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Who's Running Our Country?


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Israel, US, AIPAC, control, unauthorized, ammunition, weapons, Gaza, war, crimes, espionage, double, citizenship, loyalty, infiltrated, president, in, the, dark )

Sam
- 1712 days ago - news.yahoo.com
Israel secured supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon last month without the approval of the White House or the State Department according to the Wall Street Journal.



   

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Comments

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 5:33 am
Let’s see who’s going to get fired over this!
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 5:40 am
How more impotent can this Obama get? I bet he still thinks he’s the president!
 

. (0)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 5:41 am
> Who's Running Our Country?
"who?"??? i guess i knows WHAT it is: $$$$$$
 

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 6:19 am
Noted. Who has really the power? A very good question.
Thank you Sam.
 

David Posel (2)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 6:33 am
Good one Sam - Green Stars for you my friend
 

Sandra Penna (135)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 6:51 am
who is running and who is ruining - your country, my country. thank you, Sam.
 

Kathleen M (0)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 7:03 am
Noted. Thanks, Sam.
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 7:40 am
Good question....thank you for sharing.
 

JL A (281)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 8:01 am
Scary stuff--way too many instances of lower level people left from Bush administration doing things the agency directors are never told about.
 

Stephen D (58)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 8:20 am
The corporations run it of course. Everyone else dances to the music.
 

Sandrea S (278)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 8:28 am
N & T
 

Sandrea S (278)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 8:55 am
Breaking news! According to an article in today’s Wall Street

Journal, the Obama administration has placed a hold on the

transfer to Israel of Hellfire missiles, which have been fired

by the Israeli air force at Palestinians in the Gaza Strip from

its US-supplied fleet of Apache and Cobra helicopter

gunships during Israel’s current attack.

On top of that, the paper reports that all US weapons

transfers to Israel will be scrutinized at “the highest levels”

from now on. According to a senior Obama administration

official, this decision amounts to “the United States saying

‘The buck stops here. Wait a second…It’s not OK anymore.’”

This is the first time that we know of that the Obama

administration has ever taken any action to curtail US

weapons deliveries to Israel.

The Obama administration is going to come under immense

pressure from the Israel lobby to reverse these decisions, so

we need your help today.

Please pick up the phone right now and call the White House at 202-456-1111 to thank the Obama administration for freezing the delivery of Hellfire missiles to Israel and scrutinizing future weapons transfers.

Also, click here to find contact information for your

Members of Congress and call them today to tell them you

support the Obama administration’s decision.

This is a first, but very significant, step toward our overall

goal of ending US military aid and weapons transfers to

Israel, and placing an arms embargo on Israel.
 

Angelika R (143)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 9:13 am
Thx Sam. I read earlier from a number of different websites (unfortunately only Israeli press lacking access to the original WSJ report) about this after hearing it on my local news. It is basically about the hellfire missiles of which a shipment was stopped, but also more scrutiny of weapons shipment in the future. This yahoo article is not really very specific nor detailed enough I think. I have no knowledge about the "normal" precedures of such deliveries, but other articles described them as a usual military-to military channel process that need no approval by the WH.
Whatever, and despite the broader issue you're trying to spotlight here, personally, I actually welcome this incident and the related "fraying relations" between the two "friends" and try to look at it as a step in the right direction. Haven't we all been calling for the US to stand up more firmly against Israel's demands, expecially when it comes to military aid !?
 

Angelika R (143)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 9:18 am
Just seeing Sandrea's comment only now, that's what I've been saying! It also contains several quotes from those other reports I've read.
 

Angelika R (143)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 10:24 am
This article gives a more complete overview including a timeline of incidents that built up the tensions and led to this new step: http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-sway-over-israel-on-gaza-at-a-low-1407979365
Could it be the Obama administration underestimated Netanyahu's far reaching influence and close contacts with the agencies, especially within the Pentagon? (or overestimated its own?)
 

