Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Delivering the West on a Platter

by Melanie Phillips

Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, ca. 1490.The consequences of the Obama administration’s frivolous malevolence over foreign policy are now starting to become clear. The inevitable result of Obama’s decision to pull all troops out of Iraq has been to create a power vacuum – into which has stepped al Qaeda. Its operatives have surged into Anbar province, where so many American and Coalition soldiers gave their lives in an attempt to secure the peace.

Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth and panicky promises by the US to send ‘support’ – whatever that might be in the absence of troops. The cause of the panic? That all those American and other coalition soldiers who died in Iraq will be soon seen to have died in vain, as America’s scuttling away from the battlefield turns fragile victory into baleful defeat and Iraq stares into the abyss of civil war.

A horribly similar débâcle is about to take place in Afghanistan, where the precipitate decision to withdraw Coalition troops, on top of a series of serious strategic errors in fighting the war there, will soon be seen to have delivered Afghanistan straight back to the Taleban. The outcome will be that these two regions, over which the west rightly went to war because they were viewed as a threat to be neutralised, will return once more to being a threat, if not an even more dangerous one than before.

Blame for this lethal shambles cannot altogether be laid at Obama’s door. He merely delivered the coup de grâce. The deeper reason is the current confusion and moral spinelessness of the west, both in failing to acknowledge the nature and extent of the threat to the free world and in failing also to have the bottle to see its defence through to the bitter end. Both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were dogged throughout by poisonous western cultural self-loathing and defeatism – which turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy as the public refused to countenance the measures needed to win in either theatre of war, especially the commitment to stay engaged for as long as it took until victory was achieved.

On top of all that should be factored in the arrogance, hubris and rank incompetence of political leaders in the US and Britain in particular, from Bush and Blair to Obama and Cameron. They refused to acknowledge that what the west was facing was not a couple of isolated, terror-promoting regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan but the complex, many-headed hydra of Islamic religious war against the west. Utterly failing to understand the region and what they were dealing with, they came up with one cock-eyed idea and strategy after another.

The third element in this unholy trinity of foreign policy catastrophes in the Muslim world was the capitulation to Iran at Geneva, where the US, UK and EU agreed implicitly to allow Iran to continue to enrich uranium, as a result of which – even absent a final deal – the prospect of sanctions relief has caused Iran’s economy to boom. So relaxed has Iran now become, indeed, that a senior Iranian lawmaker has bragged that the country’s uranium enrichment programme could allow it to build a nuclear weapon ‘in two weeks’ in order to ‘put down Israel’.  

Even the eye-popping fact that the terrorist and genocidal Iranian regime has now become America’s new best friend still didn’t lessen the astonishment at US Secretary of State John Kerry’s bizarre suggestion that Iran might play a role in the Syrian peace talks – which, since Iran is Assad’s patron and has fomented chaos and violence not just in Syria but in the region is, as has been said, tantamount to calling on an arsonist to put out a fire.  

The other side of all this has been the Obama administration’s obsession with Israel, and its truly fatuous belief that a Palestine state is the key to defusing Muslim rage. Here on display is the same combination of hubris and abject ignorance in assuming that the US can broker a peace deal, when it refuses to acknowledge the true nature of the conflict and stupidly and arrogantly refracts the way the Palestinian Arabs think through the wholly inappropriate prism of western cultural assumptions.

Kerry says he is frustrated by the PLO’s refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state. But to anyone who looks at the Palestinian Arabs or Middle East history without rose-tinted or hate-infused blinkers, this is hardly a surprise. The Palestinian Arabs brainwash their children into hating and murdering Jews and Israelis. 

They glorify terrorists as heroes and martyrs – not least because, according to Mahmoud Abbas back in 2005, their atrocities were perpetrated on the orders of his Palestinian Authority. 

They openly preside over terrorist atrocities themselves: one of Abbas’s policemen was amongst those arrested for the recent attempted bomb attack against an Israeli bus in Bat Yam. 

And let’s not forget the ‘Palestine ambassador’ who blew himself up by accident in Prague a few days ago when he reportedly ‘opened a safe’ in his ‘embassy’ – following which the Czech police were even more astonished to discover there a store of enough weapons to arm ten people. Former Czech Chief of Staff Jiri Sedivy said he was afraid that
‘…apart from Prague, similar arms arsenals may also be secretly kept at other Palestinian embassies in Europe and overseas.’

Ya think?

Yet these are the people with whom Kerry is bullying Israel to negotiate away its existential safety and the security of its civilians. These are the people with whom Kerry is negotiating their reward for such unending bigotry and aggression in the offer of a state of their own.

Now the PLO has made clear yet again that this whole ‘peace process’ is a sick farce, since a state of Palestine would serve merely as a stage towards its goal of destroying Israel altogether.

‘In an interview on Syrian TV, senior Palestinian official Abbas Zaki said the PA will only agree to a treaty with Israel if the Palestinian state is established on the 1967 lines. However, he stressed that '67 lines would only be the beginning. After that, the Palestinians will continue with the stages plan:
“Even the most extreme among us, Hamas, or the fighting forces, want a state within the '67 borders. Afterward, we [will] have something to say, because the inspiring idea cannot be achieved all at once. [Rather] in stages.”
‘In an interview on Al-Jazeera TV in 2011, Zaki also mentioned this PA stages plan and referred to “the inspiring idea,” explaining that it means the end of Israel. He said that Mahmoud Abbas shares the goal of eliminating Israel in stages, but that the PA says it only wants a state along the 1967 borders because it is unacceptable politically to say you want to destroy Israel: “You can't say it to the world. You can say it to yourself.”’
‘Zaki stressed that the goal is clear-cut because if Israel were to return to the 1967 lines, it certainly could not survive: “Israel will come to an end.”

Yet it is precisely these 1967 lines – known in Israel as the ‘Auschwitz borders’ – that  Obama and Kerry are applying the thumbscrews upon Israel to accept.

Of course, all those who have bayed for years that the US was displaying its inherent colonialism and racism by intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan strangely raise no such objection to its grotesque interference with Israel’s defence against extermination.

But then, those people would also like nothing better, or at the very least would not be the slightest bit disturbed, if Israel were to disappear altogether. In this, there is no real moral difference between them and the fanatical jihadis of the Muslim and Arab world – to which the Obama administration appears intent on delivering the west on a platter.

Melanie Phillips


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