Obama to Israel: “Suck it up!”

The Middle East is scary enough without “the world’s only superpower” slinking away like a thief into the sunset.  

America’s priority regarding the emerging Iranian bomb has been consistent since before Bush invaded Iraq. For more than a decade US policy has been a deception, a play for time to allow it to pursue other, more importantly viewed “national interests, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan(Bush), containing China (Obama). And the game went well: Netanyahu was kept on a leash, while the Iranians understood all along that the US was never serious about stopping them.


To set the scene for what follows I refer first to a comment by David Wurmser, a former Iran specialist in the office of Vice-President Cheney. One week ago he disclosed that when Obama took over from Bush,

“all the factors I witnessed from 2002-2007, when I was deeply involved in the Iran portfolio, had not changed. [except that] in the new administration, there were no more “crazy” hardliners…


“Washington was at last unified — with the administration and the bureaucracy agreeing without internal dissent — and aligned with the international community [the Europeans] that while it would be awful if Iran went nuclear, a preemptive action against Iran was still worse.”

That this was indeed the Bush agenda, we need go no farther than recalling his appointments to head the US military, defense secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs chairman Mullen. Both were outspoken opponents of attacking Iran long before Bush hired them. That Obama kept them on and when they chose to leave office replaced them with Poindexter and Dempsey should have left little doubt about America’s real Iran policy. The new secretary and chairman provided different faces, but they mouthed the same tired mantras: “war with Iran would have “unforeseen” consequences.”

In an interview today America’s ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro sought to deflect criticism of America’s duplicitous policy by accusing Israel’s press of misunderstanding Obama’s policy, that they were reporting, “a very silly story.”

Shapiro: “I think there is no mistaking what the US is prepared to do.”

Except the list of the American spokespeople apparently themselves “confused” by the policy includes, for example, JCS chairman Dempsey!  And among those confused by the “confused” representatives of Obama are: the Arabs, Israel, the writers, editors and readers of that recent Time expose describing in detail the failing American story-line… All were kept in suspense, a state of confusion. All, that is, except the Iranians; their negotiating strategy reflected a clear lack of concern for an American threat from Day One.

Under the present expressed and confirmed US posture regarding Israel Obama has assured Iran that so long as they refrain from attacking US or its Gulf oil interests they have little to worry about from the United States! Dempsey, who regularly reminds all that he is in constant contact with an Israeli general staff he describes as in complete agreement with Obama’sIranpolicy recently said,

“I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it [attack the Iranian bomb program].”

An interesting word, “complicit.” Last I understood the word refers to participating in a criminal act. Is it now US understanding that Israel, not Iran, is the rogue state?


Certainly over the years there has been a close, if covert relationship between the US and Iran. After all it Iran that provided cover for Bush’s invasion of Iraq, his assertion of Iraqi WMD. Iran was even good enough to provide Rumsfeld (unknown to the “veteran” defense secretary),  a “credible” second source, double agent Ahmed Chalabi! So the two governments have had an interesting relationship over the years.

To put it directly, American policy in the region is a sham. It is represented by self-serving half-truths intended to reassure Arab and Israeli alike. Neither is this agenda to be laid at the doorstep of this or that president, this or that political party. It is an American, a bi-partisan policy. It is a policy that Cheney’s Iran specialist Wurmser also describes. Bush created the “sanctions policy to avoid conflict; Obama adopted what was already present.

While an open statement of this agenda would leave me concerned, what we are observing on the ground is that American lies and obfuscation have resulted in chaos in the Arab world and Israel; has provided time and freedom of action for the ambitious, possibly unstable and threatening Iranian regime to be within reach of a nuclear warhead. Perhaps President Obama, who entered office determined to end nuclear proliferation, has convinced himself that allowing Iran the bomb wont inspire the Saudis, or the Turks, or the Egyptians to seek such weapons for self-defense. Except that all three are already on record of intending just that, a nuclear deterrent. And the Saudis are already reported to have procured such weapons “on consignment” in Pakistan!

And as a final dénouement regarding America’s shrinking commitment to Israel: should Israel attack Iran he promises Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs that the US will not resupply Israel in parts or munitions; that the US is withdrawing from its commitment to provide advanced radar and anti-missile protection against attacks from the Islamic Republic, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. Its promise to Iran is, “Don’t attack us and we wont attack you!

And in case the message was not obvious enough as threat/guarantee, the administration announced that it is scaling down the forces and technology previously included in the upcoming annual US-Israel war games; that American forces will be cut by two-thirds; that America will withhold the advanced radar and Patriot missile batteries promised Israel. As far as Obama is concerned, if it comes to war, Israel is on her own.

So much for the tattered remains of the so-called US-Israel “Special Relationship!”

And so the full meaning of Ambassador Shapiro’s assurance that, “I think there is no mistaking what the US is prepared to do;” of Obama’s over-worn threat that, “all options are on the table,” boils down to this simple unambiguous fact: Absolutely Nothing!


If the US wants out of the responsibilities it agreed to when it replaced Britain and France, to protect the oil monarchies and the West’s regional allies, it should just come out and say so. We understand that America’s prime concern, its present preoccupation today is “containing” China. But the deception, leaving its vulnerable regional assets and allies guessing at whether the promised US security blanket is real or just smoke and mirrors?

The Middle East is scary enough without “the world’s only superpower” slinking away like a thief into the sunset.

About the Author
David made aliya in 1960 and has been active in Jewish issues since. He was a regional director for JNF in New York, created JUDAC, Jews United to Defend the Auschwitz Cemetery during that controversy; at the request of Jonathan Pollard created and led Justice for the Pollards in 1989.
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