Shaul Rosenfeld/Obama’s virtual reality


Obama’s virtual reality
Shaul Rosenfeld/Ynetnews
Published: 04.01.15/ Israel Opinion

Op-ed: While the US president and his administration have failed in predicting, understanding and handling every single event in the Middle East, most of their criticism is still directed at the State of Israel led by Netanyahu. In an article titled, “The Orwellian Obama presidency,” Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal wrote last week that in the spirit of George Orwell’s motto for Oceania in the book “1984,” under US President Barack Obama “friends are enemies, denial is wisdom, capitulation is victory.” And in light of the recent failure in the current American foreign policy in Yemen – which was marked by Obama only about half a year ago as a model of tremendous success of the war on terror – Stephens asked with some irony: “Who should Barack Obama be declaring war on in the Middle East other than the State of Israel?”

Nuclear Deal
The Americans are being naive about Iran / Alex Fishman
Op-ed: The US administration either believes that the supervision on Iran’s nuclear program will be perfect, or that the Iranians have no intention of cheating. Either way, when the Americans talk about a historic deal, Israel and the Middle East react hysterically.
Full op-ed

Indeed, as his own work and vision in the Middle East are drowning in the sea, it is becoming clear that the horrible local element according to Obama, which his administration directs most of its criticism at, are not the Houthis in Yemen or the Islamic State or even Iran (which is becoming a nuclear threshold state thanks to his failure), but the State of Israel led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who he believes is deteriorating Israeli democracy, excluding the Arabs, and impudently refusing to make peace with the Palestinians right now.

It’s possible that the American president’s current anger and tongue-lashing were designated to begin with against Netanyahu’s attempt to thwart the agreement taking shape with Iran and accept the invitation to speak at the Congress, and now, after the elections, he simply has the opportunity to execute them.

It’s also possible that the election results, by which he was annoyed of course, contributed quite a lot to his growing fury. It’s also reasonable to assume that for Obama, walking all over Netanyahu’s head could help divert the global attention from that nuclear agreement which is taking shape. But all this is nothing more than one variation of the same well-known issue of appeasing stubborn and determined enemies on the one hand, while harassing friends and lashing out at their actions – which he began upon entering the White House and hasn’t ceased for a moment – on the other hand.

The appeasing and flattering tone towards Hamas, “moderate” elements in the Taliban, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and Islam in general, which began immediately when Obama took office, hasn’t subsided and hasn’t lessened. Just like there has been no reduction in the firm criticism against Israel over each and every balcony it built in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood, every tender in Givat Shlomo, every internal conflict with its Arab citizens or its “insolent” attempt not to allow a duplication of the Gazan model in Judea and Samaria by withdrawing to the 1967 borders. In April 2010, a bit more than year after he took office, he ordered his staff to stop using the term “radical and militant Islam.” In late 2014, even when ISIS’s acts of horror increased, there was no doubt that he would not deviate even a little from the line exempting Islam of any responsibility for and affinity to terror, extremism, oppression and stoning of women who have acted immorally, or persecution of minorities. The fact that almost all acts of terror on earth are committed by Muslim terrorists, who carry out their evil scheme in the name of Islam and who say it out loud, is not enough to undermine Obama’s blind faith.

Because if “America and Islam share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings,” as he said in his Cairo speech, one can only conclude that Islam has nothing to do with all the terroristic calamities in the Middle East, and not just in the Middle East. Obama’s ideological figure in those liberal American habitats was shaped based on two great ideas: Reconciliation and pursuing peace over any use of force, even at the cost of ingratiating hooligan and crazy rulers, or at least avoiding any conflict with them at all costs; and on the other hand, expressing remorse for the sins of colonialism, which places all responsibility for the Levant’s backwardness on the West, in the spirit of the groundless post-colonialist perceptions of Edward Said.

The devout internalization of these two ideas contributed quite a lot to the fact that there has not been a single event in the region which he and his administration succeeded in predicting, understanding and handling, while repeatedly erring with a motivational bias (a bias which makes people see a high likelihood for future events just because they strongly want them to happen).
That same bias, for example, made Obama and his administration see the Arab Spring as a sort of wonderful democratic renaissance, similar to the way the Israeli press and left-wing camp rushed to crown Isaac Herzog as the next prime minister on the eve of the elections. Reality, it seems, has a tendency of disregarding heart’s desires, even those of American presidents.