The scourge of clientitis

November 23, 2011
IDF clientitis - Shahak Shaath.jpg(Caroline Glick) For many years, observers of the US State Department on both sides of the American political spectrum have agreed that State Department officials suffer from a malady referred to as “clientitis.” Clientitis is generally defined as a state of mind in which representatives of an organization confuse their roles.
Rather than advance the cause of their organization to outside organizations, they represent the interests of outside organizations to their own organizations. In some cases, diplomats are simply corrupted by their host governments. For generations US diplomats to Saudi Arabia have received lucrative post-government service jobs at Saudi-owned or controlled companies, public relations firms and other institutions.
Often, the problem is myopia rather than corruption.
Diplomats who speak to foreign government officials on a daily basis often simply ignore the context in which these foreigners operate. They become friends with their interlocutors and forget that the latter are also agents of their governments tasked with promoting foreign interests in their dealings with US diplomats.
In Israel the situation is similar. Here, too, Foreign Ministry officials have a tendency to give preference to the positions of the governments or institutions to which they are assigned over the interests and positions of the Israeli government that sent them to their posts.
For instance, in September 2008, shortly after the UN allowed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to use his speech at the UN General Assembly to accuse the Jews of controlling the world in a bid to poison and destroy it, then-Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev gave an interview to Army Radio in which she said her primary duty is “correcting the UN’s image in the eyes of the people of Israel.”
Since the scourge of clientitis among diplomats is widely recognized, governments are often able to consider its impact on diplomats when they weigh the credibility or wisdom of recommendations presented by their professional diplomats.
LESS WELL recognized and therefore largely unconsidered is how clientitis has negatively impacted the positions of military commanders.
Clientitis first became prevalent in the US Armed Forces and the IDF in the 1990s. In the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, the Clinton administration began transforming in earnest the US armed forces’ role from war fighting to nation building. In Israel, with the onset of the peace process with the PLO in 1993, the IDF was ordered to change its operating guidelines. From then on, peacemaking was to take priority over war fighting and defeating terrorists.
Since September 11, 2011, the US military has vastly expanded its nation building roles around the world.US military commanders are promoted more for prowess in acting as diplomats-in-uniform than for their capacity to train and employ soldiers to kill and defeat the enemy. Commanders deployed to train the al-Qaida-infested Yemeni or Afghan militaries; liaise with the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese Armed Forces; or train the Iranian-penetrated Iraqi military have little personal incentive to warn against these missions.
So, too, in working with their local counterparts on a daily basis, like their State Department colleagues, these US military officers have a marked tendency to ignore the broader context in which their local colleagues operate. And so, like their civilian colleagues at the US embassies in these countries, military commanders have a tendency to become the representatives of their foreign counterparts to the Pentagon and to Congress.
In the case of the IDF, in 1993 the entire General Staff was encouraged to embrace clientitis. Then prime minister and defense minister Yitzhak Rabin’s decision in 1993 to appoint IDF commanders to lead negotiations with the PLO politicized the IDF to an unprecedented degree. Only generals who completely supported the peace process and forced their underlings to completely support it could expect promotion.
This political corruption of the IDF survived the destruction of the peace process in 2000. Due to successive governments’ decisions to continue negotiating with the Palestinian Authority despite its refusal to make peace with Israel and its sponsorship of terrorism, the IDF has continued to participate in negotiations with the PA and lead liaison efforts with the Palestinian security forces.
As a consequence, whether due to the political views of officers on the ground, to institutional corrosion, or to officers’ inability to view the statements of their Palestinian counterparts in the broader context of Palestinian and regional power politics, these IDF “peacemakers” act as the PA security services chief lobbyists to both the Israeli and US governments.
IN RECENT conversations with senior sources on Capitol Hill, it became apparent that American military trainers who work with the Lebanese Armed Forces were highly influential in convincing Congress to end its opposition to renewed US military assistance to the LAF.
Congress put a temporary hold on US military assistance to Lebanon in August 2010 after a Lebanese army sniper murdered IDF Lt.-Col. Dov Harari and critically wounded Capt. Ezra Lakia. Both officers were stationed on the Israeli side of the border.
In April, when Hizbullah gained control over the new Lebanese government, the Obama administration again temporarily froze military assistance to the LAF.
In September Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Hizbullah-controlled Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati that the US would renew its assistance. In October, the Pentagon hosted Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Kahwagi on an official visit.
According to Congressional sources, Congress has permitted continued military assistance to Lebanon, despite Hizbullah’s control over both the government and the armed forces, because of the outspoken support of the US military for the military assistance program.
So too, according to Congressional sources. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros- Lehtinen’s decision to end her committee’s block on US military assistance to the PA’s security forces owed to IDF pressure to renew the assistance. That assistance was cut off in September following the PA’s bid to achieve statehood at the UN.
Following the aid cut-off Palestinian commanders warned that if the US did not renew its financial support for the US trained Palestinian security services, its soldiers would seek funding from elsewhere – including from terror sponsoring governments like Iran and Syria, and from Hamas, and Hizbullah.
Obviously these warnings were nothing more than acts of extortion. And despite outcries from the Obama administration, Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen held firm.
However, according to senior Congressional sources, Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen was unable to brush off entreaties by IDF commanders asking that the US renew its funding of these forces. Two weeks ago – just as the PA renewed its unity talks with Hamas – she lifted her committee’s block on military assistance to the PA.
THE IDEA that governments gain leverage over other governments by assisting them is not a new one. And it is certainly true. However, in all cases, the leverage gained by assisting foreign governments owes entirely to the other governments’ understanding that such assistance can and will be ended if they fail to meet certain benchmarks of behavior that are dictated from the outset.
Once a government’s threat of aid cut-off to another government is removed or is no longer credible, then the leverage the provision of aid afforded that government is lost. So long as the Palestinians believe that Israel will never cut off its support for Fatah and the PA security services, they will continue to sponsor terror and collaborate with Hamas and other terror groups without fear.
So long as LAF officers and soldiers believe that Hizbullah’s threat to attack the LAF is more credible than the US’s stated willingness to end its support for the Lebanese military, the LAF will continue to openly support war against Israel and collaborate with Hizbullah.
Proof that a state’s ability to leverage its foreign aid owes entirely to the credibility of a threat to cut off that aid came earlier this month in the aftermath of UNESCO’s decision to grant full state membership to “Palestine.” Due to US law, the Obama administration had no choice but to cut off all US funding to UNESCO in response to the move. As a consequence, the PLO’s bid to gain full membership in other UN institutions has floundered.
Not wishing to suffer UNESCO’s fate, no other UN institutions are willing to repeat UNESCO’s action And so the Palestinians’ great victory at UNESCO has become a Pyrrhic one.
The Obama administration never sought this outcome. As his representatives have made abundantly clear, if US President Barack Obama had the power to maintain US budgetary support for UNESCO despite its conferral of membership on “Palestine,” he would have done so.
But because the law is not subject to interpretation, US leverage over the UN actually increased in the aftermath of the UNESCO vote. Recognizing that actions have consequences, other UN agencies have buried plans of granting membership to “Palestine.”
Governments must give due consideration to the positions of their professional diplomats and military commanders as well as to those of allied countries when they weigh various policy options. But while doing so, legislators and policymakers must also take into account the built-in biases influencing the judgment of these professionals. Clientitis is a serious impediment to good judgment. And it is found wherever professionals are charged with building relationships, rather than achieving concrete goals.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

US: No More Weapons to Lebanon

April 4, 2011

The United States has shut down the flow of weapons to Lebanon due to concerns that the Hizbullah terrorist organization may seize the arms.
The arms freeze was actually implemented in January, according to a report published Monday in the Wall Street Journal
However, the decision was not publicized in order to ensure a smooth transition to a new Lebanese government following the collapse of former Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri’s Western-backed administration. American deliveries of non-lethal equipment have continued, as has military training for the Lebanese Army. In 2010, the U.S. granted at least $18 million in ordnance to Lebanon, according to the report. Hizbullah-backed Nagib Mikati was appointed as the new prime minister-designate in January with a parliamentary majority secured, according to March 14 Alliance rivals, by the terrorists’ weapons. March 14 is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon led by Hariri, son of the assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
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This is where Hitlery Clinton wants your tax dollars going: Lebanese Brigades

March 5, 2011
“Lebanese Brigades” Pledge to Take Over Tel Aviv If Nasrallah So Commands.

From MEMRI:

Commander: The brigades of the fifth region: Renew your pledge of allegiance.
Footage shows the brigade members saluting the tomb of Imad Mughniya
Reporter: They renewed their pledge to continue on the path of resistance, in the footsteps of the commander of the two victories, the martyr and commander Hajj Imad Mughniya. After the words about all the accomplishments, the brigades of the fifth region in the north made their pledge, before the tomb of the martyr and commander, in the Mausoleum of the Two Martyrs, on the anniversary of his death.
Spokesman for the Lebanese Brigades: In the name of Jihad and the mujahideen, the brigades of the fifth region hereby renew their pledge of allegiance to you, oh leader of the resistance.
You have asked the mujahideen to be fully prepared to take over the Galilee at your behest. We are telling you, that from here – from the tomb of the leader of the victories, of Jihad, and of the resistance – we are prepared to take over Tel Aviv, if you so command.
[…]


Clinton: ‘Lebanese Armed Forces are professional and non-sectarian’

March 4, 2011

Hillary Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the Lebanese Armed Forces are ‘professional and non-sectarian’ and therefore the US should continue its assistance to them – despite the fact that Hezbullah is about to become the country’s ruling party.

She really wants control, but these are forces even Hitlery can not pull the strings with.

Hillary Clinton: America is Losing An Information War to Al Jazeera

Notice that Hillary is asking for money for public media aka propaganda. Do you really trust Obama to create the rhetoric? There are plenty of Pro American voices being heard. Perhaps it is just that the voice being heard doesn’t trust Hillary and enablers of Jihad?

