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.
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.
A new US administration will provide an opportunity for change, but it will take a powerful, mobilized antiwar movement to hold a new administration accountable to promises made, argues Phyllis Bennis.
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.
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.
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.