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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

Since last year, by instructions from above, all American investigative authorities – CIA, FBI and others – have been forbidden to ask people whom they are investigating questions about their faith, and all training programs for investigators have undergone censorship by an obscure committee, whose members are not known. Islam, which has an ideological platform for many of the terror activities that were carried out against Americans in the U.S., has ceased to be a matter that can be investigated or to asked about or related to in any way. Thus, for example, the terrorist event at the Fort Hood base (November 2009) in which Nidal Hasan (a Palestinian Muslim) murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded 31, has become “violence in the workplace,” and the attempt of a Pakistani to set off a car bomb in Times Square in New York (May 2010) has become a “traffic accident.” There are Americans who believe that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were unexplained “flight accidents” in the best case, and a conspiracy of the CIA in the worst case. Accuse a Muslim of terror? G-d forbid, because this is a collective accusation; it is not “politically correct” and the Muslims might be insulted or even become irritated.

The ignorance of the administration in the eyes of the Middle East has been proven over the past three years, when more than once, people of the government issued statements such as, “The Muslim Brotherhood is mainly a secular movement,” “Iran can be persuaded by diplomatic means to stop enriching uranium,” “There is no proof of the existence of a military nuclear program in Iran,” and “Islam is a religion of peace.” When the heads of the American government speak like this, the Muslim Brotherhood on the Sunni side of Islam, and the Iranians on the Shi’a side, know that they have nothing to worry about. The “Great Satan” has lost its teeth and its will to use its horns. Usama bin Laden is gone, but his ideology is alive and kicking in the hearts of far too many people, in the world in general and in the U.S. in particular. Ask Shaikh Awlaki.

The processes of erosion that American society is undergoing are clear: On the day that the U.S. ambassador was murdered in Libya it was mostly the news programs that dealt with it, but interspersed with these, it was business as usual: shallow reality shows, cooking programs, interviews about trivial matters, and of course, programs dealing with business and the stock market. The fact that the sovereignty of the United States had been violated in the break-in of the embassy, and the terrible murder of the U.S. ambassador, were not enough to shake the United States from its routine of “eat, drink and be merry.”

The U.S. is quickly losing its will to defend its values, and in the Middle East this fact is clearly evident: The Kuwaiti parliament held a meeting on the subject a year ago: “Should Kuwait become part of Iran or not?” The discussion was based on two assumptions: One is that the day may come when Iran may try to take over Kuwait either militarily or by “persuasion,” and the second is that in the situation of ideological weakness that characterizes the U.S., and the economic crisis which is burdening Europe and the U.S., there is no chance that the Western world will again arrive with all of its armies to rescue Kuwait from conquest, as was done in January 1991. Therefore Kuwait is today considering whether to join with Iran, in order to spare itself from the horrors of war and the suffering of occupation, and to achieve better conditions by willingly joining with Iran. Then what would happen with the Kuwaiti oil? Would the U.S. honor the “free will” of Kuwait to join Iran? And what would happen afterward to the other Emirates?

The conclusion that Israel must draw from all of this is clear: Its security must not depend on the ever-dissipating American determination, because some Americans who determine policy have the tendency to throw their friends – as in the case of Mubarak – under the bus. There are more than a few people in the American political community who are not at all convinced that Israel’s existence serves the interests of the U.S., and especially if their support of Israel might anger the Muslims. Therefore, Israel must place before her neighbors a real, concrete and credible threat, because in the Middle East peace is given only to those who can not be vanquished and freedom is given only to him who is ready to fight for it. The Middle East is no place for bleeding hearts, and especially those whose glory has passed and is no more. The Arab and Islamic world knows how to appreciate and honor only those who honor themselves, who know how to draw a clear red line and then be willing to battle anyone who desires to harm them, to go to battle in order to guard the freedom of their region and their global glory.

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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