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President Obama’s Cairo Speech: A Worthwhile Effort or an Exercise in Narcissism?

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President Obama delivered an historic — some would say "masterful" — speech in Cairo on 4 June 2009. Some have disparaged it, while others have praised it to the heavens, even going so far as to suggest that President Obama is godlike.

I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.

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I think the President's speech yesterday was the reason we Americans elected him. It was grand. It was positive. Hopeful…But what I liked about the President's speech in Cairo was that it showed a complete humility…The question now is whether the President we elected and spoke for us so grandly yesterday can carry out the great vision he gave us and to the world.

Hope is generally a good thing, even for obviously terminal cancer patients; change is sometimes a good thing. However, there are times when hope is delusional and change is for the worse. There are also times when delusional hope can lead to disastrous change.

Superficially, President Obama's Cairo speech appears to have been intended to demonstrate to the Islamic World that the United States should no longer be viewed as an enemy of Islam and that Islam is not and should not be an enemy of the United States. So far, so good. His speech may well appeal to some of the Islamic "moderates" who are already in full agreement with the "Islam is the religion of Peace" notion; it will probably appeal to those in the United States and elsewhere who very much want to believe that Islam is, in fact, a religion of peace, and that to avoid future problems it is only necessary that the United States recognize this and act accordingly. However, that's rather like preaching to the choir — not a bad thing to do on occasion, but unlikely to change many minds.

What about those who seem to accept the idea that Islam is a religion of peace only in the sense that true peace is found exclusively in death: those who cheered the obliteration of the World Trade Center in New York City, the attempted obliteration of other places in the United States and the deaths which those actions caused? What about those who send small children off bearing instruments of violent suicide in order to kill their enemies? What about those who hate the United States and the "universal principles" for which she is said to stand — democracy, the rule of law, the rights of all, including minorities and women, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and all that sort of thing? What about those who do not accept the notion that such treasures should be universal, as President Obama had proclaimed earlier and as he reiterated in his 4 June speech? What about those who look forward with glee to the death of Israel and of her citizens? Are their minds likely to be changed? I doubt it. Nor does it seem likely that those who view all Islamists collectively as their sworn enemy will be persuaded to see the error of their ways; that the lion and lamb will henceforth lie down and enjoy a lasting peace with one another.

It was sad that President Obama felt it necessary to point out that the Holocaust actually happened and was evil, that Israel should be accepted as a legitimate state and that nuclear weapons should not proliferate. It was sad because many in his audience reject these notions; it seems unlikely that more than a very few of those who previously rejected these notions changed their views as a result of the Cairo speech.

President Obama went on at some length to promote his "two state solution" for Israel and her rather quarrelsome neighbors as the keystone for peace in the region. He did not mention the previous failures of similar solutions.

It seems to me that Israel is considered by many of her neighbors to be a thorn in their sides, principally because she approaches democracy and the freedoms which are thought to accompany democracy to a far greater extent than does any other collection of people in the region; because she has thereby turned her previously barren lands into fertile and prosperous ones; and because she has thereby become a leader in various areas of military and commercial technology. If this is so, then the "two state" solution embraced by President Obama in his Cairo speech and elsewhere as the policy of the United States will not produce a scintilla of change — at least not for the better. If Israel survives the two state solution, she will presumably continue to have these same pesky attributes, she will continue to be an unwelcome example to her neighbors, her neighbors will continue to lob missiles and suicide bombers at her, and she will have no choice but to try to make them stop. Should the interesting but hardly novel two state experiment fail, as seems quite likely to me, it will not be exclusively at the expense of the United States; it will be at the expense of another sovereign state, Israel, as well. It will also be at the expense of those "universal principles" which President Obama praised in Cairo and elsewhere.

Perhaps the gushing reactions of President Obama's supporters to his Cairo speech, noted in paragraph one above, accurately reflect President Obama's own views. If so, his narcissism knows no bounds. In any event, he clearly wants to be remembered as the Great Peace Maker. That is a worthy ambition; it would be even more worthy if his words and deeds had a realistic chance of success in actually bringing forth the blessings of peace. However, I fear that they are little more likely of success than was the spectacular willingness of Neville Chamberlain to turn Czechoslovakia and other countries (but not, of course, England herself) over to the Nazis in 1938.

Chamberlain believed passionately in peace for many reasons . . . thinking it his job as Britain's leader to maintain stability in Europe; like many people in Britain and elsewhere, he thought that the best way to deal with Germany's belligerence was to treat it with kindness and meet its demands. He also believed that the leaders of people are essentially rational beings, and that Hitler must necessarily be rational as well. Most historians believe that Chamberlain, in holding to these views, pursued the policy of appeasement far longer than was justifiable . . . (emphasis added)

I very much wish that President Obama did indeed have at least a chance, for the first time in recorded human history, of producing a lasting "peace in our time." However pure may be his motives, as things now stand, I consider this very unlikely.

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About Dan Miller

  • Zedd

    I wish some sort of peace would come of it but i think the intention was to express the idea that we see the humanity in the people of that region. A lot of rhetoric from these parts suggests the opposite. I think it was intended to quell the increasing disdain for the US by many in that region. I think it was meant to say “you guys(Israel and Palestine) have a beef and we see both sides” because it hasn’t so articulately been stated.

    Many of us watch with frustration at the uneven handed way that we conduct policy in many parts of the world and it was really, really refreshing to hear the people of this region being engaged in a respectful manner. I was beyond overjoyed and relieved that this guy’s perspective would bring so much to the world. But again, its all about perspective.

  • Zedd

    Only two pages?

  • M a rk

    …she approaches democracy and the freedoms which are thought to accompany democracy to a far greater extent than does any other collection of people in the region; because she has thereby turned her previously barren lands into fertile and prosperous ones…

    Before one gets all creamy about how Israel’s democracy has led to her becoming the land of milk and honey, it would be wise to study the history of how she took control of and holds the headwaters of the Jordan River by military conquest.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    In this speech, Obama did exactly what I hoped he would do – he moved the government of the United States from its false position of “friendship” and “special relationship” to Israel over to the dark side of Arab dictatorship and lies. This is where the government of the United States has been for decades – the enemy of the Jewish State.

    It’s good to see so many Jews discomfited by this dropping of the mask by the US government. The truth hurts and they are seeing the truth – at long last. Netanyahu has to choose between his paymasters in Washington – and between his homeland. And he is having a bitch of a time contorting himself to the “new realities” – realities which were extant for decades but carefully hidden by all the talk of “the democracy in the Middle East” and special relationship and all the other delusory talk which Jews (PARTICULARLY AMERICAN JEWS) used to hide the ugly truth of the relationship of imperial control of Israel by the States.

