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Thursday, January 08, 2009

It could have been worse

Paul Mirengoff reported last night at Powerline that President-elect Obama is likely to name former Clinton administration envoy to Israel Dennis Ross as his 'special emissary' to Iran. Paul isn't pleased with the choice.
But my main objection to Ross isn't Bush-derangement syndrome, but rather diplomacy-derangement syndrome. By this I mean boundless faith in diplomacy which, when possessed by a diplomat, probably reflects boundless faith in himself.

For roughly a decade, Ross persisted against all the evidence in believing that Yasser Arafat was a "peace partner" with whom Israel and the U.S. should negotiate and to whom Israel should make concessions. If Ross could believe this, the odds aren't terribly long that he believes, or will come to believe, that negotiations with, and concessions to, Ahmadinejad (as evil as Arafat and even more dangerous) and the Iranian regime are just what the doctor ordered.

At that point, for diplomats with diplomacy-derangement syndrome, "getting to yes" can easily become an imperative, without serious regard to the cost of getting there or what (if any) the actual benefits of "yes" may be. The resulting mischief is likely to be great, as was the case for Israel the last time Ross was an "emissary."
I agree. But given the identity of Obama's advisers, we could have done a lot worse. We could have gotten Robert Malley or Aaron Miller. They blame Israel for the failure of Camp David II (among other things).

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At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5:42 PM, Blogger Ashan said...

CiJ - Have you seen the Hamas maps our precious boys found in that hellhole Gaza? Here's the Hebrew article: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3652994,00.html

Go Tzahal!

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Ross kept leaning on Israel in the past. Will he have what it takes to lean on Iran?

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Ashan or Carl, for the benefit of us Yank goys, could you please summarize that Hebrew ynet article and the significance of those captured Hamas maps?
While we're talking about clueless "leaders" in the West in this thread, the London Times published an article today entitled "'Concentration camp' remark threatens Pope's visit to Israel". The Pope and Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace, apparently see no moral difference between Hamas and Israel, between Hamas' Islamofascist anti-Semitic hatred and terrorism and Israel's moral and legal right and duty of self-defense.

The London Times quotes the Pope, "..."Once again I would repeat that military options are no solution and that violence, wherever it comes from and whatever form it takes, must be firmly condemned," he said in an even-handed address." I wouldn't characterize that as "even-handed" but as mentally myopic moral equivalence between Hamas terrorism and scrupulous Israeli self-defense.

The article goes on, "...Echoing Pope Benedict's calls for an end to the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace, urged Israeli and Hamas to be "more willing" to hold peace talks. He accused both sides of only thinking of their own interests while civilians paid the price." That's a breathtakingly historically ignorant and offensive remark, effectively equating Hamas barbarism and Israeli decency and restraint.

Unfortunately the full article at Il Sussidario is in Italian, which I don't speak, at the Italian website Il Sussidiario. They do have some articles translated into English but this isn't one of them. So, we're having to rely on the London Times article and excerpts to give an accurate and fair translation and explanation.

On a personal note, I was born and raised a Catholic. I left the Church years ago and am now a Protestant. If I were still a Catholic, I would feel compelled to write a letter of apology for the Pope and the Cardinal's remarks, sending it to the JPost and other prominent Israeli papers, addressed to the people of Israel.

This sort of intellectually and morally bankrupt thinking by the Pope and Cardinal Martino is representative of the reasons I left the Catholic Church. Additionally, the Church's ambivalent history during the Holocaust; the Church's systemic decades-long cover-up of pedophile clergy -bishops even!- ; the Church's silence on Islamic persecution of Christians while appeasing Islamofascists...all this and much more leaves me thinking that the Pope and other leaders of the Catholic Church have lost their moral foundations and have absolutely no standing to criticize Israel's right of self-defense.

May G-d bless Israel and protect the brave Soldiers of Israel in their just cause!


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