Thursday, September 17, 2009

The US's Shameful Response to the Goldstone Report

Report from Reuters that the US's UN rep., Susan Rice, essentially rejected the findings of the recently submitted Goldstone Report on war crimes committed by both Hamas and the IDF during the Gaza "Cast Lead" operation of Dec. 2008 - Jan. 2009.  The mandate from the UN Human Rights Council, for which the report was prepared, is flawed, says she, and therefore the report's recommendations that the Security Council discuss the report and perhaps forward recommendations to the International Criminal Court at The Hague can be ignored.

Mind you, this report was researched and compiled by an internationally respected, experienced jurist whose previous work in South Africa and Bosnia received great acclaim.  In this case, though, his findings discomfit Israel (which rejects them as one-sided - - goodness, what a surprise!) and also threaten to derail Obama's progress to an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.

Except . . . how can he expect any Palestinian leader to ante up anything toward that goal when the supposedly "fair broker" - the US - refuses to take seriously an authoritative report detailing how Israeli forces brutalized the Palestinian population of Gaza.  Israel disputes the facts, and the conclusions.  OK, let 'em; who expected otherwise?  But for Obama to simply tag along with their rejection is utterly shameless.  And it completely undercuts the ballyhooed outreach of his Cairo speech and Persian Nowruz greetings to Iran.

You make eloquent speeches, Mr. President, but too much of what you're doing - your "war of [dubious] necessity" in Afghanistan, your bogus shutting-down of Guantanamo ( hardly a step forward if you're simply going to "rendition" people to an even darker black-hole at Bagram), and now this - tells me that you're steering much too close to Mr. Bush's course.

I don't think thats what we elected you to do.

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