Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How To Lose Friends and Allies, Part 14,356

Jim Geraghty, writing today:

We're Playing Hardball with the Wrong Middle Eastern Country Starting With 'I'

Haaretz: "Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has told the country's diplomats there that U.S.-Israeli relations face their worst crisis in 35 years." Apparently, we've given the Israelis a bunch of demands.

Hey, I have a tough time believing the Israelis just happened to announce a bunch of new settlements the moment the vice president stepped away from the luggage carousel. But it's not like their diplomatic high-inside fastball wasn't predictable when our government started crowding the plate with an official stance that the Palestinians would be normal, happy, well-adjusted pacifists if it weren't for a couple of new condo projects. We've got beleaguered descendents of Holocaust survivors who have been hearing "we will push you to the sea" for 50 years on one side, and on the other, a culture that has adopted as its national pastime making mentally challenged children wear suicide belts. Yet every president -- okay, not all of them, just the Democratic ones -- seems to think that sending enough retired senators and special envoys over there will garner them a treaty ceremony on the White House lawn and a couple (more) Nobels. Why is everyone reacting as if this diplomatic train wreck wasn't predictable? Obama and Netanyahu don't see eye-to-eye on almost anything; that'll strain the strongest alliance.

...These days we're no better friend to our enemies and no tougher foe to our allies.

Whoever succeeds President Obama, I hope he/she/it has some real foreign policy savvy. Between annoying Britain and Israel, mishandling Japan, and ignoring Canada and Australia, they will spend most of their Presidency trying to repair key relationships.

P.S. If you are not regularly reading and subscribing to Jim Geraghty, how can you call yourself a political junkie with any measure of credibility?