The Obama Way Has Failed

Hillary is more of the same. Her term as secretary of state is an unmitigated disaster.

Dr. Aviel Sheyin-Stevens,

Aviel Sheyin -Stevens
Aviel Sheyin -Stevens
Credit: INN:AS

The U.S. Marine Corps has a rule: “Never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.” This doctrine, which combines the credible assertion of power with its restraint, also applies to international affairs: Do not threaten what you cannot do; do not act unless you must; if you act, see it through.

After World War II, a post-war sovereign state system, bolstered by alliances, was constructed upon such principles. It worked. It ended the Cold War.

Barack Obama sought to dismantle this system. Instead of working out America’s interests in a broad sense and maintaining alliances accordingly, he constructed a foreign policy designed to show the world that he is a better person than his predecessors.

The Obama Administration signed a nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 that ends the international sanctions regime against Iran, and permits Iran to develop advanced centrifuges. Barack Obama once pointed out (June 9, 2010): “For years, the Iranian government has failed to live up to its obligations.... It has violated its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency. It has ignored UN Security Council resolutions...while Iran’s leaders hide behind outlandish rhetoric, their actions have been deeply troubling.”

Under the agreement signed by his administration, Iran will develop nuclear weapons and the ayatollahs will get $150 billion.

Much of the support for the Iranian agreement draws on the same school of thought that believed the 1979 revolution would usher in the onset of liberal democracy in Iran; that the Oslo Accords were the harbingers of a peaceful, prosperous “New Middle East,” that Bashar Assad was a forward looking “reformer” and that the "Arab Spring" would herald an era of individual liberty across the Arab world.

Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. The advantage when playing terrorist odds was stated best by the IRA: “We only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always.”

Hillary Clinton is likely to become the Democrats’ candidate to succeed Barack Obama. Many Democrats simply want a “woman” to be president, and Hillary is the best-known woman in politics, though by no means the best qualified.


The advantage when playing terrorist odds was stated best by the IRA: “We only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always.”
There is nothing in Hillary’s history that would qualify her for the presidency, and much that should disqualify her. The most important job she has ever held was as secretary of state. Under her watch as secretary of state, American foreign policy had one setback after another, punctuated by disasters.

Hillary and Obama made the First Amendment of the Constitution the scapegoat in that appalling public service advert they made for Pakistan television. U.S. intervention in Libya and Egypt, undermining governments that were no threat to American interests, led to terrorist chaos in Libya, where the American ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans, and led to Islamic extremists taking over in Egypt. Fortunately, contrary to American foreign policy, the Egyptian military got rid of the extremist government that persecuted Christians, threatened Israel, and aligned itself with America’s enemies.

Libya, as a failed policy, belonged to Hillary as much as to Obama. Libya was supposed to be Hillary’s pet project; she would knock off Qaddafi and get a big foreign policy triumph, her great accomplishment as Secretary of State. Instead, because she gave it no further thought, except in terms of political benefit to her, she left a failed state in Libya. This resulted in Libyan ports being under the control of ISIS, and now being used as the main jumping off point for the flood of refugees that are remorselessly landing on the shores of Italy, threatening to destabilize Italy and other European Union countries. That is Hillary Clinton’s Libya.  She turned it into not only just another failed state, but also a failed state that is destabilizing American allies.

In Europe, as in the Middle East, America’s foreign policy during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state was to undermine America’s friends and cater to its enemies. The famous “reset” in American foreign policy with Russia began with the Obama administration’s reneging on a pre-existing American commitment to supply defensive technology to shield Poland and the Czech Republic from missile attacks. This left both countries vulnerable to pressures and threats from Russia — and left other countries elsewhere wondering how much they could rely on American promises.

Even after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Obama administration refused to let the Ukrainians have weapons with which to defend themselves. By the way, Barack Obama, when he was in the Senate, was one of those that urged Ukraine not only to give up the nuclear weapons it had inherited from the Soviet Union, but also to reduce its conventional military arms.

