John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


What Was That All About?

Posted on September 25, 2009



            The President, Monsieur Sarkozy and the dour one, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, held an impromptu press conference this morning, announcing that they were shocked, shocked to find that the Iranians were building a nuclear weapons facility, and if those nasty bums didn’t stop immediately (or by November) we were going to hit them with some really tough sanctions.


            No word if the Chinese or the Russians are on board.  It was also interesting that the Germans were nowhere to be seen.


            So, what was that all about?


            My guess, and this is only a guess, is that the President and his team are trying to make it harder for the Israelis to start bombing for at least a couple of months.  How can they bomb if we are working on a sanctions strategy? 


            Nobody really wants the Israelis to start bombing. 


            The United States certainly doesn’t want that to happen.  The Saudis don’t want that to happen.  The Russians don’t really want that to happen.  The Chinese probably doesn’t care, but are worried about the precedent it set with North Korea.  The French and English (and Germans for that matter) who have large Muslim populations in their countries, don’t want that to happen. 


            Nobody wants that to happen, with the possible exception of the hard right in Israel, who are rightfully concerned that if the Mad Mullahs in Iran get the bomb, their security is completely compromised. 


            After witnessing the craziness at the U.N. this week, you get a better sense that we live in a dangerous and largely irrational world.  Hugo Chavez is nuts, completely nuts.  Same with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Same with Moammar Gadhafi.  And of course, they all came to New York to make complete fools of themselves. 


            These guys are nuts.  And yet they are probably pretty popular in those parts of the world where crazy is cool (which seems to be most of it, these days).


            Some wonder why we allow these folks come to America.  The answer is two-fold.  First, we have to.  That is the price for having the United Nations housed in America.  And second, it is extraordinarily helpful to see these cooks up close and personal.  It puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it?


            The bigger problem for the President is that he doesn’t scare anybody.  Hugo seems to love the guy.  Ahmadinejad probably sees him as a pushover.  Gadhafi?  Well, who knows?


            Do you think Putin is scared of POTUS?  I bet he sees him as a pushover, and the President’s missile defense turnaround can only make him confirm his conclusion.


            Imagine, for a moment, if General McChrystal and General Petraeus decide that can’t support the President if he doesn’t give him the troops, and then they decide to resign in protest.  Imagine how that makes the President look to this crazy group of petty dictators, thieves and strongmen. 


            Love him or hate him, people knew where George Bush stood.  Most of the world hated him, but they certainly weren’t going to cross him.  Most of the world seems to love Barack Obama, but that doesn’t mean that they will listen to him or respect him when push comes to shove. 


            Which brings us back to Israel.  That is one country where President Obama is roundly despised.  His approval ratings are in the single digits there.  They don’t believe that the President will look out for their interests vis a vis Iran.  They don’t believe that he will take effective action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.  And if he won’t, believe me, they will. 


            This press conference today was all about trying to stop Israel from attacking Iran and taking out their nuclear program.  My guess is that was what that was all about.

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