Friday, December 30, 2016

Red Line Fever

It is amazing that our administration is more resolute about setting red lines for our allies than stopping enemies. And working through others, the Obama administration "stabs in the back from behind," to complement that "leading from behind" theory of foreign policy.

Supporting allies and opposing enemies as a basic diplomatic concept continues to elude our administration as it prepares to exit the stage:

United States Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech Wednesday addressing the United States somewhat controversial decision to abstain from a United Nations vote last week that condemned Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. It was considered controversial by critics who felt the U.S. had the obligation to support its ally Israel.

And with Castro dead, Kerry felt free to pick up the mantle of overly long speeches to hear his own voice condemn Israel for not wanting to settle for less than peace with Palestinians who seem more interested in killing Jews than making peace for less than 100% of what they demand publicly (and the destruction of Israel is the real objective of many).

Funny, Arab states seem far more worried about Iran who we have strengthened both economically and militarily--including nuclear potential (and thank you Kerry, for that nuclear nonsense)--than the fate of the uncooperative Palestinians:

Oman, which has traditionally resisted Gulf Arab states' efforts to close ranks against Iran, has joined a Saudi-led coalition of Muslim countries to fight terrorism, Saudi and Gulf sources said on Wednesday.

And many Arabs work with Israel against their common enemy, Iran.

Meanwhile in Syria where last Kerry tried to enforce a red line against Assad:

Turkey and Russia will act as guarantors of a nationwide ceasefire in Syria that is due to go into effect at midnight, Turkey's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

If there is a ceasefire, Assad is sitting in his palace undisturbed. And Turkey, which once issued an ultimatum to Assad to stop killing his people, has joined with Russia to save Assad.

So Turkey has taken a big step to eventually flip to alliance with Russia. I guess we are seeing the impact of Erdogan's purge, which has clearly destroyed the pro-Western elements of the Turkish military which would have been expected to resist such a walk away from NATO and into the arms of Putin and Assad.

Instead of trying to keep Turkey in our camp, or helping our Arab friends and Israel oppose Iran's campaign to dominate the region, or ... do much of anything to advance American interests, really, Kerry set a red line for Israel over the Palestinian issue.