"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Friday, March 6, 2009

The Cruelty of Obama's Mid-East Naivety

You should read this sobering editorial by Caroline Glick.

I'm afraid I must agree with her assessment of Obama and Kerry's policy toward the Middle East. Israel's position is being eroded by American diplomacy, and Obama has accepted a nuclear Iran. Obama said as much during a campaign visit to my home state, Oregon. Strutting about on stage while holding a microphone like a televangelist, Obama called Iran a tiny country. Smiling and speaking to us in a tone both condescending and fatherly-- as if what he is telling us is so obvious as to be ridiculous, Obama arrogantly stated: "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us . . . . Iran, they spend 1/100th of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance." Then he called on us to courageously listen to our enemies and ignore the whole situation.

He retracted the "tiny country" notion the next day, obviously under the advice of a campaign manager or poll-watcher, but current policies hold his initial remark as being his real belief. It also jibes with Obama's personality as well-- being haughty, self-assured and naive.

The aim of Iraq to be a stabilizing democracy was held in contempt by the left (apparently believing that their "inferior" Iraqis are incapable of such an achievement). Now, while on the cusp of achieving great steps toward that goal, Obama has announced the US would be abandoning Iraq. Much has been made of the fact that troop levels won't really drop all that much beyond the Pentagon's timeline. Yet, Obama has bluntly stated that his policy will put Iraq on its own. How long can they last against a nuclear Iran, especially if the US refuses to be bothered to cultivate a relationship?

The US seems intent on strong-arming Israel to concede territory back to Syria, a move that would put Israel at a greater tactical disadvantage and provide further prime real estate for terrorist rocket batteries. The US's motives are cloaked in language referring to some ill-formed and insubstantial idea of peace, but what the US seems most intent on is appeasement. Obama and the rest seem to believe that Iran and the fundamentalists' hatred of America is directly related to Israel. The belief seems to be if Israel were to concede to their demands (which Israel has done in the past resulting in their daily rocket barrages from Gaza), then the US and Iran/Syria/Hamas would warm as a result. By their logic, I suppose, should Israel cease to exist (a frequently restated demand of Iran, et al) and the Israelis driven into the ocean then the US and Iran would be the closest of friends.

Of course this assumption that Israel is the only cause of American hatred is nonsense. While the US's support of Israel certainly has not helped relations with Iran and the rest, the relationship has been full of hostility and distrust ever since the beginning of the Cold War. Even if we ignore the long history of violence and hatred between the East and West in that part of the world (Persian Empire vs. Classical Age Greeks, Alexander vs. Persian Empire, Rome vs. Parthians, Ottomans' vs Byzantines, the Moorish invasion of Europe, the Crusades, etc.), and it's a lot to ignore, the US itself has a long history of antipathy with the Mid-East. From the Cold War alliances, the US's meddling with various Middle Eastern governments, to the view of the US as another colonial power, there is much history to cause friction. This even discounts the antithetical religious, moral and political differences that define our two cultures. Focusing on Israel as the sole cause of our problems with the Middle East is foolish and naive to say the least.

It is inconceivable to me that Obama administration seems so wholly uninterested human rights-- without even the Cold War as a mitigating factor. Hamas spent a fair amount of time beating, murdering, kidnapping Fatah members following the IDF's withdrawal from Gaza (but the US still voices hopes for a Fatah/Hamas governed Palestinian state). Iran regularly hangs homosexuals, stones to death women convicted of adultery. This isn't an Iranian secret. The regime is proud of these laws. Opposition members and journalists routinely disappear in Iran. Some are never heard from again. These factions don't just disregard Israeli lives, they disregard their own people's lives. These tyrants are who we wish to appease? This leadership is who Obama hopes to open a dialogue with?

Obama appears to care very little about all of this anyway. His focus is on the domestic-- nationalizing banks and energy in the name of stability and stimulus, bringing DMV bureaucracy and efficiency to our health care system, etc. This naive "Israel is the roadblock to peace" stance suits his domestic focus just fine. It's simple both in concept and action. Why try to deal with hard-line and unobliging tyrannies when our friend and ally, the democracy Israel, can be more easily coerced? Let Iran enrich uranium, we have a "financial crisis" to deal with, the "worst economic downturn since the Great Depression!" Cut Israel's foreign aid, give them unreasonable pre-conditions for our support. Push the Israelis to let go of the West Bank, to give them land and appease the Iranian proxy Hamas and Syria. We're busy now, hard at work implementing universal health care. It's the convenient position. After all, it's far easier thing to betray a friend than to confront an enemy.

And if Iran goes nuclear? No need to worry... it's just a tiny country.

And if Iran threatens to destroy Tel Aviv in a nuclear strike? No need to worry...Obama tells us, smiling at the ridiculousness of it all. Israel is just a tiny country. How are they good for our economy? Would we even miss it?


  1. It does seem incomprehensible that U.S. leaders would be so willing to sell out Israel, not to mention our own security and that of the rest of the world. Until, of course, one recalls the Bill Clinton/Jimmy Carter fiasco of a deal that not only permitted North Korea to develop nuclear weapons but actually financed a good chunk of that development through monies they allowed themselves to believe would feed North Korea's hungry. Bill, Carter, Hillary, Kerry, and Obama all have different motivations, to be sure, but they all believe that they are far superior to the rest of (dispensible) us.

  2. I think you're correct Quite Rightly about the "wishful thinking" aspect of certain left-thinking politicians (right-thinking as well at times). I can fully understand the desire for people to wish and look for the best in people from other cultures, and although it can be naive, it can also be admirable (if that makes any sense).

    But I think the Obama Admin. is motivated by expediency rather than moral wishfullness. Their wishful thinking is not looking for the best in people, but rather avoiding controversy and taking the path of least resistance hoping that the US citizens don't notice or care much about their questionable policies. This is different to me from a Jimmy Carter-- a man I disagree with, but respect as being sincere in his beliefs and moral convictions.

    And yes, you're quite right. The North Korean deal was a fiasco.