In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush recognized that Israel’s endless war on the Palestinians, a grossly unequal struggle waged with the military, financial, and diplomatic support of the United States, had put America at risk. For a brief moment, Bush spoke strongly of the need to establish a Palestinian state and bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a speedy and just conclusion. Bush even demanded an end to Israeli incursions into the West Bank and the targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders.
In very little time, the president realized that acknowledging America’s own foreign policy in the Middle East had put America in the terrorist crosshairs was unlikely to be a vote-getter, particularly among the Republican Party’s Evangelical faithful, who view the establishment of the state of Israel as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. So the president, with the eager support of both parties and a tame corporate media, chose the explanation that foreigners willing to fly airplanes into buildings must hate America’s freedom and openness, our margaritas and miniskirts. This facile and entirely specious assertion was a much more palatable explanation for 9/11 than that American intervention, particularly U.S. support of corrupt Arab kings and potentates, a blank check for Israeli adventurism, and a murderous embargo on the Iraqi people, had provoked an intense hatred of the U.S. among a small but growing percentage of Muslims around the world.
Fast forward though the invasion of Iraq, justified by entirely bogus intelligence, through years of fighting in Afghanistan, bringing nothing but misery to the Afghan people, and through Israel’s brutal pounding of Lebanon and Gaza, to the election of a new American president determined to make a fresh start with the Muslim world. Barack Obama’s visit to Cairo in June of last year to deliver a much-ballyhooed speech seemed to break with the policies of the Bush administration, which had been perceived, especially in the Arab states, as blatantly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim. As part of Obama’s determination to change America’s profile among the world’s billion Muslims, he subsequently insisted that Israel end all settlement activity in Palestinian lands captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, a stance consistent with international law and favored by most of America’s allies.
As Bush learned in 2001, pressure on Israel, no matter how justified, takes courage and has political costs. The Democratic Party has long received a large proportion of its financial support from Israel’s friends in the United States, and Israel has many advocates in the Obama administration, the best example being the president’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who served in the Israeli army. So President Obama quickly surrendered to Israel’s American constituency, dropped his insistence that settlement of Palestinian lands cease, and began to pressure the Palestinian Authority’s weakling President Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations without preconditions.
To put a seal on Obama’s humiliation at the hands of right-wing Israeli politicians Bibi Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, the Obama administration sidelined the Goldstone Report detailing war crimes during the Gaza war (“willful killings and willful causing great suffering” to the civilian population and “collective punishment intentionally inflicted by the government of Israel on the people of the Gaza Strip”), signed a multi-year, $30 billion defense protocol with the Israelis, and rebuked U.S. Middle East negotiator George Mitchell for saying quite accurately that the U.S. had once withheld U.S. loan guarantees as a way showing displeasure at settlement activity.
At the same time, President Obama did nothing to alleviate the sufferings of 1.4 million desperate Palestinians under Israeli siege in Gaza. How bad are conditions in Gaza? Some 80 percent of its residents rely on foreign assistance, and unemployment is above 40 percent. Medical supplies, fuel, and food are routinely held up at the Israeli border. Half of Gaza’s schools have not been repaired from Israel’s onslaught a year ago. Almost unbelievably, the Obama administration has made suffering in Gaza worse by pressuring the Egyptian government to close smuggling tunnels connecting Gaza with Egyptian Sinai, which provided an alternative means of moving a trickle of goods around the Israeli blockade. Although Americans may close their eyes to the miserable existence Israel is inflicting on the people of Gaza, who have done nothing to harm the United States and do not threaten us in any way, Americans may be certain that our complicity has not gone unnoticed across the Muslim world.
The Obama administration has also maintained the Bush administration’s hostility to Syria. The Commerce Department recently vetoed the sale of European-manufactured Airbus commercial airliners to Syrian Air, which the Commerce Department was apparently able to do because 10 percent of the aircraft’s components are made in the U.S. Just what American strategic objective is furthered by forcing Syrians to fly around in clapped-out, Soviet-vintage commercial aircraft is unknown. Will the Syrian man in the street love us for putting his life at risk when he flies from Damascus to Aleppo? Or is this simply another case in which the interests of Israel trump those of the U.S.?
It is also worth noting that Gen. David Petraeus, that most political of all generals, has continued to accuse Syria of supporting the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. This charge is beyond absurd. Why would the government in Damascus seek to undermine the regime in Baghdad when both governments are closely allied with Iran? It is of course possible that some of the 1.5 Sunni Iraqi refugees in Syria are covertly supporting resistance in Iraq, but that is as might be expected and reflects the desperate mess the U.S. has created in Iraq, where some 25 percent of the population has fled to Syria or Jordan, or are internally displaced.
Although President Obama also sought a “new beginning” with Iran, he never directed any of the policy changes that would make that possible. Crucially, the U.S. continues to spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually to bring about regime change in Iran, prompting Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to remark, “Money, arms, and organizations are being used by the Americans directly across our western border to fight the Islamic Republic.” U.S. anti-Iranian activities range from protecting the MEK terrorist group in Iraq for use in cross-border raids and subversion to funding American NGOs, whose support of “Twittering revolutionaries” on the streets of Tehran may be passed off as “promoting democracy” in the West, but which looks to the Iranian government like just another American attempt to destabilize the Islamic Republic.
American diplomacy certainly does not aim for reconciliation with Iran. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sought international help, particularly in Europe, to impose “crippling” sanctions on the country. After a meeting with Bibi Netanyahu, Obama himself agreed to set up an American-Israeli working group to consider what coercive steps could be taken against Iran if it did not abandon nuclear enrichment. And American officials have continued to threaten military action over Tehran’s nuclear program, even though there is no meaningful data to overturn the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which held that the country gave up work on an atomic weapon in 2003. To suggest that Iran, with a military budget one one hundredth of what the U.S. spends on its armed forces, is a threat to the U.S. is the height of absurdity. To brand Iran a proliferator for its low-level enrichment of uranium while ignoring Israel’s 200 nuclear weapons is the height of hypocrisy.
In Afghanistan, the Obama administration added 17,000 U.S. troops last year and is in the process of adding 30,000 more. In eight years of war, the U.S. has brought misery to the civilian population and a gang of corrupt politicians to power in Kabul in an obviously bogus election. What is the Obama administration going to do in the next seven years that hasn’t been tried in the last eight? To give the situation a bit of perspective, the last man to pacify Afghanistan was Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C. Why Gen. McChrystal thinks an American-trained Afghan army recruited from various ethnic minorities in the north of the country will ever suppress an insurgency centered on Pashtun tribes, which comprise almost half the population of Afghanistan, is difficult to fathom. Well, no one would ever confuse McChrystal with Alexander, except maybe Victor Davis Hanson.
The war in Afghanistan has now spilled over into Pakistan, where administration pressure on the Pakistani army to fight the Taliban and its allies has produced hundreds of thousands of refugees and is destabilizing the country. America’s contribution to the widening war has been drone strikes on suspected Taliban leaders. The U.S. is also conducting anti-terrorist operations in Somalia and Yemen in the same way. The problem with this strategy is twofold. First, the drone would be a great weapon if it only killed the bad guys. Many drone strikes (and strikes from conventional aircraft, for that matter) have killed completely innocent people, undoubtedly increasing the number of America’s enemies. Second, where the U.S. relies on an ally’s intelligence service for targeting data, as in Yemen, there is a very good chance that enemies of the local regime, not al-Qaeda, are being hit.
Sometimes the Obama administration lashes out at the Muslim world in ways that are difficult to comprehend. In the wake of the failed underwear bombing, the TSA named 14 countries whose citizens would receive “full-body pat-downs” before boarding U.S.-bound aircraft: Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen. Obviously, any suspicious passenger ought to be selected for special screening, but the TSA’s message seems to be that if someone hails from Syria or Algeria, they possess murderous intent, thus confirming to millions of Muslims that the U.S. is deeply prejudiced against them.
As long as the Obama administration believes it can bomb, starve, invade, occupy, and intimidate the Muslim world into submission, and as long as the administration willingly makes Israel’s enemies America’s enemies, the U.S. will be a terrorist target and locked into endless wars in faraway places.Source
- A Casualty of U.S. Foreign Policy – The Sovereignty of Muslim Nations – By LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
- Surprising Results of CFR Survey – What the U.S. Elite Really Thinks About Israel By JEFFREY BLANKFORT
- Republic of Fools – The Evil Empire – By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
- What Goldstone says about the US
- The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary (PDF Book)
- Aust. public broadcaster SBS directed to no longer use the term “Palestinian land”
- I am Israel
- Why Not Sanctions for Israel? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
- Israeli Organ Harvesting By ALISON WEIR
- Handy Hints For Non-Terrorist Muslims By Ben Pobjie
- First Goal: Stop Gaza War Crimes Revelations – Israel’s Campaign to Silence Human Rights Groups By Jonathon Cook
- 50 Palestinians Evicted, Settlers Take Homes (after living there for more than 50 years)
- How the U.S. Has Secretly Backed Pakistan’s Nuclear Program From Day One By ANDREW COCKBURN
- Have the Neocons and Israel Won? – The U.S. Regime-Change Recipe for Iran – By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
- Israeli Minister Eyes Sanctions Against US
- Full text (&video): Obama’s Cairo address
- IT WASN’T MUSLIMS
- The End of Free Speech? – Criminalizing Criticism of Israel By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
- Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques – IDF fashion 2009
- The State That Tolerates No Criticism – How Israel Gives Jews a Bad Name By SAUL LANDAU
- Update on US-Iranian relations – Abid Mustafa
- Endless Propaganda – The War on Terror is a Hoax By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
- The economic, social and political disaster produced by the Zionist project – Jean Shaoul
- Israeli War Crimes – Under the Black Flag By URI AVNERY
- The BBC’s Day of Shame
- 23 proofs of Israel’s defeat in the 23-day war
- Comparative Holocausts – Photo Essay
- Nazi Israel
- The Truth About the Gaza Massacre
- Livni’s Smile – The Boss Has Gone Mad By URI AVNERY
- Robert Fisk: So, I asked the UN secretary general, isn’t it time for a war crimes tribunal?
