By EARL COX, JPOST—
Little mention has been made in the media about John Kerry’s attempt to smooth over Obama’s political blunder when he failed to participate, or send a representative to participate, in France’s massive anti-terror march a little more than a week ago in Paris.
What, exactly, did John Kerry do to try to make things right? He took aging rock star James Taylor to Paris to sing a rendition of “You’ve Got A Friend” as Kerry stood next to him in a real Kumbaya moment. I’m not kidding. This really happened and I find it both hilarious and humiliating. It’s almost as if America’s foreign policy script is being written by some evil cartoonist with a twist of dark humor. The rest of the world is laughing, too.
The fact that it was kept relatively quiet in the American media is no testament to the finesse of the U.S. State Department but rather to the insightful wisdom of Taylor’s publicity (damage control) manager. Yes, Israel, you “may have a friend” but it’s not those in the White House. Thank the good Lord for the United States Congress and John Boehner.
At a time when tensions are at an all time high in the negotiations with Iran over their nuclear ambitions, America’s Commander-in-Chief is not protecting Israel’s best interests nor does it seem he is protecting America’s best interests. Perhaps he’s too busy listening to what he called in his speech in Cairo, Egypt, as the “sweetest sound I know” referring to the Muslim call to prayer. A nuclear enabled Iran is a grave threat to the entire world. For the United States to negotiate successfully, we must do so from a position of strength offering rewards and punishments – sticks and carrots. Right now the basket is full of carrots and no sticks.
President Obama has released massive amounts of frozen Iranian assets to be followed by sanctions relief and even promising not to impose additional sanctions even if negotiations go poorly. He claims that more sanctions would derail diplomatic efforts to reach a “diplomatic and peaceful solution.” Iran seems to have intentions other than reaching a “diplomatic and peaceful solution.” All the while the White House has been playing footsie with Iran, the Ayatollahs and other Iranian leaders were busy amassing material to build additional nuclear reactors which they recently announced they are preparing to construct.
Iran does not embrace the values of the free world and, therefore, is unencumbered by our Western sense of right and wrong, honesty and integrity. To successfully negotiate with any rogue regime requires strength and pressure. Neither has ever been a strong point with the Obama administration until we start talking about Israel. It is then that the picture changes. Even though Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East, and America’s only true friend in that region, the United States is throwing her under the bus. At a time when we should be locking in tight with the “apple of G-d’s eye,” the White House is instead locking the door.
Thank G-d the United States Congress is exercising maturity by inviting Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak before a join session in March. The speech will surely be widely reported and information that the White House would rather we didn’t know may actually reach America’s ears. Israel has been on the front lines of the world’s war on terror since its inception in 1948. Israel knows well how to deal with her fanatic neighbors and what it takes to survive.
The Western world and the Islamic world are not singing from the same sheet of music nor playing from the same rulebook. “Change” is what Obama promised the U.S, when he took office. In fact he promised that America would be a fundamentally different place by the time he leaves office. I’m afraid this may be one promise he comes close to keeping, but at the expense of our Judeo-Christian values. What a lame excuse President Obama used when he announced that Israel’s Prime Minister would not be accepted at the White House because the timing is too close to Israel’s upcoming elections. In 1996, U.S. president Bill Clinton invited then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Perez to meet with him at the White House less than a month before Perez faced voters in Israel, so Obama’s excuse to not invite Netanyahu does not hold water. It is puzzling as to why the White House is so upset by the invitation extended to Prime Minister Netanyahu by the Speaker of the House John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress. There is an old saying that “knowledge is power.”
Could it be that the Obama administration wants to keep the American people largely ignorant of the realities concerning Israel and the Middle East and that hearing unfiltered information directly from the “horse’s mouth” could increase public support for Israel? Obama or Kerry should have been locked arm in arm with Netanyahu at the anti-terror march in Paris but instead America had no presence at all. Just as Netanyahu was on the front line in that march, so Israel has been on the front lines standing strong against terror. The Western world must be more determined to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions than Iran is to move forward. Without Israel, this will be impossible. The Islamic world must not see Israel as isolated, but rather as having the solid backing of the United States and other nations of the free world. Yes, Israel, “You’ve Got A Friend;” perhaps not in the White House, but you certainly have a friend in Congress and in the American people.