Sunday, February 28, 2016

Obama's legacy: complete world disorder

Las Vegas Review-Journal ^ | February 27, 2016 | by Charles Krauthammer 

State of the world, Year Eight of Barack Obama:

(1) In the South China Sea, on a speck of land of disputed sovereignty far from its borders, China has just installed anti-aircraft batteries and stationed fighter jets.
(2) Syria. Russian intervention has turned the tide of war. The U.S. response? Repeated pathetic attempts by Secretary of State John Kerry to propitiate Russia (and its ally, Iran) in one collapsed peace conference after another.
(3) Ukraine. Having swallowed Crimea so thoroughly that no one even talks about it anymore, Russia continues to trample with impunity on the Minsk cease-fire agreements.
(4) Iran. Earlier this month, Iran received its first shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft batteries from Russia. The U.S. response? Words.
To say nothing of the Islamic State, now extending its reach from Afghanistan to West Africa. The international order built over decades by the United States is crumbling.
In the face of which, what does Obama do? Go to Cuba.
Yes, Cuba. A supreme strategic irrelevance so dear to Obama's anti-anti-communist heart.
Of course, it mattered greatly to the quarter-million slaughtered in Syria and the millions more exiled. It feels all quite real to a dissolving Europe, an expanding China, a rising Iran, a metastasizing jihadism.
Not to the visionary Obama, however. He sees far beyond such ephemera. He knows what really matters: climate change, Gitmo and Cuba.
With time running out, he wants these to be his legacy. Indeed, they will be.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

For GOP elite, the stink of panic! ^ | 2/27/16 | Jay Bookman 

The Times piece also describes the intense pressure on Gov. John Kasich of Ohio to leave the race, and Kasich’s equally intense refusal to do so. But perhaps the best gauge of the panic setting in comes from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
“While still hopeful that Mr. Rubio might prevail, Mr. McConnell has begun preparing senators for the prospect of a Trump nomination, assuring them that, if it threatened to harm them in the general election, they could run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him and Republican senators seeking re-election. Mr. McConnell has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trump’s loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton, according to senators at the lunches.”
That is a drowning man grasping at straws. There is almost zero chance that the Republicans would be able to hold the Senate if Trump is the electoral disaster that McConnell apparently fears. And Republican senators running anti-Trump ads? Any senator who took that course would alienate a good chunk of their own base, ensuring their defeat.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...