While there is much going on in the Middle East, many people may not be aware of just how many situations are becoming critical. With the Obama administration one can never predict which allies we’ll abandon or which enemies we’ll end up giving aid to.
Let’s start with what’s been going on in Iran. Last week I wrote about the latest on talks between Iran and the US and the IAEA, and how Obama was trying to pressure Congress into loosening sanctions against Iran. Back in March of 2012, Obama had tough talk about Iran, saying “I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force [if] necessary ...” While in the time since this statement, Obama has done nothing, Iran is enriching and installing more centrifuges and has denied the IAEA access to monitor any of their facilities. Iran’s Arak complex, which involves both a heavy water production facility and a reactor that would use that heavy water for plutonium production, would give Iran the material for two nuclear bombs every year.
Some in Washington echoed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s concerns that Iranian concessions didn’t go far enough, and that they may not have to end enrichment. It’s reported in the same article that Obama called Netanyahu and “underscored his strong commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” according to a White House statement, a deputy press secretary for the White House, told reporters “there is no deal,” and that “any critique of the deal is premature.”
It seems that former Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta last week told the Anti-Defamation League in New York that since Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is unlikely to give up uranium enrichment, the United States “may very well have to use military force to back up our policy” against Iranian nuclear weapons. He also said that the US needs to “maintain a healthy skepticism” When it comes to negotiating and “It is the Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] who is key, and he is not likely to give up [uranium] enrichment… We have to remain strong. We have to remain consistent.”
Benjamin Netanyahu warned that signing an interim deal with Iran would be a mistake of “historic proportions”.
Analysis has also shown that Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon would be a huge destabilizing factor in the Middle East, with some suggesting that Saudi Arabia’s oil fields would be a first target, especially if Iran were to drop an EMP over the Saudi Kingdom, or any of the other oil rich states in the Middle East.
A good friend pointed out that the combined reserves of the total area between Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran, which lies in the Persian Gulf, constitutes 50+% of global proven reserves.
We all know the Shia and Sunnis don`t get along. Iraq`s Shia population is dominant in the eastern provinces. Although mostly Sunni, Saudi Arabia`s Shia also live within the eastern portions. Iran is almost totally Shia. All the Arab spring upheavals and violence have been Sunni vs. Shia and Obama seemed to always side with Sunnis, until now in the case of Saudi Arabia. Is it any wonder that Saudi Arabia is nervous about Iran’s nuclear activities and Obama’s behavior? Not to mention Iraq, who is having their own issues with Iran as well as Syrian ‘rebels’? If Iran decided to drop an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) on the region, they could gain control of the whole heart of Middle East oil production.
Senator Ted Cruz issued a statement about John Kerry possibly striking a deal with Iran, in lifting sanctions saying in part,
If the reports are correct, this is a terrible deal, and it is dangerous for America. The prospect of Iran acquiring nuclear weapon capacity is the gravest national security threat we face, yet it appears that this ‘deal’ does not require Iran to dismantle even a single centrifuge or turn over even a single pound of enriched uranium… The United States should negotiate from a position of strength, not weakness. We should have insisted on good-faith measures before meeting with the Iranians directly, such as the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini and the acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
John Kerry, who has been working with other nations on negotiations, accused those opposing the deal of speaking out too soon, as latest news reports claim Iran will not take the deal, by saying, “The time to oppose it is when you see what it is, not to oppose the effort to find out what is possible.”
Gee Mr. Kerry, is that anything like “We need to pass it so we can see what’s in it”?
Speaking of Israel, the capitulation by the Obama administration, along with recent leaks by the administration of Israel’s actions involving Syria’s weapons, has severely damaged the relations between our two countries. From a report from USAToday, Analysts say the Obama administration needs to take Israel’s fears seriously, while the White House insists it is doing what is best for the security of Israel, the United States and the Middle East.
So in essence, just like he does with the American people, Obama is telling Israel what is best for them, seemingly not caring that Israel is fully aware of what is best for them.
Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. peace negotiator who has served as an advisor for past Secretaries of State from both political parties, said, “I find it almost unimaginable this administration would conclude even an interim agreement with (Iranian President Hassan) Rouhani that left Israel angry and aggrieved and the relationship in even worse shape.” He added that Israeli frustration with the United States may have been greater at points in the past but he’d never seen Israeli ire expressed as publicly as has been done in recent days.
This past week John Kerry was going between Israel and Jordan trying to keep the peace talks going. In spite of the incredulous demands of the Palestinians, the Secretary of State still had the nerve to say, “What is the alternative to peace… Prolonged continued conflict. The absence of peace really means you have a sort of low-grade conflict, war.” He also warned of a return to violence if faltering peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians fail.
Moving onto Syria, it was reported last week that shoulder held anti-aircraft missiles,(also known as MANPADS )have been pouring into the country, found among Islamic terrorists and the so called rebels that the US has been aiding. First thing that comes to mind are all of those which went missing in Libya, and according to the Washington Times report, the Pentagon estimated the arsenal at about 20,000 mostly Soviet-designed anti-aircraft missiles, most of them early models of the 30-pound SA-7. With them were a smaller number of the launching systems, with firing tubes and grip stocks.
Since the attack by Al Qaida and other terrorists left 4 Americans dead in Benghazi, the United Nations has also been trying to find the weapons. It’s been reported many times over the past year that the compound in Benghazi was being used to send guns and weapons into Syria.
So now we have the potential for terrorists to use these weapons to bring down passenger planes. It’s reported in the same article that Saudi Arabia is buying arms as well for the rebels yet Washington has put pressure on the Saudis not to provide MANPADS, adding that Saudi Arabia already has sent anti-tank missiles.
There are also unconfirmed reports that MANPADS from Libya are showing up in Algeria, Mali and the Gaza Strip and there are confirmed reports that Libyan missiles showed up in Lebanon and Tunisia.
Also concerning is a report by the BBC which claimed that Andrew Parker, head of British intelligence service, MI5, told a parliamentary hearing the conflict was attracting al-Qaeda British sympathizers. With the huge Muslim population in the UK, studies have shown that most British jihadists are in their 20s, university-educated and Muslims of British Pakistani origin. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 foreign militants in Syria is believed to be from Europe.
One more story, this out of Egypt, by World Tribune which reported that Egypt is preparing for Muslim Brotherhood attacks on the Suez Canal, and that the intelligence sources determined that the Suez would mark a leading target of attack by the Brotherhood and Al Qaida allies. Al Qaida, which was supposedly, according to Obama, on the run and no longer a threat.
There is more, but suffice to say that the events in the Middle East are as important to be watchful of as are the things our administration are doing domestically. It’s becoming clear that once Obama becomes involved in foreign affairs, he stirs the pot to boiling and then retreats.
We saw it in Libya, by aiding ‘rebels’ to over throw Gadhafi, which led to Benghazi, and leaving four Americans dead and the Libyans over run with terrorists. We saw what happened in Egypt, propping up the Muslim Brotherhood, and when the Egyptian people toppled Morsi’s regime, Obama left leaving chaos and has denied sending promised aid and weapons, leaving Egypt to go shopping in Russia. We’ve seen it in Syria, arming the rebels, and getting involved enough to threaten military action, then backing off- leaving a breeding ground of terrorists coming from all over the world and turning a civil war into a proxy fought war which is spilling into neighboring countries. We are seeing it potentially now in Iran.
This administration has shown incredible negligence in the past four years of the Arab Spring, but how much is truly incompetent, and which is intentional, only time will tell.