Archive for Foreign Policy

Pol Pot Pols

Two weeks ago, in a piece highlighting America’s unreliability as an ally, Mark Steyn laid this heavy quotation on us:

Forty years ago, as another American client regime crumbled, the US Ambassador sportingly offered asylum to a former Cambodian prime minister, Prince Sirik Matak. His response is worth quoting:

I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection and we can do nothing about it. You leave us and it is my wish that you and your country will find happiness under the sky. But mark it well that, if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is too bad because we are all born and must die one day. I have only committed the mistake of believing in you, the Americans.

So Sirik Matak stayed in Phnom Penh and was murdered by the Khmer Rouge, but so were another 1.7 million people, and in a pile of skulls that high it’s hard to remember this or that individual. But there are many in Iraq and Afghanistan who are reflecting, as Sirik Matak did, that they made the mistake of “believing in you, the Americans”.

“Happiness under the sky” has the same resonance of simple truth as American Indian aphorisms, to my ear, another people we hosed royally.

Chief Seattle’s famous (if apocryphal) speech:

[W]hen the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children’s children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.

Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not altogether powerless.

Chief Joseph’s capitulation:

I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohulhulsote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead.

It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are–perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead.

Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.

Leaving aside the nobility of our adversaries, the USA didn’t use to be “harmless as an enemy, treacherous as a friend”, as Steyn quotes Bernard Lewis. Seattle and Joseph knew our treachery, but never saw us as harmless.

Now there can be no doubt. The same regime that swears the US “will always have Israel’s back” now recognizes as legitimate a fraudulent government of a fraudulent people, with Hamass—a very real and legitimate terror gang—as a member. Our treachery lies bare for all to see. ISIS, the Taliban, Iran, to name just a few of our enemies, can better tell you how harmful they find us.

I see the latest news is that whatever passes for Iraqi military are pushing back against the ISIS marauders. Good, I guess. (Are there any good guys?) It sure beats our answer that Iraq needs to build a more inclusive government. As if anyone, besides Saddam, has figured out how to include Sunnnis, Shiites, and Kurds in one country. As if even if they did, “inclusiveness” is useless against tanks. Never bring a liberal piety to a gun fight. (How many divisions does the Pope have, Stalin once wryly asked.)

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Losing What George Bush Won

Like him or loathe him, President Bush toppled the Taliban and defeated Saddam Hussein and the Islamist insurgency that followed. The governments that followed those heinous regimes may have been weak, corrupt, and ineffectual, but Bush didn’t see it as America’s job to install one brutal strongman (or men) to replace another.

What Bush hath wrought, Obama hath put asunder:

A day after taking over Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, militants gained nearly complete control of the northern city of Tikrit, witnesses in the city and police officials in neighboring Samarra told CNN.

Heavy fighting erupted inside Tikrit — the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein — as the military tried to regain control, the sources and a police official in Baghdad said.

According to the witnesses in Tikrit and the Samarra police officials, two police stations in Tikrit were on fire and a military base was taken over by militants, believed to be from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an al Qaeda splinter group also known as ISIS and ISIL.

The group was an offshoot al Qaeda in Iraq, responsible for the deaths of many U.S. troops in western Iraq. With American help, Iraqi tribal militias put ISIS on the defensive.

But when U.S. troops left the country, the extremist militants found new leadership, grew stronger while in Syria, and returned to Iraq, making military gains often off the backs of foreign fighters drawn to Syria’s conflict.

Barack Obama pissed away Afghanistan, and now he’s pissing away Iraq. He almost cared about Syria, but after lying down with a cold compress to his head, the feeling passed. He let Libyan Islamists kill four Americans and get away with it. He somehow managed to side with the Muslim Brotherhood, who would have imposed sharia law had not the Egyptian military deposed them. And his “peace” process in the Middle East managed only to bring peace (of a very limited sort) between the warring terrorist factions among the Arab occupiers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. He couldn’t have screwed this up any worse if he tried, which I sincerely think he did.

