CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 16, 2014 – The situation in Iraq today is a microcosm of failed U.S. Middle East policies which include political correctness and something called “Islamophobia.”
Rather than seeking solutions, we persist in looking for someone to blame. The reality is, there is no single person we can identify as the culprit; the situation in the Middle East is the result of long-time Western ambivalence and diplomatic ineptitude.
Since 9/11/2001, dozens of authors, bloggers and Middle Eastern authorities have warned of the dangers of negotiating with terrorists, appeasing jihadists and not understanding the nuances of the Islamic mind. Instead of listening, the United States has gone about the business of dealing with the region from a Western perspective because “we know best.”
George Bush the Younger took the heat with a banner that read “Mission Accomplished.” In the Middle East, the mission is never “accomplished.”
President Obama should have been held to the same standard when he ran his re-election campaign on the slogan, “al-Qaeda is dead.”
For more than a decade, we have continued to kick the Islamic can down the road and now we are beginning to pay the price.
Obama has never had any burning interest in global affairs, primarily because he does not understand them and has no advisers around him who care. Consequently, his approach has always been to “take no options off the table,” and while he thinks things over, just let all hell break loose.
Egypt erupted. Then there was Benghazi which was just a “bump” in the road. Following that we drew three lines in the Syrian sand, all of which were ignored. Then along came Russia and Ukraine which remains an on-going crisis.
While we were erasing those imaginary lines in Syria, a new group called ISIS was gaining in strength and brutality. Today they have moved into Iraq and, suddenly, all those American lives that were lost and money that was spent seem wasted.
Writing in “Breitbart News,” Dr. Sebastian Gorka says, “as a government, we have blinded ourselves to such an extent that it has become practically impossible for a national security professional to understand what is going on in the Middle East and what drives groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda without getting into trouble for being politically incorrect.”
In a single word; “Islamophobia.”
Islamic jihad is a reality. The sooner we realize that and stop bending over backwards to appease every cultural faux pas that angers a Muslim the better off we will be.
Gorka goes on to write, “the idea that the chaos in Syria, where ISIS built its forces, was connected to the future stability of Iraq did not occur to the administration until Mosul, Fallujah, and Tikrit had fallen to fighters trained and hardened in the war against Assad just next door. Our government cannot connect the dots if the Commander-in-Chief openly believes that doing so is a bad idea.”
After six long years, that “connecting the dots” will never change because the Commander-in-Chief is an Islamic sympathizer of the first order.
Obama bashing? Perhaps. But Ryan Mauro of “The Clarion Project” points out, “President Obama did not acknowledge the Islamist ideology of ISIS in his June 13 speech, instead attributing the violence to political malfeasance on the part of the Iraqi government and sectarian differences.”
The political malfeasance lives in the White House. As Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “The president was taking a nap.”
What the president does not comprehend is that ISIS’ primary goal is to re-establish the caliphate and they make no bones about it. Furthermore, they are willing to accomplish the goal in the most savage manner possible.
ISIS’ motivation is Islamist ideology in its purest most vile incarnation. It is also completely anti-democracy with no exceptions.
One tribal leader who fought against al-Qaeda, Ahmed Abu Risha, stated that “The main reason for the catastrophic situation in Iraq right now is the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq without setting an obvious plan to protect the country.”
Risha is correct. The same will happen in Afghanistan as well. For the war weary United States and the West there are three solutions;Pull out and let the chips fall where they may, make the commitment to stay the course which probably means for decades or possibly centuries because the enemy has far greater will power than we or muster up some backbone and take the time to learn the cultural intricacies of the enemy, their language and their religion to defeat them at their own game.
They are able to challenge us because we telegraph everything we do. We are easy to read.
Once we learn how to play by their rules, our chances for success will improve dramatically.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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