    Obama talks to the Moslems of not dictating terms – and immediately dictates to the Jews terms of peace as if the Jews were his dogs. Any Arab in al-Qahir used to screaming al-yahúd klabná – the Jews are our dogs – can see the symbolism.

    Obama was indeed masterful in his speech. He lied and distorted the facts with the smoothness of a preacher. Those years listening to Jeremiah Wright – a Moslem learning how to lie like a phony – were obviously not wasted.

    The irony is sweet – the symbolism Divine.

    A generation of Jews devoted themselves to the betterment of the civil rights of the American Negro – who dubbed himself “African-American” to get away from the humiliation the word “Negro” (and its derogatory variants) occasioned only to find their own “homeland” and their Israeli compatriots stabbed in the back by a real African-American, a first generation American whose mother was raised in Hawaii and whose father was raised in Kenya. And the vast majority of Israelis are afraid to call this the betrayal it is – because indeed it isn’t. The American government is doing what it wanted to do since Secretary of State George Marshall resigned over the partition vote on UN Resolution 181 partitioning the Mandate. The American government is out to screw the Jews and is doing it with gusto!

    G-d indeed has a very sharp sense of humor.

  • Jeannie Danna

    What a bunch of crap!Hope is generally a good thing, even for obviously terminal cancer patients; change is sometimes a good thing. However, there are times when hope is delusional and change is for the worse. There are also times when delusional hope can lead to disastrous change.

    The pety party of no gave their opinion again….I am sooooo not impressed.

    How dare you link a book about Hitler to the President of the United States! You don’t live here and you don’t pay taxes. [I just censored myself!]

    Now I will look for a worthwhile article to read here…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Four books are linked; two about President Obama and two about Neville Chamberlain. One of the Chamberlain books principally concerns Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler. There is no suggestion in the article that President Obama resembles Hitler. Now that the possibility is mentioned, however . . . .

    Perhaps the references to President Obama as “god like” and as showing great humility are getting more traction than I had thought.

    No, I don’t live there. I do, however, pay taxes there.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Jeannie,

    Give the man credit (wait, one should not give Obama credit – he’ll just flush America further down the toilet than it already is)

    Alright, give Obama his due. Within the context of American culture, he is a master speaker and orator. And within the context of German culture, Hitler was a master speaker and orator. They don’t physically resemble each other, but the skill with words is most assuredly there.

    And Dan is right about hope and change also. False hope is deadly, because once you realize its falsity, it makes it even harder to carry on. I know how many job opportunities have fallen through for my wife since we moved here. Each time it happens, Ruvy has to help her pick up the pieces of ruined hope. It’s been painful each time – but it has drawn us together.

    As for change, was it bankruptcy you voted for when you pulled the Democratic lever last November? Somehow, I don’t think so….

  • Clavos

    I do, however, pay taxes there.

    As do all expat Americans (with a few exceptions), and which is grossly unfair, since you receive no benefits or services for the taxes you currently pay.

    Should you ever get in trouble overseas, the lack of services and benefits will extend to a failure on the part of the State Department to assist you in any meaningful way with your local authorities — circumstance I know from experience.

    The USA is a great and good country because of its people, who are, for the most part, decent, caring hard working individuals with discipline and respect for others and the law.

    Their government, however, is shit.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Clav,

    Their government, however, is shit.

    I think that is very unfair. Shit can be useful; we use chicken shit to fertilize our pastures as well as our orange trees. At seventy cents per 80 lb. bag, it is quite inexpensive — unlike the Government.

    Dan(Miller)

  • ma rk

    No, I don’t live there. I do, however, pay taxes there.

    So incorporate yourself and this could easily be avoided.

  • Jeannie Danna

    I dreamt last night that I had to climb over a bunch of dead horses to get back home.
    Today I’m in this thread trying to beat a bunch of dead horses. these political views
    ma rk is excluded from this comment!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    The Dead Horse Syndrome, known as the DHS, is but little understood. However, it is well known in psychiatric literature.

    Dan(Miller)

  • ma rk

    although excluded, ma rk — a farrier — turns pale and backs out of the room…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    The USA is a great and good country because of its people, who are, for the most part, decent, caring hard working individuals with discipline and respect for others and the law. Their government, however, is shit.

    Quoted for truth.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Speaking of tying up Obama’s policies with Hitler’s, we have George Jonas in the National Post (Canada) writing of Hitler’s Dream Come True

    From the article:
    Hitler’s dream come true

    Expelling people from their homes, a crime against humanity in the Balkans, is now U. S. policy in the Middle East

    The 86-year-old widow of the nuclear physicist who played a pivotal role in boosting the Kremlin’s military bang before reducing its moral bang to zero, mused about how the ostensible decapitation of race-or class-based tyrannies actually brought the world closer to their monstrous visions.

    “At first, anger and horror was provoked by the terrorists who knocked down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and by their accomplices in London, Madrid and other cities,” Bonner recalled. “Later, [president George W.] Bush was blamed for everything, and as always, the Jews — that is, Israel.”

    Two states for two people sounded good, until one looked at the numbers and the fine print on refugees, the scientist’s widow told the hometown of the stillborn Oslo Accords. The population of Israel is about 7.5 million, of whom 5.4 million are Jews and 1.5 million Israeli Arabs. A two-state solution, in which the Palestinian state permits no Jewish settlements but the Jewish state offers the right of return to more than 4.5 million Palestinians classified as refugees, adds up to a Palestinian state cleansed of Jews neighbouring a nominal Israel in which Arabs outnumber Jews substantially.

    Remember Yelena Bonner, folks?

  • Jeannie Danna

    This conversation is like my dream. pointless I’ll end it here…

  • Clavos

    ma rk,

    although excluded, ma rk — a farrier — turns pale and backs out of the room…

    i had no idea there was a demand for shoeing dead horses!

  • Clavos

    ma rk,

    When you’re grumpy, is it fair to say you’re a horseshoe crab?

    OK, I’ll stop now…

    or not.

  • Baronius

    But Dan, they invented algebra!

    Someone over at the National Catholic Register blog wrote up a version of what President Obama didn’t say, that he said in the speech at Notre Dame.

    “But remember too that the ultimate irony of faith in Islam is that it necessarily admits doubt in Mohammed the prophet….This doubt should not push Muslims away from their faith. But it should humble Muslims.” etc.

    Obama may talk to non-Americans and non-Christians with respect, but he condescends to American Christians.

  • ma r k

    Clavos, perhaps the strangest exercise in farrier school is doing just that…putting a shoe on a dead hoof.

  • Clavos

    Sounds logical — medical students practice on cadavers first.

  • Clavos

    Another one:

    When you’re angry, do you get all hoofy?

