Much to the president’s dismay, however, what followed the overthrow of the dictators was a chaos stemming from the religious rivalries that had been kept in tow by the deposed strongmen. Moreover, as it turned out, the only organized elements in countries across the Middle East were the very militant religious movements that had been suppressed and were now sniffing victory.
In turn, the divisions unleashed by the Arab Spring presented opportunities for the projection of Russian power in the Middle East and for new targets of opportunity for Iran and Hizbullah.
As The New York Times reported earlier this month,
The Syrian civil war is setting off a contagious sectarian conflict beyond the country’s borders, reigniting long-simmering tensions between Sunnis and Shiites, and, experts fear, shaking the foundations of countries cobbled together after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Mr. Obama was so taken up in the dream of being on the right side of history that he was unable or unwilling to realize that the Muslim countries of the Middle East were just not ready for the emergence of democracy. As the Prophet Hoseah said, “They have sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.”