Saturday, September 15, 2012

Barack Obama, the Mideast and Mr. Romney

The following was written by my erudite friend, Bob Poris, in response to articles in some German newspapers dealing with the relationship between the United States (and thus President Obama) and the Middle East.  

The newspapers cited were:  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; Berliner Zeitung; and the Suddeutsche Zeitung.

There is a lot of nonsense perpetrated by these newspapers.

Obama's speech to the Muslim world when he addressed them was not designed to do anything but promise he was open to dialogue after many years of their being ignored.

His waging of both wars has been more effective than his predecessors and he has ended one war and reduced our participation in the other by following the advice of the generals rather than a bunch of neocons and hawks.  He has done more in three years to devastate al Qaeda by killing off their leaders and large numbers of radical Islamists than Bush did in eight years!  He reopened the search for bin Laden and ordered the attack that killed him.  He assisted in the removed of Gaddafi and has been wise enough not to interfere in Syria or other Arab nations since the Arab Spring.

He has increased the effectiveness of sanctions against Iran as WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO GO TO WAR WITH IRAN!  He has sent badly-needed equipment including bombs and other devices to strengthen Israel's military.  He stays in contact with Israel's leaders and military officers.  Thus far President Obama has consistently stood up for Israel at the U.N. and has never withheld requests for arms or aid, in contrast to his predecessors!

Obama was wise to take the time to assess events in the Arab world created by the notorious anti-Islam film.  HE DID NOT APOLOGIZE, NOR HAS HE SHOWN WEAKNESS WHILE WAITING FOR THE FACTS TO BE KNOWN.  (ROMNEY SHOULD HAVE WAITED BUT HE DID NOT!)  Obama's phone call to Egypt was obviously effective and things changed overnight.  What should we have done, started a war?  We have not changed our laws regarding freedom of speech or religion.  It would be nice if the critics could come up with valid suggestions as to how we could change our laws without giving up the freedoms most of us value.

It is a fact that we do not "own" the dictators or kings of the Middle East.  Some of these leaders are new to fair elections.  Sometimes we do not like the results of these elections.  We could not have saved Mubarack in Egypt!  Due to the Arab Spring, the situation has changed in the Middle East.  What has happened has been beyond our reach or control.  Now we are trying to ensure the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt holds.  It is very important that Israel does not have to divert troops, arms and money to secure the border with Egypt, especially when the Iran situation could blow up leading to multiple rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza.

The Middle East is extremely volatile and no one knows how individual Arab countries will eventually come to grips with the current reality.  Then there are those who, for whatever reason, want to suggest that Obama snubbed Netanyahu.  But that NEVER HAPPENED!  The person who promoted that lie did no favor to either the U.S. or Israel.  It would appear to be politically motivated.  Our politics should not interfere with our foreign affairs.  The same is true relative to Israel's politics.  It is shameful that Mr. Adelson interferes in both countries!  Romney's interference was also not warranted and led to increasing the problem rather than to a solution.  Romney was not helpful during this crisis and it became quite clear that he is unprepared to handle our country's foreign affairs if he should be elected to the presidency.

I do not usually read the German newspapers, so I will not respond to them directly.  I am glad the German government is generally on good terms with Israel.  At this time we need to present a united front to the world, especially when war(s) threatens.  For some reason, Romney has deviated from the long-term practice of keeping politics out of the country's foreign affairs when a crisis looms.  To try to weaken the president for political gain is foolish at best and indicates that Romney cares less for the country than for his own political prospects.  He also forgets or does not understand that his comments now will not be forgotten by foreign governments if he becomes president.

At the moment, Romney is considered a joke by Mr. Putin, by the British as a whole, and by the people in Poland.  His has not been an auspicious start in gaining the confidence of the world's leadership.

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