Cindy Sheehan was very upset that her son, Casey, lost his life for a cause he believed in, but she didn’t. How must she feel now that Obama has desecrated her son’s memory by rendering his ultimate sacrifice moot? Even if she didn’t see the point to Bush’s adventures, there was change: terrorists and tyrants were removed, and a period of something resembling democracy reigned, however briefly. Now, this silly narcissist, who thought he could unite the world over love of him, a black American with a Muslim dad, has as good as defecated on the graves of thousands of American soldiers.

Cindy?

If Barack Obama came up to me and said, “Cindy, can you write me a check for $5k to help me buy another hellfire missile,” I would say, “hell no, take a hike,” so why should I funnel my funds through the IRS to be disbursed to the Military Industrial Complex?

That’s what I thought.

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The Obama Doctrine

You have to listen to Hillary and Harry Reid to discern it: What difference does it make?

MANU RAJU, POLITICO: Looking back at the way this was rolled out, do you think the White House could have been a better job looping in Congress during these negotiations?

SEN. HARRY REID: Listen, Manu [Raju], and everyone here, the timeline was very, very brief here. This has nothing to do with briefing this down in the classified briefing. We all know that the president had a very short period of time to make a decision. He made the decision to bring him home, and I’m glad he did because in my opinion, based on nothing in the classified briefing, in my opinion, every day that he was there was a day closer to his dying.

RAJU: How come you were the only one who got a heads-up the day before?

REID: I’m not sure I’m the only one. I mean, this is making a big deal over nothing. The whole deal, is it Friday or Saturday? What difference does it make? What difference does it make?

Sound like someone else you know?

Hillary said that after Americans were killed by Islamist terrorists; Reid said it before. I guess that’s the difference.

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Terrorist Welfare

I’m worried about the families of the likes of David Berkowitz and Charles Manson. How are they getting by? And Jeffrey Dahmer’s people, are they making ends meet?

I’m glad we have a government that cares:

In testimony to Congress, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, defended the Palestinian Authority practice of paying salaries to terrorists in prison saying “they have to provide for the families.” [April 29, 2014]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented repeatedly that this is not correct. According to PA law and in practice the PA does not give stipends to terrorist prisoners’ families but salaries to the terrorist prisoners themselves. PMW has already reported that the PA Minister of Prisoners vocally rejected the claim that the payments are social welfare aid to the prisoners’ families, stressing instead that the prisoners receive salaries “out of esteem.”

Anne Patterson…don’t I know that name?

One can see his point. But Ambassador Patterson was not done talking excrement:

Assistant Secretary Patterson twice told the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa that she “knows” that the PA “are going to try to phase that out, and we should give them an opportunity to do so.”

There is nothing in all the activities and statements of the PA to back up that claim. PMW has not encountered any PA statements regarding a “phasing out” of the salaries to terrorists. To the contrary, in 2013 and 2014, PA officials have regularly been adding additional regulations and benefits for prisoners. In addition, they have reiterated in government meetings and in public statements to Palestinians that the salaries and other benefits to prisoners is a high priority for the Palestinian Authority and will continue.

But what are we arguing about? Who pays to look after the families of murderers? That is insane.

And it is official US government policy:

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) condemned the swearing in of the new Fatah and Hamas unity government on Monday, which took place in Ramallah.

“The replacement of ministers in the Palestinian government is just a pretty wrapping for the terrorist attacks that were conducted and will be conducted under their protection,” declared Danon.

“Now, all aid given to the Palestinians by the United States and other countries directly aids terror attacks against the state of Israel.

Which, presumably, is the point.

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War is What Happens While You’re Telling Jokes

President Obama was madly busy yesterday playing golf and telling jokes.

Others were involved in more serious pursuits:

Pro-Russian militants stormed a Ukrainian police station in Odessa on Sunday and freed 30 fellow activists as the prime minister blamed police corruption there for dozens of deaths in rioting on Friday.

“Russians won’t abandon their own!” militants chanted as they smashed windows and broke down the gate at the compound, where comrades had been held since Friday’s mayhem. Others shouted “Russia! Russia!” and “we will not forgive!”

Odessa police said 30 activists had been released.

Some police officers were offered the black and orange St. George’s ribbon, a Russian military insignia that has become a symbol of the revolt, and were cheered when they accepted it.

Except for tanks, Russia has invaded Ukraine. (They can shoot down helicopters, evidently.) So far, our response has been to ban sales of peanut butter to the Moscow elite and cancel Putin’s subscription to Jugs.

Best question of the day:

What’s often misunderstood about Putin is that, while he pines for the vanished image of Soviet power, he knows that Communism didn’t work. Nor does he expect to re-establish the Soviet Union’s domination over Europe’s eastern half (as much as he’d welcome it). Putin has become a Great-Russian nationalist, a bigoted throwback to the days before the Bolsheviks arrived. His intent is to regain all the lands that once belonged to the czars.

When President Obama declared in March that Putin “has no ideology,” he betrayed his ignorance of both history and Putin. Who’s briefing this guy?

Untitled

Putin’s ideology is nationalism, the only belief system that may have killed as many human beings as Marxism. And when a “post-modern” talk-talk America president faces a Russian leader who’s a man of action and whose concept of nationhood refers to the late 19th century, our cherished negotiations merely seal the deal on what Putin’s already taken (anyone really think he’ll give back Crimea and flee from eastern Ukraine?).

Obama talks, Putin kills.

And make no mistake, Putin truly believes he’s entitled to reclaim Ukraine and a great deal more. In his view, independent capitals from Warsaw (yes, Warsaw) to Bishkek are integral and natural parts of the Russian imperium. He regards them as property stolen from its rightful owner: Moscow.

Putin is a student of history and of Shakespeare:

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

Translated: Putin seen his opportunities, and he took ‘em.

PS: Obama’s favorite line of Shakespeare: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…

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Snap Quiz

Quick question: who’s the US Ambassador to Egypt?

Wait, wait, don’t tell me…oh, I know this! Dude with the glasses and the gray suit. Gave heap big wampum (as Elizabeth Warren would say) to the Obama campaign.

Sigh. Okay, I give up. Tell me.

NOT FAIR!

This absence of a US ambassador in Cairo for the last eight months could be for several reasons. First, it could be strong evidence of tension between the two countries and hesitation by the US administration on what it should do about developments in Egypt. Second, it could confirm the reliance on defence relations as the basis of bilateral relations; there have been more than 30 phone calls between US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his former counterpart Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, or one call every six days.

Third, it could be Washington’s desire not to be directly present inside Egypt, especially after the bad experience of Ambassador Anne Patterson that ended with her returning home in August to become US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

Oh yeah. Seems we read about it at the time:

Patterson was heavily criticised last summer before and after protests following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. Some Egyptian newspapers printed headlines describing her as “Ambassador from Hell” and “The US High Commissioner to Egypt” along with “Shameless Patterson” and “White Beetle Patterson” and dozens of other inappropriate headlines. Thus, some people believe that senior US diplomats are hesitant to serve in Cairo right now.

That pitch!

Buncha sexist bastards, the Egyptians.

But why the hostility?

I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. And together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I’m grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And I’m also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalaamu alaykum. (Applause.)

They’re not applauding anymore.

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Kung Fool

Some say President Obama has been beaten up for his lunch money by Vladimir Putin. We reject that charge.

Beating him up for his lunch money is what China is doing:

China is waging political warfare against the United States as part of a strategy to drive the U.S. military out of Asia and control seas near its coasts, according to a Pentagon-sponsored study.

A defense contractor report produced for the Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon’s think tank on future warfare, describes in detail China’s “Three Warfares” as psychological, media, and legal operations. They represent an asymmetric “military technology” that is a surrogate for conflict involving nuclear and conventional weapons.

The unclassified 566-page report warns that the U.S. government and the military lack effective tools for countering the non-kinetic warfare methods, and notes that U.S. military academies do not teach future military leaders about the Chinese use of unconventional warfare. It urges greater efforts to understand the threat and adopt steps to counter it.

“The Three Warfares is a dynamic three dimensional war-fighting process that constitutes war by other means,” said Cambridge University professor Stefan Halper, who directed the study. “It is China’s weapon of choice in the South China Sea.”

The study concludes that in the decade ahead China will employ unconventional warfare techniques on issues ranging from the Senkaku Islands dispute in northeast Asia to the disputed Paracels in the South China Sea.

For the United States, the Three Warfares seek to curtail U.S. power projection in Asia that is needed to support allies, such as Japan and South Korea, and to assure freedom of navigation by attempting to set terms for allowing U.S. access to the region.

The use of psychological, media, and legal attacks by China is part of an effort to raise “doubts about the legitimacy of the U.S. presence.”

Let us amend our assertion that China is beating up Obama for his lunch money. He’s handing it over of his own free will, saying they deserve it more than he does. Besides, China is just a “regional power”, acting “out of weakness”.

If this were a good world in which everyone could be trusted, there might be no need for the US to project its strength around the globe, But his is a world with China, Russia, Iran, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, etc. in it. There are consequences for weakness, perceived or real, but unless the Russians lob a nuke onto the 17 green at Andrews Air Base, Obama will never have to face them.

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The “U-Word”

Not eunuch, though that fits very well.

“Unfortunate”:

“The (Russian) President (Vladimir Putin) may have his version of history, but I believe that he and Russia, for what they have done, are on the wrong side of history,” Kerry said during a function at the State Department on Tuesday.

“I must say I was really struck and somewhat surprised and even disappointed by the interpretations in the facts as they were articulated by the President,” Kerry said soon after Putin’s speech in Moscow.

“But the President has made it clear that if there is this move to the full annexation, which appears to be clearly the direction that they have decided to move, it will be unfortunate

Surprised, disappointed, unfortunate—these words must surely describe what most Americans think of how far we’ve fallen in the world’s estimation. In the last five years alone.

On the positive side, this should help with illegal immigration. Who would want to join a team of such hapless losers? Head for China and Russia, my Guatemalan amigos. I’m sure there are jobs that need to be done that Crimeans just won’t do.

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Flay of Fish

This is such a complete vivisection of President Obama’s shortcomings, I almost feel sorry for him.

Not even close, actually. Enjoy!

In case you’re wondering why I’m writing about this—well, I am too. A Malaysian jetliner has vanished into thin air, while Russia has completed its seizure of Crimea and may yet invade other parts of Ukraine. Serious stuff, you might say. But the big story of last week as far as the president is concerned is his appearance alongside the star of “The Hangover” movies, the guy who last year smoked a joint live on the Bill Maher show.

Incidentally, I quote these lines from the Us Weekly report of the Seacrest interview. Us magazine is where I go for my political news these days. The online article also had a link to a photo gallery of Mr. Obama hanging out with various celebrities, like Justin Bieber. “What’s up, my dude!” the Canadian teen star says to the president of the United States. “What’s up, Biebs!” the president of the United States answers back.

Just the other day, he was photographed standing by his Oval Office desk, casually dressed in jeans, speaking to Vladimir Putin on the phone. The president had been savaged by Sarah Palin “as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.”

Retorted Mr. Obama: “The truth is, generally I look very sharp in jeans.” The sole exception, he added, “was one episode like four years ago in which I was wearing some loose jeans, mainly because I was out on the pitcher’s mound and I didn’t want to feel confined while I was pitching.”

Even now the unanswered question about Mr. Obama’s personality is whether his insouciance is a mask for ideology, ignorance, or simple indifference. When the president goes before the cameras to announce tough sanctions, and the sanctions are not only not tough but laughably weak, what’s going through his head?

Should he be wearing loose jeans more often so he can feel less confined geopolitically?

Alternatively, the president might consider rearranging his work schedule. Last year came the news that Mr. Obama was unaware of the problems plaguing his health-care website until after its rollout and that he never once had a private meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius between July 2010 and November 2013. How does something like that happen?

A cavalier foreign policy by an inattentive president that elicits the contempt of the people it intends to punish ultimately encourages their aggression as well.

The less obvious: We need a fat president. Or at least one who rarely thinks and never speaks about how he looks in jeans. And one who doesn’t spend his day testing his wits against a Hollywood stoner or bantering with Ryan Seacrest while a European ally is being pummeled by Russia. And one who would rather spend his time working than working out, even if it means putting on a few pounds. And one who can pitch from the mound and reach home plate. However confined.

Clap-clap-clap.

I’m giving this a standing ovation as I write.

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The Definition Of Insanity Is Doing The Same Thing Over And Over Again, Expecting A Different Outcome

PS – To brag a little here – notice how many pundits are now calling Barack Obama Jimmy Carter? Yesterday the NY Post. Today the Wall Street Journal. I just want to point out that we at BTL told you, repeatedly, beginning in 2008, that Barack Obama was another Jimmy Carter. The public is dumber today than in 1980, when they elected Reagan to replace the failed Jimmy Carter. We are going to elect Hillary Clinton, I think.

- Aggie

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Callow Doofus

He’s not as witty as Mark Steyn or James Taranto, but Victor Davis Hanson can be just as withering with his critiques:

Obama, as is his wont, always had mellifluous and sophistic arguments for why we had to take every soldier out of Iraq after the successful surge; why we needed to drop missile defense with the Poles and Czechs; why we needed both a surge and simultaneous deadline to end the surge in Afghanistan; why we first issued serial deadlines to Iran to ask them to please stop proliferation, then just quit the sanctions altogether just as they started to work; why we needed to “lead from behind” in Libya; why the Muslim Brotherhood was largely secular and legitimate and then later not so much so; why we issued redlines and bragged about Putin’s “help” to eliminate WMD in Syria, and were going to bomb and then not bomb and then maybe bomb; why we kept pressuring Israel; why we cozied up to an increasingly dictatorial Turkey; why we reached out to Cuba and Venezuela; and why we sometimes embarrassed old allies like Britain, Canada, and Israel.

Amid both the deeds and the facts came the serial $1 trillion annual deficits, the surge in borrowing for redistributionist payouts, the monetary expansion and zero-interest rates, and finally the vast cuts in the military budget, all of which fleshed out the caricature of a newly isolationist and self-indulgent America, eager to talk, bluster, or threaten its way out of its traditional postwar leadership role.

Again, each incident in and of itself was of little import. None were the stuff of crises. But incrementally all these tiny tesserae began forming a mosaic, fairly or not, of the Obama administration as either weak or clueless or perhaps both.

It was kinda funny that Putin bit off Crimea only days after the Obama regime announced plans to cut the army down to pre-WWII levels.

Accordingly, Mr. Putin, in empirical fashion, after factoring in the rhetoric and the facts, has decided that it is time, in the fashion of 1979–80, to move with probable impunity. Others are, of course, watching what Obama derides as Cold War chess games. Should Iran now go full bore on its nuclear program? Should China test Japanese waters and airspace a bit more aggressively? Should North Korea try to gain new concessions from its nuclear lunacy? Should the failed Communists of Latin America try forcibly exporting their miseries to neighbors? And all are operating on the shared assumption that the American reaction will be another “outrageous,” “unacceptable,” “don’t cross this line,” or another solemn Kerry lecture about the existential threats of global warming.

For some, like the now furrow-browed Europeans who once giddily lapped up the Victory Column pabulum, there is irony. For the Baltic states, Georgians, the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, the Japanese, the Taiwanese, and the South Koreans, there is increased anxiety about regional strains of Putanism spreading to their own backyards. And among our allies such as the British, Israelis, Canadians, and Australians, there is still polite bewilderment.

