On October 30, 2008, presidential nominee Barack Obama, with the polling winds strongly at his back claimed, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” There are few who could argue he did everything possible to fulfill that brazen, oft times divisive promise; obvious failures be damned.
Perhaps there were no more clearly measurable foul-ups than those centered on Obama’s “leading from behind” transformation of America’s foreign policy.
Iran- In spite of the fact that sanction ravaged country was in a dramatically weakened state, and their “navy” had buzzed U.S. ships, kidnapping our sailors, Obama spent years bargaining against himself and the best interests of the American people. Eventually, he capitulated, almost completely, on almost every major, national security, negotiating point. As a special bonus, Barack dropped $1.7 billion cash into the coffers of the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.
Iraq- Obama, ignoring the warnings of his top military advisors, withdrew all U.S. troops, leaving a void quickly filled by a murderous ISIS caliphate. When our fighting men and women were forced to return they were hamstrung by Barack’s suffocating “rules of engagement”.
Syria- After President Obama’s feeble “red line” threat against their use of chemical weapons was exposed as a fraud he petitioned Russia to intervene. Putin seized that gift and quickly allied himself and Russian forces with the murderous dictator Bashar Al-Assad. Shortly thereafter, Vladimir signed a sweetheart deal allowing Russia to expand and use the naval facility at the Syrian city of Tartus, free of charge. The freebie warm water port was a geopolitical coup for the Kremlin.
Korea- The Hermit Kingdom was allowed to march virtually unimpeded towards its goal of becoming a rogue nuclear power. Nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles capable of carrying those deadly payloads were frequently tested on Obama’s watch. The Kim father and son tag team, suffering no serious recriminations, remained completely undeterred.
Compare President Barack Obama’s impotent, deferential posturing before some of the world’s worst most dangerous actors, to Commander in Chief Trump’s more assertive, confrontational, even combative stance.
Iran- President Trump has taken a much stronger position against Iran, frequently, harshly critiquing the ridiculously generous Obama “deal” and threatening to end it. Since he took office, the Iranian ships have smartly refrained provoking the U.S. Navy in any way.
Iraq- Trump “took the gloves off” our fighting men and women, introducing a much more aggressive strategy, for all intents and purposes, ending the ISIS caliphate that had spread to Syria.
Syria- “The Donald” warned Al-Assad against unleashing chemical weapons. When the dictator tested our President’s mettle Trump ordered a strike that sent 59 Tomahawk missiles into a Syrian airbase. About a year later Bashar tried Trump again. The result was 103 missiles reining destruction down on 3 Syrian chemical weapons plants. The Russians quietly “stood down”.
Korea- Democrats, never Trumpers, wobbly Republicans, and international members of the “political class” got the vapors when President Trump went after Kim Jong-un on just about every conceivable level. Donald called him “Little Rocket Man”, and bragged “…I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” When Kim threatened Guam, Donald responded, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Yet, despite, or perhaps because of the barbs and threats, Kim offered to meet Trump. In addition, Little Rocket Man has had historic meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in which he declared a willingness to denuclearize!
So it appears there is a new, much healthier fundamental transformation taking place. It is being led by the unconventional Donald Trump, who is undoing the dangerously feckless failed foreign policies of Barack Obama. And not a moment too soon!!