Tag: AIPAC

2016 U.S. ELECTION: TRUMP, CRUZ & CLINTON PRO-ISRAEL AT AIPAC, BUT NOT NO-SHOW SANDERS—WILL LIBYA “DEBACLE” DERAIL HILLARY?

American Jews Face Dilemma in Presidential Elections: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 30, 2016— The turmoil associated with the American presidential elections has impacted on much of the nation, and certainly on the Jews.

The Libya Debacle Undermines Clinton’s Foreign Policy Credentials: George F. Will, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2016— Republican peculiarities in this political season are so numerous and lurid that insufficient attention is being paid to this: The probable Democratic nominee’s principal credential, her service as secretary of state, is undermined by a debacle of remarkable dishonesty.

What Derailed Marco Rubio?: Jonathan Bernstein, National Post, Mar. 17, 2016— The 2016 demise of Marco Rubio has been obvious for a while, but it is nevertheless a very big event. He was the Republican Party’s choice. He lost.

The Donald and the Barack:  Wall Street Journal, Mar. 11, 2016— President Obama is said to be a reflective man, and often he is the one saying so, but you wouldn’t know it from his Thursday press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Four Foreign Policies: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Mar. 31, 2016

Beyond AIPAC Speeches: Assessing Israel’s Place as a U.S. Election Issue: Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, JNS, Mar. 24, 2016

Donald Trump Faces his Biggest Threat Yet: Himself: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Apr. 2, 2016

Iran Has a Surprising Favorite in the U.S. Presidential Race: Riyadh Mohammed, Fiscal Times, Mar. 21, 2016

 

         

   AMERICAN JEWS FACE DILEMMA IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Mar. 30, 2016

 

The turmoil associated with the American presidential elections has impacted on much of the nation, and certainly on the Jews. Many, both liberal and conservative, feel that their traditional political affiliations have been destabilized. Grass-root voters have rebelled against entrenched long-term politicians and have astounded analysts by supporting relatively obscure personalities who have introduced levels of primitive populism into American politics unseen since the days of Huey Long.

 

Those deeply concerned about Israel find themselves in a special quandary. Democratic supporters witnessed a struggle between Hillary Clinton — who until recently faced virtually no competition — and Bernie Sanders, a relatively unknown older Jewish senator from Vermont, a leftist throwback to prewar Jewish socialists raging against the “domination” of Wall Street and calling for a redistribution of wealth. He is also highly critical of Israel and a J Street supporter, pandering to the growing anti-Israeli sentiment among left-wing Democrats. His populism has generated substantial support, especially from young people.

 

Nevertheless, despite being widely resented and distrusted in her own party, Hillary Clinton is likely to win the Democratic nomination. But the dramatic flow of support of the radical views promoted by Sanders has created concern that in office, she would seek to placate the radicals within the party. That, in turn, could encourage her to revert to the hostile attitude that prevailed during her term as secretary of state toward Israel and especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It also reinforces concerns about some of the vicious anti-Israeli advisers she had engaged in the past, who were exposed in her declassified emails.

 

Every presidential candidate invited to the recent annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), passionately supported the Jewish state. The only exception was Sanders, who declined to address AIPAC and spoke at another location where he bitterly criticized Israel. But electoral pledges and passionate undertakings by presidential candidates and politicians at AIPAC must be treated with considerable cynicism, as from experience, they are frequently watered down or breached.

 

Yet, Clinton’s address to AIPAC was significant…Despite justifying President Barack Obama’s Iran policy and criticizing Israeli settlements, her powerful endorsement of support for Israel was warmly received. She distinguished herself from Obama by promising that a renewal of good relations with Israel would be a priority, and that one of her first acts in office would be to invite Netanyahu to Washington. She expressed these views obviously aware that she would be intensifying the ire of the radical anti-Israel elements in her party.

 

The uneasiness concerning the Clinton candidacy shared by some traditional Jewish Democratic supporters pales when compared to the turmoil among many Republican supporters at the explosive ascendancy of Donald Trump, who was initially perceived as a clown, with virtually all analysts predicting his early political demise. Trump primitively denigrates intellectual discourse but has displayed an extraordinary populist talent to communicate and reach out to the disaffected masses who have flocked to support him, ditching seasoned leaders like former Governor Jeb Bush, eliminating Senator Marco Rubio, and at this stage enjoying a substantial lead over Senator Ted Cruz, his sole remaining credible opponent.

 

He has adopted crude, inconsistent and contradictory policies but struck a responsive chord from many Americans alienated and frustrated with their current status and seeking radical solutions. He has created a major schism in the Republican Party because of his rabble-rousing, vulgarity, abusive remarks about women and discriminatory outbursts against minorities — especially Mexicans. Many traditional Republicans, including senior party leaders, refuse to endorse him and some have even stated that they would never vote for him as president. His critics include the neoconservatives and the most prominent conservative thinkers and commentators who are outraged by his isolationist outbursts and demagogic anti-intellectual approach.

 

Trump attests to his long track record of friendship for Jews and Israel and constantly highlights the fact that his daughter converted and leads a traditional Orthodox Jewish lifestyle. But those voters seeking the restoration of warmer relations between the United States and the Jewish state are concerned with Trump’s ad lib flip-flop responses in relation to Israel.

 

Initially, he antagonized supporters of Israel by stating that he would be “neutral” in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On one occasion, he promoted the extreme isolationist view that Israel should not be reliant on U.S. defense support and should repay American military aid. He even suggested that the U.S. should withdraw from NATO. He particularly angered Jews when initially, perhaps in ignorance, he dismissed calls to dissociate himself from support he was receiving from white supremacists and extreme anti-Semites. When it was announced that Trump would join other presidential candidates and address AIPAC, a group of Reform and Conservative rabbis planned a demonstrative walkout as he approached the podium. Their widely publicized threat turned out to be farcical and resulted in the boycott of only about 30 of the 18,000 participants.

 

Trump’s address to AIPAC … was his first attempt to present a crafted policy on any subject. He used a teleprompter which diverted him from his customary ad-libbing. It was an extraordinary political coup in which he received repeated standing ovations as he swept the audience off its feet by pressing all the pro-Israel buttons and systematically presenting a coherent case for Israel. He contradicted some of his earlier critical remarks, including his intention of being “neutral” in order to consummate a “deal” between Palestinians and Israel. He also announced his intention to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

                              THE LIBYA DEBACLE UNDERMINES

                         CLINTON’S FOREIGN POLICY CREDENTIALS

                                                       George F. Will                                  

                                                        Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2016

 

Republican peculiarities in this political season are so numerous and lurid that insufficient attention is being paid to this: The probable Democratic nominee’s principal credential, her service as secretary of state, is undermined by a debacle of remarkable dishonesty. Hillary Clinton’s supposedly supreme presidential qualification is not her public prominence, which is derivative from her marriage, or her unremarkable tenure in a similarly derivative Senate seat. Rather, her supposed credential is her foreign policy mastery. Well.

 

She cannot be blamed for Vladimir Putin’s criminality or, therefore, for the failure of her “reset” with Russia, which was perhaps worth trying. She cannot be blamed for the many defects of the Iran nuclear agreement, which was a presidential obsession. And she cannot be primarily blamed for the calamities of Iraq, Syria and the Islamic State, which were incubated before her State Department tenure. Libya, however, was what is known in tennis as an “unforced error,” and Clinton was, with President Obama, its co-author.

