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Obama Has Painted Himself Into A Foreign Policy Corner
Townhall.com ^ | June 14, 2014 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 06/14/2014 11:40:36 AM PDT by Kaslin

The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring.

Across a huge swath of what, up until recently, had been known as Iraq and Syria, a transnational movement of Sunni Islamic extremists has taken control. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has conquered -- without much effort -- Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, along with most of the province of Nineveh. It's also taken Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown. Along the way it has ransacked banks (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars), pillaged weapon stockpiles (including the stuff we left behind for the Iraqi army), and recruited ever more fighters from Iraq, Syria and abroad.

ISIS started out as an al-Qaeda franchise, but in 2011 it broke off to become an independent dealer of Islamist mayhem. If anything, it is more extreme than al-Qaeda -- though that fine distinction probably means little to the Shiites and Christians it slaughters.

Sunday in Pakistan, Taliban militants attacked the airport in Karachi, the country's busiest and most important travel hub. They followed up with an attack on an airport security-training facility, showing that there was no area of Pakistan it could not threaten. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came into office seeking an accord with the Taliban. But the Taliban won't abandon its key objective: a total Islamist state. After the attacks, most observers think Sharif will have little choice but to unleash the army on the insurgents.

Late last month, President Obama announced at West Point that we are definitely leaving Afghanistan, period. That period took the form of a prisoner swap in which we essentially gave back five top Taliban commanders. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda linked and inspired groups are on the rise in Nigeria, Yemen, the Philippines, Libya and elsewhere.

The good news is that the administration has a policy to deal with the Jihadi Spring. The bad news is that it looks to be the same policy it had for the Arab Spring: nothing.

Nothing, that is, beyond casting lots of words and Twitter hashtags into the air like so many magic beans that will sprout into peace and security wherever they find purchase.

That's the hitch. This administration's words don't have much traction around the world, or at least where it matters. (He's still popular in Belgium!)

Often, when critics call attention to these and numerous other foreign-policy failures, the president and his defenders will argue that the critics want war. Indeed, in his West Point speech, Obama took a firm and forthright stand against an argument pretty much nobody is making: Military action "cannot be the only -- or even primary -- component of our leadership in every instance."

Even the most rabid hawks (though technically, I don't think birds can get rabies) would never dream of arguing that the military should be the only or primary component of leadership in "every instance."

But this is a clever, albeit grotesquely cynical, ploy. If you give the American people a choice between, on the one hand, doing nothing beyond tweeting slogans and lecturing the "international community" and, on the other, sending American troops into harm's way in the Middle East (or Ukraine or the South China Sea), Americans are going to choose option A, and understandably so.

A better option would be a time machine. That way today's President Obama could go back and give first-term Obama the benefit of his experience. He could tell him that foreign policy should define his talking points, not the other way around. With that foresight, maybe he would have done more to help democracy in Iran when the streets were full of protestors. Perhaps he wouldn't have wasted so much time harassing Israel as if it were the cause of a centuries-old Sunni-Shia civil war. Or maybe he would have kept U.S. troops in Iraq to deter the rise of ISIS. Or maybe he would have followed through on his "red line" threats to Syria. Today's Obama could tell first-term Obama that Mitt Romney was right about Russia, and that "Bin Laden is dead" isn't a foreign policy, it's a bumper sticker.

Defenders of the president often ask critics, "Well, what do you want to do?" I'll be honest. I don't know. We have no good options left. I certainly think we should provide assistance to the (corrupt and pathetic) Iraqi government to repel ISIS. (Obama turned down their requests for air support last month.) But I certainly don't want boots on the ground.

What I want is that time machine.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; alqaeda; arabspring; globalsecurity; iraq; isis; obama; pakistan; syria; taliban

1 posted on 06/14/2014 11:40:36 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Tagline material


2 posted on 06/14/2014 11:42:21 AM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring." Jonah Goldberg)
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To: Kaslin

OH , Obama’s a painter like Hitler ?


3 posted on 06/14/2014 11:42:45 AM PDT by molson209 (Blank)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Kaslin

Yes, he has.

BEWARE tho.

His guile betrays his mission.


