The One has a special touch for the Mideast?....
SYRIA. Obama now calls for a new international coalition to drive Syria's Assad from power, as the carnage inside Syria intensifies. Team Obama's lassitude on Syria risks missing an oportunity to tilt possible regime change towards moderate elements.
ISRAEL. Put simply, President Obama does not have Israel's back. Later this year, should Israel strike Iran's nuclear facilities, look for a new Israeli - Hezbollah war, with Israel determined this time, writes Con Coughlin, to finish off Hezbollah once and for all. The One's naivete (shared by pro-O journalists) also applies to mistaken beliefs about moderate elements among militant Islamist groups, perfectly captured by CB's Abe Greenwald:
Listen closely to Brotherhood members or Taliban spokesmen prattle on about representative governance, women’s rights, and pluralism. They sound like incarcerated murderers who explain their rampages in Freudian language provided them by jailhouse social workers. Serial killers have become more expert at explaining denial, projection, and sublimation than college psychology professors. If you think that means they’re cured, go ahead and release them.
It seems, sadly, that we never learn.
IRAN. Jed Babbin at TAS details how Obama is pushing Israel toward war, by its pro-Islam tilt. Here is his 2010 attack scenario, likely close to what Israel would try. Niall Ferguson demolishes arguments against an Israeli strike. But Mike Ledeen sees Israel continuing to rely on sabotage instead of air attack. Bret Stephens sees a likely Israeli strike--BEFORE the November elections, when Obama is limited in his ability to retaliate against Israel, for fear of alienating part of the Jewish vote, a major factor in Florida.
Yesterday Team Obama imposed sanctions on Iran's central bank assets--a step long overdue. It was, however, (t/h Alana Goodman at CB) forced upon him by Congress, per a bill co-sponsored by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) & Mark Kirk (R-IL). In the same (pitiful) vein, Obama had to be pressed by France to allow Great Britain to join the Iran flotilla now in the Persian Gulf.
A new poll taken by The Hill finds 49% of Americans would support a US strike at Iran, 31% oppose it & 20% are undecided; 62% fear an Iranian terrorist attack on US soil, while 37% do not fear this.
Savor this Monday quotation from former Israeli diplomat Dan Gillerman:
"I would rather see a living Israel condemned by the international community, than a dying Israel consoled by the international community."
Gillerman added that whereas North Korea "acquired nuclear weapons out of desperation, Iran seeks them out of aspiration"--to dominate the Mideast.
PALESTINIANS. Meanwhile, Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will head a joint Fatah - Hamas unity government--thus interring even deeper the already moribund "peace process." At CB Jonathan Tobin speculates that Obama may still keep sending money to the Palestinians in pursuit of illusory peace.
AFGHANISTAN. A hard issue to attract voter attention is (t/h Marc Thiessen) Obama's public acknowledgement of the CIA's drone program. Yes, "everyone knows" we have been doing this, for a decade. But as Thiessen notes, to date the federal courts have brushed off legal challenges to the program, by stating that the official public record is insufficient to establish the existence of such a program, under prevailing legal standards. Now that The One has told the world challenges can arise, not only as to the program's existence, but as to how the CIA runs it. Already the ACLU is on the case. Expect lawsuits galore to follow, because "O" likes to brag about his national security successes, confidentiality be damned.
"OBAMA DOCTRINE" EMERGING? Elliott Abrams sees an Obama Doctrine emerging: "raid, run & announce." Abrams would have "O" put it like this: “I will undertake any military attack against our enemies, regardless of the risks and collateral damage, so long as it is over by the time I have to announce it.
Bottom Line. One of President Obama's biggest 2008 selling points was that having been born to a Muslim father and living part of his childhood in a distant Islamic land (Indonesia) he would bring a special connection to America's relations with various Muslim communities around the globe. The vast disarray in Islamic regions attests to the pipe dream this was. In fact, unlike the 43 prior occupants of our Oval Office, "O" is not merely an unbeliever. He is, having chosen a different religion (Christianity) than Islam, an apostate. Islam recognizes no right of conversion; militant Islamists view it as a capital offense. That--and ONLY that--is Obama's special connection to Islamic communities.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, National Security, Nuclear Proliferation, WMD, Conservative Politics