President Obama’s Change in Policy during the Arab Spring to Support Change instead Stability spreads Instability

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 17th, 2013

Week in Review

Before the Arab Spring there was the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009.  Where thousands used social media to gather in protests over what they claimed were voting irregularities that kept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power.  President Obama did not support the Green Revolution.  Despite Iran being a sponsor of terrorism, an enemy of the United States and the greatest threat to regional stability.  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suppressed the uprisings.  And jailed some of the opposition.  Where some have made claims of torture and rape.  But as closed a society Iran is these claims have been unsubstantiated.  Though we have the word of the ruling regime that crushed the rebellion that there was no torture or rape.

When the Arab Spring kicked off in Tunisia in 2010 President Obama announced a change in policy.  The U.S. would support change in the Arab world instead of stability.  When the Arab Spring spread to Egypt in 2011 President Obama told Hosni Mubarak that he had to step down from power.  Despite being a stalwart U.S. ally.  An enemy to al Qaeda.  And being the anchor of stability in the Middle East and North Africa.  Now the Muslim Brotherhood is in power there.  Who has close ties with Iran.

When the Arab Spring spread to Libya President Obama supported the opposition based in Benghazi.  Despite Colonel Muammar Gaddafi renouncing terrorism.  And being an ally of America in their War on Terror.  Like Mubarak he oppressed radical Islamists including al Qaeda.  Which explains why al Qaeda was part of the opposition trying to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.  They hated him.  And his oppression of anti-western  radical Islamists.  President Obama supported the opposition.  Gave them weapons.  And helped enforce a no-fly zone.  In 2012 Islamists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.  Killing 4 Americans.  Including the Libyan ambassador.  Chris Stevens.  Perhaps killed with weapons we brought into Libya.

When the Arab Spring spread to Syria President Obama did not support the opposition.  Despite Syria being a sponsor of terrorism.  And a close ally of Iran.  As Syria broke down into civil war al Qaeda joined the opposition.  Making any U.S. support now even more complicated.  However Syria turns out it will be a foreign policy failure.  In fact the foreign policy of President Obama has been to abandon U.S. allies that bring stability to the region.  While not getting involved in uprisings in states hostile to the U.S.  Bringing great instability to the Middle East and Northern Africa.  And beyond (see Police: 7 foreigners kidnapped in north Nigeria by SHEHU SAULAWA and JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press, posted 2/17/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Gunmen attacked a camp for a construction company in rural northern Nigeria, killing a guard and kidnapping seven foreign workers from Britain, Greece, Italy Lebanon and the Philippines, authorities said Sunday, in the biggest kidnapping yet in a region under attack by Islamic extremists…

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the abductions, though Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north has been under attack by the radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram in the last year and a half. The country’s weak central government has been unable to stop the group’s bloody guerrilla campaign of shootings and bombings. The sect is blamed for killing at least 792 people in 2012 alone, according to an AP count.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language of Nigeria’s north, has demanded the release of all its captive members and called for strict Shariah law to be implemented across the entire country. The sect has killed both Christians and Muslims in their attacks, as well as soldiers and security forces…

Foreigners, long abducted by militant groups and criminal gangs for ransom in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta, have become increasingly targeted in Nigeria’s north as the violence has grown. However, abductions of foreigners in the north have seen hostages regularly killed…

Foreign embassies in Nigeria have issued travel warnings regarding northern Nigeria for months. Worries about abductions have increased in recent weeks with the French military intervention in Mali, as its troops and Malian soldiers try to root out Islamic fighters who took over that nation’s north in the months following a military coup. Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, put out a warning following the killings of polio workers in the northern city of Kano and the killing of the North Korean doctors.

President Obama campaigned in 2012 that al Qaeda was on the ropes.  While blaming the death of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans on a spontaneous uprising because of a YouTube video.  Which if it was it means the average Libyan on the street in Benghazi walks around carrying heavy weapons.  Which is highly unlikely.  Then again, the opposition the U.S. supported in Benghazi included al Qaeda.  So maybe they did walk around the streets of Benghazi with heavy weapons.  Just waiting for dates with symbolic meaning (9/11) to attack Americans.

President Obama got what he wanted.  Change instead of stability.  For there is little stability in the Middle East or North Africa.  And now in West Africa.  Where Islamists and al Qaeda affiliates are reaching into Algeria.  Mali.  And Nigeria.  Radical Islamists are spreading their reach throughout the Middle East and Africa and in other parts of the world.  Fueled by the decline of U.S. influence.  And a rise in Iranian influence.  The winner in the Arab Spring?  It would appear that it is the radical Islamists that are benefitting most from the Arab Spring.  While the people in these countries go from a somewhat western culture of liberty (especially for women) towards oppressive theocracies.  Just as the Iranian people did during the Iranian Revolution in 1979.  No doubt the Iranian women who protested the Shah of Iran rue the day they ever joined that protest movement.  For they have none of the liberties they enjoyed under the Shah.

