Prime minister is prepared to release convicted murderers but Palestinian Authority president demands better conditions, according to Haaretz
FP: There’s no safer bet that continuous concessions by Israel in general and Netanyahu in particular. Abbas threatens UN state and intifada, Israel releases murderes. Where do you think this is going? Particularly when all released go back into terrorism.
Terrorists in the Strip can hit targets 70 kilometers away, defense minister tells Knesset committee
FP: Noooooo! Reaaaaaaaaally? Who could have predicted?
Bill Katz: GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DIN-DIN
I guess Obama just couldn't resist it. A lot of foreign leaders are waiting for presidential invitations to visit the United States, but the president plays favorites. And who has he chosen to visit, right in the middle of a presidential campaign? Do we have any doubts?
CAIRO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has invited Egypt's newly elected Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, to visit the United States in September, an Egyptian official said on Sunday, reflecting the new ties Washington is cultivating with the region's Islamists.
"President Obama extended an invitation to President Mursi to visit the United States when he attends the U.N. General Assembly in September," Egyptian aide, Yasser Ali, said after Mursi met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.
Burns did not mention the invitation at a news conference earlier.
Washington, long wary of Islamists and an ally of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, shifted policy last year to open formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood, the group behind Mursi's win. Mursi formally resigned from the group when he won the presidency.
COMMENT: We'll be waiting to see if Obama gives Mursi a warmer greeting than he's given to American allies, like the prime ministers of Britain and Israel.
These summits are largely staged. The real diplomatic work goes on before the meeting, to increase the chances of the summit being a success. I have no faith that the in-the-tank press will ask Obama any embarrassing questions at the usual post-summit press conference, but some American diplomat, who actually understands which country he's representing, should demand that Mursi acknowledge his past "misstatements" in which he expressed doubt that the attacks of 9-11 were carried out by Muslims, and suggesting that they were an inside job. That's the least the man can do before meeting the president.
Why do I think we will make no such demand?
Why do I think Mursi will get a warmer greeting than allied leaders?
I guess we learn by watching.
FP: Should be no surprise to readers of this blog. So how did I do when I made the early general prediction that Obama will realign the US with its enemies and the more specific one that he will appease the hell out of Morsi?
Why, then, is Mohamed Morsi picking a fight with the military?
As Jackson Diehl put it in the Washington Post July 8, “Last month the administration leaned heavily on the ruling military council to recognize Morsi’s victory in a runoff election. Lobbying by [US Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta may have prevented the council from handing the presidency to its favored candidate, a former prime minister. But it infuriated the generals, Egyptian Christians and some US supporters of Israel, who fear the Islamists more than the old regime.”
With backing from the Obama administration, and enormous pressure from his political base, Morsi has rolled the dice with the military. The result is likely to blow up in his face as well as the Obama administration’s.
At best, international aid will allow the status quo to continue a while longer. But the status quo involves a barely-adequate supply of bread, a dreadfully inadequate supply of fuel, and no outlook for the future except poverty and insecurity. It seems most unlikely that a political or economic equilibrium can be established on such a wobbly base. The uneasy modus vivendi between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military most likely will fail, and probably sooner than later.
See what I mean? But in any case, hungry Islamists will be up to no good.
As to the military crushing the Islamists, I am not so sure.
Morsi's decree was explicit in saying that new elections would occur, in accordance with the court's ruling - but 60 days after the new constitution is put in place.
Presumably, that also means that the junta's naming of itself, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, as the chief legislative body is also null and void and that it is the Islamists who will write Egypt's new constitution.
More importantly, it means that the military has caved in and agreed to support the new Islamist revolution.
Egypt looks to be headed headed down a similar Iranian path. Some high ranking military officers with ties to the old regime will flee, like Morsi's political opponent Shafik. Others will be imprisoned or executed and still others will become part of a new Egyptian-style 'revolutionary guard' which will essentially become an institution in itself.
