Our “Friend” in the White House is obsessed with the Palestinian narrative.
Here are my thoughts about today’s big speech designed by the White House to ‘reach out to Israel’.
First let me say that we are honored to have had the VP Joe Biden visit with us, he is the Vice President of what has been until now our closest & most trusted ally, The United States of America. Sadly, it remains to be seen if that legacy will carry forward.
It’s hard to escape the fact the speech was heavy on lecturing us in Israel, the bulk of it was seemingly devoted to this, Biden’s personal anecdotes of friendship aside.
- How we don’t do enough for peace
- How we don’t risk enough for peace
- How we endanger peace.
- How hard Peace is & how we are making it harder.
As I listened to it, even the parts extolling our long friendship, I couldn’t help but be struck at how superficial it all was. The personal anecdotes were the same ones delivered by Biden previously to AIPAC in other speeches, that’s fine & understandable. It may have effected me nonetheless. I can’t even fault Joe, he delivered his speech well. But I felt it’s as if this White House is just going through the motions when it comes to Israel.
It’s such a stark contrast to the genuine warmth we felt from Bush. When he spoke you could hear it in his voice & see it in his eyes he was true friend. You could feel the alliance pulsing, the passion that real friends or brothers have for each other. Shoulder to shoulder, thick & thin.
This passion & friendship at a leadership level is long gone.
Try as they may to write it out, the White House speech writers, the advisers, down to the President himself they hold no passion for Israel. It’s evident. Biden tried to deliver it for them, but making us wait 45 minutes collectively as a nation for him to get it started certainly did not help. TV stations, radio, all of it live.. Filling in dead air time for nearly an hour making up for the fact Biden was so late!? It contributed to this feeling we have, that we are a chicken or fish bone stuck in the White House throat. That’s how they feel about us and we can sense it, we’re an errand, an annoyance or something to knock off on a post it note.
Obama’s stumbling block to greatness
That’s the reason Obama is so unpopular here. We know that for Obama, in his mind we are a roadblock preventing him from greatness. He feels no doubt the same way about nearly everyone. The US House, the American people, the Congress. It’s very sad, he’s clearly an egomaniac and I won’t mince words. We all know the type, they blame their failures on everyone else, like a slighted Hollywood star who’s acting simply sucks.
So how can anyone here in Israel feel assured, or entrust our very existence to such a ‘friend’? It’s frankly beyond me. Truthfully this America Israel stuff should be easy as apple pie. This is not a difficult mission, we love America! We want to be swept off our feet by her, the fact Obama can’t accomplish even this simple task is astounding. It’s speak much more than words can.
Nonetheless, what we really needed to hear is how we would stop Iran. That part was painfully short and passed by all too quickly. Instead we mostly heard how we should stop figuratively abusing the Palestinians and begin delivering for Obama a big win. Indeed, when Obama spoke in Cairo and embraced the Arab narrative it is clear now more than ever, he wasn’t humoring them. This dribble is what he actually believes. It’s 20 years of Jeremiah Wright coming home to roost, and he’s humoring us instead.
This one line from the speech says it all.
It was in reaction to the housing plans announced in Jerusalem which caused such a scandal.
Jerusalem, the territory we made sure everyone understands is not subject to settlement talk, not subject to freezes..
I — and at the request of President Obama, condemned it immediately and unequivocally.
That’s the real story. We had once again dared to stand before President Obama and his failed legacies. We are, and have always been in his mind condemned unequivocally and we know it. If someone had intended to convince us otherwise today, they failed. The speech went out with a whimper, it’s hardly being spoken about or even reported about hours later. I suspect thanks to this Administration, much the same can be said about the American Israel alliance for the next 3 years.
Anti Israel – Start to Finish.
Capping off a year of stunning Obama incompetence, Joe Biden has come to Israel to re-enforce the Obama administration’s friendship with our country. To err it seems is human, to be stunningly incompetent however is all Obama. Domestically, internationally, any way you slice or dice it so far this President is failing and doing so on an epic scale.
“Solid B+” he cockily intoned while self grading himself on TV. Oh what a sheltered life we lead over there at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue. On the foreign affairs front, nowhere has the failure been more evident than in the US / Israel relationship. The State of Israel is currently more popular with Americans than the President himself! We’re polling better than him according to Gallup figures, near record highs! How embarrassing for the Appeaser in Chief.
Smiles all around
Obama smiles, Joe Biden smiles, Netanyahu smiles. It’s all wonderful but it can’t cover up the latent animosity. Its an animus generated by the US President himself, and a cadre of advisers who let’s not mince words – Don’t like Israel and never have. They identify with the Palestinians. The White House calls it Muslim outreach, in the real world we like to call it yet another grandiose heaping pile of steaming failure.
Let’s Examine the Record
- No one in Israel has forgotten how the President in Cairo delegitmized our entire being here in Israel. A massive affront, felt across every Israeli political stripe. Mr. Obama with his teleprompters single handedly managed to rally 80% of the Israeli public around our right wing Prime Minister, an event until now seen only in times of WAR! Shockwaves rippled across Israel, President clueless was oblivious.
- Instead of bridging the gaps he himself had created, perhaps by reaching out to the Israeli public now clearly distrustful of him, the President instead pursued his course of folly. He opted to lord the existential Iranian sword hanging over us to force Israel into a building freeze across the West Bank. So instead of pressuring Iran where the real action was at, he issued threats to Israel, ingenious really! Priority number one was his pet project, the Palestinians. Quid Pro Quo it was called. Well we quidded, quidded building in the West Bank that is. Where’s the Quo? Failed engagement, stalled sanctions, and a chorus of advisers & veiled threats against Israel should we choose to defend ourselves. Incidentally – The Palestinians rejected our unprecedented concessions, and refused to talk about anything, let alone peace.. While the Iranians suffered a coup d’etat.
- When Israeli polling showed only 4% of Israelis felt the President was a friend and pro-Israel ally, (shocking numbers similarly simply unheard of in the annals of Israeli history.) The President still forged onward, sailing his ship of fools. He sent Hillary to lecture us on where we can or cannot build in our own Capital! His promises to Jewish American ears in order to get elected were left simply by the way side – Just words.
- When it had become clear to everyone including both the right & left in American media that the pressure gambits on Israel regarding settlements were a dismal failure; When it dawned that engagement follies were ill conceived, planned & implemented in every way. When it dawned the real source of intransigence preventing peace talks were the Palestinians themselves, who simply point blank refused to engage. Did the President assign blame? Of course not. Instead he chose to save that card, preferring to play it against Israel at the nearest opportunity we now learn.
- When American Jewish Democrats became disillusioned with their own Messiah, flanked by Israeli leftists begging the President to come to Israel & explain his folly. Months later whom did he send? Joe Biden. While we are honored to receive the US VP, it sent the message loud & clear. Muslims are priority #1 for President Obama. The Jews? Not so much. Worse, Biden was clearly sent here not to clean up Obama’s messes with Israel, but to warn us yet again against striking Iran. Endearing really.
- When we excluded Jerusalem from our building freeze, openly – matter of factly. Did Obama get the message? Or was his giant ego utterly incapable of absorbing even basic realities? The answer seems clear enough, Joe Biden has thrown a hissy fit here WHILE in Israel over our declared building plans in Jerusalem, last night he made Bibi wait 90 minutes with dinner on the table. Apparently we’ve endangered the mockery that is Obama’s greatest achievement. Non existent INDIRECT talks with the Palestinians. Frankly, Bush could achieve more in a night’s sleep than this President can in a year of failures, next time tell Biden the Kitchen is closed, send him out for a slice of Pizza instead.
Just like the UK, Honduras, France, The Czechs and a litany of other nations it boils down to one thing. None of us trust the President of the United States. Incidentally Chris Matthews – It’s not because he’s black. It’s because for all his academic prowess he seems to have a learning disability. Yes ladies & gentlemen, the President is an ideologue, an educated moron cum laude.
Harvard spits them out like Big Macs these days apparently.
Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy Has Everyone Spinning
There’s a mountain of activity, editorials, blog posts, opinion pieces & think tank rhetoric exploding outward this week regarding Iran. With Obama’s signature foreign policy of engagement crashing & burning, and no direction in sight the spinners are out in force at every level.
American envoys, like Admiral Mullen, Kerry, even VP Biden are & have been shuttling to Israel to hold off any Israeli strike. Sec. Clinton jetted off to Latin America, doing whatever it is she does to unsuccessfully rally for sanctions. On the media front, articles galore delegitimizing strikes as a possible solution..
None of it is on the level
If it were, there would be a credible strategy put forth to counter the military option. But as we’ve seen, the refined fuel blockade combined with IRGC sanctions are nowhere to be found, if anything deadlines which passed months ago are only pointing to sanctions many more months away. Those sanctions are neither a given nor are the odds very good either.
Clearly, the Obama administration is stalling for time, waiting for the Iranian nuclear bomb to become a reality because the President like so many before me have claimed, is rather weak. He was weak on tough engagement, weak on supporting regime change in Iran, and now he’s weak on stopping the Iranian nuclear drive. If he weren’t, the multiple US House & Senate resolutions for fuel sanctions now sitting in drawers nearly a year would have been long ago realities, instead they are blocked by the Administration at every turn..
There are basically three courses open to the Obama administration with respect to Iran. It can do the Full Leverett (drop all pretense of hostility toward Iran and engage them on all issues in the hopes of a grand bargain); it can pursue the course it’s on now, a slow roll of diplomacy towards possible sanctions and international condemnation of Iran that probably won’t alter their nuclear progress; or it can start a war with Iran, which may or may not fully stop their nuclear program but would open the door to a host of consequences, most of them negative.
In contrast to their neoconservative critics, the Obama administration, including senior figures in the military, apparently sees the “hard realities of the world” as mitigating against starting a third war in the Greater Middle East – even if it means conceding some nuclear weapons capability to Iran. Of course, the administration can’t publicly acknowledge this, and so they have pursued the diplomatic and sanctions track, to demonstrate that they are least trying to address the problem.
“Hard Realities of the World”
That above is ‘realism school of thought’ euphemism for weakling, its testament to the overblown Iranian rhetoric. In reality Iran is the weak link, a regime forced to beat its own peoples to remain in power who’s unending glorious pronouncements of strength do little to buttress the fact that the only outlet they have is terror. So far so good, they seem to have terrorized the Obama administration into submission. Unfortunately for him, the American public is a different story..
“Do not even think about bombing Iran,” wrote Michael O’Hanlon and Bruce Reidel in yesterday’s Financial Times. Pointing out that the US has two unpopular and unfinished wars in the region already, and that the damage from any military strikes on the Islamic Republic would be unlikely to do enough damage to its nuclear program to justify the military and political cost, and also that Iran would have many opportunities to retaliate against US interests in the region, they urge President Obama to take this option off the table completely. Living with a nuclear Iran won’t be fun, but it’s better than the alternatives, so let’s start making plans for the inevitable.
I actually agree with O’Hanlon and Reid that military strikes against the Iranian nuclear program aren’t likely to get us anywhere good, but that doesn’t mean we can stop thinking about them. Sixty-one percent of Americans asked called Iran’s strength a ‘critical threat’ in a Gallup poll last month; an additional 29 percent said the Iranian threat was ‘important.’ With 90 percent of the public feeling threatened by Iran — at a moment when nothing special was happening — it’s not clear to me that domestic politics will allow the Obama administration to steer clear of hostilities with Iran even if it wants to. [...]
The Israel Factor
It is worth noting that many of those advocating strategies of retreat are the same people who so boisterously argued for engagement, their track record leaves much to be desired. They argued for shelving the military option before engagement, that worked well as we’ve seen. Now they argue for shelving the military option after engagement.. One begins to suspect their true goal is not solving the Iranian nuclear riddle – But merely shelving the military option at all costs. Good luck with that.
All these pundits may want to stack the shelves & put things in drawers, but those same ‘Hard Realities of the World’ are also in operation in Israel. Here those realities tend to be even harsher than they appear in the local American think tank, filled with lazy chairs & academic tenures. Obama may be trying to stall, his advisers may even think he’s succeeding. Kerry quipped in Israel this week how the US & Israel are on the same page. But he was speaking in the language of fuel sanctions which Israelis understand.. So far, it’s a dialect Obama seems to be unable to comprehend.
A War of Choice or Necessity?
So are we all really on the same page? It doesn’t look like it, but sooner rather than later we are all going to find out. I suspect those flimsy locks on the military engagement drawers won’t stop Israel from doing whatever it deems necessary. Therein lies the rub, those opposed to using every tool in the arsenal cast this as a war of choice, just like Iraq they might argue.
Sadly they are gravely mistaken in my opinion. Here in Israel where the threat is seen a existential in every way – Stopping Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons is a war of necessity, not choice. If Obama keeps stalling and we start shooting, the Iranians themselves will force the President to quickly realize just how wrong many of his advisers often are. With American support for Israel at record highs, and anathema for Iran in similar territory - He may not have that luxury of choice, if or when Iran attacks American interests.
Then the question inevitably becomes – Does America want to strike on its terms, or Iran’s?
Denials abound, but so do the many causal links & leaks..
Signs: Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia align
When Obama’s administration first tabled the ideology behind its mid east peace efforts, a core argument was the driving need to take advantage of what was termed ‘a rare opportunity for consensus’. The argument was that the Iranian rush to nuclear technology which must be stopped, had created a rare spot of common ground for often feuding parties all around the Middle East. I recall Senator Kerry, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee waxing lyrically about it at the time, and the need to urgently re-examine the Saudi Peace Plan as a result.
A policy of convenient linkage was put forward by the White House quite publically - The peace process was key to solving the Iranian riddle, and as such a massive effort toward Palestinian Israeli engagement was necessary. The Saudi’s weren’t all that interested however, they rejected the notion that forging Palestinian peace was a pre-requisite to stopping Iran. They further quickly doused any talk of concessions to Israel, a key component of Obama’s linkage plan.
Israel also rejected the notion, Netanyahu in fact argued the opposite linkage. The only way to facilitate an eventual peace he said was to remove a main instigator preventing peace, Iran – World’s most prolific sponsor of terror, and patron of the Hezbollah & Hamas radical Islamic terror groups. All three openly sworn to Israel’s destruction.
Thus, in a most backhand manner, it appeared that there was indeed Saudi Israeli consensus. Consensus which was shared with Egypt as well, that Iran must be stopped and more effort toward that goal was needed. The quiet consensus seemingly emerged that America was not being aggressive enough toward that goal. We heard rumblings about it after expansive tours of the Gulf by Sec Def. Gates & Admiral Mullen, the senior US defense officials sent by Obama to brief Gulf leaders.
Signs: The Saudi Strike Path
Not once, but twice now we have heard rumors involving the Saudis spill over into the international press. Rumors regarding possible overflights Israel might employ to cut the distance involved striking the Iranian nuclear weapons programs. Both rumors linked talks with Israel’s Mossad chief Meir Dagan, and the Sauds possibly turning a blind eye to any Israeli aircraft which might be headed to Iran across the vast Saudi deserts & kingdom.
On both occasions, these rumors were flatly denied by both the Saudis & Israel. Of course, that would be the case whether they were based in reality or not. If anything even in the best case scenario this would be a marriage of convenience, not love or lust that is for certain. But, against the odds another compelling sign has emerged.
Signs: Saudi Largess
The House of Saud is on a military spending binge, a world leading one at that. They are buying up tens of billions of dollars worth of military hardware, a lot of it is advanced US equipment. Israel doth protest, but not all that loudly which suggests a tacit understanding on the international level of sorts that these weapons and systems are not aimed at the holy land. This last point I am arguing may seem somewhat weak in the signs department, but I’ll up the ante and solidify the link by bringing in Russia.
Israel, assisted somewhat by the USA has been vigorously petitioning Russia not to sell Iran advanced Russian S-300 Anti Aircraft missile systems. This has been ongoing for a few years. Escalating to the point where Israel has in its own leaks & rumors threatened that such a weapons system delivery to Iran, could spur an immediate Israeli strike. Clearly, the issue is regarded with the utmost of seriousness as such weapons in Iran could remove a strike option from the table entirely. Thankfully we can suddenly add Russia to the pot of Israeli & Saudi interests seemingly converging.
The Saudi S-400s
When Israel most recently petitioned the Russians (again) about the S-300, the Ruskies were rumored to have replied something along the lines of.. ‘If you don’t want us delivering these S-300s to Iran, why don’t you buy them from us instead?‘
The implication being clear enough. The Iranian contract was lucrative, but the Russians might be prepared to take the billion plus dollars such a sale would ring up for them someplace else. That sticker price however is a bit steep for Israel to absorb, especially since such a system cannot be integrated into Israel’s defenses which are based entirely on Israeli & American design.
Video: Saudis Buying S-400s?
Which brings us oddly enough back to the Saudis. Their systems and the many billions of dollars more they have pledged to purchase are also mostly American designs. Which makes their recent moves to purchase a big S-400 order from Russia quite interesting. Unlike Israel, the Saudis can afford a billion here or there to prevent the delivery of said missiles to Iran. Maybe the offer was to Israel, but in the interests of détente in the face of a common threat - the Saudis have yet again come in to close the deal on keeping the pressure on Iran.
Thanks.. But No Thanks
Plenty of action on the rogue regime front this week, with Iran delivering what it calls a ‘new proposal’ to the p5+1 for “Negotiations”. There are a number of interesting aspects to this proposal.
Chiefly among them is the fact that Iran has flatly refused to discuss or cease its nuclear program, or table uranium enrichment issues which constitutes the number one demand from the West.
Clearly, this is a stalling & delay tactic. But the Iranians in charge over there in Iranistan are a clever bunch. They’ve zeroed in specifically on comments made by the Obama administration, and used them to their own advantage in order to build on some unlikely allies – The hard left in the US and even within Obama’s own administration. The proposal has been leaked and within we can glean some interesting insight into Iran’s squeeze play..
The proposal, submitted by Teheran on Wednesday to representatives of the P5+1 group of nations – - the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – says Iran is prepared to enter into dialog and negotiation in order to lay the ground for lasting peace. It lists a wide range of issues for discussion, including nuclear disarmament, trade and investment and protecting human dignity.
Although the proposal makes no mention of Israel, it calls for “joint efforts and interactions to help the people of Palestine draw up a comprehensive, democratic and equitable plan in order to help the people of Palestine to achieve all-embracing peace, lasting security and to secure their fundamental rights.”
It also calls for “promoting the universality of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” and “putting into action real and fundamental programs toward complete disarmament and preventing the development and proliferation of nuclear chemical and microbial weapons.” [...]
Iran seizes on issues publicly declared by Obama as priorities, cynically portends to be champions of these issues while attempting to replace itself in the hot seat with Israel. The complete disarmament mentioned is in regards to ALL nuclear weapons on the planet, a stated (somewhat absurd) pet project of President Obama himself, and a clear call to focus on Israel’s own nuclear capabilities. The innocent Iranian regime playing international moral leader.
