While We Were Watching The Pope Visit America…

On September 23rd, The Daily Caller posted an article about Abdul Shalabi, a Guantanamo detainee and former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden. Shalabi has been released from Guantanamo and sent to Saudi Arabia.

The article reports:

On December 15, 2001, Pakistani authorities captured Shalabi along with 31 other al-Qaida fighters, who were fleeing from Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden’s mountain complex.

Near the end of December, authorities transferred Shalabi over to U.S. custody, who then was sent to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where he stayed for 13 years.

At the time, the assessment determined Shalabi was too dangerous to release, but the board changed its mind in June, clearing him for release.

One wonders what caused the board to change its mind. There are now 114 prisoners left at Guantanamo. Fifty-two of those have been cleared for release.

The article further reports:

There are 52 detainees left who have been cleared for release. The rest require further detention. President Barack Obama still wants to close the prison before his term is up, and so the Pentagon has investigated domestic facilities to hold detainees in the long-term if the administration manages to shutter Gitmo.

The war against radical jihad is unlike any other war ever fought. The war is not only against America–it is a war against western civilization. It is a war that will not end until the jihadists realize that they have no hope of winning and are not gaining power. Until then there is no reason to close Guantanamo or to let any of the remaining prisoners leave. The actions of President Obama in regard to Guantanamo will cost American lives–either in the near future or the distant future. In closing Guantanamo and letting its prisoners free, President Obama is neglecting his duty to protect the American people. The President will be in office for another year. Hopefully the damage he has done to the country can be repaired after he leaves office. However, that depends on the votes of the American public.

Money Won’t Make This Better

The Washington Free Beacon reported yesterday on the efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry to sweeten the Iran deal for Israel and Saudi Arabia. Frankly, there are some things you just can’t sweeten.

The article reports:

Kerry admits that, despite the deal, Iran will continue to back terrorist groups across the globe and promises to boost military support and funding to Israel and Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The letter comes in response to concerns among lawmakers, Israel, and other Gulf region allies that the nuclear accord will boost the Islamic Republic’s support for terrorism, while leaving traditional U.S. allies on the defense.

“Important questions have been raised concerning the need to increase security assistance to our allies and partners in the region and to enhance our efforts to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region,” Kerry writes. “We share the concern expressed by many in Congress regarding Iran’s continued support for terrorist and proxy groups throughout the region, its propping up of the Assad regime in Syria, its efforts to undermine the stability of its regional neighbors, and the threat it poses to Israel.”

The Obama administration, Kerry claims, is under “no illusion that this behavior will change following implementation of the JCPOA,” or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

If the behavior of Iran will not change following the implementation of the JCPOA, then why are we agreeing to the JCPOA? Wouldn’t it be better to refuse to lift any sanctions or give Iran any money until the leaders of Iran change their behavior (and maybe stop shouting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America“)? I admit that I am only a lowly blogger, but that seems rather obvious to me. Why are we going to give Iran access to millions of dollars to buy more and better weapons to kill American soldiers?

The article reports:

One senior Congressional aide who received the letter said that it is a clear attempt by the administration to placate regional fears about the deal.

“Let’s not be fooled about what the letter represents. This desperate move to placate Israel and our Gulf partners is a tacit acknowledgment that Iran will expand its international terror regime thanks to the nuclear agreement,” the source said. “If this is such a good deal, why does the administration feel compelled to immediately offer arms packages as compensation to our regional allies?”

“No amount of conventional weapons can neutralize the threat posed by the mullahs acquiring nuclear weapons,” the source said. “This type of appeasement is a slap in the face to our closets allies and a wink-wink to the dictators in Tehran.”

Obviously there are people in our government who understand the dangers of this agreement. Unfortunately, there are also many people in our government who choose not to listen to them. I believe this agreement will be able to get through the games being played in the Senate and will go into force. I also believe that the day that happens will be a truly sad day for America. We have turned our backs on our friends and chosen to fund our enemies. That is not wisdom.

The Twenty-Eight Pages

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about a lawsuit that is moving forward   against the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The lawsuit is asking that the twenty-eight pages of the 9/11 Commission Report that have remained classified be revealed.

It is generally understood that the twenty-eight pages have to do with the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks.

The article reports:

During a July 30 court hearing, lawyers for 9/11 victims’ families and insurers revealed that the staffers’ most serious allegations against the Saudis were stricken from the final draft of the 9/11 Commission report as well.

“They were removed at the 11th hour by the senior staff,” plaintiffs’ attorney Sean Carter of Cozen O’Connor said, explaining that the decision was a “political matter.”

Carter said that the staff investigators “felt they had documented a direct link between the Saudi government and the Sept. 11 plot based on the explosive material they had uncovered concerning the activities of Fahad al-Thumairy and Omar al-Bayoumi.”

Thumairy was employed at the time as a Saudi religious cleric and diplomat in Los Angeles, while Bayoumi was employed by the Saudi Arabian civil aviation authority in San Diego.

The suit charges that two of the Saudi hijackers, who first entered the United States in Los Angeles before traveling to Washington to attack the Pentagon, were funded through the Saudi embassy and consulate — and that they were handled primarily by Saudi “agent” Bayoumi while staying in San Diego.

It would be very nice to have these pages unclassified so that the public could draw its own conclusions about the events on September 11, 2001. This might also be a good time to mention that our alliance with Saudi Arabia is based on two things. First of all, the Saudis have helped keep the American dollar as the exchange medium in the trading of oil. That is one of the reasons the American dollar has not fallen under the weight of the debt incurred by overspending. The second basis for the alliance is America’s dependence on foreign oil. If you are uncomfortable with the alliance with a country that does not allow the building of Christian churches and does not allow women any sort of equality, then you need to support the development of America’s natural gas and oil resources.

It is quite possible that Saudi Arabia played a major role in the events of 9/11, but until America becomes energy independent, we will continue our alliance with the Saudis. That is the price of dependency.

We Need To Follow This Example

Bloomberg.com reported on Wednesday on a new phenomena in the Middle East and some North African countries. It seems that the countries that criticized Israel for building security fences are now building their own security fences.

