Recently, President Obama appeared on the venerated news program “60 Minutes” to explain some of his policies that have even the staunchest Obama supporter concerned.
Long considered a domestic policy-oriented president, Obama has over the past year turned his attention to foreign policy issues and the effects have been nothing short of disastrous.
While a humble man might be able to admit his mistakes, Obama and his staff have often resorted to nastiness and outright denial when confronted with facts concerning his administration’s destabilizing of Iraq and Syria.
In his recent sit-down with Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes,” sparks flew as the president angrily defended his policies and while the conversation did not erupt into a full-blown argument, Obama critics and supporters alike have noted that the president lost his cool when discussing a simple issue that, quite frankly, demands answers.
During the altercation/interview, Kroft repeatedly asked the president about his “embarrassing failures” on Syria and the Middle East as a whole. Obama offered his standard, go-to assertion that to see results, we must “give it time.”
Unfortunately, such an answer is a cop-out. After six years, Obama’s policies have destabilized the region even further and not only are we not seeing positive results, but most of the areas that remained stable and under U.S. control have been abandoned and repossessed by strengthening radical Islamic State terrorist groups.
Steve Kroft: The last time we talked was this time last year, and the situation in Syria and Iraq had begun to worsen vis-à-vis ISIS. You had just unveiled a plan to provide air support for troops in Iraq, and also some air strikes in Syria, and the training and equipping of a moderate Syrian force. You said that this would degrade and eventually destroy ISIS.
President Barack Obama: Over time.
Steve Kroft: Over time. It’s been a year, and–
President Barack Obama: I didn’t say it was going to be done in a year.
Steve Kroft: No. But you said…
President Barack Obama: There’s a question in here somewhere.
Kroft pressed to discuss the now-abandoned plan that included arming and training anti-Islamic State fighters. The plan failed so miserably that despite significant efforts to “spin” the endeavor, the Obama Administration was finally forced to admit that only a single-digit amount of fighters remained to fight ISIS. The plan was called “an embarrassment” by Kroft- a statement that serves more as a statement of fact rather than an opinion.
Kroft: If you were skeptical of the program to find and identify, train and equip moderate Syrians, why did you go through the program?
Obama: Well, because part of what we have to do here, Steve, is to try different things. Because we also have partners on the ground that are invested and interested in seeing some sort of resolution to this problem. And–
Kroft: And they wanted you to do it.
Obama: Well, no. That’s not what I said. I think it is important for us to make sure that we explore all the various options that are available.
Kroft: I know you don’t want to talk about this.
Obama: No, I’m happy to talk about it.
Kroft: I want to talk about the– this program, because it would seem to show, I mean, if you expect 5,000 and you get five, it shows that somebody someplace along the line did not– made– you know, some sort of a serious miscalculation.
Obama: You know, the– the– Steve, let me just say this.
Kroft: It’s an embarrassment.
Kroft soon noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “challenging your leadership” by entering into the Syrian civil war while the U.S. remained on the sidelines.
Kroft: A year ago when we did this interview, there was some saber-rattling between the United States and Russia on the Ukrainian border. Now it’s also going on in Syria. You said a year ago that the United States– America leads. We’re the indispensible nation. Mr. Putin seems to be challenging that leadership.
Obama: In what way? Let– let’s think about this– let– let–
Kroft: Well, he’s moved troops into Syria, for one. He’s got people on the ground. Two, the Russians are conducting military operations in the Middle East for the first time since World War II–
Obama: So that’s–
Kroft: –bombing the people– that we are supporting.
Obama: So that’s leading, Steve? Let me ask you this question. When I came into office, Ukraine was governed by a corrupt ruler who was a stooge of Mr. Putin. Syria was Russia’s only ally in the region. And today, rather than being able to count on their support and maintain the base they had in Syria, which they’ve had for a long time, Mr. Putin now is devoting his own troops, his own military, just to barely hold together by a thread his sole ally. And in Ukraine–
Kroft: He’s challenging your leadership, Mr. President. He’s challenging your leadership–
Obama: Well Steve, I got to tell you, if you think that running your economy into the ground and having to send troops in in order to prop up your only ally is leadership, then we’ve got a different definition of leadership.
While many are welcomed to offer an analysis on a great many foreign and domestic policies, there must be common ground in the understanding that Obama’s foreign policy has been nothing short of disastrous.
From his dealings with Iran to his bowing to Russia to his complete and utter destruction of U.S. efforts in the Middle East, it’s clear that Obama has zigged when he should have zagged, zagged when he should have zigged and his legacy that he is working so hard to secure will be remembered as the Hindenburg of foreign policy “leadership.”