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  • Morning Bell: Why Obama Is Failing the Middle East Meltdown and How to Fix It

    The breaking news keeps breaking when it comes to revelations surrounding the attacks and protests aimed at U.S. embassies going on throughout the Islamic world. Protests have spread to at least eight countries. Reports indicate that four people have been arrested relating to the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff there. That offers at least the promise of getting more information about the deliberate attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.

    Meanwhile, in the U.S., government authorities identified the man behind the controversial film purported as the cause for the protests as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Californian with a shadowy past including many aliases and a criminal record.

    Unlike a Brad Thor novel, however, we can’t just jump to the end of the story to find out what this all means for American policy in this troubled part of the world.

    But (again, unlike a Brad Thor novel) without cheating we can predict how the story is going to end—because the result of the President’s Middle East policies was predictable from the start.

    Obama’s strategy for this part of the world started out much the way Jimmy Carter’s did—with acts of conciliation and accommodation. The President narrowly focused his priorities on three objectives: 1) withdrawing from Iraq as quickly as possible; 2) engaging with Syria and Iran; and 3) transforming the U.S. into a neutral party—to negotiate peace between Palestine and Israel.

    For starters, we know that all three of those objectives have met with abject failure.

    Iraq was not only left a shaky state; it has become a shaky friend—defying U.S. requests to block Iranian flights that are rearming the Syrian military so they can kill more Syrian civilians.

    After wasting three years of trying to find common ground with the totalitarian regimes in Syria and Iran, even the White House has acknowledged failure, calling for the government in Damascus to step down and asking for more sanctions on Tehran.

    Finally, the peace process has collapsed—a blessing in disguise, because if Obama succeeded in creating a Palestinian state today, it would look an awful lot like the Syrian regime the rest of the region is trying to bring down—a corrupt state that oppresses its own people, a state sponsor of terrorism, and a tool of Iran.

    The President’s policy, however, has been more than unsuccessful—the “Obama doctrine” has taken the cause of protecting U.S. interests in the region backward—because it relied on a self-imposed agenda of self-weakening. It included distancing the U.S. from Israel and playing politics with the U.S. defense budget—where even his own officials acknowledge that if the automatic cuts required under the Budget Control Act of 2011 go into effect, they will undermine the readiness and reduce the capabilities of the armed forces. (Watch our new video featuring real stories from veterans about the readiness challenges facing our military.)

    The war on terrorism began when Osama bin Laden wrote his fatwa proclaiming America a paper tiger in withdrawal. With a sharp push, he believed, the Americans would fall away. It is not the President’s policies, nor the promises he made at his historic speech in Cairo, nor the pledges he made to punish the perpetrators of the attack in Benghazi that America’s enemies are responding to. They believe the U.S., by its actions, has demonstrated it is in retreat.

    Attacks on embassies and anti-American riots in the street can happen on any President’s watch. What we need to be most concerned about is that those who are deliberately plotting against us are on the offensive—again.

    It is time for a different course:

    Don’t lose focus on Iran. Tehran is the number one troublemaker in this part of the world. From its nuclear aspirations to sponsoring terrorism, plotting attacks of its own, and promoting an extremist agenda across the region to crushing the aspirations of freedom from its own people—peace in this part of the planet has no greater enemy.

    Reassert the need for close strategic cooperation with Israel. The instability that continues to sweep the region only underscores the fact that Israel is the only ally in the region that the U.S can reliably count on.

    Acknowledge that the war against a global Islamist insurgency isn’t over. There are evil people out there trying to kill us, and we have to stop them. Chasing down their leaders with drone strikes is not enough—dealing with the “next wave” of transnational terrorism will require a different course. The strategy for the next wave must regain the initiative that has been lost by this President, bring a successful end to the long war, and leave behind an enduring and sustainable counterterrorism enterprise—one that can adeptly respond to emerging threats, like the recent attack in Benghazi.

    Adopt an economic freedom agenda. The 2012 Index of Economic Freedom confirms that countries of the Middle East lag in many areas of economic freedom and that the lack of jobs and opportunity is at the root of much of the anger. It is past time to move the economic freedom agenda from an afterthought to the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy. Even the best security policy will never be sufficient. We can lower our own barriers to trade and encourage governments in the Middle East to do likewise. We can encourage reforms to open up investment, create jobs, and empower individuals economically.

    To protect America’s interest in this part of the world, we must be:

    • A faithful, responsible, and enduring ally;
    • A champion of supporting the cause of liberty and economic freedom; and
    • A strong, resilient, and confident nation prepared to defend itself, its allies, and its interests.

    It will take that kind of shift in U.S. policies to weather this crisis well.

