I guess everyone remembers how Hillary Clinton presented the Russian Foreign Minister with a “reset” button that they pushed together, signaling to the world that Democrat politicians wanted nothing to do with the view that there was anything morally wrong with Putin’s thugocracy.
But all of a sudden, the same Democrats who bent over for Russia for eight years are complaining about Russia today.
This article from National Review is a helpful reminder of exactly what the Democrats did with Russia during the last eight years.
He reset with Russia shortly after its clash with Georgia in 2008. He concluded the New START agreement with Moscow that reduced our nuclear forces but not theirs. When candidate Mitt Romney warned about Russia in the 2012 campaign, Obama rejected him as a Cold War relic. The president then went on to forge an agreement with Russia’s ally Iran to allow it to preserve its nuclear program. During the red-line fiasco, he eagerly grasped a lifeline from Russia at the price of accepting its intervention in Syria. He never budged on giving Ukraine “lethal” weapons to defend itself from Russian attack. Finally, Obama cut U.S. defense spending and cracked down on fossil fuels, a policy that Russia welcomed since its economy is dependent on high oil prices.
Put all of this together, and it’s impossible to conclude anything other than that Obama was a Russian stooge, and not out of any nefarious deals, but out of his own naivete and weakness. Obama didn’t expect any rewards when he asked then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a hot-mic moment at an international meeting to relay to Vladimir Putin his ability to be more “flexible” after the 2012 election; he was, to put it in terms of the current Russian election controversy, “colluding” with the Russians in the belief it was a good strategy. His kompromat was his own foolishness.
The cost of Obama’s orientation toward Russia became clearer during the past two weeks. When he pulled up short from enforcing his red line, an agreement with the Russians to remove Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons became the fig leaf to cover his retreat. This deal was obviously deficient, but Obama officials used clever language to give the impression that it had removed all chemical weapons from Syria. Never mind that Assad still used chlorine gas to attack his population — exploiting a grievous loophole — and that evidence piled up that Assad was cheating more broadly.
The Russians eagerly covered for Assad because he’s their client. What was the Obama administration’s excuse? It effectively made itself a liar for the Russians at the same time Moscow bolstered the Assad regime we said had to go, smashed the moderate opposition we were trying to create and sent a destabilizing refugee flow into Europe. This was a moral and strategic disaster.
Now, I’m pretty sure that if you ask a typical Democrat, they won’t remember any of the things that Obama did to embolden Russian aggression in the last eight years.
And how about this?
Obama was our President for the last eight years, and he supported our enemies (Russia, Iran, Cuba) and opposed our allies (Georgia, Ukraine, Israel). And now the Democrats complain about the evil Russians – the same evil Russians that they supported when they voted for Obama. They voted for the pro-Russia candidate and now they are complaining about the empowered Russia their President created. Obama sold our American foreign policy out for the Russians and the Iranians – that’s what Democrats voted for. TWICE.
Most people on the left can’t remember what Obama did in the last 8 years with Russia and Iran. Democrat political views just consist of demanding taxpayer-funded condoms, so that they can get drunk, get pregnant with a hot guy, then kill the baby or go on welfare. There really isn’t anything more to being a Democrat than that. Democrats today look at Syria and don’t realize that their President has been backing the two biggest Syrian supporters for the last eight years: Russia and Iran. They complain about the very situation that they created when they elected an America-hating progressive.
Obama wants to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees this year, then another 100,000 in 2016 and another 100,000 in 2017.
In previous posts, I have laid out several reasons for why we should not take in Syrian refugees. First and foremost is the cost of taking in Syrian refugees – pegged at $6.5 billion total for just the first 10,000 refugees. Canada is taking in twice that number, and their government costed their plan out at $1.2 billion for only six years. Obama himself doesn’t earn any money, has never worked in the private sector. So he isn’t going to pay for this with his own $6.5 billion with his own hard work. He’s going to pass that bill onto young people to pay, but today he’ll preen for the cameras and show how “generous” he is for spending other people’s money. He already added $10 trillion onto the national debt, doubling it.
Second, we don’t have the national security in place to vet the Syrian refugees. The news lately has been full of cases of people traveling with Syrian documents, and some of them trying to come into the USA through our porous Southern border. In general, we should assume from the many national security failures of the Democrats that they cannot be trusted on anything they say about things being safe. We have the Bradley Manning leak, the Snowden leak, the Hillary Clinton private unsecure e-mail server hack, the Benghazi cover-up, the gun-running to Mexican drug cartels, the leak of the planned Israeli strike on Iran, the leaking of the name of the British spy who foiled the airline bombing attack, and on and on and on. Although none of these are remembered by Democrat supporters of the President, they paint a picture of the administration’s incompetence at protecting Americans. In fact, senior officials in Obama’s own administration confirm that the vetting process is unreliable. They can’t even ask them questions that would help to identify them as terrorist risks.
Third, although many of the refugees are women and children, we have to make two points about that. The first point is that women and children are frequently used in Islamic terrorist attacks. Here’s an article tracing some of the recent Islamic terror attacks involving women and children. We need look no further than the Boston bombers to see how letting in Muslim children can turn into a terrorist risk. They were carefully vetted by the Democrats, and yet they murdered anyway. Second point, there is something to be said about letting in a lot of Muslim immigrants in any case, since a critical mass of Muslim immigrants can create the environment that allows terrorist attacks to be planned. Just read this article on how the Islamic “no go” zones in Paris played a part in the recent terrorist attacks there.
Fourth point is about stewardship. What should we do in order to help the refugees. I’m running short of space, so I’ll just point you to this article that argues that it is a much better use of our money to help the refugees where they are. We can help many more refugees if we leave them over there than we can help if we only bring a few here, for the same cost. Although Democrats who are spending other people’s money don’t care to think of who is paying, it’s always a good idea to spend taxpayer money wisely.
The fifth and final point is something I could not articulate, but that was behind my anger at the well-meaning but naive Christians who were calling for us to take on Syrian refugees on Biblical grounds. I think the real reason I was so angry is as follows:
Naive Christians do not understand anything that is happening in the Middle East. They just don’t follow it, they don’t know the players, the previous attacks, the risks and threats, nothing.
Naive Christians take their cues from a pacificist culture, the left-wing media, and their own fact-free emotions. So, they think that war is NEVER the answer to aggression from evildoers, e.g. – Assad and his controllers in Iran. They just don’t have the understanding of good wars like World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, etc. that were clearly wars that America undertook in order to help others from terror, torture, murder and rape. They don’t understand that setting up Japan, South Korea, France, Germany, Kuwait, etc. with long-term protection and guidance is what allowed them to recover and become peaceful and democratic.
Naive Christians had nothing to say about staying the course in Afghanistan and Iraq, invading Syria (which we should have done, instead of attacking Egypt and Libya, which was stupid and pointless) and NOT making a deal with Iran. In short, they have nothing to say about preventing the situations where wars and refugees result in the first place. They just want to ride in sanctimoniously after their benign neglect has failed to work, and then appear to be concerned about peace. But only by spending trillions of taxpayer dollars to clean up around the edges, while leaving the core problem intact.
So with all that said, here is the article that cured my anger once about this. It appears in The Weekly Standard, and it involves the indomitable Bill Kristol, quoting a journalist named Walter Mussell Mead, who voted for Obama in 2008, who now writes about Obama’s lack of seriousness about opposing evil with force, the disaster that resulted, and his attempt to paper over his stupidity with sanctimonious statements about taking in refugees from the mess he himself created.
Here it is:
“To see the full cynicism of the Obama approach to the refugee issue, one has only to ask President Obama’s least favorite question: Why is there a Syrian refugee crisis in the first place?
“Obama’s own policy decisions—allowing Assad to convert peaceful demonstrations into an increasingly ugly civil war, refusing to declare safe havens and no fly zones—were instrumental in creating the Syrian refugee crisis. This crisis is in large part the direct consequence of President Obama’s decision to stand aside and watch Syria burn. For him to try and use a derisory and symbolic program to allow 10,000 refugees into the United States in order to posture as more caring than those evil Jacksonian rednecks out in the benighted sticks is one of the most cynical, cold-blooded, and nastily divisive moves an American President has made in a long time. . . .
“To think that conspicuous moral posturing and holy posing over a symbolic refugee quota could turn President Obama from the goat to the hero of the Syrian crisis is absurd. Wringing your hands while Syria turns into a hell on earth, and then taking a token number of refugees, can be called many things, but decent and wise are not among them. You don’t have to be a xenophobe or a racist or even a Republican to reject this President’s leadership on Syria policy. All you need for that is common sense and a moral compass. . . .
“For no one, other than the Butcher Assad and the unspeakable al-Baghdadi, is as responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as is President Obama. No one has committed more sins of omission, no one has so ruthlessly sacrificed the well-being of Syria’s people for his own ends, as the man in the White House. In all the world, only President Obama had the ability to do anything significant to prevent this catastrophe; in all the world no one turned his back so coldly and resolutely on the suffering Syrians as the man who sits in the White House today—a man who is now lecturing his fellow citizens on what he insists is their moral inferiority before his own high self-esteem.”
Read the whole thing. Really. And remember than people on the Christian left are basically the same in terms of foolishness as people on the secular left. They are not guided by evidence, but by feelings. And they need to be told early and often how their feelings fail to work in real life. Otherwise, we will continue taking their compassionate naivete seriously, and go bankrupt paying for it, or maybe just get ourselves killed by the evil we allowed to fester. I know a lot of naive leftist Christians are trusting Think Progress and Huffington Post to tell us what the Bible says about refugees, but surprise! Think Progress is not that good at Biblical exegesis.
President Obama told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that 99.9 percent of Muslims reject radical Islam. He made the comments in response to a question about the White House avoiding using the phrase “Islamic terrorists.”
“You know, I think that the way to understand this is there is an element growing out of Muslim communities in certain parts of the world that have perverted the religion, have embraced a nihilistic, violent, almost medieval interpretation of Islam, and they’re doing damage in a lot of countries around the world,” said Obama.
“But it is absolutely true that I reject a notion that somehow that creates a religious war because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam. They don’t even recognize it as being Islam, and I think that for us to be successful in fighting this scourge, it’s very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we’re looking for–order, peace, prosperity.”
Now, let’s take a look at apostasy and blasphemy laws in Muslim countries, with some help from the left-leaning Pew Research.
In 10 of 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis, at least half of Muslims who favor making sharia the law of the land also favor stoning unfaithful spouses.
Some of the highest support for stoning is found in South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region. In Pakistan (89%) and Afghanistan (85%), more than eight-in-ten Muslims who want Islamic law as their country’s official law say adulterers should be stoned, while nearly as many say the same in the Palestinian territories (84%) and Egypt (81%). A majority also support stoning as a penalty for the unfaithful in Jordan (67%), Iraq (58%). However, support is significantly lower in Lebanon (46%) and Tunisia (44%), where less than half of those who support sharia as the official law of the land believe that adulterers should be stoned.
In Southeast Asia, six-in-ten Muslims in Malaysia consider stoning an appropriate penalty for adultery. About half hold this view in Thailand (51%) and Indonesia (48%).
Muslims in Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe are generally less likely to support stoning adulterers. Among those who favor Islamic law as the official law of the land, only in Tajikistan do about half (51%) support this form of punishment. Elsewhere in the two regions, fewer than four-in-ten favor this type of punishment, including roughly a quarter or fewer across the countries surveyed in Southern and Eastern Europe.
Compared with attitudes toward applying sharia in the domestic or criminal spheres, Muslims in the countries surveyed are significantly less supportive of the death penalty for converts. Nevertheless, in six of the 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis, at least half of those who favor making Islamic law the official law also support executing apostates.
Taking the life of those who abandon Islam is most widely supported in Egypt (86%) and Jordan (82%). Roughly two-thirds who want sharia to be the law of the land also back this penalty in the Palestinian territories (66%). In the other countries surveyed in the Middle East-North Africa region, fewer than half take this view.
In the South Asian countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, strong majorities of those who favor making Islamic law the official law of the land also approve of executing apostates (79% and 76%, respectively). However, in Bangladesh far fewer (44%) share this view.
A majority of Malaysian Muslims (62%) who want to see sharia as their country’s official law also support taking the lives of those who convert to other faiths. But fewer take this position in neighboring Thailand (27%) and Indonesia (18%).
In Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe, only in Tajikistan (22%) do more than a fifth of Muslims who want sharia as the official law of the land also condone the execution of apostates. Support for killing converts to other faiths falls below one-in-ten in Albania (8%) and Kazakhstan (4%).
Now there is one little problem with this Pew Research data that causes them to understate the real numbers who favor adultery-stonings and apostasy-killings.
But what is striking is that the depressing state of affairs is manifest despite Pew’s best efforts to make things seem better than they are. Principally, the survey is about Muslim views about sharia, Islam’s legal system and framework for society. It is intimated that Pew’s study is exhaustive, involving interviews with 38,000 Muslims across 39 countries. But, as my friend Andy Bostom pointed out to me this morning, guess which countries are not included in the survey? That would be Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan — perhaps the three most sharia compliant countries in the world, home cumulatively to nearly 150 million Muslims.
[…]In point of fact, sharia is the law of Saudi Arabia and Iran. These countries profess themselves as reflections of the true Islam (Saudi Arabia from the Sunni perspective, Iran from the Shiite) in which no law but sharia is necessary and no departures from sharia are permissible. Sudan (a Sunni Muslim country) is already close to the Saudis and Iranians in this regard and is sure to be more so when it finally adopts a new constitution (which it has been threatening to do for several years).
Iran has about 87 million people, Sudan has about 42 million people, and Saudi Arabia has about 31 million people. These are strict Islamic countries and they were left out of the survey.
So, what are we to make of Obama’s comments now? Are Democrats like Barack Obama, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton accurate enough in their beliefs about the world that we should have confidence in their foreign policy? If they really believe these obvious false assertions, and they are making decisions based on these delusions, then how much does that set back the causes of freedom and democracy in the world? It seems to me that the first rule of protecting the good and fighting against evil is to be able to identify which is which.
The news hasn’t really reached the public, but Obama-supporting media outlets are starting to see the mess that the Obama/Clinton/Kerry foreign policy has produced.
It is so bad that columnists are not even trying to moderate their negative judgments.
From Frida Ghitis on the CNN site:
America’s foreign policy has gone into a tailspin. Almost every major initiative from the Obama administration has run into sharp, sometimes embarrassing, reverses. The U.S. looks weak and confused on the global stage.
This might come as happy news to some opponents of the administration who enjoy seeing Barack Obama fail, but it shouldn’t.
America’s failure in international strategy is a disaster-in-the-making for its allies and for the people who see the U.S. model of liberal democracy as one worth emulating in their own nations.
On Russia, she continues, the verdict is clear:
Relations with Russia have fallen off a cliff, making the theatrical “reset” of 2009 look, frankly, cringe-worthy.
Syria, of course, is even worse:
Obama dramatically warned Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as he slaughtered his people by the thousands, that if he used chemical or biological weapons, he would cross a “red line.” The line was crossed and not much happened. Syria is crumbling, self-destructing in a civil war that I, for one, believe could have turned out quite differently if Washington had offered material and diplomatic support for moderates in the opposition. Fears that the opposition would be dominated by extremists became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The centerpiece of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy initiative was Egypt. You know how that has worked out:
But it is Egypt where America’s foreign policy fiasco is most visible.
It was in Cairo in 2009, where the newly elected Obama, still reflecting the glow of sky-high expectations, launched his campaign to repair relations with the so-called “Muslim World.”…
Nobody knew what would happen in Cairo’s Tahrir Square a few years later. But today, the same people who yearned for democracy despise Washington. When Egyptians elected a Muslim Brotherhood president, Washington tried to act respectfully, but it showed a degree of deference to the Muslim Brotherhood that ignored the ways in which the group violated not only Egyptians’ but America’s own standards of decency and rule of law.
