In his second inaugural speech, President Obama said, “We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.
America will remain the anchor of
strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions
that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater
stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support
democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas
to the Middle East, because our interests and
our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.”
Such claims are simply bizarre! Anyone paying slightest attention to history and facts would find, instead, that the
foreign policy - especially with regard to Iran and
the wider Middle East minus Israel - has been anything but
peaceful. For more than half a century, it has been violent, destructive and
utterly hostile to the wishes and aspirations of those people. Even to this
very day, the U.S.
government has been less than a reluctant supporter for democracy in that part
of the world. It had held onto the despots like the Shah of Iran and Husni
Mubarak of Egypt
as long as it could until popular revolution had forced those puppets out. Even
today, the Syrian murderer Bashar Assad had managed to hold onto power simply
because the Obama administration would not come to the material aid of the
Syrian people and its resistance forces fighting the brutal regime.
United States has opposed and attempted to block ’s upgraded UN status at every step.
After the UN General Assembly voted on November 29, 2012 overwhelmingly to
upgrade the status to a non-member state, Ambassador Susan Rice irately said
that the Palestine United States
"will continue to oppose firmly any and all unilateral actions in
international bodies." One has to be simultaneously deaf, dumb and blind
or outright disingenuous to qualify the vote of over 130 countries on something
as "unilateral." As a matter of fact,
apart from Canada, no major
country joined the U.S. and in
voting no. The other opponents included Israel Palau,
Panama and .
Micronesia Britain and Germany
Rice added, “Today's grand pronouncements will soon fade. And the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed, save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded." What she failed to mention is the bitter truth about her own government’s criminal complicity has been at the heart of prolonging Palestinian suffering and their lack of statehood. The pro-Israeli U.S. Congress, more correctly known as the ‘Amen Corner’, has been behind a series of punishing measures cutting off financing to the UN aid agencies which had hitherto provided material support to the Palestinian people, including the UNESCO in 2011 after it accepted
as a member. Palestine
is also guilty of shielding the pariah state of from legal scrutiny of its
actions which are considered criminal by every unbiased expert on the subject. Predictably,
Rice described all efforts to hold Israel Israel accountable for its actions
and to abide by the international treaties, charters and conventions to which
it is bound as "anti-Israel crap." What a disgraceful hogwash of ‘conscience’,
which Obama alluded to!
The United Nations Human Rights Council issued last Thursday that Israel is violating international law in the West Bank, that Israel “must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers” from the West Bank and cease further settlement building “without preconditions.” The UNHRC report said that
settlement policies violate article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention,
which prohibits the transfer of civilian populations to occupied
territory. It says the settlements are “leading to a creeping annexation
that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state
and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.” “The
Israel Rome statute
establishes the international criminal court’s jurisdiction over the
deportation or transfer, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power of
parts of its own population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation
or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within
or outside this territory,” the UNHRC report stated. It
added: “Ratification of the statute by Palestine
may lead to accountability for gross violations of human rights law and serious
violations of international humanitarian law and justice for victims.”
But seriously speaking, what chance is there that
would listen and abide by the Rome Statute when it has the U.S. to shield
it from all its crimes – past, present and future?
As to the matter of resolving the tense U.S.-Iran relationship peacefully, the least said the better.
continues to be punished savagely for its legitimate right to pursue nuclear
energy for peaceful purposes. At Israel’s
behest – the rogue country that is a non-signatory to the NPT and is known to
possess hundreds of nuclear bombs -- the U.S. government wants to stop that Iranian
pursuit by hook or crook. It manufactures and spreads lies. In this regard, it
is worth noting Dr. ElBaradei’s statement, who earlier headed the IAEA. In
2011, he told The New Yorker, "During my time at the agency we
haven't seen a shred of evidence that Iran
has been weaponizing, in terms of building nuclear-weapons facilities and using
enriched materials," before adding, "I don't believe Iran is a clear
and present danger. All I see is the hype about the threat posed by Iran."
But with a new director at the IAEA, long known to be the America's man in Vienna who has proudly boasted of being "solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision" (who began secretly meeting with White House and National Security Council officials before presenting biased IAEA reports on Iran), the campaign of lies and sanctions against Iran go unabated. A year ago, Suzanne Maloney - a former U.S. State Department policy adviser and currently a Senior Fellow at the
for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution - argued
in Foreign Affairs that Obama's policy of sanctions against Iran had
cornered his administration into a pointless regime change posture with no
chance for successful diplomacy.
