Jewish World Review March 31, 2011 / 25 Adar II, 5771

The West is now an open goal for its enemies

By Melanie Phillips





One of Britain's most respected columnists challenges our leaders and defenders to reconsider reality

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One can only gape in stunned amazement at the extent of the idiocy being displayed by the leaders of America, Britain and Europe over the ‘Arab Spring’ – which should surely be renamed ‘the Arab Boomerang’.

First of all, their declared policy is utterly incoherent. They claim that their aim in Libya is not regime change. Yet bombing Gaddafy’s compound hardly signals their desire that he should stay alive, let alone in power. This week Obama said Gaddafy should leave power. Now he said overthrowing Gaddafy by force would be a mistake. In similar vein, Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague says the UK wants Gaddafy to leave power -- but that’s not regime change, because apparently it’s up to him to decide to do so. Presumably, for both Hague and Obama, if Gaddafy did decide to give up power this would have nothing whatever to do with the fact that they are bombing Libyan forces fighting for him to retain power. And they would also have us believe that the fact that the western air strikes are enabling the Libyan rebels to advance does not mean that the west intends its air strikes to enable the rebels to advance.

One is reminded of Humpty Dumpty, who told Alice in Through the Looking Glass: ‘When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less’. Especially where the restrictive wording of a UN resolution is involved.

And what might the results of this incoherent support for freedom against tyranny be? Well, in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be in pole position to come to power in the elections planned for later this year. And in Libya, either Gaddafy will survive, in which case the begetter of the atrocity against the west over Lockerbie will doubtless be sufficiently enraged against the west to return to anti-western terror; or, should he fall, there seems to be a more than sporting chance that the Islamists he has until now fought off will eventually come out on top.

Now even Britain’s absurd Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has blurted out that the west may have to accept that an Islamist regime may come to power in Libya. Maybe so; maybe not.  Who would be surprised if so, since amongst the ‘rebels’ are thought to be supporters of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. The bottom line, however, is that Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama have absolutely no idea just who it is that they are supporting 'not assisting' in removing Gaddafy from power by force.


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So the utterly brilliant achievement of Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama may be to help bring to power jihadis or others with interests inimical to the west,  in countries in which they had previously had been confined to their box. Instead of being reasonably helpful to us, such states would therefore become intent on doing us harm.

So Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama would have made the world an infinitely more dangerous place and quite likely hugely strengthened the Islamic jihad against their own countries. Some achievement.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people are thought to have died in Syria’s brutal crackdown against unrest there. Yet the humanitarian hearts of Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama do not bleed for them. Indeed, according to Hillary Clinton Congress believes Assad is a ‘reformer’. So much for the Arab 'rebels' against tyranny in Syria. According to Hillary --  and supposedly Congress --  they are rebelling against the 'reformer' Assad. Whch makes those who are rebelling against what is by any measure a vicious and brutal despotism… what, exactly?

So no air strikes to get rid of Bashar Assad. Of course not. The rule of thumb for western ‘progressives’ is that tyrants can stay in office if they are the mortal enemies of freedom, democracy and human rights and are helping the jihad – in which case it is a ‘war crime’ to get rid of them; the only ones they want to get rid of are those who are resisting the jihad.

As a result, moderate Arabs are appalled by western hypocrisy. In two articles in Al Sharq al Awsat its editor Tariq Alhomayed suggested that the U.S. had failed to realize that the demands of the Shi'ite protestors in Bahrain were not democratic, but a manifestation of Iran's threat to Bahrain and the Gulf states.:

‘Amidst America's contradictory comments regarding the events in our region, one particular statement always stands out, namely the call for restraint. Two days ago, the Americans reiterated this same statement in comments on the [GCC's] Peninsula Shield Force's entering Manama, at Bahrain's request.

‘The fact is that the U.S. administration must restrain its statements, because the contradictory statements coming out of Washington have become more than merely perplexing; they are also suspicious. How can the U.S. defense secretary say that Bahrain must enact speedy reforms to put an end to Iranian interference… while the Americans are also issuing statements saying that in Yemen, protests are not the solution, and that there must be dialogue? Why must the Bahrain government to act immediately, while the demonstrators in Yemen must to wait? This is wrong, and it raises both suspicion and doubt.

…This is not to mention that that the U.S. is ignoring what is happening in Iran, where the state oppresses its minorities. [As recently as] yesterday, the Iranian opposition has tried to come out and protest in Tehran, only to be repressed, and its key figures have been arrested. This is a perplexing matter indeed, but it clearly tells us something – that is, that Washington does not have a clear picture of what is going on in the region, and that even if it does, it is too weak to act."


Tumultuous changes are under way in the Arab world. At present, it is unclear what the outcome will be. But at this crucial juncture in history, a time of unparalleled danger not just for individual countries but for western civilisation, the west has not produced one single leader who possesses the insight, statesmanship and moral courage to deal with it.

Instead in Britain we have toytown politicians, tyros who are clearly wholly out of their depth -- and supported by an administrative class that increasingly only knows what it must think rather than how to do so. In France, the ridiculous, strutting Sarkozy was apparently prompted to go to war in Libya by the even more ridiculous and strutting ‘public intellectual’ Bernard-Henri Levy. Say no more. And the US is currently led by a President whose lethal anti-western radicalism has rendered America an impotent giant, whose powerlessness is plain for all the enemies of the west to see.

The West is now an open goal for its enemies.