Monday, 7 December 2009

Obama's True Colours?

In a move not made under any previous US administration, the Internal Revenue Service has seized and sold 7,000 acres of the reservation assigned under Treaty to the Crow Creek Sioux people.
The Tribes exist on their reservations as residually-sovereign independent nations, denied normal human rights by successive decisions of the Supreme Court of an alien country - the USA.
Tribes are not normally taxed by the US [most Americans do have vague memories of 'no taxation without representation'] because the Tribal Territories are not part of the USA. Tribes are taxed on their dealings with the US economy and its citizens; but this taxation had not previously been applied to the Crow Creek Sioux.
President Obama recently applied his usual rhetoric to a gathering of the 'Native American' peoples.
This subsequent incident shows the operational irrelevance of his verbosity: as the Palestinians have found in his acceptance of ongoing Israeli settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem after his Cairo speech and accompanying verbiage about an absolute stop on settlements.
Words are cheap.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Abbas or Bust?

The announcement by Palestinian President Abbas that he will not stand for election in January is, in effect, an announcement of deferment of the next test of democratic opinion among the Paleastinian people. Abbas' paymasters in Washington boobed disastrously when they persuaded him to soft-pedal in his reaction to the UN Report on 'War Crimes' in Gaza - while Israelis were extending settlements in the West Bank and expropriating householders in East Jerusalem - and his pretension to be the 'least-worst' option for his people became untenable. His prompt volte face reduced his standing still further, and his subsequent meeting with Secretary of State Clinton was immediately followed by her visit to Israel in which she was reported to have confirmed that the US would take no action to deter the settlements and expropriations.

Abbas should perhaps begin now on his next career as an US chat-show host; following in the footsteps of the defeated Sitting Bull who appeared in the nineteenth-century equivalent: Buffalo Bill's Circus. Why should I draw that particular analogy? The answer lies in the Levantine Lozenge accessible via this site.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Obama's Lost Year

As we reach the first anniversary of President Obama's election victory - over the fading John McCain and the impossible Sarah Palin - commentators all over the world are asking what he has achieved. Given that his party also gained overwhelming predominance in Congress, his achievements are minimal; and he has accrued the embarrassment of the Nobel Peace Prize [apparently awarded for the spectacular achievement of not being George W Bush].

His team continued, and necessarily extended, the counter-recessionary measures that the Bush administration had taken to minimise the impact of the credit crunch that had been triggered by the implosion of Bill Clinton's policy of encouraging lenders to sell sub-prime mortgages. The recovery programme looks as if it has broadly been successful, though at the cost of millions of jobs and the mortgaging of the future revenues of the Federal Government.

At the touchstone of international politics, he has left it to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to disclose the abject nature of his climbdown to the Israelis on the key question of settlements. There has never been a chance that he would have the bottle to push forward with action that matched his early rhetoric on this key question. US policy on this issue has never been dominated by some Jewish lobby. Yes, American Jews have been passionate advocates of Israel; but so have millions of millenarian Christians who believe in the literal truth of the [King James] Bible and therefore take for granted the future existence of a hegemonic Jewish State in Judea and Samaria which must be ready for the Second Coming of the Messiah. The asserted 'manifest destiny' of the USA to replace the 'Indian' tribes right across the continent did not have the Divine sanction that the Bible gives to Zionism; and even in the very recent past the US Supreme Court has simply declined to interpret in their plain meaning the succession of treaties that the US made and broke with the indigenous people. If the US condemns settlement on the West Bank too completely, it condems its own History: here is the crucial dilemma.
These key facts form the basis for the narrative in the LEVANTINE LOZENGE : for more enlightenment, link to that from this website.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Blair's Boom Continues: West Bank Stays Bust

It looks as if Tony Blair's preposterous ambition to become 'President of Europe' has been stymied, and that his rumoured preparedness to forego a reputed £5million a year will not be put to the test.
His vainglorious occupation of the role of economy-builder for the Palestinian people has attracted occasional bursts of the usual celeb publicity; but the measurable achievements are minimal and they have made no perceptible contribution to the 'peace process'.

Meanwhile the nomination of two Muslims for middle-ranking posts in the Obama administration has sent theAmerican right into another paroxysm of phobia: and there's no sign there that Blair's Faith Foundation has any mitigating influence on such propaganda.

It is not possible to change what people think. Blair's legalisated enforcement of political correctness has not suppressed frank discussion of matters of concern in the family circle: as is evidenced by this week's report of a massive rise in the use of racist abuse by even the under-fives in British schoools. Apartheid has prevailed in schools in the old northern mill towns for three decades, while teachers pretend that armed neutrality between ethinc groups [punctuated by occasional violent flare-ups] is evidence of a satisfactory development of inter-faith and inter-racial relationships.

President Blair would not have been able to cope with the crisis-to-come in Europe: when the continuing relative economic decline of the continent exposes the ethno-religious faultline that everybody knows to exist.  This will require sensitive staesmanship: not spin, lies and posturing.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Can it really be true?

It is sometimes hard not to fall for a conspiracy theory: but good old 'sod's law' is enough to explain most of the tiny disastrous decisions and incidents that have conspired to bring the United Kingdom to its present sorry state.
This is the theme of the Bugger-up Awards, which is now accessible from this blog. Try it!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Human Rightists Hoist by their own Petard

The recent adoption by a UN committee of the Goldstone report that asserts that both Israeli and Hamas forces committed 'war crimes' before and during the latest Israeli Gaza incursion has sent major components of the Human Rights industry into turmoil and tailspin.
For more than half a century the world's revulsion at the horrors of the destruction of Jews and Gypsies in Europe, and the treatment of 'inferior' Koreans and 'errant' Chinese by the Japanese, before and during the Second World War, has given a licence to the lawyer-led human rights industry to build up a huge corpus of moderately remunerative law and of forceful lobbying whose overall result has been to make rational government and national self-defence impossible.
It is part of the tragedy of humanity that in extremis the pragmatic use of force by an overriding state authority is necessary to defend the positive values that society depends upon.
Thomas Hobbes argued, in the seventeenth century, that a sovereign was necessarily 'at war' with his subjects, so that by occasionally sending some to face death on the battlefield he could protect the lives and liberties of the rest. So it will always be: at nodal points in history 'rights' must be surrendered to the greater good.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Palestine Tragedy Deepens

As the cynics have predicted all along, there has never been serious intent in enough of the parties for the 'roadmap' process to come to any positive conclusion.
The effluxion of time since the deal was notified has enabled massive settlement activity to proceed; and the disillusion of Palestinians with any leadership has intensified.
The role of the United States, so heavily 'bulled' in the early days of the Obama presidency, has sunk back to the usual support for Israel combined with offers of subsidy for anyone else in the region who will tolerate Israel.
The lack of determination by the United States to 'discipline' Israel is often ascribed to the 'Israeli' or 'Jewish' lobby in the country. There is no doubt that the Jewish supporters of Israel are influential in most advanced countries, but there is another, more powerful force at work in the United States: American History.
This unrecognised force will ensure that the US will NEVER side against Isreal.
To understand the reasons for this, see THE LEVANTINE LOZENGE, accessible from this site.