Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | December 5, 2013

Great news: U.S. has security plan for the West Bank!

One has to be sparing with exclamation points, but this one’s a lollapalooza.  A dilly!  A doozie.  A big honkin’ mess-a that Middle East Security Hotness.  You heard right folks:  the United States of America has a “West Bank security proposal” for Israel, and we’re sending a retired Army general to present it to Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, himself.  !!!!!!!!!!

Why did no one think of this before?  Finally, someone has done something pragmatic and positive about the Israeli-Palestinian standoff, and just written up a proposal for the Israelis to chew on already.  The Obama administration has at last gotten things off top dead center with Iran, and it’s time to tackle those other intractable Middle East Security Problems, while the momentum is still red-hot.

The New York Times has done yeoman work in recent years pitching verbatim the information themes of the Obama administration, but interestingly, it comes off as a tad perfunctory in the story about the West Bank security proposal.  The tale seems to lack a little of that believer’s heart to it.  You might almost get the sense that there’s some editorial skepticism about the wisdom of this fresh Brainstorming for Peace initiative.

Almost.  Letting the Obama administration off the hook, as usual, for vagueness and strange diplomatic fire, NYT notes the following:

General Allen’s presentation appears to signify a more active American role, in which the United States is doing more than coaxing the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate and is presenting its own ideas.

What are the ideas about, exactly?  The NYT authors again:

Officials involved in the negotiations said security had been the prime focus lately, with most of the discussion revolving around the Jordan Valley. Israel has insisted that its own military continue to patrol there, rather than rely on an international force similar to those responsible for its tense borders with Lebanon and Syria. The Palestinians have said they cannot abide the presence of any Israeli soldiers in their future state.

Keep in mind, if George W. Bush’s officials were being so elliptical about a U.S.-drafted West Bank security proposal, NYT would be right in there concluding indignantly that American troops were about to be drop-kicked into the Jordan Valley to embroil a duped and overextended United States in Another Vietnam Quagmire (Marine Barracks Beirut Variety).  It would be barely possible to figure out what the Bush administration had actually said, so thick would be the underbrush of quotes from policy “critics” through which the reader would have to hack.

View of Tel Aviv from Peduel in the West Bank. Photo from American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/time_to_get_some_perspective_on_israel.html

View of Tel Aviv, looking toward the Mediterranean (seaward and OPPOSITE from the Jordan Valley), from Peduel in the West Bank. Photo from American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/time_to_get_some_perspective_on_israel.html

No such quotes enliven the current NYT piece.  The Obama administration gets the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe putting U.S. prestige and bona fides on the line with an unsolicited, and apparently very specific, security proposal to an ally isn’t a bad idea.  Maybe it’s not undiplomatic and prejudicial to announce it publicly before our briefer has even presented it to Israel’s prime minister.  Maybe it’s just, what, enthusiastic.  Maybe there’s nothing to be concerned about in the fact that the preemptive announcement is so vague.  Hey, we’re just talking – probably – a about U.S. proposal for administering military security in the Jordan Valley.  What could go wrong?

NYT lets this priceless, preemptive characterization go without comment:

State Department officials described the security briefing as an “ongoing process” and not a finished product on which the United States was demanding a yes-or-no vote from the Israeli side.

Sure, because announcing it in advance will put no onus on Israel to respond in a yes-or-no-type manner.  This formulation is like an addict pleading that he’s not using, he’s just snorting some coke.

We are left, as we so often are, to read chicken entrails and try to divine the purposes of the enigmatic Obama administration.  Ask the question “Cui bono?” – who benefits from this? – and the honest answer comes back: “Blamed if I know.”  I really can’t tell.  It’s not us.  We’re just going to look stupid: the Doofus wandering through a slapstick cartoon unaware of the mayhem he’s leaving in his wake.

It’s not Israel.  As if he needs more on his plate, Netanyahu will now have to choreograph another diplomatic sidestep, one that affirms Israel’s ties to the United States and shores up our tattered global image to the extent possible.  I’m sure Bibi will thank General Allen for all his good work, and wish him a Merry Christmas to boot.

