Obama unchecked by Congress augurs ill....
WSJ pundit Bret Stephens sees even worse disasters in Obama's last two years if our president is unchecked by Congress. As enemies in five continents take advantage of The One, BS sees our allies moving away:
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does power: American retreat means someone else—someone we don’t like—is going to step in.
Meanwhile, not all of our allies will capitulate so readily. Do not expect the Saudis to sit still if Iran and the West sign a nuclear deal that only John Kerry thinks is credible. Do not expect Japan to stick indefinitely to its nonnuclear pledges as cuts to the U.S. military increasingly hollow out the promise of the pivot, and as China becomes increasingly aggressive. Do not expect the Egyptians to resist the blandishments of potential strategic alliances with China or Russia as Washington holds Cairo at arms length.
This is a world of rambunctious rogues and fretful freelancers. If you think 2014 has been a year of unraveling and disorder, just wait till next year. In a time when the U.S. remains a bystander the wreckage can be immense.
WaPo columnist Anne Applebaum, expert on eastern Europe & Russia, details the false NATO narrative excusing Russia's aggressive conduct, based upon a phony Western "triumphalism" that supposedly humiliated Russia and revived historic fears of encirclement & invasion:
For the record: No treaties prohibiting NATO expansion were ever signed with Russia. No promises were broken. Nor did the impetus for NATO expansion come from a “triumphalist” Washington. On the contrary, Poland’s first efforts to apply in 1992 were rebuffed. I well remember the angry reaction of the U.S. ambassador to Warsaw at the time. But Poland and others persisted, precisely because they were already seeing signs of the Russian revanchism to come.
When the slow, cautious expansion eventually took place, constant efforts were made to reassure Russia. No NATO bases were placed in the new member states, and until 2013 no exercises were conducted there. A Russia-NATO agreement in 1997 promised no movement of nuclear installations. A NATO-Russia Council was set up in 2002. In response to Russian objections, Ukraine and Georgia were, in fact, denied NATO membership plans in 2008.
Meanwhile, not only was Russia not “humiliated” during this era, it was given de facto “great power” status, along with the Soviet seat on the U.N. Security Council and Soviet embassies. Russia also received Soviet nuclear weapons, some transferred from Ukraine in 1994 in exchange for Russian recognition of Ukraine’s borders. Presidents Clinton and Bush both treated their Russian counterparts as fellow “great power” leaders and invited them to join the Group of Eight — although Russia, neither a large economy nor a democracy, did not qualify.
AA adds that we foolishly watched as a KGB/criminal claque hijacked post-Cold War Russia and began rebuilding Russia's military. Put simply, we grossly underestimated Russia's "revanchist, revisionist, disruptive potential." Factor in NATO's failure to move bases eastward over the past decade, and there is "a terrifying plunge of confidence in Central Europe."
At PJM Michael Ledeen sees a pattern of denial as to Iran since 1979, including during the Bush 43 years, when conclusive evidence emerged that Iranian-manufactured IEDs were killing American soldiers inside Iraq by the carload:
I had information that the IEDs came from the Iranians, who designed and manufactured many of them, trained their Iraqi proxies how to use them, and even dispatched Iranian troops to deploy them. I reported this to the excellent assistant secretary of defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SOLIC), Army Colonel (ret) Thomas O’Connell, a family friend. I don’t know all the things he did, but I do know that he queried the so-called intelligence community, and did not get a satisfactory reply.
O’Connell ultimately issued an order to track the serial numbers on the IEDs we captured, and lo and behold they were in large part Iranian. We were even able to identify the factories at which the components were manufactured, and the sites, inside Iran, where many of them were assembled. QED, right?
Right. Except that President Bush and his top advisers were somehow not ready to punish Iran. Nothing happened except the ongoing massacre of Americans by Iran and Iranian proxies and friends. For a while, military and IC officials and officers denied that we knew about Iran’s role, and only very slowly changed the music. By the time Jim Mattis commanded CENTCOM, that had changed, and everybody knew about it. But in the meantime, hundreds of Iranians captured in Iraq had been released to the Maliki government, which arranged their trips home.
ML sees a "de facto alliance" between Obama & Supreme Guide Ali Khomeini. Yet Khamenei has staked out myriad "red lines" that protect Iran's nuclear program's progress.
PJM's Roger Simon sees a world nearing "end of days"; he provides a list of troubles that encompass domestic as well as foreign. Mark Steyn writes on how culture trumps politics; a liberal culture effectively nullifies conservative electoral victories. Driving this is what Steyn calls the "nationalization" of the family: state takeover of responsibilities formerly entrusted to the family.
Senate control for the GOP would enable Congress to effectively check the president, at least on some matters. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate recently gave a defense policy speech along the lines covered by Stephens.
Bottom Line. An unchecked Obama will leave a drastically weakened America in 2017, likely facing global crises spinning out of control--or worse, irremediably resolved in favor of our adversaries.
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