Monday, September 26, 2016

Aleppo and Israel! America's Air Force in Decline! As For The Debate Donald Did Not Lose, Hillary Did not Win and America Lost.



Click here: What's Killing the American Dream? | PragerU
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If Israel ever did what Russia, Syria, Iran and even the U.S. are doing in/to Aleppo, the U.N. Obama and all the sanctimonious of the world would go bananas.

Meanwhile, The U.N. remains helpless, worthless and feckless.

Is Syria a 21st Century Spain equivalent ? (See 1 below.)
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Pay now or pay bigger price later.  This is what Obama and Congress have allowed.

In a Republic, when politicians cannot do what is best to protect our nation because demands for social programs win more votes, then, unless they have courage and foresight and a president who cares to honor his pledge, this Republic will eventually fail. (See 2 below.)
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Obama corrupted The IRS, The Justice Department, The EPA, Homeland Security , The FBI and now we learn even The State Department. (See 3 below.)
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Radical Islamists and Obama - Trojan Horses?

Obama was born to an American mother, but raised around those with an antipathy towards America and therefore grew up without an American soul.(See 4 below.)
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A view of the real Middle East story.(See 5 below.)
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As I theorized in a previous memo the debate was as I feared, not what it should have been and frankly I was disappointed because it did not enhance my understanding of how either will bring America back.

Hillary showed she was prepped and knew how to monopolize the time by talking and saying nothing. Trump lost opportunities to respond in more penetrating ways.

He never connected the increase in blacks jailed for misdemeanors because of a change in the laws by Bill Clinton. Trump could have responded to an accusation by Hillary about top down never working by commenting Hillary did quite well with a top down approach with her foundation.

Donald failed to respond to Hillary's comment about demanding  higher pay for American workers by pointing out our job losses went to countries with low wages so how does raising the minimum wage bring back American employment?

Trump never brought up the re-set button disaster and allowed Hillary to make a lot of accusations which were obviously rehearsed false and twisted accusations.

I found the debates boring and a rehash.

Donald did not lose, Hillary did not win.  America lost.
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Dick
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1) Syrian Regime Presses Aleppo Offensive




Syrian foreign minister say cease-fire is ‘not dead yet’

Syrians search for survivors on Monday at a site hit by an airstrike in a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo.

By NOAM RAYDAN

BEIRUT—The Syrian regime and its allies pressed their bombardment of the rebel-held side of Aleppo on Monday, defying global condemnation over the newly launched offensive that has killed hundreds in the past several days.
The U.K.-based opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were more airstrikes on eastern Aleppo, but a hospital worker in the city said theintensity had eased compared with Sunday.
Rescue workers with a civil defense group known as the White Helmets said on Sunday that more than 300 people had been killed since a cease-fire collapsed last week. Most of the deaths came since the regime declared its new Aleppo offensive on Thursday night.

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Syria and its Russian allies pressed an assault on Aleppo in what the United Nations called the most intense bombing in years of warfare there, and residents said hundreds of civilians had been killed since a cease-fire fell apart last week. Photo: Getty Images.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said in an interview broadcast on Monday that the cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia “is not dead yet.” A week ago, his government proclaimed the truce had expired, then immediately began pummeling opposition-held areas of Aleppo with airstrikes.
Mr. Moallem, in the interview with pan-Arab news channel Al-Mayadeen, accused the U.S., Britain and France of convening a United Nations Security Council meeting on Sunday to support “terrorist” organizations inside Syria.
The new offensive by the regime and its Russian allies is aimed at recapturing all of the divided city of Aleppo—the latest indication of the Syrian regime’s determination to win the war militarily, despite repeated efforts by the U.S. and Russia to reach a lasting cease-fire and a diplomatic solution.
The U.N. has said Aleppo is facing the most intense bombardment since the start of the Syrian war.
The U.S. has accused Russia of “barbarism” in Syria. Some of Washington’s European allies were also critical.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday that the tone of the criticism hurled at Russia might seriously damage efforts to end the five-year war. He said the Kremlin is concerned that “terrorists” are using the truce to regroup, replenish their arsenals and prepare for more attacks.
A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cited reports of the use of both incendiary weapons and “bunker-buster bombs” against the opposition in Aleppo, and said the systematic use of these types of “indiscriminate weapons” in its densely populated neighborhoods could amount to war crimes.
U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council on Sunday that he had seen videos and pictures of incendiary bombs “that create fireballs of such intensity that they light up the pitch darkness in eastern Aleppo, as though it was actually daylight.”
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2)



Big Spending on Warplanes Spurs Aerial Arms Race

Russia, China seek to challenge Western superiority in the sky with stealthy, next-generation jets


A F-35B aircraft approaches a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft to re-fuel as it flies over the North Sea having taken off from RAF Fairford on July 1, 2016 in Gloucestershire, England.ENLARGE
A F-35B aircraft approaches a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft to re-fuel as it flies over the North Sea having taken off from RAF Fairford on July 1, 2016 in Gloucestershire, England. PHOTO: MATT CARDY/GETTY IMAGES







By Robert Wall

For more than two decades, combat aircraft flown by the U.S. and its European allies have pretty much owned the sky. Now, Russia and China are spending lavishly on new weapons that could challenge that superiority, spurring a new arms race.

Some of the hardware, both planes and antiaircraft capabilities, is expected to roll out in the next few years. The upgrades come as Moscow flexes its muscles in hot spots such asEastern Europe and the Middle East and Beijing does so in the South China Sea—heightening urgency among Western military brass to push for their own, next-generation combat planes. (See interactive graphic: Comparing the World’s Fighter Jets)

“The most pressing challenge for the United States Air Force is the rise of peer competitors with advanced military capabilities rivaling our own,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told lawmakers in June, days before being confirmed in the job.
Two months later, the U.S. Air Force certified its new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Designed to be hard to detect, the plane is specially built for the sort of limited, precision strikes that have become a hallmark of Western military action since NATO’s bombing campaign in Bosnia in the 1990s.
What is considered the Ferrari of combat jets, the F-22, is still relatively new, first fielded in 2005. Designed to shoot down enemy aircraft while flying as fast as twice the speed of sound, it has more recently evolved into a bomber, too, and can soak up intelligence over enemy territory.
More than three-fourths of the U.S. fleet of jet fighters, however, can be traced back to the 1970s. The Air Force has flown its F-15 since 1975. The widely used F-16 has been operational since 1979, and the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 was first deployed in 1978.
Those older planes are also the backbone of the air forces of many Asian and European allies, along with newer jets like France’s Rafale and the Eurofighter.
Russia plans to start fielding its first stealth fighter, the T-50, in 2018. The twin-engine plane is designed to be highly maneuverable and equipped with sophisticated electronics to spot enemy aircraft from miles away.
Meanwhile, it has deployed some of its latest combat planes, such as the Su-34 bomber and Su-35 fighter, to Syria. Russia’s Defense Ministry couldn’t be reached for comment.
China has historically relied on Russian designs, many older and some built domestically under license. That is starting to change with the new projects. The country’s air force “is rapidly closing the gap with Western air forces across a broad spectrum of capabilities,” the Pentagon said this year in its annual assessment of the Chinese military.
China’s J-20, which resembles the U.S. F-22, started flying in 2011, though it hasn’t yet entered military service. A year later, Beijing began flight trials of the FC-31, a look-alike of the U.S. F-35.
China’s Defense Ministry referred to its response in May to the Pentagon’s report when it expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” and accused the U.S. of “improper comment” on issues including China’s weapons development.
The U.S. still maintains an edge—its radar-evading planes are operational, while Russia and China are still developing theirs. But it isn’t just new aircraft raising concerns.
Both China and Russia are also fielding more sophisticated antiaircraft systems. Moscow says its new S-400 can shoot down planes at a range of up to 236 miles, or roughly twice the previous range.
In August, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced the system would be deployed to newly annexed Crimea amid escalating tensions with Ukraine. Moscow is also marketing its new air-defense systems for sale abroad.
China this year deployed its HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system to the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, a chain that is also claimed by Vietnam.
To counter those new threats, the U.S. Air Force, in a recent assessment of combat needs, recommended introducing long-range missiles or other weapons that would allow current planes to strike targets while remaining outside the range of an adversary’s defenses.
It is also already pushing new planes, targeting 2030 for an upgraded model, U.S. Air Force Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle, head of the service’s Air Combat Command, said at an air show in England in July.
The U.S. Navy in May kicked off an 18-month assessment of how to replace its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet multi-role combat jet, with a target date around 2035.



The Pentagon is still defining exactly what it wants in a new plane, but such plane makers as Boeing Co.Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. have all started circulating futuristic drawings of what such a plane might look like. BAE Systems PLC says the company has a small group of engineers brainstorming for the U.K., according toChris Boardman, managing director at a military unit of the British arms maker.
Some U.S. lawmakers and others have urged the Air Force to restart production of the F-22 fighter, which the U.S. stopped building in 2012, with new electronics to more effectively counter improving enemy air defenses.
European defense ministries, including the U.K.’s, have also recently begun to consider new combat aircraft, said Douglas Barrie, military aerospace senior fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. He cited “Russia’s assertiveness in Eastern Europe and its procurement of increasingly capable combat aircraft.”
The U.K. Defense Ministry said it plans a number of technology “maturation” efforts in conjunction with the U.S. and France. It is buying the F-35, but is also pursuing its own efforts, the ministry said.
Germany, too, wants a combat aircraft to replace its aging Tornados, developed with Italy and the U.K., which entered Luftwaffe service 37 years ago.
Berlin is looking at manned and unmanned options, according to a German Defense Ministry report last year. A ministry spokeswoman said the capabilities to be required are still being assessed, along with the future threat picture.
Paris, in addition to working with the U.K. on new concepts, plans to upgrade the Rafale combat plane to keep it effective against evolving threats, a French Defense Ministry spokesman said.


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In an interview with Fox News, Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-TN) said that it was now clear that the State Department itself helped Hillary Clinton break the law and avoid the consequences. Not only did the agency allow Hillary to work from a private server while she was in charge, they did not require her to turn over her records as she was heading out the door.
“She had this arrangement for the entire time she was secretary of state, then she kept them for two years,” Gowdy said Sunday. “It was only because the State Department would not go away, and that’s when it gets interesting.”
Gowdy said that it was now a matter of public record that Clinton aides worked hand in hand with State Department actors and Platte River Networks technicians to hide evidence from Congress.
“The State Department, which is supposed to be apolitical, non-interested in the next presidential election, has been covering for Hillary Clinton since she left office,” said Gowdy.
Most disturbing to the Tennessee representative, however, was the document dump released by the FBI last Friday. In that publication, we learned that the Department of Justice handed out immunity to five of Hillary’s associates, including former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.

“Number one, if you think that there is evidence that is relevant to an investigation on a piece of physical property, you use a subpoena, a grand jury subpoena,” said Gowdy. “You don’t strike an immunity agreement with the computer, you go get the computer. Her lawyer, Beth Wilkinson, who represents Heather Samuelsson and Cheryl Mills, she’s on record of saying ‘the Department of Justice assured me my clients did nothing wrong.’ Well, people who have done nothing wrong typically don’t ask for immunity so my question would be immunity from what? What was it you were worried about?”
Exactly. Five people were given immunity by the DOJ. As Gowdy pointed out, their “crimes,” as it were, could only be the very same crimes the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton for. But if they were crimes and they were committed…uh…where the hell is the Justice Department?
“Someone in the Department of Justice had to decide to pass out these immunity agreements,” Gowdy said. “I have seen the get out of jail free cards, Bret. What I don’t see is the jail. Usually you strike immunity to further a prosecution. There is no prosecution. It’s just five get-out-of-jail-free cards.”
Five cards that ultimately led to a sixth.
The full story of this miscarriage of justice may not be known for years, but even without all the facts, we have a chance to write the final chapter in November. Hopefully, that’s exactly what we’ll do.
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Ever wonder why there are so many Muslims and Muslim countries in the world? Over the millennia many countries were conquered, but didn't remain Persian or Greek or Roman as the case may be. You see, the countries conquered in the name of Islam, became and remained Islamic. For example Pakistan, part of India, and Malaysia both were Hindu; Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and N. Africa were Christian; Afghanistan was Buddhist. They are all Islamic now.
This transformation was not by chance but by design. All these countries were conquered by force then shorn of their wealth and many of their women. Then the Muslim conquerors introduced Sharia and continued fighting the local inhabitants. The inhabitants were either forced to convert or accorded Dhimmi status. As time went on all cultures submitted and eventually became Islamic.
The advance of Islam was finally reversed in Spain and stopped at the Gates of Vienna in 1642. Thereafter the power of Islam went into decline but other than Spain, it never lost its hold on the people it conquered.  This decline was reversed in the Twentieth Century when Arabs became wealthy as a result of their vast oil reserves. This wealth was then deployed to conquer the west, not by Violent Jihad, but by Stealth Jihad.
This design was referred to as The Islamic Doctrine. It consists of Koran (14%) which stipulates that “there is no god but ALLAH and Mohammed is his messenger”, Sira, Mohammed’s biography (26%) and Hadiths, traditions, (60%). There are two different Korans combined into one, the Mecca Koran and the Medina Koran.
Dr. Moorthy Muthuswamy writes,
About sixty-one percent of the contents of the Koran are found to speak ill of the unbelievers or call for their violent conquest; at best only 2.6 percent of the verses of the Koran are noted to show goodwill toward humanity. About seventy-five percent of Muhammad’s biography (Sira) consists of jihad waged on unbelievers.
Mohammed started as a religious preacher in Mecca. It was during this period that the Koran 2:256 stipulated. “There is no compulsion in religion” and 109:1 stipulated “You have your religion I have mine.” Ultimately he was chased out of Mecca and migrated with his followers to Medina.
Then began the Jihad period.  From then on people were forced to convert under pain of death or were forced to live as Dhimmis (second class citizens) and pay (Jizya) for the privilege of living there.  
This Jihad continued until there was no more discord.
Koran 2:193. “Fight them (Kafirs) until there is no more discord and the religion of Allah reigns absolute but if they submit, then only fight those who do wrong.”
Thus it continues until everyone in the territory has submitted to Islam, accepts Dhimmi status and pays Jizya.
Quotes from the Qur'an and Hadith on war, violence, infidels, and unbelievers may be found here. For example:
Ayhat 8:12, “I shall cast terror into the hearts of those who are bent on denying the truth; strike, then, their necks, [O believers,] and strike off every one of their finger-tips!"
Sura 9:5,29,41. “Slay the idolators [non-Muslims] wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the last Day…. Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! “
This inconsistency in the Koran is resolved by the doctrine of abrogation, wherein the Medina principles abrogate the Mecca principles.
Migration intends to overtake the host country through this doctrine. It is driven by Islam’s proscription against assimilation, and its will to dominate.
51% of the Koran concerns itself with the Kafir. It is a political doctrine not a religious one. There is no golden rule. Kafirs are to be subjugated. Muslims are to dominate.
Dr Bill Warner summarizes this as follows:
Migration is part of the doctrine of jihad. Migration is so important that the Islamic calendar is based upon the Hijra, Mohammed’s migration from Mecca to Medina. Why? Because it was migration that lead to the creation of jihad in Medina. And it was jihad that made Islam triumphant.
In the past Muslims tended to stay in Islamic countries. Today, the new politics is to migrate to Kafir lands and immerse themselves in local politics. This is the jihad of money, writing and speech. Their politics is to bring the Sharia to Kafir culture. An example is using Islamic money is to build departments in universities that will support Sharia and never criticize Islam.
To understand how they do it, read 4 Stages of Islamic Conquest.
Unfortunately this migration is encouraged by globalist leaders such as Chancellor Merkel and President Obama. And of course, Hillary Clinton aspires to be one of them.
Professor Belhaj explains elites “encourage migration and accommodate Islam”, and described the harmony between Muslim migrants and neoliberalism as “structural, and not accidental”.  “Migration is useful for the neo-liberal model of the borderless, minimal, global society…”
The Muslim Brotherhood met in 1991 and produced a document which set out its strategic goals for North America. The document was entered as evidence in the 2008 Holyland Terror Funding Trial. It contained among other things, the following paragraphs:
Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.
...the Movement must plan and struggle to obtain "the keys" and the tools of this process in carry out [sic] this grand mission as a 'Civilization Jihadist' responsibility.
The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…
[W]e must possess a mastery of the art of “coalitions,” the art of “absorption” and the principles of “cooperation.”
Pres Obama and Secretary Clinton, upon taking office, embraced the Muslim Brotherhood and worked with them to depose Mubarak and Assad. Luckily General al Sisi reversed their victory in Egypt and Assad, with the help of Iran and Russia, thwarted their plans in Syria.

In “Why is Obama in Bed with the Muslim Brotherhood?” I wrote “The alliance between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood is the cornerstone of Obama’s New Middle East policy.”

Capt. Joseph R. John, USN (Ret), the Chairman of Combat Veterans for Congress PAC, wrote in June 2016:
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, and MPAC have sinister goals that are not in support of the US Constitution or The Bill of Rights.  They have become a very dangerous “Fifth Column” in the United States, appointed by Obama to very high and sensitive positions in the US Government agencies. 
For nearly 8 years Obama has been filling the Washington bureaucracy including DHS, the CIA, DOD, the National Security Council, the White House, the State Department, every US Intelligence Agency, and the US Armed Forces with thousands of members of the CAIR, MPAC, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Muslim Brotherhood front groups.
In June of this year Donald Trump recognized the danger of Muslim migration and said, “This could be the all-time great Trojan horse.” And so it is but the US elites refuse to recognize it.
On August 15/16 he gave a speech on immigration and terrorism in which he clarified;
A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people.

In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.

In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law.

Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.
So you can see, rather that limiting his policy to weeding out terrorists, he advocates weeding out Jihadists who want to subjugate America to Islam. This is not racism. It is common sense.

Trump has been stressing that Hillary Clinton wants to let in 550% more refugees than the 10,000 Obama let in. In response I wrote “Don’t be duped about Muslim migration to the US”  in which I pointed out that the problem is much bigger and that no distinction should be made between refugees and immigrants.

According to a report highlighted by Megyn Kelly,
According to the Report, Obama has issued over 832,000 green cards to Muslim majority countries in his first 6 years of his presidency. In addition, 482,000 Muslims overstayed their visas and are not being sent back. These Muslims support Sharia  to an astonishing degree. In Afghanistan 99%, in Iraq 91% and in Pakistan 70%. When in the US 70% vote Democrat.
And now Obama is intending to allow in another 1 million Muslims.
Jewish Americans are very supportive of allowing such numbers into the US. They argue either we have a duty to do so or that Jews should be more welcoming given the history of America banning Jewish immigration in the thirties and forties. But this analogy doesn’t hold up at all. Jews were no threat to Americans personally and to their values, whereas the Muslims are both. Furthermore Muslims are very anti-Semitic and very anti-Israel. The Muslims have many other countries they could go to. The Jews had no other country willing to take them in.  Jews are, in effect, welcoming their enemies into the country.
As for a duty to allow Muslim immigration or any immigration, there is none.
We need Donald Trump.
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5)


