Israeli Official Calls Barack Obama Coward

Israeli Official Calls Barack Obama Coward

With Barack Obama’s Rose Garden statement on Saturday, the Israeli website Marriv is reporting that an unnamed diplomat official in Jerusalem bluntly called Barack Obama a “coward” for stepping back from an attack on Syria. “Obama is a coward; it is obvious that he does not want to attack and is looking for reinforcement [for this approach]. It is hard to believe that after Congress turns down his request, he will go on an operation like this on his own, without support from the international community, without the support of public opinion and without Congress,” the source said.

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Darshan says:

I am not entirely cootlrfabme with the assumption that, if something went wrong, it must have been preventable. I am not speaking directly about Benghazi, which, I fully acknowledge, I do not understand well enough to have an intelligent opinion about. So I will confine my comments to a general, hypothetical situation in which an American ambassador and other embassy personnel are killed by an uprising in the country that they are serving in.In this hypothetical case, it is certainly possible that their deaths could have been caused by a failure of security, of intelligence, or of appropriate military response once the situation was understood. But it is also possible (in a hypothetical situation) that the deaths of these officials were not preventable through measures that we, as a nation, are willing to take to protect diplomats.The above sentence, I would rush to point out, is not the same as not preventable by any measures. Certainly, it is possible to build an embassy as a fortress and staff it with a medium-sized army to make sure that nobody is ever attacked. It is also possible to keep a few armed divisions on high alert and insert them into a hostile situation to protect each and every American life. But these actions have consequences too. Creating an American fortress-embassy sends the message that we are paranoid, militaristic, and unwilling to interact with the country that we are in. Sending troops into an emerging situation in a sovereign country sends the message that we are willing to send troops in to an emerging situation in a sovereign country. I can certainly imagine diplomatic environments where these are not the messages that we want to send.It is also true that we could reduce the risk to our diplomats to something closer to zero if we adopted a policy of strict retaliation say, for every American killed we razed a major city to the ground, killed all the men, and sold the women and children into slavery. Then we could sow salt into the fields so that it would not produce for a hundred generations. This is the way that Rome did it, and they were very successful for a time. But, again, this has consequences.It is not a pleasant fact, but it is a fact, that we accept a certain amount of risk for doing things the way that we do them. Raising the speed limit from 55 to 75 MPH means that some percentage of people are going to be killed on the highways that would not have been killed before. Maintaining relatively free boarders (rather than building walls and shooting on sight) means that some people with bad intentions are going to enter our country. Some of them will bring in guns, drugs, and other things that result in the loss of human life. We accept that as the price that we pay for having an open society. We accept these risks because we judge the consequences of not accepting them to be worse than the consequences of accepting them. But no matter what we do, we can never bring the risk of death down to zero. There is risk in getting up in the morning. There is risk in not getting up in the morning. There is risk in getting on the highway and driving to work. Every day, people die who have no intention of dying but who have accepted a certain amount of risk inherent in going about their daily business.This is not to say that we should not try to do everything possible to prevent traffic deaths, soldier’s deaths, or bad people from coming into our country. But, as a matter of fact, we could prevent all three by changing the way we do business. If the speed limit were 20 MPH on the highways, we would save many, many lives. If we created a police state, we would have far fewer murders, etc. We could theoretically provide a much higher level of protection to American diplomats, but doing so would also change some fundamental things about the way we conduct diplomacy and that, too, would have consequences that we might not be willing to accept.We want to say that any death of American diplomats is unacceptable and must have resulted from somebody’s failure. No politician could ever be reelected by saying anything else. And this certainly may be the case in Benghazi. But, speaking abstractly, is it not possible that some very small risk of casualties among our foreign service corps much less than being a soldier in a war zone, say, but more than waking up in Wichita, KS and driving to work on Highway 54 might be the price we pay for conducting diplomacy in the open and generally non-militaristic fashion that we have chosen to conduct diplomacy?

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