der Tagesspiegel, Germany
Monument to Failure
By Stephan-Andreas Casdorff
As far as foreign policy is concerned, the Obama years are likely to be recalled negatively. Whether it's the crisis in Ukraine, dealing with Russia or handling the Middle East problem, U.S. diplomacy gives the impression of incoherency.
Translated By Ron Argentati
24 June 2014
Edited by Laurence Bouvard
Germany - der Tagesspiegel - Original Article (German)
When even Poland turns its back, then there's something definitely amiss with U.S. foreign policy. Come what may, Washington has always been able to count on the unwavering support of a small number of allies. But Barack Obama and John Kerry are succeeding in making even that support seem doubtful. In any event, that's how it seems if the matter is examined closely. Not only domestically, but also in foreign policy, the Obama years — at least presently — are likely to leave a lingering bad aftertaste. Cautiously stated.
Apart from the Ukraine crisis and dealing with Russia and not even mentioning the growing difficulties with China, one example: The Israelis — for whom the U.S. is vital for survival — all of them, whether liberal or conservative, only want one thing, namely to survive Obama.
What transpired in the wake of Obama's Cairo speech to the Arabs? There was no concept as to how to proceed; no agenda as to what he wanted to accomplish personally. Probably he hoped that the Arab Spring would eventually morph into a Western, even American, style democracy. If that was the case, that was naïve.
Also the U.S. attitude toward the Palestinians: Did the president really believe he was helping to promote negotiations when he chewed out the Israeli prime minister for continuing to build settlements? That helped him with neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians. Why? The Israelis put a 10-month moratorium on settlement construction without getting any quid pro quo. On the contrary, all they got in return was continuing Palestinian rocket attacks. The U.S. under Obama doesn't exactly give the impression it would throw itself into the breach for Jerusalem. And the Palestinians, splintered as they are, agree on one thing, namely that they can demand no less from Israel than Obama does.
Then Syria: 160,000 people killed, disfigured, slaughtered—among them women and children — plus 13 gas attacks have been documented. But the U.S. says it won't turn into another Libya. Translated, that means no military intervention. Which further means that Assad has no reason to fear the United States. (Nor did he have to fear the Europeans, and that within 120 miles of the closest European border.)
Or Iran: A new tone from President Rouhani, but what else? Have the policies substantially changed? No. But that means little since the offer from the (Shiite) Iranian leadership to cooperate in Iraq — because of the Shiites. Instead of making it clear that they won't tolerate being led around by the nose and relying on the effectiveness of the sanctions — and they are working! — they back off the pressure. What a message that is for the mullah regime! Whatever it is, it certainly isn't one of strength.http://watchingamerica.com/News/241343/monument-to-failure/
Iraq will also become a monument to failure. Instead of working together with the Sunnis and preserving the army as the backbone of the nation, an army that has no Western features but rather ethnic, tribal and religious characteristics, the Sunni leaders are being arrested and the army dismembered. The army, successfully trained by the United States, today flees in the face of ISIL insurgents and abandons their American weapons for the enemy. Then Kerry travels to Baghdad thinking that his visit is supposed to impress anyone?
That's U.S. foreign policy today. It's not coherent.