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Policy Meltdown
Free Fall in the Middle East
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  • iconoclast

    “…we’re one agreement away from a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran…”

    That would be the agreement that allows the mullahs to continue development, refinement and work on delivery systems for nuclear weapons, right? That certainly is game-changing, though maybe not in the way Americans and our allies would wish.

    • Peter Miller

      And let’s not forget that Iran’s destabilizing efforts throughout the region, along with its ballistic missile programs, are not even on the table for discussion.

  • Anthony

    Strategy is based on reality and not doctrine: csis.org/publications/america-saudi-arabia-and-strategic-importance-yemen

  • Suzyqpie

    In every country where Muslims are in the minority, they are obsessed with minority rights.
    In every country with a Muslim majority, …..there are no minority rights.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Very insightful in a few words. We wish that Islam was a philosophy tended to “live and let live”, but that is not its teaching, EXCEPT in places where there is no possibility of it having enough of a majority to actually coerce everyone else.

      • Suzyqpie

        Sans Islam, Somalia, et al, could be a wealthy prosperous countries. They have miles of undeveloped shoreline just ripe for condos, water parks, mini-golf, DisneySomalia, deep sea fishing tour companies, all of the best of Florida or California. OK agree some of FL & CA are a mess, but the mess of FL & CA provide for the economic opportunity for Somalia, et al.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Last we heard, the sea activity was mostly “Pirate Adventure”.

        • Black_Saint

          Calif. is looking more like Mexico every day. In a few more years it will be impossible to recognize where mexico ends and calif begins.

          • disqus_mfERPWUv3H

            Victor Davis Hanson wrote a piece about a year ago describing just what you posted Black_Saint:
            “Do We Want Mexifornia?”
            http://www.city-journal.org/html/12_2_do_we_want.html

          • valwayne

            If we could guarantee all the left wingers in CA couldn’t leave I’d say give it back to Mexico before it can help foist more nation destroyers like Obama and Nancy Pelosi on the rest of us.

    • Grunt

      The same can be said about progressives.

    • ibeeducky

      Yours is a very, very astute comment!

    • royw

      Post of the month.

  • Frank Natoli

    I do recall, October 2008, all the Democrats, some of them close relatives of mine, insisting that “cowboy George Bush” was the cause of all Middle East turmoil and why America was hated world wide, and how Barack…Hussein…Obama was going to fix all that.

    In the immortal words of Jackie Gleason, “how SWEET it is”.

    • dogged

      Six and one-half years later, Obama sings the same tune. Uncanny.

  • Lyle7

    Game changing, legacy-supporting deal is so terribly right. The very best lead us.

  • jeburke

    The obvious, overarching strategic principle that ought to be guiding US policy in the Greater Middle East is opposition to extremism generally and terrorism in particular, whether associated with Sunnis or Shiites, states or non-state actors. There is no particular contradiction between opposing or fighting ISIS in Iraq, Houthis in Yemen and both ISIS and Assad in Syria. The Obama administration’s obsession with pursuing a rapprochement with Iran, author of so much extremism and terrorism, makes both strategic clarity and American interests unattainable. And the obsession clearly comes from Obama personally. Various present and past high Obama officials like Kerry, Clinton, Panetta and Petraeus are not naive or stupid.

    • wigwag

      I actually think that Kerry is a bit of a dim bulb, but the rest are not.

      • azt24

        I also question whether Obama or Acting President Jarrett is the author of the Iran policy. Note that this weekend is supposedly the deadline for arriving at a framework. The whole world is watching the talks in Lausanne. So what is Obama doing? He’s gone golfing for two days. I get the feeling he’s not really in the loop.

      • Nick

        Clinton is a schemer, but not filled with vision.

        Panetta and Patraeus are both patriots, and are indeed smart men.

    • Peter Miller

      The obsession is due to sharing the same goals and ensuring that American power, prestige and influence is destroyed. There can be no other logical conclusion at this point.

  • wigwag

    Now that Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid is retiring, it should be great fun watching his heir apparent, Chuck Schumer dancing around President Obama on the Middle East. Reid has endorsed Schumer to replace him and has announced that he expects Schumer to run unopposed for Minority Leader.

    Schumer has always been a strong supporter of Israel. In fact, back in 2006 when George W. Bush nominated John Bolton to be our Ambassador to the United Nations, Senator Schumer was Bolton’s most enthusiastic Democratic advocate. In the end, the Democrats, decided to filibuster Bolton’s nomination and he never got the job. Of course, the John Bolton in question is the very same John Bolton who advocated bombing Iranian nuclear installations in an op-ed in the New York Times earlier this week. See,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/opinion/to-stop-irans-bomb-bomb-iran.html

    The timing of the whole thing is also very curious. Just yesterday, Senator Schumer announced that he was co-sposoring the Corker-Menendez legislation which would mandate a congressional vote before sections on Iran could be lifted by the Obama Administration. Of course, Obama fiercely opposes the legislation and has threatened to veto it. The optics of the new Senate Minority Leader co-sponsoring a bill that a president of his own party opposes with every fiber of his being is quite entertaining. Given how close Schumer and Reid are, it seems certain that Schumer knew the Reid retirement announcement was coming and he decided to announce his co-sponsorship of Corker-Menendez anyway. Could this be an indication that enough other Democrats are going to jump ship and vote to override a presidential veto? It could very well be.

    It is true, that assuming that he is elected as the Democratic Leader, Schumer’s term won’t coincide with Obama’s; Reid will continue in his position until the end of Obama’s term. Nevertheless the fact that a strong advocate for Israel will be the leader-in-waiting for the Democrats in the Senate can’t be viewed as good news in the Obama White House.

    It will be interesting to see if Obama tries to pull the same thing on Schumer that he pulled on Netanyahu; use the influence of the White House to insure someone else is elected. It didn’t work in Israel; who knows if it would work with Senate Democrats? The only logical alternative to Schumer is Obama loyalist, Richard Durbin, from the President’s home state of Illinois. The problem for Durbin is that to take back the Senate the Democrats will need to raise a lot of money; Schumer is a money-raising machine. Durbin, not so much.

    Obama may be losing his luster with foreign leaders, with the pundit class and maybe even with foreign policy elites. When it comes to his political allies in the Senate, things may look equally bleak for our overmatched Commander-in-Chief.

  • FriendlyGoat

    OR,……..instead of free fall, we might see a growing result of some Islamic nations banding together—-with Israel even—-to promote some sense in the region. What would Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the gulf states do, for instance, if they concluded that the USA isn’t going to do much of anything. What if the whole area is left to oppose its own radicals and oppose its own Iran?

    That may not be our actual policy, but if the players conclude they might be on their own, what do they do? Free fall or stand up?

  • Anthony

    Here’s an additional point of view vis-a-vis Middle East policy analysis:

    “A new order must eventually develop in the region in order for the horrors that plague the nightly news to eventually be stopped. Yet as with the Thirty Years’ War, it is unlikely that the eventual outcome can be achieved until the region endures its own long, hard slog through a civilizational, inter-communal, and geo-political conflict….Hope cannot substitute for strategy….”

    “…Ultimately, this is what a statesman does rather than pander to transient, emotional, and often misguided, public opinion. It is well past time for the United States to reconsider its entire approach to the Middle East. I t is time to look at our Core National Interest and take actions in accordance with them, rather engage in dangerous illusions that the present tragedy in the Middle East can some how be avoided if only we leadership.” nationalinterest.org/feature/divide-conquer-richelieus-playbook-the-middle-east-12441?page=3

    • Peter Miller

      First we must decide by careful analysis if this should be our strategy. Next must have a plan to manage and nurture it rather than create a power vacuum. So far our stated goals are far different, our strategy is non-existent and our management is absent and out to lunch

      • Anthony

        We have decisions to make as an inform populace what U.S. interests are in M.E. going forward. If interested see CSIS link below on M.E.

  • wigwag

    Another Obama shipmate, Leon Panetta, heads for the life boats.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/237086-panetta-urges-obama-to-repair-netanyahu-relationship

    • Curious Mayhem

      Yeah, Panetta has been quietly saying this stuff for a couple years, as has Chuck Hagel. They’re just louder now.

