Gabriel Schoenfeld reports on the latest Obama foreign policy adviser who turns out not to like Israel very much. Add Joseph Cirincione to the list that includes Samantha Power, Robert Malley, Merrill McPeak, Zbigniew Brzezinski , and his spiritual adviser Jeremiah Wright. (Obama, of course, loves Israel; he’s just unlucky with his advisers).
Last September, in response to reports that the site in Syria that Israel bombed was a potential nuclear facility being established with the help of North Korea, Cirincione insisted that the site was no such thing. “This story is nonsense,” Obama’s adviser on nuclear threats told Foreign Policy magazine’s blog.
And not just ordinary nonsense. According to Cirincione, the reports were the product of two nefarious, agenda-driven groups: (1) Bush administration hardliners seeking to derail “the U.S.-North Korean agreement” and (2) Israelis who “want to thwart any dialogue between the U.S. and Syria.”
As with Samantha Power, the number one problem with Obama taking advice from Cirincione is not his view of Israel; it’s that he’s a fool. As Schoenfeld notes, the fact of North Korean involvement in the development of a Syrian plutonium plant appears indisputable; indeed, the evidence now includes videos taken inside the facility before it was destroyed. Yet Cirincione dismissed the reports out-of-hand because he didn’t like the implications, including the adverse implications for Israel’s longstanding enemy, Syria. In essence, Cirincione committed precisely the offense he accused the Bush administration and the Israelis of — reaching a conclusion of fact based on an agenda, rather than the evidence.
It’s rather frightening to think that Obama has turned for advice on nuclear matters to someone this grotesquely paranoid about our government and about the Israelis.