“Obama Lacks the Credibility to Sell Used Cars, Much Less Lead an ‘Anti-Terror’ Coalition”

COMMENT

“Barack Obama has spent the last six years throwing America’s allies under the bus and weaseling out of “red lines”. It is no surprise that governments in the Middle East are reluctant to join an “anti-terror” coalition lead by a man they wouldn’t buy a used car from.”

by Aboud Dandachi

Aboud DandachiBarack Obama is a man who desperately wishes that foreign-policy wasn’t part of the job description that comes with being President of the United States. After six years of trying to “pivot” away from the Middle East, Obama is discovering that just because one doesn’t have an interest in the Middle East, is no immunity from the Middle East biting one in the ass.

With the terror group ISIS rampaging over much of the Levant and executing Western hostages, Obama has found himself forced to commit America to going to war again in the region. A broad regional coalition of (mainly) Sunni states is, according to Obama’s thinking, an essential ingredient to legitimizing America’s latest military foray in a region Obama would dearly love to be rid of.

Alas, Obama’s efforts at coalition-building have so far proven a dismal failure, with no country yet willing to openly commit to joining the USA in any military action against ISIS. But the reluctance of Middle Eastern governments to join an “anti-ISIS” coalition is not due to any imagined sympathies towards the group.

Simply put, countries in the region are understandably reluctant to commit themselves to a man who has himself not kept a single commitment to any of America’s allies. From Ukraine, to Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Turkey and the Gulf, America’s friends and opponents have noted what little value the Obama administration’s “commitments” are actually worth.

After six years of weaselling out of “red lines”, throwing Lebanese and Ukrainian allies under the bus, treating Turkey and Israel with open disdain, and going behind the Gulf’s back to sign an appeasement with the Iranian Ayatollocracy, the scale of which outdid even Chamberlain’s Munich agreement with Adolph Hitler, Obama comes as a supplicant to the Middle East; a supplicant with not even the credibility of a used-car salesman.

Join an Obama-led “anti-terror” coalition? Speaking as a Syrian refugee, I tend to regard Barack Obama as one would regard a neighbor who never lent much more than a glass of water while my house burned, but now expects me to join his vigilante neighborhood gang because someone broke his windows.

Six years into his administration, Obama is learning that there is a price to be paid for screwing over America’s allies and breaking commitments. And it doesn’t help matters when Obama confides to the American press that he foresees the ISIS problem as being one “for the next president, and probably the one after that.”

The “next president”. Obama may very well prefer to coast through the rest of his presidency, and eventually enjoy the post-presidential bounties of big fat speaking fees and appearances. But those of us who actually live in the region aren’t so lucky, and Obama is going to have to display an unprecedented level of commitment if he wants his “anti-ISIS” coalition to amount to more than himself and some Iranian Shia proxy militias, most of whom have proven to be as bad as ISIS.

No American boots on the ground? That may sound good politically, but it’s a policy that flies in the face of any serious military strategy that has a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating ISIS.

ISIS will not be defeated by airstrikes alone, someone’s boots are going to have to go toe to toe with the Jihadis. What kind of an imbecile telegraphs their own pain-thresholds to an adversary well before a battle. All it does is raise doubts about one’s resolve in the minds of both one’s opponents, and potential allies (good luck Obama, on getting any Turkish or Arab “boots on the ground” after displaying your reluctance to put your “boots” where your mouth is).

Obama’s dismal failure in putting together a reliable “anti-terror” coalition stands in marked contrast to the success of George Bush Senior, who prior to Desert Storm managed to create an impressive regional and international alliance to expel Saddam from Kuwait. In 1990, America’s allies knew what they were signing up for when they got behind a US-led coalition.

Obama is no George Bush Senior. In 1990, Bush managed to build an impressive regional and international coalition against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Before a single bullet was fired in Desert Storm, Saddam was completely isolated politically. While the military contributions of many countries in Desert Storm would eventually prove peripheral, the political legitimacy they afforded to the campaign was invaluable.

So why did George Bush Senior succeed where Barack Obama has so far failed? By any measure, Obama’s task should have proven the easier of the two. While Saddam initially had some international support, ISIS has none. The Iraqi military at the time was the world’s largest, a far tougher nut to crack than ISIS could ever dream of becoming.

No, in the end, the success or failure of coalition building depends as much on the attributes and perceived reliability of those who would lead such a coalition, as it does on the potential target or goals of said coalition. In 1990, America’s resolve, objectives and commitment were unquestioned. American boots were the first to go into battle. America’s allies knew what they were signing up for when they got behind the USA. America’s allies trusted America’s president.

