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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Andy Martin: President Barack Obama is an unwelcome guest in the Middle East

Andy Martin, Barack Obama’s original critic and one of America’s leading foreign policy and intelligence analysts, says President Obama may be an “unwelcome guest” in the Middle East this week. Obama has alienated Israelis and Palestinians. Even our closest ally in the region, Jordan, is impatient with Obama’s endless prevarications.


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Obama critic Andy Martin calls President Obama “President/Emperor Ozymandias”

Andy sides with Israeli intelligence chiefs on how to deal with Iran

Andy surveys the Middle East and says Obama is an “unwelcome guest”

Andy speaks highly of Jordan’s King Abdullah, who is an American ally-in-fact and not just in rhetoric

(MANCHESTER, NH) (March 20, 2013) Republican foreign policy expert (see bio below) and corruption-fighter/conservative blogger Andy Martin says Barack Obama’s trip to Israel, Palestine and Jordan may end up reflecting that Obama is an “uninvited guest:”

Four years ago Barack Obama made sweeping statements about the future of the Middle East, Arab nations and the Muslim world. Today he begins his “first trip” to Israel, and moves on to Palestine and Jordan. I suspect that President Obama may end up being an “uninvited guest.” I have good friends and have spent a fair amount of time in Israel, Jordan and Palestine.

[In separate remarks later today I will present my views on the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. But today we deal with Obama’s trip to Israel, and his ongoing stops in Palestine and Jordan.]

Unlike 2009, on his current trip Obama is not making predictions or promises. He claims to be “listening.” Listening tours usually precede a campaign or candidacy, or perhaps even adoption of a policy. Obama is admitting that in the fifth year of his presidency he has no policy in the Middle East. I am indebted to Amir Taheri for the timeline of Obama’s visit (please see link #1 below).

There is a sharp cleavage in Israel – which Americans rarely see in our own media – concerning policy towards Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu favors attacks on Iran. He shows all of the bravado of George W. Bush before 2003, when Bush was laying the foundations for the invasion of Iraq.

The Israeli intelligence community on the other hand has come out strongly against an attack on Iran (please see group link #2). Unsurprisingly, I stand with the intelligence chiefs. They have the better of the argument.

I am not a fan of PM Netanyahu but I respect his intelligence. Netanyahu knows that when Obama says he has “Israel’s back,” Obama’s promises are worthless. The American people are sick of foreign adventures and have no desire to trigger what could become a mini-World War III. It is very unlikely that the United States will ever launch an attack on Iran. Netanyahu knows this.

Adding to the instability there is no personal chemistry between Obama and Netanyahu. In fact, I cannot think of any foreign leader who has personal chemistry with Obama. Obama is cool and remote both to our allies and our enemies.

Columnist Amir Taheri suggests the scheduling of Obama’s trip “is a downgrading of the US relationship with Israel (link #1).”

If Obama is giving the cold shoulder to Israel, will he be welcomed in Palestine? Taheri suggests Obama may also be excoriated during his visit to Palestine. Obama has managed to anger both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

In the past Obama has made extravagant promises to Palestinians. But he has delivered nothing; in fact, he has delivered less than nothing. Palestinians find themselves fighting the US at every United Nations General Assembly. The New York Post predicts Obama may be jeered in Palestine (see group link #3). Rather amazingly, Obama has managed to alienate both Israelis and Palestinians. Could matters get worse for the visiting president?

They could.

Our closest friend in the region, King Abdullah of Jordan, admits that the days of his unbridled monarchy are ending. Abdullah’s “kingdom” is the last vestige of the Hashemite kingdoms that were established by the British after World War I in the 1920’s. (Iraq was another.) In a pessimistic interview Abdullah basically says “a pox on all your houses (see Link #4).”

In the past Abdullah has put his nation squarely behind the United States. The CIA operates its largest station in the region, perhaps even in the world outside the US, in Amman. The US Government has created a sprawling diplomatic and intelligence plantation in Amman – the command and control center of our Middle East operations. So, yes King Abdullah is a true friend and a real ally of the United States. He is a former special forces officer.

But Abdullah also realizes that in the long run the United States cannot save Jordan from the march of history. Abdullah predicts that in the future Jordan will become a constitutional monarchy, a nation state totally unlike Saudi Arabia today, where an absolute monarch reigns and where that absolutism shows few signs of flexibility and respect for the future sweep of history.

Before the 2008 election I used to get cautionary messages from my agents in the Middle East: “don’t criticize Obama, he’s one of us,” they would say. I told them they were mistaken. I knew better. Obama never confuses religion with policies. But after the 2008 election in 2009 Obama began to present himself as an Islamic savior.

In reality, there was a brief moment when Obama could have taken dramatic and drastic action. A substantial American force was still in Iraq and he was a new president. He could have insisted on a continuing US presence in Iraq, and cut the Gordian Knot of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But instead of taking action Obama only made sweeping speeches, and then did nothing, not unlike his way of dealing with his domestic “base.” Obama makes aspirational but vacuous speeches, and then fails to deliver results (as this is being written the Senate has torpedoed Obama’s signature gun control goal, an “assault weapons” ban).

Obama lives like an emperor in the White House. Truly he is a “king” in the same vestigial manner that King Abdullah views his own declining prospects. But Obama may not even achieve the legitimacy of Jordanian King Abdullah. Although the American president is obsessed with his “greatness” and “legacy,” Obama may turn out to have been a king of a different nature: Shelley’s King Ozymandias.

That’s why Obama is likely to be an unwelcome guest in the Middle East this week. The American people may have made a mistake in reelecting Obama; but our lives don’t depend on the outcome of his foreign policy. In a region where our foreign policy really matters, The Middle East, sadly for the United States Obama is just an unwelcome guest today.

[Andy has over forty years of experience in Asia, Southwest Asia and the Middle East; he is regarded overseas as one of America’s most respected independent foreign policy, military and intelligence analysts. He was in Iran and Afghanistan during the hostage crisis in 1979-80, and has regularly returned to Southwest Asia since then. He lived in Iraq in 2003. His analysis of the terrorist threat in Iran during 1979-80, and again in Iraq in 2003, were leading-edge predictions of what Americans faced in the future. Andy first went to Asia in 1967 and has lived in or been in Israel, Jordan, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Viet-Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.]


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LINKS TO THIS STORY (cut and paste the entire link below and not just the underlined portion):

Link #1


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Group Link #3





Link #4





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Andy is a legendary New Hampshire, New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. Andy’s family immigrated to Manchester 100 years ago; today his home overlooks the Merrimack River and he lives around the corner from where he played as a small boy. He has forty-five years of background in radio and television. He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [] and he produced the Internet film "Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” []. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” He comments on New Hampshire, national and international events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience both in the USA and around the world. For more, go to:

Andy has also been a leading corruption fighter in American politics and courts for over forty-five years and he is executive director of the National Anti-Corruption Policy Institute. He is currently sponsoring See also;

He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).


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