Dire Straits…writes Michael Kuttner

May 8, 2015 by Michael Kuttner
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Some of you may remember a British rock band called Dire Straits which was formed in the late 1970’s and went on to record some popular hits.

Some of their memorable and less memorable songs included titles such as:

Money for Nothing; Brothers in Arms; So Far Away; Twisting by the Pool; Your Latest Trick.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Surveying the current dire straits that we face today the titles of these songs seem more appropriate and apt than ever. They could just as well be sung by the White House and State Department choirs as they serenade the mullahs of Teheran and leave supposed allies high and dry to the mercies of a rapidly growing Islamic chorus of fanatical terror.

The likelihood of Iran receiving relief from its frozen funds and the possibility of a “signing” bonus of billions being dangled in front of them gives real meaning to the hit, “money for nothing.” The spectacle of serial liars being rewarded with torrents of cash exemplifies the extent to which diplomacy and duplicity go hand in hand in some quarters.

Once upon a time “brothers in arms” signified solidarity amongst allies in the face of those who plotted and planned evil. Not any more apparently if the current policies being pursued reach their inevitable conclusion. Ask those in the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia and of course Israel if they feel sold down the river and you will receive an almost unanimous response in confirmation. Promises of timely armed support and declarations of having “one’s back”, sound great in the media but when it comes down to the wire these “goodies” are no help when faced with appeasement of the most appalling variety.

Twisting by the pool may have been all the rage back in the 1970’s but today twisting has acquired an entirely new and lethal meaning. Combined with a craven reluctance to confront terror head on and making every contortion possible in order to avoid acknowledging the origins of Islamic terror, the twisted gyrations on display in the corridors of the United Nations and Foreign Ministries are enough to make one’s head spin. It has reached a stage where twisting and constant back flips leave friends & allies wondering exactly whom they can trust.

The spectacle of politicians trying to achieve a lasting place in history by pulling one failed policy after the other out of the hat is pitiful. When the inevitable dire consequences of misguided, misconceived and miserable initiatives come home to roost there is always a fallback position. This latest trick in a barren arsenal of brilliant failures usually involves trying to force Israel into lethal and terminal surrender to those whose sole aim is the elimination of the Jewish State. No amount of logic or past fiascos will deter those in the international community who see it as their ultimate goal to push us into the arms of our deadly adversaries.

I have hopefully demonstrated how Dire Straits unwittingly about forty years ago accurately predicted via their song titles the calamitous state of foreign policies as practiced today.

As the ultimate proof of this, we only need to take a look at what is actually happening in the Straits of Hormuz which is a vitally strategic waterway through which oil tankers and cargo ships of many nations sail. As a result of more brilliant Obama/Kerry inspired lack of gumption to support brothers in arms, the legitimate Government of Yemen was overthrown by an alliance of Islamic terrorists and the Iranian Mullahs. Today, we find this lethal combination in control of not only the Straits themselves but also international waters approaching this area. The first result has been the interception of a Marshall Island flagged cargo ship by Iranian naval vessels and its forcible seizure. The Iranians claim it is only about a financial dispute. The US navy is supposedly patrolling the Hormuz area to ensure freedom of navigation. Nevertheless the Iranians still managed to “steal” the cargo ship from under their noses. It gets worse however.

After refusing to condemn the Iranians for opening fire on and seizing this ship in international waters, the US State Department spokesperson stated that “the US is trying to free the ship diplomatically.” Presumably this means paying the ransom demanded and indeed according to breaking news the vessel has been finally released. No word of course on whether a “release bonus” was paid but based on previous pronouncements from Washington this is quite a distinct possibility. Here is an important aspect which is conveniently overlooked. International treaties oblige the US to react to any attack on the Marshall Islands as if it was an attack on the USA itself. The lack of such reaction and the resort to once again appeasing a regime which promotes, ferments and exports terror, merely demonstrates to allies and “brothers in arms” that legally binding guarantees and promises are not worth anything. The potential and indeed the inevitability of further Iranian interference with shipping through these strategic straits are high. Countries which use this route need to take note and if necessary be prepared to defend their interests in a far more robust manner than is evident at present.

Once the Iranians gain nuclear weapons capability it does not need a genius to predict what their next steps will be. For a foretaste just look at what happened last week. North Korea, which the US also failed to deter, tested the launching of a nuclear capable missile from a submarine. The threat this poses to Europe and the USA is clear. However do not look for salvation from our “brother in arms” because he is too busy trotting down the same failed path with Tehran.

Dire straits indeed!!

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.



2 Responses to “Dire Straits…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    Otherwise, all other speculations are most welcome….

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    The easiest thing is to stick to your barricades in a complex and somehow difficult to define expansive new kind of war.
    USA is not just the most important political and military power but, consequently, a prime target of a multitude of active inimical entities.
    A new kind of strategy has been in place since the cold war. We may call it “calculated duplicity”.
    In its global and local NECESSARY political assertion, ISLAM uses quite effectively as its “war call” anti American ideological phrases.9/11 hs been the most tangible statement of Islam’s capability of penetrating and causing unaffordable damage to its designated target. In addition, contrary to the old cold war situation, America contains a legitimate islamic demographic segment, as well as just as legitimate political entities decisively anti Israel, if not clearly antisemitic.
    The current US Administration is most obviously engaged in a strategy of resolving this complex inimical situation by the means of “rhetorical” – read diplomatic/political” – strategy while NOT abandoning localised, hand picked military options. Long wars have been initiated with mixed results and, precisely because of the time exhaustion,they have been less acceptable by a less than patient general American electorate.
    Israel must accept these realities and adjust her own attitude to America’s predicament while BEING FULLY AWARE that the Zionist “chapter” of US foreign policy IS NOT BEING ABANDONED.
    In this situation, simply put, if Iran proves an imminent and unaffordable danger to Israel, the green light to direct intervention by Israel is a GIVEN.

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