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Monday, October 12, 2009

Turkey-Israel in air exercise row, Robert Fisk: Obama, man of peace? No, just a Nobel prize of a mistake

Could this have something to do with stalling a clandestine attack on Iran? Turkey-Israel in air exercise row - In Middle East - Turkey excludes Israel from taking part in an air exercise over Turkish territory the Israeli army says.

The Clinton Tapes by Taylor Branch - By Gaby Wood on Books - Taylor Branch's account of his secret conversations with the US president raises fascinating questions about how history is made, writes Gaby Wood. - On 14 October 1993, nine months into Bill Clinton's presidency, roughly where we are now in Obama's, historian Taylor Branch arrived at the White House and set two tape recorders on a desk that had once belonged to Ulysses S Grant. It was to be the first of 79 secret recordings he would make with the president over the next eight years.
Branch and Clinton had met in 1969 at a reunion of anti-Vietnam activists at Martha's Vineyard. Three years later, they were brought together to co-ordinate George McGovern's presidential campaign against Nixon in Texas, where they – and Hillary Clinton – shared an apartment. (In his memoir, Clinton describes Branch as the "tightfisted" one who controlled the campaign budget, while he himself found it difficult to say no to people.)

His Middle East policy is collapsing. The Israelis have taunted him by ignoring his demand for an end to settlement-building and by continuing to build their colonies on Arab land. His special envoy is bluntly told by the Israelis that an Arab-Israel peace will take "many years". Now he wants the Palestinians to talk peace to Israel without conditions. He put pressure on the Palestinian leader to throw away the opportunity of international scrutiny of UN Judge Goldstone's damning indictment of Israeli war crimes in Gaza while his Assistant Secretary of State said that the Goldstone report was "seriously flawed". After breaking his pre-election promise to call the 1915 Armenian massacres by Ottoman Turkey a genocide, he has urged the Armenians to sign a treaty with Turkey, again "without pre-conditions". His army is still facing an insurgency in Iraq. He cannot decide how to win "his" war in Afghanistan. I shall not mention Iran. Robert Fisk: Obama, man of peace? No, just a Nobel prize of a mistake


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