Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category
Can’t Two Things Be True? The Iraq War Was a Mistake. It Was Also a Mistake to Abandon Iraq to ISIS.
They were both wrong. Both their policies were disastrous for U.S. interests.
The verdict is in on George W. Bush’s decision to oust Saddam Hussein.
We found no WMD program, no nuclear weapons program under Saddam in Iraq – the pretense for going to war. As thuggish a dictator as he was, he turned out to be a bulwark against Islamic extremism.
He was no threat to the United States. He was actually an asset.
Saddam hated al Qaeda and the Islamic radicals as much as we do. He did a superb job at killing them.
This is why W’s father, George H.W. Bush made the decision in Operation Desert Storm to push Saddam out of Kuwait, back to Baghdad, and to leave him there.
Reagan also understood Saddam’s value.
He was a counter to the even worse Iran — which is why we sided with Saddam in the Iran-Iraq War.
We had an alliance with Incredibly awful Joseph Stalin against the even worse Adolf Hitler.
Not that Saddam was even close to as bad as these fellows.
But in 2003 W Bush made the decision to go to Baghdad to get rid of Saddam, and set up a flimsy replacement government that needed a permanent U.S. presence to survive.
Dumb decision to replace Saddam with this un-serious government.
We’d be far better off with Saddam still in place.
But even dumber is Obama’s decision to abandon Iraq to ISIS.
Obama compounded one mistake with an even worse blunder.
Pulling all U.S. forces out of Iraq suddenly and completely left a power vaccum that was filled by ISIS.
Obama is doing the same in Afghanistan.
Just about everyone agrees we had to go to Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban and hunt down bin Laden.
But we’re now leaving Afghanistan to the Taliban – which no doubt will also become a safe haven for ISIS and every other fanatical Islamic group.
Two years ago, Obama thought it was a great idea to arm rebels in Syria in the hope that they might overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad – another Saddam-like strongman dictator.
The problem is these rebels included ISIS and other fanatical Islamists.
Obama claimed he thoroughly vetted the rebels and was only arming “moderate” Islamic rebels.
Are there any “moderate” Islamic guerrilla rebels?
If you believe that, I have horse-racing bet portfolio I’d like you to invest in.
Now Obama is bombing ISIS in Syria, who he used to think it was a good idea to arm.
Meanwhile, ISIS is riding around in U.S. tanks with U.S. rockets and weapons beheading people.
Obama also thought it was a great idea to help the Islamists get rid of the dictator in Libya Muammar Gaddafi. So now Libya is in a state of anarchy and terrorists are using the former U.S. Embassy as their headquarters.
Obama also sided with the Muslim Brotherhood against U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak – another strongman dictator. But at least he was a friend of the U.S. and not out to erase Israel from the map.
The good news in Egypt is that the Muslim Brotherhood has since been thrown out by the Egyptian military. So we have another Mubarak-style regime in Egypt, no thanks to Obama.
But that’s good for the United States.
The truth is Democracy doesn’t work in Islamic countries — at least not those that take the Koran seriously.
Sharia Law and democracy are incompatible.
If you have a vote in these countries, you will have one election one time.
If Saudi Arabia had an election, al Qaeda or ISIS would likely win. We don’t like the corrupt Royal Family that runs Saudi Arabia. But they’re better than the alternative.
We don’t like Assad, but he’s better than what would replace him. We certainly did not like Saddam or Gaddafi. But look what we have now. These countries have become Jihadist Wonderlands.
George W. Bush made one mistake. And it was a biggie – the Iraq War.
He should have just left Saddam in place. Saddam was a “managaeble problem,” to borrow the words of Obama.
Actually, he wasn’t the problem. Turns out he was a pretty good solution to radical Islam, which he hated.
So Bush made a big strategic mistake. Huge.
But Obama has taken the wrong side in literally every conflict in the Middle East. Not once has he chosen the correct side.
He sides with Hamas over Israel. He sides with the Muslim Brotherhood over Mubarak. He sides with “moderate elements” of the Taliban over Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan.