This is the picture from the article:

Terrorism is a world-wide threat. Fences will not end terrorism, nor will it keep out all terrorists, but it will deter a few. We need to deter as many as possible, and fences are one weapon in the fight.

The article reports:

“The Middle East and North Africa is now the most walled region in the world,” said Said Saddiki, a professor of International Relations and International Law at Al-Ain University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. They range from “fences inside cities to anti-migrant walls and separation barriers to counter-insurgency” barricades, he said.

The builders have often been spurred by fear of Islamic State, after its conquests in Iraq and Syria and the group’s ability to inspire Muslim extremists elsewhere, or concern over failed or failing nations next door. The jihadist group has built its own walls to fend off attackers and keep people from escaping, including around the Iraqi cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. Syria’s embattled government has placed concrete shields around areas of regime support in Homs.

Even terrorist-flagship Iran has built a fence to keep out unwanted visitors from Afghanistan and Pakistan. How ironic is that?

The Beginning Of A Middle Eastern Nuclear Arms Race

The signing of a nuclear agreement with Iran will mark the beginning of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt understand Iran’s desire to build a world-wide caliphate under Sharia Law. The also understand that the possession of a nuclear weapon by Iran will help make that possible. Israel has had nuclear weapons for a long time, but has never been a threat to its neighbors–Israel has always made it clear that its nuclear weapons (which they only recently admitted having) are for defensive purposes only. Considering the neighborhood they live in, it is probably a really good thing for them to have nuclear weapons.

There will be two major changes in the Middle East as a result of this agreement. The first is that within a fairly short time, Saudi Arabia will become a nuclear power. I suspect Egypt will not be far behind. The second result is that Iran will now have the money to buy the delivery system for the nuclear bomb that they will build within the next few years (despite this agreement). We have seen this play before–it resulted in North Korea going nuclear. We have not learned the lessons of history.

Here are some quotes from various news sources on the treaty:

From PJMedia:

This deal is an historic disaster. Not only does it legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, but it goes far to confer legitimacy on Iran’s regime — the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. For the U.S., it’s a variation of running up massive U.S. government debt, and leaving the next American president — as well as America’s people, and our allies — to face the real cost. Which in this case involves nuclear weapons.

From Yahoo News:

President Hassan Rouhani told Iranians in a live televised address that “all our objectives” have been met by a nuclear deal agreed on Tuesday with world powers.

In doing so he said “God has accepted the nation’s prayers”, and the accord would lift “inhumane and tyrannical sanctions” that have caused years of economic distress to people and businesses.

From CBN News:

The agreement leaves Iran’s nuclear facilities intact and allows it to continue to enrich uranium, a deal that satisfied its leaders.

Iran also achieved its most sought-after reward: lifting economic sanctions. The economic benefits are potentially massive. It stands to receive more than $100 billion in assets frozen overseas and an end to a European oil embargo and various financial restrictions on Iranian banks.

 We will wait and see if Congress and the United Nations approve this deal, I hope they do not, but I am not optimistic. This is not a step toward peace–it is step toward war.


Losing Friends In The Middle East

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about shifting alliances in the Middle East. The article pointed out that Israel and Saudi Arabia have both had strained relationships with America under President Obama.

The article comments on both of these relationships:

Each relationship would become special in its own way: one based on the need to protect access to Saudi oil and stability in the Persian Gulf; the other driven by support for a Jewish state in the wake of the Nazi genocide and what would increasingly be seen as shared values and interests with the region’s only democracy. Over the years there were significant tensions in both relationships, but more predictability and consistency were demonstrated than change.

Shifts in the Middle East have produced unprecedented stresses in both relationships. The Arab Spring, particularly the fall of Hosni Mubarak and perceptions that the Obama administration had facilitated his ouster, alienated the stability-driven Saudis. Growing tensions between the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration on settlements and the peace process strained U.S.-Israeli ties.

There are still read questions about the role President Obama played in the ouster of Hosni Mubarak and the support of the Muslim Brotherhood government that replaced him. When the government of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was ousted, Washington voiced its displeasure.

The article concludes:

The administration’s view that Iran may hold the key to stability on the nuclear issue, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen has opened a divide with traditional allies who see things quite differently. As the administration looks more and more toward Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia will look beyond Barack Obama–biding their time, furthering their own agendas, and hoping that the next president, regardless of party, will see Tehran in a different light.

Unfortunately it will take some time to repair the damage done both internationally and nationally by President Obama and his policies. Hopefully the next President will be up to the task and will bring change instead of more of the same.

The United Nations Needs To Be Kicked Out Of America

Yesterday Fox News posted an article reporting that, according to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the top violator of women’s rights around the world is Israel. Wow. Israel won the ‘honor’ because of its supposed suppression of Palestinian women‘s rights. This is the most absurd thing I have heard in a long time. Were the Palestinians violating women’s rights when they used women as human shields? Is Saudi Arabia violating women’s rights by refusing to let them drive?

The article states:

In fact, not only is there no possibility that the UN Commission on the Status of Women will criticize Iran, Iran is an elected member of CSW.  Sudan – whose president has been indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity – is currently a CSW Vice-Chair.

The article reminds us:

Not Saudi Arabia. Where women are physically punished if not wearing compulsory clothing, are almost entirely excluded from political life, cannot drive, cannot travel without a male relative, receive half the inheritance of their brothers, and where their testimony counts for half that of a man’s.

 Not Sudan.  Where domestic violence is not prohibited.  There is no minimum age for “consensual” sex.  The legal age of marriage for girls is ten. 88% of women under 50 have undergone female genital mutilation. And women are denied equal rights in marriage, inheritance and divorce.

 Not Iran. Where every woman who registered as a presidential candidate in the last election was disqualified.  “Adultery” is punishable by death by stoning.  Women who fight back against rapists and kill their attackers are executed. The constitution bars female judges. And women must obtain the consent of their husbands to work outside the home.

