Foreign affairs Foreign policy Truth

John Bolton Erases The Obama Doctrine, Puts America First

Rod Thomson

Now that Florida’s Keystone Cops, whiny Jim Acosta’s tantrum and other nonsense is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look at what is happening in the real world — the world that the media is largely ignoring.

Hmmmm…looks like National Security Advisor John Bolton is quietly crushing the Make America Weak And Her Enemies Strong Obama Doctrine throughout this hemisphere.

Bolton has identified what he calls a “troika of tyranny” that includes Havana, Caracas and Managua, that is a root cause of enormous amounts of human suffering in those countries and in adjoining countries. Further, he says these three create much of the regional instability we are seeing that is leading to the expansion of gangs and the continual flow of migrant caravans northward toward the U.S. border.

Bolton called Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua “the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere,” at a recent speech at Miami’s Freedom Tower, the 17-story structure  where Cuban refugees were processed in America after fleeing Fidel Castro’s brutal regime.

Identifying and isolating this troika of tyranny is a total break from the previous administration. Bolton said, “…we will no longer appease dictators and despots near our shores in this Hemisphere.”

The Obama administration took its normal approach with dictators — whether Communist, or Muslim, or nationalist (Russia) — which involved either doing nothing and whistling past atrocities with fine words and no actions, or actually rewarding some of them for no reason and with no positive outcome. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry said during Obama’s second term that the “era of the Monroe Doctrine is over,” which basically turned out to be enabling language for a weak America.

The Obama-Kerry team continued the Obama-Clinton team policies of giving financial and diplomatic rewards upfront to some of the worst tyrants, in return for the same vacuous “hope and change” he promised to Americans — and with the same awful results. It failed spectacularly in Iran with the totally one-sided nuke deal, it failed in Russia with the childish reset button and it failed through Central and South America.

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For instance, the Obama Doctrine of appeasement and giving goodies did absolutely nothing in Cuba. Despite the glories of Jay-Z and Beyonce strolling Havana for propaganda pictures by the Havana tyrants, restoring diplomatic relations and travel did nothing but strengthen the still-iron grip of the Communist regime on the long-suffering Cuban people.

In Venezuela, Obama hugged that nation’s killer president, Hugo Chávez, and then punted any American policy to Brazil, thinking the neighboring country would help stabilize things. That was never going to end well and it didn’t, as Brazil itself spiralled into corruption and internal strife.

The same lack of vision and gumption allowed for the return of powerful Communist dictator Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. Neighbor Honduras and Nicaragua are the two countries from which people are now escaping northward. Allowing Ortega back in power and appeasing and ignoring him is a part of the reason we are now facing a migrant crisis.

By identifying these three tyrannical governments, Bolton has ended the Obama-Clinton-Kerry troika of do-nothingness.

Ending the bad old policies is only the start. In the same speech, Bolton announced that the United States would be issuing new penalties against dozens of entities linked to Cuba’s oppressive military and intelligence services, plus restricting business and travel to the island.

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Further, President Trump has signed new executive orders placing sanctions on Venezuelan gold; and sanctioned Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro, his wife, and his associates and supporting government officials. Cutting off money to tyrants is often a way of strangling them out of power.

These are solid steps toward weakening those regimes and the hold they have on their own people, and the instability they project to their neighbors.

And finally, Bolton and the White House are considering appointing a “czar” that would directly handle American policy with the troika of tyranny, along with those three countries’ connection to Russia. There are Russian fingerprints on all three and Putin will likely work to prop them up and make everything in our neighborhood worse unless the United States is aggressive in stopping them at the root.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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America First Doctrine Flourishes From China to Mexico to NATO

Rod Thomson

It can be easy to look at President Trump and see a chaotic bull in the china closet. But those who do — the Democrat/media establishment — miss the overriding consistency in policies, most vividly in foreign policies, and see only a president who acts far outside the modern norm of American presidents.

For many of his supporters, his boisterous method of upending the apple cart is a feature, not a bug. But focusing on Trump’s personality and methods really misses both what the President is accomplishing and the complete consistency in which he is going about it.

So consistent, that it truly deserves the term “doctrine.”

And here it is in plain sight: In every dealing with foreign countries, with trade agreements, with military alliances, America’s interests are the priority. Yes, it’s an America First Doctrine. A big part of the reason it looks so foreign is that it is the first time it has been the active doctrine for an American president since Ronald Reagan.

It is indisputable that the Barack Obama Doctrine on this count was the America Meh Doctrine. George W. Bush’s might be called the New World Order Doctrine. Bill Clinton held to the Bill Clinton Legacy Doctrine. George H.W. was definitely the Globalist World Order Doctrine.

These are just on the foreign stage, but many domestic policies tracked similarly as trade agreements are a mix of foreign relations and domestic. Is it any wonder that a political moderate but American traditionalist like Donald Trump would run on the slogan Make America Great Again? The red hat was marketing. The phrase was genuine. And it obviously resonated with millions of Americans.

But actually putting America’s interest first in foreign policy was duty-bound to tick off a lot of countries that had become accustomed to having the better end of trade agreements or living rent-free under the American military umbrella or tacitly shipping some of their most problematic poor to America to deal with.

Yes, changing that was always going to be messy, and require an aggressive, even bull-in-a-china-closet, personality to pull off. But also one with superior negotiating skills and the unrelenting ability to shed relentless criticism.

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With China, the trade deals were well understood by those involved on both sides to be terrible for the U.S. In addition to providing Chinese companies virtually every trade advantage, the U.S. shrugged and looked the other way most of the time that China was blackmailing U.S. companies to give up technology secrets in order to enter the Chinese market. That was not free trade nor fair trade. Trump’s America First Doctrine is the antidote because the Chinese government most certainly operates from a China First Doctrine.

With Mexico, U.S. taxpayers, the working poor, minorities and national sovereignty have all been materially damaged by the waves of Illegal, uneducated, unskilled Mexicans and other Central Americans that the Mexican government has ushered to the U.S. border to sneak into the United States. This has been costly at so many levels. But neither Republican or Democratic president made any serious attempts to change the status quo with a corrupt government that Foreign Policy Magazine described this way: “Authoritarian leadership, stifled dissent, limited freedom of assembly, and endless violence are the hallmarks of Mexico…” Trump’s America First Doctrine is the essential policy response to what is obviously a Mexican Corrupt Government First position of the authorities to our south.

So Trump implemented his America First Doctrine and sent the bull into the china closet on both of those fronts — and, apparently, is getting results none of his predecessors could.

But let’s look at NATO, the most recent iteration of the doctrine, to really see how this works with our closest allies.

NATO allies have been shirking their responsibilities for decades, refusing to pay their fair share for defense against Russia. They have relied on the U.S. military, knowing that it has generally been in our interests to defend them. This is easily measurable. The U.S. spends 3.5 percent of our giant gross domestic product on military spending. Keep that number in mind.

Germany, the wealthiest major country in Europe, spends only 1.24 percent of its GDP on defense — even though they face a far more immediate threat from Russia. A study by McKinsey & Co. reports that about 60 percent of Germany’s Eurofighter and Tornado fighter jets, and about 80 percent of its Sea Lynx helicopters, are unusable because of the chronic underfunding. Belgium, NATO headquarters, spends a paltry 0.9 percent of GDP on defense — one-third of which is for pensions.

In 2002, after our European allies were unable to help in any real way in post 9-11 Afghanistan, they promised to fix that embarrassment by spending at least 2 percent of GDP on defense — still far below the U.S. expenditures, but at least something. Alas, they didn’t. Instead, our European allies’ combined defense spending actually declined further, from 1.9 percent at the time all the way down to 1.4 percent by 2015.

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There are 29 countries in NATO. But the United States, across the Atlantic, pays 73% of NATO’s budget to protect all of those European allies from Russia. Not a reasonable arrangement.

In the meantime, they spend more on social programs and on supporting large corporations directly competing with American corporations, such as the Airbus consortium. George W. Bush tried to get them to pay more. And even Obama called them “free riders.” But the nice guy approaches of those two netted nothing — well, less than nothing.

So Trump’s critique of this lopsided relationship is exactly right. And following the America First Doctrine, he unleashes the bull to bang around the china closet because that is what is apparently necessary to get these allies to quit free-loading off U.S. taxpayers. Last year he used harsh words — and naturally was duly chastised by the Democrat-media establishment — and managed to get a small and inadequate increase in defense spending. But he wasn’t looking for token change.

So this year he was more bumptious, and insinuated that perhaps NATO was an unnecessary relic of the past — something that was debated quite a bit in the early 1990s after the Soviet Union broke up and disintegrated, ending the Cold War.

European leaders huffed and puffed in horrified unison with the American Democrat-media establishment, but in the end, the Europeans softened, at least publicly. They seem to understand the arrangement has been great for them, but not for the U.S., since the fall of the Soviet Union. They have been able to blow off previous presidents who had a weaker doctrine. But they have likely come to believe that Trump is not going to back down until America gets a much better deal.

It’s the same conclusion the Chinese have come to, and perhaps the North Koreans. Time will tell on the Mexicans. But while the bull is breaking china in the closet, an altered world arrangement is slowing taking shape that improves America’s relations around the globe — for Americans.

And that’s how Trump’s America First Doctrine works.

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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G7 — World Throws Tantrum As President Trump Puts America First

Rod Thomson

Leading up to the G7 summit, the entirety of the world Left, from Eurocrats to Media to American Democrats, are angry and supposedly fearful over President Trump starting a new trade war and tearing down the post World War II world order. They claim he is destabilizing the western world and much of the globe.

But that stability was for too long built on America shouldering everyone else’s load, from military protection for Europeans who could afford to do more for their own defense to unfavorable trade deals with those same Europeans and non-allied competitors such as China. In the decade or two after WWII decimated the world, that probably made sense. Maybe even through the fall of the Soviet Union in 1988, although that is less clear. But by 2018?

A shakeup in that part of the Post-War order is long overdue, and many common-sense Americans know this. And it may ultimately be good for the Europeans, depending on their long-term response.

The global pre-G7 hand-wringing and anger of the elitist Left is more akin to a child who has been coddled and spoiled and is suddenly being held to account for his actions. That child is naturally going to be angry and throw a tantrum.

This is most clear with our cushioned western European allies. Our eastern European allies are less elitist, less cushioned and have a more pro-American take.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and an elitist bureaucrat among elitist bureaucrats, arrogantly dismissed President Trump as mere “seasonal turbulence.” It’s really pitch perfect for exactly what is wrong in Europe, including that this man, a “president,” is utterly unaccountable and unreachable by any European voters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after Trump criticized European leaders for not spending what they promised to spend on military as part of NATO — part of America shouldering an undue share of their burden: “the times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over.”

Germany has been one of the biggest leeches on the American military, and thus American taxpayer, even though they were at the front line of the Iron Curtain. If Merkel is saying “fully rely” on America to carry too much of the German defense burden, then hopefully she is right. It doesn’t mean we aren’t allies.

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But Merkel, arguably the worst Post-War German Chancellor (counting only West Germans when the nation was divided) has continued on her anti-Trump, and anti-America-first rhetoric leading up to the G7.

Just Wednesday, she said, “That was my takeaway from the NATO summit, and in the meantime I continue to feel confirmed by my statement…All of that confirms the assessment that the world is being reorganized.”

Merkel, along with French, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and other western European leaders combine the NATO comments with Trump’s decision to exit from the Paris global climate treaty — which has since been revealed to be the empty vessel it was — and his exit from the Iran nuclear “accord” last month with his push for more fair trade for Americans, as a threat.

It’s only a threat to the coddled. Ultimately, forcing the Europeans to stand more firmly on their own two legs, and compete for fairly, will be good for them unless they just lay on the floor scream in tantrum mode. They probably will not. After an adjustment period, they will begin altering policies to reflect the new reality and potentially become more lean and competitive and be able to carry more of their own defense load.

Because the reality is that the American economy is rocking from top to bottom, and a lot of it is due directly to the election of Trump and his deregulation and tax policies.

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Here is a telling confession from a top American economist: “A lot of us economists have had our long-term forecasts ruined by the election of Donald Trump,” Moody Managing Director and Chief Economist John Lonski told Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney. “The idea was that growth would be stuck at 2 percent indefinitely, stagnation had set in for the long run and now we’re not so sure that is necessarily going to be the cast.”

GDP growth is now estimated to be 3.5 percent this year. Trump has changed the domestic paradigm as he is working on the international paradigm.

Trump upsetting the table cart domestically has meant net good things for all Americans who don’t want to just live on the dole. It can mean the same for our European allies, too. But they’ll have to adjust.

We won’t see that sentiment at the G7 summit. But we might down the road.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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Trump Presidency Proving It Is A One-Time Only Paradigm Shift

Rod Thomson

Enjoy it while you can. Or weather it, depending on your Trumpian disposition.

The undeniable reality is that President Donald Trump is doing what no other politician could do. Indeed, the very reality of some of his most off-putting, “unpresidential,” unconventional methods are exactly what are making him so effective.

And what probably makes him unrepeatable.

Long-time Republican strategist turned Libertarian in 2016, Mary Matalin is one of the few establishment-type folks who has come around and actually gets what’s happening.

“I think he’s stunning; he’s a paradigmatic shift…I don’t think anybody else can do it because everybody else who thinks they know about politics impedes their own forward motion by saying it can’t be done. He doesn’t have that gene — everything can be done,” Matalin recently said in a speech.

She’s exactly right. And that is the engine for the paradigm shift.

“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.”

– Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

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The U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem is the latest example. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all promised on the campaign trail to make that move, as stipulated by Congress in 1995. But none of them followed through because they listened to the advice of the careerist diplomats in the State Department that it would be inflammatory and dangerous and so on. It just cannot be done reasonably.

But Trump thumbs his nose at the conventional thinking constantly, and followed through with his promise — besting all three of those presidents both in honesty and courage in doing the right thing. This is one element of the Trump presidency that is changing the dynamic in the always-volatile and violent Middle East.

“Safety first has been the motto of the human race for half a million years; but it has never been the motto of leaders. A leader must face danger. He must take the risk and the blame, and the brunt of the storm.”

– Herbert N. Casson, author

North Korea is another example of Trump doing what absolutely no one else was willing or capable of doing — in a way no one expected and that terrified the careerists in the establishment. Responding to Kim Jong-Un’s jibes at Trump being old, any other President would have been very presidential and not replied. Trump tweets back that Kim is short and fat and nicknames him rocketman. That’s about as unconventional as it gets.

No one knows what to do with that. The media had fits, but they are clueless about Trump. The tweeting is coupled with Trump having sent two aircraft carrier groups to the Korean Peninsula and Kim having seen Trump attack Russian-backed Syrians multiple times, even killing some Russians. This generated another paradigm shift. If Trump is willing to kill Russians, why would he shy away from North Koreans? Kim is now negotiating and talking about total nuclear disarmament. We’ll see what happens, but this is an immense step everyone thought impossible.

“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”

— Will Rogers

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The Iran deal is another area where the conventional paradigm is altered. Despite most of the Republicans in the 2016 primary declaring they would rip up the Iran deal, one suspects that they probably would not have once the State Department careerists, other Washington establishmentarians and European allies pressured them not to. Too dangerous!

But Trump is Trump. He kept that campaign promise, too and is helping forge an alliance between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and…Israel! In one sense, this is merely an alliance of a common and deadly enemy, Iran. But it still is rather amazing to consider. And while it has its own impetus among those nations, the fact that America can be counted on (at least until 2020) to support this alliance against Iran’s violent expansionism is undoubtedly critical. Because of Syria and North Korea, the Iranian Mullahs must realize and calculate that they are dealing with a very different and more serious President than the previous one.

“Diplomacy is not an end in itself if it does not advance U.S. interests.”

— John Bolton, now National Security Advisor

China trade and tariffs is a very squishy area for doctrinaire conservatives. Free markets are a bulwark of modern conservatism. But Trump’s enactment of a series of tariffs, and more recently sanctions on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, have moved the dial. The Chinese sound willing to renegotiate the lopsided trade deals of previous administrations and stop or slow down immense amounts of cheating and blackmailing on behalf of Chinese companies.

According to the genuinely clueless media, Trump is now “flip-flopping” on the ZTE sanctions and talking about Chinese jobs instead of American jobs. But what has happened is that the Chinese are willing to stop their threatened retaliatory tariffs that were in response to the U.S. tariffs, just to stop the ZTE sanctions. Meanwhile, U.S. tariffs remain in place, revealing that the U.S. has — and always has had — the superior position of strength in negotiating. We just finally have a president who sees this and is willing to buck all of the establishment thinking and use the superior position for the good of the American people. In doing so, he’s created a new paradigm.

This is most certainly something no one else in the Republican field would have done. (Full disclosure, this writer supported Sen. Ted Cruz in the primaries. But it is virtually impossible to see even Cruz doing this.)

“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.”

John Locke

All of this is just on the foreign stage. Domestically, the tax reform package was something that Republicans had been wanting for decades. And while it was a GOP bill, it was in conjunction with Trump and clearly driven by his support for it. That reform has literally given most Americans a pay raise, and a new paradigm.

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De-regulation is shockingly underreported, but it has been a major factor in unleashing the American economy since his election. The Trump Administration has eliminated 22 regulations for every one new one it has implemented. American businesses are being unshackled and it shows. In addition to GDP and job growth, wages are increasing and will begin increasing faster as the economy continues to be strong.

Deregulation is something most Republican presidents would not touch because they are always wet-fingering the politics of it with environmental groups and other special interests ready to pounce. Caution and reelection remain preeminent. But Trump just does it because he is unlike any other modern president, or any other options out there. And the paradigm of ever more regulations stifling Americans is cracked.

Matalin again:

“He’s given people back hope, I mean people really, small-business people or young families or retiring people, in our DNA is always the potential to be better, to strive for something,” she said. “You couldn’t strive for anything. You’re being bushwhacked at every corner. He has shifted the collective psyche from horribly cynical to helpfully skeptical. So I think he is doing great.”

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy.  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


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The Calamity That Was Obama’s Foreign Policy Is On Full Display

Rod Thomson

That President Barack Obama’s foreign policy was weak and destructive has been evident to most non-partisan observers for a long time.

But with Israel’s bombshell announcement on Iran’s ongoing nuclear weapons program, the scale of the failure is coming into full light. Only his most ardent and blinded supporters can still be defending the Iran deal and the rest of his foreign policy disasters.

We knew the Iran deal was bad for regional safety and good for an expansion of terrorism. But there was still the thin thread of hope that it could work for at least delaying Iran’s nuclear weapon program. That hope is now revealed as a fool’s errand.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs during his blockbuster news conference, outlining Iran’s duplicity and threat. His presentation of the evidence (verified by U.S. intelligence services) found that Iran lied repeatedly to the IAEA about its weapons program before and during the Iran deal. It showed how after the deal, Iran continued and continues to pursue nuclear weapons research under the fiction of scientific research. And he showed that Iran maintained its atomic research archives for when it could continue building its nuclear weapons program full-scale.

Netanyahu said: “The mission statement is to design, produce and test five warheads with 10 kiloton of TNT yield for integration on missiles.”

So as suspected and now proven, the Iranian nuclear deal was a sham from the beginning. But the deal is just one piece of the disastrous puzzle of Obama’s foreign policy. Here’s the rest of the calamities that must be dealt with.

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➙ Syria. When Syrian President Assad crossed Obama’s red line on the use of chemical weapons and Obama did nothing, that emboldened Assad to be more aggressive and let ISIS know that the United States was toothless under Obama. They were free to slaughter at will and they did. Further, it was an invitation to Putin’s Russia to return to Syria with military force.

➙ Iraq. The precipitous withdrawal of U.S. troops after finally stabilizing the country at the cost of considerable amounts of American blood, opened the door to ISIS’ bloody expansion from northern Syria into Northern Iraq, and Iran’s movement into the country from the east. Iran’s cash windfall from the nuclear deal has helped fund its aggression in Iraq, along with Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. The cost in lives has been staggering.

➙ Libya. Obama, leading from behind with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, used American air power to help overthrow the only dictator who had voluntarily given up his nuclear weapons program after 9-11. Learning nothing from Iraq, Obama and Clinton amazingly had no plan for what would come after the overthrow. So what the world got was another failed state and haven for ISIS and other terrorist groups, and a launching point for Muslim refugees into Europe.

➙ Israel. The one free, democratic ally of America in the Middle East was abysmally treated by Obama as one of several key relationships with our allies he degraded. Further, and ironically, he meddled in an Israeli national election with the goal of defeating Netanyahu and created a toxic taste in this vitally important relationship.

And this was all just in the Middle East.

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➙ North Korea. The kick the can down the road, do-nada approach to foreign policy with North Korea allowed for the continued expansion of a new generation of nuclear weapons and missile delivery options that has put America’s West Coast under a nuclear threat. This should never have been allowed, but a weak president with no foreign policy plan and no will to do anything difficult or risky, just ignored it.

➙ Russia. The Russian reset is one of the most spectacular, high-profile failures of the Obama administration. There was the infamous red button that the Russian foreign minister and Hillary Clinton jointly pushed that was supposed to reset the supposedly terrible relationship left by Bush (and tweak Bush in the process.) Instead, it opened the door to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. It’s not even clear if that was just incompetence as Obama’s also infamous 2012 “more flexibility after the election” comment to Russia’s president was caught on a hot mic and indeed, his flexibility apparently meant let Russia do whatever it wanted.

➙ China. Obama’s do-nothing foreign policy with America’s enemies continued in Asia where he acquiesced to China’s military expansionism and failed to respond in any real way to China cheating on trade agreements and blackmailing American companies at the cost of billions of dollars and who knows how many American jobs. This one doubles as a foreign and domestic policy failure.

➙ Venezuela and Cuba. Cuddling up to, and praising Cuba and Venezuela as the Socialist/Communist countries spiraled into economic chaos and even starvation showed a certain cluelessness, or socialist sympathy. Obama did not cause their disasters — socialism and tyranny did that — but he seemed blind to this reality. His admiring speeches and gestures towards the Castros and Hugo Chavez enabled the strongman regimes to continue to oppress their people and sustain the grueling and unnecessary poverty.

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This is hardly an exhaustive list, but large enough to make the case painfully clear that the Obama administration was an abysmal failure on the foreign policy stage. As we saw in the Jimmy Carter years, the world cannot afford such incompetence and miserable worldviews from America.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy.  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


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