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How Bad Is Obama’s Foreign Policy? Let Us Count the Ways

A quick overview of the president's gaffe-prone, inexplicably weak, and dangerously naive foreign policy.

by
Kim Zigfeld

Bio

May 21, 2010 - 11:15 am

When even the pages of the Huffington Post are excoriating Barack Obama’s foreign policy, you know the commander in chief is in some pretty serious trouble.

Writing for the HuffPo, Ken Blackwell, a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration and the Family Research Council, pulls no punches:

It would be hard to say which specific foreign policy of the Obama administration is worst. Iran sanctions? Russian relations? Attacks on Israel for Jewish settlements in Jerusalem? Trashing the special relationship with Britain? Insulting the Canadians in their own capital? Failure to secure the border with Mexico? We have an entire menu of foreign policy disasters to consider.

Blackwell points out that despite Obama’s claim to the contrary, there is no sign that Russia will assist the West in imposing sanctions on Iran. Just the opposite, in fact. Russia has just announced a massive new offensive weapons arms deal with Syria, a country that serves as a direct pipeline to the Hezbollah terrorists who are also favored by Iran.

If that’s what the august pages of the Huffington Post are saying, it isn’t hard to imagine how the right is starting to see Obama’s craven conduct. But for those who remain unclear, former Bushie David Kramer, now with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, spelled it out in no uncertain terms in the Washington Post.

Focusing on another festival of Obamanian failure, Kramer blasts Obama for selling out our Eastern European and Central Asian allies in order to get the Iran deal that never was. He believes the administration has signaled that Russia has a free hand to gobble up Georgia: “The administration is essentially abandoning the Georgians and giving Russia a green light to continue to engage in provocative behavior along its borders.” He continues:

Obama and other senior U.S. officials have repeatedly said they do not recognize a Russian “sphere of influence,” but actions, or non-actions, speak louder than those words. Through its neglect of countries in the region except for Russia, the administration is ceding to Moscow exactly such a sphere.

As Professor Ethan Burger of Georgetown University argued recently on my blog La Russophobe, yet another sign of Obama’s capitulation to Russia is his willingness to allow Russia into the World Trade Organization without first embracing any of the core principles that support the WTO. Why should Russia think it needs to make any fundamental changes if it can get what it wants without making any?

In the past seven months, four high-profile Democrats have gone down to defeat despite active campaigning on their behalf by President Obama. Senior Obama advisor David Axelrod is running scared. He told the Associated Press:  “At some point, you feel like we’ve done what we can do. We do have other stuff going on.”

You sure do, Mr. Axelrod. You have this country’s foreign policy to conduct. Ironically, though, it’s precisely because you are butchering that work so badly that your man is unable to help your candidates win reelection.

The country is slowly awakening to the reality that it has another “Jimmah” to contend with in the White House, a man whose palpable weakness and inexperience are encouraging America’s worst enemies to think they can take advantage.

While candidate John McCain proposed sanctioning Russia, and increasing American influence, by booting Russia out of the G-8 (yet another organization to which Russia belongs while repudiating all its core values), Obama is seeking to reward Russia and dilute American influence by expanding the G-8.

Americans see Russian nuclear bombers buzzing their coastline. They see American values under siege in Putin’s Russia. They see the creation of a neo-Soviet state. They see American promises being broken in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and as a result they see rising Russian aggression and imperialism.

With all this, they are displeased. They want America to be what it has always been: a beacon of freedom and democracy.  Liberals are stunned to see a president who was supposedly dedicated to liberalism ignoring violent racism, homophobia, censorship, and dictatorship on the rise in Russia. Conservatives are equally shocked to watch Obama encourage Russia to foment anti-American hatred in the Middle East (which has the side benefit of roiling the oil markets and lining Russia’s pockets) and to draw down a new Iron Curtain across Europe.

It seems there is one thing all Americans can agree on: Barack Obama is a truly awful president.

Kim Zigfeld is a New York City-based writer who publishes her own Russia specialty blog, La Russophobe. She also writes about Russia for the American Thinker and for Russia! magazine and is researching a book on the rise of dictatorship in Putin’s Russia.
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