    Quick Hits:

    • The Independent is reporting that U.S. officials had credible intelligence about possible embassy attacks 48 hours before the attack in Libya.
    • The attack on the U.S. diplomats in Libya may be tied to al-Qaeda.
    • The statement put out by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo may have sounded strange, but it’s actually in line with a U.N. resolution against “religious intolerance” supported by the Obama Administration.
    • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced another round of “quantitative easing” in which the government will buy bonds in a bid to help the economy.
    • Monday is Constitution Day—the U.S. Constitution’s birthday. It’s up to us to protect this foundation of our liberty. Heritage’s Julia Shaw has 10 ways you can protect the Constitution.
    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    33 Responses to Morning Bell: Why Obama Is Failing the Middle East Meltdown and How to Fix It

    1. Dale in Wyoming says:

      oh… an one more thing.. get the occupier of the White House, OUT! At any cost. We know what he – obemama – and we know how he does it. Then ask only One for forgiveness, and grace. We know, who our enemy is, and we know how to deal with them… both in the White House, and in that region of the world that knows no peace…. ever. The last question to be answered is when? When will be stand up and enforce what we know is right? When will you… and you… and yes.. you too.???

      • Carfano had me in agreement till he started talking about fixing. We don't fix what we break anymore. We let these cultures deal with their own self destruction. Nation building is what Bush did wrong. Let's not have Obama come back in four years or someone like him. Let's insure this by not spending on other countries in any way unless they are already a friend.

        • sdfultz says:

          I agree,
          This is just the growing pains of Freedom, let these people work out their own path to freedom and stop trying to fix people. America always tries to fix other countries by installing Proxy leaders who turn into dictators, give them a chance to find out what fighting for freedom feels like!

    2. Lucky3511 says:

      You call Obamas work a failure, personally, I think he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. If you consider what his objectives were not what we thought his objectives were.
      Objective 1: Destroy the United States of America; result so far, I would say he is more than half way there.
      Objective 2: Spread the Moslem religion; So far I think he has quadrupled the number of Moslems in USA, made it easier for moslems to live here than it is for christians. Destabilized the middle east, so the Moslem Brtherhood can consolidate their grip. Invite the Moslem Brotherhood to the Whitehouse and decline to meet with the Israelis
      Objective 3: Take his family to see the world; He has got round it once or twice, but I am sure he will still want to do more sightseeing
      Objective 4: Make himself a millionaire; Well I do not know his finances, but seeing he claims to pay for all his own trips etc, he has done pretty well for a political agitator. and even a 3&1/2 years as prresident does not boost him into the multimillion dollar class, he appears to be in.
      You call that a failure. I say he has done well for what he really wanted to do.

      • Paul in NH says:

        Well considering how you laid out his criterion for success, this would be true. BUT, my definition: "Has he been good for America?" …. obama is a TOTAL and ABJECT FAILURE!

    3. If politics didn't intervene, the first Iraq war should have finished that mission and that problem solved long before 9/11.

    4. Hoping for that new course to begin in November!

    5. Will Stout says:

      It is interesting to me that discussions about militant Islam rarely mention the moral component. My wife and I for a number of years were part of a group that dialogued with visiting Muslim college students. The number ONE reason that would be given when ask why Muslims hated Americans was MTV and that we support homosexuality. I don't see how we will every have credibility in Muslim nations until as a nation we recover our moral foundations.

      • pnclaw says:

        #2 (Cont'd) We cannot legislate morality. It's something each incorporate into our lives as a result of moral influences and examples from great people, from loving families, and most of all, a willingness to honor God.
        Our nation can never please the Muslims in these two factors as you cited because our constitution guarantees freedom. It is up to what free and honorable people will do in our loving service to mankind that can make some difference in their opinions of us Americans. Hopefully, they will learn to respect the constitutional differences. Hopefully they will realize that for some of the Muslims, their "reason" against America is just an excuse to hate. Unfortunately, for the extremists, this hate and plot to eradicate is sanctioned by their mulahs.

      • glynnda says:

        True, however our national morality cannot be legislated otherwise we become just like them. Morality is a matter of the heart and it is those who hold these values that must convince the nation to embrace them. It cannot be a matter of legislation but of the people of faith in our nation. Unfortunately many people of faith in our nation have become complacent in expressing their views and we have become the church of Laodicia (hope I spelled that right) very lukewarm and content to allow our government to attempt to set our morality for us through the courts and through laws. We are now paying the price for that behavior….

    6. Margaret says:

      The film was used as an excuse for the attacks. Obama's use of drones in their country really did more to incite them. They do not like America. They don't have the power to tell us to get out and love the foreign aid money we thoughtlessly send them. They hate America because the Federal Reserve run by the banks charges interest which is forbidden by them. In that regard they are right. Interest rates controlled by the Federal Reserve is what has caused the downfall of the Euro dollar and now the American dollar.