    OK, OK, I”LL STOP!*

    *(maybe)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    ma r k,

    Does one use hot shoeing or cold shoeing with a dead horse?

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    And do you beat it before shoeing it?

  • ma r k

    Me, I just nailed to the coffin bone…you know, to make sure the shoe stayed on.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Something this article seems to be missing. The non-‘promotional literature’ view of Israel. From someone called by some a self-hating Jew and by others an impeccable, factually irrefutable scholar.

    From Part 5: White phosphorous on making contact with human skin at a temperature of 1500 degree F. continues to burn right through the flesh to the bone. White phosphorous is often deployed on the ground to create a smokescreen. One might wonder how and why such a substance would get used in bombs that target civilians–such as a school holding 1600 refugees from the Gaza massacre, a hospital and the UN warehouse holding all the civilian aid.

    Video lecture about 6-10minutes each:
    Part 1 Finkelstein on Gaza: What to call it
    Part 2 Finkelstein on Gaza: Why?
    Part 3 Finkelstein on Gaza: Deterrence Capacity
    Part 4 Finkelstein on Gaza: We’re Crazy
    Part 5 Finkelstein on Gaza: White Phosphorus
    Part 6 Finkelstein on Gaza: Education and War Crimes (1 of 2)
    Part 7 Finkelstein on Gaza: Education and War Crimes (2 of 2)
    Part 8 Finkelstein on Gaza: Defeating the Palestinian Peace Offensive (1 of 2)
    Part 9 Finkelstein on Gaza: Defeating the Palestinian Peace Offensive (2 of 2)

    Seeing Through the Lies
    The Facts About Hamas and the War on Gaza

    By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

    “The record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point—and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website—Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.

    Now, as to the reason why, the record is fairly clear as well. According to Ha’aretz, Defense Minister Barak began plans for this invasion before the ceasefire even began. In fact, according to yesterday’s Ha’aretz, the plans for the invasion began in March. And the main reasons for the invasion, I think, are twofold. Number one; to enhance what Israel calls its deterrence capacity, which in layman’s language basically means Israel’s capacity to terrorize the region into submission. After their defeat in July 2006 in Lebanon, they felt it important to transmit the message that Israel is still a fighting force, still capable of terrorizing those who dare defy its word.”

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    “…putting a shoe on a dead hoof.”

    Ick.

    “…medical students practice on cadavers…”

    Double ick.

    As a trained massage therapist I am grateful that in school we practiced on live persons.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Anyone want to talk about the elephant in the room?

    That is, Dave’s staring failure to call his usual Godwin’s Law foul.

    OK, maybe it’s a pygmy hippopotamus rather than an elephant, but still.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Clav , if there is a dumbest jokes of 2009 contest you are on a roll. You are likely the winner as well as the first runner up, so far.

    That horseshoe crab one, that was really a stroke of brilliance.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dr.D,

    Sounds good, unless it is a dead elephant or pygmy hippopotamus and will require having things nailed to it.

  • Clavos

    Cindy,

    Modesty prevents me from preening…

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav’s second joke doesn’t work in my accent.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I mean his third one. At first I thought the dead horse one was an earnest question. It must be too early in the morning for me. Where’s that coffee? [gulp] Ah, that’s better. What?

  • Clavos

    Well, Doc, I have to admit it’s a stretch in a Seppo accent as well.

    So, I’ll quit horsing around…

    Thank you, folks! I’ll be here all week.

    Don’t forget to tip your editors!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Funny, it sounded fine why I tried it in a British accent. Maybe there is something wrong with Dr.D’s accent.

    *Trips Dr.D*

  • Clavos

    Sorry, Cindy, he’s the Assistant Comments Editor — you’re on your own here.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    why = when

  • mar k

    Cindy…you’re a trained massage therapist? That clinches it (shoer joke); I’m going to lobby to get our bigamy laws repealed.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    You’re a massage therapist? No wonder you like Norm Finkestein – the stupid fucker massages the facts. And boy, does he massage the facts. When he is done they are great fiction for the “poor Palestinians”. And yes, I did mean stupid fucker. Not only is he a self-hating Jew who is a traitor to his people, he is a liar as well.

    The fitting punishment for that SOB is to be kidnapped, dropped of in Gaza or some town of Arabs where they really hate Jews, and for him to be dragged at the end of a pickup truck to a bunch of Arab women to tear him apart bone from bone likew they did to Ya’akov Mandell eight years ago (that’s two different homicidal methods combined – it should work).

    I’m not supposed to wish death on a fellow Jew, but if this cock-sucker succeeds in convincing people of his lies, people like me and mine – also fellow Jews – will be murdered off like dogs.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    rofl

    See I knew it, a reformer just like all the revolutionaries. :-)

  • m Ark

    …the dead hand of the past and all that

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Hopefully, I will never be forced to work for someone else. It’s either a teacher or work from home I am hoping.

    It was fun spending a year talking to people at school who were ‘psychics’ and finding out where my meridians were. One had to be sure on the national examine to know whether the heart chakra was connected to the moon chakra–or vice versa. I found out a lot of interesting things too–like lilac oil is good for your liver (or something) and you can get about $100 for healing people’s ‘energy’. The state actually requires a license now to wave your hands around over people’s ‘energy fields’ and imagine…well whatever it is people imagine when they heal people’s ‘energy’.

    *Gee, I hope it’s lilac oil, I’d hate to find out I have used the wrong thing and maybe done something horrible like unbalance my toxins or something. I have a feeling they are tottering just like in a Jenga game…one wrong move and kablooey.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Mark,

    One of the students became involved in horse massage. Do you know any horse massagers?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Ruvy,

    That was a much milder response than I had anticipated.

  • m aRk

    I was taught the more or less straight forward technique of ‘meridian stripping’ and never had to worry about essential oils and the like. Just had to learn not to take on others’ crap.

  • m aRk

    Hey, this is Taos…I know a bunch of equine body workers from Tellington-Jones to acupuncturists.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Horses would be too muscular for me to massage. I am a weakling who prefers reasonably soft people. I am not optimistic about the size of the market for old mushy horses who need massages. :-)

  • Baronius

    You two could open a place that massages and shoes dead horses. You probably wouldn’t need a big place, either.

  • m ar k

    Malpractice insurance would probably be reasonable too.

  • Clavos

    Do old horses get sentimental??

    Clavos, for the last time, STOP IT!

    Now go sit in the corner until you learn to stop punning…

  • Clavos

    They could call it The Taos Defunct Equine Spa…

  • mar k

    …Clavos, I think we already have one here by that name.

  • Clavos

    Or maybe “Horse Heaven”

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    LMAO Bar!!! That is hilarious.

  • mar k

    Here’s the real thing: Equine Spirit Sanctuary

  • Clavos

    mar k, do they do embalming and have a viewing room?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    That’s very cool.

    I think Bindy is adorable! :-)

  • ma r k

    They are collecting donations…send your contributions to me, and I’ll pass them along.

  • ma r k

    He really is.

  • ma r k

    When I trim him I have to get really really short.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I would give them all free massages.

    Do you train any horse’s Mark? I imagine you would prefer ‘natural horseman’ methods. I understand the horse whisperer movie was criticized by the real practitioners. But the ideas are interesting and appealing. Sort of like the dog whisperer dog training style, which I like very much.

    I will give Bindy some horse peppermints and a one month sponsorship. Could you email me where to send it?

  • ma r k

    Very cool, Cindy! Isn’t there a hook up on Ruth’s site? If not, I’ll e-mail you the telephone # and address.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    There is an email address there. Should I just write to that?

    p.s. massages offer only good for horses who don’t try to kill me. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    283 Cuchilla Road • Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557
    575-758-1212

    Is that where I can send a check?

  • ma r k

    I think that address would work, but give Ruth a call to make sure.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    ok, cool, I will do that…nice video she has on youtube.

  • Baronius

    Mark – That malpractice comment was time-released. About an hour after I read it, it occurred to me that to be sued, you’d not only need customers; you’d have to massage a dead horse *badly*.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    oh yikes…Clav, you have a competitor in your joke contest… :-)

    I just placed first in my hold’em tournament of 45 players. I am psyched enough to laugh at anything.

  • Clavos

    Mark – That malpractice comment was time-released. About an hour after I read it, it occurred to me that to be sued, you’d not only need customers; you’d have to massage a dead horse *badly*.

    Is it malpractice to attempt to resuscitate a dead joke fest?

    If not, it should be…:>)*

    *Notice the nose, Cindy — I’ve always done it that way.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    rofl =o) Indeed, I’ve noticed, some people are not to rushed to consider the nose.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    (Now we just have to get Mark to do an emoticon, that would be a funny sight.)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Let’s wager Clav. If Mark ever did an emoticon would it have a nose or be noseless?

  • m a r k

    ?l??

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    lmao

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Ckav, I am changing my wager. lol I think it will likely be missing a nose as well as eyes and a mouth.

  • Clavos

    Well then it wouldn’t be an emoticon, just a con :>)

  • Ruvy

    Dan,

    Don’t you just love how this whole comment thread degenerated to the life of a farrier and massage therapist? Maybe, you should forget the political shit and start writing features on the smithies in the villages surrounding you; and you can also give us an update on those terroristas in your area. Nothing like the light of day to scare the rats away….

    Hey Mark! We got a bunch of horses out here in Ma’ale Levona and the surrounding area.

    And Cindy, we got a whole load of women (the men in the village won’t let you touch them – dead hand of the past and all that) who really need to be rubbed down and whose muscles and souls are really tense. Your services are needed round here!

  • Arch Conservative

    I think Obama will genuineley be surprised when, after he gives a few more of these speeches, peace does not break out worldwide between Jews and Muslims and radical islam and the west.

    Maybe he’ll just figure that all the jihadis and jews didn’t hear him the first time and give a few more speeches.

  • Jordan Richardson

    At least he’s talking to people instead of continuing a ridiculous policy of cowboy justice.

  • M a rk

    Hey Mark! We got a bunch of horses out here in Ma’ale Levona…

    And a horse’s ass as well.

    But don’t get me wrong — I do appreciate a relatively nonviolent comment from Ruvy that doesn’t mention Obama.

  • Clavos

    At least he’s talking to people instead of continuing a ridiculous policy of cowboy justice.

    Fat lot of good it does when you’ve got the wrong message.

    He’s sure “changed” Kim Jong Il, hasn’t he?

    And I note the Israelis and arabs are all falling all over themselves to get into his “hope and change” parade, too.

    Rumor has it the EU is lobbying to become the 51st state, while all the Islamic radicals are frantically beating their swords into plowshares as we speak.

    Bah.

  • Jordan Richardson

    #81,

    Clearly I don’t agree that he has the “wrong message.” I also don’t agree with the contention that this is a speech designated to “change” the attitudes of hardened terrorists. It is, instead, an olive branch that has been long overdue in the Muslim world. The Bush Administration’s policies have damaged relationships and Obama has to consider that before he can advance with any actual work. Speeches may seem like “narcissism” to the cynics and Republicans, but they’re very important steps in getting the ball rolling.

    As for the rest of the comment and the general attitude represented in it, it’s more of the same cynical growling and doesn’t really resonate on any larger levels than that.

    Not that I don’t appreciate cynical growling, of course.

  • Clavos

    The fact that it’s the wrong message is highlighted by the fact that none of the audiences at whom it’s aimed are paying any attention to it.

    Kim, Ahmadinejad, Chavez among others, are all dissing him.

    Hand the likes of Ahmadinejad or Kim an olive branch and they’ll beat you with it.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Kim, Ahmadinejad, Chavez among others, are all dissing him.

    Why wouldn’t they be? The speech isn’t an olive branch designated for Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-il or Hugo Chavez or your Threat of the Week. It’s for the Muslim world alienated by the Bush Administration.

    I thought I already said that…

    As far as the claim that “none of the audiences at whome it’s aimed are paying any attention to it,” I don’t know if that’s substantive but I’d like to see some evidence if it is. For the most part, I think expectations regarding the speech are as unrealistic from the left as they are from the right.

    Nobody’s going to lay down their arms and ideologies because of a single speech, but again: it gets the ball rolling. Again, a message of peace and unity with the Muslim world is far from the “wrong message.”

    As Roni Bart said in a Canada Free Press article “the speech in Cairo will be remembered as a milestone in the annals of ‘soft power’ and public diplomacy based on persuasion, symbols, and the media. It likely contributed to a rise in America’s popularity on the Arab street..”

    It’s not earth-shattering, but it’s a start.

  • Clavos

    Why wouldn’t they be? The speech isn’t an olive branch designated for Ahmadinejad…

    Oh? Did Iran become Buddhist when I wasn’t looking?

    Again, a message of peace and unity with the Muslim world is far from the “wrong message.”

    It is when their radical elements, who are hell bent on eradicating “infidels” will, understandably take it as a sign of weakness.

    As Roni Bart said in a Canada Free Press article “the speech in Cairo will be remembered as a milestone in the annals of ‘soft power’…

    “soft power”??? That’s easily the most oxymoronic (and purely moronic) comment I’ve heard in a long time.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Maybe, you should forget the political shit and start writing features on the smithies in the villages surrounding you…

    What a good idea. Village life.

    Ruvy, I met a woman in my massage school who was not permitted to massage males. I’m not sure what nationality she was.

