Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Obama, the Middle East, and Israel, Part One

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: I always separate Israel from the Middle East in discussions, as the Arab world is completely different from the lone democracy in that region.)
An interesting discussion erupted on Twitter recently, prompting this latest post. The topic was the Middle East and, as one tweeter put it, everyone has a theory. The difficulty is finding a theorist who has a credible one and who can support that theory with factual information. Over the course of this and my previous blog I have addressed the Obama administration's policies and its nefarious intentions. Information came to me recently that has me deeply disturbed. I have stayed up at night mulling over everything I know to date, and have shed many tears. In this posting I am going to attempt to outline my concerns in a way every reader can follow, incorporating my previous writings in hopes of helping people to see the picture I do.
It is difficult to articulate everything that is on my mind because I have so many areas of study. As a result, in brief conversations (whether verbal or on social media) it is easy for someone to think I am off on a particular tangent when in fact I have several things going on simultaneously. I hope to clarify some of that here.
First, a little background. I started reading about the intelligence community when I was a teenager. I thought it was romantically intriguing, and fantasized about becoming a CIA agent. Looking back, I am glad I did not; while I am a loner it is still an extremely lonely, draining life. As I got older, I developed a fascination with Mossad. Their professionalism was awe-inspiring. But since I was a child of the Cold War era, the one group I never wanted to learn about was the KGB. Until recently.
Over the years, I made many mistakes (and will continue to do so, although hopefully not as often). One of the biggest mistakes I made was taking incidents in the world one-by-one. By that I mean I would hear of a bombing in Beirut, become angry, watch to see what happened, and then move on. Then I would hear of the next bombing, become angry, watch to see what happened, and then move on. And the next. And so on. I never thought of the world as being a jigsaw puzzle. I just looked at one piece until I was done with it, and then put it away. No intelligence officer would ever do such a thing, but I never had any professional training so I did not know any better. Until recently.
All of that changed on 9/11. As I began to emerge from the fog, I realized I had missed all of the warning signs, and they were legion. I looked back at news reports I had dismissed. (Burkas, Buddha statues; I mean, who cares? It's the Middle East. They are barbarians. What else do you expect?) Although I knew the first plane was no accident, when the second plane hit I began trying to figure out who was attacking us and the only thing I knew for certain was it was not the Japanese this time. (Go ahead and laugh.) When Jon Scott, within 50 seconds, mentioned Osama bin Laden, I thought "You mean the guy sitting on rocks making idiotic videos about taking down the 'Great Satan'? That guy? The one living in a cave? HIM?!" I had dismissed all of it. Fatal error, literally.
Meanwhile, Bush attempted to deal with the new "War on Terror", but almost immediately I saw things that horrified me such as people in Arab garb in the Oval Office. The most ridiculous, though, was the new Department of Homeland Security. They put up a neat little color-coded chart, which Tom Ridge trotted out proudly, and the next thing I knew we were being inundated with terror alerts. "FBI warns terrorists might target bridges." "FBI warns terrorists might target nuclear plants." "FBI warns terrorists might target water reservoirs." "FBI warns terrorists might pack motel rooms with explosives." I thought, what are we doing? What do you expect us to do? Call Homeland Security every time we see an Arab near a bridge? Maybe we should all hide under our beds! But no, we cannot do that because the apartment below us might be packed with explosives!
It was clear to me we had no idea what we were doing, and one day I got a hare-brained idea. I thought, "You know, if we want to know how to deal with terrorism, we might want to go to the people who deal with it every day. Israel!" Alas, I did not have the phone number to the Director of Mossad, so I decided to begin studying. In my next installment I will discuss what I have learned over the past fourteen years so I can explain my take on the current world picture.

Thanksgiving: A Lesson in Gratitude

I found myself becoming irritated yesterday as I watched people I know on social media talking about the various plans they had for today. ...