Today’s Middle East hot spots: Egypt and Syria

After eight years of President Obama doing nothing, it is impossible to determine if it can ever be fixed, but for the moment, Egypt and Syria are the focal-points-du-jour.

By Ashashyou - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

CHARLOTTE, NC, April 10, 2017 – You just never know on any given day where, or when, the next trouble spot in the Middle East will make the headlines. With ISIS doing its ISIS thing against Christians on Palm Sunday, attacking two churches in Egypt killing 44 innocent people and injuring dozens of others, today it is Cairo.

All of this coming just four months after a suicide bomber killed 28 Christians in Cairo, and within a week after a meeting between President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Washington.

On Sunday evening, el-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency in his country.

At the same time, Syria continues to fester following a recent Sarin gas attack by President Bashar al-Assad on his own people which resulted in a prompt retaliatory response from Trump.

Responding to Syria’s heinous violation of international law

That set off another series of controversies over American foreign policy that actually dates back four years ago when Barack Obama drew the first red-line in the sand against Syria.

After Obama made his brash and bold statement, his administration was tested by Syria, and it failed dismally. The ultimate outcome was one of Obama’s numerous “negotiations” in which Syria claimed to have handed off responsibility for its chemical weapons to Russia.

Along with Secretary of State John Kerry and then National-Security Advisor Susan Rice, Obama hailed the move as another of his great diplomatic achievements by forcing Assad to “voluntarily give up its weapons stockpile” without a single drop of blood being spilled.

What nobody in the media asked, however, just as they failed to ask with Iran nuclear arms deal, was finally asked by CBS, “What happened to Russia’s guarantee on Syrian chemical weapons?”

It was a valid question then, and it remains valid today.

Now that Trump has been in the Oval Office for nearly three months, it appears we are still dealing with the web of deceit created by the previous administration. Combine that with a national media so intent on drumming Trump out of office and the American people are literally sitting in the middle of an inner tube flailing our arms as we meander down a river with virtually no direction.

For the moment at least, Egypt seems to be the country of choice for ISIS and its purposes in terms of causing the indiscriminate murder of Christians wherever and whenever they please.

Trump’s Syria strike: National security, or politics?

Having had little luck in taking control of the most populated country in the Middle East, ISIS figures by taking advantage of soft targets and hitting random areas, they can still have an impact on the destabilization of Egypt.

With Egypt being incapable of fighting ISIS in a jihad-style confrontation, it now appears that their strategy is to unravel the country from within by striking at small pockets of innocent people when and where they least expect it.

It was obvious at the end of Obama’s term that the president was simply attempting to get to the end of one day so he could wake and try to get to the end of the next.
Both Kerry and Rice were willing soldiers in Obama’s arsenal of talking heads while a compliant media let them slide.

Concerning Syria, after all the breast-beating and back-patting of successful negotiations in 2013, even the inept UN concluded that Assad had used chemical weapons on at least two other occasions following the supposed chemical weapons agreement, along with a high degree of suspicion that there had been three other attacks.

On any given day the Middle East is, at best, a tangled ruin of burned out buildings, flaming cars in the middle of streets, tanks, artillery and horror beyond imagination.

It is the product of one, and only one ideology, that brought its scourge of terror and hatred to the world in which we live. That ideology has thrived for 14 centuries and continues to grow.

After eight years of doing nothing, it is impossible to determine if it can ever be fixed, but for the moment, Egypt and Syria are the focal-points-du-jour.

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Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

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