Failed Leadership

Published on September 8th, 2016 | by Rick Robison




The Arab agent slipped into the passenger seat of the Honda Accord I was driving, right on the tick. He scanned me, then the side mirror, reaching out and angling it to see his back trail. He said nothing. He rarely did at first. This was the 3rd time we’d met in the days prior to the Gulf War in November 1990. He was young, but older than I was at the time. The thing I remember most about him were his eyes.

He was a terrorist, an operative for a well-known radical organization (a group no longer operational). He was the trainer and an enforcer for the group—the guy who prepares and sends off the soon to become suicide-assassins, a guy who had killed many times and it showed…in his eyes. They were dark, empty pools, like looking into the inside of a cold, black stove. In his career he had done things that would make most peoples’ consciences crawl.

I never liked meeting with the guy because I didn’t trust him. But he was our only penetration of a murderous organization and we needed his help. Still, I could never turn my back on the man. And while he helped us accomplish our operational goals and expose some very bad people (people working with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, in spite of our media claiming that ‘Saddam never supported terrorists’) I was glad when we finally wound down that operation and terminated it.


Today we face even greater dangers originating from the Middle East, threats that are metastasizing by the day, threats that did not have to be but are, nonetheless, due to our negligence, and due to our lack of skill in dealing with these threats in the recent past.

When foreign policy is made through the prism of Leftist political ideology, disasters happen. WWII, is but one example.

Nowhere on earth abhors a power vacuum like the Middle East—for several reasons—and into that vacuum abandoned by the retreating Americans the Russians have moved powerfully, forming an axis-alliance with Iran (who’s also in alliance with China). Even our best allies, like the Gulf Arabs and the Saudis, are now sending far more delegations (on bended knee) to Moscow than to Washington, D.C. The Arabs that should be firmly in America’s camp—the Arabian Gulf Arabs—the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, Bahrainis, Qataris, the Emirates, and Oman, all see the United States as weak and fading, with Russian power on the rise.


The Russians are angry. They see their best ally in the Middle East region, the Syrian Bashar Assad Regime—a horrible dictatorship—being threatened by the Free Syrian Army and their allies, backed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, as well as (weakly) by the U.S.

The Russians are losing men and equipment by the day they can’t afford to these rebels, many armed with American weaponry, funded by the Saudis and others. Recently President Vlad Putin gave a speech directed at the Saudis and the United States, stating that if Saudi Arabia (and by extension, the Americans) did not stop supporting the Syrian Rebels that Russia would bomb Saudi Arabia back into the stone age, including destroying their essential oil production facilities.


In fact, Putin has been angry for several years at Saudi Arabian, and the Arab Gulfies, for over-producing oil, flooding international oil markets driving down the price from its high of near $150. per barrel to the price today of near $40. The Russian break-even price for their oil production and marketing abroad is around $45. per barrel, which means that at the current price (which they see as the Arab’s, and the U.S.’s, fault) Russia is losing money hand-over-fist, money that the Russian dictator requires to maintain his power. Russia’s petroleum sales are absolutely essential to Putin’s political survival. Russia has little else to sell (except their weaponry).

I believe Putin’s threat is not an idle one. In his speeches he cites the United Nations’ Security Council Charter that states that a member nation has the right to defend itself against military and economic “aggression.” This is something, I know personally, the Gulf Arabs are taking VERY seriously.

So should we.

For now a war by proxy is taking place, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, and Lebanon. The Axis—headed by Iran, with Russian and Chinese backing—is attacking Saudi, Gulf Arab, and American proxies in all of these areas. Tens of thousands have died, and hundreds of thousands are now homeless refugees, perhaps millions.

This is anything but over.


A targeted Russian attack on Saudi oil facilities could drive the price of oil back up to the $100. to $150. dollar per barrel range, or higher, plunging the world into recession, or worse. Besides, such would likely be coordinated with an Iranian invasion of several key Arab Gulf nations, particularly the Shiite populated Bahrain and Kuwait. Such a broad-based, coordinated move by Russia and Iran would likely bring retaliation from Israeli airpower and missiles. Incidentally—and amazingly—Saudi Arabia and Israel have built a generally unknown alliance—yes, that’s right!—one that would guarantee the intervention by the other if either were attacked by Iran or by Russia.

By a raise of hands, who’s heard of this Saudi-Israeli alliance?

It should be on the front page of every American newspaper, on every news program. This is HUGE.

Needless to say, the Middle East faces perhaps its most dangerous military challenge in many years, with the potential of a much wider conflict, not to mention the impact such would have on international oil markets, as well as the global economy.

Why do you think Middle East peoples are fleeing in millions? They see the writing on the wall, of course. If America’s media were not letting us down, we would also understand the truth allowing us to better prepare.


Now, more than ever, the Middle East requires skillful and capable—but most of all realistic—American foreign and military policy, one that is not driven by political ideology, playing to a distracted, and dumbed-down, American citizenry. Our leaders are not telling us of these dangers because they don’t want to be blamed in the upcoming elections. Our top politicians fear appearing weak and “out of the loop” at a time when America needs to be fully engaged.

I believe this is one of the greatest national leadership failures in our history, one that is—in the age of incredibly powerful weaponry and pervasive information technologies—going to threaten regional peace, and our own security.

One very well could describe the situation as “the Perfect Storm.” And, sadly, tragically, few Americans have their eyes on the weather.


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About the Author

I have a standing rule to live by…a liberty to follow my own will in all things…and never subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man—Life, liberty, and property.

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