Obama Diminishes Trust of Allies and Increases Confidence of Enemies

I’m republishing this piece that was written on October 2011.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Barack Obama has been elected as president of the most powerful nation in the world that since the end of the Second World War has been the bulwark of freedom against its infernal enemies, i.e., the former Soviet Union and its allies. In the twentieth-first century Western civilization is threatened by a new implacable and irreconcilable enemy, fanatical Islam; and the USA is the only nation in the world that can defeat this foe. But president Obama has already failed both tests of “knowing thy enemy,” and as a sagacious strong respectful leader. He has weakened America both before the eyes of its friends and allies and, most dangerously, its enemies.

The nations of Eastern Europe are rapidly losing their trust toward the US that the latter will protect and defend their interests and security, since Obama’s withdrawal of the missile defence shield from Poland and Czechoslovakia and his concessions to the Russians. And the enemies of America, such as Iran and its multiple terrorist proxies are heartened and have increased their confidence that in Obama they have before them a giant eunuch who is incapable and unwilling to use force, even as a last resort, against them. Since Obama has replaced America’s superpower ‘Jupiterian’ bolt diplomacy with olive branches toward them.

The “dangerous scenarios,” of which you are concerned with, are already in their incubatory stage: a nuclear armed Iran that would start a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region with all the great dangers that would issue from such proliferation, especially in a region that is replete with the votaries of fanatical Islam. Thus to your question what kind of advice one would give to Obama in such an impending crisis, it would be the most heavily ‘armed advice’ that would fall on his shoulders. But Obama has neither the spine nor the balls to carry such heavy advice on his morally rickety frame, and least of all bring it to fruition as a last resort. Thus any strong advice given to a congenitally weak president would be a barren exercise.

President Obama Appeaser of Radical Islam

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Barack Obama was, is, and will remain an appeaser of radical Islam, as it is a constituent part of his weak character and more dangerously of his effete leadership. Like a fearful child he avoids his fears by hiding his face under the bed-sheets. This is clearly illustrated by his fudging of the word “jihadist” with its inherent fanatical murderous action –which he fears to admit– by changing it to the less fearsome one of “workplace violence,” his description of the Fort Hood massacre, whose jihadist perpetrator Dr Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death today. It is by such changes and meaningless laughable words within the scenario of terrorism that the commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation purports to fight the existential threat that radical Islam poses to Western civilization. A black comedy ham is the occupier of the White House.

Reply to American that to Miss Opportunity for Rapprochement with Iran will Have Big Consequences

By Con George-Kotzabasis

It will have even bigger consequences if it succeeds by wishful thinking.  Rapprochement in itself is meaningless unless there is clear and unambiguous understanding and agreement between the parties about the conditions of such rapprochement. It would be a mistake to deduce from the rhetorically conciliatory statements of President Rouhani that Iran has abandoned its desire to acquire nuclear weapons. And to differentiate himself from the holocaustian statements of his predecessor, Ahmadinejad, is hardly an indication that the new regime is repudiating its clandestine goal to develop a nuclear weapon. Only if Rouhani allows open and rigorous inspections in all areas of Iran where Western intelligence cogently suspects the secret development of a nuclear weapon will the experts be convinced that Iran has changed tack in regard to its nuclear arsenal.

It is more probable, because Rouhani perceives a weak president in the United States, he will be exploiting that weakness to achieve Iran’s historic and Islamic aim to enter the nuclear club by persuading Obama about the peaceful purpose of Iran’s nuclear build-up. Rouhani is aware that Obama needs and desires a suspension of tensions so he will have the excuse to take all options off the table and thus as an incompetent and effete president tranquilize himself by false hopes. And Rouhani and his advisors know, that this détente can be achieved on promissory notes that will never be cashed. Thus by providing Obama the confidence that he can come to a reasonable agreement with Iran, Rouhani achieves two diplomatic goals. (1) He defers USA action from resolving speedily and decisively the issue of nuclear weapons by creating the euphoria that this matter can be resolved by prolonged negotiations, a dilatoriness that Obama is most happy to accept as he desires to push the hard options, if they are needed, in the future ahead with the hope that they will never be used, and which also suits Rouhani perfectly as it will give Iran more time to achieve its strategic goal to build the bomb. And (2) weakening Israel’s resolve to unilaterally attack Iran’s nuclear installations, if other Western states are found to be wanting in stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear armaments, by isolating Israel from its major ally, the USA, and from other Western nations, and thus making it more difficult for Israel to strike.

It is for this reason that Clemons should be more restrained in his optimism of the opportunity of reaching a rapprochement with Iran when a more sinister and malign opportunity could be hidden behind the apparently benign talk of Rouhani.

Senator Schumer Lambasts Obama’s Stupid and Inconsistent Diplomacy

In view of Obama’s variable inconsistencies in the Syrian Crisis declaring on the one hand that he would be attacking Syria for breaking his “red line,” for using chemical weapons against its own people, and, on the other, dithering and postponing this attack until its authorization by Congress, I’m republishing the following article that was written three years ago for the readers of this blog.  

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Would Edward Luce and Daniel Dombey, and by implication Steve Clemons, expect Robert Gibbs, the Press Secretary, to say that Barack Obama agrees “with what Senator Schumer said? It is astonishing to see Clemons diverting the issue of the total freeze of settlements, which Schumer correctly criticized as a grave error on the part of Obama contra Israel, to what Schumer’s stand was to Jesse Helms and to John Bolton “few years ago.”

Clemons is entitled to his opinions but he is not entitled to his facts. The facts are that the foolish imposition of the total freeze of settlements on the Netanyahu government by the Obama administration’s lack of foresight that it would be politically unrealizable for Israel and that it would evolve and become for the Palestinians, as it did, a rigid condition for their participation with any talks with Israel, was the major factor that derailed Obama’s engine of diplomacy from its track that would bring the two belligerents to the negotiating table. It was precisely this quintessentially wrong and injudicious policy of Obama that Senator Schumer rightly criticized as being the reason of the administration’s abysmal failure in the Middle East. Another fact is that Obama’s diplomacy is inconsistent, rewarding his enemies and penalizing his friends. While he claims that his diplomacy is indiscriminate and is based on soft and smart power coming on doves’ feet and extends his hand in a velvet glove to the enemies of America, he carries a bludgeon in his hand in his relations with his strongest and most loyal ally, in this case Israel.

Throughout history there has never been a case when a nation engaged in war with implacable enemies would chastise and alienate its most steadfast and reliable ally for the purpose to placate its enemies. Obama will go down in history as the only leader who not only doltishly and doggedly opened the door of diplomacy to an enemy such as Iran which has been training in its own country members of the Taliban and supplying them with weapons–as well as its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah–to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, but who was also willing to sacrifice the vital interests of his most staunch ally against Islamist terror, Israel, on the altar of this spineless, strategically unprincipled, and totally fallible diplomacy.

The above emitted the two following responses:

Posted by Dan KervickApr 27 2010, 6:54AM – Link

Kotzabasis, WigWag seemed to be wondering a few days ago why those posts in which you make a serious, debatable point are ignored. But can there be any doubt why people habitually turn you off, when so many of your posts consist in cowardly, third-person personal characterizations of other contributors, lamely shouted out to no one in particular?

 

Posted by WigWag, Apr 27 2010, 9:45AM – Link

Actually why the interesting point Kotz made is never debated is rather plain. His point was an astute one, but as I am sure Kotz would be the first to admit, it was hardly an original one. Kotz was making precisely the same point Schumer was; that by offering to conduct their negotiations for them, the Obama Administration provides an incentive for the Palestinians not to negotiate at all. Kotz, Schumer and many other sage observers have also made the point that by making demands on Israel that Obama knew, or should have known, that it wouldn’t comply with, it was Obama himself who was making his stated goal of getting negotiations started much more difficult.

Steve Clemons in his diatribe against Schumer never responded to this point and Dan Kervick hasn’t either. Neither has any other serious commentator as far as I can tell.

