Tuesday

January 16th, 2018

Insight

Obama's foreign policy haunts Trump and the United States

Ed Rogers

By Ed Rogers The Washington Post

Published August 15, 2017

Obama's foreign policy haunts Trump and the United States
Just as the cloaking media fog created by the Obama administration has begun to fade, former president Barack Obama is reportedly planning his reemergence into the political arena.

Good - it seems to be perfect timing, as he has some explaining to do. Specifically, the willfully hidden deficiencies and delusions of the Obama administration's foreign policy are emerging as some of President Donald Trump's most consequential and urgent problems.

Forgive me if this piece runs a little long, but any discussion of Obama's foreign policy blunders does not lend itself to brevity.

For starters, circumstances with Cuba and North Korea are the result of Obama-era blunders and the suppression of truth. Happy to help their liberal icon who could do no wrong, much of the mainstream media was compliant in publishing Obama's spin. Now, the problems are reemerging and they are more dangerous and urgent than Obama and crew wanted us to believe.

For starters, it was discovered that in 2016, a possible "acoustic attack" targeted U.S. diplomatic staff in Havana. According to the Associated Press, American diplomats in Cuba have developed "severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device." Some have even been sent back to the United States.

While it remains publicly unknown who planned and executed the possible attack, the fact is that Obama and his administration withheld crucial information from the public.

And it appears they did nothing in response to the apparent targeting of on our own people. They certainly didn't sound the alarm and demand answers from their Cuban friends.

Why would that be? The only answer is that they wanted Obama's opening to Cuba to appear wise and unblemished, and they wanted to sugarcoat or ignore Cuba's sinister behavior.

Meanwhile in North Korea, the Obama administration failed to prevent further progress from being made on the Kim regime's nuclear weapons program, to say the least.

Citing a recent confidential assessment from the Defense Intelligence Agency, The Washington Post reported last week that "North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power." This was known as far back as 2011.


Yet the Obama administration suppressed the news and kept selling its policy of "strategic patience." Turns out "strategic patience" in Asia was a lot like "leading from behind" in the Middle East. Specifically, the United States did nothing, much of the media applauded, our problems festered and now a deadly crisis is at hand.

And while we're at it, the Democrats and their allies in the media went on a crusade to confirm nonexistent manipulation of American intelligence when President George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, but I can discern no similar effort by the usual suspects on the left to expose the fact that Obama hid the truth of North Korea's rapid development of its nuclear weapons. Much of the media is obsessing over President Trump's "fire and fury" remarks, but they are ignoring the fact that it was Obama who allowed North Korea to get to this dangerous point. As troubling as these revelations are, they should not come as a surprise.

They were typical. Remember, the Obama White House boasted about its ability to manipulate the media during its capitulation to Iran.

According to The Post, "One of President Obama's top national security advisers, [Ben Rhodes,] led journalists to believe a misleading timeline of U.S. negotiations with Iran over a nuclear agreement and relied on inexperienced reporters to create an 'echo chamber' that helped sway public opinion to seal the deal."

The administration preyed on naive reporters who were either sympathetic to Obama or too inexperienced to see right through the scam. And as a result, anyone in Congress - or in the public for that matter - who disagreed with the Iran nuclear agreement was made out to be a heretic and warmonger. Well, the deceptive ploy to hide the truth and sell the Iran deal wasn't just a one-off rogue operation from Team Obama. It was standard operating procedure.

Given what we now know about Cuba and North Korea, it is important to reveal other realities that Trump has to deal with that were under-reported during Obama's presidency.

Just to mention a few: Iraq is a client state of Iran; Afghanistan is beyond the brink; Obama kept a zombie regime in place in Kabul that couldn't last a month without U.S. support, and most of the countryside is either under the control of the Taliban or under the control of local warlords of uncertain loyalty; anarchy reigns in Venezuela; and, southeast Asia thinks the United States has become unreliable or has departed altogether.

To our allies in the Pacific, China is viewed as the future. This is directly the result of Obama-era weakness and neglect. Say what you will about President Trump, but none of these problems started on Inauguration Day in January.

Even before he was elected, Democrats and their allies in the media heralded Obama as the chosen one. He was coddled and protected. They swooned when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The mainstream media was heavily invested in Obama from Day One, and it never exposed the reality of the American decline that he was leaving in his wake.

Cuba and Iran still have Obama to thank. And while rattled by much of what they have witnessed from this White House, most of the rest of the world is hoping for Washington to provide leadership and for the United States to reemerge.

Ed Rogers is a a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991."


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