Saturday, October 12, 2013

Is Obama pushing Saudi Arabia into radical Islam?

by Clifford F. Thies 

Perhaps unique in the American blogosphere, this website has been harsh in its criticism of radical Islam while recognizing our friendship, commercial interests and military alliances with the majority of Arab nations including, in particular, Saudi Arabia. Part of this seemingly strange alignment is the threat Iran poses not only to Israel but to Sunni Islam. But, now, things may be changing yet again. President Obama's entree to Iran and his fecklessness in Syria, combined with his incompetence in Egypt and Libya, may be causing the Saudis to turn to more radical elements within Sunni Islam, to continue to support the Sunnis in the civil war in Syria. 

A UPI story tells of the Saudis recruiting new fighters, Salafists, and of forging ties with Al Qaida elements operating in Syria. This shift may portend a reactionary, literalist and puritanical "Sunni Awaking," replacing the democratic "Arab Awaking" of a few years ago. It is almost unbelievable how incompetent Obama has been in this region of the world.

First, failing to convince Hosni Mubarak to undertake incremental reforms so as to preclude a revolutionary change for which his country was not ready. (Not that we blame Obama completely; ultimately, this was Mubarak's fault.) Our advise, almost always, is peaceful and gradual change toward democratic government. You simply cannot foresee what revolutionary change will result in, except that usually it is something bad. Then, in Libya, "leading from behind." By initially hesitating, and then by backing the Europeans in their antiseptic approach to aiding the rebels, we allowed the Civil War to drag on, much of the infrastructure of the country to be destroyed, and many of the democratic fighters among the rebels to be killed. 

Even though Gaddafi was overthrown, the country was left in ruins and remains in anarchy to this day, with radical elements roaming at large. Then, in Syria, we didn't even "lead from behind," but left Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States alone to support the Free Syrian Army. (Perhaps the President was hesitant because of the Russian presence, as he did not hesitate in Yemen to support the Saudis in the proxy war there against the Iranians.) As the war dragged on, the ranks of the Free Syrian Army were attritted, radical Islamist elements began operating as a third force, and the situation on the ground became a complete mess.

1 comment:

kevin said...

The civil war in Syria is net beneficial, because Shia are fighting Sunni. Let them bleed each other, instead of infidels. The more the Syrian economy is destroyed, the better; this leaves them less able to buy weapons.

Obama favors a Sunni Caliphate, which is why he backs Erdogan and the rebels in Syria. Instead we should be backing the Kurds, who deserve a separate state carved from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.