Thursday, 13 May 2010

Obama a prophet of peace?

Its another Doha debate for you, and this one is about the role of the US in middle East and is Obama powerful enough to change for the better.

Now of course for the debate to be relevant we have to assume that US interests in Middle East are truly benign in intent at least if not in practice.... and well the juries still out on that one.

But anyway lets accept for arguments sake that the US does have an interest in peace for the middle east and that for that to happen the President will have to bring about a number of policy shifts, can he do it and how can he do it?

Unsurprisingly the main issue of this debate on regional peace revolves around the question of Palestine. You might be thinking why focus exclusively on that particular issue over well every other possible problem. Well you see the Israel/Palestine problem permeates much of the region,

The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 for example was because the PLO were based their after being expelled by the Army of Jordan, and that effectively led to the continued instability of that nation and allowed Hezbollah (you remember them right? they were the reason Israel invaded Lebanon again in 2006) to develop and grow to the point were it now holds power in the nations south.

But lets look a little further afield, Iraq, Saddam Hussein try justify his occupation of Kuwait by making it out to be a sort of "wake up call" to the West to sort out the Israeli problem, He was also clearly hoping to build support with his Arab neighbours, this is the reason why many Palestinians in Kuwait supported the occupation and were subsequently expelled.

Lets go further still, Iran, if you've ever seen Press TV will know that much of Iran's animosity to the Zionist state is at the very least based on Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, they even have the anniversary of the Nakba as an official holiday.

So focusing on this does make sense from a regional standpoint.

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