Sunday, August 01, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

I'm not a cop but i played one on tv

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 12:04 PM PDT

D.C. Sniper confesses to William Shatner

Lee Malvo confesses to T J Hooker William Shatner:

Police will once again question DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, after the convicted serial killer said for the first time in a TV interview with actor William Shatner that two other men were initially part of the bloody plot that terrorized the Washington area and left 10 people dead in 2002.

D.C. sniper Lee Malvo talks to William Shatner about the shootings."There were two others, there were two other people who were supposed to be involved - but in the end, they ended up backing out," said Malvo, who was 17 when he was arrested for his role in the deadly attacks. He spoke to Shatner, most famous for his role as Capt. Kirk on the 1960's TV show "Star Trek," via telephone from a Virginia prison where he is serving a life sentence.

"What was supposed to happen was that there was supposed to be three to four snipers with silenced weapons, silenced rifles and in this way you could do a lot more damage along the entire Eastern Seaboard then what-- in the end there was only Muhammad and myself," Malvo, now 25, told Shatner.

But some are casting doubt on Malvo's latest:

"I think Malvo's full of crap," said Lt. Bruce Guth, the Fairfax County homicide detective who headed the task force that helped convict Malvo of capital murder in 2003 for his role in the 10 local slayings. "He's changed his story at least five or six different times."

Certain aspects of his latest "confession" to Shatner do seem to match with what was reported at the time.

The Washington State Crime Lab says one of those guns, a .45-caliber pistol, was used to kill 21-year-old Keenya Nicole Cook on Feb. 16 when she answered the door of her aunt's Tacoma home. Court records place Muhammad in Tacoma last Feb. 12, when he was ticketed for shoplifting.

On Feb. 16, Isa Nichols returned home after running an errand to find her niece's body just inside her open front door. Cook had been shot in the face. Her 6-month-old daughter was found, unharmed, on a diaper changing table.


Muhammad and Malvo are accused of killing 12 people and wounding five others between September 14 and October 24 in Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, Washington state and Washington, D.C.

So maybe Malvo's claim of other confederates is false, but the "admissions" about other murders seem to be old news.

Obama's Mideast Peace Process: New Letter Threatening Pressure On Abbas Is Meaningless

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 07:36 AM PDT

Back in March, the very fact that Abbas agreed to the Proximity Talks was itself seen as Abbas giving into pressure. At the time, Herb Keinon wrote in the Jerusalem Post:

So when Abbas said for months and months that he would not enter into negotiations with Israel unless and until there was a full settlement freeze, including east Jerusalem, it seemed this was a firm Palestinian red line - not one of those pliable Israeli ones - and that he meant what he said.

Well, now we see the Palestinians can also move red lines, which is worth noting as some kind of talks resume.

Equally important is to understand that the reason Abbas was willing to move his red line was because he came under intense pressure from the US, certain elements inside the EU, and from Arab states such as Egypt and Jordan to start talks, even though all his conditions were not met.

The valuable lesson here: The Palestinians, too, and not only Israel, are susceptible to pressure.

However, in the time since then, we have seen that this was a false alarm. After all, was Abbas 'talking' with Netanyahu through Mitchell really a concession? Besides, just what movement has there been during the Proximity Talks since they first started?

Zero. A. Big. Fat. Zero.

So, when Abbas went to the Arab League to get his refusal to deal face-to-face with Netanyahu rubber stamped, Obama applied pressure:

US upgrades PA diplomatic recognition

Yeah, that helped Abbas take Obama seriously.

So, not surprisingly, when Abbas met with the Arab League:

 Arab League endorses direct talks

Arab League foreign ministers on Thursday authorized the Palestinian Authority to enter into direct negotiations with Israel, but left it up to PA President Mahmoud Abbas to decide on the timing. [emphasis added]

What the Arab League did, was to agree that Abbas should negotiate directly with Netanyahu--but left it up to Abbas to decide when.

Now it is being reported that Obama has applied real pressure to Abbas. According to Laura Rozen at Politico:

President Barack Obama has sent a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urging that he agree to go into direct talks with the Israelis next month, and warning that if he doesn't, relations with the United States would be affected, Arabic newspaper Al Hayat and Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv are reporting.

The White House declined to comment Saturday on the reports of an Obama letter or confirm its existence.

The letter is rumored to promise Abbas that if he agrees to direct negotiations, Netanyahu will extend the settlement freeze.

While it's good to see that Obama is taking a harder line on Abbas, applying pressure as he has on Netanyahu in the past, Arlene Kushner writes about how misleading news of this letter actually is:

Speaking of those direct talks, news has just broken of a letter that was sent to Abbas by Obama two weeks ago, in which he said, "it is high time to resume direct negotiations with Israel" as Netanyahu "is ready to resume direct negotiations." [emphasis added]

Two weeks ago?


President Barack Obama warned Mahmoud Abbas in a letter that U.S.-Palestinian relations might suffer if the Palestinian leader refuses to resume direct peace talks with Israel, a senior PLO official said Saturday.

The White House had no comment Saturday. However, the Obama administration has been pushing Abbas hard in recent days to move quickly to face-to-face negotiations.

The PLO official said Obama sent the letter - the strongest U.S. warning to Abbas yet - on July 16.

That would mean that in the 2 weeks after Obama wrote this letter, warning Abbas that failure to meet directly with Netanyahu would affect US ties with Abbas and the Palestinian Authority:

  • Obama upgraded the status of the PA offices in Washington
  • The Arab League gave Abba their backing in taking his time in meeting directly with Netanyahu

One may assume that that latter result was guaranteed by the former.

Obama has threatened that failure to meet with Netanyahu will adversely affect US-PA relations--and no one seems to care.

Apparently, Obama has taken the skills he demonstrated in negotiating  with Iran and has applied them to Abbas and the Arabs.

When will he get to the point that, as with Iran, Obama will apply real pressure on Abbas?

by Daled Amos

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying ...

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 07:06 AM PDT

The headline reads, "Fury as Israel president claims English are 'anti-semitic'"
(via memeorandum), The Telegraph reports:

Shimon Peres said England was "deeply pro-Arab ... and anti-Israeli", adding: "They always worked against us."

He added: "There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary."

His remarks, made in an interview on a Jewish website, provoked anger from senior MPs and Jewish leaders who said the 87-year-old president had "got it wrong".

But other groups backed the former Israeli prime minister and said the number of anti-semitic incidents had risen dramatically in the UK in recent years.

As you can see, this is largely reported correctly, so the headline is misleading. He used an English definition of antisemitism, but he did not call England antisemitic. He called England "pro-Arab" and "anti-Israel." So unless those who are complaining think (like I do) that being anti-Israel is a proxy for being antisemitic.

But the reporters (and critics) took Peres's comments out of context by leaving out an essential qualification:

Our next big problem is England. There are several million Muslim voters. And for many members of parliament, that's the difference between getting elected and not getting elected. And in England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment. They abstained in the [pro-Zionist] 1947 U.N. Partition Resolution, despite [issuing the pro-Zionist] Balfour Declaration [in 1917]. They maintained an arms embargo against us [in the 1950s]; they had a defense treaty with Jordan; they always worked against us.

Note what I emphasized. That's a pretty important qualification. Paraphrasing Shakespeare one could say that Peres's critics are protesting too much, or you could wonder what all that fury signifies.

Biased BBC wonders if the backlash against Peres's comments really extends past the Telegraph (so far).

Of course the anti-Israel nature of English politics isn't exactly a surprise. Perhaps you recall the grotesque picture of Ariel Sharon in the Independent. Or perhaps you recall Robert Fisk's interview of Walt and Mearsheimer?

Nor is this necessarily a recent phenomenon as observed by Yehuda Avner.

