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WP: US Influence Has Waned In Mideast

From the Washington Post:

Amid Arab protests, U.S. influence has waned

By Liz Sly [sic]
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, February 4, 2011

BAGHDAD – In days gone by, it was pretty much guaranteed that any demonstration in the Arab world would feature burning American flags and a blazing effigy or two of the U.S. president.

At the pro-democracy demonstrations on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere, references to the United States have been conspicuously absent, a sign of what some analysts are already calling a "post-American Middle East" of diminished U.S. influence and far greater uncertainty about America’s role.

For just as burning flags are not part of the current repertoire, neither are demonstrators carrying around models of the Statue of Liberty, as Chinese activists brought to Tiananmen Square in 1989.

And look all the good that did them. Ask China’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo how much good it does to count on the US for support or leadership in the cause of freedom. — If you can find him.

Middle East activists say they avoid references to the United States as a political role model for fear of alienating potential supporters, said Toujan Faisal, a veteran democracy campaigner in Jordan who has been advising young protesters in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

"I don’t think America appeals to the younger generation," she said. "I’m cautious not to present them with the American example because there’s a negative attitude to America, a disappointment."

And rightly so. It started in Hungary in 1956, but things have only gotten far worse over the years – especially with the uprisings in Iran. Mr. Obama didn’t even give them lip service.

No one yet knows what kind of Middle East will emerge from Cairo’s embattled streets: a newly democratic one, an increasingly radicalized one, or perhaps one in which authoritarian regimes tighten their grip.

Events in Cairo are unfolding too rapidly to predict, but one possible outcome could be a more visibly anti-American drift.

Still, it is notable that even the most rabid protests against President Hosni Mubarak have focused on his reign, rather than on the American role in enabling it.

Reform of a particular sort could actually bolster U.S. interests if it allows more open commerce and development of a strong middle class in societies often split today between a connected rich and a dispossessed poor.

Hey, that’s a great idea. We should try that at home, instead of constantly trying to drive a wedge between the rich and the poor.

Yet America’s role could also be greatly diminished in an area that remains vital to its national interests, but where the perception has grown of a superpower with few friends beyond Israel and a coterie of authoritarian Arab rulers.

Exactly what other kind of regimes are there in the Middle East besides authoritarian ones? And we are actually "allied" with the most moderate regimes in the region. In fact, those are the very ones that are currently ‘toppling.’

Who should we be more friendly with over there? Gaddafi? Assad? Ahmadinejad?

The Obama administration’s initial, tepid response to the crisis, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calling Mubarak’s regime "stable" and Vice President Biden declaring that he didn’t regard Mubarak as a dictator, did little to endear Washington to a region that has long yearned for political reform.

Is this the same Washington Post that along with the rest of our news media has done nothing but excoriate Bush’s idea of introducing Democracy into the Middle East as the most arrogant kind of ‘cowboy diplomacy’ for the last ten years?

President Obama has since adopted a tougher stance, but his language has not gone far enough to convince Arabs puzzled by America’s seeming inability to embrace a revolt that they think coincides with America’s own ideals, said Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.

Where are the Egyptian protestors who are carrying signs of the founding fathers? Where are the Jeffersonian democrats in the crowd? We must have missed them.

Instead we have heard lots and lots of chants of ‘Allahu Akbar!" Which even the Washington Post and the Brookings Institute should realize indicates a far different ideal from what the framers had in mind.

"No one in the region is pro-American anymore. The only hope is if Obama uses this opportunity to re-orientate U.S. policy in a fundamental way,” he said. "Otherwise, I think we’re losing the Arab world."

And what exactly would this re-orientation look like? Would it be accepting the Muslim Brotherhood? Would it mean abandoning Israel? What more outreach can Mr. Obama do?

Lest we forget, Mr. Obama gave his first interview as President to Al Arabiya, the Saudi Arabia news paper that uses the dateline "from occupied Jerusalem" in its articles from that city.

