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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Wikileaks shows: The unreal world of Barack Obama

I could be wrong but I know of only two countries in the World where there have been strong, negative reactions to the Wikileaks disclosures: Iran and the United States. In the Arab world, there is embarrassment about the exposure of the extent to which the Arabs are worried about Iran. In Europe, there is bemusement. And in Israel, there is satisfaction topped with a bit of smugness. But thw two countries who are downright angry about Wikileaks are Iran and the US.

In Iran they're angry because it exposes for their people just how isolated Iran is in the World. In the US, the general public feels angry because they feel violated. And the Obama administration feels violated because the Wikileaks show the full extent to which the President of the United States is living on his own planet detached from reality.
American career diplomats have been telling their masters in the Obama administration that every theater of American policy is in full-blown rout, forwarding to Washington the growing alarm of foreign leaders. In April 2008, for example, Saudi Arabia's envoy to the US Adel al-Jubeir told General David Petraeus that King Abdullah wanted the US "to cut off the head of the [Iranian] snake" and "recalled the king's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program".

Afghani President Hamid Karzai warned the US that Pakistan was forcing Taliban militants to keep fighting rather than accept his peace offers. Pakistani government officials, other cables warn, might sell nuclear material to terrorists.

The initial reports suggest that the US State Department has massive evidence that Obama's approach - "engaging" Iran and coddling Pakistan - has failed catastrophically. The crisis in diplomatic relations heralded by the press headlines is not so much a diplomatic problem - America's friends and allies in Western and Central Asia have been shouting themselves hoarse for two years - but a crisis of American credibility.

Not one Muslim government official so much as mentioned the issues that have occupied the bulk of Washington's attention during the past year, for example, Israeli settlements. The Saudis, to be sure, would prefer the elimination of all Israeli settlements; for that matter, they would prefer the eventual elimination of the state of Israel. In one conversation with a senior White House official, Saudi King Abdullah stated categorically that Iran, not Palestine, was his main concern; while a solution to the Arab/Israeli conflict would be a great achievement, Iran would find other ways to cause trouble.

"Iran's goal is to cause problems," Abdullah added. "There is no doubt something unstable about them." There never has been a shred of evidence that an Israeli-Palestinian agreement would help America contain Iran's nuclear threat. The deafening silence over this issue in the diplomatic cables is the strongest refutation of this premise to date.

How do we explain the gaping chasm between Obama's public stance and the facts reported by the diplomatic corps? The cables do not betray American secrets so much as American obliviousness. The simplest and most probable explanation is that the president is a man obsessed by his own vision of a multipolar world, in which America will shrink its standing to that of one power among many, and thus remove the provocation on which Obama blames the misbehavior of the Iranians, Pakistanis, the pro-terrorist wing of the Saudi royal family, and other enemies of the United States.

...

In fairness to Obama, he simply carried forward the George W Bush administration's benign neglect of Iran's nuclear ambitions. Bush confirms in his just-published memoirs what was evident at the time: he followed the advice Defense Secretary Robert Gates and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to avoid open conflict with Iran. If provoked, Iran was capable of producing a large number of American casualties in Iraq in the advent of the 2008 elections.

The difference between early 2008 and early 2010, to be sure, is that Iran has had two years to enrich uranium, consolidate its grip on Syria, insert itself into Afghanistan, stockpile missiles with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, and build up its terror capabilities around the world. The window is closing in which Iran may be contained. Covert operations and cyber-sabotage might have bought some time, but benign neglect of Iran has reach its best-used-by-date.

The cables, in sum, reveal an American administration that refuses to look at the facts on the ground, even when friendly governments rub the noses of American diplomats into them. Obama is beyond reality; he has become the lunatic who thinks that he is Barack Obama.
If the Wikileaks documents serve as a wake-up call to the United States, we may all some day thank Julian Assange for publishing them. But given the obstinacy of the man in the White House, I wouldn't place a lot of bets on that.

What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.

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1 Comments:

At 6:34 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

WL has revealed what has been obvious the past two years - Obama is the American Emperor With No Clothes.

Heh

 

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