Sunday, September 12, 2010

Excellent Ralph Peters Interview On Obama's Foreign Policy Failures.

Best selling author, columnist, FOX news commentator and ex-Army intelligence officer Ralph Peters has some pungent things to say about Obama's foreign policy missteps in a must-read interview over at FrontPage Magazine.

Here's a taste:

FP: Ralph Peters, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to talk to you today about the challenges we face in the Middle East in the post-Obama-Leaving-Iraq era.

Let’s begin with this: What did you think of Obama’s speech on Iraq? He didn’t seem to want to mention the word “victory” or to congratulate American soldiers for winning the war.

Peters: Did Obama give a speech on Iraq? Or did he give a speech about running away from Iraq as fast as his two left legs can carry him? His seeming determination to squander the peace in the wake of an authentic military victory by our troops is nothing less than stunning. Even Jimmy Carter took the responsibilities of office more seriously. It appears that our current president is determined to prove that our dead shall, indeed, have died in vain. He’s not running away from a war–the heavy combat is over, thanks to the tenacity of Obama’s predecessor and our troops. He’s fleeing from the promise of a peaceful Iraq with a future government helpful to the United States. It’s almost as if, consciously or unconsciously, Obama manifests the longing of the left for Iraq to fail after all, “proving” that Bush got it all wrong and Al Franken’s a strategic genius.

Iraq doesn’t need more US troops today–let’s be clear on that. There are enough soldiers still on-hand for the ongoing military mission (and, no matter what Monsieur Obama claims, they’re largely combat troops). What Iraq needs is energetic, engaged diplomacy to get a unified Iraqi government in and keep Iran out. If, however, our self-absorbed president does not engage personally on the political level, we may, indeed, find more of our troops back in the Gulf in the future.

The grotesque paradox in all this is that Iraq has even more strategic importance–much more–in 2010 than it did in 2003, when we deposed Saddam Hussein, the region’s K-Mart Hitler of the moment. With the looming advent of an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability–which Obama seems disinclined to prevent–the stakes have soared. If an Iran with nukes can also dominate most, if not all, of Iraq, Tehran would have direct control of the world’s second and third largest oil deposits and effective hegemony over the number one deposits–in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

It’s a bitter paradox that, after the Left screamed, “No blood for oil,” pretending that ridding the world of Saddam was just a ploy to make a profit (do these people have any grip on reality at all?), under Obama–or in his wretched wake–we may, indeed, have to spill a great deal of blood for oil.

Look at a map of the Persian Gulf (which may well be truly Persian again, thanks). It’s a narrow, wet doorway to the world’s greatest oil concentration. The lands surrounding the Gulf form an arch, with Iraq as the keystone. It doesn’t take a brilliant strategist to get the point.

As I’ve warned for many months now, don’t worry about Obama’s ideology. That’s secondary. Worry about this administration’s unrivaled incompetence.

FP: Your thoughts on Obama’s Palestinian-Israeli “peace” talks that are underway?

Peters: Well, there will be plenty of talk, but little peace. It’s disheartening that Obama’s foreign-policy priority is an attempt to add this particular (and particularly elusive) scalp to his (tiny) collection, when the great prize of the moment is Iraq–which he’s blowing off.

Obama may be able to bring enough pressure to get a flimsy deal of some sort that lets him go into 2012 claiming he made peace. But no agreement will last. Arabs remain incapable of accepting Israel’s right to exist. Israel’s destruction is about all they have left to believe in, since they’ve failed at everything else.

But let me be brutally frank: Although I am a lifelong and determined supporter of Israel, I agree with the many Israelis who see the more aggressive “settlers” as purely destructive and monstrously selfish. While Jerusalem is, and must, remain an undivided Israeli city, settlements in locations such as Hebron are unjust and unjustified. While I believe that the Arab demand for a return to the 1967 borders is unacceptable (Hey, you lost, guys, that’s how history works.), it’s idiocy to imagine that any solution can accommodate settlers whose out-lying presence is destructive to both sides. Now, the settlements in the West Bank are not uniform. They must be judged on a case-by-case basis. But surely there’s a point at which we can agree with most Israelis that the more extreme settlers are pathological cases.

For all that, 95% or more of the responsibility for making peace remains with the Arabs, whose behavior has been self-destructive and intoxicated by atrocity over the decades. In the end, Israel wants peace. Israel’s neighbors want Jews dead or gone–preferably dead. That’s pretty clear-cut to me.

As you can imagine, I disagree with Colonel Peters profoundly on Hebron and whether some of the residents of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are 'extreme' - after all if Jews aren't allowed by the Arabs to live there in peace, why would the Arabs allow them to live in peace anywhere? But aside from that disagreement, he's spot on, particularly when he discusses Afghanistan later on in the interview.

Read the rest here..

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