Obama’s contempt for international standards

The National Security Strategy of the Obama administration says: “if nations challenge or undermine an international order that is based upon rights and responsibilities, they must find themselves isolated.”

Israel is currently resisting international pressure to accept an international investigation into the circumstances in which at least nine Turkish civilians were killed by Israeli soldiers on board the Mavi Marmara while the ship was in international waters moving away from Israel.

The UN Security Council, under pressure from the Obama administration, watered down a call for an international investigation into the massacre by saying that such an inquiry should merely meet “international standards.”

When team Obama came up with that phrase — as they surely did — did they first consult with George Bush’s former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton? It’s his kind of language. It cynically gives a passing nod to the idea that an inquiry needs international legitimacy, yet leaves it to Israel — a state that views the international community with contempt — to determine how that requirement might be met.

The answer, as far a Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned, is to toss in a couple of international figures who can observe the workings of the Israeli commission — a three-man body whose members have an average age of 85.

One of the two internationals is David Trimble, former First Minister of Northern Ireland. Are his the eyes that can ensure this commission conducts “a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation”?

On the day of the Israeli assault, the Jerusalem Post reported on the launch of the “Friends of Israel Initiative,” a new project in defense of Israel’s right to exist, led by Spain’s former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar. This group of international leaders includes none other than, David Trimble.

The initiative is being launched now, its sponsors said in a statement, because of their outrage and concern about the “unprecedented delegitimation campaign against Israel, driven by the enemies of the Jewish state and perversely assumed by numerous international authorities.”

So will a commission in which there is an international observer with a declared suspicion of international organizations, meet “international standards”?

The White House calls this “an important step forward” and says:

We believe that Israel, like any other nation, should be allowed to undertake an investigation into events that involve its national security. Israel has a military justice system that meets international standards and is capable of conducting a serious and credible investigation, and the structure and terms of reference of Israel’s proposed independent public commission can meet the standard of a prompt, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation.

Credible perhaps to an American president who serves at the pleasure of the Israel lobby, but on this matter Obama doesn’t even have the support of the New York Times.

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  1. pangloss says

    The Canadian isn’t exactly a stellar character necessarily either. He is certainly someone who obeys his master, though:

  2. Ian Arbuckle says

    What I want to know is why the UN or the “International Community” or whatever you want to call the bigger picture, is allowing the US to call the shots every time on what is or is not acceptable.

    The incident in fact has very little to do with the US. It was against a Turkish registered vessel in international waters. In short we are already defying “international standards” by allowing US-Israel fourth Reich hegemony to frame the terms of reference and bludgeon the world into a whitewash of a war crime, again.

    You want a definition? Well here is one. This is what is called tyranny on a global scale.

  3. Observer says

    To Israel, the “international community” means just the US. And Israel uses the enormous power of the Israel Lobby on Congress to influence US policy.

  4. The old saying that one is judged by the friends one has/keeps is write large across the world. The longer the USA “fawns” over Israeli actions the more it deserves the “pariah” label of most other civilized nations.

  5. Misery love company. A simple explanation. With the failed Wars that have take place so far this new Century, both costing the U.S. Treasure both in lives & Dollars, which could have been better spent in repairing the U.S. instead of allowing the greed, corruption, decay to become the hallmark of two presidents, 1 past, 1 present. The short sightedness of the U.S. Government goes beyond anything done in the past. The really sad part being the perpetrators are being allowed to walk around free, instead of being locked up. They should count their blessings that they don’t live in China, not to down grade that country, but they sure have a way of dealing with crooked individuals.

  6. Eleonora says

    “We believe that Israel, like any other nation, should be allowed to undertake an investigation into events that involve its national security.”

    Could someone explain to me how the Gaza Flotilla posed a threat to the security of Israel? And while at it: why is it that only Israel has the right to defend itself? What about the Palestinians and the neighbouring Arab states? They don’t have it? Iraq? Iran? Afghanistan?

    And at the end of the day the “American people” (whoever that is) are told that “they hate our lifestyle and our liberty” … liberty to attack every country which is on the shooting list of Israel and on top of it pay for it? Thank you, that’s not the liberty I would want!

    How come the Americans accept willingly – so it seems – to be the obedient servants of Israel? What “forces” them to play that role?

    Just questions …

  7. Israel and the US are both running from accountability. Luckily, they can only run so far.

  8. Fillmorehagan says

    The Israel lobby’s damage to US interests goes far beyond the lobby forcing Congress and the President to support various Israeli crimes and depredations — horrendous as this is.

    Far more important the lobby has been a decisive factor behind the post 9/11 policy of virtually declaring war on any Moslems who do not bow to US/Israel dictates. Does anyone really believe we would have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and made it policy to murder anyone anywhere who is perceived as a “threat” if the lobby had not aggressively pushed this agenda?