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Bush to the rescue « Previous | |Next »
January 12, 2008

Though the presence of Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory stands at the heart of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people, Israel has consistently refused to rule out further settlement building in East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank and the new expropriation of Palestinian land in the occupied territories.

BushIsrael.jpg Steve Bell

Doesn't the US "road map" calls on Israel to freeze "all settlement activity"and a two state solution? The continuation of that illegal settlement activity lessens the possibility of a Palestinian state.

Bush explicitly called for an end to the Israeli occupation, an end to Israeli settlement expansion and for the Palestinians to confront terrorism. He said the question of Palestinian refugees should be solved by compensation and the chance for them to live in a future Palestinian state. However, this is at odds with Bush's acceptance of major settlement blocs in the West Bank.

Bush has not used Washington's enormous leverage over Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. He has not even applied pressure for an end to the expansion of Israeli settlements or the dismantling of the spider's web of roadblocks that make normal life for Palestinians impossible.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:35 PM | | Comments (7)
Comments

Comments

Gary,
Didn't I read some where that Blair at a recent meeting with Israel settlers and others took a different line to Bush and inferred there would be two States and the settlers would have to move. A possibly interesting development if true.

Gary,
maybe the real reason for Bush's Middle East trip is to urge America's Gulf allies to back his campaign against Iran today. He's been making speeches about how the safety of the world was at stake because of Iran, which needs to be contained.

Nan,
Bush's message is contradictory. On the one hand, he says that his administration's long-standing Midle East policy, emphasises democracy as the only path to reform.

On the other hand, Bush held the autocratic Emirates out as a shining example of how trade and economic development can also bring stability.

One problem Bush faces in the Middle East is that recent elections in the region empower Islamists over America's secular allies in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

So democracy is only good if it produces the desired result?

Lyn,
the key to the ongoing hegemony of the US in the Middle East is the containment of Iran---building a cordon around Iran through client states. If democracy has to be sacrificed to ensure regional security and the flow of oil, then so be it. It's the geo-political position of the US that is uppermost.

As Perry Anderson observes in New Left Review, we are seeing:

levels of formal and informal coordination to maintain the stability of the established order, accompanied by traditional jockeying for advantage within its parameters, from which there is no radical discord. The decisions of the Security Council are a principal theatre of this process, currently on display in collective resolutions on Iran....a single superordinate power, occupying a position unlike any other, holds the system together.

Anderson talks in terms of the structural irrationality of America’s role in the Middle East, which he describes thus:
The Middle East is the one part of the world where the us political system, as presently constituted, cannot act according to a rational calculus of national interest, because it is inhabited by another, supervening interest. For its entire position in the Arab—and by extension Muslim—world is compromised by its massive, ostentatious support for Israel. Universally regarded in the region as a predator state that could never have enjoyed forty years of impunity without vast supplies of American arms and money, and unconditional American protection in the un, Israel is the target of popular hatred for its expropriation and persecution of the Palestinians. By logical extension, America is detested for the same reason.

All of the Arab client states face the problem of how to square their loyalty to American hegemony with the enormities of Israeli conduct, financed, armed and protected by the US.

I get the Bush message loud and clear. Iran is a dangerous threat to world peace, a rogue nation, with religious fanatics as leaders who constantly threaten other countries with war.They have to be stopped.

The swaggering tough guys Republican say that Freedom is on the March. We're Liberating Them. They're so Grateful. We are winning Hearts and Minds. They say this as they drop thousands of bombs on Iraqi civilians, threaten to do the same in Iran (all options are on the table etc etc). and seek a pretext to do so by talking about aggressive maneuvers by Iranian speed boats near American warships in the Strait of Hormuz that nearly resulted in a "battle at sea".

I'll be glad to see the drum beating war Republicans out of the Presidential office.Give me Obama or Clinton anyday.

You cant blame him for trying to get some positives in the last part of his presidency. He faces the real possibility of being written into history as the worst president ever.

I liken him to a dying atheist calling for a priest.