And that is all.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Shake Hands with the Devil

Carter’s schedule leak creates furor

Published: Saturday, 16 June, 2007, 08:18 AM Doha Time

Former US President Jimmy Carter (left) shakes hands with Prachanda, leader of Nepal's Maoists during a meeting in Kathmandu, yesterday
KATHMANDU: Details of former US president Jimmy Carter's four-day itinerary in Nepal, kept tightly under wraps due to unprecedented security measures, have found their way in a maverick tabloid, creating a furore.
The Naya Patrika, a newly published tabloid regarded as being close to the Maoists, splashed full details of scheduled meetings, the time allotted for them and even the mobile telephone numbers of the senior officials meeting Carter, creating consternation among agencies coordinating the security arrangements for the visit that began Wednesday.
The local media has reported the Nobel laureate’s meeting with Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, members of the Election Commission and the chief of the UN Mission in Nepal Ian Martin.
But the tabloid also reported meetings with Indian ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee and two leaders of a controversial Terai group, the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum.
It said the former US president, who has come to pledge his Carter Center’s support for the crucial November election, would start Friday's consultations with the chief of the Nepal Army, General Rukmangad Katuwal.
It has also given details about the upcoming meeting between Carter and the Maoist leadership, an encounter that is expected to be the cynosure of all eyes.
The daily said Carter would meet Maoist chairperson Prachanda and his deputy Baburam Bhattarai at the Rara suite of Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza, where the visiting dignitary is staying amid tight
The hour-long meeting, to be held from 2.30pm, would be the longest one during the 96-hour high-profile visit, the tabloid said.
It quoted Maoist leader Bhattarai as saying that the Maoist agenda would be to ask Carter to ensure that his government plays a positive role in the ongoing peace process.
However, though Washington regards the rebels as terrorists, the guerrillas have no plan to ask Carter to intercede to have the ban lifted, the daily said.
The detailed schedule it had published Thursday along with telephone numbers has caused an investigation to detect how the leak occurred, it reported. – IANS


Hat Tip JammieWearingFool

who has an excellent blog, go ye forth and read of it daily.

BTW here is another excellent blog run by fellow LGFer Lawhawk:




Spleen needs rest....I give you Zerubbabel

Shalom Fellow Infidels ~

As most of you know my health is not the greatest -
I developed some problems yesterday into today that precluded my work here.
I will try to get at least one original post up today......but in case I this becomes untenable I give you my excellent brother in Jewhad Zerubbabel, from the Freedom Under Siege Blog:

The BBC apologized this week for referring to Jerusalem as Israel's capital “BBC sorry for calling Jerusalem capital of Israel”...!!!

Now a small lesson of History which the BBC knows for sure, but wants to distort!







About Hamas-Takeover of Gaza: What they are not telling you!!!



Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son. ~ Exodus 4:22

Then the man said,
"Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,
because you have struggled with God
and with men
and have overcome."

~ Genesis 32:28

ON DECEMBER 6, 2006:

Baker panel's mention of Palestinian "right of return" raises eyebrows

A reference to Palestinians' "right of return" in the report issued by the high-level Iraq Study Group broke a diplomatic taboo which sparked immediate concern in Israel and surprise among Middle East policy experts. The reference was buried deep inside a 160-page report that urged US President George W. Bush to renew efforts to revive Israel-Palestinian peace talks as part of a region-wide bid to end the chaos in Iraq. "This report is worrisome for Israel particularly because, for the first time, it mentions the question of the 'right of return' for the Palestinian refugees of 1948," said a senior Israeli official, who was reacting to the US policy report on condition he not be identified.


He shall say: "Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them.

~ Deuteronomy20:3

ON JUNE 4 2007:

Netanyahu: Drop Palestinian right of return from agenda

Israel must take the issue of the Palestinian "right of return" off its political agenda, Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday. Speaking at a ceremony at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Netanyahu said that removing this issue was a precondition for negotiations with the Palestinians. "At the moment, we have no partner, and those who stand against us declare incessantly that they intend to destroy us," Army Radio quoted him saying.

