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US President Barack Obama admitted this week, that Washington did not accurately assess the degree of danger posed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (aka ISIS). The problem is that the US continues to misinterpret the map of global terrorism.
How can we tell? It is enough to hear the responses to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech before the UN.
The US does not subscribe to Netanyahu’s comparison between Hamas and ISIS. “No one in Israel expects the US to attack Hamas,” said yesterday State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki in reference to the Prime Minister’s speech before the UN, in the course of which he said “ISIS is Hamas and Hamas is ISIS.” The Americans got it all wrong. A long time ago it was al-Qaeda, then, it was the Hezbollah, later Hamas and now it’s ISIS. Those who draw any distinction simply does not get anything. They are all Islamist terror organizations. Hamas does not decapitate people in Gaza, but in the course of Operation Protective Shield, they did execute “Israel’s collaborators” on Gaza’s main street without any trial. Hamas was the one throwing FATAH operatives from high windows when they took control over the Gaza Strip in June 2007.
The US does not realize the differences are merely nuances of different methods of terrorism.
In her daily press conference, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki voiced the US’s reservations from including ISIS, Hamas, Iran and the Hezbollah under the same category. Psaki made it clear that the US designates both ISIS and Hamas as terrorist organizations, “but ISIS constitutes a threat to the US”. Regarding the comparison between Iran and ISIS, Psaki said the US takes both threats seriously. “As for Iran, we are concerned like Israel by a Nuclear-armed Iran. We are also concerned by ISIS.” ‘Concerned’? Iran continues to dupe the US and is racing towards its own nuclear bomb. The US is scratching the surface of ISIS with its airstrikes. The American lack of understanding runs all across the board. Washington does not realize the extent of the threat posed by the Islamist terrorist organizations, regardless of how they call themselves.
Now, here’s a joke. Referring to Netanyahu’s comment regarding Iran’s President Rouhani and the “charm tactic” he applies along with Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Psaki said “Iran has intensified its public relations, but the negotiations with Iran are not influenced by public relations. We are focused on the negotiations and on the deadline to achieve a comprehensive agreement in November.”
As I have said, Iran continues to race towards the bomb. Washington does not grasp the threat this poses, neither the threat posed by terrorist organizations, nor by an extremist Islamist state whose leaders speak English and exhibit European manners.