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Posts Tagged ‘foreign policy’

TRUMP LAYS OUT FOREIGN POLICY VISION

An America-First diplomacy.

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Donald Trump vowed to undo the many foreign policy and national security failures of President Obama, along with the persistent sense of American impotence in the face of international challenges, in an important, muscular speech yesterday, outlining what a Trump administration would do in office.

A one-man wrecking crew who has been demolishing politically-correct pieties since he launched his campaign last year with a call to arms against illegal immigration, Trump announced that the foreign policy administered by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry that has emboldened Islamic terror has been catastrophic not just for America but for the whole world.

In an address to the Center for the National Interest founded by the late President Richard Nixon, Trump promised to put America first and make it strong again. He slammed the Obama administration for strengthening our enemies, belittling our allies, and diminishing respect around the world for the United States. One of the most prominent themes Trump advanced was Obama’s projection of pathetic weakness, including his downsizing of the military, which has led to the rise of Islamic State and fueled Middle East chaos. As Trump put it, “If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.”

Weakening the country, of course, has long been the goal of the Radical-in-Chief now occupying the Oval Office. Obama and his radical pals Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, Valerie Jarrett, Frank Marshall Davis, and a huge chorus of America-haters have spent their lives fostering American weakness. Weakness leads to losing, but Trump stated that he wants America to start winning again. This will happen not only by refocusing our foreign policy on strictly serving American interests, but also by vocally defending America’s international role and American ideals on the global stage. “I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests,” Trump affirmed. “I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.”

Central in Trump’s speech was criticizing what has become the modus operandi of the Obama foreign policy era: extending aid and comfort to our enemies while treating our friends with enmity. As a result, America’s enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us.

“Our friends are beginning to think they can’t depend on us,” Trump said. “We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country.”

For example, Obama has allowed Communist China “to steal government secrets with cyber attacks and engage in industrial espionage against the United States and its companies.”

Most notably, Obama has treated Iran “with tender love and care” that has made it “a great power … in just a very short period of time,” while at the same time snubbing and criticizing Israel, “our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East.”

Obama “negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry.” As president, Trump stated that he would “never, ever” allow Iran to possess a nuclear weapon. The Iranian threat will be the defining threat of this generation thanks primarily to Obama’s appeasement-at-any-price outreach to the Iranian mullahs, which has set the stage for military confrontation. The next administration will have to contend with this as the foremost threat to America and our allies, and Trump made clear that his eyes are open on the severity of this coming conflict.

Trump also targeted Hillary Clinton. Like Obama, the former Secretary of State, now the Democratic Party’s frontrunner, can’t bring herself to name America’s foremost enemy — radical Islam — even as she “pushes for a massive increase in refugees coming into our country,” Trump said. “Unless you name the enemy, you will never ever solve the problem,” he affirmed a speech in that compared the nation’s fight against Islamic Jihad to the struggle against communism during the Cold War.

Radical Islam must be fought abroad as well as inside America, Trump declared.

“There are scores of recent migrants inside our borders charged with terrorism. For every case known to the public, there are dozens and dozens more. We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies. We have no idea where these people are coming from. There’s no documentation, There’s no paperwork. There’s nothing. We have to be smart. We have to be vigilant.”

Trump also had a simple message for the Islamic State, stressing the importance of deception against the enemy in conflict, a tactic clearly missing in Obama’s foreign policy:

“Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly.”

Trump also slammed Clinton for her “failed intervention in Libya, [after which] Islamic terrorists in Benghazi took down our consulate and killed our ambassador and three brave Americans. Then, instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep.” To make matter worse, Clinton blamed “it all on a video, an excuse that was a total lie, proven to be absolutely a total lie.”

The Republican presidential frontrunner continued by stressing the positives of America. The U.S., in his view, is:

“a humanitarian nation, but the legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion, and disarray. A mess. We’ve made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before. We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide. We have done nothing to help the Christians, nothing, and we should always be ashamed for that, for that lack of action.”

Trump also criticized the “dangerous” neo-conservative effort to democratize the world, and argued for a kind of old-fashioned conservatism, seemingly for modest foreign policy goals and stability. “We are getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focusing on creating stability in the world,” he said.

