11 septembre 9/11 aaron klein abbas abdallah abdallah II abdelkader merah accords d'oslo adam zertal adenauer affaires Ă©trangĂ¨res afghanistan africom afrique afrique du sud ahmadinejad aipac AKP al qaeda al qaida al-arabiya al-fayed al-qaida algĂ©rie algeria aliyah allemagne amĂ©rique america anavad ANC angela merkel ankara ansar dine antisĂ©mitisme antisemitism antizionism apartheid aqmi arabes arabes israĂ©liens arabie saoudite arabs arafat armĂ©e armĂ©niens army ashkenazy assad assemblĂ©e gĂ©nĂ©rale assyriens atatĂĽrk auschwitz autoritĂ© palestinienne autriche-hongrie ayrault azawad Ă©conomie Ă©glise Ă©gypte Ă©lections Ă©tat Ă©tats-unis Ă©vangĂ©liques bachman baker balkans balladur bangladesh bankruptcy banlieues barack obama barak barbares bat yeor bayrou begin beheading beilin belgique belgium bennet benoĂ®t xvi berbĂ¨res bernheim bible biden bill clinton blancs blood libel BNVCA bourgine brĂ©sil brexit britain brzezinski burke bush byzantins cahuzac cameron canada carter Castro cfr chaos charlie hebdo Chavez cheney chiisme chiites china chine chirac chosroes ii chrĂ©tiens christianisme christianity christians church chypre circumcision cisjordanie citizenship claude guĂ©ant clĂ©menceau clermont-tonnerre clinton cnn CNRS colin powell cologne columbia commentary communautĂ© communism communisme communistes confĂ©rence de la paix confrĂ©ries congrĂ¨s conseil de sĂ©curitĂ© conservatism conservative conservatives consistoire constantinople constitution contestation coptes coran corĂ©e du nord corsica crif crime crise crise sociale cuba cuisine cukierman culture daesh daniel johnson daniel pearl david pryce-jones dĂ©mocrates dĂ©mocratie dĂ©mographie de gasperi de gaulle democrats demographics demography deng desportes dhimmis dhimmitude dieudonnĂ© dinard djihad dollar doxa dreyfus droit international droite droits de l'homme druzes egypte eilat mazar eisenhower election elections emanuel emigration empire ottoman ena enderlin enfants erbakan erdogan espagne etat etats-unis ethnic ethnie EU eurabia eurasia eureka euro europe european parliament european union exode expulsion expulsions fabius facebook far left far right fatah fayĂ§al ferdinand ferhat fethullah gĂĽlen fifth republic fillon finkielkraut flandre flotille fmi FN fondapol food foreign affairs foreign policy france franco frĂ¨res musulmans french french muslims front national frontiĂ¨re internationale fusion antisemitism gates gauche gaza gĂ©nĂ©tique gĂ©nocide gĂ©opolitique genĂ¨se general assembly genocide geopolitics george soros george w. bush george washington germany ghozlan gingrich giscard d'estaing giuliani globalization golden age goldnadel goldstone gorbatchev grande-bretagne grĂ¨ce greece greens grippe espagnole guĂ©ant guĂ©rilla guerre guerre civile guerre de sĂ©cession gurfinkiel hallal halutz hamas hamon haredim harkabi hĂ©breux hekla herzl herzog hezbollah hillary clinton hillel halkin histoire history hitler hollande holocaust holocauste houellebecq HUJI hungary huntsman hurvah hypercasher ibn saoud icm research idĂ©ologie identitĂ© nationale ifop iforas iiie rĂ©publique ilan halimi immigrants immigration implantations inĂ¶nĂĽ inde ined internet interview irak iran irgoun isabelle ISIS islam islamic state islamism islamisme islamistes islamists israĂ©lites israĂ«l israel israel beiteinu italie ivan de bloch j call j street jabotinsky japon jĂ©rusalem jĂĽnger jean paul II jean-marie le pen jerusalem jewish revival jews jihad jihadism jihadisme jihadistes jihadists john mccain johnson jordanie jour de colĂ¨re judaĂŻsme judĂ©o-christianisme juifs juifs amĂ©ricains juppĂ© kabylie kadhafi kadima kadimah kassam kemal kennedy kerry kgb khamenei khomeini kim kippour kissinger knesset kohl korsia kosher kosher supermarket kosovo kotel kouchner l'express l'obs la paix maintenant laĂŻcitĂ© lapid ldj le drian le monde le nouvel observateur le pen le point lebanon left leftwing Levant liban libĂ©raux liberation libertariens libertĂ© libye