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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rebuilding American Influence in the Middle East is NOT a DIY Project

On the 18th the NY Times published an OpEd by Marwan Muasher, a former Jordanian diplomat. Mr. Muasher asked what can America do to rebuild influence in the Middle East. One suggestion was that our nation (that, by law, cannot have an official religion) must back "a dynamic change toward pluralism". Lets look briefly at pluralism in the east, shall we. In Egypt Coptic Christians are hunted and slaughtered with impunity. In Darfur there is an Arab tribe, Jinjaweed (Arabic for Devils on horseback) that are trying to cleanse the area of Africans so it can be an all Arabian region. Iran and Syria have spent the past several years trying to kill off all the non-Shi'ites within their boarders. Iraq has spent decades torturing and murdering non-Sunni people. This does not fit the definition of pluralistic.

Mr. Marwan acknowledges that there was a time when America had influence on the Arabian Street. He does not say when, in his opinion, that changed. I believe that shift happened during President Ford's time in office. The first sign of that was when the Arab members of OPEC started the oil embargo against America. Those members were, and these should sound familiar, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. That embargo bled us financially and showed us vulnerable. What does that mean? Consider now these two Arabian proverbs, "A falling camel invites many knives" and "When people see two horses and one is strong and the other weak, people naturally like the strong horse".

The Middle East is a harsh environment that has bred a harsh people. Weakness is a detriment to survival. Only here, in America, do people cheer for the under dog. Culturally, we see even the sickly runt of the litter as valuable. In the Middle East the scarce resources are saved for the strong, not the weak. This is a dichotomy that is completely the opposite of ours.

Fast forward past the list of attacked US Embassies (still an act if war according to Clinton's Stated Departmentt) to the time when Obama met the Saudi King. Obama deliberately did what President John F. Kennedy said that no leader of the free world should ever do. Obama bowed. The Middle East is not a dojo, bowing is a sign of subjugation. By bending over and exposing your neck you are saying that your life is theirs to take or to spare.

Apologizing for aging been a world leader, which is another sign of weakness. It says to them that we should not be better off than they. It makes America look like a falling camel.

So, how do we regain face, rebuild any semblance of power, in the Arabian Street?

Al Jazeera just posted a video, in English so we can clearly get it, that Clinton, Obama, and America are not welcome there. That video is titled "You Are Not Welcome in Egypt". This year alone has seen more than $250 million dollars given to the Egyptian banking sector to prevent a collapse, $90 million for democratic development, $100 million for economic recovery, and not with Obama's yearly $1 billion dollar gift. That comes out to $1.8 billion of our tax dollars given to one government that has openly opposed America for the last 39 years while profiting from us.

How do we regain influence in the Middle East? With backbone, swift, harsh responses to acts of war and opposition, with a clear message that we are stronger than they.

I have no idea how we can do this. We need the likes of Fenerals Abrams, Patton, Schwartzkopf, the business acumen of Lee Iacoca, JP Morgan, Carngie,and Presidents Reagan and Bush senior to formulate that plan. We need, as a nation, to be able to stomach what must be done. This must include developing our own sources of fuel and energy. We must revitalize our industrial souls. Other than that, I must leave it to those with bigger brain pans than I.

 

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