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Thursday, April 29, 2010

An important argument for the status quo

In light of Aaron David Miller and Richard Haass throwing in the towel on the Middle East 'peace process,' Youssef Ibrahim asks what should come next. The answer may surprise some people.
The new enemy rising to challenge America is not an unresolved dispute between Israelis and Palestinians but Islamic fundamentalism that rejects all western concepts of modernization and equal rights for women and citizens. Its tentacles run out of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, ironically all three categorized as friends of the USA.

Finally, as paradigms go, strategically and tactically speaking, the US has no closer ally in the world than Israel. We could not operate in the Middle East without Israeli assistance and our population, the grand majority of Americans and their representatives in Congress, would never allow Israel to stand alone under attack. This is a basic fact of political life in America that the Obama White House understands too well.

Speaking as an Arab-American, I welcome the protection that Israel’s existence as a minority Jewish state in the Muslim Middle East projects for other minorities including some 25 million Christian Arabs under extreme pressure, 30 million Kurds and other tribal or religious populations who must live free of persecution. Israel stands as a symbol that it is possible to have a multi-cultural tolerant Middle East.

What Miller and Zinni and more analysts are asking is why, therefore, is this administration expanding such extraordinary resources to resolve what clearly has receded to a minor strategic threat when far greater menaces loom?

As Miller pointed out on CNN in an interview with John King: Would Obama become the first US president on whose watch Iran turns into nuclear power? He also wonders, correctly, if Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would accept being the first Israeli prime minister to let this happen.

Another primary strategic concern for the USA is the ongoing disintegrations of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

What is our strategy in Iraq should civil war break out again as it seems it could? How do we define “winning” there? And, will thousands of American forces in Afghanistan do baby-sitting for a decade, or longer?

These appear pressing issues with not a single indication of an American strategy.

On the Israeli side, one can assume the country can take care of itself militarily and otherwise. It has matured into a nation of 7.5 million including 1.5 million Arab Israelis who are not as unhappy as their Palestinian brethren suggest, and would, if pressed, more likely opt for an Israeli quality of life. Israel just hit a per capita income level of around $ 35,000, putting it squarely in the higher-ranks of the industrialized Western living standards, with an economy bigger than all its neighboring countries. It has never lost a war and can still win any.

Beyond this, the best strategy for the White House, when it comes to those Middle East ‘’tribes with flags,’’ may be “benign neglect.” When you think of it, despite predictions of dire consequences such as World War Three out there, the Middle East dispute has already survived quite well, with various accommodations, for over a 100 years.
Read the whole thing. I wonder if anyone in the Obama White House is listening.


At 12:21 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Obama white House is like a pervert addicted to his perversion: he cannot see anything else and must practise it regardless. The psychopaths in the White House.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Obama White House is addicted to a certain path regardless of whether it does any good because its politically correct. The evidence says the Palestinians don't want a state and the Israelis prefer things the way they are because anything other than the status quo is even worse. In this face of all this, the Obami are determined to inflict misery on both Arabs and Jews like. The proximity talks appear headed nowhere. It seems the facts of life in the Middle East escape the Obama Administration.


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