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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

American rapprochment with Iran will be at Israel's expense

At The American Thinker, Mark Silverberg lays out some of the costs to Israel as a result of the Obama administration's effort to unclench the Iranian (and Syrian) fist. It's not pretty.
It is a fair assumption that any bargain struck with Iran will not only enhance Iran's status and the status of its Middle East proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, but detrimentally affect Israel, Lebanon, post-U.S. Iraq and threaten American hegemony throughout the region. In return for Iranian cooperation in quelling the violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan and leasing three military and war materiel supply routes to Afghanistan through Iranian territory, the Obama administration, among other deals, will be required to compel the Israelis to accept a "two-state solution" without demanding (in words as well as deeds) that Fatah and Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist.

He will also begin demanding Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank conveniently ignoring the fact that previous Israeli withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza not only empowered Hezbollah and Hamas, but enhanced the power and influence of Iran throughout the region, and led to the creation of terrorist bases on Israel's northern and southern borders. If the US is to have its way with Iran in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran will insist on having its way with Israel, Iraq, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf - for starters. As al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri warned Obama: "It appears that you don't know anything about the Muslim world and its history....You are neither facing individuals nor organizations, but are facing a jihadi awakening and renaissance which is shaking the pillars of the entire Islamic world.....This is the fact which you and your government and country refuse to recognize and pretend not to see." Not exactly the "unclenched fist" the President seeks.

The details of Obama's grand bargain have already begun to appear. Even as the UN's nuclear watchdog agency and Israeli intelligence have acknowledged that the Iranian mullahs are on the nuclear threshold and have perfected long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, the Obama administration is convinced that it can talk them out of it if enough is thrown into the bargain. Tehran, however, has learned that a sham interest in diplomacy, however polished, is an excellent way to play for time and reap rewards without actually compromising its fundamental interests and objectives.


In Syria, the US administration is already preparing to suspend the enforcement of U.S. sanctions, and has expressed an interest in returning the U.S. ambassador to Damascus. Even the Golan Heights may be thrown into the bargain if enough pressure can be brought to bear on Israel. But reciprocity is not on the table. The regime in Damascus has offered no indication that it is prepared to accept Israel's right to exist, or respect Lebanon's sovereignty, or abandon its links to terrorism or to Iran. Rather, the Syrian regime seeks a peace "process" to gain international respectability, but has no desire to end its conflict with Israel. It has too much to gain by keeping the pot boiling. The March 29, 2009 issue of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) encapsulated the Syrian reaction to Obama's overtures in these words: "The US has capitulated to Iran and Syria."

Nevertheless, Obama continues to send high ranking State Department diplomats to Damascus in a futile attempt to pry Syria loose from Iran - this despite the fact that Syria is actively engaged in aiding al Qaeda in Iraq, exercises its designs on Lebanon through assassination of Lebanese political leaders, shelters terrorist leaders in Damascus, and is secretly working on a WMD program with North Korea. An editorial in the al-Watan newspaper summarized Syria's position in terms vastly different from those expressed by Obama: "The Syrians are looking forward to a change in American policy, not to a change in Syrian policy (italics added)." As Bret Stephens noted recently in Commentary, if the United States chooses to engage with Syria, it risks "the diminishment of its status as a serious power and a reliable ally."
Read it all.

Silverberg calls Obama's bargain with the Iranians 'Faustian' and suggests that the cost is so high that it ought to be abandoned. But in international relations, Faustian bargains are generally only undertaken when the alternative to them is equally bad. Call me naive, but I don't see trying to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons as being anywhere near as bad as cuddling up to them.


At 5:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel's new Foreign Minister just shot a bow across the Obama Administration's fantasy that Israel can be sacrificed so America can be chummy with Teheran. It isn't going to happen. The message is that if America feels free to go its own way without coordinating with Jerusalem, then Israel is entitled to pursue its own interests without regard to how they are viewed in Europe and in Washington.

American old hands would call it "realism." Its about time.


At 6:26 PM, Blogger christine said...

good luck israel....america ceases to be a third world country.hope i what we got change is pf little comfort...................


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