It seems to me that the lack of response to the Schumer/Kotz allegation is evidence of the fact that the point is irrefutable.

If it’s not, someone should give it a try.

Obama’s Limits of Imagination Transformed into Limits of Power

I’m republishing this short piece that illustrates the diplomatic scarcity in international relations that is the inexorable feature of the Obama administration.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Steve Clemons and Ben Katcher are using the ‘shamanistic’ art, the art of a conjurer, to turn the limits of imagination into “the limits of American power.” The “aborted attempt” of the Obama administration to “persuade the Israelis to enact a “settlement freeze”, has nothing to do with US power limits but with lack of imagination and political insight on the part of Obama and the State Department not to foresee the political implausibility of trying to impose such a doltish demand on the Netanyahu government. It’s a dismal failure of policy and not a limit of American power as Clemons and Levy in their conjurers’ role aver.

As for Daniel Levy’s ”asymmetries of power,” WigWag’s post is instructive and unassailable in its historical logic. All defeated nations in wars were due to asymmetries of power.

Iron Ladies Never Die they Just Continue to Show the Way

By Con George-Kotzabasis—January 9, 2012

In a hostile world only the strong have the right to indulge in hope. Thucydides

Ah, that memorable, fascinating, admirable, and politically insightful and intrepid subject, Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, that challenges almost all of contemporaneous political leadership that is scrambling on all its fours–with some notable exceptions such as Lee Kuan Yu, of Singapore and Antonis Samaras, of Greece–from Obama to Zapatero to Merkel and Sarkozy, who  instead of standing on the shoulders of political giants, like Thatcher, to command events, they have been overwhelmed and overcome by them.

The characteristic spending profligacy of Labour socialist governments over a number of years, and the excessive borrowing and inflation that resulted by the latter’s policies that brought the UK into economic stagnation gave Margaret Thatcher the opportunity to win the election in 1979 with a sizable majority. Her victory would bring not only the transformation of British politics but would also spawn, with a small astute coterie of others, the seeds of a profound change on the political landscape of the world. Further, by re-introducing forcefully the idea of privatization as a dynamic concept among the economic detritus left by Labour’s deficit-laden nationalization of industries, she would place the country on the trajectory of economic efficiency and generation of wealth for the benefit of all Britons.  To open markets to the world she abolished all exchange controls on foreign currency five months after coming to power. The UK from being the poorest of the four major European economies in 1979 became by the end of ten years under Thatcher’s stewardship the richest among them. In a series of economic policies packaged by Milton Friedman’s and Frederick Hayek’s monetarist theories, Britain’s GDP grew by 23.3% during this period outpacing that of Germany, France, and Italy.

However, to accomplish the latter goal, she would have to confront the power of unions decisively, which, in a ceaseless campaign of strikes and imprudent and irrational demands were ruining the British economy. In 1979, at the apex of union power, Britain had lost 29.5 million working days to strikes, whereas at its nadir, under the robust stand of Thatcher and her strong blows against it that led to the defeat of unions, in 1986, the figure of lost working days was 1.9 million. The Moscow trained communist Arthur Scargill, secretary of the Mining Unions, had unleashed in 1984-85 a myriad of strikes with the aim to obstruct the Thatcherite pro-market reforms that would put Britain on the roller skates of economic prosperity. By the end of that year that shook the foundations of British industry and broke the morale of some of her Cabinet members–that prompted Thatcher in a memorable quip to say to them, “You turn if you want to. The lady is not for turning.”—the red flag became a trophy alongside the Argentinian flag in her collection of victories, as Arthur Scargill conceded his defeat.

In international affairs she questioned Kissinger’s policy of détente toward the Soviet Union as she believed strongly that Communism should not be accommodated but overcome. For this implacable stand the Soviet Army’s newspaper Red Star christened her the “Iron Lady.” Together with President Reagan, she planted the diplomatic dynamite under the foundations of the Soviet empire that would eventually bring the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Lenin’s benign Marxist dream that had turned back to its true nature as a nightmare of Gulags and Killing Fields.

