Sunday, January 04, 2009
Obama & AIPAC
Obama's Statement on the Crisis in Palestine
It's no small wonder that President Elect Barack Obama is keeping silent on the current round of wanton slaughter and destruction in Palestine. After all He had already made his position crystal clear when he addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, otherwise known as "The Israeli Lobby", on June 4th of last year. There had been doubts amongst a portion of Jewish voters as to his fealty to Israel but in his opening statement he put those fears to rest.
"I want you to know that today I'll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow and forever."
The speech, reportedly written by James Steinberg, his newly nominated deputy secretary of state and former deputy national security advisor under Bill Clinton, was the Nadir of Obama's semblance of integrity. His sycophantic, one sided admiration for Israel was as intense as his vilification of anyone who dared to criticize its policies. His choice of words to express the unity between the U.S. and Israel was probably more revealing that he would have liked.
"Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values. Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."
If by "shared values" he means that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been one of pillage, murder and chaos, then he would be right. If by "shared interests" he means the theft of Arab land, he would also be correct. The same foreign policy pursued by the Bush-Cheney gang, against which he had been railing during his campaign, is acceptable when it comes to protecting a nuclear armed apartheid regime such as Israel. The obligatory nod to a negotiated Peace was briefly addressed in terms that would not have anyone shifting in their seats...
"As president, I will work to help Israel achieve the goal of two states, a Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security. And I won't wait until the waning days of my presidency." SNIP "Israel's quest for peace with its neighbors has stalled, despite the heavy burdens borne by the Israeli people."
How many Presidents have we heard this from over the last 20 years ? What "quest for Peace" with its neighbours? Every dog and pony show organized by successive occupants of the Whitehouse has been only to give the appearance of progress and has always proposed an impossible choice for the Palestinians in which they would be the ones to give and the Israelis would be the ones to take. Camp David Redux. He goes on to recount a visit to Israel on which he took a joyride on an IDF helicopter, paid for by U.S. taxpayer "aid" he consistently voted for..
"I saw a narrow and beautiful strip of land nestled against the Mediterranean. On the ground, I met a family who saw their house destroyed by a Katyusha rocket. I spoke to Israeli troops who faced daily threats as they maintained security near the blue line. I talked to people who wanted nothing more simple, or elusive, than a secure future for their children."
There was no visit to the very unbeautiful, poverty ridden lunar landscape that is Gaza. There was no mention of the thousands of Palestinian families who had lost sons, daughters, mothers and fathers to F-16's, Apache attack helicopters, Merkava tanks, white phosphorous bombs, nerve gas and M-16 bullets all delivered through his complicity and his commitment to Israel's "security". There was no mention of the thousands of Palestinian homes bulldozed to rubble, the thousands of families these criminal acts made homeless. There needs to be recognition of the real suffering on both sides of the equation. Israeli families are suffering as a consequence of the actions of their own government and those of the U.S. which have given rise to the actions of a desperate Palestinian people who have been driven to the end of hopelessness and despair. An increasing number of Israeli citizens are beginning to realise this and opposition to the occupation and the enslavement is growing. There are increasing numbers of these same Israeli troops that Obama talked to that are refusing to take part in the destruction of an entire people.
"Israel can also advance the cause of peace by taking appropriate steps - consistent with its security - to ease the freedom of movement for Palestinians, improve economic conditions in the West Bank, and to refrain from building new settlements - as it agreed to with the Bush administration at Annapolis."
Ah, "security" again. Does Obama not realize that these same "settlements" represent an abrogation of International Law? Does "security" outweigh this same framework of International Law to which his own country and Israel are signatories? Is he going to continue to add to the very long list of U.S. vetoed resolutions against Israel? The only U.N. resolution that he wants to see enforced is 1701 under which the "security council calls for an end to hostilities between Hizbollah and Israel", never mind that Israel instigated this massacre to try and bring Hizbollah to heel only to have to drag their sorry behinds back home. The precipitating event was"by way of deception", the motto of Mossad, and was quickly sanitized from any media reporting.
Obama will continue the vilification of and bellicosity towards Iran and Syria which he insists pose a grave danger to a country that possesses hundreds of Nuclear weapons. The following quotes illustrate the continuity we can expect with regard to U.S. policy in the Middle East.
"The threats to Israel start close to home, but they don't end there. Syria continues its support for terror and meddling in Lebanon. And Syria has taken dangerous steps in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, which is why Israeli action was justified to end that threat." No matter that the "The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no trace of nuclear material in Syria's Al-Kibar so far, but it would continue sampling in this area to analyze, said Mohammed ElBaradei, IAEA director general, in Vienna Monday" Source. The IAEA has not come back to date with any confirmation.
"There is no greater threat to Israel - or to the peace and stability of the region - than Iran." SNIP "The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. Its president denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat."
It does not seem to register with Obama that the original translation from Farsi to English had been later corrected to "I have no doubt that the new movement taking place in our dear Palestine is a spiritual movement which is spanning the entire Islamic world and which will soon remove this stain of disgrace from the Islamic world". The original New York Times translation was disingenuous at the very least. With regard to Iran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, the IAEA has yet to find a single scrap of evidence to support this claim. They didn't come up with any proof with regard to Iraq either but that didn't stop the invasion as the U.S. and it's allies demanded Saddam Hussein prove a negative. His upcoming ultimatum to Iran to either stop it's unproven nuclear weapons program or face the consequences fails to take in to account the strong military and trade agreements between Iran, China and Russia. Would the future President be willing to drop American boots into China and Russia's backyard? Would this increase "the peace and stability of the region"? Russian President Vladimir Putin has already laid the ground rules for this scenario. Source
Despite his current silence, the echoes of his betrayal of the Palestinian people are there for everyone to hear.
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