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GAFFNEY: Middle East melting down into ‘Obamawar’

Israel-Gaza strip conflict deserves president’s moniker

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While debating Mitt Romney this fall, President Obama declared that he had decided to embrace the term "Obamacare" -- a name originally coined and used by its detractors to tie the president firmly to the health care fiasco he had spawned. Perhaps he will, therefore, not object if we dub the escalating conflict in the Middle East by a similarly apt name: "Obamawar."

After all, frantic efforts under way at the moment by assorted diplomats aimed at containing hostilities between Israel and the terrorist enclave known as the Gaza Strip (primarily by blocking Israel's decisive retaliation) cannot obscure a dismal reality: The crescendo of rockets and missiles unleashed by the Palestinians on Israeli civilians are a predictable repercussion of President Obama's reckless defense and foreign policies.

Consider how such attacks -- and the danger to Israel and to us that is growing by the day -- have been aided and abetted by an Obama doctrine that can be described in nine words: Embolden our enemies, undermine our friends, diminish our country.

Let's start with the hundreds of incomings Israel has sustained from the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestinian franchise, the designated terrorist organization Hamas, since Mr. Obama was re-elected. These have been made possible and encouraged by the ascendancy of the Brotherhood throughout the Middle East and North Africa. That trend, in turn, has been enabled by the president's assiduous legitimizing of the world's pre-eminent jihadist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood; his engaging with its operatives, in some cases (notably Egypt) enriching them and in others (certainly Libya and probably Syria) arming them.

As a result, it is not just the Islamists of Gaza who think they can act with impunity against America's only enduring ally in the region, Israel. The same goes for the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, who sent his prime minister to the Gaza Strip last week to demonstrate solidarity with the terrorists there; Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose open hostility and increasingly aggressive behavior toward Israel are materially supporting Hamas and other enemies of this country; and the jihadist elements in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and Syria.

Then there's Iran, whose inexorable pursuit of nuclear weapons has not been slowed appreciably, let alone derailed, by Mr. Obama's "engagement" with the mullahs in Tehran. His failure to check their ambitions and the advent of an imminent Iranian bomb are heartening to our foes and adding tremendously to the volatility of the region.

Thanks in no small measure to such emboldening, the next shoe to drop in the region seems likely to be the overthrow of the king of Jordan. Other royals in the Persian Gulf also are in the Islamists' cross hairs, despite the long-standing practice by the former of generously underwriting the latter in the vain hope of buying them off. It is hard to overstate the dire implications of these prospective tectonic shifts and those accomplished in the recent past, thanks in no small measure to Team Obama and its embrace of the Islamists.

Mr. Obama also has contributed to the unfolding war by isolating, demeaning and otherwise undermining Israel. Arguably, for the first time in the history of the Jewish state, her enemies have grounds for thinking there is strategically exploitable "daylight" between the United States and its ally. Repeatedly in the past, even when that perception has not been warranted, the Arab nations have tried to drive the Jews into the sea. It is not hard to imagine that they will seize the present opportunity to try to achieve that long-deferred goal.

This response is made all the more probable if Israel's enemies have the savvy to recognize favorable trends in what might be called a "fundamental transformation" of the Democratic Party now under way that threatens to end its historic solidarity with the Jewish state. As the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported last week, the incoming class of congressional Democrats is, like the president, markedly more hostile toward Israel than its predecessors.

The prospects for, at a minimum, a terrible regional war are further increased by the last element of the Obama doctrine: the diminishing of our country. Such an effect is particularly evident in the wrecking operation the administration is pursuing with respect to the U.S. military. At particular risk is our armed forces' ability to maintain the sort of presence and project the sort of power that has proved effective in deterring aggression against us, our allies and our interests. Even if Mr. Obama actually meant it when he said "we have Israel's back," he is greatly reducing our ability to honor that commitment.

History will, in due course, assign a name to the horrific war now in prospect. For the moment, it seems appropriate to give the dubious credit for helping catalyze such a nightmare in the same way we have his monstrous health care legacy, by calling it Obamawar.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio on WRC-AM (1260).

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About the Author

Frank J. Gaffney Jr.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on 1260 AM.

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