Obama’s Real Legacy Is Trump’s Inheritance

Resolute Desk
The Resolute Desk from which President Barack Obama has guided the destiny of our great nation, and indeed the free world, for the past eight years, and where President Donald Trump will be seated on January 20th, 2017

Do you recall the scene in J.R.R. Tolkien movie “The Two Towers” when our intrepid band of adventurers explains to King Theoden that open war is upon him… whether he would have it or not?

The breathless fears being expressed by the American Left that President Elect Donald Trump will take office and somehow plunge us into war are the product of a lack of understanding of recent events.  Any threats to America that exist on January 20th are at least in good measure the work of Barack Obama.  Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are equally as inept as Obama, but they worked for Obama.  Of course, Bush the Younger had his hand in the making of our current mess, and he too saw terrorist attacks on U.S. soil during his time in office, but at least he had the good sense to recognize, acknowledge and rise up against the very immediate threat he faced – fundamentalist Jihadist Islam.  However, these threats are in no way the fault of Donald Trump!

King Theoden chose to run in the face of danger… and it did not end well for him.  His rescue and salvation came at the hands of others… those who did not run away from battle, but ran toward the sound of the guns – or swords in this case.  Obama has been running for his entire term as President.  If we continue to run who will come to our rescue?

Obama inherited the 2008 economic crisis, true enough.  That much of our current condition is not part of his resume; he just made it much, much worse.

We could talk about Obama’s mishandling of the economy.  In 2008 our national debt was $11 trillion dollars.  Obama had called that level of debt “unpatriotic” – and then set about ballooning our debt to an incredible $20 trillion dollars.

Obama immediately added more than $4 trillion dollars to our national debt in just his first 3 years in office, through phenomenal increases in our nation’s welfare programs, such that In August of 2011 the U.S. had its S&P credit rating reduced for the first time in our history.

Obama has presided over the longest “jobless recovery” in our nation’s history.  As the Obama administration spins news about our economy the truth is that we now have more people unemployed (to include those who have simply stopped looking for work and are now totally dependent on government welfare programs for their survival), underemployed (to include those who have lost well-paying jobs for jobs that pay far less)… and they too are now at least partially dependent on government welfare.

But the poor condition of our economy is not our greatest threat now at the end of 2016.

We could talk about ObamaCare and the mountain of crushing new regulation heaped upon American small business as the American Socialist Left led by Obama seeks to squeeze every last tax dollar out of them, pander to union bosses and at the same time impose their concept of a “Green” economy on us all.

All of that has been bad enough, but that’s not our greatest threat now at the end of 2016.

We could talk about Obama’s vocal and continuous support for anarchist groups like the violently destructive Occupy Movement (2011-present), the Black Lives Matter Movement (2013-present) who openly call for attacks on American Police, his incessant war on American Police waged by the Department of Justice with the help of a complaint media, and of course his war on our 2nd Amendment rights.  We could examine his rash of pardons at the end of his second term – more than the last 15 Presidents combined.

That too is all bad, but while those things have driven our crime rates to historic levels and taken their toll on new Police recruiting, they don’t actually threaten our national security directly, now at the end of 2016.

We could talk about how the Obama administration has “weaponized” our own government against us through the over-reaching and often illegal use of the IRS, the EPA, the NSA, the BLM and several other departments.

Again, that’s all bad… but that will all soon be overcome if President Elect Donald Trump makes good on his promise to “drain the swamp.”  These things don’t threaten us now at the end of 2016.

No, as 2016 draws to a close and the Obama Presidency enters its last few weeks, it is the sum total of Obama’s feckless, inept mishandling of American foreign policy and his steadfast refusal to even acknowledge the dramatic rise of fundamentalist Jihadist Islam on his watch that have given rise to the plethora of threats America now faces both abroad and domestically – any one of which taken individually would historically have been seen as a defining moment in our history and in any given Presidential term… any one of which has the potential to bring war to America.

Here is a short chronology of some of the more significant and important events – both in the foreign policy arena and on the homeland defense front – that have brought us to where we are:

2008 to present: Iran openly develops long-range ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons anywhere in the Middle east, and with Korean and Russian assistance will soon deploy missiles capable of threatening first Europe and eventually the United States.  In response the U.N. passes UNSC Resolution 2231 in July of 2015 (“bad Iran, BAD!”)… but Obama takes no action.

2008, August: the Russian’s invade Georgia (former Soviet Georgia, not America’s Georgia.)  Obama takes no action.

2009, April: North Korea announces that it is a nuclear power and the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agrees… this following two questionable pre-nuclear detonations in 2006 and 2007, under the Bush administration.  Obama takes no action.

2009, June: A Muslim terrorist attacks the Little Rock Recruiting Office; one dead.  Obama administration treats this as a crime rather than a terrorist attack, arrests the culprit and throws him in jail… no further action.

2009, Summer: The “Green Revolution” in Iran threatens to overthrow the theocratic dictatorship of the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini.  Anti-government activist groups in Iran beg for U.S. support.  Obama takes no action.  Revolution fails, hundreds executed and thousands more jailed.

2009, October: Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, although no one is sure why.

2009, November: A Muslim terrorist shoots up the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood; 13 dead, 33 wounded.  Obama takes no action, except to delay any official acknowledgement that the event was related to Muslim terrorism, and then directs his talking heads to preventively speak out against a perceived anti-Muslim backlash.  In fact, the Obama administration is so adamant that this is NOT a Muslim terrorist attack – and is instead “workplace violence” – that it will be almost six years before a Republican-controlled Congress finally forces that recognition and awards the victims the Purple Heart medal.

2009, December: A Muslim terrorist – the “Underwear Bomber” – attempts to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253.  Again, the Obama administration treats this foiled attack as a crime, arrests the culprit and throws him in jail.  No further action.

2010, May: A Muslim terrorist is arrested for the foiled Times Square bombing plot.  Obama administration arrests the culprit and throws him in jail.  No further action

2010: Obama makes good on his 2007-2008 campaign promises and withdraws US troops from Iraq, declaring an end to that conflict.  By 2011 only a small advisory force remains.  Apparently Obama neglected to inform the various terrorist groups operating in Iraq that the war had ended, and in the post-withdrawal power vacuum they begin to coalesce into something… larger.

2010, December through mid-2012: Obama watches the “Arab Spring” unfold before the watchful eyes of the world.  Arab nation after Arab nation plea to the Americans to assist them in overthrowing brutal dictators in places like Libya, Syria and Yemen.  Obama takes no action, and these fledgling revolutions (some of which would have admittedly failed anyway) are swiftly crushed.  Thousands are executed or jailed.

2011, March to present: The Syrian Civil War begins.  Obama states that U.S. policy is regime change in Syria.  Syrian rebel groups plea for support, but Obama takes no action.  After more than six years of war, Assad remains in power, stronger than ever before.  The Russians have returned to a position of power and influence in the Levant and reopen their old naval base at Tartus, Syria.  Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are dead, more than six million are displaced inside Syria and more than four million have fled Syria altogether – mostly to Europe.

2011, June: Obama delivers a speech promising to begin the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan even as the world watches Iraq slowly fall apart and the early signs of the rise of ISIS in Iraq become apparent, after our precipitous withdraw from that conflict in 2010 & 2011.  Troop withdrawals occur, the tactical situation in Afghanistan crumbles, the Taliban grows stronger and regains control.

2012, March: Obama is caught on camera and an open mic assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he (Obama) will have “more flexibility” to deal with Russia, Putin and contentious issues and friction points between the U.S. and Russia, like the defense of Europe, after the U.S. Presidential election of November, 2012.

