The Middle East Tribune

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Obama Foreign Policy Puts Arab-U.S. Alliance at Risk

President Obama and Saudi King Abdullah

President Obama and Saudi King Abdullah

If you intend to visit any Arab country, you are likely going to come across many indignant people criticizing the so-called international community for being a mere self-serving interest group. No matter where you are, whether at street corners, cafes,  recreational facilities, social clubs or at any political gathering, you will hear some people denouncing the iniquity of Obama foreign policy as much as they condemn the dormant United Nations (U.N.).

This new-sprung actuality, however, came up as a consequence of U.N.’s dereliction, inaction of the self-absorbed European Union, and, above all, in response to the substandard foreign policy of Obama administration. Actually, suchlike unreserved pattern of expression has emerged because Arab resentment is maxed out to unprecedented level.

Since the Syrian revolt as yet, Arabs and Muslims along with human rights advocates are unremittingly criticizing U.N. Security Council for being impotent to champion its human rights charter or, at least, to maintain regional peace—let alone world peace. Besides branding all dozy Arab leaders, Arabs openly mock much of Barack Obama, president of the foremost world-leading country. They see him—especially after Mr. Obama retreated from honoring his asserted red-line regarding the usage of chemical weapons on Syrian people—as a hesitant misleader who hides his frail resolving traits by delivering empty speeches and false ultimatums.

It is not hard to conclude, long before the Syrian tragedy, why Arab and Muslim people do not trust the United States and United Nations. This long-acting case of mistrust stems from a long history of U.S. partiality to Israel, indifference of the most powerful twosome (U.S. and U.N.) to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all, and for giving a cold shoulder to more than six decades of Palestinian agony. Yet what is new, at this historic political juncture, is to see U.S. central key allies in the Middle East, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, conjointly with many Arab governments taking the front lines to decry Obama’s policy toward Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and other countries.

A look at the current dysfunctional American-Egyptian relations, for instance, and how and why Egypt’s leadership together with the masses angrily dismiss the wishes or advices (commanding instructions) of Obama administration, and hence the recent revitalization of Russian-Egyptian connection, should portray to all what is in the minds of most Arabs, politicians and people alike. Concurrently, mulling over why and how Saudi Arabia has spurned its delegated seat in the U.N. Security Council should infer to everyone that Arab frustrations will turn into actions. Add up the negative message behind the recent announcements of Saudi chief of Intelligence about the future of American-Saudi relations to realize that there is a serious down slope in the strategic cooperation between the U.S. and Arab world.

Patently, such strong remonstrations are very alarming political signals. At one instance, it is so because it reveals the severity of Arab malcontent and disagreement with the United Nation and its American godfather.  And, more crucially, because it substantiates the shadowed fact that Arab-U.S. governmental relations are torn down to a very worrying level.

It is significant to call to mind that Arab authorities, at large, used to align their policy-making orientation in concert with U.S. administration even when they were at odds, like on Iraq and Iran. Nevertheless, in view of the current U.S. strategy toward Syria and Lebanon, Arab governments became so provoked to which they publicly rebuff Obama’s Middle East policy and rebuke the dead-end approaches of United Nations.

Over and above Arab objections, one cannot minifies the impact of the recent official criticism of Israeli authorities and the ongoing strong argufy between Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and president Obama over Iran’s nukes program and some other issues. In addition to those transnational disapprovals, we witness a number of U.S. top officials picking apart Mr. Obama faulty Middle East strategy much more than Middle East politicos. The most recent explicit critiques and tough statements of Obama’s two voluntarily resigned defense secretaries (Robert M. Gates and Leon E. Panetta) along with other prominent American politicians concerning Obama’s Middle East strategy have added much weight to the issue of competency and credibility of the current president of the world’s sole super power

Such being the case, it is sensible to review, fairly and squarely, whether these serious allegations have grounds or it is just a moment of political adverts. Alas, given the record of president Obama misplays, it is almost impossible to any observer or political analyst to deny the factuality of most of those blames.

Actually, the ongoing criticism of Obama’s faulty policies are not solely limited to his ill resolutions towards the massacres in Syria (where more than 120,000 people have been slaughtered—and still rising) or for his retraction from penalizing Assad’s regime for serving Syrian women and children with chemical weapons.  It is as much about Obama’s support to the reign of Muslims Brotherhood in Egypt and his shortcoming to firmly deal with Iran’s nuclear challenge (seven years of sanctions, and counting). It is as much about why Mr. Obama has forsaken Iraq’s political arena to the Iranian mullahs and radical revolutionary guards, let alone turning a blind eye to the terrorist acts of pro-Iranian militant groups and pro-Assad malefactors in Lebanon and Syria. Like or not, those are more than enough instances, even in the realpolitik world, to adjudge the incompetency of any world leader or international body.

Abraham Lincoln quote

Abraham Lincoln quote/
photo source: www-activatingthoughts-blogspot.com

In most of the world, the relevancy of the ceremonial United Nations and credibility of its veto-crippled Security Council are now in question, which could diminish the future role of the organization to observational levels, at best. However, the real call into question is whether the Arab world, chiefly Saudi Arabia and Egypt, can stomach the soft leadership qualities of president Obama for the next three years. It is also about whether the present U.S. administration can afford to disband Arab-U.S. strategic alliance in their attempts to neutralize (instead of denuclearizing) Iran, and hence regain some ground in Iran and Iraq.

Apparently, the likelihood that the U.S. is en route to lose its preference and momentum in the Arab world is growing like never before. This, however, is because prominent Arab governments, especially those who maintain strong ties with the U.S., are reviewing the pros and cons of their alliance with the United States.

Thereon, they find that they do not see the promised self-governing Palestinian state on the world map, nor have regional security advantages or special political prerogatives in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Sudan, for example. On top of that, they see Iraq roving in the Iranian orbit, while the possibility of losing Syria, Bahrain and Lebanon to pro-Iran factions is on the rise. Meanwhile, the U.S. is busy in delivering falsifications for leaving the Arab world to skin-dive Middle East’s deep waters alone. Contrastingly, Arabs, and the world, are witnessing the decisiveness of the Russian leadership and commitment of the Iranian regime in defending and supporting their Syrian ally, regardless of his proven war crimes.

In  fact, although Arab leaders condemn the immoral Russian and Iranian course of actions, nevertheless they look up to see their western allies similarly standing firm with their causes—or, at least, not to sell them out to the first buyer.

Apart from discussing, at this instance, the required remedies to pacify and redefine the Arab-U.S. relations, which should have been done years before, so that a genuine strategic partnership can be reborn to serve the mutual interests of both ends—not only those of the U.S.

The fact remains that the primary cause for the on-going political feebleness in the western world is not correlated to the presence of domestic degenerative economic factors in the west, as they claim. It is rather the contrary.  In large part, it is because most western leaders do not possess the integrity and nerve to epitomize their national civil and human values outside their borders at which they burned-out their credibility as guardians of human rights.

However, once you look to the United States, the issue is more decisive and very momentous since America is the sole world-beating power of this era.  Unfortunately, there is a world-wide belief that America, thus and so the world, needs now more than ever leaders, like Abraham Lincoln and F. D. Roosevelt,  who have the capability, fortitude and political morality to cope with the profound challenges of our time.

Arab and western statesmen alike should think over how the resoluteness and decisiveness of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher saved and revitalized United Kingdom, and how the integrity and credibility of Charles de Gaulle salvaged and revived France so that to vivify their countries and, most of all, create a safe world to future generations.

Until then, the current U.S. Administration should bear in mind that once its bald eagle dares not to fly, eastern raptors will take over.

——————

Author’s Note: This article is also published at Arabian Gazette

 

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40 comments on “Obama Foreign Policy Puts Arab-U.S. Alliance at Risk

  1. Anonymous
    November 29, 2013

    America will, surely, reinvent itself should need arise. This is land of the free and home of the brave. One thing for certain is this: America has no need to strengthen dictators, tyrannical, wealthy families and narrow interests anywhere around the globe. Let freedom reign and stop this brutalizing of people anywhere in the world. It is the time of civil society to push forward it’s civil agendas, civil liberties, and the fight against narrow self interests. Never allow a so called new / emerging ” super power” and the attendant corrupting practices.

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  2. Keith Johnson
    November 27, 2013

    As someone who worked widely in the Middle East in the 1970s, I was always struck by the commonsense, generosity, humor and decency of ordinary people and the pomposity, grandiosity, self-absorption and double-dealing of the ruling class, The Arab World needs democracy because it would foster the evolution of society in the light of the changing views and demands of voters, and because it would help ordinary people throw out successive potentially megalomaniac rulers. There is also a crying need for a reform movement within Islam. None of this can be imposed from outside. It is an absolute tragedy that the mountains of cash generated by oil extraction have been frittered away on glitzy cloud-capped towers by feudal dictators when the money could have been spent educating ordinary citizens across the Arab World. Now that the USA is becoming self-sufficient in energy, the time is dawning when it is ‘make or break’. This is a last chance effectively to rebuild Arab pride by focusing on human rights, civil society and building an internal capacity for adaptation and change. ,

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    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
      November 27, 2013

      100% true without buts. Best

      Like

    • Chuck Steen
      November 28, 2013

      A good contribution to this discussion, Keith. I have been in a few countries (not the ME) and I have found this to be true invariably in all – the ordinary people have the same desires, dreams, aspirations, hopes and trials as most of us. As sages through the ages in some way have reflected, political power (all power, really, as we can also see in the economic realm) is inherently corrupting. It distorts reality for those so engaged. In the US we call it “the inside the Beltway mentality.” Power demand that it dominates someone – for their own good of course. But once it starts it can only descend into more control, more domination, and it seems always more chaos. The greater control and greater the corruption.
      I loved my travels in Russia and then a couple of the Central Asian countries in the 90’s. How can you not love the Russian people once you get beyond the stereotypical images to the hearts of the people. Truly as the Hebrew teacher once observed, “(God) has made from one blood every nation of mankind to live upon the earth.” Our differences seem so great, but our similarities are really so much greater.

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  3. Chuck Steen
    November 25, 2013

    Thank you, Mohammad, for your cogent and articulate discussion of what is surely top on the priority list of the most significant international political issues of our time. It is very helpful for someone like me (a multi-generational American) to have this insight “beneath the skin” of someone who understands this issue from an Arab viewpoint. While I can’t agree with everything at this point (more from ignorance than actual disagreement) we in America (likely all of the West) need to take seriously what you are saying.

    I certainly share your concerns relative to the current leadership and policies of American foreign policy in general; your comments give solid voice to my intuitive sense about it. We have an amazing propensity to “throw under the bus” our friends while trying to appease our enemies. My current experience in the land of a former military enemy is very helpful and encouraging – while quickly admitting that it wouldn’t work among all enemies. I suspect that all of in the discussion are seeking to work from the “bottom up,” and perhaps the loss of our political national prestige is an actual advantage. Servants have a more likely possibility of actually helping people than overlords. A very wise leader once made the suggestion, “Imagine what you would like to be done for you and then do it for them!” It seems to work at nearly every level of relationships.

    Thank you again for stimulating and advancing my thinking in this vital area. I have a number of friends in the Arab world. I desire to be and consider myself a friend, although often very ignorant, of all peoples. You have helped me.

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    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
      November 26, 2013

      Thank you Chuck for your kind words and comment. I’m pleased to know that I have shed little light on the issue to reasonable people like you.
      Thank you indeed.
      Best

      Like

      • Chuck Steen
        November 28, 2013

        I eagerly look forward to following you and the discussions as closely as I can. Thank you for your efforts.

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  4. Anonymous
    November 24, 2013

    Greetings!

    Thank you Mohammad for your article and generating a very stimulating and informative discussion. I appreciated your comment,”I hope that America can revive itself shortly up to reflect the high values of its good people.” I also appreciate the quote you shared by Abraham Lincoln.
    I also appreciated the comments by others to your article.

    I’d like to offer to the discussion a quote by Albert Einstein, “You cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it. You must stand on a higher ground.” I would add to this quote, You cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness and heart that created it. You must expand your heart.” I believe it will take enlightened leadership, extraordinary courage, political will and perseverance to solve the Syrian War and the challenges facing the middle east.
    With globalization we are connected to each other and together need to find solutions to these challenges that impact the world.

    When you have a moment I hope you will visit the website of World Unity, Inc. at: http://www.worldunityinc.org to see the vision we’ve been dedicated to help transform America and the world. I pray that the international leaders will find a way to solve these very, very challenging issues in the middle east.

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    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
      November 24, 2013

      Thank you … for your kind words and contribution. Actually, I have visited the recommended website, and I praise you as well as the working team for such moral and human work. I wish you good luck.
      Thank you again and keep the good work

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  5. K. Vane
    November 21, 2013

    I commend you for your free truthful ideas. Thank you.
    Nonetheless, I question the wisdom or notion of why do Arab leaders, statesmen, diplomatic corps, etc. have to rely on, expect, or wait for America to internationally take an action and serves their own interests. America, although known to be the world leader in stepping up to world conflicts and taking many initiatives, still, plays a domino effect in World’s foreign policies.
    I cannot comprehend why Arab leaders themselves could not take a just action to relieve their own concerns. They are blind folded, or mainly waiting for others to act on their behalf. I know one thing; if I am hungry I’ll cook myself an egg sandwich and stop the deafening sounds emanating from my empty stomach.
    The world at large, not only America, was taken by surprise at the onset of the Arab uprising. It is time, actually overdue, that the Arab’s youth devise an exemplary route to move their countries to modern times compatible with the Twenty First Century. Instead, they intend to relive the past and get frozen in it. In fact, back in old days, Arabs were waiting for, Egyptian deceased-president, Jamal Abdel Nasser, to liberate them from the Zionist dominance.
    After forty years, they are still waiting. With all their oil-rich income, they never once took the initiative to play the game right. Today, they are waiting for Mr. Obama, same as many predecessor presidents before him and much like many future presidents after him, to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    Let it be known to all Arabs: Israel is going nowhere. It existed in Palestine since the mid-nineties and will survive forever for it has the means and the worlds’ support. In comparison, Palestinians have many bombs, terrorists, suicide bombers and the like. During Israel existence up till now, Palestinians never planned strategically or moved their cause forward. Israel did and thus became another superpower although less penetrating or pervasive on World stage.
    Moreover, I gather from your article that the failed policies of the US, UN and the false promises of Mr. Obama to take a firm action towards Syria, is driving Arabs towards Russian and Iranians. Mr. Obama coordinated with Israel, didn’t he? So did the UK, France, and Germany, right? Even with Russia, that is now ridding the world from Al-Assad stock pile. Therefore, I think our president played his cards right. All former presidents, including Regan (in 1983) had left the Middle East for Middle Eastern to sort out their problems. They never did. Superpowers are there to stay super. They don’t WAIT for centuries, when they act, they do so with full conviction to relief their misery. It’s time for us to learn
    I commend you for your free truthful ideas. Thank you.

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    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
      November 22, 2013

      Thank you Karima for your comment and commendation. However, Allow me to disagree with you on most, not all, of your argument. I agree that most of the blame is on the Arab themselves, but I don’t agree that its solely theirs. The international community and its leader (U.S.) are responsible to support and protect human rights everywhere in this world, otherwise let them all retire and deny their self-proclaimed role.
      Thank you again

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  6. Angela Grant
    November 20, 2013

    I don’t understand. Why should the US get involved when it is so heavily in debt? In the past, US was portrayed as a bully, still is, now less so. US invasion of Afghan and Iraq were hornet nests, why would we not learn? To get involved in a situation where history, politics, religion and culture are deeply entwined and mutual mistrust is rampant, is to not have reviewed Lessons Learned.

    Sounds like the Middle East might be riding the Hate Obama wave.

    Like

    • Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
      November 20, 2013

      Angela, let me offer that your position is very good and logical. Let me respond by saying that first, there remains only one true universal/international law… it is brutal; however, effective. This law is stated in the evolution of species by Darwin; and, in more philosophical terms by Plato. The law is simple, “Might makes right.”
      Americans are not ‘saints’; however, Americans have a proven track record of international intervention that leverages this absolute law in terms benefiting the combatants. (Examples include: The Philippines, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Germany and Western Europe, Japan, South Korea, South Vietnam, etc.)
      Is America a bully… perhaps that argument can be made. However, if you substitute Russia or China into the role played by the US in the last 120 years, I shutter at the oppression and abuse that would have been perpetrated against mankind.
      With American involvement in international affairs, mankind has a running-chance to come out of the aftermath better than the situation was prior to US involvement. Hand that role to Russia or China, and a swift return to the dark ages will befall mankind in rapid fashion. This is why the US needs to be the international moral compass of mankind; and, that is why the US has an obligation to intercede in the pain and misery in much of the Middle East.
      I guess that my argument is simply that ‘even with all the flaws in the US character, the US remains man’s best option to save himself from himself.’

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      • Mohammad S. Moussalli
        November 20, 2013

        I fully agree with this para of yours, Chip:
        “Hand that role to Russia or China, and a swift return to the dark ages will befall mankind in rapid fashion. This is why the US needs to be the international moral compass of mankind; and, that is why the US has an obligation to intercede in the pain and misery in much of the Middle East.”
        That is the bare truth

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        • Linda Banks
          November 22, 2013

          Have been thinking alot lately about the current developments, as the world again has fallen into the mode of isolationism and turns their backs on the cries of innocence. Violent behavior seems to be the norm for all of us to deal with on a daily bases(msp). As a society we have become enesthesized to all the starvation and pain. Hopefully I will live long enough for the important issues to be addressed without the consequences being war or death, when freedom and equality are common place for all of mankind. There I go dreaming again! LOL Missed you “M”. Can t

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          • Mohammad S. Moussalli
            November 22, 2013

            AS always you bring forth the morality of the issue of which you remind all that we are humans and deserve to live peacefully. I hope that you have a long life in which your dreams come true. I always miss you. Thank you dear

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      • Margaret King
        November 21, 2013

        Chip, you state:
        “With American involvement in international affairs, mankind has a running-chance to come out of the aftermath better than the situation was prior to US involvement. Hand that role to Russia or China, and a swift return to the dark ages will befall mankind in rapid fashion. This is why the US needs to be the international moral compass of mankind; and, that is why the US has an obligation to intercede in the pain and misery in much of the Middle East.”

        I beg to differ. An in-depth study of American foreign policy in the Middle East is exactly why the region finds itself in the chaos that we see today. The U.S. is responsible for “the pain and misery in much of the Middle East.” From the time President Truman recognized the state of Israel on Palestinian soil in 1948, as he bullied U.N. members into doing the same, the Middle East has been on a downward role. Most Iraqis today will confirm that their country went from being a nation with the highest educational standards, to a nation that now finds itself in the dark ages thanks to U.S. involvement in their affairs. The U.S. is Israel’s greatest protector, regardless of over 70 U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Israel’s breach of international law since its creation. Using its political and financial leverage and its veto power, the U.S. has bullied the Middle Eastern nations into submission. Who protected Israel as it planned for sixteen years to conquer the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Gaza, and pretended to be a neutral player when all hell broke loose? The U.S., of course. Then there is the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which the U.S. approved of by its actions and rhetoric, and a fifteen-year civil war, one of whose notorious episodes was the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila. In those years, at least 70,000 people died in Lebanon during the mayhem as the U.S. bombed the country from the sea. The Palestinian refugees have been suffering for 65 years, with no end in sight, and all we hear are broken promises from each U.S. administration and its wayward ally, Israel.

        How about the CIA’s overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadeq in Iran in 1953, who was replaced by the Shah, a U.S. puppet? The Shah brutalized his people so the West could have unfettered access to Iran’s natural resources? It was that meddling which backfired and led to the I979 revolution that ushered in the Islamic Republic and its hard-liners, with their anti-American rhetoric. Ironic, isn’t it? Then we have the eight-year war between Iraq and Iran, all encouraged by the U.S. that allied itself with Saddam Hussein, until he too turned on his masters, because the fools in the West never understood the Middle East. One million Iranians were killed in that war. Then we had the Bush, Sr. fiasco and the first Gulf War, with his arrogant claims to creating a “new world order.” Really? All he cared about was the oil, not the people. Hundreds of thousands of people died during those battles. And then eight years of destructive sanctions by Clinton, when an estimated 250 Iraqis (150 of them children) died daily from starvation, disease, and lack of medicine, as well as a high rate of cancer from U.S. and British weapons made of depleted uranium. As the arrogant Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright said, their deaths were “worth it.” That was followed by Bush, Jr., who’s crusade, backed by his evangelical Christian supporters, put the final touch on reducing Iraq to the stone age.

        As if things weren’t bad enough in the Near East, with U.S.-backed puppet rulers in just about every country, the U.S. then decided to destroy Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghanistan was used as a staging ground so “the Russians could experience their own Vietnam,” as U.S. officials arrogantly stated. U.S. ineptitude led to the creation of Al Qaeda and helped the Taliban rise to power. Why should 9/11 be a surprise? A child who plays with fire is bound to get burned. And today Afghanistan is a land of opium-addicted adults and children, who barely survive in the darkest era of their history.

        Now the U.S. has aided and abetted a civil war in Syria, making promises that, as usual, it has no intention of keeping, and why should anyone be surprised? Egypt, Yemen, Libya, are a mess, and like the kiss of death, everywhere the U.S. intervenes in the Middle East, all hell breaks loose.

        You say: “If you substitute Russia or China in the role played by the US in the last 120 years, I shudder at the oppression and abuse that would have been perpetrated against mankind.” Perhaps that is the case in other parts of the world, but definitely not in the Middle East. Might does not make right. All I see is arrogance of power, a policy of “divide and conquer,” an ignorance of the religious and political history of the Middle East, and the true nature of the conflicts. Russia and China do not meddle in Middle Eastern affairs in the manner the U.S. has done during most of the last century. The U.S. is now a nation that has been wounded by its arrogant foreign policy in the Middle East, and while it was so certain that it was doing “good,” it succeeded in doing the opposite. With that track record, why would the people of the Middle East ask the U.S. to intervene again?

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        • Mohammad S. Moussalli
          November 22, 2013

          Dear Margaret,
          It’s obvious that you have forwarded a strong argument, and i agree in part, but I believe you missed a point. As to the Middle East, you cannot spare the Arabs for being responsible for their decisions and actions, most of which were stupid. Yes, I blame the U.S. up to some extent, but i blame our people much more for such misery. We cannot blame others for their corruption–though its true– and forget the evil Arab leadership have made to their own people.

          It is the British who really made way for the creation of Israel –just remember Sykes–Picot Agreement in 1916 and Balfour Declaration in 1917. Actually, neither the U.S. nor the British before them could have done any of what you have truly described, without the conspiracy, ignorance and cowardice of Arab leaders then–as now.

          As to the mark about if it were the Russian or Chinese instead of America, I simply agree with chip on that.

          “Why The Middle East asks the U.S. to intervene again?” Please would you suggest another power who can handle or can stop the ongoing slaughter, but don’t suppose that what is going on the whole Arab world can be put off by the Arabs themselves and alone–no matter who triggered it in the first place.

          To me, as long as the U.S. self proclaim the role of human rights protector, the U.S. has to be held accountable for not honoring its international commitments.
          Thank you

          Like

          • Margaret King
            November 22, 2013

            Mohammad, of course you are correct that the original fault lies at the feet of the Arabs because they were deceived by the British, with their lies and broken promises. Later they would be deceived by the U.S., with even worse deception. I am not advocating for anyone to replace the U.S. It’s just foolish for the Arabs to expect them to intervene militarily, when they have made such a blunder of everything they have involved themselves in. I certainly do not expect Russia or China to take the place of the U.S. because I don’t think they want to. They have their own problems, concerns, and agendas. What they share in common with Middle Eastern regimes is the recognition that the U.S. is a bully in its foreign policy.

            If you note in my previous post, I showed that all of the plots of the U.S. in the Middle East backfired against them. Buddhists would call that Karma. The rise of China as a world power should not lead one to expect them to replace the U.S. as a mediator in world affairs. The U.S. is heavily in debt to China, and China needs the U.S. to pay back its debts. China’s involvement in the Middle East remains limited to reaping the rewards after countless U.S. failed campaigns. The U.S. invaded Iraq for oil, but China was given the contracts. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan partly for its mineral deposits, the location of which the Russian geologists mapped out before them. While the U.S. was immersed in guerrilla warfare with the Afghans, China stepped in and was given the contracts for the mineral mining. Then China told the U.S. they would not export any of their own minerals to them, minerals they count on to be a competitive industrial power. The U.S. government was upset by that. How are they going to make all those weapons and computers without the minerals needed to do it? While Bush Jr. was wreaking havoc in the Middle East, with his coalition of nations, China was signing contracts in Africa and Latin America enabling it to one day become a world power. While Bush was talking war, China was talking business. They want their piece of the pie and they are going to get it. The U.S. wasted all its money waging endless war, and now congressmen are battling each other over how to bring down the debt. Who profited from the arrogance of U.S. power? China. It is the fastest growing nation in history, at one time building a city a month. How did they achieve their power so suddenly, while no one was paying attention?

            What I will say next has to do with religion. I know there are people reading these posts who are not religious, or deny that there are any truths to be discovered in the field. I ignore them because I know they are missing out on a great deal in this field of scholarship. It’s like someone who doesn’t comprehend mathematics blowing it off and saying “there can’t be any truth in it because I don’t understand it.” Comprehension of any field of learning is a talent, a gift. Either you have the skill or you don’t. It takes perseverance and continual research. If you blind yourself to the research, then you will never learn anything.

            Now if I told you that the rise of China is in the Quran, I expect you to deny it. I have had discussions with Muslims who don’t comprehend some important terminology in the Quran. The reference to China is not obvious to an untrained eye. It takes training and understanding of pre-Islamic history, religious terminology, and ancient languages that have permeated religious texts that were written long after those languages ceased to exist. This is not a field of expertise that Muslims are involved in. The Quran is the only religious text in history that actually corrects prior distorted religious texts and those corrections match perfectly with archaeological discoveries. The information is absolutely unique. From the Quran’s passage, it is clear that the intent of raising China to power is not so it would replace the U.S. in the Islamic World, but the intent is to diminish the power of the arrogant nations who have wreaked havoc within the Islamic World. It’s a punishment, and we see it unfolding before us as clear as day. It was also expected that the Arabs would be in the condition that we find them today, confirmed by non-Islamic Near Eastern prophecies as well as several Islamic Hadiths.

            The Islamic World should have recognized the era that the prophets had warned them about. They have been blinded by the distortions within the various legends. The Arabs did exactly what the prophecies said they would do, and it was the Prophet Muhammad who said “fie on the Arabs for what they will do….” He was referring to the Arabs who would open the door to the invaders, and they did exactly that. The invasion of Afghanistan was foretold, and that was in other ancient Near Eastern texts. The suffering of the Arabs, the bloodshed, was all foretold in ancient prophecies. I do not consider all these events to be coincidence.

            The ancestors of today’s Shi’ites ruled the Fertile Crescent for thousands of years before the Arabs were given the mantle, the yoke of ruling the faithful. The Prophet Muhammad was the expected Messenger in their religious texts, and it was because of their efforts over five hundred years prior to the birth of the Prophet, that the Islamic armies succeeded in creating the Islamic Empire. If I told you the biblical term used to describe the ancestors of the Shi’ites, you might be surprised. I am sure today’s state of Israel would consider it their nightmare. (Please note that Netanyahu and the Saudis are not happy that President Obama is making overtures to Iran).

            The two branches of Islam have to make peace. A house divided will not stand. The first step is to unite the house. Then everything will fall into place.

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        • Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
          November 22, 2013

          Ms. King, I do not disagree with many of the issues you have brought forth in your reply; in fact, many of the points you offer have strong merit against US involvement in the region. I have said as much when I pointed out that Americans are not saints… we – like all human kind – are selfish, greedy, and imperfect. You will also be reminded that my statements supporting US involvement are not posed in romance and the common good… it is posed in Plato’s maxim “Might makes right”. I offer no pretense of America holding the golden key to Middle East peace.
          However, reflect back to the US track record for dealing with nations it has fought in the last 100-120 years… including the Iraq and Afghan wars… and you will see a record that shows US involvement left the contestant state in better shape than before the conflict.
          While the US is far from perfect, we did not witness Western Europe running to the Soviets begging to intercede against the US in post WWII Europe. While Hungary in ’56, and Czechoslovakia in ’68 tried to cast out their Russian masters, they were running to the western sponsored – US backed – economic and societal system of freedom of choice and democratic rule of law.
          The Japanese and South Korean cultures embraced and prospered under the rebuilding of their nations by the same US you condemn.
          Iraq and Afghanistan have superior infrastructure today. Compared to pre-US involvement in their nations, there are more road, more water facilities, more availability to electricity, etc, than before hostilities broke out. Women – while still not ‘equal’ citizens – have stepped into new millennial thanks to the US push to allow women to vote and hold office. Schools are more plentiful now (schools the US bought and paid for) than at any time in the history of those two nations.
          It appears to me that you bemoan US involvement in the Middle East because we have ventured into regime change and wars. The practice of toppling governments not friendly to American interests is not unlike any other great power throughout history. My question to you is, “What is new about that practice?” However, I can say that what ‘is’ different is that the US introduces positive aspects to the economy and society that it impacts… not so with China, and not so with Russia.
          No… you cannot have it both ways, Ms. King. I have made no pretense to the ‘righteousness’ of the Americans… my country – and its foreign policy – are seriously flawed. However, compared to the other options, Russia or China… I stand solidly behind my “dark ages” statement. We can perhaps agree to disagree… you could make a good argument that US involvement in the region is even a “lesser of evils” option; but, I have little doubt that America remains the best chance for the region to stabilize – lest they tear each other apart.

