Much of the big news on the anniversary of 9-11 came from the Middle East. There was the attack on the US Embassies in Egypt and Libya and the reports of Obama's refusal to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu when he comes to the United States at the end of September.
An Israeli official earlier told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Netanyahu's aides had asked for a meeting and "the White House has got back to us and said it appears a meeting is not possible. It said that the president's schedule will not permit that
When the story first broke White House spokesman Tommy Vietor confirmed to Fox News that Obama is not expected to meet with Netanyahu, though insisted it was just a scheduling problem (there is that Letterman appearance while he is in NY--he needs to write some jokes). The spokesman said Obama will be at the United Nations on Sept. 24 and leave the following day, while Netanyahu won’t be in the city until later in the week. But later in the day the White House, scrambling to preempt any political fallout rejected the notion that Netanyahu asked for the meeting.
But late Tuesday, the White House released a statement denying that any formal offer was made for a meeting in the capital -- without saying whether an offer was made for a meeting elsewhere, like New York. “Contrary to reports in the press, there was never a request for Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with President Obama in Washington, nor was a request for a meeting ever denied,” the statement said.
Anyone who was surprised by news that Obama doesn't want to sit down with Bibi has not been paying attention to the news over the past three weeks.
While the President and his campaign spokespeople have been claiming there is no "sunlight" between the United States and Israel on Iran it is clear that a deep chasm has opened up between the two countries. Or to put it another way the Obama Administration has decided to abandon Israel, preferring that the only democracy in the Middle East face Iran's nuclear weapons alone. At the same time the Obama administration has Iran know that Israel is on her own, a show of weakness from America which will make an Israeli attack more likely.
The end of August saw a flurry of activity starting with A UN report revealing that Iran doubled the number of uranium enrichment machines it has in an underground bunker, showing that Tehran continued to defy Western pressure to stop its atomic work.
That same week the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey told a crowd in London
he does not want to be "complicit" if Israel chose to strike Iran's nuclear program, positing that a premature attack would dissolve the international pressure on the Islamic Republic, The Guardian reported. Dempsey said an attack would "clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran's nuclear program," but added that the "international coalition" pressuring Iran "could be undone if it was attacked prematurely".
The State Department also got into the act of pulling the rug out from under Israel. One paper reported the Obama administration was trying to make a deal with the Iranians "you don't attack us we wont help Israel attack you."
The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country's nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
According to the report, Washington used covert back-channels in Europe to clarify that the US does not intend to back Israel in a strike that may spark a regional conflict.
The Obama administration has said they oppose a unilateral Israeli strike because of their belief diplomacy and sanctions still need time to work; an Israeli attack could destabilize the entire Middle East, an Israeli attack would only delay Iranian nukes for a short time, yada, yada, yada.
Truth be told Israel doesn't want to strike Iran either. The do want the Obama administration to keep its promise to prevent the Iranians from creating nuclear weapons, something the administration should desire also. Iran may be pointing the first nuclear missile at Israel, but the second one will be aimed at the US or our citizens overses.
With the latest Iranian news, and the Obama administrations public signal of their intent to allow Israel twist in the wind, Israel has lost confidence in Obama's seriousness and will do all that she can to protect her people.
In a radio interview, Congressman Mike Rogers reported about an early September meeting he held with Nentanyahu and American Ambassador Dan Sharpiro. Netanyahu began a tirade against the US president, attacking him for not doing enough on Iran.
"Instead of pressuring Iran in an effective way, Obama and his people are pressuring us not to attack the nuclear facilities," Netanyahu was quoted as saying.
Rogers described the meeting as
"Very tense. Some very sharp... exchanges and it was very, very clear the Israelis had lost their patience with the (Obama) Administration. There was no doubt. You could not walk out of that meeting and think that they had not lost their patience with this Administration. We’ve had sharp exchanges with other heads of state and in intelligence services and other things, but nothing at that level that I’ve seen in all my time where people were clearly that agitated, clearly that worked up about a particular issue where there was a very sharp exchange....Certainly when you walk out of that meeting you get the feeling that they [Israel] are finally at wits’ end, and that’s what concerned me about the meeting,”
What Israel is looking for from the United States is a line in the sand. Despite sanctions, Iran is moving quickly to the point they will be able to create nuclear weapons. The verbal threats are still coming from Iran and her allies toward Israel. Israel is not looking for the US to attack Iran, but only to tell Iran when enough is enough.
Continuing the administration's weak stance, this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Bloomberg Radio that "we're not setting deadlines" for Iran to halt its program.
Netanyahu responded to Clinton's words during a news conferenceon 9/11.
“The sanctions have hurt the Iranian economy, but they haven’t stopped the Iranian nuclear program. That’s a fact,” Netanyahu said. “And the fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs,” Netanyahu added. “The world tells Israel: ‘Wait. There’s still time.’ And I say: ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”
Today on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 our embassies in Egypt and Libya were attacked. An American at the Libyan embassy was shot and killed, the attacks were supposedly in response to an anti-Islam video created by a Coptic Christian in America. The Obama Administration's first response the attacks was not one of condemnation, but by making excuses forthose who waged the attacks.
The US embassy in Cairo issued a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims, as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."
That response is not lost on Israel or Iran, the United States did not support its own embassies when attacked, why should Israel trust, or Iran fear an Obama Administration.
The public rebukes of Israel made by the Obama Administration over the past two weeks are a message to Iran. With his weakness and indecision, the President who claims to have Israel's back has given Iran a de-facto green light to move ahead with its nuclear plans. In the end if Israel ends up striking Iran, it is Barack Obama's weakness that pushed the Jewish State to protect herself.
Barack Obama may have told told Israel to Drop Dead, but Israel will not comply.