Skip to comments.Obama's foreign affairs radicalism carries a heavy cost
Posted on 11/10/2013 12:24:26 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Under Barack Obama, American influence in the Middle East has sunk to levels not seen since before World War II. From Israel to Saudi Arabia, from Egypt to the United Arab Emirates, our friends are shaking their heads, wondering why we have seemingly taken leave of our senses.
Across this vital region, Obama is effectively empowering our opponents and turning his back on U.S. supporters and allies. He has openly courted implacable adversaries like Tehran's ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood, allowed Chinese penetration to reach unprecedented levels and restored Russian clout to pre-1979 proportions.
And Obama is far from finished.
The U-turn he is engineering in America's international influence is global in scope but its most visible manifestations are emerging in the Middle East. Two long-standing U.S. allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia seem determined to separate themselves from key U.S. policies unless Obama reverses course. And if these pillars supporting American interests in the region crack, other regional friends notably Israel and the Arabian Peninsula's oil-producing monarchies will face major adverse consequences.
Sensing these schisms developing even before they emerged publicly, both Russia and China moved decisively to fill the vacuum Obama is creating.
True, neither Egypt nor Saudi Arabia is a Jeffersonian democracy. If Obama were supporting real liberals (if they existed in strength), there might be more justification for spurning both countries' current regimes. But Obama is doing no such thing. In Egypt, he is implicitly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, an overt opponent of Western values of freedom of conscience and representative government. In Syria, Obama's indecisive and unstable policies have allowed Bashar Assad to regain his footing, thus bolstering a key Iranian surrogate. Moscow, already Assad's most important non-regional ally, now is the major outside player there, right alongside Iran.
Obama has stumbled repeatedly in Egypt, leaving almost no one willing to defend America publicly, ironically not even the Muslim Brotherhood, which most Egyptians believe he supported, and certainly not the military, despite 30-plus years of extensive assistance.
Egypt has invited Russian President Putin to visit, which he will likely do in November. Putin knows his history. The possibility to supplant the United States in Egypt (as the Soviet Union did in the 1950s), and thereby reverse the humiliation of Anwar Sadat expelling the Soviets in 1979, is too good to pass up. Russian arms sales, and even military bases, could well follow.
Saudi Arabia is so frustrated with Obama's Syria and Iran policies that it recently rejected a non-permanent U.N. Security Council seat, an unprecedented slap at Washington and the United Nations. Riyadh's military aid to Syrian opposition forces is directly related to its hostility to Iran, so much so that it blinds the Saudis to the terrorist inclinations of many in the opposition.
Differences with the United States here, absent the major concerns over Obama's Iran policy, would be manageable; combined with Obama on Iran, they have become toxic. Ultimately, it is Obama's appeasement of Iran which most troubles the Saudis, other Gulf Arab states, and most definitely Israel.
In addition to Egypt, the Saudis and others could also shift their arms purchases to China and Russia, from which some, including Riyadh, have previously procured weapons systems. Indeed, there are reports that even Turkey, a NATO ally, is considering the purchase of long-range, anti-aircraft defenses from China, a major departure from NATO's key requirement of interoperability among its members' military equipment.
Not just weapons sales are at stake but also the close relations between the Pentagon and many Arab regimes that for decades have been so important for America's interest in regional stability.
Obama's support for the Muslim Brotherhood and, indirectly, its subsidiaries like the Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip reflects either a strategic misreading of political forces in the Arab world or a conscious desire to align Washington with the Brotherhood's revolutionary agenda.
Negotiating with Iran over its nuclear-weapons program is similarly either an act of monumental naïveté or a conscious policy that a nuclear Iran can be contained and deterred. No responsible observer can legitimately conclude there is the slightest chance the ayatollahs will renounce their decades-long quest for deliverable nuclear weapons. And yet that is Obama's stated policy.
Americans must realize that we are seeing not merely a series of separate U.S. policy failures or a run of bad luck in the Middle East. Obama is presiding over declining American influence and prestige because he thinks we are too powerful, too dominant in the world. And so, by extension, are our allies in the region, especially Israel.
