RANGER AGAINST WAR: Reverse English <

Monday, April 01, 2013

Reverse English

There isn't a more profitable undertaking for any country
than to declare war on the United States and to be defeated 
--The Mouse that Roared (1959)

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist
--Indira Gandhi

President Obama recently traveled to Israel and met with President, Benjamin Netanyahu (after rebuffing him on his two previous trips to the United States.)  The visit was a set piece allowing Mr. Obama to co-opt some of his erstwhile mentor Wright's hortatory when he bade Israelis to reach out in peace to their mortal nemesis, Hamas (Obama will not meet with Hamas himself.)

Americans enjoy the feeling of newness and the appeal to youth-as-salvation, but Obama in Israel is not President Kennedy forming the Peace Corps. We err in many ways when we envision the Arab-Israeli peace process (NOT) as one of overcoming terrorism via application of our own template. 

Of course, that is not exactly what Obama did when he exhorted the young Israelis reach out with the olive branch to sworn enemy Hamas. The U.S. template of elective warfare is anything but nurturing and peace-loving. (One of the best political cartoon takes on the meeting was a two-panel, showing Obama in his pulpit apparently excoriating Netanyahu and government for being aggressive and building fences as no way to surmount problems and achieve peace, while the next panel has the president saying, "But enough about Washington ...")

The Israelis face an existential threat from terrorists who are chartered to destroy their nation. In fact, Hamas has organized beyond garden variety terrorism into low-intensity conflict, military in nature.  Israel is not the United States -- their Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is largely that, a defense force incapable of long-term, mass-casualty theatre operations. However, they maintain their military aura as they are a key ally of the U.S. in the area and we like to envision them as a maneuver force of the U.S. military machine.

While exhorting the Israelis to embrace peace, love and beauty with their avowed enemies, Obama failed to mention that he had just befriended the new Egyptian government with 200 new battle tanks. Did Obama feel this gift would increase or decrease the chance of peace in the region?  We peddle the fiction that whoever leads Egypt will protect the peace with Israel, but Anwar al-Sadat was a one-off in the Arab world, and his assassination was a shot across the bow from any of his fellows: do not deal with Israel unless you, too, want to be dead.

Did Obama gift the Israelis with 200 tanks? Did he de-fang the Egyptian support of Hamas? A country may not arm everyone and expect peace to flow from that; that is how the World Wars started.  Yet the U.S. president has the chutzpah to exhort Israeli leaders and public to subscribe to Flower Power, a posture that will get Israeli knocked down quicker than Robert Blake off of his Electra Glide in Blue.

Our president had no qualms about spreading his fairy dust within Israel, but he did not repeat his performance to Hamas or in any of the States supporting the elements that are hostile towards Israel. He did not address Egypt's anti-Semetic President Morsi or that nation's Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological father of al-Qaeda elements which are the U.S. enemy of choice in its Phony War on Terror (PWOT © ).

And at the same time Obama was calling for peace with the Palestinians and gifting the Eyptians with war tanks, he was discussing the possibility of Israeli, or U.S., or U.S. - Israeli military action against Iran. The Iranians are always a convenient whipping boy and distraction. So why must Israel strike a peaceful posture versus Hamas, but a military one versus Iran?

After two disastrous long-term wars, the U.S. has left the region anything but peaceful. We disingenuously tell the Israelis to be peaceful while remaining militarily engaged in Yemen, Somalia and the Horn of Africa -- while Africom uses the African continent as their playground.  We call it "defense" when we employ our forces worldwide, while telling Israel to bite the bullet in their own terrain.

The U.S. left Iraq behind with no insured peace and it will be the same in Afghanistan.  We have forgotten the principles of war and cannot remember the foundations of peace and prosperity. While we hunt and kill terrorists worldwide, President Obama has the Chutzpah to tell Israeli youth to embrace Hamas in a warm, fuzzy bear hug.  It is the scorpion and the frog, and Obama is either a callow 2nd term president or his fiendish machinations know no shame.

Speeches are not reality and effective policy must be based in fact, not feel-good tripe. Ranger's view is that of a detached observer.

If Obama were an honest broker, he would tell the Palestinian's Hamas that they will never have a place at the table of civilized nations until they accept the right of their neighbors to exist -- not until they demonstrate they can build in addition to destroying. That is a position from which the Palestinians could operate with credibility.

Anything short of that is nihilism, and that is not the posture of an advancing Western civilization.  Nihilists welcome death, hardly a dealer's card.

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Blogger Aisha said...

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 11:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...


You know my opinion on the whole business; the original notion of re-establishing the Kingdom of Israel and Judea in the Ottoman province of Palestine was one of those historically idiotic ideas right up there with going in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. If Mr. Balfour and Mr. Sykes and Mr. Picot had wanted to offer the zionist organizations somebody's land they would have been better advised to offer them some in Kent, say, or Provence.

That said, Israel has a perfect "right" to what it can defend, the same "right" the Europeans had when they took North America away from the pre-1492 inhabitants, the same "right" the Saxons had when they took Britain away from the Picts, the same "right" the original Hebrews had when they wandered in from Sinai and slaughtered the original Palestinians back in their day - the "right" of a strong people to whatever they can hold on to.

But, frankly, I don't see any reason for the U.S. to have anyone's back in this nightmarish mess. Because if push comes to shove, the Arab states have what the U.S. needs; petroleum, access through Suez, and the ability to quash their domestic Islamists; if it came down to U.S. interests the Egyptians could use all those M1A1s and come what may - the mere fact that this nation is allied at all with the nation of Israel is an exercise in sentimentality that wealthy nations can afford, lucky for Israel.

No, Mr. Obama is doing what all U.S. presidents since Eisenhower have done; making gas with their mouths while our money and clout go to Jerusalem. That's fine, but I wouldn't expect to get any sort of benefit from it; the Arabs will hate us and the Israelis (many of them, and almost all the Israeli Right) feel nothing but contempt for our platitudes and our attempting to prevent them from doing a full-on ethnic cleansing on the Territories.

There IS no "good guy" here; just whoever is tough enough and ruthless enough to win.

Friday, April 5, 2013 at 5:16:00 PM GMT-5  

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