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The Confidence Game

Well, today President Obama is going to turn his keen intellect on the intractable problems of the Middle East, hoping to bring about the same wonderful results he's brought domestically in the fields of health care reform, the economy, and race relations.

Those lucky, lucky Middle Easterners.

As part of the "process," he and a bunch of others are calling on Israel to make certain "good faith gestures" beforehand -- concessions where they demonstrate that they really, really want peace before negotiations can start in earnest.

Whoops, my bad. That phrase has developed a justified stench, as every time Israel has done that, it's ended up with their situation being worse. So they've abandoned that term, and now want to talk about "confidence building measures." Or, as Meryl Yourish's co-blogger Soccerdad calls them, "CBMs."

Ya know, the fact that Israel has not waged open war in the past month or so ought to be enough of a "confidence building measure" or "good faith gesture" for anyone.

On July 31, yet another rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. This one struck the roof of a building on the campus of Sapir College in Sderot. More specifically, the children's hydrotherapy therapy center, which was completely destroyed.

Fortunately, the rocket hit on a Friday, right after the Jewish Sabbath had commenced. Had it been fired even a few hours earlier, it would have likely killed hundreds of already-victimized Israeli children and their caregivers.

Remember, Hamas is the legally elected government of the Gaza Strip, from whence the rocket came.

On August 3 of this year, Israel engaged in some tree trimming along their border with Israel to make it harder for terrorists to infiltrate Israel. This was nothing new; it happens so often that there's a protocol established. Israel notifies the Lebanese and the United Nations peacekeepers of their plan, gets their assent, and then -- at a very carefully coordinated time and place -- trims down the offending trees.

This time, however, there was a twist. As an Israeli soldier was trimming the tree, a Lebanese Army sniper -- acting under the direct orders of his superior officer -- shot and killed an Israeli officer overseeing the whole operation. An officer standing well back from the actual border.

And several representatives of the international press were present on the Lebanon side. They had been told, in advance, that something highly newsworthy would be happening during the tree-trimming -- but not any details.

Oh, and the trees in question were on the Lebanese side of the border fence, but in Israel proper -- Israel's fence is set back from the border a bit.

Israel exercised considerable restraint at this act of war by not immediately leveling several Lebanese Army installations. Further, they also did not announce that all future tree-trimmings would be conducted by mortar fire.

Finally, the incident my colleague Rick discussed this morning, when two Israeli couples -- including a pregnant woman -- were ambushed and killed by Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank for the crime of driving while Jewish. "Credit" for the attack has already been claimed by Hamas, the aforementioned legally elected government of the Gaza Strip.

Three actions, all of which clearly fall under the category of "Acts Of War" when carried out by a government. Three actions, none of which triggered a warlike response from Israel.

Once again, Israel has made "good faith gestures" and "confidence-building measures" that prove that it is not interested in war, but peace and survival.

One would think that at some point, any point, in the interest of fairness and balance, the Palestinians would be asked to make their own "good faith gestures" and "confidence building measures" to show that they, too, are actually interested in peace and not genocide. But if the Obama administration does push for that, it would be the first time -- ever.

And of all the administrations I've lived through (technically, since the Johnson administration, but I've only been politically aware since the dreadful Carter days), this one is the least likely to ask the Palestinians to do anything.

Fortunately, just like all of Obama's promises, his tenure in office also comes with an expiration date. And like the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan know, when the other side has a firm deadline, all you have to do is hunker down and outlast them in order to win.


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Comments (16)

Nicely done... hoping this ... (Below threshold)
Rick:

Nicely done... hoping this gets some wider attention in the 'sphere...

I'm tired of these charades... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I'm tired of these charades. Hillary was on announcing the opening of these new "Peace" talks and I had to turn away. The palestinians have no interest in peace. Arafat was twice offered everything he asked for and he still refused peace. Their demands are and never have been anything other than a device to engage in negotiations to get the Israelis to lower their guard.

Any culture that believes in the idea of Taqiyya, what might politely be called strategic lying, should not be negotiated with at anytime under any circumstance.

I don't know, does Benji li... (Below threshold)
Roy:

I don't know, does Benji like golf? He could bum a few rounds off of Obama, and then head back to the work of actually governing and protecting his country.

Same shit, different day! <... (Below threshold)
914:

Same shit, different day!

