New Moderates! Syrian Rebels, Iranian President, and the Taliban!
All of these things have already happened and will happen more frequently, and the United States will have no leverage to affect this behavior. The leaders are not in control; the rebels don’t want to do America’s bidding. Will the aid be cut off at that point? No. Too many reputations will be on the line; too much political capital will have been extended.
Meanwhile the Sunni Muslim side -- particularly the Sunni Islamist side -- will urge the United States on, promising it anything if it puts their friends in power. Obama will believe that the Arabs love America and will support U.S. interests. Until, of course, the day after they take over -- or, say, several months afterward -- when the Muslim Brotherhood turns on America and the Salafists attack Israel.
There is, however, one possible way out: if the United States can say Iran made us do it by escalating its own involvement in the war.
There is something peculiar happening after the Iranian presidential election. On one hand, the media throughout the West is proclaiming that Iran is now moderate, forgetting that the same thing happened 16 years ago (the election of a relatively moderate president) without changing anything. On the other hand, Iran seems to have become more aggressive and threatening after the election. The Iranian supreme leader directly insulted Obama, saying he was a puppet of Zionist interests and was only elected in a phony process, unlike the freedom enjoyed in Iran.
The point is that Iran may have overplayed its hand, throwing away a wonderful opportunity to fool the West and to get sanctions reduced while still building nuclear weapons. At any rate, this is a big mess and it will not turn out well.
Speaking of big messes, to consolidate the Obama Doctrine -- allying or engaging with Sunni Islamist extremists -- the United States is now entering public negotiations with the Taliban. The Afghan Taliban, you might remember, was a partner in the September 11, 2001, attacks and has been unrepentant. The supposed price will be that the Taliban, which is killing Americans on a daily basis in Afghanistan, may merely renounce al-Qaeda. But since al-Qaeda doesn't exist any more in Afghanistan, this is hardly significant.
Mere words from the no-doubt trustworthy Taliban -- will even an apology be required? -- will make up for the murder of around 3000 Americans. According to U.S. policy, there is a radical and moderate wing of the Syrian rebels, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood regime, the Turkish stealth Islamist regime, probably now the Iranian regime, and several others as well, no doubt. The Taliban has been calling the Afghan government an American puppet, and the Afghan government reacted to news of the talks angrily, with a feeling of betrayal, and broke off its own talks with the United States.
Sound like a pattern? The U.S. government siding with enemies and subverting historical allies?
Oh: four American soldiers were killed by a Taliban attack the same day these diplomatic developments occurred.
Finally, the new Iranian president has been declared a moderate by much of the Western establishment. First, it is only assumed he is a moderate -- true, he was the person out of desperation who was supported by the opposition, but he has a long record as a key national security official who does not differ from the main political line. Second, he is powerless, because the supreme guide is in charge.
Imagine a Cold War in which the United States took the Communist side, and you get a picture of current U.S. policy.
Article printed from Rubin Reports: http://pjmedia.com/barryrubin
URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/barryrubin/2013/6/20/new-moderates-syrian-rebels-iranian-president-and-the-taliban