Supporters of President Barack Obama attack President Donald Trump for reversing his predecessor’s policies.
To be sure, many of Trump’s actions are debatable. But his approach to Iran and radical Islam are historic and vital correctives to the disastrous strategies pursued by Obama.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in particular, did a masterful job in his Cairo speech of making the president’s case with the moral clarity his predecessor lacked.
It was fitting that Pompeo gave his address in the same city where Obama made his first major foreign policy speech and set the tone for his ill-advised and failed approach to the region.
It was in Cairo that Obama made clear he did not see radical Islam as a threat, which was later reflected in his decision to support the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood’s ascension to power in Egypt and capitulate to Iran’s hegemonic designs by signing an unverifiable nuclear deal that rewarded the mullahs with more than $100 billion.
In both instances, Obama was guilty of, at best, naiveté. In the case of Egypt, he believed the election of radical Islamists made them kosher. Worse, he believed appeasement of the mullahs in Iran would lead them to change their theocratically-based antagonism towards the West and genocidal intent towards Israel.
Pompeo rightly criticised Obama (though he did not use his name) for “fundamental misunderstandings” about the region that “underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism”.
“When we neglect our friends, resentment builds,” Pompeo told his audience. “When we partner with enemies, they advance.”
This is exactly what happened under Obama. When he failed to enforce the “redline” in Syria after Bashar al-Assad gassed Arab children, he sent a message of weakness that our enemies exploited.
He allowed Russia to come to Assad’s aid, almost comically invited Putin to oversee Assad’s destruction of his chemical weapons, and allowed the Russian dictator to become more entrenched than ever in Syria.
Obama’s deal with Russia to enforce the removal of Syrian chemical weapons will for ever haunt his legacy.
Obama pulled American troops out of Iraq, giving Iran greater influence over that country and eliminating a major deterrent to Iranian expansionism while also reassuring the mullahs he would not use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
He sided with radical Islamists against allies in the Gulf and Israel, damaging America’s credibility.
It was refreshing to hear Pompeo speak bluntly: “Countries increasingly understand that we must confront the ayatollahs, not coddle them.”
Since Obama signed the nuclear deal, we have learned that the Iranians hid their research on nuclear weapons for future use and has continued to seek materials to build a bomb.
Rather than change its anti-Western orientation as Obama predicted, Iran has become more belligerent.
The situation has become so bad that even America’s European allies have just announced new sanctions because they discovered Iran was plotting terror attacks in their countries. Yes, Prime Minister May, Chancellor Merkel and President Macron, there is gambling in Rick’s casino.
I was opposed to Trump’s announcement to pull troops out of Syria and was grateful that the president and his lieutenants — including Pompeo and John Bolton — appear to have slowed down the withdrawal. But let’s not forget Obama was unwilling to use any kind of force to protect Muslim civilians from massacres in Syria.
Worse, as Pompeo noted, when Iranians protested at their cruel leaders during the Green Revolution, Obama refused to support their calls for democracy and an end to the repressive theocracy. Instead, Obama legitimised their brutal rule.
“The ayatollahs and their henchmen murdered, jailed, and intimidated freedom-loving Iranians, and they wrongly blamed America for this unrest when it was their own tyranny that had fuelled it,” Pompeo said.
“Emboldened, the regime spread its cancerous influence to Yemen, to Iraq, to Syria, and still further into Lebanon.”
History will record that Trump’s withdrawal from the embarrassing nuclear agreement with Iran re-enforced American values by refusing to reward a genocidal, terrorist regime.
Pompeo’s speech was a moral declaration that America will no longer apologise for its opposition to radical Islam and will dedicate itself to combating Iran’s malevolent influence and nuclear ambitions. (Jerusalem Post)
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