Obama And Israel: On Same Page

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Should negotiations reduce tensions in the Middle East and even lead towards a comprehensive deal, would Bush and McCain oppose it? Going by the two Republican leaders’ logic, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert deserves universal condemnation. He’s been “appeasing” Syria’s rulers, going by the Bush-McCain logic.

[Black Star News Editorial]


 

There goes that absurd argument by George Bush and John McCain that Senator Barack Obama isn’t prepared to be commander in chief because he’s expressed a willingness to talk with America’s adversaries—it turns out that Israel has been negotiating a potential peace deal with Syria.


Israel and Syria are of course mortal enemies. The two nations have been in a state of war since the 1967 conflict resulted in Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights. Last year, Israel conducted a stealth air force attack and reportedly destroyed Syria’s emergent nuclear weapons program.


Yet, wisely, Israel’s leaders, using Turkish officials as go-between, have been talking peace with Syria. In return for a deal, Syria would regain the Golan Heights, the two countries would normalize relations, and Syria would stop its support for Hezbollah. Additionally, according to reports, Syria would move away from its alliance with Iran and improve relations with the United States.


While these are possible outcomes, there is no guarantee. Yet, by not talking, only a permanent state of war is assured.


Should negotiations reduce tensions in the Middle East and even lead towards a comprehensive deal, would Bush and McCain oppose it? Going by the two Republican leaders’ logic, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert deserves universal condemnation. He’s been “appeasing” Syria’s rulers, going by the Bush-McCain logic. After all, the United States considers Syria to be governed by the kind of “radicals” and “terrorists” Bush deplored in his ill-advised and ill-thought out remarks in Israel last week.


How ironic. Turns out that while Bush was throwing a cheap shot at Senator Obama, his Israeli hosts who clapped when he made his speech were actually in the midst of negotiations, or to borrow Bush and McCain’s sophomoric term, “appeasing” Syria.


Why? Because Israel’s leaders, unlike Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, and John McCain, live in the real world; not an imaginary warped Lalaland where U.S. military might can “solve” all global conflicts.


Israeli leaders won’t tolerate foolishness; they knew when to go into Lebanon, and they knew when to leave, even when it was not done on their terms. As a result, Israel isn’t today bogged down in Lebanon, spending billions of dollars while losing Israeli soldiers; the United States is stuck in Iraq and McCain advocates a 100 years occupation.


If a country were only to negotiate with adversarial nations on its own terms and conditions, why bother talking at all? Why not just use exclusive military forces?


Military might is one side of the same coin; diplomacy is the other side. The U.S. has the world’s supreme armed forces; it can afford to negotiate without having to lay out any preconditions. At the end of the day, all adversaries know that should genuine and earnest negotiations fail, there are no armed forces currently that can overwhelm the United States’.
 

Yet, rather than treating military forces as the option of last resort, the Bush-Cheney-Rice-McCain regime advocates it as the first option.


They could all learn a thing or two from Senator Obama and Israel.


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