Friday, March 19, 2010

The ADL Attacks the Four Star

General David Petraeus has come under fire from the Anti-Defamation League for comments he made before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week in which he suggested that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict foments anti-American sentiment due to the perception that the US favors Israel.

"Enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the area of responsibility," Petraeus said Wednesday. "Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples [in the region]."

Clip From HuffPo

It is clear by recent events that Israel is totally contemptuous of the U.S. executive. The last U.S. President that Israel paid any heed to was the big dog, Hillary’s husband.

Big bad Bill got respect because he placed his foot up Bibi’s backside the last time the Likud leader got a bit too big for his britches. The WH at the time basically engineered the electoral defeat of Bibi back in the glory days of the 1990’s. Bill’s brass-knuckled brush back of the Israeli leader set the course for the near miss of Clinton’s Oslo efforts.

From that high point the U.S. fell into the Neo-Con rabbit hole that was George W Bush’s presidency. It is claimed that the Israeli PM was not only calling the Shrub on just about any whim, but also chewed Incurious George out on the phone.

Enter, stage left, BHO. Mr. Hope and Change basically blew it in his first six months. One cannot fault him on Cast Lead ; that little misadventure was all Bush, all the time. Do you think that W would have given a tinker’s damn to Obama’s objections, no matter how forcefully stated? What Obama can be excoriated for was his foolish adherence to the Beltway’s conventional wisdom.

After much to-and-fro, studious review, and general thrashing about, team Obama came up short. The foreign policy idiocy was called “natural growth.” Yes, that again.

Obama conceding to the natural growth of the settlements was a green light the size serving dish to Bibi. It was an open invitation for the Israeli PM to run over Obama the way a tank runs over baby bunny. It was the very definition of foreign policy cluelessness.

The president showed all the memory recall of a late-stage Alzheimer patient when he agreed to this policy. Natural growth was tried before; it was tried and failed miserably. Only in a place like the fever swamps of the Potomac could a failed compromise like natural growth be tried more than once. It is a compromise that only serves the inside baseball elite pressure groups that dwell in the splendid isolation of hermetically sealed D.C.

In the real world such “compromises” are rightly viewed with contempt. The fleets of moving vans that can flow under the rubric of natural growth are too numerous to calculate without the aid of a big-iron super computer. Israel could naturally grow into all of the West Bank without much adjustment of their current policy. One wishes they could grab the lapels of Obama’s Marks and Spencer jacket and scream, “what part of freeze don’t you get Skippy?!”

For the peace process to go forward a real freeze has to occur. There is no way around it. Not to insist on a freeze marks you as a sap to the Israelis. If you act like a sap, you will be treated as a sap; especially in the Middle East. It is said that Bibi’s bitch-slapping of Joe Biden got Obama hot under the collar. Here’s the deal; Obama set up his V.P. by his total lack of seriousness on the settlement issue. He got blind-sided, played for a fool, because he totally lacks any vision. His default, as proved by health care, is to consistently compromise. In this regard, the Israelis under Bibi are exactly like the Congressional Republicans; they are leaving Obama to negotiate with himself.

Petraeus is of no real account. He is the President’s spear carrier. Obama is ripping a page from the George W. Bush playbook by using W’s favorite sock-puppet to push an agenda. We must all bow down to the most holy and most sanctified demigod in olive drab. Genuflect to his blinding four guiding stars, you unwashed heathens, and acknowledge your blessed betters, lest the angry gods smite you for your blasphemous ways!

Sarcasm aside, Petraeus is fair game; within limits. He is most definitely not some great military mind. He is most definitely not some super-moral a-political force for good. He is a General, which means he is as political as they come. He is very much a creature of the President he serves. As such, he is not immune to criticism. The ADL has a right to call him out on policy if they desire.

What is really appalling is not the ADL disrespect to Petraeus, but its attempt to shut down any and all debate on Israeli policy. Their refusal to see how Israel is fouling its own bed, how its actions are actually making the region less safe for the Jewish State are depressing, unthinking, and, sad to say, typical. The occupation is slowly corrupting Israel, one illegal eviction, one helicopter assassination, one unjustified incursion, one false imprisonment at a time. The hubris of Israel and its supporters in D.C. is jaw-droopingly evident. The treatment of V.P. Biden puts on display Israel’s overarching pride. It was not enough for the Israelis to insult one of their best friends in the region, Turkey, they had to double-down and insult their chief sponsor. As we say in New Jersey “they’re cruising for a bruising.”

Still, never put it past Bibi to screw up an already unpleasant situation. There are dark intimations that the recent Armenian Genocide vote in the U.S. Congress is actually Israeli pay-back for Turkey’s dressing-down of the Israeli Ambassador a few months back. One wonders what the present steel cage match between Bibi and Petraeus will devolve too. Never underestimate Bibi’s willingness to add more toxic waste in to the super-fund site. No drama Obama is finding out that in the Middle East; it’s all drama, all the time.