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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Shattering Conventional Wisdom About Saddam’s WMD’s

Posted by Atilla89 on November 18, 2007

This is a must read! Remember those slogans going around the world of ‘Bush lied, people died’ in regards to the alleged WMD’s in Iraq? Who could forget Bush making that fateful speech about WMD’s and then not finding any? Well this article appears to clear a lot of this up. The gist of it goes along the lines of:

“Roughly one quarter of Saddam’s WMD was destroyed under UN pressure during the early to mid 1990’s. Saddam sold approximately another quarter of his weapons stockpile to his Arab neighbours during the mid to late 1990’s. The Russians insisted on removing another quarter in the last few months before the war. The last remaining WMD, the contents of Saddam’s nuclear weapons labs, were still inside Iraq on the day when the coalition forces arrived in 2003. His nuclear weapons equipment was hidden in enormous underwater warehouses beneath the Euphrates River. Saddam’s entire nuclear inventory was later stolen from these warehouses right out from under the Americans’ noses.”

Pretty much the Israelis believed that Syria got the rest and along with North Korea providing plutonium tried to create a nuclear reactor for the purpose of making nuclear weapons, of course this was destroyed by Israel a few weeks ago.

Now you are probably saying this is all crap, how can you have evidence of Saddam having nukes after the 1990’s? Well:

Moreover, many of Saddam’s own tapes and documents concerning chemical and biological weapons are ambiguous. When read together as a mosaic whole, Saddam’s secret files certainly make a persuasive case of massive WMD acquisition right up to a few months before the war. Not only was he buying banned precursors for nerve gas, he was ordering the chemicals to make Zyklon B, the Nazis favorite gas at Auschwitz. However odious and well documented his purchases in 2002, there is no direct evidence of any CW or BW actually remaining inside Iraq on the day the war started in 2003. As stated in more detail in my full report, the British, Ukrainian and American secret services all believed that the Russians had organized a last minute evacuation of CW and BW stockpiles from Baghdad to Syria.

We know from Saddam’s documents that huge quantities of CW and BW were in fact produced, and there is no record of their destruction. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Therefore, at least as to chemical and biological weapons, the evidence is compelling, but not conclusive. There is no one individual document or audiotape that contains a smoking gun.

Now the next reasonable question that you should be asking is, what about this whole underwater facility, if it exists, how could the American’s not know about it?

If Saddam had nuclear weapons facilities, where was he hiding them? Iraqi informants showed US investigators where Saddam had constructed huge underwater storage facilities beneath the Euphrates River. The tunnel entrances were still sealed with tons of concrete. The US investigators who approached the sealed entrances were later determined to have been exposed to radiation. Incredibly, their reports were lost in the postwar confusion, and Saddam’s underground nuclear storage sites were left unguarded for the next three years. Still, the eyewitness testimony about the sealed underwater warehouses matched with radiation exposure is strong circumstantial evidence that some amount of radioactive material was still present in Iraq on the day the war began.

I just want to leave you with one last fact, that I didn’t actually now myself. In the mess of Iraq, ninety percent of the Saddam files have never been read, let alone translated. The whole article is in the ‘more’ section however if you want to see it on FrontPage, hit the link at the top.

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The Hard Facts Of Israel’s Position In The Middle East

Posted by Atilla89 on November 15, 2007

This is a great *insert maximum emphasis here* article that clearly and quickly explains the position that Israel is in in relation to Hamas, Fatah (the almost non-existent entity), the Annapolis Conference, Lebanon, Syria and Iran. The full article is below, however you can get it in its original form here.

Just the Hard Facts

Ehud Ya’ari , THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 11, 2007

The hard core of cold facts tends to be washed away in the flood of hollow verbiage in the media’s coverage of the twists and turns of the Middle Eastern imbroglio. Daydreams obscure the line of vision to the true horizon, as do misleading analyses and sheer prejudice.

Gaza: Over the coming year, there is no doubt that Hamas, in its upgraded military mode, will be producing Qassam-type missiles with a range of 20-25 kms, bringing all of Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat, Netivot, Ofakim and the many kibbutzim and moshavim that surround them into the line of fire. Over a quarter of a million Israelis will be in range. Moreover, Hamas will be able to fire the rockets from the heart of Gaza, without having to send launch teams to the open areas close to the border fence.

All of which means that unless there’s a miracle and a full and stable cease-fire is in place (edit: which will NEVER, EVER happen), the government, whether eagerly or out of a lack of any alternative, will have to order the army to carry out a major operation to clean up the Strip, along the lines of the dazzingly successful Operation Defensive Wall in the West Bank in 2002. It will probably be harder and cost more casualties. The army is already preparing for the campaign and Hamas is working feverishly on its defense plans, based mainly on heavy rocket fire into Israel – dozens a day – and fortifications and trenches around the launch sites.

Which, a few months ago, I suggested as the only way to effectively combat Hamas, a ground invasion supported by air is what is needed to stop the threat of Hamas. It is a terrorist organisation that is dedicated to destroying Israel and has no part in ANY peace process. Basically it is a threat that must be eliminated.

The West Bank: The Palestinian security apparatuses are not in control of the whole area. If it were not for Israel’s regular preemptive counterterror raids, Hamas could, if it so wished and even without the use of armed force, paralyze the functioning of the Palestinian Authority. There’s no chance that things will change in the foreseeable future. The Fatah movement has in fact ceased to exist, (edit: which makes me wonder, yet again, why Olmert and the rest of the world think he is a good person to try and work a treaty with.) although there are still tens of thousands of card-carrying members. There is no meaningful process of resuscitation or reform under way in either the PA, or its ruling party, Fatah. In private conversations, associates of the PA chairman, Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen), call him “a pensioner still going to the office.” For example, the Al-Amari refugee camp in the heart of Ramallah, the “capital” of the PA, has openly declared itself beyond the jurisdiction of the Palestinian police.

When British intelligence operatives asked leading members of the Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades in Nablus who their enemies were, they replied: Hamas, corruption, collaborators with Israel, and Israel itself, in that order. The militiamen, in other words, see the rotten government of Abu Mazen as more of a target than the settlers. Instead of gaining strength after the debacle in Gaza, Fatah on the West Bank is growing weaker.

The Annapolis Conference: Abu Mazen has been heard joking with his bureau staff that “after 20 years, I’ve gone back to being a teacher.” What he means is that he finds himself engaged in long hours of explaining to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about the land mines on the way to a permanent settlement. The Egyptians have already advised finding a suitable pretext to postpone the parley indefinitely. Meanwhile, it is becoming clear to all parties to the negotiations that there is no chance of agreement on a declaration that will herald even a hint of a breakthrough. If Abu Mazen compromises, he will be assailed by both Hamas and much of Fatah. If a vague statement is issued, everyone will say yet again that he has nothing to offer to his people.

The Palestinians are fuming at Rice for having trapped them in a corner and have begun to try and get out of it by renewing the talk about a “third step” in the Oslo process that was never implemented. What this means is an attempt to get more territory on the West Bank from Israel without having to reach any substantive
agreement.

Lebanon: Without knowing how the grave internal crisis in this country will end, these facts are already clear: Hizballah is building a large quasi-divisional formation north of the Litani River, as part of an effort to link the Shi’ites of South Lebanon to the Shi’ite heartland in the Beka Valley, through a corridor across the Christian and Druse villages that separate the two. Syria and Iran are supplying the militia with long-range rockets, anti-tank missiles and other advanced materiel that it never had in the July 2006 war. In the area controlled by UNIFIL south of the Litani, Hizballah is also building its “nature reserves” or rocket-launching bases and underground bunkers in the mountains, quietly but unhindered, and reorganizing, on a larger scale, its deployment in the Shi’ite villages near the Israeli border. The U.N. force is simply not effective in preventing this.

And this just goes back the fact that Olmert was an idiot to go for a cease-fire. Why did the Americans try and stop Israel? It made no sense. Only now does America realise its mistakes and because of this, Israel has to suffer.

Syria: Following the successful Israeli air strike at the “reactor” that they had begun building in their eastern desert, the Syrians have adopted a new “blocking” doctrine (murnana’a in Arabic). It entails avoiding war with Israel in the new future but deepening involvement in Hizballah and Hamas, creating threats and provocations by using these proxies on other fronts. In the event that Israel’s patience runs out, the Syrian military is preparing an “offensive defense” – a capability of attacking the Israeli hinterland with hundreds of heavy missiles, while blocking an Israeli armored attack on the Golan Heights.

Iran: According to the evaluations of most Western intelligence services, the Iranian nuclear program will reach its “point of no return” (the production of sufficient weapons grade uranium to make a nuclear weapon) in 2010/11, with some even putting the date as early as 2009. And there is already no doubt that in parallel to the overt program that is open to inspection there is a covert, military plan to actually make nuclear weapons, and not only to cross the technological threshold. The time for drawing conclusions is running out.

If you have read a few post previously, you would have noticed that I said it is impossible to give an accurate date on the point of no return for Iran’s reactors, I meant this in the context of the IAEA, they will never get anything accurate; however western intelligence is another matter. Yes, they made a mistake on Iraq, but currently they are the best intelligence that people have, and I would go with good intelligence organisations rather then something from the IAEA.

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Israel on alert for Syria airstrike

Posted by Atilla89 on November 11, 2007

We all know that recently Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Syria, but what I found specially interesting was not the speed in which Syria cleared the area, however, it was the fact that there wasn’t an immediate declaration of war on Syria’s part. Also, I wondered why hadn’t Syria at the very least retaliated, god know Hamas would have. Anyway there have been a number of red alerts in Israel, with the nuclear reactor at Dimona in the Negev (Israel) going on red alert at least 30 times in the past week. More from The Times.

Photo

(Yes I know I already used this photo, but I find it so cool)

THE defensive missile shield around Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor was placed on red alert 30 times last week amid fears of an airstrike by Syria.

A battery of American-made Patriot antiaircraft missiles has been moved to Dimona in the Negev desert following intelligence that a strike may be launched in retaliation for Israel’s bombing of a suspected nuclear site in Syria two months ago.

In a highly unusual move, the officers in charge of the missiles were permitted to talk to Israeli state television about their preparations. “We’re ready to launch the missiles in seconds, once we’re on full alert,” said First Lieutenant Adi, a young female officer who is the deputy commander of the battery.

Tension with Damascus has heightened since September 6 when Israeli fighters destroyed the suspected nuclear installation in northern Syria.

“The fact that the Syrians didn’t launch an immediate strike against Israel doesn’t mean that they won’t retaliate in due course,” said an Israeli defence source. “Dimona is on the top of their list.”

Tension is mounting in Israel. “Every civilian aircraft en route from Cairo to Amman, or from Jeddah to Cairo and vice versa, which deviates even slightly from its route, sets off an alarm and risks a missile being fired,” said the female commander of the Patriot battery.

The unit is authorised to shoot down any aircraft which approaches, civilian or combat.

An Israeli Mirage jet that approached Dimona by mistake was shot down during the Six-Day War in 1967, while a Libyan Boeing 727 which lost its way in a storm in 1973 and approached Dimona was also downed. All 113 on board were killed.

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Possible Israel-Syria Summit In 2008

Posted by Atilla89 on November 11, 2007

A Saudi newspaper, Al Watan has reported that in early 2008, a conference similar to the one that is going to happen at Annapolis with the Palestinians is going to happen between Syria and Israel, sworn enemies. The Syrians have made it clear that they would only be participating if the issue of the Golan Heights were going to be discussed. You can guess what they are going to discuss, peace in return for the Golan Heights, much like the Palestinians are saying for Annapolis, West Bank, Jerusalem, blah blah you know the rest. My opinion is this will be as pointless as Annapolis will be and Israel should just turn the offer down flat. Anyway, you can check out the article from the Jerusalem Post here.

At the beginning of 2008 there will be another international conference similar to the one which will take place in Annapolis in the coming weeks, except with a focus on Syria and Israel, the Saudi newspaper Al Watan reported on Saturday.

The report also quotes Palestinian sources as saying that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas convinced US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of the importance of Syrian participation in the upcoming Mideast summit, and that she in turn convinced Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The report went on to say that on Friday, Abbas sent an envoy to Damascus to discuss the developments.

