Thursday, July 23, 2009

The 'Poil' of Great Price

One of the catch phrases notable in to-day's affairs is that relating to price. "Paying a price" or "exacting a price" were expressions historically used by Israeli spokespeople to threaten retaliation to the various evolutions of Palestinian resistance. To-day it's use is extended to any situation where military or economic sanctions might be used. Lately the subjects of 'paying for it' are Russia and Iran.

In to-day's news Vice President Joe Biden, on a protracted visit to gallant little Georgia, had time to explain to a group of schoolchildren the Georgian fable of Russia using a 'pretense' to 'invade' and 'occupy' parts of their native land. He pointed out to the future Georgian freedom fighters that the US was making the Russian pay a high price for their temerity. (What exactly the price was he didn't say, although I'd bet it's more than a Dolce&Gabbana handag at the 'risen-from-the-ruins' Saarkashvili International Airport.) Yesterday, in what could be assumed as a reversal of the price theorem, he was touting Georgia's 'right' to join NATO. After a week in wonderland, there are only so many Georgian highlights to see, and so many issues on which to comment. It's a good thing the Georgian opposition 'backed off' enough to permit the Veep to be welcomed without the smell of burning rubber and tear gas.

Meanwhile further to the southeast, the Secretary of State, on a protracted visit to South Asia, was 'putting the price' on Iranian nuclear development, and on their lack of response to offers of American reason and sensibility. The first was, I imagine, an effort to get their attention, couched, as it was, with the promise of the American 'nuclear umbrella' being stretched over Israel should it come under Iranian attack. The second point was waffled with the lack of response being written-off to the 'disordered' situation of a government beset with 'allahu akbars' echoing across nighttime Teheran.

It was very kind of MS Clinton to make those latter allowances for the mad mullahs' failing, again, to roll over for some American 'rapprochement'. But then, she was equally kind enough to not refer to the Israelis' 'nuclear umbrella' that they may, or may not, already have, and which is lately pointing in the direction of the dastardly Mede. Her comments did draw some ire from Jerusalem, which accused the US 'tolerating a nuclear-armed Iran'. Obviously a massive bombing offensive, in anticipation of the possibility of a nuclear umbrella being required, is a sentiment the Israelis would like the rest of the world to share. But even given the latest political disturbances, Iran seems far more stable, pacific even, than, say, nuclear-armed Pakistan, with which the Israelis don't seem to have much problem at all.

Meanwhile the originators of the notion of 'paying for', and 'paying back' are maintaining the commercial aspect of their peculiar relationships by burning out Palestinian property in the west bank and attacks on Palestinians that would see somebody shot if 'the shekel was in the other purse'. The largely-American 'settler movement' has undertaken to exact 'a price' for each settler outpost targeted for removal by Netanyahu's government. The 'price' is the destruction of all Palestinian property in the immediate locality of the squatters' camp. The principle of 'greater Israel', which underpins the settler ethos, is doing for the middle east what 'greater Germany' did for Europe and 'greater Japan' did for the Pacific - with much the same tactics and effect. Except that this ISN'T an 'official' policy, although it is protected by the military and police.

One has to wonder if these recent geopolitical manoeuvres aren't in some way related to domestic issues in the US? After all, two of Obama's 'big guns' were out of Dodge when the national health boat was launched. Maybe the Veep and SecState are 'paying a price'. Or avoiding one.

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