Saturday, July 22, 2006


White House Pushes Jewish Groups to Embrace John Bolton Confirmation

Steve Clemons
Fri Jul 21, 7:43 PM ET

It's hard to imagine something more cynical than the White House exploiting Middle East convulsions -- in which many innocents on all sides are dying in real time -- to divide Americans at home in order to try and squeeze through the Senate confirmation of the pugnacious radicalizer and international de-stabilizer, John Bolton.

For those who have not yet heard, Bolton's nomination is being resurrected by the White House. Bolton will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next Thursday morning at 9:30 on the subject of confirming his appointment and ending his "recess appointment status" as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.



Clayton with Palestinian refugee kids in Shatila Refugee Camp, Lebanon, 4th July 2006.

Just Returned from Lebanon: TARFU
Clayton Swisher writing from Washington, DC, Live from Lebanon, 13 July 2006

12 July 2006 — Even before the Lebanese-based Hezbollah took two Israeli prisoners of war today, I ended my trip to Beirut last week with the feeling that, beneath the beautiful, vibrant country there remained serious political tectonic plates waiting for any excuse to slip. I had conversations and visits over a two week period with Lebanese people of all stripes — from the pro-democracy/anti-Syrian political elite, to Hamas, to the downtrodden Palestinian refugees, to the average Mohammad — and I left with the unmistakable impression that American interests are screwed.

Israel's invasion today into South Lebanon and the ongoing air strikes against Lebanon's infrastructure exceeded my worst predictions. Whether you agree or not, three points below explain the context of what is happening now in Lebanon and why the US-Israeli response is bound to cast America deeper into the Mideast abyss, further undermining the (albeit badly) damaged image of US forces while crippling our efforts to sway the global recruits from the growing appeal of Bin Laden.

Clayton E. Swisher, a former Marine reservist and federal criminal investigator, was educated as the University of Pittsburgh, Georgetown University, and is director of programs at the nonprofit Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. Swisher is the author of "The Truth about Camp David" (Nation Books, 2004). This article first appeared in The Daily Kos on 12 July 2006 and is reprinted with the author's permission.

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