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Friday, January 17, 2014

Fareed Zakaria, "Making things worse in the Middle East": Blame Bush, Not Obama

Read Fareed Zakaria's latest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Making things worse in the Middle East" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-us-fuel-to-the-middle-east-fire/2014/01/16/489c2424-7ef1-11e3-95c6-0a7aa80874bc_story.html?hpid=z3). What's most remarkable about it? He doesn't mention Israel even once. Zakaria begins:

"Over the past few months, the Middle East has become an even more violent place than usual. Iraq is now once again home to one of the most bloody civil wars in the world, after Syria of course, which is the worst."

Zakaria of course doesn't mention that according to Amnesty International (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iran-hangs-40-people-two-weeks-amid-surge-executions-2014-01-16), "Iran has carried out a total of 40 executions since the beginning of 2014, with at least 33 carried out in the past week alone." Yup, newly elected Iranian president Rouhani, upon whom Obama is pinning his hopes of reaching a deal to restrain Iran's nuclear weapons development program, is sure one heck of a moderate . . .

Who, according to Zakaria, is to blame for this Middle East mess? George W. Bush, of course. Zakaria writes:

"If a single action accelerated the sectarian conflicts in the Middle East, it was the decision of the George W. Bush administration to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime, dismantle all structures in which Sunnis had power and then hand over the Iraqi state to Shiite religious parties.

. . . .

The consequences of these policies are now clear. The Shiites proceeded to oppress the Sunnis — seemingly with Washington’s blessings. More than 2 million Iraqis — mostly Sunnis and Christians — fled the country, never to return. The Sunni minority in Iraq, which still had delusions of power, began fighting back as an insurgency and then became more extreme and Islamist. These tribes are all tied by blood and kinship to Sunni tribes in their next-door neighbor, Syria, and those Syrian Sunnis were radicalized as they watched the Iraqi civil war."

Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that Zakaria was born to a Sunni Muslim family in India.

Is Obama, who has sat on his hands during the Green Revolution in Iran, the upheaval in Egypt and the sectarian violence in Syria, to blame? No way, according to Obama cheerleader Zakaria:

"Watching these horrors unfold, many in the United States are convinced that this is Washington’s fault or that, at the very least, the Obama administration’s 'passive' approach toward the region has allowed instability to build. In fact, the last thing the region needs is more U.S. intervention."

No intervention? Not even humanitarian intervention with no boots on the ground? Well, others have meanwhile entered this power vacuum, most notably Iran, which continues to buttress the barbaric Assad regime in Syria while sending long-range missiles to Hezbollah and supporting Shiite insurgencies elsewhere in the region.

Obama has become a dirty name in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and where this leads is anyone's guess. So much for the Arab Spring, which is fast becoming the Arab Ice Age.

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