Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}

Photobucket

Child refugee at UN school in Gaza

AP, emphasis added:

Dr. Bassam Abu Warda, director of Kamal Radwan Hospital, said 34 people were killed in an Israeli strike outside a second U.N. school in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya. The United Nations confirmed 30 were killed and 55 injured by tank shells. [This later was upped to 42.]

But an Israeli official said "hostile fire" was directed at the soldiers from within the school. He said soldiers returned fire and multiple explosions went off, presumably emanating from munitions stored there. [This is a lie, as seen in the following two paragraphs and final paragraph of this excerpt -- fairleft.] The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal army announcement.

The attack occurred at midafternoon, at a time when many people in the densely populated Jebaliya refugee camp were out and about. Many of the refugees apparently had stepped outside the shelter to get some air, thinking an area around a school was safe.

Palestinian militants frequently fire from residential areas. However, Mohammed Nassar, a medic who treated the wounded, said he did not see any gunmen among the casualties.

Footage broadcast on Hamas' Al Aqsa TV showed gruesome scenes at the hospital. At first, medics carried in at least five younger boys who were laid out on the hospital floor. It was not clear whether they were still alive.

Other medics then started unloading bodies of older men who had been stacked up in the back of an ambulance, three high, and were dragged without stretchers. One man's legs had been turned into bloody stumps that dragged on the ground as he was pulled from the ambulance.

In later scenes, the emergency room was packed, with all beds occupied and barely a patch of ground where there was not a body or a doctor standing. In other rooms, there were blood stains on the floor and other bodies lying there, with medics running to each of them to take their pulses.

"I saw a lot of women and children wheeled in," said Fares Ghanem, another hospital official. "A lot of the wounded were missing limbs and a lot of the dead were in pieces."

Majed Hamdan, an AP photographer, said he rushed to the scene shortly after the attacks. At the hospital, he said, many children were among the dead.

"I saw women and men -- parents -- slapping their faces in grief, screaming, some of them collapsed to the floor. They knew their children were dead," he said. "In the morgue, most of the killed appeared to be children. In the hospital, there wasn't enough space for the wounded."

He said there were marks of five separate explosions, all in the same area near the school as the refugees were outside at midday to escape the confines of the crowded building.

Video and further reporting are at the London Times.

The number of children killed in Gaza has now reached 100, according to Save the Children. The figure does not include those killed today at the schools.

Ken Caldwell, the charity's Director of International Operations, said: "Young children are suffering the worst of this crisis. They are under immense stress, often unable to sleep, some in such a state of shock that they are unable to cry.

"The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening hour by hour. Thousands of young lives are now in acute danger. Every world leader must urgently push again for a ceasefire and immediate humanitarian access, otherwise children will continue to die."

Barack Obama, where are you?

UPDATE:

The death of forty-two people in an Israeli attack at a UN-run school in Gaza today finally forced Barack Obama to break his silence over the conflict.

"The loss of civilian life in Gaza and Israel is a source of deep concern for me," the US President-elect said.

He would not be drawn further, promising to abide by his principle that only George W. Bush would speak for American foreign policy while he was still President of the United States.

Barack, urge Israel to stop. Enough! You are a world leader, time is now to start acting like one.

Tags: Barack Obama, children, Gaza (all tags)

Comments

166 Comments

Barack Obama is busy NOT YET BEING PRESIDENT.

Any discussion of the issue on his part that even hints at a policy change under his administration is a license to both sides to ramp up the violence.  If they know that he's going to put more pressure on them to stop the shooting, they're going to get in all they can before he comes into office.

We have one President at a time.  We have one foreign policy at a time.  If you want even more chaos over there, see what happens if there's confusion about U.S. foreign policy.

After January 20, if he hasn't started taking decisive steps to solve this problem, then we can hold his feet to the fire.  As of now, he has absolutely no standing to do anything about the issue, as he is not the President of the United States.

by mistersite 2009-01-06 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is busy NOT YET BEING PRESIDENT.

b.s.

He puts pressure on Israel to stop by asking it to stop. If Barack knows how to play rough (and I think he and/or his advisors do), the Israelis will understand that they will suffer very undesireable consequences if they don't stop the invasion/war/massacre now.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is busy NOT YET BEING PRESIDENT.

Please elaborate this hypothetical scenario wherein Obama can shut the offensive down.  I'm curious how you think this could play out.

by Strummerson 2009-01-06 09:46AM | 0 recs
I'll elaborate my hypothetical, not yours

1. Barack asks Israel to stop.

2. Israel is faced with a dilemma; it chooses either (a) to stop, or (b) not to stop. If it chooses (b) it will understand that this choice has a cost. What that cost will be should be communicated privately by Obama. If it is a high enough price, the likelihood of (a) increases.

3. Israel then either (a) stops, or (b) does not stop.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 09:54AM | 0 recs
Lets be clear

there will be no cost before Jan 20. That's two weeks.

After Jan 20, we can discuss whether retroactive punishment is part of a President's toolbox.

by Neef 2009-01-06 10:02AM | 0 recs
Let's be clear: so what?

Are you accusing Israelis of being incapable of thinking about consequences that are more than two weeks in the future?

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:14AM | 0 recs
No

I am saying that if they halt the offensive in less than two weeks, even one day less, there will be no consequences. That's inarguable, the only discussion is whether they will ramp up the intensity in that time.

You do understand that Obama can't punish a country for something they stopped doing?

by Neef 2009-01-06 10:58AM | 0 recs
No I don't, he can do what he wants

Taking what I can from your answer, I agree it would be smart for the Israelis to stop the slaughter before the inauguration.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 11:22AM | 0 recs
Yes, it would be

And I have no doubt they will. Notice how you came to that conclusion without an Obama statement. I suspect the Israeli's have done the same.

by Neef 2009-01-06 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, it would be

I would like them to stop yesterday, so the two UN schools weren't been bombed. Today or tomorrow would save far more lives than ten days or two weeks from now.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll elaborate my hypothetical, not yours

I don't think there is a need to get contentious here.  I think the clarification I asked for is a fair one.  

Right now I am with those who do not see that anything good can come of Obama's intervention at this time.  That does not mean I am complacent about what is happening.  I'm not your opponent here.  If you can suggest a plausible scenario wherein Obama can have a positive effect, I am more than ready to sign on.   Isn't that the goal of your diary, to get me on board?  But for that I need to know what carrots and sticks Obama has at his disposal at this time, or will have in two weeks that he can promise now.

Contrary to popular perception, Israel's dependence on the US does not make it simply subject to US authority.
   

by Strummerson 2009-01-06 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: I'll elaborate my hypothetical, not yours

I was only 'contentious' because you contended I thought Obama could 'shut the offensive down', an obvious mischaracterization.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I'll elaborate my hypothetical, not yours

Then I misunderstood your implication.  No need to be uncivil.  But this leads to another question.  If Obama's statement cannot have an immediate and positive effect, why should he expend the political capital?  What else do you want his comment to accomplish?

by Strummerson 2009-01-06 11:01AM | 0 recs
It may or may not have a positive impact

It is up to the Israelis to act after weighing the cost/benefit of what Obama communicates to them. I hope Obama communicates a very high cost.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: It may or may not have a positive impact

What are the costs he could communicate?  I'm not playing dumb here.  I want it to stop too.  Say Obama doubles the price of a particular arms shipment.  The Israelis will likely go ahead anyway.  Say he threatens to shut down loan guarantees.  Then he sets himself up for a political storm here that will be waged at that point purely for the sake of his own credibility?

I am serious.  What can he threaten to impose or withhold?  Come up with something plausible and I'm on board with your call.

by Strummerson 2009-01-06 11:33AM | 0 recs
He can threaten to decrease military and other aid

using the economic crisis here as cover. And that 'cost' wouldn't need to become an issue until several months into Obama's presidency.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: He can threaten

Yeah.  That's the only thing that I could come up with.  I just don't think it would work.  The Israelis will consider it either a bluff or something that can be dealt with down the road.  Then you have an issue of retroactive punishment.  Obama's credibility is on the line in numerous ways.  I think carrots and sticks work for what you want to bring about, not after the fact.  Obama would do better to reserve his capital for a comprehensive push this spring.

by Strummerson 2009-01-06 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: He can threaten

You may be right, and then the Israelis might learn he wasn't bluffing, and maybe act accordingly in their next invasion of a largely undefended populace.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: He can threaten

I am afraid I think you are oversimplifying the strategic implications of making a threat that one needs to make good on in the future, regardless of the state of things at that point, and upon which one's credibility with various constituencies depends.

The likelihood of any positive effect is low and the cost in political capital likely very high.  I hate using a cost/benefit analysis when lives are at stake.  But I'd rather Obama position himself as advantageously as possible for when he actually possesses power to do things.  Again, I am not against carrots and sticks.  I just think they are more effective in a different time frame.

We all want this to stop.  We all want Obama to be an inspiring world-historical figure we can be proud of.  But if he's going to do anything right now, it must be under the radar.  My desire for him to wave a wand and heal the world must be tempered with some attention to political and strategic realities.  

I think we want him to speak because it would make us feel better.  Gazans and Israelis alike will benefit if he is at least publicly mum at this juncture.  Unless you can present me with a more compelling hypothetical scenario...

But please do not think one is necessarily callous or complacent because they disagree with you over strategy.

by Strummerson 2009-01-06 02:12PM | 0 recs
That's easy, Strumm

Obama comes out in direct opposition to Bush, but with no power to back it up. Israel gets direct confirmation that it's window is closing, and steps up the offensive so as to present a fait accompli by Jan 20.

In the meantime, Obama loses a ton of political capital by suddenly reversing his one-pres-at-a-time position, gets to look foolish as Israel and Hamas continue to fight despite his new stance, and the GOP rides a new "Obama is trying to take over" mini-scandal to increase opposition to Obama's economic plans.

oh wait, you asked how he can shut it down?

He can't.

by Neef 2009-01-06 09:59AM | 0 recs
Obama has enormous power in 15 days

He can inform Israel of the consequences (far far in the future, a whole two weeks away) of their continued massacre and Israel can then decide whether to withdraw or stay in Gaza.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:16AM | 0 recs
The question is

why wouldn't they simply step up the attacks and run out the clock? Even if he promises the strongest possible retribution, they have two weeks and an enormously superior force. Do we want them acting like cornered wolverines?

The problem is, anything can happen in 2 weeks but only Bush can make them stop now? Obama can't promise retroactive punishment.

by Neef 2009-01-06 10:44AM | 0 recs
"?" should have been a "."

by Neef 2009-01-06 10:45AM | 0 recs
Precisely

Kadima's objectives here seem pretty clear: (1) make the facts on the ground as favorable to Israel as possible in anticipation of a potentially less-favorable US position (though I think this is in fact unlikely - I doubt Obama will rationalize US policy w/r/t Israel-Palestine); (2) stave off Netanyahu and Likud in next month's elections.

by JJE 2009-01-06 10:51AM | 0 recs
Yes, and I think

potentially less-favorable is key. No one is 100% sure Obama won't come out favorably for Israel. That being said, it's probably a risk Israel isn't willing to take.

I suspect they're going to run roughshod for another 2 weeks, and by January 20 the area will be as peaceful as a winter morning.

by Neef 2009-01-06 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: The question is

Because Obama would communicate that 'running out the clock' (what clock?) such as you describe would have a higher cost than withdrawing immediately.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 11:25AM | 0 recs
But it won't

Israel sees this as an existential threat.  Nothing Obama is able to say (within the confines of domestic American politics) scares them more than not finishing this fool's errand.

Israel lost a lot of face in Lebanon recently.  They cannot afford to back down now.  No threat Obama makes is worse than what will happen if Israel does not prove they can curbstomp their neighbors at will.

And no, I don't support that.  I find the situation appalling.

by Reaper0Bot0 2009-01-06 11:41AM | 0 recs
It won't if

the cost Obama were to impose were less than the benefits of whatever Israel believes it is achieving now. Which ain't much, objectively, but I can't get inside Israeli leaders' minds.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is busy NOT YET BEING PRESIDENT.

I agree that it is too soon for Obama to "take the lead" on this.  But there is absolutely no way Israel does not see this for what it is:  Their final chance to crush Hamas before a more even-handed U.S. administration takes office.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is busy NOT YET BEING PRESIDENT.

It's also a chance for them to learn what kind of President Obama will be vis a vis Israel.

No surprise, he's looking like a pretty damn whimpy one.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is busy NOT YET BEING PRESIDENT.

let me ya'll-  If he commented on mumbai attacks, the excuse of one president at time during a   crisis aboard perhaps should be packed in?  

by MumbaiBurns 2009-01-06 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is busy NOT YET BEING PRESIDENT.

I think there are significant differences between the two situations.

Both Israel and India are allies of the US.  India suffered a terrorist attack.  Obama added his voice to a chous calling for support and stability in the aftermath.  There are and were few policy implications to that statement.

Israel has launched an offensive it claims is justified and provoked.  The issue here is as controversial as the other is clear.  I'm all for his involvement if I can see how it could possibly add stability as opposed to confusion.

I can imagine him having appropriate communications with the Israeli gov. at this point that clarify how he sees this.  I think for them to have any effect whatsoever at this point, they need to be direct and not through the press.  His priority needs to be his administration's effectiveness, not sending us a message through the media.

by Strummerson 2009-01-06 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is busy NOT YET BEING PRESIDENT.

I have to agree with Stummerson here. Also and correct me if I wrong, his statements in no way contradicted or confused what was coming out of the present Administration.

So looking at it that way maybe his public silence is sending a message to both Hamas and Israel. Obama's position on the conflict and the entire Israeli Palestinian situation is not the same as it has been by the US in the past. (Please note this is pure conjecture lacking in anything resembling a supporting fact.)

by jsfox 2009-01-06 10:39AM | 0 recs
Commenting on Mumbai

was equivalent to commenting on an earthquake or other natural disaster. He's adding his voice to a universal chorus.

You will note that he didn't go so far as to say Pakistan should do X or Y. That becomes Foreign Policy, like the I/P situation.

by Neef 2009-01-06 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Commenting on Mumbai

I agree with the gist of your post, but really the only thing keeping the condemnation of Israel from being universal is the U.S. policy toward Israel.  Who else has been defending their actions?  I mean, other than Fatah?

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 10:50AM | 0 recs
Frankly, the biggest obstacle

is probably our current President. If GWB were pro-Hamas, Obama could potentially agree with the current President, as oppose to contradicting him.

by Neef 2009-01-06 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Frankly, the biggest obstacle

Obama is pro hamas ?

by MumbaiBurns 2009-01-06 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}

As much as I would like Obama to come out forcefully on this issue   as  he has on the economy. I also understand that foreign policy and domestic economic policy are vastly different. He really cannot say much without causing confusion and a possible step up of the violence (if that's possible).

