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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Why Israel is nervous

In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, former Bush administration diplomat Elliott Abrams gives a summary of US - Israel relations over the years and discusses what's different between tensions in relations with previous administrations and those in the Age of Obama. The entire article is a must-read. Here's his bottom line (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
Israelis have learned the hard way that reality cannot be ignored and that ideology offers no protection from danger. Four wars and a constant battle against terrorism sobered them up, and made them far less susceptible than most audiences to the Obama speeches that charmed Americans, Europeans, and many Muslim nations. A policy based in realism would help the Palestinians prepare for an eventual state while we turn our energies toward the real challenge confronting the entire region: what is to be done about Iran as it faces its first internal crisis since the regime came to power in 1979.

Mrs. Clinton recently decried “rigid ideologies and old formulas,” but the tension with Israel shows the administration is—up to now—following the old script that attributes every problem in the region to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while all who live there can see that developments in Iran are in fact the linchpin of the region’s future. The Obama administration’s “old formulas” have produced the current tensions with Israel. They will diminish only if the administration adopts a more realistic view of what progress is possible, and what dangers lurk, in the Middle East.
At Contentions, Jennifer Rubin comments (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The takeaway here is deeply sobering. Ideologues don’t accept new evidence or recognize that their theories aren’t bearing fruit. Failures are always attributed to a lack of time or effort. We simply have to keep at it, we will be told. That does not bode well for a course correction. They have their worldview, and they are sticking with it.

So don’t expect much to change so long as the Obama team “attributes every problem in the region to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while all who live there can see that developments in Iran are in fact the linchpin of the region’s future.” And don’t expect the Obama team to admit error or reverse course. For people who have decried, as Hillary Clinton put it, “rigid ideologies and old formulas,” they are, for the foreseeable future, sticking with theirs.
The Obama administration came into office criticizing the Bush administration for unnecessarily escalating tensions with countries like Iran and Syria. It said it wanted to press the 'reset' button on relations with those countries.

But all Obama has done is substitute one ideology for another. Obama has sacrificed friendly relations with Israel, Colombia, Honduras, the United Kingdom, Georgia, Ukraine, South Korea and other former US allies to pander to the likes of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Cuba's Fidel and Raoul Castro, North Korea's Kim Jong Il, and of course, unrepentant Fatah terrorist Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen. He has gained nothing from his new friends in return. And yet, he dogmatically continues to pursue his ideology of 'engagement' as if there's a shot in hell that any of those countries or the 'Palestinians' are going to take even the smallest step in the direction that the United States - including Obama - would like them to move.

What could go wrong?


At 12:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

For people who say they're realists, they're not dealing with the world the way it is. Realists don't try to change the world to their liking. Yet that is what the Obama Administration is seeking to do in the Middle East.

What could go wrong indeed

At 2:20 AM, Blogger citizen alan said...

I'm curious why crap like this is on the front page of Yahoo.


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