      The end of the Federal Reserve would solve the problems of America's economic problems and give us a currency that is once again worth something. We are now on a debt based economy with no hope of paying it back. It has enslaved us and there is no way out. It has done the same with Europe. We are on a fast tract to coming under the control of the United Nations. As for China and Russia do not forget the Sino-Soviet pact that did not go away. They vowed they would never break it. That is why Russia hosted the Asian countries recently.
      We in the west have been duped by every president except John Kennedy because he signed the legislation that would have controlled the Federal Reserve and was killed for it. Johnson immediately rescinded the legislation.
      Every member of Congress except Ron Paul and two others belong to the same organization that backs the Federal Reserve. That is why Ron Paul has been ignored all these years and was literally kicked out of the GOP race. Check the history, Paul's legislation over the years, Kennedy's legislation, and the history of the Bilbergs and you will know the truth.

    7. jlvhale says:

      Article clearly outlines status of mid-east crisis, puts forth an outline of failures in the policies of this administration and gives ideas for ways to improve our relationship in the Middle East as well as strengthen our standing so we can protect our interest there.

    8. Harry Adams says:

      a definite result of the coming Israel attack on Iran will be a huge jump in fuel prices, costing American consumers additional billons of dollars! We could have been almost completely energy independent by now, but our President's anti fossil fuel program assured the middle east oil produvers of ever greater profits. Guess who's side our President is on!!!!

    9. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Why does HF continue to give Obama a pass? Obama is not "failing" in the Middle East. His plan is working to perfection. He took out the leaders of Libya and Egypt (who, by the way, helped the US) to make room for the Muslim Brotherhood (radical Islam) to take power. Obama is not stupid or naive. He knows exactly what he is doing. And what he is doing is not good for the Middle East, Israel, or the United States

    10. G. Patty says:

      Mr. Carafano, you are absolutely correct. HOWEVER, you left out one very important "bullet point" in protecting Americans and American interests. Non-Muslims worldwide (ESPECIALLY WORLD LEADERS AND DECISION MAKERS) need desperately to be educated on what "the religion of peace" is really all about. The Q'uran is Mein Kampf on steroids; it is nothing more than hate speech cloaked as "holy writ.". Children in Middle Eastern countries are taught in their public schools that infidels (especially Americans) are to be despised and annihilated. The deafening silence over Islamist attricities from so-called "conservative" Muslims in this and other countries is more than disturbing. My greatest fear is that my granddaughters, and their daughters, will one day be forced to wear burqas. A thorough examination and understanding of Islamic beliefs and how they are counter to everything we hold dear is critical at this point. Enough is enough.

      • auhunter says:

        You're right, but we as a nation have never bothered to get into the heads of those that oppose us. With all of the advisers, experts on this or that, that are available to our leaders you would think that they would pick up a little information on the mindsets of our adversaries and act accordingly. As for the silence of the conservative Muslims here and around the world, they can't speak up for fear of reprisal from the radical side.

    11. RHolland says:

      Obama and the democrats are combining the poor and middles class to form the "dependent" class. Dependent on big government handouts. Now that 47% pay no federal income tax they can vote themselves more and more.

    12. How to fix the Muslin problem is let them sort it out. Extermists currently lead in the Arab world. Get out of those places; we are not welcome and stop pumping our treasure of blood and gold where it is not needed, wanted, or misused. When an emerging nation gets beyond advisor help we need retreat and wait for a better day. Commerce seems to naturally take care of most problems, in the long run. Everyone wants to make money and America does that best.

    13. Robert says:

      You may champion being a leader of freedom in the middle east all that you like; and you are delusional. Just as the vast majority of serious pain in the world will find Islam involved, you will find Islam in opposition to any modern concept of freedom or justice. The middle east is a backward place that will be much the same a thousand years from now. Probably the most laughable term invented in modern history is "Arab Spring". The Arab does not contribute to a modern world and will never be capable of same. Let's protect and assist the Jews, who have contributed much in many fields.

    14. glynnda says:

      I have some suggestions for how to deal with these people….how about this…..we:

      1. Stop sending them taxpayer donations until they can get their nation stabilized and follow American values, i.e. freedom and human rights since we all know they are the worst offenders
      2. Determine that any nation that aids and abets terrorists will not receive aid from the U.S. of any kind either monetary or humanitarian…..let the UN do that…..yeah that will happen
      3. State loudly that we stand with Isreal and any act against that nation will be considered an act of war by the U.S. with full consequences to follow
      4. Kick their consulates out of America…..NOW and remove ours from their nations and restrict traffic and trade with and to those nations who aid and abet terrorists
      5. START DRILLING AND SELLING OUR OWN OIL…..I guarantee you this…..when OPEC sees a serious threat to their hold on the oil market (and thus their fortunes) this nonsense will stop and very quickly.

    15. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Welcome back, Carter.

      • glynnda says:

        Blair I feel your pain, but let's face facts, Carter is so glad Obama has become president because now he's not the worst president on record anymore! Next to Obama, Carter actually looks competent.

    16. glynnda says:

      We are not whipped dogs to be beaten by these miserable and sick animals whenever they get in the mood to do so. We are the mightiest and by far the most generous nation on this Earth of any nation that has ever existed. What are we thinking here? Can we put on our collective "big boy pants" and get out there and address this stuff?

      What do we do in the school yard when we encounter a bully? Just stand by and let it happen? NOT ME!!!! I deal with bullies who are always cowards and back down the minute they are seriously confronted. It's time for some serious confrontation. We will never win on the battlefield with these people, we have to convince the good people of each nation that it is in their best interest to stop allowing these people to commandeer their governments. It's not difficult to do, all we have to do is take them off the US foreign relations welfare system…..


    17. reggiec says:

      The ongoing and future problems in the middle east are not really cureable as long as the Islamic theocracy exists combined with the historical tribal ideology of Arab nations. The diplomats in the US and in other parts of the world that have preached that peaceful coexistance is possible have disconnected from reality. Historically, Arab ideology only respects one thing and that is force. When you rely on accomodation you demonstrate weakness and encourage escalation of the force from Islamic controlled nations. The one thing accomodation ignores is the one common thread that has run through Isalm since its inception. That is world domination and the implementation of Sharia law world wide. Failure to accept that this ideology is the cornerstone of Islam is insanity.

    18. savernation says:

      One other key policy change would be to develop North American Energy independence so we can deal with the Middle East from a position of INDEPENDENT strength.

    19. glynnda says:

      Mitt Romney has looked and acted just like a president since this whole thing began….unlike Mr Obama. Mitt Romney was not my choice coming out of the primaries, however he has more presidential bearing in his little finger than Obama has shown over the last four years…..

    20. Jeanne Stotler says:

      The word of the POTUS and Sec. of State are hollow words, now with rumors that there was warning that this couldf happen and that the lives of our personel overseas are in danger as the Marines that guard them are with out AMMO. The deaths of these men are on the shoulders of this country as well as the terrorists. For God's sake arm those who are suppose to defend the consulates and Embassies in thses countries OR CLOSE THEM.

    21. Afnan Shah says:

      America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.

      In 1953, America overthrow Iran's democratic government and installed a brutal dictator Shah of Iran. America helped Shah to established secret police and killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians.

      During Iran-Iraq war, America helped Saddam Hussein and killed one million Iranians. America is the only country that shot down Iran's civilian air plain and killed all 290 passengers.

      In 2003, America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and displaced 4,000,000+ Iraqi people.
      Now, America is a failed country with huge debt. Its debt will be 24 trillion by 2015.

      Every other day a city in America is declaring bankruptcy. ha ha ha ha ha ha

    22. mbs says:

      I totally agree with Lucky 3511. Not one individual is this country has the backbone to stand up & tell it like it REALLY is! Soros & O-buma have an agenda to bring our (before the narcisstic,arrogant muslim) once great nation to it's knees infested with Muslim rulers; we will be their slaves or dead. Why, for the love of God can these brainless idiots allow this to take place? Where are all the patriots? WE USE TO FIGHT
      for OUR FREEDOMS & what the founding fathers declared our rights as a CHRISTIAN nation. Wake up country before we are all doomed!

    23. Jim says:

      Thank you, Albert, for the most insightful commentary i have seen on the mid-east!

    24. caren says:

      The anti muslim video does not have anything to do with the attacks on Americans in Libya ,
      Cairo and other parts of the Middle East. It is being used as a decoy . This video was released on July 13th.
      These attacks were planned and well orchestrated on our embassy in Libya and the mob attacks in Cairo on 9/11. Did you ever think it could be in retaliation for Obama bragging about "his" killing of Bin Laden! Hence the mobs are yelling , " Obama for Osama!" No news network has brought this up to my knowledge!
      If you want to understand why Obama is not acting concerned about what is going on in the Middle East go see the movie "2016: Obama's America". I will give you two themes from the movie, Obama's "United States of Islam" and Obama's " anti-nuclear agenda." This movie is a must see before election day, November 6th!

    25. William says:

      As long as the American people elect people such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and the ilk that dominate the democrat party of today, your objectives in this article as set out can never be achieved.

      We are inherently unstable because the American people do not reliably elect competent, freedom loving leaders. Sad to say, but true.

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