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Monday, March 3, 2014

7 Obama Foreign Policy "Successes"

(1)  Even the MSM is beginning to wake up to how incompetent are Obama and his sycophants. The Washington Post's editorial board grudgingly admitted today:
FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”
I suspect that one of the significant problems with our foreign policy is that it is directed and carried out by people who have only ever had to show up, to vote "present," to succeed--they didn't need actual accomplishments. No, I'm not talking about Obama's legislative record--I'm talking about the princelings that attend Harvard, Yale, Princeton, et al.--the places from where we almost exclusively draw our senior government officials.

 (2)  America cannot be taken seriously. As the Diplomad notes, Russia thumbing its nose at the United States did not arise out of a whim, but due to a history of missteps by the Administration:
Our "leaders" are simply not to be taken seriously on critical foreign policy issues. They have no overall strategic aim for our foreign policy; no clear idea where they want us to be in three, four, five years; simply put they don't really care about foreign policy. They react to crises with bland words, and by wishing them away into the cornfield with the help of the compliant media. ...
This misadministration is all about reacting to crises that arise because of things done by the misadministration. Show weakness, over and over, and you find that your opponents do not take you seriously; they, instead, take advantage of you. You will find yourself two, three, many steps behind your opponent. We set the stage for this disaster with our policies in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan; with our disregard for the nation's military strength; our abuse of its enormous intelligence capabilities; our electing to power people of low quality.
I suppose the most succinct summary is this from the Syrian rebels: "Some Syrians have a simple message for Ukrainians waiting for a response from the U.S. and the West as the crisis in Crimea unfolds: Don’t get your hopes up."

(3)  Nuclear proliferation. Obama has not only ignored Iran's progress toward building nuclear weapons, but his policies are actually driving other countries to obtain nuclear weapons. Walter Russell Mead observes:
Here’s the rub. When Ukraine escaped from the Soviet Union in 1990, Soviet nukes from the Cold War were still stationed on Ukrainian territory. After a lot of negotiation, Ukraine agreed to return those nuclear weapons to Russia in exchange for what (perhaps naively) its leaders at the time thought would be solid security guarantees from the United States and the United Kingdom. The “Budapest Memorandum” as this agreement is called, does not in fact require the United States to do very much. We can leave Ukraine twisting in the wind without breaking our limited formal obligations under the pact.

If President Obama does this, however, and Ukraine ends up losing chunks of territory to Russia, it is pretty much the end of a rational case for non-proliferation in many countries around the world. If Ukraine still had its nukes, it would probably still have Crimea. It gave up its nukes, got worthless paper guarantees, and also got an invasion from a more powerful and nuclear neighbor.

The choice here could not be more stark. Keep your nukes and keep your land. Give up your nukes and get raped. This will be the second time that Obama administration policy has taught the rest of the world that nuclear weapons are important things to have. The Great Loon of Libya gave up his nuclear program and the west, as other leaders see it, came in and wasted him.

It is almost unimaginable after these two powerful demonstrations of the importance of nuclear weapons that a country like Iran will give up its nuclear ambitions. Its heavily armed, Shiite-persecuting neighbor Pakistan has a hefty nuclear arsenal and Pakistan’s links with Iran’s nemesis and arch-rival Saudi Arabia grow closer with every passing day. What piece of paper could Obama possibly sign—especially given that his successor is almost certainly going to be more hawkish—that would replace the security that Iran can derive from nuclear weapons? North Korea would be foolish not to make the same calculation, and a number of other countries will study Ukraine’s fate and draw the obvious conclusions.
(4)  Throwing Israel under the bus. Americans love Israel. The White House? Not so much. The Times of Israel reports:
The president went on to condemn in no uncertain terms Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank, and said that though his allegiance to the Jewish state was permanent, building settlements across the Green Line was counterproductive and would make it extremely difficult for the US to defend Israel from painful repercussions in the international community. 
“If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time — if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited,” Obama said.
Or how about constantly revealing that Israel is behind certain actions in the Middle East, such as this recent leak that Israel was behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists.

