Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Obama: Fifty Ways To Dump Your Ally

Not too cozy Sarkozy
Falklands make me bored, Gord
It's all about me, Bibi
So I'm setting you free.
See ya later, Zelaya
We don't need to discuss much
Just listen to me
Or I'll set you free.
With (many) apologies to Paul Simon

Obama doesn't realize that it is one thing to make new friends, it is quite another to just dump the old ones.

Lee Smith, author of The Strong Horse writes in Slate:

Of course, Washington shaming Israel will please the Arabs—even U.S. allies like Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Cairo, Egypt, that cheered on Jerusalem when it took on Iran’s assets Hezbollah and Hamas. Remember, the Arabs have been compelled by the American strong horse to swallow their pride for decades. But given that Arabs do not air their own dirty laundry for fear it will make them look weak, our public humiliation of an ally will earn us only contempt.

But here’s the most important thing: Even if you discount the centrality of shame and honor as operative principles in the Middle East, the Obama administration has blundered by jeopardizing not Israel’s stature but our own regional interests and the Pax Americana that has been ours over the last 35 years. Our position in the region depends on every actor there knowing that we back Israel to the hilt and that they are dependent on us. Sure, there are plenty of times we will not see eye-to-eye on things—differences that should be resolved in quiet consultations—but should any real distance open up between Washington and Jerusalem, that will send a message that the U.S.-backed order of the region is ready to be tested. And that’s exactly what the axis of resistance is seeing right now.

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