Ari Lieberman

An Alliance on the Edge

In yet another deplorable display of betrayal, the Obama administration belatedly acknowledged that it is withholding information from Israel pertaining to the P5 + 1 talks with Iran. The administration’s shocking announcement followed initial denials by both the State Department and the White House that they were engaged in this type of duplicitous conduct against a strategic ally. Fearing fallout from the revelation, the White House claimed it acted to prevent the Israelis from leaking “cherry-pick[ed]” information and failing to properly contextualize.

The revelation demonstrates three unwavering facts. First, the White House has probably already caved in to nearly all of Iran’s demands and fears that premature release of facts highlighting Obama’s capitulation will influence congressional leaders to take action against any deal that enables the mullahs to maintain threshold status. Second, it makes evident the lengths to which the Obama administration will go to sabotage an alliance that has endured for over 65 years. And third, it demonstrates the administration’s outrageous hypocrisy for when it comes to damaging leaks; it is the Obama administration and not Israel that maintains an awful track record.

In 2012, the Obama administration leaked damaging information that inexplicably sought to sabotage a burgeoning strategic alliance between Israel and Azerbaijan. Such an alliance would have enabled Israel to seek alternate bases in close proximity to Iran from which it could conduct military operations including surveillance and rescue missions, refueling and maintenance and even direct military strikes. The embarrassing disclosure shed unwanted light on a covert military alliance that would have greatly enhanced Israel’s strategic capabilities vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic.

Then again in 2013, Israeli officials bitterly complained to the Obama administration over leaks sourced to administration officials that the Israeli Air Force had struck a military base near the Syrian port city of Latakia. The Israelis termed the leak as “scandalous” and bitterly noted that it was not the first time that administration officials had publicly linked Israel to attacks aimed at preventing arms from falling into the hands of Hezbollah terrorists. Israeli officials were deliberately mum about their involvement because their silence enabled Assad, Hezbollah and Iran to feign ignorance concerning Israel’s involvement and enabled an option of non-response. But the leaks attributing the attacks to Israel placed the Shia-Alawite Axis of Evil into a corner and considerably heightened an already volatile situation. The Israelis were at a loss to explain the administration’s inexplicable lapse of judgment and no logical explanation was ever forthcoming.

And last year, a high level administration official – believed by some to be Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes – revealed to the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg the decrepit state of relations between the Obama administration and Israel and for good measure, let loose with a torrent of crass pejoratives to describe Israel’s democratically elected leader, most notable of which was “chicken sh#t.” Israel’s enemies including Iran took note of the fraying alliance and the comments not only undercut Israel’s trust in Obama, it weakened the administration’s negotiating position on Iran, conveying the impression to the Iranians that the Israelis were all talk and no action and that the mullahs had nothing to lose by playing hardball. Why the administration would seek to undermine its own negotiating position still remains a mystery.

As the P5 + 1 talks drag on, it has become increasingly apparent that the Obama administration intends to ink a deal that will allow the Iranians to keep their centrifuges spinning and leave intact their infrastructure at Arak and Parchin. The administration’s perfidious effort to conceal its terms merely serves to heighten fears of an all-out capitulation making Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming March 3rd  speech to the joint session of the United States Congress that much more imperative and relevant.

In January 2013, Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel underwent a grueling nomination process that was notable more for the nominee’s embarrassing, near painful-to-watch performance rather than the substance of the matters discussed. But there was one particular point during the hearings that warrants review in light of recent events surrounding Obama’s betrayal of Israel and submission to the Islamic Republic.

During an exchange with Senator Saxby Chambliss, Hagel was asked a number of pointed questions concerning US policy on Iran. Hagel rambled on and on and then stated that he “support[ed] the president’s strong position on containment.” After a few moments, he was handed a note and revised his statement stating that he “misspoke” when characterizing the president’s position on containment noting that the president had no “position on containment,” presumably meaning that the administration’s emphasis was on prevention.

At the time, some, including this writer believed that Hagel’s misstatement was a mere gaffe, one of a series of embarrassing blunders he made during 7.5 hours of testimony. However, upon reexamining his testimony, I have come to believe that he was indeed expressing Obama’s views on Iran with candor and his retraction was not a policy disclaimer but rather an attempt (and a clumsy one at that) to hide from the committee Obama’s true intentions with respect to Iran.

Obama believes that a nuclear Iran is a forgone conclusion and has foreclosed the military option. His only goal now is to ensure that Iran does not acquire a bomb while he is in office but he cares little about what happens after his departure. He also strives to accomplish at least one foreign policy success in a cesspool of failures. To that end, his negotiating strategy is easy to assess. Give the Iranians everything they want – sanctions relief and the ability to create yet more regional mischief without too much American interference – in exchange for a promise not to produce a nuclear bomb for the next two years, give or take a few months.

Obama often invokes the term “ironclad” and other banalities to describe the US-Israel alliance but his slogans are devoid of any meaning and as vapid as his strategy on Iran. In truth, Obama harbors nothing but contempt for the Jewish State and would rather establish détente with the Islamic Republic, the nation responsible for championing Holocaust denial, propping up Assad, undermining the territorial sovereignty of Lebanon, inspiring a coup in Yemen and carrying out acts of terror on five continents.

On March 3rd Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to address a special joint session of congress. Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollak characterized the speech as perhaps, “the most important speech on geopolitical affairs since Ronald Reagan’s remarks at the Berlin Wall in 1987.” That assessment is accurate. Iran, led by its apocalyptic, religiously fervent mullahs, represents today’s single most dangerous threat to world peace and stability, much more so than Russia’s Putin. The chaos and conflagration that we are currently witnessing today’s Mideast will look like mere child’s play compared to what will occur if Obama succeeds in consummating a bad deal with the mullahs.  Right now, Netanyahu and Congress are the only things that stand in his way.

About the Author
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor. He has authored several articles covering political and military issues concerning Israel, the United States and the Mideast at large.