Saturday, December 17, 2016
The President Obama legacy- a centrist foreign policy
By SJ Otto
President Barack Obama's foreign policy is a lot like his domestic policies.....Centrist. To begin with lets look at some of his earliest promises. He planned on emptying the concentration camp in
that his predecessor, George W. Bush built to hold undesirable Middle east folks.
“In the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantánamo, we have compromised our most precious values,” Obama said, according to The New Yorker.
The prison held 779 prisoners under the former Prez. George W. Bush. And while Obama's words of wisdom are right, there were a few prisoners there he didn't feel OK with releasing. Most of the original prisoners were either innocent or they had not violated international law on the rules of war. Most of those were released. There were just a few. Today there are 126 prisoners that Obama is reluctant to release outside the
US. He tried to
relocate them in US maximum prisons but various US congress people have stood in
his way. Kansas
for instance has some maximum security prisons that could easily take these
last few terrorists. But US
Pompeo and others like him have resisted that idea. They claim that the
state prisons just aren't safe for such dangerous criminals. But in reality,
the Republicans want to keep open and expand it.
Many Republicans have not minced words on this. Guantánamo
"These detainees aren't in Gitmo for parking tickets," Gardner, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a video released Saturday. "They're there because they want to kill Americans and hate everything that we stand for. They're the worst of the worst."
Of course that is ridiculous. We have some really bad people in our local prisons, such as serial killers. We can hold them. The Republicans just don't want to.
Some things Obama has done are good for the country. He finally relaxed US relations with
Cuba. The US should have done that years ago. This
country works with Communist China. Why then not have relations with the last
Marxist government in the world and a country just a few hundred miles away.
Our next president Donald Trump has indicated he may reverse this action and go
back to our back-ward cold war years.
deal was a good idea for this country. Iran is not a progressive country,
but why fight an unnecessary war with them. Our future president Trump claims
he will rip that agreement up. Obama was never able to get a decent agreement
from North (Democratic People's Republic of) Korea and he has not made much
effort in those respects. Trump claims he can work out a deal with North Korea. We
Then there is our imperialist invasions of
Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has not expanded
them but he has not stopped them either. As with Guantánamo
Bay, Obama hinted he would remove all
troops from Iraq,
when he ran for office. But that is not what he did. He did withdrawal most
forces on 21 October 2011. But when ISIS (Islamic State) started to take Iraqi
territory from the US
puppet regime, Obama went back. We are now locked in a war with ISIS. Many of us feel this war was unnecessary on our
part. We are being attacked because the US
decided to take up arms against ISIS.
Then there is the puppet regime in
Bush invaded the country to go after Al-Qaeda.
But it was never necessary to replace that government with a
puppet. Many people thought Obama would take all US Troops out of US Afghanistan.
But that never happened. And by the time
Obama leaves office he will have increased the number of troops in that
His policies in
Israel have not been that good. But
as a centrist he has not gone to the far right or the far left. He has done
little to support the rights of Palestinians nor has he gone out of his way to
help Israel's hard liners, who
at present, want to liquidate Palestine
and the Palestinians. President-elect Trump wants to support Israel with their current
ultra-far-right leaders who want nothing to do with peace.
Some of what Obama has done is pure imperialism. He has ordered Bashar al- Assad ( بشار حافظ الأس) to step down in
Syria, a position he has no right
to make. He has supported the Free Syrian Army, which is the most right-wing
guerrilla movement since the Nicaraguan
The whole issue of
was a Republican non-issue.
Obama worked hard to oust Muammar al-Qaddafi (محمد
القذافي). That was pure imperialism and not necessary at all. But
then came the attack in Benghazi, Libya Benghazi.
It was a justified response by those who resented the US interference
in their internal affairs. The Republicans claimed that Hillary Clinton and
Obama were responsible. They were only in that they should have stayed out of Libya to begin
with. That was not what the Republicans were complaining bout.
In Latin America Obama has not directly interfered in the Bolivar revolutions, in
Latin America, including democratic socialist
regimes such as Hugo
So this is a quick run down. For those who wanted a less imperialist foreign policy—no luck on that front. The far far right, under future Prez. Trump may be far far far worse than any of us on the left had imagined. We will see.
But this article is about Obama. His foreign policy was not great or even satisfactory. It is too bad I don't expect things to get better. Obama did some good and it may not have been nearly enough.