Bruce C D (89)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 12:19 pm
While Israeli lobbies do unduly influence U.S. foreign policy to some extent, which I feel is often detrimental to our own best interests, it could possibly be the MIC most to blame in this instance.

I see a number of conservatives have been disingenuously using this mishap as a convenient tool to denigrate Obama, which is the typical partisan fanfare one can expect from them. That is both ironic and disingenuous, since conservatives generally have no objection to giving Israel whatever it wants. However, Obama isn't really to blame for someone in the Pentagon sending military hardware to Israel that wasn't authorized. Either someone in the Pentagon exceeded their authority, or this was the result of an oversight by the Pentagon. I don't expect the President to micromanage everything, but I do expect that Obama was serious about restricting some supplies of armaments and military hardware to Israel, and it seems likely he has expressed his displeasure over this incident to the military brass in the Pentagon.

Bottom line for those advocating justice for Palestinians and a peaceful resolution to the conflict there is that we should be supporting this administration's efforts to reign in Israel a bit. The restrictions imposed by the White House may not be much and prove only temporary, but they at least represent a step in the right direction. While we rightly should condemn this and question how it happened, and there are many things for which Obama legitimately deserves criticism, I think bashing Obama in this case over what may well have been just a bureaucratic snafu at the Pentagon is unwarranted and counterproductive.
 

Angelika R (143)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 1:09 pm
For those who've not already signed or received the action alert from End The Occupation -as copied above by Sandrea- here's the live link for sending a message additionally or alternatively to a phonecall:
Thank Obama Administration for Freezing Missiles to Israel
The message to Obama and your Congress member/s reads:
I support the Obama administration's decision to freeze the delivery of Hellfire missiles to Israel and to scrutinize future weapons transfers
 The United States should also engage in a comprehensive investigation of Israel's violations of US laws, such as the Arms Export Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act, to commit war crimes against Palestinians with US weapons
 Israel must be held accountable for these violations of US laws by ending US military aid and weapons transfers. I support an arms embargo against Israel.
 

Bruce C D (89)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 2:19 pm
Thanks for that latest link to End the Occupation, Angelika. Because the WSJ link you provided is behind a paywall, here is a good recap of it and analysis from Daily Kos for those who don't have a subscription:

Holy Crap...Obama halts Hellfire missiles to Israel
 

. (0)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 3:31 pm
i would be it was the teabags who will do anything to make our president look bad. and alan what is wrong with the iron dome. it saves lives. shame hamas does not have it to help the palistiniens. hamas is the on that should be eradicated.
 

Angelika R (143)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 3:34 pm
Thx Bruce,- although the Dkos presents just "snippits" of it. Wish I had copied it all when I obviously had caught a lucky loophole minute. Now it's back to "subscriber content" for me too.
 

Evelyn B (63)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 3:48 pm
Thanks Angie for the link - need a US postcode ...
Have posted the wsj article WSJ: Gaza Crisis: Israel Outflanks the White House on Strategy
 

Rose Becke (141)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 4:08 pm
Bastards
 

Freya H (345)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 4:22 pm
It's not a matter of who's in charge, but what is in charge: filthy lucre. Follow the greenback highway. It is sad that people who already have way more than enough want more, more, more. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

Sure, we're halting the shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel. However, note the weasel words: "Highest Scrutiny." What does that mean, anyway?
 

Evelyn B (63)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 4:23 pm
The Times of Israel published an article on the subject, too ...
And actually spell out that it was the US ammo used in the July 30th shelling of the UN school/ shelter ...
Washington said limiting arms transfers to Israel as ties fray
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 7:07 pm
Hi Bruce,

I think we need to know where the buck stops regardless of who’s sitting in the White House.

I don’t think that’s a partisan issue, or at least shouldn’t be. And that in no way underestimates the roadblocks that the right-wingers throw Obama’s way.

But somebody should be minding the store! If that option is available to the Israelis, then they probably have access to our nuclear stockpile as well.

I think this is a serious matter that shouldn’t be swept under the rug. It is very likely that the policymakers were not aware of the protocols that are already in place. But that is even scarier.