  • Angel Martin

    “But amid the confusion, some experts said that there cannot be an overarching American policy in the Middle East at the moment.”

    but there is an overarching American policy, it is:

    “a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran”

    • theresanursemom

      The Obama Middle East policy is one of throwing ever larger chunks of fecal matter into the proverbial fan.

      • MLN

        You obviously have not been watching the new lately, bucko. The Arab Joint Force? Mean anything to you? OR are you just blind to improvements in the region under a democratic president?

        • Oddstar7

          You meant the Arab Joint Force that was just announced? The one that hasn’t actually done anything yet? What makes you think that it will be able to improve the situation? If it does, is there any reason to attribute that success to the “[D]emocratic [P]resident”? I guess you could argue that his neglect of the situation prompted cooperation by the Arab states opposed to Iran.

    • Grey Sailor

      sure…it gives them the bomb…that will certainly change the game…

    • Peter Miller

      In other words, the perennial pursuit of the White Rabbit.

  • melk2

    And this is why Obama and his MSM focus on………Netanyahu!
    Magicians refer to this as misdirection. It can work really well.

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      For awhile. Wait till Iran uses one of its newly developed bombs on us.

      • MLN

        You are a fool. Have no idea what Iran will be doing in the future. Primarily because you probably don’t even think the economic policies against iran have been working. But then you probably don’t read real news either.

        • XSANDIEGOCA

          You would be wrong.

        • Bcrew

          They’ve worked great if you are a terrorist supporter. Iran has continued to work towards getting nukes. You are the fool. You are comically naive.

        • Oddstar7

          If you think the sanctions on Iran are working, can you explain how Iran has the wherewithal to support, apparently with real success, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Baathish government in Syria, and the Shiite militia in Iraq, to say nothing of Hezbollah and Hamas? How can it be that the sanctions are doing so much damage to the Iranian economy as to cripple the Iranian nuclear program without noticeably weakening Iran’s ability to project power across the Middle East?

    • Peter Miller

      He does it because it’s been his profound hope since assuming office to sever ties with Israel and establish ties with Iran.

  • Ellen

    How about an elementary question, here. Who precisely are the “senior officials” that Obama trusts, Prof. Mead, who have helped shape this disaster of a foreign policy? Is this meant to refer to Valerie Jarrett, who has no foreign policy credentials at all except living in Teheran as a child? Or how about Ben Rhodes that yuppie Metternich, whose expertise is a Master of Fine Arts in writing fiction, from NYU. Or would it be the long-faced John Kerry whose only accomplishment as Senator of Massachusetts was to get the fire hydrant removed from in front of his Beacon Hill townhouse, so his ketchup heiress wife can park her huge SUV without having to walk 30 steps to the front door?

    Has there ever been assembled in any White House such a collection of intellectual zombies, ideological weirdos, and clueless ivory tower, nonpublished, nontenured professors? None of these people could manage their way out of a paper bag, let alone through the byzantine conflicts in the ancient lands of the Near East, where rivalries run into the thousands of years, not just a 4-year election cycle.

    • Peter Miller

      I would substitute common sense and a basic understanding of history and human nature for all of our so-called experts, most of whom are little more than ideological enablers. Where are the Kissing erstwhile and Bakers?

      • Nick

        No more Bakers, please.

        • disqus_mfERPWUv3H

          Baker was correct on many things. His analysis on the ME is coming to pass. Look it up.

          • Nick

            Ha! His plan of 2006(?) helped lead to this. Obama has been living that ever since. So I suppose he is guilt of a self fulfilling prophecy.

    • libertasdon

      Elllen, I must remind you that your critique has ignored several giants of international diplomacy — Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice. And you may wish to contemplate the invaluable contributions of the Hah-vud lady, Samantha Power.

