Washington’s bizarre stance on flotilla raid investigation

Haaretz is now reporting that,

    Israel and the United States agreed Thursday on the nature of the Israeli investigative committee that will look into the events surrounding the takeover of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla nearly two weeks ago.

This is so bizarre and poses such a threat to the American people’s true interests that I don’t know where to begin, in commenting.
The investigative committee, due to have its establishment announced in Israel today, will be an Israeli body. Haaretz says it will be headed by a retired Israeli High Court judge and the other members will include “jurists specializing in international law as well as two observers – one American and the other European.”
Haaretz reports that,

    Contacts with the United States on forming the panel have been handled by the prime minister himself and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Their main contact has been U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. It was the Americans who proposed the nature of the committee – similar to the one that investigated the sinking of a South Korean ship by the North Koreans.

What on earth do Biden and his boss think they are doing here?
Why don’t they support an international commission of inquiry under the aegis of the United Nations?
Why do they want to give any overt American “blessing” to this Israeli venture, whose proceedings and results will surely not satisfy any of the other governments of the world that– like the U.S.– had nationals aboard the flotilla boats who now have serious claims to raise against Israel for its act of piracy on the high seas?
And yes, of course those other governments include Turkey, which along with the U.S. were the only two countries to have citizens murdered during the raid. Some 30-plus other countries, however, had citizens who were wounded (in many cases grievously), or were kidnapped on the high seas and mistreated by Israel, and had their private property, including significant amounts of expensive camera and recording equipment, stolen by Israel.
Clearly, this case is not going to go away. An all-Israeli, or Israeli-US investigation will not be trusted by many (if any) other governments– either to uncover all the facts of the matter, or to give them a fair reading in the light of international law.
Turkey is just one of the many aggrieved countries that is a close military ally of the United States and a member of NATO. Indeed, Turkey has military forces operating inside Afghanistan alongside American forces.
Why on earth would Washington want to jeopardize its relationship with Turkey and these other important allies at a time when NATO is in such a perilous position in the complex, overwhelmingly Muslim land of Afghanistan?
In the past few days, a gang of Israeli apologists around the world has cranked up an extremely sleazy campaign against Turkey. (E.g. here, or even Steven Cook, here.) This is related both to Turkey’s vote against the Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran, and to the role the Turkish government has already played in demanding justice for its citizens who were murdered, maimed, kidnapped, and robbed by the Israeli military. One big theme of the campaigns has been the idea that Turkey (population 74 million) has been “getting uppity” and needs to “know its place”, etc. Another has been a more directly anti-Muslim argument.
Obama and Biden’s decision to back Israel to the hilt over the flotilla murders will simply– and quite unnecessarily– exacerbate anti-American tensions around the world.
In his recent National Security Strategy document, Obama called for strengthening international institutions, international alliances, and the international rule of law.
The guy gives a great speech. (The first great speech he gave as president outside the U.S. was in Ankara, Turkey, in the spring of 2009.)
But no-one out “here” in the rest of the world is satisfied with speeches any more. They are looking at his actions.

7 thoughts on “Washington’s bizarre stance on flotilla raid investigation”

  1. It seems to me, you look fed up with US position of giving an overt American “blessing” to any Israeli venture as you said. I do share with you the same outlook that Washington by this policy will jeopardize its relationship with Turkey at least with long-term as one of its potential allies and will increase bad feelings inside moslim world towards americans. The American administration is doing that just for granted.

  2. Helena,
    I have a really hard time understanding a comment like this “Why don’t they support an international commission of inquiry under the aegis of the United Nations?”
    Do you really not know? As unbalanced as you are convinced an Israeli investigation would be, Do you really think the UN would do a better job?
    I’m a liberal and my impression is you consider yourself one as well. As liberals we would like to believe the UN to be a moral organization and therefore be an impartial judge. Much like we want to believe that US courts, espically the Supreme Court to be non-political. I think however we both know that frequently the Supreme Court is not non-political. So it is not hard to understand that the UN, which is just a body made up of representatives of different countries, each with their own agenda and alliances would also not be moral and impartial but rather political.
    No, I just don’t see how anyone can think, even for a second that the UN would do a better job. “Better” being defined as impartial.

  3. What I want to know is why do alternapundits continue to act like they can’t understand why Obama is turning out not to be change at all, or at least not in a good way. It is taking a damn long time for folks to get the memo.

  4. David, your As unbalanced as you are convinced an Israeli investigation would be, Do you really think the UN would do a better job?
    Absolutely! The U.N. has shown its ability to sponsor extremely informative and well-argued investigations into any number of international crises– always after the fact, which is tragic, but at least those investigations have established a strong and well-researched historical record and in some cases laid the basis for prosecutions or other further action. This has certainly been the case in Rwanda, the DRC, and many other places in sub-Saharan Africa, in former Yugoslavia, as well as, of course, in the case of the Goldstone Report.
    It strikes me you seem quite unaware of the long history of very professionally produced UN investigatory reports. Check it out.

  5. Helena,
    I have no doubt that the UN is capable of producing a balanced, unbaised report if it desired to do so. Israel is also capable of doing so. The problem comes when there is a substantial interest to not produce a fair and balanced report. And in this case I think it only too obvious that the UN, in much the same manner as you think Israel, has a substantial interest to not produce a fair and balanced report.

  6. No, I just don’t see how anyone can think, even for a second that the UN would do a better job. “Better” being defined as impartial.
    Your comment is clear Orwellian propaganda. You are suggesting that a neutral board with a long experience in that kind of inquiry would be more unbalanced than a commission led by the ones who perpetrated the facts ? you are turning the truth upside down. Israelians would be judge and party in this case. How could they be more impartial than a UN inquiry ?

  7. For the last 60 years US tagged as a peace partner or head of the peace supervisory between Arab/Israelites conflicts.
    Most ME pupils living and believing that US the never been independent partner in fact the most biased partner in the world for the Israelite. But most American don not see that and they believe US although it’s the supper power make her the prefect the supervise for the peace and in ME in full support of the 2000s year Zionist
    old dream.
    So nothing changed here for the last 60 years in the relations between US and Israelites, although many US administrations changed and swapping presidency and power in US between two parties but the result were very similar if not identical.
    Before we seen in Iraq heroes who were invaded Iraq and tortured Iraqis killed hundred of thousand, destroyed the most basic public services for 20 millions Iraqis rewarded medals for the suffering of million of Iraqis for the last seven years from incompetent and thug Paul Bremer to those solders.
    Now let read here new alike the their ilk same thing with Israelites, Israeli commando who killed six aid workers to receive medal!

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