The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

"This is starting to get dangerous for us"

In case you missed Marc Perry's report on Gen. David Petraeus briefing of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in December, here is the link.

Petraeus outlined that "America was not only viewed as weak, but its military posture in the region was eroding" and that "Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region". Mullen's and Biden's trip to Israel have to be seen as efforts to urge Israel to put their issues in the wider perspective of the region, argues Perry. After the announcement of the construction of more houses in the Occupied Territories, Biden then came to tell Netanjahu that "this is starting to get dangerous for us. What you're doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan." Perry quotes here an article in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronot.

Perry sums up: "America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers. Maybe Israel gets the message now."

UPDATE: John Mearsheimer published an article on the issue.

Pertaeus further requested that the the Occupied Territories would be made part of his area of responsibility (CENTCOM), which was denied by the White House and subsequently also by Petraeus himself. Currently, Israel and the Occupied Territories are part of European Command (EUCOM). This change would have big implications, because the US training mission of the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Gen. Keith D. Dayton would then fall under Pertaeus command. Noam Chomsky compared this training mission with the population control efforts that the US so successfully implemented during the US occupation of the Philippines. A proof of the success of the mission could be the lack of any kind of demonstration in the West Bank during the Israeli operation "Cast Lead".

1 comment:

  1. “Gen. Petraeus has simply erred in linking the challenges faced by the U.S. and coalition forces in the region to a solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and blaming extremist activities on the absence of peace and the perceived U.S. favoritism for Israel,” the ADL’s Abraham Foxman says in a just-released statement. “This linkage is dangerous and counterproductive.”