THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
May 19, 2011
Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
“A Moment of Opportunity”
U.S. Department of State
May 19, 2011
As Prepared for Delivery –
I want to thank Hillary Clinton, who has traveled so much these last six months that she is approaching a new landmark – one million frequent flyer miles. I count on Hillary every day, and I believe that she will go down as of the finest Secretaries of State in our nation’s history.
The State Department is a fitting venue to mark a new chapter in American diplomacy. For six months, we have witnessed an extraordinary change take place in the Middle East and North Africa. Square by square; town by town; country by country; the people have risen up to demand their basic human rights. Two leaders have stepped aside. More may follow. And though these countries may be a great distance from our shores, we know that our own future is bound to this region by the forces of economics and security; history and faith.
Today, I would like to talk about this change – the forces that are driving it, and how we can respond in a way that advances our values and strengthens our security. Already, we have done much to shift our foreign policy following a decade defined by two costly conflicts. After years of war in Iraq, we have removed 100,000 American troops and ended our combat mission there. In Afghanistan, we have broken the Taliban’s momentum, and this July we will begin to bring our troops home and continue transition to Afghan lead. And after years of war against al Qaeda and its affiliates, we have dealt al Qaeda a huge blow by killing its leader – Osama bin Laden.
Bin Laden was no martyr. He was a mass murderer who offered a message of hate – an insistence that Muslims had to take up arms against the West, and that violence against men, women and children was the only path to change. He rejected democracy and individual rights for Muslims in favor of violent extremism; his agenda focused on what he could destroy – not what he could build.
Bin Laden and his murderous vision won some adherents. But even before his death, al Qaeda was losing its struggle for relevance, as the overwhelming majority of people saw that the slaughter of innocents did not answer their cries for a better life. By the time we found bin Laden, al Qaeda’s agenda had come to be seen by the vast majority of the region as a dead end, and the people of the Middle East and North Africa had taken their future into their own hands.
That story of self-determination began six months ago in Tunisia. On December 17, a young vendor named Mohammed Bouazizi was devastated when a police officer confiscated his cart. This was not unique. It is the same kind of humiliation that takes place every day in many parts of the world – the relentless tyranny of governments that deny their citizens dignity. Only this time, something different happened. After local officials refused to hear his complaint, this young man who had never been particularly active in politics went to the headquarters of the provincial government, doused himself in fuel, and lit himself on fire.
Sometimes, in the course of history, the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has built up for years. In America, think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat. So it was in Tunisia, as that vendor’s act of desperation tapped into the frustration felt throughout the country. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets, then thousands. And in the face of batons and sometimes bullets, they refused to go home – day after day, week after week, until a dictator of more than two decades finally left power.
The story of this Revolution, and the ones that followed, should not have come as a surprise. The nations of the Middle East and North Africa won their independence long ago, but in too many places their people did not. In too many countries, power has been concentrated in the hands of the few. In too many countries, a citizen like that young vendor had nowhere to turn – no honest judiciary to hear his case; no independent media to give him voice; no credible political party to represent his views; no free and fair election where he could choose his leader.
This lack of self determination – the chance to make of your life what you will – has applied to the region’s economy as well. Yes, some nations are blessed with wealth in oil and gas, and that has led to pockets of prosperity. But in a global economy based on knowledge and innovation, no development strategy can be based solely upon what comes out of the ground. Nor can people reach their potential when you cannot start a business without paying a bribe.
In the face of these challenges, too many leaders in the region tried to direct their people’s grievances elsewhere. The West was blamed as the source of all ills, a half century after the end of colonialism. Antagonism toward Israel became the only acceptable outlet for political expression. Divisions of tribe, ethnicity and religious sect were manipulated as a means of holding on to power, or taking it away from somebody else.
But the events of the past six months show us that strategies of repression and diversion won’t work anymore. Satellite television and the Internet provide a window into the wider world – a world of astonishing progress in places like India, Indonesia and Brazil. Cell phones and social networks allow young people to connect and organize like never before. A new generation has emerged. And their voices tell us that change cannot be denied.
In Cairo, we heard the voice of the young mother who said, “It’s like I can finally breathe fresh air for the first time.”
In Sanaa, we heard the students who chanted, “The night must come to an end.”
In Benghazi, we heard the engineer who said, “Our words are free now. It’s a feeling you can’t explain.”
In Damascus, we heard the young man who said, “After the first yelling, the first shout, you feel dignity.”
Those shouts of human dignity are being heard across the region. And through the moral force of non-violence, the people of the region have achieved more change in six months than terrorists have accomplished in decades.
Of course, change of this magnitude does not come easily. In our day and age – a time of 24 hour news cycles, and constant communication – people expect the transformation of the region to be resolved in a matter of weeks. But it will be years before this story reaches its end. Along the way, there will be good days, and bad days. In some places, change will be swift; in others, gradual. And as we have seen, calls for change may give way to fierce contests for power.
The question before us is what role America will play as this story unfolds. For decades, the United States has pursued a set of core interests in the region: countering terrorism and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons; securing the free flow of commerce, and safe-guarding the security of the region; standing up for Israel’s security and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace.
We will continue to do these things, with the firm belief that America’s interests are not hostile to peoples’ hopes; they are essential to them. We believe that no one benefits from a nuclear arms race in the region, or al Qaeda’s brutal attacks. People everywhere would see their economies crippled by a cut off in energy supplies. As we did in the Gulf War, we will not tolerate aggression across borders, and we will keep our commitments to friends and partners.
Yet we must acknowledge that a strategy based solely upon the narrow pursuit of these interests will not fill an empty stomach or allow someone to speak their mind. Moreover, failure to speak to the broader aspirations of ordinary people will only feed the suspicion that has festered for years that the United States pursues our own interests at their expense. Given that this mistrust runs both ways – as Americans have been seared by hostage taking, violent rhetoric, and terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of our citizens – a failure to change our approach threatens a deepening spiral of division between the United States and Muslim communities.
That’s why, two years ago in Cairo, I began to broaden our engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect. I believed then – and I believe now – that we have a stake not just in the stability of nations, but in the self determination of individuals. The status quo is not sustainable. Societies held together by fear and repression may offer the illusion of stability for a time, but they are built upon fault lines that will eventually tear asunder.
So we face an historic opportunity. We have embraced the chance to show that America values the dignity of the street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of the dictator. There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity. Yes, there will be perils that accompany this moment of promise. But after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be.
As we do, we must proceed with a sense of humility. It is not America that put people into the streets of Tunis and Cairo – it was the people themselves who launched these movements, and must determine their outcome. Not every country will follow our particular form of representative democracy, and there will be times when our short term interests do not align perfectly with our long term vision of the region. But we can – and will – speak out for a set of core principles – principles that have guided our response to the events over the past six months:
The United States opposes the use of violence and repression against the people of the region.
We support a set of universal rights. Those rights include free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders – whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or Tehran.
And finally, we support political and economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region.
Our support for these principles is not a secondary interest– today I am making it clear that it is a top priority that must be translated into concrete actions, and supported by all of the diplomatic, economic and strategic tools at our disposal.
Let me be specific. First, it will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy.
That effort begins in Egypt and Tunisia, where the stakes are high –as Tunisia was at the vanguard of this democratic wave, and Egypt is both a longstanding partner and the Arab World’s largest nation. Both nations can set a strong example through free and fair elections; a vibrant civil society; accountable and effective democratic institutions; and responsible regional leadership. But our support must also extend to nations where transitions have yet to take place.
Unfortunately, in too many countries, calls for change have been answered by violence. The most extreme example is Libya, where Moammar Gaddafi launched a war against his people, promising to hunt them down like rats. As I said when the United States joined an international coalition to intervene, we cannot prevent every injustice perpetrated by a regime against its people, and we have learned from our experience in Iraq just how costly and difficult it is to impose regime change by force – no matter how well-intended it may be.
But in Libya, we saw the prospect of imminent massacre, had a mandate for action, and heard the Libyan people’s call for help. Had we not acted along with our NATO allies and regional coalition partners, thousands would have been killed. The message would have been clear: keep power by killing as many people as it takes. Now, time is working against Gaddafi. He does not have control over his country. The opposition has organized a legitimate and credible Interim Council. And when Gaddafi inevitably leaves or is forced from power, decades of provocation will come to an end, and the transition to a democratic Libya can proceed.
While Libya has faced violence on the greatest scale, it is not the only place where leaders have turned to repression to remain in power. Most recently, the Syrian regime has chosen the path of murder and the mass arrests of its citizens. The United States has condemned these actions, and working with the international community we have stepped up our sanctions on the Syrian regime – including sanctions announced yesterday on President Assad and those around him.
The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: he can lead that transition, or get out of the way. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests; release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests; allow human rights monitors to have access to cities like Dara’a; and start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition. Otherwise, President Assad and his regime will continue to be challenged from within and isolated abroad
Thus far, Syria has followed its Iranian ally, seeking assistance from Tehran in the tactics of suppression. This speaks to the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime, which says it stand for the rights of protesters abroad, yet suppresses its people at home. Let us remember that the first peaceful protests were in the streets of Tehran, where the government brutalized women and men, and threw innocent people into jail. We still hear the chants echo from the rooftops of Tehran. The image of a young woman dying in the streets is still seared in our memory. And we will continue to insist that the Iranian people deserve their universal rights, and a government that does not smother their aspirations.
Our opposition to Iran’s intolerance – as well as its illicit nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terror – is well known. But if America is to be credible, we must acknowledge that our friends in the region have not all reacted to the demands for change consistent with the principles that I have outlined today. That is true in Yemen, where President Saleh needs to follow through on his commitment to transfer power. And that is true, today, in Bahrain.
Bahrain is a long-standing partner, and we are committed to its security. We recognize that Iran has tried to take advantage of the turmoil there, and that the Bahraini government has a legitimate interest in the rule of law. Nevertheless, we have insisted publically and privately that mass arrests and brute force are at odds with the universal rights of Bahrain’s citizens, and will not make legitimate calls for reform go away. The only way forward is for the government and opposition to engage in a dialogue, and you can’t have a real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in jail. The government must create the conditions for dialogue, and the opposition must participate to forge a just future for all Bahrainis.
Indeed, one of the broader lessons to be drawn from this period is that sectarian divides need not lead to conflict. In Iraq, we see the promise of a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian democracy. There, the Iraqi people have rejected the perils of political violence for a democratic process, even as they have taken full responsibility for their own security. Like all new democracies, they will face setbacks. But Iraq is poised to play a key role in the region if it continues its peaceful progress. As they do, we will be proud to stand with them as a steadfast partner.
So in the months ahead, America must use all our influence to encourage reform in the region. Even as we acknowledge that each country is different, we will need to speak honestly about the principles that we believe in, with friend and foe alike. Our message is simple: if you take the risks that reform entails, you will have the full support of the United States. We must also build on our efforts to broaden our engagement beyond elites, so that we reach the people who will shape the future – particularly young people.
We will continue to make good on the commitments that I made in Cairo – to build networks of entrepreneurs, and expand exchanges in education; to foster cooperation in science and technology, and combat disease. Across the region, we intend to provide assistance to civil society, including those that may not be officially sanctioned, and who speak uncomfortable truths. And we will use the technology to connect with – and listen to – the voices of the people.
In fact, real reform will not come at the ballot box alone. Through our efforts we must support those basic rights to speak your mind and access information. We will support open access to the Internet, and the right of journalists to be heard – whether it’s a big news organization or a blogger. In the 21st century, information is power; the truth cannot be hidden; and the legitimacy of governments will ultimately depend on active and informed citizens.
Such open discourse is important even if what is said does not square with our worldview. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard, even if we disagree with them. We look forward to working with all who embrace genuine and inclusive democracy. What we will oppose is an attempt by any group to restrict the rights of others, and to hold power through coercion – not consent. Because democracy depends not only on elections, but also strong and accountable institutions, and respect for the rights of minorities.
Such tolerance is particularly important when it comes to religion. In Tahrir Square, we heard Egyptians from all walks of life chant, “Muslims, Christians, we are one.” America will work to see that this spirit prevails – that all faiths are respected, and that bridges are built among them. In a region that was the birthplace of three world religions, intolerance can lead only to suffering and stagnation. And for this season of change to succeed, Coptic Christians must have the right to worship freely in Cairo, just as Shia must never have their mosques destroyed in Bahrain.
