Sunday, July 1, 2012

Obama’s New Middle East

by Ben Shapiro

This week, President Obama’s Egyptian Revolution bore its first fruit: the election of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Mursi. Mursi, of course, is the same fellow who stated last month, “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal. Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia. The Muslim Brothers and the Freedom and Justice Party will be the conductors of these goals.” Rallies for Mursi have included calls to make Jerusalem the capital of Egypt, and songs and chants about how his supporters are all affiliated with Hamas.

Yet upon his election, the Obama administration quickly congratulated Mursi. His election, said the Obama administration, was a “milestone in [Egypt’s] transition to democracy.” Iran apparently felt the same way, celebrating this “revolutionary movement of the Egyptian people… in its final stages of the Islamic Awakening and a new era of change in the Middle East.”

Meanwhile, up north, Syria and Turkey have engaged in a shooting war. Neither side is a paragon. But after letting Assad have his way for the past several months, the Obama administration is getting ready to slip into that conflict too. Yesterday, the White House announced that it would work with Turkey and NATO to hold Syria “accountable” for shooting down a Turkish jet. Surely, this will end well. Just as well as Libya, where Islamists, having their way cleared by Western jets, are poised to take over.

The entire Middle East is now an Islamist tinderbox. And it’s not as though Barack Obama didn’t see it coming. When he spoke in Cairo in 2009, he reportedly insisted that official invitations be distributed to the Muslim Brotherhood – one of the only acts in Egyptian history in which the Muslim Brotherhood was specifically included in the political conversation. Tunisia has gone Islamic. So has Libya.

And then there’s Iran. While the United States pretends to play hard-line with the mullahs, Vladimir Putin is making his presence felt in the region, visiting both American allies like Israel and enemies like Tehran. Russia and China are actively opposing the US’s Iran policy – and we don’t even have any coherent Iran policy to speak of. And, of course, the Iranian people remain under the thumb of religious fanatics who threaten Israel’s existence.

As for Israel, the Obama administration leaks secret after secret that would allow Israel to defend herself. Meanwhile, they put out feelers to Hamas, the terrorist group running Gaza, even as Hamas fires rockets into Israel proper on a daily basis.

So where does that leave America? Vulnerable to a form of economic and political blackmail that will be difficult to combat. With Israel vulnerable and America kowtowing to Israel’s enemies, Israel will be forced to parlay with third parties like Russia. With the Middle East in flames and the United States not knowing where to position itself, other countries, too, are seeking new friends.

When President Bush left office, Iraq was a fragile US ally, Afghanistan was still on the road to an anti-Taliban resolution, Israel was securing its borders, and Egypt was an American ally. Now, our allies in the region are lying prostrate as the United States stands by, doing nothing.

Was Obama ignorant that this would happen? Or did he promote it because he feels that America’s influence in the world is a net negative, because he is so anti-colonialist that he forgets that Islam is a colonizing religion in its own right?

Ben Shapiro


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