While Obama Golfs, the Middle East Burns
For a President who won the Nobel Peace prize only months into his presidency, times have truly changed. The foreign policy reset President Obama promised after President George W. Bush’s tenure did not materialize, and in fact, America’s standing in the world has only gotten worse.
President Obama is not the only one culpable in this. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also shares the blame. Yes, she traveled a lot, but what did she really accomplish?
Our relationship with a rising Russia has taken a giant step backwards and is teetering towards another Cold War. Vladimir Putin and his cronies in the Kremlin have played President Obama and his foreign policy team for fools with the Edward Snowden incident. We look powerless as Mr. Putin smiles while he is sticking it to Americans. The problem with the Snowden incident is the whole world is watching and America looks weak, which takes us to the Middle East.
Syria is completely out of control and an intense civil war is being waged. The Assad government, which is backed by Putin’s Russia, has managed to survive a stalemate. Those fighting against Assad are not friends of America, in fact it has been reported that there are elements of al Qaeda within those forces opposed to the Assad regime.
Iraq has seen a dramatic uptick in sectarian violence. Of course, the American mainstream media is not talking about it because it is not harming George W. Bush’s approval ratings. Over the past few months, violence in Iraq has steadily increased to a five-year high. Al Qaeda is to blame, with Shia Muslims being targeted. Fears of a full blown sectarian war are high, especially since U.S. forces are not there to provide a buffer. Our combat forces have been out of the country for a year and a half.
In Afghanistan, the government of President Hamid Karzai is looking at what currently is happening in Iraq and not wanting that outcome to befall Afghanistan. That could be the reason they are promoting an Islamist to take over Afghanistan next year. President Obama has pledged to leave a very small force of 7,000 troops in Afghanistan for training and counter terror operations. But a current report states that military commanders are pressing for more troops to stay. America has sacrificed too much blood and treasure to let Afghanistan slip back into the hands of the Taliban. If that happens, it would be a complete disaster and also avoidable.
Finally, in Egypt we have seen an increase of violence over the summer due to the military takeover, with another violent spike happening over the last week. Again, President Obama looks like he is in a box. Does he side with the Muslim Brotherhood, who were infringing on the rights of many Egyptians before the takeover, does he side with the military, or does he play it down the middle? From the statement he made on Thursday from Martha’s Vineyard, it looks like he is siding with the Muslim Brotherhood. Why? The Brotherhood has already demonstrated that they cannot govern Egypt, so what has changed in the last two months?
President Obama is simply not an effective statesman and is totally disengaged. He promised that once he was elected the world would change. That did not happen and it has only gotten more dangerous. Hillary Clinton should also share the blame in what is happening. Her diplomacy was a clear and now evident disaster. Although the mainstream media does not want to admit it, President Obama has taken American foreign policy and prestige around the world a giant step backwards.