I wanna vote for Obama, I really do - and given the dangerous ignorance that Mitt Romney would bring to the global (and domestic) scene, I probably still will.
But damn, Barack, you make it hard.
Report from The Guardian (via @TonyKaron on Twitter) that the US has warned European governments (via a "private memo"!?) that any backing of the Palestinian initiative for recognition by the UN General Assembly,
saying such a move "would be extremely counterproductive" and threatening "significant negative consequences" for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions.
The US demands that a settlement between Israel and Palestinians must be obtained only by direct negotiations between those two parties. In other words, the so-called "peace process."
This is the epitome of stupidity. Why?
- the peace process is a joke. It has gone nowhere, and it's going nowhere, ever. Why? Because . . .
- Netanyahu is using his never-ending demand for a viable "peace partner" to play for time, pure and simple, even while the Judaization of East Jerusalem and colonization of the West Bank proceed apace. Any semi-sentient human being knows this; our professorial president surely knows it - yet he and his cohort acquiesce in it.
This is a time when the US needs to be charting a new course in the Middle East that will reflect awareness of new political realities. Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya now have popularly elected governments whose leaders need to be responsive to their respective publics. Any poll you want to consult will tell you that those publics expect their leaders/governments to be mindful of the situation of the Palestinians at the hands of Israel, and to do what they can to hold the US accountable for its support of Israel as regards that situation.
The newly resurgent Turkey - a country that the US would dearly love to reclaim as a dependable friend and ally - is led by a well-entrenched political party (the AKP) whose rise to power was predicated on responding to popular politics, and whose leader has made clear that he expects Israel to deal more fairly with the Palestinians.
Moreover, assuming that Bashar al-Asad's regime is eventually toppled in Syria, the government likely to emerge there will have a significant Islamist element that (you can bet your bottom dinar) will insist that Israel's expansion in the West Bank be reined in.
The US's only remaining strong allies in the Middle East are two hereditary monarchies - those of the ibn Saud in Saudi Arabia and the ibn Hashim in Jordan. The future of neither of them looks particularly stable, and the possibility that one or both of them will fall in the not too distant future is quite real.
This is no time for the US to be falling back on its default mode when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians.