In the last six months leading up to the last elections in the United States we here at Beyond the Cusp begged, pleaded and argued that the most crucial principles and concerns which should have driven the vote was world events and foreign policies. We cajoled the American electorate to please ask questions and demand explanations on where the candidates stood on international problems and situations, what their outlook was concerning foreign policies, what they thought were the most pressing and important challenges in the near and far terms around the globe and finally what would be their guiding principles in addressing the standing of the United States on the world stage. Current events are now placing under the light of witness of unfolding events the repercussions to electing leaders in both the White House and Congress who choose to, for the most part, ignore world events and the ramifications when the world realizes the United States has taken a vacation from being the leader of events on the world’s stage. We are reaping the rewards of the policy of leading from behind, only acting reactively, and choosing flight over fight in virtually every theater. Our foreign policy and interactions have reinforced the realization that the United States values nobody’s friendship or any ally if continuing to have such a position requires any action on the United States behalf.
Look at the turmoil in Egypt over the last couple of years and you have an encapsulated summary of American foreign policy. President Mubarak was cruising along as President of Egypt and took the fateful position of naming one of his sons as his heir apparent. This cost Mubarak the necessary backing of the Egyptian Military as they had plans which called for them to choose the next President of Egypt when Mubarak left office as they have been privileged to do since the coup that placed Gamal Abdel Nasser into the Presidency in 1956. When the Arab Spring came to Egypt and challenged President Mubarak continuing as President, President Obama once again began a circuitous route of support followed by betrayal. Without the backing of the Egyptian Military, President Mubarak had the merest of holds on power and turned to the one ally he believed would protect him, the United States and President Obama. Initially, President Obama gave Egyptian President Mubarak complete support and continued to support him for as long as all it required was words. When it became evident that if Mubarak, an American ally of over a decade, was to retain his grasp on power he would need the active support from President Obama and the United States. At that critical point President Obama dropped the ball and turned on President Mubarak rather than actually commit to any actions which had become necessary to continue to support Mubarak as President of Egypt and American friend.
Mubarak fall was made inevitable after President Obama yanked his support from him just as quickly and without any more thought than when Lucy pulls the ball away as Charlie Brown goes to kick it. In the ensuing confusion it became evident very quickly that the next power in Egypt would be chosen by the Muslim Brotherhood. Following the path of least effort, President Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood’s political representative in the election which was the Peace and Justice Party candidate Morsi. The elections were held and presto, President Morsi took office in Egypt. President Morsi may have miscalculated and attempted to impose Islamic Sharia aligned laws at too rapid a pace and coming up on the first year anniversary of his election the demonstrations began. With the demonstrations returning and a conflict brewing between the Egyptian Military and Islamist Muslim Brotherhood supporters the Arab Spring appeared to have changed seasons becoming an Arab Winter. Once again President Obama was faced with the choice of whether or not to support the Egyptian President who was facing a popular revolt against his rule. Events proceeded rapidly and President Morsi was removed from the President by the Egyptian Military and has been placed in custody at some undisclosed locations. The Egyptian Military has taken strong steps to drive the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood from the public and political fields and into the shadows removed from any of the levers of power. While all these events have been passing, President Obama has done absolutely nothing of consequence.
Egypt now once again has a President placed into power by the Egyptian Military placing the nation right back where it was just over a year ago when they protested to remove Mubarak; the former Military backed President of Egypt. The new Egyptian Military crowned President of Egypt is Adly Mansour. Granted, President Mansour is technically just the interim President and the Egyptian Military has promised to seek to hold new elections within six months of the establishment through referendum of a new Egyptian Constitution. Whether Egypt will devolve into civil war with the same devastating results to the country as has befallen Syria or will Egypt be able to restore order, get a constitution approved through referendum of the people and hold new elections, whichever path Egypt’s future will travel, that decision will be made completely without any supportive actions from the United States as President Obama is not likely to take any initiative and commit to actively supporting one choice over another. President Obama will continue to be a passive observer who sits in the stands safely away from the action avoiding making any mistake simply by not taking any actions. The United States will sit on the sidelines of the future in Egypt and will not prevent any harm nor assist in preventing collapse with President Obama taking the exact same position as he did while Syria spiraled out of control devolving into factional violence which had torn apart the society destroying much of the national infrastructure while President Obama dithers over whether or not to actively support a side. Should Egypt also devolve into a similar destructive civil war as continues to plague Syria, it will be largely due to the lack of any outside force intervening to enforce a singular direction by backing either the Egyptian Military or the Freedom and Justice Party which is still the last elected political entity in Egypt. It makes no difference what anyone may personally feel about the Muslim Brotherhood holding political power over Egypt through their elected representatives from the Freedom and Justice Party as what is in question here is the lack of commitment of the United States in world affairs allowing for so many places slowly falling onto chaos without any strong leadership currently setting the mood and direction for the world.
