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It would be unwise for Obama to run on foreign policy

By Frank Salvato
web posted May 7, 2012

There are some who believe that President Barack Obama made his recent trip to Afghanistan so as to shore up an appearance that he actually knows what he is doing when it comes to foreign policy. For the life of me I cannot find any reason for his trip but for that being the case. But attempting to construct a façade of foreign policy competency where overwhelming evidence points to dramatic failure, is unwise. Even more politically disastrous would be to campaign on the belief that the voting public would buy political propaganda touting his foreign policy expertise. Yet, as you dissect the agreement that Mr. Obama "achieved" during his recent visit to Afghanistan – a foreign policy "achievement" he hypes as "historic" – it becomes clear that the only thing historic about the agreement, and the only thing competent about his foreign policy, is the arrogance with which it is trumpeted.

Yes, it is always important for the Commander-in-Chief to display his support for the troops. In fact, every President should approach his stewardship of the US Armed Forces as that of a solemn duty; one not to be taken lightly; one which is executed with a reverent concern for actions and consequences, be they on the field of battle or where legislation is concerned. But when it comes to Mr. Obama's deeds; his track record where the troops are concerned, it would take a lot more than an "atta-boy" trip overseas to chat-up the men and women of the military to convince them that he actually cared one way or another about their well-being. So, while it was important for the President to have "Guccis on the ground" in Afghanistan, the fact of the matter is this: The most important reason, to Mr. Obama and his campaign team, for his trip to Afghanistan was to embrace a photo opportunity in front of unmanned armored personnel carriers for re-election purposes. A cursory look at the "historic agreement" proves this out.

As reported by the Associated Press:

"The 10-year security compact that President Barack Obama signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai contains promises the United States and Afghanistan cannot guarantee they will keep, and loopholes for both nations.

"The deal signed Tuesday also allows either nation to walk away on a year's notice. That could allow the next US president, or the next Afghan leader, to scuttle a deal negotiated by his or her predecessor. US officials said the deal is legally binding, but it does not carry the force of a treaty as Afghanistan originally wanted...

"The deal pledges Afghanistan to fight corruption, improve efficiency and protect human rights, including women's rights. All are areas where the United States already finds fault with Afghan performance, and Afghanistan has promised improvement on corruption many times before. The nine-page agreement spells out no consequences if those or other goals are not met.

"The agreement uses even looser language to address the production and trafficking of illegal drugs in Afghanistan, a major opium producer...

"The agreement pledges the two nations to begin work on a more detailed pact, and sets a goal of one year to complete it. Either nation can quit the agreement with one year's written notice."

When one actually looks at the tangibles where this "historic agreement" is concerned, the only conclusion that can be reached is that, diplomatically, there is a whole lot of nothing in it.

But that's par for the course (and I am sure the President will forgive my rhetorical reference to his favorite pass-time) where Mr. Obama's foreign policy accomplishments are concerned.

If you go back to the teleprompter archives from when then Senator Obama was campaigning for the Presidency – which was about 13 minutes after he won election to the US Senate, it isn't hard to find the text he read where he promises to raise the stature of the United States around the world, the stature so badly tarnished by the Bush Administration. Today, when you examine the facts of the matter, we are incredibly worse off than we were just four short years ago.

Where four years ago Pakistan had a government and military leaders that, for the most part, worked with us in formal alliance in the war against violent jihadism, today there are – routinely – demonstrations in the streets of major Pakistani cities where the protesters are calling for not only an end to military and diplomatic cooperation with the United States, but demanding one of Mr. Obama's famous apologies for – get this – taking out Osama bin Laden, the arch terrorist that their intelligence service, the ISI, was hiding from the United States.

At the end of the Bush Administration, the Russians expressed serious concerns about a proposed US missile defense system installation on European soil. Nevertheless, they had enough respect for the strength of the United States to find themselves bound to a negotiating table on the issue. Today, Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov threatened to launch a pre-emptive strike on any missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if Washington goes ahead with the missile defense plan. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last year that Russia would retaliate militarily if an agreement (read: an abandonment) of the missile defense system was not reached.

China, our largest financial benefactor (or enabler, depending on how you look at it), is demanding another of Mr. Obama's famous apologies for the harboring of Chinese human rights dissident Chen Guangcheng in the US Embassy in Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said,

"The US method was interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to China. China demands that the United States apologize over this, thoroughly investigate this incident, punish those who are responsible, and give assurances that such incidents will not recur."

And after this international humiliation – a humiliation that frames the United States as a paper tiger where human rights advocacy is concerned – Mr. Guangcheng is still in China, only now in the Communist Chinese government's hands.

