Three disturbing reports from the White House

Lots of strange and disturbing things are coming from the White House now that the health-care issue is over:

1) Islamic terrorism is dropped into the memory hole.

President Barack Obama’s advisers will remove religious terms such as “Islamic extremism” from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said.

The change is a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war and currently states: The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century…  — AP (Ha’aretz)

Well, I can understand him wanting to say “we are not fighting against Islam.” But we are fighting something and somebody. Someone killed 3000 Americans on 9/11 and someone is shooting at our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Similarly motivated someones are lobbing rockets at Israel from Gaza and preparing a massive bombardment from Lebanon. And someone in Iran is developing nuclear weapons for some reason. How can we fight an ideology that we are not allowed to name?

The AP piece continues:

The revisions are part of a larger effort about which the White House talks openly, one that seeks to change not just how the United States talks to Muslim nations, but also what it talks to them about, from health care and science to business startups and education.

That shift away from terrorism has been building for a year, since Obama went to Cairo, Egypt, and promised a new beginning in the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world.

“You take a country where the overwhelming majority are not going to become terrorists, and you go in and say, ‘We’re building you a hospital so you don’t become terrorists.'” That doesn’t make much sense, said National Security Council staffer Pradeep Ramamurthy.

My brain actually hurts from thinking about this. Certainly the US should try to have good relations with Muslim countries. But should we ignore the fact that there is a vicious strain of Islamic extremism that expresses itself by trying to kill us? And worse, that there are many — in some Muslim countries a majority — who, while they don’t physically engage in terrorism themselves, support the extremists in principle or materially?

2) Contradictory nuclear guidelines appear.

I’m not going to try to analyze the administration’s new nuclear guidelines in detail; specialists in this sort of thing say that practically speaking there will be little change. But what is the advantage of proposing something that is intended to appear as a limitation, even if in practice it isn’t? Isn’t the whole idea of a deterrent to give the impression that if attacked we will respond in a devastating way? The assertion that we wouldn’t retaliate with nuclear weapons against a biological attack (but we reserve the right to do so) is self-contradictory and confusing.

Why is Obama playing with something that has been kept substantially unchanged by the last eleven US presidents?

Can I be excused for being suspicious, even paranoid? Do I suspect that this means that the administration is laying the groundwork for dealing with a nuclear Iran, which it considers inevitable? Do I also expect more pressure on Israel to join the non-proliferation treaty and give up its own nuclear deterrent? Yes on all.

3) Obama’s imposed ‘peace’ plan is floated.

Given the way this article in the NY Times is written, we can take it as having been dictated to the friendly newspaper by the administration. Replete with references to Netanyahu’s “right-wing party”  and a suggestion that talks have been held up by Israeli intransigence on settlements — an outright lie — the piece appears to be a White House trial balloon. The plan implies an imposed settlement, possibly including US or NATO troops along the Jordan!

The most frightening part is that three out of the four presidential advisors mentioned in connection with the idea — Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Robert Malley — are among the most anti-Israel elements in White House circles. Indeed, Obama was forced to disavow Brzezinski during the campaign when Jewish voters complained. Dennis Ross, the most experienced and knowledgeable Mideast expert associated with the administration was not quoted or mentioned in the article.

Can’t we get Obama interested in something else? He’s really out of his depth in foreign affairs.

Technorati Tags: ,

5 Responses to “Three disturbing reports from the White House”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    Of the three policy- changes mentioned in this article the one I find most worrisome is the ‘imposed peace- plan’. According to one report there was unanimity among former National Security Advisors about the advisability of such a plan. Can they know so little about the Middle East to think it is even a starter? Do they really think they know how to move ‘Hamas’ to recognition of Israel, and ‘Fatah’ to acceptance of ‘no right of return’? Do they think any Israel government will so lightly agree to remove at minimum fifty- thousand, and if I know what the Americans are thinking about, over three- hundred thousand Jews from their homes?
    They are all in dreamland. But again what is alarming is that Obama’s advisory people on the Middle East are almost all the most negative people on Israel that have ever had a policy role in the American government. This certainly makes it clear why anyone who truly cares about Israel has, to put it mildly, reservations about the Obama Administration.

  2. Robman says:

    Obama is a Saudi puppet. Most of his advisors are paid Saudi stooges.

    Really. Many of these types are associated with think-tanks, foundations, etc., with Saudi connections.

    Obama is Saudia’s Man in the Oval Office. Using the price of oil as a lever during most of 2008, the Saudis forced the timing of the crash that fall to make sure Obama got in. Think that is far-fetched?

    We know – it has been amply demonstrated – that the stock market behaves in inverse proportion to the price of oil.

    The price of oil reached record highs that year, and Saudi-led OPEC plays the largest role in determining this price.

    At the time, the skyrocketing price of oil was explained by demand from China and India squeezing the market. But these economies, along with ours, at least in GDP terms, are rebounding from the crash of ’08. Whither the price of oil? I smell a rat.

