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National Security Desk / November 14, 2016

Failed Foreign Policy President Offers ‘Reassurance’

Ironically, Obama created the Trump phenomenon.

Barack Obama began his first term with an “apology tour” — a phrase that describes Obama’s trotting around the globe to offer condolences for American exceptionalism and alleged U.S.-rooted “injustices.” It was a rejection of longstanding protocol and a blatant jab at his predecessor, George W. Bush, whose foreign policy included prosecuting the wars against jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But whatever one thinks of Bush’s decisions, it is more fallacious to believe Obama wrought anything better. In fact, his apology tour was the beginning of a profoundly failed foreign policy — one that, with the help of Hillary Clinton, resulted in the creation of the Islamic State. It also did nothing to improve our allies’ perception of the world’s lone superpower.

That’s not to say Donald Trump’s ascension hasn’t rattled the globe. But there’s rich irony in Obama using his final months to provide “reassurance” to those who fear populism will continue to reverberate. “I still don’t feel responsible for what the president-elect says or does,” he said in his first remarks overseas. “But I do feel a responsibility as president of the United States to facilitate a smooth transition.”

According to The Washington Times, “President Obama embarks on his final foreign trip Monday, leaving behind a Donald Trump wave in the United States and heading straight into another Trump-like wave in Europe. The lame-duck president is hoping to reassure allies about the stability of U.S. policy, while the president-elect is gearing up to unravel some of Mr. Obama’s biggest foreign policy initiatives, including the Paris climate change agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.”

The Times continues, “Mr. Obama will be largely powerless to deal with rising concerns among European leaders that upcoming elections in Italy and France could be swayed by the same sort of anti-establishment forces that contributed to Mr. Trump’s victory and British voters’ decision to leave the European Union. The U.S. president was on the losing side of both votes, and he’s also spoken out in support of the Italian prime minister’s proposed constitutional changes to consolidate power, a referendum to be held next month.”

Of course, what Obama won’t admit is that his socialist overreach created the Trump phenomenon. “People seem to think I did a pretty good job, so there is this mismatch between frustration and anger,” Obama said. “Perhaps the view of the American people was we just need to shake things up.”

He sought to belittle America by subjugating it to the rules and governance of other nations. Yet voters here and all over the globe are rejecting the policies this administration wants so badly to permanently instill. Trump has a lot to prove, both domestically and internationally. But that doesn’t change the fact that the departing president is underscoring the disaster of his own reign by offering our partners reassurance. After all, he created their apprehension.

(Edited.)

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