Hagel’s nomination engendered bitter, angry opposition from the moment it was floated as a trial balloon. And the fact that Obama went ahead with the nomination is a good indication that on at least some critical foreign policy issues, Obama is not prepared to allow either the pro-Israeli lobbies or the hard-core neoconservatives, in and outside of Washington, to determine whom he could and could not choose as Secretary of Defense.
The U.S. is 11 years into its current war in Afghanistan and still losing. We never had a chance to "win" this war of vengeance – and while few in Washington are ready to admit that, they’ve continued to revise and redefine just what "winning" might look like.
The occupy movement has achieved an incredible and much-needed shake-up of a long-standing political stasis in the US and elsewhere, but it is crucial now to highlight the connection between failed foreign policy, bloated military spending and illegal wars, and the economic crisis at home.
American newspapers lead the new angle of biased critisim on Turkey. Such a shame because Ankara has proven to be an independant regional influence in the Middle East, with its own brand of soft power diplomacy.
Israel's defence minister spends much more time in Washington than the nation's pro-"ethnic cleansing" foreign minister; no wonder when the US is committing hundreds of billions of US taxes to Israel's militarization.
The Israel discourse has changed, and Americans no longer wholeheartedly support militaristic policies in Israel. There is room for debate on these issues, and politicians should fear hiding from it more than they fear addressing the issues.
Obama's Cairo speech shifted the discourse, away from justifying reckless imperial hubris, unilateralism and militarism and towards a more cooperative and potentially even internationalist approach. It is the task of people across the US to mobilise and turn that new language into new policies.
We can expect the traditional US policy of support for Israeli repression to continue also in 2008, with predictable results: more repression generates more deadly radicalism. The similar pattern can be seen also in Pakistan.