Pres Barak Obama campaigned on the promise “to transform” American policy, and implied, its institutions. Time and history will tell how far he has succeeded and what, if any benefits, he has bestowed on the country.
But looking at the tortured Mideast now, a region of the world that America cannot seem to divest its interests for all kinds of cultural and geopolitical considerations, it’s clear that Obama’s policies have made at least temporary changes. Despite his profuse public pronouncements and the continued allegiance of the liberal Jewish community of voters and technocrats, he has waged war on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been returned in spades by Bibi, no mean “transformer” himself.
You get startling significant signs of this constantly. Rather suddenly, what until now in what has been the alignment of bitter enemies, there is a tacit if not formal alliance between old enemies, Israel’s Arab opponents dogged the Jewish state since independence was declared in 1947. But flirtation if not love has broken out all over. It’s no secret why. Israel and the Arabs abhor Obama’s courtship of Iran – whether in pursuit of a supposed agreement to limit its march toward nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles or seemingly some “grand bargain”. They see their historic enemies, the Persians, making strides toward creating satellites in Syria, Lebanon, and even among the Brotherthood offspring, Hamas in Gaza, as a reach to dominate the region.
That’s why you have just seen Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General unprecedentedly displayed in a semi-official Saudi newspaper interview. Dore lays out the whole charge: “Iran is attempting to gain a foothold in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip in order to threaten Israel from the south, north and east.” Iran is “trying to foment anarchy and destruction in order to present itself as a body to solve crises,” he said. And Dore warns that there are “red lines” for Israel and that it will not permit Tehran to arm the Hezbollah, its Lebanese Shia ally, now armed by Tehran as an important part of Basher al-Assad’s effort to hang on in Damascus. Dore also refers to what has become a rather tacit alliance between Jerusalem and Cairo to control Hamas, armed by the mullahs in Tehran, and the Moslem Brotherhood’s insurgency against Egypt in the neighboring Sinai.
Another equally momentous aspect of the “transformation” Obama has effected, is by virtually abandoning American and Israeli interests in Syria’s civil war, Netanyahu has had to go cap in hand to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. It’s apparently a stumbling relationship but Jerusalem needs it to literally not bump into the Russian air machine in Syria when it goes after the effort of the Tehran mullahs to transfer additional heavy weapons there to the Hezbollah. Jerusalem has to calculate that sooner or later such arms would be used against them on their northern border as Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah repeatedly has publicly threatened.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Pres.Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whom Obama once called one of his few intimate international friends, is turning like the proverbial whirling dervish, attacking the Jews with public anti-Semitic statements and almost immediately negotiating for their new gas and a return to their military assistance alliance. With friends like that … as the saying goes, yeah, you can get a “transformation”.
Obama, waking from the transformative dream, at least momentarily, is now engaged in an incremental attempt to end the menace he has helped create in the new Daesh [ISI, ISIL]. A group of barbaric Moslem terrorists [woops! we can’t use that name in our transformations!] has created the legendary caliphate, or effort for one grand Moslem state some Islamicists dream about. As long as it exists, it apparently will attract the young neurotic malcontents – even non-Muslim converts – and expand its effort to organize an international terrorist network from Dakar to Zamboanga.
For many, the question is how the U.S. will get through the next 13 months to a new presidency before Obama’s foreign policy “transformations” create irremediable instability and chaos in one of the most volatile regions of the world.