Obama’s Legacy.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif stands on the balcony of Palais Coburg, the venue for nuclear talks, in Vienna

Why is this man laughing ?

UPDATE: John Kerry is now threatening Israel if Congress votes against the deal.

“I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed,” Kerry said.

A good column today by David Gelernter makes a strong case that Obama will be remembered for what he is doing with Iran.

Obama will be remembered ultimately for the Iran treaty, as Johnson is remembered for Vietnam. Like Johnson, Obama is wrapped in a warm blanket of advisers who flatter his earnest, high-school views of world politics. Like Johnson, he lives in his own delusional world in which he’s commander-in-chief not merely of the military but of the whole blessed nation. Like Johnson, he has been destroyed by the arrogance of power; and his blindness has endangered America. Unlike Johnson, he was never big enough for the job in the first place.

His comparison with Lyndon Johnson is excellent. I read HR McMaster’s “Dereliction of Duty,” and the resemblance to Obama’s policies is astonishing. I recently read another book that points out the consequences of Obama’s decision to abandon Iraq. It is written by a young British woman named Emma Sky and is called “The Unraveling.”

The future is still to be written but we see a few hints. The Iranians are already celebrating and by “Iranians” I do not mean the oppressed citizens of that sad country. They are passengers on a runaway train driven by lunatics. We have now given those lunatics the keys to the atomic bomb.

The other Obama legacy in the middle east may be his agreement with Turkey to attack the Kurds who are now building a Kurdistan, anathema to Turkey. Of course, the Obama administration denies that it is allowing Turkey to attack the Kurds.

Turkey has finally entered in force into the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State group, but the move also has exposed the contradictions and confusion at the heart of U.S. policy, with the Obama administration struggling Monday to balance its promises to warring allies in the region and to prevent a deeper U.S. ground force engagement in the fight.

As NATO ambassadors prepared to gather Tuesday for only the fifth emergency session in the alliance’s 66-year history to discuss the crisis, the Pentagon denied that it was setting up a no-fly zone over war-torn Syria while the State Department faced sharp questions over the extent to which President Obama was abandoning America’s Kurdish allies in its haste to enlist Ankara in the fight against the Islamic State.

On one hand, U.S. officials praised the expanding Turkish military role against the extremist group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, which is based in neighboring Syria and Iraq. But on the other, they acknowledged how complicated the development is amid concerns that Turkey is using its campaign as a pretext to crush Kurdish militants whom Washington has relied upon as the go-to ground forces in northern Syria and Iraq.

Such concerns were highlighted Monday as reports swirled about Turkish fighter jets targeting not just Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria, but also positions held by the Kurdish Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK — an ultra-leftist, Kurdish nationalist outfit that has waged an insurgency for decades in Turkey and maintains bases in remote parts of northern Iraq.

Obama’s black thumb in foreign policy, in which every initiative results in defeat, is still in evidence. There is another good column today by Leon Wieseltier who is the former editor of The New Republic. He doesn’t like the deal.

Rhodes has, perhaps inadvertently, exposed the president’s premises more clearly than the president likes to do. The rut of history: It is a phrase worth pondering. It expresses a deep scorn for the past, a zeal for newness and rupture, an arrogance about old struggles and old accomplishments, a hastiness with inherited precedents and circumstances, a superstition about the magical powers of the present. It expresses also a generational view of history, which, like the view of history in terms of decades and centuries, is one of the shallowest views of all.

Predictably, the Atlantic readers don’t agree and accuse him, of course, of being an Israel loving Jew.

The annoying thing for me is when certain pro-Israel commentators pretend they know better than the US government, or try to prescribe or influence US foreign policy by labelling the current administrations as “naive.”

Does the fact that every US ally in the Middle East, Arab and Jew, opposes this deal mean anything ? No. Of course not to the brilliant left. They know better.

21 thoughts on “Obama’s Legacy.”

  1. If this is bad for Jews, why should we care?

    65% of funds to Democratic Party comes from Jews. 80% of Jews voted for Obama and, as a result, we ended up with Kagan and Sotomayor and ‘gay marriage’. We also ended up with amnesty and wars in Libya and Syria and Ukraine, all at the behest of Obama’s Jewish handlers.

    I don’t think the Iran deal is bad for Israel at all. Iran will never get nukes whereas Israel has 200 illegal nukes already.

    Anyway, if Jews gave us Obama and if Obama is bad for Jews, it serves Jews right for all the damage they’ve done to America.

    Seriously, why should we care for Jews when Jews don’t care for us. It is because Jews hate us that they gave us Obama to destroy us.

  2. Andrea Ostrov Letania – Let me state quite clearly that the Jewish people will never quietly board cattle cars again. They know the world will be too late to save them. They are sickened by the fact that they must take down and annihilate those who wish to utterly destroy them. It is no game. There is no friendly give and take. I see it in the words they speak and write. They will not go down without a fight. We could be helping them, but it is a lot of bother during an election cycle.

