Monday, January 5, 2009

Israel's Gaza Strike Timing

Scott Shane has written a very interesting analysis on the timing of Israel's strikes in Gaza that have continued for 10 days despite UN officials urgently calling for a cease-fire.

Many Middle East experts say Israel timed its move against Hamas, which began with airstrikes on Dec. 27, 24 days before Mr. Bush leaves office, with the expectation of such backing in Washington. Israeli officials could not be certain that President-elect Barack Obama, despite past statements of sympathy for Israel’s right of self-defense, would match the Bush administration’s unconditional endorsement.
Now, everyone has been making a big deal out of Obama's statement that there is only "one president at a time" as if perhaps he should stage a coup and take office early to deal with the current administration fucking up as many things as possible during its last days in office. Speaking about future plans to deal with the economic crisis during the transitional period is one thing, but speaking on foreign policy affairs and confusing who actually speaks for the US during a critical time is something else. That's why this one statement - the final one in the article - kind of pissed me off.

Martha Joynt Kumar, a political scientist at Towson University who studies presidential transitions, said Mr. Obama’s predicament exemplified the treacherous weeks between election and inauguration, and the way inspiring visions inevitably give way before unexpected events.

“On a campaign, you control what you talk about and when you talk about it,” Ms. Kumar said. “When you begin governing, you have to respond to what happens in the world.”

That's right, Kumar. "When you begin governing." And that happens January 20th, not one day before.

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