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Foreign Policy

Ignore the Middle East At Our Peril, Mr. President

It’s crazy season in the United States.  With the Republican National Convention and Labor Day just around the corner, things are headed for the stretch run to November.  Americans are justifiably focused on the economy and getting America back on track.  But others in the world, including those who don’t like us very much, are also very much aware of this fact.  We should be making more demands of the President to show leadership on what is going on in the Middle East.  Iran is up to no good, and our President’s primary responsibility is to keep us safe.

Everyone who watches the news is acutely aware of the 18 month long battle in Syria.  The government of Bashar Assad is going to great lengths, including the use of the Syrian military against its own citizens, to maintain its grip on power in the country.  As if this was not cause enough for concern, recent actions by the Iranians should have increased that sense of urgency.

The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, visited Iran and accompanied President Assad in his first appearance on state TV for some time.  Both vowed to defeat the rebels and their backers.  Iran also clearly indicated its support for the Assad regime in an effort to quell fears that Iran would not support its neighbor.  The veiled suggestion – which became less veiled more recently – was that the insurgents are seen as being pushed and supported by the West and that this uprising is an attempt by the United States to attack the muslim world.

So what is Iran up to?  The answer is, in part at least, simple for those willing to see it.

Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons.  The nuclear umbrella that this would provide gives it much more power and provides cover to it and its allies in the region.  If Iran is permitted to develop nuclear weapons, and perhaps more importantly, develop the ability to strike targets in Europe or the United States, it has created a possible deterrent threat to any action opposing its interests through the threeat of a nuclear strike.  Its primary interest being the destruction of Israel.

If confirmation was needed for this fact, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently gave a speech in which he called Israel a cancerous tumor that would soon be eradicated.  Further comments from those in the Iranian government show that they consider themselves in the forefront on opposing the existence of Israel.  Much like large portions of the political leadership in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, the Jews are being blamed for much of the world’s ills my a madman who has no real sense of reality.

This leads to the final point.  Distraction is a key element of Iran’s plan.  The more time they can buy by having America, and its easily distracted Commander-In-Chief, paying attention to other things, the more time they have to develop their nuclear arsenal.   Syria is a present distraction.  The presidential election is another one.  Being President is hard though, and President Obama has an obligation to not be distracted from this most perilous of dangers.

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About Josh Quinter

I am a politcally active private practice attorney in Suburban Philadelphia.

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