Arab and Israeli Extremists
Teach Obama a Painful Lesson (Zaman, Turkey)
"The current flare-up
has to do with the Arab awakening. The more vicious of Egypt President Morsi's adversaries have moved in. Following-up the
violence they triggered with the recent YouTube movie, the Salafists
and Islamic jihadists are capitalizing on the administrative weakness and squabbling
within Hamas to commandeer events and launch rockets to provoke Israel. Hawks
and butchers on both sides knew all along how the other would react. Once again
they have shown Obama that unless a decisive leader facilitates solutions, none
of these issues will be resolved."
President Barack Obama has been taught a bitter lesson just
as he was in the midst of his election victory euphoria.
In an almost “copy and paste” repetition of late 2008, he is
being haunted by a key dilemma: Can the United States stay out of the
Arab-Israeli conflict, successfully pursuing a non-intervention Middle East policy?
These are intense and interesting days. Surely, when the time
comes, in the depths of the demonic developments of shelling and
counter-shelling between Gaza and Israel, we will find out more. I am already suspicious
of whether the devastation and misery of the past few days, which threatens to become
a ground war, can be contained by a simple military confrontation.
Obama should be aware of the timing of the conflict. His bad
relations with Benjamin Netanyahu are an open secret. Although Netanyahu's
staff were able to keep him from launching an attack before the American
elections, Obama knew that his adversaries - U.S. hawks and those within the
Israeli lobby - could turn an escalation to his disadvantage. Should he set out
to boldly deal with the Palestinian issue, the mother of all problems and the
source of anti-Americanism in the region, his opponents would use such an
escalation to cripple his foreign policy. So far, the pretext has served the interests
of his opponents well.
But the current flare-up also has to do with the Arab awakening.
The more vicious of President Mohammed Morsi's adversaries
have moved in. Following up the violence they triggered with the recent YouTube
movie, the Salafists and Islamic jihadists are capitalizing
on the administrative weakness and squabbling within Hamas to commandeer events
and launch rockets to provoke Israel. Hawks and butchers on both sides knew all
along how the other would react. Once again they have shown Obama that unless a
decisive leader facilitates solutions, none of these issues will be resolved.
One can argue what a mistake Israel made when it treated its
Turkish ally with such arrogance and shortsightedness after the Mavi Marmara Incident [aka/the Gaza Freedom Flotilla].
One can argue, too, that it Israel was caught unprepared by the massive Arab
unrest and the nasty dynamics that pushed Syria toward collapse. And one can
only feel pity for Israel's political elite, which now sees its only guarantee of
stability among hawks of the American right. At the moment and for some time to
come, this is the reality. But what Obama and his new administration decide to
do from now on will surely matter.
Obama most likely understands that thanks to America's
clearly detached attitude, the “Gaza effect” pushes Turkey and Egypt together,
but distances them from the United States. The widely held Arab perception that
“Israel is unjustly favored” only adds to a fuming mass of emotion across the
region. This has less to do with who started what, and much to do with an
immense and painful historical conflict that has been left unresolved.
From the region, one fully understands the frustrations of President
Morsi and Prime Minister Erdoğan.
Both are elected leaders keen on maintaining their voter base and hopes for a
peaceful transition toward democratic systems. Both are capable of secularizing
Islam and cooperating on military endeavors for the sake of long-desired
stability in the region. Despite their harsh rhetoric, they are concerned about
further radicalization, which is a threat to their pluralistic vision.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
With the recent clashes in Iraqi Kurdistan between Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki's
troops - Shiite Arabs - and Kurdish Peshmerga
units, we have already had a reminder of how things could get get worse. It
isn't rocket science to guess which regional powers and their accomplices are behind
these lethal initiatives. Before we know it, if not addressed seriously and
with urgency, we may face an all-out regional war. Lebanon is already fragile,
and along with Jordan, is showing signs of domestic unrest. The Syrian regime
is desperate and the regional Kurdish element is adrift. Keep its distance is nothing
but a luxury America cannot afford. Washington's resolve and vigor, centered on
the Palestinian issue, is therefore required.