There are no “moderate elements” of the Taliban.
Obama has spent much of his Presidency trashing the Iraqi government — I guess as a way to justify America’s exit from Iraq.
As a result of Obama’s policies , ISIS now controls an area of Iraq and Syria the size of Indiana.
As flawed as George W. Bush was, do you think this would have ever happened if he were still President?
The entire Middle East is now in flames now because of Obama. We have no friends in the Middle East anymore, except Israel – who Obama constantly trashes.
Is Jordan a friend?
It doesn’t matter much because they’re in the process of being overrun by ISIS.
For what it’s worth, George W. Bush assembled a coalition of 48 countries to take on Saddam — the misguided venture though it was.
Barack Obama has persuaded a grand total of nine countries(including the great nation of Albania) to join his coalition to take on ISIS.
Great Britain and Germany have said “no thanks” to Obama’s idea of bombing ISIS in Syria.
That’s how much confidence our allies have in Obama.
Barack Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill by comparison.
Yes, Saddam was a brutal tyrant. Brutal dictatorship is what’s required to rule in that part of the world.
The Shah of Iran was the best we could hope for in a place like Iran. He was tough, but at least he was an American ally, propped up with the help of the CIA.
Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was certainly no Jeffersonian Democrat. But he was an American ally and wasn’t going to eliminate Israel.
Saddam was an especially ugly tyrant — almost on the level of what Idi Amin was in Uganda. He would shoot a general on the spot in the face for disagreeing with him, or for no reason at all. His kids had their own rape rooms. He used poison gas to the kill about 20,000 Kurds.
But it turns out he wasn’t much of an immediate threat to the U.S. We were unable to find his weapons of mass destruction or his nuclear bomb program. Turns out he hated al Qaeda and these terrorist groups as much as we do because they were a threat to him. So he killed them.
Ronald Reagan sided with Saddam over Iran in the Iran-Iraq war because he saw Saddam as a counter to the even worse Iranian regime. We supplied Saddam with weapons, including WMD, so he could fight Iran to a stalemate.
We would be better off if Saddam were still in charge of Iraq.
Turns out Bush the elder was right not to go to Baghdad in the first Iraq war to take out Saddam.
He understood the value of keeping Saddam in place, as bad as Saddam was.
Bush the son had this crazy idea that we could spread democracy throughout the Middle East.
How did that work out in Egypt when Obama got rid of Hosni Mubarak, only to have the Muslim Brotherhood win the election?
Fortunately, the military has since reasserted control over Egypt.
That’s what happens when you allow the vote in these Middle East countries.
You get one election. And that’s it.
So Bush the son made the wrong call. He should have just let Saddam sit there as a counter to Iran and a bulwark against al Qaeda and the radicals.
The question is: What do we do now?
Clearly Nouri al-Maliki and his government are not up to the job. Of course, any government in the Middle East that is remotely friendly to the West is doomed without U.S. and Western support.
Obama blew it by not getting a “Status of Forces” agreement with Maliki. Obama did not want a “Status of Forces” agreement.
Obama wanted no U.S. military presence in Iraq at all.
If we had left a residual U.S. military force there of 10,000 well-trained troops (including Special Ops) plus drones and air power, we certainly could kill off ISIS without much trouble.
If you leave a power vacuum, someone’s going to fill it. So that’s what ISIS is doing. ISIS sees the opportunity, and they’re taking it.
We will certainly see the same scenario play out in Afghanistan once we’re completely out of that country.
We can’t let ISIS and al Qaeda take over Iraq, or much of it. We can’t let them get control of an entire nation state so they can launch more 9/11-style attacks (or worse) against America and the West.
We need to go back in there and kill them.
That’s now going to be a lot more expensive than if we had gotten a “Status of Forces” agreement so we could have had a military presence in place.
And we need to install a tough pro-Western Shah of Iran-style dictator to run the place. Most likely we will need to prop up this dictator with a permanent military presence.