The trend became apparent well before Tunisians toppled their U.S.-backed dictator on Jan. 14, inspiring Egyptians to try to oust Mubarak and triggering waves of unrest in Jordan and Yemen.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq, undertaken ostensibly to spread democracy in a region of the world where it has failed to take root, has produced an elected government.

How does Ms. Sly [sic] figure? The current Iraqi government was elected by what is agreed to have been a fair and honest election. In any case, it is far more of a democratic government than any other over there, apart from Israel.

But the latest one, installed in December, was formed only after Iran intervened to break months of deadlock, confirming its role as a major player in Iraq.

This is merely a conspiracy theory on Mr. Sly’s part.

The last 50,000 U.S. troops are due to leave by the end of the year, and it seems unlikely the Iraqi government will allow the U.S. military to retain even a small long-term presence.

Meaning, we suppose, that there will be no more democracy once our troops pull out. As we said before, our one party media is convinced that democracy cannot exist in the Middle East.

But at the same time they want us to overthrow a thirty year "ally" of the US, in order to rush in a supposed new democracy. If it weren’t such a dangerous situation, it would be laughable.

In Lebanon, the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah movement wrested control last month from the pro-Western government propelled to power by the 2005 Cedar Revolution, in which 1 million Lebanese took to the streets to force the departure of occupying Syrian troops, with the strong backing of the George W. Bush administration.

Apparently we are not supposed to learn from this experience.

To some extent, other regional powers are already filling the vacuum, including an increasingly assertive, confident Turkey, as well as tiny Qatar, determined to punch above its weight.

Turkey is becoming more assertive because it has become more radically ‘Islamic.’

America has had its Mideast moments, not the least when Obama took office in 2009, pledging a new era in U.S. relations with the Muslim world.

Which of course was heroic. Compared to which our freeing of 40 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq from terrible dictatorships at a tremendous cost in blood and treasure was small potatoes.

But the administration’s failure to sustain a viable Israeli-Palestinian peace process or to persuade Israel to stop building settlements on land claimed by Palestinians has bitterly disappointed those who had hoped Obama would bring change, said Rami Khouri, director of the Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.

Finally we see what is really meant by bringing about "change." We have to abandon Israel. Gee, what a surprise.

Another moment of hope came in 2005, when then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered a stirring call for democratization on the leafy campus of the American University in Cairo, just steps from the center of the Egyptian revolt now underway in the city’s Tahrir Square.

"The day is coming when the promise of a fully free and democratic world, once thought impossible, will also seem inevitable," she said, in a speech that triggered a brief but transitory scramble by regional leaders to implement political reforms. "The people of Egypt should be at the forefront of this great journey, just as you have led this region through the great journeys of the past."

President Bush gave numerous speeches just like this. Needless to say, he was mocked by the news media and the ruling elites for his arrogance and ignorance.

That Egyptians are now at the head of the region’s long-suppressed demand for democratization comes in spite of, not because of, the United States, Khouri said.

"Nobody’s listening to America anymore," he said. "It’s become irrelevant."

But isn’t that exactly what Mr. Obama wanted? And what candidate Hillary Clinton also wanted? Isn’t that exactly what the Democrat party has promised the world?

So what’s the problem?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, February 4th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “WP: US Influence Has Waned In Mideast”

  1. Reality Bytes

    Since Anderson Cooper got clobbered it seems every news news anchor & then some are flying into Cairo to get hit on the head with a bottle – again proving that sooner or later the news is about them.

    Katie Couric?! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    Who’s next Hollywood Extra?

    Meanwhile, President Reag – I mean Obama warned Iran against violence against its people.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncxBnZYolP4

    Oops! He was threatening our allies, the Egyptian government, not Iran. My mistake (and the Americans who voted him into office I suppose).

  2. TerryAnne

    Why do I get the impression this is what happened:

    Communist Media participant c 2008: “Allelujah! Praise King Obama, Lord of the Flies and King of the Jewish Opposition! America will no longer be the bully of the world and all of the remaining nations can regain their exceptionalism as the Almighty tears down our walls and makes us irrelevant! Hey…it’s puff, puff, pass, man!”

