Three Weeks of Healing

The rabbis cited mutual hatred among Jews as the sin responsible for the Second Temple’s destruction. Have Jews learned the lesson?

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More about: Mourning, Second Temple, Talmud, Three Weeks

 

Sacrificing the Hopes of Ordinary Iranians on the Altar of the Nuclear Deal

Aug. 26 2016

Reviewing Jay Solomon’s recent book The Iran Wars, Eli Lake explains why Barack Obama refused to lend even moral support to the 2009 Green Revolution:

President Obama wasn’t just reluctant to show solidarity [with Iranian protestors] in 2009, he feared the demonstrations would sabotage his secret outreach to Iran. . . . Behind the scenes, Obama overruled advisers who wanted to do what America had done at similar transitions from dictatorship to democracy, and signal America’s support. Solomon reports that Obama ordered the CIA to sever contacts it had with the Green movement’s supporters. . . .

It’s worth contrasting Obama’s response with how the U.S. has reacted to other democratic uprisings. The State Department, for example, ran a program in 2000 through the U.S. embassy in Hungary to train Serbian activists in nonviolent resistance against their dictator, Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic, [like the ayatollahs], accused his opposition of being pawns of the U.S. government. But in the end his people forced the dictator from power. . . . Even the Obama administration provided diplomatic and moral support for popular uprisings in Egypt in 2011 and Ukraine in 2014.

Iran, though, is a very different story. Obama from the beginning of his presidency tried to turn the country’s ruling clerics from foes to friends. It was an obsession. And . . . it’s striking the lengths to which Obama went to make good on his word. As Solomon reports, Obama ended U.S. programs to document Iranian human-rights abuses. . . .

His quest to engage the mullahs seems to have influenced Obama’s decision-making on other issues, too. When he walked away from his red line against Syria’s use of chemical weapons in 2013, Solomon reports, both U.S. and Iranian officials had told him that nuclear negotiations would be halted if he intervened against Bashar al-Assad.

Read more at Bloomberg

More about: Barack Obama, Human Rights, Iran, Iran nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy