Sep 16

Obama Lacks the Credibility to Sell Used Cars,Much Less Lead an “Anti-Terror” Coalition

Barack Obama has spent the last six years throwing America's allies under the bus and weaseling out of "red lines" & commitments. It is no surprise that governments in the Middle East are reluctant to join an "anti-terror" coalition lead by a man they wouldn't buy a used car from.

Barack Obama has spent the last six years throwing America’s allies under the bus and weaseling out of “red lines”. It is no surprise that governments in the Middle East are reluctant to join an “anti-terror” coalition lead by a man they wouldn’t buy a used car from.

Barack Obama is a man who desperately wishes that foreign-policy wasn’t part of the job description that comes with being President of the United States. After six years of trying to “pivot” away from the Middle East, Obama is discovering that just because one doesn’t have an interest in the Middle East, is no immunity from the Middle East biting one in the ass.

With the terror group ISIS rampaging over much of the Levant and executing Western hostages, Obama has found himself forced to commit America to going to war again in the region. A broad regional coalition of (mainly) Sunni states is, according to Obama’s thinking, an essential ingredient to legitimizing America’s latest military foray in a region Obama would dearly love to be rid of.

Alas, Obama’s efforts at coalition-building have so far proven a dismal failure, with no country yet willing to openly commit to joining the USA in any military action against ISIS. But the reluctance of Middle Eastern governments to join an “anti-ISIS” coalition is not due to any imagined sympathies towards the group.

Simply put, countries in the region are understandably reluctant to commit themselves to a man who has himself not kept a single commitment to any of America’s allies. From Ukraine, to Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Turkey and the Gulf, America’s friends and opponents have noted what little value the Obama administration’s “commitments” are actually worth.

After six years of weaseling out of “red lines”, throwing Lebanese and Ukrainian allies under the bus, treating Turkey and Israel with open disdain, and going behind the Gulf’s back to sign an appeasement with the Iranian Ayatollocracy, the scale of which outdid even Chamberlain’s Munich agreement with Adolf Hitler, Obama comes as a supplicant to the Middle East; a supplicant with not even the credibility of a used-car salesman.

Join an Obama-led “anti-terror” coalition? Speaking as a Syrian refugee, I tend to regard Barack Obama as one would regard a neighbor who never lent much more than a glass of water while my house burned, but now expects me to join his vigilante neighborhood gang because someone broke his windows.

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Aug 25

Allying with Assad Would be the Stupidest Sh-t in the History of Stupid Sh-t

If "realpolitik" demands that we ask who has the best chance of defeating ISIS in Syria, then recent events has shown that the inevitable answer is "not Bashar Assad". Despite massive aid from Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Hizbollah terrorist organization, the Syrian army continues to be mercilessly steamrolled by ISIS, and there is precious little a Western alliance with the regime can do to bolster Assad's lackluster forces. In return, Assad can do nothing whatsoever to prevent a potential ISIS attack in the West.

If “realpolitik” demands that we ask who has the best chance of defeating ISIS in Syria, then recent events have shown that the inevitable answer is “not Bashar Assad”. Despite massive aid from Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Hizbollah terrorist organization, the Syrian army continues to be mercilessly steamrolled by ISIS, and there is precious little a Western alliance with the regime can do to bolster Assad’s lackluster forces. In return, Assad can do nothing whatsoever to prevent a potential ISIS attack in the West.

Recent calls by the likes of Fareed Zakaria and Ryan Crocker for the West to ally itself with the regime of Bashar Assad to fight the terror group ISIS, ignore some very practical reasons why such an alliance would do nothing to safeguard Western lives or rollback the Islamic State. Proponents of an alliance with Assad are acting less like hard-nosed realists, and more like daydreamers where cold-hard facts and realities must be ignored in order to sustain the fantasy.

If the threat of ISIS demands cold-hearted “realpolitik”, then “realpolitik” demands that we ask who has the best chance of defeating ISIS in Syria. Recent events have shown that the answer isn’t “Bashar Assad”, and for reasons that are both military and practical. The regime’s most recent defeat to ISIS at the Tabqa airbase was an even bigger political disaster than a military one, coming so soon after Bashar Assad had all but declared “victory” in the Syrian conflict.

Considering the abysmal performance of the regime’s forces against ISIS to date (even with massive Russian & regional assistance), the massive political ransom that will be extracted from the West (the lifting of economic, financial & military sanctions) in the event of such an alliance, and Assad’s utter inability to prevent a potential ISIS attack in Europe or North America, the inevitable conclusion must be that the regime brings precious little to an “alliance” with the West, when weighed against the price such an alliance would entail.

Simply put, it is more viable to light the beacons of Gondor and wait for the Riders of Rohan to come to the rescue against ISIS, then there is in relying on the Assad regime to rollback the Islamic State.

