California is a great place to live. Despite the debt, the traffic, the one-party rule, the taxes and the eagerness of politicians to overwhelm small businesses and large corporate job producers with red tape and unnecessary regulations, the Golden State is still the most beautiful place to live and work in the United States. But the political class is making life in California more difficult with every passing day.
This weekend, Ukrainians will go to the polls to elect a new president. They and the Ukrainian Parliament have ousted former President Viktor Yanukovich from office for breaking his campaign promises to move the country toward greater ties with Europe. Since then, little has been done to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal campaign of violence, intimidation, propaganda and cessation referendums throughout Ukraine. The Obama Administration and the European Union all but ignored the beginning, middle and end of the Russian campaign to bring the people of Ukraine into its orbit. Today, it’s probably too late to save Ukraine. The Kremlin secured it while the West wasn’t looking.
The continuation of Putin’s push into Ukraine makes it official. The Obama Doctrine is to ignore an international crisis or go to war. There is no in between. And he’s been clear that he isn’t going to start any new wars. Continue reading →
Silicon Valley liberals spent millions of dollars funding President Obama’s re-election and have been some of the left’s most ardent supporters of progressive causes. And they are just getting started. After helping give America Obamacare, medical marijuana and a feeble foreign policy, the young tech geniuses are now trying to purge conservatives and those who support conservative causes from corporate board rooms. On the heels of calling for Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich to resign for the liberal sin of disagreeing with their view of gay marriage comes a campaign to pressure Dropbox to drop former Secretary of State Condi Rice from their board. Rice’s sin, in Silicon Valley’s eyes, is serving as America’s Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to a Republican president. Continue reading →
Ziadeh, you see, is the United States Ambassador to Qatar. She works for the American people, whose taxes pay her salary and whose democratically elected president appointed her. But instead of representing the interests of her employers, she is yucking it up in Doha with the Qatari elites. Continue reading →
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President Obama’s Administration is scrambling to contain Russia’s annexation of Crimea as a once-and-done event. The Administration that re-set the two countries’ relations and offered missile defense flexibility after Obama’s “last election” is now promising the White House press corps that the Russia that sent military personnel into the Ukraine is not the Russia we deal with on Iran.
“Senior Administration officials” (code words for “anonymous political operatives spinning reporters”) told the New York Times that despite Putin’s insurgence, Russia is still working just swimmingly with the Obama Administration on Iran’s nuclear issue. They pinky swear.
Days later, low and behold, Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post had the very same assessment from National Security Advisor Susan Rice. In a YouTube video Susan Rice said, “We haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary,” when asked if Moscow will remain cooperative. I am sure what she actually meant was…other than annexing Crimea, shutting down the free media, ignoring the international community’s demands and vetoing a UN resolution.
DeYoung’s Washington Post story, which appeared on the front page and above the fold, was titled “Nuclear accord unhurt by the crisis: Iran, Syria efforts also on track despite Crimea”. The New York Times headline said, “West Sees Unity on Iran Despite Crisis in Ukraine”.
I love how the main stream media already knows that the mess has already been contained. That Obama team cleaned up the chaos in four days, ya’ll.
What’s most interesting about the Washington media types falling for the White House spin is that the idea that Syria and Iran are on a successful path is laughable. Doesn’t “on track” imply that the issues are being handled and we are in a good place? Syria is a mess. Assad has made America look incredibly weak, even the Saudis are furious with Obama’s weakness and the killings inside Syria continue. It’s offensive that any reporter thinks Syria is on track. It’s completely off track. And what is on track about Iran? The Islamic regime hasn’t actually done anything yet.
The political reporter types don’t have the capacity or the patience to cover complicated foreign policy stories. And any reporter blindly taking what this Administration says on Russia, especially Russia, should be ignored.
President Obama’s rationale for not getting involved in conflicts around the world has been a consistent political argument: the American people are tired of war, he says. In fact, candidate Obama campaigned on the fact that he would end the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and not start any new wars. His unequivocal promises of ‘no war’ and ‘Americans are tired of international conflicts’, however, are dangerous and expedient political calculations, not national security strategies. While it may be momentarily popular for a U.S. president to ignore international crises, it is a political scheme that is diminishing America’s power and influence.
While U.S. political reporters gleefully accept the partisan pendulum swinging back as a natural reaction to the perceived meddling of George Bush, foreign policy experts see the dangers of a White House deciding America’s national security thru political and popular opinions as a real and growing problem.
President Obama’s own Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, said of Obama, “I never confronted Obama directly over what I (as well as [Hillary] Clinton, [then-CIA Director Leon] Panetta, and others) saw as the president’s determination that the White House tightly control every aspect of national security policy and even operations. His White House was by far the most centralized and controlling in national security of any I had seen since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger ruled the roost.”
Last fall, it was the White House that took the lead in making sure the U.S. government didn’t get involved in Ukraine’s power struggle between communism and capitalism. President Obama purposefully ignored the warning signs when pro-Russian Ukrainian government officials including President Viktor Yanukovych abruptly cancelled a European Union integration pact and lurched toward Vladimir Putin’s Russia. While outraged students, capitalists and other Ukrainians, who had for years struggled to move Ukraine away from Russia’s control, took to the streets in protests, the Obama team let reliably weak Europeans handle the issue. Instead of jumping at the opportunity to engage the Ukrainian leaders and people on the merits of capitalism and liberty, President Obama let the socialists argue with the communists as to which direction was best to turn around the battered economy of Ukraine. Yanukovych accepted a generous aid package from Putin while America stood back and watched.
In Venezuela, similar unrest is unfolding now. Years of stagnant growth, government corruption and socialism have finally moved Venezuelans to challenge the status quo and cry out for an alternative form of government. With tempers boiling over and frustration mounting in a country hostile to America, President Obama should relish the debate unfolding in Venezuela. The Speech Giver in Chief should be rushing to the discussion. The State Department should be in over-drive and our diplomats should be organizing. This is the moment many have waited for in Venezuela.
But the Obama political philosophy of See No Evil has purposefully missed every world crisis by refusing to read the unfolding events. Whether it was an issue directly impacting America’s security (Iran and Egypt) or confronting America’s morality (Syria) or challenging capitalism (Ukraine and Venezuela), Obama has willfully squandered the chance to forcefully debate and showcase capitalism and liberty.
The Obama team is so naïve to what robust U.S. action is, they think they have two options in foreign crises: send in U.S. troops or ignore the problem. The political argument that Americans don’t want another war is a non sequitur. If you don’t want war then you better be the advocate for diplomacy with muscle.
It’s why the Hillary Clinton reset on Russian-U.S. relations and President Obama’s cancelling of the eastern European missile defense shield were such pivotal turning points. She miscalculated her ability to bring Russian leaders to a greater appreciation for our way of life and he acquiesced to Russian demands to alter America’s power. Their naivety encouraged the Russians to fill the void by asserting and peddling their world view in Syria, with Iran and now in Ukraine.
When foreigners struggle for their freedoms, they’ve long expected the U.S. government to be the first to stand with them. It’s more than speaking out via social media, it’s about aggressively wining the debate. After all, liberty and democracy are morally superior ways of life and President Obama should be looking for opportunities around the world to push for both.
President Obama’s Geneva proposal to the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council allowing Iran to enrich some uranium violates previous UN resolutions demanding the Islamic Republic stop “all” uranium enrichment activity. To avoid a violation of current UN resolutions, the permanent members must ask the entire Security Council to vote to weaken and supersede their previous demands.
The UN’s four rounds of hard-fought sanctions on Iran and several other resolutions demanding compliance call for a full suspension of all enrichment activities, including research and development, then full verification of that suspension before negotiations on a permanent diplomatic solution begin. The sequencing was strategic. It was designed to build international confidence in a secretive country’s deceitful past.
But in Geneva, President Obama scuttled previous work and abandoned skepticism. He offered Iran diplomatic negotiations without meeting the UN’s demands. His offer violated current Security Council resolutions by allowing the Islamic Republic to forego full and verified suspension before negotiations even begin. President Obama caved further to the Iranians by agreeing to a deal that rewarded sanctions relief and other benefits without getting any actions from Iran first. In trusting the Iranians to stop their secret enrichment activities and come clean to the IAEA inspectors at a later date, Obama shows his naivety.
Previous UN Security Council demands were clear:
Demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all enrichment-related
and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA;
Expresses the conviction that such suspension as well as full, verified
Iranian compliance with the requirements set out by the IAEA Board of Governors,
would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution that guarantees Iran’s nuclear
programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes, underlines the willingness of the
international community to work positively for such a solution, encourages Iran, in
conforming to the above provisions, to re-engage with the international community and
with the IAEA, and stresses that such engagement will be beneficial to Iran;
President Obama has simultaneously undercut and promoted the UN. His schizophrenic views have destroyed the credibility of the Security Council by demanding that the global body be used only to not use it himself. His overall foreign policy is manic and nauseous and highlights his failure to develop a real national security strategy. Our friends can’t count on us and our enemies don’t fear us. World leaders recognize that President Obama is winging it in the Middle East, a far cry from his Cairo speech. Today, his inconsistencies on Syria and Iran serve as dramatic and emotional disappointments from his lofty speeches.
Candidate Obama ridiculed President Bush for not getting enough international approval for the Iraq war in Resolution 1441; President Obama failed to get Russia behind his Syria policy. Candidate Obama promised to make the U.S. Ambassador to the UN a cabinet position; President Obama calls UN resolutions hocus-pocus.
What’s said publicly is never actual policy. It’s like finding out that Ryan Seacrest hates music. The Obama Doctrine is the first presidential strategy in history that is exclusively about communicating – not implementing – policy. The Obama Doctrine seems to be “tweet with overwhelming force”.
Obama has created a new world where countries ignore the U.S. without consequence. It’s so bad that Saudi Arabia doesn’t even want to serve on the Security Council with the U.S. because it might ruin their reputation. It makes you long for the days when President Bush was clear but roundly ridiculed by Democrats and the media for saying the U.N. was in desperate need of reform.
The world has watched Obama say one thing and do another on Egypt, Libya and Syria. While supporting human rights in another country is important, fighting for our own safety is crucial. When it comes to Iran, we must not accept Obama’s inconsistencies and weakness. We must demand he put aside his incessant self-reflection and personal political calculations. We can’t afford his trusting of Iran.