Since the Democratic Party's presidential primaries a year ago, there has been an ongoing debate about how Barack Obama perceives the U.S. alliance with Israel. After he entered office last month, the need to understand what President Obama thinks about Israel has become acute as we attempt to make sense of his emerging strategy of appeasement for dealing with Islamic terror groups, Pakistan, Iran, and the Arab world.
Starting with his first day in office, Obama has made clear he intends to end the U.S. war against Islamic terror. In his first week in office, he announced he will make good on his campaign pledges to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq, outlaw most of Washington's means of dealing with captured terrorists, slash the defense budget, and diplomatically engage rather than militarily confront state sponsors of terror and weapons of mass destruction proliferators Iran and Syria. And ever since, he has been actively implementing policies aimed at achieving these goals.
In Pakistan for instance, rather than encourage the Zardari government to fight the burgeoning Taliban forces throughout the country, the Obama administration reportedly supports Pakistan's decision to surrender much of the country to Taliban rule. So it is that the Pakistani government's decision to surrender the Swat Valley -- located just a hundred miles from Pakistan's nuclear arsenal in Islamabad -- to the Taliban reportedly enjoyed the quiet backing of the White House.
Then of course there is Iran. Even as the UN acknowledges that by illegally enriching uranium Iran now stands at the cusp of a nuclear bomb, and despite the fact that Iran's satellite test earlier this month shows that Iran has the capacity to attack Europe and is close to achieving the capacity to attack the U.S., the Obama administration insists it wants to talk to the mullahs. And while it is figuring out how to do that, it has opposed placing any new sanctions on Iran.
After Iran comes Syria. Over the past few weeks, the administration suspended the enforcement of U.S. sanctions against Syria. It has also expressed its interest in returning the U.S. ambassador to Damascus. The Bush administration withdrew the U.S. ambassador after Syria ordered the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Obama has reportedly selected Frederic Hof, known for his hostility to Israel, as his designated envoy.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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