From Strong Horse to Hobbled Horse

Middle East

President Obama's May 19 speech on foreign policy concentrated on the Middle East. He spoke quite correctly of Osama bin Laden in his address, billed as another outreach to the Muslim world:

"Bin Laden was no martyr. He was a mass murderer who offered a message of hate-an insistence that Muslims had to take up arms against the West, and that violence against men, women, and children was the only path to change. He rejected democracy and individual rights for Muslims in favor of violent extremism; his agenda focused on what he could destroy-not what he could build."

Substitute the name Yasser Arafat for bin Laden, and everything in the paragraph above would be equally true of Arafat's outfit, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), aka Fatah. For decades, Arafat murdered Americans, Israelis, and anyone else who got in his way. This included West Bank Arab mayors who favored some kind of accommodation with Israel. He invented airline hijacking for terror purposes. Bin Laden doubtless got the idea for 9/11 watching his big brother in the terror business.

Arafat spent most of his years in power-nearly 40-not appealing to Muslims as Muslims. In those days, his sponsor was the officially atheist Soviet Union. So he mumbled something about Arab socialism. But all his most violent supporters were Muslims. At the same time, to cover his bases, Arafat was happy to shout "Jihad!" in his insatiable demand for all of what we regard as Israel. And today, in the midst of this so-called "Arab Spring," his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has just pulled off a deal with Hamas, the openly terrorist Islamist group that launches missiles against Israel from the Gaza Strip.

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When bin Laden attacked us on 9/11, Palestinians fired their rifles in the air in Gaza and in West Bank towns like Nablus and Ramallah. They danced in the streets as the Twin Towers fell. They gave their children candy.

Still, for the past decade, the PLO has received billions in U.S. and European Union aid for supposedly humanitarian purposes: schools, hospitals, and building "infra-structure." Except in those schools, the children put on plays dressed as suicide bombers and dance to tunes that call for death to the Jews. In the PLO areas, PTA stands for Palestinian Terrorist Association.

Osama bin Laden famously said that Muslims would always follow the "Strong Horse."

President Obama has been advised-badly-to put his Strong Horse to work for a final resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The president's prestige rose from the SEAL raid on bin Laden's compound. But Obama took America from Strong Horse to Hobbled Horse in just 19 days.

Now he wants our horse to kick against our only ally in the Middle East: Israel. Jackson Diehl in The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration's new determination is to "put the screws" to Israel.

Israel has supported the United States throughout decades of war and terror in the Middle East. Israel supported us throughout that "long twilight struggle" that John F. Kennedy spoke of: the Cold War with the Soviets. So it would make sense to kick Israel, or so our State Department thinks.

After all, Turkey was once our strongest NATO partner in the Middle East. Turkey is fast becoming an Islamist state. Egypt had supported U.S. efforts in the region for 30 years. Egypt is today slipping under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood.

So why not kick Israel? What other ally in the Middle East does this administration have left to betray? And isn't it ironic that the president wants American taxpayers to fork over-from our already exhausted Treasury-further billions to Arab regimes for these purposes, as the president outlined in his May 19 speech:

"Across the region, we intend to provide assistance to civil society, including those that may not be officially sanctioned, and who speak uncomfortable truths."

Here in America, many organizations in our own civil society that seek grants from our government will be disqualified because they do not share this administration's radical plans for marriage and for including abortion in healthcare. Talk about not being "officially sanctioned." And this administration is pondering ways to force the donors to these groups to disclose to Obama's agents all their political contributions. Thus they may lose not only their government contracts, but they can also be subjected to IRS audits. Such is the fate of those who speak "uncomfortable truths" here in this land of the free.

If we want to be the Strong Horse in the Middle East, perhaps we should ask ourselves what the Palestinian leaders have done to deserve another state. Palestinians already constitute a majority of Jordan. If the UN seats the PLO as a nation, how can we view the UN as a helper in the war on terror?


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