Barak Obama, President of the United States and leader of the free world, recently called Israel’s democratically elected Prime Minister “chicken shit”. Of course, he never made this statement publicly in his own voice. One of his aides did the dirty work. He leaked the statement to a White House courtyard journalist who obliged by providing a sensationalist headline. Mission accomplished.
A White House spokesman later denied the use of such language and waxed poetic about the special relationship between the United States and Israel. We heard about those unbreakable links between our two countries. Joe Biden and John Kerry joined the chorus but all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
It reminded me of Jay Leno’s joke about President Obama and those unbreakable links. “Nobody,” he said, “knows better than Obama just how difficult it is to break these links. Despite his efforts, he hasn’t succeeded”. For me, the fact that no White House aide was fired for doing damage to American foreign policy is the litmus test that the statement, the leak and the public humiliation were all part of a calculated strategy.
This same President of the United States wouldn’t dare use such language to describe the leaders of Iran or of Russia, of Syria or of Qatar, of Egypt or of the Palestinians. Even the leaders of North Korea and Cuba don’t qualify for such humiliating insults.
Why are the leaders of these dictatorships shown more respect than that accorded to the democratically elected leader of America’s only true and reliable ally in the region? Does President Obama have no respect for the democratic process in Israel? It makes me wonder whether he regards himself as being part of the free world, let alone its leader. As an Israeli, I’m insulted. But being insulted doesn’t help me. Neither does it help my country.
Obama’s foreign policy has been characterized by one debacle after another. His reading of the Arab Spring was wrong. His vision of an Arab world committed to the democratic process was grossly misconceived and without foundation.
He deserted the Mubarak regime and paved the way for the establishment of a Moslem Brotherhood government in Egypt. Fortunately for the people of Egypt, the Egyptian military intervened and overthrew this government.
While the US led from behind, Libya imploded allowing radical Islamic groups to further their Jihadi aspirations by sweeping in, unhindered, to claim Libya’s sophisticated military arsenal. More than 200,000 people have already been killed in Syria and the leaders of the free world continue to look on. Another 200,000 have died in Iraq. Contrary to the recommendations of its military intelligence, the US withdrew its troops from Iraq. Subsequent events proved this move premature. Significant areas of Syria and Iraq are now controlled by the fundamentalist Islamic State. Christian minorities in Syria and Iraq are being decimated. The fate of the Kurdish and Yazidi minorities is equally grim.
True, the United States is the only country in the free world doing anything to halt the progress of the Islamic State. US aircraft continue bombing Islamic State military forces but, unfortunately, it’s going to take more than that. Without boots on the ground, the battle won’t be decided. Turkey, a member of NATO, and Saudi Arabia, both allies of the United States and whose leaders Obama regards as being superior to chicken shit, elected to take a rain check and leave the dirty work and the military casualties to the US.
We are now in the throes of an Islamic winter that shows no sign of ending.
So why did Obama call Netanyahu chicken shit? Even if that is Obama’s opinion about Israel’s democratically elected Prime Minister, why leak it to the press? Why was it necessary for Obama to publicly embarrass Netanyahu and undermine Israel’s standing in the international community? As I’ve already said, Israel is America’s only reliable ally in the region. I can’t make it out.
Is it because Netanyahu won’t let go of the Iranian nuclear threat? Is it because Obama is unable to deliver on the assurances he gave the Israeli people on this issue? Is Obama conditioning public opinion to justify a significant compromise with Iran? Is Obama trying to present to the world that a nuclear Iran is not a global threat but merely an Israeli problem? Will Iran be allowed to become a threshold nuclear power with the blessing of the United States?
I don’t know the answers to these questions but when the President of the United States is willing to get into bed with the world’s leading exporter of international terror, my cause for concern is natural. Netanyahu has repeatedly warned that no agreement with Iran is better than a bad agreement. He’s certainly right on that one.
President Obama’s foreign policy acumen is questionable. The American public perceives his overall Presidential performance as dismal. In last week’s elections, the Democratic Party lost control of the Senate. Certainly, not a vote of confidence for the President. Obama badly needs to get the Iranian nuclear issue behind him and then get his spin doctors to brand it to as a legacy achievement.
The leaked reports of “difficult negotiations” with Iran regarding its nuclear program, the easing of the international sanctions against Iran, the willingness to cooperate with Iran to stop the advance of the Islamic State and a possible resumption of US-Iran diplomatic relations after 35 years of intense animosity, make me feel uneasy and on the brink of being betrayed.
That is why we can’t rely on others to fight our battles. They have their interests. We have ours.