In the last two weeks, Iran has engineered a coup on Yemen with their Houthis washing over the capital causing Yemen president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to resign, placing Hezbollah in Israel’s backdoor on the Golan and launched a “communications” satellite great at taking pictures and equipped with GPS often known in some circles as a spy satellite but lucky for President Obama none of these events need have any effect on the US administrations Middle East Policies. Nothing will affect negotiations with the Iranians over nuclear issues, the soviets were wonderful at building rockets which helped them build ICBMS with nuclear warheads, they were excellent at starting local revolutions and then moving into nations to start more revolutions and yet at no point was the US in serious danger from a Soviet Threat as the tide of history was against them, we just waited for Soviets to collapse. Which is why President Obama only relies on very tough economic sanctions and the impatience of the Saudis who sank oil prices as all the opposition the US needs regarding Iran. President Barack Obama is on a very determined path to confront Iran about its nuclear ambitions and force them off the hook in a US brokered treaty. As an immigrant from a very different culture where spam in your mail means canned meat that has been shipped to you, people like to ride waves and our President looks at the Middle East with its Persian Gulf, he’s going to surf! What ultimately doesn’t matter to the administration is the continuous betrayal of our allies in the Middle East for dubious reasons or lack of consideration that Iran has been simultaneously been developing both a missile program and nuclear weapons which the administration seems unaware those might actually go together. I remember the joy of the Obama administration as it saw in Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood as the big wave in the Middle East, he cozied up to the Prime Minister Erdogan, cheered on the end of democratic demonstrations in Egypt by seeing the movement hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood, it seemed Syria was about to fall, people even began to wonder if it would be rude to gift King Abdullah of Jordan a casket appropriate to his height or provide something taller. When Obama told the world he told Mubarak to resign he also said, “Through thousands of years, Egypt has known many moments of transformation. “The voices of the Egyptian people tell us that this is one of those moments; this is one of those times.”1 If you like to surf, that’s a compelling wave! Here’s what our ready for the beach Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper had to say about the Muslim Brotherhood, ““The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood,’” Clapper said, “is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam…”2 It’s probably not worth mentioning the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri is a Muslim Brotherhood alumni but the Muslim Brotherhood did renounce violence under pressure from Mubarak and al-Zawahiri did leave because of this these differences between the two organization yet the Muslim Brotherhood’s position seemed more from circumstance than ideological. The “Perversion of Islam” really had more to do with Al Qaeda actions in Iraq against Muslims, a group that eventually becomes ISIS. Anyone who describes an organization that calls itself “Muslim” and worries about “perversions of Islam” “largely secular” is obviously not too concerned with details such as the goals of triumphant political parties and their effect on America.
Obama had every reason to believe Islamism would be a big wave, sure democratic protests had been snuffed out earlier in Iran but Iran is already a theocracy and protests succeeded in Tunisia, they were succeeding in Egypt and any sage person just knew that democracy wouldn’t be given a chance since the Islamists were too well organized, Turkey a nation always the tip of the wave was already drowning out democracy and beating protesters as a giddy Islamic success story, so I felt disappointed for Obama when the Islamist wave proved to be a closeout, cresting over Egypt and dissipating. Egypt may have halted the wave of Islamism but Barack Obama is a determined surfer, he knows how to spot and ride a wave. Other politicians and leaders might see US Foreign Policy and statecraft as a series of planks with hammers and nails with which you build bridges or fences but our president knows a surfboard when he sees it and if the Sunni Islamist wave seemed big, this Iranian one is even bigger! The US will ride the Persian tide right over Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon and Israel and when it is all over President Obama will stand regally before the cameras in the White House and declare, “We understood that Iranian expansion was a wave, we have been on top of that wave and now Iran has nuclear missiles capable of striking US cities and we knew that would happen and we are ready for intense negotiations!” For those critics that wish the Obama administration would take the Middle East more seriously, who see the value in at least attempting to get Iran’s nuclear program shut down, who believe the slight afforded by Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking at the invitation of a branch of the US government is small and his concerns at least valid, who see an agreement with Iran only as important as to what it agrees upon, who see both Iran’s missile and nuclear programs and its expansionist policies as something worth curbing -- stop beating sand, realize there’s nothing to be done except for grabbing your surfboards!