When people see the strong horse and the weak horse, people like the strong horse.” --Osama Bin Laden
This has been a particular awful week for President Obama and his foreign policy especially in the Middle East. Early in the week there was the public split with Israel’s Netanyahu about drawing a “red line” that Iran’s nuke program must not pass, highlighted by a spat between the Israeli Prime Minister and the US Ambassador, and the President’s choice of a campaign appearance on Lettermen over an emergency meeting with Netanyahu.
On Tuesday the report broke that for the last year and a half Barack Obama has attended less than four out of every ten intelligence briefings during his presidency, a percentage that has sunk lower in the past year. The president gets hard copies of the report and claims to read it judiciously every day, but most of the time he skips the opportunity to probe, ask, questions and consult. In a July report we learned that he that hadn’t attended his daily economic briefing since April 2011.
On 9/11 all hell began to break loose with attacks on the US Embassy in Cairo, and the US Consulate in Benghazi Libya, which followed the day after by the horrible death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Those two attacks were followed by a wave of violence against US interests in the Middle East.
According to the administration, the reason for all the violence is an Anti-Islam video on You-Tube created by a Coptic Christian living the US.
There is much evidence that this attack was planned well in advance. According to a report in the UK Independent the United States State Department had credible information two days before our embassies in Libya and Egypt were attacked that American missions may be targeted. Those warnings were not passed along to the foreign staffs. In fact a senior Obama Administration official said on Sunday that no marines were in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack.
President of the Libyan National Congress, Mohammed al-Megaryef, appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation and said that his government has learned the attack was not the result of a spontaneous outburst of anger over a US-made anti-Islam movie;
"It was planned, definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival,"
Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said "Let's point out, this wasn't a video that caused this. It's a fight, a struggle in the Arab world between the Islamists and the forces of moderation," He pointed out that one does not bring rocket launchers (which were present in the Libyan embassy attack) to a spontaneous riot.
Indeed elements of al Qaeda have been seen in the Libyan attacks as well as anti-US protests in Tunisia and the Sudan. Saying the action was revenge for the killing of one of their leaders via an American Drone.
Osama bin Laden once said 'When people see the strong horse and the weak horse, people like the strong horse.”
Under the Barack Obama, the United States has become the weak horse in the Arab/Muslim world. The Islamist radicals have seen the United States as “disengaging from that part of the world. We have totally left Iraq, and announced we are leaving Afghanistan without a victory, that was after the president refused to bring troops to a level our generals said they needed for victory.
By putting the priority on Muslim identity, as he did in the Cairo speech and elsewhere, Obama helped empower Islamism over nationalism and democratic choices.
Barack Obama repeated the mistake Jimmy Carter made in Iran, forgetting than all democratic revolutions are not good, Hitler took power in an election, Iran became radical via an election, the tyrant Robert Mugabwe took over Zimbabwe in a Carter-pushed election also.
Under Obama’s weak policy, the Arab Spring was an opportunity American-hating radicals to take over. Imagine what would have happened if instead of pressuring Egypt’s leadership to quit (and in some cases give up and even join the revolution) the president allowed/encouraged a slow transition. What if instead of pushing Mubarak to leave, he forced him into some reforms, or after he was ousted having the military enact reforms rather than calling for elections. The radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood would not be running the show.
When he joined the battled against Muammar Qadhafi, Obama handed power over to radical forces, not consciously or intentionally but there was no vetting of the opposition forces.
When protests spread over Iran after the election was stolen by the present regime Obama said nothing, making no movement to oppose the Islamist regime running that country, another action seen as weakness.
Obama has rewarded the increasingly Islamist regime in Turkey. Ignoring that governments agenda of transforming Turkey while disproving the opposition’s argument that radical policies at home and abroad might damage the country’s standing in Washington.
Perhaps were the President has shown the greatest Middle East weakness is his distancing itself from Israel. Leaving how this presidents passive-aggressive policy regarding Israel and the peace process on the sidelines for a moment, his handling of Iran’s nuclear program has been interpreted as weak throughout the Arab world (much of which fears a nuclear Iran as much as does Israel).
The end of August saw a flurry of activity starting with A UN report revealing that Iran doubled the number of uranium enrichment machines it has in an underground bunker, showing that Tehran continued to defy Western pressure to stop its atomic work.
That same week the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey told a crowd in London he does not want to be "complicit" if Israel chose to strike Iran's nuclear program, positing that a premature attack would dissolve the international pressure on the Islamic Republic, The Guardian reported. Dempsey said an attack would "clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran's nuclear program," but added that the "international coalition" pressuring Iran "could be undone if it was attacked prematurely".
The State Department also got into the act of pulling the rug out from under Israel. One paper reported the Obama administration was trying to make a deal with the Iranians "you don't attack us we wont help Israel attack you."
The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country's nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week.
The Obama administration has said they oppose a unilateral Israeli strike because of their belief diplomacy and sanctions still need time to work; an Israeli attack could destabilize the entire Middle East, an Israeli attack would only delay Iranian nukes for a short time, yada,yada, yada.
Truth be told Israel doesn't want to strike Iran either. The do want the Obama administration to keep its promise to prevent the Iranians from creating nuclear weapons, something the administration should desire also. Iran may be pointing the first nuclear missile at Israel, but the second one will be aimed at the US or our citizens overseas.
What Israel is looking for from the United States is a line in the sand. Continuing the administration's weak stance, this week, of State Hillary Clinton told Bloomberg Radio that "we're not setting deadlines" for Iran to halt its program.
But as Bibi told CNN on Sunday,
I think it's important to place a red line before Iran, and I think that actually reduces the chance of a military conflict because, if they know there's a point, a stage in the enrichment or other nuclear activities that they cannot cross because they're face consequences, I think they'll actually not cross it.
And that's been proved time and again. President Kennedy put a red line before the Soviets in the Cuban missile crisis. He was criticized for it, but it actually pushed back the world from conflict and maybe purchased decades of peace.
There wasn't such a red line before Saddam Hussein, before the -- in the year of the Gulf War when he invaded Kuwait; maybe that war could have been avoided.
And I think Iran, too, has received some clear red lines on a number of issues, and they backed off from them. So, I think, as Iran gets closer and closer to the completion of its nuclear program, I think it's important to place a red line before them, and that's something that I think we should discuss with the United States.
Hilary’s response to setting a red line, as well as the Administration’s statements regarding the embassy attacks which blame/excuse the violence on an intolerant anti-Muslim video on You Tube, has not been lost on Israel or Iran or the Islamist elements in the Middle East. It reflects another example of this administrations, abandonment of our friends and showing weakness to our leaders. The Obama version of America is the “weak horse” and the Muslim world is gravitating to the strong horse.