- Israeli Attack Injures 1.5 Million Gazans By JONATHAN COOK
- The IDF has no mercy for the children in Gaza nursery schools
- The Sources of Arabs’ Shame: Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia
- Living on Borrowed Time in a Stolen Land By Gilad Atzmon
- The Blood-Stained Monster Enters Gaza – Uri Avnery
- Getting away with murder – SMH – 12 Jan.09
- Jewish Group says Israel should not exist
- Robert Fisk: The rotten state of Egypt is too powerless and corrupt to act
- Robert Fisk: Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask
- Film – Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict
- Israel’s massacre in Gaza proves beyond doubt that the treacherous Muslim rulers must be removed
- Gaza coverage
- Accomplice in Cairo – Mr. Mubarak, Tear Down That Wall! By FRANKLIN LAMB
- Its not fascism when we do it..
- A Look Under the Hood of an Obama Administration By JOSHUA FRANK
- Why America Should Listen to Ahmadinejad By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
- The Only Good Muslim is the Anti-Muslim
- Israel soldier shoots arrested Palestinian on film
- Divide and Conquer: The Anglo-American Imperial Project
- Obama’s other Muslim problem
- Separation and Ethnic Cleansing- Israel’s Encaging of Gaza – Jonathon Cook
- The End of the Anglo-American Empire?
- How Empires Fall – PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
- Psychopaths always blame their victims
- Israel at 60 – Crusader Anxiety By Uri Avnery
- Are We Witnessing the Death of Israel by a Thousand Cuts? – Jonathon Power
- The Agenda Behind the Hoax – What the Iraq War is About – Paul Craig Roberts
- “Not You! You!!!” – Tibet and Palestine By URI AVNERY
- European colonialists conspired to destroy the Khilafah state
- Israeli troops loot food, clothes, furniture, equipment from orphanage
- Sauce For The Goose – Mark Glenn
- ‘US plot against Hamas’ revealed
- The Bonds That Kill – Obama and Israel By JOSHUA FRANK
- ‘Islam larger than Arabism’
- Israel to demolish Mosque because there is no building permit (Could that be because the Mosque was built 700 years ago)
- The Blockade of Gaza – Worse Than a Crime By URI AVNERY
- Dual Citizenship — Loyal to Whom? by Dan Eden
- It’s Not Just The Palestinians Who Won’t Recognize A “Jewish State” (hint..USA)
- Christians Brutalized in the Holy Land – Mark Glenn
- Ahmadinejad Has Screwed Us Again! How They Stole the Bomb From Us – Uri Avnery
- Fantasy vs. Reality in Palestine-Israel – Heading for Annapolis By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON
- THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
- Two-thirds of Muslims want a Caliphate
- Israelis Enjoy Torturing Palestinians – IOL
- Religion and Foreign Policy By CONN HALLINAN
- Shifting Targets – The Administration’s plan for Iran by Seymour M. Hersh
- Israel’s Agenda For Ethnic Cleansing and Transfer – Victoria Buch – 19 Sep.07
- Jesus, the Theological Prisoner of Christianity – By Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
- “No American President Can Stand Up to Israel” – Paul Craig Roberts
- Israel’s Jewish Problem in Tehran – Jonathon Cook
- The myth of AL QAEDA is now almost totally exposed – Damian Lataan
- Is the American Empire on the Brink of Collapse? By Mark Karlin
- Humiliation and Child Abuse at Israeli Checkpoints – Strip-Searching Children By ALISON WEIR
- Israeli troops open fire on women outside mosque – The Guardian – 03 Nov.06
- 30 Years Of U.S. UN Vetoes – How the U.S. has Voted /Vetoed
- STRANGER THAN FICTION – An Independent Investigation of 9-11 and the War on Terrorism
- Israeli Police in action..
- Putting Words in Ahmadinejad’s Mouth – VIRGINIA TILLEY
- Quotes of peace
- Liberators as Murderers – The Way Americans Like Their War – Robert Fisk – 03 June.06
- Sonic Weapons Over Palestine
- Usurping Palestine – 20 Quick facts – Did you know…
- 3-Year-Old Child’s Skull Crushed at Israeli Checkpoint
- Remembering Muhammad al-Durra