Even more classic, this is exactly what apologists for the Iranian regime want to hear. Iran is clearly banking on those same apologists to be champions in their delay tactics. Lacking any credibility internationally whatsoever of late, the hard left & those that champion engagement with no real end game are Iran’s only outlet. So Iran lays it on mighty thick just for them, with ample bait to the softies in the Obama administration to boot!
Apparently in some quarters it is already working..
According to the document, “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that within the framework of principles of justice, democracy and multilateralism, a wide range of security, political, economic and cultural issues at regional and global levels could be included in these negotiations with a view of fostering constructive cooperation for advancement of nations and promotion of peace and stability in the region and the world.”
The US and Russia were at odds on Thursday over Teheran’s proposals, with American officials saying they fall short of satisfying international demands, and the Russians saying there was something to talk about. [...]
Justice, Democracy MULTILATERALISM. All the buzzwords and music to engagement eager grand bargainers ears are hear. In return for some appeasement everything can be magically solved! Security, political, economic problems, cultural issues.. PEACE ON EARTH!!!
This is some pretty devious & clever stuff. Iran delays for 8 months after previously delaying in talks for 6 years, and just as things look ugly for them sanction wise they pull the steak off the table entirely, while baiting the biggest suckers with all the trimmings instead.
All the while the not so subtle offering of a juicy dessert for Iran & its proponents – the focus on Israel in particular, in combination with a cynical play on Obama’s own declared sensitivities regarding nuclear weapons, disarmament and overall Hope & Change. This US Admin already lit a fire under the Israel nuclear pot this spring, Iran is just stepping up & stirring it. After all, how could they disregard that very large Obama gift? Instead they’ve wrapped it in a pretty hope & change bow & re-gifted it right back.
Obama’s Administration is vulnerable
In a normal world we could dismiss it all out of hand, but so far US foreign policy is not operating in a normal world. Months of engagement failure have only now just barely begun to contain Obama’s hope & delusion. Most of that reality slowly creeping in is as a result of Congressional & European displeasure, not any overt acknowledgment that the policy is naive despite the protestations of Denis Ross.
The door is still wide open, and even the September deadline is already slipping back to 2010 in regards to implementing any sanctions. If Iran’s play can whip up enough support in the ‘US engagement at all costs community’ with their little switcheroo – We could be right back at square one, and Iran will be pleased as punch along with having the ability to deliver a nuclear one.
Canada, UK, Israel Lead American’s Lists of Top Allies
As a Canadian & an Israeli I’m feeling pretty gratified by strong numbers coming out of Rasmussen polling in the USA. Americans to the tune of 86% consider Canada America’s number one ally, and over 70% of Americans rally to the cry that Canada should be defended by Old Glory if attacked. The UK runs in second place neck in neck with the Canucks..
Surprise! Following just behind those two obvious and cherished US friends according to Americans?
Israel on both counts.
70% of Americans polled rated Israel as an American ally, number three on the list. In contrast, the top Arab country rated was Egypt and only 39% of Americans consider Mubarak’s country an ally. In the event of conflict, 59% of Americans polled respond that their ally Israel should be assisted militarily. 8% of Americans polled rated Israel as an enemy of the USA, 16% said neither an enemy or a friend.
Only 5 countries in the world made the list of nations the majority of Americans are prepared to support militarily if attacked. Mexico was virtually tied with Israel in 3rd. Two of the five clearly share more than just friendships, they share a common large expansive border.
The feeling is mutual
Overall, one can say these feelings a more than mutual. Clearly any polling done in Israel will reveal that Israelis consider the USA & Americans as their best friends. On the military front, Israel in both Gulf War conflicts and after 9/11 was prepared & offered military assistance if desired. That being beyond the normal ongoing intelligence & covert means we do not read about between strategic allies, and strategic basing & assets the US already holds within Israel.
In May 49% of Americans were prepared to assist Israel militarily. These latest numbers are up a whopping 10%, clearly in response to the Iranian threat. In Israel itself, 85% of Israelis polled support Israeli military action to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons, and 92% of Israeli Jews are prepared to ‘engage in military battle’.