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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Walt and Mearsheimer: More wrong than ever

Writing in the Jewish Week, old friend David Makovsky explains why Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer are more wrong than ever on the second anniversary of their book's (pictured where it belongs) publication (Hat Tip: NY Nana).
In the post-9/11 world, there are numerous cases of converging interests between Israel and Arab regimes, shaped by a perception of common enemies. Four recent cases highlight this point.


Third, Iran’s support for Hamas has added to Arab regimes’ fears of Iran. When this support is combined with Iran’s emerging nuclear program, Arab leaders see an Iran that appears to be on the march, without hesitation to do all it can to put pressure on them. At the start of the Gaza conflict last December, Egyptian and Saudi foreign ministers publicly blamed Hamas as being responsible for the crisis. Egypt, the only country to have a border with Gaza, refused — and still refuses — to open it to Gaza.

(In the same context, there is also an unstated convergence of interests between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, since both regard Hamas as an enemy, and work toward curtailing its economic and military efforts.)

And fourth, Israel and the Arabs have a shared desire to curb Iran’s sphere of influence. It is widely believed that an Iran with nuclear weapons will lead Egypt and Saudis (as well as the non-Arab Turkey) to go down that same path.

The Arab states also fear that if Tehran gained a bomb, it could even lead to the provision of nuclear materials to non-state actors by Iran. They also recognize that a nuclear Iran would have a shield behind which it could engage in much greater coercion of its neighbors with little fear that there would be recourse against it.


Finally, consider how would American commitments be viewed if we walked away from Israel? If, as Mearsheimer and Walt want, the United States distanced itself from Israel, why would any Arab regime believe that a U.S. commitment to its nation could be counted on? This question would be asked by ally and adversary alike. It would be the greatest windfall imaginable to the strongest Islamist elements, whether al Qaeda or Iran, who would see it as a validation. It would lend a sense of momentum or inevitability to their cause, and countries throughout the region would view future U.S. actions through this lens.
David is correct, and I urge you to read the whole thing.

My only question is whether President Obama realizes that David is right and that Walt and Mearsheimer are wrong. Given the President's comments to Jewish leaders about it being good for the United States and Israel to have public disagreements, I have to wonder whether the President understands anything about this region.


At 11:22 AM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

Barak Husain Soetoro aka. Obama is an Islamic agent playing President of the USA

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Ashan said...

Dear Leader Hussein will wait for Iranian missiles and nukes are delivered to Venezuela, as per the recent agreement between (T)hugo Chavez and the little Iranian genocidal maniac. Then he'll beg his BFF (T)hugo to hold off attacking the US while he finishes "transforming" the US into an Islamo-fascist state.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

You make the assumption that Obama would correct a mistake in his world view if he thought he had one.

I am sorry, I don't believe this to be the case.

I don't think that Obama believes he has made a mistake. He believes he is right, even in the face of massive evidence that this position and his policies are wrong.

Moreover, I don't think Obama would change even if he admitted he were wrong, which he won't do either. Obama is beholden and enamored of the arabs, and will do their bidding to the best of his ability.

Obama is not Israel's friend, and nothing can be said or done to make him Israel's friend. Simply bide time until he is defanged in 2010 and eventually booted from office in 2012.

And while you are at it, grieve for us in the US. We had been a world power ... once. Thanks to president hope-n-change, we no longer are. Only took him 9 months. We have 39 more months of this. How much more damage can he do? I shudder at what comes next.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Thanks for the hat tip, Carl.

They are despicable, and IIRC, Walt lives in Brookline, MA. A friend of mine's daughter used to tell one his kids, a son, IIRC, off every time she came across him, in the playground at the Devotion School.

Anything I have to say re Walt and/or Mearsheimer would be [deleted].

Hussein probably has invited those 2 to a dinner at the White House.

At 11:33 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Blame Israel School has gotten old, not because Israel is standing in the path of peace but because the Arabs reject making peace with Israel until Israel has left herself open for destruction. See Barry Rubin's article today. There is no reason for Israel to want to alter the status quo:

Read it all

Bottom line: the Arabs MAY offer Israel peace after Israel given up all her territorial assets and agreed to be flooded with millions of Arabs. Is there any other country in the world that would take seriously such a proposal? The Arabs have gotten more extreme.

Just don't hold your breath waiting for John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt to write a book about that development.


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