Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Five Middle East Blunders

The underlying causes of chaos in the Middle East are indigenous. But Obama hasn’t helped.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

15 Thoughts on “Five Middle East Blunders

  1. Ron Shibley on February 17, 2015 at 8:28 am said:

    These were not just mistakes. They were the result of a calculated anti-American strategy that, at the international level, parallels similar destructive policies on the domestic scene. America has experienced incompetent leadership before but it has never had to deal with the rampages of a person who has calculated how to destroy what the country represents and reject its Judeo-Christian heritage. In my opinion, it will get much worse before it gets better. The consequences of a dissolved and restructured Iraq and Syria at the heart of the Middle East are going to be severe. And George Will thinks the world is not in a more dangerous state!

    • Libby Whitley on February 17, 2015 at 10:42 am said:

      That’s what I really wanted to say!

    • JohnnyBoy on February 17, 2015 at 3:16 pm said:

      I must concur. There is nothing accidental or ham-fisted about this hand-over to Iran. It is intentional in every sense of the word. Iranian Valerie Jarrett must surely be smirking her way through the halls of the White House every day, as she hands the enemy the keys to the gates of the U.S. I’m sure her exit strategy includes forewarning of where to be or not to be on critical dates. Count on it.

  2. Libby Whitley on February 17, 2015 at 8:38 am said:

    Mr. Hanson, I fully respect your scholarship on the Middle East mess, but am curious why you characterize is as a ‘series of bad US mistakes’ rather than a deliberate-but-misguided decision on the part of the naïve Obama Administration to cede hegemony in the Middle East to a newly-invigorated Iran? I question the motives of this Administration.

  3. Now we know why when in the Star Wars universe, after the Galactic Republic lost its war against the Confederacy of Independent Systems… shepherded by the two-timing Emperor Palpatine, who strangely, but convincingly, led both sides…Yoda went to hide out in the harsh, swampy planet of Dagobah, while Obi-Won Kenobi did likewise on the desert planet Tatooine… So it went for how many years?

    Then Princess Lea sent a holograph signal, via her droid R2D2, “Help me, Obi-Wan. You’re my only hope!”

    So professor Hanson, our choice seems to be between a jungle or desert hide out?

  4. What a bumble is United States foreign policy there in the ME. In the event of giving Iran the ‘bomb’ , it not only emboldens an enemy inimical to US interests but also invites another bully at the Middle Eastern oasis. The sign by the warm waters: ‘Welcome Putin!’ Come and play with us! Israel will perhaps be then pushed to the brink of difficult decisions on security. And the United States will stand by like a sleepy camel tottering aimlessly as Russia and Iran plunge ahead to bury us in the hot sands.

    The ME is just one of a few instances globally where the US apparently has ceded the initiative to its opponents. We should be playing the chess game like grandmasters. Unfortunately, we appear to show our ineptitude in strategic and tactical play in the world.

  5. Absolute power corrupts absolutely—A picture is worth a thousand words. See the picture in the article–“”Putin seeks to expand Russian influence in Egypt visit””, by aljazeera. Bring up a big map of the Middle East. Putin’s influence is encircling Iraq and Saudi Arabia.The Crescent is taking shape– Egypt,Syria, Turkey,Iran. Only Iran has energy resources worth a damn, and thus enter the madman Putin. The void created by a blundering Hussein Obama foreordained a change in Iraq—- and since Obama has the ” Un-Midas touch”……

  6. Doctor French on February 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm said:

    In face of such an incompent president, where is the outrage from the american people?

    Why such a letargy in face living disaster like Obama?

    Have you lost your revolutionary temper since 1776?

    Please threw him out of the White house before the persian get the bomb.

    • JohnnyBoy on February 17, 2015 at 3:22 pm said:

      Our smarmy collective guilt from being American makes milquetoast of most Americans on the two coasts. Flyover country shakes its head in bewilderment as the tragedy unfolds. They are outnumbered by the Socialist-trained little game-players that pass as citizens. Only miracles will save us now.

  7. Let’s not mince words…Obama is fostering a caliphate…his legacy to the Muslim world will be that of the U.S. President that brought their plight legitimacy, and their caliphate into being. He’s not concerned about his presidential legacy in US or Christian terms.

    Taking into consideration his Muslim upbringing from toddler to 15 or 16 years of age, the essence of his upbringing is Muslim, and with it come all of the prejudices against western and Judaic culture, whether latent…or not so much. His contempt is displayed not so much in what he does, but by what he doesn’t do…he has covered for, excused, lied about, and turned an approving blind eye to every form of Islamic abuse against all things western and Judaic, all the while offering nit picky, childish tit for tat excuses for not recognizing Islamic Terrorism for the existential threat it is.

    This is his opus, his grande finale…a caliphate in the ME and a nuclear Iran. Years from now, as he gazes out over the Mediteranean sea from his caliphate palace guest room…he’ll flash that grin that a man gets when he wells up with pride over a job well done. Perhaps they’ll erect a statue in his honor in Tahrir Square.

  8. John Lewis on February 17, 2015 at 7:38 pm said:

    Barack Obama is a cruel and violent man. It is always done remotely, of course – he probably couldn’t fire a gun if his life depended on it. Nonetheless he is responsible for the deaths of many many people.

    It is a major mistake in my view to classify these foreign policy positions as blunders. Obama has said repeatedly that he does not seem them as blunders, and I think he means what he says. The blunders are in letting him near the levers of policy in the first place. And who did that? Many Democrats, and not a few feckless republicans.

  9. Jared Carter on February 17, 2015 at 8:43 pm said:

    While Obama plays golf, in California, Isis is looking to kill more Christians and Americans. Air Force One with him on board flew over our farm and why would a President vacation during such a crisis with Isis. No one is safe especially military families, those on social networks and Rome is now a target. We are fortunate that Obama was not our President during World War II as he would have been afraid to use the term Nazi. Islam is Obamas’ faith yet it continues to damage a once strong Christian nation that could put faith in their President, the US. Obama seems to shy away from the term Isis. His presidency has come at the worst time in history. Muslims do not need to be on the same stage of a Ben-Hur to Christianity. Rome is a target for a reason by Isis. As Christians we must be on the watch. Isis is like Germany and Hitler’s SS. We cannot afford to take vacations from terror. We need a Christian President again. Those who know and love God do not wage war, murder or kill. “He gave me water and a heart to live.” “For this cause he came into the world dying for us.”-Ben Hur
    Jared Carter
    Caruthers, CA

  10. Obama as Roosevelt might have added:
    “Let me be clear, the aggressive and unhelpful behavior of Mr. Churchill is only adding gasoline to the fire and encouraging those who wish to push the world into endless war. While our alliance with Britain remains intact we cannot as Americans overlook the cruel nature of British policies which do not reflect the values of the British people of acceptance and tolerance for all races.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: