The decision had already been made a year ago that a deal would be cut with the Iranian regime. If one has a deal, one is not going to enter into a war with the allies of the Ayatollah, such as Syria. That would kill the deal.
These advisors and the pro-Iranian lobby in Washington are not made up only of Iranians. They are made of financial interest groups. For all these years there has been the idea that if we cut a deal with the Iranian regime, they will stabilize Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
When the Iranians moved in to Syria, Hezbollah moved in. When both moved in, Al-Qaeda moved in. That was the end of civil demonstrations.
The current Middle East policy tracks are in the papers of the academics who are advising the administration. All one has to do is go to the libraries and read what the advisors have been writing for so many decades and then deduce the current policy.
We were in Iraq. By looking at a map, one can understand that by being in Iraq, the U.S. served as a wall, disconnecting Iran from going into Syria.
As soon as the Soviet Union collapsed, the West in general, and America in particular were targeted by the jihadist movements. Some consisted of Al?Qaeda and the Taliban, and others consisted of a different type of jihadism: the Iranian regime.
At the time of the USSR’s collapse, the American public knew about Iranian and Hezbollah threats. There had been attacks on American targets since the early 1980s – such as those in Beirut, Lebanon, and the Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia – by America’s Iranian “allies.”
What Americans did not know much about, however, were jihadist Salafi movements — even after two declarations of war by Osama bin Laden: the first in 1996, and again in 1998. If Bin Laden’s first declaration of war was not clear, his second statement was – a 29?minute?long speech in Arabic, publicized on Al Jazeera.
The next day I thought, “Surely the President of the United States is going to rush to Congress and say, ‘We are at war with Al?Qaeda.’” But it did not happen that way. What did happen was that the New York Times, on page 7,000, said there was a Saudi dissident who declared war against America. The newspaper had its own explanation: “He is a Saudi dissident. He is frustrated with the Arabian royal family. He is a reformer, and he is really not happy with us backing that regime.”
That was also the explanation given at the time by the Middle East Studies community in American universities. American scholars looked upon the jihadists who came back from Afghanistan as frustrated, disenfranchised, and then they criticized – themselves.
What we have as foreign policy today, in blaming America for everything,was actually the stance of academia in the 1990s.