Swoop – Washington’s World: September 12th – 18th, 2011 – The Act Job

Swoop – Washington’s World: September 12th – 18th, 2011 – The Act Job
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“President Obama’s September 8th speech on the economy has dominated the headlines with commentators agreeing that the rest of his presidency may depend on his ability to turn his proposals into legislative reality. At least some parts of his package involving tax cuts may survive, but the spending portions will be more controversial. Either way, employers organizations are warning that the short-term addition to jobs may be small.

The many events marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, including a keynote speech on counter-terrorism strategy by Secretary of State Clinton and the threat of a new attack on an American city, will have a lasting impact on US attitudes to the Middle East. The ideological divisions about the US reaction to 9/11 still run deep in the foreign policy community and the wider public. The US orientation to the Islamic world will undoubtedly feature – often in lurid terms – in the forthcoming election cycle. The implications are important in relation to policy toward Israel. Here, Obama has telephoned his Prime Minister Netanyahu to express sympathy over the September 10th attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.

Among Administration officials there is rising concern about Israel’s growing isolation in the region. As a senior State Department official explained privately to us: “For decades we have been able to count on two rock-solid constants in Israel’s favor: good relations with Turkey and Israel. Both these are now in doubt.” As a result, second thoughts are emerging about the US posture toward the reform movement in Egypt. An NSC official commented to us: “We want to keep the Israeli factor entirely separate from the Arab Spring. If public opinion starts to be inflamed on this issue, it could turn the movement in ugly directions.”

The Administration continues to work hard to deflect the potential damage from the likely vote in the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood. Officials now see very little prospect of avoiding this, but are firm in their opposition. To compensate for its stance on this issue, US officials are, as we have noted, increasing their references to Iran as a destabilizing element. We judge this to be mainly rhetorical at this stage. Even the most hawkish opponents of Iran are not calling for military action.”

Source: http://theswoop.net

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