President Obama came into office with the promise of changing the status quo of our diplomacy in the Middle East with an emphasis on Muslim perceptions towards America. The polling of Muslim countries since the election has confirmed a somewhat increase of trust for this new administration over previous ones, but at a cost. Some argue that having a more positive image in Muslim world will reduce the “jihad” attitude that we face among radical Muslims. The price we are paying for this new found trust comes at the expense of our most loyal ally, the Israelis. Recent polling has indicated that only 4% of Israelis believes Obama has their best interests in mind. President Bush left office with an 88% approval rating among Israelis in regards to Israeli security.
The Obama Administration has put tremendous pressure on Israel to stop “natural growth” in their settlements to garner favor with the Palestinians in particular and Muslims in general. Has this pressure had the desired affect? The simple answer at this time is no. The basis of Obama’s strategy was that by applying pressure on Israel, it would result in some normalization between Israel and Muslim countries. This strategy had been a dismal failure. Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria have publically rejected any hints of normalization with Israel until the Israelis essentially pull back to the 1967 borders. The Obama Administration fails to see what history has taught us in regards to negotiations with Muslim countries. They want all or nothing! The Palestinians have been offered 98% of their demands and have still turned a blind eye towards peace.
The Obama Administration overtures towards Iran have also been a failure at this point. The Iranians still play their cat and mouse games and stall any future sanctions from the world body. There is some consensus within the intelligence community that Iran can produce a nuclear weapon within a year and the world still sits idly by. The Obama administration and Europe remind me of that picture of the monkeys that hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil in regards to Iranian nukes. They continue to just sit on their collective hands and do nothing. Iran still allows and or finances the flow of weapons to terrorists that kill and maim our service members. Iran still allows Al Qaida and Taliban terrorists free access through their country to the battlefield of Iraq. Iran in conjunction with Syria still provides weapons to Hezbollah to attack Israelis from Lebanon. What has really changed with all of the weakness and good will Obama has shown towards the Middle East? Quite simply weakness on our part and the fact that we will throw our allies under the bus to look good in the eyes of Muslims.
There are reports that Syria continues to allow terrorists to be funneled through the border with Iraq to cause death and destruction with no response from Washington. The Long War Journal is reporting that a senior Al Qaeda leader (Sheikh Issa al Masri) that was based in Pakistan’s tribal areas has taken control of Al Qaeda in Iraq’s organization in Syria and is operation from the capital of Damascus. What have we done in response to this affront? We have sent high level State Department delegations to Syria to garner favor only to be spit in the face. The Syrians see Obama as weak and have now called off any new Turkey mediated talks with Israel with only US sponsored talks with Israel. Why do you think Syria turned down a fellow Muslim country for mediation with Israel and instead chose the United States? They see Obama as an adversary of Israel and a friend of Muslims and their cause.
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