The crowded stadium roars its approval -- “Allah is great!” -- as a man shoots a woman in a public execution. Militants destroy a historic religious shrine. Women and children face public abuse, private violence, and daily fear. Girls, denied access to education, remain trapped in a seventh-century dystopia. A bloodthirsty terrorist organization promises death to Americans.
Think this resembles the Middle East today? No, these references date to the turn of the millennium in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Today, these same toxic forces behead children, sell women into sex slavery, drive ethnic and religious minorities from their homeland. Refugees hide in mountains and feed their children the parents’ own blood to prevent dehydration and certain death. ISIS jihadists throw screaming women and children into mass graves and, more recently, beheaded American photojournalist James Wright Foley in a disgusting “made-for-YouTube murder,” as some have called it.
Small wonder, then, that most Americans disapprove of president Barack Obama’s foreign policy. A recent NBC/WSJ survey on the president’s foreign policy registered 57 percent disapproval, an all-time high. Obama’s foreign policy has become noteworthy for a remarkable series of bad decisions, miscalculations, and fecklessness -- tragically ironic for an administration whose foreign policy mantra is “don’t do stupid [stuff].”
Mr. Obama drew an ominous “red line” with Syria, threatening action if Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. When Assad deployed chemical weapons against his own people, Mr. Obama did . . . nothing.
Mr. Obama has taken steps to remove economic sanctions against Iran without any concessions from Iran or progress on limiting Iran’s ambitions to become a nuclear state.
Mr. Obama’s lead-from-behind Libyan policy supported aggressive military action against Qaddafi, who had voluntarily relinquished his illegal weapons program in direct response to the deterrent effect of Iraqi regime change. Post-Qaddafi, Libya has become destabilized, harboring terrorists and causing havoc in neighboring African countries.
Mr. Obama fixated on removing our troops from Iraq as a strategic end unto itself. Since our departure, the resulting vacuum left an environment in which jihadists could take control of most of Iraq and erase its border with Syria.
Mr. Obama declared a specific date for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, signaling both to violent jihadists and Afghan allies an impending return to the pre-9/11 dystopia there. Emboldened, militants attacked U.S. troops there, killing Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer killed in action since the Vietnam War.