Palestine UN Vote and American Decline (Cole at Truthdig)

My column, “Palestine Vote Showcases the Decline of American Power,”, is out at Truthdig.


“The United States, castigated by its critics as recently as a decade ago as a “hyper-power,” is now so weak and isolated on the world stage that it may cast an embarrassing and self-defeating veto of Palestinian membership in the United Nations. Beset by debt, mired in economic doldrums provoked by the cupidity and corruption of its business classes, and on the verge of withdrawing from Iraq and ultimately Afghanistan in defeat, the U.S. needs all the friends it can get. If he were the visionary we thought we elected in 2008, President Obama would surprise everyone by rethinking the issue and coming out in favor of a U.N. membership for Palestine. In so doing, he would help the U.S. recover some of its tarnished prestige and avoid a further descent into global isolation and opprobrium.”

I go on to discuss the defection from the anti-Palestinian Washington position of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France and Spain, among others, and the pro-Palestinian stance of the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Instead of leading an international consensus, the US is increasingly isolated on this issue with regard to its own allies, much less the international community.

Read the whole thing.

6 Responses

  1. The rise of the Arab Spring has changed the dynamics in world politics today. But one thing that’s undeniable is that increasing resource scarcity and that it’s harder to grow food is a factor that helped force the issue of people wanting their voice and a vote on their country’s affairs.
    The Earth is heating up and the Sea is rising due to CO2 rise.
    Wealth concentration is rampant and there are multiple places where the same land is claimed by two or more groups so when Palestine being recognized by the UN is mentioned it floods the mind with ideas but I know there are island nations in the Pacific that are already experiencing the Sea coming in.

  2. Obama has a history of too little too late. Why get ahead of the curve now, even if it made the US look better to the Arab world. Not to mension some who may think twice about joining radical groups or Israel learning to live with instead of subsugating the neigborhood.

  3. Palestine is seeking recognition as a state. They are already recognized as a nation under international law; however, they do not have any land to call their own. Under Resolution 242, Israel has already withdrawn from more than 90% of the land they seized by winning in war. The Arab League, starting in 1967 continuing on today, refuses to allow any land for the Palestinians, refusal, not just in violation of Resolution 242, but in violation of decent human dignity and of the Palestinian people themselves.

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  4. Professor Cole:

    FYI, I was looking forward to reading your latest column, “Palestine Vote Showcases the Decline of American Power,” but it is posted at truthdig in a virtually unreadable format: an alphabet soup of tightly grouped capital letters, with almost no spacing between lines, that seems designed to drive readers away. I suspect that someone is sabotaging your efforts to reach an audience.

    • Looks fine in my browser (Firefox). What operating system do you use and what browser. You can set the font size.

      This is more likely to be a cross-platform coding problem than sabotage.

  5. As per my blog on Palestine/Israel, I’m rapidly joining the growing number of academics who actually foresee a One State Palestine solution. The almost perfect replication of events in South Africa is now such that Netanyahu’s suicidal course for Israeli implosion is so powerful that no sense at all is coming out of an increasingly isolated and increasing irrelevant US foreign policy machine that looks like an Empire In Decline extraordinaire. I’d be interested in your views on what I have to say; I just started out in the blogoshpere and you clearly have a brain.



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