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The latest Wikileaks document dump has revealed many things, but few are more daunting than the Obama administration’s determination to cling to assumptions about worldwide terror and its perpetrators, as opposed to dealing with the reality of what’s actually occurring. In fairness to Mr. Obama, some of these assumptions long pre-date his term in office. For example, it is no secret that several previous administrations have been involved in a Palestinian-Israeli “peace process” that has resulted abundance of process and precious little in the way of peace. Yet this current release reveals that Mr. Obama is either incredibly naive, or, more likely, the victim of one of the oldest self-inflicted political “diseases” in existence: the triumph of ideology over reality.
Underscoring this view of the president is his reaction to the Wikileaks fiasco itself. “While I was concerned the exposure of sensitive information from the battlefield that can endanger people and operations, the fact is that these documents do not reveal any interest not yet been exposed during a public debate about the war in Afghanistan,” said president Obama–back in July, before the current trove of documents was made public.
With regard to this latest release, the president has been conspicuously silent regarding the new documents. Perhaps he thought Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s assertion that “this disclosure is not just an attack on America, it’s an attack on the international community” was sufficient. Or perhaps, as former U.N Ambassador John Bolton asserts, “this sustained, collective inaction exemplifies the Obama administration’s all-too-common attitude towards threats to America’s international interests. The president, unlike the long line of his predecessors since Franklin Roosevelt, simply does not put national security at the centre of his political priorities.”
What do the documents reveal? First and foremost, might be the idea that the definition of word “ally” has been stretched to its breaking point. A classified memo written by Hillary Clinton revealed that with respect to our “ally” Saudi Arabia, terrorist donors in that country ”constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” That would be the same Saudi Arabia, which according to testimony by Undersecretary of the Treasury for Financial and Terrorism Intelligence, Stuart Levey on October 6, 2009 before Senate Banking Committee, is sending terrorist funding “to Iraq, to South-East Asia and to any other place where there are terrorists…”
It is also the same Saudi Arabia with whom this administration is currently negotiating a $60 billion arms sale.
Our other major “ally” in the Middle East? Pakistan. Yet the nation which harbors the likely command-and-control center of al Qaeda in its North Waziristan region is reportedly unmoved, as the cables reveal, by the United States’ “deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.” This ever-increasing nuclear stockpile could be obtained by terrorists taking advantage of what the cables characterized as an “increasingly unstable” country. In an interview with the BBC, Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, claimed that such weapons ”are the dearest assets that we have and we’ll not allow anything to fall into any adventurer’s hands.” In October, president Obama approved another $7.5 billion dollars in aid to Paksitan, tripling the previous level. It also committed itself to an additional five years of aid which co-author of the bill, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), claimed would ”build a relationship with the people to show that what we want is a relationship that meets their interests and needs.”
Perhaps Mr. Kerry should be more concerned with a relationship that meets our interests and needs.
Another prominent assumption which takes a hit is the Obama administration’s continuing determination to pin the hopes of undermining the advance of Islamic terror on securing a “two-state solution” between the Israelis and the Palestinians. To be fair, such an assumption has been around far longer than Mr. Obama’s term in office. Several previous administrations have bought into the idea that the “peace process” is an all-purpose panacea for defusing terrorist ambitions.
Yet the ongoing friction between the Israelis and the Palestinians can hardly explain the proliferation of terrorist groups far beyond the scope of the Middle East. As Yoram Ettinger reveals in a column for Ynetnews.com, the Wikileak documents reveal that “Muslim terrorists operate along the joint border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, as well as in San Paulo, Foz do Iguacu and Parana, Brazil. Independent of Israel’s policies and existence, the Lashkar-E-Taiba, Jaish-E-Mohammed and other Islamic terrorist organizations –operating with the backing of Pakistan–target India. Moreover, Lashkar-E-Taiba expands its presence in Pakistan–where it collaborates with the Inter Services Intelligence–Sri Lanka and Nepal in order to intensify terrorism in India.”
One would be hard-pressed to conclude that such organizations would turn their jihadist swords into plowshares if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were resolved.
Such a naive assumption is underscored by perhaps the most important revelation of the Wikileaks release: the Arabian Peninsula’s contempt and fear of Israel apparently pales in comparison to that which is engendered by the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran. Leaders there, notably Saudi King Abdullah and King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain, have privately begged the Untied State to take military action against the nation they consider the primary threat to their well-being. London-based Arabic newspaper, Elaph, highlighted the concerns of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE, much of which centers around Iranian attempts to penetrate their security and intelligence agencies, as well as their ongoing suspicion as to the true nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Yet at a recently concluded summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Abu Dhabi, the public facade was re-erected: the closing statement of the meeting “reiterated Arab support for Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program.”
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