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    Obama Foreign Policy Tag

    On Christmas Day I posted how It ain’t over yet – Israelis worried about more Obama UN moves. In that post I detailed Israeli distrust of Obama administration motives and plans after the anti-Israel Resolution 2334 passed in the Security Council on December 23, 2016. There is substantial accumulating evidence to back up Israeli accusations it has "ironclad" information that the U.S. was behind the Resolution. Denials by the Obama administration have been curiously worded, such as denying the U.S. "drafted" the Resolution; but that's not an answer to claims the U.S. was behind and encouraged the Resolution.

    Liberal attorney and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz criticized President Barack Obama's foreign policy after the U.S. did use its veto power at the UN to end a resolution on Israeli settlements. He said:
    “He will go down in history, President Obama, as one of the worst foreign policy presidents ever,” Dershowitz said during a Monday interview on Fox & Friends. “What he did to Syria, and what he was partly responsible for happening in Aleppo, creating a vacuum for Russia. …

    Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is no conservative, and certainly no fan of Donald Trump. The headline of a column he wrote during the campaign, after all, was "Trump’s Hitlerian disregard for the truth." Which makes his column of today, "Thanks to no-drama Obama, American leadership is gone," which absolutely rips the bark off Barack Obama, all the more remarkable. Observing that Obama "has been all too happy to preside over the loss of American influence," he describes the current president as having "waved a droopy flag. He did not want to make America great again. It was great enough for him already." On Syria, Obama "threw in the towel. The banner he flew was one of American diminishment."

    President Barack Obama's legacy at the UN will be marked by the year 2016. The year was bookmarked by the passage of UN Security Council resolution 2231 in January, giving U.N. authority to the Iran Nuclear Deal, and resolution 2334 last week, purporting to declare illegal the presence of Jews in areas in which form a key part of Jewish history. In the case of the Iran deal, the United States led the Security Council and voted for the resolution enshrining the nuclear deal into what passes for international law. In the case of the more recent resolution, the United States abstained, according to some incoherent reasons spouted by US Ambassador Samantha Power, but it looks like, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charges, that Obama orchestrated it. (Yesterday, Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes charged that Israel had "ironclad information" that Obama was indeed behind the maneuver.)

    I've been warning that Obama's passage of the recent anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution was not necessarily the "final" jab at Israel. Obama still has three more weeks left in which time he can achieve substantial UN action. The Israelis have reason to be fearful, asserting they have ‘Ironclad Information’ the Obama administration both pushed and helped craft the prior Resolution.

    Back in February 2012, I wrote that I expected that in his second term Obama would force his vision of a "peace" deal on the Israelis. We've had several close calls, with the John Kerry negotiation fiasco and flirtation with various European and Arab initiatives through the UN. The mechanism would be a failure to veto a Security Council resolution setting the terms of a deal. Part of it is Obama hatred of Bibi Netanyahu, dating back to the beginning of Obama's presidency. The snubs and dislike was palpable long before Netanyahu's address to Congress opposing the Iran nuclear deal.

    Early on in his first term, President Barack Obama suggested that in order to achieve peace between Israeli and the Palestinians, there needed to be more "daylight" between the United States and Israel. Obama, according to a report on a meeting between the president and American Jewish leaders, said, referring to the Bush administration, "During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states." During Obama's two terms in office, he made efforts to put daylight between his administration and Israel, and not just in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: in 2010 the administration harangued Netanyahu over a plan to build apartments in Jerusalem, the administration pursued the nuclear deal with Iran over Israeli objections, senior administration officials, on and off the record, have disparaged Netanyahu, and Obama is said to be considering a move in the UN to support Palestinian statehood.

    The other day we reported on Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's video in which he pointed out that advocating the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") is hardly a path to peace, Ethnic Cleansing of Jews For Peace is Absurd: Netanyahu was factually correct on the goals of the Palestinian leadership, and not only from Hamas:

    President Barack Obama, who promised less fighting in the Middle East, has decided to send 560 more troops to Iraq to help battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Mosul. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter visited Baghdad on Monday:
    “With the retaking of Qayara West airfield, the Iraqi Security Forces have once again demonstrated a serious will to fight,” Mr. Carter said. “I congratulate them on their recent successes and reaffirm that the United States, along with our coalition partners, will continue to do all we can to support Iraq’s effort to serve ISIL a lasting defeat,” he said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

    Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn and the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency is reported to be on Trump's short list for the vice presidential slot. General Flynn was forced out of the DIA in 2014 amid rumors that his "management style" was "chaotic." The Washington Post reported at the time:
    Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn is expected to end his tenure as DIA director this summer, about a year before he was scheduled to depart, according to officials who said Flynn faced pressure from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and others in recent months . . . . . . . . Flynn, who served as a top intelligence adviser to Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Iraq and Afghanistan, arrived at the DIA in July 2012 vowing to accelerate the agency’s overhaul. Asked after a public speech how he would treat employees reluctant to embrace his agenda, Flynn said he would “move them or fire them.” He drafted a blueprint that called for sending more employees overseas, being more responsive to regional U.S. military commanders, and turning analysts’ attention from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan to a broader array of emerging national security threats.

    China will play a greater geostrategic role in the Middle East and Africa thanks to the construction of the new transnational corridor. The 2,500 km-long network of highways, railways, pipelines and ports will connect the Western Chinese city of Kashgar with Pakistan's deep-sea port of Gwadar. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as the project is officially called, comes at an initial cost of $46 billion within the next 10-15 years. The corridor reduces China’s dependence on its main Malacca route. Presently 85 percent of the China's oil imports pass through the single chokepoint of the Strait of Malacca, located between Indonesia and Malaysia. With Pakistan's ports Gwadar and Karachi under control, Beijing would have direct access to resources and markets in Middle East and Africa. China already operates several ports in Africa, including its first overseas naval and military base near Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa.

    Gen. Philip Breedlove, the top military commander of NATO, has warned the organization they need to focus on Russia before he leaves his position at the end of May. “We see that Russia has not accepted the hand of partnership but has chosen a path of belligerence,” he stated. “We need to readdress where we’re heading.” Breedlove leaves his position "this month after three years in the top military job at NATO." His statements come after NATO announced they will send 4,000 troops to the Baltic States - Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia - and Poland. “The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against the borders, with a lot of troops,” Robert Work, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, told The Wall Street Journal. “From our perspective, we could argue this is extraordinarily provocative behavior.”

    In December 2012, Professor Jacobson posted "Barack Morsi". It turns out the title was truer than he realized. President Obama took the advice of "back-benchers" over experienced security experts to promote the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, creating condition for the usurpation of power by Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi:
    Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Fox News that President Barack Obama ignored the advice of his “entire national security team” during the Egyptian coup in 2011 that ousted Hosni Mubarak, the country’s former president.

    At a 9:00am press conference this morning, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Islamic State’s actions perpetrated against ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians, are “genocidal” and constitute crimes against humanity. In the brief (10 minute) statement, Kerry refers throughout to the Islamic State (ISIS) as Daesh, its Arabic acronym.
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