Is Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan a Good Idea?

The Office of the President Elect (a truly made up office for the record) has issued several statements over the last several weeks that clue us in to the intentions that the messiah has for fixing the economy. One of the most covered and almost universally accepted in the media is the trillion dollar plus economic stimulus plan that he intends to get through Congress within the first couple of weeks in office. The question is: Is this a good idea?

I get the gist of the idea. Give Americans money that they didn’t already have in their bank accounts and they will go out and spend away. Presto chango and the economy will begin its recovery. But wait a second here, not so fast. Is this the best way for us to move forward? I understand no one wants to give up a thousand dollar check, “free money” from the government. But it isn’t free. More important, it may not help anyway. 

So let’s start by eliminating the first premise. This isn’t free money. President Elect Barack Obama (we will call him PEBO from here on out, thanks John Gibson) is trying to make you all feel like he is spreading the wealth. Free money for all! But what he is doing is loaning you the money that he is intending to steal from you later in the form of taxes. Or loaning you the money that he has already stolen from you in the form of past taxes. Where did you think it was going to come from? Certainly Congress isn’t going to pass the hat around and collect it like church. This is your tax money being redistributed back to you after the government decides how much to keep for itself. 

Those who have been following along for the last couple of months know my stance on taxes, but I will clarify a bit for you here. I am OK with certain taxes, but very few. Pay for the roads, pay for the military, pay for the minimum that I think the government can do better than private industry. Kent and BF, I know we can debate this all day, but save it for the other threads. Outside of these few things I want the government to provide, all the rest of it is pure theft at this point. We are taxed on everything these days. And then Congress decides how to waste our hard earned money that they worked hard to steal. I will write more on taxes soon so that all my anarchists here can debate them to death. This was just a clarification so that I can say theft without re-explaining it each time I say it. 

So remember that they are really giving us our own money back in this scenario. Or they are loaning us money that they intend to take back by raising taxes later. And isn’t the “recovery of our fragile economy” a great reason to get everyone to agree to the tax increases that are going to come down soon? You didn’t really think you could increase government spending on things like universal health care and actually cut the amount of money the government brings in at the same time did you? Maybe you did if you were gullible enough to believe PEBO when he told you he would fund it by cutting other “wasteful” programs. 

Regardless of all this, I am not convinced that giving every American a grand or two is the answer to fixing the economy. Because we all know that those who need it most are going to spend it on stupid stuff. They won’t pay their mortgages with it. They will put new rims on their Cadillac. Then later they can complain that the evil mortgage companies are taking their house away and PEBO can save them from that too. 

I don’t think that the economy can really even be “fixed”. It isn’t broken in a way that can be fixed. It is broken because Americans for too long have been living WAY above their means. I see the valet stand outside of my workplace parking $50,000 Lexus vehicles all day long. I know what I make and what my wife makes. We can’t afford $50k cars and we make good money. So how on earth are the people I am seeing get out of these cars affording them? The answer, they are living on credit. And now all of the sudden that credit market is dying. 

Therefore I don’t think this is a fixable situation. I think it is a forced adjustment to reality. We don’t need to get America back to spending like we did a year ago. We need to force Americans to re-evaluate their financial situation and start living within their means. It will be painful for many and it certainly will result in the financial situation getting worse before it gets better. But I think it is necessary and good for it to happen. Placing a trillion dollar band-aid on us isn’t going to fix the problem, it will only prolong the inevitable. 

So I say no to the biggest bailout being offered, the one offered to us. By offering this “economic stimulus plan”, PEBO is trying to buy your OK for all the other bailouts that are occurring. So just say no. You will make it through this on your own WITHOUT the government’s help, and that is what they don’t want you to think is possible. You will have to tighten your belts and lose out on some of the toys you wanted, but you can do it. 

Besides, if you want to make our wallets fatter, how about going in the opposite direction? How about instead of collecting our tax money and then issuing it back to us, you just don’t take it in the first place. You want an economic stimulus plan? Here’s mine…. Suspend the income tax for the next six months. We will each get an economic windfall from this that is proportional to our incomes. Go ahead and do all of that “eliminating government waste” you promised. And by doing so, eliminate the need for you to collect a portion of the fruits of our labor that you aren’t entitled to in the first place. 

Now there is an idea that will never see the light of day. Senior members of Congress have already publicly vowed that such a measure would never see the light of day in their chamber. Surprise you? It shouldn’t. After all, if they don’t take it from you in the first place, they cannot be the savior that they need to be in order to remain relevant. How can Congress decide how much of your own money you are entitled to unless they take it from you in the first place?

Comments

  1. This sounds like a custom order for inflation. Obama may not be able to get away with adding taxes. That would have far too great a direct impact on people’s money, and they would know where the “stimulus” came from. Its not from already collected taxes, because the government has already spent everything it has collected and then some.

    No, this is most likely to come from printed money. Magically, more money will exist. Of course, this devalues the rest of the money, making a tax that is hidden, most negatively affects those who save, and hurts all classes. Some might be able to justify wealth redistribution because of their emotional thinking, but inflation actually hurts everyone, it affects the price of lexusses and ramen noodles. The “poor” will be hit just as hard as the “rich”, making it a bad idea even for the socialists.

    Additionally, flooding the market with money will encourage price increases anyway. It is the same effect that flooding the subprime market with mortgage loans. There will be massive temporary growth in the value of thsoe things purchased. It will drastically increase demand. The main benefactor of this will be those who take a fixed percentage off the top of such purchases. This means the government tax collectors. Sales tax will still take their percentage, just like peroperty tax grew during the housing boom. This insulates the government from their own folly. They hurt everyone but themselves.

    The American economy grew into a superpower when regulation and taxes were lowest and when there were no bailouts: The industrial revolution. That economy was not based on spending, but on production and innovation. Its not about how much Americans spend, its about how much we sell, and it doesnt need to be to ourselves. We need to be exporting, which means we need to be producing things that others want. Right now the only decent export industry is the entertainment business.

    This package will make things better for a bit, but at best it just delays the innevitable by making yet another bubble. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better if we don’t wake up on our own.

  2. blackflag2012 says:
  3. All that the “stimulus” will do is ensure that, instead of a rough-spot, we are in for The Greater Depression. Are YOU ready?

  4. BF,

    Who are you asking these questions to? I felt I did a pretty good answer of answering the first two in my post and I would not think that you would disagree with my answers for those. And answer # 3 is obviously the government. I wouldn’t think you would argue that either. As for #4, that is the tough one. What are your suggestions?

  5. Kent,

    I agree. I don’t know that this stimulus plan is going to move into a depression greater than the original Great Depression. But I certainly don’t feel as though this stimulus plan is going to move us in the right direction at this point. I don’t know that any of us are ready for a Great Depression. But some will cope better than others.

    But hey, I have always said that three black belts and years of government training will help ensure that if the world goes to shit, I won’t be at the bottom of the food chain. Perhaps if it happens we can all get together and rebuild what’s left. You and I will be able to use weapons to protect our little flock and BF can convince feeble minds that instead of stealing our food that they actually came to give us theirs.

  6. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon Says:
    What are your suggestions?

    But hey, I have always said that three black belts and years of government training will help ensure that if the world goes to shit, I won’t be at the bottom of the food chain.

    Sadly, if the world goes to shit – unless you have an army – you are at the bottom of the food chain.

    So, let’s not hope for that.

    Perhaps if it happens we can all get together and rebuild what’s left. You and I will be able to use weapons to protect our little flock and BF can convince feeble minds that instead of stealing our food that they actually came to give us theirs.

    Yes, I’ve been practicing my Jedi Mind Trick – it is sometimes quite effective! 🙂

  7. blackflag2012 says:

    Suggestions:

    Be ready to move out of currency and into real value.

    Short term – get cash – if you have savings, get a down payment on property (20%) – look around for good property deals. If you have good credit you can lock in 30 yr terms at less than 6%.

  8. If the world goes to shit, believe me, I will have an army. But it was meant to be a joke.

    Fair suggestions. One thought though. I believe that whether we like it or not, we are going to see the economy and multiple other things used as excuses to force banks to renegotiate the loans that are on the books now. If that becomes a precedent, would the government make it a waste of time to have a 30 years fix mortgage? I mean my wife and I are good right now. We have a 30 year fixed at 5%. I often wonder though at what point the government might feel it is OK to step in and say “for the good of the country we have to get these mortgage companies healthy. We are going to mandatorily up the interest rates on existing laws by 3%”. I don’t think it is a crazy thought given the socialistic tendencies of the liberal left in power and their ability to rally poor people against those who have been more wise with their money.

  9. blackflag2012 says:

    I believe that whether we like it or not, we are going to see the economy and multiple other things used as excuses to force banks to renegotiate the loans that are on the books now.

    Hard question –

    Why?

    Before you answer, think of this:

    Before the “troubles”, the top 5 banks had $2 billion on reserve with the FED. This amount has not changed significantly for 20 years. This is the amount of “reserves” from which they calculate their loan ( 10 to 1 – thus represents slightly less than $200 billion in loans that they could make).

    Now, they hold over $500 billion on deposit of the FED. This means they can loan just under $5 trillion.

    Now,reflect. Banks make money lending money made from air. The top few are sitting on $5 trillion of lending – more than the entire expenditure of the USA in WW2.

    Why would they hold back?

    I mean my wife and I are good right now. We have a 30 year fixed at 5%.

    You are set up to make a killing. Very good for you.

    Inflation will make you wealthy.

    It’s always possible for the government to go insane. But, it is unlikely they will contradict contracts – this would undermine a massive segment of finance; and money HATES uncertainty.Such a move would end the economy of the US overnight – we’d turn into Zimbabwe in a week.

  10. blackflag2012 says:

    PS: It’s not a joke. It could seriously go to shit – and no matter how much gold, food, weapons or whatever – unless you can outfight a well armed, angry, standing army called the US military “gone feral” you probably cannot survive.

    So, let’s not hope for that, ok?

  11. blackflag2012 says:

    Government in Action – IRS document
    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p525/ar02.html

    Money paid due to disability from military action or terrorism is tax free! Whoa! We send you to Iraq to get limbs blown off – you get money tax free! What a deal!

    Terrorist attack or military action. Do not include in your income disability payments you receive for injuries resulting directly from a terrorist or military action.
    A terrorist action is one that is directed against the United States or any of its allies (including a multinational force in which the United States is participating). A military action is one that involves the armed forces of the United States and is a result of actual or threatened violence or aggression against the United States or any of its allies, but does not include training exercises.

    Yes, the IRS requires you to admit you receive bribes….

    Bribes. If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.

    Yes, the IRS requires you to admit you engage in illegal activities….don’t forget to fill in the right form!

    Illegal activities. Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.

    Yes, the IRS requires you to admit you engage in kickbacks….don’t forget to fill in the right form!

    Kickbacks. You must include kickbacks, side commissions, push money, or similar payments you receive in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.

    And if you don’t know how to fill in these forms, they will help you…

    Free tax services. To find out what services are available, get Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services. It contains lists of free tax information sources, including publications, services, and free tax education and assistance programs. It also has an index of over 100 TeleTax topics (recorded tax information) you can listen to on your telephone.
    Accessible versions of IRS published products are available on request in a variety of alternative formats for people with disabilities.
    Free help with your return. Free help in preparing your return is available nationwide from IRS-trained volunteers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed to help low-income taxpayers and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is designed to assist taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Many VITA sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, call 1-800-829-1040.

    I wonder if Guido calls them to help figure out how to tax his drug money and to whether bribes are a tax deduction!

    Government just can’t stop making me laugh!

  12. There is a good example of where you take a situation that is bad and attempt to chastise the one decent thing that is done. Should we be sending our troops to this combat? No. Does it suck that some get injured? Absolutely. Does it suck to have to draw disability for losing your health due to this deployment or a terrorist act? I think we all agree yes.

    But I don’t see the point of chastising the IRS for making the choice to not tax those benefits. I see that as a good thing that is being done. It is the least they can do for those people. Instead you can only look at this through the eyes of someone bitter that it happened in the first place. The IRS didn’t send them to combat or invite a terrorist to blow their leg at on their vacation to Israel. But at least they aren’t taxing the disability payments. My point here isn’t to make an argument for government being good or bad. I just don’t see the point of making fun of the IRS for not taxing something.

    As for the rest of it. Good examples of the ludicrous thinking of big government at work.

  13. blackflag2012 says:

    My point was that tax free is only given after you’ve been so messed up fighting for the State.

    Why not tax free before you get messed up by the State?

  14. You aren’t getting paid disability before you get messed up by the state so there is nothing to tax. On the flip side, military pay is tax free for each month that you are deployed, so that is tax free before you get messed up by the state.

  15. blackflag2012 says:

    Hey, I’m all for tax free.

    Too bad they have to kill for it.

  16. whatever… these types of statements, along with you random pictures of dead children are a bit childish and have nothing to do with debating the issues.

  17. blackflag2012 says:

    Of course they do. In fact, it is the core issue.

    Killing innocent people is the most fundamental act of savagery. It is VERY important for civilized people to confront it at every opportunity least civilized people learn to believe it is merely ‘collateral damage’ as if people were pieces of wood or concrete.

    That boy watching his mother die will hate you for the rest of your life. He may even kill you or your family for revenge, if he has the chance. There are 1,000’s like him and more created every day thanks to US and US-supported aggression.

  18. blackflag2012 says:

    Oh, yeah…

    Therefore, government must be destroyed

  19. And there are thousands of others who feel the opposite because of US and US led peaceful missions throughout the world. But it doesn’t take away the fact that your random pictures are a smokescreen to cloud the issue. For all we know that mother was killed by a hubcap flying off a passing car.

    But it doesn’t matter the reality. The fact is, and you know this quite well, your emotional appeals have no place in logical debate. It is a tactic resorted to by those who are losing the logical debate.

  20. blackflag2012 says:

    The US is not known for any peaceful missions in the world – and that’s the point, USWep.

    You want to sit back and believe that all the ‘good’ the US has done (all of which is completely debatable and most likely illusionary) is enough to give the US a ‘by’ in its evil acts and support of aggression.

    Only a disassociated person would ignore the consequences of that picture. It is emotional! That is the point, USWep, which you ignore to your peril.

    That boy (and tens of thousands like him) will now kill you on sight if they can when you cross their path – not because you killed his mother, but because the government you support and allowed had a hand in killing his mother. Good luck trying to talk logic to him while he tries to kill you and your family.

    The logic of the debate is to stop the killing of innocent people – lest you unleash un-mitigated emotions of hate upon all in this country. But as you’ve demonstrated in the past, this logic is beyond you.

    Therefore, Government must be Abolished

  21. The US military HAS stopped the killing of innocent people in many places before. And its not just about revenge. Its about indoctrination. Innocent people have been slaughtered in Muslim countries by the Muslim government and the kids were still raised to hate the US, not the Muslim government. This simplistic view of “US military bad, all evil will end when it ends” is bordering on the ridiculous. You are not considering all the factors involved, even the obvious ones. Its like you’ve been sucked into some propoganda. You should know better than that.

  22. Yes it seems as though the thinking is not only dogmatic but so focused that BF is incapable of seeing all of the factors and can only see the ones that meet his thinking pattern. It reminds me a lot of the people on the far left or far right in American Politics. Groups like moveon.org or the daily kos only factor in what they want to factor in and simply refuse to acknowledge anything that doesn’t fit in their pattern. It is a shame that he cannot process all of the realities because some of his points are valid, but refusal to acknowledge any other valid points renders his arguments invalid.

  23. blackflag2012 says:

    Jon Smith Says:
    January 16, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    The US military HAS stopped the killing of innocent people in many places before.

    And continues to commit the killing and support such killing in other places – ergo, nothing changes.

    Its about indoctrination. Innocent people have been slaughtered in Muslim countries by the Muslim government and the kids were still raised to hate the US, not the Muslim government.

    Which country are you referring to?

    Many Muslim countries government sits in power due to US support – not of the people.

    Ironically, the only Arab government elected is Hamas – the ones the US and Israel are trying to destroy.

    All the rest exist by the power of US support.

    This simplistic view of “US military bad, all evil will end when it ends” is bordering on the ridiculous.

    So, it’s fortunate I’ve never said this – evil will not end.

    I have said that as long as the US and its military acts or supports actions that slaughter innocent people, the US and the people of the US are under dire threat and most likely victims of the same upon them.

    You are not considering all the factors involved, even the obvious ones. Its like you’ve been sucked into some propoganda. You should know better than that.

    What factors do you believe is relevant to justify the slaughter?

  24. So Iran and their Arab government exist with US Support? Syria? Jordan? Lebanon? Qatar? Saudi Arabia? Everyone but Gaza? Ridiculous. You misconstrue things intentionally with a statement like that. Don’t mistake that we are friends with the government of a country to mean that we put them in power. Some you could claim, but not nearly all.

    And if we did absolutely nothing in the world and kept to ourselves, people of the world would hate and attack us for doing nothing as a super power that has the ability to stop senseless slaughter abroad. Damned if we do, damned it we don’t. The only difference is that you choose to focus on the bad and hate the government. Your choice. You cannot change the mind of the idealist.

  25. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon said
    So Iran and their Arab government exist with US Support?

    No, but they aren’t Arab, USWep.

    They are PERSIAN

    By this mistake, you expose exactly the fundamental flaw of the US attitude in the Middle East.

    Bluntly, you don’t have a fart of a clue

    Syria? Jordan? Lebanon? Qatar? Saudi Arabia? Everyone but Gaza?

    No, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    And if we did absolutely nothing in the world and kept to ourselves, people of the world would hate and attack us for doing nothing as a super power that has the ability to stop senseless slaughter abroad.

    No, they wouldn’t!

    You’re rather (your term) ridiculous rant…. don’t see Palestinians crashing jets into Chinese or Russian cities, do you?

    When you leave people alone, they leave you alone.

    Damned if we do, damned it we don’t.

    No, only damned if you do.

    Therefore, Government must be Abolished

  26. I see them attacking Spain and England and otehr parts of Europe. They don’t avoid attacks on Russia and China because Russia and China leave them alone. They avoid them because they are supported by them, and/or because Russia and especially China have similar statist dogmatism. They are not supporters of freedom, and are therefore not a threat. Only those who support or uphold the idea of freedom and independent thought are classified as infidels of meritous threat.

  27. I don’t have a clue? I was supposed to assume that you would attempt to get specific? See that is another point of contention with you. I speak as I see others speak and you use that as a tactic to attempt to make me look foolish. I used the word Arab because in this informal setting I assumed that we weren’t getting trivial. A simple “no” would have sufficed. But instead you would like to “put it bluntly” and again seek to show everyone that when you can’t argue the point, you can get semantic. So since we are going to get “blunt”, I know quite well the difference between Persian and Arab. In fact, I have spent significant time in every one of the above mentioned countries except for Iran. Exactly how many have you spent time in? For the record there are plenty of Arabs in Iran. They are certainly not the majority, but they are there. In general context, when people are speaking in an informal setting, the semantics of the wording are certainly secondary to the premise of the argument. Everyone understood what was meant and therefore the premise sticks, regardless of your claim that it doesn’t.

    So to point out your gross ignorance on Arabs, I suggest that you take some time and research the definition and identification of Arabs. There are several conflicting definitions out there. Some of them would even include Iran, but I will give you that others do not. Your No to Syria already negates your earlier statement about everyone but Palestine being supported by the US. But I will also say No, No, No, Maybe, No. But we can go a step further. You stated all Arab countries. You self eliminated Syria, but there are far more. As I said being recognized and supported is not the same as only in power because of the US. To save you a little time I will provide here a list of the Arab League:

    The current members and observers of the Arab League are listed below along with their admission dates.
    Joining dates of member states
    Egypt March 22, 1945
    Iraq March 22, 1945
    Jordan March 22, 1945
    Lebanon March 22, 1945
    Saudi Arabia March 22, 1945
    Syria March 22, 1945
    Yemen May 5, 1945
    Libya March 28, 1953
    Sudan January 19, 1956
    Morocco January 19, 1956
    Tunisia October 1, 1958
    Kuwait July 20, 1961
    Algeria August 16, 1962
    UAE June 12 1972
    Bahrain June 12, 1972
    Qatar September 11, 1971
    Oman September 29, 1971
    Mauritania November 26, 1973
    Somalia February 14, 1974
    Palestine September 9, 1976
    Djibouti April 9, 1977
    Comoros November 20, 1993
    Eritrea observer since 2003
    Venezuela observer since 2006
    India observer since 2007

    So you chose to use semantics as your basis for argument and then further as a way to show that future arguments are invalid. By this mistake, you expose the fundamental flaw in most of your arguments. You are so busy trying to prove your position as “right” that you choose to only state what fits your argument or change the facts to do so. I am sure you will have some catchy answer for how you are actually right and the facts posted and referenced are wrong, just as you tried to do with the stuff pulled from the UN website in another earlier post, but I will simply be chuckling as you do. The point is that you attempt to make me look stupid only gave me the opportunity to show you that I am not. So thanks. I will take my personal experience over your web references any day.

    It is OK dude, I get it. You see things through hate colored glasses. You cannot see reality if she punches you in the grill. Well, I have been to these countries and talked to these people and learned first hand the reality. I have not relied on some US hating propaganda to tell me the realities that we face. You keep telling more falsehoods like no one is getting attacked except the horrible US who they hate. Check the facts. Terrorist attacks from Al Qaeda and other terror networks are happening all over the globe. They hate us because we are not what they demand us to be, which starts with accepting Islam as our faith. In this way they are just like you, they spout propaganda and talk about how evil certain parties are because it serves their purpose. Reality doesn’t serve their purpose, nor does it serve yours. Therefore you both choose to ignore it.

  28. And you are 100% correct Jon Smith!

  29. blackflag2012 says:

    Jon Smith said

    I see them attacking Spain and England and otehr parts of Europe.

    Spain’s oppression of the Basque goes back hundreds of years – this more proves my point than USWep’s – oppressed people will continue to fight to be free, and they will be, eventually. All the question remains is the cost.

    British support for the bombing and immoral and illegal embargo of Iraq for 10 years (in cohots with the USA) made it the same target as the USA – again, this more proves my point than USWep’s. This old colonist still hasn’t changed its stripes.

    Contrast these vs. Sweden and Switzerland etc.

    They are not supporters of freedom, and are therefore not a threat.

    Of course you forget Tibet and Chechnya. I purposely obscured this to demonstrate that indeed the dogma sits upon the side that is blind to the evil of US interventionism – and that blindness will harm your children and grandchildren.

    Only those who support or uphold the idea of freedom and independent thought are classified as infidels of meritous threat.

    They couldn’t careless about what we do in America.

    They care a lot of what we do in their countries.

    Get out of their countries and leave them alone.

  30. That is not what is said by the theocratic representatives. It is not what is taught in their schools. They do, in fact, care what we do in our country.

  31. blackflag2012 says:

    No, that is not what they are taught in school – no more than our kids are taught to be ‘boogy-man’ afraid of them….!

    But they do care about what we do.

    Pull out a map, Jon. Study it.

    175,000 US troops on their left.
    128,000 US and allied troops on their right.
    To the north, US is has airbases and an increasing US Marine presence
    http://english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/15281_azerbaijan.html

    We have nukes, they do not.
    We have total air superiority, they do not.

    Do you possibly believe they have a sense of being surrounded???

    All of because the USA is not protecting the USA, but running rampant globally

    So whose fault is that?

  32. blackflag2012 says:

    Just think what you’d think if the Russians invaded Canada and Mexico, and started basing bombers, jets and Marines in Cuba….

  33. BlackFlag,

    You are a king of propaganda, I will give you that. And to make it all work you have the absolute best ability I have ever seen at simply ignoring all the realities that don’t fit into your scenarios. You obviously hate everything that America does. And at this point, I don’t even care. You go on defining everything you see as however you need to define it to back up your belief that everything America does is evil. And you can continue to be a hypocrite who reaps all the benefits provided by everything you despise. I will go on ignoring you.

  34. blackflag2012 says:

    Ok, so USWep ignores facts, geopolitics and positioning.

    And yeah, invading and threatening countries is sorta “not a goodie” in my book, USWep, no matter who does it.

    Okie dokie – there is no mystery to why the US is under terrorist attack and financial collapse given he probably represents the average best of America.

    Wake UP! Your attitude, well represented by the majority, is killing your country!

  35. blackflag2012 says:

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/01/16/gaza_invasion/

    Taxpayers are spending over $1 billion to send refined fuel to the Israeli military — at a time when Israel doesn’t need it and America does.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/01/16/noor/index.html

    Queen Noor discusses Gaza.

  36. Again childish. I have not at any point given the attitude that attacking people is my desire or good or any of the other claims you try to make. I simply refuse to accept your silliness that focuses only on that instead of being able to discuss other things that are relevant to the discussion. Point made in this thread as you found a way to turn a discussion about the economic plan into yet another rant against the US government and the military. Odd that you turn every discussion into that. Hence why I will focus on the task at hand, discussing the issues I post based on the issues rather than continuing to engage you on a topic that you lack the ability to be rational on.

  37. On the flip side, good article on the oil to Israel. Quite enlightening and possibly worth writing a post on. If only I can remember it when I have time.

  38. They were interested long before they were surrounded. I looked at a map from 20 years ago and they were not so surrounded but they still hated us and taught their kids to do so. And you are wrong about the schools.

  39. And now that I found time to watch it, outstanding link to the discussion with Queen Noor and Richard Haas. And while it is very supportive of your position, they quite clearly acknowledge my position as well. Seems like I could have a good discussion with them, they at least recognize the reality and acknowledge it as a premise.

  40. blackflag2012 says:

    You do realize that they did not support your position, USWep. Don’t get caught up on MSM-speak.

    When they say there is a need to re-align the US position on Israel – that means dismantling the massive financial and political support for the country – an absolute about face. This was a comment by one of the participants in that interview.

    That won’t happen this century (missing a miracle)

    Jon, update your history about Iran and the US meddling in their affairs.

    Shah into a brief exile in August 1953. A military coup headed by his former minister of the Interior and retired army general Fazlollah Zahedi, with the active support of the intelligence services of the British (MI6) and US (CIA) governments – including mass propaganda leaflet dropping (slogans such as; “Up with Communism, Down with Ala” and “Down with Islam, up with Communism” – designed specifically to turn the population against Mossadegh, as well as the agents of CIA and MI6 (dressed as Mossadegh supporters) spurting machine guns into crowds (known as Operation Ajax), forced Mossadegh from office on August 19. Mossadegh was arrested and tried for treason by an un-official military tribunal, (Mossadegh was imprisoned and his foreign minister, Hossein Fatemi, executed) while Zahedi succeeded him as prime minister, and suppressed opposition to the Shah, specifically the National Front and Communist Tudeh Party. The Iranian government agreed to allow a democratic system of government in 1954 with American support and entered into agreement with an international consortium of foreign companies British (40% of shares), American (40%), French (6%), and Dutch (14%) companies to run the Iranian oil facilities for the next 25 years. The international consortium agreed to a fifty-fifty split of profits with Iran and would allow Iran to audit their accounts to confirm the consortium was not reporting profits properly, and would allow Iran to have members on their board of directors There was a return to stability in the late 1950s and the 1960s. In 1957 martial law was ended after 16 years and Iran became closer to the West, joining the Baghdad Pact and receiving military and economic aid from the US. The Iranian government began a broad program of reforms to modernize the country, notably changing the quasi-feudal land system.

    Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi meeting with Arthur Atherton, William H. Sullivan, Cyrus Vance, President Jimmy Carter, and Zbigniew Brzezinski,1977.

    However the reforms did not greatly improve economic conditions and the liberal pro-Western policies alienated certain Islamic religious and political groups. From the mid-1960s the political situation was becoming increasingly unstable, with organisations such as Mujaheddin-e-Khalq (MEK) emerging. In 1961, Iran initiated a series of economic, social, and administrative reforms that became known as the Shah’s White Revolution. The core of this program was land reform. Modernization and economic growth proceeded at an unprecedented rate, fueled by Iran’s vast petroleum reserves, the third-largest in the world.

    The Premier Hassan Ali Mansur was assassinated in 1965 and the internal security service, SAVAK, became more violently active. It is estimated that 13,000-13,500[citation needed] people were killed by the SAVAK during this period of time, and thousands more were arrested and tortured.

    (SAVAK) has been described as Iran’s “most hated and feared institution” prior to revolution of 1979, for its association with the foreign CIA intelligence organization, and its torture and execution of regime opponents.

    Pillaging, killing and torture – and you wonder why the Iranians are ‘suspicious’ of USA intentions….

    The more the US meddles, the worse it gets – and the more the US meddles…. until total disaster.

  41. blackflag2012 says:

    Who controls the US”

    After the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1860, calling for an immediate ceasefire between Hamas and Israeli forces and an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert issued his order. Olmert told the press “I said ‘get me President Bush on the phone’. They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I did not care. ‘I need to talk to him now’. He got off the podium and spoke to me,” he added. “I told him (George W. Bush) the United States could not vote in favor. It cannot vote in favor of such a resolution. He immediately called the Secretary of State and told her not to vote in favor,” said Olmert. Rice was among the officials who had helped arrange the resolution. She dutifully complied with Olmert’s orders, forcing her to embarrassingly abstain on a motion she raised.

  42. blackflag2012 says:

    The Washington Post reported this:

    The Bush administration told Congress last year of a secret plan to dramatically expand covert operations inside Iran as part of a long-running effort to destabilize the country’s ruling regime, according to a report published yesterday. The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from spying on Iran’s nuclear program to supporting rebel groups opposed to the country’s ruling clerics, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker magazine.

  43. First and foremost BF, that is my position. I have never said otherwise, you simply assumed so. I would prefer that we offer to support for Israel. I feel it isn’t our business to supply them with anything. However, that isn’t the point I was referring to. I was referring to the fact that in part 2 they made clear that the biggest obstacle for peace in the region is the fact that Israel does not have someone on the other side of the conflict that is interested in discussing peace. Hamas is unwilling to recognize Israel’s right to exist. They spoke quite clearly on that and stated that until Palestinians can get to a point where they are willing to have peace with Israel, the situation won’t improve. I didn’t say that they support my position, I said that they acknowledged my position on Hamas as being true and being a big part of the problem, something you have been unable to do.

    And your history of Iran leaves out a lot of pertinent data about who was replaced, and how. It makes the poor deposed a victim of horrible United States meddling, instead of showing the truth, that the people needed very little pushing to overthrow him because he abused the people. That doesn’t make us right ot have been involved, but it is this constant one side of history that you show that makes your arguments hollow. Nothing in the world bad has ever happened that the horrible United States government didn’t cause to happen according to you. There is only ever one bad guy in your versions of history… the US. So long as that is your belief, your arguments are invalid to me. That is an idealist and propagandist point of view, and isn’t worth debating with.

  44. And your quotes about Israel controlling the US are ridiculous. The President of Iran also stated that the US is afraid of Iran because he called President Bush and told him to back off. I guess that makes that true as well doesn’t it? You need to make up your mind. Either the United States is the evil force in the world, bending the world to its whims and ruining civilization OR the US is a puppet to an Israel master. Which is it? I am just surprised that you fall for such bullshit. Again there is a whole other side of that story that you choose to ignore because it doesn’t fit this particular argument for you. Oddly, the other side of the story would have fit your other arguments. You just make me giggle at this point.

  45. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon said

    I was referring to the fact that in part 2 they made clear that the biggest obstacle for peace in the region is the fact that Israel does not have someone on the other side of the conflict that is interested in discussing peace.

    That is so much bull. You surprise me with your willful ignorance.

    The Oslo accord (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslo_Accords) accord has been affirmed by the Arab league – and Israel.

    YET Israel continues to occupy the West Bank contrary to their commitment.

    Hamas is unwilling to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

    And Israel refuses to recognize Hamas election, West Bank and Gaza rights.

    The onus is on the occupying power to fulfill its obligations.

    They spoke quite clearly on that and stated that until Palestinians can get to a point where they are willing to have peace with Israel, the situation won’t improve.

    The onus is on the occupying power</b. to fulfill its obligations and recognition – not the weak power – they are already subdued.

    All Israel has to do is to follow through their own commitment. Simple, huh?!

    And your history of Iran leaves out a lot of pertinent data about who was replaced, and how.

    Hmm.. let’s see.
    CIA manipulates and overthrows.

    Who the @#@# cares about who wins what??!!!

    What the gawd-dam does the USA have to do in Iran???!

    Come on USWEP! Grab a brain.

    It makes the poor deposed a victim of horrible United States meddling, instead of showing the truth, that the people needed very little pushing to overthrow him because he abused the people.

    But what the hell does the USA have to do in Iran???! Come on, USWep, explain this~!

    And your quotes about Israel controlling the US are ridiculous.

    Uh…this is a documented fact, USWep.

    Sorry to burst your high-mighty bubble, but that is what Israeli PM said. And that is what Rice did.

  46. I believe I clearly stated that the CIA and America shouldn’t have been in Iran in the first place. I clearly stated “that doesn’t mean that the US was right to be involved”. I simply pointed out that you regularly frame everything in a dishonest way that backs your side of the story and that your arguments are therefore rendered hollow. I stand by that observation. And I stand by the fact that you apparently cannot read what I wrote.

    Again, I didn’t deny that the PM said that. I denied that it was the reason for Rice’s actions. I even gave you a quote from another world leader that is documented and pointed out that he was also blowing smoke. I did not say that Rice’s actions were right or wrong. I didn’t make any judgement at all about her actions as a matter of fact. What I did say is that your quotes are ridiculous because I don’t believe for a second that Israel can tell the US what to do. Our reasons for abstaining in that vote may not have been good and I certainly don’t agree with them, but they WERE NOT because the Israeli PM told us what to do. Show me one documented fact that refutes this claim that I have made and you can touch my bubble. Until then I continue to float here above you as you continue to show us all how illogical you can be.

    As for “that is so much bull and you surprise me with your willful ignorance”: Interesting that you think these people are the absolute authority on the points that they agree with you on and you think they are 100% not credible on the statements they make that don’t support your position. As you like to say, it documented. Watch the video, I didn’t make up what they said.

  47. And as for your little “it is the occupying power’s responsibility to live up to the agreement, the weaker power is already subdued”. Bullshit. By subdued you mean launching rockets randomly into Israel. It is up to both sides to live up to the agreement, and neither side has. Again you choose to only see what fits into you views. So I am well aware of the areas where Israel failed to live up to the accords. But here are some quotes copied and pasted from the article that you cited above:

    Hamas has repeatedly refused to officially recognise Israel,[1] to renounce violent resistance, or accept some agreements previously made by the Palestinian Authority, claiming it is being held to an unfair standard and points out the fact that Israel has not recognized a Palestinian state, renounced violence or lived up to all pledges it has made during previous negotiations. Hamas has always renounced the Oslo Accords.

    Fatah, the group that represented the Palestinians in the negotiations, accepted the accords, but Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which were known as the “refusal organizations”, objected to the accords because their charters refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist

    After the signing of the agreements, Israel refrained from building new settlements although the Oslo agreements stipulated no such ban. Permanent issues such as Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, and security and borders were deliberately excluded from the Accords and left to be decided.

    The Israeli’s trust in the accords was undermined by the fact, according to the Israeli government, that after the signing of the accords the attacks against Israel did not cease and even intensified,[12] which some explained as an attempt by certain Palestinian organizations to thwart the peace process.

    There you go, from your own cited source, all directly copied and pasted. So I can live in the real world where both sides are at fault for the current situation. You apparently cannot. US likes Israel, therefore everything is Israel’s fault. You simply live in a one-sided, hate for the US filled world. But it sure is fun watching you debate the issue without the ability to see both sides.

  48. And I hope that comment #43’s first paragraph content was clear enough that it is obvious I made a typo, I meant to say that I would prefer that we offer no support to Israel. The following statement confirms that was my meaning.

  49. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon said
    January 20, 2009 at 2:21 am

    And as for your little “it is the occupying power’s responsibility to live up to the agreement, the weaker power is already subdued”. Bullshit. By subdued you mean launching rockets randomly into Israel.

    As usual, facts don’t seem to penetrate your the MSM propaganda.

    The United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice both describe the West Bank and Golan Heights as “occupied territory” under international law

    The Fourth Geneva Convention provisions regarding occupied territories apply. These organizations include the United Nations Security Council (in Resolution 446, Resolution 465 and Resolution 484, among others), the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention[1], and the International Committee of the Red Cross[2]. Also, in their decisions on the separation barrier, the International Court of Justice and Supreme Court of Israel have both ruled that the West Bank is occupied.[3][4] The US State Department also considers the West Bank and Gaza Strip occupied.[2]

    These home-made rockets are futility in action. They rarely cause damage, let alone casualties.

    Again – Palestine has no army, no tanks, no aircraft, no AAA, no ships.


    It is up to both sides to live up to the agreement, and neither side has. Again you choose to only see what fits into you views.

    Since it was Israel who broke the cease-fire, I find your claim ‘about choosing’ to see somewhat misplaced. Find yourself a mirror.

    See highlights:
    Hamas has repeatedly refused to officially recognise Israel,

    …is old, USWep. Keep up!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jun/22/israel
    Hamas has made a major political climbdown by agreeing to sections of a document that recognize Israel’s right to exist and a negotiated two-state solution, according to Palestinian leaders.

    In a bitter struggle for power, Hamas is bowing to an ultimatum from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas

    After the signing of the agreements, Israel refrained from building new settlements although the Oslo agreements stipulated no such ban.

    I call BS.

    President Bush: “Israel should not undertake any activity that contravenes its road map obligations, or prejudices the final status negotiations with regard to Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. This means that Israel must remove unauthorized outposts and stop settlement expansion.”

    Israel has acted contrary to these obligations, escalating the building of settlements in 2005. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, in the first half of 2005, there was a 28% increase in settlement housing starts compared to the same period in 2004. Israel now proposes to further expand West Bank settlements in the coming year.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/16/world/middleeast/16mideast.html?scp=1&sq=Rice+Says+Israeli+Actions+Have+a+%27Negative+Effect%27&st=nyt

    Published: June 16, 2008

    JERUSALEM — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that thousands of housing units that Israel is building on captured land were harming peace talks with the Palestinians. She also said she could not understand why Israel was still blocking three Fulbright grantees from leaving Gaza.

    On the latest of her nearly monthly visits here to push along Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Ms. Rice was more explicit than usual in asserting that the construction was reducing confidence in the talks.

  50. blackflag2012 says:

    An interesting article:

    January 20, 2009
    The myth of Israel’s strategic genius
    Stephen M. Walt ~ Professor of International Relations at Harvard University

    Many supporters of Israel will not criticize its behavior, even when it is engaged in brutal and misguided operations like the recent onslaught on Gaza. In addition to their understandable reluctance to say anything that might aid Israel’s enemies, this tendency is based in part on the belief that Israel’s political and military leaders are exceptionally smart and thoughtful strategists who understand their threat environment and have a history of success against their adversaries. If so, then it makes little sense for outsiders to second-guess them.

    This image of Israeli strategic genius has been nurtured by Israelis over the years and seems to be an article of faith among neoconservatives and other hardline supporters of Israel in the United States. It also fits nicely with the wrongheaded but still popular image of Israel as the perennial David facing a looming Arab Goliath; in this view, only brilliant strategic thinkers could have consistently overcome the supposedly formidable Arab forces arrayed against them.

    The idea that Israelis possess some unique strategic acumen undoubtedly reflects a number of past military exploits, including the decisive victories in the 1948 War of Independence, the rapid conquest of the Sinai in 1956, the daredevil capture of Adolf Eichmann in 1960, the stunning Israeli triumph at the beginning of the 1967 Six Day War, and the intrepid hostage rescue at Entebbe in 1976.

    These tactical achievements are part of a larger picture, however, and that picture is not a pretty one. Israel has also lost several wars in the past — none of them decisively, of course — and its ability to use force to achieve larger strategic objectives has declined significantly over time. This is why Israelis frequently speak of the need to restore their “deterrent”; they are aware that occasional tactical successes have not led to long-term improvements in their overall security situation. The assault on Gaza is merely the latest illustration of this worrisome tendency.

    What does the record show?

    Back in 1956, Israel, along with Britain and France, came up with a harebrained scheme to seize the Suez Canal and topple Nasser’s regime in Egypt. (This was after an Israeli raid on an Egyptian army camp in Gaza helped convince Nasser to obtain arms from the Soviet Union). Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion initially hoped that Israel would be allowed to conquer and absorb the West Bank, parts of the Sinai, and portions of Lebanon, but Britain and France quickly scotched that idea. The subsequent attack was a military success but a strategic failure: the invaders were forced to disgorge the lands they seized while Nasser’s prestige soared at home and across the Arab world, fueling radicalism and intensifying anti-Israel sentiments throughout the region. The episode led Ben-Gurion to conclude that Israel should forego additional attempts to expand its borders — which is why he opposed taking the West Bank in 1967 — but his successors did not follow his wise advice.

    Ten years later, Israel’s aggressive policies toward Syria and Jordan helped precipitate the crisis that led to the Six Day War. The governments of Egypt, Syria, the USSR and the United States also bear considerable blame for that war, though it was Israel’s leaders who chose to start it, even though they recognized that their Arab foes knew they were no match for the IDF and did not intend to attack Israel. More importantly, after seizing the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip during the war, Israeli leaders decided to start building settlements and eventually incorporate them into a “greater Israel.” Thus, 1967 marks the beginning of Israel’s settlements project, a decision that even someone as sympathetic to Israel as Leon Wieseltier has described as “a moral and strategic blunder of historic proportions.” Remarkably, this momentous decision was never openly debated within the Israeli body politic.

    With Israeli forces occupying the Sinai peninsula, Egypt launched the so-called War of Attrition in October 1968 in an attempt to get it back. The result was a draw on the battlefield and the two sides eventually reached a ceasefire agreement in August 1970. The war was a strategic setback for Israel, however, because Egypt and its Soviet patron used the ceasefire to complete a missile shield along the Suez Canal that could protect Egyptian troops if they attacked across the Canal to regain the Sinai. American and Israeli leaders did not recognize this important shift in the balance of power between Israel and Egypt and remained convinced that Egypt had no military options. As a result, they ignored Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s peace overtures and left him little choice but to use force to try to dislodge Israel from the Sinai. Israel then failed to detect Egypt and Syria’s mobilization in early October 1973 and fell victim to one of the most successful surprise attacks in military history. The IDF eventually rallied and triumphed, but the costs were high in a war that might easily have been avoided.

    Israel’s next major misstep was the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The invasion was the brainchild of hawkish Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, who had concocted a grandiose scheme to destroy the PLO and gain a free hand to incorporate the West Bank in “Greater Israel” and turn Jordan into “the” Palestinian state. It was a colossal strategic blunder: the PLO leadership escaped destruction and Israel’s bombardment of Beirut and its complicity in the massacres at Sabra and Shatila were widely and rightly condemned. And after initially being greeted as liberators by the Shiite population of southern Lebanon, Israel’s prolonged and heavy-handed occupation helped create Hezbollah, which soon became a formidable adversary as well as an avenue for Iranian influence on Israel’s northern border. Israel was unable to defeat Hezbollah and eventually withdrew its troops from Lebanon in 2000, having in effect been driven out by Hezbollah’s increasingly effective resistance. Invading Lebanon not only failed to solve Israel’s problem with the Palestinians, it created a new enemy that still bedevils Israel today.

    In the late 1980s, Israel helped nurture Hamas — yes, the same organization that the IDF is bent on destroying today — as part of its long-standing effort to undermine Yasser Arafat and Fatah and keep the Palestinians divided. This decision backfired too, because Arafat eventually recognized Israel and agreed to negotiate a two-state solution, while Hamas emerged as a new and dangerous adversary that has refused to recognize Israel’s existence and to live in peace with the Jewish state.

    The signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 offered an unprecedented chance to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all, but Israel’s leaders failed to seize the moment. Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Benjamin Netanyahu all refused to endorse the idea of a Palestinian state — even Rabin never spoke publicly about allowing the Palestinians to have a state of their own — and Ehud Barak’s belated offer of statehood at the 2000 Camp David summit did not go far enough. As Barak’s own foreign minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami, later admitted, “if I were a Palestinian, I would have rejected Camp David as well.” Meanwhile, the number of settlers in the West Bank doubled during the Oslo period (1993-2001), and the Israelis built some 250 miles of connector roads in the West Bank. Palestinian leaders and U.S. officials made their own contributions to Oslo’s failure, but Israel had clearly squandered what was probably the best opportunity it will ever have to negotiate a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Barak also derailed a peace treaty with Syria in early 2000 that appeared to be a done deal, at least to President Bill Clinton, who had helped fashion it. But when public opinion polls suggested that the Israeli public might not support the deal, the Israeli Prime Minister got cold feet and the talks collapsed.

    More recently, U.S. and Israeli miscalculations have gone hand-in-hand. In the wake of September 11, neoconservatives in the United States, who had been pushing for war against Iraq since early 1998, helped convince President Bush to attack Iraq as part of a larger strategy of “regional transformation.” Israeli officials were initially opposed to this scheme because they wanted Washington to go after Iran instead, but once they understood that Iran and Syria were next on the administration’s hit list they backed the plan enthusiastically. Indeed, prominent Israelis like Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, and then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres helped sell the war in the United States, while Prime Minister Sharon and his chief aides put pressure on Washington to make sure that Bush didn’t lose his nerve and leave Saddam standing. The result? A costly quagmire for the United States and a dramatic improvement in Iran’s strategic position. Needless to say, these developments were hardly in Israel’s strategic interest.

