Kerry buys completely into the old canard that “Palestine” is the key to peace. Well the fighting in Syria has absolutely nothing to do with “Palestine” and if Israel and “Palestine” would both have disappeared there still would be over 80,000 dead in Syria.
by Caroline Glick
US Secretary of State John Kerry looks like a bit of an idiot these days. On Monday he announced that he will be returning to Israel and the Palestinian Authority and Jordan for the fifth time since he was sworn into office on February 1. That is an average of more than one visit a month.
And aside from frequent flier miles, the only thing he has to show for it is a big black eye from PLO chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
When Kerry was here last month he unveiled a stunning plan to bring $4 billion in investment funds to the PA. If his plan actually pans out, its champions claim it will increase the PA’s GDP by a mind-numbing 50 percent in three years and drop Palestinian unemployment from 21 to 8 percent.
Abbas and his underlings wasted no time, however, in demonstrating that indeed, Kerry’s plan is fantasy. Abbas appointed Rami Hamdallah, a Fatah apparatchik with perfect English, to replace America’s favorite moderate Palestinian, Salam Fayyad, as PA prime minister.
As The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh has pointedly explained, Hamdallah was appointed for two reasons. First, to facilitate Fatah’s absconding with hundreds of millions of dollars in donor aid to the PA and to Palestinian development projects precisely of the type that Kerry hopes to finance with his $4b. grant. The second reason Abbas appointed Hamdallah the English professor from Nablus was because his language skills will enable him to make American and European donors feel comfortable as his colleagues in Fatah pick their taxpayer- funded pockets.
But that wasn’t the only thing the Palestinians did. Again, as Abu Toameh has reported, the popular Palestinian response to last week’s World Economic Forum in Jordan, where Abbas and Kerry rubbed elbows with President Shimon Peres and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, was to attack the businessmen who accompanied Abbas to the conference. [..........]Led by Fatah activists, Palestinian writers, unions and others also went after Palestinian businessmen from Jenin who went to Haifa to meet with Israeli businesspeople at the invitation of Haifa’s Chamber of Commerce. The “anti-normalization” crowd is calling for Palestinians to boycott Palestinian businesses that do business with Israelis.
Israeli leaders for the most part have reacted to Kerry’s constant harping by rolling their eyes. He seems like a complete lunatic. Obviously he will fail and the best thing we can do is smile and nod, like you do when you are dealing with a crazy person.
Even when Kerry claimed that the reason Israelis aren’t interested in peace is that our lives are too happy, we didn’t take offense. Because really, why take anything he says seriously? And aside from that, they ask, what can the Obama administration do to us, at this point? Every single day it becomes more mired in scandal.
The Guardian’s revelation Wednesday that the US government has been confiscating the phone records of tens of millions of Americans who use the Verizon business network since April is just the latest serious, normal-presidency destroying scandal to be exposed in the past month. And every single scandal – the IRS’s unlawful harassment and discrimination of conservative organizations and individuals, the Justice Department’s spying on AP journalists and attempt to criminalize the normal practice of journalism through its investigation of Fox News correspondent James Rosen – makes it more difficult for President Barack Obama to advance his agenda.
As for foreign policy, the whistle-blower testimony that exposed Obama’s cover-up of the September 11, 2012, al-Qaida attack on the US Consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi has caused massive damage to Obama’s credibility in foreign affairs and to the basic logic of his foreign policy.
Ambassador Chris Stevens was tortured and murdered by al-Qaida terrorists who owed their freedom of operation to the Obama administration. If it hadn’t been for Obama’s decision to bring down the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, who had been largely harmless to the US since he gave up his illicit nuclear weapons program in 2004, those al-Qaida forces probably wouldn’t have be capable of waging an eight-hour assault on US installations and personnel in Benghazi.
With the Benghazi scandal hounding him, the Syrian civil war and, for the past week, the antigovernment protests in Turkey all exposing his incompetence on a daily basis, these Israeli leaders take heart, no doubt in the belief that Obama’s freedom to attack us has vastly diminished.
Although this interpretation of events is attractive, and on its face seems reasonable, it is wrong.
Since he entered office, Obama has responded to every defeat by doubling down and radicalizing.
When in 2009 public sentiment against his plan to nationalize the US healthcare industry was so high that Republican Scott Brown was elected senator from Massachusetts for the sole purpose of blocking Obamacare’s passage in the US Senate, Obama did not accept the public’s verdict.
He used a technicality to ram the hated legislation through without giving Brown and the Senate the chance to vote it down.
And now, as his Middle East strategy of appeasing Islamists lies in the ruins of the US Consulate in Benghazi and in the cemeteries interning the Syrians murdered in sarin gas attacks as Obama shrugged his shoulders, Obama is again doubling down. On Wednesday he announced that he is elevating the two architects of his policy to senior leadership roles in his administration.
Obama’s appointments of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to serve as his national security adviser, and of former National Security Council member Samantha Power to serve as ambassador to the UN, are a finger in the eye to his critics. These women rose to national prominence through their breathless insistence that the US use force to overthrow Gaddafi in spite of clear evidence that al-Qaida was a major force in his opposition.
