Comments: What Bill Clinton Is And Isn't Stung By

That's a terrible statement for Miller to make, because it strays from otherwise the extremely well-policed script on the Camp David talks and why they failed: obviously the Israelis offered a very fair plan, 93% of the West Bank, parts of Jerusalem, etc., etc., and only Palestinian intransigence and wilfulness (they won't be happy with anything less than the destruction of Israel, after all) kept it from working out.

I'm not sure if this is why Clinton hates what Miller said, but it well could be.

Posted by saurabh at January 13, 2009 08:25 PM

Hey look, Satan has five fingers. That would be a great name for a five piece band The Five Fingers of Satan.

I'm not a lawyer by training, but I know one when I see one. For far too long, many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel's attorney...

That's why my new position is that the Conflict should be decided on Judge Judy. She don't go for that crap about getting to have a lawyer.

Posted by tim at January 13, 2009 11:55 PM

saurabh:

I'm not sure if this is why Clinton hates what Miller said, but it well could be.

That's definitely why Clinton hates him.

tim:

Hey look, Satan has five fingers.

Actually, Satan has eleven fingers. Don't you know ANYTHING?!?

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at January 14, 2009 12:40 AM

Jon - well, he might hate him just for second-guessing him in general, as opposed to hating him for second-guessing Israel.

Posted by saurabh at January 14, 2009 01:12 AM

Dig this claptrap from Indyk:

Nonsense, says Mr. Indyk, who argues that Washington’s close relationship with Israel is crucial because it assures the Palestinians and other Arabs that the United States has leverage with Israel.

“The school of beating up on Israel is fundamentally wrong because it just causes Israel to dig in its heels,” said Mr. Indyk
Urr - so, the fact that the US always sides with Israel will convince the Arabs that we could make them stop ... we just never do. That's exactly what I would want to assure the Arabs of.

Posted by saurabh at January 14, 2009 01:17 AM
he might hate him just for second-guessing him in general, as opposed to hating him for second-guessing Israel.

I'm 99.9% certain it's Israel-specific. Clinton has spent eight years polishing his bullshit story about how everything was Arafat's fault, etc., etc. And he didn't do this for no reason -- he did it because:

1. It obscured his own monumental fuck-ups in this area, which contributed to both (a) thousands of deaths in Israel/Palestine, and (b) the 9/11 attacks.

2. He was trying to generate support for Hillary's political career, including both her senatorial runs and the presidential campaign.

These are both *extremely* touchy issues in the Clinton psyche. And understandably so. So you can see why he'd be ultra-sensitive to any push back.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at January 14, 2009 01:21 AM

Dang, I need an editor. Probably why I don't have my own NYT column, that and one or two other reasons.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 14, 2009 07:58 AM

Israel’s counterstrategy was to use its Air Force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.

Damn, that's some fine self-contradictory nonsense there. Thomas Friedman truly is the master.

Posted by SteveB at January 14, 2009 09:46 AM

In other self-contradictory news: I heard an Israeli spokesman on the news the other day condemn Hamas for targeting civilians with the use of indiscriminate rocket fire. As I understand it, the rockets in question have no targeting capabilities whatsoever.

So - hitting civilians with unguided munitions is "targeting civilians". Hitting civilians with precision laser- or GPS-guided munitions is not.

Posted by Dunc at January 14, 2009 09:54 AM

SteveB, on a purely logical level it's even better, because the very same sentence which contains a clause denying that Israel targeted civilians ends with the claim that they intended to cause collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. This is a logical contradiction worthy of Godel. Captain Kirk ended at least two robot threats to his ship saying stuff like this. It's just awe-inspiring what comes out of that man's mind (I use the term loosely).

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 14, 2009 11:04 AM

Donald Johnson:
I suppose the way he squares the circle is that you're bombing someone's house to "inflict substantial property damage", and anyone who happens to be in the house when it's bombed falls under the category of "collateral casualties", and therefore was not "directly targeted."

Shame on Bin Laden for not employing this excuse: "Hey, we were just targeting the buildings. Is it our fault that there were people inside them at the time?"

Posted by SteveB at January 14, 2009 11:40 AM

If I was Satan's finger I would figure that it was my duty to rub up against George W. Bush.

Posted by darrelplant at January 14, 2009 12:00 PM

That might be how he'd backpedal if called on it, but it won't work even for that sentence, since he said the bombing was to inflict property damage AND collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. So I suppose he could say he wasn't in favor of killing civilians unaccompanied by property that could be damaged along with them.

It'll be interesting to see if the NYT will print any letters calling him on this--I won't try, since I have a very long history of letters that didn't make it into the NYT editorial page (though a few have gotten in elsewhere). Or if he'll be called on it anywhere in a way that will force him to backpedal. Greenwald is on him today.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 14, 2009 01:10 PM

You see, wingnut red meat isn't real. It has no bearing on reality, as is documented at Orcinus' blog. Consequently it can be ignored, as it's just for show. It's not what serious GOPers actually think. AIPAC, the ADL and, uh, wingnuts who favor aggressive Israeli foreign policy, however, are completely reality-based and serious.

Posted by me at January 15, 2009 04:42 AM