Monday, June 22, 2009

Obama and the return of the chicken hawks

David Seaton's News Links
Such an unlikely commentator as the paleo-conservative curmudgeon, Pat Buchanan, has said something quite wise in defense of US president Barack Obama's policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Iran:
It is impossible to believe a denunciation of the regime by Obama will cause it to stay its hand if it believes its power is imperiled. But it is certain that if Obama denounces Tehran, those demonstrators will be portrayed as dupes and agents of America before and after they meet their fate.

If standing up and denouncing the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad from 7,000 miles away is moral heroism, it is moral heroism at other people's expense.
Buchanan has defined the situation with precision. when he speaks of "moral heroism at other people's expense.

In his analysis of the futility of international pressure on the Ayatollahs he is seconded by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
One could assume that any country with a "supreme leader" whose power is handed down by God probably has a regime that doesn't care about the beating they'll take on Facebook forums.
But, if perchance I give the impression that Buchanan and Haaretz -- strange bedfellows if ever there were -- are reading off the same page, I should quote the closing lines of the Haaretz article which are a thinly veiled invitation to war:
Pray for the Iranian people, because it will take much more than a handful of martyrs and an endless stream of online flotsam to set them free.
Who exactly are Haaretz suggesting should bell the cat and "set them free"?

Who are the people pressuring Obama to get involved in Iran's internal affairs?

What we are witnessing is the return of the "chicken hawks", those "brave hearts", who have never fought and never intend to, or ever intend to send their children to fight, but who are in favor of American intervention in armed quarrels around the globe.

At the bottom, this is all about the neocons-Likud wanting an American war with Iran, just like they did with Iraq: we even had an article by Paul Wolfowitz, of all people, in the Washington Post.

All of this is just part of the media preparation for another war. The objective of the Israeli right wing is to break up the powerful nation states of the ME into their weakened component parts like they have in Iraq.

This, as the saying goes, is where Obama finds out who his real friends are.

One of the best defenses of Obama's reluctance to get involved in the neoconerie is from Leslie Gelb a former New York Times columnist and senior government official writing for the Council on Foreign Relations:
However "right" open condemnation might be, would it be influential in a helpful direction, i.e. to settle matters without undue bloodshed with highly uncertain results? Wolfowitz, the master strategist of the Bush administration for the Middle East, argues a resounding yes. He points to the color revolutions of Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, and yes, there's something to this. But Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was actually dismantling the Soviet empire-doing our work for us-and neither Ronald Reagan nor George H.W. Bush wanted to interfere with that process. Wolfowitz also cites the Philippines and the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos. But of course, Washington had enormous influence with the Filipino security forces to back up our calls for democracy, which we totally lack in Iran. Wolfowitz fails to mention moral calls in the 1950s by John Foster Dulles and the C.I.A. for uprisings in Hungary and its neighbors. The result? Soviet armies crushed the revolutionaries, and we did nothing, as President Eisenhower had made clear was his position beforehand. And Wolfowitz doesn't mention H.W. Bush's urging the Shiites of southern Iraq to rebel against Saddam in the wake of the first Gulf War. This resulted in a Shiite rebellion and in Saddam's killing tens of thousands of those poor souls, while Washington did absolutely nothing. And what about Tiananmen? Would going to the moral mattresses have prevented the awful crackdown by the Chinese communist government? Not a chance. And look where we are today-with China as America's biggest holder of U.S. securities. Wolfowitz and his fellow neocons are well aware of these histories and historical complexities. So, their disregard of any fair-minded exposition of the issue suggests a hidden motive-the Krauthammer goal of confrontation and regime change.
Why are they taking this trouble, with all the risk it entails?

Because they are desperate, that's why.

Israel has painted itself into a such a terminal corner that we are watching the death throes of a democratic Jewish state: either it becomes officially a totalitarian, apartheid state or it disappears.

The Palestinian "state", which is supposed to solve this would only be a giant prison camp administered by the trustees, and even that is too much for Israel's right wing

As a pariah apartheid regime, scorned by what is left of the civilized world the best and the brightest will leave the country to the semi-literate Haredi, who don't recognize the legitimacy of the "Zionist entity" any more than Hamas does.

Like a drowning man pulling his rescuers down with him, the moral blackmail the Israeli Likudnics assert on American Jewish people is warping the entire political and communications scene of the USA completely out of shape and if some distance is not put between the USA and Israel this grotesque partiality for a foreign state and the endless series of wars it drags the United States into, will eventually lead to a different relationship between American Jewish people and the rest of Americans: let me be clear that I'm not talking about traditional antisemitism, but rather a cooling, a skepticism, a cynicism... nonetheless tragic for all of us.

This is where, as the saying goes, Obama finds out who his real friends are.

Lets hope he stands fast and doesn't crack under this tremendous pressure because the principal challenge facing the USA is to provide good education, health care and gainful employment for all its citizens, not to eternally pull Israel's chestnuts out of the fire.

To p
rovide good education, health care and gainful employment for all its citizens the United States of America must stop tilting at windmills around the world and concentrate its resources on these tasks.

This means dismantling to a great degree its grotesquely bloated military-industrial complex and disengaging from many of the areas which were a priority during the cold war.

Israel is one of the most significant of these areas. DS

1 comment:

Kurz said...

I agree.

MorĂ³n and Rota would be next.