5 posted on 06/14/2014 11:46:55 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - Revolution is a'brewin!!!)
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To: Kaslin

6 posted on 06/14/2014 11:52:14 AM PDT by mikrofon (Fly the Flag Proudly)
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To: Kaslin

He doesn’t care. His goal is to humble America and anything it takes is right in his wheelhouse.


7 posted on 06/14/2014 11:52:21 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Kaslin

Incorrect. This is unfolding just the way Obama, the avowed Islamic terrorist, wants.


8 posted on 06/14/2014 11:52:32 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: Kaslin

Obama and Kerry should be asked who is funding this “Islamist” offensive in Iraq? It is obvious that it is our “ally” Saudi Arabia. The Saudis wish to establish an Arabic speaking, Sunni confederation consisting of large parts of Iraq and Syria to confront Iran. They have financed and taken control of post bin Laden al Queda and other Islamists and created an international Sunni fighting force. The Iranians no doubt will intervene before Baghdad falls to the Sunnis. The battle lines will harden but the political situation will remain fluid. It is not clear if the Saudis will in fact create an effective confederation. The US ought not to get immediately involved.


9 posted on 06/14/2014 11:53:47 AM PDT by allendale
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To: Kaslin

What corner? ... obama is a corner ... I consider obama a challenge before all the Human Race. I’ll bank on our Human Race, America.


10 posted on 06/14/2014 11:56:36 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Kaslin
Since the bam is a foreigner, his "domestic" policy actually is his foreign policy.
11 posted on 06/14/2014 12:00:50 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Kaslin

Jonah made a fallacious assumption

He assumes Obama gives a damn.

Every day of his life is scheduled to the minute. He has no time and cares not about an Iraqi distraction.


12 posted on 06/14/2014 12:04:29 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: Kaslin
Well, what do you want to do?

Encourage open warfare between Sunni and Shia. Then gut their religion with the ultimate weapon: The Pig Bomb.

13 posted on 06/14/2014 12:06:01 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare IS Medicaid: They'll pull a sheet over your head and send you the bill.)
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To: molson209

14 posted on 06/14/2014 12:12:41 PM PDT by Veggie Todd (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. TJ)
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To: Kaslin
A better option would be a time machine. That way today's President Obama could go back and give first-term Obama the benefit of his experience.

The WH already have a time machine in the basement...

but it only works in 2 dimensions....

here it is spitting out a fresh BC for Obama


15 posted on 06/14/2014 12:14:43 PM PDT by spokeshave (OMG.......Schadenfreude overload is not covered under Obamacare :-()
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To: Kaslin

Dirka dirka jihad!

16 posted on 06/14/2014 12:16:07 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" means something different to 0bama.)
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To: Lazamataz
Incorrect. This is unfolding just the way Obama, the avowed Islamic terrorist, wants.

Rinse. Repeat. Until everyone finally get's it.

17 posted on 06/14/2014 12:20:54 PM PDT by CommieCutter ("For an idea to be too simplistic, it must first be proven wrong" --Thomas Sowell)
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To: CommieCutter
Everything Clown Prince nobama does is INTENTIONAL . Everything. The bum should be in prison or exiled. (Oh...I almost forgot...stop murdering Veterans through neglect).
18 posted on 06/14/2014 12:33:01 PM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Kaslin

No worries - his adoring press will paint him out or deflect blame elsewhere.


19 posted on 06/14/2014 12:33:23 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Kaslin

Bush WON it, Zero LOST it.

Welcome to Jihad, sucka’s!


20 posted on 06/14/2014 12:37:20 PM PDT by Humidston (For the first time in my adult life I FEAR my government.)
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To: Humidston


21 posted on 06/14/2014 12:39:57 PM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas' Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: Humidston
Bush WON it, Zero LOST it.

That is a fact and cannot be repeated enough

22 posted on 06/14/2014 1:00:05 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

"Those who cannot remember the
past are condemned to repeat it"

-- George Santayana


23 posted on 06/14/2014 1:52:21 PM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas' Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: Iron Munro

Truer words...


24 posted on 06/14/2014 3:08:53 PM PDT by 88keys (broken glass GOP; it matters, replace the Dems. 2014!!)
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