Thursday, October 11, 2012

Steve Clemons' Priorities

In case you haven't noticed, there is an election coming up. Mitt Romney is trying to defeat President Obama. Now what do you think his top priority should be when he takes office? Jobs, healthcare, energy independence? How about immigration, gay marriage, or abortion? Perhaps national security, Iran or the tax rate? Oh sorry, if you said anything except "betray our ally Israel and help our enemies the poor suffering oppressed Palestinians," clearly you aren't qualified to write for the Huffington Post. Better luck next time.

Yep, veteran Huffington Post blogger Steve Clemons is here to ask Mitt freaking Romney (who is a Republican, remember) to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state against the wishes of not only America's principal ally but the American people as well. Why? Let's start his logic off here:
"One wonders whether Romney will ignore or listen to generals today -- like CIA Director General David Petraeus, former Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, CENTCOM commander General James Mattis, even the incumbent Joint Chiefs chairman General Martin Dempsey -- all of whom agree that establishing and recognizing a state of Palestine is vital to U.S. national security and to defending Israel's long-term security in the region. "
The generals in question all agree that a two state solution and peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which would include a Palestinian state, is in America's best interests. That is incredibly obvious. But they aren't saying that America should unilaterally recognize one without a peace agreement between the parties. That's what Clemons is saying, telling half the truth in order to back up his point of view. But to use Clemons words and "pull a Truman," i.e. recognize Palestine without the consent of its most important neighbor, that is not something the generals are suggesting the US President do. Apparently honesty is not required all the time at the Huffington Post.
"General Marshall had it wrong on Israel -- but today, generals are arguing that America can't afford a false choice between Israel on one hand and Arab interests on the other. "
Really? That's happening today? I'm not sure if Clemons is aware of this but America has been balancing Israel and the Arabs for a long time now. The difference is that "the Arabs" and "the Palestinians" rarely coincide. We've fought entire wars entirely for Saudi Arabia and made obscene amounts money to them as well, all while maintaining an alliance with Israel. And if you don't think that Romney has been getting attention from the Saudis, I have a bridge to sell you. It has nothing to do with his party, Bush and the House of Saud were the best of buddies. America has never had to make that false choice because the Arabs are not nearly as united as their supporters would have us believe.

Finally he puts his cards on the table:
"If Romney wants to get this right, he should leverage the credibility he is building with Israel's leadership and hold them tightly in place while simultaneously pulling a Truman and recognizing a state of Palestine." 
Here is where he makes his mistake because he forgot to ask the key question: Why? Why should America recognize a state of Palestine? Will it bring peace any closer? No, it won't. Will it make the Palestinians more intransigent? Yes, it will. Will it piss off the Israelis and make mediation harder? Yes, it will. Will it change the attitude of Saudi Arabia toward America at all? No, it won't. Will it affect the Arab spring? No, it won't. Will it make the Palestinian people happy? No, it won't.

The truth of the matter is that it won't help the situation at all, and will actually make it worse. But it will also make Steve Clemons happy, and that's the most important thing. Fortunately we know that even Mitt Romney isn't dumb enough to choose poorly on such on obvious decision.

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