Making Barack Obama a one term president should be the main goal of the Republicans. At the corresponding time in this election cycle, four years ago, the Democrats relentlessly criticized President George W. Bush’s foreign policy concerning the war in Iraq. But it seems that after winning the midterm elections so overwhelmingly, the Republicans have concentrated only on the economy and abortion, leaving the stage of US foreign policy to Obama’s naive agenda. But much worse, the Republican leadership was even supportive of Obama as the US turned against a longtime ally like Egypt’s Mubarak, even though it carried the risk of weakening American influence and national interests in the Middle East for a long time to come.
The Republicans must be aware that under Obama, the US is losing the Middle East to Iran and Islamic radicals and endangering its main strategic ally, Israel, in the process. If they want to win and protect US interests, the Republicans must behave like an opposition and not give ground to Obama on any front. Otherwise as was the case during Carter’s term in office, the damage to US interests and Israel will be irreversible for many decades to come. House Speaker John Boehner said after Mubarak stepped down that ”the Obama administration handled what is a very difficult situation in Egypt about as well as it could be handled.” The Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said during the crisis that “America ought to speak with one voice, and we have one president” while McCain praised Obama‘s handling of the situation and called on Mubarak to step down.
It is natural for Americans and Republicans to side with those who wish to have democratic reforms but a country should not sacrifice its national interests for idealistic dreams. If the Republican leadership talked to US allies in the Middle East like Israel and Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states, they would have realized the sense of betrayal and abandonment they felt after Obama’s actions.
When Obama turned against Mubarak, a long time US ally, so quickly and publicly by supporting his ouster when political winds turned against his iron fisted rule, every US friend was reminded again that the US president is weak and courteous to America’s enemies but treacherous and confrontational with its allies. For two years Obama has had many public and humiliating confrontations with Israel, despite its being the only democracy in the Middle East, concerning a non-issue over the natural growth in Jewish settlements. This past week when Israel felt alone and fearful of losing another moderate ally to Islamic radicals, like it did with Iran and Turkey, it was informed that the US offered a deal to Arab governments whereby it would support a UN Security Council presidential statement rebuking Israel for “its continued settlement activity” in exchange for Arabs agreeing to withdraw their demand for a binding resolution.
It seems that the Middle East is changing but Obama has stayed the same, by betraying Israel again. Just last week, after thousands of opposition protesters turned out again in Iran, Obama expressed sympathy with their yearnings but explained that there are limits to US Influence in regard to sovereign regimes like Iran, because “America cannot dictate what happens.” Such philosophy may further send a message to many leaders that it safer for them to be US enemies and join the axis of evil. After two years of “engaging” Iran and imposing economic sanctions, Tehran continues its buildup of enriched uranium. Moreover, Obama helped the West lose Lebanon. Just in December, Obama increased Syria influence and stature by sending the US ambassador back to Damascus despite the fact it has been rearming Hezbollah and helped bring down the pro US government in Beirut.
Now, Hezbollah, with the help of Syria and Iran, will probably form the new government in Lebanon. Now the enemies of Israel and the US seem emboldened. Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah stated this past Wednesday that “Hezbollah will conquer the Galilee if there is war with Israel” adding that Israel is afraid and lost its confidence due to Mideast turmoil. The true damage of Obama’s foreign policy may not be realized for the next two years, but if the Republican opposition is missing, it helps Obama looks presidential and worldly enough to win another four years.