THE REAL MIDDLE EAST STORY

By WALTER RUSSELL MEAD
Precisely because he has a colder view of international affairs than Obama, Netanyahu’s leadership has made Israel stronger than ever.
Peter Baker notices something important in his dispatch this morning: at this year’s UNGA, the Israel/Palestine issue is no longer the center of attention. From The New York Times:
They took the stage, one after the other, two aging actors in a long-running drama that has begun to lose its audience. As the Israeli and Palestinian leaders recited their lines in the grand hall of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, many in the orchestra seats recognized the script.
“Heinous crimes,” charged Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. “Historic catastrophe.”
“Fanaticism,” countered Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. “Inhumanity.”
Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu have been at this for so long that between them they have addressed the world body 19 times, every year cajoling, lecturing, warning and guilt-tripping the international community into seeing their side of the bloody struggle between their two peoples. Their speeches are filled with grievance and bristling with resentment, as they summon the ghosts of history from hundreds and even thousands of years ago to make their case.
While each year finds some new twist, often nuanced, sometimes incendiary, the argument has been running long enough that the world has begun to move on. Where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once dominated the annual meeting of the United Nations, this year it has become a side show as Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas compete for attention against seemingly more urgent crises like the civil war in Syria and the threat from the Islamic State.
Baker (and presumably many of his readers) don’t go on to the next, obvious question: What does this tell us about the relative success or failure of the leaders involved? The piece presents both Netanyahu and Abbas as irrelevant. They used to command the world stage, but now nobody is interested in their interminable quarrel.
What the piece doesn’t say is that this situation is exactly what Israel wants, and is a terrible defeat for the Palestinians. Abbas is the one whose strategy depends on keeping the Palestinian issue front and center in world politics; Bibi wants the issue to fade quietly away. What we saw at the UN this week is that however much Abbas and the Palestinians’ many sympathizers might protest, events are moving in Bibi’s direction.
There is perhaps only one thing harder for the American mind to process than the fact that President Obama has been a terrible foreign policy president, and that is that Bibi Netanyahu is an extraordinarily successful Israeli Prime Minister. In Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, Israel’s diplomacy is moving from strength to strength. Virtually every Arab and Middle Eastern leader thinks that Bibi is smarter and stronger than President Obama, and as American prestige across the Middle East has waned under Obama, Israel’s prestige — even among people who hate it — has grown. Bibi’s reset with Russia, unlike Obama’s, actually worked. His pivot to Asia has been more successful than Obama’s. He has had far more success building bridges to Sunni Muslims than President Obama, and both Russia and Iran take Bibi and his red lines much more seriously than they take Obama’s expostulations and pious hopes.
The reason that Bibi has been more successful than Obama is that Bibi understands how the world works better than Obama does. Bibi believes that in the harsh world of international politics, power wisely used matters more than good intentions eloquently phrased. Obama sought to build bridges to Sunni Muslims by making eloquent speeches in Cairo and Istanbul while ignoring the power political realities that Sunni states cared most about — like the rise of Iran and the Sunni cause in Syria. Bibi read the Sunnis more clearly than Obama did; the value of Israeli power to a Sunni world worried about Iran has led to something close to a revolution in Israel’s regional position. Again, Obama thought that reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood (including its Palestinian affiliate, Hamas) would help American diplomacy and Middle Eastern democracy. Bibi understood that Sunni states like Egypt and its Saudi allies wanted Hamas crushed. Thus, as Obama tried to end the Gaza war on terms acceptable to Hamas and its allies, Bibi enjoyed the backing of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia in a successful effort to block Obama’s efforts. Israel’s neighbors may not like Bibi, but they believe they can count on him. They may think Obama has some beautiful ideas that he cares deeply about, but they think he’s erratic, unreliable, and doesn’t understand either them or their concerns.
Obama is an aspiring realist who wanted to work with undemocratic leaders on practical agreements. But Obama, despite the immense power of the country he leads, has been unable to gain the necessary respect from leaders like Putin and Xi that would permit the pragmatic relationships he wanted to build. Bibi is a practicing realist who has succeeded where Obama failed. Bibi has a practical relationship with Putin; they work together where their interests permit and where their interests clash, Putin respects Bibi’s red lines. Obama’s pivot to Asia brought the US closer to India and Japan, but has opened a deep and dangerous divide with China. Under Bibi’s leadership, Israel has stronger, deeper relationships with India, China and Japan than at any time in the past, and Asia may well replace Europe as Israel’s primary trade and investment partners as these relationships develop.
The marginalization of Abbas at the UN doesn’t just reflect the world’s preoccupation with bigger crises in the neighborhood. It reflects a global perception that a) the Sunni Arab states overall are less powerful than they used to be and that b) partly as a result of their deteriorating situation, the Sunni Arab states care less about the Palestinian issue than they used to. This is why African countries that used to shun Israel as a result of Arab pressure are now happy to engage with Israel on a variety of economic and defense issues. India used to avoid Israel in part out of fear that its own Kashmir problem would be ‘Palestinianized’ into a major problem with its Arab neighbors and the third world. Even Japan and China were cautious about embracing Israel too publicly given the power of the Arab world and its importance both in the world of energy markets and in the nonaligned movement. No longer.
Inevitably, all these developments undercut the salience of the Palestinian issue for world politics and even for Arab politics and they strengthen Israel’s position in the region and beyond. Obama has never really grasped this; Netanyahu has based his strategy on it. Ironically, much of the decline in Arab power is due to developments in the United States. Fracking has changed OPEC’s dynamics, and Obama’s tilt toward Iran has accelerated the crisis of Sunni Arab power. Netanyahu understands the impact of Obama’s country and Obama’s policy on the Middle East better than Obama does. Bibi, like a number of other leaders around the world, has been able to make significant international gains by exploiting the gaps in President Obama’s understanding of the world and in analyzing ways to profit from the unintended consequences and side effects of Obama policies that didn’t work out as Obama hoped.
Bibi’s successes will not and cannot make Israel’s problems and challenges go away. And finding a workable solution to the Palestinian question remains something that Israel cannot ignore on both practical and moral grounds. But Israel is in a stronger global position today than it was when Bibi took office; nobody can say that with a straight face about the nation that President Obama leads. When and if American liberals understand the causes both of Bibi’s successes and of Obama’s setbacks, then perhaps a new and smarter era of American foreign policy debate can begin.
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