President Barack Obama on Monday warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that the use or deployment of chemical or biological weapons in his country’s conflict would be a “red line” for the United States as it views Damascus’s suppression of the uprising.
“A red line for us is (if) we see a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around, or being utilized. That would change my calculus,” Obama said.
“It doesn’t just include Syria. It would concern allies in the region, including Israel, and it would concern us,” Obama said.
Here’s your basic problem for 2012-2013: In the Middle East, the vultures are coming home to roost. Of course, the main cause of developments in the region is the long, failed legacy of radical Arab nationalism which is now being replaced by what we’ll be calling in 20 or 30 years the long failed legacy of revolutionary Islamism.
But the secondary cause is the mistaken policy of President Barack Obama. Let’s make a list.
–By pressing for revolutionary change in Egypt, Obama helped bring a radical Islamist regime to Egypt, the Arab world’s most important country, leading it to break the alliance with the United States and move toward heightened belligerency—possibly war—with Israel
–By overthrowing the horrible Muammar Qadhafi, however much that can be justified by the evil nature of the old regime, Obama handed power over to radical forces, not consciously or intentionally but inevitably given the reality of that country. We already see such signs as a refusal to cooperate with the Lockerbie bombing investigation and the destruction of Christian and Jewish graveyards.
–By failing to help the Iranian opposition, not taking a strong stance when the election was stolen, and doing nothing serious about Iran’s nuclear program for more than two years, the Obama Administration has helped create a situation in which either Israel will attack Iran or Iran will get nuclear weapons. Or both.
–By embracing an Islamist regime in Turkey, Obama has allowed that government to continue with its agenda of transforming Turkey while disproving the opposition’s argument that radical policies at home and abroad might damage the country’s standing in Washington.
–By showing so much weakness (which it portrays ass friendliness, sympathy, multilateralism, and cultural sensitivity), the Obama Administration has convinced the radical, anti-American forces that the United States is weak and ripe for collapse. Listen to what the Islamists in the region actually say.
This is the government and this is the policy portrayed as successful merely because good intelligence officers located Usama bin Ladin and courageous Navy Seals killed him.
This is the government that portrays itself as the best friend of Israel even as it undermines Israel’s security because Obama keeps saying how much he supports Israel and “allows” continued congressionally mandated aid to go to that country. With best friends like this who needs enemies?
Nothing could be more ridiculous than these assurances of success while the Middle East burns, while U.S. standing and interests there are in sharp decline. The “funny” thing about all of this is that virtually everyone in the region itself knows that everything written above is true even as virtually everyone in the “mainstream” discussion in the United States denies it.
Any possibility that Obama’s policy might not bring disaster in the Middle East died in 2011. In 2012 we’re going to see the funeral.