During his visit to Israel last spring, his first as president, Mr. Obama assured the worried Israelis that his administration “had Israel’s back.” President Obama descended to street-gang talk to demonstrate his willingness to help our embattled Mideast ally.
He then proceeded to arm-twist Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Obama pressured Netanyahu to apologize to Turkey’s ruler, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Israel commandos had intercepted a Turkish vessel bound for Gaza. The “peaceful” blockade runners attacked the Israeli commandos with clubs. The Turks were bringing supplies to the terrorist Hamas group that rules Gaza. The Israeli soldiers responded to these attackers with deadly force, killing nine of the blockade runners. Israel was condemned in the U.N. and around the world for this act of self-defense.
President Obama has called the Islamist Turkish leader, Erdogan, his “best friend” in the Mideast. Erdogan has been steadily crushing democracy in Turkey, moving this NATO ally further and further away from its Western orientation. Erdogan is thought to have blown the cover of Israeli operatives in Iran, leading to their deaths. Those Israeli agents were one of the best, perhaps only, means of monitoring what Iran’s mullahs were actually doing with their nuclear weapons program.
Now the Israelis are closely watching what President Obama is doing domestically with Obamacare. This week’s firestorm over millions of Americans having their health insurance policies cancelled—a direct result of the health care takeover rammed through Congress in 2010—is reverberating around the world.
This should not surprise us. America is still the leading nation in the world. And what happens here has worldwide implications.
In 1981, for example, President Ronald Reagan fired the professional air traffic controllers (PATCO) when they went out on strike. Their strike was a violation of federal law. Reagan warned the strikers to return to work or be fired. They stayed out. He fired them.
As former Secretary of State George Schultz would later say, the firing of the PATCO workers was the most important thing President Reagan did on the international stage. That’s because foreign leaders watched closely. Even Reagan’s antagonists were impressed. The KGB reported to the Communist bosses in the Kremlin, “With Reagan, words are deeds.”
This is not the case with President Obama. He held a great White House ceremony in his first weeks in office. He told the world the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba would close in one year. That would have been 2010. Almost four years later, Gitmo is still open. (We never favored closure of Gitmo, but we offer this as an example of President Obama’s failure to follow through on his pronouncements.)
The president’s violating his promise—“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”—is having serious implications not only domestically but on the world scene as well.
Israelis are deeply concerned that Obama's promises to them of having their back will not be fulfilled either. Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick spells out these concerns in a toughly worded column.
The mendacity at the heart of Obama’s political playbook is something Israel needs to understand if it to survive his presidency without major damage to its strategic viability.
The president’s word is a precious commodity. The peace of the world has often rested on the word of the president of the United States. John F. Kennedy knew in 1962 that when he said the U.S. would not tolerate Soviet missiles in Cuba, he had to follow through. He could not afford to let the Soviets put nuclear missiles 90 miles from our shores and within range of New York, Washington, Miami and New Orleans. Kennedy’s determination to rid the U.S. of that danger was a crucial point of his presidency.
Now President Obama has said over and over again that Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. But his recent demarche with the mullahs’ hand-picked successor to the truculent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been termed “historic” by the credulous media elites. Hassan Rouhani has previously boasted that he engaged the West in “talks” that allowed Iran to make major gains in its drive for a nuclear weapon.
Rouhani has shown us the pea under the shell—and now proceeds to shift the shells around in the latest round of a nuclear shell game. The Obama administration is gullibly willing to play Iran’s game. In short, we have no credible way to prevent Iran from achieving its goal of nuclear weapons.
That leaves Israel and only Israel to protect the world from nuclear weapons in the hands of the No. 1 terrorist regime on earth. Israel cannot accept empty assurances from a discredited administration. As Mordecai said to Queen Esther in the Bible, perhaps you were born for such a time as this. The millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance can testify to the mendacity of this president’s pledges. Israel must not rely on Barack Obama for its life insurance.
Ken Blackwell is senior fellow for family empowerment and Bob Morrison is senior fellow for policy studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The American Thinker on Nov. 3, 2013.
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