      • Ellen

        Nice mentions. “Genocide” Sam should be mortally embarrassed that she has presided over the largest slaughter of a group of people since WWII, with the Syria non-policy of Obama, given that her seminal contribution to the academic literature is the notion that governments shouldn’t allow genocidal behavior to dominate their political legacies. Apropos of that, Obama’s Syria policy may be about to blow up entirely, as Al Nusra and its affiliates seem to be on a roll and have just conquered the provincial capital of Idlib in Northern Syria. The Syrian government – under the tutelage of Iranian general Soleimani – may be on the verge of collapse after 4 years of attrition in war. Not only will this be an ungodly mess, but it will disprove the entire Obama-Jarrett-Rhodes thesis that Iranian influence will be a force for stability. The biggest root cause for the rise of Nusra and ISIS is Iranian Shiite imperialism.

        Meanwhile, back at the UN Security Council cloak room, they are planning another resolution condemning the Cohen family in a settlement in the Judean Hills, for adding a second bathroom to their modest house. The second bathroom counts as being illegal, on the grounds of some resolution passed long ago. Important things always come first for Genocide Sam and her colleagues.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Obama is the worst President in American History, this has Jimmy Carter grinning from ear to ear.

    • Suzyqpie

      Starting 1/20/17 0bama replaces Jimmy Carter as the worst X President in American History.

    • Peter Miller

      Carter did not do it deliberately.

      • azt24

        Carter put the skids under the Shah deliberately because he considered Khomenei a holy man. We are still paying the price for that decision.

    • royw

      As brain-dead as Carter obviously was, I never doubted he loved his country and wanted the best for her.

      Big difference.

  • Curious Mayhem

    First, permanently cancel all of your subscriptions to Obama’s free propaganda mill, starting with the Times.

    Next, force Kerry to resign, or impeach him.

    Then we decide what to do about and with Obama.

    • royw

      I agree. But you’re dreaming, my friend.

      The first black president of the United States is simply untouchable.

      • Curious Mayhem

        Maybe so. But, as I’ve said before about dealing with clinical narcissists in positions of power, you can deprive him of his enablers and helpers.

  • joules48084

    I would offer that much of the chaos in the Middle East is best understood in view of Obama being “Gremlin-in-Chief!”

    • Suzyqpie

      Agree, leading from behind is, well, just not working out that well.

  • Doug Santo

    I wish I could feel joy at the utter failure of Obama Administration foreign policy—domestic policy too, in my opinion—but I can’t. America is my country and I love her dearly. The mistakes and misjudgments by the Obama Administration are having significant negative effects on the U.S. and our historic allies. It will take years to fix the problems and set things back on some sort of stable path. America cannot look away and let the chips fall as they may. We have definite strategic interests in the Middle East. The only positive thing resulting from 6 plus years of bumbling incompetence appears to be that our former gulf Arab allies have reached some level of rapprochement with Israel, who the Arab states now view as a stable partner in the power vacuum created through American weakness. How Obama was elected to a second term, is beyond me.

    Doug Santo
    Pasadena, CA

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      Very well stated.

    • Peter Miller

      What is more remarkable is that the 45% or so of those who support him has remained relatively stable and think things are going great! What does that tell us about the future.

      • azt24

        It tells us that they hear no news but the MSM top-of-the-hour headlines, and care only if it can be tied to their own pocketbooks.

      • royw

        In fact, a recent poll found 87% of democrats think Obama’s presidency has been a “success.”

        Mind boggling.

        • Peter Miller

          I think from their perspective it has been. The fault for anything that has gone wrong or not as planned, in their minds lies with GWB, Republican obstructionism or FoxNews.

      • dogged

        Gruberization

        • Peter Miller

          But from the Democratic point of view lies were only told to stupid Republicans, rednecks and assorted idiots to dumb to know what’s good for them. Elites like Gruber, they believe, deserve to lead us to the Promised Land.

    • valwayne

      Let’s hope we can repair the damage Obama has done. He’s got 21 more months to damage us more, and he’s hurt our country so badly we may be in an irreversible decline.

      • MLN

        With the stock market at all time highs. The unemployment rate nearing a complete rebound. The number of health care uninsured at an all time low. The immigration barriers well established for undocumented folks coming across either border at an all time low. Thanks for Obama would be in order. But I bet you don’t see those “finer points” of a good president.