Thatcher in the 1980’s fiercely opposed the European economic and monetary integration. To her the European construction was “infused with the spirit of yesterday’s future.” In the kernel of this construction laid the central “intellectual mistake” of assuming that “the model for future government was that of a centralized bureaucracy.” And she was prophetic to the current events and crisis of Europe when she argued that German taxpayers would provide “ever greater subsidies for failed regions of foreign countries,” while condemning south European countries to debilitating dependency on handouts from German taxpayers.” She concluded, “The day of the artificially constructed mega-state is gone.”

However, no statesmanship is without its warts. In 1986 prohibition of proprietary trading went out; the separation between commercial and investment banks was abrogated; and ‘casino banking’ took off, which without these changes would not have happened. Her critics accused her of promoting greed which she personally abhorred. Also, the introduction of the poll tax on adult residents was most unpopular among Britons and sparked the Poll Tax Riots on March 31, 1990, that instigated an internal coup against her that ousted her from her premiership.

Margaret Thatcher entered number 10 Downing Street with her strong character and astute political perceptiveness with panache that destined her, like all great statesmen, to “walk beneath heaven as if she was placed above it,” to quote the seventeenth-century French political philosopher, Gabriel Naude. She will enter the ‘gate of heaven’ not as the frail distracted old woman, as she was depicted in the film made by Phillida Lloyd, but as the iron lady who will never die and continue to show the way.

I rest on my oars: your turn now…              

 

Obama’s Angelic Doctrine Disarms Evil Enemies

I’m republishing the following piece for the readers of this new blog.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Reply to: The Mellow Doctrine by Roger Cohen

global.nytimes.com May 03, 2009

 

Roger Cohen riding his high horse as a columnist of The New York Times trots a ‘neighing’ argument that throws the rider on the paddock. He claims and infers that the new policies of President Obama in foreign affairs, which he frames in his term of The Mellow Doctrine, are holistic remedies for the wanton malicious inflicted maladies that the Bush-Cheney administration had placed upon the body politic of America that had alienated it in the minds and hearts of so many people in the world.

These policies now are spreading and reverberating across Latin America, Europe, and Asia Minor and are creating an echoing melodious sound of Europeans, Turks and Latinos–with only a slight discordant hoarse bass note coming through the nostrils of an old dog, Fidel Castro, who can smell in Obama another imperialist rat. In Strasbourg the French and Germans loved to hear the President expostulating on the new fully cooperative conduct of the U.S. with its major allies, the French seeing him as an exemplar of their own past mission civilisatrice in the sphere of diplomacy, and the Germans as a second Ich bin ein Berliner, after John F. Kennedy. In Prague, the multi-cultured Czechs were delighted to hear him say that he was “committing the United States to a world without nuclear weapons,” and his outpouring of a profusion of mea culpa of America’s past misdeeds and the arrogance of imperial powers and its leaders, who like Roosevelt and Churchill would determine the fate of peoples “sitting in the room with a brandy.” In Turkey, the most modern of Muslim nations thanks to its insightful great Soldier-Statesman Kemal Ataturk, the Turks were regaled to see Obama parading before them his own partial Muslim origins and hear him say that Muslims had been treated with “insufficient respect” in the past. And in Trinidad and Tobago, where the Fifth Summit of the Americas was held, Obama enraptured the Latinos to such a degree that even the spirited anti-American warriors Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez were won over, the latter being moved so much so that he gave as a gift to Obama a book on American imperialism and the latter reciprocating to Hugo’s generous gesture by giving him a warm handshake and a friendly touch on the shoulder.