    Communist Media participant c 2011: “What?!?! You mean my popularity is declining because Americans are turning to the right and the rest of the world has stopped paying attention to my world advice gleaned from the presence of My Lord? That can’t be right and I can’t let it continue! I must remain popular! Damn; my prescription is out. Yo…Keller. Can you run down to the corner and get my script refilled for me? Yeah…try not to get the Chronic; it’s not strong enough.”

  3. Islamic Facts and Understandings that everyone should know:

    Quran:
    http://www.thereligionofpeace......n-Hate.htm

    http://barenakedislam.wordpres.....ate-islam/

    Halal:
    http://www.ifanca.org/halal/

    https://actforamericahouston.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/halal-food-sales-supporting-terrorism/

    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/wor.....Terrorism/

    Caliphate:
    http://www.danielpipes.org/279.....-caliphate

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

    http://noiri.blogspot.com/2010.....d-not.html

    C.A.I.R. – Council on American-Islamic Relations

    http://www.meforum.org/916/cai.....ablishment

    http://barenakedislam.wordpres.....y-youtube/

    http://www.investigativeprojec.....true-goals

    WAQF: – http://www.mideastweb.org/Midd.....a/waqf.htm
    http://www.awqafsa.org.za/waqf.htm

    M.E.A.C. – Muslim Education Action Center – http://www.meactrust.org/ – for every Muslim boy or girl…..only! All others are NOT allowed.

    http://creepingsharia.wordpres.....on-center/

    Dhimmitude:

    http://www.dhimmitude.org/

    Muslims are getting a free pass on Obamacare because of their religion:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1089/posts

    Sharia Law:

    http://stackblog.wordpress.com.....addressed/

    http://actforamerica.wordpress.....omment-846

    http://loganswarning.com/islam.....n-america/

    Sharia does not recognize “man-made law” such as our U.S. and state constitutions. Sharia is explicit in its exhortation that the very existence of man-made law constitutes a transgression of the sinners who enacted the law:

    The source of legal rulings for all acts of those who are morally responsible is Allah. (a1.1) It is not a sin to comply with man-made laws that require buying auto insurance or having a photo ID because “the authorities are responsible for the sin, not the individual forced to comply.” (w42.3 and w50.4)

    Sharia regulates belief, speech and the status of women as well as non-Muslims. It dictates all matters criminal, civil and financial. It even prescribes the rules pertaining to women removing their facial hair and wearing perfume when they are outside their home. Sharia is said to dictate a complete way of life. There is no such thing as a separate secular authority or secular law under Sharia, since religion and state do not exist as separate from one another.

    Muslim Brotherhood:

    http://bigpeace.com/sfr/2011/0.....otherhood/

    http://creepingsharia.wordpres.....nce-video/

    http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p18634.xml

    Islamization:

    The erasure of the customs, norms and laws of any country or region in order to purely reflect Islamic sentiment. This can be done through political pressure – as in the West – where full out Jihad is not possible, such as in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the ultimate goal of Islamization has been achieved by violent Jihad and finally through political pressure for peace – which in Islam can only come under Shari’a rule.
    Also see: Dar al-Harb & Dar al-Islam

    Murabaha Financing:

    http://wiki.islamicfinance.de/index.php/Murabaha

    http://www.hazariba.com/Muraba.....terest.pdf

    Zakat:
    http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/zakat.htm

    Hijab:

    Here is the actual meaning of why Muslim women wear the hijab as stated in the Koran:

    The hijab is actually the FLAG OF JIHAD…it is not religious apparel to call attention to the Moslem god, but a covering to signal to Moslem men that this is a Moslem and therefore she is not FREE TO BE RAPED as would be a dirty, slutty kafir.

    (All kafir women are ‘dirty, slutty’…thus justifying rapability.) – Koran 33.56

  4. tranquil.night

    Speaking of flies, the Republicans have fallen for the “One Voice” on Egypt bait like children getting lured into a predator’s van by the promise of candy. Way to take leadership, champs. Ugh, God save us.

