The Dishonest Broker In The White House

The Dishonest Broker In The White House

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Almost everyone in a dispute hopes to find an honest broker to mediate their differences. The controversy over the Goldstone Report on Gaza and the active role of Turkey's prime minister therein has raised a collateral issue, which is the US role as a go-between or broker in the Middle East.

So let's look at the prospect that the US can be such a broker, either alone or in tandem with Turkey, which has been actively involved in the area.

By Dr. Alan Sabrosky

Obama as Broker in the Middle East

No one can be a broker when beholden utterly to one side, and while Obama sounds much better than Bush (he could scarcely sound worse), and is better in some areas, where Israel is concerned he is all talk and no action — except where supporting Israel is concerned, where his words and deeds go hand in hand.

Israeli leaders have spit in his face diplomatically, and it has cost them nothing — not a penny in aid, not a bullet, not a plane, and especially not a veto in the UN. Obama takes the insulting rebuffs in public silence, reaffirms his support of Israel, fends off its critics, and continues to send it aid, just as if nothing had happened.

The rest of world generally crosses its metaphorical fingers, re-reads increasingly tattered and bloodstained copies of Obama's Cairo speech, and hopes that his promise is not for nothing. And hopes. And hopes….

Now, no reasonable person expected Obama to change America's Middle East policies immediately. But few expected him to do nothing but talk, words without supporting actions being exceedingly cheap. The contrast between his forcefulness on the placement of a US missile shield in Eastern Europe and his dithering on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is striking.

Why the Disparity

There are three reasons for the inconsistency between Obama's verbal hopefulness and his actual hopelessness where bringing Israel to heel is concerned. First, money talks, and campaign contributions from AIPAC and brigades of Jewish contributors shaped his election and have bought large majorities of both parties in both houses of the US Congress. Alienating them is the end of his program, the ruin of his administration, and probably the end of his re-election prospects.

Second, information is power, and the Jewish dominance of the US mainstream media noted elsewhere in 2002 is even greater today. This affects not only how the American public views the Middle East, but also how Obama's program generally is presented. Negative views of Israel are a rarity. Anything showing Israel in a negative light is suppressed or marginalized. Anything even slightly to Israel's credit becomes front-page and prime-time TV news for days.

So the Israeli assault against Gaza was presented to the American public as a justifiable and restrained act of self-defense. Criticism of Israel from abroad simply didn't appear, even when made by eminent authorities like South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela. The Israeli hijacking of the Spirit of Humanity trying to bring humanitarian supplies to Gaza in June was almost totally ignored, except for some attacks on former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, an AIPAC electoral victim who was on the boat (attacks that backfired, given the comments from readers, and likely won't be repeated). And the Goldstone Report criticizing Israel as well as Hamas has been given the most casual treatment and largely dismissed.

Third, policy is people, and the people Obama has appointed to key foreign policy and Middle East positions would look equally at home in Bush's or even Netanyahu's administrations — indeed, some such as AIPAC "poster child" Dennis Ross have become virtual fixtures, and many Bush carryovers simply changed positions under Obama. People who are not Israeli partisans are rarer than honest trial lawyers.

No one should expect Obama's actions in this area to be significantly different than Bush's, when most of his foreign policy and Middle East advisers are Jewish with close ties to Israel; his chief of staff served (briefly and very safely, let it be noted) in the Israeli military but not in US uniform; and his Secretary of State could be replaced by former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni without any policy change on Israel being noticed — although I concede Livni is smarter, tougher and better looking than Clinton, so perhaps the swap would be worthwhile.

What's to Broker?

Besides, for anyone to broker anything, there has to be something — well, several "somethings" — on the table from all parties to a dispute. With the Netanyahu government in Israel, as well as any alternative on the horizon from either Kadima or Labor, the philosophy is simply "What's mine is mine, and what's yours will be, so let's negotiate."

Israel alone has no intention of returning the Golan to Syria under any circumstances. It has absolutely no intention of ending its illegal siege of Gaza and the brutalization and impoverishment of the people entrapped there. Everything in the dispossession of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the corresponding spread of Jewish settlements throughout both areas, not only reaffirms this attitude. It also makes a mockery of the semi-legendary "Two-State Solution" — just look at any map of the West Bank now, consider the scattered remnants of what Israel has not yet absorbed, and understand that no "second state" could possibly be cobbled together from such scraggly remnants.

Make no mistake about it. The only way to bring Israel around on these issues is to hurt it, and hurt it badly. Diplomacy without muscle behind it is meaningless. This requires at least an initial decision by the international community to formally impose sanctions and embargoes against Israel, and if necessary, against any other country that disregards those measures, including the US itself. Moving the Goldstone Report debate through the UN Security Council, after the inevitable US veto, to the UN General Assembly under the "Uniting for Peace Resolution" (UNGA 377A) would be an excellent beginning of this effort.

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Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a writer and consultant specializing in national and international security affairs. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He is listed in WHO’S WHO IN THE EAST (23rd ed.). A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Sabrosky’s teaching and research appointments have included the United States Military Academy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Middlebury College and Catholic University; while in government service, he held concurrent adjunct professorships at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Sabrosky has lectured widely on defense and foreign affairs in the United States and abroad.

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Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a writer and consultant specializing in national and international security affairs. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He is listed in WHO’S WHO IN THE EAST (23rd ed.). A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Sabrosky’s teaching and research appointments have included the United States Military Academy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Middlebury College and Catholic University; while in government service, he held concurrent adjunct professorships at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Sabrosky has lectured widely on defense and foreign affairs in the United States and abroad.

1 COMMENT

  1. Short, sharp and to the point, Alan

     

    Alan stated “Obama takes the insulting rebuffs in public silence, reaffirms his support of Israel, fends off its critics, and continues to send it aid, just as if nothing had happened.

    Can there be anything that has happened in the past ten years, no, in the history of the United States,  ** that is so demeaning to the US.  No one gets even the slightest bit concerned  over this anymore. The people who should be angry with this situation are themselves applauding the subservient position that the US has now accepted, willingly.

    What an absolute  humiliation for “the home of the brave”.
    ** No, I didn’t forget the Israeli perfidy in 1967, the bombing of the USS Liberty

     
    Money talks,

     Obama allowed PAC’s and Super PAC’s to become an entity. On his head be it. Legislate them out of existence. Remove the users and abusers of this undemocratic swill from their positions of power, now.

     
    information is power,

    The first Amendment  states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”.
    In this much used and abused Amendment we see the restrictions on “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. No mention is made of the press abridging the freedom of speech or limiting the honesty of facts being presented to the people. The people are the American people for whom the Constitution was written.

    Isn’t this a right as well? How is it that vested foreign interests can restrict the truth from reaching the people?  A daily occurrence with all the once respected publications, now in the hands or effective control of foreign interests.
    No original American who had any input to the structure of the Constitution could have forecast the spread of today’s technology, the ability for controlling ownership of the multifaceted means of communication to one and all.

     

    Not their fault.

    However, now that this has become 90% of the world’s media being controlled by  less than 9 ownership groups, this amendment of the US Constitution has passed its use-by-date and requires an amendment to be brought into the 21st Century. The 18th Century was a very long time ago. A different world, threatened then perhaps by outside empires but not from within, as it is in 2012.

    No one person or group can own more than 5% of any media operation in the US.
    Media must print the truth and should be seriously penalized for showing bias. They are a public service protected under the Constitution. The people should also be protected under the same Amendment.

    Surely it must be a two way street

     
    policy is people,

    How can it be so. How can we see key positions held in an US administration, many of whom would not survive a test of loyalty to the US  people. From there we have seen elected politicians, themselves corrupted by Israel, appoint  Zionists to staff positions until all levels of government are fully penetrated, against the national interest. The voters? Who really cares. The Zionists have them covered.
    The example of Rahm Emanuel mentioned in the article as Chief of Staff is a classic case. IDF service,  but no American service of any type. Now recycled into  the system as Mayor of Chicago.  One should not forget that he was appointed by Obama as was Zionist fellow traveler, Clinton. Neither should have been appointed at all. This new President come into office four years ago  with so much corrupt baggage.
    Remove from office the current occupiers of key roles in the administration. Do not appoint  Israelis, dual passported Americans, fellow-travelers, sycophants and anyone who has attended the well orchestrated ‘brain washing’ sessions in Israel. Having seen the list over recent years, this could eliminate everyone above the rank of Colonel in all the services and certainly most of the Congress and a large proportion of the Senate.
    It is almost unbelievable.  But it is a fact, not fiction

     
    what's to Broker?

    Right now, without addressing these points, there is nothing to broker

     

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