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Now let us consider the results of Obama’s intervention in the Middle East. In the so-called “Arab Spring,” Obama supported the overthrow of a U.S. ally – President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. Instead of calling for Mubarak to enact reforms or alternatively for Egypt to have a phased transition of power, Obama basically supported a regime change and threw Mubarak “under the bus.” The Gulf Arabs and the Saudis in particular considered Obama’s action in Egypt as a betrayal of a friend, and when Bahrain, a Gulf Cooperation Council Member, was threatened by Shiite masses incited by Iran, the Saudis ignored Obama and acted swiftly with military force to bolster the Bahraini government.
Obama ignored the advice of his own State Department regarding Egypt, and failed to consult with its Israeli ally, which has been impacted immediately by the revolution in Egypt. Obama also overlooked the concerns of other friendly Arab states like Jordan and Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the regime change in Egypt. Moreover, Obama has declared his acceptance of having the Muslim Brotherhood share power in Egypt.
Reporting for the Los Angeles Times on January 31, 2011, Paul Richter and Peter Nicholas wrote, “U.S. open to a role for Islamists in new Egypt government.” The report went on to say that the “Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamist organization, in a reformed Egyptian government.”
In the meantime, the Obama administration director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, when testifying on Capitol Hill before the House Intelligence Committee, said that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) “pursued social ends and a betterment of the political order.” Clapper also said, “The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ … is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.”
The Obama administration has de facto designated Turkey as its sub-contractor in Syria, with Obama promoting Erdogan’s Islamist government as a “model” for the Muslim world. This, despite the fact that Turkey is allied with Iran and Syria and denied the U.S. the rights to fly over its airspace during the 2003 war in Iraq. Erdogan’s Turkey has also been making confrontational moves towards Israel, most recently by threatening to have Turkish naval vessels escort a Turkish flotilla to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Turkey, with its embrace of Hamas, has become one of the most anti-Israel force in the Middle East following Iran.
In Lebanon, Obama abandoned the forces behind the democratic Cedar Revolution, while passively observing the Hezbollah takeover of Lebanon. Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader who had previously supported the March 14th government of Saad Hariri, abandoned it because he sought to secure his people’s future by going with the “winner,” which is Iran/Hezbollah, and because he recognized that Obama was too weak to fight for Lebanese democracy.
Obama, seeking “engagement” with Iran, wasted precious time, which enabled the Islamic Republic to reach nuclear capability. And while sanctions have finally been imposed, it is a case of “too little and too late.” Moreover, the Obama administration has no strategy for confronting Iran’s expanding influence and meddling throughout the Middle East, while at the same time killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Syria, the Obama administration pursued a policy that was doomed from the get go. It tried to pull Syria away from Iran, while the Assad regime increased its support for terrorism, meddled in Lebanese affairs and helped in killing Americans in Iraq.
Hamas was given indirect aid by the Obama administration through its generous aid package to the Palestinian Authority, and made no effort to remove the radical anti-American regime in Gaza. Obama’s administration also pressed Israel to minimize its sanctions against Hamas and has taken no actions to confront and/or deter Turkey’s embrace of this terrorist regime.
Finally, Obama’s decision the withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq, guarantees that Iraq will become an Iranian satellite, hostile to the U.S.
Obama’s misguided Middle East policies have put Israel in greater danger, reduced American influence in the region and put American interests in jeopardy. For many Americans, including those in the 9th Congressional District in New York, a clear message has been sent to Obama through their ballot.
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