CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 24, 2015 – While Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to remind us that everything is rosy in “wonderland,” a prominent Saudi journalist writes that Kerry has “opened the gates of hell.”
As the Obama administration continues its dreamland walkabout by negotiating with Iran over nuclear weapons, the rest of the Middle East is running rampant with criticism.
Among the most outspoken of the critics is Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, a former director of Al-Arabiya TV who is highly respected in the region.
In a response to a Kerry statement to CBS that a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria would have to involve President Bashar Al-Assad, Al-Rashed said the United States has boxed itself into a position where the only possible outcome is a bad one.
“If Kerry thinks that he must ally himself with Assad in order to fight ISIS, then he should know that his position will actually cause millions of Syrians to ally themselves with ISIS to fight Assad,” stated Al-Rashed.
On the other hand, he added, “if Kerry’s position is meant to please Iran, the American government should think twice, because this position subjects its interests to bigger threats and poses a threat to the region.”
In other words, Kerry has negotiated the U.S. into a no-win situation, which, according Al-Rashed, “has (opened) the gates of hell on himself and his country in a region that is already furious at the U.S. for its silence over Assad’s genocide and for its refusal to arm the Syrian opposition.”
As Al-Rashed sees it, the administration’s position will inadvertently cause millions of people to join the ranks of support for the Islamic State.
As this column has frequently expressed, “justification” is a primary catalyst for action in the Islamic world. Al-Rashed uses that exact word twice in his assessment when he writes, “these Syrian people’s justifications (emphasis added) are greater than Kerry’s excuse.”
The Assad regime, aided by his allies – the Iranians and Hezbollah – (has) killed more than a quarter of a million people. It’s impossible for them to reconcile with (Assad) regardless of what the American justifications (emphasis added) are.”
Of the numerous mistakes the United States and the West have made in dealing with the Middle East, Al-Rashed says that Kerry’s latest faux pas is the worst.
“If the aim of his (Kerry’s) statement is to please the Iranians, the American government must think twice, because this harms everything it has built over long decades. And it also subjects its interests to bigger threats and poses a threat to the region. In the end, the U.S. will get nothing but more regional problems from the Iranians, the Syrian regime and Hezbollah,” adds Al-Rashed.
The article continues by noting that Obama’s silence resulted in the use of chemical weapons in Syria without a response. Al-Rashed then points out that “now (the U.S.) wants to reconcile with murderers in broad daylight.”
As so many analysts have said, Al-Rashed also believes that the battle with ISIS must be fought from within the region. As he points out, it is to the benefit of the citizens who live in the area to cooperate against the common enemy regardless of whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim.
Meanwhile, as the on-going negotiations continue, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, answered President Obama’s Nowruz speech to the Iranian people.
According to Khamenei, Obama was “asking Iranians to submit to American demands in exchange for economic relief, couching the negotiations in terms of struggle rather than mutual benefit.”
During his oration, Obama told Iranians that a nuclear deal would create a “brighter future for the people of Iran” and recommended they support the negotiations.
Nowruz is the Persian New Year, which was the reason for the timing of the Obama message. Iran’s supreme leader also gives a traditional speech to the people to honor the celebration.
According to The Clarion Project, Khamenei’s response to Obama’s televised remarks was telling. During the hour-long presentation by Iran’s supreme leader, his commentary was interrupted numerous times with chants of “Death to America.”
And so the madness continues. After all, “talk is cheap,” and meaningless talk is even cheaper.
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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