What is true for religious minorities is also true when it comes to the rights of women. History shows that countries are more prosperous and peaceful when women are empowered. That is why we will continue to insist that universal rights apply to women as well as men – by focusing assistance on child and maternal health; by helping women to teach, or start a business; by standing up for the right of women to have their voices heard, and to run for office. For the region will never reach its potential when more than half its population is prevented from achieving their potential.
Even as we promote political reform and human rights in the region, our efforts cannot stop there. So the second way that we must support positive change in the region is through our efforts to advance economic development for nations that transition to democracy.
After all, politics alone has not put protesters into the streets. The tipping point for so many people is the more constant concern of putting food on the table and providing for a family. Too many in the region wake up with few expectations other than making it through the day, and perhaps the hope that their luck will change. Throughout the region, many young people have a solid education, but closed economies leave them unable to find a job. Entrepreneurs are brimming with ideas, but corruption leaves them unable to profit from them.
The greatest untapped resource in the Middle East and North Africa is the talent of its people. In the recent protests, we see that talent on display, as people harness technology to move the world. It’s no coincidence that one of the leaders of Tahrir Square was an executive for Google. That energy now needs to be channeled, in country after country, so that economic growth can solidify the accomplishments of the street. Just as democratic revolutions can be triggered by a lack of individual opportunity, successful democratic transitions depend upon an expansion of growth and broad-based prosperity.
Drawing from what we’ve learned around the world, we think it’s important to focus on trade, not just aid; and investment, not just assistance. The goal must be a model in which protectionism gives way to openness; the reigns of commerce pass from the few to the many, and the economy generates jobs for the young. America’s support for democracy will therefore be based on ensuring financial stability; promoting reform; and integrating competitive markets with each other and the global economy – starting with Tunisia and Egypt.
First, we have asked the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to present a plan at next week’s G-8 summit for what needs to be done to stabilize and modernize the economies of Tunisia and Egypt. Together, we must help them recover from the disruption of their democratic upheaval, and support the governments that will be elected later this year. And we are urging other countries to help Egypt and Tunisia meet its near-term financial needs.
Second, we do not want a democratic Egypt to be saddled by the debts of its past. So we will relieve a democratic Egypt of up to $1 billion in debt, and work with our Egyptian partners to invest these resources to foster growth and entrepreneurship. We will help Egypt regain access to markets by guaranteeing $1 billion in borrowing that is needed to finance infrastructure and job creation. And we will help newly democratic governments recover assets that were stolen.
Third, we are working with Congress to create Enterprise Funds to invest in Tunisia and Egypt. These will be modeled on funds that supported the transitions in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. OPIC will soon launch a $2 billion facility to support private investment across the region. And we will work with allies to refocus the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development so that it provides the same support for democratic transitions and economic modernization in the Middle East and North Africa as it has in Europe.
Fourth, the United States will launch a comprehensive Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative in the Middle East and North Africa. If you take out oil exports, this region of over 400 million people exports roughly the same amount as Switzerland. So we will work with the EU to facilitate more trade within the region, build on existing agreements to promote integration with U.S. and European markets, and open the door for those countries who adopt high standards of reform and trade liberalization to construct a regional trade arrangement. Just as EU membership served as an incentive for reform in Europe, so should the vision of a modern and prosperous economy create a powerful force for reform in the Middle East and North Africa.
Prosperity also requires tearing down walls that stand in the way of progress – the corruption of elites who steal from their people; the red tape that stops an idea from becoming a business; the patronage that distributes wealth based on tribe or sect. We will help governments meet international obligations, and invest efforts anti-corruption; by working with parliamentarians who are developing reforms, and activists who use technology to hold government accountable.
Let me conclude by talking about another cornerstone of our approach to the region, and that relates to the pursuit of peace.
For decades, the conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region. For Israelis, it has meant living with the fear that their children could get blown up on a bus or by rockets fired at their homes, as well as the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them. For Palestinians, it has meant suffering the humiliation of occupation, and never living in a nation of their own. Moreover, this conflict has come with a larger cost the Middle East, as it impedes partnerships that could bring greater security, prosperity, and empowerment to ordinary people.
