No country understands the Middle East like Israel, France, or Britain. One country has deep roots and the other two have an enduring history attending and working with existing countries or tribal systems they helped turn into new civilizations. In some GCC countries, the most powerful top intelligence officers are still British.
Even if France and Britain did not have the best of intentions for the homogeneous populations during an era of indifference we refer to as Colonialism, one should not discount their knowledge of Arabs and Muslims in general.
The US, on the other hand, has a commanding height of “working” with the Middle East only within the constraints of the Cold War. Prominent historians, like Professor Bernard Lewis, of British origins, have had to “educate” many past administrations on the Muslim culture and the Arab minds. His work has not had time to filter through the thick layers of American bureaucracy and the many wrong doubters, but once it does, the US would equal in knowledge its counterpart allies.
Given that knowledge and the ever-worsening landscape in Syria, when it comes to Islamic extremists, Britain must break away from the Obama doctrine of doing nothing to depose Assad expeditiously.
My sense is that Britain is quite perturbed at the notion of helping to re-deck a house it did not need to watch others destroy and its best ally ignore (Afghanistan was quite taxing to them). That reconstructive part, within the framework of a vicious Sectarian war Assad opened its first chapter with precise violence, will be a complicated process because dealing with more rivalries, new claims to lands and power, and new borders will project the most difficult challenges Diplomats and policy makers will ever face. Arabs feuding with each other will make the Palestinian-Israeli feud look like a back alley 8th graders dispute.
Even if Syria does not break apart, the violent ethnic cleansing, unlike Yugoslavia, will be self-sustaining exactly because of our culture and our religion.
Obama selected his team of national security and foreign advisors in his own spitting image. Some boast an ideology due mostly to knowledge they acquired from characters known to be offended by the freedom agenda the US has flourished behind ever since the Founding Fathers saw it in the interests of a nascent nation extracting herself from the jaws of repression. Authoritarianism, to the Obama team, is not such a bad thing whether it is secular like Assad or religious like the Mullahs of Iran.
This is why General Dempsey, Secretary Clinton, and General Petraeus favored a limited conveyor belt of serious weapons to the FSA. With Hagel, Kerry, and Donilon, we have appeasement and admirers of dictators to lead us into an ill-advised foreign policy.
Already, one of the first statements made by the newly appointed Hagel was to confirm that the Syrians opposing Assad are on their own because his Pentagon does not intend to aid them. To people like Hagel and Kerry, the Syrian people is the enemy, not Assad.
It is high time for true leadership in today”™s world. Time for PM Cameron to break away from Obama on Syria. I think every establishment in Washington would be appreciative for a fresh start in foreign policy rather than remain stuck in listening to lectures and lies by those seeking freedom.
If Pelosi broke away from her President during the Bush era, what would her President have to say when allies break away from his disastrous policies?