From Accuracy in Media‘s Don Irvine:
Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton appeared before the U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities Committee yesterday, stating that counter to our history we are are now “losing an information war” to other countries.
Clinton also told the committee that private media isn’t up to the task of fighting the information war:

“Our private media cannot fill that gap. In fact our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans and what our values are.  I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling.”

Full story and video here.

Hitlery is a common way of adressing Hillary Clinton. via urbandictionary.com

Congress Gives Tax Paid Dollars to Lebanese Again. Democrats desperate to give taxes to terrorists

November 14, 2010

Representatives Howard Berman (D-Cal) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) lifted their holds on the provision of military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces on Friday.

“On August 2, I placed a hold on a $100 million spending plan for military assistance for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) out of concern that this plan did not reflect changing political realities in Lebanon. The following day, August 3, a shooting initiated by the LAF on its southern border, resulting in the needless death of an Israeli soldier, further complicated the situation; Israeli restraint prevented that situation from getting out of hand.”In response to our hold, the Administration initiated a thorough, inter-agency review of its military assistance program for Lebanon. I have been fully briefed, in a classified setting, on the results of that review. As a result, I am convinced that implementation of the spending plan will now have greater focus, and I am re-assured as to the nature and purposes of the proposed package. I also understand that the LAF has taken important steps to prevent recurrence of dangerous and provocative actions like that which occurred August 3. I have also been given reason for confidence that assistance to the LAF has not fallen into the hands of Hezbollah and that every possible measure is being taken by Lebanese and American authorities to prevent that from happening. As a result of these assurances, I am lifting the hold on the $100 million spending plan for the LAF.”I continue to be concerned about developments in Lebanon, and I will continue my ongoing discussions with State regarding the optimal contours of future military assistance for Lebanon. Some of the key elements of the current package are not yet ready for actual delivery to the LAF and will be further notified to Congress prior to actual delivery. We will, of course, further assess the situation at that time.”

The Jerusalem Post has a statement from Lowey’s staff:

“The administration gave detailed briefings and provided thorough, written responses to Congresswoman Lowey’s questions and concerns about the assistance and safeguards in place to prevent it from falling into terrorists’ hands,” a Democratic congressional staffer said of Lowey’s decision to lift the hold on Friday.
“Improving Lebanon’s ability to defend its borders, stop arms trafficking, build institutions and fight terrorist elements is imperative to the security and stability of the region.”

And the Wall Street Journal adds this statement from the State Department.

“We reviewed our assistance to Lebanon and concluded that it is vital, given ongoing challenges to the Lebanese state from Hezbollah and others,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Friday.

Remember what happened to all the weapons that the US supplied to Fatah when Hamas took over in 2007? Look for the same thing to happen in Lebanon between the LAF and Hezbullah. Trust me on this.

via israelmatzav.blogspot.com

it was barely a few weeks after the Lebanese were caught attacking Israel with U.S. guns.



Ahmadinejad tells Saudi king he wants united Lebanon

October 22, 2010

UNITED RELIGION OF PEACE?

Saudi Arabia and Western governments back the majority bloc in parliament of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Iran and its regional ally Syria support the minority bloc led by Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Lebanon’s most powerful political and military force, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel.

Ahmadinejad received a hero’s welcome from Hezbollah and its supporters during his October 13-14 visit, during which he travelled to the Israeli border.

The Iranian leader last spoke to the Saudi monarch the day before the visit, which drew strong criticism from Israel and the United States.

In its report on Wednesday’s phone conversation, Iran’s official IRNA news agency said that Ahmadinejad and the king discussed a range of international developments as well as ways to boost relations.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have also been competing for influence in Iraq where they have backed rival sides in the protracted battle for the premiership since an inconclusive March election between incumbent Nuri al-Maliki and former prime minister Iyad Allawi.


Hezbollah openly threatens civil war in Lebanon

September 28, 2010

Report In Lebanon: UAE Authorities Order Lebanese Nationals Out
The UAE authorities have ordered Lebanese nationals residing in the territory to leave immediately.

It should be noted that a similar order, issued a year ago, was rescinded following intervention by the Lebanese parliament spokesman Nabih Berri.
Source: Al-Akhbar, Lebanon, September 25, 2010

From Naharnet:

Hizbullah’s MP Nawwaf Moussawi on Friday warned that “the period that will follow the (Special Tribunal for Lebanon) indictment won’t be the same as the one before, and any group in Lebanon that might endorse this indictment will be treated as one of the tools of the U.S.-Israeli invasion, and it will have the same fate as the invader.”
“Those must not only be worried, but also panic-stricken, and we tell everyone that those who couldn’t defeat the Resistance through fire and iron and billions of dollars will not be able to defeat it through an indictment or anything else,” Moussawi warned.

in the past few weeks I have been corrected by so called neutral voices stating the difference between Lebanon Defense Forces and the Iranian proxy Hezbollah. I was consistently reminded during 2006 that Lebanon was a victim of all it’s neighbors. All these ideas are false. Lebanon and it’s people are clearly an aggressor and when they allow large missiles in their literal backyard they seize to have the ability to claim that they are civilians.