Syria — random thoughts

I’ve been quiet about a lot of the revolutions in the Middle East.  The only one as to which I was really vocal was the attempted revolution in Iran — and that was because I thought the uprising could only benefit America.  That regime is so evil, that destabilizing it for awhile, even if would eventually be replaced by an equally bad regime, would still be good for us.  As long as Obama is in the White House, the bare minimum that would benefit America would be to buy time until a competent, pro-American (and, one hopes, pro-Israel) president is in the White House.  Obama, of course, was conspicuously absent during the attempted Iranian uprising, and I can’t fault him enough for that silence.

As for the other “revolutions” . . . .

Tunisia did not affect America one way or another.  It was short, sweet, and seemed to have a good outcome for the citizens, which is a blessing, and I’m pleased for them.

Egypt!?  Oy.  Mubarak was a slimeball but he was our slimeball.  He kept the peace with Israel and he did not threaten American interests.  Obama’s first response was to say nothing, then he said nothing useful, then he suddenly announced that Mubarak had to go, then he didn’t know what to do after having made that announcement, and then it became clear that he had no idea what to do in the vacuum following Mubarak’s departure.

Right now, Egypt is poised on the knife’s edge, as the Muslim Brotherhood, having waited for this moment for decades, slowly and carefully begins to consolidate power.  The MB is helped by the fact that this radical, nationalist, sharia oriented movement got the official Obama stamp of approval.  I’m not saying the Egyptian revolution could have been stopped or (since I lack a crystal ball) that it will be a bad thing in the long term.  I am saying, however, that Obama proved himself totally inept and incapable of shaping the situation to America’s advantage.  He was a reactor, not an actor.

In Libya, Obama again plays the helpless idiot.  He cedes leadership to France, which seizes it with gusto but that doesn’t mean that the seizure is to America’s benefit.  Libya’s oil supply is neither here nor there for us.  He’s now snuck is into a war that not only confers zero benefit on us, but that aids al Qaeda, which is currently trying to kill our troops in Afghanistan.  There is no good outcome here.

Three revolutions, three missteps by Obama.  Meanwhile, he and his State Department made all sorts of silly noises about President Assad being a reformer, despite the fact that his is one of the most evil, corrupt regimes in the world, not to mention the fact that it’s hand in hand with Iran.

So then, Syria blows up.  And what does the Obama administration do?  Nothing.  Burned twice, and trapped by its own recent word’s praising Assad’s presidency, it’s paralyzed.  The problem is that, Syria, like Iran, is a place where a revolution is not necessarily bad for America’s interests.  The Syrian people might go from the frying pan into the fire, which would be unfortunate for them, but we, at least would buy time.  A country in disarray is not usually a country that is capable of pursuing evil against nations outside its border.

The score for Obama is four revolutions and four leadership failures.  Sadly, given America’s staggering but still existent preeminence, that’s the exact same score for the Americans, the Israelis, the Egyptians, the Iranians and, so far, the Syrians.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Charles Martel

    Even Garry Trudeau, the haplessly, hopelessly reactionary cartoonist who cannot draw (or think for himself) has jumped on the bandwagon and lampoons Obama’s inept handling of the Middle Eastern uprisings in today’s Doonesbury. Poor NBOTUS: When you lose your most reliable Kool-Aid drinkers, that’s gotta hurt.


    Neo-neocon reviews a book about Obama’s mother. The following seems to be a pattern set in childhood – ducking conflict.

    After lunch, the group took a walk, with Barry running ahead. A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets. He seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball “with unseen players,” Bryant said. Ann did not react. Assuming she must not have understood the words, Bryant offered to intervene. “No, he’s O.K.,” Ann said. “He’s used to it.”
    “We were floored that she’d bring a half-black child to Indonesia, knowing the disrespect they have for blacks,” Bryant said. At the same time, she admired Ann for teaching her boy to be fearless.

  • BrianE

    Are we seeing a pattern of support to regimes that represent a threat to Israel?
    First his non-responsiveness to Iran and support of the Kahmenei, now his silence on the Iranian client state of Syria, the leadership of which has been shown to be responsible for the assassination of al Hirari.
    I’m not sure Mubarak could have survived in any case. But what eventually fills the vacuum may or may not be more hostile to Israel.
    My muslim co-worker thinks the revolt in Egypt was legitimate as is that in Libya, but is sure the CIA was behind the uprising in Iran. Go figure. (He’s pretty sure the CIA was behind the attacks on Coptic Christians in the south to stir up trouble. In fact he’s pretty sure the CIA was behind 9/11).

  • 11B40

    Greetings:Unsurprisingly, the Libyan coverage contains scant mention of the economic and political interests of La Belle France and the formerly Great Britain.  La Belle has been trying to establish a “Mediterranean Union” involving European, North African, and Middle Eastern countries in some kind of socio-political organization, not that the European Union they’ve been working on for the last forty some odd years is doing so well.  And the British, well, what can one say that hasn’t already been said by the Lockerbie bomber for oil sellout.  I think that President Obama and his Nation Security Council Human Rights Director (and who knew we needed one of those) Samantha Powers got snookered with another bit of human rights blather.Muslims killing muslims, what’s not to like.  They been doing it for 1400 years, why interrupt them now.  Isn’t there someplace else we could put those drones to work?

    In a darker vein, I have very serious concerns about Israel’s near future. With the Muslims on the march, even on the intrastate road, the evolving governments will either have to or find it convenient to establish their Islamic bona fides and Israel will likely be not only the closest but the most emotionally rewarding target.  Even if one considers Israel the Lion of the Middle East, a pack of hyenas can generate plenty of pain. I’ve been re-reading Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations…” and the Islamic/Muslim Resurgence that he identified back in the ’90s continues on its unmerry way, sowing its seeds of tribulation and devastation. Whether it because the Arabs see President Obama as weak or distracted, but even if one see them a small in scale, the attacks in and on Israel seem to me to be on the increase. Mr. Huntington aptly addresses the Arab/Muslim propensity for attacking across land borders or “fault lines” as he termed them.

  • Bigol

    Funny, I had much the same thought for my “I wish this was the news today…” series!
    World News: For two years the Obama Administration preached the need for a radical change from the Bush Doctrine. Today Bush’s call to end “sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East” comes home to roost.
    On November 6, 2003 President George W. Bush delivered a seminal address on the need to strengthen democracy around the world and, in particular, to support its development in the Middle East. The critical passage in the speech, which received world-wide attention and was considered by many observers to be the most…

    Who defines reality: there lies the difference between this Administration and the last. Obama is allowing events around the world to shape our policy. Bush understood that the U.S. can reshape, indeed remake, reality on its own.

    The liberal internationalist view of the world, the U.S. is merely one among many–a stronger country, yes, but one that has to adapt itself to the will and the needs of “the international community.” That is why the Obama Administration is almost manic in pursuit of multilateral leadership as the Middle East burns.


    That is why the Obama Administration is almost manic in pursuit of multilateral leadership as the Middle East burns.
    Manic and burns in the same sentence. It’s a light bulb moment ….  Obama is really a repressed pyromaniac or maybe more to the point – a political pyromaniac. Incapable of a direct confrontation, he finds gratification by fueling the fires to mirror his own personal dissent and anger and is temporarily relieved watching them ignite at a distance. If political embers burn low, he has no compunction about flaming other events and issues.
    Heh and to think that Michelle said he stopped smoking – he’s a walking/talking conflagration!

  • Oldflyer

    I heard two items on Fox News tonight.
    First it was reported with a straight face that the current Obama doctrine is to “lead from behind.”  I think we had figured that out for ourselves.  I guess he learned it from the French.
    Secondly, it was reported that Israel is nervous about possible regime change in Syria, because the alternative to Assad might be worse.  Supposedly,  Israel is content that Obama is taking a low profile on the Syrian upheaval.  That one leaves me a bit skeptical.  Then too, I am always amazed at our incredible talking White House .  I envision a breathless report on MSNBC: (sic) “The White House advised this sycophantic reporter this evening that Obama is leading from behind on the Syrian situation at Israel’s request”.   I wonder if it was divulged over martinis, and does the White House like them shaken or on the rocks? (I get a little kooky when I miss my nap.)

  • Danny Lemieux

    What i don’t get is why so few people “get” Islam (including one poster on this blog). Islam is a disaster. Islamic countries are disasters.

    Here’s post by a Marine officer in Afghanistan that talks about this human disaster (through Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugged):

    Yet, so many people insist on believing that Islam is what it isn’t: a peaceful religion that can coexist with others. How can they so routinely excuse and explain away the most horrible things done to men, women and children in the name of Islam. See here….

    I…don’t…get…it! Are they simply afraid of the crocodile?

  • Bookworm

    What is it they say, Danny?  “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt” (which, not coincidentally, is a Muslim country).

  • Charles Martel

    Danny, if you hate the West, you welcome whatever isn’t western. It doesn’t matter that Islam is inherently violent and anti-human, what matters is that it is exotic and Other. The Other is all that is important, however murderous and barbaric it may be. After all, who are we to hold Muslims to our moral standards? Is it not racist and arrogant to place yourself above a religion that despises women, Jews, homosexuals, Christians, science, love and tenderness just because it has different standards about such matters?

    Or, you are a member of the cult that my friends and I used to call “Little Christians,” the Suzy Creamcheese folks who think that Jesus was a wimp and that the purpose of Christianity is to get through this world unscathed by suffering or tragedy. They’re the ones who implore, “Can’t we all get along?” and “Oh, gosh, don’t we worship the same God?”

    Well, no. While I will always treat my Muslim neighbors with love and respect, because they are human beings created by God, I will also always be very clear about encouraging them to abandon the savage and unloving thing that holds them in thrall.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I do believe that your thought processes reveal you to be my long lost twin brother that I never knew I had, Charles M.