Obama is a foreign policy success?

Who knew?

So says David Gregory of NBC.

Brad Wilmouth of Newsbusters chronicles the pontifications of Gregory so we don’t have to:

Appearing on the Sunday, November, 13, Today show on NBC to discuss Saturday night’s GOP presidential debate that focused on foreign policy, Meet the Press host David Gregory suggested that, because President Obama’s foreign policy, “by a lot of accounts,” has been “very successful,” the Republican candidates may not be so eager to go after Obama in that realm. Gregory, speaking of the candidates:

This was not necessarily the format or I should say the subject to try to distinguish one from the other. What they wanted to do was level attacks against President Obama, but that’s going to be difficult as well. I don’t think the Republican nominee for President really feels like that is the most vulnerable area for President Obama. His foreign policy by a lot of accounts has been very successful, particularly on the war on terror, and I think they want to focus on the economy.

A few weeks ago, on the Sunday, October 23, Today show, Gregory had similarly asserted that “I don’t think there’s any question” that President Obama had erased the Democratic Party’s vulnerability on the issue of foreign policy. Host Lester Holt had set up the segment:

There was the death of Muammar Gadhafi, and in Iraq all U.S. troops will be home by year’s end. Two milestones reached in just a matter of days. What will it all mean for the President and the Republican candidates? … The opposition to the war was central to President Obama’s original campaign. How will it affect his legacy now that that war probably barely registers on the list of issues among American voters?

As he noted that Americans will likely be more interested in the economy than foreign policy, and that even the future in the foreign policy arena could still be uncertain, he praised President Obama’s performance so far:

I don’t think this is top of mind for American voters as we start thinking about the election, but this is a leadership moment for the President, and at a time when government can’t do a lot about the economy, it’s certainly a time when he’s accomplishing a lot, the President is, in foreign policy at a, at a momentous time for the rest of the world if you look at what’s happening particularly in the Middle East.

Is this true? Are Republicans afraid to engage President Kinetic Military Action on foreign policy? Well, lets just look at the yardstick of Middle East policy for a yardstick that all presidents since Carter can be judged by – Iran and their nuclear ambitions. Via Reuters:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday the full extent of Iran’s nuclear program was not reflected in a recent U.N. report, which said that Tehran appeared to have worked on designing an atomic bomb.

“Iran is closer to getting an (atomic) bomb than is thought,” Netanyahu said in remarks to cabinet ministers, quoted by an official from his office.

“Only things that could be proven were written (in the U.N. report), but in reality there are many other things that we see,” Netanyahu said, according to the official.

Doesn’t look too successful to me – but then no president that thinks that the IAEA supervision is adequate isn’t going to be successful. How close is Iran?  Pretty damn close according to IranWatch:

Iran’s bank of rapidly spinning centrifuges has produced a growing stockpile of low-enriched uranium, able to fuel nuclear reactors, but able also to fuel nuclear weapons if further enriched. Enrichment raises the concentration of the uranium isotope U-235, which fissions in first-generation nuclear weapons.

Based on the amount of low-enriched uranium Iran has stockpiled, and the amount it is believed to be producing each month, the Wisconsin Project estimates that by December 2008, Iran had accumulated enough U-235 to fuel one bomb — assuming Iran decided to further enrich the low-enriched material to weapon-grade. The Project further estimates that by the end of 2009, Iran had enough U-235 to fuel a second bomb; that Iran had enough of this material for a third bomb by August 2010; that Iran had enough of this material for a fourth bomb by April 2011; and that Iran had enough of this material for a fifth bomb by November 2011 — in each case assuming that Iran decided to raise the level of U-235 in its low-enriched uranium stockpile (3.5 percent U-235) to weapon-grade (90 percent or more U-235).

As Iran increases its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, and its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent U-235, it will consolidate its status as a “virtual” nuclear weapon state.

Iran’s progress towards this status is estimateda below. These estimates are based upon the theoretical performance of Iran’s existing centrifuges and upon how these centrifuges appear to have performed in the past:

Bomb potential of Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile

  • Amount of U-235 contained in Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium:
    116 kg b
  • Amount of this U-235 produced each month:
    3.45 kg c
  • Amount of this U-235 required to fuel a first-generation implosion bombd:
    21.6 kg e
  • Date by which Iran probably had stockpiled the above:
    December 2008 f
  • Number of additional months needed to convert this low-enriched uranium to weapon-grade g:
    From 3 to 12 h
  • Date by which Iran probably had enough U-235 to fuel a second bomb:
    December 2009 i
  • Date by which Iran probably had enough U-235 to fuel a third bomb:
    August 2010 j
  • Date by which Iran probably had enough U-235 to fuel a fourth bomb:
    April 2011 bb
  • Date by which Iran probably had enough U-235 to fuel a fifth bomb:
    November 2011ff

It is pretty clear that no president has been able to stop Iran, Israel will have to take care of it… but for Obama, begging the Chinese and Russians for help, cutting and running in Afghanistan and Iraq and killing an old and ineffective bin Laden and “droning” Anwar al-Awaki hardly amounts to a record to fear.

