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For years, I have written in this humble blog that Obama and his team have created an unprecedented foreign policy disaster. The disaster be...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pyramid Scheme

Not long ago I wrote a piece on Obama's Syria policy titled "Ishtar, the Remake."  I noted that Obama sought to repeat his disastrous Libya adventure in even more dangerous and complex Syria. Remember the Benghazi massacre? Wait until you see the jihadi loons who will take over Syria! Now, you might reasonably ask, what about Assad? As was his father, he is a pencil-necked murdering swine. We all agree on that. As did his father, he runs a repressive, minority-ruled, Iranian-backed regime. Whom are we arming to replace him? Even more murderous pencil-necked swine, that's who. As we did in Libya, we want to replace a nasty piece of work who, nevertheless, can act rationally and with whom we can deal, with lunatic AQ-allied, apocalyptic jihadi fanatics who want a Muslim caliphate or death and will slaughter indiscriminately in pursuit of either goal.

If you want a clue on dealing with Arab states, don't look to the State Department or the NSC--especially under Susan "It's YouTube's fault" Rice. Look to the Israelis. For them it is literally a matter of life or death who runs the corrupt Arab regimes in the neighborhood. The Israelis detest the Assad regime and have fought a continuous war with it since 1970. They also detested Arafat, and any number of other Arab dictators. They, however, were and are very cautious about promoting regime change. Despite numerous opportunities, for example, they never killed Arafat; they dropped people all around him, but never him. Who would replace him? Nobody knew, so better stick with the disgusting but inept known devil than risk getting someone or something much worse. The Israeli military and intel services, likewise, repeatedly have demonstrated an ability to strike deep into Syria and successfully take out major targets. They, however, have not targeted Assad, father or son. The assumption being that the Assad clan knows where to draw the line and not cross it for fear of engendering a regime-killing Israeli response. The Arab dictators know of Israel's restraint, and fear more their Arab "brothers" than they do Israeli "plots." Do not forget, for example, that Israeli intel info saved Sadat's life, and led him to make peace with Israel--Sadat, of course, was later killed in 1981 by Islamic fundamentalist Egyptian soldiers likely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Israelis have remained remarkably quiet re the unrest in Syria. They have acted when the desperate Asad regime, for example, brought in destabilizing weapon systems from Iran. These Israel destroyed almost as soon as Iran delivered them, showing that the Israelis could take out Asad and his regime. As noted above, however, they have not. They, instead, watch uneasy as the Four Stooges of the Apocalypse (Obama, Kerry, Hagel, and McCain) urge the Western world into backing head-cutting savages, trying to portray them as the equivalent of our Minutemen or some other brave resistance movement. One would have thought that the disaster of regime change in Iran in 1979, and the many examples since, would have cured Westerners of a belief in Muslim democracy and in "leading from behind." Guess not.

The lunacy of Obama's Mideast policy is also evident in Egypt. I have written before (here and here, for example) about White House and State Department support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. I wrote in my July 22, 2012 post that,
The Obama-Clinton foreign policy vis-a-vis Egypt and the removal of Mubarak has proven an unmitigated disaster. It is only comparable to Carter's mishandling of the Shah in Iran, and in the long run, might have equally dire consequences. My erstwhile colleagues at State, who so gleefully embraced the "Arab Spring," rooted for the protestors in Tahir Square, and promoted the distancing of the United States from our one true ally in the region, Israel, are now scrambling to "fix things." The best way to "fix" a problem is to deny that it exists; to define the issue in a way that is not at all a problem, but an opportunity! The removal of Hosni Mubarak has led to what anyone with two-cents worth of brains knew would happen: the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the best organized and hardest working group in Egypt has filled the vacuum. It is perfectly willing to use the instruments of liberal democracy to take power and turn Egypt into another mad Muslim theocracy. For now, the MB must limit itself to the instruments and quasi-language of "liberal democracy" because it fears the Egyptian military, which is not fooled by the MB. The military know that today's MB is just a craftier and even more dangerous version of the old MB. 
The folks at State, meanwhile, are busy defining away the problem. The MB's rise to prominence is not a problem! They have shown themselves willing to participate in the electoral process, haven't they? The head of the MB speaks English and has studied in the US! We can razzle-dazzle him with a visit by our celebrity SecState! The only problem in Egypt is that the conservative military officers are bound and determined to limit the scope of democratic change. We can promote democracy AND get in good with the MB! And you, Madame Secretary, who can resist your charm, your political skills? Those stuffy ol' military officers will just melt with your impeccable pro-democracy logic (and threats), and the MB will realize that we are their friends! It's a win-win!
It seems that this account written almost a year ago remains valid. As stated then, the Egyptian military knows what Morsi and the MB are about. I am surprised that they have waited this long to begin to make their move against the regime. I am sure that right now, this very minute, people at NEA in State are drafting talking points and strategy papers for the Secretary and the White House to pressure the Egyptian military into not moving against Morsi. Now that a regime change in Egypt would favor our interests and those of Israel, we will oppose it. I guarantee it. Quite possibly, however, Egypt's military sees the Obama administration as so weak, inept, confused, or just malevolent that it will ignore anything that comes out of Washington.

