What Obama Owes Putin—And Why Donald Trump is Left Holding the Bag

Is Donald Trump a Russian secret agent? Did he pay FSB hookers to pee on the bed the Obamas slept in at the Ritz in Moscow, overlooking the Kremlin? It’s silly season, so any drunk on a fat oppo-research expense account can write down any crazy foolishness they want and Buzzfeed will let you decide if it’s true because that, as Buzzfeed’s editor, Ben Smith, solemnly explained to The New York Times, is where American journalism is at in 2017. Duly noted, Buzzfeed. Enjoy the golden showers.

What’s being obscured by this grotesquerie is the origin and the actual substance of U.S. foreign policy toward Russia, which in turn affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people living in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and elsewhere. Or, to put it another way: Is Donald Trump likely to continue the policies of his predecessor, which set the Middle East on fire and led to 500,000 deaths in Syria, and to Putin biting off large chunks of the sovereign nation of Ukraine? Or is he likely to reverse those policies? Or can he, even if he wanted to?

The single-mindedness with which the White House and the remnants of the Clinton campaign have pursued the idea that Donald Trump is a pawn of Vladimir Putin is not based on silly stories about peeing prostitutes or secret computer servers that connect the Trump organization to the Kremlin. Rather, it’s an attempt to manufacture more smoke to obscure the reality of Obama’s own determination to collaborate with a hostile Russian leader in Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Sure, Obama recently sent 35 Russian diplomats packing and shuttered Russian diplomatic facilities in Maryland and New York, but this was after seven years of looking the other way while Russia seized Crimea, then Donbass; waged cyberattacks on the Baltic countries; brought down a passenger jet over Ukraine; sheltered Edward Snowden; and bombed schools and hospitals in Syria. All of these actions threatened global stability and American interests, yet Obama only puffed his chest after the cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s emails—long after it mattered, and after the moving vans have already started to haul his stuff out of the White House.

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Why Barack Obama is the worst President in the history of the United States

Just over two hours remain in the most disastrous presidency in American history, but our long national nightmare won’t be over at noon today. That’s because Barack Hussein Obama has planted seeds that will be bearing bitter fruit for years, and probably decades, to come. Here are a few of his most ignominious accomplishments:

Removing all mention of Islam from counter-terror training, and denying that Islamic texts and teachings have any role in inciting jihad terrorists to commit acts of violence. Given Trump’s repeated upbraiding of Obama and Hillary Clinton during the campaign for their refusal even to say “radical Islam,” there is reason to be confident that Trump will once again allow our law enforcement and intelligence officials to study the motivating ideology of the jihad terrorists, which is an indispensable prerequisite to defeating them. However, large organizations such as the FBI, the CIA, the DHS and others don’t turn on a dime; Obama has made for an institutional culture of denial and political correctness that is now deeply embedded. All too many FBI agents and others who should know better think that the best thing they can do when confronted with a terror-tied mosque is conduct “outreach” and reassure the Muslims there of their good will. Investigate it? Heavens to betsy, that would be “Islamophobic.” Attempts by Trump to ensure that the enemy ideology is indeed confronted realistically will be met with fierce resistance from with the law enforcement and intelligence agencies themselves.

It is also likely that these agencies have been thoroughly infiltrated with Muslim Brotherhood operatives who won’t be so easily displaced; that infiltration had already started during the George W. Bush administration (when, for example, the Pentagon’s sole expert on Islamic law, Major Stephen Coughlin, was dismissed at the behest of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked official), but under Obama, it has galloped ahead, with any concern about it dismissed as “Islamophobia.”

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The Inside Story of How John Kerry Secretly Lobbied to Get CAIR Removed From UAE’s Terrorist Organization List

On Nov. 16, 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the unusual step of designating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Muslim American Society (MAS) – as terrorist organizations.

They were among 83 groups named for their connections to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

This outraged CAIR officials, who immediately began efforts to get their organization removed from the list. They found a powerful ally in Secretary of State John Kerry, who authorized State Department officials to meet regularly with UAE officials to lobbying on behalf of CAIR and MAS .

CAIR already had a sympathetic ear in the Obama administration, including the State Department, that had openly embraced and legitimized the entire spectrum of radical Islamist groups falsely posing as religious or civil rights groups, which both CAIR and MAS had done.

At a daily State Department press briefing two days after UAE released its list, a spokesman said that State does not “consider CAIR or MAS to be terrorist groups” but that it was seeking more information from UAE about their decision. He added that “as part of our routine engagement with a broad spectrum of faith based organizations, a range of U.S. government officials have met with officials of CAIR and MAS. We at the State Department regularly meet with a wide range of faith based groups to hear their views even if some of their views expressed at times are controversial.”

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Obama’s Middle East Legacy: Tragic Failure

The Middle East is a more dangerous place after eight years of the Obama presidency than it was before. The eight disastrous Obama years follow eight disastrous Bush years during which that part of the world became more dangerous as well. So have many other international hot spots. In sum, the past 16 years have seen major foreign policy blunders all over the world, and most especially in the area between Libya and Iran, that includes Israel, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gulf.

With regard to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, the Obama policies have made the prospects for a compromise peace more difficult to achieve. When Israel felt that America had its back – under both president Clinton and Bush 43 – it offered generous proposals to end settlements and occupation in nearly all of the West Bank. Tragically the Palestinian leadership – first under Arafat and then under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – did not accept either the Barak-Clinton offers in 2000-2001, nor the Olmert offer in 2008. Now they are ignoring Netanyahu’s open offer to negotiate with no pre-conditions.

