Monday, June 16, 2014

Who's To Blame For the New Iraq Crsis?

Yesterday former British Prime Minister Tony Blair sought to distance himself from Iraq's current decent into chaos by placing the blame not on himself & Pres. Bush's decision to invade Iraq & remove Saddam, but instead he placed the blame firmly at President Obama's feet, over his inaction in Syria and his removing US forces from Iraq before the Iraqi army was ready to shoulder the responsibility ( as they showed when at the first sign of trouble, they dropped their weapons and ran). Blair has subsequently received a lot of flack & derision for his comments, but does he have a point?

Where he is correct is that Syria's civil war is superficially where this violence has spread from and  Obama & UN)'s failure to act in Syria has led to what is occurring in Iraq, and could spread further (Lebanon even Jordan). Obama is seen by Arabs and indeed most of the world, with a great deal of justification, as incompetent  in foreign policy & indecisive when it comes to using the massive military force the US can wield. His "Red Line" in Syria was a blatant example of this, preferring to  be railroaded by Putin & Assad rather than take the action he had loudly threatened months before. As any parent knows - you don't issue threats if you don't or can't follow through.  Obama's  incompetence  has created a power vacuum around the world that Putin has certainly exploited in Crimea and so have extremist elements in Syria & that has most certainly spilled over into Iraq.

Tangentially Obama's response to Iraq's plea for help is to basically tell them deal with it themselves, when it is clear they are overwhelmed and cannot. One way that we will all pay for Obama's failure will be by rising oil and gas prices worldwide which will impact on economies only now emerging form recession, including in the US.

Tony Blair is also fundamentally wrong, because he ignores the role of Iran in all of this as does Obama (although Blair is far more astute than Obama) - Iran & Iraq were implacable enemies prior to Saddam's fall. 100,000s had died from the two states during their protracted civil war and they faced each other across their border warily, with a great deal of Iran's military resources focused on that front. Bush & Blair's actions in 2003 removed that threat to Iran - it was like taking the nose ring out of a raging bull. Since then, unfettered from fears of a powerful enemy, they have sough to take control of the Arab world - drastically increasing funding and support to groups such as Hamas & Hezbollah, and deliberately destabilizing
Lebanon, Syria & now Iraq in the process. The scapegoating of Israel is Iran's  rallying call to the Arab street (traditionally wary of the non Arab Persians). Iran are behind the ongoing civil war in Syria as much as Assad & they are quite blatantly manipulating the strife in Iraq. Bush & Blair's advisers should have foreseen this consequence.

However, Bush & Blair have not been world leaders for several years - only a few months ago Obama again displayed his weakness by letting Iran off the hook over its nuclear ambitions. When you consider that Iran is funding many of the Islamist terror groups slaughtering people around the world, then not taking decisive action over their desire for nuclear weapons borders on imbecilic - certainly blatant incompetence. The world placed Iran under heavy sanctions that eventually brought them to the negotiating table - the US & UN held all the cards. Iran was brought to their knees and basically crawled to those negotiations - so how is that a few weeks later that same Iran walked away ... no skipped joyously away, with at best flimsy restrictions which do little to protect Israel or the West? Yes - the West & US are threatened too - Iran has ICBM long range missiles, which it does not need to reach Israel or any other Mid East target - who are these weapons intended for?

At any point, Obama could utilize the power that comes with his office & slow or stop the destabilization & accompanying misery Iran is causing to millions of people. He could remove the threat this rogue nation of war represents. Iran is the fuel feeding the Mid East fires - remove that fuel & the fires will die down. However Obama's US continues to fail to bring its strength to bear on Iran, Putin or in Syria. His failures will cause many more deaths, over many more years,  than Bush's or Blair's ever did.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Palestinian Society has reached its lowest point

How pathetic has the Palestinian world become? How low has it sunk over the past couple of decades? Their  master plan for "resistance" is kidnapping Israeli teenagers! This is how they hope to bring Israel build a future for the Palestinian people... by extorting the release of terrorists on the back of unarmed school kids? They've tried blowing up buses and cafes, they've tried attacking targets around the worked from Entebe to the Olympics and now they are snatching schoolkids!