    I’m sorry, I know McConnell and the boys are going through the motions and trying to convince us they’ve seen the light, but it is an act. This is an arrogant good old boys club until the end, and I don’t trust it. All these symbolic moves and platitudes have been just that. There’s never truly been any teeth, any principled leadership willing to frame the fight to the reality of our current fiscal crisis situation (outside of Rand Paul and Bachmann), nor any real will to get into the criminals’ smug, twisted faces and instill the righteous fear of God and the American people into them, as needs to have happened.

    They are still not willing to call this regime out on both its out-of-control domestic lawlessness (they’re in contempt of the oil drill moratorium ruling, not just ObamaCare), or the danger in which they’re putting this country with their increasingly frequent “missteps” of all varieties – economic policy, foreign policy, etc, etc.

    And just so we’re clear, THEIR failure means the task of saving this country falls to the amateurs. Which WE will, despite and in spite of them, but it won’t be pretty.

    What moronic useless tools, Senate GOP, especially. Nothing makes me more upset than those who actually have the power to make a difference, and they don’t just waste it, but use it to betray everything which they’ve been entrusted to guard. Pathetic cowards. Self-absorbed, stupid ingrates. I have no mercy for lying politicians. They are one of the lowest breeds on the totem pole.

    • Petronius

      TN : “They are still not willing to call this regime out….”

      G. K. Chesterton said, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”

      All joking aside. When it comes to Republicans, they do indeed excel at preventing Democrat mistakes from being corrected. Have you ever known Republicans to correct Liberal mistakes? Mistakes by Liberals and Democrats have been piling up for decades, piling up by the hundreds, and how many have ever been rolled back by Republicans? Rather, Republicans so often seem content to accept defeat and play possum.

      I can count the exceptions on two fingers. One was the Bush tax cuts. The other one — the really big one — was Reagan’s victory in the Cold War. (That explains why Liberals still get so bent-out-of-shape over both.)

      My first political consciousness was the one mentioned by Steve — the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Soviet tanks rumbling through Budapest, mowing down Hungarian women, women and children standing in bread lines with their empty food baskets. And let’s not forget that it was Eisenhower stirring the pot, then sitting on his bum while the pot boiled over. Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette. Way to go, Ike.

      Of course the Democrats have been losing chunks of the planet for decades. Carter lost Iran. And pieces of Central America. Truman lost China. Roosevelt lost Eastern Europe. Kennedy lost Cuba and Berlin. Johnson and his progeny in Congress lost Southeast Asia and parts of Africa.

      So what if Nerobama loses Egypt and Lebanon? (And ticks off Israel, Britain, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the rest of America’s former allies?) That’s just Democrats being Democrats. That’s what they do. We should be used to it by now. For Pete’s sake.

      And Republicans rolling over for it? Well, that’s what they do, too.

      One other thing, TN. When you say, there’s no “principled leadership willing to frame the fight to the reality of our current fiscal crisis situation (outside of Rand Paul and Bachmann)….” Well, you’re right again.

      With a few other exceptions, our elected leaders completely underestimate the seriousness of our fiscal and monetary crisis. They fail to understand basic economics, are cowed by the state-controlled media, and just bury their heads in the sand. As you say, they are fundamentally dishonest and cowardly.

    • tranquil.night

      Thank you Petronius, your post captured all of my anxieties and elegantly explained them with historical context. These guys have the momentum of the most genuinely American grassroots uprising in generations at their backs, and they still behave as if their identity can only be validated by those who are and should be viewed not just as their enemies, but the country’s.

      I’m not buying that it’s the mystical atmosphere of Washington peer pressure that turns them into squishes of civility, either. That excuse is starting to ring hollow. No, I’m even more in the camp now that there’s truly an element of the Republican establishment that’s big government to its core, and while not the Marxist variety but a milder and more crony-capitalist oriented flavor, they’re nevertheless content to be the loyal opposition to the “change” that’s also benefitting them. Or as Pro bluntly calls ‘em, junior members of the Ruling Class.

