Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thor's Day

Ah, what lovely times in which to live!

I'm not even going to rant about the aftermath of the Norwegian Shooter incident, except to say that the discourse in Israel, on the Hebrew language websites, is disgusting. There are far, far too many Israelis saying that the Norwegians "had it coming" for supporting Palestine. Such bigoted, hateful, narrow-mindedness sows the seeds of its own destruction, and when it happens, perhaps the world will say that Israel "had it coming".

Ted Rall points out the creation of another astroturf (fake grassroots) cat's paw organization called Americans Elect. ("Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"). One is tempted to ask how stupid they think we are, but the probable answer is too painful to contemplate.

Al Jazeera English has an Op-Ed on the "Censorship of War Casualties in the US" which I found to be worth reading. It is a fact that the MSM goes out of its way to avoid showing Mr and Mrs America the blood and gore that is the inevitable by-product of American Imperialism.

Paul Rosenberg has an interesting piece on the New Apostolic Reformation, again at AJE. Oh, those wacky fundamentalists. If they weren't so scary, they would be highly amusing to watch.

And it was pointed out to me today that Obama has a serious problem on his hands. Well, yes, OK, he has a whole basket-full of them, but give the man a break. Middle East diplomacy is hard! Pardon the cheap shot, but I'm still thinking about the administration's comment that bringing peace to the Middle East had turned out to be much more difficult than the President had expected.

I mean, no shit, Sherlock! Just think about the colossal arrogance or colossal ignorance that comment betrayed. There has only been an issue here since 1948. That was during the administration of Harry Truman. Since then, Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, and Bush Jr have all wrestled with the issue. Eleven different administrations have tried to bring peace to the Middle East. If you want to be cynical and say that nobody before Nixon tried very hard (or even at all), that's still seven Presidents, seven administrations, that have struggled with this intractable tarbaby of an issue. But Obama thought he was just going to waltz in there and fix it all up in time for the midterms of 2010.

Either the man is stupendously arrogant, or he was just ignorant of foreign affairs to a truly frightening degree. And his grasp of international issues does not seem to be improving with experience.

So, to the current issue. International support for a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood is snowballing rapidly. It is becoming obvious that the Palestinians will have enough support in the General Assembly to pass their measure with ease this September, barely a month from now. This is going to leave the US playing the dog in the manger by vetoing it in the Security Council.

Now, Obama is in re-election mode, utterly and shamelessly. Can he afford to alienate his Democratic base by a Security Council veto of Palestinian hopes, against the clear majority of international opinion, and just hope desperately they have forgiven him by next November? Or will that be the straw that breaks the camel's back, on top of the ugly cutbacks in Social Security and Medicare that he is crying out to give the Republicans? With the economy stalling badly, the real unemployment rate just under 20% and climbing, and jobs nowhere to be found, just how much more can Obama afford to piss-off the Left?

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