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Aug 11

Malala Yousafzai and the Failure of Muslim Moderates

malala-yousafzai-UN-speech

Malala Yousefzai giving a speech at the UN on the occasion of “Malala Day”. While Malala herself has demonstrated remarkable bravery, her situation epitomizes the dismal failure of Islamic moderate activists to make any impact within their own communities and countries. Far too many activists in the Muslim world eventually end up dead or pleading for asylum in the West.

A year ago in September 2013, the teenage Pakistani education advocacy activist Malala Yousefzai opened a £188 million library in the British city of Birmingham.

Having spent the previous eleven months recovering from a shot in the head inflicted by Pakistani Taleban terrorists in retaliation for her activism, Malala had become the most commemorated teenage girl since Anne Frank. Honors from three continents were awarded to her, as were numerous media awards and distinctions.

By the time of her 16th birthday, a day the UN commemorated as “Malala Day”, Malala came to symbolize the struggle against Islamic militant extremism.

A struggle which her home country of Pakistan and much of the Islamic world today have clearly lost or are in advanced stages of losing. While Malala’s courage and resolve are without question, the dismal reality is that for all her activism and accolades abroad, her work has done next to nothing to challenge the trajectory and momentum of the Taleban in her home community.

Sadly, Malala epitomizes the dismal state of numerous Muslim activists, too many of whom eventually end up dead or pleading for asylum in the West. Prominent Muslim activists end up continuing their work from within the very societies that have none of the problems or issues those activists are seeking to fix.

Muslim communities themselves, the very places where the efforts of reformers are needed the most, are woefully incapable of providing the protection and space necessary for reformist activism in the face of religious extremism. The personal bravery of isolated individuals counts for little when society in general is too intimidated or cowed to stand up to the extremists.

In the face of the rise of savage extremist groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda affiliates, the world has waited on the “moderate Muslim majority” to assert itself. And yet to date, most Muslim societies have proven utterly incapable of rallying around even their own social reformers and activists.

A multi-million pound library in Birmingham? It would have been better had the Pakistani state been strong enough to enable Malala to open a modest thousand pound library in her home town of Mingora.

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Jul 29

Dear Europe, Please Get Your Shit Together

"Pro-Gaza" demonstrators flourishing the Quenelle reverse-Nazi salute, on top of Paris' Place de la République monument. On the centenary of the First World War, European societies seem to lack the resilience and resolve to reign in the extremism running rampant on their streets.

“Pro-Gaza” demonstrators flourishing the Quenelle reverse-Nazi salute, on top of Paris’ Place de la République monument. On the centenary of the First World War, European societies seem to lack the resilience and resolve to reign in the extremism running rampant on their streets.

Dear Europe,

I never thought the day would come when I’d be lecturing other people on the subject of failing societies. But when a Syrian tells you that you are in deep shit, you may rest assured that the shit you are in is deep indeed.

What in heaven’s name happened at Copenhagen? Last week’s disgraceful events in Calgary were bad enough, but Copenhagen was a hundred times worse.

A group of 250 Jewish and Iranian activists got together infront of the Danish Parliament for a rally, the agenda of which could not have been more laudable; peace for both Israel and Palestine, with both Israeli and Palestinian flags in evidence, and a keynote speech by Denmark’s former Chief Rabbi, Bent Melchior, one of Europe’s foremost figures in interfaith dialogue.

It was exactly the kind of commendable gathering needed for these troubled times.

And, apparently, exactly the kind of rally that is impossible to hold in Copenhagen in this day and age.

Within an hour, the police had to urge the participants to disband their event and flee into the Parliament’s courtyard, as intimidation from a growing horde of “pro-Gaza” Hamas-flag brandishing “kill the Jews Allahu Akbar” thugs grew to such horrendous proportions, that the police felt that they could no longer guarantee the safety of the Jewish and Iranian participants.

"Pro-Gaza" antisemitic thugs taking over the monument at Paris' Place de la République.

“Pro-Gaza” thugs taking over the monuments at Paris’ Place de la République. Note the Swastika graffiti at the base of the statue.

Europe, do you really need someone to tell you how so very, very bad it is when honest citizens can no longer express their opinion in Denmark, of all places?

Denmark is one of the least objectionable and inoffensive societies in the world. The last time anyone ever had cause to be offended by Denmark, the Danes were in longboats and wearing helmets with horns.

I really wish I could go back to using this blog to complain about Syria every week. Although the world has demonstrated that it can, for now at least, go about its business unaffected by a Levant intent on burning itself to the ground, Europe is another matter altogether.

Last Friday’s events didn’t just concern some Jews and Iranian dissidents. One of the fundamental pillars on which a civilized community is built on had been violated in the heart of one of Europe’s most civilized societies. The extremists won that day.

And the “pro-Gaza” thugs in Paris, Holland, Germany and London, already openly testing the limits of society’s tolerance for their thuggery, will be enormously emboldened by the precedent set by their reprehensible brethren in managing to disperse a rally by Jews. On the centenary of the First World War, Europe faces a crisis as challenging as any in 1914.

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