I'd put funding the settler movement on a par with funding Hamas. They are armed paramilitary religious fanatic thugs who have murdered an Israeli Prime Minister, murdered Palestinian civilians and are opposed to a two state solution - openly advocating the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from the Jordan River to the sea.
We should have zero tolerance of the Israeli government coddling and funding religious extremist terrorists just as we have zero tolerance for the other side doing the same.
No US funds were used in the purchase and financing of these homes. We use the 8 billion for Military and other social programs NOT funding of the settlements.
And if we found out that Jordan or Egypt were funneling millions in military aid to Hamas would we be OK if they told us that US aid funds were not used. That money came from other sources. We would cut off all aid until we had guarantees they were not funding groups working to undermine the peace process and working against US policies and interests.
Any investor who was injecting the kind of capital into these enterprises that Uncle Sam is would have the power to do just that. But he would negotiate that kind of control BEFORE he parted with a dime.
The government can not let Citi or any other major money center bank collapse. We are teetering on the edge of another 1929 and they have to hold the financial sector together at any cost.
The problem is just giving away trillions with no strings attached to the same snakes who got us into this position will not stabilize the financial system. The government is going to have to do what any private investor would do if he was putting up trillions to save a failing business: demand control, management changes, cut out all executive bonuses, lower executive compensation, stop dividend payouts and put the himself (the taxpayer-investors) first in line.
Bush has pissed away trillions showering Wall Street with free money. Obama is going to have to attach punitive conditions on every dollar that goes out to failing institutions from day one.
If after the defeat of Japan we sent American settlers to grab the best bit's of Japanese land we would still be fighting WWII. Israel continues to extend it's settlements and enforces it's occupation and colonization through violence, murder and intimidation. It has supported and coddled the terrorist thugs in the radical settler movement and continues to allow them to set up armed camps in Palestinian population centers. Remember it was a Jewish terrorist that murdered an Israeli PM not a Palestinian one.
Politicians in extremist parties on both sides like Hamas and Likud preach that the other side are inhuman savages that kill our children. You can't negotiate with murderers, the only language they understand is violence. You have to fight fire with fire. So the slaughter continues. I don't see the difference between the leaders of Hamas and the leaders of Israel they are birds of a feather preaching the same message of hate.
We did not start WWII. The Germans and the Japanese did and propagated atrocities and war crimes worse then anything any Palestinian terrorist has to date. However, we did not use that as justification to colonize their countries. Indeed it would have been contrary to international law. Israel should withdraw from all the territories and turn over all the settlements immediately. That would be a first step towards security for Israel. What it is doing now is not making Israel safer.
After the election of Hamas the US and Israel tried to engineer a Fatah coup in Gaza sparking a civil war which backfired and left Hamas in total control. The blockade, incursions, extra-legal assasinations none of it has done anything to make Israel's border with Gaza safer. It has done the opposite. The Neo-con policies of the last 8 years have been a total failure. Sharon did not secure better security for Israeli's with his get tough policies and collective punishment. The opposite happened.
It's madness to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
In Florida they say they will be laying off vice-principals, all counselers, special ed, art, music, phys ed, security and janitorial staff and more.
It looks like the only thing left will be the teachers for the 3 FCAT subjects that effect schools FCAT rating. Obama needs to consider saving the jobs of those employed in education. The combination of the impact on the current economy and our future prospects as a competitive economy would be devastating if our already sorry educational system gets completely destroyed.
What's the point of creating new jobs if you are losing critical jobs faster then you can create new ones.
Yes that little girl reaped what she sowed. Screw her. You are really sick.
This will not make Israel safer and really has very little to do with security and everything to do with the current crew trying to get an electoral leg up on Netanyahu. Like GWB they figure being leader in a time of war is an electoral sure shot.
If that costs the lives of dozens or hundreds of Palestinian children and a few IDF soldiers I guess it's a price some Israeli politicians are happy to pay to hold onto power. They are no better then the scumbags that run Hamas.
Reality is this war is not about Hamas it's about the Israeli elections. With Netanyahu in the lead the current crew needs to show what tough guys they are.
This attack will not make Israel safer. It in fact will do the opposite but I guess a few dozen or a few hundred Palestinian kids lives are a small price to pay for the hope of gaining an electoral advantage.
It is obvious Hamas sought this war. Why else would they provoke Israel. If they provoked it they thought it would be to their benefit. No one knows better then the Palestinians what the consequences are of military confrontation with an Israel that is vastly superior in arms and capabilities.
Hamas knew the amount of pain they would endure and the casualties they would take. One of their leaders waited in his home for a sure "matyrdom" knowing the israeli's would blow it to pieces. A temporary degradation of short term tactical capabilities is nothing if it serves your long term strategic goals. The disastrous war with Hezbollah is surely the model Hamas is hoping to follow.
Hamas does not fear Israeli military action, they fear peace. They fear any progress that would give Palestinians hope because their power is based on a populatian that has given up hope. Hamas like Hezbollah does not need a military victory. If they survive they win. After the war they will have an audience seethiong with hate and bitterness primed and ready for their message and the longer the conflict lasts the better for them. Every dead Palestinian child, every day Palestinians live in terror of a getting blown to shreds at any moment by an Israeli bomb makes Hamas stronger and makes Israel less secure in the long run.
It's got nothing to do with Obama or Panetta. Feinstein spent 8 years kissing Bush's ass. Now all of a sudden she is going to speak out? Torture, shredding the constitution, all of Bush's excesses she kept her mouth shut and went along to get along. Now she decides to take a stand? Pathetic.
My problem with Feinstein is she was a groveling toady to Bush on torture and everything else and now she is finding her spine?
Yes she should have been consulted but she kept her mouth shut for war crimes and as the constitution was shredded but now she is going to take a public stand because she was personally slighted. A few words privately with Obama could have rectified that. I hope she gets a progressive challenger, she sucks.
Hezbollah has not fired a single rocket since 2006.
Why should they? they have already won the bragging rights. and re-established themselves as a power player. They are King Shit in the Arab street the first Arabs who faced down the IDF. The IDF has lost it's aura of invincibility which is a real disaster for Israel.
What would they gain by further provoking Israel at this point? They have achieved their objective.
"A precuser to democracy in Iraq and Iran is non interference by the USA in the internal affairs of sovereign nations like Iran and Iraq."
That is a statement I most definitely stand behind. The cause of democracy would be further along and the Ayatollahs would be weaker and we would be safer if we stayed out of Iraq. However that does not me we don't engage, negotiate and threaten. The policy before the war of negotiating with the threat of force and the cooperation of the world was a form of positive "interference" and it worked.
We have had cooperation and negotiation from Iran in Afghanistan where we had a common enemy. Interference in the form of invasion? Aside from the morality it is pure counter productive stupidity.
Israel would have been better off and Hamas and company would be much weaker today had Israel pursued the ongoing negaotiations in Taba and withdrawn form the territories.