Obama's Body Count
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton feel that Osama bin Laden's death and the drone attacks show that they have mastered national security and foreign policy. They are wrong.
Counting bodies and sorties proves little. As Einstein said, "[n]ot everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
President Obama's term in office has left entire regions where U.S. influence has waned and U.S. interests have been defeated. Thousands protested in the Islamic world, seeking "Hope and Change," but found that it was only a cynical slogan. Millions now wonder: does America remember what it means to be "the leader of the free world"?
Obama sent an ambassador to Syria -- over Congress's express objection. Bashar Assad began slaughtering 20,000 of his people. Obama did nothing about the bloody repression in Iran, but he did help oust a far less despotic regime in Egypt, ushering in the Muslim Brotherhood -- the organization that spawned Hamas and al-Qaeda. Now Obama-Clinton pretend that the Muslim Brothers are moderates.
Secretary Clinton is often struck dumb by Arab-Islamic extremism. In 1999, she hugged Suha Arafat, wife of the PLO leader. Arafat said (in Clinton's presence) that Israel used poison gas on Arabs and poisoned their wells. Clinton was silent. Clinton, who hugged Arafat, now embraces Obama's bashing of Israel.
When an Israeli judge found that Israelis have a right to build on land bought in the West Bank, the State Department said all Israeli settlements were "illegitimate" -- a term Obama likes.
Clinton kept quiet when Egypt's Islamist foreign minister declared, in a joint press conference, that keeping the peace treaty with Israel was contingent on Israel getting out of the West Bank entirely. Clinton acquiesced when Islamist Turkey banned Israel from taking part in NATO exercises and top counter-terror forums.
Turkey helps Hamas. Israel is the world's greatest foe of terror. Clinton helps Turkey.
Clinton's sad performance is not limited to the Mid-East. She led a "reset" in ties with Russia that is now a fiasco. She unveiled a huge button ostensibly labeled "reset" in Russian but actually reading "overcharge" -- an apt depiction of the failure of U.S.-Russian ties and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy in general.
There was no reset. Russia's leaders returned to brutal autocracy, invading Georgia, threatening Ukraine and Poland, assassinating political foes, and opposing the U.S. wherever possible. But Obama-Clinton think they can charm Russia into moderation.
Obama put his arm around Dmitri Medvedev -- the puppet of Russian chief Vladimir Putin -- and confided that, after the inconvenient U.S. elections, he (Obama) would be "flexible" about Russian demands.
Obama's first major foreign venture was to Islamist Turkey, whose leader, Recep Erdoğan, dreams of leading a caliphate (like Egypt's leader Muhammad Morsi). Obama thinks Turkey's Erdoğan is a "moderate" and might mediate between the U.S. and Iran. For America's most pro-Islam president ever, this makes sense. Both Erdoğan and the ayatollahs share the dream of leading a new Islamic caliphate.
This is but a small sample of Obama-Clinton foreign policy failures. The list of successes has only bin Laden on it, and Obama should paraphrase what he just said about success: "you didn't do that by yourself" and "somebody helped you."
Obama's biggest terror test is yet to come: dealing with a terror state that wants to be a nuclear power -- Iran. During this testing period, Obama will listen to his "inner voice," his closest advisor, Valerie Jarrett, who speaks Farsi and was born in Iran.
Jarrett has also been Obama's emissary to U.S. Muslims, many of them rich Iranian donors. The day after the Iranian-aided terror attack on Israelis in Bulgaria, the White House hosted a day-long conclave with Iranian-Americans, including the leader of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), who said Israel invited the terror attack in order to have an excuse to attack Iran. Ms. Jarrett was featured at the event.
Later, perhaps coincidentally, The New York Times reported that a senior Obama official said the Iranian terror attack was "in retaliation for the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, for which Iran has blamed Israeli agents." The Times report again quoted the senior Obama official saying, "This was tit for tat."
In other words, the day after an Iranian terror attack, the White House hosted pro-Iranian groups, and a senior U.S. official adopted the Iranian narrative: "tit for tat."
As President Obama wonders what to do or -- more likely -- not to do about Iran, it is good that he has both the ear and the inner voice of Iran. As they say in Farsi, "o-ba-mah": "He is with us."
Dr. Michael Widlanski, an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat, published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He was strategic affairs advisor in Israel's Ministry of Public Security and teaches at Bar Ilan University.