    (Clav…psssst…your emoticon appears to be drooling…lol)

    :>)*

  • Baronius

    “fat lot of good” – God, I love the English language!

    That cowboy justice has freed and defended Muslims in Africa, the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They should be thanking us.

  • Arch Conservative

    Jordan come talk to me about what a great leader Barry is when your wife and daughter are wearing burquas with his image on it.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Not a conversation I ever envisage happening, then.

  • Ruvy

    And a horse’s ass as well.

    Mark, I won’t tell my former landlord what you said about him. It would hurt his feelings. Maybe I should feed him a piece of sugar instead….

    Oh, I fergot; we got a few bridges where you can hide and grab the kids for dinner….

  • Bliffle

    “Narcissism”, Dan(Miller)?

    Are you reading the far right whacked out hysterics, now?

    The “narcissism” charge against Obama seems to be based on this guy “Vaknin” and his personal vendetta against narcissists (oh, like his ex-wife) whom he seems to find EVERYWHERE, with the ease that Joe McCarthy used to find commies.

    Here’s the snopes citation:

    Snopes on Vaknin

    Vaknin is NOT a mental health professional. He has a PhD, from an UNACCREDITED college in Philosophy, not psychology!

    He has never met or interviewed Obama, as HE HIMSELF says any mental health professional MUST do to render a diagnosis.

    In fact, Vaknin never even authored the article cited! It was actually written by some guy named “Ali Sina”!

    For anyone who CARES, here is the correct citation for the original article:

  • Baronius

    I wouldn’t have thought it necessary to cite a particular person to recognize President Obama’s narcissism. To me, the definitive proof is: since Reagan’s SOTU addresses in the 1980’s, every politician describes the accomplishments of ordinary heroes in his stories. Whenever Obama speaks about accomplishment, he describes himself.

    Mind you, I think that political junkies waste a lot of time diagnosing their opponents. Republicans were so sure that people would recognize Clinton’s lying compulsion that they forgot to run a campaign against him in 1996. Ditto Democrats, Bush, stupidity and father issues, 2004. There can be an advantage in knowing how an opponent thinks, but there’s a huge drawback in writing off everything your opponent does in terms of your pet diagnosis.

    So let me put it in moral (as opposed to psychological) terms: Obama is apparently proud.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “since Reagan’s SOTU addresses in the 1980’s, every politician describes the accomplishments of ordinary heroes in his stories.”

    and that never struck you as manipulative bullshit? what’s this joe the plumber? they do that because they have to on the campaign trail and to keep their numbers up in office. they don’t know one damn thing about those people, they just read it off a page. and you buy it? i doubt that. you see through it as much as the president (and the tool he’s manipulating) does.

    “So let me put it in moral (as opposed to psychological) terms: Obama is apparently proud.”

    that’s a sin?

  • zingzing

    archie: “Jordan come talk to me about what a great leader Barry is when your wife and daughter are wearing burquas with his image on it.”

    that’s just dumb. quoted for stupidity.

  • zingzing

    clavos, you’re either being incredibly dense or just pretending not to see the point that jordan is making. you must at least admit the possibility that this is just the first step in a long process. you can’t change the world in 4 months.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    The article Prof. Bliffle linked to is something that belongs in a supermarket rag. It’s trash.

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is what this Ali Sina is claiming the author Vaknin is diagnosing Obama with and is not the same as acting narcissistic, which I think is how Baronius is using it. Everyone can be narcissistic sometimes. It is debatable whether mentioning oneself or someone else in your speeches is even narcissistic let alone a symptom of NPD.

    One cannot gauge NPD from language, posture, and demeanor, and interviewing other people. It’s tripe.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Bliffle, I don’t recall having cited Mr. Vaknin, nor having ever read any of his articles; nor, for that matter, do I plan to do so.

    As I said in the article, if President Obama believes the sort of garbage being disgorged in the media, e.g., that I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God, then I don’t think a characterization as narcissistic is very far off. I should hope that President Obama, if this flattery were called to his attention, would reject it — perhaps with a giggle.

    Unfortunately, people in high positions often believe the smarmy things written about them, and often disregard the more accurate things written about them. I guess we can all evaluate, independently, what President Obama does in this regard.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Bliffle

    One needn’t struggle to find excess pride in any politician or other popular entertainer. Indeed, it seems to be a requirement for success.

    In fact, I found such excess pride in GWB. BUT, I chose the words ‘vain’ and ‘egotistic’ to describe GWB (and I will probably use the same words to describe BHO in the fullness of time).

    Why? Why did I not lambast GWB as ‘narcissistic’? Because I’m not sure how to spell it, that’s why! It’s far easier just to copy the sobriquet from someone elses article. AHA! What better source for the use of such a strange word than the inflammatory article one is already reading?!

    Thus my suspicion that this fellow who calls himself “Dan(Mller)” (an obvious alias intended to throw my bloodhounds off the trail) is reading the whacko right press. Where else would he derive such a peculiar foreign sounding word?

    QED.

    I rest my case and ask the jury to convict on the incontrovertible proof (cf. Colin Powell) that I have presented.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Kim, Ahmadinejad, Chavez among others, are all dissing him.”

    That’s because they know, much like his Presidential campaign, Obama is working from the bottom up not the top down. It’s not going to happen overnight. Do you also complain when a pot of water does boil fast enough?

  • Baronius

    Bliffle, if I ever wrote articles, I would love to do one on the subject of Bush and Obama with regard to humility or lack thereof. I think that most any Christian reads Bush as having the humility of a broken man, whereas Obama has never been humbled by life. I also think that any secularist sees pride in Bush’s cowboy confidence, and humility in Obama’s relfective post-partisanship. I suspect that the question “is Bush or Obama proud” would be a better indicator of ideology than a question about abortion or taxes.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Bliffle,

    Damn! Foiled again. My real name is Rush Colter Beck, and I hate with a burning passion everybody who is not a charter member of the NRA (Nut Rights Association).

    However, I deny that “narcissistic” is a foreign word; I am sure that it is used often in the Holy Bible which, as all right thinking people know, was originally written in American.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “whereas Obama has never been humbled by life.”

    where do you get these ideas that make you think you have some perspective into another person’s life? His mother died from cancer when he was 33. He wrote in his book of the struggles growing up biracial. He lost in the primary running for Congress in 2000. You don’t think he found those events humbling?

  • Clavos

    and that never struck you as manipulative bullshit?

    zing, if you’re going to complain about “manipulative bullshit” on the part of politicians, we’ll have to shut down the government.

  • zingzing

    i know that’s true. but really, praising “joe the plumber” type stuff over actually talking about your (as a candidate/president) own accomplishments and qualifications is just silly. you’ve been manipulated and you don’t even recognize it.

  • Jeannie Danna

    Except for Zing, there is a real shortage of maturity and braincells here on BC. For a minute I thought this was Twitter

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    It all depends on where you look and how you look Jeannie

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    zing,

    how do you put up with us?

    (hiya jet, been thinking about you. hope everything is copacetic :-)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    To be frank, I’m not quite sure how zing will respond to being accused of maturity.

  • Clavos

    Do you also complain when a pot of water does boil fast enough?

    Continually and repeatedly; I also complain when the red light lasts too long, the supermarket line is too slow — in short wherever there is the slightest opportunity for complaining; I derive great joy from bitching.

    However, my complaint about Obama is not the velocity of his actions; on the contrary, he makes me exceedingly uncomfortable with the speed with which he is throwing our money down ratholes and planning to wreak havoc on our already critical health care system.

    No, my chief complaint with our not so esteemed president are the disastrous courses upon which he appears to have set us, not the least of which is this misbegotten attempt at “soft power.”

  • Clavos

    “complaints

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Except for Zing, there is a real shortage of maturity and braincells here on BC.”

    That says more about you, Jeannie, than it does about us

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    that’s true, some people consider a purple dinosaur named Barney the most intelligent being on the planet.

    (to clarify I wasn’t refering to me being one of them)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    108, 111…it’s uncanny.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Here is an interesting take on President Obama’s Cairo speech.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Clavos,

    Complain, gripe, complain, gripe, bitch, bitch.

    Can’t you say anything nice about our glorious leader? Surely, there is something!

    Dan(Miller)

    *He did look sorta cool standing there between the Greek columns, as I recall; even though they were probably made from (recycled) plastic.

  • Clavos

    Actally, according to news reports they were made out of styrofoam — basically, air encased in plastic bubble foam.

    Sorta like…never mind…

  • Zedd

    Bush?

  • Zedd

    Dan (M),

    I am thrilled that you posted 101. It indicates that you at least see the lunacy in the Rep party. Whewww.

    I am completely lost as to how a thinking man such as yourself could be attached to the party that the Reps have become. The only conclusion that I can muster up is that you are massively stubborn; that you hunker down (gosh darn it) no matter what.

  • Ruvy

    This is what I was looking for when I supported Obama over McSchnuck last year. Obama – the Blessed of Hussein – is the target marker – and he who bows to him is the target….

    From the Arutz Sheva, article: Voicing his support for the creation of a Palestinian Authority state will trigger a movement to topple Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government, MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) told The Sunday Telegraph. “We will try to topple him. We will work to recruit all those who are loyal to the Land of Israel. He cannot lie to his voters,” said Eldad.

  • zingzing

    cindy: “how do you put up with us?”

    who?

    doc: “To be frank, I’m not quite sure how zing will respond to being accused of maturity.”

    blargle.

    bitch, o: “That says more about you, Jeannie, than it does about us”

    except you. what you been on me about for lately anyway? i can’t remember really offending you or disagreeing with you, but you’ve taken some big-ass fucking loan out on being angry at me. it’s really quite perplexing. i hope you pee on yourself. what?

    jet: “that’s true, some people consider a purple dinosaur named Barney the most intelligent being on the planet. (to clarify I wasn’t refering to me being one of them)”

    yes you are. oh great purple dinosaur. you’re talking about your penis, right?

    seriously, i don’t think jeannie saw my glorious put down of her before she posted such a statement. if she had, i’m sure she’d be pissed off at me to no end, declaring my stupidity. as it is when you disagree with someone. unless it’s ruvy. that man prays for your death, i think.

  • zingzing

    and doc, she said i had brains, not maturity. surely, you can see a difference. (and also, i have much more maturity than i display here, but that doesn’t take much and i usually put it into pills and shove it up my ass just to make sure.) mmmmmm ommmmmm

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “what you been on me about for lately anyway?”

    um, I wasn’t knocking you; I was defending everyone else. It’s not always about you.

  • zingzing

    no, no, you’ve been on me for other things.

    and you were knocking me, if only slightly. i can read, so i understand that. but you’ve been a little bit bichy towards me lately.

    and i don’t know why.

  • Ruvy

    as it is when you disagree with someone. unless it’s ruvy. that man prays for your death, i think.

    i have much more maturity than i display here,….

    It would be nice if you displayed some of that maturity you claim to have, zing. I don’t pray for any writer’s death, not even yours, and most certainly not that of Jet Gardner.

    It may piss me off how he disagrees with me sometimes – but he has faced down death more times than I care to remember, and if I’ve prayed for anything regarding Jet, it has been for his life and his health and his recovery.

    And he knows that – even if you don’t.

    I won’t state any “obvious truths” about you, zing. The comments editor would cut them out as a personal attack – and he’d probably be right.

  • zingzing

    bah–you know nothing about me. how much of me is revealed by what i write here is pretty well controlled, although i’m sure little things to unintentionally poke out now and again.

    so i don’t give a shit what you think about me, ruvy, because you don’t know half what you think you do. it’s pretty pathetic to watch you moralize and claim that “it would be nice if [i] displayed some of that maturity” when i’m the one who just pointed that out. how much sting does it take out of an attack if the person attacks themselves first?

    zingzing: “i’m dumb”
    ruvy: “hu. hu. you’re dumb… {drool.].”

    shut your mouth.

    you only dislike me because i think you’re evil. n’yah.

    and you don’t know shit about me. [One step beyond erased by evil overseer]

  • zingzing

    hrm. “little things DO unintentionally poke out.”

    taken out of context that sounds awful.

    kind of like a 60 year old man lobbing insults on the internet.

  • Ruvy

    bah–you know nothing about me
    The more I read from you, the less I want to know…. When I can take my knowledge about you into the minus 50 or minus 60% range, I’ll feel satisfied….

    kind of like a 60 year old man lobbing insults on the internet. You’re not even worth the insults. And no, I haven’t reached 60 yet, either.

    Little boys throw shit at tanks – and accomplish nothing. So, keep lobbin’ the shit, little boy, and see what it gets you.

  • zingzing

    what’s it going to get me, gramps? (you’re not 60?)

  • Clavos

    although i’m sure little things to unintentionally poke out now and again.

    heh

  • zingzing

    see 127, clavos. late to the party.

  • Clavos

    I saw it.

    Doesn’t change the irony.

  • zingzing

    alright, grammar police. don’t talk to me about irony. you slip up, just once, and the hounds will eat you alive.

  • Clavos

    I slip up all the time.

    The hounds are usually busy chasing their tails.

