The Diplomatic Peregrinations in the Holy Land of a Lacklustre Strategist

I’m republishing the following article that was written on October 2011 for the readers of this blog, as Leo Panetta has been replaced by President Obama by an even worse politician Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

By Con George-Kotzabasis October 7, 2011

The “lion” appointed by President Obama to the office of Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, who purportedly is defending America and the West from deadly foes, in his latest visit to the Middle East is advising Israel, from his Olympian heights, ‘to take risks for peace.’ This advice, however, is redundant, superfluous, and otiose and Prime Minister Netanyahu has every reason to reject and oppugn such crass “displaced” advice. Israel had already taken risks in the past with no benefit accruing to it, least of all peace. It had withdrawn from Gaza and re-settled its citizens within the borders of Israel with the result that Gaza was taken over by the terrorist organization Hamas and Israel had to defend itself from a rain of rockets fired by the militants of Hamas; and it had likewise withdrawn from South Lebanon only for the latter to be taken over by the other blade of the terrorist scissors Hesbollah, that also started firing rockets against Israel forcing the latter to invade South Lebanon to protect its citizens from being killed. Israel had taken all these risks for peace. But what did it get in return, a deluge of rockets. What other risks Secretary Panetta has in mind for Israel that would bring the up till now eluding peace to the Middle East? For the Israelis to wait until Hamas and Hesbollah load the tips of their rockets with nuclear devices supplied in the near future by Iran? And what precautions and preventive measures the U.S. is taking to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

The answer to these questions lies in the further advice that the Secretary of Defence is giving to Israel. He tells it not to take “lone” action against Iran in its threat to develop nuclear weapons. Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal, he says, is the responsibility of major nations taking concerted diplomatic action. But this is a “Looney” policy that the Secretary is recommending to the Israelis. It has been tried so many times in the past and it has failed resoundingly. The Islamist regime is not going to change course in its determination to possess nuclear weapons by a truckload of diplomatic carrots but only by an “armada” of bristling porcupines that will pierce its thick skin. Diplomacy can succeed with the Iranian regime only if it is accompanied by the explicit threat of arms.

Leon Panetta has the sinews of a lamb disguised under the skin of a lion. His peregrinating debut in the Holy Land and his attempt to bring, as the “envoy” of the also weak President Obama, Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiating table will prove to be an abject failure, like all the previous efforts of his predecessor Senator Mitchell, also appointed by Obama. As we have predicted, the Obama presidency is a circus of under-performing political tyros, both in the international and domestic arena and more and more Americans are realizing this and are becoming disenchanted with Obama’s performance. The “sprightly colt”, who won the race to the White House with overwhelming support only two and a half years ago, is presently underwhelmed and is conceding to be the underdog in the 2012 elections. (See Obama’s interview with George Stefanopoulos on the ABC.)

Israel’s Development and Achievements Stem from the Cultural and Intellectual Strength of its People

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Israel is no “mercenary of the West in the heart of the Middle East” but an outpost of Western civilization in the midst of barbarians. Besieged on all sides within the short span of 60 years it became culturally, politically, economically, and scientifically the most developed nation of the region and deservedly proud of this great achievement. Moreover as a civilized outpost, Israel is at the forefront of the fight against the holy warriors of Islam, of Hamas and Hezbollah, the proxies of its most dangerous enemy Iran.

The author of the article might be rich in some of his psychological probing but has a very poor understanding of history. Great achievements are not the outcome of “victimhood” but they arise from the cultural, moral, and intellectual strength of a people. And Israel is a testament of that.

The Intellectual Cheating of Liberals

A short reply to a Liberal –By Con George-Kotzabasis

Clearly your vocation in the ‘market of argument’ is to be a peddler in non sequiturs. Why are you shifting the ground of the argument, is it because your pockets are empty of all coins of counter reasoning on the issue? The question as was initially put by Clemons’s use of the Bolton quote was not whether Israel’s and America’s wars were self-defensive or not but whether there was “moral equivalence” between the deliberate and non-deliberate killing of civilians. Clemons by cheating intellectually, by speciously transforming this argument of moral equivalence into an argument of devaluation of “Muslim and Arab lives” has made himself intellectually and morally persona non grata.