I don’t believe that the White House was kept in the dark, but I DO believe that Obama himself was.

One measure of Obama’s sincerity, or ability, is how he deals with those who effected this transfer without the White House or the State Department knowing about it.

I think it’s more important to save the integrity of our country and government than Obama’s skin.

P.S. Hope there’s no bug in that computer! *wink*
 

Sharon Wood (15)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 7:28 pm
Noted
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 8:23 pm
Daryl,

I know how much you love Israel. But I do believe that your love for Israel should cause you to consider what kind of Israel you’re in love with. If you’re going to love Israel no matter what Israel does, then you’re allowing it to be stripped from its Jewish values. That’s the type of love that hurts more than it helps. People behind it are often characterized as fanatics. For the life of me, I can’t think of you as a fanatic. Passionate maybe, but not fanatic? These adjectives are reserved for Hamas, the Jihadists and the Islamists, but not for those who profess passionate love for Israel, right?

I don’t think Hamas can win a popularity contest anywhere in the world. My beef with Hamas is not because they’re fighting an oppressive occupation, but because they’re basing their struggle on religion. That same objection is the same one that also applies to the Zionists who exploited religion for the purpose of establishing Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.

A starting point would be to examine the issue from a less indoctrinated perspective, yet still from a Jewish, Zionist perspective, but not necessarily Netanyahu’s. I don’t think HENRY SIEGMAN, for example, is lacking in his Jewishness or Zionism, yet he offers a more balanced, more practical, more human, more Jewish perspective than that of current prime minister of Israel. And you don’t need to agree with SIEGMAN’S
VIEWS
, but at least consider them. You already considered Hamas’s perspective on the
matter, so it makes sense to treat SIEGMAN
as fairly as you treated Hamas. Don’t you think he deserves that?

And he also has a couple of good words about tunnel builders in their struggle against their oppressors. So before proposing to “eradicate” Hamas, it makes sense to shed some historical light on Hamas’s tactics and how they were introduced under similar circumstances. SIEGMAN
does just that.

A couple of other interesting views on the Israeli-Palestinian issue can also be found RIGHT HERE.
 

Lona Goudswaard (66)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:07 pm
When he was interviewed last week, Bernie Sanders asked: "Do you know what an Oligargy is?". The answer, or more accurately, the definition, to that question could well be the answer to your question too, Sam. It's all about money and the power it gives people who have a lot of it, and who use that power to make even more money.
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:21 pm
Unlike others who seem to have no qualms about cutting and pasting copyrighted material here, I usually show more respect to the intellectual property of others and try to use it as fairly as possible.

In this case, some are claiming that this story was misleading because it did not provide full access to the article. Well, it would have taken a couple of bucks to have full access to the article without pirating somebody else’s work. But I fully understand the rationale of not wanting to send money to the WSJ and all it represents.

So that no one can claim to have been misled about the facts presented in the article, I’ll provide the full text.

I’m, however, very uneasy about doing to somebody else’s intellectual property what the Zionists did the Palestinian land. In my defense, I’m going to say, “They made me do it” and point to the fact that I didn’t claim authorship of the piece.
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:26 pm
Gaza Crisis: Israel Outflanks the White House on Strategy


Part 1

White House Now Scrutinizing Israeli Requests for Ammunition

By Adam Entous
Updated Aug. 14, 2014 1:14 p.m. ET

JERUSALEM—White House and State Department officials who were leading U.S. efforts to rein in Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip were caught off guard last month when they learned that the Israeli military had been quietly securing supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without their approval.

Since then the Obama administration has tightened its control on arms transfers to Israel. But Israeli and U.S. officials say that the adroit bureaucratic maneuvering made it plain how little influence the White House and State Department have with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu —and that both sides know it.

The munitions surprise and previously unreported U.S. response added to a string of slights and arguments that have bubbled behind the scenes during the Gaza conflict, according to events related by senior American, Palestinian and Israeli officials involved. (See photos and maps surveying the destruction in Gaza.)

In addition, current and former American officials say, U.S.-Israel ties have been hurt by leaks that they believe were meant to undercut the administration's standing by mischaracterizing its position and delay a cease-fire. The battles have driven U.S.-Israeli relations to the lowest point since President Barack Obama took office.

Now, as Egyptian officials shuttle between representatives of Israel and Hamas seeking a long-term deal to end the fighting, U.S. officials are bystanders instead of in their historic role as mediators. The White House finds itself largely on the outside looking in.
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:27 pm
Part 2

U.S. officials said Mr. Obama had a particularly combative phone call on Wednesday with Mr. Netanyahu, who they say has pushed the administration aside but wants it to provide Israel with security assurances in exchange for signing onto a long-term deal.

As a 72-hour pause in the fighting expired at midnight Wednesday, a senior Hamas official said negotiators agreed to another cease-fire, this one of five days. The cease-fire was holding on Thursday.

The frayed relations raise questions about whether Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu can effectively work together. Relations between them have long been strained over other issues, including Mr. Obama's outreach to Iran and U.S.-backed peace talks with the Palestinians.

Today, many administration officials say the Gaza conflict—the third between Israel and Hamas in under six years—has persuaded them that Mr. Netanyahu and his national security team are both reckless and untrustworthy.

Israeli officials, in turn, describe the Obama administration as weak and naive, and are doing as much as they can to bypass the White House in favor of allies in Congress and elsewhere in the administration.

While Israeli officials have privately told their U.S. counterparts the poor state of relations isn't in Israel's interest long term, they also said they believed Mr. Netanyahu wasn't too worried about the tensions. The reason is that he can rely on the firmness of Israeli support in Congress, even if he doesn't have the White House's full approval for his policies. The prime minister thinks he can simply wait out the current administration, they say.

"The allegations are unfounded," said Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer. "Israel deeply appreciates the support we have received during the recent conflict in Gaza from both the Obama administration and the Congress for Israel's right to defend itself and for increased funding of Iron Dome."
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:27 pm
Part 3

A senior Obama administration official said the White House didn't intend to get into a "tit for tat" with the Israelis when the war broke out in Gaza. "We have many, many friends around the world. The United States is their strongest friend," the official said. "The notion that they are playing the United States, or that they're manipulating us publicly, completely miscalculates their place in the world."

American officials say they believe they have been able to exert at least some influence over Mr. Netanyahu during the Gaza conflict. But they admit their influence has been weakened as he has used his sway in Washington, from the Pentagon and Congress to lobby groups, to defuse U.S. diplomatic pressure on his government over the past month.

Tensions really started to flare after Israel launched Gaza ground operations July 17 and the civilian death toll started to rise sharply, prompting U.S. officials to complain that Israel wasn't showing enough restraint. Israeli officials rejected that notion, saying Hamas was using civilians as human shields.

U.S. officials say Mr. Netanyahu told them he was interested in a cease-fire from the start, but the two sides clashed over the process of achieving one and the players who would take part.

Bracing for a longer military campaign than expected, Israel approached the Defense Department within days of the start of the ground fighting to request money for more interceptors for the Iron Dome, which shoots down rockets aimed at population centers.

After consulting with the White House, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told aides to submit a proposal to Congress for $225 million.

Within the administration, the request was deemed noncontroversial because the Iron Dome was defensive and couldn't be used in Gaza ground fighting, U.S. officials said.

In meetings at the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House, Israeli officials told the Americans Israel had enough Iron Dome interceptors for the current Gaza operation, but wanted to replenish its stocks, according to U.S. officials who attended. So with Israel's consent, the administration didn't seek immediate emergency funding, Pentagon officials said, adding that they expected Congress to approve the request sometime in the fall.
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:28 pm
Part 4

Unknown to many policy makers, Israel was moving on separate tracks to replenish supplies of lethal munitions being used in Gaza and to expedite approval of the Iron Dome funds on Capitol Hill.

