Tennessee Israeli 'Mover' Mystery Deepens

Shmuel Dahan, 23, "the leader of the two Israelis arrested after leading police on a high speed chase in a moving van last Saturday in rural Tennessee is the son of the spokesman for the Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the MadCowMorningNews has learned. News that one of the two Israeli 'movers' belonged to that country's political elite might have proven useful in the criminal investigation underway in rural NC and TN, where the two men led authorities on a high-speed chase in a rented moving van last weekend. However, the investigation was halted Wednesday, after the men were released from Unicol County Jail to the custody of the INS, where they face only a deportation hearing. 'They're taking it out of my jurisdiction,' stated Sheriff Kent Harris, who apprehended the men after a high speed chase on a little-used state highway. 'We may never know what they were doing.'" Were they trying to spring convicted spy Jonathan Pollard from prison in rural TN?

Bush is Sharon's Poodle

Robert Novak writes, "The Bush administration has tied itself firmly to Gen. Sharon and his policies. Gen. Amram Mitzna, the new Labor Party leader challenging the heavily favored Sharon in the Jan. 28 election, is denied access to senior U.S. officials... Condoleezza Rice has insisted that Hezbollah--not al Qaida--is the world's most dangerous terrorist organization. How could that be, considering al Qaida's global record of mass carnage? In truth, Hezbollah is the world's most dangerous terrorist organization from Israel's standpoint. While viciously anti-American in rhetoric, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah is focused on the destruction of Israel... Thus, Rice's comments suggest that the U.S. war against terrorism, accused of being Iraq-centric, actually is Israel-centric. That ties George W. Bush to Sharon. The prime minister says astonishing things to U.S. visitors. He once rejected hope for negotiations, contending that Arabs and Jews will kill each other for a hundred years."

Between Armageddon And Peace: Iraq And The Israeli Occupation

Hanan Ashrawi writes that "It is no coincidence that the most vociferous voice advocating a military attack on Iraq is that of the Israeli Likud-led government and its spin machine. In fact, if Sharon had his druthers, the US would oblige by conducting Israel's proxy war on its behalf against a long list of targets, including Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and even Saudi Arabia... War mongering had become such a favorite past time of the Israeli establishment that Sharon found himself uncharacteristically asking his cohorts to tone down the rhetoric and curb their gleeful drum beating. [A major] cause for concern among American war mongers has become how to keep Israel out of the war and to keep it straining at the leash rather than stampeding into the battlefield and fulfilling doomsday projections of Armageddon. To the Palestinians, however, the most prevalent doomsday scenario is in Israel's exploitation of the world's preoccupation with war to carry out its own end game in Palestine."

Frightening Reality: BuSharonism is the New Doctrine of the Middle East

"Why do the Arabs refuse to accept the reality of Busharonism? The Resident of the United States is not searching for peace in our time. Justice and fair play are not part of his political vocabulary. Human Rights are not part of his agenda. Palestinian liberties and freedoms are far from his daily concerns. George Bush thinks he is the reincarnation of Andrew Jackson, who made a name as an 'Indian killer'. Bush has no trouble embracing a warped psycho like Ariel Sharon who daily adds to his reputation as an 'Arab killer'. Busharonism is a doctrine that believes that the only way to deal with Arabs is to inflict pain that leaves visible scars, keep them under pressure and use collective punishment to assure that every Palestinian is left with a wound to remember." So writes Ahmed Amr, editor of NileMedia.com

Armageddon Watch: Israel Threatens Retaliation if Attacked by Iraq

NY Times reports, "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has informed the Bush administration that he plans to strike back if Iraq attacks Israel... Mr. Sharon's statements, made privately to senior American officials in recent weeks, represent a major shift in Israeli thinking since the 1991 Persian Gulf war, when 39 Iraqi Scud missiles struck without any Israeli response... Mr. Sharon's position has significant implications for the Pentagon, which fears that an Israeli entry would stir up Arab public opinion and make it harder for the Pentagon to maintain cooperation from the Arab states where Washington hopes to base American forces... 'If something happens, we will have to solidify our deterrence,' the official continued. 'We think that everybody has to understand that it is not an easy task to try and challenge Israel from a military point of view.'"

Why the World Is Worried about George W Bush - They See Him for What He is

"The world outside the US is now getting used to the fact Americans have a fraudulently elected nitwit as their president, but George W. Bush excelled himself this week with a 'long-awaited' definitive speech on Middle East policies that stretched even the weirdest imaginations. Bruce Wilson in London reports: US embassies around the world moved to 'explain' the batty future Bush saw for Israel and Palestine, but nothing could disguise that the bedbug was running the White House and anything could happen next."

Bush's Mideast Policy is a Road Map to Nowhere

James O. Goldsborough of The San Diego Union-Tribune writes, "George W. Bush labored for weeks on his Middle East plan and produced a mouse, a 'wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie' that is an insult to America's influence, power and intelligence. The speech is empty of ideas. It ignores the causes of the crisis, and therefore its prescriptions are irrelevant. Imagine a fire captain staring at the great Arizona blaze and saying, 'tsk, tsk, if only people were more careful' and you have an idea of how much Bush has contributed to extinguishing the Mideast conflagration. Americans are beginning to see into the soul of this administration, and it is not inspiring. If administrations were people, this one would be Tulkinghorn of 'Bleak House,' well-born, supercilious and utterly without purpose beyond self-interest. Compare Tulkinghorn to Micawber in 'David Copperfield' and you get the idea: all form and no substance."

George W's Bloody Folly - Bush's Fantasy Middle East Plan is Bound to Fail

Jonathan Freedland writes in the Guardian UK that Bush's speech on the Middle East was complete fantasy. "It bore so little relation to reality that diplomats around the world spent yesterday shaking their heads in disbelief, before sinking into gloom and despair. [Bush's message is that the Palestinians must implement sweeping reforms before they can return to the negotiating table and] be considered eligible for statehood - which, when it comes, will be merely provisional. Shall we count the ways in which this is completely absurd? George Bush is demanding that Palestine become Sweden before it can become Palestine... now they are to build the Switzerland of the Levant, where the streets are clean and government functions like clockwork. This is George in Wonderland stuff."

The Emperor with No Clothes Tries to Peddle a Cloak to the Palestinians

Slate asks of Bush's "peace plan": When is a state not a state? When it's Palestinian. Why is Bush's "plan" so vague as to be useless? "Because it was conceived as a pretty picture, not as a solution. The word [vision], which Bush repeated twice in his speech today, is significant. A vision is something you imagine, not something you do... It isn't even a bone thrown to the Palestinians. It's a picture of a bone." When is a plan not really a plan? When Bush proposes it!

'Sharonic Victory'

"First, attacks on civilians in Israeli towns should stop. The Israeli leadership, which is committed to territorial expansion at any price, must be separated from the Israeli public, which is ready for real compromise. Attacks on civilians beyond the green line allow Sharon to manipulate the Israeli public sense of fear and helplessness. They also limit Bush's range of action. As long as Bush was giving Sharon the green light to crush the resistance, one could have argued that Palestinian resistance had no other choice. But this isn't the case now. Bush, under Arab pressure, is partly engaged. That engagement must be seized and used, not rebuffed." Thus writes Gabriel Ash, a former member of the IDF.

Bush's Middle East Policymaking is a Tragic Farce

"The chaos currently governing the Bush administration's foreign policy reached a new height of absurdity this week when the secretary of state, Colin Powell, announced plans for an international conference on the Middle East. Hours later, the White House said the term 'conference' was 'a misnomer'. It was just a 'meeting', one of a series of informal chats. Not only could the Bush team not agree on policy, it seemed, they could not even agree on the vocabulary. It sounds farcical, but by all accounts Powell is not laughing. He returned 'incandescent' from his abortive trip to the Middle East, according to a European diplomat in close touch with the secretary of state." So writes Julian Borger in the Guardian.

Salon Investigates the Israeli 'Art Student' Mystery

In an in-depth Salon investigation, Christopher Ketcham writes, "For almost two years, hundreds of young Israelis falsely claiming to be art students haunted federal offices -- in particular, the DEA. No one knows why -- and no one seems to want to find out... "

Bush Ignores The CIA AND State Department Experts -- He's Following The Wing Nuts Over A Cliff

Jim Lobe writes in TomPaine, "U.S. policy in the Middle East is tottering precariously, and [Bush] still has some hard decisions to make. Will he pull back from his mostly unconditional support for Ariel Sharon... and put real pressure on the Israeli leader to negotiate a land-for-peace bargain with the Palestinians? ... Or will he continue to heed the radical, hardline coalition of neo-conservatives and Christian Right activists who back Sharon's quest to dismantle the Palestine Authority, and who seek to take the war on terrorism to Baghdad and beyond? ... 'If Sharon is left to his own devices, he will drag the region over a cliff'... But the hawks -- from within and outside the administration... are pressing on with a powerful propaganda campaign to expand the war in the Middle East. Their message is simple: The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian is an integral part of a black-and-white war against terrorism."

TIME: 'Bush is Stuck'

TIME's Michael Duffy writes: "Four weeks after Bush leaped into the Middle East crisis by dispatching Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region, it is clear that the President [sic] has come back to where he started, unable or unwilling to end the bickering among his top advisers and struggling to implement a plan because he cannot craft one in the first place. Bush is stuck, and that has many people in Washington once again wondering whether he is up to the task of managing a complex foreign policy crisis and worrying about how long he can hold his team together...there were even signs that the old Bush charm had lost its purchase...Every time he speaks, Bush has to be mindful of the need to preach hope to Israelis and Palestinians, cajole moderate Arabs, warn rogue states, reassure European allies and point a finger at would-be terrorists. It's a huge piece of multitasking for a man who is best at doing one thing at a time."

Saudi Prince Sees More than One Turkey on His Trip to Crawford

Every time some important world leader visits Bush's ranch, Bush's quotes in the press make it painfully obvious that he's incapable of discussing anything more complicated about the visit than whether or not he and the visitor use the same toothpaste or what nifty, fun things they did together. Despite the fact that Crown Prince Abdullah came to Crawford to discuss THE most important foreign policy issue Bush faces - the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - it was the same drill. "He's a man who's got a farm and he understands the land," Bush said, "and I really took great delight in being able to drive him around in a pickup truck and showing him the trees and my favorite spots. And we saw a wild turkey, which was good." Sounds a lot like a third grader in show-and-tell class, doesn't it? After Abdullah left, the most cogent remarks Bush could make were regurgitations of the same tiring, pre-programmed lines about how Arafat must do more to stop terrorism and Sharon must pull out. Yawn.

The Moral Clarity Screechers want neither -- All out War is their goal

David Corn writes in the Nation, "If the rightwing had actual cheerleaders, they would be chanting, 'What do we want? Moral clarity When do we want it? Now.' In recent weeks, 'moral clarity' has become the buzz-phrase for conservatives upset with Bush's less-than-wholehearted effort to pressure Ariel Sharon and to revive talks between Israelis and the Palestinians... To be clear about it, moral clarity has come to mean, let Sharon do whatever he wants on the West Bank... But moral clarity are weasel words when used in this fashion... When Bush finally decided to get involved--way too late--he gazed at the Middle East and saw a conflict not defined by either/or... Moral clarity, as Bush has learned recently, is easier preached than practiced... Moral clarity... is an attractive-sounding but disingenuous concept. It is an attempt to bully [Bush], to deny complexities, and to turn the Middle East conflict into a comic-book face-off that offers only one policy option: all-out war."

Jimmy Carter Offers Mideast Peace Plan

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter negotiated a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, which has lasted 23 years. Now Carter offers a way out of the Mideast death spiral: "The situation is not hopeless. There is an ultimate avenue to peace in the implementation of UN resolutions, including Resolution 242, expressed most recently in the highly publicized proposal of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah. The basic premises of these resolutions are withdrawal of Israelis from Palestinian lands in exchange for full acceptance of Israel and Israel's right to live in peace. This is a reasonable solution for many Israelis, having been accepted in 1978 by Prime Minister Menachem Begin and ratified by the Israeli Knesset. Egypt, offering the greatest threat to Israel, responded by establishing full diplomatic relations and honoring Israeli rights, including unimpeded use of the Suez Canal. This set a pattern for what can and must be done by all other Arab nations."

Republican Senator Arlen Specter Urges Bush to Involve Former President Clinton in Middle East Peace Process!

Apparently even some Republicans have begun to recognize what a complete fiasco the Bush Administration's handling of the Middle East crisis has been! Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) has urged Bush to take up an overture by former President Bill Clinton to assist in the Middle East negotiations. "I think his advice would be invaluable," said Specter, who met with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat three weeks ago. In an Associated Press interview Thursday, Bill Clinton said he would like to be involved in the Middle East peace process and has offered his help to the current administration. "Former President Clinton has a lot of experience in the area. He knows the players," Specter said on CNN. A White House spokeswoman, however, has responded that instead Bush "will stay the course he has charted." What course is that George? Watching people slaughter each other while you flip-flop and read the polls?

As Horrific Destruction in Jenin Is Revealed to Stunned World, Bush Calls Sharon a 'Man of Peace'

From the BBC: "A United Nations envoy has said that the devastation left by Israeli forces in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank is 'horrific beyond belief'. Terje Roed-Larsen, who toured the Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, said it was 'morally repugnant' that Israel had not allowed emergency workers in for 11 days to provide humanitarian relief." Bush's reaction to the killing has appalled the world - Bush called Sharon "a man of peace" and commented, with chilling coldness, "He gave me a timetable and he's met the timetable." Bush is directly complicit in Jenin: he refused to demand the immediate withdrawal that would have averted this disaster and instead gave Sharon a free seven-day pass to kill.

Bush's Approach to Mid-East Peace: Talking to the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians as if they were dogs

Alternet contributor David Turnley is right on the money when he says that Bush's contribution to seeking peace in the mideast is so laughably incompetent it would be better for him to say nothing at all. When nuance and mutual understanding are called for all the President of the United States can muster are words that indicate that he thinks he can simply command the two sides to suspend their bloody conflict. Bush talks to us and to the leaders of other countries as if he were talking to dogs. No wonder it doesn't work.

Why Did Bush Waffle So Much on the Middle East? No Babysitters!

Time exposes Bush's incompetence by describing his wiffly-waffly, incoherent statement about the Middle East conflict on the morning the U.S. voted with the U.N. to call on Israel to pull out of the Palestinian territories. According to Time, Bush waffled because he didn't have anyone advising him in Crawford except a lowly advisor to Tom Ridge: "...the message was incoherent. And the imagery and atmospherics were all wrong: wearing an open-collar shirt and rocking back and forth in his chair, Bush looked like his pre-Sept. 11 self, a little bit scared and a little bit scary. A top official said later, 'It was a mistake.'" Yeah, it's ALWAYS a mistake to leave little junior alone without his puppet-masters Condi and Karl, and his babysitter Karen Hughes!

Waggin' the Pooch: Bush & Ari Blame President Clinton for Mideast

It's "like blaming the steaming pile in the living room on the previous owner's Labrador," writes David Turnley in a scathing critique of Bu$h's Middle East intervention. Whether criticizing Bill Clinton's peacemaking efforts, later "sorta kinda" retracting that, to Bu$h's own unilateral neglectful disregard for the region's plight, Turnley nails Bu$h's real angst: that the Middle East intervened in the momentum to remove Saddam Hussein. Enron? Energy? Waggin' the pooch?

Conservative Commentator George Will to Bu$h: You Lack Moral Clarity

In a scathing and insightful commentary on Mr. Bush's predilection to say one thing and do another, conservative commentator George Will stridently declared that Bush has lost moral clarity by treating Arafat as a legitimate leader. Lampooning Bush for his verbal ambiguity, Will questions the meaning of "enough" and derides Bush's call for Arafat to "say something." Nor are Mr. Bush's aides safe from criticism, as Will questions what "preposterous process of interagency negotiation" labeled Arafat as not "consistently" opposing terrorism. Will questions Arafat's legitimacy as Palestinian leader by taking Bush to task for saying "responsible Palestinian leaders ...must step forward." Ari Fleischer fares no better, though Colin Powell's peacemaking plight elicits a modicum of situational sympathy. "Mr. Will? Hold please, it's the White House calling..."

Bill Clinton Urges US & Canada to Send Troops to Guarantee Mideast Peace

Speaking to an audience of 7,200 (!) in Canada, President Bill Clinton said the US and Canada should send troops to guarantee a peace agreement between Israel and a Palestinian state. "Left to their own devices, the Israelis and Palestinians will not be able to break out of this death spiral. In the end, achieving not only a ceasefire as a political process but a final settlement may require the United States, Canada and others to provide clear and pursuant force for ceasefire and a guarantee of peace if it is made," Mr. Clinton said. Imagine how many lives would have been saved if Bill Clinton was helping President Al Gore bring about peace - instead of Poppy Bush secretly urging Shrub to let the violence spread, so the Carlyle Group could sell more weapons?

Sharon to Bush: Drop Dead

The Washington Post reports, "Defying President [sic] Bush's appeal to withdraw from Palestinian territory 'without delay,' Israeli troops, tanks and helicopter gunships intensified their assault on West Bank towns and refugee camps today, and soldiers fired an antitank missile into Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's besieged headquarters. After Bush spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Sharon's office said he had pledged to 'speed up' the Israeli offensive -- not to end it... [And] there were signs of trouble for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's trip... Palestinian officials said they would boycott Powell unless he meets with Arafat. Complicating matters further, Sharon's office said Powell would have to seek permission from the Israeli cabinet to meet with Arafat, ... 'This is not acceptable,' said Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator. 'President Arafat is a legitimate leader, elected in 1996'" - unlike Bush.

Bush Blames Clinton for Mid-East Violence.

The AP's Ron Fournier writes, "Bush says the Mideast summit sponsored by former President Clinton resulted in a 'significant intefadeh,' or uprising, repeating an accusation his press secretary got in trouble for uttering. Bush told this to Britain's ITV network in an interview taped for his weekend talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Joe Lockhart, who served as Clinton's press secretary, took issue with Bush's remarks. 'He'll learn at some point that you have to face problems rather than to blame others,' Lockhart said. 'And the only thing more glaring here than his lack of leadership is his lack of knowledge.' Ignoring the Middle East for your first year was the MAIN reason that the uprising spun out of control. Let's compare Clinton's 8 years with Bush's 16 months. Under Bush, there were more people killed in the Middle East, more violence, more suicide bombs, and more terrorism.

While the Middle East Burns, Powell Makes Plans to Make Plans - Maybe, Someday, Whatever

Everything Bush has tried in the Middle East - which isn't much - has failed. Bush's own words simply bounce around the airwaves randomly - like the incoherent thoughts in his empty head. Highly-touted visits by Anthony Zinni and Dick Cheney accomplished nothing. Now, after a week of angry complaints from Arab and European leaders, Bush is planning to send Colin Powell on yet another tour. But there is no urgency, since Powell won't leave until next week. And Powell is bringing no plan for resolving the conflict and bringing about a lasting peace. Meanwhile, things just get worse each day. According to the Washington Post, "Bush's demands, however, bore little relation to what the two sides have indicated they are willing to do. Even as he spoke, Israeli tanks rolled into the West Bank city of Hebron."

Tony Blankley Says Bush Will Get Us Into Another World War I

Newt Gingrich's lackey Tony Blankley went on Alan Keyes's cable show Wednesday night to defend Bush's failed policy in the Middle East. Desperate to buy Baby Bush some time, he compared the current morass, and Shrub's fumbling attempts to deal with it, to the days leading up to World War I. All the statesmen and great men of the day - Lloyd George, Churchill, and the rest - reported feeling that they were being caught up in uncontrollable events, but eventually they settled down and fought a war with some success. With what success? Four years of miserable trench warfare, millions dead and maimed on both sides, leading to a peace settlement that required the whole mess be fought all over again less than 25 years later - with the loss of millions more. So OK, Tony, let's cut the President [sic] some slack for his utter inability to articulate a coherent policy - are you nuts?