Foreign Policy Failure
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Obama has shown America that it is possible to have a worse president than Jimmy Carter.
Was It The Arab Spring or The Islamist Spring?
Problem is, we can't all just get along.
On the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the US consulate in Bengazi was attacked. At the same time, protesters in Cairo stormed the American embassy, tearing down the US flag and replacing it with what was at first described as an "Islamic flag," but was in fact the flag of Al-Qaida - the same flag had been spotted at various Al-Qaida rallies in the Middle East.
So on the eleventh anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in US history, where Al-Qaida terrorists killed 3,000 Americans, Al-Qaida again struck out against the US. And what was the president's response? Well, first he went to bed and slept on it, only to find out the next morning that Chris Stevens, our ambassador to Libya had been raped and murdered. Ironically, the very same people who criticized President Bush for sitting for a few more minutes with an elementary school class, rather than jumping up and causing a panic on 9-11, have been strangely silent about the fact that President Obama ignored the situation in Libya for several hours, even though it was obvious that a crisis was developing.
But that was just the beginning of President Obama's missteps.
While the media was on a full out anti-Romney blitz, accusing the GOP presidential candidate for speaking out too soon about the attacks, the Obama administration was in full damage control mode. Somehow, the rumor was going around that all of this violence was instigated by some sub-B-quality movie no one had ever heard of; the administration even lied to America initially, claiming that there was no evidence that the attack was a pre-planned, coordinated strike. The fact that Al-Qaida terrorists launched a full-scale attack and assassinated our ambassador on the anniversary of 9/11 was just an unfortunate coincidence.
But as it turns out, the Obama administration had advanced warning of the attack - including specific threats against Ambassador Stevens - yet they did nothing to get the ambassador to safety or to increase his security. In fact, they wouldn't even acknowledge that it was a terrorist attack until almost a week later. Meanwhile, the State Department engaged in their own taxpayer-funded media blitz, running commercials in Middle Eastern nations apologizing for the anti-Muslim video.
Shortly after the attacks, it came out that President Obama had declined a requested meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House basically told the Israeli Prime Minister that the president was too busy to meet with him. The same day, the Obama campaign announced that President Obama would be appearing on Lettterman, and Obama then flew to Las Vegas to campaign. He later neglected to meet with foreign leaders during the UN General Assembly, but he was able to make time to be "eye candy" on The View. When Prime Minister Netanyahu came before the General Assembly to give an important speech, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice was too busy to be there, though she wasn't too busy to make the cable news circuit and blame the anti-US violence on the movie.
Meanwhile, the government came after the man credited with making the anti-Muhammed film, and President Obama's own speech to the General Assembly was more critical of the film than it was of the terrorists that raped and murdered the US ambassador.
The erroneous assumption upon which President Obama has built his foreign policy is that if we could just apologize enough, people across the globe will finally like us and the terrorists will just go away. After all, Obama did kill Osama bin Laden with his bare hands...
But even the killing of bin Laden makes President Obama look bad if you examine all of the facts:
- President Obama cancelled the raid to kill bin Laden multiple times before finally going through with it.
- The president immediately came out and took credit for the killing, and his media allies over-inflated his "courageous" decision to ridiculous proportions.
- It later came out that the Obama administration had laid an internal groundwork to blame the Navy SEALs if the raid went wrong.
- President Obama's campaign even released an ad back in April questioning whether Mitt Romney would have gone through with the bin Laden raid.
The obvious implication by the Obama campaign has been that Al-Qaida, the Taliban, and all of America's enemies abroad suffered a major defeat when bin Laden was killed, but that has not been that case. Troop deaths are up in Afghanistan, largely due to attacks from the very security forces they are there to train, and anti-America protests, some of them violent, have broken out in many other Muslim nations.
But the Arab Spring is perhaps President Obama's greatest foreign policy failure. I don't know that any US president could have stopped the Arab Spring, but President Obama wasn't even trying. He encouraged the Arab Spring protesters, falling for the fallacy that democracy is automatically a good thing, and ignoring the fact that the factions that were taking over during the Arab Spring, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, have their roots in hard-line radical Islamism. In fact, since the attacks on the Lybian embassy, it has come out that the rebels that attacked our embassy were some of the very same people that the Obama administration was aiding in their revolt against Gadhafi.
Just like Fast and Furious and Solyndra and so many other scandals of the Obama administration, there are still too many unanswered questions. What did Obama know, and when did he know it? If the government knew of credible threats against our ambassador, why was he not evacuated, or at the least given more security? What was our ambassador doing in Benghazi without a security detail in the first place?
Given the tradition of openness and honesty from the Obama administration, the world may never know the answer to these questions.
It has been just over 30 years since Jimmy Carter threw the Shah under the bus and stood by while an Islamic revolution swept Iran, and 30 years later, the entire world is still struggling with the consequences of the 1979 revolution. But as bad as Jimmy Carter's foreign policy failure was, on President Obama's watch, we have just seen a dozen Irans pop up across the Muslim world. The only question now is, how long will we have to deal with President Obama's foreign policy failure?
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)