Thursday, June 25, 2009


Sultan Knish

23 Jun 2009

The Bush Administration's guiding policy on the Middle East was that stability comes from aiding and promoting the spread of Democracy. The Obama Administration's guiding policy on the Middle East is that stability comes from discarding or even outright suppressing Middle Eastern democracies, particularly if they are not run by Arab Muslims, as sources of instability in the region. The Bush Administration pursued a military war to overthrow a tyrant and liberate Iraq. The Obama Administration is pursuing a diplomatic war against Israel to overthrow a democratic government and establish a terrorist state. The contrast between the Bush and Obama administrations is the contrast between America's ideals in action and the same cynical pandering to Muslim dictatorships, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, that has the Middle East a source of terrorism in the first place.

The advocates of stability naturally turn out to be the greatest supporters of appeasement, giving the murderous squeaky wheels whatever grease they think will keep them from going on homicidal purges. This failed policy dominated the Clinton Administration, which shelled out aid to the Taliban, took nothing but cosmetic action when Saddam attempted to assassinate a former United States President and actually wound up going to war to create a new Muslim state in the Balkans. Naturally pressuring Israel to create a Palestinian Arab terrorist state in the middle of one of the most prosperous countries in the Middle East was high on the agenda, and was Bill Clinton's most admired foreign policy accomplishment.

17 years later, the Palestinian territories are a festering sore filled with Islamist terrorists who are continually innovating new terrorist tactics that have then been used against Allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile the breakup of Yugoslavia has led to a vast drug and human smuggling pipeline into the heartland of Europe. Members of the Clinton backed KLA, which financed itself through the drug trade, have become crime bosses all through Europe... those who haven't gone on to become Islamist terrorists that is. It was left to the Bush Administration to deal with Saddam Hussein and with Osama Bin Laden, but not before the latter managed to kill 3000 Americans.

So much for stability.

As an advocate of bringing stability by appeasing tyrants and terrorists, Obama's fumbling response to the Iranian street protests is exactly what one would expect from a man who took Democracy off the table in Cairo and pushed diplomacy with the regime of the Mullahs as his foreign policy agenda.

The Iranian June Revolt has badly upset the Obama applecart, which was working to appeasing Muslim tyrannies by forcing concessions from Israel, while pandering to the Iranian regime. And now in the absence of leadership America has no useful response to make. Rather than demonize the Iranian street protests against Ahmadinejad, the way that it demonized the Venezulean street protests against Chavez, the left has increasingly chosen to side with them. This leaves Obama stuck fumbling for increasingly bolder statements on the riots to appease his domestic supporters, even as he tries to reassure the rest of the Muslim tyrannies that the United States would never interfere in their internal affairs. (A privilege apparently reserved by Obama for Israel, Greece, Germany and other Democratic nations.)

The June Revolt in Iran is bursting through the illusion that Obama is any kind of leader. The illusion of Obama's leadership has been maintained through scripted speeches, head thrust back poses and prominent liberal figures enthusiastically praising his leadership. But the real test of leadership is a crisis. And in this crisis, Obama has sat on the sidelines, gone for ice cream, fumbled and done absolutely nothing.

During the election, Biden predicted, "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy... Remember, I said it standing here, if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy... He's going to have to make some really tough - I don't know what the decision's going to be, but I promise you it will occur."

He then called on the donors to be prepared to rise to Mr. Obama's defense because he will need to make some difficult and unpopular choices in response. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Biden's likely reference was to the Bay of Pigs, which occurred several months after JFK took office. It was sabotaged by Kennedy's refusal to provide aid and naval support to the Cuban liberation forces, resulting in the deaths of both Cuban fighters and American personnel on the ground. That "difficult and unpopular" choice was only partially later redeemed by Kennedy's actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In 1940 Kennedy had responded to Churchill's While England Slept, a warning against appeasement, with Why England Slept, a defense of the appeasement propounded by his father, Joe Kennedy. As President, Kennedy discovered that America did not have the luxury of sleep, and learned from his mistakes. What he did not need however, was the uncritical support that Biden asked on behalf of Obama. Real leaders don't need to be pandered too or given uncritical support, they need to be challenged.

That is why Obama is not a leader. Beneath his media haze, Obama is a little man sitting in a big chair, distributing graft to his backers, and tiptoeing around the world to promise America's enemies that America is no longer a threat.

But the fight for freedom is not limited to America. It never was. Obama chose to keep America on the sidelines, to enable tyranny and suppress freedom. Nevertheless with the June Revolt, freedom has sprung up anyway.

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