By William A. Cook
While the people of the mid-east rise in protest against their respective American supported dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, with the American-Israeli attempts to control Lebanon on the brink of chaos and collapse, and the ‘peace negotiations’ between the Palestinians and the Israelis torpedoed by both Netanyahu and Abbas, the confusion at the State Department could be eased if it spent some time reviewing the United States’ prior efforts to control the people of the mid-east, especially in Iran. It’s one thing for the Secretary of State and the President to reiterate America’s purported policy on human rights and another to acknowledge the hypocrisy of it.
After all, our policy appears clear, “We have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and free of corruption; and the freedom to live as you choose. These are human rights, and we support them everywhere,” Mr. Gibbs said, speaking on behalf of the President. America supports human rights everywhere, with words … as our dutiful TV channels give Gibbs, Crowley, Clinton and Obama extensive time to demonstrate … but there are no words directed at the Palestinian people’s rights.
How strange to watch our CNN talking heads, especially the Israeli trained Wolf Blitzer, former editor of AIPAC’s in house “Near East Report,” stuttering before the cameras as he recalled the fall of the Shah of Iran, America’s staunch ally for 25 years, as a direct result of similar riots by Iranian civilians, and the resulting loss of America’s control in Iran. He failed to mention that our friend had subjugated the Iranian people beneath the boots of his SAVAK mercenaries that protected his elegant life style while the people suffered under his despotic regime. Then as now our Presidents spoke of America’s support of human rights neglecting to mention the CIA’s overthrow of the elected nationalist (1951) Mohammed Mossadegh as Prime Minister.
Why should Blitzer express such concern? Why see danger lurking in the streets where the people of Tunisia and Egypt have gone to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with pseudo-democratic governments that hold rigged elections to ensure the continuation of their dictatorial rule propped up by American tax dollars so readily evident in the labels on the gas canisters (made in America) hurled at them by the police mercenaries who benefit from those same tax dollars? Perhaps because Blitzer knows, though he does not say it, that the Shah was the first mid-east dictator to recognize Israel, and with his loss Iran has become the number one “existential enemy” of that militaristic state. Perhaps he realizes that the “new” Iraq has an umbilical cord to Iran, that Afghanistan remains and will remain unfettered by America’s dictates, and that Syria continues to maintain meaningful control in Lebanon despite the efforts of the Israeli-American alliance to destabilize it. Perhaps he sees that the fall of Mubarak will mean that Egypt will no longer be a puppet of the Israeli state, and then perhaps Jordan will follow, and the dominoes will tumble one upon the next toward Israel leaving it standing naked before the world, delegitimized by the people of the mid-east dictating in their own way that tolerance of bought regimes is not the way to democracy and human rights.
Ultimately it comes back to Israel, a nation that defies the continuous cries from the United Nations to abide by international law, to heed the decisions of the International Court, to accept the efforts of the UN to investigate its actions so the rule of law can prevail, to see that force is not the way to peace in the mid-east, that subjugation of the people of Palestine rings from Lebanon to Algeria like a knell awakening the world to the suffering imposed on those shackled by the Eurocentric colonial mind of the 19th century.
The Obama administration has a chance to right this silent complicity that gives license to Israel to violently control the people of Palestine and perhaps thereby save the state of Israel from itself. Lebanon has brought forward to the United Nations Security Council a resolution that would force the council to address Israel’s illegal occupation and revert to Resolutions 181 and 242 that define the two states that should exist in Palestine. All Obama needs to do is abstain.
That silent protest against AIPAC and the Neo-Cons would declare what no other President since WWII has been able to assert, that America’s policy on the prohibition of illegal settlements cannot be ignored and that America’s “…unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and free of corruption; and the freedom to live as you choose. These are human rights, and we support them everywhere,” remains the true foundation of America’s commitment to international law and human rights.
– William A. Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His most recent book, The Plight of the Palestinians was just released by Palgrave Macmillan in July. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.laverne.edu and www.drwilliamacook.com.