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          • Margaret King
            November 22, 2013

            Chip, I understand your view point and the rosy picture you paint of some U.S. involvement. I don’t agree about the improvements in Iraq and Afghanistan. The evidence speaks volumes for the opposite. Iraqi women are complaining enormously of their post-U.S. invasion suffering. As for improved water and electricity, evidence from the ground speaks otherwise. Saddam Hussein had the electricity running within three months after the first Gulf War tore apart his country. Ten years later after Bush Jr.’s war, Iraqis are still plagued by intermittent electric supplies. In Afghanistan, new roads and buildings, schools that are not being used, do not show improvement. The new roads were built to enable the U.S. and NATO military supplies to reach their troops, not to improve the condition of the Afghans. The World Bank is notorious for funding new construction to struggling nations. It puts those nations into debt so the governments will always “owe” loyalty to their benefactors. It does not improve the lifestyle of the masses. It makes things look nicer, but beneath the surface there is a boiling pot ready to erupt.

            A British soldier in the early 1900s once wrote of the dilemma a Muslim ruler found himself in, within Afghanistan. The ruler was torn, on the one hand, between the British, who would offer his kingdom riches, and on the other hand, the Russians, whose assistance was more in the form of advice, warnings of the good and the bad. The British offered order and the rule of law, while the Russians sneered and told them to be patient and cautious. In the end, the Muslim ruler only saw that the kingdoms of Islam were crumbling, and all he saw was the death and the doom of his country and feared being the last of its kings. That is Afghanistan. It is an Islamic nation, whose ancient history is so telling. No Western nation can involve itself in that country without comprehending its roots. The U.S. and its NATO alliance has failed miserably and has used that country for its own purposes, far worse than what the British ever did.

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            • Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
              November 23, 2013

              Alas, Margaret we must agree to disagree. I see the regional radical Arabic movements being the driving factor in the blunted growth within Iraq and Afghanistan, not the American efforts to help pull those countries into the 21st century. The US has spent untold man-hours, and expended its resources and funds, to rebuild and reform Iraq and Afghanistan.
              Cross borders, Iran tends to be the boogieman in the development of Iraq; and, Pakistan tends to play that role regarding Afghanistan. The many cells, and splinter cell groups, along with the regional and national conflicting interests, is only exasperated by the age-old religious disputers throughout the region.
              Where US forces were stationed, the Iraqi people were not wanting those forces to vacate their country. Why? Because peace and stability remained only as long as the US soldier remained to guarantee it. Once again, much like post WWII Europe and Japan, the US intervention, after the murderous dictatorship of Saddam, made the US occupation seem like a holiday.
              I venture to offer that it is the flaws of the radical extremists (representing a small but violent portion of the people) preferring a theocratic governance, that continues to tear away at the possibility of democratic rule of law. As Mohammad has pointed out, within the Middle East, the Arab has been his own worst enemy. It is like we say in the US, “I have seen the enemy, and he is us!” Until the Middle East can reach a point where religious zealots are willing to come to the table and participate with their brothers AND sisters, in a responsible and reasonable dialog, there will be no peace in the Middle East. That said, if the US is willing to say in place for a generation or two, stabilization can make its way to the Middle East – that is how long it took in Western Europe and Japan; and, we are still in South Korea. Nonetheless, that point is moot… Americans have grown tired of policing the world.
              Finally, given the picture you paint of US regional influence, it also seems to me wildly beyond reason that so many stable Middle Eastern states overtly request US intervention, over and over, again and again, in the midst of one Middle East crises after another. Recall it was the US that force the French and British out of the Middle East with the Suez intervention. It was the US that interceded in Kuwait to take back and return that nation to its citizens. The US that went back and removed one of the most notorious dictatorships since Hitler and Stalin with Saddam’s defeat. It was the US that the Middle Eastern states cried out to to intervene in Libya; and, it was the US the Middle Eastern states have petitioned time and again to intervene against Iran.
              I am 58 years old… US international influence will not completely collapse in what remains of my lifetime. However, as the US ebbs away, you may live long enough to get your wish and see the power vacuum swing to China and/or Russia. Be careful of what you wish for (getting the US out of the Middle East)… you may awake one day and have your dream fulfilled… along with a return to the dark ages.

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              • Margaret King
                November 23, 2013

                Chip, much of what you say is correct regarding the historical events, but it is the behind-the-scenes activities that are never addressed by the Western viewer. The population turns to radical behavior because they don’t want the U.S. there. It is the autocratic regimes who have asked the U.S. to get involved, because that is what keeps them in power. For the past two decades, the royal family in Saudi Arabia has depended on the U.S. to keep its radicals at bay, because they don’t want to be overthrown. I lived in that country for nine years, and have been very close to members of the ruling families. Everyone knows the regime is terrified of its own people, and that is why they sent OBL to Afghanistan so as to fight his battles against the invaders there and not harm the kingdom. They are afraid of radicals and are afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood because they feel it is a threat to their power. Right now, Saudi Arabia is furious at President Obama because he is not doing their work for them, and it is the competition between them and Iran, with its growing control of the Fertile Crescent, that has alarmed the Saudis. Look what they did to Egypt. The people elected Brotherhood candidates and the Saudis pumped in more money (14 billion dollars) than the U.S. did, just to get the military to overthrow the Brotherhood candidates. So much for democracy! The Saudi government was always very close to the Bush family, and there are lots of books that reveal their intimate connection. It is they who made sure that George W. received the Arab vote in the U.S. The fools elected him, and when he was in power, he invaded their homeland. The trouble with the Arabs is that many have trusted the U.S., but when the U.S. did the opposite of what they expected, it gave rise to radical behavior and anti-U.S. sentiment.

                To say the people asked the U.S. to intervene is not correct. The people have always been afraid of their own regimes, and the U.S. has supported the tyrannical regimes financially, militarily, and with secret prisons to torture civilians. Remember the U.S. gave Saddam Hussein the power to do what he did. They turned against him when he turned against them. A puppet is not permitted to do that. That is how our foreign policy operates. I think you have an idealized impression of U.S. actions. The U.S. will always do what is strategically in their interests, but they mask it with rhetoric that gives the impression that they are doing it to help the people. Their alliance with the Saudis is all about oil, and their actions within the oil companies in the Middle East (of which I have first-hand experience) shows that everything is self-serving. You should have seen how furious they became in the 1980s when the Saudi Arabian government wanted to educate their own people to take over the infrastructure of local oil companies. The U.S. wanted only Americans there, and feared educating the locals.

                The U.S. behavior towards Iran has always been one of hostility because the Iranian people felt they had the right to their own natural resources. They can see U.S. behavior as clear as day, and that is why the U.S. was always referred to as the “great Satan.” The only reason why the Iranians have chosen the path of nuclear development is because they are afraid of the U.S. plots, and can see how the U.S. supports Israel to be America’s “off-shore base” as Noam Chomsky described it. The Iranians feel they need to protect themselves. After all, Israel has over 250 nuclear weapons aimed at all the major Middle Eastern capitals, and no one complains about that. The U.S. provided them with the material needed to produce those weapons. Germany has even supplied Israel with nuclear powered submarines. So what happens if Israel shoots those off and kills millions of Arabs, would the West intervene? Of course not. Israel is untouchable. They will find a way to rationalize their errant behavior. Radical behavior in the Middle East is a reaction to U.S. policies and their duplicitous behavior. As OBL said, “Ask yourselves why we don’t attack Sweden….we attack you because you have invaded us. We kill you because you kill us. Sweden didn’t invade us.” He became radical when he witnessed the U.S. bombing Lebanon indiscriminately from the sea, killing 60,000 civilians in and around Beirut. I just cannot comprehend why the U.S. government or people don’t get why so many people have become radicalized. How forthright could OBL be about the reasons for his radical behavior?

