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Rubin Reports

The Hopelessness of Victory

January 12th, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Obama sees Egypt as a huge conventional military power (he doesn’t want it to obtain nuclear weapons). Egypt can easily call the United States’ bluff. Egypt must make certain compromises, but with popular support and going to great lengths through use of violence, the army knows it can win. Egypt’s new government has mass popular support, unity of the army, and inside national security.

There are some key factors that Obama doesn’t see, such as the alternative of Saudi aid and Russian arms. As I said when Egypt’s army was originally going to go out of power in 2011: “the Arab and Egyptian warriors, they cannot compromise on some issues.” Ultimately, they were bold soldiers, not politicians. Theoretically, they would rather commit hara-kiri then betray their people for the wrong reasons.

But again, note the following: by supporting the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Obama shows he is not a trustworthy ally. And besides, Obama has shown that he runs away from Russian arms, and has been outbid by the Saudis. Who is going to break, Egypt or Obama?

This leads to an important factor: he who wins is he who will compromise less, not he who is willing to compromise more.

This principle is the same everywhere in the Middle East. Iran is willing to risk having the negotiations fall apart. So is Karzai’s government in Afghanistan. It’s a game of chicken, not chess.

In Tunisia, the government fell apart due to the army’s pressure. Quietly, that was the end of Tunisia’s democratic dream. And in fact, all true Arab, Turkish, and Iranian democracies have fallen apart. The same has been true of the Iraqi democratic dream. Iran, not the United States, is the country that has played the game well there.

In another example, the West thinks the Syrian political opposition, politicians, and terrorists actually care how many people they are willing to sacrifice. In fact, they are willing to sacrifice millions. The West simply cannot understand that these people are fighting for different stakes. They think that materialistic consideration and pragmatism will determine their decision-making. Everybody who knows the Middle East knows you need to think the Middle Eastern way, not the Western way. To cite a Western leader: “You come with a rock, we come with a knife. You come with a knife, we come with a gun.”  The closest thing in American politics to Middle East politics is that of Chicago or Boston.

Western policy is deemed to flourish in compromise; Middle Eastern politics in victory.

No compromise is going to cause radical nationalists and Islamists to make real peace. Yes, Islamists can be and are often pragmatic, particularly to obtain millions of dollars of trade and nuclear weapons; but only if not required to give much in return.

If you don’t know why the Muslim Brotherhood will not make peace with Arab regimes, you cannot understand the Middle East.

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http://nyyrc.com/blog/2014/01/nyyrc-talking-points-january-2014/

The Muslim world is quickly being lost to al Qaeda. Without a reversal in the current strategy, American is on course to lose the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While in the past there have been relative times of peace in Iraq and Afghanistan, now both of these countries are being thrown into complete chaos by al Qaeda and the Taliban. Moreover, Secretary Robert Gates’ book Duty makes it clear that President Obama has been remiss in his duty as Commander-in-Chief.

Writes Gates in Duty, “As I sat there, I thought: the president doesn’t trust his commander [General David Patraeus], can’t stand [Afghanistan President Hamid] Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”
In a highly symbolic victory for al Qaeda, it was reported on January 4th that the Iraqi city of Fallujah had been taken by the Islamists. For the large number of American and coalition casualties and deaths, Fallujah is known as the “Graveyard of Americans” in al Qaeda propaganda. In 2004, during the Second Battle of Fallujah, a total of 107 coalition soldiers, including 95 Americans, were killed taking Fallujah. In 2003, the First Battle of Fallujah, in which coalition forces suffered defeat at the hands of al Qaeda, 27 coalition soldiers were killed (more than 90 were wounded).
On January 15, al Qaeda “linked” made significant gains in the city of Ramadi, as 18 were killed in terrorist attacks around Baghdad. Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province, a Sunni dominated territory that had been the bloodiest during the violence that followed the American invasion.
In Afghanistan, the critical military checkpoints in the southern province of Helmand were ceded to the Taliban on December 21, 2013. 2013 also saw the greatest annual opium production in Afghanistan – 200,000 hectares. Opium revenue is key to al Qaeda and Taliban operations. A new American intelligence report published in late December predicts that by 2017, “the gains the United States and its allies have made during the past three years are likely to have been significantly eroded.”
In Libya, an Islamist militia (al Qaeda, anyone?) murdered the Deputy Industry Minister. Syria’s civil war rages on, with the UN reporting that half the country’s population requires aid. Egypt has entered a period of fear and virtual martial law, following a reign of terror by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. Only in Tunisia, where Islamist Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh resigned, does there appear to be a fragile, secular peace emerging.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This can all be understood differently. Let's say Obama has more sympathy for any enemy of the US than he has for the US. Then he'd want to push activities that would ultimately strengthen radical Muslims and the like while weakening the US armed forces. Deals with Iran are part of this strengthening. Making our armed forces ever more PC and coed while sending their personnel to die in no-win situations is an example of this weakening.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Understanding the Middle East mindset...and the radical Islam mindset as a subset (some differences exist, in degree, strategy and tactics) is imperative to understanding the futility of playing a game of chicken with them by Western rules of engagement. They don't believe in those rules, won't abide by them, don't respect their boundaries, confinements or consequences.

