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

Thursday, September 26, 2013


The Obama administration desperately needs to distract from the strategic debacle that is Syria, the catastrophic pro-Morsi policies that followed the so-called 'Arab Spring' in Egypt and continued well into Morsi's march toward Islamist dictatorship, the chaos that now reigns in Libya following the President's lead-from-behind strategy to depose Mohammar Kaddafi (not to mention the Benghazi "phony" scandal), and the continuing stream of al Qaeda attacks (think: Nairobi) that were preceded by the President's specious claims that the Islamist terrorist group was "on the run."

Enter his speech at the U.N. Barack Obama needed to do something "important" in the Middle East. So ... he resurrected detente with the anti-Western, Islamist dictatorship that is Iran and "peace-talks" between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The idea of reaching out to Iran is both laughable and pathetic. The Mullahs, recognizing the weakness exhibited during the Syria debacle, recognized that Obama was an easy mark who is anxious for a foreign policy "victory" and oblivious to the side effects of any easing of sanctions (Iran's objective). The fact that Iran is the world's most active state sponsor or terror, the fact that it publicly suggests that it would nuke Israel if given a chance, the fact that Iran is the patron of Syrian dictator Assad (you remember, the guy Obama said had to go until, well ... until he didn't). Obama's media hamsters are so desperate to support this effort at detente that they're calling Iranian President Hassan Rouhani a "moderate" because, they claim, he is not a holocaust denier. Wow, that makes him an absolute liberal in the Iranian hierarchy, doesn't it. And of course, he's "ready for negotiations" on nukes—even though negotiations will go nowhere, any agreement will be unverifiable, and will undoubtedly be a fraud. Come to think of it, that the deal that Obama cut with his new buddy, Vladimir Putin, for Syrian chemical weapons. You can only laugh.

An apt description of Obama's new negotiating partner is provided by Lee Smith:
As for Rouhani, his speech yesterday revealed rather less about the man than the regime he represents. Forget about the Islamic Republic’s theological foundations, ignore the conviction, held by various regime figures, that the Mahdi is destined to return. Rouhani, like every Iranian president before him and like thousands of other Iranian clerics and regime figures, is one part Polonius, one part Wizard of Oz, a mid-level manager thrilled by the prospect of his own muddled thought becoming reality.
But he's a "moderate"—there nothing to worry about, is there?

In the same UN speech, Obama again resurrected a plea for an independent Palestinian state. You know, a state for the people who regularly call for the destruction of Israel, lob rockets across the border with considerable frequency, murder Israeli civilians in terrorist attacks, and then whine when Israel has the temerity to defend itself from their barbarism. Even if this was a good idea, could Israel honestly believe that any strategy offered by Obama's mini-me, John Kerry, would (1) make sense, (2) not end in disaster, or (3) have Israel's best interests at heart. If you think the answer is yes, well, re-read this paragraph.

Douglas Murray summarizes this latest peace ploy accurately when he writes:
The idea that solving the Israel/Palestinian question is the key to unlocking the problems of the region was what everyone who wanted to sound as if they knew what they were saying was most delighted to say: "What was that about Yemen? Well of course the real problem we need to solve is the Israel/Palestinian issue." Rarely in diplomatic history has so much been got so wrong by so many people for so long.
The Israeli-Palestinian policy is an excuse that enables Arab dictators (virtually every leader in every Arab state) to place blame for broken cultures, anemic economies, and warring internal factions on a convenient scape goat. Stated simply, it is NOT the central problem, although you'd never know it listening to the Washington elite (of both parties), European leaders, and virtually every leftist.

Again, Murray comments:
For at least the twenty years since the Oslo Accords, the idea that the Israel-Palestinian conflict was the "key" to unlocking the problems of the Middle East was the leitmotif of any discussion about the Middle East and North Africa areas. So pervasive was it that people could refer to the "Middle East" problem as though everyone agreed that there was only one problem across that whole set of benighted lands.

While of course it would be nice if all disputes could be solved — Cyprus, Kashmir, Turkey, Morocco, Tibet -- what is worse is that the allegation came from every side of the political spectrum. Politicians of the left said it. Politicians of the right said it. The idea that solving the Israel/Palestinian question was the key to unlocking the problems of the region was what everyone who wanted to sound as if they knew what they were saying was most delighted to say: "What was that about Yemen? Well of course the real problem we need to solve is the Israel/Palestinian issue." "A bomb was planted in which Western city? Well what we really need to do is solve that border dispute issue of the Israelis."
There are problems in the Middle East—lots of them. Iran's march toward nuclear weapons is extremely serious, but a diplomatic solution coming from a weak president who has lost virtually all of his international credibility, is a non-starter. Iran is playing Obama, biding its time and looking for even more weakness and indecision. Worse, it's hoping to reach a "settlement" that will mean nothing but allow Obama to crow about his international accomplishments.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite what conventional wisdom would have you believe, is NOT the cause of the problems in the Middle East. It's only one of many, and it's not close to being the most important, the most dangerous, or the most pressing. But when your entire Middle Eastern policy is in shambles, it's comforting to play the Iranian and the Palestinian cards. And that's exactly what Barack Obama and John Kerry have done. The problem is, they've drawn a busted flush.

Update (9/27/2013)

Charles Krauthammer comments on Obama's trained media hamsters and their reaction to Hassan Rouhani—the "moderate:"
Offer a few pleasant words in an [Rouhani] op-ed hailing a new era of non-zero-sum foreign relations, and watch the media and the administration immediately swoon with visions of detente.

Detente is difficult with a regime whose favorite refrain, fed to frenzied mass rallies, is “Death to America.” Detente is difficult with a regime officially committed, as a matter of both national policy and religious duty, to the eradication of a U.N. member state, namely Israel. It doesn’t get more zero-sum than that.

But at least we have to talk, say the enthusiasts. As if we haven’t been talking. For a decade. Strung along in negotiations of every manner — the EU3, the P5+1, then the final, very final, last-chance 2012 negotiations held in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow at which the Iranians refused to even consider the nuclear issue, declaring the dossier closed. Plus two more useless rounds this year.
Barack Obama is being played, and the funny thing is, I don't think he cares as long as the political atmospherics make him look good.