“Smart Power” and the Deadly Consequences of Appeasement


by Michael Dennin

It’s been a banner week for our nation’s enemies. A Black Banner of Jihad Week, to be precise.

Eleven years to the day after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington that left 3000 people dead, Americans were jolted by the news that the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt had been attacked by Islamists and that the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens had been killed, along with security officers Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods and computer expert Sean Smith, when the U.S. consulate was stormed by heavily armed jihadists in Benghazi. On September 13th, the U.S. embassy in Yemen was attacked, followed by similar attacks in Tunisia and Sudan the following day.

To make matters worse, the White House declined a request by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with President Obama while he is at the UN headquarters in New York in late September. At a time when the United States needs to present a united front with Israel and our other allies against the hostile fascist regime in Iran and its nuclear weapons program, Netanyahu’s aides were informed that the president’s schedule “would not permit that”. In other words, the president is too busy and has more important things to do.

One can only wonder what more important things are occupying the president’s schedule than America’s national security?

Is it any wonder Islamists are storming our embassies? Is it any wonder Iran is continuing with its effort to develop nuclear weapons?

For that matter, is it any wonder the Chinese government has become more aggressive in its effort to impose its sovereignty over the entire South China Sea?

All of these developments are a direct product of President Obama’s weakness, just as the attacks on our embassies in Africa in 1998 were a product of President Clinton’s weakness and the attacks on our embassies in 1979 were a product of President Carter’s weakness.

The Obama Administration, like others before it, claims to have been caught off-guard, yet back in October 2010, Israeli analyst Barry Rubin essentially predicted the Arab Spring and the violence we are witnessing today after the publication of a sermon from the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Badi, titled “How Islam Confronts the Oppression and Tyranny [Against the Muslims]”. In his article, Rubin observed:

This is one of those obscure  Middle East events of the utmost significance that is ignored by the Western mass media, especially because they happen in Arabic, not English; by Western governments, because they don’t fit their policies; and by experts, because they don’t mesh with their preconceptions.

This explicit formulation of a revolutionary program makes it a game-changer. It should be read by every Western decisionmaker and have a direct effect on policy because this development may affect people’s lives in every Western country…

…something awaited for decades has happened: the Muslim Brotherhood is ready to move from the era of propaganda and base-building to one of revolutionary action. At least, its hundreds of thousands of followers are being given that signal. Some of them will engage in terrorist violence as individuals or forming splinter groups; others will redouble their efforts to seize control of their countries and turn them into safe areas for terrorists and instruments for war on the West…

U.S. actions of apology, concessions, and withdrawals—whether or not any of the specific steps are useful or desirable—they are interpreted by the Islamists and by many in the Middle East as signs of weakness which should spark further aggression and violence. There are hundreds of examples of this reaction every month…

Indeed, this last factor explains the Brotherhood’s timing. Note that he says nothing about fighting Egypt’s government, which won’t hesitate to throw the Brotherhood leaders into prison and even to torture them. Still, the coming leadership transition in Egypt, with the death or retirement of President Husni Mubarak, seems to offer opportunities. 

The new harder line coincides with the Brotherhood’s announcement that it will run candidates in the November elections, another sign of its confidence and increased militancy. The Brotherhood is not a legal group but the government lets members run in other parties. Its candidates won about 20 percent of the vote in the last elections, especially impressive given the regime’s repressive measures. If the Brotherhood intends to defy Egyptian law now there will be confrontations, mass arrests, and perhaps violence.

Most important of all, however, Badi and many others sense weakness on the part of the West, especially the U.S. leaders, and victory for the Islamists.

The events of the last week represent the spectacular failure of the Obama Administration’s appeasement-oriented “smart power” foreign policy. Despite all of the president’s apologies, despite his peace overtures to the psychopaths in the Middle East who want to kill us, despite his administration’s attempts to convince itself and the world of the politically-correct fantasy that America’s Islamist and jihadist enemies are not Islamists and jihadists because jihad means, in the words of the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, “to purify oneself or one’s community”, despite all the warning signs of the threats that terrorism experts have tried to convey to the Obama administration over the years, we once again find our Islamist and jihadist enemies assaulting our embassies and murdering our diplomatic personnel.

So much for “smart”. So much for “power”. Four Americans are dead and the world is a much more dangerous place. As always – as predicted – these are the deadly consequences of appeasement.

Welcome back to the pre-9/11 world, America.


Posted September 19, 2012 by Candidus in National Security

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