  • zingzing

    and it was 126, not 127, so there.

    i made another mistake, unlike his god-like presence hitherto known as clavos, now known as “mine god shines brightly,” who knows all, sees all and documents every grammatical error with certain, god-like glee, of, ever, and forever, every known and unknown (unto all but he) soul upon the ever-growing epicenter of his mind (as that encompasses all known and unknown to us, the puny mortals supplied by his mind’s eye’s imagination’s dung), noting irony (for which he has a natural predilection) upon irony (for which he has his only blind spot, obviously) in his own hypocritical hype.

    “i am god!” roars clavos, and the world shivers.

  • Clavos

    Waaay too wordy, zing.

    This would have been enough:

    “i am god!” roars clavos, and the world shivers.

  • zingzing

    the wordiness was the point, grammar nazi. i gave you plenty to work on. must be driving you up a wall.

  • Clavos

    Naahh.

    I just cut it down to the point.

    And it was an editorial critique, not a grammatical one.

    Wordiness is never good, not even to make a point; bores your readers..

  • Ruvy

    The following comment is for those of you who have enough maturity to realize that the word “appeasement” has nothing to do with putting green peas on a knife in an attempt to eat them.

    Since Obama made his little speech in al-Qahir, Jews have been whining like stuck pigs, suddenly realizing – and unable to believe – that their country was actually on the line. Tonight, in about 2½ hours, the “Whiner-in Chief”, prime minister Netanyahu, is going to find a way to contort himself into a pretzel so as not to “collide” with the big bully on the block, the United States, and somehow yet retain a shred of his dignity and connection to those who elected him, the nationalist Jews of Israel. It should be fun to watch.

    In the meantime, the Jews who already have the right idea about the United States and how to deal with this smelly bully have been speaking up in various ways, and Arutz Sheva has been one the very few places to give them a public forum.

    The most important of these people was Israel Eldad, whose comments on “acceptance of a two-state solution” were covered in my comment here, #119. To remind you, though, he warned that Netanyahu’s acceptance of a 2-state solution here, would bring about his own overthrow. That is just the bed of rice upon which we lay the following pieces of schnitzel.

    This article from Arutz Sheva about the real priorities of this country is a direct slap in the face to those who yammer endlessly about “Israeli democracy”.

    This is a Jewish nation , first last and always. All else comes afterwards. That is policy, so far as Member of Knesset David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu party) can make it so, and at this point, he has amassed some bit of power in the Knesset.

    It’s nice to see that my side is beginning to heft some weight on the scales of power here. It’s about time!!

    But there is yet more schnitzel to be laden onto the rice. Independent journalist, Yoav YitzHak, the owner of Hebrew language internet news site News1 states that NaHum Barne’a of yediot AHaronot, Ben Caspit of ma’ariv and Yoel Marcus of ha’aretz all write as if they were plants of Hussein Obama, rather than Israelis at all. He called on Israelis to boycott the three leading Hebrew newspapers, for Israelis to refuse to buy them because of this.

    I’ve been following this policy for years now, spending all of 20 shekels in the last eight years to buy the specified Hebrew language papers. Of course, having the internet, and access to freebies like yisrael hayom has helped. Of course, I must admit, that the only paper whose journalists maintain any real standard of Hebrew is ha’aretz.

    The bottom line here is this – the summary paragraphs of the article in Arutz Sheva:

    YitzHak’s tirade against his comrades is reminiscent of a similar article by another independent writer, Arab affairs expert Dr. Guy Bechor. Writing in his website last September, Bechor contended that Israel was under “media occupation.”

    “At its core, the media in Israel is not elected and does not change,” Bechor explained. “It is made up of several ‘gurus’ who carry on for decades, without any real change in its personal makeup.”

    The media in Israel, he emphasized, “has turned into an active political force that serves as a substitute for the political parties of the past. The more the Left in Israel shrank in size, the greater its influence became in the media, although [this influence] was always hidden and camouflaged.”

    “Thus the Israeli media crossed the lines, and moved away from its western counterparts,” he accused. “Thus it also betrayed the Israeli public, which expected, and expects to this day, that it will cover events.”

  • zingzing

    “Wordiness is never good, not even to make a point; bores your readers..”

    but if your point is to be pointless, do you have a point?

    and wordiness, at the expense of our god clavos, is always good. keeps you busy. [Edited]

  • Clavos

    but if your point is to be pointless, do you have a point?

    You tell me. It was your “point.”

  • zingzing

    then it had a point.

  • Ruvy

    then it had a point.

    It would appear, zing, that some moyel came and shaved off your “point” yet a bit more – or maybe he slit it off with “nails” (ouch!!!).

    Anyway, moving on up to more cerebral matters, do you think you are capable of contributing something of use to us here {Edited}? Or maybe you should retire to that “other listening room” of yours for a bit…. Some contemplation and meditation can do wonders for the mind {Edited}

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Except for Zing, there is a real shortage of maturity and braincells here on BC.

    cindy: “how do you put up with us?”

    zing: who?

    You know us– the immature stupid people the one who shall remain nameless bitched about. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    the funny part to me zing is knowing that your days were surely numbered as ‘the good boy’

  • Ruvy

    One never knows when an evil man will turn to do righteousness. Jimmy Carter, a nuisance to the Bush administration who has been a voice for the Arabs and for Arab control of the Land of Israel, may actually have some voice with the evil pagan princes of darkness of the Obama administration.

    Known hitherto for his unalterable opposition to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, in a visit to Nevé Daniel, a village across the road from Efrat just north of Hebron, the former president stated “This particular settlement area is not one I envisage ever being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory,”

    One never knows. Carter’s visit may be far more significant than Netanyahu’s speech.

  • Ruvy

    In the meantime, bringing hope from an entirely different direction, is Professor James Tabor, the author of the “The Jesus Dynasty” and now “Restoring Abrahamic Faith”, who, in his works, makes it possible for Christians to see their way past the dividing lines between Judaiszm and Christianity, issues of the divinity of Jesus, etc., etc.

    He, like others who possess his beliefs, state that Tabor explains that alongside his love for Judaism and his knowledge that the Jews are G-d’s chosen people, he believes the Jews are meant to be a minority in G-d’s divine plan, and he is comfortable with his place as a declared ‘Ben Noah’ or ‘Noahide’. The belief in Israel’s mission to bring light to the world does not necessitate that everyone be Jewish, he says.

    This comment is especially for Irene Wagner, and for Leighann, if they are reading.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ruvy, aside from the fact that President Carter went to that village and talked with some of the people there, how is it different from the others villages which are to be “abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory?”

    Dan(Miller)

  • Ruvy

    The link for comment 146 is here.

  • Ruvy

    Dan,

    Nevé Daniel is more of a suburban bedroom community than anything else. I have family there. It is across the highway from Efrat, a city, which is the center of a place called gush etzión or the Etzion Bloc of towns and villages. This group of towns and villages is located just near Bethlehem and stretches south of it. It is a large coherent bloc of towns and villages, rather unlike some of the other Jewish towns and villages either in Judea or Samaria.

    It should be born in mind that Carter, for all the Arabs seem to have bought him out, is still a Bible-believing Christian, and “Efrat, which is Hebron” where Rachel died, has a reality for him that it does not have to Catholics, who center their faith in Rome, or to fallen away Christians, who have no real concept of the historicity of this country at all. It should be further remembered that it was Carter who sought out this visit. He was not invited.

    So, there is more here than meets the eye.

  • Ruvy

    Look at it this way, Dan. If I were a pipe smoker, like I think you are, this would be quite the “three pipe problem” that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle afflicted Sherlock Holmes with occasionally.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Ah, I love Sherlock Holmes. (And Hercule Poirot too.)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ruvy,

    Yeah, it does seem present at least three three pipe problems:

    The first is to understand why President Carter apparently came to the defense of the village, and as to that you may have hit the hammer on the head with the nail. The second is whether it will do any good for the village, and the third is whether it should.

    I’ll pass on the second problem, because my crystal ball was made in Venezuela, where quality control has not yet reached the giddy heights of perfection displayed in Chinese products, and pass on to the third.

    If President Carter followed only his Christian religious instincts to arrive at his conclusion, then in the absence of some other basis, I don’t think that his conclusion has a suitable predicate for the U.S. Government to adopt it. Great Zeus! Just think of the plethora of silly notions that the U.S. could adopt on such a basis.

    If the U.S. Government is to involve itself in deciding whether villages should be destroyed or abandoned to the Palestinians, and if so which, shouldn’t the bases of its involvement include the security of Israel, and all of the other points you have previously raised? Will it derail the “peace process” or require Israel to yield something even worse? Somehow, I doubt that those are of great importance to President Carter and that he will pay much attention to them in any discussions he may have with the current powers that be.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Ruvy

    Dan,

    It is hard to truly know the motivation of a man. For example, YitzHaq Rabin, the man assassinated at the behest of Mr. Peres, was a drunkard a good part of his life. But reliable sources had it that he was studying Torah at the end of his life, and actually beginning to change his life a bit. So, we cannot truly know, and it is dangerous to attempt to extrapolate too far. This leads down the road to satire but not necessarily wisdom or understanding.

  • Ruvy

    This is the essence of Netanyahu’s speech up to 20:39 according to Ha’aretz. You need to read it from the bottom up.

    20:39 Netanyahu: With God`s help we will know no more wars, only peace (Haaretz)
    20:37 Netanyahu: We are committed to bringing back Gilad Shalit safe and sound (Haaretz)
    20:37 Netanyahu: Israel will not negotiate with terrorists who wish to destroy it (Haaretz)
    20:36 Netanyahu: Palestinians must choose between the path of peace and that of Hamas (Haaretz)
    20:35 Netanyahu: Settlers aren`t enemies of peace, they are our brothers and sisters (Haaretz)
    20:33 Netanyahu: Future Palestinian state must be dematerialized if peace is to arrive (Haaretz)
    20:32 Netanyahu: We do not want a Palestinian state that can become a terrorist base (Haaretz)
    20:30 Netanyahu: We want the two peoples to live peacefully side by side (Haaretz)
    20:30 Netanyahu: We don`t want to govern Palestinians or force our culture on them (Haaretz)
    20:29 Netanyahu: There wouldn`t have been a Holocaust if Israel had been formed (Haaretz)
    20:27 Netanyahu: Jewish people`s link with Land of Israel has lasted for 3000 years (Haaretz)
    20:26 Netanyahu: Israel assimilated thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab nations (Haaretz)
    20:25 Netanyahu: Palestinian refugees must find solution outside Israel`s borders (Haaretz)
    20:24 Netanyahu: Palestinian leaders must show integrity and courage to attain peace (Haaretz)
    20:23 Netanyahu: Even moderate Palestinians will not recognize Israel as Jewish state (Haaretz)
    20:22 Netanyahu: Israel`s withdrawal from Palestinian territories has not brought peace (Haaretz)
    20:22 Netanyahu: The closer we get to an agreement, the farther the Palestinians retreat (Haaretz)
    20:21 Netanyahu: West Bank does not stand at the center of dispute with Arab world (Haaretz)
    20:20 Netanyahu: Root of the dispute is refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish state (Haaretz)
    20:19 Netanyahu: We must ask ourselves why has peace not arrived after 60 years? (Haaretz)
    20:18 Netanyahu: I don`t want war, no one wants war (Haaretz)
    20:17 Netanyahu: We want both Israeli and Palestinian children to live without war (Haaretz)
    20:15 Netanyahu: Financial efforts won`t come instead of peace, but will aid in its arrival (Haaretz)
    20:15 Netanyahu: We want peace, in Damascus, in Riyadh in Beirut, and also in Jerusalem (Haaretz)
    20:14 Netanyahu: After yesterday`s election, the Iranian threat is at its most dangerous (Haaretz)
    20:13 Netanyahu at Bar Ilan: Meeting of extremist Islam and nukes is greatest threat (Haaretz)
    20:12 Netanyahu: Iran, economic crisis, peace process are our greatest challenges (Haaretz)

  • Bliffle

    It’s popular to ridicule Jimmy Carter, yet he’s the only one to ever have effected a lasting peace agreement in the Middle east: the Egypt-Israel peace pact 30 years ago.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    It’s popular to ridicule Jimmy Carter…

    Frankly, madame, until this afternoon, Mr. Carter had only my contempt – just another damned Jew-hating cracker. But, there may be more to the man, yet. G-d has given him a long life. One is forced to wonder why.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    REACTION TO NETANYAHU’S SPEECH LAST NIGHT.

    Netanyahu put on a consummate act, swallowing the poison while saying he was hedging it about with conditions. With all the conditions it was “just a little itty bitty bit of poison”. The conditions will all disappear – only the phrase “two-state solution” will remain. Netanyahu is an expert at this kind of shit.

    Talkback #141 at this Jerusalem Post article said it all.

    HE BUCKLED! No leader can afford to play these kind of games with the future of his country. A REAL LEADER must do and say what is right, not to attempt to please everyone, much less foreign governments. His job is the protection Israel and – in spite of all the frosting on top – this was nothing but a speech of surrender. Israel will pay dearly for Netanyahu’s words. And so will he because next time there won’t be any reason for voting Likud. By trying to please everyone, Netanyahu has angered the majority of Israelis. Mr Netanyahu is accountable to Israeli voters – not to foreign powers. This is nothing but a travesty of democracy. The US government will continue to squeeze because they know Israel has surrendered.