Obama’s Opportunity

Clive Hambidge

It came as little surprise that in an aside to White House aides, widely reported by a not so incredulous world media; one Barrack Hussein Obama was doubtful whether Binyamin Netanyahu could or would ever make the necessary concessions to achieve a “Middle East peace deal”. If there is a coherent Presidential strategy where a “deal” with the man that referred to a viable Palestinian state as “fried chicken” could be struck, then one is doubtful that Obama has a ‘viable’ vision in the first place for bringing a chastised Netanyahu to the table for a meaningful resumption of a negotiated peace process. “Facts on the ground” at the expense of the Palestinians, created and controlled in Palestine by Israel will be the truth of an “Israeli reality” and any one-sided Israeli “narrative” presented to any American President. Will Obama respond robustly? This is doubtful when America continues to support Israel’s illegal occupation, militarily and economically contrary to International Normative laws though in line with Obama’s “iron clad” commitment to Israeli security and Israel’s military “qualitative edge” This American policy is not a “template” for peace but for disaster as Arabs demand freedom in rejection of all tyranny and oppression. They will support vigorously, the right of the Palestinians for a Sovereign and contiguous state.

American foreign policy, armed and willing, extending the “neo conservative moment” into a far reaching, though shortsighted, series of hard and soft “surges” finds itself under a Commander In Chief that wrote in his book ‘The Audacity Of Hope’, this “I looked down at the old city, the Dome of the rock, the Western Wall, and the church of the Holy Sepulcher, considered the two thousand years of war and rumors of wars that this small plot of land had come to represent, and pondered the possible futility of believing that this conflict might somehow end in our time, or that America, for all its power, might have any lasting say over the course of the world. ” He goes on to say “I don’t linger on such thoughts, though–they are the thoughts of an old man.” Hardly the words of a visionary, or, an “old man” now a president who would take on the slippery Netanyahu! Or defend the winds of change blowing through an Arab Spring.

The young are the Arab Spring, and they, are weary of old men; old men and their outmoded reactionary and invidious policies. Their transitional aims, fired as arrows from revolutionary bows, seek the target of ridding that region from “authoritarian political cultures” and consolidating their aims through political evolution and institutional democratic “installation.” They -the young- counter the organised violence in the various Nation States with a courage that knows change has come to that region and, do not want the conditional “aid” from the US that has supported for too long the murderous dictatorships that they are o so very close to overthrowing. International investment yes, unilateral aid from America no; for it will come to Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as a cache of weapons of mass destruction in a package tied up with the black ribbons of empty rhetoric.

The Arab young are to be respected. As to the non-state actors, who? If for example in Egypt in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood is radical in its actions, then it is in the form of the wholly radical idea that all are to be respected. That the poor will be fed, and the rich will feed them, that the sick will be healed and the rich will provide the resources to heal them. And that justice for the poor will be seen to be done as the rich return the money stolen from them.

To understand the “Obama strategy” for that troubled region formed for him by the Neo-Cons and articulated in the National Security Strategy of the United States (NSS) one must understand their “doctrinal Statements” which sees, the “gravest danger” for the US as “the crossroads of radicalism(Islamic) and technology. Our enemies … seeking weapons of mass destruction … evidence indicates that they are doing so with determination … America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed.” This means that the US will probably, in one form or another, covert, or overt undermine any fledgling democracy before it has the wings to fly. It is ironic, is it not, that the weapons that the “enemies” seek to use against America, those “weapons of mass destruction” have been placed in their vicinity by America and its allies.

As the former Neo Conservative Francis Fukuyama warns in his book ‘America At The Crossroads’, “The apocalyptic view of the “threat from the Muslim world is wrong” as to the “neo-conservative ideologies that internalized a hard-line Israeli strategic doctrine and applied it, in [his] view, to the situation of the United States after September 11.” It is then against this back drop of continued American Hegemony and the “Israeli Project” that we must view President Obama’s speech and the inevitable failure of the peace process.

If you deem this to be a harsh summary, it is worth reading this quote from Noam Chomsky’s ‘World Orders, Old and New’, “Washington’s Israeli client is to serve as the military, industrial, and financial center of a regional system that links Egypt, Turkey, the Gulf oil producers, and secondary participants.” And if you further doubt Obama’s part in this and lest we forget that America’s contrary and self defeating idea remains that one could bring the Israeli leadership to negotiations by rewarding their intransigence. It is worth noting that the toxic carrot held out to Netanyahu for agreeing to a ‘freeze’ on settlement building in 2010 was the “promise” to give him amongst other insidious “incentives” 20 American F35 fighter aircraft and the usual pledge by America to veto any right-minded ‘anti-Israel’ resolutions put before a supine United Nations.

America’s ‘diplomacy’ remains the aggressive, abrasive, and sustained neo-con commitment to control the Middle Eastern resources through force. It is taken from an old chapter in a discredited American book. The new book will be written by the Arabian youth and the early script has been written with their blood.

Link to the Iranian News Agency http://www.irna.ir/ENNewsShow.aspx?NID=30401206&SRCH=1

Clive Hambidge is Human Development Director at Facilitate Global. He can be contacted at  clive.hambidge@facilitateglobal.org

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