 

On March 28, 2011, nine days after the seven-month attack on Libya began and 10 days after saying that it would last “days, not weeks,” Obama gave the nation televised assurance that “the task that I assigned our forces [is] to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger and to establish a no-fly zone.” He said that U.S. forces would play only a “supporting role” in what he called a “NATO-based” operation, although only eight of NATO’s 28 members participated and the assault could not have begun without U.S. assets. Obama added: “Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.”

 

The next day, a Clinton deputy repeated this to a Senate committee. And then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at the time that no vital U.S. interest was at stake. Recently, he told the New York Times that “the fiction was maintained” that the goal was to cripple Moammar Gaddafi’s ability to attack other Libyans. This was supposedly humanitarian imperialism implementing “R2P,” the “responsibility to protect.” Perhaps as many as — many numbers were bandied — 10,000 Libyans. R2P did not extend to protecting the estimated 200,000 Syrians that have been killed since 2011 by Bashar al-Assad’s tanks, artillery, bombers, barrel bombs and poison gas.

 

Writing for Foreign Policy online, Micah Zenko, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, notes that “just hours into the intervention, Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from a British submarine stationed in the Mediterranean Sea struck an administrative building in [Gaddafi’s] Bab al-Azizia compound, less than 50 yards away from the dictator’s residence.” A senior military official carefully insisted that Gaddafi was “not on a targeting list.” This was sophistry in the service of cynicism: For months, places he might have been were on targeting lists.

 

The pretense was that this not-really-NATO operation, with the United States “supporting” it, was merely to enforce U.N. resolutions about protecting Libyans from Gaddafi. Zenko, however, argues that the coalition “actively chose not to enforce” the resolution prohibiting arms transfers to either side in the civil war. While a senior NATO military official carefully said “I have no information about” arms coming into Libya, and another carefully said that no violation of the arms embargo “has been reported,” Zenko writes that “Egypt and Qatar were shipping advanced weapons to rebel groups the whole time, with the blessing of the Obama administration.”

 

On May 24, 2011, NATO released a public relations video showing sailors from a Canadian frigate, supposedly enforcing the arms embargo, boarding a rebel tugboat laden with arms. The video’s narrator says: “NATO decides not to impede the rebels and to let the tugboat proceed.” Zenko writes, “A NATO surface vessel stationed in the Mediterranean to enforce an arms embargo did exactly the opposite, and NATO was comfortable posting a video demonstrating its hypocrisy.” On Oct. 20, 2011, Clinton, while visiting Afghanistan, was told that insurgents, assisted by a U.S. Predator drone, had caught and slaughtered Gaddafi. She quipped: “We came, we saw, he died.” She later said that her words expressed “relief” that the mission “had achieved its end.”

 

Oh, so this military adventure was, after all, history’s most protracted and least surreptitious assassination. Regime change was deliberately accomplished by the determined decapitation of the old regime, and Libyans are now living in the result — a failed state. Stopping in Libya en route to Afghanistan two days before Gaddafi’s death, Clinton said, “I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Libya.” If you seek her presidential credential, look there.

 

 

Contents

        WHAT DERAILED MARCO RUBIO?

Jonathan Bernstein               

                                               National Post, Mar. 17, 2016

 

The 2016 demise of Marco Rubio has been obvious for a while, but it is nevertheless a very big event. He was the Republican Party’s choice. He lost. Starting last fall, I said he would be the most likely winner. I continued saying that through the early primaries and caucuses. In fact, he seemed on track to win up until his disappointing Super Tuesday March 1, and even in the days after that I thought he was in fairly good shape — that is, right up until his support collapsed the weekend after Super Tuesday.

 

Since I have been dead wrong about Rubio, I can’t turn around immediately and tell you why he lost. It’s something all of us who study presidential nominations are going to need to study, and it’s going to take some time, especially for those who believe that strong parties made up of formal organizations and informal networks control their presidential nominations. Is this year a fluke? A sign that the system has changed? Frankly, I don’t know right now. But I can run through some reasonable explanations of what happened with Rubio.

 

Some commentators have floated variations of this explanation. One is that Rubio wasn’t appealing to Republican voters. But for most of the contest, his favourability scores among Republicans were excellent. Even when he lagged in the horse-race polls, he usually did well when pollsters probed beyond the top vote choice among Republicans.

 

I’m also skeptical of blaming his position on immigration or his hawkish foreign policy. Both John McCain and Mitt Romney won Republican nominations with problems that were more severe. A more plausible explanation of Rubio’s weakness is that he choked under pressure. His poor debate before the New Hampshire primary, when he repeated a line multiple times, and his debate after Super Tuesday, when he got down in the mud with Donald Trump, both appear to have been disasters. Though parties normally choose their nominees, this Republican Party isn’t normal — it’s dysfunctional. Political scientist Norman Ornstein has pushed this line since August, and he could be correct. Republicans’ attacks on experts, the media and even the “establishment” of their own party made it more difficult than it should have been to explain why Trump was such a pariah.

 

But it was about more than Trump. Party actors took a long time to decide on Rubio, and even then their choice wasn’t close to a consensus. Some of them permitted Jeb Bush to stay in through South Carolina, and he spent that Bush faction’s considerable resources targeting Rubio. Another substantial faction supported Ted Cruz, even though many Washington Republicans dislike him so much that they were willing to play footsie with Trump back in January. And John Kasich has had a fair amount of party support as well, which perhaps is why he has been able to fight on.

 

No theory could have accounted for him. (People have used the analogy of the Mule in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, a mutant whose inhuman abilities disrupted the normal development of politics in the universe.) But I’m skeptical of this explanation, too. Trump is good at grabbing the new media’s attention, but it’s hard to see much evidence that he’s unusually talented in any other way. Still, if the party’s power flows from its ability to capture voters’ attention, it fizzled when the news coverage of Trump overwhelmed other sources of information. None of the above explanations are mutually exclusive. Perhaps they all played a role.\

 

Rubio finished just one per cent of the vote behind Trump in Iowa. If Republican Party actors had converged on him a few weeks earlier — or if Bush’s super PAC had targeted Trump or Cruz with some of the ads aimed at Rubio, the Florida senator could easily have finished second or even won the state, perhaps knocking out Cruz. If he hadn’t botched the New Hampshire debate, he probably would have finished second there, knocking out Kasich (probably) and Bush (perhaps) earlier and setting up a better finish in South Carolina…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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      THE DONALD AND THE BARACK                           

        Wall Street Journal, Mar. 11, 2016

 

President Obama is said to be a reflective man, and often he is the one saying so, but you wouldn’t know it from his Thursday press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Asked about political polarization and the Donald Trump phenomenon, Mr. Obama denied all responsibility. He doesn’t seem to appreciate the kind of country he will leave behind. “What I’m not going to do is to validate some notion that the Republican crack-up that’s been taking place is a consequence of actions that I’ve taken,” Mr. Obama said. He explained Mr. Trump’s ascent as the result of “the nasty tone of our politics, which I certainly have not contributed to.” He blamed Republicans for this tone, as ever.

 

“Objectively,” Mr. Obama said, “it’s fair to say that the Republican political elites and many of the information outlets—social media, news outlets, talk radio, television stations—have been feeding the Republican base for the last seven years a notion that everything I do is to be opposed; that cooperation or compromise somehow is a betrayal.” He listed a few more GOP shortcomings, but you’ve got to hand it to him for that “objectively.” As Mr. Obama tells it, all of this reflexive Obama bashing created “an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive. He’s just doing more of what has been done for the last seven and a half years.” In other words, Republicans didn’t clean up the standing water in their own backyard and now they’re complaining about mosquitoes. One irony is that even as Mr. Obama denied any liability for Mr. Trump, he lapsed into the same rhetorical habit that helped fuel the businessman’s ascent. For Mr. Obama, principled opposition to his policies is always illegitimate or motivated by bad faith.

 

Like the President’s nonstop moral lectures about “our values” and “who we are as Americans,” by which he means liberal values and who we are as Democrats, he reads his critics out of politics. No wonder so many Americans feel disenfranchised and powerless. And if we’re being objective, maybe Mr. Obama could account for the populist uprising among disaffected Democratic primary voters for a 74-year-old Vermont socialist vowing an economic revolution. Bernie Sanders is Mr. Trump’s leftward duplicate. The difference is that the Democratic establishment is doing a better job keeping their outsider away from a delegate majority.

 

The source of this public frustration is no great mystery. For the 10th straight year, the U.S. economy is growing by less than 3%. Such a long stretch of underperformance hasn’t happened since the 1930s. Slow growth for a decade means middle-class incomes are stagnant, which in turn increases economic anxiety, which in turn creates political unrest. As for tone, the 1980s and 1990s featured bitter partisan conflicts—and for that matter so did the 1880s and 1790s. But the late 20th century had popular two-term Presidencies almost back to back, and the era didn’t produce backlash candidates promising to burn Washington to the ground and salt the earth. The reason is that the economy was booming.

 

Mr. Obama’s apologists claim 2%-2.5% growth is the best we can do, but the truth is that the natural dynamism of the U.S. economy has been swamped by waves of Mr. Obama’s bad policy. Instead of a second term that is bereft of domestic achievements, in an alternate universe he might have worked with the duly elected Republican majority and started to repair the economy from the center out. Instead, Mr. Obama has shown contempt for institutions that he doesn’t run, and, notably, most of his growth-subtracting policies have been imposed through unilateral executive action. He doesn’t do persuasion and compromise. Some policies were intended to sow division, like his lawless immigration order that inflamed the restrictionist right, divided Republican elites and was only stopped by the courts…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

On Topic

 

The Four Foreign Policies: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Mar. 31, 2016—After dozens of contests featuring cliffhangers, buzzer-beaters and a ton of flagrant fouls, we’re down to the Final Four: Sanders, Clinton, Cruz and Trump. (If Kasich pulls off a miracle, he’ll get his own column.) The world wants to know: What are their foreign policies?

Beyond AIPAC Speeches: Assessing Israel’s Place as a U.S. Election Issue: Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, JNS, Mar. 24, 2016—At the recent American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, each of the remaining United States presidential candidates—except for Democratic contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who did not appear—essentially laid claim to being the most pro-Israel candidate.

Donald Trump Faces his Biggest Threat Yet: Himself: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Apr. 2, 2016—If Tuesday’s vote in Wisconsin goes according to the polls, Donald Trump’s remarkable ride to the Republican nomination will crash into a wall. And if he never recovers his momentum, the postmortems will say his front-runner status was an illusion befitting a modern P.T. Barnum.

Iran Has a Surprising Favorite in the U.S. Presidential Race: Riyadh Mohammed, Fiscal Times, Mar. 21, 2016 After years of isolation and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations, Iran is quickly reclaiming its place in the Middle East and on the global stage. 

 

 

 

 

                        

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

A “PASSIVE OBSERVER”: CLINTON, BUT NOT AIPAC, OPENLY CRITICAL OF OBAMA’S “DON’T DO STUPID STUFF” POLICY ADVICE

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

AS WE GO TO PRESS: ROCKETS TARGET TEL AVIV IN WAKE OF TRUCE BREAKDOWN (Tel Aviv) —Hours after rockets shattered the cease-fire and hit Gaza frontier communities, three loud explosions were heard over Tel Aviv, shortly before 11 p.m., for the first time in over a week. Hamas claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks. Rocket alert sirens were heard all over southern communities, Beersheba, central Israel and as far as Beit Shemesh – which borders the nation's capital…Israel called back its delegation to Cairo in light of the violation of the cease-fire, and has already begun responding.” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 19, 2014)

 

Contents:

 

The Deafening Silence of American Jewish Leaders: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Aug. 16, 2014 — Over the past few months, Israel has been increasingly castigated and blamed by President Obama and his spokesmen concerning their botched initiative to bring about a settlement with the PA.

On Obama’s Foreign Policy, Clinton Got it Right: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Aug. 14, 2014 — “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

The (Latest) Obama Doctrine: ‘No Victor/No Vanquished’: Marc Thiessen, AEI Ideas, Aug. 14, 2014 — It’s been hard to keep up with all the Obama Doctrines that have emerged over the past five years.

Frozen in the Cold War: Matthew Continetti, Weekly Standard, Aug. 4, 2014 — In 1983, Barack Obama was a senior at Columbia University. He was not well known.

 

On Topic Links

 

With Few Foreign-Policy Triumphs, Obama Running Out of Time: Paul Koring, Globe & Mail, Aug. 19, 2014

Hillary Didn’t ‘Hug it Out’ With Obama, Plots More Attacks: Edward Klein, New York Post, Aug. 16, 2014

The Next Act of the Neocons: Jacob Heilbrunn, New York Times, July 5, 2014 

Why Obama is Driving Jews From the Democratic Party: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Aug. 17, 2014

No Sword, No Justice: William Kristol, Weekly Standard, Aug. 4, 2014

 

THE DEAFENING SILENCE OF AMERICAN JEWISH LEADERS            

 

Isi Leibler                                                                                                                            Candidly Speaking, Aug. 16, 2014

 

Over the past few months, Israel has been increasingly castigated and blamed by President Obama and his spokesmen concerning their botched initiative to bring about a settlement with the PA. The downward spiral in relations escalated in recent weeks with the President’s ritual endorsements of Israel’s right to self-defense being linked with criticisms of its behavior. The U.S. is unquestionably Israel’s principal ally. The American public and a bipartisan Congress remain overwhelmingly pro-Israel and, until this week, the US has maintained the military partnership and exercised its veto powers to defend Israel from biased resolutions at the UN Security Council. Israel is therefore reluctant to confront the offensive statements emanating from the White House and repeatedly undergoes motions of minimizing differences. Nevertheless, one would have expected a robust American Jewish leadership to publicly express its concern. Yet, other than the hawkish Zionist Organization of America, the Jewish establishment appears to have burrowed behind a curtain of deafening silence.

Ironically, committed American Jews are today more united in support of Israel than at any time since the Yom Kippur War. Even groups like Peace Now publicly expressed their support and partook in solidarity meetings. This, despite the fact that the left-wing media continued providing excessive exposure to anti-Israeli Jewish individuals and groups comprising a marginal fraction of the engaged Jewish community. American Jews today relate with shame to the events in 1944, when in order to appease then President Franklin Roosevelt, their leaders, headed by Rabbi Stephen Wise, failed to protest the failure to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. But over the past four decades Jewish leaders have earned a proud reputation of speaking up without fear or favor in relation to Jewish rights, aggressively combatting the demonization and delegitimization of Israel. Yet, in retrospect, American Jewish activism in our era has been uncontroversial – somewhat like motherhood and apple pie. The successful protest movements to alleviate the plight of Soviet Jewry or campaigns against anti-Semitism did not ruffle any feathers. There were occasional tensions relating to Israel but, aside from the Carter era and until the Reagan administration, Democrat presidents proved more favorable towards Israel than the Republicans. That was a source of gratification for most Jews for whom support of the Democrat Party had virtually become part of their DNA.

 

Today the situation has changed dramatically. Whilst, overall, Americans have become considerably more pro-Israel, there has been an erosion of support amongst far left elements in the Democratic Party strongly committed to Obama. The debates over resolutions relating to Israel at the last Democratic Convention highlighted the emergence of intensifying hostility.  Over the past few months, the attitude of the president and his administration towards Israel has dramatically deteriorated. Not only was Israel unfairly blamed for the breakdown in the US peace negotiations with the PA. More recently, Secretary of State John Kerry shocked Israelis by attempting to displace Egypt with pro-Hamas Qatar and Turkey as mediators – a step which if not thwarted, could have been disastrous for Israel. President Obama has not treated Israel as befits an ally. The State Department condemned Israel for civilian casualties describing its actions as “disgraceful” and “appalling”. In contrast, the president referred to thousands of rockets from Hamas as “extraordinarily irresponsible” and even called on Israel to lift the blockade – without regard to security requirements. In effect he related to Israel and Hamas in terms of moral equivalency. Regrettably, Obama’s condemnations set the tone for the rest the world to demonize Israel and encouraged Hamas to believe that continuing the war and sacrificing civilians would ultimately result in global intervention to force Israel to concede to its demands. This week the administration upped the ante to an all-time high by imposing cumbersome new bureaucratic restrictions on the provision of arms supplies. To do so now whilst Israel is engaged in a war that it sought desperately to avoid, reflects the depths to which U.S.-Israel relations have sunk.

 

Yet no criticism of White House policy was publicly expressed by AIPAC, the Presidents Conference, the American Jewish Committee or the Anti-Defamation League. American Jewish leaders are certainly not indifferent to events in Israel. Presidents Conference leader Malcolm Hoenlein has a proven record of devoted and passionate commitment to the Zionist cause and during the war orchestrated many effective solidarity demonstrations on behalf of Israel. There is also no doubt that dedicated supporters of Israel like AIPAC, have been striving quietly to promote the case for Israel to the White House. What is difficult to accept is the reluctance to publicly repudiate the offensive statements concerning Israel emanating from President Obama and White House spokesmen. In the past some Jewish leaders have argued that by speaking up, they would be denied access to the White House. Today that argument is inapplicable because meaningful access to Jewish leaders is probably more limited than it has been in the past half-century. Indeed left-wing anti-Israeli groups appear to have a better entree to the Administration than mainstream leaders. It seems that the Jewish leadership has decided that confronting President Obama would only further polarize the situation, encouraging him to be even more critical towards Israel. There were also fears that criticizing the White House could result in some Democratic legislators abandoning Israel in favor of their president…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                             

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ON OBAMA’S FOREIGN POLICY, CLINTON GOT IT RIGHT                                     

Charles Krauthammer                                                                                         

Washington Post, Aug. 14, 2014

                       

“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” — Hillary Clinton, The Atlantic, Aug. 10

 

Leave it to Barack Obama’s own former secretary of state to acknowledge the fatal flaw of his foreign policy: a total absence of strategic thinking. Yes, of course everything Hillary Clinton says is positioning. The last time she sought the nomination (2008), as she admitted before Defense Secretary Bob Gates, she opposed the Iraq surge for political reasons because she was facing antiwar Sen. Barack Obama in Iowa. Now, as she prepares for her next run (2016), she’s positioning herself to the right because, with no prospect of being denied the Democratic nomination, she has the luxury of running toward the center two years before Election Day. All true, but sincere or not — with the Clintons how can you ever tell? — it doesn’t matter. She’s right. Mind you, Obama does deploy grand words proclaiming grand ideas: the “new beginning” with Islam declared in Cairo, the reset with Russia announced in Geneva, global nuclear disarmament proclaimed in Prague (and playacted in a Washington summit). But, untethered from reality, they all disappeared without a trace. When carrying out policies in the real world, however, it’s nothing but tactics and reactive improvisation. The only consistency is the president’s inability (unwillingness?) to see the big picture. Consider:

 

1. Russia: Vladimir Putin has 45,000 troops on the Ukraine border. A convoy of 262 unwanted, unrequested, uninspected Russian trucks allegedly with humanitarian aid is headed to Ukraine to relieve the pro-Russian separatists now reduced to the encircled cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine threatens to stop it. Obama’s concern? He blithely tells the New York Times that Putin “could invade” Ukraine at any time. And if he does, says Obama, “trying to find our way back to a cooperative functioning relationship with Russia during the remainder of my term will be much more difficult.” Is this what Obama worries about? A Russian invasion would be a singular violation of the post-Cold War order, a humiliating demonstration of American helplessness and a shock to the Baltic republics, Poland and other vulnerable U.S. allies. And Obama is concerned about his post-invasion relations with Putin?

 

2. Syria: To this day, Obama seems not to understand the damage he did to American credibility everywhere by slinking away from his own self-proclaimed red line on Syrian use of chemical weapons. He seems equally unaware of the message sent by his refusal to arm the secular opposition (over the objections of Secretary of State Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and CIA Director David Petraeus) when it was still doable. He ridicules the idea as “fantasy” because we’d be arming amateurs up against a well-armed government “backed by Russia, backed by Iran [and] a battle-hardened Hezbollah.” He thus admits that Russian and other outside support was crucial to tilting the outcome of this civil war to Bashar al-Assad. Yet he dismisses countervailing U.S. support as useless. He thus tells the world of his disdain for the traditional U.S. role of protecting friends by deterring and counterbalancing adversarial outside powers.

 

3. Gaza: Every moderate U.S. ally in the Middle East welcomed the original (week 1) Egyptian cease-fire offer. They were stunned when Obama’s secretary of state then met with Qatar and Turkey — Hamas’ lawyers — promoting its demands. Did Obama not understand he was stymieing a tacit and remarkable pan-Arab-Israeli alliance to bring down Hamas (a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood) — itself an important U.S. strategic objective? The definitive evidence of Obama’s lack of vision is his own current policy reversals — a clear admission of failure. He backed the next Egyptian cease-fire. He’s finally arming the Syrian rebels. And he’s returning American military power to Iraq. (On Russia, however, he appears unmovably unmoved.) Tragically, his proposed $500 million package for secular Syrian rebels is too late. Assad has Aleppo, their last major redoubt, nearly surrounded. If and when it falls, the revolution may be over. The result? The worst possible outcome: A land divided between the Islamic State (IS) and Assad, now wholly owned by Iran and Russia.

 

Iraq is also very little, very late. Why did Obama wait seven months after the IS takeover of Fallujah and nine weeks after the capture of Mosul before beginning supplying the Kurds with desperately needed weapons? And why just small arms supplied supposedly clandestinely through the CIA? The Kurds are totally outgunned. Their bullets are bouncing off the captured armored Humvees the IS has deployed against them. The Pentagon should be conducting a massive airlift to provide the pesh merga with armored vehicles, anti-tank missiles and other heavier weaponry. And why the pinprick airstrikes? The IS-Kurdish front is 600 miles long, more than the distance between Boston and Washington. The Pentagon admits that the current tactics — hitting an artillery piece here, a truck there — will not affect the momentum of the IS or the course of the war. But then again, altering the course of a war would be a strategic objective. That seems not to be in Obama’s portfolio.

                                                                               

Contents
 

THE (LATEST) OBAMA DOCTRINE: ‘NO VICTOR/NO VANQUISHED’           

Marc Thiessen                                    

 AEI Ideas, Aug. 14, 2014

 

It’s been hard to keep up with all the Obama Doctrines that have emerged over the past five years. First, the Libyan war gave us the doctrine of “leading from behind.” Then, in Syria, we saw the birth of a new Obama Doctrine: military action “just muscular enough not to get mocked” (though, Obama backed off of even those miniscule strikes, taking that one out of contention). Then earlier this year, Obama claimed the guiding principle of his foreign policy was “Don’t do stupid shi*t.”  Now, in an interview with The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, Obama unveiled yet another Doctrine – one, he says, that guides both his domestic and foreign policies: “No victor/no vanquished.” Said Obama:    We have so many things going for us right now as a country — from new energy resources to innovation to a growing economy — but we will never realize our full potential unless our two parties adopt the same outlook that we’re asking of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds or Israelis and Palestinians: No victor, no vanquished and work together. It’s hard to fathom just how inane – and hypocritical – this is. Domestically, Obama didn’t exactly follow the “no victor/no vanquished” approach when he controlled both houses of Congress and rammed the stimulus and Obamacare through on party-line votes. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor gave President Obama a list of modest proposals for the stimulus at a White House meeting, but Obama told the assembled Republicans that “elections have consequences” and “I won.” In other words, he was the “victor” and they were the “vanquished.” Deal with it.

 

Internationally, does he really believe that we should follow a doctrine of “no victor/no vanquished” when it comes to the fight with the Islamic State – a movement so radical it has been crucifying its opponents? Apparently so. For a year, he rejected repeated calls by the Iraqi government for drone strikes to prevent the advance of the Islamic State. Now that the Islamic State has taken control of large swaths of Iraq, Obama has launched limited strikes – only to protect US diplomatic facilities in northern Iraq (for fear of another Benghazi) and prevent the massacre of Yazidi minorities, but not to defeat the Islamic State or drive it from its strongholds. So it seems our policy when it comes to the Islamic State is a hybrid of the Obama Doctrines: “no victor/no vanquished” and strikes “just muscular enough not to get mocked.” That explains a lot.

                                               

Contents

FROZEN IN THE COLD WAR                                                                                 

Matthew Continetti                                                       

Weekly Standard, Aug. 4, 2014

 

In 1983, Barack Obama was a senior at Columbia University. He was not well known. He lived off-campus, had a few close friends, and spent a lot of time reading. He went to some meetings of the Black Students Association, but no one remembers seeing him there. He majored in political science, with a concentration in international relations, and classmates and professors say he was an attentive and intelligent student. But he was not an active participant in student life. He was not a student radical. He did not go on a hunger strike. He did not storm any administration buildings. One friend, in an interview with biographer David Maraniss, likened Obama to the protagonist of Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer: a passive observer. As graduation approached, Obama took up his pen. Looking for work as a community organizer, he needed something to add to his thin résumé. He was interested in the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, which he was studying in a senior seminar on American diplomacy. “The class analyzed decision-making and the perils of ‘groupthink,’ the ways that disastrous policies, like the escalation of the Vietnam War, develop,” writes biographer David Remnick. The seminar had just eight students. In class, Obama had a tendency to relate U.S. foreign policy to his upbringing. “He talked about his father being from Kenya so much,” Maraniss writes, “that at least one student assumed Obama himself was from Kenya.” Obama’s final paper for the seminar was on nuclear disarmament. He got an A.

 

In March 1983, Obama published an article in a student magazine called the Sundial. His piece, titled “Breaking the War Mentality,” drew on the themes of the senior seminar. “Most students at Columbia do not have firsthand knowledge of war,” Obama writes. Though “the most sensitive among us struggle to extrapolate experiences of war from our everyday experience,” it is impossible to know the true costs of war from afar. “Bringing such experiences down into our hearts, and taking continual, tangible steps to prevent war, becomes a difficult task.” But the task is not impossible. There are goodhearted men and women, Obama writes, volunteers who, despite not knowing what war is really like, “foster awareness and practical action necessary to counter the growing threat of war.” Far-left student groups such as Arms Race Alternatives (ARA) and Students Against Militarism (SAM), Obama says, “are throwing their weight into shifting America off the dead-end track.” Obama’s sympathies are clear. “The article,” Remnick says, “makes plain Obama’s revulsion at what he saw as Cold War militarism and his positive feelings about the nuclear-freeze movement.” Obama quotes reggae singer and activist Peter Tosh. He recounts a visit to a meeting of Students Against Militarism. “With its solid turnout and enthusiasm,” he writes, “one might be persuaded that the manifestations of our better instincts can at least match the bad ones.” Obama’s criticism of the antinuke activists is that their focus is too narrow. They aren’t radical enough. “One is forced to wonder whether disarmament or arms control issues, severed from economic and political issues, might be another instance of focusing on the symptoms of a problem instead of the disease itself,” he writes. What “the disease” is, Obama does not say.

 

In the end, though, Obama says the peace activists have noble motives and worthy aims. “What the members of the ARA and SAM try to do,” he concludes, “is infuse what they have learned about the current situation, bring the words of that formidable roster on the face of Butler Library, names like Thoreau, Jefferson, and Whitman, to bear on the twisted logic of which we are today a part.” The essay not only reveals Obama’s position on nuclear disarmament. It also offers a glimpse of the milieu in which a president came of age. Most of us form our political identities in young adulthood. Our attitudes, judgments, and preferences are shaped by political circumstances when we are 18 to 25 years old. Obama is no exception. As he reached maturity, the Cold War approached its climax. The most divisive issue in American politics was Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy. The belief that Reagan was a warmonger was deeply held by many people on the left. Obama was one of them. The trendy idea at the time was support for the “nuclear freeze.” The production of intercontinental ballistic missiles would be halted. NATO wouldn’t deploy missiles in Europe. Nuclear arsenals would be reduced. It was a utopian ambition: Advocates of the freeze proposed no verification system and flirted with unilateral disarmament. The security repercussions were irrelevant to these nuclear dreamers. “The freeze is not a plan,” Charles Krauthammer wrote in the New Republic in the spring of 1982. “It is a sentiment.” And it was widely shared. Author Jonathan Schell published The Fate of the Earth, the bible of nuclear disarmament, also in 1982. The following March, Reagan delivered his famous “Evil Empire” speech, which horrified the left, just as the Sundial was publishing Obama’s article. In June, one million people marched in New York City in support of the freeze. The fear-mongering reached its peak on November 20 when The Day After, a television movie that dramatized the aftermath of a nuclear war, aired on ABC. It is still the most-watched TV movie ever. Few people remember either The Day After or the nuclear freeze campaign. But that does not mean they had no lasting effect. Indeed, when one examines President Obama’s foreign policy in light of his article in the Sundial, one is struck by how he continues, to this day, to fight “the war mentality.” How he continues to struggle against “the twisted logic” of the Cold War. How he continues to associate organization, negotiation, and moral suasion with “our better instincts.” No matter the results.

 

The Cold War of the early 1980s is more than the backdrop to President Obama’s dealings with Vladimir Putin. It is the backdrop to his dealings with the world. Obama is determined not to repeat what he sees as mistaken Cold War policies. He wants to move beyond the weapons and walls of his young adulthood to an era of friendship and peace. “You know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” Obama told Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential debates. “Our approach as the United States is not to see this as some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia,” he said earlier this year. Tell that to Vladimir Putin. “There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and Cold War mentality,” Obama admitted to Jay Leno in 2013. Times? For Russia’s president, the fall of the Soviet empire was “a major geopolitical disaster of the century.” Putin has occupied Georgia, supported the Iranian nuclear program, propped up Bashar al-Assad, hosted Edward Snowden, sent Bear bombers to the Pacific Coast of the United States, annexed Crimea, financed, armed, trained, and directed Ukrainian insurgents, provided them the means to shoot down a passenger airliner, and organized a global campaign of anti-American propaganda. But one has the impression that President Obama is more interested in rejecting the “Cold War mentality” than he is in standing up to the Russian dictator. Indeed, he was against the “Cold War mentality” when the Cold War was going on…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

IRWIN G. BEUTEL, Z’L

It is with great sadness that the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research  notes the passing of Irwin G. Beutel. The generous and resourceful head of our Board for well over a decade, Irwin was a key force in helping to build CIJR into the world-class pro-Israel academic think-tank which it is today.  An internationally-known and unfailingly generous pro-Israel philanthropist and community leader, he supported many institutions, and his achievements were recognized both here and in Israel. 

 

Irwin had an encyclopedic knowledge of the community and an unfailingly clear and sound judgement. He was particularly interested in supporting Jewish students, at all stages of development, and off- as well as on-campus.  Irwin supported CIJR's development of the unique Israel Learning Seminar, designed to help students develop the knowledge needed to confront antisemitism on campus, and we are proud that our regular public program includes the annual Irwin G. Beutel Student Activism Colloquium.

 

All of us here at CIJR, our National Board, Academic Council, and Student Committee, valued his friendship, his wonderful sense of humor,  and his wise counsel: one of the Lamed Vavniks, the 36 kedoshim who in each generation assure the continuity of the world, Irwin was a truly good man and an unfailing friend, a real Mensch in the deepest and best sense of the term.  We will miss him deeply, and extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.  

(The funeral will be on Friday, Aug.22, 2014, 12:00 noon, at Paperman's.)

Frederick Krantz, Director

Baruch Cohen, Research Chairman

Jack Kincler, Board Chairman

Canadian Institute for Jewish Research

 

On Topic

 

With Few Foreign-Policy Triumphs, Obama Running Out of Time: Paul Koring, Globe & Mail, Aug. 19, 2014—In the U.S. President’s own succinct, if off-colour, phrase, the Obama doctrine is: “Don’t do stupid shit.”

Hillary Didn’t ‘Hug it Out’ With Obama, Plots More Attacks: Edward Klein, New York Post, Aug. 16, 2014 —Hug it out? Not a chance.

The Next Act of the Neocons: Jacob Heilbrunn, New York Times, July 5, 2014  —After nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back…

Why Obama is Driving Jews From the Democratic Party: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Aug. 17, 2014

No Sword, No Justice: William Kristol, Weekly Standard, Aug. 4, 2014 —On Tuesday, President Obama visited the Dutch embassy in Washington to pay his respects to the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, shot down over Ukraine by forces armed and backed by Vladimir Putin. Obama wrote in the embassy’s condolence book, “We will not rest until we are certain that justice is done.”

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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POLITIQUE AMÉRICAINE : LA FRATERNITÉ USA/ISRAËL À RUDE ÉPREUVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quand l'AIPAC est absent sans permission officielle

Daniel Pipes

The Washington Times, 4 mars 2013

Adaptation française: Anne-Marie Delcambre de Champvert

 

La déclaration notoire de 2008 de Chuck Hagel à propos du comité américain des affaires publiques d'Israel, l'American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), le principal établissement du lobby pro-israélien, avait affirmé: "le lobby juif intimide beaucoup de gens ici [au Congrès]. Je suis sénateur des Etats-Unis. Je ne suis pas un sénateur israélien. "

 

Puis, une chose étrange se produisit: à peine Barack Obama avait-il nommé Hagel comme secrétaire à la Défense [équivalent à ministre de la Défense (NDLT)] le 7 janvier, que l'AIPAC annonçait qu'il ne s'opposerait pas à l'ancien sénateur républicain du Nebraska. En effet, il souhaitait être si neutre sur ce sujet délicat que son porte-parole évita même de mentionner le nom Hagel, déclarant seulement que «l'AIPAC ne prend pas position sur les nominations présidentielles.» Puis AIPAC garda un silence complet devant la confirmation de Hagel le 26 février. Plus important encore, il ne leva pas le petit doigt pour influencer le vote.

 

La logique initiale de l'AIPAC paraissait sensée: Obama, venait de gagner avec efforts une réélection impressionnante, avait choisi son homme et les Républicains étaient susceptibles de lui opposer une résistance purement symbolique, alors pourquoi contrarier une figure destinée dans le futur à être très puissante et un principal acteur de la relation américano-israélienne? Comme mon collègue Steven J.Rosen a expliqué à l'époque, «l'AIPAC doit travailler avec le secrétaire à la Défense» Il ne voulait pas non plus se mettre à dos encore plus les démocrates inconséquents.

 

Par la suite, une recherche poussée sur le passé d'Hagel a trouvé des déclarations plus laides encore au sujet d'Israël. Il a évoqué en 2006 l'auto-défense d'Israël contre le Hezbollah comme une «boucherie écœurante.» En 2007 , il déclara que «Le département d'État était devenu associé du cabinet du ministre israélien des Affaires étrangères.» Et en 2010, on le cite comme avertissant qu'Israël risquait de «devenir un Etat d'apartheid.»

 

Pourtant, le sénateur qui parlait d'un intimidant "lobby juif" a obtenu un laissez-passer complet de la part de ce même lobby. On se demande à quel point il est intimidant .

