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Monday, September 07, 2009

Dealing with Obama's missing moral compass

Barry Rubin describes a meeting between Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Iraqi leader Nuri al-Maliki visited Syria on August 18 to discuss the two countries' relationship. He offered Syrian President Bashar Assad a lot of economic goodies in exchange for expelling 271 Iraqi exiles involved in organizing terrorist attacks against their country. Assad refused. Maliki left.

The next day, huge bombings struck Baghdad, directly targeting the Foreign and Finance Ministries. More than 100 Iraqis were killed and over 600 were wounded. The Iraqi government blamed the very same exiles living in Syria whom Maliki was trying to get kicked out and implicated the Syrian government directly in the attacks. The two countries recalled their ambassadors; the Iraqis are calling for an international tribunal to investigate.
Given that Syria is a terror regime and that the United States is responsible for creating Iraqi democracy, whom to support in this dispute is a no-brainer. But not with this administration in power.
And what did the Obama administration do?

Declare its neutrality! Here's what Kelly said, reading from his State Department instructions: "We understand that there has been sort of mutual recall of the ambassadors. We consider that an internal matter. We believe that, as a general principle, that diplomatic dialogue is the best means to address the concerns of both parties. We are working with the Iraqis to determine who perpetrated these horrible acts of violence... We hope this doesn't hinder dialogue between the two countries."
'We hope that this doesn't hinder dialogue between the two countries?' Dialogue about what?

Rubin points out the absurdity of the Obama-Clinton response:
HOW CAN the administration distance itself from this conflict instead of supporting its ally and trying to act against the very terrorists who have murdered Americans?

Nominally, of course, the cheap way out was to say: We don't know who did these particular bombings. Well, who do you think did it, men from Mars? Even this is not relevant since the Iraqi demand for the expulsion of the terrorists - who have committed hundreds of other acts - came before the latest attack even happened.

Moreover, the administration not only invoked its obsession with dialogue at any price but did so in an incorrect and dangerous manner. The Iraqi government had sought dialogue, had used diplomatic means and was turned down flat.

So is this administration incapable of criticizing Syria? Even if it wants to engage in talks with Syria, it doesn't understand that diplomacy is not inconsistent with pressure and criticism, tools to push the other side into concessions or compromises.

Looking at this latest development - along with many other policy statements and events during the new administration's term so far - how can any ally have confidence that the US government will support it if menaced by terrorism or aggression? It can't. The problem with treating enemies better than friends is that the friends start wondering whether their interests are better served by appeasing mutual enemies or mistreating an unfaithful ally which ignores their needs.
At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff adds:
What, moreover, are we to make of the Obama administration's reference "address[ing] the concerns of both parties?" Iraq's concern is protecting its citizens from being blown up. That should be our concern too, and not just because our soldiers sometimes get blown up with the Iraqis.

But what is Syria's concern? Nothing other than its desire to project its power and intimidate its neighbor.

How, then, can the Obama administration posit an equivalency between Iraq and Syria in this matter? And in so doing so, how can he command the respect of the leaders of either nation?

Obama portrays himself as a visionary, able to view the petty disputes that preoccupy the rest of the world from a higher plane, divorced from anything as banal as America's interest. That posture is offensive enough. But what if, like so many extreme leftists who came before him, he's just a man without a moral compass that points anywhere other than in direction of sharing the wealth and increasing government power?
The lesson here for Israel should be obvious. Obama is morally blind because he doesn't believe in exceptionalism. Not of America, not of Israel, not of Iraq and not of democracies generally. We're all worth the same thing as the thugocracies in Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba. If what happened to Iraq is not enough, ask the Hondurans.

This is not an administration that can be trusted to keep its word if we take 'risks' for 'peace.' If Israel was insufficiently cautious under the Bush administration about what concessions it made to the 'Palestinians,' it must be doubly cautious with the morally blind Obama in the White House. It is quite easy to envision a scenario where Israel pulls the IDF back from the 'Palestinian' cities to show its 'readiness' for 'peace,' gets another wave of suicide bombings in return, and gets told that we need to have a 'conversation' with Abu Mazen about 'fighting terror.'

It's sad to have to say this about the President of the United States, but Obama simply cannot be trusted. If we didn't learn that from his throwing our understandings with President Bush out with the morning trash, we had better learn it from incidents like this one.


At 9:30 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yep. Iraq can't count on the US to side with it when a lethal wave of terrorism against its citizens is being organized and instigated by Syria. Therein lies a lesson for Israel on how much US support is worth. Exactly nothing - at least so long as Obama remains President.

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey carl,

how about a moratorium on filthy pics until after the yom noaraim are over


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