President Barack Obama told Thomas Freidman in an interview that he is confident Bibi will not be able to convince Congress to torpedo the agreement with Iran but also admitted that the deal has nothing to do with Iran’s aggression towards Israel.
Friedman, The New York Times columnist who is President Obama’s favorite spokesman, talked with the President for 45 minutes after the agreement was announced Tuesday.
The interview reveals inherent contradictions between President Obama’s understanding of foreign relations and his solutions for them. It shows that the President, like his predecessors, sees Israel’s security through its own eyes even though he believes he can put himself momentarily in the shoes of Iran.
He also likes to think he can pull strings that will determine how other countries will act, just like he encouraged the Arab Spring rebellion in Egypt to bring about democracy and respect for human rights, which still is waiting in the wings along with 72 virgins.
President Obama told Friedman that by helping Iran strengthen economically, perhaps – in his wishful thinking – the Iranian people will be able to influence the regime that “it’s not necessary for them to be great to denigrate Israel or threaten Israel or engage in Holocaust denial or anti-Semitic activity.”
Obama also thinks that once one of Iran’s neighboring countries is strong economically and militarily, it makes it more unlikely that Iran will attack it.
He was referring t Muslim countries. The Jewish State of Israel is a different matter.
President Obama said:
[Iran] has an authoritarian theocracy in charge that is anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic [and] sponsors terrorism.
Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles that are pointed toward Israel. They are becoming more sophisticated. The interdiction of those weapon flows has not been as successful as it needs to be…
Iran is acting in an unconstructive way, in a dangerous way in these circumstances. What I’ve simply said is that we have to keep our eye on the ball here, which is that Iran with a nuclear weapon will do more damage, and we will be in a much worse position to prevent it.
That is going to be one of Obama’s loudest arguments when defending the agreement in Congress, but if he lived in Israel, he would not be so blasé about the ability of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah army to bring Israel to its knees with a massive missile attack.
The agreement may or may not stop Iran from getting its hands on a nuclear weapon, but by all accounts, it will pump $150 billion into Iran’s coffers. Not much of that money is going to be used to implement equality for women or for opening up an embassy in Israel.
By fueling terrorism, Obama is allowing himself, or his successor, to force Israel to beg for American help to prevent a threat it created, so Prime Minister Netanyahu better think twice when he tried to fight against the bill in Congress.
Perhaps he thinks he can further influence the congressional debate, and I’m confident we’re going to be able to uphold this deal and implement it without Congress preventing that.
But after that’s done…we then ask some very practical questions: How do we prevent Hezbollah from acquiring more sophisticated weapons? How do we build on the success of Iron Dome, which the United States worked with Israel to develop and has saved Israeli lives?
First, he creates a greater threat to Israel be fueling Iranian-backed terror and then he wants to ask Israel how “we” can solve it.
Do you want money for an Iron Dome? Be nice. Maybe freeze settlements.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu