Did Obama fail his moral as well as his national security responsibilities?
When in June 2009 Iran’s Green Movement took to the streets, with millions marching, thousands being killed, wounded, and arrested, then-US president Barack Obama was silent for days before condemning the violence. When Iranian protesters cried out and asked, “Are you with us, or are you with them?,” he said it was “up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” adding that “we respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran.”
American troops were withdrawn from Iraq by Obama’s order in 2011 – when al-Qaida was not yet defeated – leaving Iraq to Nouri al-Maliki and Iran, and giving Islamic State (ISIS) the opportunity to grow in the region and occupy more than 60% of Iraq and Syria.
Returning to Iran, why was achieving a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic more important to Obama’s administration than confronting Iran as the supporter of terrorist groups in the Middle East?
When Obama came to power, most of the Iranian regime were pleased, calling him “son of Hussein.” Obama tried to be the first president to solve America and Iran’s problem since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He ignored recently published CIA documents about the Taliban’s relationship with Iran and how Iran helped al-Qaida fighters in Hezbollah training camps, sheltered Osama bin Laden’s family and fighters in Iran and subsequently sent them to attack US troops. The CIA report included documents hand-written by bin Laden, found in bin Laden’s hideout, showing the direct link between Iran and al-Qaida. The documents link Iran to al-Qaida training facilities run by Hezbollah in Lebanon, and their connection to Iran.
All these documents were in the hands of Obama and his administration before they reached an agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons.
As the documents show, ISIS, too, was related to Iran, part of the Iranian regime’s plan to divert the international community’s attention while at the same time keeping Syrian President Bashar Assad in power – another good reason to mobilize the Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Syria, with the assistance of Iran’s Quds Force.
The most successful way to fight terrorist groups is via the Ottoman Empire’s method, which was used against Wahhabi terrorist groups. The empire attacked the sources of the groups and demolished their bases. The US war on terrorism has failed because it has been attacking the branches, not the roots. It is due to this moral and security failure that we will lose the war in Iraq despite winning the battle, unless Iran is confronted.
The author is a PhD student in politics and a Middle East researcher.
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