We posted earlier about the unspooling tragedy that is the Obama-Clinton foreign policy in the Arab world. Perhaps the only thing in competition for the political equivalent of the Darwin Awards is the administration’s policy of releasing terrorists known to be both dangerous and committed to their cause. We all know about the five Taliban commanders handed over for American deserter Bowe Berghdahl.
Now we have another success to add. The leader of the ISIS, the al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group that is rampaging through Sunni Iraq, was released from US custody in 2009. What else happened in 2009? An obscure, left wing radical from Chicago with an implacable hatred of American power became president. From the Washington Post:
But the narrative solidifies in 2005, when he was captured by American forces and spent the next four years a prisoner in the Bucca Camp in southern Iraq. It was from his time there that the first known picture of Baghdadi emerged. And it’s also there, reports Al-Monitor, that he possibly met and trained with key al-Qaeda fighters.
He gained enough respect that by 2010, after several leaders of the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq were killed, he assumed control of it. At that time, the power of the Islamist militancy in Iraq was at its lowest ebb, and the number of killings had plunged. The Sunni rebellion, which it had once spearheaded, was on the verge of collapse.
But then Syria happened. The civil war there, which left a vacuum of authority in large tracts of the country, fueled a resurgence of the group. The upheaval gave rise to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Over the following years, as many as 12,000 militant Islamists — 3,000 of whom were from Western countries — flocked to the region to fight, according to the Soufan Group, an intelligence consultancy.
Note that here again the nexus of two Obama-Clinton policies — indifference to Iraq and a monomaniacal desire to prove George Bush wrong — that create a perfect storm of geopolitical disaster.