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A World of Trouble for Obama

Public support for the president’s foreign policy is waning—and he’s losing Democratic lawmakers

by William A. Galston     •     Wall Street Journal

Obama-upsetIn March my Brookings colleague Robert Kagan memorably observed that President Obama was giving the American people the foreign policy they wanted—and they didn’t much like it. Overseas events have only deepened public concern. A Pew Research Center survey released Aug. 28 found that only 35% of people approve of the president’s handling of the crises in Iraq and Ukraine. Only 15% think we play a more important and powerful role in the world than we did a decade ago, compared with 48% who think our role is less important. And 65% believe that we live in a world more dangerous than it was a few years ago.

The Pew study also finds compelling evidence that Americans are beginning to change their minds about what they want. The share of those who think the U.S. does too much in the world has fallen to only 39% today, from 51% in November, while the share who thinks it does too little has nearly doubled, to 31% from 17%. In the early months of the Obama presidency, only 38% thought the president was “not tough enough” on national security; today, 54% believe that—a figure that includes more than one third of all Democrats. [Read more...]

The Collapse of Obama’s Foreign Policy

by Rich Lowry     •     Politico Magazine

Obama Hand on Head 2President Barack Obama’s stated goal in the fight against the Islamic State, aka ISIL, is to reduce it to a “manageable problem.”

What this means, he hasn’t spelled out in great specificity. Presumably fewer beheadings. A slower pace of Western recruiting. Fewer genocidal threats against embattled minorities. A downgrading of the caliphate to a mini-state, or merely a large swath of territory in Syria and Iraq.

The evil of ISIL has stirred nearly everyone around President Obama to ringing statements of resolve. Vice President Joe Biden says, “We will follow them to the gates of hell.” Secretary of State John Kerry tweets, “ISIL must be destroyed/will be crushed.” [Read more...]

The President Who Is Uninterested in Other People

by Michael Barone     •     RealClearPolitics

Obama SmirkSome time ago I contrasted the reaction a conservative would get if he were in the same room with the two most consequential politicians of the 1990s, Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

If you were in a room with Bill Clinton, he would discover the one issue out of 100 on which you agreed; he would probe you with questions, comments, suggestions; and he would tell you that you enabled him to understand it far better than he ever had before.

If you were in a room with Rudy Giuliani, he would discover the one issue out of 100 on which you disagreed; he would ask pointed questions and pepper you with objections; he would tell you that you are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law, and that you needed to admit you were utterly mistaken. [Read more...]

Obama Reportedly Blocks Israel Missile Shipment

US administration officials stop missile transfer, order all future transfers to be scrutinized in sign of further cooling ties.

by Ari Yashar     •     Arutz Sheva

missile defense copyA new report reveals that US President Barack Obama’s administration stopped a shipment of missiles to Israel late last month and tightened weapons shipment procedures to Israel, as tensions between the two nations grow amid Operation Protective Edge.

The report in the Wall Street Journal, released Wednesday night, cites US officials in Obama’s administration, who say they discovered Israel had requested a large number of Hellfire missiles directly through military-to-military channels. An initial batch of the missiles was about to be shipped, according to sources in Israel and the US Congress. [Read more...]

Support the Kurds!

Iraqby Dr. Laurie Ann Mylroie

On Sunday, Massoud Barzani, President of Iraqi Kurdistan, called on the international community to provide arms directly to the Kurdish Regional Government to enable it to combat the barbarically brutal Islamic State. Iraq’s Kurds are pro-American. They govern their territory effectively and peaceably, and they are among the most tolerant people in the Muslim Middle East—qualities demonstrated anew, as they provide refuge to the hundreds of thousands who have fled the advances of the Islamic State and who include members of Iraq’s ancient Christian and Yazidi communities, as well as Shi’ite, and even Sunni, Arabs. Arming the Kurds would seem to have been an obvious step long ago, but President Obama insisted on routing U.S. arms through Baghdad and did not change U.S. policy, until after Barzani’s public appeal. [Read more...]

Is Thinking Obsolete?

by Thomas Sowell     •      RealClearPolitics

ThinkingSome have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.

Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza.

One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict. [Read more...]

Obama Fetes the Dictators

The president’s Africa summit brought some of the continent’s worst kleptocrats to Washington.

by Peter Roff     •     US News

obama_31Over the past week, President Barack Obama and the United States have played host to a bevy of African leaders as part of an international summit. It seems a little out of the ordinary for them to come here instead of Obama going there, but one would hope the majesty of the capital city would have an impact on their outlook.

