As the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency comes to close, it is appropriate to begin evaluating his policies in preparation for this year’s midterm election cycle. Many on the Left and staunch Never-Trump holdouts in the establishment Republican Party are expecting landslide victories for the Democrats across the US. As they have in every special election since the President’s victory in 2016.
The anti-Trump political analysts and Fake News partisans will consider the midterms a referendum on Donald Trump and his administration. Bearing this in mind, it is vital that Americans reflect on the American success that came from first year of the Trump Administration. Many Republican politicians and conservative commentators will highlight the major economic growth of 2017 and tax reform as President Trump’s most important victories. However, when comparing stark contrasts between the foreign policy of Trump and his predecessor, the winning which the President promised on the campaign trail becomes more apparent.
Syria, ISIS, Refugees, & America’s New Backbone.
In 2009 former president Barack Obama set the tone for his administration’s foreign policy on his first trip abroad as POTUS in Cairo, Egypt. In delivering a speech to Cairo University and, tacitly, the international community, the leader of the free world claimed he sought a “New Beginning” with the Middle East, and this relationship with the Muslim world would be based on mutual respect and common values. In reality however, President Obama’s foreign policy was mired in globalism and undermined American principles. In a tumultuous 8 years, the Obama State Department emboldened Islamic extremism with policy regarding Syria, Israel and Iran.
First, President Obama prefaced the discourse in The Middle East by advocating in favor of the Arab Spring protests. In a hope to establish more moderate regimes in the region, demonstrations and mass protest ousted leadership that was followed closely by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in North Africa. The political disarray of the Arab Spring set Obama’s foreign policy on Syria, and his first major failure in defending American values abroad.
To avoid the same fate as Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Syrian president Bashar Al Assad, waged civil war against protesters. President Obama responded with a red-line, threatening serious consequences if Assad continued to use gas bombs against his citizens. The Syrians called Obama’s bluff and disregarded his threat to which the President did nothing. Slashing American credibility to ribbons in the region, according to his own CIA officials. The Obama State Department also armed various Syrian rebel groups to topple Assad’s regime. Those rebels were subsequently exposed to radicalizing rhetoric by ISIS, who also sought to overthrow the secular Syrian regime.
Unlike his predecessor, President Trump has handled the Syrian government and ISIS with expertise. President Trump too made a red line for Assad for his use of chemical weapons. The Syrians responded by poisoning women and children in the first months of the Trump presidency. President Trump stuck to his word and ordered a missile strike on Syrian airfields. Since then, chemical weapons have not been used against civilians in the war-torn country. The military rules of engagement were loosened as well under Trump. The military was directed to destroy ISIS, and within months the caliphate that was eviscerated in their territorial claims, and presently is running like rats after the capture of their would be capital, Mosul.
The Obama administration experienced secondary effects of their Syrian policy as well. Threatened by the Assad regime and the rise of the Islamic State, Syrians attempting to escape the horrific violence were invited into the US. President Obama supported the acceptance of these refugees from the Middle East and urged our European allies to do the same. These refugees flooded into Western Europe and were accepted regardless of their credentials, even if they were totally undocumented. Terrorist attacks committed by radicalized refugees struck, France, The United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium, all under the ISIS flag. Thankfully the United States has not experienced the results on a similar scale as our socially progressive European allies. President Trump called into question the refugee policy and has sought to increase scrutiny on the refugees and their background. To do so, the President’s controversial travel ban that affected 8 Muslim-majority countries is intended to research practices that can inhibit foreign extremists to infiltrate the US.
A New Relationship With Israel
The Obama Administration turned its back on Israel, our only ally in the region and the only democratically elected government in the Middle East. President Obama’s administration was consistently unsupportive and critical of Israel on the international stage, giving credence to Hamas, Fatah, and the Palestinian Authority which seeks to decimate Israel completely. The Obama State Department even attempted to interfere (one may even say “meddle”) with an Israeli election to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Obama Administration had a clearly Anti-Israeli foreign policy that empowered terrorists to run rampant throughout the region. This is particularly apparent in Jerusalem, where security forces handle unprovoked attacks against civilians regularly at the hands of the Palestinian Authority.
Just last month President Trump acted with bravery on the world stage, putting actions to the words of every American President since Bill Clinton, as the President noted in a tweet last month. Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem is imperative in our support of the Israeli government. By confirming the obvious, the President and his advisors took a major step toward ending terrorism, supporting democracy and religious freedom in the area. Prime Minister Netanyahu cheered the US for the decision and hopes Europe follows suit. The United States has started to reestablish the strong bond we lost throughout the Obama administration. The Trump Administration has not capitulated to the extremist Palestinian Authority or globalist diplomats in the United Nations, claiming that US foreign aid to them is on the line if they cannot commit to peace with Israel, and respect American and Israeli sovereignty.
Iran & The Horrible Nuclear Deal
Finally, President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal gave leash to the largest state sponsor of terrorism. Without regard to limits on Constitutional authority, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry agreed to the deal without Congressional authorization. The Iranians received 1.7 billion Dollars from the US taxpayer and had crippling economic sanctions lifted. The pallet of cash was sent in an unmarked aircraft was dubbed a principal payment plus interest for a 30-year-old arms deal by the administration. The State Department and Obama Acolytes vehemently deny that the payment was a ransom for three American Prisoners, although the timing of the payment was delivered only after they were released. The Obama Administration admitted their knowledge that the payment could potentially (Read: will definitely) be funneled into terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. The oppressive Iranian government accepted the deal and in exchange was expected to stop their production of enriched uranium for 10 years, and ballistic missiles for 15. The former President thinks of the Iran nuclear deal as his chief foreign policy victory, rather than enabling a terrorist Islamic government to sustain their rule and become a regional power.
President Trump has been highly critical of the deal, putting Iran on notice for their violations of the deal and continued military research. The Mullahs of Iran and their theocratic regime have been threatened with new sanctions and an American exit on the agreement. The President and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley have also called Iran out on their violation of human rights, oppression of women and non-Muslims. Action on his rhetoric is a necessity for President Trump regarding Iran. He has kept his promises concerning Syria, ISIS, and Israel, but dismantling the relations his predecessor established with Iran is key in cementing his dedication to the values we have held as a world power since World War II
In short, the “New Beginning” President Obama sought with the Muslim World in 2009 involved the toppling governments he spoke to on that very trip, turning the back of the American government on our closest ally of Israel, and propping up our most outspoken ideological enemy, the Mullahs of Iran. The common values he spoke of at Cairo University were not the American values of individual liberty, religious freedom and equality under the law espoused in our founding documents. But rather, Barack Obama’s values of globalism, appeasement, and tolerance of oppression in the name of inclusion.
Conversely, President Trump has championed his middle eastern policy on behalf of American values in his first year regarding these same countries. The Trump Doctrine positions the US back into a position of credible strength. The Trump foreign policy team has made it clear: The United States are a source of good in the world, and we will not be taken advantage of.