Middle East reality: An inconvenient truth for Obama

Joyce Karam writes: Characterizing events from Yemen to Syria to Libya as a “transformation that will play out for a generation, rooted in conflicts that date back millennia” is not only a reality distortion by U.S. President Barack Obama, but also a dangerous fantasy that resigns American diplomacy to dismissiveness in the Middle East.

Shrugging off the Middle East’s largest upheaval in decades as a theological rift, and shying away from major diplomatic initiatives, is a slap in the face for U.S. role and stature, restricted today to responding and containing conflicts.

Blaming the chaos of the Middle East on centuries’ old battles is a perfect cop-out strategy for Obama, avoiding his legacy from being tarnished by the fragmentation of four states, two of which were bombed by the United States (Iraq and Libya).

Except, religious scriptures from a different era are not driving the current regional rivalry, or spurring ISIS. It’s oppression, civil wars, ISIS territorial gains, and unchecked regional bickering that is fueling the hellfire.

Obama’s narrative, however, is largely aimed at absolving his administration of any wrong doing in the Middle East, and attributing current infernos to a “transformation” across a whole generation that Washington apparently has little influence over. This claim self destructs in every conflict zone in the Middle East, three of them started on Obama’s watch four years ago. [Continue reading…]

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