From Morocco to Indonesia — and even in Sydney, Australia — the Muslim masses continued their rioting over the weekend. In our neighboring Sinai, the black Salafi flag flew over a multi-national army base. U.S. embassies in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen were once again under attack. Demonstrators in Pakistan roared, "Obama, Obama, there are a million other bin Ladens." What else needs to happen so that U.S. President Barack Obama will understand that his doctrine for the Middle East has been shattered?
Of course, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney perpetuated the explanation that the riots were caused by the surreal video belittling the prophet Muhammad and were not, God forbid, really against the U.S. Really? Obama is delusional, and we're in trouble.
Obama will likely continue the same line, with the same policy and doctrine, because changing direction before an election is tantamount to an admission of failure. How can a government, which gave so much credit to the great "Arab Spring,” admit that nothing has really changed on the Arab streets, because their hatred for the West and the U.S. still exists?
Obama gambled with the Middle East during his first term. He not only promised successful dialogue with Iran and, of course, to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he also assured us that he would be able to reconcile cultures. Ostensibly, who, if not Obama, who lived in a Muslim country (Indonesia), could possibly stand up to this challenge following the Bush era?
But today it is clear to everyone that Obama was not up to the challenge. This is why he faces so many new challenges today. Obama must now ensure the security of his diplomats stationed around the Arab and Muslim world. According to a report in The New York Times, at least 60 American representatives sent letters of distress to the U.S. government over the weekend.
Obama is dealing with a complex geopolitical challenge. Even if he continues to blame the offensive film that originally ignited the riots, he still needs to admit that his doctrine has failed. Obama wagered on two countries he visited early on in his term, Egypt and Turkey, which share the common trait of having modern Islamist governments. Ankara is in open competition with Washington over spheres of influence in the Middle East. Egypt now has a president from the Muslim Brotherhood, who vacillates between the desire to please Washington on the one hand and his electorate, which despises American culture, on the other.
And, meanwhile, Obama has still not even responded to the Iranian nuclear program.
Since entering the White House, Obama has had the best of intentions. He did not want to believe that one film could shatter his dream. The film for him was only a trigger. Obama's doctrine and the Arab Spring succeeded in briefly hiding the ongoing clash of civilizations between the West and the Arab world; but now the truth has been exposed once again.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally began to understand what is happening in our region. "The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob," she said, in a plea for better days. Good morning, Washington.