Sunday, September 21, 2014

President Obama's critics on foreign policy are way off-base … by gimleteye

It hasn't been an easy few months for President Obama, with each news cycle bearing new horrors in the Middle East. Some American voters criticize Obama for "lacking direction" in his foreign policy, in particular around the issue of addressing the rise of ISIS. But just hold on. Look at this diagram, showing the hairball of conflicting relationships in the Mid East, and you come up with a reason we should be marching back into war.
If you click on this interactive link, the diagram comes alive.

The limits of American power are blazingly clear. Since the early 20th century, our relationships in the Arab world have been designed to maintain our oasis of calm at home -- propping up dictators or despots as they fit into the needs of Western, developed nations for oil.

The 9/11 terrorists -- mostly from Saudi Arabia -- used box cutters to commandeer passenger jets and take down targets on US soil. Theirs was the most successful demonstration of asymmetrical warfare in modern times. ISIS, with its media-savvy beheadings, aims in the same direction.

From the Intercept: "There are many reasons the U.S. shouldn’t go to war with the Islamic State — and the best one may be because that is exactly what they want us to do. A growing number of people I consider experts in the field believe that the recent beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker were deliberate acts of provocation, and that ISIS is not just hoping for an American overreaction, but depending on it — perhaps even for its own survival…

Ali Soufan, the former FBI agent who was one of the few heroes of modern American counter-terrorism, tells Mehdi Hasan of the Huffington Post UK:

They are trying to suck the west into the war with them…. Then they’ll be not only the regional bad boy, but also the bad boy for the global jihadi movement. They can then claim they are in an international war – a modern day Crusade – against all the countries coming to fight them.

What good would that do? According to Soufan:

[The Islamic State is] fearful of Islamists within [their movement] turning against them…. They want to fight the British and the Americans… to unify the extremists within and diminish any kind of meaningful threat within their support base. They are not fearful of secular or moderate people."

The bottom line: in this global village, the best way to protect Americans is through energy independence from fossil fuels. If Arab leaders can't maintain control of their own populations and societies, some form of equilibrium -- without the U.S. -- will eventually re-establish in their place. ISIS, representing extremist, sectarian Islamic struggles, should be fought by Arabs and -- so long as criminal brutalities characterize their movement -- by whatever covert activities that can be organized under Western control.

In the meantime, critics on the Hill and on the Fox News idiot sets ought to cut President Obama some slack. Not Lindsay Graham, John McCain, John Boehner or Mitch McConnell could do any better. To the contrary, there is every reason to fear the results of a November election cycle that return Congress -- and especially the U.S. Senate -- to hard line, Republican extremists.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The current White House occupant supported the Arab Spring which has given rise to this new wave of escalating terrorism and conflict.
The redline was an empty threat, dealing with Putin was more evidence of weakness and NATO allies had to be reassured.
Obama's problem is he was given the Nobel Peace Prize prior to the Muslim Brotherhood support. Now he will select where each and every bomb will fall. The man is a disgrace to our men and women in uniform. His administration is in complete disarray with the military. Generals are walking back statements everyday and Susan Rice runs out of press conferences when she can't answer questions followed by Jen Psaki and Marie Harf who are clueless sycophants. He deserves to lose the Senate. The worst President in the country's history is out of his league on the world stage. Everyone knows it but a few shills.

Anonymous said...

To the above Anon: AMEN!

miles said...

Yeah! Obama! It's all his fault!

The fact that US foreign policy in the mideast has been dictated by Standard Oil for generations has nothing to do with it!

Anonymous said...

In addition to this graphic, an overlay of history provides more even more insight. There will not be peace there until covenants and prophecies in the Old Testament are fulfilled, and every US President will have to deal with the situation until that time. From Adam to Abraham is about 2,000 years. Abraham was a Syrian and GOD told him to leave the land of his fathers and made a covenant with him that his children (Israel) would be a nation, would have a specific geographic area of land that He would give them, and a government. They only occupy a small portion of that area now. GOD also told him that anyone who blessed them, He would bless, and anyone who cursed them, He would curse. It is called the Abrahamic Covenant.

Because of idolatry, over the centuries GOD continually punished, and forgave them. GOD allowed King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (present day Iraq), a despot, to take Israel into captivity. Remember this was the king who had the dream of the coming world empires that Daniel interpreted. So they were exiled, and eventually scattered all over the world in various empires. Many prophets of the Old Testament (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, and others ) prophesied that Israel would come back to the land GOD gave them. Ezekiel prophesied about the vision of the 'dry bones' which was Israel coming back to life and coming home. In 1948 with the creation of the State of Israel, they began the process of coming back in fulfillment of prophesy. So there will continually be problems over that land until the "Day of the LORD". In the meantime, Israel is surrounded by countries that resent it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, above Anon for your very wise post. Unfortunately, very few have a clue about what you've written, and most laugh it off as silly superstition.
God help us!

cheap crap from china said...

There is no national interest for U.S. to engage the Middle East, NONE. There is no way to "win" in a conflict in the Middle East, primarily because no one can define WIN. Where one extremist group is eradicated, another will spring up from the remains. It is a complete loss all the way around. I am sorry that the President has succumbed to pressure to engage in this conflict. It is a LOST CAUSE. And please don't spout religious nonsense in a dialog about national foreign policy. Separation of church and state, please, just like the Founding Fathers articulated in the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Is the poster of " From Adam to Abraham" aware, that if the natives of this land finally find their misplaced scriptures, it's going to be by by for all those Boat people and descendants stomping on Plymouth rock. Is he ready to pack his bags? Or would he think of resistance?

Anonymous said...

In the case of Israel, I would pack my bags as I would be greatly blessed, and in much better shape than I am now. The covenant also provides that people all over the world will be blessed through Israel. These things have been in the Bible since it was printed.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I should feel pity or contempt for people who take the Bible literally.

Anonymous said...

How you or I feel about or process the Bible, in the scheme of things, does not matter. It is available for all to read.