David FriedmanThe writer serves as the President of American Friends of Bet El. He is a practicing trial lawyer in New York and maintains a residence in Jerusalem.
And, when Russia defeats ISIS, it will have accomplished something that the United States hasn’t done since 1945 nor Israel since 1973: win a war.
Governor Mike Huckabee had one of the most memorable quotes of a very memorable series of Republican primary debates. He referred to war as “killing people and breaking things,” that continues until the loser gives up or is destroyed. For thousands of years, that’s what war has been about. Almost every national boundary in both hemispheres has been formed as a result of a battle followed by a surrender.
But no more, at least not under the current Democratic regime. The United States has the largest and most powerful military in the world. Under the Obama Doctrine, however, it is no longer in the business of fighting to win. Indeed, the Obama Doctrine has been reduced to the following: if you are a terrorist, you may embed yourself among “civilians” and maintain your despicable enterprise until we convince you and your followers of the wisdom of our values. As a result of this nonsense, our enemies are stronger and America is no longer capable of exporting its values and influencing global safety and security.
Obama and Kerry only want to fight Republicans, not terrorists. They are in a unique position in a singular moment in time to unite Arabs and Israelis, Jews and Gentiles, Shiites and Sunnis, in a successful campaign to eradicate a common and reviled enemy – ISIS. As part of that
Obama and Kerry only want to fight Republicans, not terrorists.
campaign, the United States could reasonably make demands, exert influence and seek behavioral modifications to truly make the Middle East a safer place. Instead,
American leaders force their stellar military commanders to fight with two hands and a leg tied behind their backs. Rather than suppress our enemies they suppress our generals, and make sure that they keep their mouths shut and don’t complain. Fortunately, those formerly in command who have left the military are voicing their criticisms and their revelations are devastating.
Vladimir Putin gets it. He may be a “thug,” as he was recently described by Senator Rubio, but he knows how to identify a national objective, execute a military plan, and ultimately prevail. And Bibi Netanyahu gets it as well. That’s why the coordination between the Russian and Israeli armies, and in particular their respective air forces, is at unprecedented levels. Bibi knows that with Russia in the game, when the dust settles Bashar Assad will retain power – a manageable result for Israel insofar as the Assads have kept their border with Israel largely quiet for some 42 years.
Bibi’s goal is to keep Russia from strengthening Hezbollah, and as the leader of the strongest military in the region, he is negotiating with Putin from a position of strength – something Putin understands and respects. Let’s hope and pray that Bibi succeeds.
Meanwhile, the United States is nowhere in this most critical and incendiary locale. Having referred to ISIS as “contained” just a day before the deadliest terrorist attack in French history and two weeks after ISIS downed a Russian plan, his credentials as commander-in-chief are in tatters. He has therefore cleverly changed the conversation to the wisdom of accepting 10,000 refugees – an unpopular position but one which nevertheless bolsters his standing among the liberal elite and detracts attention from his failed leadership.
There are lots of good reasons to vote Republican in the next American presidential election. But for those of us who still believe that the United States must take the lead in world affairs and aggressively root out evil that threatens us and our allies, for those of us who believe that Israel must finally be given the green light to defeat its intractable foes, and for those of us who believe that it is a crime to put soldiers in harms way without affording them a clear path to victory, there is no greater national imperative.