THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH
The president gave his speech yesterday on the Middle East- many observers were waiting to hear what he was going to say. Some conservatives are upset- they felt he ‘thru Israel’ under the bus. Basically the administrations 2 year effort to establish a path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians- under George Mitchell- ended abruptly the other day when Mitchell announced he was done dealing with it.
So you have some advisers who want to take a pro Israel stance- others are more pro Palestinian. Obama went a little more pro Palestinian and he publicly stated that the talks need to start from the pre 1967 borders. This was a bit much for the pro Israel lobby- and even Netanyahu publicly called for the president to reaffirm the 2004 accord agreed to under former president Bush.
So things are a little hot right now. He also dealt with the protests in the Middle East/North Africa. He said to Assad [Syria’s leader] that you either ‘lead- or get out of the way’. To be frank this language confuses me- lead? The man has slaughtered many innocents- we have treated the Libyan leader like a war criminal for this very thing- actively trying to kill him- and in the process have killed his son and 3 grandkids- all justified under the so called NATO agreement.
Now- for us to be targeting him for death- though we deny it- yet as NATO keeps bombing spots where we think he is- after each assassination attempt- NATO says ‘we targeted that spot because it was being used to organize aggression against civilians’. They are basically justifying the assassination attempts by saying ‘wherever he is- that spot is a danger to civilians- so in our agreement to ‘protect civilians’ we can bomb that spot’. Okay- fine- Nato/U.S. wants to kill the guy- but please stop telling us that we are not targeting those spots because we think he’s there- don’t lie about the thing.
So Assad actually gets another chance to lead- or ‘get out of the way’ while the other guy gets chased by bombs. Just seems too inconsistent. Saudi Arabia? No mention about them at all.
I do realize it’s hard to ‘be consistent’ when the whole region is in turmoil- but heck- cant we at least try?
As I watched the media response to the speech- it was interesting to see both sides of the political aisle give their views. Fahreed Zacharia- a very knowledgeable CNN personality- he seemed to put every one of the president’s points in the best possible light. It recently slipped out that he actually advises the president on certain world issues. No wonder. And Beck and the conservatives said Obama abandoned Israel and that if Israel falls that’s the end of the western world as we know it because Israel is the cornerstone of the U.S.
I think an honest evaluation can find both good and bad out of the speech. I find it difficult to believe a reporter can really be non biased- especially if his advice is what the president used to make the speech. And I feel that to take the position that any nation is the key part- that to do anything that might seem negative towards them- that to describe it as the possible collapse of the West- well that too is a little much.
I do feel that the NATO thing needs a lot more scrutiny- if we are now going to allow NATO- and our guys- to engage in a stealth assassination attempt of any world leader. That is for our troops [pilots] being actively involved in the obvious targeting of a leader- evil yes- but if we are saying ‘no- we are not trying kill him’ and it’s obvious we are- then who’s next? The whole NATO operation needs to be more clear- if we are not targeting him- then stop trying to kill the guy. If we are targeting him- then quit saying we are not. Our guys deserve better than that.