With the Middle East now more hostile to U.S. interests than ever, the "Arab Spring" has become a major political liability for the president. Try as he may, he can't distance himself from it.
Betraying his frustration with Cairo's Muslim Brotherhood, which egged on U.S. embassy rioters, President Obama said, "I don't think we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy."
But in a May 2011 speech at the State Department, Obama essentially took credit for Islamists' rise to power as part of his broader Mideast strategy to help free them from the "repression" of despots, while ending their "suspicion" and "mistrust" of America from the war on terror.
"That's why, two years ago in Cairo," the president expounded, "I began our engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect."
The main beneficiary of his "engagement" was the radical Muslim Brotherhood, which has called for jihad against America and the destruction of Israel. The main loser was steady U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.
The following timeline reveals how Obama sided, tragically, with the enemy from day one:
2009: Obama travels to Cairo to deliver apologetic speech to Muslims, and infuriates the Mubarak regime by inviting banned Brotherhood leaders to attend. Obama deliberately snubs Mubarak, who was neither present nor mentioned.
He also snubs Israel during the Mideast trip (and still hasn't stepped foot inside the borders of America's closest Mideast ally).
2009: In the speech, Obama blames Mideast hostility toward Israel and the West on "colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims." He also vows to withdraw U.S. troops from Muslim lands and push for creation of a Palestinian state, proclaiming:
"The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. ... It is time for the settlements to stop." Music to the ears of the anti-Semitic Brothers, who applaud wildly.
2009: Obama appoints a Brotherhood-tied Islamist — Rashad Hussain — as U.S. envoy to the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, which works closely with the Brotherhood.
2010: Hussain immediately travels to Egypt to meet with the Brotherhood's grand mufti, and is followed by Obama, who makes another trip to Egypt.
2010: Secretary of State Clinton lifts visa ban on Egyptian-born grandson of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. Tariq Ramadan, a suspected terrorist on the U.S. watchlist, is warmly received in Washington.
(Clinton's closest adviser, Huma Mahmood Abedin, happens to have extensive Brotherhood ties in the region.)
2011: The White House fails to back Mubarak in a coup organized by the Brotherhood.
2011: The White House sends intelligence czar James Clapper to Capitol Hill to whitewash the Brotherhood's extremism. Clapper testifies the group is a moderate, "largely secular" organization.
2011: Clinton sends her special coordinator for Middle East transitions, William Taylor, to Cairo to give Brotherhood leaders special training to prepare for the post-Mubarak elections.
2011: In a shocking first, the State Department formalizes ties with Egypt's once-outlawed, terror-tied Brotherhood, letting diplomats deal directly with Brotherhood party officials in Cairo.
April 2012: The administration quietly releases $1.5 billion in military aid to the new Egyptian regime and vows to secure additional billions from the IMF and World Bank. It also taps the Overseas Private Investment Corp., a U.S. agency, to underwrite $2 billion in private investment in Egypt and other Arab Spring states. More, it forgives up to $1 billion in Egyptian debt.
June 2012: Clinton grants visa to banned Egyptian terrorist who joins a delegation of Brotherhood officials from Egypt to meet with Obama's deputy national security adviser to demand the release of the Egyptian Blind Sheik terrorist imprisoned for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
July 2012: Pledging "a new partnership," Obama invites Egyptian President and Brotherhood hardliner Mohammed Morsi to visit the White House in September. Morsi is expected to demand Obama free the Blind Sheik, who happens to be a key Brotherhood leader, as well as the hero to the lead 9/11 hijacker and the current al-Qaida kingpin, both Egyptians themselves.
Shockingly, the administration has issued nondenial denials when asked if it has negotiated the release of a convicted terrorist rivaling Osama bin Laden in importance and reverence among al-Qaida followers.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., is investigating what could be the biggest scandal of Obama's presidency. He says federal agents recently approached his staff to complain that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are actually considering Morsi's request to free the Blind Sheik, as Omar Abdel Rahman is known, from a maximum security federal prison in North Carolina.
King says he has no doubt a deal is in the works. Former assistant U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy, who actually prosecuted the sheik nearly two decades ago in New York City, believes Obama has secretly signed off on the deal to appease the Brotherhood, and is waiting until after the election to announce it.
"I think the plan has been to agree to the Blind Sheik's release, but not to announce it or have it become public until after the election," said McCarthy, author of the new book, "Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy." "That is consistent with Obama's pattern of trying to mollify Islamists."
The Brotherhood's sudden rise to power in Egypt and Tunisia — and soon, in a possible domino effect, Yemen and even Syria and Jordan — didn't happen organically. It was orchestrated by a U.S. president sympathetic to its interests over those of Israel and his own country.