Vernuccio’s View: A Look Back At The Obama Era

The extraordinary crises in U.S. foreign affairs, and the plight of human rights around  the world had failed to gain attention in much of the mainstream media during President Barack Obama’s eight years in office.

The reasons are clear.  It was the mantra among many American liberals that there was in no military danger from abroad, freedom was not imperiled, and that whatever global challenges Washington had to deal with were the products of its own previous actions.  Whatever inconvenient facts depart from that narrative were wholly disregarded because much of the mainstream media shares that viewpoint.

There is clear precedence to this from the 2012 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 last few years proving Romney correct, there has been no admission of being incorrect made by either by President Obama or the many journalists who joined him in mocking Romney’s statement.

While international affairs can sometimes be nebulous, the poor results from the foreign policy actions of former 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 has found 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. But the policy was ignored by the White House.

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 an anti-Chinese aggression front that would have discouraged future assaults 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. Ask the Israelis or Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak about that.

The utter failure of the Administration to enforce its own “Red Line” in Syria, or to respond in any meaningful way to the Benghazi attack, and to give the Taliban high status by negotiating with it, allowed depraved forces both in power in the Middle East and around the world seeking to gain dominance all the encouragement they needed to stay their course.

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. This White House and its supporters have turned their backs on atrocities whenever convenient.

Just one example: Vice News reports that “human rights groups, Malaysian activists, and a number of US Senators 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,’ David Abramowitz, the former chief counsel to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a member of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, told Vice News.”

Reports of human trafficking and slavery grew during the Obama-Clinton-Kerry tenure. The California Department of Justice reports that “Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal enterprise and is an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry.”

Shoebat  reports that “In Saudi Arabia, (A major contributor to the Clinton Foundation) and other Gulf States, there are around over a million slaves. Obama has never mentioned this…These are deprived of food, adequate living conditions and are many times abused.”

The consistent record of foreign policy failure by Obama, Clinton and Kerry was overlooked by America’s highly biased mainstream media.

Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D.

Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D.

Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D., is editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy & Government, writer and voice of the syndicated radio feature Minute Report for America syndicated radio column.

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