Senator Obama had argued that Iraq would fix itself once we pulled out. Without America, the Iraqis would create a “political solution”. Instead the Shiites used the withdrawal to take over the government and Al Qaeda rebounded to dominate the Sunnis. After years of denying what was going on, he was forced back into Iraq after genocide and beheadings filled every television screen.
From the White House, he deployed the “Iraq Solution” across the Middle East by withdrawing support from American allies and backing terrorist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. The chaos tore apart the region and turned over entire cities and countries to terrorists.
Egypt went through multiple coups. Street violence in Tunisia wrecked the country and supplied thousands of fighters to ISIS. His regime change war in Libya led to terrorist takeovers of its capital. Al Qaeda nearly took over Mali. Houthi Jihadists backed by Iran took over Yemen’s capital. The Saudis are bombing Yemen. The Egyptians are bombing Libya. The French are still fighting in Mali.
Iran and Al Qaeda have divided up Iraq, Syria and Yemen between themselves.
Withdrawing American power and influence didn’t work because we were never the problem. American soldiers weren’t causing the Sunnis and Shiites to fight each other. They were the only thing preventing it. American power and influence across the Middle East wasn’t holding back freedom and human rights, it was the only thing keeping a modicum of freedom alive in places like Egypt and Tunisia that quickly fell to Islamist rule in the Arab Spring, resulting in street violence, torture, terrorism and military coups.
The left had been fundamentally wrong about the cause of the problems in the Middle East. Obama trashed the region by following its wrongheaded doctrines.
Once the “Blame America” foreign policy has been implemented and the region went to hell, he had no idea what to do next. Intervening in Libya made sense according to the “Blame America” doctrine because Gaddafi had recently cut a deal with the United States and was obstructing the Jihadists who were implementing the local version of the Arab Spring in coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood.
But intervening in Syria didn’t. Assad wasn’t an American ally. Therefore the “Blame America” doctrine said that he should be left alone. But he was obstructing the Arab Spring. Overthrowing him would let the Muslim Brotherhood claim another country, but would alienate Iran and spoil any reconciliation.
Unable to make a final decision, Obama veered back and forth between Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Some days he seemed on the verge of bombing Syria and other days he was against even providing the promised weapons to the Sunni rebels. Even his supporters accused him of having no plan.
Syria’s real red line was the one that it had drawn through his foreign policy. Instead of making the Middle East better, his withdrawals had made it worse. And the beneficiaries of his foreign policy, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, were clamoring for more American military intervention.
Even Iraq’s Shiite government, backed by Iran, wanted American intervention.
Obama’s foreign policy had created a new set of untrustworthy client states which had to be kept alive by American intervention. The great joke of his foreign policy was that his new terrorist states acted just like the old dictators they were supposed to replace. They wanted American weapons and soldiers. Their own people hated them and hated America by extension. The climax of the Arab Spring came with crowds in Tahrir Square denouncing Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood for acting as his client state.
The “Blame America” foreign policy had led to even more blame of America. The new “democratic” Islamist governments that he helped bring to power to appease the Arab Street and atone for the sins of supporting the old secular-ish dictators backfired by making the Arab Street hate us more than ever.
Iran saved Obama’s foreign policy. Just as he was stumbling around Syria and weeping at being stuck back in Iraq, the agents of the Iran Lobby suggested that the whole mess could be put back together again. Iran and the US would fight on the same side against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. And this cooperation could be used to hammer out a nuclear accord that would retroactively justify Obama’s Nobel Prize.
The only problem was that everyone else in the region was completely against the idea.
The Iran Lobby threw Obama’s failed foreign policy a lifeline and he grabbed it. The bombing of Syria was off. Assad turned over some WMDs, but went on using others. The US began acting as the air force for Iran’s Shiite militias in Iraq while the Kurds and the Sunni Sheikhs of the Awakening were shut out.
When the Houthis took over Yemen, Obama shrugged. When the Saudis began bombing Yemen, they didn’t tell him because they were afraid the news would leak to Iran. And the administration covertly began pressuring them to stop, confirming that it now took its marching orders from Tehran, not Riyadh.
Obama ignored the vocal opposition, particularly from Israel’s Netanyahu, because the Iran deal was the only thing holding his foreign policy together. It made it seem as if he knew what he was doing. Take away the Iran deal and there was no longer a strategy, just a series of incoherent panicked responses.
That is why he continues to cling to the Iran deal. Without it, the Emperor’s foreign policy is naked.
The Iran deal salvaged the “Blame America” foreign policy by reorienting it away from the Muslim Brotherhood to deal with our great enemy in the region. By acceding to Iran’s nuclear program, Obama could finally fix everything by atoning for America’s biggest foreign policy sin in the region.
Despite his Muslim family background, Obama never understood the Middle East. Instead he looked at the region through a left-wing lens and saw only America’s crimes.
The Sunnis and Shiites, the Arabs, Kurds, Persians and Turkmen, weren’t fighting because of America. They were fighting over differences in religion, ethnicity and clan. The left has always thought that the way to fix the Middle East was to withdraw American influence. Instead doing that destabilized the region and created a power vacuum that Russia and Iran have been more than happy to fill.
Obama’s final foreign policy act was to fall directly into Iran and Al Qaeda’s trap.
Iran and the various Al Qaeda groups had effectively split parts of the region among themselves. By embracing Iran, Obama alienated the Sunni Middle East and shoved entire populations into Al Qaeda’s waiting embrace. He completed the polarizing process that he began with the Arab Spring by selling out the moderates to the extremists and waiting for everyone in the region to love America again.
But the Muslim Brotherhood lost out to its edgier Al Qaeda children. Egypt and the Saudis are scrambling to hold together some sort of Sunni center without the United States and against its wishes. Obama’s alignment with Iran, his rejection of Egypt’s new government and his failure to back the Saudis in Yemen has sent the message that the only legitimate alternative to Al Qaeda is Iran.
That’s not an alternative that most Sunnis can accept. Many would rather stand with Al Qaeda than Iran.
Obama’s public rejection of every ally, from Israel to Egypt to Saudi Arabia, has finally created the Post-American Middle East that his “Blame America” doctrine sought. The Post-American Middle East is a hive of terrorist groups and a region of nuclear arms races where murderous despots with vast armies dream of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire, the Persian Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate.
While genocide goes on, sex slaves are raped under the rule of a Caliph and black flags are unfurled and nuclear weapons are developed to fulfill apocalyptic Islamic prophecies, Obama smiles for the camera and waits for his second Nobel Prize.
It had been America’s fault all along. Now that Iran and Al Qaeda are in charge, everything will be okay.
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