miércoles, 7 de abril de 2010

Brave new world

For some time, during these days when the US government has been drifting apart from Israel (not just Israel's government), its acquired obligations and its national interests, I kept in my heart of hearts the hope that all this would just be the necessary posturing required by the Arab leaders in order to prepare for an attack on Iran. I guess, not being an expert, sometimes international politics are that complicated, subtle and Byzantine, in particular when dealing with the Arab world(s).

Now I reached the conclusion that was all wishful thinking. And I was reflecting that the same let down must have been felt by Netanyahu and Barak when they realized that no matter how many concessions they made, they would never be enough, the last one being rapidly forgotten and substituted with the new demand. All that to cover up, to distract from the ultimate truth: the present US government does not have the guts, the spine, the set of core beliefs required to support a tactical attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, not even for a stand off with the mullahs (and the Chinese, and maybe the Russians), not even the will required to impose crippling sanctions on the repressive Islamist regime.

It must have been shocking to see France taking the courageous lead to stop the barbarians while a lame US talked the talk but did not walk the walk. The bluff was obviously caught by the Iranians and its allies and, at this point, every new threat by Mrs. Clinton feels more and more like pathetic, empty bravado, all barking no biting.

I think it is misleading to identify anti-Israelism, much less anti-Semitism, at the center of this entire tectonic shift in US Middle East policy. True that, deep inside, they agree with Iran's argument that Israel cannot demand non-proliferation from others when they are a nuclear power. But the point is ideological. The Obama administration lacks a set of beliefs based on moral imperatives that separate good from evil, better from worse. It is all relative, exchangeable. It is about the image, not the product. What we see, what we should have all seen, is the result of the emergence of the postmodern left, the transplant of a model of all form no substance, politics as a marketing product that we know so well in Europe but feels so alien when applied to America's foreign policy making.

In such a world we understand better Obama's speech in Cairo. This is a world of smokescreens and kaleidoscopic deceit, because reality is not important. Who cares if Netanyahu froze settlements in the West Bank?. Has he realized now that for the Obama administration Jerusalem constructions are not an issue they care about, but a handy casus belli to feed the public opinion with?...

Maybe that is it. Netanyahu and Barak realized ahead of everybody else. The US would choose to appease and co-exist with nuclear Iran, with a nuclear Middle East. To make that palatable, or simply to hide it from the headlines, they would confuse the attention of the world, they would try to de-stabilize an unaccommodating Israeli government, and put the blame, using any excuse, on it.

And, in that context, why should the Israelis make any further territorial sacrifices and concessions?. They would not get them anything: from the Americans, from the Arabs, for Israel's security. Israel will have to stand by its own on this one, but it will not play in the giant puppet theatre of virtual reality where the unreconstructed liberals live their lives and play their dangerous, Carter-type of games. The Israelies cannot afford trial and error and know very well that the guys with the turbans do not belief in Second Life. They do not even care much about this one...