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The Obama foreign policy: A non sequitur

By Frank Salvato
web posted September 17, 2012

Up until September 11th, 2012, the Obama campaign truly believed that their candidate had the upper hand on the issue of foreign policy. In fact, during Mr. Obama's nomination acceptance speech recently, he portrayed Mr. Romney as "new to foreign policy." But while it is true that Mr. Obama has the luxury of having three and one-half years under his belt as President of the United States, it is also true that he has spent most of time focused on domestic issues of an ideological nature. It is true, too, that his foreign policy is based on the United States taking its "proper place" in the world as an "equal." Further, it is also true, as is evidenced by the violence currently be perpetrated against US embassies across the Middle East – violence that has claimed the lives of four US emissaries, including a State Department ambassador – that Mr. Obama's foreign policy is not only a complete and utter failure, it has left our nation less safe and the target of those who oppose liberty and freedom around the world.

At the 2012 Democrat National Convention in Charlotte, NC, Mr. Obama pontificated:

"My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy...from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly. After all, you don't call Russia our No. 1 enemy – not al Qaeda – Russia, unless you're still stuck in a Cold War mind warp."

Yet on September 12, 2012, as US Ambassador Christopher Stevens lay dead on Libyan soil, the Obama State Department was making apologies for American free speech in deploring an Internet film critical of Muhammad, erroneously cited as the catalyst for the violence:

"The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions..."

Of course we now know that this obscure film was not the catalyst for the violence perpetrated at the hand of jihadists and Islamist elements with both loose and direct links to al Qaeda. Instead the catalyst was a combination of the June killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a top al Qaeda leader of Libyan descent, and the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks on the United States. While the obscure film may have been used to create a lather among the less than literate in the Arab World, it was, in fact, a propaganda tool used to affect an out-coming pleasing to the jihadi mindset.

More detailed reports addressing the storming of US embassies across the Middle East and North Africa – including reports from Libyan security officials themselves – indicate that the attacks were premeditated and coordinated paramilitary styled attacks executed by seasoned jihadis days, if not weeks, before the actual events.

FOX News reports:

"A Libyan official said Thursday that the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi was a planned, two-part operation that included a raid on a supposedly secret safe house...

"Wanis al-Sharef, eastern Libya's deputy interior minister, said the attacks were suspected to have been timed to mark the 9/11 anniversary and that the militants used civilians protesting an anti-Islam film as cover for their action...

"Separately, Sharef offered new details about the operation behind the attack Tuesday. He said US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and another official were killed in the consulate, but that the attackers timed a second wave on the safe house just as Libyan and US security forces were arriving to rescue evacuated consulate staff. He said that second wave killed two more Americans and wounded nearly 30 Libyans and Americans.

"The comments continued to contradict initial reports that the attack was a product of angry and violent protests over an anti-Islam film."

In a very ugly turn, additional reports from an AFP source states:

"US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who was killed by gunmen that stormed the US consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday, was reportedly raped before being murdered."

And the Libyan Free Press ran a headline:

"Libya – USA Ambassador in Bengazi sodomized and killed by his own al-Qaeda puppets."

Violence at the hands of jihadists – jihadists answering the call to action by the likes of Ayman al Zawahiri, Hassan Nasrallah and Mahmoud Amadinejad – has spread across the Middle East and North Africa to include Egypt, Libya, Yemen, with warnings of potential violence  being issued to State Department employees and American citizens in Armenia, Burundi, Kuwait, Sudan, Tunisia and Zambia.

Interesting to note is that all of this – all of it – comes after Mr. Obama's overtures to the Arab World – the Muslim World – in his June 2009 speech in Cairo, during which he said:

"I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.  Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."

So much for the outstretched hand of peace, eh, Mr. Obama?

The point in all of this is that a US foreign policy based on "the audacity of hope" is one that gets exploited by those who see you as a foe to be vanquished or an infidel in need of being conquered. Either way, the idea that politically correct rhetoric and self-deprecation can serve as a successful foreign policy is neither "progressive" nor intelligent. In fact, it is reckless and dangerous, especially when jihadists have proved they can strike in the hearts of American cities, and with staggeringly lethal results.

But an overview of just a few more of the "achievements" of the Obama foreign policy adds additional fuel to the fire that is global diplomatic failure:

▪ Russia, under Vladimir Putin's former-KGB tutelage, has "negotiated" to a position of ultimate advantage on the issue of US European missile defense deployment and, while doing so, facilitated the Obama Administration's insulting of the Polish government, who was committed to partnering in the system's deployment. Russia has also expanded its sphere of influence, to a great degree recapturing said influence in many of the breakaway regions that celebrated "freedom" in the post-Soviet Era.

▪ China has not only engaged in a massive expansion of their military capability, they have expanded their military reach as well. Additionally, while the Obama Administration foisted ridiculous EPA regulations on the private energy sector of the United States, China signed deals with Cuba to drill for oil in international waters off the Cuban and Florida coasts (note to Mr. Obama, China does not give a damn about EPA regulations). Add to those issues the fact that China is using its considerable financial wherewithal to expand its political interests into Africa and South America.

▪ And as Iran ticks ever-closer to acquiring nuclear weapon capability – capability that would see them achieve nuclear ICBM status – the Obama Administration shoots spitball-like sanctions at the Islamic Republic; sanctions that deter nothing about their nuclear advances. At the same time, as the Green Revolution (the citizen-led freedom movement) begged the West for assistance, even as they were being slaughtered in the streets by their own government, the stunted intellect of the Obama Administration had the President issuing a statement saying, "It's not productive, given the history of the US-Iranian relationship, to be seen as meddling."

▪ The pro-Palestinian policies of the Obama Administration has routinely seen the President and his staff – and their policies – snubbing the closest Middle Eastern ally the United States has: Israel.

Add to these key blunders the fact that officials from the European Union have openly cited the Progressive-pushed mortgage meltdown as the catalyst for the world's economic woes and that the Obama EPA and Interior Departments snubbed Canada on a deal regarding the XL Pipeline, and it becomes clear that the Obama foreign policy has not only been a failure, it has been a disaster.

So, pardon me for asking, but how does any of this constitute a stellar foreign policy, and one that a presidential campaign would hang its hat on? Truth be told, an eighth grader could craft a more potent foreign policy simply by penning a research paper from a social studies book...but then, that would require the Obama Administration to actually believe they have something to learn; a concept foreign to the arrogance of Progressivism.

Getting back to the Arab Winter – after all, the expansion of Islamism is not a victory for freedom and liberty, although the Islamists did use democracy to achieve their goals (see why democracy is bad?). The policy of appeasement advanced by the Obama Administration in the Middle East; in the Arab World, illustrates one of two things: 1) It illustrates a complete lack of knowledge regarding the idea of strength and weakness in the Arab (read: Muslim) World, or 2) It illustrates the true desires held by the Obama Administration for the future of the Middle East.

Either way, with Mr. Obama's foreign policy in place – and with an emboldened Islamist street – we are closer to standing witness to a bloody and vicious global conflict than we were during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That, in a nutshell, is very bad foreign policy. 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, Radio Belgrade One 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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