My Administration has worked with the parties and the international community for over two years to end this conflict, yet expectations have gone unmet. Israeli settlement activity continues. Palestinians have walked away from talks. The world looks at a conflict that has grinded on for decades, and sees a stalemate. Indeed, there are those who argue that with all the change and uncertainty in the region, it is simply not possible to move forward.
I disagree. At a time when the people of the Middle East and North Africa are casting off the burdens of the past, the drive for a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all claims is more urgent than ever.
For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.
As for Israel, our friendship is rooted deeply in a shared history and shared values. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums. But precisely because of our friendship, it is important that we tell the truth: the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.
The fact is, a growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River. Technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself. A region undergoing profound change will lead to populism in which millions of people – not just a few leaders – must believe peace is possible. The international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome. The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.
Ultimately, it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away. But what America and the international community can do is state frankly what everyone knows: a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.
As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.
These principles provide a foundation for negotiations. Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I know that these steps alone will not resolve this conflict. Two wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians.
Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table. In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel – how can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist. In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question. Meanwhile, the United States, our Quartet partners, and the Arab states will need to continue every effort to get beyond the current impasse.
I recognize how hard this will be. Suspicion and hostility has been passed on for generations, and at times it has hardened. But I’m convinced that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians would rather look to the future than be trapped in the past. We see that spirit in the Israeli father whose son was killed by Hamas, who helped start an organization that brought together Israelis and Palestinians who had lost loved ones. He said, “I gradually realized that the only hope for progress was to recognize the face of the conflict.” And we see it in the actions of a Palestinian who lost three daughters to Israeli shells in Gaza. “I have the right to feel angry,” he said. “So many people were expecting me to hate. My answer to them is I shall not hate…Let us hope,” he said, “for tomorrow”
That is the choice that must be made – not simply in this conflict, but across the entire region – a choice between hate and hope; between the shackles of the past, and the promise of the future. It’s a choice that must be made by leaders and by people, and it’s a choice that will define the future of a region that served as the cradle of civilization and a crucible of strife.
For all the challenges that lie ahead, we see many reasons to be hopeful. In Egypt, we see it in the efforts of young people who led protests. In Syria, we see it in the courage of those who brave bullets while chanting, ‘peaceful,’ ‘peaceful.’ In Benghazi, a city threatened with destruction, we see it in the courthouse square where people gather to celebrate the freedoms that they had never known. Across the region, those rights that we take for granted are being claimed with joy by those who are prying lose the grip of an iron fist.
For the American people, the scenes of upheaval in the region may be unsettling, but the forces driving it are not unfamiliar. Our own nation was founded through a rebellion against an empire. Our people fought a painful civil war that extended freedom and dignity to those who were enslaved. And I would not be standing here today unless past generations turned to the moral force of non-violence as a way to perfect our union – organizing, marching, and protesting peacefully together to make real those words that declared our nation: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.”
Those words must guide our response to the change that is transforming the Middle East and North Africa – words which tell us that repression will fail, that tyrants will fall, and that every man and woman is endowed with certain inalienable rights. It will not be easy. There is no straight line to progress, and hardship always accompanies a season of hope. But the United States of America was founded on the belief that people should govern themselves. Now, we cannot hesitate to stand squarely on the side of those who are reaching for their rights, knowing that their success will bring about a world that is more peaceful, more stable, and more just.
Tag Archives: un-american
Sarah Palin Slams Impotent And Anti-Semitic Barack Obama Over His Incoherent Iran Policy And Jihad Against Israel
Let’s cut to the chase here: Barack Obama, and most of the Marxist-democrat party have little or no use for Israel or the Jewish people. Since Jimmy Carter, another terrorist sympathizer, and well known anti-Semite, the democrat party has been hostile toward Israel and the Jewish people, but they tried to hide it from American Jews.
With the election of Barack Obama, who has marinated in hatred for America and Israel since childhood, the mask has come off the Marxist-democrat party. As anyone who was paying attention knows, Barack Obama attended the “church” of Reverend Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright for over 20 years. Wright is a well known anti-Semite and supporter of the terrorist group Hamas.
Since taking office, Obama has been on a real crusade to alienate all of our friends worldwide, and coddle our enemies. Great Britain now says that they, and America, no longer have a “special relationship.” But no where is Obama’s ass-backwards foreign policy more apparent than with his policies towards both Iran and Israel.
