Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Obama lama ding dong

© Alex Grey
Negotiating the twisted complexity of the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians, and America for that matter, is a thankless pursuit, guaranteed to stir passions on all sides, with all camps trying to spin the popular narrative and both major protagonists seemingly trying to claim the greater mantle of victimhood.

The Palestinians are a dispossessed people, as are the jews. You would think that both sides would see that the status quo is unsustainable, but they don't, and rather than engineer a solution in which they could live together side by side both sides strive to either maintain an upper hand or worse, to annihilate each other.

The principal play is a textbook example of what marriage psychologists call the dark dance, vortex ever spinning into the dark star abyss. The Israelis get to act as jailer in Gaza and parts of the West Bank while the Islamic radicals in Hamas pledge to destroy their ancient enemy. A Gordian knot if there ever was one.

President Obama has played a very unusual role in the mideast, different than any of his predecessors. It quickly became evident that he really disliked the Israeli administration, and was in fact predisposed to sell the Israelis out, that he considered the promises of previous American administrations moot in his quest to create a mideast peace and cement his legacy.

There is a very interesting article by former Ambassador Michael Oren out today in the Wall Street Journal that people who have an interest in the subject should read. It is titled How Obama abandoned Israel. I have written about some of his points before. We recently learned that the State department piped in a diplomatic asswhipping of the Ambassador to a room of giddy Obamaites who cheered the hectoring of Oren. This is not a good marriage.
“The president stacked the State Department with opponents of Israel, then let them indulge themselves by picking new fights with Israel every few months,” the source said. “Of course they enjoyed it. This is who they are. This is what they do.”
Obama has been a trifle one sided during his administration in his brash treatment of the Israelis, who are certainly far from perfect and blameless but still only one of the players in this battle. The Muslims always seem to get a free pass in Obamaland, the State Department even refusing to call molotov throwing "freedom fighters" terrorists. Now he wants Egypt to go easy on his old pal Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood premier who often murdered his opponents and regime protesters and continually muzzled and jailed journalists.
In a speech to supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on 30 June 2012, Morsi briefly mentioned that he would work to free Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, along with the many Egyptians who were arrested during the revolution.
The M.B. received a lot of their training from Hamas, an Iranian proxy. Why does Barack have such a soft spot for these guys?
On 19 October 2012, Morsi traveled to Egypt's northwestern Matrouh in his first official visit to deliver a speech on Egyptian unity at el-Tenaim Mosque. Immediately prior to his speech he participated in prayers there where he openly mouthed "Amen" as cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, the local head of religious endowment, declared, "Deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord." The prayers were broadcast on Egyptian state television and translated by MEMRI. Originally MEMRI translated the broadcast as "Destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder," but later revised their translation.
Anyway I don't want to hash too much of this stuff out and lose you so I will stick to just a couple points and then go away, knowing how many of you hate politics.

Samantha Power announced yesterday that the United States will no longer stand in the way with a veto in the event of a Palestinian Statehood vote at the United Nations. This is a significant departure, announced obliquely a few weeks ago. Not that I necessarily blame the Palestinians here, might do the very same thing if I was in their shoes.

But Israel faces its own conundrum. Obama has secretly negotiated with their sworn enemy Iran for the last two years, an enemy that repeatedly pledges to eradicate them.

I think that the Israelis can be forgiven for not believing this President in terms of his security assurances, a President that has continually shown them the back of his hand. The so called first jewish President, lecturing them about their moral failings and about what it means to be jewish. Like Caitlyn Jenner lecturing you on what it means to be a woman. I don't think Obama cares one way or another about Israel's survival, he has no skin in the game and he plainly doesn't like those people. But he gets no small sense of moral superiority wagging a priggish finger in certain people's face.

Obama had a recent interview with the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg that was sort of illuminating. He doesn't want the Saudis to upgrade their nuclear infrastructure to match his newfound bff's, the Iranian Shia.
...One thing he does not want Saudi Arabia to do is to build a nuclear infrastructure to match the infrastructure Iran will be allowed to keep in place as part of its agreement with the great powers. “Their covert—presumably—pursuit of a nuclear program would greatly strain the relationship they’ve got with the United States,” Obama said of the Saudis. 
...Obama talked about what he called his love for the Jewish state; his frustrations with it when it fails to live up to both Jewish and universal values; and his hope that, one day soon, its leaders, including and especially its prime minister, will come to understand Israel’s stark choices as he understands Israel’s stark choices. And, just as he did with Saudi Arabia, Obama issued a warning to Israel: If it proves unwilling to live up to its values—in this case, he made specific mention of Netanyahu’s seemingly flawed understanding of the role Israel’s Arab citizens play in its democratic order—the consequences could be profound.
Why do I feel patronized when this man attempts to lecture me on real jewish values?

Here is a good one, Obama going to bat for his new allies:
“Well the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival. It doesn’t preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn’t preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations. You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism, Jeff, there were a whole lot of European leaders—and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country—”
Europe and America were antisemitic and it didn't hurt too much, did it?

I think the man has a serious messiah complex. You can trust him because he is putting his name on it, like a magic spell. A quite superior human being. The wise wizard, a holy man like Gandalf sent to provide light and hope in a darkened world.
...he holds Israel to a higher standard than he does other countries because of the respect he has for Jewish values and Jewish teachings, and for the role Jewish mentors and teachers have played in his life. After equating the creation of Israel with the American civil-rights movement, he went on to say this: “What is also true, by extension, is that I have to show that same kind of regard to other peoples. And I think it is true to Israel’s traditions and its values—its founding principles—that it has to care about … Palestinian kids. And when I was in Jerusalem and I spoke, the biggest applause that I got was when I spoke about those kids I had visited in Ramallah, and I said to a Israeli audience that it is profoundly Jewish, it is profoundly consistent with Israel’s traditions to care about them. And they agreed. So if that’s not translated into policy—if we’re not willing to take risks on behalf of those values—then those principles become empty words, and in fact, in my mind, it makes it more difficult for us to continue to promote those values when it comes to protecting Israel internationally.”
I don't think Obama is the best friend the Israelis have ever had, I do think that he has sacrificed their security for a handful of beads and worthless empty promises.

He also talked with Israel Channel 2's Ilana Dayan. Worth a listen if you have a minute. Mildly condescending, lecturing certain people how enlightened people are supposed to act.

Obama is trying to sound like a swell guy here,  He wants the Israelis to embrace the arabs "best possibilities, not to be so skeptical.  And stop being so mean to the Palestinians. You can read the full transcript here.
I.D.: There’s a remarkably sincere observation you made once -- you said, “Nothing comes to my desk that is perfectly solvable.”  And you said, “Any given decision I make, I wind up with a 30 to 40 percent chance that it isn’t going to work.”  I’m afraid Israelis cannot afford even three to four percent chance you’re wrong, Mr. President, because if you are, the bomb will hit Tel Aviv first.
P.O.:  Well, let’s back up on this.  We know that Iran, prior to me coming into office, had gone from a few hundred centrifuges to thousands.  We know that the potential breakout time for Iran, if it chose to build a bomb, is a matter potentially of months today instead of years.
And seeing that, I came in and organized an international coalition -- including countries like Russia and China that tend not to be very sympathetic to sanctions regimes -- and we have imposed the most effective sanctions on Iran over the course of the last five years that has led them to essentially lose a decade, perhaps, of economic growth.
At the time, people were skeptical.  They said, oh, sanctions aren’t going to work.  Then we were able to force Iran to the negotiating table because of the effectiveness of the sanctions.  And I said that in exchange for some modest relief in sanctions, Iran is going to have to freeze its nuclear program, roll back on its stockpiles of very highly enriched uranium -- the very stockpiles that Prime Minister Netanyahu had gone before the United Nations with his picture of the bomb and said that was proof of how dangerous this was -- all that stockpile is gone.
And in fact, at that time, everybody said, this isn’t going to work.  They’re going to cheat.  They’re not going to abide by it.  And yet, over a year and a half later, we know that they have abided by the letter of it.
So we have I think shown that we are able to construct a mechanism, if, in fact, we get an agreement, to verify that all four pathways to a nuclear weapon are shut off.
I.D.: But what if they take the $100 million showered at them after sanctions are lifted and not take them to build movie theaters and hospitals in Tehran, but rather divert it to military use?
P.O.: Okay, so that’s a different question, though.
The Iranians are now saying no inspections of military facilities will be allowed. And a few other sites are off limits too. But our President doesn't appear to be phased by islamic intransigence. It doesn't bother him. Why the double standard?
...and it is true that out of $100 billion or $150 billion, of course the IRGC, the Quds Force, they’re going to want to get their piece.  But the fact is, is that the great danger that the region has faced from Iran is not because they have so much money.  Their budget -- their military budget is $15 billion compared to $150 billion for the Gulf States -- I just met with them. They have a low-tech but very effective mechanism of financing proxies, of creating chaos in regions.  And they’ve also shown themselves, regardless of sanctions, to be willing to finance Hezbollah with rockets and others even in the face of sanctions.So the question then becomes are they going to suddenly be able to finance 10 times the number of Hezbollah fighters?  Probably not. Barack Obama
If you were an Israeli, would you trust this President? Was he a friend or a foe?


Anonymous said...

Tick, tick, tick....war is coming....tick....tick....tick....

Blue Heron said...

the absence of war is not necessarily peace.

Anonymous said...

I) absolutely true.
2) All standards, mores, expectations, etc. must be revalidated in the Middle East meat grinder where anything including reality is subject to re-evaluation and where even God has to watch his back.