Much has been written recently about Obama’s speech at the State Department regarding Middle East policy. When I was in college, I had a professor wrote “psycho-biographies” of philosophers based on knowledge of their lives, their writings, and their philosophies. When that book is finally written on Barack Obama, I am quite sure the phrases “narcissist” and “delusions of grandeur” will somehow be involved. It was not only evident in this most recent speech, but in others he has given throughout his tenure as President thus far. Leaving aside the fact that he is the closest we have come to socialism in a President, I think the more serious problem at this point may be his psychological profile. In fact, the signs are so worrisome that they dictate that he be defeated in 2012.
I personally, after reading the transcript of the speech several times, find it amazing that Obama has essentially adopted the Bush doctrine of spreading democracy in the region. For it was Bush who realized that in order to lessen the chances of terrorism in the long term, democracy must be fostered first. Along the way, it was people like Obama who derided the philosophy and the strategy by appealing to some sense of equality of nations, where Tunisia was on equal footing with the United States. In other words, in the mind of Obama, what right did we have to dictate regime change to any country? Yet, in this speech, he is advocating just that. Obama overcomes, in his mind, these former criticisms of Bush’s foreign policy in the region by claiming it was his speech in Cairo that somehow set the masses free in some spontaneous yearning for democracy. His speech in Cairo two years is long forgotten by us and I am sure also the Muslim community at which it was directed. Furthermore, he is convinced that it is he and he alone who is responsible for changes there and North Africa. He has made lofty promises before the dust has settled in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria. He mysteriously fails to in nine pages of transcripted speech mention Saudi Arabia, perhaps the strongest military and economic player in the region. He rightfully states that our policy over the past decade has been framed by the war on terror- a phrase he has wiped from the political vocabulary despite its very real existence. He seems to believe, as he pats himself on the back, that the death of a weakened, apparent porn-watching Osama Bin Laden has silenced Al Queda and their wannabes and that today they are somehow cowering in caves fearful of the Almighty Obama.
In one paragraph of his speech, Obama pledges at least $4 billion in foreign aid to Egypt alone while his own country is swimming a sea of debt that he has made worse exponentially. That promise of aid comes with some unrealistic view that these countries will somehow emulate the United States in constitutional democracy. He ignores the fact that the most likely political force to be reckoned with in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood who has stated they would “reconsider” the Egyptian peace treaty with Israel. Are we to provide $4 billion in aid to a foreign country when we can least afford it and tacitly support a reconsideration of a peace treaty with Israel? Foreign aid, if it is to exist, should come with quid pro quos- you get the aid if you do this.
Most disturbingly is near the end of the speech how he frames the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Trying to parse his words, the speech is clearly at odds with his speech at AIPAC in 2008 when he stated, “…there are those who would lay all of the problems at the doorstep of Israel…They offer the false promise that abandoning a stalwart ally is somehow a path to strength.” Compare that to his most recent speech where he condemns Israeli settlements upfront as the biggest impediment to the peace process (as if settlements cannot be dismantled) and then parenthetically adds, “Oh yeah…and those rocket attacks on Israeli citizens.” And speaking of those settlements he wants Israel to cease, he says nothing about Palestinian settlements in his new proposed Israeli state. Calling on Israel to take bold steps, what old steps have Palestinians taken besides more terrorist actions and illegal weapons running into Gaza? Withdrawing unilaterally got Israel what exactly. That’s right– more rocket attacks. His call for Israel to return to their 1967 borders would leave more Israeli citizens vulnerable to more terrorist actions! What Obama fails to understand- and this is evident in his rose-colored perception of human behavior in the region- is that Israel is not threatened by the tanks and planes of Syria, Jordan and Egypt today, but by Palestinian terrorists egged on by the likes of Syria and Iran. He seems to somehow believe that some words on a resolution from the United Nations will silence terrorism directed at Israel ignorant of the fact that your average run of the mill terrorist gives a rat’s ass about UN resolutions unless it favors them.
In passing, he notes that this is a starting framework and that two issues- the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees- can be discussed later. However, he fails to mention that if Israel withdraws to their 1967 borders, it necessarily means ceding Jersusalem. This is ironic because in 2008, he told AIPAC: “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” That, to me, seems rather unequivocal. Three years later, now that he is not on the campaign trail, he is actually suggesting a divided Jersusalem with its security guranteed jointly by Israel and this new Palestinian state. That is kind of strange considering that the Palstinians have no semblance of central authority to pull off that feat. Of course, Obama clings to the false or naive hope that Hamas will suddenly change because HE has spoken and they will accept Israel’s right to exist. That is doubtful since their biggest source of support has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and pursues a nuclear program towards those ends. In Obama’s Middle East, there will be a chain of Jews and Palestinians holding hands along this new border with daisies in their hair as glittered unicorns jump over rainbows. Its a nice vision, but it ain’t happening.
The question needs to be raised: if Obama is now in the business of fostering democracy in the region, an action he derided when Bush was in office, why is he today proposing the means to threaten the existence of the only true democracy in the region? Its also kind of strange that the Almighty Obama is going to enter into free trade agreements in the region to foster economic prosperity and improve living standards while his party here in the United States stands opposed to free trade agreements involving his own country. If Obama truly believes what he said in that speech at the State Department, then is is either the most naive President since Jimmy Carter, or he is a dangerous threat to Israel. In either case, his imposition of his delusions of grandeur on this country is bad enough, but to do so in a dangerous region is surely a sign of some mental malfunction. The sooner we retire Obama to the loony bin that is Chicago- or wherever he calls home- the better the United States and the world will be. The stakes in 2012 are high for this country and now the world.