President Obama’s Legacy In The Middle East Is More Complicated Than You Give Him Credit For

According to a Gallup poll, Obama’s approval rating with American foreign policy showed significant improvement in April, which includes his administration’s action towards the Middle East, a region which has dominated every U.S. presidency in recent memory where they’ve all attempted to wrangle with sectarianism and their governments. One person who devoted this year to covering the president’s foreign policy is Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic.

And each administration intervenes in the Middle East to protect their interests there — whatever they might be — it makes no difference what kind of intervention the U.S. executes.

The current argument is around the creation of the Islamic State in the Middle East, who had seized significant territory and declared a caliphate as their symbol to the world that they were making gains there.

Never mind that a U.S.-led coalition has also made gains in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, with the help of a new government since Prime Minister Maliki was forced to step down, a government which appears to be more dedicated to governance than driving sectarianism for political gain.

President Obama's approach to the Middle East is practical. As Jeffrey Goldberg says in the video above, President Obama does not see the Islamic State as a threat, to the anger of Republicans. In an election year, Donald Trump runs on the idea that they are a threat and more needs to be done in the Middle East. President Obama speaks to the press during a national security meeting about ISIS in August. [Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/AP Images]And while the U.S. has helped to make these advances under the Obama administration, to the warmongers, it simply took too long or it still isn’t good enough, which allows candidates such as Donald Trump to become the nucleus of a more aggressive policy towards the Middle East, where alt-right conservatives and neo-cons can orbit and submit their solutions.

In a tit-for-tat move, while left of center “pins” the current Middle East crisis on George W. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, one has to admit in the last year of President Obama’s final term in office that he will also be sent off with a legacy that is already embattled with the idea that he created ISIS; at the very worst in the same tone and blatantly incendiary delivery offered by Donald Trump.

Without putting that in some context, those without the patience to look for facts will believe it to be true. But the more commonly established focus of that blame is that he created ISIS by doing nothing about them, even if it means sending thousands of American troops back to the Middle East as Bush did; as if the majority of American voters didn’t overwhelmingly vote for him on the platform that he would pull troops out of the Middle East.

Middle East has a history of challenging U.S. policy. Before it was confirmed there were suspicions that the U.S. was providing arms and training to militants. One of them is the now defunct Free Syrian Army, who were bused to a secret base in Southern Turkey for training. [Photo by Virginie Nguyen Hoang/AP Images]The Foreign Policy Journal recently published an op-ed which focuses on one angle of holding the administration to account which is over providing arms to “the good” militants in Syria, as the kind of interventionism that has caused just as much instability in the Middle East as Bush’s wars did, saying that President Obama’s approach can also be considered a failure.

The Reagan administration is often blamed for sending arms and millions to the Afghanistan Mujaheddin during the ’80s. Even further back before Reagan — according to CIA’s former director Robert Gates’ account as published in Counter Punch — it was President Jimmy Carter who started the Mujaheddin six months before the then-Soviets got involved.

From the Mujaheddin rose Osama Bin-Laden as the head of al-Qaeda who was reportedly responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, which would force George W. Bush to scratch his itchy trigger finger for his two wars, for which the Obama administration, again, credits itself with trying to dismantle.

Mujahadeen take different forms throughout the Middle East and Asia. President Ronald Reagan meeting with Afghan Mujaheddin leaders in the Oval Office in 1983 to discuss Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan. [Image via Tim Clary via University of Texas/Public Domain]While Afghanistan is not the Middle East, the irony of Russian intervention in Syria and being confronted with Syria’s Mujaheddin fighters cannot be ignored as they seem to be there to always fill in the gap if the U.S. does not. It’s really difficult to find a beginning or an end to any involvement, and it greatly depends on the mindset of heavy military support at every turn as the realistic solution because no one is used to no involvement at all.

The price of the current administration’s “entrenchment” still appears to be contributing to sectarianism, as the Foreign Policy Journal article states, that it’s been arming Sunni militants — which the Islamic State sides with, rather than the Shia. And as explained in an article by Inquisitr about the recent battle for Fallujah, the issues on the ground become even more complex.

At the very least, there’s no real beginning or end to “resolving” any Middle East conflicts, regardless of how many administrations try.

[Photo by Manu Brabo/AP Images]