Israel Begins Ground Operation In Gaza

All politics isn’t local.  We’ve had a Malaysian 777 apparently shot down over Ukraine today, and Israeli forces have begun a ground operation in Gaza after a couple of weeks of rocket attacks.  Consider this an open thread to discuss all things of foreign policy, domestic politics, and anything political but not #gapol.  Also, consider this a reminder that all politics isn’t just consultants battling each other over sound bites. Elections, and actions of governments, matter.

To get you started, we’ll have a note from Congressman Westmoreland about Israel after the jump.

Westmoreland: I Stand With Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On July 11, 2014, the U. S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 657, a resolution condemning the acts of terrorism against Israel by Hamas and pledges support as they defend their Jewish state. The resolution passed by unanimous consent with Congressman Westmoreland’s full support. Below is Congressman Westmoreland’s statement.

“The unprovoked acts of terrorism by Hamas and Gaza terrorists against Israel must stop. That’s why I pledged my support for the self-defense of one of our nation’s closest allies: Israel. H. Res. 657 specifically reaffirms the U.S. House of Representatives support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens in order to ensure the survival of the State of Israel, condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel, and calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel.

“Currently, Hamas refuses to agree to a cease-fire and is relentlessly firing rockets at Israel – hurting innocent people, forcing Israel to fight back to protect their civilians. When these terrorists refuse to work with diplomatic solutions, the Israelis have the right to exercise self-defense — that’s why I stand with Israel.”



  1. Will Durant says:

    You can’t buy SAMs off the shelf that knock down planes that are six miles up. This was a state sponsored act but with the historic machinations in that region it will become a labyrinth of charges/counter-charges. Ultimately the world will witness a debate on whether the guilty party was a double or even triple agent.

  2. Jon Lester says:

    Does anyone remember how long it took to determine what brought down TWA800 in 1996? Now everyone’s so sure of the cause, because the Kiev regime asserted as much almost before it happened. And why do we have to hear from John McCain every time anything happens?

    • Harry says:

      We don’t have to wait for the Hague, we know who did it – the separatist militia. Why is Obama muddying the waters on this? I don’t trust his motives.

  3. Charlie says:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement after reports and evidence suggests pro-Russian separatists were responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

    “To date, the evidence on hand points to pro-Russian separatists – who since conflict began in Eastern Ukraine have clearly been aided, encouraged and supplied by Russia – taking the lives of nearly 300 individuals in the sky over Ukraine,” said Rep. Price. “There’s no mistaking that Russia’s aggressive posture and efforts to carve apart a neighboring nation have led to the violence and instability that has now resulted in such a horrific loss of innocent life. The United States must lead the international community in continuing to condemn those hostilities and apply pressure on Russia’s leaders to end the violence. Further, if investigations prove direct – as evidence seems to point to – assistance was supplied by Russian military to the separatists in firing the missile that took down the Malaysia Airlines plane, there can be no abiding excuses from Russia’s leaders. Moreover, there needs to be a new assessment of what steps America and our allies can and should take to halt Russia’s efforts to foment unrest and violent conflict.”

        • Three Jack says:

          Lea, as good a guess as any.

          To me it seems media, politicians, et al use the term to imply the ‘separatists’ are not quite as bad as ‘terrorists’. But they are just as bad if not worse, they actually have modern weapons with the balls and training to use them. Just a weird observation I guess, but something that stood out as I watched all the politicos yesterday.

    • Jon Lester says:

      It wasn’t Russian NGO’s or taxpayer money that funded a fascist overthrow of a democratically-elected government. This was forced upon them by the Obama administration, in tandem with neocon leftovers that neither Hillary nor the president found any reason to remove.

      All this tells me is that Tom Graves is one more partisan, Russophobic fool who hasn’t asked the obvious question of how or why Russia or eastern Ukrainian separatists would benefit from doing this. The Kiev regime doesn’t have a very good record of truth-telling itself, you know.

      And what’s in it for the rest of us? Will that company that just hired Joe Biden’s son and John Kerry’s former campaign manager be offering us any jobs? Is there any way American natural gas can compete with Russia’s without heavy subsidy, and raising domestic prices at the same time? Surely no one thinks those Ukrainian shale reserves can be exploited in time for winter.

