Copenhagen; Obama; Egypt

I wrote a post a few days ago which didn’t make it up. It was titled something like: “Copenhagen has already failed, time for protests”. The draft agreement has shown exactly what the rich countries have planned. Nothing has emerged to change my view. Hari’s latest expose says more than needs to be said.

Also, I read Obama’s Nobel speech. It goes something like this: blah blah blah. War is peace. Blah blah blah. Oh, and he praises Reagan’s embrace of Perestroika. Look at this:

In light of the Cultural Revolution’s horrors, Nixon’s meeting with Mao appeared inexcusable — and yet it surely helped set China on a path where millions of its citizens have been lifted from poverty, and connected to open societies. Pope John Paul’s engagement with Poland created space not just for the Catholic Church, but for labor leaders like Lech Walesa. Ronald Reagan’s efforts on arms control and embrace of perestroika not only improved relations with the Soviet Union, but empowered dissidents throughout Eastern Europe.

You see? This is why Obama will coddle Middle Eastern dicatorships (except Syria and Iran), cuddle up to the Honduran coup regime (which includes the new fraudulently elected government) and so on – because of how committed he is to human rights. Note also how Obama claims Nixon helped lead China to lifting millions from poverty. If Nixon meeting with Mao had this effect, then surely Obama is no less praising the achievements of Mao. What’s more ridiculous about this: the Chinese revolution of course did lift a lot of Chinese people out of poverty and developed the country. But the US transparently had no influence over this at all. They can’t even be given credit for neo-liberal reforms which have gone a long way to recreating inequality, creating a new wealthy class (as opposed to just a privileged bureaucracy class), in a country supposedly governed by a communist party.  I don’t know if the right in America will jump on this: they’re anti-communist, but they’re so fervently Republican that they may think it more important to defend Nixon than to oppose Maoist China. And the horrors of Maoist China are not by any means restricted to the Cultural Revolution. Meisner conservatively estimates 2 million were killed in the early years of the revolution. That’s unbelievable slaughter. Then there’s maybe tens of millions who were killed in mass famines – which we won’t know much about until China is a more liberal society and we have access to their archives.

Also – this really infuriates me. Read this. Egypt is building a massive wall over and below ground on the border with Gaza to prevent tunnels and so on.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the wall will be 9-10km long and will be sunk 20-30m into the ground. It is supposed to be impenetrable and impossible to melt. It is not expected to halt smuggling completely, but to cut hundreds of existing tunnels and force diggers to go deeper than they have gone before.

Leaders of Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip, are believed to have been greatly dismayed by Egypt’s willingness to implement the project while the Israeli blockade continues and while Egypt keeps its own crossing with the Strip closed. But last night they declined to put their feelings on record, apparently wary of further antagonising Cairo, which is already angry over Hamas’s refusal to sign an Egyptian-brokered national reconciliation deal with the rival Fatah movement.

But Hassan Khreisheh, an independent nationalist in the West Bank who is deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, described the project as “a shame for the Egyptians”.

“They talk of supporting the Palestinians while they co-operate with others in imposing the siege and preventing food and supplies from reaching Gaza,” Mr Khreisheh said. “They are collaborating with the Americans.”

Abdullah Abdullah, a legislator who supports Mahmoud Abbas, the moderate Palestinian President, voiced understanding for the Egyptian move. “We can’t deny Egypt’s right to protect its sovereignty and people against intrusion. At the same time we want the Egyptians not to deny the Palestinians their means of livelihood.”

Egypt is wary of Hamas because it is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the long-established transnational movement that supports the creation of an Islamic state in Egypt and which has long been a thorn in the flesh of President Mubarak. Cairo was criticised both before and during the war for allegedly providing diplomatic cover for Israel.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said: “I cannot confirm what the Egyptians are doing and not doing. But I can say over the last two months the Egyptians have been enhancing their anti-smuggling efforts. We welcome that.”

Okay? Egypt is openly collaborating with Israel, which appreciates its efforts. Neither Hamas nor Fatah oppose Egypt for this. Fatah even shows understanding for these measures. I think this is the ultimate demonstration: Hamas and Fatah are both failures to the Palestinians. The Arab League (in my opinion all of it) is collaborating with the US in Israel’s siege on Gaza.

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Comments
One Response to “Copenhagen; Obama; Egypt”
  1. euandus2 says:

    As per http://euandus3.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/national-sovereignty-and-climate-change-at-copenhagen/ , the less than stellar result of the UN conference on climate change can be seen to point to the antiquated absolutist approach to national sovereignty in the wake of the technological changes of the 20th century.

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