At an off-the-record gathering of foreign-policy mandarins and opinion-mongers recently, the former head of an allied nation said he was advising President Obama to push as hard as possible for a speedy settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Most of those attending the conference nodded in agreement. I bit my tongue, waited for a break, and then buttonholed the statesman near the coffee and tea dispensers. Might I ask a question? He graciously said I might.
Sir, if you were Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, would you make peace with the Israelis? You understand that peace would be of enormous benefit to your people and to Israelis alike. On the other hand, you know that while you wield power in the West Bank, Hamas rules Gaza. And Hamas refuses — as a matter of both theology and policy — to accept the existence of a Middle Eastern nation led by non-Muslims.
What’s more, Hamas is financed and instructed by an Iranian regime that also wants the Jewish state wiped off the map. Tehran plans to soon have nuclear weapons to utilize in pursuit of that goal.
Don’t you think that if you were to sign a peace treaty with Israel, as Egyptian president Anwar Sadat did in 1979, you would end up as Sadat did in 1981 — assassinated by self-proclaimed jihadis?
May goes on to succinctly elaborate on a number of realities which are being ignored in the quest for the elusive peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, and says:
With this as context, is advising President Obama to push as hard as possible for a quick settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict the wisest course? Does it not seem likely that this effort will lead, paradoxically, to more bloodshed? He suggested that the problem is complex — too complex to sort out during a break in a conference. He then politely excused himself.
His perspective, however, remains conventional wisdom — all the more so since face-to-face Palestinian-Israeli negotiations were resumed early this month after a hiatus of a year and a half. What I fear he and others are failing to recognize is that Israel is at war with Palestinians, Arabs, and much of the “Muslim world” not because of what it does but because of what it is: the last, tiny patch of land between Morocco and Pakistan not under some form of Islamic rule.
It's like in a chess game, carefully watching the movement of the various pawns, and ignoring the Queen as she moves in to achieve checkmate. In this instance, the Palestinian pawns are meant to draw attention away from the real threat in the region; who, if not countered, will render the entire peace process moot.
This chess game between the Mullahs in Iran and the West has been playing out for some time now.
Michael Ledeen had some sobering reflections about that reality a while back and it is worth revisiting his concerns:
Iran has been at war with us all along, because that’s what the world’s leading terror state does. The scariest thing about this moment is that the Iranians have convinced themselves that they are winning, and we are powerless to reverse the tide. As I reported here several months ago, Khamenei told his top people late last year that the Americans and Israelis are both politically paralyzed. Neither can take decisive action against Iran, neither can sustain prolonged conflict and significant casualties. Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader said, the terrorists are all working for Iran, and we will expand the terror war.
Don’t think for a moment that they worry about victims in Gaza or Lebanon. They are delighted to see Israel fighting on two fronts, because they will use the pictures from the battlefield to consolidate their hold over the fascist forces in the region. After a few days of fighting, I would not be surprised to see some new kind of terrorist attack against Israel, or against an American facility in the region. An escalation to chemical weapons, for example, or even the fulfillment of the longstanding Iranian promise to launch something nuclear at Israel. They meant it when they said it, don’t you know?
The only way we are going to win this war is to bring down those regimes in Tehran and Damascus, and they are not going to fall as a result of fighting between their terrorist proxies in Gaza and Lebanon on the one hand, and Israel on the other. Only the United States can accomplish it.
Except that, under Obama, the United State can't accomplish it anymore. We've already given up many of our pieces (e.g., when Obama sacrificed Israel)
Under the suicidal political correctness enforced by the Obama Administration it is highly unlikely that we will be able to capitalize on any advantage over the Mullahs and the patient game of chess they have been playing with us over the years.
It should be crystal clear to anyone paying attention who the puppet-masters of terror have been all along. The problem is that not many have been paying attention. Certainly not many on the left side of the poltical isle.
The Mullahs have been planning for this endgame ever since Jimmy Carter failed to stand up to them when they brashly held Americans hostage without consequences during his Administration. In Obama, they know they have another Carter--a Carter with new and improved dhimmitude.
Back in Carter's time, Ahmadinejad was one of the ringleaders of the American hostage-taking. He clearly thinks he understands the cut of America's jib from that first experience with Carter's passivity and appeasement; and in the decades since his first terrorist action, he probably has probably noted that the physical and psychological impotence of the Carter days has slowly spread into the entire body politic of America, resulting in a complete moral paralysis.
In other words, Iran is fully confident that Obama--who is rightly considered Carter's heir-- will not dare stand against their plans for Middle Eastern Armageddon.
I hope Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs are wrong about this. The part of America that has lost the courage to stand for what is right; and who have been in psychological denial since 9/11 may be in power now, but there are forces rising in America that might just understand how close the game is to checkmate if we don't alter our strategy.
As far as Iran's nuclear intents regarding Israel, Ledeen has this to say: "They meant it when they said it, don't you know?"
That's what is truly remarkable about this situation. Iran repeatedly says over and over again what they intend to do. They signal their moves clearly, like some inept chess player--or like a Grand Master who is arrogantly over-confident amd can't conceive of losing to an inferior player.
Ledeen's piece ends with:
You cannot escape the mullahs. You must either defeat them or submit to their terrible vision. There is no other way.
This game will not end in a draw. The west is being backed into a corner and instead of regrouping and going on the attack; we are letting our opponent take our eyes off his aggressive endgame moves.
Cliff May's piece is called "Peace--But Not Now" and that should be our goal: to achieve peace in the region, we must ignore the Palestinian (and the Lebanese) gambits being played by Iran, and focus our attention on thwarting the more powerful pieces in the region.