Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 21, 2011

Solo gives way to duet; next the chorus

Filed under: Strategy — by Philip J. Palin on May 21, 2011

The Prime Minister and President, between them is a bust of Martin Luther King.

The line from the President’s  Thursday’s speech that has generated the most attention and controversy is: “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

The reaction to this line by Prime Minister Netanyahu and others has been dramatic. Here is what the Prime Minister said in his joint press conference with the President:

I think for there to be peace, the Palestinians will have to accept some basic realities. The first is that while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines — because these lines are indefensible; because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.

Remember that, before 1967, Israel was all of nine miles wide. It was half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive.

So we can’t go back to those indefensible lines, and we’re going to have to have a long-term military presence along the Jordan. I discussed this with the President and I think that we understand that Israel has certain security requirements that will have to come into place in any deal that we make.

Emotionally, perhaps intellectually and personally, certainly diplomatically the differences are real.   But there is nothing in what the President has described as an outcome of negotiations that necessarily excludes what the Prime Minister has described as basic reality.

I am not sure why the Prime Minister has taken such offense to this line.  His offense has distracted attention from several other important lines.

For the purposes of homeland security — and especially concerns related to counter-terrorism — there was a sustained theme in the President’s speech worth highlighting.  Three of several possible excerpts from the speech:

I.

Those shouts of human dignity are being heard across the region. And through the moral force of nonviolence, the people of the region have achieved more change in six months than terrorists have accomplished in decades. Of course, change of this magnitude does not come easily. In our day and age -– a time of 24-hour news cycles and constant communication –- people expect the transformation of the region to be resolved in a matter of weeks. But it will be years before this story reaches its end. Along the way, there will be good days and there will bad days. In some places, change will be swift; in others, gradual. And as we’ve already seen, calls for change may give way, in some cases, to fierce contests for power.

II.

We have the chance to show that America values the dignity of the street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of the dictator. There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity. Yes, there will be perils that accompany this moment of promise. But after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be. Of course, as we do, we must proceed with a sense of humility. It’s not America that put people into the streets of Tunis or Cairo -– it was the people themselves who launched these movements, and it’s the people themselves that must ultimately determine their outcome.

III.

For the American people, the scenes of upheaval in the region may be unsettling, but the forces driving it are not unfamiliar. Our own nation was founded through a rebellion against an empire. Our people fought a painful Civil War that extended freedom and dignity to those who were enslaved. And I would not be standing here today unless past generations turned to the moral force of nonviolence as a way to perfect our union –- organizing, marching, protesting peacefully together to make real those words that declared our nation: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Those words must guide our response to the change that is transforming the Middle East and North Africa -– words which tell us that repression will fail, and that tyrants will fall, and that every man and woman is endowed with certain inalienable rights. It will not be easy. There’s no straight line to progress, and hardship always accompanies a season of hope.

I will not patronize you by delivering a tritely simplistic interpretation, the President has been clear enough for anyone prepared to read or listen.

In an early Thursday morning post I closed an extended opera analogy with, “I want my President to hit and hold a very high C in his performance today. The United States cannot decide how the Arab Spring, or the Arab-Israeli conflict, or many other stories will play out. But we ought play our role honestly, reaching as high as we possibly can.”

The young Luciano Pavarotti was known as the King of High Cs and probably owed his professional breakthrough to that thrilling skill. But his amazing long-term success was much more a result of  the honesty, humility, and authenticity of both his persona and his art.

On Thursday I did not hear my President hit and hold a thrilling high C. I did hear an honest explanation of reality and an expression of policy to fit that reality.

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5 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 21, 2011 @ 8:15 am

The Nation Magazine has an interesting version of the speech he (President Obama) should have given.

If I was in the Congressional leadership I would cancel BIBI’s joint address.

Also and unconfirmed is the MSM report that 65% of all campaign donations to candidates for President or high office were from Jewish organizations or individuals.

I do know that the issue of dual citizenship with many countries including Israel should be ended. When and how this position internationally of the US came about my sense is it has led to many many problems of the US and domestic and globalization issues.

Comment by Martin Niemöller

May 21, 2011 @ 10:33 am

William, I am calling ya out for that comment: “jewish” donations and all that crap. Hope your are not going down the racist anti-semitic line… I want to give you the benefit, but I do find it offensive. Please stick to things you think you know about, and editors please do a better job of policing the comments.

