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Op-Ed: Smokescreen in Obama's Speech

The emphasis on Israel may be a smokescreen for something even more frightening than the demand that it shrink to 1949 armistice lines.
Published: Friday, May 20, 2011 4:42 PM


 

JINSA Report #1090
May 19, 2011

Most of the media focus of the President's speech appears to be on his belief that Israel should shrink to the 1967 borders - with minimal land swaps - and should make that deal even before discussing the status of Jerusalem (the capital of the Jewish people and never the capital of any other people) and refugees.

The Israelis will answer the President in their time and their way, we are sure.

The emphasis on Israel, however, may be a smokescreen for something more frightening - billions in aid to Egypt even before we understand who and what the government of Egypt is. And to understand what happens to American aid in the hands of governments that do not share American values and concerns, shift focus to Pakistan.

The UK Daily Mail reports on new satellite images showing the "alarming speed at which Pakistan is constructing a weapons-grade nuclear reactor." The paper notes "aerial images, taken on April 20 (that) show the rapid building progress of the fourth reactor to produce plutonium in Pakistan's Khushab facility. The site was barren in 2009 and the facility 'costing billions' was undetectable by satellite just 17 months ago, but has since grown at an alarming rate." It is the fastest growing nuclear program in the world.

Pakistan has received more than $20 billion in U.S. military and economic aid since 2001, making it the largest recipient of U.S. assistance. Want to guess where they spent the money?

The United States and Pakistan have a strained relationship, to say the least. U.S. drone strikes and their attendant civilian casualties, the harboring of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and the most recent incident - a NATO helicopter raid that injured two Pakistani soldiers - have made both countries edgy. The United States, perhaps more so, as we very much need to keep Pakistan in the "pro-Western" camp.

Pakistan in the hands of a more radical government - or more overtly radical government - would put nuclear weapons in the hands of the jihadist camp. America's war in Afghanistan is in large measure an attempt to wipe out the jihadists that threaten to overthrow Pakistan. A Taliban-dominated Afghanistan is nothing compared to a Taliban-dominated nuclear Pakistan.

What does this have to do with Egypt?

Maybe nothing. But to the extent that the United States is willing to help Egypt without knowing the extent of the Muslim Brotherhood's reach, we may be offering billions of dollars in aid to a government that will, by its nature, be at odds with us. To the extent that the United States has provided military assistance to Libya's "rebels" without knowing who they are (beyond knowing that some of them at least have been al Qaeda affiliated), we may be bombing a country on behalf of people who are, by nature, at odds with us.

To the extent that the United States is offering a terrorist-controlled Hamas-Fatah partnership a country that makes our ally Israel indefensible, we may be creating a country that is, by nature, at odds with us.

We thought we could buy Pakistan into our orbit, but we may simply have provided the funds to build nuclear weapons that may fall into hands distinctly at odds with us.

It is a reckless approach to the Middle East to be throwing bombs, money and political support at countries that may end up well-armed and hostile to America's long-term interests while making life harder for our one solid, democratic friend - Israel.