On July 20, Israel's defense ministry asked the U.S. military for a range of munitions, including 120-mm mortar shells and 40-mm illuminating rounds, which were already kept stored at a pre-positioned weapons stockpile in Israel.

The request was approved through military channels three days later but not made public. Under the terms of the deal, the Israelis used U.S. financing to pay for $3 million in tank rounds. No presidential approval or signoff by the secretary of state was required or sought, according to officials.

A U.S. defense official said the standard review process was properly followed.

While the military-to-military relationship between Israel and the U.S. was operating normally, ties on the diplomatic front were imploding. For the Americans, they worsened dramatically on July 25, when aides to Secretary of State John Kerry sent a draft of a confidential cease-fire paper to Mr. Netanyahu's advisers for feedback.

The Americans wanted the Israelis to propose changes. The U.S. didn't intend or expect the draft paper to be presented to the Israeli cabinet, but that was what Mr. Netanyahu did. U.S. officials say Mr. Netanyahu's office breached protocol by sending back no comments and presenting the paper to the cabinet for a vote.

The paper was also leaked to the Israeli media. U.S. officials say they believe the Israeli government publicly mischaracterized Mr. Kerry's ideas with the intent of buying more time to prosecute the fight against Hamas because Israeli officials were angry over outreach by Mr. Kerry to Qatar and Turkey.

Israel and Egypt had sought to sideline Qatar and Turkey—two countries that backed Hamas—rather than increase their influence. U.S. officials say Mr. Kerry reached out to the two because they had leverage with Hamas that would be critical to getting the group to agree to another cease-fire.
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:29 pm
Part 5

From Israel's perspective, Mr. Kerry's cease-fire draft reflected an approach "completely out of sync with Israel, not just on a governmental level but on a societal level," said Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. under Mr. Netanyahu.

"The best thing that Kerry can do is stay out... We need time to do the job, we need to inflict a painful and unequivocal blow on Hamas. Anything less would be a Hamas victory," Mr. Oren said.

The watershed moment came in the early morning in Gaza July 30. An Israeli shell struck a United Nations school in Jabaliya that sheltered about 3,000 people. Later that day, it was reported in the U.S. that the 120-mm and 40-mm rounds had been released to the Israeli military.

"We were blindsided," one U.S. diplomat said.

White House and State Department officials had already become increasingly disturbed by what they saw as heavy-handed battlefield tactics that they believed risked a humanitarian catastrophe capable of harming regional stability and Israel's interests.

They were especially concerned that Israel was using artillery, instead of more precision-guided munitions, in densely populated areas. The realization that munitions transfers had been made without their knowledge came as a shock.

"There was no intent to blindside anyone. The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have," another U.S. defense official said.

Then the officials learned that, in addition to asking for tank shells and other munitions, Israel had submitted a request through military-to-military channels for a large number of Hellfire missiles, according to Israeli and American officials.

The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, was about to release an initial batch of the Hellfires, according to Israeli and congressional officials. It was immediately put on hold by the Pentagon, and top officials at the White House instructed the DSCA, the U.S. military's European Command and other agencies to consult with policy makers at the White House and the State Department before approving any additional requests.
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:30 pm
Part 6

A senior Obama administration official said the weapons transfers shouldn't have been a routine "check-the-box approval" process, given the context. The official said the decision to scrutinize future transfers at the highest levels amounted to "the United States saying 'The buck stops here. Wait a second…It's not OK anymore.' "

White House and State Department officials were worried about public reaction.

The Palestinians, in particular, were angry, according to U.S. diplomats.

"The U.S. is a partner in this crime," Jibril Rajoub, a leader in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Western-backed Fatah party, said of the decision to provide arms to Israel during the conflict.

Even as tensions with the White House and the State Department were spilling over, Israeli officials worked to expedite the Iron Dome money on Capitol Hill.

