Obama’s Disasters in the Middle East
By Matthew Vadum
As the Obama administration quietly transferred $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to the Islamist government of Egypt, Syria is burning and totalitarian Islam continues its march in the Middle East and North Africa.
President Obama’s manmade disasters continue to mount.
It turns out Secretary of State John Kerry surreptitiously gave Egypt U.S. military aid last month, rewarding that country’s Islamofascist dictatorship for its increasingly vicious assaults on foreign workers, religious minorities, and civil society.
Kerry authorized aid to the violent, totalitarian, anti-American regime despite finding in a May 9 memo that “we are not satisfied with the extent of Egypt’s progress and are pressing for a more inclusive democratic process and the strengthening of key democratic institutions.”
In order for the aid to flow U.S. law requires the secretary of state to certify that the Egyptian government “is supporting the transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections, implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association and religion, and due process of law.”
Despite Egypt’s failure to meet any of these criteria, Kerry waived legal requirements in order to curry favor with Egypt’s “military leadership, who are key opinion makers in the country” and to maintain “[a] strong U.S. security partnership with Egypt” as the U.S. encourages “Egypt to continue its transition to democracy,” according to the memo.
Of course Egypt isn’t moving forward to democratic reforms; it’s moving backwards toward the seventh century. Egypt is now in the hands of President Mohammed Morsi and the terrorist-friendly Muslim Brotherhood thanks to Obama’s meddling. The Arab Republic is threatening Israel, a nation with which it has had a peace treaty since 1979.
The Obama-backed Morsi calls Jews “bloodsuckers” and “the descendants of apes and pigs.” Egyptians should “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews,” Morsi rants. He is leading the way as Egypt transforms itself into another Iran.
Just last week an Egyptian kangaroo court sentenced 43 pro-democracy workers, including 16 Americans, for operating without licenses and receiving foreign funding. One of the Americans, Sam LaHood, son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, received a five-year prison term in absentia. The court also shut down branches of two Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organizations involved in the case, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the International Republican Institute.
Kerry said June 4 that the Obama administration was “deeply concerned by the guilty verdicts and sentences” that came out of “a politically motivated trial.” He added, “This decision runs contrary to the universal principle of freedom of association and is incompatible with the transition to democracy.”
Of course Kerry isn’t “concerned” enough to actually halt the $1.3 billion in military aid that is still on its way to Cairo.
Meanwhile, Syria is spiraling out of control and President Obama is mouthing liberal-internationalist platitudes.
Last week in Syria the town of Qusair was taken by forces loyal to the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad. Qusair is strategically important because it links the capital city of Damascus to the Mediterranean Sea on which ports and a Russian naval base are located.
As Charles Krauthammer notes, the capture of Qusair with the assistance of the pro-Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah frees up Assad’s resources, allowing him to “advance on rebel-dominated areas in central and northern Syria, including Aleppo.”
“For the rebels, it’s a devastating loss of territory, morale and their supply corridor to Lebanon,” Krauthammer writes. “No one knows if this reversal of fortune will be the last, but everyone knows that Assad now has the upper hand.”
Unlike the newly emboldened Russia and Iran, President Obama is sitting on the sidelines in Syria’s two-year-old civil war.
News reports from Sunday night that cite anonymous sources suggest that Assad’s military success is forcing the White House to act. The Obama administration “could decide this week to approve lethal aid for the beleaguered Syrian rebels and will weigh the merits of a less likely move to send in U.S. airpower to enforce a no-fly zone” in Syrian airspace.
White House meetings are planned over the coming days, as Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government forces are apparently poised for an attack on the key city of Homs, which could cut off Syria’s armed opposition from the south of the country. As many as 5,000 Hezbollah fighters are now in Syria, officials believe, helping the regime press on with its campaign after capturing the town of Qusair near the Lebanese border last week.
Syria’s rebels, of course, are no angels. Assad’s main armed opposition, the Free Syrian Army, is filled with jihadists.
Whether President Obama, who blathers on about “international legitimacy” and sends delegates to useless conferences, will actually do anything in Syria is anyone’s guess.
Obama said last summer that if Syria used chemical weapons such an action would be a “game-changer” for the United States. Despite reports that Assad’s regime has done precisely that, Obama is taking his sweet time making an official finding.
The fact that Kerry is now Obama’s top diplomat may have something to do with it. For years Kerry functioned as an unofficial lobbyist for Assad in Washington, D.C., making excuses for him and doing his bidding in Congress. That might help to explain Obama’s heel-dragging.
Krauthammer attributes Obama’s failure to do something — anything — to incompetence.
Obama imagines that if America is completely hands-off, a civil war like Syria’s will carry on as is, self-contained. He simply does not understand that if America withdraws from the scene, it creates a vacuum that invites hostile outside intervention. A superpower’s role in a regional conflict is deterrence.
Some observers characterize each serial manifestation of President Obama’s bungled foreign policy as a disaster. But disaster isn’t quite the right word. Disaster implies randomness and unforeseeability.
What is happening across the Muslim world isn’t random at all. It is a logical consequence of Obama’s schizophrenic foreign policy and his laissez-faire approach to fighting Islamism. Each passing day it becomes increasingly clear that the Obama administration, which spends much of its time apologizing for past U.S. policies, isn’t serious about combating Islamism. Within this vacuum of leadership, future 9/11s, Boston Marathon bombings, and Fort Hoods are almost certainly being planned by America’s enemies.
Under Obama, the United States is now benched in a self-imposed penalty box, playing no particular role in halting al-Qaeda’s progress in dangerous parts of the world. U.S.-supplied war material from Obama’s feel-good adventure in Libya that led to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi may very well be fueling the advance of America’s terrorist enemies in Africa.
Slavery, long extinct in the civilized world, is being reestablished and cruel Shariah law ruthlessly enforced.
Fundamentalist Muslim regimes are taking over country after country across North Africa and the Middle East. Thieves’ hands are being chopped off in Mali; accused spies crucified in Yemen. Rape victims are publicly flogged in the Maldives and elsewhere for “fornication,” while gays and dissidents of all stripes continue to be put to death by the murderous mullahs of Iran. In Sudan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia fanatical adherents of the so-called religion of peace persecute and slaughter Christians and church leaders.
And President Obama can’t be bothered to do anything about it.