In the pursuit of a legacy, Obama has made the world more dangerous

posted at 12:01 pm on March 24, 2015 by Noah Rothman

As the president again prepares to extend the deadline for an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, though without calling it an extension, it’s time to take stock of what Barack Obama’s myopic pursuit of a legacy achievement in his second term has wrought.

The president and his allies have said on any number of occasions that no deal with Iran is preferable to a bad deal, but the administration has given every indication that the opposite is true. The Obama administration is sacrificing its legitimacy at home and faith in America abroad for fleeting and personal gain.

The negotiation process alone has resulted in the increasing isolation of the elected Israeli government and a chill in bilateral relations between Washington and Jerusalem. The Israeli government’s opposition to the terms of a nuclear deal with Iran has caused a schism between these two historic allies that may not entirely heal after Obama leaves office in 2017.

On Monday night, reports indicated that the Israeli-American relationship had deteriorated to a point where Israeli officials are now sharing with American lawmakers intelligence that they gleaned from compromising the P5 + 1 talks. Surely as a result of selective leaks from the White House, this operation was revealed in the political press alongside overwrought reaction quotes from unnamed officials close to the administration. “It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” an American official told The Wall Street Journal.

The administration’s progressive partners in the media took their cues. “Allies spy on one another. That’s normal,” Vox.com’s Max Fisher reflected pensively. “Using that spying to sabotage an ally’s regional strategy is not.” By “sabotage,” we mean merely revealing the details of nuclear negotiations led by the White House, the disclosure of which has now led 414 of 535 American legislators to express their reservations about being shut out of this dubious process in writing. If the White House is concerned that Israeli operatives are misleading American elected officials with the selective release of details about those talks, they could easily clear up that misunderstanding in private and save Israeli face in the process. But the information Israel provided to American lawmakers was likely accurate, and the White House wanted to embarrass Jerusalem by litigating the matter in public.

Israel is not content to wait for Washington to come to its senses. Israeli operatives have reportedly now turned to French officials to ensure that their interests in the region are defended.

For the White House, Obama’s legacy achievement is more important than the alliance with Israel.

Obama’s pursuit of a nuclear deal has also yielded to Tehran excessive deference from Washington. Iran is enjoying previously unknown freedom of action in the region, and the Islamic Republic has made the most of it. With pro-Iranian proxies operating freely in four Middle Eastern capitals, America’s traditional Sunni Arab allies are terrified, and they are working to secure their futures in a post-American world.

The Arab Spring demonstrated clearly the frailty of the strongmen-led Arab governments that the West once came to rely upon as unsavory but effective partners. Many of the figures who dominated the political processes in their respective countries in earlier decades are now gone. As Washington has come to rely upon the Shia-dominated forces in the region and the influence Tehran wields over them, the looming Iranian hand extends its shadow over the whole region. America’s traditional allies in Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not taking their security concerns for granted.

“Today, Abdullah’s successor, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, inherits the Saudi policy of containing Iran and its allies, of countering revolutionary sentiment in the region and of maintaining a sometimes tense relationship with the United States,” reporter and professor Mohamad Bazzi warned in January. “And the stakes appear to be higher than ever for Salman with the apparent takeover of Yemen—which sits on Saudi Arabia’s southern border—by the Iranian-allied Shiite Houthi movement.”

As the Saudis echo Israeli concerns about a prospective nuclear deal, flirt with a regional security force operated out of Riyadh, and secure their own pathway to a bomb, the prospect of a nuclear deal with Iran has made the Arab Peninsula more volatile.

The Sunni-dominated state of Egypt has also taken to looking after its own interests. The military government in Cairo, already suspicious of the West after Obama lent his support to Mohamed Morsi’s deposed Muslim Brotherhood government and refused to provide military aid to Egypt following his ouster, is joining in the fight against ISIS along with other Sunni-led Arab states in places like Libya. Egypt is not merely securing its region, but it is also creating a zone of influence in order to cast itself as the defender of Arab security against a nuclear-capable Iran and its Shiite surrogates.

