On June 4, 2009 in Cairo, President Obama threw his hat in with what became known as “the Arab Spring.” In a speech that ended with the words, “I am one of you”, spoken in Arabic (and not included in the official transcript), Barack Obama ignited a revolution in Egypt that led to the overthrow of then-President Hosni Mubarak. That overthrow, done in the name of Egyptian freedom from oppression, has had far reaching ramifications. In Egypt, it has led to anything but freedom. It has led to a new oppression and a lessening of tolerance in Egypt. It is true that Mubarak ruled Egypt with an iron boot. But it is also a boot that he kept to the throat of the Muslim Brotherhood for decades.
His rule also was marked by a significant decrease in violence in the Middle East, not in Cairo alone, but in the whole North African region. It was also marked by a significant level of religious tolerance, where Muslims and Christians lived in harmony. Not so today. The burning of Coptic churches and the murder of Coptic people is now commonplace.
As the demonstrations of the Arab Spring evolved, so did an international desire to capitalize on them to overthrow Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Qadaffi. That Qadaffi was a brutal dictator who supported terror in the western word is of little doubt. But he also ran, albeit with another iron boot, a secular dictatorship. After a revolution that we supported with arms, advisors and bombing raids, we have seen the rise of secular violence and the resurgence of Al Qaeda in Libya. There is no doubt, at this point, that the attack on our CIA facility in Benghazi was planned and executed by the Al Qaeda affiliate, Ansar al Sharia.
There is also mounting evidence that that mission had shifted from a focus of arming and organizing Libyan rebels, to one that spearheaded the NATO mission of seizing arms from the Qadaffi loyalists to solidify the power of the new coalition government, and there is growing evidence that many of those arms have been shipped through Special Mission Benghazi to Syrian rebels through Turkey, a Muslin Brotherhood led government. Conservative Report Online has made clear Turkey’s international self interest in securing control of natural gas reserved in Syria. But, it is of equal importance to note that Bashar al Assad, the leader of Syria, although another brutal dictator, runs a secular government, and that the rebels we are arming are in many instances again Al Qaeda.
Fast forward to events of last week. Just yesterday, word came out that involved in the hostage taking at the BP natural gas refinery in Algeria by Al Qaeda terrorists were Egyptian terrorists linked to the attack on the US Special Mission in Benghazi. It is also coming to light that they were armed in Tripoli and supported by the Al Qaeda government of Mali. In an attempt to secure the facility by Algerian commandos, 38 hostages were killed, 5 of which were American citizens. What is not being prominently reported is the fact that Algeria is, again, a secular government that had been allied with Qadaffi’s secular government.
Looking at the map of North Africa above, we see a growing pattern of radical Islamist governments growing, first in Egypt and sparked in no small part by our President’s June 4th speech at the University of Cairo, leading then to Libya, the aftermath of which was the death of our ambassador, a CIA civilian employee and two valiant Navy SEALS at the hands of terrorists that included Egyptian Islamists, and now to the deaths of 5 US citizens working in Algeria at the hands of terrorists that included the selfsame Egyptian Islamists that were involved in the attack on Special Mission Benghazi, and who are being given safe haven in both Islamist Libya and Islamist Al Qaeda Mali on the other.
And when you look at the map of North Africa, and see the ever widening swath of Islamist states who oppose the presence of Christians, burn their churches and kill their members, you have to ask yourself this question:
Did Barack Obama take his thirty pieces of silver in Cairo on that June 4th day?