        • Civilgeek

          All of this was done by the work of American’s who still work with sweat on their brow and in defiance to an Administration which has done nothing to promote the achievements you state. The achievements were accomplished in the slowest recovery ever from a recession by Patriotic American’s in defiance of Obama’s policies which have done nothing but add uncertainty and costs to american businesses. As a business owner I despise this administration and its continued twisting of facts.

        • Bcrew

          With a stock market propped up by the Fed, 11+% real unemployment, record non-participation, record number on welfare, low growth, low wages, and high debt, not to mention a disastrous foreign policy, you obviously don’t know the obvious signs of a failed presidency.

        • Oddstar7

          Again, I just want to be clear on this, are you just trying to score debating points, or are these things you actually believe? Do you really believe that the economy is doing just fine? That the job market really has recovered? Do you also really believe that the economic recovery is unusually slow by historic standards? Do you really think that the reduction in illegal immigration is the result of “immigration barriers” as opposed to the weak job market?

    • MLN

      Well, Doug, your inability to see how Obama won a second term, is probably just the tip of the iceberg for your ability to see how the Middle East is being pressured to do what they should have done years ago. Thank Obama for the Arab Joint Force, bucko.

      • Bcrew

        Wow Obama’s policy in the Middle East is beyond disastrous. You can’t be serious.

      • Oddstar7

        Just to be clear, the current situation is your idea of things going well? As far as you are concerned, everything is going according to plan in the Middle East?

  • jake

    What we see happening in the region suits Obama’s real policy. In his view, the U.S. has no real moral authority to be the dominant power in the region. He believes that a dominant Iran will enforce stability in the region. This policy objective explains his negotiating posture with Iran, his support for Iran’s lead role Iraq, and our posture with respect to Syria, Israel and Egypt.

    • Peter Miller

      It’s not just the ME, but the entire world. If you live in NYC and know liberals well you get to understand that their profound hope is to diminish American power and influence which they believe is illigitimate and the source of ills throughout the globe.

  • jake

    In other words, what some see as chaos, Obama sees as the changing of the guard. Of course, his worldview has been thoroughly tested in the faculty lounge.

    • royw

      Exactly. When “faculty-lounge thinking” faces the real world, the left’s unicorns turn out to be fire-breathing dragons.

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    Something tells me America is going to be very badly mugged by reality in the next 22 months.

    • disqus_mfERPWUv3H

      Unfortunately about half of America wouldn’t know “reality” if it hit them upside the head.

  • rlhailssrpe

    I am reminder of the Free Fall joke. A suicider leaps from the top of a tall building and as he passes each floor he comforts himself, “So far, so good.”

    This is our foreign policy in the middle east. It is worse than not funny; it may not be survivable. Certainly our regional allies are scrambling for their very existence. Can anyone survive a nuclear armed terrorist? We may find out. A hard landing is coming. It is the result of a super power made impotent by leaders who do not have a clue what to do.

    • Peter Miller

      Excellent analogy.

      • Curious Mayhem

        I think the physicist Richard Feynman once said that about nuclear weapons never being used again after the first two times. We’re just falling from a very tall building and, so far, everything’s fine.

  • obadiah_edomite

    It’s all the fault of president zero! If he would just bomb and invade Iran, peace and order would be restored. Unity in Iraq, democracy in Syria, prosperity in Egypt and lion Palestine lying next to lamb Israel. President Cruz/Walker/Carson/Rubio will not hesitate to bomb and invade Iran.

    • Peter Miller

      The constant liberal straw man: it’s either inaction or war. It’s not just what to do in the future but not having a strategy, plan or leadership in the first place and making the wrong decisions these last 6.5 years that have got us,to this terrible juncture. Everything conservatives warned about has come to pass. Everything predicted as the outcome of Dumbicil’s policies has instead turned out to be exactly the opposite!

      • obadiah_edomite

        My general political position is that it’s time for a change. Works most of the time. Weekly Standard has the same politics most of the time too. They like war. Weekly Standard has more influence than me. War offers many profitable avenues for too many people for someone like me to matter. I am awaiting the path to peace through war that will be laid out by VDH in the Weekly Standard.

