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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obama's Greatest Foreign Policy Error

Obama's greatest Foreign Policy error was the same one that had been made by Bush and by numerous past administrations. The error was that the problem was not Islam, but Islamic violence. It was Obama however who took that error to its logical conclusion by pursuing a foreign policy meant to part Islamists from their violent tendencies by allowing them to win without the need for terrorism.

Violence, the thinking in diplomatic circles went, was inherently alarming and destabilizing. When Islamists don't take over, they move to the West, preach radical theology, gather up followers and begin blowing things up. But let them take over their own home countries and they'll no longer have any reason to draw up maps of London and New York, not when they're beheading adulterers and burning churches back home.

The Arab Spring was to the Middle East what the betrayal of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis and the betrayal of the rest of Eastern Europe to the Communists was to 20th Century European history. It was the moment when all the diplomatic folly that had come before it came together in one great historical instant of national and international betrayal.

The diplomatic wunderkinds had never taken Islamist theology seriously, just as their predecessors had not considered the possibility that the Bolsheviks might be serious about their world revolution. And they had also failed to recognize that Islamic terrorism was not only a means to power, but also an end in and of itself, a way of harnessing the endless violence and instability in desert societies and turning them into power and profit.

What every Middle Eastern leader has always understood is that the violence, call it raids, terrorism, guerrilla warfare, gang activity, sectarian militias, military coups, desert banditry, was never going away. It was the tiger and the clever leader rides the tiger, rather than ending up inside it, harnessing and directing the violence, to remain in power.

Islam is a religion built around that violence, sanctifying it as a religious principle, and thus taking it out of the realm of Fitna and into the realm of Jihad. The difference between the two is a matter of theology and that theology is a matter of perspective. What is banditry and what is a holy war is a matter of where you're standing and which way the bullets are flying.

The Islamists might be able to direct the violence, but they could no more shut it down than any of their secular predecessors could. They could kill their enemies, but only by unleashing the tiger on them and when the killing was done, they would still be left with a hungry tiger looking around for his next meal. So the Islamists, like the Saudis, were bound to fuse religion with realpolitik by making sure that the tigers were pointed our way. 

Even if their violence were only a means to an end, the end would not come when every Middle Eastern country was run by Islamist governments. For one thing there would never be a means of agreeing on what a truly Islamist government was. The reactionary impetus of Wahhabism leads to an endless series of reforms meant to recreate a lost 7th Century theological paradise by purging those damnable 8th Century theological innovators.

To many Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood is just Mubarak with a beard. To other Salafists, those Salafists are just the Muslim Brotherhood with an untrimmed beard. After overthrowing Mubarak to end the perception that the United States supports UnIslamic dictators, maintaining ties with the Muslim Brotherhood would invite attacks from those Salafists in the hopes of ending US support for the Brotherhood, resetting that foreign policy accomplishment to zero. And the Brotherhood would wink and nod at those attacks to maintain its Islamist street cred and keep the violence going in the other direction.

As the attacks of September 11, 2012 showed us, the effect of putting the Islamists in charge of the Arab Spring countries was not to relieve tensions or improve America's image, but to make it easier for Jihadists to launch attacks on America. And the argument advanced by Obma and so many others, that it was our support for dictators that inspired terrorists, had come to nothing. As Carter had done in Iran, Obama had stood behind the Islamists and against the "dictators", only to have the newly Islamist dictators kick him in the face, first through mobs carrying out attacks against American diplomatic facilities under the guise of plausible deniability, and then through bolder confrontations.

But finally, the seizure of one Muslim country or two of them or a dozen of them is not the end of the Islamists. Islamists don't recognize borders or national identities, no more than the Communists did. Their objective is not a flag of their own, but the territorial expansion of their ideology. This expansion is not measured in miles, but in populations. It persists regardless of lines on a map or country names. It measures its power in people, because people are the region's only resource.

Territory alone is useless. The Middle East doesn't produce much agriculturally and what it does produce is done with primitive, often near-feudal labor. About the only territorial worth comes from oil and the worth of the oil comes from the money that foreigners are willing to pay for it. Having the foreigners come to their country to pump the oil for them so that they can then sell the oil back to the foreigners has built the wealth of a dozen emirs, kings and dictators. And that wealth has been used to buy the services of Islamist militias in an arrangement that we know as terrorism, but that the locals know as the raid.