According to Netanyahu, peace negotiations today are "in retreat following the unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon, the withdrawal from Gaza, and the Second Lebanon War." Netanyahu also attacked the government's activity, and estimated that it would not remain in power much longer. The opposition leader also mentioned the Winograd Committee's partial report, which determined that the government had failed to exercise responsibility. He said that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lacked in-depth knowledge of military operations. "We need to change [our] leadership," he said.

"The [Winograd] report said that the entire government had failed. We can't keep marking time with deterrence that has lost its effectiveness." "The leadership should be changed in order to learn a lesson," Netanyahu continued. "Everyone has had a chance to make his claims, and the public will decide. I'm not afraid of elections," he said.

Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD ?
He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will trample down their high places. "
~ Deuteronomy 33:29

From the Deafening Silence post:

Tension between the Bush administration and Israel have intensified of late because Israel will not adopt a U.S. benchmark strategy devised by coordinator in the Palestinian territories, General Keith Dayton.


Well, I don't know about you.... but when I read this, I wanted to know just exactly whoTF IS Keith Dayton, anyway?
Once again I implore the reader to pay very careful attention to the language used throughout the document. He who controls language controls thought.....and words make worlds.

Remarks by U.S. Security Coordinator LTG Keith Dayton
Update on the Israeli-Palestinian Situation and Palestinian Assistance Programs
House Foreign Affairs
Middle East and South Asia Sub-Committee

May 23, 2007

Mr. Chairman, Representative Pence, and Members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. We are all well aware of the deterioration of the security and economic situation in the territories – especially in Gaza – over the last few months. There is a point where inaction – a wait and see attitude- is not an option. The security assistance package that we have proposed, and that was recently approved by Congress, is action and I intend to make the most of it.

First, let me provide a few comments on the current security situation, and then I will address the status of our programs. The violence of the past ten days has clearly demonstrated that the Palestinian security situation, especially in Gaza, has deteriorated significantly since the last time I met with this committee.
An atmosphere of lawlessness exists in Gaza, with simple disputes often devolving into gunfights. The Palestinian Minister of Interior, tasked with bringing security to the streets, resigned earlier this month. The HAMAS Prime Minister has assumed his responsibilities while his own party’s militias are engaged in a fierce battle with the legitimate Palestinian security forces.

The legally constituted Palestinian security forces in the territories – the Presidential Guard, the National Security Forces (NSF), and the Civil Police - are engaged in a battle for law and order like never before. In addition to outright aggression by HAMAS militias, other smaller factions, some also backed by Iran, have conducted attacks throughout the Gaza Strip against the security forces under the authority of President Abbas, creating a situation of total anarchy and highlighting factional divisions between Fatah and Hamas, and probably within Hamas itself.

The conflict has also spilled across the border into Israel, with hundreds of Qassams fired at Sderot and nearby communities by rejectionist groups, a reminder that while HAMAS’s intermediate target may be the Fatah-loyal forces of law and order in the Gaza Strip, the paramount goal for the rejectionists remains and will continue to be the destruction of Israel. Israel has now launched airstrikes and a limited ground incursion into the Gaza Strip in response to the more recent and damaging Qassam fire this week.

The goal of U.S. security assistance is to help create the conditions necessary to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace via the Roadmap.

which will do nothing but give rise to a deeper war ~ TOSOZ

Through the programs we are just beginning with the Presidential Guard, and at the Karni crossing, we are working with President Abbas to create an environment of security, stability and prosperity in the Palestinian territories. This assistance is a good beginning, but it can only do so much to affect the factional violence and lawlessness pervasive in Gaza at this time.

Through the provision of training and non-lethal equipment , the United States is providing the Palestinian Presidential Guard, a force tasked with the protection of the President, VIPs and critical installations, as well as key crossings with Israel, a “security horizon”, an assurance that they have support and have a future.

Bullshit!! We are arming them and everyone knows it

The NSF and civil police, the forces tasked with the day-to-day responsibility for ensuring law and order, do not have that assurance. These forces face a daunting challenge not only by HAMAS’s Executive Force but also its military force, Izz al Din al Qassam Brigades, both of whom continue to receive support from Iran and Syria. We continue to evaluate the situation and consider ways in which we can take a more proactive role in affecting the dangerous conditions and support President Abbas in his efforts to bring the lawlessness in Gaza under control.

