The philosopher Hegel said that the only thing we learn from history is that governments never learn anything from history.
Since Franklin Roosevelt met with Ibn Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia, the U.S. has actively tried to shape the Middle East. It has perpetually blundered.
Until 1955, Iran had a democratically-elected government. In that year, the U.S. helped to overthrow the Iranian government. This was replaced by the corrupt Shah, which led, in turn, to the revolution of 1978-79 and a radical government.
The U.S., under the Bushes, has twice invaded Iraq. In the second attempt, under the younger Bush, the U.S. overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein. This interference, done without any valid or realistic backup plan, led to years of war. The Middle East was destabilized, and the climate was ripe for the rise of rampant Islamic extremism.
It should have been clear by the time Obama took office that the U.S. cannot impose democracy on other cultures. But Obama, with his then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, continued the policy of the Bushes by instituting what they called the Arab Spring. They supported the overthrow of the Egyptian and Libyan governments, and helped to further destabilize the Middle East.
Even now the U.S. bombs Syria, in violation of international law, as a way of combating ISIS. The U.S. reports that it is successful in combating the Islamic State, but terrorism shows no sign of slowing down.
We would do better to concentrate on our security on the home front, and keep an eye on potential ISIS-inspired terrorists, such as the Orlando shooter. We might also decide not to support policies that perpetuate governmental oppression on one hand and terrorist rebellion on the other.
But we should not be trying to impose our will on other cultures.