Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?

9 09 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Arnaud de Borchgrave—editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—has written another brilliant and very sobering article entitled, “Playing with fire,” which is worth reading and reflecting on.[2] In it, he states:

Unless [Gainesville, Florida Pastor Terry Jones, who decided to mark the ninth anniversary of 9/11 by proclaiming “International Burn a Koran Day,”] canceled his Koran book burning . . . , Christians throughout the world’s 1.2 billion-strong Muslim nations and Muslim communities would suddenly feel threatened. Those who converted from Islam to Christianity would be prime targets.

I will always remember the senseless killing of film director Theo van Gogh, who was the great-grandson of Theo van Gogh, the brother of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh.[3] I vehemently disagree with a burning of the Koran or the Bible.  However, is the Western world and culture going to be intimidated by and held hostage to the radical followers of Islam?  Is this “The Clash of Civilizations” that political scientist Samuel P. Huntington and former President Richard M. Nixon were concerned about?[4] Will Westerners be forced to subjugate their beliefs on the subject of Islam and Islamic terrorists, to the will of Islamic fanatics?  I think not.

Arnaud de Borchgrave adds:

Even if a superannuated preacher canceled the public burning of the Koran, the damage had already been done.

Yes, it would appear so.  Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall already.

Next, de Borchgrave notes:

NATO members pledged 2,796 trainers [to Afghanistan] but only 500 showed up. The NATO bureaucracy in Brussels couldn’t make it happen, according to one U.S. officer involved in the program. Most NATO countries are steadily reducing their defense budgets.

This is ominous.  Among other things, Germany’s “vaulted” military has been a paper tiger for years, in actuality.  Also, it seems that all of Europe will be weak, which might foretell America’s military future too—certainly if Obama were to get a second term in office, which is unlikely.

Lastly, de Borchgrave compares the collapse of the South Vietnamese army with that of the Afghan army, and describes the hopelessness of America’s Afghan adventure.  While there are certainly parallels between Vietnam and Afghanistan, the stakes are even higher now with a nuclearized Pakistan next door.

If Obama cuts and runs from Afghanistan, the war’s failure will be hung around his neck politically like Vietnam was hung around Lyndon Johnson’s neck.  It prevented Johnson from running for reelection in 1968; and the same thing might be true of Obama as the presidential election of 2012 approaches.  The foremost concern, however, is America’s position in the world and that of our military, which has been so brilliant in recent years.

Enormous amounts of money are being spent on the Afghan war—while the country’s GDP is a mere fraction of that amount—which seems absurd.  Also, there is no al Qaeda presence worth mentioning in Afghanistan today.  And even if the Taliban were to return to power, it is not likely to invite al Qaeda back to its former safe havens. After all, the Taliban lost Afghanistan because of al Qaeda and 9/11.  Thus, why should anyone care whether the Afghans’ future is led by men who feel more comfortable living in prior centuries?  The answers are complex but clear.

Afghan women and their supporters around the world care deeply.  Afghan women will suffer greatly if the Taliban return to power.  Americans and our NATO allies would become parties to the process of turning back the clock once again, and subjugating Afghan women and destroying their lives and any hopes for the future.  The plight of women in Afghanistan is something that America has been addressing, with the help of former First Lady Laura Bush and others.

Also, a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would be another step in the process of spreading Islam beyond the region, and destabilizing Pakistan, thereby potentially unleashing its nuclear arsenal on the world (e.g., for terrorists to buy and sell weapons-grade materials, at the very least).

Some Americans argue that Iraq is hardly a U.S. geopolitical success story, because it cost America enormous monetary and human treasures to get rid of Saddam Hussein, who—it is argued—was our best defense against Iran; and that Baghdad today has less electricity, among other services.  I was against our Iraqi “adventure,” primarily because I believed Saddam had WMDs, which he would not hesitate to use against our military, just as he had used them against the Iranians and the Kurds.  Also, I believed we were “fronting” for Israel, and doing its dirty work, which some people (such as former UN Ambassador John Bolton) are arguing we should be doing right now vis-à-vis Iran, which is madness.

However, the “surge” worked, which George W. Bush, General David Petraeus and Senator John McCain championed; and at least Iraqis have a real chance to build a viable and stable democracy.  I agree with the Wall Street Journal’s assessment that was contained in an editorial prior to Barack Obama’s recent speech to the American people concerning Iraq:

The U.S. kept hundreds of thousands of troops in Germany for decades after World War II, and it still has tens of thousands in South Korea and Japan. It would be a tragedy if after seven years of sacrifice, the U.S. now failed to assist Iraqis as they try to build a federal, democratic state in an often hostile neighborhood.[5]

I agree too with the assessment that Iraq and Afghanistan together will probably be Obama’s undoing unless the American economy does it first.  They are all running neck and neck, but my betting is on the economy.  It will be sinking even farther during the balance of this decade, despite occasional “green shoots” appearing—which is similar to what happened during the last Great Depression.

The economy and the wars will be Barack Obama’s undoing, if something more tragic does not define his presidency (e.g., assassination, an EMP Attack), which I hope and pray never happens.[6]

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele

[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see and  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,, and can be contacted directly at

[2] See

[3] See, e.g.

[4] See, e.g.

[5] See and—is-barack-obama-smoking-pot-again/

[6] See also and and’s-second-emperor/ and and and



16 responses

18 09 2010

Ray Odierno: An American Hero

An article in the Wall Street Journal concludes:

There was no ticker-tape parade, but Gen. Odierno departed [Iraq] having engineered one of the greatest military turnarounds in American history.

. . .

[H]e says. “A strong, democratic Iraq with a developing economy could really be a game-changer in the Middle East.”

. . .

“Now Iraqis are rejecting al Qaeda. Now we have a very important Middle Eastern country who is rejecting terrorism.”

. . .

[T]rust earned must become trust maintained. That’s the challenge going forward. Already some senior Iraqi leaders are suggesting that the U.S. drawdown is overly hasty. Lt. Gen. Babakir Zebari, the chief of staff of the Iraqi joint forces, said last month that “the U.S. army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020.” Ayad Allawi, the leading vote-getter in March’s election, recently agreed: “It may well take another 10 years,” he told Der Spiegel.

Gen. Odierno says he isn’t surprised by such comments. He adds: “If the new [Iraqi] government comes on board and says we still think we need some assistance beyond 2011 . . . I think we’ll listen.”


Bravo! Ray Odierno is a true American hero, as are the men and women of the American military who made this possibe!


22 09 2010

Obama: “I’m Doing Defeat, And Cut And Run In Afghanistan. I’m Giving America Another Vietnam.”

The quote above is not actual, but a synthesis of Barack Obama’s policies with respect to his Afghan War. Like Lyndon Johnson before him, America’s supreme narcissist Obama thinks that he knows how to run a war. Leave aside the fact that he has never run anything in his life, much less successfully, and that he even failed as a community organizer in Chicago, he has the gall to believe that he can run a war.

See, e.g.,

The Washington Post has a fine article about Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars,” which sums up the situation in Afghanistan:

Woodward quotes [Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command during the 2009 strategy review and now the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan] as saying, “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. It’s a little bit like Iraq, actually. . . . Yes, there has been enormous progress in Iraq. But there are still horrific attacks in Iraq, and you have to stay vigilant. You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”

Yet, the Post article cites Obama:

“I’m not doing 10 years,” he told Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a meeting on Oct. 26, 2009. “I’m not doing long-term nation-building. I am not spending a trillion dollars.”


