Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Making a dangerous world more dangerous - it's not just Israel that needs to be worried

Eliot Cohen reviews the State of the United States' relationships with its putative allies, including but not limited to Israel, and concludes that there is much cause for concern in how the Obama administration treats both friend and foe (for those without full Wall Street Journal access, you can also find the full article here).
There is no penalty for a foreign government crossing this U.S. president—unless you are the hapless prime minister of Israel visiting the White House, in which case, to paraphrase the deli bully in "Seinfeld," "No dinner for you!" The most that a leader like President Lula da Silva of Brazil can expect from doing his best to derail the painfully slow effort to contain Iran is pursed lips.

As for North Korea and Iran, the National Security Strategy threatens them with . . . isolation. North Korea is not already isolated? And Iran is isolated when it has the governments of Turkey and Brazil cozying up to it? What precisely have we gained from reaching out to the Syrian government, whose leaders pocketed our restoration of ambassadorial relations, and in return lessened their ties to Hezbollah and Iran not a wit?

The administration cannot even bring itself to characterize accurately the enemies that it must admit we have. The National Security Strategy declares that we are at war with "Al Qaeda and its affiliates." Islamist extremists? Jihadis? Perish the thought.

Senior officials have repeatedly insisted that they know that radical Islamism runs counter to the authoritative teachings of an altogether peace-loving religion—when the truth is that all religions, including Islam, have within them entirely authentic, deeply rooted, and often sophisticated fanatical streams. This refusal to acknowledge the creed of our enemies is further evidence of a lack of strategic seriousness.

The administration is making a dangerous world even more so. It has announced that it will head for the exits in Afghanistan, that it will not stand by our closest ally, as the Brits discovered when we fastidiously refused to take their side on the latest round of the Falklands dispute. The Israelis should not be the only ones who are worried.
What's most amazing about this whole situation is that criticism of Obama's approach to foreign policy appears to be limited to conservative writers and bloggers. Those who call themselves Liberals - including most of the Democrats in Congress - appear far less willing to cross the President than countries like Syria and North Korea. Does Obama still wield that much power in the Democratic party?

And where are American Jews on this? Why are most of them apparently unwilling or afraid to speak up? Do they really believe that Israel ought to give up its reputed nuclear deterrent and leave itself exposed to Iran? Do they really believe that our dispute with the 'Palestinians' and our other Arab neighbors is about 'the occupation' and not an existential dispute? Where have they been for the last 17 years? Who brainwashed them?

Read the whole thing. When will our long national nightmare (both Israel's and the United States') be over? When - if ever - will the United States once again be a reliable friend that fights against its enemies?


At 6:09 PM, Blogger Orgchart Climber said...

Where are the American Jews, you ask. What do you expect? How can we take a position to the right of the Israeli government? It feels like Israel has no red lines, no principles left. For the past 20 years everything has been negotiable, always willing to split the difference. Even now Bibi whines and offers deals. We want to see Israel itself take a stand on SOMETHING...then we will help


Post a Comment

<< Home