Skip to comments.Obama losing ground across the Middle East
Posted on 02/18/2011 8:26:06 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Obama losing ground across the Middle East
It would be easier to forgive the Obama administration's lackluster handling of the political crisis in Egypt over the last couple of weeks if things were going their way elsewhere in the Middle East.
Unfortunately, they're not.
Start with Iran. Despite two years of engagement, Tehran is still developing nuclear weapons significantly shaking stability in the Middle East as they do.
And, sorry: neither cyber ops like the Stuxnet computer virus (which the U.S. may have been behind) nor U.N.-prescribed economic sanctions seem to have put much of a hitch in the giddy-up of Iran's runaway nuclear horses.
Despite the president saying that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, Iran may become a card-carrying member of the Mushroom Cloud Club this year; some experts believe it already has gathered enough uranium for at least a couple of A-bombs.
Not to mention that its ever-expanding space-launch and satellite programs have put Tehran closer to developing an ICBM capable of reaching the U.S. homeland all while our missile-defense programs lag behind the threat.
Then there's Syria, where the Bush administration recalled the U.S. ambassador in 2005 over probable Syrian involvement in the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister.
Obama ended Damascus' time-out this year by sending a new ambassador signaling that it's alright that President Bashar Assad continues his anti-U.S. stance, steps up his crackdown on political opposition and delays any progress on finding peace with his neighbor Israel.
Washington also appears to be looking the other way on Damascus' lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency on Syria's (covert) nuclear program, its growing alliance with Iran and its continuing financial, moral and military support of Hamas and Hezbollah.
And don't forget about Lebanon right next door, where, on the administration's watch, both Iran and Syria have dug their claws in again after the Cedar Revolution loosed their near-death grip on the country in 2005. Tehran's and Damascus' proxy Hezbollah was recently able to bully its candidate into the prime minister's job, setting back U.S. (and Israeli) interests.
In Iraq, where the remaining 50,000 U.S. troops will be leaving this year, there's concern about growing Iranian influence due to American inattention threatening to create an arc of Persian power across the Middle East's midsection.
Meanwhile, the Middle East peace process where success, the Obama administration insisted, would set everything right with the region has gone nowhere in the last two years.
Instead, America's relations with Israel hit new lows on a regular basis; we're no closer to a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians, and Hamas still has an iron grip on Gaza.
It doesn't end there.
Key Arab partners in places like Jordan and Saudi Arabia must be unnerved by how the Obama administration got caught flatfooted by Egypt's turmoil, had trouble finding its voice and seemingly had no plan for influencing the outcome.
There's still hope for a positive ending in Egypt but that's far from guaranteed at this point. Lots of nightmarish scenarios could come to pass instead, including an Islamist takeover of the Cairo government.
Unless the Obama administration gets its Middle East act together soon and starts to get some traction on these pressing problems, the U.S.' influence will continue to wane, undermining vital U.S. interests.
If things don't change, we're not going to like what or who steps in to fill the void the Obama administration's policies are creating in the Middle East
Peter Brookes is a Heritage Foundation senior fellow and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense. Brookes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
yeah and the folks in taiwan who wrote this better watch out..they may be next as barry soetoro gives their island ‘back’ to the Chicoms...his overlords.
Doesn’t one first have to HAVE ground in order to lose it?
“Undermining vital U.S. interests” It’s what he’s done for the last two years why change now?.
Illogical and stupid, I know, but Obama needs to keep up his cred among his "base," which is primarily comprised of the illogical and the stupid.
Things in the Middle East are going according to O’s master plan. We haven’t seen such foreign policy genius since Jimmy left office although Slick tried pretty hard.
I wonder what role the commanding Admiral of the US Fifth Fleet had on events.
A Shia takeover in Bahrein would not bode well for the USN. And if Iran is not in this somehow, well, what the hell are their assets doing? A Shia population oppressed by a Sunni Sheikh is too juicy for Teheran to ignore.
Nasty, yes, the Pearl Sq. crackdown.
Meanwhile, Obie and Hillary! call for no violence by the state.
And what is the esteemed Admiral telling Manama?
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Obama isn't losing ground, America is.
Obama is frankly in TROUBLE all around, including America, with what is going on in WI as proof he is in over his head bigtime.
The Navy folks over in Bahrain sure must be sweating hugh beads of sweat right now.
And now Jimmy Carter NOW must be HAPPY that he does not carry the title of “worse American President”.
and like I posted on a couple of WI threads:
and civility is only required if your politics are right of center and you are non union...
the union thugs can paint pictures of Republican politicians in the crosshairs ... and it is more than civil...it is down right expected and allowed from these thugs...by our Kenyan _resident
I wonder what makes obama lose more sleep, losing ground in the Middle East or losing ground in Middle America?
but his is doing a good job helping out this admin...continuing to destroy his record further...idiot
He's not doing so hot in the midwest either!
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