By Dr. Guy Bechor
Only about two years ago, US Secretary of State John Kerry was convinced that he had found the Archimedean point, which if he would hold onto, he would be able to solve all the problems of the Middle East – Israel.
This was also the perception of President Barack Obama and his Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel: A solution in Israel would allow stability in all of the Middle East.
This delusional perception is a continuation of the decades-long approach that Israel is the root of all problems in the Middle East, a sort of almost anti-Semitic approach. Our conflict has been so inflated by politicians and “academics”, that over the years many have fallen into the trap of thinking that we really are the problem.
Now that same Kerry is trying to build a “coalition” to fight Isis, and he didn’t even bother to come to Israel, because what good can Israel do? Are we Sunnis or Shiites? Or maybe we are part of the conflict of Arab nationalism against radical Islam?
Indeed, he was very late in understanding that not only are we not an Archimedean point with which the problems of the Middle East can be solved, but that we have a very weak connection to these problems. Only now, the Americans have realized that our conflict is at the margins of the margins of the real problems in the region.
But in the meantime, two years have passed. While Kerry wasted at least 13 journeys here, which showed just how wrong the Americans were in understanding the Middle East, Syria became a den of jihadist murderers, Iraq fell apart and ISIS grew stronger, along with the Islamic defiance to forcibly establish an Islamic caliphate aspiring to reach Western Europe and the United States as well.
Kerry should have dedicated this time to the real problems, not to the imaginary problems, and everyone in the Middle East followed this waste of time and drew their own conclusions.
More articles of Dr. Guy Bechor
There is no wonder that the coalition the Americans are now recruiting is agreeing to take shape only through words. Washington’s inability to understand the Middle East is still deterring, because for the local elements, misunderstanding means an existential danger. The Obama regime’s misunderstanding is keeping every potential partner away from this coalition, as it is afraid that it will also be betrayed and abandoned by the Americans, as usual.
The Muslim sides in the Middle East want the United States to fight ISIS, and the US wants the local Muslim groups to fight this organization. Between all these, a real coalition is impossible and remains on the level of rhetoric.
What’s irritating is that in the meantime, ISIS has not wasted any time and is now building a coalition based on passive armistice agreements, while Obama and Kerry’s coalition is supposed to be based on active warfare, which no one is interested in, including the Americans themselves.
The ISIS coalition already includes Turkey, through which military equipment and thousands of fighters are flocking to the organization (ISIS already has 31,000 fighters, and they all arrived through Turkey), and it is even buying cheap oil from ISIS which is flowing to the country through pipes in Iraq and Syria. There is no point in establishing a global coalition against ISIS as long as Turkey supports this organization and ensures that it prospers.
The coalition includes some of the moderate rebels in Syria, and even Syrian President Bashar Assad is a quiet partner of ISIS, with an agreement not to fight each other.
It’s such a shame that the US wasted so much time and effort on marginal things of secondary importance instead of immediately dealing with the main and key issues. Now it’s already too late.