Monday, January 20, 2014

Caroline Glick Describes Why Barack Obama's Mideast Policy is Misguided

Few writers speak truth to power about the Mideast as clearly and emphatically as Caroline Glick. President Barack Obama's policies vis a vis Israel, Iran and the PLO are misguided and destined to bring misery not just to the Mideast but to the whole world, as Glick masterfully explains in her most recent column. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has been harshly criticized by the Obama administration for privately expressing grave concerns about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's bizarre obsession with forcing Israel to make concessions to the PLO but Glick notes that Ya'alon's assessment of Kerry's ignorance about the true nature of the Mideast political situation is echoed even by Israel's Arab enemies; Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab nations are very upset about the United States' reluctance to do anything to stop Iran's rapidly developing nuclear weapons program.

Glick astutely observes that U.S. officials feel free to publicly blast Ya'alon even though they held their tongues not long ago when Saudi Prince Alaweed bin Talal told journalist Jeffrey Greenberg, "There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran. We’re really concerned--Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Middle Eastern countries about this." The Obama administration is not the least bit afraid that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have the courage to challenge their policies and/or speak up in support of Ya'alon; they know that Netanyahu will hang Ya'alon out to dry just like Netanyahu has betrayed the voters who thought that he would uphold the anti-terrorism principles that he espoused for years in his eloquent speeches and books, words that now seem hollow because of his consistent failure to implement them in his policy decisions.

Glick describes why Obama's Mideast policies are viewed with contempt by friend and foe alike:

Syria is a humanitarian and geopolitical nightmare with global implications.

Rather than do everything possible to strengthen moderate forces in Syria, like the Kurds, and cultivate, train and arm regime opponents who can fight both the Assad regime and al-Qaida rebels, Kerry has devoted himself to demanding that Israel release more Palestinian terrorist murderers from prison.

Rather than protect Lebanon from the predations of Iran and Syria to ensure its independence, Kerry is holding marathon meetings with Netanyahu to try to coerce him into helping the PLO build another Jew-free terrorist state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

Rather than try to blunt the growing power of Hezbollah--Iran’s terrorist army--in Syria, the US’s policy is inviting Iran, the party most responsible for the war, to join the phony peacemakers club at Geneva.

As for the rest of the region, from Tunisia to Bahrain, from Egypt and Libya to Iraq, and Yemen, Kerry and the Obama administration as a whole are content to watch on the sidelines as al-Qaida reemerges as a significant force, and as Iran undermines stability in country after country.

Then of course, there is Iran itself, and its nuclear weapons program.

After the six-party nuclear deal with Iran was concluded on Monday, Iran’s leaders declared victory over the US. They boasted that the most dangerous components of their nuclear weapons program are unaffected by the deal they just concluded with the Americans. They laid a wreath on the grave of Hezbollah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who masterminded the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 243 US servicemen. And they forced Lebanon’s Sunnis to accept a Hezbollah-dominated government.

Obama administration officials publicly accused Ya'alon and Israel of being "ungrateful" but Glick sets the record straight:

Americans are getting the same message from allies throughout the Middle East. Under Obama, America’s regional policies are so counterproductive that the US has come to be seen as the foreign policy equivalent of a drunk driver.

As the US’s strongest ally, and also as a country that has depended for decades on US support, Israel is a passenger in the back seat of the car. On the one hand, we are happy for the ride. On the other hand, the administration’s driving is endangering our survival.

The United States and the rest of the world will long rue the fact that Barack Obama was granted two terms to misguide U.S. Mideast policy--but Israelis have to hope and pray that their country merely survives long enough to rue that fact, because even though Iran's nuclear program is a global threat it is an existential threat primarily for Israel, a reality that Netanyahuu can ill afford to ignore for much longer. 

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