The View From 1776

Obama’s Middle Eastern Strategy

Read David Goldman’s assessment.


Obama’s “we-don’t-have-a-strategy” gaffe was so egregious as to distract attention from the fact that he does indeed have a strategy, which has blown up in his face. His strategy is accommodation with Iran at all costs.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/02 at 08:39 PM
  1. The situation in Iraq is the classic case of the enemy of our enemy is our enemy. There appear to be no good answers to this situation.

    ISIS, is a radical Sunni group. Iran, Baghdad and Syria, on the other side, are generally Shia. They hate each other violently (and have done so for 700 years). In fact, this hatred has gone on so long that they have forgotten why they hate each other to the point of wanting to kill each other.

    And as a bonus, they hate the West as well.

    So, pray tell, given the centuries-old enmity, what is the "strategy" that all these arm chair critics suggest the US should employ to "address" the situation? Who should we bomb? I have yet to hear of a single coherent idea that would be in the national interest of the US.

    Any ideas out there?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/02  at  08:57 PM
  2. Neither I nor Mr. Goldman, so far as I know, advocates bombing Iran.

    What we and many others have said is that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have been far too wishy-washy in dealing with Iran. Repeatedly the have backed away from sanctions imposed earlier and have avoided imposing any new ones. The only apparent explanation is that Obama still wants to "be friends" with Iran's murderous mullahs.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/02  at  11:49 PM
  3. Thomas,

    As it happens, the Iranians are basically Shia, and as such constitute a counterbalance to the Sunni who are currently causing the most ruckus in the region. While neither group is a friend of the US, it makes little sense from a geopolitical point of view to enable one group over the other if you can achieve a counterbalance in the interest of stability.

    This is exactly the blunder made by Bush. Saddam had for years been the counterbalance to Iran, with the Iran-Iraq war prime evidence of that fact. When Bush toppled Saddam, that balance was destroyed leading to the ascendency of Iran in the region (and lots of other bad things.) It is silly to claim that Obama wants to be "friends" with the mullahs. But it may be in our national interest to direct the existing enmities between the factions to our benefit.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/04  at  10:01 AM
  4. Do you really think that ISIS seeks a "counterbalance in the interest of stability"? It appears that they want to obliterate everyone else and then to carry out their threat to come after us here in the United States.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/05  at  03:03 PM
  5. No, Thomas, I certainly do not believe ISIS seeks a "counterbalance." They clearly want the opposite, a Caliphate, and a dominance over the entire region.

    What I was trying to say, is that if Iran acts as a counterbalance the ISIS Sunni threat (because Iran is principally a Shite nation) that you need to take that religious difference into consideration when you consider your geopolitical options and understand which elements in the middle east tend to counterbalance each other. There are many factions in that region that hate each other, and it is in our interest to understand these interactions.

    I am not advocating embracing Iran, but on the other hand, I am not advocating obliterating Iran either, particularly if they represent a countervailing force in the region to a group (ISIS) whom we find dangerous and repugnant.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/06  at  02:11 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.