In the space of three short years, president Obama has proved to be a one man wrecking crew when it comes to American national security issues and the exercise of foreign policy.
Some key areas of concern, many of them intertwined:
1. Cairo speech, June 4, 2009 [transcript, WH website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-cairo-university-6-04-09]
This one disastrous speech [which could easily have been written by Ingrid Mattson, former president of the Muslim Brotherhood front group ISNA and friend of this WH] made clear to the world the operative tone of the Obama administration's strategic approach to foreign policy, one of withdrawal, appeasement and apology. It placed the world on notice [in a particularly noxious manner given its location, Al-Azhar University, the seat of Wahhabi Islam, and the administration's guests which included prominent members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood] that under his guidance America had officially ceded its leadership position in world affairs. The fallout from that speech set in motion a chain of events which should have been predictable It served to legitimize the "Arab Spring" which continues to be the motive force behind the a hard line, militant resurgence of Islamism in the Middle East.
There have been many in-depth examinations of this speech [our take at the time was and remains, "Broadly defined, Obama's speech consisted almost entirely of pandering to the Middle East, presenting an inauthentic picture of the nature of the clash between the West and Islam..."] but it is still striking that barely into this much anticipated statement, Obama joined the left and their Islamist allies in a wholesale revisionist indictment of American foreign policy.
"...More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam..."
In this same speech Mr. Obama broadened his personal mandate to include the defense of Islam, "I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear..."
The very idea that an American president would, post 9/11, feel the need to enforce a thoroughly inaccurate and agendized picture of Islam still causes jaws to drop.
The Cairo speech also served as a backdrop for the administration's incomprehensible embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideological partners here in the United States under the misnomer of Muslim outreach.
A few examples:
James Clapper is purportedly the Director of National Intelligence, nominally the U.S.' lead spy. However, judging from his statements - especially regarding his wholly concocted defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, calling it "largely secular" - his performance has been abysmal.
"ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper raised some eyebrows today at a House Intelligence Committee hearing when he called described the Muslim Brotherhood as a "largely secular" organization. "The term -Muslim Brotherhood," Clapper said, "is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam." They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera. "In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally." The U.S. State Department's Background Note on Egypt describes the Muslim Brotherhood as a "potent political and religious force." [source, ABC News, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/02/director-of-national-intelligence-james-clapper-muslim-brotherhood-largely-secular/]
The State Dept. has long had a fond eye for the Muslim Brotherhood, even during the Bush years, however under the estimable expertise of Hillary Clinton, State's outreach to the MB has gained considerable traction. In the below parlance, limited contact, is certainly a whopper of an understatement.
"Washington has had "limited contacts" with Egypt's largest Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said. She said the US wanted to "engage with all parties" seeking peace and non-violence following Egypt's uprising." [source, BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13979410]
Specifically referring to Team Obama's domestic Muslim outreach, John Guandolo, a former FBI agent and current anti-terror trainer asserts that this outreach is really to Muslim Brotherhood front groups and other Islamist organizations:
"...On June 20, 2011 at Georgetown University, senior Hamas & Muslim Brotherhood leadership represented by ISNA, CAIR, MPAC, and others were present at a conference with some of the most senior U.S. government officials. Invited to this event were the DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy Development, the Principal Deputy for DHS? Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the Director of DOJ's COPS Office, senior FBI leadership, the Review and Compliance Officer for DHS's Civil Rights Division, the Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement, the Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the State Department, the Policy Adviser for DHS?s Civil Rights Office, Members of the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Committee, leadership from the National Counterterrorism Center, and others. Notice the number of "policy advisers" listed. This highlights an ongoing relationship between senior leaders of our enemies and senior U.S. government officials, and helps explain the changing policies at FBI, DHS, State Department and elsewhere which are favorable towards the Muslim Brotherhood..." [source, Breitbart's Big Peace, http://bigpeace.com/jguandolo/2011/11/20/assault-on-the-truth-part-2-how-the-muslim-brotherhood-censors-federal-counterterrorism-training/]
2. Failure to keep Cuba out of OAS, meddling in Honduran politics supporting Marxist [and Chavez bud] Manuel Zelaya in his bid to emulate Chavez' concept of "president for life."
In June of 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [the worst Secretary of State since at least Warren Christopher] undercut U.S. security [abrogating the nearly two century old precedent against foreign intervention against Western interest in this hemisphere, the Monroe Doctrine], ineptly allowing the Organization of American States - conceived as a firewall against the spread of leftist totalitarianism - to overturn its long standing  suspension of Cuba from the organization. The effect of this abrupt change in policy helped to facilitate Hugo Chavez' increasing influence in South America while at the same time empowering Castro's Cuba.
"...U.S. Representatives Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart...Cuba-born Florida Republicans, called the vote "a putrid embarrassment" and said it showed the Obama Administration's "absolute diplomatic incompetence and its unrestricted appeasement of the enemies of the United States...The decision was made by consensus, meaning the United States accepted it..." [source, MSNBC, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31080500/ns/politics-white_house/t/oas-votes-readmit-cuba-after-years/]
During the same month, Team Obama massively interfered in the internal affairs of Honduras, attempting to keep Manuel Zelaya - a hard core leftist and ally of Hugo Chavez - in power after he had been deposed by the military, a move supported by the country's high court. Unbelievably, as Mrs. Clinton carried on "high level" discussions in DC with the ousted Zelaya, the administration withdrew $30 million in foreign aid to the country to apply further pressure on the embattled Honduran leadership. The administration actually went as far as to brand the ouster of the corrupt Zelaya, who was preparing to suspend the Honduran constitution, as a "coup."
"Mr. Zelaya, a leftist aligned with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, angrily denounced the coup as illegal...Later Sunday the Honduran Congress voted him out of office, replacing him with the president of Congress, Roberto Micheletti...Supreme Court issued a statement saying that the military had acted to defend the law against "those who had publicly spoken out and acted against the Constitution's provisions."[source, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/world/americas/29honduras.html?pagewanted=all]
3. Hugo Chavez empowering Hezbollah.
The administration has simply ignored South America, especially the cancer known as Hugo Chavez, allowing him to establish close ties with Iran whose proxy army, Hezbollah has set up forward operating bases in northern Venezuela.
"...Senior Israeli political official: Nasrallah established major terrorist base in Venezuela under Chavez sponsorship. Hezbollah members collect intelligence from continent, including Brazil, Argentina, and Peru with objective of carrying out a low-profile revenge attack for assassination of Imad Mughniyeh..."[source, Israel National News, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3761491,00.html]
Team Obama has also looked the other way as Chavez also established close ties with Russia and Iran, signing a deal to purchase millions of dollars worth of armaments from the cash strapped former Soviet dictatorship and as previously mentioned, providing nuclear assistance to Iran's weapons program.
"Venezuela has bought more than $4 billion worth of Russian arms since 2005, including 24 Sukhoi fighter jets, dozens of attack helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles. In September, Russia opened a $2.2 billion line of credit for Venezuela to purchase more weapons..." [source, http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9CEQGF82]
"Venezuela and Iran have strengthened their links, as they have entered into more than 200 agreements in areas such as agriculture, finance, housing, oil, and industry. Through the third quarter of 2011, bilateral trade between Venezuela and Iran increased by 182%, according to data provided by the National Statistics Institute (INE)." [source, El Universal newspaper, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/111123/us-sanctions-against-iran-endanger-venezuelan-interests]
4. Sellout of Europe via a deal with Russia to nix a long planned missile defense system designed primarily to shield it from Iranian attack. This pact, harmful to the U.S. and its closest allies, served to embolden Russia's newly revived expansionism. Rather than using this opportunity for what Team Obama then called a "reset" between these former Cold War combatants, Russia increased its aid to America's most dangerous adversaries, especially Iran where Russian nuclear technicians are helping the Mullocracy to develop offensive nuclear weapons.
As the September 18, 2009 edition of the Wall Street Journal noted:
"President Obama promised he would win America friends where, under George W. Bush, it had antagonists. The reality is that the U.S. is working hard to create antagonists where it previously had friends. That's one conclusion to draw from President Obama's decision yesterday to scrap a missile-defense agreement the Bush Administration negotiated with Poland and the Czech Republic. Both governments took huge political risks - including the ire of their former Russian overlords - in order to accommodate the U.S., which wanted the system to defend against a possible Iranian missile attack. Don't expect either government to follow America's lead anytime soon. If the Administration approaches us in the future with any request, I would be strongly against it," Jan Vidim, a conservative Czech lawmaker who voted for the system, told the Associated Press." [source, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204518504574418563346840666.html]
5. Incompetence in handling the Iranian nuclear question including a refusal by the administration to back Iran's "Green" freedom movement or even issue a caustic reprimand to Ahmadinejad as his thugs attacked, murdered and tortured hundreds of Greens protesting on the streets of Tehran after the 2009 rigged election.
"For the Iranian regime in particular, Mr. Obama held out the promise of "engagement." This was to be his diplomatic showcase, the purest embodiment of his break with his predecessor's legacy. Full of hubris about the appeal of his own biography to Muslims, Mr. Obama was certain that his diplomacy would work where George W. Bush's hard line toward the theocracy had failed. Then came last June's election and an outpouring by the Iranian people for representative democracy. The Obama diplomacy was caught flatfooted by the tumult, to say the least. Mr. Obama had bet on Iran's rulers, but a democratic opposition in our image, speaking the language of democracy and unfurling its banners was in the streets contesting the rulers' will and the rulers' truth. It was a moment of supreme embarrassment for the United States - a case of both strategic and moral failure on the part of the president.." [source, Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704575304575296502638266526.html]
6. Failure to confront the presence of Hezbollah in Mexico. Hezbollah has been operating in Mexico for a number of years, now found to be linking up with the drug cartels. There are approximately 200,000 Syrian and Lebanese immigrants in the country according to a Georgetown University study, thus providing a large pool of potential talent for Hezbollah operations. According to a confidential Arizona police report which only saw the light of day because it was hacked, Ali Jameel Nasr, probably Hezbollah's top commander in Mexico was arrested in Tijuana in 2010. U.S. security officials will neither confirm nor deny the arrest, with State claiming that it would have no way to confirm such an arrest regardless, since this type of information is not shared with the U.S. by Mexico.
"...The document, from the Tucson Police Department, is dated September 20, 2010. At the time, just few months earlier, the Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al-Seyassah published an article saying that operatives of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah were employing Mexican nationals to set up a network in Latin America to target Israeli and Western interests. According to the newspaper, the Hezbollah group's alleged leader, Ali "Jameel" Nasr, a 30-year-old Mexican national of Lebanese descent, was arrested in the Mexican city of Tijuana in July 2010. The Kuwaiti daily also mentioned that for a period before his arrest, Nasr was under surveillance by Mexican authorities. He was also reported to be travelling frequently to Lebanon to receive instructions from Hezbollah, and making trips around Latin America, including a two-month stay in Venezuela in 2008..." [source, Hudson Institute, http://www.hudson-ny.org/2269/hezbollah-mexico]
"Islamic terrorist groups are setting up shop in Mexico and forming alarming ties with the country's brutal drug cartels, according to a 2010 internal memo from the Tucson Police Department. The memo, leaked by the hacker group LulzSec as part of its Arizona Department of Public Safety hack, warns that Hezbollah has established operations — and a large arms stockpile - in Mexico. As evidence, it points to the 2010 Tijuana arrest of Hezbollah militant Jameel Nasr, who was allegedly tasked with establishing a Hezbollah network in Mexico and South America. The memo also recalls the April 2009 arrest of Jamal Yousef in New York, which exposed a huge cache of assault rifles, hand grenades, explosives and anti-tank munitions. According to Yousef, the weapons were stored in Mexico after being smuggled from Iraq by members of Hezbollah." [source, Business Insider, http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-07-14/politics/30060540_1_islamic-militants-hezbollah-cartels#ixzz1el0r01mA]
Below, Rep. Sue Myrick [R-NC] discusses Hezbollah operations in Mexico on the Mike Huckabee show.
7. Ignoring an act of war against the U.S. committed by IRG/Quds cells in the U.S. which were involved in a busted conspiracy [first revealed in October, to very little media fanfare] to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The existence of this plot not only confirms Iran's murderous intent within the borders of the United States, it also demonstrates that IRG/Quds cells are present and apparently ready for action. Ominously, these cells are linking up with the Mexican drug cartels.
As the Washington Post observed:
"Last month U.S. officials charged that agents linked to Iran's powerful Al Quds force were plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, at a Washington restaurant. One of the men charged in the scheme - an Iranian with U.S. citizenship - was arrested and has pleaded not guilty. A second man is believed to be in Iran and has not been apprehended. The two allegedly hired a man they believed to be a member of a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the attack - either through a bombing or gunning the ambassador down..." [source, WashPost, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/-UN-Members-Condemn-Alleged-Iranian-Plot-on-Saudi-Official-134162448.html]
8. Fanning the fires of Islamic fanaticism by giving vocal support to Egypt's "Arab Spring" even though it was obvious from the start that the movement would be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. As part of this effort the U.S. threw Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak under the bus, thus losing a long-time ally [and the sole Arab signatory to the 1979 peace treaty, ending - at least for Egypt - the official state of war which has existed between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors since 1948]. Through his deligitimization of Mubarak, Team Obama has destroyed important leverage within Egypt's officer corp. much of which received training in the U.S.
Since the Arab Spring has freed up considerable Islamist rage throughout the region it has served as the newest major source of instability throughout the region. One obvious additional casualty has been Libya, now in the hands of al-Qaeda influenced Islamists, thanks to Obama's military actions. Perhaps the worst blowback to come out of this however has been the much reported dispersal of approximately 20,000 shoulder fired missiles [formerly under Libyan control] into the hands of North Africa's Muslim revolutionaries.
9. Ill advised and hasty retreat from both Iraq and Afghanistan, ignoring military advice all along the way. Through the sacrifice of over 6,200 lives, George Bush was able to hand over to Barack Obama a relatively stable Iraq along with a troubled Afghanistan. From its inception the Obama administration has made clear its intent to abruptly pull out of these two countries absent any manner of victory. This has undermined both governments, forcing them into hedging negotiations with those whom we sought to militarily defeat in the first place. Absent any significant American presence in these countries, Afghanistan will likely once again fall under the influence of Pakistan's terror-linked ISI - which created the Taliban - and Iraq will be forced to deal with Iran from a position of weakness already knowing that Mr. Obama will not confront the Mullahs.
10. The sellout of Israel under this administration has been complete as has its tilt towards the "Palestinians." Obama's understanding of the Palestinian question seems to have been formed quite a while ago by the likes of Rashid Khalidi, with whom he has had a close relationship.
Mr. Khalidi's background regarding Mr. Obama is intriguing. Consider a farewell party for Khalidi which was attended by then state senator Obama. Also on hand were domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn.
As Andrew McCarthy wrote, just weeks before the 2008 election:
"Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi - former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?...At the time Khalidi...was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University's Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism)...The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi's allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama...Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat's press agency...Back in April, the Times published a gentle story about the fete. Reporter Peter Wallsten avoided, for example, any mention of the inconvenient fact that the revelers included Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Ayerss wife and fellow Weatherman terrorist. These self-professed revolutionary Leftists are friendly with both Obama and Khalidi ? indeed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has noted that Ayers and Khalidi were ?best friends.? (And - small world! - it turns out that the Obamas are extremely close to the Khalidis, who have reportedly babysat the Obama children.)" [source, Andrew McCarthy, NRO online, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/226104/i-l-times-i-suppresses-obamas-khalidi-bash-tape/andrew-c-mccarthy]
This administration has been antagonistic to Israel from its start. It was Obama's State Department which for the first time raised the issue of Israeli "settlements" [i.e. building apartments in East Jerusalem] as an impediment to negotiating with the Palestinian Authority. Previously this had never been a subject of controversy regarding such talks.
Obama's treatment of Israel is consistent with his dhimmi Muslim outreach efforts but in short form, all one really needs to know about his administration's take on Israel is the disgraceful way he's treated Israeli PM Netanyahu on his visits to the WH, his tepid response to the Gaza Flotilla [Netanyahu was in this country at the time and it was reported that Obama abruptly asked him to leave rather than use the White House as a platform to refute the misinformation surrounding the terror flotilla], the U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood and his apparent agreement with French president Sarkozy's characterization of Netanyahu as a "liar," in comments caught by a supposedly dead microphone at the recent G20 meeting. For emphasis Obama added to Sarkozy's indictment, stating, "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!"
All administrations make foreign policy miscalculations and flat-out get it wrong sometimes. This is the nature of such an art. But this administration has made such devastatingly bad choices in its dealings with foreign powers that Mr. Obama stands alone among modern American presidents, in booting nearly every important foreign policy decision.
Obama's team, comprised primarily of recycled Clintonista foreign policy hacks and political thugs from Chicago simply has no clue as to what would constitute a reasonable approach to dealing with the world. Obama's actions seem more designed curry favor with future lefty historians than being motivated by his primary responsibility which is protecting the American public from foreign threat. On that count he has failed miserably.