      This is a far worse foreign policy fiasco than Benghazi, because it was a conscious effort that could and should have been completely avoided. If there were such a thing as a news outlet motivated first by truth, and not by funding (and it really doesn’t matter if that funding comes from commercial means or donations, as we’ve seen with NPR and “Democracy Now!”), the money trail could easily be compiled and presented. You want grounds for impeachment? It’s this or nothing.

  4. saltycracker says:

    Posted my comment on the Malaysian planes black boxes in Putin rebel hands on the Friday open thread.

    Israel: Guess we can rehash the carving of the Ottoman empire after WWI or the UN establishing Israel after WWII. Or English Kings kicking Scotland and Ireland. Conquered tribes that can retain some identity don’t forget. That said, Muslim nations can either live with Israel or continue to get their butts kicked and territories lost while whining to the world. Obama’s foreign policy failure is encouraging every tough guy in the world looking to conquer their neighbor.

    Someone needs to play Chris Rock’s “how to get your ass kicked” to the Hamas, over and over.

  5. John Konop says:

    In the conflict in Israel do not understand the end game. As bad as Hamas is if you destabilize them and Israel leaves you have the next radical group of the day in charge or worse….If Israel stays occupations never work well and usually cost a lot. Not saying I have any answers…..just not sure how this gets fixed….

    As far as the airline incident….Russia has no win in this being shot down…but what happens when you support rouge under trained rebels….the sanctions will not work as long as oil is 110 a barrel…..if that goes down it could hurt our economy which is being driven by high fuel prices…low fuel prices kills our growth ie fracking, natural gas….a real catch 22

    • Michael Silver says:

      Gaza proves that the two-state solution is a load of carp. Israel left Gaza. PERIOD. They even left factories and facilities to the help the Gazaians get a jump start toward economic independence.

      What did Israel get …. rocket attacks and terrorist attacks. What did the Gazaians do with their self government …. they spent all their money on an extensive tunnel system to protect its leaders and to attack Israel.

      The best thing for the people in the West Bank, the region and Egypt, and the world is to resettle the Gazaians elsewhere in the region (separate the parties) and either turn over Gaza to Egypt or Israel. Western society shouldn’t reward terrorism and one way is to stop it is to punish severely the perpetrators.

      • John Konop says:

        The problem is Egypt does not want them, they have thier own internal issues…. a real quagmire….as far as 2 state solution to many êxtremist tribal group ie same issue in Iraq….Combine that with massive education issues through out the Middle East….makes rebuilding very difficult with many who cannot read let alone have any real skills…..add on technology moving at a rapid pace…..which is driven by skilled labor you have a real mess…..we have problems here with education, but compared to the Midde East our issues look like a walk in the park….No simple solutions….

  6. seenbetrdayz says:

    Did someone forget to tell Malaysia that there’s a war going on in Ukraine?

    I don’t care how badly I want to get somewhere, you don’t have to fly me over a war zone on the way. —That’s not excusing the people who killed the passengers, but somewhere there is a flight-planner who needs firing.

    • Charlie says:

      One of the network newscasts addressed that issue on a recent broadcast. Look at the amount of airspace nearby that is also closed to traffic or has active bad stuff happening on the ground (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Crimea, etc). There aren’t many lanes to get through. So, despite the airspace warning over the area, they cited some 67ish airlines that had flown through the space in the last month (I think). There were 3 other commercial airliners right behind this one. Malaysia Air was just the unlucky one, but not nearly the only one doing this.

      • Jon Lester says:

        But they’d been taking a route over central Ukraine and the Sea of Azov previously that week. We should press harder for an answer to why Ukrainian ATC directed them over the east of the country. Also, conservatives who’ve made a mantra out of “Benghazi” need to break from Russophobic groupthink and seriously question why this administration made an active effort with taxpayer monies to create this situation in the first place.

  7. saltycracker says:

    As more info comes out, Putin needs Hillary to write him a speech regardless of what she’d charge.

Comments are closed.