Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The US change in position on settlements in occupied territory was not unexpected, in fact it has been clear since late spring. I'm surprised by how publicly and vocally Hillary is supporting Israel's settlement position. Once, by late spring, it was clear that the US was not going to force Israel to freeze settlement construction Israel had gotten what it wants. By that point, I would have expected the Obama administration to offer vocal support to the Arab side since its tangible support was going to Israel on an issue on which it had previously taken the Arab side.
Hillary plays in interesting role in the Obama administration. She was the person who committed the US to painful sanctions against Iran if Iran did not suspend enrichment this year, only to see the US contradict her stance on October 1, by saying it would accept Iran shipping some uranium out of the country to be further enriched, while it continues enriching uranium during later talks.
Now she is taking the position that Israel does not have to stop construction on the occupied territories, and she is taking the position that the US will not accept any changes to the deal presented to the public by the West, that Iran ship its uranium out in one batch this year to get fuel back some indefinite time in the future. (Maybe.)
I don't believe her any more. At least on Iran I'm sure her position is not the administration's position, her audience is more domestic, Israeli and maybe European advocates of hard line positions against Iran.
On settlements, I believe she is really reporting the US position, but I'm not sure what she is trying to accomplish if anything. She is actually as untalented at this position as Condoleeza Rice, which is to say completely incompetent, but she probably follows instructions if they are given. I'm not sure if there is a method to this action on her part or not.
The Arabs are angry and made helpless by this public position the US is taking. Not angry enough to change any policies. Arabs probably are the most politically pathetic people in the world. I hope I'm wrong, but it seems as if a kind of meek subservience to rich outside powers such as the US is a trait of Arab leadership that I'm going to have to incorporate into any model I form of the region.
It's been a long time since we've seen an Arab Erdogan or Khomeini and unfortunately (fortunately for the US) I don't see any on the horizon. There seems to be in the Arab world a kind of acceptance of traitorous leadership that I don't see anywhere else in the world.
So I guess it is interesting and maybe funny that the conflict between the Arabs and the last active colonialist project in the world is being led by non-Arabs of Iran and Turkey with Syria in a supporting role.
One possible theory is that Hillary in her impotence to impact Iran's uranium enrichment program is attempting to reassert her sense of first-world dominance by humiliating the Arabs.
Any where else in the world, Mubarak's grandchildren would come home crying from school saying "all the kids are making fun of us". Even if Mubarak didn't change his mind or policies, his grip on power would be weakening because fundamentally most societies would not tolerate a relationship like the one between the US and Arab countries. But in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, the Emirates, the West Bank, etc the leaders are sleeping fine at night after Hillary's insults. I think on some level they believe this is how it is supposed to be.
Posted by Arnold Evans at 12:15 AM