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Middle East Explodes

Posted on Sunday, October 8, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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38 Comments
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The war between Hamas and Israel is serious, but needs to be put in context. It is dangerous, could escalate, has cost innocent lives, involves resurgent terrorism, and is a surrogate for war with Iran, which underwrites Hamas, which attacked Israel, and has put innocent Israelis and Palestinians in harm’s way.

The war is also a possible inflection point, highlighting how terrorists and their supporters think. Weakness is an opportunity; aggression follows appeasement. The opposite of peace through strength, preparation, readiness, and clarity, is war through weakness, indifference, distraction, miscalculation.

The Middle East is a tinderbox, centuries-old sectarian, religious, and existential conflicts, compounded by blood vendettas.  In that part of the world, periodically bathed in uneasy peace, polarization is in its 400th generation. The idea of a permanent peace, stability as the norm, seems to near fantasy to many.

So, why is this sudden turn for the worse, a kinetic clash between Hamas and Israel, one that has already taken hundreds of lives, an inflection point? Here are the core reasons.

First, it should wake us up to reality: The surge of Hamas violence, Iran turning up terror, comes days after Joe Biden gave Iran $6,000,000,000 for five American hostages, an act that violates geopolitical common sense, decades-old US policy, and US law forbidding negotiation with terrorists for hostages.

What does that tell us? This senseless act convinced Iran the US has no spine, meaning no principle. Just as Biden pocketed millions in foreign money by selling his office, anti-terror laws now have no weight.

What Iran saw – and the whole world saw – was weakness. Appeasement is Biden’s strategy, which really means rolling over, feeding the beast from fear, hoping it eats you last, to paraphrase Churchill.

That single act opened the door to elevated regional and global terror, while raising the price on Americans abroad, punching up the risk of state and private kidnappings of Americans for ransom. It also encouraged Iran – and all terror groups they sponsor – to think America has no will to contain them.

Of course, worst of all, Biden’s payout or appeasement gambit gave Iran six billion dollars to finalize nuclear weapons and a delivery system, something Trump’s sanctions made hard. The nuclear push got easier after Iran kicked out the inspectors, days after Biden’s senseless payout.

So, first and foremost, this war can be laid at Biden’s feet, and his feckless State Department, the same one that yanked us out of Afghanistan. While US allies in the Middle East have hoped, worked, and made progress toward peace, Biden dropped a rock on the glass table, shattered the whole thing, gains lost.

Second, this conflict signals a wider concern, the encouragement, empowerment, or re-empowerment of terrorist groups globally, from Afghanistan to this hemisphere. Terrorism is contagious. This means US forces globally will have to be on elevated alert, as will Americans and allies globally.

At a time when US weapons and material inventories have been drained for the Ukraine conflict, when the US strategic petroleum reserve was drained for political purposes, and when we have a potential two-front war to worry about in Europe and China, we now have a third front – the Middle East. If you add elevated protection of the Homeland, a fourth has just re-opened.

All this was unnecessary, the folly of a foreign policy that misunderstands history, thinks our time is fundamentally different, mis-prioritizes threats, misses the linkage between one act and the globe.

Closer to the action, this war leaves innocent Israelis and Palestinians in a state of shock, fear, and elevated peril, while raising the likelihood of escalation, hot wars in other regional hotspots.

What the world did not need right now is another war, source of bad news, tinderbox gone hot, which could have been avoided.

If there is any hope to be found in this sudden chaos, it may be that Western leaders, perhaps even China, see new value in cooperating to tamp down Middle East tensions, restarting the bilateral peace process Trump began, and eventually bringing a higher degree of peace to Israel and the Palestinians.

I can hear the sighs now, and commiserate. Hunting for a silver lining in a hurricane, with no sun, seems Pollyannish. Perhaps. But the redeeming feature of making a mistake is the lesson, relearning the lesson. Appeasement never works, never has and never will. Leadership – plain and simple – really matters.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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PaulE
PaulE
6 months ago

RBC,
We both knew deep down that it was only a matter of time after Team Biden handed over another $6,000,000,000 that Iran would green light another major terrorist effort in the Middle East. Let us not forget that Team Biden is still hot to get the terrible Iran Nuclear deal up and running again to salvage the one lone foreign policy “win” Obama had for his two terms in office and that Blinken and company are dangling billions more for Iranian Mullahs as a deal sweetener.

No doubt Iran had been working with both Hamas and the other PLO factions on this operation since Biden was sworn into office. So, it was just a matter of timing as to when to strike. It’s what Iran does over and over again when a Democrat sits in the White House. Iran had a field day when Obama was in office and Biden is being directed to run the same failed foreign policy strategy in his term. So, with the Democrats and Biden’s long history of appeasement and weak leadership, I guess the Mullahs figured now was as good a time as any to launch another major terrorist front in the Middle East.

Listening to Biden’s initial response yesterday just confirmed neither he nor anyone in this current administration has any plan or strategy on how to deal with this latest foreign policy fiasco by this administration. Sure, his aids rushed out to try and clean up the latest mess created on aisle 9 but the message was already out there, and the impression of a weak and incompetent United States administration was reinforced yet again for the entire world to see. There is a reason why China has been making so many steady inroads in the Middle East over the last 2 1/2 years and they all fall squarely on the foolish decisions emanating from the current White House.

The one thing the American people need to remember is Biden and company still have over a year to create any number of new and terrible crisis events anywhere in the world or right here at home. Don’t forget all the people on the terrorist watch lists that have been coming through our wide-open southern border for the last 2 1/2 years under this administration. That’s another shoe that is going to drop at some point.

Gene
Gene
6 months ago

With 4 fronts:
1. Ukraine – Russia
2. Gaza – Israeli
3. Illegals via Mexico
4. Tiwain – China
The world is poisted for a major worldwide WAR‼️
The only way to help prevent it is to elect a conservative government in the US, which dumps this Climate Change BS, incorporates SANTITY back into government decisions.
Vote straight ticket republican in 2024. ????

Kathie
Kathie
6 months ago

I stand with Israel…Come up against Israel and you coming up against God, and no man has the power to win against God!!!!

RBC
RBC
6 months ago

My friend, while all i pen is true, there is also truth in some of what you say. To your point, Hamas does hate Israel, and while Biden’s appeasement green-lighted Iran’s new pitch to amp up terror, including Hamas attacking Israel, you are of course correct: This has even more to do with realities in the ground. Having spent many years traveling to Israel, but also time in Jordan, Saudi, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, even Iraq and Afghanistan, you are entirely right that this all has more to do with realities there than here. Still, we play a central role, and many in the region take their own direction by assessing our preparedness, will, and convictions, as well as our interest in assuring greater peace. If you, per chance adopted the Reagan pen name with sincere reflection that good man’s redeeming role in history – not to mock him and good men who rise to the challenges of their time – then you also appreciate that life is complicated, and hard to summarize. Yes, Hamas hates Israel, but think with me: They also administer the Gaza strip, and receive roughly 100 m from Iran annually (with Hezbollah), not to mention 400 m from Biden/Blinken’s USAID. If one pulls the string, the resources for this Hamas attack are traceable to Iran, if not also directly to Biden. By feeding Iran 6 billion, we not only signaled weakness on terrorism, but Biden gave them big money to finance more of it. Ps – I will add that this was also a major intelligence failing, but that is for another day. Be well, RR.

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

Treasonous Secretary of State Blinken says that WE, America needs to stay out of this attack on Israel. This TRAITOR needs to STEP DOWN and RESIGN HIS OFFICE IMMEDIATELY! American Citizens have been killed and some taken prisoner! Turkey has WARNED America to stay out! Who the Hell are these Muslims of Turkey telling us not to get involved when American Citizens have been murdered? AMERICA NEEDS TO TELL TURKEY TO MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS UNLESS THEY WANT TO CEASE THEIR EXISTENCE AS A COUNTRY!

Though I don’t expect our Jackass Presidential Imposter to do anything but talk! . . . TALK IS CHEAP, JACKASS JOEBAMA!!!

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
6 months ago

Israel should warn civilians then totally RAZE every building in the Gaza Strip. Let the “loving” Arab nations take in the 2 million people who would no longer have homes!!

J. FARLEY
J. FARLEY
6 months ago

This is all Idiot joe Bidens fault, in fact it goes all the way back to the second worst president we have ever had Obama out of the last 15 years we have had only 4 years of a descent President in Donald Trump.
13 months from now if people haven’t woken up and replaced the president and the democrats in congress, we are a done nation, only a faded memory of our once great nation!
God Bless America – Long Live Freedom!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

They’re still countingbthe dead, hundreds held hostage as well, and on the verge of a war in the Middle East possibly involving the US-Iran, and all you STILL do is defend Biden and bash Trump? Gee. Who’s the REAL “cultists” here? Biden is POTUS, not Trump. It didn’t happen under Trump but it DID under Biden. Own it. Your “God” is very fallible.

Garyk
Garyk
6 months ago

The marxist democrat party, biden,obama, are all weak anti American traitors!
They caused this death,destruction and terrorist attack on innocent life with their self serving greed!
The barbaric attack on women and children is not perpetrated by anything other than animals.
You cannot reason or work with this type of hateful humans.
They only understand strength.
The responses of whitmer, talib,aoc,and omar show exactly what they’re about.
Hatred, greed and power is what they worship!

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

Punkydoodle, the Trump and AMERICA HATER! The ONLY WAY Trump would Lose to Jackass Joebama is to CHEAT and STEAL THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TOO! This Jackass CAN’T ADMIT that AMERICA WAS MUCH SAFER and MUCH BETTER OFF UNDER TRUMP THAN NOW UNDER JACKASS JOEBAMA! He is REALLY IDIOTIC and HIS COMMENTS ALWAYS LACK FACTS OR SUBSTANCE!

Tom
Tom
6 months ago

If Hamas, Hezboallah and similar terrorists are alive, innocent lives are in danger, represented by the evil islamofascists are…

Jack
Jack
6 months ago

The stupid payout is more the result of zero representation more than anything else, i.e. men and women who have ignored their oath of office. It’s all about their political careers, never about anyone else. If there was ever a doubt about American politicians giving a damn about anything other than their financial status and legacy, there shouldn’t be now. This has been coming for years and NONE of those idiots had the forsight to see it or act on it. Bidens, obamas, clintons, pelosis. . .all hopelessly, criminally insane people. What used to be America won’t be AT ALL recognizable in a few years. Plan accordingly.

John Bass
John Bass
6 months ago

Leadership matters…so true, too bad we don’t have any real leaders in Washington anymore.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
6 months ago

Hamas achieved assult by:
Old school:
Messengers
Couriers
F2F
Or Intel would see signals etc

Letts Brandon
Letts Brandon
6 months ago

We may find out the extent of Iran’s nuclear program when they test one on the USS GERALD R FORD.

anna hubert
anna hubert
6 months ago

Hamas is a terrorist criminal organization. Unless it’s declared so it will remain so They will be “willing” to a “peace ” talks as long as their demands are met They’ve held the world by the neck and the balls so long they are used to it and do not expect any opposition They’ve got the taste of the power and will not let go unless there is someone just as ruthless who will not hesitate to obliterate them

Rhonda
Rhonda
6 months ago

Chaos in the world. The globalists must be very happy.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

“Never Forget” is more than a catchy slogan; it seems both Israeli and US intelligence became complacent. After so many years of relative peace, they forgot. Israel is surrounded by enemies and must act as such at all times. It’s too soon for me to blame Biden/Blinken incompetence (although giving America’s sworn enemy $6B doesn’t hurt the case!) until I “wait and see” if the press actually does their jobs this time!

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