Saturday, December 27, 2008

Obama's Monitoring Gaza Strip Attacks

MSNBC: GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing more than 200 people and wounding nearly 400 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years.

Most of those killed were security men, but an unknown number of civilians were also among the dead. Hamas said all of its security installations were hit, threatened to resume suicide attacks, and sent at least 70 rockets and mortar shells crashing into Israeli border communities, according to the Israeli military. One Israeli was killed and at least six people were hurt.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Saturday blamed Hamas for breaking a cease-fire with Israel.

"The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza," Rice said in a statement.

"The cease-fire should be restored immediately," she said.

"The United States calls on all concerned to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the innocent people of Gaza."

The assault on Gaza could harm stalled talks over Palestinian statehood.

I'm so tired of the Middle East. I sure hope Hillary can play a big part in creating some form of long-lasting peace there. If not peace, tolerance. Hillary seems like the right person to dig in there.
CBS: As the events unfold on the Gaza Strip, with Israeli planes attacking Hamas-controlled security compounds and Hamas vowing revenge, vacationing President-elect Barack Obama is keeping his own counsel.

“President-elect Obama is closely monitoring global events, including the situation in Gaza, but there is one president at a time," said Brooke Anderson, Mr. Obama’s chief national security spokesperson. Obama will be receiving an intelligence briefing today and the White House will stay in touch with the transition team, according to White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

In July 2008 Obama gave an indication of his views on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Obama views Hamas as a terrorist organization and as far as I know, he hasn't made clear how he might approach the Mid-East, other than tackling the problem as a regional issue, bringing all the neighboring players and other stakeholders to the table.
Contrary to what the right wingers have said, Obama doesn't consider Hamas a state and therefore, wouldn't meet with them as he would meet with Iran's leaders. Obama condemned Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas.
Obama was a co-sponsor of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006,
That's all I know.
Read what Obama wrote about his foreign policy:
or more than three decades, Israelis, Palestinians, Arab leaders, and the rest of the world have looked to America to lead the effort to build the road to a lasting peace. In recent years, they have all too often looked in vain. Our starting point must always be a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel, our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That commitment is all the more important as we contend with growing threats in the region -- a strengthened Iran, a chaotic Iraq, the resurgence of al Qaeda, the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah. Now more than ever, we must strive to secure a lasting settlement of the conflict with two states living side by side in peace and security. To do so, we must help the Israelis identify and strengthen those partners who are truly committed to peace, while isolating those who seek conflict and instability. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient effort and the personal commitment of the president of the United States. That is a commitment I will make.

Throughout the Middle East, we must harness American power to reinvigorate American diplomacy. Tough-minded diplomacy, backed by the whole range of instruments of American power -- political, economic, and military -- could bring success even when dealing with long-standing adversaries such as Iran and Syria. Our policy of issuing threats and relying on intermediaries to curb Iran's nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and regional aggression is failing. Although we must not rule out using military force, we should not hesitate to talk directly to Iran. Our diplomacy should aim to raise the cost for Iran of continuing its nuclear program by applying tougher sanctions and increasing pressure from its key trading partners. The world must work to stop Iran's uranium-enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy. At the same time, we must show Iran -- and especially the Iranian people -- what could be gained from fundamental change: economic engagement, security assurances, and diplomatic relations. Diplomacy combined with pressure could also reorient Syria away from its radical agenda to a more moderate stance -- which could, in turn, help stabilize Iraq, isolate Iran, free Lebanon from Damascus' grip, and better secure Israel.