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The high-stakes controversy swirling around Mr. Obama’s seeming confusion over how to address the issue of Syria’s use of chemical weapons appears to be a byproduct of this president’s inability to learn from the experiences of his predecessors.
Mr. Obama seems to be failing in his effort to rally most Americans and Congress – and, indeed, the international community – to support punitive measures against Syria. The failure is all the more glaring when one recalls how President George W. Bush was able to rally such support when the issue was whether Iraq’s Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In the case of Syria, no one disputes possession of chemical weapons, only their use and by whom.
Of course, President Bush’s plans for Iraq foundered in part on the failure to confirm the presence of WMD. Nevertheless, the key lesson of Iraq that has eluded Mr. Obama is that most Americans will no longer support open-ended, ill-defined military ventures. Thus, while it would be one thing to surgically topple a dictator – through, say, extensive bombing of military facilities – it would be quite another to seek, as President Bush did, to transform entire societies and political systems, an undertaking that would require U.S. soldiers on the ground.
From the beginning of the Syrian crisis, President Obama has called for punishing Mr. Assad but has stopped short of expressing any wish to drive him from power. What was left unexplained, however, was how such a tailored effort would “punish” Mr. Assad if it didn’t result in giving the rebels a significant leg up.
Nor did the president exactly inspire trust when news reports surfaced that he had actually ordered the Pentagon to significantly add to the original list of potential targets and to prepare for the possible use of far greater firepower than previously announced. And Mr. Obama can hardly run from his early embrace of the Arab Spring phenomenon, which was rooted in throwing dictators out and supporting purportedly democratic movements seeking to replace them.
As Mr. Obama hopefully is starting to understand – nearly five years into his presidency – a foreign policy so disjointed, inconsistent and feckless is a recipe for disaster rather than a blueprint for any further Nobel peace prizes.
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Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer
Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas
No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.
Rabbi Pfeffer points out that at his site, there are no one-line answers. “We want to show the people we’re interested in their questions,” he says.
The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State
The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.
Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..
Think political Islam’s a problem now just wait until an Islamist nuclear umbrella covers the region
Fiorina’s wrong about Islam which embraces our death&destruction confusing pc theories for hard fact
Bangladesh PM Hasina is fighting terror not only for her nation but for the entire civilized world.
No necessity to redefine marriage, just address equal rights for couples in non-nuclear families
PM Netanyahu has pledged the nation won’t rest until the hero Eli Cohen is returned home to Israel
“Palestinian armed groups” & “local authorities” are named in the report; Hamas’ absence stands out
Dating apps have really changed the way many young Jews approach dating.
The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/on-not-learning-from-the-past/2013/09/11/
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