A stark contrast to the fuzzy, muddled approach of America’s current president. It is difficult to have confidence in a man whose own self-confidence is so lacking, his best hope of fixing the greatest threat of this decade is to leave it to be solved by “the next president, and probably the one after that.”

The above article originally appeared on Mr. Dandachi’s website.

Aboud Dandachi is an activist from the Syrian city of Homs, currently residing in Istanbul. He has been cited on issues relating to the Syrian conflict in the BBC, NPR, LA Times, the Guardian, Al-Arabiya and Turkiye Gazetesi. Aboud’s articles have been republished on numerous media outlets including Daily Sabah, Elder of Ziyon, EA Worldview, Frontpage Mag, and jewishinfoNews.  Aboud can be followed on Twitter @AboudDandachi

Photo Credit: President Barack Obama visits Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, Sept. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

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بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

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Mishigas! Has the world gone utterly crazy?

SPECIAL REPORT

by Alan Simons

Alan SimonsI really can’t think of any other way to put it. Mishigas!

–  Christmas cards published by the virulent antisemitic group Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) depicting Madonna and child dressed in the Palestinian flag. (See below)

–  Protesting Muslims stabbed a life-size Santa Claus figure in a rally held on Thursday in İstanbul . “No to New Year and Christmas celebrations,” they chanted. I’m relieved to tell you Santa Claus fortunately survived with multiple stabbing wounds.

IPSC Christmas Card

–  President Abbas has declared that Jesus Christ is a “Palestinian messenger.  According to Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, Abbas said: “In Bethlehem, more than 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born; a Palestinian messenger who would become a guiding light for millions  around the world. As we Palestinians strive for our freedom two millennia later, we do our best to follow his example. We work with hope, seeking justice, in order to achieve a lasting peace.” He added, “Christians are not a minority here: they are an integral part of the Palestinian people.”

–  Oh yeah? Perhaps I should remind Abbas it was only last year that, “Palestinian sources said PA security forces have been called to stop Muslim attacks on Christians in several communities in the West Bank. They said attacks have been reported on Christian villages or neighborhoods by hostile Muslim elements. A Palestinian Authority security officer outside of the Entry of Humility at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. ‘There is a growing perception by young Muslims that Christians are agents of Israel and the West and must be expelled,’ a Palestinian source said. In mid-May, nearly 100 Muslims attacked the Christian village of Taibeh in the West Bank. The sources said the Muslim assailants arrived in Taibeh with pistols and clubs after rumors spread that a Muslim was attacked in the village, with a population of fewer than 2,000. ‘Palestinian Authority policemen who rushed to the village had to shoot into the air to drive back the Muslim attackers and prevent a slaughter,’ Hisham Jarallah. a Palestinian analyst and journalist, said.”

IPSC Christmas Card

–  In the meantime, Persecution.org reports, “Christians living in the Gaza Strip live under the reality of ongoing attacks on both churches and individuals. Living under the control of Hamas which considers Christians as infidels, the situation is more serious than you can imagine, Hazem Shanab said. Hamas controls all churches and mosques implements their ideology in all sectors of life, even to rewriting textbooks to match their worldview.”

–  And who isn’t screaming at Israel this week for striking at Gaza because 22 year-old Israeli Bedouin Salih Abu Latif was killed by a sniper in Hamas-controlled Gaza as he was repairing a fence on the border of Gaza?

–  In the UK, oh yes, it has to be in the UK, The Daily Mail reports, “Fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group  Islam4UK have launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil. Organizers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in this country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead.”

–  In the meantime . . .  the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, director Antonio Guterres says, “We have not seen a refugee outflow [from Syria] of such a frightening rate since the Rwandan genocide.”

–  UNICEF, the UN agency for children, reports “the deterioration of education in Syria and among Syrian refugees is the worst in the history of the region. In Syria itself, three million children have ceased going to schools because of the fighting and the destruction of their schools.”

–  Still in Syria, Barrel bombs ‘kill 87 children’ in Aleppo. “More than 300 people, 87 of them children, have been killed in a week of air raids on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo and nearby towns by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, a monitoring group said on Monday. Many were killed by so-called barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.”

– One has to add: “Bugs Bunny is Jewish!” claims David Yehuda Stern, British cinematic historian. (Better not let President Abbas know!)

And finally, an honest and emotional plea from Prince Charles who recently said: “It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately attacked by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ. “For 20 years, I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity and to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding. The point though, surely, is that we have now reached a crisis where the bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so, and this is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution, including to Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time.” 
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As someone once remarked, “A new year is unfolding – like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within.” So, in 2014, let us conscientiously strive for less intolerance and religious hate. Let us work harder for more love and respect towards each other, regardless of our religion, our colour, or our birth country. One can just hope. Can’t one?

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