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Middle East ...again
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-09-23 07:56:46
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Another American president, another Palestinian Israeli summit, and since I’m not young I remember a lot of those summits  - a few of them ended up with Nobel prizes – but still no solution. The new American presidents always call the leaders of conflict at the beginning of their term. They are full of hope but empty of suggestions, and after a couple of years they become more …realistic and look for the step – that’s how they call it – that will lead to a solution!

In the meantime the local problem has become international, whether we like it or not, and it has affected the lives of all people around the world. Terrorism, as it has become, owes a lot to the Middle East, because from the beginning in seventies it has been used as the perfect excuse. From the German Red Brigades to the Japanese Red Army in eighties, to the Shining Path in Peru in nineties and finally to the al-Qaeda the last decade, the Middle East problem seems to be part of the American announcements and manifests.

On the same time the people to whom all of this happens live in fear and destruction. There is no scale or measure to calculate who has suffered more from the deaths of innocent; it doesn’t matter what the news agencies show, it doesn’t matter how many photos enrich our internet connections. So here is Barack Obama, now calling the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for talks in New York in an effort to re-start the peace talks. At least this administration doesn’t start with any beliefs that they are going to solve the Middle East problem or the Cyprus issue.

Well the Cyprus issue is always a postpone matter, due to all the geopolitical interests with Turkey, despite the fact that Turkish military occupies part of the island-nation. You see, there is no oil on the island, otherwise we would have seen a desert war called the Mediterranean war! While the Middle East problem is situated in the heart of the oil region, in the middle of an area with great geopolitical interest for everybody, including China! Yes China, we often forget the other big player in the area and the great investments that have been made by the Far East country in the region. When Hong Kong became part of China, the Chinese Government used it as a Trojan horse to financially invade the rest of the world. And the Middle East and the Arab region could not be any exception, especially since China could offer what some of the countries in the region could not get from the west; technology!

"We're looking to continue to build on progress," said the White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. This is another sign that things have changed and enthusiasm or hope has not place in this summit. Even the White House acts like this summit is an obligation, like the president couple’s first dance in the White House. It was even more obvious when the White House spokesman added that "we have no grand expectations out of just one meeting except to continue... the hard work, day-to-day diplomacy that has to be done to seek a lasting peace"….

Fine, Obama is building his case for the Nobel Prize!!! I’m not sarcastic, I was just expecting something more from the man who had seen the full problem and who had talked about it a lot before becoming president. You might say that all the former presidents had seen the problem before getting elected and all of them still did the same thing. But Obama has proved – at least until now – that he can make a difference and he can make change happen. Like I said in the beginning, whether we like or not, the Middle East problem affects our all our lives, and oddly it affects American lives more than the Americans believe or want to admit.

Most likely Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will enjoy their weekend in New York. They will do some shopping and go to some fancy restaurants, and naturally they visit their lobbies and make sure they follow the right line. They will also put pressure on the right people to get the right decisions, and then they will spend the rest of their time in front the cameras with the American President, just to make sure that they are both committed to peace. In the meantime, on both sides people are getting killed and even worse, people’s hate is getting worse and more people will get killed! Of course it’s all in the name of peace!


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