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July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘presidential election’

US Strategy: Stop Israel, Not Iran

Monday, May 21st, 2012

On Friday, the NY Times — which often speaks for the Obama Administration — published an article about the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. There is a message between the lines, and it is not very well hidden. Here are a few excerpts with added emphasis, in case it isn’t obvious:

With signs that Iran is under more pressure than it has been in years to make a deal, senior Obama administration officials said the United States and five other major powers were prepared to offer a package of inducements to obtain a verifiable agreement to suspend its efforts to enrich uranium closer to weapons grade…

The major powers’ initial goal is to halt the activity that most alarms Israel: the spinning of thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity, which is within striking distance of the level needed to fuel a nuclear weapon. That would buy time for negotiations…

For President Obama, the stakes are huge. A successful meeting could prolong the diplomatic dance with Tehran, delaying any possible military confrontation over the nuclear program until after the presidential election. It could also keep a lid on oil prices, which fell again this week in part because of the decrease in tensions. Lower gasoline prices would aid the economic recovery in the United States, and Mr. Obama’s electoral prospects…

On Tuesday, the American ambassador to Israel, Daniel B. Shapiro, sought to reassure an Israeli audience that the United States not only was willing to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but had made preparations to do so…

Analysts said it was hard to gauge what kinds of concessions from the Western nations, Russia and China would draw a positive response from Iran, beyond lifting the oil embargo. European officials have suggested that the European Union could suspend a ban on insuring oil tankers that has had a far swifter effect on Iran’s sales elsewhere in the world than originally intended.

There is a lot more, but that is more than enough. Is the message clear? If not, I’ll spell it out:

1. The immediate problem, in the view of the Obama Administration, is that Israel might attack Iran, causing a spike in gas prices in the US and hurting the President’s chances for re-election. The Iranian program itself is a longer-term issue.

2. Anything that can delay a confrontation is ‘good’. Negotiations can be used to stay Israel’s hand, not so much by holding out hope for a solution, but by undercutting support for Israel if she should attack while they are going on.

3. Any kind of agreement with the Iranians, whether or not it is tough enough to be effective, will also isolate Israel if she chooses to attack.

4. The strategy for obtaining agreement, rather than increasing pressure on Iran,  will be to “make concessions,” even reducing those sanctions which have proven effective. Since Iran and the administration have a common interest in preventing an attack, the administration can be hopeful that they will be ‘successful’.

Although the US has stressed that contingency plans for an American raid exist, the Iranians know that nothing short of a public test of a nuclear device could make it happen before the election (even that is uncertain). In the meantime, Iran hopes to push its program to the point that it will be immune to an Israeli attack. The regime is confident that it can stay behind the American red line after that, while still obtaining a capability to assemble weapons in a very short time frame.

Placing concessions on the table before serious negotiations even begin will be read as a sign of weakness. And the P5+1 (US, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany) demands are below what Israel considers the minimum to guarantee that Iran will not get a weapon. For example, Israel wants the Fordow enrichment facility dismantled, while the P5+1 only asks for activities there to stop. And this is before the hard bargaining.

These negotiations will not enhance Israel’s security. Rather, they will do the opposite. They represent a strategy of appeasement rather than the use of power. What should happen is that the West should deliver a credible ultimatum to fully dismantle the program or face sharply increased sanctions — or, ultimately, military action. Instead, they have chosen to weaken sanctions and to try to remove the only real military threat!

Obama Off-the-Record: I Will Have Greater Flexibility on Foreign Policy After Presidential Election

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

President Barack Obama, unaware that he was within microphone range at the Seoul Nuclear Summit, told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have greater flexibility on foreign policy after the upcoming Presidential election in November.

Obama later explained that with the US in the midst of a presidential election campaign, and Russia having just completed one, the political environment is not yet stable enough for the two countries to engage in serious negotiations on arms control and missile defense.

But some analysts see this as confirmation of a more general policy shift intended by Obama, one which is expected to be more active and assertive and reach Israel and the stalled peace process.

Temporary Respite?

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Many of us are actually quite satisfied that U.S. efforts at securing a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians seem to have been put on hold these past few months. Doubtless the upcoming presidential election and the uncertainties of the so-called Arab Spring made serious administration pressure on Israel impractical. Indeed, we were not all that surprised by a recent speech given by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon indicating that Israel had persuaded President Obama to change his strategy from trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to merely managing it.

In his speech, delivered at the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center in Jerusalem, Ya’alon mocked the international community for what he called its “solutionism” and “nowism” in its attempt to solve a conflict that cannot currently be solved.

But we are also mindful that the U.S. and the Quartet are on record with their goal of solving the conflict by the end of 2012. And some developments this past week suggest that things continue to percolate under the radar.

For one thing, it appears Fatah and Hamas are finally poised to unite. There was the announcement the other day of an impending mutual release of prisoners and joint planning sessions. Significantly, while this kind of news has usually prompted a sharp reminder from the U.S. about Hamas being a terrorist group, this time there was silence.

In addition, the Islamist parties continue to rack up heavy electoral victories in the Egyptian parliamentary elections. When the final results are in, there can be little doubt Israel will be facing an extremely hostile neighbor and the U.S. will begin advising Jerusalem it has no choice but to placate the new powers-that-be in Cairo. The same will be true for Turkey, which every day seems to become more anti-Israel, more anti-West and more ascendant in the leadership of the Muslim world. And of course Iran will present its own challenges, particularly after the presidential election. So while there is a temporary respite from the sense of urgency that earlier characterized President Obama’s frenetic efforts in the Middle East, we fear that once the distractions pass, he will, if reelected, return with a vengeance to his earlier insistence on Israel accommodating its implacable enemies.

Ron Paul, Israel, And The Other GOP Candidates
It was only two weeks ago that, except for Congressman Ron Paul, the aspirants for the Republican presidential nomination were falling all over themselves in expressing undying support for Israel and its right to choose how it would pursue its own destiny. This week confirmation – if any were needed – surfaced about Mr. Paul’s virulently negative views on Israel. Yet as of now he has not been confronted on this by his fellow candidates.
Eric Ondero, who served for several years as a senior aide to Mr. Paul, denied the congressman is anti-Semitic but disclosed that he is indeed a rather militant opponent of Israel who “wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all.” (See more on Mr. Paul in Media Monitor, page 13.)
Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum feel it’s important to let voters know how much they support Israel. So shouldn’t they be calling out Ron Paul on his hostility to America’s closest ally in the Middle East?

‘The Highest Office’

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

     The recent presidential election has caused terrible angst for some voters and incredible joy for others. However, American history has shown that no matter who is elected to the oval office, the fundamental principles of the country are sound, and life carries on. 

     Power in the United States regularly bounces from Republican to Democrat like a lively ping-pong game. Many new presidents are, in fact, elected as a protest vote against the previous regime. In a country that is governed by checks and balances, the volley of parties does not do permanent harm. 

    The United States staggered under the shock of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal and consequently elected Jimmy Carter. It was humiliated by Carter’s inept handling of the hostages in Iran and elected Ronald Reagan. It was scandalized by the shenanigans of Bill Clinton’s high-risk, inappropriate romances and elected George W. Bush. Yet, through it all, the nation remained strong.

    The people of America reeled under the attack of 9/11 and its aftermath. Perhaps everything that followed was not handled to perfection. It is very easy to be a Monday- morning quarterback. However, despite the mistakes of the president or officials in charge, our country has pulled through a terrible trauma. We are intact.   

   There seems to be a pattern to life, which belies the idea that we, alone, decide our destiny. Perhaps the answer is that we are not the sole arbitrator of what happens, despite our greatest efforts. Of course, we are mandated to do our best to put things in place.  However, it seems that man can never really hold the “highest office.”

    So hang in there. There are lessons to be learned. There are experiences to be had.  There is a lot to process.  Gam zu l’tovah, everything is for the best! 

Electionshpiel Special

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Question: For whom will you be voting in next month’s presidential election?


 

 


Election?! You mean in just a few weeks I’ll longer get to be the decider? So that’s why Laura is so busy packing up boxes! I’m not sure whom I will vote for. I liked Rudy Giuliani’s spirit during 9/11 and I admire Mike Huckabee’s conservative nature, but one thing’s for sure: John Kerry is certainly not going to get my vote.

 — George Bush, president


 

 


As someone who was born an African-American male, I am so proud of Barack Obama, and I do think we are ready to see a black man as president. But I can also relate to Sarah Palin as a white woman, and I feel it’s about time we had a female vice president. Color me confused.

 — Michael Jackson, entertainer


 

 


I still think I would make a great president and perhaps when I challenge President Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2012, the American public will get it right and vote for me. Don’t tell anyone, but I never fully cleaned out my office from when Bill and I were in the White House. I knew I’d eventually be back.

 — Hillary Clinton, U.S. senator (D-NY)


 

 

 


Frankly, I don’t see why George Bush can’t run for another term. Who says there has to be a limit? If the man feels like he can put in another 4 years, he should go for it. Heck, why even have elections? I’m looking into that question as well.

 — Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York

 

 

This week’s column is intended for satiric purposes only.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/electionshpiel-special/2008/10/22/

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