Tarheeltalker

Who’s Fighting Whose Wars?

Seems that a former senior CIA agent, Michael Scheuer, thinks we have some misplaced allegiances in the Middle East. Mr Scheuer was on  a C-Span call-in show  last Monday which degenerated into  an anti-Semitic gab fest.

Scheuer, with a number of callers agreed, thinks Israel is of no strategic importance to the United States. He also said that  American soldiers are dying in Iraq for the sake of Israel. He had this telling quote, ” Their association with us is a negative for the United States. Now that’s a fact. What you want about that fact is entirely different.” One more tidbit from Mr Scheuer. We should somehow “persuade”  Islamic terrorists who threaten us to” focus their anger” on Israel (as if they already do not)  and oppressive Middle Eastern regimes.

Wonder who he thinks is our most staunch ally in the Middle East, as well as the only thing country even close to having a freely elected government. Uh, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia. None seem to ring a bell. As for the part about our troops dying for Israel, may we return briefly to Desert  Storm in 1991. If memory serves, we fought that war to liberate Kuwait and by extension keep Hussein away from Saudi Arabia. Israel suffered the indignity of repeated scud missile attacks without provocation. I also seem to remember our asking them to hold off on retaliation ( defend  themselves) which they did. Not sure of Mr Scheuer’s thoughts on that matter.

Add the above to this next Obama administration maneuver. Middle East envoy George Mitchell is heading over to do some tough talking to the Israelis( must have been reading from the playbook of the Palestinian from Plains) about restarting peace negotiations. He threatened a freeze in U S aid to Israel if  satisfactory progress is not made. No wonder that polls indicate  a large majority of Israelis are nervous about the state of relations with us.

Wonder if the letters Mitchell is bringing with him bring instructions about the division of Jerusalem as well as the two-state solution. Methinks Israel is right to be ill at ease. For greater discussion of  the issues and insight as to why we should have a strong relationship with Israel, visit   Joel Rosenberg’s blog .It  gives one  a good perspective on Israel in particular as well as the Middle East as a whole.

Shalom!

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January 9, 2010 Posted by | International politics, Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Apology Worth Its Cost?

Bill In Action

Bill In Action

News broke today of a “surprise” trip to North Korea, Bill Clinton  doing his best Jimmy Carter imitation. He apologized  to Kim-Jong II for the behavior of  American tv reporters  Laura Ling and Euna Lee who were arrested in  March while  reporting on  refugees fleeing from North  Korea into China. They were sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor for their  alleged offences. It is great that these ladies have been released and will  be able to return to their families. But what price was paid and what will it cost  in the long run? And, should it be considered as negotiating with terrorists?

There is doubtless a lot behind the surface  but let’s just look at a few aspects of this endeavor. Mr Clinton is said to have expressed sincere words of apology(for what?)  for the”hostile acts”  committed by the 2 journalists against  the DPRK, so said  North Korea’s state run new agency.  Their report went on to say that Clinton carried a message from Obama expressing his thanks and hoped relations between the 2 countries could improve. Meanwhile, back in DC, Press Secretary Gibbs said no message  of any kind was being conveyed by Clinton. Following so far? Good.  Oh, gotta get this next in, it is just too good.

” The measure taken to release the American journalists is a manifestation of the DPRK”S humanitarian and peace-loving policy.” Right!!!  Maybe there was something lost  in the translation.

Ok, 2 comments from slightly differing points of view. First is Daniel Sneider, an Asian expert from Stanford. He said that the release was preceded by weeks  of quiet  negotiations between  the State Department and the North Korean UN mission. Clinton, said he, did not do the negotiating, he just reaped its fruit. Well, who did the negotiating, Hilary, George Mitchell, Joe Biden, whoops, slipped up there.  If there were weeks of negotiations, gotta think the White House had an inkling.

Now, opinion #2 from an admitted hard  liner on North Korea, John Bolton, former UN Ambassador. He says that we are rewarding bad behavior and further that Bill  contradicted some of the things that Hilary has said with regard to North Korea. For example, she had attempted to de-link the case of  the journalists and nuclear disarmament. Ok.

So, who do we believe and what do we believe? Don’t really know yet. But I doubt very seriously that North Korea will hesitate if it wants to launch a test  rocket any time soon. And chew on this thought. What impact might it have on future foreign journalists in the country?

August 4, 2009 Posted by | International politics, Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments