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July 29, 2014

David Harsyani: What the Hell is John Kerry Doing?

Krauthammer calls Kerry Hamas' lawyer.

He is the bumbling blowhard hard-left fool we always took him for.

It seems like a rather big deal when Egypt, Israel, Fatah, Jordan, Saudi Arabia -- ostensibly, all allies of ours -- agree on anything. This development, one imagines, would be something the United States would be interested in fostering rather than destroying. Certainly, the idea that Hamas’ power should be neutralized and the influence of the "moderate" Palestinian authority expanded, sounds like a plan worth pursuing.

You would think. But instead, Kerry basically ignored an Egyptian-led ceasefire effort to do just that, and handed Israelis a document that offered them this:

* Rather than empowering Fatah, it recognizes Hamas as the legitimate authority in the Gaza Strip, though it is considered a terrorist organization by the Justice Department and an entity that’s founding principle and driving purpose is to eliminate Israel and replace it with an Islamic state.

* Rather than choking off this organization's lifeline, it would have allowed them to collect billions in 'charity' that would be been able to use to rearm, retrench and reengage in hostilities.

* And all the while, it would not have made no demands on Hamas to get rid of its rockets, or its tunnels and other weaponry used to instigate war – while at the same it would have limited Israel’s ability to take them out. (Update: This final point is disputed by U.S. officials.)

Kerry's actions have caused a major diplomatic row -- the Israeli press are criticizing him, accurately, and the Administration, of course, is thus required to claim the Israelis are lying. I'm sorry, I meant sowing a "misinformation campaign," and suggesting, weirdly, that the Israeli government should clamp down on the Israeli press.

"It's simply not the way partners and allies treat each other," Jen Psaki psimpered.

Her comments were echoed by the White House, where National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the U.S. was "dismayed" by mischaracterizations of Kerry's efforts...


As Kerry returned from the region over the weekend, Israeli media commentators leveled almost nonstop criticism of his attempts to bring Qatar and Turkey -- two countries viewed by Israel as strong Hamas supporters -- into the cease-fire negotiations. Kerry was also accused of abandoning some of Israel's key demands during the negotiations, including demilitarizing Gaza.

In trying to implement the cease-fire over the weekend, "U.S. Secretary of State of State John Kerry ruined everything," wrote columnist Ari Shavit in Monday's Haaretz, Israel's leading liberal newspaper. "Very senior officials in Jerusalem described the proposal that Kerry put on the table as a 'strategic terrorist attack.'"

Obama's had such practice intimidating the US press he's decided to try his hand at intimidating the Israeli one.

More: The Wall Street Journal has a good article on this "fiasco," too.

The question that routinely comes up regarding U.S. foreign policy these days is: What in the world were they thinking? The latest puzzlement is the weekend fiasco in which President Obama and John Kerry pressed a cease-fire that is likely to extend the war between Hamas and Israel.


...

The reaction in Israel was opposition bordering on contempt. Ari Shavit, a center-left columnist for Haaretz, wrote that Mr. Kerry's "decision to go hand in hand with Qatar and Turkey, and formulate a framework amazingly similar to the Hamas framework, was catastrophic..."

He added that "the Obama administration proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the biggest enemy of its friends." And you should hear what Israel's hawks are saying. We're told Mr. Kerry is upset about being criticized so publicly by an ally, but Israel is a free society and the U.S. doesn't get to impose a gag order.

The WSJ says the Obama Administration, by encouraging Hamas to hold out (in hopes that America will increasingly pressure Israel to cave), has achieved the opposite of what it was supposed to.

But then they reconsider this:

We say "supposed" because it's hard to know what this Administration is trying to achieve beyond its perennial call to end the violence. From Iran to Syria to Iraq and now to Gaza, this Administration seems to believe that merely enunciating good intentions will yield good outcomes. No wonder it yields more war.

Americans are increasingly concerned about these questions: Does the president know what the hell he even intends to do, and if he does, does he have any competency whatsoever to achieve that intention?



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posted by Ace at 12:23 PM

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