If we force the diplomats at the United Nations to pay their parking tickets, maybe they will leave. The United Nations has become a disgrace.


The Importance Of Preventing A Nuclear Iran

The 47 Republican Senators who signed the open letter stating that the Senate needs to ratify any treaties that will be binding on the next administration are not the only people worried about Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. On Wednesday The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea.

The article explains the consequences of Iran going nuclear:

That agreement, along with recent comments from Saudi officials and royals, is raising concerns on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies that a deal with Iran, rather than stanching the spread of nuclear technologies, risks fueling it.

Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a member of the royal family, has publicly warned in recent months that Riyadh will seek to match the nuclear capabilities Iran is allowed to maintain as part of any final agreement reached with world powers. This could include the ability to enrich uranium and to harvest the weapons-grade plutonium discharged in a nuclear reactor’s spent fuel.

Several U.S. and Arab officials have voiced concerns about a possible nuclear-arms race erupting in the Middle East, spurred on by Saudi Arabia’s regional rivalry with Iran, which has been playing out in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen in recent months.

Essentially, if the Shiite Muslims have a bomb, the Sunni Muslims also want a bomb.

The article further reports:

A U.S. diplomatic cable from December 2007, published by WikiLeaks, quoted Pakistan officials saying it was “logical for the Saudis to step in as the physical ‘protector’ ” of Sunni countries in response to the threat posed by Iran, a Shiite-majority nation. Saudi Arabia, unlike Egypt, another Arab power, has the finances to develop a nuclear-weapons arsenal, the Pakistanis argue.

Evidently the Saudis have no more confidence in the Obama Administration’s ability to negotiate a treaty with Iran that will actually stop their nuclear program than the 47 Senators who signed the letter. I think the fact that the Saudis are pursuing an atomic bomb of their own tells us all we need to know about the treaty President Obama is negotiating.

This Is A Very Interesting Statement

Fox Business posted a story today by Maria Bartiromo. The story included an amazing statement by Saudi billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The Prince stated that we will never see $100 a barrel oil again.

The article includes the following quote:

Saudi Arabia and all of the countries were caught off guard. No one anticipated it was going to happen. Anyone who says they anticipated this 50% drop (in price) is not saying the truth.

Because the minister of oil in Saudi Arabia just in July publicly said $100 is a good price for consumers and producers. And less than six months later, the price of oil collapses 50%.

Having said that, the decision to not reduce production was prudent, smart and shrewd. Because had Saudi Arabia cut its production by 1 or 2 million barrels, that 1 or 2 million would have been produced by others. Which means Saudi Arabia would have had two negatives, less oil produced, and lower prices. So, at least you got slammed and slapped on the face from one angle, which is the reduction of the price of oil, but not the reduction of production.

This is an interesting situation–the Saudis kept the production up so the price would go down. This seriously impacted the economies of Iran, Russia and Venezuela, and indirectly Cuba. It also made oil production in America less attractive–smaller profits. If the Saudis cut production to raise the price, American production comes back up and reduces the price. If the Saudis keep the price low, American production will be less, but will still exist.

I love the idea that we will never again see $100 a barrel oil. I am tired of being blackmailed by the Middle East oil producers. Maybe now we can stop funding terrorism.

Weak Leadership Has Many Different Results

President Obama has been a weak President. He has not directly faced any of the threats against us. His comments on SONY were rather interesting considering the arrest of the man who made the video the Obama Administration blamed for Benghazi. But more important (and disturbing) is his unwillingness to stand up to Iran. This has left something of a vacuum in the Middle East power struggle which is now having interesting results.

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about what has been happening to oil prices recently. Mr. Hayward points out that the Saudi decision to keep production levels up (therefore keeping prices low) may not actually be about stunting the American shale oil market. It quite possibly has more to do with crippling the economies of Iran and Russia, the two biggest problems for the Saudis in their neighborhood.

In a National Post article posted yesterday, Conrad Black explains:

Saudi Arabia has resigned itself to the fact that neither its oft-demonstrated ability to play the periodic U.S. resolve to reduce its dependence on foreign oil like a yo-yo by price-cutting until the impulse of self-discipline passes, nor the agitation of the environmentalists for restrained oil production, will work again. . . a Saudi move on this scale, with the resulting self-inflicted reduction in their income, makes no sense for the marginal impact it will have on American future production and imports; it is a geopolitical move targeted much closer to home. . .

Saudi Arabia is trying to discourage the use of Iranian and Russian oil revenues to prop up the blood-stained and beleaguered Assad regime in Damascus, to finance Iran’s nuclear military program, and to incite the continuing outrages of Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories against Israel. The exotic community of interest that has suddenly arisen between the historically Jew-baiting Saudis and the Jewish state is because the countries in the area fear, with good reason as far as can be discerned, that the UN Security Council members, plus Germany, may be on the verge of acquiescing in Iran’s arrival as a threshold nuclear military power. The oil-price weapon, in the face of the terminal enfeeblement of the Obama administration, is the last recourse before the Saudis and Turks, whatever their autocues of racist rhetoric, invite Israel to smash the Iranian nuclear program from the air.

I guess this is one time having a weak President actually helps the American economy. However, if the price of oil remains low, future investment in American oil will decrease, and that will cause an economic problem for America. For many reasons, we need to make energy independence for America a priority.

Behind The Drop In Oil Prices

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about the recent drop in oil prices. As of 4 pm today, oil was listed at about $58 a barrel. So what does this mean?

The article reports:

I decided to reach out to the CEO of a very successful private oil exploration company for his inside opinion, and this is what he tells Power Line:

Our Rate of Return (ROR) drops to 10% on our wells at $55 oil.  However, this assumption assumes no drop in costs to drill wells and no contraction in the large differential ($10 to $12 per barrel) between Bakken and WTI oil.  In reality our ROR would actually be above 10% at $55 WTI oil price as our costs to drill would also come down.  There are plenty of drilling locations that would have above 10% ROR at $40 oil.  Even more drilling locations would require $70, $80, or $90 oil prices for that ROR.  Of course, drilling will slow down long before you get down to a 10% ROR.  Most will want at least a 20% ROR.  Of course the quality of the operator matters in addition to the drilling location. . .

Bottom line is that the Saudis want to chill investment in new oil supply to help protect OPEC’s future.  In round numbers we have had about 5 MBOPD increase in world oil demand over the last 5 or 6 years.  Over the same time period US oil production has grown from nearly 4 MBOPD (from 5 to 9 MBOPD) — 80% of the increase in WORLD demand!  This is NOT good for OPEC.  I suspect that we will have ugly oil prices ($60 – $75) for around a year as that is long enough to stop many current oil supply investments and, more importantly, serve to chill the appetite for future large investments in oil supply growth (deep water, arctic, marginal shale, marginal tar sands, etc) which is the Saudi goal in my opinion.  I do not believe that the current price ($65) is a sustainable price going forward.  It would not encourage enough new supply to balance world demand which itself would be goosed upwards with the lower prices.  I suspect that after this ugly price period ends, we likely see oil bouncing around the $75 to $95 range or something like that.

Of course all of this depends on the state of world economy which has many significant challenges such as at the required unwind, or more likely significant revamping, of the unsustainable entitlement states over the next two decades.  I personally believe that the Euro currency was a very idea from the start and is damaging for Europe and unsustainable as an institution.  The unwind of the Euro within the next 5 or 10 years could also cause significant economic headwinds for the world economy.

 This game has been played before–when America is reaching energy independence, lower the price to avoid further exploration. We are fools if we fall for this. As soon as OPEC thinks America is not interested in developing its own resources, the price will go back up to where it has been in recent years. Regardless of the price, energy independence is always a good idea for security reasons. Energy independence also frees America up to support democracies in the Middle East rather than dictatorships.

The Unintended Consequences Of American Oil Production

The Wall Street Journal today included an article by Daniel Yergin about the falling oil prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met Thursday and decided not to cut oil production. That is a major policy change and will have worldwide impact. The demand for oil is no longer the basis for OPEC’s decisions–now the deciding factors are the surge in U.S. oil production and the new oil supply from Canada.

The article reports:

Since 2008—when fear of “peak oil,” after which global output would supposedly decline, was the dominant motif—U.S. oil production has risen 80%, to nine million barrels daily. The U.S. increase alone is greater than the output of every OPEC country except Saudi Arabia.

The world has experienced sudden supply gushers before. In the early 1930s, a flood of oil from East Texas drove prices down to 10 cents a barrel—and desperate gas station owners offered chickens as premiums to bring in customers. In the late 1950s, the rapidly swelling flow of Mideast oil led to price cuts that triggered the formation of OPEC.

Oil is currently selling at about $69 per barrel after hovering around $100 per barrel for the past three years. The shale oil being drilled in America is still economical to produce with prices between $50 and $69 per barrel, so the lower prices will not drive America from the world market.

So what are the international implications of cheap oil? The Russian budget is funded over 40% by oil, but Putin has built up a reserve of a few hundred billion dollars that will help Russia cope with the falling oil prices. Venezuela and Iran are also negatively impacted by falling oil prices. Just for the record, the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline would have a severe negative impact on the Venezuelan economy–the Gulf Coast refineries would replace the heavy oil from Venezuela with the Canadian oil.

There is, of course, the possibility that OPEC could change its mind in the Spring and cut output, but even if they were to do that, they would only be hurting themselves, as Canada and the United States would simply increase their production to make up the difference.

Trouble In Paradise

The Middle East oil countries have done very well during the past thirty or so years. The have combined to form the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and have raised the price of oil from somewhere near $5 a barrel to over $100 a barrel (although the cost of oil is currently dropping).

The Wall Street Journal reported today that as the Western countries begin to develop their oil resources, OPEC members are fighting over production quotas and prices.

The article reports:

But even modest cooperation between many members has broken down, and Saudi Arabia, in particular, has moved to act on its own. While it cut output earlier this summer, other members didn’t go along. Since then, it has dropped its prices.

Each member has a different tolerance for lower prices. Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia generally don’t need prices quite as high as Iran and Venezuela to keep their budgets in the black.

Late Friday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez, who represents Caracas in the group, called for an urgent meeting to tackle falling prices. The group’s next regular meeting is set for late next month.

But on Sunday, Ali al-Omair, Kuwait’s oil minister, said there had been no invitation for such a meeting, suggesting the group would need to stomach lower prices. He said there was a natural floor to how low prices could fall—at about $76 to $77 per barrel—near what he said was the average production costs per barrel in Russia and the U.S.

The history of oil prices has often been that when the Middle East begins to drop their prices, Americans stop looking for cheaper oil in their own country. Considering the current instability in the Middle East in the OPEC nations, that would be a big mistake.

America needs to be energy independent for both economic and security reasons. It is time to develop our own resources.

The Twisted Logic Of American Foreign Policy

Twisted logic in American foreign policy is nothing new. It has been going on for at least the last half century. However, every now and again it just seems to become even less logical than normal. Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online today about America’s alliance with the ‘moderate’ Muslims of Saudi Arabia. Admittedly, the Saudis have been important allies on numerous occasions–they have supported the use of the American dollar as the preferred currency in trading oil, they have been a strong enough member of OPEC to keep America from being totally raked over the coals in the oil price negotiations of that organization, and generally they have supported America when it suited their interests. However, there is another side of the story.

The article explains:

And let’s not kid ourselves: We know there will be more beheadings in the coming weeks, and on into the future. Apostates from Islam, homosexuals, and perceived blasphemers will face brutal persecution and death. Women will be treated as chattel and face institutionalized abuse. Islamic-supremacist ideology, with its incitements to jihad and conquest, with its virulent hostility toward the West, will spew from the mosques onto the streets. We will continue to be confronted by a country-sized breeding ground for anti-American terrorists.

The Islamic State? Sorry, no. I was talking about . . .  our “moderate Islamist” ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But the confusion is understandable.