However, Israel Radio reported that Syrian officials insisted they would only participate in the Annapolis conference if the issue of the Golan Heights was to be discussed. They added that they would not hinder Palestinian participation in any way.

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How to deal with Iran with the problem of Iraq

Posted by Atilla89 on November 7, 2007

First I would like to say that I can now return to regular posts because of the end of an important series of exam. The relief I felt when finishing these exams was huge. Anyway, this is a very interesting blog entry from Daniel Hannan’s blog which basically outlines how the UK and US should deal with Iran in regards to a lack of confidence with Bush and a stretch UK/US military.

One of the many tragic consequences of the Iraq war is that it has made it harder to act against Iran. The geographical and alphabetical proximity of the two countries tempts us into false comparisons. Look at the mess the neo-cons made in Iraq, we think. We surely can’t let those clots try the same failed strategy against Iran. Nor do you hear this argument only from tousled students.

As I was saying earlier, there is a lack of support to deal with Iran. More importantly this is not only a problem in countries like the UK, but major organisations like the EU and the UN are also showing a lack of resolve (who would have guessed?).

Mohammed El-Baradei, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency, says that Iraq should serve as a warning to those who want a forward policy against Teheran.

Then again he is the guy that did not know anything about the secret nuclear reactor in Syria (a country that exports terrorism and supplies terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah) and CRITICIZED Israel when they destroyed.

Well, I am no neo-con. I was the only leader writer on this newspaper who argued against the Iraq war. I opposed the invasion because I didn’t believe that Saddam had a weapons programme. When it comes to Iran, though, there can be no doubt that the regime is developing a nuclear capability, and that it has the delivery mechanism: Shahhab-3 missiles, with a range of 1,500 miles.

Nor can there be much doubt that the reason the ayatollahs want the Bomb is so that they can use it. Look, after all, at what they are already doing. They have armed militias as far afield as the Balkans, the Caucasus and the old Silk Road Khanates.

This is why I have never understood why China have not backed the UN Resolutions (they have the power to Veto which is why their vote is so important), Iran is on the doorstep!

They have supplied their Lebanese proxy, Hizbollah, with rockets. They have been implicated in the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Argentina. Can we really be certain that, if they had the technology, they wouldn’t tip some of these bombs with nuclear warheads?

Of course we can’t and judging be their past history, it really wouldn’t come as a surprise.

It’s the Buenos Aires bomb that I find most interesting. What possible strategic interest can the mullahs have had in Argentina? The answer, surely, is that the very remoteness of the target made it attractive: Teheran was flaunting its ability to strike wherever it wanted. That is what makes an Iranian bomb so frightening: we are not dealing, as we were in the Cold War, with a regime pursuing rational aims. The ayatollahs play by different rules.

They advertised this with the very first act of their revolution: the seizure of the US embassy. The sanctity of diplomatic personnel is the basis of all international relations. Even during the Second World War, when mutually antagonistic ideologies struggled to obliterate each other, legation staff were peacefully evacuated through neutral states. By violating this principle, the mullahs were sending out a deliberate signal: your notions of territorial jurisdiction mean nothing to us; we recognise a higher authority than yours.

They got away with it, too. Even while the US embassy staff were being held hostage, the Iranian mission in London was seized. We [The UK] sent in the SAS, recovered the building, and handed it back to Teheran with a cheque to cover the breakages.

The ayatollahs concluded that they could have it both ways, being accorded the privileges of a sovereign state without having to reciprocate. That set the pattern for what was to follow. Iran has never shown much respect for state sovereignty.

Like all revolutionary regimes, it has spilled out from behind its borders, seeking to replicate itself elsewhere. It has sought, in particular, to radicalise its co-religionists in the Arab world, prompting King Abdullah of Jordan to warn against a “Shia crescent” arcing from the Lebanon through Syria, Turkey and Iran to the Gulf monarchies.

Yet our response – and by “our”, I mean the EU’s – has been to pursue a policy of “constructive engagement” in the hope of jollying the mullahs out of their nuclear ambitions. To his credit, even Jack Straw, who was the most visible agent of that policy, and who for a while seemed to be in Teheran every other week, now accepts that it has failed.

