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america of ikeIn November 1956, President Eisenhower, enraged he had not been forewarned of their invasion of Egypt, ordered the British, French and Israelis to get out of Suez and Sinai. They did as told.

How far we have fallen from the America of Ike and John Foster Dulles has been on painful display this March.

An Israeli leader told a joint session of Congress that President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is stupid and dangerous and must be rejected. Congress gave him 40 ovations.

Bibi Netanyahu then went home and told the world there will be no Palestinian state, and was re-elected in a smashing victory.

“Perhaps it’s time for Americans, especially those in the White House, to recognize this new reality of Israeli politics,” says The Wall Street Journal. We should restore “Israeli confidence in U.S. support.”

Excuse me? Who is the senior partner here? Who needs whom more?

Israel is entitled to choose its own leaders, who are entitled to make their own policy. But that goes for us as well.

We are today headed for a collision with Israel as serious as Suez ’56, and we are about to see what Barack Obama is made of.

The days of self-delusion are over. For was there ever a doubt where Bibi stood? In 1994, he denounced the Oslo Accords in a speech interrupted by chants that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was a “traitor.”

Did anyone think Bibi, who opposed Ariel Sharon withdrawal of Israeli settlers from Gaza, was going to withdraw tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from Judea and Samaria, share Jerusalem with a Palestinian state, or allow the return of Arab refugees to what Bibi says is the “Jewish state”?

“Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out,” said Bibi on his Facebook page in Hebrew, according to a translation by Haaretz.

That’s the real Bibi. We have clarity now.

What should Obama do?

Drop the petulance, call and congratulate Bibi on his election and tell him we are proceeding with the Iran deal—if we conclude it accords with our interests. And if he attempts to sabotage or scuttle the deal, he should expect political and economic retaliation.

Bibi is looking out for Israel first. America needs a president like Ike who will start looking out for America first.

It appears we are at a moment of truth worldwide.

Our freeloading friends in NATO, only four of whom spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, and some are cutting that, should be told that the days of Uncle Sam carrying the lion’s share of their defense are over.

Ukraine and Crimea are on their continent not ours.

The Soviet Empire is dead; the Soviet Union has ceased to exist. A Russia smaller than it has been in centuries, with half the population the USSR had at the end of the Cold War, is primarily their problem not ours.

If the Germans, Brits, French and Italians will not man up and pay for their defense, let them pay tribute to powerful neighbors the way other fat, rich and feeble nations have historically done.

The Chinese are launching an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a rival to the U.S.-dominated World Bank. Despite our pleas, Britain, France, Italy and Germany are rushing to sign on as charter members. South Korea and Australia may follow.

Our allies are looking to pick up contracts for the construction projects for the new Chinese “silk road” from Asia to Europe.

The AIIB will have $50 billion in startup cash, a pittance to a China sitting on a hoard of $3 to $4 trillion in cash reserves, from decades of huge trade surpluses run at the expense of the United States.

Virtually all our Asian allies do a larger share of their trade with China than with us. They want to buy from and sell to China, and stay in Beijing’s good graces. But if menaced by China, they want the United States obligated by treaty to come and fight for them.

One understands why this is in their interests. But why is it in ours?

Nor is the Middle East any different.

The Turks, Saudis and Gulf Arabs want us to finish off ISIS, whom they were lately aiding, but also Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. They want us to fight them all, but disagree on whom the Americans should fight first.

Last week, John Kerry said he might talk with Syria’s Bashar Assad, and was denounced by the Saudis. The State Department backed off. But who are the Saudis to be telling us to whom we may talk when coping with the Islamic State?

In the Eisenhower era, Dulles spoke of an “agonizing reappraisal” of our alliances, a cost-benefit analysis of what America was getting out of them, compared with what we were contributing to them.

Is there a single U.S. alliance today that would survive a cost-benefit analysis like that?

Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. Republished with gracious permission of Pat Buchanan (March 2015).

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4 replies to this post
  1. I don’t think that with Obama in the WH we need worry about adventurism. I do have a sympathy for civilized states, especially ones that had to fight for its existence just to begin that existence. A nation attacked regularly over the years in all manner of aggressions from a barbaric, pre-civilized Islamic “culture”, if you can call it that.
    In any case Mr. Buchanan should rest easy, is not Obama currently opening “dialogue” with an anti-Jewish state that practices murder and terror as a matter of course, that has its forces in Iraq and is spreading it’s influence through out the region?
    I do note that the Saudis have commenced air operations, this bears watching.

  2. “In November 1956, President Eisenhower, enraged he had not been forewarned of their invasion of Egypt, ordered the British, French and Israelis to get out of Suez and Sinai. They did as told”

    This is not remotely accurate.

    1. The US may not have been officially informed, but they knew all about the invasion beforehand, as the head of the CIA later admitted. And the British and French knew that they were aware.

    2. Eisenhower did not start to press the British and French to withdraw until the Soviet Union threatened to invade. Even then, he assisted them by ordering U2 flights to look for any Soviet aircraft on Arab airfields within range of the Suez so the British and French air forces could destroy them if it came to a shooting war with the Soviets.

    3. Eisenhower never “ordered” the British and French to do anything, but he did put pressure on them indirectly, particularly via the IMF.

    4. The British and French halted their forces (much to the dismay of Churchill, who said he probably wouldn’t have started the invasion, but if he had, would have pushed it through to secure the entirety of the Canal). They did not leave until UN forces from Denmark and Colombia arrived to take their place.

    Some Americans need to do some serious study of their own history.

  3. “An Israeli leader told a joint session of Congress that President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is stupid and dangerous and must be rejected. Congress gave him 40 ovations.”

    And this is a bad thing, how, exactly?

    “Bibi Netanyahu then went home and told the world there will be no Palestinian state, and was re-elected in a smashing victory.”

    Ditto. Does any sane person think there will be a Palestinian “State” any time in our lifetimes?

    But, really, Buchanan just can’t seem to stop obsessing about Israel. I doubt he would have complained if a British Prime Minister had addressed Congress. Indeed, I’m not sure Pitchfork Pat would have objected if Arafat had adddressed Congress.

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