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.
➙ 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.
➙ 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.
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.
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