What, though, is the alternative? Well, in between the current policy of trying to wheedle the Chinese into letting us pass UN resolutions, and the option of direct military action, there are several escalating steps. First, there is economic isolation.
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Syrian Nuclear Reactor Disappears

Posted by Atilla89 on October 27, 2007

Here’s the official picture of the nuclear reactor in Syria, before and after it was hit by the Israeli strike. I personally think that it is concealed by a ‘borrowed’ Romulan cloaking device. Now you see it, haha, Now you don’t! Hat tip to LGF.

Photo

US experts claimed that the speed with which Syria hurried to clear up any rubble remaining after the alleged strike was indicative of its will to get rid of incriminating evidence. A senior intelligence official said the evacuation of debris was not a pre-planned clearing up, which usually lasts up to a year. It was “amazing” that the Syrians made such efforts to make evidence “vanish” so quickly, the official said.

David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security, said the building’s disappearance was troubling. It seems Syria is trying to hide something, Albright said, but “it will not work. [They] will have to produce answers on what happened there.”

Now to leave you with a little treat, here’s what happens when you piss off the Canadians, result: mass ownage.

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Double Post: Satellite uncovers Syrian nuke site and Israel does not = Apartheid Africa

Posted by Atilla89 on October 25, 2007

Firstly, it has now been confirmed, relatively, that the target that Israel hit last month was actually a nuke site. This is a good thing as the toothless IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei would not have done anything. Read it here but there are a few key quotes that I want to discuss. First,

In an interview published yesterday, IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei expressed anger at the Syrians, Israelis and foreign intelligence agencies for not providing information about a suspected nuclear program.

The problem with giving this information to the IAEA, is that they would do nothing, look at Iran for example. Honestly what did they expect?

Dr ElBaradei told Le Monde an air strike could endanger the agency’s efforts to contain nuclear proliferation. “When the Israelis destroyed Saddam Hussein’s research nuclear reactor in 1981, the consequence was that Saddam Hussein pursued his program secretly,” he said.

And the U.S. invaded his country and know there is no secret nuclear weapons anymore…

“He began to establish a huge military nuclear program underground. The use of force can set things back, but it does not deal with the roots of the problem.”

I beg to differ, 2nd Gulf War anyone?

The next part of this post is going to deal with accusations that Israel is the new Apartheid South Africa of the 21st century. This is blatantly false, I think I may have even post a video somewhere on this blog to show how wrong that is. Anyway, I suggest reading this to get the full story. Now here is the link to the full article but the article can also be seen below the more button below. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prospect: Mission Accomplished

Posted by Atilla89 on October 4, 2007

Here is an article from British magazine Prospect. For many of you it will have been saying the obvious. What’s surprising about this, is that it is centre-left. Hat tip to LGF.

The question of what to do in Iraq today must be separated from the decision to topple Saddam Hussein four and a half years ago. That decision is a matter for historians. By any normal ethical standard, the coalition’s current project in Iraq is a just one. Britain, America and Iraq’s other allies are there as the guests of an elected government given a huge mandate by Iraqi voters under a legitimate constitution. The UN approved the coalition’s role in May 2003, and the mandate has been renewed annually since then, most recently this August. Meanwhile, the other side in this war are among the worst people in global politics: Baathists, the Nazis of the middle east; Sunni fundamentalists, the chief opponents of progress in Islam’s struggle with modernity; and the government of Iran. Ethically, causes do not come much clearer than this one.

Some just wars, however, are not worth fighting. There are countries that do not matter very much to the rest of the world. Rwanda is one tragic example; and its case illustrates the immorality of a completely pragmatic foreign policy. But Iraq, the world’s axial country since the beginning of history and all the more important in the current era for probably possessing the world’s largest reserves of oil, is no Rwanda. Nor do two or three improvised explosive devices a day, for all the personal tragedy involved in each casualty, make a Vietnam.

