In everything from dealing with the Congress, to reining in radical ideologues at the IRS, to handling the chaos at the Mexican border, to putting together coordinated strategies for dealing with everything from Ebola to Islamic State (IS), Obama’s critics claim that he is out of his league. That he is incompetent.Saul Alinsky would be proud.
But if Israel’s experience with him is any guide, then his critics are the ones who are out to sea. Because at least in his handling of US relations with the Jewish state, Obama has exhibited a mastery of the tools of the executive branch unmatched by most of his predecessors.
First, in an article published in The Jerusalem Post, terrorism analyst and investigative reporter Steven Emerson revealed how the highest echelons of the administration blocked the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office from assisting Israel in finding the remains of IDF soldier Oron Shaul.
In an order that senior law enforcement officials told Emerson came from Attorney General Eric Holder’s office, the FBI was told that it needed to first sign an “MLAT,” a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with Israel, a procedure that would take weeks to complete, and is generally used in cases involving criminal prosecutions and other non-life threatening issues.
In other words, facing a bureaucracy acting independently, Holder – reportedly Obama’s most trusted cabinet secretary – acted quickly, decisively and effectively. And thanks to his intervention at the key moment, although Israel was able – after an exhaustive forensic investigation – to determine Oron’s death, today it is poised to begin negotiations with Hamas for the return of his body parts.
Then there was the unofficial arms embargo.
In August, The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House and State Department had stopped the Pentagon at the last minute from responding favorably to an Israeli request for resupply of Hellfire precision air-to-surface missiles. The precision guided missiles were a key component of Israel’s air operations against missile launchers in Gaza. The missiles’ guidance systems allowed the air force to destroy the launchers while minimizing collateral damage.
In keeping with the standard decades-long practice, Israel requested the resupply through European Command, its military-to-military channel with the US military.
And in keeping with standard practice, the request was granted.
But then the White House and State Department heard about the approved shipment and spun into action. As in the case of Oron’s Facebook page, they didn’t reject Israel’s request. They just added a level of bureaucracy to the handling of the request that made it impossible for Israel to receive assistance from the US government in real time.
How can you oppose a hostile policy toward Israel that the administration insists doesn’t exist? Indeed, anyone who suggests otherwise runs the risk of being attacked as a conspiracy theorist or a firebrand.
The same goes for Obama’s policy toward Iran. This week we learned that the administration has now offered Iran a nuclear deal in which the mullahs can keep half of their 10,000 active centrifuges spinning.
Together with Iran’s 10,000 currently inactive centrifuges which the US offer ignores, the actual US position is to allow Iran to have enough centrifuges to enable it to build nuclear bombs within a year, at most.
In other words, the US policy toward Iran exposed by Obama’s nuclear offer is one that enables the most active state sponsor of terrorism to acquire nuclear weapons almost immediately.
But Obama denies this is his policy. For six years he has very deftly managed Congressional opposition to his wooing of the Iranian regime by insisting that his policy is to reduce the Iranian nuclear threat and to prevent war.
Opposing his policy means opposing these goals.
At least as far as Israel is concerned, Obama’s mastery of the federal bureaucracy is complete. It is not incompetence that guides his policy. It is malicious intent toward the US’s closest ally in the Middle East. And to defeat this policy, it is not necessary to prove incompetence that doesn’t exist. It is necessary to show that there are far better ways to achieve his declared aims of supporting Israel and blocking Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Israel Matzav: It's not incompetence, it's malicious brilliance
Caroline Glick shows how, at least when it comes to Israel, Barack Hussein Obama is not incompetent. In fact, he's brilliant in implementing strategies that are hostile to Israel and its continued existence while maintaining his claim to having the most pro-Israel administration evah.