sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fumbling, Bumbling and Mumbling in the Middle East


I met with a liberal gentleman today at a business meeting (some of us have to work on Saturday to keep the world spinning). He told me that the progress made by the Obama Administration in the Middle East is noteworthy, to include the recent dithering on the subject of the insurrection in Egypt.

How do you respond to such blatant ignorance? Well, you simply don't confront it if it kills the business deal (if you want honey you don't kick over the beehive). However, I decided to play referee and grade the Obama Administration to date on their success in the Middle East.

IRAN - D

The Obama Administration pushed more comprehensive sanctions against Iran, but it is still on a pathway to creating missile-delivered nuclear weapons. The stuxnet virus seems to have slowed some of the current work on the nuclear program, but because it was delivered in a clandestine fashion, it's difficult to know whether to credit Washington or Tel Aviv. If it was Washington, somebody in the Administration can petition the grade and I'll bump it to a C+.

LEBANON - D

Iran is the puppet master pulling the strings in the Hezb'allah run government in Lebanon. You can argue that Hezb'allah doesn't take all of its orders from Iran, and I suspect that's true, but if somebody in Iran catches a cold, somebody in Lebanon sneezes. It's a proxy for the Shiite managed in Teheran. Obama has done NOTHING to stop Iran (see above) and his weakness has only encouraged their adventurism.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS - F

Washington's mixed signals of encouragement to Hamas and funding/aid to Hamas in the Gaza Strip has emboldened them to continue to push for the destruction of Israel. The process has fallen apart completely and there is no indication that it will be put back on track in the remainder of Obama's term in office. 

TURKEY - D

Power perceived is power achieved. Sadly, for the Obama Administration, the opposite is also true. As a placating, bowing, scraping, empty suit, Obama remains an incredibly weak force and the Turks are moving more strongly into the Syrian/fundamentalist Muslim camp.

SYRIA - F

Syria has chosen to ignore the US almost completely because we look like a paper tiger to them. The Syrians want to be dominant in their sphere of influence and we are seeing a resurgence of their mischief making in Lebanon, Turkey, Northern Iraq (Kurdistan), etc. Obama the toothless pander looks foolish to them and his quasi-Muslim antics only serve to amuse.

EGYPT - D

U.S. friends in the region are distressed, doubting they can trust in America's protection; U.S. enemies are encouraged, believing America is weak and in retreat. Throwing Egypt under the bus - more or less - has not won the Obama friends anywhere.

IRAQ - C

Even though Obama opposed the surge that 'won the war', the US has moved into garrison and the generally disorganized Iraqi Government is trying to pull the pieces together while engaged in an internecine conflict between Suni and Shiite factions.

ISRAEL - D

Since the Obama Administration does not keep its promises, Israel will not take risks or make concessions. The unstable situation in Egypt only invites more adventurism by anti-Israel players who Obama wines, dines and cajoles. 

AFGHANISTAN - C (not the Middle East but included here)

The Obama Administration has a tiger by the tail. You don't want to hold on and letting go could be bad. Obama characterized this as "his" war. We shouldn't be there at present and there is no evidence that things won't revert as soon as we leave. Pakistan has NOT been a steadfast ally here despite the past when they were. If we keep billions of dollars in aid flowing, they agree to tolerate us. I know he doesn't deserve a C here, but he could have done a lot worse.


6 comments:

  1. When has he ever done anything on purpose in America's best interests. It is hard to think of an instance.

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  2. Not necessarily Obama, Opus, but there are good people in the military and elsewhere who work for the good of the nation. His administration is rotten at the top, but as you get lower, there are people who are working to make things better. Thus the grades above F.

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  3. Good recap and I pretty much agree. It's in spite of the administration, not because of it that we have had the successes we have... God Bless our military for what they put up with...

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  4. LL, don't you feel some of those grades are a little high?

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  5. I don't think he cares about his grades from us (Americans). I think he is looking for...


    Appeasement- B+ "Gets along well with others"
    -signed, United Nations

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  6. Odie - I think that the US Military is pursuing a forlorn hope in Afghanistan, but I believe that they're carrying out their mission bravely and forthrightly, as NFO suggests. Even though it sticks in my throat, Obama is the CinC, and the grade was of his administration, not of him personally. He personally gets an F in every category.

    Race - He also gets an A from the Nobel Committee, not that the group of vipers, parasites and communists that dole out the peace prizes matter.

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