Well, I’ll say one thing for him: Obama certainly has been transformative when it comes putting the “personal” into personal diplomacy.
According to reports coming from last week’s G20 meeting, Obama was caught by reporters on an open microphone commiserating with French president Nicholas Sarkozy over their disdain for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Although there are differing accounts of the conversation, Reuters has reported that the translation overheard by reporters had Sarkozy calling Netanyahu a liar:
"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.
"You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.
Even amongst world leaders Obama pulls the one-up card and the victim card.
And we thought Obama saved his pettiness for Congress and voters who cling to their guns and religion as a reaction to a government that arms Mexican drug cartels while telling citizens that they’re not responsible enough to own guns?
Getting past the embarrassment of our diplomat-in-chief being caught in flagrante delicto trashing a world leader and first-class ally, this exchange between Obama and Sarkozy says a lot about Obama’s world view.
Because, Israel is not just some two-bit, wanna-be Democracy born last spring with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood and NATO airstrikes.
Instead, Israel is the most reliable ally the United States has in the Middle East, perhaps, even in the world.
And Israel is probably the only the country in the world that is both able and willing to stand up to Iran, which country by the way, is a direct competitor to US –and democratic- strategic interests in the region.
It comes as no surprise that France would work against Israeli interests. France has a history of selling nuclear technology to states hostile to Israeli, including Iraq in the 1980s.
But for the president of the United States to express such open distain for a leader of country that is so integral to the security of the US is the most glaring admission yet that for Obama’s foreign policy, everything is about his personal feelings, rather than the security of the United States. A weakened Israel is not in the interest of the United States, In fact a weakened Israel makes it more likely that American soldiers will be fighting and dying in the world’s sandbox.
Because this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency has again warned that Iran is on the verge of being able to assemble nuclear weapons.
“In the most critical and damning report of Iran’s nuclear program to date, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday that the Islamic Republic was working to develop a nuclear-weapon design and was conducting extensive research and tests that could only be relevant for such a weapon,” reports the Jerusalem Post.
“’The agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program,’ the IAEA said in the report, which included a 13-page annex with key technical descriptions of its research. “’The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.’”
The Washington Post reported earlier this week that “Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.”
There are two states that Iran wishes to threaten with nuclear weapons: Israel and the United States.
In 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened to wipe Israel off the map, according to accounts published by the New York Times.
It’s impossible for anyone to view Obama’s remarks about the Israeli Prime Minister without the context of Israel fighting, quite literally, for its survival in this latest round of Iranian nuclear brinkmanship in the Middle East.
And now we know that Obama’s “fed up with” Israel fighting back.
PS- If you friend me on Facebook you get sneak peeks of columns!
PS Part 2- The email function at the top of the page working again. Sorry it took so long. Let the Hate Mail begin!