Israel has been an ally and friend, of the United States since her founding. The one true friend in the Middle East. Obama has done everything in his power to alienate Israel and the Jewish people. This culminated last week when Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was treated like an outcast at the White House, with Obama refusing to be photographed with him, and rudely ending their meeting to go have dinner with the First Lady. A major case of jackassery. . .
I guess we should all be thankful he wasn’t kicked out the back door and forced to walk past the garbage like the Dalai Lama!
On the other hand, Iran is our sworn enemy. To them, we are “The Great Satan.” They have “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” rallies on a pretty regular basis to keep their oppressed people occupied.
In a manner that would make Neville Chamberlain blush, Obama has sought has to appease this fanatical regime. Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terror and has been supplying weapons that have killed American troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Most would consider this casus belli for war, but Barack Obama can’t even bring himself to talk about meaningful sanctions against the terrorist nation.
Even more disturbing, when the Iranian people, most who are not fanatics, tried to rise up and overthrow the Iranian government, Obama was no where to be found. As Iranians were slaughtered in the streets and looked to America for support, Obama sat silent.
That told everyone who was watching all they needed to know about Obama and the kind of “man” he is.
Sarah Palin has been a consistent friend to Israel, and has been hitting Obama on his stance for some time, but it’s pretty easy to see that she has become impatient with his inability to lead our nation, protect us, or our allies. As Sarah put it earlier, this situation “needs a commander-in-chief, not a Harvard law professor. ”
With that said:
Peace Not Possible if Iran Escapes Real Sanctions
This is a meaningful week for so many of us. As millions of Christians and Jews celebrate this Holy Week, it’s appropriate to reflect on developments in the Holy Land. Israel faces a nuclear threat from Iran that grows every day. Today we learned that the CIA has concluded that Iran already has the capability and the know-how to build nuclear weapons. While President Obama once said a nuclear-armed Iran would be “unacceptable,” after more than a year in office it’s sobering to have to acknowledge that his administration has made no progress in implementing “crippling” sanctions on Iran, let alone halting Iran’s nuclear program.
Even the rhetoric moved in the wrong direction – recently the administration downgraded their call for “crippling” sanctions to sanctions that “bite.” Shockingly, as we learned last week, these “biting” sanctions will no longer include actions that could actually change Iran’s behavior, including limiting Iran’s access to international capital markets and banking services or closing air space and waters to Iran’s national air and shipping lines.
So the issue is not when the so-called sanctions will come (President Obama promised them in “weeks” today) but whether they will even “nibble.” And while the Obama administration was more than willing to use every parliamentary trick in the book to ram its government health care takeover through Congress, conversely, it has worked hard to stall bipartisan efforts to pass the Iran Sanctions Act.
Many, many Americans and our allies know that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, the consequences will be catastrophic for our interests in the Middle East, and we want our government to do everything in its power to prevent Iran from acquiring nukes.
We foresee a regional nuclear arms race beginning as other countries seek their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves from Iran. Nuclear non-proliferation efforts would be over. The U.S. and our allies in the international community would be shown to be impotent – after long claiming that Iranian nuclear weapons could not and would not be tolerated. And Israel would face the gravest threat since its creation.
Iran’s leaders have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and with nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, the mullahs would be in a position to launch a Second Holocaust.
Iran continues to develop long range missiles. Its missiles can reach Israel and Europe right now and in time they will be able to reach US territory.
This issue is the most serious security challenge facing the U.S. in the region. Yet just as the Obama administration inexplicably gives up on imposing crippling sanctions on Iran, it’s taken an uncompromising hard line against one country in the Middle East: Israel. On his recent visit to Washington, the Israeli Prime Minister was treated like an unwelcome guest, as shown by White House actions such as refusing to be photographed with Israel’s Prime Minister.
Public demands for concessions have been made of the Israelis while the Palestinians add ever more conditions to their participation in peace talks, and those in the administration that dare to argue for looking at these policies through the lens of Israel’s security needs are subject to slanderous attacks from “senior administration officials.” The Obama administration has their priorities exactly backwards; we should be working with our friend and democratic ally to stop Iran’s nuclear program, not throwing in the towel on sanctions while treating Israel like an enemy.