2012, August: After the first year of bloody civil war in Syria with thousands of casualties and tens of thousands of refugees from that conflict, U.S. Intelligence services deliver proof to Obama that Assad has already used chemical weapons on his own people.  Obama makes a dramatic public statement; “… that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized… that would change my calculus… that would change my equation.”  The world waits.  Assad continues to use chemical weapons.  Obama takes no action, and later even denies his statement.

2012, September: The U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya is attacked by the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia.  Four Americans including our Ambassador are murdered.  Obama blames an obscure YouTube video, and in the immediate aftermath directs our Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to appear on four different Sunday morning talk shows to spread that misleading story.  For her loyalty, Obama promotes Rice to National Security Advisor.

2012, October: In a campaign season debate for the Presidential election the following month, President Obama said this to challenger Mitt Romney; “A few months ago, when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida… you said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.  Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years.”

2012, November: Having managed to keep the lid on the truth behind the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Obama is re-elected.

2013: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS), which had technically existed since 1999, suddenly in 2013 accelerates its combat actions and makes its move to establish their Caliphate.  Obama takes no action.

2013, April: Two Muslim terrorists execute the Boston Marathon bombing; three dead, 264 wounded.  Obama takes no action, except to once again delay any official acknowledgement that the event was related to Muslim terrorism, and then to again direct his talking heads to preventively speak out against a perceived anti-Muslim backlash… that never materializes.

2014: China begins massive dredging operations in the South China Sea to literally build entirely new islands where none previously existed in order to extend its influence – and territorial waters – far out into that sea.  Obama takes no action.

2014, January: As ISIS rises in power and captures more land, Obama refers to them as a “JV” team… and takes no action.

2014, May: Obama breaks long-standing U.S. policy of not negotiating with terrorists by trading five Taliban prisoners held in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for a captured U.S. Soldier.

2014 to 2015: ISIS easily sweeps the Iraqi army aside and captures huge swathes of Iraqi territory, including the cities of Ramadi, Fallujah, Mosel, Tal Afar, Sinjar and several others.  Iran takes the opportunity to intervene militarily “on behalf of Iraq” and solidifies its control of that country in the absence of U.S. forces.  Obama takes no action.

2014 to present: Russia invades Crimea and in May of that year simply declares that Crimea is now part of Russia.  Obama takes no action.

2014 to present: Russia begins military intervention in the Ukraine.  Russian policy is one of annexation just as it was in Crimea, but the Ukrainian military holds the line and requests assistance from the U.S.  Obama takes no action, other than to send minimal aid in the form of blankets and “Meals Ready to Eat.”

2014, September: A Muslim terrorist enters the Vaughan Foods warehouse in Moore, OK and beheads a woman working there.  The man had worked at that warehouse.  It is at about this time that the Obama administration and the complicit media begin to use the term “Lone Wolf” explaining that this individual acted alone out of mental illness, or that perhaps it was some sort of work place dispute.  If an assailant is only a “Lone Wolf” acting without the assistance of any broader terrorist organization either here in the United States or abroad in some Middle Eastern country, then once the perpetrator is arrested or killed the incident is over!

2015: The Obama State Department gives $350k of U.S. taxpayer money to a political group in Israel to build a campaign operation, which is subsequently used to try to influence Israelis to vote against Conservative Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2015 election for Israeli prime minister.  Netanyahu wins in spite of Obama’s intervention.

2015, July: The U.S. and Iran sign the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” – aka the Iranian Nuke Deal.  The very nature of this agreement is that Obama will take no action.

2015, July: A Muslim terrorist opens fire on a recruiting center and a U.S. Navy Reserve Center in Chattanooga; five dead.  Obama takes no action.

2015, September: China begins to build military airstrips and import missile systems to their new man-made islands in the South China Sea.  Obama takes no action.

2015, December: Two Muslim terrorists execute the San Bernardino shooting; 14 dead.  Obama takes no action, except delay any official acknowledgement that the event was related to Muslim terrorism, and then direct his talking heads to preventively speak out against a perceived anti-Muslim backlash.  Within 24 hours Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch publicly vows to prosecute those who “… use anti-Muslim speech that edges toward violence” even though there is absolutely no evidence that any such speech has occurred… and even if it had don’t we have Freedom of Speech here in America?

2016, January: The Iranian Navy seizes two U.S. Navy vessels operating in international waters in the Persian Gulf.  Our Sailors and their craft are released in 24 hours but 7 months later in August of 2016 it is revealed that Obama paid $400 million dollars in cash to the Iranians to secure the release of our Sailors… once again Obama bargains with terrorists.

2016 January to present: China harasses her neighbors in the South China Sea, and begins to threaten international fishing rights and freedom of navigation.  Obama takes no action.

2016, June: A Muslim terrorist shoots up an Orlando, FL nightclub; 49 dead and 53 wounded.  The target nightclub was a popular meeting place for the Orlando homosexual community.  Obama takes no action, but enlists his talking heads and the media to spread a story about how the terrorist was, in fact, himself a homosexual, and that this attack was probably related to that and not to Islamic terrorism.

2016, September: A Muslim terrorist plants several explosive devices in New York and New Jersey, and detonates three of the devices; 35 wounded… another “crime”, no terrorism here folks… go back to watching the game.

2016, October: U.S. formerly accuses the Russians of political Cyber activity directed against the 2016 Presidential Election.  Instead of covertly counter attacking Russia, Obama simply has his spokesman make the announcement… and takes no further action.

2016, November: A Muslim terrorist drives a car into a crowd of students at the Ohio State University and then jumps out slashing at people with a knife; 11 wounded.  Obama takes no action, except (you guessed it!) to once again delay any official acknowledgement that the event was related to Muslim terrorism, and then direct his talking heads to preventively speak out against a perceived anti-Muslim backlash… which we are all still waiting to actually see materialize.

2016, December: China steals a U.S. Navy underwater drone right in front of our Sailors.  Obama takes no action, and the drone is eventually returned… after the Chinese have taken the thing apart and learned all they can from the device.

2016, December: The U.S. abstains from a U.N. vote allowing a resolution to pass demanding an end to Israeli settlements in territory disputed with the Palestinians, and to withdraw from Jerusalem.  The one democracy in the Middle East, and our eternal friend and ally… and Obama stabs them in the back with only three weeks remaining in office.  Israel accuses the U.S. of doing far more than abstaining from the vote, claiming to have proof that the Obama administration actually helped to write the resolution, and them assured the anti-Israel bloc in the U.N. that we would allow the resolution to pass by abstaining.

2017, January… today: Obama announces that he will release another 19 Muslim terrorists from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Since taking office Obama has turned more than 200 hard core terrorists back out onto the world from a group characterized by our Intelligence services as “the worst of the worst.”  After this latest release, only about 40 terrorists will remain confined at “Gitmo.”

So, that’s forty separate points in time when Obama could have taken action – could have resisted an adversary or aided an ally – and instead chose inaction.  And that just about sums up how Obama and his administration have dealt with foreign aggression and Muslim terrorism for this past eight years… denial, deflection, rhetoric, equivocation, pandering and accommodation.

I’m not offering some brilliant solution to any of the aforementioned events – some sort of magic pill that answers all of America’s problems.  I am not proposing that Obama should have responded to each of these acts of aggression, however, I am saying that he most certainly should have responded to at least SOME of these in SOME fashion!

For example, in response to the more than two dozen instances of a significant challenge on the world stage listed above from adversaries like Russia, China and Iran reacting aggressively to each in turn would probably not have been wise.  But to consistently do nothing has only emboldened these nations to the point where we are now openly concerned about a nuclear war with Russia!

There are a great many steps that may be taken even against powerful nations like China and Russia that fall well short of open war; meaningful sanctions (of the sort that were imposed on Iran during the Bush administration), actions to support nations who oppose them, and strengthening our ties with our allies in the Pacific and in Northern Europe are just three that come immediately to mind.  But instead Obama has consistently backed down.

In response to the dozen instances of Jihadist terrorism listed above Obama’s response was to equivocate as to the motives of the perpetrator, speak out against our 2nd Amendment rights, insist that Islam is a religion of peace, and handle each as an isolated, stand-alone (aka “Lone Wolf”) incident for law enforcement to handle, instead of focusing our nations considerable Intelligence and law enforcement resources on the real threat – fundamentalist Jihadist Islam.

Obama’s Leftist allies in most major cities have refused to take reasonable actions to more closely monitor the Muslim communities in their cities, and the Department of Justice has actively acted against any attempt to focus law enforcement activity in the direction of Muslim immigrants.

More recently the Obama administration watched what has been transpiring in Europe as a result of their taking in millions of Muslim refugees and literally said “Gimme some of that!” and imported more than 200,000 Muslin refugees of our very own and distributed them directly into America’s largest cities, often against the protestations of the governors of those states.

We must at least start by admitting that we are at war with fundamentalist Jihadist Islam!  Instead Obama insists that the real domestic threat to America are “heavily armed radical Right-wing white supremacist groups”, and so he has spent a great deal of his time in entirely the wrong quarter!

“Remember that there is no way to counterattack against an enemy advancing from a direction in which you refuse to look.”  ~ an unknown, but apparently brilliant Soldier and strategist.

For the past eight years Obama has stood idly by and passively watched the world fall apart, even as he has slashed our own Defense budget and brought our military readiness to its lowest point since before World War II in order to fund his social agenda, and because he truly believes that American aggression and expansionism is the real problem in the world.

The result of Obama’s inaction is that major adversaries such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea now view us as weak and passive, paralyzed by our own political divisions and hampered by a population that is increasingly dependent on our government, and increasingly of the opinion that nothing is worth going to war over.

So, on January 20th, 2017 Donald Trump will inherit a $20 trillion-dollar debt, our weakest military in 75 years, un- and under-employment at record highs, more Americans on welfare than ever before and major military challenges from no less than four major powers around the world – three of whom already have nuclear weapons, with the fourth developing them.

I am not offering any solutions here, but I am saying that continuing to do nothing to in the face of such dangerous and widespread aggression has not worked and will not work going forward.

I am heartened by Trump’s cabinet appointments of retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as his Secretary of Defense, retired Marine Corps General John Kelly as his Secretary of Homeland Security, and retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as his National Security Advisor.  I believe that these three men have exactly what it takes to turn around our dramatically weakened national security posture, both domestically and abroad.

Will President Elect Trump bring America into another war?  To quote Master Yoda; “Difficult to see… always in motion is the future.”

I don’t expect war – at least not any sort of large-scale, open warfare between the U.S. and either Russia or China, and certainly not a nuclear exchange.  But I do expect that both of those nations will test our new President in this coming year.

That may take the form of a conflict between NATO (which, of course, includes the U.S.) and Russia over open Russian military intervention in the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (ya, I forgot to mention that one in my list, above.)  See, all three of those countries joined NATO in 2004.  Russia has been making threatening moves in that region for some time. If Russia invades southern Lithuania – a region referred to as the “Suwalki Gap” – then America is bound by NATO Article 5 and the “Collective Defense” clause to respond; an attack against one NATO nation must be considered an attack against all NATO nations… we can’t run from that.  You can read more about that possible scenario here.

Another test for Trump might come in the form of an armed skirmish in the South China Sea between China and any of a half-dozen other countries (the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and others) over China’s man-made islands discussed above.  You can read more about that possibility here, and here.

Honestly, if America is not FORCED into some sort of armed conflict after eight years of neglect of our foreign policy under the Obama administration it will be miracle, and a tribute to Trump’s diplomatic skills… skills the American Left does not believe he has.

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