CENTRAL MINNESOTA, August 13, 2014 — With the world engulfed in flames, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are seeing their world vision consumed in the global conflagration. If any more innocent people are murdered, the Norwegian parliament may have no choice but to give Obama another Nobel Peace Prize.
Kerry has been held up for particular scorn and ridicule. He has managed to unite Israelis and Palestinians — against John Kerry. Both sides look at each other and ask, “Why is he here? We thought you invited him? Well tell him to leave. He is not from our side of the family.”
Israelis have developed a special contempt for Kerry, accusing him of a “messianic” zeal to impose a peace deal. Palestinians and Israelis both reject his proposals, and Israel has accused Kerry of wanting a deal simply to create a legacy for Kerry.
Despite all of the bureaucratic bungling, there is one thing that Obama and Kerry could do for the Middle East that would make them both heroes. It goes against everything they believe in, but it is a strategy that would work.
They should shut up and get out of the way.
The Obama doctrine, if one exists, involves ignoring problems until they rage out of control:
- Obama ignored Russia. Vladimir Putin gobbled up Crimea and is now seeking to annex the Ukraine.
- Obama ignored Iran. They are well on their way to developing nuclear bombs.
- Obama ignored Syria. He did issue a red line, but Bashar Assad ignored it. Then Obama ignored his own red line. Over 170,000 people have died during the Syrian civil war. The problem is still being ignored.
- Obama ignored Afghanistan. As soon as he pulled American troops out, the Taliban regained control and Sharia law returned.
- Obama ignored Iraq. As soon as he pulled American troops out, Shiite Prime Minister Nouri-Al Maliki began executing Sunnis. This led to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
- Obama ignored ISIS. He compared them to junior varsity fighters, not to be taken seriously. Only after they began capturing major Iraqi cities and murdering thousands of people did Obama take notice. He is offering humanitarian but not military assistance. He is still ignoring the heart of the problem.
- Obama ignored the Mexican border. Now thousands of people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are sneaking into the United States. This has led to a humanitarian crisis and a potentially catastrophic spread of once-vanquished diseases.
Despite claiming himself an expert on healthcare, the architect of Obamacare never figured out that with foreign policy, an ounce of prevention is also worth a pound of cure. He ignores problem after problem, and then expresses surprise that the problems when left untreated metastasize.
The only place Obama refuses to ignore is Israel. The one place he should leave things alone is the one place where he insists on meddling. The correct policy is the exact reverse of what he does. He should engage with the rest of the world and ignore the situation in Israel.
So what makes Israel an exception? If leaving matters alone makes things worse everywhere else, why would it make things better in Israel?
The issue involves expansion, or in the case of Israel, a lack of expansion.
Every other situation involves an attempt to grab more land. Putin wants to rebuild Mother Russia into the former U.S.S.R. Iran wants to dominate the entire Middle East. ISIS wants to establish a global Islamic Caliphate. South Americans are encouraged by American liberals to come here to change the very culture of the United States by creating a new bastion of Democratic voters. These are all about power grabs.
Israel and the Palestinians are arguing about a confined space. Neither one of them wants to take over Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Lebanon. The fight is not about power and expansion for the sake of power and expansion. Both sides believe the same small slice of land belongs to them. Neither side wants to expand the conflict beyond Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The fight is contained and will stay contained.
Because this is a tiny regional conflict with zero possibility of becoming a global conflict, Obama and Kerry should just butt out. They would not intervene in Lichtenstein or Luxembourg either. As much as it kills Obama to admit it, the George W. Bush strategy worked. He got out of the way and let Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon do whatever was necessary to protect Israel.
The Palestinians were never in any danger except when they fired rockets at Israel. Whenever Israel hammers Hamas, the Palestinians seek a truce. When the Palestinians temporarily stop fighting, there is temporary calm. If the Palestinians permanently laid down their arms, there would be permanent calm. The Palestinians persist because they know that a Democrat in the White House means meddling in Israel and coddling Palestinians.
Israel never wants the United States to intervene. The Palestinians encourage deaths of their own children for public relations purposes specifically to plead for American intervention. Yet whenever America proposes a deal, the Palestinians reject it anyway. Their demand is total Israeli surrender, an odd position given that Israel wins every military battle.
American military force should be used to stop genocidal madmen from gobbling up surrounding areas and threatening world war. This is why it was necessary to stop Adolf Hitler and totally right for George W. Bush to rid the world of Saddam Hussein.
Israel is not seeking to annex more land. It is only seeking to hold on to the land it already won in past wars that it never sought. Palestinians are not seeking world domination. They only want the same stretch of land they have sought for that same time period. The Palestinians do not have nuclear weapons. Israel maintains a policy of strategic ambiguity but has never threatened to use them against the Palestinians. There is no global issue.
If Obama and Kerry want to be heroes, they should leave Israel alone and stop enabling the Palestinians. If nothing else were going on the world, Obama could take some of his ample free time to focus on Israel. With Russia, Iran, ISIS and the Mexican illegal immigration crisis swallowing up his presidency, he should not spend one minute focusing on an area where his interventionist approach angers both parties and makes matters worse.
The alternative is for Obama and Kerry to continue failing everywhere. After all, Armageddon is a small price for these leftists to pay when one has a Nobel Peace Prize and his deputy is well on his way to getting enough innocents killed to win one of his own.