President Obama gave Thomas Friedman an hour long interview before heading off on vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. Within the interview the failure of a cohesive Obama foreign policy shines through despite the attempted cover from liberal reporters.
Within the Times Article you find the footprints of a dejected President staring boldly into the face of his own failure and shortcomings:
[…] “We’re not going to let them create some caliphate through Syria and Iraq,” the president said in an hourlong interview with Thomas L. Friedman, a New York Times columnist, as American planes and drones began dropping bombs in Iraq. “But we can only do that if we know that we have got partners on the ground who are capable of filling the void.”
[…] Mr. Obama offered his justifications for his latest use of military force in Iraq while lamenting the outcome of a similar decision he made to intervene militarily in Libya in 2011. He defended the desire to help oust the Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, with American air power, but he acknowledged that he had “underestimated” the chaos that would follow after American forces left.
“So that’s a lesson that I now apply every time I ask the question, ‘Should we intervene militarily?’ ” Mr. Obama said. “Do we have an answer the day after?”
Oh that’s nice, as long as he readily admits his failure in Libya now. Readers will note he’s essentially reaffirming the Bush policy in Iraq by saying the failure in Libya was a failure to stick around and nation build.
This, despite the fact Obama himself worsened the collapse in Iraq by pulling U.S. forces out ahead of structural governance in place which would insure their own security.
So failing to have a plan to stick around in Libya was a mistake, but pulling out from a plan to stick around in Iraq was, well, what exactly ?
[…] The president rejected criticism that the military advances by ISIS in Iraq could have been prevented if he had been willing months ago to provide heavy armaments to the Syrian rebels who were fighting against ISIS and the forces of President Bashar al-Assad in that country.
“It’s always been a fantasy,” he said, “this idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth.”
Yet, arming and defending “doctors, farmers and so forth” is the exact argument he made for taking action in Libya against the recommendations of the Department of Defense, and Bob Gates who specifically outlined that the U.S. had no vested interests in the Libyan civil war.
He then goes on to talk about Russia and Ukrainian crisis.
Mr. Obama, hinting at some strain from the summer’s international crises, said the prospects for a diplomatic agreement that would prevent President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia from invading Ukraine were real, but dimming.
“A deal should be possible,” Mr. Obama said. However, he added, “we are at a dangerous time, in part because the position of the separatists has weakened. I think Putin does not want to lose face, and so the window for arriving at that compromise continues to narrow.”
“He could invade,” Mr. Obama said.
Oh well, alrighty then. Why don’t you just send an open invitation to Vladimir Putin to invade. I mean, if you’ve already reconciled yourself to the outcome that hope to avoid as such is “dimming“, and “he could invade” if he so chooses.
Good grief. If Putin was sitting on the fence before he read this article I think you might have just given him the green light, no? Didn’t think you might want to keep a lid on that one til after the vacation did ya’?
[…] On Iran, the president said the chance that American efforts to strike a deal on nuclear weapons is “a little less than 50-50,” in part because some Islamic leaders may fear such a pact would loosen their grip on power.
“That may prevent us from getting a deal done,” Mr. Obama said. “It is there to be had. Whether ultimately Iran can seize that opportunity — we will have to wait and see, but it is not for lack of trying on our part.” (full article link)
Oh well, so much for the Iran will never be allowed to get nuclear weapons. Good to know that there’s less than a 50/50 chance your policy is going to stop that from happening.
WTF ….. it’s “not for lack of trying” though.
Oh, but wait, inside the Op-Ed from Friedman it gets even better:
[…] Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished. The United States is not going to be the air force of Iraqi Shiites or any other faction. Despite Western sanctions, he cautioned, President Vladimir Putin of Russia “could invade” Ukraine at any time, and, if he does, “trying to find our way back to a cooperative functioning relationship with Russia during the remainder of my term will be much more difficult.” Intervening in Libya to prevent a massacre was the right thing to do, Obama argued, but doing it without sufficient follow-up on the ground to manage Libya’s transition to more democratic politics is probably his biggest foreign policy regret.
Feeling better yet? Nah, me neither…. I think I’m going to throw up.
[…] “Our politics are dysfunctional,” said the president, and we should heed the terrible divisions in the Middle East as a “warning to us: societies don’t work if political factions take maximalist positions. And the more diverse the country is, the less it can afford to take maximalist positions.”
While he blamed the rise of the Republican far right for extinguishing so many potential compromises, Obama also acknowledged that gerrymandering, the Balkanization of the news media and uncontrolled money in politics — the guts of our political system today — are sapping our ability to face big challenges together, more than any foreign enemy. “Increasingly politicians are rewarded for taking the most extreme maximalist positions,” he said, “and sooner or later, that catches up with you.”
The sanctimony is at super nova levels. In Iraq President Obama proclaims the inability of the government to reflect the concerns of the minority party are the problem and cause of the rise of extremism. Yet simultaneously demands that opposition to *HIS* agenda must stop and threatens to act on his own.
Who’s the “Maximalist” in the U.S.A ? This from a president threatening amnesty and instituting law by executive order and dictatorial fiat – despite the decrees being counter to the will of the majority.
You getting this?
[…] “I think what the Iranians have done,” said the president, “is to finally realize that a maximalist position by the Shias inside of Iraq is, over the long term, going to fail. And that’s, by the way, a broader lesson for every country: You want 100 percent, and the notion that the winner really does take all, all the spoils. Sooner or later that government’s going to break down.”
Gee, ya don’t say.
According to his own words a President that views politics as “the winner really does take all, all the spoils … sooner or later is going to break down“. Yeah, it will, kinda like a “DYSFUNCTIONAL GOVERNMENT” – duh.
This, THIS, from the same President who told his opposition “elections have consequences, I WON“.
His window is actually a mirror…. Hypocrisy thy name is.
Not to be outdone, the most gag-a-maggot aspect in this Op-ed comes from Tom Friedman himself in the following paragraph:
[…] Clearly, a lot of the president’s attitudes on Iraq grow out the turmoil unleashed in Libya by NATO’s decision to topple Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, but not organize any sufficient international follow-on assistance on the ground to help them build institutions.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ! NATO’s decision ? Who’s Friedman trying to kid. It was specifically Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s decision to “topple Qaddafi”.
There will be no historical re-writing on our watch. You break it, you own it.
You can read the entire Op-ed HERE, I can’t stomach any more.
And the NYT Article is HERE