White House leaks Israel attack on Syria

American diplomacy was in full display when Times of Israel publication reported that the White House leaked information of an Israeli strike against the Syrian port city of Latakia to destroy sophisticated weaponry expected to be transferred to Hezbollah.

White-House-LeaksIsrael, Obama’s black sheep of American allies, is enraged at what it sees as Washington’s betrayal of Israel. The leak that appears intended to send Israel a message is harmful to its safety. Any reported Israeli attack on Arab soil heightens tensions in the volatile Middle-East region. Islamist terrorist are expected to retaliate against Israel.

Israel is frustrated with Washington politics, and according to Israeli press, this is not the first leak by their American ally. Obama may be telegraphing Israel that he will not allow an attack on Iranian nuclear sites without US approval. Without a green light from Washington, the Israelis fear the Obama administration will provide Iranians advance (leaked) notice of any potential strike.

Since the election of Obama, diplomatic relations with Israel has been strained and tensions spiraled into overdrive when, in 2011, Obama called for Israel to reinstate the 1967 Mideast Borders as part of a newly created UN driven Palestine State peace plan. Previous US Presidents recognized Israel’s small 64 mile geographic area, the size of New Jersey, would be overrun and potentially annihilated by an attacking enemy without the existence of a buffer zone allowing Israel forces time to organize and repulse the enemy attack.

Israel is surrounded by Arab neighboring states from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. In a six day war in 1967, Israel captured the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem. The United Nations is pushing to establish a new Palestinian State comprised of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Jerusalem. The fate of Jerusalem is the cortex to the quandary of finding an acceptable solution since the founding of Israel. Both Palestinians and Israelis lay claim to all Jerusalem as their capital based on religious ideologies.

President Obama is a cut from a different cloth of other US Presidents in his remedy to the turmoil in the Mideast. Obama insists that America’s insurance to defend the State of Israel is sufficient enough to allow Israel to yield back to the Arabs the lands it captured in the 1967 war and used as a buffer zone. Obama’s radical approach to resolving the Israel – Palestine quagmire places Israel in a precarious dilemma. Israel’s closest ally, America, is seen to have shifted support towards the demands of Hamas and the Palestinians but Israel cannot afford to lose the support of the American people by outwardly attacking President Obama.

Obama threw a wrench into Israel’s symbiotic relationship with America. Obama sent a clear message to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu that America’s unbridled support of Israel has limits. Obama’s declaration for the reinstatement of the 1967 borders and to include Jerusalem as the new Palestinian Capital in a “non-military” zone was a radical departure from previous American diplomacy in the region. Should Israel grant Obama’s request, Israel borders would be unprotected and the Jewish most sacred religious site would be turned over to the Palestinians.

Obama’s misguided foreign policy forays in the Middle-East shattered any confidence Israel held in the assurances of Obama. Israelis see an Obama vacillating “lead from behind” strategy in the Mideast that has failed miserably.

In Egypt, the Israelis were confused by Obama’s strong support in the Egyptian elections of the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist group. When Morsi won the Presidency, he and his Muslim Brotherhood suppressed and terrorized moderate Egyptian Muslims, Secularist, and Coptic Christians. Finally, the Egyptian people and military rallied to the streets and threw out the Egyptian President turned dictator. Instead of voicing support for pro democracy efforts, Obama demanded the reinstatement of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama recently withdrew financial aid for Egypt. Other moderate Mideast nations are aghast at Obama’s actions. In defiance of American, Saudi Arabia promised to fund Egypt for its lost American financial support.

Israel and Saudi Arabia took notice of Obama’s declaration of a “Red Line” that Syria couldn’t cross with the use of chemical weapons, but they did. Instead of manning up, Obama retreated from his “Red Line” position after failing to garner America Congressional support for a Syrian strike. Embarrassed on the world stage, Obama accepted a “face saving” gesture by Putin that forced Obama to agree to Russian President Putin’s demand that the US wouldn’t attempt to replace Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, a stated objective of Obama’s foreign policy. America’s influence in the Middle-East region unceremoniously transferred to Putin and Iran.

With Obama’s credibility spent, Arab leaders have turned to Russian President Putin for their protection from a greater threat, Iran. Saudi Arabia, upset with Obama severed diplomatic ties with the US. Saudi Prince Turki, spoke of Obama’s Syrian policy as, “The current charade of international control over Bashar’s chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious. And it is designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down (from military strikes), but also to help Assad to butcher his people,”

Israel is horrified as the Mideast slides towards an Islamic Caliphate. America is weakened under Obama’s failed leadership in the world’s eyes. Obama’s assurance of US protection to defend Israel is undermined by his inept foreign policy actions. Israel cannot rely on America’s support in its decision to attack Iran’s nuclear sites, and they must consider that the Obama administration will compromise (leak) Israel military plans to Iran to stop them from attacking without US approval.

About the Author

Colonel Steven B. Vitali USMC (Ret) - Military Affairs Writer - Colonel Vitali is a retired Marine Corps Colonel. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master's Degree in Public Administration. Colonel Vitali joined the United States Marine Corps on 3 March 1973 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1976. He retired from the Marine Corps in July 2008. During Colonel Vitali's military career, he served in Afghanistan as the Senior Advisor to the 201st Afghan National Army Corps and served in Iraq as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Base Support Operations, II Marine Expeditionary Force Fwd.

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