Allen B. West

Obama’s singular achievement: the Middle East in flames

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According to Vice President Joe Biden, “ending” conflict in Iraq was supposed to be Barack Obama’s greatest achievement. But now we’re witnessing an entire region in turmoil.

There were red lines and then there were none. Hosni Mubarak had to go and was replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Bashar al- Assad had to go but Putin and Russia stepped in. Talks are occurring in Geneva with Iran — we don’t hear much about that — but it sure seems Iran hasn’t slowed down its development of nuclear capability — and it’s still the world’s largest state supporter of Islamic terrorism.

In fact, the situation is so dire in that neck of the woods that Elliott Abrams of Politico Magazine wrote an article about Obama entitled, “The Man Who Broke the Middle East.”

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Abrams explains, “Where (Obama) administration policy has had an impact, the story is one of failure and danger. The Middle East that Obama inherited in 2009 was largely at peace, for the surge in Iraq had beaten down the al Qaeda-linked groups. U.S. relations with traditional allies in the Gulf, Jordan, Israel and Egypt were very good. Iran was contained, its Revolutionary Guard forces at home. Today, terrorism has metastasized in Syria and Iraq, Jordan is at risk, the humanitarian toll is staggering, terrorist groups are growing fast and relations with U.S. allies are strained.”

How did this all begin?

You might not remember Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt where Obama unveiled his Eastern, Islamic orientation believing it would create a bond, a unity between America and the Islamic world. What it actually portrayed was his weakness and misunderstanding of what the Islamic world respects greatly — strength, power and might.

Abrams recounts that Obama said he had “special expertise in understanding the entire world of Islam—knowledge “rooted in my own experience” because “I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed.” “As a boy,” Obama told his listeners, “I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk.”

As Abrams wryly notes, “nice touch, but Arab rulers were more interested in knowing whether as a man he heard the approaching sound of gunfire, saw the growing threat of al Qaeda from the Maghreb to the Arabian Peninsula, and understood the ambitions of the ayatollahs as Iran moved closer and closer to a bomb.”

It was Obama’s kumbaya moment with the Islamic world and it foretold the present collapse we now see.

We saw Obama retreat from Iraq. We saw Obama commit U.S. forces and resources to Libya in support of Islamist rebels. Obama forced a secular leader to step down in Egypt and praised the Muslim Brotherhood rising to power. Obama laid down a gauntlet in Syria and constantly expressed that Assad must go — then when decision time came — the line disappeared. Obama has cowered before the ruling ayatollahs in Iran as they continue to develop a nuclear capability.

Drones do not stop a vicious jihadist ideology, only resolve, and so based on campaign lies and deceit, we now have a force far more demonic and evil than even al-Qaida on the march in the Middle East.

As Abrams describes, the real result of the naiveté of Obama and his rhetoric — which seemingly has no one’s attention — is this: “at least 160,000 killed in Syria, perhaps eight million displaced. More than a million Syrian refugees in Lebanon (a country of four million people, before Obama added those Syrians), about a million and a quarter Syrian refugees in Jordan (population six million before Obama). Poison gas back on the world scene as a tolerated weapon, with Assad using chlorine gas systematically in “barrel bombs” this year and paying no price whatsoever for this and for his repeated attacks on civilian targets.”

He continues, “in security terms it’s even worse: the largest gathering of jihadis we have ever seen, 12,000 now and expanding.They come from all over the world, a jihadi Arab League, a jihadi EU, a jihadi U.N. Two or three thousand are from Europe, and an estimated 70 from the United States. When they go home, some no doubt disillusioned but many committed, experienced and well trained, “home” will be Milwaukee and Manchester and Marseille—and, as we see now on the front pages, to Mosul.”

So from the Cairo speech in June 2009 to today, ask yourself, is the Middle East better off?

If you say yes, then the liberal progressive kool-aid you’ve been drinking has saturated your brain. Pax Obama in the Middle East — actually everywhere — has been an abject failure and every one of us will pay a price. That price will be paid while Obama is building his library, giving more speeches, and patting himself on the back while filling his personal coffers. And I just can’t help thinking it was all intentional.

There may have been a tenuous stability in the Middle East before 2009, but it did exist nonetheless. Now we await a potential catastrophic event. In 2001, the price was nearly 3,000 American lives. I fear the price is going up with each passing day.

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