Obama failures are due to compromise.
Obama failures come from his almost religious belief in compromise. In a world full of compromise, bipartisanship and negotiating can be wonderful things. Obama failures come from his refusal to recognize when compromise is going nowhere. When this happens it often leads to his most staggering defeats.
Obama lives in a world full of opposition, but like too many Democrats, he sees only compromise. He firmly believes that given enough time negotiating with an enemy, everyone will get on board. This quixotic approach has been painful to watch when compromise has been impossible and the clock is ticking so loudly. When time is of the essence Obama’s clock tends to run out long before anything gets done. The occasions where his tactic has worked have not been often enough. When they do succeed, it is due more to luck than to anything else.
This article will not go into details about Obama’s dealings with the Republican Party. There is no way Obama can ever placate them, and this is just one of the reasons theRevolutionCenter has a Declaration of War Against the Republican Congress.
Suffice is to say that every time, without exception, when Obama tries a bipartisan approach, Republicans pretend at first to negotiate. Their finishing blows entail running out the clock, slapping him hard in the face, and finally body slamming him to the ground. Has he learned his lesson? I don’t hold out much hope. Nice guys may not always finish last, but when a president works at being nice to everyone, they become trapped in a web where no one is happy. Obama is still trying to be a nice guy, and this is a huge problem.
Iranian green movement
At the start of Obama’s presidency he abandoned the Iranian green movement when they needed him most. He mistakenly believed there would be plenty of time to negotiate a nuclear peace treaty, only if he played nice with the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad. By remaining neutral in Iranian politics he figured that he would be rewarded with two reasonable partners that would culminate into a ground breaking agreement. Of course the world already knows about Ahmadinejad and his reasoning. This is a guy who denies the holocaust. He also famously stated, at Columbia University on September 24, 2007, “There are no gay people in Iran.”
Consider this: The U.S. is Ayatollah Khamenei’s greatest enemy. His greatest enemy has invaded two countries on his border, Iraq to the East, Afghanistan to the West. In other words, we have him surrounded. How reasonable would theU.S.be if Iran invaded both Mexico and Canada? Would we be reasonable, or would we be preparing for the “mother of all battles?” It will take a lot more than a new U.S. president acting reasonable, for the Iranians to negotiate with “the Great Satan.”
Obama failed to listen to the Iranian people who stated categorically that they were ready and willing to rejoin the world. If the Iranians had won their revolution it is likely that they, just like Libya, would be supporting the Syrian revolution today, instead of doing everything they can to stop it. They would also have shown countries involved in an Arab Spring that extremism is not the way to a stable society.
Had Obama not turned away from the green movement, Ahmadinejad would have been history, and the Ayatollah would have been a mere figurehead. Now that moment is lost. Instead of a past crisis long forgotten, we have arrived at today’s war footing with no end in sight. It may take a whole new generation before Iranians rise up again. This of course follows the hope that the Israelis will give them the time to do so. If Israel attacks Iran first they will certainly radicalize the Iranians further, drawing the world into a war that only war mongers and hardliners want.
Let’s hope that the U.S.doesn’t support Israel if that scenario is followed. Let’s also hope that the U.S.will once and for all decide to condemn Israel’s rabid approach of apartheid and keeping the peace. Let’s finally hope for the day when the U.S.lives up to it’s principles, by showing the Muslim world’s 1.7 billion people that we support their rights, as much as we support Israel’s mere 6 million Jews. Will cooler heads prevail in the U.S., Israel, and Iran? There is always hope, even if it is a false one.
France saved the day in Libya
Obama almost ran out the clock, negotiating with the dictator Gaddafi, when it came to Libya. Only by the grace of the French, on March 19, 2011 when they took matters into their own hand and bombed Gaddafi’s forces entering Benghazi did the Libyans prevail. Once the French started the attack the U.S. was committed, but had Gaddafi been given just 1 or 2 more weeks the war would have been over, before it even began.
