With the US track record in the Mideast, Netanyahu is right to be ‘a coward’
Elyakim Haetzni /ynetnews
Published: 11.04.14 / Israel Opinion
From revolution-era Iran to the disastrous 2006 Palestinian elections and the downfall of Mubarak, American decision-making in the region has consistently been far from stellar.
Had Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the American political dictate, the superpower would have refrained from gnawing away at his personal qualities. Hence, US foreign policy in the region, and its measure of wisdom, is the relevant issue here.
Let’s have a quick look.
Iran, 1979: Faced with a choice between the Persian shah, loyal to the West but not exactly democratic, and Ruhollah Khomeini, the religious fundamentalist, then-president Jimmy Carter opted for the ayatollah. He tied the hands of the military and prevented the shah from quelling the uprising with an iron fist – all in the name of “human rights,” of course. What did he achieve? The “Great Satan,” a bloody dictatorial regime, a terrible war between Iran and Iraq, and the nightmarish scenario of Shia fanaticism armed with an atomic bomb.
And from Iran to Iraq, two predatory beasts that once gripped one another by the throat and neutralized each other: Along came the America of George Bush Jr., and in an effort to root out weapons of mass destruction, of which there none, it invaded Iraq, dismantled its army and, at the same time, undermined the delicate balance Sunnis and Shias. At the cost of the lives of 4,500 American soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi fatalities and $1 trillion, the United States put an end in fact to Iraq as a state. It dropped the south into the bosom of Iran, and abandoned the north to the Islamic State beheaders.
The final discordant note belongs, of course, to President Barack Obama, who played his part in the Iraqi catastrophe with the irresponsible decision to withdraw his army from there (“As a candidate for president, I planned to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end”) and deploy reinforcements in Afghanistan of all places, where their mission was even more unfounded. There, too, the Americans and their allies shed blood and money in vain, before pulling out with the Taliban at their heels. With skills like these, Obama is now demanding the right to determine our fate for us.
Once upon a time, there was a Libya. The Europeans, “led from behind” by Obama, then turned it into a no man’s land, a playground for warring tribes. Libya had a firm ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, a patently undemocratic tyrant; but towards the end of his days, he dutifully served the West, dismantled his nuclear arsenal, and also warned that only he could keep Libya, with all its oil riches, in check as a single state. Obama, however, believed otherwise (“There is no question that Libya – and the world – would be better off with Gaddafi out of power”) and toppled him – another American mistake. Here, it could have ended in the destruction of the Third Temple.
Egypt under Hosni Mubarak was a loyal ally of America, an achievement for which much Israeli blood was shed in the Yom Kippur War. But Egypt’s fate, too, was sealed by Obama. Why? Martin Indyk, the president’s lackey, explained it thus: “The United States could not stand by authoritarian regimes that act to suppress non-violent mass demonstrations calling for democracy.” They therefore informed the Egyptian Army that if it helps Mubarak quell the protests, US aid will come to an end. And thus the regime fell into the hands of the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, following “a historic (American) decision to try to work with the Muslim Brotherhood.” But the Egyptians preferred a military dictator to a religious fanatic, and elected General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who Obama viewed as insufficiently “democratic.”
In 2006, on the eve of the elections to the Palestinian “parliament,” both Jerusalem and Ramallah warned Washington about Hamas’ participation in the vote. They predicted a majority for the terrorist organization. The American responded thus to Mahmoud Abbas: “If you call of the elections, you can erase our telephone numbers from memory!” Hamas, as we know, emerged victorious, and the rest is written in the annals of Israel’s wars.
A surgeon whose previous patients had all died under his knife noticed that the next patient in line feared for his life. The surgeon lost his temper and called him “a coward, chickenshit!”