President Barack Obama delivered a rousing State of the Union address to Congress Wednesday night, an oratorical masterpiece that focused on a rebounding economy before shifting to a look through rose-colored glasses at the Iranian nuclear threat and worldwide terror.
Despite a headline on one Israeli news site that “Obama Condemns ‘Deplorable’ Anti-Semitism,” that was the extent of President Barack Obama’s reference to lethal attacks on Jews throughout the world, offset with a “nice Muslims” comment:
“We speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world. It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims — the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.
He was very careful not to describe terror as “Islamic,” which is fair enough since it can be assumed that most Muslims are not terrorists, just as most Jews are not Netura Karta anti-Zionists.
The problem with the politically correct speech is that it ignores the fact that radical Islam, whether it represents “true” Islam or not, drives terrorists into a the fanatic and unquenchable thirst for blood, especially Jewish blood.
“We stand united with people around the world who’ve been targeted by terrorists — from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris,” President Obama declared. “We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.”
Part of the statement is true. The last part is not because the Obama administration does not back Israel when it comes down to hunting down and eliminating Palestinian Authority terrorists. It always calls on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to act with “restraint” and not to “escalate” tensions.
That is not how the United States fights terror, but that is the way the President wants Israel to deal with it.
The is something Washington has not learned, despite Obama’s statement that “We’ve learned some costly lessons over the last thirteen years.”
He was referring to the failed policy of “Americans patrolling the valleys of Afghanistan.” That has been replaced by another failed policy in which “we’ve trained their security forces, who’ve now taken the lead.”
At the same time he was speaking, Iranian-linked terrorists took over the presidential palace in Sana’a, Yemen, in an attempt to overthrow the government that the United States has consistently tried to support.
Obama also has forgotten that Iraq, where U.S. Army personnel still are located, is in shambles.
And it was American soldiers, under the Bush administration, who trained Palestinian Authority forces and who were overwhelmed by Hamas in Gaza, not to forget that several of Abbas’s guards also have used their American–trained skills to attack Israelis, sometimes fatally.
ISIL (not “Islamic State” if you note the President’s language) is Obama’s popular target, but so far, American efforts have not stopped it from taking over more territory in Iraq and Syria.
“Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group,” he said Tuesday night,
In almost the same breath, he announced, “Tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.”
Time will tell what that means. Obama has vowed never to send ground troops in to Syria, and “force” already has been used from the air.
He also kept on the tinted glasses when looking towards Iran.
“We’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material,” he said.
Maybe. Maybe not.
The problem is he still is banking on negotiating with people who don’t understand the Western meaning of the term “halt”.
“Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies — including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict,” the President said.
But as Fred Fleitz point out in the National Review:
While it is true Iran stopped enriching uranium to the 20 percent uranium-235 level as required by the November 2013 interim agreement, and is diluting 20 percent–enriched uranium to reactor-grade, this concession has had a negligible effect in reducing the threat from Iran’s nuclear program.
Most of its enriched uranium stockpile happens to be at the reactor-grade level, and Iran can convert that material into enough weapons-grade fuel for one nuclear bomb in 2.2 to 3.5 months, only about two weeks longer than it would take to do so using 20 percent enriched uranium.
Obama admitted, “There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.”
He will try to hang on for two years and leave a much more dangerous Iran for the next president.
Watch the 2015 State of the Union address here:
The text of the 2015 State of the Union address is available here.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu