James Baker, a Republican, Supports Obama's Mideast Path

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    Mar 29, 2015 5:00 AM GMT
    NYT: James Baker — one of Jeb Bush's foreign policy advisers and his dad’s best friend, campaign manager and secretary of state — gave President Obama some bipartisan backup on Israel. Speaking to the liberal Israel advocacy group, J Street, Baker faulted the “diplomatic missteps and political gamesmanship” surrounding Benjamin Netanyahu. Baker’s criticism of the abrasive Israeli leader he once banned from the State Department sparked a furor among Republicans who want a loyalty oath on support for the Jewish state.

    Jeb Bush speaks on Fox News Radio that Baker “has a different view. I did not believe it was appropriate to go speak to J Street, a group that basically has anti-Israeli sentiments, .... I don’t think we need monolithic thinking here.”

    This is interesting — and a bit incoherent — on two notes. Is Jeb aware that he tendentiously mischaracterized J Street as having “anti-Israeli sentiments?” Opposing Netanyahu’s policies toward the Palestinians does not disqualify it as a pro-Israeli organization. On the contrary, many polls show that its views reflect the majority of American Jewish opinion.

    Second, the “monolithic thinking” is a cut on Kristol and other neocon masters of monolith who egged W. into a war in Iraq that has been so long and bloody and awful — reigniting Sunni-Shiite warfare, empowering Iran and creating the Frankenstein of ISIS — that James Jeffrey, Obama’s former ambassador to Iraq, told Michael Crowley of Politico that “we’re in a goddamn free fall here.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/opinion/sunday/maureen-dowd-ready-for-45.html?_r=0
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    Mar 29, 2015 10:40 AM GMT
    It is also worth remembering that diplomatic friction between the US government and Israel is nothing new. Back in 1989, as Bush's Secretary of State, James Baker delivered a blunt message to Israel:

    "Secretary of State James A. Baker 3d said today that it was time for Israel to "lay aside once and for all the unrealistic vision of a greater Israel" and "reach out to Palestinians as neighbors who deserve political rights."

    Speaking to the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israeli lobby, Mr. Baker for the first time laid out a comprehensive blueprint of the Bush Administration's approach to Middle East peacemaking.

    The Secretary of State's speech was striking for the unsentimental and unusually blunt tone with which he addressed the Israelis, for the carefully balanced manner in which he called on both sides to make concessions for peace and for the clear endorsement he gave Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's proposal for elections in the West Bank and Gaza as a basis for breaking the Middle East deadlock....

    Although the Secretary of State's remarks were consistent with longstanding American policy on the Middle East, they nevertheless were a departure from the Reagan Adminstration in tone and structure, which both stunned and dismayed many of the 1,200 people in the predominantly Jewish, pro-Israeli audience."

    http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/23/world/baker-in-a-middle-east-blueprint-asks-israel-to-reach-out-to-arabs.html
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    Mar 29, 2015 7:25 PM GMT
    At 84, James Bakers dated perspective is of little use to anyone other than as a historical reference.
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    Mar 29, 2015 7:33 PM GMT
    One could say that ISIS in Iraq was created by President Obama's military policies allowed for ISIS to expand as quickly as it did. Just a thought, I could be wrong.
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Mar 29, 2015 8:33 PM GMT
    without entring the topic of obama's mideast policies[ i wrote it in another tread] just for you to know how we remember james baker over here, well at least as i remember him, he was always anti israely,as far as an american politician can be .
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    Mar 29, 2015 10:14 PM GMT
    We can thank George W. Bush for turning Iraq into a breeding ground for terrorists.
    And to think, we lost the lives of 4,500 US soldiers and spent TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to accomplish it.

    Heck of a job, Bushie!
    One more reason to curse the day he became POTUS.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 3386

    Mar 30, 2015 1:49 PM GMT
    Ashdod saidwe remember james baker over here, well at least as i remember him, he was always anti israely

    You remember correctly.
    James Baker one said: "F*ck the Jews, they don't vote for us anyhow."

