No Short Term Middle East Solutions By Alan Caruba

A problem with which American administrations have grappled since the days of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency has been Arabs and the Middle East. The Marine anthem mentions “the shores of Tripoli” because, in 1801, Jefferson sent them to there to put down the Barbary pirates.

One of the best books on this subject is “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present” by Michael B. Oren who, with exquisite irony, is currently serving as the Israeli ambassador to the United States, the nation of his birth.

Regarding the Middle East, if you have had the feeling that the Obama administration has been spectacularly inept as it takes its turn at bat, you’re right. Barely six months into his first year, on June 4, 2009, the newly-minted President gave a speech in Cairo.

“I’ve come to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Obama’s impressions, aspirations, or re-write of history, past and present, clashes with the reality of current and past events. He has, in fact, adopted virtually all of his much maligned predecessor’s policies in the Middle East and took a bow for authorizing the long awaited assassination of Osama bin Laden.

As this is being written, the White House is debating the levels of military withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq. In both cases the public is alternatively told that the leaders of those two nations either want the U.S. to leave or to stay. Where the truth falls no one seems to know.

It is very instructive to read what is being published in the newspapers that serve readers in the Middle East. Suffice to say that neither the President, nor his policies, is well regarded. One can read daily translations of articles from their press, as well as Asia and Europe at an interesting site, .

I would argue that no amount of “hands on” involvement with the events unfolding from the Maghreb nations of northern Africa to those that form the heart of the Middle East will significantly alter the outcome of events occurring there.

In addition to the uprisings to throw off the shackles of despotism from Tunisia to Libya to Egypt to Syria, Bahrain to Yemen, the common denominator for these and other Arab nations is their well-deserved sense of having been the victims of various regimes. They are all likely to be united in their fear of the rise of Iran, a Persian nation, and one that will soon achieve nuclear parity with Pakistan, India and, yes, Israel.

The world has lived with “the bomb” since the end of World War Two in August 1945. Nuclear weapons have not been used since, but Iran is the wild card. It will not yield to international sanctions. Its cabal of ayatollahs will not be overthrown from within. It must either suffer a massive attack on its nuclear and military facilities or it will fill the skies over Israel and other nations with mushroom clouds.

The leaders of Western nations seem unaware that, immediately upon the death of Mohammed in 632 A.D., Islam split into two factions, Sunnis and Shiites, who have been in conflict with one another ever since.

The history of Islam consists of waging war on everyone else as well either for the purpose of conversion, looting, or the collection of taxes laid on non-Muslims. This history has been broken by rare, short periods of tolerance, but Muslims, convinced that their Koran is the absolute word of Allah, have been indifferent to the values of the West and the advances of modernization that have usually been imposed on them through colonialism.

Islam has been around nearly 1,400 years and gives no evidence of reforming itself away from the Arab culture in which it took seed and away from the brutal punishments that pass for justice. It was and is a savage “religion” bent on global domination.

Even when Muslims find hospitality in non-Muslim nations like those of Europe they immediately set upon an effort to impose Sharia law, usually through intimidation, on the indigenous population. In the Middle East, hands and heads are still cut off, rape victims are stoned, and a charge of blasphemy or apostasy can get you killed.

As this is being written, Christians and the few Jews still residing in the Middle East and the Maghreb are fleeing for their lives as their churches are being burnt to the ground and their lives are at risk.

One would think that, after U.S. involvement—invasions—of Afghanistan and Iraq, we would have figured out that Islamic nations are impervious to any concept of Western style democracy. Islam’s claims to be a religion are framed within a political system run by theocrats.

Elections have managed to put Hamas in charge in Gaza and Hezbollah in charge of Lebanon. The ayatollahs grabbed power in Iran and turned that nation into a prison. The mobs in the streets of Syria are trying to overthrow the Assad dynasty, warring against an Alawaite minority tribe ruling as Baathists. Yemen is a basketcase and Somalia is even worse.

The ignorance of these facts has cost Americans billions, if not trillions, with our adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has led President Obama to intercede in Libya for no good reason. It is a desert under which oil exists. Beyond that, it hardly matters which dictator is in charge. Gadhafi’s dabbling in terrorism cost him more than it was worth.

