Sensible Thinking on US Response to Egypt, Israel, Region

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judis_color_medium.jpgJohn Judis has a sensible piece out now, pondering what a new US strategy in the Middle East should prioritize. As one friend commented to me, there seems to be a new current of freedom at The New Republic as it would have seemed inconceivable that such a line as that which follows would have made it past Marty Peretz’s editorial pen.
Judis writes:

. . .The choice, in other words, does not simply involve what the United States should do in Egypt, but in the entire region. My own view is that given the choice between promoting Egypt’s revolution and ensuring continuity in its own foreign policy, the Obama administration should change its policies toward the Middle East to accommodate the demand for democracy in Egypt. Not on every issue, nor toward every country, but toward the Netanyahu government, the Palestinians, and the dictators under siege in the Gulf and North Africa.
That would include pressing rather than discouraging a rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah (which is a prerequisite for meaningful negotiations over a Palestinian state), using the threat of withdrawing American aid–as George H.W. Bush did in 1991–to bring the Netanyahu government to the negotiating table, and distancing American policy from Arab rulers in the Gulf.

What Judis is getting at is that the US and Israel need to wake up and see the trends afoot in the region and get with the wave, or ahead of it. Cultivating responsible self-determination in the region, particularly with the rising political Islamic groups which view themselves as champions of a new democratic trend in the region, is necessary.
I have been writing for some time that Israel’s security situation with the US, Egypt and Jordan was working sort of like a New Orleans levy — working for the time being, but not getting better with time and that some day a storm would come and knock out those levies. Israeli security needs to be revisioned and constructed in other ways as the current arrangements have eroded and are failing. This is not good for Israel, nor America, nor the Middle East states around it.
— Steve Clemons
h/t to Max Blumenthal for sending my way.

Comments

5 comments on “Sensible Thinking on US Response to Egypt, Israel, Region

  1. Carroll says:

    Every time I see an article about the US and the ME that begins and ends with Israel’s security I have to post this reminder.
    The US does not have any legal or moral obligation to maintain Israel.
    Israel is not an asset to the US.
    Israel’s military has never served any purpose for the US in the ME.
    Israel has cost the US 1.4 trillion dollars since it’s inception with no end in sight or benefit return on our money.
    Israel’s importance in US government and congress is purely one of, as all the US Presidential libraries say,…’domestic political considerations”.
    Whenever DC speaks of Israel’s security they are simply promoting the Israel aberration in our politics.
    If anyone can give me even one piece of evidence that Israel has ever been of any benefit to the US I’ll reconsider the facts.

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  2. JohnH says:

    It’s not just that “Israel’s security situation with the US, Egypt and Jordan was working sort of like a New Orleans levy.” The US’ own security situation is also built like a New Orleans levy.
    But what else can you expect, when a bloated, self-serving military establishment dominates US policy, relentlessly driving the country to insolvency?
    Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to finally see some prominent Washington policy folks finally come to the realization that legitimacy matters, even though authoritarian, military types are sure to continue to set policy and support their military brethren for the foreseeable future.

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  3. Cee says:

    to wake up and see the trends afoot in the region and get with the wave
    AND not interfere by sending agent provocateurs. I believe this is happening now in Libya.
    Someone else commented on the arrest of Raymond Davis in Pakistan. What exactly is his role? Who is he really working with? There is some speculation that the his own people want him to die with his secrets.

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  4. questions says:

    One of those telling comments that needs to be factored in to any understanding of the potential for rebellions to be successful:
    “There was no sign that Colonel Qaddafi, 68, intended to allow the revolts that have taken down the longtime leaders in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt to fell him as well. Colonel Qaddafi for decades has skillfully cultivated tribal rivalries to avoid any threat to his authority.

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “……..the Obama administration should change its policies toward the Middle East to accommodate the demand for democracy in Egypt”
    “……..but toward the Netanyahu government….”
    “….using the threat of withdrawing American aid–as George H.W. Bush did in 1991–to bring the Netanyahu government to the negotiating table…….”
    It is inexplicable to me that we continue to see these kinds of policy advocations that fail to recognize the domestic hurdle that must be leaped before ANY change in the status quo can be implemented.
    The kinds of policy advocations advanced repeatedly by Steve, and as we see above, advanced by Judis, ignore the opposition that Obama would encounter within his own party were he to attempt implementing these “suggestions” in any form.
    Its amazing seeing someone with such “insider” status continue to offer such suggestions while simultaneously attempting to tip toe around offending the agents of Israel and their whores in Congress.
    Just look at what is now happening to Ron Paul for daring to suggest diminishing the amount of aid we piss away to Israel. Does Steve, or this Judis fellow, really suppose that their suggestions are feasable? If foreign policy wonks are afraid to take on the elephant in the room, just imagine how intimidated a member of Congress would be at the prospect of taking on the Israel lobby machine.
    These kinds of pie-in-the-sky schemes, such as Steve and Judis fantacize about are great. I mean, hey, after all, they are called “think tanks”, aren’t they? But to imagine such thoughts can be turned into actual policy, considering the iron hand that the Israeli lobby machine wields over Washington DC, I propose we drop the title “Think Tanks” and replace it with the label “Fantasy Mills”.
    If these deep thinkers continue to advance policies that sidestep the omnipresent bull elephant guarding the status quo, we won’t be coming to sites like this for debate, we’ll be coming here for our chuckle of the day.

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