Sunday, March 17, 2013

World View of a War Criminal

One of the wonders of this age is that we get to hear alleged war criminals publicly state their views in interviews where they aren't challenged or asked tough questions.  And when I call Mr. Kissinger an alleged war criminal, its because he's one of several Americans who has to consult an attorney before leaving the country to make sure he's going somewhere he won't be arrested.  In 2001, Mr. Kissinger had to flee Paris in the middle of the night to avoid a court summons.

In the piece linked above, we get to see a war criminal's view of the chances of peace in the Middle East.  He says it won't happen, and don't expect much from Obama's visit.  Which is probably a pretty safe bet given the history.  But the reason he gives for 'why' is rather bizzare.

“I’m not optimistic” about reviving peace talks, in large part because of the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties in the region that aren’t inclined to support a “just outcome” with Israel, Kissinger said in an interview airing this weekend on Bloomberg TV’s “Conversations with Judy Woodruff.”
Of course, one problem is that the Muslim Brotherhood isn't that big of a force in Palestine, which is of course the main group the Israelis would need to reach a peace deal with.  There, Israel would be negotiating with the Palestine Authority and Hamas.  The PA controls the West Bank, mainly because they refuse to hold elections.  And Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.  There also, elections are infrequent, and the last contest for power there was a PA coup attempt backed by Israel and the US that was thwarted by the Hamas party that won the last elections held.

The PA has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas, like the other groups that have actually achieved power, has shown that its willing to negotiate and reach deals with Israel.  There have been several cease-fire deals between Hamas and Israel, which are usually relatively well enforced by Hamas, but eventually broken by Israel.

So, the world's foremost alleged war criminal says there's no chance for peace, but he blames on a mysterious force that really has little to do with Israel's relations with either the Palestinians or the Syrians.  The one place the Muslim Brotherhood does rule is in Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel which has been maintained and enforced by the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt even at the expense of keeping the border closed or restricted between Egypt and Gaza.

Essentially, Mr. Kissinger is just echo'ing the Israeli talking point that there can't be peace because they don't have anyone to with whom to talk.  But that was always a one-sided view that ignores the Arab League peace proposals and the constant willingness of groups like the PA to not only talk, but also to adjust their views to meet Israel's pre-conditions on talking.  And, any side in negotiations that insists on pre-conditions is essentially saying that the other side has to give them what they want before the negotiations even begin.   The only way that moves to a real agreement is if that side was willing to agree to pre-condidtions in exchange.  Israel doesn't do that.  Instead, Israel in the Oslo Accords moved everything the Palestinians would want to final round of negotiations, which was when the talks broke down because Israel wouldn't give anything to the Palestinians.

What isn't mentioned at all is an Israeli government that refuses to commit to peace talks, always places 'pre-conditions' on any talks, which is steadily stealing more Palestinian land through expanding settlements and their Israeli Wall, and which is rather constantly attacking their neighbors.  No, that wouldn't have anything to do with the slim chances of peace in the Middle East.

Mr. Kissinger goes on to reveal his contempt for democracy.

Kissinger said he doesn’t have a rosy view of the so-called Arab Spring that has been widely portrayed as popular uprisings with democratic aspirations."
Of course, that's no surprise since he was a facilitator behind the coup that overthrew Chilean democracy when Mr. Kissinger held sway over Richard Nixon's foreign policy.  Mr. Kissinger assured the Chilean generals of support before the coup, viewed the coup as a good thing, and helped make sure the US turned a blind eye to the arrests, torture, disappearances and killing that was a part of the destruction of Chili's democracy.   (see also Ask Kissinger About Pinochet in addition to the link in the first paragraph.  Many other sources available if you search)

Note of course that the thoughts and musings of one of the world's foremost alleged war criminals is widely available and presented as respected opinion in America, while the alternative views are either in smaller alternative medias or from overseas press.  That tells you a lot about America circa 2013.


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