Talleyrand, eloquently and boldly said the following in the face of Napoleon, when the latter deposed the legitimate Ferdinand II and placed his own brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, “Sire, un enfant de famille may gamble away his last farthing—the heritage of his ancestors—the dower of his mother—the portion of his sisters—and yet be courted and admired for his wit—be sought for his talents and distinction—but let him once be detected in cheating at the game, and he is lost—society is forever shut against him.” You likewise, in partaking in this Napoleonesque cheating of Clemons “at the game,” have become your own ‘guest’ as an intellectual and moral pariah.

 

 

Intransigence of Palestinian Leadership is the Cause of the Tragedy of its Own People

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The author builds an unassailable castle of facts that there were no Palestinian people as a national entity in Palestine. And it’s the intransigence of the Arab and PO leadership, emanating from their Muslim pride that will not allow them to admit that the Arab Goliath was defeated by the contemporary David in three successive wars, that is the cause of the tragedy of the Palestinian people. The Jews are not the cause of the latter, as they themselves are in the tragic situation of defending their existence as a people by severe means against the suicidal fanatic hordes of Islam.

Shuttling Diplomacy without Kissinger Wasted Effort

By Con George-Kotzabasis

President Obama’s envoy in the Middle East George Mitchell has been given the hapless task of setting a process of a peace deal between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel through a shuttling diplomacy that succeeded in the past only when the levers of such diplomacy were in the hands of the master diplomat Henry Kissinger. The Obama administration having a dearth of first class diplomats, is replacing the Gulliverian diplomats of the past with Lilliputians to handle the foreign policy of the sole superpower in these most dangerous times. Neither Hillary Clinton, least of all George Mitchell, can orbit   the ‘solar diplomacy’ of either Dean Acheson (“Present at the Creation”) or of Henry Kissinger, (The Mao breaker) and in their attempt to imitate these grand masters and their achievements in the vocation of Talleyrand, they will have the fate of burned out falling stars. The Secretary of State in her role as Venus in the romantic ‘loving diplomacy’ of President Obama has failed to attract and ‘bed’ any lovers in the President’s boudoir. Neither the Iranians nor the Palestinians, who as ‘lovers’, scorn the earthly aphrodisiacs of the Western boudoir and eye in contrast lecherously the celestial one with its seventy-two virgins, had a predilection to be smitten by the exotic diplomatic charms of Obama.  Iran in countenancing the U.S. diplomatic overture launched its own and in a clever manoeuvre reached an agreement with Brazil and Turkey with the aim if not to cut the ground under Obama’s feet for a new set of UN sanctions to at least make their content so weak and ineffective as to have no consequence upon its determination and ambition to acquire nuclear weapons. While the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Arab League and Egyptian pressure dropped its insistence on a general freeze of Jewish building and settlements and agreed to participate not in direct talks with Israel but in a shuttling diplomacy brokered by the United States, after the latter in turn pressured Israel to make concessions by temporarily halting new building in Jerusalem.  

In relation to the “proximity talks” announced by the U.S. Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister said: “We ask for real peace in which we work on the basis of Israeli interests of mutuality, on a solution regarding return (of Palestinians refugees), on recognizing the state of Israel as Jewish and holding negotiations without preconditions.” The PA’s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said: “The Palestinians, with the support of the Arab League monitoring committee, are likely to agree to renew the negotiations even if Israel quietly undertakes to stop construction in the settlements and East Jerusalem and doesn’t make a public declaration about it.” Politically, Prime Minister Netanyahu might not survive if he announced even a temporary stop to Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. But the same goes if this halt became visible and known through the media by the Israeli public. Mr. Netanyahu could only survive the ire of the Israeli public only if he would have a chance to extract from the PA greater benefits, such as ironclad security for its people from Palestinian attacks and recognition of the state of Israel, for the political costs issuing from the halting of settlements in East Jerusalem.

But since the announcement of the proximity talks for few months now there has been deafening silence on that front. And it is clear that the shuttle has broken before it even started. As for meaningful direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis that the Obama administration in its continued bout of wishful thinking was hoping, remains a mirage. And the latest deadly clash on the Lebanon Israel border and the sabre-rattling of Hezbollah, and the rockets launched against Israel from an area controlled by Hamas, do not bode well that any direct talks will take place anytime soon.

President Obama’s strategic locomotive of The Middle East that would bring the two parties to the negotiating table and would announce its peaceful process on all its stops to the Arab world, has been mockingly derailed by the inexperienced and untrained Obama himself sitting at the driver’s seat.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now