Barack Obama’s first major address to an AIPAC forum since announcing his presidential bid happens Friday in Chicago. Considering his fairly outspoken independent position regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict thus far, I’ll be very curious how he will “package” himself for this audience. If he says the things he’s been saying he will disappoint them since AIPAC expects a far more pro-Israel position. If he says things much different from what he said during his 60 Minutes interview in which he flatly supported U.S. negotiations with both Syria and Iran, he will disappoint American Jews supporting Israeli-Palestinian peace. Plus, he will make supporters wonder at his change of heart. It promises to be interesting.
What’s wrong with negotiations? (although with Iran, there is a military danger that must be dealt with). I’m disgusted that the US is tying Israel’s hands vis a vis negotiations with Syria.
OTOH, negotiations aren’t always the right tool. Sometimes force is needed.
Herbert Kaine says
What would the US gain, and what would the US have to give up, to have successful relations with Iran?
Senator Obama is a notorious flip-flopper on Iran and on troop withdrawal/redeployment from Iraq. In an inteview with the Chicago Tribune in 2004 he opined that the US might have to conduct “surgical” strikes in Iran and Pakistan (sic) to prevent terrorists from getting nuclear weapons. Now he is for talking to Iran (“surgical talks”?). In his major speeches of 2005 and 2006 (both in Chicago) Obama advocated poorly defined “redeployments” of troops in Iraq. The redeployments sounded like “over the horizon” that is into the Kurdish area of Iraq and into neighbouring states. And he allowed the President to stop the redeployment at any time if deemed necessary! At no point in his speeches did he advocate “bring the troops home”. Today he talks about “bringing the combat troops home”. Combat troops only? What about the support troops?
I predict that he will be mysteriously vague at AIPAC. Or stumble. Or flip-flop again.
Richard Silverstein says
Dieter: I hope your cynicism is not warranted. We’ll see.
Running for president or being a senator is not like writing a blog. It’s much harder to be consistent over a long period of time.
Richard Silverstein says
The U.S. would have to give up the vain notion that it can impose its will unilaterally on Iran by military force if necessary. It will have to accept a multilateral approach that may rein in some of its interests in order to gain international consensus.
What it might gain: the abandonment of Iran’s nuclear program. Renewal of relations with one of the world’s major Muslim nations.