Streams

Opinion: Did Obama Lose Interest in the Arab Spring?

Monday, September 17, 2012 - 10:21 AM

Libyan women perform firday's noon prayer in Benghazi on March 25, 2011 as coalition forces launched a seventh day of air strikes against the regime of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi (PATRICK BAZ/AFP//Getty)

The anti-Islamic film “Innocence of Muslims” last week sparked tensions in Benghazi, Libya in an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador, and has exploded into anti-American demonstrations all over the world. The latest violent clashes were in Sydney, Australia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Tunisia, Bangladesh, and there was an attack on the German Embassy in Sudan. These demonstrations have manifested a deep hatred of the United States and the West more generally.

What’s surprising in all of this was the fact that when President Barack Obama was elected there was a sense that now finally American relations with many Islamic countries would become much better. After all, President Obama made a special point to communicate with the Islamic world, holding his one of his first major foreign policy speeches in Egypt, as well as having well-documented roots in Indonesia, a predominantly Islamic country. 

In the aftermath of the current unrest, Conservatives and Republicans have ridiculed Obama for pandering to anti-American forces, criticized him for being weak in defending American interests, and blamed him for the weakening of America’s role as world leader by “leading from behind,” not being more forceful, and cutting defense spending and thus weakening America’s might.  

Some of those criticisms are valid - the United States clearly underestimated the strength and intentions of radical groups in Libya. The group is Ansar al-Sharia, which sympathizes with al Qaeda and appears to have a base in Derna near the Egyptian border. What now becomes a huge political issue is whether President Obama and his administration failed in his obligation to be the steward of U.S. national security and conduct robust foreign policy.

The critique will be constructed on the fact that Obama has been missing many of his national security briefings - President Obama already has a reputation of being aloof, of not listening very well even to his own party supporters notably members of Congress, so this news is particularly damaging.

Many experts - not just Obama’s detractors - have been puzzled as to why the United States encouraged the Arab Spring the Middle East and North Africa, helped with significant intelligence, logistics, weapons, diplomatic push, and even a no fly zone against Ghadafi in Libya and then seemed to lose interest. Another aspect of this is whether the intelligence agencies were actually providing a sufficiently high level of threat risk. 

Even though we know that Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his embassy staff were working hard in Libya, serious questions remain as to whether, after the overthrow of dictatorships, the U.S. failed to aggressively follow-up to help in the building of civil, security, economic, and political institutions in these countries.  This line of critique raises the fundamental question of whether Obama is a “competent” President. Expect to see that word to explode across your screen in SuperPAC and Romney political ads.

A more worrisome question is whether the United States will be sucked into more military engagements in dangerous countries just as we try to wrap up the war in Afghanistan. There is no American support for that.

We can almost see the finish line to the election of 2012 so all of this is a very flammable development. The question now being asked by almost every analyst and pundit is whether this unfolding crisis will become Barack Obama’s Iranian Embassy hostage crisis, which helped deprive Jimmy Carter of a second term or whether the nation will rally around the Commander-in-Chief and spike the support for Obama.

The answer, of course, won’t be clear until the third Presidential debate on October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, which focuses entirely on foreign policy. And in politics the time between now and October 22 is a lifetime and the Middle East may have vanished from the news and we’ll be back to jobs and a sluggish economy.

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Comments [3]

JerryD

THE LIBYAN PRESIDENT NOW INDICATES THAT OBAMA KNEW OF THE IMPENDING ATTACKS 3 DAYS AHEAD OF TIME YET TOOK NO ACTION !

…and the Libyan President even cites intercepted communications from the US government to prove it.

http://patdollard.com/2012/09/cover-up-libyan-president-proves-obama-knew-date-and-time-of-libya-embassy-attack-in-advance/

The Main Stream Media is trying valiantly to sweep this story under the rug for Obama. But It Keeps Getting Bigger.This is a story that the American people deserve to hear, yet the major news organizations have chosen to withhold that information.

Libya now says that the State Department was given a three day warning about the attacks !

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/libya-we-gave-us-threeday-warning-of-benghazi-attack-8145242.html

The information most certainly would have been contained in the daily security briefings on the mornings of September 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th. Yet the president chose to skip those daily security briefings. We are told by his administration that he read the synopsis of those security briefings.

So we are to believe that Obama COMPLETELY MISSED THAT INFORMATION IN AT LEAST THREE SEPARATE SETS OF SECURITY PAPERS?

And we are also told by his administration that the attack on the Libyan compound was spontaneous.

Under the American model of Democracy, the free press gets the information out to the public and lets the public decide. Yet the main stream media chooses to influence the election process by selectively withholding explosive information.

FELLOW PATRIOTS - HAMMER THIS STORY. POST IT ON EVERY NEWSPAPER ACROSS THE NATION. SEND IT AS A LETTER TO THE EDITOR UNTIL WE SHAME THEM INTO RUNNING THIS STORY !

Did Obama have advance warning of the attacks or did he just miss it due to gross negligence? This brings us to the classic question: WHAT DID OBAMA KNOW, AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?

Sep. 18 2012 05:32 PM
Grayghost

Please tell the Moron running the United States that it’s time to (1) stop all Foreign Aid, (2) we will not forgive any loans owed to us and finally (3) STOP all food shipments to the Muslim Countries in the Middle East to include our Water…. This will change things quickly..... FOR the better!

Sep. 17 2012 10:33 PM
rotties4

Yes, Obama, George Soros and Hillary got what they wanted. Taking leaders out of other countries and causing unrest.The Arab Spring was just a front so they can bring down America drop our economy and they have been trying to get and Arab Spring going over here. They talked about Gas prices being raised to $11 a gallon and the Feds new stimulus game from George Soros idea to finally get our dollar to devalue and drop. If the leaders where still in the countries we would not be have all these problems. These people are evil and want only nothing but, the new world order.

Sep. 17 2012 05:50 PM

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