Thursday 3 January 2013
Photo, above: A Bedouin guard stands outside a pumping station near Arish in northern Sinai.
Smuggled Libyan weapons flood into Egypt By Leila Fadel. EL ARISH, Egypt — Large caches of weapons from Libya are making their way across the Egyptian border and flooding black markets in Egypt’s already unstable Sinai Peninsula, according to current and former Egyptian military officials and arms traders in the Sinai.
Egyptian security officials have intercepted surface-to-air missiles, most of them shoulder-launched, on the road to Sinai and in the smuggling tunnels connecting Egypt to the Gaza Strip since Moammar Gaddafi fell from power in Libya in August, a military official in Cairo said. Arms traders said the weapons available on Sinai’s clandestine market include rockets and antiaircraft guns.
The seizures raise fresh concerns about security along the sensitive area that borders the Gaza Strip and Israel, at a time when unrest is roiling the region. The addition of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to arsenals of Palestinian fighters in Gaza could add significantly to the threat against Israel, whose helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft frequently patrol the strip, which is controlled by the militant Islamist group Hamas.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board; Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Thursday 905P Eastern Time: Jodi Schneider, Bloomberg tax editor, in re: using debt limit to get spending cuts; start late Jan, fight will come to a head perhaps in late February. Boehner has every incentive to hold firm; the president doesn’t hold quite enough cards. GOP says it wants a dollar in cuts for every dollar spent.
Thursday 920P Eastern Time: LouAnn Hammond, DrivingtheNation.com, and Lonnie Miller, VP of R L Polk Analysis (collects all vehicle registration data n the US), in re: 15mil new vehicles sales in US, a 6% jump from last month. Thought to be increasing year on year; doing better than the overall economy. Industry avg for sales was 13%.
Thursday 935P Eastern Time: Lara M Brown, Villanova, and Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in re: The revolt against Boehner in the House: "With Obama’s signature, the fiscal cliff deal is now law. President Barack Obama signed legislation Wednesday to avert the fiscal cliff, turning the measure into law . . . Mr. Obama left Washington to return to his vacation in Hawaii after the House passed the bill Tuesday night. The White House received the bill late Wednesday afternoon, processed it and delivered a copy to the president for review, a senior White House official said.” Sudeep Reddy in The Wall Street Journal. Next: the debt ceiling. ”Only hours after Congress adopted a bill to avert the ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax increases and spending cuts, lawmakers on Wednesday began to clash over the limit on federal borrowing, inaugurating the next phase of Washington's permanent fiscal war. Republicans said they will press their demand that spending be reduced dramatically in exchange for allowing any more U.S. borrowing. But President Obama and top Democrats insisted that their goal of raising the $16.4 trillion federal debt ceiling is non-negotiable.” Zachary A. Goldfarb in The Washington Post. . Boehner had twelve defectors – which he easily countenanced, so they can go home and say they opposed the bill and thus fend off attacks from the extra-Right.
Thursday 950P Eastern Time: Eli Lake, NRO, in re: Benghazi: the night of the attack was chaotic. Still, based on this first-hand account in the Daily Beast, there were indications that bad actors were among the Libyan group that met the CIA team in Tripoli. The Senate report simply raises the question of whether or not Libyan government officials were somehow involved. State Dept advises no travel to Libya; "no US consular service there."
"My sense is that the attack tams were in Benghazi for months, are not there any more. Chairman Rogers." Why the folks dispatched from Tripoli to Benghazi sat there for three hours before departing>? Libya does not have a govt. Had cobbled-together militia leaders, many of whom sympathize with al Qaeda. Then when the guys arrive with heavy armor and weapons – what's their mission? It changed mid-air. Then go where – the hospital? Also, ambush or trap? Some politicos in Tripoli tried to get in contact w Feb 17 Martyrs' Brigade; these just walked away. Contract between the militia and the dip svc had expired! Further, the militia notified Amb Stevens that is the Americans's favored politician to run parliament won, the militia would not protect Americans in Benghazi.
Thursday 1005P (705P Pacific Time): Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: Iran holds Holocaust cartoon competition. Six new embassies in Latin America and a dozen "cultural centers." Homeland Security tasked to check Mexican border more closely; Iran working with Mexican drug cartels to dig deep tunnels into the US. Killing of Hariri in Lebanon. "Ten pounds of anthrax can kill 300,000 people in an hour." Much more infiltration and activity; stepped-up nuclear program. No respite over holy days. Hassan Nasrallah calls on Lebanese govt to "exert pressure" on the process in Syria – which is destabilizing Lebanon, increasingly is a Sunni-Shiite war. Jihadists from all over arriving to kill Shiites; Tajiks and Pakistanis arriving. Hizb fighting from Bekaa. Nasrallah claims a refugee crisis in Lebanon and that he can’t close the border – hogwash. He certainly can. Assad can give up – he'll never do or retreat to an enclave, or fight to he death/. Hs partners – Russia, Iran – don’t want him to collapse because they'll lose too much. Caracas: Chavez is on his way out. A first step toward getting rid of the Iranians.
Thursday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): Gil Troy, Professor of History at McGill & Visiting Scholar at Bipartisan Policy Center (Washington); in re: his book, Moynihan's Moment. On November 10, 1975, the General Assembly of United Nations passed Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism a form of racism.
On November 11, 1975, Amb Moynihan at the UN, the UN died in the eyes of many Americans: went from being the hope of world peace to being the world's dictators's debating society. In this instance, the dictators decided to attack Israel; after Moynihan denounced in on 10 Nov, the next day 100,000 people gathered outside the UN (organized by Malcolm Hoenlein) to oppose the resolution: It's only Hitlerite anti-Jewish drivel. As Moynihan opposed it, Kissinger, Moynihan's boss, considered Moynihan to be too loud and confrontational. The first Jewish Secretary of State caved in, while an Irish-American New Yorker stood up for principle. In 1991, the resolution was repealed; then in 2001 in Durban it returned.
On November 10, 1975, the General Assembly of United Nations passed Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism a form of racism. Afterward, a tall man with long, graying hair, horned-rim glasses, and a bowtie stood to speak. He pronounced his words with the rounded tones of a Harvard academic, but his voice shook with outrage: "The United States rises to declare, before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act."
This speech made Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a celebrity, but as Gil Troy demonstrates in this compelling new book, it also marked the rise of neo-conservatism in American politics--the start of a more confrontational, national-interest-driven foreign policy that turned away from Kissinger's détente-driven approach to the Soviet Union--which was behind Resolution 3379. Moynihan recognized the resolution for what it was: an attack on Israel and a totalitarian assault against democracy, motivated by anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. While Washington distanced itself from Moynihan, the public responded enthusiastically: American Jews rallied in support of Israel. Civil rights leaders cheered. The speech cost Moynihan his job--but soon won him a U.S. Senate seat. Troy examines the events leading up to the resolution, vividly recounts Moynihan's speech, and traces its impact in intellectual circles, policy making, international relations, and electoral politics in the ensuing decades.
The mid-1970s represent a low-water mark of American self-confidence, as the country, mired in an economic slump, struggled with the legacy of Watergate and the humiliation of Vietnam. Moynihan's Moment captures a turning point, when the rhetoric began to change and a more muscular foreign policy began to find expression, a policy that continues to shape international relations to this day.
- A scholarly work that brings together two areas of study: American history, particularly the Reagan Revolution, and the history of Zionism
- Original research included many interviews with key figures, including Moynihan's former assistant Suzanne Weaver Garment, his UN colleague Len Garment, his mentor and friend Norman Podhoretz, his ideological ally Carl Gershman, and his wife Elizabeth Moynihan
- No major work has been written about Moynihan and the 'Zionism is Racism' resolution
"...Troy thinks the fight against Resolution 3379 was Moynihan's greatest moment, and it is hard to argue with him." --Suzanne Garment, Jewish Review of Books
"Gil Troy's volume on the late Daniel Moynihan is superb. It demonstrates his power of critical analysis as well as his commitment to what is eternal and noble in Jewishness." --Elie Wiesel
"Gil Troy's book about Senator Patrick Moynihan's fight to rescind the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism reveals the full extent of Moynihan's leadership, intellect, and integrity. Those qualities are sorely missed in the ongoing battles to prevent the delegitimization of Israel being waged in the UN Assembly and elsewhere." --Edward I. Koch
About the Author
Gil Troy is a leading political historian, and one of today's most prominent activists in the fight against the delegitimization of Israel. He is Professor of History at McGill University, and a Research Fellow in the Shalom Hartman Institute's Engaging Israel Program. Professor Troy's writings have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, and other major media outlets. He writes a weekly column for The Jerusalem Post, and is Editor-at-Large of The Daily Beast's Open Zion blog. Professor Troy is the author of eight books, including biographies of Ronald Reagan and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Thursday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): Amb Dennis Ross, Washington Institute, in re: prospects of peace and the current unrest. The economic cost of a nuclear Iran. If force ever has to be used against Iran because diplomacy fails, disruption in oil mkt leading to price surge. Further, simply the fact existence of a nuclear Iran will increase price, since markets are made on perceptions of stability and safety. In this event, all sorts of dangers – neighbors's acquring nukes, and major war preparations, and maybe war. Appeasement doesn’t work – neither does containment. Oil export has declined by 50% on three years; 85% of govts forex comes in from oil. Current ec sanctions are significant but insufficient. Were Iran positive that force is likely to be used against them, the chances of their retreating are very great. I'd like negotiations to be shaped by clarifying proposals: allow to have civilian nucl power with restrictions but impossible to break out of. If your real purpose is to have nuclear weapons, then we'll deal. Simply putting a deadline on the table means little. / Where are we now in larger Middle East peace process. Abbas? worries abt going into negotiations in view of the rise of Ikhwan. Everyone who says Hamas is on a roll: they gained politically, but have no stake in a cease-fire. Their ideology is resistance; what to do? Ikhwan s preoccupied w internal dvpt. Two Palestinian actors . . . What can be done to change the dynamic between Palestinians and Israelis. Sinai is under no one's control. Al Qaeda types happy to kill Egyptians as well as Israelis. Mursi has to figure out how to regain control.
Thursday 1050P (750P Pacific Time): Khairi Abaza, FDD - focused on democratic reform in Arab world, terrorism, influence of media on politics; in re: Egypt, Gaza/Sinai, & Libya. Very popular Egyptian comedian is being prosecuted for offending the new president. What's "insulting"? What's freedom of speech? Much public displeasure; huge resistance, and media even more so. Countless irregularities in recent election; by no means free or fair. Moving to authoritarian practices; hard to achieve in a country with no resources. Egyptian pound lost 15% in one week.
Thursday 1105P (805P Pacific Time): Brigadier General (res.) Yosef Kuperwasser is vice director general of the Israeli ministry of strategic affairs; in re: the West Bank. Third Intifada: it’s a story of the Israeli left. Palestinians an Arabs: Jews in general and Israelis in particular are terrible people so merit "popular resistance – stones not bullets. Claims of mass torture by Israelis – demonstrably not accurate. The fundamental obstacle to peace is refusal to accept Israel's right to exist. Proposal to change name of a 14,000-student school to "university," engendering massive protests. "Israel has more right to Ariel than Britain does to the Falklands. E1: a very small area in a small town near Jerusalem. To connect it w Jerusalem was raised long ago; recently, govt finished zoning and planning. Objections come from people who have no idea here it is or what it does. Does not break contiguity. E1 is currently empty fields, is govt-owned territory; Jews consider that they have the right to live on lands populated by their ancestors. Palestinians have committed a major breach of Oslo Accords.
Thursday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: E1. It’s rocks and ___s – you can’t actually live there. It’s empty. The notion that it'll "break continuity" for Palestinians, which is a fantasy. E1 is a land bridge. It’s become a rallying point for the ignorant. 80% of people living in settlements live on 4% of the land. Oslo: E1 was called "Area C." Israel allowed to build on it; didn’t before, are starting to now. Many East Jerusalem Arabs have children matriculating from Israeli schools, are applying to build houses in Jerusalem – they’ve decided they don’t want a connection to the West Bank.
Thursday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): Future Tense: The Lessons of Culture in an Age of Upheaval by Roger Kimball; 1 of 2
Thursday 1150P (850P Pacific Time): Future Tense: The Lessons of Culture in an Age of Upheaval by Roger Kimball; 2 of 2
Thursday/Fri 1205A (905 Pacific Time): John Avlon, Daily Beast, in re: the 113th Congress looks positive in comparison to the low ratings of the 112th. The president of the GOP F=freshman class looks to meet regularly with the Democrats.
So, on this first day of a new Congress, we can at least hope that things will be different—a hope backed up by the knowledge that voters really did send a very different message in 2012 from what they did in 2010.
“In the real world, adults have to work together,” reasons Rep. Messer, “so I’ll talk to anybody who's willing to work to move America forward. After all, our nation has overcome far bigger divides than we have today.”
Thursday/Fri 1220A (920 Pacific Time): Seb Gorka, FDD, in r: Cairo prosecutor to investigate a popular Comedy TV figure for insulting President Morsi.
Thursday/Fri 1235A (935P Pacific Time): Jeff Bliss, Bliss Index, in re: the Blue State Model – Stockton, California, looking to repudiate the bonds for pensions. Illinois to follow the model?
Thursday/Fri 1250A (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. Terry Anderson, president of PERC, in re: wolf-hunting is banned in Wyoming and Montana; why?
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