The day we have all been praying for for the last 8 years has come: Barack Obama is leaving the White House today, and not a day too soon!
But before Donald Trump can get a foot in the door of the White House, Barack Obama has contravened the normal etiquette of easing the way in for the new President. He has made sure to make life as difficult as possible for the incoming president by leaving a trail of political IED’s behind him.
In a final act of spite against Israel and the Jewish community, Obama appointed his top aide Ben Rhodes to the Holocaust Memorial Council. Just to remind you, Ben Rhodes was the man who “sold” the Iran Deal to the Western world on Obama’s behalf. In response to this appointment Obama was blasted on social media as “a spite machine”:
Outgoing President Barack Obama’s choice on Tuesday of top aide Ben Rhodes to serve on the US Holocaust Memorial Council drew a slew of online ire over Rhodes’ controversial record on Israel-related issues.
Rhodes — whose role as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications will come to an end on Friday with the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump — was a leading advocate of the Iran nuclear deal and a vocal critic of Israeli settlement policies.
“So Ben Rhodes, who is a veritable enemy of Israel, Obama appoints to Holocaust Memorial Council,” American Spectator Managing Editor Melissa Mackenzie tweeted. “The man is a spite machine.”
UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tweeted, “No joke: Obama names aide who bragged of whitewashing Iran’s Holocaust-denying regime to Holocaust memorial council.”
Journalist Lori Lowenthal Marcus tweeted, “The only interest in the Holocaust I’ve seen from @rhodes44 is his effort 2 help create another 1.” [Ouch!!]
Obama also had the chutzpah to warn Trump once more on any major shift on Israel, while at the same time condemning Israel once more for their “non-democractic” country:
WASHINGTON – In his final session with reporters as president, Barack Obama defended his policy choices on Israel and warned his successor, Donald Trump, to “think through” major shifts that may disrupt the region.
After facing a bipartisan rebuke in the House of Representatives for his decision to abstain from a UN Security Council vote condemning Israel over its settlement enterprise last month, Obama defended the move as a shot across Israel’s bow – a “signal, a wake-up call, that this moment may be passing” for a two-state solution to be a realistic scenario.
“I continue to be significantly worried about the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and I am worried about it both because I think the status quo is unsustainable,” Obama said, “that it is dangerous for Israel, that it is bad for the Palestinians, that it is bad for the region and it is bad for national security.
With this attitude is it any wonder that Obama’s rating amongst Israelis is at the lowest point ever?
Obama exits office on Friday with a 60% approval rating among Americans, but with historically low favorability ratings among Israelis – in the single digits – who believe that he abandoned them at the United Nations, a body seen in the country as hostile and biased against it.
The outgoing president said that the administration failed to make progress on Middle East peace “in light of shifts in Israeli politics and in Palestinian politics – a rightward shift in Israeli politics, [and] a weakening of [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas’s ability to make risks on behalf of peace.”
“I don’t see how this issue gets resolved in a way that maintains Israel as both Jewish and a democracy, because if you do not have two states, then in some form or fashion you are extending an occupation – functionally you have one state,” Obama said.
Not only does he have no loyalty to erstwhile allies like Israel, Obama has no class, as the Diplomad writes:
… but Obama is certainly not going out quietly and with class. He will not replicate George W. Bush’s graceful exit and subsequent political silence. At his FINAL (?) press conference, Obama’s lack of class, grace, and reflection, and the absence of any sense of personal responsibility shone brightly. He performed before the pet journalists of the White House press corpse as though he were taking a victory lap. He proved full of praise for himself, and brimming with “sage” advice for his successor and for the press in dealing with the new President. He wanted them to be as tough on Trump as they had been on him . . . low bar, insert jokes here . . . He could not admit that nearly everything he touched has turned to disaster for America and, ironically, for his own political party which has become irrelevant in huge swathes of the country. He vowed, a la Cortes, to come storming back if he saw his values under attack! Unlike other ex-presidents, he will remain in DC, just so he can try (Good Luck With That!) to steal the spotlight from President Trump. In other words, this final press conference will not be the final press conference from the biggest disaster ever to occupy the White House.
Worse, however, than the evident narcissism and delusion on display at the presser, and in his even more pompous “farewell” address, Obama has taken actions in his last days in power to make life much more difficult for President Trump and for America, including his outrageous commutation of Manning’s 35-year prison sentence. Manning should have been left to rot.
