Arlington VA March 28, 2015
Obama's Policy on Israel - A National Disaster Waiting to Happen - Part I
"Welcome to regime change, Obama-style. There are few opportunities to change the mullahcracy in Tehran. But Jerusalem may be another story. By accepting Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address a joint meeting of Congress — now widely seen as a real bungle — the prime minister has given the Obama administration an opening. And you can bet the White House is taking advantage to make it unmistakably clear that Bibi is bad for the U.S.-Israeli relationship." [Foreign Policy Magazine, Feb 12, 2015][View here]
The Aaron Miller piece in Foreign Policy outlines the completely strained relationship between Barack Obama and the Prime Minister of Israel. That kind of fracture is problematic, not just as a spat between politicians with markedly differing views, but also a question of the continuing deterioration of US-foreign relations in general. Stated simply, Obama is doing a poor job as the self-described 'Leader of the Free World".
The US has supported Israel since its creation in 1948. it has provided arms, billions in various kinds of other foreign aid, and historically staked its reputation on the continued existence of Israel in an otherwise mostly Arab Middle East. That decision was not taken lightly by successive administrations, both Democrat and Republican, and was based at least in part by the determination that the Jewish people have a homeland where they can settle peacefully, and live quietly with their neighbors.
While I hasten to add that the subsequent history has been a rocky road, both for the Israels and the Arabs, it has been the staunch support of the West, combined with the acknowledgement of moderate Arabs that peaceful co-existence is possible, as it had existed for centuries before, that provided the 'glue' keeping the often shaky relationships among the parties from coming out too often into battle. There is no question that both sides, Israeli and Arab have committed acts considered abhorrent by the other, while still maintaining a fragile cease fire, if not uneasy peace.
The US was historically the buffer zone in the middle. Regardless of which party was in office in Israel, the US stood ready to support the people of Israel. Sadly, at least in the current administration, this no longer seems to be the case.
It is not the first time the US has tried to influence an Israeli election to produce a prime minister and government that might more closely adhere to preferred US policies for the region. it is also not the first time that Israeli politicians have tried to sway American opinion. They often due so, usually through intermediaries, such as the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and have been very successful in changing US views, particularly in the Congress. So, fair is fair--both sides do it.
What has also historically been the case is that US administrations have recognized that the most important factor to consider is the citizens of Israel, the existence of the country, and the preservation of peace, or at least not having war, in the area. Since the advent of the Obama administration this perspective has changed dramatically.
Obama seems to have a vision that the title given him as "Commander-in-Chief" of the armed forces really means commander-in-chief of everything, in the US and the world. His attitude is that 'anything I want I get--i am the most powerful person in the world', or something close to it. Everyone else has to adhere to his rules, like the kids playing football have to give an extra kick to the kid who owns the ball.
In the past few weeks, especially, the Obama people, and the C-I-C himself have seemingly decided that they will show Israel their power, snubbing the Netanyahu speech before the Congress, while enthusiastically endorsing the speech of the Afghan President. Declassifying the information on the Israeli nuclear program, announced in several outlets, including Breitbart, just before the Netanyahu speech.
The Breitbart article indicated in part, "The Pentagon declassified sections covering Israel’s nuclear program, but “kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document,” [NOTE: Breitbart received the in formation, in part from an Israel National News report]. "The 386-page top-secret memo, titled, “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” goes into great detail about how Israel turned into a nuclear power in the 1970s and 80s."
“As far as nuclear technology is concerned the Israelis are roughly where the U.S. was in the fission weapon field in about 1955 to 1960,” the Breitbart article continued. "The report was written by the Institute for Defense Analysis in 1987, which was federally funded and contracted by the Pentagon. Israel is “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level,” the report states. The report commends that the Israelis found “ingeniously clever” solutions to solve its problems in advancing the nuclear program, largely due to the “ingenious Israeli inventions” at a “key research and development laboratory in Israel."
Why declassify the report just before the speech? To embarass the Israeli Prime Minister. That may be a political ploy, but what does it potentially due to the region or the Israeli people? Combine that with multiple other snubs and comments by Obama and his administration and you have a serious problem. In the next part of the article, I will look at the links with Iran.