by Jeff Huber, Sat Jul 22, 2006 at 11:23:13 AM EDT
The New York Times reports that today that the U.S. is " rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon."
Under the fold: the appearance of being an honest broker
by Matt Stoller, Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 02:42:36 PM EDT
If there's one thing the right-wing reactionaries are good at, it's using crisis situations that they have allowed to happen to expand their power base. And now it's happening again, this time with the crisis in the Middle East and the renomination of Bolton. John Bolton, you'll recall, is the anti-UN hardliner appointed to be the US ambassador to the UN.
I rely on Steve Clemons for his analysis of the situation since he has great sources (as does Laura Rozen).
Today, several reports have come to The Washington Note that Jay Zeidman, the influential 24-year old White House liaison to the Jewish community, is putting out the call to prominent American Jewish organizations to support John Bolton -- with the arm-twisting innuendo that in this time of crisis in the Middle East, American Jews need to line up behind the guy Jesse Helms said "is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, if it should be my lot to be on hand for what is forecast to be the final battle between good and evil in this world."
That's exactly the kind of unstable world that Bolton seems constantly trying to stir up.
Zeidman has sent the word out to numerous Jewish organizations asking "What can the White House expect in terms of supporting John Bolton?"
Why would Israelis here or abroad want someone whose best skill seems to be antagonism and fiery, flamboyant stridency that rarely achieves a positive outcome. One would think that Israel and members of the American Jewish community would want someone helping to steward their concerns in the UN who was actually good at achieving stabilizing results that can stand the test of time.
Bolton blows things up. And we've had enough of that in the Middle East.
Zeidman is the son of prominent Greenberg Traurig attorney Fred S. Zeidman who is actively involved in leading Republican Jewish activities in Texas and is Vice Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Why, just this morning Zeidman was quoted in the Washington Post on Bush's support of Israeli hardliners who are shelling American citizens. It's time for progressive Jewish groups to take a stand against this kidnapping of our religious identity for immoral ends.
Oh yeah, and as an aside, nepotism sucks.
by populist, Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 02:05:25 PM EDT
...The "what is next?" has been asked over the past five days by many energy experts. The biggest worry now is that Israel's two-fronted bombardment will draw in the Syrians and Iranians into an oil-gutted conflagration stretching from Tel Aviv to Kashmir...
by Matt Stoller, Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 12:02:18 PM EDT
It's really quite mystifying why the media isn't reporting the fact that Bush is allowing Israel to shell thousands of Americans stuck in Lebanon. Rush Limbaugh is on the case, of course:
Even in the eyes of our ingrate, spoiled-rotten little children, brat-type ingrate citizens in Beirut, it's our fault. (Crying.) "It's a war zone. It's a war! How do I get out? (crying) We're having to shield ourselves from the sun in cardboard." (sobbing) That's embarrassing.
Bush's inaction on Israel is a marked departure from America's traditional 'honest broker' status in the Middle East. While the press is making this war seem like it's a fight between Israel and Hezbollah, it's clear that Bush has taken Israel's side. Just listen to his allies.
Fred S. Zeidman, a Texas venture capitalist who is active in Jewish affairs and has been close to the president for years, said the current crisis shows the depth of the president's support for Israel. "He will not bow to international pressure to pressure Israel," Zeidman said. "I have never seen a man more committed to Israel."
Now obviously Bush is not supporting Israel, he's supporting hard line extremists in Israel, and he's choosing their interests over the lives and rights of thousands of Americans stuck in Lebanon. This is immoral, and bordering on outright treachery. Much of the right-wing Israel lobby in the US shares this same Likud-over-all immoral agenda. Real support for Israel and for Americans would involve calling for a cease-fire and pressuring both sides to come to the negotiating table.
Americans don't want to be involved in this fight except as part of an international force. It is the job of the press to point out the context here, that with our diplomatic inaction, Bush is de facto backing Israeli Defense Force incursions into Lebanon. While I'm not going to say that Israel shouldn't hit back (it should, but it is overreacting), I will say that it is insane that the American public is being denied a real and honest debate over what is becoming a new American war through a proxy state. If Americans actually knew that Israel were shelling American citizens with the passive permission of Bush, we'd see pressure on him to actually stop this treachery.
Bush is a weak and pathetic little man who only reacts to pressure. It is shameful that the press isn't providing the appropriate context to allow Americans to apply that pressure.
by Jeff Huber, Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 11:17:54 AM EDT
Wittingly or unwittingly, at least two major U.S. news networks are conducting a major information operation in support of the Israel-Lebanon War.
All morning, MSNBC and CNN have been broadcasting footage of Israeli tanks and troops forming up on Lebanon's southern border. (I haven't been watching Fox, for all I know they're doing the same thing.) On scene reporters and analysts are describing how engineering units are moving up, ostensibly to clear away any mine fields or other obstructions prior to the launch of an assault, raid or full scale invasion.
Under the fold: who's side are they on?