OP-ED: What Should Have Happened in the Middle East

By Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick

          No one  can doubt the savagery of the so called ISIS or ISIL anymore than doubt the savagery of the Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad whose government has been responsible for the deaths of more than 250,000 men, women and children, citizens of their own country, and the exiling of close to two million to unknown lives in unknown destinations.


To be sure, televised beheadings of prisoners are well beyond the imaginations of even the least civilized people anywhere.  However, they seemed to have evoked greater fear and trembling than the massive civilian casualties of the Syrian on going  rebellion that had yet to draw the United States into formal combat mode, despite all sorts of warnings that were never followed through.

          Just as sure, we hardly needed evoking of the 9/11 tragedies to remind us that terrorists can do their worst at almost any time, one of the seeming rationales for going to what sounds like war against ISIS just a few weeks ahead of primary elections and not all that much earlier than the formal elections in November.

Keep that timing factor clearly in mind.


Important also to keep clearly in mind  is the sudden virtual love affair between the Obama administration and the non-democracies of the Arab world  in which our Secretary of State has functioned as the matchmaker, running hat in hand to negotiate something called a “coalition”.  


Absent from all of this recruiting campaign has been any revelation to American taxpayers of what deals had to be  made to get these folks suddenly into combat mode.  After all, several times in the fairly recent past, when dangers of far lesser threats emerged, these same nations happily called upon, or at least readily received American rescue.  So it would be reasonable for Americans to know what ticked the involvement this time.


So what might the President and his advisers done this time around?


For one thing, it would have been useful had we demanded the Saudis put to work some of the more than $200 billion war toys they bought just from the United States a couple of years back and unite with the same Arab nations said to be our partners now to make their own primary thrust against ISIS with our declared public support if needed.  Instead we have installed ourselves as leaders once again. That would have demonstrated real Islamic leadership instead of another American intrusion.


In the end, Americans are entitled to know these things:

1. What did we trade for coalition recruitment?

2.  What does the sudden diplomatic “love affair” with non-democratic Arab governments really mean?

3.  Is this coalition effort the next step in what seems to be the Obama administration “cold-shouldering” or worse of Israel?

4.  What does success actually look like in this campaign?
Americans are entitled to these answers.


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Honick is president of GMA International Ltd with offices on Bainbridge Island, WA.  He is an international consultant to business and writes on a variety of public affairs issues.

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