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said Israeli officials told lawmakers the money was urgently needed because they were running out of interceptors and couldn't hold out for a month or more.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said Congress's goal in approving the money quickly on Aug. 1 was to send a message to the administration to stop calling Israel out about civilian casualties.
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:31 pm
Part 7

A senior Republican congressional aide said Israeli officials told senators they wanted the money sooner rather than later. He said Israel's main purpose in accelerating the vote in Congress to before legislators' August recess was to provide an overwhelming "show of support" for the military operation.

The last straw for many U.S. diplomats came on Aug. 2 when they say Israeli officials leaked to the media that Mr. Netanyahu had told the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, that the Obama administration was "not to ever second-guess me again" about how to deal with Hamas.

The White House and State Department have sought to regain greater control over U.S.-Israeli policy. They decided to require White House and State Department approval for even routine munitions requests by Israel, officials say.

Instead of being handled as a military-to-military matter, each case is now subject to review—slowing the approval process and signaling to Israel that military assistance once taken for granted is now under closer scrutiny.

A senior U.S. official said the U.S. and Israel clashed mainly because the U.S. wanted a cease-fire before Mr. Netanyahu was ready to accept one. "Now we both want one," one of the officials said.

A top Israeli official said the rift runs deeper than that. "We've been there before with a lot of tension with us and Washington. What we have now, on top of that, is mistrust and a collision of different perspectives on the Middle East," the official said. "It's become very personal."

—Joshua Mitnick contributed to this article.
 

Sam H (410)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:35 pm
(See photos and maps surveying the destruction in Gaza.) 
 

Jonathan Harper (0)
Friday August 15, 2014, 12:47 am
noted
 

Sam H (410)
Friday August 15, 2014, 1:57 am
BTW, does anyone know what happened to our friend, David F., Wolf? It seems our Davids are disappearing!
 

Krista Slavin (194)
Friday August 15, 2014, 2:30 am
Noted
 

fly bird (26)
Friday August 15, 2014, 3:02 am
https://twitter.com/hashtag/gazawebcast?src=hash
 

fly bird (26)
Friday August 15, 2014, 3:07 am
PLEASE LISTEN: Stop Israel's Ongoing War Crimes Against the People of Gaza
 

Sam H (410)
Friday August 15, 2014, 4:27 am
Thanks Ros! This is what they saying now,"The additional care we are taking is not permanent. …The US commitment to Israel's security is unshakable."

Doesn't this translate into "we're ready to be as careless as we were before"?

And people are still counting on Obama to deliver! As bad as Bush was, at least you knew where he stood.

All the roads lead to AIPAC. I think the un/constitutionality of its existence and practices should be challenged.
 

Sandra Penna (135)
Friday August 15, 2014, 5:43 am
thank you again, Sam.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday August 15, 2014, 8:20 am
Thank you , Sam.Noted & shared
 

Angelika R (143)
Friday August 15, 2014, 8:21 am
Thx Ros for that update and also thx Sam for once more posting that complete article.(In case I'm considered as complicit or guilty in having caused your displeasure and moral conflict I'm sorry, and in my defense I say I did not make you do it! I never said Yahoo article was "misleading")
As for this latest caving in from the DOS, does it need any more proof that Israel has nearly complete power over the US? I do think Sam's points are absolutely valid, particularly when it comes to the horrifying idea of possible back channel access to US nukes.
"All the roads lead to AIPAC. I think the un/constitutionality of its existence and practices should be challenged" - agreed! I have little doubt that AIPAC/ Israel lobby has some sort of immensely powerful tool to literally blackmail any US administration, above the might of $$$.
 

Angelika R (143)
Friday August 15, 2014, 9:30 am
"AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy, but what’s the explanation for AIPAC’s immoral blackmail of America? " -This your question comes to mind...this incident might be part of the answer.
And I wonder how many more "privileges" are in place that the public (plus perhaps POTUS) have no knowledge of..
As for David's disappearance, I have a feeling he has morphed into "el L" now..
 

Jason R (67)
Friday August 15, 2014, 10:15 am
Who? The MIC, CIA and their enablers, the republican Nazi party!

It's a no brainer. Who created Israel? Why? America has been made into a soldier factory.
 

