Does Obama Have This Right?
. . . has Friedman ever been right?
"Sulaimaniya, Iraq — As one could see from President Obama’s recent interview in The Atlantic, he pretty much hates all the Middle East’s leaders including those of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Iran and the Palestinians.
Obama’s primary goal seems to be to get out of office being able to say that he had shrunk America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, prevented our involvement on the ground in Syria and Libya, and taught Americans the limits of our ability to fix things we don’t understand, in countries whose leaders we don’t trust, whose fates do not impact us as much as they once did.
After all, the president indicated, more Americans are killed each year slipping in bathtubs or running into deer with their cars than by any terrorists, so we need to stop wanting to invade the Middle East in response to every threat.
That all sounds great on paper, until a terrorist attack like the one Tuesday in Brussels comes to our shores. Does the president have this right?"
No! We know this because Friedman goes on to say, "Visiting here in northern Iraq, in Kurdistan, and talking to a lot of Iraqis leaves one thinking Obama is not entirely wrong."
"But sitting here also makes you wonder if Obama hasn’t gotten so obsessed with defending his hand’s-off approach to Syria that he underestimates both the dangers of his passivity and the opportunity for U.S. power to tilt this region our way — without having to invade anywhere. Initially, I thought Obama made the right call on Syria. But today the millions of refugees driven out of Syria — plus the economic migrants now flooding out of Africa through Libya after the utterly botched Obama-NATO operation there — is destabilizing the European Union."
This does not require any wondering, the EU is a mess because of the Libyan fiasco, and the Syrian fiasco. All of the Middle East, and all of the Northern third of Africa are under stress, and turmoil because of these failings. Now Europe more generally is caught in the conflagration.
"Kurdistan and Tunisia are just what we dreamed of: self-generated democracies that could be a model for others in the region to follow. But they need help. Unfortunately, Obama seems so obsessed with not being George W. Bush in the Middle East that he has stopped thinking about how to be Barack Obama here — how to leave a unique legacy and secure a foothold for democracy … without invading."
One of these, Tunisia is a Bush legacy, the other should have been, but Bush failed to take the correct action and allow the division of Iraq into pieces. This would have resulted in at least a tripartite separation between the Kurds, the Shia, and the Sunni. Instead, Bush retained the incompetent colonial boundary. This was an appeasement of Turkey.
The disasters spilling from Obama's actions, and failures dwarf the problems we saw from the Bush failure vis-a-vis the Kurds. While Obama has had 7 years to correct these problems, he has done nothing constructive, to the contrary he has acted foolishly, expanding the problem to North Africa, and Europe. Atta boy, Barack!
UN touts federalism ahead of Syria talks | News | DW.COM | 11.03.2016
"The Saudi-backed HNC has dismissed the "idea of federalism" in Syria, calling it a prelude to partition. But the Syrian government, Moscow and the Kurdish PYD believe it could be key to ending the war."
After the invasion, the great failure of the Bush reactivation of the Iraq war was to keep the nation intact over the objections of the people of Iraq. The people should have been allowed to either keep the nation intact, or partition as they desired. The Bush administration kowtowed to Turkey and kept the nation intact. This was to keep the Iraqi Kurds from creating a greater Kurdistan bordering Turkey, and Syria. Turkey believed, likely correctly, that the Turkish Kurds would have split off to join greater Kurdistan.
Declaration of Independence - Text Transcript
This was once a great document, which was studied by American students. It is simple, clear, and understandable. But it is obviously no longer studied, at least by those running the US. The Kurds in all three nations, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey had valid reason to separate under the concepts embedded in the United States Declaration of Independence, and form their own, new nation. We should have assisted them in this noble quest.
The result would have been a much more stable Iraq likely fractured along the lines of a Shia Iraq, a Kurdish Iraq, and a Sunni Iraq.
We now have the opportunity to not make this same mistake twice. We need to forcefully stand for the position that the people of Syria should make this determination on their own.
It is long past time for We the People, to stand up to our government on these simple matters of choice. The Cold War is long over and these long calcified carbuncles of bad policy should be excised. We need to be the Champion of republican governance, free markets, and reformed religion, we know, here at the End of History, these things work.