Only with the utmost charity could one label America’s meddling in the Middle East a “foreign policy.”—usually defined as a pursuit meant to serve American interests.
The exploits of the two Bushes in Iraq and Clinton’s efforts to form a Palestinian state could perhaps be glorified by the title “misguided.” Prior to the launching of the Gulf War, Iran and Iraq had been locked in a nine-year conflict in which a million were killed; the cost to the two nations is estimated at a minimum of $200 billion. [Source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Middle East Conflict]
This could’ve been considered an ideal situation, from the West’s point of view: two potential foes of the United States exhausting themselves, so they were unable to cause trouble for us or Israel. What could be better?
The most illogical response would be to lean on Iraq, leaving Iran free to foment trouble. But that’s precisely what the first Bush did, by launching the Gulf War. Surprisingly, a look back at history, including recent info from Wikileaks, indicates that our ambassador to Iraq may have inadvertently given Saddam Hussein a green light to invade Kuwait:
Transcript of Meeting Between Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. – July 25, 1990 (Eight days before the August 2, 1990 Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait)
July 25, 1990 – Presidential Palace – Baghdad
U.S. Ambassador Glaspie – I have direct instructions from President Bush to improve our relations with Iraq. We have considerable sympathy for your quest for higher oil prices, the immediate cause of your confrontation with Kuwait. (pause) As you know, I lived here for years and admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. We know you need funds. We understand that, and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. (pause) We can see that you have deployed massive numbers of troops in the south. Normally that would be none of our business, but when this happens in the context of your threats against Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be concerned. For this reason, I have received an instruction to ask you, in the spirit of friendship – not confrontation – regarding your intentions: Why are your troops massed so very close to Kuwait’s borders?
Saddam Hussein – As you know, for years now I have made every effort to reach a settlement on our dispute with Kuwait. There is to be a meeting in two days; I am prepared to give negotiations only this one more brief chance. (pause) When we (the Iraqis) meet (with the Kuwaitis) and we see there is hope, then nothing will happen. But if we are unable to find a solution, then it will be natural that Iraq will not accept death.
U.S. Ambassador Glaspie – What solutions would be acceptable?
Saddam Hussein – If we could keep the whole of the Shatt al Arab – our strategic goal in our war with Iran – we will make concessions (to the Kuwaitis). But, if we are forced to choose between keeping half of the Shatt and the whole of Iraq (i.e., in Saddam s view, including Kuwait) then we will give up all of the Shatt to defend our claims on Kuwait to keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be. (pause) What is the United States’ opinion on this?
U.S. Ambassador Glaspie – We have no opinion on your Arab – Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960′s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America. (Saddam smiles)
On August 2, 1990, Saddam’s massed troops invade and occupy Kuwait. _____
Baghdad, September 2, 1990, U.S. Embassy
One month later, British journalists obtain the the [sic] above tape and transcript of the Saddam – Glaspie meeting of July 29, 1990. Astounded, they confront Ms. Glaspie as she leaves the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Journalist 1 – Are the transcripts (holding them up) correct, Madam Ambassador? (Ambassador Glaspie does not respond)
Journalist 2 – You knew Saddam was going to invade (Kuwait) but you didn’t warn him not to. You didn’t tell him America would defend Kuwait. You told him the opposite – that America was not associated with Kuwait.
Journalist 1 – You encouraged this aggression – his invasion. What were you thinking?
U.S. Ambassador Glaspie – Obviously, I didn’t think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait.
Journalist 1 – You thought he was just going to take some of it? But, how could you? Saddam told you that, if negotiations failed, he would give up his Iran (Shatt al Arab waterway) goal for the Whole of Iraq, in the shape we wish it to be. You know that includes Kuwait, which the Iraqis have always viewed as an historic part of their country!
Journalist 1 – American [sic] green-lighted the invasion. At a minimum, you admit signaling Saddam that some aggression was okay – that the U.S. would not oppose a grab of the al-Rumeilah oil field, the disputed border strip and the Gulf Islands (including Bubiyan) – the territories claimed by Iraq?
The Clinton White House pressured Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, in order to bring about a two-state solution. (This has been a constant obsession of the United States, to this day.) Clinton made the murderous Arafat the most frequent White House visitor, to no avail: Arafat refused the offer of a state and launched the First Intifada.
The second Bush, in the wake of 9/11, launched the Iraq war, which forever eliminated Iraq as a check against Iran—today well on its way to becoming an atomic power. In addition, it ended Saddam’s suppression of a Muslim Brotherhood-connected group:
“The Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), established in 1960, is the major Sunni political organization in the country … [it] was formed as an Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood organization….The party was suppressed during the regime of former President Saddam Hussein. Many of its members were forced to flee the country. The party returned to public life after coalition forces occupied Iraq…. The party does not consider itself a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood Group, [but]… acknowledges strong ties to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood”
This brings us to the Obama era, which departs from “misguided” territory and firmly enters “meant to form a caliphate” territory. At least, it sure looks that way.
In toppling Mubarak, Obama turned Egypt, the most important Arab nation, from an ally at peace with Israel, into a full-blown Brotherhood dictatorship. The Egyptian people—blessed with an aggressive press—rose up against Morsi and the Military forced him out.
Obama then dispatched McCain and Graham to persuade the Egyptians to restore Morsi, but the Egyptian military held firm. Now Egypt is in utter chaos. And, oh yes: they hate Obama with a passion.
After deposing Mubarak, he turned to Libya, where long-time dictator Khaddafi had been quiet, having made an accord with George W. Bush. After forcing him out, and Secretary Clinton’s unseemly rejoicing over his death, we experienced the murderous Benghazi incident amid reports that American operatives were recruiting fighters to oppose the Assad regime in Syria.
Now, the White House is pushing for a military response to alleged chemical warfare used by Assad against rebels who have clearly been taken over by America-hating jihadist groups.
David Horowitz’s frontpagemag.com declares that:
“Obama Admits Syria Strikes are about Regime Change …
“The lefty Guardian is spinning this as Obama catering to the Republicans, and that is mildly true, because McCain and Graham wanted a stronger plan from O, but this was obviously the plan all along.”
According to the Guardian, Obama’s immediate goals are:
“…to degrade Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and deter their future use….” In a video included in the Guardian article, the president said the long-term mission is to:
“… upgrade the capabilities of the opposition, to free itself…. It also fits into a broader strategy that can bring about over time the kind of strengthening of the opposition and the diplomatic, economic and political pressure required – so that ultimately we have a transition that can bring peace and stability, not only to Syria but to the region,’ he told senior members of Congress at a White House meeting on Tuesday.”
And John McCain, the de facto Foreign Policy Czar, has ostensibly been nudging (to use Cass Sunstein’s term) Obama to make take more robust action against Assad—all the way to regime change; also from the Guardian:
“John McCain, a leading hawk on the issue of American military intervention in Syria, has warned Congress that a "no-vote" next week against President Obama's plans for airstrikes would have "catastrophic" consequences that would weaken the US for years to come….
“McCain has been calling for US military intervention to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, non-stop since the Syrian civil war began, in March 2011.”
Republicans—even if they know nothing of the above history, should instinctively oppose anything Obama wants. But to their eternal shame, Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor and others have wholeheartedly endorsed Obama’s intentions.