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By Daniel Greenfield
May 6, 2015
A few years ago it was the Muslim Brotherhood. These days it’s Iran. Next week it may be ISIS or Al Qaeda. Obama stands with the worst elements in the Middle East. That’s always been his philosophy.
If the left had a foreign policy, it would be, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” But the wheel is a sword and it’s lubricated with blood. The squeakiest wheels and the bloodiest swords get the most grease from the State Department because they hate us the most. And hating us the most means that somewhere along the way we must have hurt them the worst. They hate us, therefore we’re guilty.
The squeaky wheel runs on blood and on American guilt. The worse they are, the guiltier we must be. Instead of reinforcing the moderates, whose shortage of ravening hatred suggests that they don’t have any legitimate complaints about us worth listening to, the left seeks out the extremes of extremists.
When he wasn’t vowing to lower the oceans, abolish taxes on seniors or heal up race relations, Obama was campaigning on fixing our alliances with our allies. But that’s not what he really had in mind.
Any old Joe can ally with allies. It takes a real Barack to ally with enemies.
Our allies were the problem, so he started shedding them. The least crazy Muslims went first. Then Israel. Now he’s down to deciding which enemies will be his allies and he sits on a golf course, like that little girl in the LBJ ad, picking petals off a daisy trying to choose between Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile the nuclear countdown is building from one to a mushroom cloud.
Allying with moderates is out of the question. Egypt is fighting terrorists, but its moderate government forced out the Muslim Brotherhood, ruining Obama’s best appeasement effort not directed at Russia. Even the Saudis, who stone people to death like it’s a national sport, have become too sensible for him.
Obama won’t have anything to do with moderates. If they aren’t screaming, banging flabby fists on the table and threatening a nuclear war every Wednesday, they aren’t aggrieved enough to be the root cause of our problems in the region. And there’s no point in wasting our time and goodwill on them.
Animated by American guilt, the left’s foreign policy obsessively seeks to mollify the angriest and most violent enemies in the region. And that poisoned foreign policy philosophy of American appeasement leaves him with few other options.
The left insists that the conventional approach of upholding allies just reinforces a hegemony which makes us more hated. The only way to get to the root of the problem, their way, is to find those who hate us the most, apologize and work through their issues with us.
Instead of building a hegemony of allies, Obama has built up a hegemony of enemies.
But rewarding the angriest and most violent enemies in the region has made the Middle East unstable. Instead of fixing the violence and instability in the region, Obama has made it that much worse.
A policy that is inherently opposed to moderates will either end up destroying the stable countries in the region or destabilize them by involving them in regional wars. Obama’s foreign policy is hostile to moderates because it sidelines them as being incapable of resolving the problems in the region.
If you aren’t the problem, then to Obama and the left, you can’t be the solution.
The emphasis on stabilizing the region by enlisting the aid of the violent and the unstable is a dead end. It rewards exactly the sort of behavior that it claims to want to discourage while punishing the stable behavior it claims to want to encourage.
The left’s foreign policy in the region is a Pavlovian experiment for creating more terrorists and cutting down the list of countries that aren’t expansionistic or involved in terrorism.
Obama talks about stabilizing the Middle East, but you can’t fix a hole by making a bigger hole and you can’t put out a fire by pouring gasoline on it, and gasoline and holes are all he has to work with. By making the violent and angry the focus of his outreach efforts, he has made violence and anger into the unstable pivot of the region. The future of the region now belongs to the angry and the violent.
Jimmy Carter tried to stabilize Iran and the region by aiding the Ayatollah. Instead of stabilizing anything, a revolutionary Shiite Iran became a loose cannon that not only threatened the United States, but dragged the rest of the region into its wars. From the Iran-Iraq war to terrorism in Lebanon and all the way to Al Qaeda looking for some experts to teach its terrorists how to hijack a lot of planes, the peanut farmer’s crop was a harvest of wars and bombings that killed a lot of Americans and even more locals.
Obama picked up where Carter left off. And the problems are bigger, but basically the same. The difference is that Obama had the leisure and disregard for national security to move the same foreign policy philosophy into destructive testing mode. America’s traditional alliances have collapsed. The rest of the region is handling problems on its own with Obama stuck trying to lobby the Saudis or Israel on behalf of Iran. When the Saudis bomb the Shiite Houthi terrorists in Yemen, the Iranians run to Obama. When the Israelis urge sanctions on Iran, the Iranians run to Obama to fix the problem for them.
In its own perverse way, Iran is becoming a client state of America. But it’s a client state that, like the Palestinian Authority with Israel, is actively trying to destroy us. The lesson from that failed effort was that you can’t use terrorists to stabilize territory. All that terrorists can do is destabilize it even more.
But the lessons of that failed peace process were never learned and attempts to use terrorists to stabilize entire countries continued.
Obama is still attempting to negotiate with the Taliban to stabilize Afghanistan. Negotiations with Iran to stabilize the region are going so well that every Sunni Muslim country that can afford it is rushing off to get its own nuclear program started.
There’s no telling how stable the Middle East will be once it has more nuclear nations than existed in the entire world a generation ago; probably even more unstable than the atomic structure of Plutonium.
The only thing Obama can keep doing is making the Middle East worse because it’s the only possible outcome of his foreign policy. American guilt requires perpetual atonement and the only people we can get it from are tearing apart the Middle East and the world.