My column does not appear this week, but that is no reason to miss Black Agenda Report. One issue of BAR tells you more of what you need to know than the New York Times or the Washington Post ever will. If you think I'm exaggerating, just observe how the Times has noticed that the Obama administration is reproducing the Bush doctrine on civil liberties, rendition and torture. “It was literally just Bush redux — exactly the same legal arguments that we saw the Bush administration present to the court.”
The august Times figured out what I said in my column last week and what anyone paying attention has noticed ever since Obama was inaugurated. Bush crimes against national and international law will not be investigated or prosecuted, mostly because the Obama administration plans to do the same things. As the ACLU says, "The Obama administration's position is not change. It is more of the same. This represents a complete turn-around and undermining of the restoration of the rule of law. The new American administration shouldn't be complicit in hiding the abuses of its predecessors."
But I digress from the topic of this post. Israel is America's chief partner in crime, its mini-me bully around the world. Even worse, despite getting more U.S. aid than the rest of the world combined, Israel quite openly tells American presidents what they can and cannot do. Last week Israel scuttled the appointment of General Anthony Zinni as ambassador to Iraq. Zinni got the thumbs up from Secretary of State Clinton and a congratulatory phone call from Vice President Biden. Unfortunately neither of them had checked in with "some major supporters in New York State" who couldn't abide the fact that Zinni has criticized Israel in the past. Bye-bye Anthony.
One of Bush's last actions in office was to change his position on a UN vote calling for a cease fire in Gaza. Why did he do it? Because Ehud Olmert got him on the phone and forced him to.
"Olmert told the crowd that when he heard a Security Council vote was to come in 10 minutes, he tracked down Bush, who he was told was speaking in Philadelphia. Bush left the podium, according to Olmert’s account, to take his call." We know this happened because Olmert quite publicly bragged about it.
So Obama and Clinton know who is the boss. It is Israel. No change here, nothing to see, just move along.