Middle East Exploding, and Obama Nowhere to Be Found
By Elise Cooper
December 13, 2012
Nations in the Middle East, some of whom were once allies of the U.S., appear to be defying America. This is very evident when reviewing the events over the past six months in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, and also among the Palestinians. As former Vice President Dick Cheney stated, "[o]ur allies no longer trust us, or have confidence in us, and our adversaries no longer fear us." The problem is also that America's allies in the region are dwindling while its adversaries are increasing. American Thinker interviewed experts to get their opinion about this very important issue.
In Iraq, the government has ignored entreaties from the Obama administration and has freed a top Hezb'allah operative accused of murdering American soldiers. This was after Vice President Joe Biden phoned Prime Minister Maliki on November 13, urging him to hold the terrorist Ali Musa Daqduq accountable for his crimes. Also, earlier this month it was reported by U.S. officials that Iraq has allowed Iran to use Iraqi airspace to fly military personnel and weapons to Syria in civilian aircraft.
In Egypt, the day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Egyptian President Morsi, Morsi instituted a power-grab. He issued decrees giving himself broad powers by effectively weakening the judiciary, and he pushed through a draft of the new constitution in just twenty-one hours. This draft basically sets Morsi up to become a dictator through several articles that will restrict the rights of women and minorities. Liberals, Coptic Christians, and women walked out as this constitution was drafted, and members of all of these groups have been demonstrating ever since. At a meeting to discuss the situation, there was only one liberal opposition politician who attended, while the other eight delegates were Islamists. President Obama has not made any strong statements rejecting this possible Islamist coup, which will be voted on as a referendum on December 15.
"Palestine" is yet another failure of the Obama administration. The Palestinians defiantly took a vote to the U.N. General Assembly that decided overwhelmingly to divide Jerusalem and seize much of Israel, as well as give "Palestine" independent non-voting member status. This was done a day after Secretary of State Clinton stressed that America would not support that move and that the "path to a two-state solution ... is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York."
In Syria, there is the significant threat of chemical weapons being used in their civil war. It is reported that the Assad regime is loading some of its missiles and bombs with deadly nerve agents. There is also speculation that a terror group might try to get some of those chemical arms. The U.S. administration responded by having Clinton and President Obama warn Assad that Syria would be "held accountable" if chemical weapons are used. Vice President Cheney summarized the feelings of all those interviewed. In a speech, he asserted, "The President can make bold statements and bold talk, as he did in the past couple of days about developments in Syria, but I don't think they care...I have grave doubts that he is prepared to do anything with Syria."
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden explained to American Thinker, "In talking about the Middle East, no one can question that our interests remain important and constant. Our influence, however, has waned, although part of that was probably inevitable, given the changes in the region. The question that should be asked: are we committing enough in terms of our resources and our energies in protecting our interests in this part of the world, or is this the product of American retrenchment?"
There is a good argument to be made that the president is MIA, since he appears to be both disinterested and not highly committed. Hayden believes that what America could do is provide resources such as aid, military contacts, a large diplomatic footprint, and training. Hayden sarcastically points to Iraq, where "I am coming to the conclusion that the right number of troops probably wasn't zero. Iraq has become very unstable, much more friendly to Iran, and has been a facilitator about what is going on in Syria. Would all that be happening as much if we still had a military presence there?"