Whatever your opinion of Bush’s prolonged war in Afghanistan or the war in Iraq, you probably were never under the impression that President Bush underestimated radical Islamist groups like al Qaeda or the intentions of Iran to become a nuclear power. President Obama and his administration, on the other hand, continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again in their dealings with Iran and with radical Islamist groups like al Qaeda and it’s now famous spin-off group, ISIS.
Our current Nobel Peace winning President has bombed Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq (now for the second time), Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and now Syria. I may have missed one or two countries. Has he learned anything in the process? Apparently not. He still believes that Islam is a religion of peace and that Muslims will stop hating us we just show them some respect and tolerance. His policies and actions have created nothing but chaos in Libya, Egypt, Syria and Iraq. He has become famous for drawing red lines with disappearing ink. Mr. Obama is still trying to remove the egg from his face after stating unequivocably, at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, that the War on Terror was winding down and that al Qaeda was on its heels and on the run. One would think that the so-called Smartest Man in the Room would have learned something from six years of mistakes. Alas, that does not seem to be the case. Let’s start with how well the Obama administration has done in their dealings with Iran and its efforts to develop nuclear arms.
Several years of severe sanctions against Iran have not slowed their uranium enrichment program to any “measurable” degree. Not “measurable” because Iran has steadfastly prevented any serious or thorough inspections by international bodies. Israel and Saudi Arabia, the two countries most a risk to a nuclear Iran, have pressured the Obama to use military force to take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities. To the President’s credit, he decided to give diplomacy one more try. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked out so well. First, he had to soften the sanctions against Iran, as opposed to making them stronger, to even get Iran to come to the negotiating table. And, so far, his self-imposed deadline for reaching an agreement keeps being pushed further and further into the future. Of course the inspectors still haven’t been allowed to inspect. Now our president has used back channels to try to get Iran involved in the fight to defeat their natural (Sunni) enemy, ISIS in Syria. (Which is ironic because he is now bombing them after two years of training and arming them in his quest to bring down the Assad regime. You can’t make this stuff up.) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has, at the ongoing UN summit in New York. responded to President Obama’s entreaty by
blackmailing suggesting that security cooperation between Iran and other countries could only occur if they struck a favorable nuclear deal, according to this Fox News story. The story relates that ideally the US and their NATO allies want to restrict Iran to the use of no more 1500 centrifuges used in the uranium enrichment process. Iran, of course, wants an agreement allowing them to use all 9,400 currently installed centrifuges. But, tough negotiator that Obama is (snark), he’s only willing to meet then half way (4500+/- centrifuges). What will he get in return? Will Iran join in the efforts to fight ISIS? He will get zero. Iran has long had forces fighting in Syria in support of Assad and against the forces, ISIS, al Qaeda, and other militant groups founded, armed, and trained by the US and its regional “friends”. Also, considering Iran’s lack of cooperation to date, what makes Obama think they would really limit themselves to operating “only” (enough centrifuges to produce some nuclear weapons within a year) 4500 centrifuges? Maybe there is some advantage to having Iran officially fighting with the US. That way if the US bombs Assad’s forces or Assad, the blame could be placed on Iran. At least, Obama could count on the MSM at home to spin his version of the facts.
Let’s move on to how well the Obama administration has done in the various wars the fight against al Qaeda and “friends”. After pulling the troops out of Iraq without a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Al Qaeda suicide bombings soon became a regular feature of life in Iraq. Obama brought about the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya with little forethought as to what would come next. Gaddafi’s arms cashes fell into the hands of numerous militant groups as expected and predicted. But, Obama had a plan. An Embassy “mission” was set-up in Benghazi along with a CIA outpost to use clandestine moneys from Qatar to buy Gaddafi’s arms from the rebels and secretly move to “moderate” Muslim fighters in Syria. That didn’t work out so well for our Ambassador and three other brave CIA contractors. Libya is now a no-man’s land for Islamic radical groups fighting over areas of control and sending fighters to Syria and Iraq. Obama forces Egyptian President Mubarak from office and he supported the rise to power of his radical Muslim Brotherhood friends. Fortunately for the people of Egypt, the military came to their rescue a year later. As the President pulls the troop out of Afghanistan, the Taliban attacks there are on the increase. Now Mr. President wants to take on a creature of his own doing, ISIS, in both Iraq and Syria. What evidence is there that his zero success rate will improve this time?
From CNN transcript of Chuck Hagle’s comments on arming and training “moderate” Muslims fighting in Syria at a Senate hearing on September 16, 2014:
A rigorous vetting process will be critical to the success of this program. The DOD will work closely with the State Department, the intelligence community and our partners in the region to screen and vet the forces we train and equip.
We will monitor them closely to ensure that weapons do not fall into the hands of radical elements of the opposition, ISIL, the Syrian regime or other extremist groups.
There will always be risks. There will always be risks in a program like this. But we believe that risk is justified by the imperative of destroying ISIL and the necessity of having capable partners on the ground in Syria.
Where have we heard that before?
From the L.A Times:
The fact that the Obama administration is preparing to overhaul its approach and vet, train and equip the so-called moderate Syrian rebels attests to its lack of confidence in the only opposition fighters it has backed so far: the loosely organized Free Syrian Army, more a shifting franchise operation than a unified fighting force with a coherent central command.
President Obama has said repeatedly that he will not commit US ground forces to the fight against ISIS. I agree with the President on this. General Dempsey has said that ground forces will be necessary to defeat ISIS. I agree with the General. If the ISIS is to be defeated, it will take “boots” on the ground to get the job done. Air strikes alone will not do it. ISIS, like Hamas in Gaza, will move their barracks into schools, mosques, and hospitals. They will billet their fighters in the homes of the resident of the areas they control. They will use human shields.
There are only two possible out comes in this conflict with ISIS. One: they will be defeated by boots on the ground from Saudi Arabia, The Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, and, yes, Turkey or two: what’s going on today will still be going on twenty years from now and the military industrial complex will be smiling all the way to the bank.
Many of President Obama’s critics have labeled him: President Zero. If they were referring to his batting average against radical Muslims, the moniker fits.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?