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Monday, October 19, 2015

Foreign Policy Armageddon: Obama fiddles as the Middle East burns.

Link: Syria is showplace for Russia's new military.

We keep waiting for the Obama Administration to introduce a flurry of new policy initiatives to counter the aggressive movements made by Russia in Syria and Iraq, but all we get from the Oval Office is diplomatic double-speak.  The fact is, it appears that the job of President no longer interests Barack Obama, and he's just counting down the days until he can become a permanent fixture on the celebrity golf circuit.  Actually, I'm convinced that Obama has one more important presidential decision to make before 2016 comes to an end.  I believe Obama will use Executive Action to provide a direct path to citizenship for up to twenty million illegal aliens living in the United States.
We will hear the tired excuse that Congress is broken and that the American people deserve action.  I guess the American people don't deserve action as far as the Middle East is concerned, regardless of our security concerns and the fact that every country in the region short of Iran is swarming with U.S. intelligence officers, military training specialists, diplomats, aid workers, State Department personnel, evangelists, and last and least, media correspondents.  I can only assume that Europe has its fair share of citizens traipsing around Baghdad, Damascus, Amman and Jerusalem as well.  One interesting development to note about the European nations is their willingness to follow the United States hook, line, and sinker since Barack Obama took office.  I haven't decided if its just another symptom of Obamamania, or fear on the part of the Merkels and the Hollandes that their people would remove them from office if they step out of the Obama line. 

One thing is certain: now would be an ideal time to create a coalition to either oppose Putin's heavy-handedness, or build a military coalition to fight ISIS side-by-side with the Russians.  It would allow the west to reap some of the good press that will result from the squashing of the Islamic State.  How can I be sure that Europe would support an appeal from Obama for some kind of collective response to Russia's heavy-handed military intrusion into Syria?  For the answer, all that is needed is a simple review of every policy move made by Obama since he took office.  Count the times that his initiatives were in the smallest manner opposed or criticized by a European government outside of Hungary; probably never.  Actually, all you need to do is observe how quickly the European leaders suffered "shrinkage" when Putin pushed the envelope on Ukraine.  Obama was quick to announce that NOTHING would make him take steps harsher than sanctions in response to blatant Russian aggression.  Obama provided the Russians with the European, NATO and U.S. strategy in one fell swoop:  regardless of what you do, Mr. Putin, you will never have to deal with anything more uncomfortable than economic sanctions, which in reality will only end up hurting the middle-class and poor in Russia.  Putin with his KGB background has never expressed the slightest sympathy for the average Russian.  Once Putin knew Obama's limits, he announced the permanent annexation of Crimea.  

Back to the Middle East, where President Obama continues to argue that he sits in a position of "strength", and Russia "argues from a position of weakness".  Anyone who makes that statement is trying to convince an audience of something that they themselves know to be untrue.  Obama has been drowning in sycophant bullshit for so long, that he thinks he can get away with anything.  Hell, what am I taking about; he can.  A treaty with Iran that legitimizes their in-your-face effort to obtain a home-brewed nuclear weapon (just like whiskey, home brew is always better than purchased, because if you want more, you can always make it yourself), turns Inspections into an embarrassing waste of time, and gives the Ayatollahs access to buy freely from the world's most modern stockpiles of weapons, is declared a victory by Obama.  Also, he doesn't see any connection whatsoever to the return of ISIS to Iraq and the simultaneous departure of most of the U.S. military personnel.  The Obama Administration's policy vs-a-vis the Arab World is so convoluted, that even the press seems about ready to throw in the towel.   I give Obama some credit; in other regions, including the South China Sea, Obama appears willing to allow the experts to run the show, i.e. the U.S. Navy.  In fact, for some time it appeared that he was determined not to allow the Taliban to regenerate in Afghanistan.  But the Taliban are like cactus; sooner or later, they'll be back.  The key is, when one of those nasty bastards shows his bearded mug in public, he should have a 500-lb bomb dropped in his lap. Considering the number of troops that have been withdrawn from Afghanistan in the last two years, I'm not optimistic regarding the success of the above-mentioned Operation Bomb the Bad Guys.

Russia is running rampant, using Turkey as its roadmap to Syria, eliminating the groups that originally opposed Bashar al-Assad, and making friends in Baghdad by providing intelligence on ISIS to the Iraqi military.  Every step seems well-thought and executed, with the Iranians along for the ride.  The relationship between Tehran and Moscow has become increasingly friendly as the Russians expressed their willingness to sell anything that wasn't cemented down, including nuclear-related goodies.  In my next blog post, we will discuss what Iran hopes to gain from its involvement in Iraq and its evolving partnership with Russia.   

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