Another similarity..having enabled a takeover of a former U.S. ally by an Islamist regime, the Obama Administration is following in the Carter Administration's footsteps. As the Courier-Mail writes, 'The United States is reaching out carefully to Mr. Morsi as officials predict a more complicated and less predictable relationship with a key Arab nation.'
Change Morsi to 'Khomeini' and 'Arab' to 'Muslim' or 'Persian Gulf' and that could have been written in 1979.
Just like I predicted.
William A. Jacobson: If only the U.N. were merely useless
How long before the U.N. demands Bernie Madoff be appointed head of the Securities and Exchange Commission:
In what one critic called a move akin to placing Bernie Madoff in charge of thwarting fraud on the stock market, Iran has been elected as one of the 15 members of the United Nation’s Arms Trade Treaty conference….
The choice of Iran was condemned by UN Watch, a Geneva-based monitoring group. “Right after a UN Security Council report found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is now murdering thousands of its own people, it defies logic, morality and common sense for the UN to now elect this same regime to a global post in the regulation of arms transfers,” said Hillel Neuer, UN Watch’s executive director.
On Friday, a UN report written by members of the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee found that “Iran has continued to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments.”
Meanwhile, back in the Twilight Zone, Syria looks likely to land a spot on the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2014:
Despite its poor record on human rights, Syria is on course to winning membership on the UN Human Rights Council, UN Watch reported on Thursday.
UN Watch, an NGO that monitors the international body’s activity, cited a draft resolution presented in Geneva in which the US opposed Syria’s candidacy for a Human Rights Council seat in 2014. The resolution, which is also supported by the European Union, said Damascus “fails to meet the standards” for Human Rights Council membership.
President Bashar Assad’s regime is, however, likely to get a spot on the 47-nation council “due to the prevalent system of fixed slates, whereby regional groups orchestrate uncontested elections, naming only as many candidates as allotted seats,” according to UN Watch.
Do you think taking off the top 10 floors is enough?
FP: It’s not the barbarians at the gate that are the problem, it’s the defenders inside.
Bill Katz: ROMNEY-RICE?
No matter how much she denies being interested, Condi Rice's name continues to come up as a serious prospect for the Republican ticket. Part of that has to do with the fact that she's female, part with her very high approval numbers. Bill Kristol adds the fact that Ann Romney recently said that a female candidate is under careful consideration, and that she'd like to see it:
Ann Romney—who presumably is better informed about her husband's thinking than the rest of us—said this week, "We've been looking at [picking a woman], and I love that option as well."
Who's the woman? It could be Kelly Ayotte or New Mexico governor Susana Martinez. But as much as I like both of them, I suspect Mitt Romney will see them as risky picks, lacking sufficient high-level government experience to unequivocally answer the question of whether they'd be qualified to take over. No, the woman Ann Romney likely has in mind is Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state.
Rice wowed the crowd—and seemed to impress Mitt Romney, who was standing beside her—when she spoke in a featured role at a Romney campaign event two weeks ago in Park City, Utah. Rice is qualified, would be a poised (if novice) candidate, and would complement Romney in terms of area of expertise, gender (obviously!), and life experience. Rice offers an unusual combination of being at once a reassuring pick (she served at the highest levels of the federal government for eight years) and an exciting one.
What's more, while the other VP possibilities have decent but middling favorable/unfavorable ratings (and are mostly unknown), Rice's favorable/unfavorable, according to a Rasmussen poll a couple of months ago, is a pretty staggering 66-24. Rice has said she's not interested—but Dick Cheney said he wasn't interested at this point in 2000.
Let me be clear: I'm not advocating the selection of Rice. I'm just reading the tea leaves, and the biggest tea leaf out there right now is Ann Romney's comment. It makes sense to take Ann Romney seriously. Cherchez la femme!
COMMENT: Well, I don't know. Rice brings some heavyweight credentials, but also some clear liabilities. She has vast experience, far more than Barack Obama had when he ran for president in 2008. She brings gender and racial diversity, although I really don't think that will cut into the black vote for Obama. (Rice, as a Bush Republican, has never been that popular among blacks.)
