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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Obama opened the door to ISIS and is architect of chaos in Iraq, Syria and Libya

Jeffrey Sacs
Stop the War Coalition

It's said that the best defense is a good offense. This strategy probably lies behind Hillary Clinton's recent takedown of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. After all, Clinton was a lead architect of that policy as Secretary of State, and the policies that she espoused until recently now lie in shambles.

The most aggressive of her claims, that Obama's unwillingness to give support to the Syrian rebels has led to the rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) -- is not true. The US and allies have supported the rebels, though the exact numbers and means are unknown as the operations have been mostly covert. The policy was mistaken from the start: it has contributed to more than 160,000 dead in Syria, and in fact helped to open the way for ISIS to threaten both Syria and Iraq. This failure is both Clinton's and Obama's, and to this day is obscured in a cloud of lies and deceit. 

Here is what we know. When the Arab Spring broke out in early 2011, the US foreign policy and intelligence establishment was caught flat-footed, without any warning, anticipation or policy. Our policy in the Middle East was wholly reactive, and the one glimmer of an initiative -- Obama's Cairo Speech in June 2009 -- proved to be empty words without any follow up. 

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