In other words, forget democracy if you want to bring some semblance of civilization to a place like Iraq and eliminate these terrorists. We’ll need to run Iraq much the same way the British Empire ran India and Hong Kong.
We need to do the same in Afghanistan. If we’re going to have some semblance of civilization, sometimes we need to impose it.
I doubt we’re up for that. Nor will this happen with Obama at the helm. But that’s what’s required at this point.
Why is Assad’s alleged killing of 1,400 Syrians so much worse than the slaughter of 800,000 Rawandans?
By Ben Hart
This was a genocide we actually could have stopped without much trouble.
When Pol Pot killed off one quarter of Cambodia’s population (about 2,000,000 people) in the mid 1970s, America also did nothing.
Actually, we were there when Pol Pot launched his slaughter of Cambodians, but we left.
We knew for certain that the Vietnamese Communists would slaughter hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese if we left Vietnam, but we left anyway.
So then why is the Assad regime’s alleged killing of an estimated 1,400 Syrians with chemical weapons so shocking that, apparently, we must launch a military strike against Assad?
Why is the alleged behavior of the Assad regime so much worse than what happens everyday in North Korea?
Is the Assad regime thuggish?
Of course it is — but no more so than the Iranian regime, or dozens of other regimes in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
When compared to other examples of genocide and mass-slaughters of people by their own government, Assad is pretty small potatoes.
Why the selective moral outrage?
More than 14,000 Americans are murdered here every year — ten times the number of Syrians the Assad regime allegedly killed.
But we’re not hearing the same level of moral outrage from Obama over this.
14,000 murders inside the United States every year, apparently, is NOT a crisis. But 1,400 dead Syrians is an international crisis that justifies war.
I don’t get it.
Perhaps there’s another reason for military action other than the 1,400 dead Syrians — because this rationale for war (as argued by Obama) makes no sense at all.
Is there a strategic reason to get rid of Assad? Would this be in the interest of the United States?
It might if we knew Assad’s replacement would be an ally of the United States — or, at least not an enemy.
But every indication is the replacement would be Islamic fanatics allied with al Qaeda.
This is what happens when we get regime change in Middle Eastern countries these days. The corrupt, brutal thug is replaced by America-hating jihadists.
I find myself in rare agreement with the leftist former Congressman Dennis Kucinich who says the Obama Administration has become al Qaeda’s air force in the Middle East.
Obama didn’t like Egypt’s strongman ruler Hosni Mubarak — who was certainly a thug, but an ally of the United States. He also promised not to attack Israel. But Obama pulled the rug out from under Mubarak so he could be replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood.
We have now learned that the Iraq War was one big mistake.
Yes, Saddam Hussein was bad, terrible, brutal and all that. But he was a counter to the even worse and more dangerous Iran — which is why Ronald Reagan supported Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam also hated the fanatic Islamic groups, which is why he used mustard gas to kill off many of them.
As a result of toppling Saddam, Iraq will likely soon disintegrate into chaos — and ultimately be overrun by jihadists who hate America.
This will certainly also happen in Syria if we replace Assad.
It seems the very best we can hope for in the Middle East is countries run by authoritarian strongmen (in the mold of a Shah of Iran, a Hosni Mubarak, or even a Saddam Hussein) who certainly are brutal, but who at least keep al Qaeda and the America-hating jihadists from coming to power.
Obama says Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people poses a national security threat to the United States.
Assad, by the way, claims his regime did not kill those people — that they were killed by the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated rebels in a “False Flag” attack — as a tactic by the rebels to bring the Western world’s wrath down on Assad.
Killing a lot of innocent people and blaming it on the enemy is part of the al Qaeda playbook. There appears to be some evidence supporting this possibility here. It’s a civil war. Anything is possible.
Russia has been emphatic in saying we don’t have the evidence that Assad used these chemical weapons. Not that we need to take Putin’s word for anything. But Russia did warn us accurately in advance about the Boston Marathon bombers.
So the case against Assad on this is far from unanimous.
But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the Obama Administration is correct on this, that Assad killed the 1,400 with some kind of gas — perhaps sarin or mustard gas.