Islamic State terrorists have infamously decapitated three of their prisoners in recent weeks. That is five fewer than the Saudi government decapitated in August alone. Indeed, it is three fewer beheadings than were carried out in September by the Free Syrian Army — the “moderate Islamists” that congressional Republicans have now joined Obama Democrats in supporting with arms and training underwritten by American taxpayer dollars.

Are we really sure that we want to continue our support Saudi Arabia? They are the main supporters of Wahabi Islam. Saudi Arabia supports schools in America that use textbooks whose map of the Middle East does not include the country of Israel. One of the things that puts America in the position of almost having to support Saudi Arabia is the current government energy policies. Energy independence would allow America to make decisions in the international realm based on reality–not energy dependence.

The article reminds of the history of Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam: the birthplace of Mohammed, the site of the Hijra by which Islam marks time — the migration from Mecca to Medina under siege by Mohammed and his followers. The Saudi king is formally known as the “Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques” (in Mecca and Medina); he is the guardian host of the Haj pilgrimage that Islam makes mandatory for able-bodied believers. The despotic Saudi kingdom is governed by Islamic law — sharia. No other law is deemed necessary and no contrary law is permissible.

It is thus under the authority of sharia that the Saudis routinely behead prisoners.

I happen to own the edition of the Koran “with English Translation of ‘The Meanings and Commentary,’” published at the “King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex” — Fahd was Abdullah’s brother and predecessor. As the introductory pages explain, this version is produced under the auspices of the regime’s “Ministry of Hajj and Endowments.” In its sura (or chapter) 47, Allah commands Muslims, “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks.”

Andrew McCarthy concludes:

And now Republicans in Congress have joined Democrats to support President Obama’s hare-brained scheme to train 5,000 “moderate” Syrian rebels. As every sentient person knows, a force of that size will have no chance of defeating the Islamic State or al-Qaeda — even if we charitably assume that many in its ranks do not defect to those organizations, as they have been wont to do. The rebels will similarly have no chance against the Iran-backed Assad regime. In sum, our government, nearly $18 trillion in debt, will expend another $500 million to school 5,000 “moderate Islamists” in military tactics that cannot win the war in Syria but could eventually be used in the jihad against the United States. Welcome to Libya . . . the Sequel.

Oh, and did I mention that the training of these “moderate” rebels will take place in “moderate” Saudi Arabia?

American foreign policy has stopped supporting the interests of America.

The Junior Varsity Has Become The Varsity

On Thursday, Foreign Policy magazine posted an article about a laptop computer found in an ISIS hideout. The computer was found by Abu Ali, a commander of a moderate Syrian rebel group in northern Syria.

The article reports:

As we switched on the Dell laptop, it indeed still worked. Nor was it password-protected. But then came a huge disappointment: After we clicked on “My Computer,” all the drives appeared empty.

Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Upon closer inspection, the ISIS laptop wasn’t empty at all: Buried in the “hidden files” section of the computer were 146 gigabytes of material, containing a total of 35,347 files in 2,367 folders. Abu Ali allowed us to copy all these files — which included documents in French, English, and Arabic — onto an external hard drive.

…The laptop’s contents turn out to be a treasure trove of documents that provide ideological justifications for jihadi organizations — and practical training on how to carry out the Islamic State‘s deadly campaigns. They include videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use disguises in order to avoid getting arrested while traveling from one jihadi hot spot to another.

Other things found on the computer included a 19-page document written in Arabic, explaining how to weaponize bubonic plague from invested animals and how to develop biological weapons. Lovely.

Also included on the laptop:

The laptop also includes a 26-page fatwa, or Islamic ruling, on the usage of weapons of mass destruction. “If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir [unbelievers] in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction,” states the fatwa by Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al-Fahd, who is currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. “Even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth.”

This is what we are up against. As unbelievers, we are supposed to be destroyed by the Muslims. It has nothing to do with what we do–it is because we are not Muslims. If we are willing to convert to Islam, our lives will be spared.

Negotiating with ISIS and its relatives is NOT an option.

Wandering Away From Your Stated Purpose

Anyone who reads this site regularly knows that I am not a fan of the United Nations (U.N.). I think they have been taken over by a bunch of tin-horned dictators and need to be shut down and kicked out of New York City. Just the uncollected parking ticket revenue could reinvigorate the New York City budget! The current members list of the U.N. Human Rights Commission illustrates how far the U.N. has fallen from its original noble purpose ( to prevent further “generations from the scourge of war”, “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights” (“equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small”), “establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained” and “promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”.). The current members of the U.N. Human Rights Commission include Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Cuba and Venezuela are run by dictators who routinely ignore human rights, and Saudi Arabia does not allow religious freedom.

A website promoting a petition to remove the U.N. from all Israeli territory points out:

Furthermore, a notable subgroup UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) has been a) found to be storing weaponry for an internationally recognized terrorist organization and b) time and again shows that it does not treat various groups equally or respect international law despite these two things being at the core of the UN’s founding charter.

The amazing part of the story is that they gave the weapons back to Hamas:

Here is the UNRWA’s “apology” for allowing rockets to be stored in one of their schools in Gaza and here is a follow-up article stating that they did not turn said weapons over for destruction to UN forces or some other legal body that respects human rights but rather gave them back to Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization that has to date committed numerous war crimes and various human rights violations according to the fourth Geneva Conventions.

It really is time to send the U.N. packing. They are not aiding the cause of peace.

Looking Past The Present

Various news outlets are reporting that America is considering a political alliance with Iran in order to bring stability to the situation in Iraq. While that might work in the short term, there is no way it makes sense if you consider the history of the region and the recent history of Iraq.

Fox News posted a story yesterday reminding us of some of that history. The past problems between Iran and Iraq were based on the Sunni Shiite conflict within Islam. Saddam Hussein was a Sunni, the rulers of Iran (after 1978) were Shiites. The Iran-Iraq war was started in 1980 by Saddam Hussein. It was ended by a United Nations resolution in 1988. As a point of interest, that eight-year war is responsible for the fact that as of 2013 almost 90 percent of Iran’s population is under the age of 55. Almost 25 percent is under the age of 25. In America, almost 75 percent of the population is under the age of 55, and about 33 percent is under the age of 25.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the current Prime Minister of Iraq is a Shiite. Almost immediately after taking office, he formed an alliance with Iran. He also persecuted Sunnis. Al-Maliki’s persecution of Sunnis and Iran’s destabilization of Iraq during al-Maliki’s rule have brought us to where we are now. They have created this mess, why are they offering to stabilize it?