In a ghastly modern-day simulacrum of the disastrous French revolution, in Egypt we might see the removal of the military emperor/pharaoh, followed by violence, then a mad murderous fundamentalist regime, and, now, with luck, end with a return to the rule of a military emperor/pharaoh.

It was all worth it . . .

WLA


24 comments:

  1. you are right it is a mess over there.

    I think the Saudis' will have the last say. I think they are pulling obambi's strings since bush was the president.

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  2. I'm an ex-dip myself, but I now work as a teacher. Watching Syria on the heels of the "Arab Spring", I can politely call the Obama administration a bunch of "non-learners".

    My own guess is that the O was brought up on a narrative that saw the Cold War as America's fault, and that if only we'd have learned to get along with the wonderful, liberating "wave of the future" unleashed in the 1940's, we'd have saved ourselves lots of grief (never mind that it was the Commies who chose enemies, not us). Now, the four dopes named Obama, Rice, Kerry, and McCain have decided we're going to try to co-opt the Muslim Brotherhood, which seems to be "the wave of the future" in the Arab World--and never mind that they have clearly chosen enmity with us.

    Oh, yes. There's also a load of ineptness at work, too.

    BTW, when I was training years ago, I ran into one of the older pros who expatiated to me about how the Yemeni system of Jewish clans being clients of Muslim ones worked so well. While not a real expert on the Mideast, I knew enough of the laws governing Dhimmi, so I scratched my jaw and said, "Gee, it's nice to know there are still places where minorities know their place!"

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  3. Back about 1973, the Syrian Army sent an armored force south to attack Lebanon. The Israeli Air Force sent a flight of F-4 Phantoms to overfly the tank column. Once over the tank column, the Israeli pilots rolled their aircraft to show the Syrians that they were carrying napalm.

    Lacking an organic air defense component but not lacking common sense, the Syrians remembered an appointment in Damascus, turned and went home.

    The Israelis have saved a lot of Arab rulers and leaders over the years. Privately, they probably trust the Israelis more than they trust each other.

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  4. Elections have Consequences. And twice now the US population has gotten distracted by the shiny object without considering the function of the job.
    And it doesn't help that the other Political Party has gone with their own brand of incompetence...only the color of tarnished brass that does not attract the eye.

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  5. From one who has seen it from the ground - literally.

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2012/10/lara-logans-savage-speech-we-are-being-lied-to-about-al-qaeda-.html

    Arkie

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  6. "I am sure that right now, this very minute, people at NEA in State are busy drafting talking points and strategy papers for the Secretary and the White House to pressure the Egyptian military into not moving against Morsi."

    As they say, "You can take that to the bank". Obama probably asked his advisers if he could unleash the I-Revenge-S on them or maybe the N-Stasi-A. "Hey, we've got some interesting little phone calls here ..."

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  7. " I am sure that right now, this very minute, people at NEA in State are busy drafting talking points and strategy papers for the Secretary and the White House to pressure the Egyptian military into not moving against Morsi." Yep, all over the news, Obama calling Morsi and Dempsey working his Egyptian counterpoints. Obama and Co. don't seem to realize events have passed them by. We are also seeing Nasserism rising again. I think the question now is: just how big and bad is all this going to become, the answer I fear is very.

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  8. I'm in awe of the effortless and graceful way that with the best intentions in the world Champ has managed to alienate everyone in Egypt. It's a gift.
    And when I think of how popular Champ was, pre-election, in the Middle East and in Europe, and now they're moaning about him. I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning, but alas, us ordinary Americans will be cleaning up the mess left by this administration for decades after he has retired to Hawaii and a round of profitable speaking engagements.