  • Floyd R Turbot

    Can anyone make sense of Obama’s policies that concern the Middle East?
    – We are assisting Iran in Iraq.
    – We are resisting Iran in Syria.
    – We were essentially 86ed out of Yemen by Iran.
    – We won’t support our only ally in that neighborhood, the Kurds.
    – Ditto Egypt and Israel.
    As the little boy said in the joke regarding a pile of manure: “There must be a pony in there somewhere!” I sure hope that the smartest president that we have ever had finds that pony real quick, before that pile of manure comes crashing down on the rest of us.

    • azt24

      Correction: we are not resisting Iran in Syria at all. We made a deal with Iran to aim our bombs only at ISIS, leaving Assad free to aim his guns at the more moderate forces who should have been our allies for the last three years. We do not target Assad at all.

  • Don Basson

    Obama’s policy is a success. He wants to ally America with Iran, so the fact that Iran and its terror proxies have taken control of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen is evidence of success, not failure. The fact that he is hellbent on negotiating a deal in which Iran will most assuredly become a nuclear power is another Obama success. Where he’s had setbacks are in Egypt (where the people and army recoiled at Obama’s buddies the Muslim Brotherhood) and in Israel, where the voters rejected the idea that Obama is their friend who will take care of them. But in the big picture, a nuclear armed Iran with control of a large swath of the Middle East will be evidence of Obama’s success.

    • Peter Miller

      Precisely. Then it’s on to ensuring that the NATO alliance is destroyed.

      • azt24

        Destroying NATO will be easy. Just do nothing when Putin moves into Estonia, a NATO member. Obama is great at doing nothing.

        • dogged

          Just look at the map: There’s a red line between Estonia and Russia—soon to be known as an “Obama border”.

  • Jason Mayo

    I am beginning to feel that Obama wants the Middle East to collapse. I have tried giving him the benefit of the doubt; however, I recently watched his “pastor” of 20 plus years, Jeremiah Wright, go off on my country and am truly unsettled that Obama could sit in a pew listening to this cretin. If you haven’t seen some of his sermons, check them out on YouTube. I think they all want our country to collapse and the ME is ground zero for the coming apocalypse. How else to explain Obama’s confused response to an inflamed ME-abandoning Iraq and Afghanistan, while stupidly proclaiming success in Yemen, Libya et al?

    • Peter Miller

      It was obvious since the publication of his phony biography.

    • pnkearns

      Jason Mayo: I am beginning to feel that Obama wants America, the Middle East and most of the globe to collapse.

    • disqus_mfERPWUv3H

      All the information on Obama was out there during his first election campaign. The enamored lapdog press wouldn’t take any of the truth seriously, so here we are 6 years later with the world and US upside down in every respect.

    • dogged

      Clearly the ME is accelerating towards a general regional war—Sunni vs. Shiite with some vicious fanatics doing the dirty work.
      If Iran gets nukes, WW III may well be on the horizon.

  • SyberPhule

    Nobel Peace Prize for creating more death, destruction and misery the world over in the shortest time possible.

    Hell, even the Clinton’s and Bushes didn’t rack up these kinda numbers (Rwanda, GW1 & 2).

    • royw

      My prediction? Obama will get another one for his “peace in our time” with Iran.

      Just watch.

  • Black_Saint

    First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet.

    He is a pathological liar and piles lies on top of lies to the public, refuses to enforce laws, ignores the Constitution, in-flames race relations and urges Latino,s to punish Republican “enemies.” He abandons our ­allies, appeases tyrants, coddles ­adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast. Obama has proven to be a friend to our enemies and a enemy to our friends.

    • Rod

      What say you then about the Senate Democrats, without whose support he would easily be impeached?

      We need just 13 of them, but can’t find even one yet. Says a lot, no?

  • tps

    Again, the point is missed, or at least goes unmentioned.

    We have no way to know whether the Middle East is in “free fall” unless we know the objective of Obama’s policy. How can you measure results until you know what the intent was in the first place? Is the administration really this inept, this stupid, this (pardon the pun) “JV”? What does it all look like if you step back, look Obama’s close friends, allies, and mentors, and their beliefs, and then examine EVERY MAJOR decision in that light? When you do that, does not Occam’s Razor (all things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one) give us the answer?

    Just like his domestic policy is designed to weaken and “fundamentally transform” America (his words–and do you fundamentally transform something you love?), you can only do this completely by weakening our allies, and strengthening those who wish us ill–and with whom he has an obvious affinity.

    Wait until this man and his acolytes leave office. We are going to learn a lot more about them and their past then we know today.

    • royw

      Test.

      Occam’s Razor.

      Middle name: HUSSEIN.

  • Easyst17

    Ross Douthat wrote a piece in the times talking about a strategy of ‘offshore balancing’

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/opinion/sunday/ross-douthat-the-method-to-obamas-middle-east-mess.html?ref=opinion

    The outcome of that looks a lot like a powergrab by Russia and Iran, because when some offers you a Cornetto, why not? Saudi Arabia, Israel and umm, the smoldering remains of the Yemeni government appear to be taking matters into their own hands. Honestly the start of WWI was a lot less crazy then what we have right now.

  • Jerome Ogden

    We are Iran’s ally in Iraq and Syria, bombing their Sunni enemies, and we are Iran’s enemy in Yemen, helping the Sunnis to bomb their Shia militia.

    Obama’s Middle East policy can be most accurately described as a “quantum superposition foreign policy,” allowing simultaneous opposition to and support for a particular regime or militia. Or maybe a “Schroedinger foreign policy” would be more succinct.

    • MARK, Farmingdale

      It is alleged that late in life Schroedinger said that ‘he wished he never met that cat’. Me? I wish that I never had cause to hear of Obama.

      • dogged

        Schrodinger’s cat had the last word: “Life’s a 50/50 proposition.”

  • JohnnyClams

    The Ahabs are the neo-conservative millenarians who think there is something for us in the Middle East. The great white whale is the force of nature there that absolutely resists modernizing or westernizing according to their fantasy.

    If conservatives don’t get out of the war-mongering mentality when it comes to the Middle East, they are going to lose the next election.

  • themaskedblogger

    “Nobody should be surprised by this, but nobody should miss the most
    important point here: even the President’s ideological fellow travelers
    can no longer mount a cogent defense of his Middle East policy.”

    Now, there’s the word with the bark on.

  • disqus_mfERPWUv3H

    How many of us knew in 2008 what a disaster this President would be? Little did we know just how much of a disaster. It’s sad and terrifying at the same time.

    • royw

      My expectations for Obama’s presidency were as low as I ever thought I could feel for an American head of state.

      I had no idea he was not only dangerously incompetent, naive, and juvenile, but pernitious as well.

  • lcseven

    The Obama administration has an ace up thier sleeve………..
    Why is Syria imploding? Answer: George W. Bush
    Why is ISIS spreading all over the Middle East? Answer: George W. Bush
    Why has Russia taken over Crimea? Answer: George W. Bush
    Why has Hillary used her own Email Server? Answer George W. Bush
    Why is sea level rising? Answer: George W. Bush
    Why haven’t you paid your electric bill this month? Answer: George W.Bush
    How intelligent is the typical American Voter? Answer: as intelligent as Barack Obama

  • Bernd_Harzog

    Government first progressive liberals in charge who lie to us and force us to do their bidding are the best things possible for the conservative movement. Liberal policies on the part of the Obama Federal government have now wiped out most of the Democratic bench in the States.

    Their victories are indeed self serving and fleeting. Let them stew in their own juices.

    I only hope that we can rescue this great nation from their deprivations before it is too late.

  • royw

    Gee, who would have thought a “community organizer” could screw up something as simple as politics in the Middle East?

  • ibeeducky

    The current occupant of the White House has messed up the entire world as well as this entire country. Hopefully we and the world will someday recover.

  • valwayne

    Obama is the most disastrous and Incompetent President in our entire history. Everybody knows it but the left wing slime at the NYT and on the left won’t say it because that would be admitting that the most extreme left wing President in our history is an utter and complete disaster for our nation and the world. They have put their own ideology before the the security and safety of the nation and the world. They would rather watch the world and our nation burn than admit what we all can see. That Obama is the worst and most damaging President in our history. Obama isn’t just worthless. He is an active menace.

