Michael Doran on Michael Oren's "Ally"

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The Democratic establishment spin machine has been in full-spin mode over former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren's memoir, Ally, which is highly critical of Obama Administration policy.

The Post, for example, published this review by Philip Gordon, identified as until recently the White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf region.

Before that, he worked for Hillary Clinton at the State Department as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs for four years. He didn't like the book. Quelle surprise.

Here, in contrast, is a review by Michael Doran, one of my favorite commentators on foreign policy.

Doran emphasizes Oren's own complicity in promoting the illusion that President Obama would prove himself to be a strong friend of Israel, especially on the Iranian issue, if Netanyahu would just show some flexibility with regard to the Palestinians.

As Doran notes, Netanyahu undertook, at American insistence, an unprecedented settlement freeze, became the first Likud prime minister to endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state, and refrained from engaging in military action against Iran. He might have added that Netanyahu released hundreds of terrorist murderers to further John Kerry's misbegotten "peace process." While Netanyahu hasn't always behaved well, even when he did the White House's bidding he was met solely with contempt, more contempt than the Obama Administration has shown for any other foreign leader.

That would be okay, if one really trusted Obama on the one issue key to Israeli security (and, in my opinion, key to the security of the entire Middle East and therefore to American security), preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Doran points out that Jeffrey Goldberg, an Oren friend and frequent friendly Obama interviewer, wrote these ridiculous words in 2012: "Netanyahu would be wrong to root for Romney. Barack Obama is the one who's more likely to confront Iran militarily, should sanctions and negotiations fail."

Does anyone still believe that there are any circumstances under which the president would use military force to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons?

I used to believe it, firmly, but no more.

Doran suggests that Oren proved himself to be a "freier" (sucker in Hebrew). He's not the only one.