Monday, February 8, 2016

Obama Against Israel

When Barack Obama agreed to a deal that would facilitate Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and would grant it over $100,000,000,000 to develop new weapons systems and to support Hamas, he told Israel that he would increase the foreign aid he gave to them. The increase would help Israel counter the increased Iranian threat.

That was yesterday. Today, Debkafile, an Israeli source, tells us, the Obama administration has reneged on its agreement.

It reports:

US President Barack Obama has retracted on his pledge of an extra defense package to compensate Israel for the damage caused its security by the nuclear deal concluded with Iran last year. This flat refusal, reported here by debkafile’s Washington sources, confronted Israeli officials when they met last week with heads of the National Security Council at the White House.

Asked to define its new requirements, Israel asked the administration for an additional $1.9 billion, which would have upped the total to $5 billion per annum for the next five years. The officials explained that Israel’s defense bill had been inflated substantially by the new perils looming from the current Middle East wars, and the windfall Iran had gained from the lifting of sanctions for its advanced ballistic missiles programs and for enhancing its allies' aggressive capacity, especially that of Hizballah.

Israel is now beset additionally by adverse Russian military operations in southern Syria and looming ISIS threats on multiple fronts, at a time that the Arab states are stuffing their armories with advanced weapons from Russia and China.

The US officials explained that, because of cutbacks in US defense spending, it would not be possible to add a single dollar to Israel’s regular $3.1 billion appropriation. After notifying Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of this refusal, the Israeli delegation was advised to reduce its application to $900 million. This too was refused.

Remind me of how many Jewish Americans supported Barack Obama in two elections. Remind me of how much they contributed to his campaigns. And remind me of how many of them still believe that he has been doing a great job. How many of them are readying themselves to vote for Obama's secretary of state, a woman whose emails contain many suggestions about how to hurt Israel. Link here.

True enough, Obama is not the president of Israel. Yet, his policies in the Middle East have consistently sided with Iran against the interests of Israel and the interests of the Sunni Arabs:

That Obama administration policies have substantially promoted Iran’s political and military interests and exacerbated its menace to the region is an argument that finds no listeners in the Washington of today, whether it comes from Israel or the Persian Gulf.


Chris Mallory said...

Why should the interests of Israel have any bearing on the policies of the US government? It is time to put America first and to toss Israel and AIPAC to the curb.

Scullman said...

Spoken like a true anti-semite (here's where you insert the claim of all your many jewish friends) but I disagree, if for no other reason than the sheer delight of watching the continued U.S. support for a fantastically successful, and resourceful nation, who's vitality and guts has been driving the shiftless, lazy, corrupt and spiteful legions of Arab camel f@ckers that surround them crazy, for as long as I can remember.

The show must go on.

Sam L. said...

Tell me, Chris, why should we not support a democracy which is beset on all sides (except possibly the Med Sea coast) by Arabs and Muslims who agree with Nazi Germany that Jews must be eradicated, and who live in a 21st century world with 11th century values?

Ares Olympus said...

My problem is I don't simply believe everything I read on the internet. I wonder if some people write stuff on the internet that may have no basis in reality, whether because of personal bias or paranoia, or a direct desire to deceive. Generally I accept "good faith", that people believe their own thoughts. Life is less confusing that way. On the other hand, Rush Limbaugh said "Never trust the facts of people with causes", although you still have to guess what cause they're selling.

In any case its hard to tell what and who you should trust, unless you yourself have a special access to direct knowledge. (I do remember Ben Carson saying he had better intelligence than the president of the United States, so its good to know the right people you can trust with your life.)

And even if you have special knowledge, do you find one contradiction or major error and completely discount the source in all other information? There's no right answers.

So who is DebkaFile?
DEBKAfile (Hebrew: תיק דבקה‎) is an Israeli military intelligence website based in Jerusalem, providing commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, national security, military and international relations, with a particular focus on the Middle East. It is available in both English and Hebrew. The word "Debka" refers to an Arab folk dance.
Forbes identifies the archives as the best part of the website, but warns that "most of the information is attributed to unidentified sources."

I think I'll wait for someone willing to quote Debka and see what they say about articles like this.

Let's see? Here's a strong negative opinion, although strange, mixing in bible verses.

