A Danger of our own Making
Thursday, October 26, 2023 8:55 PM
Seeing what's in front of your nose demands a constant struggle.—George Orwell
Dear Friends + Interlocutors,
Do the American people have any idea, any idea at all, the extent to which they have been placed in harm’s way by Washington politicians, lobbyists and the mainstream media? We are in a daze.
We have all been put in danger, needlessly and recklessly, by U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, which policy radiates beyond the Middle East. It is a scandal of long-standing.
Please understand, there is no U.S.-sponsored “peace process” underway to settle the Palestinian question. None. It was discarded. Formerly, there was a much-touted charade of a “peace process” presided over by Washington, which started in the aftermath of the Cold War, with the “land for peace” Oslo Accords of 1993.
That came to a quiet and inglorious end with the Annapolis Conference of 2007. Since then, there has not even been a charade of a “peace process”. No pretense whatever by Washington to deal with the issue. Nothing at all. We have been flying blind and without a seat belt.
Washington officials, especially Democrat “liberal” politicians like for example Nancy Pelosi, still pay lip-service now and then to the “two state” solution, as if it were a genuine, viable option. They know full well that it is now beyond reach because of their own policies. Yet they throw it out there, to cover themselves.
Why? Because these same officials and politicians have allowed, even encouraged, Tel Aviv to create irreversible facts on the ground which make “two states” impossible. That ship has sailed. In theory, it could have worked.
By pandering to whatever Israel’s leaders wanted at any given point in time, Washington has enabled the most extreme crazies to float to the top and ascend to power.
President Trump, working hand-in-glove with Benjamin Netanyahu, simply accelerated an on-going, pre-existing process of allowing the tail to wag the dog. Biden, up next, followed Trump’s lead to the letter, changed nothing of Trump’s policies, and did absolutely nothing for the Palestinians.
Recently, the Washington foreign policy establishment has finally showed signs of genuine concern, even alarm, with what it has created but can no longer control. Think back just several weeks ago, prior to the October 7th attack by Hamas.
There were routine references in the mainstream media about Netanyahu's government being the most extreme in Israel’s history. This fact was generally believed to be the reason why Joe Biden had not invited Bibi, his fellow corrupt career politician, to the White House.
Bibi Netanyahu is probably the most successful confidence man in history. He has served as Israel’s Prime Minister, on and off, for longer than anyone. He now acts as the frontman for the most lunatic oddballs in the driver’s seat in Israel. They have kept him out of jail.
Bibi has proclaimed repeatedly in recent years that Israel has no partner for peace with the Palestinians. Even the most stupid and suborned officials in Washington must know that is a deliberate lie, a dodge. Note that Bibi loudly proclaimed while campaigning in 1996, “Our aim is to prevent a Palestinian state.” He is consistent.
Joe Lockhart, Bill Clinton’s White House press secretary is quoted in a 2003 interview: “Netanyahu was one of the single most obnoxious individuals you’re going to come across—just a liar and a cheat. He would open his mouth and you would have no confidence that anything that came out of it was the truth.”
This is the man the West is in bed with. This is the man to whom Joe Biden has turned over the U.S. Central Command. It is a de facto annex of the IDF. This is the man who has been given carte blanche to commit what amounts to genocide in Gaza with unlimited U.S.-supplied bombs. What could go wrong?
Israel has no intention, if it ever did, at arriving at an equitable settlement with the Palestinians. With the exception of Yitzhak Rabin—who got himself assassinated in November 1995 by a religious fanatic for his trouble—Israel’s bad faith quickly became apparent during the make-believe “peace process” sponsored by the United States.
House demolitions, expropriations, and settlement construction continued unabated and non-stop, in contradiction of the Oslo Accords signed by Arafat and Rabin in September 1993. And Jewish “settlers” doubled in the occupied territories by June 1999. No push-back from Washington, only hot air.
The charade culminated at Camp David in 2000 with Bill Clinton as host. Yasser Arafat was blamed and demonized when Camp David blew up. The simple fact is, President Clinton did not have the power or the ability to pressure Israel to come to an agreement for its own good and that of the U.S. He was handcuffed.
For one thing, his principal ME advisers at Camp David were the conflicted tag-team of Dennis Ross aka “Israel’s lawyer” and Martin “evenhandedness is not in our lexicon” Indyk. They could hardly be called objective or honest brokers.
And Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak understandably could not have relished the the prospect of being assassinated like Rabin. In a sense, everyone was handcuffed.
For another thing, there was the Israel Lobby, the elephant in the room which owned the Democrat Party and maintained a choke-hold on Washington’s foreign policy.
Clinton was reduced by circumstances beyond his control to a cardboard cutout. To that “wooden Indian” he had complained about to Barak during the negotiations. A nonentity.
Clinton could have avoided his wooden-Indian status if he had been prepared to become a hero or a martyr. That of course was out of character. Accordingly, Clinton threw up his hands, and the onus for the peace failure transferred instantaneously to Arafat who was later poisoned by the Mossad.
Looking back, the 2000 Camp David negotiations represented the last chance for a permanent settlement between the dispossessed Palestinians and the Jewish state. I highly recommend The Truth about Camp David: The Untold Story About the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process (2004) which tells the whole story.
Given what has happened since then, especially in light of recent events, there is no exit. We are left with the refugee camp solution. As Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot put it on October 8th, a day after the recent Hamas attacks...
Every single political avenue is blocked…every single legal avenue is blocked for us, like the International Court of Justice. We are having this conversation because Israelis have seen what they have seen today…but my people see this every day. Every. Single. Day. Palestinians are targeted, killed, arrested, their land is confiscated, there holy places are desecrated…
Put another way, Professor Norman Finkelstein asked, “What were the Palestinians supposed to do?”
Forget Hamas, forget Arafat, forget Bibi Netanyahu. Think about U.S. foreign policy.
Think about the politicians and lobbyists in Washington who have led the world, decade upon decade, down this blind alley, into this dead end, with their denials, neglect, ignorance, grandstanding, and lies.
It is they who have placed America and the world in danger. It is a scandal. An outrage.