  • MLN

    ?”Policy Meltdown”? WRM has no clue what has happened and is happening in the middle east. Not reading his tea leave very well, I see. The Arabs plan for a joint force, is exactly what the region needs, and without Obama’s help it never would have come about. The joint force will be a force with some logistical support from the US. But, finally, it will be Arabs working over the Arab region, and not some fine pointed WRM sanctioned golbdygook about how the West can make things happen. We proved the inverse with the hapless Bushies. Now we see the advantage of a president who knows where to put the pressure.

    • Rod

      Wow! I guess they make those rose-colored glasses for absolutely any occasion.

      Wonder which side we’re going to offer that “logistical support” to? The way things have gone so far, probably both.

  • https://twitter.com/SlidinDelta SlidinDelta

    On this Middle East crisis and Obama’s creative hand in creating and sustaining this mess, the great MSM is simply a drug dealer that’s resigned to bleeding to death in the bath tub.

  • dogged

    To complete the analogy: If “President Ahab” is embodied by BO, pray tell who gets to play the Great White Whale in this tale’s finale?

    • Rod

      I’d nominate America as the whale he’s been trying to subdue, so that he can pave the way for the global government that all liberals, no, all Progressives, seem to want today.

      As with Ahab, he’s done damage but will fail in his quest. The whale is more than he counted on.

  • Rafael130

    Deliberate subversive Obama strategy or just incompetence? Hard to be sure.

    • Curious Mayhem

      Coincidence or conspiracy? Or something more sinister? 🙂

  • doramin

    And Josh Earnest was on George Stephanopolous proudly proclaiming that OBAMA had organized the Arab Coalitions against ISIS and against the Houthis!

    Just keep smiling and confidently telling us the moon is made of green cheese…that’s the favorite democrat debating tactic.

  • Rod

    The author’s point is meaningless as long as the Senate Democrats remain a bulkhead against impeachment. We need thirteen of them but, so far, not a one has had the courage to concede that our President is behaving both lawlessly and against our country’s interests.

  • johnwerneken

    When the President is in trouble, so are we. Please don’t gloat. There are two points he’s right about, although I don’t expect to hear anyone but me say this: (1) USA interests are better served by letting the locals sort stuff out, a regional balance of power, with the USA maintaining an interested but “off-shore” stand; (2) The American People absolutely will not support any other course. They may from various factions claim otherwise, but it is not going to happen. No ten million American troops conquering and occupying the Persian and Arabian lands for decades. No way. And, many other places are just far more important. If we are going to refight WWII, let’s not do it there!

    So, some form of muddle through is required. What do you suggest? The President’s crew seem to think their performance is as good as it gets, to which I join you in a Raspberry Chorus!

  • William P Cooper

    This is a great column. President Obama, like at least two of his predecessors, surrounds himself with palace courtiers who continually tell him what they think he wants to hear, not what he needs to hear. (They, like all competent courtiers, do not want to be cast out of the halls of power; rather, they delight to sing the songs of sirens so that those halls may be echo chambers.) For this President, by nature a smart and introverted man always given to holding only his own counsel, lives (and always has) inside of his own small bubble, even more insulating both to him and to our beloved nation than the bigger bubble that is the modern Presidency.

  • peter jacob

    Not so fast with the ” freefall ” determination .
    President Obama has consistently kept the US out of a ground war which is the desire of the American public even if it alienates the hawks (they know who they are since ‘birds of a feather flock together’).
    Despite all the gloom and doom progress has been made against the beastiality of ISIS with a strong coalition and consensus this cancer
    has no place in civilized society.
    Most importantly, Saudi Arabia whose leaders have always egged the US on in its military adventures while standing on the sidelines , has actually stepped up to the plate with military intervention in Yemen.
    Could it be we are entering an era of effective American diplomacy where Regional players fight their own wars .
    Such an outcome would be an Obama legacy history may judge well.

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