The great question in deciding whether to keep fighting in Iraq is not about the morality and self-interest of supporting a struggling democracy that is also one of the most important countries in the world. The question is whether the war is winnable and whether we can help the winning of it. The answer is made much easier by the fact that three and a half years after the start of the insurgency, most of the big questions in Iraq have been resolved. Moreover, they have been resolved in ways that are mostly towards the positive end of the range of outcomes imagined at the start of the project. The country is whole. It has embraced the ballot box. It has created a fair and popular constitution. It has avoided all-out civil war. It has not been taken over by Iran. It has put an end to Kurdish and marsh Arab genocide, and anti-Shia apartheid. It has rejected mass revenge against the Sunnis. As shown in the great national votes of 2005 and the noisy celebrations of the Iraq football team’s success in July, Iraq survived the Saddam Hussein era with a sense of national unity; even the Kurds—whose reluctant commitment to autonomy rather than full independence is in no danger of changing—celebrated. Iraq’s condition has not caused a sectarian apocalypse across the region. The country has ceased to be a threat to the world or its region. The only neighbours threatened by its status today are the leaders in Damascus, Riyadh and Tehran.

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Iran’s Proxy War Against America by Thomas Joscelyn

Posted by Atilla89 on September 30, 2007

A very interesting if somewhat long read here (I really need to stop using the adjective ‘interesting’ to describe other people’s work…). Alternatively just like the ‘more’ link to read the whole thing. Note: The copy below is a messy read because when I copied it, the text changed for no apparent reason. I couldn’t be bothered to edit 70 pages worth of writing, so that’s how it stays.

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Reviews on “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”

Posted by Atilla89 on September 19, 2007

A few weeks ago, I linked you to a video of John Mearsheimer at the Daily Kos Convention here in order to ridicule his views on the Middle-East. Well this is old news but he has recently published a book called “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” in an attempt to infer that America’s foreign policy is controlled by Israel – which is utter tosh. Anyway, I was given an email by Honest Reporting detailing some of the reviews which this book has gathered, enjoy the read… 🙂

Tim Rutten, LA Times: “Anyone familiar with the tortured history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have a hard time recognizing the history Mearsheimer and Walt rehearse. Every hoary old Israeli atrocity tale is trotted out, and the long story of Palestinian terrorism is rendered entirely as a reaction to Israeli oppression. The failure of every peace negotiation is attributed to Israeli deviousness under the shield of the American Israel lobby. There is nothing here of Palestinian corruption, division and duplicity or even of this unhappy people’s inability to provide a reliable secular partner with whom peace can be negotiated.

At times, the authors simply contradict themselves, asserting — rather remarkably — at one point that the United States has nothing to fear from a nuclear-armed Iran and, at another, that the dangerous prospect of a nuke-equipped Tehran is the Israel lobby’s fault. Similarly, they write, Al Qaeda would hammer its swords into ploughshares and Osama bin Laden would lay down with the lamb if only the United States would come out from under Israel’s thrall and create by coercion a Palestinian state.

Baloney. If — as was long ago proposed — the Jewish state had been established in Uganda, the Twin Towers still would be rubble.”

David Remnick, The New Yorker: “Where many accounts identify Osama bin Laden’s primary grievances with American support of “infidel” authoritarian regimes in Islamic lands, Mearsheimer and Walt align his primary concerns with theirs: America’s unwillingness to push Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. (It doesn’t matter that Israel and the Palestinians were in peace negotiations in 1993, the year of the first attack on the World Trade Center, or that during the Camp David negotiations in 2000 bin Laden’s pilots were training in Florida.) Mearsheimer and Walt give you the sense that, if the Israelis and the Palestinians come to terms, bin Laden will return to the family construction business.

It’s a narrative that recounts every lurid report of Israeli cruelty as indisputable fact but leaves out the rise of Fatah and Palestinian terrorism before 1967; the Munich Olympics; Black September; myriad cases of suicide bombings; and other spectaculars.”

Steve Huntley, Chicago Sun Times: “The two go to lengths to try to rebut any suggestion of anti-Semitism in their criticism of the American Israeli Political Action Committee and other pro-Israel groups. But you can’t read The Israel Lobby without realizing that whenever two interpretations exist for some action by Israel or its supporters, Mearsheimer and Walt automatically default to the darker view.”

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