“The treachery of the U.S. Administration is the reason why Egypt’s faith in the United States, which is supposed to defend the Arabs against a nuclear Iran, has effectively evaporated,” read a February analysis published by The Gatestone Institute. “It is possible, in fact, that U.S. policy is to weaken the Sunni world that is seeking to unite under el-Sisi’s flag of modernity. With European complicity, the U.S. Administration is trying to defraud the Arabs and turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a center of Middle Eastern chaos, in order to hide the nuclear deal they are concocting with Iran.”

Even if this is an uncharitable interpretation of administration policy, it is the interpretation that has found a favorable audience in the Arab World’s Sunni-dominated capitals. “A lot of the Gulf countries feel they are being thrown under the bus,” said the prominent Abu Dhabi-based commentator Mishaal al-Gergawi. “The Gulf thought it was in a monogamous relationship with the West, and now it realizes it’s being cheated on because the U.S. was in an open relationship with it.”

For the White House, Obama’s legacy achievement is more important than the alliance with Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

And at home, a revolt is brewing in Congress. Democratic and Republican members of the legislature have grown understandably leery of the White House’s conspicuous efforts to shut them out of the process. Dual letters crafted by a bipartisan cast of legislators indicate that it is increasingly possible that a veto-proof majority in both chambers of Congress might act to repudiate a deal that does not force Tehran to renounce nuclear technology and reverse its enrichment program.

Reports indicate that the U.S. Senate will move forward in April with a bipartisan measure backed by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that will compel the White House to seek Senate ratification of any nuclear accord reached with Iran. The senators’ aim is not to ensure the deal outlasts the administration but to kill it. And they just might succeed in that endeavor over the administration’s objections.

For the White House, Obama’s legacy achievement is more important than his relationship with Congress.

Far from making the world a safer place, the administration has sacrificed geopolitical stability in pursuit of an exhibit in the Obama presidential library. A brief survey of the upheaval that has resulted from the president’s headstrong approach to nuclear negotiations with Tehran suggests that the marginal benefits associated with a nuclear deal are not worth the costs.


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Comments

“I, me, myself” — obama

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2015 at 12:04 PM

ISO, check
Iran, check

Name one other foreign policy success by obama/Hillary/Kerry, I triple dare any of you.

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2015 at 12:05 PM

His legacy will be nothing but crap too.

Political correctness is an illogical doctrine, cultivated by a delusional minority, promoted by the mass-media, which maintains that it is possible to grab a piece of shit by its clean end.

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2015 at 12:06 PM

When Iran one day nukes Israel, NYC, and D.C., the Prophet Obama will belatedly be awarded his second Nobel Peace Prize.

ShainS on March 24, 2015 at 12:07 PM

Noah, the information sharing isn’t so much a sign of a deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and Israel as it is between the President and Congress. The two are related of course, but still.

Count to 10 on March 24, 2015 at 12:08 PM

“With European complicity, the U.S. Administration is trying to defraud the Arabs and turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a center of Middle Eastern chaos, in order to hide the nuclear deal they are concocting with Iran.”

Obama brought the world to Ferguson, Mo., and now he’s bringing Ferguson, Mo. to the world.

cbenoistd on March 24, 2015 at 12:08 PM

Obama’s legacy will be the radioactive piles that used to be NYC and DC.

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2015 at 12:08 PM

Nnnnnoooooooooo!!!!!

elvis lives on March 24, 2015 at 12:09 PM

Allowing Iran a nuke will speed up nuclear proliferation in the ME.
Anyone with half a brain knows it.

Odooshbag has no problem allowing all sorts of miscreants a nuke while at the same time disarming America.
America WAKE UP…he hates us…

Pelosi Schmelosi on March 24, 2015 at 12:09 PM

When Iran one day nukes Israel, NYC, and D.C., the Prophet Obama will belatedly be awarded his second Nobel Peace Prize.

ShainS on March 24, 2015 at 12:07 PM

I am hoping he survives that cataclysm so he can be the first ex-President ever hung for Treason.

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2015 at 12:09 PM

His legacy is treason.

profitsbeard on March 24, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Stanley Kurtz was on Mark Levin’s show yesterday (Monday). He documents Obama’s long, long history as a anti-semite and Palestinian activist.

aquaviva on March 24, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Odooshbag has no problem allowing all sorts of miscreants a nuke while at the same time disarming America.
America WAKE UP…he hates us…

Pelosi Schmelosi on March 24, 2015 at 12:09 PM

It’s probably already too late for that. Every country in the ME is starting a nuke program if they didn’t already have one.

