Saturday, November 16, 2013

What does success look like in the Near and Middle East?

Form McCain to Limbaugh, the right loves to criticize the U.S. Near and Middle East policies.  You make sense out of:

Hamas runs Gaza but lost its patron Iran when the Palestinian organization came out against Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.  It then lost its brief patron in Egypt when the short-lived Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown in a coup.

Israel was paying Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari to keep the peace and when he couldn’t control Islamic Jihad and Al-Qassam, he was summarily executed via missile attack by an Israeli helicopter. 

Iran is now providing money and weapons to Hamas’ rival Islamic Jihad which threatens Hamas’ control  in Gaza.  The new military leaders in Egypt have flooded and sealed tunnels from the Sinai into Gaza strangling the Palestinian economy in the enclave.

Kurds in Syria are fighting with AND against various anti-Assad Islamist factions in Syria.

Iraq’s Shia led government wanted the U.S. out of Iraq, and now is asking for U.S. help to deal with Sunni insurrectionists.

The moderate Sunni Saudis won’t allow women to vote and export the violent militant conservative Wahhabism throughout the region.

The 9/11 hijackers hailed from alleged ‘friendly’ Sunni nations: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE.

Somehow President Obama allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to overthrow Hosni Mubarak and allowed the Egyptian Military overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood.

Inhabitants of many Afghanistan’s provinces do not even recognize the nation of Afghanistan, only their local tribal rulers.

U.S. has historically chosen short term national interests over long term mutual interests: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the ex-Soviet republics.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are equally worried about US-Iranian engagement proving “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is alive and well in the Middle East.

As the U.S. becomes less dependent on Middle Eastern Oil, our strategic interests should pivot towards Asia leaving regional issues to local players: Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

The Kuwaitis, Qataris, and Saudis prefer to fund their proxies and never get their hands dirty.

Turkey continues to slip deeper and deeper down the Islamist path form its secular past hoping to reinvigorate its Ottoman past and control of the Arab world.

In a region littered with terrorist organizations, the heads of states of our alleged friends: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey are proving to be the most difficult to work with.

Over the last three decades Israel has flourished thanks to strategic partnerships with Sunni autocrats while sewing dissension between rival anti-establishment factions.

Russia continues to maintain its relations with Syria and is now pursuing advanced military ties with Egypt.  Back to the Cold War of the 60’s and 70’s.

Yes Assad must go, but the aftermath will be much worse.

Christian rightwing congressmen in the US are in no hurry to back the Syrian rebels, as the Christian minority there could become victims of sectarian violence.

Saudi Arabia already seeking nuclear technology from Pakistan.

In Syria you have Hezbollah fighting Hamas, Sunnis fighting Sunnis, Iraqis fighting Iraqis, etc.

…and you wonder why a U.S. Middle Eastern Foreign Policy is complicated?




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