Guess this is what happens when you abandon your friends and help your enemies.  Your friends suffer while your enemies grow stronger.  And the world grows a more dangerous place.

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Despite Osama bin Laden being Dead al Qaeda Killed a US Ambassador and took Americans Hostage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 20th, 2013

Week in Review

Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive.  This was the constant refrain during the 2012 presidential election.  The Obama team spiked the Osama bin Laden football to no end.  And stated victory in the war with al Qaeda.  Saying al Qaeda was on the ropes.  On the path to destruction.  It was President Obama’s George W. Bush (W) ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment.  The war was over.  And President Obama won it.  The enemy, al Qaeda, is no more.  At least that’s what President Obama says.  But then you read things like this (see US doesn’t feel stakes in Mali ‘as intensely’ as France by Jon FROSCH posted 1/19/2013 on France24).

In the days following the start of France’s offensive against al Qaeda-inspired groups in Mali on January 11, top US officials offered strong statements of support.

“We have a responsibility to go after al Qaeda wherever they are,” US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters during a trip to Europe, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged that “instability in Mali has created the opportunity for a staging base and safe haven for terrorists”.

The US has offered logistical support (airlift assistance, reinforced intelligence and supplies to French and African forces) to French operations in the country’s former colony. But it has made no decision yet as to whether it will provide surveillance drones or aerial refuelling for French jets, as requested by France. Furthermore, the authorities have said there are no plans to send in American troops.

Indeed, the US response to unrest in Mali has been measured, even as American citizens are being held hostage by Islamist militants in neighbouring Algeria.

Apparently al Qaeda is not on the ropes after all.  They’re toppling governments.  Taking hostages.  Storming consulate buildings in Benghazi.  And killing U.S. ambassadors.  Of course, the last was explained away by the Obama administration as being a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video.  Which it wasn’t.  No, al Qaeda is not on the ropes.  One could even say they are growing stronger under President Obama’s watch.  For no American ambassadors were killed on W’s watch.  And no hostages were taken.

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The Arab Spring brings on an Israeli Winter

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 29th, 2011

Week in Review

It may be an Arab Spring, but it looks more like an Israeli Winter (see Moderate Islamist Party Claims Victory in Tunisia by David Kirkpatrick posted 10/24/2011 on The New York Times).

A moderate Islamic party appeared to emerge as the big winner in Tunisia on Monday as preliminary results leaked out in the voting for an assembly to draft a constitution and shape a new government in this small North African country, where a revolution in January inspired uprisings across the Arab world…

In neighboring Algeria, an electoral victory by Islamists 20 years ago set off a military coup and a decade of bloodshed, and in the Palestinian territories, the sweep to victory of Hamas in 2006 elections led to a showdown with the West, a split in the government and armed conflict in Gaza…

Military coups and bloodshed.  Not exactly what we have in mind when we think of Arab Spring.

Islamists cheered the results as a harbinger of their ascent after revolts across the region. Islamists in Egypt are poised for big wins in parliamentary elections next month and their counterparts in Libya are playing dominant roles in its post-Qaddafi transition…

In Tunisia and elsewhere some are wary of the Islamists’ surge, arguing that party leaders sound moderate now but harbor a conservative religious agenda. Tunisia, arguably closer to Europe than the other states swept up in the political upheaval of the past year, is widely viewed as having the best chance of establishing a genuinely pluralistic model of government…

In countries like Egypt, where Islamists are more ideologically divided, Ennahda’s victory was sure to embolden those who favor a more liberal approach, including some within the Egypt’s mainstream Muslim Brotherhood as well as breakaway groups like the New Center Party or a new party founded by former leaders of the Brotherhood Youth — groups already drawn toward the thought of Ennahda’s founder. But in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood also faces competition from new parties formed by ultraconservatives, known as Salafis, who seek an explicitly Islamic state that might enforce religious laws.

Just in case you don’t know, the Islamists aren’t the good guys.  At least, they’re not friendly to the U.S.  Or to Israel.  These are the people who are more apt to chant something like, oh, I don’t know, death to America.  Death to the Zionist state.  You know, the same old sweet talk.  But now they’re in Egypt.  Tunisia.  Algeria.  Gaza.  The West Bank.  And now Libya.

Doesn’t sound so much like an Arab Spring.  But more of an Israeli winter.  And an American defeat.

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