Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has received quite a bit of flak from the media recently over comments he has made seemingly linking President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the rise of the Islamic State group, quite literally referring to them as “the founders” of the terrorist army.
The media and Clinton presidential campaign have pushed back against that assertion, but Trump has held fast, doubling down on his assessment and now providing ample evidence supporting his claim, using the media’s own reports, according to a news release from the Trump campaign.
The report, titled “Hillary Clnton, The Architect of Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy,” lays out a timeline through a collection of media snippets showing that Obama and Clinton’s failed foreign policies led to the rise of the Islamic State group, first in Iraq and Syria, now all across the globe.
In 2011, before the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq, the predecessor of the Islamic State group, Al Qaeda in Iraq, was reportedly engaged in a “struggle to maintain relevance,” as it had been all but crushed by superior forces allied with locals in a strong security arrangement.
But the sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region, combined with the Obama administration’s veritable non-response to the civil war in Syria, mixed with its support for the “Arab spring” uprisings that toppled stable governments in the Middle East, topped off by the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya, all led to a political power vacuum that was quickly filled by radical Islamic extremists, including the Islamic State group.
Former Obama Defense Secretary Leon Panetta seemingly agreed with that assessment, noting that the administration’s “poor decision” to break with the winning strategy of the late Bush years and withdraw early from Iraq led to the rise of the Islamic State group.
Other military commanders on the ground agreed with the assessment as well, and were against the planned withdrawal, insisting that Iraq was not yet ready to defend itself, that it was still very much in need of assistance from U.S. forces.
The power vacuum left by Obama and Clinton all across the Middle East gave space for radical Islamic extremists to seize control, something which was not at all unforeseen, but was instead repeatedly warned about in the early years of Obama and Clinton’s tenure.
But despite numerous clear warnings that a barbaric Islamist organization like the Islamic State group would arise following Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq, wavering on Syria and meddling elsewhere, Clinton nevertheless blamed the Bush administration for the failures of Obama and herself.
On top of that, Clinton made clear that she supported Obama’s decision, and even after the rise and spread of the Islamic State group was witnessed and documented over the following years, maintained that she wouldn’t have done anything differently, both in leaving Iraq and in half-heartedly confronting the Islamist militants.