                The friction between Sunnis and Shi’ites (brothers in faith) is a result of the Saudi Arabian government’s deliberate meddling in the affairs of the Shi’ite world. It is about power, who gets to be the most influential in the Middle East, and the U.S. is doing the dirty work for them. There is one thing I learned about the Saudi government: they like to hire others to do their work for them. The U.S. is simply equivalent to a mercenary army for them. The same goes for the Gulf nations. As for Iraq, you seem to glorify the role of the U.S. invasion. Do you actually think they were there to help them? Really??? They just wanted to bring them democracy? Lots of Americans bought that argument to justify U.S. actions. In fact, the concept was an Israeli writer’s idea. The Bush crowd simply used it to convince people that all the Arab World needs is democracy and everything will fix itself. It was the U.S. that provided Saddam Hussein with the chemical weapons to kill the Kurds and provided him with the military arsenal that he used to start the eight-year war against Iran. They encouraged him all the way. They always look for tyrants that they can control, and monitor their behavior to make sure they don’t over-step their bounds. Then when they do, they begin to demonize them. The U.S. government gave the green light to invade Kuwait, and then turned to the Saudis and scared them into thinking Saddam Hussein was going to invade Saudi Arabia next. Poor fools, those Arabs. Always their own worst enemies, as you said. They fell for it, and the U.S. even convinced Saudi Arabia to finance the war. Most of that money came from them, not the U.S. taxpayer. Remember it was there that Timothy McVeigh learned what his country was all about, causing him to become a home-grown radical and blow up an FBI building in Oklahoma. After the Gulf War came a decade of sanctions, where the Iraqi people were dropping dead like flies over lack of food, medicine and basics. And the U.S. cared about their lives? Of course not. It is about strategic interests. To say we went in there to improve their lives is comical. It’s like beating a person nearly to death, and then taking him to the hospital to revive him, saying, “See, I saved your life!”

                I once gave a lecture about the Middle East to 9th graders in a U.S. classroom. I laid out the facts in a power-point presentation, and had someone go over the presentation to be sure the arguments were completely balanced and neutral. When the question session began, those 9th graders got it. They said, “We are not nice people. How do we do that to other people’s countries?” I was stunned with how disgusted they were at their own government. If a ninth grader can comprehend that, how come the average adult in the U.S. doesn’t? Because we are not truthful with them, and we don’t paint the big picture. We distort the story in the media, we change the words so it looks like we are out there doing good, but we can’t succeed because those poor rotten natives are just bad people. I remember how some Americans who first arrived to work in Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s told me that they were shocked at what they found. They said, “We feel we were betrayed by our own country. They lied to us in the media and in our school books.” This is a new era, where we have the internet, and for the first time I see Americans waking up, since they have access to all sorts of news sources. That is why so many people do not want to get involved any more in the Middle East. They feel we have done enough damage.

                You are right, we will never agree. I have traveled all over the world, and spent much of my life in the Middle East, studying it from every angle, and I can see clearly what is happening. That is why I don’t understand anyone from the Middle East asking the U.S. to get involved in its affairs. Somehow they see an idealized version of the U.S., almost like a Hollywood movie. Whatever the U.S. does is in U.S. interests, and that is the bottom line. They are not some glorified international savior.

                Like

                • Mohammad S. Moussalli
                  November 23, 2013

                  Dear Margaret,
                  I tend not to interrupt the running discussion between you and Chip. However, as a friend, I have to say that there were some incorrect data and hence argumentation in your notes. I will highlight only 2 instances :

                  You have noted that” ” He became radical when he witnessed the U.S. bombing Lebanon indiscriminately from the sea, killing 60,000 civilians in and around Beirut”. This is completely incorrect. Firstly, the number is in less than few hundreds and not in thousands, and the U.S. didn’t bombard Beirut, but the mountains where pro-Syrian militant groups ( along the Syrian army) were stationed to target and march on to the presidential palace. Secondly, OLB was in Afghanistan in 1984 fighting the soviet occupation at that time and there were no militant groups who claimed fighting in the name of Islam in Lebanon. It was rather a soviet-Syrian front using a Muslim cover against the American-Arab front using a Christian cover

                  Allow me to say that I think there is nothing wrong when people, groups, nations help each others to overcome a burden, regardless of the nature of the problem, or who helps who. I also believe that there is nothing wrong when two or more countries cooperate to preserve their mutual interests, again regardless of their social differences. I also believe that there is nothing wrong when strong countries help some unable country/s to overcome security threats, Otherwise, why deal with any other nation, just let everybody live alone if they can without trading,transfer of knowledge, money lending,etc.. .The problem of lack of trust and false cooperation between countries stems from adjudging most of the issues from an ideological standing point and/or when one part deplete the other.

                  I wonder why people don’t see it as wrong when the U.S helped to delete the (christian) Nazis and occupied most of western Europe ( or as did in Bosnia), while they see it as evil if it intervened to help somewhere else. Isn’t this an ideological standing point. Yes, it is.

                  Neither the world nor the Middle East will ever have peace unless everybody leaves their ideology at home and deal with others on the basis of preserving mutual interest, moralistic give-and-take, respect of dissimilarities and, most of all,tolerance.
                  Thank you all

                  Like

                  • Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
                    November 23, 2013

                    Agreed, and well stated, Mohammad.

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                  • Margaret King
                    November 24, 2013

                    Mohammad, I stand corrected. I said the U.S. did the bombing when it was Israel that did it, using U.S.-made weapons. As for the figures, I included the wounded. By October 6, 1982, the Lebanese police said 19,085 were killed and 30,302 were wounded, including 6,775 in Beirut where 84 percent were civilians and a third of them children. That is besides Sabra and Shatila.

                    Also, Israel used U.S.-made cluster bombs against civilians in violation of its agreement with the U.S., who said they could only use them in self-defense. Once again, when you are dealing with tyrants, Israel (like Saddam Hussein), could interpret killing civilians as “self-defense.” Israel is a paranoid nation. Within the first two months, the Israelis bombed 5 U.N. buildings, 134 embassies or diplomatic residences, 6 hospitals and clinics, 1 mental institution, the Central Bank, 5 hotels, the Red Cross office, and many homes. Of course President Reagan was upset, but that is what happens when you aid and abet a tyrannical regime. That policy has never ended.

                    As for OBL, I didn’t say he was in Lebanon fighting for global Islam. I said the attacks on Lebanon are what upset him. He saw the U.S./Israeli connection very clearly. OBL did first go to Pakistan in 1979 after the Soviets invaded. He was in essence trained by the CIA. The anti-Soviet jihad had the military, logistical and financial support of several nations organized by the CIA. OBL traveled back and forth to Saudi Arabia during that period to consult with Saudi intelligence about the campaigns in Afghanistan. It was after 1987 that Azzam created Al Qaeda and OBL became actively focused on their agenda. He then channeled his efforts on the global war to protect Islamic countries from invasions.

                    Once again, we have the U.S. aiding and abetting a tyrant, who would turn on his masters. There is something quite warped about such a foreign policy. In a U.S. court of law, when you aid and abet in a crime, you are just as guilty as the person who pulled the trigger. If you sold or gave that person the weapons to do his killing, and you consulted with him the entire time, you are guilty as charged.

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                    • Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
                      November 24, 2013

                      The key to your argument on holding the CIA accountable as a conspirator with OBL, Margaret is “if you consulted with” the murderer, and had foreknowledge of his actions, in the US, you are party to the execution and therefore just as guilty as the executioner. That is not what happened re: the CIA and OBL.
                      OBL was trained and armed to fight the Soviets. The CIA may have been a poor judge of character; however, lest you think they possessed a crystal ball allowing them to see the future, the CIA had no foreknowledge of OBL’s intentions for the post Afghan/Soviet era. That said… your position on what the CIA being responsible for OBL’s actions, verses how you interpret US legal application for criminal action, is seriously flawed.
                      I can agree with you that in some instances the CIA has had some very poor results over the years; however, I offer that for every time the world hears of a failed US intelligence mission/operation… there are dozens of successful ones. Let’s face it, covert operations are cheap and far less involved, politically than would be the case without a strong intelligence arm.