Power is reportedly the author of Obama’s policy of apologizing to foreign countries for the actions of past administrations. Certainly she shares Obama’s hostility toward Israel. [......]
In a nutshell, Power’s vision for US foreign policy is a noxious brew of equal parts self-righteousness, ignorance and prejudice. And now she will be responsible for defending Israel (or not) at the most hostile international arena in the world, where Israel’s very right to exist is subject to assault on a daily basis.
Obama’s decision to appoint Rice and Power in the face of the mounting scandals surrounding his presidency generally and his foreign policy particularly is not the only reason Israeli leaders should not expect for his weakened political position to diminish Obama’s plan to put the screws on Israel in the coming years. There is also the disturbing pattern of the abuse of power that the scandals expose.
To date, all administration officials questioned have denied that Obama was in any way involved in directing the IRS to use the tax code to intimidate with the aim of discrediting and destroying conservative organizations and donors. Likewise, they say he played no role in the Justice Department’s espionage operations against American journalists, or in the intentional cover-up of the al-Qaida assault on US installations and personnel in Benghazi. [...........]
So, too, as Andrew McCarthy reported last month in National Review, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted that Obama spoke with then secretary of state Hillary Clinton at 10 p.m. on September 11, 2012, during the al- Qaida assault in Benghazi.
The one thing all the scandals share is a singleminded willingness to pursue radical goals to the bitter end. The IRS’s targeting of conservatives was an appalling abuse of executive power, unlike anything we have seen in recent history. The passage of Obamacare in the face massive public opposition was another means to the end of destroying his opponents. The cover-up of the Benghazi attack was a bid to hide the failure of a policy in order to double down on it – despite its failure. The only reason you would want to double down on an already failed policy is if you are ideologically committed to a larger goal that the failed policy advances.
Read the rest -Wounded …….but dangerous
Col. Ralph Peters take on Obama’s latest picks – Susan Rice and Samantha Power
by Ralph Peters
There are three big losers from President Obama’s cynical appointment of Susan Rice as his new national security adviser: Secretary of State John Kerry, Congress and the American people.
As for the nomination of left-wing activist Samantha Power to replace Rice as UN ambassador, the losers are our foreign policy, our allies and the lefties bellowing for the closure of Gitmo. (It ain’t shutting down soon; this nomination’s a consolation prize to O’s base.)
These personnel choices are brilliant hardball politics — but, once again, the Obama White House has elevated politics above serious strategy.
Underqualified — but sure to be influential: Susan Rice (c.) will help make US foreign policy even more disastrous than in O’s first term.
Media pundits promptly opined that Rice’s appointment will alienate Republicans. But our president’s written off Republicans as dead meat. Bringing Rice into the Executive Branch’s innermost circle rewards her for being a good soldier in taking the fall on Benghazi, and it makes it virtually impossible for Congress to subpoena her for a grilling, thanks to our government’s separation of powers. [.......]
Pity poor John Kerry, though: He really, really wanted to be a noteworthy secretary of state. Already held at arms-length, now he’ll be relegated to visiting countries that never make the headlines and handing out retirement awards (plus working on the Middle East “peace process,” the ultimate diplomatic booby prize).
Rice has the weakest credentials of any national security adviser in the history of the office, but she has the president’s ear as his old pal. [.......] Proximity to POTUS is trumps in DC. Kerry’s desk in Foggy Bottom might as well be a hundred miles from the Oval Office.
However incompetent, Rice may become the most influential national security adviser since Henry Kissinger eclipsed the entire State Department. Which means that Obama’s foreign policy, already disastrous, is now going to get worse.
As for the earnest Ms. Power, she has zero qualifications to serve as our UN ambassador. She’s a left–wing militant who has yet to show the least interest in defending America, rather than merely using our might as her tool. Her cause is human rights abroad, and that’s her only cause. [........]
Both Power and Rice consistently advocate using our military to protect the human rights of often-hostile foreign populations. Of course there are, indeed, times when measured intervention is strategically wise and morally imperative — but our military’s fundamental purpose is national defense, not mercy missions to those who spit in our faces.
(By the way, I know of no instance when Power has vigorously defended Jews or Christians murdered or driven from their homes by the Arabs she wants to “save”; guess human rights aren’t universal, after all.)
As leftists cheer both choices, one can’t help recalling the cries of “Chicken hawk!” directed at the neocons in the Bush years. [.........] Now we have leftist kill-for-peace activists who never served in uniform. That’s different, of course.
On a purely practical level, Power is a terrible choice to be our UN rep. It’s a job for a veteran, polished ambassador who understands the arcane ways of diplomacy and the UN’s exasperating rules and procedures — which the Russian and Chinese ambassadors employed to humiliate Rice. It’s not a job for a zealot on a hobby horse.
Obama knows that, of course. But the Power nomination’s a win for him, even if she’s not confirmed. He just covered his left flank on the cheap. It’s not about Power, just about power.
Read the rest – O’s cynical picks