Behold, ABBAS the "moderate"

The recent violence in Gaza may in fact be the beginning of a sustained effort by the HAMAS military wing to reassert the dominance of the most extreme elements in the Palestinian political community, and to eliminate altogether Abbas’s legitimate security forces in Gaza, creating an extremist statelet on the border of Israel, a major concern that is the subject of frequent discussions I have with my Israeli counterparts


I note that the Presidential Guard unit at the Karni crossing with Israel, who has already received training coordinated by the USSC mission and funded by European donors, successfully stood its ground last week and fought off a determined HAMAS attack. The NSF battalion there also acquitted itself well, despite its dire need of material and financial support and the death of its battalion commander.

I fear HAMAS is in this fight for keeps.

Oh my, he's a veritable fucking genius. ~ TOSOZ

For this hearing, let me say that the worrisome scenario in Gaza that I have been warning about for the past several months is coming to a head. We are entering a rough patch, but all is not lost and our regional partners share that sentiment. However, it is critical that those who support the legitimate authority and forces represented by President Abbas receive the critical assistance they need.

U.S. Security Coordinator Mission

US names new security coordinator to Palestine

The United States is leading the international effort to positively affect this worrisome situation, and the security assistance plan we have just begun to implement is pointing out the way forward for all international and regional allies. The programs I will discuss briefly are truly important to advance our national interests, deliver security to Palestinians, and preserve and protect the interests of the State of Israel.
I thank you for your support.

Right . Thanks, pal. ~ TOSOZ

The U.S. Security Coordinator Mission, working in close coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Consulate General in Jerusalem, is focused on three priorities, which are vital to the realization of the President’s vision of two independent states living side-by-side in peace and security:

1. Improving the security at the Gaza crossings, particularly at the Karni crossing, to advance the goals of the Agreement on Movement and Access and boost Palestinian economic development while addressing Israeli security concerns;

2. Improving the capabilities of the Abbas-controlled Presidential Guard to help them protect the President and VIPs, manage security at the crossings, and respond to urgent security situations;

3. Working with the Office of the President to establish a capacity for security service oversight, reform, and strategic planning.
The $16 million assistance package for infrastructure improvements on the Palestinian side of the Karni crossing will result in a major security enhancement at this vital commercial link between Gaza and Israel. This work will be implemented by USAID,

United States Aid to the Palestinians PDF ~ 2005 report Edifying!

and they have already issued a solicitation of interest from Gazan construction firms. This is vital for the recovery of the Gaza economy and to address legitimate Israeli security concerns at the crossing. This project has the enthusiastic support of the State of Israel.
We have a temporary security zone almost complete on the Palestinian side, financed largely by the Dutch, British, Norwegians and Canadians, and this has resulted in a further 15% daily increase in Palestinian exports in April over the months before.


Palestinian exports come in the form of Non metallic mineral manufacturers, fruits and vegetables, iron and steel, furniture and mattresses, footwear, tobacco products, cork and wood and finally animal and vegetable fertilizers.

Ironically the Palestinian National Authority has free trade agreements with Israel, the USA, Canada, the EU, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. With only partial agreements on free trade, with Egypt and Jordan. Left with the question what about the remaining 20 Arab states?

The master plan for the construction project will be complete this summer and final construction will begin before September. The Palestinians, Government of Israel, and members of the international community are investing time and money in this project, complementing our own efforts.

We still have our work cut out for us to achieve the AMA goals, but the US $16 million will go a long way towards achieving them.

OK...WTF IS AMA? Agreement on Movement and Access

The Presidential Guard is primed to receive the equipment and training envisioned in its $40 million assistance package . We will focus on close protection to the Office of the President and VIPs, critical logistical and administrative functions, management of security at crossing points, and crisis response.

The State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL)
is partnering with the State Department’s Office of Anti-Terrorism (ATA) to provide critical training to the PG.

The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) advises the President, Secretary of State, other bureaus in the Department of State, and other departments and agencies within the U.S. Government on the development of policies and programs to combat international narcotics and crime. The bureau is headed by Assistant Secretary Anne W. Patterson under the direction of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. INL programs support two of the Department's strategic goals: (1) to reduce the entry of illegal drugs into the United States; and (2) to minimize the impact of international crime on the United States and its citizens. Counternarcotics and anticrime programs also complement the war on terrorism, both directly and indirectly, by promoting modernization of and supporting operations by foreign criminal justice systems and law enforcement agencies charged with the counter-terrorism mission. WTF does any of that have to do with this? ~ TOSOZ

Our planning is well advanced on the training curriculum, and the equipment lists, 100 percent non-lethal, have been finalized. We are proceeding cautiously and expeditiously with our program, and ensuring that the appropriate protocols for vetting and oversight are in place - both in the field and in Washington. I am happy to provide greater details on our vetting process which includes checks for both terrorist affiliation and gross human rights violations.

I would be happy to see them. No one asked, can't find it anywhere. ~ TOSOZ

These mechanisms have been coordinated with INL and are already being put in place. Our efforts have been closely coordinated with my Israeli colleagues; there will be no surprises. The practical effect of our preparations is that U.S. funds should begin to make a difference by mid-summer.
The $3 million assistance package to the Office of National Security (ONS) ensures that the USSC has a strong and capable Palestinian partner as we proceed with Palestinian security sector transformation and our focus on a smaller, but more capable Palestinian Security Force, operating under the rule of law and with respect for human rights.

In summary, I am committed personally and professionally to putting the $59 million authorized to me by the Congress to the uses you intended with the Presidential Guard, the Karni Crossing, and the Office of National Security under President Abbas. We must remain mindful of the dangerous challenges facing Abbas’s security forces, and continue to encourage our European and Arab partners to complement our efforts with their own assistance. I and my team are in place to help coordinate these efforts in support of U.S. and International commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the realization of the two-state vision. Thank you.

BTW: WTF is a "Rejectionist Group?" ..the diplobabbling double speak never ends.

SEARCH: General Keith Dayton FATAH

SEARCH: General Keith Dayton BAKER

SEARCH: General Keith Dayton JIMMY CARTER

So.... not only are we arming Fatah, now we are arming the SAUDIS:

A high-level Israeli delegation will meet with officials in Washington this week and demand that restrictions be clamped on the proposed US sale of state-of-the-art weaponry to Saudi Arabia, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The talks are expected to center on the US decision to sell Joint Direct Attack Munition satellite-guided "smart bombs" to Saudi Arabia. The sale has caused consternation in Jerusalem over concern it could tip the balance of power in the region.

If the sale does go through, Israel has expressed interest in acquiring the F-22 stealth bomber - a plane that can avoid radar detection and is the world's most advanced fighter jet - to maintain its qualitative edge. In April, the Post reported that the IAF had inquired about obtaining the aircraft and had requested that the Defense Ministry present the request on its behalf to the Pentagon. Israel is to be represented at the talks by Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Military Bureau head Amos Gilad and IDF Planning Directorate head Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan.

The US team is to be headed by Beth McCormick, the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for technology security policy and national disclosure policy, and the director of the Defense Department Defense Technology Security Administration. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to meet with US President George W. Bush in Washington on June 19. The Saudi arms sale is expected to be a topic of discussion.



Meantime, the Administration remains very busy replacing the major players. What this appointment means I have no idea yet:

6/9/2007: Pace out as Joint Chiefs chairman


Pace is to be succeeded by Adm. Michael Mullen, who has been chief of naval operations since the summer of 2005, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Friday.



No plan to attack Iran, says US naval chief





Meantime, Behold the Mighty Glick:

Column One: James Baker's disciples

Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 7, 2007

Ahead of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's trip to the White House on June 19, the Bush administration is pressuring Israel to endanger itself on at least two fronts.

First, the Americans are pressuring the Olmert government to agree to Palestinian Authority and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas's request to bring millions of bullets, thousands of Kalashnikov assault rifles, RPGs, antitank missiles and armored personnel carriers into Gaza from Egypt.

The government has yet to respond to the request. Those who oppose it argue that Fatah forces in Gaza are too weak and incompetent to battle Hamas, and so any weaponry transferred to Fatah militias will likely end up in Hamas's hands.

