Foreign Affairs Triptych

 

A triptych is a work divided into three panels, most commonly seen in early church art and cheesy office decorations. Perusing today’s headlines, I spied a triptych of Obama’s foreign policy in action.

Panel One:

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled Yemen by sea Wednesday as Shiite rebels and their allies moved on his last refuge in the south, captured its airport and put a bounty on his head, officials said.

The departure of the close U.S. ally and the imminent fall of the southern port of Aden pushed Yemen further toward a violent collapse. It also threatened to turn the impoverished but strategic country into another proxy battle between the Middle East’s Sunni powers and Shiite-led Iran.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies believe the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, are tools for Iran to seize control of Yemen and say they intend to stop the takeover. The Houthis deny they are backed by Iran.

The crumbling of Hadi’s government is a blow to Washington’s counterterrorism strategy against al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen, considered to be the most powerful in the terrorist network. Over the weekend, about 100 U.S. military advisers withdrew from the al-Annad air base where they had been leading a drone campaign against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

Yemen now faces fragmentation, with Houthis controlling much of the north, including the capital of Sanaa, and several southern provinces. In recent days, they took the third-largest city, Taiz, as well as much of the province of Lahj, both just to the north of Aden.

Panel Two:

[Bowe] Bergdahl fell into Taliban hands in Afghanistan in 2009 after he reportedly became disillusioned with the war and walked away from his combat outpost. He was released after five years in captivity in a controversial exchange for five detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Army announced Wednesday that he is being charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. A preliminary hearing could lead to a full-fledged court martial.

Soldiers have alleged (although the Pentagon has said it can’t confirm) at least six U.S. troops died in clashes with the Taliban while hunting for Bergdahl after he went missing and was seized by the Taliban in Paktika province on June 30, 2009. “Bergdahl’s walking away was a large factor contributing to my son’s death,” Andy Andrews of Cameron, Texas, told TIME after Bergdahl’s release. His son, 2nd Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, was killed by an RPG September 4, 2009, while protecting a fellow soldier. They had been on a routine patrol near where Bergdahl vanished, and had been asking locals about him when they were attacked. “Sergeant Bergdahl is not a hero, and my son—who sacrificed himself to save others—was a hero,” Andrews said.

Panel Three:

President Barack Obama has yet to meet with the new head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and won’t see Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week, even though he is in Washington for three days. Stoltenberg’s office requested a meeting with Obama well in advance of the visit, but never heard anything from the White House, two sources close to the NATO chief told me.

The leaders of almost all the other 28 NATO member countries have made time for Stoltenberg since he took over the world’s largest military alliance in October. Stoltenberg, twice the prime minister of Norway, met Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa to discuss the threat of the Islamic State and the crisis in Ukraine, two issues near the top of Obama’s agenda.

Kurt Volker, who served as the U.S. permanent representative to NATO under both President George W. Bush and Obama, said the president broke a long tradition. “The Bush administration held a firm line that if the NATO secretary general came to town, he would be seen by the president … so as not to diminish his stature or authority,” he told me.

America’s commitment to defend its NATO allies is its biggest treaty obligation, said Volker, adding that European security is at its most perilous moment since the Cold War. Russia has moved troops and weapons into eastern Ukraine, annexed Crimea, placed nuclear-capable missiles in striking distance of NATO allies, flown strategic-bomber mock runs in the North Atlantic, practiced attack approaches on the U.K. and Sweden, and this week threatened to aim nuclear missiles at Denmark’s warships.

“It is hard for me to believe that the president of the United States has not found the time to meet with the current secretary general of NATO given the magnitude of what this implies, and the responsibilities of his office,” Volker said.

Other bad news encircles the globe. Putin’s warplanes are buzzing the Baltics and Scandinavia. Yemeni rebels transferred captured information to Iran as the Obama administration praises the genocidal regime and mocks Israel’s democratically elected leadership.

It’s hard to determine what exactly our government is attempting to accomplish unless their chosen goal is to diminish American power, threaten our allies, and embolden the worst rogue regimes. How long until prominent Democrats tell their President to set down the selfie sticks and begin to pay attention to the world crumbling around us?

There are 20 comments.

  1. Paul Dougherty Member

    Any truth to the rumor that POTUS has requested to say a few words of praise at the reburial of Richard III?

    • #1
    • March 25, 2015, at 5:09 PM PDT
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  2. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:How long until prominent Democrats tell their President to set down the selfie sticks and begin to pay attention to the world crumbling around us?

    They never will, they’ll be on board with Obama until 1/20/17, and will unfailingly defend him forever after.

    The crumbling will be chalked up to Bush for decades, just like blaming Coolidge continues today.

