- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Obama’s Futile Efforts at ‘Reassuring’ Bad Clients

The U.S. is preparing to increase [1] the amount of aid it provides to yet another wealthy client:

President Barack Obama will unveil on Wednesday a massive new military aid package for Israel, one which — at a reported $38 billion over 10 years — would be the largest such deal in U.S. history.

But is it enough to buy Obama the love of his fiercest pro-Israel critics?

Not a chance.

Obama has showered both Israel and Saudi Arabia with aid and weapons for years, and in practical terms he has been one of the most reliable supporters of both governments, but no matter how much he does for these clients neither they nor their supporters here in the U.S. are satisfied. However much Obama supports both clients, the recipient governments still believe that he is too hard on them, neglects them, and works against their interests. Since they know that Obama responds to each new complaint with another round of “reassurance,” they have every incentive to complain and feign outrage about how they are treated in the knowledge that the more they whine the more they will gain.

It is also a fact that many of Obama’s “pro-Israel” critics have never accepted and will never accept that he is actually “pro-Israel” as they are, and so they dismiss anything he does as a trick, a bribe, or an insult. Obama can try as much as he likes to demonstrate just how conventionally “pro-Israel” he is (and always has been), but there will never be any pleasing those detractors that are (absurdly) convinced that he is ideologically hostile to Israel. The same goes for hawks that take it for granted that Obama supposedly neglects and abandons “allies” elsewhere in the region. There is nothing Obama can to make them believe that he doesn’t do this, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from frittering away more resources to placate governments that do little or nothing for the U.S.

11 Comments (Open | Close)

11 Comments To "Obama’s Futile Efforts at ‘Reassuring’ Bad Clients"

#1 Comment By bt On September 13, 2016 @ 8:09 pm

It is all manipulation by these ‘allies’ to get even more free stuff from us.

Funny, Republicans (Hawks if you will) are the ones who don’t want people to have free stuff, but if that free stuff is weapons to our crappy allies, then that’s just more ketchup on their freedom fries.

#2 Comment By Trouble Coming On September 13, 2016 @ 8:25 pm

From the linked article: “Some hawkish U.S. lawmakers and foreign policy commentators are raising questions about aspects of the deal, especially reports that it limits Israel’s ability to lobby for more aid from Congress.”

Can’t have that, can we?

Can’t limit Israel’s ability to lobby our elected representatives for more aid.

Think of all the lost “campaign contributions”. All the Israel Lobby money “hawkish U.S. lawmakers” stand to lose.


It’s difficult to imagine a franker confession of corruption, of willingness to put our national security and precious financial resources at risk, than demanding that Israel be allowed to “pay to play” with the US Congress.

The process of kicking out politicians who serve foreign interests got rolling back in 2010. It is far from over and if anything has intensified.

American voters will want the names of these “hawkish U.S. lawmakers”. This kind of open greed, insolence, and treachery will have consequences.

#3 Comment By jk On September 13, 2016 @ 9:14 pm

Israel gets free weapons and so they can fund their universal healthcare. Nice. US taxpayers get a $38BN more in debt and no universal healthcare.

Who or what is Obama trying to placate at this point? Some nudge by Hillary and her neocon buddies?

Too bad Trump is known as another Israeli welfare baby sympathizer. Gary Johnson probably doesn’t know where Israel is on a map.

#4 Comment By Lee Redding On September 13, 2016 @ 11:21 pm

Once Hillary Clinton wins, I bet Mr. Larison will miss Obama’s foreign policy.

#5 Comment By RzrBcks On September 13, 2016 @ 11:32 pm

“Since they know that Obama responds to each new complaint with another round of “reassurance,” they have every incentive to complain and feign outrage about how they are treated in the knowledge that the more they whine the more they will gain. “

With Israel in particular, almost anything that happens anywhere is spun into a reason why the US must give it more money or weapons. We pay it to get it to take part in peace talks and we pay it when the talks fail, as they always do. We pay it because we’re assured it will be an invaluable ally if anything happens in the Middle East, and when something does happen it not only turns out to be worthless, it demands even more money.

US: Please don’t build settlements in the West Bank. They cause terror attacks against America.

Israel: OK, but that’ll cost you.

US: Hey! I thought you weren’t going to build more settlements! Take them down!

Israel: OK, but that’ll cost you.

It’s a brazen ripoff, it’s been going on for decades, and the only thing we ever got in return was 9/11.

#6 Comment By Uncle Billy On September 14, 2016 @ 7:10 am

No matter how much we do for Israel, it is never enough. No matter how obedient we are to Israel, it is never enough. Why do we even bother trying?

Sooner or later the American people are going to get sick of this relationship, and there is going to be a change.

#7 Comment By Brooklyn Blue Dog On September 14, 2016 @ 8:56 am


I’ve been saying the same thing for years. Conservatives: “No free stuff for anyone, ever! Except the people we want to give free stuff to!”

#8 Comment By Brooklyn Blue Dog On September 14, 2016 @ 8:57 am

@bt “Conservatives” was a typo. Should have been “Republicans”.

#9 Comment By jk On September 14, 2016 @ 8:47 pm

Absolutely disgusting, $33BN planned foreign welfare checks to be written:


Most of it is probably military aid so the US MIC has a slice of it but its not like its actually benefiting the US as a whole.

Some of these countries have universal health care and better infrastructure than the US.

Really weird to Saudi Arabia and China receiving aid also.

Sad to see candidates not arguing over these perpetual wars and zero or negative return on investment welfare checks to places such as Israel.

#10 Comment By Skipjack On September 15, 2016 @ 11:51 am

This seems cranky for something stay-the-course. Obama isn’t placating or bribing anyone for love. As you indicate in the body of your post he is acting as he would if they were praising instead of condemning him. This is what he thinks is the appropriate posture for the US; I happen to disagree but there’s no psychological aspect to it. I bet the only mention in his inevitable memoirs will be if they used the time, space and money to be more forward looking.

The “largest deal” aspect is that it is over 10 years, but is an increase in our terms of roughly .8 billion a year and locks it in from being more, which most people allow both Congress and a President Clinton would agree to giving. It’s putting the footing on his terms, rather like Bush put a timetable for Iraq withdrawal before the end of his second term.

#11 Comment By Ret. Vet. On September 16, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

Uh oh. Here’s something that could lose Trump my vote – and a lot of others too:


This Trump flunky says that $38 billion is “a good first step” but “much more needs to be done” and that aid to Israel should “not be limited”.

How in God’s name was this guy permitted to say something so incredibly stupid?

I thought Trump was going to get the parasites off our back. That useless “allies” would be made to pay their own way. But if his “top Israel aide” is to be believed, Trump would blow even more US taxpayer cash on Israel than Obama and Bush II.

Very, very surprised and disappointed. This would be a complete betrayal of a core promise to the base. And as with the stupid waffling on H1-B visas earlier in the campaign, he needs to straighten it out. Fast.

And he needs to fire this idiotic “top Israel aide”.