Like everyone else living in the U.S., I will be glad when this election is finally over. But the question must be asked, can the change of the President really change the current situation in the Middle East?
Israel, the ‘Palestinian’ issue, the so called ‘Arab Spring’, Syria, Egypt, Gaza and Hamas, Iran, Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda and let’s not forget Libya.
To say a lot is currently happening in the Middle East region would be like saying that the Pope is Catholic. On Tuesday November 6, the American people will decide whether or not Obama will remain in office and this, without a doubt, is the most important Presidential election in our lifetime.
Putting aside two of the most important issues facing the U.S.; the current economic situation and the unemployment rate, most Americans don’t understand or believe how important and influential the President is when it comes to the Middle East.
Like it or not the person that sits in the Oval Office has the power to sway other countries elections, uprisings, wars, coups, economies and people.
When I returned to the U.S. from Israel in 1981 I said that America had to stop trying to being the world’s police. I stated that the U.S. was getting too deeply involved in areas and cultures it didn’t fully understand and that sooner, not later, it would bite them in the ass.
Ronald Reagan had become the 40th President and shortly thereafter America found itself being part of a Multinational ‘peace keeping’ force (MNF) in Lebanon. On August 25, 1982 the U.S. Marines and Navy landed in Beirut, Lebanon, it ended with almost 300 dead Servicemen.
On April 18, 1983 a suicide bombing at the United States embassy in Beirut killed 63 people. Along with embassy and CIA staff members, there were soldiers and one Marine killed as well. 17 of the dead were Americans.
On October 23, 1983 another suicide bombing took the life of 241 Marines and Sailors at the U.S. Marines Barracks in Beirut. Both attacks were a direct retaliation to the MNF.
Between August 1982 and the withdrawal in February 1984 America lost a total of 270 servicemen including Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen.
I had spoken out about America going in to Lebanon, I had said it would bite them in the ass, I was wrong… It was a nibble, it was just the beginning.
Over the years I have seen America get involved in places it didn’t belong trying to help with things it didn’t always comprehend. From Lebanon to Mogadishu, Somalia, Presidents along with Congress have decided to send in troops and when they come home, more often than not, it is in body bags and flag draped coffins.
But it doesn’t always have to be troops; often times an American Presidents words can change an entire situation or government. In the case of the so called ‘Arab Spring’, Obama’s words carried the Egyptian people and the revolution to the ouster of Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
In the case of Iran in 2009 the lack of his words may very well have caused the failure of the Green Movement revolution and the potential ouster of the Islamic Regime. Knowing when and what to say can be just as important as bullets and bombs.
Iran is also, as we all know, probably only months away from a nuclear weapon, if not sooner.
In the case of Israel, well, do I really need to list all the things Obama has or hasn’t said that has made the current situation with the ‘Palestinians’ to become worse? I think not.
The demand of the ‘Palestinians’ that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders (1949 armistice lines) before it will even resume peace negotiations was never a pre-condition for peace talks… Until Obama made the statement himself.
The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ or as my article of May 2011 dubbed it; ‘The Perfect Storm’, has seen the Muslim Brotherhood and or Al-Qaeda gain control from the governments that were overthrown.
Obama nonetheless has praised the ‘Arab Spring’. On 9/11 while protestors scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, tore down the American flag and replaced it with the black flag of Al-Qaeda Obama made a statement to the Arab Forum,
“During this Arab Spring we’ve been inspired by the courage of ordinary citizens determined to forge their own future.”
“I’ve made it our policy to support reform across the region and assist transitions to democracy.”
Unfortunately, throughout the Middle Eastern region, their form of democracy seems to mean bringing those to power who will instill ‘Sharia’ and remove the people’s rights and limit any future they might have had.
I neglected to mention that the statement Obama gave on 9/11 also happened to be while four Americans, including an ambassador were murdered in Benghazi, Libya from a terror attack by the Al-Qaeda off shoot organization, Ansar al sharia.
Yes, the American President has the ability to change the tides of many countries and the future, however, knowing when and what to say is just as important as knowing who and who not to back.
Obama has made many choices over the past four years where it involved the Middle East; the problem is that most, if not all of them, have been wrong.
We have seen Obama and his decisions over the past four years, America, Israel, the Middle East and the world cannot afford four more, so, yes, I guess it really does all come down to this.
Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returningto the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, Frontpage Mag, Family Security Matters and dozens of other sites. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “American Akbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.