It may not be the major Palestinian players like Hamas or the PLO behind this particular cowardly and pathetic crime, but Hamas leaders were falling over themselves today to encourage more of these types of crimes. This is the same Hamas who run the government of the independent Palestinian area of Gaza and the same Hamas who last week rejoined the Palestinian Authority, and the same Hamas that the US government agreed to work with. So to be clear the Palestinian Authority, newly unified, includes a 'party'  (in reality an unreformed and unrepentant terror organization backed by Iran) who's officials advocate kidnapping Israelis as bargaining tools. Israel's PM Netanyahu today blamed this new unity government directly for the kidnapping - that is probably a stretch, but if Hamas is publicly cheering this crime then the PA is indeed culpable and the UN, US & EU should take clear note of who it is they are now doing business with, and question exactly to whose pockets their citizens tax money is being given as aid.

The terror crimes of the Palestinian groups has made life much more difficult for Palestinians - in reaction to Arafat's intifada, in reality a wave of suicide bombings of civilian targets, Israel built the hated security fence / wall (which stopped the bombings saving 100s if not 1000s of lives); when Hamas took over Gaza, turning it into a terror base and launching waves of missile attacks on Israel, both Israel & Egypt closed their borders and now if kidnapping Israeli kids & other civilians is the new tactic, one can only imagine the new difficulties the Palestinians will face as Israel defends itself against this threat. Liberals around the world and so called 'pro Palestinians' will within days be bleating on about "collective punishment" and "over reaction", but the job of the Israeli government is first and foremost to protect Israeli citizens not make Palestinian's lives comfortable. Lets be clear - Israel is reacting to a threat - remove the threat & you remove the reaction.

Israel will not and can not allow a new wave of kidnappings to break out,  which means more checkpoints, tighter grips on border crossings in and out of Jordan, Egypt and most especially Gaza - it may mean Israeli forces returning to Palestinian cities to enforce order & break up terror cells. If the Palestinian leaders don't want these consequences, then they must root out the criminals, punish severely the perpetrators and send the message clearly that these terror crimes are a piteous embarrassment to the Palestinian people and not in anyway a victory. 98% of Palestinians live under PA control - the word authority is in the PA's name and they need to exercise some! If they do not and these boys are not found or returned, and worse, if more attempts occur, then Israel must take tough unilateral action: There can be no working with a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas, no collecting and handing over taxes to such an authority, no security arrangements, no providing power to Gaza, nothing! Indeed the world must say to the Palestinians, that if this is the path they are going to take, then there will be no aid or support - this appeasing of Palestinian leaders incapable of making peace, whilst endorsing violence and terror has to end - not just for Israel, but for the Palestinians, because world support that is propping up these pathetic people in leadership positions, and it is denying the Palestinians a future that real leaders who are prepared to negotiate and compromise could forge for them and it is of course placing Israeli lives at further risk.

There will be  weak fools out out there in the world reading this who will say that I am blaming all Palestinians for the actions of a few - but this is not so because within Palestinian society there is a cancer that hails child killers as heroes, names schools after suicide bombers, calls 9/11  a great victory and produces a curriculum in schools that teach children that Jews are pigs and monkeys. Inside Palestinian Gaza thousands of children are forced to attend Hamas terror schools, training them to be fighters of the future and in all parts of Palestinian society, children are encouraged to be on the front line, throwing rocks, and acting as human shields. The terrorists are in villages and towns, but are not being exposed or rejected, but instead are heroic 'resistance fighters' which in reality damns all of Palestinian society for collectively condoning these scum. Any steps Israel takes will not be 'collective punishment' but defense against a society so corrupt, so low, it believes kidnapping children is heroic.

There is no bright optimistic future for any people that have sunk so low - the future for the Palestinians is not in their grasp and cannot be until ordinary Palestinians turn round and so to their leaders that they don't want to be the people that kidnap kids or blow up buses. Only when the riots and demonstrations are about that will they find leaders who are prepared to enter into hard but genuine negotiations with Israel. Only when they stop seeing their children as rock throwing human shields and Israeli children as legitimate targets, can they sit down with Israel to build a future for their children.