I’m Baaaaack! WTF Happened in the Middle East While I Was Gone?

November 12, 2011


Ok, so it’s been a while. Thanks to all of those who left comments and sent emails of support to me over the past two months- much appreciated. I’m very slowly getting back into the swing of things- or at least trying to- so I am going to restart posting here but honestly, I don’t even know where to begin, which brings me to my next point(s)…

What in God’s name has happened in the Middle East? I’m gone for two months (give or take) and the situation with respect to Mideast peace is actually worse than when I left? How is that even possible? How is it possible that the U.S. has managed to squander what little respect and dignity it still had?

I’ve been trying to catch up on two months of news and this is what I have gleaned so far (I know you all know about these stories already so be patient, I’m just trying to make sure I understand fully what went on in my brief absence)-

~The Obama administration made a total ass of itself at the UN trying to prevent the Palestinians from membership, largely symbolic, in UN agencies such as UNESCO. WTF? So we apparently pulled funding and are threatening and cajoling other nations to do the same. So each agency/organization the Palestinians try to join, we’re going to pull funding and take our ball and go home even though we end up shooting ourselves in the foot because we need to be involved in those agencies because it serves our national interest? Hey, lets pull funding from agencies involved in world health, trade and economics! Woo hoo! And why? Because token symbolic membership for the Palestinians is upsetting to Israel.

~Then I heard that the neocon Israel-Firsters (Republican AND Democrat) on the House Foreign Affairs Committee would not honor Obama and Clinton’s request to release funding for the Palestinian Authority even though it is essential in order to prevent an escalation in violence. Instead, the Foreign Affairs Committee, headed by Likud extremist Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and seconded by Democratic Likudnik Rep. Berman, agreed to release said funds only after the Israeli government said it was ok because it helps ensure their security. So, members of Congress will now only answer to the Israeli Prime Minister on matters that impact not only the Palestinians and Israelis, but the US? Brilliant, really.

~Neocon extremist blogger for the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, who seems to create a major ethical dilemma/scandal for the Post about every other week, cited with approval and tweeted a post written by her even more extremist and anti-Arab friend Rachel Abrams which essentially called for the mass murder of Palestinians- and the Washington Post AGAIN defends her even though the Ombudsman admitted that had someone at the Washington Post targeted Jews that way, they’d have likely been fired by now. For the background and updates on this story, see here and here for more. Well, at least it’s all out in the open now and the media double standard regarding Israel-Palestine is now impossible to ignore.

~So, President Sarkozy called Bibi Netanyahu a liar on a hot mic? So now I hear all the usual subjects are outraged that Obama joined in and said how difficult it was to deal with him (Bibi). What exactly is untrue about anything that either Sarkozy or Obama said? Did any of these people defend Obama when Bibi repeatedly snubbed their President. No, they didn’t. ‘Nuff said.

~Mideast peace saboteur for the Obama administration, Dennis Ross, is resigning in December? Good riddance. He’s used his position in multiple US administrations to use the peace process as cover for continued Israeli expansion into Occupied Territory. Dennis Ross is one of the many reasons why the two state solution is now likely impossible. He was referred to as “Israel’s lawyer” by fellow US negotiator Aaron David Miller (who also admitted he served that role as well) and he was counted on by both the U.S. Israel Lobby and the Israeli government, to ensure that the U.S. never, ever, ever become an objective mediator to resolve the crisis. Mission Accomplished, Dennis. For information/commentary on his storied career, see here, here, here and here. And where is Dennis going upon leaving the White House? Why, he’s going back to AIPAC’s think tank, WINEP, where he can advocate for war with Iran and promote a strain of U.S. foreign policy which just happens to be a mirror image of hard-line, far right Israeli policies.

~So, the IAEA issued a new report on Iran which rehashes all the old speculative intelligence we already knew about with some new speculative intelligence thrown in? Color me shocked. I have enjoyed reading the breathless reporting from the MSM, whose stories seem to over-rely on scary, fear-mongering anonymous quotes from “diplomats/US officials not authorized to speak openly about the report”, a total ignorance of even the very basics of nuclear physics/weaponry and a total abandonment of any pretense of any journalist duty to fact-check some of the information they are being spoon-fed by people with a glaring conflict of interest. The one notable exception is the Christian Science Monitor and a lone article in the UK’s Guardian. So I guess the MSM, politicians and foreign policy establishment didn’t learn anything from their previous over-willingness to accept any intelligence assessment that comported with their preconceived policy objectives, ie. the politicized fear-mongering that led to the Iraq War. For more on the glaring holes in the IEAE report and the media coverage of it, see here and here. Here’s a great example of a blogger doing the research and due diligence that the MSM should be doing with respect to issues like this (or preferably, all issues).

Does this mean Iran isn’t up to dirty nuclear tricks? No. But the question is, how long is the US and European public going to accept being lied to and treated like mindless dupes in order to line the pockets of the politicians, defense industry and to keep Israel happy?


About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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3 Comments on “I’m Baaaaack! WTF Happened in the Middle East While I Was Gone?”

  1. Carolyn-Rodham Says:

    May I be the first? WELCOME BACK!!!
    Finally, someone to decipher the news.
    I was thrilledto hear Obama tel Sarkozy that Bibi was a royal pain to deal with — and even happier to read Moshe Dayan’s widow blast Netanyahu for destroying any prospect of peace. I don’t have much to back this up except wishful thinking but I think the tide is turning slowly against Netanyahu.
    But the big news is.,,You’re back! I hope you didn’t rush it and that you’ve given yourself time to heal, but gee it’s great to “see” you again!


    • Stacy Says:

      Hello there. Miss me terribly?

      Spending two months away from all news was actually a nice break- never thought I’d hear myself say that. I didn’t even look at Haaretz or Mondoweiss until a few days ago.

      As for Dayan’s widow- there was a time when anything she said would be given great credence/respect by Israeli leaders but Israel has moved so far to the right that I don’t even think they care what she thinks these days. And her husband was no liberal. So the fact that these once hawkish old-timers are the new “left” in Israel is sort of depressing.


      • thainjacobs Says:

        woo hoo, welcome back! Hope you’re feeling better!

        Thanks for the summary- nobody sums up the Mideast news quite like you. The Jennifer Rubin stuff is incredible, isn’t it? Ethan Bronner was embroiled in Scandal #3 (this year alone) over at the NYT- I’ll try to find the link- this was about a month ago. He’s another one that is protected because of who he is. The shit he pulls would never be tolerated if the journalist was Arab.


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