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Middle East Meltdown
Obama’s Diplomatic Malpractice in Syria
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  • mikeb330

    The lasting damage is potential allies conclude “We don’t trust the US to stand by us”. Can’t be fixed by $400MM in small bills.

  • FluffyFooFoo

    Hillary will continue this nonsense. Trump will empower Defense over State.

    • rheddles

      Hillary will start a real war.

      • Matt B

        I expect her to practice realpolitik, including war if necessary.

        • FluffyFooFoo

          Realpoltik for Hillary, but not America.

      • Matt B

        She has to, doesn’t she? Her first priority is to establish the fact that her words (like “red line”) actually mean something.

        • http://www.the-american-interest.com/ Damir Marusic

          She’ll certainly be sorely tempted to “do something”, I agree. My guess is it’ll be in Libya. Syria will be impossible by January.

          • Kev

            That’s why Trump HAS to win. I worry about world’s most destructive military being led by female intuition.

  • CaliforniaStark

    In the past, the strategic interests that was used to justify the U.S. involvement in the Middle East was to protect our oil supply. Now with fracking, the U.S. produces more than enough oil, and is about to become a natural gas exporter, so is not dependent on Mideast oil. What is the strategic interest now for Mideast involvement? Severe “reputational damage” doesn’t cut it.

    After spending about a trillion dollars, and losing about 5,000 lives, the U.S. does not have much to show for its involvement in Iraq? What is the strategy for getting involved in Syria and not having the same outcome?

    • f1b0nacc1

      Of course this raises another question….without oil, why be concerned about the Middle East in the first place? Surely we can find some pathetic, camera-friendly children to rescue in the civilized world?
      Stop taking their refugees, and use massive retaliation when they bother us…otherwise, ignore them and let the EUnicks (and whoever else is silly enough to stick their fingers in that mess) to sort it out…

      • http://www.the-american-interest.com/ Damir Marusic

        Maybe once we get to autarky, things really will be better. But it’ll very likely be a very bumpy, and intensely bloody, ride, with no guarantee we’ll ever make it to our destination.

        • f1b0nacc1

          I am not convinced that autarky is a possible, or even desirable, end point, but your broader point is clear…

        • CaliforniaStark

          The issue here is not autarky; the U.S. should maintain diplomatic and trade relations throughout the world. At the same time, see no need to participate in another country’s civil war — especially one dominated by religious fanaticism

        • Josephbleau

          I am very interested in what you say, if the US were economically self sufficient, why would we spend blood? Or are you talking about those outside who benefit from US influence? Perhaps we could invite them to join our autarky if they have a strong navy to defend sea channels.

          • Kev

            Because protecting Israel is the paramount American interest, which requires constant presence in the Middle East. That’s why.

          • kingschitz

            Bzzzt!

            Wrong answer. U.S. Presence in the ME is, at this point, a function of somebody else’s oil supply, notably that of the EU which is presently the world’s largest oil importer. Total oil supplies moving through the Gulf amount to some 20% of the EU’s total consumption and much of that moves through the Straits of Hormuz. More news: Japan is the world’s second largest oil importer with (2012) some 83% of it from the ME and much of that moving through the same straits.

            Thought experiment: Saudi, and the Gulf’s Sunni rim falls under new management, our fleet gets booted from Bahrain and the Mullahs close the straits. And then some wise guy decides that oil is a bargain at $250 bbl.

            Wanna guess what happens to U.S. exports to Europe and Japan? (And that omits simultaneous disasters with importers China and India.)

            Israel may be the bait politicians dangle before the public but alas, it’s got very little to do with the bigger picture.

          • Kev

            What? Are you trying to tell me that US politicians are intelligent, competent people, who care about protecting US national interests?? Don’t make me laugh!

            Hate to break it to you, but politics isn’t about ‘what’, it’s about ‘who’. And look who is shaping American foreign policy: Kagan-Nuland clan dominates State department. Neocons infested US foreign policy establishment ever since the Reagan administration.

            The typical American congressman wouldn’t be able to find Syria on a map. Hell he wouldn’t be able to find his ass, if he was sitting on it! But each of them has a big Jewish campaign donor and a Jewish “foreign policy advisor”, always ready to explain that israel is a “beacon of freedom and democracy” in the world and worth defending at any cost.