The article at Fox News reminds us:

As reported by the Free Beacon, the report warned that Iran was working against U.S. goals in Iraq, by boosting Shiite militia groups — sectarian tensions are part of what allowed the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to gain ground in the country’s north. The State Department report specifically said Iranian forces were working with Hezbollah to provide advisers in Iraq for Shiite militants “in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry.” 

Further, the report said Iran has “remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al Qaeda (AQ) members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody.”

The reason Iran is willing to help us ‘stabilize’ Iraq is that Iran believes a stable Iraq will be a step forward in forming a regional caliphate. The plan is to include Iran, Iraq, Syria, and part of Saudi Arabia in that caliphate. Eventual plans include the region (later the world), but for now, Iran wants Iraq, Syria, and part of Saudi Arabia.

Iran is an international sponsor of terrorism. It would be a serious mistake to align ourselves with them in any way.

The Consequences Of A Failed Foreign Policy

Today’s U.K. Telegraph posted an article about what is happening in Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and greater Syria (ISIS) has seized Mosul and is advancing toward Baghdad. How did this happen? This is the result of not signing a Status of Forces agreement with the Iraqi government after we officially ‘ended’ the Iraqi war. It is also the result of announcing to the people we were fighting exactly when we were leaving. However, these were not the first mistakes made in Iraq. Iraq had a real chance at democracy–it had been a united country in the past. However, our first mistake was to put United States approval on a constitution that recognized Sharia Law. We really did not take the steps to insure democracy–Sharia Law and democracy are not compatible. So where are we now?

The article in the U.K. Telegraph reports:

ISIS are pure terrorists: their strategy is to use extreme violence to drive Iraq into a sectarian melee. The group knows that with each atrocity it commits, Iraq’s geographic borders and government institutions lose form. That with each Shia market it bombs, Iraq moves closer to the bloody civil war of 2006 (Shia terrorist groups are far from silent). That with each ISIS victory, Iraq’s basic viability becomes ever more tenuous. Exacerbating the crisis is Maliki’s long term authoritarianism: this has empowered ISIS.

The article concludes:

Obviously, this places the West in a serious bind. Whatever some might say, forming an alliance with Iran to fight ISIS would be a disaster. Still, America cannot allow Iraq to collapse. Too much of our blood and our allies’ blood has already been spilled for that nation’s future. Those sacrifices must not be in vain. Correspondingly, the US should adopt a new, comprehensive regional strategy. Recognising that only the US government has the intelligence and logistics capabilities Iraq so desperately needs, Obama should support Maliki with the caveat that the Iraqi leader make reciprocal concessions. These must include power transfers to Iraqi Sunni-centered political parties and the establishment of independent democratic institutions that can cool sectarian flames over the longer term. These commitments must take form beyond words.

Regardless, we’ve heard for far too long that our absence from the Middle East would best serve our interests. Now we’re learning the opposite is true. No one wants more Iraq wars, but we must face the geopolitical disaster unfolding before us.

There is no way we can or should go back into Iraq. Unfortunately, the war that we have let fester in Syria is playing a major part in the battle for Iraq–Iran is using Iraq as a freeway to get supplies to the government of Syria. American dependence on Middle Eastern oil also complicates our options in this situation.

The thing to remember here is that the goal of Iran, a country which is up to its neck in the chaos of the Middle East, is to set up a caliphate that would include Iran, Iraq, Syria, parts (eventually all) of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc. (and what is now Israel). Iran will begin to fast track that program as soon as it gets both the missiles and bombs to carry out its mission. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is negotiating with Iran while they move toward their goals.

You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it and its political party out of office in 2014 and 2016.

Political Correctness Gone Amok

Yesterday Michael Graham posted an article on his blog about a planned television series that was cancelled. That’s not all that unusual, but in this case the reason for the cancellation was interesting.

According to the article:

Cyrus McGoldrick — a Muslim activist and former civil   rights manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New York — is lauding the quick death of what was ABC Family’s planned TV pilotAlice in Arabia.”…

“Getting ‪#‎AliceInArabia‬ cancelled was a good move – I’m glad it got done so quickly, too. These skirmishes with Zionist Hollywood should be easy and decisive, and I’m so pleasantly surprised that this was. S/o to ADC, CAIR, and the many individuals who stormed the internet and handled this,” he posted on Facebook.

What is–or rather, was– Alice In Arabia? It was a drama based on the premise of a young woman in America being dragged into fundamentalist Islam culture (it’s actually happened) by Muslim relatives (has happened), in this case by being kidnapped and taken to Saudi Arabia (it’s happened, too) and not being allowed to leave (yep–it really happens).

Muslim activists Rabia Chaudray finds the show outrageous and (of course) racist.  In a screed on Time’s website, he writes:

Not only will “Alice in Arabia” exacerbate the marginalization of Muslim and Arab men, it perfectly reflects Western attitudes towards Muslim women. Hear that sound? It’s millions of Muslim women snorting as Alice attempts to survive “life behind the veil.” The very idea that the veil is something to be survived strips Muslim women of their intellect and agency and makes them the subjects of this practice rather than sentient protagonists of it.

I wonder if the movie “Not Without My Daughter” could be made today. Whether it is allowed to be shown in a television series or not, women are horribly mistreated in Muslim countries. In most Muslim countries they are not allowed to leave their homes unless escorted by a male relative and they are not allowed to drive. If a woman is the victim of rape, she is stoned to death–there is not penalty for the man involved. It is a shame that the American public will not be allowed to see what life for an American woman in a Muslim state is like.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Brand Of Negotiating Is This?

