We Achieved Peace in Our Time

There is no doubt that the main stream media that has been very uncomfortable trying to avoid calling Obama’s  leadership into question, Even a few liberals have noticed that the emperor is not wearing any clothes. But when Putin threw Obama a life preserver  and peace seems to be breaking out all over the Middle East, bubbly optimism has returned.  Eleanor Clift in the Leftist Daily Beast wrote;

“The contrast could not have been greater between a pair of diplomatic breakthroughs and the intransigence of Congress. Appearing in the White House briefing room Friday afternoon, President Obama said he had just spoken with Iranian President Rouhani, everything was on track for the nuclear issue, and the U.N. Security Council had reached a resolution that would ban Syria’s chemical weapons. Who could have imagined that negotiating with the Iranians and the Russians would be a more fruitful experience than working with the U.S. Congress?”

The many comparisons of latter day negotiations with  Chamberlain’s famous words upon returning to England after his “successful” meetings with Hitler may be overused,  but I cant  think of a better, more appropriate  historical link.


Neville Chamberlain

The White House  talking points will indicate that through adroit diplomacy and  well measured threats of force, the Obama team has achieved a victory and that our primary enemy in the Middle East, Iran,  will sue for peace.  As proof Obama mentioned that he talked to the Iranian president Rouhani on the phone. Any doubt who initiated the call? The spectacle is akin to the pimpley-faced high school geek pursuing the  head cheerleader.

But at this point I will be quoting one of the best analysts of the Syrian issue, Lee Smith, now writing for  The Weekly Standard (TWS) and  The Tablet. I used to invite Lee as a panelist to my class at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School. I am happy to say I noticed his talent long before the publication gurus.

This is what he wrote in his article in TWS.

Obama Switches Sides

In yesterday’s U.N. speech, Obama kissed goodbye to U.S. allies and signed on with Iran, Russia, and Syria.

6:05 PM, Sep 25, 2013 • By LEE SMITH

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani didn’t have to snub Obama yesterday by choosing not to meet with him on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting. But, as with Vladimir Putin’s victory lap op-ed in the New York Times, Rouhani chose to rub Obama’s face in the dirt because he could. Obama hung a “kick me” sign on his back and Rouhani simply took him up on it.

Obama hands sitting

As for Rouhani, his speech yesterday revealed rather less about the man than the regime he represents. Forget about the Islamic Republic’s theological foundations, ignore the conviction, held by various regime figures, that the Mahdi is destined to return. Rouhani, like every Iranian president before him and like thousands of other Iranian clerics and regime figures, is one part Polonius, one part Wizard of Oz, a mid-level manager thrilled by the prospect of his own muddled thought becoming reality.

“Violence,” the Iranian president said yesterday, “has gone beyond the physical realm, and has penetrated the psychological and spiritual realm of human existence.” The fact that a world leader stood before his peers to utter this mystical nonsense would be funny—except for the fact that standing behind the great and powerful Rouhani is the very serious head of the regime’s external operations unit, Qassem Suleimani (profiled by Dexter Filkins in this week’s New Yorker) whose violence in the physical realm against Americans and our allies is quite real and may already have convinced the White House that any military action against Iran’s nuclear program will be met with terror operations against Americans around the world, and even here at home.

As head of the Qods Force, Suleimani stands apart from the rest of this regime, a gang of philosopher-magicians dancing on the head of a pin and looking to push the others off. Indeed, that’s all Iran’s presidential elections are—a version of “Survivor,” where the last man that the Supreme Leader leaves standing becomes president. If the Arabs are too often content with a strongman, the Persians love their court intrigue, with one courtier smiling to another while yet another stabs him ever so gently, ever so cleverly in the back. If the Americans are easily gulled by the charade, hoping that maybe this president will prove to be the pragmatist, the moderate, the savior come to sign a deal, then that’s just a bonus—the game is played primarily in order to entertain an Iranian audience.

This is who Obama is chasing after, a mystical mannequin in long black robes, and, as Fouad Ajami writes, the American is “decisively outclassed. There is cunning aplenty in Persia, an eye for that exact moment when one’s rival has been trapped.” And indeed Obama has caught himself in his own pincers move. By announcing that his administration’s diplomatic efforts will focus on “Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” as well as the peace process, Obama has made Rouhani a partner, with the ability to make an American president dependent on his cooperation look like a fool anytime he wishes, as he did yesterday. Obama effectively told America’s regional allies that he’s got new friends now, no matter how badly they treat him.”

One can read the rest of the article at http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-switches-sides_757159.html?nopager=1

To believe as some of the Obama supporters do that the leopard has changed its spots and the zebra its stripes requires a leap of faith  that defies logic.

Effectively any attack on Syria has been taken off the table, and Russia, through her clever maneuvering, has two veto opportunities to  stop any contemplated attack on Syria. There are no penalties for Syria if they decide to stop cooperating.

It should also be kept in mind that Syria is not completely at the mercy of her big brothers , Iran and Russia. Knowing how Saddam and  Sadat worked with the Russians, the Syrians will not tell the Iranians  and Russians everything . There will always be some secrets left in reserve. The Syrians are not stupid enough to believe that their big brothers are assisting them out of altruistic  solidarity. The lack of trust on all sides, the Western and the Eastern  will make a complete chemical discovery process an impossibility.

Moreover , while the years of searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was being conducted is a peaceful environment with the teams retiring to comfortable hotels and  great Arab food in the evening, the UN teams in Syria will be in a war zone amidst desolation and  a complicated situation in which the  Islamic opposition of some 13 different organizations has not agreed to the whole process. With bands of thugs, undisciplined militia, and non-Arabic speaking Islamist leaders in charge of the most fanatical Islamist groups, the likelihood of attacks on the inspectors is immense. It is difficult to believe they will be left in peace by either side to conduct their searches.

This is the bottom line. Chemical stockpiles will be  uncovered if Iran, Russia, and Syria allow it. Peace will be achieved if Russia. Iran, and Syria decide it is in their interest, meaning they are in charge of the battlefield and the situation.

This can only be changed by force and since force is not on the table, the conclusion is clear obvious. Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime have managed  to obtain a clear victory over the West without firing a shot

About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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