Okay, President Barack Obama has committed himself to do an adventure episode with Bear Grylls. Hmmm. It will certainly show the strength he still has left in his presidency after the kitchen sink has been thrown at him these last seven-plus years.
This month’s issue of Foreign Policy magazine—a rather conservative publication—focuses on an evaluation of Obama’s successes in foreign policy for the U.S.A. It is a thick resume, no matter how you slice it, and one accomplished over relentless opposition and recalcitrance. This week, the president shored up the Senate votes necessary to get the new Iran nuclear deal approved. Sure, the majority of Republicans will vote against such approval, but the Republicans cannot sustain themselves against a guaranteed presidential veto. They need two-thirds of both the House and Senate and those votes, as of this week, are not there. The president wins this battle, and the Iran nuclear agreement will be one of Obama’s signature foreign policy achievements, one hailed internationally, if not unanimously. It is an accomplishment worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize he won back in 2008.
Long criticized for not having a cogent Middle East policy (“just don’t do stupid stuff,” get out of Iraq, don’t get involved in Syria, and show some good intentions) and for not just vaporizing everybody standing in the way of U.S.A. aims in the region, the president’s good common sense and great team preparation has prevailed. Are we better off because of U.S. foreign policy under President Obama than we were under the previous administration? The magazine, overall, says yes, and I agree. That doesn’t mean the problems there have dissipated. They haven’t and in fact, they have gotten bigger.
But there are now more options for mollifying the continuing Middle East strife, less chance of American soldiers dying and being maimed for life because of tours of duty in the region, and less chance of Iran securing a nuclear weapon anytime soon and sharing it with other terrorists.
Obama has, overall, been a very good foreign policy strategist for this country. The new Cuban policy is another example of his bold strokes even without Congress’ support. Remember catching Bin Laden? The new trade deal with the Asian Pacific nations—in spite of voracious opposition from some labor unions—is another example.
Obama has proven himself to be a great leader. He has done his time—which clearly is not over—very well. History will treat him kindly. That is good for the U.S.A. and definitely good for Black folk.
Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.
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