The long view of history is likely to judge the Obama administration most keenly by the chaos that it has left behind in the wake of virtually every major initiative it has undertaken. Obama’s campaign promise to “fundamentally change America” was a sound-byte that American voters bought into, hoping for more equity in social programs, a more liberal approach to issues like immigration and minimum wage, and the sharing of the American dream with more people.
But for some of us, those words were a warning of great upheaval to come, as the institutions and values enshrined in America’s Constitution would be compromised, discarded, and replaced with the values of socialism and greatly expanded government controls. It did not take long for the fundamental changes to begin.
Only weeks after taking office in January 2009, the President began a series of ‘apology tours’ to four continents, where he apologized for the ‘sins’ of America against the rest of the world. The newly installed President apologized to foreign countries for America’s “arrogance” and for our being “disengaged” with our international partners. By criticizing America’s failings on the global stage, and damning the ‘exceptionalism’ that has characterized our nation since its inception, he ‘fundamentally changed’ America’s position as leader of the free world and severely damaged America’s influence on the international stage.
Ironically, Obama’s bid for humility was seen universally as a show of diplomatic ineptness and weakness by both our allies and our enemies. Instead of making the US “safer and stronger”, he made us weaker in a world where leadership is respected when it is strong, and ridiculed when it is weak. Obama’s strategy of apologizing for our perceived ‘sins’, combined with his unconditional engagement with America’s enemies, most notably with Iran, was a dangerous mix. The overall effect of this approach has been to significantly increase the danger of conflict in a world that is more volatile and explosive every day.
The chaos began in 2009 and the list of contributing events is long. Among the first was the rapid proliferation of what was called the “Arab Spring”. America’s wild support of “democratic upheaval” without regard for the identity of the organizers or the potential consequences, led nation after nation to depose their Western-supporting leaders in favor of even more tyrannical Islamist governments. In Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria, chaos replaced order as newly empowered Islamist groups – al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood chief among them – challenged the tyranny of more beneficent despots.
Also in 2009, Obama announced a deadline for the US troop withdrawal from Iraq. By doing so, he gave the combatants opportunity to build a sectarian offensive, to be unleashed upon US troop departure from the country. Sure enough, after the withdrawal, Iraq fell into a chaos that resulted in over 7,000 deaths from terrorist attacks, which have continued to increase in their violence and the number of dead they leave behind.
Closer to home, the DOJ’s ‘Fast and Furious’ gun-running operation resulted in the murder of three US federal agents and hundreds of Mexicans. The administration added to the chaos by refusing to allow federal border agents to apprehend the illegal immigrants flooding across the Mexican border, creating a massive, crime-ridden no-man’s-land on privately owned property along the southern border. Obama absolved DOJ head Eric Holder of any responsibility for the program after he had been cited for contempt of Congress for withholding evidence. More chaos – in Washington, and along the border, where the corruption in DC made life easier for illegals and much, much harder for the US citizens who resided there.
Then in September 2012, in the aftermath of the 9/11 Benghazi attacks that killed our Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, Obama embarked on a path of massive disinformation, tasking senior officials to blame the attacks on a peaceful demonstration that got out of hand, then on an obscure, amateur video defaming Mohammed. The administration then proceeded to stonewall Congress, refusing access to witnesses, and never revealing what really happened that night, or why US assets were not sent to rescue the Americans under attack.
The combination of lies and impediments on the part of the Obama White House and Clinton Department of State defied the order of Constitutionally mandated process, and created an atmosphere of chaos in which the facts were obscured and the truth became increasingly difficult to uncover over time.
Other scandals continued to compound the chaos: NSA spying on American allies confused our diplomatic posture with nations who have been allies for generations; the IRS targeting of ‘Tea Party’ groups seeking not-for-profit status raised serious questions about the over-arching and unconstitutional assumption of power by senior personnel in the very agency that affects Americans most personally.
Then came ObamaCare. The lies told to Americans by the administration during the run-up to the law have caused millions of Americans to suffer severe personal losses. In the rubble of the fallout, millions of Americans have lost their jobs or been down-sized to part-time employment; lost their health insurance, their doctors, and their hospitals; seen their premiums, co-pays, and deductibles increase dramatically; and, unbelievably, faced a high risk of identity theft when signing up for ObamaCare, due to major security flaws in the software they are forced to used when they sign up.
The law, which was supposed to be Obama’s signature achievement, has turned into an enormous debacle that has transformed an orderly system of private health insurance into a chaotic nightmare for a rapidly growing number of Americans. It has created a climate of deep anger, uncertainty, and despair for the very people ObamaCare was supposed to help. To add to the chaos, the President’s ‘fix’, reversing the loss of insurance coverage, now threatens to undermine the entire health insurance industry. And the chaos continues to grow.
Finally, as Secretary of State John Kerry returns to the negotiating table with Iran and the other G5 +1 nations, he brings with him the seeds of international chaos. His plan to remove sanctions on Iran , while demanding virtually nothing from them in return, will set the stage for international catastrophe. His dismissal of Israel’s security concerns in the process, while Israel prepares for the inevitable war with Iran, adds immeasurably to the danger.
We are no longer talking about years, when assessing the time required for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons capability. The consequence of America’s underestimating the Iranian threat will be the reality of a nuclear Iran within the next few months. It will change the face of the Middle East, and threaten virtually every other nation in the region. The resulting arms race, and the probability of a new, ferocious war in the region, is the only foreseeable outcome.
The Obama administration has a great deal to answer for. Creating chaos should not be part of the job description of the President and his administration. The fundamental changes that he promised have challenged the foundation of principles upon which the nation was built, and the American people bought it hook, line, and sinker. Now we are faced with the prospects of living with the consequences of the monster we have created.