Obama says the purpose of military action against Assad is NOT for the purpose of causing regime change.
Then what is the purpose of military action? To deliver an extra firm spanking?
How many innocent Syrians will die as a result of this U.S. military strike?
Most likely, more than the 1,400 Syrians Assad allegedly killed.
Will killing a lot more Syrians make America a hero to Syrians?
I suspect not.
Does a U.S. military strike on Syria make any sense at all on any level?
The British Parliament thinks not, which is why it voted against joining Obama on this Syria project.
Syria is basically a Third World country — presents no military threat to the U.S. whatsoever.
When deciding whether or not to go to war, whether or not to replace a regime we don’t like, the rule should first be: Let’s make sure we’re not making the situation worse.
We have a habit lately of constantly making bad situations even worse.
America today is the most hated country in the world . . . because we are seen as the world’s most annoying busybody.
There are no good options in the Middle East. There are no good guys to support. The entire region is a cesspool.
We really need to start thinking about getting completely out of the Middle East. Just leave that Hell Hole alone.
Things are not going so well right here in America. The economy is a shambles. We’ve run up a $17 TRILLION national debt, with trillion-dollar yearly deficits as far as the eye can see.
We really need to focus on fixing our problems here at home instead of continuing to try to fix an unfixable Middle East.
CBS: The hopes for Palestinian statehood received a one-two punch at the
United Nations on Wednesday with President Barack Obama saying no to statehood without direct negotiations and the French president proposing a time table to restart the talks, giving the Israelis and Palestinians one year to reach an agreement.
“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now,” President Obama said.
Obama said in public what he is also saying in private — that a Palestinian state can only be achieved by the Israelis and Palestinians going to the bargaining table and tackling the hard questions that face them. But he stopped short of directly calling on the Palestinians to drop their plan to seek statehood recognition from the UN Security Council.
Palestinian Ambassasor to U.S. pledges that the new Palestinian state will be “Jew-free.”
DAILY CALLER: During a breakfast briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Tuesday, Palestinian Ambassador to the United States Maen Rashid Areikat reiterated his call to create a Jew-free Palestinian state.“Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future,” he said when asked by The Daily Caller if he could imagine a Jew being elected mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in a future independent Palestinian state. “But after the experience of 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”
Last year, Areikat made a similar statement during an interview with Tablet magazine. Asked whether it would be neccessary to transfer and remove “every Jew” from a future Palestinian state, Areikat responded “absolutely.”
“I’m not saying to transfer every Jew, I’m saying transfer Jews who, after an agreement with Israel, fall under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state,” he said then. “I think this is a very necessary step, before we can allow the two states to somehow develop their separate national identities, and then maybe open up the doors for all kinds of cultural, social, political, economic exchanges, that freedom of movement of both citizens of Israelis and Palestinians from one area to another. You know you have to think of the day after.”
Here’s what Glenn Beck says about this whole fiasco
BARACK OBAMA SPECH TO UN: “And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine,” President Obama said at the UN.
“That is the truth. Each side has legitimate aspirations – and that is what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in each other’s shoes. Each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging.”
Another U.S. ally finds out what happens to you if you are a U.S. ally
BEN SAYS: This sure will make it tough to get dictators to step aside in the future. Mubarak (a U.S. ally who stepped aside after a few days of protests) will now be tried for capital murder, punishable by death. Look for Qaddafi now to fight to the finish. Where were all these charges against Mubarak before now? Before all this (though clearly no Jeffersonian Democrat), he was said to be a pretty decent U.S. ally and, if not a friend, at least not interested in erasing Israel.
Looks like a Kafkaesque Kangaroo court show trial coming up. Under this reasoning, should Obama be tried for killing innocent Afghan and Pakistani tribesmen in error via killer drone and other military assaults.
Come to think of it, aren’t all governments killing innocent people all the time, sometimes in error? It’s called collateral damage . . . or breaking a few eggs to make an omelette. Some U.N. Committee on torture wants to prosecute Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush for the same thing. idiotic.
