Monday, March 03, 2014
Obama’s Convoluted Priorities
As President Obama greets world crisis after crisis with confused vacillation and impotence, a recent Gallup poll unsurprisingly suggests that Americans no longer believe that their president commands respect from foreign leaders. And why should they? The President’s foreign policy has proved to be an exercise in defeatist isolationism, where tyrants are appeased and allies are thrown to the wolves.
In Ukraine, a nation where democracy advocates risk losing to the forces of extremism and where Russia stands poised to intervene militarily, our president remains mute while our defense chief expresses “concern.” The same scenario is currently unfolding in Venezuela where students and the middle class, fed up with rampant crime, autocratic rule and a tanking economy, have banded together against the Cuban- and Iranian-backed thuggish ruler of that country, Nicolás Maduro. Aside from expelling some Venezuelan diplomats, the administration has done nothing to bolster pro-democracy protestors.
In the East & South China Seas, China, seeking to expand its maritime borders and engage in yet more land grabs, has embarked on a series of aggressive military deployments designed to intimidate our Pacific allies. One analyst noted that China might be gearing up for a quick sharp war, aimed at seizing Senkakus or southern Ryukyu islands. Yet the United States, the premiere Pacific naval power, has done virtually nothing to provide reassurance to our allies.
And of course there is the administration’s botched and near amateurish policies in the Mideast that have only served to embolden enemies, prolong conflict and alienate allies. In Syria, Obama drew his red line, warning Assad of the consequences of chemical weapons usage. That warning turned out to be nothing short of a fiasco, embarrassing the president and turning Russia’s Putin into the savior. Moreover, the president’s inaction severely weakened pro-Western elements in Syria and partly served as the catalyst that caused much of the rebel movement to fall under the influence of Islamic extremists.
In Egypt, the administration backed the fascist Muslim Brotherhood over a more Western-oriented movement that had the backing of much of the country. So angered were the Egyptians over the U.S. betrayal that they recently turned to Russia for arms, signing a two-billion dollar, Saudi-financed deal.
Iran represents the administration’s quintessential foreign policy failure. A strict sanctions regimen was not only taking its toll on the Iranian economy, it was impeding Iran’s ability to carry out proxy wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. But the administration, desperate for a foreign policy success after prolonged failures, inked a lopsided deal that gave the Islamic Republic virtually everything it wanted in exchange for nothing more than vague Iranian assurances.
The byproduct of this disastrous deal produced a badly needed instant cash infusion into the anemic Iranian economy. Iran then promptly transferred those funds to buttress its serial killer ally and war criminal, Bushar Hafez al-Assad as well as Hezbollah’s arch terror chieftain, Hassan Nasrallah.
While the administration’s isolationist tendencies compel it to remain disengaged, even when our vital interests are at stake, the president and his secretary of state, John Kerry, remain strangely obsessed with Israel, besotted by the idea of dismembering that tiny nation. Indeed, in 2013 Kerry visited Israel 11 times and on each occasion, demanded concessions of America’s closest ally in the region (and one of its closest in the world) while making veiled threats if the “peace process” failed. And it now comes to light that the president intends to take a greater personal role in an attempt to broker a deal, one in which Israel is forced to relinquish its ancestral heartland to genocidal Palestinian dictators who maintain that the Holocaust is a myth and regard the peace process as a tactical part of an overall objective to obliterate Israel.
In November 2009, Obama pressured Israel into freezing construction in Judea & Samaria for a period of 10 months with the aim of coaxing the histrionic Abbas back to the negotiating table. That effort failed, largely due to Abbas’ rejectionist shenanigans.
In March 2013, Obama boxed Israel into a corner and pressured Netanyahu to apologize to Turkey’s autocratic, semi-delusional, Islamist leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for the deaths of 9 Turkish IHH terrorists killed by Israeli commandos while trying to break a lawful maritime blockade. Nearly a year later, despite Israel’s apology and generously absurd offer of compensation to the families of those killed, conditions that Erdogan himself demanded in exchange for normalized relations, normalization appears as far off as ever with Erdogan issuing yet more new demands.
Twice Israel has succumbed to Obama’s pressure and twice paid the steep price for failing to say “no,” but the stakes this time around are much higher. Israel is now expected to cede the strategic Jordan Valley and the Samarian mountain ranges to sworn enemies while exposing its industrial and populated centers to Palestinian rocket and mortar fire.
The world is plagued with other more pressing matters. From Eastern Europe to South America, Iran to the South China Sea, complete conflagration is a hair’s breadth away. Mr. President, if you want yet another Nobel Prize there are more pressing matters at hand, so please look elsewhere and leave the only thriving democracy in the Middle East alone.