Maybe since the memes of the #OWS narrative, the “jobs saved or created”, the “stimulus worked”, “unemployment would have been 15% if not for us”, and “we bent the health care cost curve down”, haven’t worked it is time to try a new one.

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14 thoughts on “Obama is a foreign policy success?

  1. Well, from Al Qaeda’s point of view he has been, hasn’t he? Yeah, he’s been pres while a few of their leaders have been killed, but he has helped liberate Egypt for the Muslim Brotherhood, and Libya for Al Qaeda directly while refusing to help topple the Iranian govt. Now he’s pulling out of Iraq, which will hand that nation to Iran and most likely topple Saudi. He’s even strengthened ties between Al Qaeda and Pakistan by turning Pakistan against us. And he has alienated most of Europe, making them more susceptible to Islamic influence. Heck, if one didn’t know better, one might even think Obama was working to help build the 4th Caliphate. So, does all that count as “successful foreign policy” or not? :-)

  2. Let me get this straight; Netanyahu believes things which he admits that he cannot prove, and this is proof that Obama is a failure?
    All the uranium in Iran, wow. Maybe they use it to power their 5 or 6 working reactors, Ya think?
    Obama gets bin Laden, and all of a sudden the man who killed 4000 is no big deal. Shame on you
    Cutting and running is what Reagan did in Lebanon, instead of avenging the deaths of 220 marines, Obama is winding down a stupid war in Iraq. Afghanistan? I don’t know what the heck he is thinking.

    Black, you accuse Obama of being soft on al qaeda, while admitting that 1) he is killing their leaders, and 2) bombing the heck out of Pakistan in his efforts to be ‘soft’.

    You have two sets of logic, fellas, or you are deliberately working to paint a bad picture of the man.
    The Arab League just condemned Syria for its brutality. That is a good thing, as I see it, but I am sure that yo will enlighten as to the negatives of putting pressure on that model democracy.

    • Wow. So much ignorance and projection in one post. The level of bullshit that you decided to commit to words is such that I am going to set aside my normal patience and civility. It is tough love but it is love.

      Where to start? Let’s see…

      I never accused Obama of being “soft” on al Qaeda. What I said was that if killing bin Laden and al-Awaki are the basis to measure foreign policy success – that is pretty thin gruel. How many al Qaeda leaders did Bush knock off? 50+? Plus relegating bin Laden to a powerless figurehead and a toothless old man watching DVDs of 9/11? How about getting Saddam and his evil progeny? How many Taliban?

      Makes Obama pale in comparison, doesn’t it? Pun intended…

      You evidently register Obama subconsciously as a failure or you wouldn’t have reacted as strongly. It is like the anger that people experience when they are told something that they know to be true, they just don’t want to admit it to themselves.

      Obama is winding down a war that has been won in Iraq but doing so in a way to leave it open so we have to do it again and he is leaving a war in Afghanistan that isn’t won. I thought you guys thought that Afghanistan was the “good” war? That’s what was claimed when we were in Iraq…but your side also said that Bush should listen to the generals and Obama is going against military advice in Afghanistan and Iraq – guess that doesn’t apply if you are a Democrat.

      Talk about twisted logic – condemn Reagan for not avenging 220 Marines on foreign soil yet condemn Bush for avenging 3000 killed on our soil. Republicans are screwed both ways with you. You, my friend, are the one who is wrong headed – and badly so. I have no defense for Reagan other than the mood of the Democratic Congress was not very supportive and we followed the “progressive” law enforcement model (exactly what Clinton and Obama support) and we got NOTHING but some paper indictments. Thought that was what you guys wanted – investigate, assign the same rules of evidence as a criminal investigation, arrest and try them. That’s what you wanted when Bush was president but somehow now you favor drone strikes and war in Libya – go figure.

      Except for, oh yeah, terrorists don’t give a shit about the law or a badge – that’s what makes them, you know – terrorists – and not simple criminals. They have to be exterminated or they won’t stop – the reason for Bush going to Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe Bush got it right after all…

      Know how much enriched U-235 it takes to make a bomb big enough to take out New York City? As little as 12 kilograms – 26.4 pounds and Iran already has it. As far as Netanyahu – he can’t afford to be wrong; his country’s capital is less than 1,000 miles from Tehran. ..Easy distance for one of Iran’s nuclear tipped missiles to reach. 1,000 miles – roughly the distance from Panama City to Chicago.

      I also said that measured by the Iran yardstick, no president passes muster.

      Electricity? Really? In a country with oil and gas reserves the size of Iran? Getting oil and gas out of the ground in Iran, even the high sulphur oil that they have is about one tenth the cost of enriching uranium… Do you also believe that Mahmoud I’mADinnerJacket is an environmentalist, too? It is also interesting that you are willing to assign nefarious motives to Republican presidents and Israeli leadership, yet seem to trust the presidents of Iran and Syria. Why is that, Greg? Maybe you are too ideological to see the truth? Ever hear of Hezbollah? Sure you have – they are the ones who blew up Khobar Towers…guess who sponsors them…why, that would be the peaceful, electricity seeking, uranium enriching Islamic Republic of IRAN.

      Syria a democracy? Damn, you really are in deep. Syria is a democracy the same way Iraq under Saddam was a democracy. The last “election”, Bashir Asshat got 97.62% of the vote – the only serious opposition candidate was assassinated in Lebanon a few years ago.

      I don’t have to work to paint a bad picture of Obama – he is doing fine with his own brush. Pardon me for saying it – but anybody who doesn’t have their head up their anal orifice can see it.

      Might want to yank yours out and look around.

    • LOL, no, Greg, I am not duplicitous in my logic: I merely understand the logic used by Progressives and those who think as they do. Wilson said it best: ANY means justifies the ends so long as that means achieves that ends. Obama’s hero – Alinsky – parroted the same idea. So, when you understand this, it is actually consistent to kill a few people in the process of furthering a greater goal (from THEIR perspective — NOT mine).

      Therefore, all that remains is to determine whether or not assisting Al Qaeda is one of his goals. If you determine it is, then his foreign policy has been a success. But if you are going to argue he has had the U.S.’s best interest in mind and has pursued a continuation of Bush’s policies, then he is NOTHING OF THE KIND! In that case, he joins the list of Presidents who have declared war without and even against Congressional approval and – in the case of Libya – he may well be the first President to get away with providing direct military support – IN COMBAT – to a declared enemy with whom we are at war. Excuse me, but I seem to remember what the Constitution calls this and the penalty proscribed for same. Why hasn’t he been charged and impeached and tried for same?

    • G:

      Netanyahu? You telling us you trust U.S. intel over Israeli? Remember, when it comes to such matters, there is often a difference between what you KNOW and what you can PROVE. ;-)

  3. Man, you never seem to understand my posts, Utah. Syria is not a democracy, I was being facetious. You see, I think The Arab league did a good thing, condemning them. Re-read and you will see that.

    Iran MIGHT be making a bomb; Israel has 50+ warheads by accounts I have read. Israel can take care of herself.

    Actually, I condemn George Bush, 43rd President of these United States, for NOT going after the people who brought down the Towers. Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11; those troops should have been marching over osama’s body in west pakistan, as they drove the Taliban over the cliffs of the Khyber Pass(geog. error alert!). Saudi Arabia funded the 9/11 attacks, and provided most of the attackers. Had Bush gone int o Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq, I might have wagged my finger in front of my winking eye, but that would have been all.

    We created the terrorists in Iraq, why you cannot understand that is beyond me.

    • Utah,

      G has points in this comment. We SHOULD have gone after Saudi and we DID create the OBL/Al Qaeda problem with the way we handled ourselves AFTER the Russians left Afghanistan.

      HOWEVER, G, I have grown tired of this notion that Bush 43 attacked Iraq for the events on 9/11. HE DID NOT! true, he may have used them as an impetuous for a war we may not have needed to fight, but it was over the violation of a UN ruling. I thought you guys on the left liked the UN? Well, if you do not put teeth in their words, they are a paper tiger. SO, in this regard, Utah is correct: “W” was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.

      That said, I think the time to have taken Iraq out was when I was there in 90/91 – NOT after 9/11. As it is now, all Bush 43 did was destabilize the region and – likely – hand it all over to an Iranian led Caliphate.

      • The fact that I agree about what we should have done or didn’t do is irrelevant. I can’t change history and history has nothing to do with the premise of Obama being successful on current foreign policy.

        Similarly, I reject the premise that we created terrorists in Iraq. For that to be true, we would have to ignore things like the slaughter of Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972, the Achille Lauro hijacking in 1985 and every other terrorist event that happened prior to Gulf I in1990.

        We could well have drawn terrorist activity to Iraq – that was one of Bush’s stated strategies – to fight them there instead of the shopping malls in Kansas City.

        If it was Bush II that did it, how can we explain the first attempt at the Twin Towers in 1993?

        Greg’s argument in sophomoric and furthermore irrelevant to the point of Obama’s success on foreign policy, therefore I reject his erroneous premise.

        You live in a very small world, Greg. It must be great to always have Bush to blame for everything.