It’s not the Palestinian Arabs either.  They have no intention, for one thing, of suddenly being amenable to a deal they’ve already rejected more than once.  If the U.S. has been drafting the security proposal in consultation with Israel, but not with the Palestinian Authority, I would expect the Arabs to consider that grounds at the very least for slow-rolling any resulting initiatives.  If we find out that Valerie Jarrett has been negotiating a West Bank security proposal with the PA for the last year, unbeknownst to the Israelis (well, OK, the “unbeknownst” part is unlikely), I think we can mainly expect that Ben Affleck will direct the Oscar-winning movie about it all, ca. 2018.  (I don’t see a role for George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but there’s bound to be something for John Goodman.)

Narcissus (detail from "Echo and Narcissus," by John W. Waterhouse, 1849-1917)

Narcissus (detail from “Echo and Narcissus,” by John W. Waterhouse, 1849-1917)

This initiative seems so gratuitous as to defy even the conspiracy theorist’s logic.  The only way I can put it in context is to cycle back to the non-deal Iran “deal,” which may not be an actual deal, but which has gotten the pundits in Washington and the capitals of Western Europe talking as if it’s an actual deal.  Team Obama has a pattern of being gratified and requited by such responses, as if they represent something real and meaningful.

It’s hard to imagine being so insistently deluded and narcissistic: to imagine actually judging your impact by whether the pundits’ narrative reflects your intended themes or not, regardless of reality (e.g., that Iran isn’t going to change any of her behavior at all – see here, here, and here – and there is nothing to wait and “see” in the wake of the back-slapping and photo-opping in Geneva).  But so Team Obama seems to interact with its world.  The mainstream media share the blame here, of course (or the credit, depending on your perspective).  The best I can tell, with the West Bank security proposal, the Obama administration is just trying to create a narrative again, one in which it figures, for a brief shining moment, as a superhero.  Then it will be time to move on to the next narrative blast on the geopolitical New & Hot chart.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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Responses

  1. Sure. Put the US in charge of the border between Israel and Palestinian territories. We’ve been so good at controlling our own border.

  2. Short of a real commitment, which would be a wing of fighters, a squadron of bombers on tap, an infantry brigade in the Negev and an Armored Cavalry Regiment stationed in the Golan Heights (not possible given the stripped out crippled nature of today’s politically corrupted US Army) this is just more useless feckless hyperbole from a weak, corrupt regime.

    It is an idiot’s offer of hostages for promises of non-aggression from people who are religiously forbidden to honor agreements with infidels.

    There was this kid once who was repeatedly warned that the griddle was extremely hot and would burn him if he touched it. This intelligent child nodded, looking his parent straight in the face in understanding. Five minutes later, he was screaming his fool head off in agony, because he touched the griddle… He never, ever did it again, though…

    The Regime just keeps touching the griddle… I think that it is now addicted to the pain.

    There is only one way to stop this madness, and that is for Israel and its allies to win. That means strength, perseverance, and willingness to absorb the negative propaganda that will be hurled along with the blood that will be spilled.

    Frankly, I don’t see the West prevailing, we don’t want to win much of anything anymore. We’ve lost our faith, sovereign interest, and most probably our sanity as well.

    r/TMF

    • Israel has no allies. And the greatest obstacle to Israel winning this conflict is, its own belief that it cannot survive without US support and, its own societal division with a strong pacifist/leftist component.

      • It still has allies GB… but they are more “individual” at this particular point in time. The French have warmed a tad, and the Germans seem to be running a pretty robust semi-under the table product pipeline, especially those excellent top of the line diesel subs that Israel operates.

        The Oboingo Regime seems to be married to the Muslim Brotherhood, and is only reliable in the fact that there are still a good number of Congresscritters from both houses who are pretty fiercely pro-Israel. Oboingo’s charade will eventually run out, and things will break back in a better direction.

        Still in all… I stand by my conclusion. The only way this ends well is victory for Israel and for Western Civilization.

        If Iran gets “the bomb” and has open trade and trade routes functioning, the results are likely to be bad, indeed.

        r/TMF

        • On the international stage, loyal individuals do not make for allies, though if influential and numerous enough they may ensure neutrality within their politic. But neutrality is not equivalent to an ally, especially when it comes to UN vetoes, without which it is but a matter of time till Israel is placed under an economic blockade.

          The French ‘warmed a tad’ because of self-interest. Paris lies well within Iran’s missile envelope. Germany needs an outlet for its diesel subs, a commensurate return on the investment made in constructing those subs is required.

