"So when many talk in foreign policy today about the Arab Spring, I'd like all Americans to understand ... the Arab Spring is in fact sulphur water, spewing from mosques, from terrorist strongholds, from ideological extremists in the region," he said on the House floor.
Issa said the election of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt is an example of this, that Morsi's administration immediately moved Egypt toward Sharia law, and cracked down on Coptic churches.
Issa added that the Obama administration has pursued an incoherent policy in the region, one that pressed an unpopular proposal to bomb Syria for its use of chemical weapons, while ignoring Morsi's actions in Egypt.
"I cannot stress strongly enough that if we continue to have a policy of leading from behind, of indecision, of asking this body to spank somebody slightly for using chemical weapons, while not taking an affirmative action toward a government that would [dis]respect its people, and particularly minorities and Christians in the region, then we have no policy and we have no allies," Issa said.
"I take no pride in saying that when President Obama attempted to go into Syria, he did not get support from his own party nor my party, nor virtually any of our historic allies for a reason," he added. "His plan was ill-conceived and led to no real positive change in Syria."
Issa called on his House colleagues to study the Middle East more, and push for policies that help U.S. allies.
"For our allies in the region, for Jordan, for Lebanon, for Egypt and for Israel, we must develop a consistent policy where our enemies fear us, and our allies respect and count on us always," he said. "We don't have that today, and I would call on all my colleagues to become more familiar with the Arab Spring and see the sulphur that comes up and is often mixed and misunderstood for drinking water."
Issa's trip was controversial, as he was the only member who went from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he chairs. Issa's own rules hold that overseas delegations should include members from both parties, and Democrats asked him last week to postpone his trip.