The North Korean negotiations were a particularly senseless move after a long history of similar failures and yet when North Korea launched its missile, Obama only said, “They’ve been trying to launch missiles like this for over a decade now and they don’t seem to be real good at it.” The same might be said of Democrats and foreign policy, except it would be more like two decades.
Some pundits predicted a hard line attitude from the White House on Iran. Instead fresh off the farce of North Korea negotiations, Obama lurched into nuclear talks with Iran hosted by Islamist thugs who are some of the regime’s best Sunni friends. Netanyahu accused Obama of giving Iran a “freebie” while Obama retorted, just as he had on North Korea, that nothing was being given away. Not counting the extra time for Iran to continue developing its nuclear program.
Iran has had to make no concessions and its proposal to hold the next round of talks in Baghdad has been accepted. If the West wasn’t being run by men too dumb to put on their own pants without assistance, the lead players might realize that Iran was stating that it now controls Iraq and is inviting the former occupiers into its own turf. Instead the diplomats will dutifully troop from territory that they once controlled to territory now controlled by Prime Minister Maliki, Iran’s man in Baghdad, without understanding that simplest of messages.
While the press spins the talks as some sort of Iranian concession, on the Iranian side, the head of Iran’s parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy described it as a defeat for the West. Either way the Iranian centrifuges keep spinning and that’s the real point. Anonymous sources keep suggesting to the press that Iran is prepared to accept some smaller number than 20 percent enrichment, but Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator has already said at a press conference in Istanbul that his government has no intention of doing any such thing. But who are you going to believe, the anonymous sources who tell the press that Obama is on the right track or Iran’s chief negotiator?
All the participants have described the talks as “constructive” and news articles trumpet a statement by Iran’s Supreme Leader that Obama had finally taken “an exit from delusion” in believing that he could defeat Iran. A Newsweek article praises this as “one of the most positive comments he had made about the United States since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.”
Left standing with a knife in his back, is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who didn’t expect Obama to sign on to a strike on Iran, but is recognizing that there is no level of interference too great for the White House. At least to his credit, he didn’t abase himself the way that Cameron did. Both Israel and the UK have been screwed by Washington D.C., but the Israeli Prime Minister at least retained his dignity.
If that is how traditionally close allies like the UK and Israel are being treated, there’s no hope for anyone else. Eastern European allies already knew they had been sold out before the “hot mic” incident and the message to Vladimir, that shameful moment just brought it home to them.
The Philippines-US war games have begun, but China isn’t impressed. Unlike China’s leaders, Obama has yet to make a definitive statement on the South China Sea, except to urge all parties in question to work it out peacefully. Not the sort of language that’s likely to warn China off bullying smaller countries.
Meanwhile shortly after Obama’s arrival, bombs went off near the US Embassy in Bogota. It would have been the perfect setting for Obama to make a strong statement about terrorism, but instead he once again ducked. After having betrayed so many allies, what was one more betrayal to add to the toll?
Having betrayed every ally, the foreign policy of this administration has not actually won any new friends. Obama may whisper sweet nothings to Medvedev or approve another round of talks with Kim Jr or the Supreme Leader, but gets nothing in return for it. And never gets held accountable for it by a press that is eager to forget his failures while looking forward to foreign policy triumphs that never come to pass.
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