In hindsight, it will probably be obvious that the missteps of the Obama administration vis a vis Israel were critical catalysts to a war that today seems ever more likely to engulf the Middle East, and perhaps the world more generally. Assuming such an outcome is neither the intention of the President and his team, nor desired by them, American course corrections must be urgently taken.
To be sure, as is often the case in the moment, a different narrative is operating. The rising tensions in the region are widely seen as the fault of the Jewish State. Most recently, Israel is being portrayed as the villain of the bloody interception of a "humanitarian flotilla" bringing relief aid to the Gaza Strip.
Before that, the Jewish State has been serially excoriated for: engaging in: "illegal" construction of homes in Jerusalem; exercising "disproportionate force" in military action in Gaza, including by some accounts "war crimes"; and being intransigent with respect to the sorts of territorial, strategic and political concessions needed to advance the "peace process" with the Palestinians.
In each case, the Obama administration has either strongly endorsed these mimes or acted fecklessly to challenge them. Throughout their seventeen months in office, the President and his senior subordinates have been at pains to demonstrate a more even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to "engage" the Muslim "world."
The practical effect, however, has been to excuse, empower and embolden those hostile not just to Israel but to the United States, as well. Consider just a few ominous examples:
The Iranian regime has understood that the Obama administration will do nothing to defeat the realization of Tehran's longstanding ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons. Instead, the United States is now focused on how it will "live with" a nuclear-armed Iran by trying to "contain" it. Meantime, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency says Tehran has enough enriched uranium to make two atomic weapons. If true, it will be a matter of a relatively short time before such material is sufficiently processed to be ready for that purpose.
The Syrians have, presumably at Iran's direction and with its help, transferred dangerous Scud missiles to the mullah's re-armed terrorist proxy, Hezbollah. Particularly if equipped with chemical or biological weapons (which the Syrians and Iranians have in abundance), such missiles would pose a mortal threat to Israel and her people.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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