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  • Why the “Israel Lobby” Backed Obama on Syria

    Posted by Jonathan on September 9th, 2013 (All posts by )

    Martin Kramer:

    Stephen J. Rosen has written a smart piece on how Obama forced AIPAC to back his planned military action against the Syrian regime. It’s titled “Pushed on the Bandwagon,” and he makes a strong case. Of course, AIPAC views action on Syria as a kind of proxy for action against Iran, and assumes that the former will make the latter more likely when push comes to shove. In fact, bopping Assad may well be a substitute for action against Iran: Obama hopes that by a relatively cheap shot at Syria, he’ll restore enough credibility to restrain Israel vis-à-vis Iran. Alas, a cheap shot won’t restrain Iran, and may even impel it to push its nuke plans forward. Israel has to face reality: it may or may not be a post-American world, but it’s a post-American Middle East. (And if the military operation goes badly it could be post-AIPAC, too.)

    The Rosen piece is here. It’s worth reading, particularly for the reminder of how Obama operates politically (there are no appeals to principle; it’s all about arm twisting, threats and domestic political considerations).

    Kramer’s interpretation is persuasive. Obama probably wants to use a weak attack on Syria, or preferably mere talk about Syria if he can get away with it, as a substitute for rather than a prelude to doing anything about Iran’s nuclear program. Syria is Iran’s puppet and if Obama were serious he’d be going after the mullahs. Instead he appears to be running out the clock until they have nukes, while also doing his best to degrade our military in order to lock in our impotence for the foreseeable future. (J. E. Dyer discusses our current weakness in detail: here, here and here.)

    Whatever the course of Obama’s political career going forward, we are probably going to pay dearly for his ineptitude and anti-American malice.

     

    7 Responses to “Why the “Israel Lobby” Backed Obama on Syria”

    1. Michael Kennedy Says:

      The consequences of Obama’s reelection are just appearing over the horizon of time. They will be terrible. It will take years to correct the mistakes that are being made and there is no sign of the will to begin. As usual, Angelo Codevilla says it best.

      by 2013 the Republican Establishment had proved itself so alien to the domestic concerns of that majority of Americans who dislike the direction in which the ruling class is pushing it, that the party was becoming irrelevant. Despite the Bush Administration’s disastrous commitment to Nation-Building however, the memory of Ronald Reagan’s and Dwight Eisenhower’s forceful, levelheaded patriotism still lingered about the party.

      But by urging war on Syria more vehemently than Obama, the Republican Establishment may have finished off the Republican Party, as we know it. Surely it has discredited itself.

      The US public has gotten used to a superior military and will be demoralized if they are shown the reality.

    2. PenGun Says:

      You cannot put Genies back into bottles. They just don’t fit. Nuclear weapons are within the reach of many countries, including my own, and fairly soon within the reach of any moderately advanced country.

      I call it the “Lesson of Power”. If we cannot control vast amounts of power without terrible consequences we are unfit to advance into a wider universe.

      It is impossible to prevent everyone from acquiring such power over time so maybe it might be a better idea to think about how to deal with it.

    3. David Foster Says:

      From the Rosen article: “But an American military strike that destroys Syria’s aircraft and helicopters, degrades its air defenses, and disables its runways, would be a benefit to Israel and the region — no matter who emerges victorious there.”

      This seems like very short-term thinking. A radical Islamic regime in control of Syria is very likely to be able to replace the aircraft, helicopters, and air defenses in short order.

      And a US strike on Syria that has been repeatedly telegraphed as “minimal” is unlikely to deter Iran from going forward with its nuclear program.

    4. Death 6 Says:

      Even more temporary effect with Russia saying they will make good any of Syria’s losses.

      Now that Barry has finally realized that he let his alligator mouth over load his hummingbird ass, he’s looking for any way to get out of this or others to share the blame when the second and third order effects come to visit.

      As for putting the genie back into the bottle, that won’t happen. So just how do we live with it? There are only a few actors that didn’t fully understand and fear the consequences of use. Those consequences are not so clear as they once were given the current Prez’s track record. They must be reinforced with his replacement in three years. The development of these things should be just as decisively dealt with as use itself. That will have to be demonstrated in the future as it hasn’t been yet. For those who can not be deterred, such as the non-state Islamofascist terrorists, I judge that we will have to get much more serious and efficient about killing them and keeping them at arms length. Catch and release, rules of engagement, non-kenetic operations and making nice is not going to keep them from getting and using these WMD. We have to make it really hard and dangerous to try it. Such a concrete strategy won’t be 100%, but it can be much more effective than what we have now. 100% is not possible, but hoping WMD won’t be used or that we can talk it out and all be friends invites spread and use.

      No warnings, no consultation, no telegraphing the strike, no holds barred. Attack what they care about or gives them the basis to operate. Yes, there will be collateral damage. There always is. It’s part of the price of declaring war on us. They are all about collateral damage. Takes a strong stomach. Attack it there or live it here for certain. No guarantee they won’t get here, but I’ll bet their motivation will suffer with attrition. Will they hate us? So what has changed? Will we be going it alone and denounced as cowboys? So what’s new? None of that matters in the ultimate analysis.

      Get serious about cutting their funding. Drive the price of energy down through production. At $16 a barrel at the well head, they don’t do much terrorism except on each other.

      It’s not an academic question, do we want to deal with it as decisively and effectively as possible or just learn to accommodate the threat and the reality when the attacks come? Even jihadists eventually figure out that the cost-benefit ratio (throwing in those second-hand virgins) isn’t working out.

      Mike

    5. Robert Schwartz Says:

      I am dubious that a “military strike that destroys Syria’s aircraft and helicopters, degrades its air defenses, and disables its runways” would be in Israel’s best interest.

      My evidence is that Israel has not undertaken such a strike by itself. Such a strike is certainly within Israel’s capabilities. If they thought it was in their best interest, they would have done it themselves instead of letting Hussein dither away the time.

    6. No RNC Says:

      It is about time that AIPAC is recognized as a registered foreign lobbyist and an arm of the Israeli Government! The Republicans should be terminal as they represent no civilian group in this country. I’m amazed they even manage to get elected!

    7. MikeK Says:

      No RNC, I doubt that anyone is unaware of AIPACs interest in Israel. They are, after all, registered as PAC. I’m sure you’re amazed at anything to do with the Republican Party. What party do you follow ? Hezbollah ?