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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Sic Transit Gloria Mundi: Thus Passes the Glory of the World

Middle East expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar outlines how weak U.S. policy in the Middle East has encouraged more aggressive behavior on the part of radical Islamic groups.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower giving orders to American paratroopers in England. (D-Day, June 6, 1944)

General Dwight D. Eisenhower giving orders to American paratroopers in England. (D-Day, June 6, 1944)
Photo Credit: Library of Congress

In the past, Iran has conducted exercises where missiles were shot from submarines, and with the use of these missiles equipped with a nuclear warhead under the waters of the ocean it will be able to dictate to the whole world the conditions of its surrender. The world condemns, denounces, warns and threatens, but all of these threats are just empty talk, as long as there is not a credible threat behind it. Economic sanctions are not effective when dealing with fateful quest of dictatorial regimes, because they know how to shift the painful effect of the sanctions onto the citizens, thus the ruling elite remains untouched. Nevertheless, the U.S. under Obama is afraid of drawing red lines for the regime of the Ayatollahs, who are hurtling ahead towards acquisition of the bomb, which may be able to reach as far as New York, not just Tel Aviv.

Thus, in a continual process of declining strength, the U.S. has become a paper tiger in dealing with the Arab and Islamic world. The Islamic bandits draw strength from American weakness, and it is precisely Obama’s attempts to engage the Islamists, beginning with the Cairo speech (June 2009), that increase the Islamists’ demands from him. Obama also took the opportunity to openly reveal his political ineptitude: On the same day that he was Mubarak’s guest of honor, he met in Cairo with the bitterest rivals of the president of Egypt, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and this was no less than a knife in the back of his host. Insulted and hurt, Mubarak did not attend Obama’s speech, offering the weak excuse that his grandson had died a short time before.

On this background of American weakness are additional facts, which the people of the Middle East see well: North Korea does as it pleases with its nuclear plans and missiles, despite Western and Japanese objections. In the past, the U.S. acceded to the nuclearization of India and Pakistan, and even forgave the head of the Pakistani nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, for establishing a black market for nuclear instrumentation, materials and knowledge, and distributing his wares to the highest bidder. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, its nuclear scientists searched for a livelihood in other countries, and the Nuclear Non-proliferation Pact became an almost worthless piece of paper, mainly because the United States under Clinton “fell asleep on the watch” for the years of the 90′s.

The murder of the American ambassador in Libya this month was only another link in the chain of American failure to understand the Middle East: ironically, the ambassador who was the liaison between the American government and the rebels against Qadhaffi was the target of the automatic fire of the Libyan Islamists who dragged his body through the streets of Benaghazi.

And then comes the ridiculous film, produced in the U.S., that no one with minimal taste would continue to watch after the first minute. In the United States, freedom of creativity, freedom of speech and freedom of expression are protected by law, and these freedoms are considered of utmost value in the eyes of most Americans. These freedoms afford the creators of films the full right to create and say in them whatever they want (short of libel), including criticism of historical figures and religious ideas. Despite this, U.S. authorities quickly arrested the creator of the film, only because of the current storm and turbulence in the Muslim world. The United States has again proved that it is vulnerable to extortion and will surrender to violence if it comes from a Muslim source.

Islamic zealots sense the American weakness and increase their pressure. The Americans have adopted the culture of “political correctness” that makes them “be nice” even if the one they are dealing with is not nice at all. They enable Islamic organizations to act freely in the U.S., to establish mosques almost without limitations and preach violence against the “infidel” in these places, under the right of freedom of expression, of course. People who are identified with radical Islam come and go in the White House and serve as “advisers” to the president and the secretary of state. During the past generation, the State Department has led the conciliatory and defeatist policy of the United States, which has brought the superpower of the past to be only a paper tiger in the eyes of the Arab and Islamic world.

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


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One Response to “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi: Thus Passes the Glory of the World”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this excellent summation of the historical failures of American foreign policy. It really is shocking when all the disastrous actions (or inactions) are listed together.

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