The reassuring clarifications that Trump offered about his foreign policy views should be a step towards satisfying some of his conservative critics. The speech was a strong beginning in that direction but it also contained some statements that would definitely concern a portion of the conservative camp. Trump, for instance, suggested that the U.S. should be prepared to exit NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Many conservatives wouldn’t see a problem with pointing out NATO’s problems and how America is being taken advantage of by member nations that aren’t paying their fair share, but they would certainly question how threatening the end of NATO complements Trump’s objective of making America a strong military presence in the world. NATO has been a key element of global security and it is usually isolationists and leftists, not conservatives, who want to abolish NATO.

Trump also continued to preach the gospel of economic nationalism, with its tariffs and trade wars that many conservatives would argue benefit entrenched interests while soaking American consumers and generating economic depressions and recessions. He spoke of “the theft of American jobs” and characterized NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, as “a total disaster for the United States.” He also struck a familiar refrain complaining about the loss of manufacturing jobs in states like Pennsylvania and New York, which many conservatives would argue were lost not because some big, mean bully took them away, but because manufacturing tends not to be a cost-effective endeavor in the U.S.

Trump’s address comes after his big night Tuesday in which he decisively won Republican primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. He now has 987 of the 1,237 delegates he needs for a first-ballot victory at this summer’s GOP nominating convention in Cleveland, according to Real Clear Politics (at time of this writing). His rivals are far behind with Ted Cruz at 562, John Kasich at 153, and Marco Rubio, who suspended his campaign, at 171 delegates.

And Trump’s support among many Republican voters appears to be solidifying. According to the NBC News/Survey Monkey weekly tracking poll unveiled Tuesday, Trump now enjoys 50 percent support among Republicans and Republican-leaners nationally for the first time since the poll was launched in December. Cruz and Kasich are both well behind the New York businessman with 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

Time will tell if Donald Trump succeeds in his present ambition and will, eventually, stand the test of implementing the foreign policy he has proposed for America.

Iran is ‘Spiking the Football in the End Zone’

by Barbara HollingsworthForeign Policy
CNSNews.com) – Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday” said that Iran got the better of the United States and its allies in a weekend deal that lifts economic sanctions and unfreezes $8 billion in Iranian assets while allowing Iran to enrich uranium. “If you see the reaction of Iran right now – I mean, they’re spiking the football in the end zone saying that, look, we’ve consolidated our gains, we’ve relieved sanctions, we’re going to have the right to enrich,” Corker said. –

In announcing the six-month interim agreement, the Obama administration said that it will only allow Iran to develop a “peaceful” nuclear program, not to build a nuclear weapon.

“For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program and key parts of the program will be rolled back. Iran is committed to halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles. Iran cannot use its next generation centrifuges which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited. Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor. And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments,” President Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

“These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb,” the president declared.

But Corker pointed out that the economic sanctions were originally imposed on Iran to force it to stop all of its uranium enrichment. “I think the United States made it very clear that the only way to reach an agreement with the United States on sanctions was to dismantle their nuclear weapon program,” the senator told Fox News host Chris Wallace.

“We’ve seen what’s happened in North Korea,” Corker went on. “They now have nuclear weapons, and I don’t want to see that happen in Iran.”

Calling the Obama administration “long on announcements but very short on follow-through,” Corker added that he has drafted legislation to “hold the administration and the international community’s feet to the fire over the next six months…We need to make sure that we see this through and they don’t end up in a situation where they are a threat to the world, as they will be if this interim deal continues to be or ends up being the norm.”

The Tennessee Republican added that Iran’s leaders view the Obama administration as “weak.”

“I think from their standpoint, they see this as their window of opportunity to negotiate with an administration that has shown that it really doesn’t have a lot of the intestinal fortitude that other admirations have had. They’ve seen that in Syria and that’s been a learning experience for them.”

– See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/sen-corker-nuke-deal-iran-spiking-football-end-zone-0#sthash.H14E1EXh.dpuf

Obama Policies Endanger World, Could Propel Mideast War

By Amy Woods and Kathleen Walter

Three years of President Barack Obama’s policies have made the world a more perilous place, aggravating a Mideast situation that could result in an all-out war with a nuclear-armed Iran, Frank Gaffney tells Newsmax.TV.

“The world will become substantially more dangerous” if the evisceration of the U.S. military, the undermining of American allies — notably Israel — and the emboldening of its enemies continues under the Obama administration, said Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy.

“All of these things really are adding inexorably to the dynamic that . . . war can be taken safely

taken safely with the United States standing on the sidelines rather than being the reliable ally of Israel that has helped deter such conflicts in the past,” Gaffney said in the exclusive Newsmax interview.

“There’s been a further, if you will, gathering of the storm clouds . . . that only further reinforces my concern that, probably before the next election, you may see this break out in a way that results in a regional cataclysm,” Gaffney said. “The next year may prove even more problematic. Were the president to be completely unrestrained by the necessity of being re-elected, I feel that far more damage might be done in several different areas.”

Among his concerns are the establishment of Shariah in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria; the rise of Hezbollah in Lebanon; and the strengthening of Hamas in Gaza.

“Whether we’re likely to see a caliphate emerge any time soon, I don’t know,” Gaffney said. “We’re certainly seeing people who aspire to that goal, believing more and more and more that they will accomplish it.”

His primary concern remains the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

“I don’t think anything will dissuade the Iranians from fulfilling their longstanding objective of obtaining nuclear weapons,” he said. “They’ll have to be stopped.”

There is a strong likelihood that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon before the next election, he said.

“My guess is that, if it’s not matter of weeks off, it may be months at most — and the trouble is, we don’t know, and we may not know until either there’s a nuclear test or there’s a nuclear explosion,” he said.

Gaffney offered two strategies to thwart nuclear Iran:
• The United States could help the Iranian people succeed in overthrowing “a regime that they detest and that has ruinously misruled them for so long.”
• Another country could use military force to disrupt or destroy the nuclear program.

“Sanctions, I don’t think, are going to help in either of those respects,” he said. “They certainly haven’t to date.”

When asked whether Israel would be the first to strike Iran, Gaffney replied: “Whether Israel will do it remains to be seen. There’s talk, and my experience tells me that when there’s talk, that usually means there’s not going to be action. But I think there’s no doubt that the Israelis increasingly recognize that what is happening with ineffective sanctions, with an America that is not taking the lead — or worse, is actually trying to engage the mullahs of Iran — is that an existential threat to the Jewish state is becoming ever more of an imminent peril.”

When asked whether the United States would support Israel if the country struck first, Gaffney answered, “Under the Obama administration, it seems exceedingly unlikely that there will be any kind of support for the Israelis should they decide, actually, to go for it with Iran. My guess is the Israelis are going to be very leery of sharing with us information about what we’re doing out of a concern that the Obama administration would, at a minimum, feel constrained to discourage them from doing so and may actually take more direct steps to prevent them from being able to execute such a strike.”

Read more on Newsmax.com: Obama Policies Endanger World, Could Propel Mideast War, Gaffney Tells Newsmax
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Pres Obama Bungles the Libya Speech

The Wall Street Journal   MARCH 31, 2011   By KARL ROVE

The president seems irresolute and unreliable, even when doing the right thing.

 

While the president’s speech on Libya was adequate at times, what stood out were statements that were contradictory, confusing and outright untrue.

Mr. Obama said “an important strategic interest” was at risk in Libya. I believe that’s so. But members of Mr. Obama’s national security team send the opposite message.

The president insisted that America “took a series of swift steps in a matter of days.” In fact, the administration dithered for over two weeks. Mr. Obama claimed, “At my direction, America led an effort” to create “a no-fly zone . . . to protect the Libyan people.” In truth, the direction and leadership came from the French, the British, and even the Arab League. Thank goodness French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron had the brass to push for bombing. Otherwise Mr. Obama still might be contemplating action, not taking it.

On Monday, the candidate who dismissed a coalition of 40 countries in Iraq became the president celebrating an alliance of only 15 nations operating in Libya. He also insisted the operation’s command would move swiftly from America to NATO, to give the appearance of transferring the mission to a multinational body. Mr. Obama didn’t remind the country that NATO is commanded by an American, Adm. James Stavridis. So the baton has been handed from an American general to an American admiral.

The president said, “I made it clear that Gadhafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down.” But Mr. Obama still has offered no real strategy to bring about the Libyan dictator’s removal. When an American president says someone should go, they really must. If they stay, America’s credibility is undermined and adversaries are emboldened.

Mr. Obama also came out rhetorically for his predecessor’s Freedom Agenda, saying America supports “freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders” throughout the region. That statement is at odds with what Mr. Obama said in June 2005, when he insisted “we cannot, and should not, foist our own vision of democracy” on the Middle East.

The president claimed he authorized military action after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress. Not quite. Mr. Obama made his decision Tuesday, then waited nearly three days before informing 18 members of Congress that bombing would commence—in 90 minutes! If Mr. Obama’s predecessor had tried to pass that off as serious congressional “consultation,” then-Senate Foreign Affairs Chairman Joe Biden would have called for impeachment hearings.

All this muddle adds to the sense that Mr. Obama is irresolute, weak and unreliable, even when doing the right thing.

Among a president’s most important possessions is a reputation as a strong leader. A Gallup poll released yesterday found that 52% of Americans see President Obama “as a strong and decisive leader.” That’s down from 60% a year ago and 73% in April 2009. Only 17% in a March 22 Reuters/Ipsos poll saw Mr. Obama as a strong and decisive military leader.

The economy will dominate the 2012 presidential election, but national security issues will shape public attitudes about Mr. Obama as well. Issues eventually congeal to create an impression of a president’s public character. Mr. Obama’s problem is that his handling of foreign policy challenges like Libya adds to his image of weakness. As a general rule, strong leaders get re-elected; weak ones don’t.

This is a chief executive who is willing America into a subordinate, non-leadership role in world affairs, who sees the United States as an ordinary nation. This is a potentially toxic political brew for any politician, but most especially for a commander in chief.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

How America Blew-Up The Middle East

March 16, 2011 by John Myers

For more than four decades United States Presidents have made a mess out of the Middle East. Now the region is boiling over. Americans face $4 per gallon gas. In the wake of all this I thought it is a legitimate question to ask: Why has every President since Lyndon Johnson been so utterly stupid when it comes to the Middle East?

I don’t want to speculate at what is at the root of nearly a half century of incompetence, so instead of spewing a conspiracy theory I decided to just grade the last five Presidents when it comes to their handling of the region.

Beside each President I give a grade. Notice the marks fall progressively until I get to our current President, Barack Obama. I would be delighted to get your feedback on what you think of my grades and how you would mark our recent Presidents when it comes to the Middle East.

Ronald Reagan — C+. I would love to give Reagan a higher grade. After all, he used the U.S. Navy to put Libya in its place, ordering two F-14s to shoot down two Libyan jets in August 1981. He cultivated solid relationships with oil producers like Saudi Arabia that brought the inflation adjusted price of oil to its lowest levels since the 1960s. Yet I can’t give Reagan sterling grades for his Mideast policies.

First he put U.S. soldiers in harm’s way in Lebanon in 1983. The end result was 241 American servicemen killed by truck bombers. Guards posted outside the barracks could not stop the Islamic jihad terrorists because they were under strict orders to have no magazine inserted and no rounds in the chamber of their weapons.

Reagan also looses points for not bringing justice to Moammar Gadhafi after his Libyan agents blew-up Pan Am flight 103 killing all 259 on board and another 11 on the ground in December 1988.

Then there is the fact that Reagan armed Saddam Hussein to the teeth to oppose Iran in a war that lasted eight years. Later administrations would argue that the Iraqi dictator menaced the world with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). That turned out to be untrue, but whatever arsenal Saddam had came from the billions of dollars in aid and technology that was provided by the Reagan administration.

On August 18, 2002, The New York Times wrote:

“A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war.”

Reagan also doesn’t score well because of his guns for hostage deal with Iran; that he “forgot” about. When he was pressed on the issue—because it might have meant that he had broken the law—Reagan sounded like the kid who tells the teacher that the dog ate his homework.

George H.W. Bush – C. Some of you might think that Dubya’s dad should get a solid A. After all, he launched Desert Storm, an overriding victory of Coalition Forces that drove Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and kept a lid on oil prices.

But you might also remember that it was under Herbert Walker’s leadership the U.S. completely missed the fact that Iraq not only had aims on dominating the Persian Gulf—under which sat two-thirds of the world’s conventional oil reserves—but that U.S. intelligence services didn’t notice that Iraqi tanks and troops were massing for invasion of Kuwait.

Then there was the entire lying to the American public by the Bush I administration to justify the war. It started off well with telling the truth—a crazed dictator like Saddam could not control the world’s energy supply. But when the Left leaned on Bush’s argument (which was a great one), his administration changed the story that America had to oppose Saddam because he was the next Hitler. Nobody believed that. So Bush said that Saddam had to be stopped because Iraqi troops were killing Kuwaiti babies in their incubators. It was an incredulous lie, but America got behind him as if he were Franklin Delano Roosevelt leading the nation into World War II.

Operation Desert Storm turned out to be a hiccup when it comes to U.S. wars. The ground war lasted 100 hours. Yet Bush—when he had Saddam on his knees and was able to promote U.S. policies in throughout the Middle East—did a most incredible thing: He stopped advancing U.S. forces at the Iraq border.

Bill Clinton — D: During Clinton’s eight years in office the Middle East was a relatively stable place. The Clinton administration made some important strides in the peace process with Israel and its neighbors. We cannot forget that during the Clinton Presidency cheap oil kept flowing from the region unimpeded.

But none of that can excuse the fact that more than anyone, Clinton was responsible for 9/11. He not only failed to recognize the growing extremism of Islam but he failed to heed warnings that were given to him about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida which by most accounts Clinton saw as a rag-tag group that created no real threat to the United States.

If Clinton’s mind had been on al-Qaida rather than the Monica Lewinsky scandal, for which only he was responsible, bin Laden would have long ago been dead and most of the world would not know his name.

Following 9/11, NBC News reported that the Clinton administration had multiple opportunities to either kill or capture bin Laden but failed because they did not take him or his organization as a serious threat.

George W. Bush — F: I could write a book on how Bush the younger made a mess of the Middle East and only touch on his administration’s mismanagement of the region. (I say his administration because so much of the blame should go to former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz who were the architects of the war against Iraq).

I don’t even hold 9/11 against President Bush. But there are two blunders he should be accountable for:

  1. The failure to kill and capture Osama bin Laden.
  2. Launching the war in Iraq with questionable if not downright untruthful intelligence of WMD and with no end-game in sight other than a vague notion of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East (we can see how that has panned out).

So far the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost the lives of more than 5,900 American service men and women. Yet the excuse that the Bush II administration made for not going after bin Laden with “boots on the ground” was they didn’t want to incur heavy U.S. casualties.

Bush compared 9/11 to Pearl Harbor. Yet Roosevelt mobilized an entire nation to fight the Axis in response to Pearl Harbor. The Bush II administration made strafing bomb runs over bin Laden’s lair. There was no massive drop of infantry as one might have expected. Instead, agents of the Central Intelligence Agency were sent over with trunks full of cash so they could hire mercenary warlords.

Instead of finishing off al-Qaida, Bush committed most of the U.S.’s full military might against Iraq. No question Saddam Hussein was a bad man. But was he any worse than Moammar Gadhafi? Time will tell but what we do know is that while Bush was prosecuting the war against Iraq, his administration was instrumental in lifting sanctions on Libya.

Nearly one decade after 9/11, U.S. forces are still on the ground in Iraq. That country is rife with corruption and has become a hotbed for terrorism directed against the United States. And we are still fighting what some think is a losing war in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama — F: I would have thought it impossible for any President following George W. Bush to make a bigger mess of the region. Yet Obama has done so, and he has done it in spades. And Obama has been in office just over two years.

Next week I will tell you why I think that when it comes to the Middle East and Islam, no President has been worse than Obama.

Yours in good times and bad,

John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

 

OBAMA BLEW IT

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9sMo-LTdSc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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