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Middle East Burning---Obama’s Gaza War
Frontpagemagazine ^ | November 21, 2012 | Daniel Greenfield

Posted on 11/21/2012 5:19:24 PM PST by SJackson

Middle East Burning

November 21, 2012 By Daniel Greenfield

It is in the nature of the media beast that anything that happens in or around the Jewish State gets far more attention than anything that happens throughout the rest of the region. Israel has also created a safe zone for reporters. It is one of the few places in the Middle East where reporters can write what they like without having to worry about receiving a visit in the middle of the night and a ride inside the trunk of a black car.

But the time-honored obsession with Jews, which even the stiffest BBC or Guardian correspondent isn’t immune to, may also be a factor. Far more people recognize Sabra and Shatila than Hama, and if Assad survives, his current killing spree will quickly fade into distant memory by those who will go on invoking Deir Yassin as if it happened last week. No one would buy a book complaining about the Norwegians or the Syrians; and the same goes for the news stories that the media chooses to run on a daily basis.

But the media’s myopic focus on Israel also distorts the coverage of the region. Like Pavlov’s dogs, reporters reflexively reduce the Middle East to a conflict between Israel and the Arabs, Jews and Muslims, the people that they hate and the people that they like. Asking them to cover anything more complicated than that is also asking them to do too much.

The press handled the Arab Spring by resorting to a simple narrative of dictators and rebels. Now that the rebels have become the dictators, the men and women of the press in their pressed khakis have no idea how to cover them. Syria, where Sunnis and Shiites keep killing each other, is even more baffling to them. Even after all the revelations about the Free Syrian Army, the massacres of Christians and the flights of refugees escaping the Islamist militias, the press strains to return to its old comfortable narrative of brave rebels resisting a vicious dictator.

But dictatorship is a permanent feature of life in the region. And it doesn’t matter much whether a new tyranny is reached through the ballot box or the bomb. The media is unable to reach beyond its simplistic narratives to see that it isn’t merely Gaza or Syria that are burning, but the entire Middle East.

The flames of the Middle East have been lit by a larger regional struggle that has been going on, in one form or another, for generations. It’s not a struggle over big ideas, but over very little ones. Even the fighting between Sunnis and Shiites has its roots in a simple tribal dispute between the family members and successors of Mohammed. Much of the rest of the fighting comes down to equally crude tribal power struggles, which when stripped of their rhetoric, are reduced to battles over racial rivalries and clan ambitions.

After the Arab Spring, the Middle East is far more polarized and on edge than ever. A Post-American Middle East has become a much more dangerous place with little to keep Sunnis and Shiites from battling to the death over the region.

Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq tipped that country into the Shiite camp, next to Iran and Syria. Not satisfied with that, his intervention in the Arab Spring tipped Egypt, Libya and Tunisia into the Sunni Islamist camp. Both sides are now playing for Syria, in what is being described as a rebellion, but is actually a repetition of an old religious war.

The Syrian Sunni Jihadists and the Syrian Alawite government are proxies for the larger Shiite and Sunni powers hoping to remake the region in their own image. Whichever one of them wins, the conflict will be far from over. Wars never really end in the Middle East, except with massacres, and as long as there are any survivors left, then the old rivalries will flare to life again sooner or later.

The Muslim world is not terribly good at fighting wars. Certainly not wars of the modern kind. But it is quite good at supplying insurgencies and finding bands of fighters willing to engage in hit and run attacks. With many of the insurgents and factions switching sides more often than the wind changes, all the elements for an endless war are already in place.

Sunni and Shiite militias are already pouring into Syria. But Syria is only the appetizer for the main dish on the menu. Iraq. During the Iraq War, Syrian fighters were crossing into Iraq. These days’ Iraqi fighters are crossing into Syria. But it can just as easily switch around again. A decade of wars has built up a sizable reserve of Jihadists eager and willing to go anywhere for a fight.

Iraq has a sizable amount of oil wealth and is a much sweeter prize than Syria. And despite the media’s refusal to cover anything that doesn’t have the word “Israel” in it; the Iraq War never ended. Instead Maliki is uncomfortably at odds with the Sunnis and Kurds, and the real fighting is likely to begin soon enough, even not counting the usual bursts of Al Qaeda terror.