Begin listened intently to what Sir Isaac was saying, and in an English that was accented but perfect responded by thanking him profusely for his expressions of good will. Then, with a roguish glint in the eye, he asked, "So tell me, Sir Isaac, the British press, do they have a good word to say about me on my first day in office? Or am I still their favorite fiend?" Whatever Sir Isaac's answer was it wiped the impish look from the premier's face. Little by little it darkened into displeasure. He clucked his tongue, wagged his head, and in a tone huffy with disdain, shot back, "So The Times is at it again, preaching Middle East appeasement just as it preached German appeasement in the Thirties. "That's the newspaper, remember, which dismissed the atrocities of Hitler's Brownshirts as mere 'revolutionary exuberance.' Bah! What do they want of me now? Another Munich? Give up Judea and Samaria like Neville Chamberlain forced Czechoslovakia to give up the Sudentland? What are we supposed to do, commit suicide like Czechoslovakia?" . . . "And you tell me there are still people there in Britain who call me a terrorist and Yasser Arafat a freedom fighter? I have nothing but contempt for them."

I do think that Peres's critics are protesting too much. His remarks were qualified, and there's an awful lot of evidence to support him.

Comfort from distorted history

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 03:17 AM PDT

A couple of articles, from differing perspectives, on how blaming Israel for the plight of the Palestinians hurts the cause of peace. In the Jerusalem Post Mudar Zahran writes:

The demonization of Israel by the global media has greatly harmed the Palestinians' interests for decades and covered up Arab atrocities against them. Furthermore, demonizing Israel has been well-exploited by several Arab dictatorships to direct citizens' rage against Israel instead of their regimes and also to justify any atrocities they commit in the name of protecting their nations from "the evil Zionists."

This game has served some of the most notorious Arab dictatorships, and still does today, as any opposition is immediately labelled "a Zionist plot."

This model had served Gamal Abdel Nasser in ruling Egypt with an iron fist until he died, and was the main line for Saddam Hussein, who was promoting that "Iraq and Palestine are one identical case" in his last years in power.

The global media must be fair in addressing the Palestinians' suffering in Arab countries and must stop demonizing Israel. It should start focusing on the broader conditions of the Palestinians in the Middle East region.

(Do you think that Mudar Zahran is someone Thomas Friedman thinks we need to hear more of? My guess is that since Mudar Zahran challenges Friedman's believe that Israel is mostly at fault for the lack of peace in the Middle East, that the answer is "no.")

Sol Stern in the City Journal writes about The Naqba Obsession:

In Balata, history has come full circle. During the 1948 war, Palestinian leaders like Haj Amin al-Husseini insisted that the Arab citizens of Haifa and Jaffa had to leave, lest they help legitimize the Jewish state. Now, the descendants of those citizens are locked up in places like Balata and prohibited from resettling in the Palestinian-administered West Bank--again, lest they help legitimize the Jewish state, this time by removing the Palestinians' chief complaint. Yet there is a certain perverse logic at work here. For if Israel and the Palestinians ever managed to hammer out the draft of a peace treaty, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, would have to go to Balata and explain to its residents that their leaders have been lying to them for 60 years and that they are not going back to Jaffa. Which, to state the obvious again, is one of the main reasons that there has been no peace treaty.

(via the Daily Alert Blog Speaking of Sol Stern, if you haven't read his Israel without apology; you must.)

I suppose that it's easier to blame Israel because Israelis are different from Arabs, so it's intelectually easier to subscribe to the view that Israelis are prejudiced against Palestinians and refuse to give them their due. Such a prejudice is fixable by education and enlightenment. On the other hand the the hatred of the Muslim world for Israel, is not something that is so easily fixed. It also is too alien for most of the enlightened West to comprehend. Better then to address the issue that can be fixed and ignore the one that can't.

Of course that attitude doesn't solve the problem, it merely exacerbates it.

Crossposted at Yourish.

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