In a week when events in the Holy Land thousands of years ago are on the minds of millions, we would all do well to include Israel’s security in our prayers as we encourage our government to do all it can to ensure there is never a nuclear Iran able to threaten our interests or our allies.
– Sarah Palin
Jimmy Carter put the world in peril with his appeasement mentality. He is very much responsible for the fact there is a radical Iran. This Obama guy though is Carter on steroids, and 2010 is a lot more dangerous than the late 1970’s. Iran has sought to form alliances with other enemies of America such as Venezuela and Cuba.
We all remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Soviets placed nuclear weapons on the island nation. That’s as close as the world ever came to total Armageddon. The only thing that saved the world was the fact that one nation was scared and the other was glad of it. While the Soviets wanted some bargaining leverage, they weren’t all that keen on actually touching off total worldwide destruction, which is basically what the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” promised had they launched a nuclear weapon at the United States.
On the other hand, Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders, aren’t as squeamish about the prospects of touching off a world wide nuclear war and the total destruction of all mankind.
Many nations have nuclear weapons now, and one can most certainly debate whether that is good or bad. The thing is though, these nations are not looking to use them as much as they are looking to send the message “mess with us, and we’ll mess back.” It’s definitely a deterrent for sober nations.
There has been much written about Obama’s jihad on Israel, and ludicrous foreign policy. Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) has written some of the best.
These are must reads:
The United States has diverted a shipment of bunker-busters designated for Israel.
Officials said the U.S. military was ordered to divert a shipment of smart bunker-buster bombs from Israel to a military base in Diego Garcia. They said the shipment of 387 smart munitions had been slated to join pre-positioned U.S. military equipment in Israel Air Force bases.
“This was a political decision,” an official said.
In 2008, the United States approved an Israeli request for bunker-busters capable of destroying underground facilities, including Iranian nuclear weapons sites. Officials said delivery of the weapons was held up by the administration of President Barack Obama.
Since taking office, Obama has refused to approve any major Israeli requests for U.S. weapons platforms or advanced systems. Officials said this included proposed Israeli procurement of AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, refueling systems, advanced munitions and data on a stealth variant of the F-15E.
“All signs indicate that this will continue in 2010,” a congressional source familiar with the Israeli military requests said. “This is really an embargo, but nobody talks about it publicly.”
Pamela goes into greater detail and you can read much more here.
In Switching Sides, commentary she wrote for the American Thinker, Pamela gives us a bit of a history lesson to go with thoughts on Obama’s betrayals of the Jewish people:
In a stunning and historic reversal of American foreign policy, the United States is now backing one of the same horses it fought during World War II. Instead of fighting against Nazism and racism, Obama has effectively joined the jihad waged during World War II by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
Hamas has called for a new intifada against the Jewish people. This is the fruit of Obama’s pro-jihad policies. The American-Israeli relationship has suffered its deepest rift in decades: a dispute over new Jewish homes that are being built in northern Jerusalem, just north of the Sanhedria neighborhood. This is not Arab “East Jerusalem,” as the mainstream media keeps saying. And as Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers at checkpoints and Muslims rioted throughout Jerusalem, an increasingly pathetic Hillary Clinton said that Israel “must prove it is committed to peace ‘with actions.'”
In response, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying, “With regard to commitments to peace, the government of Israel has proven over the last year that it is committed to peace, both in words and actions.” According to Haaretz, “The statement cited as examples Netanyahu’s inaugural foreign policy speech made at Bar Ilan University, the removal of hundreds of roadblocks across the West Bank, and its decision to freeze temporarily construction in West Bank settlements. The latter, said the statement, was even called by Clinton an ‘unprecedented’ move.”
The Muslims are free to live in Israel, but Jews cannot live among Muslims or in Muslim lands. This is what America is standing up for?
Read much more of Pamela’s sobering commentary here.
Pamela wrote Barack Hussein Obama II’s War Against Israel for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism, stunningly blunt words that are a must read:
Obama is not a passive, weak or naive player in the Muslim/Jewish conflict. He was wet-nursed on Jew-hatred. He grew up in a Muslim country and studied the Koran. He knows what is prescribed for the Jews in Islam. He knows that the Koran says that the Jews are the Muslims’ worst enemies (5:82) and that “ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found” (3:112).
