Tuesday, September 20, 2011

So Was It A Bluff?

If it was, Netanyahu blinked.
Israel called on the Palestinians to abandon their drive for United Nations recognition and restart peace talks as the U.S. and other countries try to work out a compromise aimed at avoiding a Security Council showdown.

Israel is ready to “negotiate at the highest level,” Mark Regev, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, said today, hours after the premier urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to return to talks this week in New York.

Meeting with Netanyahu in New York is not on Abbas’s agenda, Husam Zomlot, a spokesman for the Palestinian delegation said late yesterday. “This is part of Netanyahu’s routine of playing games,” he said.

Suddenly, Israel is "ready to talk." Nevermind that they've done plenty of talking in the past, and still allowed West bank settlements to go on, and nevermind that Gaza is continually under assault by Israeli forces. Now, they're ready to discuss this, last minute, at the highest levels.

Curious. I wonder how much of this is pressure from President Obama? Especially in light of the Saudi threat to cut off oil exports to the US if they veto the bid, full stop.

The national security of four nations is at stake today: Israel, the US, the Palestinian homeland, and the Saudis. By extension, every nation in the Middle East is threatened here.

And here's a thought to chew over: if we fought a Cold War with the Soviets in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, we're heading into a Glacial War with China now.

My reasoning? The Saudi threat.

Clearly, the royal family has sussed out what our own Teabaggers refuse to acknowledge: the declining influence of the United States in world affairs, partly because of the current economic woes but mostly the loss of prestige and authority by spending global political capital in a war that was an act of aggression on our part. If there was ever a signal to nations like Iran, Egypt, Jordan and the Sauds to run to the arms of the Chinese, that was it.

It's very possible that the biggest blunder of the Bush aggressive neo-conservative stance on the world stage will be ironically the elimination of the state of Israel in the coming decades. After all, Israel's existence is massively dependent on being the proxy of the most powerful nation supporting the region (this is partly why I never took the Cold War seriously after the Cuban Missile Crisis). With one sweep of its influential claw, the Chinese dragon can clear Israel off the map, or at the very least force it to exhaust its resources battling for its very existence. Its back is to the sea. You never want to be strategically trapped against water, either militarily or politically.

So is the Palestinian bid a bluff to force Israel back to the table? Hard to say. It could be, and one would hope it is, but the lack of good faith Israel has shown in recent years towards negotiated settlements leads me to suspect people have just had enough.