While there are some holding out for a long-term improvement in the Middle East’s smoking cauldron as a result of the Arab Spring, what is most evident is that the gains that have accrued to date have come at too high a price. One could very easily argue that the Middle East is in fact worse now than it has been with both Syria and Egypt enmeshed in civil war, and Turkey heading down a similar path perhaps in the not-too-distant future. With his Cairo speech and his cheerleading of the Anti-Mubarak drivers, Obama must take some responsibility for the debacle (his lack of common sense and political street knowledge were abysmal) and the arena is worse now for his ill-conceived interference than it was prior to his foibles.
Now it looks as though the US will be more actively backing the anti-Assad forces in Syria despite the reality that this apparent ‘lesser of the evils’ is aligned with the serpent head of Al Qaeda. While it is true that Assad and co. are in bed with the Iranian Mullahs such policy will not bear fruit for the US, it certainly didn’t in Libya where Obama’s short sighted approach in backing the anti-Gaddafi insurgency led directly to the Benghazi embassy attack –one of America’s worst foreign policy disasters in years (made worse by Obama and then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s cover-up).
The US would be advised to stand back and let both sides in the Syrian conflict beat each other to a pulp. The same is true in Egypt despite the fact that the military offers a better alternative to regional stability than do the thugs of the Brotherhood. US interference has done enough damage – Obama needs to tread lightly.
If he is tempted to involve himself in the region’s politics then he should offer his support for the Green Revolution in Iran. He let down the revolution early in his term while later on paving way for the Brotherhood in Egypt. To say that he got it ass backwards is an understatement. Smart vision can help but I doubt whether his team of Kerry, Hagel, Brennan and co. are blessed with such insight. If they do I have yet to see the evidence.