CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 3, 2014 – Legend has it that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. America’s Nero, President Obama, is “fiddling” with foreign policy by focusing on a centuries old dispute between Palestine and Israel while Ukraine burns.
Peace negotiations between the two Middle Eastern foes have some urgency, but as Breitbart News points out, while “Vladimir Putin has violated Ukrainian sovereignty and the laws of war, though his government has lied brazenly to American officials and flouted the norms of the international community, President Barack has reserved his ire for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
In an interview Sunday that was politically calculated by the administration to break while Netanyahu was en route to the U.S. with no opportunity to respond, Obama said, “Time is running out” for Israel to make major concessions to Palestine.
Obama’s infinite patience, which we have heard so much about over the years, is apparently waning when it comes to Netanyahu and Israel. The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been raging for decades with no remote prospects of being resolved, but in Obama-world, time is suddenly of the essence.
Pick a day, any day, during the past five years, and there will be a disconnect between Obama and what was relevant on that day. If Benghazi was under attack, Obama was blaming YouTube videos. If Syria was in the midst of a civil war, Obama was talking about gay marriage. When a major hurricane pummeled the East Coast, the president was chomping at the bit to get to a Las Vegas fundraiser and yet another round of golf.
Obama is like the patient who won’t go to the doctor because he might discover that something is wrong. If he doesn’t go to the doctor, then the problem doesn’t exist.
While Obama fiddles, Putin and other world leaders are playing him like the fiddle instead. Somehow there is always the sense that they can read the president and Secretary of State John Kerry without opening the book. Netanyahu seemed well prepared for Obama’s political tactics by issuing a pre-emptive statement before leaving home that he would not bow to American pressure.
With the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela currently making most of the news, the Netanyahu meeting didn’t trigger much national curiosity. That does not diminish the importance of a strong alliance with Israel. Back in Jerusalem, where concerns over a nuclear rogue nation like Iran are a primary issue, Obama’s remarks were received with resounding misgivings about the U.S.-Israeli relationship.
As Joel Pollark of Breitbart News so brilliantly and skillfully observed, “while Netanyahu will be boxed in by the news cycle, it is Obama’s foreign policy that has been boxed in by reality. The impotence of the U.S. in dealing with Ukraine and Syria has freed Israel, ironically, to deal with Iran and other threats as it sees fit.”
When you have friends who are habitually late, just tell them the party starts a half hour earlier than it actually does. They will then show up on time. A similar strategy works with the president. If you want him to talk about Ukraine, get the media to focus on illegal immigration and Barack Obama will immediately change the subject to the topic you really want him to discuss.
Not long ago, an anonymous lifetime government worker summed up Obama’s foreign policy: “Americans are easy to read. We are like an open book. The world always knows what we are thinking.”
At some point you have to wonder if it wouldn’t be better to tackle a problem head on for once rather than dodge every significant issue that arises. Could it be because that would require some semblance of understanding of any given situation? Based upon that premise it appears the administration is floundering for answers because true comprehension fails to exist.
Despite Obama’s relentless efforts to master the fiddle, he is tone deaf. As a result, the fiddling gets more tiresome and the sour notes of failed and ill-conceived foreign policies continue to grow.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod.