For decades, two tenets have informed U.S. policy in the Middle East. The first is that U.S. interests there are best served by the position of unquestioned American pre-eminence. The second is that military might holds the key to maintaining that dominant position. (In this context, Israel has been an important U.S. regional ally).He's already become one of America's worst presidents, and one of the most apathetic. It's just plain awful.
This approach is what Bacevich calls the "Big Enchilada" -- the America-as-top-dog approach that Obama is seeking to overturn.
Obama rejects this notion, since he essentially views America's preponderance in world affairs as arrogant and sinful. He feels that American "bullying" has brought about disastrous results.
Most telling was Obama's infamous lament in 2010 about America as "a dominant military superpower, whether we like it or not." In other words, he really doesn't like it at all. No statement could be more revealing of Obama's disgust for American global leadership.
In the context of the current deal with Iran, Obama has been equally clear as to how he expects this play out. If successfully implemented, the agreement that slows Iran's nuclear program will also end Iran's isolation. This will allow Tehran, over time, to become a "legitimate" and "extremely successful regional power" and a "powerhouse in the region." These are Obama's own words.
All this leads, of course, to American retreat -- blessed retreat from Obama's perspective -- from the projection of power in the region. Replacing America will be a revanchist, greatly emboldened, anti-Semitic and genocidal (toward Israel), Islamic Republic of Iran. Poof goes the Big Enchilada.
Obama has been mostly dismissive of Iran's "bad behavior," as he flippantly calls it. He says that he "hopes to have conversations" with Iranian leadership that might lead someday to their "abiding by international norms and rules"; that he "hopes and believes" that Iranian "moderates" will leverage their country's reintegration into the global economy as an opportunity to drive kinder, gentler and less revolutionary foreign policies.
Whether Obama himself believes such nonsense is moot. The rub is that Obama doesn't view American behavior in the region over past decades as any more moral or legitimate than Iran's behavior. Consequently, the main thing for him is the humbling and retreat of America.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
WE MUST ALL KEEP OPPOSING THE IRAN DEAL
David Weinberg says the deal has to be made politically toxic, and also points to Obama's view of America:
Posted by Avi Green at 1:17 PM