Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category
Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the US, did a good job of walking a tightrope in discussing the mess President Obama created in the Middle East:
This article shows how frayed the relationship is between the Saudis and the Obama administration:
Asked when he was told by Saudi Arabia that it would take military action in Yemen, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, told a Senate hearing on Thursday he spoke with Saudi Arabia’s chief of defense “right before they took action.” He added that he couldn’t assess the likelihood of the campaign succeeding because he didn’t know the “specific goals and objectives.”
Translation: The Saudis told Centcom that it was taking military action against the Iran-supported Houthi rebels moments before launching airstrikes against Houthi rebels. The other noteworthy tidbit of information is that Centcom can’t evaluate what the likelihood of the Saudi airstrikes is because it wasn’t briefed by the Saudis.
Nations collaborating with each other might not know everything that the other nation is planning on doing but they’d have a pretty good idea what assets are being deployed and where. They’d know what their ally’s goals were, too. Clearly, that isn’t happening here.
During his interview with Chris Wallace, al-Jubeir emphatically stated that they’re willing to deploy ground troops if they determine that’s what’s needed to destroy ISIS. When I heard that, I wished that our commander-in-chief had that type of spine. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with President Obama. What’s especially sad is that President Obama’s world view is totally upside down. America’s traditional allies are President Obama’s enemies. Countries that’ve traditionally been America’s enemies are this administration’s friends.
The saddest part is that it’ll take the Republican’s next term in office just to clean up this administration’s foreign policy disasters. I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it here. I never thought I’d see the day when another president’s foreign policy ‘accomplishments’ paled in comparison to Jimmy Carter’s lackluster list of accomplishments.
Unfortunately, I’ve lived to see that day. Then again, I didn’t think I’d live to see the day when Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan would form a de facto alliance to counterbalance the US-Iranian alliance.
Ed Morrissey’s column has a section that should frighten thoughtful Americans of all political stripes:
Funny, but the White House took a distinctly less charitable approach to the ally that opposed Iran the previous week. Benjamin Netanyahu, in fighting for re-election in Israel, told voters there that he could no longer support a two-state solution under the current conditions of Palestinian leadership. He also warned Israelis that outside activists had attempted to boost voting of Israeli Arabs in an attempt to defeat Likud, and urged Israel’s Jews to turn out more heavily for him. In the final days of the election, Netanyahu won handily.
Did the Obama administration shrug Netanyahu’s words off as “intended for a domestic political audience?”
Of course not.
Ever since, the White House has been in high dudgeon, slamming Netanyahu’s campaign for both the comments about Arab turnout and the futility of negotiating with a Hamas-partnered Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu has tried making amends for both statements, but as late as Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf sniffed that the US didn’t find Netanyahu credible any longer. “Given his statements prior to the election, it’s going to be hard to find a path where people seriously believe, when it comes to negotiations, that those are possible.”
Let’s get this straight. Benjamin Netanyahu, the elected head of government of a US ally, defies Obama on a policy that impacts Israel’s security, then apologizes for it, and yet is considered someone who lacks credibility. However, when the head of state of a nation that has sponsored terrorism for decades openly says, “Death to America,” the Obama administration shrugs off the statement as mere domestic politics and considers him a credible partner for peace.
We are truly through the looking glass with this President.
It has become abundantly clear that Obama wants a deal for the sake of claiming a foreign policy achievement, no matter what the cost, and no matter what it does to our allies, especially Israel. The situation is reminiscent of another confrontation between Western powers and an extremist dictatorship that professed its own destiny to rule the world, and where the dictator even wrote out his plans for world domination and practically begged everyone to read them.
Ed’s right. President Obama wants a foreign policy achievement in the worst way. If he signs the deal with Iran, what he’ll get won’t be an achievement but it will be done for the worst reasons.
Simply put, this would be a foreign policy achievement in the same way that trading the Taliban Five for Bo Bergdahl was a foreign policy accomplishment. Signing a nonbinding agreement with Iran is just as foolish as trading for a soldier who was just charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
I could write President Obama’s legacy a month after he leaves office. It won’t take time to see how his policies worked out. They’re already failing without much hope of turning around. If the Iranian people strip the mullahs of their power, this agreement won’t be a total, longlasting disaster. Regardless of whether the Saudi attack on Yemen uproots the Houthis, it’s clear that President Obama’s policies failed Yemen’s government.
I could write that President Obama “served with distinction and honor” only if I applied the same standards that Susan Rice applied to Bowe Bergdahl. Otherwise, I’d have to say he’s been a disaster.
Technorati: Iranian Nuclear Program, President Obama, Marie Harf, State Department, Foreign Policy, Bowe Bergdahl, Desertion, Susan Rice, Taliban Five, National Security, Democrats, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu
This article isn’t the type of thing Hillary wanted to read a day after she tried putting her email controversy behind her:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, comes a day after Clinton broke her silence about her use of a private email account while secretary of state. The FOIA requests and lawsuit seek materials related to her public and private calendars, correspondence involving longtime aides likely to play key roles in her expected campaign for president, and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices.
First, the AP’s lawsuit is substantive. They first filed a FOIA request 5 years ago to find out about the Osama bin Laden raid and the NSA surveillance program. Next, it’s impossible for the Clintons to convince serious people that the AP is a card-carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
The worst part about this for the Clintons is that a judge might demand to view her server. At that point, Hillary’s options are to surrender the server or to file an appeal. Anyone familiar with the Clintons knows that surrendering isn’t part of their DNA. Filing an appeal, though, is fraught with negatives. One definite downside filing an appeal is that it re-opens the wound. That automatically means more TV time for James Carville and Lanny Davis saying that this is old news and that Hillary followed the rules.
A court ruling that Hillary needs to turn over her server, though, isn’t the same as accusing a political enemy of waging political war against the Clintons. People don’t think that courts are partisan. They think of them as essentially being impartial.
The AP had sought Clinton-related correspondence before her use of a personal email account was publicly known, although Wednesday’s court filing alleges that the State Department is responsible for including emails from that account in any public records request.
“State’s failure to ensure that Secretary Clinton’s governmental emails were retained and preserved by the agency, and its failure timely to seek out and search those emails in response to AP’s requests, indicate at the very least that State has not engaged in the diligent, good-faith search that FOIA requires,” says AP’s legal filing.
Hillary’s unspoken response essentially was “Trust me. There’s nothing there.” Though younger voters aren’t familiar with an old Reaganism from the Soviet era, it’s still applicable:
“Trust but verify” seems like the perfect axiom for Hillary’s plea for us to trust her.
Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, predicted the State Department would speed up its review facing legal action, particularly given that Clinton has said that her email correspondence doesn’t include classified material. “When the government is under a court deadline, or really wants to review, they can whip through thousands of pages in a matter of weeks, which they should do here,” Blanton said.
The State Department will soon be motivated, thanks in large part to the AP’s lawsuit.
Judge Napolitano highlighted Hillary’s twisted (corrupt?) logic in this interview with Megyn Kelly:
This question from the Clintons’ talking points is a reminder of the dreaded 1990s:
Q: Were any work items deleted in the process of producing the printed copies?
The tip is that the question uses the limiting term of “in the process of producing the printed copies.” Judge Napolitano rightly highlights the possibility that emails were deleted before producing “the printed copies.”
Further, printed copies of the emails aren’t the emails. Hillary doesn’t own the electronic communications because they’re government work product. Also, registry recording the emails sent or received by Hillary Clinton are owned by the federal government. Like the emails themselves, they have to be turned over to the federal government and maintained, too. The list of emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton is part of the electronic record.
Did Hillary give the State Department printed copies of her emails because the list of work-related emails stored on the hard drive doesn’t match the printed copies of the emails? At this point, we don’t know because we don’t have access to the Clintons’ server. Without that, we can’t prove if anything is missing. That is, unless one of Hillary’s confidantes steps forward and says that some emails are missing.
There’s only one way to know whether Hillary did everything that the Federal Records Act requires. Without looking through the server’s email register, it’s impossible to prove whether Hillary complied with federal law. It’s time to deploy a favorite Reaganism: Trust but verify.
UPDATE: Check out Ron Fournier’s article on Hillary’s news conference.
When US. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Egyptian officials, the question will be whether the Obama administration will side with Tehran or whether they’ll side with traditional U.S. allies like Egypt and Jordan.
Egypt’s president called for increased U.S. military aid and creation of a regional coalition to fight Islamic State in an interview with Fox News that aired on Monday, just days before the United States sends its top diplomat to the country.
“It is very important for the United States to understand that our need for the weapons and for the equipment is dire, especially at the time when the Egyptians feel they are fighting terrorism and they would like to feel the United States is standing by them in that fight against terrorism,” said President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.
The Obama administration has shown its hand. They haven’t sent military supplies to Jordan, Egypt or the Iraqi Kurds. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll arm Egypt or Jordan because the administration doesn’t want to do anything to upset the mullahs. Strengthening the Arabs’ hands is a nonstarter with Iran’s mullahs.
In that sense, President Obama and John Kerry are setting US-Arab relations at least a decade. They’ve already set back the US-Israeli relationship a decade.
As the region grapples with the rise of Islamic State, which has seized parts of Syria and Iraq, political leaders of the five Gulf Arab states, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey have been meeting to forge unity and work together.
“The region is facing very tough circumstances now,” Sissi said through a translator. “The public opinion wants to see a big response from capable countries – countries that are able to provide assistance to it.”
el-Sissi has shown himself to be an incredible statesman. He’s reached out to Coptic Christians at great risk to his life. He’s willing to work with the Israelis — on a limited basis — to stop Iran’s agenda.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah of Jordan wants to accelerate Jordan’s war with ISIS, mostly because of ISIS’ torching the Jordanian pilot in a cage. Whatever their motivation, this is the type of coalition that US diplomats should welcome. According to el-Sissi, this administration has dragged its feet. Though that’s disappointing, it’s totally predictable.
I just wish our commander-in-chief was the heroic statesmen that el-Sissi and Abdullah are.
President Obama is complaining about the Senate Republicans sending a letter to Iran’s mullahs. Like the petty man he is, he threw in a dig at Republicans while criticizing them.
President Obama assailed 47 Republican senators Monday for writing an open letter to the leaders of Iran while the country is in the middle of nuclear negotiations with the United States and allied nations, arguing the communication made “common cause with the hardliners in Iran.”
The letter, released publicly Monday, advised Iran’s leaders that any pact negotiated by the Obama administration and signed by Iran, and not ratified by Congress, could be voided by future presidents or modified by future Congresses. It was drafted as a lesson in the workings of the Constitution, and framed as a rebuke to the president’s executive authority.
The mullahs aren’t negotiating with this administration. They’re toying with this administration. Any treaty negotiated with the mullahs won’t be worth the parchment it’ll be written on. It certainly won’t be worth ratifying.
And yes, it’s a treaty.
Speaking in the Oval Office, Obama said the American people would assess the merits of any finalized agreement with Iran. If a deal is reached, “I’m confident we’ll be able to implement it,” he added. “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition,” the president observed.
First, we don’t need to wait until the details of the treaty are revealed to “assess the merits” of the proposed treaty. We shouldn’t negotiate with terrorist-sponsoring nations like Iran until they stop sponsoring terrorists. Period. Negotiating with them gives them legitimacy. That’s the last thing we should do.
Next, blowing up a bad deal with some of the nastiest people on earth isn’t making common cause with them. As usual, President Obama has things bassackwards. His negotiating a treaty with them while pushing Israel under the bus is making common cause with the terrorists. That’s the “unusual coalition.”
Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have signaled to Israel that working together to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons is acceptable. Meanwhile, President Obama has continued his policy of appeasement towards Iran. While Republican senators align themselves with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, President Obama continues his policy of appeasement with Iran’s mullahs.
That’s “an unusual coalition.”
Watching this video will show that el-Sissi is more pro-traditional American than President Obama:
Thankfully, these 47 Republicans are playing hardball with the hardliners in Tehran.
George Will’s commentary sliced through Lanny Davis’s Orwellian spin:
Here’s part of Will’s exchange with Chris Wallace:
CHRIS WALLACE: How big a deal is this? And given the fact that we’re in March of 2015, how big a deal is this when we’re talking about an election that isn’t until November of 2016?
GEORGE WILL: It’s big because it is axiomatic that the worst political scandals are those that reinforce a pre-existing negative perception, which Kim [Strassel] has documented at length. The Clintons come trailing clouds of entitlement and concealment and legalistic, jesuitical reasonings, the kind of people who could find a loophole in a stop sign. Her obvious motive was to conceal. You conceal in order to control, and that’s what makes this literally, strictly speaking, Orwellian. In George Orwell’s novel “1984,” Oceania’s regime, the totalitarian regime, had an axiom: ‘He who controls the past controls the future, and he who controls the present controls the past.’ This is a way of controlling what we will know about the history of our country, and it is deeply sinister.
How much am I bid for another “It all depends on what the meaning of is is“?
Seriously, this begs the question of whether we’d like another 8 years of the Clintons and their endless supply of defenders, aka Clintonistas, appearing nightly on our news programs. Do we want another 8 years of a president who thinks that this nation’s laws don’t apply to her?
There’s no questioning the fact that Hillary doesn’t think the rules apply to her. Defenders like Lanny Davis will insist that the Clintons haven’t broken any laws. That’s probably true. It’s also irrelevant. The reason why people hate Washington, DC is because Washington writes the rules that we have to live by. Then it carves out the exceptions that exempt themselves from the laws they’ve forced us into obeying.
It shouldn’t be up to Hillary Clinton to determine which emails she turns over. It should be required that all communications, both hardcopy and electronic, be kept by the national archivist. Using a private email account should be dramatically restricted and frequently monitored. Further, there should be monthly audits of all political appointees’ email accounts. Finally, there should be stiff fines and/or jail times for political appointees who don’t comply with the new law.
Finally, it’s time for the American people to reject Hillary Clinton as the next president. She’s disgustingly dishonest, opposed to transparency and utterly lacking in accomplishments while in office. To paraphrase Carly Fiorina, flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.
The latest polling measuring President Obama’s national security leadership isn’t the much-needed good news that this administration needs:
Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Congressional leaders invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress?
Good thing 56%, bad thing 27%
Do you think the Obama administration is too supportive of Israel, not supportive enough, or are the administration’s policies about right?
Too supportive 14%, not supportive enough 41%, about right 35%
Democrats that complained about Speaker Boehner’s invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu are on the wrong side of that fight by a 2:1 margin. That isn’t the bad news from the poll, though. This is definitely worse news for President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats:
Do you think the United States has been too aggressive, not aggressive enough or about right in trying to get Iran to stop building a nuclear weapons program?
Too aggressive 7%, not aggressive enough 57%, about right 27%
Do you favor or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran if that were the only way to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons?
Favor 65%, Oppose 28%
When 3 in 5 voters think you aren’t pushing Iran hard enough to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon, you’re in a bad position. When 1 in 4 voters thinks you’re being about right, then most voters think you’re a wimp. When two-thirds of people think we should use military force to prevent “Iran from getting nuclear weapons” and you’re an anti-war president, you’re in trouble.
President Obama’s leadership on national security matters, if it can be called that, is pathetic. And yes, President Obama is anti-war. He’s lost 2 wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) thus far. He’s on the path to losing another war to ISIS. His coalition of 60 nations that are fighting ISIS is fiction. His policies towards Russia are helping Putin rebuild the former Soviet empire.
Other than those things, President Obama is a picture in foreign policy leadership.
After watching this video, it’s safe to say that John Kerry is the first US Secretary of State that’s delusional:
Here’s a partial transcript of what he said:
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS: OK, let’s — let’s move back, then, to Israel and Iran. You’re headed over for further negotiations. While you’re gone, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be addressing Congress. Susan Rice said it was destructive to U.S.-Israeli relations. Do you agree with that?
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: Well, look, we’re not — the prime minister of Israel is welcome to speak in the United States, obviously. And we have a closer relationship with Israel right now in terms of security than at any time in history. I was reviewing the record the other day. We have intervened on Israel’s behalf, in the last two years, more than several hundred — a couple of hundred times in over 75 different fora in order to protect Israel.
I talk to the prime minister regularly, including yesterday. We are not — you know, we don’t want to see this turned into some great political football. Obviously, it was odd, if not unique, that we learned of it from the speaker of the House and that an administration was not included in this process. But the administration is not seeking to politicize this. We want to recognize the main goal here is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. And on that, Israel and the United States agree. And the testimony, in fact, to the efficiency with which we’ve been able to pursue that is the interim agreement that is in place today.
Israel is safer today because of the interim agreement that we created. The 20 percent enriched uranium has been reduced to 0. We have stopped the centrifuge production. We are inspecting inside of their facilities. We have stopped the Arak plutonium reactor in its tracks. Israel is safer today and that is the standard that we will apply to any agreement going forward. It is to guarantee that we will know that Iran cannot develop a nuclear weapon under the procedure that we’re putting in place.
Other than the times we’ve threatened to blow Israeli military jets out of the sky, Kerry’s thinking, Israel has never been safer than now. Except when President Reagan let it be understood that the United States wouldn’t tolerate Yassir Arafat’s intifada’s. Except when President George W. Bush sided with Israel in the latest intifada.
Shooting an allies’ planes out of the sky isn’t how we make Israel safer, especially when Israel’s planes were planning on destroying Iran’s centrifuges. Iran isn’t bashful about saying it wants to destroy Israel. How can Israel feel safe when its greatest ally, the United States, is negotiating with its most dangerous enemy to make it easier to wipe Israel off the map?
According to this article, President Obama has turned the US Air Force into a pro-Iranian Air Force:
According to the report, Netanyahu and his commanders agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army’s chief of staff Beni Gants to prepare a qualitative operation against Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to thwart a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement is, allegedly, a threat to Israel’s security.
The sources added that Gants and his commanders prepared the requested plan and that Israeli fighter jets trained for several weeks in order to make sure the plans would work successfully. Israeli fighter jets even carried out experimental flights in Iran’s airspace after they managed to break through radars.
However, an Israeli minister “who has good ties with the US administration revealed Netanyahu’s plans to Secretary of State John Kerry” and as a result Obama then threatened to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
It’s simply stunning that President Obama would threaten to shoot down Israeli jets if they tried destroying Iran’s uranium enrichment plants. Has President Obama gone totally insane? The thought that President Obama would shoot down Israel’s jets to protect Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities is like hearing President Obama lifting protection from Poland to tell Putin he was a trusted ally.
President Obama’s foreign policy has an Alice-in-Wonderland feel to it. It’s like we’re being told that the sun sets in the east and rises in the west. Nothing about President Obama’s foreign policy makes sense.
Netanyahu had to abort the operation and since then relations between Israel and the United States have been declining, according to the sources quoted in the report.
President Obama is the most anti-Israel president in US history. Whoever’s in second isn’t close. The thought that a US president is willing to protect the biggest state sponsor of terrorism while shooting down our best ally in the region’s planes indicates President Obama’s priorities aren’t America’s priorities.
President Obama is an historic president … for all the wrong reasons.