    • #2
    • March 25, 2015, at 5:18 PM PDT
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  3. Tuck Inactive

    You posted too soon:

    Saudi Ambassador: Saudi Arabia Has Begun Military Operations in Yemen

    • #3
    • March 25, 2015, at 5:26 PM PDT
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  4. Tuck Inactive

    And:

    US warplanes begin air strikes on Isis in Iraqi city of Tikrit

    • #4
    • March 25, 2015, at 5:27 PM PDT
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  5. Tuck Inactive

    And:

    Germanwings pilot was locked out of cockpit before fatal crash

    • #5
    • March 25, 2015, at 5:29 PM PDT
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  6. iWe Reagan
    iWe

    Not to mention:

    “Ricochet members openly speculating that Obama seeks to destroy America.”

    • #6
    • March 25, 2015, at 5:30 PM PDT
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  7. Tuck Inactive

    iWc:Not to mention:

    “Ricochet members openly speculating that Obama seeks to destroy America.”

    You were on the EAMU?

    I asked, if he was a Muslim Manchurian Candidate, how would his behavior be different?

    • #7
    • March 25, 2015, at 5:46 PM PDT
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  8. DocJay Inactive

    What fun times. Just wait til the big Iran nuke deal gets lipstick put on it for the masses to feast on with drooling idiocy.

    • #8
    • March 25, 2015, at 6:45 PM PDT
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  9. Paul J. Croeber Inactive

    Libs ignore history and circumstance until they are made to explain their failures. Obama won’t internalize any of this one bit and likely will take his repudiation and general failure as a confirmation of his unique brilliance in a world that constantly disappoints.

    • #9
    • March 25, 2015, at 7:07 PM PDT
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  10. Yeah...ok. Inactive

    Panel 1: Republicans say “Stop. That is not constitutional.”

    Panel 2: MSM says “Republicans shut down ss checks & national parks”

    Panel 3: Republicans are crying (crocodile tears), debt ceiling raised.

    • #10
    • March 25, 2015, at 9:58 PM PDT
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  11. KC Mulville Inactive

    Maybe Biden would be better. Never thought I’d hear myself (or anyone else besides Biden) say that, but I’m starting to come around.

    • #11
    • March 25, 2015, at 10:55 PM PDT
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  12. Kozak Member

    iWc:Not to mention:

    “Ricochet members openly speculating that Obama seeks to destroy America.”

    If he was actively seeking to destroy America would his actions, policies look any different then they do?

    • #12
    • March 25, 2015, at 11:27 PM PDT
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  13. Kozak Member

    Tuck:You posted too soon:

    Saudi Ambassador: Saudi Arabia Has Begun Military Operations in Yemen

    And here’s what the US has contributed to the fight….

    Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 3.54.08 PM

    ….To the Iranian Puppet/Houthi rebel side. How do like that fellow taxpayers?

    • #13
    • March 25, 2015, at 11:29 PM PDT
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  14. David Williamson Inactive

    “It’s hard to determine what exactly our government is attempting to accomplish unless their chosen goal is to diminish American power, threaten our allies, and embolden the worst rogue regimes.”

    Not so hard to understand, given Mr Obama’s background – someone should make a movie about it – or two.

    • #14
    • March 25, 2015, at 11:32 PM PDT
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  15. Kozak Member

    KC Mulville:Maybe Biden would be better. Never thought I’d hear myself (or anyone else besides Biden) say that, but I’m starting to come around.

    Slow Joe is an idiot. But at least he doesn’t hate America….

    • #15
    • March 25, 2015, at 11:39 PM PDT
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  16. Manny Member

    Every day I shake my head at the incompetence this administration. It is absolutely stunning. I could never have imagined it.

    • #16
    • March 26, 2015, at 4:29 AM PDT
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  17. Tuck Inactive

    Manny:Every day I shake my head at the incompetence this administration. It is absolutely stunning. I could never have imagined it.

    He’s not incompetent. He’s achieving his goals quite effectively. His goals are just different from ours.

    • #17
    • March 26, 2015, at 6:22 AM PDT
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  18. PHCheese Member

    Hey, watch the cheesy thing.

    • #18
    • March 26, 2015, at 7:10 AM PDT
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  19. Trinity Waters Inactive

    KC Mulville:Maybe Biden would be better. Never thought I’d hear myself (or anyone else besides Biden) say that, but I’m starting to come around.

    KC! Much too scary a prospect! Biden would add incompetence to failed ideology.

    • #19
    • March 26, 2015, at 8:48 AM PDT
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  20. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Kozak:

    KC Mulville:Maybe Biden would be better. Never thought I’d hear myself (or anyone else besides Biden) say that, but I’m starting to come around.

    Slow Joe is an idiot. But at least he doesn’t hate America….

    Oops! Remember, actions not words.

    • #20
    • March 26, 2015, at 8:49 AM PDT
    • Like