It isn’t very good, as shown by this short post, which is periodically updated.
We begin after the 1960’s, when the postmodern left’s troubles began for us.
The January 1973 Paris Peace Accords told the North Vietnamese to remain up north. But then the left swept into power in the 93rd Congress in November 1974 on the heels of Nixon’s resignation in August 1974, and they cut aid to South Vietnam, so Saigon fell to the communists in April 1975. At the time, Kerry testified before Congress and assured them no widespread massacre would occur. He was fatally wrong. The peace and our partial victory was lost.
In the late 1970s President Carter misread the Iranian revolution. Apparently he thought the change in government, allowing the Supreme Leader to accumulate power, along with the Guardian Council to veto legislation that did not conform to sharia, would bring peace.
The ensuing hostage crisis humiliated his administration, and Iran has sponsored terrorism ever since.
In 1983 Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire, but the left, missing the obvious, excoriated him as a know-nothing, a cowboy. For all I know, they may have called him “insensitive” to their needs. But he was right. One usually is when one states the obvious.
In the 1994 American-North Korean Agreed Framework, North Korea was supposed to suspend its nuclear program in exchange for more light-water reactors, which hinders development of nuclear weapons. North Korea was supposed to allow the IAEA to inspect their program, but the regime blocked the inspections and turned off the cameras. North Korea resumed their program. The framework was a failure. North Korean has nuclear capabilities.
Worst of all, because it illustrates a wrongheaded utopian vision of the world, shortly after Obama swore the oath of office in January 2009, he went to Egypt and Turkey and said “Let’s be friends. We’re not at war with Islam!” (and we’re not, but with radical, violent Islam). “Look at my middle name! It’s Arab!” he said, in effect. “We want a new beginning,” implying Bush was the problem and Obama’s the solution. Then he boarded Air Force One and put his feet up on the table, dusted off his hands, smiled, and gazed out over the horizon at no one in particular.
Afterwards, radical Islam went on the march.
In 2009, Hillary’s reset button with Russia didn’t stop the Putin regime from annexing Crimea in 2014 and the bullying of Ukraine, still ongoing.
In 2009, Obama didn’t support the Green Revolution in Iran, but instead validated the sham election results.
At the end of 2011, Obama withdrew all the troops from Iraq, and like the North Vietnamese communists, ISIS swept into the vacuum and is now wreaking great evil in the area and expanding their reach. There had been enough peace in the region that we could have maintained it for the next several decades with a military base, as we have in Japan and Germany and notably South Korea. But Obama miscalculated.
In June 2012, Egypt’s Morsi, leader of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, won an election because the Obama administration refused to back Mubarak in early 2011. Egypt became radicalized. Now, however, no thanks to Obama, al-Sisi has taken over Egypt, and he keeps the radicals at bay and has called for an Islamic reformation, though we have to trust but verify.
In September 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, an administration official told our military to stand down from coming to the aid of our embassy. Our ambassador and his staff were murdered in a multi-hour attack. Where was Hillary? Where was Obama? He boarded Air Force One and went to Las Vegas to raise money for his re-election.
In 2012, regarding Assad’s threat to use of chemical weapons, Obama’s “red lines” of reprisals became no lines, when Assad indeed used gas in August 2013.
Is it any wonder why Saudi Arabia and our allies in the region no longer trust us?
In September 2015, now Russia has planted its military in Syria, to help Assad stay in power, as Putin said in a Charlie Rose interview.
It is reported everywhere in the news media that the Iran deal is bad for Israel and the region, as the deal sends Iran $100-150 billion, a huge amount for their economy. Therefore, it is a bad deal for us, as the Iranians will use some of that money for terrorism. It is reported that they are supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, several times now an Iranian politician or general has said Israel should be wiped off the map.
Recently large crowds chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” on al-Quds day — their holy Take-Over-Jerusalem Day.
This history of miscalculations and misreadings show the Left to be like little children who don’t understand stranger danger. They miss the obvious.
This piece was posted originally at American Thinker on July 15, 2015, but has been corrected and updated here.
Nov. 14, 2015: Now we have the Paris attacks, originating from ISIS. Clearly, if we had not withdrawn from the region, ISIS would not have taken territory the size of Indiana and would not be as powerful as they are, bringing down a Russian passenger jet a few days earlier. And the Beirut bombing. ISIS is on the march.
Nov. 15, 2015: It has been in the news, after the GOP debate, that Hillary told three different people publically that a video prompted the attack in Benghazi, yet she told others in private that the attack was al-Quaeda inspired. She lied.
Nov. 20, 2015: I added some links.
Also, as to the age of Russian power in the Greater Middle East, doesn’t anyone in the Obama administration realize that Russia and Israel won’t get along? Their values are different, notably in Putin’s steadfast support for Assad.
In the bigger picture world history teaches us that nation-states arise and impose order on the world (though the order varies in quality). In approximate chronological order: Sumeria, Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Byzantines … skipping over an unpleasant fact … Holy Roman Empire, Spain and France, and Great Britain, when our nation was founded.
Like it or not, it is undeniable that the world is built like that. So it is odd and off-key for Obama to make America withdraw in the Middle East, as much as he has (but not completely, as seen in naval maneuvers around SE Asia, where there is peace).
It is our turn now. I pray we can do a pretty good job of leading, though I don’t demand perfection.
Dec. 7, 2015: I added links.