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Tuesday
Mar012011

The Tale of Three Presidents: the Playboy, the Cowboy, and the Wonder Boy

Most social scientists would agree that world events do not happen in a vacuum. Political forces, whether they are accidental or deliberate, in succession or a single action, give rise to political and social movements.

After the fall of the Shah of Iran, Islamic expansionists began looking for ways and means by which to accomplish their religious dreams. Empowered by “divine mandate” and fueled with lots of oil, they believed the world must be dominated by Islam and the Sharia. Yet, in order to claim victory, they had to overcome their greatest obstacle: the power of the United States.

A common belief among these extremists was that American power is more perceived than real, and in the 1990s they began to test their theory. It did not take long to realize that President Bill Clinton’s “interests” would distract him from acts of international terrorism. To the extremists, he was simply a 60’s generation man who clearly wanted “love, not war.” Thus, a series of tests began. Embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, and Tanzania were bombed. The response of the “Playboy President” confirmed their suspicions.  Clinton issued many verbal threats but nothing happened.

Then the tests became more daring. The Bombing of the USS Cole was designed to reveal the vulnerability of the U.S. military. The response from the White House was from the same chapter, same verse, “the perpetrators of these heinous acts must be brought to justice.” And again, nothing happened.  But what was really telling to these Jihadists  was that, if Clinton’s plan to deflect the scandal of Monica Lewinski meant throwing a million-dollar bomb on a ten-dollar tent in Afghanistan and bombing an aspirin factory in the Sudan, they were free and clear to plan, plot, and scheme for bigger things.

 Make no mistake about it: all of the long-term planning and maneuvering that led to September 11th was going on during the Playboy President’s watch. But these Islamists misread the domestic focus of the incoming “Cowboy President” as weakness. All in all, the final exam took place on the Cowboy President’s watch. Did they really know that he would respond with such force in Afghanistan? I highly doubt it. They had become accustomed to verbal threats without action. They assumed that the Texas governor promoting education and a couple of other issues would not be willing to decimate their centers of power. As they say “Give the devil his due”, he disrupted their hornets’ nest and kept America safe for the remainder of his presidency.

All the while, the Islamic groups pressed their wealthy Muslim brothers to use their investments in the west for Jihadi purposes. They pressed them to strategically use their billions of dollars invested in Europe and Britain with strings attached. What were these strings? Demand from European governments for more mosques, more acceptance of Sharia law, more Islamic districts, more visible Islamic symbols (including Islamic banking principles and openness to immigrants from Islamic countries). Clearly, this strategy worked and now the Muslim expansionists were smelling the air of success for the first time. 

When our Cowboy President hit Afghanistan, many Muslim countries objected, but not as strongly as when Bush’s neo-conservative team naively thought that  they could remove Saddam Hussein from Iraq and create an “exhibit A” of Islamic democracy. Bush and his team totally miscalculated the complication of that place. They also failed to understand the very deep desire of the Shiites in Iraq to unite with their brethren in Iran. They did not realize that democracy and Islam cannot coexist. Islamic theocracy and western democracy are natural enemies. Allah rules through his prophet and his successors.  The people do not empower their political leaders as in a western democracy.

Bush’s team also failed to understand that the Butcher of Bagdad was holding the balance of power between the Shiites’ desire for domination and the Sunni Muslims’ revulsion toward the Shiite’s design. They also wrongly believed that pro-western authoritarian regimes such as Hosni Mubarak’s of Egypt could survive being lectured to publicly by American officials. Of course I am referring to the speech given by Condoleezza Rice at Cairo University in 2005.

 Finally, Bush’s neo-con team did not understand that there is an Islamic principle which calls for an agreement with your enemy until you get the upper hand. Then you renege on your agreement. And that is why the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt welcomed the Cowboy President calling for democracy, knowing full well that, like Hamas, Hezbollah, and even Iran in 1978, once they are elected to power, they will discard democracy like a used paper napkin.

And now we come to the current reign of the “Wonder Boy” President. This young man who has no tangible achievements that have not been handed to him, swept into power with a teleprompter and a desire to be liked. Wanting to be adored by the masses is a very dangerous characteristic in any leader, let alone the leader of the free world. Such leadership often waits to see which way the wind is blowing and then jumps on the bandwagon. That would explain the seemingly conflicting statements that came from the Obama administration during the recent Egyptian youth uprising.

But let’s step back for a moment. During Obama’s 2008 campaign, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, in a speech in France, tried to open a window into Obama’s soul, exposing his lukwarmeness toward Israel and his love for Islamic revolutionaries. As soon as these comments leaked into American media, the Obama campaign operatives clobbered Rev. Jackson making it clear that he “has nothing to do with us or our campaign. “ This was immediately followed by a hastily arranged visit to Israel by candidate Obama which was never repeated as President, despite the fact that he went to the region at least four times.

To make things worse, Muslim expansionists not only took comfort from President Obama’s 2009 speech in Turkey during which he declared that America is no longer a Christian country, but also from his Cairo speech in which he gave all the possible signals that if the Islamic revolutionaries would rise up, he would hold hands with them and sing Kumbaya.

This unmistakable signal to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was followed by both well-publicized and secret meetings between the American ambassador in Cairo and the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. There can be no doubt: the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical, global-dominating, Sharia-implementing, Jihad-oriented, Israel-hating group. I think if I were Hosni Mubarak, I would have known right after Obama’s speech in Cairo, and all of the signals that he gave to the Muslim Brotherhood, that my goose was cooked.

The tragedy is that each of these three Presidents contributed to the rise of Islamic expansionism and to the total failure of Diplomacy 101. That all-important work of diplomacy should have taken place behind the scenes, in back rooms, forcefully but quietly.

In many ways, when history is written we will discover that the Playboy set the stage, the Cowboy danced on it, and the Wonder Boy brought it all down.