I think it's pretty obvious so far how the wind is blowing.
President Obama appears to be using the Carter administration as a model, with a few of the more insipid errors of the Bush Administration thrown in. Here are a few signs:
* The Obama administration has recognized a new group, American Muslims for Constructive Engagement (AMCE) as one of the groups it considers official advocates for the American Muslim community and has given it unprecedented access to the White House.
In reality, is an Islamist, Muslim Brotherhood front very much in line with the Muslim Brotherhood's ultimate goal of transforming America into a sharia state.
As counterterrorism expert Patrick Poole revealed, the head of the organization is Abubaker Ahmed al-Shingieti, a Sudanese who was one of President Omar al-Bashir top aides when he was involved in the genocidal jihad against the Christian and animist populations in Darfur and other parts of the south and east of the Sudan that killed nearly two million people and created another four million refugees:
The lead organization in AMCE, the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), which al-Shingieti serves as regional director, is the current focus of a federal grand jury probe into terrorist financing. At least two other AMCE groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), were named by federal prosecutors as unindicted co-conspirators in the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, which resulted in convictions on all 108 counts. And the Muslim American Society (MAS) was identified in federal court briefs by the Department of Justice as “the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”
And documents received this past August by the Investigative Project through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that AMCE steering committee member Jamal al-Barzinji and AMCE advisory council member Yacub Mirza were listed in FBI memos as “members and leaders of the Ikhwan”, which is the Arabic term for the Muslim Brotherhood. Department of Homeland Security senior agent David Kane has testified in a federal court affidavit that “Barzinji is not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad], but also with Hamas.”
This is highly reminiscent of the Bush Administration's ongoing flirtation with CAIR, ISNA and other Islamist front groups, it's coddling of Saudi-funded jihad mosques in America and our sending an envoy to the anti-American and anti-Semitic Organization of Islamic Conference 'to listen and to learn' in th ewords of th erecently departed former occupant of the White House.
*The appointment of Arab-American ex-senator George Mitchell as Mid East special envoy and Obama's pledge to get his face into what he refers to as 'peace between the Israelis and Palestinians' as a top priority of his administration.
Mitchell is an extremely problematic figure both from Israel's standpoint and from the standpoint of US security and ultimately,stability in the region..He has a number of curious beliefs, such as an avowed hostility to Jews living in Judea and Samaria ( AKA the West Bank) or in East Jerusalem and a conviction that the intifadeh was not planned by the Palestinians, in spite of admissions to the contrary by Yasir Arafat, Arafat's information minister Yasir Rabbo,and Arafat's own commissar in Jerusalem Feisal Husseini, who famously referred to Oslo as a Trojan horse to trick the Jews.
He apparently is convinced that the problem between Israel and the Arab world is just like Northern Ireland,a conflict he takes credit for having helped mediate. In doing so,he conveniently forgets a few things: that while Britain had no major stake in Northern Ireland, Israel's 'stake' in retreating to a border only nine miles wide at it's narrowest point and with its major population centers in easy firing range of its enemies is existential in nature; that there was no genocidal intention among either the Ulster Unionists or the IRA,something that cannot be said of the Palestinians; that there were no outside countries using the IRA as a proxy army;and that the real end to the Ulster conflict came when the Republic of Ireland outlawed the military wing of the IRA and cracked down on them hard and both civilians and leaders on both sides tired of the slaughter and realized that both sides would have to compromise to come to a solution. That is not true of the Palestinians,who have hardly tired of 'resistance.'
On a personal level, Mitchell himself can hardly be said to be unbiased. Aside from his ethnic background and his professed sympathies, he has a long history of doing business with the Arab world, including countries that religiously support an anti-Israel boycott that is against US law.
Mitchell appears to agree with the Palestinians (and more importantly, with the Saudis and the Arab League)that any and all compromises are going to come at the expense of the Israelis, which will likely put him and the next likely center/right Israeli government on a collision course and substantially change the relationship between the US and one of its most important and reliable allies.
That the Obama Administration agrees with Mitchell's viewpoint on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is shown by recent information that he intends to cut loan guarantees to Israel( which are not direct aid and cost the US absolutely nothing,but help Israel borrow money at lower rates) by a billion dollars based on money Israel spends on any infrastructure and services not within the pre-1967 borders, including East Jerusalem.
*Finally, there is Obama's recent pressure on Israel to 'open Gaza's borders.'
In examining what he had to say, the new direction of American policy in the Middle East becomes crystal clear:
“The outline for a durable ceasefire is clear: Hamas must end its rocket fire: Israel will complete the withdrawal of its forces from Gaza: the US and our partners will support a credible anti-smuggling and interdiction regime, so that Hamas cannot re-arm,” the US president said.
“As part of a lasting ceasefire, Gaza’s border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce, with an appropriate monitoring regime, with the international and Palestinian Authority participating.”
It all sounds lovely, until you realize that this is exactly the formulae put together by Condi Rice, the PA, the EU and Egypt when Israel withdrew from Gaza and it failed miserably.
It's even more clear now to anyone that's paying attention that this is even more of a silly non-starter than it was in 2005.
For openers, Hamas is not going to sign on to any of this; they don't recognize Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah's authority over Gaza,they will NOT stop firing rockets and Iran and Syria cannot be trusted to abide by it anyway.Nor will the Egyptians allow foreign 'monitors' on their side of the border - Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak just said so.
At a time when the US definitely needs a new way and some common sense in the Middle East,Obama appears to be headed back to the future...and in exactly the wrong direction.