Monday, April 23, 2012

Comments on reads 4/23

It's not personal, it's business, Israel says of Egypt gas snub

Egypt gas company unilaterally terminates gas deal with Israeli contractor, essentially violating peace treaty • Steinitz concerned over "economic and diplomatic" implications • Infrastructure Minister: Israel working to establish energy independence.

FP: Early on I predicted that Egypt will not simply cancel the peace treaty with Israel. Rather, it likely will constantly and incrementally erode it, each increment not important enough for Israel to something about it, in order to test the limits of Israel’s acquiescence. I also predict that Israel will accept those erosions and offer rationalizations for it. Which will, of course, be interpreted as weakness and invite further erosion (which may well induce the Islamists to succumb to their characteristic weakness and overreach to drastic violations).

I do not know if specific decision is part of that strategy or not, but whether it is or not, this is how things will play out--Israel response is validation of my prediction, and so is Egypt’s position:

'Egypt prepared to negotiate new gas contract'

Fazya Abul, Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation says Egypt has no objections to reaching new agreement.

IOW, we do not mean to violate the treaty, just renew it. How much do you wanna bet that conditions will be unacceptable to Israel? And yet Israel may yet accept them just so it does not have to admit reality.

We can already see how the military intends to cope with its internal problems: 

'Egypt will break the legs of those who threaten it'

Field Marshal Tantawi makes comments in apparent reference Israel after FM Liberman emphasizes threat from Sinai.

The traditional Arab regimes’ approach: Israel distractions, which can easily escalate.


Turkey blocks Israel's participation in NATO summit

The veto was conveyed to the NATO bodies by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during the alliance’s meeting last week in Brussels • "There will be no Israeli presence at the NATO meeting unless they issue a formal apology."

FP: Is this what Obama meant by having Israel’s back? Then if I were Israel I would be very careful not to turn my back to Obama.

There are enough reasons to consider NATO bankrupt, but the sheer fact that Turkey can call the shots within it is the ultimate evidence.


Afghanistan, U.S. reach pact on post-2014 American support

KABUL — After more than a year of negotiations, U.S. and Afghan officials reached an agreement Sunday affirming the United States’ commitment to Afghanistan for a decade after its formal troop withdrawal in 2014.

The document, which must be reviewed by the Afghan parliament and U.S. security agencies and signed by both nations’ presidents, does not specify troop numbers or funding levels, but it offers a broad guarantee that the U.S. role here will not end as abruptly as some feared it might.

For months, Afghan President Hamid Karzai refused to consider the agreement until American-led night raids were halted and the United States handed over its main military prison to Afghan officials. Those roadblocks were removed with the signing of recent deals, which cleared the way for the partnership agreement before a key NATO summit next month.

FP: Let me get this straight: Karzai, who is President only because the US protects and funds him, set conditions and yet got continuing funding for 10 years? Kafka would be shocked.


oshuaPundit: Obama Administration Using Taxpayer Dollars To Outsource English Speaking Jobs Overseas.

There's a great deal of bombastic rhetoric coming from President Obama these days about 'standing up for the middle class'.

Most Americans understand that this president's policies have killed jobs, run up massive debt and skyrocketed the price of food and energy.

But it's now surfaced that not content with that, the Obama Administration has been spending our tax dollars in well funded efforts to directly aid outsourcing overseas and eliminate jobs here in America:

While the president has been urging “insourcing,” the government has been sending money to the Philippines to train foreign workers for jobs in English-speaking call centers.

According to New York Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop and North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, this is unacceptable and “shocking.”

The pair are calling on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to immediately suspend what is known as the Job Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) program.

There are over 4.5 million Americans who now have jobs in call centers here in America. I guess this president thinks of them as 'The Rich' who don't really deserve to be working anyway.

USAid is also the agency responsible for sending millions of tax dollars to the 'Palestinians' in Gaza and in the Arab-occupied areas of Judea and Samaria (AKA The West Bank. And this president deems that use of your tax dollars so important that he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actually did something unheard of in Washington and overrode a congressional hold on $1.5 billion in jirzya for their 'Palestinian' friends.

FP: There are two main reasons for this policy. For the first, I refer to David Goldman’s article on which I commented in an earlier post. The second has to do with the corporate welfare state: corporate America is putting American workers in direct competition with third world workers who get paid an extremely small fraction of their American counterparts. This, of course, has two purposes: to increase profits by employing abroad and by lowering the incomes here at home.

Obama is probably responding to corporate pressure to improve competence of the low paid foreign workers, which is consistent with his identification with them, rather than with the US.


PowerLine: Willful blindness at the FBI

According to Jim Kouri of the Examiner, the FBI is revising its counterterrorism training programs by removing all references to Muslims and Arab-Americas that are offensive to groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). President Obama is said to be watching this process. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has been leading it.

This is a troubling development. As Rep. Allen West says, “we should not allow the Muslim Brotherhood-associated groups to be influencing our national security strategy.” To do so, says West, could lead to “cultural suicide.”

There is nothing wrong, in my view, with people or organizations complaining about how they are portrayed in counterterrorism training programs. Nor is there anything wrong with the government considering such complaints.

But that consideration must be based solely on the merits, not on sensitivities. I don’t trust this administration, or for that matter its predecessor, to engage in such merit-based consideration.

Nor is it comforting that CAIR is the main source of the complaints that are being taken so seriously. Readers will recall that the United States named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator of the Holy Land Foundation, a fundraiser for Hamas that the government shut down in the aftermath of 9/11. CAIR’s roots lie in the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas affiliate.

FP: Let me ask you this: If the preponderant terror source were Jewish or Christian or any other ethnicity or religion and it complained, do you think that the government would be responding the same way?

The self-dhimmification continues.


Martin Sherman: Perfidious Pete, treacherous Tom – Part I

Martin Sherman: Perfidious Pete, treacherous Tom – Part 2

While several commendable ripostes were posted, the first two excerpts above caught my eye as being particularly apt in the way they conveyed the essence of Beinart’s and Friedman’s portrayals of reality – as hopelessly detached from the truth and devoid of context.

Indeed, both men have betrayed their professional integrity by conveying to their readers a picture which is not only wildly distorted and deceptive, but apparently deliberately so.

As with Beinart, so with Friedman: it seems there no accusation is too egregious, no allegation too outlandish for them to stoop to.

They are inflicting great – and greatly unmerited – calumnies on the State of Israel. They are curtailing its ability to fend off the many dangers facing it and its citizens.

It is time to hit back, time for Israel – and its supporters across the globe – to let its detractors know that their unfounded invective has consequences. Just as they conveyed that message to judge Richard Goldstone.

FP: Devastating for Peter Beinart and Tom Friedman, two assholes who more than deserve the response Sherman suggests and more. I won’t hold my breath.


Abraham Foxman: What Gunter Grass Really Said

Comments by any Western intellectual claiming, as did Grass, that it is Israel, not Iran, which is a threat to world peace would have evoked criticism and condemnation. The fact that they were made by a German raises the decibel level dramatically. And the fact that they were made by an individual who for decades concealed that he volunteered to serve in the Waffen SS, the German killing machine of Jews during World War II, brings the reaction to still another level.

FP: There is sufficient evidence to infer a most logical implication of what Grass wanted to say, which has not been mentioned explicitly: “Look, world, at who you saved: the Jews are the real genocidal maniacs, not us Nazis. If only we were allowed to finish the job there would not have been any concern now.” And I reiterate the importance of why a former Waffen SS man has dared to speak out now: the reemergence of anti-Semitism into the open.

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