solve these — not going to solve all these problems.  One party is not going to make —

TAPPER:  Well, when — why is one party not capable of —    
GIBBS:  Because of — because of the —    

TAPPER:  — when one party controls the House, Senate and the White House?    

GIBBS:  No, no, no, no, wait a minute.  This is — welcome to Washington.  One party is not going to get — one party is not going to be able to solve all these.  The American people want both parties to work together to solve these.  We can make those tough decisions if  people are willing to work together to do that.  

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Is that your message in October?  
GIBBS:  Which one?   
TODD: That you just said to Jake.    

GIBBS:  Well, it was kind of long.  What was the – (chuckles).  

TODD: No, but both parties are here.  Wouldn’t you be making the  case that you’d want Democrats to get elected?
GIBBS:  Well, I — I’m going to vote for a Democrat in  November.  But Chuck, the American people want — today is an election  day, okay?  I’d go back to what the president said.  If every day’s election day, then I can assure you, we’ll never solve any of the big  problems.  

TAPPER: Well, you’re making —  
GIBBS:  Well, hold on — no, no, let me — let me just finish this, since Chuck interrupted your time.  

TAPPER: All right.  

GIBBS:  (Chuckles.)  No, every day is not election day, Chuck.  We have elections — sometimes we have special elections — but we have elections every two years for Congress.  If every day is election day, we’re never going to solve our problems, because  everybody’s going to be too busy, not trying to save somebody else’s  job, but trying to save theirs.  The American people want Democrats and Republicans in government, that represent them, to work together  to solve their problems.    
TAPPER: But you’re making my point.  The point is, the Democrats control the House, the Senate and the White House.  Why are you guys not capable of making the tough —

GIBBS:  Look, Jake, because, look —

TAPPER:  Are you just saying that — because it seems to me you’re making the argument that you’re —

GIBBS:  No, I would —

TAPPER: — that you — that essentially, underneath it all is, right, Democrats — that ‘These things are going to require very tough decisions, and the Democratic Party is not going to do it by itself  because we’re not going to go down and lose our jobs – ‘

MR. GIBBS:  No.  No, no, no, we’re —

TAPPER: ‘– without Republicans holding our hands.’

GIBBS:  Jake, there’s not uniform consensus in one party about how to do it. I think that’s been pretty clear about health care.  Lord knows, we’ve talked a lot about internal —   

TAPPER: Isn’t —
MR. GIBBS:  Hold on.  Let me just, let me just — let me finish the question. The — we are going to have to make tough decisions.  But in  order to get this passed, we’re going to need both parties to work together.  If you think one party can do it all, you know, I think   there are examples, not just from the past year but over the past many years, that altogether that’s not going to work. We — Jake, just because you’re not in the majority doesn’t mean you don’t have an obligation to help solve the problems of this   country.  That’s the message that the president had on Friday to the House Republicans.  That’s the message that the president ran on. Even though the president runs as a Democrat, that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to work with Republicans on trying to solve problems.  If that were the case, we’d have elections, and then one party would just go about solving everything.  The other party  wouldn’t even have to show up to work, until it was time to have the  next election. It may sound like a great idea.  But it’s —

TAPPER: I mean, you’re making the argument for legislating, not for a commission that a lot of people say is a cop- out.    
GIBBS:  No, I don’t think this commission is a cop-out.   Now — 

TAPPER: Well, it’s not legislatively binding.    

GIBBS:  No, but —    
TAPPER:  And you don’t have Boehner and McConnell signed off on it  yet

GIBBS:  Well, if it was such a good idea that they supported it a few weeks ago, I don’t — Jake, you can ask them what happened. You can ask Mitch McConnell why — sitting on the very same chair he was on yesterday, when he supported the Conrad-Gregg commission — when it came for a vote, he didn’t support it?  I don’t — I don’t know the answer to that.  It’s a fascinatingly good question. But we are going to have to work together to solve these problems.  It’s not going to be one person or one party that solves them.  I don’t think it’s a cop-out, because what the president will propose is that Democrats and Republicans should work together, to agree on proposals that he believes should be voted on. Understand that the legislation that failed would have required that the recommendations that that commission came up with be voted on by the House and the Senate, like a base closure issue.

TAPPER: Right.  This executive order will not do that because it cannot do that.

