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International posturing, of deadly importance to Israel

Reader comment on item: Why the (toothless) Iran sanctions bill matters

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Feb 13, 2015 at 21:45

Thank you, Daniel, for clearing up what seems to be some esoteric wheeling and dealing in Congress and the Administration. It seems that the most important element of what you said, is the fact that the the Iranians are coming on full-steam against this, as you say, toothless bill. That moves the arena from the domestic political scene of pre-2016 party posturing, to the international arena of deadly Iranian pressure tactics.

I have been following President Bushabama's machinations rather dispassionately since the last elections. We are stuck with him as a President, after all, are unlikely to impeach him, and already have a rather powerful opposition seated in the Congress that BO has been routinely bypassing lately as he rules as a virtual dictator. There is not much we can do, therefore, in the political arena, to staunch the bleeding of America.

There is some political maneuvering we can do in preparation for 2016, which I will not focus on here. For instance, Obama is perhaps the most belicose President in US history, having started deadly, persistent wars in Libya, Syria-Iraq and Ukraine; and he is now likely to get congressional approval (with enthusiastic Republican support) to authorize putting American lives at risk in combat against ISIL. This behavior, along with Obama's desire to get fast-track authority to make anti-US-labor international trade deals, promises to deepen the divide between the aristocratic Obamas and the anti-war and pro-labor wings of the Democratic Party. All of this should be spelling disaster for the Democrats in 2016, but see below:

Obama's approval ratings. have been sitting at 47% approve and 49% disapprove, ± 5%, since August, 2009. In spite of this generally negative rating, Obama convincingly defeated his challenger in 2012. What's even more frightening, is the fact that there has been so little movement in his ratings, despite one economic and foreign policy disaster after another. I come away from all this, with the impression that the American public has stopped thinking and feeling altogether, and is frozen in some sort of media-generated stasis. We are, in other words, becoming a nation of zombies in a world of zombies. That is not an encouraging sign.

I know that you don't usually talk about these matters, but something interesting has come up in today's news -- namely, that Greece's new leftist leader seems to be pro-Israel and publicly anti-Turkish:

Greece plans joint military drills with Israel, Cyprus, Egypt
DEBKAfile February 12, 2015, 8:46 AM (IDT)

The Greek Defense Miniser Panos Kammenos said in Cyprus Wednesday that the newly-elected government in Athens planned joint military exercises in the coming months with Israel, Cyprus and Egypt to enhance regional security in view of tensions with Turkey over oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. Nicosia has licensed exploratory drilling in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and is unhappy that Ankara is determined to search for oil and gas in the same area. Kammenos criticized as a "clear provocation" Turkey's sending of a survey ship to the waters where the drilling is taking place.

-- http://www.debka.com/newsupdatepopup/10487/

It's also interesting, that the Egyptians are on board in this venture. This is a crystalization of trends that have already been happening: The Egyptians, for instance, have been at war with Hamas and its allies for some time, making them de facto allies of Israel. and their Saudi backers are quietly lined up with both in the background. Meanwhile, NATO ally Greece has been quietly sitting back and endurig the Turkish occupation of Cyprus for over 40 years, and has spent the past six years or so getting closer to Israel -- even at a time when Obama was head-over-heels in love with Turkey and their Muslim Brotherhood government. Now Obama is changing lovers, but not to the benefit of our allies Greece, Israel and Egypt: He is cozying up to the Iranians and, by extension, Assad's Syria and Hizbullah (and, though this is causing some contradictions, with the Houthis of Yemen!).

I am curious to see how the Russians will take all this. Russia has been a long-time ally of both Syria and Iran; and when he needed friends last Spring because of the Ukraine sanctions, he struck a deal to his own hurt with PR China. Lately, he's been increasingly dealing with Egypt, which is Syria's enemy as well as Turkey's, and with the Vietnamese, who have an ongoing dispute with PR China that is even more explosive than that between Turkey and Cyprus. In the Ukraine, the Russians are trying to avoid a Cold War-like confrontation that would make them even more dependent on China, by dealing with Germany's Merkel and France's Hollande. Putin, in other words, seems to be posturing himself to move independently -- even, if need be, in the direction of helping Israel; at a time that Obama and his crew seem to be daily waxing more and more irrational.

This is a situation worth keeping one's eye on.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (18) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
"Why the (toothless) Iran sanctions bill matters" [118 words]Ángel OterosMar 1, 2015 13:04222024
Iran Sanctions and further actions to matter. Will Common sense and Sanity Prevail? [110 words]AnneFeb 23, 2015 08:55221911
1"Obama to Seek War Power Bill From Congress, to Fight ISIS" - New York Times [433 words]LudvikusFeb 17, 2015 11:09221139
2Lame Duck President Obama [598 words]LudvikusFeb 15, 2015 12:52221083
Why is this different from the meaningless move the embassy to jerusalem bill which has been waived for 20 yrs [96 words]Mark SchoenbergFeb 15, 2015 10:30221080
2"Why the (toothless) Iran sanctions bill matters" [108 words]NCHWIECHUI SuleFeb 14, 2015 14:23221070
"Why the (toothless) Iran sanctions bill matters" [85 words]Ángel OterosMar 1, 2015 13:00221070
International posturing, of deadly importance to Israel [825 words]Michael SFeb 13, 2015 21:45221052
Oil, Oil, Toil and Trouble - [93 words]M. ToveyFeb 17, 2015 11:13221052
President Change-your-mind Wishy-wash [418 words]Michael SFeb 23, 2015 00:27221052
Obama focused on domestic issues? [80 words]John in Michigan, USAFeb 13, 2015 13:00221045
Obama simply is not very American [189 words]Michael SFeb 25, 2015 19:05221045
Good Cop, Bad Cop? [77 words]Ron ThompsonFeb 13, 2015 09:01221042
The Jihadi Sate of Iran and the duty of the American people [94 words]steven LFeb 12, 2015 21:42221035
Waivers Are a Failed tool [137 words]Richard H. ShulmanFeb 12, 2015 21:19221034
"making him unceasingly justify the waver every ..." -- just like the Jerusalem Embassy Act [12 words]MarkFeb 12, 2015 19:36221032
Obama cannot be trusted with national security or foreign policy issues [146 words]Kelly CloverFeb 12, 2015 19:33221031
What's Next? [580 words]AlexFeb 12, 2015 18:40221029

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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