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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The failure of Obama's Mideast policy

On Tuesday, I blogged a New York Times article that reported that French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner is now opposed to embargoing the import of refined oil products to Iran as a means of stepping up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. Barry Rubin believes that the Times understated that story's implication which is the total failure of President Obama's Mideast policy.
Of course, French President Francois Sarkozy may reverse his foreign minister’s stance. Yet it is extraordinarily significant that a major ally supposedly wowed by Obama’s charisma and popularity, can publicly do the equivalent of throwing a pie into the president’s face with no consequences.

And there's a virtual parade of pie-throwers. Obama’s Arab-Israeli policy was derailed by similar responses. Israel refused to bow to American demands stated in the most extreme, public, peremptory manner and Obama gave in. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab states all publicly made clear that they would defy the president and reject the confidence-building measures with Israel he request. Obama smiled and thanked them for their help.

Then the same thing happened with his Iran policy. First, Russia and China rejected his efforts to get their agreement to increased sanctions. Now, France may be doing the same thing. In between, the White House accepted an insulting Iranian message for talks.

Could it be any more obvious? Obama’s salient international characteristic is not popularity but weakness. Already, Obama has been defied or has buckled under to a long list of countries including: China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela, and now perhaps France.

That's why the conspiratorial notion that Obama aims to sell out Israel is wrong. He will back away if anyone stands up to him. The risk posed by administration policy is not to Israel but to U.S. interests altogether as he refuses to confront radical anti-American forces.
All of which would seem to indicate that Prime Minister Netanyahu ought to dig his heels in a bit harder.

Bibi, are you listening?

Read it all.


At 1:53 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think after Obumbler's pro-forma condemnation of settlements at the UN today, he said nothing American Presidents haven't said for decades. On the other hand, he didn't make himself popular with the crowd that heard him by stressing Israel's legitimacy as the "Jewish State." No matter how much Obumbler tries, he cannot be all things to all people. A nice guy cannot be a leader and he who is not a leader has no followers.

That sums up how Obumbler is viewed by the world.


At 3:03 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Israel is the soft country in the list, it is popular to attack her - therefore digging in may not have the desired effect (making him leave Israel alone).

Then again, digging in is the only possible response to this guy.


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