The absence of Obama

A long, angry arti­cle by Robert Fisk—the most expe­ri­enced his­to­ri­an of the con­tem­po­rary Mid­dle East—on how the Unit­ed States’ has ensured its irrel­e­vance to the future of the region.

Obama’s fail­ure to sup­port the Arab rev­o­lu­tions until they were all but over lost the US most of its sur­viv­ing cred­it in the region. Oba­ma was silent on the over­throw of Ben Ali, only joined in the cho­rus of con­tempt for Mubarak two days before his flight, con­demned the Syr­i­an regime – which has killed more of its peo­ple than any oth­er dynasty in this Arab “spring”, save for the fright­ful Gaddafi – but makes it clear that he would be hap­py to see Assad sur­vive, waves his puny fist at puny Bahrain’s cru­el­ty and remains absolute­ly, stun­ning­ly silent over Sau­di Ara­bia. And he goes on his knees before Israel. Is it any won­der, then, that Arabs are turn­ing their backs on Amer­i­ca, not out of fury or anger, nor with threats or vio­lence, but with con­tempt? It is the Arabs and their fel­low Mus­lims of the Mid­dle East who are them­selves now mak­ing the deci­sions.

Extract from Robert Fisk — The Inde­pen­dent

Fisk sounds like a dis­ap­point­ed ide­al­ist because—astonishing to say, after forty years’ wit­ness to ter­ri­ble cru­el­ty, betray­al and destruc­tion wrought in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon and Syr­ia by the West and its puppets—he con­tin­ues to expect that ratio­nal­i­ty, human­i­ty and even civil­i­ty will tri­umph. Why, for good­ness’ sake?

Oba­ma says no Pales­tin­ian state must be declared at the UN. But why not? Who cares in the Mid­dle East what Oba­ma says? Not even, it seems, the Israelis. The Arab spring will soon become a hot sum­mer and there will be an Arab autumn, too. By then, the Mid­dle East may have changed for­ev­er. What Amer­i­ca says will mat­ter noth­ing.

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