In a recent interview on CNN, President Obama was asked by Fareed Zakaria if it was “appropriate of a foreign head of government to inject himself into an American affair.” The unimaginable chutzpah with which this question was asked is incomprehensible. How exactly is a deal with another sovereign nation that involves nuclear weapons and that affects international sanctions an “American” affair? The Iran Deal is not a domestic issue by any stretch of the imagination.
But wait, let’s back up. When Obama threw Israel under the bus last week, he said, “Every nation in the world that has commented publicly — with the exception of the Israeli government — has expressed support.” So the lesson learned is that if you agree with Obama, you may speak, but if you don’t, then you are interfering in US policy.
The truth is, Obama has been throwing Israel under the bus since before the start of his presidency. First he said, “I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel.” He was already taking a posture of belligerence against Netanyahu, even before Netanyahu was elected. Then in Cairo, Obama declared that in the areas liberated from Jordan in 1967, “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop,” turning longstanding US foreign policy on its head without so much as a by-your-leave, and dictating how Israel should manage its own, actual internal affairs.
And then spake Obama. His answer to Zakaria was a snarky version of ‘well why don’t you go ask Netanyahu,’ followed by the incredulous, “I don’t recall a similar example.” Now, it’s perfectly understandable that the burden of the presidency is an enormous one, even with 186 rounds of golf to break up the tedium, but to be unable to recall a single instance where a foreign leader injected himself into US policy, or any other nation’s foreign policy for that matter? Didn’t he go to Harvard? Well, there was the Trent affair that nearly drew England into war with The North during the US Civil War. And of course, let’s not forget the $40 billion or so that the US uses in foreign aid to inject itself into foreign governments big and small. Nikita Krushchev handed out an ultimatum to both the US and France regarding then-split Germany. Just last month, Obama criticized Kenya on their gay rights record. And the bipartisan Congressional probe to determine whether Obama interfered in Israel’s last election with Victory 15 and the “Anyone But Bibi” campaign is ongoing. So if he couldn’t think of any examples, he wasn’t thinking hard enough. Needless to say, there was no expectation whatsoever that Zakaria was going to prompt him.
To illustrate his complete disconnect, during a speech in Ethiopia recently, Obama said, “In 18 months, I’m turning over the keys. I want to make sure I’m turning over the keys to somebody who’s serious about the serious problems the country faces and the world faces.” Or what, you’re going to keep the keys? No, Mr. President, it isn’t up to you who you give the keys to, it’s up to the American people to decide who you give the keys to. You can’t veto the American people.
For the first year following his election, we were told to give Obama “some time” to clean up the mess left to him by his predecessor. His second year was spent extending Bush’s tax cuts, pulling troops out of Iraq (which is now in a total state of chaos) and basking in the adoration of the media. By his third year, he was already campaigning for his second term. At this point it’s “I’ve only got another year, I can pretty much say or do anything I want. Who’s going to stop me?” This is the hubris of a man that thinks he can win a third election.