(5)  The persecution of Christians is at an all-time high. For instance, Syrian Christians have been forced to agree to pay a Dhimmi tax for the first time in generations.

(6)  Loss of power in the Pacific. Angelo M. Codevilla warns that there will be war because of this particular path taken by the Administration:
Consider East Asia, where the US Navy enforced America’s peace for three generations. Today America’s incapacity to deal with China’s (and its North Korean surrogate’s) assertion of power over the Western Pacific is the catalyst of rising Japanese militarism and of the rest of the region’s scramble for security. That incapacity is as political as it is military. While China is building a credible force of ballistic missiles, swarms of cruise missiles from sea and airborne platforms, as well as bottom-dwelling submarines to sink US Navy ships that come too close, our navy has shrunk in size, its pilots have less flight hours than their Chinese counterparts, and it lacks missile defenses. Moreover, the US government has been steady in its decision not to base its military position in the South China Sea on the unsinkable island of Taiwan. Too provocative.

But although the US preoccupation with not provoking China has not moderated Chinese military preparations, it surely has helped provoke the rebirth of Japanese militarism. Polls show that four fifths of Japanese view China as an enemy, but fewer than half have confidence in America’s help because they view America, correctly, as willing to sacrifice Japan’s interests to China’s.

We Americans have maintained our version of peace in the Western Pacific not in the interest of Japan or of anyone else, but in our own. Should we, upon deliberation, decide not to impede China’s assertion of power in the region, and to countenance whatever efforts (including nuclear ones) Japan will make to protect itself, it would make sense for us to withdraw our fleet from the region. Keeping it there without the military capacity or the political intention to maintain the Pax Americana would only get us into the middle of a war for stakes largely not our own and whose initial stages we would likely lose.
(7)  The rise of a new Nazism. Robert Zubrin writes:
As the Putin regime invades Ukraine, it has become apparent that a new force for evil has emerged in Moscow. It is essential that Americans become aware of the nature of the threat.

Putin is sometimes described as a revanchist, seeking to recreate the Soviet Union. That is a useful shorthand, but it is not really accurate. Putin and many of his gang may have once been Communists, but they are not that today. Rather, they have embraced a new totalitarian political ideology known as “Eurasianism.” ...

Nazism, it will be recalled, was an abbreviation for National Socialism. National Bolshevism, therefore, put itself forth as an ideology that relates to National Socialism in much the same way as Bolshevism relates to Socialism. This open self-identification with Nazism is also shown clearly in the NBP flag, which looks exactly like a Nazi flag, with a red background surrounding a white circle, except that the black swastika at the center is replaced by a black hammer and sickle.

...

This is the ideology behind the Putin regime’s “Eurasian Union” project. It is to this dark program, which threatens not only the prospects for freedom in Ukraine and Russia, but the peace of the world, that former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych tried to sell “his” country. It is against this program that the courageous protesters in the Maidan took their stand and — with scandalously little help from the West — somehow miraculously prevailed. But now the chips are really down. The Ukrainians are being faced not with riot police, but with Russian divisions, subversion, and economic warfare. The country needs to be stabilized, and defended. The Ukrainians deserve our full support — and not just for reasons of sympathy for those resisting tyranny or respect for the brave. It is in the vital interest of America that freedom triumphs in Ukraine.

Without Ukraine, Dugin’s fascist Eurasian Union project is impossible, and sooner or later Russia itself will have to join the West and become free, leaving only a few despised and doomed islands of tyranny around the globe. But with Ukraine underfoot, the Eurasianists’ program can and will proceed, and a new Iron Curtain will fall into place imprisoning a large fraction of humanity in the grip of a monstrous totalitarian power that will become the arsenal of evil around the world for decades to come. That means another Cold War, trillions of dollars wasted on arms, accelerated growth of the national-security state at home, repeated proxy conflicts costing millions of lives abroad, and civilization itself placed at risk should a single misstep in the endless insane great-power game precipitate the locked and loaded confrontation into a thermonuclear exchange.

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