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June 2012
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BAD IDEA Obama outreach to Iran act of pure desperation

The suggestion by the Obama administration that the United States might actually ally itself with Iran in an effort to stop Islamic radicals from overrunning Baghdad almost defies belief. The Wall Street Journal got it right when it said the development "smacks mostly of strategic desperation. It is what an administration does when it realizes its policy has failed and the damage to U.S. interests is becoming too obvious to hide from the American public."

Indeed, the president's policy in the Middle East has been a case of all the wrong moves. He tacitly sided with the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and pulled financial support from the Egyptian army, which later, thankfully, intervened in a popular uprising against the Brotherhood, deposed them, and restored order in the region.

He made the bizarre decision to intervene militarily in an uprising against Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, a move that ultimately left Libya in chaos. Weapons supplied to the Libyan rebels by the U.S. and other NATO elements fell into the hands of al-Qaida-linked rebels who later killed the U.S. ambassador in an attack in Benghazi and killed more than 39 foreign hostages in an attack staged from Libya on a BP natural gas facility in Algeria. Libya remains in chaos and is a terror haven in the region.

Obama shrank from providing arms to pro-western rebels in Syria and wilted away from his threat to punish that nation's Iranian-backed leader, Bashar al-Assad, for using chemical weapons against rebels and civilians. The result was a stalemate that made has made Syria a stronghold for ISIS - the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - which has now marched into Iraq seizing major cities. ISIS is presently knocking on the door of the capital, Baghdad, to the terror of the Obama administration.

Obama chose not the leave a U.S. contingency force behind in Iraq, as the U.S. has done successfully to protect democracies in places like South Korea and Japan. Now he is so desperate to stop ISIS that he and Secretary of State John Kerry have opened channels for talks with the font of terrorism worldwide - Iran.

Specifically, says the Wall Street Journal, the administration is contemplating providing air support for Iran's Quds Force, which wants to prop up Shiite Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The WSJ notes it is this same Quds Force that fashioned roadside bombs that killed and maimed hundreds of American soldiers after Saddam Hussein was deposed. It's the same Quds Force that arms Hezbollah and Hamas for attacks on Israel. It is the same Quds Force that plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a Washington D.C. restaurant. And as the WSJ also notes, the State Department has described the Quds Force as "the (Iran) regime's primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad."

While we understand the idea of my enemy's enemy is my friend, this goes too far. The U.S. is fully capable of acting effectively without the assistance of terrorists and despots. It's simply a matter of having the political courage to do so. Obama unfortunately lacks that, which is why Iraq and the president's entire Middle East policy are in tatters.

Hillary Clinton was correct when, in her primary campaign against Obama in 2008, she raised the question of who the nation would want to answer the phone at the White House at 4 in the morning in a crisis. As history is proving, the answer to that is not Barack Obama.

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