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by Mordechai Kedar


Thirty years ago, at the end of 1978 and beginning of 1979, US President Jimmy Carter's blind approach and his obsessive concern for human rights everywhere, and particularly in the Shah-ruled Iran, prompted Khomeini's rise and brought Khomeinism to power. Carter did not permit the Shah to handle the protests against him, that is, to disperse them with gunfire. The result was the ayatollah takeover of Iran and the murder of thousands of Shah supporters. Everything the world suffered, is suffering, and will suffer because of Iran is the direct result of the short-sightedness of an American president who understood nothing in the ways of the Middle East.

The enduring problem of American politicians is that they view the world via their own cultural lenses and think that "if only we engage in dialogue with the others" they will be "like us," "just like everyone else," and "will become nice"; if only we give them jobs and comply with their "just" demands (the right of return, our capital which never had Palestinian significance, unwillingness to recognize our state, etc.) they will go to work in the morning and return in the evening to play with their children and fish.

Obama is currently making the same mistakes Carter did. He naively thinks that through dialogue with the ayatollahs he will achieve what the Europeans have failed to achieve for many years. He refuses to read what many researchers, politicians, and statesmen worldwide write, and refuses to listen to all those concerned by Iran — Arabs, Israelis, and Europeans — who have no doubt that the ayatollahs intend to first take over the Middle East, and later possibly take over the entire world, should they be given the chance.

Only a blind person would not see the manner in which Iran, even before it has turned nuclear, quickly changes the face of the Middle East. Iran's long arms are already tightly grasping Lebanon, Iraq, and Gaza, and are also decisively and powerfully directed at other states such as Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

Only a deaf person would not hear the cries of distress emerging from the Arab world (irrespective of Israel and its concerns,) as its leaders see the Persians, their historically hated rivals, rattling their sabres en route to paying back the Bedouins of the desert, uncultured barbarians in their view, for ruining, in the seventh century, the Persian nation, which was educated, progressive and modern at the time.

Only a blind person would fail to see the preparations undertaken by Iran's Shiite leaders en route to taking their revenge on the Sunnis for 1,350 years of oppression, persecution, and assassinations undertaken by the Sunnis against the Shiite opposition any time and any place they could do it.

Israel's disappearance to make no difference

Obama thinks that if only Israel will be reduced to the size appropriate for it, that is, the 1949 borders (the "Auschwitz borders" in the words of Abba Eban, a peace-loving dove,) the Arab and Muslim world will sit around the bonfire with the Americas and sing. Some members of his team believe that Israel is the source of the problems in the Arab and Islamic world, and that if only peace will prevail between Israel and the Palestinians, the problems of Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Lebanon, the Shiites, the Sunnis, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic Brotherhood will be resolved at once.

I hereby offer Obama and his people very important information: Even if Israel decides to evaporate, disappear, and wipe itself off the map, all the other problems will continue to kill, just as was the case when Israel existed.

Only an American president who decided to engineer the Arab and Islamic world in line with American standards can fall and make others fall into the trap of historical mistakes that Carter and Bush fell into, each in their own time and style. As a result of their errors, thousands of people in the region were massacred, killed, and wounded.

The American president conducts himself vis-à-vis the Arab and Islamic world like a rookie trying to command an armored division. Obama is rushing forwarded on an imaginary horse, and the people of the region can only hope that his terrible mistakes will not cost the lives of additional thousands.

The gravest matter of all is that some Israelis played a significant role in shaping Obama's mistakes, and the blood of their brethren, other Israelis, will be the price we shall pay for the actions of those who sold Obama their imaginations, along with several foolish ideas that undermined our security and our self-confidence.

Lt.-Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups, and the Syrian domestic arena. Dr. Kedar teaches in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University and is a research associate Dr. Kedar is a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University's Department of Arabic.

This article appeared in World Jewish Daily and is archived at,7340,L-3715939,00.html


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