The United States is tired of being the policeman of the world, we are told. But when we wonder about the alternative, we are told it is the UN. But the UN does not move without leadership and its decisions can be blocked by Russia or China who apparently have no problem with genocide. NATO does not move without US approval, when Turkey wanted to call on it to intervene, the Obama Administration made it clear that it would not welcome this development. The Arab League has never proven effective in this regard. Moreover, it, too, requires a tacit American approval before endorsing major action.
So, what’s the alternative to US role in this world? Who can fill the void caused by its absence? Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda have done so in Syria. The US seems to object only to Al-Qaeda’s role here, and might end up launching strikes against its positions in the coming months. But Al-Qaeda is actually not the party responsible for the genocide taking place in Syria, and attacking her in the current circumstances will not only fail to stop it, it will send a message to the world’s Sunni community, all one billion of them, that the US is indeed at war with Sunni Islam, and as part of its fight against it, it is even willing to bring Iran (and Hezbollah) from the cold, and to accommodate Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Is this a wise message to send? Are there no security implications here for the US?
Ever since 9/11 the US has embarked on a set of actions and policies that have so far benefitted Iran and her allies. With the current policies adopted by Obama vis-à-vis the conflict in Syria, it is becoming increasingly hard to argue that the US is not at war with Sunni Islam. A more objective assessment might suggest that American leaders’ US perceptions of their country’s global interests might dictate a course of action that will often victimize Sunni communities all over the world, and that, as such, the US is not necessarily at war with Sunni Islam, but from the point of view of the Jihadi international, including such movements as Al-Qaeda, Hizb Al-Tahrir and even the Muslim Brotherhood, this is just semantics, as the results are practically the same. Indeed, US policies towards the region and beyond continue to lend justification, legitimacy and popularity to this particular point-of-view strengthening the hand of its advocates in the ongoing competition to shape the thinking and attitudes of future generations of Sunni Muslims. Liberals, on the other hand, continue to be undermined and often neglected. The US continues to strengthen its enemies and weaken its friends in the name of both messianic ideals and real politick. Both the Left and Right are culpable in this.
So again we are forced to wonder as to the wisdom of such an approach and whether its security implications will not come back to haunt us all one day.