Since the days of GW Bush the pro-Israeli War Party has been beating the drum for war on Iran, lest we wake up to a mushroom cloud over an Israeli city. In his theatrical performance at the UN last year, Bibi Netanyahu has already introduced his ‘ticking bomb’ theory. Back then, on September 20, 2002, he told us, courtesy of the pro-war Wall Street Journal, about the necessity of going to war against Saddam Hussein’s
He wrote, "This is a dictator who is ... feverishly trying to acquire
nuclear weapons." He continued, “(I)f action is not taken now, we will all
be threatened by a much greater peril ... (for) no gas mask and no vaccine can
protect against nuclear weapons."
It did not take too long for everyone to find out what a liar Bibi was. But by then, the
has lost nearly 5,000 of its own soldiers, and another 50,000 wounded, and
killed and maimed nearly a million of Iraqis, and widowed and orphaned millions.
The country was almost broke financially. Undaunted, however, with such massive
losses the pro-Israeli War Party wants the USA
to fight its next dirty war against Iran. It is there they need a
pro-Israeli hawk in the Pentagon. Can Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nomination
for the Secretary of Defense, be trusted to deliver for Israel?
Unlike Senator John Kerry (D – MA) who was confirmed as the Secretary of State, former senator Hagel is facing an uphill battle in the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. Many of the neoconservative pundits and politicians, and Israel-firsters, sold to the powerful Israeli-lobby, are up in their arms resisting his nomination. They claim that he would be ‘soft’ on
and ‘harsh’ on Israel – America’s
‘only’ trusted ally.
A brand new conservative group calling itself ‘Americans for a Strong Defense’ and financed by anonymous donors is running advertisements urging Democratic senators in five states to vote against Chuck Hagel, saying he would make the United States “a weaker country.” Another anonymously backed organization, Use Your Mandate, which its television time through a prominent Republican firm, is attacking Mr. Hagel as “anti-Israel” in ads and mailers. Anti-Hagel advertising — including TV and newspaper ads, website banner ads, and direct mailing — is also paid for by groups like the American Future Fund, the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), and Log Cabin Republicans.
But more troubling is the revelation that the gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson (chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and a die-hard Zionist, who was the biggest individual donor of the so-called super PACs with more than $100 million that sought to defeat Mr. Obama) has reached out directly to Republican Senators to urge them to hold the line against Hagel’s confirmation. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in December, Mr. Adelson said he was prepared to “double” his investment in politics in the coming year.
Seemingly the power and influence of the pro-Israeli lobbies would only grow in the coming years. Mindful of their growing power, many politicians in the
USA are on a
race to prove how protective they are of the Israeli interests. Last Thursday
at the senate hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham, arguably the most hawkish member
in the Capitol Hill, challenged Hagel’s 2008 claim that the “Jewish
lobby,” or Israel
lobby, “intimidates” people on Capitol Hill. To his question “Do you agree with
me you shouldn’t have said that?” Mr. Hagel agreed.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz soon followed by quoting an interview Hagel did on al Jazeera in 2009, in which Hagel responded to a question suggesting
committed war crimes. “Do you think the nation of Israel has committed war crimes?”
Cruz asked Hagel. “No I do not, senator. I would want to look at the full
context of the interview, but to answer your question, no,” Hagel said.
As can be seen all this hullaballoo about Chuck Hagel’s nomination is like raising storm in a tea cup. When someone refuses to support his extremely supportable claim that the Israel lobby has intimidated US Congress and has helped to lobby for US policies that are blindly endorsing Israel’s war crimes, no Israel-firster should lose his or her sleep over the potential harm caused by that person when he is confirmed as the Secretary of Defense. Chuck Hagel, like his peers, is another mainstream politician who has learned the trade well and surely belongs to the Club.
It would be absolutely foolish of President Obama to be fooled like Bush Jr. Let him instead walk the talk of his statement: “We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.” That would be fair and better for all. Or, will he play into the hands of Amen Corner and military industrial complex that are salivating over a war with