  3. “They know the world will be too late to save them.”

    “The world” will not lift a finger to save them, so it would not be a matter of being too late.

    Israel has nuclear weapons. That is probably a deterrent even to Iran. If not, Iran will have a very few minutes to celebrate the second holocaust before they are annihilated as well, And the Europeans who pushed for this outcome and cheered it on, may, as one writer put it, join the Jews in the ovens this time. I don’t know where Israel’s nuclear weapons are aimed, but perhaps Samson will take the whole temple down with him.

  4. Remember that Tony Cordesman predicted the outcome, albeit in 2007, of an Iran-Israel nuclear exchange. He estimated that Iran would have a few bombs by then and they might have had them but were inhibited by the sanctions. His estimate ?

    The end of Iran as a nation, 600,000 Israeli dead and the end of “The Oil Age.” of course, that was before fracking made us secure.

    “It is theoretically possible that the Israeli state, economy and organized society might just survive such an almost-mortal blow. Iran would not survive as an organized society. “Iranian recovery is not possible in the normal sense of the term,” Cordesman notes. The difference in the death tolls is largely because Israel is believed to have more nuclear weapons of very much higher yield (some of 1 megaton), and Israel is deploying the Arrow advanced anti-missile system in addition to its Patriot batteries. Fewer Iranian weapons would get through.”

    The paper is no longer on the CSIS web site.

  5. Israel will look out for the defense of Israel. They have to, and they have to do it alone because every nation’s hand [sadly including the government of the United States] is against them. I am neither Jewish nor Christian, and I am appalled and outraged at what has been done by the regime, theoretically in my name.

    In my past, I had a sideline as a writer in the field of national defense. Two of the things that I did as conjectural pieces involved what was known and reasonably extrapolated about the Israeli nuclear stockpile and delivery means. And I have kept up with the subject. One piece involved Israel dealing with Iran, permanently. The other involved the destruction of the Ummah, also permanently.

    It would take some creative targeting, and fuzing; but it was eminently feasible and within their means as a bolt from the blue strike. The first case would involve as a consequence war with the entire Ummah. So the second case makes strategic sense. Given the situation Israel is in, I would have no objection if they decided that either strike was necessary to their survival.

    However, one must note that in Iranian political phraseology, Israel is referred to in Farsi as “the Lesser Satan”. The “Great Satan” is the United States. We are just as much on the target list as Israel. And we can be hit even more easily through several modalities. Israel is trying to defend itself, and those modalities probably would not work there. Here . . . . there is comparatively no real effort to defend the country from external attack.

    Thus, Obama’s legacy may be this:



  6. It’s a sad fact but Russia can remove Israel and it’s launchers in under 15 minutes. Yeah those Dolphins too.

    There is no need to panic. This ain’t gonna happen. The Iranians are no crazier than the Israelis. That’s actually saying quite a lot. ;)

    Oh hell, go ahead and panic, it’s amusing.

  7. It is better to talk of the Persian collapse than Iranian since it would the Persian majority and rulers who would be targeted. Non-Persian Iranians will suffer as collateral damage of course.

    As a possible silver lining, Teheran may well go down as a horrible example for the world of the fruits for an over-aggressive foreign policy, much like Hiroshima and Nagasaki have done.

    One technical detail in Cordesman’s analysis was that he ignored fratricide in his attack scenario against Teheran. He postulated four separate 1 megaton air bursts over the city. In reality, these bursts would need to be widely spaced in time to prevent the residual neutron population post-explosion from fizzling the trigger fission reactions of the subsequent detonations. In total death terms, it probably doesn’t matter.

    I do wonder where he got the basis for assuming ONLY one megaton Israeli thermonuclear weapons. It could have been based on throw weight considerations for Israel’s deliver means.

  8. It’s a sad fact but Russia can remove Israel and it’s launchers in under 15 minutes. Yeah those Dolphins too.

    You have too much faith in your commie-thug leaders:

    Maybe that’s the source of your relentless hostility. You’ve never forgiven the USA for succeeding, and for Marxism-Leninism for failing. Meanwhile, Iron Dome and PAC-3 seem to work reasonably well. That must gall you.

  9. Iron Dome is more capable than the Arrow system.

    I think the Israelis have more allies in the region than we do.

    I hoe we don’t find out.

  10. If Israel is going down then why should they not strike at the heart of all nations that looked away. There is a strange belief in this country and the world that Israel will do the right, proper thing. What kind of bigotry installs these thoughts? — Oh, on weapon designs, once you get into the one MT range, the fusing of additional material is coincidental. I would also remind those who think annihilation of the Jews will bring forth a wellspring of life and love and culture – meh, your minds are closed. I would add that Israel has submarines (provided by Germany as debt repayment)that can linger for years and lob cruise missiles to those who betrayed them. Mr. Obama might put off his Hawaii retirement.

  11. “Why aren’t there any Arabs in Star Trek?”

    Because it is set in the future. A joke I recall from just after 9/11, when people thought we would actually punish those who attacked us.

    Anyway, I have my doubts that Israel would actual use nukes against Teheran in the manner described by Cordesman. I say that because they seem extremely reluctant to use adequate force against their various enemies nearby, instead leaving too many of them alive to prevent further trouble.

    They share this failing with the rest of the West, especially the United States, which responded to the 9/11 attacks with what was essentially a vastly expensive foreign aid mission.

    I think the rest of the world has noticed the feeble willingness of the West to respond to provocations, and has no real fear of attacking the United States and other Western nations- or migrating into Western countries uninvited, killing people friendly to us elsewhere, kidnapping our citizens, stealing our technology, hacking into our computer networks, etc, etc, etc.

    While I certainly hope that I’m wrong, based on past experience I’m guessing nothing will be done until Iran chooses to attack, likely both Israel and the US simultaneously.


  12. Iran is not going to attack Israel or the US. They understand the consequences. But they will use nukes to intimidate neighbors and try to impose hegemony on the ME. They will try to dominate oil production so they can have a repeat of the ’70’s oil lines. When they have nukes they will strut on the world stage like Putin with a hair band.

    What will happen is someone will make a mistake.

  13. “Iran is not going to attack Israel or the US. They understand the consequences.”

    This assumes rational actors. I hope you are correct.

    Chamberlain assumed the same with Hitler but Hitler showed with the Barbarossa invasion that he was not.

    This was assumed before WWI.

  14. “If Israel is going down then why should they not strike at the heart of all nations that looked away.”

    This is why I mentioned Russian capacity. They would be fools to not stop something like this right away.

    Oh and MH, there are lots of US misfire vids as well.

  15. But what if Iran actually thinks they can destroy the United States and Israel?

    “Rational” does not actually mean “correct,” after all. Japan had a rational plan to win the Pacific War, which turned out badly for them.

    Also, the Iranian regime has been making war against the United States to the best of their ability since it came into power, without any real consequences. Perhaps they have simply and rationally concluded the United States simply will not strike back if attacked. Perhaps they have concluded that they can do enough damage to us to prevent us from striking back, or that their Russian and Chinese friends will, after the damage from the attack, be able to force us not to respond. Perhaps instead of assuming they will be destroyed they’ve concluded the worst that will happen, if they fail to destroy us, is another giant foreign aid mission, delivered by the US military, and the American taxpayer will get to build them a whole new infrastructure.

    Rationally, having watched the fumbling incompetence of the US government for too many years, I fear that they may be right.

  16. “I say that because they seem extremely reluctant to use adequate force against their various enemies nearby, instead leaving too many of them alive to prevent further trouble.”

    Israel has been condemned/commended for its over-sensitivities to casualties on either side. The IDF operates according to a moral code that puts it at a strategic disadvantage from its adversaries, who obviously follow a different standard.

    There is one area where they never acquiesce or compromise. When one of their soldiers is taken captive, the Hannibal Protocol takes effect, and we see something like what was unleashed on Gaza last summer or Hezbollah in 2006. This is the tactical equivalent of the Sampson Option mentioned up there by Lex in that they’ll risk everything to destroy the enemy, including themselves. It’s kind of an indirect antidote to casualty sensitivity because the only thing worse than a casualty to a small force dependent on reserves is a prisoner potentially held for long periods. It’s an effective deterrent judging by lack of repeat incidents since the directive was declassified in 2003.

  17. Rationally, having watched the fumbling incompetence of the US government for too many years, I fear that they may be right.

    That would be a mistake.

  18. “It’s an effective deterrent judging by lack of repeat incidents since the directive was declassified in 2003.”

    I must disagree. Gilad Shalit was captured, held for five years, then released in exchange for the release of over one thousand palestinians.

    It seems to me that even though Israel blew up a lot of buildings and killed a few jihadis in response to his kidnapping, this was not success. And, if I recall, when the Israelis went into Gaza last summer they found tunnels dug nearby to a school, plainly dug with the intent to kidnap children and hold them for ransom. Again, I do not regard this as success, even though the Gaza incursion prevented the kidnappings. They are teaching their enemies the wrong lesson.

    Every Israeli is at risk from terrorism, young and old, if only the terrorists can manage to kill them. The Israelis, on the other hand, were so kind-hearted that they wouldn’t even bomb buildings used to launch rockets when Gaza civilians were allowing themselves to be herded into them for use as human shields.

    Something is wrong here. The families and friends of the terrorists suffer close to no risk for their murderous ways, while their potential victims must always be on guard. The muslim societies making war upon the West are safe, having only as much war as they want and no more, essentially able to stop fighting should they feel stressed, while we await our destruction as soon as they obtain the means.

    Once again, this is not success, for us at least.

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