Think about it: in less than a month we won’t have Barack Obama to kick around anymore. Or, is that wishful thinking?
Yet, we will have the foreign policy mess he created. Perhaps we will call on Hercules to clean up the Augean stables, but there is little chance that we will be cleaning it up quickly and easily.
For some obvious reasons, Barack Obama inspired idolatry. His supporters did not just agree with him. They did not just praise what he did and criticize his failures. They worshipped him. To the point where they were perfectly willing to denounce any criticism as racism.
Or else, you might say that most people wanted so badly for Obama to succeed that they decided—according to the rules of today’s trendiest philosophers—that success merely meant that people would declare him a success. Since precious few people are declaring Obama to be an abysmal failure, the word running through the system is that he was a great success.
If this is what success looks like, perhaps a few failures would be good for the soul. At least, they would help restore rational judgment to the nation’s political mindset.
Enforced idolatry is an insidious form of censorship. You are not allowed to express a dissenting word lest you be shunned from polite and even impolite society.
One understands that some of Trump’s supporters are idolatrous. Many are not. And yet, so many of Obama’s important supporters in the media—think David Remnick—have no critical distance from Obama’s policy that I believe the word idolatry to be perfectly fitting.
Yesterday, a chastened Alan Dershowitz declared Obama to be appalling. On Fox and Friends, he said:
Many [liberal Democrats] like me who support his domestic policy think he was an appalling... president when it came to foreign policy.
Dershowitz is horrified because during a meeting with Obama in 2008, Obama told him to his face that he would always have Israel’s back. Dershowitz continued that he did not realize that Obama would knife Israel in the back. I appreciate that when a sitting United States Senator swears to your face that he will do something, you are inclined to believe him. Count Deshowitz among those who were duped by a dishonest and deceitful president. But who is honest enough to admit it.
Col. Ralph Peters summed up the Obama Middle East policy thusly:
Praise Islam, Ignore Christians, Blame Jews
For those of you who like 6-word novels, the Peters phrase qualifies. Considering how difficult it is to write a 6-word novel, we praise the colonel. Anyhow, he uses far fewer than 140 characters.
Taking the full measure of the Obama foreign policy, Bret Stephens describes it in terms of serial betrayals. It almost sounds like: Who did Obama not betray? Of course, that one is too easy: he didn’t betray the mullahs in Iran.
Aside from that Obama betrayed:
Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.
Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.
Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.
Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.
Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.
Does the word faithless pop into your mind? Does the word cowardice follow quickly after it?
Stephens continues to explain that Obama also betrayed his promises to the American people:
Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.
And he used deceit, underwritten by a mainstream media that happily ignored it all. They believed that if the great Obama was doing it, it must be right. Obviously, the media suffered an enormous loss of credibility during the Obama years. When it roused itself to attack Trump, no one believed anything it was saying.
The administration was deceptive about the motives for the 2012 Benghazi attack. It was deceptive about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s service record, and the considerations that led it to exchange five Taliban leaders for his freedom. It was deceptive about when it began nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was deceptive about the terms of the deal. It continues to be deceptive about the fundamental aim of the agreement, which has less to do with curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than with aligning Washington’s interests with Tehran’s.
Instead, we have the spectacle of the U.S. government hiding behind the skirts of the foreign minister of New Zealand—along with eminent co-sponsors, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal—in order to embarrass and endanger a democratic ally in a forum where that ally is already isolated and bullied. In the catalog of low points in American diplomacy, this one ranks high.
Of course, the media did not much care about the IRS scandal, the Benghazi attack, the VA problems, and so on. As someone said last night on television, if the Benghazi attack had happened under the Bush administration you would have heard nothing but how Bush had killed the ambassador… and you would have heard it every day for a year.
Since we are ostensibly taking the measure of Obama’s foreign policy, we will add a few remarks by the estimable Caroline Glick, an Israeli columnist who is none too pleased by Obama’s betrayal of Israel. But, she makes a more salient point.
In the end, Obama’s foreign policy was designed to diminish the role and the influence of America in the world.
When Obama chose to lead the anti-Israel lynch mob at the Security Council last week, he did more than deliver the PLO terrorist organization its greatest victory to date against Israel. He delivered a strategic victory to the anti-American forces that seek to destroy the coherence of American superpower status. That is, he carried out a strategic strike on American power.
By leading the gang rape of Israel on Friday, Obama undermined the rationale for American power. Why should the US assert a sovereign right to stand against the radical forces that control the UN?
As part of his policy of disempowering America, Obama has raised the status and the stature of the United Nations:
It is not surprising that Obama is carrying out the final act of his presidency at the UN. Obama has made no attempt to hide his desire to eliminate America’s independence of action. By elevating the post of UN ambassador to a cabinet level position at the outset of his presidency, Obama signaled his conviction that this corrupt institution is the equal of the US government.
This early signal was transformed into an open policy when Obama used the Security Council as a means to bypass the US Senate in implementing his nuclear deal with Iran.
Now, by ignoring the near consensus position of both parties that the US should block anti-Israel resolutions from being adopted at the Security Council and plotting further action against Israel at the Security Council in his final weeks in office, Obama has made clear his position and his aim.
She adds this analysis:
For eight years, through his embrace and empowerment of US enemies, betrayal and weakening of US allies, emaciation of the US armed forces and repeated apologies for America’s past assertions of global leadership Obama has waged a determined war against US superpower status. The last vestige of the strategic and moral rationale for US power was the protection America afforded Israel at the Security Council.
The solution, Glick says, is to follow the recommendations of Republican senators and defund the UN and make the UN irrelevant:
Now with that gone, it has become a strategic imperative for the US to render the UN irrelevant. This can only be undertaken by permanently defunding this corrupt institution and using the US’s Security Council veto to end the UN’s role as the arbiter of international peace and security, by among other things, ending the deployment of UN forces to battle zones.