Obama’s Thursday Israel Speech a Major Retreat
On Eve on Netanyahu's Visit, Obama to Issue Demands to Palestinians
(AntiWar.com) -- by Jason Ditz --
In May of 2009 reports were coming out of President Obama’s support for Palestinian statehood. There were restrictions, to be sure, but the call for a contiguous Palestinian state was seen as a major move, unheard of for a US President.
Two years later, President Obama is planning to give another speech Thursday night, on the eve of a state visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The new speech is said to be a significant retreat, with the president openly condemning the Palestinian bid for statehood and issuing new demands to the Palestinian Authority.
The two year interim between the two policy positions has been a rocky one, with the US starting a mostly unproductive indirect negotiation system that was replaced by an extremely brief direct negotiation. This too collapsed in September when Israel began expanding its settlements again, and the process had been dead ever since.
President Obama is expected once again to call on Israel to “cease settlement expansion,” even though Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials have ruled out ever allowing another freeze. Though the State Department denied being “pessimistic” about the peace process, the speech seems to be mostly an admission of failure, backing off the positions that would have ended with a two-state solution and replacing it with, primarily, demands that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state...LINK
Bush/Obama: New State Dep’t spokesperson has goldplated neocon pedigree
(Mondoweiss) -- by Philip Weiss --
PJ Crowley is gone as the spokesman at State, for his unconsidered remarks about the persecution of Bradley Manning, and who is replacing him, reportedly a longtime State staffer named Victoria Nuland, a former Cheney aide who happens to be married to neocon Rob't Kagan.
"Toria is very skilled and talented and will do very well here," one denizen of the State Department's "executive level" seventh floor said, noting that given Nuland's ties to GOP circles - her husband is Brookings foreign policy scholar and Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan, and she previously served as an adviser to Cheney -- "who better...to aggressively defend the Administration's foreign policy?"Greenwald, some time back:
No rational person would believe a word Robert Kagan says about anything. He has been spewing out one falsehood after the next for the last four years in order to blind Americans about the real state of affairs concerning the invasion which he and his comrade and writing partner, Bill Kristol, did as much as anyone else to sell to the American public....LINK