October 21, 2014

‘Hope and Change in the Middle East’: A Recap

Historian Victor Davis Hanson has a way of putting things in perspective. “Let us get this straight,” he writes, “We were going to bomb Bashar Assad, but then decided at the last minute not to. But then we were going to help the Free Syrian Army. But then the administration did not, and later dismissed its forces as amateurs and a ‘fantasy.’ But then the administration made them the foundation of our ground strategy both against Assad and his archenemy, the jayvee-like Islamic State, which we are now bombing to the delight of Assad, as the Islamic State gobbles up Iraq, which we abandoned because it was ‘stable’ and ‘secure’ and the administration’s likely ‘greatest achievement.’ But then again we also apparently inadvertently dropped weapons and aid to the Islamic State, against whom we are now de facto allies with Iran, which we have accused of stonewalling on coming clean about its proliferation, even as we eased sanctions against them. … Meanwhile the administration is preemptively bombing in Iraq (where nonexistent stockpiles of WMD somehow keep turning up in the Iraqi-Syrian badlands), without consulting the U.S. Congress or the UN, given the administration’s present reliance on the twelve-year old, 2002 congressional authorization to bomb the late Baathist Saddam Hussein, a resolution which Barack Obama in his campaign in 2008 against Hillary Clinton ritually derided. It is all very confusing….” More…

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