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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Climbing out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole (Part 2)

A bit over three years ago I posted a piece titled "Climbing Out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole." It was one of several in which I surveyed the disaster that was our foreign policy under the late, unlamented Obama misadministration, and provided some general prescriptions, and made the following observation,
our president should matter more to foreigners than to us. We hear nonsense from progressives about the president "running the country." Wrong! Our presidency was not designed to run the country--anybody who thinks that it was has not read the Constitution. The executive branch is not the country. The president must concentrate on the executive branch and the main tasks assigned it by the Constitution. Instead of promoting disastrous health care initiatives, listening to every phone call in Iowa, using the IRS to suppress dissent, beating up on Israel, yammering about fictitious global climate change, or demanding a costly and pointless relabeling of food products in the supermarket, the President should focus on his primary responsibility, the national defense. We must have a military capability second to none, and, in fact, greater than any foreseeable coalition of powers that might oppose us. We must stand with our allies; our word must be a gold coin; our enemies and friends must know we say what we mean and mean what we say, to wit, we have the biggest gun and will pull the trigger. The enemy is real and dangerous--a look at the forcibly altered NYC skyline should be proof enough of that. The "end of history" silliness should have died in the rubble of the Twin Towers.
I had written one earlier than that, some four years ago (time flies!) in which I also focussed on,
the disaster that is Obama's foreign policy, a policy of defeat. In its defense, let me say that to call it a policy designed for America's defeat gives it too much credit. My experience at State and the NSC, has shown me that most Obamaistas are not knowledgable enough to design anything. Foreign policy for the Obama crew is an afterthought. They really have little interest in it; many key jobs went vacant for months at State, DOD, CIA, and the NSC. The Obama foreign policy team is peopled by the "well-educated," i.e., they have college degrees, and as befits the "well educated" in today's America, they are stunningly ignorant and arrogant leftists, but mostly just idiots. They do not make plans; they tend to fly by the seat of their pants using a deeply ingrained anti-US default setting for navigation. They react to the Beltway crowd of NGOs, "activists" of various stripes, NPR, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Relying on what they "know," they ensure the US does not appear as a bully, or an interventionist when it comes to our enemies: after all, we did something to make them not like us. Long-term US allies, e.g., Canada, UK, Israel, Japan, Honduras, Colombia, on the other hand, they view as anti-poor, anti-Third World, and retrograde Cold Warriors. Why else would somebody befriend the US? Obama's NSC and State are staffed with people who do not know the history of the United States, and, simply, do not understand or appreciate the importance of the United States in and to the world. They are embarrassed by and, above all, do not like the United States. They look down on the average American, and openly detest any GOP Congressman or Congresswoman  . . . They have no problem with anti-American regimes and personages because overwhelmingly they are anti-American themselves
As we come up on the 90th day of the Trump administration (Only three months! Time crawls!) are we making progress in climbing out of the hole Obama made for us?

I think the answer is, "yes."

In just a scant ninety days, Trump has reestablished the USA as a force with which to be reckoned. It is a remarkable achievement, and one done solely on the basis of leadership. Even under the miserable Obama reign, the USA was the world's foremost economic and military power--at least on paper. We, however, had Obama, Clinton, and Kerry as the architects of a bizarre foreign policy which in essence assumed that the US had to atone for past sins, and should adopt a foreign policy worthy of perhaps Liechtenstein (I mean no offense to Liechtenstein), and not worry about whether America was "winning." We caught an eight-year "glimpse" into what a post-America world would look like. As I have said before, (herehere, for example) Russia parlayed its much weaker hand into a winning one on the basis of superior leadership on the part of Putin and Lavrov; they, and all our other rivals, knew how to take advantage of the foreign policy clown car careening around in DC.

You can have aircraft carriers, stealth bombers, the US Marine Corps, and an awesome fleet of nuclear subs but if leadership is missing, you got blather, you got convoluted word salads, you got angst, you got, well, you got dystopian Obama World in which our enemies ran amok while we ran amuck. To repeat, what was missing was American leadership. That's no longer the case.

As I have noted before, you can like Trump or not, you can agree with him or not, but the man makes decisions, and moves on. I don't see the "flip-flops" that some of his old critics greet with the same glee that  some of his old supporters bemoan. If these first three months are any indication, I think he will prove a master negotiator and game changer in the foreign policy arena. Trump is not flip-flopping, the world is; it is coming his way, not the other way round.

The Russians and the Chinese certainly have taken note of the change in Washington, and I suspect that the regimes in Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, and the fetid leaders of ISIS and the other radical Islamist death cults have, as well. We can see positive change all around; we see it in the willingness of the Chinese to work much more energetically to control Krazy Kim and deal with the unbalanced nature of our bilateral trade, we see it in the Russian acquiescence to our blasting their Syrian ally, we even see it on our border where illegal crossings have plummeted as the coyotes fear the new sheriff.

I am optimistic that we have begun the long climb out of the Obama foreign policy hole.


  1. Well said (as usual!)

    I totally agree. Vive le Trump, and Vive le Leadership! #MAGA

  2. I like it! We have enemies without. We have enemies within too.

  3. "I am optimistic that we have begun the long climb out of the Obama foreign policy hole."

