Incompetence in national politicians is nothing new. But when U.S. diplomatic incompetence results in diplomatic retreat, humiliation and disaster are quick to follow. This is the new reality.
After making very little progress against the Islamic State for a long time, and on the heels of dilly-dallying with Syria’s “red line,” President Obama was startled and humiliated when Russian planes began bombing in Syria earlier this month. Obama desperately scrambled to save face as Russian President Vladimir Putin moved decisively to fill the vacuum left by U.S. retreat. Putin’s tenacious move asserted Russia as the dominant power in the region, in an alliance with Iran and Iraq. The Putin move was an insult and an ear-boxing to Obama, as Putin showed the world that Russia is regaining global influence at America’s expense.
This disaster is only the most recent display of U.S. diplomatic incompetence. Putin continues his campaign to show that Russia can be trusted as an ally, contrasted with America’s abandonment of Iraq four years ago, and its lack of conviction to fight ISIS. Further, following Obama’s U.S. troops’ pull-out from Afghanistan, that country has now asked Putin for military help.
Putin also continues to demonstrate he can fill voids created by Obama, and that he can rattle Obama at will. Putin is showing the world what a U.S. retreat looks like. America’s allies, watching Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, now know for sure that Obama complains about Putin but won’t do anything effective to stop him.
Retreat and failure are habits of both Obama and his ineffective Secretary of State, John Kerry. Readers will recall the recent flawed Iran nuclear deal, engineered by a bumbling Kerry. Because Obama and Kerry wanted to avoid armed conflict with Iran at all costs, the Iranians were given almost everything they wanted because Kerry gave the impression with his capitulations that he desperately wanted a deal. Obama adopted the false political choice for war or diplomacy, when the use of coercive diplomacy would have produced a better deal if Obama had only tried it. Because of Obama’s amateurish diplomacy, the result will be a more dangerous world for America, its enemies strengthened. Worse, always-belligerent Iran will still be capable of building a nuclear bomb after 8-10 years.
When religious fanatics tell you they intend to kill you, it’s wise to believe them and not pay them $150 billion to help them do it. Obama and Kerry are now accountable for Iranian behavior, because they now own what will follow this deal.
But this diplomatic stupidity didn’t start recently. Whenever they have faced adversity, Obama and Kerry, the Retreat Brothers, are clueless on how to respond. Obama has never faced real-life quandaries, except for some unusual aspects of his childhood.
With Kerry, his Secretary of State credibility took its first big hit in 2013, when he let off the hook his “dear friend” Syrian President Assad, otherwise known as the Butcher of Damascus, even after Assad massacred his own people with illegal chemical weapons. When hapless Kerry convened Geneva talks to resolve the Syrian conflict, the negotiations ended in confusion and acrimony.
Before that, Kerry, always the useful idiot for the left, warmly embraced a line-up of Communist dictators, such as Ortega in Nicaragua and Castro in Cuba. He called America a “bully” when we liberated Grenada in 1983. In 2013, he testified to Congress that elections in Iran, which are theocratic shams staged by fanatics who ban pro-Western candidates, “aren’t much different than elections in the U.S.” Kerry attacked Israel, a key ally, saying Israel is becoming an “apartheid state.” He should have resigned over that blunder, a devastating illustration of Kerry’s judgment.
Kerry’s life has been one long trajectory of retreat, starting with his meeting with America’s wartime enemies in Vietnam. During his presidential years, Obama teamed with Kerry, vehemently steering clear of conflict in the mid-east while gender-neutering our armed services, stripping them of funds and forcing thousands of officers to retire.
With 16 months left of the Obama presidency, we haven’t seen the last American retreat or humiliation.
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