On Saturday, Breitbart.com reported that as part of the secret talks that took place before the agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, the United States released two Iranian scientists that were in prison in America. One of those scientists, Mojtaba Atarodi, had been arrested in 2011 for attempting to acquire equipment that could be used for Iran’s military-nuclear programs.

It is also reported that hikers Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal were released in 2010 and 2011 as part of those negotiations. In 2012 the United States released Iranian prisoners Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan, Nosratollah Tajik, and Amir Hossein Seirafi. All three of these men had been charged with either weapons trafficking, purchasing illegal military equipment, or purchasing items to be used in Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Americans Robert Levinson, Amir Hekmati, and Saeed Abedini remain imprisoned in Iran. Negotiating with the Iranian thugs is not the answer. I hope Congress passes tighter sanctions and totally cripples the Iranian economy. That will give the Iranians who support freedom the opportunity to overthrow the Iranian government. Please understand that the Iranian government is at the root of the majority of the unrest in the Middle East. That is why an alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia is forming to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and a delivery system. We have been fighting Iran indirectly since the Iranian revolution–they have supplied weapons to Taliban troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan and are a major player in Syria.

The current Iranian government is not merely a threat to Israel–it is a threat to America and the entire world. The goal of the current Iranian government has not changed–that goal is the establishment of a world-wide caliphate under Sharia law. Another part of the philosophy of the current Iranian regime is that world chaos will usher in the return of the Mahdi. The Mahdi died in 874 and is believed to be living at the bottom of a well in Iran. The Iranian leaders believe that if they cause enough chaos he will return. These are the people we are negotiating with.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Cost Of Bad Foreign Policy

Before I go into any of this, I want to make one thing clear. I am not in favor of going to war with Iran. Despite the fact that American troops have been fighting Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than ten years now, I have no desire at all to attack Iran. Any American attack on Iran would result in an Iranian attack on Israel (probably chemical or nuclear in nature) and totally end any semblance of stability in the Middle East. However, I am totally opposed to the recent agreement reached between America and Iran in regard to Iran becoming a nuclear power (Iran says that in the recent agreement, the world community gave Iran permission to become a nuclear power; the world community says it did not give that permission).

I am not the only one concerned about the agreement. Yesterday Bret Stephens posted an article at the Wall Street Journal regarding the recent agreement reached with Iran.

Mr. Stephens cites two recent peace agreements that were questionable at best–Munich and the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973. Both agreements seemingly brought peace and both lead the way to horrible atrocities–the attempted Nazi takeover of Europe and the killing fields of Cambodia.

Mr. Stephens points out that although the agreement signed in Geneva on Sunday brings temporary peace as did Munich and Paris, it has no redeeming qualities.

The article points out:

And each deal was a prelude to worse. After Munich came the conquest of Czechoslovakia, the Nazi-Soviet pact and World War II. After Paris came the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh and the humiliating exit from the embassy rooftop. After Geneva there will come a new, chaotic Mideast reality in which the United States will lose leverage over enemies and friends alike.

What will that look like? Iran will gradually shake free of sanctions and glide into a zone of nuclear ambiguity that will keep its adversaries guessing until it opts to make its capabilities known. Saudi Arabia will move swiftly to acquire a nuclear deterrent from its clients in Islamabad; Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal made that clear to the Journal last week when he indiscreetly discussed “the arrangement with Pakistan.” Egypt is beginning to ponder a nuclear option of its own while drawing closer to a security alliance with Russia.

The economic sanctions on Iran were working–the Iranian economy was rapidly shrinking. That is why Iran was willing to negotiate. Had the economy continued to shrink, we might have seen the end of the tyrannical rule of the Ayatollahs. Instead, we will see an end to the sanctions and a strengthening of the hold the Islamic fanatics have on the country of Iran.

Unfortunately, we have messed this up royally, and we will be the ones to pay the price.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Behind The Rift Between The United States And Saudi Arabia

Yesterday Michael Ledeen posted an article at the Huffington Post about the recent rift between America and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Ledeen reminds us that the problem between the two countries is a result of the problems that Iran is causing in the Middle East.

The article reports:

During the 2011 “Arab Spring,” for example, Iran and Saudi Arabia came very close to direct armed conflict in Bahrain. The Iranian regime had allegedly fomented uprisings among the Shi’ites in Bahrain, a small island just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by a two-mile causeway. There seemed to be a real possibility that the pro-Saudi, pro-American royal family might be overthrown, and the Saudis threatened to send troops across the causeway to put down the disturbance. Iran reacted violently, but when Saudi troops marched into Bahrain, the Guards were nowhere to be found.

Following the Saudi intervention, the Revolutionary Guards were reportedly ordered to organize attacks on Saudi targets all over the world. They reportedly recruited hundreds of Iranian suicide bombers (although this is usually disinformation, since the regime typically uses Arabs, not Iranians, for such operations).

The article at the Huffington Post lists a number of incidents in recent years where Iran has targeting the Saudis and their interests around the world.

The article concludes:

Bottom line: there’s a very real war out there, and the Saudis are in the Iranian crosshairs. The Royal Family are not just worried about the destiny of Syria, they’re very much concerned about their own fate. This is what gives so much intensity to their recent actions and statements.

The Saudis are not angels. However, they are a successful counterbalance to Iran i the Middle East. They are also responsible for the fact that oil is traded in American dollars. We need to treat them well.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Empty Chair In The Oval Office

Bret Stephens posted an article at the Wall Street Journal yesterday  about the leadership style of President Obama. The article is titled, “The Unbearable Lightness of Obama.” Mr. Stephens points out that the President says that he was briefed on NSA eavesdropping in general, but never told the specifics of listening in on foreign leaders. In terms of ObamaCare there was no person with the right technology experience involved in launching the website.

Some other observations in the article:

Besides the Syrian government‘s gains, there was mounting evidence that Mr. Assad’s troops had repeatedly used chemical weapons against civilians.

“Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient and disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.”

…”On Saturday, as the shutdown drama played out on Capitol Hill, President Obama played golf at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.”