A great poem comes to mind:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

As for actual US policy, anyone who has walked the holy grounds of Jerusalem will realize that folks have been fighting over the same stones and bones there for 2 millennium… Jews, Christians (7 sects) and Muslims (certainly not monolithic either). The Palestinians are both Muslim and Christian, and were equally impoverished when the land was part of Jordan, which doesn’t want a Palestinian majority any more than Israel does. Arafat had a chance at a state under President Clinton but balked, keeping his billions of stolen funds. A bit of real politique would at best set up conditions not for “peace” in the neighborhood, but at least “quiet.” Simply, everyone there hates everyone else, and you can see it in the faces of the people on the street; since both sides claim such deep wrongs. Abraham is not a happy father of three religions in his tomb in Hebron.

Sadly, with Hamas and Hezbollah in power in Gaza and the West Bank and Lebanon, Iran meddling across the region and going nuclear, uncertainty across the entire region with the “Arab spring”, and no doubt some Pakistani generals so-pissed at us for the Bin Ladin raid that I’m sure they’d happily offload one or two of their nukes into a truck at the back of the base, we have to accept that that’s going to be a noisy neighborhood for a long-time, and a problem that is ultimately not America’s to solve, but one that we are inevitably attached to with our role as moral leader of the free world. (And last time I checked no-one was willing to step up and take that role… reference Europe and Libya.)

The Nation article Bill references is morally bankrupt, unprincipled, ignorant of history, naive to geostrategy, and overstates the “So Let It Be Written…” nature of America’s role in the recent past which is something POTUS is trying to get away from, IMO (and the British before hand – if you really want to look at where this part of the world got awry, blame the Brits for creating the entire map), . The article is a standard isolationist rant, something this country has always had at varied times, notably prior to WW2, in a similar period of economic turmoil.

In a nutshell, just which side do you think we are on? (There are sides here). You want to switch, fine. I don’t. OK, maybe the President is trying to push us more into the role of referee. There’s another guy who had similar opinions about peace breaking out everywhere, I believe his name was Neville Chamberlain. Even if you agree with POTUS on calling out the long-standing US government position on the 1967 borders, the diplomatic core could have given Netanyahu a head’s up prior to him boarding his plane – “hey Bibi, we are gonna be neutral now after supporting your side for 60 years, have a safe flight, look forward to seeing you when you get here. Ciao.” Maybe the whole issue, in what was a milquetoast speech, was just bad staffing. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

May 21, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

On Saturday lead editorials in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post take nearly the same view — news itself — that the way President Obama discussed the 1967 borders was unhelpful.

The Wall Street Journal editors open with:

President Obama’s address Thursday on the Middle East had much to recommend it, so it’s a pity that he stepped all over his own headline by diving back into the Israel-Palestinian maelstrom.

The Washington Post editors complain:

Friday found Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu once again publicly and poisonously at odds with each other, thanks to a handful of lines added by Mr. Obama to his Middle East speech on Thursday. The president’s decision to publicly endorse terms for a peace settlement seemingly calculated to appeal to Mr. Abbas, over the strong objections of Mr. Netanyahu, has had the effect of distracting attention from the new U.S. agenda for the region.

In terms of the situation on the ground, the comment by Martin captures a significant aspect of truth. I am also reminded of the Stuttgart Statement, regarding which Martin’s namesake was so influential. It includes these lines: “We hope to God… the spirit of violence and revenge, which today again wants to become powerful, will be directed to the whole world, and that the spirit of peace and love comes to predominate, in which alone tortured humanity can find healing.” This sentiment, it seems to me, is paradoxically very unlikely and a basic reality.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 21, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

Martin N! Just so you know I have taken a strong stance on campaign donations since I supported a wonderful senior IRS Lawyer TED SHEETS in his fight to tax the improper campaign donations to the 3000 committees created as a fraud to avoid the gift tax consequences in the 1968 and 1972 Presidential campaign. IRS has long prevented its auditors and accountants from pursuing the tax consequences of improper campaign contributions. The creation of the FEC did not in any way compromise the right of the IRS to collect and assess taxes from illegal campaign contributions. I am strongly in favor of public financing of Presidential campaigns and enforcing US law that prohibits contributions from foreign governments or individuals in domestic US campaigns. I go so far as to advocate restriction on all lout of state donations in the political campaigns of the STATES and their local governments. Virgina where I live is about to suffer its most expensive US Senate Campaign ever with large amounts determining the outcome primarily from out of state donors.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

May 22, 2011 @ 6:38 am

It is written in scripture and in particular, read at least Daniel, Chap 11 – 40-44. We have been cautioned and reminded about the necessity to repent which has fallen on deaf ears as every nation since Babylon, no matter its form, has failed….

