Monday, March 23, 2015

Obama Stands Up for America

From the perspective of a noninterventionist, President Obama’s foreign policy has been a disaster. Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, and now the stalled withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan – all this and more is evidence that the candidate who campaigned against the reckless policies of his predecessor has turned out to be worse, in many ways, than George W. Bush. However, in one area his recent actions have made us proud, and that is in his dealings with the rogue state of Israel.

Not that he started out that way. When Joe Biden went to Israel and was ambushed by his ungracious hosts – who took the opportunity to announce a new round of "settlement" building – there were no consequences for Tel Aviv. When the IDF attacked Gaza in alleged retaliation for a rogue attack on Israeli schoolboys, the President stood by while Israel rained death on Palestinian children – the main victims of the war – and again there were no consequences. And don’t forget the competition between candidate Obama and Mitt Romney over who could kowtow to Bibi Netanyahu more obsequiously: all in all a most unedifying spectacle.

Yet any President of these United States, no matter from which party, is bound to at least appear to be advancing American interests throughout the world, whether not these clash with Israel’s foreign policy agenda. And since – contrary to the Israel First crowd – the US and Israel are separate countries, with different interests, this clash is bound to occur no matter how close the "special relationship" may appear to be.

Furthermore, it is simply a fact of geopolitical reality that, ever since the 9/11 attacks, the clash of interests has become more apparent, and divisive, in spite of the initial solidarity that developed between Washington and Tel Aviv. The United States, faced with an assault by radical Sunnis intent on fighting a worldwide jihad against our interests, had to find Arab/Muslim allies in order to dispute Osama bin Laden’s claim to represent all Muslims everywhere. In short, it was necessary to split the Muslim world and drain the pool of potential recruits to Al Qaeda.

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