Sunday, March 21, 2010

Obama Goes to War against Israel

With his Iran policy lying in shambles around his feet Barack Obama has set out to find someone to blame. Given his background it should come as no surprise that he has chosen a perennial scapegoat: Israel.

After bowing down to assorted despots and potentates, and after advertising his weakness for all the world to see, Obama seems to feel compelled to show the world how tough he really is. As is his wont, he does it by attacking his friends, the ones who are least likely to strike back.

If there is a better definition of cowardice, I have not seen it.

Remember that Obama offered an open hand of engagement to the mullahs in Iran. He wagered that his geniality and overall niceness would persuade them to negotiate away their nuclear energy and weapons program. He set deadlines for compliance and tried to line up other nations to impost tough sanctions.

Apparently, he thought that all his talk about aggressive diplomacy would show the world how strong he was. The world, beginning with Iran, was happy to greet his display of weakness by ignoring all of his threats.

As Iran develops a nuclear weapon, causing some serious realignments in the Middle East, Obama's deadlines come and go, his erstwhile allies shrug off his call for sanctions, and he concludes that he must do something to show the world how tough guy is. Thus, he attacks Israel.

Everyone except Obama knows that apologizing for your country is bad form, a sign of bad character, and proof of weakness. And it is not a sign of strength when you choose as Secretary of State a woman whose primary qualification for public office was her ability to absorb repeated humiliations.

Perhaps Obama knew something that the rest of us did not see. Who better than Hillary to travel to Brazil a few weeks ago and be humiliated by Brazilian president Lula da Silva. In her presence, to her face, Lula announced that he had no real interest in sanctioning Iran for building nuclear weapons.

And who better than Hillary to stand last week next to Vladimir Putin and allow herself to be humiliated in public. In a news conference, to her face, Putin dressed down the Secretary of State by reciting a litany of grievances against the United States.

Now we know how Putin understood Obama's foreign policy reset.

Whatever you think of Obama, the world has clearly taken his measure and found him to be seriously wanting. Given his fundamental weakness and inability to defend American pride in his dealings with foreign leaders, Obama provoked some serious diplomatic maneuvering to fill the power vacuum.

That is what it means when foreign leaders humiliate the American Secretary of State in public.

Aspiring world leaders show their own strength by dressing down the United States diplomatically, with impunity. So much for tough diplomacy.

Now Obama seems compelled to show the world how strong he is. Terrified that people will believe that he cannot govern or is too weak to lead he has decided to force his health care reform bill through the Congress.

A victory is a victory. Or so he thinks. Apparently, Obama has never heard of Pyrrhus and his eponymous concept of the pyrrhic victory.

If Obama's pursuit of health care reform is supposed to cast him as a strong and commanding leader, apparently Vladimir Putin didn't get the message.

Obama is less Eisenhower or McArthur or even Churchill, but, as Brit Hume said this morning, he is more like Captain Ahab pursuing the great white whale.

In foreign policy Obama seems to believe that his pursuit of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan does not qualify as proof of toughness. After all, he is doing little more than extending the foreign policy of the much reviled-- by him, at least-- George Bush.

No, Obama wants to show the world how tough he is by taking on Israel. When you are looking for scapegoats, why not try the Jews. So says Caroline Glick in her article: "Obama's War on Israel." Link here.

What is he thinking? Does he imagine that the mullahs will think he's their friend because he's the enemy of their enemy? Does he imagine that betraying an ally makes him look strong and resolute? Is there nothing he is unwilling to sell out in order to be on good terms with Iran's proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Glick states the obvious, with exemplary clarity. Obama has rejected his predecessor's policy of aligning our country with the only advanced industrialized democracy in the Middle East. And he does not want to be an honest broker in the interminable dispute between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Instead, Obama has openly and clearly sided with the Palestinians, and with all of the Middle Eastern tyrants and terrorists who believe that all of their societal and economic ills are of Israel's making.

As Obama demands more and more unilateral concessions from Israel, it is acting, Glick says, like the Palestinians who respond to Israeli concessions by demanding more concessions.

When Hillary Clinton can state, on behalf of America, that the onus of proving itself willing to make peace lies with the Israelis, you know that things have gone from bad to worse. Not a word about Palestinian intransigence; no condemnations of Palestinian violence against Israel. Save your fire for the Israelis, when they defend themselves of when they try to house their population.

Obama's policy reset has effected America. One consequence, Glick adds, is that public support for Israel has been dropping across America. Who is leading this abandonment of Israel. Who else but liberal American Jews. Link here.

Given a choice between their ideals and their loyalty to Israel, liberal American Jews are happy to choose their ideals.

Lusting as they are after the pipe dream of peace with the Palestinians, Jewish writers like Tom Friedman of the Times and Richard Cohen of the Washington Post have decided that now is the time to get tough with Israel.

They may imagine that this shows them to be tougher than tough. In fact, as the world knows, and as they are about to find out, the world has better judgment. Its leaders know the difference between the real thing and a cheap imitation.

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