Friday, 20 May 2011

Chapter 57 How we learn

I watched Barack Obama's Middle East speech yesterday. And I watched his press conference with Benjamin Netanyahu today.

I am not sure why I was filled with such burning indignation. I'm not sure why still, despite incredible behavioral consistency, I still feel let down and cheated by US foreign policy - why I still expect more.

I know. I should know better.

I should not have felt that familiar annoyance when Obama spoke of Osama Bin Laden and in one sentence destroyed the hope that he understands the complexity of the Muslim demographic, instead intimating that they exist only in one of two dimensions: In support of or in opposition to Bin Laden's ideologies.

I should have expected that the US's decades long support of Hossni Mubarak would be forgotten in this wave of gung ho support of the Arab Spring that does not include Bahrain or Palestine.

And saying the best solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two state solution is a misnomer when one state is a military power and the other is 'demilitarized' with no control over its borders. It's even more disheartening when the very next day Netanyahu slaps even this down and says in no uncertain terms that 1967 borders are out of the question: 'indefensible'.

When Obama talked about canceling USD 1 billion from Egypt's debt once when they elected a government the little voice in my head immediately added on "as long as it's a government America likes."

Maybe we do learn.


  1. Obama did no more than reiterate the basis of the draft proposal at Camp David II, which fell apart in disarray. Actually, Camp David had much more complete proposals on the table, including a draft solution for East Jerusalem.

    Benji must have been delighted - so much so that he immediately announced how angry he was.

    Like the client who tells me the hotel has done a great job then turns to their F&B manager to demand a discount as it was such a disaster and he wasn't happy... Just because you're happy doesn't mean people have to think you're going soft, does it?

  2. It is such theatre isn't it? International politics has lost all substance in its drive to do good PR.