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Obama’s double talk (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) Dr. Haim Shine 03/28/12)Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=1642 Israel Hayom Israel Hayom Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
There is an old Hebrew proverb that “walls have ears.” This saying is a warning to people to speak carefully – you never know who is listening, even in private discussions.

U.S. President Barack Obama learned this simple and obvious lesson more than once. The first time was last November, when he exchanged unflattering remarks about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and they were embarrassingly caught on tape and widely reported. The second time was two days ago at a nuclear security summit in South Korea when an open microphone picked up a private conversation between Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that was later broadcast around the world.

I would smile about these mishaps and attribute them to Obama’s disregard for open microphones if the remarks he made had not been so alarming. What he said was serious, and should concern anyone who cares about the world. The credibility of the U.S. president is a strategic weapon in the global battle against the forces of evil, which, for some reason, get support from China and Russia.

The topic of conversation between Obama and Medvedev was the planned deployment of an American missile shield on European soil – a plan initiated by former U.S. President George W. Bush. Russia obviously objected to the plan and vowed retaliatory measures. Obama, without realizing that the conversation was being recorded, asked Medvedev not to pressure him on this issue until after the upcoming election, when he would have more “flexibility” – or, in other words, have the freedom to ax this plan, which is considered a first line of defense in the event of a missile attack on the West.

The conclusion reached from this exchange is harsh and frightening. Basic security decisions are being dictated by election concerns. Or, more accurately, the U.S. is speaking with two different voices. One American voice targets its constituents at home and another, different voice speaks to foreign audiences. How can the U.S.’s allies take American promises seriously when they are affected by political campaign dictates?

This double message also affects the Middle East. The issue that troubles Israel most, and justifiably, is the nuclearization of Iran. It is a palpable and existential threat for the state of Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has gone to great lengths to convince the world to confront the Iranian nuclear issue. In light of a U.S. promise to spearhead diplomatic and economic efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program, Israel agreed to hold off on a military strike, even though a delay could make a future strike more difficult. Israel, like others, hopes that sanctions will prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. But its leaders have been operating on the assumption that if sanctions fail, the U.S. would follow through with its promise that "all options are on the table."

Considering Obama’s recent behavior, I wonder whether his aggressive declarations on Iran are perhaps nothing more than campaign promises aimed at regaining the Jewish vote that he lost due to his policies toward Israel. Will he renege on his promises on Iran after the election, knowing that he can’t run for another term?

When the president of the U.S. reveals that there is a gap between what he thinks and what he says in the lead-up to elections, any freedom-seeking person should be concerned.


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