As historian David Halberstam describes it, LBJ "would talk to his closest political aides about the McCarthy days, of how Truman lost China and then the Congress and the White House and how, by God, Johnson was not going to be the president who lost Vietnam and then the Congress and the White House."
LBJ's incompetent handling of that war allowed liberals to spend the next half-century denouncing every use of American military force as "another Vietnam."
Jimmy Carter warned Americans about their "inordinate fear of communism" and claimed to have been attacked by a giant swimming rabbit.
His most inspired strategic move was to abandon the Shah of Iran, a loyal U.S. ally, which gave rise to the global Islamofascist movement we're still dealing with today. By allowing the Shah to be overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1979, Carter handed Islamic crazies their first state.
Before the end of the year, the Islamic lunatics had taken 52 Americans hostage in Tehran, where they remained for 444 days.
The hostages were released only minutes after Ronald Reagan's inauguration for reasons succinctly captured in a Jeff MacNelly cartoon. It shows Khomeini reading a telegram aloud: "It's from Ronald Reagan. It must be about one of the Americans in the Den of Spies, but I don't recognize the name. It says 'Remember Hiroshima.'"
Bill Clinton's masterful handling of foreign policy was such a catastrophe that he had to deploy his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, to steal classified documents from the National Archives in 2003 to avoid their discovery by the 9/11 commission.
Twice, when Clinton was president, Sudan had offered to turn over bin Laden to the U.S. But, unfortunately, these offers came in early 1996 when Clinton was busy ejaculating on White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton rebuffed Sudan's offers.
According to Michael Scheuer, who ran the bin Laden unit at the CIA for many years, Clinton was given eight to 10 chances to kill or capture bin Laden but refused to act, despite bin Laden's having murdered hundreds of Americans in terrorist attacks around the world. Would that one of those opportunities had arisen on the day of Clinton's scheduled impeachment! Instead of pointlessly bombing Iraq, he might have finally taken out bin Laden.
When Obama took office, al Qaida had been routed in Iraq -- from Fallujah, Sadr City and Basra. Muqtada al-Sadr -- the Dr. Phil of Islamofascist radicalism -- had waddled off in retreat to Iran. The Iraqis had a democracy, a miracle on the order of flush toilets in Afghanistan.
By Bush's last year in office, monthly casualties in Iraq were coming in slightly below a weekend with Justin Bieber. In 2008, there were more than three times as many homicides in Chicago as U.S. troop deaths in the Iraq War. (Chicago: 509; Iraq: 155).
On May 30, The Washington Post reported: "CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays (al-Qaida) as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world ..." Even hysterics at The New York Times admitted that al-Qaida and other terrorist groups had nearly disappeared from Southeast Asia by 2008.
A few short years into Obama's presidency -- and al-Qaida is back! For purely political reasons, as soon as he became president, Obama removed every last troop from Iraq, despite there being Americans troops deployed in dozens of countries around the world.
In 2004, nearly 100 soldiers, mostly Marines, died in the battle to take Fallujah from al-Qaida. Today, al-Qaida's black flag flies above Fallujah.
Bush won the war, and Obama gave it back.
Obama couldn't be bothered with preserving America's victory in Iraq. He was busy helping to topple a strong American ally in Egypt and a slavish American minion in Libya -- in order to install the Muslim Brotherhood in those countries instead. (That didn't work out so well for U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans murdered in Benghazi.)
So now, another Russian leader is playing cat-and-mouse with an American president -- and guess who's the mouse? Putin has taunted Obama in Iran, in Syria and with Edward Snowden. By now, Obama has become such an object for Putin's amusement that the fastest way to get the Russians out of Crimea would be for Obama to call on Putin to invade Ukraine.