So long as Obama is President, the U.S. will pursue unrealistic and often stunningly stupid policies and actions as regards Islam and Muslim nations.

By way of one small example, in April Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, appointed Arif Alikhan, a devout Muslim, as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development. Alikhan was born in Damascus, Syria. I am sure you feel safer now knowing that.

Are there nice Muslims? Sure. Are there “moderate” Muslims? Possibly, but they are outnumbered by the millions who are not. Oil money and various illegal enterprises support terrorism. Even Americans contribute because the Obama administration will not permit exploration or drilling for an estimated 150 billion barrels of our own domestic oil.

And you still wonder why President Obama actually bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia? Or that George W. Bush ignored the fact that all but one of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists were Saudis? No President wants a repeat of the 1973 Saudi oil boycott.

Nothing good can come out of the current turmoil affecting most Arab Muslim nations. The U.S. would be wise to maintain its military power, but the fact is our Navy is being reduced, our Air Force is flying aging aircraft, and the combat divisions of our Army and Marines are worn out from repeated tours in the Middle East.

Obama is as clueless as Woodrow Wilson who thought he could bring “peace in our time” and only managed to help set in motion the run-up to World War Two. He has put America at risk in so many ways I am losing count.

Alan Caruba’s commentaries are posted daily at “Warning Signs” his popular blog and thereafter on dozens of other websites and blogs. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. Visit The Boring Institute for some laughs and tips on how to avoid boredom. For information on his professional skills, Caruba Editorial Services is the place to go! You can find me on both Facebook and Twitter as well.

Salazar’s War On Jobs by Audrey Hudson

The plight of the prairie chickens, smelt fish and dunes sagebrush lizards is not just a policy cause for environmentalists anymore, but the weapon of choice in a war on jobs by the Obama Administration, say critics in Congress.

The policies in effect at the Interior Department, now led by Secretary Ken Salazar, are supposed to protect endangered species against certain annihilation. But they’re also turning farmlands into dust bowls and running oil and gas development off the land, out of the water and out of the country.

And in some cases, even eco-friendly energy development is getting the cold shoulder.

“I think they have constructed the most effective job-killing machine in the history of the country,” said Rep. Tom McClintock (R.-Calif.).

“If Salazar’s job is to kill jobs, then he gets an A plus,” added Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.) “His department has killed more jobs in the U.S. than any other federal agency.”

California’s Central Valley struggles for water because some 200 billion gallons are diverted to the Pacific Ocean for the benefit of the Delta smelt, Nunes said.

That man-made drought has idled more than a quarter of a million acres of farmland and, with thousands of farmers out of work, the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country at more than 20%, Nunes said.

“The goal of the Obama political appointees is all about stopping capitalism and stopping job creation. And the halls of Interior are filled with environmental extremists,” Nunes said.

Read more from Human Events

Big Green lawsuits are obstacle to jobs, economic growth

Federal regulators had no sooner completed their review and approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s application to resuming drilling for oil and natural gas in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico before Big Green environmental radicals were in federal court filing suit to stop the project. David Guest, a spokesman for Earthjustice, which filed the suit along with the Sierra Club, the Gulf Restoration Network and the Florida Wildlife Federation, said the litigation was necessary because “before new deep-water Gulf drilling occurs, the government must make a realistic assessment of the risk to the Gulf’s ecosystem, its communities, and the many jobs that depend on tourism, fishing and recreation. It has utterly failed to do so here.”

Legal experts expect this suit to be the first of many to come as oil companies resume exploration and drilling operations in the Gulf more than a year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster virtually shut down the energy industry along the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, at a cost of up to 50,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of other economic losses to the regional economy. The permits issued to Shell that sparked the suit were issued under the review process employed by the Department of Interior in the wake of Deepwater Horizon, which industry officials said was unnecessarily complicated and gained nothing in the way of additional safety margins in drilling or environmental protection for the Gulf’s ecosystems.