liebermann ligne verte likoud likud livni livres london louis xvi LR lyons macarthur maccain macron magoudi mahmoud abbas mai 1968 mali mandala mandat mandela mao marcion marcionisme marine le pen marines marion marĂ©chal-le pen maroc maronites marseilles massacres massortis mavi marmara mayflower mayotte mĂ©dias mĂ©lanchon mccain media medias mein kampf mer morte mer noire merah meretz mergui merkel mexique michel gurfinkiel middle east migrants migration missiles mitterrand mnla mohamed merah monarchie monarchy monde arabe monde islamique monod mont du temple montauban montebourg montesquieu morocco morsi mosaic moscovici moubarak moyen-orient munich murder muslims musulmans napolĂ©on napoleon naqba nasser natalitĂ© national assembly national front nations unies nato nazis neo-french netanyahu nethanyahu new emerging powers new york new york review of books new york times nicolas sarkozy nixon noĂ«l nobel noirs north america norvĂ¨ge nouvel observateur november 13 NPA nuclĂ©aire obama occident occupation odessa oliganthropie olmert olp onfray onu opinion orban orient orthodoxes oslo otan ottomans pacifisme pahlavi paix pakistan palestine palestinians palestiniens palin panislamisme pape paradigme paradigmes paris paritĂ© parlement europĂ©en partition pĂ©tain pĂ©trole pence peres peripheral france perses peste antonine peste de justinien petraeus peuple juif pew pipes PLO pogrom pogroms poland police politique poll pologne pompidou populism portugal poutine prĂ©sidentielle prĂ©sidentielles premier tour presidential election primaires primaries printemps arabe processus de paix proche-orient prophĂ¨te proportional representation protestantisme PS pundak putin qaradawi quai d'orsay quartiers quenelle qumran rabbis rabin racism rahm emanuel raid rajoy rasmussen rĂ©formĂ©s rĂ©formes rĂ©fugiĂ©s rĂ©publicains rĂ©volution reagan refugees regional elections religieux religion rempart renaud camus republican pacts republicans restaurants revolution right riots riyad rogers romains romney ron paul roosevelt roquette rosenfeld rouhani royal royaume-uni russia russie rwanda sadate sahara salafistes salem al-fayed sanctuaire du rocher sandler santorum sarah halimi sarkozy saudi arabia savir sĂ©golĂ¨ne royal sĂ©nat sĂ©pharades scandale SCO SDN seconde guerre mondiale security council selden senate shafik shalit shalom akhshav shamir sharon shas shoah sionisme sionistes socialist socialists sociĂ©tĂ© society sondages soral soviet union spcj ss staline state nobility state of emergency statism stratĂ©gie strauss-kahn strikes subworlds succession sunnites sweden sykes-picot synagogue syria syrie tahrir tardieu tariq ramadan taubira tel-aviv terre d'israĂ«l terror terrorism terrorisme thatcher the west time tocqueville torah totalitarisme toulouse tourisme travaillistes trevidic tribus trilatĂ©rale truman trump tsahal tsipras tunisie turkey turquie tv ue uk ukraine UMP un unesco union europĂ©enne union pour la mĂ©diterranĂ©e united nations united states unrwa URSS US usa valeurs actuelles valeurs judĂ©o-chrĂ©tiennes valls vatican vĂ©drine ve rĂ©publique versailles veto vichy vietnam violence walter laqueur war washington washington post wastelands west wilson women wright yellow vests yemen zacharie zapatero
Wednesday, March 11 2015
USA/ Obama's Blunder And The Cotton Letter
The letter was written because Obama inadvertently made clear he had surrendered to Iran.
In an unprecedented move, forty seven out of fifty four Republican U. S. senators warned last Monday in an open letter to the leaders of Iran that a future U. S. administration – presumably a Republican one - may reverse or revoke « with the stroke of the pen » any deal on nuclear weapons made by the current administration. One may surmise that many Democratic senators were privately in agreement with that view.
The letter was mostly triggered by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s superb address to the U. S. Congress, one week earlier.
The American legislators – and by the same token, the American and Western public opinion – knew for months that things were rapidly deteriorating in the Middle East. What they needed was a clearer picture : who is who in that mess, how we got entangled into it and what is to be done now. This is precisely what Netanyahu provided. He was probably the only leader in the Middle East that most Congressmen and Senators would listen to. And the only one who would speak out his mind – and point to hard facts – in an unrestrained way. Whether Netanyahu will be reappointed as Israel’s premier after the March 17 election or not (chances are that he will) is irrelevant in that respect. Just like Churchill’s defeat in the 1945 election did not mar his war time achievements nor impair his personal authority as a Statesman.
Netanyahu’s speech focused on three issues. First, Israel’s Prime Minister reminded the U. S. Congress that « the people of Iran », while « talented » and « the heirs to one of the world’s civilization », have been « hijacked by religious zealots in 1979 » and submitted to « a dark and brutal dictatorship » : « America's founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad ». And that the regime never relented from such goals, even under allegedly « liberal » leaders : « Two years ago we were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation! Rouhani's government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before ».
Iran, Netanyahu added, has been at war with America « for thirty six years » : from the U.S. Embassy hostages crisis in 1979 to the recent « military exercise near Hormuz » culminating in « blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier ». It calls routinely for the destruction of the State of Israel and the mass murder of its population. And « as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void (…) and now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. »
The second issue, according to Netanyahu, is that Iran cannot be coopted as a tactical ally against ISIS : « The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn't turn Iran into a friend of America. Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire. »
The third and last issue is that « the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. »
Thoughout his speech, Netanyahu made sure to pay all due respects to President Barack Obama and to thank him for supporting Israel in many crucial instances. Nevertheless, the three issues he raised do amount to severe indictments of the current administration’s policies in the Middle East.
It was Obama’s decision from the very beginning of his administration, in 2009, to engage into a dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was his decision never to relent from it. Obama stood idle, from 2011 on, in front of the unravelling of the Middle Eastern States system – the so-called Sykes-Picot system – and thus provided for the present Iranian expansion to the Fertile Crescent and South Arabia. Obama cooperated with Putin’s Russia in 2013 to salvage Assad’s regime, an Iranian proxy, in parts of Syria, even before ISIS had emerged as a player in the area ; and then endorsed in 2014 tactical cooperation with Iran against ISIS.
Moreover, the Obama administration is now packaging a nuclear deal with Iran that, for all practical purposes, will guarantee its accession to nuclear power status. To quote Netanyahu again : « The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short breakout time to the bomb (…) True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran's nuclear program and Iran's adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors. But here's the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don't stop them. » The North Korean precedent, when it comes to such matters, should be considered.
Even so, the Obama administration is readying for « a second major concession » which « creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade. »
Retrospectively, it is clear that the Obama administration made a terrible blunder when it opposed House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu. Should it have gently allowed the Israeli prime minister to address the Congress, it would have notably diminished his speech’s impact : both the U. S. legislators and the public opinion would have still entertained the view that even if the Israeli prime minister was right, the White House and the State Department knew better and should be trusted in last resort.
On the contrary, by losing their nerves and attempting to block Netanyahu at any cost, the President and his assistants aroused suspicion from all sides. All the more so when Marie Harf, the State Department’s spokesperson, warned in a press conference on March 2 that any disclosure by Netanyahu of confidential information on the American-Iranian nuclear talks would be a « betrayal » of American trust : the unescapable conclusion to be drawn was that there were unpalatable details about these talks that the administration was hiding from Congress and to the nation.
Even worse and more pathetic was National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s remark on the same day, at the AIPAC Policy Conference. Running out of arguments, she insisted that « to halt Iran’s enrichment entirely » was neither « a viable negociating position » nor « even an attainable » one : an admission that the administration had in fact already surrendered to the core of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The Arab allies of the United States were incensed.
Ahmed al-Faraj and Abdlulrahman al-Rashed, Saudi journalists known for their close links with the royal family wrote approvingly of Netanyahu’s speech. In a rhetoric twist, columnist Dawoud al-Shiryan wondered why « the Israelis haven't yet stopped the Iranian effort by force as they always do? »
Under such circumstances, it was very difficult for the U. S. Congress not to oppose any nuclear deal with Teheran, and not to start some in-depth investigation of the foreign affairs decision-making process at the White House and the State Department. The Republican senators letter to the Iranian letters is just a first step to this end.
© Michel Gurfinkiel & PJMedia, 2015
Michel Gurfinkiel is the Founder and President of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think-thank in France, and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)