Obama and the Art of the Impossible

It is said that politics is the art of the possible. But President Obama has transformed it into the art of the impossible when last week he reaffirmed US support for the state of Israel while its ruling circles, with a wide support from the population, continue in their ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The charade that Obama delivered during his visit to Israel did not condemn the multiple ways in which Israel expands its colonies and evicts Palestinians from their homes in the West bank, including Jerusalem. He uttered no word about the apartheid wall or the Israeli violations of international law. His call to restart negotiations without preconditions, such as Israel’s halting the building of new settlements, did not endear him to the Palestinian people.

US policy is dedicated to pressure regional states to normalize their relations with Israel so that it no longer remains an anomaly in the Middle East. But how could this goal be realized if Israel remains a «Jewish” state, guided by Zionist ideology that maintains separation between its population and the peoples of the Middle East? By what logic does Obama think that peace could be achieved through ethnic cleansing? Obama’s legitimization of all the crimes the state of Israel continues to commit against the Palestinian population constitutes the art of the impossible.

One wonders what Obama’s visit at this particular juncture really means. The following events are pertinent in this regard: (1) the US has essentially yielded to Israel regarding Iran when Obama stated that it was up to Israel to decide what to do in confronting the Iranian nuclear issue; (2) Obama gave the green light for the Europeans to arm the fighters against the Syrian state; (3) both Prime Ministers Erdogan and Netanyahu exchanged pleasantries over the phone at the urgings of Obama as a prelude to open reconciliation. In fact, the Israeli government has just apologized to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara killings; and (4) the CIA is passing intelligence to rebels in Syria, aiding their fight against the Syrian state.

Those events constitute a prelude for an impending escalation in the conflict that the US decided to follow in its attempt to recover its position in the region after the Iraq and Afghan debacles. The chances of war therefore have increased in the midst of spreading regional chaos. Last week’s resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Miqati is an example of this deteriorating situation. The US is aware that in doing so it might risk a confrontation with the Russians and Chinese who have been more assertive in protecting their interests in the region. The stakes are high for the US that it is willing to escalate the situation in its race to improve its global political economic and military position vis-à-vis Russia and China.

Time is therefore of the essence as other factors have been working against the US geopolitical strategy. A gathering storm in the form of another global financial and economic crisis makes it impossible for the US (and Israel) to control all the main variables constituting this chaos. An exacerbation of the European financial crisis, for instance, would increase the pressure on the global financial system and the US would be directly affected. Furthermore, beyond the challenge the BRICS countries are mounting, the US faces growing popular resistance in the Arab world. One could not guarantee how political movements in Turkey, Jordan and Palestine might develop. The outcome in Egypt, Lebanon and North Africa might not be in favor of the US. The Full Spectrum Dominance strategic goal of the Bush II years, which Obama continues to follow by using a smarter strategy than his predecessor’s, is an impossible task, given the global and regional forces arrayed against it.

The Achilles heel of US strategy manifests itself in a crisis-ridden capitalist system that casts two shadows: one global and economic, the other regional and political. The stakes are high, but aside from more devastation for the peoples of the region, the future does not portend a victory for US strategic goals. Obama’s political maneuverings on the world stage are indeed immersed in the art of the impossible.

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