When Obama admitted this week that the United States did some things that were contrary to their values, he was specifically acknowledging that the CIA brutally abused some suspects and ‘tortured some folks’ in the aftermath of 9/11. Quite what the extent of that torture was would be anyone’s guess.
Yet his admission also seems to ring true with respect to supplying Israel with arms and billions of dollars in aid each year, essentially bankrolling the slaughter of innocent children and families in Gaza today. For obvious reasons, ‘we helped murder some folks’, is not an admission you would ever hear.
Acting contrary to your values can also be a case of deciding not to take action, when your values demand that you really ought to. The United Kingdom should stand up and take a bow here too – in which possible world is doing nothing to force an end to the devastation in Gaza logically consistent with Cameron urging us to be ‘more muscular’ about the United Kingdom’s Christian values? Is the United Kingdom only a Christian country when being so isn’t damaging to the power its delusional leaders think it still has on the international stage?
Given their form, it is incredible to think that neither the United States, nor the United Kingdom, have chosen to intervene more strongly to force Israel to stop destroying the lives of the ordinary people of Gaza; given the strategic alliances they have forged, some out of political expediency and others to protect market interests, it begins to make sense why they would be hesitant.
The United Kingdom is a key partner for the United States in Europe, and Israel is a key partner for the United States in the Middle East. Israel was at one point a useful tool for the United States and the United Kingdom in limiting the influence of Russia in the Middle East.
Israel’s democratic process stands out in that region, as does its commitment to the values, rights and liberties shared by the United States and the United Kingdom. Nor should it be forgotten that Middle East stability is a key condition for a strong and stable global oil market, with both the United States and the United Kingdom having special interests in that regard too.
Why have the United States and the United Kingdom not forcefully intervened to stop the atrocities in Gaza, as their form elsewhere would surely suggest that they should? Who knows – perhaps it just feels right to them that they don’t. And in the most sincere words of Obama, perhaps when we look back on this time we shouldn’t feel too sanctimonious – we cannot really understand the extraordinary stress and pressure certain world leaders are under to keep the world organised exactly how they like it.