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Ron Radosh

The Leveretts’ Myopic Advice to Obama

May 25th, 2009 - 12:46 pm

So the Leveretts repeat that Obama’s policy is “an only slightly prettified version of George W. Bush’s approach.” Like the previous administration, Obama’s policy-makers want only to contain a “perceived” threat without solving the real political conflicts. Look carefully at that word “perceived.” The implication is that an Iranian bomb is only a threat to those who think it is, and they have no good reason. The reality is different. The Leveretts imply, without making a case, that it would not be any kind of a threat and is therefore an event we in the West can live with.

They also oppose what they call a “Bush era delusion;” that world events give moderate Arab states a very real reason to oppose Iran, and hence a willingness to perhaps even engage with Israel in order to effectively deal with their own concerns about Iran’s power and policies. Finallly, the Leveretts note that “strategic cooperation with Israel is profoundly unpopular with Arab publics.” Again, the implication is that this truth means that the Arabs must be appeased, and no effort taken to get moderate Arab states to accept Israel. With that logic, Israel never would have been able to sign a peace treaty with both Egypt and Jordan. Instead, they want US cooperation with Iran, and of course, its proxies- they identify them with a benign term- “regional allies,” Hamas and Hezbollah.  

In simple terms, what the Leveretts offer is old fashioned appeasement- this time of Iran and the mullahs who rule it. If the United States only commits “not to use force to change the borders or the form of government of the Islamic Republic,” all will evidently work itself out. The same people who urge the US to break its alliance with Israel, to pressure them not to build in existing settlements, and who urge pressure on Israel to agree to borders favored by the hard-line Palestinians, and to make concessions to the Arabs and Palestinians in advance of negotiations-now urge no pressure whatsoever against Iran- despite its sworn aim of destroying Israel. Thus the Leveretts urge integrating both Hamas and Hezbollah into any settlement, and accepting a major role in the Middle East for both terrorist groups.

The Leveretts conclude by urging President Obama take their “new approach” on Iran into consideration. Were he to do so, the US would not just lose Iran, but perhaps the chance for any peace and real stability in the Middle East.

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