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obama, clinton, and foreign policy in the middle east April 22, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, foreign policy, international, news, politics, religion, terrorism.
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discussion on to the point (segment begins at 8 min with lewis and levine; glick and ben-ami at 24 min):

Listen to/Watch entire show:

Barack Obama’s been criticized as weak in support of Israel and not tough enough on Iran. Hillary Clinton’s talked about “massive retaliation” if Israel is attacked and an “umbrella of deterrence” all over the Middle East. We explore their differences and similarities on a crucial arena of foreign policy. Also, tomorrow’s Pennsylvania primary, and oil, gas—and waivers of environmental protections—in Wyoming’s open spaces.

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Obama, Clinton and Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Barack Obama says Israel is ” America’s strongest ally in the Middle East,” but skeptics contend he’s soft on the Palestinians and not tough enough on Iran. Hillary Clinton promises “massive retaliation” if Israel’s ever attacked by Iran, and an “umbrella of deterrence” that would go beyond that. These and other differences have been used to suggest that Obama’s support of Israel is insufficient. Does Obama suffer from guilt by association with his church pastor and others? Who are the real advisors to his campaign? Does Clinton really support a two-state solution? What about a pre-emptive attack on Iran?

Guests:
  • Ann Lewis: Senior Advisor, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign
  • Mel Levine: Advisor, Barak Obama’s presidential campaign
  • Caroline Glick: Assistant Foreign Policy Adivsor, then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Jeremy Ben-Ami: Executive Director, J-Street

link roundup…obama & israel, edwards, clinton, & cuba February 5, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, econ, international, news, politics, religion, terrorism.
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does aipac trust barack obama,” the new republic:

Several other people connected to Middle East lobbying in Washington have told me, though, that they believe there is a rift between the official positions of AIPAC on Obama and the feelings of a good deal of its membership, possibly including some of its major donors. Because AIPAC doesn’t endorse candidates directly, but often encourages its very active membership to get involved in campaigns and fund-raising on their own, how the AIPAC rank-and-file acts is not a matter of diktat; it’s an accurate barometer of how it feels. And according to The Jerusalem Post, “When it comes to the Jewish establishment of campaign donors, fundraisers, and political players, support for Clinton is estimated to be twice that for Obama (except in his home state of Illinois, where he has deep connections with the Jewish community).”

new republic q&a with joe trippi (former dean & edwards campaign strategist):

Going into that last debate, we had a long talk that day about maybe getting out before South Carolina, after the debate. My own personal view is that he went into that debate saying, “Damn it. I may be getting out tomorrow. You’re going to know I was here.” You don’t know what’s going on mentally. That’s why I told him that night that he came back. I’ve never been as proud of anybody as I was for what he did that night.

He went into that debate believing he was going to get out of the race. He didn’t pull punches. He stood there, talked about the things he believed in. He didn’t roll over for Barack, for her. Damn it, Clinton was going to know he was there. Barack was going to know he was there. People were going to know.

It was the tonic he needed to wake up the next morning and say, “Screw you, I’m not getting out of here.” Even folks in the campaign, some of the people said, “We don’t want you to get hurt by getting destroyed here.” There were people saying that. It was pretty unanimous. It wasn’t unanimous that he would get out, but no one was saying you shouldn’t think about getting out. We didn’t want to get four or five points in South Carolina. Go do this debate. The debate prep was during the Giants-Green Bay game. That’s what so blew me away. The campaign had actually spent the day talking about urging him to think hard about getting out. We had no polling. We were watching the game. During the boring part, he would say, “What should I say about this?” It wasn’t the best debate prep we ever had in our lives. He goes in there, it was sheer who John Edwards is. We had that debate. This was a guy who walked into that debate, saying “People are going to know I’m here.” The next day he said, “I hear what you guys are saying, but I’m going to stay here and fight for every vote.”

the wrong experience,” fareed zakaria in newsweek:

Consider Cuba policy. Almost anyone who is being honest will acknowledge that America’s approach toward Cuba is brain dead. No one even remembers why we’ve imposed a total embargo on the country. A policy that was put into place at the height of the cold war, when fears of Soviet missiles and communist penetration were at their peak, has been maintained even though the threat that prompted it has collapsed….

Our policy has the additional burden of having failed, by any measure. We’ve been trying to force regime change in Cuba for 45 years. Instead Fidel Castro is now the longest-lived head of government in the world. Every tightening of the Cuban embargo has resulted in further repression and isolation…

Obama has advocated easing the Bush-imposed ban on Cuban-Americans visiting the island and sending money to their relatives. He makes a broader case for a new Cuba policy, arguing that capitalism, trade and travel will help break the regime’s stranglehold on the country and help open things up.

Clinton immediately disagreed, firmly supporting the current policy. This places her in the strange position of arguing, in effect, that her husband’s Cuba policy was not hard-line enough. But this is really not the best way to understand Clinton’s position. In all probability, she actually agrees with Obama’s stand. She is just calculating that it would anger Cuban-Americans in Florida and New Jersey.

barack obama on israel January 27, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, international, politics, speeches, talks, terrorism.
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obama-aipac.jpg

would anyone care to explain the transformative/change the status quo element of obama’s israel position?

obama’s official website:

Support Foreign Assistance to Israel: Barack Obama has consistently supported foreign assistance to Israel. He defends and supports the annual foreign aid package that involves both military and economic assistance to Israel and has advocated increased foreign aid budgets to ensure that these funding priorities are met. He has called for continuing U.S. cooperation with Israel in the development of missile defense systems.

how barack obama learned to love israel:

As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.” He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, “Keep up the good work!”

But Obama’s gradual shift into the AIPAC camp had begun as early as 2002 as he planned his move from small time Illinois politics to the national scene. In 2003, Forward reported on how he had “been courting the pro-Israel constituency.” He co-sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Pension Code allowing the state of Illinois to lend money to the Israeli government. Among his early backers was Penny Pritzker — now his national campaign finance chair — scion of the liberal but staunchly Zionist family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain. (The Hyatt Regency hotel on Mount Scopus was built on land forcibly expropriated from Palestinian owners after Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967). He has also appointed several prominent pro-Israel advisors.

ontheissues – barack obama on foreign policy:

Q: You said recently, “No one is suffering more than the Palestinian people.” Do you stand by that remark?

A: Well, keep in mind what the remark actually, if you had the whole thing, said. And what I said is nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel, to renounce violence, and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region. Israel is the linchpin of much of our efforts in the Middle East. (Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007)

foreign policy in focus – barack obama on the middle east:

Earlier in his career, Obama took a relatively balanced perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, aligning himself with positions embraced by the Israeli peace camp and its American supporters. For example, during his unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000, Obama criticized the Clinton administration for its unconditional support for the occupation and other Israeli policies and called for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He referred to the “cycle of violence” between Israelis and Palestinians, while most Democrats were referring to “Palestinian violence and the Israeli response.” He also made statements supporting a peace settlement along the lines of the Geneva Initiative and similar efforts by Israeli and Palestinian moderates.During the past two years, however, Obama has largely taken positions in support of the hard-line Israeli government, making statements virtually indistinguishable from that of the Bush administration. Indeed, his primary criticism of Bush’s policy toward the conflict has been that the administration has not been engaged enough in the peace process, not that it has backed the right-wing Israeli government on virtually every outstanding issue.

Rejecting calls by Israeli moderates for the United States to use its considerable leverage to push the Israeli government to end its illegal and destabilizing colonization of the West Bank and agree to withdraw from the occupied territories in return for security guarantees, Obama has insisted “we should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests” and that no Israeli prime minister should ever feel “dragged” to the negotiating table.

presidential candidates on israel/palestine

obama’s aipac speech transcript

‘the israel lobby’ documentary (51 min)

adbusters #74 nov/dec 07 November 5, 2007

Posted by KG in arts/culture, econ, environment, food, health, international, iraq, media, news, photography, politics, terrorism.
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some scans from latest issue of adbusters

chris hedges examines the u.s.-israel alliance:

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what a family eats in a week in the u.k compared to ecuador:

what-a-family-eats-in-a-week.jpg

the real threat to americans:

realthreats.jpg