by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
WANT TO GET a good fix on Barack Obama’s strange, obsequious and increasingly dangerous policy toward Iran? There’s a book that–intentionally or not–explains it. Who knows if Obama ever took a gander at it? But it sure reads like the way in which our deluded President sees the Middle East.
Back in 2008 Robert Baer, an ex-CIA agent turned journalist, wrote The Devil We Know (Crown). Its thesis: Iran is an impressively rising regional and global power, and the U.S. ought to recognize this fact and cease futilely resisting the inevitable course of history. What should U.S. policy toward Arab states be? Ditch Saudi Arabia as an ally and let Iran control its oilfields. Ditch Iraq and let Iran annex chunks of that artificially created country, as it sets out to create a new Persian empire –which Baer seems to think is the right and proper thing for Tehran to do. The oil-rich Gulf states? They’re toast and destined to become virtual Iranian satrapies. Egypt? It’s not a contender and must accommodate itself to being a bit player, as it was in the days of the Roman Empire.
Nukes? Iran should get them anytime it pleases. …
… [T]his book faithfully reflects Obama’s mind-set: The U.S. should step aside and let history take its course, i.e., let Iran dominate the entire Middle East.
Of course, other countries may wish to demur. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s stunning electoral victory in Israel demonstrates that the Israelis won’t passively accept Obama’s weird worldview. Neither will Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Among the possible consequences of Obama’s historically feckless course: a nuclear arms race, the consequences of which are too ugly to contemplate.
Obama has the same passive view regarding Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea and the Kremlin’s slow war against Ukraine. He remains oblivious to China’s long-term goal of prying South Korea away from its U.S. alliance and to Japan’s likely reaction to Beijing’s regional assertiveness.