Obama’s legacy AT BEST will be the biggest wave of nuclear proliferation in history.

At worst it will be the first nuclear attack on the United States.

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2015 at 12:11 PM

Schad…..tlaloc, verbie,et. al. Always fall back on the “he got bin laden” crap mantra…..

elvis lives on March 24, 2015 at 12:12 PM

“Ma Richards” of Texas famously said, “George [H.W.] Bush was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.” In some ways that could be said even more of Obama. When did little Barry, or the adult Barack ever face obstacles in life? Never. His way was greased at every stage of his life. He was never poor. His mother was poor because she was a full-time student. But Barry didn’t live with his mother. He lived with his bank vice president grandmother who sent him to private school. Obama is the product of his comfortable childhood, and young adulthood, where nobody ever told him NO. In that way, by NOT facing obstacles in life, he was singularly unqualified to be the president. Proven now.

RBMN on March 24, 2015 at 12:14 PM

It’s probably already too late for that. Every country in the ME is starting a nuke program if they didn’t already have one.

Obama’s legacy AT BEST will be the biggest wave of nuclear proliferation in history.

At worst it will be the first nuclear attack on the United States.

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2015 at 12:11 PM

…all funded by Putin, with whom he claimed to have more “flexibility”…great post BTW..!!

Pelosi Schmelosi on March 24, 2015 at 12:14 PM

Being black (half black?) all Obama had to do was a decent job and he would have been viewed as one of the great Presidents. Instead, he has done an abismal job as President.

bw222 on March 24, 2015 at 12:14 PM

obama has made the world more dangerous

Like all high-profile terrorists who have an unlimited budget.

Pork-Chop on March 24, 2015 at 12:16 PM

At least the next GOP President can fall back on the excuse that he was cleaning up Obama’s mess.

Tater Salad on March 24, 2015 at 12:17 PM

In twenty years, public schools will be trying to convince our grandkids he was really a Republican.

CurtZHP on March 24, 2015 at 12:17 PM

The problem here is the same it’s always been with Oddoshbag…

…he doesn’t view the world as a dangerous place…he views America as a danger to the rest of the world…

It’s really quite that simple…

Pelosi Schmelosi on March 24, 2015 at 12:18 PM

Stanley Kurtz was on Mark Levin’s show yesterday (Monday). He documents Obama’s long, long history as a anti-semite and Palestinian activist.

aquaviva on March 24, 2015 at 12:10 PM

I would have assumed so. The Choom Gang, of mid-tier, affirmative action, Ivy League, pseudo intellectuals, have always hated Israel.

Tater Salad on March 24, 2015 at 12:20 PM

Schad…..tlaloc, verbie,et. al. Always fall back on the “he got bin laden” crap mantra…..

elvis lives on March 24, 2015 at 12:12 PM

And we all know that shut islamic terrorism right the hell down, didn’t it!

CurtZHP on March 24, 2015 at 12:21 PM

Hubris.

“Hoo-breeze” — Al Sharpton

Aizen on March 24, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Neville Chamberlain has quite the legacy too.

Bishop on March 24, 2015 at 12:25 PM

So I just got done looking at motorcycle riding clothes online and now HotGas has a sidebar ad showing the EXACT product vid I viewed. How does that work?

Bishop on March 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM

bw222….good point. All obama had to do was “show up” metaphorically speaking, which is 75% of success. Instead, like a lot of *ahem* people of color , unfortunately , he failed to do even that…..

elvis lives on March 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM

obama is just dumb as a bag of hammers……he would have been laughed out of Dodge except for his whitney huston-like speaking voice

clandestine on March 24, 2015 at 12:28 PM

So I just got done looking at motorcycle riding clothes online and now HotGas has a sidebar ad showing the EXACT product vid I viewed. How does that work?

Bishop on March 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM

Would you like some cookies?

profitsbeard on March 24, 2015 at 12:31 PM

Over at Ace…

Iran on Proposed Snap Inspections of Its Nuclear Sites: Nah

Pelosi Schmelosi on March 24, 2015 at 12:31 PM

So I just got done looking at motorcycle riding clothes online and now HotGas has a sidebar ad showing the EXACT product vid I viewed. How does that work?

