At the outset I want it known that I live in the United States and that what follows is intended in the spirit of American fair play and political bi-partisanship!
What will it take for America, and particularly our stunningly naïve (less elegant expletives come to mind) current administration to accept responsibility for the regional disaster its transparent effort to escape the world stage has created in the Middle East? That not only are its efforts to quietly escape responsibility as “the world’s only superpower” short-sighted but the consequences are, for UNITED STATES interests a strategic disaster. Bush decapitated the Tyrant of Baghdad clearly unaware Sadam’s Sunni regime as pivotal role in keeping Shiite Iran in check. We might generously write it off as the Bush Administration asserting America’s muscular last gasp as “superpower.” The administrations efforts to bluff the ayatollah’s into abandoning the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Project for the six years following its great leap forward to Baghdad (Bush & Co never really intended to carry through the threats, something clear from the start to all from Iran to Israel and Arab states between. Overcommitted to two unwinable wars, the trauma of Vietnam still fresh America’s military leaders Gates/Mullen were less than supportive of being tested in yet another war! Nor was Bush likely to give Israel the “threatened” green light since an Israeli attack would immediately threaten the battle-weary US military and other strategic assets across the Gulf. To say nothing of the potential to push the world into a major economic disaster… as if the invasion of Iraq, triggering oil speculation and price-at-the-pump inflation had not already set the stage for the Bush Great Recession.
Along comes America’s replacement for the unstable Bush Administration. Calm, reserved, reflective, cautious: enter Barak Obama the idealist from Middle America with an agenda to end nuclear proliferation and make lions and lambs lie together forever after. And Obama’s first official act in the Middle East is to manhandle Israel following his May, 2009 White House meeting with Netanyahu. The conflict? Over priority: emergent Nuclear Iran or Peace in our time in Greater Palestine? And just to make absolutely clear his dream the new US president took control and ordered Israel to halt all “settlement activity” as precondition, a gesture to Abbas to jump-start peace talks between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Except Abbas and serial Israeli leaders had long engaged in negotiations without said precondition. Any rational adviser with a minimal awareness of this particular negotiation would immediately have known that this demonstration of presidential pique would, rather than open would slam shut any possibility for negotiations. As Abbas said at the time, “if the US says settlement construction is a “prerequisite” can I demand less?” And so, anticipating further forced gestures by Obama he stalled for months until, with weeks to deadline reluctantly agreed to talk on condition Obama’s pre-condition be continued. And that marked the end of this administration’s dream of concluding that which all previous had failed to achieve. The end of America’s role as “impartial mediator” in the Middle East “peace process.”
Obama had yet another strategic, far more regionally significant blunder up his sleeve. Now that Bush freed the Iraqi people from the Tyrant by military force Obama would demonstrate that force and American treasure need not so be wasted… and overthrew Mubarak of Egypt. And the spark that was Tunisia turned into the inferno called the Arab Spring, with Syria the smoldering ember of Obama’s blaze. And through a series of deft if confused further blunders he transformed that hapless country (even leaving out his embarrassing “red line” reversal) into endless civil war pitting Iran’s puppets Assad and Hezbollah against al-Quaeda Islamists.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, Democrats and Republicans, America’s dénouement, the culmination of two presidential full-court efforts committed to the grand ideal of Democracy and freedom for the peoples of Iraq and Egypt and loving thoughts for all Arabs and Israel: the Birth of a Nation! America n efforts have produced, hold on to your seats, the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria!
On Tuesday, 10 June:
Al Qaeda in Iraq (ISIS: Islamist State of Iraq and Syria), captured the northern Iraqi oil city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh Province, Tuesday, June 10, after the Iraqi military defenders caved in and fled [radio reports described “the US-trained Iraqi forces” as abandoning their military uniforms and fleeing the city at news of al-Quaeda’s advance]. Mosul is Iraq’s third largest city after Baghdad and Basra with a population of around two million.
As of Wednesday, 11 June:
they were in control of some 38,000 sq. km. or one-tenth of Iraqi territory – the size of Portugal – and 3.5 million inhabitants, around ten percent of the country’s national population.
“The Islamists also took over the main crossing from Iraq to Syria at Yaaroubiyeh. They rode out of the Mosul battle Tuesday with 260 new armored vehicles of various types – enough to equip a full division – taken booty from the Iraqi army.”
So much for Bush’s more than two trillion dollars borrowed “off the books” funded war to liberate Iraq’s “poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and install an unpopular Shiite-led “democracy” (now allied with Iran). So much for Obama one-upping Bush by replacing his “tyrant” Mubarak with an Islamist regime in Egypt without the use of a single Marines and at virtually no cost to the US treasury.
So much for America’s last great contribution to a safe and sane world ala Obama-the-candidate: hundreds of thousands dead as down payment, millions threatened by an imminent US-all-but-supported Iranian mushroom cloud.
Hopefully America’s replacement and previous Cold War competitor for the region Russia can contain the superpower-created supermess before all the chickens come home to roost!