GIBBS:  The executive order will ask that based on the number of people that are chosen to serve on the commission — some by Democrats, some by Republicans — that a certain number of people agree, in order for the recommendation to be voted on by Congress.  But, Jake, the power — it is interesting that — I think we’ve heard, from some quarters, that Republicans just may not appoint anybody.  Well, tell me how you’re going to solve the big problems of this country if, in a very polarized country, one political party is not  going to join in working on that.  It’s just — it’s not going to happen.  
TAPPER: I’m not going to — and this is the last question I have on  this, and I’m sorry.  But I’m not going to challenge the notion that the other party may be behaving cravenly in this instance and with the  
 vote that you’re talking about.  But isn’t the whole point of being president and controlling the House and Senate to man up and make these tough decisions, whether — not —

GIBBS:  Yeah!  Absolutely.  
TAPPER: — whether or not it costs you at the ballot box in November?  
GIBBS:  We’re not — we’re — the commission —  

TAPPER: Then why are you saying, ‘We’re not going to do it unless we have sign-off from the Republicans’?  
GIBBS:  No, no, no.  We — we’re not going to make progress unless we have sign-offs from Republicans.  But again, Jake, there’s not unanimity in one party on either way forward.  Again, the – this president has instituted spending cuts last year nobody thought we  were going to get, including killing an F-22 program at the Pentagon.   We’ve outlined a series of cuts this year.  We’ve taken on the cost of health care and how it affects the federal budget.  We’ve got some skin in the game, Jake.  


Not much to add really…  I mean, would can one say?



1. marisacat - 1 February 2010

What next….

Toyota, the Japanese motor manufacturer that is recalling millions of defective cars around the world, knew in the UK a year ago that accelerator pedals in its cars were jamming.

The admission came amid reports in Canada that class-action lawsuits have been launched against Toyota, demanding compensation for injuries sustained by out-of-control cars.

The scare is threatening to spread to Renault. It has emerged that nearly 100,000 Peugeot 107 and Citroën C1 models may be affected as they share parts with Toyota and now Renault has said that it is “monitoring the situation” since it shares the same Toyota pedal supplier, CTS Corp of the US, on some models. ….

I see they mention the “19 deaths” that have surfaced in various investigations here in the US…

When asked why the incidents last winter were not publicised by Toyota with a warning to customers, the spokesman replied: “There were very few cases. It was felt it was not a problem.” Toyota has admitted 26 accelerator pedal incidents in Europe which statistically, says Toyota, makes their occurrence “very rare.”

A spokesman for Vosa, the Department for Transport’s vehicle safety agency, was happy with Toyota’s response to the issue so far, saying: “Vosa would advise any Toyota owners who have concerns about their vehicle to contact Toyota directly.”

A spokesman for Which?, the consumer group, said: “We believe Toyota is acting responsibly.”

Toyota is not getting as comfortable a ride in the US where statistics have indicated there have been 19 Toyota accelerator pedal-related deaths in recent years. …

And Ford must be gleeful………

2. BooHooHooMan - 1 February 2010

What a pathetic mess.
I am not shocked – afterall, Jello’d Piss – (once you get over THAT) — Jello’d piss goes to puddled pee in the heat eventually…But Jeebus JuJu Transubstantiation of the Body, Blood, and BreadLoaf Christ.

Okay, maybe I am shocked. I grok they were gelatin to begin with…
But Yielding more fluid on the floor than what is physically possible?
How DO they do it? LOL.

marisacat - 1 February 2010

Well basically these boys were mid brain operatives, imo. However high they flew thru gutter party politics… And neither Ax nor Gibbs imo flew that high… Ax has been peddlign his two americas or red and blue CAN love one another shit for some years…

AND one thing that is kicking their ass is Ob has deflated REALLY fast… and other than the pumped stump version of him translating to volunteer mass hysteria on the part of some people (white male libs over 40 fell hard for Ob) there ain’t no Plan B.

No plan b. Or c obviously. Since A was kinda barely thought thru.

Edwards, Deval… Freddie Ferrer.. they all peddled Axelrod’s crappy sales line.

marisacat - 1 February 2010

No you are right, it is quite stunning.

My old line,

lie down fall down cream puff Dems.

ts - 1 February 2010

They really are TRYING to lose. Not that I care about such things.

Cause you know, the Republicans are licking their chops knowing that come November the unemployment rate is still going to be 10% and ain’t nothing gonna get passed because over the GOP’s dead body. You’ve pretty much just told the GOP you’re gonna hand it to them.

