October 25, 2012
No Matter Who Wins, The Islamist Threat Won't Go Away
An excellent article by Michael Totten who reminds us all that no matter who is President, the threat of those wishing to unite mosque and state will remain:
Everything the United States does is viewed with suspicion across the political spectrum. Gamal Abdel Gawad Soltan, the director of Egypt's Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, admitted as much to me in Cairo last summer when I asked him about NATO's war against Gadhafi in Libya. "There is a general sympathy with the Libyan people," he said, "but also concern about the NATO intervention. The fact that the rebels in Libya are supported by NATO is why many people here are somewhat restrained from voicing support for the rebels." When I asked him what Egyptians would think if the U.S. sat the war out, he said, "They would criticize NATO for not helping. It's a lose-lose situation for you."Read the whole thing.
So we're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't. And not just on Libya. An enormous swath of the Arab world supported the Iraqi insurgency after an American-led coalition overthrew Saddam Hussein. Thousands of non-Iraqi Arabs even showed up to fight. Yet today the U.S. is roundly criticized all over the region for not taking Assad out in Syria.
I don't blame Obama for screwing up the Middle East. The place was screwed up before and so shall forever remain. What I really blame Obama for is that his first instincts are always to blame America first.
If that's your default position, then you shouldn't be the President.
But I have fairly low expectations for the Romney Administration when it comes to fixing the Middle East. The best we can hope for is moral clarity on who the bad guys are, and prayers that President Romney will come to the conclusion that the rest of us have and just give up.
Lest this be taken as somehow advocating an abandonment of Israel, let me remind you what American intervention has gotten Israel in the past: stopping them from complete victory over their enemies.
What Israel needs is moral support. Romney will give them that. What they don't need is an "ally" telling them to withdraw every time they have their enemies on the ropes, and which insists they can't bomb the country threatening their annihilation should it ever get the bomb.