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Monday, January 16, 2017

If Only Obama Had Acted Like A Strong President Throughout His Term, The World Might Have Looked Differently

Obama’s Last-Minute Move To ‘Box’ Trump In Is Likely To Backfire Badly… Here’s Why

Facts are stubborn things.

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So, now President Obama grows a spine.
With barely a week left in Obama’s tenure as commander of U.S. armed forces, American soldiers are taking up a continuous deployment in Poland that could mean a permanent U.S. presence in the country.
And already the mainstream media are playing it in a way to paint the incoming Trump presidency as badly as possible — but they better be ready for a backfire.

The deployment that began Thursday was planned over the summer in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, including the 2014 Russian annexation of the Crimea.
According to the left-leaning U.K. Guardian, U.S. forces were initially set to move into place at the end of January, but the Obama White House pushed hat up – possibly in yet another effort to box in Donald Trump on one of the knottiest foreign policy problems he’s going to face after being sworn in.
Deployment was originally scheduled for later in the month but a decision was made last month to bring it forward, possibly a move by Barack Obama before he leaves office to try to lock the president-elect into the strategy.
And if Trump decides on a different strategy?

The New York Times coverage of the deployment hints at how that’s going to be framed:
The American president-­elect, Donald J. Trump, enters office trailing a string of sometimes contradictory statements about NATO and insisting on a new era of chummier relations with Russia’s autocratic leader.
So there is considerable concern in Warsaw and other Eastern capitals about whether the troops will actually arrive in the numbers promised, and whether this desire for friendlier relations with Moscow will lead to a deal that undermines the whole effort.
So, in the Democrat storyline, Donald Trump is going to play Neville Chamberlain to Putin’s Hitler – with the usual assistance of the liberal media.
Unfortunately for Democrats, The New York Times, and the Obama administration’s place in history, the effort is likely to backfire badly.
As John Adams once put it, facts are stubborn things.
It was Obama who betrayed Poland in one of his first acts as president, when he canceled a planned missile defense system for Central Europe. At the time, The New York Times reported it as a way to shift defenses to meet the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran. (The focus of Obama’s biggest appeasement.)

It was Obama – along with Hillary Clinton — who launched the infamous, failed Russian reset, with disastrous results. (A November column on National Review summed it up perfectly.)
It was Obama and his second, equally inept Secretary of State John Kerry who let Russia take over the American role of power broker in the Middle East, with disastrous results for the victims of Syria’s civil war and the Western European countries, particularly their women, now forced to deal with the war’s Muslim refugees.
It’s only now, in the twilight of the Obama presidency, that the president has decided that stopping Putin’s apparent ambition to reconstitute the Czarist empire in the east just might be a bad idea. And in typical Obama fashion, he’s doing it in such a way as to create as big a political problem for his successor as he can.
The problem for Obama is that Americans know full well which party has been in the White House for the past eight years, getting played for a fool time and again by the hard case in the Kremlin.
That’s where the political backfire comes in.
Americans know full well what’s happened over the past eight years. And they know full well which party is most likely to get rolled over by the Russians (and it’s not Republicans.)
It doesn’t take a doctor to know why Barack Obama has finally grown a spine when it comes to standing up for particular American allies. The point is not to aid America’s friends, or frighten the country’s foes. It’s to make Donald Trump’s job as difficult as possible.
The cynicism should be appalling. But it’s not even surprising.
What do you think?