Obama’s Risky Play on Muslim Revolts-Arab Spring

Posted on May 29, 2011


Obama Wins $20 Billion Pledge for “Arab  Spring”

“We agreed that we have made progress on our Libya campaign,  but that meeting the U.N. mandate of civilian protection cannot be accomplished  when Qaddafi  remains in Libya directing his forces in acts of aggression against the Libyan  people.”

President  Obama speaking to reporters after his meeting with French President Nicolas  Sarkozy.

Vice President Joe  Biden is telling audiences that President Obama staked his presidency on the  raid to kill Usama bin  Laden, but it is looking increasingly like Obama’s biggest bet is on the  wave of revolt sweeping through the Arab world.

In a speech to the Muslim world, an address to  Parliament and now through his work at the G-8 summit in France,  Obama has embraced the upheaval in the Middle  East in dramatic fashion.

Obama’s plan is to provide huge financial support  for the new government taking shape in the region and now, a deepening  commitment to the eastern tribes in Libya’s civil  war.

While killing bin Laden had risks, it also had lots  and lots of political advantages, as the administration continues to crow about.  The move to embrace the Arab revolts, especially while playing hardball with  longstanding allies Israel  and Saudi  Arabia has a less obvious political benefit.

Even in the best-case scenario in the wave of revolts, the Egyptian uprising about which the president has so often rhapsodized, the new government, which is a blend of military junta and Islamism, has been causing serious anxiety.

The Egyptians have been spurring the Palestinians  into a more confrontational stance with the Israelis by helping to bring terror  group Hamas  into their government and lifting a blockade imposed to help the Israelis keep  weapons out of terrorist hands.

Obama not only called for more economic assistance  for the movement during his meeting with European leaders but also expressed  support for the efforts to kill Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, a far  departure from the original humanitarian aims expressed by the president.

Again, the presence of Islamists casts a shadow over  the would-be government there.

Obama’s decision to realign American alliances in  the region at a time of such uncertainty and upheaval could be costly as 2012  approaches.