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Elections, Politics

The Middle East and Israel: Is it Too Late Now for “Red Lines” ?

Posted: September 14, 2012 at 8:00 am   /   by

Nineteen months ago (Feb, 2011), I wrote an article titled “Reaping What He Has Sown — Why Obama Can’t Handle Egypt“.  I speculated that Obama’s feckless, appeasement-oriented approaches to Middle East policy would ultimately leave him with no influence at all since neither Israel nor Israel’s enemies would take him seriously.

In that article, I suggested that President Obama might deter Iran’s aggresssive intentions by adopting the approach of President Kennedy when Kennedy set a “red line” in the Cuban Missile Crisis.  For example, in JFK’s rhetorical style, Obama might have declared:

Israel is a friend and ally of the United States. It shall be the policy of the United States to regard any attack launched from any country against the State of Israel as an attack by that country on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the attacking country. I say now to every friend and foe of Israel: Make no mistake — we will defend Israel.

Would such a declaration have deterred Iran?  Perhaps not, but we’ll never know since he has never declared any such thing.  Even if he were to declare it unequivocally now, who would believe him?  Iran?  Egypt?  Israel?  Is it too late now for “red lines” to be a deterrent to war?

Early on, President Obama chose a foreign policy based on winning love rather than fear or respect.  Predictably, he now has neither love nor respect, and the situation in the Middle East is rapidly unraveling.

Had Obama sought respect first and love later, and had he sought to keep our military and intelligence services strong rather than neglecting, redirecting, and decimating them as he is now, “red lines” might have actually worked.

As President Kennedy said (Inaugural Address,1961):

Only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

And as Sun Tzu said (The Art of War, circa 600 BC):

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

The world may be about to learn (yet again) a painful lesson that President Obama never recognized, let alone heeded.

Heaven help our friend and ally, Israel.  And America as well.

David Leeper

David Leeper

David Leeper is a retired engineer living in Scottsdale, AZ, with his wife of 44 years. He is currently a volunteer science teacher at In his 40-year career he held positions from lab technician to technical vice president at Bell Labs, Motorola, and Intel. He holds 16 patents in telecom technology and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. During his career, he wrote mainly for technical journals including Scientific American. He began writing for in 2011.
David Leeper


  1. sleepergirl says:

    Have Democrats learned nothing from Jimmy Carter? We cannot “nice” our way into the hearts of radical Muslims. Is Obama not able to read the writing on the wall that despite his charm and good looks, the Arab world still hates HIM and the US? In fact, his deliberate policy of bending over and time and again showing weakness, appeasement, and apologies further emboldens these jihadists to take more actions against the US.

    1.  @sleepergirl He will not learn. The Catholic Church calls it “invincible ignorance,” I believe.

      1. Abdul Ameer says:

         @WesternFreePress  @sleepergirl It is not so much that Obama will not learn. Obama is definitely pro-Moslem. From day 1 he has promoted the program of the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular and Islam, in general. The only thing he is concerned about is getting re-elected so that he can continue the downgrading (transformation!) of America.

        1.  @Abdul Ameer  @sleepergirl It’s hard to imagine America wanting four more years of this.

  2. NeilFeuer says:

     Knowing David Leeper personally, reading all  of his blogs since I became aware of the man himself, this article makes me, and it should make  all you readers, read the last line over and over again, and say “Never Again”  It is bone chilling!  And yes, it could happen here if we don’t act!  The seriousness of this short and brilliant article sums up the failures that this POTUS has labored us with and the impact on the free world  will be felt for too long a time to think about.  The way he picked up  e.g. what Obama would have done if he was only a JFK, is right out of the park.  I say yes, we should have made that statement loud and clear, but first they would have to fear and respect us, which they don’t, and that falls on Obama and his failed policies, or possibly it is what Obama wants.  Dismantle the American military is the end game.
    The faster our enemies, and as David says, know that  Israel and the U>S< must be considered as one, a threat or act of war on either, is a threat to both of us and the free world as well.
    We must deal in power, in strength,, it is not over, and what might have been or is, can be resolved with proper leadership and strength, I do not think at this moment we can rely on peace/ strength, it is too far gone.  Just look at the last few days and see the red in the whole Mid East, it is unraveling right before us.
    We can never quit, we must run our race and we will!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. dleeper47 says:

       @NeilFeuer Thank you for the kind words, Neil! 
      The irony here is that had Obama embraced a JFK-like program in economic & defense policies, his presidency could have been a big success instead of a big failure. And he actually could have gone a long way toward bringing Left and Right together.  
      Instead he chose to emulate Jimmy Carter’s policies.  Astounding.
      I recall Rush Limbaugh saying he’d actually had a short 1-on-1 conversation with Obama early in his Presidency on exactly this theme — governing from the center.  But Obama simply brushed him off, saying he’d won and was going to do it his way.  

  3. NeilFeuer says:

     Read David Leeper’s article and the last line over and over again, and then again.
    “Heaven help our friend and ally, Israel.  And America as well”

  4. Abdul Ameer says:

    Excellent, David! Nobody takes Obama seriously as an American leader who will defend American interests. He has lost all credibility, and this emboldens our enemies dangerously.

The Middle East and Israel: Is it Too Late Now for "Red Lines" ?