    There is no question that there were undelying weaknesses in the U.S. economy. I would say the Gulf Arab role was akin to maliciously showing up in a neighbor’s garage that was full of oily rags…and lighting a match.

    I would also bet that specifically, along with the strains imposed by super-high gas prices, “financial forensics”, so to speak, would reveal that the pattern of trades specifically leading to the crash would lead back to investors found in places like Dubai or Riyadh. These sheiks are big players in the markets – they have to stash their cash someplace, and you can only spend so much on palaces and concubines – and they were well-positioned to do this. I don’t have the resources to research this – I’m told by finance types that this would be most complicated – but I am sure in my gut that the ones who deliberately pushed over the first dominoes were Obama’s Gulf Arab cheerleaders, exercising their “last ditch” maneuver to thwart McCain/Palin, who would have been their worst nightmare.

    Consider the setting:

    Summer of ’08, and even though Obama is leading McCain in the polls, he cannot break the 50% barrier. Pundits everywhere are scratching their heads at how Obama just can’t seem to “close the deal” with the voting public.

    Obama gets a small bounce from the convention, then is quickly overtaken by McCain after his. McCain is the first of the two to take and sustain a solid lead above 50%, for three weeks after the GOP convention.

    McCain does this in the face of:

    – The albatross around his neck of the Bush administration, with all associated baggage.

    – An already sluggish economy.

    – Being outspent at least two-to-one by Obama; I’ve heard estimates as high as seven-to-one.

    – With the exception of FOX, an utterly hostile media establishment.

    …And then, the CRASH, six weeks before the election. How conveeeenient.

    Obama has gone on to do just about EVERYTHING the Saudis would have him do, up to and perhaps a little beyond the absolute limits of political practicality in the American context. Remember his state visit to Saudi Arabia at the start of his term? For cryin’ out loud, it was like the freaking ‘return of the prodigal son’!!!

    He is Saudi Arabia’s Manchurian Candidate, installed in the Oval Office, as their ultimate weapon against Israel. Through him, they mean to humiliate Israel into irrelevance and slow strangulation a la some variation on the so-called “Saudi Peace Plan”, or if the Israelis resist, Obama will manufacture a means of permanently – at least he hopes, that is the plan – fracturing the U.S.-Israeli relationship, the last major obstacle the Arabs have had in their way of turning Israel into a 1970s Rhodesia-style pariah state.

    I’m not joking in the slightest. Notice how Obama, it seems, will actually compromise on just about every other major issue. Health care…he got something, but not what he wanted going in (i.e., no public option). Cap and tradel…this will be watered down if it passes at all. Now, Mr. Green Energy is even flip-flopping on nuke plants and offshore drilling. The list goes on….but on Israel, he is focused like a laser-beam in a manner unlike ANY OTHER ISSUE, ISN”T HE??!!

    …Kind of like the Saudis, who admonished Obama to ‘impose a settlement’ already, that they wanted to develop their own society, as if the only thing in the way of Saudi Arabia marching down the road of progress was those pesky Jews who refused to leave the Levant.

    It is becoming increasinlgy apparent that Obama is simply obsessed with Israel. He’ll sacrifice anything else to screw them, it seems. And don’t be fooled by his feckless polices regarding Iran; his ambivalence is PERFECTLY reflective of the Sunni Arab dilemma: ‘We don’t want Iran to have nukes…but we sure do want to screw Israel…what to do, what to do…’ Obama – as the Arab stooge he surely is – sets up the dynamic to perfection as per the Arab playbook: Hold Iran’s nukes over Israel’s heads to gain maximum leverage over Israel, so Israel gets humiliated AND Iran is finally dealt with. Everything King Abdullah could ever want..two for the price of one! This is just SO OBVIOUS!!!!

    Oh, and let’s not leave out the punchline: If Israel caves on the Palis and thus FINALLY gets U.S. support for a strike and the strike leads to all kinds of awful consequences…EVERYBODY CAN STILL BLAME ISRAEL (we only did this ‘cuz the ‘Israel lobby’ made us do it, dontcha know…, those darned Joos, always starting wars…better they don’t have a country…we’ll turn the screws even tighter on them in the next round…they really “owe” us now that we “let” them deal with Iran, and it created such a mess…).

    Honestly, I pray EVERY DAY – I’m not making this up – that Obama is revealed for the traitor he is, that he is promptly impeached, arrested, and thrown in jail. The English language fails me in describing what scum I believe him to be.

  3. Vic Rosenthal says:

    From time to time I think Robman is a little …strong… on the subject of Obama, but although I can’t prove it either, what he writes above makes a lot of sense to me. And I’m not a conspiracy-theory fan.

    Let me bring up one other Wall Street-related question, which seems to have gone away in past years:

    Who shorted airline stocks on September 10, 2001?

    As I recall there was a lot of talk how fruitful it might be to find out who it was, but nothing seems to have come of it.

