The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Over the past week President Obama and many of his spokespeople have made it a point to note the criticality of nuclear nonproliferation and the serious threat posed by a terrorist organization acquiring nuclear weapons. It is somewhat amusing that when then-President George Bush made the same point in 2007, the Democrats and their media allies suggested that his words of caution were nothing more than “neocon fantasies” and “fear-mongering.” I guess it's all in who delivers the message.

In any event, the President now appears to agree that the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists is significant for our country. The question is: what does he intend to do about it?

It is true that he has conducted a major conference on nuclear nonproliferation and has espoused many high-minded ideals that all of the attendees have committed to adopt. But the commitment is verbal. There is no signed treaty nor is there any guarantee that any country but the United States will follow through on its commitments.

And what about Iran -- soon to be the world's most likely source of nuclear material or nuclear weapons for terrorist organizations? The President's response to Iran has been tepid at best and laughable in the main. After 15 months in office, his bumbling attempts at detente with the Mullahs has been ridiculed by the Iranians repeatedly. And his promises of "hard" sanctions in September 2009 and December 2009 have gone by the board with no action at all. Now, in April 2010, it appears that President Obama is again making empty threats. Both the Russians and the Chinese have given lip service to sanctions, but will do nothing to injure their trade relations with Iran. Incredibly, major European countries have been more aggressive than the United States in their efforts to implement meaningful sanctions. It has been Barack Obama who has tried to slow them down in an effort to achieve "consensus" among all parties.

With regard to the Middle East in general, Barry Rubin accurately depicts the President's key strategy:
Obama has openly preferred engagement and concessions to America’s enemies—notably Iran and Syria in this case—rather than to support its friends. The Middle East is often presented as if this only applies to Israel, but when Arabs complain about Obama’s weakness and unreliability they are talking about a lack of backing for Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, the liberal forces in Lebanon, and others.

To cite only one example, when Iraq wanted U.S. help in pressing Syria to stop supporting terrorists who are killing hundreds of Iraqis, as well as U.S. troops, the Obama Administration refused. This is genuinely shocking. Many other cases could be cited.

And speaking about "shocking," the President's recent shoddy treatment of our middle eastern ally Israel over the past month is a foreign-policy travesty. Israel announces a permitting approval for apartment buildings in Jerusalem, and the President goes nuclear.

Does the president honestly believe that the construction of apartment buildings is a justifiable cause for such outrage on his part? Is he really so naïve as to think that this will somehow cause the many Palestinian factions to come together and sue for peace?

Is he so historically illiterate that he has failed to see the dozens of peace agreements that have been presented to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- all of them blown up by the Palestinians or their allies on the Arab side. As Daniel Pipes states: "Painful Israeli concessions, we now know, stimulate not reciprocal Palestinian goodwill but rather irredentism, ambition, fury, and violence."

Is he so self-absorbed that he cannot understand the Israeli’s existential concern about a nuclear Iran? Iranian leaders have stated explicitly that they will use such weapons against the Israelis as a first strike.

Barack Obama’s supporters continue to believe that he’s the smartest guy in the room. His foreign-policy, as executed over the last 15 months, indicates that he isn't very smart at all.