What's All This Then?

commentary on the passing parade

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

As I was saying below - it’s a little hard for Israel to be able to live in peace and stability with its neighbors when she has neighbors who have their own ideas about what peace and stability means.

You don’t have look far to find stories like this one or this one. They’re all over the place. They reflect the views of "neighbor" Hamas - the Palestinian "faction" that the folks on the west bank and Gaza elected to represent them.

They have a fine peace offer in mind - from their perspective. Israel should pull back behind its 1967 borders, release all Palestinian prisoners - and allow any Palestinian who lived behind those same borders before 1948 - and all their descendants - to come and live there again. The nonsensical demand of "right of return." Just a few million Palestinian Arabs to join their million plus Israeli Arab brethren. After which Hamas would be willing to offer anywhere from a 10 - 20 year truce!! Not a peace treaty - but a truce. No attacks for 10 to 20 years - depending on which story reflects their most recent "offer."

Of course they wouldn’t have to offer an actual peace treaty. There would be no need. With millions of Palestinian Arabs exercising their "right of return" - it wouldn’t take anything like 10 to 20 years for Israel to cease to exist as a sovereign Jewish democratic state. And Hamas is quite open about this. Read the statement of their spokesman who made it clear what they and their predecessors have had in mind for decades. That each concession by Israel is just one more piece of the puzzle - the finished picture of which displays Palestinian control of all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river.

What is amazing is that despite their stated intent to destroy Israel, well meaning - and perhaps some not so well meaning people - keep insisting that the absence of peace is Israel’s fault. That - according to the wisdom of Jordan’s King Abdullah - all that is needed is for Israel to get rid of its fortress mentality and live in peace and stability with its neighbors - whether their plan is to destroy you or not.

I don’t know what you’d call that kind of logic but I’m sure glad it isn’t taught in Israeli schools where its future leaders are being educated. On the other hand, maybe it should be taught so that future leaders would be well versed in the language of madness before they ever sat down at a negotiating table with madmen.

Incidentally, Abdullah is scheduled to be interviewed by Jim Lehrer on the PBS New Hour tonight. Maybe we’ll all be enlightened and I’ll have to disavow these comments.

Yeah. Sure.

I suppose the blogosphere is full of commentary on the Libby verdict. I really don’t know because I don’t have the time - or any strong interest in looking for it there. I’ll have some comment on the relationship of this blog and the blogosphere later - maybe tomorrow or the next day.

I’m not one who’s rejoicing at the verdict or thinks something good has been accomplished. I heard Joe Wilson express some satisfaction but not with any great sense of victory or vindication.

I’m willing to accept the fact that lying under oath to a grand jury is a criminal offense - and there were just too many witnesses contradicting Libby’s memory of conversations about Valerie Plame to accept his defense that he just plain forgot who told him what and when. It would have been more credible - and kept him out of trouble - if he had said just that in front of the grand jury - that he couldn’t say for certain who told him what and when. But to recall a conversation that never happened with Tim Russert was the height of stupidity - and one doesn’t get the impression that Libby is a stupid man - so one has to wonder what the hell was going on here.

Fitzgerald is a hot-shot prosecutor who prosecutes where he sees a provable crime - and it’s disturbing that he couldn’t find a way to prosecute the crime of outing a covert CIA agent under The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 - the statute covering such issues.

But as disappointing as it might have been, I think it would have been better to return no indictments rather than offer up Libby as a sacrificial lamb to those thirsting after the blood of Cheney or Bush or even Bob Novak.

Now we have competing cries from the right and from the left - one for the President to pardon Libby and the other for Congress to conduct more investigations - and my question to the left is - to what end? If Fitzgerald couldn’t find a prosecutable violation of the law other than Libby’s obstruction of justice and perjury - what is to be gained by more hearings on the same subject other than some additional embarrassment for the administration? You win some and you lose some. Congress has better things to do.

However, there’s a great big elephant lurking on the edge of the clearing - just waiting for the right moment to enter the arena and send dirt flying in every direction - and that’s the pending civil suit filed by Valerie Plame against Cheney, Rove, Libby et al.

If this case goes forward before the Bush/Cheney administration expires - maybe then we’ll really get the fireworks that Fitzgerald couldn’t light up. And as far as I know, the assets of the defendants in that case aren’t protected by the equivalent of an NFL pension.