Monday, August 3, 2009

Sleaze in Israeli Politics, al-Zawahri and the American Response

Paul Krugman
Tim Pawlenty
E J Dionne Jr

"Americans are angry at Wall Street, and rightly so." - Paul Krugman

Foreign Policy magazine has an article on the seven countries that are furious with the Obama administration, they are: Canada, China, Columbia, Honduras,Panama, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Not bad after only six months in office...

One of the more informative sites about Congress I have linked is OpenCongess. It's a wikipedia, meaning that people can contribute information, and has fun facts like where your representative is getting their donations, and who is currently under investigation. For example, when I looked to see if any Colorado Congressmen were under investigation, I came up empty-handed, but got some information on a former office holder, Bob Beauprez: "Bob Beauprez is currently under investigation by the Justice Department’s Wyoming office. The probe is examining whether Beauprez, a candidate in the 2006 gubernatorial election in Colorado, accessed a restricted federal database for information used in a television ad to attack his Democratic challenger, Bill Ritter. State investigators, who began looking into the matter before the Justice Department, have concluded that the information in the ad came from the National Crime Information Center, a federal database for which only law enforcement officials have access. Using the database for any purpose other than law enforcement is a federal crime which carries a punishment of up to one-year in prison. Beauprez ultimately lost the gubernatorial election to Ritter. " If you live in California you will hit a jackpot of information...

Another thorn for the Israeli government is the possible resignation of its foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, if he is indicted on corruption charges, as reported in the NY Times: "Israel's ultranationalist foreign minister promised Monday to step down if he is charged after police recommended that he be indicted for a string of alleged corruption offenses.

Police say they have enough evidence to charge Avigdor Lieberman with accepting bribes, fraud, money laundering and other offenses. The country's attorney general must now decide whether to indict him, and that could take months.

Speaking at a press conference he called to respond to the police recommendation, which was announced Sunday, Lieberman said he did nothing wrong. ''If I had to do it again I would do precisely the same thing,'' he said."
Guess those ways of doing business that he learned while employed as a bouncer in Russia didn't translate well...which makes me curious now how much of the Russian mafiya has also emigrated to Israel, and are they considered an asset to the Zionist movement? Of course, by the time he is indicted, and if he is indicted, he will probably pull an Ensign, or a Sanford and not resign at all...

That plucky old al-Qaeda representative, Ayman al-Zawahri, today called for the elimination of Israel by wiping it off the map, as reported by the Jerusalem Post: "Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaida's second-in-command, said on Monday that Israel should be wiped off the map and described the Jewish state as a crime against Muslims.

Zawahri also accused US President Barack Obama of conducting a policy on Israeli-Palestinian issues that was bound to end in failure for the Palestinians, Reuters reported, saying that Obama wanted a Palestinian state that would serve as "an extension of the CIA."
To my knowledge we haven't put the Palestinians on the payroll. But it could be cool if we did. Then, whenever we needed to know what was going on in the Middle East, all that we have to do is: Send Out the Palestinians...

In response, the US is gearing up a major public relations blitz throughout the Middle East that it hopes will help the peace process, as reported in the NY Times: "In coming weeks, senior administration officials said, the White House will begin a public-relations campaign in Israel and Arab countries to better explain Mr. Obama’s plans for a comprehensive peace agreement involving Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab world.

The campaign, which will include interviews with Mr. Obama on Israeli and Arab television, amounts to a reframing of a policy that people inside and outside the administration say has become overly defined by the American pressure on Israel to halt settlement construction on the West Bank.

“We’re at a crucial moment now,” said Martin S. Indyk, a former ambassador to Israel and peace negotiator in the Clinton administration. “There are only so many visits George Mitchell can make.”
Mr Mitchell's visits and talks are usually the behind- closed- door kind, with no press releases, but he has been pretty upbeat and optimistic with the progress he's made so far, even with Saudi Arabia, who is mostly responsible for much of this mess... there will be interviews with Obama on Arabian television, and I can't wait for the Harry and Louise commercials discoursing in Arabic on the peace process just like they are doing about health reform...

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