Thursday, November 8, 2012

"What a vindictive, mean-spirited little man Obama would be if he did think and act that way!"

You do Iran for us or you are "a vindictive, mean-spirited little man"
[Times of Israel] "... Netanyahu may well be personally disappointed that his old friend Romney, whose world view is not a million miles from his own, did not win the presidency.
He may feel, as do many Israelis, that Obama has no gut affiliation with Israel — unlike, say, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (this is an emotional, not a partisan thing). He may also well feel, as do many Israelis (who would have voted 45-29% for Romney over Obama had we been the 51st state), that Obama is not sending tough enough messages to the Iranians about the imperative that they halt their nuclear drive.
But he also presumably has the wisdom to realize that reelection for Obama saved us all six months, while a president-elect Romney would have had to wait more than two months to take over and had to hire and gear-up an administration before he could possibly have focused on Iran. And he doubtless recognizes that there are no guarantees that a first-term Romney would have been more capable of mustering support for a resort to force if necessary than a second term president who has credibly sought to thwart Iran via sanctions and diplomacy.
Our problem is that we are physically closer to Iran than the United States, we are more immediately threatened by Iran than the United States, and our military capacity to inflict damage on the Iranian nuclear program is more limited than that of the United Statesand may be about to disappear altogether. All this at a time when Obama, Romney and most other key players in the United States, just about everybody else in the international community, and plenty of very credible Israeli experts, are still championing the prospect of non-military action thwarting Iran’s drive to the bomb.We in Israel have a problem with the Americans over Iran. It’s a problem we would have had if Romney had won on Tuesday. It’s a problem that doesn’t stem from Netanyahu’s personal presidential preference or the degree to which he did — or didn’t — display it.
It is complicated still more by the fact that if we hold our fire now — as many of our most credible security chiefs believe we should, because the guillotine is not yet at our throat, to use the parlance of former Mossad chief Meir Dagan — we will essentially be subcontracting our security to other international players, and most relevantly to an America that simply does not want to open new areas of conflict. If those many local and overseas experts are right, and the Iranian program is halted with no need for a resort to military action, then we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, and sing the praises of those whose cumulative pressure apparently persuaded Netanyahu not to strike thus far. If they’re wrong, however, it will soon be too late for Israel — a potential immediate casualty — to do much about it.
In the case of Netanyahu and Obama, it also happens to be profoundly insulting — and not just to the prime minister. After heaping scorn on Netanyahu for his dereliction of the wider national interest in the cause of more marginal personal and political considerations, the critics warn that a rankled Obama might seek revenge for such slights in a way that would damage all of Israel.These are grave, fateful matters, that require nuanced, careful examination and handling — by politicians who should not let personal preferences or interests skew their judgments, and by the writers and commentators who convey these issues to the public. Reducing the dilemmas on Iran faced by the West, but most urgently by Israel, to a distorted focus on partisan preferences and personal frictions risks obscuring the genuine complexities.
“Anyone who knows the president understands that this is not how he thinks,” the US Ambasador to Israel Dan Shapiro said Wednesday, adding that talk of presidential revenge against Israel for Netanyahu’s political preferences was “ridiculous.” What a vindictive, mean-spirited little man Obama would be if he did think and act that way. Yet that’s precisely what Netanyahu’s accusers are suggesting.
By indicating that Israel should now brace for the wrath of a score-settling US president infuriated by Netanyahu’s ostensible intervention, they are implying that Obama is no more capable than Netanyahu of putting aside personal grudge and preference, no more capable of holding firm to his nation’s wider interest."

No comments: