George Will Sees Obama in White Queen Diplomacy

While wondering if Israel will save the world, the Anchoress steers us to

George F. Will who is siding with Alice of Wonderland fame:

In “Through the Looking Glass,” Alice says that she is unable to believe the White Queen’s claim to be 101 years old. The Queen responds, “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.” Alice: “There’s no use trying, one can’t believe impossible things.” Queen: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Is Obama emerging as the White Queen?  His naivete in full unfurl, he could say with the Queen, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Scary but George Will wonders if:

“Regarding Afghanistan, President Obama might believe he can effect a Houdini-like escape, uninjured, from the box his words have built.”

“Regarding Iran, he seems to believe that its leaders can be talked or coerced (by economic sanctions) out of their long, costly pursuit of nuclear weapons by convincing them that such weapons do not serve Iran’s “security.” ”

“Did Obama believe, as only the White Queen could, that Karzai had reformed?”

George Will raises the question, does Obama believe as he expects Iran to believe:  possession of nuclear weapons would make Iran less secure.

Quoting Will:

“Defense Secretary Robert Gates says “the only way” to prevent a nuclear-capable Iran “is for the Iranian government to decide that their security is diminished by having those weapons, as opposed to strengthened.” But to accept that formulation requires accepting two propositions that would tax the White Queen’s powers of belief.”

One is that possession of nuclear weapons would make Iran less secure. Question: If Saddam Hussein had possessed nuclear weapons in March 2003, would the United States have invaded Iraq? Iran’s leaders probably think that they know the answer.

Will goes further:

“The other proposition is that Iran’s regime seeks nuclear weapons merely to enhance the nation’s security and not also for regional hegemony or the enjoyment of the enlarged status that comes from being a nuclear power. To believe that, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Fighting the Taliban with God

In a country soaked with religion, it has fallen to an Oklahoma Baptist to turn Islam into a weapon against the Taliban.

The U.S. military, eager to hand the war over to the Afghan government, has placed mentors throughout the Afghan National Army. The Americans help commanders command, fliers fly and spies spy. U.S. Army Capt. James Hill, a baby-faced 27-year-old from Lawton, Okla., drew the job of mentoring Lt. Col. Abdul Haq, a 51-year-old army mullah who has never shaved.

Capt. Hill’s faith-based mission is to counter the propaganda of Taliban fighters, who ride motorcycles through isolated villages spreading the word that the Afghan army is led by godless communists working to purge the country of Islam. Show the people that the army is a Muslim one, and they’ll be more likely to support it against the insurgents, his theory goes.

Krauthammer – Obama the Neophyte

Obama is pleased with the arms reduction agreement.  Should he be?  Should we be? Charles Krauthammer opines:

Obama says that his START will be a great boon, setting an example to enable us to better pressure North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear programs. That a man of Obama’s intelligence can believe such nonsense is beyond comprehension. There is not a shred of evidence that cuts by the great powers — the INF treaty, START I, the Treaty of Moscow (2002) — induced the curtailment of anyone’s programs. Moammar Gaddafi gave up his nukes the week we pulled Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole. No treaty involved. The very notion that Kim Jong Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will suddenly abjure nukes because of yet another U.S.-Russian treaty is comical.

Further, says Krauthammer:

Unfortunately for the United States, the country Obama represents, the prospective treaty is useless at best, detrimental at worst.

Useless because the level of offensive nuclear weaponry, the subject of the U.S.-Russia “Joint Understanding,” is an irrelevance. We could today terminate all such negotiations, invite the Russians to build as many warheads as they want, and profitably watch them spend themselves into penury, as did their Soviet predecessors, stockpiling weapons that do nothing more than, as Churchill put it, make the rubble bounce.

Read it all here.

“Desperately Seeking Yeltsin”- Krauthammer

Is there a leader to lead this revolution”

Charles Krauthammer writes:

Desperately seeking Yeltsin. Does this revolution have one? Or to put it another way, can Mousavi become Yeltsin?

President Obama’s worst misstep during the Iranian upheaval occurred early on when he publicly discounted the policy differences between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mousavi.

True, but that overlooked two extremely important points. First, while Mousavi himself was originally only a few inches to Ahmadinejad’s left on the political spectrum — being hand-picked by the ruling establishment precisely for his ideological reliability — Mousavi’s support was not restricted to those whose views matched his. He would have been the electoral choice of everyone to his left, a massive national constituency — liberals, liberalizers, secularists, monarchists, radicals and visceral opponents of the entire regime — that dwarfs those who shared his positions, as originally held.

Moreover, Mousavi’s positions have changed, just as he has. He is far different today from the Mousavi who began this electoral campaign.

Revolutions are dynamic, fluid. It is true that two months ago there was little difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. But that day is long gone. Revolutions outrun their origins. And they transform their leaders………..

As Mousavi hovers between Gorbachev and Yeltsin, between reformer and revolutionary, between figurehead and leader, the revolution hangs in the balance. The regime may neutralize him by arrest or even murder. It may buy him off with offers of safety and a sinecure. He may well prefer to let this cup pass from his lips.

But choose he must, and choose quickly. This is his moment and it is fading rapidly. Unless Mousavi rises to it, or another rises in his place, Iran’s democratic uprising will end not as Russia 1991, but as China 1989.

As Israel Goes, So Goes…….?

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

Growth in Israel is part and parcel of life.  Curtailing growth casts the shadow of death over any nation.  As Israel goes so goes those who are blessed by her:

Charles Krauthammer sees this with clarity and writes:

Obama the Humble declares there will be no more “dictating” to other countries. We should “forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions,” he told the G-20 summit. In Middle East negotiations, he told al-Arabiya, America will henceforth “start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating.”

An admirable sentiment. It applies to everyone — Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, even Venezuela. Except Israel. Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. As Secretary of State Clinton imperiously explained the diktat: “a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.”

What’s the issue? No “natural growth” means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining. It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them — not even within the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that. The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns — even before negotiations.

To what end? Over the last decade, the U.S. government has understood that any final peace treaty would involve Israel retaining some of the close-in settlements — and compensating the Palestinians accordingly with land from within Israel itself.

That was envisioned in the Clinton plan in the Camp David negotiations in 2000, and again at Taba in 2001. After all, why turn towns to rubble when, instead, Arabs and Jews can stay in their homes if the 1949 armistice line is shifted slightly into the Palestinian side to capture the major close-in Jewish settlements, and then shifted into Israeli territory to capture Israeli land to give to the Palestinians?

This idea is not only logical, not only accepted by both Democratic and Republican administrations for the last decade, but was agreed to in writing in the letters of understanding exchanged between Israel and the United States in 2004 — and subsequently overwhelmingly endorsed by a concurrent resolution of Congress.

Yet the Obama State Department has repeatedly refused to endorse these agreements or even say it will honor them. This from a president who piously insists that all parties to the conflict honor previous obligations.

The entire “natural growth” issue is a concoction. It’s farcical to suggest that the peace process is moribund because a teacher in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is making an addition to her house to accommodate new grandchildren — when Gaza is run by Hamas terrorists dedicated to permanent war with Israel and when Mahmoud Abbas, having turned down every one of Ehud Olmert’s peace offers, brazenly declares that he is in a waiting mode — waiting for Hamas to become moderate and for Israel to cave — before he’ll do anything to advance peace.

Israel brought growth and fruitfulness to a land long neglected.  The money that poured into the hands of Hamas and Fatah after the Oslo accords was used to wage war and build a terror machine that continues to impoverish the people of the region under Palestinian control.  What would the situation be now, if instead of terror, these funds actuality funded schools, roads,  courthouses, hospitals, and charitable institutions that truly relieve the suffering of their people.  No nation, no one, can help the Palestinians until they set aside hatred to love their own people.

Krauthammer writes:

Blaming Israel and picking a fight over “natural growth” may curry favor with the Muslim “street.” But it will only induce the Arab states to do like Abbas: sit and wait for America to deliver Israel on a platter. Which makes the Obama strategy not just dishonorable but self-defeating.

Cheney – The Lone Ranger -Silver Bullets?

I hope Dick Cheney keeps the pressure on Obama.  He’s a Lone Ranger with silver bullets hitting their mark.

AllahPundit writes of Cheney:

Dour though his Darth Cheney persona may be, he projects gravitas and speaks with understated eloquence. He’s bound to persuade at least a few fencesitters.

The Pundit points to Toby Harnden in Telegraph.co.uk who notes Cheney’s 10 punches:

1. “I’ve heard occasional speculation that I’m a different man after 9/11. I wouldn’t say that, but I’ll freely admit that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on our country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities.”

Anyone who was in New York or Washington on 9/11 (I was here in DC) was profoundly affected and most Americans understand this. Obama was, as far as I can tell, in Chicago. His response – he was then a mere state senator for liberal Hyde Park – was startlingly hand-wringing and out of step with how most Americans were feeling. This statement by Cheney reminds people of the tough decisions he and Bush had to make – ones that Obama has not yet faced.

2. “The first attack on the World Trade Center was treated as a law- enforcement problem, with everything handled after the fact: arrests, indictments, convictions, prison sentences, case closed.”

This was the pre-9/11 mindset, much criticised after the attacks. Many sense that this is the approach Obama is increasingly taking.

3. “By presidential decision last month, we saw the selective release of documents relating to enhanced interrogations. This is held up as a bold exercise in open government, honoring the public’s right to know. We’re informed as well that there was much agonizing over this decision. Yet somehow, when the soul searching was done and the veil was lifted on the policies of the Bush administration, the public was given less than half the truth.”

The release of the documents was a nakedly political move by Obama and Cheney called him on it. This passage from Obama’s speech today came across as completely disingenuous: “I did not do this because I disagreed with the enhanced interrogation techniques that those memos authorized, and I didn’t release the documents because I rejected their legal rationales — although I do on both counts. I released the memos because the existence of that approach to interrogation was already widely known, the Bush Administration had acknowledged its existence, and I had already banned those methods.”

Read the full article here.

AllahPundit Update:

Update: In hindsight, wasn’t it awfully stupid of The One to rush out a national security speech to try to preempt Cheney? If he’d kept quiet, this still would have been a hit on righty blogs and Fox News but nowhere else. By jumping in, he created the sensational “terror duel” storyline that’s forcing the media to magnify this. At the very least, he should have waited a week or so and then given his speech as a rebuttal to Cheney’s. For someone so message-savvy, he crapped the bed this time.