As tensions in Egypt grow between Islamists on one side and the military and anti-Islamists on the other, there is one sentiment shared by all: Both sides feel betrayed by Washington.
Egypt’s most powerful man, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, said, “You [the U.S.] left the Egyptians; you turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that.”
It’s not just CNN, though. He has quotations from articles in the radically, radically leftist New York Times and the left-wing extremist New Yorker, too. The New Yorker is disgusted with the way that Obama has handled Libya. It’s getting so bad that not even Obama’s biggest cheerleaders can ignore it.
At least 15 people were killed during massive anti-government protests in Tehran when opposition supporters clashed with security forces in the streets, Iranian state television reported Monday.
The report said 10 people killed during Sunday’s fierce clashes in the Iranian capital were members of “anti-revolutionary terrorist” groups, apparently referring to opposition supporters.
The other five who died were killed by “terrorist groups” in a “suspicious act,” the report said, without elaborating.
Iranian security forces stormed a series of opposition offices on Monday, rounding up at least seven prominent anti-government activists in a new crackdown against the country’s reformist movement, opposition Web sites and activists reported.
In the six months that have followed, Barack Obama’s high-risk engagement strategy has simply encouraged more repression from the Mullahs, as well as ever greater levels of defiance over Iran’s nuclear weapons programme. As Con Coughlin noted in an excellent piece for The Wall Street Journal last month, Obama’s Iran diplomacy isn’t working:
“Iranian human-rights groups say that since the government crackdown began in late June, at least 400 demonstrators have been killed while another 56 are unaccounted, which is several times higher than the official figures. The regime has established a chain of unofficial, makeshift prisons to deal with the protesters, where torture and rape are said to be commonplace. In Tehran alone, 37 young Iranian men and women are reported to have been raped by their captors.”
Now once again huge street protests have flared up on the streets of Tehran and a number of other major cities, with several protesters shot dead this weekend by the security forces and Revolutionary Guards, reportedly including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, and dozens seriously injured. And again there is deafening silence from the Commander-in-Chief as well as his Secretary of State. And where is the president? On vacation in Hawaii, no doubt recuperating from his exertions driving forward the monstrous health care reform bill against the overwhelming will of the American public and without a shred of bipartisan support.
Iran is close to clinching a deal to clandestinely import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, according to an intelligence report obtained by the Associated Press on Tuesday. Diplomats said the assessment was heightening international concern about Tehran’s nuclear activities.
…Iraq’s dwindling Christian communities are still being targeted on the basis of their faith. That is especially the case in Mosul, long the most lawless and violent place in Iraq. By an unhappy coincidence, Mosul is also located in the ancestral heartland of Iraqi Christianity, and is thus the last refuge (short of exile) for Christians fleeing targeted violence in Baghdad, Basra, and other places.
Mosul is therefore a target-rich environment. In December alone, at least seven churches, convents, and schools have been bombed, claiming dozens of lives, including the latest holy innocent, an eight-day-old baby girl. Iraq’s central government deserves credit for dispatching some 3,000 additional police after a similar spate of bombings and attacks in October, but their presence has brought little improvement as Christians continue to flee Mosul for overcrowded and underdeveloped villages such as Qaraqosh in the adjacent Nineveh plain. Meanwhile, the situation around Kirkuk, also in northern Iraq, remains nearly as dire for Christians caught up in the Arab-Kurdish struggle for control of the area’s oil fields.
While the Iraqi government has belatedly taken some modest steps to ease the suffering of Iraqi Christians, the U.S. government’s consistent policy of studied and shameful indifference forms rare common ground between the Bush and Obama administrations. It is an indelible stain on American honor that two administrations did nothing to assist, much less protect, a beleaguered religious minority.
It’s a dangerous world. This is not the time for playing golf in Hawaii.