      The question that remains for me is truly how much our own side remains co-opted. My gut answer is that it’s still the bulk of our leadership, because it’s really they who are essentially keeping the regime from the pitchforks now, by not being willing to hold Obama accountable to the consequences of his policies, or his criminal disregard for the rulings of the judiciary, or geez, I mean pick something out of a hat, there’s so much obvious corruption and contempt for the Constitution.

  5. beautyofreason

    Throughout this crisis I’ve refrained from commenting because I don’t want to misinterpret the events of the past several days. But I can’t help but think that Obama’s actions are deliberately harmful to the country, our foreign relations, and Israel.

    Look at the different courses that Obama took in dealing with different Muslim countries.

    With Iran, an irrational self-professed enemy, he took the softest path possible – first inviting Iranian diplomats to July 4 celebrations, releasing a Christmas message, and pretty much ruling out any military option for their nuclear program – while allowing some American trade with Iran irrespective of sanctions. He also refrained from commenting on the student protests until a lot of people were dead, and only when pressured to do so. Liberals at the time blamed his slow response on the negative role that American foreign policy supposedly played in the history of Iran, removing a former leader and installing the shah.

    Now compare that to his response to an ally. With Egypt, an ally and one of the least bellicose countries when it comes to Israel, Obama went all out to encourage change and meddle in the country at the first sign of discontent – down to ordering the leader to resign and transition. And yet, unlike the Iranian protesters who want more social freedoms, the opposition in Egypt is at real risk of being co-opted by the Muslim Brotherhood. 85% of the public already believes in the execution of apostates according to one Pew research poll, making them susceptible to the extremists. Unlike the protests in Iran, a sudden fall in Egypt would likely create another enemy to the United States, and undoubtedly one to our ally, Israel. It would sabotage both U.S. relations and peace in the region. It would embolden terrorist groups.

    If one connects the dots it would seem as though our President is acting in a way that destabilizes the region, emboldens our enemies, and reduces the safeguards for our ally, Israel.

    I’m not sure if he is deliberately sabotaging our country, or simply following idealistic liberal policies that create the same thing, but it is disturbing to say the least.

    “The only hope is if Obama uses this opportunity to re-orientate U.S. policy in a fundamental way,” he said. “Otherwise, I think we’re losing the Arab world.””

    I guess that’s code for ditching Israel in order to soothe the malcontent of the autocratic Muslim countries in the region. I thought our President was going to tear down the so-called imperialistic nature of the U.S. under Bush and make completely peace with the Muslim world (sarc). Opps.

    • proreason

      “I’m not sure if he is deliberately sabotaging our country, or simply following idealistic liberal policies that create the same thing, but it is disturbing to say the least.”

      I’m sure

    • tranquil.night

      You see clearly, BoR, now it’s a matter of not doubting your eyes.

      Trust your fellow brother of reason, and trust your gut. You know it’s not a stretch whatsoever that the Left believes Israel to be the truly culpable aggressor and Muslims the victims, because the Left says as and advocates as much all the time. You know that Obama has sent BiBi nothing but the tense, cold shoulder since the immaculation. This is well within the modus operandi of his and their pattern of behavior.

      These revolts execute to serve the beliefs of both Islam and the Transnational Left. That’s what makes it so bloody ominous to see them openly supporting eachother now, and nonetheless with our current vanguards, the Republicans, asleep at the wheel again when American interests truly need to be preserved.

  6. bill

    When everybody on the planet knows you are a liar, what did you expect.

    beautyofreason — You are correct.

    We’re the ones you’ve been waiting for, the Obama Islamic Caliphate … LOL.

  7. Liberals Demise

    What’s with the ‘Saint’ like picture of dingleBarry?
    Isn’t it enough that we must fend off the slings and arrows
    of this rube?
    I feel a great loathing coming on.
    This dude has no foreign policy and that which he had
    he purposely let crumble.
    President Doink (the clown) knew what was coming down the pike
    but as usual sat with his thumbs up his rump. Hoping nobody noticed.
    Never let a crisis go to waste…….here is where Doink comes full circle.