Basically it sounds like news sources like this are intentionally hit+miss - say everything just in case something in there is true. If you read 100 juicy facts that no one else is saying 2% of them are important, and 80% of them are based on too much nonsense to have any useful truth, but you don't know which is which. Still, if you think you're in the know, you can know 98% of wrong and useless things along with 2% right and important things, and forget the 98% once you learn its garbage.

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

p.s. Here's the historical aid to Israel from the US, being at $3.115 billion per year since 2013.

Interestingly the aid level was lowest during the Bush administration, or 2001-2009. Probably Bush was also against Israel.

I just don't understand why Israel is begging for money at all. What are they welfare queens or something?

Larry Sheldon said...

Again the lesson to learn is "Do not read the comments. Here or anywhere.

But a quick response to the worst two:

Israel's interests ARE the interests of the USA.

Israel is not "begging for money".

Israel is begging for us to stop supporting our and Israel's enemies.

Ares Olympus said...

Apparently I'm not the first fool to question whether Israel is acting like Ronald Reagan's infamous Welfare queen, 68,000 google matches, although you have to look at the context for each.

Certainly $3 billion dollars/year ($389/capita), can't make the difference between survival and destruction in a $300B economy, but Israel must see there are "strings attached", and given the U.S. irrational Christian dispensationalism is a major political factor in republican support, I think dignity would be improved by saying "No thanks, we don't want your Armageddon."

Anyway, here's a Welfare queen essay blog from 2009:
Many Americans seem to think that giving Israel a blank check to amass limitless weapons and use them however it wishes is doing the Israeli people a favor. Alas, Washington has created the world’s ultimate welfare queen: by providing Israel as gifts with no strings attached the military and economic resources to dominate the Mideast, Washington has made Israel irresponsible. Since Israel feels, so far correctly, that it can do whatever it wants and leave the U.S. to pay the bill, Israel is losing all sense of proportion, becoming heedless of the consequences of its behavior.

Even if Washington politicians, mindful of the reverse flow of Israeli funds into their re-election coffers, never turn off the tap, the question of whether or not Israel can continue to move at will throughout the Mideast with a foreign policy based on the theory that its neighbors “only understand the language of force” should be of real concern to the Israel people. ...

But Israel’s predicament goes beyond the relative balance of regional military power. Israel is increasingly finding that military solutions to social, economic, and political problems simply do not exist. ...

Yet even all that is not the sum total of Israel’s dilemma, for, in truth, gifts do have strings. What can be given, can be withheld. Israel is only the Mideast superpower until Washington turns off the tap. Now that Israeli hubris has reached the point of vetoing critical American national security appointees, blatantly sabotaging highly sensitive U.S. foreign policy initiatives, and trying to push the U.S. into yet another war against a Moslem society, the tap may just be turned off.

Israeli patriots should pray that it will be…before it is too late for the security of the Israeli people. The longer the welfare queen flaunts her wealth before her neighbors, the more they will hunger for revenge. The more accustomed the welfare queen becomes to her unearned lifestyle, the harder it will be for her to adjust to being just another working stiff.

The longer Israel is spoiled by being allowed to play by special rules, the greater will be the shock to Israeli society when the world tells Israel to grow up and act like everyone else. ...

It has in recent decades become clear that handing welfare checks to the poor or giving free food to poor societies does not work. Don’t give a man a fish; teach him to fish. Israel is showing that welfare works no better for countries than it does for individuals. Endless presents are addictive. It is simply a fact of human nature that we do not appreciate an endless supply of gifts. The mere fact that the gifts are endless and free somehow cheapens them; they end up being neither appreciated nor cared for, and, ironically, they end up not even serving the intended purpose.

sestamibi said...

"Remind me of how many Jewish Americans supported Barack Obama in two elections. Remind me of how much they contributed to his campaigns. And remind me of how many of them still believe that he has been doing a great job. How many of them are readying themselves to vote for Obama's secretary of state, a woman whose emails contain many suggestions about how to hurt Israel."

