The Irony of Obama’s Foreign Policy
There is no doubt about the fact that the Islamic regime in Iran is the mother of all terrorism in the world for more than three decades since its establishment in Iran. The regime has carried out numerous acts of terrorism against the US interests directly by the IRGC militias or indirectly through its terrorist proxies Hezbollah, which ended up with the death of hundreds of American soldiers and servicemen across the Middle East. The mullahs’ regime has been meddling in neighboring countries from Lebanon and Gaza Strip to Iraq and Afghanistan and Arabian Peninsula. The IRI benefits from creating chaos and disorder among Arab world. The IRI has officially been labeled as a State sponsored terrorism by the US State of Department.
The Islamic regime has largely expanded its authority in Syria, which is considered its most important battlefront today. By sending Islamic IRGC militias and Hezbollah guerrillas to Syria, the mullahs in Tehran have managed to keep Assad’s regime in place.
On his speech on Wednesday at West Point, Mr. Obama said “For the foreseeable future the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.” He singled out Syria, which he said was becoming a haven for extremists and pledged to ramp up support for Syria’s opposition fighters.
Now contemplate this scenario: Obama has been using a stretched-hand and appeasing policy toward mullahs’ regime to curb its nuclear arms program, while in the meantime the mullahs’ militia terrorists are fighting in Syria against the Syrian oppositions, whom the US administration pledges to provide support for! The irony of this foreign policy cannot be missed!
The Iranian mullahs have claimed the country Syria as their own 32nd state and will spend the financial support they receive from US through the sanction relief to strengthen their position in Syrian battlefront till a complete victory for Bashar Al-Assad is accomplished. US also provide materials support and conventional warfare for the Syrian oppositions who are fighting with the mullahs’ militias. In other word, US is playing the part of dare devil pursuing a paradoxical policy that provide fuels to the war to keep its flame burning, which only result in unleashing the force of a broader terrorism that can easily spread beyond the regional borders. Go Figure! [DID]
It’s rare when a commencement speaker tells graduates he’s doing his best to diminish their career opportunities. Yet to a military stretched thin by a decade at war, President Barack Obama’s message at West Point’s graduation was doubtless welcome.
“U.S. military action cannot be the only — or even primary — component of our leadership in every instance,” Obama said. In laying out his vision for the U.S. role in the world, the president aimed for the well-trod high ground between isolationists and interventionists. His last effort to get there, a peevish exposition at a news conference in the Philippines, wasn’t very convincing. His presentation was more polished today, but it’s unlikely to tamp down criticism of his conduct of foreign policy as weak, indecisive and unconvincing.
Obama’s twin convictions that the U.S. cannot afford a reflexive resort to military intervention and must avoid the perils of overstretch are fundamentally sound. The problems lie with his proposals for putting those convictions into effect.
Set aside the contradiction between Obama’s boilerplate about how “America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world” and his warnings, barely two breaths later, about China’s burgeoning military, Russia’s belligerence and the competing aspirations of a new global middle class. And never mind the awkward facts he didn’t mention, whether Russia’s absorption of Crimea or the growing nuclear threat posed by North Korea. Most troubling is the mushiness of the initiatives he proposes as a way to extend U.S. leadership without putting boots on the ground.
Start with the request to Congress for a new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund of as much as $5 billion. Building the capacity of other nations to fight terrorism is a good investment. This proposal, though, seems more like a slush fund — covering everything from helping Syria’s neighbors cope with the turmoil next door and training security forces in Yemen to “facilitating French operations in Mali.” Such programs require the closest supervision: Mali’s 2012 coup, for instance, was led by an officer who received U.S. military training. Meanwhile, potentially working against such efforts is a planned cut of $1.6 billion in U.S. humanitarian assistance to strife-torn countries.
The president’s pledge to “work with Congress to ramp up support” for Syria’s opposition fighters also fails to satisfy. After everything that has already not happened, including Obama’s unfulfilled “red line” threat about the consequences of Syria’s use of chemical weapons, this is pretty weak tea. Compare it with the Senate Armed Services Committee’s vote on Friday to “provide equipment, training, supplies, and defense services to assist vetted members of the Syrian opposition.” Obama’s formula just feeds suspicions that the administration isn’t serious. Compounding that impression was Obama’s accompanying avowal of more transparency about U.S. counterterrorism efforts — a warmed-over, and still mostly unfulfilled, promise he made in a speech a year ago.
The sad thing is, Obama could have done more to advance his case for U.S. leadership if he had just built it around his announcement yesterday about drawing down forces in Afghanistan. West Point, after all, was where Obama announced, in December 2009, his decision to send 30,000 additional troops there. That deployment, and its subsequent successful withdrawal, have given the U.S. greater flexibility to advance its global interests. That’s a good story to tell, and Obama should have stuck with it.
The Editors – Bloomberg View
May 29, 2014
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