Having ignored the advice of America’s military leaders, Obama has crafted a strategy that insures defeat in Afghanistan . . . and the probable loss of Pakistan too, with its nuclear arsenal. There is little doubt that Obama will go down in history as America’s worst president and its greatest failure as a leader.

What is crystal clear from the Post article is that Obama is a fool and a feckless naïf, who must be driven from the presidency using every constitutional means possible. Among other things, the Post article reports:

During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger.”

This oaf is apparently unaware that the greatest threat to the United States and the American people—with respect to whom he swore an oath to defend and protect—comes in the form of an EMP Attack that might be launched from a barge off our Atlantic or Pacific coasts, or in the Gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez.

It has been estimated that only 30 million Americans would survive such an attack; and it is criminal for Obama to say (or think) that “[w]e can absorb a terrorist attack.” Aside from his conclusion being preposterous and utter nonsense militarily, it is dangerous, irresponsible and traitorous!

See, e.g., and and


1 10 2010

Supplies For The Afghan War Are Cut Off Or Disrupted

In another turn of negative developments in the war, essential supplies are being cut off or disrupted.

See, e.g., and


8 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Are We Fighting To Win Or Not? If Not, Obama Should Be Impeached!

In a fine article entitled, “Catch-and-release of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan angers troops”—written by Sara A. Carter, its national security correspondent—The Washington Examiner has reported:

More than 500 suspected Taliban fighters detained by U.S. forces have been released from custody at the urging of Afghan government officials, angering both American troops and some Afghans who oppose the policy on the grounds that many of those released return to the battlefield to kill NATO soldiers and Afghan civilians.

And those numbers understate the problem, military officials say. They do not include suspected Taliban fighters held in small combat outposts or other forward operating bases throughout the region who are released before they ever become part of the official detainee population.

An Afghan official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that President Hamid Karzai’s government has personally sought the release of as many as 700 suspected Taliban fighters since July, including some mid-level leaders. “Corruption is not just based on the amount of money that is wasted but wasted lives when Taliban return only to kill more NATO forces and civilians,” said the official, who opposes what he considers corruption in the Karzai administration.

. . .

A marine stationed in southern Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province told The Examiner that efforts to detain insurgent fighters are “worthless.”

. . .

For American combat troops in Afghanistan, the release of suspect Taliban is seen as a symptom of the corruption of the Karzai government.

See; see also

The idea that Americans might be dying or getting injured—or being subjected to the risks of both—for nothing, smacks of Vietnam. If the rules of engagement in Afghanistan prevent our military from winning, we ought not be there at all, and we should leave the country immediately.

This is tragic; and it may be a function of a war being run by an anti-war, far-Left American president on behalf of a corrupt Afghan government run by Hamid Karzai. If it is true, impeachment proceedings should be commenced immediately against Barack Obama, and he should be removed from office!


18 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Afghan War: Colossal If Not Epic Waste

Arnaud de Borchgrave—editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—has written another excellent and very sobering article entitled, “Close but no SIGAR,” which is worth reading and reflecting on. In it, he states in pertinent part:

After no less than 10 quarterly reports to Congress, 40 percent of $56 billion—$22.4 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds—allocated to civilian projects in Afghanistan cannot be accounted for by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction.

The original amount for civilian aid is now being increased to $71 billion.

Corruption and outright theft are rampant in the projects SIGAR supposedly inspects but SIGAR’s top cop, retired U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. Arnold Fields, kept coming up empty handed as he labored to protect his 150-person organization (32 of them stationed in Afghanistan, most of whom don’t speak any local language).

. . .

U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., led a team of Senate investigators that spent two years looking into what became the SIGAR scandal. But Fields kept parrying their attacks by laying his reputation as a black Marine general on the line. The persona he displayed at the congressional witness table was disarming. It was a look of hurt innocence and Marine rectitude.

Fields was also expert at deflecting suggestions of malfeasance in the ranks of SIGAR with references to his poor humble beginnings as a deprived black child in South Carolina.

. . .

[H]is agency had only audited four out of 7,000 contracts. The Project on Government Oversight called for his resignation last fall but he still enjoyed solid White House backing—and protection.

. . .

[T]he senator sleuths grew tired of being treated like bumbling Inspector Clouseaus in the Pink Panther series and Fields, stripped of his Marine carapace and rapidly eroding White House support, resigned.

Where the $22.4 billion in U.S. taxpayers’ money disappeared is still a mystery.

Much of it was payments to civilian contractors for unfinished and abandoned schools, roads, first aid stations, street lights. The building of one power plant, estimated at $100 million, came in at $300 million. And large amounts of cash leave Afghanistan legally among the estimated $10 million a day in U.S. currency that is carried out by passengers on flights from Kabul to Dubai, one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates.

Afghanistan is littered with unfinished projects in areas that have switched from “secure” to “insecure.” Taliban insurgents are under orders not to damage anything erected by the U.S. or other NATO nations as they want to be spared as much reconstruction as possible for when they believe they will be back in charge of government. Insurgency cadres tell villagers that will be within a year or “maximum two years.” They are encouraged to accept aid from any quarter, a major change from when they could be executed for doing so.

Some 350 schools built in 13 provinces remain closed due to insecurity. The U.S. Embassy with five ambassadors and more than 1,000 diplomatic personnel remain largely confined to Kabul for the same reason.

. . .

A McClatchy Newspapers investigation found that U.S. government funding for at least 15 large-scale programs and projects grew from slightly more than $1 billion to nearly $3 billion despite the government’s questions about their effectiveness and cost.

The cost of the longest war in U.S. history is now at $500 billion. By 2014, the earliest estimate for a sizeable return of U.S. troops, the cost will be bumping $1 trillion—what the Iraq war cost in the first decade of the 21st century.


As I have written:

It is not beyond the pale to believe that scandals will engulf Barack Obama’s presidency as more and more is learned about who he is and how he has governed, and what he and others in his administration have done during the time they have been entrusted with the presidency.



20 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Frightening Things May Leap Out Of The Tunisian Revolt

The UK’s Economist has an article about the unfolding events in Tunisia, which is worth reading. The title of the article, “Let the scent of jasmine spread”—and its subtitle, “How wonderful if Tunisia became a paragon of democracy for other Arab countries to emulate”—may be the height of naïveté.


With all due respect to the Economist and its editors, what this article is advocating might result in chaos throughout the Middle East, reminiscent of what happened in Iran after the Shah was deposed, and Jimmy Carter did nothing and/or helped the process along. Following the rigged election of 2009 in that country, countless Iranians who spoke out, protested and advocated freedom were beaten, jailed, tortured and killed, while Barack Obama—America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac,” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—stood by helplessly and did nothing to come to their aid.

See, e.g.,

The Economist article stated:

Even Iran under the ayatollahs had, before the repression of the past 18 months or so, tolerated more political competition and open debate than its Arab neighbours have.

How on earth could the Economist’s editors ignore what happened after the rigged election of 2009—or ignore “the repression of the past 18 months or so”? This is patently absurd, and yes, irresponsible.

