I daily encounter people, including member of my own extended family who harbor the typical Trump nonsense about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s records in the Middle East. So, let me put to rest the myths and realities of the Middle East.
1. President Obama “withdrew American forces too early, and this led to the rise of ISIS.”
2. “President Obama refused to maintain US troops in Iraq”
REALITY: The date to leave Iraq was set by President Bush. Obama simply adhered to the Bush deadline.
President Obama offered to leave 10,000 American soldiers in Iraq. The Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insisted that if US troops remained and an American soldier was charged with a crime against an Iraqi citizen, the case would be tried in an Iraq court. Naturally,no American president would ever agree to such a demand.
3.”Al-Qaeda was defeated by 2007″ and then when Obama took office, he allowed in to return.
REALITY: Al-Qaeda was virtually defeated by 2007 due to two factors– the American military effort in cities, and the rise of Sunni Awakening Councils. These were organized by Sunni tribal leaders who were tired of al-Qaeda. They were assisted by US troops, and played a key role in virtually destroying al-Qaeda. However, President Bush allowed Shiite Nouri al-Maliki to gain power. Maliki proceeded to arrest prominent Sunni leaders, broke his promise to US Military leaders to integrate Sunis and Shiites in the Iraq army. Maliki antagonized Sunni leaders and this caused was a key role in the tis of ISIS.
Neither President Obama nor Hillary Clinton had any role in the rise of ISIS. Guess whose mistakes created that organization?