The Obama Watch

The Hurt Can Be Much

Obama's Romeo policies threaten Israel's security and much else.

By 8.19.10

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Many of us remember reading, or watching, the great Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet.

In the scene of street brawling in the Italian city of Verona, Romeo comes between his dear friend Mercutio and Tybalt, one of the leaders of the teen gangs. Tybalt, we know, is actually fair Juliet's brother, so Romeo sincerely wants to end the incessant violence.

While Romeo's arm is extended, Tybalt stabs Mercutio -- and flees the scene. The Prince has vowed dire punishment to any who continue their roistering ways. Romeo was trying to protect his friend, and does not realize how seriously Mercutio has been wounded.

"Courage, man," he says to the stricken Mercutio, "the hurt cannot be much." Mercutio replies, at first, with his characteristic wit about his stab wound:

No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a
church-door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: ask for
me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.

Mercutio's jests end with this bitter rebuke to his dear friend, Romeo:

…Why the devil came you between us? I
was hurt under your arm.

Realizing at last how grievously his friend has been injured, Romeo says pathetically, "I thought all for the best."

This scene comes to mind as I view President Obama's policy toward the mortal threat Israel faces as Iran's nuclear ambitions proceed unhindered toward a bomb. The leading ayatollah in Tehran has described Israel as "a one-bomb country." About that, he is right. One nuclear weapon is all that it would take to kill millions of Israelis. It would be a twenty-minute Holocaust.

President Obama has wasted his first year in office "reaching out" to the mullahs in Tehran. Even now, he absurdly says that the Iranian clerics and the United States have a "mutual interest" in stopping the Taliban in Afghanistan. Just who does he think is now aiding the Taliban? Can he really be so naive?

For the past year, although they would never admit it, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been pressing a "re-set" button on U.S. policy toward Israel.

Clinton -- at Obama's urging -- has demanded that Israel submit to UN oversight of its investigation into the violent boarding of the Turkish supply ship that tried to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Hamas, the terrorist organization committed to the immediate destruction of Israel, runs Gaza. From Gaza, Hamas has launched thousands of missiles into Israel.

The world, including the UN bureaucrats, yawned as Israeli cities and farms came under this rocket attack. Tehran, it is widely known, is arming Hamas, just as it is supplying Hezbollah, the terrorist outfit that rules in Southern Lebanon.

The Israelis were determined not to allow the Turkish ship to enter a Gaza port without being inspected. If even one of those cargo containers held weapons of mass destruction -- anthrax, nerve gas such as that released in the Tokyo subway, or some other biological or chemical agent -- the densely populated Jewish state would be in mortal jeopardy.

A year and a half into this administration, we see the utter failure of Obama foreign policy. He left our Eastern European allies -- Poland, Hungary, the Czechs -- in the lurch, yanking away an anti-missile defense program that would have protected them not only from Iranian missiles but also from Russian pressures.

This was done, the very smart Beltway types told us, so that Russia would join us in putting pressure on the Iranians. Russia did vote for watered-down economic sanctions against Iran.

Then, promptly, it signed an agreement with the Iranians to help them develop nuclear power plants. If you can build a nuclear power plant, you can build a nuclear bomb. Russia is playing a double game.

President Obama says he wants to avoid a nuclear arms race in the Mideast. That would be nice.

But under his policies, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates have all announced plans to develop nuclear power plants.

It's hard to imagine what Hillary Clinton must be thinking of all this. She left a safe seat in the U.S. Senate to join this administration. She has been taunted -- on left-wing blogs, of all places -- for allowing Barack Obama to put her in a "foreign policy burka."

When Hillary ran against Obama in 2008, her most effective campaign ad was one that showed a telephone ringing at 3 a.m. It was intended to warn Americans of the dangers of having an inexperienced president taking that crisis call in the middle of the night. Little did Hillary realize that she might be the one making that crisis call.

It seems as if we are sleepwalking into danger. Is there anybody in this administration who is awake?

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About the Author
Ken Blackwell, the former mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio is Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee's Platform Committee. He also serves on the boards of the Club For Growth and the National Taxpayers Union.