Today, the hoped-for “democratic Iran” of Carter’s days in office is potentially a nuclear menace to the region and the world, and a threat to democratic Israel, and to the emerging democratic Iraq and other countries. Hence, one wonders whether this article is not simply naive and irresponsible. In an ideal world, what the Economist is advocating is correct and laudatory, but we do not live in a “Mary Poppins” world.

For example, one wonders how the Economist would describe Jordan, other than as a “benevolent autocracy,” but surely it does not have vast wealth, nor can it be described as among “the nastiest of tyrannies.” King Abdullah II is popular, and has been an ally of the United States and a force for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, just as his father was. Is the Economist advocating that Iran, radical Islam and/or al Qaeda rule the region? Hopefully not.

In a nod to a modicum of realism, at least with respect to Tunisia, the Economist stated:

Nobody knows who, in a week’s time, will be in control. Chaos may persist.

Amen in spades. Also, the Economist recognized, soberly:

Egypt is the pivot. It is the main ally of the West and a force for moderation in the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. If it should implode, the geopolitics of the entire Middle East would be turned upside down.

So true.

The article concluded:

Tunisia’s upheaval has only just begun. No one knows where it will lead. It has already opened an Arab Pandora’s box. Frightening things may yet leap out. But it nonetheless deserves an enthusiastic welcome.

In an ideal world, all of us would applaud these statements.


30 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Barack Obama Go Down In History As The President Who Lost The Middle East?

As I have written:

[Obama’s] naïveté is matched by his overarching narcissism; and he is more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter. Indeed, it is likely that his presidency will be considered a sad and tragic watershed in history; and the American people are recognizing this more and more with each day that passes. Hopefully he chooses to end his political career with dignity by not running for reelection in 2012, instead of continuing to drag this great nation down with him.


He is a cowardly demagogue, who failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election.

It was a seminal moment in Obama’s presidency up to that point in time. He flinched, and demonstrated to the world that he is not a true small-“d” democrat; and that he is weak like Jimmy Carter was. He stood with our enemy, the theocracy in Iran.

With respect to Egypt, the United States must do whatever is necessary to make sure that radical Islam does not take over the country. If it happens, and if that spreads—for example to Jordan, another ally of ours and of Israel—at the very least Obama will go down in history as the president who lost the Middle East. Also, this might determine the fate of Israel.

See; but see (“Egypt . . . has the opportunity to become what it always should have been—the leader of a movement toward freedom and democracy in the Arab world”)

Political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, has warned:

Unless President Obama reverses field and strongly opposes letting the Muslim [B]rotherhood take over Egypt, he will be hit with the . . . question: Who Lost Egypt?

The Iranian government is waiting for Egypt to fall into its lap. The Muslim Brotherhood, dominated by Iranian Islamic fundamentalism, will doubtless emerge as the winner should the government of Egypt fall. The Obama Administration, in failing to throw its weight against an Islamic takeover, is guilty of the same mistake that led President Carter to fail to support the Shah, opening the door for the Ayatollah Khomeini to take over Iran.

The United States has enormous leverage in Egypt—far more than it had in Iran. We provide Egypt with upwards of $2 billion a year in foreign aid under the provisos of the Camp David Accords orchestrated by Carter. The Egyptian military, in particular, receives $1.3 billion of this money. The United States, as the pay master, needs to send a signal to the military that it will be supportive of its efforts to keep Egypt out of the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists. Instead, Obama has put our military aid to Egypt “under review” to pressure Mubarak to mute his response to the demonstrators and has given top priority to “preventing the loss of human life.”

President Obama should say that Egypt has always been a friend of the United States. He should point out that it was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel. He should recall that President Sadat, who signed the peace accords, paid for doing so with his life and that President Mubarak has carried on in his footsteps. He should condemn the efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood extremists to take over the country and indicate that America stands by her longtime ally. He should address the need for reform and urge Mubarak to enact needed changes. But his emphasis should be on standing with our ally.

The return of Nobel laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) . . . to Egypt as the presumptive heir to Mubarak tells us where this revolution is headed. Carolyn Glick, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, explains how dangerous ElBaradei is. “As IAEA head,” she writes, “Elbaradei shielded Iran’s nuclear weapons program from the Security Council. He [has] continued to lobby against significant UN Security Council sanctions or other actions against Iran…Last week, he dismissed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran [saying] ‘there is a lot of hype in this debate’.”

As for the Muslim Brotherhood, Glick notes that “it forms the largest and best organized opposition to the Mubarak regime and [is] the progenitor of Hamas and al [Qaeda]. It seeks Egypt’s transformation into an Islamic regime that will stand at the forefront of the global jihad.”

Now is the time for Republicans and conservatives to start asking the question: Who is losing Egypt? We need to debunk the starry eyed idealistic yearning for reform and the fantasy that a liberal democracy will come from these demonstrations. It won’t. Iranian domination will.

Egypt, with 80 million people, is the largest country in the Middle East or North Africa. Combined with Iran’s 75 million (the second largest) they have 155 million people. By contrast the entire rest of the region—Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar combined—have only 200 million.

We must not let the two most populous and powerful nations in the region fall under the sway of Muslim extremism, the one through the weakness of Jimmy Carter and the other through the weakness of Barack Obama.


The United States cannot afford to lose Egypt, Jordan and other allies in the region. Among other things, Obama is pulling our forces out of Iraq; and a debacle is likely to follow in Afghanistan too, which seems to be a lost cause. All of this might determine the fate of Israel.

See, e.g.,;_ylt=Akg0dRp1i4NSyUsUi6YKt.0LewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTJkdnRuaHE2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMjAxL21sX2lyYXEEcG9zAzEEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDc2VuYXRlcmVwb3J0 (“American diplomats and other mission employees may not be safe in Iraq if the U.S. military leaves the volatile country at the end of the year as planned, according to a new report released [by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee]”)

As I have written:

Obama is a [fool, a] fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

See (emphasis added)

Obama might tragically alter America’s history by losing the Middle East.

The Israelis are deeply and justifiably concerned. In an important article entitled, “Israel shocked by Obama’s ‘betrayal’ of Mubarak,” Reuters has reported:

If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel’s President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

“We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak,” he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. “I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East.”

Newspaper columnists were far more blunt.

One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled “A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam.” It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

Who is advising them, he asked, “to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president … an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?”

. . .

Obama on Sunday called for an “orderly transition” to democracy in Egypt, stopping short of calling on Mubarak to step down, but signaling that his days may be numbered.


Netanyahu instructed Israeli ambassadors in a dozen key capitals over the weekend to impress on host governments that Egypt’s stability is paramount, official sources said.

“Jordan and Saudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone is abandoning Mubarak, and this will have very serious implications,” Haaretz daily quoted one official as saying.

Egypt, Israel’s most powerful neighbor, was the first Arab country to make peace with the Jewish state, in 1979. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the treaty, was assassinated two years later by an Egyptian fanatic.

It took another 13 years before King Hussein of Jordan broke Arab ranks to [make] a second peace with the Israelis. That treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated one year later, in 1995, by an Israeli fanatic.

There have been no peace treaties since. Lebanon and Syria are still technically at war with Israel. Conservative Gulf Arab regimes have failed to advance their peace ideas. A hostile Iran has greatly increased its influence in the Middle East conflict.

See; see also (“If Egypt resumes its conflict with Israel, Israelis fear, it will put a powerful Western-armed military on the side of Israel’s enemies while also weakening pro-Western states like Jordan and Saudi Arabia”)

Also, in an article captioned, “Israel Watches ‘Regional Earthquake’ in Egypt,” the Wall Street Journal has reported:

Israeli commentators depicted the crumbling of President Hosni Mubarak’s rule in Egypt as a regional earthquake, calling it the most significant Middle East event since the 1979 revolution against the Shah in Iran.

. . .

The speed at which Mr. Mubarak’s troubles escalated appeared to blindside Israeli officials, who have watched with growing alarm as protests in Cairo and other Egyptian cities swelled, endangering the grip on power of their strongest ally in the region. Inspired by a popular uprising in Tunisia, Egyptian protests swelled in a matter of days late last week. By the weekend, it was clear Mr. Mubarak’s reign was in jeopardy.

“We were caught by surprise,” said Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in New York, a few hours before Mr. Mubarak’s announcement. “The Egyptian regime seemed very strong and very stable.”

Israel has a huge stake in Egypt’s stability. The historic 1979 peace treaty between the two countries, which share a long border, is the cornerstone of a regional balance. For more than 30 years, Israel has been able to count on Egypt to refrain from siding in Arab hostilities against the Jewish state.

An unfriendly government in Egypt would deprive Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his only ally in a region that has grown more hostile toward Israel over the past several years, with the growing influence of Iran, the armed takeover of Gaza by Hamas, the rise of Hezbollah as a major political force in Lebanon, and Turkey’s tilt away from Israel and toward Syria.

Apart from geopolitical interest, Israel has economic stakes in Egyptian stability. Egyptian natural-gas supplies generate 20% to 25% of Israel’s electricity needs.

Israeli officials have said they worry that elections in Egypt could benefit Islamist groups hostile to Israel. Mr. Steinitz said Israel supports the establishment of a democracy in Egypt. But “sometimes, even democracies can lead to very negative results.” he said.


The battle of Cairo has begun, just as battles have begun elsewhere in the Middle East. They will be ugly and brutal. When the dust settles finally, America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac”—or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama might have lost the region, just as Carter lost Iran to Islamic fascists. The consequences will be mind-boggling.

See also (The Wall Street Journal’s Interactive Timeline of “Regional Upheaval” in the Middle East)


5 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Barack Obama Becoming A Handmaiden To Islamic Fascists?

It is a given that Obama is a cowardly demagogue. For example, he failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election. The government of Iran is America’s enemy. Egypt’s Mubarak has been our ally, whom Obama has been “throwing under the bus”—which the Israelis understand fully, and watch with dismay and revulsion.

See, e.g., (“Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It”)

The Brits—another staunch ally—are outraged that Obama has agreed to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets. The UK’s Telegraph has reported that Obama secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information about Britain’s nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign the New START Treaty, which is traitorous and an impeachable offense.

See, e.g.,

The battle of Cairo has begun, just as battles have begun elsewhere in the Middle East. They will be ugly and brutal. When the dust settles finally, America’s far-Left, naïve, anti-war, narcissistic president—our “Hamlet on the Potomac” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama might have lost not just Egypt but the entire region, just as Carter lost Iran to Islamic fascists. The consequences will be mind-boggling.

See; see also (“Jordan will sooner or later be the target of an uprising similar to the ones in Tunisia and Egypt”)

Obama is a fool and a feckless naïf, who is pulling out of Iraq completely. His policies are leading to the utter failure of his Afghan War; and it is simply a matter of time before he cuts and runs from there as well. As shrewd as Hillary and Bill Clinton can be at times, they seem to miss the fact that we may be in the midst of “The Clash of Civilizations” that Samuel P. Huntington wrote about—which Richard Nixon worried about.

See, e.g.,; but see (“[George W.] Bush was . . . a far more active champion of democracy than Mr Obama has been. . . . [T]he experts who scoffed at Mr Bush for thinking that Arabs wanted and were ready for democracy on the Western model are suddenly looking less clever—and Mr Bush’s simple and rather wonderful notion that Arabs want, deserve and are capable of democracy is looking rather wise”)

Islamic fascists find democratic movements and democracies abhorrent to them; and they are outwitting Obama at every turn, and making him into their handmaiden.

In an important Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Could al Qaeda Hijack Egypt’s Revolution?”—and subtitled, “Terrorists in Pakistan and mullahs in Tehran want to see chaos in Cairo. A splintered army and premature elections would help their cause”—Kenneth M. Pollack writes:

It is the nature of revolutions to be entirely unpredictable. Most fail, and even those that succeed often follow paths that no one foresaw—not their targets, not their protagonists, not the partisans on any side.

. . .

The uprising in Egypt is far from over, and neither is America’s necessary role. We must work to guard against the worst outcomes, which may seem remote but are all too likely in the unpredictable maelstrom of revolution:

The disintegration of the Egyptian army. Though hardly a paragon of democratic virtue, the army is the most important institution in Egypt, and it is vital to a peaceful transition to a moderate form of government. If the army fractures, Egypt will descend into chaos.

U.S. officials don’t know how loyal the army’s senior officers feel toward Hosni Mubarak, nor how sympathetic the enlisted men feel toward the protesters in Tahrir Square. Nor do we know where the loyalties of middle-ranking officers lie, but it is not hard to imagine that they are caught betwixt and between. At some point that no one will recognize until after the fact, the military may lose its cohesion and its ability to act on anyone’s behalf.

Thus the U.S. must maintain its extensive ties with Egypt’s soldiery, bolster their spirits, and encourage them to act as the impartial guardians of their country’s orderly transition. It’s imperative that the U.S. help Egypt past its current deadlock before divided loyalties tear apart the army.

Premature elections. If there is a need for a speedy resolution to the present impasse, the answer should not be an accelerated move to new elections. Where elections are concerned, speed kills.

Elections are an important element of democracy, but they are not synonymous with democracy. Few things can do more harm to a nascent democracy than premature elections.

. . .

Egypt is not ready to have good elections. It needs a new constitution and time for viable political leaders to establish parties, something the Mubarak regime prevented for 30 years. It is an open question whether eight months will be enough, but advancing that timetable would be incredibly reckless.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood likely represents only a minority of Egyptians, it probably would dominate any early elections. It is the only true mass party in Egypt, well-organized and disciplined, with a well-known track record and a well-understood political platform.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not al Qaeda, and it might provide reasonable leadership of a new government. But perhaps not. We simply don’t know, because Mr. Mubarak never allowed the Brotherhood any meaningful degree of participation in politics, so it never had to show its true colors.

It could be disastrous if the Brotherhood got to pick the next president of Egypt simply because it was the only organized party when elections were held.

A reprise of Lenin’s 1917 train ride into the Russian Revolution. Whatever our concerns about it, the Muslim Brotherhood is essentially the “Menshevik” faction of the Egyptian revolution. It espouses a moderate version of an ideology common among the Egyptian opposition and other Arab opposition movements, and it says it is willing to live and work within the constraints of a democratic system.

But revolutions often get hijacked by equivalents of the “Bolsheviks,” extremists who previously seemed so marginalized that they could never pose a real threat. The “Bolsheviks” of the Egyptian revolution are sitting in caves in Pakistan. They are the Salafist extremists of Ayman Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad and other groups that sought to bring about an Egyptian revolution throughout the 1990s. They waged a vicious terrorist campaign to try to do so and were ultimately driven from the country and into the arms of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, where they became one of its dominant factions.

We should not doubt that when Zawahiri and his cohorts heard the news from Tahrir Square, they were probably jubilant that the revolution they had sought for so long had begun. They were likely also frustrated that they were not there to hijack it and lead it toward the radical Islamist state they seek. Zawahiri is probably doing whatever he can to play catch-up—to dispatch his supporters to Egypt to take control of the revolution.

The Iranian regime is also gleeful about the collapse of Mr. Mubarak, one of America’s most important Arab allies and one of Tehran’s most passionate enemies. Iran’s mullahs often see opportunity in chaos and violence, believing that anything that disrupts the region’s American-backed status quo works to their advantage. Witness their various efforts over the years in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Bahrain.

Tehran may have already concluded that turmoil in Egypt suits its interests far more than any successful transition to stable democracy. Turmoil, after all, might prevent a new American ally from emerging and enhance the chances that Egypt’s new regime is more radical and friendly toward Iran. All of this gives Iran and al Qaeda common interests that may drive them toward tacit cooperation—with the goal of fomenting a modern Bolshevik Revolution.

In 1917, the Kaiser’s Germany famously arranged a train to take Vladimir Lenin from his exile in Switzerland across Germany to Russia. Berlin knew that Lenin was a wild radical who wished no good for Germany either, but it facilitated his entry into the Russian Revolution because it hoped he would make the situation worse and accelerate the collapse of the Russian state. It’s a model that could hold great appeal for Tehran today.

All of this may seem unlikely, but revolutions are also unlikely events, and once that threshold is crossed, old rules about what is normal and likely go out the window. That’s why those who start revolutions are rarely those who end up in charge when the smoke clears and the barricades come down. And it’s why the U.S., as Egypt’s friend and ally, must try to prevent a revolution made in the name of democracy from being hijacked by something much worse.

See; see also (“In the Desert, a Tourist Drought”)


12 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Collapse Of The Mubarak Regime, Wholly Unexpected A Month Ago, May Constitute A Precursor Of What Is To Come Elsewhere In The Middle East

Which countries are next? Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Israel? Where this stops, no one knows.

For those who think that it might never happen in Israel, the following comments—from an article in the UK’s Economist—are sobering:

[S]ome Israelis ask whether Palestinian police units—or Israeli security forces, for that matter—would really crush a mass democracy movement live on world television, after Egypt’s powerful army has set a precedent of forbearance.

. . .

[C]ould [Israel] win against masses of peaceful protesters in town squares across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel too, demanding political rights for Palestinians? It is a question that makes many Israelis queasy.

See (“Worried Israel: Bad news for the Jewish state: Egypt’s upheaval is rattling the Israelis“); see also (“Obama Is A Fool And A Political Naïf, And The Israelis Recognize It”) and (“Gaddafi tells Palestinians: revolt against Israel”)

Will the Jewish state be the next to fall—or among the next?

Another crucial question to ask is whether Barack Obama is the handmaiden of Islamic fascists, and whether he is facilitating the fall of America’s allies in the Middle East like dominoes?

See, e.g.,

With respect to Israel, it bears repeating that I am forever reminded of what a prominent American (who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel) told me a number of years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

I was stunned by this person’s words, and I have reflected on them many times since. I have always assumed that Israel would be attacked from outside of “Palestine,” but not from within.

. . .

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal states:

Political Islam is so 1979—nowhere more so than in Iran, where an opposition rose up two years ago with the same demands as the Egyptians, only to fail amid a ruthless and violent government crackdown. Egypt’s revolt should inspire the Iranians anew. . .

However, one must never forget that America’s far-Left, naïve, anti-war, narcissistic president—“Hamlet on the Potomac” or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama failed to come to the aid of those courageous Iranians who were tortured and killed after rising up in protest against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the 2009 Iranian presidential election.

Even worse, he coddled and gave comfort to America’s enemies, the brutal theocratic regime in that country. The Journal was guarded and too kind when it described his conduct as an “embarrassing silence.” It was nothing short of cruel; and he may have “signed” the death sentences of courageous Iranian protesters—but this is true of other uncaring, raving narcissists like Obama.

See, e.g., (“Iranian Crackdown Goes Global”) and (“The President Snubs Iran’s Democrats”) and (“Iran sentences 5 to death in postelection turmoil”) and (“An Alternative Nobel”)

For example, one Journal article—dated November 3, 2009—stated:

[C]ourageous and dignified overtures to the U.S. by [Iranian] Green Movement activists have been snubbed by the Obama administration. The administration has avoided discussion about the prospects for liberalization in a country that exports radical Islamist ideology throughout the Middle East and beyond. In regressive realpolitik fashion, it has grown increasingly reticent about the Iranian people’s struggle for human rights, apparently viewing it as irrelevant to U.S security interests. Rather than bolstering the opposition at a time when the Iranian regime is at its weakest, America is pursuing a policy of appeasement.

. . .

Iranian cyberspace is brimming with anger at what the Green Movement sees as betrayal by the West. From legendary filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi’s representative in Europe, to Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Iranian democrats are expressing disappointment at what they see as the trading of their democratic aspirations for dubious progress toward the goal of preventing a nuclear Iran.

“Engagement,” it turns out, is about nuclear weapons alone—no matter how many innocent Iranians are being beaten, tortured, raped and killed for expressing their hope for change.

. . .

Can the Obama administration achieve anything with Ahmadinejad’s cabal on the nuclear front that could possibly justify its betrayal of the Iranian people and American values?


Also, the four articles cited immediately above stated: (1) the regime cracked down hard at home, and a Wall Street Journal investigation showed that it extended that crackdown to many of the 4 million Iranians living abroad as well; (2) Obama’s “engagement” with Iran was about nuclear weapons alone, no matter how many innocent Iranians were being beaten, tortured, raped and killed for expressing their hope for change; (3) the Iranian courts sentenced at least 89 defendants and 81 of them got prison terms ranging from six months up to 15 years; (4) the Obama Administration downplayed human rights in Iran as it pursued a negotiated nuclear settlement with the Ahmadinejad government; and (5) forgotten—at least by Barack Obama—is 27-year old Neda Aga Soltan, whose murder in June of 2009 by one of Ahmadinejad’s goon squads was captured on a video seen around the world.

. . .

In the final analysis, what is happening in Egypt and elsewhere may be another vindication of George W. Bush. Indeed, the Journal added:

This is also a day to note that George W. Bush was the President who broke with the foreign policy establishment and declared that Arabs deserved political freedom as much as the rest of the world. He was reviled for it by many of the same pundits who are now claiming solidarity with Egyptians in the streets.

See; see also (“[George W.] Bush was . . . a far more active champion of democracy than Mr Obama has been. . . . [T]he experts who scoffed at Mr Bush for thinking that Arabs wanted and were ready for democracy on the Western model are suddenly looking less clever—and Mr Bush’s simple and rather wonderful notion that Arabs want, deserve and are capable of democracy is looking rather wise”) and (“[R]evolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush’s freedom agenda”)


17 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Middle East Is On Fire Again, And Crazy Muslims With Funny Names Aren’t Helping Things—. . . Barack . . .

This is the first paragraph of Ann Coulter’s latest column entitled, “Democrats: Emboldening America’s Enemies & Terrifying Her Allies Since 1976,” which added:

The major new development is that NOW liberals want to get rid of a dictator in the Middle East! Where were they when we were taking out the guy with the rape rooms?

Remember? The one who had gassed his own people, invaded his neighbors and was desperately seeking weapons of mass destruction?

. . .

Liberals couldn’t have been less interested in removing Saddam Hussein and building a democracy in Iraq.

. . .

Liberals angrily cited the high unemployment rate in Egypt as a proof that Mubarak was a beast who must step down. Did they, by any chance, see the January employment numbers for the United States?

. . .

You know another country where Obama wasn’t interested in democracy? (I mean, besides the U.S. when it comes to health care reform?) That’s right—Iran.

. . .

When peaceful Iranian students were protesting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s stolen election in 2009, we didn’t hear a peep out of Obama. The students had good reason to believe the election had been rigged. In some pro-Ahmadinejad districts, turnout was more than 100 percent.

Wait, no, I’m sorry—that was Al Franken’s election to the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. But there was also plenty of vote-stealing in Ahmadinejad’s election.

When it came to Iran, however, the flame of democracy didn’t burn so brightly in liberal hearts. Even when the Iranian protester, Neda [Aga Soltan], was shot dead while standing peacefully on a street in Tehran, Obama responded by . . . going out for an ice cream cone.

But a mob of Egyptians start decapitating mummies, and Obama was on the horn telling Mubarak he had to leave. Obama didn’t acknowledge Neda’s existence, but the moment Egyptians started rioting, Obama said, “We hear your voices.”

. . .

The fact that liberals support democracy in Egypt, but not in Iraq or Iran, can mean only one thing: Democracy in Egypt will be bad for the United States and its allies. (As long as we’re on the subject, liberals also opposed democracy in Russia, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and all the Soviet satellite states, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Grenada, Nicaragua and Minnesota.)

Democrats are all for meddling in other countries—but only provided a change of regime will harm U.S. national security interests.

Time and again, Democrats’ fecklessness has emboldened America’s enemies and terrified its allies. . . .

For 50 years, Democrats have harbored traitors, lost wars, lost continents to communism, hobnobbed with the nation’s enemies, attacked America’s allies, and counseled retreat and surrender. Or as they call it, “foreign policy.”

As Joe McCarthy once said, if liberals were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that at least some of their decisions would serve America’s interests.

See; see also


17 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele


General David Petraeus

In an article entitled, “US faces exodus of top Afghanistan team”—and subtitled, “The US faces the loss of four senior members of its Afghanistan team in coming months, leaving President Barack Obama with a gaping lack of experience as the conflict enters a critical phase and the public expects a withdrawal of troops to start”—the UK’s Telegraph has reported:

The long-running conflict has placed unforeseen demands on the human resources of the US administration and several senior people are reaching the end of gruelling tours. Mr Obama will in coming months have to find replacements for Karl Eikenberry, the ambassador to Kabul, and Gen David Petraeus, the commander of coalition forces. Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, who also served under George W Bush, could also be heading for the exit, though pressure is likely to increase on him to stay for the duration of Mr Obama’s first term in office.

In addition, Adm Mike Mullen’s four-year term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ends in September and Marc Grossman, a retired diplomat, has just replaced the late Richard Holbrooke as special envoy to the region.

The length of the war, now in its tenth year, has exposed a shortage in Washington of people with experience or expertise in South Asia who have not already served long tours. Mr Obama therefore is confronted with a considerable challenge of finding the right people to continue his strategy of heavy US troop involvement in trouble spots such as Helmand while preparing the Afghan security forces to take charge by 2014.

Gen Petraeus only took up his current position in June last year when Mr Obama fired Gen Stanley McChrystal for making unflattering remarks about the administration during a magazine interview.

But he has already served multiple tours in Iraq and is a leading candidate to replace Adm Mullen. Stepping down in the autumn would at least allow Gen Petraeus to oversee the start of a planned troop withdrawal in July which Mr Obama has promised to Americans.

There are only a handful of suitable candidates to replace Gen Petraeus, and none is regarded as a match for his combination of battle experience, intellect or the public relations skills required for the job.

The four-star general is widely credited in Washington for his role in salvaging the war in Iraq when he took over as commander in 2007, and many Republicans view him as a hero and possible presidential material. The 2012 campaign appears to have to come too late for those ambitions, however.


First, like Jimmy Carter before him, Obama’s first term in office will be his only term in office. He is finished as America’s “Community-Organizer-In-Chief,” and will return to either Chicago or Hawaii permanently in January of 2013—at the latest—to lick his political wounds, write his memoirs, and work on his presidential library.

Second, “victory” is a word that Obama has never used with respect to his Afghan War; and like the North Vietnamese before them, the Taliban may begin using that term in the not-too-distant future. Obama’s Afghan War is lost, and the Taliban have won it, and Afghan women will pay a horrible price in the process.

See, e.g.,

Third, if the speculation is true, David Petraeus will have “escaped” with his reputation intact, to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which will be his reward for “rescuing” Obama from the McChrystal debacle—unless, of course, Obama blows the Petraeus appointment too.

Fourth, McChrystal is rumored to have a book coming out shortly before the 2012 elections, which may “fry” Obama politically.

Lastly, I have been told by a foreign policy “legend”:

That war was lost when we decided to invade. It was tailor-made for special forces, which we did at the beginning. . . . But [George W.] Bush decided revenge[, which] required a full scale invasion. Big mistake. As Mubarak [said] at the time, the situation required Muslim troops only, no US or other Western European nations. Bad call from Day One which means, in my judgment, ineluctable defeat.


24 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

In Fleeing Afghanistan, The West Relinquishes Its Grip On the World

This is the title of an interesting and sobering article by Peter Oborne—who is the UK Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator—which is worth reading.


Oborne is mistaken: Richard Nixon did not lose the Vietnam War; Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. Congress did. As someone whom I know has written—who is a syndicated columnist and an outstanding reporter with impeccable, world-class credentials, based in Washington, D.C.:

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, cut off all further military aid to Saigon.

[The South Vietnanmese army] ARVN saw no point in continuing to fight, stabbed in the back by the US Congress.

See, fn. 10.

Among other things, Oborne wrote:

Let’s throw the clock forward to 2014, the year Obama and Cameron say combat operations must end. This much is certain: the Taliban will return to power, conceivably with Mullah Omar (still topping the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list) coming down from the mountains to resume his old position, so rudely interrupted, as Head of the Supreme Council and effective head of state.

It is unlikely that Taliban commanders will take kindly to the flourishing nightlife and lively restaurants that have sprung up under President Karzai’s rule. All this will close at once, while Kabul’s notorious Swimming Pool Hill—where blindfolded criminals and homosexuals were pushed off a high diving board to their deaths—may open again for its ghoulish business. The Taliban attitude towards female education has, to be fair, improved over the past decade. At best, Kabul will come to resemble a provincial Saudi Arabian city.