However, to circle the square it is imperative to understand the futility of applying standard American patriotism, honor and loyalty to the acts, deeds, tactics, strategy and intentions of radical leftists. To continue to treat the traitorous as misguided but patriotic ...seeking merely a "liberal" approach to geopolitical issues and domestic programs...is to not merely be willingly blind to facts and evidence to the contrary. It is to give full camouflage to totalitarianism, tyranny and treason.

America is not a trustworthy ally...IF ...the approach is viewed through a standard historical lens, yesterday vs today.

But the stark difference between Luttrell (and those who refused to stand down when Ambassador Stevens was abandoned or set up)...and the radical leftists who have seized our nation...highlights the point.

John Kerry soiled his honor, Obama spent a lifetime in defiance of American honor, Hillalinsky trained for the rules for radicals. Who, precisely...is THEIR ally? And who, precisely...are their enemies?

If you looked for posters of their campaigns hanging on the walls...how many of Luttrell would you expect to find and how many of Che? If Anita Dunn, Tom Friedman and Carl Davidson were asked...what country would they say invokes the most admiration? Sean Penn? Oliver Stone? Michelle Obama?

Stop thinking like a "liberal" and applying "liberal" motives to this cabal. There would be no spying, no siccing of the IRS, no abandonment of those in danger, no clear assault on Israel, no destruction of religion, rights of assembly, ...the gravest mistake is NOT failing to understand others...it is failing to understand those who now rule us with an iron fist.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If Obama could get a satisfactory Middle East result—defined as anything but fall on your face failure—he would gladly take it because his hubris allows him to believe that he can sell anything as a victory. But a true victory in the ME is not what he’s after. Protected by his skin color and fortified by his megalomania he believes that he’s immune from the real world consequences of his actions—which he calculates are mostly political to him anyway. His real strategy is to tank US foreign policy, as he is trying to tank the US economy, and skate away from it.

Can anyone be as incompetent as Obama appears to be?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't believe it's incompetence. I believe Obama deliberately undermines (sabotages) U.S. war efforts (in both Afghanistan and Iraq). He wants to have the U.S. defeated, brought down a peg. He believes in a Third World ideology which sees America as an imperialist aggressor and if ever there is a conflict between the U.S. and a third world country, axiomatically, America is at fault (America is to blame). It's Obozo's default position (terrorists attack Benghazi, Obama blames it on an American video -- he sends out info-ads to apologize to Pakistan, and continues this farce in a groveling speech to the UN). Obama plays for the other side.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It was the same mistake we made in Vietnam. We thought tactical victories and high body counts would get the North to give up.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rubin: "They think that materialistic consideration and pragmatism will determine their decisionmaking." Indeed. For years now I have read left-leaning pundits insist that if Palestinians are given economic incentives (given material gains), peace with Israel will immediately ensue. It is the same with Lurch promising Palestinians billions for economic development. Clearly he's yet another ignoramus in the Obama White House.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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