Birgit W (160)
Friday August 15, 2014, 12:46 pm
The 1% is running our whole world. Thanks.
 

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday August 15, 2014, 4:35 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting, Sam. And, thanks for all the additional info. Took the action at End the Occupation. I am absolutely sick of whatever "shadow gov't" is calling the shots here. We pay taxes and expect our representatives to speak for us, not groups like AIPAC. Birgit, above, said all. Yes, the 1% is running the entire world; always FOLLOW THE MONEY.
 

Nelson Baker (0)
Friday August 15, 2014, 4:47 pm
Noted.
 

Janis K (129)
Friday August 15, 2014, 5:34 pm
Thanks Sam.
 

Charlene Rush (79)
Friday August 15, 2014, 11:47 pm
I know who isn't running our country.............the people.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 12:23 am
Unfortunately is not Dandelion...
 

pam w (139)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 8:16 am
OLIGARCHS, that's who.
 

Scott haakon (4)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 12:21 pm
Israel will get the ammunition it needs. That is a given. As we need to back our one real ally in the middle East. The middle east war is coming. It is inevitable. We need to get ready. This will be a real war not a police action.
 

Charlene Rush (79)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 4:20 pm
To Sam H.:
Some of your points are quite valid; however, you are laboring under a delusion that we, the people, actually, know what is going on in this situation and are able to make judgments.

How could you possibly be aware of where George Bush stood, when he didn't know himself? He was told what to think, more than most. .
The _higher power_ (the club of very wealthy 'men' around the world) make most of the paramount decisions, of which everyone else is not privy.

When a voter casts his/her vote, it should be the purpose of trusting that the person you put in charge has an intelligent mind, a kind heart, and a drive to make decisions appropriate for everyone. We all know that didn't happen the last time around, but I'm resolute that President Obama is following his conscience, to the best of his ability.

Second guessing by the populous has almost always, been a mistake.
We have a country of people who crave immediate results, and immediate gratification.
Sorry, folks, but it just doesn't work that way.
 

. (0)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 8:48 pm
it is not my love for israel. but the truth be told they did not start this. hamas did. the first kidnappings and murders. israel retaliated. hamas started bombing. israel bombed back. all this hate of israel is hurting members and friends here. ISRAEL AS MUCH AS EVERYONE WOULD LIKE DID NOT START THIS. people open your eyes. and like i stated elseware israeli does not equal jew. the true victums are israel and the palistinians. hamas is the one that should be hated. even their people don't want them anymore as all they do is bring them death. would you rather see the us sleep with israel or hamas.
 

. (0)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 8:55 pm
does israel not have the right to defend itself from hamas bombs and for those old enough to remember russa was suplying the arab countries with wepons to fight israel. tit for tat. there will never be peace till hamas is gone. i also love palistine and its people but i hate hamas.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 1:41 am

For anyone who thinks that Israel's repeated assaults on Gaza are justified by Hamas rocket fire, that Israel is 'merely' defending itself, I would implore them to read the following Op-Ed by Sara Roy, a senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University (and child of Holocaust survivors ), who has worked in the Gaza Strip & the West Bank since 1985, conducting research primarily on the economic, social & political development of the Gaza Strip & on U.S. foreign aid to the region. Dr. Roy has written extensively on the Palestinian economy, particularly in Gaza, & has documented its development over the last three decades:
The Boston Globe, July 19, 2014 - Deprivation in Gaza Strip By Sara Roy.

Excerpts:

"... Gaza’s deterioration, however, was not accidental or inadvertent. To the contrary, the devastation of Gaza’s economy (and environment) was deliberate and planned by Israel, imposed through separation and isolation and through a DESTRUCTIVE ECONOMIC BLOCKADE, which ENTERED ITS EIGTH YEAR last month. The blockade — which has been supported by the United States, the European Union, and Egypt in particular — virtually bans access to markets outside Gaza and confines the overwhelming majority of people to the Strip. This has ended all normal trade upon which Gaza’s tiny economy depends and has disabled the private sector and its capacity to generate jobs, preventing any viable recovery of Gaza’s productive sectors.