. . .

[It is likely that] . . . Afghanistan will face a civil war, just as it did after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. If so, humanitarian agencies will find it impossible to operate, and reports of hideous carnage and atrocities will seep out of the country, with Western powers unable to do more than wring their hands. Stalemate is the likely outcome: eventually, large parts of the country will be dominated by warlords, each appropriating a chunk of the Afghan National Army.

In any case, it is unlikely that Obama’s sketchy three-year plan will work. There is no serious incentive—apart from cash—for any Afghan to stay loyal to the departing Americans and British. They must look to secure their future. President Karzai—currently at the heart of a massive banking fraud—will probably quit soon and flee, taking with him the billions of pounds his family have stolen.

Meanwhile, governments such as Britain’s, with armies still operating inside Afghanistan, will be forced to answer a very troubling question: why are we sending our bravest and best young men to be maimed and killed when we are going to leave, anyway?

. . .

Those countries with a genuine long-term interest in the region will get more and more involved, and be entitled to do so—China, Iran, India, Russia and, above all, Pakistan. No force on earth will prevent the Pakistani government from backing the Afghan Taliban, and it is past time that Britain and the US woke up to this elemental fact.

So where does this latest humiliation leave the United States? There were many who predicted that defeat in Vietnam marked the end of the American century, yet they were soon proved wrong and the US went on to enjoy a period of astonishing global success. But remember this—Nixon and Kissinger played one dazzling card as Vietnam weakened. They made peace with China, recruited her as an ally against Soviet Russia, and opened this formerly closed state to international capitalism. The consequences can be assessed in the history books—the greatest advance in living standards the world has ever seen, and US hegemony reaffirmed for an extra generation. But that happy epoch is over. China feels no gratitude, and has turned almost overnight from protégé into malevolent rival, with an ever harsher appreciation of the realities of global power.

Certainly, America remains the greatest military force on earth, with three million men and women in uniform and seven formidable battle fleets, with a combined tonnage greater than the next 13 largest navies combined. Yet the sorry lesson of Iraq and Afghanistan is that this prodigious military muscle is practically useless for 21st-century warfare.

. . .

Back in 1974, as the US prepared to abandon Vietnam, its national deficit stood at $6.1 billion, equivalent to about $27 billion today. This year’s deficit is $1,660 billion—60 times higher. Back then, US debt stood at $475 billion (around $1.8 trillion, inflation adjusted). In the intervening period, that debt has risen sevenfold to around $14 trillion, having doubled over the last seven years alone. The withdrawal from Afghanistan is, in part, the unexpected consequence of this financial crisis.

There is a sense that yesterday’s Afghan defeat was ordained when Barack Obama, with his mandate to bring George W Bush and Tony Blair’s senseless “War on Terror” to an end, won the 2008 presidential election. Now Obama has fulfilled his promise, and the task that lies before him now is to manage that defeat. More serious than America’s military defeat in Afghanistan has been its moral defeat. Again and again, it has behaved as hideously, and with the same barbaric contempt for human rights, as the worst of its enemies. Obama needs to reunite the United States with civilised values and redefine his country’s role in the world.

The rest of the familiar post-war architecture has gone. America is no longer capable of being the policeman of the world, and may retreat to its historic isolation. Across the Channel, the debt crisis is wrecking the European dream. History is moving faster than ever, and taking us into a new and formless world.

What Oborne should have said, and did so implicitly, is that Barack Obama is responsible for what has been happening in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the region; and he will be blamed for it—by the American people and by history.

Despite the wishful thinking of many, America is not in decline—any more than it was when Henry Kissinger and Jimmy Carter articulated similar beliefs.

One thing is crystal clear though: Obama must be forced from the U.S. presidency at the earliest possible date, and no later than January of 2013. He is an unmitigated disaster—a narcissistic demagogue, and America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—and his departure cannot happen fast enough!

See, e.g., (“Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?”) and (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) and (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”) and (“CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath these articles)

. . .

The people who will suffer the most in Afghanistan when we pull out will be its women. Indeed, Obama will be giving Afghan women and young girls the “gift” of horrific Taliban rule once again, which will be inhumane.

American women, and women and women’s rights organizations worldwide, must rise up and tell Obama that a pull-out is acceptable only if he is willing to send his two girls to school in Afghanistan now and after the pullout—instead of their fancy school in the Washington, D.C. area—and he actually does this.

Tragically, we know what the Taliban will do—including the brutal killing, raping and disfiguring of Afghan women—for example, by cutting off their noses and ears. We need only ask “Aisha” (or the brave “Bibi”), and look into her eyes and at her once-beautiful features that were disfigured.

There are no mysteries about what Obama’s Afghan policies will produce—which is merely one of a multitude of reasons why his presidency must end as soon as humanly possible.

See (“Why We Fight In Afghanistan, And Why American Women Should Demand Barack Obama’s Removal From Office By Impeachment Or Otherwise”) (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath it)


29 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Drawdown Disaster

In another brilliant commentary by Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—entitled, “Vietnam redux”—he has written:

A phased Afghan withdrawal over the next 3 1/2 years is a recipe for disaster. A date or even year certain, for ending involvement is to concede victory to Taliban.

See; see also (“Al Qaeda Remains Top Threat to U.S.”) and (“Obama’s plan was not among the range of options the military provided to him”)

He adds:

“The U.S. provided better firepower to Afghan resistance fighters opposing the Soviet occupation in the 1980s than it is giving to the Afghan national army today,” [former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (and Iraq) Zalmay Khalilzad] argues. “The ANA currently lacks adequate air transport, armor and protected mobility.”

. . .

It is increasingly obvious to the Taliban leadership that Obama shaped the troop downsizing to fit the needs of his 2012 re-election campaign, not to the needs of U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus and his commanders in Afghanistan.

The Vietnam War—for the United States—ended almost four decades ago. The last combatant flew home in March 1973. But America’s South Vietnamese allies fought on—with U.S. military assistance voted by Congress. They held their ground with their own air attack and transport support (which ANA doesn’t have).

North Vietnamese commanders, as subsequent memoirs attest, thought they had several more years of fighting before they could hope to take Saigon.

Until, that is, the U.S. Congress, in its infinite wisdom, grew tired of solemn commitments to our former South Vietnamese allies and cut off all military aid. As North Vietnam’s legendary commander Vo Nguyen Giap later admitted, he thought Saigon was still at least two years away from falling to communist forces.

Following the congressional vote, Giap quickly improvised an offensive to take Saigon—suddenly handed to him on a silver platter. Fifty-five days later, communist troops marched into Saigon’s Presidential Palace unopposed.

Similarly, in Afghanistan, when the last U.S. and allied combat troops leave Afghanistan, the U.S.-trained and -funded Afghan army will need major U.S. financial support—already more than the entire budget of the Afghan government. No one is betting that Congress will continue to underwrite an army in which almost 80 percent cannot read or write.

Next to domestic priorities, the need to sustain an ANA against a Taliban that long since jettisoned its former al-Qaida allies will pale into insignificance—especially in Congress.

In fact, there is much evidence that Taliban supremo Mullah Omar had already disowned his alliance with al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden when Obama was elected president. Yet Obama endorsed the Afghan war because “that’s where al-Qaida is.”