To Cohen, all the above related events are a clear sign that “Foes…have been disarmed by Barack Obama’s no-drama diplomacy.” Obama’s “mellow doctrine…finding strength through unconventional means: acknowledgement of the limits of American power; frankness about U.S. failings; careful listening; fear reduction; adroit deployment of the wide appeal of brand Barack Hussein Obama; and jujitsu engagement.” If the above quotes are not a perfect illustration that Obama made a confession of American weakness before the ‘priesthood’ of his ‘Catholic’ enemies, then one will ever search in vain for  a definition of weakness in any dictionary. And to bring jujitsu in this bout of weakness as a saving line is like offering someone who already lies unconscious on the floor from the blows of his opponent the Japanese art of training the mind and body in unarmed combat. In this context for Cohen to mock Dick Cheney for saying that America’s enemies perceive “a weak president,” is to brand himself with his own mockery.

This confession of weakness is the ‘Eighteenth of Brumaire of Barack Hussein Obama,’ to paraphrase Karl Marx on Louis Bonaparte, an intellectual coup d’état by   the constitutional lawyer against the constitution of the political wisdom of the ages in whose preamble imprescriptibly is written that to show and admit weakness before one’s enemies is the cardinal unforgiveable political sin. As in any human contest only when a party is weakened is prepared to make concessions whereas the strong seek and drive home their victory. This applies more so to fanatically religious enemies who have an ineradicable tendency to see, due to their irrational cogitations, any conciliatory initiative of their opponents as an admission of weakness.

But the intellectual fragility of Cohen’s argument is exposed by his use of the weakest enemies of America, that is, the Castro brothers and Hugo Chavez, and surprisingly Turkey, which has not been an enemy of the U.S., to drive home the success of the conciliatory attitude of President Obama. In the case of Turkey, he claims that at the NATO meeting the Turks dropped their opposition to the nomination of Denmark’s Anders Rasmussen as the alliance’s secretary general because of “Obama’s conciliatory message to Muslims.” In contrast, the previous administration by “humiliating Muslims” filled the schools of Waziristan and Ramadi with recruits for future terror. When one asks whence this humiliation of Muslims started the unutterable answer of Cohen must be since 9/11. The undeniably harsh but necessary measures that the Bush administration took against Muslim terrorists to protect its citizens from, at the time, imponderable future attacks, were in the eyes of Cohen measures that “humiliated Muslims.” Just as well columnists of this sort are ‘unsheathing’ their pens to write their columns instead of unsheathing their paper swords to protect Americans.  

Most of all Cohen is apparently very fond of the following by President Obama. “Resistance” to set of U.S. policies “may turn out to be based on old preconceptions or ideological dogmas” of the previous administration, and “when they are cleared away …we can actually solve a problem.” So President Obama with a broom in his hand once he sweeps this ideological debris of the Bush administration he will be able to start solving the innumerable problems that America is facing. But the fact is that the United States is not countenancing these problems because of “old preconceptions or ideological dogmas,” but because of its status as the sole superpower is inevitably burdened to carry like Atlas all the world’s crises and hot spots on its back and to set up actions that are not always agreeable by the rest of the world that would have a chance to resolve these crises. And inevitably because of the multiple actions it has to take in so many complex parts of the world it cannot jump over the shadow of fallibility. The alternative, to restrict its engagement with the rest of the world because of its immense risks and possible errors of judgment, is not the raison d’être of great power. Moreover, a disengagement from the hot spots of the world would allow sinister and brutal fanatical leaders to take over countries and oppress their peoples as well as endanger the stability of the world.

The political naivety and immaturity of President Obama is encapsulated in his own terms in regard to Iran: Normal relations can be restored on the “mutual respect” of opponents. This would be forsooth the reality if your opponent considered you to be negotiating from a strong position. It would not be true if his estimate was that his opponent was negotiating from a weak position contra his own strong position. The strong can be at times kind, gracious, and helpful toward the weak but never have any respect for the weak. This is more so in the hard realm of geopolitics. The Iranian theocracy will see any diplomatic initiatives by the United States as an admittance of political feebleness by the latter and will exploit this to their advantage. And by the time when President Obama will become aware of this the Iranians will be already close to the entrance of the nuclear club. No angelic or mellow doctrine of Obama will disarm America’s implacable irreconcilable foes. Only the thunder, and as last resort the bolt of Jupiter, can defeat these deadly enemies.  

Hic Rhodus hic Salta