Archive for the ‘Mideast’ Category

Jesse Jackson Describes President Obama’s America

October 14, 2008

By Amir Teheri
The New York Post

PREPARE for a new America: That’s the message that the Rev. Jesse Jackson conveyed to participants in the first World Policy Forum, held at this French lakeside resort last week.

He promised “fundamental changes” in US foreign policy – saying America must “heal wounds” it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the “arrogance of the Bush administration.”

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where “decades of putting Israel’s interests first” would end.

Jackson believes that, although “Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades” remain strong, they’ll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

Expects Obama to stop "putting Israel's interests first" in making Mideast policy.
Jackson: Expects Obama to stop “putting Israel’s interests first” in making Mideast policy.

“Obama is about change,” Jackson told me in a wide-ranging conversation. “And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it.”

Jackson warns that he isn’t an Obama confidant or adviser, “just a supporter.” But he adds that Obama has been “a neighbor or, better still, a member of the family.” Jackson’s son has been a close friend of Obama for years, and Jackson’s daughter went to school with Obama’s wife Michelle.

“We helped him start his career,” says Jackson. “And then we were always there to help him move ahead. He is the continuation of our struggle for justice not only for the black people but also for all those who have been wronged.”

Will Obama’s election close the chapter of black grievances linked to memories of slavery? The reverend takes a deep breath and waits a long time before responding.

“No, that chapter won’t be closed,” he says. “However, Obama’s victory will be a huge step in the direction we have wanted America to take for decades.”

Jackson rejects any suggestion that Obama was influenced by Marxist ideas in his youth. “I see no evidence of that,” he says. “Obama’s thirst for justice and equality is rooted in his black culture.”

But is Obama – who’s not a descendant of slaves – truly a typical American black?

Jackson emphatically answers yes: “You don’t need to be a descendant of slaves to experience the oppression, the suffocating injustice and the ugly racism that exists in our society,” he says. “Obama experienced the same environment as all American blacks did. It was nonsense to suggest that he was somehow not black enough to feel the pain.”

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Bush: Cheney to press for Mideast peace

March 10, 2008
By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Bush, dispatching Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East, said the goal is to get Israelis and Palestinians to hold firm to the promises they’ve made toward peace.

Bush said Monday in the Oval Office that Cheney would “reassure people that the United States is committed to a vision of peace in the Middle East.”

As Cheney tries to help hold together fragile negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, Bush says he’s still optimistic that a peace deal can happen before he leaves office.

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Third undersea Internet cable cut in Mideast

February 2, 2008

(CNN) — An undersea cable carrying Internet traffic was cut off the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, officials said Friday, the third loss of a line carrying Internet and telephone traffic in three days.

Dubai has been hit hard by an Internet outage apparently caused by a cut undersea cable.

Ships have been dispatched to repair two undersea cables damaged on Wednesday off Egypt.

FLAG Telecom, which owns one of the cables, said repairs were expected to be completed by February 12. France Telecom, part owner of the other cable, said it was uncertain when repairs on it would be repaired.

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Eyes Will Be on Bush At Talks on Mideast

November 24, 2007

 By Glenn Kessler and Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 24, 2007; Page A01

When the Middle East peace conference kicks off Tuesday in Annapolis, President Bush will deliver the opening speech and also conduct three rounds of personal diplomacy with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Such an active role is notable for a president who has never visited Israel while in office, who has made only one trip to Egypt and Jordan to promote peace efforts, and who has left the task of relaunching the peace process largely in the hands of his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.

Rice logged 100,000 miles shuttling back and forth to the Middle East eight times over the past year, telling Israeli and Arab officials that despair can lead to radicalism, and that a generation of Arab youth may be lost if there is no progress on a Palestinian state. “Failure is not an option,” Rice has often declared.

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Iran a driving force for Mideast meeting

November 22, 2007

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON – The most important player in the push for Mideast peace that President Bush launches with a high-stakes conference next week may be one that’s not on his long list of invited guests.

For varying reasons, Iran is a force driving the United States, Israel, the Palestinians and their Arab backers to seek a deal now. Many other motives come into play, but the growing influence and uncertain aims of Tehran provide rare unity of purpose among states that are key to solving the six-decade Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The United States has asked nearly 50 nations and organizations to attend next week’s coming-out party….

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Obstacles stall Rice’s Mideast diplomacy

October 14, 2007

By Matthew Lee, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opened an intense round of Mideast shuttle diplomacy Sunday, struggling to bring Israelis and Palestinians close enough to make a planned U.S.-hosted peace conference worthwhile.

The two sides are at bitter odds over an outline of a peace agreement that would be presented at next month’s conference, and Rice sought to lower expectations her mission would finalize preparations for the gathering.

Underscoring her less-than-optimistic assessment, Israeli and Palestinians traded shots about the other’s commitment to peace ….

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