FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Carter Coup

Former President Jimmy Carter independent Middle East diplomacy is nothing less than a coup of the American foreign policy of the Bush administration.

He has now met twice with the representatives of Hamas including its head, Khalid Meshaal and has had one-on-one meetings with the heads of state of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and with King Abdullah of Jordan. The Prime Minister of Israel, Edmund Olmert has refuse to meet with him.

Carter has called the Israeli/American policy of starvation a “crime”, he has observed that 30 to 40 Palestinians have been killed for every Israeli killed, as fact never spoken by an American politician or statesman, and rarely by any of the US news media. He said, “any side that kills innocent people is guilty of terrorism.” That means that Israel is as guilty of terrorism as the Palestinians, and by implication, 30 to 40 times more guilty, a very radical notion for an American statesman, and completely unprecedented, but certainly true of the past month during which time, 120 Palestinians residents of Gaza were killed by the Israeli army within the space of two days.

Carter said, the Palestinians in Gaza were being “starved to death, receiving fewer calories per day than people in the poorest parts of Africa.”

“Its an atrocity what is being perpetuated as punishment on the people of Gaza. It’s a crime … I think it is an abomination that this continues to go on.”

Cater is now watching a society being abused and starved for their participation in a plebiscite because the result were unwelcome to both Israel and the United States. Carter, who monitored the election in which Hamas gained the majority of seats, declared it to be completely fair, the fairest election in the Arab world, in fact, must have been as dismayed as anyone to see people punished for expressing their preference in a democratic election.

But the pattern was familiar. Carter had also monitored the election in Palestine in 1996 in which Arafat defeated a field of almost a dozen other candidates only to see the Bush administration ostracize Arafat, effectively assassinating him politically, and acquiesce to Sharon’s determination to place him under house arrest.

Even more important, he has initiated diplomacy which directly conflicts with and counters the American government’s policy, under George Bush, of isolating and ostracizing whatever political party the US and Israel consider to be their enemy, whether Iran or Hamas.

This is in some ways no less than a coup and an attempt to displace the entire Bush approach to its conduct for foreign policy and replace it with an approach that has been shown to have worked.

Not that anyone should feel sorry for that. It has been amply demonstrated that the Bush/Neocon approach to foreign policy has been a colossal failure leaving in its wake millions of dead and displaced, starvation and suffering in the territories, and failure to reach any of Bush’s stated objectives – like a Palestinian state by 2005 as the end product of the Roadmap, like establishing a placid democratic government in Iraq that contributed to American and Israeli security, and democratizing the entire Middle East. Instead, Bush has brought us endless war and conflict of which hardly anyone knows how to slow its momentum.

A radical change in American Middle East policy occurred in 1981 when Ronald Reagan replaced Jimmy Carter as president. A Middle East policy which checked Israel’s expansions in Lebanon and colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem was
replaced by a passive policy and by a president with no knowledge of or interest in the Middle East. Reagan reposed, and some in his administration winked, as Israel launched an invasion of Lebanon, in 1982,which resulted in 20,000 Lebanese dead, Israel’s shelling West Beirut all summer long, the occupying an Arab capital, and the orchestrating of the massacre in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps where possibly as many as 2000 defenseless refugees were massacred. I short time, Islamic terrorists bombed the American embassy in Beirut killing 63 American, mostly CIA and American diplomats, and then the Marine barrack killing 241 American soldiers.

In October of 2004, in a taped message to the American people, Osama bin Laden said,  “While I was looking at those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust one in a similar manner by destroying towers in the United States so that it would feel some of what we felt and to be deterred from killing our children and women….” Bin Laden, of course, was referring to the summer long shelling of West Beirut during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Carter watched painfully, no doubt, as his activist diplomacy was replaced, by the Reagan team, with a policy of effectively, if not intentionally, giving Israel free reign. And during the Bush administration, Carter has complained of Bush’s inactivity and of the fact that there has been no negotiation, between Israel and the Palestinians, for the first seven years of the Bush tenure. Eventually the Annapolis conference was convened between the Israelis and Fatah under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, but with no presidential leadership, negotiations are taking place only nominally with Israel continuing its settlement expansions and destruction or confiscation of Palestinian resources.

The attack on the WTC and the Pentagon on 9/11 was good news for Israel, as former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently observed, as Ariel Sharon convinced Bush that both the US and Israel were fighting the same battle, that terrorism was the common enemy, and that Israel’s enemies were America’s enemies.

The subsequent Bush years evolved into an American foreign policy indistinguishable from Israel’s, and American resources, capital and personnel were placed at the disposal of Israel strategists. The aim and focus of the planners in the Pentagon and the White House became blurred as they were some of the same people who, just a few years earlier, as members of the American Enterprise Institute and other think tanks financed by Israel and charged with providing policy analysis for Israel instituted plans which were identical to those provided previously to the government of Israel. Those plans included the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq which had been a long standing objective of Israel strategists. The Saddam Hussein government of Iraq had long been deemed to have been a regional threat to Israel, but it was not a threat to the United States, though Bush convinced the American people otherwise and also that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

The Bush policies have been shown to be bankrupt, and Carter is replacing them with an approach that has been shown to have worked.

WILLIAM JAMES MARTIN teaches in the Department of Mathematics at the University of New Orleans. He can be reached at: wmartin@math.uno.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail