I watched Mr. Obama’s speech on dealing with the Islamic State of ISIS (he calls it ISIL). I thought he was smart enough to leave the details vague, no “mission accomplished” and no details of any incursion into Syria. He even seemed to push forward into the future any possibility of arming the fractured disintegrating border groups that call themselves the Free Syrian Salafi Army. He promised some help for ‘some’ of them, probably to preempt the usual expected heckling noises from Senators McCain and Graham. And to keep the Arab princes and potentates content. He also mentioned the obligatory international ‘coalition’ of the usual suspects.
What was shocking to me was the number of American pundits and opinion-ators, including some generals and former officials who should know better, who suggested that foreign “Sunni Arab” forces be used in Iraq and Syria. But Iraq and Syria are already full of armed foreign “Wahhabi Arabs” and “Wahhabi Europeans” seeking to liberate them from all non-Wahhabis for the Caliphate. These liberators either came from or were armed or financed by the elites of the same “Arab forces” these experts now want to send into Iraq and Syria. Not one of them bothered to suggest seeking approval of the Iraqi and Syrian peoples or governments. We should not overlook that these two governments, with all their shortcomings, are at least as representative as the Saudi and Qatari governments. At least.
Arab forces? What Arab forces? A couple of experts mentioned specifically Saudi and United Arab Emirates (UAE) forces. WTF? The UAE apparently does not have enough citizens (barely 10% of the population) to police its own streets, let alone face the fierce Jihadi terrorists. The Saudis are reportedly periodically negotiating with Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Egypt for military and security help if and when needed.
And why would Iraq and Syria allow these tribal ruling families to send more of their mercenary forces inside their countries? Even as their Wahhabi ideology and money and weapons and volunteers are wreaking havoc in both countries with kidnappings and bombings and massacres. And why would these same Arab rulers send their hapless troops to be sitting ducks, picked off by all sides of these conflicts?
Which confirmed to me that Mr. Obama is smarter than most leaders of his own party and the opposition party. Which makes sense, otherwise he would not be speaking to them from the other side of the television cameras and microphones.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum