We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Geopolitics of the Conflict in Gaza

Click here to access article by Dmitry Minin from Strategic Culture Foundation. (Note: I have linked to the 3rd of the series of three articles on this subject by the same author; however, I encourage you to read the series in order. This 3rd article provides links to the first two articles.)

What is one to make of this recent war crime against the Palestinian people? I recommend this series which I regard as sensible and well reasoned. The author's thesis is Israeli rulers are trying to force the US to strengthen its commitment to Israel as they see the growing affinity for US directors with Arab reactionary regimes.

From article 1:
...important is the fact that Netanyahu is almost forcing the U.S. to "stop flirting" with moderate Islamists in the Arab world and completely identify with Israel in accordance with their strategic commitments.


At the same time the head of Middle East Studies at the Brookings Institution, Daniel Byman believes, for example, that Israel may lose the gamble it has started in Gaza. A new factor compared to the time of the extremely tight Operation Cast Lead in 2008, which killed about 1,500 people in Gaza, is the "Arab Spring" and the ideological affinity of Hamas with neighboring Arab regimes. It will not be easy for Israel, if Hamas holds on for any length of time. Israelis are unlikely to want to reoccupy the entire sector, and they will not get the support of Washington, which does not want to further complicate its relations with Arab countries.
From article 2:
Israeli experts point out that as a result of the "Arab Spring" Hamas has significantly increased in military-technical and political terms. Moreover, in recognizing their responsibility for launching rockets at Israel, which it avoided until recently, Hamas has demonstrated that it no longer fears a direct confrontation with the Israeli military machine.

This increased confidence is based on a number of factors.
Having dealt with the finishing of its dependence on Damascus, Hamas has gained much more powerful patrons in the Islamic world.


Just as Israel, in unleashing the conflict and taking on full responsibility, forced Washington to clearly and plainly identify themselves with Tel Aviv, Hamas has made it clear also that Cairo and other Arab capitals take its side.
From article 3:
...the announcement of the newly elected president [Obama] that he remains committed to the strategic alliance with Tel Aviv is apparently true. But in the new reality Obama will have to solve a highly complex strategic problem - how to maintain a relationship with an existing ally and not damage, and if possible, even to strengthen the relationship with his recently acquired new friends from among the "moderate Islamists" as a result of the "Arab Spring". In attempting to sit on two chairs at the same time he will find it hard to stand up to his very first test in connection with the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

From the very beginning of the "revolutionary processes" in the Middle East, Israel was critical of the actions of the strong encouragement of the Americans, especially of Washington's attempt to get close to the Muslim Brotherhood, and one could only wait for the moment when Tel Aviv would start a counter play to thwart this "unholy alliance". And it came.

Notice that this thesis appears to dovetail well with James Petras' recent article in which he argued that the resignation of CIA director Petraeus and attacks on General John Allen, Supreme Commander of US troops in Afghanistan, were instigated by the Zionist faction in the US ruling class.

An alternative view presented in Land Destroyer, which I find too cynical and unbelievable, is that Israeli leadership is conniving with US Empire operatives to switch the latter's allegiance from Israel to reactionary Arab countries in pursuit of their goals of dominance in the Middle East.
The answer is simple - while the people of Israel have an invested interest in their own self-preservation, their leadership, though they play the role well of Israel's defenders, do not.

Israel's compromised corporate-financier driven leadership seems to be positioning the nation for a significant fall, to what degree is still not clear. It could range from a catastrophic defeat, to another humiliating ceasefire after an exercise in impotent, self-incriminating brutality. The purpose of this appears to be to grant their regional partners, mainly the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the necessary clout, legitimacy and unity needed to carry out the next stage of reordering the Middle East.