A Wasted Opportunity To Lead In The Middle East (Investor's Business Daily)

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  • March 4, 2015
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Leadership: The U.S. is cutting intelligence to Israel, denying drones to Jordan, freezing military aid to Egypt and annoying Saudi Arabia. Yet these are the boots on the ground in the war against IS. What a waste.
A dispassionate observer might just ask which side the U.S. is on in the global war on Islamic State terror, given the recent string of decisions coming out of the Obama administration.
• Israel is being denied critical intelligence at a time when Islamic State and a nuclear Iran threaten it from all sides. Relations are so bad there’ve been stories — denied by the U.S. — about U.S. threats to cut military aid and shoot down Israeli aircraft if they attack Iran.
• Jordan has been denied permission to buy drones from San Diego-based General Atomics at a time when the barbarians are getting even closer to its gates and are committing some of the war’s worst atrocities against Jordanians. King Abdullah’s country has also shown a courageous willingness to lead in the war on IS, pulling once-discouraged allies such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain back into the alliance.
• Egypt has been cut off from military aid at a time when Islamic State has declared a second front against Egypt from its west and conducted mass atrocities against Christians there. Egypt shows a willingness to confront Islam on ideological grounds and expose its grab for power. Instead of drawing praise and more aid, it’s been subjected to insane prattle from the U.S. about its human rights record — for outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood, the seedbed of both al-Qaida and Islamic State.
• Relations with Saudi Arabia are at a historic low at a time when the Saudis have knocked the legs out from Iran by raising energy production.
Each of these Mideast countries has shown an impressive willingness to act against Islamic State terrorists and a nuclear Iran. They have confronted them on every front, from the war of ideas to the willingness to expend blood and treasure.
What’s more, they have shown a willingness to work together. King Salman, the new Saudi monarch, has acted quickly to meet with all of these leaders and discuss a common strategy.
Sadly, the U.S. is nowhere in this great emerging alliance that could create real stability in the Middle East. Most of the Obama administration’s energy is spent not on supporting this positive coalition effort, but undercutting Israel and Egypt while coddling Iran.
Once again, it’s a badly squandered opportunity.