Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Foreign Policy Obama's Strength???

Writing in a front page article in the Globe and Mail Konrad Yakabuski is positively glowing with praise over President Obama's allegedly wildly successful foreign policy:
Because he has a good story to tell about his foreign-policy achievements, and cannot tout his economic record in quite the same way, Mr. Obama is making the most of it.

On the first anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the President swooped into Afghanistan on the pretext of having reached a deal to stick by the Afghans but also end America’s military entanglement there.

But Mr. Obama’s dramatic Tuesday night speech to Americans from a U.S. military base in Afghanistan was also meant to persuade voters that he has aced his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief – and rub his foreign-policy successes in Republican faces.

It was election-year stagecraft at its finest.

In 2008, Mr. Obama campaigned like a peacenik and was derided as hopelessly naïve about foreign policy – first by Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination, and then by John McCain, the onetime prisoner-of-war and that year’s GOP nominee.

Yet, foreign policy is the one sphere in which Mr. Obama has exceeded expectations in office. His Nobel Peace Prize notwithstanding, he has shown himself to be a cool-headed – and, if necessary, ruthless – practitioner of realpolitik and proved the naysayers wrong.

Who could blame him for taking a victory lap or three?
There's so much wrong with this article it's not funny. True it may be "election-year stagecraft at its finest," but exceeded expectations?? He was awarded the Nobel Peace prize based what he hoped to do. Judging by the massive crowds at his speaches in Germany and Cairo early in his presidency, expectations were pretty high that he would be ushering a new era of world peace. I'm not sure he's quite accomplished it, rather it seems that  President Obama has been a complete failure at foreign policy. Just off the top of my head:
  • He's had an insencere approach to Israel, funding the Palestinian Authority, and only offering tepid support to their right to self defense.
  • Iran has accelerated its Nuclear program consequence free.
  • A reflex to apologize unecesarily making America look weak and demoralizing his troops as evidenced by his apology for burning copies of the Koran that were being used to transmit messages between prisoners.
  • North Korea attempted to launch a rocket capable of launching an InterContinental Ballistic Missile only weeks after signing a deal where the US agreed to provide food aid in exchange for North Korea suspending its program.
  • NATO's successful air support campaign to Libya's rebels was accomplished without American leadership. (That's when the ridiculous phrase 'leading from behind' was coined.)
  • American troops have essentially been kicked out of Iraq
  • The security situation in Afghanistan deteriorated steadily with no clear sense of mission for the US troops and no rhetorical support for the effort from the President.
  • He has displayed regretable moral equivalency when Christians have been attacked during worship by muslim extremists in Egypt, Iraq, and elsewhere.
  • His off-mic comments to the Russian Prime Minister on missle defense, “This is my last election, after my election, I have more flexibility” also demonstrate insincerity to an incredible degree.
President Obama does deserve credit for giving the order to kill Osama bin Laden, but to equate that one success with a successful foreign policy seems completely hollow.

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