Vernuccio’s View: The Media’s Deafening Silence on Obama’s Foreign Policy

The extraordinary crises in U.S. foreign affairs, and the plight of human rights throughout the world, have failed to gain attention in much of the media.

The reasons are clear.  It is the mantra of much of the political left that America is in no military danger from abroad, and that whatever global challenges Washington must deal with are the products of its own prior actions. That has been the guiding principle of the Obama Administration.

There is clear precedence to this from the last presidential election. During a televised debate, Republican challenger Mitt Romney noted that Russian belligerence was a key problem. He was mocked not just by rival candidate Barack Obama, but also by the moderator of the debate, who abandoned all pretense of impartiality.  Despite the clear, overt and overwhelming evidence during the past several years proving Romney correct, there has been no admission of being drastically wrong either by the President or the many journalists who joined him in mocking Romney’s statement.

The poor results from the foreign policy actions of President Obama and Secretaries Clinton and Kerry are crystal clear.

Russia and China have found that aggressive use of force achieves results, and comes at almost no cost.  Iran now knows that it can be financially rewarded for holding Americans for ransom. Evildoers such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad have learned that there is no such thing as a “Red Line” beyond which they dare not go. Afghanistan’s Taliban knows that all it has to do is wait out the clock for American forces to leave.


When the Chinese Navy infringed upon the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, Obama did nothing.  The White House didn’t even lodge a diplomatic protest.  Even after the World Tribunal at The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines, the White House remained largely on the sidelines.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, the only Obama/Clinton response was a weak set of sanctions. A simple, nonviolent, and extremely effective response would have been to open up federal lands to energy exploitation, in order to eventually bring down the cost of energy. This would have bankrupted Moscow, which is heavily dependent on energy sales to finance its military. It would also have reassured European allies of future access to energy without kowtowing to Russia.

Obama’s failure to even diplomatically oppose China’s aggressive actions meant that not only was Beijing’s belligerence rewarded, but that a golden opportunity to unite Southeast Asian and Pacific nations in opposition to Chinese aggression was lost.

On the flip side, America’s friends, allies, or simply those who happen to be on the same side of a controversy as the U.S. have found that Washington is neither reliable as a partner nor even committed to protecting its own shared self-interest.

The Obama-Clinton foreign policy is not the product of dedication to non-violence or human rights, reasons often given for President Carter’s unsuccessful foreign policy moves.

C onsider this example: Vice News reports that “human rights groups [and] Malaysian activists…accuse Barack Obama’s administration of manipulating [that nation’s record on human trafficking] to allow the Southeast Asian country to join the president’s massive free trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership… Many anti-human trafficking advocates are crying foul.  ‘The State Department has sold out human rights to corporate and regional interests,’ [according to] David Abramowitz, the former chief counsel to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a member of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking.”

The consistent record of foreign policy failure by Obama, Clinton and Kerry should not be overlooked or ignored.  However, that is precisely what America’s highly biased media is doing.

Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy & Government

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