Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Unfolding Disaster That is The Obama Foreign Policy Performance

While we have spent the past four posts reviewing the unfolding disasters that continue to come out of the Obama Care legislation, let’s not forget the unfolding disasters that continue to come out of Obama’s foreign affairs missteps and failures. As a result of his Presidency, I doubt that the United States’ standing and effectiveness on the world stage has fallen so low or so quickly. As the saying goes relative to this administration: “Our enemies don’t fear us and our friends don’t trust us.” As a result, our economic, military and safety interests have all taken a pounding over the past seven plus years.

How bad is it? Let’s review:

1) Bruce Klingner, writing for the Heritage Foundation on September 9, 2016, reported on how North Korea recently conducted its fifth nuclear bomb test:

  • This was the country’s second nuclear bomb test in 2016. 
  • The North Korean government bragged that they now have “a variety of smaller, lighter, and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power … standardized [to be] mounted on strategic ballistic rockets.”
  • Measurements by the U.S. Geological Survey estimate the power of the blast is about equivalent to the atomic bomb we dropped on Hiroshima in World War II.
  • Klingner also reports that in addition to the two nuclear bomb tests, North Korea ”has engaged in a rapid-fire series of nuclear and missile tests. In addition to the two nuclear tests, Kim Jong Un has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, a road-mobile intermediate-range missile, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, upgraded medium- and short-range missiles, re-entry vehicle technology, a new solid-fuel rocket engine, and an improved liquid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile engine.”
  • This is not surprising since in the past four years, the North Koreans have conducted at least 37 missile tests.
  • This missile capability allows the North Koreans to easily hit South Korea and Japan and U.S.military bases in the Pacific Ocean, with the final goal likely to have a missile that can reach the U.S. mainland.
Nasty stuff, considering the nut job that is running North Korea. But it is obvious that the Obama administration has been powerless in stopping the march of North Korea to nuclear arms capability. 

The article points out that the administration has done nothing to enact new sanctions that would at least slow down the North Koreans development of nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver those weapons. Obama has had to rely solely on the Chinese to keep North Korea in line, something that China either does not want to do or will not do. Nothing the Obama administration has done or threatened to do has had any effect on North Korea, resulting in our country and the world being a less safe to be relative to nuclear weapons than it was seven and a half years ago when Obama was sworn in.

2) Apparently, the Philippines has a major problem with drug addiction, drug cartels, and drug violence. As a result, the current President of the Philippines, has launched a widespread and aggressive campaign to rid the country of drug trafficking and drug cartels, perhaps often crossing the line of legality when it comes to punishing/killing drug pushers and traffickers.

Obviously, this is a big domestic problem in that country and a problem that is best addressed and resolved by the people of the Philippines. But along comes the American President on a recent trip to Southeast Asia who decided to stick his nose into this country’s internal crisis. Obama more or less lectured the President and leaders of the Philippines that they should not treat drug traffickers so harsh and they should stay within the bounds of their legal system. 

Well, the President of the Philippines did not take too kindly to an outsider telling him how to run his country as well he should. I am sure we would not be happy if he came to this country and admonished us for what we might be doing. In fact, he kind of went off the deep end and called Obama “a son of a whore,” as reported by many news outlets including the New York Post in a September 5, 2016 article by Jamie Schram.

Specifically, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said: “You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum. We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me.” Some of the other news outlets translated his remarks to mean “son of a bitch,” not “son of a whore,” as if there is a big difference.

In fact despite Obama’s intrusion and view that Duarte calm down his anti-drug crusade, Duarte seemed to double down in defiance of Obama: “More people will be killed, plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the (last) drug manufacturer is killed, we will continue and I will continue. I don’t give a s—t about anybody observing my behavior.” 

As a result of this exchange of “opinions” between the two leaders, a scheduled meeting between them in China at a meeting of world leaders was, not surprisingly, cancelled. 

But in a historical context, can you recall at any time in our history during any Presidency when a President of the United States was called a “son of a whore” or “son of a bitch” by a leader of supposedly of a friendly country? Or for that matter, by an enemy state? This is certainly a real example of how much this President and the United States is held in so little esteem by a friendly country’s leader.

3) You would think that Iran would be thankful to the Obama administration., Obama gave them a great deal on the so-called nuclear arms agreement last year. This deal allowed the Iranians to quickly become nuclear weapons capable in about ten years, if not sooner, and it gave the Iranians sanctions relief. In addition, the administration secretly paid them $400 million in cash for the release of four American hostages that were being held by the Iranians. 

So much for gratitude. Lucas Tomlinson, writing for Fox News on September 12, 2016, reported that Iran threatened to shoot down US spy planes operating in the Persian Gulf. This threat happened as a result of two Navy planes flying close to, but not violating, the twelve mile international boundary line. Last month small Iranian Navy boats harassed U.S. Navy ships operating in international waters. 

Nothing says no respect for a US President than some piss ant little country harassing the most powerful armed forces in the country and the President and commander in chief of those armed forces doing nothing. Pathetic.

4) But these are just the latest insults and failures of the Obama administration’s foreign policy ineptness, consider the other failures over the years:

  • Remember when the President of Brazil turned the opportunity to have a state dinner at the White House sponsored by Obama because his administration had spied on Brazilian President’s phone calls?
  • Remember when Obama called ISIS a JV terrorist organization and then the world watched as ISIS grew into the most terrifying, gruesome, and richest terror organization of all time?
  • Remember when Obama threatened the Syrian government and strongman Assad not to cross the “red line” of using chemical weapons on Syrian citizens and then did nothing when Assad ignored Obama’s warning and crossed that red line?
  • Remember when Putin and Russia invaded the Ukraine and Obama did relatively little to oppose that hostile move, a strategy that was so ineffective that Russia still controls vast swaths of the Ukraine?
  • Remember when Obama pulled off one of the lamest foreign affairs stunts of all time when he refused to join other world leaders when Paris and France suffered terrible terror attacks by ISIS but a week or so later sent John Kerry and singer James Taylor to France where he sang his four decade old hit song, “You’ve Got A Friend?”
  • Remember when Obama prematurely withdrew the last US troops from Iraq, against the advice of his diplomatic and military advisors, in order to make a trite political point in his reelection campaign, which directly led to the rise of ISIS and the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of Iraqi citizens from terrorism?
  • Remember when Obama injected himself into the whole BREXIT discussion in Great Britian and not only was he told by any number of British polticians to butt out of their inernal affairs but there is some evidence that his intrusion with his opinion that Britain should reject the BREXIT option resulted in a backlash that actually allowed the BREXIT option to win?
  • Remember when China decided to build artificial islands all over the Pacific Ocean, likely for military purposes, and faced no effective counter strategy or counter balance from the Obama administration?
Does any of this smack of a foreign affairs diplomatic success story?Teddyh Roosevelt once said the being "weak invites contmept." Being called a son of a whore by an ally, being stood up at a White House state dinner, and being ignored by small countries and large countries alike? All of these instances look like weakness and the resultant contempt to me.

Maybe Obama Care has a mirror image of failure of itself in the Obama Presidency’s foreign affairs disasters. The world is certainly less secure, less safe, and more hostile since Obama took office and he apparently has done little, if anything, to make the world more secure, safer, and less hostile.

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