Unemployment in Gaza stands at 40.8 percent, a dramatic increase from 18.7 percent in 2000; however, for those people between 15 and 29 years of age, the unemployment rate is almost 60 percent. Because of this, poverty has increased with almost 80 percent of Gazans made dependent on humanitarian aid to survive although they are able and desperate to work.

Another way to understand the impact of the Israeli blockade is this: In 2000, UNRWA (the UN agency responsible for Palestine refugees) was feeding 80,000 people in the Gaza Strip; today it feeds over 830,000 people. Yet, UNRWA’s food aid to almost half the population is now under threat as some international donors such as Canada have inexplicably defunded UNRWA or fund at levels that do not meet Gaza’s burgeoning need. Without an increase in financial support to cover a $22 million shortfall, UNRWA may have to eliminate its food distributions by the end of 2014. If this happens there should be no doubt that Palestinians in Gaza will face starvation for the first time in their history, and the violence that will ensue from their deepened agony and abandonment will be calamitous."

"The profound deprivation that has long defined life in Gaza is intensifying. Israel is deliberately targeting and bombing civilian infrastructure with the aim of ensuring Gaza’s continued decay. Even before Israel’s ground invasion, water and sewage treatment facilities in 18 different locations sustained damage, and presently, 900,000 people — half of Gaza’s total population — have no access to water. Fifty percent of sewage pumping and wastewater treatment systems are no longer operational..."

"...Israeli airstrikes have also attacked a range of institutions including: UNRWA installations, hospitals, health clinics, nursing care centers, rehabilitation centers for the disabled, schools, sports clubs, banks, mosques and office buildings.

Hamas’s targeting of Israeli civilians is also criminal and has achieved little for Palestinians. Instead of stopping Israel, Hamas rocket fire provides a continued rationalization for Israeli aggression on a nearly defenseless population. ..."

"In almost three decades of research and writing on Gaza, I have often asked myself, “Is there a language to really express the torment of Gaza and the way in which the world’s unflinching indifference and heartlessness contribute to it?"

Gaza’s present anguish did not emerge in a vacuum nor in response to a single terrible event as the Israeli government would have us believe. Instead, it emanates from a context of ongoing occupation and repression that has transformed Gaza — the center of Palestinian nationalism and resistance to Israeli occupation — into one of the most impoverished, imprisoned areas of the world. "
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 1:56 am
Otherwise, the WSJ article & Obama administration reaction seem to contain the seeds of hope for a change in US policy of supplying military aid to Israel.

I, too, get updates & alerts from 'End the Occupation, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation' and when I read the following August 14 alert, there would seem to be what could prove to be a sea change at work:

Take Action: Obama Freezes Missile Delivery to Israel
"Senior Obama Administration Official: “It’s Not OK Anymore”

.../... On top of that, the paper reports that all US weapons transfers to Israel will be scrutinized at “the highest levels” from now on. According to a senior Obama administration official, this decision amounts to “the United States saying ‘The buck stops here. Wait a second…It’s not OK anymore.’”

This is the first time that we know of that the Obama administration has ever taken any action to curtail US weapons deliveries to Israel.

The Obama administration is going to come under immense pressure from the Israel lobby to reverse these decisions, so we need your help today.

Please pick up the phone right now and call the White House at 202-456-1111 to thank the Obama administration for freezing the delivery of Hellfire missiles to Israel and scrutinizing future weapons transfers.

Also, click here to find contact information for your Members of Congress and call them today to tell them you support the Obama administration’s decision.

This is a first, but very significant, step toward our overall goal of ending US military aid and weapons transfers to Israel, and placing an arms embargo on Israel. ..."

Angelika has already provided the link to thank Obama, but it's a phone call to make with talking points provided & not a petition to sign.
 

Ondine J (134)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 9:02 pm
A good question Sam and thanks for posting. I always learn a lot from the comments.
 
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