But as costly as more government red tape almost always is for industry, it is likely to pale by comparison with the expense of defending against endless lawsuits from Big Green environmentalist activist groups whose sole mission often seems to be to use the federal court system to stop economic activity of which they disapprove. It is no coincidence that the anti-Shell suit was filed just one day after ExxonMobil announced a major discovery in deep Gulf waters that could provide up to 700 million barrels of oil. That’s 700 million barrels that won’t have to be imported from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The problem is the ultimate outcome of such litigation is almost less important than the fact that defending against it will cost Shell hundreds of millions of dollars and delay the project by years, possibly long enough even to render it economically unfeasible to continue. Arguing over whether an already complex government regulatory review process was sufficiently comprehensive to provide the “realistic assessment” of environmental risk demanded by Earthjustice can easily take years and might never be completed to the satisfaction of those who are determined to end fossil fuel use. Considering that these Big Green groups receive hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars every year, it is time Congress started asking some tough questions about who has legal standing to bring such litigation.

Source: Washington Examiner Editorial

PDS: Palin Derangement Syndrome By the Bear

It is now going on three years since Sarah Palin became a national political figure and since that arrival a love -hate relationship like no other in recent times has developed. The MSM has been obsessed with Sarah to the point it can only be characterized as immoral psychotic syndrome.

It is one thing to disagree with her political philosophy, that’s what America is all about, but that is not what this all about. Palin personifies everything that the left’s “useless idiots” hate about conservative women and thus the ‘seek and destroy’ mission remains in full force to the point of utter nonsense is being reported as newsworthy.

Sarah Palin recently said, “Paul Revere warned the British” and our “useless idiots” went crazy reporting that Sarah didn’t know her history. Now it turns out that historians say that it is true, upon capture by the British, Revere warned them not to try and disarm the colonist. So, who looks stupid now?

My point being that even if it wasn’t true and it was slip of the tongue, is this newsworthy enough to make the front pages across the country? Or have they crossed the line of obsession to the point of needing psychoanalysis? I think the latter.

All politicians make an occasional slip of the tongue, even our community organizer once stated that there are “57″ states in the union. Did any of our “useless idiots” ever pull out a map and count to “48″ and correct him? Hell no, they buried the story in with the help wanted adds. (Raise your hand if you think I made a mistake about the”48″)

Here are a couple recent irrational examples of PDS ….

The other night NBC’s Brian Williams stately started that he would not bother reporting on WeinerGate because it was inconsequential to the important news of the day. And just what was that important news of the day. Revisiting Sarah Palin’s Paul Revere comment.

Tell me that this guy doesn’t need help for his case of PDS.

The Brian Willams report is mixed in with this video.

Then there was this strange statement by Barbara wa wa (Walters) on The View program.

    if Sarah Palin ‘can ride around on her bus,’ Weiner Can Stay in Congress.

What the hell does Sarah Palin have to do Weiner staying in Congress? The only connection that I can think of… is maybe the old battleaxe is getting tweet’s from the weenie.

(For those of you unfamiliar with The View…it is a collection of cackling old hens with a combined minus I.Q. trying to discuss word events.)

The last laugh in this whole endeavor will come from Sarah Palin, the more they try and demonize her the more she stays on the front page of the news cycle and this allows her to increase her campaign war chest to advance her conservative agenda and will be a powerful force in the Republican Party.

At this point I don’t think Sarah has any intention of running and PDS has made her a national figure that will have a say in the final outcome.

Sarah Palin explains….

And if you haven’t seen this video, see how your fellow Americans answer the questions about Sarah Palin, I never seen such gross ignorance like this before and these people have a right to vote. WHY ????

NEXT UP: 24,000 emails as the morons look in the garbage can.

Scarborough Attacks Gov. Sarah Palin (R) E-mail Hunt, Time’s Halperin Says the Reason Is ’50 Percent Bias Against Her’

Krauthammer’s Take On the Palin’s emails:

It’s unprecedented, and it’s a disgrace. The Times and the Washington Post are actually asking readers to go through this and to send in stuff.

Now, if you want to read old e-mails of a politician — letters of a [former] president — as a way to get a rounded understanding of that personality, that’s done all the time. Historians always are doing that. Then you would do it yourself.

But you don’t do that [inviting examination by strangers] if you want to get a rounded understanding. You don’t send it out to strangers to look for gotcha stuff…. And that’s exactly what the mainstream media are doing, and I think it is utterly egregious. …

Palin Derangement Syndrome. That’s what it is.