This will probably end in either two ways : Either Barack Obama will have his 1980 Jimmy Carter revelatory moment as something like an “Obama Doctrine,” or we could see some pretty scary things in the next three years as regional thugs cash in their chips and begin readjusting the map in their areas of would-be influence.

As has been noted before, Obama’s inherent pusillanimity has made for some interesting alliances (see Israel and Saudi Arabia). Can’t wait to see that Georgian-Japanese-Canadian mutual security pact. While America works on healthcare.gov.

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And Here’s The Sanity Side

Obama is an embarrassment

The writer points out that even Jimmy Carter wasn’t this bad.

Leaders of other countries don’t respect President Barack Obama, said 53 percent of respondents in Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 3-6. That only 53 percent of Americans think this is an indictment of the news media’s coverage of foreign affairs.

He would lead the world by “deed and example,” not try to “bully it into submission,” Sen. Barack Obama wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in 2007.

In a major foreign policy speech in 2008, Mr. Obama said he would focus on “ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

The key elements of his foreign policy were to be a “reset” of relations with Russia, and outreach to Muslims.

To symbolize “reset,” when they met in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with a red plastic button modeled on the “easy button” in the Staples ads.

“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world,” Mr. Obama said in a much ballyhooed speech in Cairo in June, 2009.

No president has talked the talk so well, but walked the walk so badly.

Don’t you feel ashamed for him? He’s an adult. He believed this stuff.

And to quote our fearless leader, “Here’s what is true”:

The plastic button Ms. Clinton gave Mr. Lavrov was supposed to say “reset” in English and Russian. But “peregruzka” means “overcharged.” Relations went downhill from there.

To appease Russia, President Obama cancelled a ballistic missile defense treaty with Poland and the Czech Republic. But the more concessions he made, the more contempt with which he was treated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

His Russian policy has been a total failure. But it hasn’t backfired as much as has Mr. Obama’s “outreach” to Muslims:

• Iran is closer than ever to a nuclear weapon. Mr. Obama weakened economic sanctions as a gesture of goodwill, so now the mullahs have the money to finish the job.

• Saudi Arabia is so angered by Mr. Obama’s appeasement of Iran it refused a seat on the U.N. Security Council; so frightened by it the Saudis are talking quietly with the Israelis about joint military action.

• In what had been our foremost Arab ally, Egypt, the president’s dalliance with the Muslim Brotherhood has alienated both the military and the people.

• Mr. Obama waged war of dubious legality to oust Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, an evil, mean, nasty, rotten guy, but not, since 2005, a threat to the United States. (He gave up his nuclear weapons program because he was afraid what happened to Saddam Hussein might happen to him.)

In the chaotic aftermath, al-Qaida has established a stronghold there. An al-Qaida affiliate murdered U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

• Seventy percent of the 2,313 Americans killed in Afghanistan died after President Obama escalated the war. They died in vain. The Taliban is expected to take over when U.S. troops leave.

• The fighting in Iraq was over when Barack Obama took the oath of office. His inept diplomacy and premature withdrawal of all U.S. troops permitted an al-Qaida resurgence there.

• Worldwide, al-Qaida is as great a threat today as it was in 2001, the director of national intelligence told Congress last month.

• Peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians have gone nowhere, which is nothing new. But Barack Obama is the first U.S. president to lose the trust of both Israelis and Palestinians.

• More than 130,000 people have been killed in the civil war in Syria. President Obama threatened to intervene militarily on one side, then, after pressure from the Russians, in effect switched to the other, to the dismay of our European allies.

Isn’t that depressing?

Not even the hapless Jimmy Carter made so big a mess. Relations have soured even with Canada, which is tired of being jerked around on the Keystone pipeline.

It’s time the news media noticed.

It is way, way past time for the medial dolts to notice and to cover this. But they won’t. At this point, how can they? How embarrassing that they have allowed this to happen without coverage.

- Aggie

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