President Theodore Roosevelt’s preferred diplomatic approach was to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” President Obama, by contrast, speaks falsely and carries a big shtick. Yesterday he carried his shtick to the Adas Israel congregation in Washington, DC. Obama held himself out as a friend of Israel. He likened his attitude to Israel to his attitude to the United States. He has “high expectations” of both. I take no comfort from that, but it goes over well before a liberal Jewish crowd.
Obama also repeated his false talking points in defense of his pending arrangement with the Islamic Republic of Iran. He assured the crowd that he would not accept a bad deal, that Iran would be unable to cheat and that “every single path” to a nuclear weapon would be blocked. One wonders why “every single” country most directly affected by the deal opposes it. Obama didn’t address that question. Speaking from the pulpit and paying tribute to the Ten Commandments, Obama nevertheless reiterated the usual falsehoods.
Israel is not to worry — the congregants of Adas Israel are not to worry — because the deal will have Obama’s name on it. He is personally vested in its success. If the mullahs proceed to develop nuclear weapons and use them against Israel or the United States, why, it would tarnish his reputation. The Israeli stake in the outcome is life and death rather than reputational, but what the heck. Obama guarantees it.
“The people of Israel must know that America has its back,” Obama said yet again. That’s a metaphor that has lost its power to persuade. The Israelis know he has Israel’s back in order to stab them in it. They have seen him do it before and they see him doing it again. The shtick nevertheless goes on.