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                    • Margaret King
                      November 24, 2013

                      Chip and Mohammad, I comprehend your arguments, but I still believe that covert actions have a history of backfiring. Of course, no one has a crystal ball, but when you are dealing with a part of the world that you don’t understand, then it is best to be truly neutral and not get involved arming one faction against another. The nation that does that always comes out looking dirty. The Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian involvement and warfare has everything to do with the fact that the U.S. has never been impartial when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Arming the Israelis, protecting them with veto power in the U.N, when they blatantly breach international law, has led to the development of all the radicalization in the Middle East. As for OBL’s statement coming twelve years ago, so what? People in the Middle East have a long memory of injustices, and whether or not one states something in later years when there is podium, doesn’t mean that it was an after thought. OBL said over and over again, that the Palestinian cause was the trigger for all the events that followed. We have heard that coming out of mouths of many people from Morocco to Afghanistan for the past several decades. Why belittle it?

                      As for the figures of the dead and wounded in Lebanon, I happen to agree with the Quran that states that if you kill one person, it is as though you killed all of humanity. There is no rationalization of murder, pure and simple, no matter which side does it. Now Israel and Saudi Arabia are furious about the new deals President Obama is making with Iran. If Israel uses Saudi Arabian air space to attack Iran, which it may very well do, I don’t need a crystal ball to know that the repercussions would be enormous.

                      As for the solutions I suggest, which is what I have suggested in all my posts, is that one should give peace a chance. I don’t think President Obama is wrong in this regard. I think he is navigating the U.S. foreign policy on a new course. The Sunni/Shi’ite divide has to end. It has been going on for hundreds of years, and getting involved arming one side against the other is a flawed policy.

                      Like

                    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
                      November 24, 2013

                      Dear Margaret,
                      With due respect, it seems that your dates and data are mixed up. For instance, in your para” As for OBL, I didn’t say he was in Lebanon fighting for global Islam. I said the attacks on Lebanon are what upset him….” Firstly, When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, none have heard a word from OLB or any another similar group. Secondly, You said yourself that there was no al-Qaeda before 1987 and Abdallah Azzam teachings. where, the U.S. battle ship (New Jersey) bombarded Lebanon’s mountain in 1984. So both dates and events happened while Islamic factions, OLB in particular, were busy in Afghanistan. OLB spelled out his upset message about U.S. and Israeli bombardment of Lebanon after 2001. He made his that statement around 20 years later or so, which means it was a mere propaganda to his actions and nothing else.

                      Again, the toll of death and casualties are much much less than what the Lebanese provided for the international media, recalling that the Lebanese authorities were calling for international peace fire at that time. the toll of death of the whole period between 1974 till 1990 in Lebanon was 150,000, most of which were not killed by foreign hands or enemies, but by the Syrian occupation (lasted for 29 years, Palestinian revolution and Lebanese armed parties.
                      Thank you Margaret. I really appreciate your rich contribution

                      Like

                  • Jide Balogun
                    December 3, 2013

                    I cannot believe that human life is so cheap. Margaret spoke of thousands of people killed, and Moussalli retorted by saying that “the number is in less than few hundreds and not in thousands….” Before speaking for Muslims (or even for Arabs), Moussalli ought to start with the Koran. In the Koran, Allah Almighty tells us that killing just ONE person is virtual crime against humanity.

                    Back to the US role in the Middle East, have we forgotten so soon that it was an Iraqi who ran to Washington DC and pleaded for assistance to rid his country of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction? It later turned out that what the Iraqi National Congress (or whatever its name was) packaged and brought to America was a weapon of mass deception. Ordinary Iraqis are now living with the horrendous consequences.

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                    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
                      December 4, 2013

                      Mr. Balogun,
                      At first, Once again you insist to show your disrespectful attitude. You have to address me as Mr. Moussalli ( and not moussalli) since I’m neither your friend nor your subordinate. Secondly, considering your earlier line of comments and arguments about the subject, I would rather advise you to read more so that to be able to discuss such issue. Anyhow, it seems that you didn’t understand the meaning when I said “Goodbye” to you. So I found myself obliged to say it loud and clear. I’M NOT GOING TO DISCUSS ANYTHING WITH YOU BEFORE YOU APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR WORDS. UNTIL THEN YOU ARE NOT WELCOMED HERE OR THERE.

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                • Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
                  November 23, 2013

                  Margaret, we agree on so much but also disagree on much. The US (no country) makes a decision in foreign policy matters or otherwise, that is not deemed in its own best interests. Forget “for the good of the other guy”. Remember… I am the proponent of “might makes right”. In international relations, there is no pretense of any moral or ethical ‘good deed clause’ to a nation’s actions. It is simply reduced to the best interests of the nation applying the power to exact change. It is a brutal and self-serving process. I do not know where you think I said we went to Iraq to ‘help the people’. I said the people of Iraq wanted the US soldier to remain, because so long as he did so, peace remained. Nothing I said indicated the Iraqi people asked us to invade them.
                  As for the US giving the green light to Saddam to invade Kuwait… that is patently absurd. However, you are correct that the Saudis were expected to pay a disproportionate amount to finance the conflict. At the time, Iraq had one of the largest standing military forces on Earth. the Saudi military force paled in comparison. The US led coalition expected the Saudis to help finance the cost of the conflict. Certainly, the conflict was in the Saudis back yard; and, the cost to coalition forces to move the forces and materials to the battleground was going to be extremely expensive. Saudi Arabia simply played its part in the conflict financially… materially, they were relatively insignificant due to the size of their military force… I see absolutely nothing wrong with this.
                  As for President Bush, regarding Saddam, he removed a ruthless dictator and a destabilizing force in an already unstable region of the world. Perhaps you would have rather we left him alone to continue the torture and terrorizing of his own people and those nations around him. Do not misinterpret my case, however. The removal of the ruthless dictator simply coincided with the best interests of the United States. Saddam was rapidly rearming and was deemed a threat to the vital oil interests of the US. His removal was simply an additional bonus for his people and neighbors. Once the war was won and Iraq occupied, the best interests of the US were served to rebuild Iraq and introduce democratic principles into the Iraqi society… basically, re-balancing of power within the country to allow for shared governance (Kurdish peoples, women, the Sunni and Shiite formula). Along the way, we also rebuilt the country’s infrastructure… unlike the Russians that simply take and steal a conquered nation’s properties, we have in large part rebuilt Iraq’s. Of course, suicide bombers and IED detonations – perpetrated by the Iraqi people against their own (along with Iranian sponsored mischief) – tends to put a crimp in the re-building process. It is almost like, factions within Iraq/Middle East would rather kill their own than attempt to find common ground and live in peace.
                  Anyway, I recognize the US interests are self-serving. I also realize those interests – applied as America has done, historically over and over again – benefits everyone. You seem to blame the Americans for acting in their own best interests; then, rather than thank Providence that the Americans are there, you seem to want to get them out of the region so that the Middle East can just go ahead with the wholesale murder and slaughter that the two sects seem so willing to do. As soon as the US leaves the region to itself, another world power will step in to fill the void (China or Russia)… the dark ages.
                  Here are your four choices:
                  1) The US – They take, rebuild, and offers democratization,
                  2) The Chinese – They take, and oppress,
                  3) The Russians – They take, and rob, pillage, and plunder… and oppress; or,
                  4) The Sunni and Shiites attempt to govern themselves – All foreign powers get out and leaves the Sunnis and Shiites to destroy themselves and shove the world economy into oblivion.
                  Let’s cut-to-the-chase… what’s your choice going to be?

                  Like

                  • Margaret King
                    November 24, 2013

                    Chip, for a change I will avoid being lengthy. I have never said that I prefer China or Russia as alternatives to U.S. intervention. I have simply stated that U.S. involvement has been self-serving and not impartial. I has made serious flawed decisions over the last sixty-five years.

                    As for the U.S not giving the green light to invade Kuwait, there is a difference of opinion regarding that. If you recall that Ambassador April Glaspie had met with Saddam Hussein when the U.S. saw he was massing troops along the southern border. She asked what his intent was, and although there are variations of what exactly she said, and those transcripts are available and declassified, some in the Bush library, it is clear that she said “We do not take positions on border disputes between friendly countries.” “The U.S. has no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts such as disputes with Kuwait.” I think we can agree that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant and a bully. To a tyrant, those words, coming from an ambassador who said she spoke for James Baker, could easily be interpreted as a green light. It is generally agreed that Hussein would not have gone as far as invading Kuwait if he thought the U.S. would put the full force of the military to stop him.

                    If you read “The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq,” by Alan Friedman, it gives the facts and figures of how the U.S. armed Iraq so as to tilt the outcome in their favor in their military struggle against the Iranians. After the Iran/Iraq war, the U.S. became concerned that perhaps Iraq was too well-armed, and began to monitor Hussein’s actions. They were obviously concerned when they saw he was building troops along the Kuwaiti border, and they did encourage diplomatic discussions with Kuwait, but it should be obvious that was not what he was thinking. When you ally yourself with a tyrant, arm him to wage war against a neighbor, Iran, in spite of the enormous casualties, one certainly shouldn’t be surprised if he would expect you to support other military ventures against neighbors. Of course, Hussein would have seen Glaspie’s words as a green light. There are lots of good books on the subject. Another is “Spinning on the axis of evil: America’s war against Iraq” by Scott Taylor.

                    Arming Iraq so they could wage war against Iran, and bring their own country into the dark ages, can never be interpreted as a good thing. The average Iraqi did not want to wage war against Iran. They didn’t want to invade Kuwait. It was a republic of fear. The least we could do is take responsibility for our policy within that country. The U.S. aided and abetted a brutal dictator. Destroying Iraq and returning two decades later to re-build it is hypocritical at best.

                    Like

  7. Dr. Paul "Chip" Hill
    November 20, 2013

    Mohammad,
    I commend you for your willingness to recognize the sorry status of American political will. As an American, a veteran of the US armed forces, a career educator, and a husband and father, I am appalled by the lack of leadership and resolve shown by my country towards the injustices in much of the international community… especially the Middle East.
    The limits of power are finite, and America’s limits also are real; however, the US has shrunk to the status of a spectator who sits back and points of out the injustices of other regimes while bemoaning the fact that someone else needs to do something about it.
    American history is rich in being slow to be drawn into international conflict. World Wars I and II saw the US join in those conflicts well after the start of hostilities… however, that was a different time. News and information arrived in days, weeks, or months. There was no internet, satellites, and no eyes and ears on the ground listening and watching and collecting real-time information (US intelligence services). America of old may have been slow to be drawn into a conflict, but when it acted in the past, it was decisive. America today has no excuse; and, sadly, its actions are anything but decisive.
    I am not fan of Mr. Obama; however, the sorry situation in the US is reflective of a population that elected him – and then returned him to office. The same population that sends a sorry bunch of self-serving congressmen to its nation’s capital to lead and govern.
    Within perhaps another generation, one of two things will happen in the United States. Either America will dissolve and rot, and go quietly into the night to be cast upon the scrap-heap of history; or, they will reinvent themselves in true American fashion – and it will be bloody. Either way, do not look for the US to return to its status of world policeman, anytime soon.

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    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
      November 20, 2013

      I hope that America can revive itself shortly up to reflect the high values of its good people.
      Thank you my friend
      Mohammad

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  8. Margaret
    November 20, 2013

    In the late 1800s, Mark Twain wrote: “The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.” He never thought much of Congress: “…there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Don’t expect high moral standards coming from any U.S. president, and certainly not from a Congress that helps shape our foreign policy according to misguided principles. Looking back at the former U.S. presidents that you named, or even world leaders, they dealt with the issues of their time. President Obama’s issues are a divided country, deeply in debt with no relief in sight, and a populace that is tired of his broken promises and his inability to solve the simplest of challenges like fixing the healthcare website. He promised to close Guantanamo, and those wretched souls are still waiting for him to address their misery. He became an arm chair warrior, responsible for many civilian deaths by drone warfare. Should we expect high moral standards from such a leader? He is no different than any of his predecessors.

    Perhaps President Obama’s legacy will be that he will be like Nero fiddling while Rome was burning. There is a new world power in the horizon (China), and it knows exactly what it wants and is determined to get it. China’s neighbors are learning that it’s best not to expect much from the U.S. Russia has also flexed its muscles and taken note of a weakened world power. In an age of Snowden’s leaked documents and Wikileaks before him, former allies of the U.S. are perturbed by what they have learned about the great Amreeka! The vultures are circling. It is the age of Aquarius, the age of truth. The Middle East should forget about the U.S. and the U.N. That era is long gone. It is time for the Middle East to fix itself. If I were invited to someone’s house and found all the family members fighting with each other, I would just leave. I wouldn’t be able to solve their problems. They would have to do it themselves. Is there anything more ridiculous than Saudi Arabia giving up a seat in the Security Council after struggling for a year to get it? Oh my, rejecting the offer because the Saudi Arabian government represents a higher moral standard surely taught the U.S. a lesson, didn’t it? No one cares about it. It was a lost opportunity, but then don’t try to figure that one out. What major power would want to try to solve the problems of a region notorious for such behavior?

    What is immoral is two political factions of Islam fighting each other and causing civilians to suffer and die horrific deaths. It is immoral to have refugees living in harsh conditions waiting for the madness to end. It is immoral for children to go to bed hungry and cold, while the men go off to kill other men who they deem to be inferior. It is immoral to breach the words of God who asked His people to be united, not divided; to not kill one another intentionally, for they will merit hell; and to not make military alliances with outsiders, for surely it will backfire. And each side thinks it is on the side of truth and justice, and has the moral high ground? I see two sides that are wrong, still waiting for their knight in shining armor to save them from themselves. That knight is not the United States.

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  9. goldenfish
    November 19, 2013

    I would like to make two modest comments on your excellent political analysis article.
    In relation to the President Obama faulty policies, we may need to pay more attention to the role of the Zionist lobby in the complex balance game, without of course exaggerating it. I believe that the US was, and still is, and will continue to be for many years to come a sincere friend to Israel; and to a lesser extent to the Arab “reactionary regimes” who have no other option, anyway, whether they like it or dislike it.
    As for the “Syrian revolution”, I would call it “Syrian crisis” for this might help avoiding falling in the trap of the intended confusion between Jabhat Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda from one side and the real peaceful and democratic revolution of the majority of the Syrian people. Fighting the actual dictator and criminal regime in Syria should not push us to the other side of the hell !

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Mohammad S. Moussalli

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© 2017 Mohammad S. Moussalli; www.middleeasttribune.wordpress.com ------- Sharing, reblogging, excerpts and republication of this material, or part thereof, are permissible PROVIDED that it's clearly attributed to the author with reference to the original publication.
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