This must be a question fermenting and fomenting minds across the Middle East and beyond into North Africa and around the world where Muslims reside, meet, mingle and discuss the political intricacies of the hour. The evidences could be actual tactics and planned policy or it could be only innuendo and hyperbole caused by the situational ethics, policies of the moment, sole remaining available alternatives, or the preferences of the man in the White House, President Obama. The truth is that come later January of 2017, a potentially long eighteen months plus a week give or take a few days and the foreign policies of the United States could take as violent a swing as they did when President Obama set out to be the most un-Bush-like President in American history. Will we see a return to the dull and predictable and similar policies as we had with George W. Bush? Not very likely. The one consistency in the Presidency is the lack of consistency in the Presidency. One would be hard pressed to find two consecutive Presidents whose policies and mannerisms in any manner or way resembled their predecessor which often is considered a good thing. Even after a popular President who often served two terms, a full eight years, at some point usually early in the second term the media finally starts to turn and from there it goes directly downhill and by the time inauguration day both the American people and the President themselves are anxious for them to leave Washington far in their wake never to return. With time the opinions of a President begin to average out between their high points and their lowest lows to somewhere which will resemble their standing in history. So, whether President Obama has chosen to support Shiite Islam over Sunni Islam is an intentional policy or the result of situations and a culmination of events leading him without his realizing how his actions may be perceived, in the end it really does not matter. Still, there will be those who will assign great importance, as has already graced many an article and editorial, both supporting and critiquing the President’s actions with both sides and assigned credit or blame all being pretty evenly split such that I have no idea which side of this is brilliance and which should be taken for buffoonery.
What we outside the world of Islam think, feel, argue or critique is of far less importance than what is the opinions of the leaders of the Sunni and Shia Islamic worlds; the Imams, the national leaders and the Muslim peoples themselves are where the consequences will be formed and fall. The thing the rest of us should fear is should alliances in the Muslim world start forming either favoring, fearing or targeting the United States become reality and end up forcing future policy alternatives and resulting in a United States firmly stuck on one side of this divide and because of such the rest of the world choosing up sides accordingly and then not only will the Muslim world be split in adversarial camps but the rest of the world also aligning down the very same divides as that is the thing that world wars are made of. It was the alliances which caused the spread of what should have been a quick skirmish and within a few months the scores settled after the assassination of Duke Ferdinand but then the two sides began calling in allies and those nations sympathetic and before one knows what was actually happening the entirety of Europe and Japan and all the respective colonies around the world were at war and World War I was born and before it died it eventually including the United States whose entry will be debated as to whether it was manufactured and if so by whom. World War II might have been far shorter had the British and French honored their commitments with Czechoslovakia and not given Hitler the Sudetenland or even after that foolishness had at least honored their subsequent promises to Czechoslovakia when Hitler marched through the now unprotected passes and gobbled up the remainder of Czechoslovakia. Instead they waited until after Czechoslovakia fell and Hitler had added much of the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire from World War I vintage to his side before finally striking at Poland still feeling sure that surely after all their previous gutlessness that the French and British threats were still as empty as before. For those still wondering, the French and British honored their treaties with Poland not that this was of much use to Poland who was swallowed in halves to Hitler’s Germany from their west and Stalin’s Soviets from their east and a few scant weeks until the two armies met in the center and Poland was divided between the two temporary allies. Eventually Hitler turned on Stalin as well making one of the two largest mistakes of the war with the other contender was not following the British across the Channel immediately after Dunkirk. If this reference troubled you, look up “mosquito armada World War II Dunkirk” and read about one of the strangest and most noble acts by the British people without requiring anything other than a call to arms, or at least to assist.
Should the Muslim and also the Arab worlds neither one decide that the United States has taken sides in their centuries old conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites and thus one side have closed off all relations with the United States, then the next President will have the luxury of mending fences and restoring balance in the United States Middle East policy. In President Obama’s defense, he was and still appears to be a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood which is as Sunni as Islamic organizations get. The President has a couple of suspected Muslim Brotherhood affiliated or at least sympathizers in the administration as well as in high profile positions in the State Department and there are not many accusing him of being a sympathizer and solely allied with the Sunnis because of these facts. Certainly such is an easy match for his lack of bombing Assad while bombing the Islamic State despite Assad having murdered vastly more peoples all of them Sunni or non-Muslims while the Islamic State has murdered far fewer Shiites and non-Muslims. The problem with such reasoning is it takes a sophomoric view that numbers of fatalities and casualties is the sole reason for policy and ignores other influences such as perceived threat that one group or nation may present over the threat of another plus the reactions of the people of the United States who also have influence over decision more often than politicians or media care to admit, though the media goes to great lengths to influence the populace and their political conversations and should anybody likely be behind the apparent Shiite support over Sunni Muslims than anything else could ever hope to possess. Of course you will never hear the media taking the blame for the reactions from the people driven by the mainstream media which in turn influences the elected officials thus potentially changing the policies of the United States including foreign policies and position taken by a President. That is both the blessing and the curse of a free society which has open and supposedly transparent elections despite much of what some conspiracy theorists claim to have proof is untrue to which we should simply tell them to file their evidence with the courts of the FED (Federal Election Commission) and let the world, or at least the rest of the United States, settle these claims and force remedial action and a higher level of scrutiny and enforced compliance with security providing for honest elections.
The claims by some are likely part of a concerted effort to pressure the United States to alter its foreign policies in some manner probably more favorable to the Sunni Muslim and potentially the Sunni Arab states. The main reasons being given dance around one major foreign policy currently being pursued by the United States which is hugely obvious by the omission we have read claiming that the United States policies are highly anti-Sunni and pro-Shiite; that omission is the ongoing and ongoing and ongoing negotiations with Iran and the seeming falling all over themselves by the United States negotiating team which appear to be leaving Iran able to breakout and make nuclear weapons on an industrial scale within six to ten months from deciding whether they want to announce before or after they leave the restrictions from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or after as North Korea did before announcing their first nuclear weapon test after breaking their agreement which was negotiated by many of the same team members as are members in these negotiations as well. The main difference is the Secretary of State where one may not have great amounts of faith in Secretary Kerry’s abilities for a multitude of reasons most likely starting with his testimony about his fellow soldiers from his service in Viet Nam where he served with distinction even if not entirely with honor as he managed to receive three Purple Hearts and an immediate trip home with great haste and ease only to give the following testimony before the Senate here in transcript of the complete two hours and forty minute excerpt from his testimony where the below can be heard roughly between 5 minute 45 seconds through 7 minute mark:
“They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”
By now I believe almost everybody other than those so sold on the theory that President Obama is the smartest and most knowledgeable person to walk the halls of power in the history of the universe have realized that when it comes to foreign policy his expertise is that of the level of a neophyte and that is being generous. President Obama has done damage to the United States that may never be rectified as he has broken promises made by former Presidents whose guarantees were ratified by both houses of Congress with levels which if the letter of intents and promises given a certain leader of Israel where no such treaty was feasible without harming the standing the United States cared to retain with the Arab world thus a “mere letter which is not binding on any who followed President Bush” was really much more, but then again the bust of Winston Churchill was not given to any particular President to be an ornament that he found pleasing but a gift to the people of the United States and a gift he had not the authority no matter what his position to demand the British take away as he found it odious, many Americans including most of the ones I have ever known would have objected loudly and strenuously and offered to proudly house that gift in their own home just to retain it and offer it to a new President when such a gift might be more appreciated. That was also the treatment President Obama showed the Saudi Arabian Royals when he discounted their preferences and warning about Iran and simply gave them what in their culture would be considered a scolding for getting out of place for having the audacity to not only oppose him but to doubt his intentions, his intelligence, or his expertise as President Obama knows.
I guess one of the worst of all things one can ever commit would be holding any doubts about any and everything President Obama says or does as he is, in his own words we quote from a September, 2008, New York Times profile of Obama where he reportedly told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker,
“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Well, guess that tells us all we need to know, the rest of us are in a second class league in any expertise we may have because there is a man who likely would meet us and in casual conversation at some point tell us we need not try to inform him on any subject as he already knows twice as much as any of us do on everything. It is little wonder that it has been reported that President Obama often has his daily morning intelligence briefing either told to be given to somebody else or simply waved it off completely often for weeks maybe months at a time and often when he does receive it interrupts to do personal affairs and appears to be distracted and not actually paying attention. I bet he really hears it all and has likely absorbed it all out of the ether and finds such reports unnecessary. According to the Washington Post article By Marc A. Thiessen from September 13, 2012, titled Obama alone: This president does not need intel briefers we quote from almost half the way down,
Vietor’s reply is quite revealing. It is apparently a point of pride in the White House that Obama’s PDB is “not briefed to him.” In the eyes of this administration, it is a virtue that the president does not meet every day with senior intelligence officials. This president, you see, does not need briefers. He can forgo his daily intelligence meeting because he is, in Vietor’s words, “among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet.”
Though I really should just let this lie as is, I just am unable to resist a little more fun. I am willing to bet that President Obama does not know better than I what I am thinking right about now, nor likely what your reaction has been either. Imagine being the candidate’s political director at the start of the campaign and have the candidate say to your face, “And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.” How does one not just get up and silently walk out the door and simply not return, how? I would be incapable of even supporting such a boorish and ignorant person who is so involved with themselves that they are a more narcissistic egomaniacal megalomaniac than I imagine I am in my wildest dreams, which is why I gave up dreaming long ago as I can dream while awake better than my subconscious can dream when I’m asleep, so top that President Obama.
Beyond the Cusp