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Hold That Tiger (Israel Tossed Under The Bus)
Pajamas Media ^ | 5/19/2011 | Richard Fernandez

Posted on 05/20/2011 4:25:32 AM PDT by IbJensen

The Arab reaction to the president’s Middle East speech as reported by the Christian Science Monitor is reminiscent of the responses to the failing Mubarak: they’ve seen Obama give, now they want to see him give some more. “While those involved in Arab uprisings welcomed Obama’s support, others were disappointed with his failure to apologize for US support for Middle East dictators.” Once you start giving to the crowd, you can’t stop giving.

In giving his speech the president may have done three things, none of which he quite intended. First, he has essentially denounced as evil and misguided, though in a lukewarm fashion, decades of American policy in the Middle East. Second, he has delegitimized Israel, at least within the context of its current borders. Third, he has by implication suggested that the rule of many of his allies is undemocratic and, in consequence, declared himself King of Arabia. He has assumed ultimate responsibility for the political development of the region now. He’s declared it broken. Now he owns it.

When a regime of long standing makes unprecedented admissions of culpability and promises reform, the first reaction of revolutionaries is to assume that ancien regime is doomed. Those who listened to Obama’s speech may not be convinced of his new beginning, but they most assuredly scent the coming of an end.

What some Arabs will be looking for now is street cred. The Los Angeles Times reported from Cairo that listeners to the president’s speech said it went far, but didn’t go far enough. “People seem to have lost confidence in the good words Obama said when he was here,” said Aziz. “I think it was us Egyptians, Tunisians and Arabs who forced Obama to finally start reaching out to the region and support freedoms and peoples’ will. He knows that it is a reality now and that he will lose the whole region’s support if he doesn’t do so.”

Having declared himself on the side of the demonstrators and no longer the defender of the status quo, many of the participants in the Arab Street will ask Obama to make his bones. And the only way President Obama can prove that he’s on their side is to throw one or two dictators their way. The Bush plan would be to throw Khamenei and Assad to the crowds first. But that appears to be off the table, because he wants to talk to them, so in the Obama variation the alternative appears to be giving only America’s allies in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, the heave-ho. When it is too hard to ditch your enemies, ditch those who trusted you.

It’s a potential recipe for disaster, not in the least because it can backfire on the president. In a region where losing means winding up on the end of the hangman’s rope, you can bet your bottom dollar that regimes will fight for survival. That means anything can happen. Will the president be ready to finish what he started? He had better be because once fairly begun it is hard to stop. An old Chinese proverb said: “He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.” John Kennedy added his own embellishment to the theme: “In the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding on the back of the tiger ended up inside.”

That advice has lost none of its relevance today. President Obama’s words are not just speeches. They communicate policy. They set wheels in motion, if not in American bureaucracies, then elsewhere in the world where listeners react to them and make plans of their own. They can create a momentum that must either be seen through or lead to bust. He may be gone from office in several years, but the consequences of his words will outlive his term. Will there be a new Middle East, with all its minorities and confessions living in relative harmony? Or will it be bust?

I think the president believes he can achieve a nuanced outcome by taking both sides of history in the Middle East; to preserve U.S. security interests while spreading democracy — all largely achieved by the State Department. Maybe he will succeed. But the worst case scenario is that this will lead to a complete unraveling of the U.S. position in the region coupled with an unwillingness and inability to defend any red line whatsoever. Consider: if Plan A fails, what on earth is Plan B?

There was a young lady of Riga, Who rode with a smile on a tiger; They returned from the ride With the lady inside, And the smile on the face of the tiger.

Sometimes the tiger thinks differently

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: evilregime; muslimpresident; obama
Israel must act because there is no longer any credibility in a US defensive umbrella. The Arab’s and Persians believe that they can win, and given long enough to prepare, they can either win or severely hurt Israel. She needs to stop them now, on her own, to defend her own sovereignty and right to exist.

Every regime in the Middle East that can possibly afford it will buy Nuc’s and other WMD’s. They’ll take the example of Pakistan to heart, and NONE will trust the USA for anything. The arms race kicks off in earnest now. Expect to see the Europeans in there big time to sell them the stuff – like hogs in the trough.

Obama is like a lost four year old child in a world of mean old adults, except maybe that he’s holding a six shooter and the lives of millions in his hand. What a fearful mess!

1 posted on 05/20/2011 4:25:34 AM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

Yet another example of nobama, the great leader, WTF foreign policy.

2 posted on 05/20/2011 4:26:40 AM PDT by hal ogen (1st amendment or reeducation camp?)
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To: IbJensen

3 posted on 05/20/2011 4:34:13 AM PDT by Diogenesis ( Vi veri veniversum vivus vici)
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To: IbJensen

This more than anything else he has done shows that Obama is an apologist and an appeaser for terrorists, terrorism, terror groups and state sponsors of terror.

Is it any wonder why nothing has been done about Iran?

All of his actions since entering the WH support that hypothesis.

And his DOJ Holder has joined him in that and even endorsed his action.

The only reason why Osama was killed was because it was politically beneficial to Obama because his poll numbers were sinking like a stone and he needed a boost.

4 posted on 05/20/2011 4:39:36 AM PDT by scorchedearther
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To: scorchedearther

To add insult to injury of the people demonstrating and dying to overthrow the regime in Iran, zerO had the audacity to cite them and the young woman whose death briefly became a rallying point across the globe as examples of the urge to freedom, after doing absolutely nothing in their behalf.

I sat there screaming at him and then turned the damned set off. It is better to read about his speeches afterward than to watch them. It is just lies and spin upon more lies and spin.

This morning, I read a Reuters article about Bibi that characterized him as *pro-settler*. There should be no doubt that Israel is alone in the world, being served up on a platter to the ravening hordes of Islam and the totalitarians.

I am ashamed that this cold imitation of a man is the POTUS. He is no different than any mass murderer. May he meet the usual fate of such villains.

5 posted on 05/20/2011 5:06:45 AM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: reformedliberal

Obama would make a great James Bond villain in the classic sense.

6 posted on 05/20/2011 5:13:44 AM PDT by scorchedearther
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To: IbJensen

You can’t throw Israel under the bus.
Israel IS the bus, and the bus driver is ever vigilant.

7 posted on 05/20/2011 6:11:22 AM PDT by Nonsense Unlimited
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To: IbJensen

For the first time since Woodrow Wilson we have elected a liberal academic who actually believes that all people and regimes will listen to his ideas and make reasonable decisions based on them.

He actually said today the ‘precise formulations’ have to be worked out with Israel as though words on a piece of paper will magically end the conflict in the ME.

8 posted on 05/20/2011 3:53:18 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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