Sunday, May 1, 2011

US Hypocrisy in Dealing with Arab Pro-Dignity Uprisings

In the LA Times, Andrew Bacevich exposes American hypocrisy and double standards in its approach to uprisings across the Arab Middle East, and suggests that the US back non-violence in its relations there:
Any nation wishing to see the politics of give-and-take displace the politics of coercion ought to set an appropriate example. This the United States has not done. Through arms sales and giveaways, its military presence and its propensity for intervention, the U.S. has for decades underwritten and encouraged violence as the mainstay of Middle East politics. Washington has talked peace while promoting war.

In this regard, President Obama's ongoing Libya intervention qualifies as simply more of the same. The president's preference for air power over ground troops cannot disguise what continues to be a reflexive American reliance on force.

In the Middle East, bloodletting begets more bloodshed. The dynamic of the Arab uprising — placard-waving protesters filling the central square — offers the possibility of breaking this cycle. To seize the opportunity, the United States should embrace three principles. First, support and celebrate those pursuing change through peaceful means, whatever their political agenda. Second, condemn without exception those who resort to guns and truncheons, whether their aim is to promote change or avert it. Third, foreswear any further use of force as an instrument of U.S. policy in the Arab world, thereby demonstrating that we are committed to fostering an approach to politics in which violence will play no part.

The militarization of U.S. policy in the Middle East, dating from the promulgation of the Carter doctrine in 1980, has produced much pain and little gain. Prudential and moral imperatives alike demand that the United States change course. The chance to begin doing so is at hand.

Meanwhile, we have another pro-people/pro-dignity uprising: the decision by Hamas and Fatah to join in a unity government - something for which the young people of both Gaza and the West Bank have clamored for months.  The Netanyahu government, determined as ever to be on the wrong side of history, is screaming foul and demanding that the rest of the world side with it.   Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the GOP rep who heads the House Foreign Affairs committee, has put Mr. Abbas and his people on notice.  Now the Israeli government has decided to withhold from the Palestinian Authority about $90 million in tax revenue until it can somehow prove that none of the funds would go to Hamas.

This is not the first time the Israelis have resorted to this kind of extortion.  But the rest of the world will need to step up.

These Israeli measures will not deter us,” Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority prime minister said on Sunday, “from every possible effort to expedite the completion of the file of ending the division and restoring national unity, regardless of such actions, steps or threats.”

Mr. Fayyad told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that Palestinian leaders were in contact with international forces and bodies to try to prevent the Israeli measure.


prasad said...

Really what a bad news for Gadhafy if he compromise with the protesters and with NATO forces this couldn't happened so past is past now Mr. Gadhafi surrender himself and his government leaders to their forces and give the power to the people of Libya this is only solution for this problem.

Rob said...

In 1948 Israel stole the land,valuables,homes,pots and pans... now they still do that-they steal ancient olive trees for the love of God;so why would it be any surprise that they steal Palestinian tax revenue?Fatah-Hamas reconciliation is just another pathetic excuse for Israel to continue stealing Palestine while bleating about "no partner".


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