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  9. If one assumes that O is backing Muslim fundamentalism generally, and the Saudi Sunni version specifically (after all, who but the Saudis paid for O's college education?), then it all makes sense.

    O also employs the "we versus the rest of the country" attitude that Morsi and Erdogan subscribe to. Perhaps to similar ultimate effect.

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  10. Perhaps Obama plans on a strategy of containment, as in the Cold War. As the USSR at least partly discredited Socialism, rule of Syria, Egypt, and Lybia by Islamicist governments may discredit AQ.

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  11. "While that may be expected, more troubling is that the U.S. ambassador to Egypt is also trying to prevent Egyptians from protesting—including the Copts. The June 18 edition of Sadi al-Balad reports that lawyer Ramses Naggar, the Coptic Church's legal counsel, said that during Patterson's June 17 meeting with Pope Tawadros, she "asked him to urge the Copts not to participate" in the demonstrations against Morsi and the Brotherhood.

    The Pope politely informed her that his spiritual authority over the Copts does not extend to political matters.

    Regardless, many Egyptian activists are condemning Patterson for continuously behaving like the Muslim Brotherhood's stooge."


    http://www.meforum.org/3540/egyptian-christians-brotherhood

    The Coptic Christians are now suffering greater prosecution under Morsi than they ever did under Mubarak. So what's this Administration's answer? Try to convince them to sit down and shut up. But what did we expect when James Clapper, that brain dead automaton, testified before Congress that the MB was a "secular" organization while the American press told us that last year's Arab Spring in Egypt was not being backed by the Muslim Brother. Hell, anyone with two brain cells bumping together knew that was not true.

    Obama has made a mess of the Middle East. His lackeys know it and if he has more than a double digit I.Q., he knows it. The entire ME is unstable and we have idiots like McCain pounding his chest demanding that we support those in Syria who will eventually turn on us. The American press is now being forced to accept that there are no good guys in Syrian, although the British press has been reporting how the "rebels" were infiltrated by AQ a year ago.

    Syria is nothing more than a civil war with opposite sides of the Mohammed legacy question warring against each other. All of them are Islamists.

    Frankly, I see Syria as a win-win situation for the U.S. Let the Syrian Islamists kill each other. It means fewer that we will have to fight later on. As to Egypt, that nation has been in a state of influx for 3,000 years. Not much changes. Oust one dictator, get another, then oust him. And so it goes. Meanwhile, in spite of Congress, Obama's answer to Lurch just granted the Egyptian military $1.3 BILLION of our money in military aid.

    What could go wrong?

    Zane

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  12. I know Amb Patterson well and am not a big fan.

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  13. I don't know any of them at all and am REALLY not at all impressed. What a bunch of stooges, running all over the world, making fools of themselves. Glad I have this site to come to and edumacate myself so I can see just how very foolish our 'representatives of America to the world outside our borders, especially the ME' truly are. I am not, however, embarrassed for America, but I do feel acutely embarrassed for these fools, particularly since they don't have the sense to be embarrassed for themselves.

    Where will it all end . . . .

    LibertyGrace'sGrandma (#13)

    Remember Benghazi!

    God Bless America, again.

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  14. Come to think of it, there's a lot of organized ignorance or willful blindness going on in the training of our dips--and it shows.

    When I was recruited into the State Department and being trained about SE Asia, I learned that "Monsoon Islam" is kinder and gentler than "Desert Islam"; and full of nice, sweet, mystical Sufi influences rather than textual "fundamentalism" (whatever that is). We were reminded that Sufis were wonderful people because they dialogued with Quakers! Never mind that sweet, kindly, Quaker-dialoguing (well, maybe not then) Sufi Muslims in Mindanao gave our troops quite a run for their money back in the early 20th century, and continued the tradition with the independent Philippines. Never mind that Sufi orders also were prominent in armed resistance to Russian and Chinese domination in Central Asia.

    Well, in China, I read a think piece from Intelligence and Research that there was no danger of "Muslim fundamentalism" among China's Muslim population because China's Muslims were Sunnite rather than Shi'ite. And this hard on the heels of our wonderful Sunnite Saudi allies fretting about the corpses of our Gulf War I Kufr soldiers polluting their sacred sand, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Pashtun Sunnites hating our guts with Paki encouragement, and the rumblings of Sunnite activism going on in Turkey. Further, I myself just had gotten kudos cables on reports I filed after getting information on Muslim unrest in Xinjiang and Qinghai! There are times when I think my old shop was very aptly named "Foggy Bottom"".

    Probably, the issue is that State people see what their political masters want them to see, and provide a reassuring echo chamber.

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    Replies
    1. As the author of the criticism of our givernment's blind support of the Sunni Saudis above, please indulge me while I beat that horse a bit more. I would guess that the US has a quid pro quo that Saudi Arabia will not directly attack Israel or go nuclear, and the US will protect Saudi Arabia from attack (namely Iran and formerly, Iraq), and lots of oil for the West, too. This translates to the US gov'ts long time institutional support of the Sunni branch of Islam. During the terms of the last two US presidents, this has morphed into active support of the fundamentalist totalitarians against the secular totalitarians. So the secular dictatorships fall, starting with Iraq, then Egypt, and Libya, now Syria. Watch out, Jordan and Lebanon...

      The US has stupidly inserted itself into an Islamic civil war, now under a president who deeply identifies with the Sunni Saudi dictatorship. That is the secret behind Benghazi and the college records.

      Delete
    2. The US began its relationship with Saudi Arabia during WWII, when FDR himself met with Ibn Saud to guarantee oil for the Allied cause.

      As for quid pro quo relating to Israel, that's something of which I have no knowledge, and anything I might say about it is conjectural. As for my post above, I should've made the point that when Foggy Bottom speaks on any pre-mid 20th century theological tradition, it speaks from a truly amazing combination of profound ignorance and overweening arrogance.

      Delete
  15. East Texas RancherJuly 3, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Dip,
    So love all your posts....especially the one on feathers....as a wife and mother I can laugh with you....my bunch will not allow any other T'giving dishes either...no use trying.

    That all said....everything you say is right on target, always. You peg things with predictability worth of a sage.
    Now, little son called today from his deployment to wish us Happy Fourth of July, early, because he will be busy tomorrow. He told us he just exceeded 2,000 flight combat hours and asked me to continue to ask folks to pray. And I know you do.

    His wife and girls are here now so we will take time to honor our country, his service, that of his father's service, and of all those who helped create our beloved country. And we will pray for God to redeem the things the locusts in our country have eaten, an old scriptural term that I have seen God honor many times, personally and collectively. And we should never, never, never give up, as the ebulient Winston Churchill once declared. For those whose blood bought our freedoms would not have us just slip asunder but to find faith in God, seek the soul of our nation, and to pray and seek God's help in returning our country to its founding principles...

    Carry on, dear Diplomad....we require your service daily....
    Respectfully......East Texas Rancher.....Chaplain...and grandmother of another Liberty....

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    Replies
    1. Amen, ETR. Agree. Happy Fourth to you and all, and to remind of a part of American Patriotic history, these:
      http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/american_studies/a_cuttingedge_second_look.php A cutting edge look at Gettysburg…..
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZL-5uyp44WA#at=79 Gettysburg (1993) 3 minute short
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTcaRk0ZRJ4 Gettysburg (1993) Ted Turner movie, 4.5 hour extended version, (there is a 6 hour version), all should watch it once in their lives, they say.

      Jack

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  16. The DiploMad nails it. This post is "Post of the Day" at my site teriobrien.com. Thanks for this great piece, D!

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  17. Someone just sent me a link to the pictures in Egypt of the anti-American signage...

    15 Photos from Tahrir Square...

    It suddenly occurred to me: if we're so sensitive to Middle East why would we have a female ambassador in Egypt? Does p.c. trump everything?

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    Replies
    1. It's to provoke. Everything this regime does is a provocation. They're way out of their depth, with an eye for provoking the worst of the worst, but not the stomach for its inevitable consequences.

      That's why it's always women appointees for the mid-east, they know it sets the locals off.

      Provcation begets 'crises too good to waste'.

      Delete
  18. According to Ambassador Patterson'

    Some say that street action will produce better results than elections. To be honest, my
    government and I are deeply skeptical. Egypt needs stability to get its economic house in order, and more violence on the streets will do little more than add new names to the lists of martyrs. Instead, I recommend Egyptians get organized. Join or start a political party that reflects your values and aspirations. Egyptians need to know a better path forward. This will take time. You will have to roll up your sleeves and work hard. Progress will be slow and you often will feel frustrated. But there is no other way.


    Well. That worked well.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33003.pdf

    Arkie

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