In all fairness, there is one instance where President Obama has taken a stand and a very firm stand. He has supported with every ounce of energy and influence he is capable of mustering to force by any means necessary the formation of a Palestinian state and one that preferably meets every desire and specification that the Palestinians desire. President Obama has from the outset of his Presidency found means of forcing his will upon Israel in support of the Palestinian aspirations. President Obama has even gone so far as to invent new or never before even thought of demands of Israel towards setting the conditions under which the Palestinian state should be easily facilitated. Upon taking office President Obama demanded of Israel that they freeze all building beyond the Green Line because President Obama was convinced in his heart and mind that it was Israeli building in these areas that stood in the way of reaching an accord. Israel enacted a ten month building freeze rather than anger the new American President and Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership wasted this presumably golden opportunity that President Obama had rammed through in order to give the Palestinians an atmosphere where peace was supposed to be within their reach, if they would only reach out and take advantage of this gift. The only concession that resulted was Mahmoud Abbas met Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and shook his hand and then refused to meet again until a mere five weeks remained in the ten month freeze. Then, at that late date Mahmoud Abbas once again met with Netanyahu and Abbas demanded that the Israelis extend the building freeze indefinitely. Israel refused, Abbas blamed Israel for refusing to take the necessary steps for peace and there were no more meetings for the remainder of President Obama’s first term.
Now at the beginning of President Obama’s second term we are witnessing his new and improved push to form a Palestinian State in conjunction with his Secretary of State John Kerry. Once again the main impetus for the renewed peace negotiations was to ask the Palestinians which of their preconditions they would most desire the Israelis to meet and that Secretary of State Kerry would do everything in his power to impose said precondition on the Israelis as a goodwill concession necessary to persuade the Palestinians to even sit and talk once. There have been rumors that the Israelis had offered to once again impose a building freeze but that the Palestinians preferred a large and unprecedented release of terror prisoners who were serving life sentences for murders, some multiple murderous attacks, from Israeli prisons. This is what will now result in some one-hundred-four worst of the worst terrorist master planners and actual committers of terror in the entire history of the Palestinian Israeli conflict. Even with this agreement, the Palestinians further demanded that any decision on borders were to be made based on the 1949 Armistice Lines which are also referred to as the pre-June 1967 Borders. Kerry did not even try to receive Israeli agreement on this additional demand and instead simply announced that the talks were to resume and told the Israelis that with their agreement to free the terror prisoners they had shown sufficient commitment. Secretary Kerry has been rumored to have noted that he fully expects that Israel will have to let go of at least fifteen percent of what are referred to as the Settlement Blocs and has actually guaranteed the Palestinians that he will force border negotiations to be based upon the pre-June 1967 borders. There are many who, like us, fully expect that should there be any measurable progress made on the negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians that we will run into demands being raised by the Palestinians for Israel to freeze building or they will not return to the negotiations, and if the Israelis meet that demand, then at the next opportunity the demand will be that Israel recognize that east Jerusalem including all of the Old City and Temple Mount be recognized as the Palestinian State Capital and finally, when they wish to blow up the entire negotiations they will make their known deal killing demand, the “right of return” for some five-million Palestinian refugees into Israel proper with citizenship and return of their property or similar replacement properties. This will be the sole accomplishment by President Obama in foreign affairs, pressuring Israel to commit suicide.
Beyond the Cusp