An Obama Legacy


James E. Horn, December 17, 2016



Barak Hussein Obama, our first Moslem in the White House has dumped a huge, messy, ugly legacy on Donald Trump.  Obama’s post January 20 title ought to be something like:  The Ugly Legacy Loser, the Former, Now Disgraced, President.

This is both good and bad.  It is good because Obama’s really ugly messes which were intertwined with Hillary’s incompetence and nastiness are a terrible legacy.  Combined, Obama and Hillary enabled Trump to win the election.

Come January 20, President Trump will start to clean this up.  He is already on track to do so.  Even before taking office, the economy is picking up (and the failure, Obama, is trying desperately to take the credit for the improvements).  Looking good, even great is easy when one takes over from a terrible loser and cleans things up.  It is bad because the mess is really ugly and will take some time, talent, treasure, and effort to rectify.


The two main groups, or factions of Islamists are the Sunnis and the Shia, who have been making war one one-another for 1200+ years.  Their hatred is bitter, deep, and eternally unending no matter what anyone says or tries to do.  Basically, the Saudis lead the Sunnis who are numerically greater than the Shia who are led by the Iranians.

Many if not most of our political and military leaders seem to be oblivious (willfully ignorant) of these simple truths and facts.  This is THE basis for the quagmire in the Middle East where there are gruesome civil wars going on in Iraq and Syria, conflicts that we have gotten involved with and cannot end.

The Sunni (hugely backed by Saudi Arabia and its partners) comprise ISIS/ISIL which grew out of al Qaeda in Iraq, which came from Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guards.  Most of the ISIS leadership are former Iraqi officers from Saddam’s regime.

When Saddam fell, all of these people were disenfranchised in more ways than one.  We Americans put a Shia dominated government in place- a huge mistake born of stupid, willful ignorance in our leadership, both civilian and military.

The Sunnis in Iraq had been brutally suppressing and controlling the Shia for over six hundred years.  [Moslems are mostly tribal, and are extraordinarily vengeful.]

After the fall of Saddam, the newly in charge Shia accepted our arms, money, training and more and then began exacting their revenge on the hated Sunnis.  They also received all manner of support and guidance from their Shia cousins and neighbors in Iran.

Long before Saddam was taken out, I had sent letters to President Bush, Condi Rice and others urging them to split Iraq into three parts along tribal lines.  They never got to see my letters, or if they did, they ignored the free advice.  My book EXPERIENCING ISLAM details the reasons why we should have taken actions to preserve the dignity of the people of Iraq, and ultimately preserve the peace:  The Anbar region/province should have been established as a Sunni nation.  The Kurdish regions should have been set free and allowed to be their own (Kurdistan) nation (and to hell with the Turks who hate and cannot tolerate the Kurds).  The South of Iraq where the Shia are should have been allowed to govern themselves as a separate nation.  We would have wound up with three countries, all beholding to us.  We didn’t and our error has resulted in this conflict.

As I write, the Iraqi army (Shia) are making war on the Sunnis (ISIS) at Mosul, a traditional Sunni area.  The Shia army are busily slaughtering Sunni civilians by the thousands to ethnically cleanse (eradicate) that oil rich area of Sunnis.  Every Sunni they locate is murdered whether a combatant, an adult, or not.  This American encouraged action is NOT going to win us friends.

President Trump will need to address the needs and priorities of all three tribes in what is called Iraq to start a process of self-determination for each of those three tribes.


Syria likewise has two major tribes, the Sunnis and the Iranian backed Shia (and their close (kissing) cousins the Alawites).

Obama with his vacillation and flip-flops is largely responsible for creating this debacle that has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands and misery for millions more.

At first, Obama drew his magic, vanishing red lines with useless warnings directed at Assad and his Alawite/Shia tribe in the drifting sand.  Ultimately Obama demonstrated that he was incompetent, ineffective, and powerless and therefore encouraged more aggressive Shia/Alawite activities directed against the Sunnis who are financed by the Saudi cabal and backed by their Sunni brothers in Turkey.

Challenged (and probably handsomely paid by the Saudi cabal), Obama, and Hillary illegally acquired (using American diplomats and intelligence agencies’ clandestine operatives) stockpiles of weapons in Libya (another of Obama’s debacles) for delivery via Turkey to Sunni rebels in Syria.  The Obama administration had no idea of whom they were backing, except that the ‘rebels’ were anti-Assad.  Here’s another Sunni-Shia conflict.  This blew up in their faces with the death of the Ambassador and three others, and the Obama/Hillary circus of blaming others for their folly.

Obama did a feckless flip-flop in Syria when he started backing (probably with encouragement from his chief advisor, Iranian Shia inspired Valerie Jarrett) various forces going after ISIS whoever they were on whatever particular day.  This more-or-less opened the door (Obama actually left it open) for Russia to jump into the fray supporting the Assad regime against the formerly American backed Sunni rebels (which includes ISIS/ISIL, Kurds, and others).  Not to be left out, the Sunni Turks jumped in with their attacks on what they euphemistically referred to as rebels – actually and primarily Kurds whether Sunni or Shia – and, yes, the Kurds are likewise torn between Shia and Sunni factions).

Now, the Turks are not our friends.  The Turks were allied with Germany in both world Wars.  They worked against us in our two wars with Saddam Hussein, and through the years have been the most treacherous ally we’ve ever had to deal with.  The Turks are now the main funnel for the Moslem invasion of Europe, and ultimate the Obama backed “Syrian” refugee (actually they are not refugees, they are a colonizing Trojan horse being set upon the American people).   Turkey should be booted from NATO because they are unworthy.

President Trump’s challenge will be to acquire a firm understanding of the who’s, the what’s, the where’s of all of the actors in this endlessly shifting quagmire.  Actually, his first challenge will be to get cognizant, competent people on board with his team who can start to sort this mess out and start to prioritize appropriate remedial actions to be taken.  His job will be akin to herding hungry cats in a pen full of panicky mice.

This is the Obama legacy in the Middle East.


About James E. Horn

Retired American Diplomat served in American embassies and consulates for 25-years, ten in Islamic societies. I am not a fan of Islam. I do public speaking and have books listed.

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