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.