Some of my fellow Jewish friends and acquaintances have expressed surprise, possibly some cases of actual shock, at some, if not all, of President Obama’s choices for the main three appointments for his second term. It appears as John Kerry was the least controversial among them as Secretary of State but even this was at the least somewhat problematic. The seeming arrogance with which Secretary Kerry announced that he had ideas which would very likely restart the peace talks and guide them to a definitive conclusion was somewhat over the top. There have been numerous people with many more years experience with the problems and machinations of the Middle East who remain stymied by the Israeli Palestinian negotiation challenges yet Kerry is going to walk in cold and solve everything. The last neophyte to attempt to solve this problem with their grand and simplistic schemes was his boss, President Obama, and he made a catastrophe with his mechanisms and imposed conditions which we will discuss later in this article. Anybody looking into Senator Kerry’s record on votes affecting Israel in particular and the Middle East in general will note that his record of Israel favorable voting patterns appeared to be spaced with four years being questionable followed by two years of fairly pro-Israel voting which were then followed by reelection and the cycle restarting. But, the three appointments of John Kerry for Secretary of State, Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, and John Brennan to be Chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) are all problematic for individual and overlapping reasons.
Now on to Senator Chuck Hagel who is still being debated but is extremely likely to have his appointment ratified by the Senate as there will be at least eight and probably many more Republican Senators who will vote in favor ending any serious filibuster as has been promised by Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma. Condemning Senator Hagel’s voting record on all things concerning Israel in any manner would be repetitively redundant. Yes, it has been that bad and that much noted since his appointment as to demand such wording. What does deserve noting with an explanation has been his grand denial of ever voting to harm Israel. He made a very carefully crafted and misleading statement concerning his voting record. He claimed, “There is not one shred of evidence that I’m anti-Israeli, not one (Senate) vote that matters that hurt Israel.” Making sure that I am being honest and not casting aspersions where none apply, Chuck Hagel made an absolutely valid statement when taken in the context of it being spoken in politispeak, the form of newspeak used in Washington DC to avoid taking responsibility for one’s past actions. So, why don’t we transcribe Hagel’s masterful use of politispeak into every day common English and reveal his actual meaning. His statement does not refer to how he voted on items and legislation which concerned Israel. His statement renders his vote meaningless as he refers to the vote outcome and not his participation. His claim is no legislation on which he voted either passed or failed due to his vote that then resulted in harm to Israel. To make his statement accurate, he would have had to say, No legislation which I voted against supporting Israeli needs or wishes ever was defeated, they all passed and every vote I cast in favor of legislation and other items that would have been deleterious to Israel all never passed but my intention, votes, desire and heart really were placed in using every effort at my disposal to damn Israel and anything favorably relating to Israel but was denied my victories as I was in the minority on every vote. Now, that is a bit longwinded but gives a far more accurate appraisal of the truth behind Senator Hagel’s mendacity. Truth be told, President Obama chose Senator Hagel for the same reason he chose Senator Kerry, they both share his animus towards Israel and the United States Military and her standing as the leading nation in the world. They both support his desire to denude America’s nuclear weapons stores, unilaterally if possible, while diminishing the American standing Navy, Air Force, and Army while leaving the United States at the mercy of the rest of the world and both have a particular dislike for Israel. Thankfully, the last appointee poses mostly different problems.
Somehow, even after John Brennan decided to opt out of being appointed as CIA Chief at the beginning of President Obama’s first term due to expected difficulties over his record from the work he performed legitimizing the Bush Presidency’s numerous presumed irregularities in interrogation techniques and rendition usage as being within legal and acceptable standards, but now we have Mr. Brennan being appointed to be Chief of the CIA not only with the Bush record but also of having been one of the lead persons responsible for the use of drones in order to take out terror suspects even to include citizens of the United States. As I mentioned last week or so, I have to give Code Pink recognition and credit for consistency as they protested Mr. Brennan’s hearings holding him responsible for both his actions in the service of President Bush as well as his service of President Obama. But even if his involvement with both of these questionable utilizations of American forces, personnel, and their treatment of prisoners or Jihadists without judicial oversight, there are other reasons to be suspect of Mr. Brennan. During hearings before the Congress Mr. Brennan stated the following in a presentation when referencing Jerusalem calling it, “al-Quds,” the Islamic name and not its Jewish, Christian or common referenced name. Mr. Brennan also shares another set of values which correspond very closely to those of his boss, President Obama. Some of their shared views may be a result of both men spending parts of their youth growing up and attending schools in dominant Muslim areas of Indonesia. They both look to the Islam practiced during their youth in Indonesia which was open, peaceful, and largely influenced by the earliest passages of the Koran which were part of the Mecca Koran. The fact that the Middle Eastern and North African Islamists operate under the influence of the later written passages from the Koran as written in Medina to fit the life and practices of a society based on caravan raiding, protection schemes and based on a warlord mentality appears to have totally eluded them. Instead, they believe what they see is a Muslim world that suffers from ailments resulting from European colonialism, Western intolerance towards Islam, Westerners complete misunderstanding of the Islamic meaning of Jihad, Western misgivings of Muslim culture, and Western prejudice. They both believe that in order to repair the disconnects between the Islamic world and Western countries that Islam is not in need of making any changes in their lack of tolerance of other cultures or religions and that all of the problems are strictly found with the Western countries and especially Israel who need to learn more about Islam and be more understanding, less supercritical, and understandably accept that they are responsible for any intolerance or violence which emanates from the Muslim world. Despite their use of drone targeting of known Jihadists, even despite collateral casualties, they are likely to increase such attacks while calling on everyone else to change their rhetoric and adopt a more conciliatory approach to any problems with Islamic entities. Their disconnect between their demands and their actions is simply astounding. The one last shared view is that despite anything else, Israel is a separate and totally unique problematic situation which requires a completely different set of rules and actions. Everything that causes the Palestinian leadership to complain must be caused by Israeli intolerance, insensitivity, aggression and mere existence. No sacrifice demanded of Israel can be considered unreasonable while every point made by Israel is of no consequence.
And that leads us to why it was absolutely no surprise that President Obama chose three candidates who all believe that the solution to much of what ails the Middle East can be solved by crushing Israel with demands of complete and total sacrifice and surrender to the Palestinians and all of Islam. All we need to do is return to the early years of President Obama’s first term when he was the new man with all the answers that would forge peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It was in these early times that President Obama came forth with his new approach and fresh ideas that were to produce a final solution to this impossible problem. President Obama did indeed have a revolutionary set of ideas, or at least he must have since his first two suggestions had never before been even considered, let alone proposed. Even in their wildest demands, the Palestinians had never demanded of Israel what President Obama was to propose. His first groundbreaking proposal was for a building freeze in all of the contested lands. Prime Minister Netanyahu eventually complied with a ten month building freeze on all such areas except within Jerusalem. This led to one meeting between President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Abbas where there was one handshake, a bunch of pictures, three very short speeches, and then nothing until three weeks before the freeze was to end when
President Abbas demanded the freeze be extended or else he would not talk. Well, he met one last time with Netanyahu and demanded a new freeze with no ending and walked out never since to return. Fresh off his rousing defeat, President Obama plowed ahead and suggested that the negotiations should use the 1967 lines as the starting point for borders. Another ground shaking proposal which has since joined the building freeze as Mahmoud Abbas’s opening preconditions thanks exclusively to their originator, President Obama. Now you likely understand why these three, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and John Brennan were chosen to lead the international Obama team for his second and final term. The gloves are off and Israel has been sighted in and they are ready to fire for effect. G0d help Israel, she needs every bit of help she can get.
Beyond the Cusp