He knows that Islamic tradition records Muhammad saying:
The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
He must know all this, and yet has never renounced it. On the contrary, he embraces it, calling upon us to “respect” Islam.
I am staggered by the speed with which Obama has sought to undermine the Jewish people. But knowing what I know of him after my three years of investigation for the book I wrote with Robert Spencer, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, I expected nothing different. In the summer of 2008, I trekked to Florida to warn the alter cockers who were seduced by the idea of Obama, but to no avail: my voice and the voices of those like me are kept neatly tucked away in the blog box.
But now here we are. Jews may then have tried to avoid Obama’s anti-Semitism, but they cannot now avoid the consequences of avoiding Obama’s anti-Semitism. He has unleashed an evil in this world the extent of which we are only now beginning to see. He has made the world safe for haters and killers. The post-World War II peace was no accident; it was a direct result of American hegemony. But now he is following the European lead and unraveling it.
Europe learned the wrong lessons from the war and the Holocaust. The lesson that Europe decided to take from Auschwitz was that everything was caused by nationalism. European leaders decided that therefore what they really needed was a European Union that would obviate their need for nationalism and prevent another Auschwitz.
One simply must take time to read the rest here.
The frightening part of this all is, while Jimmy Carter showed massive weakness in the face of danger, Obama is showing both weakness, and complicity, an incredibly dangerous combination. On has to wonder what sort of psychosis this mad man suffers.
Not only is he putting the world in peril with his foreign policy and his reluctance, and inability to lead, (along with his hatred for Israel) domestically, he is dividing and destroying the United States, with his war on capitalism, the Constitution, the rule of law, and the American people..
All things considered, Barack Obama may be the most dangerous man in the world.
As everyone knows by now, Barack Obama and his corrupt minions are engaged in a massive jihad against our military, CIA, and well, anyone and everyone charged with keeping America safe.
At the same time, we are now reading terrorists Miranda warnings and treating them like American citizens. Obama’s Justice Department just hired nine attorneys who have made a career out of defending terrorists. The Attorney General himself, Eric Holder, has a long history of defending terrorists. Holder was instrumental in securing a pardon for 16 murderous FALN terrorists during the Clinton administration.
One could go on and on….
Obama’s latest target is a group of brave Navy SEALs who captured one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists: Ahmed Hashim Abed. Abed is the terrorist mastermind who organized the killing, burning and mutilating of four American contractors in Fallujah, Iraq, in March 2004.
The terrorists strung up the blackened bodies of these Americans on a box-girder bridge over the Euphrates River, a horrifying event that made headlines worldwide.
As all terrorists are trained to do, this animal claimed the SEALs roughed him up when they captured him. Of course, this administration is far more worried about the terrorist’s feelings than anything else. I mean God forbid one of these precious little lovelies get their hair mussed!
The end result is three of America’s bravest are being persecuted for doing their job.
Many Americans have joined the fight to protect these brave men though. Sarah Palin is one of them. Her latest Facebook blog is dedicated to these three brave SEALs and calls on all of America to stand beside them in their hour of need.
Stand Up for SEALs Standing Up for Us
First the Obama Administration opened up the possibility of prosecuting CIA interrogators doing their jobs seeking information from terrorists. Then they tried to go after the Bush Administration lawyers who acted in good faith to protect us in the months after 9/11. Now some of the military brass are court-martialing three brave Navy SEALs for allegedly throwing a single punch at Iraqi terrorist leader Ahmed Hashim Abed. This is wrong. The Washington Times got it right: Save the SEALs.
These brave warriors belong in combat, not in the courthouse. They captured the most wanted terrorist in Iraq. We may never know how many other heroic missions they undertook on behalf of our country. The charges should be dropped, and they should be returned to their unit – with our gratitude for their service.
Stand up for the SEALs who are standing up for us!
– Sarah Palin
Sarah was right when she told Obama that we need a real Commander-In-Chief, not some Harvard law professor.
The brave men and women who make up our military and intelligence services deserve the support of the American people. They do not deserve a so-called commander-in-chief who is hostile to them and their mission.
It’s time for all Americans to rise up and tell Barack Obama to stop persecuting brave members of the military, the CIA, and other services dedicating to keeping America free and safe, and start killing terrorists!