Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post-War Criminal

Lots of signs are showing that as this occupied White House departs, hope for actual freedom is beginning to be seen in the Middle East. The oppression that the war criminals practiced has spawned a huge insurgency against U.S. invasion. As the worst administration in U.S. history leaves, the potential for progress there has been reborn.

In Lebanon, our absence has enabled the sides to weld together a structure of government which is beginning to work.

"The Americans talk, but they actually don't put pressure on Israel to solve problems," Siniora continued. Specifically, he faults Rice for not pushing Israel to withdraw from the disputed border territory known as Shebaa Farms -- a process that might have undercut Hezbollah's rationale for maintaining its military machine.
"Lebanon was meant to go again into the American age" after the withdrawal of Syrian troops in 2005, Mousawi says. "To Hezbollah, this meant the end. They don't want to be part of American hegemony, part of the West." The militia and its poor Shiite supporters felt they were fighting for their existence. (The other side felt the same way, as always happens in the existential conflicts of the Middle East.)

Hezbollah escalated its tactics on May 7, when its fighters seized West Beirut and other areas. The pro-American forces, known as the March 14 movement, were quickly overwhelmed. The heavy fighting ended in just a few hours, and a broad truce was negotiated over the next few days in Qatar with help from France and Turkey.

"No one would have imagined the Americans would have let [Lebanon] go. But they are a superpower, and they said: 'Let it go,' " Mousawi observes. Now, Hezbollah -- along with every other political power in the Middle East -- is wondering how Barack Obama will change the game.

In Darfur, the prospects for an end to massacre is being enabled by the slow, judicial process that the International Criminal Court is pursuing. The maladministration in the U.S. that refused to acknowledge the ICC is leaving, and a progressive White House would do well to reverse that decision. When the U.S. is not run by war criminals, we will have no fear of this much needed institution.

.....genocide is pretty serious, too.

That's something that Obama and his aides understand. Partly for that reason, Sudan fears the Obama administration, and now for the first time in years, there's a real chance of ousting Bashir and ending the rule of his murderous regime.

Several factors are coming together. The leaders in Khartoum feel their government wobbling, particularly after rebels clashed with government soldiers on the outskirts of Khartoum earlier this year.

They know that the International Criminal Court is expected to issue an arrest warrant for Bashir, probably in February, but that no other top leader will be indicted after Bashir.

China, which for years has been Bashir's most important international supporter, now seems to be backing away - just as it eventually abandoned genocidal friends like Slobodan Milosevic and the Khmer Rouge. And an Arab state, Qatar, is now leading a serious diplomatic initiative to try to end the slaughter.

Thus there are growing whispers that key figures in the Sudanese regime may throw Bashir overboard in the coming months.

The other leaders are ruthless and have blood on their hands as well, but some of them have in the past proved more willing to negotiate deals than Bashir has.

Hovering in the background is the risk that the north-south war in Sudan will resume, leading to a slaughter even worse than Darfur. One ominous sign is that Sudan is now stockpiling cash and weapons, apparently so that it can wage war on the south even if Port Sudan is blocked.

Williamson has suggested providing surface-to-air missiles to the separate government of South Sudan. Such weaponry would reduce the chance that Sudan would attack the south.

If Obama and his aides can work with Europe, China and Qatar to keep the heat on - and to make clear that Sudan has no choice but to hand over Bashir once the court issues the arrest warrant - then we just might avert a new war and end the first genocide of the 21st century in the new year.

The past eight years of disaster in the U.S. have been equally bad for the working classes in other countries as well. With an end to Eat the Poor policies, we will gain new standing throughout the world. The end is near, for suffering of the progressives everywhere.

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