The Shuttered White House and Its Fantasies
Not so long ago, the White House was telling journalists that there was a new "Obama Doctrine," driven by the three Valkyries (Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power), according to which the United States is obliged to rally to the side of people protesting for their freedom against regimes killing them because of their courage. That's why, we were told, Obama authorized the American Air Force to bomb the Libyan armed forces.
That was clearly a hoax, wasn't it? For the Syrian and Iranian regimes have murdered more of their own than Qadaffi ever did, and they kill Americans too. So if it was right to support Qadaffi's opposition, it's even more right to support Assad's and Khamenei's. Forget it. Instead, our most dangerous enemies -- who turn out to be the most bloodthirsty killers in the region -- are more often than not treated as if they were potential allies who have temporarily gone astray. Take the Taliban, for example.
Just as LBJ was forever trying to apply just the right amount of violence in order to get the North Vietnamese to "reason together" at the negotiating table, so we are forever organizing (or, at a minimum, supporting) peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The result: the chief negotiator gets blown up by a terrorist with a bomb in his turban (as in the famous Danish cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his own turban that was judged so insulting to the "Muslim world" [another fantasy] that it was used as an excuse for riots in Copenhagen and all over the Middle East). And it seems, at least from a distance, that Taliban attacks are increasing, not diminishing.
Or take Iran. Nowhere is the administration's incoherence more dramatic. The regime is conducting a widespread war against Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as slaughtering its own. From time to time the administration, including the president himself, puts out information confirming it all. But not only is there no support for the Iranian people -- who have long since demonstrated their hatred of the regime and their willingness to risk life and limb to challenge it -- the president steadfastly refuses to call for regime change in Tehran. In his speech to the United Nations today, he warned that if Iran does not clean up its act, it will suffer greater "isolation."
Meanwhile, Khamenei and Ahmadinejad unleash mass murder against us and the Iranian people, and race towards acquisition of nuclear devices with which they can kill far more of us and our allies. And what are we planning to do in response to their acts of war? Perhaps more sanctions (which are welcome but will not bring down the regime or force the mullahs to change their policy), and certainly more negotiations, which have been ongoing since Obama's 2008 campaign. It's obvious that the hostage release was negotiated, for example. One will get you five that the White House arranged the million dollar ransom, and the odds are that there were additional concessions as well. This sort of incoherence is contagious, and spreads to the minds of people who ought to know better. It seems that military planners are pondering the creation of a "hot line" to Tehran, to avoid "accidental war."
But war is already under way, and it's no accident. This is more fantasyland. Just listen to what the Wall Street Journal's reporters have to say and you'll see a masterpiece of blithering:
At least initially, defense officials are most enthusiastic about expanding navy-to-navy contacts with Iran to prevent miscalculations. But they remain wary of any direct engagement with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, due to its deep ties to Middle East militant groups the U.S. has designated terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories.
At the same time, U.S. officials acknowledge that most of these near-altercations with Iran have involved the IRGC, making its command central to resolving many disputes.
So, by the administration's own standards, it's a non-starter. And that's the least of it. For unless you believe that the Iranians will use the hot line to avoid conflict, its creation offers them a golden opportunity to deceive us, to delay our response to their attacks, and to put even more Americans at risk.
It ought to be obvious. But then, it should have been obvious a long time ago that Syria and Iran were foes, not friends, that they want our defeat and destruction, and that our only real choice is between defeating them or losing to them.
Hard to win when everyone around the president tells him he's a genius.
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