    I share your optimism. And I look back with nausea at what we lived through for the past eight years. My greatest hope right now is that people like Susan Rice and Lois Lerner will spend time in jail for their misdeeds. If that does not happen, we are only strengthening the Washington belief that laws are (only) for the little people. That is not a good lesson to give to people who are already arrogant.

    1. The Unequal application of the Law to cover for Ruling Elitist Criminals is the crucial point whether we survive as a voluntary association of people or not.

    2. I agree. Nothing Trump does will matter in the long term if the criminals of the Obama administration are not severely punished, and I don't mean given early retirement. Everyone will be taking note of whether criminal activity lands you in prison or is just brushed under the carpet when the next administration takes over. People will act on that.

  4. I'm reading this and I'm awake. It's a gift!

    Happy Easter and thank you, Mr. Mad!

  5. It's very refreshing to have a leader that makes a military and/or diplomatic decision, and then ignores calls to 'explain his policy'.
    No, we don't want our enemies to know exactly what will or won't provoke a response from us. What kind of idiot would blather on about red lines and things that will or won't get the US involved? Oh yeah.. 8 years of idiots.

    "But it's so complicated!" "Then why do you feel you must try to explain it?"

    - reader #1482

  6. You left Valerie Jarrett out of our former foreign-policy clown car ...

    1. She got car sick and is kicked back at Casa Moochell.

  7. The definition of "feckless" in the dictionary has a picture of the Obozo regime.

    1. Their redeeming bi-line is and always will be, "Always wrong, but never in doubt."

    2. Yes, mine, the FREE dictionary, has him doing "political prestidigitation" to distract public attention... it caused me to flashback to his smoke, mirrors, and Greek columns... found this link too, strange how all Obama roads lead to Hell!


    3. Here's the Link:


  8. "My experience at State and the NSC, has shown me that most Obamaistas are not knowledgable enough to design anything."-WLA

    I see your point/s sir, but then, who DID design the strategy for our defeat over the last 8 years, which certainly brought US way too close to the edge? Or,as some have said: if the Obama regime wanted to destroy US, what would they have done differently?

    And then comes, the unlikely miracle of salvation THRU the herculean efforts of a businessman loaded with surplus hutzpah, pulling US back from the brink of diaster?

    WHO engineered it? The Fates? Those Pesky Muses? Or am I dreaming, and we're actually in freefall waiting for the inevitable crash landing and tough Rehab to follow-- if we're the lucky ones?

    And what about the embedded/enmeshed so-called dark forces lying in the shadows, who look so very much like the muslim John Brennan? Will our next generation of GOP/IND leadership be up to the task of defending the GIFT we Westerners inherited? I mean, Ivanka and Jarred et al are sweet pieces of work, but, 'where's the BEEF' coming from? Imported? I'm praying for our NOW generations to hold the fort till the NEXTGEN emerges from their insular cocoons!

    On Watch~~~
    "Let's Roll"

  9. Mad, it's not just leadership,but the willingness to use force when and where acquired. Weapons cease to be a deterrent when your enemy knows you won't use them.

  10. Trump will either be hailed as a hero....or tried as a war criminal. Hero if he can remove Kim peacefully or with minimum casualties. Impeached or War Criminal if the Norks really can launch a nuke or inflict mass casualties (20K plus in a week). I think Hero is more likely.
    1) I doubt The Norks ability to deliver a nuke that will hit its target and deliver a substantial yield.
    2) I doubt Kim has installed effective/nimble military leaders.
    3) The US military is HIGHLY effective against standing armies, and our allies (ROKs, JASDF) aren't so bad either.

    The risks of caving or just backing off are quite large too...nukes everywhere. Trump won't cave.

  11. I'm with Trump. But nukes can be dicey. I'm betting ole Kim thinks he's made sure he's got at least one he can count on to launch (talking about his own people refusing orders). In his mind if he can just get one just one over Tokyo or Seoul he can bluff his way out of anything or if he's going down just say the hell with it. Nukes are great things just don't get any on you and don't be down wind.

  12. Trump should mend his fences with the foreign policy and intelligence bureaucracies--at first, to find out who is and who is not loyal to the USA rather than to the 1970's New Left vision; and second, to tap the expertise of the trustworthy people.

    Part of our problem has been that people like Obama and those closest to him were schooled in the idea that the NorKs and the Iranian revolutionaries (known to sane people as the Mad Mullahs) were and are the plucky,progressive, dignity-enhancing underdogs standing up to the big, bad Yankee imperialism. Hence, they didn't quite know what to do when they discover that the choice of enmity can very well lie on the other side.

    While I'm of the mind that war is sometimes justified, and that the Left's "plucky underdogs" are in fact rabid and dangerous, I'd like to see the Pyongyang-Beijing-Tehran-Moscow alliance start coming undone before I'd try anything too drastic. I seriously doubt that Xi Jinping is on board in reigning in his Pudgy Pyongyang Pal. Beijing simply cannot allow the fall of one of the last Marxist-Leninist regimes, its own buffer with an ROK which in Beijing's heart of hearts is still seen as a reactionary running dog of US imperialism. Further, the facts that we lost in Viet Nam and that China reclaimed her Far Eastern paramountcy in the wake of that crisis need to be considered.

    Were I Trump, I'd be urging Congress to put a lot into anti-missile technology, counter cyber-warfare (and China is putting a lot into cyber warfare) and research into dealing with the aftermath of nuclear war.