Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How Are Things in the Middle East?

The short of it is summed up in one acronym: SNAFU.

Let's run down the list. Turkey's flirtation with the West appears to be over. President Erdogan is laying the groundwork for a sultanate by supporting both his son and daughter become members of parliament.

September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui has testified that members of the Saudi royal family, including Prince Turki al-Faisal Al Saud, a former Saudi intelligence chief, provided financial and moral support for al Qaeda. Nothing will be done, though.

Obama is reportedly willing to let Iran keep as many as 6,500 centrifuges operating in return for Iran “guaranteeing regional stability.” The centrifuges are used to process nuclear fuel, including that necessary for creating nuclear weapons. Consequently, Saudi Arabia has apparently reaffirmed a pact with Pakistan whereby Pakistan, if asked, will supply Saudi Arabia with nuclear warheads. (I'm sure that such an agreement will come with a large dollop of cash for Pakistan, some of which will find its way into the Taliban's coffers courtesy of Pakistan's intelligence agency). I'm sure that the sticking point in any agreement with Iran will be Syria and President Assad. The goal of the rebellion against Assad was to open the way for an oil and gas pipeline from the Middle East to Europe. But, to work, the pipeline had to go through Syria. Alas, Assad still remains in power, propped up by Iran and the Russians.

Behind the chaos in the Middle East is the Obama Administration. While Obama may seem to be lurching around with no real strategy, he in fact has one according to the prestigious historian, Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson writes:
 While I think the symptomology of an ailing, herky-jerky United States is correct, the cause of such malaise is left unspoken. The Obama team — with its foreign policy formulated by President Obama himself, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, White House consigliere Valerie Jarrett, Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and present Secretary of State John Kerry — is not in fact befuddled by the existing world. Instead, it is intent on changing it into something quite different from what it is. 
So far from being chaotic, current U.S. foreign policy is consistent, logical, and based on four pillars of belief.
Summarized, these four pillars are:

  • That the US, with its history of intervention and (perceived) nation building, has made the world unfair by denying the right of the various nations be as they wish to be.
  • That nations will be reasonable if the US doesn’t get in the way.
  • That we should seek equality abroad just as we demand equality at home.
  • The details don’t matter as long as the goal is ultimately achieved (in other words, a few eggs will have to be broken).
Hanson concludes:
Keep these themes in mind, and the last six years will make better sense. The Middle East is not a mess, but a place in a needed stage of transition as it frees itself from Western domination and a new order slowly emerges. To the degree that we need a large military, it is preferable to envision it as an executive agency for enacting social change without the clumsy impediment of Congress, especially in terms of race, women’s issues, and gender preferences. It can do the best work for stability abroad by shrinking itself. Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder and always a relative concept that Westerners pathologically insist is absolute. As far as the world abroad goes, China is a more authentic enterprise than Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, which are the products of U.S. Cold War nation-building in our own image, not of indigenous revolutionary self-creation. U.S. Cold War culpability — in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, South America, Cuba — is a burden that must be addressed through various means. The rules of nuclear proliferation are a Western construct. Israel is an abnormality, a Western outpost of capitalism and privilege where it has never really belonged, an irritant that should be treated like any other country as much as politically possible. Latin American grass-roots socialism is not Stalinism, but rather an extension of what Obama is trying to do at home. 
I think the world now seems a chaotic place only if you assume that the Obama administration wished to be like its predecessors.
In short, Obama does not seek to stabilize the international order, but to destroy it and remake it as his Cultural Marxist mentors desire.

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