The above question was posed by Alan Bock in an essay at Antiwar.com on April 8. Shaking his head over Obama's embrace of Bush's war in Afghanistan, Bock wrote, "I'm coming to think that maybe he's just not that smart."
When I read Obama's July 7 interview with Israeli television's Yonit Levi, I can only conclude he's just plain dumb. His every word reflects one or other Israeli talking point. Nothing he says indicates the presence of any independent thinking, let alone knowledge of the Palestine/Israel issue.
"Israelis, rightly, look at the past and have scepticism about what's possible. They see the enmity of neighbours that surround them in a very tough neighbourhood. They see a track record of attempts at peace where, even when concessions were made, a deal could not be consummated. They see rockets fired from Gaza or from areas in Lebanon, and say to themselves that the hatreds of history are so deep-seated that change is not possible."
When you muscle in on someone else's patch as though you own it, you expect a welcoming committee? There is no excuse for anyone running for office these days, let alone the US presidency, to be ignorant of the underlying dynamics of the Palestine problem. Nor to be ignorant of just who has been lording it over the neighbours all these years. And please, cut the crap about concessions. The only concession required of an occupier is to get the hell out of whatever territory he's occupying - lock, stock and barrel, end of story. What is this? Kindergarten?
"Prime Minister Netanyahu... is somebody who understands that we've got a fairly narrow window of opportunity... a smart and savvy politician..."
Yeah, too damn smart for you: "I know what America is. America is something that can easily be moved. Moved to the right direction," said Bibi to his flock back in 2001 (Bibi unmasked, Justin Raimondo, antiwar.com, 18/7/10).
"On the Palestinian side, moderates like Abu Mazen and Fayyad are, I think, willing to make concessions and engage in negotiations that can result in peace... There's a constant contest between moderates and rejectionists within the Arab world. And then there's the demographic challenges that Israel is going to be facing if it wants to remain not only a Jewish state but a democratic state."
Here we go again, the c word - now it's the occupied, the dispossessed, the caged and the impoverished who've got to make the concessions. Even though B'Tselem tells us that municipal jurisdiction of Jewish settlements now covers more than 42% of the West Bank? Oh, I see, it's in the Bible: For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. So those Palestinians who are happy to have what little they have left taken from them win the coveted moderate label, while those who baulk at the sheer outrageousness of it all are demonised as rejectionists. Right. And what's that about demographic challenges to Israel? What do you suggest; a one-child policy for Palestinians, forced sterilisation perhaps?
"... I've got a Chief of Staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel. My top political advisor is somebody who is a descendent of holocaust survivors. My closeness to the Jewish-American community was probably what propelled me to the US Senate. And my not just knowledge but sympathy and identification with the Jewish experience is rooted in part because of the historic connection between the African American freedom movement here in the United States and the civil rights efforts of Jewish Americans, and some of the same impulses that led to the creation of Israel... And the truth of the matter is that my outreach to the Muslim community is designed precisely to reduce the antagonism and the dangers posed by a hostile Muslim world to Israel and to the West."
So the Civil Rights Movement shares some of the same impulses that led to the creation of Israel? You mean Martin Luther King wanted to ethnically cleanse the United States of non-Blacks and establish a Black state? Oh, and you were just stringing the Muslims along with your little speech in Cairo, which was really all about Israel and its offsider, the West? What a surprise!
"[I]n every speech that I've ever given, [I] talked about the unbreakable bond to Israel... [T]he United states under my administration has provided more security assistance to Israel than any administration in history. And we've got greater security cooperation between our two countries than at any time in our history."
Or, in the sexually charged words of Assistant Secretary, Political-Military Affairs, Andrew J Shapiro on the subject of "the Obama Administration's enduring committment to Israel's security," that would've made Yonit blush if he'd used them: "Our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before." (The Obama Administration's approach to US-Israel security cooperation: Preserving Israel's Qualitative Military Edge, state.gov, 16/7/10)
What've brains got to do with it?