…”In polo shirt, shorts and sandals, President Obama headed to the golf course Friday morning with a couple of old friends, then flew to Camp David for a long weekend. Secretary of State John Kerry was relaxing at his vacation home in Nantucket.

“Aides said both men were updated as increasingly bloody clashes left dozens dead in Egypt, but from outward appearances they gave little sense that the Obama administration viewed the broader crisis in Cairo with great alarm.”

Please follow the link above to the article to see further examples. The article concludes:

Call Mr. Obama’s style indifferent, aloof or irresponsible, but a president who governs like this reaps the whirlwind—if not for himself, then for his country.

I don’t think this is the kind of leadership America wants, but since the majority of Americans voted for this man, they got what they asked for.

Enhanced by Zemanta

America Is Rapidly Losing Friends

One of the campaign claims of Barack Obama was that George Bush’s foreign policy had resulted in America being disliked around the world and that he, Barack Obama, would change that. Well, it hasn’t exactly worked that way.

On Friday, Richard Fernandez posted an article at PJ Media about the changing relationship between America and Saudi Arabia.

The article reports:

Today Saudi Arabia rejected a seat on the UN Security Council to which it had been unanimously elected in protest against “its long-time patron United States’ overtures to Iran, among other peeves,” according to the Times of India.

Alienating Saudi Arabia is not necessarily a good thing. I understand that the government of Saudi Arabia is a repressive Islamic state. It is a dictatorship that severely limits the rights of women. However, the Saudis have been the major support of the U.S. dollar as the trading currency for oil. That is one of the major things that has prevented the U.S. dollar from becoming worthless paper.

The Saudis understand the threat that Iran presents. On October 3rd, the National Interest reported:

The Saudi royal family has seen Iran as a threat to their survival ever since 1979, when Iranian leaders began encouraging Shi’ite communities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province to rebel. Subsequently, the Kingdom has been engaged in a regional battle for influence with Iran, and the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq removed a traditional counterweight to Iranian power. Sunni rulers now fear a Shi’ite crescent stretching from Iran to the Mediterranean—and possibly south into the Arab Gulf states.

Fearing Iranian advances, the Kingdom spearheaded a 2011 military intervention by the Gulf Cooperation Council that was designed to rescue the minority Sunni regime in Bahrain from its Shi’ite opposition. But of late, Syria has been the biggest regional source of conflict between Riyadh and Tehran. Saudi officials insist that Syria’s Assad regime is guilty of genocide, and they see Iran’s efforts to rescue Assad as aiding and abetting this slaughter.

I have lost faith in the idea that any of the Muslim countries in the Middle East will form governments that will actually promote freedom. Sharia Law is not compatible with freedom, and Sharia Law is one of the basic tenets of Islam. I suspect our best course of action is to understand who we are dealing with and distance ourselves when necessary. Saudi Arabia is an ally in the fight against radical Shiite Islam, but the Wahabi brand of Sunni Islam in Saudi Arabia gave us Al Qaeda. We would be better off the let the radicals deal with each other and stay out of the way.

This is how Richard Fernandez sums up President Obama”s foreign policy:

Obama sold himself to the voters as the candidate of the future. His real talent however, apparently lies in missing every opportunity that history presents. It has been said that “generals always fight the last war, especially if they have won it”. With Obama it’s different. He always fights the last war and can’t even remember who won it, except to remain confirmed in his conviction that the future is some other country’s past.

President Obama may be a very intelligent man, but he obviously does not have a gift for dealing with (or understanding) the complexities of the Middle East.

Enhanced by Zemanta

One Possible Explanation For Recent Foreign Policy Missteps

President Obama’s foreign policy has been a disaster. President Bush’s foreign policy was slightly better, but was not successful in promoting democracy, freedom, and American interests around the world. President Bush attempted to promote democracy, but any gains were lost when President Obama pulled the troops out of Iraq. Generally speaking, in recent years, when given a choice, America has made the wrong decision.

On Monday, the Middle East Forum posted an article entitled, “Gulliver Tied Down by Lilliputians.” The article details some of the reasons for America’s recent lack of success in dealing with the Middle East.

The article reports:

One in five applicants for jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency have ties to Muslim terrorist organizations, according to the latest round of Snowden leaks. And Israel is a major target of American counterintelligence. Washington is insane.

Three years ago, the Washington Post sketched the elephantiasis in the U.S. intelligence establishment without, of course, access to the detailed numbers leaked by Edward Snowden last week. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend if you can’t hire people you can trust. If you spend $52 billion in the “black budget,” you create so many conflicting bureaucratic interest groups as to cancel out any possible signal with a wave of noise.

I have very mixed emotions about Edward Snowden and what he has done, but this is information that should be made public. Obviously common sense has departed from the CIA hiring process.

The article at Middle East Forum contrasts the fact that America intelligence services cannot find Arab translators and are forced to hire people whose backgrounds they cannot  verify with the fact that Israel routinely teaches Arab languages in high school and thus has more translators than they can use. Admittedly, Israel is in the midst of the danger, but we can still learn a lesson from them.

The article concludes:

The U.S. has relied extensively on friendly Arab intelligence services, above all the Egyptians, to fill the gap — except that the Obama administration did its best to bring down the Egyptian military in 2011 and install the Muslim Brotherhood. The Israelis have plenty to tell, but little that Washington wants to hear: Israel never fell victim to the mass delusion about the so-called Arab Spring, and has warned throughout (along with Saudi Arabia) that Iran’s nuclear ambitions must be crushed. Israel therefore is treated as an intelligence target rather than as a collaborator, while the Arab intelligence services who most might help us — Egyptian and Saudi — must regard us with skepticism in the best of cases and hostility in the worst.

America is flying blind into a hurricane. Americans who write about the Middle East now depend on what other countries choose to leak to us. Washington isn’t in the loop any longer.

Whether we are willing to admit it or not, America is involved in a war for her survival and for the survival of western civilization. Our enemies will fight this war whether we choose to fight it or not. It’s time to wake up and defend our freedom.

Enhanced by Zemanta