Wednesday, January 08, 2020

"Obama The Appeaser"

So I had planned yesterday to write a post noting how Mike Pompeo went on the Sunday talk show circuit with the dual purpose of defending (obviously) the Administration's assassination of an Iranian official and ridiculing (almost as obviously) former President Obama.

On Meet the Press, the Secretary of State argued

We suffered from eight years of Iranian support from America. We gave them billions of dollars. We gave them resources.We allowed countries to trade with them, to build up their economy.... We've seen Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, the PIJ in Gaza Strip, all of these terrorist organizations, the Shi'a militias, the Shi'a militias that we are now challenged to push back against today, all underwritten by American policy in the Obama administration. We've flipped the switch. We're draining those resources. We're going to protect America and keep American people safe.

He contended that the families of Americans being held hostage by Iran

are suffering greatly. They're suffering from the very Iranian regime we're seeking to counter. Most of these folks were taken during the previous administration. It was a policy that was designed to guarantee that the Iranian regime would have power, authority, capacity to take Americans, but not only Americans. Other Westerners, too.

(Check out the transcript. He actually did conflate "families" and hostages.)

Pompeo told CNN's Jake Tapper "Team Obama appeased Iran, and it led to Shia militias with money, Hamas, the PIJ, hundreds of thousands of Syrians killed by Soleimani himself" but "America will no longer behave the way that it did during the Obama-Biden administration. We will no longer appease..."

The message should have been loud and clear to one of the newest multi-millionaires on Martha's Vineyard whom, rumor has it, was recently President of the United States of America. However, there is risk in shooting downward, for a former President to lower himself to an argument with a Secretary of State, albeit an influential one in a particularly reckless Administration.

But that's no longer the case because it's now the current President continuing the practice of disparaging his predecessor, now over a live, ongoing foreign policy crisis. Speaking from the Oval Office, Donald Trump on Wednesday stated

Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given 150 billion dollars, not to mention 1.8 billion in cash. Instead of saying thank you to the United States, they chanted “Death to America.” In fact, they chanted “Death to America” the day the agreement was signed. Then Iran went on a terror spree funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration. The regime also greatly tightened the reins on their own country. Even recently, killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran.

The hostility (no such thing as hostilities) increased after President Trump led the USA out of the nuclear deal the previous Administration had consummated with Iran. He has no idea where Iran got the money to fire its missiles at US air bases. The "Death to America" reference sounds a lot like Trump's debunked claim of November 21, 2015 that "thousands and thousands of ('Arab') people" were "cheering as the World Trade Center came down" on September 11, 2001.

But lying is as important to Donald Trump as the air he breathes, and many people have become desensitized to it. There is still time, though, to rebut vigorously what Trump says about the prior Administration, for the benefit of the individual, his Party, and the nation. In the passage above, he is saying

You, Barack Obama, tried bribing Iran but they double-crossed you and then humiliated America while destroying the Middle East.  They took our money and after murdering thousands of their own, are trying to kill Americans with the money you gave them. You paid them to kill Americans.

Former President Obama posted his summer reading recommendations on Facebook last year.  He took to Instagram in late December to give us his list of favorite books of 2019.   He believes communicating to Americans his literary preferences is important.

When President Trump brings the USA to the brink of war- and more likely helps set off more terrorism and mayhem in the Mideast and beyond- by reckless actions taken in large measure because President Obama haddone the reverse, it should be as important to him.

Perhaps Barack Obama believes that the more dangerous President Trump becomes, and appears to be to the American people, the greater his own legacy. However, there is a point at which experienced and credible American citizens- such as a former President- need to speak up. The navel-gazing he seemingly revels in must give way to a larger concern, one about the maintenance of American democracy and the stability of international relations.

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