I am s saddened at the fact that even in this Judeo-Christian nation w/such integrity and commitment portrayed by our esteemed forefathers.

Today We as a nation are so out of touch with reality and what is actually taking place in the Middle East especially and the shock and awe to be seen over the Mediterannean skies as described and forewarned to us by Biblical verse.

How ignorant and narrow minded in perspective -”stonewalls of generational dysfunction” as I refer to it in this 21st Century where man’s intellect can achieve so much, yet deceit, rampant corruption prevail stealing any hopes for mankind’s stability for far too much greed, lust for power and certainly century after century depicting the obvious, Christian and Muslim pursuit in in quest of Jerusalem with only strife, anguish for s many once again within only 70 years of the last WW and million and millions and millions dying by the sword held high by both Christian and Muslim just as we see in one neighborhood in Lebann where wall devides the hatred of Muslim and Christian and vice versa.

Martin Luther King’s bust portrayed often next to Barry Obama who has sat far too many Sundays and listened attentively to the likes of Rev Wright filled with hatred toward the Hebrew as evidenced by his sermons and personal commentary when interviewed, the Chicago city street organizer and nothing more…this Martin Luther King bust which replaced the bust of Winston Churchill who saved the world from Lucifer…well, no matter which side f the asile, Democrat or Republican partisan in their self-agenda, grid-locked as missile launchers, yes, missile launchers are being built in Venezuela with full support of Tehran and We look the other way because of Barry Obama and his narrow minded and prejudiced leanings towards the oppressed throughout the Arab world which has been status quo for generations where women can be seen only thrugh veil, but heard no more than a whisper if that and OMG, bright red lipstick as their lips speak of their abuse…

The Arabs know how to build their skyscrapers frm the sand and the thugs in Iran know how to beat a woman in the streets like savage with men beating with no mercy with one hand and taking pictures with cell phone in the other — these “Brutes of Tehran” which Martin Luther King would have no idea how to approach, but Winston Churchill certainly would take his cane and knck their blood thirsty sword to the ground….

The Monroe Doctrine…hmm..missile launchers being permitted to be built in Venezuela and this inexperienced WH and thie media today which has never had one damn day of abuse other than maybe by spouse, born after Jack Kennedy’s assasination, wet behind the ears, having no knowledge of what hardship, the reality of war, the agony so, so many before us have had to endure to enable the elitist in pwer and their BMW’s faulty ignition their most perplxing challenge of the day…

Yes, missile launchers in Venezuela and these “Brutes of Tehran” s willing to kill in cold blood a young and brave wooman whose rich Persian blood allowed to spill on the streets of Tehran and you allow this Presideent to belittle the Israeli, the only ally to us who was surrounded by hatred seeking to kill every Jew just as Hitler and you expect Barry and Rev Wright that Israel will return land which is their land and no one else’s — despite the rhetoric..

Yes, missile launchers in Venezuela and furthermore, sufficient new evidence nw obtained to justify Congress to proclaim an Act of War against Iran and for its key role in the 911 attack on our sovereign terrirtory and just like the missile launchers being constructed in Venezuela, this administration and this inept and corrupted Congress by special interest groups has repeatedly shown Tehran that it does not have the Will of Winston Churchill to stand and shortly, missiles, yes missiles will be in the control of Tehran pointed to every metroplitan area and it will not be the hoodwink of again the failure of eight sitting Presidents and 19 Congresses who have failed to establish a “US Energy policy” f0r heck, with the revenues the States receive and fail t show their line by line budgetary expeditures via the internet and the revenues Exxon-Mobil and others receive and the “perks” for Congress members…well, like Jimmy Carter, this administration’s hatred for Hebrew , the uncomfortableness you see in the face of both MMBarry Obama when amongst the Jew, let’s get a grip on reality, the reality if Biblical verse, not the Qur’an which this administration refers to far more than Biblical scripture and the need for alland in particular, the Arab states to repent for their oppression of their own, their abuse -

Bottom line..it is clear, whether the Vatican or the clerics, the fact of the matter, led by the German powerful leadership and grlwing economy, the German led EU supprted by the Vatican and its thirst for a new crusade, its very last and this bloded sword of Tehran who has killed many of our precious youth willing to stand once again against Lucifer so apparent throughout the Middle East while good people there are killed in the streets, murdered by their own….

I refer to it as the “Red Lipstick” movement and in parallel with all repenting before our Creator, the only one who will ever control Jerusalem, not Christian or Muslim despite their fantasy, only this call to women everywhere, women her nuture the young, truly understand the value of Life so gifted to each of us by the Lord, a call to clasp hands and march against the travesty, this belligerence among men to pick up sword, not the ploughshare and get to work and stop this insanity for God is witness to all and this story of virgins waiting is so outlandish and given far more merit than reality presents…

Yes, Barry Obama and Rev Wright and trhe presence of the bust of Martin Luther King and the story of slave and White and Black…the story is now well known and the like the Black in this country who have risen to “elitist” standard above the law, however thinking that a beer on the WH lawn makes everything ok whn in fact Barry, your Vineyard Harvard pal should have ben handcuffed and thrown into jail for his demeanor, but heck while Tehran is running around sending its “Gold Coffers” to Asia for storage so it is not melted by near-future plans to somehow influence religius misconceptions Tehran holds in its warped esteem of itself for these thugs are nothing more than cold blooded murders -

As a natural American citizen with birth certificate front and center w/no time for the charade we saw from this out of touch WH….

…as an American citizen who has entrusted by precious vote Congress, I demand that given the 911 information now available to Congress, an Act of War be proclaimed by the United States of America against these “Brutes of Tehran” and further a reprint of the Monre Doctrine be placed in every newspaper and via CNN and Fox News televised for missile launchers being constructed in Venezuela and being allowed by this Cngressional membership and these community organizers at the WH who can see only the color of tjeir skin and not beyond, failure to proclaim an Act of War against iran and allowing these missile launchers too be build in Venezuela are Acts of Treason for whether executive branch or Congressional members, each has taken a sworn oath to uphold our Constitution and to protect this nation and anything less is an Act of Treason when all the information and intelligence Washington has gathered, but heck, who really cares for like the Vatican and Islamic cleric, who cares about the oppressed and cold blooded murders of innocents, children of the Lord, yet “infidel” – abused children by the Priests.

The 2012 election is near and don’t fret…the “Beltway Bandits” have no time to worry over the past and Tehran’s numerous roles agaist our beloved Republic for it isn’t about the quest Christian and Muslim seek in control of jerusalem which will fail blatently by both…it is about the quest as to who will control the bankrupted reigns of this failed government – Republican or Democrat from Chicago, always a city with flagrant corruption – while the defict rolls along and We here on Main Street USA are standing here in soup lines….

Yes, missile launchers being built in Venezuela pointed to your kids head and my advise, start a “Red Lipstick” movement here for even with your independence as women here, the men here will without and doubt and unwilling to repent which is the suggestion of Biblical verse, unless you demand accountability and “change” – start a Women’s Political Party if necessary, get your wn candidates and do something for the clock ticks and you and your children, here and globally are destined to suffer so once again and within 70 years ago when women and children, countless numbers of souls…millions and millions…lost identity, purpose and Life!

Yes, missile launchers and the Monroe Doctrine and We see nothing about it from the Situation Rom – oblivious to the reality which now places us at the throes of these Chicago wanderers and the “Brutes of Tehran” allowed and contrary to the US Constitution and sworn oath to protect against these continued dastardly deeds committed against our youth in milirary uniform and women subjected to rape, stoning, so forth and so on and billions and billions so that We may turn over the keys to Iraq when we wave goodbye —

God Bless our bevloved Republic!

ref: The “Red Lipstick” global movement –

Christopher Tingus
PO Box 1612
Harwich, MA 02645
chris.tingus@gmail.com

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