U.S. foreign policy toward Syria is complex, serious and troubling

American foreign policy in Syria is following an all too familiar pattern. It is time wake up and learn how to deal with the Middle East. Photo: AP

CHARLOTTEMarch 13, 2013 – Iran, Egypt, Libya and now, possibly Syria. When will we ever get it right? Is there no end to American ignorance about the Middle East?

History is full of foreign policy mistakes by America. How about the Czar in 1917 who was followed by the Communists? Take a look at the Weimar Republic in Germany before Hitler. Remember when Cuba and Batista gave way to Castro in the early 1950s. Does anyone see a pattern here?

In many cases, the U.S. helped usher out a bad situation and replace it with something worse. 

Are we seeing a repeat in Syria?  There is no doubt President Bashar al-Assad is a brutal dictator, and that the rebels are trying to remove him from power. 

But we must also consider that at least some of the rebel groups fighting to oust the tyrant are also radical Islamists.

In other words, if the rebels prevail, Syria will be controlled by yet another Islamist state which sits on the border of Israel. No doubt, sharia law will follow and the powder keg that is the Middle East will become a little more volatile.

Though the no man’s land in the region between Syria and Israel is heavily mined and signs clearly warn of the danger, the region has been relatively quiet for four decades. That could be changing, however. According to Israeli intelligence, radical Islamist militias control the entire Syrian side of the border.

In case anyone has missed the news, one of radical Islam’s primary goals is to eradicate Israel from the face of the earth.

Yet the United States is, indirectly, supplying arms to Syrian rebels through several countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

One reason Qatar is assisting the United States in getting weapons to the rebels in Syria is not because they have any great allegiance to us, but because they support the Islamists and want the Muslim Brotherhood to be victorious.

You remember the Muslim Brotherhood. Those were the bad guys in Egypt who we were told had become moderate.

Negotiating in the Middle East is always complicated. It’s rather like watching someone juggle three balls. The juggler may have two of them firmly in his grasp but there is always one that is up in the air and you never know when, where or how it is going to stop.

For some reason the United States has never figured out how to juggle in the Middle East, so we just keep making the same naïve mistakes over and over again.

Secretary of State John Kerry has only been on the job a few weeks but already he is exhibiting the same lack of concern at providing weapons to anti-American Islamists as did his predecessor. It is either that, or ignorance, or both.

In a statement to the New York Times Kerry said, “the Obama administration had gained new confidence in recent months that the Syrian opposition coalition could minimize the risk that weapons would fall into hostile hands.”

Huh?

Mr. Kerry do you not realize that the Syrian rebels ARE “hostile hands” or eventually will be?

True, there are some moderates among the rebels and others who are not as radical as the Islamists, but saying that is like the politically correct statement we always hear that “all Muslims are not terrorists.” Maybe not, but even if only one tenth of one percent of them are, that’s a lot of people trying to blow us away.

There are many questions to be answered. Is the administration that misdirected or do they simply not care? And why isn’t the media paying attention to such events?

One thing is certain. When all hell breaks loose in the Middle East again, and it most assuredly will, the press will be the first ones asking “Why?”

Contact Bob at  <ahref=”https://plus.google.com/#110562793209908234170/?rel=author”>Google+</a>

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to SwitzerlandFrance and Italy for groups of 12 or more.

Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.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 countriesSuggest 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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