Monday, November 14, 2011

"Foreign Policy Success"

Think Progress has listed what it believes are Obama’s great foreign policy successes which the Republicans are not giving him credit for. I read them and could not prevent myself from laughing out loud. There is much to admire in President Obama, both as a person and as a President, but if this is the best we can do as a list of his success at foreign policy, we definitely need to elect somebody else.

Liberals like to claim that Republicans stretch the truth and make false claims, but this list reveals that such practice is by no means limited to Republicans.

Killed Osama Bin Laden, Ramped Up Campaign Against Al Qaeda: What have we come to where the insertion of a military team into the sovereign territory of an ally without their knowledge or approval to assassinate someone is labeled as “foreign policy” at all, let alone as a “foreign policy success” which tops the list? How, precisely, did killing Bin Laden “ramp up the campaign against Al Qaeda,” and if it did, how would that be foreign policy?

Mobilized Int’l Coalition To Protect Libyan Pro-Democracy Demonstrators: Actually, he was dragged into this one by France, and he started a war without Congressional authorization in violation of his authority under our constitution. The purpose is somewhat questionable, as the war was actually and admittedly for the purpose of regime change, but it did succeed. So we’ll give him this Bushian success, somewhat like a bank robber who got away with it.

Ordered The Complete Withdrawal Of U.S. Forces From Iraq By End Of The Year: And we’re back into lala land, because he did nothing of the sort, George Bush did that before he left office. In fact, Obama tried valiantly to undo that, arguing for more than a year to strike a deal with Maliki that would allow our troops to remain longer.

Isolated And Weakened Iran: In what world is an adversarial position considered “successful foreign policy”? Success of foreign policy would be bringing Iran to the negotiating table, as he promised to do in his campaign, and reaching agreement with them on their nuclear program. The claim is a bit weird in any case, since Iran is selling all of the oil it is able to produce at world prices.

Repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Indeed he did, but this cannot possibly be stretched into the realm of foreign policy.

Halved The Number Of Russian And American Nuclear Missile Launchers: A success of some significance to be sure, but given how far back in history the Cold War resides…

Supported Democratic Transition In Egypt: I quit laughing at this one and became a bit angry, because he actually supported the military regime right to the bitter end. He gave some trivial lip service to the protestors, but supported Mubarek until he no longer could, and then tried to promote Mubarek’s deputy as a successor.

Killed Senior Al Qaeda Leader Anwar Al Awlaki: again we have assassination as a “foreign policy success,” and this time assassination of a US citizen without even charges, let alone conviction in a court of law. Mere accusation by the administration that he was a “Senior Al Qaeda Leader” despite there not only being no actual evidence for that, but considerable evidence to the contrary.

Strengthened U.S.-Israel Relationship: You have to be kidding. This claim, after Israel cancelled a building freeze and rejected a peace process on the day that our Vice President arrived in Israel for a state visit.

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