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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

RASHID KHALIDI On Gaza and Obama's Middle East Policy

President-Elect Obama's Palestinian Buddy Rashid Khalidi sat down on the Radically Left radio show Democracy Now. You might remember Khalidi, it was a tape of his "Going Away Party" Featuring Barack Obama the LA Times refused to release during the campaign.
Khalidi has been described as the former PLO Spokesman. Calling him a spokesman is like saying Jabba the Hut has a slight weight and/or slimy skin problem.

As Reported by WND:
Khalidi director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982, while the PLO was based in Lebanon and committing scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terror group. Even though Rashid Khalidi at times has denied working directly for the PLO but Palestinian diplomatic sources in Ramallah told WND he indeed worked on behalf of WAFA and was an adviser the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991. During documented speeches and public events, Khalidi has called Israel an "apartheid system in creation" and a destructive "racist" state [see a video of one of Khalidi's hate speeches at the end of this post
Khalidi is a SUPPORTER of Palestinian terror, calling homicide bombings response to "Israeli aggression." He dedicated his 1986 book, "Under Siege," to "those who gave their lives ... in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon." Critics have described the book as excusing Palestinian terrorism.

Rashid Khalidi sat down with leftist wackos Juan Gonzalez, and Amy Goodman to talk about Gaza and Obama's Mid-east policy. Below are excerpts:

Democracy Now

AMY GOODMAN: Your analysis of what’s happening in Gaza right now?
RASHID KHALIDI: The United States is allowing Israel to continue, as it has in every war that I can remember, to move forward—in this case, move over, in effect, the bodies of women and children, as you mentioned. Over 300 of the killed are children. 55 percent of the population of Gaza are children. So, every tank shell, every artillery shell, every bombardment risks killing children, and a huge proportion of the casualties are civilians. We don’t know how many, because there are probably people buried in ruins of neighborhoods that the Israeli army makes too unsafe for rescue people to go into.
AMY GOODMAN: And Israel just says if Hamas stops shelling southern Lebanon with its rockets, they’ll stop.
RASHID KHALIDI: They do. They have carried out one of the most brilliant propaganda campaigns I have ever seen, long before this began. The dehumanization of the Palestinians and the demonization of Hamas laid the groundwork for this. They did what I call “clearing the crime scene before the crime” by removing all witnesses. When I was in Jerusalem in November, Western journalists were complaining bitterly to me that they couldn’t get into Gaza. And, of course, there are no Western journalists in Gaza, because they have basically carried out the recommendations of the Winograd report that was issued after their war in Lebanon in 2006, one of which was you have to control the media. You have to make sure that you manipulate data, control images.
And they’ve done a brilliant job of that, at least in this country and to a lesser extent in Israel. The rest of the world sees what’s going on, because they’re taking the feeds by Palestinian journalists in Gaza, and the pictures and images by themselves and the numbers that you recited tell the story.
Gee we never noticed that...word for word from Gaza reporters...MMMM Now he claims that the US is Pro Israel because our Military-industrial complex has too much of an investment in the Middle East:

.....RASHID KHALIDI: ...We have an absolutely huge presence in the Middle East, unprecedentedly large. Never since World War II has the United States had such an enormous presence. At the height of the Cold War, when the United States was ostensibly facing a formidable rival, the United States did not have this many troops, this many bases, and so on and so forth. There’s an enormous investment in that, and that is something that I think has to be addressed at the root. Why do we have so many forces in these countries? It is very unpopular. Overwhelming majorities of Iraqis in every poll that I have ever seen are against our military presence in Iraq. And I think you’d find the same kinds of numbers in most other countries. This is one aspect of it.
And another aspect of it is the stranglehold of conventional wisdom in Washington, as far as what is to be done. It is distressing to see the same people who have engineered the failures of American policy over three—you could even say four, back to Reagan—successive administrations being considered for positions in the Obama administration dealing with Middle East policy. These are not just retreads. These are people who have comprehensively failed. In fact, many of them have written memoirs talking about how and why they failed. Let us just read what they say and see why we should never put these people anywhere near the levers of power.....the most preeminent among them is Dennis Ross, but there are others.
JUAN GONZALEZ: The trajectory of Obama’s positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the days—from his earlier days ’til then to the campaign and now to his silence during this period now before his inauguration, could you comment on that?
RASHID KHALIDI: Well, our President-elect is a politician, and he is, I assume, attentive to these wins, as he is to all political wins. There is not in this country a movement, there is not in this country a sustainable major political force able to say—which I think represents a large majority of Americans, if they knew, and even a large—I would guess a majority of the American Jewish community, many of whom do know. On the contrary, what we have is the appearance of a one-sided debate. We don’t have a debate in our political discourse, and in most of what appears in the media, we have what we had in the New York Times this morning: an atrocity and ten paragraphs of the New York Times carrying justifications of that.....And television is far, far worse.
BUT WAIT ??? Did he just say that the media was just running the story's word for word from the Gaza reporters??

Khalidi goes on to pay tribute to the 78% to the American Jews who voted for Obama.  Well not exactly paid tribute, more like used them as a PROPAGANDA TOOL:

RASHID KHALIDI: Right. I mean, if I were to say something to any American politician, it would be “Look at the votes in this last presidential election in the American Jewish community.” 76 percent of the American Jewish community—78, by some other figures—voted for Obama. Barack Obama was described as a Muslim. His middle man, Hussein, was stressed. The fact that he had a connection with me, a Palestinian who had political connections, was repeated by the presidential and vice-presidential candidates on the Republican side. In spite of that, he won 76 or 78 percent of the vote. The people who voted for McCain are the people who are really identified with AIPAC and the major American Jewish organizations. The people who voted for Obama, in spite of these things, are people who actually are open-minded on these issues.
 Actually Obama's BS Speech at AIPAC got a standing ovation.  I know because we talked about it during the "worldwide conspiracy sub-committee."
AMY GOODMAN: And what did you make of this huge attack at him, especially at the end, if you can call it an attack, with McCain speaking on Larry King, Sarah Palin continually invoking your name....“Rashid Khalidi, Rashid Khalidi,” and putting it together with the word “terrorist.”
 Amy...HE IS!!!! Now Khalidi pulls an Obama, "I was just a guy from the neighborhood"
RASHID KHALIDI: Well, if I may mix metaphors, it was a failed Hail Mary. I mean, to their enormous credit, the American people didn’t buy it. They voted for Barack Obama and Senator Biden, in spite of the constant invocation of Bill Ayers and terrorism and in spite of the invocation of my name.
RASHID KHALIDI: I mean, I was—we were his neighbors. We lived in the same neighborhood. We were colleagues at the University of Chicago. We saw each other quite frequently. I could—I mean, it is not easy to reach a president. The cocoons, the layers, are quite formidable.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And in your expectation, once he comes in, do you think that there’s going to be any semblance of a change in policy toward the Middle East?
RASHID KHALIDI: There will be a change in policy. I mean we’re already seeing it insofar as Iraq is concerned. I think we hopefully will see it in other areas. No, there will be a change. The question is how far. And enormous change is needed. I mean, everything we’ve been doing over not just the past administration—it’s easy to criticize George Bush—but what has been done over several administrations has been fundamentally mistaken. And I don’t know how radical a turn he is going to be able to make, even if he’s willing and desirous of doing so.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think he should have spoken out?
RASHID KHALIDI: Over Gaza, you mean?
AMY GOODMAN: Now, before he’s president, what people are calling for.
RASHID KHALIDI: Well, I mean, he’s the President-elect. He managed to deliver himself of pronouncements about Mumbai and about the economy. The only thing he said about Gaza was humanitarian, and he’s concerned about the casualties. I am more hopeful that once he is president, he will speak very directly to all the parties, not just to Israel, but also to the Egyptians and also to the Palestinian Authority. I hope he will change American policy. I think the important thing is when he’s president and when his team is in place, which it is not yet. The people who will actually execute whatever policies are decided at the top have not yet been chosen.