Bishop on March 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM

As long as you’re not shopping for another boat…

CurtZHP on March 24, 2015 at 12:32 PM

Far from making the world a safer place, the administration has sacrificed geopolitical stabilit in pursuit of an exhibit in the Obama presidential library. A brief survey of the upheaval that has resulted from the president’s headstrong approach to nuclear negotiations with Tehran suggests that the marginal benefits associated with a nuclear deal are not worth the costs.”
When I think of the most telling of Obama’s accomplishments..well,..they can put a gold plated steaming pile of Shite in his library. Titled ” How Obama Changed The World”.
Because Everything And I mean everything this man has touch, pushed on, forced us to pay for, and his gifts to the world have turned into crap! That will his legacy.

Bakokitty on March 24, 2015 at 12:33 PM

Neville Chamberlain has quite the legacy too.

Bishop on March 24, 2015 at 12:25 PM

He’s worse than me!

Neville Chamberlain on March 24, 2015

I agree, Neville.

22044 on March 24, 2015 at 12:34 PM

Obama getting beat up by female basketball players now. Yep, hes ready to deal with isil now….

elvis lives on March 24, 2015 at 12:42 PM

‘JEB BUSH ADVISER SLAMS NETANYAHU, ISRAEL AT LEFT-WING J STREET GALA’

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/24/jeb-bush-adviser-blames-netanyahu-on-iran-palestinians/

Pork-Chop on March 24, 2015 at 12:44 PM

Bishop. That happens to me too. Must be a way for HA to make money. Believe its called indirect advertising.

elvis lives on March 24, 2015 at 12:44 PM

Obama the narcissist lusts after his glorious legacy, the liberal media and historians (for whom political correctness determines what will be on the “right side of history”) are eager to give it to him, and to hell with what’s best for America. Obama just makes my blood boil, what he’s done and is currently doing to drag down our country.

otlset on March 24, 2015 at 12:46 PM

Give a commie democrat party liberal loon like Obama an inch, he will take a mile on credit and money printing.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 24, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Well, d’uh… there’s no way they’ll crown him President of the World if everything is all peaceful and peachy keen.

LoganSix on March 24, 2015 at 12:51 PM

All about the O

cmsinaz on March 24, 2015 at 12:52 PM

In twenty years, public schools will be trying to convince our grandkids he was really a Republican.

CurtZHP on March 24, 2015 at 12:17 PM

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry … but a solid prognostication.

ShainS on March 24, 2015 at 12:55 PM

Name one other foreign policy success by obama/Hillary/Kerry, I triple dare any of you.

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2015 at 12:05 PM

How about Libya – uh, QKuackdafi replaced, by, uh ISIS?
How about Crimea / Ukraine? – hmmmm….
Wellllll, how about Nigeria? ummm well, ProcolHarem did bring back our girls, uh, didn’t they?
Darn – this is a bit harder than I thought it would be…..

dentarthurdent on March 24, 2015 at 12:57 PM

In the pursuit of a legacy, Obama has made the world more dangerous

Um, c’mon now, really ? Can’t you JUST SAY IT ?

In the successful pursuit of a legacy his goals , Obama has made the world more dangerous

Is that not obvious, Mr. Hot Air ?

williampeck1958 on March 24, 2015 at 12:58 PM

So I just got done looking at motorcycle riding clothes online and now HotGas has a sidebar ad showing the EXACT product vid I viewed. How does that work?

Bishop on March 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM

Cookies. Try searching Google for red poka dot pink boxers. Then go to Amazon and that’s all you will see…

That’s why my browser destroys all cookies on exit.

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2015 at 12:58 PM

..red poka dot pink boxers…

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2015 at 12:58 PM

I ain’t sayin’ a word.

CurtZHP on March 24, 2015 at 1:06 PM

On Monday night, reports indicated that the Israeli-American Obama relationship and Congressional-Obama relationship had deteriorated to a point that Israeli officials are now sharing intelligence that they gleaned from compromising the P5+1 talks with American lawmakers. S

FIFY

talkingpoints on March 24, 2015 at 1:12 PM

Don’t think this article was linked from HA yesterday. The author pulls no punches.

Tsar of Earth on March 24, 2015 at 1:17 PM

Name one other foreign policy success by obama/Hillary/Kerry, I triple dare any of you.

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2015 at 12:05 PM

Add Yemen to the list…. success, forward…..

Obama’s counterterrorism strategy in Yemen collapses amid chaos

dentarthurdent on March 24, 2015 at 1:22 PM

Obama’s legacy is contingent on future events. If Muslims emerge triumphant, you may rest assured that a statue of Obama will be erected in Victory Square.

MaiDee on March 24, 2015 at 1:25 PM

How about Libya…
How about Crimea…
Nigeria…

Darn – this is a bit harder than I thought it would be…..

dentarthurdent on March 24, 2015 at 12:57 PM

Here. Let me help:

How about Egypt and the US.

(But hosing the US was intentional, he hates that foreign crackernation.)

Tsar of Earth on March 24, 2015 at 1:26 PM

Stop with the “legacy” crap already. What we’re seeing is NOT a desperate scramble for a legacy but rather the continuing implementation of Obama’s plan to “fundamentally change the United States of America” and, thereby, the world.

Yes. We. Can.

Mike from NC on March 24, 2015 at 1:31 PM

‘JEB BUSH ADVISER SLAMS NETANYAHU, ISRAEL AT LEFT-WING J STREET GALA’

Pork-Chop on March 24, 2015 at 12:44 PM

James ‘F*ck the Jews, they don’t vote to for us anyway’ Baker III, my, what a freakin’ surprise lol!

Keep up the good work, Jeb /s

BabyGrace on March 24, 2015 at 1:43 PM

“Legacy achievement”? Surely you jest.

The only thing Obama has achieved is to bump Jimmy Carter up
a rung on the worst president list.

Amjean on March 24, 2015 at 1:49 PM

Always looking.

Bmore on March 24, 2015 at 1:50 PM

I got one foreign policy success right here pal.

Ebola.

SpongePuppy on March 24, 2015 at 2:13 PM

What did they expect when they handed the keys to the most powerful position of geo-political influence to a guy whose singular achievement in the private sector was as a community organizer in Chicago?

Cleombrotus on March 24, 2015 at 2:15 PM

Bishop on March 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM

Haha. The eye of Sauron.

I got ladies lingerie in my sidebar for the same reason.

SpongePuppy on March 24, 2015 at 2:16 PM

One can only conclude from these “negotiations” that King Barack enjoys being punked!

GarandFan on March 24, 2015 at 5:25 PM

B-b-but we’re talkin’ ’bout Obama!

If the first man in US history elected president solely for the level of melatonin in his skin can’t fabricate some sort of legacy, who can?

Oh wait, that CAN be his legacy. We’ll call him melatonin man. It’s the only thing he hasn’t been able to destroy.

Oxymoron on March 24, 2015 at 6:30 PM

The Community Organizer-in-Chief equates the “oppressed” Palestinians (foreign) and the “oppressed” minorities (domestic). As a progressive idealogue, he is unable to see the truth, only majority v. minority. His beliefs have nothing to do with reality, they are focused on centralizing control. Domestically this means the Executive Branch; internationally it means a body like the UN. He would love to bypass American representation in the Congress and send control of all nuclear arms to an “independent” (Ha!) body like the UN.

And lest we forget, his Senior Advisor is the Iranian born Valerie (Bowman) Jarrett. God only knows what that woman is whispering in his ear.

MOgovMOproblems on March 25, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Mike from NC on March 24, 2015 at 1:31 PM

While I think Obama would view an Iranian deal as a feather in his cap, I agree that he isn’t really focused on legacy. I mentioned VJ in my previous post. I’m not spinning some conspiracy theory about her ruling the country, it’s just to remind everyone that this SCOAMT surrounds himself with lackeys like some infantile hoodlum, and who knows what juvenile misinformation they’re feeding him to “fundamentally change the US” and by extension the world.

Don’t ever take down a fence until you know why it was put up.

Robert Frost

To re-phrase: Don’t tear down the beacon of freedom without examining who will fill the power vacuum…

MOgovMOproblems on March 25, 2015 at 10:01 AM