36 Hours of Obama’s Foreign Policy
A look at the events of this past weekend is revealing, and depressing.


Fred Thompson

In a span of 36 hours this past weekend, the American people got a fair representation of the Obama administration’s four years of foreign-policy and national-security failures. Let’s recap.

First, Israel shot down a drone that entered its air space, and while it would not provide any additional information — interesting how some countries prefer to keep their national-security issues secret — it appears the drone flew in from an area controlled by the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Such drone incursions into Israeli airspace are nothing new, but this one comes at a time of serious discussions of what to do about an increasingly threatening Iran. The Obama administration made no statement about the disturbing event, though perhaps we should be pleasantly surprised that our State Department didn’t condemn the downing of a defenseless drone.

We would be remiss if we didn’t note, as exhibit 1B, that the Obama administration continues to be embarrassed by independent organizations that are far more concerned about Iran and its nuclear threat. Recall, that Obama made clear in 2008 that he was better positioned to negotiate with Iran and reduce its nuclear threat. And his efforts are paying off in spades . . . for Iran. Over the weekend, the Institute for Science and International Security issued a new report that indicates that Iran is two to four months away from having enough nuclear material to arm a weapon.

For all the talk about his ability to talk, the country Obama seems least interested in speaking with is the one country that is talking sensibly about the Iranian nuclear threat — Israel. Israel is also the one country that is both in the most precarious position from that threat and in the best position to do something about it. One might think that Israel is a country worthy of some attention. But it is clear from his actions and his words that Obama views Israel as no more significant a strategic ally than, say, France, Canada, or Peru.

Second, after shots were fired between Turkey and Syria, Americans watched our defense secretary go out on the proverbial limb and announce to the world that the situation in Syria could “escalate.” Really? Thousands of innocent men, women, and children slaughtered by their own country’s military. Tens of thousands more Syrians living in refugee camps in Turkey and elsewhere. And the Obama administration, which chose to believe initially that Syria’s Assad was a “reformer,” and which sat on its hands during the initial outbreak of the civil war, now worries that the situation between Syria and its neighbors could “escalate.”

Finally, we had the release of more information indicating that the Obama State Department and White House simply lied and willfully misled the American people in the information they shared with the public and the media about the attacks on American outposts and citizens in Libya and Egypt. Four American citizens were brutally murdered because the administration chose to ignore requests from Americans on the ground, who knew better than people in Washington when it came to ensuring the safety and security of their people in Libya and Egypt. Instead, the administration, like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar, chose to put up an intricate, yet flimsy, set of excuses for what most sensible people understood to be serious terrorist attacks on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

So there you have it: 36 hours that encapsulate a four-year record of a flaccid and terribly misguided foreign policy. An administration willing to lie to its own citizens for political gain, and willing to do so at the risk of putting citizens in harm’s way. An administration that doesn’t know its friends from its enemies, and routinely treats one as the other.

At one point in last week’s debate, not wanting to dwell on the complicated issue of taxes and their impact on a stagnant economy, Obama suggested that the moderator might want to move on to another topic. How often do you think that he will be suggesting the same thing in the foreign-policy debate?

— Fred and Jeri Thompson serve on the advisory board of