Op-Ed: Lowering the Iron Curtain on the Middle East
Despite his uncompromising policy against Muslims in Chechnya, Islamic nations are welcoming President Putin with open arms.
“We’re eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked,” Secretary of State Dean Rusk famously said during the Cuban missile crisis. In global strategic diplomacy, rule number one has always been; don’t blink. In recent months President Obama has been doing a lot of blinking, forfeiting hard gained leverage and losing along the way, the Middle East to American national interests. In global hardball, blinking is synonymous with appeasement and perceived weakness is a provocation that will always lead to a wider diplomatic conflict.
Thanks to Obama’s natural sympathies and inclination to support Muslim terror organizations, not just any terrorists, but the descendants of the same Wahhabi organization that was trained and employed by the Third Reich in World War II, like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and others. The pro-Western coalition that has been the backbone of American influence in the Middle East based on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and Israel is slowly and surely crumbling, with Russia ready in the wings to come on full stage and become the dominant superpower in the Middle East. Due to Obama’s bumbling and zigzagging, America has lost the Middle East.
America is no longer perceived as a reliable and credible ally, forcing pro-Western allies to fall in line after Russia. In recent years Russia has dealt with the Muslim terror organizations based in Chechnya, implementing a brutal and non-compromising military response to the terrorists themselves and the communities that have supported and harbored terrorists in their midst.
Ground forces, air force battles ships, and special operation forces have in recent years unleashed their military might against Chechnyan terrorists and civilians alike. Yet despite his uncompromising policy against Muslims in Chechnya, Islamic nations are welcoming President Putin with open arms.
Egypt, a nation that threw the Russians out over 40 years ago, is welcoming them back, sending military and diplomatic missions to Russia, and turning their back on Obama.
The only nation that is sticking by America, the only nation that has not abandoned America’s special status as the world’s leading superpower, the only nation that represents American interests in the Middle East without question, is Israel.
Despite the shock waves of Obama leaving behind destroyed relationships and empowering enemies, Israel being a true ally of America, has not encouraged nor enabled Russia to step on center stage in the Middle East. Rather Israel has initiated steps that have fueled renewed speculation of behind-the-scenes links between Israel and the Gulf monarchies.
Netanyahu, speaking at the UN, said that “the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy.” He added: “This affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.” Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the key states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (most importantly, Saudi Arabia) have discovered that they share the same core views on the nature of key Middle East regional threats currently threatening their own national interests.
The fear of the prospect of a nuclear Iran, has been the one common denominator that has forced the emergence of this quiet alliance between Arab nations and the State of Israel. Not the Palestinian Arabs, not the Two-State solution, not even the imaginary “occupation”, has prevented this new alliance from taking root to fill in the strategic gap created by Obama.
Most likely, the 9 month negotiation period with the Palestinian Arab Authority is about the time needed to conclude and put in place this new alliance. As usual, while the Palestinian Arabs are preoccupied with celebrating the release of murderers, they will soon find themselves out in the cold with only the Iranians willing to support their deceitful political demands.
Only this past week, Russian President Vladimir Putin knocked President Barack Obama off of the top spot on Forbes’ 2013 World’s Most Powerful People List. The magazine explained Putin earned the number one ranking “because he so frequently shows his strength at home and on the global stage,” citing his involvement in negotiations with Syria over chemical weapons and NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s asylum in Russia. This is the first time Putin is at the top of the list.
Obama, who ranked at the top of the Forbes list every year — except 2010 — fell to the number two spot out of 72 “heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who truly run the world.” This one of Obama’s few accomplishments.
Obama has been described by Charles Krauthammer as a thoughtful and engaging man, able to come across as charming in private as well as on the big screen before large audiences. Obama is a complicated individual, and should not be defined in black and white terms. However, there is no denying that Obama has caused a major strategic realignment in the Middle East, and America is out.
Obama has more or less brought broad American influence to a dead end in the Middle East. Evidently, Obama’s lame duck period has set in earlier than usual for a two-term president. Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have no choice but to stand fast and wait Obama out till he leaves office, hopefully sooner rather than later.