Monday, May 28, 2012

"The Brave President Obama" And The Nuclear Chaos Of The 20th Century

"...the man sitting in the Oval Office is ignoring the possibility that his inaction will make the Middle East go nuclear and undermine the world order. He doesn't care that he might be responsible for losing the United States' superpower status and turning the 21st century into a century of nuclear chaos.
Ari Shavit

Ari Shavit, a writer for the left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz, writes that The world should focus on Obama, not Netanyahu:
...President Obama is an intrepid leader. For a year the man seeking a second term in the White House has known that a conflagration in the Middle East could determine the 2012 election campaign.

He is aware that due to an amazing coincidence, the technological, operative and strategic timetables are converging toward the end of this year. The president hears Israel telling him loud and clear that if the United States does not defuse the ticking bomb this summer, the Israel Air Force will have to do it. The president hears his best experts telling him loud and clear that the situation is very serious and Israel is very serious, so this summer is the summer of truth. And yet, the steely president is not batting an eye.

He is staging a deceptive show of a deal with the Iranians, which will seem to dull the Natanz threat. He is trying to make a fool of Jerusalem as Tehran is making a fool of him. The president is pushing Israel into a corner, but is hoping that Israel will accept its fate submissively. He is counting on Benjamin Netanyahu not to surprise him and ruin his election season. Never has the United States had such a gambler for a president.

President Obama is a thrifty president. America isn't what it used to be, but it still has vast strategic, economic and military resources. The United States can stop the Iranian nuclear program by using a small part of these resources.

But the extremely thrifty commander-in-chief is not prepared to pay any price for stopping the 8,000 Shi'ite centrifuges. That's why Obama didn't stand by the Iranian Spring of 2009 as he stood by the Arab Spring of 2011. That's why Obama didn't act firmly against the underground facility near Qom, which was discovered three years ago. That's why Obama has not touched, to this day, Iran's central bank, nor has he stopped the flow of oil distillates to the country's ports.

The cautious president sees not the catastrophic price the West will pay for Iran's nuclearization, but the political price he will pay if oil prices rise. Never in its history has the United States had such a thrifty leader as its 44th president.
Read the whole thing.

This piece appeared originally in Hebrew under the title "The Brave President Obama"
Hebrew University Political Science professor Ira Sharkansky explains:
The Hebrew headline is a literary allusion to the The Brave Soldier Svejk, a Czech satire published in 1923 by Jaroslav Hasek, about a draftee in World War I that conveys the image of a bungling, insensitive military that can do nothing right.

The book has been widely read in Israel. When I was drafted into the IDF at the age of 40 and went off to basic training, Varda put a copy in my kitbag.

It is equivalent to the American characters Willie and Joe in the Bill Mauldin cartoons.
Obama's failures are not limited to his domestic and economic policies.

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