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June 28, 2007

Nir, I Mean What Are You Talking About?

American Coprophagia points out that a small glitch in the matrix allowed Nir Rosen on appear on CNN last week. John Roberts was understandably confused:

ROBERTS: Seeking to ease tensions in the Middle East, the Bush administration is reaching out to a new Palestinian government, while at the same time trying to isolate the more radical Palestinian factions of Hamas. But is it the best strategy for a lasting peace? Nir Rosen has written extensively on the Middle East and is a fellow at the New America Foundation. He joins us now from our Washington bureau.

So, Nir, nobody ever imagined that the Palestinians would break down into two competing statelets. But the U.S. policy in bucking up Mahmoud Abbas and at the same time trying to isolate Hamas, could that back fire?

NIR ROSEN, JOURNALIST: Well, it already did. We created a civil war. This is actually outrageous. Ongoing U.N. envoy to the Middle East peace process, Alvaro De Soto, himself accused the U.S. of fomenting a civil war by training, funding and arming Fatah thugs and inserting them into Gaza to destabilize the Hamas government.

We never gave them a chance. They were democratically elected in an election that was widely recognized as free and fair, even by former President Jimmy Carter.

And then the U.S., along with Israel, Jordan and Egypt trained these gangs and actually put them in Gaza to overthrow the Hamas government. And, of course, it's actually backfired and Fatah was overthrown. But all you're going to do is isolate and further radicalize Hamas.

And so when you say that the U.S. is seeking to ease tensions in the Middle East, I disagree with you. These are tensions that the U.S. actually created in the Middle East.

ROBERTS: Nir, I mean what are you talking about, we have Fatah thugs being sent into the country to wage war with Hamas?

ROSEN: Well, they were trained by the U.S. General Dayton, our envoy to the peace process, was responsible for a program, along with Elliot Abrams, the deputy national security adviser for the Middle East, and they actually trained Fatah in the West Banks. The Jordanian special forces created the Fatah bada (ph) brigade. The Egyptians, as well, trained Fatah in Egypt. The United Arab Emirates actually sent money and arms. And then they were allowed to enter Gaza and then began to attack Hamas. I mean this was an existential threat to a democratically elected government. What we've done is overthrow a government that was elected. The U.S. . . .

ROBERTS: And, Nir, what could the effects of that be? Could it be that Hamas and Gaza gets pushed closer to Iran? I mean could Israel soon see an Iranian proxy on its southern border?

ROSEN: Well, not very likely. The role of Iran is very exaggerated. And Iran supports more the Islamic Jihad movement than is Hamas. And Iran isn't contiguous with Gaza. So there isn't much it can do. It can send a little bit of money. And don't forget that Hamas is a Sunni/Muslim brotherhood movement.

And actually that's part of the problem. Hamas is a Muslim brotherhood movement. Egypt and Jordan both have very strong Muslim brotherhood opposition parties and they're terrified of seeing a successful Muslim brotherhood model in the Middle East. So they've also contributed to this overthrow. But I wouldn't worry about Iran.

ROBERTS: All right. Should the United States have engaged Hamas? I mean was Hamas willing to listen?

ROSEN: Certainly. I think the U.S. wasn't willing to listen. The people of the Middle East, and Palestinian in particular, are overwhelmingly in support of resistance to the occupation that persists. Israel has doubled the amount of illegal settlers in the occupied territories since the peace accords were signed. Israel has killed over 300 civilians in Gaza since it withdrew from Gaza.

We're not listening. Hamas won the elections. And they've made statements to the effect that they are willing to recognize Israel. Israel isn't willing to recognize Palestine.

ROBERTS: Right. But you know the flip side of that coin, though, is near that Hamas and Islamic Jihad, they keep firing rockets into southern Israel. So Israel's got to respond somehow, does it not?

ROSEN: Well, you've had a couple of civilians killed, and that's tragic. But there's no parity over here. Over 100 Palestinian children in Gaza have been killed by the Israelis since the Israelis withdrew from Gaza. These people are being strangled. They're in a prison. They're being bombed by the Israelis constantly. And the international recognizes the right to resist occupation.

ROBERTS: Well, there's definitely a lot of different opinions on what's going on. Nir Rosen with one of them.

Nir Rosen, thanks very much.

ROSEN: Thank you.

Posted at June 28, 2007 04:12 PM | TrackBack

Down the memory hole. Now, quickly. Nir Rosen, what Nir Rosen, what are talking about?

Posted by: abb1 at June 28, 2007 05:09 PM

Well, NO SHIT. Arming the losing faction in a LEGAL election so as to overturn the results caused a CIVIL WAR. Who would of thought? How could ANYONE forsee such a conquence? Who could have known that pissing in the stew pot ruins the stew?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 28, 2007 06:04 PM

It goes against nature for the MSM to think the US government might have bad intentions. Doesn't matter what they do, they do it for good reasons. They couldn't have started a civil war, because that would be bad. If it turns out they did, then civil wars are good things. One of them freed the slaves, you know.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at June 28, 2007 06:42 PM

I am going to print this out and use it to masturbate. AFK.