Islam has turned the raid into a crusade, but at its core it is still a tribal expansion, an outing to seize land, loot and women from neighboring tribes. And the neighboring tribes with the most appealing land, loot and women are the ones living across the Mediterranean in Europe. Getting there requires a boat or a plane ticket, a claim of refugee status and then the No-Go-Zones, the gangs and the rapes begin. And amid that violence, the preachers come and attract the more religiously-minded to the formal Jihad, as opposed to the informal violent persecution of non-Muslim tribes through robbery, rape and murder that was routine in their old region and has now been carried over into the West..

The Islamists would be under a theological obligation to expand their control over the infidels even if there were no Muslims in the West, but the presence of Muslims in the West makes the takeover of Western countries necessary for the same reason that the takeover of Muslim countries by Islamists was necessary.

When Western leaders try to curry favor with Muslim leaders by talking about how many Muslims live in their countries, they are providing the same cause for war that the Czechs did to the Germans. Muslim immigration to the West creates a mandate to impose Islamic law on the West. Western leaders react to that by offering to accept some elements of Sharia into their legal system. This moves the process into the second stage, the one that the Arab Spring countries were under, practicing an imperfect version of Islamic law that the Islamists were then compelled to "perfect."

Everything that the West has done to appease Muslims has worked as well as a man jumping into a tiger cage and pouring meat sauce all over his body. Each act of appeasement only makes Muslim violence necessary and inevitable. Every increase in the Islamic footprint in the West attracts Islamists intent on expanding and purifying that footprint, as they have done in their own countries. The more the West takes in Islamic populations and laws, the more Islamists are compelled to bring diaspora Muslim populations and laws into full compliance with their theology.

Obama's foreign policy aimed at allowing the Islamists to win. He ignored the Iranian protesters against an Islamist state, while rushing to support the Islamist protesters in Egypt and Tunisia. The Islamists won and September 11, 2012 was a consequence of those victories. And it won't be the last consequence.

As Chamberlain learned of Hitler and as the Democrats learned of the Commies, there is no finite amount of concessions, no set range of territories that can be traded in exchange for peace. The Nazis and Communists wanted the world because their goals were not confined to mere territories, but to the enslavement of billions to create an ideal world for the benefit of their chosen elites. Islam is interested in the same thing.

Islamists don't want Egypt, Syria or Palestine. And they certainly won't settle for them. No more than Hitler settled for Czechoslovakia or Stalin settled for Poland. They will accept their conquests in bites, but they will never stop biting, chewing and swallowing until they run up against a force that will not allow them to advance and expand further.

Obama tried to divide violent Islamism from political Islamism, giving the Islamists what they wanted without violence, to eliminate the need for a War on Terror. But all he accomplished was to give Islamist violence a bigger base and more resources to work with. Islam is inherently violent. A non-violent Islamic victory doesn't end the violence; it only expands its capacity for violence.

27 comments:

American Genie said...

I am acquainted with a man who was American born and raised who converted to Islam a couple of years ago.

He is being taught by Pakistanis. He is completely brainwashed into thinking that Islam is a peaceful religion.

This is not an unintelligent man, and I am completely at a loss as to how he became a willing slave to that evil.

He is very nice, and he is open with me in our discussions because he truly believes he has found the answers in Islam.

I am, however, finding it more and more difficult to continue our relationship because I keep coming up against the reality of Islam, and it makes me extremely uncomfortable.

How could anyone voluntarily become a practicing Muslim given all the death and destruction created by Islam globally?

It boggles my mind.

As usual, a very good piece, Daniel. Made me think harder about my acquaintance. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It's very Black and White, Daniel, like all your stuff, but, nevertheless, it seems about right to me.

I couldn't help thinking about its context in relation to an earlier piece about the "Mediacracy". MSM is currently in a full court press in defense of Islam, but how would it feel if it were threatened by it - as it undoubtedly would be if it fell under its thrall. Truth is, Chris Matthews is so dumb he would never see it coming until it was too late.

I believe Romney will win and, just as Reagan characterized the Soviet Union as The Evil Empire, so Romney, or somebody, will need to call Islam The Evil Religion. Does he have it in him?

All will be revealed.

Edward Cline said...

