Palestine Vote Showcases the Decline of American Power

The article Palestine Vote Showcases the Decline of American Power does not make its best argument when it focuses on the decline of American power.

When it argues that so many other countries disagree with us, that also may not be its best argument.  After all, we have been in the position before of being lonely hold outs for a principled position and we were right to do so.

I think the best argument may be in the final paragraph:

But in large part, Washington’s current difficulties derive from adopting a position contrary to international law and to basic human decency. Israel’s creeping annexation of the West Bank looks suspiciously like Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait—both being land-grabs that violate the United Nations Charter, Article 2.4. The stateless Palestinians ultimately have no individual rights. No national courts uphold their property deeds or rights to resources such as water. At least if they are recognized by the vast majority of U.N. member states, the Palestinians may gain the standing to sue in national and international courts to stop the ongoing torts being committed against them by the Israeli settler-industrial complex. In standing against this attempt to right an epochal historical wrong to an entire people, Obama puts the United States on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of world opinion. Neither is likely to forgive him.

Being one of the last hold outs for an unprincipled position is not something I can or want to defend.

While I can imagine many Americans focusing on the need for the U.S. to withstand pressure and the need to stick to its guns no matter what, I see a flaw in that stance.  The stance only makes sense if you are right on the merits.  They forget that the main thing is to be on the correct side of the issue whether it is easy to do so or hard to do so.  The issue is not the difficulty of holding a position.  The issue should always be, first and foremost, whether or not our position is right.

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