It's as if the Obama Administration served as the impetus for heightened (and worsened) conflict in the Middle East.
Louise Roug --- Mashable.com
The uprising against the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad was still young when moderate rebels made their plea to Washington: Provide us with arms so we might fight the dictator — and prevent the rise of more extremist groups.
But President Barack Obama, who had come into office on the promise of drawing down American involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, was reluctant. He was not getting into another Middle East mess.
Now, however, those same extremist groups feared by the moderates have gone on a murderous rampage through Iraq and Syria, slaying security forces and civilians and openly bragging about it on Twitter. After the fighters captured a strategic dam and sent tens of thousands of people on the run in northern Iraq, creating a humanitarian crisis, Washington was finally forced to respond. On Friday, U.S. forces bombed Islamic State positions near the Kurdish city of Erbil.
The previous administration was too eager to get into Iraq; the current administration was all too hesitant.
When the Free Syrian Army (FSA) first sounded the alarm about more radical fighters coming to Syria, what the moderate rebels wanted from Washington, in addition to weapons, was a no-fly zone as had been imposed in Libya when rebels fought the dictator there. This would give them a better chance to fight Assad's brutal regime and more credibility on the ground.
But even Assad's chemical attacks against civilians did not spur American military action. Instead, Assad was told to divest himself of those weapons but was otherwise left to slaughter his people. So far, according to activists, at least 170,000 people have been killed in the Syrian civil war, which has laid waste to cities such as Aleppo and Homs.