Thursday, 29 December 2016

Obama’s Fitting Finish - WSJ

Commentators on left and right are agreed: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster. Eight years of in incoherence and pusillanimity 
All are agreed apart, of course, from the man himself. He remains blissfully, if perhaps willfully, ignorant. So much so that he -- incredibly -- deems his failure to act in Syria after his "red line" was crossed, to have been a success, the "right thing to do". No, it wasn't. It was a disaster heaped upon earlier disasters from Iran to Afghanistan via his refusal to acknowledge Islamic ideology as the key driving force in global mayhem. 
Bret Stephens is sound. Here in this essay in the Wall Street Journalhe concisely summarizes the case against Obama's foreign policy legacy:
Barack Obama 's decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week's vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what's left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president's style from the beginning. Israelis aren't the only people to feel betrayed by the results.
Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy. 
Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.
Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding. 
Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their "existing borders" would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.
Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn't anticipate the administration's tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.
Most betrayed: Americans.... [more at link above]