Trifecta of Fail
No, not the show on PJTV -- it's the links this morning on all over my aggregators. Devastating stuff. Let's start overseas and then bring it on back home. First up, Janet Daily in The Telegraph on the not-quite-so-over War on Terror:
In May, Mr Obama gave a triumphal speech in which he declared the War on Terror officially over.
That was then. This is now: over the past week, 19 US embassies in the Middle East and North Africa had to be closed for a week, and diplomatic staff evacuated from Yemen because of “specific terrorist threats”. So who exactly is on the run? When the embarrassing contrast between this mass exit of the American presence and the “War on Terror (End of)” speech was pointed out, White House spokesmen clarified – as government spokesmen like to call it – what the president had said: it was al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan that had been all but defeated, not its franchise in Yemen, which was clearly still alive and kicking.
This clarification was followed shortly by the evacuation of diplomatic staff from Lahore in Pakistan due to – a specific terrorist threat.
The thing of it is, we were the one knocked back on our heels and out of 19 countries. And for what? Maybe the threat was "specific," but it certainly never materialized. Was it just a ruse, designed to shame us on the world stage while revealing our security protocols? Did Obama neutralize a really very real threat by tucking tail? Did we end the threat with drone strikes? Have we always been at war with Eastasia?
Nobody seems to know, and the ones who might know aren't saying. I'm reminded most of Jimmy Carter holed up ineffectively in the White House for the length of the Iran hostage crisis. But to give Obama credit where it's due, he's holed up at a multimillion dollar luxury palace at Martha's. Or on the links. He certainly know how to do nothing, with style and grace.
Tact, maybe not so much, which brings us to our second report. This time it's the National Post's Conrad Black and Obama's narrower problem with Putin:
The Snowden affair is an embarrassment from every possible angle. He was only a contractor, and it is shocking that he was able to download and remove and give away as much secret American surveillance information as he did; it makes a Swiss cheese of American national security confidentiality. And the cavalier manner in which the Chinese and Russians have given the backs of their hands to American attempts at extradition illustrates again the declining influence of the United States in the world. President Nixon or Reagan almost certainly would have been able to find something to trade those powers that did not affront American national integrity, in exchange for the return, or at least denial of asylum, to Snowden.
Well, maybe that's not such a narrow problem after all. Our President has been content to abandon Iraq, phony up a surge in Afghanistan, turn its back on our old ally Britain and our new allies in Central Europe, reverse course twice in Egypt, dither in Syria, lead from behind in Libya, neglect sub-Saharan Africa, lock down one of our carriers in a domestic spat with Republicans, and attempt to "pivot" to the world's biggest ocean while refusing to commit to enough resources even to maintain the size of our current fleet.
And we're supposed to be shocked that Putin can leave Obama twisting in the wind? Obama ran himself up that flagpole for all to see. It's not Putin's fault for smacking a gift horse in the mouth.
Barack Obama is, by far, the most viciously partisan president in American history. Other presidents have been partisan, often deeply so, but were careful to take the high road so as to keep open lines of communication with the other party, without which governance cannot be successful in a democracy. Not Barack Obama. His incompetence in everything political except winning elections is now costing him (and, inevitably, us) big time.
That partisanship makes for lousy domestic politics. The problem is, it's all Obama knows -- and it plays even worse on the world stage. In foreign policy, Obama doesn't have David Axelrod's electoral club to whack his opponents over the head. Come to think of it though, Obama doesn't have that to use anymore in domestic politics, either.
No wonder everything has been turning to crap for him since January.