"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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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Obama Setting up Israel to Take a Fall

With all the excitement over Obama's various domestic proposals (health care, Cap & Trade etc.), it is easy to forget the realm of international relations. Obama's policy of apologies (for the actions of others) and appeasement have so far proven to be a dismal failure. To make matters worse, Obama now seems to be intent to blame Israel for his failures (more convenient than Republicans I suppose).

Check out this piece "The rigged game" by Caroline Glick.

From Glick's op/ed:

"What the Guardian account shows is an Obama administration looking to blame Israel for the failure of its policy of attempting to appease the likes of Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Come September, US President Barack Obama is going to have a difficult time of it. He set a September deadline for his strategy of diplomatically courting the mullahs. This policy involves deferring further sanctions against Teheran and all but openly renouncing the option of using military force to destroy Iran's nuclear installations while waiting politely for the mullahs to sit down for tea with US officials.

"Far from accepting Obama's offer, the Iranians have spit on it. Indeed, they have been too busy brutalizing their own people and building bombs and missiles to even respond to him directly. Instead, they have signaled their contempt for Obama by promoting known arch-terrorists to high office. For instance, Ahmadinejad just appointed Ahmad Vahidi, the suspected mastermind of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia where 19 US servicemen and women were murdered to serve as defense minister.

"In support of Obama's appeasement efforts, both the House and the Senate Foreign Relations committees set aside veto-proof bills that would place sanctions on companies exporting refined fuel to Iran. But Congress, now on summer recess, reconvenes in September and members are anxiously awaiting a green light from the White House to put the bills before a vote.

"So unless something saves him, Obama will look like quite a fool next month. His appeasement policy has given the mullahs eight precious months of unimpeded work at their nuclear installations. Their uranium enrichment facility at Natanz is now operating some 5,000 centrifuges, with another 2,400 centrifuges about to go on line. That is an eightfold increase in centrifuge activity from a year ago.

"Obama now turns to Israel to avoid embarrassment. If he can convince Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the White House will only get serious about Iran's nuclear weapons program if Netanyahu freezes Jewish building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, then Obama can present his sudden willingness to sign on to veto-proof congressional sanctions legislation not as a consequence of his own failure, but as a result of Israeli pressure.

"If Obama succeeds in getting Netanyahu on board, the American media discussion of sanctions will focus on the issue of Israeli power over US policy. The so-called Israel lobby will be pummeled as pundits argue about whether Obama was right or wrong to succumb to Israeli pressure to support congressional sanctions. No one will remember that Obama was forced to support the sanctions because he had no other choice, since next month his engagement policy will become indefensible.

"On the other hand, if Israel refuses to play ball and doesn't provide Obama with a concession which he will be 'forced' to pay for with a harder line on Iran, then he will still have to adopt a harder line. In this case, however, it will be attributed to the failure of his appeasement policy toward Iran rather than to the success of his Middle East diplomacy against Israel.

"Obama's apparent interest in setting Israel up as the fall guy for the failure of his engagement policy is the same policy he will doubtless follow if matters continue on course and Teheran acquires nuclear weapons. At that point, Obama can be counted on to claim that it was Israel's recalcitrance in the negotiations with the Palestinians or the Syrians or the Lebanese that forced the mullahs' hands. That is, he will say it is the absence of 'progress' in the 'peace process' due to whatever imagined Israeli intransigence that made it impossible for the Iranian 'moderates' to convince the 'hardliners' to give up their nuclear weapons program.

"In Obama's defense, it should be noted that at least he worries about being embarrassed by the failure of his Iran policy. He knows that the overwhelming majority of Americans consider Iran to be an enemy of their country. In a poll of US voters taken in May, some 80 percent of Americans claimed that a nuclear-armed Iran would constitute a threat to US national security and 57% said that Israel would be justified in launching a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear installations."

Read the entirety of Glick's analysis. It is well worth the time.

Obama's realization that his dogmas and agendas are so out-of-step with the majority American people has caused him to fall back upon his blame-the-others strategies. This is hardly surprising, especially to those familiar with academic circles. In the privileged and sequestered realm of academia, egos, grants, budgets and emotional attachments to pet theories combine to produce a constant wrangling which often results in the more pedestrian forms of political deceit-- namely blaming others and loudly calling opponents liars. This is especially true when dealing with the highly interpretive soft sciences (such as literary theory).

Much has been made of Obama's scholarly background, mostly by those who have little actual understanding of the internal workings of academia. Perhaps they're correct in ways they never meant. After all, the pettiness, arrogance, and simplistic outlook the Obama administration regularly displays is right out of faculty hallways.

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