After November: 5 Middle East Headaches That Await the U.S.

Last week's U.N. General Assembly session served up reminders that the next White House may have little option but to deal with a number of crises previously deferred

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Zac Baillie / AFP / Getty Images

A rebel fighter is carried down from a third-story apartment after being wounded by a Syrian government tank shell during a battle between rebels and Syrian army forces in Aleppo on Sept. 26, 2012

3. The Palestinians: Forgotten in Washington, Still an Arab Priority

A drinking game for teetotalers might mandate downing a shot every time the word Palestinian is uttered on the U.S. presidential campaign trail. And last week at the U.N., Prime Minister Netanyahu devoted barely a sentence to the plight of the Palestinians, and then to simply bat aside the appeals of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for U.N. intervention to set terms for a two-state solution. Netanyahu has largely succeeded in his three-year effort to put Iran’s nuclear program at the center of Washington’s Middle East policy, at the expense of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Obama, in his own speech, hardly gave the issue any more attention than Netanyahu did, and then only to reiterate an anodyne exhortation to the two sides to work together for peace.

But Egypt’s President Morsy, a key voice of an emerging postdictatorship Arab public, presented an opposite set of priorities. He made clear that Egypt expects Iran to abide by its NPT obligations to demonstrate the peaceful character of its nuclear program — which it is currently failing to do — but in the same breath made clear that the Arab world also demands that Israel sign on to the agreement and embrace the effort to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East. (Israel is in no hurry to do either.) Even Hosni Mubarak’s regime had taken the same position, much to the chagrin of the Israelis and the U.S. The Arab public, Gulf monarchies notwithstanding, appears unwilling to support an Iran policy that protects an Israeli monopoly of nuclear force in the region.

(PHOTOS: Palestinians Take to the West Bank’s Streets in Protest)

Nor are they willing to accept that realizing Palestinian aspirations must be postponed until Israel elects a government more willing to accommodate them. Morsy made clear that the U.S. credibility in Arab eyes will be judged first and foremost on Washington’s willingness to act in support of achieving Palestinian national goals — an intention Obama had signaled in Cairo in 2009, but then effectively abandoned at the end of the following year in the face of Netanyahu’s defiance and mounting domestic pressure.

Washington is only able to ignore the Palestinians to the extent that their leaders are willing to play along by sustaining the impression that they believe the goal of ending Israel’s occupation of lands conquered in 1967 will be achieved under U.S. tutelage. Until now, despite his exasperation and disappointment, Abbas has declined to blow the final whistle on a peace process that effectively ground to a halt a decade ago. Abbas warned in his own speech that Israel’s responses had made clear that waiting for the two sides to agree among themselves while Israel continues to expand the grip of its occupation was to accept failure of the two-state solution. He insisted that only the U.N. Security Council prescribing the parameters for negotiating such a solution would save it.

But international enforcement of a two-state solution against Israel’s will is not an option any U.S. government is likely to embrace for the foreseeable future. If Abbas goes ahead with his threat to take matters directly to the General Assembly, and signals that Washington is no longer doing anything useful for the Palestinians, the White House will find itself diplomatically isolated and pressed to take steps that carry considerable domestic political cost. The problem is that Abbas has a domestic political problem too: a restive population sensing the winds of change blowing across the Arab world and increasingly unwilling to abide by the strictures of an authoritarian Palestinian Authority that has been reduced to being an administrative arm of the status quo.

Events on the ground may yet conspire to make it impossible for the next White House to keep the Israeli-Palestinian issue on the back burner — or the deep freeze, as the case may be.

MORE: Never Mind the Democrats’ Jerusalem Kerfuffle, Where’s the Peace Process?

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Dardo_Staniel
Dardo_Staniel

The results of the "Arab Spring" (which is more the Muslim Spring) are highly predictable and speak volumes about the rock-bottom average IQ

of Muslim "voters". Backing the wrong side (the rebels) has produced a very bad predicament going forward. Morsi and his ilk will never be ousted. Just look at Iran, 1979 and still counting and look how dangerous that is increasingly becoming. Having a very weak President in the US doesn't help either as it gives the wrong people wings.

geordiegit
geordiegit

For all the White House's good intentions by helping the Libyans and pouring money into other middle east countries, there is one issue that counteracts all that: Israel and the Palestinians. 

While Netanyahu's government continues to allow conservative Jews to encroach onto Palestinian land in the West Bank, and America just groans but does nothing concrete about it, Arabs will still hate America.

Israeli leaders have always had America by the scrotum, through blackmail with their hysteria re: Hamas, Hezbolla and now, Iran. America has continuously caused it's own problems and will never be trusted unless it changes it's foreign policy in the middle east. 

Jthemover
Jthemover

I think it will take a much more astute politician to wade through these issues than either candidate available at this point.  It is really a question of which issues will be bungled, or how they will.

Thomas Hildebrand
Thomas Hildebrand

Thus says The Lord God of Israel: I have seen the pride of men, and how hate builds within their hearts. For My hand is removed, and who is able to withhold them? Who is able to turn them back, once their minds are set?... Behold, they shall come as a whirlwind, as a flood to cover the land. With a sound like raging waters shall they come forth from their places, and the earth shall tremble, the ground shall shake beneath the multitude of their devices. 

Their intentions are not hidden, and that which they do in secret is always before My face...Behold, an evil plan has come into their hearts. And that which is conceived of in the hearts of men is known to Me; indeed, everything whispered in secret enters into My ears. For they plot an evil thing, saying, “The God of Israel sleeps and will not arise to defend His people; The Holy One of Israel will not see it. Therefore, let us go up and fight against the people of Jacob, and murder the inhabitants of Judah, and wipe Israel from all remembrance... Let their name die with them. Yes, let us go swiftly, and many peoples with us, to destroy them, that we may cast their name out of the earth, forever”...

Come! Says The Lord... COME FORTH! For by the blood of your fathers and by the blood of your sons, and by the blood of all your great and proud men, shall I be glorified in the sight of many nations! Behold, you shall fall upon the mountains of Israel!... A feast for the birds, a dwelling place of the worm... And in the open fields shall you leave your spoil! For I have prepared a valley... Your resting place.

Therefore come forth, all you loathful nations! Bring your multitudes with you, all your mighty men of battle! Come up for the day of slaughter! Says The Lord God Almighty. For My anger has come up into My face and My hand is raised for battle! I am poised in My strength, ready to strike you down with a great vengeance!... 

Therefore come, O mighty men! Come down from the north as the whirlwind, and fight against Me! Says The Lord. And bring the fullness of Ishmael with you! GATHER TOGETHER AND COME! Bring forth the weapons from the storehouses, from Asia to the kings of the south! Come forth! For The Lord God of Israel has prepared a great slaughter!

Enemies of Israel, I call you out! COME FORTH!...

For indeed, the world has turned a deaf ear, 

And many nations are in agreement...

And not one will prevent you. 

Therefore, come forth! Come out and fight against Me!... 

It is time.

THE LORD GOD of Heaven and earth is speaking to THIS modern generation...

THE TIME HAS COME!... History has an end...

www.TrumpetCallofGodOnline.com 

Heterotic
Heterotic

Key for the U.S. is, and has been all along, is to resolve the Palestinian/Israeli situation. That has been used as an excuse by extremists for decades; take it away and you can tackle each other issue on its own merits.

HerrDirlewanger
HerrDirlewanger

What do you suggest, asking the Israelis to give the country they made back to the Bedouin? After all it's only fair!  

Danyz
Danyz

I think here of Star Trek II and the Kobiashi Maru war game, a no-win scenario...

Would that we had a bright and audacious Kirk who won by covertly changing the program of the game. Obama just barely possibly might surprise us here. Mitt on the other hand, like an excited kid in a video arcade with lots of cool war games, would be be shakily fumbling through his pockets for quarters.  

