The Barack Obama Presidency opens on January 20, 2009, and global actors are already lining up to serve up the first crisis he is compelled to face.
Everyone wants to see how the new American administration will respond.
But Israeli leaders believed they couldn’t wait and they opened the offensive against Hamas in Gaza called “Cast Lead.”
Obama has remained largely, and probably rightly, silent on Gaza in this pre-presindency tansition phase. And even the talkative Joe Biden has remained uncharacteristically quiet on Gaza: away in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
But President-elect Obama and his team has to be prepared for a host of contingencies starting on Janyary 20 — and Gaza, Isreal, Hamas, and the greater peace effort in the Middle East and reaching into Iran will be on the front burner.
“With respect to Iran, I’ll have more to say about Iran after January 20,” the President-elect said on January 9, 2009.
“I have said in the past during the course of the campaign that Iran is a genuine threat to US national security. But I have also said that we should be willing to initiate diplomacy as a mechanism to achieve our national security goals.”
Obama added, “When we have a policy towards Iran that has been shaped by my national security team, we will release it.”
William Perry, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, said yesterday President Obama will face a “serious crisis” over Iran’s nuclear ambitions in his first year in office.
And yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution supporting Israel in Gaza.
How Obama will decide to travel on the issue of Israel, Gaza, Hamas and the Middle East in general — and Iran — is largely unknown; and is key to world peace and U.S. national security.
John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
Bloggers around the globe are offering ideas for the new President Obama….
Barack Obama is not an ignorant man. He knows what is happening in Gaza. Soon it will be happening on his watch. Still, he remains silent. This is our new leader who promised us a different vision when he introduced his national security team with a statement that included these words:
To succeed, we must pursue a new strategy that skillfully uses, balances, and integrates all elements of American power: our military and diplomacy; our intelligence and law enforcement; our economy and the power of our moral example. (emphasis added)
Continued support and funding for the siege in Gaza is immoral. To fail to say this is to close our ears and shut our eyes to the sick, the weak, and the hungry. This is immoral. To deliberately and consistently violate the human rights of an entire population, is immoral. Still Barack Obama remains silent.
Barack Obama has taught US constitutional law. He knows international law. It is no secret to him that as Stephen Lendman has written:
Israel is a serial human rights international law abuser. The UN Human Rights Commission affirms that it violates nearly all 149 articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention that governs the treatment of civilians in war and under occupation and is guilty of grievous war crimes. The Commission also determined that as an occupying power Israel has committed crimes against humanity as defined under the 1945 Nuremberg Charter. . . .
. . . . The world community has been silent. Conditions continue to deteriorate, and Christian Aid is speaking out. It accused Israel of collective punishment in violation of international law.