President Trump was spot on when he recently said that “the reason I’m here is because of President Obama and Joe Biden. Because if they did a good job, I wouldn’t be here. And probably, if they did a good job, I wouldn’t have even run. I would’ve been very happy.” He concluded, “I enjoyed my previous life very much, but they did such a bad job, I stand before you as President.”
These are very powerful and penetrating words from the President. It is always a good idea to get perspective. Truth be told, who in their right minds want to relive the Obama juggernaut?
President Obama began his presidency with his first major speech in Cairo. His choice of location foreshadowed what was to happen the next eight years. It was turmoil. It jumpstarted the so called “Arab Spring” of 2011, which rightfully should have been called the “Arab Winter.” The Arab Spring led to the downfall of pro-Western Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood both in Egypt and in America. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, took over between 2012 and 2013. The anti-Israel Morsi was supported by President Obama and his then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood almost destroyed Egypt. The Obama administration propped up and boosted the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the region. It created one of the most dangerous situations for Israel and the Middle East. General Abdul Fatah el-Sisi launched a coup d’état and saved Egypt and the Middle East from a total conflagration. El-Sisi also strengthened America’s standing in the Middle East and continues to do so to this day. He also honored Egypt’s peace treaty signed between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat in 1979. Morsi had rejected the peace agreement.
Syria did not fare so well under President Obama. The Arab Spring caused a revolution in Syria. The Obama administration allowed one red line after another to be crossed. In the end, over 500,000 Syrians were killed.
Although the attack on two US facilities in Benghazi, Libya, and the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens by the al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Sharia gets more press than the Syrian genocide, the latter was a far greater disaster for the Obama administration.
Additionally, the greatest growth spurt of ISIS occurred during the Obama years, gaining control over 17,000 square miles of Iraq and Syria. The Obama odyssey was the single most important accelerant to ISIS in the Middle East. The Trump administration can indeed lay claim to the defeat of ISIS.
The Obama administration’s attitude towards Israel was confrontational and very uncomfortable. Although not part of the administration, the former National Security Advisor under President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said in an interview in 2010 that if Israel were to attempt an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities by flying over Iraqi airspace during US occupation, American forces should shoot down the Israeli planes. Although I have no proof that President Obama would give an order to do so, this was the type of attitude Israel faced every day for eight years. In distinct contrast, it has been reported that the Trump administration has given a green light for Israel to do so.
This all ties together with the horrible deal that the Obama administration made with Iran in 2015. Former Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement on the second night of the DNC, where he claimed that the Iran deal had “eliminated the threat of an Iran with a nuclear weapon,” is a flagrant lie. Kerry knew full well that the sunset provisions in the deal gave Iran a pathway to developing nuclear weapons. Why else would Iran be allowed to build enough centrifuges for a nuclear bomb but not enough for nuclear power. President Trump put a stop to the deal before it was too late. The Obama administration refused to hear any of the concerns by Israel over the deal. Both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren refused to attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress, warning of the dangers of the deal that Obama was about to make. After the deal was made, Israel discovered a huge cache of documents from Iran on how to build a nuclear arsenal, showing their true intentions. John Kerry will never admit when he has been wrong. He continued to meet with Iranian officials even after he was out of government, despite the compelling evidence that Iran was planning a nuclear arsenal and ballistic missiles.
Where was Joe Biden? He was part and parcel of the mayhem the Obama policies caused. I was reminded this week of what the great Menachem Begin told Joe Biden in 1982 when then-Senator Biden threatened to cut off aid to Israel. Prime Minister Begin forcefully told Senator Biden, “Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”
I, for one, do not want to have to relive the Obama years with a Biden presidency.
Joseph M. Frager is a physician and lifelong activist.