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August 8, 2013 9:20 am

Obama’s Foreign Policy ‘Successes’

avatar by Rachel Ehrenfeld

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat address reporters on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations at the U.S. Department of State. Photo: State Department.

The Obama Administration hardly regards itself as having failed at anything. In fact, it judges itself by its intentions, not by its results.

Hillary Clinton, in her first major foreign policy speech in 2009, put the Obama approach on the table. To paraphrase: If we succeed around the world, it will be because of our honorable commitment to process (read: “engaging our enemies”). If we fail, it’s because previous administrations have made mistakes and have given Mr. Obama a “bad hand” to play.

In fact, Hillary’s speech suggested, as often echoed by Obama, that all of American foreign policy history was at fault for our problems, including the U.S. recognition of Israel, CIA activity in Iran, and supporting dictators to assure the flow of oil, etc. Secretary Clinton made it clear that the Administration is committed to “process” and must not be held accountable for the results of its policies.

Just to remind you of Obama’s most glaring failures: Iraq; Afghanistan; Libya; Egypt; al-Qaeda terrorism from the Maghreb to West Africa to Yemen to Central and Southeast Asia; Iran; Syria; Turkey; China; South America (Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, to name a few); Central America and the Caribbean; and Russia.

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“Enough already!” you say. But let’s not leave out cyber and intelligence security, not to mention embassy security (Benghazi and the most recent embassy closures in the Middle East and Africa).

The Administration’s motives for pressuring Israel into “peace talks” with a Palestinian Authority that does not acknowledge the country’s right to exist is unclear. Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort flies in the face of insurmountable problems: Mahmoud Abbas, who is in the ninth year of a four-year term as PA leader, does not want peace, and has no ability to enforce agreements with anyone; the PA also supports and sustains violence against Israelis. Further, Abbas has no say over the Gaza Strip (where Hamas rules with an iron fist), and no Arab state really wants peace between the parties.

Thinking fancifully about what a peace agreement would look like only leads to the conclusion that it is impossible. Over the years, the U.S. and the international community have poured billions into the West Bank and Gaza. The notion has been to provide the Palestinians with the wherewithal to create a state, that is, a sovereign entity with a government that could keep order and help its people prosper economically.

What the funding has created is a military force that often abuses its power against its own brothers, and a spectacularly and continuously corrupt government. The Palestinian Authority is always broke and has to be bailed out by the West every couple of months when it announces that it cannot pay its employees, whose numbers are steadily growing.

One could go on and on, but perhaps the way to put things is to say that the only way a Palestinian state could exist alongside Israel is if it recognizes the Jewish state, renounces and punishes all violence against Israel, and eliminates all anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli teaching and propaganda in schools, TV, and the media.

Yet despite the ongoing hate-mongering and incitement against Israel and the Jews, U.S., European, Arab, and other international aid continues to flow to the PA and Hamas.

The number of Obama’s foreign policy failures depends on how and what one counts. The new U.S. forced Israeli-Palestinian peace “process” will be at least the Obama Administration’s 17th foreign policy failure, or only the 16th or maybe the 18th.

This time, Kerry is said to have promised the corrupt Palestinian Authority territories that belong to the sovereign democratric Jewish state of Israel. In return, the Arab/Muslim block that supports the Palestinians will feed Obama’s illusionary diplomatic success. I hope Israel will not be forced to pay the price for this “success.”

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  • gord

    Abbas; ninth year of a four year term? Bet Obama would like that.

    • dan kaplan

      that’s how they will get out of any agreement they sign. “abbas’s signature is illegitimate. he is not the president – or whatever.” not to worry – nothing will come of this farce.

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