  4. Robman says:

    Now that I’ve got everybody all depressed, a few lights in the tunnel:

    Obama, like most presidents – but especially someone as outrageously egotistical as him – came in expecting two terms. Now, it is becoming pretty clear, I think even to him, that he’s got only one term. This means he has to “accelerate” his program. In turn, this means he takes a greater risk of pushing the political envelope to a greater degree than it can stand on Israel.


  5. Robman says:

    [I accidentally hit a key that posted my comment above before I was done…sorry….now then, as I was saying:]

    The Saudis, not really understanding the U.S. as well as they think they do, or perhaps having trouble finding a higher-quality stooge, did not factor in the need to run the country very well as part of their scheme. This should not surprise anyone; they can’t even run their own kingdom.

    They don’t have a clue as to what effective governance means as we understand this in advanced societies. To them, governance amounts to placating their clerics, and otherwise cracking down on any and all meaningfull dissent, and then going off for boozing and whoring (in between praying to Mecca five times a day).

    So, they’ve installed their stooge, who is so far out in left field that his popularity has fallen faster than any president since WW2 at a comparable point in his first term. Health care, which he spent enormous amounts of political capital on, practically betting his whole first term on, is a political pig in a poke. He got it, finally, but his poll numbers keep dropping anyway.

    I don’t see how anything can save him. The problems of our economy run very deep, so I don’t see the job picture improving beyond an anemic level for the next three years. Much of what he is doing or trying to do now – increasing taxes to pay for his massive spending programs, cap and trade, etc. – will only make this problem worse.

    I knew Obama would win as soon as the crash occurred. I was certain of it. I am equally certain today that he is toast in 2012. I predict that he won’t carry more than five states, if even that. He will suffer the worst defeat of a sitting president in U.S. history. Remember, even with all the immediate political advantages he had at the time of the last election, he STILL only managed to get 53% of the vote. Now that virtually everything his worst critics before the fact have accused him of, is turning out to be true, the reaction against him will be of a tidal nature.

    He has lost the most fundamental requirement of any leader facing electoral accountability – TRUST. He has proven himself to be such an incredible liar, for all to see, that he likely cannot regain this trust.

    What does this mean for our particular issue in this forum? It means that everything Obama is associated with will be discredited. That includes his anti-Israel policies. His replacement will have a virtual mandate to repair relations, and re-affirm them to what I expect will be a historic degree.

    ….That is, if Obama has not sabotaged things beyond repair by then. I don’t rule that out.

    Thus, for now, Bibi has a very, very tough tightrope to walk. I’ve seen Israeli commentators on the right castigate Bibi for not standing up forcefully enough to Obama, but I don’t know that they appreciate the ‘rules of engagement’ this time around. This is not Carter. This is not Bush 41. This is not even Eisenhower. This is a guy who is positively straining at the bit for an excuse to destroy the U.S.-Israeli relationship…but he needs to make it look like Bibi’s fault. It is Bibi, you see, who has to “break” the “unbreakable bond”. There is nothing Obama would like better than for Bibi to tell him to go to hell.

    Bibi is many things, but he is not stupid, and he is very experienced. I don’t think anyone can accuse him of being a “wimp”. I imagine he knows very well what he is up against, I’m sure. It would not surprise me at all if everything in my original post above has also occurred to him, and his staff, and even to Israeli intelligence. But what can they do, even if my theory is true? As a practical matter, it’s not like they can come out in the open and declare to the world, “Obama is a Saudi stooge”. They have to deal with this stooge, even if they know he is a stooge, because he is still president of the U.S.

    So, we have to ride this out as we can. Bibi has to keep his cool while Obama’s star becomes increasingly dim. Meantime, at the grassroots level, people like us need to fight as never before, in any way we can (e.g., pressure on our members of Congress, the media, etc.), to ensure that Obama & Co. are continually made aware of the political costs of screwing Israel openly.

    Iran is the big wild card, though. The Iranians won’t politely wait until 2013 to build a nuke. Israel might have to act well before then, and that can change everything in a very big hurry. The conventional wisdom is that would be for the worse, if Israel acts without U.S. support and touches off a regional war. But it might also shake things up in a manner that completely throws Obama’s Saudi-inspired game plan.

    If Israel really can cripple the Iranian nuke program, that takes away the sword Obama holds over their heads to capitulate to the Palis. If the resulting regional war ends up with Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and even the PA in the West Bank bludgeoned, when the dust settles, Obama has no cards left to play. In the short term, there could be EU and even UN sanctions that Obama would do nothing to stop, that he might even encourage, and Israel might have to endure a couple of years as a genuine pariah state that would be economically devastating, but at least they’d be physically secure, and Obama’s replacement would reverse the political/economic isolation. Perhaps a sympathetic Congress would even reverse it before that.

    Obama is an empty suit and a coward. Bibi is strong and smart. We live in a free society – at least last time I checked, though I sure don’t take this for granted going forward – and we can act. Obama will be smashed in 2012, perhaps – G-d willing – even impeached before that if the Senate turns over next year. That pretty much sums up the good news.

    Stout hearts, everybody.