As much as I don't like this is one of those situations where there is only one president and one foreign policy.

by jsfox 2009-01-06 09:32AM | 0 recs
love the framing of this shergald.

or possibly could it be that hamas, by not signing on to a cease fire, was hoping to continue sway the upcoming israeli election by using violence thus delivering a swift victory to netanyahu?

too bad its not working.

by canadian gal 2009-01-06 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: love the framing of this shergald.

and by "ceasefire" we mean continued Israeli military checkpoints in Gaza, Israeli blockade of medical and consumer goods, complete shut-down of Gaza crossing into Egypt, Israeli settlement expansion, and occasional military strikes within Gaza which may kill militants or civilians with equal potency?

Geez, that Hamas, what a bunch of idiots.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 09:51AM | 0 recs
yes. the hamas: murderous idiots.

your simplistic characterization of the situation shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the politics of the region and the timing of the current conflict.

by canadian gal 2009-01-06 09:53AM | 0 recs
Hush you

if you point out that the cease-fire essentially created a Bantustan in Gaza and Israel didn't respect it anyway, you must also immediately talk about how "if Mexico was shooting rockets into San Diego blah blah".  Otherwise you hate Jews.

by JJE 2009-01-06 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Hush you

Nuh-uh.  You do.

snark

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Hush you

that's an unfair characterization.  and to be frank quite intellectually dishonest.  the mexican analogy is exactly right and forces one to think (one would hope) of the consequences if this was occurring in their own backyard.

too bad so many think that blood being spilled is a snarky opportunity for a one-liner rather than a reality.  im sure you were torn up inside at the thousands of rockets (what was it 15 a day?) being launched into israel since 2001 and prior to mid-december when the israelis officially responded- am i right?

by canadian gal 2009-01-06 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Hush you

About as outraged as you seem to be by Israels occupation of Gaza, of starving it's citizens, of controlling their every move and building a wall around them that effectively makes it one very large concentration camp.

by venician 2009-01-06 11:46AM | 0 recs
i am outraged.

here's who its directed at:

- you and others like you who fucking throw around the term concentration camp

- you and others like you who ignore the fact that israel left gaza 3 years ago

- the hamas: who terrorize both the israelis and palestinians and keep the violent cycle alive for lack of any other purpose in this world

- the israelis for not finding a solution to this problem

- and finally, for people like you on both sides who fail to think of the realities for both peoples in this conflict - you know the victims in all this

by canadian gal 2009-01-06 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: i am outraged.


Definiton of concentration camp:

 a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities or political opponents.

Israel NEVER left Gaza and continues to this day to build illegal settlements in the area

*Hamas wouldn't resort to violence if their lands hadn't been stolen from them. But do tell us what you would do if your land was seized and occupied by your oppressor? Really what would you do?

by venician 2009-01-06 12:15PM | 0 recs
sorry...

Israel NEVER left Gaza and continues to this day to build illegal settlements in the area

you are wrong and insincere.  no more debate for you!

by canadian gal 2009-01-06 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: sorry...

Wow cg taking a page out of Alegre's playbook!

by venician 2009-01-06 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: i am outraged.

I would take issue with your assertion that Israel hasn't found a solution to the problem.  They have.  It just isn't a very humane one.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 12:35PM | 0 recs
the analogy is inapt

because the US is not currently enforcing an embargo on Mexico and did not launch an airstrike into Mexico in November.  It seems your desire for context tends to go in only one direction.

But if whataboutery is the game, why stop at 2001?  Why not go back all the way to 1948?

by JJE 2009-01-06 11:56AM | 0 recs
Uh, "love the framing of this shergald."

There's a trollish and snarky one-liner. Mirror time.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:32PM | 0 recs
Your trolling O'Riley-izes discussions here

n/t

by fairleft 2009-01-06 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: love the framing of this shergald.

don't agree with cg, but there's no reason to TR this comment.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: love the framing of this shergald.

when you're accused of being a sockpuppet, and I believe sockpuppeting is a bannable offense, you'll find such accusations trollworthy.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: love the framing of this shergald.

keep to the high road.  tr-ing just makes people stop listening.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 10:03AM | 0 recs
The high road and don't be a whimp

I follow both those rules. CG's (without a shred of evidence) accusation was eminently trollworthy. Besides that, I needed to put everyone on notice that I consider the accusation wrong and abusive.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The high road and don't be a whimp

I didn't take CG's comment to mean that you are Shergald.  I took it more as saying that you think similarly to Shergald.  Besides, even though Shergald was a bit of a radical, I always appreciated those diaries.  Life in the Palestinian state is hard, brutal, and destitute.  Jimmy Carter was absolutely correct to label it apartheid.  They have also been abandoned by both the West and the Arab states.  People need to be reminded of that.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: The high road and don't be a whimp

I don't know whether Shergald is banned or not here, but I think you can find him at boomantribune, for what it's worth.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}

It's easy to call for a ceasefire, but what does that really mean?  There was already a ceasefire, and Israel was willing to continue it.  Hamas was not willing to continue it unless Israel made significant concessions.  So here we are.

So what should it be?  A ceasefire on Israel's terms, or a ceasefire on Hamas' terms?  Who gets to dictate the answer to that question?  See, that's why Not-Quite-President-Yet Obama is smart to stay quiet.

by Steve M 2009-01-06 09:47AM | 0 recs
Perhaps Israel could consider not blockading

food, water, and medical supplies from going into Gaza. That might help to assure a longer-lasting truce, and it would be an end to (illegal under international law) collective punishment of all Gazans for the behavior of Hamas.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 09:57AM | 0 recs
Israel's ceasefire.

Well, anyone would be willing to continue a ceasefire that puts them 100 % in the drivers' seat and not needing to comply with any of the terms of the ceasefire.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}

Obama should pull the troops out of Gaza immediately. I agree with the diarist 100%!

by QTG 2009-01-06 09:55AM | 0 recs
I don't have much of a sense of humor on this

topic. You're coarsening the discourse.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't have much of a sense of humor on this

FL-

I have a lot of sympathy for your point of view, but it isn't right to go around TRing people just because you disagree with them.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 10:00AM | 0 recs
That's not why I did that

You can see why I did it from the explantory comments in my post.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't have much of a sense of humor on this

coarsening the discourse or highlighting the flaw in your reasoning?  Which one got the TR?

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 10:14AM | 0 recs
Any specific flaw in my thinking?

You mean the implication that I think Obama is already President? I don't take that as a serious 'charge', but as cheapening coarsening rhetoric.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Any specific flaw in my thinking?

rather that until he is president he hasn't the power to do much.  It's not as if he can withdraw the troops.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Any specific flaw in my thinking?

He'll never be able to withdraw troops. He can right now communicate to Israel the costs he can (in two weeks) impose on them for what Israel is doing now to Gaza. Perhaps that will push Israel to withdraw a day or two (or more!) quicker than they might have.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 11:29AM | 0 recs
I think that you are assuming a whole lot

about a man who made a comment saying that he would take action to stop rocket attacks near his children and would expect Israel to do the same, then went on to appoint a very pro Israel senator from N.Y. to the position of SoS, and then selected a man whose middle name is Israel and whose father helped to create the Israel that we know today as his chief of staff.  This is a man who won't want to feed the stupid redneck "he's a secret muslim" lie so that it can be used against him more effectively in 2012.  This is a man who will not want to be labeled as "soft of terror" as the GOP will be anxious to try to do.

