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Submitted by David (United States), Oct 18, 2022 at 21:31

I couldn't help myself but make one additional comment here. It will be gracious on the part of the author if he publishes it, as I will be critical.

In reference to the Tweet from yesterday about the supposed superiority of the Democrats' policies on "Russia, China, and Turkey," I grant that the author is correct in regard to the toughness on Russia, although I disagree firmly with regard to China. That being said, there is a glaring and starkly notable, unmistakable omission of commentary here on this site, about something that I referenced in an earlier remark, and that must bear notice: 1) the nonstop attempts on the part of the administration to kowtow to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and 2) I would hasten to suggest, an effort to collapse Israel's entire alliance system.

I note with increasing alarm, the effort on the part of the administration to ostracize the Saudis in every possible way, including a report this evening, that they are actively working to discourage investment in the Kingdom. The notion that this is simply a knee-jerk response to supposed Saudi ingratiation of Moscow, strains credulity: the Biden administration came in with a professed intent to turn the Saudis into a "pariah state." And why, dare I ask? Because of the killing of the Wash Post columnist? Is KSA truly outstanding in the Mideast for abuses of human rights? No journalists are killed in Iran? I would argue the answer is obvious: this incarnation of the Obama administration shares the desire of the prior one, to make the Iranians a regional hegemon in the Mideast and to replace Saudi Arabia as the lynchpin of American policy in the region. I don't precisely know to what the author is referring when suggesting that the administration is tough on Turkey. They are continuing the prior administration's complete disregard for the Kurds, particularly in Iraq. I'm not aware of anything to the contrary. So far only Iran's own intransigence, the upswell of unrest, and its direct, armed assistance to the Russians, has served to block the administration's efforts to kiss the feet of the Ayatollahs. Not for lack of trying on their part, however. Admin spokespeople continually suggest that the attempt at an appeasement of Iran is merely on hold. So why not a word from the author, ever, on this subject nowadays?

There seem to be double standards at work here, and similarly with regard to Israel. Does the author have an opinion on the current government's policies toward Hezbollah and the policy just announced this night, to forbid Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount? The surrender of gas reserves to Hezbollah seems to violate every tenet of the author's recommendations for how Israel should deal with its enemies by seeking "victory" and explicitly, by not attempting to bribe enemies for the sake of temporary quiet. Does the author continue to hold the same opinion, or does he believe that Hezbollah is an exception to the rule? The lack of comment on the new policy on the Temple Mount is also notable. It's hard to escape the conclusion that, like so many politicians here and abroad, the author is allowing personal animosities toward particular men, to intrude on his judgments of various aspects of policy. The silence on such matters is deafening. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the current Israeli PM is attempting not merely to move toward a wholesale reversal of any kind of "victory," but to gallop headlong into resounding defeat.

And it is also difficult to avoid the conclusion that the administration in DC is almost as focused on weakening Israel's standing in the region and in the world, as it is on weakening Moscow. What it does toward Israel is less open, but there appears to me, at least, to be a systemic and unmistakable pattern. Every leader of a foreign country who has broken with longstanding tradition and expressed openness if not warmth, toward Israel, is singled out for particular rebuke and isolation. What other explanation is there for the hostility toward Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in particular, and not for example, for the Qataris, who have been gifted the entirely unearned reward of being designated a "major non-NATO ally?" Perhaps it was the very inclusion of the Qataris in the thus far unimplemented "anti-nuclear radar system" that Biden proposed in his visit to the Mideast, (for which the author showered him with unalloyed praise) that conspicuously convinced the Jordanians, the Saudis, and every other country in the region to notably seek rapprochement with Tehran PRECISELY as the President was there. What could it be that he told them? One only wonders. Forgive me for being conspiratorial, but does it strain the imagination to propose that perhaps the newly reinvigorated ideological concern on the part of the WH, for the 1945 declaration of the immutability of borders, as a defining principle of American foreign policy-- is directed specifically again, at Israel? I have suggested before that aspects of their policy are calculated with the purpose of doing gratuitous harm to the Jewish state, and on one such occasion my comment to this effect here, was dismissed out of hand, but I'll recall it again because I think it bears repetition. One other, less noticed, policy that the administration has been trying to change, is the authority of UNSC permanent members to wield the veto. They have been trying to change the structure of the UN to allow the UNGA to override a permanent member's veto. I will ask, rhetorically: which country is the most frequent subject of attack at the UNSC, and the most frequently defended by a particular permanent member's veto? (With the notable exception of an effort in the end of the Obama administration to impose the 1949 armistice lines on Israel as a "final status" solution, which was thwarted by a veto threat from a foreign leader whose identity the author must surely recall).

In brief, I am not writing to defend the actions of the Russian federation but merely to note the odd defining commonality, of all the leaders that are the recipients of the administration's wrath. Yes, Putin has richly merited it since February. But MbS? And similarly, what is to explain the hostility for Azerbaijan and the warmth for Armenia? Or even the fact that, what a surprise, the first signatory of the letter the WH organized to "condemn" the Islamic Republic of Iran, was the rabidly anti-Israel, leftist leader of Chile, who until recently refused to accept the credentials of the Israeli ambassador? Why the bizarre, peculiar antipathy to PM Liz Truss of the UK? Could it have some relation to her expressed interest in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Perhaps this is unduly conspiratorial, but this one thing remains, and it is hardly mentioned: the administration continues to pivot toward Iran's proxies in the Mideast, and they currently have an Israeli PM who is happily going along with all of it. And for some reason, the author has not mentioned anything about either subject. Or about the quixotic obsession on the part of President Biden, for doing more and more damage to Saudi Arabia. I will ask, rhetorically again, where is the missing oil that is no longer going to be imported from Russia, and perhaps in the imminent future also not to be imported from a KSA in which Biden is discouraging investment, to come from? Will it come from Mars? Will it come from Luxembourg?

It seems to me that only Tehran's cruelty to its own people, and its OUTRIGHT, instead of tacit, support for Moscow, is currently precluding a complete Obama style effort to put them in the same position that Riyadh has enjoyed with the United States since the days of FDR. Is this a fevered nightmare, or is it, just maybe, what is actually going on?


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Daniel Pipes replies:

But I praised the administration for China, Russia, and Turkey, not Iran and Israel: https://twitter.com/DanielPipes/status/1582127097824542720

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