Illusions of Israeli rock fans, & our President....
No wonder "fan" is derived from the word "fanatic"....
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton sees "Amateur Hour at the UN" with Team Obama's feckless quest for a strong UN Security Council Resolution for action against Syria's murderous Iran-backed regime. Bolton notes that the main reason UN action was possible re Libya is no longer operative: Russia & China declined to veto UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (March 2011), because they thought the NATO operation would be limited to enforcing a no-fly zone, and thus would not topple Gaddafi.
SecState Hillary Clinton put her naivete on public view by agreeing with the Turkish foreign minister that international troops would only be placed inside Syria with Assad's consent. Assad, needless to say, would only consent if UN troops are put in to quell the rebellion & leave him in power.
Then there is the un-charming naivete of our Transformative President, captured perfectly by Claudia Rosett's PJ Media "From Red Reset to Pink Drones" column. Seeking to get Iran to negotiate away its nuclear arsenal is as likely as finding green cheese on the Moon. CR writes:
What worries me, though, is less the effect of this mockery inside Iran itself, than the message it sends to Iran’s pals about the extent to which it is safe to defy and deride the U.S. The RT story — let’s reprise that link — “Iran sent pink drone to Obama,” ran on the English-language version of a Russian news site. Especially in any Russian context, toy tools of foreign policy evoke the embarrassing red “reset” button that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented in 2009 to the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov — complete with the mistranslation with which the State Department labeled the toy button with the Russian word for “overcharged,” rather then the intended “reset.” Photos of Clinton and Lavrov show them laughing together over the toy button. But the real laugh has been Russia’s, at U.S. expense, as the U.S. has ceded one important policy position after another, from dropping the promised missile defense for Eastern Europe, to bowing to Russia and China, over Syria, by taking the issue to the United Nations Security Council.
Iran’s regime has specialized from its 1979 inception in mockery of America and America’s allies — from parading American hostages blindfolded before the cameras, to kidnapping British sailors from international waters, holding them hostage and returning them in leisure suits bestowed by Ahmadinejad. And Ahmadinejad, in his yearly visits to the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York (for seven consecutive years now), has taken visible delight in taunting the UN’s host country, abusing diplomatic privilege to bring vast retinues to U.S. shores, and using his time in New York to wine and dine the U.S. media, and recruit support at huge receptions and private meetings (his most recent visit, last September, came during the same stretch in which Iran’s Quds Force was allegedly preparing to bomb the Saudi ambassador in Washington).
All this Iranian mockery put me in mind recently of the magnificent scene at the opening of Shakespeare’s Henry V, in which the dauphin of France sends a taunt to the newly crowned English King Harry, in the form of a gift of tennis balls. The king gazes upon this mockery, and tells the French envoys:
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;
His present and your pains we thank you for:
When we have march’d our rackets to these balls,
We will, in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
In 1982 Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, speaking on the Senate floor during the debate over how the Reagan administration was responding to the Dec. 1981 Soviet crackdown in Poland, warned: "We court great danger when we invite the contempt of totalitarians."
If a powerful America is often the object of anger & resentment it is also feared. But a weak America, far from engendering sympathy, will earn the contempt of allies & adversaries alike. Allies will seek alternative arrangements to secure their position. Enemies will plot trouble--REAL trouble.
A weak England & France invited Hitler's contempt, and got World War II. A weak Depression-era America invited Japan's contempt, and got Pearl Harbor. A weak JFK invited Nikita Khrushchev's contempt at the June 1961 Vienna Summit, and got the Berlin Wall & then the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that brought the superpowers to the brink of nuclear war. A weak Jimmy Carter invited the Ayatollah Khomeini's contempt, and got the Nov. 1979 hostage seizure. Ronald Reagan's failure to respond to the 1983 Marine barracks bombing, and his serial outreach to negotiate release of hostages invited contempt, and got an upsurge in hostage-taking & terrorism across the Mideast; his bombing of Gaddafi in 1986 restored a measure of respect. George H.W. Bush's failure to failure to answer the PanAm 103 bombing, and his failure to cap Desert Storm by finishing off Saddam Hussein invited contempt. Bill Clinton's hasty departure from Somalia, and his serial failures to respond to escalating terror attacks by al-Qaeda, invited contempt; Osama bin Laden delivered a series of answers, culminating in the horrific atrocities of September 11, 2001.
George W. Bush's failure to respond forcefully to Syrian & Iranian roles in killing US troops in Iraq & Afghanistan invited contempt. Syria's nuclear quest was ended by Israel's Sept. 6, 2007 raid--after Bush passed. Iran proceeds as President Obama wavers as to full-bore sanctions; it looks like Israel must act again if Iran's quest is to be delayed.
Egypt takes the son of one of President Obama's cabinet members hostage on trumped-up charges of interfering in elections--actually, trying to help moderate democrats. The recipient of $1.3 billion in annual US aid thus shows its utter contempt for Team Obama. Our Syrian policy is a pale shadow of what it could be, to hasten the end of a despicable, Iran-allied regime. Iran, for its part, openly scorns efforts to halt its nuclear program, and its centrifuges enriching uranium keep spinning away.
Jackson Deihl writes that Iran's attempted assassination of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi, capital of the country's largest oil buyer, shows that the mullahs are panicking; alternatively, it can be read to show contempt for Iran's adversaries, and lack of fear of retribution.
Bottom Line. We can laugh at Madonna's besotted fans, whose silliness offers us a brief laughing respite during scary times. But President Obama's ineptitude, and seeming utter unawareness of the low regard in which America is held overseas these days, per the late senator is courting great danger.
It could prove a fearful price to pay. The bill likely is far from fully due.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Conservative Politics