Going out with a whimper

The end of 2016 is a fitting time to evaluate the end of the Obama Administration, which has only a few weeks left in office.  Apart from the damage that he can do in the next few weeks (for example, at the totally pointless French Mideast Peace Conference that is another anti-Israel forum) Obama has tried to go out with a bang, but has only managed a whimper.  In an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Obama’s Fitting Finish,” Bret Stephens (http://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-fitting-finish-1482795381?tesla=y ) exposes the comprehensive failures of Obama’s foreign policy during his eight years in office. Here is a list:

  • He failed to take any decisive action regarding the Syrian Civil War and by not keeping to his publicly declared “red-line” of not accepting the Syrian use of chemical weapons he allowed the Russians into the Middle East, where they are now the decisive country in the Syrian theater, holding a peace conference without US involvement.
  • He failed to take any action to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians in Syria in general and Aleppo in particular (talk is cheap).
  • He failed to take any decisive action to prevent the expansion and aggression of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
  • He failed to take any action in relation to Russia’s occupation of the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.
  • In his final days as President he did take decisive action against Russia over (the really important) use of cyber hacking.
  • He signed an agreement that would allow Iran to eventually obtain nuclear weapons
  • He failed to take any action against the Chinese takeover of a huge area of the South China Sea where they have built several islands with military presence against the interests of several US allies.
  • He failed to take any action against North Korea after they fired several missiles towards Japan.
  • He failed to take any action to ensure the survival of the Iraq government after US forces left abruptly in 2011.
  • He supported the election of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Pres. Morsi and opposed that of the current Egyptian Pres. Al-Sisi, thus losing all influence in Egypt.
  • He failed to aid the EU in any way in dealing with the huge influx of over a million migrants from the Middle East that is destabilizing Europe both economically and due to terrorism.
  • He failed to take any action against the Palestinian initiatives at the UN to outflank the bilateral negotiations required by all prior UN resolutions and in fact as the US abstention on resolution UNSC 2443 shows, he supported them.
  • Finally he allowed his Secty. of State John Kerry to make a pathetic hour-long speech on that most important of international topics, the Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

What a failure, Obama spoke softly and carried no stick at all. It was a dereliction of his duty as President.  The USA need not be the policeman of the world, but doing nothing is a prescription for failute. Sure, it is a policy to allow everyone to do what they want, but as we see that leads to chaos and the expansion of authoritarian regimes.

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