What has Obama gotten done on his two big foreign trips?
Posted by iusbvision on July 10, 2009
What is Obama’s foreign policy record so far?? I started to jot down a list:
Gordon Brown visits the United States and brings with him priceless historical artifacts to give to the White House. Obama gives Gordon Brown the DVD’s of the wrong region code so they cannot even be played which the British people took as an insult. Obama has the bust of Winston Churchill removed from the White House and sent back to England. Then the State Department said that we have no special relationship with England.
Obama goes on the apology tour starting in England. The British press say that Obama has made more comments disparaging his own country than any other US President in known history. On his big economics agenda he tried to get a global stimulus by getting the other countries to boost domestic debt and spending. Obama was rebuffed and told in essence “hey haven’t you been paying attention, we have been doing that and it didn’t work for us either”. He did manage to get members of Western Europe to make new donations to the IMF.
Obama wanted the Europeans to participate more in their own national defense and to help out more in Afghanistan. No success.
He full bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.
North Korea is taunting us by doing multiple missile tests. Obama shows strength by REDUCING the funding for missile defense in Alaska. He did move a missile defense boat to Hawaii though. North Korea’s response to this weakness was more tests. Obama tried to get China to lean on North Korea to get them to behave, no luck.
To show his strength in fighting Al-Qaeda, terror suspects are now being read Miranda rights, the words “war on terror” has been banned by the administration and terrorist attacks are now being referred to “man made disasters”. The Afghan and Iraq War are now being called “The Overseas Contingency Operation”.
In dealing with Russia, no progress or any serious attempt made on the undermining of democracy and personal freedoms in Russia. Obama goes out of his way to downplay the role of the United States in winning the Cold War. Obama agreed to lower our nuclear arsenal in exchange for next to nothing in return (promises to buy more American meat etc).
Poland and Georgia have been effectively thrown under the bus. Obama has put Poland’s much desired missile defense on hold, Russian troops are still in Georgia illegally and Obama did not even bother to visit our Eastern European allies while he was in the region.
Israel. Obama slaps Israel in the face by having his opening negotiations in the region with Israel’s enemies. Israel is our best ally in the region and our staunchest supporter in the UN. Obama tried to tie West Bank settlements is Israel to standing up to Iranian nukes (ergo we will go soft on resisting Iran unless you do what Obama wants domestically). Israel in response says that there will be no peace talks until the Iranian threat is neutralized. Since Iran is funding Israel’s closest enemies it is a logical position to take.
Honduras. The Hugo Chavez and Castro allied president of Honduras tried to make himself dictator for life, took illegal actions, bucked the Honduran Supreme Court in its correct interpretation of Honduran law and tried to take personal control of the military to carry out and enforce his illegal edicts. In response the military expelled him from the country, placed the Speaker of the Honduran Legislature in office who is in the process of setting up new elections. Obama sides with Hugo Chavez and Castro and demands that the would be dictator be returned to power and new elections stopped. Obama has even gone so far as to head an effort to oust Honduras from the Organization of American States.
Miquel Estrada gives more detail in the L.A. Times:
Honduras, the tiny Central American nation, had a change of leaders on June 28. The country’s military arrested President Manuel Zelaya — in his pajamas, he says — and put him on a plane bound for Costa Rica. A new president, Roberto Micheletti, was appointed. Led by Cuba and Venezuela (Sudan and North Korea were not immediately available), the international community swiftly condemned this “coup.”
Something clearly has gone awry with the rule of law in Honduras — but it is not necessarily what you think. Begin with Zelaya’s arrest. The Supreme Court of Honduras, as it turns out, had ordered the military to arrest Zelaya two days earlier. A second order (issued on the same day) authorized the military to enter Zelaya’s home to execute the arrest. These orders were issued at the urgent request of the country’s attorney general. All the relevant legal documents can be accessed (in Spanish) on the Supreme Court’s website.
UPDATE 10-20-2009 – Congressional Research Service: Obama Wrong, Honduras Correct to Remove Zelaya
The CRS Report is HERE.
Via the Washington Examiner:
The legal arguments made in the report, which was prepared by Senior Foreign Law Specialist Norma Gutierrez, are quite intricate and based in Honduran law. But the bottom line is this:
- The Honduran Congress appears to have acted properly in deposing President Manuel Zelaya. Unlike in the United States, the Honduran Congress has the last word when it comes to interpreting the Constitution. Although there is no provision in Honduras’s Constitution for impeachment as such, the body does have powers to disapprove of the president’s official acts, and to replace him in the event that he is incapable of performing his duties. Most importantly, the Congress also has the authority to interpret exactly what that means.
- The Supreme Court was legally entitled to ask the military to arrest Zelaya. The high court, which is the constitutional venue for trials of the president and other high-ranking officials, also recognized the Congress’s ouster of Zelaya when it referred his case back down to a lower court afterward, on the grounds that he was “no longer a high-ranking government official.”
- The military did not act properly in forcibly expatriating Zelaya. According to the CRS report and other news stories, Honduran authorities are investigating their decision, which the military justified at the time as a means of preventing bloodshed. In fact, Zelaya should have been given a trial, and if convicted of seeking reelection, he would have lost his citizenship. But he is still a citizen now, and the Constitution forbids the expatriation of Honduran citizens by their government.
- The proper line of succession was followed after Zelaya’s ouster. Because there was no Vice President in office when Zelaya was removed (he had resigned to run for president), Micheletti was the proper successor, as he had been president of the Congress.
“The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concluded the removal of former President Zelaya was Constitutional, and we must respect that,” Rep. Aaron Schock said today. “It’s unconscionable the administration would attempt to force Honduras to violate its own Constitution by cutting of foreign aid.”