As Promised . . .

As promised in my last post, here is a link to Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates’s official biography as it appears on the Whitehouse website.

Perhaps the Obama Administration is using all available attention units in dealing with the meltdown in the economy despite the fact that the President was recently quoted as saying that he is capable of doing more than one thing at a time. Of course, that was in the context of answering questions about his planned appearance on the Jay Leno show when the economy is tanking. Be that as it may, the White House has been strangely silent about any progress, or lack therefof, in the wake of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell’s and former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrook’s visits to the Middle-East as special envoys of SecState, Hillary Clinton.

In fact the only mention of any substantive change in relations between the Israeli’s and Palastinians was this statement, sent to reporters, by the chief Palastinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei, that the peace negotiations with Israel “will be suspended until getting a substantial change in the Israeli policy.” Hardly a very promising development. On the other hand, much of the rhetoric that came out of Ms. Clinton’s visit (see, for example, this article from Scoop World) with Mahmoud Abbas was very positive in tone, if a little short on specifics.

So, the question of whether there is sufficient interest or energy in the U.S. State Dept to address the issue of arms sales to Israel is still open.  Nevertheless, Amnesty International is calling for an investigation into Israel’s use of U.S. arms in Gaza and a suspension of arms transfers to Israel.