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One last comment here from me

Reader comment on item: Searching for Peace

Submitted by David (United States), Oct 14, 2022 at 16:09

I wanted to make one more comment/question in response to two of the author's latest twitter posts, one on the alignment of Putin with the Palestinians, in a move that indeed is reminiscent of the USSR, and two in relation to the question of whether anything has gone right for Putin in this war.
I am not attempting to answer the latter question in the affirmative. I am not an expert on Russia but indeed, it seems to me that Putin's war has been an unmitigated strategic catastrophe. However, not only for him. I would argue that although some opportunities have arisen in this war for Israel, it has been an even greater catastrophe for Israel than for Russia. Yes, Russia has become isolated in the West. Its economy has been sanctioned although since it has all the resources needed to be a true autarky, it has weathered the storm, and Europe faces much tougher economic circumstances ironically than Moscow. China is a dramatic beneficiary. But not being a Russian expert, I must emphasize, it was no surprise to me that the isolation of Russia would result in its reversion to insularity and to its Cold War alliance system. There are long term ramifications for the United States in its standoff with China for global hegemony, but this is not what I wish to address/ask questions about.

It cannot be denied, and I believe the author himself has noted, that Putin may be the first "pro-Israel" Russian premier, arguably the first non-antisemitic premier of Russia in 300 years. He did numerous things for Israel that no other Russian premier could have been expected to do, and much of it in conflict with the "siloviki" in the Russian security services, who for example, wanted to supply Syria with the S-300s and managed to persuade him to do so after years of his resistance to the idea. The Russian state, is the problem with regard to Israel. Not Putin himself. This does not exculpate him for what he's doing in Ukraine, but it is worthy of note.

There was a certain UNSC resolution that the Obama administration wished to pass in the final week of their tenure, that would have severely damaged Israel's future, and was thwarted by a Russian veto, in a process coordinated with President-Elect Trump, which may very well have initiated the attempt to suggest that he was a "Russian operative." One of the initial FISA warrants was initiated by then UN ambassador Samantha Powell, culminating on the eve of Trump's inauguration with a final request from then VP Biden, and a cryptic suggestion to invoke the Logan Act.

But I am digressing. Putin is isolated and cornered, and in the style of any historic Russian leader, he is punishing those who he perceives to have wronged him. Israel is siding with Ukraine, albeit not sufficiently to the satisfaction of Washington or Kiev. But probably even more importantly for Putin, Iran is providing him with military technology that his army now desperately needs. And so he is making trouble again, on their behalf, in the Mideast.

It is hard for me to understand why the Emiratis are willing to actually embrace him in Moscow, but not hard to understand why the Sauds are giving DC a cold shoulder, because they palpably sense that Biden intends to throw them under the bus in favor of Iran. And here is my main point and question. So far the "disarmament" pact that Biden wishes to pursue with Tehran, which is really anything but, has been held up by the unseemly prospect of mediating an agreement with Russia, especially intolerable in an America that has expressed almost total solidarity with Ukraine. And one that could give Russia an avenue for sanctions relief, no less. It has also been held up now by the Iranian protests, which this current Biden/Obama admin, to their credit, has not ignored like they did in 2009. However, there is no indication at all that the agreement is no longer desired by them. To the contrary, State Dept. spokesman Ned Price tellingly said "it is not on the agenda RIGHT NOW." And European diplomats tellingly hinted, in September, that it would be on hold until November.

Now we see bipartisan wrath being unleashed on the Saudis, who are in all probability simply hoping for the election of a Republican Congress in the hopes they will check the administration's ambitions to pivot to Iran as their critical Mideast oil supplier and strategic partner, and it seems to me that the Saudi assessment is correct. The bipartisan reaction against them, is all the more surprising.

In another tweet the author asked whether the alignment of Putin with the Palestinian Authority is going to cause DC to take a harsher line against the PA. Today there is even more horrid news: a unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas. But I, personally, will not hold my breath for the Palestinian alignment with Moscow and Beijing to have any negative repercussions for them in Washington.

What if, some of the effort to isolate and replace Putin, and the new desire to perhaps, heaven forbid, do the same with the only Saudi leader in history (the heir apparent) to nod toward a rapprochement with Israel, is actually motivated by a desire to collapse Israel's alliance system? It is not appalling that no one-- virtually not a single person-- in official Washington is opposed on PRINCIPLE to the idea of allowing Iran a path toward a bomb anymore? Where is this oil, that is now not going to be coming from Russia OR perhaps from Saudi Arabia either, going to come from? Shall it come from the moon? It is going to come from Tehran!

Is this simply a fevered nightmare of mine or perhaps an approximation of reality? Now I will simply state an observation. Is it not stunning to observe the near absolute and total disinterest of former "neo-Cons" in the geostrategic future of Israel? During the war in Gaza last May, almost to a person, they published scathing op-eds and condemnations of Israel, all while the UAE actually, at the time, commissioned a very articulate defense of Israel in a prominent news journal. The Emiratis are no longer where they were a year ago, having presumably noticed that the winds in Washington have shifted.

And so I will ask: why and how, can it possibly be, that so many formerly conservative Americans, many of them Jews, are so blithely indifferent now to the fate of the Jewish state, that they cannot see, contemplate, or heaven forbid even SAY anything in solidarity with Israel and the potentially existential dangers it faces? I will make a suggestion as politely as I can. Until and unless some people, perhaps former colleagues, will place the Stars and Stripes, along with the Blue and White, on their Twitter handles alongside the Blue and Orange, the wholesale abandonment of Israel will continue with scarcely any second thought, interrupted only on occasion by the abject cruelty and inhumanity of Israel's enemies toward their own people. Ukraine is indeed under attack. But it seems to me, that although the bombs are not flying, Israel is very much under attack as well. And very soon, the bombs may start flying, especially from Syria. When the WH speaks of a "strategic reassessment" with the Sauds, given where KSA has been in recent years, I will say outright that I think it is an attack on Israel as well. The words "strategic reassessment" themselves, in the context of the Mideast, have formerly referred very specifically to Israel. It seems to me, to be a veiled threat, and it is telling that the first people to talk about it, are among the advocates of selling weapons and everything to the Iranians (Sen. Chris Murphy of CT is a prominent example). More alarming is the bandwagon effect, and the shameful endorsement of this view by Sen. Schumer of NY, and Menendez of NJ. What we are seeing here, is a preview of a wholesale betrayal of Israel, which will come with greater probability, if no one has the courage to begin to even point it out.


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