Four short years ago in the Middle East and North Africa, the United States had pro-American leaders in several Arab and Islamic nations, and while several of the leaders were perhaps a bit more despotic than those of the Western mindset would have liked, they at least aligned themselves with the United States and the West politically. Today, after an Obama Administration supported "move toward Democracy" (read Why Democracy Is Dangerous for the 'Arab Spring' to understand why this notion is absolutely dangerous) in the revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring," several of those leaders have been replaced by factions, governments, individuals or groups that not only want to sever ties with the United States, her allies and the West in general, and not only have strong operational ties to radically fundamentalist and violent jihadist groups (read: Hezbollah, al Qaeda, Hamas, etc.), but entities that want to establish fundamentalist Sharia Law across their countries while aligning themselves with Islamic fundamentalists like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the mullah of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

And as the Arab Middle Eastern countries fall one-by-one to the radical factions of Sharia compliant Islamism, the Obama Administration has exhibited unyielding support for the Palestinians, be they al Fatah or Hamas, going as far as usurping the will of Congress in the by-passing of an official hold on aid. Recently, the Obama Administration unilaterally awarded $192 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority; aid Congress voted against, and a move that all but slaps the collective face of Israel, our most loyal ally in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama appoints an anti-Semite in Samantha Power to his "Atrocities Prevention Board." You may remember Mrs. Cass Sunstein (Power) for this statement regarding Israel:

"What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line...and putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import. It may more crucially mean...investing literally billions of dollars not in servicing Israeli military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine.

"In investing billions of dollars it would probably take also to support, I think, what would to be, I think, a mammoth protection force...a meaningful military presence because it seems to me at this stage -- and this is true of actual genocides as well and not just major human rights abuses which we're seeing there -- but is that you have to go in as if you're serious. You have to put something on the line and unfortunately the position of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful, it's a terrible thing to do its fundamentally undemocratic."

And last, but by no stretch of the imagination least, when Mr. Obama had an opportunity to make a real and tangible difference for the future of the Middle East; for freedom and liberty in the Middle East, he not only punted, he literally sided with anti-freedom and oppressive despots. When the freedom-fighting Green Movement took to the streets of Iran in protest of the oppressive Islamic regime fronted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and dictated by the tyranny of the mullahs, Mr. Obama refused to act; refused to stand-up for those fighting for freedom, saying, "It is not productive, given the history of US and Iranian relations to be seen as meddling in Iranian elections."

In fact, even the achievement of extracting Osama bin Laden from the embrace of life and dispatching the cretin to the icy depths of the Seven Seas cannot be claimed in a major way by Mr. Obama as an accomplishment of his administration. Yes, the killing and disposing of bin Laden occurred under Mr. Obama's watch, but it would never have happened if the policies Mr. Obama campaigned on were employed. If the military tribunals and intelligence interrogations would have been transferred to civilian entities the information used to identify the courier that led intelligence officials – and eventually SEAL Team VI – to Abbottabad would never have been gleaned and bin Laden, in all likelihood, would still be alive today.

In addition – and in light of the fact that the entire operation was conceived, planned and executed under the direction of Admiral William McRaven, the head of the Joint Operations Command, Mr. Obama's continued narcissism on this issue – all the "I directed" and "on my orders" talk – paints him in the light of a braggart, not a thoughtful Commander-in-Chief, thankful for the dedication and expertise of those in his command.

The list of foreign policy failures under the Obama Administration is expansive and the truth of the matter is this: just those failures listed here are enough to designate the Obama Administration as the worst in executing foreign policy in recent history. To say that the United States of America is viewed in a worse light around the world today than in the past fifty years would be an absolute understatement. To say that thanks to the efforts of the Progressive, one-worlder ideologues in the Obama Administration, we are living in a world that is much more dangerous for Americans is a truth, so much so that many Americans are afraid – afraid – to travel overseas.

...and Mr. Obama believes that he can campaign for re-election touting achievements in foreign policy. As Jerry Seinfeld said to George Costanza, as George lay on Jerry's apartment floor, his pants around his ankles, "And you want to be my latex salesman..." I don't think so. ESR

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamic jihadism and Progressive neo-Marxism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, "Ezekiel and the MidEast 'Piece' Process: Israel's Neighbor States." He is the author of the series Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam, an educational pamphlet series. Mr. Salvato is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting and ABC Starguide Satellite Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. He is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network. Mr. Salvato has been interviewed on Radio Belgrade One. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org, BigGovernment.comand Examiner.com and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at contact@newmediajournal.us.





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