Barack Obama, like other presidents, made his own foreign policy; he chose to transform America’s foreign policy fundamentally. Hillary Clinton, like other secretaries of state, had the option of resigning if she did not agree with the foreign policy, but she shared the same flawed vision of the world as Obama when they were both in the Senate.

They both opposed the military “surge” in Iraq, under General David Petraeus, which defeated the terrorists there. Even after the surge succeeded, Hillary was among those who fiercely denied initially that it had succeeded, and sought to discredit General Petraeus, though eventually the evidence of the surge’s success became undeniable, even among those who had opposed it.

The truly historic catastrophe, and radical transformation, of American foreign policy — permitting Iranians to develop nuclear  weapons, and making it difficult for Israel to stop them — was also something that happened on Hillary’s watch as secretary of state. The Obama administration’s protracted and repeatedly extended negotiations with Iran allowed Iran time to multiply, bury, and reinforce its nuclear facilities, to the point where it was uncertain whether Israel still had the military capacity to destroy those facilities.

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton generated thousands of emails that were not archived as official government records because she used a private email account to conduct State Department business.

America’s enemies knew she had this server, and almost certainly were following her every move and reading her every email at the same time that they were being sent. That was a national security flaw.

She had the private email server because she would not want to be caught at anything by those she perceives as her enemies. Well, she was not working for herself. She was working for the people of America. The problem is that America’s enemies around the world in Iran, Russia, China and everywhere else, could read her emails. They could get all the information in real time, because she put her own interests before that of the United States.

It is a wonder that many people are still prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States, in times made incredibly dangerous by the foreign-policy disasters on her watch as Secretary of State.

A few weeks after the assault on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Obama administration used slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens as a political prop for the 2012 elections. Top administration officials — including Obama and Hillary — referred to Stevens as a "friend", which helped to get Obama reelected.

Hillary Clinton stood next to the coffin of her "friend" Chris and went on about a video that she knew had nothing to do with the attack that killed him.

It would have been preferable if Obama and Hillary referred to him as "Ambassador Stevens": He was the representative of the United States, and that was why he died. The Chris-this-Chris-that stuff was designed, like everything else, to deflect from the reality of what had happened - a successful military assault on the anniversary of 9/11 - and to turn it into merely a personal tragedy for poor "Chris", but not for the administration.

Yet, for such a close personal friend, "Chris" had trouble getting hold of Hillary. In testimony to Congress, Hillary denied that she had ever seen the late Ambassador Stevens' cables about the deteriorating security situation in Libya on the grounds that "1.43 million cables come to my office" – and she cannot be expected to see all of them.

It is the shame of a shriveled definition of politics in America that it consumes even those the political leaders claim are friends, like Chris Stevens.

As Hillary Clinton would say, what difference at this point does it make? Both the awful hollow moral void and the accompanying ruthless unyielding discipline were present after Benghazi. She concocted her fiction and then made everyone else live with it.

It worked for Obama. If Hillary succeeds, it will be her modus operandi throughout her term in office as president.

Obama drew a “red line” because, he said, Syria was using chemical weapons and chemical weapons are evil. Assad crossed the red line, but Obama did nothing, because bombing might look bad. He pointed the rifle, but was not ready to pull the trigger.

Obama launched his radical foreign policy in Cairo, now aflame with anti-American protests, by offering the Muslim world “a new beginning.” He meant an American change of heart, not a Muslim new beginning. He used the cover of multilateralism and moral equivalence consistently to communicate American weakness: “No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons.”

Iran’s major goal is the destruction of America, yet Obama’s solution is to appease Iran by letting Iran increase its destructive might, get nuclear weapons and get the ayatollahs $150 billion.

In the Middle East, his reaction to the Arab Spring was to drop allies who were in trouble, in the hope of making himself look good. His reorientation of America's Middle East policy benefits Iran, but disadvantages America’s allies: Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Sunni monarchies. Meanwhile, the Arab Spring was not followed by an Arab Summer of love.

Even in its own terms, the Obama way failed. Hillary is more of the same.

Aviel Sheyin-Stevens, Jur.D., CPA, is a Registered Patent Attorney based in Florida, USA. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami.





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