This Wall Street Journal
article is a stunning blow directly to the head of President Obama and I can only
imagine that his administration is staggering against the ropes wondering how
to respond to this hard hitting example of Obama’s failure to lead our
country. How many more of these kinds of articles in our major news
outlets can Obama tolerate before members of his own party decide it is time
for him to depart the White house?
Calm when it comes to Putin, ISIS and Hamas, but furious with
[The Wall Street
Journal] Bret Stephens - Sept. 1, 2014 6:32 p.m. ET
Barack Obama "has become 'enraged' at the Israeli
government, both for its actions and for its treatment of his chief diplomat,
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
So reports the
Jerusalem Post, based on the testimony of Martin Indyk, until recently a
special Middle East envoy for the president.
The war in Gaza, Mr.
Indyk adds, has had "a very negative impact" on Jerusalem's relations
Think about this.
"alarmed" or "concerned" or "irritated" or even
Anger is a feeling.
Rage is a frenzy.
Rage feeds on itself.
Anger is specific.
Rage is obsessional,
And Mr. Obama—No Drama
Obama, the president who prides himself on his cool, a man whose emotional
detachment is said to explain his intellectual strength—is enraged.
Which has just been
hit by several thousand unguided rockets and 30-odd terror tunnels, a 50-day
war, the forced closure of its one major airport, accusations of
"genocide" by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, anti-Semitic
protests throughout Europe, general condemnation across the world.
This is the country that is the object of the
The president in Bethesda, Md., July 29. Ron Sachs/Cnp/Zuma Press
Think about this some more.
In the summer in which Mr. Obama became "enraged" with Israel,
Islamic State terrorists seized Mosul and massacred Shiite soldiers in open
pits, Russian separatists shot down a civilian jetliner, Hamas executed 18
"collaborators" in broad daylight, Bashar Assad's forces in Syria
came close to encircling Aleppo with the aim of starving the city into
submission, a brave American journalist had his throat slit on YouTube by a
British jihadist, Russian troops openly invaded Ukraine, and Chinese jets
harassed U.S. surveillance planes over international waters.
Mr. Obama or his administration responded to these events with varying
degrees of concern, censure and indignation. But rage?
Here, for instance, is the president in early August, talking to the New York Times's
Tom Friedman about Russia and Ukraine:
"Finding an off-ramp for [ Vladimir Putin
] becomes more challenging. Having said that I think it is still possible for
us, because of the effective organization that we have done with the Europeans
around Ukraine, and the genuine bite that the sanctions have had on the Russian
economy, for us to arrive at a fair accommodation in which Ukrainian
sovereignty and independence is still recognized but there is also recognition
that Ukraine does have historic ties to Russia, the majority of their trade
goes to Russia, huge portions of the population are Russian speaking, and so
they are not going to be severed from Russia. And if we do that a deal should
This isn't even
It's an apology. For Mr. Putin.
Benjamin Netanyahu should be so lucky.
Now think about what, specifically, has enraged the president about Israel's
"Its actions and its treatment of his chief diplomat."
Hamas began firing rockets at Israel in June, thereby breaking the
cease-fire it had agreed to at the end of the last war, in November 2012.
The latest war began in earnest on July 7 when Hamas fired some 80 rockets
"No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians," White
House spokesman Josh Earnest said the next day, "and we support Israel's
right to defend itself against these vicious attacks."
On July 15 Israel accepted the terms of a cease-fire crafted by Egypt.
Hamas violated it by firing 50 rockets at Israel.
On July 17 Israel accepted a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire.
Hamas violated it again.
On July 20 Israel allowed a two-hour medical window in the neighborhood of
Hamas violated it.
On July 26 Hamas announced a daylong cease-fire.
It then broke its own cease-fire.
On July 28 Israel agreed to a cease-fire for the Muslim holiday of Eid
The rocket attacks continued.
On Aug. 1 Israel accepted a 72-hour cease-fire proposed by the U.S. Hamas
violated it within 90 minutes.
On Aug. 5 Israel agreed to Egypt's terms for another three-day cease-fire.
Hamas violated it several hours before it was set to expire, after Israel
announced it would agree to an extension.
If Hamas had honored any of these cease-fires it could have saved
Mr. Obama is enraged—but not with Hamas.
As for Israel's supposed ill-treatment of Mr. Kerry, the president should
read Ben Birnbaum's and Amir Tibon's account of his secretary's Mideast misadventures in the
July 20 issue of the New Republic.
It's a portrait of a diplomat with the skills and style, but not the
success, of Inspector Clouseau.
Mr. Obama might also read Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit's assessment of Mr.
Kerry's diplomacy: "The Obama administration," he wrote in July,
"proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the
biggest enemy of its friends."
Both Haaretz and the New Republic are left-wing publications, sympathetic to
Mr. Obama's intentions, if not his methods.