Obama got Osama, but are you safer than you were four years ago?
I certainly am no foreign policy expert, but having lived abroad among different cultures gives me a perspective that may be different than the average American. How our foreign policy is being conducted, with its potential repercussions does not give me a warm and cozy feeling. For me, it all began with the photo of an American president bowing to a Saudi King during the G-20 Summit. Was that before, after, or during his “apology” tour.
In 2009, when the President took office, Hosni Mubarak was president of a mostly secular Egypt. Mubarak, for years, was encouraged to begin loosening his grip, but it took an “Arab Spring” to bring his demise. Our President fueled the cause by adding his voice in calling for Mubarak to step down. But what was our end game? Now, we have to continue to pour in $1.5 billion in aid in an effort to support the Egyptian military as a counter-balance to the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Salafists. However, is it only a matter of time before the inevitable Islamic outcome, and we then say, “who lost Egypt?”
Syria is another case in point. Assad has massacred thousands of his people, and the President offers to sanction companies and countries that use the internet to oppress their citizens. And let’s not forget our State Dept authorizing the sending of communications equipment to the insurgents. Great idea. They now can detect the Syrian forces who are about to kill them. Syria already is a satellite of Iran, which continues to funnel arms and money to Assad. He’ll cling to power, with resultant Iranian regional hegemony and an open highway to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The US ends up hated by all sides.
Iranian influence continues to grow in Iraq, where 4486 Americans were killed, over 33,000 wounded. The country is dividing once again between Shia, Sunni, and other sectarian lines, with the common denominator among them being dislike, to put it mildly, for the US.
Afghanistan’s a basket case, and the moment the last boot is off the ground, Karzai’s on a plane to London and the resurgent Taliban have once again outlasted the infidel invader. Maybe we can then claim another “war on women.”
Israel, our one friend in the Middle East, has finally come to terms with standing alone. They watch, they know, that Iran continues to enrich uranium, and increasingly move their efforts underground to negate any possible aerial attack. Israel knows the devastation they will suffer if they do nothing and if they do something. Meanwhile, our President announced at the Holocaust museum in Washington recently, an Atrocities Prevention Board. I think Elie Wiesel said it best:
Wiesel, who introduced Obama, wondered openly in his remarks whether world leaders had learned from the inaction that made the Holocaust possible: ”If so, how is it that Assad is still in power? How is it that the Holocaust’s No. 1 denier, (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, is still a president, he who threatens to use nuclear weapons—to use nuclear weapons—to destroy the Jewish state? Have we not learned? We must. We must know that when evil has power, it is almost too late.”
And since we’re going ’round the world, let’s not forget North Korea shooting off rockets, China’s military continuing to strengthen while they continue to steal our intellectual property, not to mention they’re recent hacking of the blueprints for our joint strike F-22 and F-35 fighter jets.
Russia’s Putin is Obama’s friend, as we heard via open mike, but is he our friend. Having lived in Moscow for three years and watching the rise of the oligarchs, I have a pretty good grasp of the power that Putin wields, and where and how he wields it. In his eyes, everything, everyone has a price. He gives little to get what he wants. He kept Ukraine and Georgia out of NATO, as he aims for WTO status. The recent Russian veto at the UN Security Council defines their world outlook.
I’ve always bemoaned the fact that so many Americans are not more foreign policy savvy. We seem to think no further than the boundaries of our communities, and that’s a luxury that freedom brings. Yet, it only takes one 9/11, to bring home the reality of the world we live in.
So today’s the day one year ago, that Obama got Osama, oh joy. If you’re the praying kind, let’s hope Osama doesn’t have the last laugh.