The Middle East today, is not the same as the one that President Bush faced, and for all of Obama's talk of having ended Bush's Iraq war, there are events going on that relate directly to how Obama perceives and acts in the Middle East.
Barry Rubin writes, Libya: Not Just a Tragedy But the Start of Another Endless War for America:
In one sentence: the problem in Libya is that Obama got what he wanted and thus set off all the usual Western policy dilemmas—that he always denounced—which had existed in the region for a century. But Obama is not only ill-equipped to deal with these problems, he either cannot even recognize them or interprets them in ways disastrous for U.S. interests. For whatever reason you would like to attribute, he wants to make nice with people who want to destroy his country. That might have been a forgivable naivete in early 2009 but by this point it is clear that Obama will never change, and that four more years in office will not improve him and his administration by one millimeter.Killing Osama was a military action -- not the execution of foreign policy decisions.
Obama decided, although only after what we are told was a titanic inner struggle, to kill Usama bin Ladin because bin Ladin launched a direct attack on American soil. But he sees no need to battle those trying to take over the Middle East and crush its people (including women, Christians, homosexuals) and wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he see the need to wage effective struggle with governments that stand and deliberately do nothing while the American embassy is invaded or the American ambassador is murdered.
Keep in mind that Libya is in fact Obama's success story. Unlike in Egytt, for example, in Libya, Obama actually sided with the moderates against the Islamists. But there is a problem: "Obama claims to have "liberated" Libya but to many Libyans he has enslaved it to infidels."
Libya is a case-in-point of an ongoing battle that is heating up, and will only get worse in the coming decades.
Barry Rubin makes clear:
This is a war, not a misunderstanding. It is a battle of ideologies and a struggle for control of state power, not hurt feelings over some obscure video.Read the whole thing.
And just in case Rubin's point needed support, new -- and violent -- protests have broken out in the Middle East. Reuters reports U.S. embassies attacked in Yemen, Egypt after Libya envoy killed:
Demonstrators attacked the U.S. embassies in Yemen and Egypt on Thursday in protest at a film they consider blasphemous to Islam, and American warships headed to Libya after the U.S. ambassador there died in related violence earlier this week.As I already pointed out earlier today, early warning by Islamists indicate the Cairo attack was planned in advance -- it was not merely an angry response to the movie.
Hundreds of Yemenis broke through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound in the capital Sanaa, shouting "We sacrifice ourselves for you, Messenger of God". They smashed windows of security offices outside the embassy and burned cars.
"We can see a fire inside the compound and security forces are firing in the air. The demonstrators are fleeing and then charging back," one witness told Reuters. A security source said at least 15 people were wounded, some by gunfire, before the Yemeni government ringed the area with troops. An embassy spokesman said its personnel were safe.
In Egypt, protesters hurled stones at a police cordon around the U.S. embassy in central Cairo after climbing into the embassy compound and tearing down the American flag. The state news agency said 13 people were hurt in violence which erupted late on Wednesday, following initial protests on Tuesday.
Jennifer Rubin writes on the implications of the apparent spreading of the violent protests:New attack on Americans; Obama foreign policy in disarray
The political media saw yesterday’s events through the prism of a presidential campaign. But in fact it was a national security development with long-term implications for U.S. foreign policy, including widespread doubt about the administration’s approach to the region and, in the short run, our decision to give more than a billion in aid to the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government of Egypt.Read the whole thing, for further analysis of Obama's foreign policy.
Today, attacks on Americans continued, evidence that our reaction yesterday did nothing to deter would-be assailants. The newest target was in Yemen. Reuters reported: “Hundreds of Yemeni demonstrators broke through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound in eastern Sanaa, shouting, ‘We sacrifice ourselves for you, Messenger of God.’ Earlier they smashed windows of security offices outside the embassy and burned cars.” Apparently, expressions of sympathy for hurt feelings was not enough to quell the anti-American sentiments of jihadists. Well, it never is, is it?
With each new attack, the foreign policy crisis deepens.
The lesson Obama seems to be learning is to play a less active role in events in the Middle East -- as in the case of the slaughter in Syria.
But that policy is not working, as we have learned this week. There are Islamist elements that will not allow the US off that easy.
And running off to Las Vegas is not going to help.
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