Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Obama Looks Weak in the Middle East

Why pick on our friends but not our enemies?

Print Email
Obama last week.(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Foreign policy expert Walter Russell Mead has joined Thomas Friedman and others in congratulating the Obama administration for condemning Israel over the announcement it was building 1600 apartment units in East Jerusalem.

“The Obama administration had no choice but to respond strongly,” Mead writes. “Otherwise the administration would have looked weak and irresolute and the repercussions throughout the world could well have been grave.”

But in the Middle East, nothing reeks of weakness more than lashing out publicly at an ally. The administration is well aware of this, because it has endured the insults of virtually every one of its Arab allies (all except for Egypt). Most recently, for example, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal criticized Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to her face, explaining that the United States’s proposed sanctions against Iran were too little, too late.

On top of that, the White House has gladly swallowed the far worse taunts of actual adversaries, like Iran and Syria. At a Damascus banquet featuring Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, and Hamas’s Khaled Meshaal, Syrian President Bashar Assad openly mocked Clinton: he joked that he had misunderstood her demands that Syria distance itself from Iran, so instead, said Assad, he was waiving visa requirements for the Islamic Republic.

“The President of the United States cannot afford to look like a patsy,” writes Mead. “Any American president needs to be seen as a figure who commands respect.” Well, sure. But it is not clear why that respect should come at the expense of our allies instead of our enemies.

The Israel Crisis [The American Interest]

Print Email
Marcia Almey says:

I say it’s about time that the US distanced itself from Israel’s self-destructive policies. And “Thh Scroll” should try for a bit of objectivity too.

Shalom Freedman says:

The U.S. in picking on Israel looks weak, cowardly and stupid. Didn’t it learn from its previous time of one- sided pressuring of Israel? All that did was make the Arabs even more intransigent. What is also surprising here is that the Administration can only harm itself by this move. It is a mistake and a stupid one.

Shalom Van Alstine says:

As I read earlier today, Obama is the “Prince of Lies” and I do agree with that.

ransomorama says:

He can’t help looking like a patsy. He IS a patsy.

How about Qaddafi calling Clinton “Blond Condoleeza”?

Beth says:

BiBi has a choice here — he can be a hero to Shas and continue to depend on them to remain Prime Minister — or he can be a hero to Israel and do what’s best for the whole country without regard to whether he can keep his coalition together.

Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

Random Google results can occasionally lead to wonderful blogs such as this. You are performing a good job, and we share plenty of thoughts.

Happy Independence day!

Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, great written and come with almost all significant infos. I would like to peer extra posts like this .

It’s actually a cool and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

i am overly conscious about food calories because i’d hate to start to be fat and flabby through the future`

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Obama Looks Weak in the Middle East

Why pick on our friends but not our enemies?

More on Tablet:

How the Depression Blinded American Jews to Their German Relatives’ Pleas for Help

By Charlotte Bonelli — In 1936, Nazis celebrated Easter with Judenrein eggs—but a new book of family letters shows the crisis didn’t translate