The American political landscape is undergoing rapid change. A book I published seven weeks ago on political change (Revolutionary Change: An Expatriate View) is already out of date, and I’m hard at work on a second edition. No one dared hope that the simple anti-greed message of five hundred demonstrators camped out in a Wall Street park could instantly overcome decades of political apathy in the US. Moreover there are already small signs that #OccupyWallStreet is impacting US foreign policy.
The first major accomplishment of the antiglobalization movement was in empowering the third world WTO delegates who attended the 1999 Seattle Ministerial to refuse, for the first time, to submit to major concessions the US was trying to ram down their throats. There is already evidence – from Iraq, Palestine, and Pakistan – that OWS is having similar repercussions in the Middle East. This can be seen both in new boldness on the part of Iraq and Pakistan, and a major concessionary move on the part of the US and Israel.
The Iraqi Parliament Pushes Back
In October the mainstream media widely reported that Obama will withdraw all US troops from Iraq by the end of December. Only a few outlets reported the back story – that both the Pentagon and State Department have been pushing for 10,000 US troops to remain past the December withdrawal deadline. The response, in early October, by the Iraqi government and all opposition parties was unanimous: a decision in the Iraqi parliament to withdraw legal immunity (for war crimes) for any US troops who remained after December 2011. This left Obama no choice but to withdraw them. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/iraq-pm-immunity-issue-scuttled-us-troop-deal/2011/10/22/gIQAX6k26L_video.html).
Israel Releases 1,027 Palestinian Prisoners
A week later Israel, which is totally reliant on US political and military support for its existence, agreed to the unprecedented release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in return for one Israeli soldier Hamas has been holding in captivity for over five years (http://www.opednews.com/articles/Israel-Arrests-Palestinian-by-Stephen-Lendman-111022-492.html).
Reversal in Pakistan
Meanwhile, over a matter of weeks, there is a 180 degree reversal in harsh Pentagon/State Department rhetoric towards Pakistan, which, in September, seemed to signal impending US military intervention in Pakistan. A month ago Admiral Mike Mullen, who chairs the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accused Pakistan’s intelligence service of direct complicity in terrorist attacks on the US embassy in Kabul. Yet on October 25, five weeks after #OccupyWallStreet began, the State Department released two interviews by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/25/us-not-seeking-overt-military-action-in-fata-says-clinton.html) with a very different message. In them Clinton emphasizes that the US has no plans to send ground troops into as no plans to send ground troops into the tribal areas and no longer expects Pakistan to undertake military action against the Pakistani Taliban. She also acknowledges for the first time that the Pakistani Taliban have safe havens in US-occupied Afghanistan, which they are using to launch terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s cities. Sajjat Shaukat (http://www.newscenterpk.com/shift-in-us-south-asian-policy.html) and other Pakistani analysts attribute this about face, in part, to massive civil unrest (i.e. #OccupyWallStreet) the US government confronts in its major US cities.
Although the mainstream media is unlikely to acknowledge the link between these events and #OccupyWallStreet, it seems highly unlikely that they are totally unconnected.