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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bad to Horrendous

It's reasonable to judge the competence and leadership abilities of a chief executive by examining the competence and leadership abilities of his/her direct reports. John Kerry, Barack Obama's bumbling Secretary of State, provides the American people with still another reason to question Barack Obama's appointments to key administration positions.

In a closed-door meeting of the Trilateral Commission, Kerry made the utterly outrageous suggestion that unless peace with the palestinians is achieved, Israel might become "an apartheid state." Kerry walked back that statement once the Daily Beast broke the story, but I think it exemplifies the warped foreign policy views of the Obama administration—to wit, unless Israel agrees to commit national suicide by signing a "peace agreement" with an entity that is not even willing to agree that Israel has a right to exist, Israel will devolve into an apartheid state. This statement is so outrageous, so factually and historically incorrect, and so inflammatory, that Kerry should be forced to resign. Here's the problem—Barack Obama has not disavowed Kerry's babbling and likely agrees with him.

Victor Davis Hansen dissects the carcass of Barack Obama's now moribund foreign policy (read the entire article). In commenting on the Middle East he writes:
In the Middle East, Obama felt that reach-outs and Cairo-style oratory would assure the Islamic world that he would never intervene in its affairs. Obama supposedly understood historic Middle East grievances, and his own personal story was proof of that insight. Again, Obama did not so much reject prior American policy as not really understand it in the first place: appreciation of Israel’s unique democracy and pro-American sentiment, assurance that Iran must not go nuclear, advocacy for gradual liberalization to avoid the false choices between dictatorship and Islamism, resistance to new Chinese and old Russian expansionism in the Middle East, and protection of the sometimes odious but nonetheless stable Persian Gulf sheikhdoms that so much of the world depended upon to export oil.

The Middle East is now in chaos after the Cairo-like speeches, the pressures on Israel, the red lines in Syria, the on-again, off-again sanctions on Iran, the lead-from-behind bombing of Libya and subsequent Benghazi chaos, the flipping and flopping over Egypt, and the alienation of the monarchical Persian Gulf allies. The one constant is not so much doubt about American intent as it is agreement that the U.S. does not know what it is doing, and that there is not much reason to care even if it did know what it was doing.
It's frightening to watch this administration repeatedly attempt to marginalize an ally and twist itself into a pretzel in a futile attempt to appease Islamists who hate everything western. The sad thing is that appeasement and fantasy do not do Arab countries any favors. Their culture of hatred has led to dictatorship, economic chaos, corruption, and a pathetic standard of living. By encouraging their false view that it's all the west's (and Israel's fault), Barack Obama's indirect apologies for his own country, side swipes at Israel, and lack of candor about the Arab world's monumental internal problems further enables the Arab people to reject change.

Victor Davis Hansen suggests that Obama's foreign policy has gone "from bad to none." With respect to Israel, it has gone from bad to horrendous.