Bravo, Daniel, for another light that illuminates the stinking, rotten premises that have governed our policies towards Islam. If anyone watched the Romney-Obama debate last night, one's expectations of Romney having a clue about the nature of Islam were exploded. His premises concerning Islam were merely naive, as opposed to Obama's, which are consciously malign. Still, I will vote for Romney in November as a vote against the most nihilist president this country has ever had the misfortune to elect. Obama's policies are not merely mistaken; they are evil. Romney can be educated about the nature of Islam; Obama already knows what it is and has delibertely enabled and abetted it.

meema said...

Responding to American Genie, you asked, "How could anyone voluntarily become a practicing Muslim given all the death and destruction created by Islam globally?"

The short answer: "Behind all our failure to find light is an unconfessed and possibly an unconscious love of darkness." A.W. Tozer

The long answer would fill several volumes.

fsy said...


If anyone watched the Romney-Obama debate last night, one's expectations of Romney having a clue about the nature of Islam were exploded. His premises concerning Islam were merely naive, as opposed to Obama's, which are consciously malign.


This is pretty scary. How does someone remain naive about something so important until the age of 65, especially someone so well-informed in general? I'm starting to suspect that he is just projecting this for the purpose of the campaign.


Still, I will vote for Romney in November as a vote against the most nihilist president this country has ever had the misfortune to elect.


I would hope that no conservative anywhere is even considering the possibility of not voting for Romney because of anything he may say or do between now and 11/6. And it's not "misfortune", it's "stupidity" or something much worse.

American Genie said...

Thank you, meema.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I enjoy every your word, you are perfectly right about everything so far from my point of view. I wish you are an government adviser on US foreign policies. That would be the biggest blessing to US and all civilization. Keep up the GREAT work, Daniel. Thank you, Zdena, Prague, Czech Republic.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Genie, it's because he has no real idea what Islam is. He's been taught some of the religious aspects of Islam, he's been taught charity and faith, but he doesn't have the innate understanding of Islam as a political system that most real Muslims do.

The modern West is full of these aimless religion seekers who land on one religion or another. After 9/11 many of them have landed on Islam.

Muslim Arabs say that no non-Arab can be a true Muslim because he does not know the Koran in Arabic. I would add that no non-Arab, Pakistani, etc cannot understand the tribal imperatives of Islam.

Without that, Islam is just a third-rate copy of Christianity and Judaism, complete with some of the same sayings, "He who saves a life saves the world."

But I would tell him that what is good in Islam is borrowed from Christianity and Judaism. But what is bad in Islam is unique to Islam.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Anon, the media sees itself more as an ideology now and less as an institution. Freedom of the press takes a backseat to the triumph of the left. So long as they believe the left's agenda is being served, the Mediacracy will go on pimping Islam even while their reporters are being raped.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

FSY, indeed. Any long time reader knows my views on Romney. But what is important is getting Obama out of the White House. If we were dealing with Biden, as bad as he is, the same urgency would not apply. But this is a matter of ending a coup and saving the republic.

Zdena, thank you, but if my views could reach that far then they wouldn't be needed.

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Anonymous said...

Daniel; You still make the common mistake that the Obama admin is "mistaken or incompetant. They are the most recent in a long line who see the USA as the main evil in the world. Hence they have distanced themselves from allies and supported enemies. This IS the goal of these people.

American Genie said...

Thank you, Daniel.

I am afraid the Pakistanis have convinced this poor man that he has found his salvation in Islam.

I will continue praying for him.

occupant 9 said...

I would suggest that very few current politicians "understand" Islam, and then again, "understand" Islam all too well. They know something's not right but dare not say anything for the threat of violence from Muslims is very real.

I would like to know why the West feels obligated to host such Believers once we find out they are an active force determined to replace what we have with what they apparently fled from. Seems Muslim immigrants didn't flee Islamic hell-holes at all, but are part of a larger colonizing effort to import the same Islamic hell-holes the West's politicians intent to diligently ignore.

megapotamus said...

