The main thing I’ve learned from the WikiLeaks documents is that I was wrong about Barack Obama. I’d thought that he was putting the screws to Israel in order to appease the Arab world, particularly the Saudis. Apparently not. David Horowitz puts it very well:
The Obama administration, it is now clear for all to see, was not pressing a reluctant Netanyahu to make settlement-freeze and other concessions to the Palestinians in part because it truly believed this would be helpful in generating wider support for tackling Iran.
Not at all. The United States, we now know courtesy of WikiLeaks, was being repeatedly urged by a succession of Arab leaders to smash an Iranian nuclear program they feared would destabilize the entire region and put their regimes at risk. Their priority was, and is, battering Ahmadinejad, not bolstering Abbas.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, in 2008, had not urged the US to chivvy those recalcitrant Israelis toward concessions to the Palestinians as a pre-condition for grudging Saudi support for a firmer US-led position against Iran. Anything but. Never mind the Palestinians, the king simply implored Washington to “cut off the head of the [Iranian] snake.”
Likewise, with minor variations in the course of the following year, the rulers of Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
We are now starting to hear, courtesy of WikiLeaks, what Jordan and Egypt had to say on the matter too.
So, one asks, if Obama was not doing the Arabs’ bidding, why did he base his entire Mideast policy on the obviously false ‘linkage’ theory that asserts that ‘solving the Palestinian problem’ is a prerequisite to stabilizing the Middle East, and in particular, to dealing with Iranian expansionism?
Apparently he honestly thinks that the world will be a better place with Israel forced back to non-defensible borders, and with yet another undemocratic, economically non-viable Arab state in the Mideast.
Indeed, given the present strategic situation of Israel, targeted by the extremely dangerous missile forces of Iranian proxies Hizballah and Syria (as well as the less significant but still deadly rockets of Hamas), a withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights would be suicidal, regardless of US ‘guarantees’. The fact that Obama wants to impose such a ‘solution’ means that Israel’s security is simply not a concern for him.
Keep in mind that a strong Israel is a deterrent to Iranian plans. So by weakening Israel and prioritizing the Palestinian issue above that of Iran, Obama is both aiding Iran’s effort to extend its regional influence through the activities of Hizballah and giving it more time and freedom to progress its nuclear program.
This is detrimental to US interests as well as those of its Arab allies.
In other words, for ideological reasons — not for oil or anything else — Obama is pushing a policy to hurt Israel and help the radical forces in the region.
Obama has shown a remarkable coolness toward Israel. As President, he hasn’t visited Israel, although he has gone to numerous Arab countries. He was particularly unfriendly to PM Netanyahu when the latter visited Washington in March, and announced a policy turn away from Israel in April. After a short respite due to the upcoming midterm elections, he quickly went back to pressing Israel for concessions. And now he has floated a trial balloon via J Street for an imposed agreement to create ‘Palestine’.
This is not the realpolitik of a George H. W. Bush or a Henry Kissinger. This is the man who insulted the British in 2009 by returning a bust of Winston Churchill, because Churchill suppressed the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya in 1952 (yes, the bust was on loan, but they offered to extend the loan and Obama said ‘no’).
My guess is that Obama’s worldview is infused with the sophomoric anti-colonialism of present-day academe, and he sees Israel — despite the fact that it was the Jews that kicked the British out of Palestine — as a colonial power, and the Palestinian Arabs as an oppressed indigenous people (despite the fact that they are not so indigenous).
This is stupid enough when you hear it from college students, but it’s downright frightening when it distorts the policy of the most powerful nation on earth!