Obama, the Shiite, Goes to Riyadh
Remember how Richard Nixon told us to watch what he does, not what he says? Good advice. Well, Barack Obama -- our POTUS who makes Nixon and Clinton seem like Diogenes -- thinks like a postmodern agnostic, professes to be a Christian, but acts like a Shiite.
During Obama's presidency the influence of Ayatollah Khamenei's Iranian Shiite regime has spread across the world like the proverbial wildfire, reaching from North Africa into Iraq, Lebanon (via Hezbollah), Syria (via Assad whose red line on chemical weapons famously faded into invisibility), Gaza (via improved relations with Hamas) and now into Yemen (via the Houthis) and undoubtedly a number of other places, including Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba. And our president, consciously or unconsciously or both, has had as much to do as anyone with the creation of this nascent, soon-to-be nuclear armed and missile-ready fundamentalist "Greater Persia." No wonder the Sunni Saudis are alarmed -- they have been for a long time -- and no wonder Obama suddenly decided to replace Biden in paying a condolence visit to Riyadh for the death of King Abdullah. He has some powerful fence-mending to do that pretend bowing and scraping may not so easily solve.
Much of this Iran-coddling began back when the Green Movement was in the streets of Tehran seeking the overthrow of the ayatollahs and chanting "Obama, Obama... Are you with us or are you with them?" Our president did not respond. He was already in private communication with the bizarre Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Obama wanted to be the one who got credit for reining in the excesses of the Islamic Republic, not those unruly student demonstrators who were the ones suffering from the regime in the first place, being murdered, tortured and raped in Evin Prison, often in reverse order.
Indeed, this unconscionable and out-of-control narcissism has been the key to Obama's foreign policy throughout and accounts for the catastrophic global results we see in front of us now. The "leading from behind" mantra has always been a fraud, masking what it really means: "I, Barack, know best and manipulate affairs from behind." It's all about me. (Is it ever!)
Now I realize Obama is not really a Shiite. He was raised in Sunni Indonesia. And, yes, Sunnis -- notably ISIS, Boko Haram and AQAP -- are leading the way in the public butchery department for the moment and need to be opposed with all our might. But that doesn't mean Shiites are not active. Just the other day we had the mysterious Buenos Aires death of Alberto Nisman, who was about to reveal truths about the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in that city in which 85 were killed -- a kind of simultaneous beheading in which Iran's Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah are said to be the culprits. Almost anyone honest and awake knows the Islamic Republic is and has been the primary state sponsor of terrorism worldwide for decades.
Yet Obama persists in playing sides in a literally insane Shiite-Sunni religious conflict that has gone on so long it makes the Hundred Years' War seem like the three-week invasion of Grenada. (Interestingly, in a January 20 column, "Say It Like It Is," Thomas Friedman finally breaks the New York Times omertà on radical Islam, saying the president is wrong for not naming the enemy. But in doing so, Friedman isolates the violence as almost all coming from Arab and Pakistani Sunnis, giving the president continued cover to appease Iran.) The reason for Obama's persistence is not religious, but the aforementioned narcissism. He had already plighted his troth on a pax Iranian. Making it easier was his longtime conviction that Western imperialism was the root cause of most evil on the planet anyway. The president now has an Iran deal so tied up in his mind with his legacy that the appearance of Netanyahu in front of Congress opens a psychological wound so large Obama is likely to do almost anything. The world -- not just Saudi Arabia and Israel -- had better beware.