UI – Part 611 – Middle East Still Matters to USA.
Washington in the Dark
From the WSJ, OpEd, “But there is no avoiding the fact that the Middle East still matters a great deal to U.S. interests. Islamist terror groups with a proven record of bringing devastation to New York, Washington, Paris and London remain a major security concern. In the past, jihadists used havens in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq to plot more ambitious and deadly attacks, including 9/11. Though Islamic State’s self-styled “caliphate” has been dismantled, the extremist movement still hasn’t been eliminated—and can bounce back. U.S. intelligence still relies on Middle Eastern partners such as Jordan for counterterrorism cooperation, information sharing and early warnings. Intelligence officials now worry that the hasty American retreat from Syria and the loss of on-the ground information from formerly U.S.-allied Kurdish forces may leave Washington in the dark about a comeback of hostile radical groups.” (“America Can’t Escape the Middle East,”, by Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 10/25/2019)
It was after the WSJ article that our military in coordination with the Kurds, Russia and Turkey, with President Trump’s approval, had a successful mission to destroy the head of the ISIS snake, al-Baghdadi (mission named for Kayla Mueller, a young woman tortured and raped by this barbaric jihadist leader). (10/26/2019) The number 2 leader of ISIS was also assassinated a couple days later. This does not mean ISIS is gone, but it does mean it has been severely hampered. In our world of Islamic hatred with its Quranic call (Sura 9) for all Muslims (to be truly Muslim) to commit Jihad, ISIS or other jihadist aggressive imperialists will continue in an overt violent and destructive pattern to eliminate infidels, to include heretics (Muslims that are not true Islamists, by interpretation). A new head of the snake will be chosen, as has been the case with Al Qaeda. There are many other jihadist religious zealots whose names we have not even heard of ready to assume a leadership role. Know this though – they will die.
Washington is not in the dark as much as many politicians would like Americans to think.
Embeds and Informants
It remains an imperative that free nations maintain feet on the ground in the Middle East and other Islamic dominated nations to gather whatever intelligence possible, and to develop friends and informants that can make us aware of new faces, places, efforts, and jihadist missions intending to destroy freedom, innocents, and coveted treasures. We must always be alert to the possibility that this hate-fueled ideology can spawn dedicated servants of Muhammad and Allah to kill for the thrill using their namesakes as a religious justification for their barbaric nature and actions.
To repeat, the key to our relationship in the Middle East is intelligence gathering. We need valued contacts, to provide feedback, to include other foreign leaders that feel as those in the free world feel. Even if the feedback is only daily news, it is valuable.
We must be careful, aware too, of political operatives, at home and abroad, prepared to interfere with progress if they can muddy the waters, their own selfish interests, or that of the political Party served. Corruption in politics is too commonplace and all too often attempts to mask reality in an effort to avoid exposure. Such political operatives (politicians or loyalists) ignore their constituents or their nation’s people for their own greed and desire for power. We need ambassadors and operatives, CIA or otherwise, to be loyal to a President, his Administration, and not as persons with an agenda of their own. They must work with the system installed or leave; they cannot undermine efforts as that only results in confusion, delays and chaos. Honesty and truthfulness would be refreshing.
The issues of importance to those gathering data are immigration, nuclear weapons and the export of terrorists. Add to that, per the WSJ piece, the global balance of power. What that means to you or me, or our leaders, is worthy of serious discussion.
Meaning of the Middle East
The WSJ article makes note, “Michael Oren, a former Israeli Ambassador to Washington who served until earlier this year as a deputy minister in the Israeli government, recalls meeting recently with an American military delegation and telling them: “If you think the United States as a global power can pull out of the Middle East and not endanger itself, you are deluding yourselves. When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific.” Mr. Oren added, “The Middle East is viewed by the world as a litmus test of American power.”
Our history in the ME since WWII has been haphazard at best. Have we been loyal or dependable? See prior blogs on this website for answers. The Middle East matters and we need to do a better job. We need to be more attuned, intellectually, better informed, more objective, and clearer in our understanding of Islam and the dynamic impact this ideology has on governments and factions (tribes, sects, provinces, religious elements) in the ME. We cannot ignore other majority Islamic nations such as Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, the Caucasus areas and the -stans, et al.
We need eyes and ears and brains engaged to be prepared and ready for any attempt by jihadists/Islamists to enter the free world with the idea at undermining free cultures, the use of Islamic propaganda, undercutting existing Constitutions with Islamic Law, creating Islamic areas (nogo zones), the failure to assimilate, enabling Jihadist organizations to develop, attempts at the radicalization of moderate Muslims and efforts at conversion to Islam. The tenets of Islam, from the Quran to Hadiths to Sharia are not humane. They ignore freedom, independence and the innate ability of humans to think for themselves. From the ME and other Islamic nations, and watchdogs covering current groups operating, such information will flow if we are properly focused and grounded. Nothing wrong with Islamaphobia; it creates awareness. Our job is to defend our freedom, protect our borders, and insure our citizens are safe and secure from terrorism.
That is why the Middle East matters.
Grace and Peace