Egypt: Obama Unfurls His plan



By A Khokar   06 June 2009


While giving his most eloquent Cairo speech, President Barrack Obama was not found to be a comfortable guest for the Egyptian government, although he was courteous and honest. He said things, many of his listeners would have preferred not to hear, among them his host, President Hosni Mubarak, to whom he indirectly recommended non-repressive domestic policies with freedom of speech, a suggestion that if followed could terminate the career of the Egyptian president, and abort that of his son as presumptive successor.


Obama promised to say what he thought, and did so on all of the topics he addressed. Obama’s newsworthy statement was his adamant reiteration of his conviction that Israeli settlement expansion must be halted, in conformance with the commitment made by Israel in the road map agreement, and that an independent Palestinian state must come into being.


This uncompromising declaration is a blow to the Netanyahu government in Israel, which has expected its political influence inside the United States to prevent the Obama administration’s interference with its expansion of Jewish colonization of annexed Palestinian territories.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made continued illegal expansion into Palestinian lands the policy of his government. He declares his policy is never to accept a Palestinian state. He speaks of an arrangement by which residual Palestinian-occupied territory could become an economic dependency of Israel, but under no circumstances sovereign.


The Israeli prime minister is now trapped, since Obama has called his bluff. His friends complain that Obama is not living up to a Bush administration promise that the road map agreement was just a scrap of paper Israel could ignore.


But time seems to be up for duplicity. Yet there now are nearly a half-million people in the illegal settlements, caught between the encouragement of Netanyahu and his American Likud allies, and there is American government of Barrack Obama. What will they now do?


This is the blood knot that Obama proposes to untie between Arabs and Israelis. Although he has a rare gift for seeking the middle grounds but it will be hard to stay in the middle on this Arab- Israeli issue. Obama will have to articulate US policy more clearly and emphatically than have any of his predecessors, and he will have to demonstrate that he means what he says. To make peace, he will first have to make some enemies.


The second noteworthy declaration by Obama was that he intends to withdraw all American military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan; to establish no American bases there; and to demand no privileged access to the region’s resources. In some circles it would seem a renouncement of the American military programme of world-girdling strategic bases, pursued for the past 30 years.


Although not so directly but Obama did speak in length about Pakistan. This is a matter of grave concern for Pakistan that Obama has most equivocally announced that the war against terrorism is now shifted and is confined to the troubled territories of Pakistan from where Taliban and Al Qaeda are operating and Pak Armed Forces are busy fighting them out.


This may not be difficult to ascertain that while Pak army is busy clearing successfully certain pockets of resistances in Dir-Swaat area which can be called as Pakistan local issue. But the so called epicentre of Terrorism – FATA area which is depicted as ‘the hot spot’ in the war against Terrorism around which the entire War on Terrorism hems has not been attended to by Pak Army.


It is but sure that after completion of Military operation in Swaat- Dir Area; Pak armed forces will have to be diverted to FATA area and we may find that new surge of US forces in Afghanistan which is in progress will be seen moving in FATA under the pretext of assisting Pak armed forces. Surely certain situations can be created that US irksome involvements on ground becomes but inescapable.


But it is also absurd not to admit that theoretically US forces are already engaged in FATA area. They are carrying out the aerial bombardment of targets by means of Drone attacks; Pak armed forces will only be joining in.



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