Saturday, September 26, 2009

What I Missed, the Art of Negotiation

Maureen O'Connor
Lloyd Grove

"I’m talking about anyone who wants to be president in 2012. … You need to call out this type of hatred.” - Joe Scarborough

“You think the Constitution is radical? You think my rights are radical? How can you even ask that, you stupid, stupid—”  - anonymous

The links above are from the Daily Beast, a story about a townhall meeting hosted by both Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul, and a profile about my neighbor Michelle Malkin, who's making money hand over fist these days while the rest of us poor bloggers sit in front of our tiny laptops writing rambling, run-on sentences...

the ones I missed...
I missed a few terrorist plots in yesterday's post. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the other plots are: "The terrorism suspects named this week are a mix of legal residents and US citizens, and appear to have been drawn to radicalism in various ways.

•In a separate case in Texas, a young Jordanian-born man, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, was arrested and charged Thursday for trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper. According to the FBI affidavit, he told undercover agents "he came to the US for the specific purpose of committing 'jihad for the sake of God.' " He was set up by agents with fake explosives.

•In a similar but unrelated federal investigation, agents charged Michael Finton of Illinois with trying to blow up a Springfield courthouse. Mr. Finton apparently converted to Islam after being released from a state prison where he served time on aggravated robbery and battery convictions. He was also provided with a bogus bomb by agents.

•In New York, Betim Kaziu was indicted Thursday for trying to join a terrorist group overseas and fight US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Kaziu, a US citizen from Brooklyn, was arrested in Kosovo where he was apparently trying to join an Islamist militant group.

•In an ongoing North Carolina investigation of seven men charged with supporting foreign terrorist groups, two defendants were indicted Thursday for planning to attack the Marine base in Quantico, Va."

Speculation as to why this upswing in activity deals with the anniversary of 9/11, the G20 meeting with so many world leaders, publicizing the arrests because the Patriot Act is set to expire this year and we need to justify all those illegal wiretaps.

decisions, indecisions...
21,000 troops have been deployed to Afghanistan so far this year, which means about 40,000 contracted supporting civilians also are there. Barack Obama is now taking his time in deciding to send up to 30,000 more, to support general McChrystal's counterinsurgency strategy. The Republicans are complaining that he is taking too long to decide, yet they also want to slow down making decisions on health care amendments. They think they have a winning strategy to get more Republicans elected come 2010, and Obama wants to make sure that he has a winning strategy for Afghanistan. Which strategy in the end will save more lives?

Evidently, the US administration feels their best bet in continuing the Israeli - Palestinian peace talks is in supporting Mahmut Abbas, the leader of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, which has been pretty impotent until now. Since Israel is so stubborn and intractable, despite saying that they will sit down and negotiate any time, anywhere, the next move is to try and get support for Abbas among the Arabian nations, and help beef up the Palestinian economy. This morning, Hillary Clinton has: "urged Arab nations to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel and supporting the Palestinians in an effort to help restart stalled Mideast peace talks.

Clinton made the case with senior officials from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. The session followed President Barack Obama's talks this past week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Officials said the Obama administration wants Arab states to make ''tangible'' and ''credible'' goodwill gestures toward Israel and provide political and economic support to Abbas to lay the groundwork for a resumption in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, officials say.

Among the gestures toward Israel that U.S. has suggesting are opening trade and commercial offices, allowing Israeli aircraft overflight rights and promoting academic and cultural exchanges."

Then, perhaps Israel will tear down the cement wall surrounding Gaza; perhaps they can donate it to the US, so we can use it for our own 600 mile partially built border fence, hypocrites that we are... Or, we can always put it in some incongruous out-of-the-way place that doesn't make sense, like we did with the Queen Mary and the old London Bridge... maybe use it to wall in Sarah Palin's hometown. Or, as Ronnie would say:

Mr Netanyahu, Tear Down Those Walls

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