President Obama has been taken to task by two Middle East experts writing in the Wall Street Journal for keeping our Mideast allies in doubt to the point that they are sending their own troops in to combat ISIS, the psychopathic gang that calls itself an army of God.
To these experts, David Schenker and Gilad Wenig of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,the U.S.’ lack of commitment was something to complain about. It’s surprising to us that the Republicans share this complaint.
They should be cheering on Obama.
If our president is thinking, “Maybe it’s working,” we share his hope.
Whether from indecision or by design, we should cheer the U.S.’ hesitation to commit troops and weapons and insist that our Mideast allies fight their own war instead of expecting us to wade in first.
Instead of U.S. troops doing all the dirty work, even rich, sleek Saudi Arabia is arming its jets and sending soldiers out with weapons to defend its own soil.
It’s time our Mideast allies committed the level of resources to defending themselves that the U.S. has dedicated to defending their homelands.
Not that we can’t or won’t step in if needed. Since Sept. 11, 2001, this has been our war, too, insofar as it helps us keep our own people safe. In the Middle East, however, the war is at their doorstep, and it’s their turn now to commit all resources to the struggle, instead of depending on Uncle Sam’s personnel and material to take the brunt of the fighting.
President Obama is right to hesitate. After all, we should place some priority on getting our own people back to work again, and we have to stay on our guard as Vladimir Putin tries at our expense to restore Russia’s position as the creaky, dysfunctional but ruthless world power it was under the Communists.
Besides, taking a side in a war in which both sides think the U.S. is at best a pack of decadent infidels or at worst, the Great Satan, won’t win us any new long-term friends in that part of the world, anyway.
Al-Qaida took root in Saudi Arabia, which officially has been our friend and ally for decades. It’s likely, however, that some of the trillions of dollars that gas-guzzling Americans have spent on Saudi oil has gone to a movement bent on our destruction.
The Saudis owe it to us to defend their own territory to the best of their ability this time, before they crook their finger and expect the U.S. to come running.
The time may come, and quite soon, that the U.S. will have to commit to “boots on the ground” to stave off the mysteriously well-sourced ISIS, but we are wise to wait until our involvement is the last resort.