Trump Reverses the Obama Doctrine on Iran


Last week, former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice — she of the infamously shifting Benghazi explanations — published an op-ed in the New York Times dedicated to the proposition that Trump’s “America first” foreign policy has “relinquish[ed] the nation’s moral authority in these difficult times.” According to Rice, Trump has shifted away from seizing “opportunities to expand prosperity, freedom and security” around the globe.

Yet when confronted with protests in Iran, it was Trump, not Obama, who took the hard-line approach in support of freedom.

In the past few days, thousands of Iranians have marched against the terrorist regime in Tehran. As of this writing, twelve of these Iranians have been murdered by the country’s Revolutionary Guard. Trump has tweeted his support for the protesters, spoken out in their favor, and made clear that he’d love to see them topple the regime itself.

Contrast Trump’s behavior with that of the Obama administration, which deliberately ignored anti-regime protests in 2009, choosing instead to cozy favor with the regime and maximize Tehran’s regional power. The administration even went so far as to give Tehran a legal pathway to a nuclear weapon. Obama stated that while he was “troubled” by violence against the protesters, it was “up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” and he hoped “to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran.”

The administration would go on to allegedly leak Israeli plans to kill the commander of the Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, to the Iranians, lie to the American public about contact with the “moderate” Iranian regime regarding a nuclear deal, and then ship pallets of cash to the greatest state sponsor of terror on the planet.

So what do members of the Obama administration have to say about the newest Iranian protests? They present a solid combination of willful dissembling and shocking historical revisionism. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former national-security guru, tweeted: “The Iranian people are rightfully demanding dignity, less corruption, more opportunity, and greater control over their lives. In look at US twitter, it seems lost on too many that this is about what Iranians want for Iran, not about us.” He seems to have missed the part of history where he personally strengthened the regime the Iranian people are protesting. Rice sounded off in the pages of the New York Times once again, this time to tell Trump to “be quiet” — because being quiet last time was so successful that the Iranian regime publicly shot dissenters in the streets with no serious blowback.

This, then, is the irony of Trump’s foreign policy in contrast with Obama’s: Obama jabbered endlessly about American leadership while simultaneously “leading from behind.” Trump actually pursues American leadership while simultaneously claiming the isolationist mantle of “America first.”

All of which prompts a question: What does it mean to exercise American leadership? Does it mean pursuing coalition-building above all, or does it mean going it alone? Does it mean taking hard-line stances that advance America’s interests or subsuming those interests to the greater global good?

Maybe American leadership doesn’t really exist at all. Is it possible that nations don’t follow America out of allegiance to our priorities, but out of their own political calculations? Is it possible that we’re the biggest dog in the room, and that nations calculate whether or not to follow us at their own peril? Is it possible that one way of controlling America’s foreign policy is redefining “universal principles” like liberty until they are unrecognizable, and then convincing American leaders to accept such perversions as the defining goals of American policy?

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By far Obama was not only Americas #1 worst Presidents in Americas over 240 year history but his Cabinet was the most corupt as well