The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had a lead editorial today called “Obama’s Mideast Vacuum.” The vacuum is Obama’s reluctance to keep American ground troops fighting the Arabs in the Middle East. It states: “has a policy ever been so thoroughly repudiated in so short a time?”
It’s like what is happening over there is Obama’s fault rather than the culmination of 35 years of a failed American policy that began in 1979. Obama did not create the hostilities that exist between the two Arab factions the Shia and Sunni. They’ve existed for hundreds of years. As NC who comments here points out it was the U.S. policy to please Saudi Arabia to keep the Sunni Arabs in control of the countries of that region. Outside of Iran, the Shia, even where they were a majority, were controlled by the Sunni.
This policy worked well until some of those Sunni who were enamored with Saudi Arabia’s dominant Sunni faith, Wahhabism, an austere form of Islam, decided to war against the U. S. That brought about the creation of al Qaeda, which by the way Obama had nothing to do with. It also resulted in attacks against American embassies in Africa, the USS Cole, and the one on our territory by Sunni terrorist on 9/11.
The pro-Sunni apple cart was upset when George Bush II decided to invade Iraq which was then under the control of a Sunni, Saddam Hussein. We threw him out and put the majority Shia in charge. This resulted in great resentment among the Sunni from which came the IS (ISIS) Islamic terrorists.
How this is put on Obama’s plate is stunning. Also wrongly put on his plate is the withdrawal of our forced from Iraq which was part of George Bush II’s Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq. It’s not Obama’s policy that is causing the turmoil but America’s policy from President Carter on which has us inserting ourselves into that area in the failed attempt to make peace among people who won’t give up old hatreds.
The WSJ tells of the increasing fighting between the Sunni and Shia forces. Saudi Arabia and the Sunni countries have now come into Yemen to fight the mostly Shia forces who have taken control of that country. The WSJ states: “the Saudis would never take such risks if they hadn’t given up on the U.S. as a stabilizing force in the Middle East.” In other words, if the U.S. was only willing to send its ground troops into Yemen then the Saudis would not have to do the dirty work. The Saudis remember the good old days when Bush I invaded Kuwait to push the Iraqi army out; and then when Bush II invaded Iraq to install the Shia. It and the WSJ want to continue the old American policy where American troops die to preserve the peace; none of the Arab countries are willing to do this. The WSJ urges us to get into a shooting war with Iran. It says Iran: “needs to be told its flights [to Yemen to help the Shia] run the risks of being shot down.”
It then makes this astounding statement: “They [Israel and the Sunni Arabs] also believe the U.S. has refused to help them depose Syria’s Bashar Assad because Mr. Obama doesn’t want to upset Iran during the nuclear talks.” This is total nonsense. Obama would gladly depose Assad but neither Israel nor the Sunni Arabs have done anything themselves. They don’t want help, they want American to lose their lives doing what they should be doing.
The WSJ then used our failure to help people who won’t help themselves as the reason that: “has made the Sunni Arabs reluctant to help against Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq. Which has forced the Iraq government to rely on Iran and Shiite militias to lead the fight against ISIS.” (sic)
The Sunni Arabs have no interest in fighting against the Islamic State because they are Sunni. They are only interested in having Americans fight their battles against the Shia states of Iran and Syria. Obama has finally done what other presidents should have done which is stop the American youngsters and treasury bleeding in that area.
The WSJ concludes “When the world’s only superpower retreats willy-nilly, bad things happen.” Apparently those bad things are that other countries will have to work out their own destinies and not depend on the U.S. to continue to fight their battles for them. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, and the Sunni Gulf states once and for all step up and wipe out the Islamic State and al Qaeda and, if they want, the Assad government in Syria. If they are worried about a vacuum then they surely can fill it and not expect the young American kids to do it for them.