That's because American Jews couldn't give a shit about what happens to Israel. In fact, they are so in thrall to all things Third World that if Hitler were non-white they'd be lining up for the gas chambers. I have confronted my Holocaust-survivor mother-in-law about this many times, and as much as it offends her, I won't back off because it's true. And at the same time she maintains her unswerving faith in liberalism and the Democratic party that's destroying our people.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: When Barack Obama agreed to a deal that would facilitate Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and would grant it over $100,000,000,000 to develop new weapons systems and to support Hamas...

About that $100 billion, I wonder how Israel would feel if we used financial warfare to block their access to $100 billion dollars of their own money, on the demand they gave up their nuclear weapons, and destroy all the illegal settlements?

And in that imagined future, when Israel finally complied with our blackmail, and surrenders sovereignty so we can inspect all their secret facilities, with their economy on the brink of destruction, should we worry they're going to be buying weapons to terrorize their neighbors?

Iran ought to be pissed, but they may not be as stupid as we assume.
But Iran’s leaders know how much money is at stake, and how it can be used. It is implausible that, after the supreme leader allowed Rouhani to be elected president in 2013 on a platform pledging economic recovery — in part, through promises of sanctions relief — he would support initiatives that leave the Iranian population in the cold in order to protect foreign groups and leaders like Assad.

Since the U.N. intensified sanctions against Iran in 2010, it has only grown more desperate. For example, the country’s oil sector now needs anywhere from $50 to $100 billion in investment to improve production, a point that Iranian officials, including Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, have emphasized repeatedly over the past two years. External investment was cut off by sanctions, and Iran has not had the spare capital to maintain, much less improve, its facilities. Nor has it enjoyed access to new technologies that could enhance oil field productivity.
Lest observers assume that Iran would have turned its entire economy into a terrorism-financing machine if only it had the money, consider the fact that the most intensive sanctions on the country are only 3 years old. Before January 2012, oil sales were bringing in nearly $88 billion annually, money that Tehran largely spent as any government would: on domestic and foreign-policy priorities — not solely to back anti-Western interests.
Consequently, it is much more likely that only a portion of the liberated $100 billion and any future revenues will go to support Tehran’s regional adventurism. No one knows how much, but experts have made some educated guesses. Eli Lake’s recent survey of a variety of analysts in Bloomberg View suggests that Iran sends the Assad regime anywhere from $3.5 to $20 billion a year, figures that pale in comparison to annual military spending by the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

And that article was written 6 months ago since the collapse of global oil prices. So Iran now can try to increase their oil production, and help depress oil prices even more.

It's a bad time to be an oil saleman.

But we know prices will increase again soon enough, even if never soon enough for producers, but perhaps we should devote our attention to reducing our demands on oil even further, and keep oil prices low as long as possible, until we don't care about importing oil any more.

If there was ever a good time for an expanded gas tax, its right now, AT LEAST to cover our own road and bridge repairs.
At the bottom line, the US would have to invest $3.6 trillion to bring it all up to snuff by 2020. ... The Congressional Budget Office expects the Highway Trust Fund to have an annual shortfall of $15 billion. In 2014, we consumed about 136.78 billion gallons

So we could use at minimum a $15 billion dollars / $136.78 billon gallons = $0.11/gallon increase gasoline tax. And that only covers current budgets, not including the recommended budgets.

We got problems as Trump says.

Scullman said...

Hey, AO, what kind of a cut-and-paste asshole are you, anyway? When did Israel run it's people through the streets of it's capitol city chanting "Death to The Zionist Dog" every Friday? When did Israel storm the American Embassy and takes its occupants hostage for a fucking year, or produce EFP roadside bombs to kill American soldiers in Iraq, or declare that another country doesn't have the right to exist on the planet and proclaim it's intention to obliterate it?

News Flash, moron: Israel could turn the Islamic Iranian State into a heap of melted glass today if it wanted to. Not tens years from now, after the douchebags in Iran figure out how to weaponize uranium, not after they finally understand how to work a fucking centrifuge correctly, right now, moron. Today.

And they'd be doing the entire world a favor.

Ares Olympus said...

Scullman, that's big talk. It sounds like you're ready for a military invasion of Iran?

You can be sure as long as Israel reserves the right to "the Islamic Iranian State into a heap of melted glass" you can be sure Iran would like to return the favor.

Hatred is contagious and convincing to all sides of a fight.

Israel is certainly in a vulnerable position, and I have no envy for it.