    The next failed effort was then-Prime Minister Sharon’s decision to unilaterally withdraw all of Israel’s settlers from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. Although Israel and its supporters in the West portrayed this move as a gesture towards peace, “unilateralism” was in fact part of a larger effort to derail the so-called Road Map, freeze the peace process, and consolidate Israeli control over the West Bank, thereby putting off the prospect of a Palestinian state “indefinitely.” The withdrawal was completed successfully, but Sharon’s attempt to impose peace terms on the Palestinians failed completely. Fenced in by the Israelis, the Palestinians in Gaza began firing rockets and mortars at nearby Israeli towns and then Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006. This event reflected its growing popularity in the face of Fatah’s corruption and Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank, but Jerusalem and Washington refused to accept the election results and decided instead to try to topple Hamas. This was yet another error: Hamas eventually ousted Fatah from Gaza and its popularity has continued to increase.

    The Lebanon War in the summer of 2006 revealed the deficiencies of Israel’s strategic thinking with particular clarity. A cross-border raid by Hezbollah provoked an Israeli offensive intended to destroy Hezbollah’s large missile inventory and compel the Lebanese government to crack down on Hezbollah itself. However worthy these goals might have been, Israel’s strategy was doomed to fail. Air strikes could not eliminate Hezbollah’s large and well-hidden arsenal and bombing civilian areas in Lebanon merely generated more anger at Israel and raised Hezbollah’s standing among the Lebanese population and in the Arab and Islamic world as well. Nor could a belated ground attack fix the problem, as the IDF could hardly accomplish in a few weeks what it had failed to do between 1982 and 2000. Plus, the Israeli offensive was poorly planned and poorly executed. It was equally foolish to think that Lebanon’s fragile central government could rein in Hezbollah; if that were possible, the governing authorities in Beirut would have done so long before. It is no surprise that the Winograd Commission (an official panel of inquiry established to examine Israel’s handling of the war) harshly criticized Israel’s leaders for their various strategic errors.

    Finally, a similar strategic myopia is apparent in the assault on Gaza. Israeli leaders initially said that their goal was to inflict enough damage on Hamas so it could no longer threaten Israel with rocket attacks. But they now concede that Hamas will neither be destroyed nor disarmed by their attacks, and instead say that more extensive monitoring will prevent rocket parts and other weapons from being smuggled into Gaza. This is a vain hope, however. As I write this, Hamas has not accepted a ceasefire and is still firing rockets; even if it does accept a ceasefire soon, rocket and mortar fire are bound to resume at some point in the future. On top of that, Israel’s international image has taken a drubbing, Hamas is probably more popular, and moderate leaders like Mahmoud Abbas have been badly discredited. A two-state solution — which is essential if Israel wishes to remain Jewish and democratic and to avoid becoming an apartheid state — is farther away than ever. The IDF performed better in Gaza than it did in Lebanon, largely because Hamas is a less formidable foe than Hezbollah. But this does not matter: the war against Hamas is still a strategic failure. And to have inflicted such carnage on the Palestinians for no lasting strategic gain is especially reprehensible.

    In virtually all of these episodes — and especially those after 1982 — Israel’s superior military power was used in ways that did not improve its long-term strategic position. Given this dismal record, therefore, there is no reason to think that Israel possesses uniquely gifted strategists or a national security establishment that consistently makes smart and far-sighted choices. Indeed, what is perhaps most remarkable about Israel is how often the architects of these disasters — Barak, Olmert, Sharon, and maybe Netanyahu — are not banished from leadership roles but instead are given another opportunity to repeat their mistakes. Where is the accountability in the Israeli political system?

    No country is immune from folly, of course, and Israel’s adversaries have committed plenty of reprehensible acts and made plenty of mistakes themselves. Egypt’s Nasser played with fire in 1967 and got badly burnt; King Hussein’s decision to enter the Six Day War was a catastrophic blunder that cost Jordan the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Palestinian leaders badly miscalculated and committed unjustifiable and brutal acts on numerous occasions. Americans made grave mistakes in Vietnam and more recently in Iraq, the French blundered in Indochina and Algeria, the British failed at Suez and Gallipoli, and the Soviets lost badly in Afghanistan. Israel is no different than most powerful states in this regard: sometimes it does things that are admirable and wise, and at other times it pursues policies that are foolish and cruel.

    The moral of this story is that there is no reason to think that Israel always has well-conceived strategies for dealing with the problems that it faces. In fact, Israel’s strategic judgment seems to have declined steadily since the 1970s — beginning with the 1982 invasion of Lebanon — perhaps because unconditional U.S. support has helped insulate Israel from some of the costs of its actions and made it easier for Israel to indulge strategic illusions and ideological pipe-dreams. Given this reality, there is no reason for Israel’s friends — both Jewish and gentile — to remain silent when it decides to pursue a foolish policy. And given that our “special relationship” with Israel means that the United States is invariably associated with Jerusalem’s actions, Americans should not hesitate to raise their voices to criticize Israel when it is acting in ways that are not in the U.S. national interest.

    Those who refuse to criticize Israel even when it acts foolishly surely think they are helping the Jewish state. They are wrong. In fact, they are false friends, because their silence, or worse, their cheerleading, merely encourages Israel to continue potentially disastrous courses of action. Israel could use some honest advice these days, and it would make eminently good sense if its closest ally were able to provide it. Ideally, this advice would come from the president, the secretary of state, and prominent members of Congress — speaking as openly as some politicians in other democracies do. But that’s unlikely to happen, because Israel’s supporters make it almost impossible for Washington to do anything but reflexively back Israel’s actions, whether they make sense or not. And they often do not these days.

  51. So to counter my statement you talk about something else entirely. Typical. As I will state for the umpteenth time in the hopes that you can comprehend it, I feel both sides are at fault here. I feel you are a hypocrite. You say government has no place and then attempt to use the United Nations (a world government) as justification for your position. You say lobbing rockets is a “futile effort”. I say the Palestinian part of the agreement was to stop lobbing f’ing rockets into Israel. I guess you are only a bad person if your attempt to do bad things is done well. When both sides decide to make peace, they will. Until then they won’t. And if Palestine continues to choose to lob rockets into Israel, Israel will continue to kick the dogshit out of them for doing so. What I would like to happen is irrelevant. What I think is right is irrelevant. Fortunately for the world, what you think is irrelevant. The reality of the situation exists whether your brain has the ability to recognize and comprehend that reality or not.

    Here is the bottom line dude. You hate the United States and you hate Israel. I get it it, I just don’t care. Because your hate distorts you ability to see reality, there is nothing to discuss. I will have those discussions with those who have the ability to see my side as well and who can debate without distorting everything to make a false argument. I am sorry that this disappoints you and sorry that it eliminates you from my focus. When you make a rational point that I feel takes reality into consideration instead of your hate filled distorted propagandist version of reality, I will address it and we can debate. Until then, you are wasting your time. If I am so stupid, as you would like to claim, you can go find a blog with more “intelligent” readers and commenters who share your world view and who want to listen to your propaganda.

  52. blackflag2012 says:

    And here is the rub and the point.

    Nowhere, ever, have I used the word “hate”.

    But you sure have.

    So, one has to wonder – are you so brainwashed to think that disagreement and discourse must equal ‘hate’?

    I’d suggest you review your own rhetoric and jingoism – and when you’re clear – and I mean VERY CLEAR – we can talk about this subject again.

    Because, right now, you’re so hate-filled, you can’t see straight to the truth.

  53. If you say so

  54. blackflag2012 says:

    Israel Doesn’t Get 4GW

    by William S. Lind

    So far, Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip has produced no surprises. On the physical level of war, the IDF is triumphing. The Palestinians are suffering about one hundred people dead for every dead Israeli. To a 2GW military, which is what Israel’s formerly Third Generation army has become, that is the main measure of victory.

    On the moral level, the picture is reversed. Hamas is almost assured of victory. As Martin van Creveld has observed, all it has to do to claim victory is survive, which it will. That claim will not just be propaganda: for Hamas to survive everything a modern state military can throw at it is a legitimate victory. In fact, it will not only survive but be strengthened by a worldwide flood of sympathy, which will translate in part into new recruits and more money.

    In the end, if Israel wants to stop Hamas’ rockets, it will only be able to do so by making a deal with Hamas. Since that was equally true before the war, the question of why it was fought will soon present itself. The real reason is a tad sordid: the current Israeli government is trying to split the “get tough” vote to prevent Likud from winning the next election. The same motivation lay behind last weekend’s “discovery” that Olmert asked the U.S. for permission to attack Iran. The parties in the current Israeli coalition government are in effect saying to Israeli voters, “Why vote for an oaf like Bibi Netanyahu when you can get the same thing from us without the endless embarrassments?”

    What all Israeli parties and the IDF seem to share is that they don’t get 4GW. They have repeatedly been defeated by Fourth Generation forces, but they do not learn.

    The problem goes beyond John Boyd’s framework of moral-mental-physical, with the moral the most powerful level of war and the physical the weakest. What Israel cannot grasp is that in the face of 4GW, all states should be seen as allies.

    The most dangerous opponent of any Fourth Generation entity is a local state. The state must be local: interventions against 4GW forces by outside states are doomed to failure. But local states can sometimes win. It does not matter whether the state in question is a democracy or not. It does not matter whether it is a friend or enemy of Israel. By its inherent nature as a state, it will view Fourth Generation forces as threats.

    A state may or may not be strong enough to suppress 4GW entities on its soil. It is in Israel’s most vital interest that neighboring states be strong enough – morally as well as physically – to do so.

    In concrete terms, what does that suggest? First, it means Israel should be very concerned about the strength and solidity of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq (Lebanon is a state in name only). The Israeli assault on Gaza has seriously undermined the legitimacy of three of those four, with Syria the only exception. Egypt and Jordan have diplomatic relations with Israel, and Egypt has been an all-too-obvious partner of Israel in besieging Gaza. Iraq’s government (still a government without a state) is an American creation, and the U.S. is seen as Israel’s main enabler. On the moral level, every Israeli bomb dropped on Gaza has also landed on Cairo, Amman, and Baghdad.

    One Israeli party, Likud, is so oblivious to 4GW that its proposed grand strategy for Israel, largely written by American neocons, calls for the destruction of every Arab state. Iraq was the first victim of that strategy, thanks to the neocons’ influence on the Bush administration. If Likud wins the coming Israeli elections, there is every reason to think it will put its strategy into practice, pushing Israel into the maelstrom.

    Israel’s dependence on strong neighboring states is equally true with regard to the Palestinians. That means Israel needs a strong Palestinian state in the West Bank. But the effect of the war in Gaza is to undermine Fatah in favor of Hamas on the West Bank, which also has elections coming up. So Israel has in effect shot itself in both feet.

    What of Gaza itself? Here, Israel should have taken advantage of a blunder by Hamas. By winning an election in Gaza and then defeating Fatah in a short civil war, Hamas became a state. On balance, that was not to its benefit. Israel could and should have dealt with Hamas in Gaza as a state. It should have opened the border crossings, avoided raids (an Israeli raid into Gaza first broke what had been a fairly effective cease-fire), and let Hamas become immersed in all the problems of governance. It should have sought a Hamas state in Gaza that was strong enough to prevent rocket-firings and other acts of “terrorism” by other 4GW groups. As a state, Hamas would have gradually “normalized,” even if it did not want to and even though in theory it would have remained devoted to Israel’s destruction.

    Now, by its invasion, Israel may have reduced Gaza to ungovernable chaos. It may think it can reinstall Fatah as the government there. But if Fatah were so foolish as to try to ride into power on the backs of Israeli tanks, it would destroy its legitimacy both in Gaza and on the West Bank, with no hope of recovery.

    Ironically, the best hope Israel now has in Gaza is that when the dust settles, Hamas is still in charge. At that point, if Israel wants to stop the rocket fire, it will have to make a deal with Hamas. That deal should include what Israel ought have done in the first place, namely help Hamas make Gaza a functioning, gradually normalizing state. Again, Israel’s most vital interest is that it be bordered by strong states, not the stateless chaos that is 4GW’s natural breeding ground.

    I visited Israel a few years ago. I liked the country and its people. I wish Israel well. But wishing it well does not mean supporting it in actions that undermine its own security. Until Israel comes to think in 4GW terms, everything it does is likely to undermine its own security, as the assault on Gaza has undermined it.

    Can Israel learn? If not, apartment buildings in Miami will prove a great investment.

  55. Truth involves all factors, BF. All sides of the story. I understand your opposition to the government whose borders you reside in would be more inflamed because it is your first threat to freedom, however, you cannot apply that angst to your criticisms of foreign policy, because you fail to include any credible information or perspective on the “victimized” country and government. Also, bear in mind mind that you come across as supportive of non-US governments, which I doubt is your intention. If it is, then you are violating your freedom premise.

  56. blackflag2012 says:

    Jon Smith said

    because you fail to include any credible information or perspective on the “victimized” country and government.

    But I can. Palestinians have been relentlessly victimized since 1948 – and have been held to no voice by efforts of the British then the Americans.

    The media in America are very pro-Israeli and shirk their responsibility on telling the whole story (I’ve already posted the study by the British that shows the massive reporting asymmetry).

    Also, bear in mind mind that you come across as supportive of non-US governments, which I doubt is your intention. If it is, then you are violating your freedom premise.

    You’re right – I am not supporting government – I am supporting people.

    The one-sided attitudes of the West towards the Middle East is due to the one-sided story by the Western Media.

    We have taken to heart the tragedy of the Jews in Europe, and warped it into making tragedy for the Palestinians in the Middle East.

    Just because the Jews suffered does not give Israel the right to inflict the harm they do upon the Palestinians.

    America MUST take off her blinders. The attacks on the US for the past 25-30 years have been almost solely due to the one-sided support for the Israeli war on the people of Palestine. It is in America’s best interest to right this wrong.

    As Queen Noor said, only the USA can solve the Middle East – because only – and I do mean “only” – the USA is supporting Israel.

    USA has the biggest stick to bring to heal the Israeli war party. If Obama accomplishes this one thing – and he can – he will join Carter (who used the ‘big stick’ on Israel to make peace with Egypt – essentially Carter said make peace, or go to war with Egypt all alone) as a global peace maker, and worthy of a Peace prize. (Obama will follow Carter on almost every aspect – victory internationally, disaster domestically).

  57. blackflag2012 says:

    Norman Finkelstein: Israel is committing a holocaust in Gaza
    Jewish-American Professor Norman Finkelstein has said Israel, a state built on the ashes of the Holocaust, is now committing a holocaust against Palestinians in Gaza.
    American Jewish Professor Norman Finkelstein has heavily criticized Israel over its operation in Gaza. A son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein has been barred from Israel for 10 years and was denied tenure at DePaul University in Chicago because of his critical stance on Israeli policies.

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    According to Finkelstein, Israel, a state built on the ashes of the Holocaust, is now committing a holocaust against Palestinians in Gaza. In a telephone interview with Today’s Zaman, Finkelstein said Israel was a “terrorist state” created by the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. Praising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish people for their courage in supporting Palestinians, Finkelstein referred to Israel as a “satanic” and “lunatic” state. Finkelstein’s parents survived the Nazi camps in World War II and then immigrated to the US.

    After his book “The Holocaust Industry,” in which he accused many prominent Jewish leaders of abusing the victims of the Holocaust, was published, Finkelstein was almost declared persona non grata by America’s influential Zionist circles.

    What does Israel want to achieve with this operation?

    Basically, Israel wants to achieve two goals: to restore what it calls its deterrence capacity — that means to spread fear among Arab states about itself. This is a core principle of Israeli strategic doctrine. Arab states have to be afraid of Israel, afraid of its military might, and Arabs should do what Israelis want. They shall follow Israeli orders.

    Israel’s military deterrence suffered a setback in May 2000, when Hezbullah succeeded to expel Israeli occupying forces from south Lebanon. Almost immediately in the aftermath of the failure, Israel planned another war with Hezbullah to re-establish its deterrence capacity. In 2006, after long preparation and using its air force, Israel suffered another ignominious defeat in Lebanon against Hezbullah.

    The second goal was to defeat the Palestinian peace offensive. This has been another basic principle of Israeli doctrine: You do not negotiate with Arabs. You give them orders. The Palestinian organization Hamas was becoming too moderate; it was transmitting, giving the signal that it was ready to go along with the two-state settlement based on pre-1967 borders. The leadership of Syria and the West Bank have also been making statements like this. So Israel started to get worried that it would be obliged to negotiate a settlement which the international community has been supporting for the last 30 years.

    ‘While the rest of the world wants peace, Europe wants peace, the US wants peace, but this state wants war, war and war. In the first week of the massacres, there were reports in the Israeli press that Israel did not want to put all its ground forces in Gaza because it was preparing attacks on Iran. Then there were reports it was planning attacks on Lebanon. It is a lunatic state’

    Those who are against this settlement are the US or Israel, backed by the US. So when Hamas was becoming moderate and holding to the cease-fire it agreed in June 2008, it was showing herself to be a credible negotiating partner. Hamas was standing by its word. In the meantime, Israel has neglected another core principle of cease-fire, namely easing the blockade. So Israel had to defeat this Palestinian peace offensive. It always does this. It provokes Palestinians into reacting, and it wants to either destroy Hamas or inflicts so much damage that Hamas will have to say it will never negotiate with Israel. That is exactly what Israel wants. Israel never wants a moderate negotiating partner because if there is one, pressure on Israel will grow. Hamas is willing for a settlement; Hamas stands by its word. But Israel does not want to negotiate.

    What you are basically saying is that Israel is not interested in peace at all.

    Israel wants peace in its terms, and its terms are that West Bank should belong to their state.

    Will the operation be successful?

    First of all, we have to use proper language. There is no operation, and there is no war. What is happening is a slaughter, a massacre. When you have 200 to 300 kids killed, that is not a war. When you have a strong military going in against a defenseless population, that is not a war. When you shoot a fish in a barrel, we do not call it a war. As an Israeli columnist put it, it does not need too much courage to send jets and helicopter gunships to shoot inside a prison. What just happened was not a war. One-third of the casualties were children. It was not a war; it was a just a massacre.

    In terms of the Israelis’ goals, you have to say it was successful. It inspired fear among Palestinians and Arabs generally that Israel is a lunatic state and that you have to follow its orders. No. 2, it destroys Hamas as a negotiating partner. You now hear from Hamas that it will not negotiate peace. That is what Israel wanted.

