“How could this happen in a country we helped liberate? In a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be, but we must be clear-eyed even in our grief.” – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
For decades presidents from both sides of the aisle have dreamed about one crowning achievement to add to their legacies before leaving the White House and entering the history books. That achievement is simply a stable Middle East and all of the benefit that comes with it. Many presidents have tried to achieve this elusive prize in many different ways. President Barack Obama decided to replace leadership and failed because he ignored every bit of conventional wisdom on the region and, instead, decided he knew what was best.
The first reason why President Obama deserves the credit for his infamous Arab Spring is because he made a point to involve us where we were not needed. All of those whom were deposed by rebels and with the help of the United States, were at the very least neutral to the United States, if not friendly. Take for example Egyptian President Mubarak; he was very friendly with the West and with Israel. Mubarak became president after members of the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat for signing The Camp David Accords.
Conventional wisdom as well as his advisors should have, and did, advise President Obama to stay away from the uprisings in Egypt. Several things were at play here that cannot be ignored; the first of which being that the United States of America had no business playing regime change games with a leader who was aligned with, not only our interest, but Israel’s, as well.
Secondly, was Mubarak a bad guy? Sure he was. The man tortured his own people, well some of them. Those who were tortured actually turn out to mostly be radical elements of the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations.
Last but not least, by interjecting himself as the “savior” of Egypt, Barack Obama has actually sentenced hundreds if not thousands of Coptic Christians and non-Muslims to death or, at the very least, displacement in the coming years. This leads into the next reason: upsetting the apple cart.
If you want a stunning reminder of the differences between governments, take a look at the stability of Iraq in the mid-1990’s and then take a look at the Islamic government of Iran. The fact of the matter is these strong and secular dictators held their countries together and kept the Middle East largely calm through much of the 1990’s. The only real exception to this was the invasion of Kuwait; the difference in that situation was it had nothing to do with religion.
President Obama made a rookie mistake when reading the tea leaves and toppling governments. He never looked at the mistakes his predecessor made.
As a student of the Middle East and Muslim world, the biggest problem I had with George W. Bush’s war in Iraq was that no one stopped to understand the power vacuum that the loss of Saddam would create. These secular leaders like Gaddafi, Saddam, Mubarak and Assad were the only things standing in the way of a tsunami of radical Islam. This tsunami has now swept over the entire region and it appears as of late that there is no stopping it now.
George Bush failed miserably by not planning and not understanding the next point. However his failure should have been a warning light for President Obama; but it was not. Blinded by his own ambitions and dreams of infamy, President Obama criminally ignored this glaring truth that only a few will even admit to: Islam and Democracy cannot exist in the same country.
Barack Obama, just as George W. Bush did five years earlier, ignored the complicated political issues that exist in the Arab world. They both foolishly assumed that these citizens of these countries would flock to democracy and thank us for it. Instead, all Obama did was remove the one protection we had from an entire Middle Eastern caliphate and that was secularism.
Democracy is a beautiful thing when it is implemented correctly, but what President Obama failed to grasp was that he was dealing with a religion that was unyielding and unable to be bargained with. He missed the basic point: you will either have Sharia or you will have Democracy.
The Obama Administration is quietly in panic mode because they are now realizing what all of their good intentions have brought to the Middle East. Now that they know they have created a monster that they cannot control, they are reverting back to capitulation.
Several sources this week have confirmed that the State Department is negotiating the release of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman. Rahman was the planner of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a folk hero of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is not hard to look into the future of the Middle East and see where these policies are now taking us. Unfortunately for us, the American people, no one in the Obama Administration felt the need to temper the quest for glory with some common sense.
Because of that, the cards have been dealt and now we have no choice but to play this hand as best as we can. As for this lousy hand though, President Barack Obama gets all the credit.