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Clinton and Obama on Iran – Diplomacy 101

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subtlety? that's the other guy's problem

subtlety? that's the other guy's problem

To say that the Obama administration is all over the place on Iran is an understatement.

During the campaign, President Obama assured us that he would work hard to start a dialogue with Iran. His view remains, apparently at least, that engagement is the best way to deal with Tehran, their sponsorship of Hezbollah and Hamas, and most importantly the thorny issue of their nuclear ambitions.

Take today’s diplomatic shuffle on Iran. During her flight from Ramallah to Brussels after meeting Mahmoud Abbas, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton made the mistake of holding court with the press during which she gave Tehran a piece of her mind with rhetoric that was straight from W’s dusty old “axis of evil” playbook. HRC suggested that Iran seeks to “intimidate as far as they think their voice can reach.” She went on to say “It is clear that Iran intends to interfere with the internal affairs of all of these people and try to continue their efforts to fund terrorism, whether it’s Hezbollah or Hamas or other proxies.”  Yeah, Hil, we’ve heard this about fifty thousand times before.

During the same in-flight interview, probably after a whisper from an advisor, she remembered that she was working for Obama, not still campaigning against him, and went on to reassure the press corps that the President was in fact still seeking to engage Iran in a dialogue, “but wanted to make sure it’s constructive”.

First Hilary lambasts the Iranians then she wants our negotiations with them to be constructive.  Uhh.  Okay, what’s the best way to put this? 

Let’s start with the dictionary definition of the word “diplomacy”.

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Israel must shape its future before the future is out of its hands

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Israel must control its destiny

Israel must control its destiny

There are three possible paths for Israel to take, and two outcomes.

The paths are as follows;  First, a two-state solution, in which Israel and Palestine sit side by side and Palestine becomes a client state of Israel.  Second, a one state solution in which Israel falls under the demographic hammer and loses its identity after a monumental all-consuming war. Third , resistance to any solution in which Israel falls under the demographic hammer, and loses its identity after a monumental all-consuming war.

Clearly, the only path that is remotely feasible is the first, and yet there is a very good chance that the next prime minister of Israel will be a man for whom all but the third option are complete anathema. Netanyahu speaks the language of pragmatism, but with Avigdor Lieberman breathing down his neck, it’s unlikely to go anywhere. This is a problem, a very, very big problem. And it’s made worse by the fact that in a few years the demographic future of Israel will become very obvious to the Palestinians who will quite simply wait Israel out, until they outnumber the Jews in Israel proper. That possibility makes the two-state option all the more important to pursue now. To do it, Israel needs to both assert its power, and make powerful and strategic concessions.

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Written by coolrebel

February 20, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Bush Laterals to Obama. Mid-East Peace

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don't fumble my legacy, dude

don't fumble my legacy, dude

Among all the other total disasters Bush is handing over to Obama is the small matter of finding peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the current attacks on Gaza are part of an old school of thought. The future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have a completely new landscape.

Benny Morris, a prominent historian of Israeli History wrote a superb primer on Israel’s current predicament in the New York Times. To sum it up, Israel faces unconventional enemies in both Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza, as well as the looming threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the demographic ticking time bomb of the increasingly radicalized and fast growing Arab-Israeli population that is likely to outnumber the Israeli Jews by 2040 or 2050. Read the rest of this entry »

Using Peace as a Weapon. Dealing With Iran.

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ahmadinejad

hey, barack, you wanna like talk or something?

To paraphrase Clausewitz, “Peace is war by other means”. It sounds nutty, but in certain situations, extending the hand of peace and cooperation is far more devastating to our adversaries.

In April, Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying on Good Morning America of all places that if Israel was attacked by Iran, “we would be able to totally obliterate them”. Now this was said during the heat of a brutal primary campaign that Hillary was in the process of losing to Obama, and the primaries she was fighting at that moment were in Pennsylvania, where muscle flexing is valued highly. But it also happens to be the same a quote from Hillary Clinton that has just been nominated as the nation’s next chief diplomat. And dealing with Iran will be one of her top priorities.

President Ahmadinijad is the kind of sly propagandist who can take the “obliterate” comment and turn it into more opportunities for mischief than Baskin Robbins has flavors. Hate-talk about Iran is a big fat BP fastball to the Iranian President. Every angry word about Iran can be used to keep the Iranian population fired up. It’s an old trick in the Middle East. When your people have no jobs, high inflation, a stagnant economy, a crumbling infrastructure, and no political freedom, just blame it on Israel or the Great Satan. This kind of stuff has been Iran’s second-most effective export after oil. It’s used it to finance it’s highly effective proxy networks in Lebanon, and to a lesser extent in Iraq. It’s used it to drive forward it’s nuclear policy. They all perform one profound function. Preservation of domestic power. Read the rest of this entry »