The problems: She has never run for public office, and that's a learning curve in itself; her presence would allow Obama to run against the Bush administration; she has no track record of any kind in domestic policy; and her presence would inevitably invite comparisons with her successor as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who is also popular. Would Rice want to to run against Hillary's record?
But it would be a different and exciting choice. So was Sarah Palin. That's part of the dilemma for Mitt.
FP: She’s an utter failure, both during 9/11 and with respect to ME. So it does not surprise me she’s popular and people think she’s credentialed. But hey, it’s not difficult to be so more than Obama.
The 'Palestinian Authority' is threatening to go to the UN again this year in September to try getting statehood through the back door, and according to al-Arabiya, they have refused to back down even in the face of a number of threats by the president.
The last thing this president wants is to have to veto a 'Palestinian' state, particularly in the middle of his re-election campaign. He'd much rather the 'Palestinians' waited until the election was settled, when the misguided American Jews who support him would already have voted an dhe could simply order Susan Rice over at the UN to abstain and allow a 'Palestinian' reichlet to be proclaimed in defiance of Oslo and the Road Map treaties the U.S. signed.
Towards that end, the president is threatening to close the PLO embassy in Washington, and threatening to cut off all US aid. The president even sent emissaries to Ramallah last week to deliver that message in person.
According to my source, the problem is that after the president's failure to 'deliver' the Jews and get the 'Palestinians' everything they're demanding, he has little credibility with Abbas and the PLO. Nor do they believe his threats, after they suffered no penalty for defying him last year. They feel the only way to get what they want is to go to the UN and put the squeeze on someone they realize is an essentially weak man.
FP: The West never understood that appeasement and lack of credibility to Arabs is like a red sheet to a bull: it invites pouncing.
Israelis are "rapists" and every Muslim needs to save Jerusalem from their clutches, Egypt's Muhammad Badi is reported to have said last Thursday • Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani: Time has come for the disappearance of the West and the Zionist regime.
FP: See what I mean? Give them more money.
Paul Mirengoff: Barack Obama, outsourcer — Part Two
In a previous post, John correctly labeled President Obama an “outsourcer” because his campaign paid a call center in the Philippines $78,314.10 for telemarketing services and spent nearly $4,700 on telemarketing services from a Canadian company. Now, according to the Washington Post, the left is criticizing Obama’s record on outsourcing.
FP: The Americans who re-elect this abomination deserve everything they’ll get.
John Hinderaker: Annals of Governmen
A key rule in Great Britain’s socialist health care system is: don’t get sick on the weekend! Hundreds of people die or suffer serious disability unnecessarily every year because they suffer a stroke at a weekend when NHS care is poorer, a major study has found…. A team from Imperial College London and the National Audit Office has found 350 people die within seven days of their stroke unnecessarily…
FP: That’s OK, it only happens to the poor. The rich are OK. As it will be the case here too.
Dan Margalit: Draft in stages
It is abundantly clear that a comprehensive enlistment for all cannot happen immediately in one fell swoop.
FP: And it won’t happen in stages either.
Amid great consternation in the haredi community and political circles over the possibility of the draft, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's aides work to formulate new law acceptable to as many coalition partners as possible.
Uhuh. Good luck.
Shas and United Torah Judaism vow to unite against Tal Law alternative if it forces draft • Haredi representative: We will mount a protest like Israel has never seen before" • Shas: PM has been dragged off track by Kadima and seems to want bloodshed."
See what I mean?
Jerusalem District Court acquits former PM on Rishon Tours, Talansky affairs, finds Olmert guilty of breach of trust in Investment Center affair.
FP: I am beginning to understand why Olmert moved from extreme right to extreme left (the legal system in Israel is thoroughly left).
Matt Taibbi: New York Times, Gretchen Morgenson Applaud British, Issue Challenge To American Regulators Over LIBOR Scandal