Ari Lieberman

Obama’s Alternate Reality

On July 14, White House press secretary Josh Earnest made a laughable and absurd statement at his daily news briefing. Unfortunately, the statement wasn’t meant to amuse but rather highlighted how divorced from reality and steeped in fantasy President Obama has become.

Earnest noted the following; “I think that there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way, that has substantially furthered American interests and substantially improved the, uh, you know, the – the tranquility of the global community.” So according to Obama’s shill, the president has substantially improved the tranquility of the global community. It is as though a clueless Earnest had just emerged from an alternate reality where night is day and up is down. The statement was surreal and if the stakes weren’t so serious, it would actually be comical.

A brief check of the state of the world today and one quickly realizes that all is far from well. From Ukraine to the South China Sea, Venezuela to the Mideast, the world is in disorder and teetering on the brink. Some of these regional problems predate the age of Obama yet he is to blame for the leadership void that exacerbated existing problems and created others.

Take for example Iran, a country recognized as the world’s premiere state sponsor of terrorism. The Islamic Republic has quite easily duped the ostrich-like administration into believing that it is serious on rolling back its nuclear weapons program. It succeeded in getting the administration to reverse crippling sanctions that took years to formulate which in turn has provided the mullahs with badly needed cash to fuel their overseas operations and subversive activities.

While a clueless Obama negotiates with those who have mastered the art of negotiation, it becomes quite evident that the president is completely out of his league. Moreover, the mullahs watched and drew appropriate conclusions as Obama drew and then withdrew his now laughable red line in the sand vis-à-vis Syria. In the meantime, the nuclear clock keeps ticking as the Iranians continue their determined march toward acquiring an atom bomb. Unless Israel intervenes, which seems likely given the administration’s impotence, it is a virtual certainty that the Iranians will acquire a nuclear weapon on Obama’s watch.

The president likes to tout his claimed dismantling of Assad’s chemical weapon stockpiles as a victory of sorts but here too he failed miserably. While some inventory was destroyed, Assad still maintains the means of production despite assurances that they too would be destroyed. Twelve Syrian chemical weapon production facilities slated for destruction are still operational and Assad does not appear to be in any mood to give them up. And why should he be afraid of repercussions? America’s deterrent capability was tossed out the window when Obama balked after Assad stomped over his imaginary red line. Indeed, Assad had the temerity to use poison gas against his own people while he was ostensibly dismantling his CW program. What’s more, the CW dismantling deal required Assad’s cooperation which instantly transformed him from international pariah to a responsible statesman whose cooperation was critical to effectuating Obama’s pipe dreams.

The president’s vacillation in Syria, foot dragging on providing arms to moderate Syrian opposition groups and failure to follow through on promised military action in response to war crimes committed by Assad, directly and negatively impacted the course of the fighting there and marginalized the moderate opposition to the point where it has been overtaken by al-Nusra, ISIS and other extremist organizations. Obama squandered an opportunity just as he did in 2009 when pro-democracy Iranians took to the streets to demand free and fair elections, only to be crushed by the regime’s brutal police forces and Basij thugs while the administration stood by in contemptible silence.

The same story unfolded in Venezuela, a country led by a tyrant who has allowed the Iranians to turn his country into a base of operations for narco-terror and other subversive activities. In early 2014, pro-democracy protestors fed up with government corruption, lack of freedom and an anemic economy took to the streets to demand change. Nicolás Maduro borrowed chapter and verse from his mullah pals and unleashed his goons armed with guns, clubs and chains to beat the opposition into submission as the administration remained stoic.

Venezuela is not some far-flung, backwater but sits in our own backyard and possesses one of the world’s largest oil and uranium deposits. But it appears that Obama is more concerned about a lone Palestinian provocateur than the cries of 30,000,000 Venezuelans who demand freedom. The grim result of the administration’s stoicism in the face of Maduro’s brutality is that tyranny was allowed to prevail over freedom.

In Iraq, the administration dropped the ball and did not fully become cognizant of the ISIS threat until the Iraqi army unraveled and Iraq was effectively split into three. Iran now pulls the strings in eastern and southern Iraq while ISIS controls the western portion. The only good byproduct of Obama’s negligence was the enlargement and strengthening of the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq but here too, the administration has managed to foul things up. Instead of giving the Kurds – loyal American allies – the political and military backing they so desperately need to stave off ISIS and other threats, Obama kowtowed to pressures from his thuggish Islamist buddy, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to forestall Kurdish moves toward independence.

In the South and East China Seas, America has allowed the Chinese to engage in creeping annexation of large swaths of areas believed to contain lucrative gas deposits and fishing grounds, abandoning our Japanese and Pilipino allies. As Charles Krauthammer points out, our actions in that region have left our allies stunned and hanging. Obama’s pusillanimous policies have only encouraged the Chinese to adopt a more aggressive posture in asserting their maritime claims which will invariably lead to more friction and instability.

And then of course there is Israel where Obama has acted in a shamefully perfidious manner against a longtime ally. As I detailed here and here, never in the history of international relations has an American ally been treated so shabbily. As Israel is under relentless bombardment from genocidal enemies, a ranking Obama official publicly blasted the Jewish State for perceived wrongs. As world leaders from Canada, Australia, Germany, England and France – FRANCE! – called Prime Minister Netanyahu to express their support for Israel’s defensive measures, Obama dragged his heels and reluctantly called his nemesis to express faux support. Of course, the president’s nauseatingly fake expressions of support were qualified and accompanied by the perfunctory and sickening calls for “restraint.”  Life in Israel has grinded to a virtual halt, summer camps have been called off and neonatal wards have been moved into bomb shelters and Obama has the nerve to call for restraint.

The president likes to tout the fact that he’s a strong supporter of funding for Israel’s marvelous Iron Dome and Arrow missile defense systems to bolster his bogus pro-Israel credentials. What the president fails to note is that there is overwhelming bipartisan congressional support for development and funding of such systems and it would be political suicide for the president to halt funding for such projects. Moreover, the president is keenly aware that but for Iron Dome, Israel would by now have launched an all-out ground offensive to root out the sources of rocket fire and that the system is enabling Israel (for now) to maintain a defensive posture which is precisely what Obama wants but is not necessarily in Israel’s best interest.

What Obama won’t say is that this latest round of fighting was facilitated by his perfidious treatment of Israel. His relentless criticism of Israel, the Mideast’s only democracy, has only served to undermine an ally and harden the maximalist goals of Israel’s enemies. In essence, Obama torpedoed his own peace initiative.

Moreover, the president failed to condemn a so-called “national unity” government that witnessed a partnership forged between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Even after rockets began falling on Israel in early June, the State Department disingenuously insisted that the PA’s Abbas had no control over Hamas’s activities. That assertion was false as some reporters intimated during a State Department briefing in early June. Even after the rocket fire intensified in July, the State Department’s automaton, Jen Psaki, continued to cling to this regurgitated prepackaged nonsense to the utter disbelief of seasoned reporters.

The world looks to the United States for leadership and moral clarity, both of which are sorely lacking in this administration. With his inept leadership and feckless foreign policy, Obama has allowed rogue states and terrorist entities to gain the upper hand and exert influence in regions previously thought to be secure. The world today is a much scarier and less tranquil place precisely because of Obama and his inability to adapt and veer from convoluted, preconceived notions ingrained into his mind by his early mentors and friends, Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. As for Josh Earnest’s statement, I don’t know what’s more frightening, Obama’s global foreign policy failures or the fact that he actually believes his own hype.

About the Author
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor. He has authored several articles covering political and military issues concerning Israel, the United States and the Mideast at large.