Iraqi Jihadists found their way to Libya during the Benghazi attack. Now Libyan Jihadists are headed over to Syria. If Syria dies down, they will move on to the next conflict. This reserve of fighters, funded by oil money, is the single biggest development in the region. Each war inflates their totals and their availability starts new wars.

The media insists on trying to see regional developments through the familiar lens of democracy, but in a region separated by inflexible differences, democracy is only another tool of power, no different than the suicide bomber or the massacre. Democracy in the Muslim world is nothing but a means of majoritarian supremacy, not a new stage of moral and political development.

Through a Western lens, a democratic election is a form of progress, but through an Eastern lens it is a means for the majority to assert its power over the minority, leaving the minority with few options but to flee or turn to violence. That is what we have seen throughout the region after the Arab Spring.

Democracy in the Middle East is not a sign of progress, but a precursor to violence, which is exactly what is coming about in Egypt and Tunisia. An election, like a suicide bombing, is a warning that a power struggle has broken out and that the outcome will not be pretty.

The Middle East is burning and the bright flares of the rockets rising over Gaza are only sparks of a hotter flame. The flame is meant to fill the power vacuum left behind by a decadent American policy of soft power. And rather than calming the Arab Street, Obama’s Post-American policies have lit its fuse and set it to blow.


Obama’s Gaza War

November 19, 2012 By Daniel Greenfield

The rockets falling on Israel have their origin not just in their Gaza launchers, but in the election results of November. It is no coincidence that the explosions we are seeing now on the evening news began after the election. Like so many in the Middle East, Hamas leaders were holding their breath to see who they would have to deal with over the next four years.

Once the Muslim Brotherhood on both sides of the border, in Egypt and in Gaza, knew the outcome, the trigger was pressed and the violence began.

Meanwhile Obama, during his Thailand visit, tried to deny that the Hamas violence had anything to do with the Arab Spring, the shift that began with his infamous Cairo speech calling for democracy in Egypt, followed by the betrayal of Mubarak, which led to the Muslim Brotherhood taking control of Egypt through elections, as they had earlier taken control of Gaza through elections.

The Arab Spring transformed Egypt from a peace partner into an enemy and transformed Hamas from the finger of a distant Iran to the arm of a nearby Islamist Egypt. The visit by Qatar’s Emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Gaza signaled that Hamas now had the full support of the sugar daddy of Sunni Islamists and the architect of the Arab Spring. A few weeks later the war was on.

Like the attacks of September 11, 2012, including the assault on the Benghazi mission, Hamas’s rocket attacks are a show of Islamist strength. But they are also a way for the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt to distract Egyptians from a collapsing economy while shaking down Obama for some more money in exchange for brokering ceasefires and reining in the “extremists.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is playing Arafat’s old game of setting off violence and then charging money to put a stop to it. However the games are no longer limited to Gaza and the West Bank, but span the Middle East and even stretch over to Afghanistan where Obama inserted the Muslim Brotherhood into the negotiations with the Taliban.

Even as Israel prepares for a ground assault on Hamas, Obama has been working the phones with Islamist leaders in Turkey and Egypt to convince them to help him salvage the Islamist terrorist group with a ceasefire. Hamas and its backers want a ceasefire, but they know that they can extract more concessions from Israel and America by appearing not to want one. The cost of that ceasefire, like so much of Obama’s foreign policy, will be borne by Israel and America. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will get its payoff and Hamas will get its concessions. And Israel will get more rockets and more terror.

A stronger administration would not have allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to wrap it around its fingers, but Obama brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power and is now dependent on the genie of Islamist democracy that he released from its iron bottle. Obama’s foreign policy rests on the success of the Muslim Brotherhood and that means the Muslim Brotherhood owns his foreign policy, and he has no choice but to do its bidding.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, dissatisfied with the billions it is getting from America, Europe and the IMF, not to mention Qatar, wants more money to funnel into its business empire and its global network of front groups. Behind the scenes, an agreement will be reached, a ceasefire will be offered and Obama will pressure Israel into signing on the expensive dotted line, while easing sanctions on Gaza.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Gaza will get what it wants. Israel will walk away, not only sold out, but made painfully aware that its economy and security are dependent on the whims of Obama, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

But this conflict is about more than just shaking down Washington for money and Israel for territory.

