Don’t worry Israelis and Palestinians – Obama is sending John Kerry your way. That should calm things down.
Forgive the sarcasm – but in the 6 years of the Obama admiration its Middle East diplomacy has achieved exactly what? A two state solution? A stable Libya? A democratic Egypt? A Syria at peace?
What exactly does Mr Kerry think his going to Israel will achieve? Those who want an intifada are working to ensure it happens, Mr Kerry showing up and calling for restraint will make no difference. President Abbas knows that a third intifada will probably spell the end of his Presidency and indeed the PA, so he hardly needs Mr Kerry to persuade him not to get involved.
There is an air of ‘We must be seen to be doing something’ about the Kerry visit, a date for which has not yet even been sorted out. He told a Harvard University audience “I will go there soon, at some point appropriately, and try to work to reengage and see if we can’t move that away from this precipice,”
Of course the Americans are not to blame for the Palestinian and Israeli failure to sort things out for themselves, nor is the USA the cause of the mass slaughter of Arabs by Arabs in many parts of the Middle East. However, the failure to understand the Middle East by this particular administration is breathtaking.
If we go back to the wide eyed optimism of Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech we see just how naive the American President, (along with his speech writers) is in these matters. There were empty promises, there was wishful thinking, and there was even a hint that he believes much of the trouble is down to his own country.
Mr Obama still appears to buy into the big lie, perpetuated by generations of policy makers, that if the Israeli/Palestinian situation was sorted out – the Middle East could move forward into prosperity and even democracy.
And now with Syria comes, not only the failure to help bring about a solution, but embarrassment the whole world can see.
It warned Russia, too late, not to send its military hardware to Syria. It then tried to persuade several countries not to allow reinforcements through their airspace, to no avail. Then, when Putin has clearly got the jump on Obama, the White House went into serious spin mode telling the press corps that Putin was desperate for a meeting with Obama during the United Nations General Assembly week. Some pliable White House correspondents even repeated this nonsense. In fact it was the Americans who were desperate to meet the Russians to try and find out A) – what the hell was going on, and B) –to (understandably) ensure their fighter jets did not crash into their Russian counterparts over Syria.
The Russians then poked NATO in the chest by flying into Turkish airspace and were told ‘we’d rather you didn’t do that’.
And this is the administration which is going to go to Jerusalem and Ramallah and tell the powers there how to sort out their differences? Good luck with that. No really.