Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Clinton/Obama Foreign Policy Failures in Review, Part 2, Russian Reset

Ok, chronologically, this probably should have come before the Honduran coup, but in reality the effects of this simple, yet relevant, mistake would become symbolic of Hillary Clinton's role in implementing Barack Hussein Obama's failed foreign policy far into the future.

The Russian reset fiasco is often referred to in the MSM as a funny mistake by Hillary Clinton that was easily and quickly smoothed over by her sense of humor. I can assure it was no joke and that set the tone for how Russia, Putin in particular, would perceive the Clinton/Obama reign of failure as it pertains to Russia.

Here is the now famous clip from the seemingly innocuous event:

Cringe worthy, is it not? Imagine the wrath she invoked behind the scenes after this funny little faux pas. Ok, beyond imagining Hillary throwing a lamp or book at the poor bureaucrat translator who screwed this up, what do you think Russia walked away from this little event thinking?

Well, apparently Russian media poked fun at Hillary Clinton's "mistake" with Russian newspaper Kommersant declaring on its front page: "Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton push the wrong button."

Though it concerns me that the U.S. State Department apparently did not employ a competent Russian translator, to me it paints a much larger picture of incompetence. I'll admit, Condoleezza Rice set the bar pretty high, given her expertise in Russian affairs and fluency in the Russian language, but screwing up on this big of a stage on your very first meeting goes beyond just mere embarrassment.   It reveals a level of incompetence to the Russians that stoked confidence in their belief that Barack Hussein Obama was a light-weight empty suit and would he and Hillary Clinton would be easily manipulated.

They would go on to prove this over the next 4 years 
in conflict after conflict. I would argue it will continue will under John Kerry's (who served in Vietnam) term through the 2017 inauguration.  When I get to Kerry/Obama's failures I'll make the case the the foreign policy will take a definite turn for the worse from incompetent-but-aloof bad to down-right-dangerous bad.  But, that's for another day.

Again, this was not only an early indicator of the Clinton/Obama foreign policy failures to come, but acted as a glaring example to the Russian leaders that they were going to be dealing with complete incompetence for the foreseeable future.  We see the result of this simple act of incompetence embolden Putin as he tacks his foreign policy into direct conflict with U.S. interests time and time again.  

The Clinton/Obama Foreign Policy Failures In Review, Part 1: Honduras

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Early in the Clinton/Obama reign there was an coup in Honduras. Most citizens in the U.S. either never heard about it or ignored it. However, it was an early indicator of how the Clinton/Obama regime was going to transform the U.S.A.'s foreign policy. How so? Well, in brief here's what happened:

The legally elected president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya decided he wanted to rewrite Honduras' Constitution and was going to add a non-binding referendum to permit it in an upcoming election in 2009, in order to allow him to run for additional terms. The Honduras supreme court said that was unconstitutional and ordered him to stop. He did not. They ordered the Zelaya to be arrested and exiled to Costa Rica. He was on June 28, 2009.

In what would become a pattern, the Clinton/Obama regime seemed to be blind sided by the whole affair. They hesitated. The hesitation was interpreted as implicit support for the coup. In fact, as time worn on the Clinton/Obama regime recognized the newly formed government and have continued to send money to them for support of their military. The same military that executed the coup.

This is obviously a very simplified version of what occurred, there are a lot of detail and nuances many would like to add to the story, however these are the facts and remain so today. Despite calls by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for a change in the policy, pointing out the many human rights violations since the coup (not to mention the coup, itself) the Clinton/Obama regime policy has been that the coup was legitimate. This, despite statements by the Clinton/Obama regime in the weeks/months following the coup making half-hearted attempts to support reinstating Zelaya. The facts are that no aid was cut off except some as required by law pertaining to support for democracy. No diplomatic ties have been severed as a result. Nothing has changed other than the names and faces of the Honduras leaders. Oh, and the uptick in violent and bloody human rights violations.  This too will become a pattern in the Clinton/Obama regime's foreign policy (or lack thereof).

Admittedly, few in the U.S. media made a big deal out of this and fewer still came down on the Clinton/Obama regime for their lack of..., what really? Lack of interest? Lack of disdain for military coups in their own hemisphere? Lack of support for rule of law? Seriously, in spite of all the other foreign policy debacles that have transpired in the interim, is it any surprise to learn that the Clinton/Obama regime had no interest in such trivial events in such a trivial country? Can't you here Hillary saying in some briefing, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

Well, it does make a difference.  Fast forward to the spring of 2014.  Do you remember the big story at the time?  The one exposing the influx of illegal child immigrants from "Northern Central America"?  Hmmm....  Do you suppose it's a coincidence?  This from no less than the Council on Foreign relations on November 30, 2014

"Three-quarters of unaccompanied minors are from the Central American Northern Triangle—Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala; as recently as 2009, 82 percent of apprehended minors came from Mexico. Among the Central Americans, Hondurans represent the largest group, making up 28.6 percent of the total." [Emphasis added]
  The report goes on to explain why this might be happening:
"Honduras' institutions are particularly troubled, in part as a result of the country's 2009 military coup. Large swathes of the country fall out of the rule of law, making it—and its neighbors—prime terrority [sic] for drug trafficking. "
I should take a moment to point out a statement also included in this report regarding the illegal immigration.  I'll come back to the entire subject at a later point, but I found the comment so profound I really had to take a moment to point it out.  So, apparently Obama met with leaders of these Central American countries to talk about stemming the tide of these illegal child immigrants.  This is how these presidents responded:
"The Central American presidents said that the United States bore some responsibility for the crisis, due to its market for illicit substances that pass through the region, and its "ambiguity" on immigration reform." [Emphasis added]
I know, fascinating, right?  The U.S. is perceived to  be ambiguous regarding immigration reform.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, U.S. foreign policy.  So in the early months of the Clinton/Obama regime, the first of many foreign policy failures to come gets scant attention by the U.S. Main Stream Media  (from now on referred to as MSM).

Here and here are some of the articles used to write this piece.  You'll note that much of the coverage is from foreign media.  Shocking, I know.