- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
SANDERS: The Mideast through Obama’s looking glass
Question of the Day
Only Lewis Carroll could have done justice to the Obama administration's fall down the dark hole into America's latest Middle East misadventure.
Beginning with his Cairo and Istanbul speeches in the spring of 2009, President Obama attempted, indeed, "a new beginning," as speechwriter Thomas E. Donilon — now, significantly, Mr. Obama's national security adviser — termed it.
Were it not so tragic, analogies to Carroll's masterpiece would describe the situation that ensued. See, for example, the Iranian Mad Hatters screaming "Off with their heads!," or an obsequious U.S. mainstream media's Humpty Dumpty-like tendency to define meanings for words at their whim.
In an appeal to Arab-Muslim intellectuals as well as Islam's politicians, the president rewrote Islam's long history of aggression into a chronicle of tolerance. The fables of Arab custodianship of enlightenment when Europe was in the Dark Ages were trotted out. The morbid record of abuse of women, intellectual obscurantism, cheapening of life, barbaric legal codes, child marriage, endogamy and corrupt economic practices at every level in contemporary Muslim societies were all ignored. Flattery was the order of the day: Mr. Obama even alluded to important Islamic contribution to the American ethos, something not even the most chauvinistic Muslims had attempted.
A superficial glance at the United Nations Arab Human Development Report 2002 — facts and conclusions so obvious despite that organization's own twisted biases — would have refuted Mr. Obama's underlying assumptions and his remedies to exorcise the region's problems. Instead, Mr. Obama made apologizing for real and perceived past American failings his order of the day.
Historians will argue forever over the contribution this Obama Doctrine made to the already intolerable chaos the region has seen for decades. But it becomes clearer by the moment that American policy over the past four years has further exacerbated threats to stability in the region, world peace, and above all, American security. Mr. Obama and his advisers:
Fed the irrationality of Mideast debate not only by denouncing earlier strategies but by impugning U.S. motives.
Adopted Muslim "victimization," viewing Israeli-Arab relations as the be-all and end-all of the region's problems.
• Put a misplaced priority of the issue of Israeli settlements, ignoring the concomitant role of a large Israeli Arab minority in any two-state fix.
• Trivialized U.S. sacrifices, refusing personal intervention to save the status-of-forces negotiations for an Iraq alliance.
• Attempted to appease Iran's mullahs, while ignoring their 17-year secret pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
• Trashed Poland and Czech Republic's anti-missile effort, enhancing Tehran's threat to Israel, Europe and the U.S.
• Played revolutionary politics, abandoning longtime allies and rationalizing the Muslim Brotherhood's jihad history.
• Dallied over the Syrian imbroglio, "leading from behind" as competing radical forces drew Syria's neighbors into the crisis.
• Ignored the obvious 9/11 anniversary threat in anarchic Libya and Egypt, helping bring on death and defeat in the events of recent days.
• And, most of all, continue to belittle America's superior force as a main determinant of international relations and the ultimate asset in any diplomatic effort.
There will be no easy road back to even marginal stability in the Middle East, not least because of the inability and cowardice of the region's political class to move into the modern era.
But while the overwhelming Arab economic and social problems remain, Iran's nuclear programs must remain Washington's paramount concern. Suggestions from the usual suspects that some sort of compromise might be achieved, allowing Tehran nuclear weapons capability in exchange for Iran's voluntary halt short of weaponization, only threaten further catastrophe. Past Iranian performance hardly lends credibility to such an arrangement.
When American policymakers again pick up the ball, whether it is this president or Mitt Romney, a publicly proclaimed red line for Iran backed by sincere mobilization of all our resources is the only U.S. policy that can begin to stabilize the region. That decision awaits, with even more horrendous events in the offing if such a policy reversal is not undertaken — and quickly.
• Sol Sanders, a veteran international correspondent, writes weekly on the intersection of politics, business and economics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and blogs at www.yeoldecrabb.wordpress.com.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sol Sanders, a veteran international correspondent, writes weekly on the intersection of politics, business and economics. He can be reached at email@example.com and blogs at www.yeoldecrabb.wordpress.com.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq