The Un-Midas Touch
Everything that Barack Obama touches seems to turn to dross. Think of it for a minute. He inherited a quiet Iraq (no American combat deaths at all in December 2009). Joe Biden bragged of the calm that it would be the administration’s “greatest achievement.” But by pulling out all U.S. peacekeepers -- mostly for a 2012 reelection talking point -- Obama ensured an ISIS wasteland. He put his promised eye on Afghanistan at last, and we have lost more soldiers there than during the Bush administration and a Taliban victory seems likely after more than a decade of lost American blood and treasure. The message seems to be that it is better for Obama to have his eye off something than on it.
Remember those threats to Syria? After the U.S. threatened and backed off, the violence only escalated and spilled into Iraq.
Libya was no paradise under Gadhafi, but it is now Mogadishu on the Mediterranean. Not even the president's supporters believe that he told the truth about Benghazi. Reset with Russia green-lighted Putin, as he sized up Barack Obama as a lamb waiting to be eaten. The Bowe Bergdahl-for-five-terrorists swap (likely illegal) is not headline news only because dozens of scandals since have eclipsed it, and the likely deserter is apparently still kept incommunicado, lest he speak in the fashion of his father at the earlier White House press conference. I don’t think Bergdahl is a model for future negotiations with the Taliban.
Israel? We never have been more estranged from the Jewish state. Open mic outbursts against Netanyahu define our true policies. The terrorist state run by Hamas is now a partner for peace -- tunnels, missiles, syringes, handcuffs and all. Did outreach to Hamas lessen or spike violence?
Did the “special relationship” with the Islamist Recep Erdogan lead to regional calm, and does it still exist?
The war on terror? Obama has derided most anti-terrorism protocols, even as he kept some Bush-Cheney policies -- to the incoherent point that no one has any idea what the U.S. is doing. Jihad a personal odyssey? Muslim Brotherhood largely secular? Major Hasan's murdering mere workplace violence? Outreach to Islam NASA's primary mission? Remember overseas contingency operations and man-caused disasters? In the Obama war on terror, waterboarding three architects of 9/11 is our “folks” torturing their “folks”; but judge/jury/executioner drone strikes that blow up 2,000-plus suspected (not confessed) terrorists -- and anyone in the general vicinity when the missile hits -- are far more moral. Out of sight, out of mind.
When CIA Director John Brennan speaks, we all assume he is not telling the truth, as in the past. Whatever the DC dictate is at the present, Brennan makes the necessary immoral adjustments.
Past cabinet heads? No one knows exactly the circumstances under which Lisa Jackson, Hilda Solis -- and even David Petraeus -- left their offices.