The Muslim Brotherhood hasn’t been able to deliver on its economic promises and domestic opposition is mounting. Nearly every Egyptian non-Islamist party has walked away from the Brotherhood and that leaves it vulnerable. If the Muslim Brotherhood can’t fix the economy, its alternative policy is the same one that another totalitarian party that ran on the economy, but then turned to a program of territorial expansionism and conquest, embraced.

Nazism was a model for the Muslim Brotherhood’s political organization and Nazi Germany provided funds for the nascent Brotherhood movement. And millions of the favorite targets of the Third Reich just happen to be living next door to Egypt.

In Cairo, Obama turned back the clock to before Camp David. That made a war all but inevitable. The Muslim Brotherhood is edging closer and closer to annulling the Camp David Accords. Once that’s done, Egypt’s new rulers will have a free hand to launch a replay of 1967 or 1973, with a sizable Hamas militia, armed with everything from anti-tank weapons to long range missiles, on the other side of the border.

War has no downside for the Muslim Brotherhood. If it wins, then it will be able to lasso Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Syria into a local Caliphate. If it loses, then its domestic military rivals will be humiliated, while the government will describe the defeat as a victory; just as Egyptian governments have done in all the previous wars.

The only obstacle to this scenario is America. That is why the Muslim Brotherhood waited for the outcome of the election before crossing the Rubicon in this latest assault on Israel. Now with another four years of Obama to look forward to, the Brotherhood knows that it has nothing to worry about.

The current conflict is only a training exercise for the coming war between Israel and Egypt. Each Hamas attack tests Israel’s defenses, pushing further and further to make Israel appear more vulnerable, so that the Muslim Brotherhood has less difficulty making the case for war.

Obama’s Cairo speech and his denunciation of Mubarak ended not only the Camp David Accords but the relative atmosphere of peace that allowed Israel to explore a two-state solution. Obama’s policy of elevating political Islamists has made it impossible for Israel to take risks for peace, as its neighbors have been transformed into fanatical enemies. And that has made negotiations useless and war inevitable.

The rockets rising out of Gaza are only the first flight of a larger assault against Israel by the Muslim Brotherhood monster that Obama unleashed in Cairo.

TOPICS: Editorial; Israel; Politics/Elections

1 posted on 11/21/2012 5:19:31 PM PST by SJackson
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To: SJackson

Why did Obama throw Mubarak and Gadaffi under the bus? What was in it for the United States? Has anybody seen anything good about getting rid of them?

2 posted on 11/21/2012 5:29:04 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SJackson
A Post-American Middle East has become a much more dangerous place with little to keep Sunnis and Shiites from battling to the death over the region.

Perhaps Obama can convince them to stop killing each other and get back to Islamic basics; like killing Infidels wherever you find them. - Tom

3 posted on 11/21/2012 5:36:05 PM PST by Capt. Tom
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.


4 posted on 11/21/2012 5:36:09 PM PST by SJackson (none of this suggests there are hostile feelings for the US in Egypt, Victoria Nuland, State Dept)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.


5 posted on 11/21/2012 5:36:53 PM PST by SJackson (none of this suggests there are hostile feelings for the US in Egypt, Victoria Nuland, State Dept)
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To: blueunicorn6

Hussein wants his Muslim Brotherhood, aided by al Qaeda, to command the Middle East and North Africa.

6 posted on 11/21/2012 5:37:16 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: SJackson

Sounds like a pretty good theory as to what is going on. Our boy dictator is laying the groundwork for the next major disaster for this country just like Clinton set up 9/11. Oh well, people won’t believe till they see it, so they will have to see it.

7 posted on 11/21/2012 5:48:50 PM PST by throwback (The object of opening the mind, is as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.)
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To: Jyotishi

Why? What’s in it for him?

8 posted on 11/21/2012 6:52:00 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

Service to Islam, service to Allah, that’s what.

9 posted on 11/21/2012 7:20:48 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: blueunicorn6

“Why? What’s in it for him?”


10 posted on 11/22/2012 5:20:57 PM PST by combat_boots (I lost my tagline somewhere......)
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