 

D'autres organisations pro-israéliennes ont adopté une approche différente. L'Organisation sioniste d'Amérique [ZOA] a fourni 14 déclarations faisant valoir des arguments contre la nomination de Hagel entre le 17décembre (exhortant Obama de ne pas nommer Chuck Hagel qui excuse le terrorisme de l'Iran et dénigre Israël») et le 22 février (une liste des «Dix raisons importantes de s'opposer à Chuck Hagel »). N'étant pas elle-même avant tout une organisation de lobby, le calcul du ZOA avait moins à voir avec la perspective de gagner et plus à voir avec la prise d'une position de principe et morale

 

En grande partie à cause de la politique moyen-orientale du sénateur du Nebraska d'apaiser Téhéran et d'affronter Jérusalem l'opposition républicaine à Hagel était devenue bien plus que symbolique. Plusieurs sénateurs ont indiqué à Morton Klein de la ZOA [organisation sioniste d'Amérique (NDLT)] que si l'AIPAC "était sorti et avait fait pression contre Hagel, il aurait été stoppé." Charles Schumer (New York), sans conteste le sénateur démocrate clé sur cette question, publiquement a cité l'absence de «grandes organisations juives» comme l'une des raisons pour lesquelles il n'avait "aucun scrupule" en ce qui concerne l'approbation de Hagel. Pourtant, en dépit de la possibilité réelle et croissante de vaincre la candidature de Hagel, l'AIPAC a gardé le silence et n'a rien fait.

 

Hagel l'a emporté de justesse au Comité du Sénat pour les services de l'armée -Senate Armed Services Committee- le 12 février avec un vote de 14 à 11. Un vote pour mettre fin au débat sur la candidature a échoué à remporter les 60 votes nécessaires le 14 février. Il a finalement remporté la confirmation par un vote de 58 à 41, faisant face au plus grand nombre de votes «non» [prononcés dans le passé] contre un secrétaire à la Défense (George C. Marshall en 1950 est venu en deuxième position avec 11 non). Ainsi, la figure marginale qui s'opposait même à des sanctions économiques contre l'Iran, le candidat maladroit qui a confondu prévention avec endiguement, le politicien qualifié par le sénateur Lindsey Graham (sénateur républicain de la Caroline du Sud) comme «le secrétaire de la défense le plus hostile envers l'État d'Israël dans l'histoire de notre nation »- eh bien, il a pris ses fonctions le 27 février.

 

Comme l'AIPAC organise son colloque politique annuel du 3 au 5 mars à Washington, ce qu'il appelle «le plus grand rassemblement du mouvement pro-Israël» (la réunion de l'année dernière a eu plus de 13.000 participants), il est difficile de ne pas conclure que le fameux lobby pour Israël a mis l'accent si intensément sur l'accès, le processus, la bonne volonté et la courtoisie qu'il s'est mis hors jeu pour les questions les plus pressantes auxquelles Israël est confronté – L'Iran et la relation États-Unis.

 

Oui, l'AIPAC reste une force pour faire face à des questions secondaires; par exemple, il a remporté une impressionnante victoire de 100 à 0 sur l'administration Obama en décembre 2011 à propos d'un projet de loi de sanctions contre l'Iran. Mais (depuis la bataille des AWACS de 1981), l'AIPAC a soigneusement évité de contrarier le président sur les questions les plus en vue, les plus menaçantes pour Israël. En conséquence, il se stérilise et a sans doute perdu la discussion sur la politique de l'Iran.

 

Avec Obama et Hagel au pouvoir cela nécessite que l'AIPAC soit forte comme dans le passé.

 

Visite de John Kerry en Egypte :

Quelle utilité ?

Zvi Mazel

Le CAPE de Jérusalem, le 4 mars 2013

 

Dure prise de conscience pour Washington : il est bien loin le temps où l’Egypte était la carte maîtresse des Américains au Moyen-Orient ! Le président Moubarak était le chef de file des pays pragmatiques face à l’Iran, garant de la stabilité de la région et de la paix avec Israël. Pour la deuxième fois en moins d’un an, un Secrétaire d’Etat américain arrivant les bras chargés de cadeaux est fort mal reçu. En juillet dernier, c’était Hillary Clinton, venue rencontrer le président nouvellement élu, Mohammed Morsi, candidat des Frères Musulmans. Elle a du faire face à des manifestants – opposants au régime et Coptes – qui protestaient contre le soutien apporté par l’Amérique à la Confrérie ; un soutien qui aurait contribué à sa victoire. La semaine dernière, c’est comme si presque tout le pays manifestait contre la venue de John Kerry. Il y a même eu des jets de pierre contre l’ambassade américaine. Et les dirigeants de l’opposition regroupés dans le Front de Salut National ont carrément refusé de rencontrer le visiteur par ailleurs violemment pris à parti par la presse non gouvernementale. Il faut dire que les Etats-Unis venaient de lancer un appel à tous les partis pour leur demander de prendre part aux élections parlementaires alors prévues pour la fin avril. Or, l’opposition a décidé de boycotter un processus électoral se déroulant suivant la nouvelle constitution, dont ils récusent la légitimité en soulignant qu’elle a été adoptée dans un référendum marqué par la fraude massive et la violence. A tout le moins, ils demandent la formation d’un gouvernement neutre pour superviser les élections et en assurer la transparence et la régularité. L’un des leaders de l’opposition, Mohammed el Baradei, a qualifié l’appel d’ingérence injustifiée dans les affaires du pays et a annoncé qu’il refuserait de rencontrer John Kerry ; son allié Hamdeen Sabahi, chef du parti nassérien populiste, a déclaré qu’il ferait de même. Le troisième chef de l’opposition, Amr Moussa, diplomate chevronné a accepté, lui, mais dans le cadre d’une « rencontre privée » et en sa qualité de président du Parti du Congrès et non de membre du Front de Salut National. John Kerry a eu beau téléphoner à El Baradei à son arrivée au Caire le 2 Mars, il est resté inébranlable dans son refus. L’ambassadeur des Etats-Unis avait invité onze membres de l’opposition à une rencontre avec le visiteur ; ils ne furent que six à accepter. Le Secrétaire d’Etat aurait repris la ligne officielle de son pays : les élections sont indispensables pour assurer la stabilité de l’Egypte. Il n’aurait pas réussi à convaincre trois des invités, les trois autres se déclarant prêts à envisager de participer au processus électoral si la transparence et la régularité étaient assurées.

 

John Kerry avait jeté tout le poids de l’Amérique derrière ses efforts pour arriver, sinon à une réconciliation entre Morsi et l’opposition, au moins à une amorce de dialogue. En vain. D’un autre côté, sa visite avait pour but de réaffirmer l’importance de l’Egypte sur la scène régionale et de souligner la nécessité de préserver le traité de paix avec Israël. Il a rencontré les chefs des services de sécurité et a insisté sur l’urgence qu’il y avait à restaurer l’ordre dans la péninsule du Sinaï et à stopper le flot d’armes transitant vers la bande de Gaza. Peut-être plus important pour les Egyptiens, qui traversent une crise économique sans précédent, il a promis le déblocage de 250 millions de dollars (sur le milliard promis par Obama l’an dernier), tout en demandant au président Morsi de ratifier un accord avec le Fonds Monétaire International (FMI) concernant un prêt de près de cinq milliards de dollars. Cette ratification se fait attendre, d’une part du fait de la grande instabilité politique du pays et, de l’autre, à cause d’un obstacle inattendu. Le prêt à intérêt est interdit par la Charia – la loi islamique. Il semble que les Egyptiens soient à la recherche d’une solution qui permettrait non seulement la ratification de l’accord mais encore ouvrirait la voie à des prêts à taux réduits venant d’autres pays ainsi qu’à des investissements étrangers. Evidemment, le prêt du FMI n’est pas sans conditions. Morsi devra faire d’importantes réformes et supprimer les subventions aux produits de première nécessité. Mission pratiquement impossible compte tenu de l’étendue de la crise politique, économique et sociale qui secoue le pays.

 

Le pays est au bord du gouffre et risque à tout moment de plonger dans l’anarchie. Les manifestations contre le régime des Frères Musulmans se multiplient et la démission de Morsi est réclamée. Etrange retournement du sort, le peuple semble maintenant appeler de ses vœux le retour de l’armée au pouvoir. Des pétitions tendant à nommer à la tête de l’Etat le ministre de la Défense Abdelfatah Sisi à titre provisoire ont été présentées à des tribunaux locaux. Ce qui est sûr, c’est que la colère gronde. Les affrontements entre manifestants et forces de l’ordre ont déjà fait des dizaines de morts et des milliers de blessés. Que l’on ne s’y trompe pas : ce sont essentiellement de bons citoyens qui descendent dans la rue. Ils ne veulent pas de la Charia et ont perdu confiance en Morsi. Cependant il y a aussi des extrémistes ; ainsi, les membres du « Bloc Noir » appellent à la désobéissance civile ; un appel entendu à Port-Saïd bientôt suivi par d’autres villes le long du canal de Suez et qui s’étend au reste du pays. Postes de police attaqués, incendiés ; grèves et même barrages routiers sur les grands axes paralysent la vie du pays.

 

Le président Morsi ne semble pas s’en préoccuper outre mesure et répète à qui veut l’entendre que l’Egypte se porte à merveille et que tout ira bien. Il est vrai qu’il consacre toute son énergie à renforcer son emprise ou plutôt celle des Frères Musulmans, nommant ses hommes partout, du gouvernement national aux autorités locales. La décision que vient de prendre le Conseil d’Etat – suspendre les élections jusqu’à ce que la loi électorale ait été examinée de nouveau par la Haute Cour Constitutionnelle – risque de lui accorder un délai supplémentaire pour parachever son œuvre plutôt que de désamorcer la crise avec l’opposition.

 

Le Secrétaire d’Etat américain était-il au courant de la gravité de la situation ? Savait-il que ce qui se passe actuellement n’est rien moins qu’un combat à mort pour l’avenir de l’Egypte postrévolutionnaire ? D’un côté, démocratie, progrès et développement ; de l’autre plongée dans l’obscurantisme d’un régime islamique pur et dur. En tentant de persuader l’opposition d’accepter la règle du jeu établie par Morsi et à participer au processus électoral, John Kerry a provoqué la colère d’une grande partie de la population. On reprochait déjà aux Américains d’avoir trop longtemps soutenu la dictature de Moubarak ; on les accuse maintenant de recommencer avec Morsi. La presse dans ses éditoriaux n’hésite pas à dire aux Américains « Déguerpissez de notre pays et prenez votre argent avec vous. » Compte tenu du fait que Morsi lui-même ne semble pas faire grand cas de l’opinion des Etats-Unis, à Washington et dans les médias américains on commence à se demander pourquoi continuer à venir en aide à un allié aussi peu fiable.

 

Une question qu’on se pose peut-être aussi à la Maison Blanche : Faut-il continuer à soutenir les Frères Musulmans qui parachèvent leur emprise sur le pays ? Faut-il au contraire tenter de venir en aide aux forces démocratiques ? En attendant, les sentiments anti-américains prennent de l’ampleur…

 

Le chef du renseignement américain est-il un imposteur ?

Michel Garroté

dreuz.info, 12 mars 2013

 

Le régime iranien ne pourra produire de l’uranium hautement enrichi pour la construction d’une bombe atomique sans se faire repérer, allègue ce mardi James Clapper, chef du renseignement national américain. Le problème, c’est que l’Iran a déjà été repéré et Clapper devrait le savoir.

 

Même si l’Iran a fait des progrès dans l’avancée de son programme nucléaire controversé, nous estimons qu’il ne pourra détourner de façon sûre du matériel et produire de l’uranium de qualité militaire sans que ses activités ne soient découvertes, raconte, à tort, James Clapper dans le rapport annuel sur les menaces à la sécurité présenté au Congrès américain.

 

C’est faux. Ces activités ont déjà été découvertes. Obama lui-même a admis que le danger était que l’Iran ne fabrique une « dirty bomb », une bombe sale contenant de l’uranium enrichi.

 

Les activités d’enrichissement des ayatollahs intégristes iraniens font l’objet d’une surveillance – incomplète et insuffisante – de l’organisation de l’ONU pour le nucléaire, l’Agence Internationale de l’Energie Atomique (AIEA), agence que l’Iran empêche d’accéder à certains sites.

 

Le rapport du renseignement américain fait état d’une certaine avancée dans l’enrichissement de l’uranium en Iran. L’Iran a fait des progrès au cours de l’année dernière et le pays est par conséquent dans une meilleure posture pour produire, si tel était son choix, de l’uranium propre à fabriquer une bombe nucléaire, grâce à ses centrales et ses stocks, indique – en termes ambigus et complaisants – le rapport annuel sur les menaces à la sécurité.

 

Il est en effet surréaliste d’alléguer que l’Iran est dans une meilleure posture pour produire, « si tel était son choix », de l’uranium propre à fabriquer une bombe nucléaire et en même temps de prétendre que le régime le régime iranien « n’a pas encore décidé de construire de telles armes et que sa politique reste basée sur une approche soupesant les avantages et les inconvénients d’une montée en puissance dans un conflit nucléaire ».

 

Cette réflexion ne tient pas la route. Il ne s’agit pas « d’une montée en puissance dans un conflit nucléaire ». Il s’agit de neutraliser préventivement le nucléaire offensif iranien. Quant à raconter que le régime iranien « n’a pas encore décidé de construire de telles armes », c’est en totale contradiction avec les informations aux mains de services de renseignements américains, britanniques et israéliens. En effet, ces services disposent depuis 2006 de preuves accablantes, notamment sur la coopération balistique et nucléaire de l’Iran avec le régime stalinien halluciné de Corée du Nord.

 

« Nous ne savons pas si l’Iran va finir par décider de fabriquer des armes nucléaires », conclut le chef du renseignement national américain James Clapper. Si lui, Clapper, chef du renseignement national américain, notamment responsable de la lutte contre le terrorisme et contre ses commanditaires, ne le sait pas, alors qu’il démissionne. Le monde libre ne peut pas se permettre d’avoir un ignorant – ou un imposteur – à la tête du renseignement américain.

 

Toujours selon Clapper, les Etats-Unis et ses alliés ont les moyens de faire pression pour éviter que la décision iranienne de « finir par décider de fabriquer des armes nucléaires » ne soit prise, dans la mesure où les dirigeants iraniens, restant avant tout soucieux de maintenir leur place au pouvoir, mesurent les risques de leur choix. De ce fait, les dirigeants iraniens ne cherchent pas non plus à entrer en confrontation directe avec les Etats-Unis, prétend Clapper. Décidément, à entendre le chef du renseignement national américain, les ayatollahs génocidaires iraniens ne seraient que des nains de jardin.

 

Comme par hasard, ce rapport scabreux minimise le danger iranien peu avant la visite d’Obama en Israël. C’est donc un rapport politique et « obambique. » L’Etat d’Israël devra sans doute neutraliser lui-même — sans se soucier du verbiage américain — le programme nucléaire de l’un des pires régimes de la planète…