Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Putin Appears To Have Outflanked Obama Again

The good news. Some of Obama's threats still strike fears in their target's hearts.  The bad: It's not the hearts of America's enemies...Benny Avni, Middle East columnist

(Someone doesn't appear to happy in the image above)

It was September 2012. Pres. Obama drew his red line against Syria. A year later, he erased his red line. Now, there's a new red line---a line soaked in blood. In other words, the road to the chaos we are now witnessing in the Middle East (including the rise of ISIS) can be traced backed directly to the incompetence of Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State. In the subsequent years, Obama and John F. Kerry have not fared much better. Since Obama erased his red line, we've seen the following occurring in the Middle East and elsewhere:

  • We've watched as ISIS filled the vacuum left by American troops in Iraq. In September of 2014, I penned a piece entitled, "A Vacuum Creates An Invitation To The Bad Guys." It's not that I was prescient. It's simply that I know history. And history is replete with geo-political thugs taking advantage of weakness and appeasement. Examples include the Soviet Union, the Communist in SE Asia (Vietnam and Cambodia) and a host of other examples. In fact, John Podhoretz wrote correctly at the time: "The president decided America was through with the war in the Middle East. The vacuum his fecklessness has created is sucking us back in---in a far worse tactical and strategic condition than we were before."
  • Keep in mind, ISIS is not the only group of homicidal maniacs preying on innocents. Al-Qaeda remains a force to be reckoned with as well as Boko Haram who keeps murdering and kidnapping Christians throughout the Nigerian region. Those Michelle Obama hashtags should have long been replaced with one shot, one kill.
  • We also know Islamist are a threat to our homeland. This was in evidence on 9/11,  Ft. Hood, the Boston Marathon and other attacks by Jihadists.
And back to Syria. It remains a total mess. Even more disturbing, Putin appears to have outflanked Obama in Syria. And it hasn't occurred overnight. In March 2014, The NY Post published its editorial with this observation: "V. Putin has taken the measure of B. Obama. He's found Jimmy Carter." Allow me to add. Putin has also found Jimmy Carter at the UN and EU. After Obama and Putin spoke and met at the UN yesterday, Benny Avni wrote: "The baton was officially transferred Monday to the world's new sole superpower---and Vladimir Putin willingly picked it up." And typical of a former KGB thug like Putin, he prefers to be feared rather than liked. It wasn't too long ago when I wrote America needs a gunslinger, not a bystander. Unfortunately that advice was not taken. 

But don't even take my word for it. A little more than a year ago, Gen. Mattis, former head of U.S. Central Command, testified to Congress that the U.S. was not adapting well to the changes in the Middle East. In addition, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a conference that "You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists." Even Leon Panetta, the former CIA Director as well as Secretary of Defense under Obama, said in his memoir: "President Obama avoids the battle, complains and misses opportunities." In addition, Putin wants to be in Syria for one reason only---to expand Russia's influence just as China is doing in the S. China Sea. If he has to slaughter ISIS (a good thing), he'll do it. But his intent is to make Russia a bigger player in that part of the globe.

We are now directly observing the consequences of a failed foreign policy---a foreign policy that is not only bad for America but it's also bad for other nations. (Any wonder why Israel is so anxious when they are surrounded by over 300 million people who want to wipe it off the face of the global map?).

I leave you with the end piece in the NY Post editorial today: "Obama is determined to leave office as the president who ended America's wars. Yet everything he does to that end merely emboldens the world's most ruthless aggressors."

Where's a Ronald Reagan when we need him?

Postscript: Since this was posted yesterday, Putin send his Air Force into Syria---this less than 24 hours after meeting with Mr. Obama. In other words, Putin flipped Obama the bird---again.