    The magic show will begin soon except it won’t be a rabbit he pulls out
    of his arse.

  8. canary

    Shepard Smith on FOX showed footage of the protesters burning a picture of Obama next Egypt’s President’s picture on a poster of heads. The footage cut off after the flames got to Obama’s pic.

    al Jazeera’s News office was burned down last night, something that would never happen in our Country. snif.

    Greta FOX had 3 middle-eastern men explaining the protests. One was a bit hostile. Wanted the world to know that the protests were the “YOUTH’s” movement. After concurring the sentiment towards America was not good, the more hostile man of the 3, the one on the right, said they wanted America’s help, but America had to understand this was “their, the Youth’s movement” moment. The world must know it’s the youth who are doing this. They want to hear from the “elders”. (shutters as to who they are).

    And in answer to who or what type government they want,
    they answered they did not know.

    They had never had the opportunity to see any other kind of government, and had no idea yet.

    They want to be able to study and discuss the issue; hear what their “elders” had to say.

    So, perhaps Glenn Beck is correct that Code Pink who is advertising on the Muslim Brotherhood site to do a cleansing, as they know they can count on the Hamas to protect them, will push Egypt to a socialist government.

    Meanwhile, tiny little Israel is surrounded by giants. The people of Israel are on their toes taking shifts.
    I guess they are thinking of Gideon’s jars, sticks & rocks. God keep them safe.

  9. artboyusa

    “Great Reagan’s Ghost! This is terrible!”

    The tea cup fell from Artboy’s palsied hand and shattered on the marble floor of the Great Hall.

    “What are you doing, you oaf?” demanded Lady Artboy, bustling in from outside, where she had been cleaning the moat.

    “I broke a cup. Sorry. I’ll get you a new one.”

    “Oh? How? Are you going to travel back in time to 1736 and get Josiah Wedgewood to make you another? That was an antique!”

    “Sorry, sorry but I’m upset. In fact, I haven’t been this upset since the Red Sox lost the 1986 World Series”.

    “That upset, huh? Shall I fetch your Assisted Suicide kit?”

    “Not yet. No, I’ll just have to try to come to terms with this bad news, somehow”.

    “What bad news?”

    “This bad news here! This story says that America’s influence in the Middle East has diminished. Diminished, I tell you!”

    “And that’s bad news?”

    “Bad news? This is a disaster. This is the Hindenburg crashing into the Titanic at Pearl Harbor. My influence; my beautiful, beautiful influence” wailed the distraught Bostonian.

    “Why?” rejoined his spouse. “America has more influence in Middle Earth than it has in the Middle East right now, and for good reason. US Middle East policy has been half a century of embarrassing, wasteful stupidity; throwing billions in bribe money at corrupt monsters to try and get them to be slightly less monstrous and then dropping them overboard as soon as their usefulness has ended. You betrayed your own national principles for short term goals. Face it, the locals don’t like you, don’t respect you and don’t fear you either – that’s what you’ve bought with all your money”.

    “But honey-“

    “Don’t you ‘but honey’ me; you know I’m right. Why doesn’t the US wise up and recognize that you can’t directly influence events and that you shouldn’t try and just butt out for once? Just butt the hell out. Why don’t you allow other people the simple dignity of choosing their own future, something which you take as a given for yourselves, and then learn to live with it? Why so fearful and pessimistic all the time? Take a chance on democracy, if you really think its so great”.

    “But honey, what about our superpower status? What about American prestige? How will the rest of the world know how big and important we are if we don’t boss them around and tell them how they have to live?”

    “Maybe by offering the world an example of what freedom and opportunity can achieve? Our by actually following the principles on which the country was founded? Or by learning from your past mistakes? Why don’t you brainiacs try some of that for a change?”