I think that there is a greater chance that he sees things more like I do than there is that he sees it the way you do.  And before anyone decides that my opinion means that I am ok with a whole bunch of dead palestinian civilians, I am not.  I don't think Obama is either.  I just don't think that his method of bringing the bloodshed to an end will include pretending like Israel is doing something other than reacting to terrorism defensively.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I think that you are assuming a whole lot

I'm not assuming much, I'm urging a change of heart or calculation. Maybe he'll look at the picture at the top of this diary and change in a way I can believe in.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:34PM | 0 recs
That picture really IS a heartbreaker. What do

you want to bet that kid didn't vote for Hammas?  I also bet that, like most Israelis, lots of the folks in Sderot just want it to stop.

Like most military deathfests, it's the shithead leadership.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 12:50PM | 0 recs
Oh /THAT/ deathcult

but that runs both ways.  It's easy to develop a narrative that Hamas wants this because it increases their power by provoking worldwide sympathies.  And they're willing to have Palestinian civilians get killed for that end.

It's equally easy to develop a narrative that Israel is willing to put up with rocket fire into the settlements because it gives them a pretext to do things like attack a basically defenseless, demoralized, confused, and destitute population.

Which one is the death cult?

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 12:55PM | 0 recs
Both. I don't see how either can deny it.

Saddest part is that I don't think that the civilians on either side are as gung ho as the damned leadership.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Both. I don't see how either can deny it.

Agreed.  This is terrible for Israel as well.  It may not be apparent at the moment, but this will come back to haunt them in a big way, I believe.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 01:01PM | 0 recs
I think that the combination of W's utter failure

to engage at all for so long coupled with Likud control in Israel at that same point in history has lead to some VERY short sighted policy.  I compare my view of the situation as similar to my position around the U.S. and 9/11.

I believe Al Qaeda to be the bad guy in the overall big picture (not uninstigated, but still the bad guy).  That doesn't change my hatred for the leadership in DC and its numbskull reactions since that day.  I am also positive that we could be in a much better position had we had better leadership for the last 8 years. In fact, I believe that our leadership for the last 8 years has done more damage to our nation than was done by the terrorists on that horrible day.

I think there are some big time parallels with Israel's situation.

I don't think that President Obama (damn I love to type that) will fail to engage (once he is, in fact, the President).

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 01:19PM | 0 recs
the problem

is that the initiator here was pretty clearly Hamas. You could make the case that Israel knew the siege itself would invoke rocketfire (making them the initiators), but that wasn't the only possible outcome. Israel's reaction to the rocket fire, on the other hand, was pretty predictable.

I am curious why Hamas didn't appeal to the UN to treat the siege as a humanitarian crisis. That would have painted Israel pretty clearly as an aggressor.

by Neef 2009-01-06 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: the problem

Can Hamas appeal to the U.N.?  I really am asking.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 01:12PM | 0 recs
I don't know

Is there a restriction on doing so? They are a legally elected government of a soverign people, it would seem odd if not. But I really don't know either.

by Neef 2009-01-06 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't know

I'm just wondering if because they are labeled as a terrorist organization that some nations could have legal recourse to stop them from seeking aid.  But I have no idea either.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't know

Their is a U.N. resolution pending but it's more then likely that Bush will use veto it.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090106/ap_o n_re_mi_ea/un_un_israel_palestinians

by venician 2009-01-06 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: the problem

the seige and the constant and escalating air bombardment by Israel triggered the increased rocket fire.

Hamas did appeal to the UN to treat the siege as a humanitarian crisis. Fat chance of that getting anywhere with the US veto around.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 06:33PM | 0 recs
I agree with much of what you say

but I think the key to Obama is that he can be simultaneously radical in opposing directions. Witness the Dawn Johnsen appointment, after asking Gates to stay on. It would not be out of character for Obama to surround himself with pro-Israel people, then come out with a pro-Gazan (not pro-Hamas) policy.

by Neef 2009-01-06 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with much of what you say

I think that a pro-Gazan (not pro-Hamas) policy, as you have termed it, and a pro-Israel policy are quite possibly one in the same.  Therefore, I hope that you are right... and I don't dispute the precedent you cite.

It is my hope that Rahm loves Israel enough to know that the likudnik policies are bad for her.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 12:43PM | 0 recs
Point taken

about "pro-Gazan" and "pro-Israel" ideally being the same. I didn't intend to imply one side's favor over the other, but my wording was clumsy.

by Neef 2009-01-06 12:51PM | 0 recs
Perhaps it was my wording that was clumsy.

I was trying to agree with you.  I didn't misunderstand you friend.  ;-)

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 12:53PM | 0 recs
Sad but true

After four or eight years of Obama the Israel-Palestine situation will not be improved.  He, like you, is more concerned about domestic politics than rational policy and will thus continue to toe the AIPAC line while giving the Palestinians nothing but condescending lip service.

by JJE 2009-01-06 01:38PM | 0 recs
Your refusal to comprehend that ceding policy to

the neocons through political suicide will actually make the situation WORSE for the palestinian people doesn't change the basic reality of it.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 01:41PM | 0 recs
cede what?

US Israel policy is neocon policy, was under Clinton, and will be under Obama.  The only thing that will change is we may hear a few more empty platitudes about the poor Palestinians that you seem to like so much.

by JJE 2009-01-06 01:53PM | 0 recs
W gave carte blanche to the likudniks by

failing to engage in a peace process at all.  I think it was intentional.  Obama WILL NOT do the same.  You are simply wrong.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 01:56PM | 0 recs
You do realize

that Olmert and the largest number of seats in Parliament are controlled by Kadima, not Likud, don't you?

Errors of fact aside, the "pleace process" is a sham, as neither side is seriously interested in peace.  I'm sure Obama will perform the kabuki but nothing will come of it.

by JJE 2009-01-06 02:09PM | 0 recs
Who's the prime minister?

Who has control of the military?

The government over there doesn't work the same as ours.  It's all about coalition.  Guess which party is having its way on I/P policy?

Once again, the errors of fact aren't mine.

Nothing will come of it (if by that you mean a permanent peace) because there is only one way for something to come of it.  The sooner folks like you quit fictionalizing history, the sooner we can get on with putting an end to the killing for good.

I repeat, you are simply wrong.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Who's the prime minister?

Ehud Olmert is the prime minister.  He's a member of Kadima.  Part of the reason for doing this is because Kadima fears losing seats to Likud.  What was that about errors of fact?

I agree there is only one way for it to end.  One side or the other must be beaten into submission.  We should just let them go at it rather than picking sides.

by JJE 2009-01-06 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Who's the prime minister?

if kadima wins - with livni and barak at the helm, there is the possibility of peace. with netanyahu - well not so much.  the timing on hamas' part reeks of the desire to sway the israeli public away from kadima to likud - and well - keep peace far, far away.  but its not working though - in the past couple of weeks livni has polled much higher - and that's a good thing for everyone but hamas.

by canadian gal 2009-01-06 02:40PM | 0 recs
And I repeat:

Which side is getting its way on I/P policy?

Part of the reason for doing this is because Kadima fears losing seats to Likud.

Who's more bibi (hard assed for the homeland).  It's every damn election in Israel.  That's where the coalition building problem comes in.  Israel is locked into ridiculously aggressive likud I/P strategy because everything else can be sold by likudniks as weak on security for the citizens.  Nobody can deny that Israel (or any other government for that matter) absolutely must protect its citizens.  Over 60 years that has been warped to mean more and more drastic measures because the previous measures didn't work.

