Friday, March 26, 2010

Why is Obama Unhappy?

So I guess Obama snubbed Netenyahu for dinner. Apparently Obama is sort of ticked. But why? We're to believe it's because he doesn't want to see any more settlement construction. That's what this article says. And that would make some sense. It is an outrageous violation of international law and basic common sense.

On the other hand I wonder if maybe this article is more revealing. Netenyahu brought out a flow chart showing that he was not responsible for the timing of the announcement. The timing? What does that have to do with anything? The problem is not that it was announced at a certain time, right? The problem is simply that settlement construction is an outright injustice and it is illegal by any meaningful sense of the word. What does the timing have to do with it?

The timing is only relevant if what matters is Obama's pride. You see, Biden was in the region supposedly supporting peace when the announcement was made. It's tough to pretend you support peace all the while the side you favor is basically throwing mud in the face of the other side. How are we supposed to pretend we care about peace under these conditions? Here's Biden faking his way through the motions of acting like we care about peace and you're doing things which make peace impossible. And of course we do nothing to stop you when we could.

Stopping settlement constructions seems easy to me, though maybe this is an oversimplification. Tell them that their annual $3 billion in aid is contingent on a halt to settlement construction. How hard is that? Obama has the means to stop settlement construction but isn't doing it. What's really going on?

I was reminded of East Timor immediately. Apparently Ford and Kissinger were scheduled to visit Indonesia and it turned out Suharto was preparing to invade East Timor and slaughter the indigenous people for no real reason other than that they wanted their natural resources. The mass genocide was not a problem for Ford and Kissinger. What was a problem was the fact that it might be initiated while they were there, which would sort of make them look like they are good buddies with a Hitler like person. So they asked Suharto to wait until after their visit was over to invade. Suharto obliged. The genocide was not a problem. The embarrassment would have been.

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