Posted by: saurabh at June 28, 2007 06:57 PM

ROBERTS: Well, there's definitely a lot of different opinions on what's going on. Nir Rosen with one of them.

Argh. I have no patience for cocksuckers today. Someone bring me this man's balls! Pronto.

Posted by: saurabh at June 28, 2007 07:00 PM

BOILED, FRIED, OR BBQ? Isn't the definition of Civil War violent overthrow of RIGHTFUL ATHORITIES. (or in this case, as in Venesuala, ATTEMPTED)(may be the Administration and CONGRESS thinks that since it FAILD it wasn't really attempted. you know since WE CREATE REALITY if it doesn't materialize it's because we DIDN'T REALLY TRY, IN REALITY)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 28, 2007 08:55 PM

Damn. I wish someone had captured that and put it on Youtube. Things like this don't happen every day, you know.

Posted by: SteveB at June 29, 2007 10:43 AM

Rosen was brilliant -- succinct, professional, with just enough detail to make the points credible instead of sounding like rants. Ignoring content for a moment, this transcript makes Rosen sound like a near-perfect interview, from a media perspective.

And thus, we get a chance for a small test of the MSM, and if it's willing to allow progressives on the air now that there is some distrust of the neo-cons, or with American foreign policy in general. If Rosen is back on CNN again soon, it will show that an alternative viewpoint is possible, if crafted in the way that fits the media's formula.

P.S. I recognize that the same rules do not apply to right-wing gas bags, since even Ann Coulter can get herself featured on Chris Matthews despite being extreme AND hysterical. To paraphrase the old feminist T-shirt, maybe progressives need to be twice as good to get half the attention. But getting half the attention of right-wing pundits would be better than the status quo.

Posted by: Whistler Blue at June 29, 2007 11:27 AM

Michiko Kakutani has a very positive review today on Andrew Keen's book on how the internet is ruining the public discourse--she and Keen pine for the good old days when the MSM acted as a trustworthy gatekeeper. So if Rosen's opinions don't get the same play as Ann Coulter's, it's because the MSM is desperately trying to be responsible in spite of all the odds.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at June 29, 2007 12:56 PM

Television, innately, is an ideal medium for memory hole caching. If the message ain't repetitive, it ain't gonna stick. The occasional fact presented represents little danger to the overall meme: America is SuperJesus, able to leap reality in a single bound, fighting a never ending war blah blah blah.

Meanwhile, 41% of Americans believe Saddam had sumpin ta dew wid 9/11.

Posted by: cavjam at June 29, 2007 01:15 PM

Nir Rosen is Brilliant . He does not care who is listening , he just come out with the truth and we love him for that .
Yes unfortunately it is not the first time that America makes a mockery of Democracy it supposedely Supports .

It got rid of ALlende for Pinochet , MObutu instead of nationalist and popular Patrice Lumumba , Got rid of Elected General kassim in Iraq to be replaced by Saddam hussein , General Mossadeq to be replaced by the Shah Pahlavi etc. etc..e

Hamas won the elections and the people made their choice very clear , they starved the people and isolated them for 18months even the Coward Arabs participated in the starving of the palestnians but they survived and bravely coped . what to do ? send Keith Dayton with a plan , a plan to WIN . America provides the Loser ABbas with 85 millions , uniforms , training in Jordan and Egypt and lots of sophisticated Arms . and the number of Fatah fighters was a lot larger than hamas , so there was no doubt who was going to win the fight. Dahlan Pinochet thugs started provoking Hamas for weeks , until things got out of control and fatah lost big time . and Mr Dayton plan lost too. what s wrong with these people , and those who count on them . why do Arab leaders have a blind trust in the US policies .they disgust me all of them . ( A disgusted Arab Lady )

Posted by: Fatima at June 29, 2007 06:26 PM

Fatima: EXACTLY. One would think (hope?) that even though they ARE EVIL, shouldn't they want to WIN, ONCE? You know, choose a plan that WILL work. The got the guns but they ( The Administration) keep shooting themselves in the foot.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 29, 2007 11:25 PM

Make that face in DEADEYE'S case.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 29, 2007 11:28 PM

You would think that after listening to George ramble on for 5 minutes the ARAB LEADERS would figure out that head is empty except for the shit. But I suppose not.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 29, 2007 11:33 PM

Where's DonnyEscobar making sarcastic accusations of Moussad involvement that are probably true in reality? He's always there when I need a good laugh at half-baked sarcasm....

Posted by: at July 2, 2007 05:20 PM

BTW, do you think Roberts got any conservative Brownie points (pun intended) for using the old "no one could have imagined..." line, verbatim? It's getting harder for right wingers to use that line without evoking laughter and/or crippling depression, but it seemed to pass without much comment.

Posted by: Whistler Blue at July 2, 2007 06:37 PM

Someone bring me this man's balls! Pronto.

Methinks Saurabh has been watching Grindhouse. . .

Posted by: Ile at July 3, 2007 05:10 PM