I’m surprised that Tapper’s jaw didn’t separate from his body when it hit the floor, severing the carotid artery and spraying the press gaggle with his blood. I mean, an intelligent person reads, or god forbid lives through it in person, and just is completely speechless.

Gibbs is really making the case for being institutionalized.

These are smart people, being retarded. I just hope when the Dems sift through the wreckage in 2012 none of these people are ever left in charge again.

How are these people gonna raise money when you gave them the largest majority in recent history and they screwed it up so badly? I really can’t imagine…

marisacat - 1 February 2010

yeah… and that is fll text of what Tapper put at his blog site… I have not checked out the rest of the Gaggly-Goo

Probably a good one.

marisacat - 1 February 2010

Plus Ob is barely interested.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 1 February 2010

wow, he just beats Gibb-let like a drum, don’t he?

marisacat - 1 February 2010

I LOVED it!!!

marisacat - 1 February 2010

hmmm Well… everyone is HOPEful.

Axelrod: I ‘hope’ health care reform isn’t dying

by John Aravosis (DC) on 2/01/2010 02:30:00 PM

And I hope Barack Obama realizes he’s President of the United States and no longer a junior Senator.

Read More…… View Comments

ts - 1 February 2010

I’m just gonna watch, because after the health care clusterf*** where six months of work went down the toilet because of one Senate seat…Damn! This is gonna be good.

Heads are going to explode hearing this for the next nine months. I really don’t see how the party won’t clean house top to bottom if they want to survive. Kinda like the housing bubble. I saw it coming, but didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t think it possible that an entire political party could implode from its own vacuousness, but it really looks like the only possible outcome at this point.

Every month I’m gonna cut out a Krugman column and compare and contrast to the month before. He’s gonna pull out all his hair…then his beard…then his pubes…god I can’t wait…

marisacat - 1 February 2010

Well HC, as it is mistakenly called, died before it was born. Ob and his Oblumplings sold it out from the beginning. As dide ALL DEMOCRATS.

They have no interest in providing a coherent system, most docs and hospitals do not, our system is fucked beyond belief…like most things in the country it is stratified to ensure there is a welfare class (Medic_aid) and then the other stratas… and, had it gone thru, to live under a mandated coverage, run by the Ins Cos… and overseen, as to mandate, by the IRS… well, bring on worse peonage (debt and other) than we now have.

4. marisacat - 1 February 2010

hmm via Sully… apparently what we may hear tomorrow from Gates and Mullen on DADT.

I would call it more better inquisitions.

But Sully seems ok with this………………. 😆 MOUTHPIECE 🙄

[T]he Palm Center has announced that President Obama’s executive changes to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, expected to be announced Tuesday, could significantly impact the lives of gay troops. The expected statements from Defense Secretary Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen would protect some service members from investigations based on third-party allegations and set a new standard for what constitutes reliable sources and credible information that trigger a “don’t ask, don’t tell” investigation. It is also expected that the military brass will announce changes to the adjudication of potential discharges, whose effect could be to require a flag officer to sign off on any discharge for it to move forward. ….

Earlier in another post today, Sully identified himself as a “Reagan-Thatcher pragmatist Christian Tory”…………. He should have added “Obama-ite”, as well.


H’s pretty sure none of this will involve Zyklon-B for HIM…

Madman in the Marketplace - 1 February 2010

so, they’ll replace with ‘better’, more ‘reliable’ sources of blackmail and personal attacks?

marisacat - 1 February 2010

I found it pretty horrifying.

And of course, Sully, having been sent a third tier atty from the DOJ to assist him iwth his arrest for MJ use on federal land (think it was October)…. is easy squeezy with it.

5. BooHooHooMan - 2 February 2010

One can Hope!

News Analysis
Huge Deficits May Alter U.S. Politics and Global Power

Published: February 1, 2010

…For Mr. Obama and his successors, the effect of those projections is clear: Unless miraculous growth, or miraculous political compromises, creates some unforeseen change over the next decade, there is virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr. Obama or his successors. Beyond that lies the possibility that the United States could begin to suffer the same disease that has afflicted Japan over the past decade. As debt grew more rapidly than income, that country’s influence around the world eroded.

Or, as Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, used to ask before he entered government a year ago, “How long can the world’s biggest borrower remain the world’s biggest power?”

Oh I dunno, LARRY.
~Larry. Larry? Enlighten us like you “lightened up” Harvard.
By about a 1/3 of their fuckin endowment, Larry. 😆

Well, the high priests of HiFi have been right all along about the pliability and dumbfuck docility of the American public. It mattering even less when owning a Could_give_a_fuck beyond next quarter’s or next cycle’s Government…

And while I’m not naive about “other” Regimes POV: a willingness to plunder “their own” people on their own terms…Regardless of Larry and Ob’s and Geithner’s and all the other catered lackeys worldview, right up to the Robert Rubin and Netanyahoo’s of the world at the Rothschildean top, ultimately the reckless abandon stops at some other or set of other countries’ *strong enough domain…

Welp. I think it’s pretty clear our PTB have indeed “sold the rope” to those who will rightly hang them upon further encroachment..And now, well beyond ideological abstraction, it has bumped right up against whether one set will retain control of their domains or not. Too bad all the rest of us perfunctory poop tubes on the planet are caught in the middle.

In the last year our U.S./ Israeli PTB desperately devalued our currency, The UK dragging with some whimpers along. Now, Whether our Elites like it or not, the “others” we fucked have already moved increasingly to the Euro for trade as a stop gap measure till pinning their own transactions to a new basket currency between China, Russia, Iran, Venezuala, ..IIRC , India wants in, too…

At this rate…We’re going to have little but ” A Rabbi, Priest, and a Black guy ..” Bar Jokes to offer. Surely other cultures will pay us a premium for our Catskills sense of humor and Cold War television reruns they missed out on when we were Lording it over them..
No? 😆

Ah well, we’ll always have our muscle to push them around, no?
So, our AfPakIraq thing isn’t so.. so..~ so impressive?
At least we have our much touted missile shields….. Right?
And we can even SELL them, too! Right?™
Ooops. Maybe NOT!
The BBC picked up on this from over the weekend:

US missile test of ‘Iran or North Korea’ attack …..FAILED.

Good thing China, Russia, and Iran prolly don’t get the BBC, tho…
Right? ™ ™ ™

6. BooHooHooMan - 2 February 2010

Some Progress! 🙄

DADT to be replaced with *TNTBTU

Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy on gays in military to change
By Craig Whitlock and Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

President Obama’s top defense officials will tell the Senate on Tuesday that the military will no longer aggressively pursue disciplinary action against gay service members whose orientation is revealed against their will by third parties, sources say.


Try Not To Beat Them Up!

GMAFB. “Commander in Chief” Barry the Perennial Definer “could” sign a one sentence Executive Order. No harassment, intimidation, bias, discrimination, denial of duty or promotion of any kind ….
Of course that’s if he wasn’t an utter NOTHING.

It should be amusing tho to see Aravosis The Orifice on Parade
tout this as something it’s not. As always.

marisacat - 2 February 2010

Check a little up thread… Sully seems fine with it.

I think it is ‘mo better Inquisition’.


BooHooHooMan - 2 February 2010

Brain Dead, here. Sorry.
In MY all but shoplifted redundant account, I do cite a different sold out gay pundit tho!

marisacat - 2 February 2010

no no I did not mean you repeated something.. that never bothers me. I just dislike Sully enough that I want to ‘spread it around”.


marisacat - 2 February 2010

Here is the latest Aravosis entry, it is about two down from teh top (his site is very ”stiff” for me and slow to load) http://www.americablog.com/ :

Monday, February 01, 2010

Pentagon to announce ‘year long’ review of DADT, including whether DOD will be forced to recognize gay marriage

by John Aravosis (DC) on 2/01/2010 11:16:00 PM

Yep, the Pentagon is invoking marriage. They’re running circles around the White House. Or worse, the White House is complicit. Either way, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell isn’t going to happen under Barack Obama’s watch unless we force him keep his promise. The real question is whether the Human Rights Campaign will help us, or continue to provide cover for a president who seems increasingly afraid to lead.

Oh be brave – go with complicit. And, HRC will be doing exactly nothing……..

I need some eye opening refreshments.. a huge mug of hot tea….

BooHooHooMan - 2 February 2010

Phase 1. AGAHU™. – Aravosis Gets All Het Up.
Speaks of “force” against the Pentagon and their Lieutenant at 1600 when they couldn’t handle some Statehouse hacks in New Jersey and New York where they had Majorities there, too. 😆

Coming up…
Phase 2. Streamlined from the Kubler Ross…. “Bargaineptnance” is then lamentably brought forth,
worked through, what have you, doty oat dote dee doe.

And then……… that’s pretty much it.

BooHooHooMan - 2 February 2010

I SO hope Aravosis follows Obam on vaca in Hawaii.
Just so I’d get to say Johnny was our Left man AGAHU™ in Oahu.

marisacat - 2 February 2010

oh too funny!

I forget which rightie Republican Aravosis was an aide for on the Hill.

it’s all gag worthy!!

marisacat - 2 February 2010

well… I think the Americablog campaign to wthhold money for the DNC/various til they move on gay issues is just a ploy to get attention whbich could tkae several forms… 😆 … IMO Sully is fully on the take… if not assistance with his arrest (and it sure looked that way) then in more direct ways.

Just a wild guess on my part!

marisacat - 2 February 2010

In fairness to ARavosis he does have this on his Gay.Americablog side… There is no DADT entry in the budget… even thos very small items, 30 – 60 mil items indicating savings made it in… he contacts Orzsag about it.

I wrote a few hours ago about how I asked OMB Director Orszag earlier today why the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell isn’t in the President’s budget. Orszag told me that the expected annual savings I cited, from $30m to $60m a year, were really quite tiny in the grand scheme of the Pentagon’s budget. To be precise, Orszag told me that those figures were “so small” as to be akin to a “rounding error” in the Pentagon budget. So we shouldn’t expect something so small to be in the Pentagon’s budget, and thus we shouldn’t take any meaning from the fact that DADT repeal isn’t there.

Then AMERICAblog reader Rich came along. Look what Rich found on the White House Web site – a document bragging about savings in the President’s budget. And a lot of those savings are under $30 to $60m. Let me share with you some of the Pentagon savings in that document: …

But further in fairness, they are all setup to cave. Sad to say.

marisacat - 2 February 2010

I forgot to add.. the “savings” projected from HCR (misnomer! misnomer!) IS included in the budget. Aside from straight forward LIE (they may save but it will be from hideous imposition and slashing of “entitlements”) … the bill is stalled.

For evah! IMO.

ts - 2 February 2010

Not stalled. They are just working to get Republicans on board.

marisacat - 2 February 2010

A likely excuse!!

7. marisacat - 2 February 2010

Not that t matters of course, but Calderon at Politico seems to indicate it is between Tapper and Terry Moran for the Stephie spot… TW.

ts - 2 February 2010

My favorite line…

TAPPER: Then why are you saying, ‘We’re not going to do it unless we have sign-off from the Republicans’?

GIBBS: No, no, no. We — we’re not going to make progress unless we have sign-offs from Republicans.

The bar’s set so low it’s underground.

ts - 2 February 2010

And they’ll still trip over it. Doubt they’ll even make progress.

marisacat - 2 February 2010

The Subterranean Party.

8. marisacat - 2 February 2010

hmm Somehow I missed completely that Rahm called “liberals”, “retarded”.

I am sure it is widely held opinon in the WH nad the West Wing.

IIRC not all their kids are whole, hale and hearty. Axelrod’s has some majr problem for which she is actually institutionalised. I forgt what the problem is………….

Carry on!

9. BooHooHooMan - 2 February 2010

via The Independent

Robert Fisk: Israel feels under siege. Like a victim. An underdog

Anyone who is anyone in Israel will come to Herzliya this week for a conference about the state of the Jewish nation. Our correspondent joined them

and found a climate of unprecedented insecurity – and paranoia


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

So the propaganda war is on. Forget Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the 15,000 Lebanese and Palestinian dead. Forget the Sabra and Shatila massacre that same year by Israel’s militia allies as their troops watched. Erase the Qana massacre of 1996 – 106 Lebanese killed by Israeli shellfire, more than half of them children – and delete the 1,500 in the 2006 Lebanon war. And forget, of course, the more than 1,300 Palestinians slaughtered by Israel in Gaza last year (and the 13 Israelis killed by Hamas at that time) after Hamas rockets fell on Sderot. Israel – if you believe the security elite of Israel’s right wing here in Herzliya – is now under an even more dangerous, near-unprecedented attack.

I would ask: What does recent History tell us about what follows Israel’s relentless propaganda and their ever insatiable cries of “insecurity”?

God forbid , say circa 2000, that Israel’s allies might ever decline their “fair” share of paranoia. Or other citizens of the world might prefer instead to spend a sunny change of season day and actually enjoy a peace dividend now and then…No, I say, 9/11, No:
IMO, These insatiable kooks will drive off their Allies, too.
Fisk, again:

Britain – this came yesterday from Israel’s ambassador in London, no less – is “a battlefield” in which Israel’s enemies wish to “de-legitimise” the 62-year-old Jewish state.

Even Israel’s erstwhile friend, that fine Jewish judge Richard Goldstone, is now, in the words of one of Israel’s staunchest American-Jewish supporters, Al Dershowitz, an “absolute traitor to the Jewish people” and “an evil, evil man”. (Headlines for this, of course, in Israel yesterday.)

I remember all too well how, after the disastrous Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, a huge London conference sought to find out how Israeli “propaganda” failed. Never mind the slaughter of the Lebanese and the growing Israeli military casualties. How come Israel’s message didn’t get across? How come the anti-Semitic press was allowed to get away with such calumny? It was an identikit forum to this week’s Herzliya confab.

Today we must forget Operation Cast Lead against Gaza and its savage casualties. We must condemn the Goldstone Report for its unspeakable lies – that the army of good may have committed war crimes against the terrorists of evil – and realise that Israel only wanted peace.

In reality, Israel has made a series of terrible diplomatic mistakes. I’m not talking about the humiliation heaped on the Turkish ambassador by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon – he, too, was at Herzliya. I’m not referring to the preposterous complaints by Ron Prossor, the Israeli ambassador to Britain, that in times of crisis there was “a cacophany of voices from Israel”, rather than a single voice.

No, Israel’s gravest mistake in recent years was to refuse to contribute to Goldstone’s report on the 2008-09 slaughter in Gaza. A “foolish boycott”, the daily Haaretz called it. A disaster, according to Israel’s liberal left, who rightly spotted that it placed Israel on the level of Hamas.

I have sat through hours of the Herzliya conference – it ends with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cheerleading for the masses tomorrow night – and the Goldstone Report and the fear of “de-legitimisation” has run like a thread through almost every debate.

I sat next to an Israeli PhD student yesterday who shook his head in despair. “I and my friends are filled with terrible disappointment when we hear these statements from our government. What can we say? What can we do?” It was an enlightening comment. Is this not what millions of British people said when Tony Blair took them to war on a sheaf of lies in 2003?

One of the most distressing moments at Herzliya came when Lorna Fitzsimons, former Labour MP and now head of Bicom, a British-based pro-Israeli think-tank, pointed out that “public opinion does not influence foreign policy in Britain. Foreign policy is an elite issue.” Deal with the elite, and the proles will follow – that was the implication. “Our enemies are going out to international courts where we are not supreme,” she said.

And that, in a sense, said it all. International legitimacy is what Israel demands. And as a state it is legitimate. It was voted into existence by the United Nations. And, as the Israeli historian Avi Shlaim has said, its creation may not have been just – but it was legitimate. Yet when an international juridical team invited Israel to participate in its inquiries, Mr Netanyahu smugly refused.


As it happens, I met Goldstone after he was appointed head of the war crimes tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia in The Hague. A palpably decent, honest man, he said that the world had grown tired of allowing governments to commit war crimes with impunity. He was talking, of course, about Milosevic. He wrote a book on the same lines, warmly praised by Israel. But now he is the earthquake beneath Israel’s legitimacy.

I dropped by the eminently sensible Israeli army reserve colonel Shaul Arieli at his NGO’s office in Tel Aviv yesterday afternoon and discussed the attempts to arrest Israeli military officers for war crimes if they visited Britain and other European countries.

“All this is much more disturbing to us today than it was a few years ago,” he said. “We are afraid of this trend after Operation Cast Lead. It affects the image of Israel all over the world, not just for military officers. If they were charged, it would show that the state of Israel couldn’t protect its soldiers. I am sure that the Goldstone Report affects these things.”

All of which suggests that the real earthquake beneath Israel, the real danger to its image and standing and legitimacy, is a nation called Israel.

marisacat - 2 February 2010

gah… and the US-Israel conjoint nightmare.

10. catnip - 2 February 2010

Okay. Somebody needs to explain to me why repealing DADT is, apparently, such a fucking complicated issue that it requires a year’s worth of “review”.

End it now and get on with it.

marisacat - 2 February 2010

Well we all know they don’t plan to end it… they will “fiddle” with it.

To me wht they are proposing is just a readjustment of the inquisition.

11. marisacat - 2 February 2010



……………. 😯

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