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/02/15/j-street-conference-has-a-republican-keynote-james-f-the-jews-baker

    See also:

    Why does virulent Anti-Semitism play such a large role in MidEast discussions [not just] on RJ?
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/4015076
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 30, 2015 3:27 PM GMT
    Glad to see there is still some reasonable thinking out there, it just isn't "one side or another". Unfortunate that men like Baker are getting so few.
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    Mar 30, 2015 3:40 PM GMT
    Baker? Reasonable?

    Just because someone's opinion is soothing to your ears doesn't make him reasonable.

    Baker is one of the worst diplomats for having imposed western values on middle eastern situations - cultural imperialism.

    Until western nations stop trying to impose unworkable western values and ideals on the middle east there can never be any form of constructive peace instituted over their tribal squabbling that has been "their way" for longer than they have been Muslim.

  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Mar 30, 2015 3:48 PM GMT
    bobbobbob saidBaker? Reasonable?

    Just because someone's opinion is soothing to your ears doesn't make him reasonable.

    Baker is one of the worst diplomats for having imposed western values on middle eastern situations - cultural imperialism.

    Until western nations stop trying to impose unworkable western values and ideals on the middle east there can never be any form of constructive peace instituted over their tribal squabbling that has been "their way" for longer than they have been Muslim.


    This is the second post of your's referencing cultural imperialism. While I agree that we, the West, do it all the time with little sensitivity to history and customs, I still have no idea what alternative you're proposing. Isolationism?
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    Mar 30, 2015 5:19 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    bobbobbob saidBaker? Reasonable?

    Just because someone's opinion is soothing to your ears doesn't make him reasonable.

    Baker is one of the worst diplomats for having imposed western values on middle eastern situations - cultural imperialism.

    Until western nations stop trying to impose unworkable western values and ideals on the middle east there can never be any form of constructive peace instituted over their tribal squabbling that has been "their way" for longer than they have been Muslim.


    This is the second post of your's referencing cultural imperialism. While I agree that we, the West, do it all the time with little sensitivity to history and customs, I still have no idea what alternative you're proposing. Isolationism?


    The alternative:
    Strategies based in things that have worked in the middle east instead of things that reflect western values we'd like to impose on the middle east.

    Here's one part of it.

    It would call for putting an understanding of middle eastern culture (all the way back pre Islam) ahead of western delusions that every-fucking-one on earth aspires for democracy, liberties, human rights, and honest government.

    Sounds counter intuitive eh? The truth of the matter is that the 3000+ years of brutal ceaseless tribalism that dominates middle eastern culture has created a cultural identity for Arabs and Muslims that has no counterpart in western culture other than "Stockholm Syndrome." Hundreds of years of nearly ceaseless tribal disputes, civil wars, interfaith mutual exterminations, purges and ethnic cleansings have reduced them to survival instincts. without values for democracy, liberties, human rights or honesty. They will do and say anything simply to survive from one bloody episode in their history to the next. They have no convictions to principles. For them there is nothing worth dying for except their delusions and fantasies of paradise achieved through holy war.

    In the history of Muslim sectarian violence, Arab tribal disputes, and other wars there have only been FIVE that have not involved BATTLEFIELD DEFECTIONS under fire. This is because they stand for nothing except survival. They will desert or switch sides in a war at the first sign of imminent danger simply to avoid death.

    And they allow for this within the hierarchy of their own armies. They EXPECT and ANTICIPATE it.

    Here's a link to an article about Arab/middle eastern armies and war that will help you understand. http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/4028159

    This is just one facet of the differences between western and middle eastern cultures. There's much more that needs to be known and understood before the discussion of realistic alternatives can even begin.



  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Mar 31, 2015 4:36 AM GMT
    ... That ONLY means he's as sociopathic as Emperor Obama!