As soon as Israel's right to exist is acknowledged and the terrorism halted, it's all over for good.  Plain and simple.  It is not going to be Israel that is beaten into submission.  The US and Israel will not allow it to happen and the palestinians haven't got the resources to do it.  Egypt and Turkey are drifting away from the palestinians.  Iraq...well... we'll see.  When we get off of oil, how much money do you think there will be to spare for them?  If the palestinian leadership wants to represent its people's best interest, it is time to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, stop the terrorist attacks on civilians, and let the rest of the world force Israel not to attack Gaza anymore (which will be absolutely unnecessary because Israel will not attack if not being attacked).

I agree there is only one way for it to end.  One side or the other must be beaten into submission.
 Why must it be that way?  Isn't it just smarter to recognize that there is only one side that could realistically be beaten into submission and then just accept that reality and forego the bloodshed?

We should just let them go at it rather than picking sides.
 And now comes the part that always seems to raise your ire with me.  Your approval or disapproval, moral approval or disapproval of a reality has very little to do the with its factual nature.  The not picking sides thing...

It's never going to happen.  

You and I can argue over whether or not that fact is one that is just for days.  We can trade our tit for tat laundry list.  You can tell me that I have no respect for human life despite my wanting you to accept what I am saying precisely to save human life.  I can find excuses to call you an anti-semite.  We can continue the half century long debate over whose bullshit warped narrative to accept as truth.  You can blame it all on Israel.  I can pretend that Hamas is representative of all palestinians.  None of that changes my reality based assessment (which you pointed out when you tried to pretend like Obama and W are interchangeable) that America will make sure that the side that gets beaten into submission WILL NOT BE ISRAEL.  I know you hate that reality, but it IS reality.  So let's just skip all of the damn killing and accept the foregone conclusion already.  

That will provide for the minimum loss of life and for peace.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 03:01PM | 0 recs
Precisely

Israel is locked into a policy of ridiculous killing.  That will never change.  Nor will the Palestinian desire to get back the land from which they were ousted.  It doesn't mean we should subsidize it, though.

Its "right to exist" is a bunch of empty nonsense.  There's no such thing as a right to exist outside of UN resolution and Georgetown cocktail parties.  There is only the ability to exist.  Israel has it, in no small part due to US patronage.  Everything else is just rhetoric to convince useful idiots to support whatever Israel feels like doing with the Palestinians.

I'm advocating a change in US policy on a blog, not at the CFR.  Of course it won't happen.  AIPAC and its like are too strong.  That doesn't make it any less the case that the tribal entities on either side will never make peace, despite the magical powers of Hopey McChange.

by JJE 2009-01-06 03:29PM | 0 recs
You just hate reality! What I have just spelled

out is a way to end it.  What you continue to express is a desire for that which REALITY WILL NEVER ALLOW FOR.  My idea ends the killing, your stubborn refusal to accept reality is begging for more lopsided killing for ever and ever and ever.

Read this slowly.  Lives depend on it:

The United States will never stop ensuring that Israel has the edge.  The fighting will be subsidized until such time as (a) Israel's right to exist is acknowledged and the terrorism is stopped or (b) it will just plain never end.

You keep insisting on some unicorns and leprechauns world solution wherein the US does something that it will NEVER DO (by your own admission).  All the while people on both sides are dying.

You go ahead and cling to your stupid stubborn fantasy.  I will keep hoping that the killing stops in the only way that it can here in THE REAL WORLD.

btw genius, What reason would Israel have for listening to the US when asked not to just completely wipe out the entire population of Gaza if it wasn't dependent on the US for aide?   The moment Israel is left stranded, it is faced with no option but to use its military advantage while it still has one.

Try reality.  It's more productive.

Also:

You tipped your hand you belligerent child:

That doesn't make it any less the case that the tribal entities on either side will never make peace, despite the magical powers of Hopey McChange.

You lost. Get over it.  It's too late to change it.  And allow me to take this opportunity to laugh right in your face about it.  I bet your refusal to accept reality offers me an opportunity to scoff at your stupidity again soon.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 03:57PM | 0 recs
Er

you might want to check my diary and comment history before you make yourself look stupider.  I supported Obama throughout the primaries and took two months off to work full-time for the campaign.  I just don't kiss a poster of him every night before bed, as you apparently do, judging by the stream of name-calling and profanity that little remark provoked.

I don't know why you keep yammering about "reality".  The reality is Israel does not want peace on any terms that would be remotely acceptable to the Palestinians, see Camp David.  So your bullshit empty liberal hand-wringing about oh the bloodshed!  oh it's so tragic! oh the poor people betrayed by their leadership! would be risible were it not so pathetic.

So you keep  just hoping that Obama will magically end centuries of tribal hatred, and I'll keep advocating for the only policy that makes any sense and hope that in a generation or two the neocon views of people like you no longer hold sway in at least one American political party.

by JJE 2009-01-06 04:12PM | 0 recs
Your "policy" in mindless you dolt.

It will never come to fruition.  You are a horrible human being.  Fuck you.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 04:25PM | 0 recs
Good argument!

Maybe after you gain some years you'll move beyond mindless following of conventional wisdom.  You might also learn to talk more politely to your betters.

by JJE 2009-01-06 04:30PM | 0 recs
And guess what. We'll still be funding Israel.

You'll be dead and then we can get on with solving the problem.  It's great being younger because dumb old fucks will be dead before me.

Look around you dipshit.  Mine is not the conventional wisdom.  I am not standing around blaming Israel for all of it and pretending like cutting off funding would fix the problem.

Try reading you worthless piece of shit.  I didn't say Obama would magically fix it.  I said that he would engage where W did not which necessarily makes him not the same as the neocons you fucking moron.  

Here I go again with that reality shit that you hate so much.  It is YOU who has given up on anything being different in the next 4 to 8 years.  I am the one suggesting a solution that can occur at any time.  I am looking for ways to stop the killing and you are insisting on something that just isn't going to happen any time soon.  Yet, you want to question how genuine my concern for the victims is?! Let's see... nothing changes and the killing goes on while you wait for a change that isn't coming in your lifetime.  I want a solution that stops the killing the moment it is implemented. Your assertion that my hand wringing is false makes zero sense you fucking twit.  Try more geritol oh aged wise one.

Just like the folks who oppose gay marriage, your stupid ideas will die with you.  So go ahead be condescend to me all you want.  I'll be around with my ideas when you're gone.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 04:43PM | 0 recs
Silly boy

I'm in my early thirties, so I'll be around to annoy you and your neocon buddies for a long time.

You haven't proposed any solutions.  "Hamas stop being bad" isn't a solution.  You are a child and have a child's understanding of the situation.

Bush did in fact engage in the peace process.  It was called the Annapolis conference.  I'm beginning to wonder if you'd even heard of Israel before this week.  Of course the Annapolis conference was a sham as the peace process has been a sham since the beginning.  The peace process is and always will be a joke.  This is what I've been trying to make you understand, but since it doesn't give you the ability to flatter yourself with your feigned concern for the palestinians and pious empty condemnation of the leadership, I fear I am fighting a losing battle.

by JJE 2009-01-06 04:55PM | 0 recs
Guess which of us is getting their way under a

progressive democratic administration.  As usual you haven't a clue what you're talking about.  You are the child here. You remain a horrible human being and you remain on the losing side of history.

Guess which of us will continue to get their way for the foreseeable future.  I am no neocon.  I made calls for, knocked on doors for, contributed money to, and voted for Obama.

If you worked so hard for a man whose policy is what you are stupid enough to think is the same as neocon policy and you think that that neocon policy is resulting in countless deaths among palestinians, what does that say about your morals?  You stupid prick, you voted for what you believe to be a person who will continue neocon policy.  I voted for what I have said will differ (that's when you made your irrational sarcastic comment about Obama magically fixing it, remember moron?).  Yet, you call me the neocon.  That's bright.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 05:07PM | 0 recs
kiss your mother with that mouth?

Poor guy, so angry over the internet.  You should find a more productive outlet for all that arrested adolescent angst.

I didn't support Obama in the hopes that he would rationalize Israel policy.  Since, as a centrist (not progressive - your youthful naivete is showing again) Democratic candidate, he is likely to be the same as McCain and your other neocon allies on that particular issue, it was a wash.  Since I'm no longer a naive youngster like you, I don't get too worked up over having to choose the lesser of two evils.

Since you continue to cling to the hope that vague "engagement" is going to make everything all better, I suspect that are more likely to be disappointed than I am.  Or you would be, if you actually cared about these issues beyond the opportunity it provides you for to congratulate yourself and play internet tough guy.

by JJE 2009-01-06 05:32PM | 0 recs
I am older than you putz.

You voted for what you find reprehensible.  You're a bad person.  Congrats.

You're right.  A huge public works project, direct government spending, tax cuts that don't extend to the wealthy but rather go to the middle class and below aren't progressive.  Neither is health care for children, extended unemployment benefits, or a serious green energy policy.  The man talks of centrists consensus building, but his agenda is most assuredly progressive.  You remain reality averse.

by lockewasright 2009-01-06 05:38PM | 0 recs
oh lord

everyone votes for something they find reprehensible, fanboy.  Maybe you're an exception.  Maybe you like telecom immunity and marriage inequality as much as you like bombing civilians.

by JJE 2009-01-06 06:16PM | 0 recs
Again, try reading you fucking twit.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/1 /6/22372/88679

It turns out that there IS a progressive plan with solid ideas for moving in "pro palestinian direct" and takes seriously the quality if life and the humanitarian issues for the palestinian people and still acknowledges Israel's right to exist despite your dipshit assertion to the contrary.  It provides plenty of incentive for Palestinians to to have a bright future and a country of their own by accepting Israel's right to exist and stopping the terrorist attacks without "letting them fight until one side is beaten into submission without picking sides" (an idea that will never be allowed to happen, is morally reprehensible, and callously dismissive of human life) as you have suggested like the horrible human being that you are.  The idea does not include "empty liberal hand wringing" as you were stupid enough to suggest.  The idea clearly shows that their is a difference between progressive possibilities and neocon policy and it is clearly worth not commiting politcal suicide and surrendering policy back to the neocons through the unjust, morally reprehensible, borderline bigoted, and flat out uninformed cutting off of all aid that you insist on suggesting to the palestinian people's detriment.  It is a way that does away with murderous policy the does come from the Likudniks just as I have said.

It is you who has the child's understanding of the situation.  Now, you are dismissed to go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself while those of us with an even number of chromosomes get to work on a progressive plan that is both pro  Israel and pro Palestinian simultaneously.  It is real.  It is happening.  Powerful people are behind it, and it won't happen if democrats commit the idiotic, immoral. political suicide that you suggest.

As I have said so many times:  You are simply wrong.

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s229/ goth_for_life_/hide_f_yourself.jpg

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 05:55AM | 0 recs
oh wow!

some Americans on the internet and a think tank nobody cares about are wringing their hands extra hard?  And they have an ONLINE PETITION!  WE'RE SAVED!  I'm sure Obama and Israel will get right on it, internet tough guy.

by JJE 2009-01-08 07:12AM | 0 recs
Sure, dismiss reality as usual twit. You lose.

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 07:29AM | 0 recs
NO U!

grow up, tough guy.

by JJE 2009-01-08 07:35AM | 0 recs
Oooh all caps. Somebody need a nap?

It's rough when the evidence shows that you have been wrong all along isn't it?

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 07:44AM | 0 recs
Obviously you're not aware

Of all internet traditions.

And your vacuous nonsense doesn't count as evidence.  I already explained why the big J-Street plan is just more empty hand-wringing.

by JJE 2009-01-08 07:51AM | 0 recs
Well since YOU said so...

Get over yourself.  You are wrong.  Deal with it. Enjoy watching all of the death while you can.  Some of the rest of us are trying to stop it.

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 07:54AM | 0 recs
Struggle on, peaceful warrior!

Let me know when your kumbaya chants and good cosmic vibrations bring an end to the violence.

by JJE 2009-01-08 08:00AM | 0 recs
Did you even read it you asshole?

There are policy differences that address human needs in it.  Not just hand wringing you twit.

There are also far less violent policy suggesions too.  Not just lip service.  

I am sorry that your hate won't let accept anything other than a spiteful foolish misstep that result in escalation, but it's really not their fault that you are ignorant and hate filled.

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 11:44AM | 0 recs
uh huh

you let me know when J Street has a seat on the CFR.  Whatever makes you feel better, Gandhi.

by JJE 2009-01-08 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: uh huh

If you don't believe in people powered politics, what are you doing here? (other than showing a gross misunderstanding of your world)

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 02:28PM | 0 recs
good lord

is there any empty slogan you won't repeat?

by JJE 2009-01-08 03:32PM | 0 recs
Is there any question you won't evade?

Keep avoiding substance and I may begin to suspect that you recognize that you have lost the debate.  I didn't figure you were bright enough for that.

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 03:36PM | 0 recs
what substance?

What debate?  You just repeat a bunch of stupid platitudes that go in the face of all historical evidence.  You find a "peace plan" that nobody cares about and nobody ever will and somehow we're on the road to peace?  Guess what - Eric Alterman and Eli Pariser are not going to have any say in Israel policy, no matter how many kleenex you go through dreaming about it.

Btw, for someone so dedicated to "getting to work on a progressive plan" you sure spend an inordinate amount of time typing profanity on blogs and linking stupid jpegs.  Why aren't you out there writing your Congresspeople and telling them to visit the J-Street web site?  I'm sure they'll listen.

by JJE 2009-01-08 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: what substance?

How do you know I haven't pinhead?

Oh you're so cool for not believing in anything.

Guess what both of those people have had a greater impact of American policy than you have you twit.  If you don't believe in the ability of people getting involved to impact politics then (a) you disagree with the people who created this nation and (b) there is no reason for you to be on a political blog.

You truly are a moron.

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 03:55PM | 0 recs
There are plenty of issues

where citizens can make a difference.  This isn't one of them.  Now get out there and leaflet for peace!  Maybe hold a human be-in while you're at it.

by JJE 2009-01-08 03:57PM | 0 recs
So stop caring and stay out of I/P

discussions. There are far better ways to masturbate on the internet you loser.

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 04:08PM | 0 recs
Sorry

Unlike you, I don't use photos of dead Palestinians for wank material.  You reveal too much, sir.

by JJE 2009-01-08 06:10PM | 0 recs
Cuz there are sooo many people discussing the

JJE moron plan.  It's all over the internets.

How many members has Eli Pariser's organization got?  You're right, clearly nobody cares.  Go to various blogs and ask who has heard of J Street.  There is at least a whole bunch of discussion happening around real solutions instead of your "let 'em kill each other 'til someone gives up" shit. (aren't you a regular humanitarian).  Talk about ignoring evidence.  You just fucking hate reality.

Of course if my reality were the same as your low grade moron reality, I would hate it too.

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 04:01PM | 0 recs
THE BLOGS WILL SAVE US

please keep going.  This is the most lulzy conversation I've had in a while.

by JJE 2009-01-08 04:11PM | 0 recs
Why then, was Ben Franklin so obsessed with

the exchange of ideas in the public square?  For what purpose was the very first amendment around protecting that exchange of ideas?  

Do your parents claim you?!

by lockewasright 2009-01-08 04:26PM | 0 recs
YEAH! Ben Franklin!

For what purpose was the first amendment ratified, lockewasright, or should I say Publius?  FOR WHAT PURPOSE INDEED!  

by JJE 2009-01-08 06:09PM | 0 recs
Hey JJE

Why don't you fuck off to your 9/11 truithiness websites. loons like you don't belong to this party, you should have voted for the the loons like your self, Alan keys, Nader etc lots of choices there for dumb fucks like you in this country!

Oh and pay attention to policy pronouncements of the guy you vote for next time or GTFO, the less idiots in there the more moderate and decent people we can attract to this party.

by YourConcernsAreNoted 2009-01-06 06:58PM | 0 recs
Happy New Year!

But you'll kindly understand if I decline to take the advice of where to go from someone so new to MyDD.

by JJE 2009-01-06 07:15PM | 0 recs
How about something like his Mumbai comments?

Made a couple weeks ago:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House and President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday condemned the deadly attacks in Mumbai, India, as the U.S. government convened defense and intelligence officials and offered help to Indian authorities. . . .

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office on January 20, also condemned the attacks.

"These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism," Brooke Anderson, Obama's spokeswoman on national security, said in a statement.

"The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks.

An aide to Obama said the president-elect, who was at home in Chicago, had spoken to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to get a briefing on the situation and called India's ambassador to the United States to express his condolences.

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsN ews/idUSTRE4AQ0JR20081127

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: How about something like his Mumbai comments?

Where's the strength or ultimatum in the above statement?  How would you translate it to the Gaza conflict?  I really do not think you can equate Mumbia with Gaza.

Finally I really don't think anybody is disagreeing with your sentiment in this diary. Just Obama's actual ability to do anything substantive before he actually becomes President.

by jsfox 2009-01-06 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: How about something like his Mumbai comments?

Obama can say what he plans to do as President. That's all I'm asking him to do. No interference with Bush, just the facts on a very near Obama future. It may save a few innocent lives.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 11:31AM | 0 recs
When it comes to an ongoing crisis

Wherein the President and President-Elect disagree, even doing what you suggest is interfering.

I want the violence to stop as badly as you do.  I simply disagree with your cure.  It's a phenomenally wasteful and frankly stupid idea.

You're looking for a shortcut.  You've forgotten that elections have consequences, and I'm talking about 2004 here.

by Reaper0Bot0 2009-01-06 11:38AM | 0 recs
I'm glad you said it

I didn't vote for Bush, but a majority of Americans did, twice. All of a sudden they want to take the easy way out, and shoo the guy out of office.

Elections have consequences, and one of them is you're stuck with a moron until his term is up, and not until then. If people want Bush out of office so bad, we could have impeached him. We didn't even do that.

Jan 20, and not a day before.

by Neef 2009-01-06 11:51AM | 0 recs
You mean Bobby Kennedy was interfering

when he said he'd withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam if elected President?

Frankly, this is a silly objection to anyone with an awareness of reality/history. Incoming Presidents announce they will implement new policies foreign and domestic prior to entering office.

Because the objection is so silly, and you and others are pretty smart, I'm suspicious folks' real objection to Obama simply urging Israel to cool it is that folks don't want him to cramp Israel's invasion.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:39PM | 0 recs
Except it's not silly

you just refuse to accept it. There is a world of difference.

It's easy enough to simply come out in support of Israel (as half the board has done) instead of playing weird mindgames pretending to advocate a policy so that we might hide our true sympathies. That is unwieldy, unnecessary and frankly fairly improbable.

Earlier you mentioned coarsening the tone of the thread. Retreating from debate into paranoia does that more effectively than any sarcastic response.

by Neef 2009-01-06 12:48PM | 0 recs
neef...

It's easy enough to simply come out in support of Israel (as half the board has done) instead of playing weird mindgames pretending to advocate a policy so that we might hide our true sympathies. That is unwieldy, unnecessary and frankly fairly improbable.

that is spot on.  frankly, this is my problem in discussing this issue here (amongst others) - sincerity is sorely lacking.

by canadian gal 2009-01-06 02:21PM | 0 recs
I have been honest here, CG

The violence is appalling, and neither side is wholly right.  Our people are shamed by what we've helped the Palestinians (Gazans especially) become.

I want our people safe, CG, but we Jews are the last people who should be building fences around folks we don't like.  You know I'm right.

by Reaper0Bot0 2009-01-06 02:55PM | 0 recs
you are mischaracterizing my position.

i don't think i have ever stated my position on this particular issue.  but i think you've proved that (by bringing in yet another contentious issue) that we are so far up shit's creek with this that we need to start at square one.  and the only way for this to be successful is for sincerity to be the common motivation from both parties.

by canadian gal 2009-01-06 03:33PM | 0 recs
I neither thought nor implied

That I knew your exact position.  I was establishing my own bona fides and giving some of my own views.

I can see how that post might have come across that way, though.  My apologies.

by Reaper0Bot0 2009-01-06 03:57PM | 0 recs
I think it might be

too much sincerity on the part of some. The issue is so personal to many that we've fallen into bald advocacy. People are afraid to admit to flaws in their "side" because they seem to feel that too much is at stake to be "wrong".

by Neef 2009-01-06 07:53PM | 0 recs
Do you have a response on the point

I was making? Or do you contend that Presidential candidates and soon-to-be Presidents are interfering when they state they'll implement foreign policy that differs from that of the sitting President? That's your (self-evidently silly) contention, why don't you defend it?

by fairleft 2009-01-07 06:39AM | 0 recs
I have already done so

in a previous comment:

Obama comes out in direct opposition to Bush, but with no power to back it up. Israel gets direct confirmation that it's window is closing, and steps up the offensive so as to present a fait accompli by Jan 20.

In the meantime, Obama loses a ton of political capital by suddenly reversing his one-pres-at-a-time position, gets to look foolish as Israel and Hamas continue to fight despite his new stance, and the GOP rides a new "Obama is trying to take over" mini-scandal to increase opposition to Obama's economic plans.

That's regarding this specific situation. I concede that the rule may not hold for every possible situation, but for this one, there is no realistic upside to his coming out.

You're still pushing back on the fact that he can't retroactively punish, which is key to his hands currently being tied. Obama has no power over what Israel or Hama do before Jan 20. On or after Jan 20, he must treat them according to how they act at that time.

by Neef 2009-01-07 02:18PM | 0 recs
You have to realize

that MyDD has both an IDF and an ODF.

by JJE 2009-01-06 03:37PM | 0 recs
Obama

I don't know what Obama's policy with regard to the Israel Palestinian conflict will be, but to judge by his online supporters a large number of people will be disappointed regardless of where he comes down on this invasion.