          There are indeed fiercely pro-Israel Congressmen and that is why Obama needs a plausible excuse to cut off aid. What better excuse than an out-of-control Israel, conducting ‘unnecessary’ first strikes against States on the brink of full ‘cooperation’? A State that has consistently rejected ‘reasonable’ American and International efforts at resolving the conflict?

          No argument with your conclusion that the only way this ends well is victory for Israel and for Western Civilization. Tragically, that conclusion is not in the cards, the left and gullible pacifistic liberals will ensure that conclusion does not eventuate.

          Iran getting nukes is now virtually certain. And the consequences will make WWII’s 60 million dead pale in comparison.

  3. Silly people, this isn’t about the U.S. actually offering a serious “Security Proposal to Israel” on the West Bank. The Obama administration sending US troops to patrol the Jordan Valley? Please, I mean come on. The Obama administration is composed of pacifists and moral cowards. No way, no how.

    No, this is a cunning, politically disingenuous tactic to further paint Israel as the obstruction to peace in the M.E. The goal of which is to place Israel in an even more untenable position, but the target is NOT the Palestinians but Iran

    It puts political pressure upon Israel because by turning down the US ‘proposal’ they give ‘credibility’ to the charge that Israel is the ‘unreasonable’ party in the M.E. to the low-info US voter… And, if Israel ignores the left’s PR campaign and attacks the Iranian nuclear facilities, Obama can use Israel having ‘unreasonably’ turned down the US ‘offer’ to use US troops to patrol the Jordan valley, as further ‘proof’ that Israel is an out of control rogue nation and, that ALL American support must end ‘until’ Israel comes to its senses…with the gullible low-info voter’s acceptance of this narrative limiting political blowback against the democrats in 2014.

    This is about politics; further hamstringing Netanyahu on Iran and incremental, political preparation for Obama cutting off ALL US aid to Israel, including in the UN. Which shall open the door to an International economic blockade of Israel.

  4. The likely main goal of such a move is to make it more difficult for Israel to defend itself.

  5. Wanted to interject a presumed point (my presumption) about the personal interactions between Kerry and Netanyahu, and Obama and Netanyahu–despite the fact that Netanyahu must take the high road. If I were talking to a person who had just made my job infinitely harder by lying to me about their intentions for a long time, at a minimum I would never trust anything that person said again, which certainly the point of Ms. Dyer’s exclamation point surfeit. U.S. involvement in World War II had been preceded by contact between Churchill and Roosevelt wherein the two men understood each other and respected the differing points of view. Japan and Germany declared war on us, so we would have fought anyway, but the coordination with the British had its way prepared by these meetings.

    Put this the other way around. Suppose Israel has to fight because she is attacked. She has to assume that the US will not back its play, either by replacement or actual pitching-in because contacts with our leaders up to this point have not been collegial… in the sense of supporting an ally honestly, which can include telling them some hard truths.

    Disregarding the pressures to keep Israel quiet and diverted–which certainly is the point of being put through process in the ‘peace process’ enfilade designed by Obama for Kerry to pester Israel with diplomatic fire–since the Israelis cannot rely on us for support and wise (or even truthful) counsel they will have to make bold plays. Merely resisting diplomatic and strategic attacks will not suffice to give freedom of action. In this Israel is very lucky, because had any more dependence existed than already does between Jerusalem and the US it would have meant certain compliance with U.S. demands and interests. Netanyahu is freer to act than he has ever been, and he will need to shoot the moon.

    The estimable Tony Badran has offered up a similar analysis to Ms. Dyer’s that describes Obama’s foreign policy innovation of an Iranian deal as a complete rupture with America’s historical policies. He doesn’t even sugarcoat the attempt as quixotic, but flatly says that it will not work. In this, we are expected to support our President in the belief that Iran will change.

    To my mind, the only cure for this state of affairs is impeachment–sorry to use the I-word (normally would never use it with any President, but the way out of a certain shipwreck has to be found or many will surely die). Why we should all be complicit in a disaster begs credulity. The articles would be simple: Endangering the country through gross incompetence and a foreign policy course at odds with all of our values. Does not have to be for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’. No majority elected this President to hatch a mak-believe détente with Iran. The majority adhered for a variety of reasons. It cannot be the case that a majority of Americans believes the non-deal-deal with Iran is a good thing. Tell me if I’m wrong. Far worse than a Sorcerer’s Apprentice moment in the annals of foreign policy, but just as Mickey Mouse and dangerous.

    The will of Congress, the Press and Academia stand in our way, otherwise this fellow would be our second resigned President already.

    • It’s not a case of you being ‘wrong’ but rather a case of you having a better chance of winning the lotto, than that a House under Boehner will bring charges of impeachment, much less that Reid would allow a trial to proceed in the Senate. Politically, it’s wishful thinking, despite Obama’s manifest guilt.

  6. […] Optimistic Conservative reacts skeptically to this last […]

  7. […] Optimistic Conservative reacts skeptically to this last […]

  8. Keefe G (and others) — I agree, to the extent that the Obama initiative has any real-world purpose, it’s probably to insert a US veto over Israeli management of Israeli security. Given Team Obama’s proclivities, it would probably be enough for, say, India and Jordan — pick a couple more — to have the veto over Israeli security management. Wouldn’t have to be the US. Just as long as Israel’s hands were tied by an unfriendly foreign consortium of some kind.

    As to impeaching Obama and the non-deal Iran deal, from what I’ve seen, the polls are running positive for the latter. More than 50% of poll respondents have a favorable view of the non-deal, at least. That’s one of my points: there IS no deal, there’s no there there, but the media and the punditry have obediently joined Team Obama in talking as if there is a deal, and the average poll respondent doesn’t know any better. The average poll respondent thinks there IS a deal, because even Fox News is calling it a “deal.” Charles Krauthammer may say that the “deal” is meaningless and there’s nothing there, but the word “deal” is still out there, and almost everyone else has uttered some version of the mantra that we’ll have to see what happens in the next six months — as if anything that happens will be a result of the fictitious “deal.”

    It’s quite surreal. It’s national policy made by the creation of fiction. Go watch the movie Wag the Dog again, and consider whether any element is missing, other than the marketing tie-ins (old shoes and fake folk recordings from the 1930s).

    It does seem that there are plenty of grounds on which to impeach Obama at this point. The Republican leadership in Congress is afraid that if it shows any gumption at all right now, it will alienate some portion of potential voters in November 2014. I’m not convinced that Americans will be impressed by a do-nothing policy while their circumstances deteriorate around them — a process that has already started for millions of people. My personal view is that we’ve reached the point at which the only option is to do the RIGHT thing, even if some timid folks don’t see it as the “politic” thing. But, of course, after Mary Bono Mack’s extremely narrow, Day 3 loss in last year’s election, I am now represented by THREE Democrats in Congress, and it does little good to bend their staffs’ ears on this or any other topic.

  9. In 2011, Jim Lacey wrote a fine piece for National Review (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/263362/iran-s-2500-year-war-west-jim-lacey/page/0/1?splash=) in which one phrase has always stuck with me: “Throughout two and half millennia, Iran, in its various guises, has maintained one stable foreign policy: Whenever it possessed the strength to do so, it acted with all the means at its disposal to destroy or damage Western interests.” Neither a paranoid nor a delusional should expect any palavers with Persians to produce a different result. And this period of time he describes would have to have grades of intensity to include all of the impetus that religious motivation added to the mix from the time of Islam’s provenance 1400 years ago, ramping up even more after the Sunni-Shia schism.

    So I stand chastened to be informed that more than 50% of my countrymen are willing to buy into a fairy tale. That is surreal.

    One wonders what it would take to ‘turn’ the low-information-voter to common sense. We certainly can’t throw this foreign policy out until more than 50% of us believe contra. I feel like I’m watching a wonderful old train derailing from a mountain bridge spanning a gorge. It makes a great CGI spectacle until you realize there are real people on the train. We careen along with a malingerer-in-chief at the wheel.

    • “So I stand chastened to be informed that more than 50% of my countrymen are willing to buy into a fairy tale. That is surreal.

      One wonders what it would take to ‘turn’ the low-information-voter to common sense.”

      Yes, 50% of our countrymen are willing to buy into a fairy tale and a return to common sense by the American low-information-voter of today is no more likely than the pacifist majority of Brits in 1938 abandoning Chamberlain.


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