    “Oh honey, honey, honey” tutted Artboy, redundantly. “You have so much to learn about how to conduct foreign policy”

    “Well, so does America, apparently”.

    • tranquil.night

      Just curious if Mrs. Artboy thinks the existence of Israel continues to be embarrassing, wasteful, and stupid, because securing peace without having to abandon them to the wolves is all essentially around what the last half-centuy’s policy has been centered.

      Nothing more until Iraq and Afghanistan, when we came in as liberators, not avengers – after we were attacked – so that hopefully someday we wouldn’t have to keep trying to payoff tyrants and malicious regime’s. No but she’s right, we have absolutely no influence over there; our investment of heroic blood, endless billions in oil money, and more years of relative peace in that region than it’s seen in centuries has gotten us absolutely nowhere. The view from my castle is that we’re basically responsible for every step into the modern world that god-forsaken region has taken, including fermenting the circumstances leading to all these open revolts. Not that we’ll get the credit, but Reagan didn’t get (and often still doesn’t) recognized for toppling the Reds.

      “You have so much to learn about how to conduct foreign policy”

      “Well, so does America, apparently”

      Mostly just that sometimes the evil you know is better than the one you don’t. When lunatics are free to run the asylum, they won’t just harm themselves and eachother – they’ll come after you and your friends.

      I’m envious of your moat.

  10. artboyusa

    Hi Tranquil

    You wouldn’t be envious of the moat if you had to clean it. Lady Artboy’s not responsible for the dialogue I write for her; that woman is as gentle as a dove, really, and as quiet as a mouse and nowhere near as political as her husband.

    As for the Middle East; well, it is depressing to realize that after all our efforts we still don’t have a single” friend” there whose “friendship” we haven’t paid for, including Israel. No one’s more pro-Israel than I am but I do wonder sometimes if our policy toward Israel has always been to their long term benefit – or ours. The region is more dangerous than ever before; despite our enormous investment of blood and treasure, and the more we try to influence events, the more we assert our power, the further we seem to get from our goals. Not that we seem too clear in our own minds about what those goals are or should be. How many different and contradictory messages have we sent to the Egyptians in the past week, for example? Mubarek should go, Mubarek should stay, Mubarek should go but not yet. We support democracy, we support eventual democracy, we only support democracy if it produces the result we want…

    I think its hopeless, the whole thing, and all our presence does is to enable the players to continue behaving badly. If we removed ourselves and our “aid” money and our weapons systems, then would not the locals have to sort out their own problems? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the Chinese would like to take that project on; that would be interesting. Right now, peace is in no one’s interest over there; since war or near war guarantees plenty of free “aid” plenty of money to steal, plenty of weapons to make yourself feel big, plenty of prestige and world attention. They’re drunk on hate, all of them.

    In Artboy’s America, we’d go flat out for energy independence – and we could achieve it. Then we could tell these people to eat their damn oil and fix their own stupid problems and leave us the hell alone.

    • tranquil.night

      Man talk about futile, it’s not like our treasury pay-offs have helped the average person in the Middle East. In many cases the resources go directly to our enemies to help them expand.

      You absolutely hit the nail on the head regarding how our energy dependency is what continually leaves us at the fecal end of this rope. But therein lies the crucial link between the current alliance between the islamofascists and western envirofascists, both whom are directly out to destroy the United States as established: an energy independent America means a robust Western hemisphere that continues to lead and shape the world.

      I completely see yours and Mrs. AB’S points, and definitely sympathize with the conclusion that the effort seems pointless or even counter-productive as a whole, especially when fools and traitor’s like Liberals get into power and disrupt decades of relatively fragile progress in a matter of months.

      There’s no moral argument I can make against those points except to say that it’s my belief that if we took the isolationist route, nothing would be much different except that nuclear war would be assured, most assuredly egged or even partially enabled by the Russians and Chinese (what better outcome for them than for the West and Middle East to have it out in a clash of civilizations?) It’d breach our lawn regardless if the country went hermitic.

      Thanks for your cordial reply! Bless you and your lovely wife.




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