REUTERS: Hosni Mubarak was ordered on Tuesday to stand trial for the killing of protesters and could face the death penalty, scotching speculation the former leader would be spared public humiliation by Egypt’s military rulers.
Mubarak, ousted on February 11 after mass demonstrations demanding he end his 30 years in power, has been questioned for his role in a crackdown that led to the killing of more than 800 demonstrators and has been probed over corruption.
The public prosecutor said Mubarak, who is detained in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, would be tried on charges including “pre-meditated killing,” which could be punished by the death penalty.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.
In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.
Netanyahu rejects withdrawal to ‘indefensible’ 1967 borders
THE REPUBLIC: Israel’s prime minister on Thursday gave a cool reception to President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy speech, warning a withdrawal from the West Bank wold leave Israel vulnerable to attack and setting up what could be a tense meeting at the White House.
In his speech, Obama endorsed the Palestinian position on the borders of their future state, saying it should be based on Israel’s lines before the 1967 Mideast war. Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the fighting, and the Palestinians claim those areas for their state.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas planned to convene a meeting with senior officials as soon as possible to decide on the next steps, said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Knesset Member: Obama is the new Arafat
JERUSALEM POST: “Barack Hussein Obama adopted the staged plan for Israel’s destruction of Yasser Arafat, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister,” said Likud MK Danny Danon. “All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967 borders without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: To tell Obama forget about it.”
National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari also slammed Obama’s speech, calling it “a landmine with pretty wrapping.”
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, who as a minister close to Netanyahu must be more diplomatic, complained on Channel 2 that according to Obama’s approach, the Palestinians would receive their demands on borders before negotiations begin.
“Once they have everything from the start, they have no reason to make any concessions,”Erdan said.
But opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Obama’s plan was clearly in Israel’s interests, while the diplomatic stalemate that she believes was brought on by Netanyahu is not.
“On his visit, Netanyahu must display the leadership necessary now to create the conditions necessary to restart negotiations with those who are ready to end the conflict,” Livni said. “Only a real Israeli initiative with content that can receive American and international support can be an answer to the current dangers and opportunities.”
REUTERS: The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Monday condemned the killing by U.S. forces of Osama bin Laden and mourned him as an “Arab holy warrior.”
“We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood,” Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, told reporters.
Though he noted doctrinal differences between bin Laden’s al Qaeda and Hamas, Haniyeh said: “We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.”
BEN SAYS: This should remove any doubt about anything productive coming from Israel attempting to negotiate a peaceful resolution with Hamas. If Palestine were to become a state, bordering Israel, that country would then become a permanent staging ground for an al Qaeda-style terrorist organization (government) to launch never-ending attacks on Israel. We (and Israel) should turn our intent to destroying Hamas, not negotiating with Hamas. It’s time we do to Hamas’s leadership what we’re doing to al Qaeda’s leadership.
Gadhafi says he hopes Obama wins reelection in 2012. Calls him ‘My Son.’ Asks Obama to stop ‘unjust war.’
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has appealed directly to President Barack Obama to halt what the Libyan leader called “an unjust war,” and wished Obama good luck in his bid for re-election next year.
In a rambling, three-page letter to Obama obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, Gadhafi implored Obama to stop the NATO-led air campaign, which the Libyan called an “unjust war against a small people of a developing country.”
“You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action,” Gadhafi wrote in the letter that was sent to the State Department and forwarded immediately to the White House, according to a U.S. official who has seen the letter. “I am sure that you are able to shoulder the responsibility for that.”
“To serving world peace … Friendship between our peoples … and for the sake of economic, and security cooperation against terror, you are in a position to keep Nato (NATO) off the Libyan affair for good,” Gadhafi wrote.
REUTERS: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that all those responsible for civilian casualties in Libya should pray for the salvation of their own souls.
Putin also played down signs of a rift with President Dmitry Medvedev over the U.N. Security Council resolution authorising armed intervention in Libya, saying the president is responsible for foreign policy “and there can be no division there”.