18235
18235

kurdistan not a headache?

making turkey apologize for their kudish genocide, not a problem?

kurds deserve their own homeland, not a problem?

Plumbline
Plumbline

Joel 3:2.....

I will gather all the nations, and I will bring them to the Jehoshaphat Valley. There I will enter into judgment with them in support of my people and my possession, Israel, which they have scattered among the nations. They have divided my land...

Charles
Charles

We keep sticking our nose in the Middle East and when we get bad results we get mad. Let the Middle East worry about the Middle East. We must take care of American priorities.

SimonLampard
SimonLampard

Alfred replied I can't believe that a person can get paid $5117 in one month on the network. did you look at this (Click on menu Home)   

Talendria
Talendria

That strategy bit us in the butt in 1941.

Arup_2
Arup_2

Read ur history and then comment about 1941!

Arup_2
Arup_2

Talendria..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

"The U.S. embargoes gave Japan a sense of urgency. It would either have to agree to Washington's demands or use force to gain access to the resources it needed."

IT WAS the opposite strategy that led to Pearl Harbor.  

A school of today's historians feel that US command, at that time, knew exactly what was going to happen and did nothing. This school of thought may be a stretch but is worth reading...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

HughNew
HughNew

like....@Arup_2:disqus ,

......goo.gl/1pYX0

HughNew
HughNew

Vincent replied I am blown away that someone can make $8260 in a few weeks on the network. did you see this(Click on menu Home)   

Talendria
Talendria

I'm an avid student of history. If you have a counter argument, feel free to make it.

snowleopard (cat folk gallery)
snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

Fine - the next POTUS will have his hands full no matter if it is Romney or Mr Obama; and one mistake or miscalculation can see the area erupt into a regional war, a region in which much of the worlds oil reserves come from.

So the questions to be asked:

What will Romney or Obama do (depending on who wins, and assuming events do not preceed the elections)?

Will anything done by the US even work?

I will say this matter, based on the responses of how the Libyan matter has been handled by the administration (the coverup especially), and Mr Obama's failed 'arab reset' and support of the radicals among the 'arab spring', does anyone honestly think he could do better?

Remember that at his UN speech, he blamed the embassy attacks and demonstrations on a video that was nothing but an opportune excuse; and showed no leadership as each opportunity came forth.

T Marq
T Marq

Nothing like having a bad case of Myopia. The Arab Spring is an effort by the FREE Arabs to get rid of suppression, the same thing that made this country great when it got rid of its British overlords that tried to keep us in check. Both France and Spain contributed to supporting the colonies and as a result, made this country FREE.

As for the president, regardless of whether it would have been a Dem, GOP or whatever, it was the last president that created this global mess by starting a personal war in Iraq just to please his family's personal revenge.

Moreover, given the GOP's taste for greed and power, keeping these areas off balance ensures they are able to tap the internal resources without too much political interventions. China and Russia are both well aware of this and the reason why they prefer the  laissez faire approach to allowing any and all internal issues run their course. However, the Arab Spring is forcing a new change in the game, a political movement is rising up in an area long exposed to tyranny by religious and unscrupulous leaders. The US is being forced to remain on the sidelines by the two largest and controlled economies in that region, both of which will can cause a lot of grief to us and the world. Given our currently weak economy and failing infrastructure, our actions should remain as cheerleaders, and nothing more.

Sometimes, leadership is how well a president measures restraint against adversity when it's measured against what is the most good for his country, and not the special interest or fanatically greedy internal political onslaught.  

hardworker777
hardworker777

You make your bed, you sleep in it. Over 60 years of manipulative, cynical, brutal U.S. foreign  policy. Game over. 

T Marq
T Marq

Yep, and as a result, we had allies that helped our cause to keep the area stable from Russia and China. Now, the current have change because of our oil gluttony, and the burying of our sympathy for freedom.

snowleopard (cat folk gallery)
snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

Anymore I have to agree, maybe I am growing cynical in the matter but bring our troops home and deal with American problems (domestic economy) first.