By Dion Nissenbaum
EZBT ABED RABBO, Gaza Strip — Nasser Abu Freeh was one of the first to see the Israeli soldiers as they entered this pastoral Gaza neighborhood overlooking the Israeli border on Jan. 3, hours after the Israeli government ordered the first ground forces into Gaza.
Abu Freeh’s two-story hilltop home is a favorite spot for Israeli soldiers, who used it as a command post during three previous attempts to deter Gaza militants from firing crude rockets into Israel from the surrounding cattle farms, orange groves and dirt alleys.
via McClatchy Washington Bureau | 01/27/2009 | Israeli troops killed Gaza children carrying white flag, witnesses say.
Obama and global power Pt.1
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27. 2009
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Obama and Global Power Part 1
John Walcott, Washington Bureau Chief of McClatchy Newspapers, talks about Obama and Peace Talks in the Middle East.
Considering that the Obama administration hasn’t offered any critique of Israel in the recent violence in Gaza, will the new President maintain the standard American position in defending Israeli security against the Palestinians? John Walcott, Washington Bureau Chief with the McClatchy Newspapers, says while many things aren’t clear yet, what is clear is that this administration “will be much more serious in pursuing diplomatic initiatives then the previous administration was.”
The big obstacle he says is Hamas’ position that denies Israel’s’ right to exist, even if they have talked about a twenty-year cease fire. “Their main leadership is still intact and Hamas may have more members now then when the attacks started. These tactics create more terrorists then they kill”
Obama’s going to have to start at square one, Walcott says, and the bar is even higher with his appointment of Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State given her pro Israeli record. When Obama goes to the Middle East he’s going to have to present a new face to the “facts on the ground” that includes US involvement in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict as well as its invasion of Iraq and its policies else where in the Arab world.
Walcott says even if President Obama wanted to return to traditional American pragmatic diplomacy, he can’t, because the world that forged that kind of thinking no longer exists. America is in debt to China, its dependent on foreign sources of energy and it isn’t locked in a bipolar struggle with a revival superpower. We’ll have to wait and see how different “Obama’s new mindset” is compared to the last eight years.
Obama and global power Pt.2
Towards An Even-handed Foreign Policy in the US Congress? Rep. Dennis Kucinich leads a new trend
Kucinich to Obama: Change Failed Bush Policies in Middle East
I always have a problem with journalists interviewing other journalists, and this is not an exception. Generally, I consider McClatchy Newspapers to be a half step out of the mainstream in terms of honest reporting, but in watching this interview I didn’t hear anything especially interesting or informative. I really would like to know just why this interview was done in the first place.
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