The indisputable evidence demonstrates that Obama's guiding ideology is as radical in international affairs as in domestic policy. Just as he wants to spread the wealth around domestically, so too he is at ease in spreading U.S. power around internationally. We will pay for Obama's radicalism for years to come.
John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His exclusive column to the Trib appears the second Sunday of every month.
What else would you expect from a muslim? Of course he’s supporting the islamics in the region, and in all other corners of the globe.
Don’t forget he has said the call to prayer is among the sweetest sounds he’s ever heard.
He (or his handlers) may well be the best at taqqiya.
The thing that is truly strange is the fact that he has suddenly parlayed Iran into being the big dog in the ME.
I think the Saudis - who are all about maintaining their lifestyle - were not receptive to his idea that he should be the leader of his fantasy new caliphate, which is bizarrely Marxist (but Islam is very collectivist). Also, whatever else they are, the Saudis aren’t Marxists.
Iran is hard-left, in addition to being radical Islamic. Iran and Albania were about the same before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
I think Obama is hoping that the Iranians will accept him as the new Islamic leader and also that he will be able to impose his version of Islamic Marxism throughout the ME. And beyond...
The real tragedy here is that these concerns are nonexistent in the minds of average American voters. Many couldn’t find Egypt or Syria on a map and probably consider John Bolton “a mean old white guy” since he was demonized as such by the media. But they’re up to speed on Lady Ga Ga and other pop idols featured in People Magazine.
Without public support, the damage he can do has been curbed somewhat.
0bama is trying to start WWIII.
The United States is perceived as weak. Military staff officers from all countries are evaluating our strengths daily. When they think that we are too soft they will move against us. Notice that the ChiComs think that they can put ICBM nuclear subs off our west coast because we can’t defend ourself.
I hope that all you Obama voters it the west coast are happy with your leader.
I thought that SA is all about Wahhabist/alQeada Islamic Jihad.
I’ll support the next war when it involves enemy troops landing on the beach in New Jersey.
Obama according to the press and left was the new messiah that would make the world again respect and love us. So wha thappened?
And the world is not "blind" to, or "stupid" about it.
This is not hard at all to understand. Obama hates American greatness, or exceptionalism. He works over time to destroy strong allies and embolden enemines. He hate Israel as much or more than he hates his own country. He may not be Muslim but he was raised that way so there is not other way for him to feel about Israel. Meanwhile, he was raised by self hating Americans as well so it is only natural that he hate America but use the national treasury to live the most lavish lifestyle ever seen of any President.
George Washington didn’t have to deal with nuclear armed Islamic jihadists. I don’t think ignoring the threat is a great option, although it seems to be what both parties have decided on.
” ; ; ; he will be able to impose his version of Islamic Marxism throughout the ME. And beyond...”
Bingo! B. Hussein told us, back in ‘08, that America’s “footprint” (not his term, but the sense of his complaint) across the globe was too big, just too much “there.” He has very effectively altered that situation, no doubt to the glee of Islam. Our soon-to-be 18 trillion dollar debt surely will not permit sustaining a world-wide naval presence. All in accord with Cloward-Piven, George Soros, Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones, etc.
Abadon Israel, flee the Med, let the ChiComs practice in Hawaii. Bam Bam Bam
Yes, I think there are very bad things going on. Right now we’re seeing how he’s bringing down the US internally by destroying our health care, but he’s also working tirelessly to tear us down on the international level, too.
Where is the legislature? Where is the judicial branch?
“Where is the legislature? Where is the judicial branch?”
The legislative branch has been effectively neutered by a Chief Executive determined to have his way by whatever means may be necessary and available, and by its own feckless lack of courage and its willingness to surrender its constitutionally prescribed prerogatives.
Its just barely possible that a full bore grassroots campaign demanding impeachment could bear fruit, and save our beloved Republic.
I doubt that the judicial branch has independent authority or the means to expell a president.
History will record how many will die because of Obama’s policies.