        • Utah,

          You just implied a straw man against me, M. Shame on you :-)

          I did not say there were NO terrorists in the Middle East, or that we made ALL of them (dude, I was a marine – Tripoli is a part of my makeup, remember?). But to dismiss our part in the making of OBL and Al Qaeda is to ignore history, and – in spite of what you seem to be implying – EVERYTHING is connected to history. ALL events of today are driven by the events of yesterday, my friend.

          As for your point about 1993: we have been fighting Islam in one form or another since this nation was born. This is why I say we cannot disregard history. It is one of Ron Paul’s greatest weaknesses: he seems to think that Islam is not the threat you and I KNOW it to be. Still, to ignore the part we’ve played in this larger mess is to be willfully ignorant of reality. I can only speak for myself, but I prefer not to live that way: it hides too many truths necessary to finding a working solution.

          As for G, you and he are not so far apart – at least, not as far as you may suspect. He is generally heading in the same direction as you and I, he just has the mistaken notion that he can get to that destination by another road. You might try questioning him directly: challenging his assertions logically. He will respond – thoughtfully. I am not saying the two of you will kumbaya, he and I certainly haven’t, but you might find what I have found: someone who is actually starting to understand what you and I have been trying to tell him – even if he doesn’t agree. ;-)

          • I’m not responding to your assertions, I am responding directly to Greg’s premise that: “We created the terrorists in Iraq, why you cannot understand that is beyond me.”

            And to your point, history is the inexorable connection of events over time – but we can only deal in the present using history as a teacher. I can’t judge Obama’s foreign policy based on what happened in 1990, I have to judge him on how he plays the cards he is dealt.

            A recitation of Bush’s positives or faults as Greg tried to do is immaterial to what or how Obama has done.

  4. “We created the terrorists in Iraq, why you cannot understand that is beyond me.”

    My apologies. I misunderstood. As your last comment seemed to be a reply to mine, I thought you were addressing me.

    “I can’t judge Obama’s foreign policy based on what happened in 1990, I have to judge him on how he plays the cards he is dealt.”

    I understand your position, I suppose I’ve just been won over by D’Souza’s argument in “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” In that sense, Obama’s driven by the events of the British Colonial period – much farther in the past than just the 90′s, my friend.

    “A recitation of Bush’s positives or faults as Greg tried to do is immaterial to what or how Obama has done.”

    Not if Carroll Quigley was correct.

  5. B: you are my brother in all but DNA but I’m not a taker when it comes to Quigley and his conspiracy theories. I’ve read Tragedy and Hope and all I see is a bunch of historical events connected by Quigley with the thinnest of threads.

    Quigley’s greatest fault in my estimation is a fundamental misuse of cause and effect. He ties a bunch of effects together and says “Ah! Ha! they are all related because of this cause!” – when historical effects are seldom, if ever, the result of a limited number of causes – the variables are infinite, the global system of politics is just too vast for any group like the Bilderbergers (of which, I’m a member, along with the Illuminati) to have more than limited effects upon…and those effects are limited in time and consequence. If a communist regime can’t manage to hold together when it does control everything internally – a conspiracy of the level that Quigley contemplates cannot survive for long, if at all.

    Look at Russia, controlled everything but was taken down from outside – if we turned our guns on China, the same would happen.

    Not buying it.

  6. Fair enough. But Quigley’s assertions explain EVERYTHING seamlessly – then and now. All other theories that explain current political/economic affairs fall short. It also ignores that Quigley was an “insider” recounting what he had heard more than what he believed. His ideas fall perfectly in line with the Fabian Socialists and George Soros’ activities, as well. You see, it is NOT a conspiracy when it is done in the open – even announcing it to the world. The beauty is in that they KNOW people will not believe it, so they can get away with it.

    As for us taking down China: you need to read Chinese history, my friend. I once agreed with you – until a Chinese friend and business associate started to educate me. Our worlds are so different, we don;t even have the first idea of what would be necessary to take them down. They’ll have to fall from internal pressures, and those will arise as a result of their own doing. The process has already begun.

    But, alas, you are far more traveled and breath more rarefied air than I, so I will defer to you on these issues, (though I retain my opinions ;-) )

  7. Utah, you are right, I should argue the point without dredging up Iraq, although i do need to address a point that, as I have been driving eastward between Mobile and Panama City, I only just now read. If the UN had issued a resolution similar to #90, but directed at Qaddaffi’s regime, would you be critical of our contribution to the effort?

    You haven’t said it directly, but I really am guilty of situational ethics, and picking which tyrants to overthrow is daunting. I hear you, loud and clear, we really have no Constitutional authority, at any level, to excuse such adventures, no matter how well-meaning. Besides, we can’t afford to be a do-gooder nation at this time, legality aside. I want to explore this in a blog, and get my thoughts together,Utah; truly, our recent exchange has given me serious pause. Let me get back to you and black later.

    Not to change the subject, but how far away is Lockerbie? Is there a memorial of any kind?

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