Sometimes, the Obama Administration’s vaunted “smart diplomacy” can take your breath away.
Take, for instance, the report that President Obama is considering sanctions on Israel for ongoing “settlement” construction in East Jerusalem.
After initially refusing to comment, the administration eventually denied the report. However, the reporting seems solid and the report is being widely seen as a ploy to float a story to harm Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before Israel’s coming elections.
Consider the timing: At the same time the Administration is fighting tooth and nail against any new sanctions on Iran for pursuing nuclear weapons, it is introducing the idea of sanctions on Israel.
This is an incremental development in a major foreign policy shift easily overlooked in a media culture focused on sensation. But, it’s important that the country not become desensitized to what has become clear about this President policy: He consistently rewards America’s enemies while punishing its friends.
Now consider the Islamist Republic of Iran. Iran is a religious theocracy that, since 1979, and its seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, has committed numerous acts of war against the U.S.
It directed the Hizbullah terrorists that have killed 241 Americans in the 1983 bombing in Beirut, and tortured American William Higgins until “(t)he skin on his face had been partially removed along with his tongue and he had also been castrated.” It supplied IEDs to Iraqi rebels during the 2000’s that have killed or wounded hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It planned a 2011 bombing of a Washington, DC restaurant to kill a Saudi Ambassador, which, according to then-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, would have resulted in the loss of many lives.
Iran is the leading sponsor of terrorism against the U.S. and the West, according to the State Department.
Iran has a reprehensible human rights record: it is one of the top 10 countries for Christian persecution; it hangs gays; it discriminates against women and even put to death a women for killing the man that raped her. The Iranian regime continues to celebrate a yearly “Death to America” day, where attendees chanted “Death to America,” “Death to Obama,” “Death to Kerry,” and “Death to [State Department Undersecretary Wendy] Sherman.” In this celebration, the Iranians also set up a booth for Iranian participants to throw shoes at Obama, a sign of immense disrespect in the Muslim world. The Iranian leadership routinely threatens Israel, and other American allies, with death and destruction.
Iran is rushing forward with a nuclear program which clearly is meant to develop nuclear weapons that could in turn be used to threaten the entire Middle East, Europe, and even the U.S. Six times the UN has demanded that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program. The international community, led by the U.S., pursued years of economic sanctions to deter the Iranians. And since 2011 the U.S., and the other P 5+1 nations, have negotiated with Iran in a vain attempt to persuade it to curb these ambitions.
However, in these discussions with Iran over its nuclear program, the Obama Administration is content to talk forever, even with an Iranian leader who has boasted that he lied and tricked the West in prior nuclear negotiations. President Obama stands by as the Iranian leaders routinely insult, threaten, and make light of the United States, his Administration, and even himself. The Obama Administration also is happy to give the Iranian regimes billions of dollars simply for the pleasure of negotiating with them. The Iranians then used that money to resurrect their economy, and/or resupply their bloodthirsty terror allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Even the fact that Iran has violated the interim deal by using this money to go on an international shopping spree to acquire components for a heavy-water reactor that could be used in the production of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium has not interfered with the negotiations.
But when Congress objects to the President’s “smart diplomacy” with Iran, and acts to re-institute or institute new sanctions, the Administration berates Congressmen as “warmongers” and then opines through his underlings that new sanctions would “blow up” the talks.
On the other hand, there is our strong ally, Israel. Israel is the only truly democratic state in the Middle East.
Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that allows freedom of speech religion, and voting (in regular and free elections). Israel protects Christians, and allows them to worship as they choose. It is the only state in the Middle East to do so.
Israel is the only Middle Eastern state where women have equal rights. Israel is the only Middle Eastern state that actually protects gays and allows them to live their lifestyles openly.
Unfortunately, as we all know, Israel is locked in a war with the Palestinian Arabs, a group of people trapped in a deviant society that is terror worshipping; virulently anti-American; anti-democratic; and consistently incites its own children to despise Jews and Christians.
Even though the entire Middle East (outside of Israel) is falling apart, with Iran and the jihadist barbarians of ISIS running roughshod throughout the region, President Obama determined in his wisdom that this was the perfect time to push peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.
This is “smart diplomacy”?
But, because the Palestinian Arabs, led by their Holocaust-denying President, Mahmood Abbas, refused to make peace, ending the “peace process”, President Obama is upset – with Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu! And because President Obama is upset with Israel and its Prime Minister, he is (at the very least) letting it be thought that he is considering proposing economic sanctions on Israel for any building of new apartments in Jerusalem for Jews.
Apparently, President Obama, if he had the ability to do so (with a compliant Congress), would sanction pro-Western, democratic Israel for building new apartments for Jews and Arabs to live in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem, of course, is the ancestral Capitol of Israel, going back thousands of years in Jewish history, and mentioned repeatedly in the Bible.) But, President Obama would not sanction the bloody theocratic dangerous Iran, which continues to play games at the P 5+1 nuclear negotiations aimed at stopping its dangerous pursuit of nuclear weapons.
In an interview conducted right after the report of possible sanctions on Israel, U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock said in response to the idea of sanctioning Israel that this is “beyond shocking … You can’t make this stuff up.”
But, unfortunately, Congressman Schock, you don’t have to make up this stuff with President Obama. His idea of “smart diplomacy”, where friends are punished and enemies are rewarded, actually requires it!
Adam Turner serves as general counsel to the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). He is a former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee where he focused on national security law.
Article originally appeared at https://www.worldtribune.com/2014/12/17/wake-call-obamas-foreign-policy-revolution-taking-america/