I tend to agree with Daniel Levy on Obama. There is little Obama can do right now to change Israel's behaviour, and he will be more effective once he is president if he does not get bogged down now. He could make public threats, but he can't make good on those threats, and by the time he is in a position to make good on threats the situation will be different. He would be more effective communicating privately with Israel at this point than making any definitive public statements.

I hope Obama takes a firm line with Israel, something Bush has been incapable of, and saves them from themselves. According to Levy some Israeli pundits have speculated that the government's exit strategy is to "intentionally exacerbate a humanitarian crisis" to force Obama and the international community to pull them back.

by souvarine 2009-01-06 10:12AM | 0 recs
He can urge Israel to stop

and privately communicate the consequences which he will be able to implement in only two weeks. Obviously.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: He can urge Israel to stop

If the speculation Levy reports is correct, that the competing Israeli leaders in their governing coalition need the political cover of forceful international pressure to pull back, then private communication of consequences will not have much impact on Israeli decisions. They need public pressure so that they can justify withdrawing to their constituents and have some chance of winning their February elections.

Obama is not in a position to apply credible public pressure for the reasons I suggest above. A public statement now, effectively rebuking Israel, would diminish his credibility with the Israelis as an unbiased mediator, which he will need when he has the big stick.

But again, this argument assumes Obama intends to reign in Israel and I do no know, at this point, if he will.

by souvarine 2009-01-06 11:05AM | 0 recs
I would bet

That Israel will reign itself in by the time Obama gets into office. If they're behaving particularly egregiously when he comes into power, they make his choice much easier - condemn Israel.

If they adopt a much more moderate profile, even temporarily, they force him to deal with a situation that will seem much more nuanced and two-sided. A strong condemnation of past action is unlikely.

by Neef 2009-01-06 11:10AM | 0 recs
that may be the best we can hope for,

since it's pretty obvious the very opposite of pressure for immediate peace will be coming from the Bush or Obama.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:24PM | 0 recs
He can publicly urge

and privately communicate the consequences for ignoring those urgings.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama

The Israel issue makes the strangest bedfellows.  It's probably the one issue that CNN and FOX will be in complete agreement about.  And yet, if you look at most left-wing blogs or right-wing blogs, you'll find heated disagreement in the ranks.  I really don't think it's just a Jewish non-Jewish thing either.  I really think it's one of these situations where the DC-crowd conventional wisdom has filtered down to such an extent that most people in the very broad middle will support Israel.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}

I just think this whole situation sucks, regardless of who's "right" and who's "wrong" (personally, I think there's plenty of wrong to be placed on both Israel and Hamas; the situation is far more complex than some make it out to be, imho).

My concern, whether one feels that the Israeli action is justified or not, is that Israel may be playing into Hamas's hands (and I do believe Hamas, or at least certain parts of it, has anti-Israel and not just pro-Palestinian intentions, again imho). I tend to think Hamas baited Israel into a strong retaliation in an attempt to heighten hatred of Israel among the Palestinian population and thereby increase popular support for their militant actions.

Right now, no matter who infringed on somebody else's territory during the last ice age, the U.S. should be forecefully brokering an immediate cease-fire and commitments to negotiations toward a lasting peace, and the solution has to include MASSIVE aid for those living in Gaza.

But back to the point of the diary, I tend to feel that anything Obama would do publicly before actually being President would just compound the confusion and mistrust in an already-hideous situation. The points about Israel potentially ramping up attacks if Obama starts making noise to the effect that Israel will lose significant support under his forthcoming administration are convincing to me. Hopefully, however, once he's in office, he'll attack this as forcefully as he has/will the economy.

Now, regarding what the eventual long-term solution might look like... I really don't know, I'm ashamed to say, but Obama should immediately on taking control do whatever he can to broker or force an immediate cease fire, then get some negotiations in place. I just hope all sides are willing at this point.

Did I mention that this whole situation just sucks?

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-01-06 10:24AM | 0 recs
His comments last July in Sderot may have made

things worse by reassuring Israel and thereby increasing its unwillingness to negotiate. Maybe Obama can make up for, clarify, what he said then now. His Sderot comments are a little further down the page.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}

You've managed all of three complete sentences by yourself.  Well done.

by fogiv 2009-01-06 11:17AM | 0 recs
Not counting my comments n/t

by fairleft 2009-01-06 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Not counting my comments n/t

True.  Actually, I was being snotty there when I ought not to have been.  Apologies.

by fogiv 2009-01-06 07:31PM | 0 recs
Obama in Sderot this past July:

Obama's remarks on July 23:
I don't think any country would find it acceptable to have missiles raining down on the heads of their citizens.

The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if -- I don't even care if I was a politician. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.

In terms of negotiations with Hamas, it is very hard to negotiate with a group that is not representative of a nation state, does not recognize your right to exist, has consistently used terror as a weapon, and is deeply influenced by other countries. I think that Hamas leadership will have to make a decision at some point as to whether it is a serious political party seeking to represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people. And, as a consequence, willing to recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce violence as a tool to achieve its aims. Or whether it wants to continue to operate as a terrorist organization. Until that point, it's hard for Israel, I think, to negotiate with a country that -- or with a group that doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist at a country -- OK.

link

by kydem 2009-01-06 11:42AM | 0 recs
Obama has had no problem stating his future plans,

and that's what I would hope he would do here.

He needs to state that the Israeli invasion needs to stop, that it will not be U.S. policy to stand behind Israel 100% even when it is committing war crimes such as those occurring daily, and that the civilian casualties in Gaza of early and mid-January will weigh on Obama's mind when he considers policy toward Israel in late January.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama in Sderot this past July:

It is very hard to negotiate with a group that is not representative of a nation state, does not recognize your right to exist, has consistently used terror as a weapon, and is deeply influenced by other countries.

Neocon talking points all.  So it's all Hamas' fault?  It's funny how life wasn't any better under Fatah or the PLO.

by the mollusk 2009-01-06 12:34PM | 0 recs
btw, mydd RAWKS as a place to discuss these issues

compared to one or two other sites which shall go nameless.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}

To me the bottom line is that the potential downside of an uptick in the Israeli offensive preceding Obama's inauguration (were he to speak out strongly against Israel)  outweighs the possibility that any substantive positive change could be effected in the two weeks before his inauguration.

I don't think the Bobby Kennedy or campaigning pols arguments hold here because they were discussing events that were well in the future and which the U.S. could completely control (pulling U.S. troops out of Vietnam, as opposed to hoping Israel lightens up on Gaza); also, candidates aren't elected and there'd be no perceived deadline before things might change.

All this IF Obama were to speak out strongly against Israel, which is no guarantee.

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-01-06 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}

132 comments about the deaths of Palestinian children in Gaza, and only two recommendations. Is this place for real, for left wing Democrats?

by MainStreet 2009-01-06 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Dead Children in Gaza

The comments here are great, but I admit my diary itself is primarily a cut and paste job. Based on past experience, I don't think this diary would get on the rec list anyway, even if it did get a lot of rex.

by fairleft 2009-01-06 06:21PM | 0 recs
Pimping the dead children

is kind of played out and disgusting. If you care so much, where is your outrage at rockets hitting Israeli kindergartens? Don't give me that "they missed" shit either, as if shooting at children is less reprehensible than shooting at them accurately.

Coldly using dead children as emotional levers is one of the truly foul tactics of this debate, especially from those who so quickly rationalize their side's offenses.

by Neef 2009-01-06 08:20PM | 0 recs

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