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How Obama Lost the Middle East

July 3rd, 2014 - 10:23 am

Victor Davis Hanson:

Obama kept posturing to the world that he would close Guantanamo and substitute civilian trials for military tribunals. He continued to say that he did not enjoy using renditions or drones — even as he upped the latter’s deadly missions tenfold.

The results were contradictory messages that encouraged radical Islamists. The conclusion radical Islamists drew was that even the Obama administration had admitted its anti-terrorism protocols were either morally questionable or ineffective.

Blaming a video maker instead of immediately taking out the known jihadists who had murdered Americans in Benghazi only reinforced that mixed message. So did exchanging five terrorist kingpins in Guantanamo for an alleged American military deserter in Afghanistan.

A series of empty Middle East red lines, deadlines, and withdrawal dates likewise reinforced the idea of American abdication.

We warned Syria of air strikes and then backed down. We surged in Afghanistan only to simultaneously announce a withdrawal date for our troops. We issued Iran lots of deadlines to stop enriching uranium, only to forget them and end sanctions in hope of negotiations.

I would go further.

Obama refused to lift a finger, or even raise his voice, to help or encourage Iran’s abortive Green Revolution in 2009 — effectively siding with the Mullahs. By sabotaging the Status of Forces negotiations with Iraq, Obama demonstrated he was not militarily serious. In Libya he showed he was willing to destroy, but not to build. Benghazi showed he would lie to his own people — us — to hide the nature of the threat against us. In Egypt he picked the wrong side so many times, and always late to do even that, that he showed he could be easily out-flanked and out-thought. Syria… jeebus, but Syria.

It may only be due to the sheer momentum of American power that we have any standing left in the Middle East at all. But it won’t last much longer.

All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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He didn't lose it. He gave it away. Took it out in the country and tossed it from the car and drove away. Like an unwanted pet.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment

The remaining American power in the Middle East is based purely on the destructive potential of our expeditionary forces, and the ability of the NSA and CIA to pull dirty tricks.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
For years, the Far-Right fringe has been claiming that Obama hates America and will work to destroy it. They were dismissed as loons, but they are not looking so crazy, now. Maybe we need to re-look at that birth-certificate thing, after all. Geez, what a thought!
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
American power and security won't survive two more years.
Day by day, one retreat and surrender at a time. The Mideast was
Stable six years ago compared to now. Russia, if not an outright ally
At least respected American power. We're not taken seriously
By our enemies nor our allies anymore. Not feared, not respected.
And where are the Military leaders, our Five Star Generals, while
All this is going down the drain? Are they all just 'shutting up and
Saluting' like toy wooden soldiers watching America lose battle after
Battle on the world stage? There was a time when real men, real
Heroes, roamed the halls of the Pentagon; the Patton's and MacArthur's
Whose honor demanded that they stand up even to a commander
In chief, and speak their mind risking their career if need be
But, damn it , Country always came first. Not so today. They've become
Neutered, gelded, and bow before the cowardly altar
If political expediency. Shame on them for hiding in the trenches,
Watching the enemy advance, hiding behind their military pensions
While a rogue tin-horn Napoleon dissembles their armies
And shames this once great nation before friend and foe alike.
Patriots: Stand Up! Speak Up Or Resign In Protest Against This
Presidential Tide Of Defeat. Now is the time for Heroes.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment

Heaven help the Republic, if once it's saved by the Generals. There's no turning back from that path.

No, the onus is on We the People.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
We're not talking about military coup. The military is the most popular
Government institution with highest approval ratings. The people might just pay attention if the Generals spoke up in protest of Obama's failed and irresponsible foreign policy. Left to their own
Devices I'm afraid the 'onus' of the people would turn out like
The '12 presidential election results; profoundly idiotic!
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
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