Well observed and well said. It is quite a pickle. Currently a little girl shot in the head by the Taliban recovers in a French hospital. When she does, what then? Almost certainly she and her family will be offered asylum. What will they make of that opportunity? They will move to the banilieus with her in a chador now puffed up with bandages where they will perhaps allow the girl to be relatively educated in line with the conventions of the French resident Muslim but how long before even that is haram? Yes, some sort of "reform" of Islam might be possible and if possible, would certainly be welcome, but how likely is that? Not very. Either Islam or Islam-As-We-Know-It must be defeated... repealed and replaced. While there are more moderate stripes of Islam they are in the ascendant essentially no where. A quarantine of some sort seems to be the only recourse and that will certainly mean the few modernizers who exist will be crushed in the entire Muslim world as they are daily in Iran. Perhaps the resistors could be supported somehow from the outside, providing an opportunity for rapprochement in the unlikely event of their success but that is a remote possibility nearing fantasy. In large measure the Muslim world must be left to its own destiny of violence, poverty and insanity. These things are infectious. We certainly can't import it for the sake of stubbing it out where it persists. It just brings it everywhere.

Ravis said...

Genie's friend is an anomaly. Islam is spreading in the West through immigration alone, not conversion. To Westerners, this ideology is backward and unappealing. Nothing about it has entered the culture. It can assume a place for itself only through intimidation and brutishness. Even the Nazis captured the German imagination in the beginning. Islam is dead on arrival.

Anonymous said...

If Germany got rid of the brown shirts would the conflict have been over. Nether will the war with Islam. The terrorist are being taught by the mullahs same as Germany was by the Nazis. You have to exterminate the teaching and the teachers and that has to be done by the Muslim people. The German people did not and 60 million people later are still blaming it on one man "Hitler"

Lawrence Beihl said...

@American Genie
Converts to Catholic church also feel it is a religion of peace despite it past historical record. Why then would some people convert to Catholic? But they of course do this having been assured this is only extremist views in the church and not what the church truly teaches them.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I don't see any beneficial purpose to turning this into a debate on the Catholic Church.

We're facing a common present day threat that is not of historical interest, but a threat to our survival.

David Barry O'Connor said...

And, let's remember, Obama has more Islamic advisors, special delegates and envoys than their population ratio in the US justifies.
Now, I could have been even more accurate by saying "than their (religious) ratio..".
But, the American lemmings gave the country away four years ago.

Anonymous said...

O'connor you think of Americans as lemmings?
Why do you think you have to call people names?

American Genie said...

@Lawrence Beihl

It never ceases to amaze me when people bring up the violence of the past in relation to religions other than Islam.

The difference, Lawrence, is that the violence you speak of is in the past.

The inherent violence of Islam has been going on for centuries, and appears to be spreading globally.

Anonymous said...

Someone once said that "If there is a God, he must be the devil."
I'd like to change that, to "If there is an allah, he must be the devil."
-mjazz

Anonymous said...

"Obama tried to divide violent Islamism from political Islamism, giving the Islamists what they wanted without violence, to eliminate the need for a War on Terror. But all he accomplished was to give Islamist violence a bigger base and more resources to work with. Islam is inherently violent. A non-violent Islamic victory doesn't end the violence; it only expands its capacity for violence."

Wow -- what a profound closing paragraph

-- Spanky

occupant 9 said...

As I think about this again, Obama is no Chamberlain. Chamberlain at least, was on our side; the same cannot be said of Obama and his minions.

I don't think Obama tried to "divide violent Islamism from political Islamism" but rather, tried to provide cover for the expansion of Islam period. Whether Islam grows by violence or politics is the same death sentence for non-Muslims. That Obama has so many Muslims in key positions that affect security decisions and training *should* be grounds for trying Obama for treason.

VA_Rancher said...

Daniel,

BRILLIANT Essay.

As both a veteran and someone who has worked inside "undisclosed" agencies I feel you are spot on.

I have LONG felt we Americans were violating basic warfighting principles and allowing the enemy to dictate the field of battle. My own analogy would come from the US Civil War. Every general BEFORE Grant allowed #1 Lee to choose the battlefield (and Lee always chose the higher ground) and #2 any general BEFORE Grant was unwilling to press on when they clearly had the advantaget in arms and numbers. Instead they worried about the press reports and casualty counts.

Islam is EVIL. 'Nuff said.

As long as we refuse to accept this fact, we will lose the war.

All my children but one are girls. Islam is a horrid future for any female. Personally, I will not allow the enemy to dictate the battlefield EVER.

Thanks for writing this.
Keep up the good fight.
Be well.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

VA Rancher, that's an excellent analogy. There is some analogy to how the British fought the American Revolution as well.

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