During the protest movements to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, I had a similar fantasy. I fantasized that President Barack Obama had called that nation's military leaders and said the following: We give you $1.3 billion in military aid each year, don't use those weapons against the people in Tahrir Square or we will cut you off.
Of course, as some people who know me might say, I sometimes live in a fantasy world. Yet it does seem that the above fantasies might have a grain of truth to them, or at least one can hope so. But for them to be true, it would have been necessary for Barack Obama to muster up a bit of courage. So when the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements--making it the only one of 15 countries that voted against the resolution, with no abstentions--it really brought me down to earth. Because it reminded me that Obama does not have the courage to do such things, and that his entire presidency has become one based on fear and loathing in the bowels of the White House.
It is interesting to compare some of the U.S. media news coverage of this travesty. The New York Times account was fairly factual and straightforward, but it only briefly mentioned the position that the European Union had taken in favor of the resolution, and generally played down the attitudes of those 14 other countries. The Times article focused mostly on the arguments of the Palestinians, who had pushed hard for the resolution and--something that may eventually bode well for the "peace process" despite America running interference for the Israel right-wing once again--detailed the contradictory U.S. position, which is essentially that it is against settlements but also against anyone doing anything about it (this is disguised in the absurd position that it is a matter for negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, when in fact it is a matter of international law.)
In the U.K.'s Guardian, however, we were able to actually read about what other nations, including some of America's closest allies, were saying on the matter. This is worth quoting in some detail: