Obama is a foreign policy success story?

November 14, 2011

Who knew?

So says David Gregory of NBC.

Brad Wilmouth of Newsbusters chronicles the pontifications of Gregory so we don’t have to:

Appearing on the Sunday, November, 13, Today show on NBC to discuss Saturday night’s GOP presidential debate that focused on foreign policy, Meet the Press host David Gregory suggested that, because President Obama’s foreign policy, “by a lot of accounts,” has been “very successful,” the Republican candidates may not be so eager to go after Obama in that realm. Gregory, speaking of the candidates:

This was not necessarily the format or I should say the subject to try to distinguish one from the other. What they wanted to do was level attacks against President Obama, but that’s going to be difficult as well. I don’t think the Republican nominee for President really feels like that is the most vulnerable area for President Obama. His foreign policy by a lot of accounts has been very successful, particularly on the war on terror, and I think they want to focus on the economy.

A few weeks ago, on the Sunday, October 23, Today show, Gregory had similarly asserted that “I don’t think there’s any question” that President Obama had erased the Democratic Party’s vulnerability on the issue of foreign policy. Host Lester Holt had set up the segment:

There was the death of Muammar Gadhafi, and in Iraq all U.S. troops will be home by year’s end. Two milestones reached in just a matter of days. What will it all mean for the President and the Republican candidates? … The opposition to the war was central to President Obama’s original campaign. How will it affect his legacy now that that war probably barely registers on the list of issues among American voters?

As he noted that Americans will likely be more interested in the economy than foreign policy, and that even the future in the foreign policy arena could still be uncertain, he praised President Obama’s performance so far:

I don’t think this is top of mind for American voters as we start thinking about the election, but this is a leadership moment for the President, and at a time when government can’t do a lot about the economy, it’s certainly a time when he’s accomplishing a lot, the President is, in foreign policy at a, at a momentous time for the rest of the world if you look at what’s happening particularly in the Middle East.


Is this true? Are Republicans afraid to engage President Kinetic Military Action on foreign policy? Well, lets just look at the yardstick of Middle East policy for a yardstick that all presidents since Carter can be judged by – Iran and their nuclear ambitions. Via Reuters:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday the full extent of Iran’s nuclear program was not reflected in a recent U.N. report, which said that Tehran appeared to have worked on designing an atomic bomb.

“Iran is closer to getting an (atomic) bomb than is thought,” Netanyahu said in remarks to cabinet ministers, quoted by an official from his office.

“Only things that could be proven were written (in the U.N. report), but in reality there are many other things that we see,” Netanyahu said, according to the official.


Doesn’t look too successful to me – but then no president that thinks that the IAEA supervision is adequate isn’t going to be successful. How close is Iran?  Pretty damn close according to IranWatch:

Iran’s bank of rapidly spinning centrifuges has produced a growing stockpile of low-enriched uranium, able to fuel nuclear reactors, but able also to fuel nuclear weapons if further enriched. Enrichment raises the concentration of the uranium isotope U-235, which fissions in first-generation nuclear weapons.

Based on the amount of low-enriched uranium Iran has stockpiled, and the amount it is believed to be producing each month, the Wisconsin Project estimates that by December 2008, Iran had accumulated enough U-235 to fuel one bomb — assuming Iran decided to further enrich the low-enriched material to weapon-grade. The Project further estimates that by the end of 2009, Iran had enough U-235 to fuel a second bomb; that Iran had enough of this material for a third bomb by August 2010; that Iran had enough of this material for a fourth bomb by April 2011; and that Iran had enough of this material for a fifth bomb by November 2011 — in each case assuming that Iran decided to raise the level of U-235 in its low-enriched uranium stockpile (3.5 percent U-235) to weapon-grade (90 percent or more U-235).

As Iran increases its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, and its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent U-235, it will consolidate its status as a “virtual” nuclear weapon state.

Iran’s progress towards this status is estimateda below. These estimates are based upon the theoretical performance of Iran’s existing centrifuges and upon how these centrifuges appear to have performed in the past:


Bomb potential of Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile


  • Amount of U-235 contained in Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium:
    116 kg b
  • Amount of this U-235 produced each month:
    3.45 kg c
  • Amount of this U-235 required to fuel a first-generation implosion bombd:
    21.6 kg e
  • Date by which Iran probably had stockpiled the above:
    December 2008 f
  • Number of additional months needed to convert this low-enriched uranium to weapon-grade g:
    From 3 to 12 h
  • Date by which Iran probably had enough U-235 to fuel a second bomb:
    December 2009 i
  • Date by which Iran probably had enough U-235 to fuel a third bomb:
    August 2010 j
  • Date by which Iran probably had enough U-235 to fuel a fourth bomb:
    April 2011 bb
  • Date by which Iran probably had enough U-235 to fuel a fifth bomb:
    November 2011ff

It is pretty clear that no president has been able to stop Iran, Israel will have to take care of it… but for Obama, begging the Chinese and Russians for help, cutting and running in Afghanistan and Iraq and killing an old and ineffective bin Laden and “droning” Anwar al-Awaki hardly amounts to a record to fear.

Maybe since the memes of the #OWS narrative, the “jobs saved or created”, the “stimulus worked”, “unemployment would have been 15% if not for us”, and “we bent the health care cost curve down”, haven’t worked it is time to try a new one.

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