Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cites her personal climb to power as a shining example of how civil rights benefited a worthy African-American, but her Faustian bargain for success within George W. Bush’s administration meant death for many Iraqis, notes Lawrence Davidson.
During a recent visit to Israel, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivered a blunt message – that the country’s leaders must adjust to the changing realities or risk ending up isolated in the region and losing international support. But Israel’s leaders only got angry, reports Lawrence Davidson.
Official Washington’s clamor for retaliation against Iran for its alleged role in a bizarre plot to murder the Saudi ambassador has put the U.S. and Iran on a collision course again. But Lawrence Davidson wonders whether it’s U.S. counter-terror agencies that are out of control.
Israel’s right-wing leaders feel they can count on U.S. politicians to rubber-stamp pretty much whatever Israel does to the Palestinians, with some extremist rabbis even glorifying the racist mass murderer Baruch Goldstein. Which leaves Lawrence Davidson wondering what it will take to change behavior in Washington and Tel Aviv.
For several decades, the American Right has been fanning the flames of animosity among white men angered over what they see as their reduced status and other threats from modernity. Now that brush fire is threatening to sweep across the nation engulfing whatever decency remains in U.S. politics, Lawrence Davidson notes.
President Barack Obama struggled to explain his planned veto of UN recognition of a Palestinian state just a year after he welcomed the idea. His speech was a painful example of a leader knowing what is right and calculating that he can’t do what is right, notes Lawrence Davidson.
Though the World War II victors promised that the Nuremberg principles would apply not just to the Nazis but to everyone, today’s reality is that international law follows two standards: a lenient one for the West and its friends and a stringent variant for adversaries. This hypocrisy is now being institutionalized, Lawrence Davidson notes.
After the 9/11 attacks when many Americans wondered “why do they hate us?” they were fed pabulum by President George W. Bush about them “hating our freedoms,” as a frightened (or complicit) U.S. news media didn’t dare contradict. That has left a confused American people, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Departing political leaders offer two kinds of reflections: self-serving rationalizations by those still protecting their reputations and blunt truth-telling by people who realize they should have done more when they had the chance. Both are galling, though in different ways, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
Often in the application of international law, it’s not what a country did but who its friends – and who its enemies – are that count. In that light, Israel, a close U.S. friend, got the blessings of a UN report for its attacks against Gaza-bound civilian ships on the high seas, a stamp of…