On the Sunday following President Obama's announced nuke deal with Iran, Thomas Friedman -- liberal op-ed columnist and pseudo intellectual for the New York Times -- sat down with the President to discuss the deal. As part of the interview, Friedman gave props to Obama for "knocking down walls" that have existed for years in the countries of Burma, Cuba, and now, Iran. Friedman called the President's actions towards these countries the "Obama Doctrine" which is to engage rather than isolate adversaries with sanctions. The only problem with this so-called Doctrine is that it is inconsistently applied.
For, example, the President claimed sanctions haven't worked for 60 years in dealing with Cuba. They also haven't deterred Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state. Yet, we still apply sanctions against North Korea, and most recently, Obama applied sanctions against Russia over Crimea and the Ukraine. If sanctions don't work, why apply them to Russia, and why keep them against more than two dozen other countries?
Then, there's the inconsistencies against Libya, Syria, the Ukraine, and Crimea. In Libya, we led from behind by forming a coalition to overthrow Gaddafi. And, Gaddafi was overthrown. But, in the case of Syria, we did nothing to help the free-Syria rebels oust the tyrant Bashar al-Assad. Similarly, in the case of Crimea and the Ukraine, we did nothing to assist those who were fighting the Russian-backed rebels.
Also, where there has been engagement, how has that worked?
Engagement with Russia obviously didn't work. In 2009, Obama (vis-a-vis Hillary Clinton) "reset" relations with Russia. We even sweetened the relationship by scraping our European missile defense system that had been seen as a threat to Russia's ability to launch an attack on Europe. So, what did all this "honey" buy us. Nothing. Russia has used our less-aggressive green light to retake Crimea and, eventually, all of the Ukraine. Then, too, Russia has been busy hacking our White House and State Department computers. Things between our two countries haven't been this cold since the war. And, now, Russia is out to protect Iran from any attack over it's nuke program, by installing a sophisticated ground-to-air missile defense system.
In Libya, we and our coalition overthrew Gaddafi, but, since then we've had to high-tail-it out of the country because the people we freed weren't really our friends. Then, in Egypt, Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood. Unfortunately, the entire country didn't and the Muslim Brotherhood officials that won elections were ousted by a military coup to protect the nation. It seems like the Obama Doctrine is all about betting on the wrong horse.
Given the past spoiled fruits of the Obama Doctrine, it is hard to believe that our relationship with Cuba and Iran will turn out any better. Already, Cuba is demanding (not asking) for the return of Guantanamo Bay and financial reparations for the last 60 years of sanctions. The "or else" on that demand is anyone's guess. Then, too, besides just recently calling for "Death to America", the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran is demanding immediate removal of all U.N. sanctions or their is no deal. So, now, the Obama Doctrine might be faced with "no engagement" on that one. At the same time, while we are feeding the hand of Iran over a nuke deal, they are busily overthrowing any remnants of the government of Yemen which the President claimed was our best ally against radical Islam.
Essentially, in the wake of the Obama Doctrine, there has been nothing but failure after failure. The fact that the Middle East is on the precipice of an all-out Shia versus Sunni war is an example of how a carrot-only-without-a-stick philosophy is not only wrong but just plain stupid. However, media types on the left like Friedman just can't see it. Simply, the world will not be a better place until Obama and the Obama Doctrine leave the world stage in 2016.
Friedman: Iran and the Obama Doctrine: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/opinion/thomas-friedman-the-obama-doctrine-and-iran-interview.html
Obama Doctrine: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know: http://heavy.com/news/2015/04/obama-foreign-policy-doctrine-iran-nuclear-agreement-deal-change-interview-thomas-friedman-new-york-times-video/
U.S. Sanctions Programs: http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/Programs.aspx
How the Russian 'Reset' Explains Obama's Foreign Policy: http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/10/16/how-the-russian-reset-explains-obamas-foreign-policy/
Obama scraps Bush missile-defense plan - ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obama-scraps-bush-missile-defense-plan/story?id=8604357
White House hacking reports highlight digital cold war between US, Russia: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Passcode/2015/0410/White-House-hacking-reports-highlight-digital-cold-war-between-US-Russia
Russia to supply Iran with missile defence system: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/04/russia-supply-iran-sophisticated-air-defence-system-150413180038692.html
US shuts down Tripoli embassy and evacuates staff in Libya: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-closes-down-embassy-and-evacuates-staff-in-libyas-capital-tripoli-9630561.html
New York Times: Working With the Muslim Brotherhood: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/opinion/roger-cohen-working-with-the-muslim-brotherhood.html
Army Ousts Egypt's President; Morsi Is Taken Into Military Custody: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/world/middleeast/egypt.html
Obama Tonight: Yemen and Somalia Are Models of Success: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-tonight-yemen-and-somalia-are-models-success_804728.html