Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Can Obama do for the Middle East?

Everyone is talking about what Obama does next, now that he has sorted the health problem to everyone's satisfaction apart from Sara Palin and her fan club.

What next? It has to be a foreign policy move. Nuclear weapons deal with Russia? Nae bother. A doddle, compared to the the difficulty of persuading Republicans that a civilised health care system is good for the US.

Of the various international conundrums we face, the quasi-insoluble Middle East problem is the one that Obama has the biggest handle on. Every year, he is donating a cool $3 billion to Israel's military machine. Some of it will be coming over as military hardware and spare parts. Delays, suspensions and threatened cancellations of these items will concentrate the minds of the IDF generals wonderfully,  and even if Netanyahu feels he can safely give the finger to Hilary Clinton, he has no choice but to listen to his generals. And to his accountants, if they find that their budgets have to be re-arranged to meet the IDF payroll.

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