Skip to comments.Secretary of Defense Panetta shows how the Obama Administration is Selling Out Israel...and US
Posted on 12/03/2011 3:38:16 PM PST by goldstategop
Charlie:: You coulda been another Billy Conn, and that skunk we got you for a manager, he brought you along too fast.
Terry: It wasnt him, Charley, it was you. Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and you said, `Kid, this aint your night. Were going for the price on Wilson. .I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors on the ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit . ==Arthur Miller, On the Waterfront
By Barry Rubin
Let me state this in undiplomatic language: U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is a clown. True, this will not be the kind of thing written about in the mainstream media but it is true nonetheless. Panetta has no knowledge of the Middle East, no experience in grand strategy, no concept of Islamist politics, no awareness of Israels defense needs, and doesnt know much about military issues generally.
All that would be forgivable if it werent for one more problem: He has no understanding of what has happened in the last year either.
Panetta has now bashed Israel based on a premise. Here it is:
I understand the view that this is not the time to pursue peace, and that the Arab awakening further imperils the dream of a safe and secure, Jewish and democratic Israel. But I disagree with that view. Nevertheless, Israel needs to take risks and particularly, The problem right now is we cant get them to the damn table, to at least sit down and begin to discuss their differences.
First, there is a peculiar phrase that I have not seen used even once to describe the Middle East events of 2011, Arab awakening instead of Arab Spring. This apparently comes from the title of a new book about these events.
But what is the origin of this phrase? The Arab Awakening was the famous book written by George Antonius (subsidized by a U.S foundation to do so, by the way) advocating Arab nationalism and opposition to Zionism in 1938. The Arab Awakening began a half-century pan-Arab struggle against Israels creation or existence might this not give us a hint of what the new Arab Awakening is going to do? Oh, and 1938 marks the year when Great Britain desperately tried to sell out the Jews in order to gain Arab support (for the coming war with Germany and Italy). Within two years of Antoniuss book the form the Arab Awakening took was an alliance with Nazi Germany. One of the main allies of Berlin was the Muslim Brotherhood, now coming into power in Tunisia and Egypt.
But there are three other major questions raised in Panettas statement.
First, does the current Arab Awakening imperil Israel? Yes, of course it does. By changing a reasonably friendly Egyptian government into a totally hostile Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi dominated political system closely allied with Hamas, the Gaza Strips ruler, and by helping establish Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Libya allied with this Muslim Brotherhood International; the changes create a four-member alliance intent on wiping Israel off the map.
Add to that Islamist domination of Lebanon by Hizballah, an Islamist regime in Turkey, and the continuing threat from Iran and youve got quite a regional situation.
Second, and more interestingly, why is the above true?
The answer is as follows:
Democracy in theory is admirable but when you have masses imbued with very radical views, strong Islamist movements, and weak moderate ones, the election winners will be extremely radical Islamists. By winning massive victories, facing a weak (even sympathetic) United States, and seeing even mor extreme forces becoming so popular (the Salafists in Egypt) the Islamists are emboldened to be even more radical in their behavior. Whos going to stop them?
We are thus not facing a springtime of democracy but a springtime of extremism.
Not only is the United States not opposing this development it is supporting it. In other words, U.S. policy is intensifying the threat to Israel, not helping Israel.
Third, why are there no negotiations? As the history of the issue since January 2009 shows, it is the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel. If Panetta and the Obama Administration were either wise or honest they would acknowledge this fact. Instead, they blame Israel. Once again, U.S. policy is intensifying the threat to Israel, not helping Israel.
Consequently, Panettas statement that Israel has a responsibility to build regional support for Israeli and United States security objectives is nonsense. Let me put it in the form of a lesson in logic:
Israeli security objectives and the U.S. national interest are consistent.
But Israeli security objectives and Obama administration objectives are not consistent.
And Obama administration objectives and the U.S. national interest are not consistent.
Consider Panettas statement
I believe security is dependent on a strong military but it is also dependent on strong diplomacy. And unfortunately, over the past year, weve seen Israels isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow.
But why has it grown? Because of the advance of Islamist radical regimes and movements which are not tolerant of Israels security needs or in fact of Israels existence.
This is the equivalent of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain making the same statement in 1938:
I believe security is dependent on a strong military but it is also dependent on strong diplomacy. And unfortunately, over the past year, weve seen Czechoslovakias isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow.
Panettas suggestion, like that of Chamberlain in 1938 is that Israel should mend relations with such traditional security partners. Specifically, he stated, Israel can reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability countries like Turkey and Egypt, as well as Jordan,
That statement is false. Israel cant reach out and mend fences with Turkey and Egypt because they do not share an interest in regional stability. They are no longer status quo powers; they are countries that want revolutionary change in the Middle East. And this claim takes on special irony since Israel must now not just mend the fence but build an entirely new fence to protect itself from cross-border attacks from Egypt.
Turkey today is not the Turkey of the past. Israel had good relations with Turkey when it was governed by center-right or social democratic parties. Today Turkey is governed by Islamists who hate Israel. Doesnt Panetta understand the difference? No! Now thats scary.
Heres the truth: The Islamist regime in Turkey has replaced Israel as the number-one Middle East friend and advisor. And this is a government about which a half-dozen years ago Israels ambassador told an American counterpart (as we see on Wikileaks) that this regime hates Israel and hates Jews. That message is in a State Department cable.
What about Egypt? Well, the Obama Administration helped get rid of that security partner. And as for Jordan, it is understandably scared stiff. In the environment of Islamist advance it is trying to appease its own Islamists and is moving closer to Hamas as a way of surviving. And last month the king of Jordan said in a Washington Post interview that nobody could depend on America any more.
Panetta said, It is in Israels interest, Turkeys interest, and US interest for Israel to reconcile with Turkey, and both Turkey and Israel need to do more to put their relationship back on track, But it is notrepeat notin the interest of the current government of Turkey to reconcile with Israel. We saw this in the Israel-Turkey negotiations over the flotilla in which the Turkish prime minister wanted to ensure there would be no deal.
There are two more shockingly absurd pieces of advice Panetta has for Israel.
This is not impossible [for Israel to try to mend fences]. If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. And that is exactly why Israel should pursue them.
What does an Israeli audience think of when it reads this? Of the same old message from the West to Israel: make gestures, give concessions, take risks, and when they are rebuked the world will see. This is precisely the same advice given regarding the 1990s peace process, the freeze of construction on settlements, and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. And every time the world doesnt see. After the risk is taken (and Israels security suffers), and the concessions are made (and Israelis die), the world is even more critical of Israel and repeats, as Panetta does, that Israel has done nothing for peace.
Finally, Panetta also uses another weird phrase. He urges Israel to lean forward to obtain peace with the Palestinians.
Lean forward, where have you ever heard that phrase before? Only as the motto of the anti-Israel, radical MSNBC network, another hint of where Panettas words are coming from. Actually, though, Israel has been leaning over backward for years to make peace without getting any credit for it.
Let me summarize. Panetta and the Obama Administration arent just wrong. They are dangerously and absurdly wrong. These people just dont just misunderstand the Middle East, they totally and completely misunderstand it. They are 180 degrees off course, that is heading in the opposite direction of safety.
Despite the satisfactory state of relations on a purely military level, the Obama Administration is not a friend of Israel, even to the extent that it was arguably so in the first two years of this presidency.
It is now an enemy; it is on the other side. Again, the issue is not mainly bilateral relations but the administrations help and encouragement to those forces that are Israels biggest enemies, that want to rekindle war, and that are 100 percent against a two-state solution. And I dont mean the Palestinian Authority, I mean the Islamists.
And the Obama Administration is also a strategic enemy of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan. It is also a strategic enemy to the democratic opposition forces in Iran, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt.
These are harsh words and for those who dont understand the current situation in the Middle East they will no doubt seem partisan, extreme, and alarmist.
This is the worst tragedy of all: sadly and regrettably they are quite true.
I hate to say it, but I don’t think Panetta is stupid. I think he is evil. That’s why Obama picked him to head first the CIA and the Defense Department. Because there could hardly have been a worse person for either post.
"Ya know, Leon, you're a funny guy."
"Funny? What do mean, I'm funny?"
"You know, you're funny."
"No, I don't know. Am I a clown? Do I amuse you?"
Somebody has jiggered Rubin's text. He didn't make the above statement. And Arthur Miller is not credited with the writing of "On The Waterfront" (nor should he be).
If you want to know what Rubin actually wrote, follow the link to the article.
Send treats to the troops...
Great because you did it.
(An entirely free service)
Panetta is one of those antisemites with inferiority complex to the jews.
He was put there empowered to abuse power and incite for his jealousy of IsraEl in his incompetent image obsessed state of inadequacy. So he’ll resort to liberal pseudo moralist humanist language like the miserable little ignorant rat that he is.
He is propped there specifcally because of his views and inadequacies.
I disagree. I think there is a clear plan and Panetta is just doing his part. The plan was to turn the governments surrounding Israel over to radical Muslims. They planned for another Flotilla “protest” earlier this year so they could demonize BiBi when he stopped the boats and order him to step down but it did not work because Israelis stopped the protests through court actions.
This is a new strategy of blaming and demonizing Israel (BiBi) for the hatred of the radicals who now surround Israel. Obama wants Israel to withdraw to the early borders as he has stated and he wants to create a Pali state. He knows he needs a leftist Israeli leader to get the “peace agreement” he wants.
Leftists are evil. They are not stupid.
The article was 100% dead on except for the summary. Make no mistake Obama and his henchmen know exactly what they are doing.
In this case, I don’t attribute to grand wisdom what I can attribute to feckless stupidity.
As far as the MidEast is concerned, I believe that 0bama simply wishes that Israel would shrivel up and die and disappear from his plate, so he could concentrate on his re-election. Frankly, I don’t think that 0bama cares one whit about anything else. If Israel must be sacrificed, if even the future of the US has to be sacrificed, then so be it. To him, nothing else matters.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
I think you must have misread my post, because that’s what I said. I agree.
I’m sorry. You are right. I misread what you wrote. :)