On March 28, President Obama spoke to the nation, and to the world, in a televised address from Washington. At the beginning of his speech, he lauded US forces around the world for, among other things, “going after Al Qaeda all across the globe.” He then spent the rest of his speech defending the US role in the military efforts against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and in support of the Libyan rebels.
Taken together, these two elements of Obama’s speech clearly show the blindness of his foreign policy.
When the riots and uprisings in the Arab world began in January, it was clear almost from the outset that real democracy was not at hand. Tunisia’s moderate Islamist dictatorship was overthrown and indications then were, and still remain today, that the replacement government will be a more hard-line Islamist dictatorship that relaxes certain economic rules in order to solidify its power.
In Egypt, the military administration that has ruled the country since the 1954 coup is still in power. That administration has gone through three figurehead leaders in Gamal Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, and when Mubarak began weakening in the public’s eyes, the military forced him from office in favor of some nebulous form of constitutional reform that will in the end leave the military in power with a new figurehead – and increased involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood in the country’s political and international direction.
And now we have Libya, the country that sits between them geographically, but where the violence against the demonstrators has been the worst. In Libya, the revolt is openly backed and supported by Al Qaeda, and its logistics and supply are being directed by that organization. Al Qaeda operatives have, according to international media reports, taken control of Libyan military bases and arms depots, including surface-to-air missiles. And in leading the charge against Gaddafi, the US is actively aiding and abetting the Al Qaeda take-over of the country.
According to a report in the British media, one the leaders of the rebellion in Libya is Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi. Hasidi left Libya to fight against "the foreign invasion" of Afghanistan in 2002. In other words, he left his homeland and joined Al Qaeda to wage jihad against U.S. forces. He later recruited other jihadists to fight against the US in Iraq. Hasidi said that some of those Al Qaeda terrorists "today are on the front lines in Ajdabiya” in Libya.
Obama justified the attacks on Libya by stating that the US government was “confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis”. But if that were really the case, US forces would now be engaged in places like Darfur and Iran rather than letting real humanitarian crises continue to go unnoticed. If that were really the case, US forces would have been pounding Egypt for the past two months in response to the massacres of Coptic Christians by Egyptian military forces under cover of the general demonstrations.
Even Ted Koppel, the veteran US journalist, isn’t buying Obama’s logic. On the program “Meet the Press” on Sunday (March 27), he said that "The question hasn''t yet been answered as to why it is that Libya, of all the countries in that region, has won the humanitarian defense sweepstakes of 2011."
On the same show, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was asked if attacking Libya was in “our vital interest as a country." Gates responded: "No. I don''t think it''s a vital interest for the United States."
Why, for instance, are US forces not attacking Syria, where more than 100 anti-government demonstrators have been killed in one city in the past week? A US led coalition against Syria like the one currently operating against Libya would remove Iran’s strongest ally in the world, completely and decisively cut off the supply lines for the Hizbullah terrorist organization in Lebanon, and severely damage the supply lines for the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza. This last benefit would cause a domino effect that would cripple Hamas’s leadership in Gaza and likely bring more freedom to the Palestinian people in that territory.
It would also bring more lasting calm and quiet to southern Israel.
And there, perhaps, lies the answer to Obama’s foreign policy ineptitude. When it comes to defending Israel, or Christian or other minorities in the Middle East, Obama seems singularly uninterested. Obama’s motives are not the prevention of a humanitarian crisis or eliminating “brutal repression.”
Rather, it appears that Obama’s motives, whether conscious or not, are providing aid to the enemy. Obama’s policy regarding Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria – and Iran before them – is allowing Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood to gain power and influence. It is allowing the creation of a huge terrorist state in the African desert that will rival Iran for world prominence. It is allowing the further entrenchment of the Iran-Syria-Hizbullah-Hamas axis that is tightening its noose around Israel. And it is sowing the seeds for a credible terrorist military threat that will face the US not too long after Obama leaves office.
There is a very real danger that Obama’s policies during the first quarter of 2011 will be looked back on by history as the beginning of a disastrous war that catches the US completely by surprise. While we all pray that this does not happen, what we already know is that Obama’s blind leadership is costing the world a tremendous amount of freedom and liberty.