When Obama took office he set about undermining Qaddafi, Mubarak and Assad. He worked in concert with Qatar, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Libyan tribe that revolted against Qaddafi, probably instigated by the CIA, could easily have been crushed by Qaddafi had the matter been treated as an internal matter. But this coalition began a propaganda assault on Qaddafi claiming that there was an impending massacre. This justified Qatar in starting a movement in the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. President Obama immediately imposed it and more while leading from behind. The end result is that Qaddafi is dead and chaos reigns.
In Egypt, Obama rehabilitated the Muslim Brotherhood by insisting that Mubarak allow them to attend his Cairo speech. Mubarak chose not to attend. From that moment on the handwriting was on the wall.
The NYT reported in 2011 that U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings :
“But as American officials and others look back at the uprisings of the Arab Spring, they are seeing that the United States’ democracy-building campaigns played a bigger role in fomenting protests than was previously known, with key leaders of the movements having been trained by the Americans in campaigning, organizing through new media tools and monitoring elections.”
Various groups in Libya and Egypt “received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington”.
It is safe to assume that the CIA was involved as President Obama wanted to depose Qaddafi and Mubarak. After all, it is the job of the CIA to foment rebellion in countries where the US governments want to make unstable or unseat the government in power.
It wasn’t long before Obama demanded that Mubarak resign. He then pushed for early elections to enable the Muslim Brotherhood to win. The opposition had no chance to mobilize. But unfortunately for Obama, Morsi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, overplayed his hand and was deposed by the Egyptian army led by General el Sisi. Saudi Arabia and UAE financially backed the coup and the US was left in the awkward position of dealing with the new government while still trying to protect the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result the US has lost influence and credibility in Egypt and worldwide - so much so, that she was on the outside looking in as Israel and Egypt dominated the ceasefire process.
Obama had a grand, or should I say grandiose, plan for deposing Assad. It all started when the Bush Jr. Administration decided to align with the Sunni states to challenge Iran’s hegemony.
In 2007, Seymour Hersh reported in depth on it in Redirections published by The New Yorker, calling it a “strategic shift”.
“In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The 'redirection', as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.” [..]
“One contradictory aspect of the new strategy is that, in Iraq, most of the insurgent violence directed at the American military has come from Sunni forces, and not from Shiites. But, from the Administration’s perspective, the most profound—and unintended—strategic consequence of the Iraq war is the empowerment of Iran.”
The Saudis shared this concern and joined with the US to reduce Iranian influence in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
The protests arising from a water shortage in Syria in 2010 were leveraged into a full scale rebellion in 2011. Working with his above- mentioned coalition, Obama attempted to mobilize those forces who were challenging Assad but insisted that they be centered on the Muslim Brotherhood. He went so far as to deny the Kurds and other democratic groups from participating. Iran, Hezbollah and Russia came to the defense of Assad. Had Obama used superior force, he could have brought Assad to his knees in no time. But he tried to do so using other people’s boots on the ground. According to the UN, the death toll now exceeds 190,000. Had Obama not attempted to overthrow Assad, Assad could easily have suppressed the rebellion with less than 10% of the current death toll. So Obama is responsible for the carnage.
The creation of ISIS is due in part to the efforts of this coalition which needed it to help overthrow Assad. Saudi Arabia, whose primary goal was to reduce Iranian hegemony, joined the effort. ISIS has become a rallying point for Sunnis to conquer Iraq and Syria and Lebanon.
Obama later decided to seek some kind of détente with Iran. He undermined the sanctions that were in place and stopped calling for the removal of Assad. He went so far as to seek the assistance of Iran in defeating ISIS. Iran turned him down. Saudi Arabia felt betrayed.
Recently, Obama made a major speech in which he announced his intention to create a new coalition of countries that would work with him to destroy ISIS. But he has no takers. The UK, France and Germany have turned him down. Turkey has turned him down. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have also turned him down. Essentially he is asking the Sunnis to take up arms against ISIS which is also Sunni. It’s not going to happen. ISIS is taking over large swaths of Syria and Iraq which is exactly what the Saudis want. Thus Iranian hegemony is being curtailed.
Obama tried to deal with this problem by declaring that ISIS is not Islamic. But the Sunnis know better.
Obama’s machinations have caused the death of almost 200,000 Syrians. He did nothing to curtail the killing. ISIS comes along and kills much less than 10,000. For some reason, it’s enough to move Obama to try to rally other people’s troops to destroy them. He tried to distinguish between fighting ISIS in Iraq but not in Syria. Perhaps this reflects his desire to prevent Iraq from fracturing and his former desire to bring Assad down. This distinction cannot hold.
On Sept 15 the NYT published an article titled To Crush ISIS, Make a Deal With Assad:
”...by insisting on a Sunni coalition, the West will only appear to be joining a gulf-led war on the Shiites of Iraq, Syria and Iran. (It bears noting that neither Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite movement based in Lebanon, nor Iran has declared a global war on the West and non-Muslims, unlike Saudi-inspired salafists and their jihadist brethren.)”
But isn’t that what the fight against Assad was all about?
“Supporting the Syrian “moderates” would make some military sense only if it would make any difference on the ground. But in the absence of any large-scale Western or regional commitment to deploy troops, the only real 'boots on the ground' capable of destroying ISIS are the Syrian Army and its local allies, including Hezbollah.”
This article recommended throwing Saudi Arabia under the bus and went so far as to say:
“...the West must overcome its reluctance to offend the Saudis, and speak out much more forcefully against the insidious influence of Wahhabism and the ideological support it offers violent extremism. The Arab gulf states must choose a side. They cannot continue to finance terrorism and use fundamentalism as a policy tool and yet claim to be fighting it abroad. Saudi Arabia is both a sponsor and a target of jihad — it should wish to be neither.”
Wouldn’t that be a pretty turn of events. Obama started out trying to form a Sunni alliance to take down Shiite Assad and now the NYT suggests that he form a Shiite alliance to take down Sunni ISIS. But then again, the NYT is Obama’s mouthpiece.