This logic is correct, but incomplete. It is true that Fatah forces are unwilling and presumably unable to defeat Hamas forces. But it is also true that Fatah forces use their arms to attack Israel. So even if there was no chance of Hamas laying its hands on the weapons, allowing Fatah to receive them would still endanger Israel.

The same limited logic informs Israel's strenuous objection to the Pentagon's intention to sell Saudi Arabia Joint Direct Attack Munition satellite-guided "smart bombs," or JDAMS. The government claims that while it has no quarrel with the Saudis, it fears for the stability of the regime. If the House of Saud falls, Osama bin Laden would get the bombs.

Yet like Fatah, the Saudis aren't simply vulnerable. They are culpable. In addition to being the creators of al-Qaida and Hamas's largest financial backers, the Saudis themselves directly threaten Israel.

In direct contravention of their commitment to the US (and the US's commitment to Israel), the Saudis have deployed F-15 fighter jets at Tabuk air base, located 150 km. from Eilat. On May 13, the Saudi Air Force held an air show at Tabuk for the benefit of King Abdullah and senior princes where the F-15s where ostentatiously displayed.

The timing of the show was interesting. It took place the day before Abdullah hosted US Vice President Richard Cheney at Tabuk.

The Bush administration is not just asking Israel to facilitate the arming of its enemies. It is also placing restrictions on Israel's ability to arm itself. As The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday, the Pentagon has yet to respond to Israel's request to purchase the F-22 stealth bomber. Moreover, the US seems to be torpedoing Israel's acquisition of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon recently voiced its objection to Israel's plan to install Israeli technology in the jets that are to be supplied starting in 2014. Israel's installation of its own electronic warfare systems in its F-16s and F-15s is what has allowed the IAF to maintain its qualitative edge over Arab states that have also purchased the aircraft.

THE ADMINISTRATION'S display of hostility toward Israel is unfortunately not an aberration. It is the result of a policy shift that occurred immediately after the Republican Party's defeat in the Congressional elections in November.

After the defeat, the administration embraced former secretary of state James Baker's foreign policy paradigm, which is based on the belief that it is possible and desirable to reach a stable balance of power in the Middle East.

As Baker sees it, this balance can be reached by forcing Israel to shrink to its "natural" proportions and assisting supposedly moderate and stable states like Egypt and Saudi Arabia to grow into their "natural" proportions. Once the states of the region (including Syria and Iran, which Baker wishes to appease) have settled into their proper proportions, stability will be ensured.

Baker fleshed on his view in the Iraq Study Group's recommendations that were published immediately after the elections. Although President George W. Bush rejected the ISG's recommendations, the day after the elections he sacked defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and replaced him with Robert Gates, who served on the ISG. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a disciple of Baker's ally, former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft.

The problem with the Baker paradigm is that it has never been borne out by reality. It collapsed during the Cold War, both as the Soviet Union worked tirelessly to destabilize countries allied with the US and when the states of East-Central Europe revolted against the teetering empire and gained their freedom with its collapse.

In the 1990s, Baker's stability paradigm failed to foresee the post-nationalist movements that swept through Western Europe and the Muslim world, and embraced the Soviet goal of weakening the US. Baker still denies the phenomenon and ignores its policy implications.

Today, the notion that stability is a realistic aim is even more far-fetched. Specifically, the willingness of Muslim secularists to form strategic relations with jihadists and the willingness of Shi'ites to form strategic partnerships with Sunnis was unimaginable 20 years ago. Aside from that, the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran throws a monkey wrench into any thought of regional stability. A look around the region shows just how absurd Baker's notions truly are.

In Lebanon today, Fatah al-Islam, which is apparently allied with al-Qaida, is fighting the Lebanese army in a bid to bring down the Saniora government at the behest of its sponsor - the secular Ba'athist regime in Damascus. Fatah al-Islam is also aligned with Hizbullah, which shares its goal of bringing down the Lebanese government, and with Iran, which gives the Syrians their marching orders.

This state of affairs is also the name of the game in Iraq, where Iran and Syria support both Muqtada al-Sadr's Shi'ite Mehdi army and al-Qaida's Sunni death squads. It repeats itself in Afghanistan, where Iran is arming the Taliban, and in the Palestinian Authority.

Furthermore, the paragons of moderation and stability in Egypt and Saudi Arabia that Baker and his followers are so keen to strengthen are neither stable nor moderate. Both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah are old men of uncertain health. To "stabilize" their regimes, they wrought unholy alliances with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahabis, the only forces in Egyptian and Saudi societies that have not been flattened under their jackboots.

This week, Channel 10 reported that the Bush administration recently informed Israel and the Gulf states that it has no intention of launching military strikes against Iran's nuclear installations. The Americans explained that they need Iranian assistance in stabilizing Iraq to pave the way for an American withdrawal from the country before Bush leaves office. Under Baker's regency, the administration apparently now subscribes to the belief that they will be better off out of Iraq and with a nuclear-armed Iran, than in Iraq without a nuclear-armed Iran.

For their part, the Arabs have demonstrated clearly that they do not share the administration's newfound faith that a nuclear-armed Iran will reach a stable equilibrium in a Bakeresque Middle Eastern balance of powers. Their stated aim to build nuclear reactors is a clear sign that they recognize the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran. The administration's support for the Arabs' quest for nuclear reactors makes clear that it is now willing to have a Middle Eastern nuclear arms race.

THIS BRINGS us back to Israel, which is situated smack in the middle of the regional chaos. How is Israel contending with this threatening state of affairs?

The IDF seems to be contending fairly well, at least with regard to Syria and Lebanon. The IDF's decision to have television crews film Israeli soldiers fighting in mock Syrian villages this week, like Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's announcement that the IDF is prepared to fight on two fronts simultaneously, are signs that the IDF recognizes that its only safe bet is to prepare for all contingencies. Were the IDF to complement these actions with warnings to Iran and operational plans to attack Iran's nuclear installations and distribute gas masks to the public, the General Staff would go a long way toward proving that it is adopting the only reasonable strategic posture available, given the cards Israel has been dealt.

Yet not only is the IDF not warning Iran, the Olmert government is undermining the army's correct posture toward Syria and Lebanon. Indeed, on every front, including toward Israel itself, Olmert has himself adopted Baker's failed paradigm.

Rather than publicly explain that in light of Syria's position as an Iranian client state with regards to Lebanon, Iraq and Israel, there is nothing for Israel to talk to Syria about, Olmert announced Wednesday that he wishes to open negotiations on an Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights to the Syrians.

The Syrians, for their part, cornered Olmert on Thursday by agreeing to his offer. As Karl Moor and David Rivkin explained in Thursday's Post, it is not true, as Olmert and his minions claim, that Israel has nothing to lose by negotiating with Syria. Given Israel's perceived weakness in the wake of last summer's war and Syria's perceived strength, speaking to Damascus about an Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights will only encourage Syrian belligerence.

And as with the Syrians, so too with the Palestinians, the Olmert government acts as Baker's water boy. Rather than waging a rational military campaign to defeat the jihadist front that has seeded itself in Gaza, Olmert issues near daily statements telling the Palestinians that Israel will cause them no harm. He defends this policy by declaiming on the importance of strengthening the "stability" of the Palestinian Authority.

Then there is the daily brown-nosing Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni engage in toward the Egyptians and Saudis. Israel praises both as "moderates" while Egypt vows publicly not to act to stop the transfer of weapons from Sinai to Gaza and the Saudis bankroll Hamas and demand that Israel implement their "peace plan" that calls for Israel's destruction.

Yet all of this incompetent bumbling pales in comparison to Israel's weakness toward Iran. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz's assertion this week to the Post that he does not "think it is right today to talk about military options" toward Iran because he thinks that sanctions can still convince the mullahs to give up their nuclear ambitions comes dangerously close to an Israeli collapse in the face of an existential threat. The fact that Mofaz made this statement the same week that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Teheran had crossed the nuclear threshold only exacerbates the perception of Israeli strategic disarray.

Sooner or later the US will pay a price for the Bush administration's decision to embrace the delusion of stability as its strategic goal. With jihadist forces growing stronger around the globe, if the Americans leave Iraq without victory, there is no doubt that Iraq (and Iran and Syria) will come to them.

But whatever the consequences of America's behavior for America, the price that Israel will pay for embracing Baker's myths of stability will be unspeakable.