In his brilliant book chronicling the American- Israeli relationship – Doomed To Succeed – Dennis Ross proves conclusively that whenever the Israeli government has confidence in America’s backing it is more willing to make generous compromise offers then when it has reason to doubt American support.

President Barack Obama did not understand this crucial reality. Instead of having Israel’s back, he repeatedly stabbed Israel in the back, beginning with his one-sided Cairo speech near the beginning of his tenure, continuing through his failure to enforce the red line on chemical weapon use by Syria, then allowing a sunset provision to be included in the Iran deal and culminating in his refusal to veto the one-sided UN Security Council resolution which placed the lion’s share of blame on the Israelis for the current stalemate.

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The Middle East is a more dangerous place after eight years of the Obama presidency than it was before. The eight disastrous Obama years follow eight disastrous Bush years during which that part of the world became more dangerous as well. So have many other international hot spots. In sum, the past 16 years have seen major foreign policy blunders all over the world, and most especially in the area between Libya and Iran, that includes Israel, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gulf.

With regard to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, the Obama policies have made the prospects for a compromise peace more difficult to achieve. When Israel felt that America had its back – under both president Clinton and Bush 43 – it offered generous proposals to end settlements and occupation in nearly all of the West Bank. Tragically the Palestinian leadership – first under Arafat and then under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – did not accept either the Barak-Clinton offers in 2000-2001, nor the Olmert offer in 2008. Now they are ignoring Netanyahu’s open offer to negotiate with no pre-conditions.

In his brilliant book chronicling the American- Israeli relationship – Doomed To Succeed – Dennis Ross proves conclusively that whenever the Israeli government has confidence in America’s backing it is more willing to make generous compromise offers then when it has reason to doubt American support.

President Barack Obama did not understand this crucial reality. Instead of having Israel’s back, he repeatedly stabbed Israel in the back, beginning with his one-sided Cairo speech near the beginning of his tenure, continuing through his failure to enforce the red line on chemical weapon use by Syria, then allowing a sunset provision to be included in the Iran deal and culminating in his refusal to veto the one-sided UN Security Council resolution which placed the lion’s share of blame on the Israelis for the current stalemate.

Obama’s dismal but forgettable legacy

President Obama gave his farewell speech the other night, orating for more than 50 minutes. As noted by the Washington Examiner, his remarks were “longer than the good-bye speeches of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.”

But this wasn’t because he had a lengthy list of accomplishments.

Unless, of course, you count the bad things that happened. And there are three things on my list, if you want to know Obama’s legacy for domestic policy.

** A wasteful and failed stimulus.

** The Obamacare catastrophe.

** More regulation and red tape.

And those three things, combined with his other policies, produced dismal results.

** A very weak recovery.

** Falling labor force participation.

** Stagnant household income.

In other words, Obama’s legacy will be failed statism. Writing for the Orange County Register, Joel Kotkin is not impressed by Obama’s overall record.

“Like a child star who reached his peak at age 15, Barack Obama could never fulfill the inflated expectations that accompanied his election. …The greatest accomplishment of the Obama presidency turned out to be his election as the first African American president. This should always be seen as a great step forward.

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UK Defies 70 Nations to Defend Israel, Refuses to Sign Paris Summit Statement

The United Kingdom defied the anti-Israel sentiment coursing through Sunday’s “peace” summit in Paris by criticizing the conference as detrimental to Israel’s interests and refusing to sign a joint statement issued after the summit which called for a two-state solution.

In a statement released by the UK’s Foreign Office, UK officials said they had had “particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them,” referring to the blatant lack of representatives from Israel or the Palestinian contingent.

The statement also referenced the inauguration of Donald Trump, arguing that the timing of the conference “just days before the transition to a new American President” rendered moot any agreement, of which the US would eventually be the “ultimate guarantor.”

Essentially, the conference would “harden positions” of Palestinian negotiators rather than encourage conditions for peace, the statement continued.

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Trump Advisers Tell French Officials: We Strenuously Object to Paris Peace Conference

PARIS – Senior French officials met a few weeks ago in New York with President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers and presented the program for the international peace conference to be held Sunday in Paris, Haaretz has learned. Trump’s team was said to have objected strenuously to the very holding of the conference, especially at this time, five days before Trump’s inauguration.

The Paris conference is not expected to produce practical decisions, but rather to serve as declarative event of the international community’s intentions toward the Middle East peace process. According to French diplomats, the conference is being held at this time, a few days before the inauguration, to convey a message to the president-elect about the importance the international community ascribes to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the extent of international consensus.

Representatives from some 70 countries and organizations are to attend the conference, including 40 foreign ministers from several Arab and Western countries. For outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, this is expected to be the last international event he will be attending before his term ends on January 20. The conference, which will be attended by neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives, is to focus on a call by the international community to preserve the two-state solution and renewal of direct negotiations between the parties.

The conference will open at at 10:30 A.M. Israel time with a speech by French President Francois Hollande. Recommendations will then be presented that were formulated over the past few months by three working groups as part of the French initiative. The groups worked on economic incentives for the Israelis and the Palestinians, building the institutions of the future Palestinian state and strengthening groups in civil society working for peace.

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