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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Andrew Bacevich, "With Iran, Obama can end America’s long war for the Middle East": Nice Try, Colonel

In a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "With Iran, Obama can end America’s long war for the Middle East" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/with-iran-obama-can-end-americas-long-war-for-the-middle-east/2013/12/06/4ab56fd4-5c3e-11e3-95c2-13623eb2b0e1_story.html?hpid=z3), Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, claims (my emphasis in red):

"Any such deal would surely annoy Saudi Arabia and Israel, each for its own reasons committed to casting Iran as an existential threat. Obama just might choose to let them fret.

Although Americans have not yet fully digested the news, the United States no longer must defer to the Saudis. North American reserves of oil and natural gas are vastly greater than they appeared to be just a few years ago. As the prospect of something approximating energy independence beckons, the terms of the U.S.-Saudi alliance — they pump, we protect — are ripe for revision. Not so long ago, it seemed really, really important to keep the Saudi royal family happy. Far less so today.

Much the same applies to Israel. Easily the strongest power in its neighborhood and the only one possessing a nuclear arsenal, the Jewish state privileges its own security over all other considerations. It has every right to do so. What doesn’t follow is that Washington should underwrite or turn a blind eye to Israeli actions that run counter to U.S. interests, as is surely the case with continued colonization of the occupied territories. Just as Israel disregards U.S. objections to its expansion of settlements in the West Bank, the United States should refuse to allow Israeli objections to determine its policy toward Iran."

Yup, you got it: In Obama's brave new world, the hell with America's former allies.

But what was this bit about Israel's "continued colonization of the occupied territories"? Apparently unbeknownst to this West Point-educated B.U. professor, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has acknowledged that Israeli settlements have been built on only some 1.1% of the West Bank (see: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/erekat-olmert-offered-palestinians-territorial-equivalent-of-west-bank-1.393484). This is the extent of Israeli "colonization" of the West Bank after 46 years?

Nice try, colonel.

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