France saved the day again when they ended the stalemate and supplied weapons to rebels in the western Nafusa Mountains. See: The Libyan War Is Practically Over. Thankfully for the Libyans, France wasn’t as timid as the U.S. when it came to supplying weapons. Once the Nafusa breakout occurred in the East the stalemate was over, and the war was over in weeks. Muammar Gaddafi was killed October 20, 2011, during the Battle of Sirte. The liberation of Libya occurred October 23, 2011.
While I have given Obama kudos for eventually getting the job done, I was livid up until he finally reacted. Had Obama acted sooner, the Libyan war would have been won months earlier. In fact it would have been over so quickly we wouldn’t even call it a war. When the Feb 17th movement began in Libya most cities were liberated within a few weeks. Gaddafi was backed into a corner with no place to go. Obama gave him the time he needed to come roaring back by consolidating his hold, house by house, alley by alley, city by city.
Because of this procrastination the Libyan war lasted for 8 months. How many Libyans died during this time? How many could have been saved while we bombed Tripoli, when the war was 500 miles away to the East in places like Ras Lanuf, Brega, and Ajdabiya? I supported NATO’s operations back then and stated as much in I support NATO’s actions. I did not support Charles Bouchard, the Commander of NATO’s military mission. He blindly believed that Tripoli was the key, instead of linking up Misrata and Benghazi, where the real battles were being fought.
The dream of a better Libya, enjoyed by those who supported the rebels, has been lost to infighting, radical Islamists, corruption, and incompetence. My worry is that, just like Iran, it will take a new generation before Libya stabilizes. At least Gaddafi gave women a place in society. The new Libya has dishonored the women who worked so hard, and fought so bravely, to achieve what their men now enjoy. Were we duped into supporting Libya against Gaddafi? It was still the right thing to do. I hope that we would do it again, but just not the same way.
The Syrian revolution
As big a failure of abandoning Iran was, Syria is exponentially worse. It is well passed the stage of revolution and has turned into a full blown war. Obama’s procrastination in this area ensured that even if he wanted to do something at the beginning, time ran out because of the 2012 elections.
Hopefully, with elections behind him, he won’t feel so vulnerable and will do the right thing. Sadly, only the use of chemical weapons by Assad seems to get Obama’s attention. Sadder still is the opportunity is way past time of producing any favorable results. The only outcome we can hope for now, is the difference between horrendous and Armageddon.
There is no shortage of people demanding that the U.S.A. stay out of Syria. Many others insist that we supply the rebels with missiles to use against Assad’s air force. I support this approach. The world is full of dictators. We cannot fight them all at once, but when their subjects rise up we get another chance to rid ourselves of one more. See: Down with the Dictator
Since we already have boots on the ground, in the form of Syrian rebels, we needed to support the moderates among them as if they were our own. Who are the moderates people ask? Our window of opportunity on finding moderates passed long ago. Still the longer uncivilized behavior goes on the more radicalized the whole country will become. We need to send immediately, “sneakers on the ground” in the form of advisors, military intelligence regarding Assad troop movements, and especially weapons and bullets.
I would prefer missiles to sending in our own air force to enforce a no fly zone. Some of the assets needed by the freedom fighters in Syria are right across the border in Iraq. This is a perfect time to realize if Iraq will be an ally, not only to the U.S.A., but to the new Syria as well. Any supplies we have left in Iraq could be dropped off at the border.
The dangers of supplying missiles is constantly used by those who worry they will be used against Israel. In my view, a balance of power is exactly what’s needed in this area, to force Israel back to the negotiating table. As it is now, they have no reason to do so. I have lost all patience that Israel will ever change their tune until they are forced. I also see no reason why the USA continues to alienate over 1 billion Muslims, to placate 6.5 million Jews. The Six Day War (or 1967 War) was over almost 50 years ago, and the world is still paying for Israeli intransigence.