That’s because Washington, modeled as it is in so many ways on ancient Greece, was designed and planned to be a living homage to the democratic traditions the Founding Fathers borrowed from the Greeks, incorporated into the city’s architectural framework as a reminder of the origins of our political system. [Read more...]

Israel Missile Defenses Saved Thousands of Lives, Israelis and Palestinians Alike

by Peter Huessy

missile defense copyCranky opponents of the Iron Dome Israeli missile defense claim the system doesn’t work. Some in the arms control community have latched on to such criticism to smear missile defense work in general especially that in the United States.

What happened then to the nearly 3000 Hamas rocket warheads that if not intercepted largely landed somewhere in Israel? The same critics say not only did Iron Dome not work, but the Hamas rocket warheads didn’t work either! [Read more...]

Putin’s Dream Clouds the Approach of a Nightmare

by Larry Franklin

Vladimir-Putin-006Vladimir Putin has succeeded in portraying himself as a leader of a resurgent Russia. The three-term President of the Russian Federation has proven to be a skilled manipulator of the media and masterful political tactician. He has burnished his image of a man of action who has catapulted Russia back into the front rank of nations. He has convinced most Russians that he has outwitted the West which, he claims, humiliated weak Russian governments since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. [Read more...]

Russia Violated a Nuclear Treaty. What the U.S. Must Do.

putin russiaby Michaela Dodge     •     Daily Signal

Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty come as a surprise to only those who have not been paying attention to foreign policy in the last few decades.

In a recent National Review piece, Mark Schneider, senior analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy, and Keith B. Payne, former deputy assistant secretary of defense, point out that reports indicating Russian violations have been around since late 2007. Only yesterday did the Obama administration get around to notifying Russian president Vladimir Putin that Russia is in material breach of the treaty. [Read more...]

US: Russia Violated 1987 Nuclear Missile Treaty

ObamaPutin copyby Jim Kuhnhenn     •      Associated Press

In an escalation of tensions, the Obama administration accused Russia on Monday of conducting tests in violation of a 1987 nuclear missile treaty, calling the breach “a very serious matter” and going public with allegations that have simmered for some time.

The treaty confrontation comes at a highly strained time between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and Putin’s grant of asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. [Read more...]

The U.S.-Israeli Alliance: No Apologies Necessary

Israel Mapby Lawrence A. Franklin

Remember the commentaries after 9/11 that “we should have been expecting something like this”? Some even implied that America was, in part, responsible for the attacks because of our one-sided policy toward the Muslim World, and in particular, “our support for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.”

Remember also, though, the news reports about the cheering and dancing in Palestinian Arab neighborhoods on 9/11? Perhaps these celebrations resembled the high-fives and other macabre gestures of glee made by some Palestinian Arabs following the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers in Gush Etzion near the ancient Judean city of Hebron. [Read more...]

Empty Rhetoric is Fleeting and is Not Leadership

obama profile smileby Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi

The inclination to uncontrollable urge for verbal diarrhea, motivated by narcissism and shallow intellectual abilities and not by wisdom and experience, is the ubiquitous attribute of the professionally challenged person. Indeed, in the conjunction between self-reproach for the actions of the ancestors and the idiotic mediatization of today’s politics, the most fatal errors in electoral judgment were committed in 2008 and then in 2012. These errors had two consequences. [Read more...]

Obama Fiddles While Iraq Burns

The president is focused on leaving Iraq, no matter the cost to freedom and security.

obama_frownby Peter Roff

While Iraq burns to the ground – a major international problem – President Barack Obama has occupied his time fiddling with the fringes of U.S. domestic policy. Of recent note are his courageous decision to issue an executive order allowing domestic partners to be buried together at national military cemeteries and trying to push an immigration reform package through Congress by creating a camera-ready crisis on the U.S. border with Mexico that tugs at the heartstrings of every feeling American.

Iraq is serious business, maybe too serious for this administration to handle. No less than Tony Blair – the former British Prime Minister who was Bush’s ally in the war, but Obama’s ally as far as matters of ideology are concerned – says it would be a mistake to blame what is happening now on the way things were left when the current president came to office on an anti-war platform that included bringing the troops home. [Read more...]

Obama Tenure Marked by Foreign Policy Debacles

Obama Writing Projecting WeaknessWhen President Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, he became the leader of the world’s greatest military power, and the nation that more than any other in history represented a beacon of freedom and opportunity. In June of 2009, he travelled to Cairo to proclaim “a new beginning” in America’s dealings with other nations, including especially those of the Islamic world. Barely nine months later, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize amid immense praise and adulation for his idealism. The chairman of the Nobel judges panel said of Obama’s selection that “we have not given the prize for what may happen in the future. We are awarding Obama for what he has done in the past year.” [Read more...]