I accuse President Barack Obama of Destroying Western Interests in the Middle East, Helping Destabilize the Region, and Putting Millions of Lives in Jeopardy
By Barry Rubin
Think of how outrageous my headline is:
“Destroying Western Interests in the Middle East, Helping Destabilize the Region, and Putting Millions of Lives in Jeopardy”
Do you think that’s extremist, crazy, can’t be true because you’re not seeing that stuff in the New York Times? You must be a right-wing Republican, you say?
No, just a serious Middle East analyst.
On the tenth anniversary of September 11, almost three years after Obama’s election is the suitable time to confront this issue honestly and fully. So consider fairly and honestly the list of points below.
Egypt: Obama supported a revolution overthrowing a U.S. ally—rather than a smooth transition replacing the dictator and instituting some reform without dropping the entire regime—disregarding State Department advice and not even consulting with Jordan, Israel, or Saudi Arabia! He also unilaterally announced his readiness to see the Muslim Brotherhood in power. His analysts denied that the Brotherhood is a radical, anti-American Islamist organization that supports terrorism. The resulting dangerous crisis, including Egypt becoming a new type of Iran, is now clear to all.
Israel-Palestinian Peace Process: By distancing himself from Israel, removing all pressure from the Palestinians, unilaterally proposing a freeze of Israeli construction on settlements, and repeatedly messing up the effort to restart negotiations, Obama made the peace process situation worse. His failure to handle properly the Palestinian UN unilateral independence bid has put U.S. policy in a terrible mess, with an American veto leading to large-scale anti-Americanism and probable violence both by Palestinians against Israel and by Muslims against the United States.
Israel: The damage the Obama Administration did to Israel was not in bilateral relations or even in the “peace process” but by its role in the deterioration of the regional situation to a dangerous extent. As a result, the two most powerful regional powers that had decent relations with Israel–Egypt and Turkey–turned around 180 degrees; Hamas rule was entrenched in the Gaza Strip; Hizballah’s rule in Lebanon. That’s four of Israel’s “neighbors” that became effectively hostile while the Obama Administration didn’t even notice. As the level of threat rose, U.S. political-diplomatic support for Israel declined.