U.S. offers peace keeping double standard in Mideast relations

By Frank Erickson
Contributing Commentator

A recent headline read, “At U.N., Obama tries to keep Mideast peace hopes alive.” So that means violence is bad, violence is counter-productive, right?

That is what Obama is saying with his actions at the U.N., in “trying to keep Mideast peace hopes alive,” that the violence is the problem and the roadblock to peace. Yet, how could not using violence be the answer for the Palestinian-Israeli situation, but using violence is the answer for the NATO-Taliban situation?

You would think after 10 years in Afghanistan that the U.S. government would figure this out, that what they got in Afghanistan is the exact same fire Obama is trying to put out between the Palestinians and Israelis.

“Ah, Mr. President, John Doe from the Washington Post. I have a two-part question for you, but I’ll be brief. If violence cannot solve the Palestinian-Israeli situation, how can it solve the NATO-Taliban situation…and Mr. President, how on earth can you even consider yourself a qualified peace negotiator when you are fueling your own vicious cycle of counter-productive violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Mr. President, come on, do you really believe that counter-productive violence only takes place when you live right next door to your enemy?”

“Security! Have that man removed from the White House grounds, and take his press pass. I never want to see him again. He’s making too much sense.”
“Yes, Mr. President.”

At the end of the Ecuador police revolt, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Ecuadorian leader, “I encourage an ongoing, rapid and peaceful restoration of order.” They chose their words so carefully — she doesn’t tell the Ecuadorian president straight out to not use violence, but that is what she’s implying.

There is this common theme that comes out of Washington, that any violence that is not U.S. government violence is counter-productive. Why doesn’t Clinton “encourage an ongoing, rapid and peaceful restoration of order” in Afghanistan — instead of ruling the already counter-productive U.S.-Taliban violence?

Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.