Defusing U.S. policy in the Middle East requires cutting the wires in the proper order

In which I compare U.S. foreign policy to a ticking time bomb, and analyze progress made by the Obama Administration in defusing it, as well as identifying areas where more progress is needed.
international Palestine foreign MIDDLE policy israel east
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Laura @muhajabah
Not usually a fan of "what Obama must say/do" pieces, but this one is sensible & realistic re speech on Middle East: http://bit.ly/mmB7wx
Laura @muhajabah
Obama to highlight opportunities in post-bin Laden era, Arab spring http://yhoo.it/mbAuKH // good preview
Laura @muhajabah
Prediction 1: Obama's #MESpeech won't satisfy activists & critics on either left or right, who will loudly express their disappointment
Laura @muhajabah
Prediction 2: Obama's #MESpeech will do as much as a pragmatic person would reasonably think is possible given the circumstances.
Laura @muhajabah
These predictions are not based on any preview of this specific speech, but on 3 years of observing what happens every time Obama speaks.
Laura @muhajabah
REWIND: A guide to the Islamic citations and allusions in Obama's Cairo speech http://bit.ly/ktBniz // wrote this in 2009
Laura @muhajabah
Barack Obama to back Middle East democracy with billions in aid http://bit.ly/kobCwM // pay attention to this part of it
Laura @muhajabah
Back in 2008, @NarcoNews posted this #mustread analysis of U.S. foreign policy & Latin America: http://bit.ly/jOPizA
Laura @muhajabah
Key insight is expressed in the sub-head: "Defusing US Policy Toward Latin America Requires Cutting the Wires in Proper Order"
Laura @muhajabah
I've always thought similar analysis could be made re U.S. policy in MidEast. Defusing that time bomb requires cutting wires in proper order
Laura @muhajabah
The Israel-Palestine conflict is the actual explosive device at the center, surrounded by all these trip wires, in this analogy.
Laura @muhajabah
And thus the point of the analysis is that before you can properly address I-P, you need to disable all the trip wires first.
Laura @muhajabah
If you try to disable the explosive device at the center first, failure is pretty much guaranteed; something else will blow up in your face.
Laura @muhajabah
The "trip wires" in this analogy are U.S. policy in the rest of the Middle East. Decades of support for dictators and tyrants.
Laura @muhajabah
And Bush added a few more, with the war in Iraq and his counter-terrorism policies after 9/11 in name of fighting al-Qaida.
Laura @muhajabah
Obama disabled one of the most dangerous trip wires when he withdrew 100,000 U.S. troops from Iraq.
Laura @muhajabah
The narrowing of counter-terrorism policy and the killing of Bin Laden are progress in disabling another of Bush's trip wires.
Laura @muhajabah
Then this spring, Tunisia and Egypt successfully threw off their dictators, whom U.S. had propped up for DECADES. Major trip wires disabled.
Laura @muhajabah
But as we see in Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, the struggle is far from over, and much remains to be done to change U.S. foreign policy.
Laura @muhajabah
Changing U.S. foreign policy is like turning an aircraft carrier: you've gotta push hard for a long time before it moves an inch.
Laura @muhajabah
I honestly didn't believe the changes we've seen this spring would happen. I never realistically thought the U.S. would let Egypt go free.
Laura @muhajabah
But the larger point (& thanks for anybody who's still hanging with me) is we're still trying to get past the outer tripwires.
Laura @muhajabah
It seems like everybody wants an Israel-Palestine solution now. I don't think that's realistic & even the best efforts won't achieve it yet.
Laura @muhajabah
Yes, it's worth making an effort, but none of the parties have changed their positions enough to make peace possible.
Laura @muhajabah
Yes, it's worth making an effort, but none of the parties have changed their positions enough to make peace possible.
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