While Trump will quickly dismantle most if not all of Obama’s absurd Presidential Directives, Obama has set down IED’s for the new administration in foreign affairs. Obama’s last minute discovery, for example, that Russia has interests of its own and that they do not necessarily coincide with ours will create long-term problems. The dispatch of US troops, for example, to Poland in the waning days of this horrid misadministration sets up a dilemma for Trump. If he leaves the troops there, the job of reaching out to Russia becomes all the more difficult. If he pulls them out, he will be accused of being a Putin puppet, out to destroy NATO. This is not a problem without resolution, but it is an unnecessary one. Likewise, the Obama/Kerry/ Powers last-minute blitz on the Middle East […] sets up Trump for an immediate clash with the Arabs, the UN, and, potentially, our ally Israel who feels betrayed. Israel and our own interests have been betrayed not only by Obama’s actions at the UN but by the fake Iran deal, (go here, here and here, for example) that legitimizes and helps fund Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Trump will now have to deal with a surging Iran. In East Asia, of course, the Obama misadministration has so mishandled relations with our allies there, including Philippines, that the new administration will have an even more difficult time than necessary in dealing wit the growing threat from China. In the Americas, Obama has up-ended decades of US policy towards the Castro regime, again, in exchange for nothing, and at the price of making America seem weak. I am sure you can spot many more Obama IEDs.
Speaking of the Russian “IED” that Obama laid for Trump, Lee Smith at Tablet Magazine, like the Diplomad above, counters the Democrats’ claim that Trump is in Putin’s pocket, and in a damning indictment of the Obama regime, asserts that it is Obama who owes a debt to Putin, but it is Trump who’s left holding the bag: (emphases added):
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.
The real reason it’s so hard to see how much room the outgoing president gave Putin is because misdirection has been Obama’s guiding principle for seven years.
All this helped obscure the fact that when it really counted, Obama took special care to signal the Russian strongman that their interests were aligned. That wasn’t because he has a man-crush on Putin, but because he had a larger purpose in view—securing the Iran nuclear deal.
Smith details the machinations that went on behind the scenes to cover up for Obama’s true intentions:
For what mattered most to Obama wasn’t Syria, nor even was it the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is typically referred to as Obama’s signature foreign-policy initiative. Even that was a feint, cover for a larger strategy that entailed a realignment of interests in the Middle East and a new form of foreign-policy “realism” that would get American troops out of the Middle East—and put America in the same column as Iran and its allies, including Vladimir Putin.
So the Obama White House made stuff up. No one wanted to side with Iran and downgrade traditional allies like Israel. And so the Obama administration said that wasn’t happening.
Read the rest of the article. It is chilling in its descriptions of the Machiavellian machinations and obfuscations committed by the Obama administration. Here is some more (apologies, I just can’t stop, it’s all so good):
It wasn’t long before foreign officials came to understand that Obama was working two seemingly opposing channels—the trick was figuring out which channel was real. As a source close to the Turkish government explained to me, Turkey’s former prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, eventually concluded that Obama was using Clinton as a prop. Whatever promises she might make on Syria, for instance, were worthless. They were also often actively misleading, as they were unconnected to what the Americans were actually doing on the ground. The White House had sent its top diplomat out to lie, and without informing her she was lying.
No one saw more of the administration’s shell game than Israel.
The reality is that the Russian campaign in Syria served vital Obama interests. There was no point in realigning with Iran if Tehran’s regional position collapsed. Putin saved not only Assad and Iran, but Obama’s realignment policy. It was the second time the Russian president rescued Obama’s realignment policy—the first being when he offered the deal over Assad’s chemical weapons that allowed the commander-in-chief to walk back his red line.
Obama owes Putin, which is why he let the Russians get away with nearly everything it chose to do the last seven years, including its attacks on the American political system. What’s left for Trump is to manage the Russia policy he inherited from Obama—or overturn the table.
Lee Smith’s article gave me the shivers. The thought that the most powerful man in the world could act with such a cavalier attitude towards the tried and tested policies of containment of enemies and support of allies, while aligning his country with the worst of international despots is almost too terrifying to contemplate. And yet this is exactly what Obama has done, all while dangerously weakening America’s standing in the world and enabling the rise of Russia and China, not to mention radical Islam.
It’s not necessarily going to be a bed of roses when Donald Trump takes power, but it surely has to be better now that Obama is out of the door.
I think we can allow ourselves to say a hearty ברוך שפטרנו – Blessed be the One who delivered us from this!