It is only Wednesday, and we have had to major international news stories out of the Middle East that involve the United States and a lot of political implications.
Bibi Gets Snubbed by Obama
First, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked for a meeting with President Barack Obama during his trip to the United States for the UN General Assembly later this month.
Obama’s staff said no.
They claim that the schedules of Obama and Netanyahu never put them in the same city on the same day, but I have a feeling Bibi would have been willing to work it out even if it meant a quick plane ride.
The implication here is that Obama is essentially saying that Israel is not a priority. I have stood by Obama, albeit one time I almost changed my mind, since he secured the Democratic nomination four years ago. His message on Israel has been very mixed.
Some days Obama is Israel’s best friend. Some days, things are not so rosy. However, his actions speak much louder than his words, which are mixed at best. Even compared to George W. Bush, Obama has been a great partner in security and peace for Israel.
- Provided full financing and technical assistance for Israel’s Iron Dome short-range anti-rocket defense system
- Provided an additional $70 million to extend the Iron Dome system across southern Israel
- Increased aid to Israel and given it access to the most advanced military equipment, including the latest fighter aircraft (Bush refused that request)
- “I can hardly remember a better period of American support and backing, and Israeli cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us” –Defense Minister Ehud Barak
The New York Times offered those tidbits and many more interesting facts about Obama’s relationship with the Jewish state.
So, while Obama’s public insult to Benjamin Netanyahu was embarrassing, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that his schedule really didn’t work. He has been a great friend.
US Ambassador to Libya Murdered
On the heels of dealing with one Middle East faux pas, Obama was given the news that the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was murdered by Islamist fundamentalists in a raid on the US government compound in Benghazi.
While the Israelis want to meet with the United States, a country the US helped liberate from a dictator is murdering its diplomats.
This was no government action, but it is still telling of the situation in Muslim Arab countries in the Middle East. Apparently, a film was produced which insulted Mohammed. In response, Muslims around the world have revolted and murdered anyone that they could loosely tie to the film, including fellow countrymen that had absolutely nothing to do with the production.
If it only takes a movie release to spark murder of United States government representatives and their staff, maybe it is time for Obama and congress to take stock of who their best friends are in the region.
What do you think the result will be from these events? Please share your thoughts in the comments.