Uncle Sam to Olmert: Drop Dead

Uncle Sam to Olmert: Drop Dead

~EXCERPTS~

“All previous growth and prosperity projections for the Israeli economy are now worthless, and perhaps for the first time in the history of the State of Israel, discussion will focus on minimizing cutbacks of American aid rather than relying upon a bottomless line of credit with Uncle Sam.”

“There has been an astonishing bipartisan sea change in Washington within the last two weeks regarding financial support for Israeli military activity in general, and what is perceived as reckless adventurism in particular.”

“From the standpoint of Israel’s finances, a vortex of factors have suddenly come together that raise significant doubt that Washington will foot the bill for the Lebanon War, much less increase military aid to Israel going forward.”

“A significant blunder of the Olmert Administration has been its pandering to a lame duck the Bush Administration at the expense of garnering bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.”

“Simultaneously, there now exists widespread bipartisan sentiment on Capitol Hill for a radical reduction in US military and foreign aid across the board, and in the Middle East in particular.”

“From a Republican perspective, there can be no further increase in foreign aid within the parameters of the Republican budgetary platform, which is taking a beating due to the escalating costs of the Iraqi/Afghani war.”

“From the Democrat side of Congress, there is growing sentiment that the vast sums of American aid have only fueled the battles of the Middle East and it is time for a significantly lower profile.”

“From an American perspective, the costs of Olmert’s adventure into Lebanon are staggering both financially and politically, dwarfing the costs of the Gaza handover.”

“Senate responses fall into two categories. First: revulsion for Israel’s carpet bombing of civilians in retaliation for terrorist actions, as expressed on the Senate record by Senator John Warner of Virginia,”

“Far more important and pervasive, however, is the taboo none dared even express until August 2006: the Israel is the new Taiwan –a poor military ally, incapable of fulfilling its regional role irrespective of a bottomless credit, no longer worth the significant investment.”

“Like Taiwan, the Israeli government may well find itself suffering whiplash from the sudden embrace of its arch-enemy by the United States as a more viable solution to pouring billions into the black hole of military adventurism.”

Uncle Sam to Olmert: Drop Dead
21.8.06 | 11:03 By Gary Pickholz
Haaretz

There has been an astonishing bipartisan sea change in Washington within the last two weeks regarding financial support for Israeli military activity in general, and what is perceived as reckless adventurism in particular.

From the standpoint of Israel’s finances, a vortex of factors have suddenly come together that raise significant doubt that Washington will foot the bill for the Lebanon War, much less increase military aid to Israel going forward.

A significant blunder of the Olmert Administration has been its pandering to a lame duck the Bush Administration at the expense of garnering bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. American politics differ significantly from Israeli or European politics, and a fading Bush Administration has become increasingly irrelevant in terms of foreign appropriations. Even within the Republican Party, the lame duck President has ceded much of the authority to the two front leading Republican Senators for the 2008 nomination. The Olmert Administration has played the wrong hand in Washington’s poker game.

Simultaneously, there now exists widespread bipartisan sentiment on Capitol Hill for a radical reduction in US military and foreign aid across the board, and in the Middle East in particular. From a Republican perspective, there can be no further increase in foreign aid within the parameters of the Republican budgetary platform, which is taking a beating due to the escalating costs of the Iraqi/Afghani war. From the Democrat side of Congress, there is growing sentiment that the vast sums of American aid have only fueled the battles of the Middle East and it is time for a significantly lower profile.

Israel is the New Taiwan

From an American perspective, the costs of Olmert’s adventure into Lebanon are staggering both financially and politically, dwarfing the costs of the Gaza handover. America will be asked to pay over $ 7 billion in replacement costs to the Israelis, plus at least an additional $3 billion to rebuild Lebanon from the very bombs Congress paid for in the first place. This is prior to all calls for additional Israeli aid for its economic growth –all within 24 months of the original final date for US guarantee of Israeli national debt. All within a year of more than $5 billion in additional costs for the Gaza relocations.

Senate responses fall into two categories. First: revulsion for Israel’s carpet bombing of civilians in retaliation for terrorist actions, as expressed on the Senate record by Senator John Warner of Virginia, one of the two leading Republican candidates for the 2008 presidential nomination. Far more important and pervasive, however, is the taboo none dared even express until August 2006: the Israel is the new Taiwan –a poor military ally, incapable of fulfilling its regional role irrespective of a bottomless credit, no longer worth the significant investment. Like Taiwan experienced, a sudden sea change has occurred on Capitol Hill that those funds may be better invested in other manners within the Middle East puzzle, capable of achieving greater long-term alliance and stability for America. Like Taiwan, the Israeli government may well find itself suffering whiplash from the sudden embrace of its arch-enemy by the United States as a more viable solution to pouring billions into the black hole of military adventurism
What was not even a remote possibility in American Israeli relations 35 days ago is now openly discussed on a bipartisan basis as a more intelligent solution to American interests in the region. While the Olmert Administration must now work double time in repairing its image on Capitol Hill, there certainly is no prospect of discussion of even further aid to repair the damage to the Israeli economy suffered in the past month.

All previous growth and prosperity projections for the Israeli economy are now worthless, and perhaps for the first time in the history of the State of Israel, discussion will focus on minimizing cutbacks of American aid rather than relying upon a bottomless line of credit with Uncle Sam.

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