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Barb Wire

Talk Incessantly and Carry a Big Shtick!


The old saying is that war makes strange bedfellows followed by the precept that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Unfortunately, today in the Middle East, the enemy of my enemy is most likely my future enemy.

This should have been America’s takeaway going back to the war between Russia and Afghanistan when we decided to train and equip freedom fighters in Afghanistan to wage a proxy war on our behalf. The ranks of the freedom fighters included one Osama Bin Laden! Helping to deconstruct the Russian empire may have been worth it in the long run, but could depend on what transpires in the Middle East today.

Certainly, America had to take out the Taliban and Al Qaeda after 9/11. The question remains, however, as to whether attacking Iraq was worth the price of apparently destabilizing the region as Bush critics maintain. I would agree that the war in Iraq may have certainly destabilized Iraq.  But, we can never forget that the previous stability of Iraq was maintained by the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, who had been at war with Iran, his own people, and Kuwait.  In other words, the region wasn’t all that stable to begin with.

Bush certainly did not invade Yemen, Egypt, Syria and Libya, yet all of these countries have suffered the effects of insurgency, instability and war, to the end that the Middle East is now a cauldron of  competing factions presenting American interests with but a few friends and many enemies in the mix. Add to that the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and the continuing threat of a nuclear Iran and we have a real mess on our hands.

So now, we have the rise of ISIS and the quest for a caliphate. Barack Obama wants to contain this threat by way of arming Syrian opposition groups who are fighting both the Assad regime and ISIS. Gee, what could go wrong? Do you know that Russia will not let the Assad regime fail because Russia has its one major Mediterranean port in Syria? This is the same reason Putin would not let the Ukraine leave Russia’s sphere of influence, namely because its Black Sea fleet is stationed there, coupled with the fact that its oil and gas pipelines to Europe traverse the country.

There is no reason to believe that the Obama Administration is going to do anything except to make things worse in the Middle East because he has no guiding principles or doctrine which serves to reward our friends and punish our enemies, the first maxim of war and bedfellows. Our three friends in the Middle East are the Israelis, the Egyptians and the Kurds. They know how to win wars, crush insurgents and maintain peace!  Amazingly, this administration has seemingly done everything in its power to effectively disassociate ourselves and undermine these allies.

Progressives believed Barack Obama would talk his way to world peace. Instead, we could be on the verge of world war.

First Published in the Santa Barbara News Press


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