Steve Kramer

Outing President Obama

Barack Obama burst upon the American political scene in 2004, when he gave the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, just four months after unexpectedly being elected the junior senator from Illinois. Less than five years later, in his first inaugural speech, President Obama intoned, “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.  And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken — you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.” But did he mean it? His subsequent actions belie his words.

Obama continued, “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.  …To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

For Obama’s first international speech several months later, he chose Cairo University, where he had the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood contingent seated up front, a direct affront to Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak (who wasn’t invited), the Brotherhood’s most implacable opponent. Referring to himself as Barack Hussein Obama, he proclaimed, “No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation — including Iran — should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Obama also declared that the Palestinians’ right to a state was equal to the Jews’ right to Israel, something no president had ever uttered.

Obama told the United Nations General Assembly in September 2009, “Our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. … No balance of power among nations will hold.”

So, Obama quickly had proclaimed the hallmarks of his foreign policy: America had no right to have so much power or to determine which countries could possess nuclear weapons; any country has the right to access peaceful nuclear power subject to treaties (wink,wink); the Muslim Brotherhood is a legitimate Muslim political movement; and the Palestinians and Israelis must each have their own state.

Just before being re-elected in 2012, Obama said to Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important . . . to give me space. This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”

What is lacking from Obama’s foreign policy beliefs is what Pulitzer Prize-winner Bret Stephens (Wall St. Journal) calls “American indispensability.” That is the belief that absent America’s role as the world’s leading power, the resultant vacuum will be filled by forces much less benign (think China or Russia or even Iran), with increasing global anarchy and disorder.

Such is the world situation today. Islamic State (IS) is terrifying everyone while Iran quietly picks up all the chips lying around in the Middle East. While the administration makes overtures to Iran, hoping it will “help” the West in defeating IS, Iran has been busy creating a Shia crescent surrounding the Sunni Arab nations and Israel, while effectively gaining total control over the Persian Gulf, the world’s single most important conduit for oil shipments. While the terrorist legions of IS are dangerous, Iran’s goal to lead a Muslim caliphate is far more dangerous and more realistic.

Speaking at the recent National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, Obama counseled Americans to remember that Christians have been equally guilty of atrocities similar to those perpetrated by IS: “Unless we get on our high horse and think this [beheadings, sex-slavery, crucifixion, roasting humans] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

True, the Crusades were horrible, but they occurred a millennia ago, have some historical justification, and Christianity has abandoned barbarism in Jesus’ name. The atrocities committed by IS are contemporary and are perpetrated in the name of Mohammed/Islam, something Obama cannot bring himself to even utter. Nor are Muslim atrocities limited to the Sunni IS; they are carried out by both Shia and Sunni terrorists (another word shunned by Obama) indiscriminately on Muslims, for the most part, and any other opponents in sight.

If one espouses a doctrine that demotes America from its unique status as a superpower, while apologizing for past “excesses” of that power, and simultaneously enables the world’s largest purveyor of terror (Iran) to gain control over the Middle East while becoming a nuclear threshold state, it is no accident. It has been Obama’s blatant agenda to put America “in its place” and to subordinate American interests to Iran’s. This is because, according to Arab expert Raymond Stock, “[Obama] … sees indigenous anti-Western forces such as the Islamists to be the benignly natural and legitimate consequence of American and European policies during the colonial era and the Cold War.” (The New English Review)

While the president’s level of denial of the jihadist threat grows ever higher, the chief personality to draw his ire isn’t the leader of IS, nor (heaven forbid) Iran’s Supreme Ruler, but Israel’s premier, Benjamin Netanyahu. Our prime minister is an irritant and a bother to the world’s leaders and diplomats who just want to make a deal with Iran and be “done” with it. Netanyahu is literally the “Jew” (pejorative) among world leaders, a troublesome rabble rouser who is interfering with the people who know how to get things done. If those leaders could just shut Netanyahu up, they could get on with running the world, which they are doing so well. The hell with Netanyahu and his fixation on Israel’s security, they think. The world would be much easier to run if Israel (itself an irritant) would quietly fade into the background or be swallowed up.

Evidently, President Obama has made his choices. He ignored the Green Movement in Iran after the illegitimate election of Ahmadinejad. He allowed Russia’s Putin to attain outsize power, subjugating Ukraine. He enabled Bashar Assad, Syria’s blood-soaked dictator, to retain his power, albeit over a truncated state. He continues to withhold necessary armaments from Iraq’s Kurdish minority, which is in a bloody battle with IS. He has continued to disrespect Israel’s prime minister while strongly supporting Turkey’s Islamist leaders.

After prolonging nuclear weapons negotiations with Iran, instead of ratcheting up pressure, Obama ordered the weakening of sanctions against Iran by $700,000,000 per month. He continues to resist even the most reasonable Congressional action to hold Iran to account in the current negotiations. In conclusion, he has backed Iran as the power that will inevitably sweep all before it to become sovereign over the Middle East, shunting aside America’s traditional allies: Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states. Somewhat surprisingly, the roots of Obama’s foreign policy go back to the installation by President George W. Bush of “realist” Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. (David P. Goldman –

On February 5, the Washington Post said in its editorial, “As the Obama administration pushes to complete a nuclear accord with Iran, numerous members of Congress, former secretaries of state and officials of allied governments are expressing concern about the contours of the emerging deal. Though we have long supported negotiations with Iran as well as the interim agreement the United States and its allies struck with Tehran, we share several of those concerns and believe they deserve more debate now — before negotiators present the world with a fait accompli.”

More debate: that’s exactly Prime Minister Netanyahu’s intention when he addresses a joint session of Congress early in March. By making Netanyahu the villain for daring to interject a contrary opinion, Obama seeks to distract attention from the leeway Iran is about to receive. While the administration has “forgotten” that Iran intends to destroy Israel, Netanyahu cannot. Israel has the most to lose by Washington’s machinations, followed closely by Sunni Arab nations, Europe, and eventually the Big Satan (America). We should all fear the consequences of Obama’s foreign policy choices, which are in the process of remaking the world. But isn’t that what he promised when running for president?

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.