    On your Web site, there is an argument that the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by the Nazis. Do you agree with that?

    I think Israel, as a number of commentators pointed out, is becoming an insane state. And we have to be honest about that. While the rest of the world wants peace, Europe wants peace, the US wants peace, but this state wants war, war and war. In the first week of the massacres, there were reports in the Israeli press that Israel did not want to put all its ground forces in Gaza because it was preparing attacks on Iran. Then there were reports it was planning attacks on Lebanon. It is a lunatic state.

    But do you agree with the characterization?

    Look at the pictures and decide for yourself. I am not going to tell people what they should think about it. But what I say is they should look at the pictures and decide for themselves. (For the pictures go to: http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2510)

    Why have you been barred from entering Israel for 10 years? As the son of Holocaust survivors, you cannot enter Israel.

    Let’s be clear on a certain point. I was not entering Israel; I have no interest in going to Israel. I was going to see my friends in the occupied Palestinian territories. And Israel blocked me to go and see my friends in the West Bank. Under international law, I do not think they have any right to do that! I was not posing any security threat to Israel. The day after I was denied entering Israel, the editorial of Haaretz was asking, “Who is afraid of Norman Finkelstein?” They were also saying that I was not a security threat. I do not have any particular interest to go and visit that lunatic state.

    There are Jewish intellectuals who now call Israel a “terrorist state.” Is that a correct naming?

    I am not sure how you cannot agree with that. The goal of the operation was to terrorize the civilian population so that Palestinians would be afraid of Israel. This is the dictionary definition of terrorism. The dictionary definition of terrorism is targeting a civilian population to achieve a political goal. The goal of this operation or rather massacre was to terrorize the civilian population and to wreck and destroy as much civilian infrastructure such that the Palestinians would submit. When you attack schools, mosques, ambulances, hospitals, UN relief organizations, what is that? If this is not terrorism, then what is terrorism?

    In your famous book, “The Holocaust Industry,” you argue that the state of Israel, one of the world’s most formidable military powers, with a horrendous human rights record, cast itself as a victim state in order to garner immunity to criticism. Have we seen this during the Gaza operation?

    They tried to use the Holocaust; it was funny in a very sick way. The leader of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris, wrote an article, and he said it is no coincidence that this war in Gaza is occurring around Jan. 27, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day. He wants to pretend some connection. In fact there is a connection, and the connection is Israel is committing a holocaust in Gaza. But that is not the connection he had in mind. He wanted to play the Holocaust card; I think that it is not working very much anymore. It was clear that during this last massacre in Gaza, liberal Jewish public opinion turned against Israel. If you look at the petitions, demonstrations, letters, support to Israel, not only in the international community but also among the Jewish community, is diminishing. So the Holocaust card, the anti-Semitic card, is not working as efficiently as it was working once.

    You will probably be called anti-Semitic as well.

    I do not think this propaganda is successful anymore.

    In your book “Beyond Chutzpah,” you argue that Israel was created after the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, but the question whether it was premeditated remains to be answered. If it is premeditated, then can it be called genocide?

    Well, it was premeditated, and I think the record is pretty clear. Even Israel’s former minister of foreign affairs, Shlomo Ben-Ami, in his book published several years ago called “Scars of War,” said that it was quite clear that it was a premeditated expulsion in 1948 and it was anchored in the Zionist philosophy of transfer. Ethnic cleansings are ethnic cleansings, and they are war crimes.

    Why do you think US media is so one-sided and so pro-Israeli?

    I think it has two components. First of all, Israel serves American interests in the region and American media always give a free pass to those states that serve American interests. That is the overall picture and not much different from other parts of the world. The horrendous governments like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, they also get free passes in the American media. This is the larger context. And there is, of course, the secondary factor, which is the ethnic element. In many of these newspapers and the media in general, there is a large Jewish presence, and there is a sense of Jewish ethnic solidarity, which plays a role. But I think we have to qualify the secondary factor in two ways. We should not lose sight of the primary factor, which is Israel is the client state of US. No. 2: In this past war, the liberal Jewish population mostly under the age of 40 completely defected from the war, the massacre. They have been opposed to the massacres from the first day.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been very critical of Israel on Gaza, and some American circles lambasted him in return. What do you think about his stance?

    I wish he had done further. I wish he had gone as far as Qatar, Mauritania, Bolivia and Venezuela in breaking diplomatic relations with that lunatic state. But as far as he has gone, the point on which he stands, has been terrific. And I was glad to see Hamas respected the gestures of the Turkish government and said they would be willing to have Turkish troops stationed on “our border.” That is a very high praise for the Turkish government.

    Turks are showing Palestinians compassion, decency and justice. All the Turkish people should take pride of this stance as was the case on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was the Turkish people and government who showed courage. Ninety-six percent of Turkish people opposed the war in Iraq. The Turkish government refused to give Americans use of their land to attack Iraq. Now Turkish people and Turkish government are redeeming themselves again by standing on what is right, what is decent and what is just. I say the highest praise for Erdoğan and the Turkish people.

    How do you feel about Israel’s operation in Gaza personally as the son of Holocaust survivors?

    It has been a long time since I felt any emotional connection with the state of Israel, which relentlessly and brutally and inhumanly keeps these vicious, murderous wars. It is a vandal state. There is a Russian writer who once described vandal states as Genghis Khan with a telegraph. Israel is Genghis Khan with a computer. I feel no emotion of affinity with that state. I have some good friends and their families there, and of course I would not want any of them to be hurt. That said, sometimes I feel that Israel has come out of the boils of the hell, a satanic state. Ninety percent of the population continues to cheer, to exalt and feel proud and heroic. They send a Sherman tank to a playground and torch children. Is this heroism? Is this courage?

    You were not allowed to teach at DePaul University despite a very good academic record and also had some problems in getting your Ph.D. from Princeton. Why?

    Well, I had some problems. I really cannot discuss my problems in the face of what is going on in Gaza. It will be so silly, trivial and stupid. Three hundred or so children — they were incinerated to death; phosphor bombs were thrown indiscriminately over Gaza. Everything these people wanted to rebuild, rebuild and rebuild was destroyed again. This state invaded in 1978, again in 1982, again in 1993, again in 1996, again in 2006, and 2008, and it always destroys, destroys and destroys. And then these satanic narcissistic people throw their hands up in the air and ask, “Why doesn’t anybody love us? Why don’t our neighbors want us to be here?” Why would they?

  58. blackflag2012 says:

    Netanyahu would let West Bank settlements expand.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090126/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

    “A Netanyahu spokeswoman, Dina Libster, confirmed the quotes were accurate.”

    USWep:”The Israeli’s trust in the accords was undermined by the fact, according to the Israeli government, that after the signing of the accords the attacks against Israel did not cease and even intensified,[12] which some explained as an attempt by certain Palestinian organizations to thwart the peace process.”

  59. blackflag2012 says:

    Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/army-rabbi-gave-out-hate-leaflet-to-troops-1516805.html

    The Israeli army’s chief rabbinate gave soldiers preparing to enter the Gaza Strip a booklet implying that all Palestinians are their mortal enemies and advising them that cruelty is sometimes a “good attribute”.

    The booklet, entitled Go Fight My Fight: A Daily Study Table for the Soldier and Commander in a Time of War, was published especially for Operation Cast Lead, the devastating three-week campaign launched with the stated aim of ending rocket fire against southern Israel. The publication draws on the teachings of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Jewish fundamentalist Ateret Cohanim seminary in Jerusalem.

    In one section, Rabbi Aviner compares Palestinians to the Philistines, a people depicted in the Bible as a war-like menace and existential threat to Israel.

    In another, the army rabbinate appears to be encouraging soldiers to disregard the international laws of war aimed at protecting civilians, according to Breaking the Silence, the group of Israeli ex-soldiers who disclosed its existence. The booklet cites the renowned medieval Jewish sage Maimonides as saying that “one must not be enticed by the folly of the Gentiles who have mercy for the cruel”.

    Breaking the Silence is calling for the firing of the chief military rabbi, Brigadier-General Avi Ronzki, over the booklet. The army had no comment on the matter yesterday.

    Rabbi Arik Ascherman, the executive director of the Rabbis for Human Rights group, called the booklet “very worrisome”, adding “[this is] a minority position in Judaism that doesn’t understand the … necessity of distinguishing between combatants and civilians

  60. I think that the Obama Stimulus package will prove destructive to our economy and bad for our nation. STD, Family Planning and the other random assortments of pork in the plan will also not help. It is just a big bill that the Democrats were hoping to pass a lot of garbage social programs through.

    Stimulus Package: Read copies of the bills and see what it will do to our economy

  61. Kelly K. Walsh says:

    Will someone please convince me that this stimulus plan is a good idea? Everyone I’ve talked to has yet to place a convincing argument. The reasoning behind it is ridiculous.

    Let me get this straight, in order for our economy to recover, we have to spend more? Somehow that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. . .

    The U.S. dollar will be worth nothing if this stimulus plan is passed. There is already too much currency being printed off.

    The best way to get out of the hole dug is to invest in infrastructure and focus on transportation. By doing so, there will be more economic growth in businesses. Am I wrong?

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