Zbigniew Zblows Smoke at Joe Scarborough

I got a little carried away commenting on another blog, so to justify the research time I’m repurposing the comment here. 🙂

At Politics After 50 (having been born in 1958 I think this is a great blog title), the author had this to say about the video clip embedded below:

I know this is old news, and I only just now watched this video to get the pleasure of seeing Joe Scarborough put in his fluffy, airhead, GOP-talking-point-parrot place by Zbigniew Brzezinski. But when I finally watched it, I learned something about the problems between Israel and Palestine from Brzezinski, so I thought I’d post this for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to watch it yet.

We may be about the same age, but clearly the anonymous blogger approaches politics from the opposite side. But I always want to have my assumptions challenged, and he had piqued my interest. So I watched the clip, which is embedded below.

If you’re interested but don’t care to spend 9 minutes watching, jump ahead to about 6:30. Or, just read the comment I posted on his blog:

Funny, after watching the clip it looks to me like Zbigniew Brzezinski was put in his failed-advisor-to-a-dithering-President-Carter place by Joe Scarborough.

The part of the clip where Zbig lowers the tone of the discussion by saying Joe’s understanding is “stunningly superficial” begins at about 6:30 into the interview. The statement by Joe that triggers Zbig’s childish outburst was this: “Let’s go back to 2000, Dr. Brzezinski. You and I both know Bill Clinton gave Arafat and the Palestinians everything…”

I wonder, would Zbig say Clinton’s understanding was “stunningly superficial”? Because here’s how Clinton described it:

[Bill Clinton said:] “The true story of Camp David was that for the first time in the history of the conflict the American president put on the table a proposal, based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, very close to the Palestinian demands, and Arafat refused even to accept it as a basis for negotiations, walked out of the room, and deliberately turned to terrorism.”

Here’s another Clinton assessment:

President Clinton, and others who participated, put the blame for the failure of hte talks squarely on Arafat and the Palestinian negotiators. In 2001, Clinton told guests at a party at the Manhattan apartment of former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke that Arafat called to bid him farewell three days before he left office. “You are a great man,” Arafat said. “The hell I am,” Clinton said he responded. “I’m a colossal failure, and you made me one.”

Sounds to me like Joe Scarborough had it exactly right.

Moral Clarity on Hamas and Gaza, from Krauthammer

Time and again, after reading a Charles Krauthammer column, I find myself thinking, “why couldn’t I have written that?” It’s a combination of my admiration for the man’s craft and my nearly complete agreement, more often than not, with what he has to say.

Today’s column is headlined “Moral Clarity in Gaza.” It’s hard to decide which snippet to quote. But here’s the sentence that resonates most clearly for me, the day after Hamas thug Nizar Rayan died along with the family he used as his human shields:

For Hamas, the only thing more prized than dead Jews are dead Palestinians.

To coin a phrase, you should read the whole thing.

Slain Hamas Leader Was Raising Next Generation of Terrorists

My satisfaction at the news yesterday that Israel had taken out a top Hamas leader was tempered somewhat by the fact that his family died with him — today’s stories put the toll at four of his wives and 10 of his children. On the face of it, that sounds like a lot of “collateral damage,” no matter how important the primary target.

But you’ll hear no criticism of Israel from me over this incident. Not only did Nizar Rayan consciously use his family as human shields, they also refused to leave the house even after Israel warned them that it would be destroyed.

Still, as a parent, it pains me to think of a small child being killed because the grown-ups can’t get along. However, small children grow up — and even before yesterday, Rayan already sacrificed one of his sons to “martyrdom”:

Rayan, 49, ranked among Hamas’ top five decision-makers. A professor of Islamic law, he was known for his close ties to the group’s military wing and was respected in Gaza for donning combat fatigues and personally participating in clashes against Israeli forces. He sent one of his sons on an October 2001 suicide mission that killed two Israeli settlers in Gaza.

Israel’s military said the homes of Hamas leaders are being used to store missiles and other weapons, and the hit on Rayan’s house triggered secondary explosions from the stockpile there.

Israeli defense officials said the military had called Rayan’s home and fired a warning missile before destroying the building. That was impossible to confirm. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss military tactics.

Meanwhile, Hamas itself has admitted that Rayan was the person who pioneered the human shield concept that claimed his family. From the valuable website of the Israeli Consulate in New York:

Hamas has released an official statement declaring that Dr. Nizar al-Rayyan who was killed in a pinpointed attack earlier today is the father of the “Human Shields” method:

“It was Dr. Rayyan, who took the initiative, two years ago, to protect homes against Israeli occupation air strikes by forming human shields which succeeded in stopping this practice by the Israeli occupation, where they used to phone the occupier of the home and warn him to evacuate it in ten minutes because the home is going to be bombed.”
[bold not in source]

I’m sorry the children were killed. But Rayan killed them. I stand with Israel.