Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Incoherence of Obama's Foreign Policy

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Israel Thrives and Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

It should be clear by now that Barack Obama's foreign policy is both incoherent and counterproductive. Obama came to office hoping to use a softer approach to the Muslim world in the belief that American belligerency and imperialism were the causes of Islamic unrest. He thus, in contrast to the Bush II regime, sought outreach. He created distance between the United States and Israel, or "daylight" as it is often said, and reached out his open hand in the Cairo speech of 2009 only to find it slapped back.

Barack Obama, for reasons that I find unfathomable, even went so far as to praise the rise of the radical Jihad as something akin to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the Revolutionary Spirit of '76. Upon the fall of Tunisia to the Jihad he said the following:

There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years. In America, think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat.

These words were not in praise of democracy, whatever Obama's intentions, because the misnamed "Arab Spring" is simply not about democracy. I pretty much saw that from the beginning and must wonder why this former president of the Harvard Law Review failed to do so. How is it that a man as sophisticated and intelligent and educated as President Barack Obama could not see that, at least potentially, the "Arab Spring" was really a radical Jihadi winter?

Upon coming to office Obama decided that the enemy of the United States was not the Jihadi movement, but a small section of it known as "al-Qaeda." It was bin Laden's organization that hit the United States on 9/11/01, so he could not possibly dismiss this organization. Obama had to declare war upon it and upon Osama bin Ladin. As president of the United States he had no choice in the matter.

The choice he did have, however, was just what to do about political Islam. His decision was to isolate al-Qaeda while supporting the Jihadi movement in the form of its largest organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. The problem, of course, is that the Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of al-Qaeda and Hamas and G-d only knows how many other organizations that promote the genocide of the Jews, the slaughter of gay people, and the subjugation of women. In this way, whatever his intentions, Obama deceived the American people (and the Jewish people) into thinking that he actually opposed the rise of the Jihad when, in fact, he supported it.

I do not believe that Obama supports the Jihad because he favors their goal of a worldwide Islamic caliphate at the expense of the west and the genocide of the Jews. On the contrary. Obama supports radical Islam in the sense that, as a student of Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said, and western post-colonial academic thought, he sees that movement as response to western imperialism. Because we are allegedly to blame for their hatred, we can appease their hatred by welcoming the Jihad into the western fold.

If we are nice to the Jihadis, in other words, perhaps they will be nice to us... or so the thinking goes.

Of course, the entire construct is false. One cannot fight al-Qaeda while supporting Qaeda's parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. One cannot defeat the Jihad by supporting the Jihad, as the Obama administration has done through advancing the prospects of the Brotherhood. One cannot support freedom or western-style democracy in the Middle East by betraying the democratic state of Israel.

The reason that the Obama administration's foreign policy viz-a-viz the Middle East is failing is because it is grounded in logical inconsistencies. It is incoherent. One cannot befriend a movement and declare it an enemy at the same time and that is precisely what the Obama administration has sought to do. One cannot befriend the Muslim Brotherhood while declaring al-Qaeda the enemy because those movements are associated movements and latter derives from the former.

It is therefore not very surprising that the administration recently declared that Egypt is now neither enemy, nor ally. Egypt, under Mubarak, was an ally of the United States, but now it is no longer. Egypt, like many other countries throughout the Arab and Muslim world since Obama came to office, has embraced political Islam and we will have to deal with the consequences of that fact, as will Israel.

In the mean time, western progressives continue to make like ostriches and refuse to acknowledge the significance of any of this.

And that may be their very biggest mistake as the riots and mayhem and murder and theocratic screechings go on and on and on.


  1. How strange that the fundamentalist right in the US blame Obama for everything, including Islam.

    There is not a jot of evidence that Obama or any American politician supports radical Islam, and it is impossible to be more 'western imperialist' than BEING the president of the US of A. The latter and former are mutually exclusive.

    It's a tawdry argument.

    Meanwhile, Mittens hasn't got a clue about domestic politics and is idiotically incoherent on matters of international diplomacy.

  2. The emphasis on Obama is because of the election in a couple of months. Obama isn't the only gutless two faced creep in the West. He isn't even the worst. But he is the most important and he is up for election.

    Interesting column in this morning's Australian by Greg Sheridan in which he says Australian political elite opinion was undecided whether last time Obama or McCain was best for Australia. On the one hand Mc Cain was a great friend of Australia and there is a traditional high level of Republican engagement with the Asia Pacific. On the other hand Bush was so hated around the world that Obama would draw less opprobrium and that while anti-American and anti-West hatred would continue it would be delivered off a "much smaller base" leaving more room for US "soft power".

    In the end there has been no diminution in Islamist irrational rage and grievance. In fact it got worst despite Obama bending over backwards to appease Iran, Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood and the other Nazis. Or in the case of Saudi Arabia, bending over forward.

    So nothing was gained and the hope of greater US engagement in our region was lost. Nevertheless he concludes Obama's policies were not wrong because it was difficult to see how else American influence in the Middle East could have been maintained.

    I don't agree. I don't blame Obama for the latest wave of Islamic Nazism but I most certainly blame him for encouraging it by appeasing it. It beggars belief that there are still people who think that they can divert the worst excesses of this form of messiah lead mass homicidal hysteria by tolerating it let alone giving into it.

    They are just so so so wrong.

    Obama stands in relation to Islamism exactly where Chamberlain stood in relation to first generation Nazism. In fact he is worse. At least Chamberlain didn't pour billions of aid into helping Hitler.

  3. Bill Clinton & Barack Obama defined: what IS is & what ISLAM is !