Humor Magazine

In Which I Dare to Take on 'The Kraut' ... Sort of ...

By Davidduff

Yes, I know my title comes across as wet and feeble but you don't take on 'The Kraut' (Charles Krauthammer, for the British uninitiated) even "sort of" without a certain nervousness.  I mean, the man has knowledge second to none of the currents and eddies of political affairs that swirl around Washington, plus, he has a cool intelligence to assess it all and come to a reasoned assessment.  The one thing I miss following my fall-out with my ex-best friend, 'Rupe', when I ditched his Sky TV, is watching and listening to 'The Kraut' on Fox News.

Even so, whilst I do not disagree with his description of Obama's foreign non-policy, his implication that America should have a very much more active one that would see them leading the fight in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe is, I suggest, with due deference, debatable.  The somewhat half-hearted interventions that Obama has reluctantly undertaken in the Middle East, one thinks of Libya, seem to have left things in a worse condition not better.

And even if, as a US president, you do decide to exert your power in the Middle East, where and how and on whose behalf do you use it?  It seems to me (from the strategic viewpoint of south Somerset - yeeeees, quite!) that the entire Middle East is in a murderous bugger's muddle with nation against nation, sect against sect, tribe against tribe and, moreover, not in neat one-against-one squabbles but more like seven-against-eight here, five-against-three there and you just know that if any particular 'alliance' actually wins, assuming you can tell when you have won, they will instantly fall out with each other.

It's all very well for 'The Kraut' to urge Obama to use American power but where?  On whose behalf?  And how?  It seems to me that the sort of policy one would adopt upon coming across a pub brawl on the street, that is, cross the road and keep your distance, is the only sensible course.  In the Middle East there are, it seems to me, three 'givens'.  First, Israel is a stable democracy imbued with western standards and should be supported against all-comers.  Second, Iran is run by religious nutters who hate the West and they should be foiled as much as is possible short of military action.  Third, the Arab kings, whilst you wouldn't trust them further than you could throw them, nevertheless, offer a sort of stability and should be aided, at a distance, as much as possible.

However, in summary, my view is that America should simply stand back and let the Arabs fight themselves to a standstill - then move in and bribe the winners!

ADDITIONAL:  Sorry, sorry, I should have added that so long as President al-Sisi remains in charge of Egypt we should give him all the help we can.


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