Syria and the Middle East: Too little, too late

Indecision has escalated problems in the Middle East and it is only going to get worse. Photo: All the comforts of home, Syria (

CHARLOTTEAugust 25, 2013 – The term “Middle East” is starting to mean the West is caught in the middle.

Indecision, inaction, fence-sitting or whatever other term is used, it appears the conflicts throughout the region have gone beyond the point of no return and can do nothing now but escalate.

If the United States and its Western allies do respond now, they will be mired in quicksand with no way out. Unfortunately, however, whatever decision is made is a bad decision because there simply are no good ones.

The Obama administration has never had a foreign policy. Rhetoric is not policy unless reinforced by action. Otherwise it is merely rhetoric.

Remember when Obama re-opened the U.S. embassy in Damascus and his rock star Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Bashar al-Assad a “reformer”? Now that reformer is using chemical weapons against his own people in an attempt to salvage his regime against what began as a rebellion and has exponentially grown out of control thanks to support from Russia as well as al-Qaeda (which is dead, by the way, and fighting from the grave), Iran and Hezbollah.

What we have is the Hobson’s choice of global politics.

So while sources say the Pentagon is preparing for a possible attack on Assad’s government with cruise missiles, Obama is waiting for approval to take action from the U.N.

That basically amounts to a lose-lose proposition by two unwilling ineffective forces trying to look tough in a no-win situation.

But that’s what you get when you believe you can negotiate with radicals and use words to deter them. Barack Obama doesn’t seem to understand that in the Middle East “goodwill” is what a suicide bomber leaves to his relatives after he blows himself up.

While the president weighs all his non-options at the White House, which is now called the “Ponderosa,” that zombie terrorist organization known as al-Qaeda is gaining strength and growing.

Does anyone believe for one second that an emboldened jihadist organization such as al-Qaeda is not going to incite other terrorist organizations throughout the region while Obama awaits the go-ahead from the U.N.?

As Syria burnt, the rage and chaos continues in Egypt as it does in Nigeria. None of these are real problems, however, we can handle them all as mere “overseas contingency operations.” The real problem is lining up a 30-foot putt and deciding whether it will break right or left.

By waiting for the U.N. to get on board in Syria, Obama can avoid blame, which in essence, is the crux of his foreign policy ideology. The president took the same approach with Egypt when he said, “The buck stops with Egypt, not with me.”

The fact is, Obama’s has a similar domestic philosophy. Blame somebody else.

It is a cultural characteristic of people with Islamic heritage and backgrounds to pass blame to others. Have you ever heard of a jihadist who is not a victim? In Saudi Arabia covering your tracks so that responsibility lies with someone else is the national pastime. Should we expect anything different from a president who spent the first third of his life in that sort of environment?

Now the West is faced with even greater problems than what would have been the case if we had dealt with them at the outset. All the choices left are bad ones, and regardless of what is done, a volatile situation is only going to become more volatile.

The really frightening thing is that Barack Obama has apparently not learned a thing from his indecisiveness. Maybe that’s because he’s spending so much time trying to figure out whose fault it is.

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

Inquiries for groups can be made at 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 ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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