Sunday, May 12, 2013
STANDIN' ON THE CORNER -- WATCHING ALL THE DEATHS GO BY
By Schmoel Yitzhak
Standin' On The Corner Watchin' All The Girls Go By -- Hit tune from the Broadway musical "The Most Happy Fella."
Pardon me if I admit that I did a double-take just a minute ago.
Reading the latest turbulent Middle East news, I nearly overlooked a sentence that caused me to re-read it -- twice. The sentence went as follows: More than 83,000 killed in Syria since the uprising began.
Now, think about it. Had the IDF knocked off seven Arabs, anywhere, and at any time, the global uproar would be immense and un-endking. The European Union would get its collective bowels in an uproar. Barack Obama would utter a dismal homily and the Security Council quickly would convene.
Imagine the figure; 83,000 -- eighty three thousand -- and what has been the White House response?
For the answer to that question, I refer you to a take-off on the above hit tune which, these days, is best expressed by: Standin' On The Corner Watching All The Deaths Go By.
And the title of the play, referring to the beleaguered man in Washington would have to be altered to "The Most Un-Happy Fella."
Or, the utterly stupefied Chief of State.
How stupefied, you may ask? Well, try this on for size.
Just the other day Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry -- taking time out from his futile attempt to make Arabs like Jews -- allowed that there's evidence that chemical weapons are being used in the Syrian conflict.
Now when the American President's lackey comes up with a statement such as that, you know that his boss knows it just as well. And you would think that Uncle Sam once and for all would do something about it. Wouldn't you? Hey, 83,000 deaths is a lot more than 18, 83, 830 or 8,300.
But something awful has been happening in the White House ever since the Democratic candidate conned his way into America's collective -- simplistic -- public mind. To wit:
1. Any threat delivered by militant Islam immediately is defused by saccharine-covered White House rhetoric. It's as if the Arabs -- wherever they might be -- want nothing but peace.
2. The Muslim president will do just about anything to avoid incurring the anger of terrorists such as labeling them what they really are -- terrorists.
3. America has become the laughing stock among Middle East dictators and murderers, from the Iranian mullahs to Assad in Syria, because the Arabs long ago figured out -- remember his Cairo speech? -- that the man on Pennsylvanian Avenue acts more like obsequious Uncle Remus than the tough-acting Uncle Sam who went to war for democracies in World War I and World War II.
The facts are all there to prove my point and all you have to do is remember what Obama did last August.
It was then that he issued "a red line" to the Syrian regime about its possible use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. Now that Kerry has freely acknowledged that his government is aware of such chemical use, you would think that: A. The White House would recall that more than 83,000 have been killed in the Syrian civil war; B. Such slaughter should be immediately -- and forecefully -- stopped by the civilized world. And, C. America should be at the forefront of that leadership.
Nobody is more aware of Obama's failings than Israeli statesman Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations. Ever reputable, Gold made key points in a Israel Hayom column.
"The challenge to America has emerged at a time when the image of the U.S. in the Middle East has been badly damaged already by the Syrian crisis," explains Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. "Washington is now caught in a trap."
True enough but that trap has been set by Obama, himself, simply by standin' on the corner watchin' all the (Syrian) deaths go by.
Mind you, Gold hardly is alone in his thinking about the Incredibly Shrinking Uncle Sam. An article in The Economist sums up prevailing opinion with a three-word title -- DITHERING OVER SYRIA.
Based on Obama's indolence, The Economist asserts, "Other nations will have to think harder about their security."
Israel, of course, is the country that must think the hardest because the Middle East's only functioning democracy cannot rely on America's ever-bending red line.
Gold: "Over the last five years there has been a vociferous debate raging in the West over the question of whether the U.S. is in decline as a great power."
That decline is vivid and acknowledged by many even in the heavily pro-Left academic world. Furthermore, America's decline has immense ramifications in terms of the manner in which Benjamin Netanyahu will conduct Israeli foreign policy and defense of his nation.
Vali Nasr, dean of the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, is another who finds trouble in Washington city.
Professor Nasr spent two years in the Obama administration and has a good grasp of White House thinking. Nasr criticizes the wisdom of America's appeasing foreign policy and sees Uncle Sam as tired and losing the desire -- as Gold puts it -- "to serve as a global leader."
That explains Washington's inept -- flexible red line -- handling of the Syrian crisis and the continued willingness to allow the Iranians to move full speed ahead with their nuclear development. Naturally, all of this directly impinges on Bibi's decision-making.
"Israel," concludes Gold, "must never compromise its defense doctrine according to which it has always insisted that it must be able to defend itself by itself.
"The way the world stood by while the Syrian people were massacred serves as a warning of what happens to a people who rely on the international community to safeguard their security."
Conclusion: While Obama stands on the corner watching all the murders go by; Bibi should never be a mere onlooker!