As much as I often heap scorn on Barack Obama’s foreign policy acumen, he is taking the right approach with Iran by pushing forward and taking advantage of the opening by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani while also trying to forestall the hawks by proceeding with caution. Israel, AIPAC and the Gulf States are not blind, however and they are gearing up for an all-out assault in Capitol Hill to sabotage efforts to resolve the sanctions and nuclear dispute peacefully. I examine at LobeLog.
Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
Posted in Iran, tagged AIPAC, Benjamin Netanyahu, chemical weapons use in Syria, Congress, Fordow, Gulf States, Hassan Rouhani, Hassan Rowhani, IAEA, Iran, Iran diplomacy, Iran hawks, iran nuclear program, Iran nuclear talks, Israel, Obama, Saudi Arabia, Syrian civil war, US-Iran Phonecall, US-Iran relations, US-Iran Talks on September 30, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged AIPAC, AUMF, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Chemi Shalev, Congress, House, Iran, J Street, Lavrov Proposal, Netanyahu, Obama, Ron Kampeas, Russia, Senate, Syria, Syrian civil war, Syrian Intervention, Syrian opposition, United Nations, United States on September 11, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
The Syria debate in the United States brought a lot of surprises, not the least of which was the behavior of various sectors of the “pro-Israel” Lobby. Despite the Russians coming along and at least temporarily bailing Obama out of the hole he dug for himself, AIPAC in particular took hit. The damage that caused should not be overstated, but it was real. I explore this at LobeLog.
Posted in Syria, United States, tagged AIPAC, Assad, Congress, diplomacy, foreign policy, Hezbollah, Iran, Israel, Israel Lobby, Obama, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Syrian civil war, Syrian Intervention, UN Security Council, War Powers Resolution on September 2, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
President Obama shocked many with his announcement that, despite the fact that he had decided to strike Syria, he was going to seek authorization from Congress. At LobeLog, I examine some of the implications for US politics and foreign policy, as well as the immediate meaning for an attack on Syria.
Posted in International Law, Syria, tagged AIPAC, Assad, Barack Obama, China, Cold War, European Union, International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, international law, Israel, Israeli Settlements, Obama, OPT, Russia, Sergei Lavrov, Syria, Syrian civil war, Syrian opposition, Syrian rebels, UN, UN Security Council, United States, US Policy on Israeli Settlements, USSR, West Bank on August 26, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Egypt, tagged Carl Levin, Congress, diplomacy, Egypt, Egypt Aid, Egypt Military Coup, Elliott Abrams, hawks, Israel, John McCain, Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Neoconservatives, Obama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, SCAF, UAE on July 11, 2013 | 1 Comment »
This article originally appeared at LobeLog.
When is a coup not a coup? When calling it that carries repercussions that make a bad situation worse.
US President Barack Obama is struggling with recent events in Egypt. Once again he’s presented with a situation in the Middle East where he has few good options but is still facing expectations based on a long history of US influence over events — an influence that is no longer situated in reality.
In contrast to the revolution that deposed Hosni Mubarak two years ago, the ouster of Mohammed Morsi raises some profound questions, not only for foreign powers, but for Egyptians themselves. There is no doubt that Morsi brought a lot of this on himself. He neglected the major issue for almost all Egyptians, the economy; he shamelessly tried to grab dictatorial powers; he did not follow through on his campaign promises to include the widest spectrum of Egyptians in his government; and, when confronted with all of this, he remained obstinate. (more…)
Posted in US-Israel Lobby, tagged AIPAC, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bunker Buster, Chuck Hagel, Congress, fordo, foreign policy, Iran, Iran nuclear, Iran War, Israel, Israel Lobby, Kerry, Massive Ordnance Penetrator, MOP, Obama, Osprey, Senate Resolution 65, Turkey, V-22 on April 24, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Posted in Israel, tagged AIPAC, Aviv Kochavi, Barack Obama, Benny Begin, Benny Gantz, Dan Meridor, diplomacy, Ehud Barak, FDD, foreign policy, foundation for defense of democracies, IAEA, Iran, Iran nuclear, Iran sanctions, Iran threat, Iraq, Israel, Jennifer Rubin, Moshe Ya'alon, Mossad, Naftali Bennett, Neoconservatives, Netanyahu, New York Times, nuclear, Obama, P5+1, Sanctions, Shin Bet, Tamir Pardo, Tzipi Livni, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Yair Lapid, Yoram Cohen on March 28, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
This article originally appeared at LobeLog.
The new Israeli government features a security braintrust that might be a bit more reasonable on Iran, but is likely to be even more hawkish both in the immediate region
and within the country itself. Gone are voices from the Israeli right who favored a more reasoned and diplomatic approach to their right-wing agenda. They have been replaced by figures who want more direct action and refuse even the pretense of a two-state solution.
On Iran, the retirement of Ehud Barak removes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leading supporter in his effort for a strike on Iran sooner rather than later, whether that be carried out by Israel or, preferably, the United States. He is replaced by Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon. Bogey is also an Iran hawk, but is not in favor of Israel launching an attack other than as a last resort. He is far more content than Barak to allow the United States to take the lead and wants Israel to act only if it becomes apparent that the US will not. That puts him pretty well in line with the Israeli military and intelligence leadership in practice, though he sees Iran as more of a threat than they do.
In fact, no one in the current or even the outgoing inner circle came close to matching Barak’s eagerness for military action against Iran. Only Netanyahu himself could match him, and he remains daunted by the lack of support for his position in Israel. The ongoing hawkishness in the US Congress and President Barack Obama’s repeated statements holding firm to a military option and refusing a policy of containment also blunt Netanyahu’s resolve. It would seem that, at least for the time being, the calls for war on Iran will be fueled more in the United States than in Israel.
Ya’alon is a former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, but he did not have a distinguished term of service there, was not well-liked and returns without a great deal of good will among the military and intelligence services’ leadership. In fact, colleagues in Israel tell me there is a good deal of consternation in those services regarding Bogey’s appointment. But for now, they will wait and see how he acts. For a deeper look at Ya’alon, see my recent piece on him here. (more…)