A series of erroneous assumptions fueled a decade-long war that has already cost half a trillion dollars, following $1 trillion strategic blunder in Iraq.

A ranking Iraqi official recently conceded privately to this reporter that today 1) “sad to say but Iran now has more influence in Iraq than the United States and 2) “hard to recognize but Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship was the best defense against the regional ambitions of Iran’s medieval mullahs.”

Pakistan, now in its noisiest anti-U.S. mood following the U.S. Navy SEALs raid that killed bin Laden, which humiliated the Pakistani army, can see an opportunity for restoring the status quo ante. With its original Taliban creation back in the saddle in Kabul, it will restore sufficient clout to make sure the United States and NATO exit from Afghanistan peacefully.

Pakistan will also return to what it perceives to be a more familiar and comfortable defense posture—Afghanistan as its defense in depth to the west in the event of an Indian frontal attack.

Between now and then, Pakistan’s all-powerful Inter-Service Intelligence agency will be back in the driver’s seat facilitating Taliban’s negotiations with the United States for an honorable withdrawal.

Many ignore Vietnam’s lessons as the Cold War ended in a global communist defeat that made the loss of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos seem like minor tactical setbacks. Think again.

The unfolding disaster in Afghanistan, compounded by the calamitous misadventure in Libya, add immediacy to the “Haunting Legacy” of Vietnam—a new must-read book by Marvin and daughter Deborah Kalb on how and why the Vietnam albatross continues to circle the White House.

A truly brilliant article, as only de Borchgrave could have written, because of his vast experience with the Vietnam War and the lessons learned from it, as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the Middle East in general, and the lessons to be learned from that region as well, and the tragedies that may be emerging.

Reason enough to make sure that Obama’s presidency ends no later than January of 2013, when he retreats either to Chicago or Hawaii to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his presidency library!


15 10 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

The Article Above Was Prescient

Our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and yes Pakistan have proved to be hopeless; the spread of radical Islam is happening in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, as these words are written; and Barack Obama’s presidency lies in ruins, a mere shell of what his champions had hoped for.

Also, Iraq had chemical weapons and other WMDs after all. Anyone who followed Saddam Hussein’s brutality knew that they were used by him against Iran and the Kurds.

This is why I opposed our war against Iraq. I was concerned that such weapons would be used against American military forces, and that they were not protected adequately.

Tragically, it turns out they were not, as the New York Times confirms in a fine, detailed article.

See (“The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons”)


3 06 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Are Afghanistan And the Middle East Lost Causes?

Time cover

In earlier comments I raised the issue, “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan,” which was the title of a Time magazine cover story that featured an 18-year-old Afghan woman named Aisha, whose photo is shown above.

See (“’What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan‘”) and (“Why We Fight In Afghanistan, And Why American Women Should Demand Barack Obama’s Removal From Office By Impeachment Or Otherwise“)

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

“We are there and we are committed” was the regular retort of Secretary of State Dean Rusk during the war in Vietnam.

Whatever you may think of our decision to go in, Rusk was saying, if we walk away, the United States loses the first war in its history, with all that means for Southeast Asia and America’s position in the world.

We face a similar moment of decision.

Wednesday, a truck bomb exploded near the diplomatic quarter of Kabul, killing 90 and wounding 460. So terrible was the atrocity that the Taliban denied complicity. It is believed to have been the work of the Haqqani network.

This “horrific and shameful attack demonstrates these terrorists’ comp[l]ete disregard for human life and their nihilistic opposition to the dream of a peaceful future for Afghanistan,” said Hugo Llordens, a U.S. diplomat in Kabul.

The message the truck bombers sent to the Afghan people? Not even in the heart of this capital can your government keep civilian workers and its own employees safe.

Message to America: After investing hundreds of billions and 2,000 U.S. lives in the 15 years since 9/11, we are further from victory than we have ever been.

President Obama, believing Afghanistan was the right war, and Iraq the wrong war, ramped up the U.S. presence in 2011 to 100,000 troops. His plan: Cripple the Taliban, train the Afghan army and security forces, stabilize the government, and withdraw American forces by the end of his second term.

Obama fell short, leaving President Trump with 8,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and Kabul’s control more tenuous than ever. The Taliban hold more territory and are active in more provinces than they have been since being driven from power in 2001. And Afghan forces are suffering casualties at the highest rate of the war.

Stated starkly, the war in Afghanistan is slowly being lost.

Indeed, Trump has inherited what seems to be an unwinnable war, if he is not prepared to send a new U.S. army to block the Taliban from taking power. And it is hard to believe that the American people would approve of any large reintroduction of U.S. forces.

The U.S. commander there, Gen. John Nicholson, has requested at least 3,000 more U.S. troops to train the Afghan army and stabilize the country while seeking a negotiated end to the war.

Trump’s conundrum: 3,000 or 5,000 more U.S. troops can at best help the Afghan security forces sustain the present stalemate.

But if we could not defeat the Taliban with 100,000 U.S. troops in country in 2011, we are not going to defeat a stronger Taliban with a U.S. force one-seventh of that size. And if a guerrilla army does not lose, it wins.

Yet it is hard to see how Trump can refuse to send more troops. If he says we have invested enough blood and treasure, the handwriting will be on the wall. Reports that both Russia and Iran are already talking to the Taliban suggest that they see a Taliban takeover as inevitable.

Should Trump announce any timetable for withdrawal, it would send shock waves through the Afghan government, army and society.

Any awareness that their great superpower ally was departing, now or soon, or refusing to invest more after 15 years, would be a psychological blow from which President Ashraf Ghani’s government might not recover.

What would a Taliban victory mean?

The Afghan people, especially those who cast their lot with us, could undergo something like what befell the South Vietnamese and Cambodians in 1975. It would be a defeat for us almost as far-reaching as was the defeat for the Soviet Union, when the Red Army was forced to pull out after a decade of war in the 1980s.

For the USSR, that Afghan defeat proved a near-fatal blow.

And if we pulled up stakes and departed, the exodus from Afghanistan would be huge and we would face a moral crisis of how many refugees we would accept, and how many we would leave behind to their fate.

Fifteen years ago, some of us argued that an attempt to remake Afghanistan and Iraq in our image was utopian folly, almost certain, given the history and culture of the entire region, to fail.

Yet we plunged in.

In 2001, it was Afghanistan. In 2003, we invaded and occupied Iraq. Then we attacked Libya and ousted Gadhafi. Then we intervened in Syria. Then we backed the Saudi war to crush the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Given the trillions sunk and lost, and the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, dead, how have we benefited ourselves, or these peoples?

As Rusk said, “We are there and we are committed.”

And the inevitable departure of the United States from the Middle East, which is coming, just as the British, French and Soviet empires had to depart, will likely do lasting damage to the American soul.

See (“Is Afghanistan a Lost Cause?“) (emphasis added); see also (“Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?“) and (“Obama In Afghanistan: Doomed From The Start?“)

Will Aisha and so many other Afghan women, men and children have suffered in vain if we cut and run?


2 08 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

President Trump Is Correct: China Is Making Money From Afghanistan’s $1 Trillion In Rare Minerals While American Troops Are Dying

President Trump

See (“Trump Says U.S. ‘Losing’ Afghan War in Tense Meeting With Generals“)


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