Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fixing the Middle East

You have probably noticed that Obama foreign policy experts have been flooding the zone… that is, the media… with analysis of how badly President Trump is conducting foreign policy. They are especially avid to cover up their own errors and mistakes. 

They want to influence the way history is written and they are writing a new version that makes them look good, even at the expense of an American president. Yesterday, congenital liar Susan Rice took to the media to explain that Donald Trump had been played like a fiddle in China.

She is entitled to her opinion. She was entitled to her opinion about Benghazi, but her opinion on that occasion was a blatant lie, a way for her administration to wash its hands of responsibility for the deaths of four Americans… deaths caused by Obama administration incompetence.

And yet, as noted in these pages before, President Trump was treated with great respect, like a world leader, in China. Barack Obama was not. The same was true in Saudi Arabia. Whatever we all think of Donald Trump’s foreign policy credentials—so to speak—his ability to develop good relations with foreign leaders matters.

Our foreign policy elites, especially the Obamaphile left, believe that making empty declamations about human rights, leaning in to threaten foreign leaders in their own countries, is the way that great nations conduct their affairs. It is not. Obama did not understand this. Susan Rice did not understand this. Apparently, a rank amateur like Donald Trump does. One understands that those who live in the world of ideas do not believe that people matter or that personal relationships matter. They do. To ignore them is reckless and dangerous.

If an American president does not treat a foreign dignitary with respect, nothing will happen. If he threatens the leaders face, nothing will happen.

After all, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger did not travel to China in order to denounce the Cultural Revolution or the Great Leap Forward. And yet, all of the foreign policy hands believe that Nixon’s opening to China was of monumental importance.

Now, as you might have been noticing, the Obama foreign policy team is out in force to denounce the Trump administration handling of the Middle East, in particular, the recent actions of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Caroline Glick calls them out by name. They are, for now, Aaron David Miller, Richard Sokolsky and Robert Malley. They were the architects of the Obama administration’s submission to Iran and to the Muslim Brotherhood. Timorous souls that they are they quiver in fear at the possibility of political and social disruption in the region. They want things to return to the way they were when Obama was in charge.

Glick puts it in context. And she argues effectively that the situation produced by the appalling Obama approach to the conflict paved the way for today's upheaval:

For eight years, the Obama administration deliberately alienated and willingly endangered Saudi Arabia and Israel by implementing a policy of appeasing Iran. Despite repeated warnings, the US refused to recognize that as far as Iran is concerned, it cannot have its cake and eat it too.

Iran is at war with Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies and with Israel.

Consequently, Miller and Sokolsky’s claim that there can be an “equilibrium to America’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran” which doesn’t involve the US siding with one side against the other is an illusion. On the ground in the Middle East, as events in Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Gaza and Egypt have made clear, Obama’s strategy of appeasing Iran weakened America’s traditional regional allies and strengthened Iran and its proxies.

The change in the balance of forces that the Obama administration’s policy caused forced the US’s spurned allies to reassess their strategic dependence on the US. Contrary to Miller and Sokolsky’s claims, the Saudis didn’t abandon their past passivity because Mohammed is brash, young and inexperienced.

Mohammed was appointed because Salman needed a successor willing and able to fight for the survival of the kingdom after Obama placed it in jeopardy through his appeasement of Iran. Mohammed is the flipside of the nuclear deal.

Malley noted blandly that like the Saudis, Israel has also been sounding alarms at an ever escalating rate.

The situation in the Middle East is as it is became President Obama spent eight years appeasing Iran, sucking up to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. His nuclear deal with Iran-- circumventing constitutional authority to ratify treaties-- coupled with his willingness to finance Iranian terrorism created a greater danger to everyone in the region. 

Correcting such a grievous error is not going to be easy. It will not occur without any breakage. It will not happen without errors. And yet, forming an anti-terrorism alliance with Sunni Arab nations is surely in the best interest of the world entire.

Fortunately, the people in charge are not repeating Obama’s mistakes:

It makes sense that Obama partisans are unhappy with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed. It makes sense that they are unhappy with Netanyahu and with Trump. All four of these leaders are impudently insisting on basing their policies on recognizing the reality Obama spent his two terms ignoring: Iran is not appeasable.


Anonymous said...

Will never be fixed because of Islam.

Ares Olympus said...

Summary: Iran is bad. Saudi Arabia is good. Bad talking the Saudis and Chinese won't help them save face, but bad talking Iran will make them change their ways.

Sam L. said...

Good talking won't change Iran, either.