TAYLOR: Syria’s 'red line' adds to Obama’s Egyptian problems

Each day brings new developments in the Middle East and Barack Obama is overwhelmed trying to find solutions. Photo: Syrian chemical horror Photo:ibtimes.co.uk

CHARLOTTEAugust 22, 2013 – This Middle East thing is really beginning to get in Barack Obama’s way. While he is busy trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public about domestic issues, those pesky Islamists keep distracting him.

New incidents in Syria, where estimates of 1,500 or more innocent people were killed from what is believed to be a nerve gas or sarin attack, have the Obama administration spinning like a top. One minute the focus is Egypt, then suddenly there are chemical weapons in Syria. Add in Iran’s nuclear program, terrorist threats in Yemen, the Benghazi attacks, phony scandals at home and there is an endless array of other global emergencies.

It is really starting to disrupt the president’s “beautiful day in the neighborhood.”

Critics are quick to remind Obama of his “red line in the sand” statement last year when he boldly announced that chemical weapons would be a game changer in Syria. As usual, defiant words were followed by Obama passivity, further diminishing American credibility around the world.

It is one thing to be perceived as weak and indecisive at home, but very much another matter when the contagion spreads throughout the international community. Perhaps we should stand back and observe the panorama of timidity Mr. Obama projects to the rest of the world.

The violence in Egypt and Syria were predictable due to the president’s lack of leadership and his misguided academic approach to foreign policy. In May of this year, Mashari Al-Zaydi, a columnist for the London based daily Al-Sharg Al-Awsat, blasted Obama’s policies, or lack thereof, in the Middle East. Al-Zaydi was prophetic in his observations making predictions that have already come to pass, as well as some yet to occur.

SEE RELATED: TAYLOR: No easy answers from Egypt

Al-Zaydi wrote, “There is great danger in what is happening in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and may soon also happen on Turkey’s southern border because of the policy of retreat that Obama is employing without any deep consideration.”

Which means new violence and chaos are yet to unfold. As Zaydi points out, it is due to Obama’s lack of “deep consideration,” which seems to be a problem with every program the administration undertakes. The only “deep consideration’” ever given to anything is how it personally benefits Mr. Obama and his cronies.

Then come Zaydi’s prophetic words, “These countries – and probably also Egypt and North Africa, in a different way – are about to enter a terrifying era of religious terrorism, sectarian war and civil strife that will harm everyone.”

Sound like any newscasts you have heard recently?

The immediate response from Obama supporters is the same as from Islamists when criticized. In the president’s case it is always racism while the extremists term their victimization as Islamophobia. Same tactic, different words.

On the other hand, when such views are stated by outsiders who do not buy into the American racism paradigm, Mr. Obama’s policies take a different emphasis.

Lebanese-American writer Fuad ‘Ajami took the president to task for “his feebleness, his lack of leadership, and his inability to make bold decisions under difficult circumstances, especially when it comes to his position on the Syrian catastrophe.”

Following up on ‘Ajami, Zaydi adds, “people were overjoyed by the arrival of a black Harvard graduate with African and Islamic roots, the son of Hussein Obama. (They expected him) to have a better understanding of the Islamic and Arab societies and their nature. But eventually, as the helplessness of the international community (to address the situation) in Syria increased due to the (conduct of) the U.S. and Obama, it became apparent that this man is unable to lead and that he hides his failure and ignorance behind a lot of hypothetical talk about red, green and purple lines…”

“The most acute (aspect of) the problem is that Obama is laying down the systematic groundwork for the development of extremism and sectarian violence

“This leads us to a frustrating conclusion about Obama’s precise and rigid implementation of his bad and superficial policy of retreating (from the Middle East) at any cost. 

“….this is not a skilled statesman and politician with creative solutions, but an ordinary academic who repeats meaningless slogans and does not possess the political sensitivity to give each factor the weight it deserves.” 

Strong international observations to say the least.

There is a postscript to Zaydi’s observations which every American should note. Hillary Clinton, was Secretary of State during Obama’s first term in office and, therefore, largely responsible for implementing many of those failed foreign policies as the catalyst for the president.

With 2016 on the horizon, the prospects of a Hillary Clinton presidency will bring only more “phony” scandals and continued international weakness.

Contact Bob at Google+

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) which offers tours and travel information for people who share his wanderlust spirit.  

Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@magellantravelclub.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.



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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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