Last week a desperate Bashir Al Assad tried to divert world attention away from the specter of another Arab tyrant killing his own people and back to the good old perennial of the "travails" of the Palestinians whom Syria has been keeping in refugee camps for over 60 years. For a few days he seemed to be failing. For the first time in decades the international media not only refused to play along but steadfastly exposed his ruse. But he should not have worried. Yesterday with great fanfare President Barack Hussein Obama came to his aid with his much touted "historic" speech designed to lay out a new American coherent policy response to the Arab uprising. It was to be carried live around the world not only in English but in Arab and Farsi. Much of the speech ended up to consist of little more than another event forced retreat from the Cairo Speech back to the George W. Bush's freedom agenda. But tucked into it was a call for a renewal of the Arab Palestinian negotiations based on the newly reconciled Hamas/Fatah Palestinian negotiation position. Consequently, Assad got up this morning to find that Obama succeeded where he failed. He focused world attention on "difficult" Netanyahu and away from Assad murdering his people. 5 more just this morning. Just look at the post speech headlines.
Why did Obama do it?
Because that was the Saudi price for agreeing to increase its oil production and bring about an and to the sharp rise in the price of oil. Barack Hussein Obama knows very well that he owes his election to the 2008 collapse of the American economy precipitated by a sharp rise in the price of oil which followed Bush's 2006 outlining of the American freedom agenda. Obama has promised the Saudis he is going to opt for stability but then ruthlessly pushed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarack to resign. The Saudis responded by cutting oil production and letting the price of oil soar. Obama was watching the economy and his approval number trend downwards. He decided to make his peace with Riad. Betrayal of allies is Obama's bread and butter. So, he went to Munich and handed over the Middle Eastern Suddentenland, the West Bank. Democratic Congressman Rob Andrews writes:
Today, President Obama laid out a set of principles that wisely align American interests in the Middle East with democracy and human rights. My support for these principles is precisely the reason that I disagree strongly with the proposal to employ US influence to compel Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders.
Israel's acquisition of territory since that date has been for one reason alone-- to defend herself against aggression that threatens the existence of the only state in the Middle East that practices democracy and respects human rights. I am committed to use my voice and my vote to oppose this policy. Instead, I will stand for measures that reward states like Israel that reflect American values and oppose states and organizations like the Hamas faction that rules the Palestinians--that practice murder and other violent attacks on human rights.
A policy forcing Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 borders does not foster democracy and human rights-it promotes the interests of those who favor the weapons of death over the instruments of democracy.
The deal struck. Have you noticed how the oil prices have suddenly moderated? The king's nephew and one of the richest man in the world, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, went on the fox news to insist that Israel abide by the Obama plan which he misleadingly defines as nothing more but a reiteration of Security Council resolution 242. Actually, by retreating from Gaza Israel has fulfilled the demands of that resolution which called on her to retreat only from territories conquered in 1967 not from all "the territories." But legalities were never the issue. Obama's fear of the June OPEC meeting which just may be chaired by Iran's new oil minister, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is. If the Saudis and Iranian have their way, the Arab people's uprising will be safely stalled before it reaches them. That is the real take away from the "historic" Obama speech.