Barry is desperately trying to appear presidential before November. Grab some photo op's that are only making him appear more like the pandering fool he is.

And man has he got to do something about those Yoda ears?

If the Israeli's weren't me... (Below threshold)
Hank:

If the Israeli's weren't menaced by Iran and their imminent nukes, I tend to think they'd tell Obama to go wreck something else with his meddling.

As for Obama, I'd imagine his work is done here in the USA. Economy ruined. Race relations an absolute mess. Health care about to be destroyed. Deficits that may never be paid down.

What to do?

Time to screw up the middle east once and for all.

"One would think that at so... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"One would think that at some point, any point, in the interest of fairness and balance, the Palestinians would be asked to make their own "good faith gestures" and "confidence building measures" to show that they, too, are actually interested in peace..."

Absolutely. I completely agree.

Let's take a deep breath an... (Below threshold)
Neo:

Let's take a deep breath and remember ..
When the domestic policy agenda fails, fall back to the foreign policy agenda.
Nixon, Clinton, and others did it.

"Those lucky, lucky Midd... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Those lucky, lucky Middle Easterners."

If he does for them what he's done for this country, they're screwed.

If it were anythin... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


If it were anything but the same sorry charade perhaps it'd be of some interest to observe.

Anyone with a modicum of knowledge could likely write the script for the actors involved.

There's NO agenda for peaceful co-existence, or statehood, merely the unending desire on the part of Hamas, Hezbollah, et.al to achieve the destruction of Israel. Until and unless these terror groups are TOTALLY neutralized, by whatever means necessary, then this'll be only another chapter in the saga.

I suggest the Israeli's response to the Obama administration be a candid "Hell no, we'll handle this ourselves".

"There's NO agenda for p... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"There's NO agenda for peaceful co-existence, or statehood, merely the unending desire on the part of Hamas, Hezbollah, et.al to achieve the destruction of Israel. "

The problem is that Barry sees the solution to this problem as the Jews just ceasing to exist. He's already cut off arms sales to Israel and he's blocked their scientists from coming to the US. This isn't about finding peace it's about providing cover for their extinction.

The ongoing Middle East nar... (Below threshold)
BlueNight:

The ongoing Middle East narrative: "Oh, you know those Muslims. Whenever someone gets them riles up, they kills someone. It's reflexive, like sneezing, so just don't rile them up." It's the same patronizing, dehumanizing narrative that the Left glommed onto after the dust from 9/11 had died down: "Well, we probably did something to deserve it."

RE: 5Hank, they ar... (Below threshold)
epador:

RE: 5

Hank, they are also menacing everyone else in the ME who really really doesn't want to be under Iranian shari'ah law. If there is any hope for peace soon, it will be that the Palestinians realize that they are as screwed as Israel by a nuclear-armed Iran. Might be time for them to bury the hatchet BEFORE everything from the Sinai to the Jordan glows at night for 10,000 years.

Some "process" we have here... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Some "process" we have here . . . Hamas, main active terrorist organization in Israel, refuses to negotiate, leaving Fatah as the only "partner" - one which has never delivered upon a single promise made in over 35 years of negotiations.

You cannot negotiate with violent barbarians who have no intention of honoring their commitments, and believe that is fully justified by their pagan death cult religion.

if israel ever "gives up" a... (Below threshold)
JustRuss (mobile forgive mistakes please):

if israel ever "gives up" and decides to evacuate all jews from jeruselem et al, I sincerely hope they go scoarched earth. Leveling the dome of the rock AND the temple mount along with the rest of the country. If the temple is ever going to be rebuilt on that site rebuilding from the actual ground up wouldn't be that much more difficult.

they can take out the strip while they are at it and wait for the fallout to settle.

honestly, we need our own oil reserves so we can let the muslim countries destroy each other. All that glass would be beautiful from space...

I'm cynical minded at the moment and only slightly sarcastic. Sorry if I offend.

Who in the Middle East won'... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Who in the Middle East won't feel safer and more secure, now that Hillary Clinton is overseeing peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel? I'll certainly sleep better, won't you?

Perhaps the President sees ... (Below threshold)
Rose Hughes:

Perhaps the President sees a second term as unlikely and wants to create a legacy now. There's little chance he will be successful where virtually everyone else has failed.




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