With Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress to discuss Iranian nukes on March 3, one need ponder President Obama’s continuing rebukes of the Israeli Prime Minister for doing so.
Listening carefully, one might hear the refrain from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, methinks the President “doth protest too much!”
Unsurprisingly for Obama, in a Middle East where logic would suggest the Free World’s leader develop a close relationship with a leader of a similarly minded democratic state, Obama has reserved that special status for the leader of a Muslim state—Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—who seeks to undo democratic gains within his own country.
As the Arab Spring swept through the Middle East, Obama spoke to Erdogan quite often as the two leaders drew close.
When the two met in Seoul, Korea in March 2012, Obama’s infatuation for Erdogan as a “friend and colleague” was apparent, claiming “We find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.”
In May 2013, during a Rose Garden press conference, Obama continued heaping praise upon the Turkish leader (who earlier called Zionism “a crime against humanity”) as “a strong ally and partner in the region and around the world,” recognizing Erdogan’s “outstanding leadership.”
Today, that relationship is not as close, but only because of pressure put on Obama. Members of Congress questioned his continuing praise for Erdogan following a wave of anti-American and anti-Jewish rhetoric in Turkey as well as due to support for al-Qaeda affiliated groups being give access in/out of Syria through Turkey.
But Obama’s closeness to Erdogan is telling. While “unfriending” himself from an Israel struggling to survive as the sole stable democratic state in a region committed to its destruction, Obama “friends” Erdogan—who is committed to reversing Turkey’s nine decade-long democratic run, seeking a return to the glory days of an Ottoman Empire ruled by Islamic law.
“Warm” may still describe Obama’s congenial relationship with Erdogan, but “bone-chilling cold” describes it with Netanyahu.
Their dislike for one another primarily stems from differing perceptions each holds concerning the true intentions of Iran’s mullahs as to their nuclear program.
Their opposing perceptions represent a classic case of confrontation between realism and idealism.
As a realist, Netanyahu’s concerns about Iran’s intentions are supported by Tehran’s words and actions. Netanyahu must weigh the following, among other concerns, in assessing the true intentions of Iran’s mullahs:
- Their actions supporting terrorist proxies around the world;
- Their stated goal to wipe Israel off the map;
- Their positioning of forces on Israel’s borders in the Golan Heights while strengthening Hezbollah in Lebanon and Palestinians in the West Bank to eventually make good on this promise;
- Their extra-territorial constitutional mandate to spread the Islamic revolution;
- Their messianic belief in world chaos as a trigger for the return of the Mahdi—a role in which Iran seeks to be a catalyst in bringing that chaos about;
- Their belief in Islam’s sanctioned practice of taqiyya—deception—to negotiate with non-Muslims so as to secretly further Islam’s ultimate objective of world domination;
- Their continuing possible deception—as revealed last month by an Iranian opposition group but quickly rejected by Obama—concerning the existence of yet another secret nuclear facility (Lavizan-3);
- Their refusal, recently reported by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, to allow inspectors in to examine known nuclear facilities to determine how advanced Iran’s weaponization effort actually is (with such data absolutely critical to a meaningful nuclear agreement).
Meanwhile, as an idealist (and closet Muslim supporter), Obama looks at Islam through rose-colored glasses. He is driven by an “I-have-never-met-a-Muslim-I-did-not-like” mindset.
Embracing Islam as a peace-loving religion, Obama views those adhering to violent extremism as, by definition, being non-Muslim.
But how does such a mindset square then with Iran’s Muslim leadership—one Obama’s own State Department lists as the leading state supporter of terrorism?
This President suffers from a misguided notion he, and he alone, can negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran. This was clear when candidate Obama sent an emissary to Iran in 2008 to advise the mullahs to await his election to sign a deal as he was their “friend.” More than six years later, no deal has been signed as Tehran knows it has an easy mark in the White House.
While Obama’s declaratory policy has been Iran would never acquire nukes, the reality is he will allow them to do so. Whether this is narcissistically driven blind ambition at work or intentional design, only time will tell.
Obama’s witless approach concerning Iran’s intentions is best left to the words of Iran’s late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for clarification: “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those who say this are witless.”
Students of history cannot help but sense, just like England’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain willingly, and foolishly, sacrificed parts of Czechoslovakia to sign the 1938 Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler guaranteeing “peace for our time,” Obama—harboring a similar illusion—seems hell-bent on an Iranian nuclear deal that sacrifices Israel.
It would be foolish not to recognize that Netanyahu’s desire to speak to Congress is primarily motivated by his concern for Israel’s survival. But it would be foolish as well not to question Obama’s actions in undermining a speech heavily impacting upon America’s future security.
An all-too-often apathetic American public would do well to listen to what Netanyahu has to say and what Obama so desperately has tried to prevent him from saying.
Obama’s continuous rebukes should not be allowed to hide the mullah’s intentions concerning their nukes.
Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.