            US political class abandoned the concept of national interest decades ago. Corruption is all that motivates them now.

          • kingschitz

            For the US political landscape the US has its bells and whistles and shiny objects–which is about what Israel amounts to, sort of a fund raising device that the pols use just as they dial for dollars on abortion, gays and guns. But Israel ain’t where the money is: try trade, military hardware, real estate, oil and recycled petrodollars.

            The ratio of dollars is for every $1 to the Izzy-Pally headache, about $100 is involved in the other areas.

            Now if you want to make an old man happy go ahead and con Sheldon Adelstein that in exchange for his $10 million he’s actually getting something. That might keep you dazzled but Bath Shipworks, General Dynamics and Raytheon, they’re getting something and believe me, Adelstein grabs a headline but the other guys is where the real money is at.

            The neocons are almost extinct. The only one left is HRC and she’s hiding.

  • adk

    “So is this part of the Barack Obama/Ben Rhodes plot to permanently sideline the U.S. role in the Middle East? Or is it more banal: an example of gross diplomatic malpractice…”

    Both actually, and not just in the ME. First came the ideology — since “we are the problem”, we’d need to radically change our ways to show those hurt by our imperialistic policies how much we want to make amends. Hence, Obama’s reaching out to Palestinians & Iranians from the get-go, his apology tour, trashing Bush, Israel, pulling out of Iraq, “Russian reset”, and on, and on.

    But then, as things didn’t go as expected and laboring under various constraints, they had to deal with the consequences, and that’s where incompetence kicked in. Still, it’s remarkable how much Obama/Rhodes did accomplish in short eight years to diminish the US and make the world more dangerous for everybody.

  • adk

    “So is this part of the Barack Obama/Ben Rhodes plot to permanently sideline the U.S. role in the Middle East? Or is it more banal: an example of gross diplomatic malpractice…”

    Both actually, and not just in the ME. First came the ideology — since “we are the problem”, we’d need to radically change our ways to show those hurt by our imperialistic policies how much we want to make amends. Hence, Obama’s reaching out to Palestinians & Iranians from the get-go, his apology tour, trashing Bush, Israel, pulling out of Iraq, “Russian reset”, and on, and on.

    But then, as things didn’t go as expected and laboring under various constraints, they had to deal with the consequences, and that’s where incompetence kicked in. Still, it’s remarkable how much Obama/Rhodes did accomplish in short eight years to diminish the US and make the world more dangerous for everybody.

    • http://www.the-american-interest.com/ Damir Marusic

      A convincing option 3, yes.

  • FriendlyGoat

    What kind of pushback is Obama supposed to be doing on alleged Russian meddling in our election that would not be criticized as some kind of improper cover for Hillary Clinton?

    • http://www.the-american-interest.com/ Damir Marusic

      On the one hand, I’m somewhat sympathetic to the attempts made by the WH at compartmentalizing as broad and as an important a relationship as the one we have with Russia. On the other hand, the Russians are showing over and over—for a while now, but in the last month or two especially—that they consider us an adversary that needs slapping around. Maybe instead of Kerry waxing optimistic about some kind of cooperative deal, the Russians could lose a few more helicopters over Syria, for starters? I’m pretty sure we could arrange that.

      • adk

        Does anybody even listen to what Kerry has to say? He’s both stupid and enthusiastic — even by the low standards of this administration he’s a real something.

        • Josephbleau

          This administration has no smart and enthusiastic or smart and unenthusiastic people because they would overshadow Obama. So there you are.

      • Kev

        You really think this is smart? Escalation is a game that both sides can play. For example, remember that secret CIA base in Syria that Russians bombed in June? Next time Russians might not wait for Americans to evacuate before they firebomb it with napalm.

  • LarryD

    Fallacy of the Excluded Middle. Obama wants to render the U.S. moot in world affairs, in accordance with the Marxist influenced wing, and he is incompetent, because he lives in a fantasy world with little correlation with reality. And he’s too narcissistic to understand other peoples motives (nor does he care).

  • Richard Tasgal
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