January 4, 2009

Did you notice how pro-Israel Harry Reid was on "Meet the Press" today?

David Gregory asked whether the invasion of Gaza was offensive or defensive. Reid answered:
I spoke to Prime Minister Olmert a couple of days ago. He indicated that they would do the ground activities. Let's understand the background. For eight years they've been firing rockets into Israel. They've become more intense the last few months. Israelis have been killed, maimed and injured. Sometimes more than 200 a day coming into Israel. If this were going on in the United States from Vancouver, Canada, into Seattle, would we react? Course we do. We would have to. I think what the Israelis are doing is very important. I think this terrorist organization, Hamas, has got to be put away. They've got to come to their senses. The Fatah group, which is--makes up part of Palestinian group, has a peace arrangement with Israel. Hamas should do the same....

And, and, and Israel, for--since 1967, controlled Gaza. They gave it to the Palestinians as a gesture of peace. And all they got are a bunch of rockets in return....

So you think that Israel ought to move forward and try to remove Hamas from power?

They have to. I, I'm not concerned about removing Hamas from power, I'm concerned about stopping the rocket fire and the mortar fire into Israel. That is the key, and that's what Israel's up to according to the prime minister.

Should there be an immediate cease-fire?

If the Hamas organization will agree and there is some degree of certainty that they will follow through. They, in the past, have simply not lived up to what they said they would do. If there's a way of enforcing this cease-fire, then yes. Otherwise, Israel has to continue till they stop the rockets and mortars coming into Israel, maiming, injuring and killing Israelis.

So you, you're in sync with the Bush administration on this point?

Yes, I am.
Interesting. I wonder if he'd be admitting that he was "in sync with the Bush administration" if the Bush administration weren't about to leave — or if he would have admitted he was "in sync with the Bush administration" about a lot of things in the past if only the Bush administration had been about to leave.

Anyway, I added some boldface to the transcript to draw attention to something that doesn't quite fit together. Is it important for Israel to remove Hamas from power or not? He seems to contradict himself. [ADDED: I think maybe he said "They have to" as a response to whether "Israel ought to move forward" and didn't mean it to apply to "and try to remove Hamas from power."]

24 comments:

Original George said...

When Reid says "I think this terrorist organization, Hamas, has got to be put away," I can't help but ask, "How is Hamas so different from Saddam Hussein or the Taliban in Afghanistan?"

If this were going on in Kuwait from Basra, Iraq, into Kuwait City, would we react? If this were going on in Kurdistan from Baghdad would we react?

And has anyone noticed that—so far as I can tell— Pakistan has paid no price whatsoever for tolerating and harboring the groups behind the Bombay attacks?

Alex said...

I'm waiting for the swarm of Jew-haters to come out of the woodwork. Good job Althouse, more troll-bait!

matthew said...

I don't see the contradiction. He's fairly clear that the number one priority is stopping rocket fire into Israel.

He, and myself, aren't really sure if the removal of Hamas is required to do that.

And as for all of the protests against Israel around the world, I'm reminded of this Thomas Friedman article referring to the Mumbai attacks:

"I am still hoping for more. I am still hoping — just once — for that mass demonstration of 'ordinary people' against the Mumbai bombers...

We know from the Danish cartoons affair that Pakistanis and other Muslims know how to mobilize quickly to express their heartfelt feelings, not just as individuals, but as a powerful collective. That is what is needed here...

...this kind of murderous violence only stops when the village — all the good people in Pakistan, including the community elders and spiritual leaders who want a decent future for their country — declares, as a collective, that those who carry out such murders are shameful unbelievers who will not dance with virgins in heaven but burn in hell. And they do it with the same vehemence with which they denounce Danish cartoons."

heywoot said...

I for one welcome our Canadian overlords.

Original George said...

And, matthew, there were a lot of good nice spiritual people in Japan and Germany who didn't like their governments either, but they were powerless to stop them, and so we had to burn their cities and grind their civilizations into dust.

That's how wars have always been won.

Ask U.S. Grant.

Sid said...

Because the Democrats are about to assume the mantle of leadership... Because the policies of the administration will be attributed to the Democrats... Because leading the dissent is no longer an option...

The nation voted in a president from the DNC. They have played the role of benign dissenter for the Bush administration. Now, they have to call the shots and take the blame.

We will see a reversal of roles now.

The decisions of the Bush administration always found support in Congress. Yet, too conveniently, we would have to entertain each major Dem when they had to explain why they "voted for it before they were against it." They got to agree with the decisions but then play to the crowd about how they were mislead or tricked into supporting this or that.

Now, they have to make the same damn decisions but they can't play to the crowd. I suspect we will see the RNC pivot into the dissent role very easily as well.

dick said...

I don't see the RNC pivoting there. They just do not play that role well. They are far more likely to be the "loyal opposition" than we have seen from the DNC for the past 8 years.

Besides from what I have seen now that Obama has been briefed on what is going on he appears to be doing his best to continue the Bush policies. He is more likely to have problems from his fellow Democrats than he is from the Republicans. The Republicans are popping corn now and getting ready to sit back and watch the fireworks.

Ann Althouse said...

matthew: "And as for all of the protests against Israel around the world..."

Look at the report from Richard Engel at the beginning of the linked transcript:

"On the Arab official side there has been very little support for Hamas. Governments in Saudi Arabia and in Cairo have expressed not support outright for the Israeli offensive, but certainly no support for Hamas. On the Arab street we have seen quite a bit of sympathy for the Palestinian people. There have been protests almost daily. But on a, on a governmental side, the Israel--one Israeli official I, I spoke to said they feel absolutely no international pressure."

traditionalguy said...

The dems understand triangulation and easily approve here. The Iranian/Shia attempt to lead a war to kill the Jews is dangerous to the Saudi/Sunni who could be rolled-up next if Iranian/Shia is allowed to succeed. So everyone except Iran has blessed the war to take out the Iranian/Hamas tactical capacities in Gaza. The fix is in. See the UN response.

William said...

I cannot understand the Palestinians. Did they think that throwing a few hundred rockets into Israel would cause them to surrender? Palestinian tactics are so self destructive as to be incomprehensible....Why don't the leftists who opine that Israeli bombs will never bring peace offer similar opinions about Palestinian rockets?.....At what level of defeat do the Palestinians press the reset button and get on with their lives. In WWI the Germans were defeated. They blamed the loss on the Jews. In WWII, fighting without the hindrance of Jews, Germans suffered the most catastrophic defeat of any nation since Carthage. If Dresden and Auschwitz can be said to have a bright side, it was that it caused the Germans to reevaluate who they were as a people and how they related to the world at large....The Palestinians are like Germany after WWI. They have lost and are unwilling to assimilate that loss. I get the sense that their destiny is to achieve ever more catastrophic losses and ever greater self delusion before this is played out. Whatever the Israelis and Americans do is irrelevant.

Palladian said...

I can't wait to hear what Cedarford has to say about this. I can guarantee three things about his forthcoming comment: it won't have anything nice to say about Jews or Israel, it will feature a swipe of some kind at America and, like anything Cedarford has to say, it won't be under 1000 words.

traditionalguy said...

The key is Egypt. Without ethnic Egyptian brain power doing the strategy, the poor tribal Arabs are always losers. Just pray that Egypt doesn't get taken over by The Muslim Brotherhood.

knox said...

Meet the Press ... David Gregory

it's going to take me a while to get used to that.

heywoot said...

Islam is a religion of death. The IDF is just helping them achieve their religious goals.

dick said...

Knox,

Hopefully you won't have to get used to it soon.

PatCA said...

I would guess that Fatah is supporting Israel's and the US's plan because they can them reclaim Gaza. Yes, the fix is in. Life should be marginally better for the people in Gaza. The Fatah-promised truce with Israel, however, will prove much less a sure thing. It will probably cost us a billion or two in "foreign aid," but these days that's chump change in DC.

Fatah Sharing Info with Israel

TosaGuy said...

I guess I never understood the concept of a "cease fire" meaning that Hamas gets to fire all the rockets it wants into Israel and Israel sits there and takes it.

David said...

When Reid says "I think this terrorist organization, Hamas, has got to be put away," I can't help but ask, "How is Hamas so different from Saddam Hussein or the Taliban in Afghanistan?"

Simple: Iraqis are not an important contribution and voting bloc.

Remember: the man is a whore of the first order.

Alex said...

Ceasefire by liberal defiintion = Israel absorbs infinite amount of attacks while it does nothing and dies.

Chip Ahoy said...

William, that's remarkably perceptive.

reader_iam said...

Why don't the leftists who opine that Israeli bombs will never bring peace offer similar opinions about Palestinian rockets?

Because their inevitability meter ticks according to a different calibration.

bearbee said...

Did they think that throwing a few hundred rockets into Israel would cause them to surrender

Obviously playing to the Arab world and to the world at large.

They read the press and know that it tilts against Israel.

They know that the UN always manages to produce sanctions against Israel.

It is interesting that intifada uprisings ocur right before a new administration takes office.

They understand the politics of trying to pressure the US and UN and give a flying frick how many of its own people are killed in the process.

Why continue to lob rockets into Israel? To provoke Israel into its current course of action.

Seneca the Younger said...

I think he's actually making sense in the bolded part, although I hate to say it about Harry. But he's saying "I don't think the rocket fire can be stopped without getting rid of Hamas. None the less, making the PA change isn't the US's point: it's stopping the incoming fire on Israel."

Duscany said...

It's hard to stop home-made rocket fire. It's especially hard when it's a response to Israel's land seizures and new settlement construction in the west bank. No many how many would-be rocketeers the IDF ices each day, thousands more spring up daily, filled with rage at seeing their families' houses bulldozed and their olive groves destroyed.