Contrary to the spin of the mainstream media, the fever that is sweeping the Middle East is not some long-suppressed desire for political liberty. These are not secular democratic revolutions.
Instead, they represent the fury of subjugated peoples who have been deeply embittered by decades of autocratic rule, corruption and the pro-Western policies of their leaders. Many of the demonstrators despise America and Israel. They want one-man, one-vote democracy only once — to erect a theocratic state based on Shariah law.
As the leader of the Free World, Mr. Obama should be standing against this reactionary tidal wave. Instead, he is openly encouraging and embracing it. The result is that the United States is losing its influence in the Middle East.
In Tunisia, Mr. Obama abandoned President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, a friend of the United States. In Egypt, Mr. Obama abandoned President Hosni Mubarak, who for 30 years was a staunch ally of Washington. Mr. Mubarak may have been a tinpot dictator, but he supported America in the war on terrorism, cracked down on Muslim extremists and kept the peace with Israel. His downfall has led to a surge in new Islamic fundamentalist parties — especially those that champion a virulent Salafism. Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in September. Cairo’s liberals admit that the expected big winner will be the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to forge an Islamic regime and break the peace treaty with Israel. In Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an ally in the fight against Al Qaida, is on the verge of being overthrown by jihadists.
In Iraq, U.S. troops are being withdrawn precipitously. They will all be gone by year’s end. The power vacuum is being filled by Iran. Baghdad’s government says its laws must correspond with the Koran. Half of Iraq’s Christians have been exterminated or expelled; the other half lives in fear. Muqtada al-Sadr, the fiery anti-American Shiite cleric, wields considerable clout behind the scenes. The war has cost more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead and 30,000 wounded. Yet Iraq is under Tehran’s sphere of influence.
In Afghanistan, Mr. Obama’s surge has failed. It is becoming another Vietnam — a military quagmire squandering precious American blood and treasure in a futile effort at nation-building. Al Qaida is gone from that Godforsaken land. It has dispersed to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. The Taliban are resurgent. They are taking advantage of Washington’s severe rules of engagement, which make it almost impossible for U.S. forces to win.
Other allies also are beginning to turn away from America. Turkey’s Islamic government is increasingly anti-Western and hostile to Israel. Ankara is drifting out of America’s orbit, pursuing a policy of neo-Ottomanism — the attempt to restore Turkey’s historic role as the defender of the region’s Muslims. Pakistan is seething with anti-Americanism. Lebanon is dominated by Hizbullah. Bahrain’s pro-U.S. king is facing a massive revolt. Jordan’s royal family is being threatened seriously for the first time in decades.
Mr. Obama’s inept foreign policy is starkly evident in Libya. His administration’s diplomacy has been confused and incoherent. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has admitted that there is “no vital national interest” at stake. In that case, why are we there? Our military is not an international charity; its purpose is not humanitarian intervention. This is a recipe for endless wars that will overextend and break America.
Mr. Obama insists that had he not ordered the airstrikes, the rebel stronghold of Benghazi would have been overrun by pro-Moammar Gadhafi loyalists. This would have led to a slaughter — a Libyan version of Srebrenica, where more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were butchered by Serb forces in 1995.
The president, however, is content to turn a blind eye to massacres in Sudan, Somalia and Syria. In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ridiculously refers to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as a “reformer.” Mr. Assad is the very opposite: a murderous anti-reformer whose security forces recently gunned down peaceful demonstrators. Yet the White House refuses to bomb Damascus. In short, Mr. Obama and his team are hypocrites.
Moreover, the Libyan campaign will only empower radical Islamists. Elements of the anti-Gadhafi rebels are al Qaeda insurgents; others are Libyan jihadists who fought in Iraq against U.S. forces. American pilots are risking their lives, and American taxpayers are funding a war on behalf of terrorist thugs who have American blood on their hands. The rebels’ goal is not just to topple the Libyan strongman. Many want an Islamist Libya — more radical and anti-Western than Col. Gadhafi’s crazed regime.
Mr. Obama has accomplished his primary foreign-policy goal: creating a post-American world. He is an academic leftist who believes that the United States must be constrained and ultimately weakened. Its might must be tethered to the United Nations in order to serve the “international community” — including the Muslim world, which he says has been the victim of Western imperialism. This kind of liberal guilt and self-hatred may play well with the media class. But from Teheran to Tripoli, Baghdad to Benghazi, Mr. Obama’s anti-Americanism only invites contempt from both our close friends and our mortal foes. Nobody respects weakness, even from a transnational progressive messiah.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio talk show personality and a columnist at The Washington Times and WorldTribune.com.
I never thought America would be stupid enough to elect Obama. I guess I was stupid. I also never realized that it was the US that was holding the Middle East together. I guess I was again stupid.
11:41 a.m. / Saturday, April 2, 2011
No one respects weakness in an enemy, but the Islamists rejoice even more: they think they have an ally in the White House, which they probably do. Far left - think Ayers, Dohrn, the lunatic preacher - hatred for Israel is well known. The LA Times still embargoes the videotape of Obama, Ayers & Dohrn attending the 2003 farewell dinner for Rashid Khalidi, where anti-semetic rants were made and likely applauded.
Americans are now tasting the bitter fruit of their frivolous choice for President in 2008. All those independents & Dems who based their choice on skin color & said, gosh wouldn't it be neat to have a black President! and who willfully ignored the radical friends had no idea how really dangerous it would be be to have a communist, Islam-loving, labor-thug as president. Think it's any coincidence that the entire Middle East went up in flames right after the 2010 election? The President's policies & message surely greenlighted this middle-east conflagration, as surely as if his Marxist/labor allies got on the phone, called the opposition leaders in all these countries and said "Go!" (which they probably did, although we'll never have evidence for it). None of this would have happened had McCain won.
This turmoil only gets worse in the next year and 1/2 - how does China bombing & invading Taiwan & the disputed Japanese Senkaku islands sound America? All they need is some pretext. Think Comrade Obama will bomb Chinese surface-to-surface missle batteries when China holds 900 billion in US Treasury notes & is financing our reckless spending?
But we do have a treaty. The president might feel compelled to put up some token resistance. What happens then, when the Chinese dump $900 billion in notes on the open market? Answer: collapse of the dollar, martial law.
This is pessimistic, but the collective whole of Comrade Obama's actions say that this only gets much, much worse.
10:49 a.m. / Saturday, April 2, 2011